Archive for April, 2010

Jill, the Peace Lily

April 28, 2010

A little over 3 years ago I bought a plant to take care of and named it Jill because my mom (also named Jill, no- that’s not a coincidence) was going through major addiction problems and I was completely powerless to help her. Taking care of this plant was a way to empower myself. Taking care of Jill has been completely cathartic for me and she is still thriving- I water her and talk to her and put her in the window several times a week so she can get sun and Kay even sings to her on occasion.

Then a good friend of mine came over the other day and commented on how healthy my plant was. I thanked her for noticing my fern and she told me it was actually a Peace Lily!  So I looked it up and they are amazing plants- they eliminate benzene, formaldehyde and several other pollutants from the air along with being beautiful and hard to kill. I also learned that most Peace Lilies rarely bloom after the initial flowers die. Jill, however, blooms constantly- one flower right after the other. Unbeknownst to me, while I was taking care of this plant in order to fulfill my own emotional needs Jill was serving her own unique purpose in my life.

I think that this is more than a profound coincidence.

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First Word…

April 27, 2010

I’m utterly exhausted- word.

A Mini-Massage…

April 26, 2010

Today was an interesting day with Kay. We did some shopping and then she started having some major meltdowns- like, serious screaming, crying, meltdowns, which included her yelling “Help Me” to random strangers as they walked by trying not to stare in complete horror and disbelief at my wild-eyed she-monster.

In contrast Fi was asleep in her sling, oblivious to the reign of terror going on around her. I am so glad I didn’t judge other women with their seemingly terrible children throwing tantrums in public. We had to make one last stop at Aveda so I could replace a hairbrush that I had left in Oregon.  By then Kay was recovering but still difficult and clearly as irritated with me as I was with her.

We walked into Aveda and the man working there offered us tea in little cups so Kay and I both had some (I made sure it was caffeine-free) and she thoroughly enjoyed her little drink and felt like a little grown up.  Then he showed me where my hairbrush was and after making the purchase, the employee asked me if I would like a hand massage.  I guess I had a lovely mixture of exhaustion and frustration all over my face.

Kay was excited about the prospect of Mommy getting a “message” with special lotion so instead of having it done to me, I had him give Kay a hand massage instead. She was completely calm afterwards and clearly felt special. That was the best relaxation treatment I could have possibly received. I highly recommend stopping by there with your little girl (or boy) and seeing if they will give them a hand massage. All of the tension and stress of the previous hour was completely rubbed away. If we were that happy after her little Exorcist stunt, I can’t imagine how great we would feel if it had been a decent afternoon!

Cheryl & Makeda…

April 25, 2010

Patrick shared this story with me today of a Cheryl and her daughter, 3 year old Makeda Arthur. Makeda is a Hebrew name that means vessel. I wonder what this child’s cup would have been filled with had she lived: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/hollywood/fl-hollywood-dead-infant-20100424,0,7361917.story?page=1

The only person who seemed to take a genuine interest in Cheryl and helped her was Edward Pamplona, and that was unfortunately after Makeda’s passing. What a terrifying and life altering experience- a woman with her dead toddler walking along the side of the road. I would like to believe that I too, would have given her a small moment of respite from the hell that will be the rest of this mother’s life. What an act of service in this woman’s apparently otherwise bleak life. Too bad it came too late.

“Shemika nor her sister, Tahesha Watson, said they ever had a conversation with Arthur.  “She just always looked kind of depressed,” said Shemika Watson.” I wonder what would have happened if at some point in the many days they watched her sorrow, these sisters had approached Cheryl and simply asked her how she was, if she needed anything. Commented that she seemed sad.

At the risk of sounding cliche, it is important that we take care of each other and be kind. Perhaps if given the option, Cheryl would have given Makeda up- said she needed help or felt like she was going to hurt her little girl.  She sat alone, on an overpass, clearly feeling despair beyond what anyone can imagine with no relief in sight for her or her daughter.

Asking what if can be a dangerous endeavor but in this situation a necessary one. What if someone had shown this woman even a glimpse of love and understanding? Had seen her walking despondently with her child yesterday afternoon and offered to walk with her and talk, or even to watch Makeda while Cheryl took some time for herself? How often do I see someone who needs comforting and respond? I think because of this story I will be even more diligent in my efforts to love those around me.

“Because I have been blessed by thy great love dear Lord,

I’ll share thy love again according to thy word.

I shall give love to those in need, I’ll show my love by word and deed.

Thus shall my thanks be thanks indeed.”

-Grace Noll Crowell

The Beauty is the Beast

April 24, 2010

Today was a rough day with Kay, she is totally starting to test boundaries and see just how far she can push us. Especially Daddy, he is trying not to be a push over but still be gentle at the same time. We have had lots of time outs and ultimatums and she gave me a look that I was hoping I wouldn’t see until she was at least 13. Ugh…

It’s nice to have a partner though, Patrick is super supportive and lets me take the lead- I guess because I was a nanny for so long. Tonight was a sweet end to a rough day though, he rented “New Moon” and wanted to watch it with me because he knew it would make me happy. The truth is, I really didn’t like the first movie and fell asleep part way through and had zero desire to see the second one but for him I would watch a movie of paint drying on a wall.

Praying for Mr. Michaels…

April 23, 2010

Good grief, it is amazing what reality tv can do for a person- I was actually genuinely saddened to hear about Bret Michaels and his being in the ICU; the guy just can’t catch a break. (Other than his whole break being a rock star)  I was a faithful follower of “Rock of Love” and even watched him on Celebrity Apprentice a couple of times even though I absolutely hate the Donald. And I genuinely like the guy, at least his tv persona… I will being saying a little prayer for him tonight and hope for the best.

I worked out this morning to Jillian on my new treadmill and it was a religious experience- totally love the thing and think it will be life changing. At the very least it helped me be less irritated with patrick tonight when he taught Kay how to brush her hair with her fork when we went out to dinner. I told him to knock it off and he said, “whatever, Ariel does this in The Little Mermaid- it’s totally cool.”  Kay just looked at him in adoration and I couldn’t help but do the same… good grief.  It was a Mexican restaurant that was playing Mariachi music and Kay was obsessed with the trumpets that were playing over the speakers and was intent on finding them. Poor kid, you’d think she’d understand the concept of surround sound a little better with Patrick as her dad.

Day #2

April 22, 2010

So I ordered a treadmill last week that came today and I am so stoked! Of course, Jillian Michaels can talk to me on it through a wireless loud speaker- I was talking to my niece about it and that was the first question she asked me 🙂 I was a runner once upon a time- I ran a couple marathons, did some triathlons, and there are several women around me that are moms and runners which made me think that maybe I can be a runner again.

Perhaps running and motherhood are somehow intrinsically linked. Both acts are continually challenging and addictive despite being difficult on the body… both can be done while watching Oprah!

We shall see how this whole running/walking thing will go- I am sure it will be a walking thing for quite a while. I am trying to accept my body but have found that on the couch eating is not the best way to do that. I think it’s funny that I got my treadmill on Earth day since it will just facilitate more inside time. (Patrick asked if I just wanted to get a jogging stroller and I almost punched him in the face.)

I read this great book called “When You Eat at the Fridge, Pull up a Chair” and it talks about what “feeling fat” is, it really isn’t about your body at all it’s about whatever else a person feels yucky about- I just have to figure out about what that other stuff is. Anybody know what they are actually feeling about when they feel fat?

Word-

April 21, 2010

So I am going to write every single day, even if it is just “word”- that’s my goal because I feel like this is an incredible outlet for me to express myself. Not that Kay doesn’t understand my witty quips, but I figure I might as well share them with the rest of ya’ll as well…

I am watching the biggest loser and am amazed at these contestants who are working so hard- I think that watching them is a great lesson for me. The are on week 14 and are working ridiculously hard, doing things they have never done before and pushing themselves far beyond what they think they’re capacity is. I am sure it was easy for them in the first couple of weeks to stay motivated when the pounds were falling off by the dozens whereas now they are losing still, but not nearly at the same rate as before and they just keep trucking.

My spiritual journey totally reminds me of this show- I am doing really well and have the instant gratification of feeling the spirit and good about myself and then life keeps going and I stop working as hard because my progress is not where I  want it to be- I have to just keep trucking even if my spiritual growth is not in the double digits. 🙂

It also makes me love Jillian Michaels that much more, to see this little white young lesbian comfort O’Neal- this big black old dude, and see her support him both physically and emotionally makes me think that I can connect with anyone. Seriously.

I had an interesting experience when I was in Oregon last week. There is this market in Eugene, OR called the “Market of Choice” (stupid name, I know) and it has this amazing deli- I bought several different food items and was s uper excited to eat them when I got home! The first thing I ate was teriyaki salmon which was totally not good. Then I ate some bleu cheese and bacon pasta salad, also not good. After that I took a bite of a piece of pizza which was mediocre at best and I was totally frustrated because I had wasted all of the calories and all this money on food that wasn’t very good.

Then I ate some of their mac and cheese that I’d bought for Kay and it was AMAZING!!! Like, one of the best things I had tested in forever and I relished every single morsel.  Every other mediocre bite was totally worth this yummy mac and cheese- I think this is a lot like what life is like, we have to get through all of these mediocre bites to get to that last amazing food, that mac and cheese that makes all of the just okay stuff worth wading through.