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 I know my posts lately have been in relation to my father’s death. I am grieving and for the first time in life I have really been effected by the absence of someone so close to me. Be patient with me, writing about moments with him will get me through this time of grief.

This week’s Friday’s Song is Father and Daughter by Paul Simon. I love Paul Simon’s voice, whatever song it is that he is singing, soars through my soul.

 

 

 

Father and Daughter -Lyrics

 

If you leap awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second
You cant remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star

I believe the light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I cant guarantee
Theres nothing scary hiding under your bed
Im gonna stand guard
Like a postcard of a Golden Retriever
And never leave till I leave you
With a sweet dream in your head

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Trust your intuition
Its just like going fishing
You cast your line
And hope you get a bite
But you dont need to waste your time
Worrying about the market place
Try to help the human race
Struggling to survive its harshest night

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

I have not written anything substantial in a long time. The death of my father has taken a toll on my emotional state. Today, I am happy to announce the birth of my fourth child. We welcomed our third daughter into the world on June 30th. My son is adjusting to the fact he will be our only prince and have a big job watching over three sisters.

Where there is death there is life, this new life will be our saving grace and be a constant reminder of  my father. I was his fourth child and this is mine so there is already an instant connection.

I will be back with some short stories soon. I have had a lot happen to me recently and the most therapeutic thing I can do is write about it.

 

Aah the joys of roller-skating, there is nothing like strapping on a pair of shoes with wheels, balancing yourself, then attempting to glide gracefully across a fake wooden floor.  Children look adorable wobbling back and forth while adults doing the very same thing look ridiculous.

My daughter and son surprised me with their skating abilities. Watching them zip around the rink brought a proud smile to my face. I was visualizing them as Olympic speed skaters preparing to take the gold and then reality set in. On the rink, my daughter was graceful. It was off the rink that her clumsiness resurfaced. One-step onto the dated paisley carpet and she was on her butt faster than I could say boo. She quickly pointed out that it was the kid in front of her that caused her to fall, if he didn’t move so slow she would have been okay. I smiled and nodded.

When she accidentally spilled a small amount of soda, she advised it was her younger sister who bumped her arm. Once again, I smiled and nodded.

The children gathered around the birthday boy to sing Happy Birthday, my daughter decided to stand next to me. Soon after the candles were blown out, she attempted to grab a handful of Doritos’s from the table. As everyone laughed and congratulated the birthday boy, they had no clue that within seconds the entire bowl of snacks and all drinks in front of it would fly off the table into their laps and onto the floor, compliments of my daughter.

The poor thing was embarrassed,what did she do out of nervousness? Lick her fingers. It would not be so bad except for the fact that those same fingers seconds ago slammed onto the germ-filled floor as she braced her fall.

As the guest looked in horror I swiped her hands from her mouth, smiled, nodded and prayed that she wouldn’t contact any disease.

A speed skater? Maybe. A balancing act-Never!

 

My five year-old nephew loves to antagonize my three year-old daughter. It usually starts with him telling her there is a ghost. It ends with her running towards me, arms wide opened, tears in her eyes, pleading for help.

I have told him many times to stop scaring her, and I assured her that there was no ghost next to her. I instructed her to say “Whatever,” the next time he mentioned a ghost.

 I forgot about the conversation and my nephew stopped the teasing. As I made my bed, my daughter delicately painted her fingernails with some Barbie nail polish. My nephew walked up to her and whispered in her ear, “There is a ghost next to you.”

I heard the whisper and spun my head around, opened my mouth and prepared to scold him for making her upset. I never had to say a word; my daughter came up with the best reply.

She shrugged her shoulders, looked at him and said, “I know, I am painting its nails.”

He hasn’t mentioned seeing a ghost since. That’s my girl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids can definitely come up with some clever comebacks. They are full of wit that makes adults envious. I love to see life through their eyes it’s actually pretty funny. My sister and I have daughters in the same grade, same class. Because I am the caretaker of her daughter while she is working, it is usually my duty to take them to school. Friday my sister had the day off so she offered to drive them. I was delighted. Trying to get my son and daughter out the door each morning is sitcom worthy. By the time I finally have them dressed, fed, and hair brushed we have about two minutes to get out the door, hop in the car and drive to school in hopes we get there before they are marked tardy.

My sister came early for them so she could assist me in getting them out the door. She zipped up my son’s coat and he was ready to go. She started to put my daughter’s coat on while I brushed through her hair once more. We were side my side primping her as if she was a model behind the curtains getting a quick wardrobe change before hitting the runway. While I was twisting her hair into a ponytail my sister was straightening the collar of her coat. We gave her a once over and without hesitation simultaneously put our thumbs to our mouths and gave a quick lick. Yes, we were doing what as young girls we swore we never would do, we were going to wipe the toothpaste that outlined my daughter’s lips off with our spit on a finger. We were in a trance and had one thing on our mind; get her out the door so they will not be late. It was what my daughter said that broke the trance. “Not your lick.” My sister and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. My daughter didn’t mind my thumb spit coming at her but she wasn’t going to allow my sisters spit to touch her face. That’s one for the books and a quick witted comeback if I must say.

If you are a girl and you love shoes than we have something in common. For me, it used to be more important for the perfect shoe to look great, than to be comfortable. I have squished my foot into a much too narrow shoe and wore way too high of heals just because the shoes accented my outfit perfectly. The older I get the less I care. Maybe because now, I have children to buy shoes for, this leaves fewer dollars in my account to spend on myself. Recently, I became aware that a shoe fetish could start very early.  On a girl’s trip to Target I was amused to see my daughter’s and niece go into the direction of the shoes. They didn’t care they were in the woman’s section. Their eyes lit up and smiles spread across their face quicker than flowing water fills a crack. Expressions of oohs and awes rapidly poured from their mouths. Before I knew it, boxes were being pulled off the shelf and these pint-sized girls were trying on shoes ten sizes too big. Each of them had their own idea of spectacular. My youngest daughter immediately went for something with a bit of bling –bling. A flat shoe with shiny pink sequence and a tiny bow were her favorite pair. She didn’t care that they were strapped together by that impossible piece of plastic. She worked those shoes the best her tiny body could. My oldest daughter opted for the high heel. It was definitely a pair that grabbed my attention. I didn’t know whether to laugh because she had my taste or to cry because she walked better in them than me. Okay, maybe not better but surprisingly well for a seven year old. My niece was a bit more conservative and picked a pair of black ballet flats. Her taste in shoes was very simple, much like herself. You could tell a lot about a person from the shoes they wear. Are they exciting and like to take risks?  Perhaps, the risk-takers choose the high heels-it’s about being a head above the rest. To take the heels off means you come down to the average level, and that is not interesting enough. A simple shoe may indicate a laid-back person. The easygoing person who doesn’t need much to be happy. They don’t take life or themselves too seriously. Maybe the person who chooses the shoes decorated in bling- bling wants to be noticed. I am not a psychiatrist but I know the personalities of my daughters and my niece. And they picked the perfect shoes to match their essence. Today, my youngest daughter did something hysterical. Her aunt gave her a brand new pair of boots and she was anxious to get them on. After watching her prance around the kitchen showing her shoes with attitude I noticed something did not look right. I unzipped the boot to find the cardboard insert still tucked inside. She opted for looking great rather than comfort. My girls may never truly walk in my shoes but  I see a little bit of me in both of them. I hope the shoes they choose leave footprints to be admired.

“Mar, are you serious?” The sound of my husband’s voice once again woke me from my dream like state. Our two years-old was in the middle of us. She has been sleeping with us because she has a tendency to fall off her toddler bed onto the hardwood floor. Despite the fact there are railings on each side of the bed which are supposed to help prevent that.  

After hearing the disgust in his voice or should I say disbelief, I opened my eyes and saw my cupped hand raised to my daughter’s mouth. What was I doing? Handing her a cup of invisible juice. Apparently she awoke from her own deep sleep and loudly started requesting juice. In my comatose stupor I actually believed that tricking her into thinking I was giving her juice would work. What my husband saw was my daughter swatting at my cupped empty hand. Crying because I was not giving her what she so badly wanted. I mustered up the energy to pull myself up and out of the bed and trekked downstairs to get her a glass of juice.  This morning when she woke, my husband greeted her with an empty cupped hand and asked if she was thirsty. He thought she could go for a nice glass of… invisible juice. It was one of those moments in life that I will never escape. When my son asked my husband if they needed money for their pumpkin patch field trip my husband responded, “Nah, I’m sure mommy will pack us some invisible money.”

     This time of year makes me look back to when I found Miranda. Miranda was an ugly looking broad hanging out on a bale of hay next to a cash register. Her posture was tilted, hair was frizzy and she had dried glue stuck to her back. I fell in love with her anyway. It was because of her that I found myself.

     I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. There were lots of occupations I thought I would be good at but none that I felt I was meant to be. As a young girl I thought I would like to teach the deaf after reading about Helen Keller in grade school. I took a sign language class after high-school. For a presentation speech I taught the class how to sing I’M DREAMING OF A WHITE CHRISTMAS IN SIGN LANGUAGE. I enjoyed it but still I felt there was something else and this wasn’t it.

I went to college and majored in Computer Information Systems but I knew it was only because I thought it would be a high paying field. I worked for an insurance company and daydreamed about moving up the corporate ladder, but still, I knew it wasn’t for me. So, for a long time I walked around in a fog, searching for what it was I was meant to be. There was a nagging feeling inside my soul-I knew there was something. But what it was I didn’t know. I wondered how anyone ever really knew and what happened in their life to make them understand. I questioned whether I would ever find my calling. I married and had children and thought motherhood might be it. Maybe, I was simply just meant to be a mother. Still, the feeling wouldn’t subside. My eyes were opened the day I found Miranda.  I saw the light in the strangest of places because I looked at it right. (I always loved that similar lyric by the Grateful Dead)

     It was Autumn, my favorite season and I was going to buy some Mums, Pumpkins and a few decorations for the house. I gathered my purchases and headed to the cash register. As I was waiting for the woman to ring me up, I looked down and saw this very ugly witch with an eerie smile leaning against a pumpkin. Immediately I was drawn to her, she looked like I felt. On my bad days, I certainly can be a witch and if I could fly off on a broomstick I probably would. “How much for her?” I asked holding the witch up to the sales lady.  “You mean our Miranda?” Initially I had no idea who she was calling Miranda and thought maybe she was a bit loony. Sure enough she was talking about the witch. Apparently the workers fell in love with her too, despite the fact she wasn’t easy on the eyes and the stick she was glued to was broken off. “She’s broke, she replied. I didn’t care, if she was ugly, broke or missing an eye I just knew I wanted her.  

     After promising to take care of Miranda, I left and went across the street to the grocery store. While walking past the produce section it hit me. The first story I knew I had to write. It was about a little girl named …Miranda. By the time I left the grocery store, I had a beginning, middle and an end. Excitement flooded through me and I knew this was it. I was meant to… write. I went home, wrote my first draft, and found I wanted more. I finally understood what passion was. I always had it but never recognized it. I searched for many years hoping to find my essence, waiting for it to magically appear. And magically appear it did, thanks to Miranda. She inspired me. Because of the ugly witch I found beauty –From the moment I saw her I had a hunch she was meant to be in my life. For so many years I searched for the job that would pay well and thought that would bring me happiness. In the end I found something that I will continue to do even if I never receive a dime for doing it. If I judged Miranda on her appearance I might still be lost.

Thirteen Things about Maribeth

This week my mother celebrated her birthday. Everyone loves their mother’s cooking (I think). My mother is top notch when it comes to cooking and baking. For this Thursday Thirteen I have decided to list thirteen of my favorite dishes I love- compliments of my mother. I have learned to cook from her and hope one day my children will be just as excited by my cooking as I have been by hers. Bon Appetit!

1…. Meat Loaf, mashed potatoes and butter beans. She has a knack for Meatloaf – I love the ends the best, but we always had to leave them for my father. Once in a while I would sneak one.

2…Risotto- This is an Italian dish, It’s rice in a spaghetti sauce. Very delicious and goes great with her homemade meatballs. Yum

3…Oyster Stuffing-A Thanksgiving tradition in our household. I wait all year long to stuff myself with oysters-It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without this dish

4…Fresh Brewed Iced Tea-Since I was a little girl my mother has been making this, she used to make it in summer’s only but now it’s an everyday thing. She brews the tea bags on the stove and then makes a pitcher of sugar iced tea and a pitcher of unsweetened(my favorite, she knows exactly how much lemon juice to add to make it perfect)

5… Potato Salad-Summer cookouts are especially nice when mom’s potato salad is part of the smorgasbord.

6…Stew and Dumplings-The best stew ever, she drops bisquick dumplings on top of the stew which make this stick to your rib’s dinner the best on a cold winter’s night

7…Chili- Not everyone can make the perfect chili but my mother can (I learned from her so I have to say I make a mean chili too) Perfect with buttered bread and parmesan cheese. You can’t just eat one bowl

8…Rice Pudding-She makes the best rice pudding ever. The consistency is always perfect and it is especially good when still a little warm

9…Pies galore-Every pie she makes is to die for, Apple, Coconut Custard, Pumpkin, she makes a great Apple Dumpling too. I don’t know if I will ever inherit her knack for pie crust. As long as we are talking about baking-I better mention how much I love her bread pudding.

10…Pasties- I am a crust girl, anything with crust I love, so Pasties is definitely one of my favorites. She makes the traditional meat along with broccoli and cheese which are definitely my favorite.

11…Dough Ball Soup-I guess by now it is obvious I love dough (I’m Italian what can I say) this is not the correct name of the soup but it is what our family calls it. It is a tomato based soup filled with yummy dough balls. Again, you wouldn’t be able to eat just one bowl of this

12…Chicken Divan- I think this might be my FAVORITE- Broccoli, Cheese, Chicken and Bread Crumbs, scoop this dish over white rice and add lots of pepper, it is amazing.

13…Ravioli- Hands down the best cheese and meat ravioli ever. Another tradition we have, Christmas time is ravioli making time. I feel sorry for all of the people that never will get to taste one of my mother’s ravioli’s. They cannot be duplicated.

11…

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  I love how so many mother’s in the blogging world came up with catchy names for themselves. You have Writer Mama, Tired Mama, Overworked Mama and many more. I asked myself -What catchy name would you call yourself in reference to motherhood. Some brilliant ideas floated through my mind but after yesterday and the incident from last week’s Mommy and Me I came up with my perfect name. I am… Decorated Mama. Before you get the wrong idea, let me explain. I am not crafty, at least not in a conventional way. I am not known for my decor techniques (Believe it or not-my husband is better at that then me). My decorations are not bought and most likely would not be willingly copied. They are decorations that adorn my wardrobe and are always unintended. Whether it is an inconvenient splat, which was yesterday’s decoration or an embarrassing rip that I become aware of while standing amongst a group of people I can guarantee that I am always decorated. My girlfriend calls it Wardrobe Confession; she came up with this clever title after hearing my umpteenth excuse of why there was a stain, rip, drip, or missing button somewhere on my clothing. I try to keep up with fashion I really do, but I have come to accept that as polished as I try to look there is always something lurking, waiting to be seen. I am beginning to think there are invisible elves working very hard at making their selves laugh at my expense. After last week’s episode with the unzipped zipper flapping in the wind I thought that would be it for a while. I was wrong. My two-year old loves to pour the liquid into the dishwasher-which is exactly why I started buying those handy little tablets you just pop in and forget about. I couldn’t pass up the great sale on the liquid this week so instead of my child friendly tablets I opted for the liquid. Yesterday she insisted on filling up the dishwasher. At first I stood behind her proudly. Pride turned to panic as I watched her squirt it all over the door. I quickly grabbed it from her, or should I say wrestled it out of her hands. After enduring a half hour temper tantrum I was relieved when she finally stopped crying.  Because, Decorated Mama was desperate, I bribed her. I promised I would lay on the couch with her and watch Barney. While watching Barney we both dozed off and I couldn’t have been happier. That was, until I realized it was time to pick up my other two children from school. I jumped from the couch, my eyes were sticky and blurred because I fell asleep with my contacts in. The only thing I had time to do was squirt some saline solution in my eyes to moisten them and then I was off. As I was putting the car in park I happened to glance down. Splattered across my left thigh was what looked like white paint. I was confused; I had no idea what it could be. I looked over to my right leg and there it was again. Keep in mind I was wearing black pants. I sat in the car motionless thinking what am I going to do? I can’t go back home, they are being left out any minute. I did what any woman would do in my shoes. I licked my finger and frantically tried to rub the white goop away with spit. It wasn’t working. I had to suck it up and go wait for my kids decorated in …Dishwashing Liquid.  I walked up to the other mothers smiled and went into Wardrobe Confession.