Thursday 30 May 2013

Why online shopping is awesome

Oh the joys of modern life! 36-hour work week (which gives you 132 hours you can spend as you please - that's really a lot of free time when you think about it), endless re-runs of your favourite 90s TV show, rechargeable batteries (I went through batteries like nobody's business for my little portable CD player before I discovered them), cellphones that take pictures, breathable contact lenses that don't hurt your eyes - I could go on and on.

But by far the very best invention in my opinion?
Online shopping. 

Oh how much I love online shopping. It's so much better than real shopping in many ways! The pleasure of the shopping process is three-fold:

1. The pleasure of browsing. So many pretty pictures, so many choices, and laughing happy models! And then the stories that come with the clothes.
Here's an example from ModCloth:
"One of your fondest memories from your recent vacation was chatting on the balcony with your sweetheart while enjoying the breathtaking beachfront view. Keep those captivating recollections near and dear to your heart by wearing this printed dress from Plenty by Tracy Reese! Featuring a photo-realistic print of tropical waters and umbrella-filled beaches atop its sheer overlay, this sleeveless frock conjures joyful memories each time it’s worn. The fully lined garment’s vibrant hues of gold, aqua, and ivory make it a chicly colorful centerpiece for any ensemble, while its breezy material creates a flattering A-line silhouette that’s always in style. Paired with woven peep toes and a fabric headband, this dreamy dress will transport you to much-missed shorelines in delightful style!"                     

This is the story for one dress! Isn't it darling? Which store clerk would ever go to such lengths to describe a dress to a customer - no store clerk ever.
Sometimes I just like reading the stories about their clothes and picture myself living the life they describe, and it gives me a warm happy glow.

Then of course comes the thrill of  the "add to bag" button. I can get a bit carried away and add and add - just to see how far I will go (turns out not very far, even in hypothetical shopping I'm quite cautious - have never gone over the $1,000 mark).

2. Ordering and the pleasure of anticipation. Once you have ordered your items, now comes the waiting. Some people might hate that part, but I enjoy it tremendously. Anticipation is fun! Every day on your way to the mailbox you have this delicious flutter in your stomach: "Is it gonna be here today?" It transforms the chore of collecting mail (which is mainly bills as we all know only too well) into an exciting little adventure. (I'm easily excitable.)

3. The package has arrived! This is the best part: Your clothes (or photo book, jewelry, roller skates) are here, and you get to open a package. Who doesn't love doing that? It's a bit like Christmas!

Here are a few of the best items I have found online:
I did a post about this princess skirt a couple weeks ago
This skirt is from etsy. Etsy is just a treasure box when it comes to finding unique, affordable pieces of jewelry, clothing, or whatever else you may desire. So far all my experiences with ordering from Etsy have been 100% positive.

Chickpea Design Studio

Another Etsy find that I love. It's bohemian, artsy, and summery, and since the studio is located in Sedona, AZ, it reminds me of our upcoming roadtrip to Arizona and makes me happy every time I look at it.

For a while there last year I had an intense hankering for a tattoo. I'm tattoo-free and have to will stay that way since the hubster doesn't like tattoos. So I ordered a couple temporary ones (you guessed it, from Etsy again) and cured this craving! It stayed on surprisingly long despite daily showers, I had it for a good 10 days.

Roller skates

These roller skates are another example of how fantastic the internet is. I used to own a pair as a teenager that I loved. I roller skated everywhere, and thought they are the coolest pair ever invented.

Out of the blue they popped into my mind, and I thought how nice it would be if I could find a pair like that again. Now comes the awesome part of the story: Since I couldn't find a pair anywhere, I sat down on my computer and googled: blue roller skates.
And guess what? A picture of this fabulous pair (above) comes up! They look very, very similar to my old skates. I clicked on it, followed the link, and a short week later (!!) they arrived at my home.

The internet is amazing. My latest order is a black and white striped maxi skirt from Etsy: I searched for "black and white striped maxi skirt" and voilĂ , the exact skirt I was looking for came up:
 Now I'm waiting with bated breath for the package to arrive. Woohoo!!


Wednesday 29 May 2013

Reality? What reality?

source (edited by me)
This outfit is me! Minus the heels
Last night I had an epiphany. I'm Carrie!
She's a writer (I'm a wannabe writer, almost the same thing - and wasn't her column basically like a blog? She could have been a blogger).

Her style is quirky and cool and different from her friends (I'm leaning towards it and try to go more in that direction).

She likes Mr. Big (he was my favourite guy out of all of them - Aidan? pfff, he was so wrong for Carrie). 
Mr. Big is older. (She sometimes jokes to him about how ancient he is - I do that too to my hubby!)

Carrie debates the question kids or no kids - and comes to the same decision I have come to.

Of course there are a ton of differences: She hates the country, loves the city (I'm the opposite), doesn't really like animals (hello? What's wrong with you??), and spends way too much money on shoes (shoes don't hold the same appeal for me. And heels? I can't really walk in them. It's the sad reality).

But identifying with a fictional character? I have always done that. Be it from a TV show, book, movie - I take inspiration, advice, help from whoever I see fit. When I have a problem in my life, I will carry it around in my head for a while, thinking about it, looking for answers wherever I can.

My husband is the only person I will share my problem with and seek advice - but apart from him I need to wrestle with it alone. Only then can I really find peace with the decision I will make.
And yes, maybe the answer can be found in Sex and the City or Harry Potter!

Five years ago I went back to school full-time. I was 28 at the time and disliked school intensely. Especially all the petty complaining, silly arguments and the throwback to high school with popular kids and being in the "in-crowd" (I wasn't). Ugh. What helped me?
Pretending that I'm Harry Potter.
He had a tough time at school - remember when The Daily Prophet ran their smear campaign against Harry? That wasn't a pleasant year for him at Hogwarts.
It also really helped me through exam time when all we had to do was study study study - he needed to do that for O.W.L.s (Ordinary Wizarding Level), and the thought of Harry, Ron and Hermione having to study like crazy as well was strangely comforting.

I also love reading and watching biographies: it shows that every person has struggles and ups and downs in their life. No life is ever just nice and easy. We all have to endure disappointment and hard times.
The trick is to learn from it and to not let it keep you down - there is a lesson to be learned. We can come out being wiser and stronger! And have a better life because of it.

Here are three of my favourite biographies:
All images found here
What these three books have in common is that they all tell a story of struggle, enduring tough times, and triumphing in the end. All three protagonists are strong, brave people who have undergone incredible hardships.

Reading their stories makes me so grateful for my own charmed life - my own problems seem small and insignificant in comparison.

Thank you creators of TV shows and authors of books, for helping me so much in my own life!

xo Miriam

Sunday 26 May 2013

Farm girl problems

Living on a farm has many advantages.
You are out in the fresh air, moving about, getting exercise. Spending time with animals is very therapeutic and satisfying; nobody will ever love you like your dog!

The frogs give us our own private concert each night in the spring and summer, and we just love listening to their croaking.

Animals are funny: We have a tiny rooster who has a definite short man complex and attacks everything and everyone who moves. That might sound scary to peeps who don't like birds, but he's seriously small: weighs less than a pound and doesn't reach past my ankles. Foolish (yet brave) little bugger.

The lambs, goats and our llama baby are just loving life, and it's so entertaining watching them frolicking around the field: they run around, do little jumps in the air, chase each other, try to mount their mothers (guys! *eye roll*).

And, of course, there are the campfires, the chirping of birds, and the freedom of peeing in the backyard without anybody being able to see you (it's so liberating, and sometimes I'm just too lazy to go to the house) .

Alas, like everything in life, there are also a few downsides to farm life. It's not very conducive to female grooming: forget about flawless skin or nice manicures.
At any time I have at least 3 bruises (which I also acquire at work by running into the x-ray table, so it's a double whammy), often a couple scratches, and flea bites in the summer. Calluses come into the picture when I have to do some heavy lifting around here.
And nice nails? I had to kiss those goodbye 10 years ago. Even though my nails are quite strong and don't break easily, I somehow still manage to do so. Manicures are really a waste of time since the paint starts chipping shortly after I painstakingly applied 2 coats. (My impatience has never allowed for 3, I just can't wait that long.)
A good neck scratch for Fire (horse) or butt scratch for Bear (dog) will do in even the most supposedly un-chippable polish. But they love 'em, so what can I do?

Since pictures say more than a thousand words, here are a few exhibits.
This bruise is courtesy of my Kuvasz Snowy. She has that annoying habit of pawing when she wants attention - and she wants attention all-the-time.

Her paw is always draped over my arm or scratching my leg. But what is up with my hand claw? No idea what it's doing.

Lovely calluses. You get these puppies when you have to
a) push around heavy shit (literally) in wheelbarrows
b) shovel grain, topsoil, feed, gravel.... 

This was in February. Everything was wet, muddy and rain-soaked, including the horse poop - makes it very heavy and cumbersome to push to the manure pile

In this case: grain

Un-girly nails
It's already healing, so you missed it's bright-red glory. I have no idea how I got this scratch.
All in all though I'm not complaining. I take chipped nails and scratched legs any day if that means I get to live the hobby farm lifestyle. Love it!
Have a lovely Sunday!
xo Miriam

Saturday 25 May 2013



Let me start with telling you how amazing audiobooks are. Listening to someone tell me a story is one of the great pleasures of my life.
I usually listen to it on my walks or in the car, or when I can't fall asleep (it works for kids, and it also works for me. All you insomniacs out there, try it, it's guaranteed success!).

What makes an audiobook extraordinary is the people who read it to you. And oh boy, does Room ever fit this category. I was completely mesmerized by Jack's voice and story. It is one of my all-time fave audiobooks and I know I will listen to it over and over again for years to come.
Here is a little sample (the actual book starts at 0:45 secs):

Jack is five years old. To him, Room is the entire world. He lives there with his Ma: eating, playing, learning, sleeping -  all in a 11-by-11-foot space. At night Ma locks him in the wardrobe to keep him safe from Old Nick.

Old Nick abducted Jack's mom 7 years earlier and has kept her locked up in this room. Jack is a result of Old Nick's continued rape.
Room is home to Jack, but a prison to Ma. She devises a bold escape plan that relies mostly on Jack - and with a lot of luck and Jack's bravery they manage to get away.

Goodreads put it perfectly: "Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another."

I adored this audiobook. You can't stop listening, it is utterly beautiful. Emma Donoghue managed to put a positive and hopeful spin on a terrible tragedy - the abduction and rape of a young woman. Jack gives Ma a reason to live and saves her from insanity and giving up. It is an amazing story!

If you want to learn more about Room, click on the link below.

xo Miriam

Friday 24 May 2013

Lovers spat

The inevitable has happened.
Me and my new love had their first fight.

I knew it had to happen, and I'm almost relieved that it did - it's part of a relationship, right? It will make the relationship grow and get stronger?
But I'm still sad that the first magical weeks where everything is peachy and wonderful have come to an end. *sigh*

Blog, I feel like you don't understand me! Your job is to make me happy! You are supposed to be the one and only for me!

But I catch myself ogling other blogs, and feeling they are much better. More interesting, charismatic, funnier. Why can't you be like that? I know I shouldn't compare us to others. We have our own thing going and should stay true to ourselves. But who and what are we?
I think we are going through a bit of an identity crisis. Are we fun-loving with lots of pictures about how great life is? Are we serious, with a tortured writer's soul, asking deep, life-altering questions? Is this a diary? How much do we want to bring friends and family in? I'm at a bit of a loss.

It was easy for the first few weeks, the excitement swept me away and the golden glow of a new relationship gave me inspiration. Now it's getting harder.

Blogger friends, have you all gone through this stage too? Will I find my way again?
Any tips or advice will be very much appreciated.

This is a relationship that's very important to me, I love my blog(-friend).

Maybe a bit more structure will help. More lists. (I adore lists.) 
This space is definitley a work in progress, but I'll stick to it! And hopefully figure it out.

Mystified Miriam

Wednesday 22 May 2013

45 Life lessons, written by a 90-year old

Found this, and it's too good and wise not to share.
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for things that matter.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye… But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful.  Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to be happy.  But it’s all up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose Life.
28. Forgive but don’t forget.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think you need.
42. The best is yet to come…
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Found here

Love it!

Monday 20 May 2013

Campfire tales

Anybody who has ever met me or has been following this blog knows that I'm quite obsessed with campfires. I don't know where these pyromaniac tendencies come from, but I remember I experienced my first campfire when I was about 8 years old: my sister and I stayed at a farm with 4 kids, and they had a fire on our last night where we cooked "Stockbrot" (bread on a stick). 

Bread on a stick is irresistible when you love bread as much as I do! Here is the recipe:

1 kg flour
600 ml lukewarm water
2 pieces of yeast or 2 packages of dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and knead until you can see bubbles in the dough. Let it rise for about one hour in a warm place. Make portions about half the size of a tennis ball and shape into a long ”sausage”. Wind the dough around a wooden stick and bake over an open fire.

Hot fire and warm bread? That's basically my idea of heaven! Add wine to the mix and you have one very happy girl.

There are many things I love about a fire:
  1. It's warm. (I like warm.)
  2. It's intensely satisfying to burn old papers, school books (oh yes I did), or branches lying around in the yard. (The before and after effect is great - from mess to tidiness. Satisfies my OCD tendencies.)
  3. The dogs like it.
  4. It's relaxing.
  5. Wine is obligatory. (Our fire, our rules.)
But by far the best reason for a fire? The great talks you will have. There is something almost hypnotic about staring in the flames, letting your mind wander and having deep conversations.
Over the years we have had a wide variety of people sitting around our fire.
In the early years it was s'mores and roasting "wienies" with the kids.
We have talked friends through relationship woes, divorce, and the messy aftermath.
An old buddy of Richard's fought in the 2nd World War and sometimes tells us stories about his time in Russia. (Very disturbing.)
We have listened to many a tale of immigration: Logging up in the Yukon, hunting and trapping stories, having only the bare essentials in the beginning. Immigrating is hard when you do it alone and don't know anybody in the new country.
There is lots of bird talk. Example: "My Australorp has a hanging comb, what can I do about that?" (Australorps are chickens.) Or "My fu***ing Emu attacked me the other day, I think I have to get rid of him. Do you want him?" (NO!)
(The language isn't always the finest around here.)
And talk about life. It can get quite philosophical (depending on the quantities of wine consumed): What's the reason for living? (Our conclusion: "You only live once, make it count. Enjoy every day, life is a wild ride. Be happy.")
What would we do if we won a few million in the lottery? (Richard's dream: Buy more acreage and raise Dexter cattle. They are miniature cows and extremely adorable.)
One year we invited a few people over for a BBQ. A couple of them happened to have out-of-town visitors and asked if they could bring them. "Sure" we said, "the more the merrier!".
This party ended up to be the best party we've ever had. It was legen - wait for it - DARY! Legendary!! (Little How I Met Your Mother reference.)
Let me try to draw you a picture: 
It's a beautiful August summer night. Our Australian friend and his wife bring their Kiwi brother in law (who is Billy Crystal's Doppelgänger - they could be twins. Plus he's just as funny. No, funnier!).
My parents happen to be there from Germany. All the kids are there, some co-workers, more friends.
Everybody is milling about, drink in hand, admiring the peacocks, watching the chickens, chatting, enjoying the warm evening air. 
Somebody gets the idea to do a little bit of barrel racing. (It might have been the Aussi.)
In case you are not familiar with barrel racing: It is a rodeo sport where the horse and rider try to complete a course around barrels in the fastest time.
Ours looked somewhat like this:
It's blurry because he was going really fast! Haha
Quite entertaining.
After the exertion more drinks are in order. And the barbequing starts. We are having a ton of lamb, plus the usual steaks, salads, buns and stuff. (Quite frankly, I can't really remember what else we had besides the lamb, but I suppose normal BBQ food.)
We have also started our fire. Because there are so many people and we don't have enough chairs we have carried out a few bails of hay, thrown blankets on them and use them as chairs. Cowboy romance at its best!
As it's getting dark and everybody has eaten, we sit around the fir and chat. All of a sudden the Kiwi has a brilliant idea: Let's make music with spoons and a glass bottle! How, you ask?
Since I didn't make a video (which I will regret till my dying day) here is one I found on YouTube where somebody is "playing the spoons":
The glass bottle playing involves breaking a bottle in half and using the neck end to blow on it. If you know New Zealand folk songs, look like Billy Crystal and are insanely talented then you can make beautiful, goosebumps-inducing music.
It was incredible. Magic.
Just picture it (and you have to, since there are no photos or videos from that part of the night - like I said, tragic and regretful):
Warm night, big fire, a Kiwi and Aussi singing and playing the spoons and the bottle. Everybody listening with rapt attention. There were tears. (Or was that just me?)
It was a brilliant night. We have tried a few times to recreate a party like that one, but it never worked. It was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence where all the party gods and cowboy stars aligned and created this magical night.
So that's why I love campfires. Because you never know what will happen, but whatever it is, it will be amazing!
xo Miriam

Sunday 19 May 2013


Today we went to a neighbor who just bought capybaras and wallabies. What are these you ask?
Well, according to Google (I didn't really know anything about them either) capybaras are the largest rodents on earth. Basically supersized guinea pigs.
These are babies. They will get a lot bigger. Aren't they adorable?
The capybara is native to South America where it lives in savannas and forests close to the water. They weigh over a 100 lbs and are about the size of a Rottweiler! I adore them.

Wallabies are miniature kangaroos.

They are originally from Australia where they live in the forest. Wallabies eat grass, leaves, and vegetables. God I really want one!
We also saw a pair of interesting Australian geese:
This is our own flock of baby geese:
And here is a bee hard at work:

I have to add one more: our Black bear hamster escaped and is hiding under the bookshelf. And I'm a bit scared of him. Oh dear...

Have a lovely Sunday!


Saturday 18 May 2013

New adventures

For the last few years, my New Year's resolution has been the same every year: "New adventures". And on January 1st I'm full of anticipation and open for (just about) anything: I've gotten back into skiing one year (after a 9 year hiatus), tried snowmobiling, did a boot camp class. All these happened in January. (Even the boot camp. I regretted that one bitterly: The classes were held outside. In the dark, either at 6am or 6pm. I have to admit I never finished that one. Bummer. But the cold and I don't get along.)
Coincidence? Nope. All my good intentions usually peter out right around the time the last Christmas cookie has been eaten. The reason? I'm a scaredy cat.

I want to be that person who is open to anything, tries new things, is spontaneous and adventurous. I love people like that. So cool and interesting. Living life to the fullest! 
There are bright moments when I either push myself to try something new or just feel reckless and daring for no particular reason.
But here is the sad reality: Given the choice between going out or staying in (watching Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother or old Two and a Half Men re-runs), my inclination is to stay in. Argh! The reason? Because I'm lazy. And a bit scared. It's very annoying.
I'm scared of
a) failing
b) getting hurt
c) making a fool of myself.
(or d) all of the above)
And once in a while I need a little push or reminder that it's better to try and fail (there's no shame in that!) than not trying at all.
But thankfully, I have this little powerful tornado in my life in the form of my youngest stepdaughter Lea. She is everything I want to be: Strong, fearless, courageous. She is also a boxer (!!!). I keep wanting to do a class with her one day, but I'm too scared of getting hit. Obviously.
But she did manage to drag Richard and myself out of the house yesterday to watch the WBC Western Championship. It was awesome!
She knew a bunch of the boxers that were fighting. They train at her gym. Plus there were free tickets waiting at the door for us. So I felt very VIP-y in her company. And one of the guys thought I'm her sister! Always excellent for the old ego hehe. 
I only took a couple pictures that turned out quite blurry. Oh well, that's life.
The ring. Waiting for sweat, blood and tears.
Back to boxing. And life. I feel there is an analogy here, waiting for me to put into words, but I can't quite grasp it.
All I can say is how impressive it was, watching these young people fight. Being so passionate about something. Working so very hard towards a goal. Lea gave me a run-by-run commentary about what was happening so I could actually appreciate what was going on.
I learned yesterday that boxing is so much more than just trying to beat up the opponent: It's about strategy, staying calm, mastering the adrenaline, controlling the anger and fear. About living a healthy lifestyle. Discipline.
Boxers are very light on their feet: it looks like they are dancing, really beautiful.
It's also about respect: At the end the opponents shake hands, some hug, some are friends in real life.   
Watching that last night gave me fresh motivation to be braver in my life. Face fear, take chances.
Go back to what I really like to do: Practicing yoga again and work on my strength. I love feeling strong and lean. It's time to get back into the routine.
Lea is my role model: she's determined to succeed in whatever she tries. She hates to suck at something she's passionate about, so she does everything in her power to become good at it. And she succeeds! She is living proof that if you really want something and work hard enough, you will get it.
She's my inspiration!
xo Miriam

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Awesome mothers

It's the Tuesday after Mother's Day. And I'm here to tell you about a little known phenomenon: mother's day blues.
See, I don't have kids of my own. For a variety of reasons (which I will probably get into at some point, but not today).
And I am very happy and content with that decision 99% of the time. The other 1% rears its ugly head on Mother's Day.

It's pictures like these that get me:

Perfect angelic little children, giving love, appreciation and presents to their perfectly styled, white-dress wearing moms. (What is it with the white dresses? I have step kids, I know it's impossible to wear white around kids and stay clean. Seriously.)
Even though I know that the media is once again showing us airbrushed, fake, totally unrealistic images about motherhood and mother's day, it still gets to me.
Some women get body-envy when they see the perfect model bodies on TV and in magazines. I get perfect-day envy. It's not that I miss the everyday reality of motherhood: I miss that one day that celebrates it, and the perfect image I have in my mind of it.
(It's the same with Christmas and wedding days. I'm a sucker for the fairytale fantasy that has nothing to do with reality - a side effect of watching too many happily-ever-after movies as a kid.)
So I was moping around a bit on Sunday, feeling sorry for myself. (And almost forgot my own mom in the process. I'm a bad, selfish person. In my defense though, I thought mother's day is later in Germany. But I did remember in the nick of time).
Wistfully picturing myself having breakfast in bed with a mimosa, French toast, fresh flowers, and adoring little eyes looking up at me and telling me how much they love me. (Does this actually happen to some real-life moms?)
And then I found two hysterical blogs from real-life moms who tell it like it is, and that cured the blues immediately! They are so great that I have to share them here.
The first one is from Bad Parenting Moments

‘Twas the Night Before Mother’s Day

‘Twas the night before Mother’s Day and all through the kitchen
No one had planned anything, and the kids were a bitchin’
The dishes were piled head high by the sink
Mom took a break to pour a quick drink
Like a lunatic, the toddler was jumping in bed,
While visions of next morning’s mimosas danced in mom’s head.
Dad playing Wii and mom was still cleaning
The baby was cranky from teething and weaning.
Then, out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Mom grabbed a pan in case something was the matter
Away to the window she flew like a flash,
Tore open the blinds and saw raccoons in the trash
Mom headed out to beat off the beasts
While the kids started shouting for mom to make boat sails for their fort made out of sheets
The kids started screaming about cake in the morning
Then mom’s “special visitor” came without warning.
The Midol was empty
The wine was all gone
No one was listening while mom’s voice droned on.
Mom finally lost it
“I’m done with this shit. I give up. I fold. I’ve had it. I QUIT!”
She grabbed her best yoga pants
and headed for Rome
She made it to Taco Bell
Then headed back home
“I’ve brought make-up NACHOS!”, mom called from the door
The family descended, “NACHOS! What are these for?”
“I left. I was gone. Didn’t you know?”
There was no reply heard over the gluttonous nacho eating show
Mom headed upstairs to put on her sweats
Take out her pony and cool her hot jets
Then, she heard them exclaim as she walked out of sight,
“We love you, Mommy! Have a good night!”
“I love you too!”, she shouted down
She took a deep breath and put on her pre-schooler’s “WORLD’S BEST MOM!” construction paper crown
Being a mom isn’t always a dream
Sometimes, kids are assholes. Sometimes, we scream
But, it IS all worth it when you have some:
And humor
And wine
And Tums
Good friends
And patience
And family
And time
And lime
And, the singular thing that is mom’s cornerstone.
Love, the glue that makes your house, a home
So, whether you’re home making muffins and crafts
Or, out with your girlfriends getting massages and trashed
I hope that you have, what do the old-timers say?
A wonderful, kick-ass Mother’s Day.
Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours from me and mine. And, big, big love from one imperfect mother to another!
Bad Parenting Moments

The second one is from Honest Eller:  

The Truth About Babies…

So you want to procreate? You have thought it over a million times. You can’t wait to snuggle your offspring, and teach them to be  a master warrior in this dark world? Think again, my friend. Children are the worst. They are fountains of bodily fluids you never even knew existed, and they really don’t act like the babies you see on television. You know those movies where the baby pops out of the woman’s vagina, clean and beautiful, smiling up at their mother? That is a bull shit lie. That kid is like 6 months old. That is not the child you take home.
Here are my top reasons why procreating is not the Johnson’s and Johnson’s commercial you’ve always envisioned.

The Pregnancy Stage.

So, the idea of pregnancy and babies is appealing, right? WRONG. So fucking wrong. That little pee stick told me I was pregnant, and I cried. The second pregnancy test told me I was pregnant, and I was hysterical. The third pregnancy test told me I was still pregnant, and I accepted my fate of motherhood. Not something I was planning, but how bad could it be?

Morning Sickness Isn’t Just in the Morning

Imagine that drunken stage, you are calling to the dinosaurs in that porcelain bowl, wishing you hadn’t drank those last five shots. Nothing will stop the spew of vomit and stomach acid, and you can taste what you ate for lunch last Thursday. Now imagine that every. single. morning. The slightest scent of food and you couldn’t run faster to the bathroom. For some women, this only happens once or not at all. For me, it was every. single. day. I had to learn to eat foods that would taste good coming back up, and I can attest to the fact that Honey Nut Cheerio’s is NOT one of them.

That Awkward Belly Fat

At first, I was elated to be pregnant adorable. I love pregnant bellies. They are so perfectly round, and any shirt looks hilariously adorable. I would hug random pregnant women if I could do so without being a total creep. But no one tells you that there is an awkward stage. You have no idea about it until it happens to you. You are gaining weight, but not enough to look actually pregnant without wearing a shirt that says “I got knocked up”. It just looks like you’re an alcoholic for the first 4 months.
And when you do get large, you realize how uncomfortable Santa feels. You can’t reach your feet. Your pants refuse to button. It itches ALL THE TIME. Sleep is impossible because there is no position that you are fully comfortable in, and when you do find that comfort, you bet your fat pregnant ass that the tiny little human growing inside you is going to either get the hiccups or start kicking. I was always most comfortable on my left side while I slept. Was Caroline? No, of course she was not. Every time I tried to sleep on that side, she would start kicking like crazy until I flipped over.

Labor and Delivery

You have read every book on L&D, you attended every Lamaze class, you are totally prepared! No, no you are not. Nothing will prepare you for the fact that your vagina is going to turn into a giant tunnel for a human to dig it’s way out. No amount of breathing or “calming music” will help. You would rather sell your soul to the bum down the street than push this child out.
After spending the last month trying to get that little beast thing out of you, desperately Googling naturally labor inducers to your hearts content (none of which are really proven to work, let that thing stay in there until it wants to show itself), when that moment really comes, you swear off the idea of sex forever. You can’t believe you actually took castor oil and shit on the toilet for over an hour to try and get that baby out when all you want now it to cross your legs and make the pain go away.
It’s a boy!
Once your baby is born, you are so glad you survived that hell hole of an experience, and hold your adorable little lizard (babies totally look like lizards when they are born, I swear), but the fun isn’t over. You still have to push out a placenta. How disgusting is that? And if you tore, I am sorry for you. You’ll spend a good twenty minutes with several different doctors staring at your lady parts, heads cocked to the side, like they are searching for God in your hole. I would recommend not looking down there for at least a solid week.

The Baby

So now you have a human. A tiny human incapable of feeding, cleaning or speaking for itself, let alone control it’s own muscle movements. This is what you have been waiting 9 months for. You have once again been tricked that reading books tells you all there is about parenting. You also believed that all the babies are exactly as described in books. I was there once, I know the pain of emotions you go through when you realize this life sucking creature is such a different world that any book could have ever described.
Babies are born with no realization of day and night. They also have no respect for you. You have to earn that shit. And trust me, that respect takes a few years. My two year old still tells me to shut up on a daily basis.
You read that they sleep up to 18 hours for the first few weeks. You read that they need to eat every 4 hours. You also read that they’ll love being swaddled. These are all generalizations. Evil cruel generalizations seasoned parents tell childless people so they can giggle and snicker when you quickly learn that your child may not follow these guidelines. My firstborn was the perfect baby with these guidelines. Caroline? She still eats every hour to hour and a half. She may have slept for 18 hours a day, but it was in 30 minute spurts. Luckily swaddling did save my sanity, but all in all not every baby will act like What to Expect When Expecting will lead you to believe. Lying bastards.
So, you want to have a baby? Think real hard before you decide to endure the torture that comes with it. They aren’t dolls that you can dress up and play with. In fact, you’ll find that a baby is quite possibly the most difficult thing to dress. It’s like their necks become limp noodles and you can’t seem to get that stupid onsie over them no matter how hard you friggin try.
With all of that said, babies are fun too. Sometimes. They are also freaking adorable once out of their lizard forms, and will bring a lot of joy with their horribleness. For every tantrum, every blowout, and every single tear there is a smile, or a laugh that will make you forget that you just considered using duct tape on your child. I adore my girls, and have never experienced a love like I have for them. How often can you say you love something that on a daily basis pukes on you? Not very often, my friend. 

Monday 13 May 2013

On our walk today

No deep thoughts today, just a few pictures I took with my cellphone camera (I love you scratched-up, dirty old Samsung Nexus!) on our walk this morning. 

Howdy new neighbour!
Snow chased these two away from the fence. Poor little cow babies

After a day of heavy rain, clouds, some sun, then rain again, we are right now being treated to the golden sun peeking out from underneath a dark-grey cloud cover. Quite spectacular. Take a look outside!

xo Miriam
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