Monday, November 30, 2009

Second Wind

My kids hate sleeping! What is that about? Come 4 or 5 p.m., they are so cranky and icky and I know it's because they're tired. You think "Oh great. We'll eat dinner, they'll have a nice relaxing bath and then go to sleep." Ha ha ha. Joke's on me EVERY NIGHT! The clock's hands make it around to 7 p.m. and these little girls are wide awake. They are ready for anything. Well, anything except bed. Let's watch TV. Let's make brownies. Let's color. Let's play Barbies. Let's play a board game. Let's read 57 books. Let's play on the computer. Let's cut up every piece of paper in the house and leave the scraps everywhere. Let's do a makeover. Let's run up and down the stairs. Let's watch a movie. The list is endless. What I want to know is, where do they get the energy? I've heard of getting a second wind, but how much can these little bodies actually re-energize? Why, oh why, can't I do that. This is the time of night when I am just done. I've cooked and cleaned and bent over to pick up anything and everything so many times that I'm light-headed. I've done the laundry and folded it and put it away. I've done everything that I can do today and I am tired. I just want them to want to snuggle up next to me and quietly sit there while I read them a book or brush their hair or tell them a story. Shoot, if I had that chance, I would grab it. I wish someone wanted to snuggle up and brush my hair and tell me a story. Any volunteers? And then, when you're done with me, you can put my kids to bed!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I am not my mother

I will never be my mom. Maybe it's because she's from a different generation or because she was raised in a very strict household or something else, but she does these things that I will never do. Now, I'm sure you're waiting for me to point out some character flaw, but I won't. What I'm talking about is more aesthetic. Here's an example... after Thanksgiving dinner, my mom took all the napkins and immediately washed them. When she returned them, they were ironed and folded in the neatest stack. Did I say they were ironed? I don't even own an iron! When I do iron, it looks like I used the pointy end. I could run that thing back and forth for an hour and there would still be a wrinkle. She actually enjoys ironing! She says it's relaxing! I can't believe I actually came from this woman's womb! I remember my mother-in-law telling me a story about when she first got married. Her mother-in-law told her "I iron all of Miguel's clothes, so now that is your job. I iron everything - even his underwear and socks." Of course, my MIL never did it, but I'm sure she expected something similar of me when I married her only son. Not gonna happen. I've always been astounded by my mother's ability to make things look nice. She has a way of folding a fitted sheet so that it looks exactly like the flat sheet. It used to drive me nuts as a kid because I'd always pull the wrong one out of the linen closet. I've tried to fold them, but it doesn't work. I even watched a Martha Stewart instructional clip on how to fold them but I still can't do it. Luckily, I stop short of rolling the sheet into a ball and throwing it in the closet. It's little things, silly things really, that I will always remember about my mother - the way she threads a needle or that she'll only use a razor blade to sharpen a pencil. I wonder if my kids notice things like that about me. I just hope they don't notice the wrinkled napkins!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fast Forward

I am always amazed by the amount of things my kids know. Sometimes, it bothers me because I want them to retain their innocence. Other times, it just astounds me that they are so intelligent. But, one of the things that I think is so great about kids is how they will use words or phrases and have absolutely no idea what they mean. Or when they sing songs and make up words or say something that makes no sense, but sounds right. Today, we were watching a video and the letters "FF" came up on the screen. Caty yelled out FF! Look at that! Now, we say FF all the time when we want to skip through commercials on a show on the DVR, but I don't think we've ever said 'fast forward.' So, I asked her why she thought FF was so cool and she said "because that's our word! someone else knows our word." I explained to her what FF and fast forward were and she seemed a bit disappointed when she said "Oh, I thought we made it up." It was so cute but I felt awful bursting her little bubble. Next time, I won't tell her!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Moms are no Aunts

My entire life, I have been compared to my older sister. "Why can't you apply yourself like Jennifer?" or "Why can't you get good grades like Jennifer?" or "Your sister is never late for school" or "Your sister never got arrested"... you get my drift. I thought I was done with it, but now even my own kids do it! My kids worship my sister. They adore her. They can't wait for her to come home from work every day so they can see her. When she is free, they are up her butt. What I don't understand is how she never seems to tire of them. She is so patient with them. She teaches them so much and uses every available moment as an educational opportunity. I credit my daughter being a math whiz because my sister is. I think my kids think I'm slightly intelligent, but when they ask me a difficult question and I give them the answer, they say "Oh, forget it, I'll ask Aunt Jen." Even if I'm sure of the answer! But none of that bothers me. Because I know if I die, my sister will be a fantastic mom to my girls. Here's what does bother me - making things from scratch. One day, Caty asked if we could make cookies and I told her I didn't have the stuff to make them, meaning that I did not have a slice and bake roll of Toll House cookies in my fridge. So, here comes my sister...Don't you have flour? Don't you have sugar? Eggs? Yeah, so? Apparently, these are the ingredients for cookies. Sure, I have them all, but I combine them only once a year and that is when I feel obligated to make Christmas cookies and bring them to family events. I'm no baker. I like to cook, but I'm just not fond of baking. It requires too much prep work and clean up and measuring and waiting for stuff to rise and rolling and kneading and aaaaaargh! That's a special project - it's not something you just do, like, when you're bored. Except, my sister does it. She makes cookies with my kids. She makes cupcakes with homemade icing. She makes bread and biscuits and pie and cake and muffins and everything else that normal people buy in a bakery. There are no boxes in her kitchen that say Pillsbury or Duncan Hines. She's probably never even used a container of frosting. To me, that is just crazy! So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. My sister and Caty have made the cranberry sauce and a pumpkin cheesecake and probably a dozen other gourmet dishes. She did let me make the lasagna (for my vegetarian Dad) but she had Caty supervise the whole thing. I just can't catch a break. Hmmm. Maybe tomorrow during dinner, the gravy will be lumpy (yeah, right, sure. Fat chance).

Monday, November 23, 2009

What is it with kids and the potty?

Lord help me, if I have to buy another Pull-Up, I'm going to kill someone! My oldest daughter was potty-trained at 2. We were on vacation with BFFs in South Carolina. Their son was peeing off the porch and Caty thought it was awesome, so she started peeing too. She wanted to do it standing up, but we convinced her not to. She still thinks peeing standing up is pretty neat. (I do too. It's one of the only things men are masters of). Now, I know it's not fair to compare siblings. I know everyone progresses at their own speed. But, goodness, if my little girl doesn't stop her obsession with the Pull-Up, I will go insane! You don't even need to tell me all the things I'm doing wrong. Sure, my mom gives her a cup (or three) of chocolate milk every night before bed. No, she doesn't use the toilet before she goes to bed (because it's hard enough actually getting her to fall asleep). Yes, I know plenty of moms who don't give their kids drinks after 6 p.m. and who wake up in the middle of the night to walk their sleeping pre-schooler to the toilet to empty their bladder. And, yes, I know I'm a big, fat, lazy mom who just puts the Pull-Up on and deals with it in the morning. I guess I'd rather have that than the accident to deal with. But, now, if you don't take the Pull-Up off right away, she will pee in it! She's fully awake and aware of what she is doing. It's no accident (even though she says it is). I've even caught her trying to run and hide to poop in it. Are you kidding me? My kid will be wearing Depends in college, I'm sure of it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What did you say?

Had a couple of hours with the BFFs last night - cupcakes to celebrate a mommy birthday. Don't ask me if it was the sugar rush, the hardwood floors or something else, but the noise level in this house was crazy! Ten kids ranging in age from 2 to 7. Ten really loud kids. Ten kids that seemed to be bouncing off the walls like ping-pong balls. Funny, because on the way there, I thought my head would explode from listening to my kids in the back seat - arguing, asking why, singing, chanting, blah, blah, bibble babble. I actually started humming to myself. At one point, I tried to put the iPod headphones in my ears, but they caught me! So, the four moms are sitting at the table talking. We're being interrupted every few minutes by someone tattling on someone else or a big crash or a cry that needs tending to. But, basically, we're working like robots. Like we know who is walking over to us before we even see them and we know what they are going to ask for - so someone just pushes the cupcake over for her son and the other one holds her napkin out to wipe a frosting-covered face and the other one removes her hands from her lap and sits back just a second before her little one shows an interest in climbing up to sit on her lap. It was amazing to watch these ladies work this way. As the evening was ending, BFFMG says she never thought she'd be one of those moms that could just tune everything out. Pre-kids, she would see moms in the store and their kids would be screaming and fighting and hanging onto her pant legs and she would just be quietly walking down the aisle looking for Ovaltine. Now that she has two of her own and, for some crazy reason doesn't mind being the host to eight other kids, she has learned to tune out the incessant noise. Kids will talk and cry and whine and yell and sing and hum and cough and laugh and scream and sob and chatter and just make noise all day long if you let them. Sometimes you just have to unfocus and let your ears adjust to their noise as white noise. Believe me, if there's a really cry (like from hurt or needing help) you'll know it. It will be different than the droning. Then, once you right whatever went wrong, you can go back to your tranquility.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

No Santa

At school the other day, a mom approached me and asked for a favor. Sure, of course, whatever I can do. "Tell Caty to stop telling all the kids that there is no Santa Claus!" I didn't like the way she said it, but I guess she has a point. She told me that her daughter in Caty's second-grade class is her "baby" so she wants to keep up the ruse of Santa and the Easter Bunny and all of that as long as she can. Oh, yeah, Caty told her there was no Easter Bunny either. So, I told the mom that we celebrate Jesus and the real reason for holidays in our house, but I have never said Santa Claus isn't real. I have told her about the history of Saint Nicholas and that it is okay to see Santa as what he is - a type of cartoon or character. But, as far as a strange man sneaking into our house via the chimney to leave gifts? No. My kids don't think that gifts are free and that they fall from the sky. They understand that people work hard for the money they earn to buy those gifts. In our home, as should be in all, Jesus is the reason for the season. But, even if that wasn't the case, how do you explain to your kids that Santa doesn't visit everyone? There are millions of children all over the world that don't get gifts, right? And how come Mom? Why doesn't Santa give those kids presents? So, is it my job to teach my child to not state her beliefs? Or is it the other mom's job to tell her child to just ignore what other kids say about the topic? I figured out around age 6 that my mom was Santa because they had very similar handwriting. Maybe it's time this girl figure it out too. Maybe, tomorrow, I'll go to school and tell her that the Tooth Fairy is pretend too.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Didn't I just write recently about my children and how they never EVER want to go to sleep? Yeah, well, it's 8 pm and both of them are passed out like drunks at happy hour. Hard tired - mouths open, drool leaking down their cheeks, little snores coming from their little noses. I don't know what hit 'em, but I like it and I would like a bottle of it to store in the pantry please!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


How sad is it that I am cheering because both of my kids are asleep before 10 p.m.? Bonus points because it's before 9:30!!! Seriously, I need the sleep equivalent of the dog whisperer to come over to my house and convince my kids to stop bouncing off the walls and go to sleep. Pre-schoolers need something like 13 or 14 hours of sleep a day. Yeah, right - tell that to my pre-schooler. They won't even sleep late on the weekend or a school holiday. Go to bed late? Wake up early. Wrong, girls. You've got it all wrong!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Growing up

Why does it go by so fast? They're babies and in the blink of an eye they're big kids. The way they look changes, the way they talk - it happens in an instant. Just yesterday, the girls in my daughter's Brownie troop were talking about being old enough to drive. Whoa! Slow down. When you're young, you just can't wait to get older. When you're older, you reminisce about youth. I guess that's why they say youth is wasted on the young. I noticed it today at BFF-AM's house. We were looking at her son, who is five. He broke his arm and was acting like such a brave boy. One minute he was that shy little boy with the cute, raspy voice and now he's brave? Now he wants to watch Batman and Superman and Indiana Jones? Um, no sir. You are just too darn little for that no matter what you think! You're not supposed to be going to school and reading books to your little sister. Of course, I want my kids and those of my friends (and I guess all kids in general) to love the experience of growing up and gaining more knowledge and experience. I guess I just wish they would take it a bit slower. One day at a time, you know? It doesn't have to go by so fast!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I once read an article that said you should teach your kids about deodorant before they need it. My kids aren't listening. They're still a little young to worry about underarms, but how about breath? They hate to brush their teeth and, when they do, it's such a lame job. I've even given Caty some mints to put in her backpack because some days her breath is not pretty. She's got to be able to smell it. And while we're on the subject, how about the feet? My kids have got some stinkers. They get that from their dad! I know it's because they never wear socks and the shoes they wear are usually cheap ones (sorry, but I can't invest in $50 shoes when I have to buy new ones every 6 months!) but I put the odor-eater spray in there, sprinkle in the powder - the works. But, they still smell. I know because every day when they get home from school, they kick off their shoes and shove their toes in my face. I love my job!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I'm no June Cleaver. It takes a lot to offend me. And I guess it's because I'm the mom of two young girls, but I am so sick of women lately! Just when they were starting to get into this whole Hannah Montana thing, Miley Cyrus goes and starts acting like a hoochie. I guess we were watching earlier episodes when she was cute and a little goofy. Now, she's wearing underpants in her videos and shaking her rump. I don't get it. Why do girls want to be this way? Why do you want the bottom of your butt cheeks sticking out of your shorts? It's not like I'm so old, but when I was a girl, we would wear shorts under our Catholic school skirts so no one would see our underwear when we were walking up the steps. Sure, by the time we were in high school, most of the girls would roll up their skirt an inch or two, but nothing like these girls now! I can't take it. I don't want my girls to look at these people on television and think this is pretty. But, we can't even turn off the TV to avoid it! It's everywhere. You can't go to the mall. You can't go to the beach. You can't go anywhere that a girl over 11 might be, because you are bound to see something inappropriate. It's not like I want my kids to dress like the Amish or wear birkas or anything, but come on! Maybe just a little bit of cover? A scarf? A shawl? Can we get denim jackets and baggy pants to come back in style?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Too quiet

It's Friday night again and my girls are gone - off to Abuela's house to spend the night and visit with their daddy's family. I know I should be reveling in the peace and quiet. I've gotten all the suggestions - take a bath (don't like 'em), drink some wine (don't like it), watch a good movie and snuggle in front of the fire (I cancelled my satellite service and I'm scared of burning the mouse family living in my chimney). So, what to do? I do have a lot to do. I'm not feeling sorry for myself by any means. I just feel like I'm missing an appendage or something. When your kids aren't around, you don't just notice the silence - you feel their absence. It's hard to wave goodbye. It's hard to know you're not the one tucking them in at night. It's even hard to sleep without those little feet kicking me in the back. I'm sure I'll get used to it eventually but for now, I'll call them just to hear their voices!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


When, oh when oh when oh when will my children learn to do anything by themselves??? Well, I'm sorry, they can get into trouble all by themselves. They can do the stuff they're not supposed to do. But, when it comes to the most simple tasks, they are at a loss. They won't look for anything! When I want something, I get up and get it. When my children want something, they stay where they are and don't move a muscle and say "Mom, can you get my baby doll?" Um, I can, but I won't. Why can't you get it? I ask. "I don't know where it is." Well, did you look? "No." There you go. Get up and go look for it. I don't mean to sound uncaring but Get it yourself. I know you can do it. I've seen you stand up. I've seen you walk. I've seen you bend down. I've seen you pick up a toy. I know you can do it. I have every faith in your ability, my child.

Monday, November 2, 2009

No sleep

Yeah, I'm still on a mission to shove a clock down the throat of whomever came up with this daylight savings time garbage! Seriously, next year, I'm not doing it. I don't care. I'm going to just start my own time. Isn't there a town in the Midwest that doesn't change their clocks? Maybe I should move there. I didn't get an extra hour. In fact, my kids woke up earlier than normal. Then, they went to bed much, much later. And now? Picture a pinball machine. You can hear it. Bing. Bing. Bing. Bing. That's my kids. Whining. Crying about every little thing and bouncing off the darn walls. I didn't even let them have any of their Halloween candy. They've had no chocolate or sugar and they're still going nuts. I think these past two days have been the longest of my life. I really need a drink.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Extra sleep?

Okay, whoever said that we would get an extra hour of sleep this morning since we set the clocks back, better check for smoke - because his pants are on fire!!!! What a joke. I didn't get any extra sleep. I woke up, saw a 6 on the clock and thought I was dreaming. I didn't know where I was, what day it was, what time it was and who those two little girls poking me in the ribs were. Maybe they're all hopped up on the sugar rush from their Halloween candy, but they were up and ready to go at 6. Does that mean it's really 5 or is it 7 o'clock? I'm confused. I need a nap.