Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happiest Memories

Yesterday my dear cousin and I were gchatting and she reduced me to tears by sending me this link and encouraging me to watch it (and I'm glad she did!)

It got us talking about our happiest memories (many of which included each other). Inevitably, our conversation came 'round to our sons and how watching them out in the world are some of our happiest memories. Seeing my son hug her son for the first time nearly reduced me to tears.

Fast forward to this morning as I was taking Monster to the babysitter's. He started saying goodbye to me right as we were getting out of the car. But he did something entirely new today. He said, "Hug, mama," and he squeezed me and held onto me the whole walk up the driveway.

Just wanted to share one of my happiest memories with y'all.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Life

Remember that sunflower I was growing? The one that Monster then destroyed? I never really did anything with it. I just left it out on the back deck to see what happened. Maybe it was denial, or maybe it was hope. Either way, two days ago it caught my eye.

These pictures aren't great, I know, but I'm obsessed with my retro camera app. The point is, there's new life in my sunflower!

There's a lesson in this, I just know it, but I haven't quite put my finger on what it is just yet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Avoiding an International Incident

In my former life I was an international woman of mystery. That was before Monster and my almost marriage and my corporate life.

That's actually not true at all. My dad retired down to Mexico but I did live with him for several months about a million years ago. The point being that in order to go see my dad I need a passport. In order for Monster to go see Grandpa he needs a passport. In order to get Monster a passport, I need the Ex on board because he needs to be there when we apply for it.

We’re in the throws of a family emergency and I need to get out of the U.S. and into Old Mexico in a hurry. I’d even settle for in the next few weeks but the amount of money I have to pay for expedited passports and the hoops I have to jump through to get Monster a passport and then across the border without creating an international incident are huge hurdles over which I’m tripping. So I guess they’re hoop hurdles that I’m both jumping through and tripping over. That really tells you something there.

“But don’t you have brothers who can help you?” you ask. Why yes, yes I do. I have two brothers to this particular father. They don’t actually communicate with each other for whatever reasons so I’m the hub. I’m also the one our dad calls when shit goes wrong (interestingly, I’m the last one my mom calls in a crisis but that’s another therapy session post) so I’m managing all of this via my cell phone whilst a certain needy toddler clings to me and forces me to watch Cars.

Plus I still have a job and crazy life things only seem to pop up when I’m in the midst of a huge project with a looming deadline.

The bottom line is this: my dad needs me and he wants me to bring Monster with me so he can spend time with him. The Ex isn’t sold and I absolutely need him on board in order to get Monster out of the country. And I don’t know how to navigate this. Granted, it’s quite an unusual situation. Separated parent relationships are always a balancing act and up until now I’ve not had to resort to threats. I will totally use bribes. I’m not above that. But I really just want him to agree to it because it’s the right thing to do.

I need a sales pitch.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


No, this is not another post about how Disney is ruining my dear, sweet child. Instead, this is me telling you that my stupid car broke down again (second time in 2 months) and that it's time to start the hunt for a new one. I'm taking suggestions.

That is all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Look What the Flood Dragged In

Here in my neck of the woods, we’re having historic floods. I’m talking the once-in-500-years-type floods even though, really, it’s only been 38 years since the last 500-year-flood. Still, there’s lots of water everywhere where it shouldn’t be: covering roads, filling up the local amusement park, and in people’s homes. It’s been scary and stressful and overwhelming even though my house is completely dry.

But the Ex’s house is in the flood zone. He has water in the basement which, in the scheme of things is no biggie, but electricity service was shut off for safety purposes last evening. So, because I’m the nicest fucking person on the planet, I invited the Ex and the dog to come stay out here on dry land with me and Monster.

I’m tired. So very tired. And when I start pining for a puppy, please remind me of this. Obviously, whenever the routine a puppy and toddler are used to gets meddled with, neither of them are happy. This was no exception. Monster was so confused as to why the dog was here and why Dada wasn't leaving. Bedtimes and usual wake up times were totally ignored. Monster ended up in bed with me but at a strange angle with his feet in my face and his head dangerously close to the edge. So, yeah, I didn’t sleep. Plus the damn dog was pacing and her toe nails tap tap tapped all over the floor all night.

Despite my sleepless night, I’m so very lucky to be safe and sound with only a boil water advisory. I hope all is well with y’all out there also. It’s been crazy in the Mid Atlantic region over the past few weeks. We’ve had an earthquake, a hurricane, and a tropical storm that caused massive flooding. Oh, and PA’s capital city is near state takeover so it’s pretty much Armageddon up in here. All the while I’m doing my best with a testy 2-year-old whose schedule is so out of whack I don’t know how/when he’ll recover. But, what can I do? Keep on keepin’ on.

How are your kids at dealing with disasters?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Disney Is a Treacherous Bitch

I kind of think of Disney movies as the pinnacle of family entertainment so I was really excited that Monster got into the first Cars movie (mostly b/c it meant less Caillou. See ya later sucka!) I love how, even though we’ve seen it a gazillion times, he is still surprised at the wrecks in the beginning. And he still throws his arms up in celebration when Lightning McQueen stops right before winning the Piston Cup to go get The King who has just wrecked (oops, SPOILER ALERT!) So, there are good lessons.

However, the other night, when the Ex was returning him, Monster started yelling at him to “go away.” I was trying to be civilized and offer the Ex a drink and a seat but Monster was having no part of it. He does like for the parent dropping off to then continue on his/her merry way and often says, “bye bye!” like a not-so-subtle hint to get the F out but hearing him say “go away” was more than a little disturbing to me.

First, I felt bad for the Ex because no parent wants to hear that from their child, especially their 2-year-old. Second, Monster doesn’t get to decide when people come and go at the house. Third, where the hell did he learn that? I’ve never said that to him, near him, about him. I can’t imagine the Ex saying it or even the Step Twins. And I know it wouldn’t fly at the babysitter’s.

So, I thought and thought and thought about it and it finally hit me that Doc Hudson says it in Cars. Yeah, that’s right. He says it to Lightning when he follows him home after watching him race.

Damn it Disney! I know you’re creating drama but can’t you do it more politely? And while we’re at it, do you have to use the words “moron” and “idiot” too? It’s only a matter of time before he picks those up.

I emailed the Ex and told him the source had been found and he asked if I was going to ban Cars. I started shaking a bit. I don’t think I can ban it. It’s like crack to Monster. He loves it. He wants to watch it every day. I did some early Christmas shopping this past weekend and it’s all Cars-related merchandise. I can’t go back to Caillou. Don’t make me go back!

This morning, as we were getting ready to go into the babysitter's, Monster told me to "go away." I looked at him and said, "we don't say that." He responded, "Ok, mama." Then, remembering that you're supposed to give them an example of what to do rather than just tell them not to do something, I told him, "we say 'I love you mama.'" To which he responded, "I yuv oo, mama."

Problem solved? I hope so. Should I ban Cars? Am interested to hear what others think.