Sunday, February 27, 2011

Imaginary Friends

My little girl (4) has had a number of imaginary friends over the past couple of years.  Annie, Seiki, Minneo, Chuckie, Dang, and some others that I wish I wrote down earlier but forgot.   She used to bring up her friends on a daily basis, but now they have started to be mentioned less and less, so I thought I would dedicate a page or so to them before they are completely gone. 
Annie and Seiki have hung around for awhile now and my daughter brings them up often.  While at gymnastics, she fell off the balance beam and quickly turned around and screamed a barrage of insults at Annie, who had obviously pushed her.   
Another time I found her in her dad’s office crying, holding her hand, and screaming at Annie again.  I asked what happened, and she explained that Annie had convinced her to touch the lightbulb, making her burn her hand.  She still isn’t over that one.  
The other day my daughter started setting the table with her princess dishes and pretend cupcakes, getting ready for a birthday party.  She was slamming each plastic dish on the table with an exasperated sigh.   Scowling, she told me,  “I’m coming to Annie’s birthday party today, but she is definitely NOT my friend”.
I asked her some questions about her friends (and tried to type as fast as she was talking):
Annie is 6.   Her sister is Seiki (who Lia said “Seeks up on people”, but I have taken some liberties with her name spelling).  They have a brother named Charlie.   Their family lives in Oak Park,  but sometimes they live with us.  Annie has freckles, blond hair and red lips.  She likes to wear a shirt with Hawaii on it and pants with flowers and bunnies.  Annie is nice now, but she used to be mean.   Seiki looks like Lia, but with grey eyes and super duper red lips, she likes to wear a shirt with the flag of Palestine (thank you Montessori) on it,  and jeans with flowers and kitty-cats on them.  Charlie has short blonde hair, blue eyes, and he loves to wear dinosaur shirts with dinosaur-polkadot blue jeans.
Chuckie and Dang are friends, they are not nice,  they are mean.  They are 8 years old.  They are like teenagers.  Dang dangs people on the head.   Chuckie punches people and kicks them in the face, and pokes their eyes and “waps them around”.   I’m very familiar with the torture methods of Chuckie and Dang,  I remember her telling me a year ago:  “They waps you awound with a wope--and then I tell them, wou get out of here wou wittle cweeps”!!
I had started to notice a pattern with a few of her friends.  Seiki “seeks up on people”.  Dang “Dangs people on the head”.  So when I asked her about her new friend, ‘Minneo’, I said,  “What does Minneo do”?  She rolled her eyes as if to say “DUH” and then--
“She plays soccer”.
-End of Interview-

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Girl Scout Cookie Haikus

Minty cool and fresh
so crispy on the inside
just one more won't hurt

Milk is running out
my Tagalongs look lonely
good thing I bought more

Oh sweet coconut
caramel drizzled goodness
stay off of my butt

Put the box down now
says the voice inside my head
the scale does not lie

Now that is just gauche
leave the crumbs for goodness sake
get a therapist

How did I miss this
way back behind the crackers
victory is mine

absolutelynoproblems on Facebook!  Absolutelynoproblems

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pure of Heart

My son went through a phase last year where he was afraid of the elderly.  Partly because he recently attended a family funeral and was becoming aware of age and mortality.  And maybe partly because my grandma once showed him how she could take her teeth right out of her mouth.  
During this time, we took a family trip to the arboretum, where I thought we would spend the day playing in the children’s garden and exploring the surrounding areas.  Upon arrival, I noticed there were a couple of large buses in the drop off/entrance area.  Sure enough, it was a field trip for a Senior Care center.  You would have thought we were at a haunted house the way my son gasped and ducked at every older person we encountered.  He literally hid his face under my shirt as we walked past a couple of ladies in the bathroom.  
We spent a few months dealing with this issue, and grew especially concerned regarding his attitude toward his own relatives.  We saw them often, and we wanted him to be comfortable when visiting with them.  We started showing him pictures of his great-grandparents as children, emphasizing that they were kids once,  just like him,  that they are loving people that love and care for him.  We explained that getting older is a part of life, and tried to reassure and comfort him as best as we could. 
We debated whether or not he would be able to handle a visit to my husband’s grandmother in a nursing home.  We felt the visit was important, so we spent some time prepping him beforehand, explaining that his great-grandma lived in a hospital and that getting visitors, especially her family,  was very important to her.  On the way to the nursing home, he was protesting, and screaming “NO! NO! Please! EVERYONE there is OLD”!!! “I DON’T WANT TO DO IT”!! 
After explaining to him exactly what we were doing--describing the meeting area, that it would just be our family, and other details about what the visit would be like,  I explained to him that sometimes we do things for others because it makes them feel good.  And sometimes, when we do things for others, it makes us feel good about ourselves.  It makes our hearts feel good.  I told him that if we got there and he really didn't feel like he could go in, that we wouldn't force him to do it.  
He settled down, and was quiet for the rest of the ride.  I was still nervous as we pulled into the parking lot.  I figured he would elect to stay in the car with one of us while the others went inside.  But he decided to give it a try.  I had no idea what to expect, but as soon as we walked into the meeting room, he smiled and walked right up to his great-grandma.  He knelt by her side and took her hand in his. They had a wonderful conversation about kindergarten, baseball and swim camp.  I held back tears witnessing the compassion my son was showing.
While getting him settled back into the car, I told him how proud I was of him for being so good with his great grandma.  He then told me,   “Now my heart is pure.  Now I can get through the gate”.

Now my heart is pure.  Now I can get through the gate.
I am pretty used to hearing these types of comments from him, and I always find it interesting what resonates and connects with him.  I can also usually pinpoint where he draws his inspiration-- from a previous conversation, or book, or movie.  This time I wasn’t sure where the connection came from, but I fully appreciated that a connection was made.  I kissed him and told him what a special little guy he is. 
Months later, I was watching ‘Neverending Story’,  a movie I had previously seen with him.  Watching the scene where Atreyu (“a warrior, though still a boy, and has a pure heart”) freely passed through the gates that guarded the Oracle,  brought me back to that day with my son and his great-grandma.  I smiled as I realized the connection he had made, and saw what I can guess he visualized that day, as I talked about making his heart feel good by visiting with his great-grandma. 
Now, he marvels over each year his great-grandmothers grow older.  “WOW, She is ninety!  That is almost 100”!!  He realizes how fortunate he is to have these people still in his life.
And I realize, once again, how fortunate I am to have him in mine . 

Monday, February 21, 2011


“You have such a pretty face it doesn’t matter what your clothes look like”. 
“You are lucky to have those baby-bearing hips”.

“Well, what did your legs look like before”?  
-Doctor, checking on the 20 lbs. of water weight/swelling (per leg) after C-section
“We may have to go up a size on account of that ribcage of yours”.
-Tailor, while measuring me for wedding gown
“Hmmmmmmmmm.  Uh-huh."   (Long, thoughtful pause. Then, furrowed eyebrows, followed by deep exhale).  “Well.  I can see you are a strong woman honey, you’ll be able to get through anything.”    
-Fortune teller
“Don’t worry about the post baby weight.  There are so many beautiful full-figured women out there”.  “Just look at Queen Latifah”.
“You have these brief moments of pure brilliance”.  “It’s an enigma”.

From the lyric files

'Clean me up, wipe my butt'
Mommy and Jack album (2005)
(To the tune of 'Build me up, Buttercup')

Why don't you clean me up,
wipe my butt mommy
don't you let me down
I'm a mess all around

and then worst of all,
I got a diaper rash mommy
so when I am clean
please remember the cream

I hate poo (I hate poo)
more than anything mama
so if you love me with all of your heart--

You'll clean me up
wipe my butt
give me a fresh start.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


My cousin Christine's wedding shower is this weekend, which I am unfortunately unable to attend.  We were asked to come up with some favorite recipes, and I thought I'd share one of my old favorites here.

Monica’s Flying Burritos
Serves: Absolutely no purpose. 

-Go to city with husband to meet friends for a fun night out. 
-Consume several drinks, eat very little.
-At the end of the evening, accompany husband to ‘La Bamba’, and order a burrito as big as your head.
-Carry burrito back to car, and on the way, pick huge fight with husband.
-Get very angry with husband and launch burrito into the air, sending it sailing down the street.  Try to grab husband’s burrito to throw as well. 
-Make a huge scene to both entertain and horrify onlookers. 
-Sulk for entire ride home (speak not a word).
-Just before arriving home, ask husband if he can stop somewhere to get you something to eat.

Tiramisu for breakfast

Ok, just a rant about all the buzz about fat after 40.  It’s either:  too many carbs, too little carbs, gluten allergies, thyroid disorders, metabolism issues...... and believe me, I have entertained every one of these possibilities when considering my own battles with weight gain.

Not to minimize anyone else’s legitimate issues or struggles, but personally I am aware that the reason I need to wear Spanx just to get my pants buttoned--is because I ate with complete abandon between Halloween and New Years (ok Valentine’s Day).

In a desperate attempt to reverse the disastrous effects of my eating, I, like many others jumping on the ‘New Year, New You’ train, decided to start my plan with a jolt to the system- the 7 day cabbage soup diet.  Here’s what it looked like for me:

Day one: Fruit and cabbage soup. 

Day two: Veggies and cabbage soup. 

Day three:  Fruit, veggies and cabbage soup. 

Day four:  Bananas and cabbage soup. 

Day five:  Entire loaf of banana bread, with half of a container of butter......followed by consumption of two (half) containers of frosting.  No cabbage soup.  and you don’t even want to know about days 6 and 7.

I lost 5 pounds! 

But no more cleanse or fad diets for me...... I did buy several boxes of Kashi cereal and dusted off my treadmill.  I am watching the carbs, since I am convinced that is an issue for me.  Maybe I should get my thyroid checked?