February 28, 2011

Hey germs, viruses, bacteria! We want off this ride!

The picture above represents my daily regimen these days. Give or take a few pills, this has been my morning existence since the Things came into my life. I have had to stock up on Vitamins, antihistamines, cold and flu medication, Kleenex, antibacterial sanitizer, Lysol spray, etc, etc, etc. It’s a constant battle to keep all of us healthy.

Can I just say, toddlers are not the best in the hygiene and safety area. Anything goes for these creatures.
I have been used as a giant Kleenex at one point. Very attractive when you go into the office and you have a snail trail across the bottom of your nicely pressed black pants.  I have been sneezed on, coughed at, vomited on, it's fun really it is (insert sarcastic face here).

This cold and flu season has been especially rough. It’s amazing that I am even able to type this as I am fighting off what seems to be the third case of congestion, sniffles, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and headache (I think that was a quote from a commercial).  February has not been my favorite month. It started with me, I am the guilty party of this fantastic snifflefest.  I'm sure I picked it up at work because all of my co-workers have suffered from this ailment at one point in the last 2 months.  It was my turn I guess.

One week, cough, cough, sniffle, sniffle, is it a cold or an allergy?  Diagnosis after body aches:  COLD!  Alkaselzer cold and flu was my friend for many nights (at one point I was wondering . Between demanding toddlers and a job that doesn't care if your sick as a dog, you need to show up or it will reflect on your job review.  Talk about pressure!  If I got rest it was usually in the middle of typing an email at work and closing my eyes briefly. I'm surprised no one heard me snoring or that I may have shorted the keyboard from my drool. 

At least at work no one really cares if you doze off.  Once home with the Things, like most moms I am being diverted into a million different directions.  If I even blink too long one of the kids will say "Mommy wake up!".  I occasionally get poked in the eyes to pry open like little tooth picks keeping my eyelids open.  Think of that episode of Tom and Jerry when Tom tries to stay awake

I often feel like this poor cat.

So between being tired and not fully recuperating from all these nice illnesses, we just keep sharing the love in my household.  First me, then Thing One, Mami, then Thing Two.  There are so many variations to this order of getting it, that I can't list them all.  Really we just want off this train wreck now. 

What do you do to try to avoid this fun flu, cold, and allergy season?

February 25, 2011

Life's defining moments

What is Flashback Friday?  Well since parenthood for me started way before this blog.  I blogged a lot in various places like Myspace, Babycenter Community, and Facebook.  For you to better understand where I come from I have decided to bring those blogs back on Fridays.  I want to be able to relate to all of you that may be going through something similar and let you know you are not alone in your feelings. I will apologize ahead of time, this is the raw stuff before I started getting better at expressing myself via blogs.  Enjoy my friends

February 8, 2007 - The moment my direction in life made a dramatic turn and I embraced the little life that grew in me.  I finally admitted that a family is really what I wanted.

It's funny that just last year I was down in the slumps, all confused about my life and not really knowing which way to go. It took just a few events in my life to lift me out of where I was and put me on the path to a better day.

But none of those moments have topped what I have experienced in the last two weeks. All I can say is that this moment brought tears to my eyes and hope in my heart.

It's a little blurry, but that is my little squirt growing in my tummy, he or she is 13 weeks old and causing havoc in my stomach. And nothing has changed my life more than this.

So what have been your defining moments?

February 24, 2011

Taking my breath away

Thing One having a good day with Big Cheese. 
I knew that someday I was going to get questions from the Things about why Mommy and Daddy were in different homes. In my imaginary world I was hoping that this would NEVER come up since Thing One was 18 months old and Thing Two was 4 weeks old when we split up. Thing Two has never known really what it was like to live with Big Cheese, all she knows is two homes and she gets to see him Monday through Friday for a couple of hours. Thing One did however miss Big Cheese the first months he was gone from the house. He would often go and knock on the door to the garage, where he could find Big Cheese in his man cave. He would yell out “DADDY!”, his little mouth would droop down to a pout when he got no answer. It would break my heart when he would do that. Eventually Big Cheese and I set up a time and date for him to see the children, and things were ok for sometime and Thing One became adjusted to the routine.

For the past three weeks Thing One has been really whining a lot. He has not been as complacent to go to the baby sitters in the morning. He clings on for dear life and tells me “I want to stay home, pwease call daddy!”. I figured he was just going through a latent separation anxiety stage. I thought back to the day all this whining started. Then it clicked, it was the day in his Gymboree Sports class when I was the only Mommy there. All his friends had their Daddies. He turned to me and asked “Where Daddy?” I lied to him, I hated doing it, but I did. “He’s at work honey”. Big Cheese was actually home or out with his brother, watching a sports event on television, drinking beer. I had often asked him to try and do every other weekend with the kids, for their sake and for mine. He just told me not to tell him what to do and how to run his life. Big Cheese emphasized that he had things to do for himself, like laundry, on his days off. I was infuriated with that answer because in my mind parenting is not just Monday through Friday and things can get done with children around. Is it harder to do, yes. Is it impossible, no. I eventually let go of the idea of the children going to see Big Cheese every other weekend.

Last week I was teaching Thing One his last name and that we all have last names. We went down the list of his family. Big Cheese, Grandpa Cheese, Nana Cheese, Big Brothers Cheese, Thing Two, and Thing One, all had the last name “Olivas”. Thing One then asked about my last name. His little eyebrow furrowed when I told him my last name. He searched my face for an answer and questioned “You not Mommy Olivas?” I just responded quickly and simply “No, mommy is Gomez”. He still looked for more in my face. I moved on to another topic. Then later that night as I put him to bed he asked, with his very big sad baby brown eyes staring at me “Why Daddy not sleep here mommy?”. That one question took my breath away. I had to get my breath back and just had to remind him that we had different houses. I just gave simple answers to not so simple questions.

I think it is harder for me to explain it to Thing One, because I know what it is like to miss a father. I know exactly how painful that is, to know you can’t see Daddy for one reason or another and to really need that part of you. I lost my daddy at 12, and he was the best daddy ever. Even though I have my opinions of Big Cheese and his parenting style, it doesn’t stop the fact that Thing One thinks the world of him and needs him. This is why it is painful for me to explain the simple terms as to why his Daddy isn’t always there. I guess in time it will get better and I just need to trust that I am doing the right thing for him and his sister.

I am hoping this is just a phase and I will see a happier Thing One soon.

February 22, 2011

Everything else can wait...

I live in Los Angeles and a commute is part of my daily life.  It's inevitable you need a car to get anywhere in this metropolitan city, it was not built to be the most transit friendly.  Los Angeles is actually considered on of the worst commutes in America   Thing One and Things Two have no choice but to be strapped into a car seat for hours on end to get anywhere fun. JOY!  Two toddlers in the back of the smallest car ever and Mami in the front seat chatting her little heart away because she knows I have no where to run to and have no choice but to listen.  Distractions are just waiting in that car.  Can I just say a Toyota Tercel was never meant to be a family car, but it is my circumstances right now and I deal with it. 

A commute anywhere with all three of my passengers is a challenge to say the least.  Add rain to the commute of a Southern California driver and it's just a hot mess.  I have to be extra aware of not just my driving but the driving of others. This is when I remember my driver's ed teacher in High School "BE A DEFENSIVE DRIVER". Nothing matters more than the people in my car, especially my babies. 

Saturday morning we ventured off to an early Gymboree play and movement class because we had a birthday party later on that day.  Normally I wouldn't be on the freeway this early in the morning.  Rain was looming over our commute, not a drizzle but definitely dark clouds hanging out. Mami as usual was chatting away, and the Things were comfortably snoozing to the mind numbing sounds of Rock-a-bye lullabies.  Twenty minutes into our commute home there it was, dust,  the sound and smell of screeching tires rubbing against the pavement.  It was on the left hand side of the freeway and we were in the slow lane. I could clearly see that this car was in trouble.  If I didn't slow down I would be part of this trouble. The car careened and was spinning out of control across the freeway.  My heart was pounding as I saw it move closer and closer to us. Luckily I was not driving fast and I saw it the moment the car lost control.  I hit my breaks gently and watched helplessly.  The whole time my thoughts were on the safety of my babies and Mami. 

When it all ended the driver was facing my car the opposite direction of traffic.  I placed my hazards on and allowed the driver of the vehicle to compose themselves and move off to drive himself in the correct direction of traffic.  All cars on that highway were stopped and no one was hurt luckily.  This scenario could have had a different outcome, but people were driving to protect others that day.  No cell phones in hand, no changing of radio stations, no reaching back to break up children arguing or to reach a dropped toy.  When I got home and made sure everyone was safe in the house, I shook from stress and cried. 

The Friday night before I had settled in to read my latest edition of Parent magazine.  I read the article on The Most Dangerous Drivers.  As I was reading I was shocked that women are the most distracted drivers, mom specifically.  That evening I read through the Driver Pledge and thought about my own mistakes while driving.  The article saved my life and my children's lives.  Had I been distracted you would be reading about the horrible accident on the 605 instead of my account of the whole ordeal on a blog.  

If you're a parent, a driver, a passenger I highly recommend taking the time to look at the pledge.  It could be your life or the lives of someone's family you could be saving.  I know my eyes are WIDE open now. I don't want me and my family to be a statistic.

February 21, 2011

The moment you know...you are not alone

June 2007.  I was holding the phone and almost let it slip out of my hand.  It almost fell out of my hand because my hands were shaking from shock, distress, hurt and just plain astonishment.  On the other side of the line was Big Cheese telling me he would not be able to come to Lamaze with me because he had just signed up for softball and he wasn't going to let his fees for that go to waste on a dumb class.  I was a first time mom, scared out of my mind.  I didn't know what to expect with labor and as always I wanted to be prepared.  Big Cheese just grunted on the other side of the line.  This should have been my first major red flag for things to come.  We hung up and my big pregnant emotional self cried.  I cried because one, I was hormonal and two, I didn't have the support I thought I did in Big Cheese. 

Not going to the class was not an option for me. The class required another person to be there, the person you trusted the most to be there to see you in all your glory and pain.  The person who wouldn't care that I would yell at them to stop breathing on me (yes I did that).My friend  "T" was the only person I knew that had the time to go with me and would be a great confident.  The call was pretty nerve racking to make.  How do I approach this?  I mean come on, it's not everyday that a friend says "Hey could you help me out while I squeeze out a watermelon out of my vajayjay".  The conversation ultimately went like this: 

Me: Big Cheese can't go to Lamaze with me  *SIGH*  *CRY*
T:  When is it?
Me: Wednesdays from 7 - 9 for two weeks
T:  I will go with you.

It was that simple.  I didn't need to ask in any particular way, I didn't have to explain why Big Cheese was being an idiot and putting me on the back burner when I needed him most.  T knew, she knew like any good friend would have known.  She knew I was scared, she knew I was upset, she knew I was hurt.  When you have friends like that you don't need a big explanation the heart just knows.  Just like she knew how much it hurt me when I walked into the room and realized I was the only woman at Lamaze without a male partner there. 

She was there bright and early when the moment came to coach me through my scary moment.  She didn't quite make it through to see Thing One being born. She passed out right at the point I was going to push, Big Cheese took over at that moment and saw me the rest of the way through.  A year later she was there to see Thing Two being born, no passing out this time.  T has been the source of my strength many times when I have no idea if I am doing the right thing by my children.  She sees me through dark moments when all I want to do is be angry and cry from both sadness and frustration.  I can't say enough about the times she has sacrificed her time to take my kids to their Gymboree class when I need a break.  She loves my kids as if they were her own.  No words can ever express the gratitude I feel for her.  She picked up where Big Cheese failed me. 

I may not have the male counterpart in my life to help me through this thing called parenthood but I have T.  Every single parent needs that source of support and I am glad there are people like T around. By the way T, you have 7 more years until Thing One's 10th birthday and your tetanus shot is due.

Who besides your family is a source of support when it comes to raising children and raising you as a mother?

February 18, 2011

Flashback Friday - Analyzing the Marriage/child decision...AGAIN

What is Flashback Friday?  Well since parenthood for me started way before this blog.  I blogged a lot in various places like Myspace, Babycenter Community, and Facebook.  For you to better understand where I come from I have decided to bring those blogs back on Fridays.  I want to be able to relate to all of you that may be going through something similar and let you know you are not alone in your feelings. I will apologize ahead of time, this is the raw stuff before I started getting better at expressing myself via blogs.  Enjoy my friends.

March 6, 2006 - This is the blog where I am like Marissa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinny" 

 Things did not quite work out as I had hoped in this blog.

So as much as I deny it, it feels good to have a little one snuggle with you. My cousin's little girl snuggled with me and she was snoozing away. I held her at a family party as her parents ate dinner. They didn't want to just leave her on the couch to sleep. I offered to hold her. So this is where my story begins.
I always had planned on having kids. Never happened with the ex-husband because, well for one reason or another he just couldn't have kids. It still remains a big mystery, he never included me in on what was going on, which is probably a big reason why we are not together today. So forward to know, I'm 35.

Yes, you heard it

I don't remember what happened, but dang...Hello 30-35! It's a blur. I spent it with someone who I thought I might have a family with, maybe even do the married thing. Yeah, I'm a sucker for pain!
So that clearly never happened or else I would be here telling you guys that yeah married life is a pain, and the kids drive me up the wall, but I'm happy. So now comes the decisions. I made a decision to not have children, and that was after thinking and thinking and thinking. (a whole lot of thinking)

I asked myself questions like, would you be willing to take that risk at 35 to have a child, would you be able to do it without being married, or having the father of the child around? So when I answered, I don't want to be the oldest mom in the school parking lot, I know what that's like. I don't want to be the one to tell my child, yeah I don't know why your daddy isn't around, I know what that's like. I don't want to explain to my child that oh yeah daddy lives with so and so and I live here with so and so, but your our love and blah blah blah... it just didn't work for me.

For me I wasn't willing to settle to bring a child into this world and not have a happy marriage. It just goes hand in hand for me. I know, how conservative is that coming from a liberal person?! I guess deep down inside those are the things I really wanted and now I find that just a memory.

But let me tell you when I felt that little girl all snuggled on me, it made me just feel like ...oh what the hell have a kid on your own! Any donors? LOL Like I said, I'm all screwed up! Deep down, I'm still going to end up thinking about it and going...Nope shouldn't do it.

February 17, 2011

A visit to Fantasyland...Courtesy of Mami

The first memory I have of Fantasyland was when I was 5 years old. It was the part of Disneyland in which you could make dreams come true, however far fetched they may be. The rocket ride, the flying Dumbo ride, anything was game when it came to the imagination. That was the magic of Fantasyland, anything was possible. I have often found myself back there in recent months. The reality is that I have not been to Disney land since 2003.

Mami has been instructed to call me at work only if it is urgent. Anything else can be left to talk about during my lunch hour or when I get home. She is after all a woman in her 70's who has given me a scare or two with her health. So recently Mami calls me at 10:30. I thought "Oh my I better answer that!". I pick up the phone, heart in my hand, and she says "You got a postcard from Hawaii, from Prince Charming". I could hear the excitement in her voice. It was that voice of a giddy teenager who just got asked out to the prom by the hottest guy in class. All I could respond was "Mami, this isn't an emergency, I will read it when I get home"

It is no surprise to me that my Ex-husband Prince Charming had sent that postcard. I knew he was going to Hawaii from the previous conversations we had. We have been in contact for about a year now. We have talked at length about the mistakes we made with regards to our relationship and have mended that fence. What is missing you ask? Well it had been 10 years since we divorced. A lot of our "romance" has long since been forgotten. I am ok with that. He seems to agree on that and we have a nice friendship.

Mami on the other hand does not hide the fact that she often visits Fantasyland when it comes to Prince Charming. She still had pictures of Prince Charming and I up on her bedroom walls until about 4 years ago when I protested. It was a ridiculous ode to Prince Charming, he was gone and that was the end of it. Somehow I see her drifting towards the "You never Know mija!?!" camp. Yes, I said camp. I have a few of my friends who say the same thing.

Most of the problems I had with Prince Charming came to fruition about the time we were trying to conceive a child. Lack of communication, frustration, and stress took over. Obviously we did not make it through or I would be saying husband instead of ex-husband. I had often fantasized that we had we been able to have children and our relationship would have not fallen apart the way it did.

So here I am two children, single and by single I mean VERY single. My mom has seen me struggle with two babies for two years, alone. I see the pain in her face when she tells me she wishes she could help me more and that she hopes I don't stay single. I know she desires that my kids have a male figure in their lives to teach them how a man truly treats a woman. I desire those things for my children and I as well.

I often drift to Fantasyland, but the truth is I am single with two small children to look after. Prince Charming has his life and I have mine. No romance, just a friendship. Mami has watched too many telenovelas (spanish soap operas) in her day. Thank you Mami for wishing the best life has to offer. I know she just wants my tears of loneliness to stop and to have a worthy life partner. My feet are firmly planted on the ground and as they saying goes : "it is what it is" for now. No visits from me to Fantasyland. Darn you Disney and your dreams!

February 15, 2011

Career Girl Interrupted

Ever since I was a child my mind has been wrapped up in making it as a successful business/career woman.   I was about 8 or 9 years old when I saw this commercial:

She seemed so with it, together.  I wanted to be that woman with a business suit to say "I brought home the bacon".  While all of my friends were playing with dolls, pretending to be mommy's, I pretended to be the daycare center owner or the school principal where all the dolls would be.  While my friends were playing tea party, I played the owner of the restaurant where they were having tea.  My parents had taken me to a warehouse store (Think Costco)  and asked if I wanted anything.  I wanted a huge box of Cracker Jacks.  Instead of a delicious snack, I though of selling the boxes to my friends and making a profit out of it.  This was successful and I had a neighborhood candy store out of my garage.  I started with candy and progressed to soda's to the neighborhood adults.  I got my first job at 13 working for the parks and recreation program in the city through a special program.  I also was able to house sit for the neighbors that went on vacation and babysit to make some extra cash. 

I never saw my life without some kind of goal being met towards a career.  I went to school became a preschool teacher and then life happened.  I met Prince Charming.  I wanted babies with him and my career goal took a slight back seat to Life.  When babies were not in our future and a divorce was more than likely I put my head back into being a career woman.  I was 30 by this time.  I changed careers, and had to start from the bottom again.  The struggles where all worth it, I went back to school and worked in various businesses.  Graduating with my Bachelors degree in Business was the best thing ever, I was looking forward to working towards my MBA.  There I was 35 and full of hopes to move forward with my career and with my new job. I still rememeber my interview they asked me "Where to you see yourself in 5 years?"  my answer "In a management position, such as yours" .  I was THAT ambitious.

Flash forward to just a year after graduation.  I find myself pregnant, this was not in my career plan or my life plan.  I struggled with concentrating on work let alone on the whole I am going to be a mom.  I had wanted to be a mother for so long and then the moment I gave up and was going to dedicate myself to my career.  After all this was the dream I had since I was a child.  I felt really emotional about the choices I was going to have to make.  During that time I was the only one that would have a child in the office.  I felt hard to relate to my co-workers and all I wanted to do was sit and cry.  Once Thing One was born, I just yearned to be home.  Financially Big Cheese and I knew I had to go back to work.  It pulled at every inch of my heart to leave Thing One everyday.  Every morning I cried in my car before getting into work.  I often felt alienated because no one really was going through the same things I was going through.  Not to much later I was pregnant again with Thing Two.  I struggled again with going to work.  This time I was the not the only one in the office with children, so I started to feel more of a camaraderie between my co-workers. 

So here I sit almost 5 years from the point of when I got hired and I told the interviewer I wanted a management spot.  Somehow life has side tracked me again.  Sure, this could probably be a really sad realization to some, but something happened just the other day. My yearly review was a real success and I was asked if I would like to make the next step in my career.  My answer surprised me.  Without hesitation I said "Let me think about that, I have to consider my life/work balance".  I thought of the extra stress , what I would be bring home with me and into my children's lives. Imagine that?!?!  This whole time while I thought was wishing for a career, I really just wanted to be a successful mom. I am ok with that.

February 14, 2011

The moment love struck...

August 11, 2011

January 14, 2009
People will tell you that you will love your child, but no one ever tells you that the intensity is beyond anything words can describe.  The moment I layed eyes on my children my heart jumped to my throat and I know maybe part of it was hormonal, but it doesn't take away from that moment.  I am truly grateful that God has graced me with my two angels.  They grace me with gifts of love everyday.  I love when Thing One grabs my face and demands my attention, because he desires no one else's attention but mine.  Thing Two and her sweetness does not leave my side from the moment I get home from work (Not even to the restroom).  I desire their company and love as much as they desire mine.  So for those naysayers of today's holiday, I say this: It is not about expressions of love between lovers, but the genuine love you feel for another person.  Even if they are only 2 and 3  years old.  I love my babies.  Have a great day sharing your love my friends.

February 11, 2011

Flashback Friday - Babies and more

What is Flashback Friday?  Well since parenthood for me started way before this blog.  I blogged a lot in various places like Myspace, Babycenter Community, and Facebook.  For you to better understand where I come from I have decided to bring those blogs back on Fridays.  I want to be able to relate to all of you that may be going through something similar and let you know you are not alone in your feelings. I will apologize ahead of time, this is the raw stuff before I started getting better at expressing myself via blogs.  Enjoy my friends.

November 15, 2005 - This marks the day I started to write my thoughts on babies and having a family in the future.  I had been pretty depressed up until this point. A year earlier I had miscarried a baby.  It was a rough road that no one talks about.  I suffered with a lot of feelings of guilt and grief.  This was the day that made me think ahead to what the future held and be hopeful.  If you are interested in the ribbon below please visit here.
Today was a rather interesting day. I forgot that I was invited to my girlfriends baby shower. I think I forgot intentionally, it's been a long road to this day. I haven't been to a baby shower since I had my miscarriage almost a year ago.

I knew today was going to be a bit strange for me, and I thought I was going to be all crazy with different feelings. I was for like a moment, and then I put it all aside, because after all this was my friends day and not my pity party. Well turns out that when we got to the shower, she wasn't at her home, she had delivered the baby 2 months early! Her and the baby are doing just fine, thank god, but in that moment I felt the need to call up my ex boyfriend and tell him about our friends new baby.

I actually didn't call him up, I just left him a text message. Too chicken I guess to talk to him. Then he text me back, that's good, tell them congratulations. In that very moment I realized something. I was holding on to him and that he would never change his views on the whole, having a family and stuff. He will never be the one man I had hoped he would be. I was over it, and him and I let go at that moment. Amazing what a little clarity will do in a blink of a moment.

My friend "C"  described that as sad. The final realization that it's over. I beg to differ on that I don't think it's sad, I think it's more of learning and opening other doors in your life. I'm content right now, and somewhere out there is a man who would want the same things I want and will want to share the things I want to share. For now I'm not looking, I want him to find me!

So, let me go on with my content self and go out and have a good time with old friends. So I'm off to have dinner with friends. Enjoy your moments of enlightenment my friends, don't fret!

February 10, 2011

The Evolution of a Diaper Bag

I was cleaning out the closets and getting ready to get rid of things when I ran into a few diaper bags I have used in the past with my babies.  Each one of the bags has a story of where I was in my many mommy stages.  

The BackPack

My first ever diaper bag was a sling backpack diaper bag.  We chose this one because, well there was a "WE".  I wasn't going to be the only one lugging around a baby and really how cool does a guy look with a Winnie the Pooh diaper bag? 

The Free Hospital Small Diaper Bag

This is the smaller tote bag that I hauled around after Thing One was about 10 months old.  It was the free bag the hospital had given me and it was convenient.  I was having to bring less items with me when I took him places.  A sippy cup, diapers, wipes, and a place for my wallet and cell phone. It was super convenient as well because I needed a lightweight bag since I was carrying Thing Two in my belly at the time.

The Suitcase "THE BEAST" 
This lovely HUGE suitcase of a diaper bag was what was required when I was in the thick of two babies that were 17 months apart.  It carried bottles, sippy cups, bibs, change of clothes, pull -ups, snacks, diapers, a huge refill of baby wipes, plastic bags, baby food.  I probably could have packed a few receiving blankets in that thing too.  This was also the time I found myself alone and having to bring both babies with me anywhere and everywhere. 

The Free Hospital Tote Bag Part DEUX

This is the tote bag that was on a smaller scale than the BEAST I was carrying when I had two babies in tow.  I started using this one when Thing Two was about 9 months old and Thing One was completely potty trained.  I still had to lug some bottles and snacks and diapers around, but it wasn't the overwhelming monster I had to pack previously.

The "Let's Go Somewhere FUN" Backpack
This is what I currently use to go to places like the County Fair, the Zoo, Book Fairs, the park for a day, or anything that requires a whole day out with two toddlers.  I like the broad straps that make it comfortable to wear on my shoulders.  It also leaves my hands free to catch a toddler who just happens to run the opposite way of our intended destination.  It also has my favorite college's logo on it.  I aspire to have one or both of the Things to go someday. 

The "Throw it in" Tote Bag

This was given to me recently for Christmas. I love that I can personalize it with pictures that mean a lot to me and Things One and Two.  I love that I can now just throw in two sippy cups, one change of clothes, a few diapers, and a small wipe box.  It's light and the kids love to hold it for me and look at the memories we've created along the way.


This screams more "HOT MAMA" and less "HOT TODDLER MESS MOMMA" .  Someday I keep telling myself.  I'm sure once I get this purse I'm going to miss those big diaper bag days (or not).  

February 8, 2011

Moms date?!?! HOW?

Most Moms I know lead really busy lives. You have kids to shuffle off to day care, school, etc. You have to deal with tantrums, homework, and extracurricular activities that you need to hurry off to. If your married, you need to fit in time with the hubby and sharing of the parenting. Now imagine if you were single and had to do that and DATE??!!! *GULP*

At the ripe age of 40 I never imagined that I would be a single mom. I thought I would be one of those happily adjusted married folks with kids. WRONG! Life happens, you choose a partner unwisely (in my case the culprit was beer and Jack and coke), it happens. I have been a single mom for close to two years now, and I haven't really put any thought into dating. Why? Well that's easy to answer, I'm knee deep into toddlerhood. Before two toddlers I was a hot mess. I had two babies 17 months apart and I could barely get a comb through my hair, let alone TRY to look attractive. My life revolved around a constant diaper change.

My thoughts and energy have been focused on Thing One and Thing Two. So this is going to sound silly, but I have no idea how to date or even put myself out there! I have been out of the game for at least a good 5 years now. First, it takes so much time and energy just to date. Getting to know the other person, the calling, the whole dance, HELLO?! When exactly am I supposed to do that? I barely make it to 9:30 pm on any given weekend and I am already nodding off to bed. Not to mention that every weekend I have is spent with the children since Big Cheese couldn't possibly take them on weekends.

Then there is that part of me that worries. The whole dilemma about when is it right to date? When do the kids get introduced? Do you introduce them at all? Does this person have a criminal record? What if the kids get attached and it doesn't work out? I can handle me being hurt, but the kids?? That last thought just kills me. UGGGG!!! Seriously, I thought I wouldn't have to go through the insanity of dating while raising kids.

So the other night out of curiosity I went on a dating site and chatted with a few gentlemen (I use the term loosely) and I swear I felt drained. Just by the questions What do you look like? Kids? Married? divorced? age? Area you live? It was like the spanish inquisition and I hadn't even gotten a drink out of it to ease the pain!

I don't know how some single moms are able to date, I was exhausted just in the few minutes I put myself out there. Maybe I'm just not ready to handle dating drama alongside toddler tantrums. I get lonely sometimes and I would love to have someone take care of me as a woman while I take care of my children's needs. I just don't think I have the energy level and patience it takes to date at this moment. I'm hoping that some day I will. Single moms, how do you balance a dating life with the life of a mommy? Am I over thinking this or will there come a time when I will figure it all out. Advice please....

February 2, 2011

You're doing it wrong!

Hey Mom, what is this thing the nurse put me in???!!
The title of this is exactly what I heard the nurse say to me as I swaddled Thing One and she looked on. You would think that as a new mom I would have been more compliant and done things as the nurse was saying to do. The thing is that I had swaddled many babies by this point, just not my very own. The nurse kept saying "no tuck his hands in". Again she had no clue what I was doing. For the brief couple of hours I had been with my son I noticed he was comforting himself by grasping his hands in front of his face and sucking the top of his tiny knuckles. To me it only seemed obvious to swaddle him with his little grasped hands in front of him to keep him calm. I really resented that nurse for telling me I was swaddling my child wrong, when she had no idea who I or my child were.
Ahhhh!!! this is so much better, thank you Mommy!
I have read my share of baby books and debates on everything from circumcision, diapers, bottles, pacifiers, day care, babysitting, treating colds, preventing colds, toddler tantrums, discipline, potty training. I will tell you this, all that reading never prepares you thoroughly for your own children. It is helpful in some situations and you try the methods others have suggested. I am not closed off to other opinions and suggestions, I just know my own children.

I think that is why it bothers me when I hear or read posts in which a mother is being criticized by her methods of parenting. Just because it may be different than your own parenting ways does not make it wrong. I have had my share of debates about certain things that I feel may be dangerous for a child, but a debate is different than straight criticism. 
I have a friend Pretty Eyes who is very protective of her son who is merely a month older than mine. When it comes to parenting I have to say I'm a little more relaxed than she is. Is it wrong? No, by no means. She has ALWAYS been more cautious and wiped everything with antiseptic wipes. When we were child free we walked barefoot on the streets after a long night of dancing. I went home and crashed on the couch, and she scrubbed her feet, rinsed and scrubbed them again at three in the morning. When we were pregnant. She spent most of her time away from people who were sick, rested a lot, and was very vigilant of her diet. I was around tons of people, many who might have been sick, and ate everything in sight! Recently Thing One had a swimming pool birthday party and while my son had trunks on hers had a full body suit with extra sunscreen. I find nothing wrong with her methods. They are different than mine, yes. I have heard many criticize her and other parents like her, say things like "she isn't letting him do things"  blah, blah, blah.

Well what you don't know is Pretty Eyes had a son before this one. He was born premature, he was sick for the first month of his life. He had some health complications and she fought to keep him as healthy as possible. He was doing well until he was about 4 months old. He fell ill and he left us all much too soon.

You never know the reason why parents make choices in how they parent a child. It may be that they know their children's quirks the moment they are born, it may be that this parent's personality is the reason they do things a certain way, or it may be that you want nothing to happen to your child because of the loss you feel. Parents are humans with feelings, so "suggest nicely" and "don't criticize harshly". You may never know what is behind that parents logic if you don't put yourself in their situation with their children.  So parents when you hear someone say you are doing it wrong all you have to say is, that may be true for you but not for my children and I. :)

February 1, 2011

Love Songs...

Love is all around us in February.  The hearts, the flowers, the expressions of romance.  PHOOEY!  Yes, I am single, as I have been for the last couple of years.  I should be a bahumbug person when it comes to Valentine's Day.  Instead I have taken the high road and have really taken inventory of where my heart has been the last couple of years.  I have been a mom who is dedicated to her two babies.  My love affair with them started the moment I knew that I carried them in my womb.  The following love songs bring a smile to my face as I think of my two loves, Thing One and Thing Two.

Mana - Bendita tu Luz
This song is for my beautiful baby boy.  Just one short month after I had him I went to see this group in concert.  I had heard this song before, but it took on new meaning for me that day.  The tears rolled down my face as I thought of my baby at home and how much he filled my life already.  As the song says in the very beautiful spanish language:  Bless your light, Blessed is the light of your gaze, Bless your gaze, Blessed is the gaze from your soul.

John Mayer - Daughters
I heard this song when I was pregnant with Thing One and thought it was beautiful.  When I was pregnant with Thing Two it took on more meaning.  I related how as a woman we take how we were treated by our parents into many aspects of other relationships.  I was blessed to have a great father, who left much too soon.  I wanted to make sure that Big Cheese would be able to understand his role with our daughter.  Even though he and I have mixed feelings about each other I want to make sure he never fails her. 

Colbie Calliat - Bubbly

Bubbly is just how fun my children's love is.  How I am like a child and their laughter and hugs make me feel new. They place a smile on my face and laughter in my voice.  I hope the three of us can always feel this way about each other in the years to come.  Ok, so maybe the teenage years we may be in denial, but I hope we will get through it and find the fun we have always had together.

 Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance
Even before I had children I really loved this song.  At first it was the hopes I'm sure my parents had for me.  Once my children came to be I absolutely felt every word of hopes and dreams that this song  refers to.  You always hope for more for your children.
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