Pretty, Pretty Blogs

Mommy Blogs, Mom Bloggers, Moms that blog.

I have a love-hate relationship with them. The ones I love to hate are the homemaking perfectionist mommy bloggers. They usually have multiple children and a dog or two. They post the most fabulous pictures of their most fabulous houses and their most fabulous projects that YOU can do too if you have a spare 50,000 hours.  Their homes are perfection; everything is always crisp, clean and white with a burst of color. The children’s rooms are just so  with quaint vintage-like drawings and paintings of birds and amazing arty world maps. They’re always cooking fabulous meals with quinoa and kale — and their children actually EAT it — or so they say.

The reason I love these bloggers is because they inspire me.  I look at all the beautiful things they’re doing and all the beautiful things they have and I think, “If they can do it, I can surely do it too!”

And the reason I hate these bloggers is because once I think that I can do it, I realize that I actually can’t. My life is too busy — too full. And that’s fine. And perhaps I’m a bit jealous.  But that’s not the point.

The point is, I think it’s disingenuous to paint yourself in such a flawless way.  In the end it makes me think there’s some deep dark secret that you’re desperately trying to cover up. You’re insecure, your husbands unfaithful, YOU’RE unfaithful, you suffer from a severe anxiety disorder  — there’s nothing wrong with these things (except for the infidelity) it’s just nice to maybe — I don’t know — be more honest. I understand that a lot of people don’t want to be that open, but for god’s sake. Not everything has to be perfect. You don’t have to prove that you can make the perfect christmas candles or paint birch branches the perfect shade of white (which I love by the way.) Have a moment of failure and embrace it. Turn that smile into a frown and muss up that hair.  Write a post about how you let your kids go three days without a bath. THEN I’ll enjoy your lovely little tutorials and projects — because I’ll know that you’re human. And being human is embracing the mess.

But in the end, I guess it doesn’t really matter. I’ll read the blogs anyway as I cross my arms and pout — because everything is so damn pretty.

Vacation, Interrupted

Vacations are heavenly. Vacations are heavenly when you’re young. Vacations are heavenly when you don’t have children.

Having children makes a vacation fun in a different sort of way — like fun in the way that watching your favorite movie with constant interruptions is fun.  You enjoy the snippets of the movie while you wipe a poopy ass. A baby’s poopy ass. Not your own. Gross. This of course doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy the movie — or vacation. It means you just fuckin’ deal.

And I love my children. I know I don’t really have to tell you that I love my children, but I’m secretly worried that you’ll think I hate my children — and I don’t. Really, I don’t. I SWEAR. Jeez. What do you want me to do??! Gawd.

Yeah, anyway. We can’t go on vacations very often because we’re poor. Not dirt poor. Just the we-live-in-a-very-expensive-area-and-we-have-too-many-bills-and-don’t-get-paid-enough kind of poor. Which really isn’t poor — it’s faux poor, but whatevs.

So I’ve been meaning to go on a vacation. Like a big one. Like the kind where you get on a plane and fly for six hours. Like to California. That kind of vacation. And that kind of vacation, my friends, is not ideal with three children — three older children, yes — three children that includes a toddler — well — NO.

But I suppose it doesn’t matter anyway, because we’re faux poors. And being a faux poor means you spend your money on rent and bills and not travel.

But I really would love to go to Paris — because being in Paris with a toddler wouldn’t be so bad.

Now for some pictures of our trip to NYC last year. There was a lot of fun and ass-wiping to be had!

New York City Vacation — The fun snippets of the movie.

New York City Vacation — The ass wiping.

Linguistics n’shit

I need to learn Spanish. Really. Do you know how many times a day I get asked by co-workers if I know Spanish?

My husband knows Spanish.  So I really don’t have an excuse, now do I? He could totally teach me. But he won’t.  My Argentinean husband is too “Americanized.”

Which is a shame, because the Argentinean dialect is like… fucking Italian. Not like fucking an Italian. That’s different.

Do you know how awkward it is to try to communicate with my patients when they speak profusely in Spanish? I feel like a total dumb-ass.

I nod and smile, shrug my shoulders and laugh. I just have no clue what to do — except to maybe get a translator.

And maybe to learn spanish.

Monday List : A list for Mondays

So I wasn’t very successful with last week’s Monday List.  So I’m trying again.

This is a confessional list of 10 things that most people don’t know about me (a.k.a over-sharing.) You’re dying to know more, right?

Well here are some juicy facts for you to feast on, my friends! No but really.

1. When I was 12, my sister died at the age of 13 from a very rare and fatal heart defect; hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Essentially she was born with only half a heart. Back in 1977, when she was born, they didn’t have the kind of advanced interventions they do now. She was brought home from the hospital expected to die as an infant. But she didn’t die. Besides the exhaustion that came from her significantly reduced oxygen flow, she lived a pretty normal life.  She eventually died of heart failure related to a surgical procedure for a pacemaker. She never recovered from the surgery.

I would like to get involved with CHD awareness and fund raising, but I always find the excuse that I’m busy. HLHS is devastating to children and their families — other people affected include a friend of mine who lost her newborn son to HLHS a few years ago.

Depressed yet?

2. I went to middle school and high school in Olympia, WA.  I hated middle school (who doesn’t, right? unless you’re one of those crazy people who liked such things) and was bullied mercilessly in 8th grade by a group of former friends. It was awful and I don’t recommend being the victim of bullying to anyone. It SUCKS. I’ve forgiven and moved on and am Facebook friends with a few of them. I’m really not one to hold grudges because we’ve all done mean things at one point or another (I remember being mean to a few girls as well), but you know what? One of the girls I will never forgive. She was just too nasty of a person, and I’m determined that her nastiness has spilled over into her adulthood.  High school was a bit more bearable, but I still hated it. Hated it. I was shy and terribly insecure. I had friends but not a lot of them. However, the friends I had were really good friends… so I guess that’s all that matters, right?

3. Now this. I was an Evangelical Christian growing up.  By the time I was 12, my parents had left the ultra-conservative church — but I chose to stay with the church until my early adulthood. I think a part of me felt that I would betray my sister’s memory if I left the church, as she was very religious (although I feel that she would have left the church eventually — she was too much of a rebel.)  By the time I was 18, I had too many issues with the guilt-mongering and the over-the-top conservative politics. Why couldn’t women have control over their own bodies? Why was it a bad thing to care about the environment? Why did I have to feel like shit just for saying a swear word? Why couldn’t I get laid before marriage? What was wrong with living my life guilt free? Nothing. I left the church but went back briefly after having my first born — I was in a dead-end marriage and didn’t quite know how to deal with that.  I thought Jesus was the answer. No offense to Jesus — he said some very wise things — but the dude is not some almighty being. I believe in the universe and the people who love me. I believe in myself.

An 18 year old me — with a whole lot of bad decisions yet to be made!

4. I left Olympia, WA three days after graduation, moved to Arroyo Grande, CA, had really bad taste in men, and dropped out of community college twice. I started a relationship with a guy that consisted of non-stop partying, and got pregnant. I chose not to have an abortion. I chose to keep the baby because — hey — I was 21 and soooooo fucking ready to be a mom. How hard could it be, right?

5. I married my baby daddy even though I knew deep down it was a VERY bad idea. It was an unhealthy relationship. I hold no ill feelings toward him though —  I only wish the best for him.

6. I had another baby knowing I was married to the wrong man.

Maybe this list should be called, Worlds Worst Decisions.

7. In 2005 with a 4 year old and 3 month old, I knew my marriage was over. I left him and became a single mother to two small children. Not only that, but I had no college degree and a very sporadic work history as I had been a stay-at-home mom for a few years. I was basically screwed. I cried into my pillow every night. But my family was so amazing and patient and loving. I get tears in my eyes just thinking of all the love and support they gave me during that time.

8. Not long after I left my husband, my Dad offered to let me and the kids live with him — in Maryland. This kind of threw a wrench into things as I was in California at the time. My Dad and Step-Mom offered me a free roof over my head if I went to school full time. I didn’t even have to work. Just go to school. Man, I’m so fucking lucky. My ex-husband agreed to let me leave the state with the kids in exchange for reduced child-support. Now some people would think that it was awful of me for taking my kids away from their Daddy — and it wasn’t easy — but it is a bit more complicated… and though I’m being very transparent right now, there are some things that should be kept under wraps, I suppose.

9. I had a garage sale and sold almost everything I had — furniture, clothes, toys — you name it. For 700 dollars. I sold almost all of my material possessions for a measly 700 buckeroos. All evidence of my previous life — gone. All except for my precious babies. When the time came I threw some bags in the back of my mini-van, strapped my kids into their carseats (Ryan 4, Kiera 6 months), drove up to Olympia, picked up my brothers, and we all drove across the country to Maryland.

10. I started school and was eventually accepted into the nursing program, met a guy named Ernesto, fell in love, graduated, got pregnant (but this time with the best man in the world), passed nursing boards, got married, had a baby, got a job, and now I’m an RN.

I’ve made a lot of stupid decisions.  And living in the D.C. area with all the Type A personalities — I sometimes feel just a wee bit inadequate.  But I have to kick those feelings in the ass and just appreciate my life. Life is good.

And tonight, as I was reading a copy of Dear Sisters: Dispatches from the Women’s Liberation Movement by Rosalyn Baxandall and Linda Gordon, I came across this great quote by feminist Wilda Chase:

It is a characteristic of life that it pays no higher a price than you ask of it. Don’t learn too late that you have priced yourself lower than life was prepared to pay.

Now if I could just find a way to send that quote back to my 18 year old self.

Bet you can’t wait for my next list.

An old post of mine from a few years back. Just had to re-post.

motherhood is magic

Sunday was a gloomy day with grumpiness galore.  As a cure to the glum day, Ernesto and I took the kids to downtown Silver Spring.  After going to Borders we ended up at Copper Canyon, a chain restaurant located in downtown Silver Spring.  Copper Canyon is one of those restaurant’s that we seem to choose on default because there’s not much else to choose from in that particular location — I mean unless you want to go to Red Lobster or Macaroni Grille etc.   So Copper Canyon it was, where the lights are dim, and Kenny G plays on repeat — but the food is okay and reasonably priced.  After sitting through the waiter’s annoying spiel and false smile, we ordered our food.  I helped Kiera color her restaurant provided coloring page without a second thought, and ate my dinner.  Just a relaxing evening with the family.

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Emptying My Phone

Cleaning out the pictures in my phone, I came across these gems from about a year ago.

Beckett’s baby toes

Worm

Beckett and Sunset

Home

It’s always a nice surprise to find old pictures.  I guess I should empty out my phone more often.

And I’ll end with a picture of me.

Happy Friday!

Time for a beer.

Vanity in the rearview

The Sound Of War

On the cusp of Thanksgiving, I leave you with the sound of war.

As we celebrate everything that we have, I’m remembering those that are grieving profound loss.  The loss of homes, the loss of loved ones — the loss of children.  I’m so thankful that our children don’t go to bed with the sound of horror echoing in the night.

We are incredibly lucky. My family is incredibly lucky. You are incredibly lucky.

My thoughts are with all those suffering in the middle east conflict right now — whether Israeli or Palestinian.

One can only hope that things will change. But until then, I have a renewed sense of thankfulness — of gratefulness.

Happy Thanksgiving.

And yeah, I know I just totally ruined the happy, party mood.

Sue me.

Imported

I just imported a ton of old blog posts from when I was pregnant with Beckett. Damn. That shit is OLD (circa 2010). But it’s very awesome to have in one place. And it’s nice to see what was going through my mind when I was pregnant.

What a crazy time.

Monday List

I was reading on some blogging blog that to increase traffic to your blog, you have to write lists.  Apparently this interests people. Also to create interest in your blog you have to avoid talking about your children.

Ha.

First of all, I’m really bad at lists. Lists bore me (no offense to my husband who loves lists.) Secondly, I have children. Children that I love. Children that I do in fact blog about (if you haven’t noticed from the title of my blog.)

So I have to make lists which I hate, and I have to NOT blog about my children. The flesh of my flesh.

Okay, then. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge.

Just be forewarned that this is just a list of my random thoughts — therefore this is a completely unorganized list — but that’s just how I roll.

The Monday List

  • I… I uh… shit. Hold on. I’m thinking.
  • Okay here goes.
  • I often think… wait no. That mentions kids.
  • I love it when I wake up in the morning and … shit. No. That came out wrong. I mean I was gonna mention my kids but then said shit. Oh wait. Now that sounds really bad.
  • Okay, here’s one…
  • No. That’s not it either.
  • Am I seriously screwed? Have I lost my sense of self? Has motherhood completely engulfed me so much that I’ve lost who I am?
  • WHO AM I?
  • WHAT DO I WANT TO DO WITH MY LIFE?!
  • WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ALL THIS?!!
  • You know what? Forget it. Writing this list has just thrown me into a full blown existential crisis.
  • Fuck you, monday list. You’ve officially ruined my week.

Kid’s got a mouth (and other complaints)

What the hell? When did this happen? Everything — and I mean everything I do is wrong. Okay maybe not everything, but pretty damn close. Ryan is only a few months away from his twelfth birthday and he’s already driving me crazy with his adolescent self.

“Mom, why can’t you EVER, EVER say yes to ANYTHING?”  He asks me this after I said no to his offer of paying me 20 bucks so he could use the iPad. Fer Realz? Bribing your own mother? You’re offering to pay me to use the iPad?? Kid you’ve got some nerve.

“GET in your ROOM and do your homework NOW!” I sputter.

Mouthy Ryan

Holy hell.  I thought the newborn stage was tough… this whole teenage thing is gonna be a major pain in the ass.  Kid is already telling me how to drive.  Yeah.

“Mom you didn’t have to hit the gas so hard.”

Really?  REALLY? Do YOU want to teach me how to drive Mr. I’m-Eleven-Years-Old-And-I-Know-Everything?

“Huh,” I say, “Interesting… so how many years have you been driving?”

He mumbles something.

HA! Ha HA! I win! The mom ALWAYS wins.

At least that’s what I like to tell myself.  I mean, I DID hit the gas kinda hard.

In other news of annoyances, I really can’t stand it when people criticize parents through their children.  For example: Neighbor walks up to me and my rosy baby walking through the neighborhood on a Winter’s day.  “Oh!” Says neighbor to my rosy baby, “You cute little thing! Why doesn’t mommy put gloves on you? Tell mommy how cold you are! Say ‘Mommy I’m cold! Put some gloves on me!'” Then neighbor proceeds to clasp my baby’s hands and rub them while looking at me accusingly.  I mumble something about how he’ll just take his gloves off and throw them on the ground, but neighbor already has it in her head that I’m an inept, irresponsible parent.

So yeah. I was going somewhere with this.

My son’s daycare provider did this today. My sweet little two year old Beckett comes running up to me, arms outstretched. I pick him up in a bear hug and shower him with kisses.  I put him down so the teacher can get his coat on.

“Little Beckett won’t run around and play outside anymore,” says teacher.

“Really?” I ask with worry.

“Yes, he insists on being picked up every time we’re outside.”

“Oh. That’s strange,” I say.

The teacher coo’s at Beckett, “Mommy needs to stop holding you so much, doesn’t she? You can walk all by yourself now because you’re a big boy!”

Fucking. Fucking. Fuck. Really?

“Oh…” my voice trails off in my inability to respond intelligently.

“Mommy doesn’t need to carry you to the car every day, does she? Maybe if she stops carrying you, you’ll not want to be held so much!” teacher says to Beckett as she smooths his curls.

“I… um… I don’t carrrrry him to the car every day.  He walks around quite a bit… uh..”

Teacher just smiles at me.

I meekly walk out the door with Beckett at my side, taking extra care not to pick him up and carry him to the car (I mean for Christ’s sake, I haven’t seen him all day).

“Have a good evening!” I call over my shoulder.

I pick Beckett up as soon as we’re outside the gate.

I suppose I could’ve picked him up immediately just to show her that I’m the boss, but I get a bit stumped in those situations and tend to just smile like an idiot, nod my head and comply with whatever passive aggressive message they’re trying to send me.

Oh well.

Meanwhile, in Gaza…