Thursday, September 8, 2011

Really annoying things that Alanis Morissette would call Ironic even if they’re not.

Best feeling in the world: Throwing off the shackles of a 2 week diet and licking dulce de leche off the spatula after eating cookie dough.

Worst feeling in the world: Right after the dulce de leche/cookie dough binge. And maybe you had a couple of chocolate covered pretzels, too.


Reading angry comments on a news article about teachers’ contracts. Because we make so much money.


Being told we can leave early from school, because we have comp time for coming to the open house after hours, but I have 45 more essays to grade and for once we don’t have an after school meeting because everyone else has left. Oh, and did I mention, most people leave school early anyway.


Playing an “All Things Considered” piece about the misuse of the term “That’s Racist” and then hearing students misuse the term almost immediately after that.


Catching students chewing gum after I’ve made 10 of their peers spit out their gum within the same hour. And them telling me that gum tastes good.


A parent lecturing me about why her student doesn’t like my class after I’ve called her because the student is messing around and being disrespectful in class.


Me complaining about Harry Potter even though I’ve never read it. And don’t intend to.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Babies Cry

I believe that there is another dimension, an alternate universe, where I am not a complete baby.

The day starts with me getting Amaya to school, late, the middle goes like a to-do list a mile long which rolls right over my lunch break and my own class prep, and the end of the middle is when I sit down to start actually working on my own class and Mozely wakes up as Jake is walking away to get some time to himself.

That’s when the end-end of the day is me trying to contain my hysterics about small setbacks.bad mood

And that’s when the end of the day turns into Taco Bell for the rest of the family.

Once they leave I start feeling really silly but also extremely angry at them for leaving me behind. Even if they’ve promised to bring something back for me.


Then when my family gets home, they try to show love and affection for me, and I just want to cry in misery.

bad mood3

It’s a spiral of self-loathing. I really, really, really hate that my one year old pulls my hair constantly. It makes me want to cry sometimes. He starts crawling all over me and grabbing fistfuls of my hair, even if I have it up in a bun, and I feel like sobbing: “Just please, please, please stop eating my hairrrrr…..”

I would shave it, but since I already do nothing to make myself look like a girl…

bad mood4

I guess I’ll keep the hair for now. Even if it does have spit matting it down and half of it is pulled out of its ponytail.

This week we’ve been really tired because Mozely has been having a hard time sleeping. We’ve had him sleep trained since he was 6 months old and since he started walking there are nights and way-too-early mornings he cries for so long and so loud that I’m sure he’ll have a brain aneurysm. He prances back and forth in his baby pen, pressing his face against the mesh and screaming. That’s why I’ve decided that baby book parenting is CRAP. We put him to bed, we don’t get him, he goes to sleep. Sometimes. The books say that if you answer their cry then they’ll start expecting it. Sometimes he goes to sleep without crying, sometimes he cries for 10 minutes, and sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night and cries for way over half an hour.

Since when can babies tell time? And why does he do this for 2 weeks every night in a row and then not at all, even though I got him every night? And why the heck does he absolutely insist on waking up at 5 am even though every book says that he should be sleeping for 10-12 hours?

I’ve tried everything (for many nights in a row) from going in every 10 minutes to reassure him, to the Super Nanny method of sitting in the room with your back to them (just resulted in several nights of little sleep), to ignoring him completely, and the only solution is milk. Hours of crying will become milk, I think. And I don’t think it’s because I’m wimpy.

Mozely is showing symptoms of some strange joint problem that both Amaya and I have. I only figured out when I was an adult that it was my joints and not my muscles, but I get very intense pain that emanates from my knees at night when I don’t drink enough water during the day. Sometimes in my wrists too. I had so many people tell me it was all in my head (including doctors), but then we realized Amaya has it too. Now Mozely, we think. He was wiggling his legs around like crazy and Jake massaged them and then he fell right asleep.

Plus he finally broke his 3rd and 4th tooth. It was an agonizing week.

My mama totally must have picked me up in the middle of the night. I fully expect someone to come rescue me.

The world is much more forgiving of a crying baby than a crybaby.

My only hope is that I am some CIA secret agent bad A with 10 kids, good hair, and a clean house in that other dimension.

Maybe she should come show me how it’s done.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If I were to rule the world

I would change a few things.

1) Gum would have the Surgeon General Warning: “Gum Chewing causes spit transfer, poor taste and may cause you to look like an annoying 13 year old while causing the sidewalk look 30 years older than it really is.” Mint gum would have a further warning: “Keep at least 3 feet away from any other consumables as they will be tainted with synthetic mint flavor.”

2) Girls would buy THIS instead of the more common option. Because it is one billion times better.

3) Jack Reacher would be played by Liev Schreiber instead of Tom Cruise in the upcoming One Shot movie.

4) I would put scientists on a mission to make carbs slimming.

Everyone would love me. Except the gum chewers. And Tom Cruise.

(But later, they’ll thank me.)

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I truthfully don’t remember Amaya’s first steps.

Oh yeah, because I didn’t get to see them. I was kind of annoyed that people other than me saw her walking first. I tried to just ignore the fact that it was a milestone. I definitely saw Mozely’s first steps. Just me. And Amaya. So now I’m pretty cool again.

I’m way too excited on this video. I mean, am I just really so excited for him to be able to get around faster, to chase girls, to run away to college?

Please. I should not be this excited. I should just be in denial.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Puppy Love

10summer 2011Mozely is our mascot. We think of him as a little doggy.

He comes when we call, on all fours, laughing and moving like he’s shaking his tail. He always looks when we say his name. 15summer 2011

Sometimes he teases us and tries to crawl away, as quick as we can, when we play with him.

He gets very excited when we come home or when we peek a boo around a corner.

12summer 2011And he drools, oh, he drools. Always since he was 4 weeks old. He only has two teeth.

His favorite thing is to play in the hose. If he hears the bath on in the house he will immediately crawl to it and beg to be put in. 8summer 20119summer 2011

He’s created his own sign language for what he wants.

Water: Gets really kicking and excited when he looks at a cup of water

Milk: Comes up to you and tries to french kiss your face and shoulder

All done: a modified Indian war cry with his fist

5summer 2011I really want that: immediately makes impatient voices and comes up to you, bouncing up and down excitedly, smiling and drooling wildly. If you don’t give it to him he will melt down quickly. Somehow he ALWAYS recognizes cake, doughnuts, ice cream, yogurt, or oatmeal. I mean, he never does that when I’m eating anything else. He could care less about sweet potato soup, for example, even though it could pass for some of those, just by looks.

He has started standing up on his own from sitting, and he took one big leg up, but it didn’t get any further ahead, so I’m not sure if that was his first step or not. I’m not counting it.

He seems more child-like than Amaya was at this age. He’s still such a textbook baby. He’s not that interested in being grown up.

He’s sweet and recognizes people, like Adam and Mariah. Jake is definitely his favorite person. He either gets really excited when Amaya comes running up to him, or starts getting stressed out and tries to get away. She really loves him and wants to be in charge of him. She picks him up constantly and always wants to get in his face and pay attention to him. She’s very proud of him and likes to show him off.4summer 2011

He hates vegetables. He won’t let you put them in his mouth. I still try every day, but he blows them out before I put them in his mouth. He just knows what they look like even if I mash them up or hide them under other things. I think he might have an extraordinary sense of smell. It’s hard to find him things to eat, so he mostly eats bread, fruit, baby puff stars, cheese, and eggs. It drives me crazy.

He likes to wake up between 4-6 am. Usually way before 6am. It’s not fun and we’re grumpy during the day. I think it’s our own fault for sleep training him to not wake up at night, and now he can’t sleep anywhere but his bed. It’s like 1/2 dozen in one hand, 6 in the other. We spent several days trying to just ignore him and letting him cry (read scream wildly, bounce up and down and try with all his might to crawl out of the crib, and wake up all the neighbors) himself back to sleep, but he doesn’t, and after brushing up on my reading material it seems like sleep therapists think that it’s normal for him to wake up this early and be ready for the day. I should have known because Amaya didn’t sleep much either. He can sleep about 8 1/2 hours at once and no more (which is a big improvement from waking up every 1 1/2 to eat, of course—that training took three weeks, so I’m not complaining). He does take good naps. I tried to take away one of his naps so he’ll sleep longer at night but that was a disaster and doesn’t help the night sleeping at all.

Really, if I just went to bed at 9pm I wouldn’t even care so much. I wish I could just be fine with not getting anything done after the kids go to bed.

I think that there is no love that can compare to loving your child. And you only realize it once its happened: hugging your child feels so good it hurts, seeing them playing with friends is so sweet, or even worrying about the day that they will be apart from you and living their own life even though there is so much left to see and do. It’s a maddening, crushing, at times life-sucking love, but the most fulfilling one there is. Love that you have with your spouse is fulfilling and so important for companionship, especially for refueling and making sure you can still have love and patience to spare, but loving your child is so much bigger than you and so beyond anything that you could want for yourself.

At least in my opinion. Aren’t I such a cliché parent?

Today is our 10 year anniversary. It’s pretty amazing what can happen in 10 years. You even can think that it’s okay just to publish a bunch of pictures of your baby and call that “what’s happening in my life right now” because you expect the world to care as much as you.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

For Jiji

First I thought, what if I sent you some mangoes?7june2011

But then I’d have to send my prep chef.9june2011

Then I spent 3 hours trying to figure out how to buy you some Blazer tickets.

But even the cheap seats were $300 (for 2x11 tickets. Is that good?).

I even considered a cake in the mail, like the banana chocolate cake you sent me for my birthday once.

Its memory will live on forever.

But the cakes weren’t finished until after the post office closed. Me ‘n the post office have serious compatibility issues.

And at 3:30 am this morning, I thought,

1june20112june20113june20114june2011I’ll just send you Mozely.

5june2011You were awake anyway, right?


Happy Father’s Day. You are my best Dad ever.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Moze started scooting last Sunday. He has been a totally straight-up textbook baby. Everything people tell me about babies has applied to him. That was never the case with Amaya, so it’s been a strange experience.


He yells a lot. Mostly because he just wants to tell us and the neighbors that he’s here.

Even though they’ve been different, except for the colors, they look like twins. IMG_4638IMGP0150IMG_4658IMG_4661IMGP0152IMG_4641IMGP0137

(Amaya was such a chunk on an exclusive diet of mum mums and mommy milk. Love that.)

One thing’s for sure. I’ve got another social butterfly on my hands. Mozely’s smile just splits the moment anyone looks at him. He’s always flashing those dimples to everyone. He bounces up and down with excitement when someone approaches to pick him up. He makes us all feel special. He even gives me hugs.

Totally, straight up, textbook perfect baby. We’re only waking up 5 times a night to feed these days.

So I’m a textbook crazy tired mother. Good thing he’s such a cutie.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Permission to Act Like a Child


Amaya recently discovered mud, and she’s been testing its components and applications.

She intuitively knows that playing in the mud is not acceptable in her normal every day clothing so she sneaked into the house for her swimsuit, and (knowing intuitively that she was trying to be sneaky) I, unobserved, peeked out the back window to see her and Minami playing in the mud. Or maybe I should call it bathing.


By the time Jake had come home all traces of the mud play were washed away (except for a ruined swimsuit) so I showed him the pictures. He thought it was kind of naughty. He said, “Did she ask?”

As a child I was the kid in the neighborhood who said, “My mom won’t let me get wet!” (even if it was pouring buckets outside.) I’m sure I was dirty because as a child you are so unaware of your own uncleanliness, but I still worried about “getting dirty” as I ran around the forest and climbed trees and scrambled through blackberry bush trails.

I remember being in trouble a lot, for not asking. I forgot because I was caught up in the moment and there was no thought for safety, cleanliness, or time. Now I see Amaya acting the same way and I’m always saying, “You have to ask!”


There’s a lot that doesn’t seem safe, anymore, in our world. I can’t imagine letting Amaya walk to school on her own (I know, I live in Laie, but still), ride bikes down the street, or even talk to someone as they walk by the front yard. I have her on a pretty long leash, as everyone around here knows, but I am not ok with her even being in the front yard unless she’s with an adult.


She’s as compulsive as a two-year-old, though she often shows the logic of an adult. She certainly has the ability to understand social cues better than most adults. She always figures out when you’re treating her like a kid and trying to control her. Her reaction to this is very immature (tantrums and physically disruptive behavior are a constant for us), but she’s been this way since she was born. She hated being a baby and all along the way she’s looking for more movement and testing her boundaries.

At times I meet kids who seem to have none of her social prowess and are more reserved. They’re very well-behaved, however (and never annoying).

I guess what I have in Amaya is the trade off: extremely social, bubbly, loving, bossy, and wants to be up in your business. Her skill in the semantics of language shocks me. Especially when she busts out with “Dammit” in the right context even though she has never once heard us say it—and I’m not sure where she has--unless Jake or Kipper or Sponge Bob has a potty mouth when I’m away.

3mud(This is why she’s banned from watching TV next door, although she pretends to forget sometimes, and it’s difficult to enforce. I never thought I was going to have to be that parent. Even though, before I had kids, I laughed at that Will Ferrell video where he gets his 2 year old daughter to swear like a sailor, it makes me feel a bit sick now. It must be a process with parents, because using soap as a punishment is starting to sound like a real option.)

With her, sometimes I have to remind myself to let go of some control, because she does thrive with independence. Not that I don’t find myself trying to reign that in. But playing around in the mud, climbing the lemon tree, visiting everyone in our compound and bugging them, making her own bento lunches, packing all her toys into backpacks to go show someone, and dressing up like a “cat doctor”, all without asking, seems like perfectly acceptable behavior to me.

It sounds like she’s being a kid. And that’s something that I love watching.


*disclosure: this permission granting for basic child-like activities does not extend to any teenage or teenage-like behavior. When she turns 12, she’s grounded until she goes to college.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


152Amaya was in bed trying to fall asleep. I walked by so she asked, “Mama, what are we going to do tomorrow?”

I said, “I have to go to work, Honey.”

“Every day? You have to go to work every day?”155

I felt a little gulp in my throat when I answered back, “Every. Day.”

Mozely has been suddenly needing me more at night and staying up later and waking up earlier. Finding time to pump during the day is hard. My coworkers understand but expect me to jump into things anyway. The kids at school act like they need me just as much as my kids at home. Jake is antsy when I get home because the winds were stone cold dead.

Everyone needs something from me and I’m wondering why anyone does.

The whole week before work started up again I tried not to think about it.

When everyone asked me how it was to be back I tried not to think about it.

I had 38 messages and I tried not to think about it.