Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Preparing for the New Year

Since as far back as I can remember, between the day after Christmas and New Years day, my mom, grandmother, and my aunts would be busy in a cleaning frenzy. My mom passed away over 10 years ago, as did my grandmother but my aunts still follow the tradition.

The thinking behind all this crazed cleaning is that you prepare yourself for the new year fresh start. No mess ...No clutter.

So today I have to clean my office and throw out the files and crap I've accumulated that I don't need. The scraps of paper with numbers on them that I don't remember who they belong to. Wipe down my desk and rearrange everything in order to have good mojo for the coming year.
Then do the same here at home.

Now if only someone can explain why I have to throw out a bucket of water at midnight on New Years Eve?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Random Thoughts....

1. How did I not get callouses on my ass from being glued to the couch for 4 days??

2. How missing a period can still make me say"Oh Fuck!" Though now the worry isn't "am I pregnant?", it's more about questioning, "Does this mean I need to start stocking up on K Y?"

3. Where are my new towels? Was the dyer monster hungier then usual and go for my towels and not the socks?

4. I wish someone else could take down the christmas tree and put the ornaments away.

5. I should have taken January 2 off and spent another 4 days on the couch.

6. Is that a hair growing on my chin???

7. Why does everyone think this a free laundry facility and just assume that I provide the detergent?

8. I should really make some New Years resolutions this year even though that will go by the wayside by February.

9. Who depantsed James , the basement mannequin?

10. I would really have some fun around here if I was the one laid off.

And the one that keeps creeping through my brain, happens when I pass a mirror...

"who the hell is that staring at me? That's not what I look like."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day

Ever since I was born, we celebrated Christmas Eve and it started around 9pm. On that evening we had extended family and friends over for a traditional Cuban Christmas meal that consisted of roasted pork, black beans and rice, yucca, and tomato with avacado salad. Dessert was flan, guayava with cream cheese and turron. After dinner my mom and my aunts would wash dishes, then serve dessert. Once we were done, it was on to opening gifts. There were so many people at our house and so many presents that you could hardly walk into the living room. The gifts took up half the room. At least that's how I remember it. I got the pictures to prove it! HA. My mom would call out peoples names and you stacked your presents till there was nothing under the tree. Then she would go around the room, one present at a time, so everyone could see what the others had gotten. My cousin and I would see who had the highest stack between us.

It would be pretty late and since I'm an only child, as is my cousin...we were sent to bed to await Santa's arrival. We would force ourselves to sleep, not because we weren't tired, but we were just too excited. Sometime in the middle of the night or should I say some ungodly time after 1 or 2 am... we would be woken up to my mom squealing ( my mom was into Christmas as much as we were) that Santa had just left the building. Santa had one up on Elvis in our house.
We then would jump out of bed to see even more gifts. Mind you, it was just the 2 of us, but by the amount of toys, you would think there were more like 6 kids in that house. My cousin had one side and I had the other. Plus you could tell who's was who's because he was a boy and he got the cool stuff I always wanted but I was a girl. Its was the 60's.

It was sensory overload. You see... when we walked into our living room it looked like we walked into a toy store. Our toy store. You mix in the gifts that we had just opened few hours ago to the Santa stuff..well..hence the sensory overload.
Everyone would go home by the time the birds were chirping (if it were summer or not a winter in Chicago) and my dad, mom, grandmother and I would finally go to bed. I was always up really early ( I had napped, remember?) playing with toys and the day was to relax. If my mom didn't take me to midnight mass on Christmas Ever we would go in the morning after breakfast. She would hardly sleep either.

The year I learned there was no Santa ( my dad confirmed what all the other kids at school told me and ridiculed me for..I was 11) was not only the end of Christmas as I knew it but it ruined it for my mom as well. As I said, I'm an only child, my innocence gone and with it went my mom's enthusiasm for Christmas. That was till Damien came along.

David's holiday traditions were totally different than mine. So we compromised. He is the youngest of 5, so the whole Santa thing went out the window for him early in life. He just couldn't believe that I held on to my belief in Santa for that long. Nor could he believe there were so many presents for just one child. Though he did see the pictures. I know the word spoiled was used a lot. I say jealousy.

The compromise??? In the early days we had to hit up my MIL's house, then my aunts( my mom an dad had divorced and my grandmother went to live with her daughters), then my mom's house. That's 3 full dinners and gift opening..Then to our house put Damien to bed to then set up Santa stuff. Santa came in the morning and the gifts were unwrapped, because Santa didn't wrap his presents. But there would still be the sensory overload, because the presents that he had already seen were there with the new stuff Santa brought. David thought it was bad to wake up kids in the middle of the night.
As Damien got older and Tony and Anjelika came along, (we also moved first to Florida then California) Christmas Eve was at my house and my mom would sleep over so she could still be a part of Santa. God she loved Christmas! I would combine the food David grew up with and also mine and I would spend all day cooking a huge feast. Till the year I decided to only cook Cuban food since that's what everyone ate. Christmas day was recoup day, pajama day, eat leftovers and watch the kids play.

Today....my aunts don't celebrate Christmas since my grandmother and dad died. My MIL moved out of state, David's siblings are scattered, and my mom passed away. It is just the immediate family. There still is Santa for Tony and Anjelika. The way they see it Damien had Santa till he got married soooo since he is just about 6 years older than Tony...they have a few more Santa years to go. This year they didn't expect it.
But Santa did come..meager but he came. Anjelika got underwear and socks, 2 t-shirts, necklace and a painting I did for her. Tony got 2 shirts and a toiletry travel bag so he can carry that stuff while he is on tour. I had it full with stuff, and a small painting I made for him too.

Damien and Emilie have followed suit with the sensory overload.....This year we gave them their space and didn't stop by on Christmas morning. After all they did the same thing we did many years ago and travelled to 3 homes then leave late to then set up Santa.

And though we weren't there, Emilie was thoughtful and sent me this....
It let us have a glimpse into Desi's Santa morning

Following the family tradition. He is an artist and a musician.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Best Gift Ever...

I won best gift of the night.
As I tore open the wrapping I got a glimpse of what it was and I instantly started tearing up.
Damien and Emilie had framed a drawing Desi had made for me

I now have a Desmond original...

Back to Basics

I've always been all about Christmas. This year is different. The recession has taken a huge toll on us this year. David hasn't worked since Thanksgiving. It's been rough on us. I'm just grateful that the kids are grown and have all moved out. It could be worse... I'm grateful I have a home, food on the table, car to get to work, and that I still am able to work. We are all healthy and together for Christmas, that's all that really matters. Tony is here even though he leaves tomorrow.

So this year I decided we would do Dollar Store Christmas and make it easier on all of us and still be able to exchange presents. The kids thought it would be fun too. They are all pretty broke and agreed that Christmas should be about family being together. Anyway they are grown, and Desi is the only one we really had to buy for.

Any other year, I start getting excited once the month of December rolls around. I make myself nuts with shopping for just the right gifts and getting the perfect Christmas tree. But not this year. I was bummed. I wasn't feeling it. My Christmas cheer had disappeared. Christmas Eve I worked a half day, I still hadn't bought much and I still didn't have any decorations up...NO CHRISTMAS TREE!!! At least we had Desi taken care of. I went and bought little things at the dollar store. I had a $15 gift certificate for Target, so I figured I'd just go look. I ended up crying inside Target. Crying because my Christmas was going to suck. So I bought Tony and Anjelika little things so that they would wake up Christmas morning to something under the tree...hmmm what tree? I had nothing. I went home feeling a little better. David had found a small 3 inch Christmas tree that I had from long ago as a table decoration and had decorated it and set it up on the corner of the living room. he sure knows how to make me happy. We started cleaning up and I started dinner. I finally went into Christmas eve mode and wrapped all the presents and put them under the little tree.

Not bad even though you can see the house under construction.

Anjelika had come over to borrow the car so she could pick up some last minute gifts and pick up her things from her week of house sitting for her boss. She laughed at the sight of our little Christmas corner. When she got back, she had brought back with her a real Christmas tree. David had sent her to buy one. Have I mentioned how much I love this man. It's going on 30 years we've been together and he still never ceases to amaze me. Anjelika brought out all the home made and the ornaments we've collected through the years. She decorated and arranged all the gifts I had wrapped.
At 7:30 we sat down to eat our traditional Cuban meal. We ate till we were all in a food coma. Then on to the exchanging of the presents. This year Desi got into at least tearing open his presents.. Notice how quickly he got comfy and got down to basics too. Down to his diaper!
I learned a valuable lesson this year. It's not about what new tech gadget I could buy, what new guitar stuff to get, having Santa for 2 grown children, it's about family. We were all together and we laughed and had fun. The kids got into the whole dollar store gift giving. It was hilarious. David got a target gun so that when someone steps on a mike or guitar cords during jam night he doesn't have to shout across the room..he can just aim and shoot to get their attention.

Somehow we were able to get these on Desi long enough for Laura to take a picture. Gotta love the look on his face..."WTF Mima!!"

Damien and Desi in their new matching Hester Bears shirts.
Desi holding court...
It was all about cars this year for Desi....much to Damien and David's delight.

Now we wait for Santa to come to our respective home.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Arm Fat...Jiggle Jiggle

OMG..I was taking a patient's blood pressure yesterday as he was on the treadmill and out of the corner of my eye I saw something move. So I turned my eyes to get a peak.

It was my arm jiggling to the beat of the man's footsteps on the treadmill!!!

I quickly took the blood pressure and hid my arm in shame.

Did he see? Did the other tech notice??

Yep...flappin' in the wind.

When I was 20, I remember looking at David's grandmother arm fat flappin' in the wind and being mezmorized. Wow ..had never seen that. I swore then, that I would never have that.

Here I am... hiding my arm fat in long sleeves from now on.

Where are those damn dumbells???