9.29.2008

The bike that might not ever be ridden...

Not if I have anything to do with it.

We were visiting family on Saturday night for my favorite Aunts 51st birthday. Believe me, this wasn't one of those huge birthday bashes with all the frills. It consisted of chillin' in their garage while they chain-smoked and then drank pineapple juice and Malibu rum in huge glasses. Oh. There were also lots of snacks and finger foods so the non-drinkers were satisfied.

And fat.

We decided to drop in on them since we didn't have anything else going on. Caucasian uncle...and it feels funny to call him uncle because he and my aunt just got married a couple of years ago...but for identification purposes I will refer to him as Caucasian uncle. He is a biker. He had this mini-bike covered up in the corner of his garage. For whatever reason, he decided to give it to us. My aunt addressed us in Spanish, so the boys wouldn't know they were getting the bike.

Michael's eyes got as big as saucers. "¿Siiiiiiiiii?"

Sigh. He was just a little excited. I don't know how I feel about that little pocket bike. For one, it's dangerous. Two, it's dangerous. And three, it's dangerous. My boys are not that type of I.E. boy who have quads and bikes and spend their weekends at Glamis. They are not miniature bros. They don't know what it's like to have these types of toys. They are lucky to have Heely's and a Gameboy. Seriously.


The whole mini bike idea is scary.


Thankfully, Michael can't even reach the pedals because his legs are too long. But the boys are gunning for that thing...they can't wait to try it out. And what freaks me out about all of this is that my sons have absolutely no sense of self-preservation. They are just like their father. I foresee alot of visits to the doctor.


Go ahead, call me a party pooper. I don't care.

9.28.2008

The Pee Chronicles


I have already mentioned how I can poo pretty much anywhere, right? Well, apparently I can pee anywhere, too.

A few highlights off my pee reel...

Once, while I was about 23, my homie and I got really drunk drinking those big bottles of Club mixed drinks. Clearly they are supposed to be for mixing drinks, but we were ghetto and we just drank them straight up. We somehow ended up in Manhattan Beach. I had to pee and thankfully I had a few napkins stuffed into my bomber jacket from a Dodger game I was a few days before. Amparo was there, laughing and choking on a saladito she was sucking on. Translation for my Caucasian peeps: a saladito is a salted dried plum and they are the bomb. I crouched right down on the sand and peed. I don't even remember where the guys were that brought us there. How sad!

When I was pregnant eight months pregnant with Xixi, I foolishly thought camping would be a fun activity. I didn't anticipate how hard it would be for me physically, in 100 degree heat. I also didn't anticipate how I would handle my pee pee situation, since the pregnant woman's bladder is the size of a peanut. The first night at the campgrounds, I woke up, ready to burst. As I stood outside the tent, I realized the bathrooms were way too far away and dark to travel by myself.

Doood, I wish I had a penis! Not the first time I ever wished that, of course.

I could have woken up Michael to escort me, but I felt sorry for him, his long legs splayed out over the inflatable mattress, with the chil'rens feet stuck in his back. So I resigned myself to handle this on my own. I can just pee right here by the tree, I thought to myself. No one would see me...the moon was full so it was bright enough outside so I wouldn't have to fuss with a flashlight or worry about a bug crawling up into my lady's parts...and I had some wipes, those good and faithful cloths with the ability to wipe up anything. And I do mean anything.

I got it in my head I would just pee in a cup. I don't know why. Don't ask me. Maybe because it would be neater and I wouldn't appear like some savage spraying all over the grass. But I thought a big gulp would be more than enough to hold my pee. Let me just say, I highly underestimated my pregnant bladder. I overflowed the cup, got it all over my hands and the leg of my pj's. Niiiice. I think what made me overflow was the fact that Michael woke up right in the middle of me doing my business and asked me what I was doing. So I started laughing so hard that the pee just kept flowing, despite my best efforts to stop it.

Hello, Kegel exercises?

By the end of the camping trip, I had my midnight peeing rendezvous down to a science. And yes, I did resign myself to spraying on the ground like a savage.

Then there was the time I went to Coachella to see Rage Against the Machine. Only for RATM would I subject myself to filth, heat, tree-huggers and the overwhelming stench of patchouli, armpits, booty and marijuana. We were still in the parking lot when I realized that big Arizona ice tea I nervously chugged (RATM...after eleven years...WOOO) on the way in needed to come out. Michael looked inside a porta-potty and knew I wouldn't be able to withstand the funk of it all. So I found two SUV's parked close to one another. At first I protested...but after about two seconds I told Michael to be my lookout man. I pulled down my pants, planted my sweet ass up against a jeep for balance and did my business. Ooooh yeeeaaahhhhh. The last thing I saw was my butt prints on the side of the jeep.

And now, to tell of my most recent pee adventure. Whilst in San Francisco, or should I say, driving down from San Francisco, when we decided to take the scenic route in complete and utter darkness. Sigh. In retrospect, I knew exactly where I should have peed, but in my excitement I didn't. Two Vitamin Waters, a buttload of pistachios and chile mangoes and Hansen's Natural Sodas later, I was squirming in my seat. Come on, girl, I really have to go. Just pull over somewhere!

Everything was dark and closed, so that somewhere was going to be the side of the road. In preparation, I pulled my leg out of one pant leg, my theory being I wouldn't splash on my pants while I was squatting. So there I am sitting in Amparo's Scion, armed with napkins, with one pant leg off...waiting. When she finally pulled over and turned off her lights, another car pulled in behind us and turned off their lights. Well, that really freaked us out so we skerrrrred out of there.

A few miles later, I announced I couldn't take it anymore. So, she finally pulled over and I jumped out. Again, I used my method of balancing myself by planting my ass cheeks on the side of the car, holding up my bunched pant leg and squatting down. Awwwwwwwwwww.

"Hurry up! Here comes a car!"

I go from peeing very daintily to making a very loud, forceful stream. Which totally jacked up my aim and got my chanklas all wet. Oh, and some of my leg too. I couldn't very well get in the car that way. By that time, the car had passed us by and we were once again in total darkness. So I turned and leaned in the car so I could get something to rinse myself off with.

"Hey, give me a bottle of water! Come on, give me a bottle of water!" I was frantic. All the while, my bare butt cheeks are out for the world to see. I could have been mauled by a bear or something.

And in the process of all that, I think Amparo kinda wet herself, while she was trying to contain her hysterical laughter. But after all that, I felt like a million bucks. What a relief.

For the record, I have never actually peed my pants. Sure, I have sprayed my leg accidentally. Then there are those involuntary squirts while laughing or coughing or sneezing--that whole motherhood hazard. But actually peeing on myself? Never. That I owe to my ability of dropping my pants and planting my buttcheeks against the wall, whenever I need to.

Whew.

9.27.2008

This year's nominees...


Remember this, when I was lamenting who should be honored in 2008's Hip Hop Honors on VH-1?

Well, me thinks someone was listening!

On October sixth, Cypress Hill will be among the honorees of the night. That is cool beans. Cypress Hill is what I consider West Coast hip hop, to the tenth power. Their style has this distinct Latino flavor, and you can taste it when you have grown up here all your life. And I have to say, I'm a little partial to them because of the oldies they use in their beats, the Spanglish and B Real. I used to have this thing for B Real. But I've seen recent pictures of him...now he is an old dude with too much THC in his body. He's still hot, though.

Either way, I'm excited for this year's VH-1 Hip Hop Honors. My next question is...when are they going to honor Dr. Dre?

9.26.2008

No longer out to sea

I have come to the conclusion that one of my deepest character flaws is that I tend to give up. I give up when things get too hard for me to cope with...when I have no idea how to handle something...I just let it ride over me like a wave in the ocean until I float away and it was no longer crashing over me, consuming me.

I guess I've always been like this. And for a while, it worked for me. When I was a little girl struggling with the concept of having two parents who no longer wanted to be married to one another, I would lay in bed at night and dream up this family with a mother and a father...and they had a pool. All the kids had their own rooms, toys, a dog...that is mostly what I remember. But that is what I did, night after night. Think of this family until it comforted me enough to go to sleep.

When I got older and had friendships that weren't working out, I let myself float away until that friendship wasn't this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I woke up to every morning. When I dated guys and I got that familiar feeling that they weren't the one for me, I simply stopped talking to them. All I had to worry about was uncomfortable silences whenever we ran into each other.

In my marriage and in my mothering, I have kept up this habit. And it's been to my own detriment. I dig my head in the sand because that seems to be the only way I can cope.

But I have to ask myself, am I really coping? No. I feel like the time has come for me to stop letting the water pull me out to sea. I have to stand my ground and let the water crash over me. Yes, I will probably get a thrashing. I'll probably end up scraping my knees a few times and I will most definitely come out of the water with a wedgie...or worse, my top falling down.

But I am beginning to understand that if I don't learn to handle conflict head on, I am never going to grow as a person...a mother...a wife. I will never learn how to persevere in anything.

I'll just be floating away in the sea.

Words of wisdom on our way to Disneyland


We always take the same street when we go to Disneylandia. The backstreets, if you will. There is a huge marquee sign that belongs to Ganahl Lumber. Each time we pass, I crack up at all the interesting sayings they put up.

This was the gem from last week:

In forty years there will be thousands of old ladies walking around with tattoos. Ewwwwww.

Heh.

And while I laughed, the thought occurred to me that I did not take into consideration what I would look like as a old chick, with this tattoo on my wrist. Hmmmm. By that time, everything is going to be soft and wrinkled and saggy--what's a little bit of ink going to matter? At least I won't have stars or tribal bands around my arm or a tramp stamp on my wrinkled behind. I think tattoo placement is just as important as content. Either way, it should be interesting.

Not only will there be old ladies with tattoos...here in SoCal, there will be old ladies with perky boobs, orange skin, fake hair and jewelry in their bellybuttons. Now that's reason to ewwwwwww.

9.25.2008

Farewell, Isis.


If you are a fan of ANTM, and ya'll know I am, then you know that Isis was sent home last night. It's starting to get a bit confusing, remembering who is from what cycle, now that Tyra is cranking them out every couple of months. Maybe they should consider renaming their commercials My Life As A Cover Girl to...My Six Weeks As a Cover Girl. Mmmmmkay.

What was so special 'bout little ole Isis, you might be wondering? Well, she wasn't really a woman...she was really a he. She was a pre-op transsexual.

Chicks with sticks, and all that good stuff.

Apparently, Isis believed she was born into the wrong body. I remembered her from a documentary on transsexuals I saw a few months before. I really felt for those people. Then I saw her in the background of a photo shoot on ANTM last season. So when they cast her on the latest cycle, I was rooting for her. She wasn't the prettiest one there, but she had that trannie runway walk down. And like Tyra always says, she was fierce.

But somewhere down the line, Isis lost her oomph. Her look didn't translate into pictures. Everyone was blowing her out of the water. And when she was beside all the other girls, you began to notice the very broad shoulders, the adam's apple, the total absence of feminine curves, the muscular arms and that little lump in her bikini bottom.

And it wasn't cute.

If they would have kept homegirl in haute couture or avant garde fashion, then she might have fared better. But when she confessed that during their underwater shoot, she was wearing three different pairs of tight bikini bottoms and tape to keep her junk tucked away and she was worried somehow, it would come loose. And I was really hoping for her sake the it she was speaking of was the tape. It kind of spoiled the illusion.

Many moons ago, my friends and I used to Arena, this nightclub in Hollywood, right on Santa Monica Boulevard. Now, everyone knows that the best clubs are the gay clubs. I guess because the gays know their music, dancing, and fashion. At midnight, they would have drag queen shows. Now, I know that transsexuals and transvestites and drag queens all have their own distinctions. I get that. I'm not trying to be overly PC but I promise I will get to my point.

Anyhow, the drag queen shows.

Isis reminded me of my time at Arena. I would be astounded that some of these women were not really women. On my best day, I would never be as feminine as some of these performers! One in particular stands out in mind. He was a very petite Philippine dude. Probably a size 2 or something. He had gorgeous legs. All this long, black hair. A beautiful face with the most dainty features. He even had a little cleavage. We all know what a few cutlets stuffed in our bras can do for the less endowed. Where all the others you pretty much knew were men dressed as women, this dude...this dude would have kept everyone fooled.

And maybe Isis should have strived to keep it that way. But of course they had to play up the transgender angle for ratings. Anyhow...I'm sure she would have gotten figured out right away. Especially if you have finely-tuned gaydar (like I do). I don't think the judges wanted to hear about her three pairs of underwear and tape. I know I didn't. No one wants to hear about how you hide your junk.

So, farewell Isis. It saddens me that someone would actually want to get their sexual organs removed (cuz, they're, you know--your sex organs and you kinda want to keep them so you can use them...but that's just me), but that's what he felt he had to do to really become the person he felt he should have been born as. What is that saying? God don't make mistakes. But far be it from me to judge. Only God can do that.

And now, all there is left to watch are all those awkward, incredibly thin, long-legged freaks with big teeth that Tyra finds in cornfields and in the mountains of Arkansas.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

9.23.2008

This motherhood road is bumpy sometimes.

It's tough when you have to forsake your convictions. But I have learned with maturity that in each instance, examine all things and then move forward. It doesn't make sense to be rigid and unmoving in all things. Yesterday was one of those moments when I had to examine all things and move forward.

I was helping the boys with their homework, when I ran into the garage to use the computer. I could hear Xixi crying outside, which is nothing new. The girls will cry when they fight over something, or when they have a hard time getting down from the trampoline. As I got up to check on her, Maya comes running in and says Xixi had something stuck on her foot. So as I came around the corner I saw her standing there, frozen, her face all sweaty and she was shaking.

"Xixi! What's wrong?"

And she didn't move she just kept standing there shaking. I thought maybe her toe was caught under this bench, but when I looked closer, I realized what was wrong.

She stepped on a piece of wood that had two nails sticking out of them. Two dirty, rusty nails. One of the nails stabbed the back of her big toe and then popped out the other end. Not the nail, but the fatty part of the back of the toe.

I picked her up, I started praying out loud and my mind started racing as to what I should do.

I had to pull the nail out of her toe. I did it fast, but it gave me this sick feeling. It came out smoothly and didn't tear any of her skin except for the puncture holes. But her poor little toe was impaled by the rusty nail and I couldn't leave her like that. She cried. I cried. I rushed her into the house to wash the wound with antibacterial soap. Thankfully, it bled very little. With a sick feeling in my stomach, I knew I would have to take her in to get a tetanus shot.

My first two children were vaccinated until the age of one, my last four children have not been vaccinated due to our convictions on immunizations. We determined that we would hold off on them until they were older, and even then, we would select the ones we felt they should have.

Urgent care took her in immediately, but the doctor laid down the hammer. It was absolutely necessary that she should be put on antibiotics and have the tetanus shot because of the risk of infection, lockjaw, etc. Dangerous. Life threatening.

But then there was more. She now needed two shots. One was a tetanus hemoglobin shot (I think that's what it was called) to activate her immunity to tetanus immediately and the second was the traditional tetanus shot.

But what really chapped my butt was the fact that the pharmacy didn't have a tetanus vaccine. All they had was a Diphtheria, Pertussis and Tetanus shot. And the DPT was the shot I really wanted to stay away from, having heard lots of bad things about it. I was so upset. And I was alone, so I had to make the decision by myself.

I asked him for a pamphlet so I could review the side affects and he said, "Oh, sorry. This isn't pediatrics. We don't have access to those pamphlets." And then when I asked if it was possible for her to get just the tetanus hemoglobin he was adamant. No, she needed the other shot too. Immediately. You don't want to risk it.

Grrrrrrrr.

And I looked down at my daughter who was playing with her hair, relaxing on the examination table because she had no clue what "shots" were, oblivious to the thoughts racing through my mind. My heart just about leapt out of my chest at the thought of losing her. Just because I didn't want her to get a freakin' tetanus shot.

And I thought about that mother who agreed to a c-section, because she thought that was her only option to have a healthy baby. And the irony of it all wasn't lost on me.

Xixi ended up getting two shots in her each of her chubby little thighs. She was hysterical. She looked at me like, mama how could you let them do this to me? And I prayed as I looked at those empty vials on the tray, knowing that whatever was in them was now circulating in the body of my daughter.

When the nurse came back in to check on us, Xixi looked at her suspiciously. "Are you gonna gimme mo' shots? I don't yike shots! I don't yike shots anymore!"

My poor baby. But today, her toe looks good. She is able to walk on it fine. But I think it's my conscious, my ideals...my heart that got a little beat up. But that is motherhood. You leave your child on the altar of God, you pray and you try to make the best decision by your child...and you pray it was the right one that won't hurt them in the long run.

D-d-d-did I just hear that right?


I was questioning one of my boys about this friend that he has.

"I'm wondering what you have in common. He is two years older than you."

Two years doesn't sound like that much but when you are eleven and he is thirteen...those two years might as well be a hundred in terms of physical and mental development.

"Whaddya mean? We have lots in common! We both like video games, we both like music and we both like game magazines!"

And for a second I swear he said gay magazines.

I almost pooed on myself.

Whew. That was a close one.

9.22.2008

Down with TLC's A Baby Story.



I'm pissed. I feel like I need to do something. I believe Punk Rock Mom calls it her Revolutionary Take Down The Man Mode.

Yeh, I feel you sister.

I began watching TLC's A Baby Story about eight years ago, when I was in the thick of being barefoot and pregnant and labor and delivery were this huge mystery to me. Granted, it's six chil'rens later and labor and delivery continue to be a wide and vast mystery to me....but I just don't really sit down to watch it anymore. I get so frustrated waiting to see if they will show a healthy, informed woman having a natural and normal labor and delivery. So it's best if I just don't watch it.

Keeps the old blood pressure down.

But today I was folding a mountainous pile of black socks (what can I say? I'm in the I.E.) and I don't have any batteries in the remote so after watching Stacy and Clinton chop someone's taste of clothing up on What Not To Wear, I stuck around for A Baby Story.

The scenario: A woman's labor was induced. She was "in labor" for an entire day and she was "stuck" at 2 centimeters. The OB's plan was to rupture her bag of waters so the baby could come down and true labor could commence. But when he checked her, he said the baby was still too high and her head was floating up around her uterus. Now, that's just a saying because the baby was too developed to actually be floating around the woman's stomach. What he meant was her baby wasn't engaged in her pelvis. And if he broke her water, there is a high chance of cord compression. That's dangerous.

All this proves the baby was nowhere ready to be born.

So the OB said she had two options. He said the baby was going "nowhere" because it was TOO BIG. So she could opt for another day of pitocin and take the chance on getting "no results". Or get the baby out via cesarean section. NOW. And by that time she is confused, emotional, crying, looking to her family for help. Sounds to me like he was giving her absolutely no choice at all.

"What should I do?" she pleaded.

After her family is sufficiently freaked out, they look at the OB like he has her best interest at heart. Like they had no power to question his words. Never once did he say that the baby was in distress. He had to clean up the mess he made. The bastard was probably thinking, well, I've already shot her up full of pitocin and it isn't working...and I have that dinner date at eight...and tomorrow morning I have that round of golf I gotta play...let's just get this over with.

So it's off to the operating room. I kept yelling, why not just send her home? Why not just let her body begin labor when it's ready, you jackass?! See, this topic gets me all riled up. I've already cursed twice! I said bastard and jackass.

While she is shivering and undergoing the c-section, the OB is tugging on her stomach and amniotic fluid is squirting everywhere and he starts to laugh. He is actually laughing while a woman's womb is being unnecessarily and unceremoniously cut open and her baby is about to be pulled out of her warm, secret place.

"Hahahaaha! Look how high this baby is! I told you she was still up high."

That is probably because she wasn't ready to be born, you sado-masochist! You are about to pull a baby out of her mother's womb before she is ready to be born. It sent shivers down my spine. I was so upset. But I was too pissed to cry.

Not a half hour passed before the baby was out. When they weighed her, she came in at 5 lbs. and a few ounces. Five and a half pounds! Does that sound like a baby that was too big to come out? I was infuriated. I'm thinking, SUE! But these parents were so grateful that the OB helped their baby to be born, they were in tears, ecstatic and happy.

I understand that the only thing that should matter is a healthy baby being born in the end. But in this case, the end does not justify the means. It should be a normal and natural event for both parties. Mother and baby work in tandem, that is the way God designed it. Needless to say, it just made my stomach twist up in knots, thinking there are women all over the U.S. who go through this everyday, whose ignorance takes away their ability to have a healthy, safe birth.

And this is where the Revolutionary Take Down The Man Mode comes into play. It kinda made me feel like I need to be protesting OB/GYN's and their assault on women and their bodies and their unborn children on the steps of Kaiser, the city hall or the A.M.A, the A.B.O.G, for the O.P.P that belong to the P.Y.T's. Fo'reals. Decked out in a long peasant skirt, a baby hanging from my boob in a Maya wrap, my frizzy hair parted down the middle and my other kids sitting down cross-legged, drinking wheatgrass and munching on cucumbers. Seriously, people.

One of my long-term goals was to help other mothers with childbirth education. It's something I am passionate about. Although at times I verge on the militant, in my heart I just want to help woman experience a peaceful, healthy labor where they give their babies the best start in life.

If you or someone you know are having a baby anytime soon and you have questions or you want someone to chat with regarding your pregnancy, please e-mail me. And educate yourself. Your child deserves to have a well-informed mother.

And me, well...no more Baby Story for me. My heart can only take so much Revolutionary Take Down the Man Mode.

9.21.2008

"I'm a PC"



I gotta give mad propers to Man One for his spot on the new Microsoft "I'm a PC" ads. A graff artist? In a commercial? Challenging the law? Wow...the world of graffiti has come a long way.

Very cool.

In-N-Out vs. Fatburger

My Dad took Noah out to dinner the other night before their all-men's trip to Knotts Berry Farm (Magic Mountain was closed...and they suck) and he was given the choice of whatever he wanted to eat. And I know my son...it could have been pretty much anything as long as there was plenty of it. My Dad was in awe.

"He said he wanted Fatburger. Dude can eat! He ate a Kingburger, a Baby Fat and fat fries. And he ate it all!"

That isn't news to me.

My family loves them some Fatburger! Fatburger was a foreign concept to me, up until about twelve years ago. The I.E didn't have any Fatburgers way back in the day. Michael took me to one in L.A., right by USC. I suddenly remembered Ice Cube's, "It was a Good Day."

Today was like one of those fly dreams
Didn't even see a berry flashing those high beams
No helicopter looking for a murder
Two in the morning got the Fatburger
Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp
And it read Ice Cube's a pimp.


It had a really cool vibe. There were pictures of Ray Charles, James Brown, Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder on the walls. There was a jukebox that played really loud music. And the majority of the patrons were black. I figured it was hood-owned and operated, like the Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15 Theater. Then I discovered some of the franchise owners were Magic Johnson, E-40, Kanye West, Montel Williams and Queen Latifah and Pharrell will be opening up their Fatburgers' soon.

Heeeeeeey.

Fatburger is a big treat for our household. There are only two places we will eat burgers and that is Fatburger and In-n-Out. Which made me ponder the question...which one was better?

Fatburger vs. In-N-Out.

Hmmmmmmmm.

That is a tough one for me. Fatburgers offer a bit more variety, with their sandwiches, turkey burgers and veggie burgers. Ooooh oh oh and chili. Chili fries are a fat person's dream. You can also choose between fat fries or skinny fries. Guess which one I always order? FAT fries cuz I'm phat. Thought you knew. They also have three different burger sizes...the Baby Fat, the Fatburger and the Kingburger. I like how they yell the orders to the cooks, " GIMME THREEEEE FATS, FIVE BABY FATS AND A KIIIIIIIIING FAT!"

Kewl.

So it looks like the odds are in favor of Fatburger, right?

Slow your roll.

Their downside is that they are a bit pricey. I have six chil'rens, yo. That means we can't go to Fatburger without buying everyone their own fries, drinks, etc. Believe me, it's just easier that way. Less arguing and crying in the long run. And throughout the entire meal I am calculating in my head exactly how many groceries I could have bought with the money we spent in the joint. And eating chili fries is something I try not to do very often, maybe once a year, if that.

Oh. And it's kinda far from our house. We have to drive allllll the way up University, past the prostitutes and the transients and the transient prostitutes. By that time, we would die of hunger. I don't think Michael could make it that far without gnawing his arm off or something.

But then there is In-N-Out. You can't get much better than an animal-style cheeseburger. For all those poor souls who don't live in Cali, an animal-style means it's made with extra pickles and grilled onions. I don't know what it is that makes an In-n-Out burgers so dang satisfying. They could serve me a kite with grilled onions and it would probably be delicious.

There have been many a night when Michael has jumped in the van and made his way over to In-n-Out after the chil'rens were asleep. And we stay up watching a movie, being naughty and munching away, hoping the chil'rens wouldn't get a whiff of our burgers. Another perk, there are two In-N-Out within a five mile radius of our home. Yeh, we do some damage.

Michael used to work at an In-n-Out in L.A. when he was 17 and as young and tasty as the burgers. You would have thought he was in Vietnam veteran after all the stories he tells about his short stint of employment there.

"See, when I used to work at In-N-Out...."
"Back when I used to work at In-N-Out..."
"I remember those days, when I used to work at In-n-Out..."

Heh.

So there you have it. It's impossible for me to like one more than the other. I mean, how could I? They are both delicious in their own right. All this writing and talking about In-n-Out made us start craving for one! So Michael called out, "I got five bucks! How much you got on it?" So I start digging for some change. Two bucks. "That's all you got, two bucks?" What can I say, I am a stay at home mom who doesn't get paid.

And now I am full.

9.20.2008

The cravings tell no lies.

Me and my brother and sister with our Dad and grandparents.

Growing up, I didn't know anyone who called their grandfather Tata. Apparently, this is a beaner thing. So when I referred to him to others, I would just say my grandpa. But he was still my Tata. So now that I have introduced him to you, let me share a little bit about my paternal grandfather.

He's a funny old dude. He loves to be antagonistic. He loves to pretend like he is mean, but really he's not. If you say black, he will play devil's advocate and say no, I think it's white. Just to see what reaction you will have.

He's got this dark, red-hued, burnt sienna skin from his Native American descendants in New Mexico. Mescalero Apache, I grew up listening to him say with a hint of pride. Now that he is much older, he still has that burnt sienna skin, but now his jet black hair has turned white.

One of the curious ways of my Tata is he can predict when one of us is pregnant. It's the craziest thing. When someone in the family is pregnant, he will crave something to eat. And he will tell my Nana, "Juana! I'm craving ______." And my Nana will wonder, Uh-oh, I wonder who is pregnant now.

He craved when my mother was pregnant, my aunties, my sister-in-law, my sister and of course, myself. It can be fried eggplant, sardines, liver, nopales, those weird shrimp patties in red chile sauce that you eat during Lent. He definitely craves out of the ordinary stuff. It's one of his quirks. And he is pretty accurate. You can imagine I had him craving for a good, solid ten years. Heh.

Last month when we all got together for Xixi's birthday, my Nana mentioned that he was craving something a couple of weeks before. Catfish of all things, my Nana said. He drove around town looking for some. Sorry, Tata, but I don't think you will find catfish in El Sereno. Head over to South Central where there are wigs, fried chicken and catfish on every corner. That may sound like a stereotype to some but it's not--you've just never been to South Central.

So as we sat there listening and laughing at my Tata and his little idiosyncrasy, I say, "Well, it ain't me!" And Caucasian sister-in-law calls out, "And it's definitely not me!!" We pondered our cousin, or my other cousin's girlfriend. Somehow we neglected my sister Jen, who was sitting very quietly in the corner, her face pale and blah-looking. And if you knew my sister, she is anything but blah-looking.

But she was blah-looking because she is with child, and she was trying to keep it to herself until she was further along!

But at the time, I didn't quite catch on. I just thought she tired from chasing around my little nieces in the heat. Then a couple of weeks after that, my mom and my brother were going to her house to help her take care of the girls because Jen was "sick".

Hmmmmmmmm.

Then I had one of those smack-myself-on-the-forehead-type moments. Duh. Jen being sick all the time, tired, blah, not really being her vivacious self. When I asked my mom, she would dodge the question. So I knew she already knew. Then I hit up Jen, who sounded, by the way, like she was on death's door. I could just envision her pale, blah-looking face.

"Jen! Are you alive?"
"Yeeeeeees."
"So what's up with you? Why are you so sick? Are you pregnant?"
"Yeeeeeees."
"Yay!! I'm so excited! Three babies under the age of three! Woohoo!"

So there you have it, another child entering into the family sometime next Spring. I really am excited. We are all hoping for a boy because I don't think my brother-in-law will survive with four females in his house. Poor Justin!

And dare I say it? Better Jen than me! Woohooo.

Congratulations sister!

9.19.2008

Chub rub: fat girl hazard


Chub rub.

I know fat thighs are cute on babies. Makes you want to nuzzle all their little dimples and nibble on the soft little folds on their knees. On grown women...not so much. This whole unholy chub rub problem...woooooo boy. Its the next morning and I'm still suffering from the after affects of having hamhocks for thighs.

We were in the O.C. yesterday, running a few errands at Coast Airbrush in Anaheim. Instead of sitting in the parking lot that is the 91 freeway, we decided to kill time by spending the rest of the day at Disneylandia. It was one of those spontaneous trips, the luxury of living nearby and having annual passes. The only problem was, I didn't have our passes in my wallet. So I got a little scolding from Michael, you should always have our passes in your purse because you just never know.

What my husband fails to realize is, I already carry the standard assortment of plastic in my wallet...add SEVEN Kaiser cards (yeh, SEVEN)...and SEVEN Disneyland annual pass cards...and about a thousand Ross and Target receipts...um, it makes my wallet kinda stuffed and bulky. Mmmmkay? Fortunately for us, they let you enter the park one time without your passes. So we made that hurdle.

Next was our attire. It was warm enough out where we didn't need hoodies. Everyone was wearing proper shoes. Everyone looked presentable. Everyone was fed. The only thing we had to do was eat the parking fee. No biggie.

But.

I was wearing a sundress and flip flops and...no Spanx. Dear Lawd. You can imagine my conundrum. I knew I would be okay for a minute, as the fat between your legs forms a tight seal and no rubbing occurs. But that lasted until we got to the tram. Add the heat, sweat, friction...chub rub was in full effect.

What is a fat girl to do?


Powder doesn't work. Lotions won't work. Diaper rash cream flashed through my mind for an instant. Getting on a diet and lessening the amount of chub in your rub sounds like the only feasible (albeit unappealing) option.

Dang.

By the end of the night, which ended blissfully by 8 pm when the park closed, was about all I could take. Pearmama was startin' fires! Fires, I tell you. Sitting on a block of party ice was looking really good after all was said and done. I can see it now, the steam billowing out all around me.

Aaahhhhhhhh.

Note to self: always keep a spare pair of shorts and/or Spanx in the glove compartment.  Just sayin'.

La misma cara!


Dooood. And all these years, people said that Noah was my twin. I don't think you can say that anymore, save the eyebrows. The bushiness is all mama, baby. But still, how freaky is it that they look so much alike now?

9.18.2008

Our cool new sculpture

A couple of months ago when we had some artwork up at Back to the Grind, there was this metal sculpture right underneath Michael's piece. It was really cool but I didn't know who the artist was. Then I forgot all about it. In this picture, you can see a the top portion of the sculpture.

Then a couple of weeks ago when we were sweating buckets at the Art Walk in downtown Riverside and we went to get an iced coffee, we saw the sculpture again! People had their stuff propped up against the curb, selling for a pittance of what their art is really worth.

That's what sucks about being an artist sometimes...it's so difficult to put a price tag on your work. I mean, obviously it means very much to the artist...is the number too high and people will laugh at you? Or is it too low...and people are still laughing at what a steal they got your painting for? Then when you consider the hours of work you put into it...the cost of your supplies...the fact that there is only one like it....your own personal attachment to it.

See what I mean, it's really confusing!

Anyhow, we saw that very same sculpture that night, although it didn't register at first. I just thought, that is a really cool piece...where have I seen it before? I passed it up and when I looked back, Michael had stopped in front of it and he was pulling out his wallet. Oh man...I wonder what he is willing to pay for that sculpture? He shook the artist's hand and off we went, with a new sculpture for our home.

When Michael told me how much he paid for it, I was shocked. Not because he overpaid but because the artist was charging a fraction of what it was worth. He even wanted to give Michael his change and Michael waved him off, saying, "Please, just keep it!"

Someone might see a work of art and think a child could have done it, therefore it lacks value to them. Another person might see the beautiful lines, the curves, the unique shadows it casts and it's rustic appeal. And then it becomes very valuable. It wasn't until after we got it home did I realize it was the same sculpture we admired at Back to the Grind.

So the sculpture is now in our livingroom. It's extremely heavy so putting it up on a shelf just wasn't an option. The piece was created by J. Soto because there is a little tag on the base. That's all I know about the artist. It brings a really cool vibe to our home. I can't wait to keep adding to our art collection. I'm so glad Michael had the presence of mind to buy it.

9.17.2008

I won.

Michael saw this and he was like, "What? You shall be victorious? Yeh right. You better edit that blog!"

And I said, "Um, excuse me! Remember the whole black nail polish issue?"

Silence.

You gotta have some give and take if you want this institution of marriage of work. In the long run, wearing black nail polish was not a hill I wanted to die on. And apparently, neither was this whole mustache "hill". Come on, he loves it. I was chasing him outside on his way to a meeting. And that's what you want, right? You want to be chased around every once and a while because you look tasty to your spouse. Or maybe that's just us.

But, I told you I would be victorious.

And I was.

Heh.

Say queso!!


I have a love affair with cheese. On any given day in my refrigerator, you will find mozzarella, cheddar, swiss, feta, shaved parmesan, provolone, ranchero cheese and string cheese. I'm kinda blushing, thinking about how many I have in there. That is a rather wide assortment of cheese. Dang. But then again, I haven't tasted a cheese I didn't like.

While in San Francisco, we had lunch at this little wine and cheese deli, and I got to sample some crazy cheese from France, a goat's milk cheese wrapped in black walnut leaves. Then there was this soft cheese wrapped in some briny ocean somethingorother. Then I was munching down on these little samples they had. Once I started spearing the cheese on my toothpick three to four cubes at a time, I knew I was going beyond sampling. I was trying to have a full-on meal of cheese.

And that was snooty cheese. I also have a love affair with Mexican cheeses, my favorite being ranchero and cotija. For years, I only ate cotija cheese on sopes, just like at King Taco. Perhaps sprinkled on my enchiladas as a garnish. Always while we were eating out, never at home. I don't know why that is, but I have since rectified that.

If you've never eaten cotija cheese, ya better ask somebody. It is delicious. Salty. Kinda tangy. Smells like fuuchie...almost like stinky feet.

It's good times.

Yessssir. So I bought this big hunkin' wedge at the mexican market. Made a giant pot of frijoles, enough to last a family of eight for the entire week (that's a whole lotta beans, lemme tell you). Normally we hold out for the beans until the end of the month (you know what I'm sayin'?), but with the trip up north and all, the end of the month came early for us. So we slathered the fri-ho-lays on a tostada shell (store bought cuz I ain't that hardcore). Then I diced up some romaine leaves, tomatoes, brought out the salsa and sour cream. Sprinkled some of that cotija cheese....whooooo boy, it was a party.up.in.here.

There is a downside to loving all this cheese. The cheese doesn't always love me back. Stomach cramps. Bloating. Stinky poots. It's kinda torturous. Well, not as bad as when I drink milk (so I don't drink it) but for my family, I would say its fairly torturous. They certainly suffer the ill effects of mama's love affair with cheese.

The silent and deadly ones get them every time.

There I go, off on a tangent about poots, when what I really wanted to talk about was yummy cheese...specifically the tostadas with cotija cheese that I had for dinner. But that is a bad habit I have, ask anyone who knows me, I am always engaging in inappropriate conversation while eating dinner or talking about food. My bad.

But how can something that smells so funky taste so good?

9.16.2008

Amigas, their boyfriends and...the crazy.


I ran into a friend of mine at the grocery store last night. She was shopping with this new dude she's been dating. We chatted for a bit, trying to catch up on each other's lives. A big event is coming up, and she wanted to know if Michael and I would be able to make it.

As usual, she is all flushed and giggly. This is how she usually is when she is dating a new guy. Do you have friends that hop from one guy to the next? You know how it seems like they are never alone for long? Then there are those other friends who seem to have it all together but then they go through some serious dry spells in the man department.

Anyhow, I smile and listen to my friend go on about how nice the dude is, how is family is very cool, how she really likes him, etc. And I smile some more. But the fact is, I've heard this story before. These same nice guys with cool families who treat her really well also end up stalking her, knocking her in the teeth with their fist, cheating on her with a bunch of his other hoes, hanging around when they should be out of her house...basically treating her like yesterday's trash until the next guy comes along and her starry-eyedness comes back in full effect.

I don't know what is worse...going from guy to guy in search of happiness...or being alone year after year because you always find something wrong with the person you are dating.

Either way, I told my friend that she must have a voodoo coochie. Cuz it attracts the crazy. Seriously. What does she do with these guys to turn them all like that? It's difficult to believe that someone can attract the same scum over and over again. And what is scary is that they all start out the same...nice, attentive, caring, cool, funny. At what point do they they turn on you and you find yourself being dragged outside by your hair?

I dunno.

I love girlfriend and I want her to be happy. But I also want her to be mindful of her three little ones. It can't be good to see a new guy staying over at their house every four or five months. When I was a kid, I never saw who my mom was dating. And I know she had to be dating at some point. She just never stayed out anywhere or brought anyone over. And when my future step-dad did come around, it made me feel funny when he was there all the time. I can't imagine a parade of men going through my mother's bedroom. It would have been devastating. That is why I worry about girlfriend's kids. They have seen way too much in their young lives.

I pray that at some point down the line, she will find that special someone. That she will realize it takes time to get to know someone and that you should proceed with extreme caution when bringing someone new around your children. Until then, I will grin and bear it. I'll be that old married lady who you call when you are crying and don't know what else to do.

Off with the 'stache!!

Right now the tiny little bone of contention I got going on in my house is the mustache. No me gusta. It's prickly. It reminds me of one of my uncles. Everytime we kiss, it stabs me in the nose. And it's prickly. I already said that, right?

Ew.

We all have our preferences. We all know how we like our spouses to look. He likes when I wear natural make-up, wear my hair curly, when I wear dresses, etc. Personally, I think my husband is gorgeous pretty much anyway you slice him...but then there are always the preferences. I much prefer Michael to wear a goatee...but without a mustache. If he is working a soul patch, that's cool. But I like when he doesn't have a mustache. I mean, if you have nice lips, what is the point?

And brother man has some nice lips.

Just a couple of weeks ago, Maya found a picture on her grandma's fridge. She marched right up to me with her stank little attitude. "Mama! Who is in this picture with you? Is it your boyfriend? He's ugly! I'm gonna tell daddy."

And it was my boyfriend, way back in the day before he was her daddy. But I realized why she didn't recognize him. He was wearing this bushy, silly-looking mustache that looks a little curled at the edges. WTH? I don't recall him having a mustache like that. Seriously. My common sense says I would have never stood for a 'stache like that. But I guess he could have had three eyes, no teeth and a hole in his head...that's how eager I was to get at this dude. Fo' reals.

I've always loved his goatee. It has a variety of colors in it, from a black to a dark burgundy to brown to a bright orange. Of course my husband would have an artistic and colorful goatee that is just as artistic and colorful as he is. So I have this attachment to it. But then two weeks ago, he shaved everything off. Which was cute. I guess. I didn't panic because I know he can grow back a goatee in a matter of hours. Only this time he grew the mustache, too. And I've been kinda ugh.

I've already asked him to shave it off. Repeatedly. The minute I came home from San Francisco, I mentioned the mustache. Thinking, dude you haven't seen me (or slept in the same bed with me in four days)...shave it off and let's get this party started. But noooooo. He hasn't complied. And I totally know why. It's because I asked him too. So now he is just standing on the principle. I should have said, "Oh, honey, I LOVE the mustache. Don't ever shave it off." It would be gone by the evening. Heh.

He said he might just "trim it". Which isn't any sort of consolation. It's still giving me fits because I don't want him to look like some reggaeton musician like Pitbull or Daddy Yankee. Ew. Those thin hairline beards and mustaches just freak me out. They are ugly.

And so now I wait.

I shall be victorious.

Oh, I shall be victorious.

9.15.2008

I get the hint.

So here I am, minding my own business, finishing my lesson for class tomorrow. Wondering if I washed all the chil'rens uniform shirts, feelin' kinda pissy because it's gonna be hot as hell tomorrow. And where is my husband? Locked up in the garage...doin' something devious. He high-jacked my blog!

When we were in Palm Springs at the marriage retreat, one of the fun things we did was learn about "business time". Now I hear this phrase all the freakin' time. So I guess this is the man's way of telling me to get off the computer cuz it's time....business time, that is.

And for the record, I would never publish a photo of him shirtless, taco meat in all it's curly glory, for the world to see.

It is pretty funny though. Thanks honey, for putting me on blast to the entire blog world by posting a funny clip of "business time" in order for me to break you off something.

It's Business, It's Buuusinessss Tiiime!!


Ah yeah!!






9.14.2008

My trip to San Francisco to see Frida Kahlo's art

Have you ever felt like you were so moved and you had so much to say but you didn't know how to say it...or get the opportunity to say it, for that matter?

That's how I feel about being in San Francisco and seeing Frida Kahlo's work at SFMoMa, spending time with one of my oldest friends Amparo and experiencing it all together.

It was a wonderful trip.

We stayed in the Nob Hill area. It was exciting to walk through the neighborhoods, ride and bus and see the town, to be immersed in the culture. I'm sure we stuck out like sore thumbs. Me and my little map. We lived and died by that little map. Whenever I would reach in my pocket for it I would sing, "I'm the map I'm the map I'm the map!" Those who know Dora the Explorer can feel me.

San Francisco has a way different vibe than L.A. and I really liked that. The weather was glorious and brisk. I wasn't prepared for that, what with the weather still in the 90's at home. It felt unnatural to pack a jacket, so I had to buy a sweater once we were there.

There was so much to do, so little time to do them all.

What I am most proud of is the fact that I was adventurous. We just hopped on a bus, the 45, and cruised through all the steep streets. I kept thinking to myself, my husband would be so proud of me! All because I have never rode the bus before. We did some shopping, looked at all the cool coffee shops, restaurants, galleries and museums. Then we walked the four blocks back to our room, around midnight. And I wasn't even scared or gripping my keys and mapping out how I would gouge someone's eyes out if they popped out at us from a dark corner. I probably should have. But I was too giddy with excitement.

We're in San Francisco!
We're going to see Frida!

The actual Frida Kahlo exhibit was....unforgettable.  

Amazing.
Breath-taking.
Inspiring.
Touching.

What I was most in awe of was Frida's artistry. She was an amazing artist. She was a master at her craft. What you don't see in books and pictures and posters is all of the little details.

A drop of blood in the corner of a mouth. Little stabs with a knife on a wood frame. Red polka-dots on her tiny green shoes. Red blood vessels in the whites of the eyes. The delicateness of a single drop of breast milk.

I was in awe of Frida's work.  

It's a thousand times better in person.

Then there were all the candid photographs, the letters, the articles. It just made me love her even more. But what touched my heart the most was the home movies they were playing on this continuous loop on a flat screen TV. Diego reached over to her to position her head a certain way, and she caught his hand against her face and held it there. Then she took his hand and kissed it. It was so tender. And that is what finally made me get misty-eyed. She loved him so much.

I sat there for a while and was mesmerized.

Our trip was not without its comical bumps along the way. I discovered I am somewhat of a backseat driver. And Amparo is so freaking calm all the time--when I would get all crazy ("Make a left. A LEFT!!" or "Slow down!! PLEASE SLOW DOWN!"), she would simply reach over and grab her water bottle, take a swig and politey give me the finger.
I will forever have this memory in my mind...driving down Highway 1 in utter and complete blackness (because we got there too late to enjoy the scenery and it was too late to turn back and take another route), with no cars in front or behind us, or cell phone service for that matter, rolling down the window to smell the sea air ("Damn! This would've been awesome during the day!") and blasting Morrissey's "The Last of the International Playboys" and singing it at the top of our lungs.

Good times.

Can't wait for the next trip.


On our first morning there...ready for some Frida!

I spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to jack one of those banners.

I was so excited to see the Museum of Modern Art.

I've always loved this painting by Diego Rivera. Imagine how giddy I was to discover it was part of the museum's permanent collection!

Oh em geeeeeee.

I love!

Me and Amparo, exhilarated after seeing some of our most beloved paintings.

Me in the Mission District.

Amparo bought these Geisha Vans while in SF. I was sooo on her jock. I wanted them for myself!

The Golden Gate bridge was so beautiful, it almost seemed like a dream.

Puff puff pass--don't mess up the rotation.

A landmark.

Cool stuff. I wanted to buy everything.



Me in Morro Bay...which is basically a giant rock in the water. Woooo.

This is what happens to you when you take a long road trip and you find your friend's son's Incredibles mask. I told ya'll I was a super hero!!


9.09.2008

California dreamin...

Do you ever feel like you have so many things running around in your head that it almost feels like you have ants crawling on you and you need to run around and shake them off?

Oh. Well, I do.

I have made it through several hurdles in the past week. The Art Walk and getting my stuff done. Getting sick. Preparing to teach two classes. The first day of the homeschool co-op.

Now I am looking at about six loads of laundry to fold...my things to pack for my trip...printing out sightseeing info...good places to eat...checking on reservations...wondering if the chil'rens will survive two and a half days without me...money, or should I say, lack of money...babysitter issues...my husband and his very busy schedule...and this sweet Vans trucker cap that I saw at the Galleria that I wanted to buy to hide travel hair.

Sigh.

I am scheduled to leave for L.A. tomorrow afternoon to visit a friend recovering from surgery, then visit the grands, then visit with my dad and my new mommy (his gf)...then the next morning it is off to San Francisco, then back down to Morro Bay.

I'm too busy to be excited. Nah 'mean?

But really, I am excited. Just to get away...from my thoughts of everything that I have to do...of my endless responsibilities and chores. You all know how much I love the Man and the chil'rens...but I don't get too many opportunities to get away. I mean, I've got tears in my eyes just thinking about it. It's going to be really peaceful. And memorable. Frida Kahlo, here I come.

And now I'm off to do all the things I have to do. I can't wait to blow this taco stand. Seriously.

And his new name shall be...El Guapo



Yeh. I don't think you can this this young man feo any longer. I took this picture of Noah on his first day back at the homeschool co-op today and I can't believe how much he has grown. He looks so much like Michael. All the things I thought were so handsome about Michael, my sons also possess. But in much greater quantity. Heh. Michael's looks and my wit...that's a deadly combination. It's actually kinda scary. To catch a glimpse of your sons as young men, desirable to other people, its a sobering thought. And that's how it comes to me...in little glimpses.

I will just put it out there...I'ma be one of them big mother-in-laws in house dresses with big squishy arms and cankles, that never think a woman is good enough for her sons. Heh. And I'm always going to be cooking delicious food that she will try to duplicate but it will never be quite the same.

Mwahahahahahahahahahahahhahaha.

What can I say? They are precious to me. They are my treasures. It's gonna take a wonderful woman to allow my son to soar to his greatest potential as a man, a husband and a father. She is going to have to be sent from Heaven above.

Little chicas...

There was a time when my family was starved of little girls. We couldn't wait for a little girl to be born.

The Barbies...the baby dolls...the cute clothes...the ponytails...the pretty names...the high-pitched screams. All that good stuff. We couldn't wait.

Then Maya was born. Then Xixi. Then Isabella. Next came Selah. And finally, Sofia (who didn't make it in this pic). Boom boom boom. Suddenly, there is a surplus of little girls!

And they are beautiful, frilly, dramatic, bossy, loud, giggly, full of attitude. They are always entertaining to watch when they are all together. When I saw this picture, I got this freeze frame of what they would look when they were teenagers. Would they still be close? Would they like to hang out with each other? What type of individual personalities would they develop? Would they consider their cousins their best friends?

That is how I grew up. My cousins were my best friends. And it's a good thing, too, because I had alot of them. Fourteen girl cousins, one one side. So this picture, it just makes me smile. I hope they will always be close to one another.

Happy Birthday to my feo...

We have this running joke in our family. We got the pretty babies and then we got the ugly babies. No, it's not mean...no, we're aren't trying to give anyone a complex...but the facts are the facts. There are some babies that are just beautiful when they are born...and then there are those that aren't so beautiful and they take a little longer to blossom. They are feo. Or, around these parts, we say, feyito.

Caucasians, peep this...it means a "little ugly".

Right now, Michael and I are in disagreement about how to spell it. He wants to get all technical and spell it "fellito". But personally, that looks too much like fellatio and my knee-jerk reaction was to be a bit startled and I worried someone might think the wrong thing ("Hey, Sally...did you read Pearmama today? She's talkin' about fellatio!!") and so I thought the best thing would be to spell it the way it sounds, for safety reasons. Feyito.

There. I feel better.

Anyhoo, the beautiful ones and the feyitos. The chil'rens are divided down the middle. On the beautiful team I have: Xixi, Solomon and Diego. Which leaves my feyitos: Maya (ooooh), Cyan (shudder) and Noah (horror!). Actually, its a toss up between Noah and Cyan. They were both pretty ugly when they were born.

As a matter of fact, I was telling the chil'rens this story the other day. They were cracking up. But in the end, the prize of ugliest baby goes to Cyan, because he was feo for almost five months straight. And he proudly wears the title, just like the feo chango he is. Noah, he was lucky....he got cute the minute he chunked up.

I have proof.

Today is Noah's birthday. Eleven years today I was pushing out a marshmallow named Noah Zion. He had a face only a mother could love. And boy, did I love him. I could spend hours on end just watching him sleep, taking him take a bath, nursing. He was such a joy to have in my life. He still is!

I'm so glad I took time out to create a baby book for him. If I hadn't written down anything I don't think I would remember a thing because the time has flown by. I read a few things that made me laugh out loud.

Noah said when he grows up he's going to get a job like Papa, take lunch to work like Papa...but he doesn't need a wife, just a mama!

He said that when he was five years old.

In his baby book are all his ugly baby photos. Everytime we look at them, we involuntarily say, "Oooooohhhhhh." Like a poor thing type of ooooohh.

Once he started eating and sleeping more, he got fat and juicy and cute. And then I couldn't remember what the feo Noah looked like. But I'll always have that baby book for proof.

He has grown so much. He's getting really tall and lanky. And furry. But we won't get into that. I went out and bought Noah all sorts of little snacks because I knew it would make him happy. So tomorrow when he wakes up, he will find his own Vitamin Water, some honeydew melon, waffles and milk and an unheard of treat in this household....Bagel Bites. I'm sure he will the envy of all who live here.

Happy birthday, Noah! I love you.




Oooooh, child. That is a face only a mother could love.


That is more like it...Noah at three months. Where has the time gone?

9.08.2008

Riverside Art Walk 9/4/08

Whew. It was a really hot night. I foolishly believed the Riverside Life Arts building would have air conditioning.

Was I wrong. Dude.

But the overall rustic charm of the place won me over. I overlooked the stifling heat, the all-consuming smell of incense and armpits from all the skinny, hunched over, baggy-clothes wearin', shaggy-beard wearin' artistes. And the death sticks. I didn't realize people still smoked cigarettes. And the wine. Let's not forget the wine. Smelled like balsamic vinegar to me. But then again I'm not much of a wine connoisseur. But it was kewl. Lots of friends came out to support us, which meant so much to Michael and I.

Oh! And the studios...I totally want to rent one. I was totally on the artists' jocks about their studios.

I wanna open up my studio and burn incense...patchouli or Egyptian musk or black love...heh...I said black love...heh...and I wanna display my paintings and open up the windows to hear that dude playing Grateful Dead songs on the roof...and be a cool artist.

I do.

I wanna.

Until then, its back to my kitchen table and five-drawer storage on wheels. Yeehaw.



Sugar skull, the first of a series. Acrylic on two split canvases.


You can't really see too much detail on this one, but I really liked the way it turned out. It's acrylic on wood.


Sorry for the awful picture but here are some of my paintings hung.


Michael peeking out behind the Sugar Skull. Photo taken by Punk Rock Mom.

9.06.2008

I'm not above profiting off someone's *issues*...

My firstborn is technically not the oldest. He has an almost-fifteen year old brother that he doesn't get to see that often. So he has many of the characteristics of a first born. I feel bad for the dude sometimes. He seems to have this burden that he carries around. The burden is in the form of five little siblings and this little thing in his head.

I can depend on Noah to shut all the windows and turn on the a/c when it gets over 82 degrees in the house, start breakfast, wash the dishes, sweep the floor, take out the trash, water the plants, unload the groceries and organize the pantry, etc. That is just some of what he does. He is always on his sisters about their toys. He yells at Diego to make his bed. He is up everyone's butt if his beloved PS2 is at stake. Mess with his video game and I feel sorry for you.

"Mom, I try to be nice to my brothers, I really do...but they make me get very angry when they are lazy and don't do nothin' so then I have to punch them."

Which leads to (announced to us on Friday night)....

"I just wanted to say that I was sorry for being a mean jerk sometimes. I know that my brothers sometimes hate me and call me names because I am mean and I tell them what do to...but I'm sorry. I don't want to be a mean jerk."

He said this with all total sincerity.

What freaks me out about Noah doing all that he does is that we haven't made it a direct order that he do all those things. But being the oldest, the most cognizant, he just does them. He has come to me before, confessing that he has to keep things a certain way or else his mind goes a bit crazy. "Moooooooommm, why do I always have to be so neat? Why couldn't I have been made for destruction??? Why????"

I feel for Noah, I really do. I see so much of myself in him. Well, I don't know about that destruction stuff. But when I was a kid, I remember stressing out over whether or not my little brother and sister would behave when we visited our Dad in San Diego over the summer. So I was on them to pick up after themselves, to be quiet, to not ask for stuff, to stop crying, to eat whatever my Dad made for us...I even remember cleaning the mirror above the sink after they brushed their teeth because that used to drive my Dad crazy, and I didn't want him to get irritated with us.

That's what I see Noah doing. Only I don't see his motivation being to please his parents. Oh, no. His motivation is this little thing called Obsessive Compulsiveness. No, he's never been diagnosed, but spend any length of time with him and you will see. He is driven by something deep inside.

Well, that drive made him climb up to the cabinet where I store my cleaning supplies (so the chil'rens can't reach and therefore, can't poison themselves) to grab the windex and paper towels.

Yes, my son took it upon himself to clean the sliding glass door, the kitchen window and the big window in our entry. And he was very thorough, I might add. If I was a mean, sadistic mom, I would have pointed out the streaky, spotted bedroom windows...but I had pity on this little guy and his obsessive compulsiveness.

But at least now I have clean windows.

Far be it from me to stop someone in the throes of passionate housework. And I'm not above profiting off someone's "issues". Heh.

I think you missed a spot...right there.

Wait...you're not done, dude. look at all those windows behind you!

Whatchu know 'bout this?

House slippers. Wit da bandanna paisleys.

Ta-dow.

You can take the boy outta the ghetto but you can't take the ghetto outta the boy.

What can I say?

That is my dear husband's stee-lo. That's just how he rolls.

I wouldn't have it any other way.
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