Wednesday, March 31, 2010

That’s all folks! But it's just a see you later!

I am now sitting at work waiting for the last 15 minutes of work to be over. As bad as it got some days (especially when my Work-Husband found out I was leaving), I enjoyed working here. My co-workers were warm, caring and supportive (especially through the crazy health crisis in the last couple of years and during the unemployment). At the worse, they even “adopted” our family during Christmas time, to make sure that the kids had presents under the tree.

I didn’t know how much of an impact I had on those around me until my good-bye reception this afternoon. How wonderful to see all those people there. And the loot! They love me! I got tons of hugs and someone even cried.

I am glad that my parents will stay in the area. I actually look forward to a new chapter in my life, but I am glad that it was based on this wonderful time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It’s not like I ever had a chance, but…

Growing up in Puerto Rico, we swooned to the cuteness of the Menudo boys. We would fight over our favorites and would “assign” each other the group members. We made plans to find them, make them fall in love with our wonderfulness, marry them and be the envy of all the girls of the WORLD!

I can tell you that yesterday, a lot of worlds were crushed and a lot of worlds were jubilant. When Ricky Martin announced that he was gay, I am pretty sure that not a lot of people were surprised. Actually, I don’t think anyone really was. We were all in the know without him saying anything. Still, the announcement cemented that knowledge and all the girls’ hearts died a little. I am sure that there are a lot of men out there that gave each other high-fives yesterday: the ones that will say every day to their in-denial-wives/girlfriends “I told you so!” and the ones that have been dreaming all this time about finding him, make him fall in love and marry him and be the envy of all the girls/homosexual men in the WORLD!

Still, at least we can all enjoy the eye candy… Right?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Over the bridge and through the woods...

As my quick post explained yesterday, we are now in full transition mode. We are in the process of relocating and that means that most of the furniture is out of the current home and since I still have some days at work, Mini-me and I are staying at my parents’ home. Here are some things I have learned so far:

1) When you stay at your parents’ house, you are not on the top of the food chain anymore. You are not even close to the top. They go first, then the kids, then you.

2) When at your parents’ house, you seem to lose any ability to raise your children properly, even if you are doing EXACTLY what was done to you. If you correct, you are too harsh. If you don’t, then you get THE LOOK. It takes your children .3 seconds how to play the system. Can you say ice cream for dessert… before dinner?

3) If it takes your children .3 seconds to learn how to play the system, it takes them .1 second to realize that your parents are the boss of you. Take that time and cut it in half if the child is as smart as Mini-me. If your child smiles at the moment of realization, you can now expect a direct correlation to the times that they system will be played against you.

4) When at your parents’ house, you don’t get to watch your favorite shows on TV – you don’t even get to hold the remote.

5) If you decide to do something else other than watch TV with them, you might be the recipient of a guilt trip, including “Puppy dog” eyes…

6) When at your parents’ house, you get to sleep in a tiny guest bedroom. The sewing room/plant/junk room is bigger than yours. You might be lucky if you get some space in the closet, but don’t count on it.

7) You don’t have privacy from your children. EVER. Since they are sharing the tiny guest bedroom with you.

8) You might be told to buy food for you and your children, since you might not like what the eat (even though you and your children eat there all the time). When unpacking the groceries, you might be informed of the menu during your stay (which includes what you will be eating) and none of it includes ANY of the stuff you just bought.

9) They cook for you.

10) Your kids are taken care of like nowhere else in the world.

11) You are greeted in the morning with a smile.

12) You get hugs and kisses at any given time (the kids might get more, but you will land several yourself).

13) You get to see your parents’ pride for you in their eyes when they catch you playing with your children.

14) You feel safe.

15) You feel taken care of.

16) You feel loved in a way that doesn’t happen anywhere else, even in your own home.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sitting at my mom's; watching a movie with her (Dot the i), while Mini-me and my dad have already called it a night.

Sunshine was able to clear the entire house of major pieces of furniture, so now Mini-me and I are staying at my mom's for a couple of days (until Thursday) while I finish the last couple of days of work and Mini-me and I move with the rest of the crew.

It's been a couple of stressful days. With the move and all the packing and then having two households it is hard for me to keep the migraine at bay. It is amazing how having two jobs doesn't help to cover two homes. No wonder this is the life of the rich and famous only... and we are neither.

We are now in the desperate time of our lives where we need to sell our house NOW and deal with the issues as we go- choosing who is going to get paid is horrible... once we sell the house we'll be fine... is getting to that point.

At least the family is together...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Lucille... She is my Preciousssss.....

It’s official. My husband and I are sick, sick people. There is no cure for us. Please tell our children we love them.

We are devastated by the realization that once we move out of our home this weekend, we will have to leave behind one of our most treasured and loved family members: Lucille. Who is Lucille, you ask? Only the most wonderful, beautiful, reliable, dependable…. Stove. Lucille is my Electrolux Dual-Fuel, Double oven, stove. She is more than a stove. She is – well, Lucille. I named her after Lucille Ball, because every day, since she was delivered I walk into our home through the garage, into the kitchen, and I see her there, gleaming and welcoming, and I can’t help but to yell… Lucy, I’m home!

Lucille is everything a cook/baker like Sunshine and I ever wanted. She has two electric ovens and a gas stovetop. You access the controls by touching a screen, and the controls light up and chime “Ding!”. It’s your own Star Trek Enterprise control board. Her oven racks are mounted on ball-bearings, so when you have a heavy turkey or when you are making a flan and you cannot have water fall into the pan, there is no jerkiness pulling the item out.

She dries out herbs. She can even jerk meat (not that we ever did that). She truly is remarkable. Pricey, but remarkable. We saved our pennies for her… and now she must stay behind. She is my Preciousssss……

So you can understand how this has impacted us, here is the actual email conversation that Sunshine and I had today:

S: Want me to bring home egg bread on Friday?
LW: :) yes! Maybe the problem that you have been having is needing to rearrange the recipe to reflect the change in altitude.
S: I made one on Monday that turned out good. It is the absence of Lucile in the mix…. I think I have got a good relationship with the new appliance and am producing better product now…. ;-}
LW: It’s a new thing. Treat her nicely too. No one can replace Lucille.
S: She is a special one.
LW: All we can do is hope that someone will be nice to her also.
S: Okay… I’ll leave my emotions for her there [at home] when we move. Me and the new oven are already friends.
LW: Don’t let her know that. It might be… too.. painful….
S: is a special experience for sure…. Her burners were a thing of beauty too. Those big iron grates…
LW: The “whoosh” when the gas ignited…
S: You just made my hair stand up on end….
LW: I am tearing up…
S: We’ll get through it together.
LW: I don’t know…

Who said we are not a match made in heaven. Anyone who can take time off their day to have THAT conversation with me, is MY kind of man!

Do you have an inanimate item that you love???

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

He is Human too.

As Easter approaches, I am always in awe of the great sacrifice that was paid for my Salvation. I am not usually one to preach or be too open about her faith (as a matter of fact, I will only talk about the Wonders that God has done in my life when people ask me), but Easter seems to be different.

This time and Christmas time remind me that Jesus was a man. That he had a mother. That she worried about Him the same way I worry about my kids. I wonder what she was thinking when He was going through His tribulations and how many sleepless nights she spent worrying and crying for his safety and sake, even though he was doing everything for ours.

In all His glory, he started small. Gained a space in her heart first, then to gain ours. Here is an image that I treasure. I just wanted to share. I just hope I always have space for Him.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Old Man Winter, you suck.

Spring was here. I swear. I have flowers to prove it. And you had to come and ruin it for me. I knew it would be overcast and that was OK. I knew that it wouldn't be warm and that was OK. Spring came around. The calendar said so. The pagan people in Asheville said so. Easter is next week. Some birds were trying to eat my newly planted garden looking for nest material. You were out. But NOOOOO, you had to come back today. Like that garlic roll that I had at lunch and I can still taste 5 hours later. I can take the cold, the overcast day, but for you to come back and make it SNOW today. And an inch of top of that! That's was just cruel and unfair. To me, it was as if you lifted your cold dress (yea, I called it a dress, not a tunic), turned around and mooned me. Your cold, Old Man Winter. After all those posts where I defended you and snow and how much I love it. I don't care if you dump 30 inches of that crap in December. But today was one inch too many. I don't care that it didn't stick. See if I care next year. I hate you and my tulips hate you. Enough said.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's here, IT'S HERE!!!!

Yes, I feel it in my bones, and I have proof of it! SPRING IS HERE!

After a horrific day yesterday, I walked up to the front door to find this:

I looked around and noticed that about 50-60 bulbs will flower in front of our home.

Today, it is 65 degrees and the day looks like this:

So I did what every person in the area is doing today and prepared our boxed garden. Some people around here have gardens so big that they use tractors and tillers... and that's their backyard garden! We are selling our home and are moving from the house in 2 weeks, but I can't leave the garden the way it is, so... I did what any normal person would do. I went to the garden center...

Parsley (Got 2 types)




Last year we had 5 other tipes of vegetables, but I remained under control this year. I will only be around to take care of the plants over the weekends, so I needed what I call "edible weeds".

Before long, my hands were looking like this:

Love it! There is something about dirt. To me it looks better than my rings (but not by much. Diamonds ARE pretty, after all, and they ARE a refined type of dirt).

So after spending several hours outside (Mini-me was with me for a couple of them- he also LOVES to garden), I dragged my feet inside, just to grab some water and sit back in the sun, just to find this:

THAT did NOT last long.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fear keeps us from driving on the wrong side of the street, but it gives you nausea.

I know that I started this blog with grand illusions of being as witty as all the women whose blogs I follow. My life lately has not given me many opportunities to do so. I am trying to see the funny in all of it, and sometimes I can, but then there are days like yesterday.

Skywalker and I have a complicated relationship. After I almost lost him, it was hard for me to bond with him for a long time. Sunshine on the other hand, embraced parenthood in a way that I have only seen my father do. He adores his children. Skywalker and Sunshine have always been peas in a pod. I remember picking up Skywalker at daycare when he was a couple of years old, seeing him run up to me at full speed, just to short stop and say: “Where’s Papa?”

It seems that as easy as it is for me to communicate and understand Mini-me, with Skywalker I find myself faced with someone whose language I just don’t understand. Many times Sunshine has had to explain to me what is going on. As a first born boy, I do know that I am more stern with him. He is extremely intelligent but also very immature, which makes me want to knock my head against the wall. Usually Sunshine is my pressure cooker valve. You know, when I get very negative with Skywalker, or if I get very critical with him, or if I pick on him, Sunshine will point it out to me. I do the same thing between him and Mini-me.

Now that Sunshine is away during the week, I have had to deal with the boys all by myself. Needless to say, there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done before bedtime, so the schedule is tight. There hasn’t been a lot of time for cartoons or videogames at our house. Given the nature of my relationship with Skywalker (which, in case you haven’t noticed, I love with every fiber of my being), I have been especially careful of my tone and the things I say to him.

I thought that all was working rather well until last Tuesday, when he came home with magnets from a science class. These magnets had been stolen by another boy in another grade and ended up in the possession of my child, who thought that they were “cool”. Now, Sunshine and I have had a couple of talks with Skywalker about coming home with toys that are not his. He can sweet-talk a bear out of the last bit of honey in the forest. So… needless to say, he got into a heap of trouble when he came home with stolen goods. A HEAP.

Then, he got in trouble again on Wednesday. This time for lying. I sent him to his room after dinner.

Last night, he lied to me again. When I asked him if he was getting in trouble on purpose, his answer was “Yes”. In total disbelief I asked him why. His response was that he wanted to be in his room. When we got home, I immediately called my interpreter (Sunshine) and asked him to talk to Skywalker and tell me what was going on. Skywalker told Sunshine that he was getting in trouble on purpose because getting sent to his room was safer than being around me. That he was afraid of me.


Ladies, you could’ve knocked me down with a feather, but you wouldn’t have to, because I choked and had the wind knocked out of me.

Sunshine told me to wait a bit and then go talk to the child and get to the bottom of the issue. So I did.

After putting Mini-me to bed, I went to Skywalker’s room and sat as far away as possible so he didn’t feel threatened by me. I spoke softly looked at him in the eye. Turns out, that he said that he was afraid of me, because he knows that when he gets in trouble, I make him suffer consequences. He is afraid of what I will do to him. He didn’t want to go to jail for stealing.

Remember that Cosby Show scene where Theo gives this speech on how his father needs to accept him the way he is and not try to change him and then Bill says: “Theo, that is the STUPIDEST thing I’ve ever heard?”That’s was what was going through my mind as my child spoke. In a calm voice (I was SO proud of myself) I said: “So you are afraid of me because YOU STOLE something?” He nodded. For he next hour we had a LONG heart to heart. I told him that his fear is healthy. How many times I DIDN’T do something in fear of my mom and her wrath at home? I explained to this boy, that fear was what I dealt with every night thinking that my son was stealing and lying. What would become of him if I couldn’t stop him? I explained that people with no fear end up in jail or dead. And that there is also the Fear of God. Not “scared” fear, but RESPECT fear.

I asked him if he was afraid of me when he came home late from his friends house. He said no. I asked him if he was afraid of me when he didn’t do his chores. He said no. I asked him, when are you afraid? When I steal, disobey or lie to you.

Many other things were said in this conversation. When he told me that he was afraid of going to jail and never seeing me or Sunshine or Mini-me again, he cried when I asked him how did he think WE would feel about not being able to see him either? He was surprised when I told him that I cry over him when I don’t know what to do. He was shocked when I told him that I was afraid of dear, sweet Abuela. He seem to understand that every time he leaves the house, I can’t go with him and make sure that he does the right thing, BUT, if the fear of what the consequence of his actions would be is enough to stop him from making the wrong choice, then fear was ok with me.

Still, I am trying to deal with the fear of having to deal with all this. I can barely keep my lunch down.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When the going gets tough, the tough's kid get sick

Ah, the bliss of being a single, working parent! Sunshine left on Monday at the crack of dawn as he usually does (thank goodness there are only a couple more of those left). We had been together all weekend long. I had taken two days off last week and spent it running errands like a mad woman.

I tried to enroll Skywalker in his new school (I'm still mad about THAT incompetent school secretary, so I can't write about it that- yet), so I returned to work yesterday ready to tackle this week.

At about 2pm I received a call from Mini-me's daycare. He had a fever of 102, complained that his belly hurt and wouldn't let anyone touch it. Yeah, you know EXACTLY what I thought.

I left work early and found him, laying on his cot, looking miserable. Poor thing! I approached him and as he looked at me he whispered: "Can I play my Nintendo DS when I get home?" I knew that he would survive.

I took him home and gave him some Motrin. He woke up twice last night asking for water. I considered bringing him to the bed with me, but I figured that being woken up a couple of times (and every time I heard him move) was better than getting kicked all night.

Amazing how a mother's ears work. Mini-me's room is down the hall from mine, and still I could hear him talking in his sleep. While I slept. With the TV on... This morning, he still wasn't feeling well, so I asked my parents to please take care of him so I could go to work. My mom volunteered to take him to work with her. (Have I mentioned how much those two love each other?) Mini-me was at first disappointed that he couldn't go to school (let's see how long THAT lasts) but then was super excited about spending the day with his Abuela.

When I picked him up, my mom told me that she had given him another dose of Motrin at 4 pm and he is still warm. I already had to call work and let them know that I can't come in to work tomorrow. Of course he couldn't get sick while I was off last week. Of course he couldn't get sick over the weekend. Of course he doesn't get sick when my dad hasn't spent 1 week taking care of my nephews and is ready to give up grandchildren. Of course he doesn't get sick on the days that my parents can help with him (other than today). Of course.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Random Thoughts Monday

I am taking a page out of one of my favorite blogs, Sounds like Tomatoes, I am doing a list of Random Thoughts... I have a lot on my mind...
  • Why is it so hard for boys to chew with their mouth closed?
  • Why won't the hair on the back of my head lay down? Why does it insist in making me look like Dennis the Menace?
  • Why do I insist on trying to control things I have no control over, like the selling of our home?
  • Why don't I insist on controlling the things I can, like the amount of brownies I ate this weekend and slacking off on the exercise?
  • Why can't I get the job websites to stop sending me emails about jobs?
  • Why can't I get the telemarketer of Insurance jobs to stop calling me?
  • I love sleeping next to my husband.
  • When he leaves, I can actually FEEL a void in the house.
  • When I feel that void, every little noise scares me and I wish he was still here.
  • Maybe I can either get a night light or go sleep with Mini-me.
  • I worry about Skywalker and his transition into a new school, in a new town.
  • I love my boys. I rather have this knot in the pit of my stomach because I worry about them. I hope one day they understand it.
  • I am blessed to have children, a husband and a home to be worried about.
  • I've been praying a lot. I am fortunate to believe and be able to pray not only to God and my Lord Jesus, but also His Blessed Mother. She understands what is like to worry about her boy and Her household.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Swimming is supposed to lower your blood pressure.

As part of my efforts to lead a healthier lifestyle, I am trying to get the children involved in some type of activity. In the past we have tried Little League, but since Sunshine is not much of a baseball fan, Skywalker found the bugs flying next to him on the left field more interesting than the actual game. Needless to say, it was a bust. I tried to engage him on trying another sport. His friends are into football and Sunshine was a football player in Middle School and some of High School, but once Skywalker saw how they get hit, the sport lost its appeal. Some of his other friends and his cousins are really into soccer, but when Skywalker saw all that running, he decided that this sport was also out. Last year, in my desperation to find something to get him engaged, we started him on swimming… and he was good! Added plus: unless it is thundering outside, meets and classes are not cancelled!!! His teacher said that he has a lot of potential and he enjoyed it! Then, as he progressed through the classes, I found out that the swim team at the Y practices at 3:30 pm every day. I called the Y and inquired about it. Really? 3:30 in the afternoon? Who schedules practices at 3:30pm? My son’s school bus doesn’t even drop him off in front of our house until 4pm! And there is also the little issue of him having two working parents. His swimming future seemed to be evaporating… (don’t like that pun? How about: it was going down the drain? Ok, ok, I’ll stop). I asked the coach how kids who had working parents made it to practice. Her response: carpool. Awesome, I said, but how do you know who is willing to carpool. Her response? By coming to practice. After about 10 seconds of silence to see if she would catch the total lack of logic in her statement I hung up the phone disappointed. We had to take him out of swimming.

Finally, someone with someone with some brains realized this issue and changed the swimming practices to different hours of the day. There are some that still start at 3:30 but there is another one that starts at 5:30 pm and another one at 6 am. I am willing to get up for my kids to go to swimming practice just like my parents did for my brothers, so I re-enrolled him (and this time also Mini-me) in the classes. Bonus: Our new home will be located less than half a mile of the local Y... and Skywalker is going into the afterschool program there!

Today we had our second session. The boys love it. Today Mini-me actually got over his fear of dunking his head under the water and he is starting to get the freestyle stroke – and it's only his second lesson! Skywalker is loving the time in the water. I am glad for him. I want him not only to be able to exercise his mind, but also his social skills, be part of a team. So I was a little taken aback when I heard him asked another child in his class if he wanted to be friends and the boy looked at him and flat out said: No. They had met 3 minutes ago and this was his response. Skywalker caught my eye and I tried to smile, but I think he was too embarrassed by the fact that I had witnessed this rejection, so he looked away. Geez, who taught THAT kid manners??? I understand that Skywalker doesn't have to be friends with the entire world, but...

As I sat there on the pool deck, re-living my childhood (my brothers swam competitively but I didn’t so I sat by the pool MANY hours). I noticed several issues. First, there was a little girl (maybe 8years old) swimming around in the pool – never mind that there were 4 preschool swimming classes going on at the same time, this girl swam and dove, splashed in the preschoolers’ faces and interrupted the lessons by swimming into the instructors and kids, while her mother read a magazine. At one point, the lifeguard told her to please move to another section of the pool, but her mom told her not too because it was too deep. Now, I understand that this is the Y, but there are 23 preschoolers in the pool, taking classes, the lanes are reserved for this purpose and your daughter is being disruptive to the class I PAID for. Ok, so I took a deep breath and tried to enjoy watching Mini-me with his HUGE goggles “swim” around.

Once Mini-me finished, it was Skywalker’s turn. As the classes (now 5 classes with about 25 kids total) progressed, more and more people were getting in the pool – to just stand and swim. Parents were coming with their little babies to splash around, older kids were playing around, and then, they had the nerve to get upset if water got splashed on their precious 5 month old (who was not supposed to be there at that time in the first place) or upset if they got smacked by a flailing swimming student, or completely ignored them and made the kids stop in the middle of their swimming strokes, so they could leisurely swim right across their path… it got so bad, that one of the instructors had to ask the lifeguard to blow her whistle and yelled at all these people to stay by the walls of the pool or exit the water as there were 5 simultaneous lessons going on. Three teenagers were actually "asked" to leave the pool. Order lasted about 10 minutes as other people entered the pool and not having heard this announcement started to get in the way. It was exasperating to watch. One of the culprits even swam the length of the pool THROUGH the classes when there were 3 lanes open for lap swimming. And the 8 year old girl? She was joined by her father and little sister, who having been part of the preschoolers’ lessons was now done and did not need to follow any other rule.

I refuse to be a psychotic mother, but I kept my nine year old sitting next to me, on a bench, while the preschoolers were having their lessons, to respect the rules. I refuse to be “all high-and-mighty” but I can’t help to be bothered by the lack of respect and courtesy at the pool today.

How about you? What would you have done???

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Babies. I love babies, then again...

I have two wonderful sons. Beautiful sons. They make me laugh and at least one of them will make me head to the spot on the wall where I bang my head every day. I love the hugs, and playing UNO with them (and all the "sportsmanship" that comes with the game in this house), but I love babies.

When I was pregnant with Skywalker it was the worse experience ever. I had read the What to expect when you're expecting book, but too me, being pregnant at that time was one hurdle over another. Morning sickness subsided to be replaced by swollen legs, which was replaced by body aches... I hated being pregnant. Then to top it off, I ended up with toxemia and spent 2 weeks in the hospital, on magnesium sulfate (NASTY little bag of drugs) just to give birth prematurely and go through a new set of mind-boggling craziness and emotional rollercoasters.

A couple of years later I was told I couldn't have any more kids. Something about secondary infertility. The news were given to my by my fertility doctor after 3 tries of artificial insemination. We went to talk to a lawyer about the possibility of adopting. It was hard. I packed up all my baby things, you know, the ones that I had been saving for 4 years and took them to Goodwill. After I unloaded the car, I sat in the parking lot crying for about 20 minutes. I let go.

Two weeks later, I was pregnant with Mini-me. I swore right there and there that no matter what, I would ENJOY this pregnancy, because I knew that it would be my last. It was great. I was very high risk and even early in the process I told my OB that if something should happen, to make sure to to a tubal ligation. My body just could not handle another baby. He agreed. He admitted to not knowing how to talk to me about the need for such measures. Another baby would kill me. Mini-me was born full term and beautiful. I think that he is so much like me because he spent the entire time in there, with me being so positive about his development. He certainly took a better part of me with him.

But, there is the other part. Sunshine and I still feel that we are missing something in our family. The thought of a girl still becomes convesations amongst us. We know that we are now just trying to get over the huge unemployment, change of location, change of job, getting out of debt again, selling the house adventure, but we had set the goal of considering adoption once Mini-me became five. That milestone is this October.

Sunshine and I are believers that God will send blessings our way when we are ready for them. Mini-me was definitely the proof of that. Prior to the perfect timing of his coming, I wonder if our marriage would've survived him or if I would've appreciated him as much as I did.

Then, I also think about how we are past the baby stage. Our boys are potty trained. They sleep the entire night. They can walk. They can eat by themselves. They can entertain themselves. The challenges are different.

I sometimes babysit my 8 month old nephew and I am surprised about how hard it is. I believe that's how we continue as a species. Mothers forget how hard it is to take care of babies. We just see the cuteness and then, WHAM! you're hooked. I am glad that after a couple of hours, I can return my nephew to my brother.

I love babies, but they are exhausting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Heaven - on a fork...

I absolutely LOVE seeing the recipes posted in all of your blogs! Love the decadent recipes from Not Your Average Soccer Mom, and the healthy yummy sounding stuff that Too Many Hats posts in her blog. Not to be left behind, I am including here THE BEST Tres Leches cake you will EVER have. Let me warn you though: This cake is SUPER easy to make, hard to put down once you start and will RUIN you for ever. When you try other Tres Leches recipes at the latin restaurant that you go to (you know, the one that you only go to because of the Tres Leches they serve) or the one that your great-aunt Gertrude finally gave you the recipe for after you had to relinquish all claims to her 3 strings of pearls... you know what I mean. And if you don't, try this cake. I dare you. 

P.S.: I refuse to be responsible for broken scales or marriages/relationships broken because your spouse or children TOUCHED your cake - or the fact that once you share this cake with your co-workers or friends, you will ALWAYS be assigned to bring this cake, which serves you right for sharing it in the first place.

Yield: 10 to 12 servings
The Cake:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose pour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
The Cream Filling:
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
The Frosting:
  • 1 cup whipping cream (or buy Cool Whip - one version is just sweeter than the other... can you guess which one we do in our home?)
The Cake:Preheat oven to 350ºF. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites unti1 fluffy. Add the sugar gradually and mix well. Blend in the egg yolks, one at a time. Alternately blend in the milk, flour, and baking powder. Add the vanilla and blend well. Pour into a greased, square baking pan, and bake 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and pierce it with a fork, making little holes evenly over the surface. Set aside to cool. DON'T TAKE IT OUT OF THE PAN.
The Ice Cream Filling:
In a large bowl, mix condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract until well blended. Slowly pour the mixture over the top of the cake. It will look like a lot, but believe me, it'll fit.

The Frosting:
Beat whipping cream until stiff. Spread over cake. Slather the delicious white goodness all over the top. Open top button of your jeans. Eat, then fast for 30 days or so. Repeat.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Twenty five years are heavier than you think...

Yesterday I did something I hadn’t done in a loooong time: clean my wallet. If your wallet is anything like mine, Mary Poppin’s traveling bag has nothing on us: we can pull ANYTHING out of there. Once in a while I throw away old crap to make sure I have space for all the new phone numbers, cards and information that I will never call or use. During the exercise in organization I happened to find an FYE gift card. I have no idea how it got there nor when it got there. Sunshine checked on the Internet and I had the original $25 still available on it. SCORE!

Later that evening, we decided to go celebrate my job offer after Church. We went to Chili’s and had an amazing time as a family. The kids didn’t know why we were there because until I see the offer and actually accept it, I don’t want to get them excited (in the case of Mini-me) or totally bummed out (in the case of Skywalker). God knows I can only go through that one time, so I am saving it for when it actually happens.

During the conversation, Skywalker, who was sitting next to me, started talking about how he could win a race between the two of us. Having just completed a 5K not that long ago, the competitive streak attacked our table. Sunshine agreed that I would smoke the kid… Skywalker did not appreciate the challenge and all of a sudden I was agreeing to a race with my NINE YEAR OLD.

We were to run down the street to my brother’s house, touch his mailbox and run back up the street to our house. First one to touch our mailbox wins the FYE card. From there on, there was nothing but smack talk between the two of us. “Skywalker, can you please go brush your teeth? You know, so they are nice and clean when I beat you in the race tomorrow!” and “Mom, do you know where my jacket is? It’s going to be sad seeing you cry at the finish line and I don’t want to get cold waiting for you to get over your defeat…” You know, loving words. Even Mini-me got in it saying that I would win the race and get the “gold necklace” and Skywalker would get the “Silver necklace” (where did he learn about that, I don’t know, since the airtime the Olympics received in our home this year is about the same as Ronco Steak Knives infomercials… None.). His loyalty touched me (suck on that one Sunshine).

We took a break for Sunday School but as soon as we got back in the car the talk continued.

At 11:30 we stood in front of our house. Mini-me took his position and after a couple of false starts, the race was one.

I don’t know if you know this, but a 9-year old runs fast. Even if he doesn’t participate in sports, he runs at recess every day and with his friends all the time. He is a cheetah, sprints quick fast in short distances, while I am more of a water buffalo (yes, I just compared myself to a massive cow) and can run longer. I discovered this too late.  There were a couple of times when I almost caught up, but when looking over his shoulders, he would see me and sprint again out of reach. The thoughts that went through my mind were not the ones of a loving mother, but the ones of a LOSING RUNNER. He beat me by about 10 feet. The irony of it was that he collapsed on the grass while I could’ve kept on running. Mini-me came running to me, jumping over his brother and declared me the Winner. Gotta love that kid!

When Skywalker caught his breath, he came over and put his hand on my shoulder, looked at me lovingly and said: “Where is my card?”

Now, there are a lot of things I can say here to excuse the fact that I lost, you know: the calf that received physical therapy this week, the lack of training time these last two weeks… you know, not excuses but REASONS. The reality is that he beat me fair and square. I went upstairs and got on the treadmill for the first time in two weeks. This is not over by far. You know that a re-match is coming. After all, second place is just the first loser.

Until then, you will now excuse me. I have a nine year old to take to the mall. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Today doesn't seem so bad anymore!!!!


(Now we wait until the official offer letter to see what I'll get... *Fingers crossed*)

Dude, that’s what I get for eavesdropping…

So one of my current bosses just received a call to check references. I answered the phone and the Director of HR from the company I just interviewed with identified herself and laughed about me answering the phone. My boss, who happened to be getting ready to leave the office found himself almost tackled in the hallway when he almost left the office as the phone rang. Needless to say, he took the call (I think I saw a little fear in his eyes when I jumped off my seat to stop him). Since his office is right next to mine, I could hear what he was saying. At the beginning of the conversation I heard him say (jokingly, thank goodness): “If I say she sucks, will you not hire her so she can stay?” I choked on the orange I was eating. I heard a lot of mumbling but whatever I caught seemed positive.

As he was talking, another one of my references (who was THRILLED when I asked him if he could give me a reference if he got called) walked up  to my desk in a foul mood. It seems that there had been a breach of confidence in his area and since his support staff denied having any involvement, he came to see if I knew anything about it (read: If I had said something). Now, there are two things I professionally pride myself with: my organizational skills (I am terribly type A – hence the whole being on time thing) and my ability to keep a confidence (does blabbing about it in my blog count??). Even my bosses have always commented on how things never leave this area. So after I denied knowing anything, which was true but I thought that if I defended my inocence too much would seem like I was denying a guilty action, my prior boss walked away- fuming.

By this time, the reference call wrapped up and my current boss walked out and said: “Well, I didn’t tell her that you walk on water, but I was pretty close to it!” Then he left for his meeting.

The other assistant called me and was complaining about getting raked over the coals by her boss. She denied all accusations (there were three) and was very angry. Her other line rang and I saw that it was HR Director (we can see each other’s lines). I hung up so she could pick up the call and ran like a mad woman to her area. She put the call through to prior-boss's office (he was in a meeting but was expecting the call) and I went and like an idiot, pressed my head against the door.

Ten seconds into the call, the door opened and I almost had a heart attack right there and then, almost making the call useless since I can’t work if I am DEAD. It was the employee he was meeting with, who was coming out  of the office to give him some privacy. She laughed when she saw me and closed the door quickly so he couldn’t see me (BLESS HER!). Then, moved out of the way so I could resume my position of shame.

Then I heard it… although I am good “I am overqualified for this position…” “She has a master’s degree…” “I heard her boss say that sometimes she can’t anticipate his needs. Like this time that a presentation needed to be done and he had to ask about it.”

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? I hate when people make assumptions about my life. Who cares if I am overqualified! I ASKED for the job! I decided I wanted it!!! I LOVE the company, and there are very few things I wouldn’t do to to work there! Especially if it means getting a foot in the door. I ALMOST barged in to say: WHAT PRESENTATION ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Do you mean the presentations that YOU were responsible for and that I had to go behind your back to talk to your staff and harass them to get it done and then you took the credit for it being complete (you know, when you walked into the meeting and asked me, with that terrified look on your face, if I had them and then said “thank you” when our boss told YOU “Good work”???) Or the one that was your responsibility and I had to dump my kids at my parents' house (Sunshine was out of town) to come and help Big Boss with it and was here until 9 pm with him and received a hand-written thank you card from him at my house?

(DEEP BREATH….) Sorry I went manic on you there. I, of course, did not do barge in or yell or any such thing. I walked away from the door. Added this to the list of things to talk about during my exit interview and continued to work.

Fifteen minutes later (this is just too weird and good for me to make it up) the other assistant came by my desk. It turns out that out of the three things I was accused asked about, 2 were her fault. The other one was someone else's fault.


And now, I am going to walk away and get something for lunch. I hear that there is Cherry Cheesecake in the cafeteria today and I am armed with a spoon… I will park myself at my desk and not listen to any more conversations…. Ever… OK, at least until next time…

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I need a nap, and after reading this, so will you.

This has been an interesting week… Sorry I have been so out of touch. I swear I am at least reading blogs, but I have been so busy and tired that there are a very few coherent thoughts in my mind lately. If you REALLY want to know why, go ahead and keep reading, but make sure that you have your tennis shoes on (so you can keep up) and a refreshing drink (so you can catch your breath with it afterwards!) Here we go!

On Monday I went to two interviews. I packed up the kids to school and drove 2 and a half hours for my first appointment. The person I was going to meet with was late. Now, that is one of my pet peeves (I have a list). If you make an appointment with me, BE ON TIME – especially if I was able to make it on time, from 96 miles away after taking care of two kids… Then she proceeded to let me know that she is a workaholic. She has no children, no husband, works all the time. Will I be able to work late and even Saturdays? In the spirit of the interview, I told her that if she lets me know ahead of time I could probably figure something out. Then she asked me how many times have I been absent from my current job in the last 6 to 12 months. (just when I had surgery and I had enough vacation days and worked from home when I could). THEN, she asked me if I was able to work with minorities… I guess she missed LOOKING at me, since I am Hispanic. To make it, Oh, so much better, she then told me that the office is currently staffed by a group of passive aggressive people and that I would have to deal with a whole bunch of drama. GEEZ, LADY! Why didn’t you post all this in the ad? Where do I sign???

My second interview was with a large company. I interviewed with the Director of Human Resources. I liked her, she liked me. We talked about coming back later on in the week for me to meet with the hiring manager and a group of staff.

Then, I ran to my car and drove 2 and a half hours back to pick up the kids, do dinner, homework and put them to bed. When I settled down to bed and turned on the TV, there it was, scrolling on the bottom of the screen: School had been cancelled the next day. Kids will attend on Saturday. Dang! I called my dad, he said to bring the kids over the next day.

After dropping off the boys at my parents’ the next day, I made it to work and made up the work from the day before and whatever was popping up. It started to snow outside pretty hard, so at about mid-afternoon, my dad called me at work and told me that if I wanted the pick up the kids, I needed to come right away because his street was freezing. After considering it for about 20 minutes, I begged for the mercy of my boss and asked him if I could leave early… to go home with two kids… with nothing to do outside… and a non-working PS3. I ended up spending almost 2 hours with the PS3 support team to get the stupid thing to work. By the time I could use it, it was too late. I had to cook dinner and get the kids ready for bed. Right when I was pulling hot pasta off the strainer, my cell phone rang. I saw that it was an out-of-town number. The HR Director was on the line and wanted to know if I could come in the next day at 3pm for that second interview she told me about. I looked out the window at the 6 inches of snow (and still falling). Sure! I said.

You know what happened next: I called my parents in a frantic state. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of the kids at the end of the day. Then, TEN SECONDS later, my cell dings with a text: SCHOOL FOR TOMORROW HAS BEEN CANCELLED PARENTS! YOU CAN START CHAINING YOURSELVES TO THE WALL. WE LOVE YOU! (end of message). I thought I would cry.

The next morning, I had to get up at 5:30 am to take a shower (I had somehow forgotten the night before) and get the kids ready to take them to my parents’ again (the boys were over it and not amused – the love the grandparents, but it is BORING there!). Mini-me decided that the best way to pass time was to be a pain in the ass to his brother. I ran away before my dad could realize this and went to work. I again caught up with all the work that people in areas where it doesn’t snow (what the hell people, don’t you know better?)had emailed me and left me voice mails about. Again, I had to do a puppy face and leave work early for a 2 hour drive, with no lunch, to a second interview. It’s a good thing that they like me around here. I went, I interviewed and I think it went well. I left the interview and then drove 2 hours back and picked up the kids. Thankfully, my parents had already fed them, so off to bed they went.

I figured that I had spent my 3-week gas allowance in 3 days. My carbon footprint this week is so big, I will need to plant a small forest to make up for it.

You would think that it would be worth it for the kids, right? RIGHT? No. Skywalker told me that he is in NO hurry to leave and then Mini-me told me this morning that he had ran out of big kisses, he only had 100 medium-sized kisses and little ones, so to choose carefully when asking for a “Morning” kiss.

I just realized I still have one more day before Sunshine comes home… I am off to hide under my desk and take a nap. Thanks.

P.S. Did I mention that all that driving did a number on my calf (the sore one I ignored and ran a 5K with)? I couldn’t walk for 2 days. My PT friends took pity on me today and massaged it- nothing like intense pain to get over pain; but at least I can walk now.

How is YOUR week so far?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Camera Dump!

I am home early from work today and realized that I had taken some images that I wanted to share but never got to do it... Here you go!

Two weeks ago, a lot of the snow was melting...


We went hiking and found a stream where we let the boys be boys.... 

My number at the 5K:

The boys waiting for me to get to the finish line...

What a wonderful time... Sunny and warm. Maybe Spring had sprung??
Maybe not, here is the view out of my home office window... 20 minutes and one inch ago... Total accumulation so far: 5 inches and 2 cabin fevered boys.