Funny Girl

I eat fast. Really fast. My mother once asked me if I had perhaps starved in a past life. Sometimes, I don’t think I even taste my food.

My child can take an hour to eat a scoop of ice cream. The words “Hurry up” bring her instantly to tears. She has always moved to the beat of her own drum.

She has been struggling, a bit, with math. It’s too fast for her. And knowing she is being timed just makes it worse. She has always had performance anxiety, which is sad to watch (from where I’m sitting). She’s such a talented singer and artist. But the thought of anyone “watching” her makes her insane. The thought of “messing up” and knowing that people witnessed it is too much for her to handle. I know this is a required step in child development, but it’s a little more than that.

Of course I blame myself for her falling behind a bit in math. It’s not my strong suit. And, by the time I get home I’m hurrying to make dinner, hurrying her to do her homework, hurrying her to bathe, and get ready for bed. I’m not helping. And there isn’t much time for anything else.

Today, she brought home a piece of paper from school. I asked, “When did you do this?” She said, “We had free time during reading.”

Remember…beat of her own drum. The math will come. WP_20150109_003

Isn’t It Funny

Parenting is, hands down, the most interesting thing I’ve ever done.
I pretty much spend every day trying not to dumb my child down to my level.
Pay attention.
Look when she’s talking to you.
Don’t assume you know what she’s trying to say.
Believe her when she sees something.
Make things interesting.
Learn something new.
Be new.
Be fun.

I don’t know what I would do without this child in my life.

Before she was here, I could go to the bookstore and hang-out until they turned the lights off and politely told me to “Get the hell out.”
I could wake up when I wanted, go to brunch (or not), eat chips and salsa for dinner (okay…that never really changed).
What I am trying to say is, I didn’t have to come home. No one was waiting for me anywhere. I didn’t feel guilty because I wasn’t home making someone’s dinner.
I wasn’t going to be punished for neglecting anyone.
I didn’t punish myself for doing nothing special, or doing too much.
I could go where I wanted, when I wanted, and stay as long as I wanted.
I didn’t have to hear anyone complain about how bored they are.
I didn’t have to limit my time because someone else wasn’t enjoying the moment.

Now, every single thought revolves around this child and what makes her life meaningful.
I don’t eat, sleep, or think without her face in my mind.
“How can I make our lives mean something?”
“What can I do to make sure she will remember me, always?”
“Is she happy?”

The holidays have passed and I didn’t take the time to blog.
Not since September.

I would like to think it’s because we were too busy having fun.
But, in all honesty, I didn’t feel like I had anything worthy of writing.

So, that will change.

I’ve set many goals for myself for the remainder of 2015.
Most of them revolve around remembering what makes me happy.
And we all know…when momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.
The rest have to do with my lovely child.
Create memories.
Don’t be so hard on her; she’s hard enough on herself.
Remember that I know who she is; who she has always been.
And most of all, look forward to the unknown.

A Beautiful Mind

My sweet child and I were at a stoplight tonight next to a restaurant that is going out of business.

“Mom, how old is this street?”

Very old.

“How do you know?”

Well, that restaurant sign says ‘Family owned since 1939.”

“Is that old?”

Yes. That is old.

“At least the sign doesn’t say ‘Whites Only’.”

And, that’s how it goes sometimes.

I heard her explaining Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to our four-year-old neighbor.

“She doesn’t like children and they take them away and hide them in the castle. Who could do that to children? That is not a nice lady.”

Everything is just as it sounds. It must be incredible to be six years old. I don’t remember much about it, honestly. My parents had just divorced. I think all I cared about was Grizzly Adams, MASH, and Andy Gibb.

I have to remind myself to just let her be. I was very good at it when she was a baby. But after a while I realized I needed to be a little bit more strict or she would, one day, walk all over me. I wish I had a picture of the moment she realized I had changed my parenting skills. You could see from the look on her face that shet was about to get real. She was wide-eyed and her jaw dropped. It was as if her mother had disappeared and had been replaced with a crazy lady.

Luckily, we’ve figured it out. She tells me every day how much she loves me, and that I am the best mommy ever. I tell her how lucky I am, and that she is the best kid ever.

Tonight, I rewarded her with roasted asparagus. I cook it for 35 minutes at 375 degrees. I drizzle olive oil on the asparagus, after breaking off the ends, and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper.

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I love that if there is a vegetable tray within a mile, my daughter will stand in front of it and eat all the raw broccoli and cauliflower. She loves Brussels sprouts. And asparagus; one of her favorites.

So, I cooked rice and chicken and cut the asparagus into bite size pieces while she made her Valentines for her class party on Friday. The Ziploc bags have red and pink kisses all over them.

“Mom. I cannot give these to the boys!”

So the boys get plain. And one day…they won’t.

Secret Single Behavior

If I didn’t have a child (cannot even imagine such a thing), I would spend nowhere near the amount of money I spend on groceries every week/month. I cannot believe what two people eat, especially two rather small people. 

I would go back to my weird habits of eating chips and salsa for dinner, or cereal, or…cookies and milk. 

The child wanted pizza tonight, so I did a little experiment for my own dinner. I had two slices of ham that I cut into triangles. I layered two in muffin cups that had been sprayed with non-stick spray. 

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I cracked one egg into each cup. I added chopped red peppers, shredded cheese, and scallions. 

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Next time, I think adding some thyme or crushed red pepper would be good. I cooked them at 400 degrees for about 18 minutes (13 mins., back in for 3 mins., back in for 2 mins.). 

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After they were finished, I sprinkled them with a little kosher salt and black pepper. I ate one. Then two. And the last two snicker doodles. 

THEY’RE GONE! Woohoo! 

The Day

Today was a GREAT day. That doesn’t even cover it. Fantabulosonificent. Something like that. And I really don’t even know why. It just felt great. Dammit. *note to self: by a thesaurus*

My daughter had spaghetti for dinner last night, plain with butter and cheese. After dinner she said, “Can we have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner tomorrow?” So we did.

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I moistened nearly a cup of gluten free breads crumbs. I put 1 lb. of ground beef in a large bowl with one egg, 2 T chopped parsley, shredded cheese, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, then mixed. I added the bread crumbs and mixed all together. I heated 1 T olive oil in a skillet and heated the meatballs on all sides. Removed the meatballs and added diced tomatoes in a basil, garlic, oregano seasoning. I had frozen tomato paste and heated it as well. I filled the can of diced tomatoes half-way with water and added that to the pan. I added the meatballs back to the skillet and covered with foil, on low, while I was making the spaghetti. And it was freaking delicious. And I’m giving horrible directions tonight. But I did it. Child asked. Child received. Meatballs for lunch.

Don’t Crowd the Mushrooms

It’s true. Julia was right. I like to make mine with bacon grease (Boar’s Head) and Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour. 

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I cooked steak in a skillet and then fried the mushrooms in it. I honestly can’t think of a better combination. Unless, of course, it’s edamame/corn/pickles. Heat frozen edamame and frozen corn with 2T of water. Once heated, add 1/2 cup of diced pickles (I used dill, but you could use sweet) and 1T of pickle juice. Delicious! What a treat. 

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Sweet potato fries might be the child’s favorite new side item. Every single time I make them (or fried/diced Yukon gold potatoes), she asks, “Are there more of these for me?” before she even starts eating them. 

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This is the first time in I couldn’t tell you how long that my sweet child hasn’t burst into tears at bedtime, telling me she’s starving. She has always eaten enough for three football players, and always asks for dessert after. I have been giving her apples at night hoping the fiber will fill her up; she didn’t even ask for dessert tonight. But I think the apples are making a real impact on her, wouldn’t you say? 

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One of Those Days

Wednesdays are crazy. I pick the child up from the after-school program. They’re either inside or on the playground. I go inside, they’re not there. I go to the playground, and somehow I’ve missed them and have to go back inside. This takes about 20 minutes to find her, sign her out, grab her stuff, and get her into the car. 

Today, we ran an errand and I completely forgot it was Wednesday. Thank goodness I remembered because I was about to make two more stops. We rushed home, changed, got to practice (where it was parents vs. kids, and now I know why soccer players wear cleats). Afterward, we stopped by the grocery and grabbed this for dinner: 

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After dinner, I checked her backpack. Her snack pocket was empty. I noticed this morning that she didn’t eat her snack yesterday. I asked her about it at the grocery and she said, “I was busy doing my homework.” So, tonight, I asked, “Did you eat two rice cakes today, and a Lara bar, and fruit snacks?” She said, “Yes.” 

So, today, my 6 y.o. daughter ate: 2 slices of bacon, an egg, part of a gluten free chocolate chip muffin top, half a cheese sandwich, two pickles, some chips, two gluten free Newman Os, 2 rice cakes, a Lara bar, a packet of fruit chews, popcorn, lox and cream cheese on toast, Cheetos, and a gluten free ice cream cone with vanilla and chocolate ice cream swirl. 

And now, she wants to know what is for dessert.