Dec 28, 2012

Alas, BOOBMAGEDDON has arrived!

I admit...there's a part of me that wishes the damned Mayans were right about 12/21. Just goes to show you--you can't trust a Mayan. They're sneaky little bastards. Although, I do very much appreciate Chichen Itza. So, thanks for that one, Mayans. However, your 'end of life apocolypse' ideas are way off.

Today is BOOBMAGEDDON. And it will happen. Unlike the sneaky Mayans, I can be trusted. It's 4:35am, and I am feeling confident and ready to go. I took the boobs out for one last go round yesterday. We went to the gym and Kohl's. They were happy to be at Kohl's. They told me. I looked down my shirt and whispered, "Here we are, girls!" and they perked up. Then I came home and I toasted them with 1/2 a bottle of Chardonnay. These boobs have been good to me, so I wanted to treat them right on their last day here.

At 9 am this morning (central), I invite all my friends to sing an acappella version of "Memories" from Cats. I find that fitting. Or "My Humps, My Humps, My Lovely Lady Lumps" from Black Eyed Peas. That, too, is apropos. If you choose to dance while you sing, that would be great, too.

My bag is packed and I'm off to take a shower with some gross-smelling soap. I guess they want you to smell like the hospital BEFORE you get there. So to you, my friends, I bid you adieu. I'm off to get rid of these killers on my chest and begin my life with FOOBIES.

WOO HOO!! See you guys on the flip side.

Dec 19, 2012

Playing with boobies (FBtF)

Thank you for tuning in for another exciting installment of...."From Boobs to Foobs" with your charming host, Stephanie Wisdom.

Hello, people! Chris and I started off our day with a sunrise appointment with the plastic surgeon--another boob builder. Alas, unlike my breast surgeon, this guy's name is not 'Bob', so he can't be 'Bob the Boob Builder the Second." This guy's name is Kyle...so...let's see...hmmm...there are no boob monikers that begin with the letter 'K'. Let me know if you think of anything good. So, anyways, The Rack Builder looked at my killer boobies, measured my killer boobies, then talked about building me a killer rack. I felt odd when he took a picture of me standing there, topless, with my "I love you, Mommy" bracelet upon my wrist. Then again, everything about this whole 'From Boobs to Foobs' saga is weird. I won't lie. It still feels like it's not really happening.

Anyways, The Rack Builder is really nice, really conversational, and he shaves his arms. I know, right? Here he is, this doctor holding up silicone boobs to HIS chest showing us how it will work, and all I can think of is, "Odd...he shaves his arms." I also noticed that he had some new chest-hair growth where his scrubs split. I got to play with fake boobies. It's like a round water weinie. But it feels more stable. If you don't know what a water weinie is, you're totally missing out on a good analogy. Anyways, we're going to go with silicone. And by "we're," I mean ME. Unless Chris is undergoing some kind of surgery that i'm not privy to. The silicone they use these days is pretty nifty--you don't have to worry about a leak because it's like a gummy bear--solid, but pliable. PLIIIIIAABBLLLE. I love that word.

My surgery's on the 28th (still...yay!). At that point, Bob the Boob Builder (he's actually a 'Remover' if we're being technical) will lop off ye olde boobs, then The Rack Builder (TRB) will step in and throw some tissue expanders under my pecs. The tissue expanders look like deflated crystal balls with a disc in the middle. I'll have a hose coming out each side of me. I'm planning on hissing and making them sway from side to side when I walk--just for theatrical effect. Maybe i'll drag one of my legs, too. That's still undecided. TRB said i'll be seeing him about once a week for quite a while after the tissue expanders are put in. Which is kind of a pain, since he's a bit of a drive away, but what can I do? The guy's building me a new set--I'll make the drive. Once i'm in his office, he'll hold a magnet on my chest to see where the disc aka port is on the tissue expanders, then he'll poke a needle into it and add saline. We'll do this once a week until my new boobs are the desired size. He asked if I was happy with the size I am now. I said, "Yes." Then I changed my answer to, "Let me rephrase...I'm happy with the size they LOOK like they are, while i'm wearing this bra. Which, if i'm being honest here, is just a placeholder for my boobs." After 4 years of nursing babies (back to back kids), the chest lumps took a beating. TRB shall be restoring them to their former glory. The restoration will not be without scarring and some hard work, but I will once again have boobs...

I'm ready to get this show on the road!! SO...Merry Christmas! I'm getting non-lethal boobies--what are you getting?

Dec 7, 2012

T minus 21 (FBtF)

We are now T minus 21 days until the onslaught of Boobmageddon. I must admit--i'm feeling slight anxiety. I figured out that it's because I am a planner and getting the 'girls' removed was not part of my Christmas plans. Getting tissue expanders put in, drains hanging out of me, being immobile and having limited motion of my arms: also not in my plans. Then again, worrying about dying before my chicks are married with babies of their own--DEFINITELY not in my plans. You win some you lose some; in this case, i'm losing boobs. However, i'm also winning a nicer, perkier set. Upside, people...UPSIDE.

I'm sleeping better now, which is nice. I'm sure it won't last long, but i'll take what I can get. I've figured out that as long as I stay up until I can no longer function, i'll sleep without worry. I'm also being much more lenient with the babies. For instance, in this non-preservative, clean-eating, organic house, these kids have had more candy than ever. We never go out to eat/order take-in--we've done that 3x JUST THIS WEEK. I've adopted an "I don't give a crap" attitude. Which could be good or bad--i haven't decided just yet.

I've also figured out that as much of a do-it-myself, i-don't-need-your-help, and I-can-do-everything person as I am, I NEED SMM. He's been working from home for 2 weeks now, because I NEED him. I need him to be in this house with me, to walk into my office to kiss me on the forehead, and to just BE here. Right now, my heart needs that. It calms me to have him here. Plus, he's making the bed for me every morning. That rocks.

I still haven't cried about this--I can't think of a reason to. I figure that if I sat in the soft glow of the Christmas tree, while everyone else was asleep, and thought about it, I'd cry. But then again, those tears would most likely be because I'd realize I have to put all this crap away at some point...and that's just a pain in the ass.

So, on the 27th of this month, the eve before my surgery, I shall have a toast: "Out with the old, in with the new!! (Boobs, that is!)"

Dec 3, 2012

My coworkers support BOOBMAGEDDON (FBtF)

I know i've commented on how awesome my place of employment is. During the past 2 weeks, i've seen an outpouring of support from them that i didn't know possible. They have rallied themselves, my friends, and total strangers for BOOBMAGEDDON.

http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/Boobmageddon/36003

 I need Tiny Tim to perch upon my shoulder, so that he may utter, "God bless us, every one." Thank you, every single person that even reads my story, for your support. It's the best thing ever. Besides original Twinkies. You know...before they tried to make them 'healthy.' Now they suck.

xoxox

Nov 27, 2012

"To sleep, perchance to Dream..." (FBtF)

Oh yes, Shakespeare. I like to utilize my Masters in Lit every once in a while. So there you go--a literary title. Is it weird that Shakespeare just pops into my head like that? Don't answer. And the 'FBtF' is because i'm already tired of typing, 'From Boobs to Foobs.' I'm lazy like that.

I've had a totally craptastic time sleeping since last Wednesday--the day of the surgeon visit--the day we found out about "Boob Removal 2012," or "Boobmageddon," as I refer to it in my head. Any time I wake up, I just can't fall back to sleep. And what irritates me about this whole thing, is it's not as if i'm WORRIED, per se, about the surgery...so it's particularly annoying that i can't sleep. I wake up, and immediately think, "BOOBS." And that thought is generally followed by, "I'm hungry. Wait...why am I hungry? I shouldn't be hungry. I want a peanut butter sandwich. Or a steak. BOOBS." It makes no sense. So, I end up sitting at my laptop, working at 5am. Or 3am. Or, if i'm not working, i'm sitting at my laptop with a cup of coffee--thinking about boobs.

It's odd. I'm not really thinking about MY boobs, and no, I don't have visions of boobs dancing in my head like sugarplums (a fitting reference to the season, yes?). It's just a large-scale, boob thinking. To narrow it down even more, it feels like i'm just WAITING for something...which, i am, so i guess that makes sense, but it's extremely annoying.

Since Boobmageddon, i've also felt like doing...well...not a damn thing. I don't want to work, I don't want to go to gymnastics, or cheerleading, or piano practice, or theatre, or get the mail. I want clean my house. I feel like i'm nesting. But really, what the hell am i nesting for? When you're pregnant, it's to get things ready for the new baby. Maybe i'm getting stuff situated for the foobs. Then I can walk into the house and say, "Welcome home, fake boobies! It's all nice, and sparkly and clean for you! Let me show you your room." I should put the "Newborn Nursery" scent in my Scentsy...

And on that note (i'm rambling...see how that happens?), I realized, at some point shortly after Boobmageddon, that I'm not coming home with a full set. I'll be coming home with 'tissue expanders.' Ew. That term is so gross. I prefer to call them "boob builders." I just thought of something else--the surgeon's name is Robert, so certainly, he goes by 'Bob.' So, he's 'Bob the Boob Builder.' I can imagine him, during surgery, asking the nursing staff, "Can we build them?" and they all answer, "YES, we can!!" Anyways...so i'll be coming home with boob builders. And my boobies will be small. And it will take them months to grow. It will be like puberty again. Seriously. I didn't even GET boobs until i was 15, now i have to go through the impatience of getting boobs at 38. That makes me laugh out loud. Perhaps, I should once again read, Are You There, God? It's me, Margaret. "We must, we must, we must increase our bust!"

So...my word of the day: PATIENCE.

Nov 26, 2012

From boobs to foobs--2

Freaking surgery was moved to Dec. 28th. I may die of mental exhaustion before then. Dammit.

Nov 23, 2012

From boobs to foobs--Part 1

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving! I know we did. It was just me, SMM, and the chicks. Low key, restful, and fabulous. The turkey was great, we all ate too much, and just enjoyed each other. :)

So, we have new news in our household, and, as time wears on, I know that this 'news' will come out, so I figured I might as well let you guys know: I have a bad boob. I have one that's trying to kill me. Bastard boob. Of course, it's the left one--and it makes sense, because those of you that personally know me, also know that the left side of my body is completely useless. It's like having random appendages. I can't even flex my left arm--my brain doesn't make the connection on that side. I'm surprised I can walk, and not just drag my left leg like Quasimodo (of which The Munch does a brilliant impression).

Backstory:
3rd week of October: I had a hurty area on my right boob--here on out to be known as 'smart boob'--which because of the prying of SMM and my mother, I went to go get checked out. The gyn/ob felt something, as well, so she scheduled me for a mammogram.

Oct. 24th: Mammogram. It didn't hurt as much as they said. The nurse was freaking me out, saying, "I know this is going to hurt...i'm sorry..." yadda yadda yadda. It didn't hurt at all. Thumbs up to the chicks for beating the hell out of the boobs when I was nursing them--good job, ladies. The tech mammogram'd both sides, then they did an ultrasound on each side. She then told me to go wait in the 'holding room' while the doctor looked at my film. About 10 minutes later, the tech came back and said they needed to do the left side again. "The right side, you mean?" I asked, "because that's the 'bad' side." She assured me that the right side looked fine, and that they needed to redo the left side. Alrighty then. Turns out, I have 2 areas of calcification (common) in ye olde left boob. So, they scheduled 2 biopsies. P.S. Smart boob was fine--it was an inflammed duct/pulled muscle. Most likely because i'm a bad ass and when i do chest presses/push ups, etc., my beasty muscles irritated it. (That's my explanation.)

Nov. 1st: I head to the Breast Center with my mom in tow. They do the first biopsy (easy-peasy), then, when they pull the contraption out of my boob, i start bleeding all over. And by 'all over,' I mean on the floor, on my arm...out of a TINY incision. It was ridiculous. The nurses were taking turns pressing on me with full body weight to get me to stop bleeding. It could have been scary, but really--these nurses were awesome (shout out to Michelle!), and although it sounds bad, it wasn't too awful. Annoying, yes. Awful and/or scary, no. One of the nurses said, "I'd like to go get your mom--do you mind if she sees your breasts?" bwahahahaaa! I looked at her and said, "She used to wipe my butt--she can see my boobs." So, mom got to come keep me company while I bled for an hour and 45 minutes. It was awesome. Of course, I developed a huge hematoma. It was gross. There was no way they could do the other biopsy, so nurse Michelle bound me up like a freaking china-woman's foot and sent me home. That binding was so tight, i could barely breathe.

Nov 13th: The doctor called and told me it was DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). Basically, a "beginning" cancer that is confined to your milk ducts. After nearly 4 years of nursing these 2 kids, you would think they would've sucked it outta me. No such luck. The doctor says worst case scenario is 6 weeks of radiation. She lied. She makes me an appointment with a surgeon for a 'consultation' on 11/21.

Nov. 16th: Biopsy number two. I made sure to schedule it when my favorite nurses were there. At this point, i've had so many people touch my boobs that it's weird--but i'd like to narrow down that number to a select few. So, nurse Michele wins. Plus, she's sarcastic--I feel right at home. This biopsy goes easy--like it's supposed to. No bleeding--in and out in 2 hours.

Nov. 21: Boob man consultation time! Chris and I go meet the doctor. At this point, we've already discussed the possible options. We know with my history of melanoma (4x in 10 years), that i'm probably not on the "let's just cut it out" side of things. Plus, i'm under 40. The odds are really crappy. We find out the first area of cancer has areas that are 'microinvasive'--which means they're little jailbreaking shits that are busting out of the ducts. So they have to remove lymphnodes in my armpit, too. In the doctor's words, "There's a 99% chance that the cancer has NOT spread." Now we just hope that i'm not in that 1%. Unless we're talking about the lottery--then damn skippy--sign me up for that 1%. The first area was grade 1/2, and the second area was grade 2. The doctor says what we had planned on hearing: double mastectomy.

So, that's where we are. I have a consult with the plastic surgeon next week, and the surgery/reconstruction is tentatively slated for 12/17. They're moving quickly--which I appreciate. I'm fine with it--I really am. I think people (some, anyways) are expecting me to be an emotional wreck. They're just boobs. They served their purpose, and now, I get new fake ones--foobs. I keep calling them 'frankenboobs.' The good news is, my chances of reoccurance now get knocked down to 0%. Gotta love those odds!

That's it...crazy, right? I'm not a whiner, not a pity-partier, not a worrier...I'll be just fine. You can definitely feel free to pray/send positive thoughts about the lymph nodes--but save the most positive thought and prayers for my family. I don't want any of them to worry--particularly my sweet babies.

Nov 9, 2012

More Munch

Clairey's looking through the ads we got in the mail today, pointing to things and saying, "Hate, hate, hate, like, like, like..." She gets to one thing and goes, "Oh...yum...hey, mom...what's 'Gravy Train'?"
"It's dog food," I say.
"Hmmm...some dog food just looks good...like these bacon strips."


Never a dull moment.

Nov 2, 2012

Can i have some cheese?

I have to hand it to myself. I'm a really positive person. Like, REALLY positive. I rarely let shit get to me. And honestly, I deal with a bunch of shit. I run myself ragged, and am generally one click away from a straight jacket and institutionalization. So...allow me to bitch for a mere moment.

My past two weeks have been nothing short of just plain 'ol, downright, pissy. The only person i've really complained to has been SMM, and he heard the usual, "I'm just emotionally and mentally exhausted." But here, I get to randomly rant. Aren't you lucky?

Last Tuesday I had my regular 6-month visit to the dermatologist. Where he felt the need to remove 3 more spots on my skin. That, because I count, is a total of 32 skin biopsies since 2003. I've had malignant melanoma 4 times, so I should be used to this. But no matter how brave and nonplussed i try to be, i still worry. So, I worry. In my brain. That's exhausting. Good news is, the doctor called and told me all 3 came back clean. The bad news is, they called while I was at the Ob/Gyn--being told that I had 2 spots in my left breast that needed to be biopsied. I guess more 'good' news is that they move quickly with me because of my fun cancer history. I'm just glad my cervix wasn't involved this time.

So, a few days later (yesterday) I found myself at a boob center getting a double biopsy on Lefty. Easy, right? Not with me. Ever. A simple freaking biopsy ended up taking 4 hours because i would not stop bleeding. For nearly 2 hours, I had nurses taking turns compressing my left boob so hard that I thought my ribs were going to break. There was blood down my arm and all over the floor. Apparently, I have thin blood. And I like to bleed. Yesterday, before they bound me in Ace bandages, I had a hematoma the size of an egg.

The good news? I only got 1 biopsy, it's on my left side (and i'm right handed)...and...stretching here...I got up super early for work because i couldn't sleep. The bad news: I have to go back for the second biopsy, i'm starting to bruise down my left arm, and it hurts to move.

WHY does this shit always happen to me? I suppose because I can "handle" it. What I REALLY want to 'handle', however, is a bottle of wine and a beach vacation. Because this shit sucks goat balls.

Now...feel free to send me some cheese with this 'whine.'

Oct 9, 2012

Weekend wrap-up--Part 2

So, day 2 of "Expedition--San Antonio" included the Alamo, the Riverwalk, the Ripley's 'Believe it or Not!' museum, and Madame Toussad's wax museum.

First up, was the Alamo. Man, they've done a lot with the place since the last time i was there. Spruced it up a bit, they did. We walked the grounds, checked out all the informational plaques, and just...well...soaked it all in. It's rather humbling to be inside the actual Alamo. It's easy to just think of it of a random, historical building, but when you really start thinking about all that happened, and how many people lost their lives--extremely humbling. The girls had a great time, even though I turned it into a total 'school' opportunity. Clairey enjoyed the cannons, since she loves the whole, "Come and take it!" story. To hear her tell it is fabulous. Jenna enjoyed the squirrels. I kid you not. No matter where we go, if there's a squirrel, it's a big deal. Today, it was, "LOOK! An 'Alamo' squirrel!" These squirrels must be pretty awesome, because the one we saw the day before was just a 'San Antonio' squirrel. What a loser. Besides the rodents, Jen also loved looking at the detailed miniature models they have. And seriously--these are the most detailed things i've ever seen. Crazy to look at and think that THAT was what that area looked like way back when.

After the Alamo, we wandered across the way to the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum. This was actually pretty damn fascinating. At first, Jen wasn't too hip on it--it's very loud in there, and the girl didn't have her headphones. Instead, she opted to put on her hoodie and tie it super tight around her face. Wish i had a picture of that. After a while, she warmed up and was really into it. There are some really odd things in that place. REALLY odd. Favorite part? When Clairey asked, "What's THAT?" IT was a penis sheath from some random tribe. Nice. Leave it to Clairey to find that particular memento of Ripley's travels.

Next...a waltz down the Riverwalk (and lunch). We ate, we walked--a lot--and just enjoyed ourselves. I've come to find out that it usually doesn't take much to entertain the girls. Jenna said her favorite part of the entire trip was walking down the Riverwalk, snuggled up under SMM's arm. Can you blame her? Nope. It was a gorgeous day, and although the main part of the Riverwalk was rather crowded, we found a beautiful, non-populated area that was just lovely. Then, on to the wax museum...

Let me start by saying, they don't make 'em like they used to. The newer wax pieces look...well, exactly like that: wax pieces. I wouldn't even put this crap on a birthday cake. The older ones look awesome (Johnny Cash, the original Michael Jackson, Superman, etc.), and the newer ones are just too fake-looking. Jen loved the Hogwarts setup, but was quick to comment that "...they look pretty crappy." Clairey walked down into the 'horror' part with me, but decided to split and leave me alone. The scariest part of that was the seizure-inducing lighting. The stuff that was supposed to be scary was pretty craptastic. Not saying the wax museum was a waste of money, but it was just 'eh.'

After that, we headed back to the hotel, where we donned our swimsuits, headed down to the pool, and watched parents NOT watch their kids. We could only take so much of that, so we went inside dressed, and had dinner. We are extreme partiers. We live on the edge. The funniest part of the day is when Clairey was playing 'store' in our room--she took out all our clothes, refolded them, and had them laid out on the tables in the room; Jenna would come and 'shop'. Then she was pretending to be an Asian nail lady. The stuff this kid does. She had all three of us laughing so hard that we had tears.

Sunday, we woke up, found out that the hotel really DIDN'T have free breakfast, ate anyways, and headed to SeaWorld. You know something that's weird about Texas? It was 89 on Saturday, and 54 on Sunday. FIFTY FOUR. We planned ahead and knew there was going to be a bit of a cold front, but Siri said it was going to be in the high 60s. She's such a lying whore. We had packed jeans, short-sleeved shirts, and light jackets. The girls and I don't do cold. At all. No one was at SeaWorld, because we didn't get the memo that the state of Texas was closed due to weird, cold weather. We ended up buying the only sweatshirts they had--which were Sesame Street. Then i bought a black/white striped 'Where's Waldo' hat, and purchased Clairey a hot-pink beanie (Jenna was already wearing a hat). SMM pretty much laughed at us the entire time.

We froze our butts off, but had a fabulous time! SeaWorld has changed a LOT since the last time I was there. The shows were great, it was uncrowded, and Clairey rode her first 'real' rollercoaster (which she loved).

Boring last 2 posts, eh? That's alright. We had an awesome time!

Now, back to our regular shenanigans...

Weekend wrap-up--Part 1

This past weekend, we took a little jaunt over to San Antonio. And by 'little jaunt,' i mean 'a 4-hour drive.' It was fun though--really fun. We don't get to do stuff like this very often because, if you haven't noticed, for the cost of a weekend trip, we could probably buy a third-world country. However, sometimes, I just bite-the-bullet and go for it.

Way back in July, I bought Clairey tickets to the 'Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastic Champions,' which was being held in good 'ol San Antonio. As we moved closer to the 10/5 date of the performance, Jen hadn't asked for anything specific (except more Monster High dolls, which i'm not buying anymore of because her room looks like a ghoulish orphanage with pretty monsters littering the floor), so we figured she'd love the hell outta SeaWorld and bought a 'family 4-pass.' They said it was a good deal. Again, if 'good deal' means a car payment, then they're right on! Jeez.

Then I started stashing away money because a weekend means 2 nights in a hotel and food because these things eat. They don't eat a lot though, so i always get lucky in that aspect. Breakfast, an additional meal, and a cereal bar pretty much round out their day. Moving on...

Friday, 10/5:
The day of the cereal show. Clairey was excited, we were excited for her. We checked into our hotel, was was good stuff--I like Marriott hotels--we stay in them often. The girls just love hotels. LOVE. We dropped off our bags, and took to the Riverwalk. We had some time to kill, so we mosied around, stopped and had a late lunch at Fuddrucker's (it totally smelled like cat pee in there. Gross.), then found a Mexican establishment and ordered a margarita and a corona. There were plenty of ducks, which Clairey loved and Jenna hated. Apparently, she has a deep-seated hatred for fowl that we were unaware of. After watching Jenna freak out for approximately 40 minutes, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the show.

We decided to take a taxi, rather than get the car out of valet, drive to the venue, pay to park, etc, etc.. The taxi was only $15 (with tip), and Clairey was happy that she didn't have to sit in a booster seat. We drove through a super-sketchy part of town, wherein SMM witnessed a full-on crack party. Well, maybe not, but I totally missed this spectacle, and by the way he described it, I think it must have been a crack party. Although, I would have no freaking clue what a 'crack party' looks like, or what one is. But there were a bunch of shady-looking people in front of a ramshackle house, and they had started a bonfire. In their driveway. Doesn't that just say 'crack party' to you? Anyways, we get to the venue, and as the taxi driver was awaiting payment, we see another girl from Clairey's gym. So, we hung with them until we went in.

Our seats were RIDICULOUS. 4th row. I could have spit on any of the Olympians at any time. I probably would have missed, but my spit would've been really, really close. Clairey had huge eyes the entire time--just watching everything. Then she'd break out into a face-splitting grin, and clap wildly. It was awesome. I was trying hard not to cry, because it was just like a Folger's commercial, but without the coffee and with added spotlights. She loved it so much, and i loved that SHE loved it so much, that I took her to the 'refinance your mortgage and buy a trinket' table and spent over $100. For which we got a free cheap-ass shopping bag. But The Munch got a fancy leotard just like Gabby's, so she was thrilled.

Afterwards, we headed outside to call our taxi-guy back. He said he was too far away. Bastard. So, i called Yellow Cab. Their system was down and they said to call back in 20 minutes. Turns out, there was a taxi line WAY down the parking lot. So, we walked down there, and I kid you not, waited an hour and a half for a taxi. There was a huge line of people waiting, and every taxi in San Antonio and the surrounding area was apparently being used. We FINALLY got back to our hotel and ordered pizza. And it was gross. Has Pizza Hut changed their cheese??? I must know.

Back to the evening...

Anyways, it was somewhat perfect. Clairey had an amazing time, and we loved being able to do this for her. Made our hearts feel all warm and fuzzy. :)

Part 2 later...

Oct 1, 2012

The Cheetah Girl is 11!

Jen,
Last night, after you were asleep, I climbed into bed with you and just snuggled with you and those crazy, long limbs of yours. I just kept thinking of when you were a baby, a toddler, a LITTLE girl, and you would fit so perfectly right against me--with your legs curled up, and your back against my belly. Now, we're nearly identically aligned. My nose nestles in your hair, your shoulders are on my chest, and our legs are like grapevines--weaved in and out with each other. But still...you are my baby.

You have a spot right above your ear, that still smells like baby goodness. If I close my eyes tight, and think hard enough, I can still pretend that your hair is a mess of bouncing curls, that the hand holding mine is chubby and tiny (rather than thin and graceful) and that i'm fighting for bedspace with your "guys"--Pooh, Mr. Bun, and Duma. Funny enough, the 'guys' still have a special place in your bed--up by your head on their own pillow. They're such a staple, that I doubt they'll ever leave; I hope they don't. When you climb into bed at night, everything is still the same. The ONLY thing that has changed is you.
You are tall, willowy, limby, and beyond lovely. At a new 11, you are catching up to me quick--I give you one more year, and i'm sure you'll be taller than me. Even this morning, as I was making coffee and you came burrowing yourself into my arms, I realized that these days--these days where I am the taller of the two of us--are numbered. The days where I can still wrap my arms around you and feel like I am completely protecting you--are numbered. And, in all honesty, and for lack of a better word, it sucks. It makes my eyes well up with tears and a lump grows in my throat. Why? I'm not sure. I'm so proud of you and what you have become--who you are. I am so excited for your future and how you will mold it into what you want and believe. So, ultimately, I guess it makes me sad that you're growing. But, for all the times I want to stack bricks on your head to keep you small, even more than that, I want to shout out how amazing and wonderful you are. How brilliantly smart you are, how dumbfoundingly talented you are... It's a Catch-22, Love. I want you to grow, yet I want you to remain small. So, forgive me. Forgive me for pulling you into my lap. Forgive me for covering that precious and precocious face with a million kisses. Forgive me for still hugging you tight and breathing you in until my lungs can hold no more. And forgive me for forever--because forever is a long, long time--but that's how long you'll be my baby.

At 11, you are (still) quirky and silly, and at the moment, talk about 2 things: Cheetahs and Monster High. You're socially quirky--unless, of course, the topic of discussion is cheetahs or Monster High. Sometimes, you're a little out-of-control--particularly, when you're excited. Over the past year, you've started to question yourself. You started asking me, "Why am I different?" I just tell you, "Because your brain works differently than others." The way you compute things is just...different. To be honest, I wish my brain worked like yours. You have noticed that you're not like your peers. You've noticed that you're not interested in the same things. You've also noticed, unfortunately, that kids are now calling out your differences. And to that, your family says, "SO WHAT." You are, what the medical community calls, an 'intellectual badass.' Okay, maybe they don't use THAT specific term... We love you just the way you are: Quirky and cheetah-crazy. If you want to sit and play with your Monster High dolls for hours, do it. If you want to sit and draw for an entire weekend, then by all means, get all over it. You're an amazing kid, and we embrace you in all your "freakishly fabulousness." (Did you catch that Monster High reference? You're going to love that.) I guess what it boils down to is this: You are awesome. We love you for YOU. Not what your doctor labels you as, not what other people say you are--for YOU. Everything about you. We love YOU.


You, my Jenna, are everything I always wished for and hoped for in a daughter. You amaze me, you make me smile, you make me shake my head in disbelief, and you make me crazy. But those 'crazy' days are worth it, just to be your mom. I am so very proud to be your mommy. Happy 11th birthday, my crazy, quirky, cheetah girl.

I love you all the stars (and all the spots),
Mommy
xoxoxoxoxox


Sep 11, 2012

Bad Mom

I got the "Bad Mom" look at gymnastics last night. You know the look i'm talking about--the one where the other mom looks at you, arranges a slightly upturned smile to her mouth to hide the obvious disdain, then gives you a quick look and turns away.

It was one of those rare nights where i'm at gymnastics from beginning to end (430-730). I rarely stay the entire time because...well, let's be honest here, I have other stuff that needs to happen. It's called 'LIFE.' Even when I'm NOT at gym, we're so busy that when Friday rolls around, SMM and I have to reintroduce ourselves to each other:

"Hi, I'm Stephanie, your wife."
"Ahhh, yes. I remember you fondly. Shall we have a drink?"

EVERY FRIDAY.

I'd like to explain that we're not crazy parents that overschedule our kids. Jenna cheers and takes piano, and Clairey takes gymnastics. For 12 hours a week. Those 12 hours are not forced upon her. The kid LOVES the gym. And, i kid you not, when she's NOT at gym, she's still doing gymnastics. In our house. (Where she is often yelled at for doing gymnastics.)

So, back to the story at hand.

The mom was at the gym for the first time. (Any 'gym moms' that are reading this now absolutely and completely understand this story--even though I haven't really told it--and are nodding their heads.) Her daughter has never taken gymnastics before, and according to the mom, is a natural. Her little one (9 years old) had fallen victim to this year's Olympics, and has been begging to take gymnastics. So, her parents obliged. I chit-chatted with this new-to-the-gym mom and watched her child and oo'd and aahh'd right along with her. THEN...she asked, "How old is your little girl?"

"9--in fact, today's her birthday.." I answered.
"Where is she?"
"She's back there...on the floor...she's the one with the really short hair and navy leo."
"Oh...you guys were already here when we got here..."
"Yeah, we go from 430-730."
"Wow...that's a long practice."
"Yes...we're here four times a week."
"WOW."
[SILENCE]

The silence always indicates that the mom wants to say something, but is trying to figure out a 'nice' way to say it.

"That's a lot for a little kid."
"It is, but she's been in gymnastics since she was 2. She begs to be here. She loves it."

And, it's always here, right at this moment, that i feel the need to elaborate. Because i very much realize that that sounds like an excuse. Like i'm one of those crazy-ass 'Toddlers in Tiaras' mothers who is forcing her kid to do something she doesn't want to. So I offer, "I'm not kidding. She really DOES love it. She wants MORE hours, and would live here if I let her."

ENTER: Look of disdain and 'bad mom' look.

One part of me wants to keep going with the explanation, but i don't. It's extremely hard to explain to people that your 9-year old has a better work ethic than most adults you know. It's hard to explain that even when she's NOT at gym, she's on her bar or beam trying to perfect her routines, or simply "conditioning." It's hard to explain to anyone BUT another team mom/dad. And I think that's why we have such an awesome comraderie. Because we KNOW how driven these kids are. We KNOW how they love being at the gym. And we know that even if we tied them down, they'd find a way to do gymnastics.

I know i'm not a bad mom. Maybe 'new gym mom' thinks I am. But I know i'm not. And my 9-year old thinks i'm the BEST mom--because i let her do gymnastics all. the. time.

Sep 10, 2012

The Munch is 9!

Oh, Munch...I can't believe you're 9 today. It seems to me that you should still be 4. Maybe 5 at the oldest. This morning, you requested breakfast in bed. "What would you like?" I asked. "Oatmeal, toast, and coffee," you replied. Easy. You had breakfast in your beautiful princess room on a pink, leopard-print tray. And you were ecstatic about it.


We measured you this morning, and it appears that you have grown nearly 2 inches since April. Indeed, Wee One, it appears that you hit a growth spurt. It's just that everyone around you hit one, too. Like "Poquito Tito--The Smallest of the Small Ones" in Skippy John Jones, you are, indeed, small. But you are fiesty. And so full of character. If height went by personality, you'd be at least 10 feet tall. Your personality is so fabulous. It shines out of you like the brightest star you can ever imagine. You are absolutely blessed, kid. There's not a person who doesn't just want to eat you all up. Your happiness is contagious and once you're in the room, there's not a single cure for it. You make the world smile.



Speaking of smiling...at your most recent gymnastics meet, you decided that you were going to smile through your floor routine. You had everyone laughing. Coach Briana was laughing so hard, she was wiping tears from her eyes. I asked you, "Why were you smiling like that?" You said, "Because gymnastics makes me happy." We know it does because you NEVER stop doing it. You are constantly on your bar or beam. As soon as you finish your school day, you're on that beam. I walk into the workout room, and you're doing pike holds on your bar.

"WHY are you doing that?" 
"Because Olympic Champions always condition and never complain."

Touché, my girl.
I hope you know how happy you make me; how blessed I feel to be your mom. How LUCKY I know I am to have you in my life. You try my patience some days, but you are such a good kid. I don't know what I did to deserve you, but I am so grateful that you're mine. It doesn't even touch the surface when I say that 'you are special.' You're so much more than that. You are pure joy. PURE JOY. I love every single freckle on your face, every tiny little hair on your head. And you, my Munch, will always and forever be my baby.

I love you all the stars,
Mommy

May 7, 2012

Clairey Cruise tidbits

So, we just returned from our first-ever cruise. On the cruise, there is a 'no cash' policy--everything is purchased on these cards, which eventually, gets charged to my bank account. The girls each had their own card, and with those cards, they could buy their drinks (pop, smoothies, etc.) by themselves. I have to say, it's kinda funny watching a kid sidle up to the bar and order. Anyways, on one of our "Fun Days at Sea," which loosely translates to, "You're in the middle of the ocean, so there's nothing to do but eat and drink all day," Clairey asked for a Diet Coke. Now, the kids aren't allowed to drink pop EXCEPT on special occasions. SMM and I were dropping $13 a pop on drinks that came in coconuts shaped like a monkey head, so what the hell, I let the kid have a Diet Coke.

I smiled as I watched her little self walk up to the bar, hoist herself up on the bar stool, and wait her turn. The bar tender gets to Clairey, I see her smile, and start to get Clairey's pop. Clairey hands her her card, and waits. The bar tender hands Clairey back a little black folder with the receipt and a pen. Clairey opens it, sits there, then leaps off the bar stool and high-tails it back to me. She's running--on a cruise ship, by a pool--and it's slippery, so i'm signing, "WALK! WALK!" She comes to a complete halt in mid run, looks at me, and whispers (loudly), "What's a 'signature'?!"

haha!

_____________________________________________________________

On the last night of the cruise, we were all sitting in the main lobby listening to a random Asian guy that sounded like Johnny Cash sing. Weird, I know. I had promised the girls that they could purchase a 'surprise' from the boat before the cruise was over. We were on the 3rd floor, and the gift shop was on the 5th--so Jenna asked if she could take her card up there, and get her little present that she had picked out. So, we gave her the spiel of being a young lady, and responsible, and not getting ANYTHING ELSE BUT WHAT WE HAD DECIDED UPON. We watched her as she headed up the stairs, then again, as she came down the elevators, bag in hand, and a HUGE smile across her face.

Then, it was Clairey's turn. She had been eyeing these 'princess' earrings the day before, and she really, really had to have them. I told her okay, and sent Jenna with her. We both told Jenna, "Let your sister get her princess earrings, and do NOT try to talk her into getting something else, do you understand?" and she answered 'yes.' We have to do this because if there's a random cheetah toy/anything with any kind of relation to a big cat, Jenna will sit there and try to convince Clairey that THAT'S what she should get. We felt okay sending Clairey with no pre-specified gift in mind, because she had said that she wanted 'those princess earrings.'

About 10 minutes later, we see the girls hop into the elevator and start on their descent. Clairey walks into the bar and proudly announces, "I got a watch!" I think, "Ah, she got that crappy princess watch that I told her was junk yesterday..." then she continues, "Just like mom's in the green box!" At that point, our faces go blank, then we start laughing hysterically.

 --backstory-- The cruise ship has a lovely jewelry store on level 5, which carries all types of designer watches and diamond jewelry, as well as costume jewelry/watches. On the last day, they had a huge watch sale on the 'everyday' watches, where they were clearanced for $19.99. They're pretty, stainless steel watches that come with a necklace and earring set--for adults. --/backstory--

So, Clairey had gone upstairs, bypassed the 'princess' collection, and purchased herself a 'grown up' watch out of the case. Thank GOD they were on clearance that day, because they WERE selling them for the MSRP-listed price. Her explanation? "I wanted the necklace and earrings, and I wanted to get the watch for Gamma."

I can only imagine the cruise guy's face when she went up to the case and said, "I'd like THAT watch set, please." JEESH.

AND...we asked Jenna, "Why did you let her get that?!" and she says, "Because you told me NOT to talk her out of anything!" Of course...the ONE time she listens....

Apr 16, 2012

Cheetah afros

There is something so wonderful about Jen. I mean, hello, she's an amazing kid, but she is so full of complete and utter randomness, that when something 'deep' comes out of her, you just have to laugh. Last night, as I lie on Clairey's bed (in the pink, princess room) with my glass of red wine--all cozy and toasty and clean--watching the girls play "babies," I realized what a good job i'm doing. Moms and dads--you know what i'm talking about. We beat ourselves up on a daily basis thinking that we're not doing well enough as parents--well, i had one of those, "DAMN!! I'm doing a great job!" moments. And it went a little something like this (but you know you're going to get a lot of background and crap, so don't think for a minute this is going to be short):

Clairey LOVES babies. LOVES them. So, for this reason, her room looks like a veritable daycare. She has a baby swing, crib, pack-n-play, carrier, sling, carseat, bunk beds...and the list goes on. I'm sure you get the picture. To go with this cacophony of baby-related items, we also have many, many babies. We have "Victorious" and  "Suzy," which were mine, and so named by me; we have "Baby Nina," her realistic-looking baby; and "Audrey Rose," her black baby. I'd try to be PC and say she's an 'African American' baby, but according to Clairey, she's not. Because no one in her family is from Africa--unlike her friend at school, who is actually FROM Africa and can speak an African language. HER baby is from America, and has black skin. So, from the mouths of babes, people--she is Clairey's black American baby. And Clairey loves her. And Jenna loves her. And they fight over the black American baby. (Yes, we're getting to the part about Jenna.)

So, Jenna ended up with Baby Nina and Clairey ended up with Audrey Rose. Out of the freakin' blue, Jenna says, "Mom, I love black people."
"That's great, J. You should love ALL people."
"But mom, you realize i'm going to end up marrying a black man. Since i'll be living in Africa, the chances are, i'll marry an African man."
"Yep, if you live in Africa, chances are, you'll marry an African man. And you guys will be happy, discussing cheetahs at every given moment, i'm sure."
"And I'm going to have a beautiful little black baby, mom. With an AFRO. Oh my gosh! I LOVE afros!!

[and here we go back to Jenna being Jenna...]

"I just LOVE afros, Mom! THey're so cool! Can I have an afro? No, I can't. Because I have 'white-girl' hair, and my friend, Camry told me that white girls can't have good afros because they're hair isn't curly enough, but MOM! I LOVE afros!! Maybe my little baby will have an afro, and it will be the cutest little baby ever!!! My friend, Kamari, has the most AMAZING  afro! The other kids at school make fun of him and call him 'broccoli head,' but i told him, 'Kamari, I LOVE your afro. I think it's so cool and it doesn't look like broccoli at all! I LOVE his afro mom! And there's another little girl at school who has an afro, and she's so cute, mom!"
[break]
"Yep, you'll have a beautiful baby, Jen. And it may, or may not, have an afro. Because if you're white, and your husband is black, then you're going to have a baby that will come from both of you. So who knows? You may not get this baby with an afro that you so desire."
"Mom?"
"Yes, baby."
"I love ALL people. Is that okay?"
"That's beautiful. And YOU'RE beautiful, and your life is going to be beautiful, and your babies will be beautiful....when you're older than 30."

And why did this make me feel good? Because of this: because so many families talk down about different races with their kids--and you hear it in the way their kids talk. You know which family doesn't, and now we have proof? OURS. Damn skippy.

LOVE ALL PEOPLE. And maybe, you too, will have a beautiful baby with an afro. That will like cheetahs. A lot.

Mar 9, 2012

Can't. Stop. Laughing.

Okay, first there was the man bag/satchel/man purse...now mantyhose???? You have got to be freaking kidding me. I can't look at this website without laughing out loud. The pictures...OH. THE. PICTURES. There's one of a group of young go-getters looking as if they're hanging out at a little cafe. No problem. But the guys are wearing pantyhose. No one sees anything funny about this? They're wearing SHORT WITH PANTYHOSE. How did the camera crew take a straight photo? "Hi Alex, so glad you could meet for lun...HOLY SHIT. Are you wearing PANTYHOSE?" This is too much. Too, too much.

I have nothing else to say about this. I just keep on laughing...

Jan 31, 2012

Gymnastics woes

The Munch is having a set back at gymnastics. She's about to move to Level 5. In Level 5, you're required to jump to the high bar. Can she do it? Yes. Problem: She has fallen off twice and it has basically scared the living crap out of her.

The precursor to jumping to the high bar, is a glide kip. Can she do it? Yes, but only at home. She has not, up to this point, done it at gym. I know she can do it; her coaches know she can do it. They spot her with ONE FINGER and she does it, yet all but refuses to do it herself. After gym last night, her coach confronted her about it--she asked if she was scared to kip for some reason. Clairey immediately started crying. She said she was scared to kip because if she does it, then she knows she'll have to jump to the high bar and she's scared. [Let me tell you--her coach is freakin' AMAZING. She has more patience than I. She's going to be a brilliant mother one day.] Clairey's coach hugged her and loved on her, and told her that it's okay to be scared--that if she's not ready to move to Level 5, then that's okay--she can stay at Level 4. Clairey said okay, and we left.

We were bringing home a teammate of Clairey's, and she told Clairey that she knows Clairey can do it, and that she's a great gymnast. We dropped her off, and as soon as that door shut, Clairey started crying again. "I don't WANT to be Level 4!! I want to be Level 5!!"
"But you HAVE to do a jump to high bar in Level 5," I said.
"But I'm scared! I'm going to break my neck!"

Come to find out, the last 2 times she's fallen, she thought she broke her neck. And, she landed in a way that the wind was knocked out of her. That scares me as an adult--i'm sure, at 8, that it scared the bejeezus out of her.

She continued to cry. She wouldn't eat dinner--just ate crackers and cheese, and cried them into a nasty glob of tears and drool. She finally calmed down in the shower, and i just told her straight up:
"Listen, if you are not ready to move to Level 5--if you're not ready to jump to high bar--then I'm totally cool with it. You can take another year at Level 4, then move to Level 5 next year, okay? I promise you, I'm absolutely, 100% okay with it. I'm so proud of you, and i know when you're ready, you'll do it." And I looked at her--with her sweet, little, calloused hands in mine.
"You promise, mommy?"
"Yes, Munch, I promise."
"Okay...I want to be Level 5."

This kid. I swear.

"Are you SURE?" I asked. "REALLY SURE?"
"Yep. Pinky swear."

If you have an 8-year old, you know the severity of the 'pinky swear.' I got the pinky swear. And a bonus 'fist-bump-explosion.'

I told her that she needed to talk to her coach about it. She said she'd rather write a letter.

I love how she says she will "fockes" (focus). :)

Jan 25, 2012

HOME!

I just got back from Vegas. I was there for 3 days...left Sunday, came home Tuesday--so 2.5 days. However, I hadn't seen the girls since Friday, when their dad came to pick them up. To say i missed them is an understatement. I'm a homebody--I hate being away from my family. However, my dear friend, Michelle, was in Vegas with me--and we're in the same boat, so that always makes it tolerable. We spent a good portion of our time looking at pictures of our kids, and fawning over how cute they are. We are ridiculous. I know.

It was also a great time--I was there for work, so I got to hang out and spend some time with the people i've worked with over the last 6.5 years, and met many, many new faces! As always, the company spared no expense--we were treated well, and spoiled rotten. If I were a 20-something, single woman, with a penchant for booze, I would never want to return home. But, even being a late 30-something, married woman, with an appreciation for the mass amount of $$ that goes into PROVIDING free booze, I had a great time. Love my company...really, I do. Not many people can say that.

Anyways....I'm tucking The Munch into bed last night, and she was all up in my face. Which, is normal, but when she hasn't seen me for several days, it's really bad. I asked, "What are you doing?"
"Smelling you."
"Do I stink?"
"No, you smell like...mommy. And I missed you."

Eau de Mommy. It's all the rage.

"How was Las Vegas, mommy? Did you miss me?"
"Of COURSE I missed you. I missed you every day. Vegas was fun, but it's really smoky."
[look of surprise] "People are ALLOWED TO SMOKE THERE???!!!"
"YES. Inside the hotels even."
[Look of disgust.] "What did you do?"
"Oh, we had meetings, and some parties. Last night, we went to a club on the roof. The roof OPENED and fake snow fell in. It was really cool, but really cold."
"Oooooo....was it fun?"
"Yes, it was fun. But it was really loud."
"Why?"
"Because there was a live band. And when there's a live band, they always make it very, very loud."
"Were they Mexican?"
"Um....no."
"Oh, I only like loud music when it's Mexican music. Like when you go to a nice restaurant."
"What?"
"You know. Like when you go to a nice restaurant, like Rico's, and there's a Mexican band. There's 3 of them and the lady sings nice. Yep, I only like loud Mexican music."

Oh, this kid.

Jan 21, 2012

The birds and bees and...growling?

As soon as Jenna stepped off the bus yesterday, she locked eyes with me and started bawling. Jenna, all of the sudden, is very emotional about things. It's weird--she's usually not that type of kid, but recently, she's a sobbing mess. I blame it on hormones.

I got she and Clairey inside the house, and Jen just turned and clung to me, sobbing some more. "WHAT is wrong, Jen?" I asked. Jenna tried to talk, but was practically heaving, so I looked at Clairey. "A girl on the bus was talking about the s-word. To ME," she said, very matter-of-factly. I immediately thought, "What, really, is there to say about shit?" Alas, I was wrong. "Shit?" I asked.
"NO."
"UM...shut-up?"
"MOoooommmm!!!" and then she whispered, "sex."
"Oooohhhhh...I see."

And here, my brain starts spinning---trying to recall what each of the girls know about sex. Jenna was still heaving, but managed to sputter, "She was talking to CLAIREY, mom!! She was telling MY LITTLE SISTER!"  At this point, I realized that I needed to get the whole story, with no embellishments, and the truth. The only way to ensure I'm getting the truth, is to separate the two. The way I figure is, if I get the same story from both of them, separately, then either a) i'm getting the truth, or b) the co-conspired so quickly and accurately that I should be impressed. I was, however, rooting for the truth. I sent the Munch upstairs.

I sat Jenna at the kitchen table and started with, "Okay...calm down. Now, tell me everything that was said...you can tell me, and I PROMISE you, I will not get angry with you, okay?"
"Okay...." sniffle.
"So, what happened?"

"Well, on the bus, so-and-so was talking about having babies and said the 's' word. Clairey said that she saw that on Auntie Amy's tv when she first turned it on, but Auntie Amy changed the channel."

"Okay, so what did Clairey see?"

"Nothing. It was people kissing."

[WHEW!!!] "Okay...moving on...then what happened?"

"So-and-so told Clairey that that's how babies are made. That the mommy and daddy do SEX and that's how babies get into the mommy's tummy! And mom, she was telling CLAIREY!!"

--at this point, I am just thinking, 'why is this kid so upset???'-- "Alright," I said, "So...did she say something offensive?"

"YES!! MOOOOM!!! That is NOT how babies are made!" [at this point, my brain somewhat explodes, and I think, 'WTH??? I've thought now, for several years, that this kid knows how babies are made, I mean, for crying out loud, I've lived through the story of the 'lifecycle of a cheetah' Lord knows how many times...] "That's how they're made in the ANIMAL KINGDOM!!! WE ARE HUMANS! GOD PUTS BABIES IN THE MOMMY'S TUMMY!!!"

--break for tragic meltdown at the kitchen table. Replete with a film-noir-style collapse and huge, shaking sobs.--

I sat there, and let her cry for a few moments. I mean, if I were to open my mouth, I would have laughed. Hysterically. And not have been able to stop. So, I composed myself and said quietly, "Jen...it's the same. Humans are animals."

"But MOM. It is NOT the same! In the animal kingdom, the male mounts the female and growls at her and they are linked and they walk in circles while the male bites the female on the nape of the neck. It. is. not. the. same."

"Um...you are correct. There is no growling. And there is generally no walking in circles. But, it's pretty much the same thing. It all works the same."

Ensue more bawling and collapsing. So, I did what any mother would do: I made her explain the lifecycle of a cheetah and related it to humans. AND...problem fixed. Easy.

Next, I sent Jenna upstairs, and started grilling Clairey.

"So, what happened on the bus?"
"So-and-so was talking about sex and Jenna was crying."
"Okay, so what did you learn about sex?"
"That mommy's and daddy's do it to make a baby."
"Do what?"
"Sex."
"What is sex?"
"What mommy's and daddy's do."
"How do they do it?"
"I don't know. They just do. I think they kiss."

Works for me. I'll save that explanation for another day.

So...with all that being said, I felt like I should let the other mom know that that conversation was happening on the bus. I just felt like, you know, I would want to know.  And, thank God, I know this mom and feel comfortable talking with her. Also, I know her child well, so I was assured that nothing inappropriate was said--i just felt like it was a 'need to know' type of thing. So...I called the mom. And you know? I was so nervous. I felt like I was being that mom--you know, the one that thinks her kid can't handle a situation by herself, so you have to call and handle it for her--even though I knew that wasn't the case. But I felt like that anyways. Dammit.

The mom was super nice, and super understanding. I just let her know that I wasn't calling to tattle, but that a conversation was happening where Clairey was being educated about sex. She called back a bit later and said that her daughter said that that's not what happened at all. Argh. She asked if I would please ask Clairey exactly what was said so she, as a parent, could get to the bottom of it. Absolutely--i'd ask the same. So, I called Clairey (she was with her dad). I made her go to the bathroom and shut the door, then I asked her, "What, EXACTLY, did so-and-so say? And just so you know, she's very upset about it, so you better tell me the truth."
"She told me that mommy's and daddy's do sex to make babies."
"Is that all?"
Long pause......"She told me that she saw her mommy and daddy doing sex. But mommy, please don't tell on her. She said not to tell."
"CLAIREY. Did she tell you WHAT she saw?"
"Yes. She said she saw her mommy and daddy doing sex."
"But WHAT did she see?"
"That."
"What?"
"Her mommy and daddy doing sex."
"Okay, thanks. And that's the truth? 100%? You're not keeping secrets?"
"No....but mommy? Please don't tell that I told."
"I won't."

(Just FYI--i lied to my kid. I had to tell the other mom.) And, I feel sure that was it. I mean, if it would have gotten into any more detail, Clairey would have told me. She's so stinkin' matter-of-fact about everything. So, I called back the mom, and let her know what Clairey said. Her answer when I told her about her kid seeing her having sex? The same one I would have had, "OH. GREAT."

A little while later, I got a text back where the mom said the little girl said she never said any of that. My thoughts? It honestly doesn't matter to me. Clairey knows the process of babies growing in the mommy's tummy. She even knows that sperm has to get to an egg. What she DOESN'T know, however, is how that sperm gets there. She had no idea about the mommy and daddy having to DO anythingto make a baby; so now she knows they have to do something, which is sex, which she thinks, is kissing. And THAT was the part I was concerned about. All's well that ends well.

And Jenna...well, Jenna now understands that the animal kingdom and humans mate the same. Minus the growling. Usually.

How does this end? I called the girls. I told them that sex is a normal topic to be curious about, and it's okay to talk about it--WITH YOUR PARENTS and NOT ON THE BUS. I also let them know that if it comes up again, simply to say, "We shouldn't talk about this without our moms or dads," and stop the conversation.

The part i'm thankful about: that it was a conversation between 3 little girls. My two, and another that I KNOW is a good girl and comes from good parents with good values. So I know that it was a 'clean' conversation, rather than a filthy one--know what I mean?

Jan 20, 2012

2012

I don't make New Years resolutions. Okay, so I used to. And I thought about it this year, but then I decided i'd be better off NOT doing it. The last time I made a NYR was, oh...2 years ago, maybe? At that time, my biggest one was to not go out of the house looking like a homeless yoga reject. You know--yoga pants, t-shirt, flip flops, no makeup, and a cap (because i didn't fix my hair). I've looked like that for...oh, heck...probably since 2005 when i started working from home full time. So, two years ago, I decided that I would not go in public wearing yoga pants. Excuse me while I laugh. Sorry...resolution FAIL right there, people. Yoga pants manufacturers should be sending me free crap, because that's all I wear. I have to go to Vegas for work in a few days, and my boss told me I can't wear yoga pants. I thought about quitting for a moment.

I HAVE started wearing makeup. Sometimes. Clear mascara counts, right? I mean, really--where do I go? I take my kid to gymnastics. Yep, that's pretty much the extent of me getting out. I'm crazy like a fox. I guarantee you my gym-mom friends don't care what I look like. In fact, when I DO put on makeup and/or fix my hair, they're all, "WOW! You look so nice today!" It's usually because I brushed my hair. We have an unspoken code of appreciation. If you have kids, and you found time to brush your hair, then you are AMAZING and you should be shown massive amounts of appreciation. I like my gym-mom friends. I like to think that because i'm a mom, I work full-time, and I brushed my hair, that I should get an award. Like a case of gold bouillon or something similar.

I like to have New Year's "thoughts." Not so much resolutions, but things i'll think about doing, so then if I don't, it's no big whoop. I thought about making dinner every night. That didn't last very long. As soon as I ran out of those fancy crock-pot liners and had to clean the crock pot by hand, I gave up on that crap. Besides, my kids love waffles for dinner. What? They're organic and have flax seed in them, and they don't use syrup. That's how we roll.

Jan 17, 2012

Really really

My children are growing up too fast. I know...it's so cliche, isn't it.. (Don't you like how I have NO idea how to put an accent over the 'e'?) to say that, I mean. You hear it all the time, and honestly, I find it freakin' annoying when other people tell me that. And by other people, I mean my mother. My mom tells me this all. the. time. The girls will be arguing about something, and i'll yell, "BE QUIET!!" Mom will look at me and say, "One day, you're going to miss that noise." I call bullcrap on that one. I don't think any mother sighs and thinks, "I really miss the sounds of my kids beating the hell out of each other." I KNOW i will miss the sounds of their laughter--except when they're supposed to be sleeping and I'm tired, and for the-love-of-God-will-you-just-stop-talking-and-go-to-sleep. No, I won't miss THAT. I'll miss the laughter that ensues when the cat comes running out of their room, and they've adorned him with Build-a-Bear pants. Or, the riotious giggles that come when they use their fancy microphone to sound like 'mump-a-chi-kins' ('munchkins' in Claire-ese). Yes, THOSE are the things I miss.

Recently, I'm missing those baby faces. I've been slacking in the "yearly" photo department. I mean, REALLY slacking. Don't get me wrong, I take pictures of the girls a lot--but they're simply snapshots--not "it's a new year and we have to chronicle it" pictures. So yesterday, they had the day off of school, I had the day off of work, and we ventured out--the girls in their favorite outfits, myself armed with my camera and reflector board.

First stop, the train tracks, 2nd stop the park. It was fun. The girls were scared to death to get on the train tracks. Clairey played sentinel while I took Jen's pics, an vice versa. They heard the far-off whistle of a train and scampered off the tracks--no train in sight. As I stood there, Clairey yelled, "Mommy!! There's a train coming! I heard it! GET OFF THE TRACKS!!!" As I took my time, they proceeded to freak out. Although, like I mentioned, no train in sight. So, I did what any mother would do--I sat on the track and fiddled with my camera. hahaha! I'm so evil. After they screamed for a while, I got off the track.

So, here are a few of them...

My sweet girls--probably mere moments before bickering over something stupid...


And here is where I begin to cry... Jenna walked into my office as I was uploading these, and I just sat there...my hand over my mouth. "What's wrong, mom?" she asked. "This picture really hurts," I whispered.
"It hurts? Why?"
"Because you are so grown--you don't even look like a little girl."
"So it really hurts?"
"Yes, it hurts my heart..."
"Really?"
"Really, really."


And these freckles....how will I ever deal with this one growing up? This is my baby!! And I don't care what any one says--"Cute as a button" my butt. I've never seen a button this damn cute.

My little miss smarty pants. Never wants to smile, but is so lovely all the same.


My little presh. I could look at that profile all day. Nom nom nom.

STOP GROWING, PLEASE.

Jan 11, 2012

Pride. And i'm not talking about lions.

Jenna, as low-key as she is (in regards to Clairey), often surprises me. I mean, she's done sneaky things before--telling SMM that she hasn't had candy, when she has; telling me she'll practice piano then I find out that she conveniently forgot, etc. But yesterday, she did something that made me very happy.

When the girls got off the bus yesterday (Tuesday), Clairey announced, "Jenna and so-and-so were arguing on the bus, and now so-and-so doesn't like her and is mad at her." [Italics in place of a name, people.] Now, the thing about Jen is that she DOESN'T argue. Well, not with anyone but us. She will RARELY argue with anyone outside of family, and if she does, there's usually a good reason behind it. Like, someone says that cheetahs suck or that Santa's not real, or something like that.

Come to find out, that Jen's friend wanted to see her two new dolls that she got for Christmas. Jenna told her, "I'm not allowed to bring toys to school," and her friend told her to just put them in her school bag without my knowing and bring them to school. Oooooo....sneaky.

[Back-up a day--Monday night: Jenna asked me if she could bring her dolls to school to show so-and-so. I told her, no, that she knows she's not allowed to bring toys to school. She agreed and that was that. She said she DID, however, put the dolls in her bag. Then she got smart and removed them.]

So, back to Tuesday: On the bus, this little girl asked Jen, "Where are your dolls?" and Jenna said, "My mom told me I can't bring toys to school." The little girl got mad at Jen because she thought Jenna told me about 'the plan.' Jen, on the other hand, hadn't said a THING to me about the plan. And, according to the bus driver, as that little girl sat there and told Jenna that she wasn't going to be her friend anymore (because she tattled on her), Jenna defended herself by saying, "But it's wrong! My mom said i'm not allowed to bring toys to school!" Two thumbs up.

So, Jenna told me the whole plan, and why this friend was mad at her. I used it as a lesson, and made sure that I told her THIS is what it's all about--following your heart, and doing what's right. Which is listen to your mommy, lest you get beat.

Jan 9, 2012

New Year, new post

So sorry about the lack of posts--our schedules are absolutely insane around here!! One of my New Year's resolutions: get our schedules organized!!

However, let's get this year kicked off right with a little Claireyism...

Last Thursday, the girls had a substitute bus driver. When I hear the bus stop, I go to the front door to welcome the girls home--or, if they look to be in pissy moods, to lock the front door so they can't get in.
The bus drove by our house, then came to a screeching halt a bit past the neighbor's. The girls get out, and run towards home. Clairey looks exasperated. Let me preface this by saying Clairey is NOT pc.

Me: "What's up? How was your day?"
Clairey: --big sigh-- "Asians do NOT know how to drive!"
Me: "What? Why do you say that?"
Clairey: "Seriously. Our substitute bus driver was Asian and he didn't know which pedal was the gas and which one was the brake!"
Me: "How do you know this?"
Clairey: "Because the WHOLE time, it was like, stop...GO...stop...GO!! My neck was going back and forth! It was SO annyong."

I would also like to say that I have NEVER said anything about Asian drivers. This kid makes this crap up herself.

So, later, we go to the post office. I'm cruising through the parking lot, and this car just backs out right in front of us, causing me to slam on my brakes. I just said, "Jeez, guy!!" Clairey, on the other hand, keeps watching the car as it pulls out and drives past us, then says, "YEP!! I knew it!! Asian! See mom? I TOLD YOU."