Monday, March 29, 2010

I am awesome

I think I might be back from my self imposed exile from the blogosphere. Why, you might ask? Because I'm a glutton for punishment.

Anyway, here goes nothing.

Recently, we had a stretch of several beautiful days. On the first of said beautiful days, I spent the entire day playing outside with the kids, which, I'm learning, is the worst thing you can do. Apparently, when it's nice outside, especially after a long winter, the best thing you should do for your kids is to lock them in the house and deny them that taste of glorious freedom. If you do what I did, you're only going to create a situation that will undoubtedly end badly for either you or your children.

Case in point:

After hours and hours of basking in the sun, riding bikes and playing teacher, it was time to go inside because Mommy had wash to fold. Everyone went inside, still smiling. We had a snack and I turned on the TV so the kids would leave me alone for 20 minutes so I could fold one single load of wash.

This was not to be.

Within the first 5 minutes, the Little Monsters broke out of the house, and I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEY LEFT THE HOUSE. Yes, I locked the front door and went upstairs and they bolted. I found out they were outside when the biggest Monster came to ask me if she could cross the street to go to the park.

Bad Mommy, thinking you could leave Monsters alone to their own devices.

After a stern talking to I, once again, try and fold some clothes. This is when the Monster 1 smacks Monster 2 right across the face. This is a cardinal sin and is is an automatic trip to the bedroom.

After 3 minutes, I go upstairs to have a chat about hitting, when these words come out of the 3 year old's mouth,

"You're not awesome anymore. I hate you."

Out of the mouths of babes …

This did not upset me as much as I thought the first time one of my kids said they hated me would. In fact, it made me laugh a little. She said I wasn't awesome anymore? This would imply that at some point I actually was AWESOME, and, frankly, THAT is pretty cool.

This gave her another time out, during which she screamed that she did, in fact, love me.

Not that I ever doubted it.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Welcome to Paradise

It's Monday and I'm back to work after spending a week in paradise, or at least that's what it seemed like to me. The reality of going to work every day can be depressing, especially after the beautiful week I just had.

First, I have to tell you, I was no less than completely impressed with Cancun. All the travel advisories, I'm sure weren't for nothing, but I saw nothing that would make me concerned. I felt completely safe and totally welcomed by every single person I encountered. I mean everyone.

The week started a little rough, and I suppose had the potential of creating a terrible situation, but it didn't last long. After getting off the plane and going through customs in Cancun, Jon and I waited for our luggage. Jon's suitcase was the first to arrive. I sat at the conveyer belt for a half hour watching and waiting for my suitcase to show up. After all the bags but one were picked up by passengers anxious to start their vacation, I realized my bag was not coming off that plane. I filed my lost baggage claim and we took our transport to the resort. I was crying, Jon was upset and the taxi driver was all about karma. We shared the cab with a man who also lost his luggage and his girlfriend. Apparently they were supposed to meet in Atlanta, but her flight was delayed and he had to board the plane without her.

The taxi driver, in his best English, spent the 20 minute ride telling us our luggage would be returned and we could be miserable and then we'll have a miserable time, or we can be happy and have a good time because the worst thing that could happen is that we'd have to buy new clothes.

The guy we shared the cab with, Frank, was on board with what the driver was talking about; I, on the other hand, only got more upset with every word that came from his mouth. I had been packed for this trip for a full week. I had a suitcase full of clean, warm-weather clothes, while the clothes on my back were too heavy for the weather and, as every girl can attest to, the thought of having to go swimsuit shopping while on vacation, seemed daunting at best.

At the hotel, we were greeted by a man handing us each a glass of Champaign. It was delicious and exactly what I needed, but, above all, I'm a girl, and once a girl starts crying, sometimes it takes more than a glass of Champaign to stop the tears from flowing and that grabs the attention of every hotel employee, who came up to me and made sure I was OK. Everyone assured me my luggage would arrive tomorrow. We checked in, went to our room and I took a hot shower, put my dirty clothes back on and we went to dinner.

One bottle of wine later, I was feeling better.

After the second bottle of wine, I was also sure my luggage would show up at the hotel in the morning. I fell asleep sure things would get better. But I woke up 2 hours later and stayed awake worrying about my luggage until 5:30. At 6:30 Jon woke up and we got dressed and went to the front desk to see if my luggage arrived overnight. As we were standing at the desk, a man rolled my bag in the front doors and I gave the delivery man a hug and knew the rest of the week would be just fine.

And it was.

As was Frank's luggage and girlfriend, who arrived at the hotel at about 1 a.m.

Mexico is beautiful inside and out. I can't tell you about underbelly of the country, but what is on the surface is nothing short of spectacular. Seriously, I've never in my life seen such natural beauty. The water is crystal clear and the most amazing shades of blue you have ever seen. People are friendly and so happy when you just try to speak Spanish, even if you fail miserably, they are thrilled if you try.

Jon and I took three snorkeling trips to three different reefs. Our first trip was to a reef in a lagoon. We, well, Jon, drove a speed boat to the area. A man assigned us a boat, gave us some simple directions and we and three other couples followed him for about 20 minutes until we reached our snorkeling spot. The water was a little chilly, but what we saw made up for the chilly water. Floating along the top of the water, looking at fish through perfectly clear water is something I will never forget. The screaming 8 year old girl who was terrified of being in the water is something I will try very hard to forget. That aside, we swam for about a half an hour looking a fish and the reef and just spent the time being completely amazed. After the swim, we got back into the boat, which I thought it would be a good idea if I tried to drive it (it was not). Five minutes into our trip back, I stalled the boat and Jon and I were left drifting in the water, waiting for someone to come and rescue us, which they did. But that was as long as I got to drive the speedboat.

The next day I made up for it during a 30 minute wave runner ride on the open ocean. I am not very good at driving watercraft, I accept that, but I did it and I'm proud of myself for doing so. I'm even more proud of the fact that during that 30 minute ride, we were actually going to our third (Yes, I skipped over the second. I'll get to it) snorkeling spot. We were heading to a reef area where there was a 30 foot hole in which we could swim. We jumped off the wave runners and swam in the open ocean with no life jacket and tried to get up the nerve to swim into the hole.

Back onto the wave runner, it was Jon's turn to drive, and in less than one minute Jon threw us off the machine and right back into the water.

The second snorkeling trip, which happened right before the third one, I'm talking a matter of minutes here, was totally amazing. We took a bus to Playa Del Carman, then got on a catamaran to a protected reef in the middle of the ocean. We were between Playa Del Carman and Cuba. We were in open water and the tour guides made sure we understood if we touch any coral and we get cut, it would attract sharks. This time, the guides brought fish food.

Before jumping in the water, everyone was given a life jacket. Sitting on the catamaran, I noticed Jon's was torn practically in half.

"Go get yourself a new jacket," I told him. So he went to the nearest guide and showed him the jacked.

"Can you swim," the guide asked.

"Yeah," Jon said.

"This is Mexico. No problemo," the guide said.

Jon shrugged his shoulders and laughed and came back.

"I guess I'll be fine," Jon said.

He was. It was no problemo at all.

Once in the water, thousands of fish swarm our group searching for food. We could touch the fish, just not the reef. Swimming in the ocean is hard. The water isn't still and you have to fight a current, but it's not impossible and the guides were vigilant about keeping us all together.

Again, I'm sure you're tired of hearing this by now, the water was so clear. You can see straight through to the bottom. There's no odor, but it's extremely salty.

After the trip, we went back to the hotel and indulged in a couples massage. It was so relaxing and extremely professional. Honestly, this was the very first time I had a real massage and it was great. Fifty minutes went by in a flash.

Thursday morning, my birthday, Jon and I checked out of the resort and I boarded a transport headed to Cancun airport and he took a taxi to his next hotel. It was sad. Having spent 5 glorious days in paradise, leaving alone is, well, very lonely.

All in all, this trip was spectacular. We will be going back. The kids didn't come with us and, despite my initial concerns about leaving them, it was great that they weren't there. This trip gave Jon and I much-needed adult time. Everything we needed or wanted was handed to us with a smile. Anything and everything we wanted to do, we did. It was like a second honeymoon and I wouldn't have changed a single thing.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

No sleep til Brooklyn ... I mean Mexico

In exactly 3 days, I'm going to be sitting on a beach in Mexico, sipping fruity drinks and basking (a.k.a. trying not to get sunburn!) in the warm sun. It's a trip I've been looking forward to for months. Four days in the warm sun with no kids. But as the trip gets closer, I find myself more and more worried about leaving the kids.

I'm not worried about their safety. I'm confident that they will be safe and well cared for while we are away, I'm mostly worried about them thinking we've abandoned them.

Sophia's been having some trouble sleeping these last couple of weeks. It's part of the reason I haven't written in a while. She's not sleeping means I am not sleeping, which means Mommy and Daddy have not been happy campers.

Not happy at all.

It's night terrors and anxiety and with each passing night of no sleep, she gets worse and worse. I swear she's running on pure adrenaline right now. At our whit's end, we decided she needed to sleep last night, even if it meant one of us slept on her bedroom floor.

That's exactly what we did and for the first night in nearly a week, she didn't scream or jump out of bed screaming. Jon put her to bed and sat in her room until she fell asleep. It took her about an hour for her to fall completely asleep, but she did fall asleep and Jon was able to sneak out of her room. She didn't wake up once screaming in terror, instead, at about 2 a.m. she quietly crawled into bed with us and fell asleep until about 7 a.m.

It's a small victory, I know. It's not perfect in the least, but it did give everyone some much-needed sleep. But it makes me worried about how she's going to sleep while we are away. The last thing I want is for the babysitter to not sleep the whole week because Sophia refuses to sleep.

I'm going to leave keeping all my faith on the wise words of my own mother: "Kids are only bad for their parents." I expect they will be perfect little angels for the babysitter and when I come back, she will be wondering why I was freaking out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Saturday morning dance party

While many of you were snoozing comfortably in your bed, we here at The Mommy Diaries were having a raging dance party this past Saturday morning. Granted it was a party with no music, only "Cinderella" on the television to provide the beats, but that didn't stop Ryan from bustin' a move.

Watch out "So You Think You Can Dance," Ryan is your next star.

** If you watched this video before, you may have noticed the sound cut out at the end. It's fixed now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A change in character, or is it?

Last night at about 10:15 I found myself standing in front of the oven waiting for it to pre heat so I could bake cookies for Sophia's Valentine's Day party today. This might seem mundane to you, but as I stood there waiting for the oven to beep, it struck me as completely out of character for me.

I've always been the type of person who if I needed to bring a dessert or any kind of food to any function I'd stop at the grocery store on my way there and pick it up. I can probably count on one hand how many times I've used my oven to bake anything but chicken fingers and French fries, but here I was, on a Wednesday night at 10:15, baking cookies for Sophia to bring to daycare.

The oddest feeling was that I really wanted to do it for her. I wanted to make those cookies. Tuesday night I spent about 45 minutes filling out Valentine's Day cards and putting candy in little bags for Sophia to give to her friends for Valentine's Day. Lots of thought and love went into preparing for this silly party and I'm shocked at myself.

What is going on with me? When did I become slightly domestic… um, well, that might be an overstatement considering the three laundry baskets sitting on the kitchen floor filled with clean clothes that need to be folded and put away, but go along with me.

For a full year, I've been reading blogs by moms and dads talking about their children and how it's affected them. For the most part, I think many parents (me included) are simply crazy. Almost daily we find ourselves doing things completely out of character because of our children. But that's when it hit me that those things that were once out of character are now becoming part of our character. There was bound to be a time when I got the hang of this parenting thing enough that I'd have a little free time to do things I want to do, which more and more is becoming about things for my kids rather than with me, like baking cookies.

So, with all this weird character changing things going on in my life, I guess it's timely that my blog buddy DC Dad awarded me this:

This award shows the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, literal, ethical and personal values every day.

And, as with every award, here are the rules:
1) Accept the award and post it on your blog along with the name of the person who gave you the award.
2) Pass it on to (15) bloggers that you know who deserve it.

Like any good anarchist, I'm not passing this along to 15 bloggers, because, frankly, I don't know 15 bloggers I can send this to. So, if you read my blog and you have one yourself, give yourself this award. You deserve it because you've stuck with me even after I said I was done blogging.