Friday, February 29, 2008


So, on Thursdays the kids attend a mobile gymnastics class that comes to their school.

Sometime last year Chago had decided that he didn't really like it anymore [read: was getting in trouble a lot for squirreling around] and wanted to get out. So we took him out.

Then a few months later when he realized that they were doing some pretty fun stuff (at least according to his sister -- who, by the way, is much more atheletically inclined), he decided he wanted back in. So we put him back in with the caveat that this was it. No more opting in/opting out.

So, yesterday was Thursday. On the way to school, just as we're pulling up, and I'm reminding them that I've got to get going because I've got an early morning meeting, he decides to tell me that he's got a meeting, too.

"Oh?" I say. "Who with?"

"With Nick," he replies.

"Nick, your gymnastics instructor?" I ask.

"Yes," he says as he climbs out of the truck.

"To discuss what, Bubba?" I ask him.

"To let him know that I will no longer be going to gymnastics," he says very matter-of-factly.

"Oh, really?" I ask.

"Yes," he continues. "I need to let him know that today will be my last day."

So, I said okay thinking that he was just playing the I-have-a-meeting-like-Mama game (and because I was, of course, running late). But when I picked them up from school yesterday afternoon and asked them how their day was, he proceeded to inform me that his meeting with Nick went very well, that he had successfully removed himself from gymnastics, and that there was no need for us to worry about it anymore.

So...I guess that's that. The boy has spoken.

Monday, February 25, 2008


You're not gonna believe me when I tell you, and I can't believe I didn't take a picture, but I was just too pissed to even think about it, and, of course, we were running late.

But I hear Mommy giving instructions to Chago this morning through gritted teeth from behind their bedroom door. "Please go and get your mother right now, son," she says. Oh, this can't be good.

"MoooOOOOoooom!" he yells as he prances down the hallway. [Ok, obviously HE'S not the one in trouble.] "Mommy says to come to our room RIGHT NOW! Saia's got a stick in her leg!!"


When I walk into the room, she's standing there in her panties (Saia, not Amy) with tears in her eyes and what looks like one of those ink blot animals all over the front of her thighs. Actually, if you put her legs together, it even kinda resembled an octupus. And Mommy just looks at me, having already turned three shades of red, and hands me the "stick" and says, "I don't even know what this is. I don't know what she's done. You deal with her."

And I immediately recognize it. [Cue the flashback music...]

Last night as she was getting dressed for bed, she noticed this "stick" on the floor in her room, immediately picked it up and offered to take it to the trash in the bathroom. An unusually proactive step on her part, I'll admit, but I didn't question it at the time. Turns out, the "stick" was the inner tube of a gutted pen, and she slyly decided to use her jaunt to the bathroom to hide it from us and shove it down her pants so that she could play with it in bed. I don't think she knew exactly what it was. It wasn't leaking...yet. But she knew she wasn't quite ready to part with, and, voila, contraband.

[Cut back to me on the floor with nail polish remover and a bag of cotton balls.]

Luckily, there doesn't appear to be any further damage. She had no open wounds that I could see, and there's only a light stain on each thigh still remaining.

But this, combined with the fact that Bubba's been smuggling small plastic animals into school in his pockets apparently means we're going to have to start patting our children down!!! Can't you just see us..."Alright, hon, finish brushing your teeth and then I need you to put your palms on the wall and spread 'em!"

Nice. Real nice.

Friday, February 22, 2008

20,000 Leagues of Gay Innuendo?

So, I'm suddenly feeling very far to the right today, which, I know, as a woman, and a lesbian, and a latina, and a democrat, is really not a very good thing.

But for Christmas, the kids received from their Mema some really great abridged versions of some classic novels, like Swiss Family Robinson, 20000 Leagues Under the Sea, Call of the Wild, and Heidi. And we've been reading a chapter or two every night since then, and have already made our way through the latter two, but a few nights ago we started on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which, I'm a little ashamed to admit, having received my degree in English and all, I have never actually read.

Anyway, I'm reading reading reading, and am finding myself feeling a little uncomfortable with the way certain sentences sound, with the visuals it conjures, with the eerily not-so-subtle sexual innuendo that I was totally unprepared to encounter. And, of course, the kids are oblivious, as was probably Jules Verne at the time he drafted it. But in the year 2008, it's really easy to make virtually anything sound sexual because of the overabundance of sexuality in our society.

[God, I totally sound like Tipper Gore, all of a sudden. Somebody please stop me.]

Plus is doesn't help that I've got Amy over there in the corner who, when I read something about one of the men helping another man cut off his clothing after they've been tossed overboard into the sea in order to help his swim better, is making eyes at me and going, "Mm-hmm!"

So, I guess I was just wondering if anyone remembers ever hearing any such implications of this particular book in the past. It's not going to prevent me from reading it to the kids -- because, like I said before, it just doesn't occur to them -- but I guess I'm just curious to know if it's not just me or if I've suddenly turned into Rush Limbaugh in my old age. Okay, maybe not old, but I'm gonna be forty! Well, not this year...and no time soon, but someday, dammit!!!

Any feelings out there - awkward or otherwise -- about this???

Thursday, February 21, 2008


So, a while back we received some pretty fabulous news from Best Mom Blogs Ever:
I wanted to let you know that your blog is being featured on a list of the Best of Mom Blogs on the Internet. You can see it, vote on it, send your friends to vote on it, leave comments for what your blog is about and even win an award for it if it is in top 3 blogs each month. So come visit and send all your friends!
Holy cow, Batman! How cool is that!?!?

Okay, so I already went to the site ( and voted for our blog. Yuh-huh, I sure did! Hey, no need to be shy about such things! Toot your own horn, I say -- no one else is gonna toot it for ya!

(Yeah, so tooting really does mean a whole different thing to the demographic that reads a children's blog, doesn't it?) if you like. Or don't. It's not gonna make me post any more frequently, people. I CANNOT BE BOUGHT!!!

But if you know us even a little, then you know we totally dig the spotlight!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Last total lunar eclipse until 2010. [Which I realized after initially frantically typing that in, is only two years away. TWO years til 2010! Don't you remember when 2010 was, like, FOREVER away? I mean, it was a "Space Odyssey," for crissakes!]

Returning from tangent now...

Anyway, has some pretty good info about the eclipse, but NASA's site has some great photos. The kids are all excited 'cause it'll actually happen just before bedtime, and there's nothing special you have to do or wear to see it, since it's not a solar eclipse.

It was a little difficult to explain to almost-5-year-olds, but I took the "it's like cutting in front of someone in line who's holding a flashlight" approach, and that analogy seemed to work pretty well. Although now they think the earth is awfully rude!

I always get so excited over these things. It's like Mother Nature forces us for a few minutes to stop and take notice, and I'm all at once awed and centered, somehow. I feel the same way about natural disasters.

The blood-red moon also stirs up some old spiritual memories for me. Reminders of passages from Revelations and the signs of the Apocalypse, and I honestly get a little weak in the knees thinking about it all.

They're all just very humbling experiences. And they make me feel so very small -- but at the same time a part of something so huge.

Anyway, if you have the chance (and the clouds clear up long enough), you should definitely try to take a peek. The total eclipse should happen between 7:01 and 7:51pm (PST).

Portrait of Totality The total lunar eclipse of 2000 Jan 20-21 was photographed from Dunkirk, Maryland. An AstroPhysics 120 EDT Refractor (5" F/6) and AP 2X Barlow produced a focal length of 1500mm. The image was made on Kodak Royal Gold 100 with a Nikon N70 camera (4 seconds at f/12). (click to see more photos)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


My sincere apologies (and heartfelt gratitude) to everyone who's been asking if we're alright, and checking the blog regularly, and even those of you sending me those nasty threatening little email messages if I don't post soon...

But yes, we've been very much out of the loop lately, though not because of the storms or outages. Work has me turned completely inside out right now with a new re-org of my group and the sudden departure of my boss.

On top of that, I've been traveling for work, dealing with food poisoning from bad, bad, bad Denver airport restaurant, helping the kiddos, Amy, and myself in and out of several iterations of the flu, completing and online certification program, and, oh yeah, starting my MBA.

Amy's been out of work now for a few months, which has been a little tough on her -- although, I gotta say, I totally love coming home to dinner on the table and glass of wine at the door. But some legitimate companies are biting now, so I may very shortly lose the best personal assistant I've ever had. But, truly, she's going totally stir crazy now, so it's probably not a bad thing all the way around.

We're also planning another trip out to the UK next month for the kids' 5th birthday. Well, no, not FOR them (it's mostly for work), but we're totally telling them it's ALL ABOUT THEM. This makes monsters happy. Happy monsters = happy moms.

Amy and I also celebrated our 10-year anniversary in January with the help of my mother, a great Tahoe ski resort, and some complimentary dinner, dancing, and champagne. Ten years! I can hardly believe it. My 20-year high school reunion is coming up this year, too.

Damn, do I suddenly feel ancient.

But all's well in general with the whole clan. We've just been busy. But I do promise to try to be a little better about this. I think I still owe you the second set of the Austria pics, for criminey's sake!

What a bad blogging mama I've been!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Mommy got us this incredible edible fruit bouquet for Valentine's Day this year. It was oh-so-yummy, and, really, if they hadn't been born of my own fruit, I'm not sure I would've shared!!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tia Sonia!

You would've had waaaaay more fun celebrating over here with us!!

Maybe next year.

(That's my mother over there, by the way, losing at Twister against her 4 1/2 year old granddaughter!)

Friday, February 08, 2008


Richard was born in Corpus Christi, Texas on July 28, 1948. He graduated from Corpus Christi Academy. He attended Del Mar College and University of Texas in Austin. He served in the U.S. Army and was a Vietnam Veteran. He was employed at Universal Studios Orlando. Mr. Garcia was preceded in death by his father, Rafael J. Garcia, his mother, Enriqueta S. Garcia, and his sister, Edna Brenner. He is survived by his two daughters, Melissa Premone of Issaquah, Washington, and Elizabeth Yonker of Orlando, Florida; sisters Gloria Guerra of The Woodlands, Texas and Anna Aguilar of San Antonio, Texas; son-in-law Chuck Premone of Issaquah, Washington; as well as his four grandchildren Kasey Alvarado, Craig Roles, Chase Premone, and Brett Yonker. Mr. Garcia, 59, passed away Friday, February 08, 2008, in Orlando, Florida. The family will receive friends and family February 14, 2008 at: Sunset Funeral Home, 1701 Austin Hwy., San Antonio,Texas 78218 (210) 828-2811 from 5:00pm ? 9:00pm. Funeral services will be held Friday, February 15, 2008 at Sunset Funeral Home starting at 12:00noon, with burial to follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 1:15pm.

What the obit failed to say was that he could always make anyone laugh. That he took me in during my early tumultuous college years and did a pretty decent job of supporting me when I wasn't really sure anyone would. That he loved playing cards and board games; although he hated to lose -- especially to his much younger nieces! And that he loved being around family most of all -- big, loud, boisterous events -- holidays and weddings, especially -- and was at his best at the BBQ pit or making pan de campo over a campfire. And although we're really gonna miss him around here, I'm sure he's tickled camoflauge to be with Mamo and Papo again, a beer in one hand and shoveling his mother's homemade chicharrones and carne guisada and tamales with the other. He was his mama's boy, afterall, and despite the miles between us, an uncle we all loved and will truly miss very very much.

Saturday, February 02, 2008