Nov 062012
 

The other day my daughter, Lyla, and I were at Starbucks fueling my caffeine and sugar addictions, when suddenly Lyla starts pointing out the window and saying, “Mama! Mama!” She was so excited, but for the life of me I could not figure out what she was pointing at. She’s only 18 months old, so often our communication is akin to platform flip-flops: confusing at best.

First I tried the “What do you see out there?” tactic. Airplane? – No.  Doggie? – No. Homeless person pushing a shopping cart that you think has a baby inside? – No, No, No!  So I switched tactics.  Perhaps she is wondering where her dad is.  Sometimes she gets our names confused. And in her defense, I had just finished working out and was sweaty and more than a little manly looking. So I said, “No honey, Mama is right here.  Papi is at work, but we will see him later tonight.”  She looked at me like I was an idiot (is it possible to be embarrassed in front of your one-year-old?) and began pointing even more emphatically out the window. “Mama! Mama!”

Lyla was starting to get frustrated, and I was starting to get desperate.  So I picked her up and walked to the window saying, “Show me what you are talking about, honey.” But when we got to the window, instead of pointing outside, she began pointing to the Starbucks logo on the window.  “Mama!” she said with a smile.  For a moment I looked between the logo and my daughter in pure puzzlement.  Yes, I do drink enough coffee for her to equate me with the beverage, however, usually it is not from Starbucks.  “Mama!”  she said again, pointing at the logo then stroking my hair.  I had never really looked at the logo before, so I studied it for a minute.  Suddenly it hit me, she thinks the logo is a picture of me.  So I said, “Oh!  This looks like me?  This looks like mama?”  And she smiled like the sun and said, “Yeah!” so happy that I had finally stopped being a total idiot and understood what she was trying to tell me.

It’s actually not a bad compliment.  The Starbucks logo is based on a 16th century Norse woodcut of a mermaid or Siren to go with Seattle’s nautical roots.  (I looked this up, I don’t actually know this much useless Starbucks information.  Just other kinds of useless information.)  Starbucks chick is kind of a babe. This is solid proof that to your children, you are the most beautiful woman in the world.  So I was happy. However, I think my daughter will be sorely disappointed that I am not actually Mrs. Starbucks when she is filling out those loan applications for college.  Maybe I will just tell her that I drank away our fortune.

 

Have you ever noticed what a babe the Starbucks chick is?

Does Starbucks owe me image royalties? Or at least free coffee?

Oct 302012
 

You know those days when you have absolutely nothing to do? The house is clean, the shopping is done, your chores are finished.  There is no work to be done, no emails to answer, no calls to return. There are no playdates or doctor appointments.  There is absolutely nowhere you need to be.  When you are almost bored in the best way possible. When your biggest decision is whether to sit down on your couch and catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to read or to lie in your bed and take a blissful nap.

You know those days?  Yeah, me neither…

 

“I think today I shall sit in the sun and read my book all afternoon.” Said no parent ever.

photo credit: Cia de Foto via photopin cc

Oct 262012
 

Yesterday I woke up on the wrong side of the crib… I mean bed. It was just one of those days where nothing seems to go right.  Here’s how it started:

Wake up to a beautiful day.  For some reason this annoys me (not sure if it is the waking up or the beautiful day that did it.)  Walk to coffee shop for the perfect combo of sugar and caffeine that will put things right.  After waiting in line for 10 min, discover that the coffee shop doesn’t have lids for my to go coffees – which wouldn’t be a big deal if I didn’t have to walk a half mile with a coffee in each hand. Oh yeah, and if I was even half as graceful as a drunk three-year-old. Begin to feel face flush with annoyance, but wave it off.  Go to another coffee shop that has lids but not the sugary latte I wanted.  Pout a bit.  Discover Facebook has stopped working on my phone.  Pout more.  Erase Facebook and attempt to redownload.  Discover that before I can download Facebook again, I need to update my phone’s software.  Take deep breath.  Learn that before I can update my phone, I need to update my iTunes. Engage yoga/labor breathing.  Find out that before I can update my iTunes I need to deauthorize my other computers and reauthorize my laptop.  Aggressively chug cup of coffee. Burn throat but pretend not to notice. Discover that I can’t reauthorize my laptop because my disc is out of space.
Take deep breath.  Doesn’t work.  Inhale cinnamon toast. Choke on cinnamon. Repeat. Twice.  Attempt to make space on laptop by removing pictures and movies onto a hard drive.  Spend one hour doing this.  Finally realize that in doing this, my pictures are now a mess on the hard drive without any kind of order, labeling or anything that would enable me to find any picture ever.  Pick up laptop.  Smash it on desk like a guitarist on stage at a rock show.  Just kidding.  But think hard about picking up laptop and smashing it on my desk like a guitarist on stage at a rock show.  Instead text husband an angry tantrum text about how I wish technology would die and huff around the house, cleaning up by throwing things (gently) into their places. Man, I really showed those teddy bears!

The rest of the day continued on like this, with everything going a little wrong and with me totally overreacting and throwing a temper tantrum like a toddler.

When it was time to go pick up my actual toddler, I was delighted to discover that she was also in a foul mood.  She didn’t want to come inside, but she didn’t want stay outside either.  She didn’t want to sit in her high chair, but when I set her back down she was pissed too.  She didn’t know what she wanted and nothing could make her happy.  She was impossible. And I know exactly how she felt.  Even though dealing with a cranky baby was the last thing I wanted to do when I was busy being a cranky baby myself, it made me smile how alike we are sometimes.

Here’s the thing though. She is a baby.  I am not. Usually.  She’s one and a half.  I am thirty… well, ya know, old enough to know better.  I am not a slave to my emotions.  I have the power to turn my mood around.  I just chose not too.  I chose to let myself sulk and wallow in my bad mood and spend the day in a long-term temper tantrum.  But then my husband came home with cupcakes and slightly frightened eyes and a patient smile.  He spoke gently and coddled me, just like he does with our daughter when she is being outrageous.  And you know what… it felt pretty good.  I have to be an adult most of the time, but I guess every now and then I just need to be a baby.  So, realizing this, I took my bottle (of wine) like a good little girl and went to bed.

And today I am an adult again.  Damn.

Oct 112012
 

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

– Marilyn Monroe

I don’t have much in common with this tragic, lovely lady, but I do have some of her flaws. And I have some flaws all my own.  Thank goodness I found someone who not only can handle me, but loves being my handler.

In relationships, learn to let go of the little things and look at the big picture.  You will be a lot happier!

Oct 082012
 

I swear that being a parent is the craziest roller coaster in the world.

My daughter is sick yet again, for the third week out of four weeks. This time with a nasty cold and again with a fever hitting above 104. She was up at midnight night crying inconsolably. Probably because she was tired but couldn’t sleep, scared because she couldn’t breathe, and angry because Mama couldn’t fix it. She was screaming and crying, and I was crying because I couldn’t help her. And I was tired because I haven’t once slept through the night in the past month.  And it was midnight. And I was thinking, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore.”

Then, morning came. And the sun was shining. And my daughter woke up feeling a bit better. And she hugged me tight and said “Lub you” in her little, hoarse, stuffy-nosed voice. And I thought, “I don’t know what I ever did before this.”


photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin cc

Oct 032012
 

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” 
~ C.S. Lewis

Does this make all moms friends?  I think so.

 

You like wearing funny hats and playing with mops? Me too!!

photo credit: jessamyn via photopin cc

Sep 162012
 

Full Disclosure: After being quarantined inside the house for 4 days due to my daughter having highly contagious HFMD and ridiculous temperatures, I started to go slightly crazy.  Please bear with me during this low period, and I apologize in advance.

My daughter is not quite a year-and-a-half so she is not really into TV, besides the fact that I don’t like the idea of her watching TV too much.  However, I am a true believer that sometimes parents do what they have to do to survive the day, and to survive 4 days cooped up in the house with a rambunctious 16-month-old, I turned to TV.  One of my friends said that she sometimes lets her daughter watch “Dora the Explorer” because it is educational, so in a moment of pure desperation, I decided to give it a try.  Lyla seemed to like it… for about 5 minutes.  But anything that can get her to sit down for 5 minutes is a success in my book.  But long after Lyla had already moved on to 3 other activities, I continued to watch the intriguing Dora.  Here’s my conclusion:  Educational?  Yes, I guess.  I like that there is a multilingual heroine on American TV.  Especially since I hope that my daughter will be multilingual (my husband speaks Italian to her.)

Ok, so Dora is pretty cool in my book, but this entire opening now leads me to the random thought that has plagued me since I started watching and I just can’t get over…

Just how old is Dora and why do her parents let her roam around the countryside, “exploring” with just a boots-wearing monkey to chaperone?  She hitchhikes… and although she does wear her seat-belt, in California I think kids need a booster seat until they are nine.  She attends dubious fiestas at the Big Red Chicken’s house (never trust anybody whose name begins with BIG). And she gets around town with the help of a singing map.  At least get the kid a GPS or a Smart Phone.  Sheesh!

Ok… so now you have a little insight into the places my brain goes when I haven’t had proper adult interaction in nearly a week.  It’s a dark place, and I apologize.

Dora and her pal, Boots, teaching kids to hitchhike, one episode at a time!

Sep 102012
 

Since becoming a parent 16 months ago, I have done many things that I thought I would NEVER do.  I have nonchalantly wiped my daughter’s poop from my forehead, licked a kleenex and then used it to wipe her face, picked up a cracker that she threw on the floor and then gave it back to her to eat (hey, it was the last one!), let her run around with a watermelon-stained shirt for hours because I was too tired to change it and knew it would only get dirty again, and let myself run around in a vomit-stained shirt for hours because I was too tired to change it and knew it would only get dirty again… just to name a few NEVERs.

Although I have learned to never say never, the truth is that before becoming a parent, I have never been so tired.  I have never been so ungroomed, disorganized, forgetful, weepy, or tired… did I mention tired?  I have never gone so long without seeing or at least talking to many of my friends.  I have never gone so long without seeing an adult-sized human.  I have never gone so long without getting my hair highlighted, shaving my legs, putting on make-up or even showering.  I have never gone so long while sleeping so little.  That is the truth.

But I have never, ever laughed so much, loved so hard, or felt so happy.  And somehow (in a way that I think you have to be a parent to understand) this love and laughter far outweighs a little vomit and sleep deprivation.

The truth about parenting is that it is a math equation that doesn’t add up, but somehow works anyway.

Laughter… a serious side-effect of parenting.

photo credit: Loyal O.A.K. via photo pin cc

Sep 062012
 
Pink Sherbet Photography / Free Photos

Happiness is… my daughter waking up and immediately wanting to start a dance party.  7 am might be a bit early for dancing in your house, but not in mine!  After a couple of nights of my own insomnia and a few rough nights for my teething daughter (including this mornings 4 am original wake-up call) I was dragging ass this am, sure that it was going to be a rough day.  But my daughter’s sweet smile and booty shaking to “Call Me Maybe” (her choice, but how could I argue?) turned the whole day around for me.  Now I am in a great mood and in turn having a great day.

Lesson:  Start your day with a smile and a little bump n’ grind, and never have a bad day again.

Sep 012012
 

So last night I had an “Oh Shit!” moment.  Literally.  As in, my daughter knocked a bowl of pasta into my lap and I said, “Oh Shit!” and my friends’ 2 1/2-year-old stood up and screamed, “OH SHIT!”  To the entire restaurant.  And it was his first curse word. Nice work, huh?  My friends were cool about it, but oh shit, right?  I mean… oh no!

More on Words with Toddlers to come…