Monday, January 30, 2006


I added some new pictures from Xmas and New Years to Shutterfly. Click here or the title above to view them now.

Hope you have a wonderful week! It was a new moon last night AND the start of the Year of the Dog!! As luck would have it, I happen to be a dog (no comments from the peanut gallery), according to the Chinese horoscope (click here to learn waaaaay too much about me), and so I'm particularly looking forward to a phenomenal year all the way around!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2006


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Pan de Polvo making lesson for New Year's.
(Sorry there's no sound yet. I'm working on it!)

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Chago and Saia wreaking havoc in their playroom downstairs.

(Really just testing our new camera and whether or not I can publish it to the blog. Can't figure out the sound yet, though.)

Friday, January 27, 2006


"Mommy, I'm fresh," says the boy as she wipes him down before dressing him for school.

"Fresh?" asks Mommy.

"No, Mommy, I'm FRESH," he says again as she puts on his jeans and teensy white t-shirt so that he's a walking mini-me of her.

"Yes, Bubba, you're fresh and clean," she mistakenly interprets.

Frustrated, he sighs. "No, Mommy, Pinnochio is a wooden boy. I [gesturing to himself] am flesh."

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Ryce and Reynita enjoying the remnants of our mutilated New Year's animal carcass (aka, hambones).

Not that we want to seem ungrateful or anything, but ever since these two came back from their stay at Doggy Beach Camp (2 weeks during our vacation and a week while we flew down to Texas), they've certainly become very full of themselves.

They're now terribly finicky eaters -- refusing to eat their food unless its drenched in warm gravy. They will not leave the house on the weekends -- trying desperately to maintain their pseudo indoor doggy status despite their stench and our preference otherwise.

They beg for food and follow us to the bedrooms (neither of which they were ever allowed to do before). And now, for whatever reason, they hold it until 3 am when they (and by they, I mean Reyna) begin to whine incessantly until we let her out to pee!!!

Now, granted, they have acquired some valuable and much needed social skills, and I do so much more prefer them eating at the table with a fork and knife, but come on!!! This is just too much.

I think the next time we leave, we're going to have to seriously consider leaving a note asking the deaf elderly lady next door who yells at them to watch them while we're gone -- just so they'll think they've got it good when we come back.

Click here or on the title above to see more Doggy Beach Camp pics.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


For the past 3 or 4 nights, Saia has gotten herself into this gawd-awful habit of waking up every two hours (literally) and screaming her head off for a randomly interchangeable number of things -- her blanket, the potty, a hug, her stuffy nose, her baby doll, etc -- which, one would think, once she received, would pacify her through til morning.

No such luck.

And the thing is that it probably wouldn't even be so unbearable if she just didn't go from dead sleep to hysterical in 2.5 seconds. We both snap awake, hearts pounding, springing out of bed to rush to her side because the blood-curdling screams could only mean that one of her limbs was ripped off by a monster and shoved up her left nostril in a million tiny pieces, right? But no. She's got one of these ridiculous little demands waiting for us, which, I gotta tell you, does not go over well at 3 am.

So last night, we actually got home in time for a bath, got everyone changed and in bed without too much incident, sang songs and tucked in all twenty fingers and toes, and slept fairly soundly until about 3am when we hear this high-pitched screech immediately followed by, "MOMMY!!! MAMA!!! WHERE ARE YOU?!?!?"
Sprinting to her side we find her..............snoring.

It was Chago. Of course. Ah, the neverending joy of multiples.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


"Mama, a cry is caught in my throat," he says to me on the way home from school yesterday.

"A cry?" I ask him.

"Yes, Mama. A C-C-C-CR-RRR-RY-YYYY!" he bellows, apparently thinking I was just trying to get him to enunciate a little better.

"Alright, son, I hear you. Do you know why there's a cry caught in your throat?"


"How do you know it's there?"

"Because if you open my mouth and look down my throat, you will see the tears," he explains.

"Well, how do we get the cry out of your throat, baby?"

"With the wind," he says very matter of factly.

"Oh, okay. And will the wind just dry up the tears?"

"No, the cry is the tears' mama, so you have to ask her," he clarifies.

"But I'm your Mama, and I don't think I like the idea of a cry stuck in your throat."

"Okay, Mama, it's gone."

Monday, January 23, 2006


Alright, well it's not one of THOSE female topics. It's just about undergarments.

So, we were in our little hovel of a hotel in London scrambling to get all four of us changed to go out for our speed tour of the city when Chago suddenly screeches, "Mama, your butt is hanging out!!!"


I'm busily trying to tie Saia's shoe, zip her fleece, tighten her pony tails, and wrap her scarf when I hear Mommy laughing hysterically in the background.

"Mama, pick up your pants!" he demands. "Your panties don't fit you."

So, finally, I rotate towards him from my crouched position in the middle of the room, more than a little annoyed by this time, only to see him pointing at my rear with his left hand and covering his eyes with his right.

"Santiago, this is Mama's thong," I begin through gritted teeth while glaring at Amy out of the corner of my eye. "It's not meant to cover all of Mama's bottom and it's only showing because I'm crouched on the ground trying to get your sister dressed."

"Oh, okay," he says. "You should maybe not do that anymore."

Friday, January 20, 2006


By now, most of you know that we've tried really hard to keep the kids from having too much sugar or salt in their diet in the hopes of raising children with better eating habits, less propensity for illnesses such as diabetes and certain cancers, and a greater appreciation for the natural flavors of foods. What I didn't really fully realize, however, is that even with all our efforts sugar has been infiltrating and infecting their bodies since birth.

Take a look at this enlightening article and maybe pick up a few easy tips on how to eliminate the really bad sugars, starches, and carbs from your diet, too: Sugar, The Sweet Thief of Life.

Swimmy Swimmertons

I almost forgot to tell you that they went swimming for the first time ever when we were in England. You should have seen their little faces when they saw that pool. It was everything we could do to keep them from running and swan diving into the deep end. But, unfortunately, you can't because we didn't take a single picture (how many bad-mama moments can I rake in this year?)!!! We did, however, get a little video (which I still have not yet figured out how to upload onto this blog).

Anyway, we got them those little arm floaties and then they each had one of those styrofoam noodles that I pretzled around their chests. The combination actually enabled them to swim completely on their own -- dog paddling and kicking their little hearts out all across the pool. It was a truly amazing sight to see. They played Nemo and Marlin and chased me all over. They splashed and swallowed too much chlorinated water and coughed and laughed and tired themselves out completely. It was wonderful. And the best part was that it was 40 degrees outside, so the heated pool was such a welcome break from the freezing cold -- and would've been perfect if we didn't have to compete with the 80-year old biddies who refused to veer from their lanes for even a second in order to make way for a two-year old.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Another Terrible Mom Moment

So, Monday was a holiday for the kids (MLK), but not for the rest of us, so Mommy and I split the day and everything worked out fine. Except for the fact that now our routine was off and, apparently, we're just as addicted to our routines as the kids are because we were so off our game on Tuesday morning that we forgot to take the kids' sheets and blankets that they need for naptime.

Of course, I don't realize this until I'm AT school, and can't possibly make the 30-minute trek back to the house to get them, so I was just about to make a Target run when the Asst. Director assures me they have extras that the kids can borrow, but we'll have to take them home to launder them before we return them.

Grateful, but feeling like the worst mother in the world, I go to work and pick the kids up a little early that afternoon.

The next morning and every morning since, Saia makes certain to ask me whether or not I've brought their sheets and blankets. "Yes, sweetheart," I say repentently. "I took them to school on Wednesday, remember?"

"Show me," she demands. So I do.

Wonder how long I'm gonna be paying for this one.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mini-Me's on the Loose

Okay, it's happening!!! E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G we say and do is being repeated and imitated by our little mini-me's every second of every day. And, I'll be the first to admit, I'm often a little embarrassed by the reflection.

It started pretty consistently when we were on vacation. I got a whole bunch of "good job, Mama" when I finished eating all the food on my plate, which typically garnered a number of giggles from the tables within earshot.

We got a ton of "we don't eat that" and "that's not good for you" whenever we tried to reach for anything with sugar or too much salt -- oh, that one ALWAYS gets a smirk from the waiter.

We now get reprimanded whenever we speak unkindly to one another ("Mommy, don't talk that way to Mama" or "Mama, you should say 'sorry' for hurting Mommy's feelings"), a point we're very seriously taking to heart these days.

And lately we've been getting a whole lot more of "don't talk with your mouth full" and "say excuse me when I'm talking," which, while appropriate, is becoming VERY annoying!!!

We also get reminded to say thank you and you're welcome if ever in a blue moon we should happen to forget. And very frequently, they will stand firm with furrowed brow and full pout in the middle of cold hallway until you very calmly and sincerely apologize for raising your voice and ask them nicely (for the 25th time!!!) to just quit running around naked already and put on their damn jammies!!!

When they play together, we often hear them tell each other "I need you to do [such and such], do you understand?" or "is that clear?" or "you're not listening to me."

And then, of course, there's the "Saia, if you do [this] then I'll give you [that]" (I know, I know, but bribery's such an easy lesson to learn -- primarily because it works!).

But overall, they are becoming quite the little people, these two. Still working through their tantrums now and then and still trying to establish their own identities and personal space, yes, but somehow (even despite our influence) turning into the most phenomenal little creatures, and I feel blessed every day to have been given this gift, and even more grateful to be able to appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mama, Are You Crying?

At Grandma's services, I got up to speak to thank everyone for coming and let everyone know how much she meant to us and how much we were going to miss her. Already a natural bundle of exposed nerves, I began to get a little emotional during my speech when all of a sudden during a perfect moment of silence, my son yells out from 3 pews back, "Mama, are you crying?"

Everyone smiled. I, most of all.

And then he proceeded to wriggle out of his Mommy's arms to bring me a tissue and wipe my tears. The "awww" factor was indescribable.

Such a little man. Such an awesome little man. Grandma would've been so proud.

Friday, January 13, 2006

goodbye, grandma

A week ago today, one of the brightest lights in my life burned out.

She was 87 years young and feisty as a feral kitten to the very end. She always appeared to me to be completely invincible, though; so much so that I am still, a week later, even after seeing her lie cold and motionless in her casket and watching her hover above her own open grave, unable to reconcile myself with her passing. It's completely unreal to me. Utterly impossible that anything could take her. She was a fighter, a pillar of strength, and home to more people than even she could've ever imagined.

She buried both her parents, her husband, a brother, a sister, and a daughter. She grieved at a thousand funerals, and danced at a thousand weddings. She survived the Depression, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the drug-induced 60's, the free-thinking 70's, the recession, the fashion-challenged 80's, the Gulf War, the X-generation 90's, and even welcomed in the new millenium with a champagne toast. She saw the invention of plastics, desegregation, the television, the first man on the moon, the assasination of JFK, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the first computer, the end of the Cold War, the first heart transplant, rap music, the cloning of animals, 9/11, and even did a little shopping on the internet.

She raised four remarkable children while moving all across the country, and played no small part in the development of 10 of the strongest, most independent and self-confident grandchildren the world will ever know. Her 9 great-grandchildren will all no doubt be blessed with her phenomenal spirit and inimitable sense of self. She could not be rattled -- even when she was wrong. She always stood her ground. Always had an answer for everything. And, yes, never let anyone see her sweat. She was unshakeable, even in her death. And I'm more certain now than ever that she was not taken; she left. Her body betrayed her and she could not convince it otherwise. But rather than lose the battle, she went on vacation. And, you know, that's just as it should be. She was always her best on vacation.

Grandma, we will miss your incredible smile, your eyes, your laugh, your hugs, and your kisses. We will miss your jokes, your malapropisms, your regaƱas, and your stories. We will miss playing Yahtzee and poker and Balderdash and Canasta with you. We will miss stocking you up with dimes for the slots. We will miss your eternally forgiving heart, your shoulder to cry on, and your no-nonsense, straight forward way of dealing with life. We will miss your carne guisada, your tamales (con pazas), your pan de polvo, and especially your chicharones.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body; but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!"
-Mavis Leyrer
Thanks for the ride, Grandma.
We'll miss you more than you'll ever know.

Friday, January 06, 2006

she finally made a joke of her own!!!

So, one of our big concerns has been that Saia almost always follows Chago's lead on pretty much everything -- he starts the games, if he's got something then she wants it, whatever he says she almost always agrees with, etc.

And about a year or so ago Chago had gotten hooked on this joke he took from a Baby Einstein video where these three carrots had been planted and were pulled one at a time from the ground. Well, when it was time for the last carrot to be pulled, instead out came a parrot. So, the whole joke was..."not parrot, CARROT!!!" And this has gone on for nearly 2 years -- not parrot, carrot; not parrot, carrot; not parrot, carrot. From both of them, at random times, for no reason at all, and they crack up. But the great thing about it was that they GOT the joke.

But we kept trying to encourage Saia to find her own joke that she GOT and LIKED and it just was not happening. That is, until this last weekend when we were driving to the mall and Mommy called some random road-rager a "big dork".

And from the back we hear Saia and Chago talking about the storks in Dumbo, when Saia suddenly bursts out with, "not stork, DORK!!!"

Success (sort of).

Thursday, January 05, 2006

a hose is a hose is a hose...

"Mama?" he asks on Tuesday morning as I'm dressing for work.

"Yes, son?"

"What are those?" he asks pointing at my legs.

"Those are like Saia's tights, but they're called pantyhose," I reply.

"PANTYhose?" he giggles.

"Yes, son, they go over Mama's panties and..."

But he interrupts with "Where does the water come out from?"

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

happy 8th anniversary!

Today, Mommy and Mama celebrate 8 years together, and while we're still not quite sure exactly what they had to celebrate before we came along, we're certain they wake up every now and then wishing they had a few of those years back!

Happy Happy Anniversary!!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

practice what you preach

Over the course of the year, and particularly during our vacation, the kids really got a kick out of eating at restaurants. What they grew to love most, however, was at the end of the meal when Mommy reached for the bill and Mama reached for a mint.

"But Mama," they would chime, "we don't eat candy!" [turning every head within earshot]

Oh yeah, I forgot.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. ~Brooks Atkinson

Click here for some other cool New Year quotes!