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?

 

 

 

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what I really wanted to say was…

If you’re on the have a baby, they said blog bandwagon, you’re awesome and also hopefully read my last post on the eternal road trip I had to endure to get to my brother’s wedding in Indiana.  If you’re not on said bandwagon, I’m not going to judge you, but seriously, get on it. And if you’d rather read the newspaper, a book, or the back of a cereal box for that matter than to read my endless, pointless rants, well then you my friend, are one smart cookie.

Anyway, my brother and his wife decided to celebrate their elopement by throwing a pretty amazing party at her parent’s house, which by the way, it’s the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen and Scarlett O’Hara would be totally jealous.

When I got a call from him a couple of months ago telling me about the celebration, my big mouth asked him if he wanted me to say something at the party. He was VERY excited. I would do that for him any day of the week, don’t get me wrong, but the fact that I don’t get drunk anymore (because I’m lame) and would have to do it sober in front of 150 people was giving me panic attacks.

How could I get out of it? I couldn’t, he’s my brother and I had promised him, and then he would not teach my daughter how to swim like I was planning.  Damn it. The sacrifices you make for your children.

Of course, two months pass by and I didn’t write a word because procrastination runs my life. Actually, scratch that, I did write down a few ideas of what I wanted to talk about, but never really got around to putting together a coherent paragraph, not even a sentence. In my mind though, I had the perfect speech, people would fall off their seats laughing and the bride’s parents would fall in love with me, adopt me and offer me a room in their Gone with the Wind house.

I planned on writing it when I got to the hotel the night before, but after an 11 ½ hour road trip, 8 of which were spent watching 2 of my kid’s movies on repeat, I was beat, I couldn’t feel my legs and my brain was fried. So the morning after was my last chance, but then I realized I had left both my daughter’s sweaters at home and hello target! 2 hours later I was back at the hotel getting ready to write and procrastination happened…again.

Fast forward to that night and the bride’s dad gave the best speech ever. In Spanish! I don’t even think he speaks Spanish, he even had his own personal translator (my brother).  People laughed, people cried, how could I ever top that? At least I looked pretty (I hope).

Time for my speech, I was handed the microphone in what seemed to be slow motion, I take it and say:

“I’m not drunk enough to do this.”

Those were the words I chose to introduce myself to my brother’s new family. Not good evening, not Hello, my name is Linda and I’m the groom’s not alcoholic sister. Nothing.

I start to ramble, of course, and then both my daughters decide to stand by me while I disgraced my family join me and mid speech literally grab the microphone from me and start to display their multiple talents, which completely threw me off my train of thought, not that I had one to begin with. I don’t remember much of what I said after that, but it must have been amazing because ONE person laughed.

When it was finally over (again, I would do it over and over. I know you’re reading. I love you.), I sat down and realized I didn’t say what I really wanted to say. I really just wanted to give them both some marriage advice, because being married 9 years obviously makes me an expert.

I wanted to tell her that as soon as they say I DO, men develop a serious case of Selective Hearing. Even when they say they heard you, they didn’t. Whatever it is you want or need, you better get it in writing.

I wanted to tell him that no matter how many times we say nothing is wrong, something is wrong. And you better figure it out and fix it. Fast.

I wanted to tell her that you should praise him every time he completes a chore, like doing laundry or cooking (yes, for some of us, cooking becomes a tedious chore). Give him a kiss or a high-five, whatever you choose. Kinda like giving a puppy a snack when you’re training them.  Get what I’m trying to say here?

I wanted to tell him that he better think twice before asking her if she really needs another pair of shoes.  We ALWAYS need another pair of shoes, as well as boots, jeans or any other item of clothing. Just don’t ever go there.

I wanted to tell her to run as fast as she can every time he gets sick. Because a sick man is like having 6 sick toddlers and 8 teething babies together at the same time. Hire a nurse or call his mother, just run. I’m just kidding, please take care of my brother.

I wanted to tell them both to choose their battles carefully.  Sometimes the dumbest things can start a massive outrage. Remember what happened when The War of the Worlds was narrated on the radio way back when? Same thing can happen if you leave the toilet seat up or you forget to put the leftovers in the fridge (I forget all the time, no worries).

And finally, I wanted to tell you both that you are now part of an equal relationship, neither of you should wear the pants in your marriage. Seriously, no one should wear pants, its way more fun that way, until you have kids of course, then it would just be weird. Put some pants on!

road trippin’ (writing as I go)

I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but it’s mostly because I’ve been at home for the past three weeks, and let’s be honest, I don’t do anything when I’m home. Also because I usually do all my writing at the office and I’m telling you this because my boss doesn’t read this blog, she thinks I work diligently. It’s been a long three weeks and I’m ready to go back, but not before driving from Virginia to Indiana for my brother’s wedding, who actually eloped and got married in Hawaii (genius) a couple of months ago. I really think they’re throwing this wedding celebration just to get me in a van with my in-laws, my dad, my husband and my kids for 8 hours which I’m sure will turn into 10. What did I do to deserve this? I don’t know, but I’m liking the sound of the word revenge. 

When you get three old friends (in-laws and my dad) together in a car for 8 hours all they’re going to do is talk…and talk…and talk some more. And when they’re done, they’ll talk some more. And here I am in the back of the van because I’m 5 ft and no one else fits in between my daughter’s car seats but me, and I’m about to throw up, maybe because I just swallowed a bag of mini Oreos and writing this on my phone on the back. I’m also watching Frozen for the 68th time so the thought of pulling over and puking actually seems like a fun break. 

We’re driving through Pennsylvania or Maryland. I don’t even know, but I made the huge mistake of asking my dad, a geography enthusiast, because calling him a geography freak would be rude. He pulled out a map because why wouldn’t he. 25 minutes later he was still pointing out roads and stuff.
Now he’s listing ALL the states and asking me if I know their capital, which I obviously don’t because I only memorized them to pass my US History test in middle school like 20 years ago. 

The capital of California is Sacramento, NOT Hollywood. 

I just figured out that we’re in Pittsburgh, I’m sure because we had to stop to buy a blanket because I guess everyone in the car is going through menopause and the AC is blasting. I got a throw at a rest stop for $30. That was THIRTY dollars for a penguin throw which I’m guessing is the pet of their something team. Go Penguins??

The capital of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg, NOT Philadelphia. And apparently Tom Hanks does not live there.

Of course, now it’s scorching hot because there’s no way to cover the sun coming in through the back window, I have 2 huge dolls and a Penguin blanket on my lap and we’re watching Tinkerbell for the 54th time.

The capital of New York is Albany, NOT Times Square.

4 more hours to go. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste. Namaste.

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that one time I had dinner with 35 foodies

I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again: I am a disaster when it comes to anything that involves making food. I love to eat, don’t get me wrong, maybe a little too much actually, the problem is I can’t cook, I get annoyed reading food labels, I don’t know if 500 calories for a bagel is ridiculous or not, I can’t tell the difference between parsley and cilantro and I’m not entirely sure what a Rutabaga is, and I had to Google the correct spelling for it. I’m not proud of this trust me, I’m still working on it.  The fact that I married a chef is a huge deal for me, because I went from eating Ramen Noodles to eating fresh homemade pasta. Score.

After 10 years of being married to this guy, I’ve learned a thing or two in the kitchen, that doesn’t mean I like it now, it just means that I won’t starve to death when he’s not around. So when my husband told me that we were invited to one of his friend’s house for dinner, along with around 35 other chefs and foodies my heart immediately stopped.  Putting aside the fact that I didn’t know ANYONE at this dinner, I knew the only topic of conversation was going to be about food, something I know nothing about, except how to eat it.

I tried binge watching the Food Network Channel a few days before to see if maybe I could learn some of the lingo and not look like a complete idiot, but I couldn’t do it. I got so anxious watching these people trying to make a gourmet entrée using only a tub of peanut butter, an orange peel and a potato.  I also tried reading some of my husband’s books, I fell asleep. I tried getting him to give me a quick crash course, but it wasn’t quick, it involved charts and homework, so I told him I had to do the neighbor’s laundry and ran away.

My only hope was that maybe another lost wife was going to be there too,  maybe we would bond over our culinary ignorance, maybe we would talk about kids, maybe we would talk about shoes, maybe we would become bff’s. I was getting excited about meeting my new imaginary best friend and so was my husband, he had noticed me having all these pretend adult conversations with myself and frankly, I was starting to look like a mental person.

We got there and were received by 30 something people. I knew no one. I clenched my husband’s hand, but of course, he soon exchanged it for a glass of wine.  I looked around and did not see another lost wife like me, everyone knew each other.

After what seemed hours of following my husband around like a lost puppy mingling, we sat down and waited for the first course, in the meantime, everyone was talking about food, and ingredients, and techniques, and foam, and liquid nitrogen*(apparently, the super cool use it to cook) and that chef that was the underdog and now is super famous. All gibberish to me.

I had nothing to say.

First course came out, everyone whipped out their cameras and started snapping pictures, I followed. I don’t even know why, but everyone was doing it. One hour later we were on our fourth course. I kept thinking about my daughters, hoping  the little one would start crying so much that my father in-law would have no other option but to call me. No calls. 5th course…no calls.

Me: “So dessert is next? This is our 5th plate of food, I don’t think I can eat anymore.”

Husband: “It’s fifteen courses, desserts (as in more than one) come after.”

Fifteen courses. FIFTEEN.

I wasn’t sure I was going to make it all the way to the last course, but everything was so good I just kept eating and eating. With so much food around me and my non-stop eating, there was no time to join in the conversation even if I tried. They will ever know how much I don’t know.

I hear ya!

I hear ya!

We made it to the 9th course before my father in-law really called in a panic. The baby had woken up and wouldn’t stop crying. We had to leave early and I asked my husband if it was too tacky to ask for take out. He rolled his eyes and we left.

Next time I’ll be sure to be well prepared, I’ll study the charts and do the homework, learn the lingo and even practice some recipes of my own. I promise.

P.S.  Thank you to all the chefs and cooks out there (specially my hubby and his friends), who dedicate their days cooking AMAZING dishes. Thank you for sharing your passion and art.

* I had actually written dry ice but my husband had a mini heart attack and quickly corrected me.

my 7 year to-do list

listWho doesn’t love a to-do list? In my less than organized life (because I don’t like to say chaotic) these lists are the only thing that keep me somewhat sane. I make lists for everything, I make so many that someone actually told me I should make a how-about-I-get-a-hobby list. Instead, I made a reasons-to-mind-your-own-business list and slipped it under their door.  Seriously, leave my love for lists alone.

So naturally, being so fond of them, the minute I found out I was pregnant  I started making a list of things I needed to learn because I really knew nothing….about anything. I still don’t.

My daughter is about to turn 7, so that’s how old this list is. I’m hoping to cross everything out sometime before she has her own daughter.

My 7 year to-do list:

  • Learn how to eat like a grown up

Obviously, if my baby is going to be occupying the premises for the next 9 months I might as well start eating right so that she can grow healthy. That means no more coffee for breakfast, crappy chinese for lunch and leftovers for dinner.

  • Learn how to speed read

Because I need to read this pile of pregnancy books, along with the other pile of how to care for a newborn, how to sleep train them, how to make them the happiest baby and toddler around the neighborhood or block or something like that. Add to that my own lists of magazines books.

  • Learn how to cook

Because I’m going to have to eventually leave the hospital and feed this kid all by myself.  And yes, pureeing fruits and veggies can be a challenge for the culinary incompetents like me.

  • Learn how to sing

I read somewhere that nothing soothes a crying baby like a mother’s voice, maybe I made that one up I’m not sure, but I’m determined to calm my baby by singing sweet lullabies to her. That means I have to start by remembering the lyrics and learning a couple of new ones because Baby Got Back and Can’t Touch This are not going to cut it.

  •  Learn how to ignore unsolicited advice

A good friend of mine warned me about this. I was going to get tons of unsolicited advice, from my own mother down to the nosy stranger at the mall. Someone once told me that the baby should sleep with the lights on, that way it would force her to close her eyes and she’d eventually go to sleep. That doesn’t work, I know because I actually tried it. Don’t judge me. I knew nothing. I still don’t. My kids still sleep with me.

  •  Learn how to properly do laundry

Nothing says motherhood like being thrown up on, spitted on, pooped on and wiped on. There aren’t enough yoga pants and stretchy t-shirts in my closet to keep up with this mess.  And then there are the baby’s clothes. How can they be so dirty when everything is already on my clothes? You’d think that doing laundry is just separating the whites from the colors. I thought the same thing, turns out there’s a whole science to it. First of all, there are different water temperatures for I guess different types of fabric. I don’t even know which ones get cold/cold or which ones get hot/cold water.  In my house water is water and that’s all you need to wash your clothes. So I don’t really touch that button. It’s been on the same setting (warm/cold, I compromised) for the past 7 years. Second of all, don’t even think about not turning printed t-shirts inside out before washing them, if the print peels off, you WILL ruin your kids life. I’ve already ruined her life twice.

  •  Learn how to knit

Isn’t it a rule for every mom to know how to knit cute scarfs and hats for their kids? Or is that grandmas? Either way, I thought it would be cool to learn how to make my kids scarfs and hats so they could proudly brag to their friends that “my mom made this super awesome fancy scarf for me”. Unfortunately the plain, uneven, full of knots scarf that I made my daughter has yet to be seen in public. I think she hid it inside a shoe.

  •  Learn how to ride a bicycle without killing myself

My dad taught me how to ride a bike, his dad taught him and I’m sure his dad taught him, so I’m for sure not going to be the one to end this centuries old family tradition. I’m a great bike rider, as long as I’m going in a straight line. Don’t ask me to turn a corner or even slightly move to the right in order not to run over the speed walker that’s in front of me, sorry lady, if you don’t step aside I will have to run you over, that, or I will fall and scrape my ego…along with my knees, elbows and probably face.

  • Learn how to open a bottle of wine. 

Because I have a feeling I’m going to need some.

 

This is what I’ve accomplished so far:

1-Learn how to eat like a grownup: Only during my pregnancy, after that, back to coffee, crappy chinese and left overs.

2- Learn how to speed read: HAHAHAHAHAHA no I didn’t.

3- Learn how to cook: I learned how to make a mean pea puree, until my baby started gagging on the little peels so I quit.

4- Learn how to sing: Lullabies are seriously boring, so don’t judge my daughters when you hear them singing “I like big butts and I cannot lie”. I take full responsibility.

5- Learn how to ignore unsolicited advise: As my future husband Robert Downey Jr. said: “Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever the fu&k you were gonna do anyway”.

6- Learn how to properly do laundry: Nope. I’m still ruining my daughter’s life, one shirt at a time.

7-Learn how to knit: Who in their right mind has time to knit? I’m trying to fix my kid’s life here!

8-Learn how to ride a bicycle without killing myself: My 6 year old rides better than me. Let’s leave it at that.

9-Learn how to open a bottle of wine: Mastered it!

 

notice: elevator out of order

Every morning I snooze and snooze my alarm clock until I wake up in a panic and realize I’m already late for work. I jump out of bed, kinda shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, throw random food in lunch boxes, drop kids off, brush my hair in the car, spill my coffee in the car, stop for gas because of course, and speed to make it on time to work. But not that day, that day I woke up before the alarm went off. I took a shower, washed my hair and even had time to blow dry it, carefully picked out my outfit, sat down and drank coffee with my daughters, which by the way, are enjoying their summer vacation while I slave away at work. You’re welcome.  So of course something was going to go wrong, because when you start your mornings this way, something is bound to go wrong.

As I was walking into my office building, 5 minutes early and not 15 minutes late like always, I was received with this:

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Of course, why not?

Not 1 or 2 elevators were out of order, all 5 of them were! ALL FIVE OF THEM! Did you know I work on a 17th floor? I do.

There was no way to call in sick since a few of my co-workers had already seen me, so I had no other choice than to go up 17 floors, and in order to avoid any human interaction with the other 15 people who were about to make the journey with me, I decided to keep my mind of the climb by writing what was going through head. Enjoy.

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Needless to say, by the time I crawled to my desk my hair was drenched in sweat, I had armpit sweat stains and my feet were disgustingly dirty, and to top it all off  by 5 pm the elevators were still not fixed. But we did get a very encouraging email from Facilities letting us know that energy bars would be provided to us for our way down. Yey. Better get a water bottle from the vending machine.

Did you suffer along with me? Because if you didn’t this post was totally pointless. And please don’t judge me on any lack of punctuation, spelling or grammar mistakes you may have spotted.  I was climbing and typing!

#becausefútbol

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I feel like everyone and their mother has something to say about soccer fútbol these days, so of course, I’m not going to be the only one not saying anything!

I’ve never  been a soccer fan, I don’t know the rules or the names of most of the players, all I know is that the team that scores the most goals wins, so obviously I’m not confident enough to carry on a conversation with anyone that knows more than me, basically I can only talk about it with my daughters, and most of the time I’m just making stuff up because they have no idea either and believe everything I say.  But when my country (GO COLOMBIA!!!) is rocking  the World Cup after 16 years of not qualifying, emotions are bound to take over my body and I turn into their #1 fan, that, and I suddenly start developing a serious case of Tourette’s. I don’t think I’ve ever cursed so much and so loud since the last time I went on a roller coaster and my shoulder got dislocated. While my mom  is (decently) calming her nerves by praying to every single saint out there, with every single rosary she owns and every single cross she has (and of course she has to cross ALL her fingers because if not we will lose), I on the other hand am cursing like a sailor in front of my kids and don’t even care.  Do you know what HIJUEPUTA means? It means SON OF A B…and I’ve been screaming it at the top of my lungs for the past 40 minutes because why the hell haven’t we scored yet? Not my proudest moment as a parent. My 6 year old covers her ears because “oh my gosh you’re so loud and you’re not making any sense!”, at least I don’t think she understands what my perfectly pronounced spanish curse words mean and as long as she doesn’t repeat them in front of my husband I should be fine. As much as I try to control my emotions, I just can’t control my language. I don’t know where these words are coming from! I swear my parents raised me right. It’s like the spirit of profanity possesses me or something. And after the games are over I look at my innocent daughters and think oh lord what have I done? They’re going to grow up to be trucker princesses.

She watched the whole game like this. Also, please notice how she's wearing a rosary on her wrist AND around her neck.

She watched the whole game like this. Lets all appreciate how she’s wearing a rosary on her wrist AND around her neck. Cuteness overload.

I don’t know how my heart has managed so much stress lately too. It works over time on every game, I think it’s getting all the cardio its been missing for the past  months, add to that sweaty palms, panic attacks, pulling my hair, nervous tics, anxiety…all of it. Apparently I growl too. Also, my kids have been taking care of themselves, making their own lunches and snacks, I almost let my oldest one drive her sister to the park the other day. She’s 6. No time to be a responsible parent, Colombia needs all of my attention and good vibes.

Pray I don’t have a heart attack or completly neglect my daughters on our next game, which by the way is on the 4th of July, so I will be either celebrating Colombia’s victory and our Independence Day or I will be crying and celebrating our Independence Day because hello USA rocks too!

Let’s hope my mom doesn’t forget to cross ALL her fingers.

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Can someone please make this flag for me?