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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nap Time!

Hello, my name is Daisy and I am a Nap-aholic. 

Alas, it is true.  I am a 33-year-old, mother of three, and I find sheer joy in passing out on my couch every afternoon.  There.  I said it.  And the proverbial weight has been lifted. 

So, when did my nap addiction begin?  I really can't put my finger on it.  I never napped much until I went to college.  Of course, at that point in time, my very late nights (or early mornings, however you want to look at it) required short day-time sleeps for survival.  I would actually try to schedule my classes so that I didn't have anything from 1-3 p.m. every day.  And if that didn't work, well, there was always the back row of the class. 

I think, though, that my real love of napping started when I was pregnant with Mario.  I was so tired all the time.  Come on, Moms, you can back me up on this one. Growing another human is a lot of work!  So, I did a lot of napping.  Then, when Mario was born, he was so sweet and snuggly that it was just so easy to swaddle him up, relax in the rocking chair and doze all afternoon.  As Mario got older, he continued to be an excellent napper, which meant that I, too, was able to snooze after lunch.  Plus, everyone told me when I became a Mommy to nap when he naps!  Who am I not to listen to sound advice?

Fast forward to the arrivals of Luigi and Peach.  Luigi was NOT much of a sleeper.  He still isn't.  Which meant he was up a lot at night, which in turn, meant that I required a daily nap just to make it through a day without biting someone's head off or falling asleep at the wheel.  When Peach came along, we actually nicknamed her the Little Sleeping Pill.  Pretty much everyone that held her would settle themselves into the couch, and smell her sleepy little baby head, and instantly fall into a coma.  It's a fact.  Even today, I still get sucked in by her at bedtime and often drift off in bed with her. 

Which brings us to now.  None of my Goombas nap anymore.  This brings me great distress.  Bowser says that I am a grown-up and should not nap anymore.  He claims I should use my time in the afternoons to "get something done around the house."  Phooey.  How can I get anything done when our big, fluffy, soft sofa is calling my name?  Plus, Luigi has night terrors and Peach has become afraid of the dark, so really I am not getting a full night sleep even now.  I'm gonna go ahead and call survival mode again.  As the Zaz and the Pop will tell you, I NEED a specific number of hours of sleep per day, or I become a raging psycho.  We wouldn't want that to happen, now would we?

So, yes.  I am a Nap-aholic.  I think that if naptime were required (as in countries like Italy and Spain) that our world would be a happier place.  I also refuse to put an age-limit on napping.  Whether you are 3 months, 3 years, 30 years or more, if you find a cozy spot (in a sunny window is best!) I say you jump on that opportunity...  Yawn...  Snuggle in with your blankie...  And carpe di-nap-em...  Night-night.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5 Things You Didn't Know About Daisy

So, you think because you have been reading for a while that you know me, huh?  Well, you might be surprised at what I am hiding in my "secret garden."  Just when you think you know what song is about to come up on my iPod, or what I'm going to order for dinner--BAM!!! I'm gonna lay one on you that comes totally out of left field and you will be left scratching your head saying, "Wha???" (You know, like the Minions on Despicable Me.)

All righty then.  Here we go.  Five things you never knew about Daisy...  In random order...

5.  I like to think of myself as a music connoisseur.  I don't listen to teeny-bopper-candy-pop. That being said...  when I am alone in my car, I love to blast Taylor Swift's "Love Story," 'N Sync, and Backstreet Boys.  I swear I am worse than a 12-year old.  

4.  If I were on Death Row, for my last meal, I would choose Caesar Salad, New York Style Pizza, Cool Ranch Doritos, a jar of pickles, a 6-pack of Keystone Light, a fresh, crusty baguette with olive tapenade from my favorite Italian deli, and for dessert, a bottle of Ballatore Spumante.  And I would eat/drink every last crumb.  In fact, since I will most likely never find myself on Death Row, I think I just came up with my dinner menu for tonight.

3.  When I grow up, I really want to be an author of a best-seller, a movie star, a famous pastry chef, a stand-up comedian, or a bum traveling around Europe, doing odd jobs to make money.

2.  I very, very, very rarely leave my house without make-up on.  Even if I am wearing my sweat pants and a grubby old t-shirt, you can bet your bottom dollar that I have my "face" on, too.  It's kind of a sickness.  I won't even do just the mascara and lip gloss thing.  It has to be full on foundation, powder, shadows, liners, and the rest.  If you are one of the few that have seen me without it, be careful, 'cause if you tell anyone, you might find yourself sleeping with the fishies. 

1.  I refuse to wear the color orange.  It's a long story.  Let's just say that what happens in middle school does not always stay in middle school.  Sometimes it stays with you for the rest of your life.  And orange is NOT a puke-y color! 

So, there you have it.  Now you know.  And knowing is half the battle!  (Sorry.  Lame G.I. Joe reference.  I should add strange, random 80's references to my list, huh.)


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Thin and the Thick of It

One of my resolutions this new year, was to lose some weight.  This has been my top resolution every year since...  Well, probably for as long as I can remember.  It is also THE MOST popular new year resolution in our culture.  As this is weighing on my mind (no pun intended), I have recently made some very interesting observations.

First and foremost, I have noticed that everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE, I talk to complains about their body.  Heavy people, skinny people, curvy people, newly post-partum people, manly people, old people, young people...  Everyone.  Where did this come from?  How could so many people be so upset about their bodies?  I feel sometimes like we have come so far in looking past differences, and yet, when it comes to weight, we are a land of Judgy McJudgers.

I don't think I need to go into statistics here, because we have all heard them.  Yes, we are an obese country in general.  Yes, if you have a lot of belly fat it can cause heart problems.  Yes, being underweight can cause health issues of it's own.  But, let's put all of that aside and focus on my main point.  Why are we all so unhappy with how we look?  I don't ever hear anyone say, "Dang, I am so unhealthy!  I need to start eating right so that my heart keeps beating and my body works at it's best!"  Nope.  What I hear instead is, "Dang, I am so fat!  My jeans are too tight and all my clothes look like crap.  I need to lose weight to LOOK BETTER."  I know that I am definitely guilty of the latter statement.  Hmmm...

Does anyone here know what size the greatest sex symbol of the 20th century wore?  Marilyn Monroe wore not a 0, or a 2, or even a 4.  It is debated that she wore somewhere between a size 12 and 16.  Women wanted to be just like her and men wanted to just be with her!  Now, if we look for a size 12 or up, we need to go to the "plus-size" section and they have "special models" for the larger sizes.  

Let's look at the flip side.  Models are supposed to be tall, thin, and without many curves, so that when modeling clothing, it looks as though it does when it hangs from a hanger.  And yet, when a model, or movie star, or otherwise famous person gets too thin, don't think we don't hear about it!  The Duchess of Cambridge, has been fodder for tabloids because she is TOO THIN!  Many models have been criticized for being too skinny and looking frail. Demi Moore was recently chastised for becoming too thin while she was struggling through the breakup of her marriage. 

So, what is it, people?  Are we too fat?  Are we too skinny?  Where does "just right" fit in?

Well, I, for one, have a plan.  And it goes a little something like this...

I am done complaining about my weight.  Guess what?  I got here because I've learned to enjoy life.  I've carried two babies in my belly.  I have learned to cook good food, that isn't always low-cal, or fat-free, but my family likes it and it makes me happy to sit around the table, taking pleasure in eating dinner and sharing time with my husband and children.  I have an affection for good beer and fine wine (ok, ok.  More like box o' wine, but that tastes just fine to me! ba-dum-bum-ching!).  When I am out with friends I don't want to pass up dessert.  I love carnival food, french fries, and a deliciously crusty baguette, and I don't want to live my life being the one that looks miserable because she "can't eat it."

This is not to say that I am giving up and giving in and letting myself go.  I went to the doctor for a physical not long ago and she said I was healthy.  My heart is good, my liver is good (surprisingly!), my kidneys, my hormone levels (if you are ever around me during PMS, you will also find this shocking!), and everything else looked pretty darn good for a crazy mama in her mid-thirties.  And, you know what?  That sounded pretty good to me.

In short, my new theory is moderation.  Do I have a poochy belly?  Sure, but luckily poncho sweaters are all the rage right now.  Plus, I have some rockin' legs (yes, it is ok to find the GOOD things about your body!) that I can show off in leggings.  I am going to eat my fruits and veggies, and my french fries too.  I am going to drink my 6-8 glasses of water a day, and still enjoy my beer with dinner.  I am going to worry more about the number of hugs I give my loved ones, than the number that shows up inside my jeans or on the scale.  I am going to learn to love my flaws and show off my strengths.

There is a quote I love from Hunter S. Thompson, that has been just a tiny bit modified...

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, martini in one hand, chocolate in the other, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

Those, my friends, are words to live by.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Treading on New Ground

I write a lot about my younger two Goombas, and since they are pretty much always with me, most people forget, or don't even know that I have an older child.  That older child would be Mario, my almost-9-year-old, that inspired the "Goomba" theme for our family.  I sometimes get so preoccupied with pre-schooler stuff, that I tend to forget that my oldest needs some lovin' too.  Not that I am neglecting him, but hey, no mother is perfect. It can be so easy to think that he doesn't need my attention since he isn't hanging from my pant legs and screaming my name at obscene decibel levels over and over again.  But, my dear sweet Mario does, in fact, still need me, whether he wants to admit it or not.  And now that he is entering the **gasp!!!** 'tween years, he needs me even more, but I feel lost treading these new waters.

I've mentioned before about how I embarrassed him by trying to do the thumb-lick-face-wipe in front of the school building.  I've also mentioned his new phrases, such as, "Dude!  It was so cool!" And, "Whatever, it was, like, so awesome!" I even told you about my transition from Mommy to Mom.  But, I don't think I have talked much about this newly incorporated personality trait.  That would be his attitude.  I kid you not, this 'tude of his is about the size of freaking China.  I noticed it coming on slowly, but it hit us full force one evening when we had to take away his beloved DS.  It went a little something like this...

Me: Mario, it is time to go take your shower.  Find a place to save your game and head upstairs.
Mario:  (complete silence)
Me: Mario, did you hear me?
Mario: Yeah.  But, I'm playing.
Bowser:  Mario.  Mom is talking to you.  It is time for your shower.
Mario:  You guys just hate me and don't want me to have any fun!!!
Me: (dumbstruck) What?
Mario:  You heard me.  You never want me to do anything.
Bowser:  All right.  That is enough.  Give me your DS and go take your shower.  No more games tonight.
Mario:  Fine.  Whatever.  It's not like you can play it anyway, it is out of battery.  So, why don't you go ahead and charge it while you have it.
Me:  (head explosion)
Bowser:  Get. Upstairs. Now. (head explosion)

After Mario went upstairs, Bowser and I just sort of stared at each other.  What just happened?  Where did that attitude even come from?  What kind of alien teenager took over our son's body?

All of this is so new to me.  I have watched iCarly and Victorious with Mario to try to understand what is going on in the too-old-to-be-a-child/too-young-to-be-a-teenager mind.  Let me tell you something.  Those shows did not help me.  In fact, they sent terrifying chills through my soul that my once loving boy is about to become a technology freak that will try to dupe me at any chance he gets, and will sneak out and do things like yell at me in front of his friends and other adults.  Let's not even mention all the making out.  I really don't think I signed up for this.

When Mario was a baby, I used to silently pray that he would get his father's attitude and disposition.  It's not so much that I was a bad kid.  It's just that...  Well...  How do I put this delicately?  I do NOT want to deal with ME as a teenager.  Bowser on the other hand, was a pleasant, easy-going, parent-obeying child/teenager.  (Or so he says...)  I really wanted that for my kids. Fortunately, it seems they all have his looks and unfortunately, my rebellious personality.  Wonderful.  (Damn that karma!  She is such a bitch!)

I know we still have a few years until the actual, official teenage years, but I am really starting to worry.  If this is what he is like at almost 9, what is it going to be like at 13, or 15, or 17???  Oh dear.  Someone please tell me there is hope...  Otherwise I might as well just buy myself an entire liquor store.


Monday, January 9, 2012

This City Girl...

I am a city girl at heart.  I really don't think anyone would argue with me on that fact.  I like high heels and lots of jewelry, I never leave my house without my make-up on, and I do NOT camp or do any other outdoor type activities that would include me getting dirty in any way.  When I decided at the beginning of this year to be the Den Leader for Mario's Cub Scout den, my own father laughed and said, "You?  A Cub Scout leader? That is just so...  NOT YOU!"  But, we often do crazy things, that are outside of our comfort zone, for the ones we love.  Which is how I recently found myself heading to a Rodeo. 

When you think about rodeos, you probably think about bulls and blood, dust and mud, the roar of a Sunday crowd...  Boots and chaps and cowboy hats...  Wait...  Isn't that a song* or something?  But, what you probably do not think of is a high-heeled wearing, sparkle-purse toting, highlighted-hair New Yorker.  At least, that is not what I ever thought of when the word rodeo came to mind.  Never-the-less, this morning, I found myself packing up my backpack, throwing on a hoodie and wearing my walking shoes (sparkly Sketchers, of course) to head out to the National Western Stock Show with my Cub Scout den and my family. 

As we pulled into the parking lot at the complex, the smell of fresh horse and cow manure wafted through the air.  Now, I am an urban-ite through and through, but I did do most of my growing up in a small farm town, so this scent is not unfamiliar to me.  The Goombas pinched their noses and Luigi got a little excited at the prospect of getting to see "all that poop around here!" 

Although I have been to county fairs before, I have never been to an actual rodeo.  I didn't really know what to expect other than a bunch of animals running around and some guys trying to ride a bull while they get flopped around like rag dolls.  But, I acted excited so that the Goombas would be excited.  Woo Hoo!  Here we go!!! 

Once the opening program ended--which, I must say, was pretty modern and laser-y for cowboys--they started with bare-back riding.  After the first rider came out and managed to stay on that horse for 8 seconds I was HOOKED!!!  Those horses were wild!  Those chaps were fantastic!  And, DANG, those cowboys were sexy!  (Sorry, Bowser, but they were.)

I cannot believe it took me so long to get myself down to a rodeo!  I am actually not sure who had more fun, me or the Goombas and the scouts.  I got really into it, cheering with the crowd, groaning when a score wasn't good enough, and holding my breath when a bull rider would fall off and nearly get trampled.  And, in all honesty, I had heard of mutton-bustin' before, but never really knew what it was.  I mean, what IS a mutton and why on Earth would you want to bust it?  Well, now I know that it is the most adorable thing on the face of the planet!  This teeny-tiny, little 5-year-old cowgirl, glued herself to the back of that mutton and hung on for dear life as it ran down the arena.  The cowboy waiting at the end grabbed the girl by the back of her belt and lifted her up over his head and she totally worked that crowd!  I'm not kidding, if you have never seen it, you should Google it.  Cutest. Thing. EVER. 

Peach totally got into it, too.  She is as girly as they come, and a little bit prissy (like her mother), but she loved the horses.  She begged me for a cowboy hat and asked me when she could start riding the horseys like the other rodeo princesses.  Of course, she got a purple cowgirl hat and I am currently looking up places where she can take riding and mutton-bustin' lessons. 

So, I guess this rock and roll girl has just a little bit of country in her after all.  Right now, in fact, I have Bowser looking up tickets to another rodeo before the stock show is out of town, and I just might even get myself some sparkly cowboy boots to wear when we go.


*Of course it is a song!  Only one of the best Garth Brooks songs ever!  And I never really truly understood it till today! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Holiday Happenings and a Brand New Year

Well, it looks like a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Feliz Navidad, Happy Kwanzaa, and a very Happy New Year are all in order. My holidays felt like a whirlwind, and now, when I have finally found the time to sit and write about it, we are already 3 days into 2012. And, such is life. First, a few Holiday quips I thought you might enjoy...

Mario: While playing Monopoly one night, Bowser said, "You know, this is how people used to have fun before video games. They would sit with their family and friends and play board games like this." Mario looked at Bowser and said, "Well, I guess I'm pretty lucky then, that I am born now and have all the good stuff to play with." Touche', Mario.

Bowser: I came home, excited from finding lots of Christmas loot at a very discounted price at my favorite retailer. I pulled out a Mistletoe "kissing ball" and I said how happy I was to find it. I had always wanted Mistletoe in the house around the holidays, but seem to have a hard time finding it. With a smirk on his face, Bowser said, "Well, you already have a camel-toe, now you can have mistletoe to go with it!" And then he laughed hysterically.

Daisy: To Bowser, just this afternoon... "When in the hell do these damn Goombas go BACK TO SCHOOL????" I mean, I love them. I do. But, my mental health is failing quickly without regular routine and ALONE time.

Peach: Peach received a bunch of "color wonder" kits for Christmas. I love the Color Wonder, because they don't show up unless you use the special markers or paint on the special paper. (Although, secretly, I imagine a world in 20 years where parents begin to find strange markings all over their houses in odd places from when their toddlers played with Color Wonder markers. Just sayin'...) She loves it, and asked me to color in some of her princesses with her. I sat down to find that she had colored Snow White's hair and lips blue. So, I said, "I am going to color the horse's hair green!" She looked at me as though my head had popped off and she said, "Ummm, well, that would be weird!" (And when she says weird, you have to imagine a woman from New York with a very thick Brooklyn accent. It's awesome.) Right, Peach, the green horse's hair would be wee-ahd, but blue hair and lips on Snow White is totally normal.

Luigi: I don't even know where to begin with this kid. He is always a barrel of laughs. This season he loved listening to Christmas music. One of his favorites (other than Ru-Dog and the Policeman and Dad) was Holly Jolly Christmas. It would come on and he would say, "Hey, Mommy! Watch this!" And he would turn around and do this weird little butt shake thing that was a little bit Chris Farley, a little bit Beyonce, and 100% hilarious. One of these days I will remember to get it on video.

Now let's move on to my New Year's Resolutions. I'm gonna keep this short and sweet, because they are going to sound very similar to last year's resolutions. But, this time, I really mean it. Really. For real. I do.

~Lose weight. Yes. Because the scales have actually tipped to my heaviest (not counting pregnancy) and it ain't pretty. So, back to Points I go. Begrudgingly. But totally necessary.

~Get organized. I really believe that I can do this one. Now that the Goombas are a little bit older and I am not dealing with crying babies all night and bottles and diapers, I think this could work. Also, I have those 4 afternoons a week to myself. Instead of napping, I think organizing would be the perfect thing to do. On most days. Like 3 out of 4 of the days. Or maybe 2 out of 2. Either way, it's more than I was doing before, so it has to work.

~Be nicer, kinder, more understanding, more considerate, less negative, and far more patient. Because, honestly, if everyone did this, it would be a much happier world. And that would be OK by me. They say change starts with one person, and this is my year to make that person be me.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy new year! Now rush those kids off to school and head on over to my house for low-cal breakfast margaritas!