Thursday, May 28, 2009

I love my mom

I do. I think she's a great lady. And I don't just love her. I like her. I like being around her and talking to her and spending time with her. I could spend hours with her - talking or gardening or just doing nothing. I know so many women who don't get along with their mothers. They barely tolerate them and dread the idea of being like them. So, I wonder if my kids will like me in 20 years. Will we be friends the way my mom and I are? I think it might be okay and I'll tell you why. When I was younger, I was a major pain in the butt. I drove my mother crazy. She had a lot of meetings with the school principal. She would send the cops out looking for me. I was bad. But, through all that, she was still a great mom and remains that way. And if bad behavior in a daughter means she will stay forever connected to her mom, Caty and I are going to be joined at the hip forever!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WWF?

Last week, the girls and I walked into the dentist's office and there was a woman there with two boys who were a little, um, what's the word??? INSANE!!!! So, the boys are jumping off chairs onto each other's backs and throwing trucks at each other and the like, and the mom says "You're lucky. You have girls." Yeah, right, I'm lucky. Never mind the fact that I'll have to deal with hormones and PMS and periods and insecurities and body image and boys and clothes and pimples and all the other crap that comes with being a girl. But, I have to deal with two little girls who like to beat the living daylights out of each other sometimes! I don't know why people with boys think that only boys fight. Not true. My girls are fierce. They are vicious. It wasn't so bad when Sabrina was smaller. Caty would hit her and she would run to me crying. Then she would take her frustrations out on one of her smaller friends - it's the chain of life, right? Now that she's older, look out. This girl is on a mission. It's like Ultimate Fighting Championship in our house! Sabrina punches. And I don't mean one of those girlie punches with the side of her fist. I'm talking straight, full-on jabs that hurt. And she doesn't aim for your arm. She does it right in the kisser! Oh, and she's started doing this thing (I won't say the name my husband calls it) where she pinches your boob and twists it. Ouch. Caty is a kicker. She's a big fan of the kick to the stomach. She's a face-scratcher and a hair puller too. I can't believe these girls don't leave permanent marks. So, the next time you see two little girls all sweet looking with their little braids and matching dresses, don't let it fool you. There just might be some crazy boxer ninja wrestlers under there!

Monday, May 25, 2009

All outta ideers

Being a mom of two young girls is really hard. Yes, it's hard to do all the cleaning and cooking and chauffeuring. Yes, it's hard to discipline and be a good role model. All of it is hard. But one of the most difficult things to do with young kids is constantly come up with new ways to keep them entertained! No wonder there are so many parenting magazines that give you advice on fun activities and crafts. Do I remember any of the activities? Of course not! So, when my kids get up at 7 and want to be entertained, they don't really care that the laundry is piled to the ceiling or there are no clean dishes or that I need to run to the store because we're out of milk. They want to paint for five minutes and then jump on the beds and then play with farm animals and then gets the paints out again and use them for three minutes and then do experiments with water and glue and dye and then build forts with the couch cushions and play dress up and use all the musical instruments. And then, 15 minutes after they've gotten up, they're bored. So, I'm all out of ideas right now and it isn't even lunchtime!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Unglued

When I came up with the title for this blog, I never realized that it would mean so much more. Not only am I unglued when it comes to scheduling and keeping up with the daily craze of being a mom and wife and volunteer and friend and worker and.... I'm also unglued emotionally and physically. Seriously, I am falling apart! I'm not even 40 and can barely get out of bed some mornings because of back pain. What happened to being able to bounce back? Didn't we used to stay out until 4 in the morning and then function the next day? I can totally understand being an alcoholic. It's got to be better to be drunk all the time rather than suffer through a hangover! And emotionally? Forget it. I was making this video yesterday - just a photo montage of the girls. But, I made the big mistake of adding the Martina McBride song "In my Daughter's Eyes" to the list and just lost it. If you have girls, you are going to cry every time you hear that song. I'm telling you, I'm a train wreck. What happened to me? I guess life did.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The economy

Reading a newspaper article today that says despite the poor U.S. economy, sales of wine an chocolate are on the rise. Who’s surprised by this? Anyone? What’s the first thing you reach for when you’re depressed? Hershey’s sales profits were up 20 percent in the first quarter of 2009 and Kraft reported double-digit growth in the sale of its macaroni and cheese dinners. Of course they did! Where else can you feed five kids for a dollar?!! Sales of gardening seeds were up too. Guess people are hoping to grow their own veggies since they can’t afford them in the grocery store anymore – even the unregulated stuff from Chile! And sales of gold coins are up too. Wonder why. Hmm, maybe because the rich people are sick of losing millions in the stock market so they do their version of stuffing the money under the mattress and buy gold! I guess life really is getting better!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wisdom

Running in flip-flops is never a good idea.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Dad's Night Out

Okay, it's no big news that I am a certified husband basher. I complain about the man more than a hangnail. But, tonight I got to thinking about one of the things about being a dad. For instance, tonight, he went out for a few drinks with a friend. Does he worry about bedtime? Does he ask if I need help with the kids? Nope. He never asks. When he went away one weekend, he didn't stop to think what would happen with the kids. That's one of the biggest differences between moms and dads. If I ever went away for a weekend alone (yeah, because that might ever happen) there would be phone calls made to grandparents for babysitting and lists written up and preparations made. A guy - he just up and goes like he's still a bachelor. Yes, I know I'm a stay at home mom, but really, he did have something to do with creating these girls. Wouldn't it be nice of him to know a bit more about them? What happens to men when they become dads? All of a sudden, they forget they have moms on mother's day and we're the ones to buy the cards, flowers, and gifts. Are they the ones making sure the permission slips are signed and in the backpack? Are they getting lunches and snacks ready? Are they up baking cupcakes for tomorrow's bake sale? Man, they get off pretty easy, huh? Believe me, if I knew my kids were getting the same upbringing they get with me, I would be fine becoming the breadwinner. I would happily go back to work and return to the world of adult interaction and conversation and thinking. So, I think I'm going out tomorrow night for a few cold ones. (And I'll make sure the girls are happy and tucked in before I go!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ear wax

I am convinced that my children's ears are full of wax. They must be! I know kids have smaller tubes or whatever and that the wax drains out more slowly, but I'm talking completely stuffed up. It's either wax or cotton. You know why I know this? Because they don't hear a word I say!!!! Seriously, I can hear myself talking. I'm not mumbling. I don't have food in my mouth. I'm not looking away. I am looking at them and talking right to them so what is up? I say "please get in the car." My daughter walks around and starts picking up rocks. I say "please go brush your teeth and hair so you don't miss the bus." My daughter is using the brush as a microphone and doing her version of American Idol in the bathroom. You could whisper "ice cream" from three rooms away with the doors closed and children will come running, but say something like "homework" and all of a sudden they've gone deaf. Maybe tonight while they're sleeping, I'll run in there with a flashlight and a Q-Tip and clean house!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sitting back

One of the hardest things about being a parent is sitting back and letting your child do something for herself. It can be something so simple - like not helping them color a picture and waiting what seems like hours for them to finish. It can be something painful - like letting them fall while riding a bike, rollerblading, riding a scooter, whatever. Our job as parents is to raise a person - to teach them how to cope with life so that one day they will leave us and do the same thing for their children. There are so many times when I just want to tie the shoe so we can leave the house instead of waiting while she tries over and over and over again. You know what it's like to hear your toddler yell "Me do it!" It's the same as when you were a teen telling your parents "I have to make my own mistakes." Children will make mistakes. They will fall down. But, that's the only way they will learn.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Ah, Mother's Day. The day of or burned toast, cold coffee and an egg or two -all served at 5 in the morning. Really, there is nothing better than sharing Mother's Day with little kids. Sure, it might be a "Hallmark holiday" to some - an excuse to line retailers' pockets with more of our hard-earned money. But, I love this day. And you can keep your flowers and gift certificates to the day spa. All I want are those awful little handmade gifts that only a mother could love. This year, it was a flower pot with painted fingerprints that were made into bugs. There was a card too. Sabrina loves me because I "wear earrings to work." Last year, Caty said she loved me because I make her chicken piccata. I love my kids. They make me laugh and cry all at the same time. I really dig those gifts. They mean more than anything to me!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cartoons and clothes

On behalf of moms everywhere, I am asking the important questions. Little Bear - why doesn't he wear clothes? His parents wear them. When it's cold, he wears a hat and a scarf. I mean, I know bears don't need clothes, but if Father Bear and Mother Bear get clothes, then Little Bear should get them too. The Berenstain Bears have clothes. Maybe they can loan him some. There are plenty of famous cartoon characters that were never given clothes while their counterparts were. Pluto? No clothes. Mickey, Donald, heck, even Goofy had clothes! And why is it that the dog doesn't get to talk? Scooby Doo talks a little, but most dogs in cartoons don't talk. Are we supposed to believe that bears can talk and monkeys can talk and turtles can talk but dogs can't? Why type of stereotyping is this anyway? Okay, while we're talking about the realism in cartoons, I need to know... What genius thought it would be a good idea to let a little girl traipse through the rainforest sans parents? Dora explores the world, jumping over crocodiles, riding around with a purple squirrel who apparently has a driver's license, and bossing everyone around. And please don't get me started on this new Toot and Puddle. How am I supposed to explain to my children why two male pigs - who aren't related - live together. I just don't want to have that talk yet! Why can't we go back to the old days? When cartoons were about blowing up TNT and smashing someone's foot with an anvil? Can't we have a cartoon where we push a button to get dressed and a robot cleans the house? Am I asking too much?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Me first

Who comes first in your house? If you're a mom, it's not you. You're probably dead last. And when I say last, you come after the dog, the laundry, the television. I got a reminder today from BFFMG that I need to do some things for myself. She made these awesome cupcake lollipop things and gave them to me, BFFMP and BFFAM today along with a sweet note telling us to have a nice Mother's Day. I really thought she gave me three because she wanted me to share them with the girls, but that was not the case. She made me swear that I would eat all three by myself. Uh, dude, it's chocolate - yeah, I can eat them all by myself. But, it was still a nice reminder that it's okay to think of yourself every once in a while. As moms, we don't do that very often. So, now that Mother's Day is close, make sure you do just that - put yourself first. Okay, maybe not first, but at least ahead of the dog!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fear not

Why is it that parenthood automatically instills fear? I mean, people are afraid of getting pregnant. Then they're afraid of problems while they're pregnant. You're afraid to go through labor. Then, forget about that whole idea of suddenly being responsible for the survival of a helpless human being! When we're younger, we're pretty much fearless, aren't we? We do the craziest things and take huge risks and rarely even notice we're doing anything dangerous. I don't remember being afraid of too many things when i was younger. I've gone bungee jumping and dove off a cliff. I've hung out in the projects and walked home at all hours through all types of neighborhoods. I had no problem going on scary rides or trying to defy gravity. So, what happened? Is it being a parent? Is it age? Today, I went on a field trip with Sabrina's nursery school. We took the train to Garrison and stopped off for a rest and a snack and then headed home. But, let me tell you, when I watched my child walk away from me on that train platform, I can't describe the feeling. It was like my legs went weak and my stomach dropped to the floor. It really freaked me out! I guess, when I was younger, I didn't understand things enough. Now, when I look at my kids, I know fear. It's not that I need to know God's plan for them, but I just wish I could be sure they would be safe. At the very least, I wish I could be sure that they will stay away from that darn yellow line at the edge of the train platform!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

That time of the month

For those of you that know me, I can piss and moan with the best of 'em. Today is nothing new. It's rainy and yucky outside. I have five tons of laundry to put away, a bunch of dirty dishes, a fish tank that needs cleaning and a 1,200-word story that is due tomorrow. On top of all that - yep, you guessed it, I've got my period. So, I'm not complaining about all those things - they're just things that are bugging me today. But I got to thinking as I was standing in line with my feminine napkins (wow, that sounds so pretty) on the belt while the guy behind me is throwing his beer and pretzels and steak and other man food on there and I am wishing bad things on him. Bad things on all men! Really - I know it is an awesome responsibility that God has given us - the ability to bear children. I know it is a blessing. But every month, right around the second day of my cycle - which is never the same since I had kids - I tend to see the negative side of menstruation. It's not the only unpleasant experience we get to have either. Yes, we can have children. That also means internal exams and pap smears and sometimes forceps - ouch. When we have the children, our boobs leak and we can get mastitis - ouch, ick. Then we get older and at our annual fun visit to the stirrups at the OB/GYN office, we now get to make friends with the mammogram machine. Yay - booby squishing. See how I can get on a rant and go from having my period to booby squishing? It's incredible. So, I have a plan. Something that would make me feel better and I'm sure most of the women in the world would like it too. I think all men should be given at least one kidney stone. It doesn't have to be horrible - maybe size of a marble. But, he should have to pass it. Yes, I said it. He must pass it out in his urine. And it would only take one stone. Because then, after suffering that pain (minor in comparison to what women endure) men would finally get it. And then, instead of being pains and refusing to go to the store for tampons or saying stupid things like "Oh, it must be your time of the month," men would start to respect our suffering. When I was younger, I used to get the worst cramps and felt like dying whenever my period rolled around. My mom would always say something helpful like "You're not the only woman in the world who gets her period, you know!" So, I'm crying out for all the women in the world who do get their period. "Kidney stones for men!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The olden days

This morning, Caty and I were driving to her swim lesson at Marist. And right there on Route 9 somewhere between home and the area around the mall, I got a glimpse of my past - a gold Cadillac Coupe de Ville. This is one of the few memories I have of my childhood when my parents were still married. My dad had a huge gold Caddy. The thing was a tank. I remember my sister and I sitting in the back and feeling like we were so far away from my mom and dad in the front. I mean, our feet barely hung over the front of the seat never mind touch the floor! I was telling Caty about that and how seatbelts were different back then and that we didn't even have to wear them. My lovely daughter asks "Mom, how come you didn't have to wear seatbelts back in the olden days?" The olden days? Did my child just say that to me? I am not even 40! How can she consider me old? Those few silver (not gray) hairs in my scalp are just a fluke, a sign of stress - not at all related to my age! But, she's right. To her, I'm olden. When I was Caty's age, my mom was 34 and my dad was 32 and I thought they were old! I thought my dad was the king of cool. He would come home and sit in his brown velour, plastic-covered "dad chair" and drink his 7 and 7 and put his cigarettes out in that giant colored glass ashtray that sat on the marble inlay of the side table. His feet rested on the rust colored shag carpet and he watched our wooden console television. I still think my dad is awesome, but back then he was like Superman to me. That is such a huge responsibility! And the more I think about it, the more I worry that I am doing things right now that will affect my kids for life. I felt so bad this weekend because Caty just seemed bored. I wish we lived in a neighborhood with younger kids. I wish it didn't have such a busy road and there was someone nearby that she could just play with. My parents didn't have to entertain me when I was a kid. I had the park and the kids in the neighborhood and we just went outside and played. I know it was a different time. I miss it. Not just for me, but for my kids. It's not that I want to just send them out the door after breakfast and see them back at dinner. I want them to be so absorbed in life and playing and friendship and fun that they don't want to come back in the house! I want the olden days for my girls!

I need a vacation from my life

Not that I have it that bad, but I really, really, really, really wish I was anywhere other than here today. My kids are seriously misbehaving. Not just the everyday driving me nuts being nuts and fighting with each other. This is insanely out of control. From the minute Caty woke up, she was not happy. She didn't want to go to swim lessons. She complained the whole time. She told me she was never going back and didn't care if I wasted my $95. She hates me and swimming and her sister and everything else in the world. She wishes she didn't have a sister. I don't get that. My older sister is 10 months my senior (Yes, her birthday is in March and I was born the following January. And don't make any snide comments.) Anyway, we've never really been close friends and didn't play much together once we got to be school age. But, I don't think I was ever this awful to her. I can't remember ever being so cruel or having such hatred in my heart for my sister. Right now, I am at MILs house. As usual, hubby took off to see a friend - apparently a guy who is afraid of other people's families because Chris never brings the kids with him. The girls beg to come to Yonkers. They love spending time with their abuela. Today is a different story. Caty is a mess. She is absolutely awful. Beating her sister, being disobedient. She's like the "before" video on an episode of Supernanny. She's totally out of control. It's oozing out of her body and she's even taking it out on my MIL. It's nuts. I'm losing it. My FIL must have some good Italian wine somewhere in this house and I'm ready to down it - and I don't even like wine! Somebody help.!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Every mom is different

This week, I suffered an eye injury. Nothing major, but I had to see my doctor and then an opthal... an eye doctor for scratches on my eye. Both times, I had to bring one or both children with me. My kids, for some reason, act like complete goofballs when we get into a doctor's office. They also act pretty goofy in the bank. I don't know, maybe it has something to do with the smell of money. Anyway, both doctors that I saw are women, but I was so amazed by how differently they handled my girls. In the first case, it was a regular internist - not my normal doctor. She was around my age and said she was a mom. I didn't go any further in the conversation because I just wanted to get out of there. My first clue that I didn't like the woman is when I told her I hurt my eye and she asked if I went to the eye doctor. I felt like saying "Yeah, I did, but I figure they're not really eye experts like you are!" Duh. My kids were being silly but they weren't doing anything harmful. They were bored. She snapped at them pretty fast and they looked pretty shocked and scared. I was okay with it because it saved me from scolding them. But, today, at the eye doctor, I had only Sabrina and we were around some pretty high-tech equipment that she really could have done damage to. The doctor, a mom of four, was so calm and cool about the whole thing. She was so sweet and patient with Sabrina. It made me wonder if she was so calm because she'd been through it all with her four kids, ranging in age from 12 to 3, or if she was just a nice, relaxed, patient woman. I am more like the first woman. I wish I could be more like the second. Maybe I should have two more kids and that will make me more calm. Ha. Oh, man, I just almost peed my pants from laughing so hard. Two more kids! That's a good one.