Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Never ending summer

Hey, anyone else out there feel like the summer is NEVER going to end? In March, when I signed the kids up for summer camp, and opted for five weeks, that seemed sufficient. We'll have a week of vacation in North Carolina, that covers six weeks. Isn't that nearly the whole summer? What's left over -- two, maybe three weeks? Three and a half weeks isn't very much. Summer camp is so expensive.

You know what's more expensive? A lobotomy. After three and half weeks of having the kids at home with an infant who is being sleep trained while I try to work and secure larger accommodations for this family, I am approaching insanity. What the hell was wrong with me? Three and half weeks is way, way too much, especially since by this point in the summer everyone we know in Brooklyn is on some terribly exciting vacation terribly far away. Playdates have dried up. Babysitters are scarce. Its just me and the kids, totally sick of each other.

At present count I have one and a half weeks to go. I think I can I think I can I think I can

Monday, August 27, 2012

Harsh critic

The other day, I made the unfortunate mistake of looking at myself int he mirror. I was washing my hands in the bathroom and I nearly gasped at my reflection.

"God," I muttered, "I really look terrible."

Primo was in the living room and overheard me. He concurred.

"No offense Mommy," he said, and thats a phrase which never bodes well, "But you do really look terrible, when your hair is two different colors."

He is referring to the fact that my roots have grown out a good inch to two inches.

"Primo!" I exclaimed,

"I said 'no offense' Mommy," he defended myself.

Two days later, I found myself in the salon, getting highlights.

"Can you make them brighter this time?" i asked the stylist.

My son has given me a complex.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

You're not invited to my birthday party

It would be impossible to imagine how many times a day I hear the words "You're not invited to my birthday party." A lot. I'm guessing a  million. Its Seconda's new way of saying, "Go to hell. I deplore you." OK, maybe just, "I'm five years old and have no control other anything, so I'm seeking to empower myself however I can."

What makes this proclamation especially ridiculous is that her birthday is not until FEBRUARY. Nonetheless, it is never to early to begin drafting an invitation list.

I, personally, am never un-invited to the birthday party and that's because though she is moody, she is one smart cookie and knows full well that without the Mommy Machine powering the party, there will be no party. Her brother, however, is totally dispensable.

"Fine!" she'll yell, if he doesn't give her the action figure she wanted to play with, "You're not invited to my birthday party."

What happens then makes no sense but at the same time is totally unsurprising.

"WHAT?" he bellows, "MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY! Seconda said I'm not invited to her birthday party! Its no fair! I want to go!"

"Honey," I whisper, "you know full well you will go to her party. She's just saying it to make you upset."

"Seconda," he then asks, "Am I invited toy our party or not?"

"Not," she assures him.


"You are BOTH driving me crazy."

Yesterday we went to the playground and Sec made a friend. It took approximately thirty seconds. She showed the girl how to do a trick on the hand rings and then they pushed each other a few times on the swing. Done and done.

Sec ran over, "I made a friend. She's my best friend. AND she's invited to my birthday party."

My daughter already knows the power of the list at the door. So Hollywood.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I drank the Katy Perry Cool-aid

My kids wouldn't know a top 100 hit if it hit them in the head. We don't really listen to the radio and our time in stores where such hits would be piped in on repeat play is limited. But a few weeks ago, their pristine pop-free musical tastes were suddenly sullied when at summer camp, they were taught to sing the Katy Perry hit "Firework."

They loved this song. So much so that Seconda asked if we could download it onto the iPod for her. We agreed, though I grumbled a lot about it to David.

"Ugh." I lamented, "I can't stand this peppy, chirpy garbage."

Then we were stuck in the car for two days and I had no choice but to sit and listen to every word Katy Perry crooned. And what I discovered was . . .

I love that freaking song.

I LOVE it.

It took at least four or five listens but finally, my annoyance abated and soon, I started singing along. Then I turned up the volume and paid close attention to the lyrics, which my children were singing right along.

"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag/ Drifting in the wind/ Wanting to start again? "

Why yes, Katy Perry. Often, I do feel that way.

"Do you ever feel, feel so paper-thin/ Like a house of cards/ One blow from caving in?"

I do. I DO sometimes feel that way. Tell me more. Tell me what to DO.

"Ignite your light and let it shine"

Yes, yes, then what? THEN WHAT?

"And own the night like the fourth of July!"

Can I, Katy Perry? Can I really do it? How do you know?

"Cause baby you're a FIREWORK! Come on show them what you're worth! Let them go oh, oh, oh and you shoot across the sky, sky, sky."

At this point, I began to sob. So moved was I by Ms.Perry's inspiring words.

"She's right!" I told David, "We ARE fireworks! All of us! What a beautiful message for our kids. What a beautiful message!!!"

"Mommy, why are you crying?" asked Seconda.

"Because Mommy just loves this song so much. And I feel bad because I judged Katy Perry unfairly without giving her a chance. Now that I gave her a chance, I love what she's saying. You are a firework, honey, and Mommy always wants you to feel special like that. Never hide who you are. Let your colors burst! Make 'em so high high high as you shoot across the sky sky sky."

We listened to the song approximately twenty times in a row. And we just kept on singing. Well, not David. He appreciated the message, but wasn't didn't drink the Katy cool-aid the way I did. Yep, I drank it down. Got bit bad by the Katy Perry love bug.

Matter of fact, I feel like I could use a little listen right now. Start the week off right.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Playing favorites, with my boobs

After a rocky first two weeks, where I got treated to the usual bleeding nipples and agonizing latch-on pain, breastfeeding with Terza has been going swimmingly. And thank God for that. When I remember the trials and tribulations I went through with Primo, I think I must've been a martyr to keep going. I just don't think I'd have it in me with number three to endure that kind of mammary difficulty. And since Seconda, who was a champion nurser from the start, ran into a rough patch at about three months (a rough patch which turned out to be acid reflux), I'm now very attuned to Terza's nursing and on the lookout for any telltale signs of trouble.

But while I've been on the lookout for all these special nursing culprits who are thankfully absent, I've neglected to do some very basic things, like keep up with which breast I've just fed the baby off of. In the chaos of the day who can really remember which side the baby nursed from, and really, what's the difference? 

The difference is, I now have one mammoth boob and one teeny tiny one. I've been favoring one side over th ether, leading with my right as it were, and now my left breast is half the size, and totally under-producing. As if the first few months don't give you enough freakish physical problems, I now have a lopsided rack. My grandmother pointed this out to me the other day.

"Listen, I don't wanna tell you wat you doin but you gotta one big breast and one little one," she pointed out.

And she was right. 

Now I've got to see if I can un-do the damage of my favoritism, see if I can equalize my lactation situation. Guess I'll have to dust off the old pump. Since I know what awful fate awaits these boobs once I wean, I can at least have them equal and symmetrical for when I lose a cup size and get all droopy. I mean, David did wed me and my rack for better and for worse but I can help a guy out and not go all Amazon on him if I can help him. Wish me luck. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Drive a mile in my shoes

At 60 miles an hour, this minute-long video of our road trip gives you a mile in my shoes. Lots of fireworks going off. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Grown-up Business

We were on hour four of our never-ending road trip to North Carolina when Primo saw a U-Haul truck driving beside us.

"What does "u-haul" mean?" he asked.

"Oh, it is a moving truck company," I explained, "You pay money to rent a truck and then you load up all your furniture and boxes and things in the truck and move it to your new house. Mommy and Daddy have used it a few times before we got a lot of stuff and decided to use movers to do it for us."

Primo was silent a full thirty seconds, considering. Then he said, "That is grown-up business I am not at all interested in."

It cracked me up, because he really weighed the issue, considering it from very angle, to see if there was any minute amount of interest he could coax out of the subject before concluding that no, this was one matter that was totally, one hundred percent devoid of interest.

And frankly, I agree. It is boring grown-up business and I am not at all interested in it either.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Road Trip

Sorry for the radio silence but I've been tied up the past week "vacationing." Maybe its really obnoxious of me to use the word "vacation" with quotation marks because after all, I did just spend a week in the stupendous Outer Banks, lounging in the pool and sitting seaside while the kids hunted for clams and made malted sand balls. We saw wild horses and admired the moon path on the ocean and got sand in our butts and salt water in our mouths. That part was all vacation without the " ".

But GETTING there was another story altogether. Driving to North Carolina could not be considered a vacation even with extra quotation marks. The drive was supposed to take around 9 hours and instead took 14. Fourteen hours in a vehicle where the car seats are packed so tightly Primo can't even buckle his booster seat belt because it is underneath Terza's infant car seat base and only David, a highly trained specialist, who can basically detach his hand from his wrist to reach under, can handle it. Fourteen hours with children suffering from volume immodulation disorder (and regrettably, the volume is immoderately high, not low). Fourteen hours of fighting over whose turn it is to play 20 Questions, which song we should listen to, which DVD we should play on the DVD player that David and I bought thinking it would eliminate, not instigate fights. Fourteen hours of "I'm hungry!" and "I'm car sick!" and "She hit me!" and "You're not invited to my birthday party!"

And that's not even including the baby. 

The baby was actually the only easy going personality in the car, and for the first day of traveling, when we went to DC, and hit only a little bit of traffic, the baby was actually very smiley and patient and accommodating. But on the second day, when we checked out of our hotel in DC and headed straight into the heart of darkness known as Driving To The Outer Banks on Check In Day, well, she was just fed up with the whole scenario. And who could blame her? But the waves of infant screams emanating from the back seat were enough to cause permanent mental damage on all of us. 

The second day of driving was just a clusterfuck in general. Traffic everywhere. Diaper Explosions constantly. We had to stop every ten minutes, either to change a diaper, breastfeed the baby, console the baby, bring a kid to the bathroom, get some food or just escape from total insanity. So, although we only drove or 9 hours that day, we were on the road more like 12. The worst part was the total gridlock that we faced before we crossed the bridge to cross over to the island. The cars just wouldn't move, for hours. Finally, we crossed the bridge and I made David stop so I could nurse the baby and then I refused to get back in the car. 

"We can't go on," I said. 

"Nicole," said David, "we're like 15 miles away."

"Yes, but with the traffic, that's like another hour. I can't. I just can't."

"So what are we going to do?"

"We will just have to stay overnight here. In the parking lot to Kitty Hawk Elementary School."

"What is Mommy doing?" asked Seconda. 

"Mommy's having a nervous collapse," I said.

"What's that?" asked Seconda.

"She's just feeding the baby." answered David, "Give her a minute."

Of course, I got in the car and took deep breaths for the last hour it took to get 15 miles. And when we pulled into the driveway of the rented hours, twelve hours after leaving DC, my in laws said we were just in time for pizza. 

"We ordered it two hours ago but it just got here, with all the traffic."

And just as I was beginning to recover from the drive down, our vacation came to a close and we had to brave the drive back. But that is a lamentation for a another day.  Today, I'm just luxuriating in stretching my legs.