Susan told you a little bit about our trip to Mexico, but she didn’t really go into detail about the best part: the kids are finally contributing members of the family.


While the dancers changed outfits between dances, they brought the kids up for some games and our kids kicked butt. Yordie followed her older siblings up onto the stage and totally rocked in the first game they played. She was able to dominate over an eight year old that was twice her size.  What game were they playing? Limbo of course, no back bending even needed for the 2 foot nothing little sprout. For their efforts, all the kids won a coupon for free ice cream, which they redeemed immediately. Later in the evening Estifanos dominated a game of musical chairs earning himself an additional coupon.


The next day they won us a ton of candies by busting open a piñata. The events coordinator must have appreciated that they were taking part in all the activities because when he saw them in the pool later he randomly handed each kid another coupon. With four coupons in our possession, I finally had a look at them and noticed that they were good for something other ice cream.  You could also redeem them for a soda or a MARGARITA.


Guess what Mom and Dad had with dinner? Yep, they’re finally earning their keep.


Don’t worry; we bought them a soda.


Yordie’s birthday isn’t until next week, but it appears she’s hit the terrible 2s a few days early.  It started last Saturday while driving back form the L.A.:

“No, Sleep!” “No, Cracker!” “No, Jacket!”

We hopped that it was just that she had a long day, but it appears that her favorite word has changed from Whatsthat? to No! With her learning a few new nouns everyday, she’s been able to expand the things she doesn’t want exponentially. We’ve tried reverse psychology by telling her no first, but I think she’s catching on.

There hasn’t been an Instruction Manual in a while, so I’ll open it up for your comments. What’s the best way to deal with the terrible 2s? (Besides adopt a 3 year old) Best suggestion gets this cool badge to hang anywhere there’s a computer monitor:

And live in infamy on the parenting instruction manual page.

This is the kids first real Mother’s Day.  Last year they had been home about a month, so their English was poor and I don’t think they really got it. I asked the kids where they wanted to take their mom for Mother’s Day.  Here’s their responses (names withheld to protect the guilty):

  • Chuck E. Cheese
  • Disneyland
  • The tomato and flower garden — “Where’s that?” I asked — Our back yard
  • Blue (I guess you can guess who suggested this one)

All were rejected.  Instead we’re going strawberry picking.

Transcript of a conversation I had with Estifanos (4) while walking the dogs on Saturday:

Dad: “I love you Estifanos.”
E: “I love you too Daddy.”


E: “Why do you say that everyday?”
D: (I must be doing something right) “Because I want you to know that I love having you as a son.”

E: “I don’t want to be a son any more” (…or not, then again he said a son, not your son)
D: “Why?”
E: “Because it’s hard”

D: “How is it hard?
E: “I don’t know, it just is”

D: “I know, how you feel, I’m a son too. Well what do you want to be?” (I’m sure he’s going to say a daughter, but I asked anyway)
E: “Just Estifanos”

All righty then.

Having written 2 freelance articles already, I came up with 11 differences between writing a blog and writing for real media:

  1. Having an editor is great; they find all most of your mistakes and delete the sentences you probably should have deleted when your hypothesis changed during the construction of the article, but held on to for sentimental reasons.
  2. Editors suck; they change the meaning of your sentences and don’t give you the chance to correct them before publication.
  3. Deadlines suck; self-publishing gives you the chance to hold something back if it’s not ready for prime time.
  4. Companies are “it” not “they” and other formal stuff.
  5. You don’t have to worry about marketing your articles.  For that mater, you really don’t have to worry about traffic because they don’t tell you how many people are reading your articles.
  6. You’ve got to write out two and five but not 10.
  7. Your articles get picked up by Yahoo (No Pain…).  Wait a second, they get picked up by Yahoo if you’re a blog too (all three of those are mine).
  8. You use ems — because they’re more formal — to separate thoughts (not parentheses).
  9. One space after a sentence.  Actually it’s like that way on my blogs too, but that’s because WordPress fixes it for me.  So I guess the difference is there’s no WordPress to help you out.
  10. Proofreading.  I reread anything I write on my blog 3-5 times.  It’s more like 5-7 for my articles.
  11. The pay.  I’ve made more writing two articles than I have writing 24 articles on my blog.  “More” being a huge understatement.

Back to your regularly scheduled parenting blog at some point in the future when the kids do something funny/silly/smart/etc.  Although I can tell you that having a part time job is somewhat stressful while being a parent.  I can get most of the research/writing done while the kids are asleep, but that takes away from my time with Susan.  Hopefully it will go to full time in a month or so.  Otherwise, I think we’re going to have to use much of this extra money I’m making to pay for some fun family destress time (and perhaps a maid too).

I got tagged to participate in The Parent Club which is just a big pyramid scheme where the people at the top (or in this case bottom) get all this linky-love and when you’re late to the party, you don’t get anything. But then I figured I can use it to highlight some blogs that I read…that you should be reading. It’s basically just me procrastinating fixing my blogroll (which has been on my list of things to do for some time). If the the blogs I link to want to participate, be my guest (and I’ll get a little more linky-love), if not, don’t worry, I won’t stop reading you. Here’s the ones I added:

DadTalk – Bret has two kids and used to write for the LA Times. He writes some articles about his kids, but others about general parenting/life/the environment which is a nice break from the “my kid did this funny thing” posts you see all over the parenting blog word.

Leave it to Avery – Avery is on his way to go pick up 2 of his 4 kids from Ethiopia. He’s passionate about social justice although he can be a little long winded at times. There’s 5 links to him in my side bar, so I bet you’ve read his blog already.

Owlhaven – Mary got me started in blogging (by playing a practical joke on her). She only publishes partial feeds, so I don’t read everything she writes, but she’s a great writer so she can usually capture my interest in the first couple of lines.

Poop and Boogies – Come on, with a name like that, you know you want to read. And William’s blog theme is so cool.

If I didn’t add you, it doesn’t mean I’m not reading you, it just means I ran out of time. Please don’t feel slighted; you’re in my feed reader…probably…if you comment more, you’re more likely to end up there.

If you need something else to read, have a look below at the suggestions other people added before me.

The Rules:
1. Write a short paragraph at the beginning of your post and link back to the blog that put you on the list in the paragraph. This isn’t a suggestion. You need to break up the duplicate content string. Someone took the time to add you so the least you can do is give them an extra linkback.
2. Copy the list of originals below COMPLETELY and add it to your blog. If you would like a different keyword for your blog then change it when you do your post and it should pass to most blogs with that keyword.
3. Take the adds from the blog that added you and place them in the “Originals” list.
4. Add no more than 5 new parenting or (Mommy/Daddy) blogs to the list in the “My Adds” section. You don’t need to describe each blog, I just did that because I figured it was a nice thing to do.

My Adds:
Leave it to Avery
Poop and Boogies

The Originals:
Attachment Parenting Blog: Raising Children with Love
A Mother’s Diary
On The Fly – A Parenting Blog
I Love My Baby
Asthma Adventure
Work At Home Musings
ShoppingMum and Kids
Mom’s Daily
5X Mom
No Average Mom
Notes From The Trenches
Groovy Mom
Coffee Time
My Thoughts, Ideas, and Ramblings
The Ridiculously Mundane and the Oh so Humdrum…
My Single Mom Life
Tips From The Money Goddess
Army Mom: New Jersey
Melissa’s Place

I think, in the last two weeks, I have realized that my kids are growing up so fast. It seems unreal at times. As I thought about what to get Meron for her upcoming 6th Birthday next month, I wasn’t thinking as much about toys. We asked ourselves would she like? A video game system, a boom box, or maybe a TV for her room? Everyday she amazes me as she is growing from a preschooler/K to a young girl who is interested in art, music, and her friends. She is an amazing person in my life. Her self confidence and sense of humor makes my day.

Estifanos, in the last couple of weeks, attended step-out Bible study at church without me, which is huge progress on not needing Mommy. He also has been getting up in the morning and getting dressed all by himself. He is very proud of himself. He has begun sleeping on the top bunk of his bunk beds, and has almost learned how to write his whole name, although it is extremely long. I am so proud of the little boy he is turning into. He is such a kind and loving person. He wants to be a Shamu trainer or in the Olympics in gymnastics when he grows up.

Then there is my baby Yordie. She has begun using the toilet at times, and she now sleeps in a real bed. She also has become so much more independent in the last few weeks. I love her spunky personality she is developing. She is always happy. Last night, as my eldest was taking a bath, my two youngest kept saying “Mommy tickle,” and they would tickle me and love watching me laugh. I thought, “let me just embrace these moments because they grow up so fast.”

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