five things | from the week that would not end

I'm, by no means, an ostrich. I don't believe in burying ones' head in the sand in order to avoid a shit storm because as soon as you bring your head up for fresh air, it's still going to smell like shit, ya know?

But I could also use a break from all of the heaviness from this. Beating a dead horse seems counterproductive at this point. Of course, I still have a lot of thoughts about the election that I'm still trying to process-- soooo many thoughts. But the feelings those thoughts bring up are damn near exhausting the fuck out of me. Compound that with the time change and a teething terrible-not-yet-two-two-er and... well... it's been a week. 

So are here are five things from the week when all the orange shit hit the red, white, and blue fan that aren't (necessarily) about the orange shit hitting the red, white, and blue fan. 

 

1. Watching their sisterhood blossom into a little gang of two has been one of the most unexpected honors of motherhood. I really believe that they are just as lucky to have each other as I am to have them. 

2. I've always likened Glenn Beck to a hemorrhoid on the asshole of humanity so what I'm about to tell you may serve as further evidence that hell has officially frozen over. Mr. Beck said something that didn't immediately make vomit rise up into my mouth. A few somethings, actually. Entire articles, in fact. I give you: Exhibit A, B, and C. I implore you to read them, particularly Exhibit A. (I know, I know. I couldn't believe it either. I don't know if I should take this as a sign that there is hope or that we're all doomed. If Ann Coulter starts spewing actual facts or not being a racist and self-serving asshole, I may seriously need to be put out of my misery.) (Also, please, please, please do not mistake this for sleeping with the enemy because the bottom line is that I don't view Trump supporters as the enemy. Rather, I find their candidate deplorable. No, I do not respect the President-Elect but I do respect the Presidency and am doing my part to better understand where the other half is coming from and why they feel the way they do. Their concerns are valid-- as valid as my own and, at some point, we, the left-leaning, must decide to believe that not all 60,000,000 Trump supporters are racist, sexist, jerks. We must actually practice being stronger together, not just using it as political rhetoric. END RANT.) 

3. When Edie gets really excited, she does this thing with her feet that we've dubbed Happy Feet

PS. Elaine Benes is my spirit animal.

4. I couldn't think of a better and more necessary time to take the plunge and drink the kool-aid. This week I began reading Glennon Doyle Melton's Love Warrior (of Momastery) and all I can say is that not is the kool-aid delicious, it's quenching the thirst of my parched soul. I get it; I now understand all of the fuss behind this woman who has dedicated her life to the underdog, to the person who believes that they are alone in the Battle of Life, who are desperately searching for the Path of Belonging. Now more than ever, the world needs more women (and men) like Doyle who support all journeys, who believe in the greater good that comes from acknowledging and giving a powerful voice to even the darkest skeletons in our own hidden closets.  

5. I miss New York. 

five things from the week

Well, I'm currently in the process of consuming a cinnamon bun bigger than my head. (YOLO.) It's Friday, after all. Here are this week's five things.... 

1. This is Mo. She's doing a gymnastic floor routine in our backyard though it looks more like an interpretive modern dance performed by someone with tourettes. She's so awesome. This age is so awesome. She makes life so very awesome.  

2. Halloween 2016 in a nutshell: (1) Glitter equals anxiety. (2) When will the Elsa phase end? A better question is will it ever end? (3) Mo sorted by color and counted her candy no less than four times within 24 hours of acquiring it. I think she may suffer from either mild OCD tendencies or serious trust issues with me and her Twix bars. (4) Per Mo, we have been ordered to decorate our house next year with the most obnoxious orange lights, skeletons, graves, and blow-up goblins and ghosts next year "in order to scare away all the kids so we can keep the candy for ourselves, mom." She also suggested that I sit out on the porch to "scare the babies and parents really good if the blow-up thingy's don't work." When I asked her if I should be dressed up as something scary in order to carry out my duties, she cocked her head, looked at me through squinted eyes and said, "I don't fink so, mom. You can just dress normal and you'll scare them real good all by yourself, I know it." Well, gee, thanks, ya' terd. 

3. On Tuesday morning, my pre-ordered signed copy of Ina Garten's latest culinary masterpiece, Cooking For Jeffrey, finally arrived on my doorstep. As I assumed, it's only served to solidify my belief that she is the Julia Child of our generation. I poured over its' pages immediately after ripping open its' box, like some hormone-driven tween reading the latest issue of Tiger Beat. I even shushed Mo at one point which she wasn't very happy about. No doubt that all will be forgiven when she is sipping on some of Ina's frozen hot chocolate this weekend. 

4. Over the span of one month, Edie has mysteriously knocked out a tooth, gotten Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, cut two top canine teeth with her other two making their way up, and this week fought off a fun bout of double pink eye. (Speaking of... Have you ever tried giving a baby who is terrified of anything even remotely close to resembling medicine near her body ever since you had to hold her down to give her ear drops after her tubal procedure? It's a full-body work out. She screams NO, mah-meeee, nooooo. Peeeze noooooo! the entire time while breaking my heart simultaneously.) Seriously, though, I am pooping my pants with anticipation for flu season. 

5. Is anyone else blown away by the fact that Thanksgiving is only twenty days away?!? This year, we're hosting dinner for our entire family at our house and I'm so, so excited. Hosting Thanksgiving dinner has been a dream of mine and I finally get to do it! I'm already planning the roasted lamb-centered menu. I must confess that I kind of hate turkey. It's all because, growing up, my mom's family refused to break it to my great grandmother that her turkey was already dead before she murdered it in the oven. For over fifteen years, I pretended to enjoy that poor bird whose life was given at the expense of our bellies. Don't even get me started on her cardboard... I mean.... cornbread stuffing. Thankfully, I married a man whose Lebanese family lives for red meat and whose mother makes the best goddamned stuffing I've ever had in my life. *Tayta, if you're reading this.... I'll be more than happy to take an extra pan of stuffing as a hostess gift. 

five things | from the week I learned all the things

1. It's 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. I'm sitting on my front stoop drinking coffee while Edie watches people run a half marathon. Watching people run is the same thing as actually running, right? No? Any who, watching people run a race never fails to make me cry. I'm that girl who always cries watching people do something they've trained for, no matter the event. (Turns out, I'm not made entirely of stone. Whoodathunk?!) Partly because my body hurts for them because running has always felt like such a miserable experience but mostly because I'm incredibly inspired by anyone who runs for fun.

2. You remember when your mom used to go to Tupperware parties when you were younger and you would sometimes tag along because you were absolutely NOT about to turn down a dinner of crust-less cucumber sandwiches, red neck sushi (a flour tortilla, ham, cream cheese, and lettuce cut like a sushi roll), and store-bought cupcakes? Well, replace the Tupperware with silicone, water-safe adult entertainment massage devices *wink wink* and the cucumber sandwiches with wine and you've got yourself the highlight of my week. Sitting around and discussing the Art of the Female Orgasm really makes one realize how far women have come in a society that still likes to pretend that women aren't (or shouldn't be) sexual beings. I will say that being asked to draw your ideal penis on a piece of paper on top of your head without looking was much more difficult that one would expect. Hence the facial expression I'm displaying in this photo with my oldest and dearest friend, Jenn.

3. I wrote yesterday about not always feeling like I'm living up to the mom I want to be. I got a response on Instagram from a sweet mama who told me that she identifies with the expressed sentiment because she "often feels lost between all the mushy-love-of-my-life-as-a-mom women." And I get it. Women are often sold this idea that becoming a mother will somehow create this unique and life-altering shift where we no longer identify as the individual we once were because identifying as someone's mother makes the person we once were unidentifiable. "I don't remember what life was like before I had Lucy..." "I can't imagine life without Most Perfect Child Ever..." Well, I call bullshit. I definitely remember my life before I became a mom and it was glorious. I imagine a life without children and all I can see is a more well-rested version of myself who isn't anxious and constantly covered in something I can't identify. I'm absolutely not saying that I actually want that life again but I can sure as shit imagine it. Entering motherhood doesn't guarantee that we'll experience that epiphany that so much of what we once thought matters doesn't actually matter. Having a human exit your body or however you get ushered into martyrdom doesn't mean that you are no longer entitled to still the person you once were or that you were any less complete before your little gremlin showed up. There is a lot that could be said on this topic and I want to discuss it in further detail at some point. The bottom line is that I find the whole projection of Motherhood is Everything unfair while also setting so many of us up for failure. So, can we just stop? Can we quit selling (and buying into) this idea that motherhood is the end-all, be-all for ALL women? And if you aren't a mother by choice or you are and aren't entirely fulfilled by it, that maybe, just maybe, it's... I don't know... okay? *end rant*

4. Stupid. That's what someone called me this week because we had a difference of political opinion. Don't most people learn how to respectfully agree to disagree in elementary school? I'm fairly certain that calling someone stupid because they don't see things in the exact light you do says a hell of a lot more about you as a human being than any opinion on any matter could ever say about the person you find stupid. It says you're very likely intolerant, close-minded, and judgemental as fuck. Calling someone stupid (or any other name) also leads me to believe that YOU are probably not very intelligent (and probably a giant brat) if you're a grown adult who still calls people names when you don't get your way. Interestingly enough, I've been called many things over the course of my life by many different people for a multitude of reasons. Some were true while others were obviously reaching with no basis of truth to fall back on whatsoever. And, yet, over the course of twenty-nine years of name-calling, stupid has never, EVER been one of them. I wonder if it's because I'm not?

5. I've been suffering from a bit of writer's block lately. It wasn't until this week when everyone started being assholes and everything in my life started acting like it was out to get me that I was able to realize exactly why I couldn't seem to form a sentence that was worth reading. The problem was that writing about being happy is much harder than writing about one's problems. As soon as shit started hitting the fan, all the words came faster than I could keep up. I find it ironic that I almost always tend to have the most to say (or the most to try to make sense of) when I have the least amount of spare time to figure out a way to say it. But whatever. I guess Hemingway was right. You should write hard and clear about what hurts, if only because it's easier to write about because being happy is boring. He could have, however, been a little more of a team player and advised aspiring writers to find another hobby when you don't have anything to bitch and moan about.

 

Happy Saturday, folky folks.

Let's make it count.

-C

 

five things

Happy Friyay, folks. Here are this weeks Five Things.

1. Last night, I spent about two hours uploading three thousand or so photos to my computer and iCloud (and backing-up three times to be safe) and came across a slew of photos from right after we brought Edie home. While browsing these photos documenting the last seventeen months or so, it was made clear to me that all of my worry about how to somehow not suck at raising two kids was possibly excessive. I told myself that it would all work out, of course, but I also had my doubts. I shouldn't have because they are happy and healthy and, most days, big fans of each other. All in all, we're doing pretty okay.

2. Do you watch Between Two Ferns? The most recent episode featuring Hillary Clinton is a riot. My favorite part? "They're a good cut of meat. Probably from the asshole." Ba dun dun! *DISCLOSURE: You do not need to be a Clinton or Trump supporter to appreciate this skit because there are digs for each side of the political spectrum. You just need a sense of humor.*

3. Mo had a major sleep regression when she was around eighteen months old that lasted for about two weeks and it nearly killed me. Of course, I couldn't really complain about a measly two weeks because she'd been sleeping twelve to thirteen hours through the night ever since she was eight weeks old. Which brings me to Edie. She's clearly our payback for having a child who sleeps. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that there's no real rhyme or reason why this kid doesn't sleep other than possibly being allergic to it? That or she hates us? Both seem logical to me. Is there such a thing as a sleep regression that lasts for eighteen months? We're DYING over here.

4. I walked into Mo's classroom to pick her up and without even saying HI, she exclaimed, "Wow, Mom, you look great." As she went about her business saying goodbye to her friends and teachers for the weekend, I just stood in the doorway, wondering if she was simply perfecting the fine art of sarcasm. (Read: I don't feel great and look like shit.)

5. Mo is supposed to be having quiet time while I get some work done but has refused and, instead, is sitting beside me and has not taken a single breath in about seventeen minutes while she describes every last detail of the American Girl doll (and her outfits!) that she wants for Christmas. CHRISTMAS!!!!!! She would also like me to know that she wants a vanity for her bedroom "to store her make-up and all her special fings" and wants to make sure I'm still letting her get her ears pierced because I said I would and "when you say you're going to do somefing, you have to follow through. No. matter. what." And here I think she doesn't listen to anything I say...

five things

Call me crazy but I don't believe that Monday deserves our freshest start. Mondays are for the persistent grind; for doing the work; for crossing off that never ending To Do list. But Fridays? Shouldn't that be the mark of a fresh slate? Shouldn't we use Friday as our reset button? Don't our families and loved ones deserve the best of us over the course of the few days a week we get to dedicate to filling our love tanks up in order to face another Monday? 

 

Don't we deserve that?

 

I think that's why I have grown rather fond of the Five Things series I used to do over at The C-Word. At the end of the week where it seems that everything but my mental sanity are the priority, I find it to be incredibly cathartic to document all the things I (a) want to remember or (b) want to share or (c) need to channel my inner-Elsa and let that shit go. 

So, I think I'll start doing it again more regularly. Okay? Okay. 

1. I got Edie her first pair of high-tops which only served to reinforce the fact that chubby baby legs in high-top sneakers is plausibly the cutest thing I've ever seen. And while I typically own my bias where my daughters are concerned, the truth is the truth and the truth is that both of my girls ooze swagger. Clearly they didn't get it from their parents who are utterly devoted nerds and always a few steps behind anything that's deemed even remotely cool or trendy. 

2. Jessi Klein is my current girl crush. She is solely responsible for pulling me out of my reading/writing rut and I'm eternally grateful. After having been advised to read her book by a few writers/friends/fellow book worms whose book recommendations have never steered me wrong, You'll Grow Out of It did not disappoint. It's so fucking funny and candid and self-deprecating and relatable and wonderfully absent of any snark or narcissism which, unfortunately, so many belonging to this genre reek of. Consider this MY recommendation for YOU. Read it. 

3. We've had one of my best friends and her little family staying with us this week. They live in Scotland so, sadly, we are able to see each other very rarely. I (FINALLY!) got to meet her baby boy (the last time I saw her was at her baby shower almost a year ago!) and to say that the Fadel ladies are completely obsessed with him would be an acute understatement. Marlo, evident by her temperamental relationship with her baby sister, could usually take or leave babies; she doesn't always believe they serve any useful purpose other than taking away attention better served on her. But not Baby T. On day two of their stay, she declared, "Mama, I don't really want you to have another baby but if you do, it needs to be a boy JUST like him because he is so so so so so so cute. I want to squeeze his cheeks all the time! But not hurt him like I used to do Edie because I like him a lot. You promise?!"

Mo, do tell me how you really feel. 

4. Do you remember JNCOs? I sure do. I thought they were the undeniable coolest, the perfect swaggy counterpart to my over plucked eyebrows, white eyeliner, and frosted lip gloss combo. Since wide-leg jeans are apparently back in, I found a pair that are as close to JNCOs as possible and I am smitten. I can very easily hide a small child under just one of the legs but, for nostalgia's sake, I am now re-devoted to channeling my inner angsty seventh grade boy. YOLO.

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5. I don't understand why my kids insist on touching me so much against my will. It's like they have some sort of quota to fill; like, how many times can we invade her personal space in a single day? How many times can we force her to give in to another episode of Shimmer and Shine just to make us our eighteenth snack that we won't stop literally begging for? For fuck's sake, I'd give anything to not be touched or have anything demanded of me for an entire hour but, at this point, I'd settle for just pooping in private and not seeing tiny chubby fingers underneath the door or having Mo ask for a detailed analysis of my shit. Fun times, y'all. Fun. Freaking. Times.