Sunday, February 28, 2016

My Beauty Is Injuring Me!

I've been noticing aches and pains. Likely because I stopped taking glucosamine months ago. Perhaps I shouldn't have done that?

Last night I told Mike over the phone about said pain, "When I bend my leg at the hip, it feels like bone hitting bone in my hip joint. I know that's not what's happening but that's what it feels like."

Mike has a job in IT that I can't explain cause I've never really understood what he does exactly, but he went to school for a time for physical therapy so to me, he's basically a doctor.

"Do you know what that is?" I asked him to diagnose me.
"Do you want an honest answer?" he responded.
"You're forty."
To be clear, I'm not forty for another month, "I don't like that answer!"
"Do you want me to try another answer?" he asked.
"" he stammered, "your...hip joints...can't...handle...the weight of your beauty."
"That's better"

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Weekend Musings

Last week I wasn't feeling well and then on Thursday I was rear-ended in my car. Entering the dangerous rotary near my neighborhood, a kid behind me clearly was looking back at the oncoming rotary traffic and stepped on his accelerator without look to see who was ahead of him. I was ahead of him. Substantial damage resulted and my Wag More Bark Less magnet is no more...

Knowing my Valentine would be spending the day of love with his daughter, (since it was her weekend), I decided to take a road trip to the Berkshires to pay Meg, Aaron and their kids a visit.

I'm so glad I did. What a barrel of monkeys! When I arrived, Sylvia, 3, ran at me with arms outstretched, donning a tutu, "Auntie Honey!" she yelled my kid-given name, as she leaped into my arms and whispered an "I love you, Auntie Honey" Few things are better.

Little hands grabbed me from all directions "Let me show you my room!"  "Let me show you my room!"  Stella, 8, was very excited to be spending her first night ever in a room of her own. With it's Under the Sea theme, it's a beautiful blue color with a large four poster bed in the middle, and a comforter reminiscent of the ocean spread across it. And on the door, a hand-made sign read "Keep Out" on a small piece of notebook paper. The younger ones are just getting the hang of knocking.

Once settled in, we were making tea and the children were waiting for some too, when Meg looked at (I think it was) Sylvia and said "Are you chewing gum? Where did you find gum?"  She had found it under the table where Stella had stuck it for safe-keeping moments before. Here was our learning moment; while it is a hot commodity, gum goes in the trash when we're done chewing it!

Sylvia sports some self-added art

It was tubby time after the kids had dinner, and the twins had great fun splashing around while Meg and I caught up. When they hopped out of the tub, they exclaimed "NAKED RUNNNINGGGG!" and headed to the hall where their solid ten minutes of back and forth scampering helped them air dry, their giggles of delight like the best kind of music.

That night, we adults rode an hour to MassMOCA to go see two time Grammy winning African singer Angelique Kidjo. Her energy was completely unreal.

So were the freezing temperatures. It was well below zero the whole time I was visiting and Aaron spent a great deal of time worrying about the pipes, one of which had frozen. Yikes! We basically stayed inside with exception to when we needed to go somewhere. Then, our snot would freeze in our noses while re ran to get into the van.

Sunday morning I came downstairs to friendly little ones, all bedhead and footie pajamas, and a plate of waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. After I finished eating, the children scurried off with Aaron's prompting to get ready to present their Valentine's to their mom. First was Stella who gave her mom a lovely bag of Lindt chocolates. Then Miles, 5, who brought another bag of delicious chocolates. Then in walked Sylvia with a tiny box and a "Happy Valentine's Day!' followed by Vivian, who handed over her gift and whispered "You can share them with us if you want!"  From the hall her siblings could be hear scolding "You're not supposed to say that!"

I had brought my weight in valentine making supplies, and the children must have sat for two hours making Valentine's. I made some for my Valentine too; paper fortune cookies with statements inside. Statement which were shockingly hard to come up at the dull hour of 8:30 in the morning. Not my finest time of creativity.

The middle of the day thankfully included a nap time. Something I always need when presented with kid energy. I just don't have the stamina. I'm unimpressive like that. Since the guest room is in an unheated part of the house, I slept in Meg's giant king sized bed with her while Aaron joined Miles in his bunk. The twins' bedroom adjoins Meg's and the regular stream of made-up songs coming through the cracks of the door was delightful.

During nap time, one sang 

"I love you I love you I love you, hedgehog.
I love you I love you I doooooooo!
Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!..."

The day continued with cooking and flourless chocolate cake-baking for that evening's dinner - at Mimi and BopBop's house for Mimi (Meg's mom Judy)'s birthday.  The children each participated in the cake making, one adding the butter, one adding the chocolate. Later that evening as the incredible dessert was being served Sylvia exclaimed, "I added the chocolate! If I didn't add the chocolate it wouldn't be chocolate cake!"  Indeed! We were all very grateful for Sylvia!

Stella expertly added a "J" for Judy with a stencil and powdered sugar

After dinner at Meg's parents' place, the twins went upstairs to crash. When it came time to leave, they were bundled up half-asleep and brought out to the van, which had been running in an effort to warm it up a bit. As we started to back out of the driveway, Vivian burst into hysterical laughter. She kept it up for about five minutes. None of us knew why, or whether she was even awake, but it was hilarious!

It was early when we got back on Sunday from dinner, so I interviewed Meg for the project I'm doing for my birthday. I'm turning 40 on April 2. 40! Pretty mind-blowing actually. Meg and I will be throwing a joint party (her birthday is in late April), but beyond that, I needed to do something more to commemorate it. So, I decided on a project. I would do audio interviews with the women in my life and pair those audio clips with their portraits. Meg's interview is my first and it was really great. We talked about motherhood and the work life balance, our history together and so on. I liked learning more about her through the questions, which were chosen from a list I'm giving my participants. 

Our interview was followed by popcorn and Downton Abbey. Not a bad way to spend an evening at all!

The next morning, after everyone else was up (except me) I heard Sylvia in her adjoining bedroom, singing a little ditty about being stuck in the bedroom, how she'd been locked inside and won't someone come and let her out?"
She wasn't actually locked in but rather, the knob's a bit tricky. 

My visit came to an end that same morning, Monday. With President's Day off from work, I had some cushion time which was very nice! I took my portraits of everyone (to prepare Sylvia dressed in a Dalmatian-inspired leotard and tutu, and Vivian sported a pumpkin costume with black and orange striped tights. And then just the striped tights and socks on her hands, (as you do) after interviewing the kids too, (because why not?) and made my way back home listening to Wild by Cheryl Strayed. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Finding Love on Comm Ave

It was a lot of work but a lot of fun too. This story was shared on FB more that 220 times, and "liked" more than 1.6k times! Cool!

Love on Comm Ave