Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chaos in the Bath Tub

Whew. What a day. Today was a Wednesday and the last day of the month. Which is like double whammy. Wednesdays I drive Nalini to Tysons and then go to work in Herndon, so my commute is like an hour each way. Then, the end of the month means that Mariano works till late late late late at work since he's an accountant and he has to balance things. So, usually on end of month days I go to my brother's house or to mom's house to get some help with the kids. But, today mom had a date, go mom!, and I did not want to bother my brother because Lori started her new job this week. Plus it is never very calming there anyway since the dogs try to eat the baby. So, I went to Tysons, went to work in Herndon, worked 8 hours, drove to Reston to pick up Kaio, drove back to Tysons to pick up Nalini, drove to Taco Bell to pick up dinner, and then managed to get home with the car on empty. Kaio was drawing on himself with a marker in the back seat so I made a pledge to give him a bath later. After our Taco Bell bean burritos dinner, I attempted to make this happen. Everybody's clothes off. Everybody in the tub. Yay, I get to wash my hair, and the tub works well to keep the kids corralled. So I got out to dry off and was feeling a bit like super mom when Kaio........ poops in the tub. !!! I grab the baby and pull her outta there before she's contaminated. Quickly I try to clean up Kaio so that I can get him out too and salvage his Lego Duplo Thomas the Tank Engine which he lives, bathes, and sleeps with. The baby is moving around, Kaio is freaking out. I'm trying to wash off Kaio and make sure that he's clean while the baby is seizing this opportunity to go fishing around the bathroom floor looking for little things to stick in her mouth. yikes. I just need a second baby please. So, then we're all out of the bathroom. quick, put a diaper on the baby before she poops on the floor. Then put a diaper on Kaio before he poops on something else. Then put the baby in the crib so i can clean up the bathtub. Oh she doesn't like that. I look at the clock, hoping that it will say something like 8:30, which is when Mariano said he'd be home. but, it is barely 7.
Eventually the kids are in bed and I go to the kitchen to make lunch for Kaio. I have a bowl of cereal for dinner. So that makes dinner of Taco Bell and cereal. Well, at least we are usually healthy eaters. I made Kaio yogurt with plums, fish oil, maple syrup, and bee pollen. Then I made mac and cheese with pureed butternut squash from a local ecoganic farm. The only way he eats vegetables is if they are masked in mac and cheese. Now I'm lounging on the couch thinking its time for bed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

International party girl turns hot mama

I got the opportunity to go for a night out at Reston Town Center while my man stayed home with the kids, doesn't he ROCK! So there were two of us crazy girls loose at the clubs and bars. First stop: Obi Sushi where a dj was spinning some hip hop and we had some perfect sake cucumber martinis. The waiter threw a round at us on the house, which meant that the night was off to a good start. The early fall air was the perfect temp and the scene was reminiscent of my single days going to clubs, flirting for fun, and partying with my unattached girl friends. It was a taste of what I felt like I was missing out on by being married with children: being free wielding and fastidious. And then it happened, a guy asked me to dance. I though that sounded like harmless fun so I agreed, but it only took a few beats for me to realize that I felt very awkward. I lost all ability to dance and was completely klutzy and ridiculously off beat. I kept thinking, this is not Mariano and I do not like this not one little bit. I don't know, maybe the guy was just a bad dancer, but as soon as the song ended I thanked him and ran back to our table. And that was the begginning of me getting the feeling that I was a changed woman.
Second stop: Tap house, but on the way we get escorted by a couple of guys we meet on the street. Yeah, I know that sounds bad, but we are friendly, and reston town center is wild on Fridays. At the tap house I got hit on and bothered by a couple more guys. At this point I should have been celebrating the simple fact that I'm attractive still. But I was already feeling too drunk and kind of out of place. What happened to my party girl side? And how did they not notice my wedding ring? Maybe I need a bigger ring...
Third stop: Uno's bathroom. toilet. barf. Gross. I spend the next 20 minutes eating nachos in a booth by myself before I finally beg my friend to go home. Lastly, I pull her away from a beautiful black man that she was schmoozing with and into our taxi home. Our taxi driver was Kurdish but came to the US before we invaded Iraq. I would have loved to hear all about his story, but I was too tired and missing my husband! So I ran inside while my girl friend stayed in the taxi to chat with him. He ended up trying to kiss her, gross. What kind of sober guy makes a move on an obviously drunk girl? That's lame. Anyway...
All these baby-filled years I have been slightly jealous of my single friends who go out to clubs and bars while I sit at home changing diapers, washing spit up stained clothes, and just being exhausted. But this weekend I realized that it ain't as sweet a life as i remember it; it's loud, the guys are boring, and none of them are as good looking as I think my man is. I would have had so much more fun if he was there. Guess I'm not the international party girl I once was. Well at least I can take pride in being a hot mama.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Could they be dead, and what does that mean?

We just passed September 11, 2009, which mean that it has been 8 years since the American world shook. It is completely unbelievable to me that it has been so long. I cannot imagine how much time that really means in the lives of the troops who have been fighting wars for us since the first assault on Afghanistan. I still feel very detached from the reality of war; although, I doubt that will last long. My brother told me last Friday that he is joining a captain's training and that he is transferring to a combat sector. He has been doing mission intelligence, and that seemed like a much safer job. But he wants to join a cavalry reconnaissance group, and for that he needs more diversified experience and needs a deployment. This all means that he will probably deployed in 7 months, and he will probably be in combat, rather than mission planning and mission intelligence. In summary, much more dangerous situation than I was previously imagining = much more dangerous. I'm really worried about him.
Since he first informed me of his choice to join ROTC, I have wanted to support him, even though I have been against this war from the start. I have believed in what he believes in. But, now I am truly worried. Not just for his life, but for his future. Even if he returns safe and sound, he might probably suffer some kind of irreversible psychological damage. Oh I really hope that he is ok.
We come from tough linage. My grandfather on my dad's side was a general and fought in three wars. My grandfather on my mom's side evaded the communist regime in Romania and successfully lobbied the emigration of his (our) family from Romania to the US. His actions contra to the Romanian government landed him in prison twice before moving to the US and getting a job in a plastics factory.
I feel really spoiled when I think about their sacrifices and my relative comfort.
Eight years ago, before I met Mariano, and before the US officially declared war on Terror, I spent the night with three 'soldiers' in Baltimore. It was their last day on US soil before deployment to the Persian Gulf. It was the summer of 2002. And it was very unusual circumstances. One of my college roommates from Oregon was visiting DC for the week. Her flight back to Oregon left from Baltimore and we accidentally missed it and got to the airport after the last flight for the night had departed. The airline told us that she could get scheduled on the next flight free of charge if she was at the airport in time for the first flight leaving the next day. It was a Saturday night, and we thought that we could stay up all night. We met the 'soldiers' at a club in Baltimore. Two guys and one girl from different cities in the US. They had never met before that night. All of them were in the reserves to pay for college and they were not really expecting that they would ever really be called to fight.
That was their last night in the US. I felt their fear, their apprehension, their sense of duty, and their sense of unjustness... It was a point in time when none of us new what war was and we did not not what to expect. We definitely did not think that we would still be at war 7 years later. I often wonder what happened to them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Images and Tattoos

I laid Nalini down in bed and started to breast feed her lying on my side. Kaio snuggled up to my back and I turned my head towards him and opened my arm out to him. He rested on my armpit. Laying down with two sleeping children, one on each side... I felt like a crescent moon, cupping my little lotus flower, and kaio my sun, shinning to my right. Or maybe we were like a ying yang, kaio the ying and nalini the yang and I was the invisible line that you trace to create them.
But really, I think I was a tree, my arms branches stretched and holding them. Nalini, the lotus flower growing out of the ground and suckling my nectar or syrup. That would make Mariano the earth, or the ground... my stability, the protector of my roots. Kaio would be a fruit or another flower, or maybe an animal like a jaguar or onca, taking rest in my embrace. I don't know if that image does mariano justice, it sounds like he is mud beneath me. Maybe he is more like the lake that the lotus flower grows from; calm, reflective, wise, deep, dark at night and transparent during the day. yes, that's more like him. now what about kaio?
nalini was easy because her name stems from the Sanskrit word for lotus. but kaio... the etiology of his name is less tangible: happy.
kaio is very happy, and very much a typical boy who likes to play with cars and trucks and planes. he loves fruit like blue berries and strawberries.
he is very active and likes to climb on things. he is also compassionate, loving, affectionate, and polite. I need to find some image that suits him and then maybe I could get a tattoo of my family.

Pulliing the Protective Mommy Card

I don't know if it is really possible to have a real vacation with young kids. This week in Panama has not really been relaxing. Disciplining a two year old takes most of the fun out of it. No tanning by the beach. no pina coladas by the pool. The one daiquiri that i had gave me a hangover after an hour... must be the heat coupled with breastfeeding that accelerated the dehydration process.
I went strait to the hangover stage without passing the tipsy phase. Oh well I guess it is not meant to be.
And of course Kaio got sick. And of course the baby got sick. I brought some remedies and was able to cure them without a trip to the hospital.
I also had my first angry mom episode. I pulled the protective mommy card. Kaio was throwing up and I threatened to sue the hotel if they did not have their on-call doctor see him free of charge. All he ate was food from the hotel, so I think that I was not completely out of line.
But I probably would not have been so insistent had it not been for the way the hotel had charged our friend for mandatory 7 day stay even though she was only able to stay for 3 days.
This is the first time that i have ever used the protective mommy card. Which, i see is kind of like the PMS card. Except the PMS card is used when playing your significant other.
The protective mommy card gives you freedom to yell and cuss and demand things that protect your children. it really worked well and i noticed that there are no hard feelings afterword.
the hotel manager, doctor, and aid were all very kind after they got permission to see Kaio free of charge. I am going to write them a letter thanking them today.
so the protective mommy card is really effective with minimal side effects... unlike the angry customer card, which usually means that waiters will be spitting in your food.
I'm still not sure what was wrong with him but it took about 24 hours for it to pass through his system.

Later, we got back to the hotel room after a short venture to a playground to soak up some sun rays. when we returned to the room I changed kaio's diaper in the shower.
He picked up the phone in the room, " I want to talk to papai." put his ear to the receiver, "hello, papai?" it was so cute. last night he was feeling too bad to hold the phone up to his ear and try to talk to his dad.


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