Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Summing It Up: Sacraments, Shoes, School, Self-portraits, Shots and Sewing

Sometimes we do nothing for days on end. It seems like sitting around and watching paint dry might be more interesting...

And then we have weeks like this week, where every day has been jam pack-a-roonied.

On Saturday, we attended the baptism of this sweet little boy:

At the reception, Mason sat and ate endless amounts of jellybeans. (You see his uncle, grandfather, and great-grandfather in the background. They just sat. I believe brandy was involved.)

Lila attempted to make calls to China on Grandma's cell phone...

And Cole cried. A lot.

Lila and I wore matching shoes.

Monday was the first day of school. This involved an eeeaaarrrly wakeup on my part in order to shower, get everyone dressed still have time to pack these suckers...

And of course course I needed time for a "First Day of School" photo op:

We made our "cute face"

Our "surprised face"

Our "happy face"

Our "wild eyes" (which apparently involves Cole's being closed):

Our "model faces":

Our "strike a pose" pose:

And we growled like a tiger.

Then we threw in some self portraits for good measure.

After school drop off, LilaGirl and I headed over to her 15 month checkup.

While waiting we had an inpromtu iPhone photo shoot...

We clapped...

And we tried to find a way to consume that sticker you see wadded up there on the floor.

LG's 15 month Stats: Her weight is a whopping 19 lbs. 1 oz., puting her in the 0Zero-th percentile. Her height is 29 inches, which was the 10th percentile.

It was amazing how quick the visit was.

Does she eat all kinds of food? Yep.

Does she drink milk from a cup? Yep.

Does she walk all over? Brush her teeth? Sleep all night in a crib? Yep, yep and yep.

My motherhood ego was feeling pretty stellar.

One shot, a co-payment, and an appointment set for Mason's --gulp--FIVE year well visit later, and I left planning to feed that child a hamburger for lunch in an attempt to pork her up a bit.

I love a visit with Dr. W., provided no one is sick. That place rocks.

After that, we headed to Target where I spontaneously purchased a Singer sewing machine. My mother was so proud she practically came running over to show me how to function it. She gave me a much needed rudimentary lesson in how to function the thing and some tips for sewing a straight line and that was it for the day.

Never one to have much patience, today I busted out a couple of yards of fabric I had hanging around and whipped up this little number.

Be impressed people. And be sure to tell me all about it.

Okay, so it is a pretty simple design with mostly straight sewing. But damn and I feeling accomplished today. You must understand, I have never sewn a single blasted thing before. This is my very first creation.

When Rey was eating dinner tonight I came around the corner with it on a hanger and he dang near choked on his chicken. "You MADE that?" he asked, incredulously.

Why yes, yes I did indeed.

Modesty, not my strong suit.

When I tried it on Lila she started strutting her little self around like she was friggin' Heidi Klum.

This little girl is a precious gem, I tell ya.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things I Have Learned From My Toddlers(s)

Now I have or have had three of them, so this could be a rather lengthy exercise. I'm going to stick to my Top Ten:

1. There are about 101 different uses for a baby wipe.

2. Never be afraid to ask for help when you get yourself into a sticky situation.

3. It's always cooler if your big brother does it first.

4. Eating is sometimes and exhausting experience.

5. Sometimes throwing a temper tantrum actually DOES get you what you want.

6. Sleep is completely unnecessary, dare I say optional, activity. Ditto for showers.

7. When you and your friends are doing dangerous things, your mom grabs her camera.

8. Kids are made of rubber.

9. Stuffed animals can play board games, too.

10. That tomorrow is another day!
-Prompt from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Balance, or Lack Thereof

I am a Libra. This is our symbol.

So naturally, I like balance.

Right now, I don't have any. My world = my kids and doesn't really extend beyond the walls of my home. Every day revolves around the kids, the house, the laundry, the cleaning, this mess and that mess, even the damn dog. And endless cycle of making a meal and cleaning it up.

I get it, that's my job. But my "life" is centered around my "job" as a stay at home mom. And that does not = Balance.

However, in addition to my need for balance in my life, I also have an unending desire to be very good at everything I do.

If I'm going to clean my house, I will not just tidy up, I will clean from top to bottom.

If I'm going to learn a new skill, I will master it.

If I'm going to educate myself on something, I want to be an expert.

It is this unquenching thirst for perfection that keeps me chasing my tail. And of course, perfection is a completely unattainable concept. That much, I know.

I have been home with the kid(s) for about 4.5 years now. That is to say, I have not had a job in 4.5 years. But I WORK. Believe me, I work.

In that time, I was entertained by the newness of momness, then entertained be re-pregnancy, new baby, sick baby, hospital baby, healthy baby, move to Key West, re-re-pregnancy, move back from Key West, new baby again, Monday through Friday single motherhood with three offspring, to now.

I am bored.

Not I-am-so-bored-I-have-nothing-to-do bored. Trust me, there are things to be done. But I am bored with those things.

What I used to do when I got bored like this was have another baby. That is sooooo not an option right now.

I am an intellectual, dare I say smart gal. I need some mental and personal growth darn it. And making some money wouldn't be half bad.

So, on my list of a zillion ways in which to grow myself are:

  • Continue yoga teacher training and get my 200 RYT (requires, you guessed it, 200 hours of training, of which I have currently completely 18 hours)

  • Go to college again. For what I don't know, and why I'm entertaining this idea considering I never used my first Bachelor's Degree is beyond me

  • Write a novel (good idea, but not enough instant gratification for the level of labor)

  • Write a non-fiction book about something I know lots about (see above writing idea)

  • Write magazine articles (have no clue how to go about this)

  • Start another blog about something I know lots about

  • Open a cupcake shop (which might make me hate cupcakes, which would make me sad)

  • Learn to sew, teach my kids to sew, and turn my home into a sweatshop from which we will sell the world's cutest items for babies and kids

  • Get a job (which I honestly couldn't afford the childcare to pull this one off).

I need to revolve a little of my world around something other than my children. Not all of my world, maybe just a moon or something.

Do y'all hear me on this?

Somebody? Anybody?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

That's My Girl

My secret is out.

I keep a stash of small, single serving bottles of Sauvignon Blanc in the back of my pantry for moments of desperation.

Lila found my stash.

And boy, was she ever pleased with herself.

"Can I drink this stuff??"

"I'm feeling tipsy just from holding these things!"

The girl is a trip. She pulls all kinds of stuff out of my pantry--applesauce, Publix bags, boxes of plastic forks... Never, ever has she been so excited with her finds as she was with these wine bottles today! I like to teach 'em young ya know.

Disclaimer: The bottles are plastic, people. I'm all for taking pictures of my kids doing crazy crap, but trust me--with the way LilaGirl is famous for launching things across the room I surely would have snatched them up if they weren't "Lila Safe." : )

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Devastation and Gratitude

Our friends JP and Kim had what is arguably the most fun wedding we'd ever attended. It took place in Key West and had so many unique qualities about it that I won't go into right now... But what is perhaps most important aspect of their celebration is it totally had the feeling of JP and Kim in every detail--it was young, cool, unique, warm, and comfortable. It was a great time with memories that will honestly last a lifetime (including but not limited to the fact that I was pregnant with Mason at the time and during the toasts was the first time I felt him move).

They were married for several years before announcing that they were having their first baby. Excitement was had by all! After all, who would make better parents than the phenomenal people who make up the phenomenal couple that is JP and Kim?

Today, on our way home from our weekend in Tampa, Rey got the phone call that Kim had an emergency c-section last night and lost their baby girl. Her due date was this weekend. Such a god awful tragedy couldn't have fallen on less deserving people. My heart aches. It breaks.

I can't help but feel ungrateful.

I traveled through my shock and acknowledged my need for gratitude in my life. Everything I think about makes me feel spoiled and confused.

We sat in silence most of the way home, the boys were sleeping and Lila was crying off and on. "I am here listening to my baby cry and they never got to hear theirs even once." Why?

I carried Lila into the house tonight and thought, "This should be Kim, 14 months from now, with her baby on her hip." Why?

Before tucking Lila in her bed we rocked in her nursery and I thought how Kim will be sitting in an empty nursery, grieving. Why?

I imagine her next few days in the hospital... hearing other newborns crying; having to leave the hospital with empty arms; when her milk comes in as a painful reminder... so many reminders of what they lost.


It is so hard to understand the meaning of these things, if there is one. I have thankfully never felt the pain they are in right now. But to sit and look at all I have been given makes me realize even more how much has been taken away from others.

I will be more grateful, for I am very lucky.

In Memory of Baby Lola...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I spent all day today in my kitchen. It seems that's the realistic amount of time it takes to feed oneself proper meals.

You see, I went to visit the Good Doc yesterday to get the results of my blood work. Always be wary if they call you and say, "Your test results are back. He'd like you to make an appointment to come in an go over them."


So off I went yesterday only to find that apparently I am deficient in insulin. My first thought is diabetes (my father is diabetic and I'm thinking it's only a matter of time) but according to the Good Doc what I have is the opposite of diabetes.

I left with a list as long as my arm of supplements I'm supposed to take along with strict instructions to avoid proceeded foods and refined carbs like sugar and white flour and replace them with whole-food, unrefined carbs. Sounds swell.

So I went to SweetBay and bought brownies to make myself feel better.


In concession though, I realize I eat a pathetic diet. Not that I eat bad foods, I just don't eat. It's hard with three rugrats--sometimes if I eat a slice of turkey while chopping some in a million little pieces for Lila, that's my lunch. But in my defense though when I DO eat, I do sup on whole wheat pasta, lunch on whole wheat bread, and breakfast on Khashi cereal or the whole wheat pancakes that Chey Rey makes every Sunday. So I feel unfairly labeled as a carb loader here.

For lunch today I made a most delicious tuna salad. Mine is a version of my sister's that includes minimal amounts of mayo, more heart-healthy olive oil, shredded carrots, onions, lemon and sometimes egg whites for added protein. I eat it with Wasa crackers topped with a vine ripe tomato and it hits the spot. Quite yummy. But takes T-I-M-E. And time is NOT on my side, no matter what the Rolling Stones say.

And for dinner, I've got an Asian Flank Steak and Noodles recipe that involves whole wheat angel hair pasta and broiling. The meat marinated all day. Not only was it damn tasy, but here I have another healthy, no refined sugar meal. For those counting that's TWO in one day. (Never mind the fact that I ate another brownie throughout the course of the day. Baby steps, my friends.)

In all seriousness, I was in the kitchen all day. To shred, slice, dice, prep, marinade, stir, clean, load the dishwasher, unload, dispose of the loaded trash bags, feed my kids their breakfast and lunch in between, referee the boys' fights, etc. etc. ad nauseum and there went my day. This is not sustainable.

But neither is a life without insulin I suppose.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to Ava (Times Three!)

Today is our niece Ava's very first birthday. To commemorate this momentous occassion is a post about her birthday party, a throwdown that went down on Sunday. Lucky little thing that she is, we sang "Happy Birthday" to her three times (as you will see).

alternative text

I couldn't get a smile out of her for anything! She's very serious about this birthday business...

The Gang

alternative text

Eagerly anticipating the next event...

alternative text

Swinging like the crazy monkeys that they are

Time for cake. But where's the birthday girl?

alternative text

Here she is, coming in on her sweet wagon ride with her mama
alternative text

We sang (Happy Birthday serenade #1 for those who are keeping count). Then it was time for Ava to dig in. What came next was a First Birthday first for me (and believe you me, I have been to many a first birthday). As opposed to eating it, Ava prefered to smush smuch smoosh the cake in her hands. Hey, to each their own, right?

alternative text

alternative text

alternative text
(Note that there is none on her face! But she's make a lovely mitten accessory out of the cake.)
Cole of course enjoyed himself thoroughly. I think he begged, borrowed and stole his way to three cupcakes.

Back at the ranch...
After My Gym with the kids, the whole family (all 867,000 of us) decended upon the house for a proper Cuban throwdown. Meat, lots of meat, potato salad, Cuban bread, and a swarm of flies of course.

When it came time for cake, we sang ("Happy Birthday" serenade #2). But Ava's daddy had some trouble locating the video camera, so we had to do an encore for purposes of capturing the memories ("Happy Birthday" serenade #3). She did not complain. But I had serious money down that one of these kids was going to dive straight into the cake if we didn't serve it up soon.

alternative text

alternative text

alternative text

alternative text

These two little cousins are quite the buddies.

alternative text

And with that, another one of us is another year older.
It'll probably be another five minutes before I attend another birthday party.
As you can see, we know a lot of kids.