God, I do love this time of year.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
She was 7 lbs 1 oz when she was born. Our first-born, at 6:18pm on St. Patrick's Day, at 40 weeks. I could only have imagined then the beauty she was going to become. I'm awed every day by her strength. Genuinely floored by her natural maternal instincts. And inspired daily by her insightful introspectiveness...at 5! She's more than I could have ever hoped for in a daughter and is everything I never knew I needed as a mother.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
"No, thanks," I mutter, "that should do it for now."
And then Saia (aka, the voice of Amy when Amy's not around) chimes in with "MAMA!"
"What, baby?" I say a little startled by her tone.
"What are you doing? You already have a lot of garland at home."
"Oh, I know, honey, but really, you can never have too much prelit garland," I chuckle as the cashier prints out my 4-foot-long receipt.
"But where are you going to put it, Mom?" she prods.
"Oh...I'm not sure yet, baby," I stammer.
"Well, then, you don't need it."
Sunday, December 14, 2008
So, off we went yesterday, with Mommy doing a pretty great job of only being semi-Nazi-ish with her insatiable need to beat our time from last year -- find, cut, and haul home the perfect tree all before noon. And while we didn't break the record, we did a fairly decent job, found us a chubby little tree (only a foot or so taller than Mommy), and left the lot before the rain came down.
Here are a couple of shots. You can see all the rest of the tree-hunting adventure in all it's glory here: Christmas Tree Hunt 2008 Pics.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Day Without a Gay mission statement reads:
"Gays, lesbians, and straight allies plan to call in “gay” to volunteer within their local LGBT communities on December 10, 2008 to protest passage of anti-gay constitutional amendments in Arizona, Florida, and California. Wherever possible, gay Americans and allies plan to volunteer for local gay and civil rights organizations across the country through a brand new national database at www.daywithoutagay.wetpaint.org.
Every day since Election Day, thousands have protested up and down streets in cities across California, including in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento. A national, grassroots coalition of LGBT activists have followed in their footsteps. Now gay citizens and their allies are teaming up to show America and the world the compassion, the love, and the posititve spirit of the gay community through service.
On December 10, 2008 the gay community will take a historic stance against hatred by donating their time to a variety of different causes in order to raise public awareness of the need for LGBT equality in marriage and in other civil rights."Personally, I'm still working through where I stand on the use and abuse of marriage as a general societal institution, but the fact that we're being discriminated against from a legal standpoint based on personal biases is just wrong, and for that I will stand up.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Chago took a little longer to think about it. "Let me try to picture Mema in my head," he said. And he closed his eyes, trying to remember what Mema liked. What she wore. What she ate. Which inevitably led him to decide that he wanted to get her a rottisiere chicken from Safeway.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
Monday, December 01, 2008
Was singing Rudolph to Chago last night (yes, I know, it was technically still November, but I guess I'm just as excited as they are for the season to begin so I'm just a big softie about these things) and we got to the end of the song - "you'll go down in hiiiisssttttoooory" when Chago says, "Who's story, Mom? Rudolph's?"
"What story, Bubba?"
"HIS!" he says. "Do they mean Rudolph?"
"Oh, no, Papa," I explain. "It's history not HIS story."
"Well then, what's history?" he asks, "because all my life I thought it was HIS story."
"Well, it's all the things that have happened in the past," I begin.
"So," he glances sideways at me with that now familiar look of condescension on his face, "how is that different?"
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I love flying.
I hate -- HATE, HATE, HATE!!!! -- the night before a flight: the stress of leaving my family, writing little notes and sewing sock puppets at 2am (yes, I'll post pics when I get back),sorting through piles of clothes, packing your life into little baggies and too-small compartments, having to actually CHOOSE outfits in advance, which always makes me feel claustrophobic in some way - constraints on my freedom - loss of free choice...
what if I change my mind?
what if I'm not in that mood?
and how, in God's name, can I leave any shoes behind?
But then I'm at the airport, and I invariably find it all to be surprisingly calming when I have to travel somewhere by myself (emphasis here). Something about being alone, though, amongst a sea of strangers, the anonymity of it all, the disconnectedness, feeling free of any social or familial obligations. I don't know exactly.
And I tend to feel really confident when I travel -- despite whatever shit I happen to be going through at home because, well, because these people don't know me. They don't know any of my faults, can't catalogue my insecurities -- hell, I can be whomever I choose to be. So, I walk around feeling really self-assured and can see in the faces of others that I'm obviously projecting. But not that bitchiness that I know you're thinking I'm referring to (Elise!). It's something else, I think. Because, evidently, I'm very approachable.
Men and women. Old and young. Speaking varying degrees of English and needing assistance. Everyone seems to think it's okay to talk to me -- that my personal space forcefield has been temporarily disabled -- that I'm at their personal disposal. And the most surprising part is that I'm uncharacteristically not so annoyed.
People are always so kind and really helpful to me. With the lifting of my fashion-sans-function bags into the overhead, and with the changing of seats if I'd prefer the window or aisle that day, and with my always taking up way too much space with all my accoutrements overflowing onto the seat next to me.
I never end up sitting next to the woman who's coughing up a lung, or just won't shut up about her aching corn-adorned feet, which of course she must reveal during the course of conversation , or the man who drools while his head falls on your shoulder as he naps, or the obsessive networker with no impulse control or ability to self-censor. I almost never get the annoying child kicking my seat - and the few times that I have, I've had no problem standing up and turning around to ask him directly to stop when his mother chooses to ignore it (which works like a charm, by the way).
But, for whatever reason, I seem to have pretty good travel karma. And my faith in humanity, trite as that sounds, is temporarily restored. Or else it's just that the flight attendants have been especially generous with my vodka tonics these days.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
"Yes, babe, I know," I reassure her. "I've got it."
"Mama," she cries, "the cobbler is going to burn," as she sniffs the air when the peaches begin to drip on the oven element.
"Don't worry, honey," I say. "I'll take care of it."
"Mama," she calls out again, "the pasta is boiling over."
"No, sweetheart," I say through gritted teeth. "It really is just fine. I've got it all under control. Trust me."
And that's when I realize that she doesn't. It why she's always mothering her brother, and contradictory with her Mommy, and all up in my kool-aid (a favorite Amyism). She doesn't trust that any of us can do a better job than she can.
And where most people would say, "Oh, poor baby, what have I done?" I can't help but beam a little on the inside - because on the outside, of course, she's on the verge of her third freaking timeout for smarting off again!!
Friday, November 14, 2008
And I've been to the grocery store at least 5 times, Costco an easy 3, Starbucks EVERY single day since, and Target a cool 8 times. And not just to the one closest to me. PUH-lease! The shame. The horror. No, no, I patronized 3, yes 3, different Targets in 3, yes 3, different cities in less than 14, yes just 14, little days.
And do you know what the first thing I noticed each and every Target has in common? Just how many things there are out there that I just never realized I needed! No, seriously, people -- neeeeeeeded!
How did they know? These brilliant minds, these geniuses of branding and demographics research, these Einsteins behind Target marketing. My god, it's like they're reading my mind! Around every corner was something I just had to have more than the last. How had I so clumsily missed these treasures on previous visits? How had they escaped my grasp? To think I could so brazenly call myself a decent cook without that 12" teflon aerated pizza pan all these years?! How I had made my family suffer through an infinite number of soggy crusts! And here it was on sale. What an utter fool I'd be to walk on by. And oh, how considerate of them, the gods of the bullseye, to place this teeny-tiny muffins pan right here on the next shelf. Why, I don't even have to move to get my hands on that one. So now I'm not only feeling like a better person, but dammit if I'm not just the freaking pillar of efficiency!
And trust me when I say that I am really good. I'm just zooming along, boy, knocking out my actual legitimate list in less than 20 minutes. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. It was only 9:30, afterall, and I didn't have to pick up the kids from school until 1.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This is about watching Chago draw the other day - his current obsession is with little spiral bound notebooks - one picture per page. No, it's more like one scene per page -- like a comic book, you know? And after going through several notebooks in just two weeks, I finally ask him why he only draws in black ink, thinking it must have something to do with the fact that he's just always in a hurry, no time to go back and color things in, always on to the next picture in his head, right?
No, he tells me. "They're stories from long long ago, Mom," he explains with just a hint of condescension in his 5-going-on-15 voice. "That's why they're in black and white."
Monday, November 03, 2008
After 4 years (and of that, at least 3 1/2 years too many), I finally gave my notice and walked out the door.
Ever the worry wart, however, I'm of course plagued with the gnawing "what the hell am I gonna do now?" question pounding in my ears. What kind of a person walks away from a perfectly good job with the economy in such a state, with poverty at such a high, with unemployment rates skyrocketing, for f*ck's sake?! WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING!!????!!!
Why, I'll just start a new blog, replies one of my more optimistic personalities. I'll chronicle my new life (temporary though it may be -- or not, depending on my mood that day), note my every new adventure, make this a grand social experiment, chart my new journey, gory details and all...YAY! a new project!
Hey, it's either that or another baby.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Here's just a taste:
Rest of the pics are available at: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=9YYsmzVoyNw
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Apparently, not all his teachers were fully aware of this...er...talent, and when I picked them up today, Teacher Rose says, laughing a little nervously, "Boy, that Santiago, he's a smart one."
"What did he do now?" I think, but say instead, "Oh, is he?"
"Yes, he's quite the negotiator," she continues. "He went over to a group of 4 kids today who were all completely engrossed in a game they were playing, and I overheard him ask if he could play."
At this point, Chago suddenly has to pee as disappears from the room.
"And when they said 'yes' he then said something like 'Okay, but let's do it this way', which none of them wanted to do."
"But instead of arguing with them or getting mad he just said 'okay, well you don't have to, but I'm going to do this and this and that and that and it's going to be a whole lot of fun."
"And before I even knew it, he had all 4 kids following him around doing exactly as he said...to...the...letter."
[This is one of those moments when Mommy tends to say 'That's my boy!' and I usually mutter something under my breath about how the world has enough trouble without another little Amy running around.]