- I went to a movie by myself on Saturday night. I know *crazy*, but I rather enjoyed it. I mean who really needs a partner to view a film? It isn't as if I want to chat during the movie, and after 11.5 years of marriage, I feel no urge to make out in a dark theater. So going solo suits me just fine. Accept. Accept I ran into a couple from Zack's preschool and I instantly felt weird. What did they think? "Look at that poor woman.... doesn't she have any friends?" "Where do you think her husband is?"
- My husband's friend visited us from the great state of Minnesota this weekend. He confided that one of his goals was to get a mention in getrealmama. So here it is Pete-great to see you. You are a true beer nerd, and I mean that in the nicest of ways. I am sure he feels a profound sense of fulfillment now.
- Today was a day chock full of trick-or-treating. We took our two little Batmen out on three seperate occassions to collect candy from strangers, and they were delighted. I was mildly embarressed by Zachary's lack-luster "Trick or Treat" and forced "Thank you", mumbled with his back already turned to the door. However, Evan's cheerful "Trick or Thank you!" made up for it all. He was quite the charmer. Now we have enough candy to keep us sugar-loaded until Easter. Super.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I guess that I'm on a roll. First on my list was Mr. Pickles. Now we can add "Bertha" the babysitter. I am calling her Bertha to protect her identity, while I am sure she doesn't read my blog, you just never know who does.
Bertha has babysat for us probably about 6-7 times over the course of the past year. She works at my son's preschool, which is how I met her. She is a fine older lady. Not the spry, energetic type my children would prefer, but rather the trustworthy person who you hire to watch the munchkins for an hour or two before bedtime. She feeds them, sticks them in front of the TV for a half an hour, then tucks them into bed.
I'll be honest. I have always been slightly dissatisfied with her services. For $15/hour, you think she could give the boys a bath before settling on our sofa to watch Dateline until we arrive home. Nope. No bath. Cleaning up after herself also doesn't seem to be a strength. One night we arrived home to not only a mess of dirty dishes, but a full pan of almost untouched lasagna sitting on the counter. It had been there since I removed it from the oven upon her arrival, five hours ago. The lasagna, needless to say, went in the trash. I don't know why I kept calling her. Maybe because finding a new sitter is so much work, and at least I knew Bertha would show up.
Well today was the final straw. This camel's back is broken. I can take no more. Goodbye Bertha. True, I may be over-reacting, but I'm not feeling very well, so cut me a little slack.
Tonight, at this very moment I am suppose to be in San Francisco with my husband at The World Series! The hubs scored tickets from a generous vendor, and I was invited to attend. Now, I am not a huge baseball fan, but I do enjoy a game, the crowds, the junk food, the beer, it's a good time. And The World Series? That has to be one heck of a party. Bertha was scheduled to babysit. But here is the problem. I am sick. Sick-sick. Too sick to go out and have fun, even if it means that I am stuck at home with rowdy kids. So I called Bertha with the news this morning. Bertha was not happy. Bertha was not shy about her feelings. Bertha went on and on about how she had just turned down another job and how she had planned on working tonight.
Okay, before you think I am totally heartless, to some extent I get it. She was planning on making $60.00 tonight for sitting on her butt watching TV in my living room. Maybe she had that money ear-marked. But it isn't as if I have ever cancelled on her before. It isn't as if this is her regular job. I am not her employer.
What really ticked me off? The fact that she didn't have an ounce of sympathy for me. Did she think I was lying? Did she think that I decided that it would be more fun to stay at home eating saltine crackers than going to see the ball game that everyone is talking about?
In the end I asked her if she wanted me to pay her for a portion of what she would have received tonight. Her words? "You just have to do what you think is right." I gave her a check for $45.00. You can be damn sure that was the last dollar she is going to earn from me.
Maybe I am not being fair. Maybe it is common practice to pay a sitter when you cancel on them. Perhaps I just have some pent up anger about the lack-luster job she does for us, and some general dissatisfaction with the way this evening turned out.
What do you think?
Monday, October 25, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
- Behavior: Maintains composure while children
wail and sob after being served french
toast for breakfast... they wanted microwave
pancakes. Reward: One grande Starbucks latte.
- Behavior: Shouts "Rats!" after dropping an eight volume cookbook on big toe, rather than using a more descriptive exclamation. Reward: Getting to watch a real-life rated "R" movie for a change.
- Behavior: Gives up opportunity to watch "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" so husband can watch baseball game. (Again). Reward: A professional massage.
- Behavior: Does not cry when son tells her for the 22nd time in one day "you're not my friend" Reward: A night out with girlfriend's who actually like being around me.
- Behavior: Picking up husband's dirty socks, underwear, and t-shirts, putting them in hamper without muttering a single snarky comment. Reward: Peace
- Behavior: Listening to son painstakingly read each word of the 62 page "I Can Read" version of Danny and the Dinosaur, while my dinner gets cold. Reward: A heart all swelled up with pride.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Zack hates his little brother.
If Zack were in the mafia he would order a hit on him.
If he had a facebook page, he would taunt him 24/7 with his status updates. "Evan poops in his diaper!" "Evan is a stupid baby!"
If he were the head of this household he would disown Evan. Trust me, he has inquired on multiple occasions about the possibility of "kicking Evan out of the family."
I am not making this stuff up.
Is it a phase? If it is it goes back to June 12, 2008.
Sure there have been flashes of tenderness along the way. I will never forget the first time Zachary witnessed me changing Evan's diaper. When I removed the infant onsie, Zack recoiled in horror at the site of Evan's stumpy belly button. I had forgotten to warn him. He looked truly scared and for his brothers well being. Sweet, but that was a long time ago. Since that moment, I would have to say there have only been a handful of times when Zachary has shown even a small amount of kindness toward his nemesis.
Is this normal? It seems to me that all of my friends with multiple kids have older siblings that look after their little brother or sister. They give out hugs and kisses, perhaps sometimes to forcefully, but at least the intention is there. Zack has never asked to hug his brother. He will barely stand next to him for a photograph.
So what did I do wrong? I tried to prepare my son for the arrival of his baby brother. I read the "I'm a big brother!" book to Zack about 200 times. I talked on and on about how important a big brother is. We talk about jealousy, and got a book about it. I feel as though we give him tons of attention. Today for example, I took him for a mommy & me day, and went to the bookstore and the movies with him. I filled him up with mama hugs and popcorn and we had a delightful time... until we got home, and the fighting between brothers started all over again.
Please readers, I am looking for your advice, or your words of encouragement. Have you witnessed this type of behavior before? (Tell me I am not alone!). Do you have any ideas on how to improve the situation? (Since brothers cannot get a divorce, we are all stuck together under the same very small roof for at least the next 13 years). I am all ears.
Friday, October 15, 2010
What does this picture say to you?
To me the biased mama, it screams two things:
1) I have a very, very smart son, perhaps even "gifted". Harvard here we come (full scholarship of course.) Zachary at five years old, selected this shirt himself. Why? Because he could read every word on the shirt. "Do not feed the bears" "I am not a bear" "Trust me". And he thought it was hysterical. Okay so maybe his sense of humor is that of a preschooler but the kid has some mad skillz.
2) I have a teenager with attitude stuck in a five-year old body. I mean just look at him.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Never before and never since, I promise,
will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it, you'll know
it's true that you are blessed and lucky.
It's true that you are touched by something
that will grow and bloom in you.
These are days you'll remember
Monday, October 11, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
That is one way to look at. These days here is what "vacation" means to me. Spending endless hours trying to figure out if you have all of the necessary belongings. Swim diapers? Check Diaper cream? Check. Toys? Check. Wipes? Check. Books? Check? Mr. Brown Doggie? Check. Snacks? Check. Trying to cram all of these belongings into a reasonably sized suitcase. Listening to 5 hours of Dan Zanes & Friends or the Amazing Andy Z in the car and uselessly trying to comfort a 2 year old with motion sickness. It means getting into the pool even though it is far too cold. It means going to bed at 8pm because we are all in the same motel room. It means the crappy continental breakfast served in the lobby, drinking weak coffee and eating stale bagels. It means "hiking" the paved .75 mile loop, and forgoing the walks we would like to take.
It means mornings with the whole family cuddling in one Queen size bed. It means smores by the campfire, and kid's who know it doesn't get any better than this. It means writing postcards to Nana and grandpa. It means two boys basking in the 24 hour attention from mommy and daddy. It means more hugs than usual and more time to hear what goes on in the mind of a five year old.
Yup, the Kargas family is heading on "vacation" this on the heels of a hideous week, which included spending a fortune on deep tissue massages and chiropractic care, and learning that my father in law will likely be getting bypass surgery. I'm not sure that I am up for it, but we are giving it a go. Wish us all a real vacation. See you in about ten days.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
So what's my deal today? Let me paint the picture for you. Last night I wend to bed after a lovely date night with my husband. We went to a cozy pub and drank port wine and then had Chinese food. We had a terrific time. Throughout the evening I noticed that my neck was a wee-bit sore. I complained briefly about it and brushed it off.
Around 1 am I awoke in such pain I had tears in my eyes. No matter how I positioned myself the left side of my neck and shoulder were in agony. I am only mildly exaggerating. Perhaps I don't know what true agony is, but I can tell you this, it has been worse than recovering from either c-section. After a sleepless night I greeted my family with my head tilting towards the right at a bazaar angle. Zachary asked me why I could not hold my head up right. I refrained from telling him it was because I was in some of the worst pain in my life and merely explained that "mommy wasn't feeling well".
Today we were all going to take a drive up to Sacramento to visit relatives of my father-in-law who we have never met before. I quickly determined that there was no possible way that I could make the trip. My family departed without me, leaving me in a completely quiet , empty home. Bliss right? Perhaps, if I wasn't desperately praying for the narcotic fairy to drop off some heavy duty drugs. I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself, since I was tired but could not sleep, so I took a hot shower and went and got a deep tissue massage, which really didn't help much. I came home and somehow managed to sleep for 2.5 hours, which was a miracle. I awoke at about 3:30, still in pain, but also feeling a tremendous amount of what else, but... guilt. Why? Because I had squandered an entire Saturday. Because I was given the rare opportunity of a full day without children and I accomplished nothing, even though there was so much to be done. Our house is a pig sty, the refrigerator barren, and the laundry, multiplying by the nano-second. And yet I was a useless lump of nerves.
Now the smart woman in me knows that this guilt is ridiculous, even if I didn't feel as if my head had suddenly become ten times too heavy for my tiny throbbing neck, I still would have deserved a Saturday of nothing right? Shouldn't everyone have a little down time? But the restless critical part of me was screaming at the top of her big lungs "DO SOMETHING YOU LAZY SLOB!" And although the smart part of me knows that I should have slapped the critical bitch within and settled down to a Real Housewives marathon, I dragged my butt to the grocery store and did the weekly shopping.
And now here I sit, my neck really no better than this morning and fearing another sleepless night.