gratitude: 24/7 mother/daughter time

I’ve written about the fifth grade field trip to D.C. a few times, but I don’t know that I got to the heart of it yet.  Sure it was cold and exhausting, with days as long as the IRS tax code, and there were moments of pure pain when my back decided to act up.

And yet…

It occurs to me that I haven’t had that sort of one on one time with Bear or T-man since, well, ever.  Last year BrightSide took T-man to D.C. so technically it was just us girls at home, but we were going about our regular lives.  There’s nothing like traveling together to really get to know someone.

Bear and I spent every waking (and sleeping) moment together from 6:30 Sunday morning to 11:45 Tuesday night.  Just me and her (and a hundred other people or so), no buffer zone, nowhere to hide.  And it turns out my daughter – my very hormonal, somewhat unpredictable, sweet natured and smart daughter – is a lot of fun to hang out with.

Not only did I get to see her hanging out with her friends but she got to see me hanging out with other parents, listening in as I shifted into adult mode.  I got to see how she’s affected by the social dynamic in her grade, how her behavior shifts based on who she’s around, and she noticed the same sort of things about me.

But most of all, we were in it together.  We could complain and be miserable or we could joke around and have fun; we chose the latter, and our travel experience was richer for it.

It’s easy for me to recognize how I see Bear differently now.  Lucky for me, she was kind enough to clue BrightSide in from her perspective.  Sometime last week she turned to him and said, “You know who I’d want to spend a whole day with?  Gem.  But also mom.  She’s really funny, you know.”

My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.

our twice cooked turkey

Thanksgiving week is a bit of a blur.  I was sleep deprived, emotionally spent, and physically exhausted from the DC trip so I was just grateful to remain upright for most of it.  It’s important to set reasonable expectations, I always say.

I really thought I had, too.  Bee came through like a champ, bringing all the sides plus two desserts to boot.  All BrightSide and I had to do was make the turkey breast and mashed potatoes.  Culinarily speaking, it was the easiest holiday we’ve had in a long while.

Gracie didn’t even steal the turkey.

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Share Your World #49

What do you value most in a friendship?

Loyalty and an unfailingly inappropriate sense of humor.

Do you prefer eating the frosting of the cake or the cupcake first?  Do you prefer a specific flavor?

I much prefer the cake.  A thin layer of frosting that compliments it is cool – then I’ll eat a little frosting with each bite.  But those commercial cupcakes sold with two inches of frosting on top?  No way.  I just scrape that stuff off and enjoy my cake.  I’ll eat pretty much all the flavors but these days I love red velvet.

Have you ever been in a submarine?  If you haven’t, would you want to?

Never have been, never will be.  Putting aside the whole rocking through water and the Dive! Dive! Dive! moment…I am far too claustrophobic to close myself in a submarine and dunk myself in the ocean.

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

Oh, that’s a tricky one, but I really don’t think I’d find anyone.  I might be curious at the thought of living an entirely different life – in a quirky city, on a ranch with land and horses – but I really am quite satisfied in my own little corner of the world.  We have more than we need, and I’ve been blessed with the chance to spend my time doing things that matter to me.  Can’t ask for much more than that.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last week saw the start of a major home project, so that’s exciting.  The dogs have not been happy to have painters in the house and feel free to express their discontent through hours of whining, but I’m confident they’ll make it through.

Hopefully this week the painters will finish up and we’ll see the results.  Just watching some of the walls get a fresh coat feels like we’re starting over clean…it’s a pretty nice feeling.


Cee’s Share Your World is a weekly feature – all are welcome to play along.

What’s going on in your world?

random musings from my tissue covered couch

**  My children oscillate between sweet concern and odd obliviousness when I’m ill.  One moment they’re bringing a thermometer and offering me water; the next they’re waking me from a fitful nap to ask if they can have a friend come over.  Don’t get me wrong, the kindness is appreciated, but the unpredictable swing between the two attitudes is quite disorienting.

**  How many trees have I actually killed by blowing my nose through a box and a half of tissues?

**  The temperature swings are outrageous.  Too cold, too hot, waves of clamminess, heat rushing up the back of my neck – there’s no getting comfortable with this mess going on.

**  The combination of dizziness, pounding sinuses, wracking cough, and sheer exhaustion greatly levels the playing field when I have to tackle Gracie.  I’m worried a few more days of this might give her the impression that she can pull her shenanigans without repercussions.

**  Phoebe is (comparatively speaking) in heaven.  When I’m horizontal 80% of the day that means she always has a snuggle bunny for naps.  She’s snoring away at my side as we speak.

**  It’s saying something when my biggest accomplishment for the day is running two loads of laundry, but hey…I say celebrate the little successes, too.

death on a cracker


Riddle from the Middle is lying in bed, feeling like death on a cracker, and therefore has lost all wit and wisdom for the day.  As a matter of fact, just sitting up long enough to do this has made her lightheaded and a little achy.


Some perusals for today:

Hedger Humor – Because everyone can use a laugh now and then.

Playdates on Fridays – ‘Cause parenting.  Lawd.

The Mighty – Because we need to talk about all of it, even the hard stuff.

F*owl Language – Comics with an edge (and funny as all get out).

All in a Dad’s Work – Because omg, I cannot do that elf, but at least someone is giving their child a magical Christmas.


paper is my crack

I’ve loved a number of things over the years.

Chocolate, and its rush of endorphins that got me through the roughest of school days. Twizzlers.  Probably a thousand pounds of licorice over the years, chewy deliciousness that always brought a smile to my face.  Gallons and gallons of milkshakes – yumminess in a giant cup, ranging from chocolate to strawberry to mint chocolate chip.


But, as I suspect most writers know, paper is my crack.

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SoCS – James Earl Jones pops in for a visit

Shadows lurk all around us.

Okay, you gotta admit that sounds like an awesome opening for a movie or tv series.  All together now, in James Earl Jones’ voice:  “Shadows lurk all around us.”

There, I got my giggles out.

I was thinking about how life is filled with shadows.  Even on the sunniest of days we find ourselves admiring our shadow as we walk down the street, lounging comfortably in the shadow of a big oak tree…accepting the darkness as part of our world.

Some shadows are less pleasant, though.  The burdens we carry, the regrets, the shame. Shadows we find on the inside, chilling our bones, hiding in our nooks and crannies until we excise them or are overcome by the darkness.

Our only hope is to pull those shadows out of our darkness so we can walk in the light.

SoCS 2

Linda’s weekly Stream of Consciousness prompt is open to one and all.  Click the link to check out its rules and participating blogs.  This week’s prompt is to use a word beginning with “sh.”