Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rules for nap time

This is for my husband.
I know you're not home for most of our nap times and I know that you really just want to play with the kids when you are home but nap time is a very sacred time here in our home. Well nap time is MORE than sacred. How can I make you understand? Nap time is sanity, it's peace and quiet, it's like a grown up time out. Think of it as your relaxing drive to work with coffee every morning, your shit breaks, your 30 minute break in the morning, your one hour lunch break, your afternoon coffee and cookie pick-me-up and your forty-five minute alone time in the car on your way home ALL rolled into ONE nap time that usually lasts one and a half hours for me. Maybe, if the house is clean and dinner is prepared. Maybe. So, to help us preserve nap time when you are home, here are the rules. YES rules!

  1. After you finish the nap time routine and toss the kids in bed. RUN!!! Shut the door as fast as you can and don't, I repeat DON'T look back.

  2. Turn the AC on. This creates white noise that will muffle any cries from the children. It also lowers their body temperature and I'm hoping it has the same effect as it would on reptiles.

  3. DO NOT make any noise. This includes the t.v., radio, ice machine, phone calls and flushing the toilet. Yes that means you just let it sit in the toilet for flushing at a later time.

  4. Turn all ringers off! For some insane reason, everyone in the entire world wants to call when the kids are sleeping and unless they are offering to come over and watch the kids while I go out, their call isn't important.

  5. Once the kids have been asleep for about twenty minutes you can choose an activity from the approved list below.

  • Watch t.v. The volume can NOT go abovet ten bars.

  • Computer time. Mouse clicks only the keyboard is too loud.

  • You can go back and flush the toilet now.

  • Read but nothing that will cause you to laugh out loud.

  • And of course, for you I will make an exception.... any INSIDE chore that tickles your fancy. Mowing the lawn is still and big fat NO.
My sweet, dear, husband I hope this little note will help you understand all the 'shh's' and glares you've received over the past few weekends. Here's to many happy and peaceful nap times.

Friday, May 30, 2008


I HATE, H.A.T.E. to do anything with my car. HATE!! When people ask you those silly scenario questions like, "Would you prefer a maid, personal trainer or nanny?" My answer would be a chauffeur. I like the freedom of a car, but NONE of the responsibility. I don't even like to stop and put gas in the thing.

Should I be so bold as to say that most women feel the same way? Maybe their hate isn't as strong, but I think that most women don't jump with joy when their car needs to be tweaked. Fortunately for them, some women marry a partner that does, so there's a trade off of sorts. I'll take the laundry if you take the car. Not in my house, so most times I'm stuck with the laundry AND the car. Don't start rolling your eyes yet, because I don't let my husband get away with it. He has to suffer as much as I do! So when my car broke down today I called my husband knowing he couldn't really help but damnit I wasn't sitting on the side of the road by myself!

Well today was just perfect. Purrrrfect! I had already taken the damn car in for $600 worth of repairs a few days ago and I thought they had fixed it, but apparently my logical reasoning isn't what it used to be. So, I had my car and I thought we were all set for our field trip to the water park downtown. I packed all of our lunches, bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, change of clothes and more and more crap into the car. Downtown. ack. I know that word doesn't usually strike fear in your hearts, but it does mine. One night, many moons ago, wrong way on a one way....scarred for life. No problem, I wrote very specific directions on this little sheet of paper, right next to my....oh shit... right next to the money for the meter on the damn kitchen counter. A few close calls and panicked calls to my husband later, I made it to the park. I searched the floor boards for change and we're finally there! I had it planned perfect. We played hard, ate a good lunch and I even changed the kids before we got into the car, so they would fall asleep on the way home and I could enjoy the pure bliss of nap time. Purrrrrfect.

On the way home, the easy listening music I had on to lull the kids to sleep cuts off. Damn. No lights. Damn. No air. Damn, damn. The car is in distress and starts calling out for help by flashing every red warning light it had. She was a good girl and took us as far away from the freeway as she could before she puttered her last breath. Damn! Nap time bliss died with my car, right there, on the side of the road, three miles from the house. Three stinkin' miles. My babies were asleep and all I wanted to do was get home. I drop my head on the steering wheel, let out a little moan and maybe an ugly word or two and I surrender. I called Martin and he sounded annoyed but I only had a few seconds to get him to understand how being stuck on a busy street with two sleeping kids in 90 heat was an emergency. "GET YOUR ASS HERE NOW!" I think I'm a good communicator, don't you? 4 seconds flat and then the phone dies. Yup, dies. Car, nap time and phone.... DEAD!

So now I'm stranded, I don't know if my husband is coming so I rolled the windows down to let some of the steam out and popped the hood. That's what you're supposed to do if you need help, right? I get back in the car, because cars are racing passed me like a cop is chasing them or something. I sit and wait...and wait...and wait. Oh wait, someone's stopping...nope just stopping at a red light. Oh, a cop....aaaaand it passes me by. Ok, she's stopping....oh, thank God...wait is she just LOOKING at me? Bitch. What the hell is wrong with people? Oh go ahead mister, just stare and MOOOOOVE ON! HA, oops that was my help. I guess he did get the message and once again he came to my rescue even though he couldn't really DO anything other than make arrangements. My FIL came to jump my car, but that didn't work so Hubby had them come tow the car and by coincidence my Dad was passing by so he took us home. So we're home now and I'm sure in a few hours when everyone is asleep for the night, my body temperature will finally return to normal, I'll look back at my pictures and maybe, just maybe all I'll remember are these cute faces.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Dear Lord,

Why does my daughter insist that the salt shaker is HER Dorothy, just like Elmo's? Why must she give Dorothy kisses, because now my salt is all clumped together. Let's not even get into how she left little parts of Dorothy all over the house, before I was able to snatch it up and reclaim her as our salt!!

RIP salty Dorothy.

** I guess A's had a fascination with Dorothy for awhile. I found this old picture.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Have you ever been MORE than tired?

I'm so exhausted that I not only don't want to do anything, but I want to undo some of the things that made me this tired. We had a busy weekend and worked on our landscaping a bit, but that wasn't the most exhausting part. It was chasing after my kids! I couldn't figure it out at first, because I chase them ALL WEEK, so how is it harder when my husband is home?? Ok so all of you moms who have a little more experience than me are laughing, huh?
After months, well hell, years of looking at a crappy front yard I decided enough was enough. On Saturday, I took my petty cash to Home Depot and just started throwing plants into baskets and on flat beds. I had no freakin' clue what I was doing, but I knew I needed dirt, plants that could survive on the sun and food for them. My freakish obsession with symmetry made it easier to estimate how many plants I would need, but that was the extent of my planning when I stepped foot into botanical bliss.

Six hours in 95 degree heat, two burgers from Annie's, two mini helpers (read:pests), and one big fat headache later, the yard looks great. And even if we can't keep the THIRD round of plants alive, we at least entertained the neighbors. A ran around half naked, like a wild child and M gave every passerbyer a huge smile with dirt-saliva dripping down his cheeks.

** Yeah so I was so tired that I started this on Monday and didn't finish it until Wednesday.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mean Mom

This is one of the many email that come my way every day, but I really liked this one. Reminds me of my mom and the kind of mom I aspire to be.

Someday when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent,I will tell them, as my Mean Mom told me:
I loved you enough to ask where you were going,with whom, and what time you would be home. I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room,a job that should have taken 15 minutes. I loved you enough to let you see anger,disappointment, and tears in my eyes.
Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.. I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.But most of all, I loved you enough to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it.Those were the most difficult battles of all.I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too.
And someday when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Was your Mom mean?I know mine was.We had the meanest mother in the whole world!
While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast.When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too. Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times.You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were and what we were doing with them.
She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour,
we would be gone for an hour or less.We were ashamed to admit it,but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash the dishes, make the beds,learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do. She always insisted on us telling the truth,the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head.Then, life was really tough!Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13,we had to wait until we were 16. Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced.None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property or ever arrested for any crime.It was all her fault.Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults.We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was.I think that is what's wrong with the world today. It just doesn't have enough mean moms!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mommy, he's touching meeeeeeeeee

Yes, "Mommy, he's touching me" is the number one hit in our house, sung by the lovely yet agitating Allie.

We have graduated to the next stage in our little game of LIFE. This must be the part where the mommy and daddy take the little pink baby and blue baby in the back of their car and toss them out because they keep fighting. Five and six I expected, maybe even four and five, but ONE and TWO!!!! Dear Lord please let M stop touching A and please Lord make A understand that yelling "STOP TOUCHING ME!" only encourages her brother and drives mommy crazy.

Is it ok to pray for things like that?? I hope so, but even if they don't I'll continue to ask because it at least scares the kids into thinking that mommy is losing it and that buys me a few minutes of quiet, even if it's because their mouths are hanging open from shock/fear/amazement?

There are some pluses to the kids playing together more now. For one, those few moments when they are getting along are pure bliss. I stop and just stare at how beautiful siblings are. The one relationship in this world that goes so deep and far back that you lose track of the beginning. They will never not know what it's like to not have each other. The grew in the same womb, nursed from the same breast, play together and now fight together.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Give it to me goooood, baby!

Having someone watch you workout is like having sex with them. Sweating, grunting, exerting yourself, and damn, all of the faces you make while lifting weights. All this while my instructor is sweating, grunting and yelling "Come on just a little more." "Come on, come on, give me a little more!"
Yeah, so I gave it all to him today. All that I could and I walked out of that class hot, sore and feeling satisfied. hee
I'm surprised at how much I'm really enjoying working out. I never realized to could be as mentally and emotionally exhausting as it is physically. My last experience with lifting weights scarred me for a few years. I would go to the gym with my boyfriend who is now my husband and I loved the intimacy of working out with him. Unfortunately, the gym we went to was across the street from a strip joint, so there were lots of body builders and dancers (read - really hot and slutty) shaking there ass all over the place. Well not really shaking because not one part of their body jiggled. Didn't really do much for my confidence or hygiene. yuck. Anyways, I soon discovered that there was another benefit to lifting weights, aside from the obvious. Grown men with shorts way to tight and short were walking around with full blown erections!!! Yes you read that right, boners, woody, full salute, hard on, chubby, stiffy, pitching a tent, morning glory.... whatever you call it, I found myself staring at it the whole hour I was there. It really freaked me out and at seventeen I just couldn't work out next to all that.... excitement.
So now I work out with women my age and older and I'm very thankful for the lack of enthusiasm!

I think I'll save us all from a picture with this post.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I like for my house to be clean. I do, but this is getting out of control. I'm cleaning things daily and hourly that B.C. I would only clean once a month!! My list just for TODAY!

  • The walls! Yes the freakin' walls!!

  • Under the sofa. Maybe I should stuff crap under the sofas myself so that it's intentional and part of my decor.

  • A's play kitchen. I know it's more fun to "cook" with real food, but Dear Lord child, I already have one kitchen to clean.

  • Oh, IN the sofa. We don't need no stinkin' trash can, mom! We've got five little garbage shoots right here in the sofa!

  • Butts, faces and hands. Maybe if I can convince them that they are supposed to be dirty, then they'll keep them clean???

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Oldie but Goodie

In honor of Mother's Day, here a little something I wrote about my momma many years ago.

Sunday smells like forgiven souls, ancient recipes, and mama's homemade
tortillas. My mama's perfectly manicured cabernet red nails sink into the
belly of the still warm masa. Forcing every element to sacrifice its
original state, to become a creation at her hands, masa.
The stick of wood, smoothed out over years, molds the fat, raw, ball into a
paper-thin tortilla. Mama beats the dough with the stick as if it would
refuse to be rolled out, as if she had to beat some sense into it. Over
and over again she rolls one way and then the other, until the rhythm is in sync
with her favorite mariachi band. The sound of the old brass trumpet and
the forgotten stories of the guitar are pressed in with every stroke of her

After every fat little ball is molded into a perfect circle, as if cut from a pattern,
she lifts the tortilla, careful not to puncture any holes. The searing waves of heat escape from the cast iron comal. Yet with the same hands which are like an angels breath on my face, she gently places the tortilla on the comal. And while attending to the cauldron of beans, pan of steaming rice, and three children revolving around her, she manages to keep an attentive eye on her doughy white tortillas. As she sees the little bubbles pop up on their still raw surface, she instinctively flips it over to expose its now golden brown skin. Then with in a few seconds she is balancing a homemade
tortilla, on her now flour crusted nails and promptly stuffs it in-between the
folds of a kitchen towel to keep it as warm as a seven-year-olds face on a
summer day.

Today is Sunday; today we have tortillas.

I love you Mom!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Cut the Curls

So my baby looks like a big boy now. We cut him off from babyhood, by taking his curls. sniff sniff. Goodness these milestones come so fast. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was snuggled up in a little ball on my chest??? After he was separated from all of his baby cuteness, I held him tight and thought, he's going to be a teenager one day and then a man and then a father.... I know it's a little dramatic, but it's given me a little perspective. For the most part, I carry on each day with our daily, in the moment activities, but I'm not as aware of what the future holds for my babies. I recently saw the Jonas Brother's mom say that they raised their sons to be men. Simple, but hard. Necessary. I look into my little guy's eyes and know that one day he'll face the world armed only with the skills and knowledge his father and I have given him. Talk about pressure. I've always been the type A person. I love to be in charge and take on the responsibility, but this thought really knocked me over. I'm responsible (well my husband too, but you know, for dramatic purposes), I'll be the one at fault, I'm the main artery, the person who will provide the inner voice, and moral compass for them. Good Lord, no wonder my mom always looked like she was under a lot of pressure. I never knew.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Imperfect is Beautiful

I've been thinking about my post all day and I forgot an important one.

Imperfect IS beautiful. I have a big nose and long sideburns. I can remember people making comments about these things, but I also remember my Mom telling me my sideburns were beautiful, because they were part of my heritage. My Dad loves my nose, because it's his. All of the "imperfections" of my body are unique to me and make me special. Now that I'm a mother, my body wears the marks of motherhood and I'm proud of them. No, saggy boobs, stretch marks and a jiggly stomach aren't the physical attributes women desire, but I love how my body reflects my life and is home to all the people and memories I cherish.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

How I was taught so see beautiful

Outer beauty that is...

Of course, I was taught that who you are on the inside and how you treat people is way more important than looks, but I was also trained my whole life to love every aspect of myself and I was taught to appreciate the beauty of others. I've tried a few times in the last week to write about how this happened, but the words just aren't doing it justice. So I've decided to make a list. I hope that when you read this you take away more than just a checklist, but maybe the meaning behind all of the activities together. This lesson, this insight, that my parents gave me is probably what I'm most thankful for. Food, a roof, an education... they are all greatly appreciated too, but THIS gift, the ability to see beauty in all its forms has molded how I see life, how I see myself and most importantly how I LIVE my life. Thanks Mom and Dad! I only hope that by raising my children the same way, I can show you how blessed I am to have such thoughtful and beautiful parents.

Sincerity. When my parents looked us in the eyes and told us we were beautiful they meant it. Not cute, or pretty or handsome...Beautiful!

Beauty of the mind. My Dad read the paper every day of my childhood. When I was old enough he would clip articles and bring them home in his lunchbox. I would read them and then we'd talk about them over dinner. I loved hearing my family talk about world issues, civil rights, and our community. I loved the way my parents looked at me when I made a good point in a debate.

Age of beauty. My mother always wanted to work with the more experienced generation and I think she taught us to see the beauty of their life experiences through her eyes. We had neighbors, Ken and Carol, who were older than my grandparents and would invite me over for tea and cheese crackers. I LOVED it. I remember the look on my Grandmother's face when my Mom and Aunt fixed her hair and makeup. I can still hear my Dad telling my Grandma how beautiful she looked and the sound of her giggling.

Beauty of love. Watching my Dad kiss my Mom's neck when he thought no one was looking. Seeing my parents laying on the sofa with my Dad's hand on my Mom's tummy, the womb that housed me and my twin brothers. My Mom freshening up for my Dad every day, even after 30+ years of marriage.

Confidence. My parents showed me how to be confident by living their lives that way. My Dad has never been thin in my lifetime, but that never stopped him from living his life with us. He didn't stop to think about what others thought at the pool or beach. He didn't hold back in sports because he wasn't as fit as the other dads. My Dad walked proud because he was.

Reality. Growing up, my brothers and I were taught that beauty comes in many forms: intelligence, kindness, wisdom, love, confidence, and physical beauty. I think that if my parents wouldn't have taught us that the world judges people on their appearance. it would have been a huge injustice. People are judged on physical appearance. Not fair, but true. When I was old enough to recognize this injustice, I confronted my parent with it.

"Crisa, it's important to present yourself in a way that opens the door for people to see your inner beauty."

To me this meant that I should groom myself and dedicate some time to my physical appearance. NOT all of my time, but by allotting some time to my physical self I was telling others that I was confident, and I did consider myself worthy of the time.

Beauty is something that is in the eye of the beholder, but that also means that YOU are able to mold your idea of beauty when you look in the mirror. I think it's important to love who you are... all of you.

You CAN do it!!

So yeah, where were my "You can do it!" cheerleaders? It seems like everyone one around us is contracting out the smallest DIY projects in their homes nowadays. Now I know my husband and I aren't the handiest homeowners on the block, but come on people!! How about a little encouragement? We're not afraid to get too dirty and we ARE fairly intelligent people, so why can't we blow our own insulation???? ** Ok now that we've actually done this, I'm laughing at myself!***Well, bogged down with encouraging words Hubby and I somehow managed to get out the door and mingle with the handiest of the handy at Home Depot.

After five years of enjoying a 2000 sq. ft. sauna in the summer, Martin and I decided that this year, we would like to enjoy the 100+ temps OUTSIDE only. So we emerged ourselves in the wonderful world of insulation. Mucho dinero later we were off with our bundles of eco-friendly insulation and a machine that looked like that weird little robot from Teletubbies. Nunu??? yeah that show freaks me out too and so did the insulation blower.

So five hours later and LOTS of lessons learned, our house is insulated. And by house I mean the WHOLE HOUSE!!! The sofas, tables, floors, bedrooms, and yes even the kitchen sink. grrr. Well, mess aside, I really enjoyed our project last weekend. I love, LOVE seeing my husband do sweaty, manly things and I love the feeling of doing something difficult with my own hands.