Love is love is love is love

I cried myself to sleep on Tuesday night for many obvious reasons. I cried because we had lost the election. I cried because we are yet to celebrate having a woman for our president. I cried because a racist, misogynist, pussy grabber was elected to lead our nation. But mostly I cried because I saw tears of fear, disbelief and angst running down my daughter’s cheeks.

My heart shattered into a million pieces.

I woke up Wednesday morning trying to be hopeful, trying to find the silver lining. But I didn’t.  As I was preparing their lunch boxes, my oldest one came into the kitchen and asked me again if Trump had really won. Yes, he had. Those same tears ran down her cheeks again. And my heart, again, shattered into a million pieces.

I reassured her that everything was going to be ok. That this amazing country was going to be ok. That we were going to be ok. That SHE was going to be ok.

“How?” she asked.

I didn’t have an answer then, but just promised her we were.

Little did she know that she had already given me the answer. As I walked into my office, I found a note she had left for me the night before. It read, “Love is what I work for.”

And just like that I had my answer. LOVE.

So that night, while we ate dinner she asked me again:

“So, how are we going to be ok?”

I told them I had a plan. A good one.

 

This is how we are going to be ok:

We are going to love.

We are going to live an amazing life.

We are going to love and respect our friends, no matter where they come from, what religion they practice or what they believe in.

We are going to speak up and not remain silent. We are going to defend our shy friends against bullies. And we are going to show compassion to those bullies that are surely trying to fight their own personal battles.

We are going to celebrate holidays, birthdays, we will make up excuses to have laughter-filled family reunions as often as possible.

We are going to stuff our faces with ice cream and cake.

We are going to go on trips. Lots of them. Disney, Chicago, Detroit, LA, Miami. We’re going to travel all over the country. Because it’s an amazing one.

We are going to go to the beach, the pool,  all of the parks, summer concerts, festivals…

You will go to gymnastics, or ballet, or swimming, or whatever you want to learn this month.

We are going to try to catch Santa this year….and the Leprechaun too.

We are going to cook and eat together (your father’s food, not mine, don’t worry).

We are going to go outside, way past your bedtime to catch fireflies.

I will visit you at school during your lunch time and you can visit me at my office during mine.

We are going to visit all of the Smithsonian museums for the 100th time because it’s one of your favorite things to do.

We are going to have picnics.

We are going to laugh about silly things and cry at sad things.

We are going to build forts out of blankets and make a mess in the living room.

We are going to pray together.

We are going to grow together.

And we will BE together. Because love trumps hate and love is love is love is love.

 

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Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist

At least that’s what Pablo Picasso said. He seemed to be pretty smart, so I’m taking his advice.

Check out the latest post I wrote on www.liesaboutparenting.com, because you know, parenting is all about lying, cheating and breaking the rules!

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Alright St. Nick, let’s try this again.

Dear Santa (part 2),

I’m not sure what happened last year seeing that I didn’t get ANY of the things I asked you for. I remember waking up at the crack of 10 am and running out to see what you had left me under the tree, only to find that the only ones who got gifts were my daughters. I was so puzzled, I knew I had been a good girl because I asked my husband and he told me that I’d definitely NOT been naughty…

Anyway, what’s the deal, Santa? I know you’re a man of a certain age, but I would assume that one of your elf helpers would’ve reminded you about your responsibilities as the grantor of Christmas wishes. If you still need a reminder click here, that’s the letter I sent you last year, I even sent it before Thanksgiving to make sure you received it with plenty of time. Maybe I should’ve sent it right in the middle of summer. I specifically remember asking you to give me the ability to cook; yet, it’s a miracle I haven’t poisoned my own kids.

But you know what? Water under the bridge. I’m not one to hold grudges. So how about we make amends and start from scratch? Yes? Perfect! Here’s my list for this year. I promise it’s not as ambitious as last year’s.

1- An invisibility cloak.

I don’t know about you, Santa, but sometimes I just feel like disappearing. But you know, I have two young daughters so that would be bad if I actually did disappear. So I thought that an invisibility cloak would be perfect for me. I would still be able to see them, but they wouldn’t see me, which means that for once, they would ask their father for help instead of me, the little one would at least make an effort to wipe her own butt (she can do it herself, I’ve seen her, she just conveniently “forgets” how to do it when I’m around), my husband would be forced to look for the white t-shirt that’s RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM and my name wouldn’t be called out one thousand six hundred seventy three times in an hour.

2- Tickets to the Ellen DeGeneres show.

I loooooooooooooove Ellen and I really, really, really, really want to go to her show. Going to the Ellen show would probably feel like Christmas morning for grownups, but better. Oh no, did I offend you? I really didn’t mean to, it’s just that Ellen is amazing and funny and amazing and she voices Dori so she’s even more amazing! Would you like to come with me? I’m sure you guys would get along great. You can be my plus one.

3- Thousands of Starbuck’s red cups.

Please deliver them to all of those who have nothing better to do with their time than to complain about a stupid red cup that “does not symbolize Christmas.” What more do you want, people?!? They literally have a Christmas Blend coffee bag. CHRISTMAS blend!! And their stores are covered in Christmas decorations! It’s like Santa threw up in there!

4- Dirt/smell/stain repellent clothes.

Because you know how much I love to do laundry… How wonderful would it be not to panic every time someone spilled chocolate milk, or pasta sauce, or wine, or anything else for that matter.  All that time I’m going to save not doing laundry could be quality time spent completely alone in my room binge watching anything.

5- Infinite patience 

Because, “Mami, where are my shoes?”, “Mami, I want some water.”, “Mami, I spilled the water.”, “Mami, I don’t feel like going to school today.”, ” Mami, I don’t like that food.”, “Mami, I’m not hungry.”, “Mami, I’m staaaarving!!!”, “Mami, I farted HAHAHAHA.”, “Mami, she hit me.”, “Mami, I punched her back!”, “Mami, what are you doing??”, “Mami, why are you screaming into a pillow?”

6- Awesome dance moves.

I want to be able to break out in song and dance WHEREVER and WHENEVER I feel like it. I don’t care who I embarrass as long as I don’t embarrass myself. My issue is that I only know how to do the MC Hammer and The Robot. I tried doing The Sprinkler and I ended up at the chiropractor’s. So maybe swoosh your little magic wand or super Santa powers and give me some super impressive dance moves. Or better yet, send Beyoncé to my house for a weekend so that she can bestow her awesomeness upon me. Yes! Yes! Send Beyoncé….and Ellen DeGeneres while you’re at it.

P.S.

If you’re feeling generous, please magically replace my back. I have a feeling I might throw mine out after Beyoncé is done with me.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

sad-santa-600x330

 

 

my daughter pinocchio

I’ve realized that my 4-year-old daughter will either be the greatest story-teller ever or the next Pinocchio, because this child of mine sure can lie.

The other day I walked into their room and couldn’t even get pass the mountain of toys that was blocking my way. There was so much stuff lying around, I needed a GPS just to get to their closet. So I asked them to clean it up. After about 20 minutes of nagging and trying to convince me that they had better things to do like staple papers together, my patience was running its limit, so I did the next best thing and offered them money.

My favorite one that day oldest one, being the smart cookie that she is, took the money and started cleaning up.  The youngest one, well, she had a very reasonable explanation about why she shouldn’t clean up.

“I shouldn’t be the one cleaning the room because I didn’t make that mess!”

“You didn’t make the mess? Really? So if it wasn’t you, who did it?”

“Ok, I’ll tell you, this is what happened, for real. You see, last night when the whole house was sleeping a black tornado came in the house and picked up all the toys and just THREW THEM ALL OVER THE PLACE! It made such a mess mami, but that’s why the room is so messy.” 

“A tornado came in the house and only messed up your room?”

“Yeah, I don’t think tornadoes like toys.”

” Tornadoes are very loud, how come I didn’t wake up?”

“It was a black tornado for real. FOR. REAL!!! You see, I tried to wake you and papi and Antonella up, but everyone was sleeping really hard, sooooo I went outside and took the broom and pushed the tornado out the window!”

Let me just add that her face was dead serious. Not one smile.

“Did you really do that? You must be very strong because tornadoes are very powerful.”

“I am strong because I eat ALL my veggies.”

No she doesn’t. Not even one.

“So who’s going to help your sister clean the toys?”

“I don’t know…” She turns and walks away, stops, turns around, hand on hip and says, “…AND YOU ARE WELCOME!”

***

One day, I saw that her shirt had a big cut on the front. I knew it had been her because I’d already caught her trying to cut her hair. So I asked what happened to her shirt and this was her incredibly, believable explanation:

“It was Hello Kitty, she cut my shirt.”

“Hello Kitty? As in the doll?

“Oh no mami, don’t be silly! Dolls can’t move! My FRIEND Hello Kitty! Duh!”  Insert eye roll.

“You have a friend named Hello Kitty? Really?”

She does not. Obviously. What kind of parents would name their kid Hello Kitty?

“Yeah. FOR. REAL!!! You’ve never seen her before, but she’s not my imaginary friend. You’ve just never seen her. And she totally cut my shirt.”

As she walks away with the scissors still in her hand.

***

 At dinner:

“Itala, please eat all your food.” 

“I really can’t mami.”

“Why can’t you eat your fish?”

“Because it didn’t qualify.”

“It didn’t qualify? Qualify for what?”

“It didn’t qualify to be eaten today, so I really can’t.”

 

I can’t make this stuff up.

Pinocchio-Girl--31433

ay ay ay

 

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because I complain a lot! 11 things I’m grateful for

The other day I found myself complaining about how tired I was of having to carry the groceries up the stairs in my building. Then, I complained about all the toys that were blocking my way in. Then I complained about how long it took for the water to get warm while my daughter stood freezing next to me. After that, I complained about how foggy the mirror was and I couldn’t see myself clearly (No, I did not complain about that because I keep all my  mirrors spotless so I can always look at my beautiful face). And then it hit me: I complain about everything! I complain about this and I complain about that, without even realizing that I have everything I need. I have money to buy food, stairs that take me up to my heated home, water that magically appears with just the turn of the knob.

All this complaining is making me grumpier than what I usually am. So I decided then and there that every time I complain about something (because who am I kidding, I’ll probably never stop), I’m going to think about at least one thing to be grateful for, like dry shampoo for example, because no one really has time to wash their hair that often.

I ran to tell my husband all about it, but I had to run back to the bathroom and wrap my daughter up in a towel so she wouldn’t freeze. So then I ran back, but then ran back to the bathroom to turn off the running water, seriously people, let’s not waste it. I ran back one more time, but then ran back to the bathroom because my daughter kept screaming that I had wrapped her too tight, fallen on the floor and was wiggling like a worm.

When I finally got to him (sweating and out of breath because clearly I don’t work out at all) and shared with him this life changing epiphany, he looks up and says, “REALLY???” Sarcasm. He owns it.

So I have made myself this list of things to be grateful for that I will be putting up on my refrigerator door to look at every time I lose my sh*t. I was going to wait until November to post this, because you know, Thanksgiving and stuff, but why wait? I’ll just beat everyone to the punch and post this in October.

11 Things I’m Grateful For

My daughters – Not only they’re the sweetest, smartest, best smelling little girls I know (yes, I smell them and they smell like marshmallows and puffy clouds mixed together. No you may not smell them), but they are the source of my never-ending mood swings. I appreciate that because every time they make me angry, they also make me infinitely happy. They make me yell, but they also make me laugh uncontrollably.  They make me question my intelligence every time they ask a question like, “what is a mammal and what’s the difference between them and reptiles?” To what I answer “welllll…..mammals have hairs….I think….oh look, your show is on!” But they also make me smarter because I’ve never googled so much crap as I’ve done in the past 7 years.

My husband – Because I am a moody bitch that never uses the corresponding face with the corresponding emotion and some how he still loves me.

Coffee – The reason I am not currently serving time for murder.  Ok, so maybe I won’t kill you if you talk to me before the caffeine takes over my body, but I will probably attack you.  Thank you coffee for keeping alive all the people I love.

Friends –   Because my husband will never give me an honest answer when I ask him what he thinks about an outfit, or if I still look pretty with these few extra pounds. I don’t know if he’s being sweet or just plain scared. Either way, he’s no good. So that’s when your friends step in. To tell you that outfit looks hideous and that you’re better off just burning it instead of not wearing it.

Chocolate – No need to explain myself. Chocolate.

24 hour healthcare – You know that if your child is going to get sick, it’s going to be in the middle of the night. No way for them to start throwing up a storm, say, I don’t know, 10 a.m.? 2 p.m.?  Any time between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. would be great kids. Please and thank you.  Nobody wants to leave the house at 2 in the morning when it’s 25 degrees outside (oh yes, it has happened), especially your Caribbean born parents. So thank you, 24 hour urgent care places. We’re all too familiar with you and we hope not to visit you again this winter.

Ancient Persian Riders – Who are they you might ask? They are the geniuses behind high heel shoes, or so says Wikipedia, and of course I trust the Wiki people because they are highly reliable. Having an impressive height of 5-ft tall, you can usually see me wearing high heels, wedges and anything that can lift me off the floor at least one inch, because I am damn tired of having to climb over anything (and that includes people) in order to reach the adult cereal boxes at the store.

Carbs –   Even though there’s an evil hidden in all of them, they are my faithful companion during the long, cold winter days; during my grumpy days; and pretty much during any other day of the year.  Forget ice cream pints or shots of tequila. Nothing makes me feel better than a bowl of white rice (yes, I said white, calm down) or any bread, potato, or anything starchy for that matter. One time a guy broke up with me (the nerve!) and instead of drowning my sorrows in a bottle of vodka, I ate a whole pot of rice.

Razors – No one wants a grizzly bear walking around, and shaving my legs with my husband’s internationally acclaimed, super expensive, extra shiny, professional chef’s knife is a big no-no, and also gross.

‘N Sync – Greatest boy band ever. Do not discuss with me, in my mind they’re still together. Remember that time that guy broke up with me and I cried over a pot of white rice? I was listening to Bye Bye Bye because I don’t wanna be a fool for you, just another player in your game for two…

And finally, let us join our hands together and be grateful for David Beckham’s existence.

 

image via etsy.com

image via etsy.com

What are you grateful for?  If you say sour gummy worms I will love you forever.

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I am a wise one I tell you!

A few posts back I wrote about this to-do list I started the day I found out I was pregnant with my first baby. It’s basically a list of things I needed to learn before she was born and obviously still haven’t because postponing everything is how I roll.

What I didn’t tell you though, is all the things I’ve learned that have made me the Master Mother Sensei that I am today. Not really, but it sounds bad ass so just humor me.

I think I read a few pages each of all the parenting books I bought while pregnant. I stopped reading them when I figured out my obgyn was giving me the Cliff Notes version on every appointment, and frankly, I preferred to spend as much time sleeping since everyone kept drilling into my head that once you have a baby you will never ever in a million years even when they get married and leave the house sleep again. This is in fact….a fact.

I’ve somehow managed to become an expert on a few areas and I would love to spread my wisdom. Please take note, this is very important:

POOP 

Everything I know is based on usually chaotic experiences, things that just suddenly happened, followed by frantic online searches (don’t ever do that) and calls to the pediatrician, only to have her tell me it’s all perfectly normal and that I should have really read the books. Case in point, the day my daughter proudly showed me the neon green poop she had just left in the potty. One panicky Google search later, and I quickly learned that she was either slowly turning into an alien or that artificial coloring does exactly that, artificially colors your baby’s poop. Damn you Lucky Charms.  7 years later I am the poop expert in my house. One quick look and I can tell you what they had for dinner the night before. My parents are very proud.

TOYS

I’m also, of course, a toy connoisseur.  I have spent my fair share of time playing with ALL OF THEM, so I know for a fact that Ken is gay and he might be having an affair with some other Ken dude that never has his pants on. I’m surprised Barbie still dates him, she seems to be a smart girl judging from all the jobs she currently has (Vet, Hairstylist, Mom, Teacher, Park Ranger and everything in between), but she just can’t get a clue that her boyfriend has better clothes than her and is constantly hanging around another blondie with a mad six-pack. Barbie, break up with him, but still keep him around. Trust me, they throw the best parties ever and they make the best friends a girl (or anyone for that matter) could ask for.

Ken, tell Barbie the truth and then come find me, we can totally be bff’s. image via dailybest.it

Hungry Hippos are just that, 4 starving hippos that never seem to get full because this mind numbing game never ends.

Mickey and Minnie are way overrated and have been collecting dust on the top shelf.

Monster High dolls have freakishly long legs and skinny torsos and they dress like ‘women of the night’, because calling them whores would be a little mean, after all, they are teenagers.

Hello Kitty will forever be a cat, no matter who says otherwise.  I will not let you crush my childhood.

Cabbage Patch Kids are still around, and guess what? They still have the same awesome smell they did before. Don’t pretend you never smelled them.

All this vast knowledge I have on toys is obviously because I’ve purchased them all for my daughters, which brings me to my next point of expertise…finance.

FINANCE

I learned this summer that once your daughters find out there is an American Girl store in your area, you might as well just kiss your 401k good-bye and walk inside because they will stop at nothing until they get one. That means cleaning their rooms and eating Brussels sprouts.

They have also been collecting these little dolls called Mini Lalaloopsy for about 4 years now.  Each one of them comes with their own personality (some very questionable), a pet (of course) and one million accessories (why not?). They cost around $7.99 each, multiply that by 91, add to that 2 American Girl dolls plus whatever accessories and outfits they’re going to want, at least 3 yearly shopping trips to the mall because they never stop growing, plus lots and lots of grocery shopping and you have what I like to call a one way ticket to bankruptcy city.

Bye, bye my loves :(

Bye, bye my loves :(

 

Hibernation 

It usually takes me getting ready to go out with my hubby in order for either one of my daughters, if not both, to suddenly, out of the blue, get sick. Not before, when I’m still lounging around in my yoga pants. No. They wait until I have brushed my hair, put on make-up (concealer and strawberry chap stick), squeeze into my skinny jeans and break out the stilettos for them to throw up out of nowhere.

If we do manage to slip away for a quick bite or even, wait for it….a movie, we will undoubtedly get a call from grandma saying that they’re either coughing too much or have a horrible, horrible tummy ache. And of course, because I’m as paranoid as it gets and must rush to their sides every time they say “ouch”, by the time we get there, whatever “ouchy” they had magically disappears.

So now I keep the house stacked with medicine, snacks, unread magazines, movies for the young and old and loads of toys, because I’ve become quite an expert hibernator, not that I mind now that the weather is starting to suck again.

And there you have it! 4 things I’m really good at. Next time I’ll talk about child psychology or something more profound that doesn’t involve poop.

 

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I’m just not ready

My youngest princess-ninja just turned 4 and I was not ready for it. Just the other day I was changing her diapers and today she’s asking me for privacy every time she needs to go potty.

I’m not ready to send her off to kindergarten, even though that’s 1 year away, but in mommy time it’s really 5 minutes.

I’m not ready for her to stop wanting to sleep in our bed, even though she has made a permanent dent on my ribs.

I’m not ready for her to stop playing Barbies and babies, even though I get on her nerves every time we play because I just can’t get their voices and accents right (obviously, they all come from different islands, each with their own exotic accent, and it’s not enough for her that I already speak with one).

I’m not ready for her to start being more independent, even though I try to teach her to be and secretly love that she won’t leave my side even when I’m in the bathroom.

I’m not ready for her to give up her tantrums, even though it makes the vein in my forehead want to pop, because I know that all she wants is my attention.

I’m not ready for her to start talking like a big kid, even though sometimes I don’t understand half of what she says, mainly because I don’t know if she’s speaking english, spanish or spanglish, but I’m pretty sure she makes up her own words most of the time.

So I sat down with her and tried to reach some sort of agreement.

I tried to convince her to stop growing so fast, because sooner rather than later she’ll be as tall as me and is going to take my clothes without my permission, but I’m really just not ready to stop shopping at The Children’s Place. And her response was:

“Well, then stop feeding me veggies and give me more candy.”

I asked her nicely to never, ever stop talking like a baby because it’s just so damn cute. And her response was:

“Can I PLEASE then stop going to school?”

I politely asked her if it was ok for us to pretend she was turning 2 instead of 4. And her response was:

“Don’t worry mami, I’ll still love you even when I’m 4. I’ll even love you when I turn 148.”

I tried to persuade her into choosing the nearest college so that she would never have to leave the house. I even went as low as telling her that I don’t ever go anywhere without her, so she should never go anywhere without me. And her response was:

“The reason you don’t go anywhere without me is because you have no social life.”

Ok, so I made the last one up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she does say that when she understands what having a social life means.

Clearly, I was getting nowhere with this kid. So I did what every other mom in my predicament would do. I got pregnant. No, not really, I just went out and bought her a toy baby, because that’s what babies play with.

Isn't she a beauty?

Isn’t she a beauty?