Fo shizzle my nizzle

We just started baseball season a couple of weeks ago.

I slipped back into the practice and game days two days a week business pretty seamlessly. The good thing: the boys have practice on the same days. This frees up an extra two days for us in the week and we don't feel like we're living at the baseball field. The bad: they practice on two different fields with the same start and ending time.


So I drop off one a little bit early at field number one. Race along this road to get to field number two so he won't be late.

Get there by the skin of my teeth.

Then, I usually hang out with the kids at field number two. And then the second practice is over, we race back down the same road to get to field number one. We usually find Diego, standing in the parking lot with one of the coaches and his son, and everyone has already left.

All of this is fueled by Starbucks, of course.

Those are my Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I know, fun right? Oh, and this isn't counting the fact that Noah has guitar practice earlier in the afternoon on Tuesdays. And Sol has dance class every Thursday evening.

Yay me.

Anyhow, while I'm racing around like a madwoman down this road, I pass by a small farm. Or a ranch. Whatever you want to call it. I think they have animals, too.  The name of the farm is stenciled on their wooden fence. It says, "Dizzle Ranch".

Being ghetto fabulous like I am, everytime I pass it I say
Fo shizzle my nizzle dime brizzle Dizzle Ranch
In a total Snoop Dogg voice and everything.  

It's a visual marker for us. The kids know they'll be at practice soon (no one wants to be late or else they have to run laps). They also know that when mama sees it, she starts talking like a tall, skinny black man from the LBC.


Burritos in your lunch box

I did something for the chil'rens today that I absolutely dreaded for my mom to do for me as a child.

I made them burritos for lunch.

Specifically, bean and cheese burritos. I had to make my lovies their lunch for school today and the most convenient thing for me to do was take advantage of all the beans I made last Sunday. It's Bean Week, yo. As I wrapped them in foil and placed them in their sandwich container, I laughed. I remembered hoping and praying my mom wouldn't embarrass me and put a burrito in my lunchbox.

You have to understand, I went to school with very few Latinos. Aside from my family, I did not have an accurate picture of what my culture looked like. Oh sure, I was living it but I didn't have a mirror to look into so I could accept it. Does that make sense?

At home, it was beans, salsa, rice, chile colorado, tamales, quesadillas, chile verde, chorizo con huevo and tortillas. At school, it was pancakes and maple syrup, hot dogs, pepperoni pizza, Pringles, ham sandwiches and Ding Dongs. I used to beg my mom to buy these things for our lunch. This way I could blend in with the other kids seamlessly. To assimilate, if you will. I wanted to be like the little blond girl with feathered hair and rainbow socks. She always had a Twinkie with her lunch.

My dark, frizzy ponytails, brown skin, eyeglasses, and thick thighs already stood out like a sore thumb. Imagine my horror at the thought of unearthing a big, foil-wrapped chorizo burrito from my lunchbox.

I realize now how I wanted nothing more than to fly under the radar. I wanted to look like everyone else: thin, blond, with straight hair and wearing a Def Leppard t-shirt.

That burrito was a symbol of everything I was but did not accept about myself.


Thank God for Chicano Studies in college is all I have to say.  Sadly, for most of us, that is the first opportunity we get to truly learn about ourselves. That is the first time I learned about my culture and was able to gain some sense of empowerment. It's not so much that my family failed to teach me about who I was...they were just living life. I don't think it occurred to them that I needed to know about where we came from so that I could be content with how different I was from the other kids.

And now?
I look forward to my mom's burritos. At the beach, Disneylandia, camping, a Dodger game--my mom knows we expect her delicious burritos and she is very gangsta about smuggling them wherever we go when we need an inexpensive snack.

And my lovies? They were excited about having bean and cheese burritos for lunch. They weren't worrying about what the other kids would think. They weren't begging me for Lunchables. Their main concern was keeping them warm and not getting smooshed by their juice pouch.

I can only imagine the glee on their little faces as they are enjoying their burritos this afternoon. It makes me feel good.

Photo: That is me looking all cute and whatnot, hoping that my mama packed me a ham sandwich and not a chorizo burrito.


Breastfeeding babies with teeth...ouch

Have you ever pondered about what happens when you breastfeed a baby with "teefs"? Head over to Babycenter's Momformation and find out.

And...if you ever wonder what extreme pain feels like, have a precious little baby with razor sharp teeth chomp on your tig 'o bitties.

Um, owww.

You'll be thanking me for my little suffocation tip.



Future aerosol artists

Is it naive of me to think that as long as I let my son paint along the wall in the backyard with his Dad's spray cans, he'll resist the urge to take off in the middle of the night and go tagging?

I don't have an answer to that yet.

But I have faith.

For now, they are easy to contain. They are still boys. Little men.

This is how these two cousins like to spend their time together. We'll let them paint in the backyard for as long as they'll think it's fun. And for as long as they will grace us with their presence.

My nephew Elijah, nine years old.


Elijah and Sol, with their boombox character.


"Yes, I chose a home birth."

It doesn't take much to get me on my homebirth soapbox. I will readily jump up there and speak because having your baby at home safely and peacefully is something I've always felt very passionate about.

I'm over at both Babycenter's Momformation and Parentdish today, sharing a little about why I chose homebirth.

Go over and show me some love!


The sketch book

I've had this drawing in my sketch pad for several months now. Just a small portion needs to be finished. Don't know why I've been sitting on it for so long but this seems to be my M.O.

What I love about drawing with Sharpie markers on paper is this: I don't have to lug out all my supplies (since I don't have the luxury of a permanent studio), I don't have to worry about mixing and storing paint, I don't have to clean my brushes. I can pretty much just take out my bristol board pad, my secret cache of Sharpies (I have to hide them greedily or else Michael and Sol will steal them from me) and I can draw anytime. And when I'm done I just put it away.

This is as close to "sketching" as I come. I'm not much of a sketchbook artist.

It's all right here. {tapping skull}

But I love flipping through people's ideas. For me, inspiration comes from magazines, modern art, graffiti, pictures, color schemes, and fashion so I just have folders of pages I've ripped out of various places.

My little Frida, she's almost done.


Artists work in seasons

My painting sessions seem to work in seasons. Sometimes I am dry and have no desire to paint. Other times, I have lots of inspiration and its like this colorful purge or...someone commissions me to do a piece for them. And what can I say? Paper is always a pretty good motivator.


I actually started this painting around the holidays. I was set on getting it done while the chil'rens were on vacation. But then I got sick and the plague made the rounds. And instead of sitting there painting, I just wanted to chill and relax with my family.

Then I hit a wall. I added something to the painting on a whim but I wasn't really feeling it. But it was too late to buff it out and start over soooooo it took me some time to sit on it and then pick it back up again.

That's the thing with us artists. I have lots of people ask me, so when are you going to do a painting for me? and where is my painting? and I thought you said you were going to paint me something? And that is all well and good and yes, I feel guilty when I get those questions but people have to recognize.

Sometimes you got the mojo and sometimes you don't. Last week, I got a brief wind which brought my mojo back.

I honestly believe that all creative people go through the same process.

I love to look at artists who continue to produce a steady stream of artwork like El Ponk and the Crafty Chica and Maria Sanchez and Rio YaƱez. Ya'll inspire me. I'm in awe of how you get your grind on.

Maybe when the chil'rens grow up, I can produce a lot of work like that. But until then, every piece is carefully crafted with sacrificial love. Meaning, I sacrifice sleep, a clean house, clean laundry and home-cooked meals.

And I'm cool with that.

This latest piece was commissioned by my girl Nadia. She has been waiting ever so patiently for her little sugar skull. And now its all her's. Hope you like it, Boo.


Finally figuring out what looks good on me

Hey people, I wrote about The fine art of dressing to flatter your body type over at Babycenter's Momformation today. A subject that is near and dear to my heart. Its kinda rough dressing this here bod. It always has been. Finding jeans that fit will fit my big booty and hips and not be five inches too big in the waist....plus the fact that I don't have big breasteses so plus sizes always fit me a bit strange.

But I think I've finally found the right combination. I mean, finally.

So check it out and give me some love.
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