Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ten Things - January 2010

Every day of every week of every month there are more than ten things I am thankful for.  My blessings are bountiful and I don't take any of them for granted.  EVER.  January was full of wonderful moments.  Some big, some not.  All sweet.

Ten Things

Great seats for my first ever Rose Parade with my favorite guys

The Princess on drums, her Dad on guitar and The Athlete singing lead vocals on Beatles Rock Band

Being married to someone I truly admire
I Love you, Coach Montoya

Watching larvae turn into butterflies
COOLEST.GIFT.EVER (thank you, Meghan!!)


A much needed and truly treasured lunch date with my BFF

The Athlete raiding his piggy bank to buy a new book!

image courtesy of

Raising silly kids

Teachers who make a difference

Welcoming a new little love to our family
God Bless William Edward
Congratulations, Michelle & Kevin

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts

It's Tuesday which is just the best excuse in the whole wide world to unleash Random Thoughts on the world.  Many thanks to The Un Mom for hosting each week.  Of course, my world is chock full of random.  Of course.


I'm traveling this week and am one smokin' hot mess.  I was so clogged with gunk yesterday that I actually barfed after I woke up.  That's a nice visual, I know.  But have you EVER been so congested that you actually threw up?  Not me.  It's a first.  I intermittently feel terrible and fine every half hour or so and my eyes hurt so bad it's a challenge to keep them open.  Odd. Scary.  I dunno, but I'm pretty much over it and it's not even Hump Day yet.

As much I miss my family when I am traveling I do love working in a hotel room and watching a television that is not tuned to ESPN at a decibel level that harms dogs.  I happened upon The Bachelor last night and decided that I like Jake just fine.  Not only is he super easy on the eyes, but I sorta dig that he's sending girls home left and right.  Why lead them on so they can go on and on about how they knew there was a special spark and can't believe that Jake didn't see it . . . blah, blah, blah.  He actually said "Do I have to give out two roses?"  Well hot damn.  I like you, sir.  Send 'em packing and get down to the good stuff.  I only sawe the last hour, but that alone was worth the trip.

Oh, that and the shopping here.  I am SUPER busy (well aside from this little break in my day.  I type fast.  Merely a blip on my radar) and occupied every minute.  It's a good thing, too because I had forgotten how much great shopping there is in Scottsdale.  I have no particular desire to move somewhere that has 8 foot cacti scattered along the landscape, but having done lots of shopping damage in every corner of the Continental US, this place definitely has more good shopping per capita than anywhere else.  I mean it.  Anywhere.  Maybe I think that because it's flat and you can see all the shops on one road.  That could definitely be it.  But it hasn't stopped me from daydreaming about Nordstrom Rack and Ulta across the street.  ** sigh**

After last week's little treat of a conference for The Princess I have been scrambling for some extra curricular activities for her.  She has done dance, cheer and gymnastics and isn't particularly interested in taking up any of them on a full time basis.  That little detail combined with the fact that I can't be somewhere with her for two hours on a Wednesday afternoon @ 2 is making my search a little bit of a challenge.  BUT today I saw that a restaurant here was offering cooking classes for kids.  That's cool!  I am going to check into that at home.  Perhaps that could occupy her.  Perhaps.

Hope your week is randomly fabulous!  Don't forget to go see Un Mom and all her random friends.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Flashback Friday

Yesterday's Teacher Conference for the Princess yielded an expression of concern from Mrs. Nelson about attitude.  Academically the Princess is doing extremely well and is far ahead of the curve in many instances.  She is, however, a bit of a personality.

I didn't want to laugh.  That would be inappropriate.  And I AM concerned.  But I am NOT surprised.  I've seen that attitude her entire life.

This week's flashback may be the first time I ever captured her attitude on film.  She was 4 monthes old.  Please pray for our family.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Letters to Someone

Dear Big Title with No Brains ~

Yes, that is a nifty idea.  It WOULD be great to be able to have your guests register for the Conference online so you don't have to keep a list of RSVPs.  My team likes it so much we do it for everything.  However, YOU didn't have a business plan and didn't get any money for your event until last month.  Yeah, that sort of makes it hard for us to roll you into our technology that's been live for 10 MONTHES!!!  So.  I'll keep doing what I do, quite well, and you keep that spreadsheet updated.  We'll even get ya a table and chairs to check people in when they get there.  Do you need to borrow a highlighter and a sharpie?  I'll see what I can do.

Happy Data Entry to You,

Miss Not Accepting Suggestions Until You're Organized
Dear Lady in the Jeep Liberty ~

It's been days since our encounter, but I can't quite get over you.  That's uncommon for me.  I am willing to believe that maybe you don't know that California law requires you to yield to pedestrians.  Maybe you haven't been to traffic school in the last 100 years or so.  Fine.  But let's drill down to basic human decency. Causing a woman and her young child to stop in the crosswalk in the driving rain because you're too effing rude to stop is just wrong. W.R.O.N.G.  You are oh so lucky that I make an effort to control myself in the presence of my children.  Otherwise you may have had an umbrella through the windshield.  Did you see Britney lose it a few years ago?  Yeah, that could be me.  What goes around comes around lady.  You'd better be careful.

Most Sincerely,

The Soaking Wet Chick in the Crosswalk with the Young Child

Dear Rain ~

Time for you to go.  I thought you were a pretty nifty diversion in the beginning.  Boots and umbrellas and jackets ~ oh my!  That was a refreshing change of pace.  But now it's old. And I'm tired of being wet.  And scared to drive.  And planning my days around your onslaught.  You've done your deed. Now move along.  I'm sure there's a desert somewhere that needs you.

Ciao for Now,

Southern California Sunshine Lover

Dear Haiti ~

I'm so sorry for you.  My heart just breaks every time I let myself think of you.  I sent some money and my company is doing the same.  I've also got a stack of jeans and shoes that I will drop off this weekend.  I will do anything I can to let you know I'm thinking of you and hurting for you.  Mostly I am praying.  I am praying that your people will be well and will care for each other. I am praying that you get the aid that you need the most in a timely manner.  And I am praying for peace and healing.  Don't give up.  I know I'm not the only one thinking of you.  Hang in there.

Warm Regards,

Mrs. Montoya

Now go see ShortMama and link up with her and all her letter writing friends.  ENJOY

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Feel So Helpless

The recorded population of my hometown in 2008 was 171,922.  The current death toll in Haiti is estimated by PAHO at 200,000.  I am not a stupid girl, but quite honestly I just don't know how to process that.  Somehow widespread panic and overwhelming despair always leaves me paralyzed.  I have an apprehension to send money to unknown organizations without really knowing what the money is going to.  I am not proud of that, but it's true.

I am intentionally not allowing myself to troll for news because I don't want to know.  I don't want to know because I feel helpless.  My soft, simple heart can't stand to lie in bed at night and cry over a child I cannot help.  Please don't judge me for being honest.  I admire you if you're stronger than me and can watch hours of coverage and not feel like you need to charter the next plane and fly to the Caribbean.  I am not that strong, but I know that I need to do something.  Anything.  Here is what I've been able to confirm.

Donate $10 to American Red Cross by texting the word 'Haiti' to 90999.

Southern California Sports Chalet locations are partnering with Soles4Souls and collecting gently worn shoes through January 31 for distribution in Haiti.

The US Relief Fund is offsetting administrative costs and 100% of every donation to Unicef  will support UNICEF's relief efforts for children in Haiti. 

Local Aeropostale stores are collecting gently worn jeans and will match the first 100,000 pairs received.

My company will match any cash donation I make up to an amount beyond my means.  I encourage you to do your own research to seek other corporate opportunities for matching.

Nothing we do will ever be enough, but something is certainly better than nothing.  If you can't donate, please pray.  And kiss your family.  If you're safe and warm tonight and no one in your home is suffering you are far luckier than 200,000 people in Haiti.

God Bless

Monday, January 18, 2010

Is It Possible We're Doing Something Right?

Most days in the universe I wonder just how badly I am going to ruin my children's lives.  That's not intended as a joke.  I am ser.i.ous.  When I was pregnant and reading books about when my baby's fingernails were developing and why I should breastfeed, no one EVER said that every cross word and sideways glance would destroy them.  Shit.  I hate it when I do that.  And you have no idea how many sideways glances I can give in a week.  So you get the idea.  We should start saving for therapy now.  Great.

Their antics with each other intermittently freak me out and touch me at every level.  They are SO intense with each other.  Either intensely in love or intensely trying to scratch each other's eyes out.  Since I don't have siblings I rely on everyone else's reassurances that it's normal.  Ohkayifyousayso.

After all of The Princess' teasing of her vaccine shy sibling last week and his incessant ribbing of her for every single reason under the sun, I was beyond touched to see him help her with a project she's taking to school tomorrow.  It's a clear bucket intended to aid her class in counting and categorizing.  She could fill it with anything she wanted and her classmates have to guess how many there are.  Her brother loaned her 15 Hot Wheels.  That's sacrifice people.  He luuuuuvvvvvsss his cars.  And then there was the note:

15 cars in the jar, princess.  love, the athlete. p.s. have a good day

omigodomigodomigod - did I instill this in him?  I pray so. And then some. 

Yes, I know that he will hide the bucket from her before breakfast is over and she will punch him in the arm and scream bloody murder.  But for this moment, just for now, I am oh so proud.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

History in the Making

Often I wonder if anything that happens at school, besides recess, has an impact on my kids. Specifically The Princess. She is so unaffected sometimes. Here's our recent conversation about why she doesn't have school today.

P: You know we don't have school on Monday, Mom?

Me: Yes, I know.

P: That's because we're celebrating Doctor King.

Me: Really? Who's Dr. King?

P: Well he was borned a long time ago and he couldn't use the same potty as me because his skin was dark.

{Insert smart ass remark from The Athlete: 'He couldn't use the same potty as you because you're a girl.'}

She pinched him for interrupting her. Moving on now . . .

Me: So we're celebrating him because his skin was dark?

P: No Mom.

Me: What are we celebrating?

P: He had a dream.

P: Then he was at a hotel and got killed.

Well, I guess it's a start. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Funny and a Flashback

I know that every now and then I need to take a deep breath.  Aaaahhh.  I know it.  You know it.  Sometimes we just need a reminder.  Before I got mine, my day looked like this.

Check email, pack lunches and make breakfast before first meeting @ 7 AM
Back to back meetings until 11:45 AM
Eat a Hot Pocket & bag of chips @ 12:02 PM (what am I, 15?)
Take 1 PM call from car and drop off before it ends
Honor 1:45 commitment to work in The Athlete's classroom
Rush out of class @ 3 PM to make 3:30 PM Dr's appt
Rush out of Dr's appt for 4 PM basketball practice
Change in car to go from practice to E's 4:45 Jr High Basketball game

Yeah, WTF.  We're insane.  BUT, my kids crack me up.  For real.

The 3:30 PM Dr's appt was for the H1N1 vaccine for The Athlete and The Princess.  He was scheduled to have the mist and she was scheduled to have the shot because of her asthma.  I did a little research and had a quick conversation with the nurse and decided against having my son inhale a live virus.  I told her to sign him up for the shot.

He flipped.


I have seen this kid take a baseball to the face at 30 MPH and ask for a tissue to stop the bleeding so he can finish the inning.

Somehow shots send him over the edge.

He is terr-uh-fied.

He cried and clinged to my leg and begged the nurse to find the spray.  It was way too sad to be funny.

Until his sister said:

"Stop it, baby.  Mom won't let you go to basketball if you're crying."


That was many hours ago and she made fun of him for five of those before bedtime.  At dinner with E's parents she used her most dead pan face, relaying to her Grandma;

"I did not . . . cry.  He did."

He tripped over the dog walking into the house. Her with the dead pan face.

"Are you going to cry again like for your shot?"

This girl cries when she can't get her shoes tied just right, but she's got NO issues with vaccinations.  None.  My poor, poor first born had to endure her torture.  And I had to laugh on the inside because she was cracking me up in a way that I needed so badly.  I always say that God gave her to me for a reason and today it was simply to make me smile.

Thanks, Princess.  You're good for my heart.

And a Flashback to a big, brave time for The Athlete.  He "lost" a tooth before the Tooth Fairy was ready thanks to an unfortunate incident in a Bounce House.  The tooth cracked through the root, but didn't come out.  His dentist had to remove it.  Surgically.  In three pieces.  He was 5.  He was brave.

Nice job, Big Man.  I hope tomorrow will be better for you. 

Monday, January 11, 2010

16 Reasons You Haven't Heard from Me

Our life just seems to get away from me sometimes. I can’t find the time to update my blog, call my parents and friends or wash the breakfast dishes before I cook dinner.

In honor of the madness, here’s our life in numbers.


12 nights in the last 30 that we’ve had house guests

67 miles I drive each day to the office and school drop off and pick up

7 days last week that one of my boys had basketball practice or a game

11 loud complaints from The Princess about going to her brother’s sporting events

517 photos we took over the holidays that I need to edit and upload to share with my family

1.2 home cooked meals I served my family last week

14 minutes late to Church on Sunday

3 television shows I let The Princess watch over the weekend while I “undecorated”

8 bins of Christmas cheer that are packed and stored – hooray!

12 points The Athlete scored in his team’s 36-12 win on Saturday

2 Second Grade projects due on the week after the holiday break

9 hours per night of sleep that I’d like to get

5.5 average hours of sleep I get each night

10 months before we host an Anniversary party in Maui

4, 314 times I tell myself every single week to take a deep breath and count my blessings

10 fingers and toes each of my children has that I adore

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Letters to Someone

It's Thursday, and ya know what that means . . . Letters to Someone, compliments of ShortMama and her version of genius. Gawd, I think she's funny.  Go see her now. And do your own letters.  It feels SO good.  You can thank me later for the free therapy.

xoxo, Mrs. M

Dear Sir at Starbucks ~

The leather chairs and occasional tables do make a coffee shop cozy.  I'm with ya.  But regardless of how much it feels like home, it is not.  There's just no reason EVER to take your shoes off while you're enjoying your cappucino.  EVER.  I shouldn't have been surprised since you're over 25 and wearing an Ed Hardy hat with a shirt unbuttoned to your navel, but come on.  No shoes?  Truly not acceptable.  Don't let it happen again.  I'm not kidding.

Quite Sincerely,

Miss Triple Venti Skinny Latte

 Dear Vacation ~

I know you were just here last week, but I miss you so much already.  Could you return again soon?  I'd like to spend some meaningful time together watching palm trees sway and drinking fruity drinks.  Whaddya say?  You.  Me.  Sunny & Balmy.  I'll welcome you with open arms.  Come soon.  I've heard stress makes you ugly and I'm not interested.

Longing for your Touch,

The Wanna-be Beach Bunny in January

Dear Teachers of Young Children ~

You are to be admired and respected for your commitment.  I firmly believe that you will never make enough money to compensate you for the positive impact you have on families all over the world.  I mean that with all my heart.  I do, however, have one tiny beef with the two of you that are impacting my family right now.  Tiny.  Please consider the amount of work it takes to get a family back on track after kids haven't been in school for 17 days and don't change the freakin' rules RIGHT NOW.  Don't start leaving the morning line up ten minutes earlier than you have been all.damn.year. without warning.  That makes us late.  Not cool.  And when you tell a 7 year old who lives for details that he must have subtraction flash cards through the number 18 this week ~ it is way not cool to figure out later that he really only needs them through 12 because no one even sells them through 18.  You just can't even imagine how much trouble that sort of thing causes for a kid like him.  Tiny.  Advanced notice on process changes.  Accurate information for required supplies.  Please and Thank You.

Hugs, Kisses & Thanks,

The Mama who knows how hard you work and just needs a little more time to adjust

Dear Baby B ~

You are such a precious creature.  Truly precious.  I miss you while our lives are so busy and wish we could spend more time together.  I love your sweet little smile and your soft brown hair.  When I think about all the milestones you have coming up I smile no matter where I am.  Uncle E and I are so honored to be your Godparents and love you endlessly.  We are very excited to share all of your happy moments this year and for many years to come.  You are a special treasure in a sometimes scary world.

With So Much Love,

Your Adoring Auntie

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Random Tuesday Thoughts - Post Holiday Panic


My mind is literally bursting with Random Thoughts. Bursting, do ya hear? Reader Beware

I knew that January would be busy, but I am not sure I realized how much it was going to hurt and how panicked I was going to be. The long vacation was pretty good, but almost not worth it. Work is a BEOTCH, homework sucks, I forgot how much I hate making lunches and I really just want to shop in the morning and wrap gifts all afternoon. What exactly is wrong with that schedule? It worked for two weeks. Not sure why we had to go and change things.  I am not adjusting well.

One of my oldest girlfriends is in town and stayed with us last night. I am ALWAYS happy to see friends and love to open my home. The Princess feels differently. After she got kicked out of graciously offered her room to her Grandmother for two weeks at Christmas she was not delighted to get kicked out share her lovely space again with someone who is a stranger to her.  She woke up TWICE last night and the last time she was literally kicking and screaming.  She said she was scared.  I think she was pissed and letting us know.  She got the primo spot in our bed for her troubles.  I'm still tired from trying to dodge her scrawny elbows.

The Athlete got a project template before Christmas for something that is due next Monday.  I made him feel thoroughly guilty last night for not working on it during break instead of playing DS and watching Wizards of Waverly Place four times a day.  Now I feel guilty because he's 7 not 17 and I should have been all over it for him and helped him succeed.  Ever hear of Mom Guilt?  Yep.  It's even there when we're on vacation.

My sweet husband left me a voice message today where he stated my first name in greeting and then identified himself.  He was clearly stressed and in a hurry looking for something and I can sympathize with that, but the intro cracked me up.  After 15 years it's pretty safe that I know his voice.  I need to tell him that he doesn't have to identify himself even when the message is extra important to him.

I am only writing right now because I am avoiding the other stack of stuff in front of me, but that little hall pass is about to expire as my panic attack approaches.  I am going to take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine and get to it.  The Randomness is not a release today.  This can't be good.

You can share your randomness, too at The UnMom or just laugh at everyone else's.  There's always someone who's got it worse than you!!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Term is Mom Guilt

MOM GUILT - The overwhelmingly crappy feeling working Moms have most days of the week when they’re not unconditionally available to their children and their children’s caregivers.

This definition should be adopted by Webster’s because it’s the real deal.

I was sure of it in the parking lot of school this morning while I stood consoling another working Mom who is convinced that our children’s teacher doesn’t like her because she’s always late. I’m not personally down with the late thing, but I also don’t have twins at home while I am trying to get out the door with a 5 year old. I get it. But more than that, I get how it feels to always think you’re one step behind the perky Moms in work out gear enjoying their coffee and chatting in the parking lot. The ones that will go run a mile or so and cruise home to shower and pick up fresh ingredients for dinner before they’re back at school for the midday pick up. My days don’t look like that. And if the truth be told, I know that theirs don’t either, but in comparison to our tearing out of the parking lot in 3 inch heels at 8:02 am on the dot, the shorts and ponytail look like bliss.

My friend Kellie first identified Mom Guilt for me when we were working together on a program. At the time she had one young son and a booming career. She has a sweet baby girl now, too and a career that still gets in the way sometimes. We commiserate over how ambition and professional contributions don’t mesh easily with scheduled vaccinations and play dates. It presents itself in myriad ways during the week and when we’re lying in bed at night wishing there was a way we could be at tomorrow’s performance. It hurts. It’s real. It’s life.

In the frenzy of updating ALL of our calendars this weekend I realized that I will miss The Princess’ “Bridging Ceremony” to Kindergarten and My Athlete’s First Reconciliation. I’m not happy. But I am resolute. I simply can’t change it. The freedom I have in my heart is knowing that when I am with my children I am present 100%. Having a career forces me to focus more on what’s important and less on what park we’re going to on Tuesday. It’s not right for everyone, but it works best for us. After being home with my babes for two weeks I was delighted to get dressed today and hug them tight at drop off. I will be more thrilled to see them tonight than for the last several days we’ve been together constantly. Call me selfish. I’m OK with that.

It broke my heart this morning when I hugged the other Mom and told her that I was sure said Teacher didn’t dislike her for her lack of punctuality. We had a brief conversation about how hard it is to work and be there for our little people and I told her the thing I tell myself a hundred times a week. The opinion that should matter the most to you is your children’s. The others will come and go and usually won’t be favorable, but the mark we’re leaving on our children is permanent. If you can feel good about what you’re doing there everything else will take care of itself.

Did I sound convincing? I sure hope so, because hours later I am still questioning myself.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Overwhelmed with Goodness

My precious two and some of their cute cousins rang in the New Year last night with plastic champagne flutes.  That year is gone and this year is here.  Now what? 

Should I find one darling photo from each month of last year and summarize the year?  I don't think I could pick just one.  There's too much to choose from.  So much to reflect on.  So much that it overwhelms me to even try and compile some sort of summary of it. We went to so many great places.  We had so many great moments.  I am truly overwhelmed with the goodness of it all.

Should I make resolutions for all of the things that I want to change in 2010?  Well, not so much.  My inside joke with my BFF is that it's quite taxing to be so perfect.  Oh how that makes us giggle when we're already being catty about someone not so perfect.  That absolutely IS a joke, but when I truly think about things I want to change there isn't a lot.

I am quite resolved that I am not going to be a size 2 by summer with trim thighs and six pack abs.  That's OK.  I have in the past (um no, not the recent past) and will continue to make an effort to be healthy for my own longevity and for the benefit of my family.  Not a resolution.  A lifestyle.

I could resolve to keep my house cleaner, curse less and become the perfect Mother.  But I don't think so.

The house is as clean as I choose to get it on any given day.  Some days are definitely better than others.  When Coastal Living comes for a photo shoot I'll be sure it's extra clean.  Otherwise me and my three are getting along fine with a little dust in the dining room and cereal bowls in the sink.

Cursing.  Well shit.  Let's move on.

The perfect Mother.  (insert gigantic sigh here)  It could be the thing I want the most.  If love alone made me a great mother I would already be pure perfection.  Oh how I love them.  But I've learned enough to know it just isn't that easy.  The recipe is complex and it doesn't turn out consistently.

They need my snake eye and a stern word sometimes to steer them right.  Got it.  They need a million big hugs, prayers at bedtime and vegetables as often as we can muster.  I'm on it.  They need to learn about dental hygiene, math facts and how to be compassionate and charitable.  I can't make a resolution about any of those things because I am doing the very best I can with what God gave me. I know that His guiding hand will get me through the year if it's in his plans.

I've decided to keep my statement for the year simple.  I'm borrowing it from Carrie Underwood's song, This Time.

Life is short.
Love is sweet.
Ain't no time like this time, baby.

Happy New Year, friends.  Make this time the best that you can with what you have. 


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