Monday, December 27, 2010


We had a wonderful Christmas weekend filled with family and food!  We spent Christmas Eve relaxing before heading out to an early Mass that evening with my sister. 
(Michaela was so excited to see Mary!  and Joseph!  And Baby Jesus!  and Santa brought a present to Baby Jesus!)
After Mass, we headed down to my mom's grave to set up some luminarias.  I didn't take a picture, but if you've never seen a New Mexico cemetery on Christmas Eve, it is beautiful.  There are thousands (I'm not exaggerating in the slightest) of luminarias covering the entire field.  My mom's were by far the cutest! :)
Then we drove through a few local hotspots for Christmas lights and luminarias before heading home and calling it a night.

The presents after being set up on Christmas Eve by Momma & Daddy Claus
Christmas day was also very relaxing.  My dad stopped by early in the morning for some coffee and breakfast and then stuck around to see the kids open their presents once they woke up.  The kids then spent the rest of the morning playing with them.  The favorites so far have been Michaela's tricycle and Rafael's basketball hoop. 
Sustenance comes before all else!

The gift opening aftermath.  What a mess!

They loved that tricycle!

I mean really loved it!  Can you see Rafael's little arm sticking out in front there?

A friend stopped by for as visit during naptime and I left him playing video games with Phil while I went to visit my sister for a bit.  I ended up down the street at my Grandma's, where my sister, dad, aunts, and cousin were all hanging out.  We ate a delicious lunch of posole, tamales, turkey and all the fixings!  After that, I went back home and we returned to church for Mass again (yes 2 days in a row!  Friday was the Christmas Mass, we still had to go to the Saturday vigil Mass for our Sunday Obligation).

On Sunday, we went over to my sister's house for our big family celebration.  My brother-in-law is a firefighter and was working Christmas Eve and Day, so this was the only time to do it.  My sister (who doesn't cook) completely outdid herself cooking up posole, tamales, red chile and homemade tortillas for our Christmas feast!  It.  was.  amazing.  We spent the entire day hanging out and playing Monopoly while the kids played/napped/crafted.

Hat & mittens from Tia & Tio

Fingerpaints from Tia & Tio

I put out some craft stuff to keep the kids occupied while we played Monopoly

...and put Rafael in the baby cage...parenting at it's finest folks!
We got home way past the kid's bedtimes, but we all had fun and it was an awesome day!

Friday, December 17, 2010

All that matters...

This is the reason I wake up in the morning.
This girl.

This boy.
These are my priorities and everything else is just extra.

I shouldn't be losing sleep or going on crying jags or drinking uncontrollably because of a few bullies and some misplaced words.

All I can do is pick up the pieces, fix what I can fix, and move on.

And remember that this is why I'm doing it.

Comments are closed.  I don't need anyone sympathizing, and I certainly don't need anyone's negativity.  I just need to vent and remember what really matters right now.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kids squared

When Philip and I first got married we wanted a football team of kids.  At least ten, but more if that's what we got.   Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....ahem...excuse me.  I start laughing maniacally every time I think about our youthful optimism and...well, plain crack smokin' craziness in thinking that we could handle 10 children.  After Rafael came along I was so exhausted I decided never to have any more children EVER.  Then I cracked and realized I wanted more and so we agreed on 4.  4 children and that is it, because, well, Philip is a teacher and it's not like we're rolling in money.  Also, because at some point I would like to have my body back to myself and have a career.

Anyways, when I start doubting whether or not I can handle 4 children, all I have to do is watch my sister's kids.  Yesterday, faced with being cooped up with 4 kids, a super messy house, and a lack of desire to clean said house while they were running underfoot making more messes, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and we headed to the zoo.  (Thank goodness for zoo memberships is all I can say - $3 for 1 adult and 4 kids?  Yes please!).

Everything was going fantastic as the 3 older ones happily swarmed around me and Rafael sat contentedly in his stroller staring at all the animals.  We even managed to get through the huge play area of death and stuck children without any incident.  And then around the chimpanzees, an area ridiculously remote from any bathrooms, my 5 year old niece contorted into the pee dance and yelled "I have to go pee RIGHT NOW!"


So off we were, running through the zoo as fast as we could in some ridiculous parody of that scene in Home Alone 2 where they are all running through the airport as fast as they can.  I kept looking wildly around searching for children who were lagging behind or getting distracted by one of the animals.  Michaela looked like she was about to pass out, so I ran to swoop her up in my arms so that we wouldn't have an accident, and OHMYGOD why in the world would I ever attempt to do such a horrible thing as pick up an independent two year old!  She screamed bloody murder so I after dragging her for a few yards, I put her back down and let her "Walk by meself!"  Thankfully we were finally within eyesight of the bathroom by that point so I told my niece to run ahead and go in without us.  I gathered the other kids up and we walked at a normal pace to the bathroom and miracle upon miracles, all 3 older kids went potty in the bathroom!  Yay!  Piece of cake.

Seriously though.  What sort of crack was I smoking to think I could handle that with 10 kids?

Monday, December 13, 2010


Rafael took several steps across the room the week he turned one, but I think he scared himself because he promptly refused to even stand up on his own after that.  On Saturday, he finally started walking again!  He's so proud of himself!

Monday, December 6, 2010

No, they are not twins...

because if they were twins, then the kicking screaming tantrum that the girl is throwing right now would be completely age appropriate.  I would not be trying desperately to quiet her in a much more patient and kind manner than I would be if we were alone because ohmygod the entire store is staring at me and I don't want anyone to report me to social services for being too harsh with my daughter.  Why oh why oh why does she do this?  I never hear of other children her age doing this.  Do they?  Do the parents just have the common sense not to tell everyone about it?  All I know is that if I was like this as a child, I have a whole new respect for my poor parents.

P.S.  Please please please tell me it's ok to leave my daughter in time out in her room for a couple of hours so that I don't kill her.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pee Pee in the Potty...then the Bathtub...

Michaela has secretly been using the potty for the last few days.  Wait wait wait.  Let me rewind.

For several months Michaela has asked occasionally to sit on the potty so that she could pee.  Every single time I would stop whatever I was doing and go in there with her and watch her sit on the potty, but she would never ever go.  Every.  Single.  Time.  So finally I got to the point where I just told her to go by herself.  I knew she wasn't going to pee, so I didn't even bother going with her.

The last few days she has been asking to go much more frequently but I just assumed it was because we've been telling her so often that she is going to be potty trained when daddy is home for winter break.

Except today right after she said that she went potty ("Oh good job baby girl!  That's awesome that you are practicing to go potty even though I know that you don't actually go!"), I had to go to the bathroom as well.  As I was in the bathroom, Michaela ran in and said, "Look mama I went potty!" and pointed to the bathtub.  Confused, I looked in the bathtub and saw some liquid.  Some liquid that I thought was just an overturned bottle of shampoo for the past few days.  (Yes, we haven't given the kids a bath in 3 days.  Yes it's gross, we simply have been away every single night and it just hasn't happened!)  Then I looked back at her little potty and saw a tiny drop of liquid there.  The lightbulb clicked.  That huge puddle of 'soap' collecting in the tub with the drain closed was not soap.  It was pee.  Probably from the last couple of days.  Gross.

"Michaela, did you empty the potty full of pee pee into the bathtub?"

"Yes mama, I cleaned up my pee pee!"

Suffice it to say, the bathtub got a thorough bleaching and Michaela got a huge hug, and M&M, and a thorough lesson on how we dispose of our pee pee into the big potty.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rafael's Birthday Parties

My little boy turned 1 last week!  He had his family birthday party on Saturday at his Ninas' house and it was so much fun!  We did a Monster themed brunch, and I had a blast making the "monster" food.  We had a green chile breakfast casserole, fruit, Monster Toes (sausages), Monster Fingers (french toast sticks), Monster Eyes (donut holes), Monster Blood (blueberry pomegranate juice), OJ and muffins.  By the way, those muffins are a huge step for me.  My poor Michaela wasn't even allowed to have sugar on her first birthday, at least these muffins had a tiny bit of sugar and some chocolate chips!

 His favorite toy was one of the balloons that we had bought.  So happy!
 I want to grab that candle!
 Yummy!  Sugar!
 I love my nina!
Our friends and family

 Michaela decided to take a break from the party with her friend by taking a nap.  And by taking a nap I mean screaming and giggling together for 10 minutes while they pretended to close their eyes.

 He was so happy that day and in such a great mood being the center of attention!
 And he made out like a bandit!
I have some truly great friends and family!

By the way, he had a great birthday party a couple of weeks ago with our MOMS Club family, many of whom were planning to be out of town this weekend.  Such a lucky boy to have two birthdays!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dear Rafael!*

Happy Birthday!  It's amazing how fast this year has gone!  It seems like just yesterday we were bringing you home from the hospital, just in time to meet your sister and enjoy a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner.  And here you are a happy, active 1 year old, taking your first steps and getting into trouble every time I turn my back.

From the very beginning you were my easy baby.  You slept most of the time and rarely fussed, a far cry from your colicky sister.  Yet, you also quickly developed a personality that let us know that you were her brother and my child.  You know what you want and heaven forbid you don't get it!

I was also a completely different mother with you than I was with Michaela.  More experience and being around other mommies taught me not to sweat the little things.  I gladly handed you off to friends when they offered to hold you, knowing that you would be a stronger child if I didn't insist on being with you every second.  As you have slowly started crawling and cruising, I haven't hovered over you.  I trust in your strength and know that you will recover quickly from any bump or scrape that happens.

You make everyone around you want to love you.  Daddy, sister and I all absolutely adore you.  I can't wait to see you continue to grow into a little boy and am looking forward to the changes this next year brings!

*Ok, well it's a couple of days late, but that's what happens when a second child's birthday falls so near a holiday. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's 5 o'clock Somewhere

It's barely noon, but I'm pretty sure this is the only way I'll get through the rest of my day.
I went to make the kids breakfast this morning (the kids who woke up before the sun was up), and realized I was out of eggs.  I don't know how I missed this, but I was on my own yesterday, and sometimes bad things happen when I'm husbandless.  Anyways.  No eggs.  My kids only eat eggs for breakfast.  It's my fault, I'm a huge egg eater, so I've encouraged their egg loving fanatacism.  In any case, I was hungry, the kids were hungry, and I knew we would not last an entire trip to the store and then back home to cook eggs, so we went out to breakfast!  I was so impressed by how well the kids behaved, and I'm pretty sure the group of old men sitting at the table next to us were too.

And then it all went to hell.  We had plans to go to the local fire station for a tour with my MOMS Club, but the second we walked in the door, it all went down hill.  The girl decided to scream the entire time and spent most of the tour sitting on the floor in tears.  I don't know if she was overwhelmed by the size of the firetrucks or if she was just tired from waking up too early.  Maybe both, maybe something else.  It really didn't matter, I couldn't pick up a screaming kicking child and carry Rafael at the same time, so God bless the amazing firefighter who helped me get both kids to the van.  (Can I just say how upset I am that I didn't get my adorable shot of Michaela with a firehat on standing in front of a firetruck?  I mean seriously, thats the main reason we went!)

I was ready to call it a day, but I had a great thought.  We decided to go outside and play ourselves into a good mood.  The kids loved playing in the leaves from my Halloween Jack O Lantern bags.  Michaela jumped and kicked and fell herself back into a happy child.  And silly little Rafael crawled right into the middle of it all and enjoyed the heck out of it. 

I'm still tired, I still need a glass of wine, but thankfully the kids were able to go down for naps happy, and I'm able to sit here and relax without having murderous thoughts toward my daughter.  Salud!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Library Woes

We were planning on meeting a friend for lunch today, but Rafael was super grumpy so I put him down for a nap.  It was a really fast nap so I decided to load the kids up and run to the library real quick with the intention of calling to see if she was still at the restaurant when we were done.  Our library trips usually only take about 10 minutes so it was totally possible.

Except while there, Michaela had a really really hard poop (I'm sure you needed to know that) and started screaming and crying in pain.  Many of you who actually know Michaela can attest to the fact that she is a REALLY loud screamer.  Yeah, imagine that in the middle of a quiet library.

God bless the amazing librarian who took pity on me as I struggled to make an escape while holding and comforting Michaela, pushing the double stroller with Rafael in it with one hand, and dragging along the full bag of library books we had just picked.  She helped me into a small bathroom I've never noticed before in the children's section and I was able to get Michaela's diaper changed and calm her down. 

Yeah, we decided to just call it a day and go home after that.


I had an awesomely fun Halloween weekend!  Date night on Friday, moms night out on Saturday, family Halloween party on Sunday morning, and family night and trick or treating at night.  It was great!

Abby Cadabby and Elmo getting ready to go Trick or Treating.  Michaela did great, saying Trick or Treat at all the right times and saying thank you after each person gave her a piece of candy.  At first she wanted to hold her candy instead of putting it in her bucket, but she learned quickly.  The only part she had a little trouble with was the one house that had scary music, strobe lights, and corpses!  I tried to be upbeat as we walked up the driveway, but about halfway through she yelled "I'm scared!" and turned around.  That's the first time I've ever heard her say that! 
Michaela counting all her candy!  We only went down one street so she didn't get much.  This was all that was left after I took out all the gumballs, taffy, gum, and other dangerous candy.
 She was so happy when I told her she could eat all of it!  Which really wasn't much because she ended up not liking the Sour Patch Kids or the Nerds.  So she ate a packet of M & M's, half of a Kit Kat, and then nursed a lollipop the rest of the night.  She was a tiny bit upset when we took her lollipop away because she had been sucking on it for half an hour and it was bedtime, but she got over it.  After I told a little white lie and said it dropped on the floor so now it was yucky and WOW wasn't Halloween fun?!  Let's go to bed!
All in all, a successful Halloween!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Messy Monster

My little guy has been mobile for a few weeks now, and though it's totally adorable, it's also a lot of work!  For instance, he can make a perfectly clean room look like this in under five minutes!
He is so fast!  I will literally turn around to do something for thirty seconds, turn back around and he is gone!  Off to destroy something or get into the dogs water.
Speaking of which, he has encouraged my daughter to regress and start playing in the dogs water bowl with him.  Something that we beat out of her taught her not to do over a year ago.
He finds tons of other ways to be messy too.  Beside shoving food into his mouth as fast as his little hands can, this is his preferred method of eating.
He loves soups, stews, applesauce, yogurt, anything that is any sort of messy, but surprise surprise, he wants to eat it himself!  And since he doesn't have enough manual dexterity to handle the spoon very well, this is how it usually goes down!

He is definitely keeping me on my toes these days!