Thursday, June 23, 2011

wasting time

husband left today for a 4-day camping trip in north carolina. for some reason, being the only adult in the house makes me truly unmotivated to do anything productive. so little bean and i decided to make yogurt pops.

i was inspired by a post i saw this morning on a family food blog (and now i can't recall exactly where i saw it and i hate not giving credit for things--just know that this was not my idea) about making homemade popsicles.

if you read my previous post, then you know that this isn't the kind of thing i get to do very often, and although i have seen scores of blog posts and magazine articles on this very topic, i usually roll my eyes at the prospect of making my own little frozen treats.*

but then, look what happens when i am trying very hard not to be productive. i have time to spend in the kitchen, working with little hands, sneaking little bites of the fruit, licking the bowl after everything is mixed up, giving warnings not to touch mommy's plastic cups that are now dangerous because of their jagged edges (we didn't have paper cups, so we made do with what we had).

so this is what it's like to have time to do these kinds of things. it feels really good.

of course, i could have chosen not to post this for fear of backlash after last week's post. a couple of friends pointed out, "well, maybe this is how some people see YOU sometimes." whoa. really? i can't imagine. but then, i am in my life, without any of you, unless you live nearby and stop in unannounced. otherwise, the house is tidy, the hipstamatic pictures are posted, the yummy recipes are planned (though this week by husband, not me, and they were all delicious, especially since i didn't make them!).

i try really hard to be very honest here, probably to the point of making you uncomfortable sometimes, but i sort of use this as a place to work things out, which if i think about it too much seems weird since it's so public. the upside is that i receive encouragement, and even the feedback that "maybe people see you that way too" was good, in that it was a good reminder to see the glass half-full.

and isn't that why i started this blog? to see with one eye squinted?

on a side note, the idea occurred to me today that i have never come across a food blog that shows the whole picture. we get to see the pretty plate, the carefully arranged food, the little hands helping in the kitchen: you know, all the stuff that sometimes makes me crazy, makes me feel inadequate, makes me forget that everyone is human. so i thought, why not create a blog called ugly kitchen, where i take pretty pictures of things i make (and post recipes of course), but where i also reveal the periphery, the dirty dishes piled in the sink, the dog (or the husband) licking the plate clean, the counters smeared with yogurt because i filled my food processor too full for the thousandth time?

i'm not sure how often i'll post, but it will be fun, i think. so bookmark it if you want and that way you'll get updates when i finally have ugly kitchen pictures to post.

for now, i leave you with a picture that couldn't be any less ugly. happy weekend!

*basic recipe for these pops:

1 container of strawberries
1 container of blueberries
1 banana
6 to 7 healthy serving spoons' worth of low-fat Greek plain yogurt
a few good sprinkles of sugar

Monday, June 13, 2011


these days leave me lacking. sitting at a computer for hours upon hours, scanning documents for grammatical errors, hoping the pain in my left wrist doesn’t get worse, or better yet that it goes away.

summer is upon us. mommy blogs burst with ideas of fun things to do at home, paint idyllic pictures of parents working side by side with children, everyone smiling, getting along, having picnics in the grassy backyard, on a blanket spread with finger foods of shape fruit kabobs and chicken satay. dessert is popsicles, homemade of course, and the children wear white as they hold their raspberry frozen delights, frolick around, and everything is clean. pure. quiet.

it all screams fake!

is it that i want it to be an unachievable fantasy?

where i’m standing it’s more of: backyard is so full of sand and weeds that even the dog won’t stay out there long. sun blazes down, burning our scalp after being exposed for more than 5 minutes. kids dress themselves in t-shirts i let them buy from goodwill, refuse to wear any of the “cute” shirts in their drawers. back deck boards are bending upward, cracking, splitting nails straining to get out, danger everywhere. inside there are loud, loud, loud sounds, singing, whistling, yelling “get out of my room!” slamming doors, asking repeatedly why can’t we have more computer time? because i’m working. why are you always working? so we can eat. when will you get a break?

yes, that’s the question that looms large over me. hangs over me. makes me feel most days like i am on the verge of tears, and i don’t much cry anymore. so why am i feeling like this? i want to cling to that gratefulness that we are ok, that life is relatively ok despite the circumstances.

and then i see these families, these perfect-looking families, and i wrestle with “i want to be them” and “i hate them.”