Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Gracias Linda!

Diego and I were in the car on our way to pick up some lunch while Dada-Ruff was working hard building our new TV monument stand.  It was a hot day so we both had our car windows down.  It was also the weekend so I wasn't looking half as haggard as usual, plus I had on my sunglasses which covered most my face.

The car in front of me decided to be a bottle-neck on the street and double-parked.  I had to scoot my car over to the side, to let the car in oncoming traffic pass by me.  It was tight, so I tried to scoot some more.  And then some more.

They finally passed by me, both our windows wide open on this beautiful hot day.  It was a car full of Latin young men.  The space between our cars was so tight that the driver was practically in my car.  As our windows paralleled, the driver said,

"Gracias linda" [Thank you, lovely] and they drove away.

I didn't have enough time to acknowledge.  Not a smile or a nod because they were already behind me, probably off to some beer-filled party or something.

I turned the corner, and Diego said,

"Mama, are those your fwends???"

"Huh?  What?  Oh!... yeah sure."

Those are my fwends.... - Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Clean Eats

Homemade grilled chicken salad in lime juice.  No cans.

I'm joining the bandwagon and starting a "clean eating" diet.  I really need to do something about these last few post-Tater pounds.  And I really can't blame Tater for this anymore.  It's me.  I haven't had any drive.

So after thinking I've been needing to do something for weeks, I've finally mentally decided to go clean.  Well - lemme back up.  80% clean.  Because everyone knows you can never be 100% clean without being some crazy person - no offense if you're a crazy, clean person.  You go girl - or boy!  I'm leaving myself some wiggle room for things like an occasional white bread or rice, cheese, and well - Fast Food Fridays. 

I decided to go clean because it just made simple sense.  Don't eat processed or refined foods: eat as little packaged foods as you can.  Go back to nature, simple foods that have 1 or 2 ingredients.  Eat stuff that will go bad sooner than the stuff that can sit in your pantry for months.  It just all made perfect sense.

When reading about clean eating I realized that the MATR house already sort of does this too, so we just needed to make little tweaks here and there and we'd be a (80%) clean eating family!  So anyway, I guess things are gonna get a whole lot more clean here at MATR! [I wish I were talking about my floors ;)]

Can anyone share their favorite clean meals (especially lunch & dinner) with me?  -Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Behind the Curtain


What is it about kids and curtains? 

They're an endless source of entertainment...

CurtainCall-2 CurtainCall-3

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DD Sound Bites

Diego's speech therapist has been giving me really good feedback at the end of his sessions lately.  This last Friday, she said she was going to re-test him for speech evaluation at his next session.  Again, she started to explain that he's picked up and improved so much lately, and she sort of made me feel that D (3yrs, 4mos) might not need speech therapy anymore?  I mean, she didn't officially say it, and with my paying insurance ($$) why would they offer to stop?  But she gave me that impression if only for a split second.

And I don't think that this is a passive, aggressive way to kick my Ruffian out of speech therapy, because he hasn't had any tantrums (during his sessions) in so long!  So I guess we'll just see the outcome of his session this week.  Cross your fingers!

I have noted that he is speaking in full sentences lately.  I mean the whole shebang folks:  subject, predicate, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions!  (Still working on pronouns though).  It's amazing each time he comes up with a complete sentence, and I can't find anything wrong with it other than pronunciation of some words.

Oh, and the Spanish accent that he's picked up from my dad!  Don't get me started on that.  I giggle to myself with all his "Jesses" [Yes's], "Choos" [shoes], and "Chut ups" [shut ups] I hear.  And the Spanglish is even more fun.  Like when Jane in the movie Tarzan lost "su" [her] shoe.  Or when he wants "otro" [another] ice cream.  

Below are some things you'd hear at the MATR house, and you can probably notice this little Ruffian has spunk!

DD Sound Bites

  • My name is Waygo [Diego]
  • I have to watch Tarzan
  • I have to go to work
  • Aw, so cute!
  • Hey, what you doing?
  • Mama, come on!
  • I have to help mama feed Cody [Qori]
  • No! You do it!
  • Your brother is too little?
  • Be careful, da bugs will bite you!
  • Hey!  My zapatos [shoes]!
  • New car, new tv, new door?  [yes we've bought quite a few new things at the MATR house lately]
  • Wait for me!
  • Gween means go, wed means stop
  • You're OK!  [he says thins when he falls down.  LOL!]
  • Don't bah-er [bother] me
  • I'm not ready [usually followed up with "to take a bath"]
  • I don't hike [like] it [usually used during dinner time]
  • I hove [love] you mama/dada
  • Dis is my mama
  • Dis is my fwend 
  • Peas mama, I has go to da park?
  • I have to kill you [???]
  • Don't hit me!  [as if we beat him!]
  • Your brother is sleeping
  • Your brother bite me [I don't have a brother]
  • Oh, sorry. Excuse me [when he burps] 
  • Peas mama, I have otro ice cream?  The gween one.
  • Jesus Mama!  [this is a new one I've heard twice.  I'm not sure if this is exactly what he's saying but it sure does sound like it, and he has toddler attitude when he says it too.  LOL!]

-Shirley (Mama Ruff)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Brown Loin Cloth


 Happy Sunday to you! 

I could use the photo above to discuss my failure at potty training my 3-year old thus far, or to talk to you about how he's entered a stage where he'll dress down to the "full-monty" and gets a kick out of mommy's reaction when he touches his peenix.  Ew!  boys...

But instead let me tell you how I got the diaper BACK on him.  He just so happens to be really into the Disney movie "Tarzan" right now.  It's recorded on our DVR and he's ALWAYS asking for it.

So he's running around the house, full monty and laughing, causing his little brother to be running around the house with his ass-crack showing because he pulled down his pants in an effort to be nude just like his brother.

I'm chasing the two little Ruffian peenix's around the house with their diapers in my hand.  Getting nowhere, I sit down on the couch and give up for a second, and start to re-evaluate my strategy.  There he is!  Tarzan on the TV screen.

"Diego!  Are you Tarzan?"  I ask.

"YES!" he responds.

"Then you need to wear your diaper like Tarzan"

"Tarzan wears a diaper?" he asks.

"Yes, look.  Tarzan wears a brown diaper.  You need to wear your diaper too, if you want to be Tarzan."


Thank God he didn't ask for a brown diaper!  - Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Costco Bitch

I was a total bitch the other day at Costco.  The old man probably didn't deserve my wrath (yes - I was a bitch to an old man.  WHAT A BITCH thing to do, I know.) I'll make it a point to smother him with kindness the next time I see him, because I'm ALWAYS at Costco, and I'm really not a mean person at all.

It was my own problem.  The problem was:  motherhood taking its toll on me.

I know you're asking yourself what the hell does Costco have to do with the toll of motherhood other than shopping for milk in bulk?  In my own warped head there's so much more.

It started over a year ago, when I lost my Costco card.

God damn it, I lost my Costco card!  

I needed to go get a new one, and I didn't know I'd have to take a new picture.  I thought they save that in your electronic profile somewhere.  My original pic was taken pre-motherhood, and I never had a problem with it. 

Nowadays here's the thing:  each time I go to Costco now it's after work.  I'm exhausted and not really in the mood to stand in those lines.  And when I know I'm going to Costco after work, I dress in comfy shoes which means I dress in a matching comfy outfit, which means that my hair and makeup probably match.   So when I realized I'd lost my Costco card and got in the line for a new pic.... I was presented with this pixelated monstrosity...


 God!  I'm so embarrassed.  WTF!  I look like an old Filipino man who forgot to put his dentures on!  No offense to old toothless Filipino men out there.  It's just not the look I go for when I wake up in the mornings.  And to any Filipino girls out there who are reminded of their fathers or grandfathers while looking at this pic:  I'm sure they were very handsome men in their prime.

So anyway, I had to look at this picture on almost a weekly basis on my regular trips to Costco.  Each time that picture taunted me.  'You could've at least done your hair or something'.  But honestly, this is a picture of a haggard mother whose last bit of energy and self worth had been drained by her two Ruffians.  This picture began to symbolize to me what motherhood had done to me.

And then, Costco started trying to sell me a membership upgrade EACH TIME I shopped there.  They'd take my toothless Filipino card, scan it, and yell "REFERRAL!" to the top of their lungs and a sales rep would be there in two seconds to explain how I couldn't lose by upgrading.  I may have said "no" about 15 times until they finally sold me, so now I'm an executive Gold member.  Hur-fuckin'-rrah.

So you know what this meant?  A new upgraded card and a new pic.  But guess what?  You guessed it, the day they convinced me to upgrade I looked like a haggard, old toothless Filipino man.  I kept saying to myself, "next time" I'll come to Costco a little more put together for my photo and I'll get my new card.  But each time I ended up at Costco, I was haggard and not photo ready yet.  So I kept using my old card, and confusing the referral process.  The fact that I was always "haggard" really weighed on my mind.  Maybe this is just me.  There's no hope.  I'm a hag and past my prime.  I should just accept it.  But I was too stubborn to give up on a good pic, knowing I'd have to look at the thing for months or years afterwards.

So the old man at Costco struck a nerve.  We had just bought a new 60" TV, a pretty big Costco buy.  The cashier scanned my old Filipino man card and yelled "REFERRAL!" and the old man was there in two seconds.  He scanned my card and said, "Oh! You're already an Executive member" and then he frowned and seemed bothered and confused.

"Yes, I am," I said.

The cashier interjected, "You should get your new card; it's a good hair day," and he smiled.  But my hair was tied back and so I defensively, but still nicely laughed and said, "No it's not!" while touching my hair in a very introverted way. 

The old man said, "It only takes a couple of minutes.  You should really get a new card." He seemed a little upset that I had wasted his time or something. 

"I will, but not today." I said.

But he kept at it in a pushy, annoyed tone and said, "Just get a new card...  It's really fast.  I'll even take you there."  all while having this concerned, annoyed face.  It's like the world was off it's balance and the only way he could get things back in order was for me to get a new card.  But I interpreted it like he was basically TELLING me what to do, and I really hate that.  Especially when I'm the paying customer.  I started to literally feel heat under my collar.

I took a moment and clearly said, "No.  I will not be taking a picture today! But thank you ANYWAY!" and I turned to my husband and did this part eye roll, part sigh thing to express my annoyed state (so mature of me).  I walked away without looking back at the old man.  I basically dismissed him with those final words.  I know - What a bitch! 

So, I'm sorry old referral man, for giving you a hard time.  You did inspire me to finally get my new card though.  It didn't turn out to be anything glam, but at least I don't think I look like an old, toothless Filipino man anymore!


I guess the world is back on its balance for now - Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Something is going to happen to you

SomethingIsGoingtoHappen-1 It took 3 years, but he finally did it.  I didn't put it together for a few minutes either.  I was on the bed with him and he made an excited noise (with no words) to get my attention.  I looked at him.  He had a HUGE up-to-no-good, Ruffian smile on his face as he stared at me.

I wouldn't have figured it out if he hadn't of finally said something.

"Yummy!" was all he said to me, with this "betcha-don't-know-what-I-just-ate" smirk on his face.

And I made a bee-line for my night table to find that my "Wednesday" pill was gone.

He ate Wednesday.

Thank God it was the placebo! 

A couple days later, I watched Bridesmaids for the first time.  Hilarious!

Even more so when "The kid who ate Saturday" scene came up.  Coincidence?  Nothing ever is.

I kept thinking about her reaction.  "Something is going to happen to you, kid.  I don't know what, but something is going to happen to you." and I imagined what would have happened to Diego had he ingested an extra dose of synthetic estrogen.  If his high-pitched screams got any higher, he'd break windows.  I don't think he could get any more emotional, and he's already such a diva!

I don't ever want to find out.  So I really need to figure out a new place for my no-more-Diego-and-Mateo pills.

Still the only estrogen in the house, whew! -Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mascara Face


Sometimes you I just give up as a Mama.  If he eats a little dirt, it won't hurt, right?  If he insists on drinking from an adult cup, what's the worse thing I'll have to clean up?  And if he finds my old tube of mascara that I should have just thrown away in the first place????

What would happen if I just let him?  I mean really.  What's the worst thing that could happen?

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Car Seat

New carseat
I joke at DD's expense with his nickname: OCD-D.  But more and more I wonder if he may really have a small degree of OCD.  There are many things I walk on eggshells about when it comes to avoiding an outburst from DD, but sometimes... I forget.

And when I do, all Hell breaks loose.

For example just this week, there was an incident with a new car seat.  Since Dada-Ruff bought a new car and has been encouraging me to drive it with the Ruffians, I had to move the car seats from my car to the new car each time I drove it.  This was getting to be an extra time-consuming task, so Dada-Ruff bought one extra car seat at a local consignment shop.  He didn't have enough time yet to find and buy a second one for his new car.

So in the morning before going to work in the NEW car, I opened the back door of the car and checked out the new car seat.  It was a nice Britax car seat that matched the interior in a tan color.  The car seats in my car match my interior: gray.  So since the new tan car seat had already been installed on "Diego's side" of the car,  I just wrote it off as "Diego's" new car seat (so I wouldn't need to move it to Mateo's side).  I automatically walked to my car to grab Mateo's old reliable gray car seat to install it in the new car.  I remember installing Mateo's seat, giving it a tug, and saying, "Yep - that'll do."  Still oblivious, I brought the kids to the car afterwards.

Diego opened his side of the car door and peeked inside.  As I was buckling Mateo into his ol' reliable seat, I realized that I didn't even THINK that this new car seat could trigger an OCD episode from Diego.

"Mama, why you do that?"  he asked standing in the car facing the car seat.
"Do what?" I asked trying my best to act like I didn't understand what the big deal was.  Yet I already knew where this was headed.
"One is missing" he said.

"No," I said.  "This is the new chair for the new car." I said, hoping to leverage his fondness for the new car and transfer that fondness to the new chair.

No cigar....

"NO NEW CHAIR!!!!!!  He screamed.  MAMA!  One is MISSING!  NO NEW CHAIR!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!"

For a moment, I was tempted to just go to my car and get the old car seat.  But in the end I somehow buckled him in the new car seat kicking and screaming, and told him that he WOULD conform in the nicest mommy way possible.  I wasn't sure if this tantrum was OCD or just the spoiling of a child.  But I remembered my husband's words, 'In Peru, kids don't have OCD.  Just in America.'   I imagined a kid in Peru in this exact situation.  Specifically, a poor kid in Peru.  What would parents in Peru do if their kid "couldn't handle" a new car seat?  ---> They'd make him sit in the damn car seat, that's what.  So that's what I did.

And boy did he SCREAM in the car!!!

All............... the ..............................Abuelito-Ruff's house.

I'm fortunate that Abuelito-Ruff doesn't live on a cliff because I would have jumped off it by the time I got there.

So now today, I decided to take the new car again (Do I NOT learn my lessons?).  I walked with the Ruffians to the car, and cringed a little as Diego opened and entered the car.

"Mama" he said.

"This is the new chair for the new car??????" He asked in the most inquisitive and cute way possible.

"Yes, Papito" I said.


OCD cured (for now)! - Shirley [Mama-Ruff]

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day

I hope all the mama's out there had a great Mother's Day!  I had a pretty good one.  I got a couple of things that I really wanted (or should I say, that I didn't want):
  1. Not to cook, and 
  2. Not to go to any restaurants where my Ruffians could raise Hell.  

Unfortunately my other wish to just sleep-in was squashed when Hubby woke me up by pulling my foot from under the covers so that I could spend the morning lazy-dazing on the couch with my pack of Ruffians watching some documentary about the dog-whisperer Cesar Milan's life.  He said he wanted to be either an actor or drug dealer as a child.  Those were his options.

Anyway, before I get too off on a tangeant about the dog whisperer, drug dealing, and him crossing the Mexican border; cuz I could talk about that for an hour!  I wanted to show you what my unemployed, youngest son gave me for mother's day.
Mother's Day Prez

That's right folks.  This big boy graduated to the big boy swing!  You GO Tater! It's true, the best gifts don't always have to be bought at a store [although I wouldn't say no to Nordstrom gift card!  ;) ]

What a great priceless gift!

What was your best gift? - Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Monday, May 6, 2013


I've always wondered how many cases there have been of toddlers killing their mothers because they snapped their mom's necks while jumping on them during a crazy toddler-derived acrobatics stunt.  I know these are morbid thoughts, but it has to have happened, right?  I'm too afraid to Google it.  But it's a real thought that enters my mind each time my 3-year old ruffian launches his body off the couch and onto me, usually unsuspecting, while I'm relaxing on the floor.


As this year has progressed and 1-yr old Tater's agility has developed from learning to walk, to learning to run, to now mastering how to climb (but not how to get down), I've been preparing myself for the inevitable.

He is GOING TO GET HURT one day.  And then he'll get hurt again.  Just like his brother.

But as of today, he hasn't hurt himself enough to leave a mark.  So I continue to brace myself, knowing it's gonna happen.  Little did I know, I should have been looking out for my own ass instead!

It was all so innocent:  3-year old Brother was asleep on the couch, so Tater and I were sharing vanilla and chocolate chip ice cream in a cup together on the floor.  We were spending our special 1:1 time together, just the two of us, quiet, the birds were chirping, there were bunnies in the meadow, and rainbows were forming in the skies... Until the little bastard took the heavy-ass spoon and BASHED the fuck out of my eyebrow bone to unleash the most emotional pain that seemingly came out of nowhere.   It unleashed a deep-seeded depression as I cowled into a cocoon shape and screamed, "Leave me alone!" and started to cry out loud like a 5-year old girl.  For a few seconds, I may have stunned Tater, but at some point he decided I was either a) taking too long in my self misery, or b) I was fine and this was a game, because the then threw himself on top of the noisy cocoon and tried to climb it.

I braced myself, still crying; still hiding my face from the little terrorist.  I composed myself and wiped the tears from my face, not knowing yet that I was also wiping blood.  Other than the sleeping 3-year old, the dog and the terrorist, I was alone.  My husband wasn't there.  My husband is NEVER there!  I tried to be strong, but Tater had hit me where it hurt most both literally and figuratively.  The blow had brought out a sadness to which my husband was already condemned as the root cause.  I love the hubs, but hate that he's not around the way I need and expect in a marriage.  I needed him there at that moment - and he wasn't.  And so, the deep-seeded anguish came gushing out (along with blood) with one blow to the head with a spoon.  I probably cried on an off for the next couple of hours,  in between playing airplane and tickles. Feeling so alone.

I try to always have a brave face in front of my kids, but I'm only human.  I remember a few times in my childhood where my mother lost her composure (she never hit us) and it really made me uncomfortable.  I felt a mixture of sadness, pity, and fault to see my mother that way.  Don't get me wrong.  She cried a lot; she's a crier.  But there were only a couple of times where she really, REALLY cried.  Made me wonder as a kid if she regretted motherhood (but she didn't; she was just having a moment and was entitled to it).  I don't want to put my kids through that though.  I don't want them to think it's their fault.  It's not.

So now my brow is healing, and hopefully so will the depression one day.  In all my years of life, I've always been a pacifist and I don't think anyone has ever beat my ass before (I think I would've remembered unless I've implemented selective memory).  Leave it up to a 1-year old to take the title!  Just you wait Tater.


Any day now.

Brace yourself - Shirley

  MomAbuse-2 MomAbuse-1

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Going to be an Auntie!


So not only am I going to be an Auntie-Ruff in October; I'm also going to have a niece! She'll probably be a ruffian too and run alongside my little pack.  Except her bandana will be pink...


A little estrogen balance.  And you know what.  I knew it all along.  Don't believe me?

Watch this week's vlog below. -Shirley (Auntie-Ruff)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Burning a Hole

SanPabloReservoir-9 I fell in love with a work-aholic.  It was his amazing devotion and will-power that impressed me (aside from his good looks).  Now the same things that peeked my interest in the dating years, are translating into daily annoyances ('cept for the good looks part).  He is devoted to his work and family.  I'm not an idiot - I know that if you love your family you need to work to support them, but the Hubs takes this idea to extremes sometimes.

He works so hard that by the time he gets home most days, his only job is burning a hole in the couch.  He lays there, feet up - and it gets under my skin.  I work too, then I pick up the kids, then I come home and start cooking dinner while the kids are screaming, then hubs calls me to ask me if dinner will be ready in 10 minutes (really?  I mean, REALLY?), then he comes home and burns a hole in the couch.

Listen here.  The couch is lulling me too!  I try to give in to it often and sit my ass in it.  But then (and there's always a "But then")  you can choose any of the following:
  • Mateo comes over for the 53rd time and grabs my hand crying and leads me to the kitchen,
  • Diego asks for demands milk,
  • the timer goes off and I need to get up and turn off the stove,
  • Qori is standing in front of the sliding door wanting to come in and I'm the ONLY one in the universe with the ability to slide open a door. 

All this while he lays there on the couch watching TV and simultaneously on his iPad without even flinching.

I calm myself down.  I tell myself: "He's been physically working - you've been sitting at a desk all day." Then I imagine how tough single moms would have it, and decide that I don't have it worse, so I should stop bitching.

And you know what?  It took him some time, but Hubs figured it out.  Says he's been working too much lately and we need some family time, so we use our Family Sunday to go boating in a reservoir.  And while I'm watching the kids on the boat, I see this:
Now I have two.  They're both burning a hole in the boat!  We're gonna fuckin' sink....  like my morale.

But we don't sink.  And you know why?  Because I fell in love with this man.  And I'm still in love with this man.  He could be on the couch, but he's not.  He brought us here.  And later on he redeemed himself with a simple unspoken gesture.  I reviewed the photos in my camera and found that he had stopped burning a hole through the boat enough for a few seconds to capture pictures of this Mama and her Ruffians "in the moment".  I love those types of pictures, and he rarely takes them if at all.  The Hubs behind the camera was paying attention...  

I think we'll stay afloat :)   - Shirley



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

April 2013 Recap: Instagram Style

The month of April started off with left over Easter eggs & exciting Auntie news for me (to be blogged about later), and then it ended with a new ride: Ruffian style (and I'm not talking about the boat or the horse!)

How was your April?
-Shirley (Mama Ruff)

  2013April_IphoneCollage1 2013April_IphoneCollage2 2013April_IphoneCollage3 2013April_IphoneCollage5 2013April_IphoneCollage6