@aspiringmama: Sometimes? Doritos really are the answer.

Let me tell you who I am not.

I am not:

*Perfect

*Able to spell anything corretcly

*Interested in geting over my Tofu Phobia

*Friends with my scale

*In posession of a heaf of hair that actually moves when the wind does.

*An expert in Pubic Relations (Click on the link above for this one to make sense)

*Working out right now. (I know…I know…But my Christmas cards are almot done and the tree is up and it’s preeeeeety! And, And, And? I finished and hit send on a zillion queries, mostly typo-free, so I’m busy writing a blog post as I wait for the rejections to start pouring in so I can stare longingly at The Husband’s unopened bag of Doritos while I read them because I will physically need some at that point.)

Now for what I am:

*Honest.

*The Typo-queen (Exhibit A? My tweet stream)

*An expert in making the Post Mama Muffin Tops and Cellulite look gooood. And? I know how how to turn a hoodie into Assmoflauge by trying it around your waist and making it look like you did it to coordinate your outfit and not hide the circumference of your badonkatonk.)

*Trying my damndest to not get discouraged by my body’s utter lack of interest in anything I AM doing right to try and shed some flab off my ass. (Damned Doritos.)

*Proud owner and curator of the world’s first social media approved Mexi-fro.

*Still looking for my point in this post.

Oh right. I wrote a book about trying to lose the weight after the baby blew out the candles on her second birthday cake. But do I have the answers? No. Do I have a rockin’ bod to show for my efforts? (Note the lack of photos in this post and assume the worst.) Hell no. Do I plan on going to the gym tomorrow? Nu-uh.

 But do I want to?

Yeah. I do.

Even when life kicks me in the softly padded ass, even when emotions sneak up and make bad things sound good (like that Doritos tweet above), I am still trying. I am still wanting to better myself and provide my daughter with a healthy example. SO i almost always eat right. I don’t bitch about my thighs or my muffin top out loud. I tell her she is healthy. I tell her she is strong.

The truth of the matter is that I have health issues that aren’t making anything easier. But that isn’t saying I want it any less. And while I am in limbo, I am figuring the best thing I can do is look in the mirror and love what I see. Mexi-fro, muffin top, fat ass, and all.

If I can show my baby girl I am happy where I am now while I work on getting where I want to be, then it’s all good. And if I never get there? I need to be able to smile and laugh and hug her close when she asks if eating her dinner will make her grow up to be healthy and strong.

Because it’s all about her, people. I’m just along for the ride.

 

I make sad things funny. It’s a coping mechanism, I am sure. But it’s also an engrained part of my culture.
Sometimes, though, sad things make themselves funny. Like when my aunt told my father to look into the light.
As he lay on his death bed.
She didn’t mean it that way. But English isn’t her first language. So while my sisters and I were fighting tears and laughter for two separate reasons, my father’s sisters were rallying my him to stay with us as they rubbed his hands and patted his feet and reminded my father of all the reasons he needed to focus on living.
He was 50 and had gone into the hospital to have heart valve replacement surgery (the original surgery a result of rheumatic fever he suffered as a child). Being the cocky stereotype he was, it hadn’t really entered his mind that he might not come home. And because we all believed him to be the strongest man in the world, we had only focused on making fun of him while he recovered.
But problems arose after the surgery. And after a few close calls, the doctors finally told me and my mother to call everyone to the hospital. He wouldn’t make it more than a few hours.
There were only a few people to call. If you break your toe in my family, we are required to turn the waiting room into an ethnic stereotype. Every tia, tio, prima, and primo within driving distance is called to appear at the hospital, waiting for the afflicted to emerge, triumphant and cured. I am sure the hospital staff groans when we all arrive; a Spanglish three ring circus. Even as the doctor quietly urged us to notify friends and family, he looked around at the standing room only crowd already present.
Five daughters.
Two son-in-laws.
One Godson.
One grandfather.
Two brother-in-laws.
Three of four sisters.
One Niece.
One (or was it two?) long time friends.
One uncle who had flown in from Texas.
One aunt who had delayed her trip back to Mexico.
One wife of thirty years…who just happened to be celebrating her 49th birthday that very day on November 27, 2007.

But we made calls. My in-laws were at my house taking care of 5 month old Buttercup, but everyone else we could get a hold of did their best to arrive before my father left us. And while we waited for the inevitable, my aunts continued to rally my father.
“Rene! Rene! Stay with us! You have your daughter’s Rene. Pauline, Veronica, Sonya, Maria, Patricia! Stay with us, Rene! You have the grandchildren! Nicholas, Caleb, Aiden, and Buttercup!”

“Rene! Dorothy is here, Rene. It’s her birthday, Rene. She needs you to take care of her, Rene!”

His signs were fading.
The beeping was slowing.
The tears were flowing.
I kept my eyes closed. Easier to block the tears that way. I needed to stay focused on catching my mother before she hit the ground when the last beep would eventually fade away. And that damned light over his bed was harsh enough to sting my already tired eyes.
I stood in between Pati and Sonya, with one arm around each of their shoulders. Being six inches taller than both of them, I was able to offer them a place to rest their heads while I used them for support to keep standing.
None of us spoke. We just let my dad’s sisters cry and wail and toggle between English and Spanish while they tried to break through to his spirit. His body may have been failing, but his spirit was strong. Maybe strong enough to make the impossible possible. If only they could reach him.
“Rene!” One of his sister’s cried out. “Rene! Look into the light, Rene! Look into the light!”

My eyes shot open as my face crumpled into a pained expression that had nothing to do with my father and everything to do with what had just been uttered.

“Really? Really?”

She, of course, meant the light over his bed. The one harnessing the power of the sun. The one we would have joked was bright enough to wake the dead had my father not been dying.
But a chuckle, which came out as a muffled sob, escaped one of my sisters. Sonya and Pati, tears streaming down their cheeks, both looked up at me. They wanted to laugh. My father would have laughed. He would have laughed his ass off.  But it wasn’t the right time. Later. We could laugh after we got home. After we had signed off on the autopsy. After we got my mother into bed. While  we sat huddled together waiting to leave for the funeral home. After we got home from the service. We could, and would laugh about it often. All it took was one of us to dramatically call out, “Look into the light!” But not now. Not yet.

I pursed my lips and silently shook my head slowly. It was as much an admonition for them as it was a reminder to me not to lose it. Because good fucking God, I needed to laugh.

“Rene! Look into the light!” She cried out, as the beeping slowed even more. “Look into light!”


My father had never listened to his sisters. He never listened to anyone. But as the beep, beep, beep finally drew itself out into a heart-wrenching “beeeeeeeeeeep” until one of the nurses (thankfully) turned off the machines, as I let go of my sisters to catch my mother before she fell to the floor…I had one thought.

“Damn it, Dad! Fifty years! And you listen to them now?”

 

@aspiringmama: this might be a really funny story later. maybe. when i am dead.

Remember my pubic relations SNAFU?

I just topped it.

I know. I’m just as shocked as you are. I mean, really…sending off a cover letter for a pubLic relations job and unknowingly admitting that I’m an expert on pubes? How in the hell do you top that?

I’ll tell you.

I’m in the middle of sorta kinda proving myself wrong. In the past three days I have queried four agents for Baby F(Ph)at. And before that? I sent off a query to another who’s name I had already pink puffy hearted on my notebook. I’m not sure how you do it, but my little query method is to go into my Word documents, pull up the last query letter written, copy and paste into a new document, and then personalize accordingly. It’s not a genius system, but it is working just fine for me and helps me keep track of where I am at in the process.

Also?

It’s proven that typos are much easier to spot after hitting send.

Lemme expound on that.

I have one line in my query which uses the term “post mama muffin top.” It’s a quick and easy visual for the reader and a phrase I use so often on my blog and in real life I am considering having it tattooed on the actual muffin top which inspired the phrase. Right away the reader knows I am talking about having had a child, gaining weight, and then wondering why cellulite hasn’t been reclassified as a substance stronger than crazy glue (read: the shit sticks like nothing else.)

When spelled correctly, “post mama muffin top” works.

When it isn’t? When, say, the in on the muffin is somehow dropped in a moment of complete idiocy?

For those of you not keeping up with the program, let me (correctly) spell out my (incorrect) spelling for you.

My query to secret agent person had the phrase: “post mama muff top” in it.

As in “muff.” As in my mind automatically went to a really dirty place when I read it 1,000 times after having copied and pasted the last query into a new document.Which led to a momentary breakdown and thoughts of suicide by chocolate and this tweet:

@aspiringmama: damn it. just. damn it. #neverrereadaqueryalreadysent

Also?

@aspiringmama: I should write a new book. #thetypoqueen. Just think of the money a publishing house would save on editing!


 

After four hours of sleep and a trek out to Whole Foods at 8 am, I am already wishing I was in bed. But the cranberry sauce is now cooling off, the sweet potato souffle is already covered and in the fridge, and the carmelized dilled carrots are ready to go.

Yes, I know it’s only Monday. And I am aware that Thanksgiving isn’t until Thursday…for the rest of the world. But because The Husband is still on his I hate it hate it hate it hellacious midnight schedule and everything is upside down, we are celebrating tomorrow.

After he wakes up. And before he goes to work.

I’ll be thankful after the last load of dishes is washed.

I promise.

Until his schedule changes, I am pretty much single-parenting it and doing a colassal job of holding on to my last nerve. I think. Today is a great example: He had a weird day shift thrown in the mix so I started cooking for tomorrow right after Buttercup went down for her nap. In the middle of all the clean-eating, gluten-free craziness, I also cooked a new meal for our dinner tonight. I had just enough time to sit down and eat with him and Buttercup and give him a little kiss before he went upstairs to pass out, leaving me with the kid, the dishes, and more food to prepare for our little family holiday meal.

For that, I’d like to thank the Universe for screwing me. Again. (He was on midnights last year at this time. Totally not cool.)

I’m going nuts today trying to prep this because tomorrow Buttercup and I have a date at Color Me Mine in the morning. When we get home, all I have to do is get the turkey breast out of the slow cooker and reheat the sides. After I daydream about sucking down a bottle of wine through a bendy straw, of course.

There may have been a time or two or seventeen where I also dayreamed today about a sugar-filled, slightly less involved menu. But I feel very strongly about sticking to my clean eating principals. And? The gluten-free thing may be a choice for me, but it isn’t optional for Buttercup and the Husband. So there’s no compromising when it comes to making sure everything we eat passes the Celiac test. That, of course, makes it all worth it.

And twitter? Thanks for planning my Thanksgiving dinner.

Dinner ideas came from @GraciousPantry, a gem of a blogger who knows the ins and outs of clean eating AND has some seriously kick-ass family recipes for any day of the year. And the pumpkin mousse dessert came from a tweet from @jenspiller who took pity on my restricted diet and did a little search for me. (Also? I get to do a little jig because I roasted my own pumpkins for this bad boys of a dessert.)

No gluten?

No sugar?

No grains?

No problem.

Our little Tuesday Thanksgiving is gonna rock.

 

Dear Santa,

I hope this blog post finds you well.

I am sure you have already received Buttercup’s Christmas list. And yes, I am perfectly aware that your sled is only equipped to carry so much,with the gifts for children all around the world thing and all, so I am already trying to explain to her that you probably won’t be bringing everything on her list.

Don’t worry. The Husband and I have got your back. We went out and bought a few things on your behalf and will sit back happily while she praises the man in the red suit who somehow managed to make breaking into homes not only socially acceptable, but a much anticipated event. Props to you, Santa.

Anyway, you can let the Elves know that the Sing-a-Ma-Jigs, Unicorn Pillow Pet, and Disney Princess Movies are already taken care of. We might even spring for the Dora the Explorer Power Wheel Jeep. But the rest is all you. And we’d appreciate it if you could possibly return the favor by sticking “Love, Mama and Daddy” on a few of the things you happen to drop off. Because really? It’s only fair. And? We’re now broke.

I’ve already had a few friends and family ask me what I want for Christmas. I’ve already got my two front teeth, so that’s out. And The Husband and I are already on the lookout for another puppy, so don’t worry about poking holes in a box for something cute to breathe out of. But really? My list isn’t really that long. I’d like a few books, maybe Stephen King’s On Writing. Perhaps the complete Harry Potter series because I have never had a chance to read it. (I know. I know. Shut up.)

I’d also like something sparkly. But don’t worry. I’ll ask The Husband for that. So you’re off the hook again. (See how considerate I am being?)

So what do I want you to leave for me under the Christmas tree? My laptop, opened and logged in to my email account (You got into my house, big guy, so let’s not be modest here. We know you’ve got the skills), with a brandy new and very pretty new message from my dream agent. One that, very clearly, states they love me and my manuscript. A contract would be nice, too. But you can save that for my birthday. It’s the day after. I can wait.

Just think! I’m saving you space in your sled again to allow for more Christmas cheer. I’m thinking that should count for some points, yes?

I’ve been a good girl, Santa. Pinky promise. And? I’m leaving you some cookies on the table. But forget the milk. Since Rudolph’s the one doing the actual driving, feel free to help yourself to the liquor cabinet.

Sincerely,

Pauline (a.k.a. Aspiringmama)

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