Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A shout out

Heard of an inner-city pastor who started the now-flourishing "Graffiti Church". He so named it after various attempts at repainting their church building was only met with yet more graffitti.

Mr. Pastor, you need to come start a church in my neighborhood.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just takin' a walk...

Noah and I usually take an early evening walk around the blocks close to home. The other day, I started looking at what we were walking by with, "I don't think I saw these things on walks with my mommy" eyes.

Such things as:
  • A nativity scene. Complete with the devil standing by. Painted completely red, with a skull between his feet and a beer bottle in his right hand. Sure seems to take the "serene" out of the scene.

  • A box tossed by the side of the road with a blanket in it. Closer examination reveal little puppy feet. 3 dead puppies.

  • An empty condom wrapper under the park bench

  • About 4 pounds of cooked beans, heaped in the grass next to the side walk.

Sometimes I think about this whole "normal" thing. For Noah, it is normal to listen to people talking and say, "Si, si, si" or to hit the bad floor that made him bonk his head and say "Ma-o, ma-o" (Malo="bad"). It's normal he lives in a 3rd floor apartment that looks out to the mountains surrounding our city. It's Noah's life that there is no candy sweeter to him than a corn tortilla hot off the presses. It is normal for him that he lives at over 7,000 feet of altitude and that here there are more people on bikes or motorcycles than cars.

I feel like I am bringing him "normal" when I serve him up his beloved mac & cheese (Kraft, to be sure) or when I present him with a box of Crayolas. Or sing him nursery rhymes. Or turn on Blue's Clues (which he absolutely loves).

I wonder, as I look at him--straddling these two "normals". He doesn't even know he's doing it. I wonder if he will later. I hope to find and accentuate the good in both these normals, and to not project that what is not my normal is in some way inferior.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This is where I am

I am at that place. That one. Specific. Place. The one where I am saying to myself, "However I got to this spot, I don't ever. ever. want to do it again!" Annnndddd...having 6-some weeks left to go, I know this is a rather dangerous spot to be. I know the baby still has to put on some 3 pounds or so. I know I still have a LOT more "blossoming" to do, but. I don't wanna. Ok??

I am at that place. That one place. Where I feel like my stomach has turned into a bag of bones. I know, it doesn't sound glowingly maternal, but it's true. Any time I move in whatever direction, it seems a leg, arm, bottom or head bone juts out in protest. And, carrying these bones makes me slowly waddle along, wincing every 5 steps or so.

I am at that one place where I huff and puff--just sitting here writing this. I often feel like I am breathing through a straw. I actually jerk awake in the middle of the night because either my or the baby's position was making it so I couldn't breathe.

I am at that place where I dream constantly about the birth. Maybe I'm not really dreaming, because it's hard to remember really sleeping--but let's just say, it's on my mind. A lot.

I am at that place, Lord forgive me, that I look narrowly upon people who judgementally say, "Well, at LEAST you can have babies!" Yes, I know. Or people that say, "A woman never looks more beautiful than when she is pregnant" (2 kinds of people: Liars and people who haven't been pregnant). Or people that say, "I soooooooo miss being pregnant. Isn't the miracle of life sooooooo wonderful??" Yes, it is. But....

I am at this place. So far along, with seemingly so far to go. I am so glad God has blessed me with a healthy little baby, and I am happy to be a mama. I just wanna to get out of this place! :)

PS--Due to some worried responses to this post, I feel I must say NOTHING is really wrong with me! I am just whining... :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This week: Movies, tantrums, failings & betteration

So, I've been feeling a little guilty about how many movies I have been putting on for Noah during the day. I mean, they're educational and/or Christian--so, come on, right? Oh, I have a list of excuses, including:

--we don't have a yard (we live in a 3rd floor apt)
--I'm pregnant (helloooo)
--Noah's still not at a very "interactive" age (still eats play dough and crayons)
--the house isn't that huge (don't know what I'd do if we still lived in our previous home!)
--it's raining...

You get the idea. But, I still kept feeling a little guilty. Picked up the "What to Expect" for the toddler years. Says he should be seeing 30 minutes a day. Whoops. So, have I been brain damaging my son because I'm tired? Heap on the guilt.

Then, Noah had one of "those" days. Those days where I squint my eyes at him and try to remember where I got him. Who is this kid?? Just constantly testing every thing, and then going off the deep end of tantrum land when he was corrected. When he gets like that, I feel like he is looking at me and saying, "Failure!!!" Because, if I was doing everything right--my kid would never act like this, right?

Talked to my sis, who reminded me we can always get better as parents--and to ask myself if I was using the movies as a substitute for time I could/should be spending with Noah.

Talked to my husband, and he counseled me not to shy away from being (what I consider) harsh with Noah if the situation demands it. And if I am feeling overwhelmed, I should ask him to take over.

Result: Have become more intentional with Noah's movie time. Not to say that he never goes over 30 minutes a day... but it has become more of a planned thing rather than a knee-jerk reaction to boredom.

Have tried to discipline Noah in a "this is for your own good" rather than "this reflects on my failings" sort of mind set.

I think that may be betteration. Not sure.

PS--I still worry sometimes. Maybe someday the DIF (people that look out for kids here in Mexico) may come knocking to relieve me of my motherly duties. Like this afternoon: Noah comes in from playing quietly on the patio--with a large, dirt smiley face. (Sorry--wish I had a camera) He looked really funny...until I realized this meant he'd been DRINKING from bunny Mona's water cup. Have you ever heard of anything so disgusting? I considered having him drink hand sanitizer.

Monday, December 7, 2009

When wrong is right

It was the sweetest thing. Last night, Rey asked me if I had plans for today. Nope. He said, "What about if we go to the capital... eat at an Italian restaurant? I already got your Aunt to take care of Noah for the day..." What? How cool of a plan is that!

I was stoked. We looked up "italian restaurants Zacatecas" online. Found about 5 options. The first one we went to had been closed. The next one... well, it wasn't as advertized. Let's just say that. The place smelled like the dusty, mismatched tablecloths on the tables. Instead of the little white lights I was imagining-- big, guady silver star balloons hung from the ceiling. While I'd hoped for some Frank Sinatra music over the speakers, a TV blared mariachi music interrupted only by the occasional beer commercial. Rather than an extensive menu of pastas and delicious soups, the menu's most Italian fare was pizza. The table we sat at had one short leg, so it "danced" (Rey's wording). But, we were hungry. Really hungry. And the traffic in the city made it so we didn't really want to go look more. And Rey really wanted me to have my Italian restaurant. So, we stayed.

There was that 5 minutes of time that decided how this day would go. Would I let all my unfulfilled expectations cause me to turn into a blubbering pile of mush? Would Rey feel super awful about something neither of us can control--namely: it appears my "American definition" of an Italian restaurant is muuuch different from the Mexican definition. Rey ordered steak tacos and I a ham sandwich. I frankly was afraid to try one of their 3 pasta dishes.

We switched tables so as not to have to deal with the "dancing" the whole meal. It was to a quieter corner of the restaurant. And then. We decided. We chose to thoroughly enjoy the moment. It was so ironic how completely wrong this place was.

We decided the host of "Hell's Kitchen" would have a fit here, so we had a good time figuring out what his critique would be. We laughed as we heard the microwave being used during the preperation of our food (Was my sandwich really last week's sandwich being nuked??). We marvelled at the complete lack of coordination in decor (How many owners has this place had?). We wondered just how old the plastic rose on each table could have been. (See picture above). You get the idea.

(I love how those shelves in the background are loaded with

stuff that somehow equals Italy. Ah, yesss.)

In the end, the food wasn't that bad. We had a lot of fun. Maybe the bathrooms had no light bulbs, but--hey: there was a bar of soap on the sink. Maybe mariachi doesn't make me smile as much as some mellow jazz, but... ok. I did miss the music. ;)

But, in our family--we like stories to have happy endings. And this one did. Oh, yes it did.

And... we even topped that!! Rey is awesome enough to have found some cocker spaniel pups--which I've been hoping to find. We went and picked one out of the litter with Noah this evening. So cute!

Meet... hmm. Not sure on the name yet. But, he's around 2 weeks old. He's gonna stay with momma until he's bigger.

It was the perfect day.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lookin' good...

Real-life conversation that took place between myself and my prince charming yesterday evening.

(prince): "Aren't you going to get a shower today?"
(me): "I did."
(snorting disdainfully): "You did? Nooooo. No you didn't."
(rather offended): "Yes, I did."
(still disdainful): "When?"
(more offended): "This morning at like 10."
(another snort): "No you didn't."
(near tears): "Yes, I did. I took a shower. I changed clothes. I blew dry my hair. I put make-up on. And THIS is what I get?"
(realizing he may be on thin ice): "Hmmm..."

How much trouble do you think he was in?
Ah, and match that with the comment he made a while ago about not being attracted to me for my "physical qualities"!! Yeah, he's sleeping on the patio these days.