Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dear Baby J

Dear Baby J,

We are all anxiously awaiting your arrival. I was hoping that I would have made your acquaintance by now but it appears that you have your own schedule. But honestly Baby J, it is time. It's true, we have bonded over the past nine months. You providing sweet little kicks and shoving my stomach up into my chest cavity, me providing you with a cozy little home. I hope you have found your accommodations welcoming and comfortable, but sadly, it's closing time! We are shutting this thing down by Friday. Lights out. Time to head out.

Life isn't so bad out here. You have a lot of love waiting for you. Two older brothers who will reluctantly take you under their wings. A daddy who might as well be a live in party clown, the way he loves to play with his sons. A mama who can't wait to hold and cuddle you, singing you to slumber every night. You'll see. Come out and and you'll see.

I'm waiting for you my sweet baby boy.



Date night gone wrong

Just what exactly lead me to sobbing, nearly uncontrollably at Pete's at 7:30 last night? You won't believe this, or then again maybe it makes perfect sense.

The cause of the breakdown....Bridesmaids, the movie. A date night gone wrong.

I cannot for the life of me see this movie. Everyone, and I mean everyone continues to rave about this funny flick, and although I have had several opportunities to see what all the fuss is about, I can't seem to make it happen.

Bridesmaids take 1:

Last Saturday

I had a phenomenal afternoon planned. I was to go for manis/pedis with a girlfriend followed by a couples night at the movies. We had a babysitter arranged. Then I thought I was in labor. I experienced cramping and felt sick. I cancelled my plans and stayed home. It turns out that the pain is just a result of the baby's position, and it is has continued on for the past seven days.

Bridesmaids take 2


I finished work on Thursday at 12:30. I was taking a 1/2 day of vacation and starting my maternity leave then. What better way to kick it off than an afternoon at the movies? Feeling very tired, I decided to lie down for 20 minutes before heading to the theater. An hour and a half later I awoke groggy and disoriented. I had missed the film.

Bridesmaids take 3

Last night:

My in laws are now in town, having arrived in Oakland a week before my c-section, in case of an early delivery that now does not seem to be likely. The husband and I rushed out for a quick dinner and then finally to see Bridesmaids. We hurried through our meal and headed to the theater only to find a line several blocks long. Within minutes we were informed that Bridesmaids was sold out. The other movie options included Kung Phu Panda II or The Hangover Part II. I had no interest in either. That is when the tears came. My husband asked what we should do next? Head to a bar? No. I can't drink. Lame. Go for coffee? Fine. Just Fine. We walked to Pete's and I started crying harder and harder. Our evening was ruined. I would never see the funniest movie in the world. I had to head back and share my living room with the in laws watching Golf on ESPN or PBS again. Another long boring night.

I ordered a grande white chocolate mocha from the barrista who quickly corrected me. "I'm sorry but what do you mean by a grande?" she snarled sarcastically. That's right I'm at Pete's, not Starbucks. Pete's has medium. Dumb me. I leaned into my husband my shoulders shaking as I sobbed. They both must have thought I was crazy.

Clearly as tragic is as it is that I have missed my opportunity to see the movie on the big screen, it was not worthy of all those tears. Not by a long shot, but I suppose I have hit my limit.

Hormones raging.

Tired of waiting.

Sleep deprived.

Terribly uncomfortable.





As noted, I am now sharing my home with my in laws who will be here until June 14. We are thankful for the help. It is so kind of them to come. But I don't feel like having roommates. Roommates with questions about where to find this or that. Roommates who want to know what we will do for dinner. Roommates who talk to me while I'm trying to blog. Roommates who monopolize the television when all I want to do is watch The Real Housewives.

Although I know all of this is temporary, and leading up to a joyful occasion, I feel as though I am in the perfect storm. Ready to explode. Wanting to find a hideout, an escape yet too tired to move.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My kid's a freaking genius

My kid is a freaking genius. At least that is the conclusion I have come to after attending Zachary's kindergarten "orientation" last night. I am putting orientation in quotation marks because the whole thing seemed like a joke. I left this evening meeting truly concerned about the quality of the school and wondering if next year will be an academic waste of time for my kid.

The entire 1.5 hour meeting can be summarized as such

  • Before entering kindergarten your child should have the following skills:
Know their name.

Count to ten.

Identify basic shapes (circle, square, triangle)

Know their parent's first names.

Have the ability to dress themselves

Use a glue stick

Listen to a story

Recognize colors

Identify body parts.

Is it just me or does this sound like a list of requirements for the exceptionally slow preschooler? I jokingly asked Zack if he could count to 10, he responded with "Mom, I can count to over 100!" He must be a genius. What other explanation is there?

  • School starts at the end of August. Teacher assignments will not be announced until the first day of school. There is no orientation for the kids. You are to drop your child off that morning and quickly say goodbye on the playground. Do not come in to the classroom, that makes kids cry.
We are talking about kindergarten right? 5 and six year olds *might* benefit from a little hand holding on their first day, or at the very least have an opportunity to meet their teacher or see their classroom before being abandoned with a room full of strangers. Have I gone soft?

  • The school has no money. Parents need to donate money. A lot of money. They accept checks. We should write one. Now. Tshirts are also for sale.

I bought the T-Shirt. This is the sad state of our public schools. Depressing.

  • The classroom may be as large as 30 children. In order to customize learning to each child's needs there is a 30 minute block of time every day where the kids can select an activity appropriate to their learning level.

Wow, a whole 30 minutes! I am sure my son will select his activity carefully. He will probably choose to read a chapter book in the corner quietly. Or wait Tommy is demonstrating how to shove a pencil up his nose. Maybe he will try that instead. It's okay, there is nobody around to stop them.

So that was about it. My kid's school is suppose to be one of the better Oakland public schools. I am starting to understand why so many people go broke paying for private school.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Looking for a mircacle

My hands shook when I went to change his diapers. His mother used the cloth variety along with safety pins. I was probably eleven years old, and he only a few months. I was petrified of sticking his chubby wiggling legs, of causing him to bleed and cry. So the diaper was always loose and droopy and I hoped his mother wouldn't notice.

That baby is now a grown man. The son of one of my mother's dearest friends. He was just in a terrible swimming accident that more than likely left him paralyzed. Unable to move those precious legs or arms again. I haven't seen him for many, many years, and the last time I saw his mother was probably a good 12 years ago, but she is a close family friend and I have kept up with her on Facebook. This woman is a good woman. We are talking really good. She is a school teacher and speaks of her students with such love and pride. She is a spiritual woman, who goes to church and has great faith. She is a true friend, one who was incredibly generous and giving to my family when we went through are own difficulties. I learned of the accident via her Facebook page. She does not deserve this. She deserves to be posting updates of grandchildren and happy times. This is not fair.

We all know that bad things can and do happen to good people. We only have so much control. Perhaps that is why I can't get this off my mind. I sit here preparing for my son's birth, taking my prenatal vitamins, eating my veggies and worrying about all that could possibly go wrong. I take my child's hand as we cross the parking lot and watch his every move on the playground. But I cannot protect my babies forever or from everything. Toddlers get cancer, teenagers get kidnapped, grown children have terrible accidents, and there is nothing we can do about it.

My mother's friend has asked for prayers, because at this point what else can be done? She believes in the power of prayer. I myself am not the praying type, however I said one. I closed my eyes and asked whatever higher power there may be to save this child, to save this mother, to grant a miracle. It's a selfish prayer, because as much as I am saying it for them, I am saying it for myself and for my own family.

I want to believe in happy endings. I want to know that life can be fair. I want to see this family happy once again to know that it is possible....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ladies Man

Evan will be three in a few weeks. He's growing up. Becoming a little man. A little ladies man. This feisty 30 pounder sure knows how to woo the preschool girls. He is a smooth talker who has come up with some winning lines that the other boys will be using for years to come.

Evan has taken a special interest in a girl named "Charlie" who attends school with him. Charlie is a pudgy cutie pie who frequently wears leggings and bright pink tops. A real looker. When I picked him up on Friday he announced loudly (with Charlie clearly in ear shot) "I'm going to marry Charlie, and then I'm going to kiss her on the lips!" Charlie ignored him, but my guess is that she was simply playing hard to get.

Perhaps because of Charlie's cold shoulder, Evan has stepped it up a notch. Just today at the zoo, he approached an older girl, probably all of four years. As way of introduction, and just to break the ice Evan walked up to her, took a superman stance, pointed directly at her and yelled "You have a gyna!" Uh. huh. May I note that this was right in front of the child's parents. The girl's interest was peaked, and she challenged him to a running race. Mom and dad looked at their feet. Yikes.

Evan was encouraged. He used the very same line at an Andy Z concert this afternoon with a special twist. This time he approached a young lady on the dance floor, pointed and yelled "You have a gyna! I have a penis!" This little girl simply stared back blankly at him. She probably was just a little slow.

I any case, it appears my son is quite the charmer. It's time to lock up your daughters Oakland.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Dear Mommy (CEO),

We are both writing to formally request a promotion. Any day now we will be welcoming a new junior staff member, and with his arrival will come increased responsibility. We know that we will be asked to provide mentorship and training to our new employee. In addition we are certain that we will be expected to act more autonomously. We welcome this challenge. However we feel that we should be rewarded with a promotion and increased decision making authority.

We would like to take more ownership in the budgeting process. We have some ingenious ideas. Kargas Inc. spends top dollar on vegetables and fruits. Have you noticed how inexpensive Cheetos and Ding-Dongs are? Switching our spending habits to include more cost effective products such of these could save us significantly.

Additionally we would like to have more input into the organization's policies. We have a good foundation of guiding principles, however we believe there is some room for adjustment. For example the "no name calling" policy seems outdated. These days it is common place to call one's peer a "butt head" or an "idiot face." We don't find this to be offensive, and believe that Kargas Inc might be out of touch with today's generation.

Finally as we continue to take on higher levels of responsibility we think it is necessary to hire more support staff. We need assistance with entry level work such as cleaning up toys or picking up our dirty clothes. Although we are more than happy to extend our work day to 9 or 10pm, we still need someone else to take over these menial tasks.

We hope that you will take our requests under serious consideration. Your failure to do so might result in a company wide strike.

Yours truly,

Zachary P. Kargas

Evan A. Kargas

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shame on me

It was a regular, everyday moment that shook a little perspective into me. I haven't exactly been shy with my pregnancy whining. Well shame on me.

Today was my final day in the city until I return from maternity leave. Of course I had to make the standard trip to Noah's Bagels to get my fix. Sesame bagel with cream cheese and a large decaf coffee. Yum. I prepared my coffee as I waited for my order to be called. I heard my name and walked to the counter to retrieve my breakfast. I was handed my bagel by a friendly woman with an apron tied tightly across her swollen belly. She looked to be about eight or nine months along, just like me.

I felt suddenly sheepish as I tucked my bagel into my ergonomically designed backpack and left the restaurant. I had been feeling sorry for myself, having forgotten my umbrella and needing to walk a half mile to the office in a cold drizzle. I started to think about how my server's day must have started out. The morning shift. She probably had to start work at 6am, meaning getting her tired aching body out of bed at an ungodly hour. Likely she had some sort of bus/train/walk commute, only to arrive at Noah's where she would spend an eight hour shift on her feet, preparing other people's food.

So what do I have to complain about?

Exactly. Shame on me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Things I don't care about today

Things that I don't care about

Pippa. So she is Kate Middleton's sister. She's pretty. She looked hot in her white dress at the royal wedding. This is why she is gracing the covers of all of celebrity magazines? I don't get it. I don't want to.

My three year is generally dressed in some form of pajamas or completely nude. Forget about the closet full of hand knit sweaters and Gymboree, he ain't going for it, and I don't have the energy to fight about it. Moving on.

My house will never look like a home out of Good Housekeeping. Okay, I sort of care about this, but I am trying really hard not too. Our home is in a perpetual state of disaster, and adding a new baby is not going to improve the situation. Time to let it go.

I'll never be a famous blogger, an SVP, an athlete or an award-winning anything. So be it.

Diet soda is bad for me. Maybe it will contribute to my demise, but it's still healthier than crack.

I can't cook particularly well. I'd rather know how to pick out a good bottle of wine than how to prepare a roast. That's just me.

I don't own matching under-garments. Nice idea, but so unpractical.

That I don't really know what gluten is.

My family drinks 2% milk. Fat shmat, skim is for the birds.

I'm sitting here looking totally ghetto, with my pants falling down, my shirt riding up and my belly hanging out. Hot!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The final countdown

Twenty more days. Not that I'm counting or anything. Of course baby's birthday could come earlier, and at this point, I would not argue with the little man. It is no secret that I am actually terrified about our newest addition. Sure I had moments of fear and doubt with my first two pregnancies, but life is harder now. I have two young boys who are anything but easy-going. I live far from family and my closest friends. Adding a newborn to what I would already describe as chaos is a bit overwhelming.

Still, I'm telling you I am done with this pregnancy bit. It would be an understatement if I told you that I was slowing down in these final weeks. I'm moving at a snails pace, I'm overwhelmed with exhaustion much of the time. This is different than with my previous pregnancies. I am just without energy. I feel as if I could sleep forever, and yet I don't sleep. I don't sleep because of the acid that is relentlessly burning a hole in my esophagus. While I would desperately like to dig into a pint of Ben & Jerry's right now, that joy has been snatched away, enjoying a late night treat has dire consequences. A whole night lying awake swallowing back acid.

I will spare you the entire laundry list of pregnancy related complaints and sum it up. I'm tired. Too tired to blog. Done. Ready to enter the next phase of my life, no matter how crazy it may be.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dance Dance Dance

It's dance season for the young folks. I was reminded of this on two separate occasions over the past few days. First, while on our mini "vacation" to Monterey this past weekend, we stayed at an Embassy Suites. I was outraged to discover that our room was directly next door to a group of fraternity kids and their dates in town for spring formal. As we walked past their room I caught sight of the make-shift bar sitting on a dresser drawer. I immediately wondered if we could change rooms. After the anger over our misfortune subsided I became....jealous. My thoughts turned from "those drunk kids are going to keep us up all night" to "when did I get so old?"

My college boyfriend, who later had the privilege of becoming my husband was in a fraternity. There were few benefits for me, in fact usually I was banned from their parties with the sister sororities. I did however get to attend spring formal every year. I loved formal. It meant dressing up, getting my hair done, binge drinking and staying over night at a hotel. How can you beat that? It was prom on steroids.

Speaking of prom, it is also that time of year. I know this because I happened to watch part of an episode of Glee. I am probably going to upset a few readers by saying this, but I just don't understand that show. It is so far from realistic it's laughable. The premise, a diverse group of high school kids come together and bond over a common love of music. Think of an updated version of The Breakfast Club where the jock, the preppy and the geek all burst randomly into song. Add an overweight African American, a gay kid and a boy in a wheelchair, and ta-dah- you have Glee! Anyhow, the Glee gang went to prom, and they were smokin' hot. It made me think of my own ridiculous formal gowns. The big bows, poofs and matching shoes. How I would like to go to prom today where the girls wear sophisticated dresses and sleek hairstyles.

This whole thing has me thinking. Why are formal dances wasted on youth? Why isn't there a prom for grown ups? Yes we can attend weddings, but then we actually have to hope someone will get married. Most of our friends are already hitched. If I had a lot of money and wasn't 8.5 months pregnant, I would rent out a hotel ball room, hire a DJ and host prom for all of my friends. In the meantime, I am just reminiscing and looking at photos from our fraternity formals. I hope you enjoy. No laughing allowed.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Boys, a little guilt trip.....

To my sons Zachary and Evan,

I am writing this on Mother's Day, May 8 2011 with the intent of sending this to you on an annual basis just before this very holiday each year. The purpose? To remind you why you owe me. To play the guilt card and gently suggest that you do something nice for the woman who gave you life.

This weekend was suppose to be a fun filled, family mini vacation in Monterey. I had high hopes for our little get away. I planned activities I thought we all would enjoy. A visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. An evening in a hotel with a pool. Ice cream in a tourist city. It should have been grand.

But you boys were ROTTEN. Down right bad. Clearly you failed to read the instructions I laid out clearly for you in my last post. I provided you with five easy steps to ensure we all had a happy Mother's Day. You failed to follow most of them . Although I got a spa gift card from your father, and some handmade gems from you, you misjudged the importance of my other requests. What about the card with the long list of why I am an amazing mother? I had a girlfriend post a quotation from her own five year old's card. Her child said something like "Mommy I love you so much because you are so nice, and take me on play dates and make me good food and give the best hugs." I got a note with one word. Pirate.

I also kindly asked you to refrain from fighting, whining and crying, yet that's exactly how you both spent most of the weekend.The aquarium was a total bust. We should have known better than to visit on a Saturday. The entire attraction was packed with families, making it difficult to see the exhibits and keep track of two spastic boys running in different directions, yelling something about hating their brother. Meals at even the most family friendly restaurants were pure torture. Whining about entree selection, throwing waded up napkins at fellow diners, and screaming "I hate you mommy" before the meals even arrived. Not fun.

Boys, you also got the timing wrong. I requested that our day of family fun begin no earlier than 9am, yet you selected 6am. 6am! Isn't mommy suppose to get some extra sleep on her special day? Didn't I read something about breakfast in bed somewhere? We were in a hotel, but it seems like perhaps you could have mustered up extra effort to pamper mommy on this very important day. Nope. Up and at them. You boys were hungry so we opted for the bland hotel continental breakfast with bad coffee.

And now, rather than attempt another disastrous family meal, I am hiding in my office while the two of you eat a dinner of frozen pizza while your dad pulls his hair out. I am sitting up here feeling fairly angry that we wasted the money on this terrible weekend, and wondering what I have done wrong. Why wasn't this weekend wonderful? Why didn't you love hanging out by the ocean? Why didn't I get hugs and kisses? Why do you keep telling me that you hate me?

Next year no expectations.

Happy Mother's Day indeed.

So my dearest boys, by the time you read this you will be older. Old enough to know how to honor your mother in a special way. Diamonds will do.

Your Mother

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tips for a happy Mother's Day

It's coming....the most wonderful day of the year! Seriously, Mother's Day is just about as good as a birthday, only no thought of candles or wrinkles!

I'm ready for my big day. Children, Spouse, you may start lavishing love, appreciation and gifts upon me.

Sweet family just in case you are not fully prepared for the this spectacular extravaganza of mommy, I have a few handy tips for you.

  1. Yes, mommy loves those macaroni noodle necklaces, and Mother's Day would not be the same with without your handmade treasures. But here is the thing, mommy likes all kinds of presents. Jewelery. Massages. Flowers. An uninterrupted three hour nap. Any of those things would make mama very happy.

  2. Do us all a favor, please skip the big meal cooked up in our kitchen. That breakfast or dinner that you prepare especially for mom. The one where every pot, pan and utensil gets pulled out, used and left in the sink awaiting cleanup by *someone*. There is no shame in take out.

  3. Don't forget to write a heartfelt card explaining just why I am the very best mommy and wife in the whole wide freaking world. It can be a very long note. It can include a gift card. For a massage. See tip #1.

  4. On the occasion of Mother's Day there is a no crying/whining/temper tantrum rule that must be strictly adhered to. Should this rule be broken, mommy will simply leave the room until the situation is resolved by *someone* else. Mama is off referee duty for the day.

  5. We will spend quality family time together, but only between the hours of 9am and 8pm, and with the exception of mommy's three hour nap. (Again see tip #1)

All you have to do to ensure a successful Mother's Day is follow those five easy steps. Remember Father's Day, and birthday season is just around the corner. Best to keep mama happy.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I am the Baby King

I'm on to you little baby. You act all innocent in there, quiet and tucked away, but I've got your number. I'm not stupid you know. I am very much aware of what your big entrance will bring. You're going to want all of the attention. You will use your tiny cry and your cute outfits to solicit every one's affection. You know what you're doing.

But I have a plan little bro. I have been planting the seeds for at least the past month. You see, I can still be a cute little baby myself, I know how to play the part.

For starters, I'm not giving up the diapers. Diaper changing time is quality mommy/daddy time, and I'm going to get my fair share. And you know what? I still need to be carried too. My legs are too small to walk very far, and my feet start to hurt. OWIE, I need uppy!

I can use my baby voice. A sing-songy whine tends to turn heads. If the that doesn't work, I have a sneaking suspicion that I can yell a heck of a lot louder than you can, small fry.

So you might as well enjoy your time inside while you can little dude, in fact you can go ahead and make that your permanent home for all I care. If you think you are going to overthrow me from my spot on the Baby King throne, you better think again. I am the cute little one of this family, and ain't nobody going to forget it!