Archive for category random

Because of me, we’ll never have nice things

I don’t drive very often anymore, perhaps for good reason.

Somewhere, not too far from here, my husband is sitting in his cube not-so-quietly cursing about my latest debacle.

As I was coming home from ShopRite yesterday afternoon, I was trying to console Jack in the backseat and ended up clipping a curb as I tried to make a right turn. I ended up blowing out the tire and Jeff had to come and change it—in the rain. Ugh. I feel so awful because not only is this an unexpected expense to replace the tire, but it’s now become a huge inconvenience because the tire is a “special order” since it’s a newer car.

flat-tire-clip-art

No matter how many times I say ‘sorry,’ I know Jeff is so disappointed/outraged/livid, which makes me so sad.

Nevermind that I would’ve liked to grocery shop sans toddler—just once—or the fact that I could’ve walked to the grocery store today instead of Sunday or that maybe I should’ve begged Jeff to come along to help me with errands since I was exhausted to tackle it on my own, or that I could’ve taken a different route home, no matter how you dice it, it happened and noone was hurt–just the tire of our newish car.

I obviously make mistakes all the time and I have no problem admitting it, but damn, why must these catastrophes happen at times like this?

Taking trains, unexpected expenses, eyesore for a spare tire AND we leave for vacation and Kris’ wedding in a week— all while trying to hatch a plan on what to do about the “Little Old Lady’s House” that we’d like to buy (more to come.) Grrrrr. Why now!?

So, maybe when and if we do move to the suburbs (if Jeff doesn’t divorce between now and then) we can forgo getting a 2nd vehicle and just get me a bike instead? Clearly, I have no business having a mom mobile (or desire for that matter)

No, for real.

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Who needs a McMansion when life is just as grand here

In our expansive abode (heh.) there are so many areas that are off limits to the boy:  the bathroom(s), kitchen and our bedroom. Lately, the sneaky guy he’s become, he’s learned to finagle his way in to those off-limit areas.  The minute you open the child safety gate, he’s right behind you shadowing to make it in before that gate closes.  The instant he hears the bedroom doors swing open, oh, he’s chanting, “Go, go, go!”

This boy, I swear.

But truly, the holy grail for him is the bed.  It’s bouncy, it’s big, it’s comfy and yes, it’s off limits.  But he’s persistent and swift. Oh, and he’s cute, too, which is probably why he gets away with playing on the bed.  Actually, when it’s time for me to do my workout on the Wii, I let him “read” or watch tv on the bed.  I can see him from the living room, so that helps with him being out of my way when I do my lunges on my balance board. You gotta love the advantages of living in a small space! ha!

But tonight was such a special night.  Jeff came home early to relieve me while I went to a press event for LeapFrog.  The boy and Jeff had a few hours on their own again, something they can’t seem to get enough of, well, ever. I came home early enough to help make dinner and we actually ate TOGETHER!!!  That’s huge, dudes.  Huge!

After dinner and our usual routine, Jeff headed off to the east wing (aka as the bedroom) to call grandma.  All I heard was, “go, go, go” which meant Jack, of course, had to follow his daddy so he could play on the bed.

I was able to enjoy a few short minutes to catch up on emails and then I heard the pitter patter of his little feet coming my way.

He pushed my laptop down, looked me in the eye, pointed to the east wing, grabbed my finger and led me to where he felt I needed to be: with him and daddy.

He giggled, we laughed and we awww’ed.

For such a little dude, I love that he ‘gets’ the joy of the three of us being together, even if it was something as simple as sitting on our disheveled bed-turned-playground in our tiny apartment.  As if that wasn’t enough, Jeff and I hugged and smooched, but like he does now, my very protective Jack wiggled his way in between our faces to make sure he got my full attention.

No hugs for mommy unless they’re given by Jack.

So mushy, so sweet, but seriously so frickin’ cute.  Contentment at its best.

With all the worries in our world—Jeff’s long work weeks, when/where are we going to move and etc.—forgotten for just those few moments, I asked Jeff, “Do YOU remember what was like life before this kid?”

“I can hardly remember,” he said.

Neither can I.

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Big squirrel, little squirrel

As much as city squirrels gross me out, they actually provide loads of entertainment and plenty of curious looks from Jack. I thought I’d share this cute video that made us smile. So, here’s a fun YouTube video that I found via Cookie Mag.
Because teaching the little ones how to make things work never gets old…

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Quarantine, hand soap and hysteria

We’re knee deep in tissues, Boogie Wipes, hand soap and nasal aspirators over here.

Nope, not the pig flu. But, Jack is under the weather and it sucks as usual.  Lots of tears, clingyness and still no sleep. We’re quaranting ourselves since we obviously don’t want to scare people who are already freaked out and running around in surgical masks.  If things don’t get better, or if his temps continue to soar, we’ll play it safe and squeeze in a doctor’s visit.

So, when we’re confined at home like this all day and not getting out with the rest of society, things get so tough.  I know you know what I mean.  The clingyness gets to me as I’m sure my pecking away on the computer gets to my sick little buddy.

I feel so helpless knowing that I can’t fix my kid and his nose, but what’s worse is hearing and reading about the swine flu madness.  Every website. Every Tweet.  Every single tv show…even Martha Stewart was interupted by a swine flu briefing.  Meanwhile, as many people have pointed out, there were 83 deaths in 2008 from the “regular” flu.  It sort of puts things into perspective.

Wash your hands people.  Have tissues onhand.  As stores are selling out of hand sanitizer (just ask Jeff about this!), don’t forget, soap and water does the trick.

Stay healthy everyone and if you’re sick, stay home for crying out loud.  Even if it drives you nuts!

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Playgroup, packing and more

I’m still in disbelief that it’s already Friday!  I mean, I’m so glad the end of the week is here, but it totally crept up on me.  Even though I got so much accomplished this week, here at home, I feel like I haven’t done a thing but the absolute minimum–feed, wipe, play, feed, sleep.  I guess it’s good I get a break for a week.  I desperately need it.

So, yeah, Jack and I are going on a Spring Break of sorts.  We’re headed to Va. Beach to visit with family. Though I’m excited Jack gets to see family, quite honestly, I’m not very anxious to derail our regular routine and be away from Jeff for a week.  We love you family, but it’s tough.  Let’s see…our last Va. visitors were um, when Jack was born a year and a half ago.  It’s time for some of you to visit us!! :)

But alas, I will pack up our lives to do our part to make sure Jack sees his grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts.  I have become a pro at packing all of our stuff to go to Va.  I can almost do it with my eyes closed (not really).  But I do wait until the last minute because that’s what I do.  I suppose that’s how I always manage to forget something of importance.

Tonight, we’re heading off to help celebrate Jeff’s great uncle’s birthday in Pa. this weekend, and from there, we’ll hitch a ride with Jeff’s parents back to Va.  It’ll be a fun weekend, I’m sure.  Next week should be fun as well.  I have no car until Jeff comes to join us next weekend, so that should limit the driving around town so much.  Perhaps we’ll get visitors, instead of being the visitor? Maybe??

Regardless of who visits us, one thing’s for sure, it’ll be awesome to have a week of uninterrupted sleep.  Even though Jack’s been consistently sleeping through the night as of late, while we’re in Va., I can’t even hear him when he wakes up, and since my mom wakes up at 4am or whatever ungodly hour anyway, she is always up and at ‘em with the toddler alarm clock.  Spring Break has a new definition and it is, quite literally, a break!

Aside from sleep, I’m going to take the time to map out things for the Next Kid Thing.  Launch week is almost all set, and I’ll have those details to share later today.  Oh, and about playgroup:  it’s Friday and that’s the highlight of our day!  haha. nothing more on that, really—-just that Jack runs around like a lunatic, as if he’s never seen giant plastic kitchen sets and noisy plastic play lawnmowers.  Oh wait!  He hasn’t because he’s so deprived of toys. ;)

Ok, I’m off to pack but will be back with another post later!  Stay tuned.

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Bars, bars and MORE bars

It’s no big secret that we’re huge commercial fans, here in our house.  But it’s those AT&T ‘More Bars in More Places’ commercials that always get us talking.  The Sweet Pea commercial?  Love them.  The Techno Twins? Um, even though they’re not really part of the ‘bars’ commercial, they crack me up.  The new long distance boyfriend and girlfriend/picture mail one?  Been there, love that.  But the most recent one, with the guys launching the new brewery, has us rewinding and yelling BARS, BARS and MORE BARS!

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Well, okay, I’m the one cheating by just yelling bars.   Bars, as in more coverage in more places, not the happy hour, beer and shot-filled kind.   Jeff and I play a game where we point out all the bars in the commercial that are made out of mundane objects–baguettes, vases, beer mugs.  The bars, that represent AT&T’s tagline, More Bars in More Places, are sometimes ever so subtle that each commercial is a new game.  Does anyone else do this or are we the only nerds that are so easily amused?

Yes, these are our new bars.  A few years ago, we were that couple that memorized our local watering hole’s beer specials for every day of the week.  Long gone are the days of walking the block and half home after having said beer specials.  These days, we’re counting bars on those damn AT&T commercials—while having beers and enjoying it, of course!

Funny how times change…

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I’m not the nanny

Finally, there’s no windchill to speak of, the sun has been shining and I can almost ALMOST put my long puffer jacket away for the winter.  Because of the glorious sunshine for the past few days, I put my writing projects aside and dressed the kid and myself and walked the 1/2 block to our neighborhood park.  My hair, I’m sure, was in a ponytail,  slightly disheveled with thanks to my toddler stylist who has taken a liking to smooshing my hair when he is demanding my attention.   I  didn’t bother with makeup or finding a fashionable outfit for that matter;  I wore my broken in green hoodie for the past few days.  What’s the fuss?  It’s the park.  At least, that’s how I see it…

Since the weather was so nice, the park was packed.  During the work week, our park is quite the demographic spectrum.  Mirroring the UN with so many different ethnicities, the nannies and caregivers tend to socialize together on the other side of the park, many of them watching their kids from a distance.   Many of the stay at home moms hang out together, socialized and chatted about preschools or whatever was the topic du jour.

And then there’s us.  Jack, my fair-skinned, dark haired, bi-racial kid and me, an Americanized Filipino gal, born and bred on the east coast.

From a distance I could hear and understand 3 Filipino nannies speak in Tagalog about their kids.  And within earshot I could hear the stay at home nannymoms talk about their spring break plans.

I noticed a candidate for a council person campaigning amidst the moms, clilpboard in hand.  Perhaps my relationship to Jack was so ambiguous that while I was on the wobbly bridge helping my daredevil child, the candidate looked like she was going to approach me, but quickly turned around to completely avoid me, once we made eye contact.

Dude, seriously, I’m not the nanny.

I really need this nanny t-shirt to avert the awkwardness.

It was like deja vu.  Well, almost.  Just like high school, I felt like I stuck out—except this time, kids and babies are involved.
Because my hometown is a Navy town, and once considered one of the fastest growing populations for Filipino-Americans, for the most part, I grew up in a diverse area.  My high school at the time, however, didn’t reflect this at all.  I wrote an article in my junior year about multiculturalism and can still vividly remember one of the staggering statistics.  Of about 2,000 kids in enrollment only 2% were of Pacific Islander of Asian descent.  That was it.

As one of the “token asian kids,” I often joked (and still do) about my cultural differences, but in the end, I think I adapted ok and went on to embrace this multiculturalism.  With thanks to my family, particularly my grandma for being the cultural ambassador and awesome storyteller, I learned so much about not only the filipino culture, but about our family in the Philippines.  It’s looking like Jack’s first hand cultural exposure first hand is all on us.

So now, as a mom to a bi-racial kid, even with a bi-racial president in office and mixed race families in the mainstream news more often than not, I’m already feeling the conflict and confusion that lies ahead.  I can already hear the questions that Jack might ask about why mommy is brown and daddy is white, so what does that make him?  (off-white? light brown?)  As we’re in the beginning stages of preparing our move to the suburbs, (which I’m dreading every step of the way, btw) we’ve been checking out various towns.  Our equation to find a suitable town in which to settle isn’t as easy as we thought.  In addition to proximity to the city and to Jeff’s work, plus having a vibrant community and great school system, naturally, diversity has become an important characteristic in our search, at least to me.  I’m so grateful for having gone to wonderful schools, surrounded by such wonderful people, but at times, I craved to see more people that looked like me—which is where we’re at now.

Ok, so, I felt insulted to be mistaken for the nanny–yet again.  Though people are often so nice to say that Jack is a “perfect mix” of both Jeff and me, there will always be negative experiences involving ignorance.  “Is he yours?”  “Are you the mom?”

So instead of lashing out the evil eye and harboring negativity from that experience, I’ll continue to strive to fill Jack’s world with a broad spectrum of culture and diversity—you know, beyond Handy Manny, Diego, Dora and Kai Lan!  But thank you cartoon network execs for embracing other nationalities.

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Taking recycling to a whole new level

Someone’s been finding even more pleasure by playing with mundane household items. This time, he’s taking recycling to a whole new level, namely by making an old tissue box a hat…

tissue box boy

and sharing it with daddy, too.

daddy's new hat

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

beerEven though we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day weeks ago and had our favorite Corned Beef and Cabbage over the weekend, NYC is prepping for the huge parade today.  I contemplated taking Jack into the City today for the parade since it’s expected to be beautiful, but alas, I have a lot of work to do today.  We don’t have much planned today for the actual St. Patty’s Day, maybe a trip to the library and the park.  If you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I hope your day is filled with lots of green beer, Guinness, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and of course, the luck of the Irish!

And by the by, even though many people are Irish for a day and choose to celebrate with drunken debauchery, it’s easy to forget why St. Patrick is being celebrated in the first place.

Whatever you do, I hope you’re wearing lots of green while doing it!

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WW: Freeflowing chocolate goodness

I already  made it perfectly clear on my Facebook status and on Twitter, but I’d like to reiterate: I think all media functions should feature giant chocolate fountains.  Enough said.
Free-flowing chocolate goodness s'mores

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