Monday, October 22, 2012

Evening Prayers

It's never dull around our house. Tonight's prayers truly proved that. Their prayers reflected their amazing personalities. My kids never cease to amaze, inspire and amuse me. This is what Sara prayed for - "Oh, thank you,God. Thank you, God. For everything is beautiful and everyone is equal. People are kind and generous. The weak and sick are strong and healthy. Oh, thank you, God." This is what Christian prayed for - "Hey, God. It's me, Christian James Velasco Boy Spiderman. You know me. Please stop watching me when I'm being naughty or getting in trouble. Ok? Oh, and I don't want to get boo-booed again so you can watch me so you can keep me safe. Thanks, God. Bye."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Am A Mother, Not A Hero

I will never be called calm, stoic, brave, or resilient. Especially when my kids are involved. I am also not a hero. I will call in reinforcements without blinking an eye. When our daughter was born, my husband had to travel for work. I immediately dialed a friend who would be too nice to say no. She stayed with me, helped with diapers, midnight feedings and a bout of mastitis. She even extended her trip when I asked. Mastitis was a recurring theme in my life for about 6 weeks. It tied in nicely with my post-partum depression. I was lovely to be around. And I did NOT want to be alone. I called in my working mom friends, family, even my father. Basically, if someone was dumb enough to answer my call, they got pressed into service. I was not doing it for myself. I was doing it for my baby. I was not going to pretend to be a strong do-it-all-myself woman at the expense of my child. Through the years, I have had to call on neighbors and family for splinter removal, rides, meals, errands, even company at the E.R. with a newborn suffering seizures. Last night, while my husband was out of town for work, our 4 year old fell and split his lip wide open. This is an understatement. He decimated his lip. They had to sedate him to repair it. They should have sedated me, as well. Exhausted, we left the E.R. and headed home. My first phone call from the car was to a friend with a list of groceries I needed delivered the next day. The list included 3 items. When she arrived, she had 4 bags of groceries - drinks and straws for the patient, a get-well balloon and stuffed Spiderman, meals for the family, as well as pop and wine for me. She also made 2 extra stops - one to buy a squeeze cup so he can drink without ripping the stitches out and a second stop for a McDonald's Diet Coke for me. She also laughed in my face when I offered to reimburse her. My next phone call was to another friend to watch Christian so I could run Sara to school and he could stay on the couch, drooling and relaxing. My third call was to another friend to drive Sara home from school. I was like Oz ordering my minions around. I did not hesitate to call on any of these amazing women. And they did not hesitate to run to my aid. No one can do it all. No should even try to. Several friends asked why I kept Sara at the E.R. with me. I asked her several times if she wanted me to call someone to take her home to our house. She wanted to stay with her brother and me. I know that anyone I called would have gladly come to get her. I would have made that call in a heartbeat if it was needed. Today, another friend showed up on my doorstep with Moe's for lunch. Anyone who knows me knows about my slight obsession with Moe's. Yes, I have the app on my phone that says "Welcome to Moe's". She even stayed at chatted. She sympathized with me. I didn't have to ask her to bring me food. She heard what happened and knew I was stuck at home with an injured and drooling boy who was content to lie on the couch. She just showed up with food, a smile and friendship. Just what the doctor ordered. I am lucky and blessed to have amazing friends in my life. I hope they know that I would do the same for them. Day or night. I probably do not deserve the amazing women I have the honor and fortune to call "friends" but I am grateful beyond words to have them in my life.

The Phrase of the Day is.... Sedation Repair

Two words I never, ever wanted to hear..... sedation repair. Especially when it needs to be done to/on my 4 year old. I make Shirley McLaine look like a calm, rational, reasonable and stoic mother when my kids are sick, hurt or injured. Put them in the hospital and I pretty much lose it. Tonight, Christian busted his lip wide open. He was running a million miles an hour and forgot to stop, tripped and fell. JFK bled less than my son. I had blood all over me. Christian was covered in it, too. I threw some ice on it, put him in the car, grabbed his sister from drama class and flew to the ER. I may have driven the wrong way down a one way street, but, it was convenient. Ninety minutes in the E.R. and he was still bleeding. He kept it covered with the ice so I couldn't even see how bad it really was. The doctors examined him but his lip was so swollen and bloody they could not even tell what was going on or how much damage had been done. He may have lost a tooth. I started to pass out and remembered that Sara was in the room with me and I have to actually keep it together. They "suggested" a "sedation repair". Sounds good. Can I have some sedation, too? Even after the repair, my poor baby's lip looked like a mangled and bloody version of Bubba's lip from "Forrest Gump". The medic used the term "hamburger". Not helping, dude. This my my baby we are talking about. I don't want to see it, much less hear it discussed in such graphic terms. Throughout this, my son was remarkably calm. It must have been a combination of fear, pain and exhaustion. After 3 hours in the hospital, we headed home, way past everyone's bedtime. I cleaned up Christian, who was still drooling blood. Sara kindly offered to put herself to bed. I gave her a grateful hug and kiss. I have to explain to Christian that he cannot sleep with his treasured stuffed animals because they cannot be cleaned. My heart broke as he looked at me with his huge, tired blue eyes and started crying. "Who am I going to cuddle? I need something soft to cuddle so I can sleep." Like the poor kid has not been through enough tonight. He looks like Rocky Balboa at the end of every Rocky movie. Now the poor guy cannot snuggle with his animals. But I know if they get bloody and smelly that there is no way to clean them. And we all know that you cannot "replace" a lovey. I hugged him and put the animals on the table next to him so they can keep an eye on him. Poor kid, he was so exhausted that he just sighed, snuggled me and crawled into bed. I know he will recover quickly. I know kids are resilient. I, however, am a high strung mom. I may never recover.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Drop Off Dummies

I miss the big yellow school bus that used to stop right in front of my house to take my daughter to and from school while I waved from the window in my jammies. Now, I have to get up, get dressed, brush my teeth and hair, put on shoes and a coat. I also have to load 2 kids, 2 backpacks and 1 lunch bag into my car and drive Sara to school. At parent orientation, the school was very clear. Drive slowly, wait your turn, do not attempt to engage the teachers in long conversations and do not get out of your car. Simple and easy to follow rules, right? Wrong! I have been cut off, cut in front of, had people try to bond with the teachers who are trying to get kids out of cars and into school. I have also been waiting behind a parked car without knowing it. These are probably the same people who are stunned when they get to the drive thru and they have to pay for their food. I am not the brightest bulb in any box but even I can follow these simple rules. I stay in the car. I say hello and thank you to the teachers. That is it. I also don't put the pedal to the metal in the parking lot or squeal my tires. I do not know where these moms are going in such a hurry at 8:30 in the morning but, if you value your life, do not get in their way. They WILL cut you off. Montessori schools place a lot of emphasis on respect. Well, the teachers and students do, anyway. I just stay in my car, drive slowly and hope to get out of the parking lot with my car, my kid and me all in one piece.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Road Trips and Church

Paul is in Paris. Paris, France. The City of Lights. Gay Paris. The most romantic place on Earth. Where am I? I am in Indiana with 2 kids. He is there for work. He is presenting a paper to a group of important and intelligent people on something econ, finance, strategy, something important. Since he left, I have attended a parent/teacher conference for Sara (always amusing) and endured a 70 minute temper tantrum from Christian. Yesterday, the kids and I drove 4 hours round trip in the rain to visit a dear friend at college in Naperville, IL. I'll give the kids props. Neither kid whined or complained all day. To give me props, they watched movies and ate snacks. We ate pizza for lunch, bought Sara some "fashion boots", Christian a new pack of Lego crayons and we all ate cookie dough. Yup, some genius found a way to made edible and delicious cookie dough without raw eggs. If you are ever in Naperville, IL, check out an adorable store called "Cookie Dough Creations".
Christian fell asleep on the drive home (yay!). Downside? He peed his pants. Since Paul is out of the country eating Brie, I have no way to perform the superhuman feat of taking apart a car seat, cleaning it and reinstalling it safely. So, I do the next best thing. I spray it with Febreeze, throw a bunch of towels in it and hope for the best. While I am hosing off Sir Piddle Pants, Sara tried to take out her ponytail but it gets stuck. I POLITELY ask her to wait a couple minutes so I can clean her little brother. I race upstairs and shower Christian. It takes no more than 4 minutes. I hear blood curdling screams. I have never screamed like that - not even when I gave birth to a 10.5 pound baby. She comes upstairs, sobbing and clutching a ponytail holder, a huge fistful of hair and sporting a substantial bald spot. I feed the kids dinner and put them to bed. My dinner consisted of some of the leftover cookie dough. I earned it. Today was a bright new day. Sara went to CCD before church. Christian and I were going to meet her there. As I head upstairs to shower and make myself presentable for the Lord, Christian approaches me and says "I have to tell you bad news". Usually his bad news is pretty entertaining and minor. Nope, my little child of God pooped in his underwear. He has NEVER done that. Not even during potty training. Ok, change of plans, clean him up, do laundry and shower both of us. We actually made it to church on time. I "gently" reminded the kids that they will be rewarded if they behave in church(not just in Heaven - but at Krispy Kreme). Since Paul has been gone, my kids have had cookie dough, pizza, donuts and cookie dough. I have survived 1 temper tantrum, 2 potty accidents and 1 accidental scalping. They need to go back to school tomorrow. For everyone's safety and sanity.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Children of God

I'm waiting for us to get kicked out of church. When Sara was little, she would raise her hand to ask questions and comment during the homily. She sat through Mass in the hopes that there were donuts afterwards. We took Christian to church as an infant because when babies fuss or misbehave, everyone thinks it is cute. He got older but no better behaved so we took turns taking Sara to church. She even sang in the choir, even though they rejected her suggestions of more Justine Bieber and Taylor Swift songs. Lately, we've been bringing Christian to church, hoping that God can instill some sense, discipline and order into the kid. Even God is struggling with that challenge. We even enrolled him into the Childrens' Liturgy of the Word. When Fr. Bill called the children up, he hesitated for a minute. Then he raced up the aisle ONTO the altar. Fr. Bill, fearing he was losing his job to a vocal 4 year old, caught him, blessed him and turned him around. Christian proudly marched down the aisle waving at everyone. Hoping he would return filled with the Holy Spirit, we settled back down for the rest of Mass. Peace was short lived. All the little kids had returned but Christian. We turn back and see him wandering the church looking for a nice family to take him home. We quickly reclaimed him. When it is time for the offering, Fr. Bill invites the small kids to bring theirs up to a large basket. Christian runs down the aisle waving a dollar bill like he is in Vegas. We have to send Sara up to bring him back. Now, he is being dragged back to our pew against his will. And he is NOT coming willingly. At this point, I cannot tell if people pity us or judge us. Maybe they were just praying for us. When he sits back down with us, he spends the rest of Mass shooting fake spider webs at the people behind us. God may have to come up with some new and improved commandments if we keep bringing Spiderman to Mass.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pimp My Ride

I am not a car gal. I know nothing about cars, ABS, GPS, MPG, cylinders, FWD, fuel efficiency, etc. I know where to put the gas in. I know the color of my car. That's it. I get my oil changed when it beeps at me. Same goes for fuel. I get the car washed when my husband asks me what color my car is supposed to be. I get a new car when my lease is up. Selecting a new car involves my husband asking me a bunch of questions about what features I'd like on my new car. My demands are limited to color, magic slidey doors and a DVD player for long trips. Anything else above and beyond that and my brain freezes up. I look at Paul with a Scooby Doo look and say "huh" until he gives up and decides. Last Friday, Paul called me and said we could turn in my current car for a new car. The salesman called to ask me a bunch of questions that made no sense to me. I explained that all I cared about or understood was color selection and magic doors that open with the press of a button. He explained that he had a cool new upgraded version of my car with a magic door for the hatch, a rear-view camera, and a "cool box". Now I am intrigued by these Jetson-style features. The camera allows me to back up without backing into or over things (like Paul's car). The cool box, he explained with a sigh, is a small storage area that will keep water or pop cool. Seriously? Am I being punked? My car can have a permanent stash of chilled Diet Coke at the press of a button? At this point, I am ready to sign over my husband's 401k plan for this pimped-out ride. Reality check. These fun gizmos cost money. So I chat him up, explain why I am deserving of such necessities, despite what my husband might be telling him on the other line. I am not hopeful. If Paul thought I could control a horse and buggy, he would have me driving Amish-style around town. I give him a beauty pageant contestant speech about how the world would be a better place if I had this car. No one is more deserving of this tricked out car. I wait by the phone for a few minutes, anxiously waiting to hear news of my fate. Will I be driving a horse and buggy from now on? Or will I be cruising around town in my super-fly, tricked out mini-van, sipping Diet Coke while listening to XM radio? Paul calls me back (finally). He informs me that we got the super fancy car with all the gadgets that Paul will have to show me how to use. Then, almost fearing the answer, he asks me, "What exactly did you say to the salesman? Because he practically gave away the car." My lips are sealed. And my ride is totally pimped out and awesome.