I had a mind once. Now I have small children.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

I can't believe the holidays are already upon us. Of course, with all the Christmas stuff that is already all over the place, you would think that we just glided past one of the most important holidays of all.... Yes, I am speaking of the Day of the Turkey. I truly feel that this is the most under-appreciated, over-looked, stepped-on holidays of the year. Hello, people....we try to teach our kids gratitude all the time, and yet we turn into frenzied freaks around mid-October when the retailers start pushing Santa on us. There is actually a holiday in between Halloween and Christmas. It is called Thanksgiving. And I, for one, refuse to forget it. And so, without further ado, here is my Thankful Thanksgiving List.

This year, Daisy is thankful for....

~Coffee, without which I could not maintain sanity in the mornings.

~Beer/Wine, without which I could not maintain sanity through my evenings.

~Portable DVD players for the mini-van. I can recall a time, many years ago when I was a youngster, when we would trek across the country to New York for holidays. A 24-hour car ride. Zaza and Papa, I salute you. Without our magical little devices strapped to the backs of every seat, I fear I would have to throw myself out of the van at 80 mph on the interstate.

~Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving Song. Every year, around the beginning of November, this song gets perma-stuck in my head. And it provides the Goombas and I hours of entertainment trying to come up with more turkey rhymes.

~TV. Because it is my favorite babysitter and the Goombas love it.

~Target. Because it is my happy place. And when I have nothing else to do and no where else to go, it is always there for me. And now that they give me 5% off every purchase with my Red Card, I can spend even more of Bowser's hard-earned cash there.

~Naptime. It is fading fast from our daily routine, but I will hang on as long as I possibly can to this magical time of day. Not only because it gives me some much needed peace and quiet, but also because I, too, love a good afternoon snooze.

~French fries. Because they really, truly do make everything better.

~For McDreamy over at Peach's orthopedic office. Because even now, I love to take her in for x-rays.

~The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Because, can you really kick of the holidays without it??? No. You cannot.

Oh sure, I am thankful for the other stuff, too. You know, all the classics...

~My Goombas. Because each of them have their own unique way of being. They keep me on my toes, they entertain me, they remind me that life doesn't get much better than it is right now. Without them, I would be a lost soul, searching for a place in this world. They give me my place. I am the Goomba's Mommy and I am so thankful to be that.

~My Bowser. He is my best friend. Without him, my world would be dark and gray. He makes me laugh like no one else can. He knows my deepest secrets, and loves me anyway. He puts me on a pedestal, but is not afraid to knock me off when I need a swift kick in the pants. He kisses me when I have pickle-breath and he watches The Notebook with me when he knows I just need a good cry. Bowser, you are the love of my life. I am the most thankful for you.

~My friends. You all know who you are. The good, the bad and the ugly...I couldn't do any of it without you. Blood may be thicker than water, but the wine and good times we share run pretty thick, as well.

~For our families, the roof over our heads, the food on our table and the shoes on our feet. For the blessings that God has bestowed upon us. For the love, laughter and life that we share, I am so humbled by and thankful for it all.

And now...bring on the turkey.

Cheers and Love,

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dude! What happened to my baby?

I should have known what was coming when Mario offered me a handshake on the first day of school, rather than a goodbye kiss. I insisted on a hug at the very least, and got the one arm pat on the back instead. From my 2nd grader! Ouch! This isn't supposed to be happening yet, is it? Isn't my baby still in there somewhere, wanting to cling to my leg and stay with me all day?

There are other signs, too. The other night, Bowser and I played some Wii with Mario after the little Goombas went to bed. Mario was thrilled, since he doesn't get a whole lot of alone time with Mom and Dad anymore. Then out of nowhere, he starts using words like, "dude," and "freaking," and "mad skills" and I was all, like, "Wha??"

For instance, on his first throw of our bowling tournament, he said, "Dudes! Did you see that? I was all, like, Wham! Strike!" Later he said to Bowser, "Oh Man! Was that the bomb or what?" Ummmmmm....huh? I can't quite put my finger on when it happened, but sometime over the last few months, we became Dude and Man, instead of Mom and Dad.

Then he really hit us with it. We were all doing silly little dances if we made a strike or spare. I could see the wheels in Mario's brain turning away. When he made his next strike, he turned to us, pulled down his pants and MOONED us, shaking his little, white tush all around. I couldn't decide if I should collapse into a fit of laughter, or cringe in horror. Where on earth did my 7-year-old sweetheart learn such a.... such a.... well, such a COLLEGE like move?????? I decided to go with the laughter, since it was actually, really very funny.

Then I decided to return the favor. The next time I made a strike, I thought it would be fun to steal his little dance move, so I mooned him and Bowser. This was the response, "OH MY GOD, MOM! That is SO GROSS!" Talk about a blow to the old ego. I thought at least it would illicit a giggle out of him.

When I look back to when I first started acting like my friends and started being embarrassed by my parents, I guess I honestly have to say it was around second grade. There was a particular incident that I remember now with just a tinge of guilt. At our elementary school, we had a parents day when Moms and Dads would come eat gourmet cafeteria food with their little students. I was in 2nd grade at the time, and had just started to be noticed by the "popular" girls. (sigh...yes, unfortunately there are popular girls even at such a young age.) When my Dad came down the hall to meet me for lunch he picked me up and swung me around in a big huge hug. My response to him? "Dad! Stop it! You are embarrassing me!" Ugh. When I think back on that now, it makes me have a knot in my stomach. I can't believe I said that to my Daddy. And now I know just what he felt like. Ain't karma a bitch?

Mario is still young, though, and every once in a while I see the little boy in him sneak out for a moment or two. While we were watching "How to Train Your Dragon" the other night, he reached for my hand during one of the more intense scenes. I didn't say a word, I just let him squeeze and hang on for as long as he wanted. When Hiccup defeated the mean dragon, he sort of loosened his grip on me and said, "Oh, Man! I didn't even realize you were holding my hand!" I tried to keep holding on, but he wasn't afraid anymore and the big, tough kid came and took over again.

I am so proud of my Mario and all he has become, is becoming and will become. But, I am not quite ready yet, to let go of my sweet little Mario, who used to cling to my leg and tell me he wanted to live with me forever. I am going to keep looking for and hanging on to those little boy moments even as they become fewer and farther between. Because, Mario, dude, no matter how old you get, I am always going to be your Mommy. Ain't that, like, so awesome, man?!?!


A New Virus

Did you know there is a new virus going around? And that unfortunately there is no vaccine for it? Actually this virus isn't that new. It has been around since at least when Mario was a baby, and my guess would be it was around way before that. You may have heard of it before, and chances are your kids already have or have had it. It's called the Justa Virus.

This is a particularly sneaky type of illness. It can start with a fever (or not), runny nose (clear, green or otherwise colored), a cough (hacking or wet), and general crankiness. New babies with no siblings are especially prone to this virus, as the new parents usually have no idea what is happening. (Mario was diagnosed with it probably 10 times in his first year.) After a day or two (or 4 or 5 if you are a seasoned mom) you will decide to take your child in to see the Pediatrician.

Now, you may LOVE your pediatrician, as I love ours, but going to visit Dr. Kids? Not so much fun. First of all, you end up in a waiting room full of toys that are probably covered in Justa germs--or worse. Your already cranky child doesn't want to wait for anything, let alone someone who is going to poke them with funny things and gag them with a popsicle stick. Dr. Kids is usually running late because another mother decided to make an appointment for one kid, but she brought all her other ones along to ask questions about during the same appointment. (I have NEVER done this! Please note dripping sarcasm.) Eventually, you get called into the exam room, which is usually about four feet by four feet, may or may not have toys and is so loud and echo-y that you are sure everyone must be able to hear your child for miles. Then you wait some more. Even if it is only a 5 minute wait, with a small sick Goomba, this can feel like 5 hours. Finally Dr. Kids comes in and you think, "Whew! Finally some relief! He is going to tell us what is wrong and everything will be better and life will get back to normal."

Dr. Kids examines child and then tries to talk to you as if you have super-sonic hearing that can distinguish words over the sound of wailing children. Here is how the conversation usually goes:

Dr. Kids: What are the little Goomba's symptoms?
Me: Fever, runny nose, cranky all the time, kind of a wet cough. It's been about 5 days.
Dr. Kids: Let me take a look.

At this point, Goomba sits like a perfect angel and let's Dr. Kids do all kinds of stuff because it is so awesome when he wants to check your lymph nodes, but so NOT awesome when Mommy tries to do it.

Dr. Kids: Any vomiting or diarrhea?
Me: No.
Dr. Kids: Any loss of appetite?
Me: Not really.
Dr. Kids: Well, there is no sign of infection, everything looks great. I would say it is Just A Virus.
Me: (Internally) DAMN YOU, JUSTA!!!!

See, there is no cure or really anything at all you can do for the Justa Virus. It fools you into thinking your child is really very sick and needs medical attention. Then you haul everyone in to be checked out, you waste a co-pay and about 2 hours of your day, only to hear it is the Justa and now you look like a crazy mom who brings your kids in at the smallest little sniffle.

The Goombas have had this diagnosis so many times, that I actually put off doctor visits for them as long as possible. I wait for at least a week of misery before I give in. I always convince myself it is an ear or sinus infection and that this will be the time I am vindicated. 9 times out of 10, I am wrong. It is the dreaded Justa that decided to stop by just long enough to make the Goombas feel terrible and me go insane. Of course, then there is that 1 time, when it really actually is something that needs an antibiotic, that keeps you going back for more. And the thing is...I don't WANT my kids to have more than the Justa, because I don't want them to be sick and feeling so yucky and have to take nasty-tasting medication. But, darn you JUSTA! Darn you to heck.

**Sigh** Peach has been complaining for a week that her ears hurt. I have been putting off the inevitable. I had to give in today. So, Peach and Luigi and I are heading of to see our Dr. Kids in just a bit. I'm thinking we have about a 50/50 chance of having the Justa.

Remember to wash your hands and not share drinks. Let's stop the spread of this terrible virus today!


P.S. Thanks to my very, very dear friend, Ms. B, for originally naming the Justa so many years ago when our babies were so tiny.

P.P.S. Happy Birthday to Papa! The Goombas (and Bowser and I) are very excited to see you next week! I hope it is Beer:30 for you all day. :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The things kids say....

We have all heard the saying before: "Kids say the darndest things!" And it is so true. I never realized just how true it was until my dear, little Goombas came along. Here are a few of my favorites...

-After listening to Bowser and I have a little tiff (where I dropped a few f-bombs), Mario, then 3 years old, said, "Hey, Mommy, can I please have my f-ing sandwich now?" So sweet and innocent and used in perfect context, too. My mouth dropped open and Bowser left the room.

~We were having a barbecue with some friends one night and Mario was busy playing and didn't want to go in to use the potty. Bowser said, "Well, you can just go out here in the yard." Mario promptly dropped his drawers and said, "Rocks or grass?" Apparently we wouldn't want to pee in the wrong place.

-Recently at the movie store, Luigi said, "Mommy, what doing here?" "We are getting a movie to watch tonight, honey." "I don't want movie, I want to go to liquor store!" "Ok, we will go when we are done here." Then, at the top of his lungs in the middle of the New Release section, "No, Mommy, I NEED to go to the liquor store!!!" Mommy does, too, little man. Mommy does, too.

~This afternoon, while Peach was watching Word World (her very favorite show), she asked me to sit with her. "In a minute, Peach," I said. "Mommy has to finish folding this basket of laundry." Tears welled up in her big, blue eyes and she said, "Dammit, Mommy! Sit!" Ummm...Ok, then.

~While eating Chinese food one night, Mario looked at us and said, "You know what is weird? These are so good, I can't figure out why they call them Crap-Cheese Wontons." Bowser almost rolled out of his chair from laughing so hard.

~A head's up...this one will only be funny if you have seen the Robot Insurance skit from SNL. One night at dinner, we were talking about nightmares and how they aren't real. Mario started to regale us with his scariest nightmare ever. "I was sitting at my friend's house, and we were playing the Wii, when all of a sudden, a ROBOT came bursting in with his claws chomping!!!" I really did not want to laugh at my darling son, because I know this dream truly scared him. But, in all honesty, as soon as he said it, all I could see in my head was the SNL robot breaking into the house with the old people and eating their prescription medication. "Because they're robots, and they're scary." Bowser and I have gotten hours of entertainment out of that one.

These are just a few of my favorites...there are so many more. Stay tuned! I'm sure as Luigi and Peach get older, there are going to be lots more laughs!