Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Shirtless Ricky Martin

It was that last hour of sleep you realize you have when you suddenly wake up thinking the alarm clock is going to go off. At first, it's a relief and even like winning the lottery to get that extra hour. But the really weird, even scary vivid dreams happen during that hour.

That is when Ricky Martin appeared in my dream. As you can imagine, it was the culmination of a strange dream. I was the counselor at a NASA camp for girls who wanted to be astronauts. For some reason, cat fights kept happening. I kept telling the ladies NASA would never recruit fighters. Like I know, right. And then Ricky Martin came on stage to speak and I guess sing to the girls. For some reason, he took his shirt off.

Then I remember that he came off stage and his security team kept saying, "No one touch Ricky, no one touch Ricky". But he spotted me in the crowd and said "I need to hug my Ana Maria Belaval!"

Yes, he was all sweaty. Yes, my girlfriend Tyra says she would have toweled him off first. But my Puerto Rican id would be taken away if I didn't hug him right away, even in my dreams.

What was even more weird is that he gave me career advice.
"Why weren't you in the Pedro Navaja musical?" (That's a popular musical based on a song by Ruben Blades)
Like a school girl, I just shrugged my shoulders.
He said "Do you have an agent?"
I said "Yes, but he mostly looks for news stuff".
"Well, let me take care of it."

I'm still waiting for the call from Ricky's people. Ay Mama!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

She took a chunk out

NOOOO!! followed by "Me muerdas (Bite me)". My lovely 17 month old. My first born. My sweet baby had just bitten the woman that gave birth to her. Why, God, why would you bite the hand that feeds you?!  She took a chunk (as big a chunk as her small mouth and 10 teeth can take off) of my upper inner thigh. That is the point she can easily reach when she hugs my legs begging to be picked up. I was wearing old boxer shorts so that's why she could do so much damage. But I swear those little teeth could pierce through the thickest denim or leather. 

This was one of the latest wounds sustained by my husband and me for the last 17 months. I don't want to go in to detail but the first war wounds came out of labor. Then the real damage began when she could kick her legs. I'm not sure if we could have another child since her aim on her Dad could have compromised that already. One time Steve had a nice size black and blue on his arm thanks to her sweet pinches. I have become a human step ladder, so I'm almost sure my internal organs are again out of place.

At the beginning, they don't mean it. Actually most of the time they don't. But after their first birthday, they realize they can take you down with a quick move and they are not afraid to use their arsenal.  That takes us to the fun of trying to discipline a young toddler.  After the bite incident, after a band aid was applied to the bloody wound, her father had a "talk" with her. A half hour later, in the heat of excitement because she was hugging me, she went for it again. This time on my shoulder but I was able to stop.  "Don't bite" as I hold my little piranhas head back,  seems to be working. Holding her legs or arms and saying "Don't hit" works too.  And sometimes just putting her in her crib for a time out does the trick, At least she hasn't tried it on other kids. But I'll keep you posted. Ay Mama!

Where have I been?

It's been a month since I last wrote on this blog. I'm not snubbing anyone. Motherhood hasn't become easier. Actually, life has gotten a bit more complicated. Like hundreds of thousands of families, the recession has hit our home. My husband got laid off over a month ago. Our readjustment to a one income household is not something I wanted to talk about here. Not because we've lost our house, our standard of living. We are very fortunate in that sense.  But because emotionally it's not an easy process for the family, especially for the member that has been laid  off.  Plus, I blog about my life as a Mom not my husband's and I have to respect that. 

And as a Mom, let me just tell you, sole bread winner and all, my duties haven't changed. I get home and even though Daddy is a blast, Mama is the one that meets all the needs. At least that's how Amelia seems to see it. Steve is as capable to take care of her as I am. As I've written here before, he took the night time feedings when she was a newborn so that I wouldn't jump off a bridge or drive all the way to Arizona on my own. He changes diapers, dispenses Baby Tylenol and can dress her pretty well, for a guy.  But there must be something biological, something about a Mother that a child just wants to get everything from us.

Steve is making dinner every evening, bathing her when my shoulder is acting up, but if he puts her on the floor for a second, the kid just walks right to me. If I switch  places with him so I can fix her lunch, she follows me to the kitchen where he has to go retrieve her. 

I also can't help it. I make most of the decisions about her since she was born. I consult with him but mostly, I instinctively know what's going to come up and I take care of it. Yes, I know I told a few friends to expect more from their husbands and let them take over once in a while.   But it's so hard. Women's lib and all, I think it's part of our female nature. Don't take me wrong, men are quick to follow along. "She'll just tell me what to do."  

And I do tell him what to do. I have to. Since the moment the girl ate solids, feeding her has been my responsibility. He doesn't want to deal with the faces or the mess. If he has to dress her, I leave the outfit set out, bow and all.  If he bathes her, I usually dress her up and rub her tush with Desytin since he hates the stickiness of the white stuff. 

A lot of it has to do with the fact that now I have a routine and I like things done my way. After she goes down for the night, I pick up all the toys. All of them. He doesn't.  I like her to wear a bow. He could care less. So I just do it or make sure that he does it my way.

I am positive that if I had to travel, he could totally take care of Amelia with no problem.  He would be so willing and able. But I also know that as soon as I come in the door, she would ask  me for milk while wearing a t shirt, plaid pants, sneakers and no bow. 

In conclusion: Ladies, we can have it all or actually, we have to do it all. And frankly I don't mind it. Weird right, I must be a Mom. Ay Mama!