Thursday, July 17, 2014

Anything Goes in Mexico - Happy Birthday!

Today is my husband’s birthday!!! But not just any birthday- his 30th! So in celebration of his royal awesomeness, I would like to share a funny story about him from our early twenties. Though this gesture will likely leave him withering in embarrassment (he’s very shy), he’ll get over it. Aren't I just the best wife ever? I mean, it’s not like I’m going to write about the time he flew off a full speed treadmill while showcasing his 4 minute mile during peak gym hours or something...happy birthday honey!

Though you can't tell by looking at him, Junior (my husband) is a badass. At first you think he's just some nice, friendly guy and a little bit on the quiet side, but then you get to know him and you're like, "HAHA! I can't believe he went there." And what Junior says, he means. What he says he'll do, he will (unless he says he'll be there at 5pm, then add an hour). So years ago, on our last night in Mexico, where we were vacationing with his family, Junior suggested we light fireworks on the beach in front of the hotel. I was reckless, young, and childless, so naturally, I complied. Within thirty minutes we had crazy intense (but legal) fireworks in a backpack. It took no real effort to locate Disneyland-esque explosives because they're pretty much everywhere. Anything goes in Mexico, remember that.

We got to the beach and though it may appear that I’d be down for whatever, I'm really not. The thought of losing my thumb in a firework-gone-wrong-incident terrifies me. So I stood a safe distance plus fifty extra feet from my pyromaniac better-half. The beach was empty, dark, and desolate. I was eagerly waiting for the show to start when I noticed a dark figure atop a black horse riding towards us. Junior was kneeled down in the sand and too occupied with explosives to even notice, and had no reaction as the horse rider passed him and headed towards me. I got a bad vibe immediately. I felt even stranger as the rider approached but he didn’t stop; he simply circled me before heading back to Junior.

The rest of the night plays like a movie: I watched the black horse come up behind Junior, swoop down, grab the backpack, and ride away. Junior launched up and began chasing after the horse. (The four minute mile is REAL!) I was too far away to know what was going on (does the guy have a gun? Is he going to kill us? What's my stupid husband doing chasing after criminals in a foreign country on a beach!?) but I saw them both stop, Junior reach into his pocket, then hand something to the guy who instantly rode away. Junior ran back,"He stole the bag! Our car keys were in there! We have to find a cop!"

Wait, what? I could hardly understand, what happened back there? WHY DID YOU CHASE HIM?! Turns out Junior wanted his backpack real bad and when the horse stopped, the guy said he'd give it back in exchange for cash. So Junior emptied his pocket, handed it over,  only for the guy to ride away with both the money and the bag. LOL, only in Mexico does one trust and negotiate with a criminal.

I wanted to get off the beach ASAP and Junior wanted to find a cop equally as quick when suddenly, lookie lookie, a cop happened to be on the same beach as us.  I didn't trust her. "JUNIOR, she could be working with him!" Because you know, cops in Mexico are corrupt. Oh you didn't know? Spoiler alert. Junior was willing to risk it because hello, our car keys were in that bag! Without them we would need to go all the way back home by some other means, get the spare key and return to Mexico. 

The cop took us off the beach and in some random patrol car. I didn't understand a word anyone was saying, Junior was running on adrenaline and wasn't translating for me and I was too scared to ask. I sat in the back of the cop car until we parked on some random street that I didn't recognize... literally parked on a busy street like it was normal and there weren't cars trying to drive by. I got out and there was another cop car and an officer with a girl. The girl ran up to me, shouting, screaming, yelling in my face. All kinds of crazy spanish words that I did understand. "Can someone please tell her that I don't know what she's talking about and that she needs to back off NOW?" I said to everyone. "She says he was with her the whole time and it's not him and you better not put him in jail." Apparently the girl's boyfriend was in the back of the other cop car waiting to be identified by Junior. 

Come on! The guy was wearing a black hoodie while riding on a black horse in the black of the night. Ain't nobody saw him! Seriously- the guy in the car didn't have our backpack so we let the muchacha go home with her hombre and got back in the car. Next thing I know I was in some gross, run down, cement building that looked abandoned. But it wasn't, it was the police station and I think we filed a report but all that really means is we wrote down our name and phone number on a piece of paper and were sent on our way. 

Junior was a mess. He wouldn't sleep and he paced all night while worrying about the car keys. He   came up with all kinds of theories, even suggesting that maybe the keys weren't in the bag, maybe they were on the sand but he didn't notice or think of it in the heat of his high speed chase. He really was fast!) Still, Junior desperately wanted to drive his mom's car back home, get the spare and return; but it was 3am and his mom said no way, get rest and deal with it maƱana. (God I love that woman!) So we did. 

The next morning my father-in-law walked into our room announcing that some homeless man on the beach claims he found a set of keys and for $100, he'd give 'em back. Junior immediately went to the meet him and yes, he did find keys. And you know what he did with them? Buried them in the sand. Junior offered $40 bucks for their safe return and the man pointed to an area. "No, if you want the money then you better dig!" And he did. He kicked sand around with his foot, bent down, picked 'em up, and handed them over to Junior. OUR KEYS! GLORY GLORY!

And that's my husband for ya. He's the guy who will run his ass off after a ridiculously fast horse in a foreign country so he can negotiate with a criminal.  No weapons, all guts. And when that doesn't pan out, he's the guy that will scramble to solve a problem and lose sleep over an impending crisis. And as soon as a little light begins revealing a fantastic, perfect case scenario, way too goo to be true solution...he's the guy that will lowball the homeless man extorting him so that he can save sixty-bucks. Yup, my husband's a badass! And I love him. P.S. I have yet to return to Mexico.

Happy 30th birthday honey!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

List of What To-Do/To-Not, According to a Toddler

There is a laundry list of things I would prefer my child NOT do. Like unfold the laundry, pull items off countertops, sit in the dog bed after twelve NOs, and tug on my hair for attention. Then, there’s a list of things I wish he'd never stop doing. Like hugging me after I change his diaper, kissing my head when I blow on his food, or simply wanting any of my attention at all. (Can we skip the whole teenage angst thing?) So it occurred to me that if I have a list of To-Dos and To-Nots, Dylan probably has his own set of lists. He is my son after all, and by the way he pushes boundaries and makes demands, a trip to Maury a DNA test isn’t necessary. But what could Dylan’s lists possibly entail? These are my best guesses of floaters from the mind of Dizbaby:


No more “sit sit sit,” I’ll stand where I want to. Stroller, highchair, grocery cart,’s my life. Plus you sound like a parrot. Big time. P.S. Same goes for climbing.
Stop with the “one more bite.” You ain’t fooling anyone. We both know “one more” is a bottomless pit of unlimited bites. Hence my resistance, dummy.
NO, I DON’T want to go home, stop asking. Can’t you see I’m busy playing with my friends? Just stand in the corner and wait…for three more hours or until Anabelle goes home. I’ll let you know when I’m done, thanks.
Sharing is a two-way street. You take my basketball, my soccer ball, even my Scout Dog learning computer! So stop saying “no” when I want to stand on your laptop, throw your iPhone, and shave with your electric razor. You’re confusing.


YES! Keep on sneaking treats. The graham crackers, the goldfish, a spoon full of ice cream, and you know raspberries be my favez.
Letting me walk to the car is so much better than being carried. We both know I’m a big boy- now please tell mom.
We make a great team. Doorbells, light switches, the coffee machine…as long as you continue picking me up for button pushing, I’ll keep reppin’ Team Mommy. “Otra, otra, otra vez!”
I’m like you- I love a good beat. SOME people (starts with an “M”) filter playlists in my presence. So if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t know my favorite song; or how to say “hold up, hold up, we dem boyz.” Team Daddy!

In sum, if Dylan were a t-shirt, he’d read, “LOL, They Think They’re In Charge.” And honestly? He’s right. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sadistic and Proud

I suffer from stiffenitis, a condition that causes my external appearance to conflict with my internal reactions. This means that when my overactive sense of humor is triggered by environmental factors, such as Dylan doing something terrible that I shouldn’t laugh at or encourage, I’m forced to curb a smile through straining my facial muscles. Basically it all boils down to being immature and finding Dylan’s bad attitude and incessant sass hilarious. It’s troublesome. 

My little big boy likes to provoke reactions for sport. His rebel-rebel bratty ways are both the source of irritation and amusement. Yesterday as I stood at the kitchen sink, loading the dishwasher like a good girl, a car ran into me from behind. I turned around and who was behind the wheel? My proud little devil Dylan. A girls gotta be consistent when correcting behavior so I adopted his school’s term and said, “Dylan, go around.” The omen child stayed smirking, backed up and ran full steam ahead, hitting my legs. In full blown mom-tone I advised again, “Dylan, go around.” His smile grew. Part of me wanted to laugh at his blatant insurgency but instead I faced the sink. Yup, he struck again. Okay, that’s it! He’s getting popped! I turned around and before I could even try to correct his behavior, he crashed into me a fourth time. Then laughed. 

Dylan is sadistic and proud. He starts with a sneak attack and ends with an unwavering, “Well whattaya gonna do about it momz?” Somehow he knows I won’t press charges or knock his butt out, and the risk of hard time in his crib (2 whole minutes) is totally worth it. sense of humor is so twisted and sick that I actually find his repetitive jerk of all jerks attitude to be nothing short of hilarious. It kills me that I cant enjoy our cat and mouse exchanges like I really want to. Apparently a girl’s gotta parent responsibly because what starts with crashing into mom will evolve into crashing into the neighbor's cat if I let him get away with it. “It’s not funny Dylan,” I lie while picking up the car and pushing it away. “Mommy said go around."

And with my full-fledged stiffenitis in effect, I turn back towards the dishes and do my very best not to laugh hysterically at the miniature-button-pushing-brat-year-old. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ask Away Friday - THE Funniest Blogger I Know

GUESS WHAT?! It's ASK AWAY FRIDAY with one of my girls, ECHO! 
What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…
#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a place for us to connect with other bloggers by asking them ten questions to really get to know them. The sky is the limit with the questions you ask! Meeting other bloggers and making new friends is one of the best parts of this online world!


Echo blogs at Domain of the Mad Mommy and if you haven't been to her blog before then get prepared for a laughing snort fest. She's a homeschooling mother of two, a blogger who dreams of being a pioneer woman, and honestly...I cannot stress enough how funny this girl is! I'll let you figure out why I call her the meme queen (though I kind of give it away in #7 below) and I'm a strong believer that her blog is going places. Keep an eye out for her! AND HEY! You're welcome. You're going to love her just like me!

Here we go....!

1. So, you and are blog are totally AWESOME! Was Dylan your only inspiration for blogging? 
Thank you! Though Dylan is my little muse, I’ve been blogging since…geez, I don’t know, 2000? The blogs are embarrassing, please don't look them up! I was 16...and let's just say Dylan makes for much better blogging.

2. When was the first time that you called yourself a blogger? Either out loud or to yourself. Referring to myself as a blogger aint no thang. Referring to myself as a writer…now THAT’S a term I used to fumble with. I mean, Bob Dylan is a writer, J.D. Salinger is a writer, Tom Robbins? A writer. Me? Yeah! 

3. What is your FAVORITE post that you have written so far? What is one that you wish you didn't post? Sharing my words makes me feel naked… my stomach drops with each click of “Publish"...and yet I'm elated each time. I finished a post! I made it! Out of my brain! lol Here's one I won't  And this is my fave.

4. Dylan is seriously adorable and so expressive! What are a few of your FAVORITE Dylan faces? (Pictures please!!!!) It's cute but I know what it really is: his father. His infamous expressions are so distracting in conversation....!  
Recent faces

I put this one together a year ago

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Confession: I Can See the Future

Becoming a mom has turned me into such a visionary. And by visionary, I mean that I suddenly have a gift where I see dozens of possibilities flash seven seconds prior to Dylan acting a fool. “Gift” might be the wrong word for something that inevitably results in high blood pressure and an early onset of gray hair, but this newfound mommy-vision has saved Dylan’s head from cracking open on more than one occasion, so “gift” it is. But let me tell ya, being a visionary aint all that, it’s freaking stressful! 

Trying to determine the likelihood of the multiverses I sneak peak when Dylan tempts fate through acrobatic freak shows is half the torture. I see it all: broken teeth, paralysis, concussions…you name it. The other half of my perception’s torture is trying to figure out when to swoop in and shut that shit down. Sure, I may have come to terms with the fact that keeping Dylan in a bubble is illegal impossible; and yes, I want him to experience the slips, trips, and falls of toddlerhood...but avoiding the emergency room would be nice. 

I’m beginning to think my mommy-vision emerged from a survival instinct because obviously Dylan’s trying to kill me. I mean, why else would he transform seemingly safe things into suicidal instruments?My expectations for a toddler’s sensibility may be a tad out of touch...but really Dylan? Is it really necessary to fall four feet to the ground in order to realize that standing on top of a slide isn’t a good idea? “Look Mom! No hands!” Psh, show off. 

So should you catch me running to the aid of my perfectly fine baby seconds prior to him stepping off a curb, know that it’s not just helicopter mom activating the chopper, I’m practically psychic! Honestly, I just saved the day in at least a hundred ways. I’m “gifted” like that. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

All Things Dylan, All Things Crazy

Sometimes (okay, ALL the time) an extended weekend is much needed and this past 4th of July fit the bill. In between fireworks, a family reunion, a fancy-schmancy dinner, and a day at the beach, we were all over the place. But it was the kind of busy that comes easy because it’s voluntary, rewarding, and FUN. And I’m all about the fun, all about the sunshine. 

Last night my husband and I fell into bed like two overcooked lobsters and tried to come up with our favorite parts of the weekend but it was too good to narrow down. Considering the long nights that overlapped Dylan’s typical bedtime, he remained well-behaved and in good spirits throughout. My little big boy has changed so much since he was born that it’s nice to spend a bulk of time with him and observe details that may normally slip past unnoticed. And if Dylan is anything like me, he’s going to grow up asking a gazillion questions about what he was like as a baby kid. So while the pan of memory is still hot, here’s to Dizbaby developments: 

The name "Dylan" means: Son of the sea. Can ya tell?
  • Much to my dismay, my son is a misogynist. He violently rejects female attention and refuses to engage with the opposite sex; unless you’re a kid, because… 
  • My son is also an ageist. He’s down for kids under 10, but if you’re in the female over 10 demographic, either get out of his way or he’ll make you, because…
Hi! We're Dylan's Parents..!
  • He’s MEAN! I cannot stress enough just how mean this 1 year old is. He’ll cry, he’ll shoot the evil eye, he’ll push, smack, scream, leave your high-five hanging because…
  • Dylan knows what he wants, knows what he likes, and won’t fall for your tricks. Sure, he might love avocados, kisses, and dancing, but will take direction from no one. He’s his own boss [ugh] and too clever to be fooled. But he’s much more than a little tyrant, he’s also (and equally) extremely sweet and courteous. He will approach you with a “Hi!”, give you a kiss, hug-hug-hug, and lift his sippy-cup to in the name of “cheers.” And uhm..
  • It’s confusing. The contrast between his pleasant disposition and serial-killer attitude is a cluster of madness. Nice to meetcha, toddlerhood. 
  • And he’s SHY! I’m constantly asked if Dylan can talk...of course he can! Is it not obvious? No, it’s really not. Apparently my chatter-box-Charlie is a mute in the presence of large groups. His favorite, “Can Dylan Say…” game becomes a round of “Mommy is a braggy liar” with anti-climactic silence followed by, “I swear he can talk.” But his shyness extends beyond small talk intros...
  • Warning, TMI! My kid wont go number 2 anywhere but home. He’ll hold his uhm…you know, all day long if he has to. This means that there’s a lot of catching up to do once home. But hey- when duty calls.... 

So yes, my legs may be covered in a series of 4th of July mosquito bites and a sunburn that screams idiot alert, but whatever! It’s all good. And even if my son is turning out to be a bit of a high-maintenance weirdo who doesn’t trust women, yet will fly to the arms of any male stranger, it was nice spending three days with my little (HAH) pooper. My only complaint? I want to do it all over again. Translation: Expect a festivity filled photo dump. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How Adults Are Born - Ick

My childhood may be long gone but my inner child lives; not as much as I’d like her to, but she’s still there. She’s easily excitable, believes in magic, wonders why/why/why, and at her best- will forgive fully, apologize sincerely, and judge nothing. She’ll also unintentionally embarrass those around her (it's too fun to act a fool have fun). You see, I don’t wanna grow up! I want to be forever young [in spirit] and enjoy experiences the way children do. So when I eventually did “grow up,” I was delighted that my newfound freedom enabled chili-cheese fries with each meal, T.V. until midnight, and making my bed when I freaking felt like it. Doing what I want sans restrictions? Every kids’ dream. 

But as much as I want to goof-off, run rampantly, make-believe, and eat junk food all-day-all-night, I can’t shake the truth: I’m responsible, I’m a mom. Being a rule maker/enforcer/straight up bossy is part of the whole child rearing shebang and is proving to be a powerful antidote to my anarchist nature. I thought having a kid would allow me to be more of a kid but the opposite is happening: I’m actually becoming more of an adult. Ick, what a drag. 

My high hopes for playing one of the “five little monkeys jumping on the bed” alongside my son has been replaced with motherly concerns for the bumping of heads. The back-to-back chocolate bar binges are further and farther in between and I have zero desire to stay up later than need be because quite frankly, I’m exhausted. Skipping dinner? Not a chance. Waking up whenever? Ain’t happening. I once believed I would be the cool mom who'd let her kid do whatever because said kid would appreciate boundaries and would actually want to be sensible. Obviously if you stand on a toy car enough, you WILL fall on the tile floor; it has wheels, Dylan. Yeah uhm, not so obvious and not so appreciated, apparently. And though I still take every chance I get [within reason] to be childlike with Dylan, "within reason" is proof enough that my childhood really is long gone. 

This whole “parenting” gig has taught me that with each sticky-handed, freedom-seeking, shelf-climbing, nocturnal child that comes to be, an adult is born. And according to my [at times] boring but rewarding routine, my fatigued but well-nourished body, I’m really okay with being forever young on a part-time basis because have you seen my son? He’s pretty neat. Take a good look, I’m a no-nonsense

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Food Fights – The Struggle is Real

Even though I’ve [pretty much] come to terms with the fact (yes, it’s a fact) that toddlers are unintentionally evil, the struggle is real. For the past couple of weeks, my fatty-little-big-boy has decided that he no longer needs to eat meals, he just needs to taste them. It’s his new “thing.” It makes breakfast, lunch, and dinner an epic fail every time. Dylan has been historically fat, eating twice, sometimes triple of what a kid his age would should be eating, so I thought perhaps the food itself has become the problem. Oh, he’s learning what he likes! Oh, he’s sick of eggs; he doesn’t like cheese. Oh, this rice is hot! 
But there’s just no way; Dylan’s food rejection is far too frequent to be picky eating. Besides, picky? HAH! Dylan is practically a garbage disposal; three weeks ago he would’ve eaten a piece of paper with an “Mmm” if I let him. But sure, he's picky. If by "picky" you mean he only pulls the chew & spit behavior with mom and dad. So what gives? I cross-checked the possibilities: too many snacks in between meals? Too much water? New-found flavor/texture discrimination? Highchair contention? Let’s get mommy to lose her shit syndrome? Who knows!? The bottom line is the kid needs to eat. Why? Cue the Mom Anthem: BECAUSE I SAID SO. 

My house looks fairly normal from the outside. One would never guess that there’s a war taking place behind those walls. You’d never anticipate dinner being flung at your face when you open the front door. I might even hand you the problem child with a stern, “GOOD LUCK” before locking myself away in the bathroom until the food dust settles. But don’t worry, I’m not just escaping the wrath of a baby gone bad, I’m googling search terms and coming up with obvious clever ways to get this situation under control. Because when all else fails, there’s nothing like 23 different websites all telling you the same thing: toddlers are evil rebels without a cause.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Stupid Shoes

It’s almost too easy to move through the rift-raft of routine without realizing what it is you’ve passed. In the same way my drive to work is filled with gas stations and monuments I don’t notice anymore, I find myself moving through life’s motions without looking up to see what’s changed. But then the inevitable strikes; it doesn’t have to be significant, just well timed, and suddenly I’m dazed and dumbfounded, wondering when my 8lb baby became tall enough to ring the doorbell. And though it feels like it happened overnight, it was sneaky, it was gradual, and it just ain’t right. 

I picked Dylan up from daycare yesterday and noticed that instead of wearing his blue, gray, or Elmo shoes, he was wearing the black ones that were way too big for his little fat feet when we bought them a month ago. And because I know that Dylan loves to hide and divide his shoes (damn toddlers), I laughed as I imagined my husband on an unsuccessful shoe hunt earlier that morning that ended with a, “WHATEVER, they’re good enough” moment. 

“Dylan looks like such a big boy in his new shoes!” His teacher said as I walked toward my dancing son, who would rather show off his social skills than rush to greet me. “Yeah, he does look like a big boy,” I replied. And when we finally got back to the house, walked the dogs, had a snack, and got settled in, I reached for Dylan’s foot and pinched the toes of his shoe out of curiosity. Oh, actually, they fit perfect. He’s a size 5 now. But without a minute to digest or celebrate my son’s inevitable ever-growing pace, my attention shifted and I began cooking dinner. 

Hours later, my husband picked up a pair of ridiculously adorable navy blue shoes that his sister got for Dylan some time ago, and had been sitting on my nightstand ever since. “I can’t wait for these to fit Dylan,” my husband said. And as unpredictable as an earthquake, my whole mind shook with the realization that my fun-sized baby has become a full-sized toddler that is quickly becoming a king-sized boy. And even though those navy blues are merely a size 6, to me, they’re some big shoes to fill. But it will happen, gradually, when I’m just as unprepared as I was at size 5. It’s inevitable, it’s life, I cant outrun time by putting him in smaller shoes (though I would love that). All I can do is remember to look up enough to enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why My Son Will Never Know My Mother

Having a baby forever changes a person, duh. But it’s not just the parents who suffer undergo identity transformations, grandparents do too. When I see my mom with Dylan I think, who is this lady? Because growing up we had a little thing called “rules”, and there were a lot of them. In fact, there was an entire room in the house that my sisters and I weren’t allowed in because it was “too nice” for us grimy peasants children. Shoes on the couch? Psh! Unless you wanted to risk a double amputation, forget about it. Those were the days when talking back guaranteed a smack to the face and you feared the wrath of mom’s disappointment. “Don’t even think about it” were words to live by and eyes in the back of her head was a real phenomenon. And yet Dylan will never meet the legend I know to be my mother because that’s his Oma; they’re two different people. 

Now-a-days, my mom dotes on Dylan and makes excuses for his unruly behavior. Sure, he’s only a 1 year old and that in itself comes with a lot of passes but HOLD UP - he’s allowed in the dining room? I STILL don’t dare! But my mom isn’t the only tyrant gone mellow yellow. Last week when my mother-in-law took my husband and I to dinner, I realized that I too will never meet the legend that is my husband’s mom. Throughout our 9 year relationship I’ve heard countless stories of the strict household he grew up in. From what he’s told me, it sounds like both of our moms were militantly possessed with superior skills in mind control and could hit you with the “one glare” that’d stop you in your tracks (or knock you out). 

So as we sat in the booth of a steakhouse we had no business being in with an exhausted toddler whose bedtime was 2 hours past due, I watched the disaster adventure unfold. There was crying, fussing, squirming, relentless begging, pleading, “up, up, up?” And as I practically died of embarrassment in between the trips outside, my mother-in-law urged me to let it go. “Just enjoy your dinner Mija, let him cry.” But what about all these nice people that came out for good food and a fun Friday? Shouldn’t I consider their experience? “They can leave if they don’t like it, he’s a baby.” Whoa dude- either my husband is super dramatic about his childhood or this is not his mother. 

After dinner we went back to the house and she went on to tell me that I need to lighten up and let the baby be a baby; that this is the age of exploration and everything for him is a new experience; that Dylan isn’t trying to misbehave, he’s just being a baby. LOL! Though I agree with the bulk of what she said, there’s also a gray area known as a nice restaurant and a brat baby. And yet Grandma was such a good sport! At one point during dinner, a frustrated Dylan picked up his food and flung it across the booth at grandma’s face. She hardly flinched. As my husband apologized and gave me the glare that I translated to, “WATCH YOUR KID, IDIOT,” she shrugged and pulled the “he’s a baby” card. 

Hmph…surely this cannot be the same lady who was feared by my husband’s best friends, one of which voluntarily cut his metal-esque hair to appease her; and there’s NO WAY this is the same lady that scoffed at a stick hanging out my husband’s leg at 11 years old, saying, “I told you not to climb that tree. Deal with it.” Somewhere in between parenting and grandparenting, a personality abduction takes place. And you know what? It’s a beautiful thing. Mom said no? Call 1-800-GRANDMA.


Monday, June 23, 2014

A Fit of the Fevers - Let Me Babysit!

My baby fever has been in full swing lately. I look at Dylan and see less and less of the baby he once was and more flickers of the little boy he’s growing to be. Then I get all “aww” and think of how much fun it would be to grow our family by another baby or two*. So all weekend long I was looking forward to Sunday, the day my older sister Veronica, who is 18 weeks pregnant, had an ultrasound scheduled that would reveal her baby's gender…and the entire family was invited...YAY! 

You see, pregnancy and I did not bode well. I loved the baby but nine months’ worth of constant discomfort, nausea, 50lbs+ of additional weight, doctor appointments, blood draws, and sensitive gums are hard to forget. Don’t even get me started on the 21 hours of labor that included throwing up my guts upon each contraction. On top of it, I’ve always, always, always wanted to adopt and now that we have a child, it’s hard for me to imagine growing our family by any means other than adoption. That is, until I see a pregnant lady- then I suddenly suffer from selective amnesia. 

I was very lucky to share my first-timer pregnancy experience with a very close family member/friend Cheri, who was also pregnant with her first. We would get together and exchange embarrassing, funny, borderline disgusting tales of what expecting was doing to us, and then we’d relish in the excitement of meeting the stranger we’d love more than anything in this world. Well guess what? Cheri is pregnant again! My fever? Growing steadily. 

So yesterday I excitedly attended my sister’s ultrasound where I anxiously sat for 45 minutes as her little baby avoided making any appearances. So fickly this one! We left not knowing the gender or much of what we saw on the screen. (Was that a hand or its head?) And instead of curbing my craving for some good old fashion baby watching, it made my hunger for all things baby insatiable. 

And like a joke you don’t understand until a day later, I finally get why so many women choose to have baby after baby in spite of difficult pregnancies, complicated deliveries, and all the responsibility that comes with bringing life into this world. Because despite all the challenges, the work, and the gray hair that ensues, it’s impossible to regret a love so real. And the infectious joy babies bring? Forget about it. And still, I have no idea where that leaves me. What I’m trying to say is, can I please babysit your babies? 

*TWO babies? Uhm, that’s a pretty high grade fever.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

1 Year Old With A Split Personality

Though Dylan may have cherub face, he’s no angel. He weasels through mealtimes, slaps people that get in his way, and whines through any restrictions or limits to his freedom. So when I pick him up at school and they sing him praises, I’m like huh? I don’t know that song. It goes something like, “He ate all of his food; he had a good nap; he danced and played and he kissed Anabelle.” 

At first the good reports made me happy and relieved but the consistency of Dylan’s alleged behavior became too surprising…and suspicious. After too many stories of daffodils and sunshine my curiosity kicked into overdrive. Now I ask the same questions every other week: is he hitting anyone, is he throwing things, is he crying, or in sum, is he being Dylan? The first few times I ran through my series of inquires I was met with a shocked face and a quick, “Absolutely not.” But it didn’t take long for my questions to bring on their questions. Apparently his teachers just can’t see Dylan for the hell raiser that he is. 

So I gave them the juice. I told them how he batters me, how he throws his giant car across the room with violent super strength (the thing is bigger than he is), and how he screams in my face like a pterodactyl when I feed him. His teachers laughed and looked at the seemingly angelic toddler in my arms and said, “Haha, Dylan you don’t do that do you?!” I can tell that they hardly believe me when I express his angry ways, because it’s the same doubt I show on my face when they describe his sweet “laid back” ways. But no, I’m not kidding. He’s a textbook brat with an early case of terrible twos. 

My son is two different people and unfortunately, I’m not as shocked as I sound. Dylan knows how to work the system, playing good boy at school and bad boy at home. He knows he can get away with whatever in his own environment and what won’t be tolerated in the classroom. And unfortunately, I actually do know that song. I know it by heart…because that was me (sorry Mom). So this hell raising brat that acts out and reserves the brunt of his behavior for me, well, that’s my karmic debt…collecting with interest.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Son: The Next BIG Thing

Unlimited potential oozes out of my son's big brown eyes. For all I know, I have given birth to the next superstar, U.S. President, or the guy that will lay claim to reversing all effects of global warming. But on the flip-side, there’s also the possibility I’m raising a serial killer. And though it’s all too soon to tell, I’ve decided to jot down some of the professions Dylan is showing an interest in right now- just for laughs…unless I’m right; in which case this list will have been prophetic and will be edited with a title like: “Mom’s Know Everything, Even the Future.” 

TRUCK DRIVER – This is the most obvious of choices right now because the kid is obsessed with trucks. Though size isn’t that important, he will credit a larger one with incessant applause. He waves hi to big rigs, he waves bye to buses, and then he refers to them all as “trucks” for fifteen minutes following its sighting. 

LIVE SPORTSCASTER [Of Any Type] – There’s something about a loud voice talking over a speaker that tickles Dylan’s fancy. Whether it be the grocery store PA system, the announcer at the horse races, or the guy calling your number when your food is ready, Dylan will imitate you. But he’s not just some Peter the Parrot, Dylan channels his inner Robert Barone and starts his own series of announcements. I like this job for him. 

JANITOR – Dylan is an eager beaver. He wants to sweep, wipe counters, throw away trash, clean the mirrors, toss clothes in the hamper, and even lift and move heavy objects. This is my dream child aka my personal little servant helper. There’s nothing like someone who takes pride in their work and spotless cleaning is where Dylan really shines. He’s so enthusiastic about cleaning that he’ll even make a mess just so he can clean it. Yes, my son is an overachiever. 

DRUMMER – This one loves hitting things. Before he could roll over to his back he was hitting things with his hands. He has rhythm and wants everyone to know it. Why else would he clink silverware on everything in sight? In Dylan’s world, he is the drummer and everything is drumable; including my face which regularly gets played. It’s okay son, you got the beat. 

GREETER – Dylan makes an impeccable greeter because he takes the role very seriously. NO ONE passes without getting a “hi” or “buh-bye” from Dizbaby. He doesn’t discriminate and he knows no bounds. Whether you’re a gangster, a senior, a teenager or a four year old, you’re getting greeted. So if you’re trying to be antisocial, good luck. 

A DOG – It’s going to be hard to explain to Dylan that he can be anything he wants in life as long as it’s not a dog because quite honestly, he has his heart set on it. Despite being a fantastic little walker, he likes to get on his hands and knees and crawl around barking. He drools like a dog, barks like a dog, attempts to eat our dogs’ food, and constantly attempts to gain access into the dogs’ kennels. 

In sum, I’m going to support whatever dreams Dylan has for his future. Even if it means my son is going to be a dog driving the cleanest truck ever with his head out the window yelling “hi” at every passerby. Because hey, that’s just what moms do. 

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