Tuesday, April 26, 2016

For F*ck's Sake

Let me start by saying I am WELL AWARE my children go to bed earlier than most. I do not need anyone telling me this. I KNOW. My kids need sleep to function. Period.

E2 is on spring break this week. E1 is not. Super annoying, but not the main focus of this post - more of a side note if you will.

Today, E2 had a manicure (yes, she spoiled), a play date with a friend, rode her bike in this Texas heat and humidity, had another play date at a park and then went out to dinner! FULL FUCKING DAY.

E1 had school, the afternoon play date at the park, and then out to dinner.

After our fun dinner with friends and by fun I mean I had to basically tell E1 what she could eat because it is Passover and if she damn well argued with me, I'd turn this car around....shit, I have become my mother.

We get home, do bath time, books, and prayers. Of course E1 falls asleep immediately. She is a super sleeper. It is truly amazing. It is her very own super power, for real.

E2 sings, talks, rolls around, etc before she falls asleep.
Tonight was a whole new ball game that ended with me shaking the Melatonin bottle so hard it spattered all over the counter and floor for which I made my husband clean up so I could go drug our asshole four year old.

This kid spent TWO HOURS coming in and out of her room, talking to shadows, singing the Passover songs, begging for me, begging for her daddy, going to the bathroom 4x, getting books, trying to put on jewelry which I still cannot figure out where the hell she found it, asking if it was morning, asking what animals we would see at the zoo......OH MY G-D! For a child with speech delays she sure has a shit ton to say when it is time to sleep.

I went up and down those damn stairs so many times, I actually logged into My Fitness Pal to see how many fucking calories I burned. (none)

All I wanted was to watch Blindspot which makes no sense to me because following tattoos is just a ridiculous story line and to watch RHOBH because they are about to throw down at the reunion!

Clearly E2 had other plans for my evening.

She is now asleep after her Melatonin cocktail and after I literally took every damn stuffed animal out of her bed- except for bunny. I might swear like a sailor and get aggravated like a teenager starting her period, but taking her bunny - well, that's just cruel and unusual punishment.

Nighty night E2 - It is TV time.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

To The Mom That Prayed With My Daughter

I saw you after the performance this evening. You did not realize all this time that E1 was my daughter. "She is yours?" is a typical question when you are green eyed and blonde and your daughter is Hispanic. I responded, "Yes, she is mine."

I had seen you earlier this week volunteering at school, working so lovingly on all the costumes for the first grade play. A play that is basically a Broadway show to those involved. It is a huge event and the students know it.

This big deal of a play was an even bigger deal to E1 as she had a song to sing on stage with only one other person. E1 has expressed being nervous for months. We helped her work through it each time she brought up her concerns.

Tonight, you approached me and told me E1 had been apprehensive and you really hoped I would not be offended and you really hoped I would not mind, but you simply asked E1 if she believed in G-d and when she responded, "Yes ma'am" you said, "Then let's pray."

I asked E1 about your prayer. She reiterated to me that you asked her if she believed in G-d and when she told you yes ma'am you said, "Dear G-d. Please give me courage on the stage. Please give me strength to know I can do it. Please help me to remember to breathe. Amen."

E1 remembered every word of that prayer. E1 remembers your friendliness. E1 will forever remember that while she is one of two Jewish students in the entire first grade, praying to G-d is universal. Believing in something bigger than yourself is universal. Praying is something we all do.

I am not offended, not in the least. I am touched that when I could not help my daughter, you were there not only with a warm heart, but with a reminder of faith. We always tell E1 that G-d is everywhere and to believe in the power of prayer and tonight after that prayer she sang her little heart out and had a huge smile.

I know why you were hesitant in what you did. I saw the look of relief on your face when I said I did not mind. I get it. Public school. Separation of church and state. Perhaps there are people who would be offended. Maybe someone reading this right now is offended. I, for one, am appreciative of your kindness.

So to the mom that prayed with my daughter, THANK YOU.

Friday, April 15, 2016

It Won't Happen To Me

When something happens to a child and you see the Facebook post or the internet article, you think to yourself one of two things. 1) Thank G-d that did not happen to me or 2) That would never happen to me.

I admit, I have thought "That would never happen to me." Wrong? Yes. Things happen and they happen to everyone. 

When E1 was four years old, she went missing. We were at a pumpkin patch and this place had rides, etc for children. E2 was napping in the stroller, the hubs went to stand in line for lunch, and E1 asked to play at their playground. I of course let her and stood in the place where she went in to the jungle gym. I watched her go round and round and up and down until I could not see her anymore. I did not panic at first, I called her name, I asked children if they had seen her, I continued to call, now scream, her name. Now, I panic. I RAN to my husband pushing him the stroller saying, "E1 IS MISSING."  I ran around and around and around screaming her name.....nothing. I got a hold of myself. Nothing positive comes from hysteria. I stood in one spot and began looking. There- There in the distance was my four year old. Running towards her, screaming her name, she turned around and smiled and then in that moment began to cry. My brave four year old found a mommy with a stroller and was giving her my cell number. The take away: Make sure your child knows what to do if they get lost and even with a watchful parent, things happen. Stay calm.

When E2 was two years old, we were playing horsie. She was on my back and I was crawling around on all fours. She fell off. She began to SCREAM. At the time, she was extremely speech delayed and could only say "boo boo." I had no idea where. She could not hold a lollipop, a juice box, my hand. As E2 SCREAMED like she had been stabbed in the eye, I calmly put E1 in the car, called my husband and my mom, and drove to the E.R.. It was there after x-rays, that they popped her elbow back in place and she stopped screaming. I had never heard of nurse maid's elbow before. The take away: stay calm and even if you are there, playing with your child, injury can happen.

When E1 was five years old, a week after the above incident, she fell off the neighborhood playground structure. Blood was EVERYWHERE. It was pouring out of her mouth, lip, chin. E1 was HOLLERING in pain. The other moms at the park began to scramble and try to help. I stayed calm. I told E1 to quit crying and to my surprise, she did. I put E2 in the car, called my husband and mom, and drove them to the dentist. With E1's shirt drenched in blood, they cleaned her up, gave her laughing gas, and assessed her teeth. They told me to go the E.R.. She would need stitches. E1 received two stitches in her bottom lip, which she bit through, and seven stitches under her chin, which she split open, and then we were sent home. The take away: stay calm, assess the damage, kids will fall.

When E1 was seven years old, as a family we went to our elementary school playground. We met another family there. Four kids, four adults. One fall. With all of us there, E1 fell from the zip line and landed oddly. With another emergency room visit, followed by an orthopedist visit, E1 wore a cast for three weeks to heal her broken elbow. The take away: No matter how many adults are there, things happen. Kids get hurt.

Last week, E2 was finished with her speech therapy and while I spoke to the speech therapist about the session (standing one foot away from my daughter), a six foot tall bookshelf fell onto E2. Luckily it landed just right and she was not hurt. She was not climbing on the furniture. E2 was taking a toy off the shelf and for whatever reason, it toppled over. She was VERY lucky. The take away: secure your own furniture and ask, no matter where you are, if their furniture is secured. Oh, and stay calm.

Just today, I rear ended a car. It was an accident. E1 began to panic when I firmly, but calmly told her to get out of the car while I swiftly unbuckled E2. The hood was crushed and something was hissing. I moved the girls as far away from the car as possible and again, called my husband and mom. We are all fine, but E1 was scared. I calmed her down and explained to her the take away: Accidents happen.

The point of all this? Accidents DO happen. It can happen to you. There is no judgement from me in your parenting. I have learned to not judge. Shit happens. Things happen to the best of parents. Life is messy. Life is an adventure. The best thing you can do is stay calm so your children stay calm. Nothing positive comes from being hysterical. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Won't You Be My Neighbor

3:45 pm

The girls are putting on their shoes so we can leave for E1's tennis lesson. I open the back door to tell the dog to come inside and he is pouncing and digging in a corner. Crap. He has something. I yell his name, he does not stop. I keep yelling his name and the word 'no' over and over again, but the pouncing, digging, and now barking continue.

E1 knows the drill. My animal lover begins to cry and wonders what he has killed. Just this week he has already killed two lizards and I thought E1 was going to hold a funeral for these things. Lizards gross me out. I am convinced they are dinosaurs. For real. So gross.

3:55 pm

We MUST leave. I yell the dog's name one last time and mutter some expletives. Wagging his tail, holding his prey, he starts running to the backdoor. I SLAMMED IT SHUT. HELL TO THE NO. That son of a bitch killed a turtle and wants to bring it inside.

E1 is now really crying because the dog killed a turtle. "A TURTLE?!? WHY?!? HE'S A BAD BOY!" Poor Apollo. He does not know any better. He protected us from this turtle.

E1 and I discussed survival of the fittest. We discussed the meaning of it, why it is necessary, and of course the circle of life. Unfortunately for E1 there was no beautiful Mufasa, Simba, Nala, or anyone else from Disney to sing a song about animals killing each other.

Now it is really time to leave for tennis and the fucking dog will not let the damn dead turtle go. So with as much bravery as I can muster, I put a bowl of water outside for the dog and leave him there with his damn dead friend.

When we return from tennis, I can still hear the idiot barking. I first think, "Shit he killed something else." Nope. He has put the turtle in the middle of the yard and is just barking at it. Moron. Dumb dog.

E1 wants to go outside. E2 follows. Apollo chases them with the turtle in his mouth to show them his work. He is so proud. E1 climbs to the top of the dome, yelling and E2 is frozen. CRAP. I, again, muster up bravery and scoop E2 up and bring her inside. I, again, yell at the damn dog to put the fucking turtle down. HE WILL NOT RELEASE.

A few minutes pass and Apollo, now HOT and DEHYDRATED, decides to leave the turtle and come inside. Cue the phone call to the neighbor. Neighbor comes over, gets turtle, and leaves. Bless the neighbor.

Jewish moms are crazy, but we do not dispose of reptiles.

*Turtle update: According to my neighbors, they placed the turtle at the bank of the lake (there is a lake across the street from us) and by the time they finished dinner, the turtle was gone. MAYBE he swam to freedom or maybe a vulture got him. I don't give a rat's ass as long since it is out of my yard.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

365 days

Today I am 39......or as my brother said, "365 days away from 40."

Life is short. We all hear that, but what does it mean to a person? For me, it has meant change.

At 27, when you get diagnosed with Leukemia you learn the meaning of life is short. When you bury your still born son, you learn the meaning of life is short. When your best friend's parent dies, you learn the meaning of life is short.

Each time I experienced a traumatic life altering event, I would literally stop to smell the roses, stop bitching about traffic, stop complaining about stupid crap....for about a month. In all honesty, life is filled with annoying shit and I did, like most people, continue to fall back into the pattern of complaints.

I am not sure if was the adoption of our girls, coming into my mid to late 30s, maturity, or the accumulation of life events, but the realization of daily events, good and bad, lasting just a day has helped me to embrace that day.

One day. One day only lasts one day. It is this that I try to remember.

For me, today is a present. In the past year I have made a conscious effort to be myself and lose all the unwanted pressure to be someone else, to behave differently, to pretend. I am loud, opinionated, sarcastic, swear way too much, crazy, honest, loyal, loving, thoughtful, generous, kind, and have a laugh and smile that do not quit. I am happy.



I can no longer wait for my day to be better. I can no longer wait for some other person to make a decision that will make me feel better. I can no longer wait for my spouse, my relative, my friend to make a choice or rise to the expectation that I have set for them. As I embrace myself and my personality, I am also learning to embrace others for who they are and learning to expect only what they can give.

It is my choice to get upset or mad when something does not go as planned or someone says something that I am not expecting. It is MY CHOICE. Somewhere in the last few years it dawned on me the majority of my time spent pissed off was because I chose to react this way. The person was not malicious in their intent. The traffic jam is just traffic, and again today is just ONE day.

People often comment that I am strong because I have weathered some storms. People often comment that I am always laughing or smiling. At 39, 365 days away from 40, I will tell you I CHOSE to be strong. I CHOSE to laugh and smile.

This is my life. I only get one and I'll be damned if I let someone else ruin it. I CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.

Every day is a new day.
Every day is a do over.
If yesterday was shitty, there is always tomorrow.

I know some days are harder than others to make this choice. And some days, the world and people around me are too much to handle. On those days, I fall asleep to some reality show on Bravo knowing tomorrow is a new day.

The next 365 days I promise myself to continue down this path. To find some joy each day. To laugh. To smile. To be happy. To live each day the best I can and when I make a mistake, say sorry and look forward to tomorrow.

When 40 comes next year, I am hoping to be even happier, even stronger, and even better - that is my choice.

Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and birthday love. I know I am blessed to have you all in my life.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Not Alone and Thankful

Times, they are a changing.
Kids, they are not.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to open our home to many of E1's friends for a big play date. There were 13 girls here, including E1 & E2.

At 7 years old, girls watch the preteen shows on Nickelodeon, play on the iPad, play video games, and talk like they're 12 years old with their "OMG" and "LOL" and a bunch of other crap that makes my skin crawl.

My daughter does not do any of this (at least not around me). She watched some of the shows on Nick and I deleted all of them within a month. We have one iPad for the house and it is the original iPad (no camera, etc). She has limited TV time, limited computer time, limited iPad time. What is unlimited is our playroom and outside and books.

Whenever E1 has a play date, I am cognoscente of the fact that our playroom still has dress-up clothes, a pretend kitchen, a barbie house, dolls, strollers, and a bunch of other "baby toys." We also have board games, legos, and other "older girl" toys. I know E1 can blame E2 if someone asks why she still has so many little kid things, but the truth is E1 still plays with all of it. She is only seven. Here and there a child will come over and snub the playroom and then the majority of the play date is spent outside because I explain I am not turning on the computer or iPad and I have no idea how to work our gaming system because my husband is the expert in that area. I die a little each time inside when this happens. Why do they have to grow up so fast and why am I the only one that thinks seven is just that, seven.

I am a parent at war with today's ever changing technology and until yesterday it seemed as if I was alone in this war.

Yesterday: 11 girls came over to play. The scene: Our playroom, our backyard, our street.

For three hours the girls played outside swinging, climbing, running, digging in the sand, jumping rope, riding bikes, kicking balls, doing gymnastics, catching lizards and frogs, and using their imagination.

For three hours the girls played in our playroom with every stroller, every doll, every dress-up outfit, the kitchen, the princess figurines, the fairies, the cribs, the barbies, and every other "baby" toy we owned. The elaborate pretend play must have been amazing because the 'mess' it created took an hour to clean up.

For three hours the mothers sat outside and chatted and periodically one of us checked to make sure no one was bleeding.

For three hours there was not one cry, not one whine, not one fight, not one ounce of drama.

Maybe it is the 'burbs.
Maybe I stumbled upon a unique group of mothers and daughters.
Maybe seven year old girls really do want to be seven, use their imagination, and just play.

I used to feel like I was setting up E1 & E2 up for some sort of technological failure. That their lack of computer and iPad skills would hinder them. I now know my girls will be more than fine and I know we are not alone in our quest for an old school childhood.

Their imagination and communication skills are far more important to develop at this age than swiping left.

I am so thankful for yesterday. It renewed my faith in preserving childhoods and it made me grateful for all the children and for their parents.