How to get away with Mur…MARRIAGE!

How to get away with Mur…RIAGE!

Ha! Marriage!
Yes, I almost said Murder; but both go hand in hand if you ask 40-50% of the population.

MARRIAGE: It’s supposed to be a “Merry-Age”? But for a lot of people it’s more like a slow torturous death.

The plus side is you can always just pull the plug and get a divorce, RIGHT?

NO!!! This totally annoys me.

If you inherently believe that you are gonna fail at something the whole while you are attempting it, don’t you think that negativity will filter through? At the first sign of trouble, you just throw in the towel and bail?

Gosh, we’d probably still be pushing boulders around and beating each other over the head with clubs if we gave up on everything so easily.

Yes, some issues arise because people get married for the wrong reasons, or without getting to know each other well enough, and so on. But for the purpose of this blog post, let’s assume both parties are in love and genuinely believe they WANT to spend the rest of their lives together.

I always hated the phrase “Marriage takes work.” If marriage takes work, then I guess parenting is unpaid overtime, with no breaks or benefits?

I only kid (if you are single and not a parent yet).

If you ARE married and/or also in the parenting phase of your life/relationship, have Faith; be Steadfast; YOU CAN DO THIS!

How? How can I get through another day, you ask? How can I be happy, make my partner happy, and be a good parent at the same time?

Well this post has all the answers you’ve been looking for, you just have to read the whooooole thing to find out.

Okay, I lied.

It’s not easy. It takes a lot of slapping yourself in the face, and saying “Snap out of it!” And “Stop whining like a lil B—-!”

Hi. My name is Carmen.

I’m 17 years into my relationship; almost 11 years into my marriage; and 8 1/2 years into the parenting phase.

And I’m very happy with my life, marriage and family up till now. Many will say I’m happy because I haven’t gotten to the bad part yet. Why do people always wanna have a worse story than you? Wether it’s relationship stories or the horrific labor stories women tell, we are always trying to one up with the bad vibes or bad news.

Well, thankfully, we passed the “7 year itch” without a hitch. We’ve got four kids, all natural labors, 3 with epidural. And although our oldest is only 8, she is frightfully maturing at the speed of light.

Unfortunately, there’s no epidural for marriage, but you shouldn’t need one.

Here are 10 other things you can do be happy in your marriage. I say other because there are so many factors that contribute to a happy marriage.

1: Play hide & seek.
Or, as I like to call it: randomly hide from your husband and scare the crap out of him.

WARNING: while this is EXTREMELY fun, and HILARIOUS, be warned that I cannot be responsible if you get punched or kicked in the face by your frightened significant other.

Whenever I hear him coming down the hall, I find a quiet place to hide and then wait… And wait… And wait. Sometimes for several minutes.

Sounds sinister, I know, but it makes for a great laugh for the both of us, after the initial scare that is. Thankfully he seems to forget to get me back.

2: Serenade each other randomly. 

You don’t need a fancy guitar or Mariachis. Just sing in the car or at home when “your song” comes on. Or text them randomly if you hear your song or any other romantic song on the radio. And don’t discriminate if it’s “Bump and Grind”; it’s the thought that counts.

3: Say I love you when you’re just going to another room.

Say I love you a lot! NO, it does not take the meaning away! Sometimes we don’t say it enough to avoid overuse.

Are you kidding me? Do you know how many times we use the word “the” or “and” everyday? Try taking that out of   rest of this blog post see how odd it would be.

Say “I love you” often as you can.

4: Make time to be Intimate.

This should be number 1, but the order doesn’t really matter.

This is especially true once you have kids, but even before. You get married, and have jobs and responsibilities, and before you know it you could be in a slump! Do not give in to the slump. As tacky or unexciting as it may sound, set aside time to be intimate. Literally, count the days and plan for it.

As boring as that may sound, it will still be fun and exciting once you get around to it! So book your calendars just as you would a mani, pedi, or gym-time.

5: Leave little love notes for each other. 

This one is more for the ladies.

Ladies, don’t read this and say, “my guy never does that.” You see THAT is YOUR biggest problem. Stop comparing your guy to someone else’s. AND stop expecting things from him just because you do them, or want him to do them. Men are totally different animals than us. They DO NOT think the way we do. So you have to learn to interpret and appreciate the little things they do for us.

Like what?

Well, how about when they fix something around the house; deal with your car problems; maybe they let you pick a movie. Okay, maybe it’s just a show between the commercials of the football game; okay, maybe you just hold the remote. FINE! Who am I kidding, we barely have remote rights.

Also, ladies, men are terrible guessers. Just tell them what you want and stop expecting them to “know” everything.

6: Compliment each other.

Naturally, as time passes and you start to settle into the relationship, you get so comfortable you forget how attractive you once found each other. You forget about the chase because you already caught each other, and even though you still have the hots for each other, you stop saying/showing it.

This sort of goes back to number 4/1, but also leads to #7.

7: Be confident.
Too often we don’t give ourselves enough worth. We get down on ourselves because we don’t like what we see in the mirror and we ASSume the other person is unhappy with us as well.

Well, NEWSFLASH, men are easier to please than you think. NO they are not blind; you ARE NOT Miranda Kerr or Sofia Vergara, and yes they find these women very attractive. BUT nevertheless, your spouse wants YOU! So ACT like you look like Miranda Kerr, just don’t talk like Sofia Vergara (that’s just annoying). Put on something sexy no matter what you look like, and your spouse will be happily surprised!

8: Never keep track of who owes who.

Marriage is a give and take (this also goes back to number 4/1).

It’s about compromising and sacrificing.

Sometimes you will feel like you are giving more than the other person. But you aren’t supposed to keep tabs. It’s not a math equation.

You don’t give in hopes of receiving, although the saying goes “you rub my back, I’ll rub yours.” And who doesn’t love a good back rub?

You have to love the person more than yourself. If you are both truly in love, then it all balances out.

Ask my husband and he’ll confirm, “Happy Wife; Happy Life!”

9: Don’t worry about other people’s relationships.

NOBODY is perfect. No matter how “happy” people seem.

You know what makes for a great marriage?

Discretion.
Keep your problems between the both of you. Work them out together, whenever possible just between you and your spouse. Because your unconditional love will forgive many things, but your friends, family and Facebook will not be as understanding or forgiving.

10: Articles about Marriage are like Fad diets.

Their advice WORKS! But the second you atop dieting, you gain all the weight/problems back.

You see marriage is for a lifetime. There is no quick fix, or one time remedy because life takes it’s own course. You have to face obstacles and challenges as they came. It’s impossible to plan for anything.

I hope this post is somewhat helpful. If I have to pick one out of the ten as thee most important, I would go with number 4! 😉

Like Nike says,“Just Do It!” LITERALLY!

Carpe What?

When I was 5 years old, I didn’t have many aspirations-aside from laying on my back on the living room floor, drinking a bottle of yoo-hoo chocolate milk, while watching the latest Woody Wood Pecker cartoon or Chilly Willy. Seriously, who didn’t love singing, “My name is Chilly Willy. I’m frozen through and through.”

Ah, Youth!

Those. Were. The. Days!

When my biggest concern was missing the clown at the end of the year party in kindergarten, because I had caught the chicken pox from my sister. Mrs. Rodriguez had been talking about the party for weeks. It was a big deal! ::rolls eyes and grumbles:: I can’t believe I missed it.

Can you imagine the impact those last two weeks of school would have had on my life?

**********

Moving on.

I had my first crush in 3rd grade. He was funny and cute… Dumb. As. Rocks, though. He brought his dad’s credit card to school one day. He was so cool! It said his name right there on the card.

He held it up to me gleaming. The plastic coating that made the card shiny, rather than just a dull matte blue, was slightly peeling off one corner. It was just a little bit, but naturally, I pulled on it and a huge piece flaked off. It’s like a scab, and who can resist picking a scab?!?
My eyes opened wide, as did his. His face turned a bright red, and his eyes welled up.

He ignored me for weeks! Okay, so it was just a few days, but it seemed like forever. Our desks were arranged in groups of six, and ours faced each other.

We didn’t have twitter or hashtags back then, but seriously #FirstWorldProblems.

One day, when we were on speaking terms again, he said, “Meet me at the big tree after school.”

Oh my God! He likes me! I thought giddily, but somehow contained my excitement and only let out a mild, “Sure.”

I hesitated on the sidewalk that day—to the left was the field with the big tree, to the right, the pick up line.

Decisions. Decisions.

I was 8.

I pulled nervously on the black straps of my backpack and waited at the pickup line.

It was the last week of school; my last week at that school.

He didn’t say anything about it the next day.

I imagined that he had waited by the tree, and watched me drive off in my uncle’s red Buick Regal.

**********

5th grade

Another crush…

He was older, and a writer…

Stephen King. LOL! I bet you thought this post was taking a dark and twisted turn. But no, I simply fell in love with his writing and with reading in general.

I started writing poems here and there. At school we learned about Haikus. HaiWho? HaiWhat?

First they were senseless,
But with time I did catch on;
I wrote more and more.

My best friend and I would write short stories, mostly murder mysteries. We haven’t published any just yet, but any day now we’re gonna dig through those boxes of journals and notes and yearbooks, and I bet we have some real gems in there!

I also loved Archie’s Digest. My mom would always pick one up for me in the checkout line at Publix.
I always thought my best friend and I were Betty and Veronica. Her name was Veronica, but I wasn’t blonde. Well, neither of us were. Ah the point is they were best friends, and I identified us with them. Das it!
**********
7th grade

This is beginning to read more like one of my journals, and boy did I have tons of them!

Thirteen, and I’ve decided I’m gonna be a lawyer. It’s more like I was pushed into it by my father. I prepared many opening statements, and filed countless motions before him. Unfortunately, I never won any cases. He was the opposing counsel AND the judge, kinda one sided there don’t you think?

So, what do a budding teenager and her old fashioned father argue about you might ask.

For starters, anything that involves being out of the house with other people, aside from school or work, regardless of the time of day. It was harsher than it sounds.

Whether it was just hanging out at my best friend’s house, going to a movie, or roller skating at Hot Wheels, the answer was an affirmative “No!”, and only sometimes a tortured “Yes”, thanks to my mom’s nagging. Oh, and God forbid I mention the beach, or come home from the “mall” with a tan.

I just wanted to hang out with my best friend, listen to Aerosmith, and talk nonsense (but very important, best friend nonsense) over a slice of Papa John’s and some Chips Ahoy cookies.

Imagine if we had done everything we had planned back then?

We might be running a clothing store called ClothesStop. Or was it ClothesTime? It definitely would’ve been a chain of stores by now. #Forever13

**********

9th grade
Life has gotten so much easier! #SaidNoTeenagerEVER

You turn 15 and your dad turns into an even bigger drag!

My inseparable best-friend and I are now separated by way of about 26 blocks between our high schools. Not very far on a map, or driving time, but apart nonetheless….creating a gap that opened ever so slightly each day, like bolts you turn to stretch a bone. A little pain each day, until suddenly you are taller, or in this case more distant.
**********

1997
I met a boy. Well, if you ask my father, he was a man.

He did have a lot of facial hair, and chest hair, and arm hair, and leg hair.

OKAY, he was all hair, and hair meant he was not a boy. O_o

Beware the hair, mommas and poppas!

OF COURSE, I thought he was “the one”.

Father hates him? CHECK!

PERFECT!

That wasn’t really why I thought he was the one. I was young, but I was in love.
And contrary to all of my fathers…”instructions” let’s call them, I was certain that he was right for me.

I was only 15, but I was right.

***********

2003

I hit the big 2-1! I could now drink “legally”! Woohoo!

My high school sweetheart proposed on my 21st birthday, April Fool’s Day. Thankfully, it was not a prank!

But I wasn’t shocked. I did not break down in tears. Somewhere, there is footage on an old video camera that captured the moment. WHERE IS IT? I don’t know, but the important thing is: I. did. not. cry.

Am I heartless or cold-hearted? Some might say yes.

But I wasn’t. I didn’t cry because I wasn’t shocked. I loved him, and I knew he loved me. I wanted to get married eventually, but we had what mattered the most already- love and each other. So I said yes, slipped the ring on my finger, and we went upon our merry way.

We are now 10 years into the marriage and ready for Divorce…

HAHA! Just kidding. We’ve got 4 amazing kids, and I couldn’t be happier. I do cry a lot more these days, though. Once you have kids your hormones and emotions just spiral out of control. Okay, that could just be me… Moms?
My best friend is still that.

Our friendship was like a butterfly that reincarnated back to a larvae, and metamorphosed again after college. (I totally had to look up that word… Metamorphosed, doesn’t really roll off the tongue.)  We both got pregnant with our first child around the same time, and now our little caterpillars are going to grow up together. #Cliches #Metaphors

**********

Life can be exciting, but unpredictable.

My life is not perfect. It’s great; not perfect. But I am happy, nevertheless.

Do I ever question life, the whos, whys and whens? Yes, I’m only human, of course I do.

But I never regret, and I never wish to go back or relive.

You have to live your life forgetting about the “What ifs?” and instead saying, “What NOW?”
CARPE DIEM!

And that DOES NOT mean act like an idiot; live today, who can speak for tomorrow.

For me It means live for today, because yesterday is gone; what have I learned from my choices and experiences, and what can I do with them now for a better tomorrow.

Seize Change!
And while there are things that I wish had not happened in my life, or perhaps, that had just happened differently, I am certainly glad I never went to the big tree that day.

Construction

This weekend we attended a destination wedding in Colombia.

******

We overcrowded a large chiva bus that drove us around town blasting music. There was dancing in the aisles, and much cheering each other on as we, unsanitarily, gulped whiskey from a bottle we passed around; several bottles, actually. We wore printed straw party hats and colorful thematic necklaces with traditional Colombian designs—elephant masks & bull heads.

20130527-235634.jpg

I watched a friend’s husband as he gazed at her from across the torn leather seats of the chiva bus. At some point during the excitement of cheering, dancing and exchanging saliva and liquor, they had been separated.

He searched for her through the people dancing and drinking in the aisle. She didn’t notice him staring so earnestly at her. He smiled. Maybe it was partly his loins that yearned for her. After all, the next night he would jokingly hump our table at the reception after a little borrachera from one too many drinks and cigars. But right now, it was his eyes that smiled, admiring her beauty as she laughed and clapped at those around her.

******

We held tight to the champagne bottle bubble favors the coordinator had handed us at the door of the church. We waited excitedly for the moment we could start blowing bubbles. Not so much because it meant our two friends were now united forever by GOD, but because blowing bubbles is fun, Damn it! A few of my friends, okay just one of them, innocently blew bubbles into the aisle before it was “time”. What a rebel! We laughed.

The clear christmas lights adorning the white rose and hydrangea arrangements along the aisle, shone hopefully through the tiny spheres that drifted above our heads.

We listened intently as the happy couple repeated their vows to each other sweetly. The groom stuttered nervously as he said,”Fi.. Fide.. Fi…Fi… Fidelidad.

I think we all wanted to shout the word as he stumbled through it. Fidelity is probably not the part of your vows you want to falter on, but it was innocent nerves.

His bride sailed through her vows seamlessly, but we aren’t gonna read into that. 😉

******

Later, I watched my newly wed friends on the dance floor. The bride smiled affectionately as she sang to her husband. All eyes were on them as they belted romantic lyrics to each other, spinning each other around, sometimes fast, sometimes slow; at arms length, then real close. They saw only each other.

They danced throughout the night; and always, love danced in their eyes.

******

Another friend, overjoyed for the happy couple, chose Patron for her celebratory toast(s). Her other half watched as she poured another glass on the rocks, then swayed her way to the dance floor where she and other friends danced energetically.

He reveled in how she enjoyed herself—dancing, laughing and taking pictures.

Did she have a bit too much tequila? Maybe.

But he never said a word; he never flinched; he never grimaced as she teeter tottered across the dance floor to use the bathroom. But, he was there to help walk her to their room, to take care of her in sickness, in hangover, and in health.

******

Me and my better half sat together most of the night. I’m not big on dancing in general; the fact that 95% of the music was salsa, merengue or other Latin beat, didn’t help.

A chicken with its head cut off has more rhythm than I do.

We shared a celebratory cigar on a balcony just outside of the reception hall. (I took 3 puffs. Spicy is all I have to say. Mouth on FIRE! Adventurous moment over.)

We were alone.

We chatted and gossiped. We laughed and flirted. Looked at each other, looked away. We held hands, we held each other. We kissed.

We didn’t stare off into the sunset. The view was mainly building sites that had just broken ground; other edifices, only 3 to 4 stories into the process; and some, just sites sectioned off for future use.

******

Love, like construction, changes and grows; just never stop building.

Shipping and Handling

I received a package the other day. I often get packages at home because I do a lot of online shopping. Yes, I love buying stuff, but I’m really not big on malls. I can’t say that I enjoy walking around for hours, going from store to store, trying on countless outfits, just to leave with a belt & a couple of perfume samples. And, I definitely don’t want to waste the little free time I have, there. For me, it’s worth the shipping & handling.

I saw the package on the front lawn on my way out that morning. It was covered in dew, must have been there since yesterday. I tossed it in the house, wondering what it could be, since I hadn’t ordered anything, but I didn’t have time to check.

When I came home that night, there was another, larger package by the door.

Odd.

I brought them both into the kitchen.

Sure enough the packages were addressed to someone else—Jane*, the lady who used to own my house.

*(The names have been changed to protect the innocent, and by innocent, I mean the children.)

My husband and I only met her once, on the day of the closing; by then we had come to a few conclusions about her. But, we met her husband, or rather ex-husband, when we saw the house for the second time.

His realtor mentioned how he was looking better, and filling out again.

We learned that John had survived a battle with cancer the year before.

John showed us through the house. One of the walls of the family room was a showcase of his daughters’ awards and accolades over the years for volleyball and softball. There were numerous school pictures, and their graduation pictures.

There were no “family” pictures.

The rest of the house seemed pretty bare.The master bedroom, although huge, looked more like the maid’s quarters: a small bed, 1 nightstand, 1 lamp. No decorative frames, furry rugs, floor mirrors, or big fancy comforters. Just some drabby old sheets that seemed to be collecting dust. Throughout the house we noticed grime in the corners of the bathrooms, behind doors, and so on. Someone was trying to keep up appearances, but barely.

It didn’t seem like anyone had been doing much living there for a while now.

He showed us the patio area,”This is a great party house. The pool is heated. Nice big yard. The cabana has a bathroom and a shower; perfect for entertaining.”

John mentioned that his daughters’ friends were always at the house because the school was so close by. “Our daughter goes to school down the street,” we added.

“That’s great! We loved having all their friends over, to enjoy the pool and the lake. We’d barbecue. Those were great times,” he said staring off towards the lake.

“I live with my parents now, and my youngest daughter,” he added and turned back towards the house.

Jane’s number was listed on the package just above her name and my home address. I decided I’d give “the bitch” a call to let her know about her packages.

“The Bitch” seems like a strong name for a woman we barely knew… Seems.

The day of the closing, she brought her new husband along, a man she had conveniently met at the very school her daughters and his son had attended. We wondered, “Did they meet before he got cancer or after? Before the divorce finalized or after?” Needless to say, she wasn’t looking good in our book.

Jane had inadvertently left behind a drawer full of lingerie in the built-in in the closet. After we moved in, I started cleaning out the drawer and noticed some greeting cards and letters. Don’t get snooty, OF COURSE, I opened them. There were Christmas and birthday cards from her now husband, dating back 3 or 4 years.

One letter read, “I wish we could already be together this New Years. You’ve brought so much happiness to my life. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you…”

Sounds sweet enough, except she was still living with the father of her children at the time.

Despite what I may have thought about her marital misbehavior, Jane was very sweet and appreciative when I called to let her know about the packages. She said her daughter would drop by the next morning to pick them up.

I said I’d leave them by the door, but the next morning just as I was heading out, a black honda civic was parked halfway in the gate, motor running. It was her daughter. The driveway was clear, but she seemed to hesitate to pull up all the way. She stared in my direction under the carport, not at me so much as at the large wood front doors.

She saw me then, walking out with the packages, and got out of the car.

“Good Morning. These are the packages that came for your mom.” I said, handing them over. She didn’t say a word, or couldn’t.

She finally smiled and nodded, taking them from me, but staring through the open doorway into the house behind me.

In the mornings, the sun shines through the many windows and doors of the living room. It’s the main area just as you walk into the house—bright and crisp and hopeful. It sold the house to me. The clean light cheers up the whole house and mood…well, most of the time.

The exchange took only seconds, but felt longer. Her eyes wondering,”When did this stop being my home?”

She returned to her car. I pretended I had forgotten something and went back inside to wait until she was gone. She sat in the car for a few minutes before finally driving off.

That was some expensive shipping and handling, I thought sadly.

Move Over, Me

As I lay in bed last night by my husband, fully clothed (this is relevant later), iPad propped up on my knees while I worked on this blog, my iPhone vibrated. It was my turn to roll in Dice with Buddies.

Is this what relationships have come to…electronic conversations and gaming, side by side with your partner?

YES! Five-of-a-kind! I take great pleasure in this roll worth 50 points, because my husband beats me all the time. In the game, he beats me in the game.

Marriage Tip: A little competition is healthy, heck, maybe even necessary in a relationship. It can keep things interesting, especially if you spice up the deal; loser cooks dinner; loser gets up if the kids start crying—null if more than one child is crying; or loser grants winner some other “special favor”.

::insert winky face::

Anyhow, I have been a practicing nurse, negotiator, singer, storyteller, and professional butt-wiper for almost seven years now. I have a 6 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, and a 2 year old girl who is thankfully almost potty trained. I have a full-time job operating a retail clothing-shoes-hair accessories-luggage-toys-watches-perfumes-custome jewelry-among other things, store.

::insert self promotion here:: VALSAN

I am married with children and have 3 dogs, Kobe, Konan, and Kay (Karl was recently deceased)—”every kiss begins with ‘K’ay, our favorite jeweler’s jingle. We also care for a spunky (that means loud) cockatoo, Mango; Maria Sofia the pet turtle who shares a tank with an orange parrot and other colorful cichlids; another tank decorated with disney and spongebob figurines that houses pleccos, a brainy goldfish, which my daughter claims is very smart, and 2 angel fish, who contrary to their name, can be rather vicious and territorial. A lonesome fighting fish keeps us company in the kitchen. A recently acquired lizard—and by acquired I mean I caught it in a red solo cup in my patio as the kids cheered me on—Mrs. Stripes, peers at the fighting fish, from atop her faux cactus. Thankful, the dwarf hamster, does cardio on his wheel in the laundry room. Hamsters are nocturnal, by the way.

Parenting Tip: If you should ever make the mistake of promising a hamster to your child if they behave well, and they will, be sure to grease the hamster’s wheel, or it’ll be squeaking ALL NIGHT LONG!

For those of you that don’t have kids or pets yet, I’ll even warrant that some plants need caregivers too, here’s a little heads up: MOM is an acronym for Move Over, Me.

In other words, whatever you enjoyed doing prior to having kids, or pets, and yes, in some cases plants, such as—falling asleep naked after a romantic evening; or, enjoying a romantic evening at all; driving to Krispy Kreme after midnight for a fresh, warm snack; vomiting out your friends SUV window, AND all along the side of the car, after a night of dancing and drinking; or just simple things like taking a hot bubble bath, quietly reading the latest bestseller on your toilet, sleeping through breakfast on a lazy Sunday; all of this and more, takes a backseat to your kid’s needs.

I never particularly enjoyed sleeping in the nude. I’m too friolenta (easily prone to being cold); I need a shirt, pajama pants, socks, a bed sheet, blanket and comforter. As I warm up throughout the night, I get decidedly provocative and start stripping; although, I never quite make it to ‘R’ rated nudity, nor do I have a sexy dance number, as I am not very limber.

I never cared much for staying out late either, partying it up on a random Tuesday. Who goes out on a Tuesday you ask…

Lot’s of people! Young, carefree, childless people; maybe careless, but also free of child.

When it’s just you and your husband, or significant other, you can pick up and go anywhere, anytime, with or without a plan.

Oftentimes, I pry my eyes open in the wee morning hours. After snoozing for 9 minutes, I get up to get my daughter ready for school, myself ready for work, my gym bag ready, then wake the other kids to take them to Abuela’s house, and I think, “Again?” Is it yesterday or tomorrow? Whenday?

I brush my teeth and shower every day, and that’s okay. You gotta eat regularly, and drink: 64 oz of water, half your body weight, or whatever the doctors are recommending now a days. You have to work, a lot. Occasionally get some exercise in, like at the gym; on a treadmill; or lifting weights; NOT at the office exercising your jaw chismosiando with the girls, that’s Spanish for gossiping. Then, I come home, eat dinner, play with the kids, read to them and tuck them in, before a quick shower. Wiggle in some time with my husband, at least cuddling for a bit before he’s fast asleep snoring. Then I find myself enjoying my new endeavor, blogging; or at least trying to between nudging him every couple of minutes when his snoring begins to resemble the snarl of the Predator. Finally, I’ll get a text from my sister, scolding me to, “GO TO SLEEP!” because she caught me Pinteresting. I fall asleep about 10 minutes later, after checking Facebook, Instagram, my email and WordPress one last time. Then to do it all again the next day.

This broken record feeling is NOT because of the kids; we’re just all grown up. It’s called life, and it’s not a simple game of rolling the dice.

For a while, I thought the spontaneity would be gone from my life once I had kids, but I was wrong. What’s more spontaneous than a child—throwing up curdled milk on you, and then some remnants of the macaroni and cheese from dinner, just when you thought they had evacuated completely; your son peeing at you and your surroundings while you change his diaper; your daughter cutting her hair to imitate Tangled, thankfully, hers does grow back; how about your youngest repeating a curse word after you yell at a veering motorist.

The truth is, you don’t realize until after you have kids, not so much with pets and plants, sorry, that there was something missing in your life. Kids occupy a special, messy and sometimes smelly, place in your heart.

There’s nothing more spontaneous than a sweet hug and “I love you” from your toddler after reading her a story; a heart shaped drawing left on your nightstand addressed to Mom; a genuine prayer, “for all my family members. I don’t know how many I have, but please bless all of them”; an innocent voice asking you to lay in his bed and give him cosquilla until he falls asleep…

Today, I accompanied my sister to get an ultrasound; she is 20 weeks pregnant with her first child.

Looking at an ultrasound most people wonder, “what is that,” while all along nodding and smiling as the technician points out the right foot, kidneys, and ,”oh look at the nose!”

Nose? I thought that was the sex of the baby. I guess it’s not a boy. O_o

Regardless of what our eyes interpret, every mother sees a vision of perfection; innocence and purity embodied in this tiny human she is blessed to carry for 9 months, and care for all her life.

Only God knows the plans that he has for each parent and child, but I believe they all include, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11

I’ll admit, it doesn’t say anything about getting peed or pooped on; staying up late with a sick and cranky child; or giving up JayZ when the kids are in the car.

What it does say is that a child gives much more than it takes. So, Move Over, Me; let your child teach you about living.

A Shooting Star

November 25, 2012

Last night I saw a shooting star.

Bright & hopeful, it ascended.

I followed its orange-gold trail as it
rocketed across the sky, and smiled in wonderment at this message from Above.

A few, too brief seconds.

I thought about my wish as my eyes descended upon the lake.

They followed the icicle lights along the fence, past the luminous Framboyan tree, until I was looking around the patio.

Music played.

My newly-wed sister, danced by the pool, carefree, with her equally jubilant husband.

Laughter resonated from the bar where friends exchanged, drinks, numbers and mustaches.

Cigar smoke billowed near my father’s table. Whiskey and tales of yore I can only aspire to.

Floating candles and rose petals highlighted the dessert table. Strawberries, brownies, rum cake – pure decadence.

One of the kids ran back into the house “before” I could spot them outside barefoot.

My husband walked towards me.
I hugged his arm and said,”I JUST saw a shooting star!” He smiled & kissed me.

In that moment, I realized my wish was already true.

Matthew 2:10
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.

The Night my Husband was Right

March 23, 2013

::Law and Order Voice:: This is a true story. The names have not been changed because nobody got murdered or hurt; victimized, maybe.

Oh what a night…. Last night to be exact.

It all started when I finally got all the kids to sleep. It was 10:30 pm, and I got this crazy notion that I could shower, wash my hair, and unwind a little, before bundling into bed early.

I get my comfy pjs ready and undo my hair, when my husband says,”The toilet’s not flushing.”

“What? Did you try the plunger.”

“Yep.”

“Let me try,” I say, because you know how hard it is to use a plunger. It requires speed, strength, and just the right angle to pop a clogged drain.

After SEVERAL strenuous attempts, I can confirm “There’s definitely something wrong. I’m gonna try to flush it again.” The water is going nowhere, well, except maybe a little. “Hmmm, It seems to be gurgling up into the big tub.”

“What?!? Did I hear you just try to flush the toilet again?”

“Knowing” this was just a little scare and that the water would go down on its own, I pretend not to hear him and jump in the shower; however, fearing the worst, I proceed to wash my hair as quickly and terribly as ever before. In no time, I am standing in an inch and a half of bubbly backed up water; it’s clean if there’s soap in it, right?

My husband, who had earlier warned me not to try to flush the toilet since it hadn’t been working, stares at me through the shower door. His bedroom eyes say,”This is your fault,” before he leaves the bathroom to call miami-dade water and sewer.

I get out of the shower. The tub continues to fill, and I ponder a bath, but decide I should probably clean up the mess first, or at least contain it.

To my wonderful surprise, water starts to leak from the bidet’s pipes, but just slowly enough for me to run down the hall to the linen closet.

As I start to build a towel fortress to contain the advancing smelly sewage, I realize I am quickly depleting my resources. I make sure not to use the towel we bought on our honeymoon, even though it is tattered along one edge & has a hole in it- dryer must be a smoker.

Suddenly, “The other bathrooms!”

I walk quickly, but calmly to my daughter’s bathroom, hoping my composed demeanor will strike fear into any mischievous pipes. But my tactics fail, and there is already a frightful puddle gaining on the door, almost horror-movie-like, i.e. the blob.

Another mini-fortress is built; I lose several good beach towels in this battle.
The girl’s shower is also making a good effort to creep towards the brim in an attempt to overflow and knock down my stronghold.

THANKFULLY, my son’s bathroom is behaving. No leaking pipes, although the bathtub is half full, or half empty… At this point I am taking whatever positive angle I can find.

The guest bathroom presents no problems either.

11:12 pm – MDWSD was OTW. Acronyms I am glad to hear. But it could be an hour or two of smelling the sweet aroma that is permeating the bedrooms and hallways.

After shutting off all the valves, I do suicides down the hall between the 3 bathrooms to make sure everything stays under control until the sewer gods arrive.

The towels darken as they soak up the pungent waters.

12:10 am – Normally, I would complain when a noisy engine revs out-front, but tonight it is the sound of music. “The sewers are aliiiive…”

I demurely peek through the family room curtains and watch two men uncover a manhole in the street near my front gate.

The truck beeps as they reposition it near the hole.

I run to my bathroom and stare at the murky water in the tub, willing it to go down. Hours pass… Okay it was just minutes, but long eternal minutes.

The truck starts pumping sewage from the line. “We hope this will clear the problem,” they tell my husband.

“Hope?” We think, looking at each other.

I return to our bathroom.

“Nothing. Is. Happening.” I think, downtrodden. I close my eyes and realize my new house will be inundated by stink dirty water; the smell will never come out, even after we mop the floor a thousand times, and tear out the ruined, rotting baseboards.

“That’s it. We are going to have to move! We just got this house. I just unpacked more boxes, and hung up several frames. I’m having a party here on Sunday. Omg! I’m having a PARTY. HERE. in 3 days!”

I close my eyes. My train of thought is spiraling dramatically, when suddenly, a loud slurping sound.

The water in the tub and shower is receding.

Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! ::insert happy dance here::

To quote a friend, “Longer story short,” It worked. They unclogged the pipes, and the water returned to the rightful home of the sewer creatures, who thankfully did not make an appearance in this story.

I’ll leave out the part where I clean up the two bathrooms for the next hour or so. I was happy to do it, and afterwards…

I took a nice, hot relaxing bath. I snuggled into some fresh pajamas, and crept into bed at 1:30am.

I slept soundly for about 2 hours, until my youngest woke up crying with a stomachache; more plumbing issues. O_O but that’s a story for another day.

The Loo

April 7, 2013

The kids are asleep. I often begin this way because once you become a parent most of your time revolves around work or your kids; any free time is precious and worth talking about, hence the interesting story that follows.

“I’m gonna take a shower,” I tell my husband.

As I walk down the hallway to my bedroom, I know I’m going to enjoy every quiet, steaming hot moment; I’m referring solely to the temperature and not the “heat of the moment” of my nakedness. I’ve birthed three children, there’s nothing “hot” about this scene. Although my husband will say otherwise, it has become painfully evident that he is legally blind. I could probably get one of those handicap signs… Nope, too lazy. I never got the “Stroller Parking” permit either. Then again, I had a BABY, I didn’t lose a limb.

“I’m gonna take a shower”, I had said, which, come on ladies, we all know it’s really code for I’m going to Sh… Shave, I’m going to shave my legs.
Oh, STOP kidding yourself, you are going to use the toilet, abuse it even.

I had my Tina Fey book and my iPhone, although with only 8% battery life it offered little promise for entertainment.

Frankly, I don’t know if my process takes so long because I suffer from constipation, or I inadvertently sidetrack my intestinal functions with reading, pinning, and “look what she posted on Facebook, AGAIN” texts— a “Social Crap” one might say.

“PERFECT!” I exclaim reaching for my Sudoku book. Just enough time for a quick game without any kidmercial interruptions.

GASP! Was that the hall door?

My husband is coming. I said I was going to shower 20 minutes ago! Toss the sudoku back into the corner, wipe, flush, aaaand jump in the shower. Only to realize I’m still wearing my glasses. Well, that won’t seem believable. I awkwardly reach my arm out, smooshing my face against the glass door because surely the floor has cooties, and drop them on the counter.

Act casual when he walks past the shower door, like you’ve been in here for a while. It’s not like he knows your Ew de Toilet after all these years.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been married for almost 9 nine years. That doesn’t seem long to older couples like our parents, but I guarantee it’s long enough for the mystery to be gone. We ALL pee, and poop, and fart; sometimes, all at once. Don’t blush, gasp, or jaw drop. Ladies, you can only hide behind that air freshener for so long.

Shower done. I towel dry and get dressed. Brush my teeth—marriage tip, always shower and brush your teeth before bed, ESPECIALLY if you have kids. You need to be prepared for any “opportunities” that might open up (insert pun here).

I sort of toss my hair around a little bit. I AM exhausted, and I’m sort of hoping he’s already asleep; but if he’s not, I wanna look half decent; although for the most part your husband’s libido always thinks you look great.

Turns out, it WAS him in the hallway. He went out the garage to walk the dogs, and back to the living room to watch the game. It was a false alarm.

“Gosh, I skipped my loo for nothing,” I think as I bundle up under the covers.

That guacamole from earlier is still doing a number on me. My stomach rumbles, and I deem it an opportune moment to pass gas.

GASP! Was that the hall door?