SOL 30: kitchen

Shortly after our house flooded and we were living with my parents, my mom could tell I was in a funk. Let’s call it what it was. Continue reading

SOL 11: Art

But I don’t wanna go to bed. The sun is still up.

Daylight savings time is killer on a toddler’s routine. She gets out of her bed every 10-15 minutes until close to 9:30. Tomorrow morning is going to be awful. I need to wake her at 6:00 AM when her little body still thinks it’s 5:00 AM.

Come morning, I bribe her to get out of bed with the promise of some TV before we leave…as long as she gets a move on.

It’s not time to go to school, Mama. It’s too dark outside.

She’s right. Just last week the sun threatened to burn a hole through your eyes when we pulled from the garage. Leaving home in the dark has a certain kind of eeriness about it…so much more so than coming home in the dark.

Along our way to school, the sky begins to brighten and we can see the trucks hauling their cargo beside us. It’s a new favorite game of ours.

What’s in that truck, Mom?

I think it’s a whole bunch of balloons.

And that one?

It must be macaroni and cheese.

It’s a fun game that began one day when she saw a large salad painted onto the side of a semi as we traveled our familiar route.

Look. God is painting the sky this morning.

When I look at the horizon, my heart stops. She’s right. It’s so beautiful that it could only have been created by God.

I think my Angels are helping him. They like to paint.

These are such wise words from a child who has never really spent a Sunday morning in church. Although we talk about God and she unfortunately is all too familiar with angels, we don’t attend any sort of formal religious services. We pray pretty regularly a simple prayer of Thank you, God, for…and please keep safe… Of course, we talk about our Angel Grandmas–we have all too many of those. Although we are fortunate to have many Grandfathers, we are light on Grandmas as they have all been called to heaven much earlier than anyone could have ever anticipated.

My Angels are good painters. Do you see all that pink, Mama? That’s my favorite color. They know that. They are painting for me.

I’m sure they are, Little One. I’m sure they are.

I am writing for the 2019 March Slice of Life Challenge

Day 3: THERE

slice-of-life

I am writing for the Two Writing Teachers March Challenge

Yesterday, someone randomly mentioned the town where I went to college.  This is weird.  Jacksonville, ILLINOIS is a tiny little town in the middle of no where.  It has quite possibly the world’s smallest college that NO ONE has ever heard of.  Then, my BFF texted me to see if I wanted to go for a mani/pedi on Saturday.  These events seem unrelated but they created the perfect storm for a wave of memories to come tumbling back into the forefront my my mind.

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Day 1: Getting Cozy

slice-of-life

I am writing for the Two Writing Teachers March Writing Challenge

 

I’ve always been a morning person…in the fact that I haven’t slept well in longer than I can remember.  Therefore, waking up in the morning has never been an issue for me because I probably wasn’t sleeping anyway.  Now, pulling myself out of bed has always been a feat unto itself.  I don’t like to leave the comfort of my pillows and blankets and cozy PJs.  I don’t like to feel the cold floor on my feet or the wait for the shower to warm.

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Memory….Wednesday?

So, I haven’t done a Memory Monday in a very long time.  I haven’t actually blogged in a long time.  I guess being pregnant keeps you just a busy as the actual baby.  What have I been doing?  Nesting.  Nesting at work and nesting at home.  My classroom is officially set up for my maternity leave.  Lessons are planned, worksheets are copied, IEPs are written.  Very little left to do and if it didn’t all get done…no one would know but me.  Nesting at home…eh.  Laundry is done.  We had two BEAUTIFUL showers hosted by our families.  So many generous gifts…so much to organize.

My mom had 6 babies in 5 pregnancies.  I remember a little about my brother Ds pregnancy but I remember a LOT about her pregnancy with the twins.  I don’t remember her being nearly as neurotic as I am.  Maybe it was because these boys were her FIFTH and SIXTH children.  Maybe it was because she had pretty much everything she ever needed so prepping wasn’t necessary.  Maybe I just don’t remember as well as I thought.  What I do remember from then and years after, were a lot of easy to prep, budget friendly meals that could be put together with a toddler attached to you legs while you fed a couple of babies.  One of our favorites..one of my sister L’s favorites…was chicken and rice.  Everything gets prepped and baked in one dish making it the ultimate meal of ease.  A few pantry staples and a package of chicken and you had dinner!  So…tonight, in honor of my mom and the upcoming arrival of Baby Boss…I give you Chicken and Rice!

Chicken and Rice

  • 1 lb chicken trimmed and cut to preference–I cut into long strips (more or less as necessary)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup (I use LF soups)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom (sub with another chicken or even celery if allergies or preferences)
  • 1 can white rice
  • 2-3 cans water or broth
  • onion soup packet
  1. Mix together the rice, water/broth, and soups.  Top with chicken.  Top that with soup packet.
  2. Bake tightly covered with foil for 90 minutes on 350* to 375*
  3. Bake last 10 minutes uncovered.
  4. Serve with fresh bread.

Birthdays PM

Mom's Birthday 2009 Wildfire:  Oakbrook, IL

Mom’s Birthday 2009 Wildfire: Oakbrook, IL

Birthdays PM (post mom) pretty much suck.  I had my 37th birthday a mere 3 weeks after my mom died.  I wasn’t exactly in a celebratory mood.  I remember my dad asking me if I wanted to go out to dinner.  I told him that I just wanted to make dinner like a regular Thursday and forget the day had some sort of significance.  Honestly, with exception of my wedding, honeymoon, and very few other joyous events, I would have liked to have forgotten that my 36th year even existed.  I wanted a redo.

Growing up, we never really had big birthday parties.  We celebrated with a specially chosen meal…cooked by mom…and maybe a tub-o-icecream or box-o-popsicles.  With so many kids running around, who had the time, money, or energy to put together an actual party.  As we grew older and the boys started spending time with my dad fishing, golfing, and doing whatever else boys do with their dads.  That’s when my mom realized the girls needed a little bonding time, as well.  That’s when our birthday outings came about.  Each year, on our birthdays, we would do something fun with just the girls.  We would go to the show or get mani/pedis.  We would have a nice lunch or go for massages.  Sometimes all of the above in one day if we were feeling ambitious.  Nothing crazy, but a little time to ourselves and a little treat to each other.  I have so many fun memories of those special days:  dinner at Wildfire, seeing Sex & the City, lunch at Cooper’s Hawk, shopping at Light House Mall, spa day at Nicole Richards and so many more days I cannot even begin to describe.  We always laughed:  usually at the expense of one of the sisters.  We always ate:  one of the things us girls did best together.  We always had fun.

My sister C’s birthday is tomorrow and I know how much that first birthday PM can really suck. I’m so glad we got to spend time together today downtown just like old times.  We lunched, we chatted, we shopped.  It was a little sliver from the past.  A bit of my mom’s celebration.  And although she wasn’t there with her extendo finger divvying out her little snippets of advice, no one could deny her presence.  She was all around in our shared laughs and knowing smiles.  She was digging into a slice of cheese cake and picking off our plates.  She was having passion fruit iced tea and a chicken salad sandwich.  She was with us.