Monthly Archives: June 2011

Where We’re From

Pretty sure we're not Dutch after looking at Grandpa's expression...

My mom calls me her Irish daughter and my sister her Italian daughter. We both married men of those descents and I guess we kinda took them on as our own. It’s funny, because neither one of us have either Irish or Italian in our bloodline at all.  I like to use the term “Irish by injection”, but not in church or anything.  We are mutts…a little bit of this, a little of that. For the most part, we’re Hungarian. My dad’s side of the family came from Hungary…my grandma relayed stories to me that her mom told her about coming over to Ellis Island….standing on the long benches looking out at the huge crowd full of hope.  My grandma was VERY into her Hungarian heritage and could speak Hungarian so fluently that on a visit to Hungary a local asked her for directions.  My mom’s side is a little more tricky…her mom was mostly Swedish and her dad mostly German.  I don’t know about the other parts because I never bothered to ask.

I honestly never really paid much attention to it until recently.  Even with my full Hungarian grandmother who made stuffed cabbages and sent things to our relatives in Budapest, I never cared to pay attention to my heritage.  It never really mattered.  I am what I am…knowing where I came from wouldn’t change that.

Well, that is, until I had kids.  Once my daughter started going to school and learning about other countries, I noticed that her mind was expanding…she started wondering if any of OUR ancestors came from far away lands.  I told her of course they did…I just didn’t really know where.  And at that point, all the people I could ask had passed on to even farther lands.  But thankfully, my grandparents left behind many photos and memories for me to sift through.  I’ve been trying to get answers for my kids and really have been enjoying the process.  I think that’s why I cling to my husband’s Irish background so much…his family is large, and there are many generations here with us to learn from.  It’s fascinating.  He also has Scottish and  Czech blood, so the stuffed cabbages are good no matter whether we’re at my parents or his.

I don’t really have too much regret in life… I do feel that everything we do is a learning experience for us.  However, I miss my grandparents…all of them…every day.  I would’ve liked to have learned more from them when I had the chance.  It IS important to know where you came from…what struggles your family made to get you where you are today.  I’d have to think that my Hungarian great-grandmother’s trip across the ocean in a scurvy-riddled old boat was not all that fun.  But she did it for her family…for me.  And for my kids.  Her story deserves to be learned.


Good Morning… by Cindy

There’s something about getting up in the morning by your own free will that makes the day just a little bit better. Right now, I’m looking outside watching a deer eat some clover in the yard. Birds are chirping to their friends. Tea is steeping. I kinda feel rested.  I set my alarm – even though it’s Saturday – on purpose just so I could enjoy a couple fleeting minutes for myself.  Just for me, no one else.

An hour from now, my son will start calling down to me. This will most likely make the deer run away (his morning voice is kinda old-manish and loud for a 3 year old) and cause my daughter to also wake up.  They will both come downstairs and then fight over which TV show they should watch and then try to get me involved.  This is when I almost always bring up the fact that when I was a kid, there was ONE SHOW on at a time on Saturday morning and that was it!  And I hated the Thundercats!  But I watched it anyway, so they should be grateful for the million channels we have now and not fighting about it or I’ll turn the TV off and you won’t watch anything at all!!…..

Ok, so back to my lovely alone time with my pretty deer and birdies.  It’s wonderful to have just a few minutes to open the steam valve before the kids wake up. ..get out all the pent up thoughts about bathroom floor pee clean-up from yesterday, Big Time Rush songs, SPF 70, peanut butter sandwiches…get my brain to stop floating…reset for a new day.  It just helps.  Would I rather be sleeping?  Sleep does feel good.  But nah, I’d rather have these minutes awake in my thoughts.

I just noticed the deer is gone and I don’t hear any birds…their animal instinct must be working, cuz I think I hear something stirring upstairs.  Yup…there it is…MOMM-MMMY!!!

#1 Dad, no scratch that…#1 Husband by Cindy

Somewhere sometime somebody said something like, “Always put your husband first.” Agreed! Easy reply for me because my husband is awesome and totally my best buddy. We are two spooning peas in a lovely king size pod with Egyptian cotton sheets. We only have one TV that we watch together every night once the kids go to bed. Other nights we play darts and act like we’re in college… listening to our music and arguing over song titles… He’s wonderful to me and I know he always puts ME first. So for me, it’s a no brainer. Husband = First Place.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule… like, child falling off bicycle trumps Daddy needing another cold one. Thankfully, we know the difference here at our house.
But husbands SHOULD come first…they were husbands before they were dads (in the majority of cases I know) and will hopefully be husbands after the kids move out. Once our kids move out, we have a master plan of traveling the US in our very own recreational ve-hi-cle. I hope he still likes me by then, cuz I’m really psyched about our trip.
I know I am truly blessed with a great man who thinks I’m funny sometimes. He is what a dad should be to our kids…he plays with them after working out in the elements all day. He tells them stories and reads books and tries our daughter’s homemade cookies. (I use the term “cookies” lightly…I don’t really know what those things were) …and he’s hot, too.
I just wanted to bring this up because I love my husband. No other reason. He’s my husband first and always will be. Oh, and he NEVER, EVER expects the big pork chop at dinner. But I will gladly give it to him every time.

First Time Out of the Box by Cindy

I’m new. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t mean exclusively to blogging…I don’t know what I’m doing in most EVERYthing. I’m a good faker and have a lot of people fooled, but sometimes I get caught. Like the other day when I promised my 3 year old he could have a snack when he woke up from his nap that I never intended on giving him. He was tired and whiny and I just wanted him to stop yelling in my face, so I promised him something to which I would never follow through. All that did was make him cry again – and LOUDER- when he woke up. Big fail on my part.
My daughter who’s 7 catches me all the time. She’s smart, so it’s hard to fake it around her. She’s like a little Catholic school nun. I am afraid to be a bad parent around her. If I do something remotely bad, her innocent almond shaped eyes put me right back into place.

It’s not that I WANT to be bad. I try my best to be good, but like I said I don’t know how sometimes. I can’t blame anyone. I didn’t want anyone to help me when my daughter was born. I had all these ideas when I was pregnant that parenting was going to be an easy challenge…that it would be a change, but not a hard one. That we were going to be this awesome family that all had our own custom surfboards and paddled out every Saturday at 5AM then got pork roll and cheese sandwiches for the ride home.

The rude awakenings started soon after pregnancy…immediately after to be exact. In the hospital after giving birth, my daughter just wouldn’t stop crying. She cried so much that even though the wonderful nurses tried to calm her so I could get some sleep, they had to bring her back to me to nurse every 1/2 hour. No one could calm her except me. The first thought about being a parent was that I was the only one who could soothe my child. So that thought took over. My sister wanted to help…NO! My mom wanted to help…HELL NO! My mother-in-law wanted to help…HELL NO! I love my family, and looking back I feel like such an idiot. Because of the lack of sleep at the time, I felt like everyone who tried to help me was trying to take over my job…the only job I ever wanted in my entire life. I felt like I was stuck on an island with this screaming kid and no one could save me. On the contrary, EVERYone wanted to help, and I just wouldn’t let them. I’m surprised they still even like me at all. I was a big fat bitch.

Now it all bites me in the ass when I do something stupid like yell at my son for asking me the same question over and over. He cries, and then I cry and he ends up asking me the question again. I don’t know what I’m doing. Thankfully these kids ARE smart and they are good teachers. They are my helpers now, and I am learning that help is good. Maybe we’ll be able to break out the surf wax one of these days. I could really go for a pork roll and cheese.

Chippendales? Chip and Dale?

I’ve been up since 6:00 AM since the smallest of the small ones had to go potty and had to tell me about it and then had to crawl in bed with us. I have had two cups of VERY STRONG coffee. I cooked a mean spinach, mushroom, and feta omlet with Food for Life toast. Currently, I’m on a cleaning mission. I finally stopped to open the kitchen window to see two chipmunks playing (very Disney-esque) under the swings in our backyard (birds were tweeting, too!). I yelled to tell the small ones to run and look out the back window at Chip and Dale playing in our very own back yard!

Well, this got me thinking… Which came first: sweet, furry Disney characters or hot, sweaty half-naked, bow-tied men? What if my kids google it someday and some cheeseball ’80s dancer pops up!? Well, the answer is…wait for it…. the Disney characters. They premiered in 1943. The dancers came along in the late ’70s.

Now, you might be wondering, “where is she going with this?” And quite honestly, I have no idea. It was just a caffine induced, cooking/cleaning frenzy, mind racing a mile a minute, moment. “Hey kids, Chip & Dale!”. Chippendale? Wait, how could Disney name characters after strippers? Or, why did strippers name themselves after chubby, furry rodents? Well, now you have it. All of the answers. No need to thank me.