Friday, August 20, 2010

"Girls Become Lovers Who Turn Into Mothers"

I've always been keenly aware of how parents treat their children. As a teacher, I've witnessed some pretty amazing parent-child relationships. I've also seen some pretty horrifying ones. The school I worked at used to hold parent-teacher conferences in a large room. Parents and students waited in line to meet with teachers who were sitting at cafeteria tables. I will never forget sitting with a student with a speech impairment while his mom berated him in front of me, the other teachers, and the whole lot of parents and students waiting in the building. It was really sad.

Today, when I was walking into Target, I saw this family walking out carrying a bunch of college dorm room-looking gear. The girl had a pink cushion tucked under her armpit and the dad was hauling something pink and and awkward out to the car. The mother kept yelling "stop arguing with me." At one point the father said, "no one is arguing with you" at which point she turned to her daughter, who was not speaking, and yelled "shut up." She continued yelling "shut up" and taunting the girl to "open her mouth" the the father and daughter loaded the pinkness into the car.

After I passed them, I watched a mother, her two sons, and her little girl leaving the store as well. The little girl was crying because she wanted popcorn. The mother said, "that's not how you ask, ask nicely." 'Good,' I thought, 'I'll witness a positive interaction between a mother and her daughter. "You are being such a brat, stop being such a brat," she yelled.

I know I won't be the perfect mother. In fact today, I imagined a conversation with my daughter some day about how I knew I would let her down. I don't want her to see me as perfect or infallible. I'm not. I do, however, want to be able to have conversations where we tell each other about the expectations we have for each other, we discuss being disappointed by the other. At some point; I want to be her friend, her confidant, her go-to girl.

It makes me very nervous to think about being someone's mother. It makes me even more nervous to be my daughter's mother. Relationships with mothers are tender, complicated, and easily misunderstood. And yet, they can be the most important relationship a woman ever has. The prospect of a relationship with my daughter both scares me and emboldens me. It is such a grave responsibility to raise a young woman today. I just hope I have the courage to do it the right way.

Untitled and Stuff

This blog post by Amalah rings true on so many levels for me.

I have so had some "bad ideas" namely in the home decorating category during which I may have decorated with smelly candles that make you gag just so I can hide that one water mark.

I always use the disclaimer, "my house is such a mess" especially when people are coming over and you can still smell the Windex and the closets are bulging with whatever we've decided to "put away" in there.

After I clean the kitchen, the most logical thing to do is to make something with eleventy-hundred ingredients, the food processor, the mixer, the garlic press, some knives that can't go in the dishwasher, something frozen that explodes in the microwave, and all my glass bowls.

Usually, when I embark on said cooking adventure, I'm missing some major ingredient that cannot be replaced. Oh, like cooking oil. Except the one time I made granola with olive oil instead of regular oil. It was really good. I swear I read about it here, but now I can't find it.

I love when you read something and it totally resonates with you. Amalah's post did just that. And, at the same time, it made me feel a little better about myself. This staying home with a baby thing is harder than I thought it would be. More on that later.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dear Postpartum Body

Dear Postpartum Body,
Please work out your differences with my prepartum body. Put your running shoes on. I'll see you on the street!
Stinky Pete

PS: I spent a small fortune on new running shoes and inserts. Let this be your motivation.

Friday, July 2, 2010

What's for lunch?

So I told you I would be back. And my first post back won't be about how my 15 month old washing machine broke this week with $300 worth of cloth diapers LOCKED inside (it's a front loader). The repair man is coming today so I won't talk about it.

Instead, I'll talk about the yummy food I've eaten lately. If there is one thing I love about summer, it's the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Now that I'm back on my feet again, I hope to make some trips to Findlay Market for some good local produce.

Mr. Pete had a wonderful salad while we were in Nantucket that he thoroughly enjoyed. We all know it as a Cobb Salad but he won't eat hard boiled eggs, so he omitted them when he ordered. I thought I could do my best rendition of this salad with a twist (a fried egg). I read about it on one of my favorite foodie blogs. You can find it here.

My own rendition was more of a "man meal." These meals earn this status by their appeal for Mr. Pete. Usually adding bacon and cheese earns any meal this status. I paired this man meal with some really eclectic greens from my friend's farm share and with a healthy smoothie.

Man Meal Salad

Any variety of lettuce and greens you can get your hands on (preferably really healthy ones to counteract the bacon effect)



Any cheese

A fried egg

In any relationship there is conflict and compromise. I added the cheese to the salad and cooked the egg thoroughly for Mr. Pete's salad. I left my egg over medium and enjoyed the gooey egg yolk as a dressing for the salad with a little salt and pepper.

Really Healthy Smoothie

Again, any greens you can get your hands on (I suggest chard)

1fresh Apple sliced

Any juice to add a bit of liquid-I used Cran Blueberry (don't mess with a good thing and add a juice with high fructose corn syrup--Ocean Spray makes some great affordable juices)

1 semi fresh banana

1 orange peeled and split into sections

Blend vigorously for 1 min. THIS WILL BE A SMOOTHIE YOU CAN CHEW!

In other news, I ate but did not create this wonderful Veggie Bake! It wash chocked full of kohlrabi, beets, broccoli...and some other local veggies. SO GOOD.
Sorry, I gave up trying to add these pictures to Blogger in a way that flowed with this entry.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'll be back

I have every intention of showing up here again and writing. I really do. I just need to get back into the swing of things. Life is pretty crazy and there is laundry to put away. Seriously.

I have a list of things I want to write about when I get to it. So for now, you'll just have to read my list.

1. Breastfeeding--why women need more support if doctors and healthcare professionals are going to stress the importance of it

2. The shift to being a Stay At Home Mom

3. The necessity of a cleaning schedule for our home

4. Random recipes I've tried lately

I'll also post my favorite picture from our trip to The Cape.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Domestic Bliss

I have my own stories to share today about domestic bliss, but you should check out this story first. If you've ever moved a shared object only to be met by the sheer terror of your partner upon not returning it, this story is for you. If you're perfect and always return things after you've moved them, you can skip it.

A few snippets into the day and life of the Pete Family....

Mr. Pete found an expired cookie mix in the pantry. I was cleaning out the pantry and rather than help me, he decided to maximize our time by making a sodium-laced-I'll-never-eat-that-crap prepackaged cookie mix instead of helping me with my insatiable desire to organize our entire house before baby bird arrives.

Mr. Pete: what's the best way to soften butter
Me: uhm, just leave it out and it will come to room temperature
Mr. Pete: uhm, isn't there a faster way to do it
Me: you can microwave it but then it melts and the cookies just aren't the same

The sound of silent baking fills our kitchen as I toss taco seasoning packages from 1998. I emerge from the pantry covered in a mysterious sticky substance to find Mr. Pete with a glass bowl ON THE STOVE TOP attempting to "soften" the cookie dough.

Me: Uhm, take that off the stove, stat!
Mr. Pete: Why? What's wrong?
Me: You are an engineer, do I have to tell you?
Mr. Pete: I guess
Me: Heating glass using a direct heat source causes the potential for the class to break.
Mr. Pete: Why?
Me: (fearing for my life remembering this kid keeps airplanes in the air) Becausesese when you heat part of the glass at a certain temperature and it contracts, the rest of th glass at the other temperature does not, and it could shatter. You can't even put Pyrex on direct heat.
Mr. Pete (obviously impressed) You should be an engineer.

Later in the day.....
Context: Mr. Pete has a wrinkly forehead. This is caused by his intensity. When he talks to you, he talks to you. His entire forehead gets in on the action. Nothing on his face is undisturbed. Seriously, watch him talk some time. In conversations where is intent on getting his point across, his eyebrows stay pressed against his hairline for long periods of time. It's kind of scary looking. I've encouraged him to moisturize citing that his skin may retain it's elasticity longer if he uses some moisturizing serum, but he doesn't really believe me. This conversation occurred while I was surfing the web and he was scrutinizing his boyish good looks.

Mr. Pete: Maybe I should get Botox for my forehead.
Me: Maybe you should try not talking with your forehead for a little while.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My brother got shot and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

I know, it's a lewd title. My school, celebrating basketball school spirit, hosted a blanket and stuffed animal day this week. The first image I saw when I arrived, was the face of a dead student embroidered onto a lap blanket and draped over the shoulders of his little brother.

Immediately my mind took me back to the day this student passed away. We received a call through the emergency phone chain the night before. A student had been shot and was in critical condition. On my way into the building the next morning, a colleague broke the news that the students did not make it through the night. The details of the crime are not horrific. It was a little of being at the wrong place at the wrong time and a little of the status quo for some of my more difficult students. The days following were tragic and relentless. Students roamed the halls moaning and crying. Classes ceased. Counselors were working overtime. Students were looking for ways to memorialize the student's life. His name was carved into desks, his locker decorated with notes, his initials were inked into any surface that would hold the ink. It was terrible. It is terrible.

Every year, I see about two dozen students wearing white t-shirts with images of young teenagers airbrushed or ironed on to the shirt. There is usually a date 1989-2007...or something like that. And then, on the back, in what seems to be spray paint are the words "RIP Big T," or "RIP Little Snazzy." There is a place at the local mall which specializes in these tees and hoodies. Apparently they sell blankets too.

Here's the point. I'm all for memorializing those we lose in life. I just think that making a t-shirt or sweatshirt for a victim of violence glorifies the violent acts through which they leave this world. I'm sure there are some solid exceptions but the t-shirts really bother me. I think some of my students have drawers filled to the top of t-shirts with young faces on them. Faces that should be in graduation gowns, in tuxedos for prom, and in line at the student union at universities. Instead, they are plastered on someone's t-shirt, hoodie, or blanket. And it makes me sick.