Tuesday, August 13, 2013

dramarama

So, my daughter is super dramatic. We've gone over this before. And as much as I may protest at times, I know that I must take the heat for passing on this particular gene, because, well, I know I can be an emotional tidal wave at times. A tsu-mommy, have you. 
Troy, on the other hand, likes to bottle his Beer (see what I did there?). He can keep his emotional waves under wraps for a pretty good amount of time. I think I've seen him cry maayyybe five times- two of which were at the births of our children (tears of joy for both, though I feel for the first birth a couple tears of horror and fear may have been shed- he DID watch the lower half of his newlywed bride rip in half afterall...) Anyway, yeah, Troy is very straight forward. Especially during the work week, and definitely especially while he's on the job. He speaks in monotone and is very short (but super tall) on the phone. No nonsense. Sometimes he won't say "hi" or "bye". It's serious. It's particularly annoying for me because I'm all hopped up on caffeine and am extra loopy from being locked up with a couple of nutso non-adults all day so when he calls, it kinda always goes like this: 
Phone rings. 
Me: "HiIiiIiiiiiiiIiiii Trooooyyyyyyyyy. What's your cute little handsome face doing being all buff and strong and lifting cars and saving children from avalanchessssss...?"
Troy: "...don't forget to change the the oil in your car."
Sofia: "What did you eat for lunch I miss yyyyyoooo--" 
::click:: 
He's busy. I get it. I'm not mad. He actively partakes in satisfying  my neediness when he's home, so it's cool. 
Anyway, so, on this particular day, it's about three o'clock. Landon is still sleeping, and I turn on Avery's new favorite show on Nickelodeon in my room to keep her quiet while I take a shower. I kinda think I heard Troy come in through the garage downstairs, so I figure he could grab Landon if he stirs, though I know Avery will come and get me too. So Lan and Avery are covered. I start the shower, set my phone on the countertop so I can see it through the shower door if need be, and hop in. 
After a couple minutes of glorious alone-time selfishness, I notice my phone vibrating. It's Troy. A flutter of panic starts to stir in my belly because he doesn't normally call at this time for no reason. Plus- isn't he home? Is he trapped under the garage door or something? Nah, he's fine... I let it ring until my voicemail picks it up. And as soon as the ringing ended, it immediately started again- still my husband. I'm soaking wet and would rather inconvenience my four-year-old than risk the well-being of my iPhone, so I holler at Avery to pick up the phone with her dry, though probably sticky hands, and ask daddy 'what's up'. She had a very sassy conversation with him because she's now missed thirty seconds of her show ("What do you WANT Daddy? Can't she just call you back later!?"), and in the end, she reports, "Daddy really really needs your help and then he just hung up on me." 
"Shit," I think, "I better get out." I hurriedly rinse the remaining soap from my body and hair and turn off the water. As the constant noise from the shower head ceases, I can now hear Troy shouting my name from downstairs. 
"SSOOFFIIAAA!!!!! SOFIA!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! I NEED YOU!!!"
I grab a towel and slap it on my soaking body and run out of my bathroom and into my bedroom. I yelp a panicked, "What, Troy?!!" downstairs to my husband, and in return, I can hear his huge feet clamber up each step and toward my voice. He's sprinting. He's freaking out- I can tell by the way his disheveled running sounds as he climbs the stairs. I brace myself because I'm expecting to see a gun shot wound in between his eyes or a zombie reaching for his ankles as he turns the corner at the top of the stairs, so I'm confused when he stops in front of me, panting, and looks absolutely normal. Albeit flustered, but physically normal.
I beg of him to tell me what is wrong, and when he catches his breath, he looks me square in the eyes, and then squeals a pained, "WHERE is the salad dressing?! I'm STTAARRVVVIINNGGGG!" 
Then I laughed at him a lot.
And that's why I decided to pull the trigger on acting lessons for Avery shortly after this happened. With my tendency to melt down at every single Johnson&Johnson baby soap commercial and Troy's apparent inability to lead a functional life without salad dressing in it's proper place, kid's gonna need an emotional outlet.
Maybe we should just skip the kids' theater course and go straight to a psychiatrist on second thought... but that's probably just me being dramatic.

 

 


Monday, August 5, 2013

The Flight

Watching my children grow is the most mind-blowingly magnificent thing I've ever seen but also the most depressing, most unexplainably sad experience of my life. I pridefully celebrate the arrival of each milestone, while mourning the death and forever-ending of the last. There is no stopping it- no pausing it even. It's inevitable and it makes me sad. 

It seems like overnight my son went from toddling in baby diapers to shitting in the toilet like a man, beating his chest while exclaiming his testosterone-fueled sheer triumph at the size of his "huuuuge poops".
 
 My daughter, in fact, has completely bypassed her youth, emulating the mannerisms of a lady who might be starring in a Telenovela rather than attending a pre-k class. I've never seen someone so small be so dramatic and expressive. She loves to act like an adult, speak to adults, be with adults, and walk and talk like a grown-ass woman. She calls me, her Mommy, "Mom," and her Daddy, "Dad". She sneaks her bikini tops under her t-shirts so she can feel like she's wearing a bra.  It's a bit terrifying. 


I'll get back to that later, but no matter what kind of two- and four- year old, no matter how grown-up you think they may be, flying on a plane with them is the worst idea you've ever had. 

Shit, it sucks. There's no way around it's imminent suckiness. And although there's no way to make it an enjoyable experience, there is a way to make it worse- fly riiiight around nap time and keep your two year old up three hours past his bedtime the night prior. It'll be a doosy, I promise. 

I've spent the last ten days with my mommy (I, unlike my womanchild, have grown out of my too-grown-up-for-a-mommy phase) in Idaho which was a literal breath of fresh air from the muggy burning hell of a Las Vegas summer we're having. I enjoyed her help, beat her so mercilessly at Scrabble that she cried, and let my laziness levels peak at an all time high, soaking in my mommy-sister-wife vacation. Anyway, it had to come to an end, and it did. 

Troy met us for the last four days, so he was flying back home with us. It was a short flight, only about two hours, and due to the help from my husband, the quick flight, but mostly to my laziness induced coma, I didn't pack any sort of toddler distractions for the flight. I didn't really think I'd need them, and most the time, they don't work anyway. 

So there we are. In the airport, my son, an absolute ticking time bomb, and my teenage princess diva of a preschooler daughter with a swollen and mucousey eye who, in alignment with my luck, came down with her very first case of "pink eye" the night prior to the flight home. With some ibuprofen, the redness and swelling went down enough for it to be overlooked by strangers, so that was good enough for me.

 So, yeah, on the plane Landon was an absolute tornado in (but mostly out of) a seat belt. He was kicking (his dad, for the most part, who was in the row in front of us, and unable to assist me), he was screaming and jumping, he was grabbing and pulling at his sister and me. He was in a fit of exhaustion and discomfort. He was actually delirious. It was awful. 

About an hour into the abuse, I bought, from the airline attendant, the kids each a snack, hoping that satisfying his hunger might calm him. And plus each snack pack came with those little golden pilot's wing pins that they used to give us kids for free, but now come with a four dollar pack of eight goldfish and two Oreos.

The snack doesn't work. Landon is demanding Avery's cookies and is being a total dick. He's still kicking and shouting. Whereas initially I was sitting in the front-ish of the plane, I now feel like I'm in the center of the aircraft and all the passengers are seated, circling and facing me, staring and shaking their heads at my parental incapability. I'm mortified. I tried fastening the airline's stupid wing pins onto the kids' shirts as a distraction, almost impaling my never-still son through the heart as a result. Avery thought hers was cool because it resembled any kind of semblance of jewelry and she's apparently turning thirty-eight on her next birthday.

I'm on the verge of tears when the pilot announces that we are beginning to descend. Landon is clawing at me, in the aisle seat, to let him into the aisle. Big Girl Avery asks what "descends" means, and Desperate Mom lowers her voice and threateningly explains that "descends" means that anyone who is not in his seat with his seat belt on will be arrested and put in jail. 

What? It worked.

Landon was terrified, but he sat in his seat for the rest of the descent, wide eyed and fearing for his freedom. So. That. 

Anyway, we gather ourselves and head off the plane. Almost there. Just need to take a tram from the C-gates to the passenger pick up, where my sister-in-law is already waiting for us. We scurry to the back of the subway-car-like tram, and squeeze into the furthest seats because it's quite full. A woman sitting with her friend was admiring So Sooo Big Avery and said to her, "I love your pin!" referring to the winged airline pin I had fastened to her shirt and first layer of epidermis. Avery took this opportunity to engage in conversation with the much older woman, and to perhaps show off a bit, explaining, "I have a pin but I ALSO have a pink eye!" 

Woman looks at the floor, gives her friend an I'm-getting-my-tubes-tied-today sort of a look, I apologize, and she rushes out of the tram as soon as it stops, making damn sure not to touch anyone nearby who could possibly have an chance of being in our family. 

Anyway, we're home! We did it. Don't get me wrong, I still love and appreciate my kids' "phases", whether it be "the terrible twos" or the "freaking act your age fours"  but am happier to do so behind closed doors. And not on a plane. And with antibiotics.
 
 






Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hot mama.

Because I've been missing for the last five weeks, I'll share something that happened a little while ago. 

First, it's hot. It's so hot here. It's feels like Satan, himself, has been hugging and squeezing and wringing the entire city of Las Vegas for the last month and a half. The wind feels like it has just been blasted from a hair dryer. The inside of my car feels like the absolute center of the earth's core.  It's unlivable and it's making me crazy.

 That said, we've been spending our time in the pool, which has, thanks to it's surrounding convention oven-like atmosphere, been feeling a lot more like a sauna than a pool,  but is still the only appropriate way to make it through the summer here. Unless you want to coop up a four- and two- year old inside canned air conditioning all day, and in that case, I'd rather sit in a heated frying pan. Which is, as a matter of fact, exactly what it feels like outside. It's making us all bananas... foster. Bananas foster, you know, the dessert that's blasted with a blow torch at the end? Yeah, that's it. We're all irritable. Even our indigestion-prone dog has been taking out his frustration on me by throwing up more frequently. So that's nice.

Anyway, it was a sunny inside-of-a-toaster kind of an afternoon about a three weeks ago, and my kids were, of course, swimming for hours. They had spent the whole day dunking each other; my two year old, Landon, gulping big gulps of pool water in fairly regular intervals as a result. And as ehhhhveryone knows, this makes a little tummy like his a tumultuous war zone. I knew this. So when I attempted to distract my over-swimmed VERY newly potty trained son with a bowl heaping with loads of fresh, refreshing watermelon to defer the incessant sibling fighting, I should have known better. Looking back on my incredibly dumb decision, I wonder if I may have been suffering early onset heat stroke at the time I made that particular choice.
 
So, the kids are over it at this point. They want inside. They're tired and want to watch a show to unwind from the eighteen hours they just spent in the pool.

I take off Landon's swim trunks and lay them over a patio chair, because I know they'll dry in 3.4 seconds. My little boy is naked. He runs to our completely carpeted upstairs while I strip Avery of her wet bathing suit. And upon my entrance to the house, I hear a squeaky, scared, and definitely guilty, "oh no, mama, poooooop!!" from upstairs. 

This is where I stop and collect myself because I know what I've done to this kid and I know what's in store for me. I've pumped him, all day, with a double dose of toddler laxatives, and I'm about to pay for it dearly.

Then I'm off. I sprint upstairs, and right in the doorway of my daughter's room ( was that intentional, Landon?) is a pile of diarrhea like no one has ever seen before. It was almost like a cartoon; all the gruesome scene was missing was a couple of squiggly lines signifying a repulsive stench and a swarm of black flies hovering above. 

I grab the nearest roll of paper towels and a plastic bag. Nauseated, I line my hand with each towel, scoop up handfuls of the warm-to-the-touch mess, and plop them into the ill-fated bag until the bulk is removed.  I'm gagging. I'm spraying and scrubbing so much carpet cleaner into the carpet that the tips of my fingers are being eaten away by the harsh chemicals. I stand up to heave and gag one more time before I need to sprint downstairs to grab another roll of paper towels, then I depart. Profusely sweating, I reach the final step of our carpeted staircase, stomach turning, then,
SMACK! 

I've just forcefully immersed my entire bare foot into an enormous pile of my asshole dog's vomit. 

I stand there for a while. I look at my hands, fingernails stuffed with my son's feces, the insides of each toe coated in canine puke. I start to cry. I look up to the heavens and offer a VERY dramatic "whhyyyy?" (I do this a lot), then collected myself and limped and hopped to the sink to rid myself of my son's and dog's guts. 

After another hour of scrubbing and sanitizing and vacuuming while satisfying my kids' never-ending requests for Goldfish (NO MORE WATERMELON) and shows and drinks all while breaking up fights and offering countless hugs to soften hurt feelings, my husband returns home from work. I smile and say hi, purposely not hinting at the shit storm that just swept through his seemingly calm home. I make dinner, bathe the kids, check Instagram a billion times hoping to find that someone is having a worse day than I am at the moment (#sorrynotsorry #everyonedoesit), pour myself a taaaall glass of vodka, then bathe, prepare, and all but drop-kick the kids to bed, wash and put away the dishes, wipe down the stove and counter tops, finish the laundry, don't update my blog, then go.. the fuck... to bed.

Being a stay-at-home mom is such a blessing blah blah blah but sometimes it's really fucking hard and never-ending, and no one knows, no matter how many vaguely panicked Facebook statuses she's posting, just how insane things can get behind closed doors for any particular mom. Because maybe her kid bites or hits uncontrollably or has tantrums til he's 9 or never sleeps or maybe half the house is emptying their insides all over the floor and mommy is elbow deep in unthinkable putridness, but she doesn't want to seem ungrateful (you don't have to "go to work", remember? Be thankful!) or unput-together or incapable in front of her spouse, children, friends, or the world so she chooses to smile instead. 
 
Aaaaand that's why moms are the best.

We've got a long stressful hotttttttttttt summer still ahead of us, but I guess I could take the pressure off a bit by passing up the fresh fruit aisle at the store for a couple more months for a start. Might be a good idea.

On another note, it really is amazing how much shit you go through when your kids are little.
 
 Literally.
 




Friday, May 31, 2013

You're stressing me (Sc)out

You can force a person to poop. 

It's true. If you really will it strongly enough, you can.

I'll get into that later, but first, let's talk classic cars. "Classic" is generous. Let me rephrase. Let's talk "really old cars".  I mean, I have absolutely zero interest in them, but, nevertheless, they are ruining my life. Not all of them, just the kind my husband is obsessed with. Specifically,  a car called an International Scout II, and, I know what you're thinking, and I agree- what the eff is that, right? How about a picture. 
 
 

There she is. The blue broken-looking one on the top there. Troy's Scout #4, a real beauty before her insides melted and burned holes in a bunch of probably very crucial machinery while I was following behind the old girl on the freeway in the beautiful land of freaking Barstow, California on Tuesday afternoon.

It goes without note, that a four- and two- year old who had already endured a four hour drive thanks to good ol' SoCal traffic are not the most fun road trip companions. Especially when you have to crawl-drive behind a rickety old car that could blow at any moment. And especially when my daughter is convinced she's about to shit her pants at the exact moment Troy gives me the signal to pull over while he calls a tow truck to scoop up his completely unnecessary car. In freaking Barstow. Did I mention that? Bar. Stow. 

Anyway, after about a half an hour wait, the tow truck guy comes, and we follow him to the nearest auto parts store because all the body shops are closed due to the day's lateness. Avery is sitting on her hands, holding her bottom, her little palms emulating a lid to an about-to-boil and whistle and explode-all-over-the-stove tea kettle. 

We arrive at the parts store. I frantically snap Landon out of his seat and then snatch Avery out of hers. I scurry to the store's front door, upon which the sign "No public restrooms available." has been taped. I smirk, pleased at myself, because whereas, usually, I'm annoyed at my obnoxious tendency to be an avid rule-follower, I know, right now, I'm like a rogue cowboy busting through the wooden half doors of a saloon with my guns blazing. "Let them try to stop me" I think. 

I punch the stores door open, prepare myself for intense opposition and a heated argument with whoever stands in my way, then shout in my sassiest sass voice at the first worker I see, "I've got a four-year-old who REALLY needs to use your bathroom and I read the sign but..." 

"It's straight back and to the left, ma'am." 

Dammit. I'm an asshole. Whatever. We're running and sprinting. I'm dragging her by the wrist, hoping to all things holy my son is following suit and hasn't been snatched by a wild Barstownian. At the toilet, I rip her pants down, plop her on the potty, shout a, "GO!!" at her, and she replies with a, "I don't have to go anymore." 

It's at that point, my eyes squinted, narrowed, and zeroed in on my daughter as she sat on that disgusting Barstow toilet, which may or may not have ever been used by any male less than 47 years of age in it's existence. It's in that moment that I, without restraint,  and after I completely discarded any sort of "mommy filter" that I carry with me daily,  threatened her life and everything she knew and loved if she didn't drop a deuce immediately. Because I knew, the second we left that bathroom, and only after I strapped her into her carseat and hit the potty-less freeway would she feel the need to "go" again. So, after I made my stance, she sat wide-eyed and absolutely terrified of her mother, and that's when the little girl stared at me as she absorbed my threats and then grit her teeth and pooped, what I claim, was a poop that I forced  her to poop. 

Aaand that's how you make someone do THAT. Mind over fecal matter, people.

So, anyway, an hour passes. Finally, the stuuuupid Scout is temporarily "fixed" enough to embark home, but I am still summoned to slowwwly follow the car home on the desolate I-15 freeway all the way back to Vegas. Keep in mind, the kids have been prisoner to their carseats now for six hours. Landon is so insanely tired that he has completely lost his mind about a fly that is zipping around the car. The exhaustion-induced drama pouring from my son is making me crazy. I'm rolling my eyes as he's screaming at the goddamn fly to "go away". And just before I'm about to call CPS on myself for what will surely be my most intense melt down, I glance at my review mirror while my toddler screams, "GO 'WAY BAD FWY!!!! 'WAN' GO HOME!!!!", and I notice that the dumb fly is not only near my son, but is perfectly perched upon Landon's little freaked out eyebrow, glued, while Lanman is exhausting his entire thirteen word vocabulary at the tiny, completely stationary, insect. It was sad.  

Even sadder (and way, way more satisfying) was watching Troy get blasted by simultaneous dust storms as he drove ahead of me, because his ancient vehicle doesn't have AC and it's freaking hot in the desert so his windows were down. I swear it was a gift. 

Then the sun went down. 

Then my totally fed-up kids passed out in their respective carseats. 

Then thanks to the day's stresses I became VERY sleepy. 

"I need to listen to the radio."

 I decided that NPR was the best choice in that maybe an interesting story might keep me from drifting. Little do I know, the particular story, which, after the whole potty incident was very ironically about the power of the mind, reads more like a soft, almost melodious bedtime story, and by the end of the segment, my sleeping brain and waking brain morphed and I began to hallucinate. Shadows on the freeway began to take on lifelike features, the lights on my odometer started to unnaturally flit back and forth, and Troy's Scout, which I was still tailing, began to look like a different car completely. A hallucination I was grateful to my brain for, because even if my dream-driving may have eventually led me to crash and make three-quarters of my family obsolete, at least I wouldn't be looking at that godforsaken car in my last moments. 
 
 
Thankfully we made it home safely. I'm glad to know that I have new talent out of the whole thing. I'll be happy to assist whoever with any digestive issues if you need assistance.
 
GO!!




Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Oh my quad.

Sometimes it feels like I don't live for much.
 
What I mean by that is, if it doesn't involve a two- or four-year-old human that once emerged from my nether region, I am likely not a part of it. Sure, I'd love to have a hobby or be a movie enthusiast or go to every new nightclub's grand opening, but, you see, stay-at-home moms have a bit of baggage. Baggage that happens to need their noses and asses wiped at all hours of the day and night. Baggage that can't be brought to movies or bars or parties. That kind of baggage.

So, when I discovered that I could partake in something for myself that came stock with childcare, I was in. I could check in, drop my precious but whiney and ever-thirsty (only for chocolate milk, never for water) baggage at the door and do something for myself and ONLY myself.

As most of you already know, I love working out. Love it. Spin class, especially, because it makes me feel like I'm fulfilling my deepest need at this point of my life, which is to go through the motions of going somewhere really, really fast and far away while actually being completely stationary because, let's be honest, I don't actually have any real desire to go anywhere at all. I'm in the heartabouttoburstwithloveandgratitude/getmethehellllllouttahere phase of my life.

Anyway, I've become quite good at spinning throughout the last year. I was just telling my mom the other day that I was fairly confident I could crack a walnut with my quads, in fact. So, I had that down. And thanks to my fresh new Lulu gear (I can call it lulu now. We're friends.) I was feeling good today. Pastel and matchy-matchy and extra perky, I swing my leg over my bike, take a look at myself in the mirror, and amongst a sea of bikes, notice the reflection of a new spin class go-er in the dark room. She's right behind me. "This is my first class", she actually admits to the instructor. So, because I'm feeling extra cocky today, I decide, in that moment, I would completely show off. I look awesome, after all, I mean, my freaking headband matches my outfit. So do my socks. And fingernails. This is my moment to get someone to think I'm cool and great, and maybe, with some persistence, I'll even push her to feel a little bad about her inability to keep up. I realize the immense assholeness of this inner declaration while it's unravelling in my mind, but I go with it anyway. Because before I know it, I think, I will be home again and scrubbing my indigestion-prone dog's vomit off the couch for the fourth time this week. This is as close to feeling noticed as its gonna get. I feel like I deserve the boost.

Off we go. I'm spinning like a maniac. I can see my nutshell-destroying thighs tense and swell and shimmer with sweat as my legs fly. The newbie behind me is struggling, sitting down and taking her time, but not at all phased by my Hulk-smash strength. She's smiling, in fact, seeming grateful just to be a part of the class as I'm pulling every trick I've got to get some attention. But, as luck would have it,  I'm being completely overlooked.

I'm kinda ticked and sweating profusely and my chest is heaving up and down. I'm killing myself for the hope of a desperate ego boost at someone else's expense. And that's when I notice it. I wipe my brow with a towel, glance at the mirror, and notice, in the reflection, the newbie's leg behind me is shimmering too. Good god, she has a freaking prosthetic leg. Holy fucking shit, I'm the biggest douche bag who has ever lived. I just spent twenty minutes insanely competing against a handicapped woman who surely could teach me a thing or two about self confidence. What a courageous lady.

It seems fitting that during the daily time that I deem my most selfishly deserved, is the exact hour I am taught a lesson that happens to really be the most important lesson I could teach my children. "You're not better than anyone, even while wearing Lululemon." Maybe a more important lesson for my daughter rather than my son, but now that I think of it, they do have a pretty impressive men's line...
 
Anyway, I'm pretty mad at myself. Needless to say, the next time I need walnuts I'm buying them already shelled. Because, god forbid, the nutcracker goes missing and my panties and bra happen to match.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lululemonday

My husband is a smart man. Very smart. His mind works quickly and sharply. He can fix just about anything, he's creative, insanely talented, and he can make me laugh in a millisecond. My god, you should have seen his gay German airline attendant impersonation yesterday... Let's just say my post-baby bladder did not react kindly.

So, when he told me, for Mother's Day, to go to Lululemon and buy myself whatever I "needed", I was temporarily blinded by his blaring stupidity. So much so that I had to make sure I had correctly heard his proposal. I checked, then re-checked, then wiggled my index finger into an ear drum to loosen what surely was blocked by a pound of earwax, then checked again. And sure enough, there I was, given a free pass to make several deposits into a very, very dangerous account.

Dangerous, I say, because I am completely ruined to regular workout clothes now. I want absolutely nothing to do with them. You should know, I had only previously coveted the over-priced gym duds from afar, standing in line for spin class and jealously scowling at all the brightly clothed women who emulated a flock of exotic birds while I impersonated a sad, dull, gray pigeon, thinking, "Someday... Someday."
 
So, when I slid the first pair of obnoxiously hot pink pants up over my calves, thighs, then rear, then watched doves appear and fly out of my fitting room as trumpets sounded, I knew I was destroyed. Blinking in disbelief, I stood there, ran my fingers over what felt like a second layer of skin, fell madly in love, and instantly knew Troy had made a HUGE mistake. I spent over four hundred dollars on five, just five, items of delicious, glorious, living, breathing clothing and have been battling the pounding urge to get in my car and head straight back since. This morning, it took everything in my power not to respond to the kind, 'hello-how-was-your-weekend's' from fellow gym-goers with a "LULULEMON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M A FREAKING PEACOCK!"
 
I drank the Kool-Aid and I can't fucking wait to burn off the calories in these magnificent florescent pants.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

insect-urities

I've noticed something about the flow of life as a mother.

Motherhood comes steeped in insecurities.  More than I could have ever anticipated. And it seems that those insecurities are always exposed at the most sensitive of times, or in moments when I am just beginning to feel a rare glimmer of confidence. Riiiight when I begin to feel good and comfortable is the exact time I should have braced myself for a mortifying moment to completely blindside me.
 
Like, for instance, two years ago, in an interview with Avery's preschool's owner, I requested my daughter be admitted early as a two-year-old because she had been potty trained obnoxiously early and was soOoOoo advanced. It was on that day, in that interview, Avery shit her pants for the first time ever. I politely asked if we may use their toilet, calmly walked to the bathroom, then frantically scrubbed her little panties in her school's cute li'l sink where I then shoved the soiled underwear in my pocket for the rest of the interview so her teacher wouldn't know.
 
It's all those times your toddler perfectly recites her alphabet at home, until you ask her to do it in front of people you're trying to impress, and she pretends like she's never heard the English language before. Then some asshole makes a comment about some "kids developing slower than others", and that's when you consider taking up a life of crime instead of a life of mommyhood.

Or it's when your darling two-year-old fiiiinally starts talking. You want to shout his new achievement from the rooftops. "Everyone! I told you he'd do it! He speaks!" The little guy loves trucks. Unfortunately for the proud mommy, he happens to pronounce "truck" as "cock". Clear as day. Constantly it's, "blue cock" "huuuuuuge cock" "daddy's cock" "awww wittle baby cock". We're working on it.
 
For me, this time, it was cleanliness-related. While I'm not the cleanest cleanest person on the planet, it can be noted that unmade beds and dirty dishes give me anxiety. I'm a bit obsessive about my kids' hygiene and have been known to pin down my children and wipe their faces. Sometimes they'll cry from the weight of their mother's insane body holding them down until I scoop out every last trace of a booger from their dirty little noses. It's happened. Maybe I took a razor blade to the crevices of our refrigerator last month and it was absolutely exhilarating. Let's just say, if you called me a perfectionist, I wouldn't call you a liar.  I've come a long way from my cocktailing days where I would sometimes touch up last night's leftover smudged clubbing eyeliner for work the next day. What? Don't judge me I was drunk.
 
So, what I'm trying to say is, with a lot of hard work and re-teaching on my part, we're now a relatively clean family. Cleaner than most, I'd even venture to say. My kids clothes are almost always spotless, their hair is combed and freshly done when we leave the house. I was proud of that.
 

So, when I saw the fucker scurry across my always-bathed daughter's hair while at the beginning of our family weekend in Newport Beach, I didn't believe it at first. But, lo and behold, it was me shouting a panicked, "WE HAVE LICE!!!" at my husband as he returned back from lunch with his Californian best friend. Understandably, it was at that time Brian remembered he suddenly had to immediately return home, and as soon as he left, (which was very quickly) sheer hysteria struck the Beer family. I started pacing back and forth. Avery started to cry. Landon, well, Landon just sat there and continued to be squishy. Troy immediately Googled and found a lice removal company (yes, they exist), whom he called to come ASAP and rid us of the plague that was surely going to destroy and dismember us. Upon waiting for this company to arrive, my whole body started to itch. My mind raced. Were they fire-breathing flesh-eating lice? Probably. I think they're in my eyelashes. Am I going blind? Is that a side effect? Do I have a will? I need a will. How am I going to sign the will? I can't see! I think I'd like to be cremated.

Hours that felt like days passed as we waited for this company. Then. More anxiety. Wait. A "lice removal company?!" Like... mobile? All the neighbors are going to know. Do they come in an ice cream-like truck? Does the lice-cream truck play music? Will they post a condemned note to the front door? "BEWARE: These people are super disgusting." ?! I tried not to move and fought every possible urge to saturate my scalp with kerosene and throw a match to it.

Finally FINALLY she arrives. Two hours late and in a megaphone-less, "you've got lice"-siren-less vehicle, thank god. She comes in, gives us the "lice-prefer-clean-hair-calm-down-psycho-they're-not-going-to-kill-you" shpeal, and then she asks who of us four would like to be inspected and stripped of the ungodly buggies first. And as the matriarch of the family and brave protector of my children, I frantically twitched, itched, then squealed a , "MEEE!!!! For the love of Christ do me first," then sat in the specified chair, where she began to lather my head with insecticides.

"This is it", I think. "Just a few more minutes and I'm free and clear". I'm feeling hopeful, relieved.

Not five minutes into my treatment, the woman's fingers stop massaging. She swallows hard. She whispers, "Can I please have some water? I don't feel well." I complied, and she sipped some water.

She slowly begins again. Two minutes later it's, "I don't know what's going on. I'm so dizzy. Can I use your restroom?"

My head is partially lathered, partially infested at this point. I would give her a kidney, I've decided, for her to finish the job. I show her to the bathroom, where she spends the next twenty minutes flushing the toilet and running the faucet. The woman is seriously ill. She comes out, apologizes profusely, and nauseously digs back into my scalp. Three minutes later she asks for a pretzel because her head is spinning. Two minutes after that she asks if it would be alright to sit in her car for a while. I am thisclose to accompanying her because I'm terrified she's going to leave. Fix meeeee! Another twenty minutes pass as I sit in a chair, helpless, infested, draped with a towel and doused with chemicals, trying not to claw my hair out. It's at that moment I had decided that was the most excruciating hour of my life.

Anyway, she finally, dizzily, finished ridding Avery and me (the boys, come to find out, didn't have them) of each louse and it's horrible, repulsive eggs and she left and probably immediately admitted herself into a hospital because she was clearly dying of some sort of horrible, incurable disease. She likely got rid of our lice and gave each of us smallpox or the Spanish flu.

So, since then, whenever we have been around children I creepily sift through their hair when their unsuspecting mommies aren't looking because I have NO idea how we became infected. It was bizarre. I called Avery's school to ask and the only thing her teacher could respond with was, "Ew. Gross." So, that's where I'm at with getting to the bottom of that.

Either way, we didn't tell anyone because we didn't want our friends to be repulsed by us, but there ya go. Hi, we had lice. It happened. It's over. I don't know how or from who or where but it happened.

Disgusting, maybe. But be careful about letting this post convince you of your supposed superiority to my little infected family. Before you know it, you could be feeling realllly good about yourself one day. Maybe you even have a babysitter and you're running errands. I bet you have cute heels on too. Maybe even a hat! You're feeling fancy, thinking about how cool you are, then all of a sudden, BAM! you roll your ankle or get a speeding ticket or have explosive diarrhea. Stay on your toes. And, DON'T share your hat with anyone. Just in case.



 

 



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm a superhero

The stomach flu totally screws with me. Landon has been a barf factory for about twenty-four hours now, and I truly can't tell if I'm actually nauseous from the beginnings of a virus or if I am just mid-dry heave because I'm wiping up mucous-y, sour throw up and it's making my stomach turn.

Hear me out on this one- maybe the stomach flu isn't really contagious at all. Maybe people just get so grossed out that they're just, you know, nauseous and puking by association for a couple days. I mean, the only thing that was running through my head while I was sopping up and disinfecting the goop that was swimming alongside my son's guts just moments earlier, was "I don't feel so good. I just... don't feel so good. Like, at all. Like, my insides feel like a bubbling swamp."

Anyway, I have a new life motto! It's a good one. You ready?
 
"If I don't do it, no one will."
 
Kinda sad at first glance, maybe, but very empowering if you think about it. I'm convinced this is a necessary statement that all procrastination-prone people should be repeating to themselves. Especially moms, who are responsible for all the chores and tasks of the world that are the most mundane and most easily reasonable to put off. For example, "Let's be honest, I don't really HAAAAVE to tidy the playroom. They're gonna take the same stuff out tomorrow...", right? Right. But, after a while, even though I was previously convinced otherwise, the clutter begins to burrow into my brain and I suddenly feel like I'm drowning in a sea of foam blocks while choking on never ending Barbie shoes. Did I think the toys would eventually put themselves away? Or even more foolishly, did I think my kids or husband would do it?! I mean, the absurdity is incomprehensible. So! I tell myself the afore-mentioned statement like forty-seven times a day. It helps me be more proactive in picking up, and laundry, and grocery shopping, because once I come to terms with the reality that I happen to be the only person on the planet who will ever put away whatever "it" happens to be --- or "accidentally" suck "it" up through the vacuum hose (which happens to be my favorite thing to do...), I'm less likely to leave "it" there. I'm less likely to push back hanging up the clothes that have been sitting, folded on the dryer for two days, I'm less likely to put off bath time for one more minute. I imagine it's kinda like when someone has been captured by an evil villain and news gets back to Superman, and he's all, "well shit, if I don't do it no one will," and then, you know, he saves the world. So basically, moms are superheroes, saving the world one prompt unloading of the dishwasher at a time. It's true.

You know what else I've realized? I've realized that, having little ones, I have gotten exceptionally good at doing things one-handed over the last few years. It's like, I can flip a piece of salmon with one hand so expertly, it's hard to refrain from shouting a, "BAM!!!" at that perfectly flipped little fishy as soon as it sizzles on the pan. It would make Emeril beam with culinary pride, surely. With one hand, I can unscrew a sippy cup lid, then open the fridge, then open a bottle of juice, then fill the cup with a perfectly balanced juice/water/ice concoction. I can unwrap and perfectly adhere a bandaid to my kids' skinned knees, you guessed it, all one-handed. It's a sight to be seen. It's just amazing how you relearn to use your body when you are always holding a glass of wine. Oh, you thought it was because I was always holding a child? Aw, that's adorable.

Anyway, my wrist is starting to ache from typing this blog entirely left-handed, because my right hand is super occupied. Because if one of my hands doesn't feed my face with wine, no one will.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Awww snap

How have I never noticed it before?
All these years and I had no idea. In retrospect, I guess all the signs were pretty clear all along, but I never took the time to put the pieces together. Maybe I knew, but didn't want to believe it was true, ya know? But after a lot of thought and self-realization, I come to accept that I, Sofia Beer, am extremely uncool.

I really hurt my wrist today.
 It's better now, but for a while there, I was concerned. And I wish I could tell you that I twisted it by revving a motorcycle engine too ferociously. I wish I could tell you the reason I fell to the floor in agony clutching my blown out wrist was because I saved a Himalayan village child from an impending avalanche or because I was break dancing or shredding on my guitar or parachuting out of an airplane. But I can't. Today, I injured myself by snapping. Like, yeah, snapping my fingers. And it gets worse. The REASON I was snapping was because I had repeated the phrase "it's nap time" over and over so many times to my children as they completely ignored me, that the words kinda started to smoosh themselves together and I, trying to be cool and make my daughter laugh at my wittiness, declared, "it's not nap time, IT'S SNAP TIME!," followed by dorky snapping session, then wrist breaks from excessive nerdiness aaaand mommy down. I mean... really? No one even appreciated my pun- Avery stood over me as I was sprawled out on the carpet in agony and she shouted, "I don't like sleepingggg!!!" at my injured body.
So that happened.

And then I was thinking about all the other things I do that I thought made me cool but absolutely do not. Like my kickboxing classes at the gym. Ask me about it yesterday and I'd have all douche-ily been like, "yeah, I partake in a little Muay Thai from time to time, but my jam is ka-rat-ay... Watch out!," followed by a mock karate chop to showcase my talents and I suck. Because in reality, after some thought I've realized that in those classes I'm really just bouncing around in an air-conditioned room, surrounded by other dorky soccer moms, punching at the air and wiggling our butts while a club remix of an obnoxiously tame Adele song blares in the background. And as much as I hate to admit it, I'm no cooler than the Asain woman next to me who has less rhythm than a wet blanket. And actually, sadly, I'm one of the ten moms who can't do the jumping-in-place track because it feels like my bladder will completely fall out of my body whole if I hop one more time thanks to the magic that was childbirth. And let's be honest, regarding the whole "combat" thing, if someone really wanted to fight me, I'd be fucked. These classes have prepared me with absolutely zero real life fighting skills. I'd be knocked out before I could finish my shuffle-right-back-kick-front-kick combo. Unless the person who wanted to fight would rather have a battle to see who could do the most consecutive high knees. Then I'd have a shot. Even though I might pee myself. See?? Uncool. Not to mention the whole freakishly weak wrist thing.

I also tried to write a really meaningful Valentine's Day card to my husband. I set out with intention of making my husband sob with my moving, deep, raw, and loving words, but instead, ended up with a rambling note about my appreciation for him not leaving me when I got really fat with my first pregnancy. So, I tried to over-compensate for the stupid inside with a pretty outside...



Not very smooth. Ever.

Anyway, happy Valentine's Day. Hope you all are having an awesome, super cool day, and I hope to god you haven't eaten as much chocolate as I have. 

xoxoxoo?...
nevermind 
 
 
 
 











Saturday, February 9, 2013

There's a nap for that

I wake up each morning- let me start over. I am catapulted into jarring consciousness from dead sleeplessness each *debatably* morning but probably night and have high hopes for myself. First I assess the whole energy situation, and after seventeen cups of coffee, feel confident that I've got the drive to do it. I say to myself, "Self, today, when the kids assume their napping positions, you will mop the floors and completely prep dinner and scrub the floor boards, bathe the dogs, write fourteen blog posts and climb Everest. You will squeeze productivity out of every invaluable minute those children are not demanding every ounce of your physical and mental capabilities." And this is the time of the day where I set out to do everything that I need to do and it's actually, if planned properly, not unrealistic! I can probably utilize the two hours or so wisely and make a very big dent on satisfying my neuroticism. Well, ok, I could do everything except maybe the dog bath part. I don't do dog hair. I just... don't.

So we go about our day. Per the routine, we go to the gym, and depending on which day it is, I drop off and then immediately pick up Avery from school (which is exactly what half day preschool feels like), then we will all run some errands, come home, I'll make the kids and myself lunch, then we will all eat while they totally zomb out (like "zombie"? "Zomb"? New phrase- it'll catch on) to one of their shows. While I clean the lunchtime dishes is about the time when I take a read on the state of the kids' sleepiness. Is Landon punching Avery in the head yet? Yup! He sure is! Nap time! And we're off.

Throughout our trek up the stairs I organize my plan of attack on my "list". I decide, perhaps, that I'll clean the upstairs toilets after the first load of towels has been started in the wash. Or maybe I'll decide to dust the blinds after I vacuum the couch but before I give the dogs a bath. Just kidding- still not touching the dogs.

Yay! We've made it upstairs! Landon goes down without a hitch, though Avery always takes quite a bit of begging and bribing because, well, frankly she's been ready to give up the nap for like 40-something months but it doesn't affect her nightsleep either with or without the glorious midday snooze and, ummm, don't judge me? Anyway, they're both knocked out. And it's at this moment when it happens.

At this moment, what happens is, the house reaches a level of stillness and silence that has never existed in the history of the world. I can't. Move. I can't think about anything but closing my eyes. Through heavy eyelids, things that were once blaring reminders of my duties are now beginning to look only like sleep related things. The piles of laundry start to look like plush, soft clouds and my filthy dogs are fuzzy white sheep repeatedly jumping over them. All my limbs are seemingly submerged in quicksand and uncontrollably I'm heading in one direction and one direction only. I'm a moth and my bed is the brightest lightbulb hanging on a patio on the darkest night of all time. I have no choice. There is no other viable option for me. The words "chores" and "snores" start to sound eerily similar to me, and in my confused state I can't quite remember which if the two I needed to get done.
 
Then I'm out.
 Seriously. I pass out every time. Sometimes I don't even make it to my bed. One time I woke up on the floor in my closet completely unaware of how I got there. It's sad but I guess that's what four years and three months of shitty sleep will do. What's even sadder is that I have been convinced that I have hidden this from my husband and hidden it well. Truthfully I'm embarrassed about it. Sometimes, during my secret naps, my husband will have to unexpectedly return home and work from our home office. And in the past, when that unearthly silence has been broken by his arrival, I would frantically jump out of bed from deep sleep, and start throwing clothes around the room or just grab a bottle of Windex and begin spraying something, anything (is that a wall?), in my slumbering haze, sleep lines from my pillow still embedded all over my face. Sometimes I would just run to the bathroom and flush the toilet or turn on the shower or loudly knock something over in an attempt to deter him from suspecting that I was pretty much dead a minute prior.
 
Anyway, a couple days ago, Troy came home during my the kids' naptime, and, as he walked in, I so sleepily and sloppily grabbed the unplugged vacuum with my hair tangled and mascara smudged while blindly pushing the machine in some sort of direction that he just gave up and asked, "how was your nap today? You're seriously so weird." Just like that! And after all these years, I've been exposed and I think he's known it all along! Whatever. Being a slave to two midget dictators twenty four hours a day is exhausting. Hearing a blaring, "MAMA!!!!" coming from, definitely, one room and sometimes two rooms, multiple times every night is wearing.

So what I'm trying to say is, between the afternoon hours of 1:00 and 3:30 in the Beer household has officially been deemed "daily nap time". Mark it on your calendars, set your alarms, alert the local news, and someone, for the love of Christ, PLEASE tell the UPS guy.