Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How I spent my Mother's Day

This past Sunday, my husband woke up wicked early (5 am maybe, I was, like, sleeping) and took care of the dogs.  It is usually our dogs making a fuss in the morning and not the baby waking us up.  Patrick fed the dogs, let them out, and then Orion wanted in on the action.  So, Patrick took care of the baby.  I could occasionally hear the baby crawling down our hardwood floor hallway, smack, smack, smak.  But then Patrick would redirect the baby.  Around 7, I let Patrick know that my boobs were open for business and to let in my hungry baby.  Orion crawled down the hall and opened the bedroom door and was so very happy to see me.  His face said Happy Mother’s Day! 

I nursed up the baby and when he had his fill, we went into the living room.  I left him to play while I did some computer stuff.  All of this is really boring but the great thing is that I felt like I could do whatever I wanted and not feel bad about it.  Patrick knew he was on primary baby care today so I could do as I pleased.  Patrick was also on breakfast duty and I requested Martha Stewart’s Apple Dutch baby.  I love it and so did Orion!

The morning was very laid back and we did not have a schedule for the day ahead.  I hung out in my jammies which really isn’t anything new or unusual.  Maybe it was around 11, when I realized what I really wanted.  I made a list of errands for Patrick to do with the baby.  They left and I had the house to myself!  Well, the dogs were still there but I think they were happy to have the baby out of the house.

I was so happy to be home alone that I did a little dance.  I turned on Pandora and made a station for The Killers.  Patrick hates this band so I could listen loudly and not drive him crazy.  Then I pulled out the sewing machine and a fan.  These things plug into the wall and fascinate the baby.  It is really hard, almost impossible, to use these things with the baby crawling around.  We lack a baby jail and tend to let him be a free range baby.  I got to sewing on my brand new Singer 160 which was my Mother’s Day present.

I am new to sewing, so I was just practicing by making little washcloths.  I attempted to do an applique t shirt but totally messed up.  I also had a bit of an accident with the ironing board and some fusible interfacing. That reminds me, I need to buy a new ironing board cover.  I played and experimented with the sewing machine.  Then things started going a little wonky and I had to walk away from the machine and it was lunchtime.

I have a thing for iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise.  Something magical happens when these are combined with bread, especially big bad white bread.  I was very excited to make a sandwich on an onion bun with mustard, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and mayo in that order from top to bottom.  It was simple, delicious, and indulgent.  Patrick does not share my enjoyment of iceberg lettuce.  Last time I asked for lettuce he brought home one of those hippie heads of butter bid lettuce that still had its roots.  My sandwich was so good, I made another and did not hesitate to use up the last onion bun.  It ate it standing in the kitchen looking out the window watching my dogs run amok in the backyard.

Once again, the details of what I did during those baby free hours are pretty boring.  I stayed in my jammies.  Wrote out some cards, did some interneting, and attempted to dismantle Orion’s 1st birthday scrapbook but couldn’t get the posts apart. The exciting thing was that I was able to do all these things without tripping over my baby.  I was going to get a manicure and a pedicure but I couldn’t even be bothered.  That would meant I would have to get dressed and leave the house.  I’ll save that for another day as a mommy getaway.

I went through a box of old photos that we got when we were cleaning out my dad’s apartment last year.  There were so many pictures of my mom and even a whole envelope of her that said “Susan various aspects” in my dad’s handwriting.  There was also an envelope that said “Charlotte’s first haircut” in my mother’s handwriting.  I love to see their handwriting as it was something that you easily take for granted during a person’s life but once they are gone becomes so precious.  I was able to spend some alone time thinking about my mom and crying without worrying about anyone seeing my tears.

I was starting to worry about my husband and baby as I had not heard back from Patrick regarding my last text message.  My mind always jumps to horrible conclusions. Considering my history that can’t be surprising.  Also, I think something happens to me when I go for more than 3 hours without my baby.  I get a little anxious, maybe it is oxytocin withdraw even though I am no longer nursing Orion every 3 hours.  I called Patrick and he was on the last stop of his chore list and would be home soon.  Most of their time out was spent with the baby sleeping and Patrick reading the Game of Thrones books which he is obsessed with.  I hope Orion is such a voracious reader because his daddy has read 4 books in the past month.  I have managed to read one book as far this year because someone is demanding so much of my time.

They got home after 3:30 and I soon realized that I would have to finally put on some clothes to make our 5:15 dinner reservation.  I wanted to take more than the usually 10 minutes I spend to get ready and may have spent a whole 20 minutes, oh so fancy.  I even put on makeup and the even more unusual foundation.  When it comes to my doing my hair I am pretty clueless so I resort to the side ponytail because it is easy and I think it is funny.  It's like a ponytail but it is fancy cause it is on the side!  I was also very excited to leave the house without a diaper bag or purse of any kind.  My red dress had 2 pockets, one for my lipstick and one for my phone.  I was good to go. 

We had a wonderful dinner at Liberty Tavern in Clarendon.  They were nice enough to give us a 4 top even though the reservation was for 2.  We needed all that extra room for all the food we ordered.  It was so delicious! There homemade bread is crazy good and the butter is crunchy and delicious.  I love salted butter and I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the butter in house.  They make a lot of their own cheeses and charcuterie.  The first time we ate here a few years ago we fell in love with the grilled octopus and want to eat it every time we visit.        

We started with the grilled octopus which was served with asparagus, mushroom, watermelon radish, and pickled ramp vinaigrette.  We also shared and ordered of the housemade capellaci which was stuffed with lamb neck, smoked whipped chevre, chard and mint with morel mushroom-goat milk froth.  For my entrée I got the veal strip and shortrib with grilled asparagus, goat milk yogurt and violet mustard gel, potato-white asparagus puree, pea tendrils.  Patrick got the smorgasbord for two which had lamb rillette, crispy scrapple, lamb sausage and duck prosciutto and was served with pickled spring vegetables, spiced “mint jelly”, comb honey, and flatbread.  We were very happy with everything we ate.  The scrapple was the best I have ever eaten and being from Philly I have eaten more than my fair share of scrapple.  Patrick used to make all his out of town guests try scrapple during their visit.

Everything was so delicious and I love Liberty Tavern because they use local and humane meats.  You would think I had no room in my belly but I reserved my second belly for dessert.  I am so glad I did.  I had a pistachio brownie served with salted caramel ice cream, a caramelized marshmallow and drizzled with chocolate and caramel then sprinkled with pistachios topped with a chocolate shortbread moon and a shortbread star.  I ate every single bite and every bit of food that was put in front of me.  Well, I sadly did not eat the entire bread basket and wish we had been given the last few slices in a doggie bag.

Orion was a very good boy during dinner.  He got to eat some yogurt, some banana, and some of the yummy housemade bread.  He did get fussy towards the end as we had been there for about an hour and a half.  Our waitress did say that Orion was in the lead for best baby in the room.  He was totally flirting with her so the competition may have been rigged.  We had such a wonderful dining experience that it totally made up for the disappointment of my birthday dinner.  Orion cried a bit on the way home but then was asleep. 

When we got home, Patrick gifted me with a card, 3 Wild Ophelia’s chocolate bars, and a box of Orion brand choco-pies which are like moon pies.  I would not have gotten these gifts if Orion had not fallen asleep earlier in the day while Patrick was wearing him in Nordstrom.  There is a World Market next door and Patrick spent some time walking around trying to keep the baby asleep.  This is another reason why I suggest kicking your husband out on Mother’s Day with the kids as it will enable him to take care of any last minute shopping.

I may not have had a fancy exciting Mother’s Day but what I did have was a wonderful day filled with love.  I am sorry that some people do not like Mother’s Day or so-called Hallmark holidays.  I think these days are just wonderful excuses to take time for each other and express your love.  There is no set in stone way to do it and you can make the day whatever you want.  You can create new traditions, memories, and keepsakes.  Personally, I love cards and my husband always writes sweet notes in the cards he gives me.  I save them and love looking back on them and reading their tender messages.

I also plan to use Mother’s Day as a day to talk with my kids about my mother once they get older.  It will be a day where I am free to reminisce and cry if I feel the need to without hiding my tears from my family.  The only way to keep someone’s memory alive is to share stories about them.  Mother’s Day is also a great day to talk about all the other women in your life who have mothered you and influenced the person you have become.  I was lucky to have a great mother but also her mother was a wonderful and caring woman who had 9 kids.  I also have many aunts who have been very caring and loving over the years.  I am thankful for all the strong women who have touched my life.  I hope they all had a Happy Mother’s Day and know how much they are loved!    

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