Whose Child Is It Anyway?

It would seem the little boy that I’ve loved and raised these 3 1/2 years is not the same child that others are interacting with. I’m told that, in my absence, the crazy exuberant, mischievous, chatty toddler I know and love turns into a calm, well-behaved, albeit still (somewhat) chatty little boy.

I suppose I should be grateful. And I am, really. I would much rather have him on his best behavior with others and be wild with me than the reverse. I just find it hard to believe that this little boy who is on 1000 at all times (he even talks in his sleep) can be the same child who endears others to himself with his “great manners and calm demeanor.”

I don’t buy it. I’m convinced that child is a myth like werewolves or (kids, turn away now) santa. In my experience silence means one of a few things: he’s not home, he’s very sick, he broke something, or he found my kindle/phone and is playing with it quietly in a corner somewhere in the hopes that I won’t catch him and take it back.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great kid and I’m blessed to have him as my son. Even when he’s naughty, his response time to discipline is good. But quiet? Calm? Only in my dreams.

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Les Retrouvailles

Retrouvailles (French):  The happiness of meeting again after a long time.”

For weeks now I’ve written and rewritten this first post. I’ve struggled with how to begin again after so much has changed. I started this blog almost 2 1/2 years ago in another place, mentally. At times I’ve felt like that girl never even existed. So much is different. My health, my life, my home. Even my last name. I’ve struggled to find my voice again. It was like there was so much to say, but I didn’t quite know how to say it.

When I got sick 7 months ago, I never would have guessed that it would snowball so quickly, culminating in numerous tests and, ultimately, a hospital stay. Even when in the hospital I had such high hopes for a recovery. In my mind I was convinced that someone, anyone, would look at me and know what was wrong with me. Why my body was betraying me. Why I couldn’t walk, or even turn my neck. Why I was suffering from headaches that threatened to break me. How could I have known that many months later I would still be living with the repercussions of a strange, unknown illness and coming to terms that this may very well be my new (permanent) reality.

When I left the third, and final, hospital, they told me my prognosis was good. I was due for a “full, quick recovery.” It never came. The paralysis stopped, but the other symptoms stayed, and got worse.

At the beginning of it all, in the rush of blood work and CTs and MRIs and spinal taps, I found it surprisingly easy to keep my joy. I was unshaken in my faith that all would be well. Even when I left the hospital in a wheelchair and without a real diagnosis, I was hopeful. Grateful. Grateful that the paralysis would end, grateful it wasn’t cancer, grateful for the most amazing support system and prayer warriors anyone would ask for. I still am.

It’s a little harder now, though. Sometimes frustration creeps through, threatening to destroy the acceptance I’ve come to find in all of this. Frustration that even the simplest of things, like walking up a flight of stairs, has become a struggle. Frustration that this body feels so foreign to me sometimes. Frustration that, after all this time, I still have no explanation for what is happening to me.

All feelings aside, I know I’m fortunate. It could have been tumors. The paralysis could have been permanent. Worse yet, it could have been terminal. Instead, I’m alive and, while it’s a struggle, I can walk. I’ve been surrounded by people who love me and people who fought for me when, at the beginning, a misguided doctor didn’t even believe I was sick. I have the pleasure of waking up every morning next to a man who loves me enough to want to spend the rest of his life with me. Who stood by me and supported me through all of it. I am the mommy of a little boy who brings untold joy to my heart.

It is these things that give me strength on the rare days where the anger tries to swallow me up. It is these people who inspire me to try again. It is my faith that God can still work all things for the good, no matter how broken I sometimes feel. It is in remembering these things, these people, this faith, that I find happiness. It is in finding this happiness that I have found my voice. I’ve begun to remember the feelings that drove me to start this blog in the first place. And as I write now, I feel like this is a homecoming of sorts. A remembering of my drive to share myself with whoever will listen in the hopes that I can touch even one person. A homecoming.

Day 30: Technical Difficulties

***note, this should have posted 19 days ago, along with a few other posts over the last 2+ weeks. Unfortunately, my internet is a mess and didn’t even register me scheduling the posts. But since I have gotten a grip on that elusive thing called sanity again, we now return to our regularly scheduled postings.

Day 30! I can’t believe it’s the end of my 30 day writing challenge already. I’m very excited that I (mostly) succeeded. But I’m even more excited to be nominated for a Liebster Blog Award on the 30th day. Talk about validation! The wonderful Kathleen at Twin a nutshell nominated me. She’s a mom blogger with twins who has quickly become one of my favorites. Definitely check her out.

The Rules:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to them in your post. ()

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees. (), (), and ().

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (Working on it!)

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog. ()

Note: (These are the “rules” but please feel free to do as you wish. If you have 5 bloggers to nominate instead of 11, and you can only think of 7 random facts about yourself – that’s perfectly fine:D )

Questions from Twin a nutshell:

  1. If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you do for the rest of your life? If I didn’t have to worry about money I would put aside a savings and college fund for the juggernaut. I would home-school him except for classes like gym, art, etc. so we could travel with the Mister whenever he had to go somewhere for work. I would use my free time to help organizations I believe in like F.O.R.G.E.S. raise money and grow. I would want to do as much as I could to better my community, to help other victims of genocide, to set up an organization for that would support and help parents trying to raise children while in school. I would want to do so much. I know changing the whole world is next to impossible, but my goal is to leave my world (my family, friends, those in my community, etc.) better than I found it.
  2. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? When I was  kid I wanted to be a pediatric oncologist with a specialty in Leukemia. I still hope that I can do something (raise money, awareness, something) to help children suffering from cancer.
  3. Knowing it would be your last meal, what would you eat Surprisingly enough or not surprising at all really considering how much I love food, this is a really hard question to answer. This answer literally changes every day. Today however, for my last meal I would eat balsamic sirloin tips, garlic mashed potatoes topped with sautéed onion and mushrooms, shawarma with a handful of fries (yes, more potatoes), Thai crab rangoons, chocolate cake, and a small cup of dulce de leche ice cream. YUM.
  4. What are you reading right now (offline)?  I’m currently reading (or trying to, in between the 7 textbooks I have) The New Digital Age by Eric Schmidt & Jared Cohen. It was a gift from the Mister.
  5. If you could only listen to one artist or band for the rest of your life – their existing music, and anything else they might come up with – who would it be? Oh wow, this is especially hard because I don’t have a favorite artist. I can’t even name a list of the top 10. This is also dependent on the day, I’ll say, Miles Davis… for now.
  6. If you could live in any time period or witness any historical event firsthand, what would it be? If I could witness any historical event or time period firsthand it would be precolonial Rwanda. Before the contentions between the different ethnic groups.
  7. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? Right now, if I could have dinner with anyone it would be Bonnie Tsang, one of my very favorite bloggers. She is really inspiring.
  8. Where’s the most interesting place you’ve ever been? (One of) the most interesting place I’ve ever been is Pompeii. It’s one of the oldest civilization sites I’ve ever seen. It was interesting to see how much more advanced they were than I realized. You could see plasters of people’s last moments. I was a little scandalized, however, by the artwork. NOT what I expected.
  9. What’s your least favorite household chore and why? My least favorite household chore is sweeping. I always feel like there’s going to be some dirt left, no matter how hard I try. I’d much rather vacuum.
  10. What was your favorite children’s story or TV show when you were a child? One of my favorite children’s story growing up was Mufasa’s Beautiful Daughters.
  11. Why do you blog? I can think of so many reasons! So I’ll give 3, in no specific order. One, I love to write. Two, I love the blogging community and I’ve been reading blogs for years, before everyone and their mama was a “blogger.” Three, as an outlet. Somewhere I can share my experiences with others so I can learn from them and them from me.

11 Random Facts About Me

  1. Dishes make me sleepy. Really. Washing dishes by hand is like taking a sleeping pill for me.
  2. I can’t drink more than a few sips of soda at a time because the fizz hurts my throat. The only one I can really handle is raspberry ginger ale.
  3. I catch accents very easily. Whenever I talk to someone with an accent I have to try really hard to focus on how I’m speaking or I’ll start speaking with their accent and definitely not on purpose. It just happens. I’m worried that one day I’m going to really offend someone.
  4. I hate oysters. I literally gagged when I tried to eat them. (Worst. Texture. Ever.)
  5. I can eat potatoes every day. No exaggeration. I love them fried, sautéed, mashed, baked, scalloped, etc.
  6. I’m an awful patient. I take myself off every medication because I always have side effects. I also never take it unless I’m seriously sick.
  7. I felt really guilty the first few months the juggernaut went to day care. (He’s been going 10 hours a week since February.)
  8. One of the first things I do when visiting somewhere new is make a list of all the food places I want to visit.
  9.  I hate potty-training. The false starts and refusals to cooperate are driving me CRAZY.
  10. I gave birth to the juggernaut naturally. (No epidural, IV, etc.)  If the Mister and I have more children, I’ll do it naturally again.
  11. I’ve always wanted to write food reviews for a living. It would be so great to get paid to eat.

11 Questions for my nominees

  1. What is the best thing you’ve ever eaten?
  2. If today was your last day on earth, how would you spend it?
  3. What’s your favorite room in your home and why?
  4. If you could have any job you wanted, what would it be?
  5. Why did you start blogging?
  6. Cake or ice cream?
  7. What was your favorite game as a child?
  8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  9. What was an embarrassing/awkward moment that you laugh about now?
  10. What makes you laugh the most?
  11. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Day 29: The King of “Calipornia”

Ever since I told him that we’d move to California next year, the juggernaut has been obsessed with the place. He loves to tell people that the Mister lives in “Calipornia” and that he gets to “go to Calipornia next year!” I’ve gotten used to hearing him say this again, and again, and again.He has even pretended to “drive” there and move to California without me.

Today, however, he decided to take this a few steps further. He has decided that he “owns Calipornia” and he grants access to it like a benevolent king to whoever he chooses. So far I’ve been granted access and denied access at least three times.

As silly as these conversations are, I know I’m going to miss them one day just like I miss the silly little faces he used to make as a newborn and the adorable mispronunciation of words when he first started learning how to talk.

Motherhood has turned me into a sap.

Day 28: (Nearly) Wordless Wednesday, part 2

IMAG0320I found this picture of my son today. It’s only from a few months ago but already he’s changed so much. It’s amazing how quickly children change. It’s been such a joy watching him go from a mischievous little mama’s boy (read: extremely clingy) to a mischievous chatterbox of a toddler who soaks up new vocabulary like a sponge and loves his brattness independence a little more each day. I find it funny that the one adjective that has stayed consistent is “mischievous.” God help me when he becomes a teenager.

Day 25/26/27: Tattoos and Oranges

note: I’ve been contemplating tattooing a fill-in-the-blank calendar on my right hand. I could right in the dates and maybe then (that’s a big maybe) I could begin to remember what day it is. I spent all of yesterday convinced it was the 9th. Suffice to say, I was completely surprised to wake up this morning and find out it’s actually the 11th. I’m positive if this year ends without my brain imploding, it will be an honest to God miracle. It light of this, while I may not have totally succeeded at this challenge, if this was a class I’d be getting a 90 so I’ll take it!

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Up until recently I’ve never been a fan of citrus-y foods, the single exception being fish with lemon. Fortunately for my taste buds, this is something I’ve been remedying. Enter the citrus delight I enjoyed today. As usual, this recipe started out with a craving. The end result was a sweet treat that could just as easily be made for dessert. The juggernaut was ready to lick the sauce off my plate and I’ll admit I almost joined him. There will definitely be more of this in our futures.

Crepes with a Orange-Lemon Butter Sauce20130611_132150_Fotor

  • Your favorite crepe recipe
    • mine can be found here
  • Zest and strained juice from one lemon
  • Zest and strained juice from two oranges
    • I used Sun Pacific Naval Orange
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • Optional Toppings:
    • Whipped cream
    • Ice cream
    • All of the above

Make the crepes and put them aside.

Melt the butter in the large skillet. Add in the zest from the lemon and oranges and stir for 1 minute. Add in the juices and sugar.

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When the sauce is bubbling and slightly thickened, add in the crepes, which should be folded in quarters. (Fold it in half once, the fold it again.)

With a spoon, pour the sauce over the crepes, moving the pan around to distribute it.

When the crepes are heated and coated in the sauce, serve using a warm plate with ice cream or whipped cream.

Finally, enjoy!

note: The longer you leave the crepes in the sauce, the bolder the flavor. If you want the taste to be more subtle, don’t let it soak in the sauce.