28 June 2010

A Serendipidous Reunion


I've always been an pen and paper kind of person.  Often, I hand write these posts before transferring them to the computer.  Math, as in excel spreadsheets, I always do with pencil and paper first.   My great Aunt Naomi, we called her Nelma, was an English teacher who had a thing for grammar, penmanship and the like.  I have horrible handwriting but maybe I picked up the rest from her.  I can't stand text messaging because the messages require using improper grammar.  I've always loved letter writing, even in the advent of email.  There's nothing better than getting a thoughtful note in the mail.

When I was in 5th grade (I think but it could have been 7th) I was given a pen pal from Stara Tura, Czechoslovakia (that's what it was then).  The circumstances surrounding the pen pal distribution are very foggy.  I can't remember if the whole class was given people to write to or if addresses were given to the students who wanted to write or maybe it was just me.  Anyway, my pen pal's name was Hana and we wrote all the way through middle school, high school and I think some college.  We lost touch as our addresses and lives changed and grew.  Once she wrote to say she was going to be in the states but I was away and I didn't get her letter in time.  I always wondered what happened to Hana and one day I typed her name into Facebook.  Low and behold, there she was!  I sent her a note and she replied.


Here's where the story gets really "made for Oprah" interesting.  She and her fiance live just south of us in Pennsylvania.  Hana is a photographer and a talented pastry artist.  Sunday afternoon, our little family met with her little family for a BBQ in her garden.  We had a fabulous time.  The kids were happy, the guys were happy (they got to talk and play 'real' football) and Hana and I caught up on our lost years.  I have to think Hana and I would have crossed paths if I didn't look her up.  Our lives, interests and locals are just too similar.

Here's to friendship, serendipity and the written word! (and boys and football!)

09 June 2010

Melka Melka

Before becoming a Mom, there were very few things I needed to make it through the day.  Sure, I needed to eat but there was always something in the cabinets even if it wasn't the most appetizing, ramen noodles would just have to do.  There was the inevitable time that I would need tampons but usually digging through a few old purses would do the trick until I could make a trip to the store. 

Mommy life is nothing but needs..need diapers, need wipes, need bananas.  This morning, I tiptoed out of the bedroom and down the hall at 5am.  On a typical day this would give me about an hour to get to the store and back before the kids and Kevin would start to rise.  Last night, Josie drank the last of the milk and if there is one thing we need beyond all else, it's milk or 'melka melka' in Josie-speak.  There was enough to get us through this morning but after her bedtime cup was filled, Josie grabbed the carton to take an extra swig and she dumped the last of the milk all over her jammies.  I could have gone out for more last night but I too was sporting my jammies and I was excited about getting a bit of soletude and a nice cup of coffee made by someone else this morning. 

Milk and I have a sorted past.  I've never been one to drink a glass of milk but I've always been a devoted fan of chocolate milk.  I love dairy products, ice cream, cheese, yogurt...  I used to keep soy milk on hand for cereal because milk would always sour before I could use the whole carton.  When I was pregnant with Josie, I started drinking milk by the gallon.  I couldn't get enough!  It had to be whole milk, nothing else would do.  Kevin is a huge milk drinker.  He only ever had whole milk in his house growing up.  I decided we would be the same.  Only the best, full fat, organic, hormone-free, grass-fed cow's milk available for my family unless it's 5am and the only store that sells what I want is an hour away and I would rather just go to the corner store to get the last carton they have on the shelf no matter what kind of white substance it is.  On the plus side, now that I'm raising a family of milk dependants, I never have to glance at the expiration date on the jug.  My gang goes through a gallon in 2 days and in a couple months when the baby switches from mom's milk to cow's milk, I will need at least a gallon a day to support these fiends!

Why whole milk?  Short answer: it tastes better.  I don't believe anyone ever got fat from drinking whole milk which contains 3% milkfat.  Sure I could shave off a percentage, a few pounds from my hips and go for the 1 or 2% varieties but why mess with nature?  I think the reason I didn't like milk when I was younger is because it didn't taste like milk.  It was just white-ish water.  I'll take the extra fat with added moderation and a dose of exercise, thanks.

Last year, I was out shopping with Josie and she wanted milk.  I stopped at a coffee shop and asked if I could have a glass of warm milk for my daughter.  The cashier told me they didn't have any 'normal' milk.  I had to process this information before asking her to clarify.  If they didn't have normal milk, what were they putting in the coffee?  She explained that they only had whole milk and skim milk.  Well, if whole milk isn't 'normal' milk then what is normal?  She said that 2% milk is normal milk and she was pretty peeved when I disagreed.  My thought is, any milk that needs a qualifier (2%, skim, etc) is not 'normal'.  I got her to fill Josie's cup with abnormal milk and we went on our way.

Now, an hour after I slipped my shoes on and tiptoed out the door, the fridge is stocked.  Josie is happily downing her melka melka which is the first thing she asks for each morning I get her out of her crib just after 'where's Daddy' and 'where's Keego'.  I'll just have to due, me and the melka melka that is.