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Why I write comical satire

Wouldn’t all the crap in my life be experienced in vain if I couldn’t share my family’s dysfunction with others so that they, in turn, might gain some consolation in knowing at least their lives don’t exceed the lunacy I encounter everyday?

Ho ho ho…or maybe not

The holidays are creeping around the corner and I’ve asked the kids to make their Christmas wish lists now so I can budget early. Yeah, I don’t play that “one night Santa miraculously visits everyone’s house and gives them everything their heart desires” crap. I tell my kiddos the real deal. Mommy and Daddy work hard 365 days a year to try to get you what you want, but don’t always deserve. Santa stories are for woosies.

Anyway, between a busted transmission and a broken refrigerator, it’s an easy guess the pickings under the tree will be slim this year. I instructed each child to make a list of their top ten, but expect a solid three they might actually receive. 

As for me and my husband,well, aside from the makeshift craft gifts our kids give us, we actually haven’t given one another more than three gifts each, Christmas or otherwise, in the last five years. Gift giving between the two of us has become like sex in our relationship – near nonexistent.

Raising three Democrats and one Republican

Well, not really, but this may end up being the case. In a house full of liberals, the baby of the family seems to be exhibiting early signs of conservatism.

She was mortified when she saw her older brother wear an I Love Boobies bracelet. I tried to explain the purpose of the Keep A Breast Foundation campaign, but she didn’t care. She felt the bracelets and shirts alike were inappropriate.

When she saw the advertisements for the new Tyler Perry movie, For Colored Girls (2010), she expressed her nine year old disappointment that the producer didn’t simply call it For African American Girls. I’m not kidding. I tried to explain that “colored” wasn’t necessarily a derogatory word, but again she countered with “it still isn’t right”.

At the dinner table she refrains from joining in some of our more potty mouth discussions. She says “we shouldn’t talk about those things at the table”.

Just last night the topic of gays and lesbians came up because she was reading my blog page out loud. She refused to say the word “gay”. I told her it wasn’t a bad word and asked if she knew what the word meant. She did and was  compelled to add, “that’s just horrible, mommy”. All I could think was, ‘Oh no, I’m going to have to sit this girl down a lot sooner than I expected and give her a  good talking to.’

I have no clue where some of her ideas are coming from, definitely not from our house, but even at nine she’s so strong minded, I just want to make sure she knows that while it’s okay for her to be conservative, she’s still going to have to learn to respect the way other people live. Wish me luck people because it’s not the easiest thing trying to rationalize with a kid. I may walk out of that discussion with questions of my own.

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November 9, 2010 Enter your password to view comments.

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Cruise Escapades

November 5, 2010 1 comment

First impression..why are there more Filipino workers on this boat than there are Filipinos in all of Austin? I kept expecting some guest to ask me for fresh towels or to take their order. And why does this ship resemble a 1970’s casino?

Gayribbean…no, I did not make that word up. While I was booking the cruise I was so concerned with affordability I didn’t realize I had booked us on a Gayribbean Cruise. That was the official name. A few hundred gay guys…I’m from San Francisco so it actually took me two days to notice. All good, it wasn’t a bad thing.

Eye candy…I seemed to serve as the eye candy for a lot of the black men on board and in some cruel circle of a joke many of the gay men served as my eye candy.

On using the bathroom…the first time we heard a ship toilet flush

one of the girls was supposed to be taking a shower. It’s a scary sound and we had no idea what it was. I had to send in my oldest son to make sure his sister didn’t get swallowed up by the ship.

Sail and Sign card…the ship ran cashless so you had to charge everything to your room key/Sail and Sign card which was linked to your credit card. My husband was so excited in the first 3o hours he spent $156.00 on drinks for himself. I took away his Sail and Sign card the second night and told him to find another way to be that happy.

Silly things we find amusing…while watching the girls swim on the boat my husband and I watched a four year old boy, who weighed an easy 70 plus pounds, go down the five foot tall mini waterslide at least three dozen times. Each time he slid down the entire front row of sunbathers would get drenched. His oblivious mother kept egging him on once more.

Hairy man contest…this was a real event. There’s nothing like watching heavy and hairy middle aged men, to be exact; a plumber, an A/C guy, an IT manager, and a UPS driver, gyrate shirtless to Dancing Queen by ABBA.

Hip hop dance class..throw on a jumpsuit, wear a pair of Adidas shoes with the fat laces, chew gum from the right side of your mouth, say you’re from Puerto Rico and voila! You have a certified cruise hip hop dance instructer.

Meeting people when you’re drunk…my husband’s first night on the boat he met a guy named Ted. They chatted it up, ran into one another several times, and we actually spent a day in Cozumel with him. It wasn’t until the third day he finally told my husband, “My name is actually Tay, not Ted. I didn’t realize I would end up hanging out with you so much so I didn’t bother correcting you, but I figured if you wanted to keep in touch you should probably know my real name.”

Catamaran sailing..on an excursion in Mexico we were provided with free unlimited margaritas, although they were completely watered down. Caught in the moment, I let my son have his first sip of alcohol. Just as he was taking a sip we passed another boat full of nude people. There was my fourteen year old sipping a margarita and looking at several sets of breasts and then some….talk about walking him into manhood. I tried to get him to close his eyes but he was not trying to hear me one bit.

Afterthought…being on a Carnival cruise line is a lot like being at a week long party on a vessel that resembles Circus Circus with lots of drunk people. We had a ton of fun, but next time around I’m saving up for a Disney cruise. It might be more family friendly.

Follow my rules

October 28, 2010 1 comment

I wandered into each of the girls’ rooms this morning and found that they had posted rules for each room. Here are the ones that made me smile.

  • When you step in my room, you live by my rules.
  • If you don’t like my rules, you better get out.
  • If you don’t follow my rules, well if you know my family by now, you should know you’re going to regret it.

I think this is what happens when you are growing up in my household, you confuse rules with threats. In my defense, the other rules were reasonable (clean up after yourself, no food, etc.) Well, at least my girls have moxy.  🙂

Why does it look like that?

October 25, 2010 7 comments

There’s nothing like buying a new pair of jeans to force you to realize what a fat *ss you’ve become. You find yourself standing in front of the neatly folded piles of jeans for at least ten minutes before you even reach for a pair.

Skinny jeans, boot leg, slight flare, dark wash, acid rinse. So many choices but all you’re concerned with is what size you should be reaching for. You want to grab the 5/6 but realize that’s the size you wish you were, so you start to reach for a 7/8 but remember you haven’t been that size for a few years, so now you start looking for a 9/10 but it’s on the top shelf and you have to ask a salesperson to help you.

Now it feels like a small production because the salesperson has to use a ladder to get your jeans and you start to think, “What if I’m wrong? What if I’m actually an 11/12 now? ” You don’t want to have ask the salesperson for help twice because then you’ll be pegged as one of those women in denial about your size. So in your most nonchalant voice you say to him, “You know, while you’re up there do you mind grabbing an 11/12 for me?” while doing your best not to let on just how much it hurts you to admit that out loud.

Finally with six pairs of jeans tucked under my arm I head off to the dreaded dressing room, where I think women do more self reflection than trying on clothes. I mean, why is it that the lighting in those rooms reveal parts of your body in a way that you just never notice when you’re in front of your own bathroom mirror? You’d think a retail store would want to encourage purchases by using lighting that compliment the shapely figure of all women, not just the perfectly shaped ones. Try dimmer lights Abercrombie!

Note to self: Start an average to plus size woman’s coalition against the inventors of those terrible dressing room lights.

I’ve learned to avoid looking in the dressing room mirror until I’m completely dressed, but out of regretful curiosity that day, I peeked behind my shoulder just as I was sliding the jeans over my buttocks. What a bad idea. All I could think was, “What happened? Why does my butt look like that? It looks so…deflated? And when did it drop? It used to be so damn perky.’

By the time I left the third store empty handed I was tempted to walk into a store that sold those new jeans claiming to enhance your *ss. Of course, after all I’d already put myself through mentally I couldn’t envision walking up to the bored looking sales kid and asking him to point me in the direction of the butt lifting jeans.

*Sigh* One hour later, still no jeans, and all the kids and hubby are blast texting me. I’m having a mid life crisis and all they care about is what time we’re meeting for dinner.

A teenager’s camping checklist

My almost 19 year old son went camping with a large group of his friends this past weekend. Of course, it was only 10 minutes away up by Lake Travis but still. This was my nightly text checklist for him.

  • Did you pack enough clothes? Should Mommy bring you more clothes?
  • Keep your butt clean, did you grab toilet paper from the house? Better yet just drive home if you have to do a number two.
  • Are you drinking? Stupid question.  Don’t drink and swim. Promise me.
  • No cliff jumping at night!
  • Don’t start a forest fire. Don’t let Ethan and them start a forest fire either.
  • Don’t share your sleeping bag with anybody..no girls in your sleeping bag or I will be very mad at you. Don’t make Mommy go there and tell some girl to keep her hands to herself.
  • Who is feeding you? You come home if you’re hungry.

I love you. Be safe. Mom.

By the way, he did drive home everytime he had to do a number two.

The lies parents tell…

When we first moved to Texas several years ago those ugly Croc shoes were very trendy. I abhor the things. They give me an itch to go clog dancing. So when the girls each asked me for a pair I told them no. They whined and complained that “everybody wore them, even their classmates”. I refused and finally told them that Asians don’t wear Crocs. Since there aren’t many Asians in Austin I figured they would be hard fetched  to prove me wrong. Besides at the time they were only five years old. Needless to say, they stopped asking.

This evening we were at the mall and saw the newest style of Croc sandals with fur. One of the girls stopped to admire a pair, but the other reminded her “Asians don’t wear Crocs remember?”

Oh no…

I think my youngest son’s new girlfriend might be a bit dense. I was cleaning his room and found a handmade card with big block letters that said, “To my favrite asain, I *heart* you.”

In the least, the poor girl is spelling challenged.

1-800-ALGEBRA SUCKS

Believe it or not, I actually like math, I’m good at it. At least when I’m completely focused on it, I’m good at it. But how many working adults with kids have the time to devote to locking down polynomial division and fundamental theorems? As it is I spend several nights a week up until the wee hours trying to teach myself what I didn’t understand in the last class.

I wish there was a 24 hour algebra hotline. I could call them and we could discuss rational functions and inequalities until I actually knew what I was doing. *Sigh* Next semester it’s business statistics. *Urgh* Maybe I should just change my major to theater.

Dinner at my house

October 19, 2010 5 comments

Dinner is a favorite time at our house. We have a wipe board in the kitchen and every week we post that week’s dinner menu. My husband is a phenomenal cook which gives everyone more incentive to look forward to it. Unfortunately, since the children outnumber the adults our dinner conversation revolves more around pop culture or kid gossip and less politics or current events.

Here are some of the funnier comments overheard at my dinner table.

Regarding Justin’s 5 million plus Twitter followers. “I think Justin Bieber could beat Obama if he ran for President.”

“I don’t care if you can’t help it, if you fart at this table one more time I’m going to kick your *ss!”

After my brother shared his Kahlua ice cream. “Mommy, am I drunk? Is this drunk? Oh no, I think I might be drunk.”

“Daddy, the dogs keep trying to hump eachother under the table.”

Our meatitarian to the vegetarian. “When Daddy’s not looking give me all your meat and you can have my vegetables.”

The week I tried to make only healthy dinners, this is the night I served only salad. “Mom, are we broke this week? Oh..OK..then where’s our real dinner?”

Same week. I tried to feed my Asian husband brown rice. “What the hell is this?”

“Aw crap, one of the dogs is peeing on my feet.”

This wasn’t even my kid. He was a friend of my son’s and apparently never ate canned meat before. “Wow, this is good. What’s this called again? Corned beef? And they sell it at HEB? Is this Filipino food?” No kid, this is actually family on a budget food.

When I asked why one of the kids didn’t come down for dinner. “We tied her up. She’s still trying to get out.”

Now I realize my family leans a bit towards off-color humor, maybe too much for your taste, but silly as it may sound for an educated adult to say, still, I’ll take that potty humor any day over the grown up stuff. I spend all day, and several hours in the evenings in class, talking about reports, deadlines, equations, and logistics. There’s a time and place for everything and if my kids prefer to laugh at dinner, then I’ll take that. Every chance I get I’ll choose the sounds of their laughter to wrap up my day.

Top 5 Lessons of Marriage

September 28, 2010 9 comments

Here are the top 5 lessons I’ve learned being with the same man for 16 years.

1.       You will contemplate divorce seriously once or twice a year. A couple times you will even go so far as to pack your bags, skim through the yellow pages for an attorney, or mentally start a getaway plan and calculate the division of assets in your head. Eventually you change your mind and a week later you forgot what you were so worked up about anyways.

2.       Sex stops. You go from frequent to infrequent and then finally to exclusive special occasions only, which is far less than the ten federally observed holidays. Each of you will go through the mourning period separately but then gradually get used to it.  I have heard that some couples rediscover it after the kids are all out of the house. By my count that means I have quite a few more years of abstinence ahead of me.

3.       If you don’t figure out early on that the grass is actually greener on your side and not the neighbors – you’re screwed.  There are always going to be those “picture perfect” couples that make you feel like your marriage must be in bad shape or that single friend who has the freedom you’re envious of. Better believe that picture perfect folks are usually full of sh*t and being single isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Stick to what you got. Cherish your own marriage, with all of it’s imperfections and inconveniences.

4.       There is an extremely thin line between love and hate. You can love someone more than yourself and still manage to hurt him or her with a contradicting callousness. You’ll promise never to hurt one another but you will and if you’re lucky you’ll forgive each other and stay because unconditional means exactly that. You learn to forgive the unforgivable just when you thought you couldn’t.

5.       Relationships have a shelf life. If you don’t work on it daily, yours will expire. This doesn’t mean you have to buy extravagant gifts or celebrate everything under the sun, just show up. Be there. Listen. If my husband eats dinner with me every night and listens to me gripe about work or gossip about people he doesn’t even know, I’m a happy girl. In return, I’ll go to that overpriced sports bar and watch a game that bores me to no end just to keep him company.

In short, marriage is hard work. Sometimes it’s boring, other times painful, and most often downright tiring but if you can find the right person it really is worth it!

Rolling  credits for the night.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju8Hr50Ckwk&ob=av2n

Pipe dreams

September 23, 2010 1 comment

This has been a real clusterf*@k of a week. Sunday I wanted to cry, Monday I did, Tuesday seemed hopeful, Wednesday I was spent, and today’s only Thursday.

These are the bad days, my low points.  All the things I want for myself seem ridiculously out of reach and I get to thinking, ‘Who the hell am I kidding? I ain’t never gonna’ be more than what I am right now. Everything else…is just a pipe dream.’

Weeks this crazy I worry I’m not seeing enough of my kids. So sometimes when I get home late from class I tell them to sleep in my room, all four of them. It seems silly, but I just like to hear them breathing while they sleep. It’s comforting knowing I’m breathing in the same air as they are, it reminds me why I keep those pipe dreams.


Rolling credits for the night…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mQnhZMJMNo&feature=related

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September 12, 2010 Enter your password to view comments.

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