When the Hummingbird Flies Away

28 Oct

You ever try to take a picture of a hummingbird? It’s kind of hard; especially if you don’t happen to have one of those fancy cameras with all the extra add-ons. The damn things keep flitting around and all you tend to get is a ton of pictures of colorful streaks and flowers you don’t know the names of. That’s kind of what it’s like when you go to the obstetrician and they’re looking for the heartbeat of your baby. Luckily, their technology is way better than anything you can afford so, you get results. To me, an unborn child’s heartbeat has always kind of sounded like a slowed down version of what a hummingbird’s wings might sound like as it flies. I was calling the heartbeat of my babies a “hummingbird heartbeat” way before Katy Perry wrote a song about it… I like my interpretation better, by the way.

On a seemingly unrelated note, I could not have been born. It’s true. Before becoming pregnant with me, my mom was pregnant and due in May of 1980. She had a miscarriage. I’m sure, at the time, she went through a whirlwind of emotions… sadness, doubt in herself as a woman, and confusion. Especially confusion; the doctor had told her to stay off of her feet which makes sense to us but, she had just moved to the US from Brazil and the saying was kind of lost in translation.

Years and years would go by and my mom raised three amazing children, yours truly being one of them. At a point in her career, she was chosen to go to India and help train the employees at a call center in customer service. During her time in India, she met some kindred spirits and met one individual who touched her heart. Times had been tough between my mother and father for a while and this young man became a friend that reminded her of what it felt like to have someone in this world that was genuinely happy to see you and call you a friend. While his name doesn’t matter, his birthday does.

He was born in May of 1980.

It is my belief that her miscarriage was part of a plan for her to be able to have both of us in her life. The “powers that be” looked down the long winding road of all of our lives and realized that some things needed to go differently in order for my mother to have everyone in her life to actually get to be a part of her life.

I tell you my mom’s story, and the story of the hummingbird heart beat to tell you mine.

But before I do, I have to tell you that I have two amazingly perfect, beautiful and healthy children. I am thankful for them and will never take for granted how lucky I was to have them with no complications and no major health problems to date.

All of that being said….. My hummingbird flew away.

My husband and I decided that we want another baby and, in early July, decided that it was time to try for another one. We didn’t have to try for long; I got pregnant right away and it was hard to contain our excitement. We told family, friends, and co-workers and this was before I was even eight weeks along.

But, sometimes, things just don’t progress as they should. My hummingbird flew away. I’m not going to dwell on how, what, who or why. I am blessed with an amazing husband and two beautifully perfect children. If it is in the cards for us to add to our family, it will happen. And, if not, I will be happy with the amazing family I have.

But, I will be on the watch for my hummingbird. 

In Spite of You

16 Jul

In spite of you, I have grown into a confident wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Not only do I know that I deserve respect and love, I demand it; although the demand never has to be made since I am the kind of person that has earned the respect and love of those I surround myself with. I am married to a man who loves me and respects me more than any THING on this earth and who has shown me what it really is to be a husband and father.

In spite of you, my two brothers have grown into incredible, loving MEN with hearts the size of mountains. To say that they are kind, loving, fun to be around, honest, intelligent, handsome, and full of life would be only scratching the surface. Should they choose to have families of their own, I know that they will be exemplary fathers and husbands, in spite of you.

Despite what you think, I have an amazing mother who has come to be one of my most cherished friends. She has taught me what it really is to be a wife and mother; selfless, loving, smart, funny, and beautiful right down to her core. I could never that her enough for what she has done to make me who I am today, in spite of you.

I will live my life and enjoy every waking moment in it. I will cherish every laugh, learn from the tears, and relish every moment I have with my children; for they are what my life is about now. My children will grow up and grow old knowing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they were always what gave my life meaning.

I will always recognize my faults for what they are, my faults and no one else’s. Never will I place the blame for my shortcomings on the shoulders of others. Instead, I will accept my weaknesses and learn to become a better person in spite of them; in spite of you.

Food and wine

20 Apr

While bored at work today, I decided to work on my biography for VaginaCon (sidenote – you should totally check it out and register… it’s gonna be hella cool, more on that in a minute) I found myself pondering two terms: “foodie” and “wino” and how they kind of pertain to me but not completely. According to the research preference of college students everywhere, those two terms are defined as follows:

Foodie – “an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink… foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food.”

Wino – “a slang term for a person, especially one who is homeless, who consumes large amounts of alcohol…”

To me, both of these terms have taken on a negative connotation. The negative connotation in the term “wino” is fairly obvious when you read the definition; the negative connotation I get from “foodie”, not so much. So, allow me to explain.

Since the term was initially coined by Paul Levy and Ann Barr in the eighties, the term foodie has been thrown around by countless dillholes trying to explain why they’re allowed to be dillholes when you go out to eat with them.

Why, yes, I AM a foodie, thank you for asking.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have friends that are true foodies (I would venture to guess that my younger brother considers himself a foodie) and I would consider myself a foodie as well, if I only had the income to support the delicious habit. My issue comes not from the love of food and wanting to learn about it, but from the too-good-for-this, snobby, elitist attitude that some have taken on, solely because they think they are allowed to since they call themselves “foodies”. Too many times, I have seen someone who calls themselves a foodie that only proclaims their love for what is considered the “best” and completely ignores the “ordinary”.

Because of all of this negative connotation, I have taken the liberty to coin two new terms with which I will describe myself. I have done this before and I will probably do it again.

Fine-wino – One who appreciates the wonderful world of wine for all that it is; a place where one can garner as much enjoyment from a $15 bottle of California chardonnay as one can from a $150 bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Anti-foodie – very similar to a foodie, an anti-foodie expresses the same amount of curiosity and love for all things edible, minus the elitist attitude that some have adopted since the original term being quoted in the early 1980’s. Where certain “foodies” will say that they do not dine at certain establishments and only like to frequent venues of a certain ilk, an anti-foodie is able to appreciate both a single scallop that has been pan-seared to perfection and a slab of fried cod from Long John Silver’s (and the yummy cracklin’s that go with it).

And now, you ask? What is this VaginaCon you mentioned earlier? Well, it’s quite simple… When it launches in July, VaginaCon will be a gathering place for modern, intelligent, and creative women with a sharp sense of humor. Think of it this way, when you’re out at a restaurant or a club or a party, you know how there is always that one table that is having the most fun? The conversation is better, the laughs are louder, and the people are more interesting. We’ve all wished at one time or another that we could be part of something like that. Now we all can.

I will be contributing to this wonderful enterprise and I ask you to go to the website and register for a chance to win $200 in Amazon cash. Join the conversation with other smart, independent, and creative women. Register at VaginaCon today, and come have a seat at the cool table.

“Not-So-New”lyweds

15 Apr

Aaahhhh… the life of a newlywed, your marriage still has some of the stickers on it from when you took it out of the box, you spend your free time daydreaming about the wedding in all of its perfectly romantic glory, you have to stop every hour or so to keep your kids from killing each othWait, what?

Yeah, we’re the not-so-newlyweds around here.🙂

Now, that’s not to say that there is no afterglow left over from our wedding (which was perfect, by the way). We’re still calling each other “husband” and “wife” (it really is sickening, but I love it) and we still haven’t unpacked some of our wedding presents. But we get to enjoy all of that at the same time that we get to enjoy our daughter learning how to tie her shoes, our son learning how to use the potty, and the daily strengthening bond of the four of us as a family.

I couldn’t imagine it any other way. In fact, it makes the time I spend reflecting on our wedding that much sweeter. Usually the time for reflection comes after the kids are in bed and the house has gotten nice and quiet. We look at each other and smile and talk about the family that we’ve created together. And then we hear the “thumpthumpthump” that means our son is out of bed , again. So, daddy (a.k.a. “husband”) goes and gets our little man, snuggles up with him on the couch, and lets him fall asleep in his arms.

It may not be the “wedded bliss” that most newlyweds enjoy but, it’s my bliss and I love it.

Time to potty!!!

13 Apr

My husband (eek, it still feels funny to call him that) and I have been worried, not gonna lie about it. Our son starts pre-K in about four months and he hasn’t so much as given the potty the time of day.

We bought him a “Cars” potty (which makes this annoying engine revving sound when he flushes it), we tried pull-ups (a.k.a. the more expensive diaper you can take off easily), we bought pull-ups that get cold when they get wet (a.k.a. the even more expensive diaper you can take off even more easily), we tried rewarding (candy, cars, stickers, you name it), we tried over-excessive pride (I lost count of the number of times I jumped around like a meth-head cheerleader on crack), we tried just having him run around naked from the waist down (I’ve seen dogs that pee in the house less than my son), we tried everything.

If you read anything about potty training, it’ll say that one of the signs of readiness is that they start being uncomfortable when their diaper is wet or messy. They actually start to dislike the feeling instead of just being indifferent about it. Well, our son has given indifference a whole new meaning over the past few months. He’s been more indifferent about that potty than the cast of Jersey Shore has been about etiquette and restraint.

Still not potty trained.

Now, I don’t know what has changed over the past couple of days… maybe it was taking his cars away from him with the promise that he will get one back for every time he does something in the potty. Maybe it was buying another potty to go at his grandmother’s house. One thing I know that helped was his grandmother (my mother-in-law) taking the time to constantly have him sit on his shiny new potty and do his business. Over the past three days, he has had ONE accident and I couldn’t be more proud.

It’s amazing how your life changes when you have kids. Just six years ago, I didn’t have a care in the world and was going out like every night and dancing like it was always party time. Now, I’m home with two beautiful kids and staying in every night, dancing because it’s potty time.

And my son is so proud of himself. This morning, my mother-in-law called me and put him on the phone because he just had to tell me, “I. Pooped. In. My. Brand. New. Potty!” I’m so glad that he’s catching on and proud of himself for his “accomplishments” so far. Now I only hope that I can keep up the awesome work that my mother-in-law has started!!

Movies I Used to Love – The Woman in Red

10 Apr

A few days ago I was perusing the movies available thru HBO GO and found one that I loved when I was younger, The Woman in Red. It’s a comedy from the 80’s with the likes of Gene Wilder, Gilda Radner, and Kelly Le Brock. I remember loving this movie and laughing hysterically at all the mishaps that Gene Wilder’s character, Theodore “Teddy” Pierce, deals with throughout the movie. I remember my favorite moment as a child; Teddy’s buddies are trying to cheer up a member of their group by going out to a fancy restaurant he had been kicked out of before and doing “the blind man”. Basically, two men go into the place as one pretends to be blind. The “sighted one” sneaks out for a second leaving the “blind one” alone and sets him up to freak the fuck out when he realizes his buddy is longer there beside him. Glasses get broken and people are making shocked faces at the scene, all while the “blind man” shouts “JAKE, JAKE” and smashes up the place with his cane.

Now, I’m sure many of you have had the experience of revisiting a movie you used to love as a kid only to discover what the movie was really about. And what I learned a few days ago is that The Woman in Red is all about a married man who keeps trying to have this affair with a supermodel and fails over and over again.

Let me start from the beginning…

Teddy gets to work one day and, as he is parking his car, he notices a beautiful woman in a red dress come walking through the parking garage. She walks over a grate and the wind coming from the grate blows her dress up in the air, a la Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch, revealing long legs and skimpy panties that are as red as her dress. Surprised at first, the young woman (Charlotte, played by Kelly Le Brock) quickly returns to the grating to do a sexy little dance, not knowing she has an audience. Once she’s done with her dance, she walks off to enter the building which houses the advertising company that Teddy works for. At this, Teddy rushes off to catch her , but not before doing a little dance of his own on the grate. He catches up with her in the elevator but loses her once they exit the elevator and the lights go out. From this point forward, the movie is filled with teddy’s hilarious failures at meeting up with and/or having an affair with Charlotte.

The best failures come from Teddy thinking he is talking on the phone with Charlotte when, as we see, he is really talking to Ms. Milner (played by Gilda Radner), a homely co-worker who quickly develops feelings for Teddy once she thinks he is interested in her. Unfortunately, Ms. Milner gets stood up when Teddy gets hung up with his family. This causes Ms. Milner to have resentment towards Teddy which she expresses by keying his car, bending his car antenna into all kinds of configurations, and spilling ink all over his desk which is covered in important documents. The ill will culminates when Ms. Milner decides to give Teddy a second chance and sets up a second date with Teddy. This time, instead of standing Ms. Milner up, Teddy makes it all the way to the restaurant where Ms. Milner is waiting for him and subsequently runs out when he realizes who his real date is. Ms. Milner follows him out to his car (where he is hiding in the back seat pretending to have a heart attack), leans in thru the driver’s window, and disengages the parking brake… Sending Teddy’s car down a busy (and steep) road as he sits helpless in the back seat.

And Teddy isn’t the only adulterer… Joey’s wife leave him after finding out about his affair. Rick is having an affair with a doctor’s wife, and Buddy gets outed in front of his unknowing buddies when his boyfriend confronts him at lunch one day and throws a suitcase full of his clothes into the middle of the road. And let’s not forget Charlotte, who Teddy finally gets the chance to be with…. right before her HUSBAND arrives home!

So, I still love the movie, there are too many priceless moments to not go back and watch it over and over again. I just think it’s fun to look back on movies I used to love as a kid and learning what was really going on.

I wonder what other movies I could look into….

Here’s to me….

5 Apr

It’s official! The Simon and Garfunkel song is now about me because I am the world’s newest Mrs. Robinson!

To say that my wedding day went off without a hitch would be an understatement. It was perfect. It was beyond perfect. It was more than I expected and better than I could have ever imagined.

Saturday began with an everything bagel. Well, technically it was a plain bagel with everything “seeds” sprinkled all over the cream cheese, but it was still good! As is usually the case on a wedding day (from what I’ve heard) I barely got half the bagel in me before it was time to get going and get ready. First stop was the nail salon for manis and pedis with two of my favorite women in the world… my wifey (Kat) and my taterbug. Taylor sat so still and was such a big girl getting her nails done. Luckily I didn’t have any make-up on because Kat showed me the status update Daniel had posted talking about he was winning the “life lottery” that day. See why I married him?

After nails, it was time to get my hair done. Easy and simple with lots of curls and lightly pinned back from my face. From there, it was on to make-up with Dawn at MAC so I had to start keeping the tears at bay.

Once all my preparations were done, I had just enough time to go back to get everything loaded up and get to the venue on time. And then, the rockstar treatment began!

My photographer (and wonderful friend) Larry showed up and began setting up at the same time that the venue’s amazing staff started getting me whatever I needed.

But, first things first. The maid-of-honor needed to be given her present (a beautifully delicate bracelet of interlocking hearts crusted on alternating sides with diamonds) for being such an amazing woman. If you ever get the chance to meet my wifey, consider yourself lucky. She is one of the most amazing, intelligent, funny, gennuine, honest, big-hearted people on this planet and I am lucky to call her a friend. I think she liked it, at least that’s what the smile on her face and the tears in her eyes told me.🙂

I’m gonna fast forward now to the reception. Also simple. And very quick. The minister read an excerpt from Union that I had found and I could not take my eyes off of my almost husband. To say that he looked good would be an insult. He was probably glowing as much as I was at the thought of what we were finally doing. Kissing him for the first time as my husband was one of the happiest moments of my life. If I am ever given the chance to go back to one moment in time, it will be that moment over, and over, and over.

The reception was, without a doubt, the most fun I have had in a while. Good food, great music, and the most amazing people in the world… all wrapped together to celebrate my husband and I.

I could do it all over again. I’m still living in the glow from that day. Even though he and I have been together a little over 5 and a half years and we have two kids, I feel like a newlywed. He’s my husband now, and I don’t think I could ask for anything more.