Archive for August, 2009

Regret. She’s a bitch

I want to preface this post with I really do love my children and being a mom. At least 99% of the time.  Even now, I can feel my overactive ovaries dropping eggs like crazy.  I can hear my uterus urging for the company of a placenta and a baby.   It’s a lonely little organ.  When you think about it, it’s so lonely that it makes its own accompanying organ.  What other organs do that?

There are more days than not that I yearn for another baby but then sometimes, not often, but sometimes, the pang of regret is so palpable, it hurts so deep I feel like my heart might break.  These are the days that I wish I would have used birth control until I was 40.

No one tells you about the drudgery of parenthood.  Sometimes it can down right suck.  When you have kids, you no longer live your life according to the beat of your own drum.  You turn your drum in and it gets smashed and incinerated and you get the little baby drums of your children.  You live your life according to their drums.  They have erratic little drums, just when you think you’ve found the rhythm they change the song, sometimes even the whole genre of music.  You’re floating along marching a quaint and easy lullaby and then Crash, they’ve moved to the blues.  Blues has no predictability.  You stumble along until they decide to change it again.

Bong. No more sleeping in.  You get up at 6.

Bong.  Forget manicured nails,  you’re changing dirty diapers for toddlers that refuse to reliably use the potty.

Bong.  No successful career.  You stay at home to raise happy, well adjusted, good little humans.

Boom.  All of the things that you used to be are now redefined.  You’re now a cook, chauffeur, maid, negotiator, peace maker,  teacher, wife, butt cleaner, disciplinarian, nose wiper, meanie.  Each day, with each dirty diaper, with each load of laundry and meal cooked you loose just a little more of yourself.

It isn’t often that I think of all of the things that I gave up to be a mom.  They all seem so petty and selfish. Honestly, some of them I don’t even want. Even some that I think I might want, I know I really don’t.  Every once in a while, something creeps up and blindsides me.  It will remind me what I might be missing.  It’s the want for something more than missing sleep and the drudgery of the housekeeping and monotony of the cooking.  It’s that thing that reminds me of the person that I am deep down buried under the dirty dishes and clean laundry.

Regret rears her ugly little head.  She’s a bitch.  She shares her  malcontent and short temper.  She breaks out the black streamers and the alcohol and the pity party starts.  I’m ashamed to say that sometimes I’m more than happy to join her.  I just want to wallow in it.  I want to swim around with her until my fingers get all shriveled and pruney.

I know how incredibly blessed and lucky I am.  I could write every day about the wonderful things my kids do, the wonderful little people they are turning into, the perfection of my husband.   Yet, there are still those days that I morn for my drum.

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My big fat dog

gaurd dog

We decided to get a dog a few months ago.  We researched what kinds of dogs would be good for our family.  We looked for dogs that are good with kids.  We looked for dogs without lots of fur for Dave’s allergies.   (A short aside, Dave went to the allergist and it turns out he’s allergic to everything.  I don’t know how he’s survived as long as he has.)  I wanted something big and furry and with a ferocious bark.  I wanted a Bull Mastif.  Dave vetoed that.  He was worried he’d come home to find the dog had been sitting on me all day long.  I wanted a Golden Retriever.  Dave said it had to much hair.  Dave wanted something in the hound family with a howling bark.  We settled on a beagle.

Days after deciding on a beagle there was an ad on freecycle for a pure bred beagle who needed a new home because the owners were moving somewhere they couldn’t take their dog.  Sucky economy.  When we went to have our doggie interview he was the most energetic happy dog.  He galloped and ran through the park.  He jumped and licked.  He sniffed.  I think his owner spiked his water with redbull.

sleepy babes

All Buster does is sleep.  Well, sleep and snore.  I think he might have sleep apnea he snores so bad.  He also only likes me.  He spends the day at my feet.  He wants to sleep next to my side of the bed.  I can’t sleep with the dual snorers.  Dave built him a house so he could sleep outside and then bark to come in as soon as the sun rises.

Okay, to be honest, he sleeps, snores and farts.  He’s like an old man.

He is also the gentlest dog ever.  I’m not so sure if he’s gentle or apathetic.  He lets the babies get in his face and in his house.  He lets them pet him.  He lets them sit on him.  He’s incredibly patient.  He’s let McKayla dress him.  He’s also let the kids pick him up and try and throw him on the bed.  He’s even let them try to weigh him.   He’s also pretty docile.  He will lay in the same spot all day.  If you accidentally run into him, he raises his head and then goes right back to sleeping.


This is not a gaurd dog.  He only barks to come INSIDE.  This was tough potty training him.  He just sits by the back door to go out.  He won’t bark.  He’ll sit there until he can’t hold it any longer.  Then he’ll walk away and walk back to the door.  He must think we’re telepathic or incredibly observant.  We’re neither.

He doesn’t bark at strangers.  He doesn’t sniff or jump on them either.  He’ll come out to see what the fuss is all about and then saunter away.  Completely apathetic.

He’s run away and gotten lost once.  Now, if he gets out, he goes to the front porch and barks to get in.  He knows where his toast is buttered.

Boy, is it buttered.  He came to us over weight.  I’m sure on the doggie scale he’s near obese.  We put him on a diet.  He eats our zuchinni plants.  The babies feed him.  He eats fallen food before it even hits the floor.  He eats from the table.  Literally, as soon as we get up he’s on the table.  ON the table.  At first we thought it was a fluke.  This dog doesn’t move very fast, he’s more related to a sloth than a dog.  After some hiding around the corner we saw him actually jump on to the table.  We were amazed.  This gives the kids added incentive to do their chores faster.

This week I’ve made it a mission to start running again.  I’m doing the couch potato to 5k running plan.  Week 1:  run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds for 30 minutes.  Wednesday I took Buster with me.  By the second 60 second interval Buster was worn out.  I had to constantly reassure him that we were almost done.  “10 more seconds Buster.  You can do it!  Good Boy!”  By interval number 4, I I had to slow the pace down.  By interval number 6, I was dragging him.  I was cursing myself for not bringing my cell phone.  I wasn’t sure he could make it home.  I knew I couldn’t carry him.  He weighs more than I do. I was wondering what I’d do if he just keeled over and died on the side walk.  What is the protocol for killing your dog while trying to exercise?  Do you stay with them?  Do you do CPR?  Do you knock on the house in front of which he expired and tell them you’ll be back for his carcass?  What would we do with a dead dog?  Do I just leave him and run away?  Or maybe I should casually walk away…

We made it home.  He flopped under the desk and didn’t move all day long.   Tomorrow we’ll do it all over again.  I’ll bring my cell phone.

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No grass yet

but the sprinklers work great.

even better than the hose

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Soccer started this past month, along with everything else.   We’ve been the slacker family that only comes to half the practices because everything else started this month too.   After a few months weeks with no activities it’s hard getting into the groove of having to be two, three, or four places at once.  This is Mike’s first year with the big kids.  The way his birthday falls, he’s almost two years younger than the oldest kids in his division.  He’s much smaller than every one else.  He looks terribly small and insignificant compared to some of his teammates.  What he lacks in size he definitely makes up with spunk and pure aggressiveness.

be agressive be be agressiveWe were so incredibly proud of him.  I told him that I thought he was definitely the second star player of the team.  Always modest, he placed himself as the third star.

McKayla said that we were thoroughly embarrassing with all of our shouting and cheering.  I think if she could have found a rock to crawl under, she would have.   If it wasn’t for the shade our Sportsbrella® offered, I’m pretty sure she would have inched her way over and pretended to be part of another family.

dog pile

The other parents were standing and gasping at that poor little kid at the bottom of the pile.  That was our kid.  Right about now I was screaming, “Get up! Get up!  Hurry, they’re distracted!  The ball’s open!  The goal’s open!  Mike get up!”  I wonder where my kids get their competetive streak from?  He popped right up.  Like a jack-in-the-box.  It was really rather amazing. All of this cheering was done sitting in our sports chairs.  (Do you realize how much stuff we bring to kid’s sports functions?  We need an alpaca.)

Goalie shmolie

I think it was his complete disregard for his own personal safety that landed him the spot as Goalie during the second half.   He was kick ass.  I’m not sure if it was the gloves or all of the shouting from us, but his little hands were like glue.  Out of the eight balls that were aimed at the goal, he diverted seven.

Like velcro What can I say?  I’ve birthed a little pro soccer player.   I’m crediting that to my Mexican heritage.  It’s in his blood.  Fútbol and picking.   Plus, he’s even got a Mexican name, “Miguel Javier”*.

Well, except for the drop kick.  He needs some work on the drop.  His are more of  flop kicks.  This, his love for sloppy joes, and Ralph Lauren loafers… pure whitey.

drop flopBy the end of the game, every bit of hesitation was gone. He was a formidable opponent.

bad ass

*check back later about Miguel Javier

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The mom of one of McKayla’s friends is rather persistent on trying to break our sleepover policy.  She won’t let her daughter come to our house until McKayla spends time at their house.  I offered daytime hours she countered with evening.  The mom said no.  McKayla cried.  Her friend cried.  The mom got upset.  It wasn’t pretty.

McKayla:  Why can’t I spend the night?  (this is all said with dramatic crying and whining)

Dave:  Because, my children are very important to me.  The most important thing.  I don’t want anything to happen to them.

McKayla:  You have five kids, you can spare one.

ah, but darling, we only have one daughter.

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After the miserableness of Day 1 I decided I needed a better plan.  Not only better but revolutionary!  Look at me, I’m like the Caeser Chavez of homeschoolers.  Except I’m more like a dictator and less like a revolutionary.  Instead of organizing the workers I’m breaking them down and herding them like cats.  It’s really hard to herd cats.

I decided the best plan of attack was a schedule.  Last year we didn’t need a schedule, we kinda did our own thing and it worked for us.  This year is a little more intense.  We’re doing more and the stuff we’re doing is more difficult.  Plus, last year I had babies that napped.  This year I have babies that demand.  It’s a totally different ball game.  Heck, it’s not even a ball game any more it’s more like rugby in outer space.   So I devised a long and complicated schedule.  It’s color coded and it involved a little bit of statistical analysis.

Kids:  Hey, what’s that?  There’s colors.  It’s so pretty.

Me:  It’s a secret you’ll find out tomorrow.

Kids:  But we want to know NOW!  Wah wah wah.

Me:  (As I poured myself another glass–this was still day 1) To bed!

Kids:  But it’s only 6pm!

Me:  Well I’m sure it’s bedtime somewhere.

I needed something to encourage them to work hard.  I knew that the colorful chart wouldn’t hold their attention long.  I decided that I needed an incentive.  Rewards.  Bribery.  Whatever.

I told Dave I was thinking about writing some kind of incentive on the bottom of the wipe board.  I’d erase a letter every time the kids were bad, whinned, complained, misbehaved, or made me yell.  I’d take off two letters every time I felt the need to pull my hair out.  I needed his help to come up with an incentive.  I suggested “swim”.   He suggested “Swimming at Auntie Christina’s House after babies take a nap”.  I compromised with Swimming.

I’m pleased to announce that Day 2 went much more smoothly.  They only lost three letters from swimming.  I told them they could go mming any time they wanted.  They had a humming contest until they broke me down and I promised to take them swimming.

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First Day of School

waaaaaDave:  How’s the day going?

long pause….

Dave:  Hello?

Me:  Can you bring home a big bottle of wine.

Dave:  It’s going that good huh?

Me:  and maybe some vodka

Dave:  Are the kids still alive?

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Canadian eh?

Mike has a pen pal.  I was trying to explain the concept to him.

Me:  I found you a pen pal?

Mike:  What’s that?

Me:  A pen pal is a friend you’ve never met.   You write letters to and he writes back.

Mike:  Can’t I just call him?

Me:  Then he wouldn’t be a pen pal.  He’d be a phone pal.  Don’t you want to get a letter in the mail?  Won’t that be fun?

Mike:  Yeah!  I want mail!  (this was said loudly and involved fist pumping and jumping)  Who am I writing to?

Me:  He’s a boy.  He’s six just like you.  He’ll be seven in October.  and he lives in another country?

Mike:  What country does he live in?  Does he live in Germany?  (my boy is obsessed with the Germans since he found out that they were involved in two world wars.  I don’t know why he isn’t obsessed with England)

Me:  No, he lives in Canada.

Mike:  AWESOME!  I can speak to him!

Me:  Most Canadians speak English.  Some speak French.  Can you speak French?

Mike:  No.  I can speak Canadian.

Me:  What should we write to him?

Mike:  What do you like?  eh?  Do you play baseball eh?

It took lots of convincing that we didn’t need to write eh at the end at the end of every sentence.

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Our local public schools started this past Monday.   Technically we could have started too.  I already have all of the curriculum.  I did our first week’s lesson plans weeks ago.  Instead we decided to have a “Week o’fun”.  A last hurrah before we hit our noses to the grindstone.

Everyone has been able to stay up late and watch movies and play games.  They can sleep in as long as their internal clock want.  Well, everyone except me , the babies internal clocks are set at 6:00 a.m.   No amount of window darkening shades can seem to dissuade them.

Monday we went to the movies.  Last year we discovered that if we caught the very first movie of the day, we could have a private viewing.  There is nothing like watching a movie in an empty theater.  You can laugh really loud.  You can boo and hiss.  If you have wild toddlers, they can run up and down the aisles.  No one cares about proper movie watching etiquette.  We were very excited to have the whole theater to ourselves.  It turns out that not every school started this week.  We weren’t as alone as we had hoped.


Tuesday we packed a picnic lunch and headed off to Auntie Red’s house to swim.  We picked the perfect day.  It was close to 180 degrees.  I was a little bit worried about taking the kids swimming by myself.  I am an alarmist,  I imagined everyone simultaneously drowning at once and having to choose who I’d save.  I don’t do well with choices.  They might all die while I was trying to choose.  Fortunately for them, everything went smoothly.  Except for a case of cheating during Marco Polo.


Wednesday we went out to lunch at our favorite restaurant:  In N Out.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at the library and the water fountain.  We returned home soaking wet and with more books than little arms could carry.  I’m really rather surprised my arms aren’t stronger.

Today we went bowling.  Nothing is more torturous than going bowling with five children.  Okay, maybe watching three children bowl and trying to contain two active toddlers.  It was the longest two games ever.  When it ended kids were begging to bowl another game or eight.  I quickly diverted them with the prospects of lunch.  Okay, maybe listening to a play by play repeat of every bowl is a worse form of torture.  Nope, I think the fighting over who was the better bowler could be worse. I don’t know how they can fight over it when the computer tallied their scores.  That was the longest drive to McDonalds.  I finally had to turn around and tell everyone that I didn’t think anyone could be in the bowling olympics with a score of 78 with the bumpers.

Lunch was followed by playing at the McDonalds play ground.   I wouldn’t be surprised if my kids turn up with Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease, ring worms, and warts due to the playing without socks and my forgotten hand sanitizer.  The price they’ll pay for fun.

We then went for a long drive in the country in hopes that children might fall asleep with nothing to look at but orchards and vineyards.   Blast the fire that was burning in the distance that caught all of their attention.  With the prospects of well rested children far away, we decided to shop.

We went to Michaels to buy some craft supplies (it’s a secret, I’ll post the craft next week) and school supplies.  Michaels isn’t the kind of store you want to take a cranky toddler to.  They keep things like paint on low shelves.  Did you know that they don’t put those protective coverings like on ketchup on paint bottles? These things are not baby proof.  I wonder if they’re toxic?  If you twist the top off, it’s akin to hitting the toddler jack pot.  Needles to say, Jacob painted himself yellow while I was looking at the different kinds of glue. We are now the proud owners of a $1.39 bottle of yellow acrylic paint.

As if the yellow child wasn’t warning enough, we headed off to the boyscout shop.  This was a melt down for a Weblos and Tiger.  They wanted new shirts and hats and pins and knapsacks and belts and pocket knives and the list just kept on going.  After purchasing two books and some duct tape branded with the boy scout symbol to duct tape mouths shut and arms to their bodies we left.  I jest about the duct tape.

I don’t know if I have the energy for the fun that tomorrow will bring.

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macho, macho girlsLast week I ran away from home.  Was it really only last week?  It seems like it was so long ago!

I went  to Las Vegas with my mom and sister.    I was worried that it was going to be too long.  I was worried that we would fight.  I was worried that someone would feel ganged up on or ignored.  I worried that Dave might have a nervous breakdown.  I was worried that my babies wouldn’t be able to survive without me.  I know, I’m egotistical like that.

We had an amazing time!  From the moment I got into the car to drive down to rendezvous with them until the minute I pulled into my drive way.  I can’t even remember the last time that I was in the car for any length of time alone.  I got to listen to music I enjoy.  Music with adult themes.  I turned it up loud and sang along.  It was amazing.

I get caught up in my own little world of laundry and snotty noses and teaching that sometimes I forget how much I love my mom and how funny my sister is.

the good stuffShe has a quirky, dry sense of humor.  She’s kinda a ham.  We took pictures with every sign, cut out, and mascot.  We took pictures posing in silly positions, with silly faces and even giving ourselves bunny ears, because from age 7 to 9 every single picture taken she gave herself bunny ears.

I also sometimes forget what it’s like to have fun.   I spend so much time being “Mom” that I forget what it’s like being Chanel.

This weekend was all about the girls and having fun.

We went to a ghost town and when we got hot, we left.  We didn’t care about getting the most out of it.   We enjoyed the view.  We enjoyed being silly.

We ate incredibly unhealthy and no one cared.  I think I only ate dessert on Wednesday.  I may have changed it up and had a couple of egg rolls, but I think for the most part, I consumed more tarts and cheesecake than humanly possible.  When you’re eating buffet, no one monitors how much you eat.   And when you pay an arm and a leg to eat, you want to eat at least your arm and leg’s weight in food.  I just choose to eat all of mine covered in sugar and deep fried.


We went on a Dam tour and enjoyed the edification without having to shove it down a child’s throat.  Did you know that there is enough concrete in the Hoover Dam to circle the Earth with a 4 foot wide sidewalk?  I’m now full of lots of interesting Dam facts.  We also saw some Dam sheep too.  Up close and personal.  So close, we could touch them.

We watched shows that were made for adults.  We enjoyed all of the random people that flock to Vegas.  We saw quite a few Elvis’ or is more than one Elvis an Elvi?  We even got to see Indiana Jones.  We oogled at the eye candy.

H-O-T (this was from a dinner theater.  A hilarious dinner theater.  The cheesiness was right up my alley.)

We were also amazed by Johnathon.   Okay, he wasn’t amazing, but we were entertained.  My mouth hurt from laughing so much. His whole act could be bought at the local joke/magic shop.  His comedic timing is great though.  His mouth is dirty.  I brought that little piece of Vegas home with me.

We spent the day at the spa.  That is all I’m going to say about the spa.  Any more might ruin it.

We slept in.  Every day.

Of course, we gambled.

big spenderPlease notice the money just being handed to my sister.  It turns out that my mom is pretty much amazing at the penny slots.  She’s lucky.  Who wins $80.00 on the penny slots?!  That’s like 8,000 pennies.  It’s a lot of pennies.  We were rather dissapointed that the machines don’t spit out coins any more.  Did you know that?  They spit out little paper tickets.  It’s a little bit anticlimatic.

margaritavilleWe drank.  After visiting Margaritaville and being forced to watch a meals worth of Coconut Television I’ve decided that I am in love with Jimmy Buffet.  I think it’s a combination of the yummy margaritas, the lyrics and his collection of Hawaiin shirts.  I’m attending a concert.  Does anyone want to come?  Preferably someone with a spa and truck.  I’ll make our blender hats.

Our waiter had the most amazing handle bar mustache/goatie.  It was ridiculously amazing.

Alas, our vacation had to end.  I’m home.  I keep wondering where the heck the buffet is?

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