Sunday, December 30, 2007

Poo Stains Begone!

I've decided I am the master of poo stain removal. I can make any stain dissapppear as long as I do it immediately after the article of clothing is removed from the offending butt cheeks. This is something I learned after many, MANY diahrea disasters. Not by me of course, but my kids have been known to make quite the mess. The Bee can easily win the title for the greatest poo disaster. In his first four months of life, it wasn't unusual to find poo all the way up on his shoulders. Explosive!

I'm sure you'd love to hear my secret, so here is my simple trick to removing nasty poo stains.

1. Remove the article of clothing without smearing the poo too much back on to the shirt.
2. Rinse article of clothing with plain water.
3. Grab a bleep load of liquid soap and squirt on to stains. It can be any liquid soap lying around - hand soap or baby soap works.
4. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Rinse, rinse, rinse.
5. Finally, the secret ingredient..........DOVE BAR SOAP. I rub the stains out with dove bar soap. Scrub, Lather, rinse, and repeat until all the stains are gone.

It's funny how the dove soap works much like an eraser. I discovered this by accident one day trying to remove my son's nasty poo stains. The only reason I bother with the liquid soap is because I don't want my bar of soap to touch actual poo. Yuck! Especially since I use it to wash my body, but you can easily designate a bar of Dove soap just for this purpose. Later just throw the article of clothing into the wash with the rest of your clothes, and it will be as good as new. Go ahead and try it. You can thank me later.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Big Brother's Version of the Food Pyramid


Big Brother is not really adventurous when it comes to eating. When he first started eating solids, one of his favorites was sweet potatoes, beans, carrots, peas, and cheese. These days, he will only eat from the bottom of his personal food pyramid. Ask him what he wants to eat and he will most likely pull some variation from his bread and dairy group. Some call this the "white bread" diet, but I call this the "you're going to die soon if you don't get some real food in ya" diet.

On the menu this month:

Cheese sandwich: bread, cheese, mustard, mayo

Cinnamon toast: bread with cinnamon and brown sugar

Quesadilla: corn tortilla and cheese

Macaroni: more cheese and more starch

Omelet: egg and cheese

Cake: egg, cheese, flour, etc. He turned four this month.

Candy: more of what he calls "the good stuff"

Fishies: cheese fish crackers, no real meat in this one

Tortilla: just a flour tortilla and butter

Pumpkin Bread: a sweet bread made with pumpkin puree

It has been so frustrating feeding him recently because he is even saying no to his old favorites like pizza, bacon, albondigas (turkey meatballs in a tomato broth), carrots and celery in soup, potato anything, beans, rice, oven roasted chicken, cereal, and other kid friendly foods. I am constantly worrying that he is not meeting his nutritional needs especially in the iron department. He will take vitamins, but I don't want him to become dependent on these. I also don't want to have to hide fruits and veggies in some kind of sweet bread all the time. I don't have the time for that with another one roaming around, and actually having to cook real meals for us adult folks.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Butcher Shop

My hair is very temperamental. Some days it likes to lie flat, others it wants to curl in gentle waves, and still other days, it can't make up it's mind and does a little bit of both. On really damp or humid days, it is just outright defiant and turns into one big ball of frizz - bottles of mouse and hairspray are consumed on those days in attempts to make it somewhat presentable.

These are the many reasons I am most reluctant to get my hair chopped, since one wrong cut and my hair goes all Jekyll and Hyde on me. So one morning, a couple of weeks ago, I decided that today was the day my hair met Mr. Scissors once again. After many split ends, numerous knots, four inches, and 10 months of growth, I had decided that my haircut was long overdue.

Nothing would stop me that day from getting my locks lopped off. Knowing that I just couldn't go anywhere to get my hair cut, I scoured internet sites, read reviews, checked coupons, until I found a place that sounded like it would meet my needs. I decided to go with a shop that could schedule me in immediately and praised itself for being able to cut ethnic hair. After all, I figured my hair qualified as being ethnic.

I was on a mission, and I couldn't wait until my regular hairdresser had an opening to cut my hair. Besides being frugal and broke, I decided I needed a more affordable cut. I would just have to do without the shampoo, foot and head massage, and a hairdresser that values symmetry, because apparently this new salon did not.

The new salon was no bigger than a closet, and about as cozy and bright as one too. It mirrors rested on the counter in a slant since apparently it was too much trouble to hang them on the wall. Three women sat and waited with hair much frizzier than mine, while two others got their hair groomed by two separate hairdressers. My first instinct was to run the other direction, but I decided I would not judge a hairdressers ability by the way they kept their salon.

I should have run the other way, because after a quick shampoo done only because the stylist misplaced her spray bottle, a puzzled look after asking for a two layer haircut, and many haphazard cuts, I ended up with hair that was unevenly layered on half my head, and one side one inch longer than the other. This I didn't notice until I got home because as soon as she said she was done, she popped a hand held mirror bigger than the windshield of my car in my face and asked how I liked the back. The back looked fine as far as I could tell since it was sopping wet, but mostly, I just wanted to run out of there, and get them as far away from my hair as I could.

I came home dismayed. The Dada took one look into my eyes and knew I was teetering on the edge, about to explode into fits of tears. He said my hair looked fine, and you couldn't notice the unevenness when I had it up. It didn't matter because even if I put it up, I knew my hair had been butchered. I solemnly held my head to the right. The side that ended up one inch longer, and in my mind, that was why that side felt heavier.

I eventually scheduled a haircut with my regular hairdresser. I had to admit I had cheated on him with another much less capable hairdresser, and was now returning to him knowing that he could make it all better. So after $70, two hair dressers, many MANY cuts, and hair that had to end up one inch shorter than desired, I eventually got my haircut - completely layered and symmetrical. Next time I will have to remember the lesson relearned (because I am just that thick)- be patient, and stop being such a cheap ass.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Buyer's Remorse

We bought our tree a couple of weeks ago (Yes. I realize that's early, and I'm all for not starting x-mas too early -like back in September - but we are leaving soon, and I wanted to have time to enjoy the dam tree!). We bought a real tree, not a live one or fake one, but a REAL dead tree. The Dada and I have been married for almost seven years now, and this is our first tree. Before this year, we were either out of town most of December or lived in too small a place to have one, or really just didn't want to have to redecorate the tree everyday with a toddler around as we are doing now.

The tree is beautiful. It needles are soft, green, but not too stiff, it branches are full and strong, and its shape is so perfectly conical it should be featured in all x-mas magazine covers. Everything you could ever want from a Christmas tree, this tree has.

Yet, as perfect as it is, I feel sad looking at it. It stands there stalwart and radiant looking back at me as if to say, "Look how beautiful I am, and think of how much more beautiful I could have gotten if I were left to live." Yes. My tree is conceited, too. Either way, I can't help, but agree with the tree. We played a role in it's slaughter, and now its looking us straight in the face and asking "Why". I am remorseful.

You'd think I'd be able to handle this since I am a carnivore. I do feel somewhat remorseful eating meat, and I have tried to cut back, but come on, I'm Mexican, and a meal at my house wasn't a meal unless there was a dead animal on the plate. But since the whole animal carcass isn't on my plate at once staring me in the face, it's easier to distance myself. If I had to kill the animal myself, I probably wouldn't be able to do it unless I was starving and that was all there was to eat. In which case, I'm sure the animal would be sizing me up to.

So maybe next year, I will become a plasticarian. I will purchase a fake tree just like the one we had when I was growing up. Well, maybe not exactly like the one we had since our tree was white, and by that I don't mean it had fake snow, but that it had white needles. What was my mother thinking? I loved that tree growing up just as much as I love this year's Christmas tree. Although, if we did buy a fake tree, I will have to also think about the many migrant workers in China earning $100 a month to make our fake tree and feel remorseful about that. Heck! If all else fails, we'll just paint a tree on the wall.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Under Construction

I'm currently working on a new header and color scheme.

Guest Blogging Elsewhere

Becoming a mother is such a shock to the system physically and mentally. You can try to explain it to someone who is not a mother until your mouth goes dry, but there is just nothing like experiencing it yourself. All new mothers share many of the same trials, but ultimately, the experience is very unique for each person. Why? Because all mothers are different, all babies are different, and all circumstances are different. Nonetheless, we try to help each other knowing that our advice, however well intentioned, may not necessarily work for that person. We know how tough it is, and we just can't help but empathize. My inauguration into motherhood is still so vivid and real to me. Although, it could just be because the Bee refuses to sleep and has been waking up every two hours. Hey. You. Go. To. SLEEP! Your not a newborn anymore and we aren't having any awesome circus parties while you sleep. So sleep already!

Getting back to the main purpose of this post...I was honored when Julie asked me to guest blog in her very creative, always-real blog. She just had a baby, so she has lots to say about the many trials new mothers are faced with. So go ahead. Pay a visit to Julie at the calm before the stork to read her posts, and take a gander at my guest post to find out why I was itching for Big Brother to exit the womb and give me some relief in my ninth month of pregnancy with him. Go ahead. I'm not going anywhere. I will be right here waiting for you. Well. Not really. But go anyway. You can visit here later.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Beeisms

The Bee has been busy acquiring new words. Here are a few of his most frequently used words (or at least the ones I can remember).

"Ma-ma": This was his first word and it still melts my heart when I hear it.

"ten-tu":(Thank you) This is actually the second word/phrase he ever spoke, and he likes to use it to show his gratitude when being given a requested item that required much thrashing, head-bonking, and screaming. Sometimes he just says it to be polite.

"Da-da": Frequently yells this to get his Dada's attention upon arrival from work.

"Pa-pa": Pronounced with a Spanish accent since my mom taught him this one. Papa means potato in Spanish and sometimes it's taught to babies to mean food since it's so easy for them to say. (with a different inflection, it also means dad.)

"Um-um": (Does it count as a word if it's just the sound one makes when biting into food) Another word he likes to use to tell me he's hungry.

"Ba-bu": (Brother) Often used when in search for Big Brother. I actually caught the Bee practicing how to say brother's first name while we were all still lying in bed.

"Ah-dun": (All done) An important one for him to know since he uses it to tell me to stop shoveling food down his throat, or when he's had just about enough of his car seat.

"Na-Night":(Night-Night) Time for bed he says.

"Ba-bye": (Bye Bye) He isn't afraid to tell me when it's time to get out and see the world. He's a "callejero" ( calle meaning street in Spanish, but the term refers to someone who likes to be out and about.)

"Apa":(Grandpa) Learned this one back in October when grandpa was out visiting us. He just had to compete with Big Brother for his attention.

"Ga-ma": (Grandma) He learned this word from big brother while visiting my mom, as my mom was unable to teach him the word abuelita.

"A-wah-woo": (I Love you) He said it for the first time as I was changing his diaper completely out of no where. I hadn't said it recently, and I had never practiced this phrase with him before, so I totally did a double take. Guuuuuuuuuuuush. It definitely felt good to hear, especially while doing the unpleasant task of changing a poo diaper. He's said it many times since to everyone else in our family, and I never get tired of hearing him say it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Breastfeeding Woes & Imperfect Pumps

A recent birth of a friend's baby has prompted me to remember the many woes I've had as a breastfeeding mother. The first was definitely the hardest. Everyday I wanted nothing more than to quit. I endured everything from bleeding nipples, clogged ducts, overactive letdown, poor latch, constant engorgement, a baby who fussed every time he was put on the boob, clogged ducts, and mastitis - all of this in just the first few weeks. Every time, I went to the pediatrician, I'd explain all my nursing woes hoping that just maybe, she would suggest that my baby was lactose intolerant or anything that would make giving up breastfeeding guiltless. Nope.

I kept asking myself, just how I was going to bond with this baby if I couldn't resolve all these breastfeeding issues. Isn't breastfeeding suppose to just come naturally? I thought all you were suppose to do is insure a good latch and everything pretty much was suppose to take care of itself - at least that's the impression I got from the breastfeeding class we had taken. At the time, I didn't find breastfeeding to be this beautiful bonding experience I was told it was going to be. I was shocked to find out it was a very complicated process with a steep learning curve.

My nursing sessions at first went something like this..

1. Drain milk out enough to latch boy on.
2. Attempt to latch boy.
3. Boy screams, latches, screams, latches, screams.
4. Proceed to drain more milk out to reduce flow, but not so much so that it encourages more milk production and therefore more engorgement.
5. Attempt to latch boy.
6.Boy screams, latches, screams, latches, screams,latches, but finally stays on.
7. Realize that the pain I am feeling is due to poor latch, and reluctantly unlatch.
8. Boy screams.
9. Attempt to relatch boy, more boy screams, latches, screams, latches.
10. Still latched incorrectly, but endure pain since I am desperate to get the milk out and feed the boy. Will deal with bleeding nipples later.
11. Cringe a bit at the pain.
12.Unlatch, and hope boy is still interested in nursing. Pleeeease be hungry boy. There's a whole other boob ready to burst.
13. Repeat steps 1-12, if not partially empty other boob manually.

Eventually I incorporated the use of the breast pump, but soon found out I was clogged. Despite the engorgement I never became clogged before using the pump. To this day, I only use it in desperate situations, because I firmly believe the unnatural pumping from my imperfect breast pump somehow changed or stretched my ducts, so that now I suffer from chronic clogging. Especially if I don't get my engorgement under control - something I've only been able to accomplish by getting the boys on a loose feeding schedule because I've dealt with this even with my second child.

When I started dealing with chronic clogging, I had to add the following to the routine.

Before step 1. Hot compress boob for 10 minutes.
Between step 10-11 Manually massage boob while boy nurses to make sure boob drains evenly and completely.
Step 14. Deal with ducts that didn't empty, and do whatever needs to be done before mastitis sets in. For the love of god, not mastitis.

Eventually, the boy and I got better at the latching thing, I didn't get bleeding nipples anymore, and I got better about dealing with the clogged ducts. Through my experience, I learned that the key to successfully breastfeeding was to have a solid breastfeeding support network, to take it one day at a time, and to always be informed. I eventually grew to love our nursing sessions and even went on to nurse my son past my 6 month goal until he was 18 months when I was a bit sad about giving up the intimacy that comes with nursing. I am currently still nursing my second, and it's definitely much easier the second time around.

(I found the following website to be extremely useful when I first started off nursing. It got me through many, MANY of my issues.)

http://www.kellymom.com/

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My Kids are Barbarians

or as my mother-in-law likes to call them, "white trash". Although, are they still considered white trash if they are part Hispanic? My mom would probably say they are "indios". Maybe they are "indio trash" as both terms in their respective cultures are derogatory terms for someone who is uncivilized.

But either way, my kids have a hard time keeping their clothes on no matter how frigid it may be. Thanksgiving was no exception, of course. Big Brother had his shirt torn off just an hour after our first guests arrived and was wearing nothing but his underwear before everyone left. The Bee had torn off his shirt and socks soon after Big Brother lost his shirt and was flaunting his little milk belly for all to see. Both were racing throughout my mother's house screaming at the top of their lungs, pretending to get in gun fights with their cousins and occasionally getting involved in minor scuffles with each other.

When it came to eating, big brother reached in for the big ole turkey drumstick soon after it was carved off and long before everyone was ready to eat. He just went right for it and gnawed off as much meat as he could--no plates or silverware necessary. He would not be bothered with any veggies or other non-carnivorous items. At least he wasn't going to get his shirt dirty as he wasn't wearing one, but he did manage to find the pretty lace table cloth to wipe his face.

The Bee, not to be outdone, kept tugging at the tablecloth and knocking many of the Thanksgiving goodies off in his futile, but clever attempts to pull the desired items that were just out of reach closer to him. He eventually discovered that digging through the aftermath of our Thanksgiving feast and pulling morsels out of the trash wasn't so bad. At one point he managed to dig out a plate with a partially eaten piece of cake from the trash and was not going to be bothered with using his hands. He just licked it off the plate. We found him doing this, covered in frosting, but again, at least there was no frosting to clean off his shirt since he wasn't wearing one.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

10 things I wish I knew before I had kids

In no particular order...

1. There will be no time for you once they are born.

2. The worrying is constant.

3. You will be wishing they learn to talk ASAP so that they can stop screaming at you, and then you will be wishing they would just shut up for a moment.

4. It will be YEARS before you get any real sleep that doesn't involve waking up in the middle of the night multiple times.

5. You will often be covered in puke or poo, and sometimes even pee.

6. Your house will never be clean again - give it up.

7. Breastfeeding is much harder than pregnancy and labor.

8. The guy named Genetics is such a jokester - you never know what your gonna get. Your kids can be a lot like the family member you try to avoid.

9. Times will be tough financially especially when they are under five - someone's gotta watch them.

10. You will never love anyone like you love your children even if some days all you want to do is throw them out the window. (figuratively, of course.)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Nothing to Envy Here

Yep. There is nothing to envy here. Nothing that will make you think: oh I wish I had that, life's unfair, why don't I live there, why can't I write like that or take pictures like that, where's my master's degree or prestigious job, why am I not that slender, pretty, smart, popular, etc. Nope. I will give you little reason to envy me, as I know that part of what we bloggers do, is take a glimpse into the life of others to compare and covet.

Then again, today my glass is 9/10th's empty, but I promise never to brag about my life during the times I feel it overflows with the little things that make it worth living.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

By the way...

The oppossum is gone! Yeah! Well, at least it's gone from the underside of the tub, because I've had several run ins with it outside at night while attempting to exit the house. Once as I was trying to take out the trash, and another time as I was trying to get in the car to go make a quick run to the grocery store.

The time I was trying to go to the grocery store, it decided to hide under the car, and I had to get "The Dada" to chase it out because I couldn't help but imagine this creature pawing at my feet as I entered the car, or its guts splattering everywhere as my car stamped its tires onto its small furry body. Yuck!

Now's not a good time. Tomorrow won't be good either.

My mom called me today and asked me if I remembered that I still had a mother. Yes I did I told her, but the timing is always wrong I said. This time was not much better, as it was 7 am, and I found myself on my knees scrubbing bright red vomit out of the carpet, and trying to figure out how I was also going to remove the bedsheets to wash, and the toys that got splattered before the Bee decided to help me.

Don't worry, the bright red was not blood but a neon red Gatorade that Big Brother has been consuming for the past 4 days to keep hydrated from all the vomiting and diarrhea he's had to endure - thank you red # 40. The doctor's brilliant diagnosis was stomach flu again. "Yep, I figured you'd say that. Thanks" - I should have gone to medical school because I cleverly came up with the same diagnosis. Stomach flu, a catch all diagnosis for doctors who can't figure out what's up with all the puking and pooing that's going on with your kid. Oh ya, and he mentioned that he should come back in a couple days if he's still alive and puking.

Mom, your timing was awful, as it usually is. Calling me at 7 am is never a good time as like most nights, sleep was scarce. Calling me at 9 pm while I'm trying to get kids bathed, dishes cleaned, sometimes even dinner made, and kids to bed just because you have free minutes after 9 pm is not a good time either. 3 pm, maybe? Telling me that my snooty cousin has her own family life under control and implying I should too, does not make me want to call you.

And it's all very unfortunate, because I was waiting for a good time to call you and tell you thanks. Thanks for cleaning after me and washing my sheets when I was a kid. If it wasn't appreciated then, it is appreciated now. So maybe, when I get over our most recent call that left me quite irritated, I will call and say thanks, because being a mom, I now how thankless and redundant this job can be.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Quote of the Day

As my oldest son was changing out of his nighttime diaper and pulling up his underwear, he tilted his butt cheeks to the side, grinned, and exclaimed "I have a sexy boo-TY momma!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

OOO...Possum!

We have a squatter in our midst. This squatter has decided that the underside of our fiberglass tub makes a cozy home. It is unfazed by the constant trickle of water, two screaming kids who like to jump on it, the thunderous waterfall that our shower head produces, and my futile attempts to scare the bejeezus out of it by beating at the bathtub until my wrists turn blue.

It has occupied its new home for three weeks now, and despite that it has never once offered to pay rent, it struts around our property as if it owns the place. Tonight, I decided to be more clever than this carrier of fleas, as once again it was strutting outside my bedroom window getting into our recycling and flaunting his sense of entitlement to all the goodies our property has to offer.

My plan was/is as follows:

First spot the intruder making sure he has gotten far enough away from his makeshift front door to his lair.

Second, with the help of my lovely assistant (a.k.a. Dada) board up opening with the help of many, many heavy stones.

Third, continue to listen for more rustling sounds coming or hopefully not coming from the underside of the bathtub in the days to come for the possibility that our intruder found another way in or left us its brood. (This last part was what was keeping us from getting rid of our friend because the idea of his soon to be dead brood rotting in the underside of our bathtub made us want to puke!)

Lastly, plug hole around drain if no strange smell or noises come from the underside of the the tub. Otherwise, admit defeat and cough up a few hundred dollars to hire a professional.

Place your bets. More to follow...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Bee's Playground Yummies

Bee has not taken very well to table foods. He will eat anything mushy out of a jar, pieces of bread or delicious snack food, and the occasional bowl of rice. He also likes to indulge in eating the many non-edible yummies the playground has to offer. On the menu are ...

Rocks: He likes to eat these by the fistful - literally. Some times he tosses these in buckets and pretends they're some delicious liquid drink. Other times, he just treats them as snack food. I've caught him many times with a mouthful of rocks.

Sand: Bee enjoys eating sand as much as some kids enjoy eating their purple pixie sticks. I guess there's nothing like crunching on some nice salty kitty litter sand.

Domes and poles: These of course must be treated as lollipops.

Random bottle caps: Good to chew on, especially when ones teething.

Littered candy wrappers:
Bee likes to pretend these are gum.

Swings, shovels, other random well-nastified toys: Bee treats these much like a dog treats their beloved dog bone.

Lest you think I'm a poor mother, this kid is quick and an awesome scavenger. Mommy on the other hand is tired, sleepy, and usually trying to watch the elder boy while following the Bee.

P.P.S. I Don't Know Everything.

Big surprise, huh? People seem to think that teachers should know everything, and should be perfect, but most don't know everything, and all are imperfect. We make mistakes just like everyone else, and that's okay. In writing this blog, I will make many, many, MANY mistakes, especially interchanging homynyms. The thing is, I actually know which ones to use, if I didn't I would just go here , but I'm always in such a rush since I do have two screaming kids in the background constantly demanding my attention. If I do make a mistake, you can politely e-mail me a little note so that all can be write right in the world.

P.S. I Love Teaching.

I know it may sound like I don't love teaching, but I really do. I love how its never boring, always challenging, and its always such a rush to hear kids scream "I get it". I love how you have to constantly think on your feet, and the sudden waves of pure genius that sometimes hits you when you come up with a lesson on the spot that finally gets your message across. Sure the genius thing doesn't happen as often as I'd like but often enough. I've even been told by previous principals that I'm a natural at it. What I don't like is the politics of it all because tests are an imperfect measuring tool of someone's knowledge and intelligence if you ask me, but I won't go into that - at least not today. I am vowing to think positively today. Tomorrow, who knows? Tomorrow I can be angry, bitter, and pessimistic, but never mind that, because today, I'm optimistic.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I am not alone

Apparently, I am not the only one that feels that mothers today are being discriminated against in the workplace. I guess I should have figured as much. We spend so much time in our own little world and our own little homes that we forget that there are others having similar experiences. Thank god for blogs and the network they create among people and information they spread. Lack of real physical social interactions, after all, is largely due to being too busy bringing home the bacon, or at least trying to.

According to momsrising.org, families are not valued in America - big surprise.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

If I were any stiffer I'd be dead

Yes, folks, If I were any stiffer I'd be dead. The combination of having very little savings, no job, no sleep, and two screaming kids have left me with rigor mortis. My shoulders are up to my ears, and it feels like someone stuffed some golf balls behind my shoulder blades.

Right now, we can't afford any of these modern day luxuries like having a home, running water, electricity, sending the boy to preschool, and certainly not this high speed dsl that I could be using to find a job. On the plus side, I think we might be able to afford to eat this month.

You see, the trouble with having children, is that they need someone to take care of them, and if you vow never to have some stranger watch your children, well then, that means you need to watch them. That also means, that with every child you must leave work. The effect of that then leaves you with gaps in your work history. Staying homes shows you value your children over your job, and well, employers don't like to see that because NOTHING should be prioritized over your job.

You'd think working in a school where children are a priority things would be different. No. No. No. No. Your the teacher, and nothing should be valued over bringing those wonderful test scores up, even if it means forgetting you have your own children, living at school because with the amount of hours you are expected to put in, you might as well bring a bed, and being clever enough to make the impossible work. Yes, and after all that, don't expect to be paid what you're worth, or even be given a pat on your shoulder with a "good job", because you must never forget that as soon as ANYTHING goes wrong, you will be blamed. It doesn't matter if what went wrong happened at home, or in a small remote island off the coast of South Africa, because it will still be your fault. Scapegoat, scapegoat, scapegoat.

The work world is not child friendly, and leaving a job to tend to them will result in massive blacklisting, so don't expect to find one after they are finally old enough to be put through the system. Hey, it's free childcare. Isn't it?

My point is, if your reading this, send money, or some brilliant references, because I need a job so that my shoulders can be tense for other reasons like trying to bring test scores up from the pits of hell.

Okay. That's enough sarcasm and ranting for today. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 17, 2007

While watching the Emmy's...

and looking at pretty dresses I will never get to wear or even have a place to wear them at, my son commented, "Look mommy! That's the wady that lives in the doctor show!"

Friday, September 14, 2007

Shaking Off Stereotypes

Today, the kids and I went to lunch with our park friends. The eldest played as I tried to chat with the other moms while chasing the littlest Bee. Nothing weird or interesting to point out about our outing, but I can never help but notice that I am the only person of color. I know that this is partially a consequence of where I live. Our neighborhood is predominantly Caucasian, and because we visit our neighborhood park, we make many Caucasian friends. All lovely people - very friendly, kind, and thoughtful. I never really think about the fact that they are Caucasian and I am Hispanic, but every once in a while, when we start talking about our own childhoods, it hits me, their experience was nothing like mine.

Growing up, I've always had very americanized friends of different races because I've never felt like I could completely relate to either culture. I was somewhere in between American and Mexican, and I tended to gravitate to people who felt the same way. Yet, as a child I quickly learned that being a minority meant that I would be followed by all the stereotypes that society had put out there about being a Hispanic. Even to this day, I always feel an intense need to shake these stereotypes off, but they follow me like a shadow or stormy cloud wherever I go. When I meet someone new, I'm instantly tagged by these stereotypes and the expectations of me that come along with them. My first task is to prove that I do not fit the stereotype, but that is never easy.

I'll never forget when, as an adolescent, we moved to California for the third time just as I was entering middle school. Again, I was living in a mostly Caucasian neighborhood. I remember spending my first few weeks of school trying to prove to my peers that I wasn't stupid. Whenever I did well on a test, it was assumed that I cheated, and it actually prompted many in my proximity to cover their papers whenever we tested. After all, aren't Hispanics only capable of achieving menial, no-brainer jobs like cleaning houses, busing tables, mowing lawns, and other things of that nature? It took me a year to prove that I actually had a brain, and that I was looking for something more than what society had already designated for me. By the end of the second year, people were asking to copy off my paper.

I guess I am just wondering what my children's experience is going to be like. Will they be immune from the stereotypes that followed me because they don't look Hispanic, or will they quickly be tagged once their peers find out that they are indeed at least partially Hispanic? I am willing to bet that the color of their skin will be predominantly used to prejudge them, after all, that brown lady who picks them up is nothing more than the nanny despite what they say. Yet, even if people assume that they are Caucasian, what will their experience be like? Will they be prejudged as harshly as I was for being Hispanic, or will they be spared any stereotypes? Will they be judged as an individual, and actually be given a chance to make their own impression on people without first being labeled? I hope this for them, as I still hope this for myself, but still, I know nothing about growing up Caucasian and the stereotypes that come or don't come with that.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My Littlest is 1!

One year and one day ago, my littlest Bee was born. It took a lot of pushing to get him out, because even though he was coming out head first, he wasn't facing the right direction, and it took 5 1/2 hours of pushing to get him out. His head was massively lopsided and he screamed and screamed. We figured he must have had a monstrous headache.

It's amazing how much they change in one year, and how fast that one year goes once you get past the first three months of intense breastfeeding. My little grub is now walking, talking, eating solids, and asserting his place in this family. (I'd like to add sleeping to that list, but alas, he still doesn't sleep for more than four hours straight.)

Happy Birthday Bee! I love you! You were a wonderful birthday gift when you were born, and you continue to bless me everyday with your sweetness.

Quote of the Day

"Look mommy, my penis is wearing sunglasses."

He found his sunglasses in the bathroom after having used the potty, and decided this would be funny. Silly boys and their obsession with their penis.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I've Got Pickles

According to my oldest, I have pickles. A few nights ago, while attempting to give big brother a bath, he loudly screamed and proclaimed that I had pickles.

me: "It's time for your bath."
the boy: "Noooooooooooo!"
me: "Come on, we need to give you a bath so that you'll be ready for bed."
the boy: "Nooooooooo, mommy has pickles!"
Dad joins in:"Mommy needs to give you a bath, I'm washing dishes."
the boy: "Nooooooooo, mommy has pickles! I want daddy to do it"
me (while wrestling with him to get in the shower): "Come on, it will be fast."
the boy (flailing, kicking, and screaming): "Nooooooooo, mommy has pickles!"
the boy (while being thrusted into the shower): "No! No! No! Mommy has pickles! Aaaaah, pickles! Pickles! Pickles!"

Even now, I 'm not sure what he meant. He has called pimples pickles in the past, but as far as I could tell I wasn't breaking out or anything. Could he have been so overtired he was seeing spots? Mommy had turned into a freakish pickle monster right before his eyes waiting to feast on clean little boys. "Mmmmmmm, clean boys are good for pickle growing ya know."

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Who's the Mama?


Did I ever mention I look nothing like my children? I'm dark, dark, dark, and they are light, light, light - and by light, I don't mean they weigh very little, but that they are very fair. They are two blue-eyed, fair-skinned, light brown hair and blond boys that despite their dark momma, don't tan. All the Texas summer days has little to no effect on their skin color.

As a mother I don't care what color my children are, but I find that people have a hard time getting past that. When people first meet me and my boys, and discover that I am their mother and not merely their nanny, they just stand there baffled, aghast. How? Even my own family questions whether I am their biological mother.

"Did you steal him from the hospital?"
"Huh?"

"Does he know your his mother? You must nurse him so that he knows, right?"
Seriously, I don't think babies are born racist.

"Daddy must have blue eyes?"
"Nope."
"Hmmm?"

"You know, you look nothing like your children?"
"Well, duh?"

Although, if you look past their caucasian features, you'll see that we have similar lips, and cheeks, and nose. One is petite like me, and the other has the same fuzzy patch on their lower back like me- definitely a trademark on my side of the family even if it's not the most desirable thing. And to answer the question of who has blue eyes, I have to say it's their grandpas.

Yes folks, they are the product of many recessive genes. If you look in the dictionary, under recessive genes, you will find a picture of them. So there's the story, get past it, move on. My children look caucasian, and I do not. Color doesn't play a roll in our relationship except when it comes to issues dealing with misplaced art.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

He Wuvs His Brother When He Ain't Beating Him Up

Blrrrrrrrrr...

Like I said he was a blur once we made it into the classroom. These were the only pictures we got that weren't of the back of his head.


On the way to school



Yes, we have to take a picture of everything. Its in the genes - just ask all your grandmas.



What a listener?! If only he listened this well at home.

A Smile from Ear to Ear

Big Brother started preschool today and in a lot of ways. It felt like I was starting preschool. I was the one who was anxious, the one who couldn't sleep at night - although that could have also been because the Bee kept waking up crying-, and I was the one who was hesitant to have us apart.

I envisioned many tears, screams, whining, kicking, and a few swear words tossed around - by him, not me of course. I am sorry to say I have little drama to report. He went in, put a hard hat on, and started playing. No real action or drama to report. We left with nothing more than a quick kiss, and a big goodbye.

We went to pick him up after a few hours of clock watching expecting to hear one horror story after another from his teacher, and a boy who would run to his family as if he hadn't seen them in years. Instead, he was sitting on the carpet in the very front listening to his teacher read a story, and occasionally interjecting with his many brilliant ideas and comments. When he finally saw us at the door, he smiled and waved, and went back to listening to the story and putting in his two cents. Totally what I hoped for, but nothing what I imagined. The teacher had nothing to report except that our little caveman kept taking his shoes off at the playground.

When questioned later about his day, he did admit to using a naughty word or two, and maybe perhaps pushing a boy - figures. When asked if he missed us he simply replied, "no". How's that for love?

A New Look for a New Year

Birthday ready!

(Daddy really just wasn't a fan of the whole mullet look. I personally miss playing with his long soft baby hair.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Don't Touch My Hair!

When my oldest son was about 8 months, he started to play with my hair while he nursed. At the time, I thought this was cute. Three and a half years later he still likes to play with my hair whenever he needs some comforting or wants to go to bed. Now, he does it while sucking vigorously at his thumb.

It's not so cute anymore! He yanks, and twirls, and pulls those fine little hairs above my neck and snags just enough to send chills running down my body followed by a loud Ouch! I don't like it when you, Big Brother do this anywhere. To quote Dr. Seuss - Not in the chair, or on the couch, not in the bed, or while eating bread, I don't want my hair pulled anywhere! I don't like my hair pulled Big Brother you are. Oh ya, and don't forget to mention this to Sam the Bee. He has mastered the art of hair pulling at the tender age of 11 months.

Disclaimer: In no way am I really trying to imitate Dr. Seuss. I am not that good.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's a Poo-filled Day

It's a poo-filled day, but it turning out to be a poo-filled week. My youngest has had diarrhea for the past three days, and this morning we all woke up to it in the bed. Another reason the family bed doesn't work so well for me anymore. Poo on the sheets, on him, on my arm, and daddy will be happy to know, Bee favored his pillow for soaking most of the poo up. Not the way I wanted to wake up this morning after not getting any sleep again last night.

Of course, I thought I was going to be able to get away with just washing the sheets and not the mattress pad, since after all, I did have a waterproof crib cover under the sheets. Nope. It had moved its way south of the bed, and the poo made it just next to it, but not on it, sooo helpful. This means two loads of laundry, and not just one. Trekking my way outside, down our long unstable path to our detached garage, through the heat and mosquitoes twice -way more if your account for switching loads into the dryer to avoid the mildew stink. This all brings new meaning to waking up on the wrong side of the bed, because this morning it meant waking up in yellow poo or staying clean. I woke up in poo. I'm not sure I want to know what this foretells about the rest of my day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New Here!

Well, my first attempts at blogging were originally with another host. I thought this one would be more user-friendly, but really what I'm saying is that I'm stuck in the dark ages. Okay, maybe not the dark ages, but at least the Civil War Era. I started to learn HTML back before I had kids, but just found all the coding toooooo boring. I just left it as something my husband could learn and do, and I would just occasionally beg him to do some coding for me as needed. It's been six years since then, and this is the first time ever. Lucky him!

All the posts before this one were first published over here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The zombie needs sleep!

I dread nights these days. I know that soon after I put my ten-month-old "Bee" to bed, he will wake up within the hour screaming. This can continue for the rest of the night with him screaming every 1 -3 hours. He prefers every two, though. What exactly he wants I'm not sure. Having him sleep in our bed doesn't work, his crib doesn't work, brother's bed doesn't work. We checked for ear infections, and no quick remedy this time.

This has been going on for months. He was a better sleeper at 2 and 3 months than he is now, and this was during the time he was dealing with his reflux. Maybe we have just failed to teach him to self-sooth, but how can this be accomplished without waking up brother, especially since it took us 3 years to get him to sleep without waking up more than once.

The lack of restful sleep of course, leaves me feeling exhausted. I go through my day in a daze - a zombie. It's hard to do anything in this state. As a mom, I have to be on all the time, but I just can't seem to do it these days, and I don't know how much longer I can deal with not getting any quality sleep. Sometimes my body gives up sleeping in the middle of the night and just stays awake waiting for the next cry - 3 am, 4 am, 5am, 6am, and no sleep, but many cries. My own child is tormenting me.

Bee, why won't you sleep? Mommy needs sleep.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Is it possible?

Is it possible that my 3 year old has the capacity for rational thought, the ability to understand cause and effect? His previous what-were-you-thinking behavior can make me think otherwise. No, A&D is not for finger painting on mirrors and sinks, and no, it's not okay to put that plastic bag over your baby brother's head.

A few days ago, we were walking to the park when a Fed Ex truck rode by with a man who was suppose to be driving it, but was not. He was intently looking down and savoring his slurpie as he stirred it during that hot and muggy day. He felt it was more important to pay attention to his slurpie than the fact that he was driving by a school, a park, and pool during this very sticky and busy day.

My 3 year old who was riding in the stroller at the time, yelled out to me completely astonished, "Look mommy! The truck is dribing by is self !"

"Why do you say that I asked?" prodding for info.

"The man is not paying attention. He just moving the straw back and forth, back and forth."

"What do you think might happen?" I asked again searching for the signs of intelligent life.

"He's gonna crash! (proceed to fill with your favorite crashing noises)" Nothing like a good crash I guess.

Luckily, no one was hurt. We'll at least as far as I could see.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lost in a sea of nothingness

Well, you ask why I haven't written in a while? I had nothing to say. I just plain old lost my inspiration (or my mind). It's all the same really. You see, even now, I am saying nothing.

Parenting can sometimes suck all that is you, and if you had little to give, then it doesn't take much for it all to be gone. I need to get back to sewing, so that when someone asks me what I like to do, I can say I like to sew. I don't think surfing the net is considered a productive past time.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mama said No.

My mom once said that it is best never to write things down on paper that you might not want someone to find one day. I learned that lesson when I was twelve, when my mom found a note that wasn't quite appropriate for a twelve year old girl who was sending it to a boy. Definitely not something you ever want your overprotective, Mexican mother to discover, and it was definitely not something you wanted translated by someone who new little English, and even less about growing up in American culture.

But, nonetheless, here I am writing a note. Not only a note that can be seen by people I might not necessarily want reading, but an electronic note that can be sent almost anywhere in a matter of seconds, and read by people who know nothing about me. My only hope is that people who know little about my language and culture won't try to translate it, but who knows, maybe it will be funny to them.