Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Left voicemails for our Tio Donny today 'cause we couldn't get a hold of him.

"Blow out your candles good, Tio Donny, and come see me soon," says Saia.

"Make a good wish, Tio Donny, and have a lot of friends over," Chago tells him.
But whatever it is you do, have a wonderful birthday and a terrific year!!!

We love you and miss you so much!

Monday, July 30, 2007


Heading home to pick up the kids this afternoon and was just turning the corner to pass our house (which is on the way to the school from my work) when I happen to see a little white chihuahua who looks an awful lot like our little Reynita casually taking a stroll up the avenue.

So, naturally, I slam on the brakes [just skip over these next few sentences please, Amy], pull onto the curb, jump out of the truck, leaving the windows open and my laptop and BlackBerry on the passenger seat, and run around the corner in my 4" espadrilles so that I can whoop her little butt as soon as humanly possible.

But she's gone. It took me two seconds from the time I spotted her, and now she's gone. So now, you think I'd be worried, but you'd be dead wrong. I'm pissed. And I'm starting to perspire. And now I'm walking up and down the block -- did I mention the 4" platform shoes already -- up and down the block -- up and down the block -- now I'm screaming at the top of my lungs, "REYNA! WHERE ARE YOU?!?" And you know, even if she was within earshot, she's totally not stupid enough to come to me now. She can hear that tone in my voice, too. So, I finally make my way back to the house, go into the backyard still yelling for her and knowing full well that 3 of our 4 adjacent neighbors are home all day long, and wouldn't ya know that damn dog was sitting pretty as a picture on the back stoop. Just waiting. Batting her little eyelashes and waving her paw at me in that condescending way that only chihuahuas and hairless Mexican cats can.

So, I spun around, slammed the gate, jumped back into the truck (and yes, I'm VERY lucky everything was still there), and picked up the kids. Having relayed the entire fiasco to them on the way home, by the time they got to the backyard, they'd already decided her fate.

"Nena!" Saia yells, "What were you thinking!?!? You could have been taken by a stranger. I'm very disappointed in you,"and she waves her finger and stomps into the house.

"Nena!" the boy screeches, "I don't know what you could have been thinking? You could have been squashed by a car in the middle of the street! Like a pumpkin, Nena! A PUMPKIN!!" he yells, and then finishes with "You're not getting any treats tonight." And that was that.

And part of me was a little proud that they understood (at least a small part of) why I was mad, but another part of me just kept saying, "Oh, man, what have I done?"

Thursday, July 26, 2007


And, boy, did we have a wonderful time! Although we missed a whole lot of you, we had some really great friends come over (from Seattle, Cali, and the UK) for a real live downhome crawfish boil, and, for the most part, it came off without a hitch...or at least without any major propane explosion.

By far, the strangest scene, though, was watching my gentle (yes, I know that's a slight stretch, but the story won't work without it), animal loving babies literally RIP the little heads off those poor crawfish corpses, suck out their guts, and swallow the tail without ever coming up for a breath. It was almost...grotesque. But, man, they had a great time!

So, click on the PLAY button below to watch a little slideshow of the big event, and help us wish Mommy another phenomenal year!

Special thanks to Louisiana Crawfish Co, who I'd highly recommend for your next little gathering. It was just perfect!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Plucked our new little apple tree just about clean today. And the idea of being able to walk into the backyard, pull something off a tree, and stick it in their mouths just had the kids tickled pink all afternoon, let me tell ya.

And no sooner had we filled up an entire grocery bag full of freshly picked bright green apples, did they immediately turn to me and say, "How long til we can eat the apple pie, Ma?"

Yeah, I know, but how can I refuse? I want so much to know that when they're 25 and curled up on the couch with their significant others, and a sound or a song or the familiar smell of cinnamon and nutmeg wafts across the room, that they remember. That it fills them. That it even sustains them somehow.

I know it's silly, this idea of trying to manufacture memories, but there are moments of my own childhood -- little things like the feel of the cool grass between my toes, or the sound of the raindrops on the lamina, or the smell of wet concrete -- that are just so vivid for me still, and they warm me, carry me, and yes, even lift me up sometimes.

Don't kid yourself, folks. Memory is a powerful thing. It's so often a barometer for the decision-making moments, the life-turns-on-a-dime instances that can make or break someone. And I know we spend, as we should, all this time on life lessons, right and wrong, guiding and directing, empowering and enlightening, but sometimes...maybe just sometimes...in one of those deep dark hours when the weight of the world feels like it's on your shoulders, maybe the memory of a warm Sunday afternoon eating freshly baked apple pie on the back porch with the people you loved most in that perfectly manufactured moment might just be enough to get you through.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Had our company picnic on Friday. The kids were looking forward to it all week. By Thursday, every single teacher and child at their school knew that I was coming to pick them up early to take them to the carnival. And when we drove away at 11:30 that morning, they actually had me stop outside the playground so they could wave goodbye to everyone.


And off we went...

Click the PLAY button below to see them in action

Friday, July 20, 2007



"Hi, Mom. What's going on?" [because she never calls this early on a Friday morning]

"Um...nothing, baby. What's going on with you? Are you still at home?"

"Yeah, we're still getting ready for school. Is everything okay?"

"Um...yeah. Is everything okay with you?" [my mother, the queen of subtlety]

Finally it comes to light that, apparently, there was a magnitude 4.2 earthquake in the area at 4 o'clock this morning, which, evidently, we must've slept right through. Nothing moved. No one cried. No four-legged creatures barked. Nothing.

The star in the image below indicates the epicenter of the quake. The red circle on the left-hand side of the bay is our general location. The turquoise color indicates that there was some light shaking, and I heard on the news that some windows broke in Berkeley, but I don't believe any injuries have been reported.

Just wanted to let you know we were fine.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


We're members of this totally fabulous blogging community. Take a peek at the main site, or visit any one of the other members by touring the blogroll in the sidebar to the right.

Friday, July 13, 2007


So she's MY minime after all. What's your point?!?!?

So he's got an appreciation for fabulous footwear.
[Okay, perhaps there's a slight chance that it's actually only because it's cowhide and, therefore, in the world of Chago, nearly an animal and, therefore, worthy of his time and attention.]

She's so proud. So so proud of the ginormous egg on her forehead that she got from running full force into a pole at school. "Didn't even bother to look where I was going," she tells me later.

Watering their little fledgling plants. One of our many mandatory weekly chores. And by "we" I do mean "them," of course. She picked cherry tomatoes and he chose chili peppers ("for you, Mama," he said. I know, I know, wrapped around his little finger, I am). But for as good as they are about reminding me that we need to water them, they're also just little botanical terrorists in disguise. The second I look away, they're plucking leaves and digging at the roots and kicking at the little buds. I've had nightmares, I tell you, of giant tomatoes chasing me down the street kicking at my thighs and plucking out my arm hair.

And today they decided to rifle through the hamper and dress up in Mommy's clothes.
It was a dedication parade, apparently. And ode to Mommy, who's been working just a few too many hours these days. :(

Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 09, 2007


I've got the color photos, but haven't yet hooked up the color scanner at home. I think it's packed in the same box as the comal and the tampons, for some reason. But anyway...here's a little sampling of some pics they took at school recently on a horse named Patches.

Naturals, they are...

Thursday, July 05, 2007