Thursday, August 28, 2008

Back to school.

I started last summer, but I didn't write much about it because I think it took me all of the session to process how I really felt about it. Of course, I was so excited to be back, but I also had to deal with a range of emotions that frankly, caught me off guard, and needed some serious reflection.

Let me tell you about the summer session. I took a business law class. I promised myself that I would not be the annoying older lady in the class. I remembered having several of those in my classes at Purdue Calumet, and I did NOT want to be that. The first day of school, I was so nervous that on the way to school Brian's cousin Robin had to assure me that I did NOT look old. She reminded me that I didn't have to raise my hand to ask for permission to go to the bathroom, and then she tried to make me feel better when my coordination betrayed me as I tripped going up the stairs. She even walked by and peeked in my class so that she could later assure me that I looked like a regular student and not like an older lady.

What she didn't know was that by that time, I had already broken my own rule to try to blend in. The teacher had asked us all to introduce ourselves and tell him if we had jobs. I gave up the info right away. "I'm a stay at home mom." The instructor asked me about my kids and then said, "Oh you must be really busy." One of the 19 year old boys in the class actually laughed. HE LAUGHED! He thought the teacher was joking. I immediately wished on him the blessing of a furtile wife with a career that requires a lot of travel.

The class was mostly 19 year old guys. There were 5 woman in my class. 2 of us were over 20. I loved the subject. It came very easy to me, and since the class was based on discussion, well, I became "that" lady. The opinionated one that enjoyed arguing with the professor. The one that everyone wanted in their group because they knew they'd get an A. The one that the professor called when she missed class to make sure she knew that he was going to give a quiz the next day. The summer session was over as quickly as it begun. It was a fun and easy class for me.
I was also able to take the class during the day, which gave both grandma's (and Mona) a chance to spend quality time with the kids and allowed me to go to school without interferring with our cozy evenings at home.

This semester will be different in just about every way. First of all, Brian and I are both taking 2 classes on different nights. Our classes are difficult and will require lots of studying. I am entering into my 2nd week of classes and I have already determined that I am NOT the most annoying person in either of my classes. I actually don't even stick out! Both of my classes are taught by interesting people, and the students in the class are way more diverse and interesting than they were last semester.

It's going to be a stressful 4 months. However, we know that life with children only gets more complicated as they get older. Soon, they will have their own evening commitments and our schedule will be dominated by their needs. If we are going to do this school thing, now is the time.

Also, I may be putting Aimee into Pre-school. I find out in the next few days. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I've got a crush on Biden...

So it's going to be Obama/Biden. I know that most people have probably never heard of him, but he is truly a bad ass. If they made Congress and Senate trading cards, I'd keep Biden in a plexiglass protector on the bottom of my sock drawer along with Durbin and Gutierrez. He's a champion of justice, a patriot, and he knows his foreign policy. I'm kind of dizzy with excitement.

I've held back on blogging politics in the past few months, but there is a whole bunch of stuff I've been thinking about that is just begging to come out, so get ready.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tropic Thunder

This is hands down, the funniest movie I've seen all summer.
Don't see it if you are easily offended.
We got to stay out WAY past our bed time tonight.
We even got to get coffee with our friends afterward. We sat outside and talked until an hour after they closed the Starbucks. I don't even remember the last time we were able to do that.

Tomorrow I get to spend the day with my mom. It will be fun.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Growing up!

Danny got his first two teeth! The tops! They are just two little gleaming white bits sticking out, but they are teeth! He looks so dang cute I can hardly contain myself. It hurts a little that he's growing up. I keep telling him to stay little, but he just won't listen.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Genetics...(With Aida's permission).

There has been a lot of talk that my little Aimee has a remarkable resemblance to my cousin Aida. Aida was my very best friend from the time she arrived from Puerto Rico when she was 5 or 6, until she returned when she was in her late teens to go to College. (Her blog is linked on the side.) There is much more I could write about Aida, but I have Aimee tugging on me, so I'll make this post quick.

We all have those little qualities that made us different when we were little kids. Among Aida's qualities were her wildly curly hair, her ability to do things way differently from other people and still succeed at everything, the faces she made, and this other thing she shares with Aimee that prompted me to write this.

We all know that Aimee resembles Aida a lot when she was a little girl in her facial features and her hair. But this other thing is truely comical.

This morning, I made myself an English muffin with a little bit of cream cheese and apricot jam. Aimee came up to me and wanted to try it, so I gave her half of it, which she gobbled up. She stopped to ask me what was on it, and I told her, "It's cream cheese and Apricot Jelly."
"Crunchy? Where's the crunchy?" she asked. "No, not CRUNCHY. CREEEAM CHEESE. Would you like some more?" I asked. "Yeah". (She doesn't know that this isn't her first time eating cream cheese.)

So I went to make her another English muffin, when she came and asked me where the cream cheese was. I showed her. She picked it up, took it to the table...and this is the part where my cousins will start to crack up....she lowered her head and held her nose over the container and smelled it for like a minute. "NO! NO CREAM CHEESE!". She declared after having smelled it long enough. My daughter smells new foods to determine if she will eat it. Like Aida used to do when she was little, and I don't just mean that she smells it. She does it with the same exact flair that Aida used to do it with. I love genetics.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Last night Brian and I went to my brother in law's engagement party, hosted by his fiance's parents.

It was something to behold. The amount of time, care, and attention to detail that was put into this family party was an act of love.

It was held at her parents home. It started with coctails and appetizers in their beautiful patio garden. They played a "newlywed's" type game and then had some questions for the guests where we got to hear funny stories about their childhood. It was a great icebreaker. (I love me some ice-breakers).

Dinner was served in an unbelievably decorated tent that was put up in the yard. It was like scene out of a movie. No detail was spared. Candlelight, flower arrangements, even the plates were decorated by hand. It was visually stunning.

Her family was warm and funny.

It made me think of my wedding. When Brian and I were getting married, I didn't care about the details of the wedding at first. We were both so in love (still are), that the details didn't seem to matter, and I would have been happy with a pot luck in the church basement. All I cared about was having our loved one's celebrate with us. My mom encouraged us to have a big fancy wedding. She suggested the banquet hall and even helped pay the difference. I had a hard time understanding why she would want to invest that kind of money into an *evening*. Now that I have my own daughter, I understand.

Your love for your children doesn't change from the first love you experience the first days that you hold them in your arms and see their perfection. It just keeps adding layers ontop of layers. Most of us girls dream of our wedding day at some point in our lives, and my mom wanted me to have that dream. She didn't want me to look back on the most important day of my life wishing I had done it differently. Maybe that's why since the beginning of time, mother's of the bride are so involved in their daughter's wedding. And the Brides are all like, "OMG, my mother is CRAZY! You think SHE was the one getting married! All I want is a bucket of chicken and my MAN, but all my mom talks about is prime rib." Then those brides have their daughters and not only do they UNDERSTAND...they eventually BECOME their mothers. I hope to one day honor my daughter the way my mother honored me and Beth's parents honored her last night.

Paul and Beth, Brian and I wish you a magical engagement, a beautiful wedding, and a lifetime of happiness. The stress is worth it, the money is worth it, and a lot of times, giving into your mother's wishes is worth it too.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Aimee: Your new bedtime is 6 pm.

When I decided to stay at home, we knew that we were immediately going to give up a few things; vacations to the carribbean, bi-monthly manicures and pedicures for me, nice phones. It's totally worth it. I love being home with the babies, but every now and then, there is something that makes me wistful for those days when we indulged because we didn't have to worry about buying formula and diapers. I'm talking about the Nintendo Wii.

We usually try to avoid things that we can't afford. What's the point? But this Wii "contraption" has been hard to avoid because it really and truly is- all the rage. Still, we knew that we'd never have one because, well, we try to be responsible people. And responsible people don't spend money they don't have on things they don't really *need*.

Then my mother in law called me. "I've decided that I'm going to get us a Wii". I almost choked on my coffee. A WHAT? "And I'm getting some games too". She told me that I didn't have to tell Brian if I didn't want to, that we could surpise him. So I kept the information to myself and after having dreamed about it all night, I decided that the excitment of waiting for it was really part of the fun, so I called Brian at work and told him to call him mom because she got something for us.

Brian and I immediately decided that our kid's bedtime is now 6pm, our daily dinner will consist of take out and fast food, and that we are basically going to pretend that we are 14 again. We got the Wii last night and played well past our bedtime. The thing that is so exceptional about the Wii is that most games are very physical. The wireless remote and sensor that you place on the TV allow the games to be lifelike and physically challenging. So, if you are playing bowling, you actually have to go through all of the motions of bowling. The speed of the ball depends on the force that you put into swinging your arm. Wii really is more high tech and fancy schmancy than I thought. So last night we spent hours playing boogie and Dance Dance Revolution. We really felt like we were 14 again....except that this morning, reality hit me when I woke up unable to move because of the soreness in my muscles. I'm 31.

What makes this gift even more fun and meaningful is that it was totally a huge surprise and unexpected and undeserved. I have a feeling that our family parties won't be the same. Now excuse me while I take an ibuprophen and put my kids down for a nap.