Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

April 26, 2007

after winter comes spring

Filed under: Stuff — by mvmommy @ 4:11 am

It seems that after any sickness where I have been incapacitated – I come back with a vengeance. That is how I know I am feeling better. I can’t just make my way slowly into good health – I am either ALL sick.. or ALL better.

Thus, today I have been decreed : All Better.

I have morphed from a sleeping sloth into a cleaning Tasmanian devil. Anything I have touched, I have subsequently washed. Any room that I entered, I have aired out. Any floor I have walked on, I have swiffered or scrubbed. Towels – clean. Sheets – clean. Piles – gone. Toy room – organized.

Life as we know it has begun to bloom again. It sure feels great to back to the land of the living. Even my kids are loving me more. Today we played a lot of games that involved hugging and tickling. Plus we used paint brushes with buckets of water outside to ‘paint’ the fence.  I think they missed me.  I know I missed them.

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April 25, 2007

Who’s in charge here?

Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 3:22 am

When the Captain of the Household gets taken out by strep throat, the main question is who is the next in command?

Can the First Lieutenant handle the pressure of jumping rank, and stepping in? Will the troops follow orders properly? Do we need to call in for reinforcements?

Well, it’s safe to say that in our household, this Captain is completely replaceable. In fact, I might even be unknowingly out-ranked by my husband. He can step in and bark commands like the best of them. And things get done. Kids fed. Kids bathed. Kids played with. All in all – no need for the Captain of the house at all. I can go back to being sick in bed.

However, there are a few occasions in which I am required to rise out of bed and make the arduous trip out of my room to get more Kleenex, find more cough drops, refill a water glass, or scrounge up some saltine crackers. It is in these moments, I find a few things amiss in the household. Things I cannot be bothered with – because I am too sick to care – but definitely noticed.

Like the fact that when Andrew got up from a nap, I heard Nathan ask him… ‘what would you like for a snack’. This was adventurous of him. No limiting options. Just putting it out there. And wouldn’t you know it, Andrew asked for chicken nuggets. Sure enough, chicken nuggets were served! I pretended not to notice. Just because I was curling up and dying in a corner… didn’t mean that the kids couldn’t whoop it up with the Best Dad Ever.

Or what about dinner. Last night’s menu included: hot-dogs, pizza, pretzels, green beans, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream. Way to sneak in the green beans buddy. I bet they didn’t notice that when you were applying the whipped cream to their hands and letting them shove it directly into their mouths.

And let’s not even talk about clothes… other than to say… why was my almost 3 year old, wearing my 1.5 yr olds pants? To be fair, it’s a 2T vs. a 3T… but the guy looked like he was wearing capri pants for goodness sake!

Definitely a few days with Super Dad has riled the troops up. I am pretty sure that they aren’t going to like it when the Captain of Doom comes back full-time. I may have to bust out the whipped cream as a bargaining tool.

April 24, 2007

got the fever?

Filed under: Stuff — by mvmommy @ 6:22 am

well apparently I do!

For the last few days I have been up & down with a mild fever. This has been accompanied by my throat swelling up to the size of my head. Which if you do the math, it means that I cannot swallow anything, not even my own spit. Try have a throat that size  & sleeping. I bet you can’t.

I blame the gym. The gym got my kids sick. Now they are getting better and I am sick. Damn’d gym. It’s going to be the death of me.

Luckily, this bout of sickness was timed on a weekend so my husband could watch the kids as I stayed curled in the fetal position in my bedroom for 48 hours. Why? Because I was waiting for my Monday 8:00 appointment with the doctor, so that she could tell me I had strep throat, and prescribe me drugs.

Being sick is no fun anymore. Pre-kids you could milk it for a while. You could lie in bed and watch TV and having your significant other bring you food or drinks while you told him all your ailments. He would nod and rub your head, wishing he could take your aches away. You could then roll over and watch Oprah and eat your lunch from bed in your pajamas. Being sick was sort of like being at the spa. You weren’t in a hurry to leave. In fact, when you started to feeling better… you might even have called into work and added an extra sick day..  so that you could clean the house and get stuff done that you have been meaning to do.  You know, because weekends were all about the fun stuff… not to be wasted on being sick & doing chores.

Post-kids, being sick is really about minimizing your sickness – and maximizing your coping skills. You can’t call into work sick. Who are you going to call? Yourself?
“Hi self, can you watch the kids for me, while I lay down for a bit?”
“Sure, no problem.  While I am at it, I will do your laundry, cook your dinner, grocery shop, and fix the washing machine that just decided to break”.

Thanks self. I knew I could count on you.

If you are lucky enough to be sick on the weekend so that your significant other can watch the kids… he is not going to be babysitting you too. He’s can’t check on you every 10 minutes to see if you need a water refill. In fact, it’s all he can do to keep the little munchkins from your room so that they don’t catch the plague as well. And if you want to complain about your ailments, you had better call your mom… she is the only one who will listen and not hang-up on you.

All in all, after becoming a mother, being sick has lost some of it’s glory. If I think about it, I don’t remember my mom ever being sick. That is probably because she didn’t have the time to be sick while running after my sister & I. My poor mom. I am sorry.

Mom, I promise if you are sick now, I will come over and take care of you.   Can you come over and take care of me too?  I could use some chicken soup, a cold head compress, and a nice head rub.   Mostly can you just look like you feel really sorry for me.  I think that is all I need.  A little sympathy.  It can go a long way while I wait for this penicillin to kick in.

April 21, 2007

Peace

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 5:37 am

When I tuck my kids in at night, they look so peaceful. Their quiet breathing, their rosy cheeks, their sweet faces wiped from worry & hard play. I always want to take a picture, but I don’t want to wake them.

Today, on the way home from a trip to Sacramento, I got a rare moment of day light when my kids were sleeping. So I took their pictures. They never sleep in the car, so I enjoyed my time watching them sleep and listening to them breathe.

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April 20, 2007

Bikes, Trikes & Tykes

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 4:22 am

Lately we have been spending a lot of time outdoors. Justin’s first words after breakfast are “shoes” and “outside”. We are outside and raring to go by 8:00. Andrew is really into everything that has to do with spring & summer: running through the sprinklers, planting the vegetable garden, raking the leaves, looking for bugs, digging for worms. The list goes on. But clearly, outside is the place to be these days.

Our most favorite thing to do outdoors is ride our bikes. Justin has a big-wheel that he loves. He just scoots along as fast as could be. In fact, he could ride those push cars before he could walk – so at this point he’s mastered them and is pretty fast. I have to run to keep up with him. Andrew just learned to use his toddler bike with training wheels. So he is no slow poke either. He always asks for his helmet and then tears off down the sidewalk, while yelling “Mommy, look at me!” He is so proud of himself. And I am too! Riding your first bike is a BIG deal.

So off we go, up & down the street for hours. It is so much fun. There is a little court that I can let them ride around in, where I know they will be safe. I sit at the end – to watch for traffic – and they just have at it. Round & round in circles they go. Laughing & chasing each other. Having the best time just being brothers.

They go explore everything together… which is not limited to ramming into curbs and popping over sidewalks. Sometimes Justin will get stuck somewhere, and Andrew will go over and help get him un-stuck. Every now and then Justin will lose a shoe, and Andrew will make sure that I help him get it back on. Justin will follow Andrew anywhere and has no fear of speed. So often he is the one leading the charge down a steep slope and around a corner that almost has him tilting over by the sheer force of gravity.

They have found the steepest driveway in the court, and scoped it out as their bike ramp. 100 times a day they will climb up it, and then zoom down at breakneck speed. Justin literally starts pushing the big-wheel to get the most speed possible, and practically launches himself off the curb every time. At the end he yells WWWWEEEEEE and gives me this huge adrenaline grin. Then he turns around and does it again.

It just cracks me up. This might be my new favorite moment with my boys. I don’t have to ‘parent’. I can just enjoy watching them have fun, and be a part of it when they want me to join them. The best part is that I can watch them learn how to be brothers: how to get into trouble together and how to help each other out of trouble when necessary.

During those biking hours I couldn’t be prouder of my two boys. I often wish that people would walk by and see my two dare-devils tearing around. I would love to brag to someone about how fearless Justin is. Or brag about how amazing it is that Andrew can ride a bike. But for now, I will just share the moment to the Internet. Thanks for listening.

April 19, 2007

togetherness

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 4:30 am

Lately my kids have been developing what can only be called ‘brotherly love.’

It’s been fantastic. I love just watching them from a distance to see what they will do.

Sometimes Justin will be stuck in a corner, and Andrew will go over and help him out by moving the offending toy. Or other times, Justin will be riding his bike but it got stuck. So Andrew will help him out of the ditch. Likewise, Justin will bring shovels over to Andrew so that they can dig together. And he often will share his toys upon request from his big brother.

Today, however, they gave me a laugh. Andrew had thrown a bunch of paper on the floor when he was practicing using scissors. Before he could play with his other toys, he was told that he had to pick the paper up. Justin had been coloring nicely with the paper remaining on the table, up until that point. He then watched Andrew being forced to pick up after himself & immediately dumped all of his paper on the floor too. When I asked him to stop – he wouldn’t – until it was all on the floor. Afterwards, he immediately got down off the chair and started picking it up like Andrew. He handed me each piece until the floor was cleaned up.

Thick or thin. Good or bad. They are clearly sticking together.

Oh the trouble they are going to get into! I am imagining high school parties when Nathan & I aren’t home – and two ‘innocent’ faces when being questioned. Justin will charm me in order to divert my attention… while Andrew will be sneaking out the keg through the back door. What have I done?

April 18, 2007

Strategy worked!

Filed under: Stuff — by mvmommy @ 9:22 pm

Last week I reported my frustration with American Idol and the never ending saga of Sanjaya. I also mentioned my next voting strategy, should Sanjaya not be voted off. This week my plan ‘Evict Sanjaya’ was put into place. And to my great surprise and satisfaction… this week he got voted off! I can’t believe it. All my reality TV dreams have come true! I can watch TV on Tuesdays without the irritation of ridiculous hairdo’s and smug looks at the judges. I am planning on taking full credit for this.

I voted for a total of 39 times last night. Yes, you heard it here. I am not embarrassed. I turned into a 13 year old girl with the phone clutched in her hand, trying to make sure her voice was HEARD! Nathan at one point told me if I didn’t put the phone down, he wouldn’t watch the show with me anymore. So I did what any dedicated fan would do. I dialed the phone while I had it buried under a pillow in the couch (thus he couldn’t hear the beeping… and I could keep on with my mission). (yes, I can dial by feel & don’t need to look at the phone to do it – it’s a skill)

Here is how my votes went down.

Everyone but Sanjaya got 5 automatic votes.

Blake got 10 votes because I am in love with him.

Melinda got 8 votes because she’s the best.

And weird-eyes got 6 votes because even though I don’t particularly like him… I had to be fair. He did better this week than normal & deserved his props. Extra vote for you big guy.

All in all…39 votes against Sanjaya.

Ironically, I now feel guilty. He looked so sad tonight to be voted off – that he actually endeared himself to me. It was the first bit of real emotion that I have seen from him. So here’s a toast to Sanjaya. Thank you for providing Shannon & I the fodder for many email conversations. Thank you for providing the blogging community many entertaining tidbits which resulted in many hilarious posts. Thank you for your hair-do’s… they were definitely a blast from the past. Thank you for making Simon stunned into silence on multiple occasions. Thank you for smiling, because it’s nice that you didn’t let people get you down. And thank you for spicing up the season and giving us something to talk about. I am sorry I didn’t like your singing. Hopefully you won’t hold my voting against me when you make your millions and my kids want to buy your CD’s.

A field trip for mommy

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 5:19 am

The other day I was going to the new Lowe’s in Sunnyvale to look at their flower selection. On the way there we passed a Fire station with a yellow fire truck outside. Andrew immediately noticed it & wanted to go see it. So I told him, if he was good while I was shopping – we would go visit the fire station and see the firemen. Brilliant, impromptu plan. I was patting myself on the back for my excellent display of mommy-skills:

flexibility (since we still had to get home and start cooking),
listening (not just hearding Andrew in the car to do all my errands),
hands-on-learning (seeing up close is always better than books)
social awareness (talking to firemen can teach you something about your community)
and general fun for everyone.

All in all, I was feeling pretty good about myself and so was he since we were going to do something HE asked to do.

After a successful shopping trip, we pulled around the backside of the fire station, parked, started walking towards the building and WHAM…. that’s when it hit me. I had walked right into the middle of a Chippendale’s strip tease.

God must have been rewarding me for my good behaviour… because there in front of me were about 8 of the hottest firemen I have ever seen. Seriously, I was so dumbfounded that the only thought that was running through my mind is …. ‘I am not wearing my wedding ring, and they are going to think I came to hit on them.’ I was trying not to stare, while I had two children hanging off each arm… but it was impossible. If they were casting a show on firemen based upon their physique – those men would have won. Hands down.

There I was in the middle of their apparent gym area – turning red from my toes to my head. I am pale – so I am sure it was obvious. I remember stammering something about can we see the fire engines. And then thinking, was that sexual? I don’t think so. But I can’t think right now & they are all staring at me & smiling. And why are they continuing to do their sit-ups half naked? And why are lifting about 500 lbs in front of me like they were on Muscle Beach? And what was with that guy that never stopped jumping rope… just jumped closer to me to talk? Were they trying to kill me?

Thankfully, one nice fireman took pity on my inability to handle this much unexpected testosterone in one place… and led me inside to the fire house and showed my kids the trucks. I recovered nicely, until he offered to show me where they sleep. It was then I decided that I had had all I could take without doing or saying something inappropriate in front of my children. So I did what every good mother would do. I thanked him, insisted on going back through the gym for one last look, stared at each and everyone of those fine firefighting men, and told them to keep up the good work. And I meant it.

I encourage every mother to take her kids to visit the Sunnyvale fire house … you know, it’s for the kids.

April 17, 2007

what a day for a daydream…

Filed under: Stories — by mvmommy @ 4:10 am

This is the song in my head as I lie on the grass with my eyes closed. I am in my bikini getting a suntan. I hear the water of the pool next to me. I hear the laughing of my college roommates close by. I am peaceful and want nothing – nothing other than someone to bring me a Margarita while I lay here basking in the warmth of the sun.

Suddenly a shadow crosses my path. And I hear someone saying:
haaaaaaahhhhh shhhhhhh haaaaaaaaahhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhh
Sounds like snoring. I open one eye.

Two little faces are looking down at me. Andrew says… “whatcha doing mommy?” Justin keeps pretending to snore, while giggling at me.

I am not on grass. I am on my concrete steps leading to my backyard.

I am not in a bikini, because that is a joke after two kids. I am in my shorts and a sports bra.

The water I hear is not the pool… but instead the washing machine behind me, which is attempting to clean the paint from dirty fingers off my just ironed new shirt.

And the laughing of my college roommates, was actually the laughing of my NEW more permanent roommates. The little imps had just thrown sand all over the porch that I had just swept up.

I opened my eyes to my smiling kids’ faces. Andrew took that moment to inform me: “Mommy you need sunscreen.” He said it very seriously, but definitely with a touch of smart-ass-ness that comes from his father or grandfather.

Sure enough. I do. After 15 minutes in the sun on a beautiful spring day… this very-white-stay-at-home-out-of-the-sun-mom was already sunburned.

If my kid is smart enough to know I need sunscreen… and smart aleck enough to say it to my face … then he’s old enough to start blending me some drinks. Now where was that Margarita?

April 16, 2007

the gym wants me to be fat

Filed under: Parenthood — by mvmommy @ 6:02 am

Every month I pay my YMCA membership dues.  It happens automatically.  They just charge my credit card.  I have it built into the budget… so it’s almost like paying for toilet paper.  You pay for it & flush it down the drain. 

Why?  Because do I go every day? No.  Do I go every week? No.  Do I go every month? No. 

I used to be great about it – that was until Justin got separation anxiety.  BIG TIME.   They had to come get me after 9 minutes.  That pretty much sealed the deal on me getting to work out.  We stopped going when it was clear he wasn’t going to ‘get used to the gym’. 

Now he’s older, and has started severing the invisible umbilical cord.  This is great!   So I say – let’s get back to that gym.  Money’s a’wastin’.   And there is precious baby fat that I would like to part with. 

So off to the gym we go.  I bring the trusty Pacifier in case all hell breaks loose and they need to bring in the big guns.   Sure enough.  After a few test runs… Pacifier inserted into mouth… work out is able to be accomplished.  YEAH!

However, just when that happens… my kids get sick.  Why?  Because of the germ infestation that is called ‘the YMCA childcare’.    At first I thought it was a fluke.   So I waited until Justin was better to go back.  But then Andrew got sick.  So I waited until he got better.  But then he passed it back to Justin.  So three weeks later… we try to go to the gym again.   Clearly, I am losing lots of weight, since working out one time a month is the optimal way to do it. 

We go to childcare.  Pacifier inserted in mouth.  Workout accomplished.  WHAM.   Kids sick again.  Seriously.  No joke.   This time I wait about a month for them to do the merry-go-round of germ passing.   

Back at the gym this past Thursday.  Sure enough…. my kids are sick again by Saturday. 

What the HELL!!!!!    Don’t they sterilize anything there?  Am I the only mother who keeps my kids home when they are sick?  Does everyone in Mountain View say… ‘oh my kids are sick, let’s go to the gym’.   

Clearly, the gym wants my money – and they want to be fat.  They must be laughing in my face every time I try to go through those doors at daycare.   “Oh here comes Michelle, let’s give her kids a big dose of bronchitis this week.  That will be fun.  And while we’re at it – let’s be sure the plague hits right during her PMS so that she’s stuck at home with raging hormones, a bloated body, and sick whiny kids.” 

Good times.  Good times.

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