Friday, December 16, 2011

My thoughts on the Don't Ask Don't Tell Repeal

Hello Everyone!

I have decided to use this free time on my hands (I just finished the fall term, and I’m on winter break) to write about something that isn’t my usual style on this Blog. I am not a politician. I honestly know very little about politics. I am a simple mom of two girls who loves her country and is proud to be an American. However, this is something that has been on my heart for a while now, so I’ll just say my piece and then let it go. Hopefully.

I’m talking about… you guessed it, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal.

Can I just say- It’s about time?!

Ok, here I go.

First of all- how did we dare as a country to put qualifications on who can be willing to give their lives for our freedom? That seems a little like looking a gift horse in the mouth. Who are we to pass judgment, or force people to hide their sexuality just so they can do something for our country that many of us are not willing to do? This seems absurd to me. Like any gift, I believe we should graciously accept this gift and give a resounding Thank You! I don’t care what religion, background, or sexual preference you have- if you are willing to fight so that my children and I are protected- kudos to you.

Second of all- to those of you (and I have heard this argument numerous times) that are disgruntled because you may have to shower or share close quarters with someone you know is gay, and that makes you uncomfortable? I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but they were gay before you knew that they were. They have always been there, and haven’t made you uncomfortable before now.  Just because they may live with you, doesn’t mean they are attracted to you, so frankly… get over it.

Third- There are plenty of heterosexual and homosexual males and females who choose not to serve in the military, and that is fine. We don’t persecute them for their choice. So why on earth have we persecuted homosexual males and females who chose to make the ultimate sacrifice by joining?

 Fourth- Our military is made up fully of volunteers. These people are VOLUNTEERING to go to war for us should the need arise. And before now, many homosexuals did it willingly, even though they knew that they would have to hide a large part of themselves or they could literally be court marshaled and go to military jail or be dishonorably discharged. They felt strongly enough about protecting our country that they were willing to take that risk, even though as civilians they could have been able to live their lives as they saw fit. That puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

So put your prejudices and hate aside. Say thank you to those who serve, no matter what their sexual preference. And be grateful that they no longer have to feel fear that they might be “outed”, because no matter who they decide to love, those people have been trained to keep your family safe- and to lose even one to prejudice in the military judicial system would be a shame.

Ok, I’m hopping off of my soapbox now. I’m sorry if you don’t believe I’ve been politically correct or disagree with what I’ve written. I would just like to point out that I have many family and friends serving in our military at this moment, and I don’t care if the people watching their back are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, heterosexual, or completely celibate. If they are choosing to watch my family’s back- that’s good enough for me.

Oh, and If I don’t have time to blog before it get’s here-

Have a Happy, Healthy and Wonderful Christmas and Holiday season :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Love Letter for my Mom

I thought over and over about what this next blog post would be about. I have tons of witty, interesting stories to tell, but I just kept coming back to the same thing.
I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to my Mom.
Here’s why:
I was a pain in the… neck. I had the worst attitude, especially during my teen years, but I always knew she loved me. Even when I thought SHE was a pain in MY neck. (Really. I cringe at some of the behavior I remember. I was never a rule breaker; I was just rude and selfish. I can’t decide if that is better or worse.)
Oh, the things we learn once we become parents.
She loves Michael Jackson. Loves him. It is one of the funniest things about her. One of my earliest memories is her cleaning the house with MJ turned up really loud. She was singing along.
She rocks out. Any pop music is appreciated. She dances, and snaps her fingers, and plays karaoke on the Wii… and she has no shame. The lady belts that music out.
She buys me little presents, just because she thinks I will like them. Usually clothes, because she knows I don’t buy any for myself.
I look just like her.
She digs in the garden. Her house is surrounded by shrubs, trees, and flowers.
She can name the flowers she has.
She lets my girls dig with her, and she knows every flower they have planted. Then when we are outside with her, she points them out and tells us all how wonderful they are doing because they were specially planted.
She lets me borrow her clothes. While some of them are a little too conservative for me… she also has some awesome ones. I sometimes wonder if she buys clothes with me or my sister in mind, because many times, when I borrow something, it still has the tags on it. Hmmm sneaky…
She once drove six miles to my house, in the middle of her dinner, to kill a huge spider for me.
She sometimes babysits my kids, just so I can have a break.
She was a strict parent. I thank God for that every single day.
She kicked her nail biting habit.
She also kicked her cigarette habit.
She takes literally thousands of pictures every year. Probably tens of thousands. She can produce pictures from any even she has attended in the last 10 years.
She once danced at a wedding with purple satin gloves on her feet.
My cousin Kate called her Auntie Daddy for years, because she was with my aunt when Kate was born. When the doctor asked who should hold Kate, my mom said, "give her to me, I'm the daddy." The name stuck.
She was also called Auntie TeeWee when she was about 13, because my cousin Shelly couldn't say her r's. That name has stuck for... many years and my cousin Shelly still uses it. (don't worry mom, I won't say exactly how many years)
She flew out of state multiple times when my sister and I had our babies.
She walks every year in the March of Dimes "March for Babies". She spends the rest of the year gathering money to donate.
She loves her grandkids without reservation.
She loves her children without reservation.
She worked every day of my life so that I could have everything I needed.
When money was short, she used credit cards for Christmas and Birthdays and back to school shopping. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized she must have paid down those bills just in time for the next holiday. I always assumed we had enough.
She made me believe we always had enough. I never knew she worried, even though she must have. She let me be a kid.
She married a guy that drove me crazy. He was the bane of my existence while I was growing up. He was also one of my biggest supporters, and still is. The man would walk through fire for me. She realized it, even when I didn’t.
Here is the biggest reason this post is dedicated to my Mama.
She loves me. It doesn’t matter if I am sweet, mean, skinny, fat, lazy, funny, annoying, rude, happy, or a pain in the neck. I have never for one moment ever doubted my mom’s love for me. She is a rock when I need one, a shoulder to cry on, a pain in the neck, and absolutely 100% lovely.
And I bet she is crying right now.
I Love you Mom!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The things people teach their children...

Hello Friends! Remember me? I’m that amusing girl that you just can’t get enough of… that dropped off the face of the Earth. Well, no worries! I’m back!
Sorry about the long absence. I’ve been busy… being a mom. Surprising, no? All joking aside, it feels really good to be writing a letter to my friends again. (that’s you by the way)
I’ve thought of a ton of things I wanted to write to you about, but it seems there is never a free moment in this house! I decided in honor of Mother's Day, I would break my blogging fast. (It sort of sounds like I am using "blogging" as a swear word in that last sentence, but I'm not, I swear.) Right now, I am finished with all homework due, as I am a full time college student… but the house is a disaster. I am writing to you instead of doing the dishes. We all know how I feel about dirty dishes.
Okay, enough about how very sorry I am that I have ignored all 12 of you who read my blog. I love every single one of you, but this blog is about me.
I have recently become very curious about the things children learn when they are little. Some kids know their ABC’s song by the time they are two years old, and others are far older than that. Some five year olds tie their shoes, but mine doesn’t! I imagine its because of the parents. For instance, I don’t buy shoes that tie for my girls, they are a pain in the neck and are always coming untied. So my Mads has no reason to learn to tie shoes. Some parents may not sing very much with their children, hence their children don’t learn the ABC song until they are in preschool. No way is right or wrong, just different.
We sing a lot in my house. My girls love music and at one point or another have owned a tiny piano, 3 guitars, a play saxophone, maracas, tambourines, and a set of bongos. Actually, the bongos are mine, and before you envision some Matthew McConaughey-esque scenario, let me tell you that my Grandmother gave them to me because they belonged to her brother. And If you don't know what scenario I am talking about, please brush up on your pop culture.
I digress.
I would like to share some of the songs my girls sing on a daily basis. Remember that they are 2 and 5 years old, and my 2 year old can sing all of them. They are all from such different genres, it makes me giggle a little. Once you have seen some of the different songs my girls know, you will understand why I am so interested in the things people teach their children. Enjoy.
The first is one of Roo's favorites. She can sing the whole chorus. I obviously mute it during any risque parts...  I cannot explain how many times my 2 year old has requested this song before bedtime. The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars.

Next is a song that my mom taught me. It's funny the way these things get passed down. I never payed attention to the words before I started singing it to my own kids, but I'm pretty sure this is a warning for girls to not get too skinny. You decide.

Alice, Where are you going?
Upstairs to take a bath.
Alice, with legs like toothpicks
and a neck like a giraffe-raf-raf-raf
Alice, stepped in the bath tub
pulled out the plug,
and then!
Oh my gracious, oh my soul!
There goes Alice, down the hole!
Alice, where are you going?
Glug, glug, glug!

The next song I have to admit... I totally love. We sing this at the top of our lungs in the car. This girls voice is amazing, but I'm partial to the version my girls sing. There's nothing quite like hearing a 2 year old singing about "lying like a coon dog". You Lie by The Band Perry.

Another song my Mom passed down, that my children love to hear.
 I think it may actually be a recorded song, but I'm not sure who sang it. I found it in a singing greeting card once.
I love you
A bushel and a peck.
A bushel and a peck
and a hug around the neck.

Want to hear another song? Yeah, me too. My girls love this song. Love it. They can also sing most of it, except for one second of the song I have to mute of course. They also have no idea that the original version has a very very naughty word in it... so we listen to this version, which I like much better anyhow.

And last, but certainly not least, we have a song my Grandma taught me. She was in the Marines, and this is one of the songs they taught her during school.

Be kind to your web-footed friends,
for a duck may be somebody's mother,
they live in a place called a swamp,
where its always cold and damp.
You may think that this is the end...
well it is.

Do you see what I mean? My girls have very eclectic tastes in music. I think it is all a matter of instruction though. Mads' best friend at preschool knows every Michael Jackson song, and I'm pretty sure at his age, I did too. (at least the ones written up to that point)

All parents are different. I teach my kids Marine Corps cadences, songs my mom learned in Girl Scouts, and a smattering of Top 40. I'm sure some children hear mostly classical (why? ick.), or jazz, or hip hop.

Do you want to know the secret to being Mother of the Year?

 I sing right along with the girls, 
 no matter the song...
at the top of my lungs.

It's amazing how becoming a mother erases all sense of embarrassment when doing rediculous things. Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers, especially the ones that taught me to act like an ass in order to see my kids smile.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Never Judge a Mama until You've Walked a Mile in her Slippers.

Never judge a Mama until you walk a mile in her slippers.
I’ve heard a lot of comments about how stay at home moms are lazy or have no ambition.
Not true!!! (and rude!)
Moms work harder than anyone else on the planet. We have a job that requires our attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most of us don’t have time to ourselves… ever, and when we do, we spend that time cleaning up the house while there are no children underfoot, or in my case doing homework that never ends. We don’t get to come home at the end of the day and stop thinking about our job.  Our job is everywhere.
I thought I’d walk you through a day with me. These things don’t happen EVERY day, but I can honestly say they happen most days.
First I wake up to Mads crawling into bed with me around 4 am. This actually doesn’t bother me, because she brings her blankie with me and we share it. This blanket was mine until my little darling decided she needed it for herself. Eventually Roo decided that she needed it to, and now the blanket has been cut in half and re-edged in silky fabric. Princess silky edging for Mads and Nemo for Roo. I love Mads’ half, but Roo’s always smells sort of like dried spit so I keep it in her crib.
Finally we get out of bed, much later and I go get Roo out of her crib. This is always like entering enemy territory. I open the door as slowly as I can, and then take a quick look around the room to see if anything is out of place, and sniff the air to see if it is fresh or if I’m going to be inhaling toxic fumes.
I have 2 pairs of pajamas that I know Roo can’t escape from. When she wears them I know that I won’t find a naked child in the crib come morning. However she can’t wear these every time she is supposed to be sleeping….
This leads me to tell you about the grosses mom job I’ve had so far.
When I went in to wake Roo from her nap yesterday, I noticed that she had taken off her pants and her shirt was around her neck, but her arms were out of the sleeves. As I walked closer and saw that she was covered in dirt… wait that’s not dirt. Ugh. I woke her up and brought her directly to the tub. The poor thing was still half asleep while I cleaned her up and was fussing the whole time. Once she was clean, I sat her on the toilet, and had to trim her nails and clean under them with a toothpick. *shudder*
Here’s what I do in a day.
Laundry that never ends. Literally. Because at any given moment there is at least three pairs of clothes being worn.
Dishes (sometimes). I’m not going to lie, the dishes don’t get done every day. I hate them. But they get done… frequently. By hand.
Feed the kids. Sometimes easy food like bagels and cream cheese, sometimes pot roast.
Wipe their bottoms.
Dress them, over and over because they usually get messy (mostly Roo) or they want to be a princess and they can’t get their dress on. (mostly Mads)
Brush their hair and teeth. Hair usually gets done more than once.
Save Roo from falling off of whatever thing she climbed on top of.
Comfort Roo when she falls before I can save her.
Tell Roo to stop pulling Mads hair, stop hitting her, stop bugging her in general.
Tell Mads to be nice to her sister!
Find something that Mads has colored on and shouldn’t have.
Hang up Mads artwork on the refrigerator.
Watch Mads change her clothes 5 different times.
Put away the clothes that Mads has discarded.
Do homework.
Run whatever errand needs to be run that day. We need milk, bread, pudding...
Do more homework.
Wash Roo’s bedding, because she has inevitably gotten it messy somehow.
Drive Mads to school and pick her up.
Watch my girls argue over a toy, book or seat.
Break up the argument when I get tired of “letting them figure it out themselves” or when one of them starts crying.
Kiss the top of Roo’s head.
Give Mads a squeeze when she’s sitting on my lap.
Sing along to the radio, dancing around like maniacs. (For you that read this who aren’t yet parents, parenthood turns you into the weirdest human being. You do things to make your kids smile that you never thought you would do… for example: you dance like a maniac while completely sober.)
Get them ready for bed, if I’m lucky Roo is wearing her babyproof pajamas.
Tuck Mads in and give her a kiss.
Tell her no she may not have another snack, a drink of water, or a puppy.
Sing Roo a song, or four songs.
Tell her to have a good sleep.
Go into the living room and enjoy the quiet.
Tell Mads to “GET BACK IN BED!”
Start on more homework.
Stress out because there is still so much to do.
By bed time, I am exhausted, not only physically but emotionally.  But it is a good exhausted, because in the morning, I get to snuggle with Mads and share our blankie. Then I go to Roo’s room and sneak in to find a stinky, messy, mostly naked SMILING baby, and she’s waiting just for me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday to the Girl who changed my life.

Mads was born on February 16, 2006. I would like to say that I was patiently awaiting her arrival, with a calm Mona Lisa smile on my face. Truth? She was 12 days late. I was ready for her to COME OUT of there.
We had everything planned. My mom would be there for Mad’s birth, then a week later my husband’s mother would come down, and a week after that my sister would come to visit. This way everyone would have their own time with us and the baby.
Wait a second, let me backtrack. My family is from Oregon, but my husband was stationed in California, so we were living down there. (I flew home a lot.) So when it came time for the baby to be born, we made a lot of plans for my family to visit.
Back to Mads’ story.
So we had made this elaborate plan, with all of the family taking their turns to visit. This way, after I got out of the hospital, I would have a couple weeks of company and help with the baby. Except…it didn't work out quite the way we had planned.
My mom arrived around the time I was due, and we waited. (Keep in mind that my mom works full time, and had to take the time off work) No baby. Then a week later my mother in law came…still no baby. A week after that, my sister came, and there was still no Mads! I was…losing my patience to say the least.
When we would go grocery shopping, people would ask when I was due. My reply? “3 (or 4 or 5 or 6) days ago!!”… then the person asking would quickly take a step back. I don’t know why this always happened. Perhaps they saw me as a ticking time bomb. Back away from the pregnant lady, her water may break and get you! Or maybe they thought I would go into labor and THEY would have to deliver my baby in the Costco bread isle. It was pretty funny now that I look back, but at the time it was a little mortifying.
Finally the day my sister arrived, we went out to dinner. I had contractions all day, but it wasn’t until about 8pm that they started getting good. We ate at this place with hard wood booths, and I was extremely uncomfortable. The service was the worst I’ve ever experienced to this day, and it took them an hour to get our check back to us.  By the time we left I was exhausted and in a nasty mood. We finally got home, and I asked my mom and sister not to go back to their hotel, because I thought I might need them. We went to bed, and less than an hour later my water broke.
I turned into a blubbering, crying, scared mess.
I took a shower…cause eeeewww. Then I had my sister braid my hair like she used to when I was little. We finally headed off to the hospital to get checked in.
I won’t go through every single detail, because I was in labor for about 22 hours after I got to the hospital. I also won’t complain about their ridiculous policies (I couldn’t get out of bed to walk!). Finally after all that time in labor, the head of the maternity ward talked me into having a c-section.
I was really scared. It was terrifying. Especially to a girl that had never even had stitches before. I had given myself a pep talk daily about giving birth naturally. People have been doing this since the dawn of time etc. But now they were changing everything! Umm, no thank you, I really don’t want you to strap me to a table and cut me open while I’m awake. I’ll just keep this baby in here forever…
It turned out ok. The doctor ended up giving me some sort of tranquilizer, so I wasn’t aware of anything for a while. However I knew exactly when she was born. It’s like I snapped out of a trance the minute I heard her cry. The most beautiful sound I had ever heard was her screaming at the injustice of being pulled from her cozy little nest into that freezing cold 76 degree room. They brought her over to me so that I could kiss her, and then they whisked her away to the nursery.
I had told my husband that I wanted him to stay with me in the operating room, so we asked my mom to stay with Mads in the nursery so she wouldn’t be all alone in there.
Here’s the story about Mad’s birth that makes me emotional every time.
When the nurse came out into the little room my mom was waiting in, she had Mads in her little incubator bed and she said, “Here’s your baby!” Instead of feeling relieved, my mom said, “No, I want to see MY baby.” That nurse brought my mom over to the operating room doors and opened them so my mom could wave at me, and see that I was ok. I saw her, barely, but I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t tell who it was. But my mom got to see that I was ok, and that was what mattered.
The rest of my stay was… horrid. Truly. I had this crazy Ukrainian nurse that acted like I was starving my daughter because I was breastfeeding, and Mads had to have her little stomach suctioned out (which happens with c-section babies sometimes), I pretty much got walked all over for the rest of my stay. I was too young to know better, I felt like the doctors and nurses were in charge. Big mistake. (no worries though, by the time daughter #2 came along, I wasn’t taking any crap from anyone!)
And you know if you’ve ever read one of my stories before, that there is always one last thing that goes wrong. So here it is. By the time I got out of the hospital, all of my family was gone except for my parents. They had to leave the night I got home. My mom was so upset about that, but she had taken 2 weeks off of work already and HAD to get home. So it was just me, the husband and Mads.
Every single minute of those horrible doctors and nurses, every time I was scared, every minute I waited, every little pain (and big pain) I had was completely and totally worth it. I would do it all again, and smile. I’d kiss those doctors that cut me open, right on the mouth. I’d punch that Ukrainian nurse in the face… but then I’d help her up and give her a hug as I ordered her out of my room.
In short, it wasn’t so bad after all, because look at the present I got to take home. Lucky lucky me.
So now for the pictures! My favorite part!

Here's the first picture of Mads. That's my mom's well manicured hand in the picture. She didn't even hold her while she waited, she just held her hand and talked to her. My mom wanted me to be the first one to hold her. I think that hour they spent together must have imprinted Mads somehow, because she is extremely close to my mom... sort of like those baby ducks that see a dog when they hatch and end up following it around.

Here's the first time I held Mads. (outside my belly) Please cut me a little slack for the greasy hair... I had just spent over 24 hours in labor... you sweat a little.

Here she is at 6 months old. Where did all that black hair go?!  Look at those blue eyes. Lovely.

1 year old.
 She wasn't walking yet, but she was talking. She never said just one word, It was always these long sentences that no one could understand, with one or two words that were recognizable.

2 years old.
She loved getting her picture taken. She would pose and smile every single time she saw a camera come out.

3 years old.
She seemed so big to me then, because Roo had just been born,and she seemed so much older when compared to a newborn. Now when I see this picture she looks so little! My baby.

And here is her this fall. Almost 5 years old. My beautiful girl.

I'm lucky.
Not everyone gets perfection on their first try.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Baby Root Canals and Warrior Moms

Today was one of those days as a mom, where one has to hike up her pants, put on her deodorant, and survive on pure bravado.
I try not to toot my own horn on here… but I totally rock on those days.
I have an ability to get stuff done.  I can be nonchalant, and act like something is no big deal, even when I am having a panic attack inside. I would like to say that all mothers have this, but I don’t think that’s true. Some moms are total patsies… and some moms are warriors. The patsy moms are of course, willing to fight fire for their children, but sometimes balk at the thought of joining them in a hospital room, or dentist chair.
I am blessed to know one of the warrior moms actually. Attilla the Hun would run from her. Her name is Janis Keller, and she is the mother of my best friend Johni who grew up with Cystic Fibrosis.  A more formidable mom I have yet to meet.  I would like to think that I am a warrior, but nothing quite drastic enough has ever put my battle skills to the test, and hopefully never will. However, I am quite possibly a novice warrior… yeah I think that fits.
Today, my almost 5 year old Mads had to get two pulpotomies on her back bottom molars. This is when a dentist… eh I wont bore you. Think of them as baby root canals.
Here’s the scoop.
Today we woke up at *ahem* 7am.  It I got up and got Mads dressed, rolled my 2 year old out of her crib, and we left at about 8am. My cousin was planning on watching Roo at her house, so I didn’t bother to dress her. Big mistake. I didn’t give us enough time to bring Roo to my cousin’s before the appointment, so she had to meet us at the office. So we show up bleary eyed, with Mads and I dressed like normal people and Roo…not. She has started taking her clothes off in the mornings before she wakes me up, so I have had to improvise. Today she was wearing a backwards pair of sleeper pajamas, the ones that zip up the front. In order to get them to fit properly, I’ve had to cut the feet off, and cut a little notch in the front  (back) so they don’t choke her.  Then I added some socks, no shoes and a sweater that didn’t even vaguely match. The poor thing looked like a ragamuffin, and was totally oblivious to the fact. Plus, she was running around the office in her socks. *shudder*
When we got there, I found out that our insurance doesn’t kick in until March 1st. A whole month away. Ok, then I will pay for this first visit out of pocket, and ask the dentist if perhaps we can wait a month before doing any procedures. Unfortunately, the previous dentist of doom we visited took bad x-rays, so there is another $50 dollars for today. I can handle that…barely.
We went back to see the dentist and Mads was an angel. She sat quietly while they did x-rays again, and while they checked out her teeth.
Me: "Is there any way we could wait until the insurance starts on March 1st, before doing any of the procedures?"
Dentist: "blah blah blah… she may lose the teeth if we wait that long… or she could be fine."
Me (thinking in my head): well that sure clears things up.
This next part I will try to speed through, as it was the most annoying.
I went to the front desk, and was told they could do a partial fix, and then we could come back later and finish them up. Ok, I say, lets do that.
The partial fix was $450 with no insurance. Time to call Mad’s dad. I have to admit, for all the complaints I have with the guy, he certainly pulled through. While I am trying to get it figured out with him, and giving him the number to the dentist while he tries to call his insurance and see WHY THE HECK ITS NOT WORKING YET… my phone goes dead. Completely dead. No juice.
Lovely timing… piece of junk phone.
We finally got it all figured out, with the dentist considerably richer in the process. And it was time to take Mads back for her procedure.
I really did not want to do it. Really, really did not want to do it.
The dentist assured me that I could be in the room if I wanted to, but that most children did considerable better if a parent wasn’t present. And I totally trusted the dude.
Before I go any farther, let me describe Mad’s dentist.
When I first saw him, he was wearing jeans, lace up boots and a sweatshirt. Not a sweater, a sweatshirt with some sort of writing on the front. Bless you normal dentist, you just put my mind at ease with your inappropriate work attire. He is in his 60’s I would guess, and built like Santa without the beard and unruly hair. When we first met he told me he had 5 children. If you are a mother, you know why this would make me even more comfortable with the guy. He asked Mad’s about her ratty old blankie, and told us about how his son would use his tie as a lovey while they were at church. Could you please come home with us Mr. Dentist? Because you are adorable.
Moving on…
I took Mads back, and got her situated on the chair.
Me: “Ok, I’m going to go out to the front now so I’m not in the dentist’s way. They might have to put the nose thing on (laughing gas) like we talked about, no big deal right?”
Mads: “Ok mom.”
Me: “Give me a smooch, I’ll see you in a little bit”
Mads: “Ok.”
And I was out of there, but I didn’t go far.
I quickly walked out to the waiting room to let my mom know that Mads was doing just fine. Then I sat down for… about 23 seconds, and I was on my way back to where Mads was.
 Well that’s not true. I had myself a quick freak out, because I left my tiny baby back there on a huge dentist chair without me. Then I went back totally dry eyed to check on her.
 I expected the office ladies to shoo me away, but I actually ran into one while trying to sneak back, and she gave me a big smile. Okie dokie, guess this dentist office isn’t worried about crazy parents checking on their kids. What a relief.
It was awful. Not Mads, she was fabulous, the situation was awful. She just lay there, quietly letting the dentist do his thing. I was so impressed. The dental assistant put Taylor Swift on the radio especially for Mads. I got teary eyed again, and sniffed it back. I could see that she was fine without me, but I just stood there around the corner watching them work.
And here’s where my warrior came in.
She started whimpering. And her legs started fidgeting. And I knew that she was upset, but the rest of her body lay completely still while they finished fixing her mouth. I KNEW that if I went in to comfort her, she would lose it. And I knew that they had to finish what they were doing. But it was one of the hardest things ever, watching my baby be upset, and very brave, and knowing that I would make it worse if I went to save her. My heart was breaking, right there in the dentist’s office. And I continued to sit there and watch, even though she didn’t know I was there.  That is strength. Doing something for your kids that they don't understand, something that may be painful or scary, and never letting them know that you are just as scared as they are.
When they sat her up, she just looked at the floor and sat with her arms hunched in, not talking. I swept into that room like a hurricane and picked her up as quick as I could. The moment I held her she put her face in my neck and started to sob. My poor baby. She was freaked out about her face being numb, but I calmed that fear down, and then she started to cry when she told me it hurt. Have you ever felt so horrible that your chest actually ached, physically ached? I knew I was doing what was best for her, but I still felt horrible for doing it. (a mother’s prerogative)
I told her how brave she was, how good she did, and that I was just outside the room the whole time. I never left her. She says that she wasn’t brave because she cried. I told her that bravery is when you do something because you know you have to, even though you are scared. I figure we were both pretty brave today, but I didn’t tell her that. As far as she knows, I still think it was no big deal.
Here’s the coolest thing about today:
My four year old got baby root canals with no sedation. She was not strapped down. She didn’t even need laughing gas because she was so brave. .. and she’s not even scared to go back next month.
Maybe my baby is going to be a warrior too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pity Party and Roo's Garbage Adventures!

Today I’ve been a little preoccupied… to say the least.
This means my mothering instinct just takes over.
Bahahahahaha. Just kidding.
Here’s a little background for ya. I am one of those weird girls that got married right out of high school and started popping out babies. Then, *gasp* it didn’t work out, and I got divorced. Those child-marriages never last.
 I had both of my children while married, but now, not married.
You with me so far? 
 I started dating, which isn’t as fun as it looks by the way, and met a dude. Long story short, it didn’t work out and we recently split.
Today, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. This actually helps in some ways, because when I’m upset I clean. The kitchen is looking lovely by the way, and the dishes are almost done.
But here is where the whole “Poor me” thing gets in the way of my Mother of the Year duties. Let’s number the many times I was such a wonderful parent today:
1. While I was washing the dishes, Roo pulled a stool over and started “helping”… while I was contemplating life, she decided to put the dirty bottle opener in her mouth. So I noticed and took it away.
2. Next she put her hands in the disgusting, cold, haven’t done the dishes in three days water… and was sucking it off her fingers! I almost vomited, and quickly stopped her.
3. So she went off to play, and I continued to wash dishes, and I hear her grunting. She has gotten herself stuck in between the seat-back and the seat of a little kid’s chair. I didn’t even go to help her. I just looked to make sure she wasn’t hurt and then resumed my brooding. She wasn’t crying, so eh, she’s fine.
4. Pretty soon, she has meandered into the kitchen again, and I’m off in my own world cleaning until I hear… “hot dogs! Yummy!” and I turn to find her going through the garbage from when I cleaned out the fridge. Ick. Again, I make her stop and she runs off to play.
5. After a few minutes I move some clean laundry into my room, and come out, and there is no Roo. Hmmmmm…..
 What is she a puppy? First she drinks nasty water and then she’s rifling through our garbage!

6-10: (because this deserves more than one number)
 Confession time:
Here’s  the worse part about my mothering skills today. I almost stole Roo’s blankie. Yep. I really don’t want to look at it, since it was a blanket that she got from my ex…. and I almost took it and shipped it back to him. As I folded it up and put it in the box, she started to freak, and right then I realized I needed to snap out of it.
So I gave the annoying thing back.
It doesn’t match her nursery, and the thing is way too big for her to drag around, but she does it anyway. She really loves it, only God knows why, and I figure she won’t remember where it came from by next year. So all’s well that ends well... I didn’t actually take it.
But I still feel like a total jerk for almost making her give it up. Because to be fair…I’m not giving back my snowboarding gear that I got from him, so she shouldn’t have to give up her blanket...
If you were wondering- My almost five year old Mads was at school today, lucky girl, so she missed most of my supreme parenting.
Moral of the story: A pity party is just like any other party... if you want to have one, hire a babysitter first.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Open Gym

Friday, the girls and I went to “open gym” at one of the local gymnastics centers.
It turned into a fiasco.
It started innocently enough. My sister texted me at about 9 am (which is too early for me) and asked if we wanted to go to the open gym with her and my niece. An hour of my children running themselves ragged on padded floors and trampolines? Perfect.  I got the girls out of bed and dressed and we were ready to go.
1st Mother of the Year moment:
We are always running late. I can't seem to get everything done in the time frame I have...ever. It doesn't matter if I give myself an extra hour, by the time we are walking out the door I am completely frazzled, and something didn't get finished. This means I rarely wear makeup, because that is one thing I can cut out of our frantic scurry to leave the house. So...instead of sitting them down to a wholesome bowl of cereal and milk before we left, I put cheerios, fruit loops, teddy grahams and chocolate fish crackers into two little ziplock baggies. Perfect for the car. They also had apple juice, so it wasn’t as if I served their bag of goodies with Dr. Pepper or something.

We got to the gym at about 12pm and the girls were bouncing around, totally excited. When we got to the counter to pay, the receptionist said, it’s only $3 for two kids, since the session is halfway over… What? It turns out that Tuesday is 12-1pm open gym, and Friday is 11:30-12:30 for open gym. Thanks for making things as confusing as possible. It was less expensive, but we also had only a half an hour to play.
The girls had a rad time anyway. They jumped, they skipped, they frolicked, they fell on their faces and then laughed getting up.
2nd Mother of the Year moment:
 The gym has this pit filled with blocks of foam. Underneath the foam is a trampoline, and all of the kids jump off the sides of the pit as if they were jumping into a swimming pool. Pretty fun, right? Roo jumped in, and a few minutes later wanted to get out. She was having a hard time and started to fuss, but then she would get determined and try again. My MoTY moment? I found my daughter floundering  in a pit full of foam blocks extremely funny and took this picture so I could send it to a couple of my friends.
Now let me tell you (before you decide I'm a sadist, or call CPS) that this picture looks a lot worse than it actually was. There are no tears on those cheeks and I was standing right next to her. This isn't an "I'm scared" cry, this was an "I'm frustrated" cry.... However when I look at this picture now, I think, get her out of there you jerk!

Don't worry guys, It wasn't all tears and mean moms. They actually had a lot of fun. Here is a picture of the girls on the big swing at the gym. This picture was taken after the foam blocks pit, so you can see that Roo isn't traumatized. This was actually pretty cute, because as you can see, Roo and Mads both got to ride it together and so did my niece. (She is the little blonde one refusing to look at the camera). The gym helper pushed them considerably slower than the girls we watched on the turn before ours, but I'm pretty sure that was because of Roo. While Mads looked like she was slightly bored the whole time, Roo hung on so tight her little knuckles were white.
My 3rd and final Mother of the Year moment (at the gym):
I lost my keys at the gym.
I. Lost. My. Keys. At. The. Gym.
When the girls had their shoes and coats on, and we were ready to walk out into the pouring down rain, I put my hand in my pocket and realized I had no keys. I am not going to detail the entire search, because truthfully, it took me 40 minutes to find them. 40 minutes. Do you have any idea how long 40 minutes is when you are searching for keys in a room that has a million cracks and crevices... not to mention (except I am mentioning it) the foam block pit of doom? I had finally given up. I thought they were lost forever, and so I called my sister-in-law and was working up the nerve to ask her to run to my house and search  for my spare keys. Because, of course I had no idea where my spare keys were. Perhaps a coat pocket? Anyhoo, while I am talking to the sister in law, a mom walks up to me and asks if the keys in her hand were mine. "Yes, Thank you!" I say. She told me that she had accidentally picked them up because she thought they were hers.
Here's what I was thinking. "You have been watching me search for my keys for 40 minutes, while your goofy looking little darling has her gymnastics class. Not only have I been looking for my keys, but so have 2 other people that work here at the gym. You have sat there and watched me look for my keys for 40 MINUTES. And now that I am on my phone asking for someone to find my spare keys, almost in tears, you decide to check your pocket and see if the extra set of keys in your pocket are mine? Are you the biggest jerk ever? Or just completely self absorbed? Did I AMUSE YOU searching frantically for my keys?"
Here's the kicker to my lost keys story. When my sister arrived, I was parallel parked, and she parked right behind me. I mean right behind me, I couldn't even walk between our cars. No problem, since we were going to be leaving at the same time. Unfortunately, the car behind her parked really close.... yep, you guessed it. My sister was stuck in her parking spot until I found my keys.
I really feel like I should take a bow or something.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mama Bear

I turned into a bear today.
A Mama Bear to be exact.
My oldest who is almost 5 had to go to the dentist this morning. She has 3 cavities. Two of them will need baby root canals.

I’m giving you time to let that sink in.

Will the Mother of the Year please take a bow?

We got to the dentist at about 10:15 am, and I immediately had to start filling out forms. The first few were your basic medical forms asking about her history, and then the ever present “Privacy Policy” forms that I had to sign. It wasn’t until I reached the back page that I started to get uneasy.
The last form was an entire sheet of paper detailing their practices, and at the end of it there was a place for me to sign. Things like, “We may have to use a stern voice to get your child’s attention.”
That’s not so bad right? But mixed in with all of the stuff that didn’t bother me, there were a couple things that made me extremely uneasy.  “Parents are not allowed in the procedure area because of privacy concerns.” And “We may restrain your child either by holding his or her hand, or using a papoose board.” Wait a second… What?! I signed the consent, just to finish the paperwork, and then started texting my friends in the dentistry field. Something was totally wrong with this picture.
My cousin Liz was already on her way to the office to meet me and sit with my youngest while Mads, my oldest had her appointment. She has worked as a dental assistant, and was an office manager for an orthodontist, so I felt comfortable asking her opinion about the situation. I told her about the “Papoose board” and she told me it was, “absolutely not necessary.” So did every other person I talked to.
I asked the front desk if they really didn’t allow parents to go back into the office with their children. She answered that it was a privacy concern and the parents weren’t allowed back in the procedure area. My reply, “Ha. Good luck. She won’t go back there without me.” No way would Mads walk into the dentist’s “procedure area” all by herself. She’s four years old, almost five. She still needs her mommy. The dental assistant assured me that I got to go back with Mads during the first visit, so no worries. “Ok, but what about the next visit?” is what I wanted to ask.
By the time I walked back into the inner workings of the dentist’s office, the place where I had been warned that I wouldn’t be allowed again, I was completely in Mama Bear mode. I asked the dental assistant helping me why they would use the papoose board (hoping it was for extremely frantic children whose faces were falling off and needed dental help right this minute). She told me that they would use it for every procedure that Mads received, from cleaning her teeth to filling cavities.
My answer: “Absolutely not. I don’t want her put into that papoose board thing.”
Her reply: “Well if you aren’t ok with our practices, we won’t be able to see you here.”
Thought in my head that I didn’t say, but I wanted to:  “Screw off; I wouldn’t bring my daughter back here if you were the last dentist on the freaking planet!”
Ok, I know that is a little dramatic. I was also thinking this:
“Screw off; I don’t care if this is the only pediatric dentist covered by our insurance! I’ll find a different one and pay out of pocket!”
Eventually she went and grabbed the dentist, who was busy putting other people’s children in straight jackets and traumatizing them for life. When the dentist came in, I was surprised at how nice she was. I asked her if Mads would be in a papoose board thing for every procedure and she said that wouldn’t be necessary. Hmmmm, interesting answer. Then I told her that I NEVER wanted Mads to be put into one without my consent, and that if it ever came to the point that they needed to restrain her that much, we wouldn’t be staying for the party. She assured me that they would never restrain her without talking to me about it first. She seemed to be impressed that I stood my ground, and the snarky dental assistant stood in the corner pouting.
She also told me that most parents talk to her about restraining their kids, after it has already been done.  Hello parents! If you aren’t going to stick up for your kids who will?
Mads surprised them by being completely helpful while they did x-rays. (They thought they would have to sedate her first). And she lay quietly while the dentist poked around in her mouth. I wanted to laugh in their surprised faces, but I didn’t. The appointment went well, but we have to go back next week for her root canals.
We came to the conclusion that she will have to be restrained for next week’s procedure. I hate the idea, but she has to be sedated, and then given laughing gas so she will be pretty out of it. The papoose board (they call it “the sleeping bag”) will just keep her from flopping around while they try and fix her teeth. She’s actually not nervous about the appointment. Thank God. I think it might be because she heard me fighting for her. While I know that I wasn’t actually “fighting”, I think that Mads understands that I’m not going to let them do anything bad to her. So she knows that next week they are going to give her medicine to make her feel sort of funny, and then get into the sleeping bag, and then they will fix her teeth.
Did I mention yet that I will be allowed in the room with her until they are ready to start the procedure? I am going to help get her cozy in her sleeping bag and make sure she is completely comfortable before they start.
Privacy issues my eye. Nobody messes with my baby bear.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Kangaroo turned 2!

Today was my 2 year old Roo's birthday. Awww the sweet sweet terrible two's. How I've missed you.
I have a feeling that this year is going to be fantastic and a little...what's the word I'm looking for? Stressful. Especially since her sister is almost five and has long blond hair.
Why, you may be thinking, does it matter that she is five and has long blond hair?
Here are my reasons to sigh in exasperation.
1. That long blond hair is perfect for pulling, cutting, and laying on while watching a movie.
2. At five years old her sister will be playing with barbies and beaded jewelry, and God only knows what other tiny little toys. Roo eats things. She once ate an entire beaded necklace, and I didn't even realize it until I changed her diaper.

Mother of the Year please step forward and raise your hand.

So here is a little story about Roo in honor of her second birthday. We started calling her Roo when she was a baby because she loved being carried around in a sling. Just like a little kangaroo baby in it's mama's pouch. I carried that child everywhere, through Disneyland, 2 different Zoos and so many other places I can't even remember. Funny thing about that, you would think she would turn out to be a Stage 5 Clinger, but she's not. She's independent and fearless actually. She is also a sweet little thing when she isn't bullying kids younger than she is. (She can't help it, she's got second child syndrome and must have everything the other person has. Right. This. Second.)
All joking aside, she is like sunshine. I love hearing her say, "Mom! Mom! Mom! Answer me!!!" when she wants me to get her out of bed in the morning. Did I happen to mention that she sleeps in until 10 am every day?  I am a lucky lucky mama.

She was born on January 16, 2009. I chose this day because it is my sister and brother-in-law's wedding anniversary and I thought it would be a nice gesture... It was also a Friday, and I wanted my parents to be able to keep my oldest while I convalesced in the hospital over the weekend. To be fair, they would have kept my almost three year old at any time, but I thought I was being helpful. I also could not stand one more day of being pregnant. I had tried to go the natural route with Roo, but at 6 days past my due date I wanted them to get her out any way possible. If they had said I had to deliver her through my nose, I would have agreed. Fortunately they have these things called c-sections where they numb you and cut your babe right out while you lay there awake on the table. Lovely. The end result is always worth it though!

Let's get to the pictures shall we?

Here I am, ready to explode. Big baby in a little mom.  I'm so short, I pretty much have only one way to grow...out. Please excuse the underwear.

Here is my darling, sleeping after her 10 minute ordeal. I don't think she realizes how easy she had it. Most babies have to go through that process for hours... She was born 8lbs 7 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. Dark brown hair and those weird bluish gray eyes that most babies have. Her eyes turned brown like mine though.

Roo and big sister, the first week we got home. It was pretty much love at first sight. We spent a lot of time sitting on the couch together all cozy, watching the preschool channel on TV while Roo nursed.
Sick of the pictures yet? Of course not, my kids are flipping adorable. So here's some more for ya!

Roo at about 3 months I think. I really should have dated these pictures. That is a cloth diaper she's wearing. Because not only am I Mother of the Year, but I also save the planet in my free time.

My sweet girl eating her homemade gigantor cupcake on her first birthday.... both things (baby and cupcake) were made by yours truly.

Roo, 18 months old, this past summer, sleeping with sister. My oldest climbed in early in the morning, and fell back asleep, so this is what I found when I woke up. It makes my heart smile :)
And here she is today. Happy and healthy, so I must be doing something right! She is saying cheeeese in this picture. I didn't take this picture.... but this isn't her normal smile, this is the cheeeeeese smile :)

Here is one last peek at her. Hiding under grandma's high chair during her party. Silly girl.

Happy Birthday to my baby.
P.S. That's her real smile.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dirty Dishes

Ok, here’s the deal.
I loathe washing the dishes.
I don’t just dread doing the dishes, I will actually clean my entire kitchen and put all of the dirty dishes into sudsy hot water, and then walk away. Because the kitchen looks clean enough, right?
Here’s the problem with that. There is something I loathe even more than doing the dishes: putting my hand in the cold slimy water filled with little pieces of food, and draining that water so I can fill it up with hot again.
I need a dishwasher or a housekeeper. A dishwasher is probably more in my price range in about 5 years, but a housekeeper would also vacuum and clean the toilets. I actually don’t mind cleaning toilets, the toilet bowl cleaner I use smells really good, I craved the smell when I was pregnant with my 2 year old and we have never had cleaner toilets…but I digress.
Tonight I enlisted the help of my 5 year old to help me wash the dishes. She got to rinse them, which means it took an exceptionally long time to finish. Every piece of silverware had to be individually rinsed. The whole time she chatted about dishes and princesses and how “boring” it was cleaning dishes. (Yet she kept rinsing and rinsing…)
Eventually my 2 year old woke up. By this time my 5 year old had started drying the dishes and putting them away. So then both my girls are working. My oldest is drying and my youngest is putting things away.
I just found out after 24 ½ years that I don’t loathe doing dishes. I still don’t like them. I will continue to put them in hot sudsy water and walk away. But today I got to spend time with my kiddos and I didn’t have to worry the whole time about things not getting done. Not too shabby.
Child labor laws don’t come into effect if you don’t actually pay the children right?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mother of the Year

Hello, I’m Nicky. I’m a 24 year old single mom to two beautiful little girls. I’m also a full time college student, part time crafter, horrible cook and mediocre housekeeper. I can’t keep plants alive, and my car is always a disaster even if I have just attempted to clean it. At one point my car was clean, my floors didn’t have graham cracker crumbs and I had a plant for a whole year without killing it… but that’s a story for a different day.
Mother of the Year may seem a little presumptuous of me. I mean, who hands out this award right? And why do I keep winning it? Is there a competition? Is there an election? Do they draw names out of a hat?
Slow down ladies, it’s not what you think.
"Mother of the Year" is a term my sister and I started using whenever we did something that made us look like amateurs. We use this moniker a lot… For instance, I may or may not have left a permanent marker in a place where my two year old daughter could reach it, and she may or may not have colored a soul patch on her chin with it. Tip: Milk will wash permanent marker right off. Mostly.   I also may or may not have left a pair of scissors where my five year old could reach them, and she may or may not have cut her beautiful long hair with them... In my defense, they were children’s scissors.
This blog is not about being the perfect mother, far from it actually. This blog is about my trip being the un-perfect mother, with soul patches and uneven hair.
I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read a blog from a sleep deprived mother of two. Honestly, I can see me writing 5 years from now, and having 5 followers. However if you stick around,  I can guarantee some laughs, because in my non-cyber life…I’m pretty sure people are laughing at me all the time.