Friday, October 18, 2019

Five on Friday: Facts About Current Sleep Deprivation Here

I am 45½-years-old and my youngest child is approaching double digits. I truly believed that the only thing that would be waking me up overnight in this point in my life would be my bladder.

Sadly, this is not the case. While that fact surprises me, there are several cold hard facts that I can always rely on when I am woken up by a child overnight. They include:

1. It will always be our youngest daughter waking me up. Very, very rarely will she wake her father (who sleeps closer to the door, mind you, and she passes on the way to wake me. One time I sleep-mumbled to her, "Go ask Daddy" and she replied, "I can't. He's sleeping.") 

Our oldest daughter started sleeping though the night at 3 months old, which was the beginning in a series of milestones that tricked us into thinking parenting was easy. Two out of three of the boys were extended bad sleepers but grew out of that by age 4 or so, which I expected our youngest to do as well. (I know, I know, I'm hysterical.)

2. If she wakes me up once in a night, there will be a second time. Possibly more, but it is never, ever just once.

3. I will have to go pee every single time she wakes me, even if they are five minutes apart.

4. There is a 75% chance I end up in her bed.

5. The morning after I will sleep "in" until 7:05 or so and it WILL, guaranteed, be one of the days her brothers need help being roused and getting out the door earlier than usual for Jazz Band practice. (Not hyperbole: They have had eight early morning practices so far. The past three times I've overslept due to being woken up overnight by her have ALL been one of these mornings.)

There's a reason why I have to double fist it. And that reason is my youngest child.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Five on Friday: My Life is a Round of MASH Realized!

The other day I was thinking about the Middle School game of MASH--you know, the one where you have to come up with options for who you will marry, where you will live, etc? It's always the most fun when you put some serious choices along with some terrible and/or ridiculous ones.

I still play this game with the kids sometimes, mainly on road trips and mainly with them answering the questions since I'm already married and all that. But I realized . . . my real life is basically a MASH game come to fruition with mostly the unbelievable-to-14-year-old-me options as the winners:

1. I married that weird boy from Fresman Choir.
2. I have five (!!!) kids.
3. I drive a pink Vespa.
4. I got married in Las Vegas.
5. I live ten miles from my parents. 

This life would probably seem outrageous to 14-year-old me but 45-year-old me really loves it.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Five on Friday: Funny Business (Cards)

When I was at college in the early 90s, there were business card vending machines at copying centers and random train stations. We college students loved making random business cards for ourselves. When I studied in Spain for a semester, they had a machine at the train station so I made some cards for myself that said: 

Gina Sampaio

("Extranjera" means "foreigner" in English. I cracked myself up then, I crack myself up now.)

I don't think they have those machines around anymore but we do have the equally-cheesy equivalent of Microsoft Word Business Card Templates. I spent entirely too long having fun using them to make some funny business cards for what my life is like now. Maybe I will crack someone else up besides myself . . . enjoy:

1. This is true, he tells me all the time:

2. Me dressed as Miss Hannigan is the perfect photo for this one:

 3.  "Oh, she's one of those fancy Moms" (Actual quote circa 2004)

4. I am terrible at overnight sleeping, awesome at napping.

Artist's rendition of me sleeping

5. The other night I went into my 9-year-old daughter's room to say goodnight. I found her sitting up in bed with her teacher's pointer in hand, reading a bedtime story to her dolls. She introduced me to her class as "tonight's special visitor, a tucking-in professional." Because of that, this one is my favorite:

Friday, September 27, 2019

Five on Friday: Guest Blogger Giacomo

Yes, Giacomo is the name of my Vespa. Don't worry, I'm not that into him that I think he can write a blog post for me today. But I have been riding a lot lately, now that the kids are in school so I don't have schlep them on my errands (not to mention the weather has been perfect).

Though when it came to a choice between these two for food shopping . . . well, Overkill Jones won that one.

When you drive a pink Vespa around, the stories just come to you, so in a way this is Giacomo's post. These are the best things that have happened to me in just this past week of riding:

1. I keep running into my friend's Mom at the local thrift shop, but this week was the first time she saw me on the scooter. She said that she used to drive a "little red Renault" years ago when she was single, because she wanted to get people's attention. I let her know I get lots of attention on this thing! (Case in point, below)

2. I get so many smiles and waves! Friends, strangers, motorcyclists (makes me feel like a legit rider when they wave). The best was when I drove past the school while my son was outside with his cross country team. One of them noticed me and then they all started smiling and waving.

3. I was out on a ride and saw a hot air balloon pretty close to the ground and then figured out where it was landing. When I pulled over to watch, I saw one of my son's friends there who immediately said, "Cool bike!"

4. Our friend Anthony's Dad also drives a Vespa and though I've seen him around, we've never spoken before. He was parked on Main Street when he saw me turn the corner so he gestured wildly to get me to pull over to talk. 

"Who was telling me about your Vespa?"

"It was Anthony."

"Anthony . . . Anthony . . . Anthony . . . Anthony who?"

Okay, I guess I caught him off guard but that made me giggle all day. Also I think we might have a gang now.

5. There's an interesting older man that stops into my Museum occasionally. He once had a rooster named Henry that he was very fond of. So fond of, in fact, that when it died, he had it stuffed and donated it to the Museum. Visiting children love it. He has also told me that he used to ride a Vespa "way before you were born." 

I parked Giacomo at the library on Monday and he pulled in right behind me. He said he wanted to introduce me to his wife and led me over to her saying, "This is the new Curator."

I extended my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Gina."

She rolled her eyes at her husband, saying, "You said it was Lisa."

To be fair, I did warn you that this might happen.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Five on Friday: Things That People Think I Am (But I Am Not)

Of course, as a parent, there are people in your household that think you are things that you are not, like their personal ATM-Servant-Chef. I get that, too, of course. 

Mom's Self-portrait

But I've noticed that, over the years, there are a few things that people tend to assume I am that I am not. There's nothing wrong with any of these things, I am just . . . not them. Like:

1. A Homeschooler. I don't think there's anything wrong with home schooling and I would like to think that my kids learn from me all the time, but we are firmly a public school family.

2. A Unitarian Universalist. I've been to two UU services in my lifetime. I know and love Unitarians. I am not one.

3. A Psychic. Lots of people seem to think I have "the gift." Maybe they have the gift and can see something in me that I cannot access. I'm not sure I'd want to, anyway.

4.  A Red Wine Lover. I probably won't turn you down if you offer me a glass of red, but white is my preference.

5. Any Number of Ethnicities That I Am Not. My favorite instance was when, at age 18 I was traveling in Egypt. Our hotel concierge was a man with the blackest skin I had ever seen combined with blue eyes. He was gorgeous. I couldn't stop staring. He noticed me looking, turned to face me and said, "You're Egyptian."
I said, "No."
He said, "Your Grandmother's Egyptian."
I replied, "No, she's not."
He nodded his head and said, "You have American face but Egyptian eyes."

I always thought that phrase seemed pretty ironic coming from a Black man with blue eyes!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Five on Friday: Short & Sweet

A short and sweet, pic-heavy Five on Friday from the land of Serendip, where the sport schedules are plentiful and the insomnia is a frequent and unwelcome guest.

A few things I've found recently that remind me just how I love this home and life we've created:

1. Another surprising and unexplained message on the white board in the family room. I have no idea what this is about and don't want to, the random messages make me smile:

2. Speaking of messages, I was feeling happy with my rainbow-themed school morning checklist for the kids and then noticed someone messed with it. 

And I laughed. Stop erasing my letters and go brush your teeth, bruh.

 3. My oldest daughter created this cute and tiny little painting late in the summer and left it in the kitchen to surprise me. I got more flowers last weekend and decided to put these two together. Both the flowers and the reminder of B in the house both make me smile:

4. Once upon a time I revealed to the children that they actually did eat the ends of the bread, it's just that I flipped them around so nobody knew. I just found out that now that they make their own sandwiches, some of them have held on to that habit:

 5. Last night when I went to bed I found some surprise drawings waiting for us. Looks like our youngest has learned a lot from her big sister:

Friday, September 6, 2019

Five on Friday: Kindergarten & College

Well, I was right. It was exponentially harder . . . but to my surprise, getting my firstborn off to college actually has had a lot of similarities to when she started kindergarten. For example:

1. I have found that both times my overwhelming excitement for her has been tinged by a bit of bittersweet melancholy.

2. One of the reasons I felt so excited for her in both kindergarten and college was because I knew that she'd be meeting new people and making so many friends.

3. In both cases I also felt excited for her because I knew she would be learning so much! Not just academically--both kindergarten and college are such formative times for figuring out who one is away from their families.

4. Both instances made me realize how lucky I am to still have other children at home. It makes me remember to take the time to appreciate their childhoods a little more.

5. And, of course, I did cry both times . . .

. . . but this time I wasn't alone.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Five on Friday: Funny Things Mom Says

During our road trip, I keep a little notebook handy to write down funny things the kids say both for posterity and to potentially use in upcoming posts (okay, maybe that's the real reason)

I noticed over this last vacation that my oldest daughter was jotting things down that I said. I asked her, "Are you writing down Mom quotes?"

She was.

"Tell me when you get to five of them."

She knew exactly what I was getting at. Here they are:

1.  "Oooh, I'm going to get a Moscow Mule!! They have their own cups!!!"
       Mom's response: I stand by this. The drink is tasty and the cups are cute.

Moscow Mule in a signature copper cup

2. "If you dropped your pizza, I guess you didn't really love it."
      Mom's response: I have no recollection of this whatsoever, but I sure hope it wasn't that pizza we spent $48 on in Utah.

3. (after hearing the beginning of the song "Africa" on the radio and turning it up) "Wait, is this Weezer or . . . Not Weezer?"

Mom's response: I don't know why this was so funny to the kids. Toto, the other band is called Toto. I know that but just forgot for a minute. And I don't like the Weezer cover so I had to know if I should change the station or not.

4.  M: "Do you think farts--never mind, I think I know the answer to this."
      B: "What was it?"
     M: "Were farts always funny? Historically?" (hysterical laughter)
      B: "Is the answer yes?"
     M:  (cracking up) "The answer is YES"

     Mom's response: I'm mature in other ways.

Here I am posing while barefoot on a chaise lounge in a hotel we did not stay at. So. Mature.

5. "Guys, can you not live like . . . Trash Animals???"
     Mom's response: Seeing as this phrase that I came up with on the spot, inspired by the real-life road trip slobs also known as my five children, has become a new family favorite . . . all I can say to this is "You're welcome, Trash Animals."