Eating Out of the Pan: Motherhood and a Thank You to My Mom

What do I call fulltime motherhood? Eating straight out of the pan, getting excited over a movie they’ll be showing on the Disney Junior channel, forgetting to brush my teeth until three o’clock, singing and dancing to cartoon songs that I probably know better than my kid, being in pajamas all day until the few minutes before Mauricio gets home and I frantically change into something less pathetic, answering the questions that Dora or Wally Kazam ask. That’s my personal definition for fulltime motherhood.

In lieu of sappy Mother’s Day proclamations of effortless Thank You, Mom’s or the overused I wouldn’t be here without your love, I have come out with this blunt and sarcastic blog post form my perspective of motherhood. Leave your Thank You’s and appreciative To all the hardworking moms on Facebook posts at home. I’m not your mom, I don’t need your show of appreciation. It means nothing to me.

Now that the semester is over the real work has begun. I have to make sure this kid doesn’t starve, doesn’t burn himself, doesn’t hit his head too hard, doesn’t bleed out, and doesn’t consume anything poisonous. I could add a bunch of different things, but that could take a while. Right now it’s noon. T-7 hours until Mauricio gets home and I’m partially off the clock. Ha! I wish. Once Mauricio is home it’s dinner duty! That’s swell. I freakin’ love cooking after a long day of running after a small human! No, I don’t.

If you have this whole fulltime motherhood thing down smoothly and you manage to fix your hair and wash your face before one o’clock rolls around, then cheers to you. I love my kid and I am more than capable of caring for him and teaching him various things throughout the day, but it’s just tiring. Sometimes I can even squeeze in some chalk drawing outside if I’m not too cranky. Everyone knows that parenting is a thankless job until one day your kid turns eighteen and hopefully realizes the sacrifices and time you’ve put into raising him or her before he or she goes off to college, leaving you with tuition payments, a couple of loans, and/or partial apartment payments. (Sorry, Mom & Dad. I’m almost out, but thanks for the support!) Again, if you can manage a kid, or several, without screaming your head off, then hip hip hooray for you. Even if you need to scream a couple of times or lock yourself in the closet you still get a pat on the back. It’s frustrating and as long as you’re not driving your SUV full of kids into a ravine, then you’re doing a good job. Cheers to you, Mom.

The underwear slash potty training thing is still a no-go. Sebastian ended up bawling and yanking at his Hulk undies. But I guess that’s better than having to mop the floor every other hour. I’m still too wound up after the 10+ papers from this Spring semester, so spraying homemade cleaning solution on the floors all day is the last thing I want to do.

I guess this is the part of the post where I begin to thank my own mom for her love and support.

Thank you, mom, for all of the frustration and moments of realization where you figured your life wouldn’t develop past being a stay-at-home mom with a knack for paper crafts, yet managed to raise three kids and a grandson despite all the strife. Your hard work has not gone unrecognized. It’s only now as an adult that I realize what you must have gone through and I appreciate you all the more for it because you never drove me into a ravine no matter how much of a pain in the ass I was. I think Natalia, Raulito, and I are past that phase of buying#1 Mom necklaces, but I don’t think you need more of those anyway. You should already know you’re a kick-ass mom. We know it. I don’t know any other mom, other than you and myself, that is willing to start a fight over some bullshit the school district has put their kids through. So thank you for teaching me to not to settle for the bullshit and for letting me bother you with multiple phone calls to figure out how to cook some meals. Also, for letting me confide in you secrets that any other mom would probably hang me for. Thanks, I love you.

Boy Band Culture: Ignoring the Delusions of Love and Just Dancing

To commemorate both the music of my early youth and the beginning of the month of May (yes, I’m talking about that Justin Timberlake meme) this post will be all about boy bands and their cultural significance.

*NOTE: the feminist in me is going to have to step out for this because I’m about to get really shallow, profess my love for Lance Bass (before he came out), and let the lyrics of popular boy band songs hyper-sexualize my view of love/relationships and skew my perception of happiness (as a kid).

My mom’s boy band was Menudo (same thing that happened to me with Lance Bass happened to my mom with Ricky Martin). My older cousin’s boy band was New Kids On the Block. My younger sister’s boy bands are way too many to name, from One Direction to a plethora of other teeny bopper, baby-face-but-really-21-year-old boy groups. The field has grown immensely. My boy bands were limited to… Let me count… Three, or four if you want to count 98 Degrees, but come on, did you really listen to any other song other than the one that came out in Mulan? Their stuff, thinking back to the time they were popular and the nature of their lyrics, were probably for early to mid 80’s teen girls going through their formative years in the 90’s. I could be totally wrong, but this is simply from my prospective, growing up with a bulky black stereo and compact discs of artists that my dad bought me.

I’m sorry, Dad, for drawing all over that Britney Spears CD, giving her missing teeth and glasses.

I grew up, like a number of you who are around my age, with boy bands like The Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and 5ive. Is that last one too obscure? Watch the Disney TV movie Smart House again. That should freshen up your memory. I can still sit in my room and just listen to these songs for hours. Anyone else a fan of nostalgic YouTube videos dedicated to 90’s music and tacky metallic tops and lipsticks? You start with some old pop-punk from the early to mid 2000’s and end up watching “It’s Gonna Be Me” and doing your best impressions of JT’s facial expressions, lip syncing “me” to look more like “may”  and “babe” more like “bae” (is that where it came from?) and dancing like a puppet. (I’ll most likely focus more on NSYNC for the duration of this post). It’s catchy. The whole boy band culture is catchy!

Thanks Simon Cowell, for both filling my adolescence with delusions of love and making the first couple of season of American Idol entertaining. It’s seriously time to end that show.

As an adult with a penchant for arguing about women’s roles, expectations, yada yada there is no way I could actually like this type of music. Women are essentially made out to be vindictive bitches that aren’t capable of appreciating our male counterparts, or we are too clingy (uh, hello, “Bye Bye Bye”). Oh, and worst of all is when the guys claim to be our saviors, saving us in a sexual context, shitty job, crappy relationship, whatever else us “damsels” can’t manage on our own. Boy Bands thrive off of this Damsel in Distress -slash- Knight in Shining Armor complex. We buy into this money scheme! Plus, because these are generally attractive young men, they have an agency that young women don’t. “I Want It That Way” and I can ask for it that way because I have a baby-face and two platinum albums and all you have is raging hormones and a skewed view of love.

However, let’s not turn down that road. It has multiple layers that can’t be explored thoroughly in a blog post. This topic could be turned into a dissertation!

Boy bands made life as a little girl so dreamy. I was way too young at 8-years-old to have a firm understanding of relationships and sex, but hey, it was lovey-dovey and it was easy to dance to in the privacy of my own room. I fell in love with Lance Bass and Nick Carter and hated Britney Spears’ guts. (FYI: I’m LGBTQ-friendly. If Lance Bass is Gay and happy, then good for him! And congrats on the babies, Ricky Martin.) My childhood is defined by – other than digging up holes and making mud pies in my parents’ rental house in Arizona – a big, black, WalMart-bought stereo and a stack of CD’s ranging from NSYNC to Green Day to Good Charlotte to Def Leppard’s Greatest Hits borrowed from my dad’s collection. This goes beyond boy bands. Music in general is important. I liked Cher when I was a third grader at Greenway Elementary.

But back on the topic of boy bands, this music even offers an escape from life as an adult. Do I want to be worried about the housing market and electricity bills all the time? No, so play me some boy band bliss! And as far as life goes, “Cry Me a River!” or I’ll go cry a river once the 90’s music streaming ends and deadlines slap me in the face again.

The funny side of this is that every boy band ages. Harry Styles is gonna not be cute later on, unless he ages well like JT. Sorry, Sis. Some members might not fall completely off the map. Hey, I see you cooking up a storm on The Food Network, Joey Fatone! And eventually we all get over our pre-teen hang-ups. JC Chasez- who? That was a joke.

Let the feminist in you step out and allow these misogynistic love songs wash over you. Come on, everyone, shoulder bump with me and enunciate those vowels with a dramatic neck roll!

*NOTE: this post is subject to future editing. I’ve barely skimmed the topic, so I would definitely like to add to this post.

Real Estate Heartbreak

My parents warned us. It was the first piece of advice they gave us: don’t get attached to a house. It’s like a bitter break up.

There’s a lovely little house that sits right in from of a canal in the Woodlawn area here in San Antonio. Grey, white, and with some black accents. How much more perfect can it get? A lot more. It has three bedrooms, newly carpeted, gorgeous dark wooden floors. In our minds, this home was made for us. And so for a week or so here we were with this delusion that this house was ours. We were making plans in our heads, thinking of improvements and the lawn work, a little office in the front bedroom. I sense Lowe’s weekends ahead. But then came the punch to the gut.

On our way to Rod and Alyssa’s house we decided to pay our home a visit (at ten o’clock at night). We exited Woodlawn and drove all the way down Mistletoe to the spot in front of the canal where the house sits. We also figured this would be a good opportunity to see what the neighborhood is like at night. To our relief everyone turns on their porch lights and there is a streetlight directly in front of the house. We parked the car in front of the house like total creeps. Of course here come the stares of admiration and sighs hmmm at the thought of living in this lovely house. However, something seemed off. I pointed out that the “For Sale” sign was no longer staked into the dead grass of the front yard. I frantically pulled out my phone and checked the Zillow application on my phone. And yes, we’re aware that Zillow isn’t completely reliable, but we use it as a supplemental method of house hunting when the realtor takes too long to get back to us. “Not for sale,” said the Zillow page for the house on Mistletoe, the perfect Hernandez-Frausto home. The heart (or favorite symbol) on the house’s page went from a bright red to a dying grey, dying like our hearts. Then came the gasp. We’re too late.

Mauricio is pissed with the realtor. My mom says to find a new realtor if we see that she continues to push us back. Oh, I didn’t tell you guys that she cancelled our appointment for house showings yesterday. Well, that happened. We could be bitter about it just like a bad break up: Well, I hope you drown in the next flood, you dumb and worthless house! But I guess it’s time to jump back into the game, the house-dating pond.

The only positive thing that I can pull from this experience is the chance to take other prospective homes seriously. We were comparing every other house we saw to this one on Mistletoe. In other words, we were so set on this Mistletoe house that we weren’t even giving other houses the time of day! The house hunting continues. We watch HGTV a lot and I tell Mau how much I wish we could appear on shows like Property Brothers or House Hunters, but we laugh because apparently our standards are way too low compared to the couples that appear on those shows.

To happy and not-too-lengthy house hunting!