Slow Is Smooth and Smooth is… Still Slow.

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I think the military owns that saying, the “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” one?

I think they came up with it when they were training the army people to carry big exploding things over bunkers and not drop them on their foot or trip over a shoelace, which is totally something I would do.

You can thank me now, that I never joined the military. You’re welcome, America.

Anyhow.

One of the greatest paradoxes of mankind is a child’s inability to move fast under request, when five minutes ago they were skidding up and down the hall in their underwear and socks, shouting, “I’M COMING FOR YOU, AND YOUR TORTILLAS!”

I know. I really have no idea, either.

Let me break down this paradox for you:

If child is left to own devices: running, shouting, skidding, flying, sometimes the splits, and also loud thudding will occur regularly.

If child is asked to “hurry up” : the sloth cometh.

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This book was a favorite at our house.                              For some reason, that other classic, “Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!” Yelled the Mom, was not as popular.

 

This morning before school, I watched Red push one arm through the sleeve of a jacket. My eyebrow started to twitch. I had to leave the room because it was like watching a sloth try to put one arm through a jacket, which is pretty hard because sloths have those weird claw hands that don’t fit through jackets very well.

I went into the kitchen. Poured a cup of coffee. Added cream. Rinsed off my spoon and put it in the dishwasher, like a boss. Took a breath.

Walked back into the living room. And there was Red, still trying to put THE SAME arm through THE SAME SLEEVE.

The other eye started twitching, so now I have a matching set. And then, there was the talking:

Punctual: “Red, it’s 7:58, you need to take it up a notch here.”

Organized: “Red, why don’t you put on your coat before your backpack?”

Wheedling: “Red, perhaps shoes are a good idea now.”

Military: “RED MOVE. JUST MOVE NOW. MOVE OUT. GO. GO GO GO.”

I know. It’s a sickness. The words just come out of my mouth, all slippery and desperate, because watching my son try to move from one end of the room to the other IS GOING TO KILL ME.

You’ll find me, one day, dead on the floor. Laid out. Done. And all because my son did something like this:

Puts one arm through sleeve (FINALLY THANK YOU SWEET FATHER AND JESUS TOO) and then, he proceeds to bend down and start patting the STUPID DOG ON THE HEAD BECAUSE NOW IS THE TIME TO BOND WITH THE DOG. NOW? NOW. NOW IS THE TIME.

He bent down, with me looming over him like an angry clock, and it was like he had never even noticed we had a dog before. “Oh! Hi Hosmer? Who’s a good doggie? Who is a good pupper? Rub you behind your ear?”

Only one sleeve on, no shoes, and a really sketchy understanding of how to put one foot in front of the other, and he wants to go all Bless the Beasts and the Children on me.

Well, I tell you.

I finally resorted to physically herding (pushing) both boys towards the door. They were chattering away and then, at one point, Blonde STOPPED to TURN to RED to TELL HIM SOMETHING. Like, all of a sudden he was practicing polite cocktail party chit-chat, only it was about Minecraft chickens. Which is a thing. Don’t ask.

I would have none of it. I just wedged myself behind them and kept moving them along, the Mom Barge, saying things like, “Move out. Press on. Westward ho!” and that sort of thing. It was very motivational.

Last I saw, they were both wandering in a serpentine pattern, in the general direction of the school. The serpentine is nice, because they’ll be protected from any sort of siege. Safety first.

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Paws on the Path

6ir5kBdbT.jpgI was watching Steve the cat this morning. I was sitting on my couch, waiting for my child to figure out how to dress himself because he forgets up until 8 am. He also forgets how to eat, brush his teeth and walk in a purposeful way. But that’s another post for another day.

Anyhow, as I am sitting, rather dejectedly, on the couch, mainlining coffee, I watch as Steve saunters past. He head butts Red, as if to say, “Dude. Don’t rush. It’s all good, brah.” And then he heads for our dining room table which has become The Table of Tiny Legos That You Must Not Move, Clean or Touch. That Means You, Mommy.

And then, our four hundred pound, linebacker of a cat, proceeded to daintily leap, like a whispy ballerina, right into the midst of the Legos. I gasped. Red gasped, and then I yelled at Red because FOCUS FOR PETE’S SAKE WOULD YOU GET DRESSED LOOK AWAY FROM THE CAT. DON’T LOOK AT HIM. DON’T. STOP. YES I KNOW HES CUTE YOUR SHIRT’S ON BACKWARDS. MOOOOOOVE.

Steve turned to me and I swear, winked. And then, he flitted across the table, on soft little cat feet, without even LOOKING. And NEVER TOUCHED ONE LEGO.

I don’t know how he  does it, with the Legos. You know Legos are magnetic, right? They find feet with deadly accuracy, as pretty much every five am walk across our living room floor will prove.

Steve just sauntered about, like a boss, and then proceeded to smush his fat furry torso into a box the size of a postage stamp and purred away. All content and smushed up on the sides, like a  ball of dough rising up in a bowl. A furry ball of dough.

So, it was then that Steve said to me:

“You know. I’m a symbol.”

I lifted my coffee cup to him, and decided to book myself some therapy, real soon. Red flitted past with his shirt on, no longer backwards, but inside out.

And Steve gestured with his fat furry paw at the Legos. “I can do this, without even looking. You humans. You crash through stuff, all day long. Always complaining. Your feet! Your work! Your schedule! Your feelings! Why don’t you just, you know, slow down? Look around and sniff at something? Watch where you’re going?”

“You didn’t watch where YOU were going, Steve. Remember?

“Yes. But but I’m a cat.”

I’m linking up with my happy place today, Five Minute Friday. As I like to have deeply symbolic conversations with a large, white cat, The Five Minute community might not invite me back anytime soon. But today’s theme?

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Slow down. Look around. Sniff at things little. The path is rocky, and filled with tiny sharp things. We do best when we watch where we’re going.

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I’m still here

Linking up with Heading Home today for Five Minute Friday.

Today’s word is:

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I see you, momma with your jammies on and crooked glasses and hair in an even more crooked ponytail. I see you. You’re talking to your younger son who is pulling on your sleeve, trying to show you his ouchie, and your daughter is shouting and running ahead because it is COLD, and you, I notice, have no coat. Just a hoodie two sizes too small. The hoodie, it looks like, also is a bed for something furry. Very furry.

On the other hand, or paw, your kids have coats and hats and gloves and scarves and backpacks and lunchboxes, and just all of it is so MUCH for three little kids.

I see you. I see that you look pale and I wonder what you had for breakfast and if it was a big hot plate of nothing like me, and maybe later around eleven or so you will have time to stop and stand over your sink and drink some coffee that hasn’t been microwaved three times already. You will stare out the window to the cold and a leaf swirling yard and just breathe for a minute.

This morning we all smushed into the car with all our hats and gloves and scarves and lunches and coats and squirming, and we attempted to leave for school three times before we actually succeeded. Each time, I would start the car, and we would shout, “And AWAY WE GOOOO!” and then I would see that our beloved cat got out. Or that we left a library book inside. Or that I forgot my glasses and great glaucoma we can’t have that. I might drive into a tree.

And away we go. After three attempts and some fussing about lunch boxes being filled with oranges because”I don’t LIKE oranges, mom! Canna I have pudding? Please?” and a quick discussion of scurvy pirates and how oranges keep us from being them, and then realizing my argument was all wrong because the boys are all ABOUT scurvy pirates, we finally left and drove the three whole blocks to get to the school.  I sat in the drop off line longer than it would have taken to just walk.

And then I came home and washed up, cleaned, wiped, rinsed, fixed and folded for a few minutes before I had time to even realize my coffee was in the microwave again – somehow it had traveled there, like it had missed its home or something.

Oh, and I read the bible. Did I mention that? It was Psalms. It was about praising the Lord, but honestly I don’t remember much else, just the praising part because I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I slapped “snooze” one too many times, and then my reading felt rushed. I am sorry, Lord. I should have… oh, many things,  I know.

I should have: gotten up earlier, read and prayed for a long time, had spiritual insight, prayed for peace for all mankind, contemplated Your goodness, spoke quietly and melodically to my children, kept my sense of humor.

But all I could do instead was get breakfast on the table and get to school and rescue the cat from the Polar Vortex.

That last one was debatable for a minute. In my opinion, Steve McQueen the Escape Cat might just deserve a dose of Polar Vortex this morning, but the big brown eyes and furrowed toddler brows in the back seat said “No. Way.”

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So. Now, I am at the library. I have coffee and a to-do list as long as Oklahoma is wide, and I don’t care. It’s quiet. My coffee is hot, all on its own. And I want to write.

I am going to make sure and smile at the jammies lady next time I see her. And we will smile at each other even as our own Toddler Vortex is swirling around us.

We are still here.

Thank You, sweet Jesus, for brief, brilliant stillness.

If it was all day I would long for crazy.

 

mysoulsoup.com

mysoulsoup.com

My morning on a scale of 1-10

 

I would rate it a Z.

On the scale of “bright-eyed, bushy-tailed: I would rate it a:

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I hate everything.

 

Here’s how mornings go, in my head:

Get up. Walk around. Drink a healthy smoothie with green stuff. Read the bible. Journal. Bask in the whole “oh what a beautiful morning,” Lamentations 3:23-ness, of it all.

 

Here’s how this morning suffered and died at our house today:

Got up. Or tried to. When attempting to put one foot on the floor, something in my back went, “Uh HO! No way, old lady. Walking is hard. I’m putting you on shuffle.”

So, I shuffled about. No green stuff in the smoothie because I burnt the oatmeal. And yes, I know, the two don’t seem to relate, so let me explain: The wee ones insist that all the oatmeal is TOO HOT. It’s TOO HOT MOMMAH! It’s HOT LAVA I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EAT THIS EVERRRR. IT WILL MELT MY FACE OFF.

Since listening to my children whine about porridge makes me start googling “full frontal lobotomy, what are the perks?” I prepared the oatmeal waaaaaay in advance for my sweet heat seeking cherubs.  Then I watched them sit there and chuff and blow all over it with moist abandon (mental note: do not eat leftovers) for, like, an hour.

By the time they had hyperventilated all over the oatmeal, I was on to making lunches. Something, like, oh I don’t know, THIS:

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I found it on Pinterest! Who knew?

I know, right? RIGHT?

So, then, I had a moment to myself, in which I:

Put hair in ponytail. Then realized it still looked so colossally bad that also added a baseball cap. Considered a burka because the baseball wasn’t really cutting it, but thought that might cause some confusion amongst my church going friends.

Added some moisturizer and some lip gloss. Except I used an under eye highlighter as my lip gloss, because, well, morning.

So I looked like THIS:

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Except she is a lot happier about it than I am.

And, you know, no decal hearts on my face. I coulda colored in some of my sun spots, but who has time for that insanity?

 

Okaaaaaay. So the boys are still staring down the oatmeal. They are in their underwear, and it’s five minutes till go time. Momsie decides to start barking orders like a crazed seal. Something like THIS:

Clear up!

Move out!

Pants! PANTS! PAAAANNNNNNTS. THEN SHOES.

Shirt! Turn it!

Ok, Spiderman in back.

MOVE MOVE MOVE.

COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE

KEYS?  KEYS ! KEYS !!!KEYYYSSSSSS!!!! Oh snap. Here in my hand.

 

Awesome! Car! Children dressed and IN car with shoes and backpacks. The heavens opened and sang, I tell you.

And then I realized I hadn’t put on pants.

 

Boom.

 

So…how was your morning?

My neighbors had a great start of the day, I’m sure.

 

God, grant me the serenity, to accept that I forgot, um pants.

Courage, to change that for future mornings.

And the wisdom to laugh at myself.

 

And thank you, dear sweet Jesus, that at least I was wearing my husband’s old rugby t-shirt. I wear these huge things to bed because I like to remember the 80’s whenever possible. Thank you, baggy 80’s fashion.

Coulda been worse. I coulda been wearing THIS:

 

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You’re welcome, neighbors.

 

 

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I Am Felling for You

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My five-year old, Blonde, is now in kindergarten.  So, now we have mornings now that go like this:

Me:  Blonde, I need you to eat, dress, brush, and get your backpack on.  Maybe all in that order.  And within the next seven minutes.  I realize this is totally unrealistic but alarm clocks are hard.

Blonde:  I cannot respond to this.  It’s like BIG early.

Me:  Blonde, clothes, oatmeal, toothbrush – HERE.  Don’t be overwhelmed little one. Just try to remember to put your underpants on first.

Blonde:  Why? Why da underpants first?

Me:  BLONDE, WOULD YOU PLEASE GET GOING. NOW. WE NEED TO GET A MOVE ON.  LET’S GO. IT’S TIME TO GO. LIKE OUT THE DOOR. WE NEED TO GO.  LIKE, RIGHT NOW.  LEAVING.  LEAVING NOW.

Blonde:  I call your bluff, lady.  And Red is still sitting on the floor in the kitchen with his oatmeal.  Evidently he doesn’t think he can eat it. Or that tables are a thing.

Henry: (faintly, from the kitchen):  It’s too buttery.

Blonde: He’s crazy.

Me: He is crazy.  How can anything be too buttery?  Blonde, your hair. Smush it down.  And your pants are on backwards.

Blonde: I am expressing my individual creativity.  I gotta be me.

 

The cat just sauntered past.  He has not eaten, brushed, and he has no underpants on either.  This is chaos.

Me:  Ok troops. This is Momsie.  We are now in level ORANGE.  I repeat, Level ORANGE.  IF WE DON’T GET TO SCHOOL ON TIME THE TEACHER WILL BE MAD.  I CANNOT HANDLE THAT; I AM A TEACHER.  WE JUDGE EACH OTHERWE TELL YOU WE DON’T BUT WE DO.

REPORT TO THE DOOR, STAT!  AND I WILL SMUSH THE HAIR, BLONDE.  YOU ARE NOT HARRY STYLES.  NOT YET.

 

 

The troops headed out, on time. I was pretty sure Jesus just decided to take pity on  me and stopped time for a bit. He can do that, you know.  Once we got to the school, Blonde set his helmet on his handlebars, and started to tip over a bit on his bike.

“Mom! Catch me if I fell!”

I did.  And I will.  At least for a little longer.

But if you’re late, you’re gonna have to deal with your teacher yourself.  Unless it’s my fault.  Then we’ll just tell her I just got out of the hospital, brain surgery, something like that.  I am pretty sure she would buy it.

 

Red, as we are heading back on our bikes, glances back at the big school.  “Yep.  He’s in der!”  He heads for a hill.

“Here we goooooooooooooo!”

Yep. Here we go.

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Carol’s mother is a lot more relaxed about this whole deal.  And Carol has creepy eyes. Maybe that’s why – Carol needs to Get. Out.

Tuesday Takeout

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Try not to look at all the clutter in the background. My kitchen table is my office. Whatever works.

Good morning my people.

It’s 5 am.  Are you up?  Oh, good.  Me too.

(Yawn).  I’m ready to hit the slopes.

In Mommyspeak:  I’m up and ready to attack the day with a list of items to accomplish that are about as disparate and possible as trying to untangle my necklaces.  Endless list, I tell you.  I’m the marines.  But I accessorize better with a lotta necklaces.  I get more done in the morning than…

Wait, I don’t remember the rest of that – I haven’t had my coffee yet.  All I know, at this fuzzy-headed time in the morning, is that my day is going to be all about the dreaded Multitask.

I need my coffee, my people.

However, lately I have decided to, you know, try to throw food at my family that is a bit less, well, bad for them.  And well… I could use that ideology a bit too.  (My enthusiasm is OFFA THE CHARTS, right?  I know.  Like I said, I haven’t had my coffee.)

Here’s what I just read on the back of my beloved coffee creamer – the stuff I daily glug into my coffee mug with abandon:

Partially hydrogenated heart attack possibly waiting to happen, sodium caseinate that even my spell check doesn’t have a clue, cellulose gell that sounds really awful and kinda like it something a plastic surgeon would say, mono and not mono dyglycerides that maybe were used also to create I dunno, meth?  They just sound very Breaking Bad.

Oh and this little nugget of happiness at the end of the list:  CONTAINS: A MILK DERIVATIVE.  (The bold face and on caps was on their packaging.  Like we needed to be warned.  About the milk.  In my creamer.)

So…  “milk” creamer – we’re breaking up.  It’s hard, I know.  We used to be so close, you and I.  Every morning you would comfort me and cuddle up to my coffee with your milk-like chemically goodness.  I loved you, man.

But I made my OWN.  And it was easy!  And even slightly cheaper.  And, most importantly.  It was GOOD.photo 4And all the people rejoiced, because lo, the creamer was gooooooood, y’all.

Here you go:

  •  One can of sweetened condensed milk (I use the organic kind, and I know that you can also make your own.  But that’s just crazy talk.  I don’t have time for that nuttiness until maybe next Tuesday.)
  • One cup of whole milk or almond milk or soy milk  – your choice.  I used whole milk.
  •  2-3 tablespoons pumpkin puree (We have tons of this stuff in our freezer.  Know why?  I froze some up from last Halloween from our pie pumpkins.  Just make sure NOT to carve these pumpkins (we just decorate with markers) and then slice, bake, and puree.  They make great soup thickeners and additions to cookies and bread…  Oh and PIE.
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice OR:  nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon…  (I don’t have pumpkin pie spice)
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup (I also used molasses once when I was out of maple syrup – worked fine!)
  • Mix all this over a low heat stove – stir and stir until just steaming. Remove from heat, add a glug or two of vanilla.  Et voila.
  • Enjoy!!

This entire post was written under the influence of this creamer (and a little coffee).

My sweet friend Bethany gave me this wee spoon. I stir my coffee with it, every morning.   Bless you, my friend.

My sweet friend Bethany gave me this wee spoon. I stir my coffee with it, every morning. Bless you, my friend.