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


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."
"Because there was a live band. And when there's a live band, they always make it very, very loud."
"Were they Mexican?"
"Oh, I only like loud music when it's Mexican music. Like when you go to a nice restaurant."
"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.
"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?"
"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?"
"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


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."

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.


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."