¡Soy una gringa gigante!

Maybe it was the rose bouquet I wore on my head they were staring at. Too much?

¡ Mira, miraaaaa! ¡ Hay una gringa con pies gigantes!

I whipped my head around to see who she was yelling at, my feet still squished into the tiny pedicure tub. She’d flung the salon door open, and seemed to be proclaiming this news to the entire dusty Guayaquil street. Did she know I spoke Spanish? Did she think I might be offended that she’d just announced to the neighborhood:

Look, looooook! There’s a white lady with giant feet!

Well, I had to give her credit. She was right. My size twelves were probably the biggest feet to ever step inside her little shop. And at only eight dollars for a mani/pedi (not each, together), I wasn’t about to complain about her lack of tact. I would gladly be her freak show. Her exciting story to tell her children when she returned home. Her fond memory of the time the blond, white, freakishly tall American lady asked to have her ginormous toenails painted dark lavender and left a large tip.

For the first time in my life, I stood out. And not just for my above-average height and my “giant” feet. My hair color was different. My eye color was different. My skin color was different. From the moment we landed in Ecuador, I felt like a pale, awkward skyscraper. I could feel caramel-colored eyes staring up at me wherever we went. I frequently overheard comments about the “gringa gigante.” Yep. That was me. The giant white woman.

And while I didn’t embrace this term at the time, there was another word I heard that completely changed how I viewed myself. Exotic. Who, me? Pale, nondescript, me? Wasn’t that term reserved for raven-haired beauties with honey-colored skin? Certainly not for a “pretty unfly for a white girl” like me. I was the opposite of exotic. I was white bread in a sea of toasted muti-grain. I’d fought against my “Powder-esque” skin color through my adolescent and college years. Lotions, potions, creams, UV rays pounding directly onto my epidermis. I was “pasty,” as one muscle-bound YMCA worker called me when filling out a membership form. Thanks, dude.

But here, in a place where I was the minority, my differences were celebrated. I learned to embrace my lack of color, and just rock the pale. I gave up my aversion to heels, and wore whatever gosh-darn shoes I wanted, whether they had a four-inch lift or not. If I ever return to beautiful Ecuador, I will gladly stand on the steps of the Mitad del Mundo and proclaim, “Soy una gringa gigante!” To which, someone will probably shout back, “Get down you crazy white lady!”

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Tu-tus and Toot-toots (Letting it All Go at Dance Class)

She can let it all go in dance class and she doesn’t give a rip.

She sashayed. She plied. She jumped. She somersaulted. She wiggled. She giggled. She ran around the room with reckless abandon.

And then…she ripped one.

My sweet-faced, curly-haired three-year-old angel let it all go in dance class, literally. And not while the music was blaring. Not while their little bodies were in motion. She waited until prayer circle. When it was quiet. Eerily quiet. Those last few seconds after the instructor asks, “Any last prayer requests?”

Bwooooop!! “Hee-hee-hee I tooted.” Yep. That was my daughter. Our tiny dancer is a big tooter.

The other girls giggled, too young to know (or care), that public flatulence isn’t socially acceptable. A few of the older girls looked at her with what seemed to be…admiration.  “Wow, that chick just totally farted and didn’t even care! OMG she laughed about it!” (Or whatever tween girls talk like nowadays.)

And while I have to admit I didn’t puff my chest and proclaim, “That’s my girl!,” I wasn’t embarrassed either. After all, gas happens. I’ll just have to teach her how to be a little more discreet and say, “Excuse me,” or better yet, “It was the dog.”

You see, I was a little hesitant to enroll her in dance class. And not just because of the cost. I worried about the teeny outfits, the sexualized moves, the over-emphasis on appearance and other negative stereotypes of the “dance culture.” But I’m comfortable with the teacher, and the only other student is my daughter’s best friend, so I decided to give it a shot. And she loves it. Absolutely loves it. We’ve only been to two classes, and I can already tell she’s really enjoying herself.

That’s what matters most to me. That she learns to enjoy moving her body and gains confidence by learning to perform. I just want her to have fun. I want her to enjoy being young before the weight of the world lands on her shoulders. For now, she’s carefree. She can let it all go in dance class and not give a rip.

The #1 Thing Moms Fantasize About Doing In Bed

It’s late at night. The kids are in bed. The house is blissfully quiet. I slip into something comfortable. I sip a glass of wine. With lights down low and my eyes heavy with desire, I head into the bedroom with one thing in mind. My husband awaits me. We’ve both been anticipating this moment all day. I feel no shame about what I’m about to do. My body gives in to my deepest desires…as I unabashedly smoosh my face into my pillow and sink into an open-mouth drooling slumber.

Not long ago, I came across an article on Babble about things moms do at the end of the day to unwind. One of the more common pastimes? Porn. Are you kidding me?! Who are these moms? Aren’t they exhausted? Who has the time or energy for this? And don’t they know the #1 things moms fantasize about doing in bed?

Sleep.

Just the words sends shivers down my spine. Throughout the day, it’s the #1 thing I fantasize about. (That, and a maid, personal chef and using the restroom in privacy.) My muscles ache. My head is numb. I know I’m not the only one. I’ve been so deprived for so long. I like it. I love it. I want some more of it. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep…

And to indulge you fellow moms who share the same daydreams about night things that I do, here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Smoosh your face into these…(from downlite.com)

Low lighting is lovely…(from tripadvisor.com)

Yep, that’s about what I look like…(from icanhazheeseburger.com)

Yes, please.

One thing leads to another…

I can SO relate to this. (from cafemom.com)

Playing…leads to…stealing…leads to…screaming…leads to…pushing…leads to… refereeing…leads to…hugging…leads to…biting…leads to…crying…leads to…scolding…leads to…more crying…leads to…feeding…leads to…flinging…leads to…cleaning…leads to…bathing…leads to…splashing…leads to…whining…leads to…more crying…leads to…Googling “at-home vasectomy.”

If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry, so might as well find the funny!

And God said, “Let there be laughter.”

It seems innocent enough on the outside…

I have to admit I’ve been a little, well, anxious lately. Try as I may to control it on my own, it’s been tough. After all, exposing your heart and soul to the elements can be a little stressful. Throw a three-year-old and one-year-old on top of that, and the other day-to-day tasks that still have to get done (laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, laundry, and more laundry) and it’s a little heavy on my chest.So, it was a relief last night to have a good, hearty laugh. No anxiety medication comes close to what laughter (and a good massage) can cure. Now, it probably wouldn’t have been funny if the age of my sense of humor matched my biological age. You see, I laugh at things an eight-year-old boy would laugh at. But, maybe you’ll find it funny, too. (And if you’re an eight-year-old boy reading this blog, I’m a little concerned about you.) I sincerely believe that God wants us to laugh. Why else would he have given us the gift of flatulence? C’mon. Think about it.Before bed, Anna and I worked through some of her Scholastic Pre-K Reading and Math activity book. Last night’s lesson was on patterns. She breezed through the first page: circle, square, circle, square, circle, “SQUARE!,” she would yell.

When I got the second page, my eyes popped out a little after seeing the next pattern, and I started giggling uncontrollably. “Mommy, what’s so funny?,” Anna demanded. “Oh, nothing honey, nevermind.” She wouldn’t take that for an answer, “MOMMY, what’s so FUNNY!?”

(My internal dialogue is screaming, “It says NUT SACK NUT SACK!!! BWAHAHAHAHA!! Someone at Scholastic thought he was SO funny and snuck this in here. Am I the only one who sees this?!)

Anna has been self-conscious lately, and thinks that when people are laughing, they’re laughing AT her. So, I had to put her mind at ease. “Well, mommy just thinks this picture is funny.” Anna stared at the page, and gave me a quizzical look. “Why is it funny? It just says acorn, bag, acorn, bag. What’s so funny about that?”

See for yourself (please tell me I’m not alone here):

Seriously, what were they thinking? :-)