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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: Norah

Wine Slushie Recipe and Monday Miscellany

jasmine banks


Last week was a rough week. It was a week of memories, reflecting, and trying to make sense of why the world can suck so bad. I came up with no more answers than when I began reflecting...but what I did realize is that I am far more capable and courageous than I ever imagined. Life is a bitch, yo.

One amazing thing that eases the pain of loss and life difficulty is being around people you love. We loaded up and headed three blocks down to Cornell street, where our most favorite people reside: The Perkins.

We played and talked and ate and drank. Our kids jumped in the pool with clothes on as the sun sank into the horizon. Our toddlers waddled around shrieking and growling in their unique Brown+Perkins pitches.

We sat on Sadie's beautiful new wrap around front porch and laughed at the neighbors and their bizarro lawn decorations. Pie plates do not decorations make? "Are they there to frighten Magpies?" "But I thought Magpies like shiny things?" We craned our neck when two cop cars rolled up and spent almost an hour in another neighbor's house. We giggled at the Frankenstein Honda and the chubby kid playing detective.  Rusty wrangled babies and impressed with his cell phone technology skillz. Garrett chuffed with jealousy. Both men wrangled babies. While Sadie and I galavanted to the kitchen to prepare libations.

There wasn't a lot of topical discussion. It was just random laughter hemmed into moments of silent sitting. It is the kind of experience you have around people your soul is truly comfortable with.  You don't have to "talk" you can just be.

Sadie had the idea to make wine slushies. She, in Sadie fashion, didn't ACTUALLY have a real plan... so I brought in some structure, in Jasmine fashion, and executed her plan. What our evil geniuses yielded was the most delectable slushies. You want to try these. NAY! You NEED to try these!



Riesling Berry Slushies

1 Bottle Barefoot Riesling (or your favorite white wine)

1/2 c. Raspberries

1/2 c. Strawberries

2 c. Blueberries

1 c. crushed ice

1/4 c. simple syrup

Lime Zest


Blend until smooth and get drunk  enjoy!


Happy Monday Dear Readers!!



More of Them than Me

jasmine banks

Max has figured out how to get into the cabinet under the kitchen sink. You know the one, the cabinet that houses all the grimy sponges and rejected vases that don't fit into my designated "GLASSWARES" cabinet, the plastic bowl and scrubber brush with brown stains of mysterious origins. Its the cabinet with the cleansers, the spray bottles, the scrapers, the old toothbrushes and the dishwasher detergent. It is a cabinet filled with yucky things, cleany things, things I toss and forget about and quickly wash my hands. There are things in there that I haven't seen in months. It is a cabinet I only venture into when I misplace my stoneware scraper or when I clog up the garbage disposal with potato skins again. Which is to say, it is not a cabinet you would want to go rummaging around in.

So why does Max pick that cabinet to disable the child safety lock? WHY!?!

He is such a different kid from his sister. He is all smiles and hellos to strangers and dipping his hands in the toilet when he sneaks in that split second between me flushing and closing the lid. He is an explorer, into everything, climbing and roaming and investigating and sticking his fingers into avocados so he can squeeze out the insides. Meanwhile, Norah is made out sideways glances and eye rolls, refusing even to look at people she doesn't know. She has a healthy love of messes, but follows each mess with a thorough hand washing (even though she seems allergic to cleaning the messes she makes on the rest of her body. Or the floor, for that matter.) She wouldn't be caught dead playing in the toilet at her advanced age of three, and looks on with disdain while her monkey brother makes his own guacamole in the cart at WalMart, squishing avocados and deftly eating his discoveries. She insists I take her out of the cart because "Mom. He is gross." She was never into destroying safety devices, choosing to dismantle the things I stupidly leave out rather than busting through the child lock to get to the prizes under the sink.

Max likes to hang out with old toothbrushes and mysteriously stained scrub brushes. Norah likes to paint her fingers nails (and her fingers and her toes and the walls and the floor and maybe her butt cheeks too) with overlooked nail polish. They are their own crazy little messy people.

And so you know what this means for me? Basically my life is over.

Because on the one hand I have Norah who has learned that when I am sleeping and tell her "Ok, I will wake up in 5 minutes" that I am lying to her and plan to sleep as long as I can so instead of leaving me alone she sits on my arms and yells in my face until I zombie roll myself out of bed. I have Norah, queen of the eye roll, continually and creepily repeating what I say to her (Um, seriously Mom? You are making me crazy) in a voice that sounds exactly like mine and immune to any mess she creates, no matter how enormous, as long as she can wash her hands afterward.

And on the other hand I have Max, destroyer of plastic locks, man who chews through banana peels and uses the cat as a pillow. Max, the toilet dabbler, the poop smearer, the one who is learning his body parts and insists that "poo-poo!" comes out of his penis, and who will probably tell you that even if he doesn't know you. Max, the disarmingly cute and cheerful and cherubic little lunatic who screams MOMMEEEEEEEEEEE! at random intervals throughout the day for no apparent reason.

*sigh* This is my life right now. So if you can't find me, don't hear from me for weeks on end, please send help. Since my kids are conspiring against me it is likely that you will find me underneath the sink, wrapped up in one of Norah's "cowgirl ropes", with nail polish all over my body.

Routine Operations

jasmine banks

We've been preschoolin' it up for a solid 5 weeks now, old pros for sure. Our bodies aren't as confused when we force them to wake up at 6am, get dressed, brush hair, find the shoes and hit the road Jack. Though they do still protest. And as we continue settling into all this, I continue to see am really seeing for the first time, how Norah thrives on routine. Why am I seeing it for the first time? Because I have never really been able to give her that sense of daily and regular routine. But she is so much more settled in this. Sure, she still says she doesn't want to go to school, still looks very uncertain and anxious when we head to the school, but she doesn't freak out any more. And she continues to have stories to tell me. And three days a week we do the exact same thing, have the exact same conversations, lest the roof blow off the car and we have to drive through winter in a Norah induced convertible.

So we wake her up at 6 in the morning, and she rolls around in the bed until I sit on her or Max squawks at her or Rusty wrestles her from under the covers and puts her clothes on her stiff zombie body. Then we dress Max, who is less like a zombie and more like a floppy fish. Then we talk while I do my make up. Mom are we going to school today? Yes. Mom are you going to work today? Yep. Mom is Daddy going to work today? Yes maam. Mom is Max coming to school too? Yep. Mom, Max doesn't like to be at school. He cries when you leave. Yes he does, but he is ok. He stops crying right after I leave. Mom, is Mimi at work today? She sure is.

Then we fight over her hair and I go make my coffee and get their cups ready to take on the road and we do the daily get our bags diapers cups coffee keys various papers and detritus that we simply must have at school. And then MOM! Where is my blankie?! And Chuck E? And finally we make it to the car.

We drive in silence usually, still waking up and listening to our books on tape. Then we get to school and Norah informs me once again that we have to do Max first. So we clock in, take the boy to his class and my heart breaks a little bit more every time his face crumples and he starts to cry when he realizes that I am going to leave. He holds his blanket and wails and it takes all I have not to just toss work out and take my boy back home where we can snuggle and play and never have to leave one another. But I know that won't help anyone in the long run, so I kiss his sad head, tell him I will see him in the afternoon and walk back out to Norah who waits in the hall.

We hold hands and walk to her room and put her backpack full of rocks and blankets and stuffed mice and the things she likes to collect into her cubby. She knows which one is hers and is very particular about hanging it correctly on the hook. She shoves her blanket in there too, finally coming to terms with the idea of the blanket as a nap time thing. Then she takes off her shoes and places them inside as well. We talk about lunch. What am I having today Mom? Oatmeal! And fish sticks for lunch, with tater tots and fruit. Then crackers and cheese and apples for snack! Do you think you will like fish sticks? I don't know what I am having for lunch, but I will tell you about it when I pick you up and you can tell me about the fish. Ok. When will you be here this afternoon? After four. After four, ok. I love you Nori, have a good day. Her sweet face looks a little scared, but when I walk out and then peek back in her window she is playing with a giant abacus and not seeming to mind that I am gone.

I'll pick them up in the afternoon with chocolate milk and a snack for her and her brother. I get Max first and his little face lights up and her drops whatever he is doing as soon as he sees me, running to the door and yelling at me in his crazyman talk. He shoves his face in my neck and we have a little moment there in the playroom. Then we get Norah, usually from the playground where she plays less with the other kids than she does in her own little imaginary land. We get in the care where we will talk about our days, our lunches, I liked the fish sticks! With ketchup! And I'll ask her how she manages to rip every pair of leggings she wears in the exact same place and get some crazy story about scooters and legs and lines and crashes in return. The story never changes so I assume that means she tells the truth. Max jabbers in the background about his day as well and shoves his snacks into the crevices in his carseat.

We don't deviate from this, and sometimes I wonder where this little alien came from, the one who really needs things to be the same everyday to make sure her little brain doesn't combust from the changes. Sometimes I worry about it, but then I think, Sheesh I could use a little routine myself, it would probably help me keep all my ducks in line, my mental ducks. If I could just get past the beast that lives in me, the Lazy Beast, bigger than the knowledge that I thrive on routine too. The Inertia Beast that sits on my chest and fuses me to the couch the chair the bed the floor in Norah's room, it is bigger than I want it to be and I can't figure out how to shrink its ugly mass.