Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Bad Part (excerpt 'Raising Nick' re: tearjerker moments)

I realize that my current state- set to extremely tired by-the-way, (thanks holidays and Chich + Mom's birthdays... not to mention the human growing inside of me) may contribute somewhat to my emotions but there's one parenting chore that always gets me in the back of my throat.

I procrastinate even though it's scheduled for the same times yearly- right after his birthday and right after the holidays. I plan for it but never take the appropriate action.

Then, when I have no choice but to tackle the issue, it overwhelms me. So much so that I let it dictate my mood. I hate, but I mean REALLY hate going through his things to donate them.

I admit to saving some special outfits in a bin I keep of his stuff, but the clothing isn't difficult. The nicer items are handed down to cousin's children or friends while everything else goes to the Goodwill (with a bonus tax deduction for good measure). Did I mention that Nick has no dilemma with tossing clothing?

His toys are a different animal altogether.

It won't matter that he never plays with them any longer- and by 'never' I mean 'not in over 6 months,' he pitches a fit. It won't matter if they are toys for a child considerably younger than him; he pitches a fit. It won't even matter if they are broken!

He pitches a fit.

We call him Nanta Claws because he jumps up and down, flailing his arms, wailing 'Noooohoho.' It's funny while simultaneously yanking my heart out of my chest. But you gotta do what you gotta do, so I put on my game face and exert my Momness. Besides, this kid has entirely way too much CRAP! So I sit down, with him Nanta Clawsing behind me, and begin to pick through his things.

I search for items he hasn't played with in months. They are always the items at the bottom of the toy chest and in the dark corners of his closet. Surely he can't miss these, right?

Wrong.

Noohoho

As I pick them out, memories of watching him play, or playing with him, flood my head. I remember what he was wearing, what was said, every last moment as if it was yesterday.

I smile.
I wonder where the time has gone.

As I explain the toys will be used by kids at the church who don't have toys, tears well in my eyes.

I hide them as Nick calms with every passing choice. He'll occasionally ask if he can keep a certain toy. I usually acquiesce but draw the line at fast food chain toys. By the end of the process, he's seemingly unconcerned and organizing newer items in the extra space. It is trying, though, so this year I asked my mom to take him so I could do it in his absence.

In true Suzy form, I'm procrastinating and writing this instead. This is the year I pass the obscenely large Thomas collection on. He loved Thomas so much...SO much. I have some awesome memories of helping other trains with mountainside derailments and what-nots. He was so creative and incredibly detailed with his stories that it was difficult to not enjoy yourself immensely when playing with him. I miss that. TONS...

I hope the next child and his mother enjoy playing with it as much as Nick and I have over the years. See ya Thomas.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

File this under: "I said that?"


Sometimes I take a step back and wonder when I became my mother.

This morning Nick was pushing Viv around in her new car.

Nick: Mimi and I are stopping for some gas.

(lifts up gas tank on car & pretends to pour gas in)
Gulp.Gulp.Gulp.
Click.Click.Click.

Me: You know, gas is projected to jump to $5/gallon by 2012. We're researching alternative forms of energy.

Nick: We're off!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Quintessential Guy Question: Boxers or Briefs?

I often question my parenting skills. It's just that I'm so neurotic analytical that I second-guess everything in an attempt to make sure that I did the right thing.

Today Nick asked me what boxers are.


Boxers are a type of underwear- the shorts.


Not these?

No. Those are briefs.

They're not cool?

Underwear is underwear. What's cool about that?

...

But no one should be looking at your underwear while you're in school...


Maybe this was one of those questions I should have forwarded to my husband. And really, no one should be looking at his underwear at school.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Frazzle Mode

I have a headache...going on day 3 now but this time I think it may not be a pregnancy symptom.

I am so sure that I couldn't be more sure of anything else right now think it's stress. It's my own fault, too; and I know it.

It's my nature to research. I like to know. Knowledge is the most powerful tool when making any decision.

Naturally, now that we're about to become a party of 5, I've started my research. I have so many tidbits that it feels like my head is going to explode. There's entirely too much to let me gears rest.

For starters: the family dynamic. Nick has never been resentful of his sister but I am aware of the large chunk of my and my husband's me that he's lost. It used to be all about him. Now he shares that time with Viv and while he seems to be enjoying the addition, I'm hoping he's equally as welcoming of this next sibling. He did after all get what he wants- another sister. I don't worry so much about Viv simply because she is so young. I'm hoping the adjustment won't be difficult. Maybe foolishly hoping but I'm hoping none-the-less.

A HUGE part of that family dynamic is the relationship between my husband and I. The mundane can often and easily interfere and the children will probably overwhelm us at times so we have to make sure to leave time for each other.

Then there is the googol of products. of research studies. of large family advice. of recalls. of videos. of E V E R Y T H I N G....not to mention regular ole life...

I think my head's going to explode.

Did I mention I'm exhausted? ::sigh::

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Abra Cadabra, Nauseum Repellus!

And just like that, it's gone.

Like some magical flip of the switch, the all powerful second trimester has arrived and all has been restored to normal. Well, except the whole growing abdomen & not being able to sleep on my back bit, of course.

And not a moment too soon either because I was getting P R E T T Y annoyed with the whole hyperemesis bit. I know I'm special but to get a condition that only less than 2% of prego women get?!?! Really? Le zumba el mango!

I'm oddly thankful for such a horrible first-trimester experience. I was almost starting to consider my husband's INSANE idea of 5 children. Not after this though- NO WAY! Three is more than plenty. Luckily, he's onboard this time.

Anyhow, the burst of energy you get is literally that- a burst. Last week I was half dead in bed, throwing up an average of 6 times daily, hypersalivating at all hours and was constantly nauseous. And this week? I'm almost afraid to mention it to anyone but things are exponentially better.

If I throw up once daily, it's an exaggeration. I can't stand to lay in bed and am actually venturing outside which is perfect considering the weather is finally nice.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dear Santa: I've Been a Good Girl This Year.

I have, I really have.

Now I know I may be a bit old to be sending you letters but I still BELIEVE and that has to count for something!

All I ask for; all my little heart desires this Christmas is a Stunfone.

I understand this toy may be somewhat unorthodox but you have dealt with special toys before.

In considering your decision, I would like to point out the following:

- I would, OF COURSE, use this toy as intended...and only for it's intended purposes.
- I would, OF COURSE, share this toy with anyone who asked (provided appropriate for age)

I would also be willing to chip in for shipping if needed.

Thank you,

Sue

(and duh, I know this product isn't real)

Rite of Passage

My 86 year old grandmother still has all her teeth. So does her 91 year sister. They actually take pride in showing them off and tapping them so you can see how strong they are.

I'm thankful for good genes but some times they can be a real pain in the butt!

At age 7, Nick still hadn't lost a single tooth. The dentist told us that it was good thing- that he had strong teeth and bones, but try using that to console the only kid in his class with only baby teeth. I sympathized with him and I often wonder if this is just another one of my footsteps that he'll follow.

At the ripe age of 16, yours truly still had baby teeth. Actually, they weren't going anywhere. They were fused to my jawbone and required oral surgery to remove them. The whole roof of my mouth was cut open and an intricate maze of wires was connected to two adult teeth which had settled nicely without any indication they were ever going to come out. I had braces for almost 6 years including biweekly trips to the orthodontist to tighten said wires in an effort to pull the teeth down. They finally did come out but imagine having braces your whole college life just because of TWO teeth.

So again, I sympathized with him when, in kindergarten, he asked when his teeth would start falling out and why, now in 2nd grade, he still hadn't lost a single tooth. So although his dentist told us that health wise his teeth not falling out yet was an ideal situation, I actually thought it was doing him more harm than good. The poor kid was suffering from baby tooth-itis!

He wasn't the only one. I wanted to see some tooth fairy action too. Parenting is bittersweet with many joys and sorrows but the greatest joys come from reliving your own childhood memories through your children. I felt a bit robbed watching friends with younger kids displaying toothless grins and what-not. When was I going to get a chance to sneak into his room and stealthily steal his tooth and replace it with cashola?

Luckily, I don't feel robbed anymore. Guess who lost his 1st tooth yesterday? Oddly, it looks as if his adult tooth pushed it out because the sucker is already visible.

Oh and I would make a horrible stealth anything. I stepped on some toys, said a bad word, tripped on a shoe and almost landed on top of him. What's more? I was so nervous that I'd wake him that I forgot to take the tooth. I had to make up some sh*t about how the tooth fairy leaves your first tooth but takes all others when asked why his tooth wasn't taken.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

File this under 'Wacky Product,' 'Who Would Buy This,' ' Who Would Write This ' 'Call the Cops!"; you choose.

You know what I'm talking about...

Those products that literally leave you scratching your head hearing nothing but crickets.

Today, I came across this trash. And on Amazon no less!

I really have no words. No words.

I did a little research 'cuz I was sure it had to be fake and was EVEN more shocked to see it wasn't.

There are actually quite a few people calling for a boycott of Amazon if they don't remove it and I can't say that I blame them.

At last glance, it has over 400 negative reviews consisting of comments denouncing Amazon and the author.

UPDATE
: The book has been removed from Amazon.

Scientific Nutrition (excerpt 'Raising Nick' re: anatomical misconceptions)




I am often left speechless by the comments this kid makes. As he gets older, they get funnier and funnier...

So Nick tells me his teacher taught him about frogs AND high school today; an odd combination- yes, but who knows what he skipped over in her association of the two.

I decide to follow up his story by telling him that you get to dissect frogs in HS. "Eeeeew" he says.

"You also get to do bugs."

"Eeeeew!"

"Even a baby shark."

"Noooo!!! Poor sharkie!"

"Yup- a baby pig too."

"Oh no! Poor baby piggy- wait, do we get to eat the ham afterward?"

...

Eew...seriously kid? Eeeew!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Welcome Back, Kotter.

Whoa. It's been months since my last post.

No, I am not dead although I am currently battling a severe case of Hyperemesis. The hospital was fun except the whole no juice and cookies bit...

No, I have not won the lottery. (I wish I could win the lottery but knowing me, I would buy my family and friends E V E R Y T H I N G and spend it all within a year...probably more like 6 months.)

No, I did not join the circus- well kind of.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Today Must Be Free Carb Day!


It's as if the sugar gods are trying to get me to keep this leftover baby weight on my frame. Oh well...

Unnecessary caloric additions to my diet will be made possible today courtesy of the following freebies:




Starbucks is offering a free pastry with any handcrafted drink purchase until 10:30 am. So not only will I be loading up on caffeine and sugar from my drink but I can throw in a double iced cinnamon roll to enhance the flavor! Croissants, muffins, bagels, breads, poundcakes, scones, rolls, doughnuts, coffee cakes, morning buns and cheese danishes are all available- basically, the bulk of the bakery menu. Luckily Starbucks boasts that it's pastries do not contain artificial flavors, artificial dyes, artificial trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup.

To get your free pastry before 10:30 am, order any handcrafted, iced or brewed drink and present the coupon on paper or on any mobile device...there's that justification for my iPhone again. :) The coupon can be found here.


Then after lunch, head on over to Ben & Jerry's for a free cone or cup of your favorite ice cream.


Yup, free cone/cup day is back! An annual tradition dating back to 1979, the year my fabulous hubby was born, founders offer the freebies as a way to thank patrons for making this mom & pop start-up the international phenom it is today. My all-time favorite is half baked which contains chocolate and vanilla ice creams mixed with fudge brownie and chocolate chip cookie dough but I always use free cone/cup day as an excuse to try a new flavor. I'm going to have a difficult time choosing today because this year I have scoops of options. New flavors include: Maple Blondie, Milk and Cookies, Peanut Brittle, Boston Creme Pie, Dulce Delish, Mud Pie and Chocowlate Chip.

Greaaaaaaaaat. Maybe I'll take Nick after I pick him up from school.

Enjoy fellow fat-asses! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top O' the Mornin' to Ye Laddies!



May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Left Field (excerpt 'Raising Nick' re: parenting trials)

I've reached another of those parenting trials that has me between a rock and a hard place.


Following a lengthy battle between my husband, the epitome of a baseball fan/former little leaguer, and I, the lifelong soccer player who's dying to be a soccer mom, Nick joined his first organized sports league last month.



$35 Soccer cleats
$18 shin guards
$20 soccer goal
$15 soccer ball

Finding out that the soccer team I was going to sign up my kid to is now full paving the way for my husband to get his way to sign up the kid to baseball instead- PRICELESS... :/

I shouldn't really complain, though; Nick loves playing baseball so the proverbial silver lining prevails. Apart from liking the sport, he's lost his fear of getting hit by the ball; learned to catch pop flies with his glove; and, can hit the ball when pitched to. Not bad for a first timer but he's no A-Rod (yet).

As adults, we take for granted that which has come to be ease after years of practice so my husband and I do get somewhat frustrated when we see him miss easy catches/plays/outs but my father-in-law, Nick's 3rd biggest fan (actual tallest fan), put Nick's new skills back into perspective for me at Nick's game last Saturday when he reminded me of the accomplishment by telling my husband and I (that) 'one of the hardest things to do in life is to hit a little ball with a stick when it's coming right at you'. I guess we shouldn't be so demanding because, again, it's only his first time playing organized sports.

I use the term organized loosely because the organization is somewhat lacking. The coaches miss practices 1/4 of the time. Of the times they show, they lack consistency and structured instruction. They let the kids practice hitting from tees only to be coach pitched at games. During the games, they swap the kids all over the field trying to find 'their' positions but do not practice the same placements.

The kids fight each other for balls. Some kids stare off at the sky while others dance on the field, mine included. They've lost all their games- and miserably at that, but are still told by the coaches that 'they won.' The coaches, while not very motivated, are VERY nurturing and encouraging to the kids but what of creating skill? Oh and regarding being encouraging- all but one that is.

One of the coaches is a complete a-hole but he is an a-hole to his son only; and thankfully so because if he ever spoke to Nick the way he does to his son, I would straight up kick his ass! He berates his little boy at every practice and every game. Day in and day out I hear him say 'you weren't fast enough,''you didn't hit right,''that was your ball' and the little boy always shrugs his shoulder. Would it kill him to throw one little 'nice try son' to his kid?

Sometimes I wonder though, if Gus and I are acting similarly with our expectations and suggestions.

I know I shouldn't expect much from a league consisting of 4 to 6 year olds but the $180 price tag for 2 months should buy something more than a uniform and fun, no? At the very least, a little instruction? Fun is important- don't get me wrong, but shouldn't he be learning HOW to play? Correctly? After all, these are lessons that could potentially make or break his future playing.

So herein lays my dilemma: should he stay or should he go?

There is another league, same age group, which his league plays against and they seem to have their stuff together. Their kids know where the plays go; where to run to; when to run; and most importantly, how to play together. Those kids appear to be having fun and the coaches are tough without being cretins.

+ what of separating him from his new friends?

Ay-ya-yay...the trials of parenting...and he's only 6!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

And Then There Were Two...



It's said that 'one is the loneliest number' and when it comes to being an only child, no sentiment is more accurate. As a child, I longed for a sibling and loathed my parents for not giving me one. God finally sent my sister to me- granted she was a tween and I was an adult when it happened, but it finally happened none-the-less and our relationship was/has been everything I ever wanted.

So I was somewhat disappointed when I half-heartedly settled to not having any more children after my son. I knew what I would be selfishly damning him to but as a single mom- happy to be a single mom, where the heck was I going to dig out a sibling from?

I never figured there would be more than one. Then again, I never figured I would find someone worthy not only of my hand but of raising my son alongside me and look how that's turned out...


I often laugh at the path my life has taken with regards to motherhood. I laugh because I was always so adamant about not wanting children and I resolved to having one at some point simply to make my mother a grandmother. I used to think kids were gross, smelly, obnoxious little creatures that had no place in my life. I laugh (hysterically) in hindsight because I never realized how incomplete my life really was until my first came along.

He was sent to save me- I wholeheartedly believe that; to save me from distractions; to save me from complacency; to save me from myself. Mostly though, I believe he was sent to teach me the true meanings of love and life.

And for the past 6 and a half years I've made it my sole purpose to make sure the blessing was revered.

How could I not, though? This little boy who filled voids I never knew existed in me is beyond amazing. He is so much more than just my son. He's my heart, my soul, my teacher, my legacy; he IS my improvement to this world.

I've learned volumes more than just parenting skills as his mother. I've learned humility, the value of hard work, patience, leading by example, lullabies, true love and how to show it all.

I love him more than I could ever put into words. I love my life but, mostly, I love being a mother- specifically, his mother. So when I found out my husband and I were expecting our second child, I was excited but I was also apprehensive.

I wasn't just scared from the concerns stemming from losing our previous pregnancy , I was also worried about whether or not I could love another child as much as I loved my son.

How could I ever love anyone as much I love him? I'm even convinced I love him more than I love myself!

I wondered not only of the possibility but also about where this extra love would come from and the concerns about my son feeling less loved were also at the forefront.

No, the pregnancy was not as memorable as with my first and yes, I did have a 'been there/done that' attitude regarding every milestone but involving my son in his sister's progress is what made this pregnancy as special as his was. I made sure to include him in 9 months of his sister's progress in my womb; made sure he felt her kick; saw her pictures; and, grew to love her as she herself grew. All the while my love growing for each of them.

Then the big day arrived and while there were complications which prevented my husband and I from being able to hold her until she was about 5 days old, the moment I first held her, I knew.

I knew I could love her as much. I knew I would love her brother no less. I finally knew the answer to my questions.

It was so simple.

It is so simple.


I didn't have to love him any less to make room for loving her.

The moment she came into this world, my heart simply
grew.


Truth be told, I think my heart grew alongside her for those 9 months. While she technically grew under my heart for those 36 weeks, she also grew in it.