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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Am SOOO Immature...

I am going to start this with a small disclaimer. This post is going to make me look incredibly immature. And that is ok with me. You gotta find the little things to help you get through the day. So, here it is... Daisy at my most unsophisticated.

Are you ever sitting there, watching a good, old-fashioned, educational television show with your kids, when you just think...What the heck? Did they really just say that??? Ok, I may be just a tiny bit on the immature side, but these are some things that crack me up and make children's programming so worth while to watch...

~Word World has a little clip where all the Word Friends dance together and sing a rhyming song. It goes a little something like this:
"Dancing here are Dog and Duck!
Do you know what rhymes with DUCK?"
Why, yes I do, Pig. I have a fabulous word that rhymes with Duck. What's that? Oh, Truck. Not the word I was thinking of.

~Also on Word World...(I'm tellin' ya, this show is full of 'em!) Bear wanted to give Sheep the perfect Valentine, so she was looking for something that rhymed with "art." She found a cart, a dart, and eventually a heart. I was thinking more along the lines of something stinky that my dear Bowser likes to give me for Valentine's day. Alas, Bear did not share my enthusiasm for farts as gifts.

~Moving on to the Wiggles. These guys are great. I love them! (Not so much that new Yellow Wiggle, but the original 4 will always have a place in my heart.) But, damn, when those guys put on the tutus and wings and sing about being fairies... I swear I fall into a fit of giggles every time.

It isn't just on television. Sometimes, you can be reading a book for bedtime, when suddenly a line in the story jumps out at you and makes you snicker to yourself. For example...

While he was reading bedtime stories to Luigi one night, Bowser came across a story about Thomas in which he (Thomas, not Bowser) and Percy were feeling "hot and bothered." I don't think he has been able to read that story since.

And, it doesn't stop there! Just look what happens to poor innocent Disney Princesses when they don't get put away before bed and Mommy and Daddy have a couple glasses of wine...

Charlie's Angels

Naughty Cinderella posing for the Prince

Oh lordy, yes, we got out a "stripper pole" for Rapunzel.

Of course, Jasmine didn't want to miss out on the fun

Oh dear. Poor Rapunzel, Jasmine and Cinderella. I just hope that my Goombas are able to grow up to be somewhat normal, in spite of my weird and immature sense of humor. Ooh! Word World is on! I wonder what we can rhyme today...


Monday, April 18, 2011

School Projects

I don't know if you know this, but I am a craft-aholic. I love crafts. Scrapbooking is my favorite, decorating cakes is a close second, but pretty much anything will do. I love making things with my hands that people can ooh and aah over. Not that I necessarily need the ooh-ing and aah-ing, but it is nice when people can appreciate your work. I digress... The point is, I love crafts, so you can imagine my excitement when a school project comes up. I get all giddy and happy and start thinking about all the things I can buy at Michael's to make it look just perfect.

Mario came home with a project last week. He has to make an Ecosystem diorama in a shoebox. Complete with animals, producers and decomposers. A very detailed project with lots of room for my-- I mean HIS -- genius imagination. He decided on the Grassland. My mind started racing with all the totally rockin' things we could do to make the other kids' boxes look like a 2nd grader did them. Oh. Wait. They ARE second graders.

But, that is the thing. It is SO DAMN HARD to let go and let your child do things the way he or she wants. I'm not even going to get into the existential stuff here, I am just talking about plain, old, simple dioramas for a class project.

Mario and I sat down at the kitchen table with an empty shoe box and started to get to work. It went a little something like this...

Me: Ok, Mario, how do you want to make your ecosystem?
Mario: Well, I was thinking we could use play-doh to make the animals, that's what other kids do.
Me: That is a great idea, but you know what would be even better? Let's make them out of sparkle pipe cleaners!
Mario: Ummm...Ok.
Me: (handing Mario a piece of green construction paper) Go ahead and start cutting out the grass for your grassland.
Mario: (snipping away at square pieces of paper) How is this Mom?
Me: Wow! How about if I show you a different way to do it that will make it look really cool? (proceed to take paper and scissors away from Mario and cut grass on my own.)

At that point in time, I glanced over at Bowser, who was giving me a look that said, "lay off and let the kid use his ideas!" I realized then what I was doing. I was totally stifling my son's creativity. He had some really great ideas, and I kept telling him how to do it better or different. I felt terrible. So, when Mario told what he wanted to do for flowers and butterflies, I let him take the lead.

It was difficult at first to let him take over, when I had a grand vision in my head of a professional looking, museum quality landscape. But, once I was able to let go, I found that he actually did a great job. When I listened to his thoughts and helped him bring them to life, it actually turned out to be pretty darn awesome. The best part was that Mario and I had a great time doing something together other than watching television or playing a video game. When we were done we made fun little things out of pipe cleaners and he said, "Wow, Mommy! You are so cool! You are the best at this!" ...sigh... Isn't that just the epitome of parenthood? When your kid thinks you are just the cat's meow, you know you must be doing something right.

Mario got most of the work done tonight, with me sitting on the sidelines helping him when he needed it, but mostly just watching his amazing brain at work. Normally, after he went to bed, I would fiddle with it just enough to make it look "my way," but not enough for him to notice I did anything. Not tonight. It is sitting on our kitchen table right now, paint and glue drying, and all I did was put it out of reach so that no Koopa Troopas or little Goombas could get to it and destroy it. Look at me! I am making progress. You know, I just might get this Mommy thing down yet.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Anniversary to....ME!!!

Wow, I can't believe an entire year has gone by since I started my little bloggity-blog. Although the days have dragged on and on (and on and on and on....), the year really has flown by very quickly.

Most of you know that I wrote my first blog in a letter to the fab chicks from Rants From MommyLand. They liked it and were gracious enough to give me their forum for my rant. The thing was...I really ENJOYED writing it! It was cathartic to my constantly running Mommy-Brain to write down things that actually happen in this roller-coaster of life. It was especially helpful to "find the funny" in the things my Goombas do that kind of make me want to throw myself off of someplace very high.

Over the course of this year, I've let you in on some pretty dark secrets. It takes a lot of guts to admit that our entire family kicked around a Mystery Rock for several weeks before realizing it was a turd nugget. I've opened my heart to let you know how I truly feel about each one of my Goombas--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Together we have mourned the loss of Stinky Bunny, cried over Pork Chop Moments, and celebrated back to school with Breakfast Margaritas.

In the past 12 months, my little Goombas have gotten increasingly bigger, and more stubborn and more opinionated. Mario is now 8 years old going on 15. Luigi is a precocious almost-4 year old that is going to give me trouble as the class clown in the not-so-distant future. And Peach is becoming a little lady, with her own style (that usually includes her purple "Jammins" Princess dress), and lots of practicing for her Oscar for best dramatic actress someday.

Bowser and I are another year older and another year wiser. Well, maybe not exactly wiser... How about another year older with another year of survival under our belts. Sometimes at the end of the night, when we are stepping over piles of toys, cleaning up spilled milk, and emptying the trash for the 27th time that day, we just look at each other and wonder what the heck happened. Seems like only yesterday we were carefree college kids with no responsibilities. Now we are grown-ups. At least, we like to pretend we are.

So, please allow me to humbly say thank you and keep reading, folks! Because I am not even close to being done yet. The Goombas give me plenty of material to work with. I hope our nutty lives bring a smile to your face, and let you other mamas (and daddies) know that you aren't alone in the wacky world of parenting.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thank You Note

Dear Kind Stranger at Target,

You may not remember me, but I met you at Target last Thursday when I was shopping with my 2 youngest Goombas. It was not my proudest moment. You see, my son Luigi was having a very rough week. He has severe asthma and allergies, and due to an acute attack at his preschool on Monday morning, is on several different medications right now. I don't know about you, but when I am on lots of steroids and antihistamines, I don't always behave well. Neither does Luigi. Also, my normally sweet and adorable daughter, Peach, was a little tired from not napping all week. I also suspect she was coming down with a cold, since her nose was dripping like a faucet. Peach was not at her princess-y best that morning.

Just a few minutes before I met you in aisle 3, Peach decided to have a breakdown of monstrous proportions. She threw herself down on the floor by the frozen food and decided that Target was NOT where she wanted to be. I ended up tucking her under my arm like a football just to get her off the floor and move on. At the same time, Luigi, who was all hopped up on his meds, thought it would be fun to run laps around the aisles and laugh maniacally each time he ran into an end-cap and knocked a display over. In all honesty, I normally would have left the store over such misbehavior, but that was my third attempt that week to actually buy groceries. I had already left full shopping carts behind on the previous two attempts. At this point we desperately needed milk, bread, coffee and margarita mix. I was not going to leave the store without them.

By the time I came barreling around the corner and almost crashed into you while you were examining your bottle of bbq sauce, I was on the verge of tears. I had already gotten "the look" from several shoppers. I had already bribed the Goombas with cookies and milk, and even candy. I had threatened to take away trains and princesses if they didn't behave. I had pried glass jars of olives out of Luigi's destructive hands, and had picked up several cans of crushed tomatoes that Peach threw on the floor in her fit of rage. I was done. It was all I could do not to grab the both of them and spank them and duct tape their little butts down in the shopping cart.

And then, sweet stranger, as I mumbled an apology to you and dragged my children kicking and screaming behind me, you smiled a genuine smile at me. And I will never forget what you said to me. You said, "Hey, you are doing a great job!" I must admit, I probably gave you a very dirty look because your words took me so off guard. You went on to say, "Isn't being a mom so rough sometimes? But, you will survive! And your children are beautiful and they are just being kids." Then, you walked over and gave me a small hug and said again, "You are doing a great job." (Bowser wants to make it clear at this point in the story, to let everyone know that he tells me all the time that I am a great mom. Yes, that is true, but there is something very different about it when it comes from a complete stranger in the middle of a grocery store while your children are acting like heathens.)

You will probably never know what those caring words did for me that morning. Yes, I was still frustrated with the Goombas, but I was able to step back for a moment and realize that, yes, they were just being kids and that even kids have a bad day now and then. Part of me wanted to break down and sob in your kind arms. The other part of me wanted to kiss you and declare you one of God's Angels on Earth. As moms, we have such a THANKLESS and under-appreciated job of raising children. To hear a complete stranger say that I was doing a good--no great!--job, made my heart feel 100% lighter. Because of your compassion, I was able to muster up a bit more patience with my children. Enough to get us through the rest of the shopping trip without me going all ape-poop crazy on them.

Thank you, thank you for your understanding and encouragement. It is people like you that keep the world, and half-insane mothers, smiling. Cheers to you, dear lady!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Four Months Later...

They say the average person forgets about and gives up on their New Year's Resolutions after 3 months. Not sure who "they" are, but "they" sure seem to know a lot about everything, so I guess "they" must be right. We are now in April, well into the Spring, so I thought I would check up on myself and see how my resolutions are going...

Resolution #1-Learn to let go of the little things. I am a perpetual worry-wart. It's time I learn to let things go. I also tend to overreact just a teensy, tiny bit over little issues. Not anymore! The new and improved Daisy is going to let go of the little things and learn to live life without the drama!

Am I letting go of the little things? Sure. I let go of the dishes and let them sit in the sink all weekend. It only drove me a little crazy. I also let go of the laundry. Mt. Washmore is back and this time, he wants revenge. I am proud to say, though, that I am not freaking out as much over things. My new motto has become, "It is what it is." I'm kind of liking it this way...

Resolution #2-I am going to lose the baby weight. Did you know that losing weight is the number one resolution in this country? And that most people make it about 3 months before they give it up? Not me. Bowser and I are heading to Vegas for our 10-year wedding anniversary this summer to renew our vows in front of Elvis the way God intended. And we are going to look good when we do it.

Hmmm....right now I am debating if I should be honest with you, or if I should shield you from the truth with a fictional story about my weight loss journey. Ok, fine. The truth is... No. I have not lost a single pound. In fact, there is a good possibility that I have actually found a couple extras. I really do want to lose weight. I do. Eventually... After I finish off the ice cream in the freezer...

Resolution #3-I am finally going to learn how to budget money. I tend to, ummm...how shall I say this? I tend to overspend like Lady Gaga in the Wild Costume Shop. I must get this under control. I want to go to Vegas this summer and I desperately want to go to New York in June for my aunt's wedding. If I don't learn to save some cash-ola, that ain't gonna happen.

I am actually doing ok with this one. I have passed up several "want" items and I am MOSTLY sticking with NEEDS. Like the new purse that I NEEDED from Target a couple of weeks ago. But, I passed on the matching shoes that I WANTED. See! Progress!

Resolution #4-Get this house in order. Organization is another top 5 resolution. But, I really have to get with it on this one. When the Zaz was here last week, she helped me clean out and organize my closet. What an awesome feeling! Who knew there was a cozy, carpeted floor in the bottom of my closet? I sure didn't! It was an inspiration and I am ready to tackle the rest of the house. In baby-steps. After all, God didn't create the universe in a day...I can't expect to make miracles happen in a day, either.

I am proud to say that this is the one resolution I am truly sticking with. My closet is still clean. I even cleaned out the basement and held a garage sale! that is a HUGE step for me! (Especially since I despise garage sales.) I got rid of a lot of clutter. Of course, there are still piles in every room, but I made a dramatic difference in my closet, the basement and the laundry room. I am happy with that and I fully intend to keep organizing.

Resolution #5-Last, but not least, I am going to stop yelling so much. My poor Goombas are only going to have memories of a red-faced, high-pitched, high-decibel mother shrieking at them. I prefer for them to not always to think of me like that. As with Resolution #1, I am going to let go of the small stuff. They are children after all. A few extra moments for a snuggle here and there will probably do us all a world of good.

Unfortunately, this has been my least successful. I find myself yelling a lot. I yell to be heard over the noise. I yell to get my point across. I yell because I am tired and cranky and just plain spent from the day. I am just going to have to blame it on the fact that I come from a large, Italian, New York family. That's just how we talk to each other. ...sigh... Alas, my children will be lying on a therapists couch someday, paying thousands of dollars to figure out why the only thing they remember about dear old mom is the sound of her voice at 800 decibels. On the positive side...I have been more liberal with those snuggles and kisses that I mentioned in the resolution.

So, although it isn't perfect, I think I have done fairly well so far this year. And, I still have 8 more months to work on it, before I need new resolutions.