Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Holidays are Very Different This Year

Usually I'd already be in the swing of the holidays. I would have already asked Jose to bring up the boxes of decor and lights from the basement. I would have already baked and stored 5 different recipes of cookies in my freezer. I would have already planned what presents to give out. I would also be ready to embrace the season and the revival of warm memories of holidays passed. Things are different this year. Who would have thought a little adjustment to my schedule and priorities could have such a dramatic effect on my life?
Of course, I'm talking about COLLEGE. A year ago I had just quit my job as a barista to stay home and raise my kids full-time. I wasn't in school or even thinking about going to school. One year later, here I am with text books, extensive writing assignments, the responsibility of group research with a 20-minute presentation, another presentation on some volunteer work I did, finals to study for, a kid in kindergarten who cannot read her own homework instructions yet and then all the other extra-curricular stuff like a baby, a husband and a house. Oh, and myself! HAhahaha, that's funny.
Last Thursday in my art history class all of us students were asked to participate in an anonymous evaluation of our instructor. I had only good things to say. I am enjoying the class so much. It may be the best course I've ever taken and I wasn't even expecting it to be such. He's not easy. He assumes all 100+ of his students are seasoned. Sometimes I get my assignments back and I re-read what I wrote and wonder, Where did that come from???, in a good way! I take super fast, messy notes and a lot of them. The only one who needs to read my writing is me :)
My other class is giving me a lot of grief. The text was written by the professor. It's terrible. The book, I mean. Oh, but so is the class. This is probably the WORST class I've ever taken. The professor simply reiterates what she has "written" already in the text (I use those quotes because she didn't write anything--she stole it all from other books). Pretty much word-for-cliche-word. It's a 3-hour class and she keeps us the entire time. We have a TON of work due in the next few weeks. This is what weighs on my mind all the time now. I hope we get to evaluate her; I have a lot of suggestions to improve the course structure. One suggestion is: don't make all the big assignments due on the same freaking day, especially when we also have to study for the final.
Thanks for letting me vent.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Good Griddlecakes Recipe

Jose and I woke up before the girls this morning, strangely enough, and he requested pancakes for breakfast. That was when I realized we hadn't had breakfast together in a long time, I'm talking about several months. How sad?! He made a pot of coffee and I got out my cookbooks to find my little penned notes next to the recipes I had liked in the past. I made this one from an old Country Cookbook (I modified it just a little by adding vanilla):
2 C flour
5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
3 tblsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
2 C milk
6 tblsp oil
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla extract (to your liking)
  1. Combine dry ingredients with a whisk in a large bowl.
  2. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla to flour mixture. Mix well. It will be kinda lumpy.
  3. Cook on a greased griddle and flip when bubbles pop open on top, as usual for pancakes.
  4. While cooking the rest of the batter, keep griddlecakes warm in a 170 degree oven on a cookie sheet, adding butter to each cake on the sheet. This keeps them from drying out while staying warm and of course butter tastes good.
  5. Serve with your favorite syrup.
These were so fluffy and filling! Jose only ate two before he got full. I have made many pancake recipes this year. This one was my favorite so far.
Raquel and Maxine have been sick this week. Maxine has been sick for one week now and Raquel just came down with it on Thursday. She is faring much better than Maxine, who seems to really be miserable. To put it frankly, she's pissed off. That girl has a temper. Raquel is just the opposite--very pleasant and sweet, even though she, too, has a fever. My sanity thanks goodness for having at least one child with a calm attitude about being sick. The mad child is driving Mommy a little crazy. I have found that giving Maxine a nice, warm, playful bath helps calm her down significantly. But that's the only trick I have.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Short of Our Day

  • Raquel said, "Mommy, you go to college. You know EVERYTHING!"
  • Maxine had a little turd in her mouth.
  • I put a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in my oatmeal.
  • Yes, Maxine actually had poop in her mouth for a minute.
  • The oatmeal was good.
  • Maxine is my gross child. She tried to eat her own puke once, too.
  • Raquel still likes hats, jewelry, make-up and other non-gross things.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Friday's Fail

Early last week Raquel was sent home with a notice to us (her parents) that she would be receiving a 'special award' at Friday's awards assembly. We were to keep it a secret so she could be surprised when they announced her name. Jose couldn't stand not knowing exactly what the award was so he found out by asking around (I would have preferred to be surprised). Her teacher invited us to the assembly which was to be at 10:20am Friday, October 30th. Already planned this day was the school's annual Halloween Parade at 1pm. Since the children were not permitted to wear their costumes to school in the morning, parents who could were allowed to arrive at 12:30pm to dress their children and apply makeup in the classroom. Raquel's costume was a clown with full facepaint and a wig. I was also in charge of bringing Halloween cupcakes to the after-parade party in the classroom. Jose was able to switch shifts at work so he might help me in the morning with everything but he wasn't able to stick around past noon. I am getting ahead of myself, hold on...
Friday morning I painted clown makeup on my own face, Jose dressed Maxine in her witch costume (which had been Raquel's 4 years ago) and I packed the truck with diaper bag, makeup case, bag of costume and accessories for Raquel and 3 containers of cupcakes. Jose got caught up with a business associate on the phone and I thought I would be late so I strapped Maxine into the truck and took off to the awards assembly (we were taking separate cars anyways since Jose would be leaving from the school to go to work). Confused yet? It gets worse. So, I'm driving on the 210 freeway hoping not to be late to the assembly when upon exitting the freeway Maxine got carsick all over her pretty costume. Her carseat was a complete mess. And since she hadn't gotten carsick in so long, I didn't bother to bring towels or extra clothing--assuming we were in the clear was a huge mistake. I must have uttered the F-word 20 times while parking the truck and wondering what my next move would be. I carefully took off the witch dress and threw it in the bed of the truck, leaving Maxine in her dampened undershirt and black tights and smelling like vomit. I smelled that good, too. We walked into the assembly and sat with my sister-in-law in the audience. I was in a terrible mood but Maxine was cheerful as could be.
Anywho, Raquel won an award for creativity. She really is the most creative child I have ever known. After the assembly we gathered outside to take pictures of the award winners with their teacher. That's when Jose showed up and boy was he mad. Apparently, he had left the keys to our other vehicle in the truck, which I had driven to school, obviously, leaving him at home without keys. I was so involved in getting to school on time and then cleaning up Maxine's puke that I didn't even notice him calling my cell phone. We were both very unhappy that morning to say the least.
Jose then took Maxine home and changed her into clean clothes and came back to school. In the meantime, I travelled back and forth from my truck to the classroom, dropping off the cupcakes and the Halloween costume bag and makeup case and then I sort of cleaned out whatever I could in the truck. Jose put the other carseat in the truck and I put the yucky one in the bed of the truck. Then Jose left for work and Maxine and I hung out at Raquel's school until we were allowed to enter the classroom to put her costume on. Maxine's bottle was empty by now and she was cranky. I was hurrying to do a decent job on Raquel's clown makeup. The classroom was hot, stuffy and crowded. Raquel's teacher was kind enough to carry Maxine around while I was busy with Raquel (she couldn't bare to hear her cry). I was sweating and anxious for this ordeal to be over. It was supposed to be fun and I wasn't having any fun. The parade seemed to go off without a hitch even though we stood outside a while in the sun and heat waiting for all the classrooms to get lined up. There was even a drum section from the middle school across the street, the drummers being mostly female, which all us mothers thought was so cool. Raquel looked cute and Maxine seemed to be entertained enough to forget she needed a nap and a bottle. She was pretty content in the Bjorn and even feel asleep for a few seconds to the beat of the marching band drums. Everything was OK from then on.
When we got home, I was beat. I don't know how single mothers do this day in and day out.