Friday, May 9, 2008

Hold On

What a random day I've had.

When I got up this morning I was overwhelmingly sad about all the conflict I've been having with Brendan lately. Is five the new two? I have spoken with some of the other moms of kids in his class and they all seem to be dealing with similar issues.

I went online and did some reading and came up with some new ideas for how to handle some of the stuff we're dealing with. I decided that I am not going to turn this food thing into a huge battle. I love the ideas that Jen and Just Me suggested. We've actually been saving his dinner and telling him he can have that, but he whines and cries and many a night, I forget to save it and throw it out, but at least we're getting better at it.

Anyway, I was just starting to think I could get a handle on this stuff when I got a call from Brendan's school saying he was sick and I should come get him. When I got there, he was sobbing because his stomach hurt and he could barely walk. I had to ask another parent to carry Beckett back out to the car while I carried Brendan. All I could think was appendicitis.

I went to the pediatrician's office which is two minutes away, but they were at lunch and I had to wait 30 min. for their return. By the time the pediatrician got there, he didn't hurt anymore. After examining him, she guessed either a colon spasm, but felt like he didn't have the right combination of symptoms or issues; or kidney stones, but again, not the right list of other complaints.

We spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch reading books and watching TV and playing Matchbox cars and Bionicles. It was the most pleasant afternoon we've had in a few weeks because I wasn't trying to juggle kids, chores, work, cooking dinner, etc. I opted for a very easy dinner of steak, baked potatoes, and oven roasted veggies and encouraged the boys to play with their cars in the kitchen while I cooked.

I had loaded the dishwasher with the day's accumulation of dishes plus the leftover pans from last night's baking adventures and started running it only to look over and see a couple of sippy cups that needed washing. So, I opened the door to the dishwasher which is supposed to stop running when the door is opened. Only that didn't happen. It kept running and I got quite a good splashing. Of course, because it was spraying, I couldn't get the drawer to slide back in and get the door closed. It took me several seconds to think to turn it off. By then, I was soaked from the knees down and quite damp every where else and the floor was covered in water. Fortunately, at that point the boys were playing elsewhere.

Any other day, I would have freaked out and been really pissed off. But today.... Today, it just made me laugh. Maybe because I was so relieved Brendan wasn't seriously ill. Maybe because I was actively trying to be patient and not let anything bother me. Maybe because I kept imagining what it must have looked like from another perspective.

Who knows? I guess it doesn't really matter. I've lived to fight another day as they say. Or preferably, not fight, but enjoy the day and those around me.

I can't help but wonder if the last few weeks have seemed so god-awful because I stopped taking the antidepressant I was on for ppd. I don't want to be someone who can't function without a pill. I don't think it's wrong if that's what you need. It just makes me sad to think of having to live that way. I want to be able to manage on my own, to learn how to control my own emotions without being numbed to them.

Whatever the case may be, it felt nice to manage today. To turn it around and feel like I could make a change.Hold

Cooking by the Book

Calling Chef Mom. Please report to the advice podium to dole out some good advice to frustrated moms in need of healthy meals children will eat.

I've had it with cooking dinner several times a week only to be told that what I've prepared is yucky.

If it doesn't come from a guy in a clown suit or a crown, isn't neon orange and cheesy, doesn't taste like cinnamon and powdered sugar, or isn't Siamese Basil's cashew chicken, my eldest child thinks it's gross.

Dinner time is a battle every night. Admittedly, by the time I get through the two hours it takes me to construct a meal while managing a crying toddler and stopping every five minutes to find a toy, change the tv channel, open something, let the dog in or out, or put out some fire (metaphorical or literal), I've had it. I want to eat my food, get everyone bathed and in bed, and zone out.

I try to cook healthy foods I like but I realize that I'm the only one who likes them. Granted, Brendan hates all foods and this drives me crazy. It makes me mad. He used to love everything and then one day, he just became this defiant child who refuses to eat anything. And I didn't help it because I thought he couldn't go hungry so instead of saying, "tough luck, eat this or do without," I would let him have a banana or make something I thought he'd eat.

Now, I'm trying to fix the problem and we're fighting like cats and dogs every night, screaming at each other and I can't take it anymore. I literally sat at the kitchen table and cried last night after telling my whole family I was going on strike because they didn't appreciate my hard work to cook nice meals. It's insulting to have your child tell you the food you've made is yucky. And I guess I had just heard that one too many times last night.

I feel like an idiot for letting him get the best of me that way. Of course, on the one hand, he hurt my feelings and he should see that his actions have consequences. That words can hurt people. I just hate that he learned on me. I don't want him to know he can push my buttons like that.

So, what I'm trying to ask for is a little advice, recipes, meal suggestions, ideas for getting your kid to try new foods or things they think they don't like. I can't trick him, nor do I want to. So, none of this, hide the zucchini in the spaghetti sauce (he wouldn't eat it anyway because he's the only kid in America who doesn't like spaghetti). I want real ideas.

And, by the way, how do you eat healthy meals if your children flat out refuse to eat them when you prepare them. It's a waste of time, energy, and money. Do you break down and fix kid-friendly meals or do you let the kids go hungry or fix other things? I ask this, expecting to hear "the kids should eat whatever you make" but do kids really want poached salmon, brown rice, baked sweet potato, and a salad with ginger dressing? Will most kids eat that?

My friend L. prepares two meals most nights. Either she fixes something the kids will eat and she and her husband snack or have a separate meal or the kids snack and she prepares a meal she and her husband will eat. Which is kind of what I was doing, but decided was a bad idea. Now, I'm wondering if it is such a terrible thing to do.

Alright... Let me have your best ideas!

And thanks in advance!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sweet Jane

Finally, I get to write about Saturday night!

First, I just want to say, that if you are in Atlanta, you have to go to one of the remaining 4 nights of 500 Songs for Kids at Smith's Olde Bar. If you have an extra $100 go to Saturday's show. It will be jam-packed with terrific performers, including Gnarls Barkley's own Cee-Lo singing the final song of the night.

I'm going to get this right finally... This year's songs are the... wait for it... 500 Greatest Sing-a-long Songs.

Scott performed song #380, The Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane. What a great song and a perfect fit for Scott! He was very true and I thought he was fantastic. The crowd seemed to agree.

My other favorites of the night included:

Why the Fly covering Hansen's Mmm Bop
Heather Luttrell's cover of Georgia on My Mind (this woman has an amazing voice!)
Grace Buford singing Over the Rainbow
Charlotte, NC band The Sammies doing AC/DC's Thunderstruck (kicked major ass!)
Xylah throwing down by mixing a little Pinball Wizard into her performance of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit
Love Rush's faithful cover of Better than Ezra's Good
The Julia Dream's cover of The Flaming Lips' She Don't Use Jelly
Audrey Spillman's sensual rendition of Aretha Franklin's Natural Woman.

Those are just my favorites. Everyone worked really hard to put on a great show and these are just a few of the ones that really stood out. All of these musicians gave their time and talent to a very worthy cause and for that they should all be applauded.

Go see live music, people! Wherever you are. These musicians work hard at something they love. Let them know you appreciate them!