Monday, March 31, 2008

my mexicanity defines me

I was born and raised in the border city of El Paso. If you've been there, you know it sooooooo different than any other place. I think the population is about 90% Hispanic. Seriously, everyone is Mexican, everyone at least understands Spanish and lots of people look just like I look. Once you leave there, it is really different.
I had always been accused of being way too "I love the U.S.A.". I'm proud of that. I figure that if my grandparents moved to this country, it was to improve their life. They worked hard and were proud to become citizens. I have always loved this country for its opportunities and just everything it stands for.
I now tell people that I never realized I was Mexican until I moved here. Sure, there are lots of Mexican people in this city, but it seems to be a certain area that a lot of them live in. The area that I live in is English speaking and the people with Spanish last names pronounce them in English (i.e. Her-nandez with the "H" pronounced).
I'm first generation U.S. born. I hadn't realized how differently I had been raised until now that I'm seeing subtle differences. I first noticed it in the way kids dress at Brianna's school. Her previous school had the most fresa parents and kids. I LOVED it! Here most of the kids wear jeans, mix and match clothes and comb their own hair. I can't imagine letting Brianna comb her own hair yet. It would always be all full of gnarls and not look cute. Most of clothes are outfits, not mix and match.
I noticed another difference this past Saturday. A friend of mine had a party for her son. When it was over, I went over to say bye and had to make a conscious effort to not hug and kiss her. No one greets each other with a hug and a kiss here. That's how I used to greet all my friends.
These are just a couple of things. I'm beginning to feel like the odd one out. At the same time, I'm feeling like I'm being unpatriotic. I considered starting a new blog about this but I'm not sure about that. I need to call my grandma and get a good talking to now.

feeling: torn
listening to: New Order (True Faith)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I used to dread spring. It used to be that spring=allergies. It hasn't been the case ever since we moved to Arizona. I don't get it. I mean, it's certainly warmer here, but I moved from desert to desert. Still, I'm not complaining. I adore the weather here. I haven't had the slightest case of allergies here at all.
It's been the opposite for poor Rodrigo. The day he moved here, he started sneezing. At first we thought it was something in the rental house. Nothing's changed now that we've moved though. He's tried everything . . . . decongestants, nasal sprays (prescription and OTC), allergy pills (prescription and OTC), and even one of those little pots that you use to poor warm water into your nose. Everything has helped a bit, but it keeps coming back. This week he's been battling a nasty sinus infection. I feel so bad for him not being able to help him. He's now on antibiotics so hopefully it'll go away soon.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what else we could do? I mean, I dust regularly and we change the air filters all the time. Plus, it's not like his allergies are limited to the house. He has them everywhere. I read an article that says there's a theory that sinus infections are really reactions to ice cream. Hmm . . .

feeling: bad for Rodrigo
listening to: Vampire Weekend (A-Punk)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

what do you listen to?

So, what do you listen to? Does anyone still listen to the radio. Just like a regular radio station on the radio? Lately I've been listening a lot to Lucy and Ethel on XM radio. Oh, and Radio Disney for Brianna. I listen to my iTunes a lot when I'm at the computer. I take my iPod when I'm out walking or somewhere I know I'll have to wait a while. Once in a while I'll listen to a radio station online. Those are one from my hometown (but only for their morning show), The Edge from Phoenix and KROQ. It's really rare that I do that, though. I try to listen to the radio sometimes when I'm driving, but I hate commercials and having to hear songs I don't like. At least on my iTunes, they've all been picked by me. Does anyone still buy cd's? I know Rodrigo does when he wants all the songs but the last one he bought was about a year ago. So, anyway . . . tell me, tell me. I'm curious.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter weekend wrap-up

Thanks all for your kind comments and emails about Alec. He's doing much better. I hope everyone's Easter weekend went well. My parents came over to share the warm weather. We took the kids to an Easter egg hunt, had a cook-out and played on the Wii. The rest of the time, my parents were out with the kids so that Rodrigo and I could go out and do the "dinner and a movie" thing without kids for once. We totally ruined our chance to watch a movie that isn't rated G, by choosing a crap film. We saw Shutter, ugh. I was in the mood for something sort of creepy and not a drama for a change, but I should've gone to see my favorite genre instead. Shutter was better the first time when it was called The Grudge. Apart from a few moments that startle you and make you jump, it wasn't the least bit scary.
We did have dinner at a place we're almost sure the kids wouldn't like, so that was a plus. Whenever Rodrigo and I are out by ourselves, I like to have dinner at a place where there are no kid menus and they hate kids. Ah, my type of place. :P
I don't have much more to say today. The weather is lovely, lovely, lovely. We're having a nice and warm 84 degrees today, so I plan on being outside with Alec and Badger as much as I can. I had planned on walking to the grocery store until I saw on the news this morning that snakes are up from hibernating and we should be careful when walking. Drat. Time to sign up Badger for a snake avoidance course (yes, those are offered here). Anyway, have a pleasant day all. {{{ Here's sending you all warm thoughts and some desert sunshine }}}

feeling: awesome, like that Brady Bunch song when they want to take a walk in the sunshine
listening to: Ludo (Love Me Dead) LOV-ING this song!

Friday, March 21, 2008

yvett the horrible mom

A friend of mine and her kids were over yesterday. We've become fast friends because her older son and Brianna are in the same classroom and Alec and her younger son are in the same classroom. Plus, we live less than a block away from each other. We hadn't seen in each other in about two weeks so it seemed like were dying to talk to each other and the kids were dying to play together.
The little ones had been playing in Alec's room, the older ones on the Wii, then they all decided to go outside. They were out there for a while and the older ones decided they wanted to play some more on the Wii. The little boys stayed outside playing. Because I am a terrible mother, I didn't think anything of it. A few minutes later . . . whack . . . a LOUD scream . . . then Alec at the door . . . blood EVERYWHERE . . . I ran to him with my friend Sara closely behind . . Alec was holding his head and when he took his hand off and saw all the blood he started crying and screaming. Brianna and her friend started crying and screaming "Oh my God" over and over. I grabbed Alec and took him to the bathroom leaving a trail of blood through the kitchen and hall. I started cleaning him up but really I just wanted to see what had happened . . what was going on? It turns out that he and his friend had decided to play golf using a baseball bat. Alec stood too close behind and got hit in the head. You know how when you get a hit in the head or the nose there's soooooooo much blood? Well, four year-olds don't know this until they see it. In the family room, Brianna and her friend kept crying. I calmed her down by asking her for help. She went and grabbed some face towels for me. Alec's little friend was outside FREAKED out thinking he was in trouble and also crying. I knew my friend felt terrible. I imagine I'd feel the same way if it had been the other way around and it very easily could have been. The cut on Alec's head looked to me like it was deep. Then he said he wanted to lie down and I knew I had to take him to the hospital.
I really don't know how I even got there. I felt like I was in a sort of daze. The whole way I just kept talking and talking to Alec making sure he wouldn't fall asleep. I called Rodrigo and he met us at the hospital. Now, I have this image of emergency rooms filled with people waiting and moaning, but we didn't have to wait at all. They took him in right away, of course, and started doing all the initial tests and paperwork.
Lots of time and things passed but this is getting to be a much longer story. . . . Alec had his skin glued together. Instead of stitches, they used that skin glue. He had the staff laughing with his golf with a baseball bat story and by the time we were ready to leave, nurses were giving him cookies and chatting with him.
After we were all home, our moms called and the kids in bed, I started crying. I felt like the worst mom in the world. Rodrigo was really comforting and understanding. He thinks this is one of those "boys will be boys" kind of things, but I still think that I should've taken better care of him. My poor baby is going to have a scar now. Aww. . . .
So, that was my day yesterday. How was yours?

feeling: lousy
listening to: The Bravery (Believe)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


You know what I've been doing since I last wrote? Playing. That's right. Last week Rodrigo called me from the road telling me that he was about to turn into our street and asking me if I could "go outside and help him". I love it when he asks me for help because . . . .

a). He's stronger than short 5'1" me and never really needs my help
b). he always asks me to go help him when he really just wants to show me something
c). that something is usually always for me

I didn't know what he could be bringing but I was convinced it was flowers for me. I saw him pull into the garage and there were no flowers. He popped open the trunk, I went to peek and it took me a while to realize what that box was . . . . a Wii. I can't say that I've wanted one, but I know he has been wanting one for a while now. We just could never find any. Anytime he'd go to buy one, there weren't any in stock. Plus, it's not like he wanted one badly enough to go hunting one down. So he set it up and we started playing. We haven't stopped since. The kids love it. They really love the bowling game. Rodrigo and I are becoming obsessed in beating each other in tennis and golf. We've done the trainings for it and are now just focusing on lowering our golf score. It's pretty sad that I'm soooooooo out of shape that my arms have been sore. Really. There was a time when I could say that I was sore from playing tennis all day, but now I'm sore from playing virtual tennis for a while. Pathetic, huh? We made the Mii characters for each of us and played around making some of our parents. We've been laughing at my mom's for days now because she really does look like her. We'll catch her in the backgound of a game and just start laughing. The Wii came with the sports game, of course and he also bought this game. (He had bought this one but we exchanged it thinking it might be too complicated for the kids.) From the other game he got, I like playing one where you have to find different Mii characters.
So now you'll excuse me while I go train in golf. I want to beat that guy when he comes from work tonight.

feeling: like I really should be doing some housework or something
listening to: Against Me! (Stop!) <-- I love this song

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

my non-bilingual dog

Rodrigo to Badger: Outside, Badger? Outside?

me to Badger: Afuera, Badger? Quieres salir?

Rodrigo: maybe we should stick to one language with the dog.

me: What?!?!

Rodrigo: Yeah, I think we're going to confuse him. You only speak Spanish to him.

me: I do not.

- during this time, Badger went outside, did his business and came back to the door. We let him in.-

Rodrigo: Good boy!

me: Que bonito perrito!

Rodrigo: you see?

me: I guess. What can I say, I only speak Spanish mechanic and Spanish dog.

Rodrigo: groan

me (thinking) WTF? It's not like he's going to get confused on how to bark. Like he's going to be "Woof, uh, guau, uh . . woof, oh no!"

Today I realized that Badger really doesn't understand "afuera". He knows "outside", though. He especially knows and loves "good boy". Ugh. He now knows "sit" and "down", so I guess English it is. I really don't want to confuse him now that he had the hang of these commands. I guess I just hate being wrong.

feeling: como que ya nadie me va a entender en Espanol, ni el perro
listening to: The Shins (New Slang)

Monday, March 10, 2008

busy week, busier weekend

The kids are on Spring break now for two weeks. Two long weeks. Two long, long weeks full of noise and "mama, mama, mama". They wake up with an "Ok, entertain me" sort of attitude, so I'm going to have to think of something to fill the days and not break the bank. Luckily, it's nice enough now that I could just throw them out. (insert evil cackle here)
Brianna had a busy school week last week because this weekend, she competed in this. They had a dress rehearsal/parent performance on Wednesday, nine performances and practice on Thursday and competition on Saturday. Her team had been working on this since October, so it was a lot of work and practice. When she was first picked, I was walking around like a peacock, since they had to interview and she ended up being one of two third graders picked out of the school. Yes, my genius daughter. I made her. It was the first time for her school and their coach, so we were all super proud that they got third place! Rodrigo was a judge and he loved it too. He was amazed at the kid's creativity. Click on here so you can see an overview of this year's problems. Brianna's team chose problem #5 and Rodrigo judged problem #2. Both very cool. They both absolutely want to do it again next year.
So now you'll excuse me but I have two riled-up kids and a puppy I need to wrangle.

feeling: busy
listening to: Cracker (Low)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

finally, a link!

My bloggy friends always have the coolest links on their sites (a-hem, Jess). I don't. My posts are always more like . . . blah, blah, blah, me, me, me, blah, blah, the kids, blah, blah, Rodrigo, blah, blah, me, me, me. Don't fret. I have a link for you! Behold, my latest time waster . . . . picnik. I wasted HOURS on this thing yesterday while my family went neglected. You can import all your flickr pictures and make all sorts of cool stuff. By far, my favorite effect so far is the focal black & white.

I have a ton of Brianna's baby and toddler pictures that I'm planning to use this on. I was messing around with pictures of me yesterday. Here are two of my pictures in Orton-ish, night vision, cinemascope, and cinemascope with a polaroid frame. Some of you will remember the first picture from my unfortunate eyebrow wax incident a while back.

So what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

feeling: I have things I should be doing
listening to: nothing

Monday, March 03, 2008

moving down in the world

Well, I finally received my updated S.S. card with my new info. My last name started with a "B" and now it's with and "R". I know it doesn't make a difference, but I can't help but remember fourth grade. It was the first year that each student in my class had each been assigned a number. We'd write our name and number on our papers and turn in our papers in a basket in numerical order. I was number six. So I thought the lower the number was, the better it was. Sort of like a status symbol of coolness or something. I thought your whole place in the world was determined by how close to an "A" your last name started with. "Z" would be the most shameful thing that could ever happen to anyone. I was number six, but I remember wishing I was a lower number. I can still remember the order . .

1. Awnee A.
2. Annette A.
3. MariaElena B.
4. Nannette B.
5. Richard B.
6. Me

I remember thinking that if my mom had really cared about me, she would've married someone with a last name that started with the letter "A". Or if my dad really cared about me, he would've changed his last name to one that started with an "A". That way, I could always be number 1. I also felt sorry for one of my friends. Having the horrible luck of being named Cindy R. earned her a number in the 20's. Of course, I thought I'd never, ever get married but I vowed that if for whatever reason I ever did, it would only be to someone whose last came alphabetically before mine.
I'm still in touch with Maria #3. She did get married. Only she went from a "B" to an "A". She got cooler. I'll have to remember to mention this to her as our whole relationship from the time we were nine years old have always included just the silliest conversations ever.

Some day very soon, I'll stop posting about getting married/ something that has to do with my name. I promise.

feeling: like there was something I needed to remember but don't know what it is
listening to: nothing! Badger chewed a speaker cord