April 30, 2010

Movie "Babies"


Just had to say...I've even done this! It's just so cute when the little one's do this! :) Enjoy!

April 29, 2010

You say potatoe and I say "papa"

I recently took up a conversation with a co-worker about how upset I was about the new law passed in Arizona.  She works in the offices in Arizona where SB 1070 bill has now become a law.  In conversation I told her, "There is no way I am going to visit you now my friend, I'm boycotting Arizona!".  She laughed and continued with "Are you kidding me, I don't even speak Spanish anymore!"

Which got me a little bit fired up and saddened.  Here I am trying to raise children who will be bilingual and here is a law that will stifle people who refuse to speak it for fear of racial profiling.  WOW!  Strong message Arizona Governor, you are sending America backwards instead of forward!

I am aware of all that this new law covers.  I understand that immigration has become a problem, and that is not my issue.  My issue is that racial profiling will get out of hand. Citizens who may look a particular way, who for example maybe stopped for a traffic violation will be asked to provide legal proof of citizenship.  Let me tell you, I am Latina, very proud of being one as well as being an American.

Mami is from Ecuador she came from there with a dream to stay.  Yes, she is one of many thousands of people who came on a visitor's visa and stayed. She may not have entered this country with the appropriate papers, but she is here and she has learned the language and even has become an American Citizen.
Sarge's parents, my paternal grandparents,  also came over without papers in a time when there was just a line in the dirt. They made a living through the depression and eventually were in this country legally and raised to very fine American Citizens.
Sarge and the rest of our lineage have been proud American's with Latino roots.  Sarge's manipulation of the Spanish language was far from perfect.  He was very upset that his parent's encouraged him to only speak English for fear of not being able to assimilate to their new country and to be ostersized.  This was the 40's and there was the Zoot Suit Riots and racial profiling was at it's highest in Los Angeles.  My grandparents feared that there son would be targeted. 

Sarge often spoke of his frustration of not being able to communicate well with his parents because of his lack of knowledge of the spanish language.  He wanted to assure that I would be able to communicate with my family and to be able to help others as well.  Sarge made sure Mami only spoke to me in Spanish and that I would know all about both of my parent's culture.  He knew that eventually, while in the school system I would be able to manage both languages and that I would thrive.

Presently I speak to my children in Spanish and Big Cheese speaks to them in English.  That seems to work for now.  I also read to my children in both languages.  Many think I may confuse them doing so, but I want to raise well rounded children. I follow the guidelines for raising bilingual children and so far it seems to work. Now and again Thing One will switch back and forth languages or refuses to speak spanish to me, but it's all expected especially since he is at that age when language and learning are a huge part of his life

I want them to be bicultural as well as decent human beings who will be accepted despite their differences from their peers.  I hope that they will not be misguided in thinking that being of a different race or ethnicty and speaking another language will jeopordize their safety. 

For my co-worker in Arizona I say this:  "Do not fear my friend, be a strong person and don't be afraid of speaking something that come's natural to you."  For those of you who feel the need to keep people in fear: "SHAME ON YOU!" For all other's who believe this this law is infringing on your human rights: Take a stand, tell these politician's what America really stands for "EQUALITY"!  

For Thing One and Thing Two:  "My beautiful babies, don't ever be ashamed of who you are and where you came from or live in fear because of that. You are loved and Mommy will never let anything harm you!"

"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." - Emiliano Zapata

Fuerza mi gente y adelante!

April 21, 2010

Breaking up with Sleeping Beauty!

While I was pregnant with Thing One everyone told me to take advantage of being able to sleep at anytime and to my heart's content. I accepted that soon I would be on a newborns sleep schedule and not my own. What I didn't realize was that sleep deprivation would go far beyond the first couple of months of Thing One's life.Thing One is quickly approaching 3 years old. That will mark the 3 years I have had very little and sporadic sleep.

Sarge always called me Sleeping Beauty. Since a very young age I can remember really enjoying sleeping in and taking an occasional naps, just because. Sarge said I had a voracious appetite to sleep just like him. Sometimes in the afternoon it would be a time to lounge in the living room, just because we were tired and needed a nap. Teenage years didn't fare any better. Unless I had a cheer competition or practice to go to, I would sleep until noon if I could. Into my young adulthood I had much time between getting married and going to school to sleep whenever and wherever. I guess you can say that I had my fair share of sleeping, because the lack of sleep I was in for may make up for the times I slept my life away.

Thing One has always been a pretty good sleeper since about 5 months of age. I could always predict his naps and the length of them. Unless it was the occasional illness or tooth coming in, it was not much that I didn't expect from his sleeping patterns. He can actually sleep through a train wreck, earthquake, leaf blower, vacum cleaner, etc...

When I found out I was pregnant with Thing Two, I knew there would be again nights with very little sleep, especially since Thing One would only be a mere 17 months old. I had no idea what I was in for.  Thing Two was definitely a different child with different patterns and unpredictability.  She was 6 months old before we could get through a night without several hours of screaming off and on through the night.  She is the type of child you have to have a quiet room for.  Any motion, wind blowing, whispering, tip toeing she is able to detect.  Pediatrician said she would grow out of this, I'm still waiting for that moment and it's been a year since then.  So you can imagine that sleep is a luxury now.  Thing One being the busy little guy that he is does not know the word "ssshhhhhh!" So Thing Two is startled and cries until she can come down from her fright. 

Not only are the Thing's different types of sleepers but they also have not fallen into that in sync nap schedule I had hoped they would after age one for Thing One.  I have tried to follow suggestions for naptime schedules with no success.  Thing One will take one big nap at noon for about 2 1/2 hours. Thing Two will break up her nap into two 1 1/2 hour naps at sporadic times in the morning and afternoon. 

 Most mom's can get both kids down and do things, not me.  As soon as one is down, the other is up.  Frustrating on some days when Thing One requires all of my attention (She is a diva of sorts. :P)  I swear there are nights when Thing One and Thing Two conspire to keep me up most nights.  I hear them babbling to each other at times.  It's almost as if they are saying "ok, I wake up with a nightmare, then you cry once I go to sleep. Let's see what happens."  What happens most times is I am up sporadically through the night.  I have tried to ignore, but ignoring only makes Thing Two grow louder.  Thing One will occasionally get up and go and find me in the room. 

I have a natural tendency to have dark circle around my eyes, but I am now making racoons jealous! Geez!  I have been known to fall asleep on the couch while in the middle of folding clothes only to be awakened by the scream of Thing Two because her brother is hitting her so that she doesn't turn the T.V. off.  I have also been awakened by Thing One's chubby little fingers poking my eyes and lifting my eyelids and saying "wake up momma!".   I practically jump for joy when I have more than 6 hours of sleep at night or the times both of them nap at the same time.  This is the life of a mother I suppose, but being a single mom, there really isn't anyone else to say "Hey can you take over the reigns, while I catch some zzzz's?".  So for now me and Sleeping Beauty have broken up, I have welcomed Zombies. Bring on the late night infomercials so I can spend money!


April 16, 2010



That was the big acronym strewn across my medical file when I glanced over.  It was a prenatal appointment I had when I was pregnant with Thing One.  I thought to myself "What the heck was that?!"  Did I have something that was bad?  Was the Doctor not telling me everything? What in the world could AMA be?  Being hormonal and being beside myself with worry I had to ask the doctor.  "I'm sorry, but I notice the initials AMA on my chart, can you tell me what that is?"  The ugly truth, the cold hard facts were about to hit me at that point "Oh sure, it means Advanced Maternal Age".  I sat there and looked again and I thought...Oh my GOSH!  I'm OLD!  In fancy medical, politically correct terms, but yes it meant OLD!

It took me months and months to be ok with that big bright red acronym to be on my file.  It was like a scarlett letter, I was old, different, not young enough to be having kids.  Utterly frustrating to me at one point thinking, why are you putting me in the OLD catergory.  I'm not peeing myself, YET!  I had never thought of myself in those terms.  I always considered myself young, hip, with it.  Hmm...why???!!!  I guess the medical community agrees that I was not of "child bearing" age.  I was 36, and I was far from the age of the girl sitting next to me in the medical office waiting room, who was like 10 years my junior.  Mind you, we were both expecting our first child. 

It was really not a choice of mine, by far to be AMA.  I had tried for a good 2 years to get pregnant with Prince Charming, when I was 28.  It had failed miserably and accounted for a lot of turmoil that led up to our divorce.  By the time that happened I was 30.  I had 5 good "child bearing" years I figured.  Within those years I met The Frog.  I did get pregnant at 33 only to lose the baby I was to have with The Frog. Depression hit me hard after that and any type of hope to bear a child was out the door.  I date Big Cheese with no intention on having children, I had hit the big 3 - 5! SURPRISE! PREGNANT!

I always thought I wanted to be a hip young mom, not too young, but young.  Life had other plans for me.  I have worried a lot about being the oldest mom in playgroups, not being able to relate with the other mothers.  Quite to my surprise, once you become a mother, you share the same fears, the same hapiness, the same guilt.  It's a huge sisterhood, for sure. 

My other fear I had was my own health and mortality.  Will I be here long enough to teach my children all the need to know?  Will I be capable of the demands that young children have, physically?  Both of my parents were older when I was conceived and I lost my father at the age of 12.  I feel that this is why I worried so much.  After having Thing One I realized one thing, sure I was older, but I wasn't dying and I had some control of my health.  I was still able and capable of taking on this new chapter in my life.

I will have to say that being AMA has it's advantages in some aspects.  I have more patience with them because I don't have to worry about going to school, or that I have not yet found my identity.  I have done my share of going out with my friends, with experiencing the world around me.  Of course there is room for growth and exploring, but this time I'm willing to do it through the eyes of Thing One and Thing Two. 

Who needs a fountain of youth???!!!! I have Thing One and Thing Two! :)

April 13, 2010

Single Awareness Day

Saturday was a very interesting day for me.  The family was celebrating my grandmother's 88th birthday and my aunt's 60th and 65th birthday.  I haven't seen a lot of family members since having Thing Two and splitting from Big Cheese.  So in a way this was my own coming out party.

I was dreading it all day before going.  I guess in a way it makes me uncomfortable to have to explain that yes, I am a single mom.  I am the last of all the cousins my age to have kids, most of them have teenagers now.  So to top it off my kids were the babies and all eyes were on them.  Most days I don't mind being the center of attention but that day was one I was dreading.

The time came closer and Mami, The Things, and I headed over to the long trek of getting to the party.  It was about an hour away, but it felt like it was longer.  Why was I so anxious?  I guess it stems back to my fantasy of having a family unit that involved a mother and father, and children.  It probably was also because I didn't feel like hearing the questions "Why?, What happened?, Are you ok?"  UGH! Did I really want to answer all those questions. 

I am just now getting comfortable with just being me and the kids. Some days I admit I have a huge hole in my heart that I can't give my children what they deserve, a whole family.  Other days I get frustrated at not having a partner to lean on when both kids are sick or fussy, or just plain honorary and testing boundaries.  I am the sole person involved in disciplining them.  Big Cheese is good about doing it when he has the kids with him, but it's not the same as when there are the same rules and the same household.   I often feel very alone in raising the two of my Things.  I love them, and that's what get's me through the day most of the time.  Especially when Thing One comes over randomly and says "kiss mama" and plants a big one.  Thing Two makes it special when she just wants to cuddle with me and nothing else in the world will do for her at that time. 

I had to reflect on those times with Things One and Two to get me through the whole, "Yes, I'm a single Mom.  No, It didn't work out.  I am fine and so are the kids. Yes, he is involved with them, and I am ok with that".  After all the chatting with family members briefly with no details, I felt like a whole bunch of weight was lifted off my shoulders. 

It is always tough to admit to family that not all is right in your world.  It's also not an easy thing to do single parenting, but I'm glad that it's out and that all are supportive.  I will always have fears as a parent, especially a single parent I just need to learn to accept my circumstances and let people in to help on occasion and to move ahead with Thing One and Thing Two because they deserves so much. :)   <3

April 9, 2010

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...Spiderman Super Why and he cooks?

I had forgotten how much as a child I loved superheroes.  Mami always thought it was an odd thing for a little girl to be into, after all it was suppose to be a "boy" thing to do. Then came Wonder Woman and all I wanted to do or be was her.  To my mom's shagrin, I dressed up as her for two Halloweens in a row! I guess Mami wanted the type of daughter that would want to do tea parties and play with barbies and dolls.  Instead I was a gender bender, I guess that's why for a long time my mom and I had a hard time connecting. 

I was the little girl in jeans and a t-shirt who grew up in a neighborhood of boys.  Occasionally I would partake of so called "girl" activities, but most of the time it was ball, tag, and being a superhero.  Then my favorite superheroes came along "Charlie's Angels".  Talk about girl power!  They always seemed to facinate me in the way they could be pretty and tough in one big swoop.

So Thing One has gotten into role playing these days. Most notably being a superhero.  It all started with Big Cheese giving him a Spiderman coloring book you can find at any dollar store.  He must have been about one and a half and he was just taken by the whole bad guy, good guy action.  The action of the characters just sucked him in.  Before I knew it he could spot a Spiderman cup, hat, shirt, action character, from several feet away before I could even see it.  "Spiman, mama...Right there!!!" 

I've never been a fan of Spiderman particularly, but if my son was embracing it, so was I. So just when I accept his facination over the webbed one I get thrown a curve.  I couldn't figure out why Thing One was always taking the question mark magnet off the refrigerator and he was acting as if he was flying around with it.  What was this new behavior?  Big Cheese then went and purchased a new series of characters for Thing One.  I asked Big Cheese what these characters where, because low and behold one particular character had a wand with a question mark on it.  "What?! He hasn't told you all about Super Why?!" Big Cheese exclaimed.  Apparently he and Thing One had been watching PBS and happen to stumble upon "Super Why"  a superhero that enjoys reading and telling stories.  I had to TIVO it since I was never home when this particular show was on.  I was really happy with Thing One embracing a character that did more than just fight bad guys. 

Thing one now has many Spiderman outfits, and shirts and shoes.  He even has a dress up cape, mask and wand to become Super Why whenever his little heart desires.  One week he wouldn't even take it off to sleep.  It was a challenge to get him anywhere without the darn cape! Although there have been many times when my heart stops and I want to stop him from leaping off couches and other things because he is acting like Super Why or Spiderman.  I don't want to discourage this play I just want his imagination to go where it takes him, SAFELY.  

Thing One is definitely all boy, that's for sure.  Although, we had to buy him a kitchen set because he loves to pretend cook as well.  So my take away from all this, let my children be who they want to be.  I don't want to put them in a box and say this is a boy or a girl activity and limit them to just that.  They are discovering so much out in this big world and how they fit into it.  So for now, I have a son who flies through the air and cooks a gourmet meal.  I'm wondering what Thing Two will discover when she reaches Two.  Maybe she will be a princess mommy who drag races. 

April 7, 2010

No Chocolate Bunny, No Jelly Beans, No Peeps!

Yes, as the title says it, none of that was in our baskets or plastic eggs. Ok, don't look at me all weird! Simply put, my two Things do not eat any of those. First of all I believe jelly beans are a choking hazard for most toddlers. Second of all, Thing one has NO DESIRE for candy. Yes people, SHOCKING! He would much rather have a fruit than a piece of candy. It's not for lack of trying, I have tried to give him a lolipop, a piece of chocolate, even a fruit rollup. I just get the "ICK" face and the shaking of hands refusing to have one more bite. Now he is not opposed to ALL sweets, he does partake of the occasional cake and ice-cream, although it has to be plain vanilla, and white cake with very little frosting. Thing Two loves chocolate, but honestly, how nutritious can a chocolate bunny be for a one year old???

So many of you are asking, well what DID she put in the eggs, or did she even do eggs? The answer, OF COURSE I did eggs, I just got creative in what to put in them. I had to think about the items that Thing One and Thing Two really enjoy and what would be safe.

That was very easy.  My lovely Things One and Two love snack items that were easily put into plastic eggs.

  • Cherrios

  • Fruit Loops

  • Alphabet Cereal

  • Dried Stawberries

  • Raisins
Very inexpensive items that I already had.  Then I thought, well I needed something fun in the mix as well.  By this time I was pretty brain dead and really had no motivation to think.  I ended up at Target doing some random shopping for odds and ends at the house.  I decided to take a browse at what was in the Easter section. Low and behold my eyes caught a sale, on something fun!

They were already pre-packaged eggs, already stuffed with wonderful little characters that Things One and Two could have fun with. 

Thing One was so excited to go pick out eggs in the yard, it was like his first real experience of going to "find" eggs.  Thing Two had fun just looking at the colorful eggs and just shaking them.  I'm glad I chose to do things they liked instead of the normal candies and things, because the joy on their faces when they opened the eggs and got to eat the fun stuff was priceless.  So my suggestion is that even if others may tell you that is not the "norm", make it your own anyway.  It's normal for my babies to have cheerios and raisins as a treat. :) 

April 1, 2010

Follow that Red Radio Flyer Wagon!

I have always wanted the classic Radio Flyer wagon.  My parents though it was silly and I never got one.  I wanted to haul around my stuffed animal, my collections of sea shells, and piles of dirt I had strewn all over the backyard.  Mami wouldn't hear of it, and Sarge (Dad) although in a very authortative career, never disagreed with Mami. So my dream of a Radio Flyer was never to be.

Fast Forward some 30 years.  I decide to take the Things to their first trip to the beach.  Yes, I was that INSANE!  Thing One was about 22 months and Thing Two was about 7 months old.  This was our first venture out without a friend or Mami coming along to help.  I made sure I packed everything and I would have a way to get them to the water and back.  What I didn't anticipate was how hard it would be to push a double stroller in the sand.  I ended up pulling them in the stroller, holding a beach bag and just being completely frustrated with it all.  At that moment I remembered my desire for that beautiful Red Radio Flyer Wagon.

I researched all types of wagons  within my budget.  My goodness that simple wagon had evolved!  There where collapsable wagons, which would have been perfect for space reasons.  I bought one at the county fair only to be disappointed in the quality of it and the fact that on it's first test run out in our neighborhood the front wheel fell off.  I promptly returned it and never looked at another collapsable wagons again.  I moved on to researching sturdier makes of wagons.  Some of them had these ENORMOUS wheels with room in the back for an ice chest.  I thought, seriously, where would I put that? More than likely it would sit in the garage until a MAJOR event, and not for maybe a daily stroll.  I really needed to find something in between those two extremes. 

Christmas rolled around and there I was browsing Walmart's web site when the curiousity about a wagon struck me again.  I searched wagons and low and behold, there it was with my favorite words on it, ON SALE! 
It had a canopy, big, but not bulky, storage space. PERFECT! I placed the order and got it just before Christmas.

The Things' Dad, Big Cheese was kind enough to put it together for the kids.  Not very many pieces to assemble, in fact it took him less than an hour to assemble the whole thing. We loaded the wagon into Big Cheese's SUV and went to the park.  


There is plenty of space to store items, sturdy cup holders for both children inside the wagon and outside for the parents.  I find that the back storage bag has plenty of space to hold blankets, spare diapers, etc. On one shopping trip to the grocery store I was able to fit a 12 pack of bottled water, 2 boxes of cereal, some bananas and a half gallon of milk. Even though the children's cup holder is inside on the floor, which could potentially be hard to reach for little hands or kicked by little feet, I like them.  The cup holders for the children have space for a sippy cup, or with it's design of cup holder, can actually hold a juice box. The cushioned seats have pockets for wallets, keys, and two cell phone holders.  I like that they are removable and easy to spot wash.  Manuveuring the wagon is pretty easy as well.  I'm able to move around tight corners with ease.  The canopy is a plus as well as it's ease in which I can take it off. It's great for shade and light sprinkles of rain.  I don't recommend it for a true rainy day.  I had to mention this because some people will actually use it in the rain and then all of a sudden, there is a recall.
We have not taken it out to the beach yet, but it's a fun to take the the kids around the neighborhood on nice days.  It's really funny now because when Thing One observes that I take out the wagon from the garage he immediately screams out "store, go bye bye!"  Funny little boy! I can't wait for future exiciting adventures with the Red Radio Flyer wagon with Things One and Two!

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