8.25.2007

A little relaxation...


See, when white folks want to go on vacation, they save money, possibly have a bank account solely for their vacation trip, they order the tickets for their flight online and then look forward to a blissful week on a Disney Cruise or they visit Hawaii or Jamaica or some other exotic locale.

When beaners plan a vacation, we scrape up whatever we can, perhaps neglect to pay the utility bill ("hey, that will free up some cash!"), throw your tent and blankets and pillows and ice chests and chil'rens into your hooptie and you drive down to Baja California. Technically speaking, that means lower California. Gasp. Ensenada, land of beautiful blue water, toll roads so beautiful if you squint your eyes just right, it looks just like you're driving down the PCH in Malibu.

Don't trip, I am only joking. I know several beaners who plan and save and go on vacation to actual foreign destinations. My sister is one of them. Jen and Justin have been to Italy, England, Switzerland, the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Hawaiian islands. So there is hope for the beaners! Heh. Then again, her husband is half black and half white so that could explain this whole phenomena.

My family has been camping down in Ensenada long before I can remember. It was our annual camping trip. Imagine...several of your drunk tios oozing with machismo...your mom and all the tias making chorizo and eggs and potatoes...your Nana making homemade tortillas...about twenty babies and kids running around like wild beasts. Every night they would take us to the showers to rinse away the beach sand and grimy remnants from the day, and they would scrub us all, boys and girls, in a communal shower. That was the life.

I have such fond memories of those camping trips and I'm happy that my kids are experiencing it now. From the moment they wake up they are in the ocean swimming, enjoying the tireless line of vendors that walk up and down the beach, selling fresh fruit and veggies covered with chile and lime. Some afternoons we go out for fish tacos or we visit La Bufadora. Nights are spent laughing around the fire, roasting marshmallows and having coffee. Unfortunately, my kids don't have as many cousins around them as I did growing up, but there is definitely no shortage of companions with six siblings.

I am right in the middle of packing, which is a traumatic event in itself. I can't wait until I am sitting there in front of the beautiful blue sea watching my children running and laughing, salty air in my nose, cool breeze blowing my hair and juicy mango on a stick in my hand.

8.22.2007

Memories

If there is one person in my life who has been a constant companion, it's my little brother, Eric. Pretty much every childhood memory has him in it. We are eleven months apart and share the same birthday month, February. We are the same age for about three weeks out of the year! Every birthday card I have ever given him says, "So, you have caught up to me once again..." Heh. We are what they call "Mexican Twins". My poor mom had a little three-month-old baby (me!) when she got pregnant again. Cringe.

One of my favorite memories took place when we were about five or six years old. My parents drove a beat up red-orange VW that had been passed around to several other family members. We were now the lucky recipients. Not having any seatbelt laws in those days, we would be jumping around the back seat and braving my mom's swift hand that tried in vain to smack us while she drove. Our special place was that little cubby area in the back--she couldn't reach us back there. We lived in San Diego for a few years, from around 1974 to 1980, and one memory that is burned into my mind's eye is Eric and I sitting in the back seat of that noisy VW, warm summer night air blowing over our bodies, listening to The Eagles. Whenever "Hotel California" came on, we would all sing along.

"On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair. Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air."

And Eric and I would have these hysterical giggling fits. What's funny about that, you ask? Well, when you are a beaner, all your life you've heard your mom or your Nana refer to a butt (or a tail) as a colita. So to Eric and I, the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air just meant a stinky butt! And that was funny!

Now that I'm an adult, I know that what the Eagles were referring to was marijuana, specifically the little buds of the flower. No wonder my Dad loved the Eagles so much. We were about eight or nine years old before my mom made him stop smoking his beloved joints while we were in the backseat. Even though I understand the words now, "Hotel California" will always conjure up the memory of driving in the warm San Diego air, jiggling around in the back of that Volkswagen seat, probably getting a contact high from my dad's doobie, and giggling about the warm smell of colitas.

8.16.2007

They call me Yuck Mouth cuz I don't brush

I guess I am a glutton for punishment. I decided that I should get all my kids in to see the dentist before we began our homeschool year and things got too stressful. Truth be told, I was thinking about doing this back in ooooh, say May. But, being the procrastinator I am, this week was the week that I finally got around to doing it. Six children, five of them needing appointments to get x-rays, cleaning and exams. Sounds like a blast, doesn't it?

Well, folks, the superior attitude in which I mother has been exposed. For a while now, I have championed my children's teeth. Their current ages are 9 (will turn 10 in a month), 8.5, 6 (will turn 7 in a month), 5, 3.5 and 2. Whew. And they have made it this far without a single cavity to their credit. So this was me, all snooty and looking down at you from the tip of stubby nose, everytime the subject of the chil'rens teef came up, "Oh yes. My children have pristine brushing habits. They are not allowed any type of carbonated beverage on a regular basis. They eat butt loads of carrots and apples. Candy is eaten at a minimum. We see a dentist every six months. What? Your child already has cavities. Ew. I'm so sorry to hear that." Well, yeah, I've never actually said that but I've thought it. Heh.

So I have a dentist appointment for four children scheduled at 2 pm. I have never scheduled that many appointments at one time but they assured me they could handle it. I get a babysitter for the girls and decide to leave early, so I can fill out four freakin' duplicates of the same document and be seen on time. We park the van and it is hotter than the devil's buttcrack. I mean, it is steamin' outside. And the dentist's office is closed for lunch!! Until 2!! And it is now 1:30!!! After growling for a second, we decide to walk into the business next door to steal some of their cool air. It is a Latino music store, which is basically like a Tower Records with white satin, sequins and cowboy boots. I walk in and pretend that I am really into Reggaeton and that Banda music which to me sounds like someone having a diahhrea moment with a trumpet. Boom boomboom boom boom boomboom boom.

Once we were in the door the boys were seen, one by one, by the dentist. I went back a few times to make sure everyone was cool. Every single one of them were chillin' in the dentist chair, reclining back and watching cartoons. So far so good. Then came the spankings. First slap in the face...the hygienist said that she was going to put sealants on Diego's molars but he was giving her a hard time. "He needs to cooperate!" she said under her breath. There he was, squirming in his chair, hand over his eyes to shield them from the bright light, squeaking and squawking every time the poor lady squirted his mouth with water. He even freaked out with the saliva-sucking thingie. Geez. He is worse than a toddler! "Why is he like this?" she asked me. Beats the hell outta me, lady. Ask his daddy! He is the exact same way. Second slap in the face...Cyan has three cavaties. Third slap...Noah has six cavaties. Fourth slap...Solomon has seven cavities. Oh thank the heavens that Diego came out of there with no cavities at all--it almost makes up for his behavior. Then come the barrage of questions: Do you help them brush after every meal? Do they eat alot of candy? Do you ever help them floss? Do the math, folks. Six mouths (not including my own!) to brush and floss, top and bottom...what is that, like a thousand teeth or something? So after homegirl made me feel like a second-class parent who has let her kids' teeth go to hell in a handbasket, I had to deal with each of them in this tiny, cramped office...slapping each other in the face with this stupid, gooey, stretchy hand toy. Now there's two hours of my life I will never get back.

So there you have it. I am deeply ashamed. I am raising a household of Yuck Mouths.

8.14.2007

It's already been a year!



Well, after doing some research, I realize this old blog has been open for business for over a year now! Wow, just where did the time go? And what in the world have I been blogging about? Someimes I just sit in front of the computer and all this stuff comes out of this brain of mine. I always agonize if I just put too much of myself out there. What must you think of me? Michael is always scolding me for going too far and putting too much of our dirt in the universe.

Interestingly enough, Michael was the one who pushed me to start a blog. I guess I have a way with words (*wink wink*), and he thought it would be an entertaining thing for me to blog. I've been writing since I was a little girl, just for my own amusement. It was a creative outlet for me, something different from painting and drawing. I used to have a diary in elementary school, which I tried in vain to hide from my mother. I even attempted my own novel in middle school. I think the only person who ever read it was my cousin Diana. And she enjoyed it, so I guess it was successful. In high school, it morphed to a journal, where I chronicled all the milestones in life (i.e. who I let get their feel on, what concert I went to, which party I got drunk at, my sadness at unrequited love, etc.). Then when I got pregnant with my first child, Noah, I decided to start a journal for him about how I was feeling, my fears and joys at becoming a mother, the cute and funny things he used to do. And I just kept on writing through the birth of my six children and ten years of marriage until I filled up three journal books. I will occasionally read through them and it is so beautiful to read about the first few years of being a little family. I hope to give them to my children when I am old and they become parents themselves. I will admit, I don't write in the journals as much anymore. In fact, I've only written in it twice this entire year, and when I do I am just catching up on big events, birthdays, and explaining my absence!

Alot of people have commented that I should look into freelance writing and it really throws me for a second. You see, when you have looked at yourself as one thing your entire life (since third grade!), it's really hard to see yourself as anything else. Painting and drawing came easily to me, and its all I've ever been good at. So to take the artist hat off and put on a writer hat, it feels really odd. Since I am not a super motivated or ambitious person, I don't know how a writing gig would come my way, unless it came and plopped in my lap. To be ruthlessly honest, I'm too much of a lazy ass to seek out freelance work. So for now, I am happy blogging about stinky diapers, ghetto life, music, my faith in God and being a mom.

So I missed the anniversary of this while blog thing. Had I realized it, I would have had a pinata, papel picado, some carne asada, beans and rice--you know how I do. But anyhow, who exactly is out there reading this blog? I know I'm not on the same Blog Ho status like Ragamuffin Soul and his Over 250,000 Served, but still...show a sister some love and let me know who is out there so I can fortify myself to keep this blog going.

8.12.2007

The Mystery Panties


World War III was about to jump off at my house last week. It's taken me this long to assimilate and be able to blog about it. All names have been changed to protect the innocent parties(*cough cough*) who do not wish to be identified.

Last Friday night, or should I say early Saturday morning, after doing all my nightly chores and browsing through blogs, I walked down the hall to shower and get ready for bed. This reek of funk was swirling from Xixi's room so I went over to investigate. My eyes saw what my mind already knew that little piggy had done. She had dipped her hand into the back of her diaper and decided to play with her caca...and then fall asleep with it all dry and caked onto her hands, pj's, face, crib, blankets, etc. I was already tired, grouchy, hot and sweaty. I yelled out, "XiiiiXiiiiii!" Michael came running over and we tried to decide who was going to clean what. "You take XiXi cuz Lord knows how many times I have cleaned crap out of her fingernails! I am so DONE with her." So Michael went on the task of bathing Xixi and I started to tackle the crusty crib.

As I finished rinsing the caca-ed sheets and blankets in our utility sink, I looked over at my mountainous laundry pile and decided to load the washer. And what did my tired and astigmatized eyes behold but a pair of foreign panties. And by foreign, I mean--they weren't mine!! A pair of white ladies boy shorts, size L. Hmmmmm. It's amazing how in a matter of seconds you can go over, in your mind, the people who are closest to you and what kind of underwear they wear. I drew a blank. My sister wears butt floss. My sister-in-law wears granny panties. My mom wears briefs. I wear low rise briefs so half my crack can show. Hmmmmm, I have no clue. So what does every tired, grouchy, hot and sweaty wife do when she finds a pair of panties that aren't her's at 1am?

"MIIIIIIIICHAELLLLLLLLLLL!"

It was classic. Me standing there, hand cocked on my hip, a snarl on my lips, puffy brows and the offensive pair of panties in my hand, "Who the hell do THESE belong to?" And my dear sweet husband, looking all cute and innocent just like our boys when they get caught eating all the Cheezits, says, "I don't know! Maybe they are your mom's."

"No--she doesn't wear this kind!"

"Maybe they are your sister's?"

"No--she hasn't been here since last week!"

"Maybe they belong to your friend Maria Guadalupe Josefina?"

"WHAT?!?!?! You look at these panties and one of the first names that pop in your head is my FRIEND, Maria Guadalupe Josefina?? Why would she leave a pair of panties here? How would they get in our dirty laundry?"

"I don't know!! She was here on Thursday. Maybe they got mixed in here somehow. RELAX!! Quit yelling at me! Are you insinuating something? Are you saying..."

"No.no! But how else did they get here??? You are the only person coming and going from this house in two days!"

"WOMAN!!"

And suffice it to say, when Michael calls me woman...well, I'll just end our little dialogue right there. I can say with all honesty that I didn't actually think he was cheating on me and was stupid enough to bring the scagg's panties back with him. But when you are married and have all trust in your man and no reason to not trust him...and its about 2 am and you just had to clean a massacre of poo from your sleeping daughter's crib...and you are hot, tired, grouchy and sweaty (how many times have I said that?)....and you just need an excuse to go off on someone...thoughts just be messing with your mind. Maybe I am being too gullible. What if he IS cheating on me? You hear it all the time, "I never thought this would happen to me. We were so much in love!" Maybe this is one of those times. Here I am staying home, day after day, and this dude is cavorting with other women? And with some heifer that wears white boy shorts, size L???

Grrrrr. It was one of those instances in my life where I didn't really have alot of conviction behind my beliefs...but I had already gone too far to turn back now. Time to just pull a Crazy Wife. Which totally threw my man for a loop because I am so not a Crazy Wife. I mean, I wasn't actually mad, but custom dictates that when a wife finds a pair of panties that don't belong to her, she is supposed to go off in a jealous rage. So that is what I did, in a way. In the end, he decided to use reverse psychology on my ass and make me feel bad for accusing him of bringing in some skank's white drawers. Ain't that about a biatch. The night ended with me stomping down the hallway and him calling after me, "You're going to owe me a huge apology when you find out whose drawers those are!"

So the next day I am chatting on the phone with my friend, Maria Guadalupe Josefina. I tell her the mystery panty story. She says, a little timidly, "Are they white boy shorts...from Target? OMG. Those are mine! When I went to your house on Thursday night I changed out of my work clothes in the bathroom. I balled them up in my dress. They must have fallen out and got mixed with your kids' clothes. Oops. Hehe. My bad!"

Well, I feel sheepish.

She was totally embarrassed and asked me not to tell Michael it was her, since she already has one strike against her (chiiild, that's a whole 'nother blog). When Michael asked me if I found out who the undies belonged to, I apologized for yelling at him in a accusatory tone, and that yes, I did find out.

"Well. Whose are they?"
"I'd rather not say."
"What?!"
"She said not to say anything because she is already embarrassed."
"You better tell me! This is MY house...I pay bills around here. If I want to find out whose--"
"No!"
"WOMAN!"

Ok. So I told him. He said, "I TOLD YOU!!" Then later on that day, when he saw her at the Harvest Crusade, he walked past her and said, "That's strike two, girl!" Yikes.

And that is how the mystery of the foreign panties was solved.

You Got Me

Before Michael met me and I introduced him to the joys of big girl lovin', he dated lots of them skinny hoes. Heh. I'm kidding, of course. In the event of my untimely demise, Michael said he would want to be with the lady Jill Scott. Hmph. She's hot. And her voice, it's just like how a big girl should sound.

8.06.2007

The Birds and the Bees

I have made up my mind that I am not going to be one of those buttoned-up, prim and proper, sexually repressed parents. I am not going to pretend that I never had sex before, that I don't like it and that my six children came by immaculate conception. My children need to feel like sex is a blessed event, as natural as breathing, and that their feelings and emotions toward it are healthy. Not dirty, not gross, not wierd. The way I see it, I owe it to them to lay it down on the table. I have to compete with things they see on TV, on the internet, on billboards, in magazines, what they hear on the radio. It is everywhere they turn. If I don't wise up, their knowledge on the subject will far exceed mine and I don't want to know who and what their sources are. Our society is so sexually-charged that it creates a sink or swim environment for parents. I can't afford to be shy in this day and age.

If you were brought up in a Latino family, then sex was just not something you talked about. You got bits and pieces about it from TV (Fantasy Island provided lots of education for me), you learned from your friends at school, you saw it in magazines your dad tried to hide under the bathroom sink, and when your tia got pregnant while still in high school, you just know she got caught doing somethin'. Or maybe you just walked in on your mom and dad and were forever traumatized. To this day I can't see or think of those big hi-fi stereos from the 70's (that can fully light up a room at night!) without cringing. I cannot remember my mother ever sitting me down and talking about sex with me. And my dad, forget it. My mom gave me the impression that sex was nasty and that girls who were loose about sex were cochinas and I did not want to be like that. She never adressed any of my curious questions or thoughts. So I just felt bad all the time! I don't want my kids to feel like that.

This morning, Michael and I decided to have "mommy and daddy time", as it's called around here. So with two boys at grandma's, one girl happily watching cartoons and the other girl happily playing in her crib, we sent Noah and Diego outside to vaccum the van, which is one of their paid chores. Everyone was accounted for. Awwww, finally peace and quiet. Well, needless to say, my house is situated where my bathroom window faces the front porch. Don't worry, there is privacy glass but if you blow up the spot, the entire porch smells funky. So my window is open, and my bathroom door is open and things progress as they normally do...and I hear this little voice: Dad, what are you doing to my mom? It was Diego. And he said it in this very concerned tone, like he was really worried. I heard it, but Michael, the one-track-minded man he is, he didn't hear a thing. So out of embarrassment and fear of getting interrupted/caught, I start giggling. I really tried to stifle it, but they were the kind of giggles where your whole body is starting to convulse. Yeh, not the type of convulsions you hope to have right at that moment, you know? Heh. When I told Michael why I was laughing, he started laughing, too! Yeh, it kinda killed the moment but, my poor Diego. It sounded like he was really freaked out. And we took the opportunity to share with him that mama and daddy love each other. That God blessed us with sex to share within the context of marriage and that it was a beautiful thing. That were is nothing gross about it or scary or wierd. Of course, being the eight year-old that he is, he yelled, "UGGGHHHHH!! You and dad are smootchie smootchie?!?!?! Disgusting!" I don't think he quite grasped it, but I know a seed was planted in his head. Next time something like this happens (!), hopefully he will understand and ask any questions he has. My goal is to make sex something that is normal and natural for a husband and wife, not dirty and hidden and bad. And if they understand that it's something mama and daddy do and that they are happy, then I will have gained some victorious ground of this whole birds and bees issue.

Now I know I'm not the only one who has been traumatized by my parents or have traumatized my kids now that I'm a parent! Heh. Was I being too open? I am imagining myself as one of those hippie parents right now, Sex is good, man. Sex is beautiful, man. It's like, something your old man and I do so we can feel at one with each other and the universe, man. Peace and love, my son. Please tell I'm not the only one out there in the blog world who has struggled with this. What about you?

8.03.2007

It's one of those days...


...when I am ready to throw in the towel on this motherhood thing. Sheesh. Sometimes I just don't have the endurance required. Whether you have two kids or six, their needs are the same. And if you are home with your children all day...then they have access to drive you crazy all day with those very same needs. Xiomara is going to turn two next month. You know what that means, the terrible two's!! This girl is going to break me. Oh sure, she is the sweetest thing you have ever seen, so cuddly and so happy...so mischevious. She has pulled out the toothpaste about ten times today and sits in a corner and eats it until I catch her. So I put the toothpaste away, that is the smart thing to do. Close the bathroom door. But in the course of the day, she sneaks back in there and opens up another package of toothpaste and starts sucking the tube. That stuff is poison, right? Well, the rest of my kids survived so she will too, I suppose. She is also covered in red Sharpie scribbles all over her legs and hands. Diego has a huge bin of washable markers, with some old Sharpies thrown in. Of course, she managed to find the Sharpie and wrote all over herself, Maya's legs, the walls in the hallway and my $7.50 table from Goodwill. Dang! In the course of trying to grab the marker from her, she took off down the hall and ran right into the wall, creating a big goose-egg on her forehead. Have I shared how she enjoys pulling the poop out of the back of her diaper and drawing on her bedroom furniture with it? Yes, twice. Hey, I love art just as much as the next guy but come on. And just when I think she is out of trouble for the day, I spot something white smeared on Maya's braids. When I smelled it, it turned out to be toothpaste again. I whip around and there is XiXi in the corner, sucking that damn tube for all it's worth. "XiiiiiXiiiiii!!"

Sigh.
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