Monday, December 22, 2008

He's Five Now

So I have been posting more and more sparingly, and missed many opportunities to discuss the many crazy things going on in the lives of the boys. The eldest boy is FIVE now! He doesn't let us forget it these days.

"I'm five now so I wash my own icky hands before I suck my thumb" -because apparently only immature four year olds suck their dirty thumb. Cleaning it makes you mature.

"I can brush my own teeth because I'm five"- not really. He forgets all the time, and maybe manages to brush two teeth.

"I'm five now so I can pour my own drink"-only if there is only 1/25 of the drink left in the bottle.

"I'm five now so....." You get the picture.


Big brother has been attending a co-op preschool that he loves, but is completely draining his parents. The requirements for the co-op seem a bit obscene if you ask me: buy $250 of scrip every month, work one day a week in the classroom, complete six hours of fundraising, work 6 hours on a workday, perform the work for your committee, attend a monthly meeting at night for 3 hours and another 3 hours in the daytime, design a yearbook page and ... well, who knows what they will come up with next.

It's a full time job most of the time, which would be fine if I didn't already have a full time job I actually got paid for. His daddy does most of the work since he is only working half-time most days, and he loves going to preschool with the older boy, but the time commitment is a bit much. What happened to just dropping the kids off and picking them up when they're done? They get some playtime in, and you get a much needed break. I am all for being an integral part of their education, but sometimes, I wouldn't mind just handing that job over to someone else completely. Maybe if we just had to work in the classroom without having to do any of the outside classroom work, or vice-versa. I could swing that.

The Bee may not be attending this preschool next year-SAD. We both have to work full-time if we ever want to afford to buy a house here. That leaves us once again with finding another preschool we love, and another elementary school suitable for the older boy and his hyper needs. Some stability would be nice about now. I am sick of the trade-offs.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I have been more than just a little busy this year. My family grew from 4 to 94, and more if you include the family of teachers I work with to educate 90+ kids. It's crazzzzy!

I fill many roles, and teach many lessons, and at the end of the work day, I must come home throw my crap on the dining room table and go outside and play with my kids and my neighbors kids. Then there is dinner--the cooking, the cleaning, and the forcing it down two little kids throats. Soon after there is bath time, and bed time followed by my nightwatchman job taking kiddies to the bathroom, tucking them into the foot of my bed or under my neck where the littlest yanks and tugs at my hair. Later, I get up, get ready for work, but not before making two cups of chocolate milk and pouring their cereal. I must then start my day all over again, and on a good day, I will be home by four, and not have to grade any papers or plan any lessons in the wee hours of the night before my nightwatchman job begins.

I still love teaching, and I love being with my kids, but this schedule is wearing me out. Thank god for the holidays!


Dear President Elect Obama,

Do you think it would be possible to throw a national holiday of some kind between Labor Day and Veteran's Day, because really, I could have used a break around mid October?

A loyal servant of the state public schools

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In the Corners of Their Minds

Work is kicking my butt.I must have blocked out the stress that comes with teaching. The stress that comes with working insane hours and trying to take care of your family at the same time.

It's funny how you forget how bad it all really is. I can do without all the the deadlines, planning, the grading, and "high maintenance" parents you can never please. You forget how easily you can be discriminated against because you look too young, too nervous, too brown. Because contrary to what my 6th graders may think, racism, ageism, and all those other wonderful factors you can get discriminated for are alive and well.

It may not always be apparent. It appears in many forms masking itself in new euphemistic phrases. It lurks on the tips of peoples' tongues, in the back corners of peoples' minds. It hides in between lines of dialogue and print. It's there tainted by experiences and stereotypes that refuse to die.

As long as there is at least one person on this earth who is a carrier of racist attitudes, it will be replicated, multiplied, and perpetuated.It may take on a new form much like a virus mutates and changes to avoid detection, but it will still be there sitting in the remote mental corners of its host to be further replicated and spread. A virus without a known cure. A virus that still has the ability to disorient me, make feel weak and my stomach turn. An incapacitation I could do without, and the anger that proceeds because I let it take hold of me.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Random Thoughts...sort of

I love my children.

I love to cradle them in my arms as they sleep, press them against my chest, and kiss their downy, soft cheeks.

This IS happiness.

It's funny how one can be happy and sad at the same time.

This is something I've tried to explain to my son to no avail.

Just because mommy is angry doesn't mean that mommy has stopped loving you.

One emotion does not cancel out another.

He will learn in time.

I am tired.

Tending to my children at night further tires me.

Nonetheless, I feel honored to be the one comforting them at night.

I wish for many more.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Want Not

Dammit. I found a job. I was looking, but really trying not to find one, because really, all I want to do is stay home with my wee ones. Too bad my bank account was screaming at me to filler up. We have been so out of money these days, I have been getting my shopping fix during these depressing times by sliding my pretend credit card in my kid's pretend cash register that also doubles as a calculator and has pretend green money. I just stop over to their pretend bookstore and request some cash back, and soon I am off with a few 20's in my pocket buying some books. Yet, even in this store I can afford very little since my son prices his books at such exorbitant prices. If all else fails, I just charge it. Slide. Beep. Aaaah.

My new job will require much of my attention, since I will venture once again to teach 6th graders, but this time in a middle school setting- something I've avoided at all costs since I started teaching. Luckily, it is in a really good district with high performing students, but in the end it really doesn't matter. A 6th grader is a 6th grader is a 6th grader. At least by 6th grade, they have gotten over the initial shock from their sudden increase in hormones. If anybody thinks 6th graders are difficult, they should really try teaching 5th grade. They are really at their best the first eight years at about 3rd and 4th grade.

I love teaching, and I am excited to have my own classroom once again, but I am not looking forward to being away from my kids for most of the day. On the plus side, working away from them can have the bonus effect of making me into a better mother. Maybe, it's just because I miss them. Maybe it's that I finally have time to talk to other adults- sort of. Maybe, it's the guilt of being away, or maybe it's just that I have more money in my pocket. I will just have to look forward to Labor Day, Thanksgiving Break, Holiday Break, Winter Break (and no, this is not the same as the previous one, this happens in February), Spring Break, etc. to spend time with them ALL most of the day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

No Clothing Required

The boys have been wrestling these days - for entertainment purposes only of course. The Bee will use the full power of his weight to overtake the older boy and boys love to rough in tumble. I am just glad they're using their abundant energy to wear each other out instead of me.

For those of you who want to know more about the history of wrestling or just want to see a painting of some naked dudes wrestling in the 1600's click here. Don't worry. It's just art and it's free for your viewing on Wikipedia.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh What a Wonderful Life this Is

So now I am down to about two posts a month. I'm surprised I've been able to keep it up this long. There are several posts I have going in my head. Can you read my mind? They're great.

For those who lack telepathic abilities, I plan to post some pics of Big Brother and the Bee soon. They have been entertaining us with their grappling techniques in a more peaceable form of wrestling. They have been wrestling for the last few months, or since the Bee was 1 1/2 years old and this little one does not hold back. The Bee is not afraid to use his weight as leverage. It has proven to be quite entertaining for those of us who need a break from mundane household chores, job searching and interviewing, and taking clear credential courses.

I have been working on several graduate courses through UC San Diego this summer to clear my credential, and I am in the midst of my last one, Mainstreaming the Special Child. The reading isn't particularly interesting. I have to read over 100 pages while answering study questions, and while attempting to do all those other things that keep a mom of two children busy, so I end up doing most of my reading between the hours of 12 am and 2 am. I'd skip the reading, but our professor makes sure to quiz us at the end of each reading assignment on a minutia of details- That Bastard! As usual, I get the most out of our class discussions and teacher sharing. It still amazes me that there are some places/people in this country who still don't believe in the benefits of inclusion.

Once this class is over, I need to focus my attention on finding a teaching gig because money is tight and I need to feel like I am not taking these course in vain. Sure I can use my newly acquired knowledge of the many behavior changing techniques I learned from taking this class on my own children, but right now I am determined to make those dam time-outs work and I foresee a long struggle ahead. The elder boy decides its more fun to have me chase him back and forth into the room, rather than to sit in his time-out spot. Do you think Super Nanny would object to having me crazy glue his butt to the chair?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Mixed Emotions

Really. I never wanted to be mediocre. Life just lead me this way. I always thought I just might have escaped my family's dramatic style of living, and actually do or become someone important. In my family, there is always someone dead, or dying, or pregnant, or forsaken, or in some kind of doomed relationship going nowhere, or... you know, imitating another Mexican soap opera you might see on tv. There are points in my life where I wondered if these Mexican soap opera's emulate real life or whether we emulate the soap operas.

Maybe, my family and other Latin families just have a flare for the dramatic. My mom often begins conversations with "Que crees?" which translated exactly means what do you believe or think, which really means you won't believe what is going on now. It is usually followed by a deep breath from her and a sudden loss of air by me. This of course, is never a real huge clue on the gravity of the situation she is about to explain. Sometimes, it means someone is newly pregnant, or received some unfortunate medical news, or someone lost something, and on a few occasions, it means that someone has actually had some fortune come there way: a new house, new job, a new car. If we are having a run of these conversations, which is usually the norm for our family, she will begin the conversations with "Y ahora que crees?", "and now guess what". Is my family doomed to be miserable? Is it a string of unfortunate luck, poor decisions, or a combination of both? Is it a case of the blind leading the blind? Boredom, maybe?

This family I speak of, this family I was born in is made up of two uncles, five aunts, and my mom. All aunts and uncles, and including my mom, are all diabetic. I have had one aunt and one uncle die of complications from diabetes, and another aunt burn to death at age seven when her dress caught fire while attempting to cook. Her school had sent her home early for bad behavior. My grandmother lost many other uncles and aunts I never knew as babies from pnemonia and other childhood illnesses- my grandmother, the one who married an already married man without her knowing. Something she didn't discover until after her fifth child with this man. A man rumored to have blue eyes, fair skin, and a broad noses just like my boys.

I hope so much more for my boys than I have accomplished. I hope they can escape this inexplicable tether of doom I feel like I have to my family. When I met my husband, I thought grabbing a hold of his family, and its normalcy would help me break free, but its force at times feels much too strong. For someone who has never been in the places I have been growing up, my writing this now may seem like one huge pity party and maybe it is, but if you have been one of the unfortunates, you will know what I speak of. It is much easier to stay on top, than it is to make your way up. I didn't get very far up, but I hope my children will someday be able to.

I have been so much more fortunate than my own mother. I have married a good man who is not an alcoholic, who has aspirations for great things, who treats me like an equal, and is there to help me - who loves me and tells me so. I have the education she never got, but always wanted. I have married into a family she always wished she'd had, but never did. She reminds me of this during my many pity party sessions with her. I realize now, that to her, I am progress. I may not be on top, but I am well on my way there.

Hopefully, my children will reach the summit- way up above the clouds letting go of the tether of doom while keeping hold to the enormous tether of love I also feel I have to my family. The love that has bound our family through space and time. A love that is still so real, and huge, and palpable so many hundreds of miles away. If nothing else, I can say that I have been well loved, and I hope that I have been successful in my repayment of this love to my children, my husband, my mother, my father, and the rest of my family and friends. I guess after having written all this, maybe my glass is more full than I care to believe. In there lies the power of writing, if only to be heard by myself- a stream of thoughts that began in one place and ended in another.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I wake up everyday, but everyday seems like the same day. One day end to end. No real clear cut lines- just one LONG day. It feels too much like time is slipping away from me, and that I am letting it go. I am waiting. Not sure what for.

There has been so much loss. Everday we lose something. Some losses are greater than others. The loss of time. The loss of home. The loss of security. The loss of youth. The loss of our identities or jobs. The loss of loved ones. I lost my uncle this past weekend. I lost my aunt about two years ago- not really sure how long- and I lost my grandmother almost 20 years ago, but it all just feels like yesterday.

I relive the loss often- having difficulty letting go. With each loss, I was many states away lacking for some real closure. Maybe the wound is never meant to heal. Maybe the pain is meant to be taken with us on our journey to who knows where. I have a hard time accepting they are gone. It still feels like they are just far far away and I have been neglecting to visit them. Maybe its easier this way. The weight gets heavier each time, but maybe it is just the pull of the ties that bond us that keeps tugging at our soul. Maybe we are just forever anchored to our loved ones. Through life, death, time. Maybe it still feels like they are not gone, because they have never left. There is only so much my puny brain can understand, so little my eyes can see, but my soul can see, feel, hear something greater that my other senses cannot. It lacks interpretation. Someday. maybe.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Synopsis of 1700 Miles Traveled

3 days, two kids, one mini van, one truck, and three adults all stuck in a moving vehicle or nonsmoking but still smoked in motel room

A midnight swim in a pool and spa by fully clothed adults and naked children

A trip to a Mexican restaurant led to an immediate rush to a toilet that thankfully only needed one trip to the toilet for the situation to be remedied.

Previous trip to the bathroom lead to sore intestines, gas, and a hesitation to eat anything solid.

Miles and miles and miles of desert.

I've seen all the cactus I need to see, thank you.

Frequent rest stops for potty breaks led to having boy pee in an empty Gatorade bottle - fluid in, fluid out.

When older boy was not peeing in bottle, he was peeing on my leg as I tried to fly him over toilet seats cleaned only once a millennium.

There was much eating of fishies, Cheez-its, and Mexican food.

Lots and Lots of videos played over and over and over again - most notably Thomas and Stewart Little with a sprinkle of the Simpsons.

Occasional blood curdling screaming coming from the rear punctuated by kicking and flying objects.

Some swear words were spoken and threats delivered and not just by the adults.

According to the boy, I should be reported to the police for having him restrained in his seat for three days.

I can't blame him.

Overall, an okay trip considering the circumstances. We made it physically intact, if not mentally intact thanks to my mom. She apparently did much praying to many different angels, guardians, and virgins over newly bought candles so that we could make it to Cali safely.

Thanks mom. I'll miss you.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


My life is crazy right now. I am trying to take an online course through UCSD, pack, work, get our house ready to rent, try to get it rented, and still keep up with all the regular daily activities that keep me very busy when I am not busy moving.

Yet, it only takes a few pictures from all the natural disasters that have recently occurred in Asia to put my life into perspective. My kids are alive and at the moment safely sleeping in their beds. I look at them and I just can't fathom what all the mothers and fathers are going through who have recently lost their babies to the earthquakes or the cyclone.

I am angry that this has happened to them, and so very sad. I view the pictures wanting to reach in and help them, but right now I am constantly being blinded by my own troubles and daily life that seem so meaningless compared to theirs. I try to go on everyday remembering that there are people in Burma and China struggling to survive who are grieving the loss of their loved ones, home, and security.

They are in my thoughts and unconventional prayers. For it is during times like these that people seek religion for comfort and answers - a religion that may have long been forgotten by many, just as I have now. But it is during times like these that we will make an effort to piece what we do remember together and to make up what we can't in an effort to create some semblance of a religion. I have lost my religion many times, and have attempted to recover the shattered fragments of what it once was in times of distress. I hope the people in China and Burma can hold close to their faith and can find the strength to push forward during this nightmarish time.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Why the world turns

One sunny day last week, as we were walking home from the park, Big Brother looked up, pointed at all the "pretty" colors in the sky, and spewed forth an endless stream of questions.

BB: Look momma, the sun is setting
Me (huffing and puffing up the mini hill where our house sits): Yep.
BB (looking up at the sky): Why does the sun set?
Me: Because the Earth turns and the sun hides on the other side of the Earth.
BB: Why does the Earth turn?
Me (pausing for a moment trying desperately to think back to my Earth History class in college): I think it's because of the pull of the sun, but I'm really not sure.
BB (looking puzzled): How do we not fall off?
Me: Gravity is a force that makes us stick to Earth because Earth is enormous. It's shaped like a big ball - a sphere.
BB: So grabity keeps us stuck? What's inside the earth?
Me (Thinking I seriously didn't expect these kind of questions until at least 4th grade): Rocks, metals, dirt. The world is made up of several layers - the crust, mantle which is more of a lava-like substance, and a dense core.
BB: Can we go inside the Earth?
Me: Not very far. The Earth is so huge, we just don't have the technology to go inside the Earth.
BB: Can we leave the Earth and go into outerspace?
Me (trying to remember I am still walking on the street and should look out for cars): Yes, but we can't go too far. We need to use powerful spaceships or rockets to break from gravity's force.
BB: Can we visit the sun?
Me: No we don't have the technology to go as far as the sun, and even if we did, we would start to melt before we got anywhere near it. It one big fiery star.
BB: What if we wear astronaut suits?
Me: It would still be too hot.
BB: Can we go to other planets like Saturn or Mars or Jupiter?
Me: (attempting to gather all our things including kids into the house): We can't go yet, but we have sent satellites and robots to Mars.
BB: Can you show me pictures of the Earth?

The conversation went on for another 30 minutes like that that led to a display of a ball revolving around a lamp, a visit to google earth, and further discussions of Earth years, seasons, and the Earth's orbit around the sun.

I'm sure some of the informations mentioned was incorrect like the part where I said the Earth spins because of the sun. What I should have said was that it's probably because of the cosmic explosion that formed Earth and hurled it into space, and other collisions that sent it spinning. In my defense, his question caught me off guard, and no one really knows exactly why the Earth spins. I'm sure he'll ask me about all these wonderful cosmic forces I know little about next time we see a sunset. I really thought he and I would be much older before he started asking me questions I couldn't answer. There are still so many questions I myself am searching for answers to - like how it is two tiny bodies can produce soooo much laundry.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pilot and CoPilot

This is what we call Pilot and Copilot over at my house. Once or twice a day, Big Brother will hop on the chair to do some fun PBS games and the Bee will climb on behind him and watch - waiting for Big Brother to let go of the steering wheel, and take over. This has been going on since the Bee was twelve months when he learned to climb on chairs, and soon after learned to climb on tables. This did not bode well for the computer since he likes to climb on the desk, too and sometimes attempts to throw the monitor down when it is not flying in the same direction brother takes it. Big Brother started using the computer at 3 and the Bee thinks, he's ready now. Me thinks this will not fly!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Intimacy Lost

It's been one WHOLE week since I nursed my baby. One whole week, since I lost that intimacy I had with him, and maybe a whole other lifetime before I will get to do it again. That is of course, if I am in the mood of believing in reincarnation, and I make my way back again as a woman. I wonder how I can miss something that I reluctantly did. Something that brought me so much physical pain and consumed every moment of my life for the first year. How nursing my babies hardly ever felt like that fantastic bonding experience people talk about. I wanted to quit nursing everyday, but when the time came to end it, I hesitated. Just one more month I'd say, and now as Bee turned 19 months, we both felt the time was right.

The night before I had set to end our nursing session, the Bee asked for his usual "night, night" nursing session, but as we sat down on the couch instead of the usual rocker and I proceeded to latch. He paused. He became distracted by the TV. He turned around, and refused to nurse after I attempted to relatch, and I didn't fight it. He fell asleep on my lap that night for the first time without having had his usual bedtime snack.

The next night he proceeded to ask for "night, night" again, and I proceeded to tell him we were all done. He responded by patting the boobs and saying "ah dun", and I shook my head to motion yes and repeated the all done. He lay his head on my shoulder and we rocked in our usual rocking chair until he fell asleep. I envisioned having a much more difficult time ending my nursing sessions with him with a lot of kicking and screaming, but it was just as easy as when I uttered those exact words of "all done" with Big Brother, and he rolled over and fell asleep after having missed his early morning session. Both boys gave it up with ease.

Maybe I would have been less sad if they had fought it. Maybe I would have been less sad, if they showed they wanted nothing else but to nurse, and maybe I would have obliged them for just one more month - one more month to have that intimacy only we shared, but maybe it was just time.

I have a new found freedom I am relishing. I have gotten my body back and it is just mine, but that same freedom scares me and saddens me, too. This little person no longer needs me in the same intensity he once did. I am no longer his only one, because what I now provide can be given by others. Yet, I am consoled by the fact that we were both ready. We were both ready to move on to a new phase in life, and that is much better than having it shoved in your face.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Nomading Life I Lead

I hate moving. In my lifetime I have lived in 20 different houses, in three different states, in six different cities, and two different time zones. I would like to say that I have also only moved 20 times, but that would be too simple, because between moving in and out of dorms, shacks, basements, government housing, my parent's many homes, and my in-laws, the number of time I've moved may be close to thirty. That basically equates to about a move a year, not that I lived in each place a year and then moved.

There were some places I have lived in for a year or two, others I lived in for only a month: 7 months, 3 months, and still others I wished I hadn't lived in for no more than a few hours. My longest has been five years. As a kid, I vowed that I would never move more than just a couple times. I would be in control of my life, and I would be wiser and more decisive than my mother who dragged me across the country on what often seemed like a whim. I was nothing more than a piece of luggage to her then.

Now that I am older and wiser and in control of my life, I have realized that there is only so much control we have. That so many of our choices and decisions are driven by circumstance, by chance, by our bank accounts, by our jobs, by the people we love, by changing attitudes and lifestyles, and by all other mysterious or not so mysterious forces we call life. Nothing is ever black and white, its all a very murky gray. This of course is not a realization I just happened upon today. I am not that naive, although I am one of those people who sometimes needs to learn things the hard way. I have also come to realize that I am not a decisive person and may never be, and I do realize that this has led to missed opportunities and wasted time.

We have gone back and forth on our most recent decision to move about a hundred times already, and every decision has a weighty number of pros and and its equally strong cons, so much so that each decision seems like the right one and the wrong one all at the same time -- a decision that can be easily swayed by our mood. We are at a point where we are trying to prioritize our mental list, but really we are just going to drive forward with our decision to move.

Oh, and do I loathe the whole moving process. The planning, the packing, the carrying of heavy stuff, the canceling of utilities, the renting of a moving truck, the renting of the house we now own, the fixing up the house we now own, the finding new schools, new friends, new tenants, new jobs, and so much more that would just add to an endless list of boring details if I continued on in this manner. But really, wasn't life much simpler when we were childless and out of college when all that needed to be moved could be fit in a small trunk of a Mazda Protege, and the only person that needed to be notified was our mother. Life is about making sacrifices, and we have decide to make the sacrifice of moving and losing our own home so that we can live in the same area code as our family - well, at least part of it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Conversations with Brain Rot

I feel guilty for not keeping up with my blog and writing more often, but it always seems like life gets in the way. I always want to wait to write when I know I will have time to finish writing a post, but those moments are few and far between. I am the kind of person who does not like to start something unless I can finish it. I get plenty of ideas for posts all the time, but I am usually lying in bed or busy doing something else. There are also plenty of funny things that spew out of Big Brother's mouth to write about, but I can never seem to remember them for too long. What makes it even harder to remember now is that he just doesn't say funny phrases anymore, but we can have whole conversations about his take on the world.

One short conversation revolved around the topic of leg hairs that I overheard him have with his dad in the shower while I was busy nursing the Bee. It went something like this.

Big Brother: "Daddy, what's all that fur on your legs?
The Dada: "It's hair. When boys grow older and become men, they grow hair on their legs."
Big Brother: " I don't want to become a man, I just want to stay a boy."
(I can't say I blame him.)

It continued on from there, but like I said, I can hardly remember these conversations unless I've had the opportunity to repeat them soon after with others.

One conversation I still remember from about a year ago when I also decided it was a good time to stop walking around the house naked looking for clothes after my showers, I discussed with big brother my lack of an accessory.

Big Brother: Mommy. You don't have a penis?
Me: No.
Big Brother: Why not?
Me: Because I don't need one. Only boys have a penis.
Big Brother: Daddy has a penis.
Me: Yes he does.
Big Brother: the Bee has a penis.
Me: Yep.
Big Brother: But you don't have a penis???? [giving me a very perplexed and puzzled look with a hint of worry followed by a very pensive pause]
Big Brother: Maybe you can borrow daddy's penis.
Me: [Laughter ensues] I don't really think daddy would like that.
Big brother eventually loses interest in this conversation and runs off with a puzzled look.

The only reason I even remember this last conversation is because I just had to call to tell everyone in my family about it. It was too funny to forget.

For now I will continue to blame my inability to remember things on my pregnancy brain.
Has it been too long from my last pregnancy to keep blaming my inefficient brain on that? Hey, if you can still have postpartum depression two years after you've had your last baby, I think I can blame my less than perfect ability to remember things on "pregnancy brain".

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Roses are...

I got flowers today for the first time in a LOOOOONG time. When my husband and I were first dating in high school he use to come over with a bouquet of flowers almost each and every time he'd come visit. Sure he usually cut them off of someone's lawn, but nonetheless, I loved the gesture and still have a box full of old dry roses he use to bring over.

Many years went by and eventually he stopped bringing me flowers. I didn't even see flowers when I gave birth to my two boys. Today, though, I got flowers from a new little man. My eldest decided that he would cut some off our yard and bring them to me. In his words they were "Fowers for when you and daddy get married". How do I break it to him that mommy and daddy are already married , and that there were no flowers then? I probably should also not mention that he's picking those flowers off some unknown weed that is quite stinky for fear that I may never get flowers again.

I love the fact that he can now occasionally think outside himself, and do something nice for someone else. Today he decided to do something sweet for me. I just hope that he continues to step outside his own shoes, and see the world through the eyes of others, and to on some occasions see that maybe someone could benefit from a small bouquet of "fowers". His thoughtful gesture brightened up my day.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Oh sleep. Wherefore art thou?

The Bee is up to his usual wakings these nights. He wakes every two hours. The only progress we have made in that front is that now when I bring him into our bed he doesn't kick and scream for the boob.

Oh thy cranky Bee,
why can't you see?
Thee needs nothing but sleep.

Tis only two, tis only three, tis only six,
but thou just sends out kicks.
You cry and scream to be free,
and in the process awaken thee.

You roll over and throw that little arm around my neck
hogging my pillow and pushing me to the edge.
The gesture is oh so sweet,
but can't you see you've got me beat.
You render me motionless from my head to my thighs,
and I lay still for fear that you might rise.

Big Brother who must compete,
has crawled into bed near my feet.
Because not long after you, he begins to scream, too.
For your screams make him ill oh too soon.
Big brother who will request drinks and potty breaks.
Big Brother who is afraid of monsters, the dark, and snakes.

Oh why won't they just be afraid of me?
Because, maybe just then,
only then
will I sleep.

* Please excuse my lousy poetry skills in advance, since my only knowledge about poetry was acquired in elementary school and it has since been forgotten. This post didn't start out as a poem but it just naturally transformed into one (or at least as an impostor of one) and has undergone many MANY changes and may undergo many more.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pecan Harvesting

It's February and we still have a ton of pecans falling from the trees. We have been picking buckets of pecans since this fall. We had a great harvest this year, and they are sooo good. Have you seen how expensive organic pecans are at the store? We have so many that we have taken to using them as recreational items. Sometimes we launch them across our backyard with a bat, and other times we put our busy little boys to work shelling them. The little one will NOT be exempt from this task. I suggest you purchase your own pecan trees if you live in a place that can grow them, because it will keep the the kids busy for hours.

One must first collect the appropriate pecans.

Then one must bang them with a rock to crush the shells and remove the pecans. I am so proud that my little cavemen know how to use tools.

Don't waste anytime eating them as they can provide proper fuel for more crushing.

Mmmmmm! Yummy pecans!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Me Me Memes?

1. I was tagged for the first time ever for a meme by Julie from the the calm before the stork.

As usual, I am behind on these things, but it isn't unusual for me to procrastinate things. In high school, I used to get up an hour before class to cram for my biology tests, which I had to take during first period. I guess I did okay in that class considering I didn't usually wake up until 3rd period and basically just sat there during class with a glazed look on my face. It's the same glazed look I have for the first two hours after my kids wake me up every morning at seven. Who designed kids to wake up so damn early anyway? They should be born with the coordination to pour their own cereal and drinks if you ask me. Every night I prepare their drinks--chocolate milk for the older boy and plain milk for the Bee--put them in the fridge, and then pour cheerios into their supposed-to-be-no-spill-but-spill-all-of-the-time-anyway containers and place them on the high chair in attempts to buy myself just a few more minutes in bed. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I just ignore them.

And now back to the meme. Here are the rules.

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2. Share five random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.

3. Share the five top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list.

4. Tag a minimum of five random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

2. Share five random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.

*My uncle use to call me "Blue Eyes" and so did the rest of his family when I was a kid. My uncle was German-English and owned a ranch we used to go to every Sunday for dinner. The story goes that he thought my eyes were going to be blue when he saw me as a baby, and despite the fact that they ended up brown, the nickname stuck. Maybe he was just able to see the future and into the eyes of my own children.

*My best childhood memories are of his farm. There were chickens we fed, cows we milked, horses we'd often ride, ducks we'd chase, and dogs and cats that were the foundation of his alarm system. There were also numerous pecan trees for snacking on and a vegetable garden. My cousins and I use to secretly build fires and forts and played hide-and-seek among the mesquite trees. We'd also go swimming in the pond when I wasn't too grossed out by the fish and algae living in it.

*I don't eat salad. I am generally very picky about which veggies I eat and how. I will only eat carrots in soup, and spinach in sandwiches.

* Between fourth and seventh grade, I went to three different elementary schools and two different middle schools in three different states.

* I have over 30 cousins I almost never see.

* And because the first two weren't quite random, here is a sixth. I married my high school sweetheart who I met when I was 16 and he was 18 in my AP Spanish class. We have been together for almost 13 years and married for 7.

3. Share the five top places on your “want to see or want to see again” list.

*Yosemite National Park because I never get tired of its beauty.

*Illinois because during the brief time I lived there, I never once made it to Chicago.

*Yucatan Peninsula and other interior parts of Mexico.



4. Tag a minimum of five random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment in their blog.

1001 Petals

Veronica on the Verge



Mommy off the Record

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Taxes, Cars, and Life Changes

Things I have been up to these last couple of weeks

1. Doing our taxes because we KNOW we have some money coming back from good Uncle Sam, and we needs the money.

2. Planning our move, because as much as we love Austin and the people, my husband can do without the heat and mosquitoes, and I can do without him complaining about them. I can deal, but to be fair, I am not as much of an outdoor person as he is. We are moving back to the SF Bay Area and renting our little home here. Sad.

3. I have started tutoring students at two different schools at the end of their school day four days a week, which makes it kind of a crazy schedule for us since The Dada teaches in the morning, comes home watches kids while I leave and tutor, and then I come home and we trade so that he can go and teach again at night. CRAZY! I wonder if my kids will ever appreciate how much we struggled to have one parent home with them at all times. They are going to have to get used to having grandma watch them for at least part of the day when they are not in school from now on. Grandma is scared with good reason, and I am thinking we will have to find someone to help grandma out.

4. We searched and bought a car with a loan from Grandpa. Thank You Grandpa! You see, our previous car was a Toyota Previa, and we loved it except that now it rattles like you have a couple of jackhammers following you around wherever you go, the radio is busted, and the AC is also not functioning which is needed for reasons of survival here, and for the impending drive we will have to make across the desert to get to Cali in the early summer. My boy is sad to be giving up this old car, since he has not yet gotten to the stage where he is worried about what his parents are driving. The older boy wanted a truck, and he could not be made to understand that it is illegal to have little boys flying out of the back of pick-up trucks. We stayed loyal to Toyota and bought a Sienna. Buying this car made me think of all the cars we had growing up: a bright yellow with brown stripes Gremlin ( who made this car anyway?), beat up Toyota pick up that I frequently rode in the back of, a brown Pinto that was once riding on only two wheels because a drunk driver was trying to push us off the rode in it and sadly met its end when another drunk driver collided with it months later. I LOATHE drunk drivers!

What cars were you forced to ride in growing up?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Little Apostle

Mommy's First Cut

This is what his hair looked like after he woke up every morning...

so mommy decided to cut his hair.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Gray Skies are Gonna...

Is it still January? I lose track these days, and I try to post at least once a week, but lately it's been gloomy and rainy around here and I need a certain amount of sunlight to keep from feeling glum.

It reminds me of the winter I spent in the Santa Cruz Redwood Rainforest during an "El Nino" year. I was in my second year of college and having to get up at 7 in the morning to hike over to an early organic chemistry class. That was depressing enough, but then having to do it in the cold rain didn't help. Everyday I'd hike to class under gray skies, as the winds howled, and the incessant rain pittered and patterred. I carried an umbrella, but it only served to keep my hair dry. The rest of me would sit in class soaking wet and shivering until it was time to walk through the rain again. Even when it did stop raining, the water would continuously trickle from the trees. You would think that would be enough to keep me awake during class, but apparently not. I was under a constant rain cloud.

I slipped into a mild seasonal depression. All I wanted to do everyday is just sleep. I slept in my dorm room, and I slept in class when I did manage to convince myself that I cared enough about passing my classes, and would brave the weather to do so. I spent most of those days asleep and/or wet, so we can safely say that I didn't fare well that quarter in school. It was a good thing the skies started to clear by spring quarter, because if they hadn't, I probably wouldn't have been there the next two years to finish school.

These days I am not getting up early to brave the weather to make it to class, but twice a week, I have to pull myself out of bed, get dressed, dress the older boy, diaper the younger one as I put him to bed in sweats, grab their snacks and lunches, maneuver our too-wide bike trailer through our gate without knocking the bike over onto myself, throw their lunches and snacks prepared the night before in the back, put a jacket on both boys, place their helmets on and my own, and then try to handle them with all their puffy layers to place them in the trailer while I try to manipulate the straps and clips with cold, numb fingers - all of this to get Big Brother to preschool. Once this is all done, I have to then pedal two miles up a steady incline that might as well be Mount Mckinley as my out of shape body can handle little exercise. The wind is of course howling against me and the drizzle gently misting my hair. I get to his preschool and get off the bike to find my legs feeling heavy and tingly all over. I must then proceed to remove all the straps and gear with my frozen claw-like hands. Once the older boy is all signed in, I must then convince the younger Bee that we will have equally as much fun at home than Big Brother will have at school, and then rehelmet and restrap him into the trailer. At least, it's all downhill from his school.

My mom laughs at me when I tell her about my biking adventures. She just chuckles and brings up her own version of walking ten miles through the snow and back story. Her story about how she waded thought the Rio Grande while she was 7 months pregnant with my brother and then almost got run over by a border patrol lady in her jeep who was the person responsible for stripping her of her passport in the first place on orders from my grandmother (dad's mom) who she was friends with. Or the time she walked three miles in the snow to get to work at 3 am because my father wouldn't be bothered to get up and give her a ride. I apparently did not inherent my mom's brave soul.

At least the skies have cleared temporarily, so I must go and soak up some sun while it lasts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Belated DeLurk

Yes. Yes. I know it was last week, but I tend to be late at most things these days. No, my AF arrived on time thankfully. I know you just needed to know that. I can only go so many years without any sleep ya know. I think I'm going on five years now if you include pregnancy, and the Bee informed me it will be much MUCH longer before he settles into a tolerable sleep schedule. Last night he decided to wake every hour or so. No he's not a newborn. He's 16 months old in fact.

So delurk already. Just say hello, but preferably tell me a bit about yourself. What's your name? Blog? Where did you find out about me?

Come on. Delurk. It would be good for my self-esteem.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Poo Poo Iniot Tribe

The Dada and I have reason to believe Big Brother thinks we are part of the Poo Poo Iniot Tribe. Whenever he is irate that he is not getting all that his little heart desires, he frequently responds by reminding us we are "Poo Poo Iniots".

Who are the Poo Poo Iniots? Is it possible that Big Brother wandered into my many dusty anthropology books and discovered something about our ancestral heritage that I missed reading about while in college? Probably not. This kid knows his alphabet, but that's a far cry from actually being able to read college level books. Huh? Maybe he has us confused with some tribe he heard about on PBS. He does watch a lot of Reading Rainbow and I know for a fact Levar Burton has done an episode on the Taos Pueblo. Are the Poo Poo Iniots somehow related? Maybe he means the Poo Poo Inuits?

Or is it possible that Big Brother is just a BRAT with an uncontrollable potty mouth. I think maybe the last choice is the most plausible answer, but it would have been cool to be a part of some exotic tribe called the Poo Poo Iniots.

Oh well, on another note. I LOVE Four! Sooooooooo Much better than 2 and 3. The tantrums are less frequent, the kid more self sufficient, more calm, more teachable, sleep more continuous and afar, more independent and creative play, increased ability for rational thought, more patient, more responsible, more cautious, and the things he says and does are just plain funny. So when four isn't spewing out naughty nonsense phrases, having some kind of meltdown, or ignoring my request to clean up or behave, he is quite tolerable. Now, if we could somehow get the Bee to skip all the wonders that are 2 and 3 and jump right into four we'd be in business.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

ER, CT Scans, and X-mas Eve

The E.R. - is there any better place to be on Christmas Eve? Sure it's very sterile, sure there are bunch of sick people, and sure there are plenty of things little boys like the Bee should not touch, but when you are looking for a place to go on Christmas Eve you should try your local medical center.

We opted for the more kid friendly version and went to the the brand new children's medical center here in Central Texas complete with playgrounds, family room housing dvds, books, and computers for all to use, multiple courtyards with wonderful water features, volunteers who on X-mas Eve are just looking for any excuse to give your kid a gift whether they are ill or not, ball machines, and other high tech devices like child friendly CT scans. So we thought while we were there with Big Brother who the previous night was up puking his brains out from a possible blow to the head with a wooden block courtesy of the Bee that we would try the much raved about open CT Scan.

We endured all the waiting that comes with all emergency room visits, all the yelling to the non-ill children not to touch anything because you don't want to break anything since this visit is already going to cost you a zillion bucks, and you don't want to acquire any new germs that will prompt you back to pay even more money you don't have.

Our visit went something like this

Sign in.

Wait. Yell at the Bee not to touch anything especially the toilet in the sooo conveniently placed bathrooms.

Wait. Listen to Big Brother whine that he wants juice, because juice must always be purchased wherever there is juice to be bought even if one is not really intending to drink it.

Wait. Visit with triage nurse. Explain puking and it's possible link to Bee's fit of rage. Yell at the Bee not to touch EVERYTHING.

Wait. Remove Bee from waiting room and explore the hospital because we are just such awful parents for not letting him play with the toilet seat.

Wait. Big Brother is sent to his posh ER room complete with an LCD TV with endless kid stations, his own private bathroom, reclinable and portable bed, and many other medical life saving devices and a trash can that would provide countless of hours of playtime fun for the Bee.

Wait. Sleeping Big Brother get transported for his scan where he eventually wakes up and manges a big grin for the picture the technician kept saying he was getting. Big brother gets two stuffed toy cows from chick fillet for being so cooperative.

Wait. Big Brother keeps asking when he will be getting his pictures.

Wait. Doctor comes in and visits, saying scan is okay and gives brother anti-puking drugs.

Big Brother pukes. Nurse comes in, and later brings Doc in to witness the aftermath of Big Brother's puking powers. Doc suggest IV.


Nurse comes in to place IV with a helper and her countless of supposed distraction toys.

Boy is not distracted. Boy screams as the IV is being placed. Volunteer walks in with crayons and coloring books boy can't use because he has an IV placed in the hand he writes with. Boy Screams about this. Nurse brings in a blue stuffed animal.

Wait. Wait. Wait. Distract Bee. Bee naps. Bee wants to play with puke bucket and trash. Remove Bee from room and explore some more. Bee eats lunch. Mommy eats lunch. Bee naps. Wait.......................

Eventually, after two doses of IV fluids, four hours without any puking events, two more stuffed animals including a psychedilic frog, a toy motorcycle, a hospital bill and deductible we'd rather pay later, and an overly cranky Bee, we went home. If that is not what you call fun, I don't know what is. Maybe next year we'll try some place more fun like the fire station or something.