musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the category “honey”


photo: j. gallo

That’s my guy, Honey and me, five years ago today. I think this was taken right before our first married kiss.

Everyone should be so in love and able to do this. Sure, marriage isn’t all happiness and light, contrary to what fairytales would have us believe, but it is worth the work it takes when you love your partner and can be recognized fully in that, no matter how that love is packaged.

first real beach day

At the beach, the world is bright, the waves lull, even when there is a strong riptide, and everything that has gotten under my skin for the past year rolls off of me in the breeze off of mother ocean.

And Captain Comic stops talking when he hits the water, for hours at a stretch, or when he’s buried in the sand. His synapses reset from the sensory input he gets from being wholly contained over most of the surface of his skin, whether sand or water. Sensory ReIntegration. I think he and I are alike in that manner, he’s just more so, to the nth degree. Other than when he sleeps, the beach is the one environment in which he does not talk endlessly.

I loved the beach for a lifetime before he was born, but for him, I love it even more. At one point, he and I took a walk on the pier to see the fishermen’s catch. Toward the end of the pier, one young man had caught a skate! That was really cool for us to see. As we talked with him, he said in the past week, a couple of sharks had been caught at this pier. You should have seen Capt. Comic’s eyes bug out when I said, “Right where you were swimming in the same waters!”

It is a struggle to get him to put on sunscreen before he hits the surf. In front of the woman in the white top from right to left is Captain Comic, Mr. Cynic and Mr. Cynic’s new gf. She’s cute and very nice, also very blonde, hence she is now known as Goldilocks. They had to move away from the pier zone by 200 feet, partly due to riptide, partly the fisherman’s lost hooks. We kept the encampment by the pier, so it was a little walk to the swim zone. Toots decided she didn’t like the ocean after it hit her in the face when she was with Honey. But I got her there a couple times later to rinse a ton of sand off and to cool down. We got hit with a good sized wave, too, But when I laughed about it, she laughed about it, too. She still would rather go to Water Country.

Here is the gang of youngins all helping out to bury Capt. Comic in the sand. Goldilocks was a good sport in entertaining him, and Toots, who is completely enamored with her.

He emerges to rinse off:

 Honey, soaking up the sun. looking up the pier. It’s nice to see him relax. It’s not nice to see how easily he sunburns, even with 45SPF.

Toots, when we first arrived planted herself in the sand and proceeded to swim in it and douse herself with it.

After a couple of hours, and Captain Comic and my walk on the pier, we discovered a playground near the parking lot.

Toots kept up with the teens, fearlessly. I swear she is a girl after my own heart. There was a time I rock climbed, before I totally wrecked my back, shoulder, etc. Captain Comic, after some initial Parkur moves in preparation for making his ninja movie, decided the puddle between the bathroom and play space was the most attractive place to be. Yuck.

 Play is very serious business for a three year old.

All in all, it was a perfect beach day. Life is good. Wear sunscreen.

before & after

It was a process that took days, and woman hours, and a few man and kid hours, too.

I had another over-scheduled weekend to try to squeeze the most important thing to me into – because, really I should have done this about a month ago.

I moved the shadiest garden plot to the sunny side of the yard. a 4×8 plot.

Here is where it was:

Of course I took the before shot when the plot was in its sunniest hour of the day. Those birch trees, and others absolutely cover this plot in shade for most of the day, especially the back end of it.
Yuck, right? All the grass and crap growing under the plastic is largely because once upon a time, I bought a truck load of dirt from a guy. Turns out it wasn’t good garden dirt. And then I was on bedrest pregnancy, and recovering from it, and had surgery because of it, and so forth and so on, and it sat in my side yard growing things I had no intention of growing in it for a couple of years. Even after I’ve been weeding it mightily and feeding it mightily for few years, it still just likes to grow crap, not so much what I try to plant in it.
Target, sunny side of the yard. That chaise is where you can find me for a little while most sunny days. And Toots likes to picnic there for lunch. The plot is going to move in next to the plot you see to the right. the wisteria is finally filling in, wall like, after the bloom cycle, to the left of the frame.

I tried, but couldn’t loosen the frame. I couldn’t get it to budge at all. Honey did it by himself with a proper lever system he rigged up. Flipped it right over. I love when he gets all manly.

Then he had something going on and I tried to move the frame across the yard with my bad back and ankle and reluctant Mr. Cynic. We couldn’t budge it, except to get it up on its side.

The next day, Honey got back on it and after a failed attempt with positioning on the flat tire wheel barrow, 

we recruited Captain Comic and the three of us worked with cinderblocks and my garden supply Radio Flyer.

It worked! 

And then we maneuvered it into place on the barrier tarp over the grass.

Then we went out to Lowe’s for more good dirt and some garden path stones, and stopped for Hawaiian Ices with Captain Comic and Toots. Mr Cynic was working on a school project at a friend’s house, but I saved him some of my ice and he thanked me.  Toots climbed her first tree while The Rapture did not come except for me, because I was always up a tree as a kid. That’s my girl!
When Mr. Cynic came home shortly after we did, I drafted him to move the dirt and stones from the van to the plot. I told him he could count it as a work out for his independent gym credit. Six bags of dirt and four concrete stones.

Then this morning, I finally got back to work. But my bad back and ankle did not like me before I did, and even more so now. 

That’s some good dirt.
Apologies for the awkward angle.

It’s still a bit shallow. but I planted watermelon seeds toward the back, yellow straight neck squash seeds in the middle, and a tomato and a cucumber seedling in the front. The fat rain drops began to pelt me. But I decided I could plant one more thing and get all the tools, etc back into the shed in time.

And I managed to plant a pepper in the new plot with good earth. And I believe that completes my plantings for the year.

But of course now I am dreaming about bulbs…..

excerpts from both ends of a candle

Teen Lock-in in Richmond.
Good youth, good combined fellowships
games, conference, identity discussion, chaperoned
yes I’m crazy and incredibly sleep deprived.

Commute back to Hampton Roads,
drop off someone else’s young person,
home to empty house, worn out teen and me.
Shower, near tears tired,
buy present, go to housewarming,
hug people, leave before utter collapse.
amuse friends with wild hair and falling out eyeballs.
home, old twilight episodes viewed through napping ears,
odd dream narrated by Rod Serling
rest of family returns from Busch Gardens,
Honey and I have a date night,
Eight years since our first date.

Dinner out, epic fail, every point of service missed,
given wrong food, missed romantic comedy showing
so we watched a later showing of 3D Thor instead, fun
home, collapse, 6 hours later:

mother’s day begun in annoyance, I was first up
except Mr. 6am – Captain Comic.
All three kids, highly uncooperative.
Child Dedication service for Toots

tears, weepy from 3 weeks of sleep deprivation.
Thank goodness I didn’t have to sing with the choir.
Go to Lowes, find potted plants for grandma and rose bush for me to plant
Mr. Cynic helped while Honey waited in car with other two who were NOT
getting along.
Catch up with friends and driiiiiive to go
strawberry picking –
perfect, beautiful afternoon, sunripe strawberries
bursting with flavor, friends, kids, homemade strawberry ice cream
Captain Comic hurdled the rows of groundling berries,
Toots ran and ran and ran,
Mr. Cynic ate the best strawberry of his entire life
mutant, twoheaded thing he picked,
kids still arguing on car ride home.
It had been a long ride to Surrey.
Long ride home.

Captain Comic swore he was not going to pick any, do you hear me, mom? None. ha. 

There was more, I just can’t recall it all. My brain has leaked out of my ears. And today is my second day of dental work this week. I am not a fan.

But yesterday?  My muse let me grab a comet by the tail. It was a surprising and excellent ride. Gave depth to a critical scene in the manuscript. Yea me!

There’s more, plenty more, including gardening and job prospects, but I’m still trying to recover from weeks of go go go. Maybe tonight I’ll go to bed early. Please remind me.

welcome the jungle

Whoa is me, I’ve had an emotional week, a lack of sleep throughout it and my weekend, once again, is packed to the gills.

Wah, Wah, Wah, I hate whining.

Mr. Cynic’s concert was incredible. His Jazz Choir is better even than my bragging about it. Toots bounced around her seat and between Honey’s lap and mine. Captain Comic had a sensory issue as the audience began to fill the front section around us. An old man kept looking at me like “Why can’t you discipline your kid?” So after a few attempts, I decided to let Capt. Comic do what his instincts dictated, and let him have a seat all the way in the back center of the auditorium rather than fight it. I went up to blackmail inspire him to not move from his chosen seat with a threat that if he did so, he would lose all access to screens for a solid week. He stayed put. I turned around to check periodically throughout all three choirs’ numbers. As long as I saw his knees hanging over the seat in front of him, all was good. Mr. Cynic’s Jazz Choir was on last. During the second to last number – after the Hanna- Barbera Spiderman theme, of course – I felt a tap on my shoulder. and a whisper right in my ear:

Captain Comic: Mom. I need a drink.
Mom:  Go.

The choices we mothers make. I went with finish watching one son as he excels and trust the one to worry about will be okay on his own to find a drinking fountain and not get into trouble. And guess what?  It worked out. I sent Honey to collect him while I took Toots with me to go find Mr. Sparkly Red Vest. It only took a moment before I spotted Honey with Captain Comic in the hall with all of the singers before I even had a chance to hug my singer. Captain Comic beat me to it, literally, with a not so stealth pounce and grab knockdown tackle hug that took down all three siblings, and nearly me as well, as I had nearly reached hug contact with my eldest when he was hug attacked.

Honey took this phone pic of a mom and her progeny after the attack hug. It’s really the perfect shot of us all, exhausted and proud mom with her eyes closed, sleepy Toots, grinning from his performance Mr. Cynic, and goofball Captain Comic.

Life is good. Hug your kids, if you’ve got ’em. Happy Mother’s Day.

down for the count

Now Honey is down for the count. He never calls in sick and has a huge and urgent project at work right now, but he called in.  Poor guy.

Toots still had a mild fever last night, so she’s home from preschool, too. She’s still pretty low key for her.

I have a million things I ‘need’ to get done. I had planned earlier this week to write at the library today and run a bunch of errands, but looks like that will have to wait while I play nurse and catch up on school emails, etc.

Yesterday, Captain Comic was particularly loud coming in from the schoolbus. I asked him to quiet down as Toots was napping:

Capt. Comic: Riiiiiight, she threw up all night last night……Can I see her vomit stains?!

Thankfully, they had already been laundered.  Gotta love his brand of curiosity, though.

yes, even this

Poor Toots yakked her way through last night, poor iddo thing.

Honey took care of the bulk of flying her to the toilet and changing out pjs and sheets.

Even as I was aware of the events of the night, through sheer pushing through the stomach bug (i didn’t yak) and overscheduled prior several days, last night I couldn’t move as quickly as the yaks occurred.

I cuddled her while he changed sheets, he cuddled her a lot more, took temps gave meds, and generally took excellent care of her.  I’ve been through plenty of nights like this when the boys were little, and not so little, but this was Honey’s first go with having a sick all night kid. 

And I have to say, he was a natural.  He cuddled her sweetly. Her complete trust of him was beyond evident, as was his love for her.

This is why I married him.  I knew he had this in him. He’s not the most demonstrative guy in the world, but when it really counts, nobody cuddles better.

And now he’s off to work, where a big and urgent project awaits….what a trooper.

of pumpkins, ghoulies, and sundry

I’ve had a bit of a busy week between IEP prep and meetings, tutoring, pumpkin patch preschool field trip and Halloween approaching.  I also still had this lingering cold from last week, so tried to take it as easy as possible to take care of myself. But mostly I dealt with a good five hours an afternoon and night trying to help Captain Comic with seeing his homework through all subjects, and finally the past two afternoons and eves, that seemed mostly a success without as must angst involved.  It’s been tough, but I’m not complaining.  I consider it a success that he seems to be finally acclimating to middle school, and getting the accommodations in place at school that will ensure his success as a student.

Then yesterday, two solid hours were spent in a conference room nitpicking and better defining measurability of goals and how best to meet his needs in school and beyond as we rewrote his current IEP as a team.  I am hoping we came away from it on the same page.  It seemed so.

Toots led her preschool’s Halloween parade while I was at the meeting. Isn’t it cute that my widdo witch had a black cat in her class? Grandma joined the festivities and got a few pics before the camera batteries died.  The rechargeables are really on their last legs.  I had charged all of them overnight and half the day before she took it to preschool.  Like I said in the title, sundry detail.  But she managed to get a few cute shots before it died.
I did, too, the day before at the pumpkin patch field trip, sadly well before the tractor hayride, maze and pumpkining.  but here’s a shot from the puppet show.  The kids were fascinated while the puppet animals discussed farm life. 
This weekend has a packed agenda of activities I could particpate in, but I think I need to take it easy and hang with my family most of all.  I need to rest up before the excitement of trick or treating on Sunday.  I’m still like a kid about it – very excited.  It’s Captain Comic’s last legal go around the neighborhood for a haul, and he’s definitely going to make the most of it this last year.  That’s right, there’s actually a law here that you can’t trick or treat past age 12.  Mr. Cynic wants to go to the church youth group’s party, and I’d like to, too, especially since I am one of their ‘teachers’, but I think sticking with the younger kids is way more important this year.  This is essentially Toot’s first really aware Halloween and Captain Comic’s last.  I’m wistful for him and want to be there for him.
Honey and I have been really good.  I bought the candy over a week ago and we only opened the bag two nights ago.  But every night since the purchase, after the kids have gone to bed, this has been our conversation:
Honey:  I want a Kitkat.
Me: I do, too, but if we open it now, there won’t be any left to pass out.
Honey:  Get me a Kitkat.
Me: No.  Think of all the working out, and trying to be healthier…
Honey: Where did you hide them?
Me: I’m not telling.
Honey: C’mon, Get me a Reese’s, then.
Me: No!
Honey: Aw man…
Two nights ago:
Honey: I want a Kitkat.
Me: So do I.
Honey: You can’t have one.
Me: Please?  You know you want one.
Honey: Where did you hide them?
Me: In the cabinet down there. (points toward general location from the sofa.)
Honey: Well, go get ’em.
Me: No, you. I’m not opening the bag.
Honey: Oh, Okay.  (gets up shuffles to kitchen, opens cabinet, sound of plastic bag rummage, tosses a Kitkit at me)  But you only get one.
I love Halloween.
Welcome Spirits!


I did 3 90 minute yoga classes this week.  I also had 2 1 hour weights sessions with a personal trainer. 3 sessions came free with the membership, and I did the first last week.

I entered this regimen in the worst shape of my entire life.

I ache in places I had forgotten about.  I really enjoyed the Hatha yoga classes I had been attending for a couple of weeks.  And then I walked into a Power yoga class this morning, dragging Honey in with me.  He could barely lift his sandwich at dinner tonight.  I could barely do half of the yoga poses today.  He powered through them. 

“Is this the first yoga class you’ve taken, Hon?”

“I can honestly say it’s not the first.” 

His tone suggested to me it might have been the second.  And the first was likely over a decade ago.  The man has trained heavily in Martial Arts, sort of taught me some Tai Chi, has been working the weights for a couple of weeks since we joined the gym together.  But Yoga?  Not really his go to workout.

He went in skeptical of what it would actually do.  He left saying, “That was not wussy yoga!”  (I censored slightly)

It clearly wasn’t.  My ankle and back are telling me so now.  We also got quite sweaty.

In my last of three training sessions with my personal trainer on Thursday, we were working abs a bunch, and my bad shoulder, among other things, and I kept laughing at myself for how weak I was when I tried to do almost anything and we had to drop weight. 

She was a great and gentle-on-me trainer, taking into consideration my surgery earlier this year, my old back and shoulder issues, and my most recent ankle injury.  But told me in her lovely Argentine accent,  “Stope laughing!  Be seriooz!” 

I mean it was funny, I was on the lowest weight settings for ab machines and shoulder/upper back machines, and the thing wouldn’t move!

I tried to tell her I was taking this very seriously, I just felt really pathetic and self-conscious at how low my strength had become. It was laugh or cry, so I opted for laugh. Other than that last little scold, she and I did have a lot of fun training together.  I wish I could pay for more sessions with her, but I left with a good training sheet to start two separate workout regimens with weights.  Maybe down the line, I can get some more sessions with her when it’s time to change things up.

I never thought I’d be working out in a gym.  I love walking outside, going for hikes, riding real bikes through scenery, but I need to get on target with taking care of myself now.  I’m not getting any younger, and If I don’t start taking good care of mysef again now, I will not have a fun aging process into my later years, and likely not many of them.

So, the workouts are tough, but I’m going to stick with it.  I already feel more mentally alert.  And that’s half the battle.  If I feel alert, I will easily want to do more. 

It’s working already.  And you know what else?

It’s actually fun.

beach day

It was crowded beyond belief.
The storm out at sea made for extremely rough surf.
We came home with sand in every possible crevice and then some.
Honey lost the second pair of relatively new prescription glasses and his Red Sox cap in the undertow.
We loved every minute of it.

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