My mother wants to know why I cut my hair so damned short and what size dress I am wearing now.

An aunt clicked her tongue and shook her head as she lamented my daughter’s lack of Spanish-speaking skills.

My uncle’s sister — whom I have not seen since I was five — asked why I only had one child. Then she nodded approvingly at my sister and the four children running between her legs because working ovaries are obviously a sign of a good and proper Mexican woman.

Rapid fire Spanish from a relative who flew in for the wedding wondering how old said child is now as she hides her face from another pair of prying hands in the folds of my dress. Four of her five years and 2,500 miles between us and the Mexican Show Pony Craziness that comes with special occasions has turned my three-quarter-Mexican-child into a white girl who expects strangers to respect her personal space.

She looks so much like you.

You look so much like your mother.

Your sisters look so much like your father.

And I am instantly 13 again. Insecure. Out of place. Unsure of where I truly belong.


We flew in to Detroit from Tucson a few days ago for my cousin’s wedding. Buttercup is the flower girl. And we’ve spent the last 20 minutes outside of the church waiting for everyone else, including the bride, to show up late. No one from the church is looking for us yet. They are used to running on Mexican time.

Buttercup is playing in the courtyard with her four cousins. She is grateful they speak English, I think. Small talk keeps me and my sisters occupied because the divide between us is more complex than the miles we just crossed. Because we are in the same place, though, we will pretend to try. No one will be expecting weekly phone calls to stay in touch after we return home. And yet there are no hard feelings. It’s just understood.

Family begins to arrive. Hugs and kisses and You Look Great, Mijitas are exchanged. Sometimes because it is expected. Others because it is sincerely meant. We — The Husband, Buttercup, and myself — stand alone in the midst of the Spanglish craziness. I am acutely aware of the fact that I am thinking in English.


The rehearsal takes two hours. By the time we are ready to leave the church for the rehearsal dinner, Buttercup is crabby and asking to go home. We oblige, taking my mother and one sister with us, grateful to hide behind the excuse of a tired child. The bride and groom nod their understanding. More hugs and kisses are exchanged. And we are free.

Buttercup is full of smiles and laughter as soon as the car door closes and the engine starts. No longer overwhelmed by the noise and the outstretched hands, it’s apparent the child is more like me than I sometimes realize. In the middle of strangers who are bound by blood, she wants to hide and remain unnoticed. But with close friends who have become family, she is light and she is happiness.

It’s time to go to my mother-in-law’s house now. It’s where we are staying while we are in town. As we turn to leave, my mother hands me a small bear.

Don’t forget this, she says.

It’s my one-eyed bear from childhood. I smile and hug it close as my mother makes sure to remind me her dress size is smaller than my own. I’ve come home again.


I traveled 2,500 miles yesterday so Buttercup can be a flower girl in a family wedding this weekend and jet-lag has turned my brain into baby food. I’d rather wax hysterical about the wisdom behind making sure you marry into a family only if the future in-laws and the current crazy you refer to as family have no less than three states between them because there’s probably a sit-com idea here just waiting to be born — and because it’s like THE BEST PREMARITAL ADVICE THE SINGLE COULD EVERY POSSIBLY HOPE TO RECEIVE — but I think I’m already asleep. Instead, I’ll let myself take a vacation day from the blog, rest my muddled brain and close my allergy induced bloodshot eyes because it seems I’m allergic to the entire planet, and give you something I else I wrote and saved for a rainy day.


The first time I heard a Latino friend refer to themselves as a coconut, I was clueless. And to be honest, I actually forgot about it until yesterday when I had this conversation with Buttercup:

“Mama, how do you say ‘circle’ in Spanish?”


She repeats me, nods her head, and then taps her chin. She’s thinking.

“How do you say ‘triangle?’”





What the HELL?

“Dodeca WHAT?”

“Dodecahedron? It’s a shape with 12 sides.”

Right. Thank you, Nick Jr., for this moment. Because now my five-year-old is aware that I actually don’t know everything.

You. Owe. Me.

“Um??? Wow. Sweetie….that’s not really a word I’ve ever used in conversation in Spanish.”

“I’ve never heard you use it in English either, Mama.”

“Yeah. Exactly.”

Also? Coconut: Brown on the outside. White on the inside. Spanglish is my national language. My daughter knows just as much Spanish because of Dora as she does Chinese because of Kai Lan. And Google is my savior.

Dodecahedron? In Spanish it’s dodecaedro, thank you very much.


Jun 252012

Some really weird shit gets people to my blog. Maybe they stay after realizing that Google totally lied to them about my being an expert in finger monkeys, and maybe they get mad and leave in a huff and Google something else like “Naked Husband Swimming” and then swear out loud when Google sends them right back here. Either way, I’m making Search Term Funnies a monthly feature here at Aspiring Mama. Read on for the gems that misled the web in my general direction in June.


… tight so it must to choose appropriate fabrics to prepare this dress. full wallpepar

Ummmmm…the duck quacks at midnight and the squirrel refuses to pirouette without her sparkly pink tutu on?


Naked hiding…

OOOOH! Word association? Okay, I totally got this! Is the answer “CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES and SHAME?”


Women on their bellies with their feet up….

Hey buddy? Your mom needs her laptop back and also promised me a pony if I can convince you that there is life beyond the couch in her basement.


Monday Lucky Numbers...

When I saw this I instantly remembered that I need to cross the following off of my to-do list: “Walk in Unannounced in local Psychic’s Office and Look Surprised when She Looks Surprised that an Unannounced Guest Just Walked into her Office.  Repeat until having entered the office of the one who has the balls to raise a brow and tell me I’m late for my appointment.”

Also? It’s Friday and I’m assuming you didn’t mean the calorie/fat content on the Snicker’s bar wrapper. So I got nuthin’.

Pauline M. Porn…

Paul? Paul the perverted senior who liked to call me Sugar Tits back when I was a freshman? Dude, is that you??? Frankly, I’m a bit flattered that you went through this much trouble to try finding me after all these years, but the raunchiest I get is referring to my nethers by the every popular and socially acceptable va-jay-jay so me and porn are about as likely to happen as you and I were when I was still jail bait. And I promise not to ruin your daydream by telling you about that breast reduction I had ten years ago because that would just be mean.

 Fatty Leg Swelling, Pictures of Finger Monkeys, She Broke Her Leg + ER…

It seems the Internet has mistaken me to be an expert in the Finger Monkey field and the poster child for the Full Figured and Accident Prone. Back in the day this would have just pissed me off, but right now, if it adds to my writing platform I have no problem throwing my pride to the wind. Bring on the monkey seekers and people too stupid to get off of the Internet to have a doctor diagnose what they decided to Google instead. You? Are totally my people.


Kilt Daddy…

I sometimes find myself Googling my blog just to dig this picture up myself. It’s adorable. And sexy in the way that a man in an apron and dish soap and a pile of clean dishes you don’t have to wash anymore is sexy. He’s her world. His legs look awesome in that kilt and those boots. Also, this totally solves the What Will His Stage Name Be For His Burgeoning Rap Career dilemma, so thanks.


Also? I’m about to board a plane to Detroit so Buttercup can stand up in a wedding where I can’t drink and must therefore deal with crazy relatives while sober. I’ll let you know when I come up with the punchline.


Just because the five-year-old is hooked on vanilla frappuccinos doesn't mean you can call me a yuppie. At least not to my face.

When the doctor starts off your appointment with phrases like “your results” and “very interesting”, it’s kind of a toss up as to whether or not the next they say has you running for the hills screaming or breathing a sigh of relief because things were way worse in your head. Because they are always worse in your head.

Except for when they say things like allergic to and beef and apples and carrots and shrimp and crab and then your mind goes blank so you don’t even hear the rest of the list because you’re all THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO LIVE FOR! Times like that make you realize you don’t overreact nearly as much as The Husband likes to pretend you do, mainly because The Husband can sometimes be an asshole.

And last week, this was all me (the overreacting thing. The Husband is still the asshole.)  So when my doctor suggested a very intensive follow up to the first food allergy test just to be sure with things like cocoa beans and coffee and DEAR GOD DON’T TAKE AWAY MY COFFEE…I said yes right away and then made sure to arrive to the next appointment with a trenta (read: only the addicts order their shit this big) iced black Starbuck’s coffee in hand. Ya know, just in case. Turns out that this time though, things actually were way worse in my head because somehow I didn’t test positive to as many food allergens as I did previously. The doctor isn’t sure what the hell happened, and neither am I, but I really don’t care because the bottom line is that I can still self-medicate the crazy with a steady stream of coffee and that I’m no longer the freak with the beef and apple allergy.

Instead? I’m the freak with the cabbage and broccoli allergy.

Also on my list of Things that May Make Pauline Explode:







*all Dairy

*all Eggs

*Bakers Yeast

* Wheat






*Whole Wheat

So I’ve been given the green light to go crazy with the beef jerky again, but things like oats, soy, and corn are staying off of my list of allowable paleo-friendly foods. I’ve been telling doctors for years that I couldn’t explain why but I just felt better when I didn’t eat grains and now I know why seeing as the grains I was eating were all trying to kill me.

What I don’t know is where this leaves me regarding the possible crazy rare autoimmune Me Being Allergic to my Own Hormone thing because when I cut out the food allergens, the symptoms that could result in a hysterectomy seemed to resolve so quickly that now everyone is wondering how I made it this long without spontaneously combusting just on principal. Now the OB is sending me back to the allergist who is sending me back to the nurse practitioner who is sending me back to the naturopath who is telling me that I may be slightly less fucked up than we all assumed.

Also? This is my 600th blog post. Instead of doing that thing that popular bloggers do with the giving away of Really Awesome Shit, I decided to do something a bit differently in that I instead went with the Unpopular Writer Mama with the Blog and No Prizes theme because I am secure in my unpopularity-ness-ish and right about now would be a REALLY GOOD TIME for Starbuck’s to take this post for the free advertising that it is and offer up some gift cards before y’all get all judgy and STARBUCK’S IS SO UNGRATEFUL which we know they aren’t seeing as the girl who poured all three of my trenta coffees today was super nice and never once asked me if I had a problem. Because that, my friends, is the kind of customer service that I think we all can appreciate.


Practical. Classy. My friends hate them.


It’s time to talk about shoes, people. And motherhood.

Ok, fine. To be more specific, it’s actually time to talk about how motherhood (sometimes but not always) somehow seems to make our shoe collections really fucking boring (as compared to the days before we had to worry about not tripping over Lego pieces on the floor barefoot, let alone while in that super cute pair of stilettos you donated after the first baby came.)

If you happen to be a mom and are shaking your head in confusion because your closet is jam-packed with stylish hooker heels and fashionable six-inch wedge sandals because you wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of ballet flats, then please do the rest of us a favor and mosey on along in your perfectly pressed white denim capris. You don’t want to be late for your date with Perfection, and the rest of us and our flip-flopped, unpedicured feet may very well be contagious. So really, this is all for the best. Plus? We don’t like you very much.

Before I became a mom, the only flat shoes I owned were the ones I wore to the gym. Oh, and my winter boots (I’m from Detroit and winters required something more substantial than sandals.) But swaying mindlessly from side to side to soothe a crying baby is much easier while not balancing on five-inch heels and practical takes precedence over style. Before I knew it, I was getting excited over new ballet flats. And don’t even get me started on my TOMS.

No. Really. Don’t.

The Husband hates those things.

So then I found myself being What Not to Wear’ed by my five-year-old for an out of town wedding and in need of a pair of black dress shoes. I hadn’t planned on buying a new dress to begin with, and now that I had, I figured I’d just wear the black version of the one pair of high heels I own in two colors. And by high heel I mean a wedge-like, 1920′s style, practical and cute and very stable three-inches. BFF Heather and Writing Friend Valerie wasted no time in letting me know where they stood. The words, “Friends don’t let friends leave the house in shoes like that” come to mind.

And suddenly I found myself wobbling through shoe aisles at various shoe stores and avoiding eye contact with the UPS guy as he dropped off yet another box full of stilettos from a few of the free-shipping-free-returns sites because I got tired of driving to the other side of Tucson to look like an asshole.

I’ll spare you the saga I posted on instagram and apologize if you are a fan or a friend on Facebook. You all had to watch me go bat-shit crazy over this shoe versus that shoe versus fashion versus comfort versus safe zone versus comfort zone. I’m really sorry you had to see that. In the end, I ended up striking clearance gold at Dillard’s when I found this pair of Michael Kors marked at 40% off.

Gettin' my style on...

Patent leather. I know. Even I surprised myself.

But now the question remains: I may have been DeMomFrumped for the wedding with my snazzy new dress and sexy new shoes, but what about my tried and true practical pumps? Whaddya say, Internetz? Can I keep them?


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