Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's My Party . . . .

But I certainly wasn't crying. In fact, I was so happy and excited that I didn't quite know what to do with myself. Not that I wanted an actual party this year - as I repeatedly told Mommy, all I wanted for my birthday was for Cinderella to come to my house and hang out with me. It did not really matter if I had any friends over, or a cake or anything else, as long as I had Cinderella.

This worked out nicely for Mommy because somehow during our potty training phase I got it into my head that once I started using the potty, and after my birthday, I would be going to Disney World. It started out innocently enough with Mommy saying something about Cinderella and other princesses wearing big girl underwear, and escalated into Mommy promising me a trip to Disney. So Mommy was feeling like a terrible parent about to dash the dreams of a young child - not to mention any trust I would ever have in her - in realizing that there was no way we could swing a trip to Florida any time before the baby comes. So she told me that Cinderella could come to our house instead of us going to her house right now. (In my defense, I bought this trade-off because I am just turning three - give me 6 months and it won't be such an easy sell.)

Anyway, that is how I got a birthday party at my house (which probably cost more in money and aggravation than a fiesta at El Arca) with 10 buddies, a face painter, a pinata and an hour long visit from (a very Mexican looking) Cinderella who performed a little show, danced with me, sang me "Happy Birthday," played in my room and carried me until my heart's content.

By the way, I have 100% overcome my fear of hitting the pinata. It is not even the candy and toys falling out of it that caused this change of heart - somehow I have just come to love beating objects with a stick and singing the pinata song. Mommy thinks that if she jumps on the chance, she may get me to start playing sports like softball, or at the very least T-Ball - so long as someone is singing in the background, "Dale, dale dale."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

They Say It's My Birthday

Birthdays have always been a really big deal in Mommy’s house growing up, so now they are a big deal in our house too. And even though Daddy is a pretty laid back and relaxed guy when it comes to things like this, self preservation has taught him to go along with Mommy when she gets all hyped up about birthdays and cake and presents. So I have to give both my parents a lot of credit in making my birthday on Thursday a fantastic day.

I started out helping Mommy bake and decorate cupcakes on the eve of my birthday, to take to school the next day. Here I am in my apron (or “bata” as they call it in espanol), in the kitchen stirring the ingredients together, and then licking spreading frosting and sprinkles on the cupcakes. The next morning I was off to school, and then just a few hours later Mommy came with the cupcakes so the class could sing “Happy Birthday” to me. Now that I am in the big kid class, we do a really cool little birthday ceremony first: I show all my classmates pictures of me when I was born, then at the age of 1 and at the age of 2. And for each year that has passed, I hold a globe in my hand and circle around a blanket with a candle, representing that another year has passed. Then we get to have cake.

When Daddy got home that afternoon, I opened my presents which included all my favorite things like a box of musical instruments (b/c as Daddy pointed out so practically, we don’t have enough noise in our house from the non-stop construction upstairs, 8 hours a day, 6 days a week); puzzles; a color wonder glitter paint set; a stamp set; and more painting accessories. (I am told that my special keepsake present will arrive in NJ in a few days – a crystal butterfly – but I have a feeling I am not going to be allowed to touch or play with it so I am not holding my breath for that present.) Then we ended the day by going to California pizza kitchen for pizza and ice cream.

I wish it could be my birthday every day!

Friday, October 3, 2008


One of the many joys of being pregnant (aside from weight gain, stretch marks, heartburn, not-just-morning sickness, leg cramps, achy feet and - did I mention weight gain?) are the hormones causing what feels like a 9.5 month emotional roller coaster. Even when you think you are safely in the honeymoon period of the 2nd trimester, the hormones can ambush you like a Wells Fargo acquisition bid. I am sure that the stress of moving - or not moving - back to the U.S. is just adding on to the typical hormonal fluctuations, but knowing that still did not ease the embarrassment of my near bout of hysteria in Starbucks this morning.

I mean there I was lounging in one of the arm chairs overlooking the busy avenue behind our apartment, reading a novel of dubious literary value and sipping my coffee when it all started. I got teary-eyed and sniffley-nosed at the very thought that if we move back to suburban NJ, all my views - if any - out of a Starbucks window would be at parking lots filled with SUVs and mini-vans rather than a busy avenue of pollution-emitting VW bugs, old ladies with baskets full of fruits from the market, fast paced executives walking down the sidewalk and moms pushing their Bugaboo strollers. That's it. That was the deep, emotionally moving thought that got me nearly weeping in the midst of 25 other coffee addicts who, like me, had nothing better to do with their time at 10:00 on a weekday morning than sit in a cafe.

And here is the kicker: in the three seconds it took me to close my book, get up, and leave the cafe before making a total fool of myself, the tears were gone and I was absolutely fine. As if I had never even had the unsettling thought about suburban parking lots to begin with. And that, folks, is how pregnancy hormones work.

On the flip side, I recently read an article in one of those fit pregnancy/your pregnancy/healthy pregnancy magazines that I really liked and decided to pirate the idea. It was about the joys and wonders of pregnancy and why it is the time of your life. Sappy, I know, but then refer to the above passage about hormones. Anyway, even though this is my second pregnancy (or maybe because it is likely my last pregnancy), I am trying to appreciate all of the things I love about it:

- In the 1st trimester, having a secret from the world that only Sonny and I were sharing;
- Feeling amazed that God created a human body capable of making another human body out of just a little cell that looks like a dot on the screen;
- The cute bulge of my belly in the right fitting maternity clothes;
- Realizing that no, it's not indigestion but rather that the baby is moving;
- The constant companionship of another being for every minute for nine months - reminding me with a little kick or punch or somersault that I am never alone;
- Glowing skin (whether from the vitamins or happiness - who cares?);
- Attention from friends and family and discreet smiles from passers-by as they notice my growing belly;
- Predictions of the baby's gender from everyone who sees me based on old wives tales (and realizing that my grandmother predicted a boy based on the same old wives tale that had my mother-in-law predict a girl);
- Hearing the galloping sound of the heartbeat at on the doppler;
- Being able to go back to bed after Asha is in school and not feel (too) guilty;
- Eating 2 scones for breakfast without the (outward or visible) judgment of those watching;
- Being pampered by Sonny;
- Itty bitty baby clothes;
- Surprise showers from great friends;
- Having Sonny sit with his hand on belly waiting for the baby to move.

I could go on and on - but I'd love to hear about some of your favorites.