Monday, June 29, 2009

Eight Months: My Letter to Tiny Man

So I'm officially in trouble. The day before you turned eight-months old, you began to crawl. Even worse, you began to pull up.

Seriously, dude, how about you focus on some milestones that will let you sit still for long periods of time, like stamp collecting or the art of miming (you are half French, you know). Because you know what this means, right? This means that I will never be able to blink again, because when I do, you'll be halfway across the house trying to set the walls on fire.




At least you're not a quiet child, there's always that, you keep this continuous monologue going of "Ada? Ada?" Which I think roughly translates to "Is there anything in the vincinity that needs destroying?"

We no longer need a shredder, because we've got you now. And you can shred an entire newspaper in approximately 8.9 seconds. It's a pretty awesome skill to witness, actually.



Here's a riddle for you. What do you and puppies have in common? Answer: They both want to go for car rides. all. the. time. and will whine if they're not taken out at least twice a day.

I'm still working from home with you two days a week, but those days are now broken up with trips to the grocery store or the pharmacies to snatch extra couponing deals, just because it gives us somewhere to go without spending a lot of money.

I've now reached the same status with you as the Jonas Brothers have with tween girls. I can't walk into a room without my ear drum getting shattered by your squeals of delight. It's painful as hell, but it also makes me think I might be the most loved person ever. And some day, you'll yell at me that you hate me, and I'll simply close your eyes and remember those squeals of joy as your face practically broke from smiling so hard.



You're my squishy monkey and my snuggle bear. You never want to be held, and yet, regularly, when I pick you up into my arms, you'll rest your head against my chest or on my shoulder and the whole world stops during that split ssecond, where I inhale the smell of you and desperately try to memorize the feel of your baby hair against my face. And just like that, you're off again, and it's all I can do to keep up with you as you squeal as you crawl away.

I've begun selling the infant stuff you've outgrown and literally every offer I've received has broken has broken my heart a little more. The fact that I'm slowly accepting the fact that with you, our family is complete, makes your every milestone bittersweet. As I cheer each one of your milestones, my heart weeps knowing that this is the last time one of my children will roll over for the first time, or smile or laugh. All of these milestones remind me how blessed I am to have two healthy boys, and yet, you can expect the soundtrack of your first steps to be the sound of my sobs as I watch the last baby piece of you evaporate before my eyes.



My time with you is so precious and on a timer that flashes through my head as I realize that in 18 years, my home will be empty of the laughs of children and 18 years just seems like too short of a time to get my fill of baby head smelling.



I love you my Tiny Man,

Maman.

Monday, June 22, 2009

In Case You Were Wondering What That Sound Was

That would be the sound of my heart breaking.

Because I just signed up Little Man for T-ball.

And no child of mine should be old enough for that.

Also? Tiny Man started crawling on Saturday, which means that he'll want to start dating next week.

I want more babies. And yet, I know that because of financial reasons, we are done.

Money hurts my heart. And my ovaries.

That is all.

Love,

Catwoman.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Understanding Octomom a Little More

I had this one terrible, terrible day at work last week. The kind of day where I came this close to ripping down the walls of my cubicle and hurling them out the window. It was a day where nothing was going right, I was yelled at by people who had no right to yell at me and my mood went from foul to beyond pissy.

Ends up I had PMS, which, thanks to my Mirena IUD, I no longer ever know when the hell's my period due (side note: Dear Mirena: You can suck it with your claims that I'll never have a period again. Not only do I have a period about every 2 1/2 to 4 weeks, but the last one was so heavy, that when I woke up the first morning, it was like a re-enactment of that Godfather scene with the horse head).

I left the office late to go pick up the kids and after I loaded them up, the car was eerily quiet, like the kids could feel that I needed silence.

About 10 minutes into the drive, Little Man suddenly said quietly "Mama?

- Yes, buddy?

- I like your dress. You look very pretty."

It took everything I had to not stop the car, put it in park, run to the back door and hug the crap out of that kid. Never in my entire life had I needed someone to say something that nice to me.

The thing is? In 10 years, probably less than that, if the same scene occured, I would assume he wants something or did something. The fact is, the only pure statements in this world come from three-year olds. It's the kind of moment that I wish I could bottle.

It's the kind of moment that makes me realize that these kids, who love me and adore me and make me smile and swell with pride every day will someday leave me. And the only way to keep experiencing this is by having more bebes.

I wonder if I can google 'how to remove your own IUD.'

Love,

Catwoman.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What Living With a Stoner Must Feel Like

Sometimes living with a preschooler makes me think that this is what living with someone who's high must be like. The randomness, the focusing on really strange things, the fascination with making a sound over and over again. Makes me all crave a brownie.

This morning in the car, I was trying to get to the kids' school as fast as I could to escape Little Man's incessant talking.

I guess Little Man must have run out of things to say at one point, because he randomly yelled out to me "Mama! Look! I'm blinking!"

Well call the freaking media! This is breaking news!

I looked in the rearview mirror, and sure enough, there was Little Man, strapped in his car seat, opening and shutting his eyes with enough force to make his brother's comb over take off.

"That's great honey..."

"Yup, I've got to practice my blinking."

Yeah. And I've got to practice drinking first thing in the morning. Because this led to almost 10 minutes of his talking about blinking and why we blink and do dogs blink what about pigs what about monsters what about snakes why do snakes blink why do snakes have eyes do snakes have tummies will snakes eat me.

I slowed down in front of the school just enough that throwing the kids to the waiting teacher wouldn't cause anyone permanent harm and drove straight to Mexico.

The swine flu's got to be less painful than this phase.

Love,

Catwoman.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Forty-Five Months: My Letter to Little Man

So the birthday countdown has begun. You regularly wake up in the morning to ask me if it's June yet, because as you say, after June comes July, then August then September, then October, then Newember, then December, and September is your birthday. Your need to mention all of the other months after your birthday, which I just praise the Lord that you weren't born in February, because my days would be filled with you rattling off the months of the year. So yes, your birthday is three months away, and already we've picked out the goodies for the goody bags, the theme and the games. The date's been set and so now, your excitement is palpable. Which means that the next three months are going to be really, really long for me.

Which isn't much different with how long the weeks are now that we've gotten a boat, where every day you ask me "are we going to ride the boat today?" and I have to remind you that we work and that we only ride the boat on weekends when there's no work or school. Your reply is always "is today the weekend?" which, I love you kid, but after a certain time there is only so much I can take explaining to you the concept of weekdays and work days, which quickly spirals into an extended episode of back and forths of you asking "why?", me answering, you asking "why" to my response, until it eventually results in me yelling something along the lines of "BECAUSE I NEED UNDERWEAR AND BEER!"



And every night, you like to remind me that "we didn't get to ride on the boat today," which, for the record? I KNOW THAT!

In fact, I think we need to discuss your non-stop talking. You know I love you, right? You know that because hopefully I say it often enough that you're sick of hearing it, but most of all, I hope you feel it to your core, even when I'm mad at you. But child, I swear that you were put on this Earth with the sole mission to make me go batty. You talk and talk and talk and talk. And you know what else you do? That's right, talk some more. You talk so much, that I've told you once or twice that there is not enough tequila in the world for me to keep listening to you talk so much. Which only prompts you to talk some more, so I've learned to just sit there and sob quietly as the verbal diarrhea that comes out of your mouth just sweeps me away. Your father calls it sweet payback, for all the years I've followed him around, turning his brain to mush with my incessant talking. Did I mention your father's a jerk? Don't turn into him, ok?



Speaking of your father, hunting season is over, which means animals everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief, but it also means your father is now always here. You seem to resent this, a little bit, not because you don't have fun with your dad, but because it means that you never get to sleep in my bed anymore, because the rules are strict, you sleep in your bed, unless your dad's out of town and then we have a big slumber party, which your brother will join as soon as he's old enough to join. You'll regularly ask me when your dad's gone to run errands for what seems like an eternity in your three-year old mind "Is Daddy not coming back?", but you always ask with this hopeful look in your eyes. Evil me, this always makes me want to giggle, and I remind you that it's not nice, that some kids don't have dads and you should be happy to have a dad to play with you and teach you to play baseball. Which has led you to ask me "do the kids with no dads get to sleep with their mommies all the time?" Uhm, missing the point, kiddo.

You can make your brother laugh harder than anyone. In fact, you've taken to tackling him, gently, so that you don't hurt him, and it makes your brother laugh so hard, that I sometimes think his little head is going to blow up. Your brother doesn't love anyone more than he loves you. He is in complete awe of him, and I love how kind you are to him. You've given him almost all of his nicknames, and we now have this game where you say goodbye to him every night and you call him these random names like "good night pizza head!" and I'll make Tiny Man reply back to you "Good night tomato head!" and we'll go back and forth like that until you're laughing so hard, you weave out of the room laughing like a little drunk man.



---------------------------------------
After "buying" some aspirin at Walgreen's because they were free and a money maker for me.

"Is this medicine for me, Mama? I want to eat one.

- You can't, that's not for you. It's medicine for other people (since I'm going to donate them to a charity for the elderly).

- What's the medicine for, Mama?"

(after deciding that explaining that it's to help people with heart problems, since it's the baby aspirin kind, would be too difficult) "It's for old people.

- Are you old, Mama?

-------------------------------

After giving you a cookie that had 10 pounds of shrink wrap around it that had been given to me earlier in the day.

- Mama, I can't open this cookie. I'm only three years old, you know.

-------------------------------



You mysteriously began leaving your bed and your room in the past month, never in the middle of the night, but in the morning, when you wake up. What prompted you to do this suddenly is beyond me, when for almost two years now, you'd be terrified to even leave your bed to pee, and would wail at the monitor "I NEEEEED TO GOOOOO POOOOOTTTTYYYYYY!", but all of a sudden, I'll be in the kitchen, bleary eyed, trying to make myself a cup of tea, when I'll hear this quiet rustling behind me, and when I turn around, there you are, big blue eyes staring at me, your pet frog clutched in your hands. The first time you did it, I yelled so loud, that I practically scared you, but you have to understand that seeing a ghost in your place would have been less surprising. Because you? Are not a risk taker, in any way. Hell, you're the kid who for the longest time would ask me when I gave you any kind of sweets "can I eat it?", like if I would ever pull a cruel joke on you, like give you a cupcake, only to tell you that you can't eat it. I'm thinking that if we continue to have you break down walls of fear like this, by the time you're 21, you'll be willing to hug the mascot at our minor baseball team's games.



I know, I know, I'm talking crazy now. I shouldn't expect that to happen before your 30th birthday.

I just hope that this sudden rebellion doesn't lead you down a path of destruction that ends with you only wanting chocolate for breakfast. Because the worse thing that could happen to you, is to turn into me.

Well, maybe I didn't turn out so bad either.

By the way? This morning you told me you wanted to be a doctor. May I suggest plastic surgery? Mama could use a hook up for botox, I'm just sayin'.

I love you, my Little Man,

Maman.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Taking Life By the Balls

For the past year now, there's been some likelihood of me losing my job. This is true for a lot of people, in this crappy economy, but my chances were increased because my company was acquired and the CEO of the company that acquired us had said that about 15 percent of our workforce would leave to pursue other opportunities. You got to love corporate speak, don't ya?

Since I'm in PR, which is widely seen as a job than any blindfolded monkey can do (for the record? It's not. And all those who think that it's easy can bite my jiggly white butt), I figured that I was likely to be on the chopping block.

So Sweetie Pie and I did what anyone would do. We begin to cut back on expenses, scrimping and saving, no frivolous spending, the whole not fun stuff that won't help the economy get better. We paid off both our vehicles, got our savings up to the six-month emergency fund all the experts recommend, and for the past few months, we've been putting in our savings account the equivalent to our two car payments, so that hopefully, by the time one of our vehicles dies, we'll hardly need a loan to purchase a new one.

I've now survived three rounds of layoffs. I know there will be at least two more this year, so we're not at the end of the tunnel yet.

But we're in a position now where we've saved and saved and saved and how much more can we save, really? So yesterday, we on Saturday, we did the unthinkable for people who could lose half of their income: we bought a boat.

Not a yacht, exactly, it's a 13-year old 17-foot boat, but still I'm in awe that we bought it.

And not only bought it, but we freaking paid cash for the thing.

Maybe some will see it as irresponsible, but really? You only live once, right? And since we have no debt and that we've got more savings than 90 percent of Americans, why not live a little, right?

The reaction in the family was mixed.

Little Man was so excited about the boat, that if he wasn't potty trained, he probably would have peed his pants when he saw it in the garage, after Sweetie Pie brought it home.

Tiny Man couldn't have been any less impressed.

On Sunday, we took out the boat, something I expect that we'll be doing once a weekend for the rest of the summer and for many more summers to come, which is better than our old way of not spending money, which is sitting in our backyard staring at each other and wondering how much grass the dog will eat before he throws up.

Stupid me didn't take any pictures of the boat, but I did take pictures of my favorite boys, and this clearly shows their different reactions to the experience.






I haven't had this much fun being irresponsible since that summer I spent in Spain when I was 18 years old...

Love,

Catwoman.