Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some Random Musings on My 48th Birthday

1. I’m not baking my own birthday cake. Instead, I am doing what our foster child, Livie (wonder how she is), suggested last year: I took one of those shrunken half gallons of ice cream (mint chocolate chip because you can’t get peppermint in the summer) and let it melt a little. (Not difficult in today’s heat and humidity.) Then I spooned it into a store-bought oreo cookie crust and placed the plastic cover of the crust on top upside down. Put the whole thing in the freezer to re-freeze for dinner. Better than Carvel at a fraction of the price.

2. I am also not cooking my birthday dinner. Trent has promised to cook. I know he makes a mean tilapia, so that will be good. I only hope he cleans up after himself because I’m not cleaning either.

3. Last year at this time, we had a foster daughter Livie because her biological mother wouldn’t let her travel to Canada with her foster family for vacation. She had type 1 diabetes. Each night I got up and went from her bedroom to Trent’s to test blood sugars in the middle of the night. It was tiring for eight days. I can’t imagine how people with two kids with Type 1 do it. (Maya doesn’t need testing in the middle of the night. She has a rare kind of diabetes and is very unlikely to go low – and never seriously low.) I wonder how Livie is doing. Last time I heard, her foster parents decided it was too much work and wanted to give her back to the state. (Pisses me off. Don’t we all want to do that with our kids? But we don’t!) Mental note to check up on her.

I think I’ll keep my three kids this week. Trent is starting to be very useful at 14. He’s strong and can carry heavy loads. And he’s interested in cooking. Michela is always funny. Just as her friend Angela once commented, “This family is no fun without Michela.” And Maya is funny and endearing. Besides, she has actually slept in her own bed for three nights in a row. That’s almost a pattern.

I think I’ll keep Tim too. He’s good for a lot of things. But that’s fodder for another time.

4. It's been a good day. A man in the supermarket gave me a coupon for paper towels on sale because I helped him locate the right size. Don’t you hate when you get to the counter and the check out lady says, “That’s not the size that’s on sale!.” Almost as bad as when she yells out, “I need a key. Food stamps!.” That’s never happened to me, but I’ve seen it. My pharmacist did yell out once, “Ms. Rago? Ms. Rago? I’m sorry we don’t have any more of your ______ medicine in stock.” Um, what? Why don’t you tell all of CVS what meds I am taking?

5. Another reason why it's been a good day is that it started with a telephone conversation with one of my dearest friends. (Even if the conversation was about bacteria she picked up from eating chicken in Paris last week.) I also received a phone call from an old flame. Not bad after more than 25 years, I figure. And no client has called to yell at me and demand that I be more accountable. That, in itself, makes for a good day.

6. I’m 48. Almost half way through with my life. I hope I can make the second half better than the first. And I hope I can get in better shape. The supermarket tabloid declared that Zack Ephron, at age 50, has an amazing body. Well, no one’s gonna declare my body good enough for The Star. But I hope it’s good enough to pass a stress test by the time I turn 50. Mental note to start exercising.

After the ice cream cake tonight. . . .

(P.S. The cake above is the one I baked for Trent last week.)

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Maya always says things that make us take a deep breath and look at each other in shock. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we are amazed. Like when she hid under the dining room table and announced, "Oh, no! Daddy is coming. He's going to recognize me." She is three years old. Going on forty. "Recognize?" Really? And then there was the time she told me, "I absolutely do want to go to Starbucks, once I finish what I am doing." You "absolutely do want to go?"

Of course, those times were better than when she turned to me and told me she was going to "kick my ass." I pretended I didn't hear her because I didn't want her to think I was as shocked as I was! She has never said that again.

Well, this week, we have had a few more amazing statements by Maya:

As she was putting on her sandals, to wear under her princess costume, she announced, "I have to put my sandals on so that I can look FABULOUS." Fabulous? Um, OK.

Then, today, she saw my brother Tony, her Uncle Tony, for the first time in a long time. He picked her up and kissed and hugged her. She said, "I remember you. You weren't nice the last time I saw you. But now you are nice." My brother Tony can be gruff, so we all laughed.

Lastly, our house is under a bit of construction. With a new roof and gutters being put on. And walls ripped out to put in french doors to the deck and to build new closets. So, when we went to my sister Marissa's house today, and Maya saw Marissa's kitchen ceiling ripped out, she looked at it carefully. (Marissa's air conditioner had leaked so she was none too happy about the gash in the ceiling.) Maya turned to Marissa and said, "Oh! I didn't know your house was banged up like ours is!" Banged up? That's actually very close to how I feel about how the house looks.

We continue to be amazed by Maya's skilled grasp of the English language and her use of intonation to get across her meaning. When she starts counting spoons in Spanish, we are blown away. But that's a whole 'nuther story. . . .