Friday, December 28, 2007

It's official - I am crazy!

I am always frustrated and disappointed when taking pictures of kids. No matter how good my camera is, my skill is sorely lacking when trying to capture their funny faces, interesting moods or peculiar interactions. I always look at the end result and wonder why it looked like a pale copy of what was really going on at the time of the shot.

Here’s one example. Last night I was up until some ungodly hour, I think about 2.30 when I climbed into my bed to discover my cutie (or eggplant if you wish) son lying smack in the middle (leaving me two slim wedges on either side) with his hands under his head. He looked soooo cute (or eggplanty) and peaceful, as if he were lying on a beach getting a tan. As I lay down next to him, I was full of disappointment that I could not capture him at that particular moment. Firstly, I could and most likely would wake him up with the flash; secondly, I could wake up dear husband with the flash and/or baby crying, and thirdly, getting out of bed at 2.35 a.m. to take a picture of the kid who could wake up and take the entire house with him was just plain CRAZY.

And then I remembered, I left the light on in the kitchen! Ta-da. Excuse!!!! I quickly slid out of bed, got the camera, adjusted the flash, made a test shot in the completely dark living room and almost forgot to turn the lights off in the kitchen. Then I quietly climbed onto my bed (as quietly as my rather sturdy frame allows, of course) and prepared to make a shot. I knew I only had one chance at it. Herein lies the problem: it is very hard to take a picture in almost complete darkness. The LCD screen doesn’t show anything, I can barely see what I am doing, the bed wiggles under me, and to add to the list of problems I had to rush before I came to my senses, put the camera down and went to sleep. I had to ride the crazy wave before it was gone. So I took the first available position and snapped. The picture was OK, but definitely didn’t catch everything that it could. I think a few more seconds of proper positioning would definitely produce a much, much cuter shot. Now you would look at the picture and say: did you just go through all of the trouble to capture this? You ARE crazy.

In case you are wondering, I did wake the baby up, though not completely, and I think hubby stirred in his sleep. Then the baby repositioned himself on all fours and fell asleep that way. OMG!!! Yet another great shot! My hands trembled, crazy ideas rushing through my head, but my common sense came back and I went to sleep. Maybe there is hope for me after all.

P.S. Hubby was not surprised at all to find a camera in my underwear drawer. I guess I did wake him up or he is already used to my crazies…

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Identity crisis

I am not big on routines. Every single book on parenting tells us that routines are good for kids, for parents, for peace in the family, and ultimately for all humankind and planet earth. No use, I still don’t do well with routines. But when you do something every day of the week, every week of the month, some routines are accidentally developed whether one realizes it or not. Since my husband started night classes about two months ago, putting the kids to sleep shifted to the realm of my responsibilities. Before long, I routinely sang “My daughter is a cutie pie, cutie, cutie pie” song of my own creation while putting PJ's on her. And she would routinely say that she is not a cutie pie, she is a girl! And I would concede that yes, indeed she is a girl, very cute girl, and she would reply, “No, I am not cute.” We would go back and forth for a while; you get the picture.

Yesterday instead of her name, I sang, “Baby, baby is a cutie pie” when putting his PJ's on, to which she immediately responded,” “He is a not a cutie pie, I am.” You don’t appreciate things until you are about to lose them. I decided to explore the topic and asked her, “Isn’t your brother cute? You know, I could have two cutie-pies.” But she kept on insisting that her brother wasn’t a cutie, she was. Then I finally asked her, “If he is not a cutie pie, then what is he?” Without losing a beat she said, “Eggplant. (Maklazhan, yes, with an “M”)” I almost fell on the floor. When my giggles somewhat subsided, I asked her, “Why eggplant?” “Because he is a boy.” Aha, now it makes sense.

The funny thing is that we barely use this word. I rarely cook eggplants and they are never served in the playgroup. The only time she hears this word is when we read with her “My first dictionary book.” I think that there’s some connection in her head – pie is food, so is eggplant … and eggplant happens to be masculine in Russian, hence good for a boy. (I think I developed a severe case of toddler logic.) Otherwise, I am at a complete loss as to why she named him that way. Hope the name won’t stick though because Mom is still Guillermo.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My baby's first dictionary

Mommy - multi-functional piece of equipment with many features, some not discovered yet. Came without a manual. Favorite features so far: feeding, cuddling, kissing, and tickling … did I say feeding? I like that a lot. Software/hardware bugs quite evident. Severe sound volume issues when under stress. Battery leaves something to be desired. Spare batteries not offered by manufacturer. Obviously model developed in a rush to meet some arbitrary deadline.

Papa – similar to Mommy, only less features and shorter fuse. Digs riskier fun. Still haven't figured out all functions. Came without manual too (what is it with the shortage of manuals?). Major software flaw: is not open to house redecorating ideas. Exterior and battery life very durable.

Sister – partner in crime. Model still under development, but previews promise many fun features. Battery life – limited only by Mommy and Papa. Major drawback: often fights for the same limited resources: toys, Mommy, etc.

Grandma - the enabler. Features similar to Mommy. Battery life – indeterminable due to limited exposure to the model.

Grandpa - the weakest link. (According to Grandma, the missing link...hmmm.)

Baby – ME! ME! ME! An absolutely wonderful, flawless device brought to bring fun to the otherwise completely uneventful Mommy's day. I take my job very, very seriously.

Playgroup - a place where all my talents are fully appreciated and where I am the boss, though not everyone caught on yet.

Lego - favorite toy of masochistic parents.

Papa’s computer – the forbidden fruit.

Sharing – who came up with that crazy idea?

Whining – the shortest and surest way to get things done.

Pacifier - not a fan, though fun to take away from Sister and have her chase me around the house. He he.

Cereal – tastes best when eaten off the floor.

Floor – adds unique gourmet flavors to anything eaten off of it. Similar tasting results cannot be achieved in controled environment.

Cookie – preferred method of re-fueling. Thank you for the reminder. Coo-kee, coo-kee, Mommy, more coo-kee.

Food leftovers - look really good on a carpet or smeared on the table. Liquids are perfect for washing hands.

Salt/sugar/spices – good for spicing up the decor.

Silverware/toys/clothes/insides of any unlocked drawer – all fine decorating ideas.

Audio tapes – yet another good decorating choice.

Timeout – a place where I go when Mommy/Papa battery runs low or when house decorating ideas clash with that of Parents'.

Clothes – optional.

Diaper - a party pooper. Should be optional. Thick disposable underwear that stands in a way of true fun. Explosive ones are particularly entertaining for Mommy. Why does she so stubbornly resist entertainment?

Diarrhea – effortless fun. Gives the most amount of entertainment for your buck. Will do even at the risk of getting a red bottom. That's how much I love Mommy.

Medicine - no, thank you.

Bath – water! Water! Water! Must pretend not to enjoy at first or otherwise might be taken away for misbehaving. Cannot give them more weapons.

Washing hair – necessary (???) evil.

Time between my bath and my bed - the best time to relieve myself. I either have a very fresh diaper on, and Mommy has to chase me, AGAIN, to change it. Or I don't have one on yet - need I say more? Not that I talk…

My own bed – WHAT???!!! Have you been consorting with the enemy? Also, see Sharing.

Sleeping – next to Mommy? Mmm, mmm good. Have to check up on her a few times every night though. Cannot be too careful.

Wake up time - the earlier the better. Time when Mommy is particularly unkempt and grumpy. Why would she possibly be tired if I provide so much entertainment?

What else could I possibly do to maximize Mommy's fun? Suggestions welcome.

Friday, December 21, 2007


The media’s prayers have been answered once again. Another Spears girl have made the news. Everyone is supposedly shocked, if we choose to believe our news sources. I understand the confusion, the rage, the demand to take her show off the air, but one thing I do not understand is this supposed shock. What precisely is so shocking? That a sixteen-year-old has a steady boyfriend? Or that they have sex? Or that a female who regularly engages in sex got pregnant? Or maybe, that instead of getting a quiet abortion, she decided to risk her career and keep the baby?

Which one of those is shocking? Dating for teenagers has long become a norm. While not encouraged and probably not as wide-spread as many believe, teenage sex is not out of the ordinary either. If we accept all the things leading to pregnancy as normal, then pregnancy, as a natural consequence of dating, should be viewed as normal too. But noooooooo, that is taking it too far. To me – that is hypocrisy. To me – that particular attitude is shocking. The parents’ message that is given to girls seems to be as follows: I know that you guys are dating for a while, I trust you to do the right thing, but if you choose not to (and statistically you are very likely to not do the right thing), make sure the neighbors don’t know and you don’t get knocked up.

Personally, I find the whole situation tragic. 16-year-olds should not be having kids for many, many reasons. They should not be having sex and they should not date. But since parents are unable to stop their kids from dating, the only responses they can offer are either denial or the sheepish, “As long as you are using protection…” Some choose to trust their kids, and if it works, then wonderful, but I personally don’t see how a teenage boy with raging hormones could be trusted in this particular area. I don’t blame parents, their job is particularly hard nowadays. Maybe, nothing had changed over the years, but the world where I grew up seemed to be so much more innocent and chaste.

But back to Jaime Lynn. Media should just leave her alone and should stop making sensation where there is none. (For goodness sake, they are already discussing what maternity clothes she should wear.) The recent statistics that teen pregnancies are on the rise went almost unnoticed, at least in comparison to the news about the other Spears sister. But one particular teenager's pregnancy is causing the raucous - simply because she is famous and has a famous sister. Pregnant sixteen-year-old is hardly uncommon or newsworthy. Let her be and deal with the consequences of her actions in private. And stop being so shocked, it’s annoying.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Know what I mean?

This past Sunday I had a very unwelcome guest, vertigo. It came all of a sudden, without much warning and turned me into a completely useless lump from around 2 p.m. until the next morning. I was in bed until 7.30, still feeling pretty bad, though better than in the afternoon. Hubby had a night class from 8 to 9.30 and really didn't want to miss it, so we decided that he would go. And if I needed him to come home, I would call him.

I tried not to call, I really did. Hubby left at 7.50, and the minute the door closed behind him, the vultures sensing my weakness (I mean my sweet darling children seeing that I do no object) started taking our home apart. I tried to stop them, but every time I got off the couch, I would get severely nauseous. I fought with them (I mean I tried to educate them about proper behavior as much as I could), but all in vain. I thought that if I only had to endure this for another half hour, I probably could do it. When I looked at the clock, it showed 8.05. Uh-oh, he was only gone 15 minutes, and I had hour and a half to go...

I resolved that I'd let the kids do their worst (I mean I would let kids be kids) and pretend that I didn't notice (I mean beam at them with approving smile). But I would not call. I would not succumb. I would prove to the world that I could do it. When they fought (I mean had differences of opinion), I didn't notice. When they sprinkled the floor with cereal and raisins (there's no PC substitute for that, is there?), I didn't notice. When I heard them taking out all the silverware, I didn't notice. When they took turns sitting in the utensil drawer and subsequently broke it, I didn't scream too loudly (I mean I beamed with pride). When they went to the bathroom and I heard water running, I realized that warranted getting off the couch. There they were, in the bathroom, with our silverware, some of my cooking utensils and the wooden dough-roller - all on the bathroom floor. And there he was, wet from head to his navel, my love and pride and only son, sticking the before-mentioned silverware into the radiator where it was completely irretrievable. My other love and pride and only daughter was cheering him on. Ughhhh! (I mean, oh my). I looked at the clock, and it was 8.35. There was no way I could tolerate this for another hour when I already suffered (I mean enjoyed my kids' antics) for about eternity and a half. I called hubby. He tried to persuade me to tough it out a bit longer, but after my short and poignant sob story he decided to come back and save our last teaspoon.

While waiting for him, I went back on the couch. The kids, one of them half-naked by now, started jumping on me in retaliation for closing the bathroom (I mean because they wanted to spend quality time with their mother). I repeatedly asked them to stop since vibrations made me even more nauseous. Eventually, I broke down and started sobbing, saying things like, "I cook for you, I clean your bottoms, I buy you clothes and toys. But when I am sick and need something from you..." "Why can't you have pity on your mother?" etc. I didn't really wail for a long time because just like kids who can cram 50 different mischiefs in 15 minutes, I can fit 20 different complaints in just under a minute. I am gifted, what can I say, and I practice religiously.

In the middle of my wailing, my daughter interrupted me rather unceremoniously, and said, "Calm down. Stop crying. I SAID CALM DOWN. What's the matter? I am here, why are you crying?" There was something shockingly familiar and even more shockingly unpleasant in her voice. It reminded me of, I don't know, a neighbor, a teacher, or hmmm myself? I sat in complete shock until hubby came home and sent me to bed.

The result is more or less like a MasterCard commercial. Making apartment habitable again - 1 hr, fixing broken kitchen drawer - 15 minutes, buying new set of silverware - indeterminable, learning to be more sympathetic when your kids cry over seemingly minute things - priceless.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

First haircut

Our boy had his first real haircut. The one before doesn't count because poor thing was so scared, we barely touched his hair. Now his hair is cut so short, I honestly couldn't recognize him at first. Absolutely different, though still enormously adorable face. Well, you won't see it in this picture...
...he will no longer be able to do this, and his sister's hairclips are safe, at least until he figures out how to destroy them...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I found the key to happiness

I once again resolve to squash every positive thought that comes to my mind because having good thoughts attracts something negative. Therefore, I have arrived to the only logical conclusion: the key to happiness is a state of perpetual misery.

Today I went grocery shopping, and was very relieved to see the final number on the register to be about $30 less than usual and $40 less than expected (I bought take-out, something I normally do not do). I was very delighted and mentally thanked G-d. All was well in the world... that was until we got home, and hubby realized that he had a parking violation ticket stuck to his windshield...$115...

As a side note, how desperate and miserable does one have to be to work as a parking violation officer, or whatever the official name of their occupation is. I can't think of any other occupation that would be so universally despised. Can you?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Look what I got for my birthday!

My birthday was in October. I didn't really know what I wanted: I didn't want jewelry, I didn't have time to read books and clothes/shoes I would buy anyway if I saw something I liked because liking something in my size doesn't happen too often. Then we went to Home Depot, and I saw a thing I wanted for a long, long time, and hubby wouldn't even consider getting it. No, not the new drill, or the power saw. I am not that kinda gal. What I wanted was the new shower head with extended cord, so that I could wash children's dirty bottoms without getting my head wet and/or without getting it the bathtub with them. Yes, I am a romantic at heart.

Since it was my birthday and he didn't get me anything, hubby acquiesced. I won! We picked out the best shower head we liked (by far not the cheapest), took it home, and it sat in our closet for the next two months. Finally, the nagging worked (yay!), and hubby installed it Friday morning a week ago. When I came from work, I was duly impressed, but that Friday afternoon was VERY hectic, and I ended up not taking a shower before Shabbat. (Don't tell me it never happened to you.) When I asked hubs how the new shower head worked, he said he hated it. The pressure was really low and he couldn't adjust the direction.

I told him that water pressure was very important to me, almost as much as hubby's happiness, so if he hated the shower head, then I didn't want it either. Without further ado, hubs took it off first thing Saturday night. I never even tried the darn thing. I went on line to find something better, and discovered that due to the Federally mandated filter, all of these shower heads had low pressure. The only solution was to find one that didn't glue the filter in as well as the one that we got.

Hubby didn't waste any time and the very next Monday headed to Home Depot, and came back with a new drill. He said that he actually saved money, because we were still $10 better off after the returning of the shower head. Whatever...he could've saved us much more money by not buying it, but I decided to not be picky. After all, he was kind of spending money already spent.

And then, about two days later, it hit me. That money was earmarked for my birthday present. I got a drill for my birthday!!! A drill!!! Me, that is all thumbs got a drill!!! Well, I know what he is getting for his birthday - a mink coat (shoot, can't afford), a purse, a skirt, a bra, pantyhose, and if all fails, tampons! Just something he cannot use!

P.S. I confronted hubby with this, and he said that he already saw the irony at the cash register and was surprised it took about a day and a half for it to hit me. I am usually much faster than way. So we are looking for alternative gifts now... Hopefully we will figure it out before his birthday; otherwise, plan A is still in effect.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Chanukah is over, actually it was over on Tuesday. I await it with great anticipation, mainly because of the donuts. For eight days and nights I turn into Homer Simpson and unpack nightly packages from bakery with trembling hands. And then I indulge.

So, after eating about three dozen of the bakery-made donuts by day two, I had obtained a recipe that was simple yet delicious from the my kids' daycare center owner, and of course I made two or three batches. I don't remember exactly since I had severely OD'ed on powdered sugar and blacked out a few times. Thank you, Mrs. V for your wonderful recipe! Now my butt resembles a giant donut that is big enough to feed a family of four for about a week. Again, thank you, Mrs. V...

And that how it always ends: I wake up the first day after Chanukah with sugar withdrawal symptoms and tremendous amount of self-loathing. Why did I need to eat all those donuts? Why?

Just went on a scale. D'oh!

Side note: I do exaggerate, though only a bit...

Friday, December 14, 2007

One way or another I am going to find you...

How's that for irony? I am so disorganized that I cannot find my organizer. How will I ever get organized without it?

I really need to know, who are you?

My mom got sick. Her throat was really bothering her, and when we spoke Sunday night, I could barely recognize her voice. Mom didn't get better over night, and on Monday, she called her boss, and gave the (extremely unusual for her) "I am not coming in today" shpiel. After explaining for a few minutes why she was not coming in, mom was ready to hang up the phone, when the supervisor asked her, "Guillermo, is that you?"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I'll get home, eventually

We just bought our first car. My mother-in-law came from Israel, and I was still on maternity leave. On a whim, my husband and I decided to show her Manhattan at night, and without further ado we packed up a diaper bag and left. I figured that we didn't really need directions since I commuted to and from Manhattan every day for the past four years. That was our first mistake of many. I didn't drive, so one-way streets or timely giving of directions were concepts very foreign to me at that time. "Why can't you just turn here?" or "Just back up a bit" (on a highway to enter missed exit) were comments all too common for me. My husband, on the other hand, was completely unfamiliar with Manhattan, and this was his first time driving there.

Between the two of us, we ended up in New Jersey instead of Manhattan (don't ask, that night I found out that once you enter a tunnel, you can't turn around or back up). My husband was getting worried since we were in an unfamiliar place during dark hours. I, on the other hand, was in a very joyous mood to finally get out of the house where I was couped up with the baby for the past 6 weeks. And I had complete faith in my hubby.

There was nobody to ask for directions, and calling anyone didn't make any sense since we didn't even know where we were. So we drove around to find a gas station. After pointlessly driving for 15 minutes, I was overcome with a particularly severe case of verbal diarrhea and started singing, "I'll be home for Christmas"(it was the first week of November.) To my surprise instead of getting annoyed, my husband cracked a smile. I didn't really know any other lines to this song, so I carried on for a few more minutes, and then we found directions.

Today I went to the pharmacy, and while standing in line I heard this same song on the radio. The line was long, so I finally heard the last lines of it: "I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dream." Thank Heavens hubby didn't know that song either! LOL

As a side note, this was supposed to be a short post. Why can't I make them like that? They always come out long...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Welcome winter

And so it begins...

I love winter. Only not the New York winter, the real one. In my mind NY winter is not real - it's not really cold, but I wouldn't call it warm either. The weather is completely unpredictable, and I never know how to dress in the morning. My main complaint about it is that there is no snow, and even if we are lucky to get a few inches, it turns into sleet and ice within two days. And I hate ice.

Now that I have kids, my love affair with winter is cooling off. Especially when the landlord, not I, controls the thermostat, and the apartment is more often than not unpleasantly chilly. They say it is healthy, but I would take comfort over health on any given day. Also the kids tend to get sick much more often in the winter. While there's nothing more fun than staying at home and cuddling with the baby guilt free, I feel so bad for my babies when they are having hard time breathing at night or can't nurse because they are congested.

This winter (thout it is not officially winter yet) is not an exception. My daughter just stopped coughing, and not too soon. I was getting a bit tired of telling the neighbors that we didn't get a new dog. This time I resisted temptation of taking her to the doctor, just in case. There was no fever or anything else wrong with her other than runny nose and a cough that sounded like a really big dog barking. This time of the year, we go there, wait for an hour in the room filled with sick kids, pay $20 just to be told that there isn't much the doctor could do for a cold, and then get my kids really sick from some other kid in the waiting room, repeating the vicious circle. I think I'll pass this time, unless it gets really bad. The website said to give it three weeks, it has only been one.

So while the daughter is getting better, I am waiting for the baby to get sick. I have given up on trying to instill some basic ideas about hygiene into my kids. No matter how many bottles of juice I prepare for them, they end up fighting for the same one. Even if they are not fighting, one of them decides to "share" with another one ("Look, hon, isn't this cute, she's/he's sharing, aww...Wait, it's gross, eww"), compare the consistency of each other's chocolate milk, or stick their little fingers into the sibling's soup. So I gave up... long ago...and now am waiting for the baby to get sick from his sister's germs. The minute I decide that maybe we have dodged the bullet this time, I hear my little one barking exactly like his sister. No, Mrs. Markowitz, we REALLY didn't get a dog. Sigh...

Therefore, I declare today to be the the first winter day in our household, and I don't care what the scientists or weather people say. Why? The apartment is once again cold, both kids are sick and whiny, both had a fit when I left for work, and to top it all off I got a UTI. Nice... Oh yeah, almost forgot, and they both wiped their noses on my sweater, black sweater, and I noticed only when I came to work, naturally in my boss' office. For those who don't know, the first time I show up for work in the snot-ornamented sweater is the first winter day of the year.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Eat that, Galileo!

Yesterday I got a clear (another) proof that European education is superior to American. Much, much more superior. I don't think that you would find even one 10-year old in Russia and probably all former USSR (we are talking about healthy ones without any learning disabilities) that would be puzzled by the question about the shape of the Earth. Any normal pre-teen regularly attending school would know that Earth is round, as in not flat.

Not so in the States. I was checking my email yesterday, when I saw the headline that one of the hosts of the View, talk show for women, didn't know whether earth was round or flat. Normally I try to avoid celebrity news, and get most of my news from the headlines. But someone, regardless of their celebrity status, not knowing the shape of the earth warranted reading the article and watching the video clip. I also thought that there could be some liberal media bias, twisting the words of the openly faithful Christian. Not so, they actually didn't twist it at all. Sherri Shepherd did not know whether earth was round or flat. If her son asked her about it, she would actually have to research the answer. Her reason for not knowing a basic scientific fact? She never took interest in it. She was more concerned about her ability to feed her son, not with the shape of the earth.

Uh-huh. This is the information she was supposed to learn from the earth science in junior high. If at the age of 13 she needed to concern herself with feeding her kids, then I guess she had a valid excuse. I mean, if I got knocked up at 12, I probably wouldn't care if the earth was round or flat either and probably wouldn't pay much attention in class. But she didn't. She had her first kid at 38. And not taking interest part? Most people don't particularly care about math, but everyone knows that 2+2=4 (unless you are an acountant, then the answer is open to interpretation). To me there's no difference between not knowing the former or the latter. Both are very basic, and knowing them is a must regardless of your personal interests. (As a side note, I shared the news with my husband. He told me he was so shocked, he was thinking about this the entire next day. And it takes a lot for hubby to get so shocked.)

That same woman was under the impression that NOTHING predates Christianity and argued with Whoopie Goldberg that Greeks threw Christians to lions. If we believe Sherri, those unfortunate events happened over three centuries before the birth of Jesus. Who were those Christians worshipping then? And the woman had the audacity to announce and defend those ignorant views on public television! That reminds me my fahter's business trip to the deep Russia where someone told my dad that Jesus was Russian. The woman was shocked and appauled at the suggestion that her deity could have Jewish roots. It's one thing to be a faithful believer. It's completely another thing to be an ignorant believer.

So the question for me is: what do kids do in American schools that some of them manage to graduate without knowing some basic scientific facts? I really need to know because I have one starting school next year...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

This is why I could never be on time.

11.30 pm It all started last night when both of my kids decided to stay in bed with me.

10.30 pm (correction) Actually, it started even before that: we needed to lend our extra mattress to my brother-in-law, and a rail had to be reinstalled on my bed, which took up some bed space. When three people are sleeping in a bed for one, that extra space really counts.

12 am When the kids woke up in the middle of the night and fell back asleep, for some inexplicable reason my husband refused to transfer my daughter into her own bed, and I was afraid to wake up the spoiled brat whom we call our son. So I ended up sleeping with both of them. They both slept terribly - the baby likes to have his space, which was terribly lacking last night, and my daughter was coughing all night long. All of this translated into no sleep for mommy.

7 am When my cell phone/alarm went off, the kids were wide awake (damn that daylight savings thing), so to win a few more minutes in bed, I gave my cell phone to my son.

7.05 am He had the most beautiful smile when he was entrusted with my phone.

7.07 am Two minutes later he reminded me why I don't entrust him with that thing too often. He threw it in the space between the wall and the bed, and started saying, "Fell down, fell down" with complete amazement. I guess they didn't teach them the basic laws of physics in the playgroup: if you throw something down, it falls down, not up!

7.10 am So I got up and tried to retrieve the phone.

7.15 am Finally it occurred to me to use the broom (I was sleepy, OK?), and ten minutes, ten precious morning minutes later, the phone was in my hands, and somehow the baby got it again. Whatever...

7.25 am Though I had a terrible headache and already survived one moring adventure, I was still on track time wise. I gave the kids cereal, and they ate nicely together. I periodically was checking on them, and all was well.

7.50 am When I finally dressed myself and was ready to leave, I saw my little one with the empty bowl in his hands, and a smile that could not possibly mean anything good. I looked down and saw that leftover of his cereal was all over the carpet. I hate that carpet, so the fact that it was now covered in chocolate milk didn't bother me. The fact that I needed to clean it up before hubs saw the mess did bother me a little.

7.55 am So I frantically ran around the house trying to find broom. I knew that I left it in the kitchen, but it was not there. It wasn't in the living room, in either bedrooms, I even checked the bathroom. No broom.

8.05 am In the mean time I yelled at the kids to stay in one place so that cocoa puffs would not spread all over the house. If I tried to control the weather, I would get similar results.

8.08 am The cocoa puffs were now all over the house, and still no broom in sight. I asked the kids if they knew where the broom was, and my daughter told me that it was in the bedroom, same bedroom I searched four times before. I asked her to get it, and she said, "No". I guess our teenage years arrived early, yay for us! I asked again, and finally I got the teenage, "OK, mom" with the obligatory rolling of the eyes. What the ___?! To paraphrase my friend Sally, where was I when that sweet little creature turned into a teenage monster?

7.35 am (flashback) Turned out baby decided to retrieve a few more things from under the bed, and the broom was still there.

8.10 am Finally I had the broom and tried to sweep up soggy cocoa puffs from the carpet, and that didn't work at all.

8.15 am After unsuccessful and frantic 5 minute sweeping, all I got were five or six puffs. In the final stage of desperation, I started picking them up by hand, and got it done much more efficiently. Actually, my little one helped to pick up two of puffs without me asking. At this point I could no longer be mad at him for not staying on the couch.

8.25 am Finally, I put on my coat, look at the clock and I realize that I am half hour late.

Sigh. I got up on time...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Be quiet, Halle!

In the recent few months it seems impossible to go on any news website without seeing something about Halle Berry finally being pregnant. The mother-to-be (or is she technically a mother already?) is beaming with happiness and tells anyone who wants or doesn't want to hear all the details about conception, pregnancy and their plans to have more kids in the future. She reminds me of the Energizer bunny, who keeps going and going and going... Shut up already!

I love babies and think pregnant women are absolutely adorable. I LOVE hearing the details of pregnancies, and although mine weren't easy, I am very truly happy for any woman who doesn't suffer during hers. I love it when women want to have more children (for all the right reasons, of course). Overall, I enjoy these conversation, discussions, and baby stuff shopping. However, I don't know anyone in my circle of friends and collegues who would talk about it nonstop to anyone who would listen, i.e. talk about their pregnancies as much as Halle Berry does. And honestly, it gives me creeps. Not only because I think that some details should be left private, and not only because too much of sweet and adorable is somewhat nauseating. And no, I am not annoyed, I actually can relate. When I was in the same position, that's all I wanted to talk about and constantly had to stop myself, not always successfully. Why? It's just that when this much attention is drawn to any one event, something is bound to go wrong. Ok, maybe not bound, but has a very high likelyhood.

I truly and honestly and most sincerely wish Halle and her baby all the best. I don't care if news about her perpetuate on all the websites, after all I don't have to read them. I only wish that she would become a little more discreet, for her own sake.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Joys of cooking for children

My daughter's nose has been stuffed for some time now, so I decided to make life a little easier for her. I wanted to spray it with saline solution so that she could breathe at night. She agreed, which in itself was strange, probably because the little girl herself was fed up with her misbehaving nose. The whole thing backfired as usual. I completely forgot that little children should be administered drops of saline, sprays are for adults. And of course I sprayed her. Poor things started crying right away, solution went straight into her throat, and a few minutes later she threw up. I felt like the worst person in the world. I tried to help, and had only done damage.

Next morning she seemingly forgot about this episode and was happily eating jello after lunch. I asked her if she liked it. She very, very happily said, "Yes, mommy I like it." Then five seconds later out of the blue, again, very very happily,"Today I am going to throw THAT up!"

Good thing she was only talking about jello, and not something I actually labored to cook. And, thank goodness, she didn't throw up.