Thursday, September 28, 2006

Two Firsts That Won't Be Included In His Baby Book

Yesterday may have been my worst Mommy Day yet. I'm not sure how it happened, I'm just grateful that once again, I'm not Britney Spears. Not because it means I'm not married to Kevin Federline (although, that's a huge bonus), but because it means that swarms of papparazzi didn't catch these incidents so that they won't appear on the front page of the tabloids.

It's kind of the Little Man's fault. I mean, before, I used to be able to restrain him. First, in his bouncy seat when he was nothing but a little squirmy pink worm. Then in his exersaucer once he could sit up on his own, and eventually in his little Jeep walker. But now that he's a full-grown baby man and walking and able to run off to Siberia if he wants, he's not interested in being duct taped in place.

This means that he gets in trouble, and I, by association, also get in trouble, simply my name is on his birth certificate.

Taking a shower has become difficult. No longer can I restrain Little Man in front of Blue's Clues. I now close the bedroom door, turn on the TV and make sure that he can't figure out how to open the windows to escape. This is usually fine, since I, a former 30-minute bather, have figured out how to shower in under three minutes. Sure, my legs are furrier than any squirrel you've met, but at least I don't stink.

Yesterday, however, I came out of my shower to find my son sitting on the bathroom floor sucking on our bottle of lube.

This was quite alarming, but the bottle of lube was closed, so it's not like he'd drank six ounces of slippery goodness. And no, I didn't take a picture of this, because I felt that Child Protective Services might have a case on me if they found out my baby confuses sippy cups for bottles of lube.

I thought of telling Sweetie Pie of the incident, but I knew that his response would be something along the lines of the fact he was glad at least someone was getting some use out of the probably close to expiration lube.

Then in the afternoon, Sweetie Pie had come home and since the Little Man was getting awnry, we took him outside since the backyard always makes him happy. He used to stay confined on the concrete patio, but as of this past weekend, he discovered that the lawn could indeed be walked on as well.

We were chatting about Sweetie Pie's day when all of a sudden behind me I hear a "ooooh!"

I whirl around to find my son holding something above his head to show us his find of the century. I know that look very well, it's one that I usually have when I've found a great deal at Boxing Day sales, something you Americans are totally missing out on in life.

Unfortunately, my son was not holding a cute designer knock off purse for 70 percent off. He was however holding in his pudgy little hand a dog turd.

After running across the yard at a speed that would make Olympian sprinters green with envy, I completely bathed my son five times in Purrell and then scraped off the top three layers of skin from his entire body with industrial-strength anti-bacterial soap.

Never have I seen a more disturbing sight than a 12-month old boy holding someone else's poop.

Britney, feel free to use me as an example the next time you screw up. Simply tell them in that ever-thickening drawl of yours "But Matt, there are way worst mothers than me, ya'll."

And I will accept the shame of slipping on the job.

I think I'll go drive around the block really fast with the Little Man on my lap now as my punishment.



Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Random Nugget

I just went to change Little Man's diaper (note, I'm renaming him Little Man, Playa's just not working for me. It's the Spanish word for beach and so all I can think of are pina coladas when I write it) and since he gets mad every time I do it, I had him a different toy each time to entertain him.

Today, I gave him a little plastic wrench from his tool box (which he's getting as a gift for Christmas). He looked at it, and when I took off his diaper, he held the wrench and put the opening of it around his penis.

Apparently he felt his equipment could use some tightening.



Tuesday, September 26, 2006

This Is Why I Married Him

We're sitting in my Jeep, on our way to T.G.I Friday's for dinner, like the good middle class people with a baby that we are, when Fergie's "London Bridge" comes on the radio. My body gets taken over by the 14-year old teeny bopper in me and I begin to sing:

"How come every time you come around, my London, London Bridge wanna go down, like..."

- What the hell does that mean, the old fart I married asks.

- It means she likes the guy, and when she sees him, her pants keep falling down, because she wears them really loose on her skinny hip bones.

- That doesn't make any sense.

- Well, I guess her pants aren't falling down, but her underwear is then.

- Her underwear? They're calling underwear "London Bridge" now?

- Uhm... I guess like that song 'I see London, I see France, I see Fergie's underpants.'

I think about this further for a minute before continuing with:

- I guess it just means that when she sees him, she wants to have woman on top sex.

- Well that's really nice of her.



Friday, September 22, 2006

This One's For Emma in Canada

Emma in Canada had this on her blog and since she comments on my blog regularly even though we don't actually know each other (this may come as a shock to some of you Americans who think that we know all Canadians "you're Canadian? Do you know Bob and Sue?") but she mentioned that she's not tagging, but hoping that those bloggers she reads will do this little questionnaire. I feel like I'd be a bad blogger if I didn't, so here goes!

1. How often do you blog? Whenever I have something to say. Here's a secret... There are days where I've written two, three or even four posts on "exciting" days. Then I hoard them like the Rolos in my desk drawer and put them up one at a time for the next few days. That way you don't go a week without reading a lame post from me.

2. Online Alias: It's Canadian Thoughts in Texas. Which is kind of funny, because my thoughts are rarely about Canada on here. So I guess I sleep at night, despite writing a misleading blog.

3. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? Once that I can really remember, simply because I was in school at the time and so was pretty damn young to get involved. A mother started browbreating her four or five-year old son for touching a cheap purse in a department store. She just kept yelling at the poor kid, calling him names on and on until I had to do something. So I told her that was enough and she had no right to treat a child like that and humiliate him in public. She got really pissed at me and we went at it for a few minutes. But at least she picked on someone who was more of her size.

4. What do you do most often when you are bored? Surf the Web, check all my peeps' blogs, watch TV.

5. When bathing, what do you wash first? I wash my hair every other day, so on those days, my hair. On the other day, my face.

6. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? I was awake for pretty much three months straight when I went to Spain for the summer. My schedule was go to school, go to the beach, come home, shower, change, eat with host family, party until first subway at 6:30 a.m., go home, shower and start all over again. I have no idea why I'm not dead. And I'm pretty sure that when Playa' was first born, that I went a few nights straight without a wink of sleep. Or it may have just felt that way because I'm old now.

7. What color looks best on you? I have no clue... Blue jeans, but not as a shirt, only as pants.

8. What’s your favorite drink? Mojitos. If I were an alcoholic, I'd drink them all day. Non-alcoholic, I'm kind of hooked on Kool Aid these days. Can't explain it, except for the fact that my French parents would have never purchased such a horrible despicable drink and now that I've had a taste of it, it makes the four-year old in me happy.

9. Do you believe in heaven and hell as a real place that each of us will go to after death? I don't know... I know that's bad to say and Sweetie Pie thinks I'm going to hell for saying so. But when priests go to prisons to "cleanse the souls" of serial killers I'm thinking "what??? Now he gets to go to heaven even though he's the scum of the Earth?" And then they'd tell you that your baby couldn't go to heaven if it wasn't baptized. That whole skewed Catholic view has made me unsure if the concept of heaven is just the carrot on the end of the stick to keep us in line. I know, way too polarizing for a blog.

10. Do you find that you have more online friends than offline friends? No. I'm not sure at what point you call someone who's blog you comment on a friend. There are definitely people I think I would get on with in real life though.

11. What was your favorite subject in school? I used to love, love, love school when I was young. It didn't matter what the subject was, I was just happy to be there! Except for math once I got to high school. Algebra and calculus are stupid useless skills that you don't need when you're going to be a veterinarian. Got that stupid college entrance people?

12. Are you a perfectionist? Hahahaha! Who, me? If I were a perfectionist, I'd probably be a suicidal one, because I don't have it in me to ever start something and get it finished. Right now the kitchen's a mess, a Toys R' Us exploded in our living room, my son is in mismatched pj's because Sweetie Pie put him to bed himself last night while I was out and I'm a month and a half behind on my scrapbooking. I used to be a perfectionist when I was a kid. And then when I grew up, I figured out "why bother????" If people are going to judge me on this crap, then I say screw 'em!

13. Do you spend more than you can afford? Judging from the amount on our credit cards right now, yes.

14. Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have love before? Absolutely! I remember my two biggest losses. I still remember the raw pain. But to never have loved that much? Unimaginable!

15. Do you consider yourself creative? I think I am. I'm in a semi-creative industry and my first PR agency kept telling me at all brainstorms that I needed to get back in the box, so apparently some think I'm too creative.

16. Do you give yourself the credit you deserve? I've learned to accept me for who I am. But I wouldn't say I go around patting myself on the back all the time. Although I did celebrate my not dropping Playa' once in almost 13 months.

17. Do you donate to charities? Yes, when I can. I'm a sucker for those letters that tell me the world's going to end if I don't give at least 10 dollars.

18. Have you recently done something that you’ve criticized others for doing? Hell yeah! When I became a mother, I had all these rules about how I was going to raise my son. I never criticized anyone to their face, because I couldn't do that in a million years, but I did do it in my head. A lot. And then I found out that motherhood is really, really hard, and everyone's just doing what they can to survive. And that pacifiers, formula and co-sleeping are not the terrible things I had made them out to be in my head. Now, I don't judge anyone. I never, ever say "I will never do that with my child."

19. What’s on your mind? I wish my thumb would stop throbbing so much so I can go to sleep...

20. Say one nice thing about the people you are going to tag! I don't tag. It's too much work. All the running, the arm-reaching. So not worth it.



Thursday, September 21, 2006

When My Genes Decide to Make an Appearance

If I had to identify my biggest fault, I'd probably point to my clumsiness. Put me in a padded room, and I would manage to injure myself on the one staple that is sticking out in the entire room. I'm constantly covered in bruises, which has made people suspect more than one ex-boyfriend of beating the crap out of me. But when I say I've fallen down the stairs, there's really no doubt: stairs just aren't my friends. Just to make my point, yesterday, I managed to slam my car door on my thumb. How does one close a heavy Jeep door on one's thumb? Couldn't tell you. But I can tell you that the bottom half of my nail is black and it continues to hurt for me to press on the space key.

When Playa' was born, one of the first thing that the nurses said to me was that he looked absolutely nothing like me and everything like Sweetie Pie. Which made me feel like I'd only been a petri dish used to grow the perfect clone. I accepted this as truth and satisfied myself with the fact that Playa' had my bottom lip and could pout his way out of the electric chair if need be.

I now know that the universe wanted Playa' to have my genes, but in a humoristic America's Funniest Home Videos type of way.

I could list the number of times Playa' has smashed his head, but by the 30th paragraph, you'd probably be bored comatose. I will, however, share with you an incident that occured earlier this week that made me realize that Playa' is in fact a Mini Me and not just a normal baby who falls down and goes boom.

One of the baby educational toy companies recently recalled one of their toys. This isn't a toy that I own, so I didn't read the email, just saw that it involved babies getting their arm stuck in a ball tube. I knew another mommy friend of mine who had this toy (for her son of course, if she got enjoyment out of putting balls down a tube that made noise, she'd be a man) and forwarded her the recall.

On Monday, Playa and I went over to hang out at their house and Playa' gravitated to this toy right away, instinctively knowing that it was the toddler equivalent of eating glass. I asked the other mom if she'd called the company yet to get the repair kit and she casually mentioned that she still hadn't time to do it. After all, her son had the toy for more than six months now, and he never once even came close to getting his arm stuck, so this isn't like she was still feeding bagged spinach to him. Before even having the opportunity to think 'uh oh,' a wail comes from across the room.

It's Playa'. And his arm is stuck down the tube like a proctology exam gone bad.

My first thought was that I didn't read the recall, so I don't know if there's any way to pry the arm out or if I'm supposed to drive to the hospital, baby and ginormous toy strapped in his car seat.

After calling the lord's name in vain for 30 seconds, punctuated by Playa' telling me to shut up and get him out of this situation, I saw a little plastic tab that could be pushed in and successfully freed my poor son's arm from the jaws of the evil toy.

No lasting damage, just a little welt where the toy bit down on him. As soon as he was done crying, I couldn't do anything but laugh at him. Because really, only 50 something kids have gotten their arm stuck in that toy. That's across all of North America, where I'm sure hundreds of thousands of units of this toy were sold.

My son manages to figure out what was wrong with its engineering in 30 seconds.

I am so freaking proud of him sometimes that it makes me bruise just thinking about it.



Wednesday, September 20, 2006

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This is the time of year I get giddy. Not because there are only 95 days until Christmas. Although that is very exciting and I am about 85 percent done with my holiday shopping.

What's really exciting is that the fall TV season is upon us! New episodes of yummy favorites! New shows that I will fall in love with and then will disappear without warning making me feel like the psycho girl who keeps showing up at her one night stand's door, convinced that they're meant to be forever.

Then there are the shows that I look forward to and then tune in only to become a raving 89-year old man throwing stuff at the TV set screaming about only crap making it on TV and when I was young, they didn't have stupid shows with talking buttholes.

Come to think of it, I'd love to see a show with talking buttholes. That would be so much better than being forced to watch Sunday Night, Monday Night and Whatever Other Night Football.

So far, I have fallen in love once. But the season is still oh so young... Who would have thought that when Anne Heche dropped Ellen Degeneres and acid on the same day, that she'd come back years later and make me fall in love with her?

But I worry. She's in this show called Men in Trees, the kind of title that make people go "yeah, isn't there wrestling on, or something?"

But it's the kind of show that warms my insides and makes me glad that TV exists. It's sweet and funny and sexy and filled with cute men and great characters. And it makes me happy and if the entire world doesn't begin to tune in to ABC on Friday nights at 8 p.m. Central, I will track you all down and force you to watch Fear Factor as punishment.

This year, there are more shows to watch than time slots. And this is where my brand new best friend Mr. DVR comes in. Thanks to him, I can tape one show while watching another. Then I can watch the other show while fast forwarding the commercials and condense my TV watching time so that I'm watching 4 hours of TV in three hours.

But tomorrow is my most exciting day... It's the premiere of Gray's Anatomy, the show that introduced such great words into my vocabulary as Vijayjay and McDreamy. Getting fuzzy slippers and a Willie Wonka jacket from my mother-in-law as gifts can't possibly begin to match the joy of slowly opening the gift of a new Gray's Anatomy episode.



Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Maybe She Was Just Running Low on Midol

Sweetie Pie, despite being a very good mate for me, has one major flaw: road rage issues. I'm talking about arm waving when someone decides to get in his lane, even if it's 100 yards in front of him, riding someone's bumper when they cut him off, you get the general idea.

This has always pissed me off, and been the source of many fights. When we used to be date, I would say to him that he could drive like an idiot when he was by himself, but that he didn't have the right to put my life at risk should he piss off someone with a gun whose wife just left him.

Once we got married, I would get even more mad and tell him that he didn't have the right to risk the life of the mother of his future children.

And now that we have Playa', I literally have ripped the hair off his head through his nose and tell him that if a single fleck of dead skin falls off my baby's body because of his crazy driving, he will not live to see another hunting season.

On Sunday, because it was pouring rain and there wasn't anything to do, we went driving and shopping for things we didn't need. Our final stop was at Home Depot, so that I could daydream about paint colors and hardwood floors for our living room.

Playa' began to get cranky because the time was nearing his dinnertime's, so we decided to head home. We're driving through fairly heavy rain on a two-lane road by our community, when a car from a sidestreet ahead of us pulls out and begins to drive in front of us.

Sweetie Pie is forced to slow down and gets pissed off about it. He begins to get a little too close to her bumper and I begin to tell him to stop. Before he has a chance to get too close, the other car, a Mercedes, comes to a stop.

Sweetie Pie proceeds to drive around her, in the opposite traffic lane, which makes me jump out of my skin and beat him senseless with it. As he's passing the Mercedes, the driver starts again, so that Sweetie Pie can't get in front of her.

We're now playing chicken with any potential oncoming traffic with nowhere to go.

Somehow Sweetie Pie manages to pass her and we continue on our way. I am livid at this point, where I can no longer even find words to speak. Sweetie Pie continues to drive, eventually arriving at the turn lane for our street. And that's when he sees the Mercedes is still following us.

He does a U-turn. So does she.

He turns into the wrong neighborhood. So does she.

He drives around that neighborhood in circles for 10 minutes. So does she.

At this point, I am literally ready to crap my pants. I'm a wimp to start with, but having somebody obviously stalking you and who has a more powerful car than you, when it's pouring rain is enough to make me want to pee my pants.

I'm too terrified to get the woman's license plate number, but from what I can see, she's some white woman, on her cell phone with God knows who, in her late late 30's or early 40's.

Why this woman is stalking what is obviously a man driving, I'll never know. At the end of the day, if Sweetie Pie had stopped the car and walked over to her car, he could have probably beaten the crap out of her. But she was stalking my family, trying to see where we lived.

Sweetie Pie continued to drive around neighborhoods, figuring eventually she'd get tired of following us.

The next 20 minutes were the tensest of my life, made even worse by the fact that my now starving baby was crying in the back seat.

I couldn't speak to Sweetie Pie for almost an hour after we got home. I was so mad at him for even getting us into that situation. I felt that if I'd been driving, this never would have happened. And I'm still somewhat convinced of that. I wouldn't have gotten on her bumper. I wouldn't have tried to pass her when she came to a stop. I don't think I would have caused the situation to escalate the way he did.

But at the same time, why is some woman in a Mercedes on some mission to terrorize families two neighborhoods away from hers?

She was driving a $40,000 or $50,000 car and was pulling out of a neighborhood where houses start at $350,000 (which in North Texas is a lot of money). Does she enjoy terrorizing people who aren't wealthy as she is?

I'm now terrified to go out in my Jeep, worried that this psycho wrote down my license plate number and tries to drive me off the road into some creek, when it's just Baby Boy and me trying to get to a playdate or the grocery store.

But next time, I'll be prepared. Should she try anything, I'm calling the cops. I will kill that psycho bitch before she lets my baby go hungry again.



Monday, September 18, 2006

10 Reasons Why Playa' Really Rocks:

1. When you ask him "what does the doggie say", he pants instead of barking.

2. When we play with his shape sorter, he always removes the lid so that it's easier to place all the pieces in the container.

3. When he laughs too hard, he always gets the hiccups.

4. When he dances, he only moves his torso and arms, making him look like he's being electrocuted, rather than taken over by the beat.

5. His favorite foods are pasta, kiwi and dog food.

6. When he reads books to himself, he immitates me and does my intonations, but speaks in his alien language.

7. When we go to Walmart, he laughs at the greeters, like even he can't believe someone forces old people to stand there and pretend they're happy to see you.

8. When he jumps, his feet don't leave the ground, like someone crazy glued his feet to the carpet.

9. This morning, when "Play With Me Sesame" came on, he actually walked over to the TV set and hugged it.

10. He calls juice "jew," a mix between the English and French word. This shows that Playa' is not only accepting of all religions, but he thinks Jewish people are particularly sweet and thirst-quenching.



Friday, September 15, 2006

Apparently I'm an Animal Hater

I've always thought that I loved animals. In many ways, I like animals a lot more than humans. Except for those horrible yappy dogs. In my book, they're as bad as racist people.

But Sweetie Pie says that I hate animals. Which I don't believe to be true, since all growing up, I never wanted to be anything else than a vet. I loved animals so much, I just wanted to be with them all day long. I hate flies and wasps and spiders. You don't see me wishing I did some creepy job that involves them all day, do you? Therefore, I must actually love animals. (This is starting to sound like on of those SAT logic questions.)

The reason Sweetie Pie says I hate animals is because the things I don't like about them is the reason everyone else loves them so much:

1. Cold Noses: I don't get this. A dog's nose is cold and slimy and they like to stick it in warm places like your butt crack during sex. Why is it that you people think that a wet willy, when given by a dog, is an awesome experience?

2. Puppy Breath: When we first got Satan's Dog, everyone who met him would go on and on about his sweet puppy breath. This is my first puppy, so I'm kind of new at this. But puppy breath is exactly the same stench as the heinous coffee breath that miserable office workers have when they hover over your desk and ask you if you're going to make their impossible deadline while they go have their 9:45 a.m. fifth cup of coffee of the day.

3. The Licking: I don't like wet things for the most part. Unless it's a bubble bath or the Caribbean ocean. One wet thing I definitely don't like is the feel of a warm slimy tongue up and down my arm, on my leg or anywhere near my lips. Considering dogs spend a considerable amount smelling other dogs' butts, I have no interest in sharing in the experience with them. And cats' tongues feel like sandpaper and as much as I might believe in exfoliation, I just don't need my cats to handle that step of my skin care for me.

So what do I like about pets? Just about everything else.

I like them sleeping next to me and hearing them bark or meow in their sleep.

I like them welcoming me at the door, even if I've only been gone 30 seconds to the mailbox and making me feel like I'm the greatest person on Earth and they've missed me oh so much.

I like them cocking their head to the side at me when I'm talking to them like they don't understand why the crazy human must tell them all about the storylines of The Young and the Restless.

I love scratching a pup or a kitty behind the ears or giving them a good belly rub and be rewarded with that blissful half-closed look that tells you that they will follow you to the end of the world if you promise to keep the belly rubs coming.

I love sitting on the couch reading a good book, surrounded by complete silence accented with sweet purring.

And I love the fact that dogs and cats never judge me, even if I mess up really badly, like, oh, I don't know... make us miss the end of our favorite summer reality show. That's just some random example I made up. Like that would ever really happen.



Thursday, September 14, 2006

How to Throw Away a Four-Year Marriage

I'm pretty sure that today, Sweetie Pie is filing for divorce.

I did something bad yesterday, something unspeakable.

Well, not unspeakable, because I'm about to tell you about it here. Please don't judge me. I am human after all.

For the past 12 weeks or so, Sweetie Pie and I have been glued to the television set for a show called Rock Star: Supernova.

We greatly enjoyed the show, because one, it was way better than American Idol, since the talent was actually... talented, the people were more our age and the music didn't involve anything from the 50's. The songs were the ones we grew up listening to, like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, as well as newer stuff like Cold Play.

Plus it was hosted by Brooke Burke, who even though she's the most wooden host ever, reading a teleprompter like a six-year old with really poor reading skills, my husband considers her to be the hottest woman on Earth and he'd watch a whole hour of her picking her boogers if it was an option.

Last night was the big finale. This is what we'd been looking for all summer. Who was going to front Supernova, which had members of Metallica, Guns N' Roses and Motley Crue? We were on pins and needles.

But unfortunately, like all good shows, Rock Star: Supernova happens to be on at 7 p.m. and halfway through the show, Playa' threw a fit because he wanted his bath and bedtime stories and night bottle. Damn him and his freaking bed routine.

But because of the wonderfulness of our new DVR, we've gotten into the habit of pausing shows, I take care of Playa' and then we watch the show together, fast forwarding through the commercials to catch up to live TV.

And so last night, we had just about caught up to the show and Brooke Burke announced that the big winner would be announced after the break. And Sweetie Pie fast forwarded through the commercials and I told him to be careful not to go too far and ruin the surprise.

He stopped fast forwarding and it was clear to me that we still have at least a minute of commercials to sit through. I got pissed at him, grabbed the remote and promptly proceeded to accidentally press the "Live TV" button, therefore erasing the end of the show. Sweetie Pie's eyeballs proceeded to fall out of their socket from the shock of what just happened and my body collapsed in a heap of jelly as I knew that being 7:57, the show was over and I would no longer be welcomed in our marital bed.

You'd think I'd just told Sweetie Pie that I'd been spending my days hooking out of our house in our bed.

He was devastated. He was so mad he told me he didn't want to speak to me. He then stormed into the backyard and when I followed him there all he could say was "why would you do that?" because apparently he thinks I love breaking my husband's heart. He continued "I've invested dozens of hours into this show and you go and blow it for us."

Luckily, during the credits, they showed a shot of the winner, still singing to the band, so we didn't have to go online to find out who won. "See!" I said. "We found out who won!"

But it wasn't the same and we both knew it.

I hope he lets me keep our dishes. I picked them out and I really liked them.



Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I'm Likely to Be Deported After This Post

So I've been living in Texas for six years and two days now. I realize that's not as long as people my age who born here, but hey, deal with it.

You'd think that coming from Canada, being educated and having the means to support myself would make me a welcome addition to the United States. But not so much. The past six years have been a series of nothing but stresses, heart attacks and lots and lots of money spent, and I'm not talking about my shopping habit.

I guess I get irritated, because unlike people who come here to live the American dream, I really didn't want to move here that. badly. I mean, I lived in Canada people. We get American TV there, have most American stores, but as a bonus, we have free healthcare. If it wasn't for the fact that some American swept me off my feet and convinced me to leave my entire life for him, I'd probably still be rolling my eyes at our loud next door neighbors who keep claiming that our country wouldn't exist without them (PS: It would. We kicked your ass in 1812).

I guess the US government figures that my blase attitude means that I should jump through as many hoops as possible and be treated like dirt every time they need to deal with me. Which is fine, I guess, but I've probably paid enough taxes during the past six years to pay one or two of their salaries. And I'm a really nice person who's never rude to employees who deal with the public, because three years as a flight attendant have taught me that people suck.

Sweetie Pie and I had to get married in Las Vegas, because the US government wouldn't have let me back into the country if we'd gotten married elsewhere. Why does the government care so much where I get married? I'm not sure. Maybe they're worried that preachers here won't have jobs if all of us immigrants get married elsewhere. So a man with lots of gold chains and a bad Elvis impersonator invited us into the sanctity of marriage. And I had to hold a bouquet of crappy looking fake flowers, just to make George W. happy.

Then, I had to spend 3,000 dollars on an immigration lawyer, because the government makes it impossible for you to figure out exactly what you're supposed to do to actually become a legal married citizen.

Once I applied, I was told that I was no longer allowed out of the country. And so for the first time in my entire life, I didn't get to spend the holidays with my family. But I figured, fine, that's ok, there'll be lots of other holidays with my peeps.

And then they somehow processed my green card application sooner than expected, so that I received my papers two months before my two-year anniversary. If you've been married less than two years, your marriage isn't considered real apparently, and so I was given the conditional right to stay here. Which basically means the government wanted me to cough up another 500 dollars this year to apply for my permanent green card.

Which I did. And finally, two weeks ago, I received a letter that told me that they'd screwed with me long enough and that I should head out to this immigration office about 40 miles from my house to apply ftor my new green card. Oh, and P.S. wrote George W.'s minion, you can't leave the country until you beg us to stamp your passport when you come to said immigration office.

And so Tuesday, being Playa' free, I went to Kinko's and dealt with their retarded staff to get the four passport pictures that George W. requires for this process. Then I drove down all the way to the immigration office, 40 miles away, only to be told by a security guard with the world's biggest mustache when I got there that I'd come for nothing. Apparently, you need to schedule an appointment with the immigration office now. Something that wasn't done two years ago. And something that wasn't mentioned in my letter.

I tried to flirt with big mustache. But apparently they don't repond well to that. Plus I had a big chocolate stain on my boob.

So I came home, scheduled an appointment and went back for my appointment yesterday, dragging a 12-month old baby with me. Do you know what it's like to drive 40 miles with a toddler who's discovered the joy of walking? Do you know what they do when you put them in the equivalent of a baby straight jacket so that they don't fly throught the windshield of their car? It was like having an army of war protesters in my back seat, except he didn't have any eggs or tomatoes with him.

And the thing with needing to be close to downtown around 9 a.m. is that you're on the road with 300 million SUV's who all need to be at work very soon. And so the traffic doesn't move. My son thinks it's great to bitch at me every time we get to a stop light, because really, what is it with me and my stopping at them? I'm just slowing down the process and preventing him from doing his zombie walk down the hallway and why must I keep ruining his life this way? So you can just imagine being in stop and go traffic that didn't get the "go" part of the memo for one hour and forty minutes. I briefly considered letting Playa' drive just to shut him up.

I arrived at 9:02 a.m. for my 9 a.m. appointment. I admit that I was two minutes late. But any other mom out there will tell that in mom land, two minutes late is considered arriving really freaking early.

I arrived only to be told by same mustached security guard of the day before that me and a group of immigrants who'd driven in from West Texas for their appointment had come for nothing, because the staff decided to have a meeting that could not be interrupted for any reason and they were cancelling all the 9 a.m. appointments.


I found myself to be the stupid moron who says "but I have an appointment!" Right. Because the government workers care about that. Obviously, it was Cindy from security's birthday, they were having donuts and coffee and they really didn't want the stupid people from other countries ruining the fun.

I was told that if we wanted to, we could wait around, but that there was no guarantee the staff would be in the mood to see me once the meeting ended. Oh, and P.S. they don't know how long the meeting would be.

I figured thatrather than turn around and deal with the long drive back, that Playa' and I would sit on the ground and read books. And so we did, like the poor little immigrants we are (except, he really shouldn't have to deal with this crap, since he's born here, so he could have just told me 'tough break lady' and left me there)

Thirty minutes later, some lady from the immigration people decided that she was willing to do work. And then she told me my pictures weren't any good. Apparently, the government changed their mind again about what green card pictures should look like. Not that my letter said that or anything. So off I went to Kinko's, Playa in tow, to get new pictures taken. Without my hair done. And without a lick of make up. Oh, and new rule: you can't smile in visa or passport pictures.

Which means that I had four mug shots taken. I'm not kidding. I literally look like I've just been arrested for crack possession on these pictures. It's actually quite funny, although I expect to be strip searched at the border for the next 10 years this green card is valid, just because of how scary this picture is.

But what are they going to do now? Kick me out? I gave them a freaking cute American! Which from what I've seen at Walmart, there's a serious need for.



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Nostalgia on a Stick

So yesterday was my birthday, as was pointed out by a number of people to me. That and the fact that all day I was told that it was the fifth anniversary of 9/11 by my TV set, which reminded me that I share the day with the worst terrorist attack ever.

I remember beig a kid and every birthday and Christmas, I'd thank God that I wasn't a grown up. Grown up birthdays and Christmases seemed to suck ass. They'd get stupid stuff like clothes instead of toys and wouldn't get a magician or a clown to perform tricks.

And now, despite all that praying, God let me grow up and find out that I was so right as a kid. At least on the birthday front. I was wrong about Christmas, it does rock because now there's something called gift cards and they mean I get to shop for free, which is so much better than Barbie's pink Corvette.

My birthday was quite depressing. I got birthday greetings, sure. But really, what are people saying to you? I'll tell you. They're reminding you that you're one year closer to buckling and getting Botox so you don't look angry all the time. Even if you are angry all the time. I mean, people should wait until you launch into a tirade of curse words to know these things, your frown lines shouldn't give them warnings.

I did spend my birthday by refusing to shower until 4:30 in the afternoon. That's right, I sat there, despite the fact I could smell my own BO, in my pajamas and the same underwear that I wore yesterday. I broke all the cardinal rules of hygiene.

Then I figured Sweetie Pie might be grossed out and not give me my birthday present, and since it was the only one I was actually going to get on my day, I hit the showers.

Sweetie Pie had asked me if I wanted to go out, but since I'm trying to pay off our credit cards off behind his back, I figured I could use that 40 bucks for that instead, so I went and got myself sushi from our Market and that was my big dinner celebration. I ate my weight in sushi. Which really, is a freaking awesome birthday by my book.

Sweetie Pie had chicken nuggets and chips and Playa' had a hot dog and vegetable medley. We were all happy.

And of course, there was wine. Because I should celebrate the fact that I have been allowed to legally drink in the US for almost one-third of my life now.

So what did I get for my birthday? Well, I got most of my gifts last week at the family celebration, where I received cash (which is all going straight to the credit card bill, very sad...) and a gift card for a store I can't stand to shop in. So I went on their Web site and ordered myself a deep fryer, a candy thermometer and a frame to put our family portrait in.

Sweetie Pie got me one of the gifts I'd asked for... I really wanted a shopping spree at Shoe Pavillion to feed my need for shoes, but my second choice had been this Adobe video editing software, because I've got all these clips of Playa's first year and I want to turn it into one Oscar-winning movie complete with special effects. And now I have it!

Although, there's a catch... My computer's not powerful enough to handle said new software, so Sweetie Pie has to build me a new one.

But once that happens, I'm totally going to be the next Spielberg.

So I guess despite the fact that I didn't get cake. And I didn't blow out a candle. And there was no magician, if you don't count my disappearing sex life. But I figure now that I have Playa' and his birthday is only 9 days before mine and I can just live vicariously through him now. And that is fine by me.



Sunday, September 10, 2006

When Your Worst Fear Comes True

It used to be my biggest fear was getting laid off or fired from a job, I've discussed this before.

When I had Playa' (note, I'm taking Random Mommy's suggestion for Baby Boy's new name. I love the fact that it makes him sound like he's in touch with his ghetto side. And now one's offered up something better), my biggest fear was for him to choke on something. The first time he had his first bite of solid food (a.k.a. rice cereal, very deadly as we all know. Many people have passed on because of rice cereal), it's quite surprising that I didn't have a whole team of EMT's nearby just in case. Well, maybe not a whole team of EMT's. I would have settled for Dr. McDreamy or McSteamy from Grey's Anatomy.

But this post is not about me lusting after other men than my husband.

My point is that I was deadly afraid of Playa' choking. But I slowly mellowed out. Now he eats chips, dog food, pickles, really anything he can get his chubby hands on. I've learned that he's a smart baby and he has a mouthful of teeth and isn't afraid to use them.

Yesterday morning, I had Playa' on my lap and he was watching my mom on the Webcam. I was also talking to my mother on the phone and since Playa' has his back facing me, I didn't see him pick up a water bottle cap from my overly-messy desk (think Pompeii post lava flow). I did see him stick it in his mouth and I immediately turned him around and told him to give it to me.

My son, tired of me regularly taking stuff out of his mouth proceeded to attempt to swallow the bottle cap, which is probably about the same width as his windpipe.

All I heard was this noise that I can only describe as a deflating balloon screeching to a halt and next thing I knew I was in the situation that I always wondered if I'd be able to handle it without going into panic mode.

Let me back up here for a second and explain that I'm one of those people who when things go awry can only freeze, use the Lord's name in vain and drop a few F-bombs. When I was a flight attendant, I used to pray every day that nothing would go wrong on my flights, because I was worried that my passengers would end up needing to rescue me and that I'd end up ridiculed on Dateline. And then an elderly man had a heart attack on take off in Paris and I handled it just fine.

But I still worry every day that this may have been a complete fluke caused by sleep deprivation, too much partying and jetlag.

And so as Playa' tried to swallow that bottle cap, everything went into slow motion. I cradled the phone between my ear and my shoulder, laid Playa' down on my knee on his stomach, gave him one good whack between the shoulder blades and next second, the bottle cap was landing between my feet and Playa' was screaming his anger at having his treat taken away from him.

That's when my whole body went to jello, I dropped the phone and held my son as tightly as I could and told him I was so sorry for letting this happen to him. The whole time I can see my mother's face, frozen on the Webcam, her unsure that the pixelated scene she just watched on her computer screen was her first born grandson almost choking to death.

I'm not even sure what I said to her at that point, I'm sure she wouldn't remember either. Sweetie Pie, alarmed at the wails coming from upstairs arrived, I handed him Baby Boy and then proceeded to wish for a cigarette or a stiff drink or 10 pounds of chocolate to forget this horrible moment.

But now I know that I can do this motherhood thing. Now I know that if my little man breaks a bone or fractures his skull or gets himself in a situation I can't even imagine, I just might be ok.

And that makes me more relieved than any other skill I may have accumulated these past 30 years and 364 days.



Saturday, September 09, 2006

Maybe He's On to Something

Sweetie Pie and I, forever ago, gave each other sweet little pet names. He calls me Little Ball of Hate (LBOH) and he's my Cranky Old Bastard (COB).

Apparently I say the words "I hate" a lot. And lately, I've realized that although I view the world neutrally, that in a quick second, I can turn to hatred. Like people. I tend to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But if something sets me off, which, depending on my mood could be something as small as a limp handshake, then it's over. That person is on the "hate" list. And once you're on that list, it's practically impossible to switch to the "love" list. There's no in between with me. I either love you. Or I hate you. It's very reality TV really.

I've talked about my high school experience before, where I didn't have a lot of friends. And I came to the realization this week that I actually like it better this way. Even now, where I can literally have as many friends as I want, because I'm no longer limited by the culture groups of high school, I only want a few friends, and that's it. And I'm big on keeping all those groups separate, or else my mind may implode.

I've always been one of those people who believes that just because you're my friend, doesn't mean I'll like your other friends. Because people's friends are odd things. No two are the same. All of my friends are from different backgrounds, whether culturally or through life experiences and I love each one of them for just what they bring to the equation. I've got my work friends, each group kept separate by where I worked with them. I've got my old Canada friends, and each of those group is kept separate too. Now I've got my mommy friends, which is a whole other kind of friend altogether, because you first come together because you have the ability to lose your birth control and say to yourself "bring on the stretch marks."

I remember when I first had Baby Boy, desperately craving social interaction, but deadly afraid of meeting other moms, because I felt they would be the stereotypes. The Desperate Housewives' Bree if you like. Or they'd be discipline nazis who'd look down upon every decision I made for my child.

And I thought why the hell would I want to hang out with people I'm going to dislike? By month three, I was close to insanity with my boredom of being home alone all day with a blob who'd spit up on me regularly and I figured I should at least give it a chance.

To my surprise, those other moms were like me. For the most part any way. They were freaking cool chicks who didn't wear mom jeans and who'd had jobs before and loved their babies but didn't think that changing poop-filled diapers all day was the end all. They watched too much TV like me and didn't have a problem admitting that anything on MTV was pretty cool. And the best part is that their babies were cute. I know that's shallow and babies' looks don't matter, but let's face it, if you're going to hang out with someone for a couple of hours and their baby's going to drool on you or pull on your hair, wouldn't you rather it be a cute baby?

And so I've got this small group of four or five mommies that Baby Boy and I hang out with regularly. I've got a couple of other mom friends who I've made separately. But I've got no interest in bringing them to the group. Simply beause the dynamics work now. Why mess with that?

My big thing with friends is that every time I've introduced two of my friends to each other, it's been a disaster. They don't like each other. And every time one of my friends has said to me "oh my god, I've met the greatest chick ever, you're going to love her," it's ended with me getting drunk in a corner, making out with some guy telling him how much I hate my friend's new BFF. Or in me spilling red wine in her fake Louis Vuitton purse. Not that I've ever actually done the second one. I've just thought about it. I've definitely done number one though.

I guess as sociable as I am, there's also a deep-rooted part of me that's antisocial. I crave friends, need friends, but once my quota's filled, that's it, flight's full good luck grabbing the next one.

Little Ball of Hate indeed.



Tuesday, September 05, 2006

One Step Closer to World Domination

I can still remember carrying Baby Boy into the house. He was tiny, his newborn-size onesie too large on him like Jared's pants after a bunch of subs. But during the past year, something happened, something unexpected for my slow mind. My baby became a little boy.

Exhibit A:

This is not the picture of a baby. Check out the legs crossed like a GQ model. The fingers casually holding the belt loop. The sly I'm-totally-hitting-on-that-hot- photographer-when-this-shoot's-done look.

On another note, apparently I'm a bit of a nazi.

Example One:

I don't like people wearing shoes in my house. Our house is only a year old. I don't want it to be filthy. I don't want to have to get my carpet's cleaned all the time and know that my baby is crawling in pesticide, dog feces and other nasty stuff from the outside world.

Number of times my mother-in-law made a comment during Baby Boy's birthday party about my nazi shoe rule: Eight, that I heard.

Gems include "Oh, I don't want to have to get that door and have to tell people to take off their shoes," and my favorite, as someone was leaving "Don't forget your shoes."

We get it bitch, you're pissed off you forgot my rules and wore socks with a hole in them. Deal with it.

Example Two:

We had family portraits done yesterday. I wanted them to be exactly like I'd pictured it to be in my head. I wanted us all in matchy outfits and barefoot. Like those family pictures you see in the window at the mall's photo studios. Because I'm like that.

Sweetie Pie has hideous feet and toe nails and was very upset about this. And he didn't have jeans that didn't have holes in them. And he had to iron a shirt.

But when we got there, I'd broken him down enough that everytime the photographer asked him anything, he'd turn to me without saying a word. He understood that this was not the day to fuck with me.

And except for my crappy ass hair looking straggly in our family pics, I got the shots I wanted.

And my carpets are still clean.

Long live my dictatorship.



Sunday, September 03, 2006

Twelve Months: My Letter to Baby Boy

Well, you went and did it. You decided to turn one even though I made you promise you wouldn't. Just for that, no dating until you're 30. And no more chocolate, from now on, it's all for me.

Your dad said last night after you went to bad after the ultimate one-year old birthday party that we can no longer call ourselves new parents. You turned us into old farts. Not one of your best accomplishments, baby. You're officially a toddler and if your zombie walk, with unbent legs and arms straight in front of you is any sign, you intend to make the toddler name proud.

You've got the greatest walk in the whole freaking world. You take anywhere from three to 10 steps and then, you just throw your whole body in the direction of the person or object you're trying to get to, like the ground under you is about to give in some disaster movie in your mind.

It's amazing how much of an impact you've made on our lives. My potted plant now has Saran Wrap covering the Earth on it, so that it has no way for water to reach its roots, but at least your grubby little hands stay out of it. All fragile things are now perched on higher ground. And no one can get up in the middle of the night without tripping over, and setting off, some talking toy. We consider you to be the best alarm system we ever had.

Yesterday we threw a party in your honor, which if you ask me, was highly overdue, because when someone's as cool as you, there should be a party every single day. We thought about inviting your friends, but you're too darn popular and our house can't hold 45 people comfortably, so we kept it to family only.

I went all out, getting two dozen balloons and banners and this awesome cake the size of Luxembourg. I decorated the living room when you were taking your afternoon nap and when I took you downstairs after you woke up, I immediately regretted not having your dad ready with the camcorder to capture your reaction. You were like one of those people on the reality shows who don't say anything for five minutes and make for really great TV because the host doesn't know how to fill the silence anymore. Your eyes became as large as the rest of your head, you pointed at the towers of balloons and all that came out of your little mouth for, literally, half an hour was "oooooooh!"

You were in such awe of those balloons that it was the best 25 bucks I've ever spent. I've never had anybody in my entire life be so thrilled about something I've done. I will remember the joy that you gave me on that day until the day I die. I'm sure you're probably rolling your eyes at me as I read this, but someday, you'll have a baby and someday, you'll want it to be so happy that your heart explodes.

You've made my heart explode so many times in the past 12 months, that I'm amazed I can still feel anything. I never knew until I met you what pure happiness was. And now, I've felt it so many times, that I feel like I don't need to accomplish anything else in my life, I've conquered all the Mount Everests I want with you.

By the way, you are the biggest chatterbox I've met since... Well, me. I've already accepted the fact that your report cards will all have high marks with the one "negative" connotation that you talk too much in class. And let me tell you, never will you be grounded for something that I did all growing up. As long as your marks are great, why would anyone try to shut you up?

Besides, you've got the most interesting things to say. Here you are learning French, English and sign language all at once and guess what? You say as many words as babies way older than you. And not just the expected stuff like "mama" and "dada" No, not you. You already know how to freaking count. Yeah, I'm quite proud. And someday I'll drive your girlfriends/wives crazy telling them how brilliant you are. But if we hold you in our arms to throw you in the air and say "one" to you in French, you'll respond with "two." You also know the complete surfer dude vocabulary of "whoah," "wow," and "yay." We're working on "dude" now, but you're much more interested in learning useful things like "juice" (which you are also saying) and "get me out of this freaking crib NOW!"

It seems every time you turn around you're saying a new word, so that we're now trying to be a lot more careful about getting rid of the bad words that would make your Nonnie's head explode if you uttered them within 500 yards of her.

So I guess we've got this Mommy/baby thing pretty much down now, eh? I spend more time with you than anyone else, and in many ways, I feel like you're my best friend and confidant now. I know that this is temporary and that in a few years you'll hate me just for breathing within a three-mile radius of you and I accept that, but it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy every second where I try to hand you to somebody else and you grab onto me like your life depends on it. It makes me feel good to know that even though I accidentally made you trip and bash your head on the tile floor and turned your car seat around two weeks before I was supposed to, you don't think I'm a bad mom and you love me anyway, warts and all.

And here's the thing. I promise to do the same for you, no matter what you decide to do with your life when you grow up. I know there will be times when I'm upset, disappointed, so angry I can't talk, or so angry all I can do is yell, but I want you to always remember that no matter what I say, I'm always in your corner and I'll always respect your choices. And no matter what, I'll always love you so much that I'd give you my heart, lungs, eyes and anything else you could need in a heartbeat.

I try to remember what my life was like a year ago and I can't. I never thought I'd be one of those women, but really, my life began with you. My heart started beating, my skin started feeling and my brain started remembering on that day when as a tiny five pound, 15 ounce bundle you were placed in my arms, all warm and pink and sweet.

Now you're my funny little man. And I'll tell you what, I really can't wait to see what the next year will bring. Because this is the best rollercoaster I have ever been on.

I love you so much my little man,


Friday, September 01, 2006

For Those Of You Who've Lost Track of the Countdown

We're at minus one day away from Baby Boy's first birthday. This morning as I carried him up the stairs after his morning bottle for his morning nap (how many times can I say morning in one sentence), I actually began to cry over the fact that my baby is growing up. And then, just to make me feel better, Baby Boy did something that he hasn't done in a long time: he spit up some milk all over my chest area.

It's funny how there are things that you forget. You don't forget the big milestones, but the stuff that they gradually outgrow, like spitting up, you forget about. And after I put him down to sleep, I wiped down my nightgown using toilet paper and I felt better.

At the end of the day, I love the stage that Baby Boy is at. Would I still want him not sleeping through the night? Would I still want to have an evil machine whipping my nipples, straining to extract the few drops of milk they produced?

Would I want to miss out on how Baby Boy takes three steps and then throws himself in the direction of whatever he's trying to reach, a la Evil Knievel? Would I want to never have seen him spin himself around in a sitting position, like a little vinyl record?

I loved holding him for hours when he was tiny, but there were so many times when I'd just put him in his bouncy seat and we just stared at each other, neither one of us knowing what the hell we were doing.

I remember thinking I was a terrible mother, because I kept taking my newborn to the grocery store, not knowing any other ways to entertain him. Now, it's easier. We love to read together and I love to catch him in his room reading to himself. It makes me proud that he's already the little bookworm that he was.

It makes me proud that he already knows how to say two in French and says it after we say one. It makes me laugh that he laughs at the wrong parts when watching Sesame Street, giggling away when Grover talks, but then having no reaction when the comedic denouement occurs.

And for all that, I'm happy he's turning one tomorrow, because I know the best is yet to come when it comes to my Baby Boy.

Right now, he's supposed to be napping, but instead he's been chattering away to himself in his crib for the past half an hour. I know that if I go get him, that he'll be cranky pants by the time his Little Gym class happens. But I really, really want to give him a kiss and a hug and see that toothy grin of his.