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Archive for October, 2009

Alone.

I don’t know why, but I am feeling very alone today…it started out a good day and we have lots to do today – a Halloween Party, shortly and hopefully some trick or treating….

I guess it started when I put Little Magoo down for a nap after lunch – his eyes were red and he rubbed them if I asked if he needed a nap…then it began. The flailing and screaming in my arms as we walked upstairs. He settled when I read him a book…”Ok, I though, this is good, he’ll settle down and take a nap when I put him down.” But who was I joking – and hour and a half later he’s still upstairs, crying his eyes out, after he played by himself for a 1/2 hour….and what am I doing? Typing this post and crying my eyes out.

He’s never gotten it right. Yet, I am always the one trying to deal with getting him to nap, listening to him on the monitor at night when he cries out, because of such crappy naps during the day.

How the hell am I going to do it? How the hell am I going to manage 2 children seven days a week, while Mr. Magoo is off at work or school? Suddenly, as sad as it sounds, I feel an impending doom. I feel alone. Completely.

The house is a mess, it desperately needs a deep cleaning, dusting, vacuuming – dishes are always in the sink, the lawn is a mess…I have no tupperware left because all the old leftovers are sitting in the fridge waiting to be taken to the dump…but we haven’t had a dump run in two weeks. Why? Mr. Magoo is always at work – I’d go, but I would have to bring a toddler in tow and take about 5 trips or more. I have no clue what to make Little Magoo for dinner – seeing as we need to go food shopping and all the leftovers are gross now…and meanwhile I’ve only had a total of 1 bowl of cereal and 1 cup of coffee…and I’m currently growing a human being inside of my body.

So, here I sit, listening to Little Magoo cry…crying along with him. Wishing things were better than they are and feeling totally, utterly, completely alone in my life.

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Today I declared somewhat of a “Halloween Day” at my house. I thought it would be fun for Little Magoo, since he loves pumpkins so much and for myself, to break out of the typical monotony of the day.

Yesterday, we had a great family day – we haven’t had one in a long time on account of Mr. Magoo working a LOT. I miss family time. So yesterday was nice when we brought Little Magoo to pick out a pumpkin. We walked around and saw the tractors and farm animals. Little Magoo was perfectly content trying to take off on his own! Once we picked our pumpkin out, we headed out. Although I had to fun back to the stand and grab a little tiny pumpkin for him to hold in the car, because he was very upset when we didn’t let him hold the big one. I’m a sucker like that.

He was very happy about the pumpkins.

Today I printed out some stickers to wear – Little Magoo chose a pumpkin, of course, while I got a cat.

Then I cut into the pumpkin. Little Magoo was such a great helper!

I showed him how to grab the seeds and put them into the bowl. At first he was a little mortified of the goop that was inside a pumpkin, but he quickly got over that and dove right into helping. After all, it was a pumpkin.

He did a great job, I was proud of him.

After pulling all the seeds out and scraping, I found some templates online to try out. I also found out that a fondue fork works wonders when outlining a template onto a pumpkin – it was like connect the dots afterwards.

This was the end result – a cat and spider. Of course, Little Magoo was off running around while I did this…

…but he was pretty amazed at the end result, having never seen a jack-o-lantern before.

Now, what to do with those seeds that Little Magoo worked so hard on? I could do the traditional salted kind, but eh, that seemed too boring to me – so I searched online for some funky recipes.

I ended up wanting to try three.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon and Salt, and Sugar and Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

Interesting indeed.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
  2. Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish.
  3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Pumpkin Seeds with Cinnamon and Salt

  • 4 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grease a cookie sheet and spread the seeds out in an even layer. Lightly sprinkle with salt and cinnamon.
  3. Bake for about 5 minutes, then stir the seeds. Season with salt and cinnamon again. Continue baking, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until seeds are toasted.

Sugar and Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice

Rinse seeds well and get as much of the pumpkin pulp off of them as possible. Some of the small pieces are going to adhere, but they won’t hurt the seeds at all, and might even add a little more flavor. Pat dry with paper towels. Don’t let them dry completely on the paper towels, because they might stick!

Toss seeds with the butter, sugar, and spices.
Heat oven to 300°. Spread coated seeds in a shallow baking sheet (I line a baking sheet with nonstick foil to make cleanup easier), turning from time to time, for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until nicely browned and crunchy.

Because I wanted to try all three recipes, I kind of eyed things – added less melted margarine, lined the cookie sheet with foil and sprayed it and cooked them all for about 30 minutes at 350. The end result? MMMmmmmmmm! They are delicious!!! Mr. Magoo agrees.

The only problem now, is picking a favorite!

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Challenges

I’ve always been one who likes a challenge…especially when it comes to challenging myself and my abilities. I do have a fault however, (who doesn’t, right?), where if I feel I am not good enough, I’ll stop and won’t push myself. Bad, I know. I give up rather than trying to improve. I guess it’s because I think if I am really good at something it will come easy.

Since becoming a stay at home mother I have pretty much lost all outlets of creativity. I used to write poetry all the time – that stopped when I met Mr. Magoo. Then I really got into counted cross stitch – I’ve stitched a ton of birth samplers, but none for my own children. Cross stitch was extremely challenging, as I would always try to finish a piece with no mistakes at all. Needless to say, I think just about every one that I stitched had some sort of imperfection – which no one else would notice, but I knew it was there. I still love cross stitch and poetry, but never have the time for them.

Enter our Nikon D40 that we purchased before the birth of Little Magoo. This camera has been a Godsend for me. At first, it was a way to get great photos of Little Magoo, but it has turned into something more for me. I’ve learned more over the months about how the camera works, composition, editing – you name it. I love how challenging this piece of equipment is and have really been improving on my photography skills over the moths as well.

I’d like to say I’m good at it and toot my own horn, but there are always others out there taking better and more amazing photos than myself. I get jealous thinking about the extra lenses and flashes they get to play with. Hopefully some day we’ll be able to afford a new lens.

To challenge myself, I have even toyed with the idea of breaking out Mr. Magoo’s old 35mm film camera – just to see how good a photo I could really take in one shot. The one thing digital allows you to do is, take as many photos as you need, until you see the right one – but it would be nice to perfect my skills to being accurate at least 99.9% of the time, which is the way you need to be with film.

Recently Pioneer Woman has been putting photography challenges on her blog and I have been working on them on my own at home – too worried I was not good enough to submit a photo in her group photo stream. Finally, yesterday, I submitted one. I guess you never know until you try. I suppose my odds are just as good as anyone else’s considering how subjective photography can be.

Here is the photo I submitted. The challenge was for rounded edged photos. I don’t know what it is, but it reminds me of The Wizard of Oz and the Yellow Brick Road. I titled it “not in kansas anymore”. I had added a slight edge burn and rounded the edges. The rest is straight out of camera (SOOC).

This one I didn’t enter, but thought was nice. I did use a slight texture and then rounded the edges. Nice and refreshing.

This one I created with a texture as well – wow. This one blows my mind. The raw gritty feel is just how I like it sometimes. It amazes me that a) I could take a photo this nice, now and b) I could transform it into something amazing.

Some challenges really make you feel good about yourself and how far you have come.

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I’ve been trying to keep the complaining to a minimum here, but recently, over the past few days – I have become an emotional wreck. I know it’s the pregnancy and the hormones…but suddenly, out of the blue – I feel completely and totally overwhelmed, alone, helpless – you name it. I know I’m not – I have lots of family and friends who would drop what they are doing in a heartbeat to come help me out…but I can’t help but feel this way.

This morning has been particularly bad – I can’t stop crying. And why am I crying? Damned if I know!

I guess it comes down again to being way to hard on myself – I feel like I did when I first had Little Magoo – depressed a little, probably…to hard on myself – certainly. I don’t want to feel like a failure, but I feel like I’m letting myself, my husband and my son down.

I feel lazy – don’t want to clean or cook or play with my toddler. I’m physically drained and the simple task of picking up Little Magoo while he throws a fit is killing my back…getting all 26+ lbs of him in and out of the car to run errands or just get out of the house…getting him in and out of the bathtub or onto the changing table, after I chase him to get him to go upstairs to change his stinky diaper…standing at the sink to do the dishes…getting down on all fours to pick up toys or sweep under the sofa…putting clothes away and hauling laundry baskets…I just can’t do it like I used to anymore. My first pregnancy was a cake walk compared to this! And I’m a fool to think I can get help from Mr. Magoo, who is busy making the money to pay the vast amount of bills that are piling up, not to mention, he is busy working on his MFA.

Is it sad that as much as I will miss Little Magoo and be so worried about him while I give birth, that at least I won’t have to prepare 3 meals a day? It’ll be like a mini-vacation for me!

Last night I was up at 2am for the usual pee break…went back to bed only to be tortured by heartburn and achy uncomfortable hips. Needless to say, I more or less didn’t sleep the rest of the night and was up at 6am – ready to start my “work day”…alone again, since Mr. Magoo had to head off to work for the day. It wasn’t so bad when you have no children, I’d nap when I could or eat when I wanted – now Little Magoo comes first…and if that means my stomach is growing insanely for over an hour…that’s what happens.

It certainly is not easy and I guess I am feeling totally overwhelmed with the fact that a) men don’t understand and b) it is only going to get harder the bigger I get…and then eventually when I am sleep deprived once Baby Magoo gets here…alone the majority of the time…

I pray that God gives me strength, because I really need a dose of that right now.

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The Soothsayer

A freaky thing happened on my street.

No seriously…yesterday, after putting Little Magoo down for a nap, I went downstairs…only to remember I needed my clothes so I could shower and get ready for the day. Back up the stairs I went to my bedroom. Half way up the stairs, I got a feeling I had “been here before”…I sensed a baby coming early – like someone told me a baby came early. Little Magoo was early and I immediately thought of Baby Magoo. Was it about him coming early, is that what I sensed? No….

Someone I know…due in January? No….due in December? Yes…it was her J. is due in December…somehow I “remember” her baby coming early.

Now J. is a woman on the message board I am a part of. I half jokingly posted about my dejavu…but December is a ways away, so I also half shrugged it off, half felt like it could be true. No one heard from her yesterday – not through phone, not through email…very unlike her.

I get an email from her husband this morning that their daughter was born yesterday.

Holy Moly.

The scary thing is, this is not the first time this has happened to me…last year, while Mr. Magoo and I read Little Magoo a story, I stopped dead in my tracks and said to Mr. Magoo: “Your phone is going to ring.”

He laughed and said: “Oh yeah? Who’s going to call me?”

Me: “Your sister, Jody. She’ll have some important news.”

He laughed. Five minutes later, his phone rang.

It was his sister Jody.

I’ve had many things like this happen to me – smelling lilacs when my grandmother was dying (I always picked lilacs in her yard)…the social worker smelled them too, but I never told her what the strange scent I kept smelling was.

I’ve had dreams that have come true – my childhood dog dying and other things.

Sometimes I really freak myself out.

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We are really in the thick of change right now. The foliage is at the peak, with gorgeous yellows, oranges, reds, greens and browns. I love it. But it is amazing how quickly things change…one day of wind or rain and our beautiful birch in our back yard has already shed all of its leaves, making way for the next season.

I managed to get outside in the back yard with the help of Mr. Magoo – a.k.a. pro toddler wrangler, and get some really awesome photos of Little Magoo in the crisp fall air.

I try to eat up every little moment I have with him now. He’ s getting older…and soon there will be someone else eating up “our” time.

I hope he doesn’t resent his brother for that. I hope I am still able to scurry off and steal moments alone with Little Magoo – just he and I.

I hope that this change is easy for the both of us and our relationship. I already know he is going to be a great big brother.

I’ve already started thinking about packing my hospital bag – how sad is that? I don’t know how I am going to handle leaving him while at the hospital…but we’ll leave that for another entry.

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What Am I Doing Here?

That question often crosses my mind. What am I doing here – with my life, right now? What is it that I am meant to do in life? How the HELL am I going to survive having two young children, when often on a day to day basis, I don’t know what to do with one?

“You’re meant to be a mom.” Mr. Magoo said to me last night, as we snuggled into bed.

“Do you really think that?” I answered back.

“Well, what else do you want to do in life?” he asked.

…and I thought about it for a second…

“Nothing…”

As frustrating, isolating, sacrificing, unknowing as it is to be a stay at home parent, there is NOTHING else in this world I want to do more. I don’t get a paycheck, I often don’t get hugs or kisses, I haven’t bought myself new clothes in I don’t know how long…because every time I’m lucky enough to have five dollars in my pocket, it all goes to my children. I know how fleeting this time in my children’s life will be and soon they will be off to school and I will be missing them and focusing more on things I like to do…

I guess when you find yourself asking: “What am I doing here?” and you can answer “Following my heart.” then you know, you have found the right place for yourself in life.

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