November 29, 2010

Who is that chica?

As I drove the speed limit going by a school zone while glaring at a man who obviously wasn’t going the limit, I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror. Who is THAT?! What had the last three years done to me? Who is this crazy glared woman driving the speed limit?

Let me explain to you where I was just 5 years ago to get a better understanding of why I thought this very thought. I was 34(I’m praying at this moment you are bad at math), dating, dancing until 3 am, randomly taking a vacation with no destination. I was the girl you would call up because you wanted an incredible night out on the town filled with friends, laughter, and fun, fun, fun! I was carefree, wore my hair down. I definitely did not pay attention to speed limits. I had already bungee jumped, gone to Vegas with just a toothbrush and clean underwear (I was wild, not dirty). By this time I had stopped pining over the whole notion of children and a family in my future. I was a little sad but I was accepting it. This girl had hip clothes, new purses, the latest shoe trend. I would hit the gym at least 3 to 4 times a week and watch what went into my mouth. I had a standing hair, nail, pedicure, and threading appointment and never failed to make it, unless of course the night before had been treacherous and I just couldn’t peel myself off my bed by noon.

Me circa 2005 or so.

Fast forward today. I have a guy in my life, he’s three and honorary. When the heck did he start telling ME what to do? Worst of all, when did I start listening to him???!!!! I never thought that would happen! Did I mention I haven’t had a pedicure in about a month (it may be longer, I don’t remember). Thank goodness its winter and I can hide my feet. Once I see caterpillars on the top of my eyes, I know it’s time to get threaded. Oh and since when did I start wearing shoes that where more functional than stylish and painful?! Late nights for me are 10 pm on weekends, 9:30 pm on weekdays. I drive the speed limit and yell at people who don’t. I can barely splatter on any kind of make-up before someone needs to use a bathroom or left a special gift in their diaper. I still don’t pine for children, but that because I have them and totally think I would be missing something if they were not here.
Me and Thing Two at a Fresh Beat Band Event. 2010

So I may not be that cool, funny, hip young looking chica I was 5 years ago, but I am definitely a great mom, practical, loving, and occasionally I see glimpses of that funny woman I am. My kids have added much more (AHEM) character to me, and we will leave it at that.

November 24, 2010

100 Thank you's big and small.

Thankful for –

1. Thing One who grabs my face vigorously and kisses me (drool and all) when I most need it.

2. Thing Two, who likes to cuddle and hug and strokes my hair at any given moment.

3. Teresa, who knows when I need to scream and run the other way and comes to my rescue with coffee and a great conversation.

4. Strong coffee.

5. Sandra, who checks in on my from time to time to say, I thought of you today and your never forgotten.

6. Uninterrupted bathroom time.

7. Rocio, who brings over Fabian and lets me know that her “married mom” status is not very different from my “single mom” status. We both don’t understand our kid’s tantrum, why we love them so, and how simple a trip to the park can be (or not). Thank you for sharing motherhood and toddler stages with me.

8. Eating hot meal the first time around.

9. Claudia, who delights me with her crazy stories of guys, friends, and sports. You keep me in touch with that side of me I think gets lost in mommy hood.

10. Mail that is not junk mail

11. Mami, who shows me courage, strength, when she is showing signs of aging. Even with aching bones and limited mobility you manage to watch the kids while I shower, come to events, and let the kids climb on you.

12. Coupons on the things I really use

13. Grandpa Big Cheese, for the moments you take my kids out of my hands when we visit and show them the yard, the birds, the cat, take them for a walk, build Thing One Lego buildings, let Thing Two play with your glasses. They learn so much in those brief moments.

14. My blackberry. I have a place to escape, text, watch an episode of Grey’s anatomy I missed, watch a funny video, and just catch up with the rest of the world.

15. Nana Big Cheese, for know EXACTLY what my kids love. Dolls that talk, balloons, microphones, crackers and not candy, juice, books. Oh and remembering them all the time, Halloween, Christmas, birthdays, when they don’t feel good.

16. A place to work and the people that I enjoy doing that with.

17. Uncle Big Cheese, for spoiling my children and keeping them entertained when they are with their daddy. They never stop talking about you!

18. Microsoft, word, excel, PowerPoint, and outlook. Without you my job would be A LOT harder.

19. Mommy Bloggers. I am not the only other insane mom out there, I’ve seen a million out there in blog world!

20. The librarian who doesn’t look at me funny when one of my kids is yelling at the top of their lungs like a wild banshee.

21. Heat and serve nutritious meals.

22. Drive thru's with not so nutritious meals

23. Baby wipes

24. Chayo, who cares for my babies like they are her own grandchildren and lets them do things I wouldn’t. She encourages their free little souls

25. U2, Journey, Pink, KOST, KBIG, KDAY, Jack FM Biggie, Dixie Chicks, and news radio. Thank you for coming along with me on my 605 freeway hell drive every morning and evening.

26. A roof over my head.

27. God answering my prayers

28. God not answering my prayers so that I am able to learn that I can get through ANYTHING.

29. Seat belts and car seats that keep my babies safe as the crazies drive around me.

30. Roadside assistance.

31. Male married friends who remind me that not ALL guys are jerks.

32. Child friendly restaurants.

33. The bad economy. Without you I wouldn’t have pulled my resources together and found out that I am capable of living without a few luxuries, but not without the love of the simple things like food, a roof over my head, a job, my babies, my momma, and time with them and my friends.

34. Free family oriented activities in the community.

35. Dollar Tuesday scoops at Baskin-Robbins

36. My Mami’s friend Maria who takes her to lunch once a week and listens to her when I can’t because of my time constraints between the kids and my job.

37. Higher education

38. Street savvy

39. Emotional intelligence

40. 24-hour Super Wal-Mart. Yes people need diapers and beer at 2 am!

41. My sister Chica who checks on me and asks how I’m coping with being single, the kids, and the mom.

42. Mc Donald’s Happy Meal toys that travel in the car.

43. Text messages. Because the moment I pick up the phone one of the kids start screaming out MOMMA!!! So much easier to actually communicate with adults.

44. Music that makes me nostalgic

45. Nick Jr. and Sprout channel. Because without you I wouldn’t be able to cook a meal, lock myself in a bathroom, read a book or blog. I don’t care if that makes me a bad mom, it helps me maintain my sanity! LOL

46. Movies that don’t involve a singing cartoon.

47. Disney Movies

48. Downey wrinkle releaser.

49. Gigi my hairdresser. Who lets me invent and re-invent myself with the blink of an eye and does a fabulous job.

50. My niece Little Chica and her fabulous hubby Big Phil. You set the bar high when it comes to marriages.

51. Tears. It lets me know I’m human.

52. Gymboree. Without you I wouldn’t have an amazing group of people that I like to call my extended family on Saturdays. We have watched our kids grow together, bond as friends, and we have learned parenting along the way and made friend with each other.

53. Birthday venues that take care of everything, just show up.

54. Under-eye cover up.

55. Teacher Kristen at Gymboree (Christmas as Thing One likes to call you) – for encouraging and teaching my kids how not to be afraid to climb up or down a big structure. Now they won’t stop climbing! LOL

56. Red flyer wagon that take me and my kids on new walking adventures.

57. My put-put. Your old, but paid off and you get me and the kids where we need to go.

58. Sunday “Snapped” marathons. (Again, I’m not the crazy one, THEY are!)

59. Cranberry vanilla bagels from Panera bread.

60. Free Wi-Fi

61. Pandora radio. Where else can someone who likes random music categories go to?

62. Juice boxes and Goldfish crackers

63. Dollar tree treasures.

64. Family from Mexico City that reminds me where my roots were and are.

65. Homemade Ecuadorian meals from mom. They just warm my soul.

66. The right to vote.

67. Taquitos from Olvera Street.

68. Washable Crayons, paints, and markers. Otherwise we would go through a lot of ruined clothes

69. Consignment shops

70. Diapers on SALE

71. Accurate reports that are actually accurate at work.

72. Making cupcakes with the kids. Messy, yes! Still it makes them think we are celebrating something when we make them.  Thing One : “who birfday?”

73. YouTube

74. Google maps, Google, Bing

75. My classic favorite books that now my kids enjoy.

76. Potlucks at work.

77. JcPenney photography in Arcadia, CA. You capture my kids personality and create memories

78. My digital camera. To capture randomness in our daily lives.

79. Swim classes in the summer that both Marcus and Lilli love.

80. Sticky notes

81. The memory of my dad parenting me. He gave me a good basis of what I wanted to be for my kids.

82. Meetings that actually mean something to me.

83. Cougar Town. I need to laugh sometimes

84. Turning 39. Just old enough to remember my youth and remind me of how much of grown.

85. Being the oldest mom on the playground but not acting like it.

86. Sleeping past 4:30 am on most weekends.

87. Cheerios. It’s a snack, a breakfast, and can be incorporated into any art project.

88. C-Dawg who every time we talk, wishes she could be here for me the way I was there for her and Maile. Just saying that warms my heart. I know she would, if it were not for the distance.

89. Tide stain removers, Oxiclean, and scrub brushes.

90. Semi-legible handwriting to decipher my meeting notes.

91. Digital archives

92. Little Cheese and Cheeto. Thanks for being great examples for your brother and sister.

93. Flashlights that help me find a doll, Spiderman, or pacifier that has fallen in the middle of the night, without turning on the light and making all hell breaks loose.

94. People who actually hold doors, say bless you, let you into their lane when your turn signal is on.

95. People in the service who sacrifice time and families for this country.

96. Breast cancer advancements

97. Sunglasses that hide my bags, the sun, relieve my migraines, make me look made up, when I’m not.

98. Black Friday and Cyber Mondays.

99. Facial powder and lip gloss.

100. Last but not least. Big Cheese, the kid’s dad. Even though we don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things, our kids love you. Thing One loves that you play the “ewww” food game with him, and spider man webs. Thing Two loves to wear your hats and get away with murder when she bats her eyes at you. I know that at least we can try to parent our children the best way we can.


November 23, 2010

Being Vigilant

Christ holding child

The story of a toddler falling to his death at Staples center after a Laker game got me very upset.  Not for the reason that many of you might think it would upset me.  I read comments on another news link that throughly upset me.  I'm sure most of these people were asking what most of us ask in our mind but they posted it for all to see.  One comment was "Why wasn't this kid on a leash!" another was "Where the hell where this kid's parents?" another statement was "These negligent parent's should be remorseful and go to hell"

I don't know how you can make those statements without having all the facts of the situation.  You don't know if that childs family might read them.  How do you make such blatent statements without thinking of how powerfully hurtful those words can be to this family. 

I have two children about the same age and I can honestly say, I have not always been as careful with my kids.  Just the other day I was putting the children in the car and in my mad dash of buckle, strap, check time, hurry I forgot to buckle my son all the way into his carseat.  I didn't realize he was not buckled into his car seat until we got to our destination.  I felt horrible, shaken, thinking about all that could have happened because I forgot to buckle his carseat.  I wanted to cry.  Luckily my beautiful son was not hurt, we did not get into a car accident, and he was sitting there kissing me and smiling at me.  

There have been many instances where I have not always been the most careful with my children, but I try to do what I can being a single mother with two very busy toddlers.  We can't all be perfect, we are human and children are curious, busy and FAST.  Before you can reach them they can be gone, running towards danger.  No matter what you think of these parent's actions, one thing is clear, they lost a child tragically.  No amount of negative comments will bring that child back or make the parents feel any more remorseful than they already are.  You say "Those parent's should have been more vigilant"  I say "Why aren't you more vigilant of what you say". 

My heart goes out to this family.

November 11, 2010

The Tale of Princess Heiress

I've heard that the current recession we are currently in began on or around June 2007.  That is one month before having Thing One.  I don't think I ever felt the pinch during that time at all.  Thing One had the latest baby gear, large amounts of new clothes.  Before he even came to this world, Mami threw me the biggest baby shower ever!  I had every gadget, gizmo, new trend you could possibly think for a new baby.  I have always been a careful shopper and consumer, frugal if you will, but I never imagined what the next year would bring me.  YES! BABY #2.  A mere 8 months after giving birth to what I thought would be possibly my only child I was pregnant again.

I always wanted more than one baby, but didn't know if it would even be possible for me. I had saved some of Thing One's baby clothes, gear, etc.  Let's face it I really had no time to get rid of some stuff since Thing One had barely outgrown many of the things. I was going to need these items for Thing Two on it's way.  I really wanted another boy, not just because I always related to little boys better, but I had SOOOOOOOOOO many boy clothes.  So 4 months into my pregnancy I go to the doctor, he says "BOY", I am happy.  I figure nothing will really need to be purchased except maybe extra diapers.  So two weeks after the news I go to a specialist for another sonogram.  "Do you want to know the sex?"  I was like, well I know it's going to be another boy.  I still said "SURE, WHY NOT?!" SURPRISE...a GIRL!  Oh my word, I was thinking NO WAY!  I had them check every time I got a sonogram to make sure the technician was correct. 

A Girl.  What was I going to do with a girl!?!  Ok, so then I wrapped my mind around having a sweet little girl, and I was ok.  That is until I thought of all the spending I was going to have to do on PINK...yes PINK.  EEEK!  I've never been a lover of the color pink.  So I figured, if strangers always asked about Thing One by starting  "How cute she is!".  That always perplexed me since he was in head to two in powder blue. So if they thought he was a girl, nothing wrong in sharing a little blue with my baby girl. 

I felt more of the economy taking a hold of me then.  I didn't lose my job, but people all around me were losing a job, a house.  Income that was spent frivolously was now being watched like a hawk. During this time Mami was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had to take some time off of work to help take care of her after her mastectomy and treatment afterwards. That was really tight on my budget and I was thinking, my goodness my baby is due in 8 weeks!

There was no real time to have Mami do a huge baby shower like we had for Thing One.  Not only was money tight, but it would require that I help because Mami was having difficulty physically.  I felt the same, I was large and tired.  Not only because of the pregnancy but the sheer exhaustion from raising a toddler.  So it looked more and more that Thing Two was going to be wearing powder blue for a majority of her infancy. My co-workers did have a baby shower for me at work, and I did get a few things that were girlie and pink.  It was quite nice and I was getting use to the whole girl thing.

Fast forward to our current situation.  I am still working, thank goodness but raising two children is not cheap.  Often times Thing Two will be wearing last years blue footsie pajamas that Thing One grew out of.  Mami calls Thing Two "Princessa Heredera" (Princess Heiress).  I still purchase a few cute girlie outfits, because it's fun.  I just won't break the bank doing so.  Yes, she wears boy clothes, with a girl flair.  Mami often feels bad that she inherits all of Thing One's jeans, shirts, etc.  I'm sure I wouldn't be as cautious with the money if it were a better time, for now she will wear a Spider Man shirt and jeans with cute red bows in her hair.  She is my budget baby, Princess Heiress. :)  Nothing wrong with that, just some way in dealing with the new economic situation.  I just explained to Mami, this has been done generation after generation.  She is not getting hand-me-downs, she is getting well loved, comfortable clothes. :) 

So what have you had to change given the new economic circumstances of this country?  Have you put a positive spin on it?
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