Sunday, January 25, 2009

He's What???

Last week was Desi's birthday. I can't believe he is two. We can now hear actual words instead of just grunts and groans. My favs so far??? "What?" ( with hand gestures included..totally his dad), "Pees" (please) and of course hearing him say "Mima".

Last Sunday I made chocolate chip cupcakes so we stopped by and gave him a cupcake and his remote control car. He LOVES cars! When he is here he falls asleep with his hotwheels in his hands.

Today the whole family was here, minus Tony of course. I decided to do a kids themed dinner with mini burgers, pigs in a blanket, pepperbellys, and chips n dip. I made a sad looking cake ( it drooped but tasted good)and decorated it by making it a bilingual cake. Due to the fact I was craving chocolate, I also made fudge brownies.

And as always in this house the evening had to end with some music. This time, the next generation chimed in.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration: The Cuban Connection

My skin color is not black, it is white. But I am not looked upon as being white. I am Cuban, therefore, I'm really Hispanic. I was born here in Chicago, in the USA but I'm not an American, so I am a Cuban-American. That's okay with me because I am proud of who I am and that my parents came here to this country in search of a better life.

I will be 50 this year and it means I was alive during the Kennedy administration, MLK's
I Have A Dream speech, race riots of the 60's, first man on the moon, and now another monumental moment in history.

Tonight as my husband slept through the recap of today's historic events, I cried as I watched...again.

I cried because I remembered my dad.

It wasn't till I started school that I began to learn the English language. I remember crying when my dad would drop me off at kindergarten, not only because I was left there, but because I couldn't communicate with anyone. Though I did learn to speak English eventually, I wasn't allowed to speak it at home. Homework? My dad would make me struggle on my own or ask the teacher. As I grew older and it became apparent that I needed help with a subject, my dad sent me to see my Uncle Rick. My uncle was Mexican by other peoples standard at that time, though his family were Texans since after the Alamo and didn't speak Spanish. My poor uncle had to struggle with Spanish when he met my aunt. Anyway, that's who I could speak English to and get help from.

When I hit the smart ass teenage years, I made a nasty comment to my dad how I was never allowed to speak English at home or get any help with homework. My dad sat me down and explained a few things that night that opened up my eyes and had me remember a few things I either had forgotten or blocked out.

He told me of how my uncle Rick would have to make calls for him to look at apartments only for the landlord to turn them away once he saw what my father looked like, how the only job he could get was as a dishwasher at the Conrad Hilton, and how my mom ate chili at the factory for over a year because she couldn't understand the labels. He reminded me how he would have me read the comic strips to him every night not because he couldn't, but because he wanted me to practice my English. My father loved to read and always read the newspaper to better his English.
I use to laugh at my dad when he said the word funny, because it came out sounding like..fooney.
Chicken was sheeken and ...well you get the idea. The reason I wasn't allowed to speak English at home was because he didn't want me to pick up their accent and then be ridiculed as they had been. He reminded me of the boy in my 4th grade class that called me a "spic", and though I had no idea what the word meant, I knew it was mean by his facial expression, so I clobbered him.
Of course I got in trouble and my father was called in for a conference with the teacher. Though my father didn't condone my behavior he also explained to the teacher what the boy called me. My teacher's reply was that my dad needed to teach me how to control my temper.....damn that Latin temper. The boy? nothing, no staying after school, parents called, nothing. By father just shook his head, walked out and told me not to smack anyone again.

Then my father brought up the boy I had just been dating.
The new boy loved coming over but never took me around his neck of the woods. I had never been to the SW side of Chicago and was curious to see Marquette Park cause I heard it was beautiful. When I finally asked why we never went by his house, he said we couldn't. I just assumed it was too far to come way over to the north side only to turn around and go back to the SW side, to then do it all over again. So I started to ask again and again and again till the truth spilled out. "I can't take you to my house because of my dad" Hmmm is he sick? crazy??
" No, it's your name" Huh?? I know my name is hard to pronounce and the way people say it in English isn't the way it's pronounced but...I don't get it.
Clueless....and as the boy looked down at his feet, my dad explained.
"You're not white..."
Yes I am, my skin is just as white as even says it on my birth certificate.
"You're not in his eyes, once he hears your name ..and it doesn't matter that you speak like him or all your other friends."

Well that was then end of that.

When David told his family I was Cuban..they asked if I was black.
When I got pregnant...they worried if he would be dark. Did they NOT meet my family?

So I cried today. I cried for my dad and what he and my family went through.
I cried because I do understand discrimination first hand. I cried because I am proud to be an American and to see a nation united on such a historic day.

I cried.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baby It's Cold Outside

What happened to Global Warming???

It is beyond cold outside. Right now it is 6 degrees and steadily dropping.
The weather channel is saying more snow is suppose to come our way. I HATE winters in Chicago. It is only around this time of year that I miss living in Miami.

Last night I stopped in to visit with Damien and his family. While I was there it had started snowing. By the time I left, there was a pretty good dusting on my car...but SOMEHOW, through all that snow... a cop was able to see the little sticker on my license plate was expired and felt the need to get out of his warm patrol car and stick a lovely orange ticket on my car.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yesterday: Lost in Translation

All day I've contemplated doing a bit of a rebuttal and I feel like I need to explain a few things.

Yesterday I blogged about my view of the mother daughter relationship from a mother's perspective. I meant it to be humorous but also make a point. But from the comments and emails I received, the humor part was lost on some.

First I want to say how lucky and blessed I am that all 3 of our kids still like to hang out with us. They pop in frequently and call throughout the week.
We have fun together and truly enjoy each others company. Damien getting married is just another sibling for Tony and Anjelika and for us another daughter.

The fact that I wrote that my daughter just pops on over without calling is only because I would like to spare her the embarrassment that I endured (as did my mom) when I walked in on her and my step dad unannounced. Scarred for life, from then on, I never used my key.

We all go through our trials and tribulations with teenagers, especially when those teenagers are our daughter. Some of those comments I made, did happen and that is how I felt. We laugh about them now. Did I think some of the stuff she said was stupid...yes. Would I actually say that? No. My words were more like.."what are you thinking". As for not being there for her? I always have been and still am. I listen, comfort, and give advise. Only now I try to do it only when I'm asked.

There are times that we as mothers do not want to be bothered. The fact that I said that, caused all kinds of commotion. I know I'm not the only one that feels this way. I worked full time and trying to divide my attention between 3 kids and a husband, was exhausting. How do some women find the balance? I never did. So the only one that didn't get as much attention was me.
Don't get me wrong, a martyr I'm wasn't. I'm still trying to find that balance. Why? Because we never stop being a mother. I couldn't even imagine my life without them. I am richer for having the chaos that is my family. We are a loud bunch with music and laughter filling the air. I wouldn't have it any other way.

But just as our kids bitch and moan about us, there is nothing wrong with saying that sometimes motherhood is a pain in the ass. The mother-daughter thing? Well that just makes it a bigger pain in the ass, cause we butt heads more.

I wasn't the Leave it to Beaver mom or even Mrs. Brady. I didn't have the books or the Internet then . I flew by the seat of my pants. I cheated by buying cookies at the bakery, then decorated a coffee can and passed them off as home made, I rearranged my schedule at work in order not to miss a school recital, and made a craptacular angel costume by hand for Damien's first school play. I would compare myself to the other moms I saw, and, I so suck at this. But those times that I considered a pain in my ass, also make the best memories.

Damien and Anjelika both read my post, with two very different reactions.
Anjelika laughed and agreed with me. She knows me best I think, but also knows that even now, I'm am there for her no matter what. Damien thought it was scathing. When I reminded him that it's nothing she doesn't know and that it was meant to be humorous, he just shook his head.

Back when he had to wear that craptacular angel costume and I sat there crying, feeling ashamed and sorry for him compared to the other kids. He wiped my tears and asked me why I was crying. I apologized to him for not having a nice costume like his classmates. He held my face in his hands and told me that he was proud of his costume because I had made it and that he was the only one with a glittery cardboard harp.

Today that same little boy is now a man with his own son. Today he told us how much he loves us and then reminded me that he is a musician.

Okay, and???

"Don't blog about me and I won't write a song about things that bug me about you"

I know I bug you.

" yeah well, don't make me write a song for everyone to hear"

So now I'm thinking...What will he name it and if it will be a collaborative effort with Tony and Anjelika.

Insert a haha now.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Mothers View on Mother-Daughter Relationships

After 9 glorious hours of sleep, I grab my coffee and head on over to blogher. As I bounce from post to post I come across one about the mother daughter relationship and it's complications. And as I read more, I come across our view as we get older and we become the care givers.

Which makes me think of how my view of my own mother changed with my mom and dad's divorce during my late teens and then when I became the caregiver and her heart started failing.

But that isn't what this post is about.

Where is the view from a mother's perspective on this subject? I can't seem to find it.

Does it go against good parenting to voice how WE feel about this complicated relationship?

Will I be viewed as a bad mom or am I really the only one that feels this way? (Which is actually my biggest fear.)

Out of the 3 kids, she is the one who sucks the life out of me. It's exhausting. But I'm there.

Why? Cause I'm the mom, I love her, and that is what I'm suppose to do. Do I want to? Not really, not always. I find myself comparing our relationship to mine and my mothers. It's different because, I made sure of it. I wanted the open and honest relationship that I didn't have. So I made my bed and I'm laying in it.

Anjelika will be 22 in less than 2 months. She is the youngest of 3 and the only girl. The boys were a piece of cake in comparison. She is very different than me...not that I wanted a mini me. She has traits that I wish I had and I'm proud she is outspoken and opinionated, not worrying on how she is viewed by others. But I am mom and I don't really want all her outspoken and opinionated views. She is open with me to the point of me cringing at times. She is honest to the point where I've learned through her, that little white lies are definitely so much better than the hard core truth. Filter..PLEASE!!!

So as I read about all the complaints daughters have about their mothers. Here I have some of MY complaints through the years about my daughter.

1. If you know I think he's a douche,why do you feel the need to: talk, complain, or bring him into this house.

2. If you know my opinion on a subject and it differs from your view, don't get pissed. Why even bring it up? It's an OPINION. MINE!

3. If you know that the outfit you are wearing makes me think of a hooker in the red light district, don't show me or ask me "How do I look". You know you won't leave the house looking like that.

4. If you know that your bedroom looks like a wrecking ball just hit it, don't tell me you can't find___. You know what I'll say.

5. If you know that I've carved out some me time in my art studio, it's not the time to hear about your problems with your roommate. I can care less right now or any other time for that matter.

6. If you ask me for my advise and don't agree and voice that you knew I'd say that...then don't ask me in the first place.

7. If you start a conversation with me by saying.."this may sound stupid to you" you are is.

8. If you see me reading a book, do not cover the pages with your hand to get my attention. You are 20 not 2 and it's not cute anymore...that just pisses me off.

9. If you know that me and your dad haven't had a vacation sans kids in all our years together and we finally plan one...don't invite yourself along cause you need to get away for awhile.

10. If you know that me and you dad are now alone in the house. Don't you think you should call first before coming over?

I'm just saying.

I seriously believed that once they were adults it would be my time, but NEVER ends.

Now I will gladly accept the crappy mommy award, thank you very much.

If It's Too Loud, You're Too Old

Tonight there is a show at Reggie's. There is great music, good friends, and free flowing booze.
And what am I doing?

I'm taking a nice long hot bubble bath in a freshly soap scum free tub (courtesy of David) with
a bottle of wine for company.

Nowadays after a long rough week, I like my Fridays very mellow.

Pray I don't drown while mellowing out.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Whadaya Mean I Can't Tell Anyone???

I'm on my way home from work and talking to Tony on my cell, when he tells me some BIG..I mean HUGE news.
Then adds....."Please don't tell anyone yet." Huh???
Do you not know who you are talking to?
And just like that, he tells me he has to let me go cause he is on his way to practice.

Quickly I call him back to get the ok to tell his dad. He laughs and gives me the ok and says he is only telling his siblings and Laura till everything is in place.

I so suck at keeping big news in.

I pounce on David as soon as I walked in the door. In typical verbal diahrrea form, out spills this fantastic news. His reaction?? "Oh cool."
God I hate laid back people sometimes.

So now I have all this amazing info and I'm busting to tell the world...and I can't...I PROMISED.
Shit this so sux!

If I give a's not really blabbing is it???

Music and a certain well known station..

That's all I'm saying..lips are now sealed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Special Bond

Anjelika has her first date tonight since her break up with Kirby.
It's the first time I've seen her THAT excited in a long time. She was stressing about picking up her outfit and still having time to go work out before getting ready.

So tonight I got a text from Emilie telling me that Anjelika had asked her to help her get ready. Emilie applies makeup like a pro and she did a great job as usual. Then she did her hair. She took a picture and sent it to me. Not only did I get details about the makeup used but she texted me this..." It's so cute. It's like I have a little sister." Both Emilie and Anjelika have 2 brothers and they are the only girls.

Instead of getting her BFF to help, she asked Emilie.... her SIL.
Even though they live in the same building and one floor apart, she doesn't want to bother her.
It warms my heart that she reached out to Emilie for help and that Emilie was there to act like the big sister she doesn't have. To not only help get her ready but to share in her excitement. And I see how their relationship has been growing outside of the SIL friends

Damien did good by marrying her...though I already know this....she always finds another way to tug at my heartstrings.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oh No..Not Again

At this very moment, I look like I am 6 months pregnant...

My stomach is killing me and I can't get comfortable.

Tums??? GasX???

Sunday, January 4, 2009

While Spacing Out..

1. Sunday nights are the worst. I'm already thinking of the things I have to do once I get to the office in the morning.

2. Why hasn't Tony called me?? Has he forgotten that I was in labor with him for an hour and that gives me dibs on who he should call first?

3. How does anyone play online poker for this long?? If he was betting REAL money I would seriously have to kill him and collect the life insurance money.

4. Hmmm.. haven't heard from Anjelika either....maybe that's who Tony is talking to instead of me.

5. Might be babysitting baby boy Tuesday night while Damien plays his show and Emilie is going too. Kinda worried..getting up and ready for work with a baby at home, to then drop said baby off before heading to work, sure isn't the same now as it was in my 20's.

6. I really need to get out of these jammies, take a shower and put on a fresh pair. Chewy won't lay on the couch with me...Doesn't that tell ya something?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 TBR Challenge Lite

There are so many books I've bought but haven't read and so many others I want to read, that I figured I should join the challenge.

My list for this year is short so that there is no pressure. 6 books in 12 months. I can do that.

1.Dead Center- Shiya Ribowsky

2. The Glass Castle- Jeannette Walls

3. But Inside I'm Sreaming-Elizabeth Flock

4. Everybody into the Pool- Beth Lisick

5. Tales from the bed- JeniferEstess

6. Pretty in Plaid-Jen Lancaster

a. Time of My Life-Allison Winn Scotch

b.The Department of Lost & Found -Allison Winn Scotch

The first 5 I already have, just haven't had a chance to read them yet. The last one is a must read but won't be out till April.

So there it is

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 To Do List

I hate New Years resolutions, only because I never keep them.
So in order not to fail miserably once again, I'm making a to do list.

Top ten things to do in 2009....

10. Set up an Etsy shop

9. Learn digital art

8. Make time for art

7. Blog more frequently (hence the challenge)

6. Learn to use all the bells and whistles on my camera

5. Lose some weight by my 50th birthday

4. Be more physcially active

3. Take some art classes at the Lill St Art Center

2. Stop sweating the small stuff

1. Finish some of the remodeling jobs we got going here, so I don't bring in 2010 the way I did
this year


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Exploding into 2009

WARNING: If bodily functions are offensive or disturbing to you, if reading about this gives you visuals (as they do me) Stop right here...Do NOT read any further.

I woke up yesterday morning at 1:30 am with a cramp and a gurgle.

Gurgles scare me.

I flew not walked downstairs. It's times like these that I curse David for not finishing the upstairs bathroom. Between sitting on the pot and leaning into the sink, what floats through my head??

"Well that's one way of saying good bye to 2008."

I went back to bed and repeated the above 3 more times till I gave up and laid on the couch, which is a mere 15 ft from the bathroom.

This continued till 4 am, when I finally got some sleep before getting up for work. I'm such a trooper..I went to work. Only lasted there 3 hours and I went home. It's a miracle there were no accidents en route.

So, as everyone else was bringing in the year with imported beers and foo foo drinks,

I was in bed with my ginger ale and the stomach flu.

Yea!!! Happy New Year