I forgot the password

Both my kids are now in school full time, from 8 am to 3 pm.

200px-Dancing_Banana

No, it’s more like

carlton-dance03

I have recently started participating in activities that I had abstained from in the past due to the pursuit of such activities being an exercise in futility.

What are they?  Oh, you know, stuff like bathing regularly and being able to hear myself think.

I have been immersed in 24/7 child care for so long that seven hours on my own feel awfully strange.

I have to keep reminding myself about tiny details, like that it’s okay to sit down to a meal without having to worry if the boys have had theirs, and that I can now pee with the door completely closed.

And locked.

That last one is still taking some getting used to.

Summer vacation 2015 felt like the long weekend from hell.  Each day was so much like the other that I felt as if we were on constant rewind.

Even my boys were bored out of their minds with so much free time.  The other kids in our neighborhood were either at camp or on vacation.  Sure, we had swimming and karate classes twice a week, but what else is there to do to fill up the many, many hours of radiant sunshine that is summer?

That’s right.  Video games.

And don’t even get me started on the fights that these games caused.

Each morning I would wake up to the sounds of screams and shouts, some excited, some plaintive, some whiny, and some of them combined with tears.  I would stumble my way to the living room like a zombie, still half asleep, the effects of not having gotten enough rest clearly showing in my puffy face.

Blogging?  What blogging?

I am an avid reader/follower of many different, wonderful blogs, and I hate when they don’t get updated for extended periods of time.

Of course, I would never do that, I prided in myself.

Which just goes to prove that it’s easy to blame the chipmunk if the nut has fallen from the tree.

Didn’t get that?  I didn’t either.  I think it’s my summer brain still doing the talking.  Or should I say typing.

But you know what I mean.

Oh, the onslaught to the parental brain that is summer vacation.

And don’t forget its evil sibling, which is the transition from late nights and lazy days to early mornings, parent teacher conferences, PTA meetings, and homework.

Shudders.

No, it’s not that we don’t want to spend time with our kids.

What ever gave you that idea?

It’s just that summer kids are bored kids.  They’re bored kids with bored friends who are so bored that they start thinking up of devilish things to un bore themselves and then they end up not bored, but also not very happy.

Like my 5 year old, who thought it would be fun to go all George of the Jungle on the long living room curtains.

Watch out for that coffee table!

He flew right into it.  On TV, little birds go round and round your head when you crash into something, but in real life, you get a big hole in your chin, where, upon impact with the coffee table, your incisors chewed through your lower lip.

You get blood that looks like a chocolate fountain coming out of your mouth, 3 hours in the ER, and seven stitches.

And you get a momma with severe heart palpitations from the stress.

And that’s not even the worst part.  You want to know what the worst part was?

The worst part was that when they were all backpacked and ready to head out the front door that first day of school, I didn’t want to let my kids go.

That’s right.  Even after this crap fest of a summer, all I wanted that day was to have my sons stay home with me.

Figure that out if you can.

I wanted to diaper them, feed them mush from a jar, and have myself be their go to person for their boo boos, their stories, their meals and their play time.

I wanted them to be my babies forever.

Damn those onion cutting ninjas!

With precious little brains left, I had no time nor energy for creative wording, so I just gave up attempting  blog posts during the summer.

And because of that, I forgot the password to my WordPress account.

Late in August, when the reprieve, AKA the first day of school, was right around the corner, I attempted to log in and failed.

Five times.

And now that I’m here, that’s all I had to say.

Hope your kids are enjoying being back in school as much as mine are!

Road trip 2015 pics, part 2

Day 5 Tuesday – Clearwater Beach

Day 6 Wednesday – Tampa/New Port Richey

Day 7 Thursday – Orlando

Rental town home

Disney

Day 8 Friday – Orlando/Clermont

Picking oranges in Clermont

Downtown Orlando

Day 9 Saturday – Drive home

Road trip 2015 pics, part 1

We’re back!

We arrived in Chicago on Monday night, after a long, long drive from Florida.

For those unfamiliar with it, this is what the route there looked like.

IMG_1511

Our neighbors told us we took our vacation at the perfect time.  Apparently Chicago was a cold hell while we were gone.

What else is new?

Florida was a lot of fun.  And super super hot.  The temperature during the day never got below 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

We split the time between Tampa and Orlando, spending about three days in each city.

The time spent driving felt long, but it wasn’t too bad.  It wasn’t beyond what I expected it to be.  And it felt great to explore different parts of this beautiful country.

I have seen more small towns of America during this trip than I have in my entire life.  That’s what happens when you have two boys with alternating bladder schedules.

I also have people waiting on me for pictures.  Some of them are angry that I didn’t post a few already.

So now I will be showcasing vacation pics ad nauseaum.

For the next couple of blog posts, you will be seeing almost all the photos we took, sorted out by day and location.

I am glad I have a blog to display them on because I hate giving Facebook access to my pictures.  They do this creepy thing where they download my photos without my permission.

Enjoy!

And for the people that hate vacation snaps, look away, because there are lots of them coming at you!

Day 1 Friday – Chicago

We drove to my in laws place in Terre Haute, IN on Friday and spent the night there.  That cut around 5-6 hours out of the drive itself.

On Saturday, we hit the road, with Atlanta, GA in mind as our next stop.

Day 2 Saturday – Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia

With some late night driving by my husband, we managed to get an hour past Atlanta, to a little town called Byron, where we spent the night.

Day 3 Sunday – Byron, GA

The hotel where we stayed had a cute little produce place next to it.  My sister and I wanted to try the famous Georgia peaches, while my kids really wanted to pick some strawberries from the long rows of bushes in the back.

Finally, after what seemed like forever, we arrived at our hotel in Tampa on Sunday night.

Day 4 Monday, Memorial Day – Tampa. 

Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa River Walk

I thought I could cram more pictures in this post without making it five pages long.

Oh, well.

Road trip 2015, Part 2.  Coming soon to a blog post near you.

I am done

Shit, it’s been a long week.

I recently completed a 48 hour school workathon, which is the only type of marathon you will ever find me participating in.

I can assure you, it was just as much of a bitch as the real thing.

Seriously, I think I’m applicable for the Guinness Book of World Records or something.

By the time I hit the last submit button, I was almost awash in tears of relief.

I am DONE DONE DONE with school for now.  And I am ready for a vacation.

That’s why The View Through the Window is going to Florida!

Our vacations are usually on the shorter side.  We take four day treks to a city within a few hours drive and get back home in just enough time to say mother eff, tomorrow’s Monday!

But this year we decided that a good vacation is a very important part of life.  Everyone needs to exit the traffic circle of work, school, home, repeat once in a while.

And what can be a better destination than the happiest place on earth?

Disney-funny-2

After that bitch school workathon, I needed to find a happy place.

I still have my concerns, though.  The drive from Chicago to Florida is around 18 hours long.  Add my kids to it and we might as well hire a donkey cart for our mode of transportation.

We’d probably get there just as fast.

Flying is completely out of the question.  I swore I would never board an airplane with my boys again after my last plane ride, one of the many highlights of which was my very concerned son, a first time flier, asking things like why there were so many cops at the airport, was something wrong with the plane, would it crash and would we all die?

Loud and clear enough for everyone on board to hear.  He apparently inherited my flying apprehensions.

This was me.

tumblr_m5pfxk0e4T1qbaj4uo1_250

Everyone knows you don’t say crash when you’re on a plane, especially if you’re a Muslim.  I couldn’t believe it, but most people just laughed when they heard him voice his concerns.

Me? I almost threw up all over my friendly fellow passenger from the stress, combined with plenty of air sickness.

I’d rather drive to and back from Florida ten times than go through that again.  Any humiliation we experience will be confined to the privacy of our van.

I tried to persuade my husband to postpone the trip until our kids were older, but he was adamant that they were at just the right age to experience the magic that is Disney.

And because he’s paying for everything, I felt I should agree.

And when I did, he was all

tumblr_n4kst6DpNz1tzt6bzo1_500

So we are going.  Suitcases have been packed, Florida relatives have been notified, and neighbors have been asked to keep an eye on our place for us until we return.

Wish us luck!  I am sure one hour into the drive I will want to shoot myself, but I believe in living in the moment.  And in miracles.

Last week was also my birthday.  I am now 31 26 years old.

Here are some birthday dinner pictures.

My mom refused to eat the restaurant’s prized steaks because “they bleed when you slice into them”, so she ordered that enormous vegetable tagine instead.

Here comes the best part about birthdays.

It pays to be old.

Hellos and goodbyes

Happy Mother’s Day!

IMG_0972

May has always been a very busy month in the View Through the Window household.

There is my mother in law’s birthday, my brother’s birthday, Mother’s Day, my birthday, and then Memorial Day, when we usually go somewhere for vacation.

The month has gotten even busier since I started school again.  It means the end of the semester.  In fact, all my work for my classes is due before midnight on May 15.

I wasn’t going to let schoolwork get in the way of my enjoying my weekend, though, especially since I had extra reason to celebrate.

Reason number one is that my brother and his wife had their first baby last week.  I am an aunt now for the second time!

And if that wasn’t awesome enough, my sister and her son, my four year old nephew, paid us a surprise visit all the way from Dallas, Texas.

IMG_0919

There he is hiding behind his cousin, Son 1.

Seeing my nephews was the best gift ever.  It made me so happy to be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with them.

We all went out to Chicago’s Chinatown on Sunday.

Chinatown has a little courtyard type of area, where there are statues of the animals of the Chinese zodiac.  They have a little description underneath for who falls under which year and what animal.

Mine would be the Rat.

Here are some of the other ones.

We had a late lunch…

and then toured some more.

Above are pictures of Chinatown’s candy store, where they lay out samples of stuff like dried plums, sesame seed candy, and sweet ginger.  They have the regular stuff like Airheads and Skittles as well.  I even saw some small samples of dried squid and cuttlefish.

I spent half my time in that store hollering at my boys, who had never been through the sampling process before.  They thought it meant they could take a bite of whatever it was they were sampling, spit it out if they didn’t like it, and put it right back in the little dish.

I spent the other half fishing out whatever they had put back and throwing it away.  🙄

It’s a miracle they didn’t kick us out of that store.

The weekend went by too quickly and before we knew it, it was time to drive my sister to O’Hare airport and say goodbye.

Son 2 and Fati joined me in dropping them off.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

I wouldn’t go there

It takes me a long time to get ready and out of the house.  I take long showers, do my hair three different ways before I’m finally happy with the way it looks, and try to put together an outfit that doesn’t hug back fat or show cleavage.

That last one can take an hour in itself.

So sometimes I’m just not up to the challenge.  Sometimes I just want to put on a comfy pair of pajamas, sprawl out onto the sofa, and enter into a coma of laziness.

Most people think that as a stay at home mom, I get plenty of rest during the weekdays and weekends should be reserved for chores and activities.

Eff that shit.

This describes it for me.

vacation

Here’s a snippet of a conversation my husband and I had recently :

Hey, want to go out to Menard’s or Home Depot?

– No.

I noticed the boys’ room needs new blinds.  We could take a look and see what they have.

– I don’t want to. 

Apparently he thinks “no” means I’m playing hard to get.

But we could get new blinds for the whole house.

– I don’t care.  I like our house ugly.

What if the neighbors happen to look in and see you naked?

Send them your condolences.

That last question was just plain silly.  We have nice neighbors who pay way too much attention to their lawn and don’t really seem interested in a game of peek a boob.

Anyway, this past weekend I had to be productive, whether I wanted to or not, because my in laws were visiting.

And we had a wedding to attend.

And it was my mother in law’s birthday.

And my brother’s birthday.

And I had homework.

So on Friday I slept for a grand total of four and a half hours and got my ass up at the crack of Sheema, get up, your alarm has been going off for an hour already!

I washed, scrubbed, mopped, cleaned, dusted, vacuumed, swept, and cooked.  Every time I thought I could rest, I remembered something else that had to be done.

By the afternoon, I was all

a-mess

Then it was time to take my tired ass to the wedding.  By that point, I just didn’t care anymore.  I could’ve been sporting facial hair the size of a cat’s whiskers and I still wouldn’t do anything about it.

I put on the same thing I wore to the last wedding I attended, stuck a bobby pin in my hair, popped in some earrings and off we went.

And because I am tired of typing, here are some pictures.

That was our Friday.

Saturday we went to Lincoln Park Zoo, which meant five hours of constant walking.  Yay.

The day ended with a fabulous meal at a Mediterranean restaurant called Fatoush.  If you’re ever in the Chicago area, I highly recommend it.

Another thing I’d recommend if you visit Chicago : Don’t visit Lincoln Park Zoo.

Sure, they have great views, but apparently they decided it meant that they can short change on the animals.

The exhibits are small, the walking areas are cramped, and traffic/parking is a nightmare.

Everything got done over the weekend except for my homework, which I have been putting off in favor of the funner stuff in life.

Not that blogging is still fun.  I’m actually getting pretty bored of not for profit writing.

But it beats having to deal with political science  and anthropology.

At this rate, I will fail and remain education/degree less for the rest of my life.

I will be old and fat and working at Walmart until I die.

Oh well.  At least I have a plan.

Awkward toy moments

The title says it all.

These are just some of the ways my kids have left their toys lying around our house.  And yard.

Some of these situations I couldn’t believe and some were just plain funny.

There is some plastic, Made in China kind of slightly risque humor here.  If you are easily offended and rush to label everything inappropriate or haram, then please proceed no further.

If you can see humor in simple, everyday situations, then please have a look.

Ready?  On we go.

What used to be some poor stuffed animal’s tail apparently turned into this guy’s….

I believe the picture is self explanatory.

That poor Elsa doll.  Someone is obviously out to get her.

And she has armpit hair.

IMG_0017

These two just happened to be…

IMG_0019

right across from each other.

IMG_0085

Never pick on someone that’s twice your width and can easily beat you up in the toy box.

IMG_0458

I believe he’s stuck.

These guys were my patients over the weekend.

A nearly decapitated Bowser and a penguin in desperate need of a nose job.

Apparently Mario and Luigi have turned homicidal since my Nintendo days.

Bowser and Penguin paid a visit to the stuffed animal hospital and I took them into the operating room,

where my pathetic patching skills met my even more pathetic sewing skills.

But they aren’t complaining.

I’m the only doctor covered by their insurance plan.

And they told their friends about me, too.  My fame has spread amongst injured toys and their owners.

I now have a waiting room.

IMG_0459

Snow is a four letter word

There are days when my brain works at a speed and efficiency that surprises even me.  On those days, I am charming and at my witty best.  I also manage to churn out draft after draft of the most fantastic blog posts, the sheer awesomeness of which would completely boggle your mind.

Then there are those times when I can’t even spell wow and only every so often is there an occasional blip in the flat line that is my brain activity.  All those fantastic blog posts are trashed and I wonder what I was high on that I ever considered them good enough to publish.

This blog post has been stuck somewhere between those two states of mind.

As I sit and type, son 1 and son 2 are jumping off and climbing back on my king size bed.  They’re chasing each other and laughing like maniacs.  There’s a lot of noise and hyper activity.

Occasionally I have to move my laptop out of the way for fear of one of them crashing down on it.

Son 2 just sat on son 1’s face and farted.  I was going to say something, but before I could, son 1 laughed hysterically and shouted Mine will be worse than that!

The joys of being the only female of the house.

My sons think women don’t have gas because they’ve never heard me share it before.

After a week’s worth of monkeying around, picking up of toys, fighting, shoving, crying, refereeing, complaining of utter boredom, and trying to keep from losing my sanity, Son 1 had his first full day of school, post spring break, last Monday.

Back when I was a student, spring break actually started in Spring.  

The icing on the cake was the surprise snowstorm we got on the first day off.  We woke up to five inches of the white stuff on the ground and temperatures low enough to make sure it stayed there.  For the entire week.

The snow meant no chasing the chubby little bunnies in the backyard, no swinging or sliding on the play set, and no digging tunnels in the freshly exposed dirt to see if you could get to China without paying for expensive airfare.

So with the situation as it was, the kids were plenty bored.  PLENTY bored.

Which led to my husband buying them a brand new way to have some fun.

I have a strong feeling it was more for him than the kids.

The game system brought excitement and even more fighting, this time for who would get use of the fancy new controller.

Look, they stuck a little TV in it.

IMG_0365

It’s been almost two weeks since then and I’m still waiting for my turn.  😡

Times sure have changed.  I grew up in a house with four siblings.  If one of us ever complained about something as frivolous as being bored, we didn’t get toys.  We got lectures.  And not even your typical lectures.

Our lectures consisted of stuff like how we were the lucky ones, how kids in the old country would be happy to trade places with us, and that we were bringing shame on our entire family, plus a few generations back of ancestors, by not making the most of our time off and doing math problems.

No one does guilt like Indian mothers do. 😐

I tried the guilt thing with my kids once.  Just once.  I was sick and probably also slightly off my hinges for even thinking any of my parents approaches to discipline would ever work.

I said to my boys Can you please keep it down?  I’m not feeling so well.  I could use some peace and quiet.

They didn’t care.

Frustrated, I said If I had daughters, they would care that their mommy was sick.  They would tell me to rest and make me breakfast in bed!  

My boys looked a little shocked at that and traded nervous looks with each other.

I thought Jackpot!, but no.  

No jackpot.

Maybe you’ll have better luck next time was the apathetic reply.

I was almost desperate enough to start pretend crying next, because every man I know, from my 61 year old father to my 4 year old son, gets nervous and fidgety when the water works start.

But I didn’t.  I just lay down on the sofa, propped my feet up, and let the two of them play a game of who can jump over Mommy without crash landing on top of her.

Not my boys, that’s who.

Anyway, all that came to an end the moment Son 1 got on that giant yellow bus and I waved to him from our doorway.  I told him to be sure and thank his teacher for me as soon as he saw her on the first day back.

What for? he asked.

I replied Don’t worry.  She’ll know.  

I’ll bet he had to wait in line.

 

 

Say hello to my left foot

Spring is officially here!

*Doing a little happy dance*

School and homework are keeping me busy.  The weather is getting better and we find ourselves spending a lot more time outdoors.

I haven’t had the chance to read any of my favorite blogs or devote much time to my own.  😦

Today’s blog post is another click a pic one.  Over the weekend we visited my sister on/near the campus of the University of Illinois in Chicago.  One of the highlights of the trip to Fati aunty’s are the fantastic views you get to see along the way and while there.  Chicago is, after all, famous for its architecture and skyline.

I lived in Queens, New York before moving to Chicago when I was fourteen.  This city has its pros and cons, but New York will always be close to my heart.

If my husband were awake, he’d read this over my shoulder and say So you enjoyed the smell of sewer water and being mugged twice a week? and I would tell him to take his country ass back to Kentucky.

We’re soul mates. ❤

Seeing the Chicago skyline while cruising down one of the city’s many highways is awesome.  Being in the city always gives me a thrill.  Must be the New Yorker in me.

The visit to Fati’s turned into a sleepover for me and my kids because of how late it had gotten.

It was so lovely to see this when I happened to wake up around dawn.  It felt like the whole world was waking up with me.

At night from the balcony.

After seeing all these beautiful photos I have come to one major conclusion : I need a better camera.

I can’t wait for my classes to be over.  School is a pain in the ass.  I wanted to elaborate on the name of my blog and explain why I am so in love with views, but that will have to wait for another post.  I have a mountain of backlog of homework to do. 😥