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Monday, July 30, 2012

Gold Aspirations

How about the Olympics games? Personally, I couldn't give a rat's patootie but I watch because I can't take my eyes off of the young athletes perfect bodies! What are they drinking - Hulk Gamma Ray water? Samu is completely disinterested, then again, he still sleeps in diapers because he's too lazy to get up and pee early in the morning.

But Zuki - is into the swimming events. It's funny because when Zuki was three years old, I took this video of him trying out his new swim cap and goggles in the bathtub.



My husband brought it up after watching Lochte win the Gold in the 400 meter. It must've been the pride and the inspiration of our country winning the race - coupled with a few beers - that sparked the memory. And suddenly, he had high hopes. Maybe Zuki will swim his way into the Olympics one day...

Although our boy loves the water, I'm not so sure he's into any kind of training. I mean, there isn't a day that goes by where at least one article of clothing isn't on backwards, inside-out or on the wrong foot. As a matter of fact, I think he's gone the whole summer thus far without wearing underpants!

Still, I guess it's endearing that my husband has noble aspirations for his son. This from a man who can't stay awake past 9 pm. Does he have any idea that serious athletes start training at 5 am on a school day? Now that I think about it, we could start now with waking Samu's scrawny butt to get him to pee in the toilet.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Manhood Of Hot Sauce

Using hot sauce to reprimand bad behavior is considered corporal punishment, I've been told. Personally, I think it's way less brutal than say - choking, which is what I'd really like to do sometimes. Why you little...



I've threatened to use hot sauce to rectify bad behavior because it worked. It's really more psychological - I didn't actually have to dispense it. All I had to do was put a bottle of Tabasco on the table and that shut them up real quick. Sometimes I forgot and put it on the table for dinner and they'd cry and ask what they did to deserve it. Oops! Wrong trigger.

Eventually, I knew the fear factor would wear off once they tasted it for themselves - and liked it. Now, they have awakened their taste buds with Buffalo wings and recently graduated from mild to hot.

Look close enough, you can see the vapors
So I guess this means we can include the boys in our quest of finding The Perfect Buffalo Wings.

Congratulations, men!

Of course, this also means that slamming a bottle of Tabasco on the table is probably not going to work anymore...wonder how effective coarse toilet paper will be?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Girl Talk

Today, I had lunch with a good friend. We go way back. To show you how far back, I'd have to do an elaborate Yoga pose - say, a twisting half moon. In the end, I came away with this lesson - lunch with a good friend is better than preventive healthcare - more effective than two years of cognitive therapy - and five thousand times more tasty.

Just look at our lunch combos:

Chirashi

Ramen and Crab soup porridge
Yes. A far cry from my usual pickings of chicken nuggets and fries.

As for life's revelation induced by crying on a friend's shoulder? I kind of forgot what it was after the third round. It couldn't have been that ground breaking - like finding a way to enjoy a menstrual cycle. For that, I surely would've missed the boys drop off.

But the food was epic!

Did I say that already? That's what happens when the Honeymoon is over, folks - we hone in on our "One Track Mind." Men take sex and women take food. Regardless, it all ties into satiating an orifice.

And speaking of satiating, my friend is the third person to tell me that her doctor has ordered her to cease and desist on chocolate.

Apparently, chocolate + women over 40 = very funky developments

I have two words for that: Peanut Butter

On the 13th anniversary of my sister's passing, I thank my friend for spending the afternoon with me - and for lunch - and for the Girl Talk. You rock!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Absence Makes The Mom Grow Sappy

"How do you like your freedom?"

The entire neighborhood is asking me that. It's not that they really care about how I'm enjoying my "kid-free" time - it's that they too, are relieved from having to listen to my boys fighting-screaming-and making otherwise annoying explosion sounds at the top of their lungs when they're walking around with me.

My neighbors are shocked - that I have a normal speaking volume and I can smile without a nervous twitch.

Who'd a thought...24 little hours and mommy acts...normal.

I accomplished a three hour writing session - on top of the salad-eating and hobbling thing I call a run.

Then...I took a break and did the prohibited deed: I looked at pictures. Yes, of the boys. Not just recent ones, but the baby ones, too.

WHAT AM I, AN IDIOT?!!

Sorry for the all caps. Been reading a "Calvin and Hobbes" collection lately. Samu's graduated from Super Diaper Baby to newspaper cartoons.

This is how I convinced myself that it was actually productive - Why don't I post them?

Gosh, I'm so gullible it's pathetic. So, these are from our visit to the Imagination Playground at the South Street Seaport (the very one with tons of crabby Christmas ornaments).

Zuki's sculpture side dance

Samu's building a Monster Truck course

View of the Brooklyn Bridge
 Seriously, we've been to the South Street Seaport about a dozen times. I asked the boys if they remembered the last time we were there.

"We've never been here before, mommy."

"Really? You don't remember this MALL?"

"Well...kind of."

"How about the deck with the view of the Brooklyn Bridge?"

"Yeah - it's familiar."

"And look! There's the beer garden you had hot dogs at."

"Oh yeah, now I TOTALLY remember."

The foundation of every childhood...beer gardens. No wonder I miss these guys.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pain, Here I Come!

The first day of day camp. In other words, I - AM - FREE!

Look at these little maniacs waiting for the bus to pick them up and whisk them off to be worn down by young camp counselors who will inherit my gray hairs:



For the next two weeks, I get to do whatever I want for an entire day. Eat a salad. Drink my coffee. Catch up on my reading and writing. Go for a run.

The last time I went for a run was when they were in summer day camp. Last year.

So you can imagine, I was amped up.

The bus snatched the two maniacs a little after seven and I hit the road to the running track by half-past. With my iPhone blaring Audioslave, I was a speed-walking demon. Once I got to the track, which is about a mile and a half away, I let loose and sped past everybody.

By everybody, I mean the group of old Chinese folks who've been walking around the track for hours and the plump couple in their sixties and the wiry man who, judging by his gait, was probably rehabilitating from a stroke.

Yes. They're tough. I know because they're the same regulars from last year.

But so what. It felt great. It was inspiring. This new found invigoration will see me through the rubbery loss of elasticity in my knee and the pinch pain I'm now feeling in my hip and back. Or hopefully, it'll last at least four hours until my next dose of Tylenol.

And a final word to my husband: we have to find a new place to stash the treats.

Score!

No step stool - no evidence

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Knick Knack Paddywack, Give The Kid A Grammy-gram

We've been doing a lot of exploring lately, which is great when the weather's nice but if you haven't been out much let me tell you - it was F*cking hot. The other day, when it wasn't hot, we had thundershowers. Like with lightening bolts and hail. I thought Thor was coming. So what did I do? Ducked into someplace safe where we could be inconspicuous. And use their bathroom.

Naturally, the consumer a.k.a. Samu found a ton of stuff he asked me to buy him.

Of all places, we wound up at the mall in the South Street Seaport. They have a Christmas shop. Both boys in unison said, "Oh, I love Christmas shops!"

They must've learned that from their Grammy.

Being that it was the South Street Seaport, they had lots of seafood ornaments. Particularly crabs. Samu's favorite - for some unbeknownst reason. He picked up a crab ornament and asked me to buy it.

"Let me see how much it is." I said.

"It's not so expensive, because it's small," was his reasoning.

The price tag said, "$11.99."

The next one - "$13.99."

No friggin' way.

He curled his lips in quiet desperation. He was getting ready to throw a tantrum and force my hand into a negotiation. So, before that happened I gave him the line that always seems to work.

"Let's take a picture and send it to Grammy."

Crabby Christmas Ornaments - one of five Samu has his eye on

Here are the rest

Zuki wants to buy this for his Auntie. He's a sweetie.

Samu also wants this gaudy water thing. There's a crab on the front.
Of course, when we rode out the storm in Barnes and Nobles, I thought for sure they'd come away with wanting fine literature. Instead, I had Zuki asking me to send Grammy these items for his Wish List:

Lego Watches for Zuki who thinks there's 30 seconds in a minute
 
For Christmas 2012 - I'm going to ask Santa for a scanning gun.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ageless - For Now

No matter what the age, some things never grow old, like blasting the Ramones on road trips, getting trashed on vacations and discovering new details on your five-hundredth trip to the American Museum of Natural History.

I love the Natural History museum. It's air conditioned. It's bathrooms don't double as a shower for homeless people. And best of all - it's effortless fun.

My last couple of trips to the American Museum of Natural History was as a chaperone on school trips. I watched the kids, not the swamp display. So this time, I watched my boys gawk and stare in wonder and it was like seeing the displays for the first time.

I had no idea the museum had so much seafood, meat and vegetables in their original form.

Sperm whale vs. Giant squid vs. One Mother Bottle of Soy Sauce

Then came our annual family trip to Wildwood, New Jersey. The boys have attended this annual summer weekend with their extended family since they were gestating in my belly. And now they have someone new to torture, other than their parents: a brand new cousin. Without further ado, their not-so-thilled-to-be-with-them cousin.

Yes, we're related - we're in a pub, aren't we?
And here's a lesson we learned this trip: you can't play "Hang Man" with Zuki because...he can't spell. This is his turn playing against an older cousin - the word is "penguin" only there's no "g".



Still, not as bad as his next word: "water." The opponent guessed "e, t and r" only to be told that it wasn't in the word.

He'll be fine as long as he plays this game in Japan, I suppose.

My 46th birthday passed this week as well.

Yippee.

Can you tell how thrilled I am?

I planned the day accommodating everybody but me and got pissed off at them for taking me up on it.

Still...it was worth it for this shot of Samu waiting for his friend to arrive on their playdate:


This was my birthday cake afterwards:

The aftermath of the stilts that held up the platform that held 45 candles
And I guess I have to continue the rest when the hangover wears off...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Future With Matthew McConaughey

Disclaimer - I thought the movie would change from wide screen to...not wide screen but it didn't. So, I'm sorry for being a Dumb Ass. i-Phone...sometimes, you suck.

When Zuki sees himself on camera, he goes ape shit.

Just this morning he asked, "You know what would make the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy so great?"

Silence.

"If they had ME in it."

It's in his blood. He's going to be famous. Like Matthew McConaughey or Michael Phelps - successful, somewhat worthy, not displeasing to the eye but very...very...self absorbed.

We went shopping at Associated supermarket. To give you an idea, this chain is like "Alcatraz against shoplifters," so there's cameras everywhere. Then they display those images on 50 inch plasma flat screens - to get every inch of the fat asses that pass by, I'm sure.

But for Zuki?

This is like his audition to "American Idol." He gets a whiff of himself on screen - plus a little disco background music to boot - and this is what he does.


I pride myself on the fact that I also got Samu grabbing his crotch and telling me ALL about this friggin' snack he bought (with Grammy) at this supermarket.

Damned Consumer.

Perhaps he'll start a Fight Club.

Recovery Is A Mother Recoverer

T.G.I.F? No. H.S.I.O.W. Holy shit it's only Wednesday. (Thank you, George Carlin.)

I said this last summer, but I believe it was August. This year, it's only the second week of July and I'm already asking, is it time for school, yet? No wonder I was ready to go past my limit of three shots of Tito's. Even Kim was there to egg me on. That's what Tweeting friends are for.

Really. I'm at my wits end. I think Samu is getting crazier. He's CONSTANTLY asking for things.

"I wanna hot dog!"

"I wanna soda!"

"I want fruity Mentos!"

"I want the "Angry Birds in Space" book - ask the librarian (we're in Barnes & Noble) if they have it!"

"I want that newspaper!"

Seriously. I have Never. Bought. Him. These. Things. Ever.

Manhattan is not a good environment for him. There's food vendors, stores, farmer's markets and displays concocted by people-who-went-to-college-for-marketing everywhere. Samu's on a consumer high, much like when he eats cotton candy washed down with Mountain Dew.

So, I introduced him to..."Zuki's Nemesis." It's a shiny, silver dome that you can't climb unless you hit it just right. It shut him up for a while as he tried to climb up on his own. I helped him up this time, but the other times, he's like any other male that thinks he doesn't need the help of a woman.


 I love these geek-parks. You don't have to be limber or fit, just determined and barefoot - like pregnant women.


This shot was in Bryant Park. Nothing here but grass, suits eating salad for lunch and anti-social bird owners like the guy in the white cap - nothing to buy here, right? Except the carousel. Can I go on the carousel?

Not for three dollars a ride. No.

And today, we went to Tear Drop Park. Don't ask me, or the park staff for that matter, why it's called Tear Drop Park. As you will see, there's nothing to ask for here, except a good time.

But the green cup Zuki's holding, it must've been left behind by some Haitian nanny. Of course Samu asked if we could take it home.

Finally, if you ask boys to pose for a photo, they'll negotiate that they need a lollipop for the ride home and this is the pose you get:


How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll in a Tootsie pop?

Ah, One.

Ah, Two-hoo.

Three.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lewis And Clark And What's-Her-Name

Going into this summer, I was mentally prepared to neglect myself. There's no such thing as time management with my two maniacal monkeys who make me fight for order every minute of the day. My feet look like they've walked a thousand miles barefoot in downtown Beirut and my armpit hair can use a good brushing. Ironically, about the only thing that is going smoothly is the one thing I thought would surely be Hell: our morning reading sessions. Thank you Captain Underpants and Super Diaper Baby. And that's about the strangest thing I've ever said.

Starting today, we have to travel into Manhattan every-friggin-day for Zuki's speech and language program. Supposedly, it'll help him with his learning issues and it's covered by insurance, so the only harrowing part of the arrangement is, I have to entertain the crotch-grabbing-nipple-obssessing-foul-mouthed-midget (a.k.a. Samu) for the hour that Zuki is in session.

Today wasn't so bad - then again, it's just day one.

I decided to take him to the playground across the street. On the way there, he announced to the world, "I gotta take a PISSsss."

I told him to hold it until we got to the restroom and his response (again, to the world) was, "But it's an emergency, so I can PISSsss on the street, right?"

He likes that word, therefore he says with unbridled enthusiasm: PISSssss......

My plan is to use these afternoons for exploration - be their "tour guide" of sorts. I feel like Sacagawea explaining the obvious to two numbskulls in Washington Square Park.

Lewis and Clark explore Washington Sq. Park lunch crowd


"Can we go listen to that lady over there playing the drums?"

"Zuki....that's a banjo."

"Oh, how 'bout that guy over there playing the drums?"

"Zuki...that's a guitar."

Greenwich Village Pizza (made by Mexicans)

At least they didn't ask for a fork and a knife to eat their Greenwich Village pizza. I would've had to get all Jon Stewart on them if they did.


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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Blur Already

A good friend of mine once said, "After the Fourth of July, summer goes by like a blur." Actually, after thirty, life goes by like a blur but yes, for some reason, it's warped speed from July 5th to the first day of school. Luckily, I have my iPhone camera.

Starting with the "Fourth Of July" picnic, which took place on Saturday, June 30th because some retard (the calendar) decided to have the holiday on a Wednesday this year. Nice going.

Samu spent the entire time in the pool. His snots still smell like chlorine.

Then again, it could be his visits to Astoria pool three days in a row. The third day, he splashed and swam in the water for 90 minutes straight. The chlorine must've made his nipples sensitive because the whole bus ride home, he pressed his hands on his chest and yelled, "Ow! My nipples!" The motley riders chuckled and stared while I made myself sound like an idiot saying, "Stop with your nipples!"

It wasn't as embarrassing as the time he randomly yelled, "My balls!" as he yanked on his tiny crotch.

Friday, we headed into the city because Friday's are the best for walking amongst the rats in their race. People are in a better mood - it's payday, it's casual and the lunch crowd laughs gayly with cocktails. Monday through Thursday, the suits sneer at kids - I mean, gosh - it's not like they were ever kids themselves.

The FDNY Fire Zone at Rockefeller Center brings out the weirdo in everybody.
What kind of fireman wears an Angry Birds t-shirt?

I didn't know the NYFD hired leprechauns!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hooray For Coming In Third

"I'm going to the Third Grade."

That's what Zuki told everyone he met over the weekend. It may sound like he was stating the obvious, but I assure you, it is a very - big - deal.

He almost didn't make it.

I know - repeating the second grade is not the end of the world. We - being everybody but Zuki - were prepared to do it again, but Zuki fought tooth and nail to keep his head above water. He passed. That's all that matters now - next year is a whole new can of worms and believe me, I'm getting my fish hooks ready right now.

Much of his success is thanks to some caring people at his school. To me, they give a whole new meaning to the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child".

After many discussions with teachers, doctors, psychologists, other parents and several bartenders - I discovered that the characteristics of LD (learning disabled) is rather common. Honestly, I don't where to draw the line between a normal kid who finds math problems boring and a kid who has an inability to process information. What I do know, is anytime you're offered help to find out - better take it. Take it all.

Sometimes it's hard to separate what you know about your kid and what you want to know about your kid. Labels don't mean much on things we don't care about. When it's on your kid, however, we have a right to be picky. We all save a space on our bumper for that sticker that says "My kid is an honor student," but right now, I'd tramp-stamp this: My Boy Is A Third Grader.

Yes, I said tramp stamp because my butt is that big and because I don't have a car.

I'm like the Jeffersons, I'm movin' on up!

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