Friday, February 27, 2009

Happiness?

It always makes me laugh when I hear people's response to a common question,

"What do you wish for your children?"

The number one, most common response is, Happiness.

Well that's just crap.

Happiness is an emotion. Emotions aren't permanent. If they are, you probably need help. Permanent sadness is depression. Permanent anxiety is a disorder. Permanent perkiness is just annoying. Of all the qualities, characteristics, values, and strengths you would wish for your child, why would someone pick happiness?

For me, I would wish for my children to be honest, have self-confidence, be compassionate, independent, have strong values, stand up for themselves, and know they are loveable and know how to love others. I know that's a tall order. But hopefully, we'll do something right as parents and our children will turn out less messed up than we are.

But happiness? I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I don't wish eternal happiness on my children. What can one learn from that? Sadness, grief, despair is a natural part of life. I don't want my kids to be sheltered from the real world. Yes, life is hard. People let you down. Bad things happen. But to not experience that part of life, is to not experience life to the fullest. With the bad, you also have the good. And if anything, I want my children to live. Really live. And that means going through an array of emotions and experiences, even bad ones.

Anyway, what do you think? And what do you wish for your children?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama or Lion King?

I've written several times about the challenges and joys of raising children in multi-racial families. Mainly, through trans-racial adoption. While I feel pretty incompetent in this area, I continue to strive to do my best. One thing that I love to do is collect multiracial and multicultural children's books. I highlighted my two most recent purchases in my MLK Jr. post a couple weeks ago. "Big Words" about Martin Luther King and "Barack Obama, Son of Promise, Child of Hope".

Well, we've hounded Obama's face into Mateo so many times that now he thinks every black man is Obama. Including Martin Luther King Jr., who's book we read every week. He calls him Obama. And Obama, Obama. And any other black male character, Obama.

I tried to tell Mateo that Martin Luther King Jr. was not Obama, but Martin Luther King Jr. just seemed like a mouthful for Mateo to be able to say. Especially considering he can't even say his own name. So, I've been calling him Dr.King. Which Mateo has now translated to Lion King.

So now every black male is either Obama or Lion King.

Am I doing something wrong here?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Grape Soda Overdose

Just watch the video. In my defense, the grape soda was all Dave's doing.



video

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Secret Love Affair - it begins with a "T" and ends with a "wilight"


One word. Twilight.


Okay, so now that I have the women's attention....

I'm in love with the series. It started with a Christmas gift. One book. The book. Dave got it for me because I've always had a "thing" for vampire movies. Interview with a Vampire, Blade, Underworld, The Lost Boys, Buffy, etc. I think he thinks I secretly want to be a vampire. I am a little morbid like that. But that's not the case. I simply want to be with a vampire. Namely, Edward. Is that so wrong? And who wouldn't after reading even the first book in this series of four? Anyway, shortly after finishing Twilight, I went right out to the store and bought the other three. They were all read and even re-read within two weeks.

So, yes, I am a Twilight fan. The books, not the movie. There is a distinct difference. But everything I read about Twilight seems to highlight that the book series is for teenagers. I resent that! I am not a teenager. I am a full grown woman. Why does it only have to be for teenagers? Just because it's a mushy, completely unrealistic, puppy-love story between two teenagers (well, technically one teenager and a 110 year old vampire who looks like a teenager... a really hot one I might add), does not mean that adults can not appreciate the story, the writing style, and sometimes swoon at the romantic things said vampire says about his true love. (And also secretly wish they were Bella and that Edward was theirs.)

It's not like I am obsessed like the young girls that pick teams (Team Edward, cough cough), nor do I have a favorite character (ahem, Jasper), and it's not like I have posters up on my wall or anything (I tried but Dave made me take them down).

Okay, confession time. It's a guilty pleasure. But who wouldn't want to fantasize about being swept off your feet by a strong, intensely devoted, protective, and a bit dangerous, vampire who is just as gorgeous as he is romantic and smart. It's every woman's fantasy. Agreed? So, again, why is it just for teenagers?

Yes, the book is a bit one-dimensional. Yes, Edward is just a little too perfect. And Bella a little too damsel-in-distress. But come on! I'm a mom to a two year old. I don't exactly have enough brain cells left to be reading Chaucer. Give me something that takes me away from....all of this, and brings me back to a life less complicated. Although, one could argue that starting a vampiric war is a bit complicated...but I'm in the middle of potty training, so it's all relative.

Anyway, are there any other mature (meaning over the age of 19) females out there that also like the Twilight series and resent being called wanna-be teeny-boppers because of it? Leave a comment so I know I'm not alone.

Come on.... I know you're out there. Don't be afraid to admit it. You can even post anonymously. Oh, and fill out my poll too.

Monday, February 16, 2009

More Potty Woes

Well, we are potty boot camp right now. And so far, so good. Although, I do have one complaint about my child. Only one, this time. Mateo has figured out how to manipulate the reward system and use it for his own advantage. Of course, HE would do this. I should have predicted it. Nothing is easy and straight-forward with him. We've been giving him one Skittle for going pee on the potty. Once he did this a couple times and figured out he gets candy every time, he figured out how to corrupt the system. Sunday afternoon was spent entirely going back and forth to the potty to drip out a bit of pee, get a candy, chew it up, then back to the potty to drip out a bit more. Over and over and over again. Until he had eaten almost a full bag of Skittles in one afternoon and wasn't hungry for dinner. Do other kids do this? I swear, he's an evil genius. I only wish he'd use his powers for good.

He's been doing great though. He's in pull-ups still but I think he could go to underwear anytime. I just have to transition from the routine at home, to generalizing at daycare, store, Nana's house, etc. Then we'll switch to underwear, clean up several accidents I'm sure, but I'm confident we'll have success soon.

Book Review



I read this book on the plane on the way to Florida for our Disney trip. I've been meaning to write a review but have so much else going on to blog about. Well, I'm finally carving some time out because I think it deserves a mention, at least. Most of you Ethiopian adoptive parents have probably already read it, but if not, here's my input.

This book tells the story of Amy and Josh, early struggles in their marriage, trouble with infertility, then their ultimate decision and journey to adopt their young son, Silas. Parts of the story are told by Amy, and parts by Josh. This, in my opinion, is the best part of the book. We get a look into both their perceptions, opinions, and their side of the struggle so many of us face. I felt like I could always relate to one or the other. The book itself is an intimate look into the lives of two honest hearts that are seeking to do God's will, while processing the pain of being infertile. But hope is the purpose of this story. As they set out to adopt a son from Ethiopia, their eyes are open to God's bigger plan in their life. It's an easy read, and fast too. I pretty much read it in one sitting. The only thing I wished that the book didn't provide was a few more pages. I would love to hear more about their lives with Silas. But I suppose you can check out their blog for that. Even though I can't relate to the Ethiopian side of the story, the writing is something anyone can appreciate. I had tears in my eyes while reading the story of meeting Silas' birth mother. That was my favorite part.

Bottom Line: take a half day out of your schedule to read this gem, especially if you are affected by adoption in any way. It's a definite winner!

Our Story (in video form)

Make sure your volume is on.

video

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Story of Dave and Justice

As promised, this is the story of how Dave and I met. It's a tad long, just to warn you. It won't hurt my feelings if you don't read it, but it is pretty funny (and a little mushy), but what love story isn't?

Dave and I met accidentally online in 2001. Not on Match.com or E-harmony. Actually, I wasn’t even looking at getting into a relationship at this point. I was focused on having as much fun as I could and working as little as I had to to get by. I was living at home after dropping out of college after two years. I didn’t have any future plans, I bounced around from job to job, I wasn’t interested in getting married until I was at least 30, and was basically just living in the moment. I spent some time online in the evenings, using AOL (remember those days?) and instant messaging various friends at the same time. Well, one night I got a strange message from someone I didn’t recognize asking if he knew me. We talked back and forth trying to figure out who each other were, when he explained that somehow my screen name was on his buddy list. Weird. We didn’t have any of the same friends but happened to both live in CT (about an hour away from each other). To this day, we have no idea how I got on his buddy list. I blame God. That’s right, I said blame.

So, after neither of us could figure out how that happened, Dave looked at my profile which said that I liked the outdoors, camping, and hiking. He happened to be looking for a new hiking partner so he kept chatting with me hoping to make friends. Every night, if he saw me online, he would start up another chat. I was extremely cautious, knowing all about the horror stories of online dating. In fact, I wouldn’t even give him my real first name for months. And I wasn’t that interested in talking with him, but he just kept trying and trying. So, I tried to get rid of him. I told him all sorts of lies and stories to make him go away; that I was in an avalanche or part of a strange religious group and so on. Well, I didn’t know it at the time but he thought I was the most interesting person he’d ever met, which is why he kept contacting me. And he was the first person that didn’t sound shocked at anything I threw at him.

After months and months of chatting online, he asked if he could meet me in person. I said no way. But he kept asking until I finally agreed to a meeting in a public place, and I was bringing a friend. And a gun. So we decided to meet in a very popular hiking park called Sleeping Giant to go for a little hike. At the last minute, I decided to go alone. My plan was to drive by and if he looked weird, I’d just keep driving. It was a beautiful spring day. I didn’t know what this guy looked like but I thought I’d better look cute just in case he looked like Brad Pitt or something (you always have to be prepared for these things). And since I thought we would be doing a short hike along the walking path to the top of the mountain as I had done many times before, I went dressed in some cute jeans, a top, and sandals, with no water or food.

The first thing I noticed when I drove up was Dave’s bright turquoise Kia. I’ve never been a car person but I hoped it was borrowed and not really his. It was just so…turquoise. Of course at that time I was driving a 1989 Chrysler Le Baron red convertible (my favorite car I’ve ever had, bought “as is” off the lot for $3,000, paid in cash). It was sexy. Dave looked harmless enough so I pulled over and got out of the car. The first thing Dave thought was that I must be pretty tough since I was about to hike the whole day around a mountain in sandals. Yeah, apparently we had different plans. I was a bit shocked when I noticed Dave had on “serious” hiking apparel. Clearly he had never been here before, this was no Mount Everest. So, Dave brought a map and had a whole route planned out (totally like him) and I had nothing (totally like me). Oh, and it was his car by the way. We took care of that mess later.

Well, about an hour in, I realized there were more trails than I knew of at this park and that they weren’t the easy walking trail I was used to doing in my sandals. Of course, I HAD spent a summer in Glacier National Park hiking and climbing REAL mountains, but that was with food, water, and a sturdy pair of hiking boots, none of which I had with me. Dave is the hero of this story. He gave me all his water without even a second thought. He let me lead the way to be nice, and when I strayed off the trail (I have a real problem with that for some reason) he said nothing, but kept track of where we were and how to get back. So here I was blabbing away about all my experience hiking and camping in the outdoors as I’m walking straight through the woods, most of the time not even on an actual trail. Every 20 minutes or so I’d stop and say, “I don’t think we’re on the trail anymore.” And he’d say, “Yeah, you veered off ten minutes ago.” Then he’d lead me back onto the right path again. This went on over and over again until we got back to the cars. At this point Dave thought I was nuts, but also very funny (and cute), so we went out to get a quick lunch and went our separate ways, promising to do this again sometime.

I wasn’t into him yet. Honestly, this is going to sound shallow, but I wanted someone taller. He’s not my type, I kept telling myself. I expected to fall in love with someone risk-taking, spontaneous, and dramatic, like myself. Dave was predictable, responsible, and boring. He’d been living on his own since he was 16, had a stable career, and paid his bills on time. Crazy, right? I believe I was 21 at this point, and he must have been 24. Dave would like me to mention that he thought I was a lesbian because I wasn’t at all interested in him. Apparently, anyone who can resist his good looks and natural charm must be a lesbian. God complex, anyone?

BUT, the benefit of befriending this weird guy was that he promised to teach me how to rock climb outdoors. I loved climbing, and took an indoor course, but really wanted to climb outdoors, where I felt it was more “real”. Dave knew how, and (bonus!) had all the gear we needed. He promised he would take me. So I used him. Yes, it’s awful. I wasn’t interested in him at all, not really even as a friend, but I used him to learn to rock climb.

Dave was patient and kind. And he never crossed any boundaries, even though he really liked me. I invited him camping with a couple friends for my birthday. He got me a gift, it was a map of CT, because I was always getting lost. It was cute. And he did take me rock climbing, many times. I sucked.




I planned a beach trip to Rhode Island the weekend of July 4th, with a distant cousin from Sweden who had been staying at my Grandma’s house. I invited Dave along. I don’t know why. I just did. I think maybe I felt bad for using him and thought I should at least pretend to be his friend. My cousin went on to visit other family members, so Dave invited me back to his place, to go a local beach there and then the casino, which was nearby. While we were walking along that beach I stepped on a broken shell and it lodged in my foot. It hurt so bad I could barely walk on it. Dave took me back to the house and offered to get it out for me. He used to be an EMT so he had some medical training. After I refused and refused, saying I was fine, he finally just grabbed my foot, took a needle, and got it out quickly before I could do anything. He would also like to add that I screamed like a baby (thanks honey). Again, he was my hero. That's when I realized he was a much better friend to me than I was to him. We went to the casino that night for dinner and I limped along, Dave waited patiently for me, offering to help over and over. I was stubborn and still didn’t know how I felt about him, so I said no.

That night, I didn’t want to drive home. But I didn’t want to sleep in the same bed as him either. He didn’t want me to leave, but he knew I wouldn’t sleep with him. So he offered to let me sleep in his bed and he would sleep on the couch. I considered it, everything it might mean, what message that would send, what my options were, but his bed looked so comfortable and none of it mattered. And he promised me that he would be fine on the couch. So, I did it. I remember asking my best friend’s boyfriend at the time (her husband now) if it would be leading a guy on to sleep in his bed, even without them in it. He said, “of course.” Oops.

The next time we met up was another camping trip in the beginning of August. An old friend from childhood and I reconnected and she wanted to camp at the beach like I had been doing all summer. Dave and one of his friends were going to meet us there and hang out that night. We brought one tent, for my friend and I. Dave was not intending to stay overnight, but later changed his mind (with some persuasion), and his friend, Shaun, was going to sleep in his pick-up truck. But then my friend wanted Shaun to sleep in the tent with us, which would have made things very…uh…cozy. So I decided to sleep in the back of the truck with Dave. At least I knew that guy. We talked almost all night long, about everything. And not made up stories either. Dave felt like this was the first time he was actually getting to know ME, not just some craziness my imagination made up. Dave told me later he so badly wanted to kiss me that night, but he thought I would have punched him in the face. I would have let him kiss me. Then punched him in the face. But I still didn’t think I liked him “like that”. I was fighting it with all I had.

The next day, Dave and I went boogie boarding at the beach. Dave kept finding little ways to touch me here and there; like brushing the sand off my arm, or pushing my hair out of my face. It was sweet but I was still uncomfortable about it. Up to that point, I hadn’t ever had a serious boyfriend. And the ones I did have left much to be desired, let’s just keep it at that. So, boys and touching just scared me. But I remember on the drive back to the campsite, in my sexy red convertible, I sat in the back with Dave and let his friend drive, and all I wanted to do was lie my head on his shoulder and sleep in the sun. I didn’t, but I wanted to.

I knew he liked me. And I guess I knew he was starting to grow on me too. But I wasn’t convinced until after that trip, on the ride home with my friend, she said to me, "Dave is the nicest guy I’ve ever met and he treats you so well, why don’t you go out with him?" Actually, I think she said why don’t you “hook up with him”. Suddenly, the light bulb went on. Yeah, he is the nicest guy I’ve ever met. He does treat me well. Why aren’t I going out with him? Duh.

Once I knew I wanted him, the rest was easy. About a week later, I was house-sitting for my aunt and I invited him over for dinner and a movie. I knew that I had been pushing him away until this point, so I thought I had better make it clear that I was interested now. I went a little overboard. During the movie, which happened to be a horror film, I sat next to him and buried my face in his chest at all the scary parts. I know it’s kind of girly, but how else would I give him the green light without having to jump on him when he came through the door. I didn’t want to scare him. So then, I waited. For him to kiss me, of course. All night long I waited. And I wondered what was taking so long. I gave many clues I was ready, but he was still afraid I would punch him. But, FINALLY, at the end of the night, lying on the couch, he kissed me.

At that point, I was happy to date him, but I didn't think it would turn into anything serious. In fact, I remember telling my mom that Dave was just practice for when my real husband comes along. Funny now, when I think about it.

I still remember the first time he called me his girlfriend. We were backpacking in New Hampshire. We were at a tent site and I was complaining that I never sleep well when I’m camping. So, he offered me sleeping drugs. Then he said, “I can’t believe I’m drugging my girlfriend.” And I felt my stomach flutter. Drugs! No, wait. Girlfriend!



After Dave realized that I liked him ALMOST as much as he liked me, he moved. Yes, he moved. To be closer to me! How sweet is that? He got an apartment in between his work and where I was living. It was still a long enough drive that we saw each other mostly on weekends, but it was pretty much every weekend. A few months later, Dave said “I love you” for the first time. We were at my house lying together on the couch. He stammered and told me he wanted to tell me something. It was hard for him to say. But I told him, “Well, I’ve known I loved you for a long time now. What took YOU so long?” We both laughed and that was it. We were in love.



So, with things getting serious, Dave was concerned with our future, specifically MY involvement in our future. For one, I didn’t have any long-term career prospects. Two, I didn’t know anything about paying bills and supporting myself financially. I was swimming in debt and was doing nothing about it. Not because I didn't want to, but no one had taught me how. Math and finances is not my strong point. So he planned one day to sit down and sort out all my financial stuff and he would make a system for me to pay my bills and consolidate my loans. It took hours and by the time he was done, I was in tears. But very patiently, as always, he worked with me. Like I said, he was very responsible, which is exactly what I needed. He was, and still is, a great teacher. He also taught me how to snowboard and drive stick. I sucked. Only at snowboarding, I rock at driving stick. But we were discovering that we were the perfect balance for each other. I needed stability and organization, he needed passion and a little fun!

He also encouraged me to go back to school. When I decided to go to massage school, Dave was ecstatic but also worried about the logistics. It was around this time that he told me he wanted to be with me forever and couldn’t imagine his life without me in it. We started talking marriage. Dave wanted to marry me that summer (it was January already). I wanted to wait. I felt like it was too soon. I thought I was too young. But as we were figuring out the school stuff, logistically it made more sense for me to start school after getting married so I would have his income to support me. I still didn’t want to get married that summer, but I called my best friend to talk to her about it and she said,

“Do you know you want to marry him?”

Yes.

“And you want to be with him forever?”

Yes.

“Then does it really matter when?”

No.

So I figured that summer was as good a time as any. I would be with him, and that’s all that mattered. It was kind of funny the way I broached the topic with Dave. We were in the hot tub at his dad’s house and I sat on his lap and said, “What do you think about getting married this summer?” Of course, I knew he would say yes, because it’s what he wanted all along. Even now he tells everyone that I asked HIM to marry ME. Of course, I told him he damn well better get a ring and ask properly. And he did. About a month later.

It was in his apartment, no special day or anything. He sat me on the couch and told me he wanted to read something to me. He got out his Bible and read the “Love is” passage. Then he brought out the ring and asked if I would marry him. Of course I said yes. I couldn’t stop looking at the ring all week long.

My very first Valentine’s Day, with him or any other boyfriend, was shortly after our engagement. He was meeting me at his apartment after work. I got there first and when I walked in, there were hundreds of balloons covering the floor. And then some big Mylar ones floating around, and flowers, and candy, and just about every other Valentine’s thing you can think of. It was so sweet. We planned to go out to a fancy restaurant but I didn’t feel well, so we canceled and just stayed in. Turns out, I had the beginning of Mono. I stayed at his place during the worst of it, and he took care of me. He brought me drinks when I was thirsty, got me any movie I wanted, and pretty much bought out the entire medication aisle at the pharmacy. I knew I would be in good hands, forever.

Our wedding was planned for August that same year. So we had about 6 months to plan. We knew we wanted small and simple. We chose to spend more money on the honeymoon than the wedding. Picking the location was the hardest part. We looked at TONS of options. I couldn’t make up my mind and was driving Dave crazy about it. Finally, he said that if I couldn't choose, he would. I was happy just to have a decision; I didn’t care what it was at that point. So he picked Sleeping Giant State Park, where we first met.

We were married August 7, 2004, on a beautiful sunny day. Despite it being August, it wasn’t hot. There was a perfect breeze on the top of the mountain. Our wedding ceremony was on top of Sleeping Giant. Yes, we made everyone walk up the 1.5 mile path to get there. That’s why dress was casual. I wore a traditional wedding dress though (with flip flops). There was a big tower on the top of the mountain and several stone rooms with open windows. We blocked off one of the rooms and that’s where I got dressed and ready. My husband’s best friend carried my dress up for me. We didn’t shut down the park so there were people there visiting that got to watch our wedding. Most of them were happy and stayed out of our way. I remember one little boy kept telling me I looked like a beautiful princess, while I was waiting for our guests to arrive.

We formed an aisle by having people stand in two rows on each side of the lawn. I walked from the tower to underneath a big oak tree, where we had the ceremony. My brother walked me down the aisle. Before we started, I had my youngest cousin hand everyone a daisy. As I walked down the aisle, guests handed me a daisy to form my bouquet. Then my mom tied a ribbon around them. I walked out to the song “At Last” by Etta James, playing on a small boom box. The ceremony only lasted about 10 minutes. We wrote our own vows and told our own story about why we got married there. It was very unique.

The reception was at the bottom of the mountain, but still in the park. It was through the woods with big trees all around. There was a pavilion, then some picnic tables outside as well. We decorated using Naglene bottles as vases for the flowers. And we had tiki lights decorated and set up around the pavilion. It was beautiful. We had a caterer who made grilled chicken, wings, salad, and bread. The food was great, I hear. I couldn’t eat. Neither of us like cake, so we did "make your own ice cream Sunday’s" instead. It was fun. Music blared from my boom box again. It was simple and short, but everyone had fun. There were only about 50 people or so there. It was perfect. I wouldn’t have changed a thing.



We left after about an hour to go on our honeymoon to California. We flew into San Jose then rented a Mustang convertible, because Dave knew that I missed my Le Baron (which crapped out on me a while ago), and we drove all over northern and central California. We went to Santa Cruz, Yosemite National Park, Mammoth, and Monterrey Bay. Mostly we stayed in hotels, one night we stayed in a hostel, and in Yosemite we stayed in a rugged cabin. Our honeymoon was 2 weeks long. It was a wonderful start to our married life.



So, that's the story of us. Phew...that was long. I might as well have written a book. But there it is. I hope it was interesting enough to read through. If not, and you're just reading the end, here's the summary...

They lived happily ever after. The end.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Odd Conversation: Take II

A conversation last night. Seriously, I'm not making this up.

Me: If I was attacked, would you fight for me?

Dave: Hmm...does the attacker have a gun?

Me: No. No weapons. Just a fist fight and whatever is laying around. Like a chair.

Dave: So a chair fight?

Me: Or whatever is laying around. You're at a fisherman's warf with a big dock going out to the ocean. There's lots of stuff around you can use.

Dave: How big is he?

Me: Honey, the answer I'm looking for is a simple yes.

Dave: Would I die if I fought?

Me: If you lost!

Dave: Then I probably wouldn't.

Me: What!?

Dave: Well, if I don't fight, at least one of us would be alive for Mateo. If I did fight, there is a 50% chance Mateo would be orphaned. I would do whatever I could to make sure one of us lives.

Me: What if the guy was small and you could take him?

Dave: Maybe.

Me: Honey! Where's the emotion? Where's the fury? Where's the passion?

Dave: The mind doesn't think sensibly when it's full of emotion. I have to evaluate the situation and weigh the risks carefully to assess the likelihood of the outcome I desire.

Me: Too late. I'm dead. You have one second to decide whether to fight or watch me die.

Dave: This is ridiculous. I'm not validating it anymore with an argument.

Me: Fine! You're a terrible husband today!

Later.

Me: What if there's no chance you would die if you fought?

Dave: Does he have a gun?

Me: No. It's a street fight. In a back alley.

Dave: Then, yes, I would. I would be injured to any degree for you. I would even die for you if it meant you would definitely live.

Me: I would totally fight for you, live or die. I would pick up a brick and throw it at his head, then jump on him and slam his head on the concrete until there was blood everywhere.

Dave: I would hope not. That's impractical. If you threw the brick and you missed, you wouldn't have it anymore.

Me: I wouldn't miss. Adrenaline enhances the senses. I would be faster and stronger. You really wouldn't do the same for me?

Dave: Depends. Who's closer to the brick?

Me: Ugh! You're impossible!

Pause

Me: Well, the point is moot anyway. I would never get abducted. I'm too smart and resourceful.

Dave: I'm gonna hire someone to abduct you just to prove you're wrong.

Me: That's terrible! Someone could get hurt. Most likely you, when I found out.

Pause

Me: You wouldn't really do that honey, would you?

Dave: The fact that you even have to ask just proves your lack of faith in me.

Me: Well, I know you have some friends that would love that.

Dave: (chuckle) Yeah.

Silence

Me: Stop plotting!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not the "P" Word!!!

Yes people. You know what I'm talking about. Potty Training!

Mateo has been showing all the "readiness signs" for a while now, but I've been too scared/lazy to do anything about it. But since he's having "transition issues", which is a nice way of saying he's being a pain in the butt, I am now frustrated enough to give it a try. So I sent Dave to the store to pick up the essential potty training kit. Namely: pull-ups, candy, and entertainment (for sitting on the potty). He did a pretty good job. He came back with skittles, potty putty (which is a disturbing blob of goo inside a plastic toilet seat. Mateo loves it of course), and princess pull-ups. That's right, princess pull-ups. Apparently, that's all that Walmart had in stock. But it's okay. Mateo is secure in his manhood.

And we officially began potty training 101 yesterday. The first step: getting him to sit on the potty for more than 5 seconds at a time. This is where the potty putty came in handy. That was as far as we got on the first day, although he did pee in the potty twice. Not bad for a first time! I'm calling it beginners luck, just because I don't want to get my hopes up that this will be at all easy. Nothing is ever easy with Mateo. But I'm optimistic. He is obsessed with potty. He talks about it all the time. That's a boy thing, right? He thinks farts are funny. And he hates getting his diaper changed. That's why I'm hopeful potty training will go well for him.

Well, I'll update as I go along. I'm sure this will be quite an adventure. If you have any tips, please let me know. Thanks!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Does Anyone Else's Kid Do This?

My child has no patience. And I know that's pretty typical for a two year old, but I mean no patience. Like, if he wants something to eat, and I'm in the middle of something and can't get it right away, he just freaks out. He jumps up and down, screams, shakes the chairs in the kitchen, and sometimes even hits me. It doesn't matter what I say, he will continue until he is sitting in his seat with food in front of him. I feel like he should be able to wait for a moment or two without having a hissy fit.

So I've begun to to tell him he needs to wait patiently with no screaming or whining and then he can have the item. Usually this results in him having to go to his room because he just can't wait. I put him in the room and tell him that screaming hurts my ears and when he's calm he can wait patiently for the juice/food/toy and I will give it to him. Eventually he will calm down and I make him ask for it nicely, but it is always a big project! Anybody else have this problem? Is this normal for the age? Are my expectations too high? I feel like he should be able to do this because I know he behaves well for babysitters and at daycare. Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Isn't it all about Me?

Today my husband turns 30. There is so much I can say about what he means to me and how much I love him. But let's talk about me for a minute here.

I'm old. I think it's pretty ironic that my husband is turning 30 today and all weekend long I was depressed that I was getting old, even though I have two and a half years before I turn 30. But, as my mom said to me when I was crying on the phone, it's not what age you are that matters, it's how you feel. Well, I FEEL old!

This, of course, is all Mateo's fault. I used to be fun-loving, lots of energy, and happy all the time. Now I'm tired, nagging, and pissed about my house being dirty all the time. What happened?

I never minded birthday's before. I thought it was cool getting older. Becoming a grown-up and more respected. Well being a grown-up sucks! And who cares about respect? What I wouldn't give for a time-machine to go back, just for a weekend, to my early twenties when Dave and I were still dating and I was young and adorable, and we still had butterflies when we saw each other. I wouldn't stay long, of course. I love Mateo and everything he brings to my life. But I miss ME! Well, the 20 year old version of me. God help Dave when I turn 30. I think I might be suicidal.

Anyway, I did make a video (surprised?) for Dave's birthday of our story together. From when we first became friends all the way through our engagement, wedding, married life, then kids. It's depressing to watch. Well, for me. Everyone else likes it. It might be boring for those who don't know us. But I'm gonna post it on Valentine's Day, along with the story of how we met, which is interesting and comical. Here's a sneak peek. I wouldn't consider dating him until two years after we met, even though he liked me that whole time. He thought I was a lesbian at first because I wasn't interested in him (talk about a complex) or any other guys. The story also includes rock climbing, seduction, casinos, an injury, and getting drunk. But isn't that all love stories? Make sure you come back on V-day and check it out. Until then....


Happy Birthday My Love!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Old and New

This month's assignment on the mamarazzi website is "Old and New". So here is my interpretation. You can see better photographer's work by clicking on the link.

Mateo and great-grandma


This one is a bit unconventional.
It's a mama orca and her baby performing in a show at Sea World.
I thought it was an interesting way to represent the theme.