May 24, 2011

The Ice-Cream Mafia...BEWARE!

If you ever watched the 80' movie "Better off Dead" you will surely remember the newspaper kid...
He practically hunted down John Cusak in the whole movie. I use to laugh every time I saw these scenes, that is until the Ice-cream Mafia came after me.  
It all started innocently. It's Mami's FAULT!
 If you are a parent of a young child you know exactly what I'm talking about. The moment you hear the creepy music screeching from the truck, you break out in a sweat. Panic mode sets in. Surely the kids didn't hear the music, right? WRONG! All of a sudden you hear from the back of the house "IKEEM MAMMA! IKEEM!". Their excited squeals sound like the nails of teacher scratching on the chalk board. It's repetitive and haunting. You know the next thing they are going to say is "two dollars Momma!" 
Two dollar Spiderman Nightmare Popsicle! 

Mmm Chocolate
I swear I'm being stalked by the ice-cream truck Mafia. They know my schedule. When I get to the sitters after work they are nowhere to be found. I swear they turn off the music and wait for me to walk out of the sitter's house with the kids. They always stop and stare intently and turn the music on full blast. If that is not bad enough, they do a slow roll in front and from the other side comes a different ice-cream truck. People, I'm being bullied here! How do I explain it to a police officer about this? I mean come on all they want me to do is buy a "two dollar!" Ice-cream.

Seems ridiculous I know, but it's now become a power struggle of who is going to put up with it the most. I will not pay "two dollars" for a spider man Popsicle when I can pay a dollar more and get a box of Popsicles at the grocery store! I made the mistake of mocking the ice-cream truck posse once. I took the kids Popsicle sticks so that when they walked out the ice-cream truck would see them with the ice-cream. I felt the heat of the evil glare and declared victory when it moved on.

My glory was short lived. I see them everywhere I go now. At the park, by friends house, EVERYWHERE! They are out to get my "two dollars!". UGH! I think they've even gotten the gourmet food trucks to start stalking me now. They want to make ME fat! It's a conspiracy I tell you!
See in front of my work...the gourmet trucks all lined up!

Since you have had children in your life what ridiculous do you now fear, that did not in the slightest scare you before?

I know I'm not alone in my irrational fear check this out... *SHIVER* CREEPY!

May 17, 2011

The tale of the Un-Princess Mom and the Very Princess Daughter

Of all the things I wanted to be growing up, I wanted to be a mother...of three boys. Never did it cross my mind that I would ever have a girl. I was the girl that played with dolls, but never combed their hair or dressed them in dresses. Nope it was always shorts and a shirt. While my friends embraced their femininity, I found it hard to fit in that way. I was a tom boy of sorts. Sarge would tease that I was the little boy he always wanted.  I hung out with him in the garage more than in the kitchen with Mami.  Don't get me wrong, I sometimes enjoyed being a girly girl, but for the most part I embraced competition, sports, and friendships with boys. While I could be friends with other girls I somehow found myself more at ease chatting with the boys about sports.  Then came the teenage years and I found my femininity and love of fashion, but it was a long time coming.

So here I am with a two- year old daughter who's closet looks like Pepto-Bismal exploded in there. Her shoe collection resembles that of Carrie Bradshaw's on Sex in the City. When she wakes up she wants her hair brushed and to be made "pretty". She is attracted to all kinds of baubles, necklaces, and tiaras. Anything decorated with a Disney Princess theme is to be obsessed over admired and appreciated. She demands wants to be put in dresses on a daily basis. I have no idea how to relate!

 Maybe the reason I really had a hard time accepting having a daughter is that I know what kind of pressures a girl goes through. If your tough and ambitious and prefer jeans over a dress you are viewed as less feminine. On the opposite end of the spectrum, having the "Woe is me, someone come save me" attitude and being very feminine and "princess like" is viewed as weak and helpless. Being a girl is not easy and that is why I REALLY didn't want a girl. So what am I to do now that I have a girl and she is all things I definitely was not? 

While I don't mind indulging in her very feminine side I also want to open up other ideas to her, like sports and academics. I found that encouraging her to be who she is and showing her that not everyone can be a "Princess" all the time can be the way to relate to her.  I encourage her to try sports, run with her brother, rough house.  I can't help but smile when her brother picks on her and she beats the crap out of him  defends herself.

I want her to grew up knowing this: Beauty is in everything and a girl can gain attention not by what she looks like outwardly but what is in her heart and actions. You will always be a girl, but what you do with that knowledge is up to you.

Do you relate to your daughter?  How do you encourage her to go beyond the stereotypes of a woman?

Great website to visit if you have a girl :  7 wonderlicious

May 16, 2011

The Big Fat Mexican Wedding Moment

If you haven't seen the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding you have no idea about what that picture of the bottle of Windex is about.  To put it briefly, the father of the bride in the movie swears the Windex has healing powers and can cure just about anything.  Anything that ails you, just spray the Windex.  When I watched this scene in the movie, I had to laugh.  You see it may not be Windex in many Latino homes, but it could be in our home Mentholatum, the cure all of Cure alls.  It's an ointment very similar to Vick's vapor rub. 

I can still remember the first time my dad used it to ease my growing pains in my shins.  They were always would be so painful that the warmth of the ointment would just feel good while Sarge would rub it into my legs and wrap it up with one of his 1970's style long basketball socks with red stripes on the top.  Nothing felt quite as soothing as that.  Then there was the time my sister swore it cured a child who wouldn't nap (me) by placing it ever so gently on the top of my eyebrows.  Sure it worked, I had to keep my eyes closed to keep them from watering. So eventually it did do the trick and I was off to slumber land (THANKS SIS!).  I think a lot of the soothing I felt in those moments when I either scraped my knee, or was going through growing pains was not so much from the actual ointment. The actual healing that was happening was the care and concern from the adult giving me the attention needed to make me feel better. 

Thing One had been complaining about his legs when he was playing soccer.  I brushed it off and thought he was ok.  After I had given him a warm bath Mami asked me to bring him to her room.  There she had some of her magic healing ointment.  I thought they didn't make it anymore!  Thing One let her rub the ointment on his shin and then had a nice long sock placed on his legs.  He slept peacefully that night.  A few weeks have passed since that moment and the Things were outside playing.  Thing Two fell on her knees, no scrapes but lots of tears.  Thing One ran to me and said "Momma Yiyi needs Abi's cream!"  It brought a smile to my face to know that there will be no medicine will be quite as strong as the Mentholatum and Abi's loving touch.

Any of you have special remedies that just don't make sense to anyone else but to your family?

May 10, 2011


It has been almost two months that I have had every other weekend off of my mommy duties.  Big Cheese has been really good about taking the Things and we have had a better understanding of each others responsibilities.  I have read a lot of blogs of single parents who truly feel guilt as well as sadness when their children go with the other parent's home.  I often think there must be something wrong with me, because I truly don't feel that way.  I have friends who are single parents as well tell me I would be sad and that I would miss them. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The first weekend I had without the children I did things I hadn't done in a while:
  • I cleaned out rooms, sorted clothes (mine and the children's) without interruptions
  • I had coffee and conversation with friends, without yelling at children to stop what they were doing.
  • I exercised, and not by running after toddlers or with the help of Gymboree. 
  • I sat on the couch and vegged in front of the TV staring aimlessly at shows minus animated characters and singing involved.
  • I ate a hot meal that had just been served, no reheating involved.
  • I stayed in my PJ's until 3 by choice, not because there was no time for a shower or ability to change.
  • I showered in warm water for close to 30 minutes with no one banging at the door to get in.
Sure there was times in the day when I thought about what the Things were doing, but it had been so long since the last time I actually got to do all of the things above that I relished in it. I also figure that since they were with Big Cheese and had the opportunity to build a stronger bond with him, it was a very good thing for my babies.  I have to say I think I finally found an upside to this single/co-parenting situation.  I get some ME time to help me get in gear to be a better parent for Thing One and Thing Two.

What is your way of getting ME time?  Do you feel guilty or refreshed?

May 6, 2011

Mi Mami...

Ok so it's been busy, busy, busy for this momma.  I have left you guys neglected.  For good reason, between  new duties at work, taking care of my babies, and my momma, well something had to give.

The one thing I could not do was leave you without a mother's day post.  So here I am, a mommy blogger writing what seems like an eternity to get to this point.  What point do you ask?  Well it's simple, the total appreciation of my Mami. Mami is a hard as nails type of mom.  My relationship with her has always been difficult.  I was always daddy's little girl.  She was always very hard on me.  Until recently I realized why she was like this with me. 

Mami's own relationship with her mother, my grandmother was rather strained.  She grew up thinking that her mother was her sister and that her grandmother was her mom.  When her grandmother died when she was 12, the same age I was when I lost my dad.  This is the moment she found out that what she had always known as secure and loving was gone.  I can see now why she was not that kissy lovey mom, she didn't know how. 

Her struggles being a teen mom and having her two oldest children taken from her by their fathers in a time when a woman living in a latin country had basically no rights, may have shaped her as well.  Later when she had thought she found someone to truly love her and raise a family with, he let her down and left her and my dear sister.  This is the pivotal moment in her life when she truly became the mom I now know.  She knew no one in the United States, but she wanted a better life for her and my sister and took an airplane with money she had saved for years and headed to her future home.  One word comes to mind when I think of her....TENACITY. 

How does someone go through all that she did only to pick themselves up and move forward?  That's easy, the love she had for her child.  Like I said she is not demonstrative and that always made me feel like maybe she didn't love me.  When Sarge died, I would hear her cry night after night, but she never let me know exactly how hard it was.  She didn't have a job, she had me to raise, and still had a house payment, yet I knew nothing of that.  I always had food in my belly, new clothes for school, a roof over my head, and the latest gadget that my little heart desired.  She would babysit the neighborhood kids at home so that she would always be home for me when I got home.  She knew I needed security.  She may not have kissed me enough, or hugged me enough, but she taught me to be the woman I am now.

When things get tough with the kids and being a single mom, I think about Mami and all she went through.  She taught me to hold my head high and never fall apart even when inside you are.  Thank you for toughening me up and letting Sarge nurture my softer side.  Your love has taught me that there are different ways people express there love, and their is no right way to love. 

I may be the kissy huggy mom to my kids, but I am also the first one to discipline them.  My Mami taught me that you can love your children, but you need to prepare them for the future.  Thank you Mami for being my fortress and my example.  On a side note, she is the most kissable, huggable Abi (grandma) ever! 

Whatever your love language is, express it always and forever.  Happy Mother's Day!

Te quiero Mami, gracias por tu amor infinito.
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