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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A post about nothing. Seinfeld would be so proud.

'I'm not a neurologist, but according to this X-ray, you have no brain.'So I just realized my brain has turned into spaghetti and I haven’t been able to form a single coherent sentence since the holidays. Hence, my absence from the blogging world and I’m sure your lives. Rrriiight…

Let me start by apologizing for this post before you even read it because I have no idea what it’s going to be about, I’m going to wing it, just like I’m winging my children’s upbringing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope they grow up to be descent human beings.

As I was saying, my mind is completely blank and it’s been that way since the holidays. January has been like one big massive hangover, and not precisely from drinking too much, those days were left in the past, along with a face that doesn’t have permanent puffy eyes.

I think I lost my brain sometime between getting over the initial shock of reading my daughters’ Christmas list, making one VERY realistic list of my own, Christmas shopping, and trying to figure out how to make a Christmas expense excel spreadsheet.

I thought about making a spreadsheet so I could find a way to organize my holiday shopping budget and not go haywire like I did last year. Dear husband, this is where you need to stop reading.  Actually, I’m not going to say how much I spent, because if I know my husband well, he is still reading even though I just asked him not to. But why should he start listening to me now?

Anyway, excel spreadsheets are hard. And I went over my budget. Again.

So this post will not be about my adventures in computer land.

Back to where I was telling you about my non functioning brain.

Right in the middle of that mess, I figured I should at least start laying out ideas on what to write next. So I started looking everywhere for all these random notes I’m usually jotting down on any writable surface. I checked my phone OHMYGODCANDYCRUSHISGONE!!!  I checked the palm of my hand Buy toilet paper and tampons. I checked the bathroom stalls Get a new writing pad. I checked my purse and surprisingly, all I found was an overdue speeding ticket and thanks to my zombie brain* I now have to pay double the amount.

Since it was still December, I figured I would write about how excruciatingly exhausting it is to keep lying to my kids about Santa. Not only does it drill a hole in my pocket every single year because my kids think Christmas is a toy free for all, but I always have to take it up a notch and start making up all these stupid “magical” stories about how all the reindeer send them letters every night without thinking first that I was going to be the one doing all the writing and printing, which in itself wasn’t hard work because who am  I kidding, I got the pre-written letters from the all mighty Pinterest. The real hard work was waiting for my daughters to fall asleep and not forgetting to roll up the letters and stick them in their stockings. That was too much of a commitment.

Do not even get me started on the as*hole that invented the elf on the shelf. This person clearly had too much time on her hands. Also, who designed this toy? What is the same person? And does she know that this creepy elf is just waiting for you to go to sleep so he can murder you in your sleep?

My daughters got theirs as a gift from someone who hates** me and we decided our elf, Nancy, was NOT going to be reporting back to Santa. They couldn’t stand the pressure of another set of eyes watching them, Santa’s eyes are enough.

So Christmas Eve rolled by and after partying until 1 am (and by partying I mean eating like a pig), mama here went to bed at 3:30 IN THE MORNING putting together a desk because my 7-year-old “absolutely needs an office”, and making sure “Santa” laid all the toys in a perfect semi-circle by the Christmas Tree. Naturally, two of my last working brain cells died that night. I swear to God when these kids find out the truth about Santa I better be getting a trip to the jewelry store as a thank you.

So this post will not be about the magic of Christmas.

Let me tell you about our crazy New Year’s Eve partaaaay!!!

We got all sorts of ready for NYE. I got party poppers, party hats, we had sparkling cider for the girls, soda for us (we’re boring, deal with it), ordered pizza and wait for it…. my husband fell asleep at 8:04 on the couch wearing a glitter party hat.  I have the picture to prove it but I can’t show it because he threatened to post a picture of when I thought I looked cute in a pixie cut, sooo…yeah…whatever…I rang the new year at 9:45 pm with my daughters and my mom while watching Disney reruns. Whoop Whoop!

So this post will not be about our New Year’s Eve fiesta.

On new years day, I sat down in front of my laptop (not hangover and totally refreshed from a good night sleep) and decided that for the first time ever, I was going to make some new year’s resolutions and all I could come up with was this:

1- Stop eating chocolate bars as a midday snack.

Because “joining the gym” would be just setting myself up for failure. And guess what? Chocolate is still my best friend forever.

So this post will not be about my New Year’s resolutions.

Also, this post will not be about how much weight I gained during the holidays. I don’t want to talk about it OK?!?!?

This post will NOT be me complaining about the weather. It’s January and it’s freezing cold and it sucks and it sucks and it sucks.

So what should this post be about?

 

*I don’t think Zombies have brains.

**I’m kidding S, I know you love me!

 

holy crap my daughter’s Christmas list is longer than a CVS receipt*

I LOVE Christmas. I love it so much that I’m probably one of the few people who doesn’t get bothered to see Christmas decorations right next to the Halloween ones in early October. I personally welcome anything that will make this holiday season stretch as much as it can, even if it means buying a pumpkin and a mistletoe at the same time.

My love for Christmas is obvious. So obvious, that I made my own Christmas list way before my daughters, and if you still haven’t read it just click here and enjoy.

Did you read it? No? Ok, one last chance, click here and enjoy.

Did you read it now? Great!

Anyway, if you thought that list was ambitious you should check out what my daughter is asking for.

Wish me luck because this is a long one.

Behold my 4-year-old’s Christmas list:

as dictated

As carefully dictated

  • Frozen dolls –  Pfffft! One step ahead of you kid! I bought these way before all the Elsa dolls in the world went out of stock. Just kidding. I just bought one for three times as much because all those f*cking dolls are out of stock.
  • Baby doll – number 18 to add to the pile.
  • American Girl – ay ay ay $$$
  • Romy’s sister – Who the hell is Romy?!? Note to self: find out who Romy is, then find out if she even has a sister. And are we even sure it’s her biological sister? What if she’s the product of an extramarital affair and they’ve been living a lie all these years? OMG Focus! Focus!
  • The doggie – Apparently, this dog is a big deal judging by the use of the word “the”. Must binge watch commercials and see which one is “the doggie” and it better not be a high maintenance one that requires those big ass square batteries or an app.
  • My own phone – Uhhh No.
  • Games – Hope educational games are alright with you.
  • New game – How did you know I’m getting you an educational game? I’m also thinking you are NOT alright with it.
  • Play Doh machine – They have machines now? In my time you would use a fork, an ice-cream scooper and whatever other kitchen utensil you could sneak out of the kitchen. So that’s what you’ll be using.
  • New dolly – Is this in addition to the baby doll, Romy’s “sister” AND the reason I’m going bankrupt American Girl doll???
  • New purse – To keep your new imaginary phone in, I suppose.
  • New clothes and shoes – Maybe Mrs. Claus can pick out an outfit or two. I’m pretty sure she already knows you change your outfit at least 7 times a day (this is a fact).
  • New stickers – Cheap and small. Check!
  • Hair ties – I fully support anything that will let me sit down and make beautiful creations to your pretty, bouncy hair.
  • One peluca (wig) red, short, with straight hair – hmmm…..not really sure what to make of this.
  • New scarf for winter –  You like to accessorize, yet you want to keep yourself warm. Smart and cute.
  • Colores (colors) – You run through a box of crayons like I run through a box of chocolates. So yes, you will be getting a couple of boxes…and so will I.
  • New heels – Didn’t you JUST ask for new clothes and shoes? But you’re right, a girl can never have enough shoes.
  • A pretty dress with lots and lots of flowers – Again, you JUST asked for new clothes and shoes!
  • A new cremita (lotion) “for my face doesn’t tan” – I’m so glad you’re embracing your paleness porcelain like skin.
  • My own tablet – Hahahahahahahaha NO.
  • More food – Geez! Santa’s going to think we’re starving you. You DO know your dad’s a chef right?
  • My own book – Wait. WHAT?? Santa’s a publisher too? I’m totally sending him a manuscript!!
  • A whole lot of candy – A whole lot!! That sounds like mountains and mountains of candy, which I’m sure is exactly what you have in mind. You can eat the ginger bread house on Christmas morning. You’re welcome.

Do you think it’s too much? I do, because I have TWO daughters, so I get TWO separate lists.

And this is what my oldest wants:

  • AMERICAN GIRL EVERYTHING – You know what? Just take all my money. Here, just take it!

Such efficiency

Not only did she write in detail what she wanted, but she circled each item from the catalog so that Santa wouldn’t even have a chance of missing anything. She then thought it would be a good idea for Santa to actually take the catalog with him, you know as a precaution, but not before making him a sign asking him to please bring it back.

 

 

 

*For those of you who don’t know what a CVS receipt looks like, here you go:

This is an actual receipt for the purchase of ONE pack of gum.

This person probably just purchased a pack of gum and got stuck with all this unnecessary paper, much like my daughter’s 18th doll.

 

14 days ’til Christmas. I better hustle!

Dear Santa…

Dear Santa,

First of all, I just want to tell you how proud I am of you. Not only do you survive this crazy holiday every year, but you hand deliver every single toy to all the believers out there. I know it must be hard to keep up with the demand and all these new complicated video games and tablets. It must have taken you forever to learn how to assemble all these games with the chips and the 3-D and the gigas and the bytes. Whatever happened to the good old wooden rocking horse? I know. I feel the same way. I must say, you’ve adapted wonderfully and all while rocking the same red suit. Kudos to you!

Anyway, you must be confused as to why a grown ass (OMG! I’m soooo sorry for cursing) woman is sending you a letter. Well, the truth is, I have lost all hope and was hoping you could restore it for me. You see, the other day I asked my husband what he wanted for Christmas and he said he didn’t want anything (bless his heart). However, I think he was expecting the same answer from me. That didn’t happen of course, because I want lots of things. Now, don’t think I’m being selfish or anything; I’m actually the complete opposite of that. I always put everyone’s needs before mine and only expect to get rewarded at the end of the year. Never mind, that does sound really selfish. Let me rephrase that. I think I deserve to get everything on my list because I take care of my family without asking for anything back except hugs, kisses and the occasional compliment here and there.  So when I showed my husband the list, he laughed uncontrollably and walked away. And this is when all my hope went down the drain.

So this is where you come in, Santa. I’m sending you this list in hopes I wake up on Christmas morning and find that not only my daughters’ wishes came true, but also mine.

santa

It’s not that long Santa, just wait until you see my daughters’.

1 – Endless supply of toilet paper – Santa, do you know that I am buying a 24-pack of toilet paper on a weekly basis? I mean, I know there are more girls than boys in the house and that we have more…err…”stuff” to keep clean, but come on!! I’m starting to believe my daughters are trading toilet paper rolls for candy. It’s no coincidence that I keep finding more candy and less toilet paper around the house. So if you give me an endless supply of TP it would mean fewer trips to the store, which means I would have to drive less, which means less pollution to the environment. So really, it’s a win-win situation.

Actually, while you’re at it, can you add a couple of nanny cams? I’m going to catch the little suckers!

2 – 30 hour days – Not to get more done. No. I need 30 hour days in order to squeeze in a few more hours of sleep. Don’t you just feel like punching people that only need 4 or 5 hours of sleep and yet they still wake up radiant and full of energy? Probably not, ’cause you’re Santa and you’re perfect and fluffy. But I do! Sorry about all the aggressiveness, it’s the lack of sleep. If I get more hours of sleep, I’ll probably wake up singing “It’s a beautiful morning” and make pancakes for the whole building. Again, a win-win situation.

3 – The ability to cook – I’ll just get straight to the point. I have tried to learn and have failed miserably. So this is why I need you.  I need to be able to make a grilled cheese sandwich without this happening:

IMG_9300

Who feeds their children plastic? Me.

 

 

 

 

 

Or cook a simple pasta dish without burning it like this:

IMG_9301

I seriously give up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is pathetic and I need you to fix it please.

4 – The power to transform into Martha Stewart or at least suck all the talent out of her: I for once would like to be able to sew my daughter’s Girl Scout badges on her vest and not run like a little girl to my mom asking her for help. Anything that requires sewing, I will staple. Anything that asks for frosting, I will buy pre-made. Anything that involves paint will end up on the carpet and up my nose. All I want is to be skillful enough to redecorate my living room by only using a wooden crate, paint and tape. I’m sure Martha can do it.

5 – 24 hour concierge service: I know some buildings do have it, but I’m neither rich nor live in NYC.  So what if sometimes I crave ice-cream at 2 in the morning? Or forget to buy more juice boxes for my daughter’s lunch box. I don’t want to leave the house at 6 pm. That’s so late for this old body. I need someone to go fetch me stuff at a moments notice and my husband has already said no.

6 – Healthy junk food – Santa please, I beg of you!! Not everything healthy has to be boring. I need junk food in my life but I need it to be healthy because I hate the gym and I can’t stop eating cheeseburgers from the mall and my waist is paying for it. Also candy and carbs. No matter how much I eat them, I need you to make all this stuff super extra healthy because I have no plans of stopping.

That’s it Santa, I only want these 6 things. After all, my parents taught me not to be greedy.

Sincerely,

Me :)

 

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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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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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