Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm Still an A Student

I don't often find myself with nothing to do these days. I got a promotion at work and am pretty much working full-time now. But I like my job so that's cool. I finished another semester of college; got an A in my African American History class. Thank goodness I planned a June Vegas trip back in January--I ended up needing it more than I thought I would! We just got back from Vegas a few days ago after spending 3 days there with friends from different states. I don't gamble but I still feel like I won.
My sister came to visit us from Virginia. She also took care of our kids while we were in Vegas. How great is that?! My sister and I went rollerskating together and we also did some karaoke. I think she had a good time.
I am not taking any summer classes this year. I remember taking a class last summer, having homework 4 nights a week and a research paper to write, all while planning my husband's birthday and our kids' birthday party...NO THANKS!
Raquel has finished Kindergarten. She starts 1st grade September 14th. She learned so much from her teacher this year, it is AMAZING. We loved her teacher so much, we gave her a nice gift on the last day of school. How a teacher can teach a 5-year-old how to read is beyond me. And I'm proud of Raquel for being the young lady she is--she's outgoing, smart, friendly, funny and creative. She's everything a mother could want in a daughter. She'll be 6 years old July 7th. :)
I'm currently dealing with a toddler full of temper...Maxine. She'll be two on July 25th. She's sooo sweet when she's happy but when she doesn't get her way, she's red-faced-angry. Raquel was never this way. Maxine is a very different child, though, and I'm learning as I go.
Thanks for checking in :)
(The picture above is a bento box I made for Raquel recently)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Maxine in Shoes

Maxine struttin' her stuff in a pair of new shoes...

Incited by The Short-Sighted

Today, a father questioned whether or not he should quit his 9-5 job to go back to the "easy" life of dealing drugs and taking vacations at will. This incited me to think of my responsibility as a parent and also as a citizen of the world. I feel sorry for a person like this father whose sight is so short. Does he have any expectations of his own child? Is he satisfied raising a career-bartender or worse? Does he at least realize that going back to selling drugs to the public is, at best, just perpetuating the status quo? Am I special because I think my own life and the lives of my children are destined for greatness? I thought everyone felt that way. Does not everyone feel their lives are special?
Every chance I get, I make sure I am not raising bitches, bimbos, douches, snots, assholes, wallflowers, doormats or dummies. I fully believe my daughters have the potential to be powerful, influential, creative, inspiring, philanthropic leaders. To me it goes without saying that all parents must have this same opinion of their own children. But I'm probably wrong.
When I was a kid, my dad used to say I could be president. I never wanted to be the president of anything but hearing him say that and be genuine about it was good for my heart and ego. As far back as I can remember, I have always felt like someone special; I'm meant for something important and some day I'm going to find out what that is.
I feel the same way about my kids. They're going to be great adults. I raise them with this in mind constantly. Kids are not just mindless whippersnappers who like to ruin your day and piss you off. This is just part of a parent's obstacle course. The REAL job is teaching them the concept of respect. I believe this is where it all begins. One way to instill this concept in them is to never make fun of people in front of your children. This is obviously not a priority to some folks, which is evident when you encounter a bully in public. I'd bet $100 the bully's parents are bullies themselves. These parents have no idea what monsters they're creating by disregarding the concept of respect. Disrespecting others in front of your children is one of the worst things you can do to them. If you think this isn't a big deal, you're dead wrong. You are disrespecting your own progeny when you forget to teach them respect and they grow up without the option to be respectful because YOU failed to be a good example. You will give your child no choice but to be an asshole. That is, until someone teaches your child a hard lesson or two.
If nothing else in my life, I hope to raise my children to be great adults. This is my mission.
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Had a Birthday, Got a Job...

Grandma, this blog is for you.
I had a birthday in February. About 15 of my friends joined me at the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale for a little rollerskating party. Most of us hadn't been rollerskating in a decade or two; some fell, some fell more than once but ALL seemed to enjoy the evening very much. I would actually like to go rollerskating every weekend if I could. It is good, fun exercise.
For school this semester, I am only taking one class. It's a history class and our term project is to write a 12-15 page paper about a grandparent, including a family tree and images from their time as a child. When I saw this was our major work of the semester, I had a big smile in my heart. I knew exactly who to write about and I think it should be quite rewarding.
I started a part time job a couple of weeks ago. I won't say who I'm working for because I don't want to associate them with my blog at all but I will say I'm enjoying it for the most part. Being on my feet all day and smiling all the time can be exhausting. Who takes care of the kids when I'm gone? My husband, who makes his own hours and organizes himself around my work/school schedule, thank goodness.
I got to go on a kindergarten field trip to China Town last month with my daughter's class. We all took the Metrolink and spent a couple of hours there. I got several cute pictures. This is one of Raquel and her best buddy.
Raquel went to Big Bear with my dad for a 4-day weekend in February. I hear she got homesick the first night but after that she enjoyed herself. We missed her and were glad to have her home. I'm thankful she has grandparents and great-grandparents who adore her and make her life so wonderful. Speaking of, here is Grandma (Raquel and Maxine's great-grandmother)
Little Maxine is about to be 20 months old. We bought her 2 pairs of nice shoes from Stride Rite last weekend and, to my surprise, she is taking to them quite well (for a chronic tip-toer). She used to hate shoes. Now, she seems to like them. It is a big relief to me to see her take this next step.
Maxine picked up a fork at a restaurant and taught herself how to use it. Nobody helped her or told her what to do--she just took it and ran with it, so to speak. She is looking so grown-up and talking all the time. She mimics us, even counts and says the alphabet but of course it's in her own dialect and isn't exactly correct.
I'm going to end this post now. Whatever I've forgotten will be included in an upcoming post. Maybe I'll do an all-pictures post.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Change of Taste

The four of us went to the birthday party of a 1-year-old boy yesterday at a place called My Gym. Raquel and Maxine got to play with several kids their age and romp around on the play equipment--they even had a zip line for kids to try. Maxine's favorite activity was the trampoline and, surprisingly, she was really good at it!
The sun shone this weekend, which put me in an instantly-good mood yesterday morning, playing loud, happy music while sweeping the house.
I'm getting really bored of eating the typical healthy groceries I've been eating since January 4th but I haven't had a chance to do any grocery shopping so I have eaten some not-so-healthy things, like cereal. What a disappointing experience this has been--eating cereal, that is. My taste buds must be refining themselves! I used to be a cereal fanatic, all my life, and now? Not even my old favorite, Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch, does anything for me. What else has been a disappointment? Cheeseburgers. I haven't had a really good one in a year or more. I feel like I'm on a quest for one worthy of my sacrifice [of calories], because to waste calories on mediocre would-be delicious food doesn't even reach the point of satisfaction. It rather leaves me seeking that taste I long for after eating brown rice and veggies day after day to "make my tummy smaller" as I explain to Raquel (who keeps me on my toes about what I eat, now, mind you).
Where have all the good cheeseburgers gone?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Weather-Induced Cabin Fever

(Photo taken yesterday by my friend Nick Romero. I told him I had to steal it.)
Southern California is having some type of El Niño revival and I'm not enjoying it. Fortunately, our house is above ground by about 4+ feet and we haven't incurred any flood damage, NOT that the water is that high but it has been raining nonstop since about Sunday (I think). The lack of sunshine really gets to me. I have been cooking and reading recipes out of boredom. That's not such a bad thing--better than drinking up everything in the booze cabinet!
Actually, my kitchen fun started Friday night when we had "Maki Night". I made several different nonfish maki rolls for Jose and the girls. After that I fried up some banana fritters. It was really fun for me to make this fun meal for them. They all liked it very much and even pretended they were at a sushi restaurant and I was the slow waitress/chef. And yesterday I made two simple but unusual potato salads: teriyaki was one and curry was the other. Raquel liked the teriyaki one. I put the curry one in Jose's lunch today and have yet to hear his opinion. I do not care for potato salad so I have not tried either one. I'm glad I have two guinea pigs to try my funky recipes.
Raquel has been home sick for two days. She will most likely go back to school tomorrow. Maxine only got a mild version of Raquel's flu. Jose and I are fine, so far. We have a couple of plans this weekend so I hope we stay healthy.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dude! : A School Update

The Fall semester ended for me December 17th. Checking for my final grades online during Christmas time offered no news, so I waited until today to check again. Let me preface the results by telling you a little something embarrassing I ended up doing during my final writing assignment in Art History...
I missed class one day. It couldn't be avoided. But wouldn't you know that was the day our professor talked about Suprematism. It must've been the day I was gone because I knew nothing about it. I studied the text book to prepare for writing my final paper and for some reason, I did not study this one piece of art history. And it was never brought up in any of the other class sessions in which I was present. When I walked into class that final day, I had hoped that up on the projector screen there would be a piece of art I recognized, at least for its style, if not the artist, and that I could at least speculate about the artwork and do my best writing. Well, that's when the professor popped this piece up for us to ponder and write about:
The class of 100 gasped, then giggled. The professor said, "Back then, they didn't laugh." I think my brain started to sweat bullets. I had absolutely no clue what this was supposed to be. The assignment was to write about what style of art we think this is and why. And, though it wasn't required, we could venture a guess at the artist's name. All I could do for at least five minutes was sit and think. Many students were already well on their way to finishing their answers. And then something clicked and I went off on a tangent about Monet and Impressionism. When I got home from class, I searched for and found this painting online and found out I was completely mistaken, which made me feel so embarrassed. It is a piece of Suprematist art--the art for which I did not study. My bubble burst and my hope for an A evaporated.
We mysteriously and abruptly go from that to this : My tangent on Monet paid off, evidently, because yadda yadda yadda, I got an A in this class. Yes, I am celebrating. I won't know what my teacher had to say about this paper until I go pick it up from his office but I'm quite interested in finding that out.
I also got an A in my speech class. I'm very glad of that, too, just not surprised. The Art History grade is what I'm so thrilled about. Thank you!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Pictures. Enjoy!

Thanks to all our friends and family for the thoughtful gifts we received and for making it such a great holiday season with lots of happy memories. I'm very grateful to have such a delightful family to be with at this special time of year. I just wish more of us lived closer together so we could share all the fun with everyone.
As a reward for making it this far, please click here to watch a short, funny video from Christmas Day at my dad's house; just a sample of the goings-on.