Sunday, August 26, 2012

When Parents Strike Back - Bedtime

As every parent this side of kingdom-come will tell you, bedtime sucks. I mean, yes, you could be more politically correct and say that it can be a challenge and we really have to work creatively as parents to help these little sweet angels get in a calm state of mind.

But that's a freaking lie people. You don't get kids in a calm state of mind. They are never calm. For that matter they are never in one single state of mind for more than two minutes at a time unless they are hard core fake-crying to get their brother in trouble. Oh what is that you say? Your kid falls asleep without your help? He walks up to you, tells you that he is ready for bed and to please come help tuck him in because he is just exhausted?

Pshh. You, my lovely friend, got straight up purely - lucky. I hate to break it to you, but it didn't have a darn thing to do with your awesome bad ace bedtime parenting skills. Sorry. You'll know when you have #2 and they throw a screaming fit every time you whisper the word bed. You start off in that calm state of mind land. You end up 2 hours later with a twitch in your eye and kids who are still not asleep.

Bedtime just sucks. It especially does so now that the boys are sharing a room. Giggles, whispers, random loud THUMPS followed by screaming or, much scarier....silence.

We threaten, we beg, we warn, we offer rewards, it's the same. It's always a fight.

So we have started to get creative....oh no, this isn't a "parenting advice" type blog. We have started getting creative purely for our enjoyment. I mean, we've tried everything and those two little terrors angels aren't sleeping anyway, so might as well provide us a little late night entertainment.

We like to sneak up on the boys when they think we don't hear them. It's quite humorous. We have died laughing from hearing some of the stuff they say when they think we aren't listening. We have also scared the living shit heck out of them a few times when we wait quietly at the door for just the perfect moment to run into their rooms screaming like monsters. Hey, it's fun! Plus as parents, we have to get payback somewhere.

Oh don't worry, much to our horror, it usually backfires on us as they think it's stinking hilarious after they finally wipe the pee out of their pants.

This though...this is my new favorite moment. I'd even go as far as to say it's truly a testament of our parenting awesomness. This happened tonight about 30 minutes after we put them to bed. Brewerman and I are sitting watching TV and we hear the boys, who are in bed asleep giggling like hyenas.

Brewerman sneaks up to their bedroom door that is slightly cracked and quietly listens.

Lil'Dude and Lil'Guy are giggling and bantering back and forth about who is a baby diaper and who is stinky underwear. Then Lil'Dude starts oh-so-elegantly burping which Lil'Guy thinks is just a hoot.

Brewerman waits for just the right break in conversation and lets out a little "fart" noise with his mouth.

Lil'Guy: "Ha ha ha, Lil'Dude, did you just fart?"

Lil'Dude: "No, I burped!"

Lil'Guy: "No, did you just fart and burp??"

Laughter and giggling ensues.

Lil'Dude: "No way man, I just burped, did you fart?"

Lil'Guy: "No!"


Lil'Guy (whispering now): "So Lil'Dude, did you fart?"

Lil'Dude (whispering back): "Shut your eyes!!"

Lil'Guy (still whispering): "Why? Whose at the door? Go check."

Lil'Dude: "No."

Lil'Guy (no longer whispering): "Oh! I'll go check."

Lil'Dude: (Silence)

Lil'Guy proceeds to get up, sees Brewerman's silhouette at the door and runs back in to bed to immediately feign sleeping.

Then Brewerman hears Lil'Guy in a quiet defeated voice: "It's Daddy."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Racist!?! I'm not racist!! My Sister's Black!

I read an article today. I was prepared to get mad and go off on it. I was prepared to yell at how racist society is we just won't admit it.

This is the article:
Article: Does Paul Ryan's Black Girlfriend Matter?

Did you read it? If not, go read it. It's good. I was impressed. It made me think. Hit a little bit home as well.

I get this a lot.

"Oh! My sister's boss' neighbor is black and we love him!"- Random person

Sometimes they are saying that to just want to connect with you. It's like when my husband and I take our one date night a century and we happen to see another transracial family. I usually have to hold myself back from running up to them, showing them a picture of our family, and then giving them a big high five while they try to keep very quiet so as not to scare the crazy lady in front of them.

But sometimes it's said as a way to defense their own racism.

"I'm not racist! My sister's black!!" - 17 year old me

It's pretty humbling to remember but, yup, I used to think this way. I would spout off stereotypes (some that I had actually witnessed, others I had heard about, but stereotypes nonetheless), I would say racist jokes, and I would make assumptions of people based on race. Then I would end it all by using that stupid line that I would convince myself made it all okay. Don't get me wrong - I wasn't as bad as some. But still, the fact that I really thought that I couldn't be racist because I had a black sister is troubling.

You see, for most of us, loving one person of another race isn't going to change that inner-racist in us. Don't get me wrong, it paves the way. It makes you stop and think. It starts at corroding the barrier, but it doesn't completely destroy it. In a person's mind, that person you see them as an individual, not as the racial whole. We think, well I like this person so how could I be hateful of that race. Because you see them as a person. People classify them in their head as different than other people of that race without even realizing it.

Of course, for some reason this is only with the positive experiences. If you have a negative experience with somebody of another race, it seems like we instantly deem them as the speaker of the entire race. Why do we do that? I don't know, but sure does makes you stop and think.

It's dangerous though to start thinking that because you had one person of another race that you love, that cancels out any racist thinking we have. It basically makes us blind to our own personal demons.

The best example I can give of someone loving a person close to them, and still holding racist notions is a question that the social worker asked us during our homestudy. Social workers have started to ask would-be transracial adoptive parents how they would feel about their black/Mexican/Asian/etc. child marrying someone of that race. Seriously. That is a question I have been asked three times. Why? Well I will tell you why because I specifically asked them. Because there are families that adopt transracially and yet when that child grows up and decides to marry someone of their own race, they are horrified and uncomfortable. Racism as its finest. I don't doubt the love they have for their child, but they never really looked further in themselves to be able to identify the racism they still hold. They probably considered themselves non-racist, but in fact they were just non-racist to that one person, not the race as a whole. I don't judge them, it just saddens me. It saddens me that social workers feel it is necessary to let transracial adoptive families know that their "lineage" could now consist of another race entirely, that this could be "news" to someone that adopted out side their race. I am glad, however, so if there is an issue, you know BEFORE adopting transracially.

My sister paved the way for my heart to be open to black children. She is my light in more ways than one, but for this I could never fully thank her enough. My sister lead the way to my family being open, to experiences with another race, to being comfortable with a person of another race / culture.

As I learned the hard way however, she can't take me fully there. I had to really learn some hard truths about myself before I let go of some of the racist thoughts and stereotypes in my head. Was I putting other races down constantly and wearing a pointed white hat?

No, nothing so obvious. It was the little things, the subtle racism that's there in most of us that we don't even realize. It's that subtlety that makes it slippery to hold on to and be able to vanquish. That subtle racism is so easy to justify "It's just a joke!" or "Oh come on, don't be so sensitive." Luckily, I have since grown and matured since my 17 year old self spouted off that line of non-racist stupidity about my sister. I always remember it though. I remember how easy it was to hide behind that, to allow it to blind me of my own racism. I will admit as well that I am still learning. I am still growing.

The next time you feel the need to point out that you have a friend/family member/etc. of another race, ask yourself why you are doing that. Make sure that it isn't because you are really just hiding behind them like I did. Are you using that person as a shield that helps you ignore your personal racism? Is that thought actually racism tied in a pretty pink bow like mine was?

Because, as I have said before, in order to truley vanquish racism...we have to start with ourselves, even if you do have a sister of another race.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Around about Meal Planning Post.

I realized this weekend that I really should have been raised on a farm in the 1900's. Except for that "no air conditioning" thing. And the whole "obey your spouse" thing. Oh and the "no bath" thing.

Okay so really the only thing 1900 farmish about me is my love of cooking...and (here comes the nerd) canning!! I heart it.

I have like 15 cans of jam in my pantry that I made...blueberry, blackberry, and strawberry. I also made vanilla extract out of beans and homemade butter that I churned.

Just kidding. I totally didn't churn butter.


Why did I realize it this weekend!? What oh WHAT did I can!?! Are you DYING of curiosity yet??

Okay so technically I didn't can anything this weekend. But I was GOING to.

I know.


I did buy a humongo can of tomatoes to make my homemade sauce and then can, since my basil plant is rocking my face off. I am a gardening genius. Except for the garden tomatoes. We just won't talk about the damn garden tomatoes. Mainly because they don't exist. Back to canning - when we got home we realized it was tomato paste and not crushed tomatoes. Oops. Since we live 20 minutes away from the Costco that we bought it from (I told you it was a humongo can) I decided to tackle that next weekend. Oh and after research found out it's better to freeze tomato sauce anyway. Boo. No canning needed.

BUT ALAS! Like every project I do, it built up to canning my husband's salsa too. Because it's awesome. Because his other personality is an 80 year old Mexican Grandma (and he won't share his recipe so don't ask, he'll purposely leave something out).
But...not to be outdone this weekend I started cooking for the upcoming week like a madwoman. It's pretty pathetic but I was basically in competition with future self next weekend trying to upstage that futuristic good looking B with her canning skills.

Anywho, it resulted in planning my meals for the next couple of weeks. YAY! Finally, another Meal Planning post. I know, you missed me and have been surviving on crackers and milk since my last. It's okay. I am here to help. Next post I will be posting a recipe for Thai Chicken Laab and Shrimp/Crab/Cucumber Mexican Dip stuff (obviously this is the technical name) that my Mexican Grandmother of a husband makes. It's pretty much amazing.

This week o' meals:
 Sunday (last night) - Skinnytaste Mom's Spanish Chicken and Rice (yum-o and makes a TON, oh and use thighs, way better than breasts)
Sunday (made for lunches) - Chicken Salad for Sandwiches. 4 c chicken (leftover from rotisserie chicken), 3/4 ish c light mayo, 1 t Dijon, 1/4 t Dill (to taste), salt, pepper, 1/3 c Chopped fine celery, 1/4 c Chopped fine Red Onion, 1T fresh parsley chopped fine. Do everything to taste, mix it up, add more, add less, whatev! Yum! (Made for quick dinners): Turkey Burgers  (1 batch Buffalo Turkey Burgers without the blue cheese, and 1 batch Zucchini Turkey Burgers)
Wednesday - Pork Chops with Sweet Pepper Glaze bought at Costco.
Monday - Dinner at friends while husband's go to Rangers game.
Tuesday - Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole (Made Sunday night)
Wednesday - Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday - Spicy Black Bean Burgers (Doubled, made Sunday, froze in container labeled for easy use whenever we want, had to add more oats though as mine was pretty soft). Or leftovers. Depends on our mood. Probably pizza. But we totally have the burgers if wanted them.
Saturday - Asian Chicken Peanut Noodles One of my favorite faves!!!! Mmmmm.

Next Week:
 Sunday - Smoked Chicken Thighs, Roasted Potatoes, Zucchini and Squash roasted in pan with garlic and onion and olive oil.
Monday - Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps (to be honest I only use her recipe as a guide. I add ginger, Asian Hot Sauce (can't think of name), soy sauce, oyster, hoison sauce, fish sauce, chestnuts, green onion, salt, pepper, let it marinade over night. Serve with whatever you want in lettuce!)
Tuesday - Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts without the blue cheese (we no likey)
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Chicken Teriyaki with this GREAT teriyaki sauce I bought from Costco. Kinda spicy. Yum. With red peppers, onion, pineapple and rice).
Friday - Out of Town!

In closing - no we have heard diddly on our approval. We have another two weeks until we should though so I am not worrying about it. That's a lie. I'm totally worrying. But I shouldn't be.


My youngest kiddo Lil'Guy ate two Costco hot dogs. TWO. That's a full HALF pound for those that don't know Costco. Plus bun. Yes, we let him eat two. No, we didn't expect him to actually finish the second, we were calling his bluff. He showed us. No, we weren't worried about the hydromonotriglerceglutenidmoes in them. We were too focused on being proud / horrified about the teenage future him. I envision him eating 80% of the time and rolling his eyes the next 20%. Ha! But seriously....


Lil'dude lost his second tooth last night! Tooth fairy came (good thing he woke up and had a nightmare or she would have lots of 'splaining to do). Is it odd that my kid grows his new teeth before his old fall out? He must be seriously vain. I was pretty sure he wasn't going to let go of that dollar all morning (good thing he didn't count his piggy bank, had to go to my kid's bank to break a five dollar bill).


Lil'Dude and I had a mommy-son afternoon date Friday afternoon, just him and me. We went and got ice cream then played at the park where I spun him on a twirly ride, then he so sweetly wanted to spin me. I let him, he wouldn't stop, it got fast, I got dizzy. We had to book it home where the ice cream came back up on me. Seriously? I'm not even 30 and I already can't hang. Who actually throws up from one of those twirly things? Not my kid. Me. Lil'Dude told me that I did it because I was so old, I'm not five anymore. Thanks dude.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I Take it All Back. Kindergarten Sucks!

We had our Kindergarten "Round-Up" (I know, only in Texas) tonight for Lil'Dude.

I learned two things today:

1. I will suck as a working mom compared to stay at home moms.


2. He is not ready. I take it all back. We don't want school to start.

Oh my gosh.

So I know I said that I wanted school to start in this post. Oh and I can not even tell you how over nap time I am at daycare. My kid is over naps, has ADHD, and takes a really long time to fall asleep. Today is two days in a row of nap-time red cards. I'm OVER IT!


He's not ready for...for school. I mean yeah, he can take the lid off of the yogurt by himself, sure. But what if he's still hungry? What if the yogurt is really hard to open? Who will make him eat his veggies? Who will unpack his lunch? What if he's thirsty? How will he know where to put his backpack? You mean I won't be there to hold his hands as he shyly meets a new friend? What if someone is mean to him? Will the teacher make sure he is paying attention every nanosecond?

I mean we did a scavenger hunt and he didn't know what a peace sign was!

C'mon. I mean yeah, Kindergarten SOUNDS awesome. Less daycare, more learning, better qualified teachers.....but to expect them to walk in all by themselves after just one week? No kisses and hugs eight times before you can leave? How will they know where to go? What if they have to go to the bathroom? What if he gets lost? What if he's scared?

I'm not ready.

He's not ready.

Ok maybe he is a little ready.

But I am so not ready for him to be ready!

They tell us he'll be reading by Christmas. I can't see it.

Just like I couldn't see him ever taking those first steps to walk...the first word he spoke...the first time he had cereal all by himself with milk...the first time he wanted to eat the sandwich whole...the first time he swam by himself...the first time he climbed up that "big kids" playground and went down the "big kid" slide...the first time he did the monkey bars all by himself...the first time he walked out the door and got onto that Pre-K bus all by himself...the first time time he tied his shoes....the first time he rode a bike without training wheels....

My baby is growing up. This is a huge step. I know he'll be great. This is good.

I just don't see him as a schooler that puts his backpack away and eats lunch all by himself.

I see him as a little boy that needs hugs and kisses every day before I leave just right or we'll have to start over.

I see him as a toddler running away from me giggling as I warn him not to fall.

I see him as a baby scooting on his butt instead of crawling.

I see him getting placed in my arms for the very first time, all snuggled in his blue blanket...

Yup. Momma's gonna need a mimosa on the first day of Kindergarten.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Profile's done!

Guess who gots there profile approved? We do! We do!

I don't know why my English has to be so bad to make the point but alas, I don't edit these things very much before posting and just sort of roll with it.

Our social worker came back with very few suggested changes which was cool and we got it done and it's officially approved. Of course we have to wait to BE officially approved until we send it to them, but at least that parts done. That is the part that gave me heartburn during orientation. You should have seen some of them profiles. I swear they were just short of pop up books with glitter and a little digital version of ourselves talking Star Wars Style.

I can't decide if I should post it on here or not....I am totally in love with it right now, but give me twelve months and I will most likely hate it's very existence. Plus I don't want people thinking I'm scoping out for potential birth parents by way of my blog. That's not going to happen. Then my children's birth parents have access to this blog forever...then I'd have to switch blogs. Do you know how long it took me to think of that catchy title? No way.

So alas, I still need to think on it. But I will tell you my profile is somewhere between Fergie and Jesus. Oh Brewerman, look what you have done to me!

So except for that, it's been pretty quiet here. By quiet I mean CONSTANT FIGHTING! Between the boys of course, not Brewerman and I, that would be an awkward blog huh? Why is it these boys can't figure out how to just play together? C'mon dudes, you can't be that stressed out. Lil'Guy can't figure out how to tame that mouth and Lil'Dude can't figure out how to tame his fists. It's not like they never get along, they adore each other every minute that they aren't fighting. I know it's inevitable and we did the same growing with those darn bunk beds they have time to plot their evil ways to drive me insane the next day. Of course their giggling is so cute there are some days where I have to hide a smile telling them to GO TO BED.

I do love being a mommy!

OH!! Just in case you think I'm a terrible mom for raising two fighting monsters, guess who wrote their name all by himself!? Lil'Guy! Plus, his name is quite long so he gets extra props, of course so do we since it's obviously a fantastic show of our parenting amazingness. I was going to post it here but the realized I don't use their real names, which is weird since most of you know me anyway, but we'll keep the shroud of mystery on this just in case you are that one reader who still doesn't know where I sleep at night.

Other than that, we are all just getting ready for the first day of school by going on shopping sprees consisting of finding polo shirts only made with material raised by virgin nuns and have a pattern designed by P Diddy and the infamous non-existent 12 x 18 colored construction paper (that was only put on the list to irritate parents and give the teachers a good laugh).

I will leave my faithful readers with two thoughts:

One - it's hot as s&%t here. Ew. Seriously? So gross.

Two - I am getting old because I am loving the Olympics. Go USA! My fave is the gymnastics, I love that little Gabby girl. She's so cute. I wish that I was ever that tiny but sadly I went from infant clothes straight to a woman's size 8. Okay...10...okay just shut up.