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Momo Fali's: October 2007

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Figment Of Our Imagination

I have mentioned before that our dog is getting old. But, it's becoming all too clear that she's completely neurotic as well. Once upon a time, the only things that gave her dread were normal dog-phobias. Things like the vacuum cleaner and garbage trucks. But, her bravery is diminishing with each passing day.

Lately we've noticed that she is losing her spunk, because her newest fear is going for a walk. The thing we used to have to spell out...W-A-L-K, because she would attack you with kisses if you said the real thing. For awhile, we even had to spell it backward. But not anymore. Her mania has taken over. It's not just trash trucks or city buses anymore. If she sees anything bigger than a sedan, her tail goes down and her ears flop over. She begins to shake, and darts around on the end of her leash looking for escape the four-wheeled monster.

So, now we have a battle before we can even get her outside in the morning. She knows when my husband grabs her collar off the door that it's time to go spineless and find a good place to hide.

The other day he found her holed-up under our son's bed. When he got down on the floor and said her name, she turned her head and faced the other way as if to say, "You can not see me! I am invisible! Go away with your leash and find someone else to torture." My dog...the only one on the block who wishes she she could really be a ghost for Halloween.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Then My Heart Bursts All Over The Entree

Every night at dinner, I ask my kids to tell me what was the best thing about their day, and what was the worst thing.

My daughter often tells me that the worst part was not having a pop quiz. Which is followed by me thinking to myself, "Please, please, please, let her continue to be a freak of nature and LOVE school so much that the most horrible thing she can think of is that she wasn't challenged enough." The best part of her day is usually that she did something cool in science class, or that she and her best friend have come up with yet another secret handshake.

My son starts with the worst part of his day, and it always varies. It can be that a friend didn't share the bike at school, or that he was sad when his sister got hurt at soccer practice, or that he was punished for not listening.

Then I ask him, "What was the BEST part of your day?"

And, without fail, every single night, he will look around the room at all of us, point at the dinner table and say, "This".

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Why I Hate Fall

This is a picture of my driveway.
We walk through all these tiny leaves to get to the back door.

This is a picture of outside my back door.
All of these leaves do not end up in lawn bags,
they end up getting tracked into my house.

This is my yard, covered with a zillion leaves which need to be raked and bagged.

And, this is what is still to come.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Getting Bounced From The Bunk Bed

For almost six months, when my daughter was a baby, she slept in our bed. This wasn't me being a nurturing mother. This wasn't co-sleeping. This was an eighteen-pound baby lying on my chest because she wouldn't sleep in her crib. Out of desperation, her father and I brought her into our room, and within a week, she had managed to slither on top of me and nuzzle her face in my neck. We slept like that every night, until she got so big that her sweaty body felt like a Toyota on my chest.

She still frequently climbs into our bed. Bad dreams, noises, upset tummy and trips to the potty end with a visit to our room. I can't tell you how many times I've wondered why things are suddenly a lot more crowded, and I have a lot less blanket.

But, my five year old son...well, he's an entirely different story. He has NEVER slept in our bed. Well, maybe once, because he was sick and we forced him to. Not only that, he won't get out of his bed unless we physically go into his room and tell him to get up. Not even on weekend mornings, when we would delight in having him watch cartoons with his sister while we sleep in.

The other night, when he went to bed with an upset stomach, then woke at 4:00 AM moaning and whining, I ran to his room and climbed in bed with him. It only took a minute to realize that his twin bed and my pinched nerve were no match, and since he wasn't feeling well I thought he should come sleep with us. But when I asked him if he wanted to, he put his hand on my arm, stopped moaning, and in a strangled whisper said, "No. You go." As if he was a gallant hero who was uttering his last words..."I'll be okay. Just save yourself."

As I climbed from his bed, I said, "I really think you should come sleep with Mommy." But suddenly, he was a lot less chivalrous, though still full of drama...when instead of uttering a word, he simply turned his face to his wall and pointed to the door.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Back To The Rat Race

I started working again last week. More or less, I have been out of the work-force since late 1998, when my daughter was born. For those, like me, who are math impaired...that's nine years.

Don't get me wrong, I've kept pretty busy with my two preemie kids. For awhile, my son's therapy, doctor's appointments, insurance hassles and healthcare needs were a full-time job. But now, he's five and in preschool. He even eats lunch there. He doesn't need me so much anymore.

My daughter has become little Miss Self-Sufficient lately. I woke the other day to find her in the kitchen packing her lunch for school. Little does she know, her chore list is about to get a lot longer. Momma's gonna need a hand.

That leads me to the real purpose of this post. I have always given accolades to working Moms and Dads (to the youngsters in the house...that means something like mad props). But, I was short-changing them by saying things like, "I don't know how you do it". I should've been saying, "You are amazing because you do it". People who have something left to give to their kids when they have been working all day...well quite frankly, that's just unbelievable...and at this point, it baffles me.

I'm still trying to find out how it works, how you juggle all these responsibilities. But, I'm excited and ready for the challenge. I want my children to know that you need to be determined and keep your nose to the grindstone. I want them to see that you can have your cake and eat it too. That you can be a successful employee, a caring Mom, a great friend, and still have time to take care of yourself!

Either that, or I'll show them that if you bite off more than you can chew, you end up choking and falling over dead. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Daughter Won't Be Eight Forever

I'm guessing the inside of her folder won't always say
"I love school"...

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Parenting Secrets We Like to Keep Secret

Did you ever notice how many things no one tells you about parenting before you have kids? I'm not talking about how you'll never sleep again. Plenty of people told me that. No, I mean the little things. For instance, no one ever told me...

That I would keep empty water bottles in my car for my son to pee in when we're on the road.

That my longest fingernail would become the "booger-picker-outer", and if that didn't work, I'd retrieve boogers with a toothpick.

That I would wipe snot off my son's face with a leaf.

That kids like to hide things around the house and you won't find them for a long, long time. Things like cups full of milk, dirty underwear, and sandwiches.

That it's necessary to cheat at Chutes and Ladders, or else the game goes on forever.

That poop becomes hard and crusty when removed from a diaper and smeared onto a coffee table.

That I would actually say things like, "You're not allowed to stick your finger in the dog's butt" or "You can't drink water out of the toilet".

Or, that I would have to call poison control, because my daughter would drink the toilet water anyway.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Everyone's A Tattle-Tale

At the grocery store the other day, I was approached by a man. Yes, you read that correctly. I was approached by a man. Me! An upper-30ish...uh..."big-boned" woman, who not only still gets zits on my face, but who currently also has two zits ON MY NECK...approached BY A MAN.

He walked over, smiled and said, "I really like your glasses." Oh, did I forget to mention that? I wear glasses too.

Nevertheless, I thanked him. Then he responded, "No. I really like them."

Again I said, "Thank you."

Then he pulled his cart next to mine, leaned closer and whispered, "I was just distracting your daughter. I wanted to let you know that I heard you tell her to get some Shredded Wheat, but instead she put a box of Lucky Charms in your cart".


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Of Friends and Family

Last night, my husband and I had a rare night out with friends. We had a few beers, some pizza, good conversation, then went downtown for a play. There's nothing quite like hanging out with good friends...friends with whom you can discuss politics and religion, have differing views, then end up laughing about old Seinfeld clips a few minutes later. Friends who have seen you at your best and worst. Friends who have helped you when you've most needed them. Friends you could call anytime, day or night, and they'd be there for whatever reason. Friends you can't even be embarrassed in front of, no matter how hard they might try to embarrass you.

We had a nice evening without the kids around. No noses or butts to wipe, no food to make that someone won't want to eat, no baths to give, no crying, no injuries, no toys to clean up, and no arguments between siblings. As we were laughing over dinner, I couldn't help but think how good it felt to be there.

When we got home, we paid the babysitter, let the dog out, checked e-mail, cleaned up the kitchen, and watched the news. We did all the boring, ho-hum stuff we always do. After I put on my pj's, I went into my daughter's bedroom like I do every other night. I tucked her in, kissed her on the forehead, and then went to my son's room. I took about twenty toys and books out of his bed and kissed his forehead...but last night, instead of tucking him in, I climbed under the blanket with him.

And, as I snuggled up next to him and watched him sleep, I couldn't help but think how good it felt to be there.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

'Tis The Halloween Season

This spoof is a trick AND a treat!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Help Get Some Mammies Grammed

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For a limited time, just about anything your heart desires comes in pink. A Kitchenaid Mixer, a t-shirt, even a hammer. But, if you're running low on cash, The Breast Cancer Site has made it easy to help. Simply by going to their site and pushing the "Click Here to Give" button, you can help fund free mammograms for low-income, inner-city and minority women.

Do it for your mothers, your sisters, your aunts, your cousins, your friends. It only takes a couple of seconds...and it's FREE! Every click counts, and if you know someone who has fought a battle with breast cancer, you know how important early detection can be.

Click here to help save a life!


Monday, October 8, 2007

Seeing You Preggers, Brings Up My Eggers

Pregnant women make me sick. Literally. So does the smell of freshly applied wallpaper, the Before These Crowded Streets CD from The Dave Matthews Band, lotion from Bath and Body Works, and walking into my ob/gyn's office.

Don't get me wrong...pregnancy is a beautiful, amazing, miraculous process, and I think sharing a child with someone you love is a wonderful gift. But, I was not a glowing, happy, expectant Mother. I was sick. A lot. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I threw up every day for months. Not just the first trimester, but through most of the second as well.

Ordinary odors usually sent me running for the nearest restroom. Luckily, I had some seniority in the office where I was working and I had all sweet smelling lotions, sprays and perfumes banned from the department. Some things, like walking my dog and picking up her poo, were unavoidable. I would try to hold my breath, but would inevitably end up gagging and retching in my neighbor's yards. How attractive is that picture?

But, it wasn't only tummy upset. I was actually sick, sick. I developed some freakish auto-immune disorder that only affected me when I was pregnant. I blew up so big that if someone had tied a string to my foot, they could've entered me in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. All in all, I can't say it was a pleasant experience until my children were actually outside of my body.

So seeing, hearing and smelling things that remind me of that time tend to make me queasy. To all the pregnant women who are at their best and feel so good when they're pregnant, I'm really happy for you. But, don't be offended if instead of stopping to chit-chat with you, I hurry myself along.


Friday, October 5, 2007

The SAHM-Mobile

I just dropped off my son at preschool. Well, not so much dropped him off as pulled in, waited for a retired fellow in an orange vest to direct me to a parking spot, and walked 40 yards into the school with an eager five year old, a school bag, and a snack bucket big enough to hold snacks for 20 kids and three teachers. You should see the parents with more than one kid. When my daughter was in preschool I was one of them. Holding a big infant carrier, along with all the other stuff, was quite a balancing act.

Actually, I could just drop him off. They have teachers and parent volunteers in a “drop off zone” where parents can pull up and someone will open the door, reach in and unbuckle your kid, then send him or her into school. It’s not that I don’t think my son could manage getting to his classroom unassisted; it’s that I don’t want anyone to see the inside of my car.

Not only is there the typical Cheerio assortment all over the floor, but there is an accumulation of various crumbs inside my son’s seat. I can clean it out, but those crumbs are back within a couple of days. It’s like they multiply on their own or something.

There is also a black stain on the rug, but I don’t know where it came from. And, there is a sticky substance just inside the door…the door those volunteers would have to open to get my son out. I can NOT de-stickify the spot either. I’ve tried everything, but it remains tacky nonetheless. And, I can’t forget the time my husband saw something on the floor and leaned down to smell it, only to find out it was pee. Either my son is extremely flexible, or someone snuck out of their car seat without me knowing.

A quick glance in my back seat will reveal small tissue paper squares, and green pipe cleaners. They’re just lying on the seat in case one of us gets the urge to make a paper flower. There is also a soccer ball, a styrofoam star covered with glitter, a broken umbrella, various happy meal toys, and a maraca.

Paper flowers, a glittery star, and a maraca…I could throw a fiesta! I’m sure if I just looked hard enough, I could find myself a burrito.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Germs Are Not Welcome Here

Having a child with health problems, a child who almost died from a bacterial infection, has made me quite the germophobe. I am constantly washing my hands and have little bottles of anti-bacterial gel in every bag or purse I own. Not too long ago, I even pulled out some gel at church and used it after my son had shaken the hands of fifteen different people during the sign of peace. No offense folks, but I don’t know where you’ve been. My husband was so embarrassed that he gave me a bogus grin, then I heard him mumble under his breath, “I didn’t sign up for this”.

My children are ordered to wash their hands IMMEDIATELY upon entering the house after school, and I NEVER let them use a drinking fountain. When we enter a public restroom, my son is told to keep his hands on his belly and not touch anything. Preferably, he just uses the potty I always keep in the car, which I have lined with kitty litter bags. It has kept him off many a public toilet seat.

I have taught my daughter to push elevator buttons with her elbow, and how to open a restroom door with a paper towel, then shoot it across the room into the trash. It’s like basketball camp, only without the basketball, court, or scoreboard.

The grocery store we go to has recently put out disinfecting cloths so we can wipe down the cart before my son’s hands touch it. No one can detail a shopping cart quite like me. Those little car-carts are always so sparkling and clean that people are probably expecting me to tap on some custom rims and add hydraulics. My son could run into his friends and hear them exclaim, “Dude! Sweet ride!”

But, despite my efforts, my kids still get sick. I hear it’s good for them to get sick once in awhile, because they’ll be stronger for it when they’re older. Well, good! Because, if that’s the case, my son will be the picture of perfect health when he’s an adult. Then he can shake all the hands he wants.


Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm Beautiful In His Eyes

Yesterday, my son climbed on my lap, held my face in his hands and said, “You are so, so, so, so pretty”. This was no ordinary compliment, considering it came from the kid who is usually commenting on someone’s most unattractive qualities.

It was also remarkable because I don’t feel pretty much these days. Granted, there was a time when I looked all right. But, what once was gangly is now pudgy, what was firm is now wrinkled, what was straight is now slouched, and what was smooth is now scarred. I work out, I take my vitamins, I try to eat right, I’ve even been sleeping better, but I will never have what I once did.

I’m at an age where a minute in the sun seems to add a new wrinkle, and when my dermatologist gets ahold of me, she chops moles off like she’s a butcher…always leaving mangled marks along the way. I rarely feel comfortable leaving the house without make-up, and more often than not, I’ll don a hat and sunglasses before taking the kids to school.

My hair never looks quite right, and clothes don’t fit like they used to. My bra deserves overtime pay for all the work it has to do. I’m a Mom, I’m nearing 40, I don’t have the time or energy it takes to make myself look attractive.

But, in the eyes of my five year old, I’m pretty…and that’s good enough for me.


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