Stuff to know

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Buy A Mix

Today I am a bit inspired, thanks to a post from Simple Mom , that talked about creativity and not fearing failure, to share a story from when I was a new mom back in the day that taught me about both..

And coincidentally it is Thursday , so we will go with at Throwback!

When I was a new mom I had the "Syndrome".
 Not  postpartum-- much worse

I had the "I -am -going-to-be -the-best-mother-ever,
and always-be-in-love-with everything-I-do-for -my child! Syndrome

Veteran Mothers:  please feel free to gag when necessary.
Newbie: The best teacher is not experience , it is other peoples experiences. Take heed

This story is about 17 years old but it is fresh in my memory
and serves as a great reminder to
"never go there again"
when my judgement spins off.

I was so locked into the Syndrome that I couldn't even
see the headlights of the train wreck up ahead
 that was my inevitable meltdown.

My daughter Happy Mouth was in the 18-24 month old Mother's Day Out on T/TH.

It was the Spring Party and my first outside of the house event in weeks.
 (Adults I need adults)
The sign up sheet was decorated beautifully with hearts and roses and a cheery greeting of
"What can I bring?"  followed by suggestive items and a place to fill in your name.

The normal items were listed such as cheese blocks, cut up grapes, paper plates etc etc
and then at the bottom in all its shining glory I saw:

Volunteer ( I should have turned tail right here)
Bring Your Best!!!
(any dish you wish!!!)

and you will never believe this ....
it was BLANK!!

How lucky could I be?
 I grabbed that purple gel pen hanging on the string and signed
my name proudly to the coveted empty space.

It was like I won the preschool volunteer lottery!!
 I wish at this point someone had just slapped me.

I need to mention that I never considered why the space was blank
or why I didn't actually have to elbow someone like
it was Black Friday at Tiffanys.
But  remember one of the symptoms of the Syndrome is Obliviousness.

So I kissed Happy Mouth goodbye and went off in exploration
of the finest confectionery concoction this side of the Mason Dixon.

Now hindsight is 20/20 because the foresight was a whopping 0/0.
At this point in life I have basically made eggs, a crockpot roast and....a cosmo.
Not necessarily in that order.

So whatever propelled me forward and took hold of my faculties in order to
 convince me that I could bake and decorate the
 Southern Living Award Winner of 19something or other
Baby Block Cake is still unknown to this day.

 But it took hold of me and it took me fiercely.

This is not the exact image ( I guess Google doesn't have images from before the everything you see can be uploaded era,) bu it's close .

Close to what it is supposed to look like, that is.

I bought the ingredients .
The ingredients that were way out of our budget.

Man- working- retail- while -putting- out resumes-
+ SAHM -saving- for- a- washing machine
  does not =
Let's buy Marzipan and real cocoa.

Oh well I like rice,
its what's for dinner (all week).

The next Thursday was the Spring Party.
 I was going to drop Happy Mouth off at MDO and dash ,
because that's what perky organized moms do -they dash,
 home to whip up this gorgeous cake.*

Now I have included an * here on purpose ,and I have a few *  moments to tell
(but that's another story).

The * here is to note that at this point I am no longer in focus
of a mama's true purpose.
Every woman at one time or another in her life subscribed to the BS
that being super mom or a better mom than so and so translates to successful mom.
It is  like getting flowers at home vs the office .
 Why would you bother to get them unless other women see them
and you get your bragging  rights of "My husband loves me so much"  moment?

You may think this shallow and you would be correct.
But every woman , aware or not, has been here at one time.
 If your one of those non-existent  rare women, we will never be friends then congratulations.

But this is a huge deceptive thinking and will rob you of immense joy and relaxation
as I am about to demonstrate.

Ahh humm where was I?

Oh yes.
  Impossible Recipe .
 Expensive Ingredients. 
Time Shortage

Now MDO is 9-2 ,but the party is at 12.
So I have less than 3 hours to bake, make and deliver this cake in all its glory.

WARNING: The following story may be unsuitable for well.....
                                just about anyone with a bladder.

I make the cake from scratch (Danger Will Robinson Danger!!)
There is so much measuring involved.
Teaspoon , Tablespoon   yeah  yeah yeah
 you say tomato-  I say tomato

I add the flavoring to the cake.
Oh I bet just a little more will be even better!!
Did I mention I have never actually baked - just licked the spoons?

Okay into the oven it goes.
Our dial is a little messed up.
 It keeps slipping off but we usually just pull out needle nose pliers.
Improvising is the key to life!!!
Okay cake in.

Frosting time!!
Powdered sugar,
Food coloring-
What could go wrong?

Mixing with one beater (thank you garbage disposal)
A few extra drops of red for fun

 I have hands that could star in a Friday the 13th movie.
Dang- oh well a quick bleach wash.

Marzipan time!
Molding,  shaping,  flattening and hand cutting out letters by hand.
Sounded reasonable at the time

All the suddenly hands are like
itchy and  ummm
on fire?

Could I be allergic to marzipan?
or could it be the bleach soaking i just took?

Okay hydro cortisone cream.
The timer rings.

I open the oven door to ..........
a cold dark space with a pan of raw cake batter.

My hands are still itching and my left eye has a twitch in it.
I grab my pliers and switch that bitch to 450!!
"100 more degrees for lost minutes" I shout triumphantly!!
I am sure Martha has done that 1,000 times.

I have forgotten to breath until the phone rings and startles me.
I spin around knocking over food coloring bowl #3: New Grass Green

"Damn!!! "  I snatch the phone: "Hell" (no I did not forget the o)
"Oh hey baby it's me (husband) you okay?"

Now I realize that he has no idea what I am doing but that
"Are you okay" question just sort of rubbed me the wrong way.

 It could have been the friction in my hands from constant rubbing pain
 but I went with- it was him.

"AM_-I- OKAY?"

"Yeah I was just seeing what you were doing?"


"Oh that's right isn't the Spring thingy today?'


"Hey its 11:00 when do you have to be there?

"ELeven ?? already  - I am slowly melting like the wicked witch of the west.

I cradle the phone in my hands , rocking back and forth, back and forth
back and forth.........

"Babe, are you there?"

"Yes" I stammer through quivering lips "I am still here - why  oh why am I ?"

"Honey - what time is Happy Mouth expecting you?"

This jolts me into reality.
Happy Mouth is expecting  me
 cake or no cake.

I straighten remembering
that  I  cannot be conquered by mere  cake.

I come back to earth and answer
"Yeah you're right. Sweetie I need to let you go and get ready. Thanks"

The phone clicks.

I race to the bathroom brushing out as  much  flour from my hair as possible,
switch into a fresh shirt and brush my teeth.
I put Tupperware lids on the frosting,
 kick the jolly green one in the pantry
and pull out a slighlty burnted cooked warm cake.

Load it all in a laundry basket along with 2 spoons and a knife

and I dash  race like I'm at Daytona to MDO.

I arrive at 12:01  .
I take out the cake,  cut it in small chunks blocks ,
drizzle slap 3 different colors of frosting on it and bolt up the stairs.

I am not the first mom there but I'm
THE MOM Happy Mouth takes into her arms and flat out steals my whole heart.

We sing, We pray We eat.

I uncover my concoction, which basically looks like unicorn poop.
Happy Mouth and her preschool minions do they ""oooh"" "ahhh"

I'm smiling inside and out and I watch with delight as the kids dig into it
dyeing their lips and teeth dark shades of red, blue and orange.
 Much to th chagrin of a few I cant be friends with you  perfect mother types.

This also makes me put my head back and laugh.

The kids look beautiful and happy eating the unicorn poop cake!!!

I finally sit in a chair and my body unwinds as I laugh .

Two moms who are not threatened by my culinary skills sit near me.
  I share my crazy story with them.

They laugh with me and I
I ask them  "What did y'all bring?

One says " Napkins."
The other says " A bag of Chips"

We all stare at each other for a bit and then burst into fits of laughter.

The soft spoken kind one , who would later become my best friend, offers me this advice.

"I have 3 words for you if you ever feel the need to try to impress again " she says with authority


and so I have.......

Extra thanks to a post at Simple Mom entitled Life After Art. So worth the read

Thursday, July 11, 2013

3rd Time's a Charm

Today I have  taken my sweet middle child, Laid Back Jane to the airport for round 3 of Africa. 

 This will be her second time to go . Happy Mouth has too many responsibilities to head there this year.(AKA- get a little more of my payroll)  I know its hard for her.  She is taking 12 hours of summer school to get ahead on her sciences. She has decided to apply for nursing school , I am so very proud of her and  excited that she has a focus of her life.  God is good 

So today I drop Jane off at the airport again. 
Again I am not going nor have I  had the call to go. 
 I am still learning to not be a control freak and still learning to trust in God.

It is soo wonderful this great journey God has taken me through and I wish I had paid attention sooner but hey what can I say

The Lord loves a late bloomer!!

My part is here. Not just for Dig Deep Give Well , but for learning to trust and release my children into His hands ,where they belong.  I can't control everything that happens there. I can't control it even if I was there, but I would try and  I do believe that I would be a hinderance to the relationship
 of her and God. At least at this moment in time.

Now I am her mama and I should be a leader for her to God, right?  And I have been.
 In ways purposeful , in good ways , in not so good ways.
 But God has been faithful in all ways.

I have struggled  with fear for a long time. Some with reason and rationality and some unfounded and imagined.
But God has always answers with love.
Love and guidance when I obeyed and trusted and love when I flat out rejected, disobeyed, closed my eyes and blew it in the greatest sense.
He still answered with love.

I have finally come to a point where I accept my growth path.
I don't compare it
I don't regret it
I just embrace it, because God id  the guider.
He never leaves the position of leader and  Shepard even when His little ADD mama sheep takes a detour

I simply do not want to fear anymore.
I can choose. 
I can choose over my feelings, over my automated responses, over the responses of those around me and most importantly
over the voices of fear either from within or without.

I can choose.
And here is the weird thing ,I used to joke and  half heartedly believe that 
"90 percent of what you worry about never happens , so it must be working."

I laughed at a quote I  heard recently form a show called The Middle. The mom stated after her husband told her worrying didn't actually "do" anything to the situation, that " Yes yes it does . It shows God you are paying attention."

This would be a conversation that Mr Rodgers and I could have had a few times. But when I stop laughing and realize  I do not live in a sitcom (although some days we could have the top ratings)
I live in a fallen world with a soul sold out to God. 
I can not stand on a bridge over a chasm between fear and faith.
 That is a dying spot and a slow death at that.

Not only do I not want to be afraid anymore. I want  faith and love  as replacement.
I want to be perfectly loved.
 Perfect love drives out fear.  
God is the only perfect love and to not fear I need to understand that -
 and even if I don't I need to accept this perfect love He has for me.
  Then and only then will be made fearless. 

So it has come to a halt here and now.
God asked me do you want to be afraid? 
Now doesn't that seem like a silly question ?
Who would choose to be afraid? And yet I have . We all have.
 It may be a choice by default  but it is a choice none the less.
Now I  must have some where wanted to be fearful,  as if it  was insurance against bad things happening or could prevent something.
   Ridiculous and also it gives power to the  force of fear.

This realization is quite shocking  but true. 
I do not want to feed that beast, and and I do not want to feed from it

So I pray  for perfect love the love that comes down form God alone Who is the giver of all good gifts.  And isn't that what He wants to do - love us ? 
 I am going to receive perfect love and it is going to drive out fear. 

Because will not God surely give me the love He longs to give when I ask for it?

He will not give me perfection or a perfect life. 
I will have trouble.
 I will have challenges, pain, and hard days. 
In fact I may have more of such simply because I am His.

 No  He didn't promise perfection. 
Only He is that.
 He promises to never leave nor forsake me. to guide me all of my days.
 He and only He has perfect love. 
 No spouse, no child only He and He alone loves perfectly.

 I want that perfect love-- I want to be loved perfectly 

I have to be loved  perfectly if I am to love anyone well.
 I choose to accept this perfect love and  fear is simply not His plan for me .

 Does it mean that I now instantly don't fear? 
 Baahhaaaa yeah okay. 
Put down the hallucinogenics . 
 It means that His plan for me is to love me perfectly and that love drives out  fear. 

Who am I to argue with God?

When I fear I can ask and I will receive His perfect love
 and He will work on me and my fear because He loves me. 
 I choose to believe this and I hope you will too because it is a Perfect set up,

 Choose His perfect love over choosing fear --
 see what happens 

 Now that is a perfect plan.