Parenting and All Of It’s Glory

Angel travels a lot for work right now, and when he’s gone I’m a 1 man show with 2 1/2 tiny sidekicks. Mornings are chaos (not even organized chaos). By the time I get to work at 8am (hopefully) I’ve been awake for nearly 3 hours, I’m sweating, I’ve reapplied deodorant, my hair needs a good brush, my clothes are wrinkled, and chances are good that I’ve used an array of swear words in rush hour traffic. 
Getting ready for the morning starts the night before. I spent an hour after the kids went to bed laying out clothes, making lunches, and packing backpacks, and from the second my alarm goes off in the morning I’m already behind. I shower and get myself ready, wake up Lucas and get him ready, get the boy’s breakfast going: frozen waffles, supply cups of milk, and baggies of dry cereal for everyone! I let the dog out, feed her, iron my work pants, do Lucas’s hair, then go wake up Joshua. I walked into his room this morning and he yells “NO!” at me in all of his 2 year old glory. I get it, dude. None of us want to be awake and I love you for your passion, but I don’t appreciate it in this moment. I pick him up out of his crib and hug him, he hits me, he smells like pee, and then I realize that he leaked through his diaper and now I smell like pee. I clean him up, get him dressed, and go change myself. Go downstairs to put on 3 pairs of shoes onto 6 feet, and start loading babies into car seats. Throw 2 backpacks, 3 lunch boxes, a work bag, a purse, and 3 drinks into the car. Hear someone yell “I HAVE TO GO POTTY!!” Forgot that I never let the dog back inside. Pull out of the driveway: 10 minutes late. 
Get to daycare and put 2 pairs of shoes back onto 4 tiny feet. Grab my purse, 2 lunch boxes, 2 backpacks, 2 baggies of cereal, 2 cups of milk, and wrangle tiny babies away from moving cars. Did I lock my car? I don’t even know where my keys are at this point. Forget it. If you’re lucky enough to sneak into my car, help yourself to the food on the floor of the backseat. Drop kids off into 4 different classrooms, put away their lunches, put a shoe back on Joshua. Ask Lucas for a hug, ask again for a hug, forget the hug. Tell him I love him, I don’t even know where he went. Make good choices

Then comes the drop off for Joshua. I open the classroom door and he starts backing into my leg and pushing. He yells “NO!” I tell him that his favorite friend is in the room. He doesn’t care. I push him forward gently with my leg. I push harder. I walk in the room and ask him to follow. He says “NO!” Again and starts to walk down the hall. I grab his arm and drag him in like a dog to the vet. He grabs my leg and trips me. He doesn’t care about his breakfast. I set it on the table, he knocks it on the floor. I pick it back up, scrape him off of my leg, and run out of the room before he can follow me. He instantly forgets that he has a mother. 
I’m leaving the daycare and feel drained, rushed, late, and like I need perfume. “Happy Monday, Mrs. Rivas!” For who? 

45 minutes of rush hour traffic later, I stop at Starbucks for a coffee refill: I’ll take a venti unless you have something larger?

Get to work, the parking lot is closed for construction. Park, walk inside, realize I forgot my coffee in the car, go back to get it, contemplate getting back in and driving home
It’s only 7:45am. Eye roll

It Starts At Home

I didn’t think about it, because in our eyes it wasn’t anything worth attention.  But let this be a lesson that tolerance and understanding starts at home. 

Back in the winter, Lucas was on t-ball with a bunch of the cutest little characters you’ve ever seen. Throughout the season one Mom and I were talking about doing basketball next and that she was interested in coaching. I told her that if she ever did to let me know and we would sign up. She did, she emailed me, we signed up. We were telling Lucas that he was going to start basketball and we asked him if he remembered the little boy (we used his name, but I’m not in this post).  Lucas did, we told him that his Mom was going to be the coach, and he was excited. He asked if his Dad was going to be there, too. 

It didn’t even phase us because it was never an “issue” in our minds. “No, sweetie. He has 2 Mommies as his parents, just like you have 1 Mommy and 1 Daddy.” Lucas just says “Oh. Why doesn’t he have a Daddy?” So I tell my sweet 4 year old: “Because every family is different. Their family has 2 Moms and yours doesn’t and that’s okay.” He just smiles and says “When does basketball start?”

Love is love.

Be the change. 

Dear Current and Future Managers

Your kid is sick, you stay home. I get it. I’ve always done it. Sometimes it really sucks, and sometimes it’s the perfect excuse to spend all day on the couch in pajamas watching Disney movies. It’s an inconvience but best case there’s a stay at home parent who can cancel play dates and errands. Worst case, there are 2 working parents who can trade off cancelling meetings and annoying their boss. 

But what happens when there’s a single parent, or a solo parent?  Solo parenting, by the way, is the term catching fire for a married parent who’s spouse is gone from the house for work: military spouses, spouses of doctors working on call shifts, or in my case, the spouse of an auditor. I never really realized the struggles of working parents because I’ve never been one until recently. I didn’t understand the rules of daycare because my kids never had to abide by them.  But I’ve been back in the workforce for roughly 2 months now, and I’ve knowingly sent my kids to daycare with fevers 3 times now. My kids are patient zero. They’re the ones who made your kid sick. And I’m really sorry about that, but I’m also not going to change it because I can’t.  

So I want to make a plea on behalf of every working single and solo parent: we aren’t crappy parents, but trust me when I say that we really feel like it when we’re loading our kids with Motrin 45 minutes before a daycare drop off hoping to buy us 5 hours of work before daycare calls. We’re going to act surprised when daycare calls, but we’re not. We’re a little relieved that we got away with it as long as we did. And then we’re a little scared to tell our boss that yes, once again, we’re leaving work because our kids don’t have child care options. 

I can almost hear all of the thought of working spouses: why are you so scared? Your kid is sick, it is what it is. Yep, you’re right. But with one hiccup: my kids have been sick 4 times this month already and I don’t have anyone else in my house right now to step in so I can stay at work. That’s 4 sick days that I had to take at the last minute, one more coming down the line, and at least 6 more on the near horizon at this rate. Who wouldn’t want us as their employees? Eye roll

To anyone who manages people (or will ever in their careers), I want to leave you with this thought: go easy on us. We don’t want to take these days off any more than you want us to. We don’t want to spend one more evening planning out Motrin doses to get the most out of our work day that we can, and we don’t want to feel like shitty parents when we take our kids to daycare when we know they have a fever. Every single part of this situation that might sound hard is. 

I told my boss today that for the second time this week I have sent a child to daycare sick, and for the second time this week I expect to have to leave around lunch. His response: “No problem. If you need to take tomorrow off as well, that’s fine.”

He has 2 kids. He gets it. 


I read an article this week about how it takes balls to go in public with young kids (Read it here). For the last few days it’s really stuck with me that it’s so true. 

Tonight Angel had a work dinner so the boys and I were solo. He came with us before he left, and it was all fine and dandy until he got up. Once he left to go to his thing, it’s like the boys sensed that one of the wheels was gone from the bus: one started banging a pit against the table as hard as he could and the other spilled an entire glass of water at a rate that would make scientists grab a calculator. Doesn’t matter who did what, because that’s the point here: it’s a crap shoot.  Now I have one kid crying and screaming because of the mess and the other screaming and making as much noise as he can and I’m trying to wipe water off of my diaper bag and ask for the check. Being a parent takes so much more patience than I ever thought possible. 

And some day I’m going to look back on this and I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss the day that my kid’s tears could be solved by a hug. I’m going to miss that he wakes up in the middle of the night wanting to see me. I’m going to miss when he thinks I’m his best friend. 

I’m not going to miss the stares, comments, and judgements just for having kids. I’m annoyed that you think my stroller is too big, I’m over hearing that I look “too young to be a mom” and I can’t stand the my kid would never do that judgement. Your kid doesn’t watch tv? Slow clap. Some days that’s the only way anything gets done. Oh, your kid only eats organic? Mine has something in his mouth from the floor right now

Let’s just leave parents alone. Raising kids not to be the jerk some of you are is a lot of work and it takes balls to leave the house and face your criticism some days. 

Childhood is too short, and we need to celebrate the chaos for as long as we can

In other news, here’s what we’ve been up to down under:

G’day, Mate

Where to start?! We’ve been here 6 days and I’m in heaven!! Until this morning, I couldn’t find a single thing bad to say about Sydney. Even the flight wasn’t as bad as I expected. It was…. memorable. 

We were man on man defense: Angel with Lucas in one row and me with Joshua behind them. 15 hours, 2 vomit sessions, 5 blow outs, and an entire supple of wipes later, Angel and Lucas arrived refreshed while Joshua arrived naked and I looked like I was coming home from war. I doomed myself when I took this picture: 

Drinking a glass of wine, watching a chick flick, and enjoying some baby snuggles. I thought the red eye was the best idea in the world until hour 2.

So once we got here, Joshua and I were first in the shower having already blown through 3 days worth of clothes (in a 7 day supply). I swear to all of my readers that I will be traveling home with twice as many wipes as I traveled here with. And maybe that 4th change of clothes (eye roll). We ate lunch in the hotel, walked down to the beach by the hotel, and went to bed early. 

The next day we woke up too early to be appropriate and ventured into the city and off to the zoo. 

Are we there yet?

Man down

Escape from the stroller, because I swear to God if you wake up your brother we will not be friends for the rest of the day. 

View from the ferry on the way to the zoo

Lunch at the zoo with a couple of animals

I want to jump the fence and hold this koala. Is that so wrong?

Lucas is loving that we got to follow Daddy to work this time. Joshua is too young to care where he sleeps. 

Tour guide
The rest of the week has been a solo adventure. Angel is at work and I’m with these hooligans trying to get around half way across the world. Secretly? I love every second of it. I have fond memories of my Mom taking us into the City on SAN Francisco and doing all of these fun things all of the time and I feel like I’m that “cool” Mom here. Everyone is insanely friendly. Yesterday, we were coming home from the Maritime Muesum during rush hour so the city bus was crowded. I made Lucas sit in the stroller before the bus showed up because I was anticipating a struggle with a giant stroller in a crowded bus. But guess what happened when the bus showed up? The man in front of me getting onto the bus just bent down and picked up the front of this giant double stroller. No questions asked. AND he was in a suit! How many guys do you know would be in a business suit on their way home from work and just lift 50 pounds of stroller and children like it was as normal as stepping onto the bus himself? I was shocked (in a good way). But this pretty much describes my experience here. Everyone is so friendly! Someone overheard me telling Lucas that we were looking for the “M50” bus and he interrupted me to tell me that I was at the wrong stop and the M50 only stopped on the other side of the road at “that” sign (pointing) and then asking if I needed help getting somewhere. I’ve been out nearly every day this week solo with 2 kids and a double stroller and I had yet to meet someone who didn’t offer their assistance and genuinely mean it. 

…until today. The wheels fell off the bus a bit today. We were venturing into the city again to walk around the opera house. When we got onto the bus, the designated seats for strollers and wheelchairs was taken by someone who was less than happy to follow the signs and “vacate” the seat. I didn’t want to cause a scene on a non crowded bus mid morning on a Thursday so I was thinking of what to do with the stroller when the lady stood up to move throwing F bombs all over the place directed at me and my tiny humans for just being. The bus started moving before I could get Lucas seated so he jerked and stepped on this lady’s foot (who was where it shouldn’t have been, might I add) and then she threw an F bomb straight at my 3 year old. I was doing my best to keep my Mama Bear claws away because I’m the visitor so I simply said “I’m sure he didn’t mean it” in a kind voice that sort of sounded like “go f- yourself” when the few people on the bus just said what I didn’t: “that was unnecessary!” So a long, drawn out story short, a bus of kind people (including another mom with a stroller) restored my faith in Sydney. When this lady got off of the bus, a couple of people started talking to me to apologize for her behavior. One stating that she was going to step in if that lady opened her mouth again. Naturally, they asked where my accent was from (now I’m the one with the accent!) and we got to talking. The other lady with the stroller gave me her number, told me she was a nanny, and offered to meet up for a “play” with the kids at a park! I’ve totally taken her up on the offer and she’s already texted me 100 different things to do with kids. She’s never going to read this blog, but I hope she knows that she’s the reason I didn’t have a sour feeling all day. Because of her, this day my mood wasnt as bad as it could have been. 

So the boys and I had a lovely day playing in the grass, eating lunch, face timing Nana and Paws, and enjoying the Sydney Opera House

I got the munchkins shirts from a souviner shop and then it started to rain and was running into nap time so I toona deep breath and made my way back to the bus. We got back for nap, Lucas woke Joshua up because I wouldn’t let him eat a second apple. I got Joshua back to sleep and then Lucas woke him up again in 60 seconds flat for whatever other 3 year old reason. I texted Angel that I just couldn’t handle Lucas any more today. Luckily, my Knight in Shining Armour came striding in a few minute later and took over whiney preschooler for me. Tap. Out. We went to dinner and got a text from his coworker that the hotel was evacuated for a fire alarm while we were gone. I think it’s a blessing that I wasn’t there because I’m not sure I could handle 7 flights of stairs with an over-tired pair of children today. It was probably better that we were across the street putting food in our bellies. 


Tomorrow I’m staying close to the hotel. Thanks to the flight, a couple of us are out of clothes so we’re going to spend the morning at the laundromat until Dad is done with work. But even after a trying day, I’m still not wanting to go home. Like, ever. I’ve even made a friend already!

Cheers, readers! It’s bedtime for me and time for you all to start the Thursday that was a little difficult on this side of the world. I wish you all better luck with it. And just tell that lady to F- off right from the get go. She’s going to deserve it. Or better yet, catch the next bus so you aren’t blindsided by someone who should have stayed home. 

No, Kids, This Isn’t “Normal”

I’ve been MIA. I’m not even going to pretend to try to catch you up. Last I left my blog I was struggling with postpardom depression, so let’s just leave it that some days I still am, it’s been a long road, and I’m appreciating modern science and medical advances. 

Now, on to my topic of discussion today: a future note to my children that no, the life they are living is not “normal” and they have no idea how lucky they are. 

We have been doing some traveling. Angel and I always prioritized travel so there’s no real shock with that statement. But reciently, Lucas is old enough to sort of realize that we go to these cool places, but he has no idea that this isn’t a “normal” thing. Our kids sleep in hotels without skipping a beat 

and fly on airplanes without realizing that some adults only dream about flying. 

Our kids play in airports quietly and with each other because they know not to disturb those around us

They don’t realize that this is a life of luxury that Mom and Dad have sacrificed and prioritized for. They have no idea that spending 6 days in Maui isn’t something that everyone does every year

If they don’t realize all of this, than they certainly don’t realize that it’s been a dream of ours to go to Australia before they were ever a dream of ours. They don’t understand that it’s a big deal to spend 20 days in Sydney followed by 6 in Auckland, New Zealand. They don’t know, but they’re doing it anyway. 

I often get comments about how hard it must be to raise a family without family around to help. I respond with the same dumb stare that parents of multiples give when they are told how hard parenting twins must be. We do it because we don’t have a choice. I don’t have the option to call my Mom and drop my kids off on the way to the grocery store every week, so they have to go with me and learn how to behave. It’s not easy for us to call family to come spend a month with our Tiny Humans while we go on a trip of a lifetime, so we adapt our plans and take them with us. I digress, but I would like to think that my reward for having to do this on our own is having kids who aren’t assholes who the rest of you have to deal with. 

But my point in this rant is this: I had a lucky childhood that I didn’t realize at the time exactly how rare it was. And here I am, passing the torch on to a new generation and hoping that one day they will realize how cool their parents must have been to spend a month in Australia and take them with. 

…because they don’t understand yet. 
Cheers from down under, mates! This month I’m coming in strong with photo bombs and word vomit so that my kids may look back on day and think “Damn, our parents were pretty cool for doing that for us.”

My Truth

I know I’ve been MIA for months, but as my last post briefly explained I was diagnosed with PPD and spent some time trying to snap out of it.  I thought about documenting it on my blog, but it sounded like too much work.  How much work is sitting on a computer and typing, right?  Welcome to the depression mind.

I often thought about taking my kids to the park down the street and here’s how that thought process went: I have to get myself and the kids dressed.  What stroller would I take?  Probably the Bob but it’s in the 3rd car garage so I need to climb in there and open the door and when I get back I’m going to have to put it away.  It’s hard to collapse.  And I need to bring some water because it’s a little warm out. You know what? This is already too much work.  I’ll do it tomorrow instead.

That’s how I felt about everything that I didn’t have to do.  I wanted to do it, but the process of actually doing it felt overwhelming so I just counted the time to nap so I could lay down myself.  And I didn’t even have a bad case of PPD but my experience with it was enough.

I’m confident now saying that I am feeling more like myself.  I’m making plans, and getting out to meet people.  I’ve lost the rest of the baby weight and feel good about the way that I look.  I’m showering every day, I’ve started sewing again, and now that it’s too hot to take my kids to the park we’re going to the splash pad tomorrow.  I still have my bad days, but they’re the exception and no longer the norm.

I had this moment of clarity, like I’ve come out of the other side of a storm, when looking at this picture.  It’s the perfect example of what’s been going on:


I’m in a swim suit, no shower, no makeup, at the beach on a rainy day.  The storm has passed (grey clouds behind us) after it just had a big downpour that was almost enough for us to pack up and leave.  Yet, the smiles are genuine and it was a great day.  Plus, let’s talk about how cute my munchkin is!

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone.