Monday, January 27, 2014

Stay with Me

In one of my darkest hours, you stayed with me.  Given the chance, I thought you would leave me and run upstairs to Mokee knowing full-well that he was right there:  Your chocolate-labrador idol. 

But you refused to go.  You chose to stay with me.  You never left me.

So how can you leave me now!?  And just about one year after Mokee's diagnosis, you get the exact same diagnosis?!  My neck steamed out of fear and sadness as the vet broke the hard news.  "Quality of Life" are three words I hate to hear from vets.  But that's what it has come to today.

This time you really will leave me,

...and go to Mokee.

We get home and not even the most waterproof of mascaras and liquid eyeliners have a chance.  It's time to buy Kleenex tissues in bulk at Costco.  My eyes swell, and I can't even look at you. 

It hurts too much.

"QORI!!!!!!"  I scream and I run to you and give you one of our many bear-hugs.  "I need you!  You can't leave me!" and I cry like a bitch. But your reaction is joyful as you lick the tears off my face.

And I know that I have to be the strong one.  You shouldn't be the one consoling me.

But how can you leave me?  I really, really need you.

  • I need you to keep me sane from the Ruffians.
  • I need you to move into every room in the house that I may wander off to.
  • I need your drunken-sounding barks at the neighbor's dog
  • I need you to bring me a peace offering of a stuffed toy, dirty rolled up diaper, or anything else that you found on the floor at the moment I get home.
  • I need to see your fur all over my carpet, and on my black clothes

I need you.  Don't leave me. Stay with me.

And I continue to bear-hug you.  Trying to permanently record all my senses at that moment.  How you smelled, how warm your fur was, how your breath sounded.  Just like I did 7 years ago with Bingo. 

Its a fucked up thing when loved ones are taken away, and yet life fucking goes on.  Why doesn't it stop???  While I sit here in an emotional retardation, not able to move past to the acceptance stage.  7 years, and I still have beautiful dreams that Bingo is alive only to be stabbed in the heart all over again when I awake.  But even with Bingo, you were there.

And soon you won't be.  

I have to be strong, and not cry in front of the Ruffians.  I have to be happy while there is an elephant in the room moving into every room that you wander off to.  I signed up to be your human and protect you from this fucked up world.  And nothing's going to change that.  I'll be damned if I will put you through any pain due to my own emotional greed. I love you and will not let you suffer when I see it.  We've had hard times in this life, but we've always been together (pre- and post- Ruffian kids): You and I. No matter what.

And that's the way it will be until the day comes that I see you off to Mokee, your chocolate labrador idol. 

I love you.... Never forget.

Because you're damn sure I never will.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nailed it: Subtle

I really wanted to try gel nail polish, so I put it on my Christmas list, and lo-and behold my secret Santa sister got a kit for me (along with a cute purse)!

The only thing is that my sister and I couldn't be any more different when it comes to decorating (this includes our homes, nails, and fashion, etc.)  For example: you walk in her house and bam - you're in a Martha Stewart magazine.  Shades of white or "eggshell" with one splash of color.  You walk into mine, and you might as well be in a Morrocan temple, splashes of color & pattern everywhere.  So I joke that she's too subtle.  Once she went to get her hair done in the trendy "Ombre" style, but she asked for it to be subtle.  She came home 3 hours afterwards and looked NO different in my eyes.  LOL - my eyes can't decipher subtle shades!  Had she gone blonde, I would've noticed that!

So it wasn't any surprise that she chose this shade for me.  Sally Hansen "Shell We Dance".  And it was no surprise that I had to bling it up at least a little!  I've been wearing it for a few days now, and I'm finding it surprising that the shade is growing on me............................

............................. subtlety growing on me, that is.  ;)

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm Four Years Old!

You were so excited that it was your birthday, because you knew it would mean cake, presents, and balloons!  Each time you received a present, the joy reverberated from within your bones and came out in a shrill.  You didn't even need to say, "Thank you".  We already knew.

You got more overpriced Godzilla action figures to go with your Christmas collection, and your brother got a conciliation present in the form of the book, Llama, Llama Time to Share.  You also received a dino kite, and walking talking Velociraptor, and a sand digging toy for you to sit on that looks like an excavator truck.

You loved your birthday so much, and this is the first birthday where you can answer the question, 

"How old are you?"  

I think it's awesome that you get it now.

What's Diego like at Four?
  • You talk (a lot) but I still take you to speech therapy.  We are working on the "L" sound so that "like & love" don't sound like "hike & hove".  We're also working on prepositions and some words like kitchen, don't seem to be in your vocabulary.  How can kitchen not be in your vocabulary, yet the other day you were asking me where your "Stygimoloch" [dinosaur] was?!!!
  • You love babies.  Each time a baby cousin comes to visit, you're all kisses and hugs, and even want to hold them. You also talk about your baby cousins for days afterwards.
  • Your appetite has improved so much, and now it's your brother Tater who's making feeding time hard.  You really seem to like fish and shrimp or maybe any seafood for that matter.  When you see a crab or lobster in a tank, you usually say, "I want to eat it!"  Oh- and that cake in the picture?  Half of it went straight to your tummy!
  • You still take about a two-hour nap although sometimes it is forced.  And usually anytime you wake up, you're in a total bad mood and a scream-fest ensues.  What's up with that, Diego?
  • You understand the concept of opposites.  For instance, when I say, "I love you, Diego." You usually reply with,"I hove you, Dada", and laugh waiting for me to say, "Hey, but I'm Mama!"
  • You're feeding yourself now, because you're "bigger" but yet you won't get potty trained :(
  • The funniest thing you said this year was in response to us trying to get you to sleep in your own bed:  "I sleep in my bed; I have no FAMILY!"

Love you DD!  Happy birthday from your family - you DO have a family ;)

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tater Tough Cheeks

Hubby commented the other day on how thick Tater's cheeks are compared to his brother's.

"They're at least two inches thick, and when you kiss him they're tough," he said.  He then followed up with "And Diego doesn't have any cheeks"

"That's because Mateo's always smiling," I responded.

His brother is kind of known for being a sour-puss.

-Shirley (Mama Ruff)

Friday, January 10, 2014

I had it good...

For two and a half weeks, I had it good.

I didn't have to work, I didn't have to clean (much), and most of all I didn't have to cook!!!!

My in-laws came to stay with us for Christmas through New Years (and birthdays in between), and I gladly surrendered my kitchen! Aside from the domestic help, I really do enjoy spending time with my in-laws. I miss their presence and help, but at the same time it's good be back into my normal swing, and along side my Golden Retriever, who gets banished to my parent's house every time my in-laws come to town.

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Nailed it: Camping Under the Stars

I don't think that I will ever be able to "just" wear a solid color again.  I'm having too much fun, resurrecting my old nail-hobby.  This is OPI's "I brake for manicures" with a top coat of a gold glitter Wet N Wild nail polish that I picked up at the drugstore and meant to use for New Years. It was the part of the Fergie collection.
Makes me want to camp under the stars.....

If only it wasn't so cold outside!  - Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Doting and Driving

The ice in my veins thawed for about 5 seconds, and it was the oddest feeling that came over me.  I kept remembering the scene in "The Grinch" where Jim Carey's ass gets beaten as his heart starts to grow.  (I guess I'm not over the Christmas season just yet).

These two boys, Man.  I don't get them being boys most times.  I'm not a girly-girl, but I'm definitely not a tomboy either.  I have ZERO interest in sports, drinking beer, or fast cars.  But when I saw Diego shifting gears, in complete control of the mini-beemer we got him for Christmas.  And Tater, just barely turning two and turning tight corners in his Audi (I knew he wouldn't understand reversing, but I had no idea that he'd catch on to steering so quickly!).  Something came over me.  I think it was pride.  I'm not a doting mom at all, and it took a lot in me not to post a doting mom status update on FaceBook at that moment. 

'Really?!'  I thought to myself.  'Of all the things that could soften my heart with these Ruffians, it was watching them drive a car?!!!!!!!'  It didn't make sense at all.

I'm afraid this may mean there's a chance that I'll become the soccer mom I never thought I would be.  Or maybe I'll just drink a Corona, and call it a day.

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

You know you're a Mom When

You'd rather sleep through New Years.

A text between my outgoing, younger sister and I.  My sister is a first time Mom to a 3 month old.

Although the Ruffians and I stayed awake for the entire New Year festivities.  I was secretly (or maybe not so secretly) being seduced by my down comforter and pillow.

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The First Page

Actually, let me be literal here. TODAY is the first day, and if my 2013 printed blog book (which I'm just finishing up and ready to order) is any indication for 2014, then:

Today is the first blank page of a book that will be about 100 pages. 

Unless I blog more...

Which I would love to do....

I wonder what treasures the following pages will be filled with!  :)

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

New Year, Old Resolutions

I hope you had a Happy New Year!

It was quite a year for us with highlights being the start of this new blog and our trips to LA, Peru, Lake Tahoe, and Disney-world with two toddlers.  There was the cancer death of my sister's labrador, Mokee:  Qori's best friend, father figure -- all he knew and trusted.  I was too heart-broken to write about it.  Thankfully, Mokee's soul lived on a few months later when my sister gave birth to my first niece, Emily.  Also known as "Em" for "M" for "Mokee".

It's been a good year for me, not the best, but thankfully also not the worst.  I started this blog excited to enter into full toddler-hood life and leave the baby phase behind.  True enough, every day the ruffians get a little easier to handle and a little more independent.  I've even found moments lately to give myself manicures again!  Diego's speech is so good now, I question why he's even in speech therapy still.  And Tater:  he's picking things up so fast, thanks to his constant interaction with his older brother.  Although Ruffians will always be Ruffians, I feel like each day I get a little closer to something I can handle better as a mom.  A mutual, organic relationship with my Ruffians, and now that I think about it, that was probably what I really needed to set as my original goal/resolution for the year, and everything else would have fell into place. 

I'm not blaming my Ruffian-relationship for me not meeting all my resolutions last year.  Although they did make things literally impossible, there are other factors such as working mom life, my own devotion and energy, and my take on motherhood.  I won't lie, I don't think I've handled the first years of motherhood very well, and there have been days where I have a short fuse and displace my own anger and selfishness as resentment towards the Ruffians.  I'm working on that.  I love my Ruffians!  But, man - can they drive this woman insane most of the time!  I honestly have less than 5 minute bouts of time where the Ruffians decide to give me a break.  Not enough time to pamper myself, take a shower, think a deep thought, or even get out a blog post.  There is never any time for ME, and yet I still give myself personal goals every year thinking, "This is the year the Ruffians will give me more time for ME!"  Unfortunately, if I had to grade myself on my 2013 personal goals, I'd give myself a C or a D, which to me means I did not pass this year, and I must repeat the course.  I have faith that I can do it better this year, as my Ruffians start loosening the reigns, and I can get control of the carriage again.  Could 2014 be the year for ME?!!!  I'm a little timid about 2014, since Tater will be in his terrible twos.  Please all pray the best for me!

So I'm re-posting last year's resolutions below (slightly modified for goals I already met) to remind myself of what I thought (during my 5-minute bouts of time) was deeply important for me as a human being to feel at peace with myself for 2014:
  • I will be more financially responsible
    • I will pay down my debt by at least 50% by the end of 2014. I will use at least 50% of any bonus or tax return money to help pay off the debt.
    • I will join the ASPCA (or other) charity by April and use part of my bonus money to provide a significant donation (succeeded last year but worth keeping up)
    • I will create my priority wishlist of items (excluding clothes/shoes, because, well - come on... you know I would never be able to get to the other stuff on the list!) for 2014 and buy only things on the list for myself throughout the year (about once a month) if there's financial wiggle room. (Also succeeded last year and worth keeping up)
  • I will get fit (lose the baby fast-food-friday pouch and tighten the glutes)
    • I will walk down and then up at least 9 flights of stairs daily at work, when my work schedule permits
    • I will run on the treadmill at least once a week. 
    • I will do sit-ups and lunges at least twice a week. (I'm thinking I should do this while watching my reality TV:  Bachelor, Housewives of Whatever City, or Extreme Weightloss)
    • I will eat more healthy:  I will drink more water instead of juice and eat healthy snacks like multigrain crackers and cheese, nuts, and fruit. 
  • I will be more healthy with my cooking and provide more variety in my menus. 
    • I will make more side-dishes of veggies, beans, or grains when it supplements the dinner menu.
    • I will make things that I've never made before (casseroles, meatloaf, etc) or try to perfect things that just never taste right for me (e.g., beef chow mein - how the heck do cheap restaurants do it???)
    • I will institute Meatless Mondays for dinner
    • I will incorporate less rice in dinner, and if I do make rice, I will only serve myself 1 cup. period.
Diego and Mateo (aka: I) have a goal too:
   Get potty trained by the end of 2014 (Diego was 90% potty trained for a whole week last year and then he regressed.  I'd say he's 2% potty trained now).  This might not be realistic for Tater, but he's been surprising me lately with how fast he picks things up, and I'd really like diapers to be a thing of the past in my life! 

Bring it on 2014!

Shirley (Mama-Ruff)