Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Day My Best Friend Died

I'll never forget the day I found him lying there, lifeless.
No blood, no mess, no clue as to what had been the cause of his death.
I assumed he had been laying there for a while, because there was a trail of ants leading right to his corpse.

He was usually very playful and vivacious. That was part of the reason I enjoyed being around him so much. He always knew how to lift my spirits. So, when I saw him looking so tired and feeble, I panicked. He wasn't being his usual self and I knew something was wrong. He was weak and frail. The last time I saw him, I made him lunch and I left him alone to rest. That would be the very last time anyone ever saw him alive.

We'd been good friends for at  least 18 months and I'd see him almost every single day. Sometimes, he'd disappear on me for several days at a time, but I'd always find him again. I'd never ask him where or why. I just thoroughly enjoyed his company and his safe return was all that mattered to me.

I moved about 11 times during the coarse of my childhood. Up and down southern California, across the Mexican border and back, here, there, everywhere, blah... Just thinking about it makes me nauseous. I'd never been anywhere long enough to make a friend like him.  I liked him because he was naturally sweet.  It just came naturally to him to be gentle and caring. He did have a wild, crazy, playful side, though. Oh, man! we had some of the greatest tickle parties. He was a great tickler, especially when he'd go down into the belly area. Oh! I'd never laughed so hard in my life. But when it came down to being serious, he was always there to listen. No matter what I had to say, he'd listen without being judgmental.

Still, to this day, I ask myself why...? of all the things to take from me, why him? Why did a good, kind, gentle being with so much energy and zest for life, have to go? I was but a mere child, who didn't truly grasp the concept of death at that point and I had to find him, draped across his little bed, stiff. Spiritless. Breathless.

I cried myself to sleep that night. I kept thinking about how I'd just seen him alive, and, he was gone. My mom tried to calm me down, but the pain was just too deep.

"We'll get you another one, baby", she kept saying.

"Another what?" I kept thinking. "Another best friend?" How would she replace that? How could she possibly replace the profound connection, the friendship, the memories, by getting me another one?

I wanted to kick and scream, and I did for a while.

I was heartbroken for several days.

You see, to me he wasn't just a hamster. He was a wiggly friend. A furry companion. The reason my room stAnk like rodent piss, but I didn't care. He made me smile. He never had a name. He had several. Gilbert. Juan. Clara. Sunshine. Benito. I was always changing my mind, because that's what kids do...

I'm not even sure if he was really a 'him', I just decided to call him that for the sake of this post. I had to choose a pronoun and "he" was the lucky chosen one.  I'm not too familiar with rodent genitalia, so I hope you won't mind too much. I know I don't...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Glass Half Full, Thank You

There are days when you just have to force yourself to stay positive. Even when all you want to do is lay in bed, crying, wondering why all the bad things always happen to you, you have to gather the strength to put yourself together and remember that life goes on.

Yes, this unpredictable, unstoppable, incredible, yet beautiful, wild journey we call life, goes on.

All pics in this post taken with my little pink Casio Exilim 7.2 Mega Pixels

We spent the last couple of days out and about with the kiddos. Our "weekends" usually consist of mommy and daddy trying to combine errands + fun + adult time, as we are a one car family and my husband's days off are during the week and not the weekend.

So, we took the boys to splash around at Victoria Gardens and Julian dove right in. He's our little social butterfly, you know? Tyler, on the other hand, decided to pass on the water play and sat with mommy and daddy eating left over pizza from our lunch at Yard House. I kept asking him if he was ready to join his brother, to which he would simply reply "no, thank you, I'm fine".

 Meanwhile, behind the scenes, momma was trying to give poppa a pep-talk. He was a little down, and I don't blame him. I would be stressed /pissed /annoyed /upset too, if my employees were causing me enough drama to have to call an emergency meeting with the big bosses. On my day off!

But, the show must go on, and after daddy got done with his meeting [to which we tagged along on, of coarse] we went for a walk through downtown.

The little people ran up and down the sidewalk, while poppa and I took turns going into antique shops.

They ran up and down, stopping only to see the Metrolink go by.

 Then we stopped to get ice cream :)

We came home thinking the worst was behind us and that things would return to "normal" at work and at home.

Boy, were we wrong!

When it rains, it pours! 
who ever came up with that phrase was not kidding.

Joe woke up to find that the catalytic converter on his truck had been stolen. Poor guy. He had to wait for the police to show up and make a report, then he had to hitch a ride to work from his sister, who will be kind enough to pick him up from work today.

I had to give him another one of my pep-talks [I'm getting pretty good at this stuff!], we said a prayer, I massaged his shoulders and then we realized that it's really not that big a deal. 

Our kids are healthy.
We have a roof, food,water, clothes...and all the essential things that many are not fortunate enough to have.
We have awesome friends and family who we can count on. 

This is just a minor setback... and we all know a SETBACK is just a SETUP for a COMEBACK, right? :)
Of coarse, we can't help but get pissed off that some people like to be jerks and take away from those who actually work hard for they've got, but hey! sh*t happens!

Life. Goes. On.

 Smile. Count your lucky stars. It could be worse. And while it rains, pours, tornadoes, apocalypses, whatever....

My glass is still half full, thank you very much.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sweet Tyler

 I remember when I went to have my gender-identifying ultrasound, with a big round belly and a very young, almost-big-brother, Julian in tow [thirteen months apart!], secretly hoping they'd tell me I'd be having a little girl, so that I could immediately run to the mall, right after my appointment, and buy everything PINK.

They didn't tell me I was having a girl, but I went shopping anyway. :)

  Tyler- My delightful, darling boy. 

 He's special, you know? He say's things like "mommy, I'm hot-cold!" and asks questions like "are you happy-mad?". He loves animals and always says "please" and "thank you" and "thank you, please". He likes to eat salads with ranch dressing, and extra  "mee-moes" {more commonly known as tomatoes). 

 He is easily angered ...oh, and those tantrums!'d think the child was being physically tortured if you stood outside our door for a day.

I love the way he is naturally gentle and compassionate. Unlike his much rougher, older brother, I rarely have to remind him to be careful with Sadie. 

He is needy, affectionate and is constantly going around asking for hugs, especially when he is out of his element. He can be terribly shy and would rather cling on to me or daddy and dig his head deep into our shoulders, than to meet new people. He always cries during sad movies or even commercials <~click on that to see what I mean.
I love him.

He makes my life so wonderfully interesting each and every day and there is no amount of PINK on this planet that I would exchange my boy for. 


Saturday, June 5, 2010


I always knew I'd be a mother. Always. I remember being five years old and  playing house, swaddling all my baby dolls, feeding them, burping them, putting them to sleep and feeling like it just wasn't enough. I wanted a real baby. I wanted to be a mommy more than anything and I'd play it all out in my head.

 The way I'd hold my babies, the meals I'd cook for them, how I would dress them and the things I would teach them. Everything.

 My mom used to babysit a lot to make extra money and she would always let me participate as much as my age and knowledge would allow. As I got older she'd occasionally ask me if I wanted to cover for her and I would enthusiastically accept every offer, even going as far as canceling outings with friends, just so I could babysit. I still talk to a few of the kids I used to watch and it makes me so immensely proud to see that they have grown into beautiful, smart teenagers. One of them still leaves comments on my MySpace from time to time that simply say "Babysitter!". He has no idea how happy that makes me. :)

Now that I'm a real mother, I wake up every morning feeling like I've won the lottery. Sure, I have my fair share of bad, lazy mornings, but who doesn't? and what better way to deal with bad days than having a tiny human with sparkling, round eyes and a high pitched voice call you "mommy". It makes me melt. :)

Today I woke up a little bit sad, thinking about how big my boys are getting. I don't have infants anymore [and I kinda' miss it]. There's something about a droopy, warm newborn sprawled across your chest that just makes you want to sit there endlessly, savoring every second and engraving every moment, every breath and every curve of that tiny face into your brain, because you know that before you know it, they will have grown and memories will be all you have left.

Then I realized how we have left that stage and entered a completely new one which will be filled with just as much, or perhaps even more, fun. We have entered the stage of books and colors and fairy tales and trains, pirates, dragons and sword fights. I love having conversations with them, even if I get incomprehensible gibberish as a response to my questions. I love to hear them babble and act as if they just poured their hearts out to me only to have me smile, nod and pretend I know exactly what they said.

 We had a blast after my little epiphany. We pretended the couch was a great big boat and everything below it was a cold, choppy ocean filled with sharks. We gathered a few toys in a container and pretended it was our treasure chest filled with gold coins and precious jewels. Even Sadie, our puppy, joined in on the fun, and got to play a dangerous, wild crocodile for a half-hour.

We had so much fun and in between every "argh!" and every giggle, all I could think was how lucky I am to have them. I am in love with being there mother. They have no idea, but all my life I just wanted to be their mommy. And now I am. And everything makes sense again.