“Uh-huh, Uh-huh, Yo, Yo…”


Just write something…

Today I decided I need to start writing on my blog again. I just couldn’t decide what to write.  So I’ll do some eeny-meeny-miney-moe and get back at ya.

11/11/11 at 11:11 am

Dear Chunks,

         One day when you look back on your life, I want you to know that on the 11th day of the 11th month in the 11th year of this century, you were at a Veteran’s Day Parade. We went and got doughnuts at the shop down the street called Real Doughnuts. You two brought your scooters. We parked at LVA, walked/scooted up 6th street so I could say my usual “See that parking lot right there, the one with the half naked statue of ‘Justice’? That’s where your grandpa used to live.” Then we headed to the 5th street school and I said my usual, “This is where your grandpa went to school” ( One day you’ll start saying “We know, Mom!” Until then, I will just keep saying it). We watched the parade and I got weepy at the Pearl Harbor survivors. I also got teary-eyed when the bag-pipes played and when the mothers of fallen vets marched or rode by with life size pictures of their sons and daughters. At 11:11 am, Veterans were handing you your own American Flags to wave during the parade. I also want you to know that it was the last time we would see Pearl Harbor survivors in this parade since there are only a handful left in our town and the youngest is 89 years old. You were there. That may be your only connection to that time. When we got home, you pulled out your Pearl Harbor story we got at the library and read it. It was a good, simple day. Life is full of these, I hope you remember it.
Love you,

Photos from last year’s parade because Dad brought his film camera to this year’s parade (Who DOES that right?  Your Dad.)

photo by El Jefe with his medium format film camera


photo by El Jefe with I don't know which of his many cameras


photo by El Jefe


This is from last year but we saw the same guy in the car this year as well


I think this man was in the parade this year as well. Glad to see he's still truckin' along


Every parade should have a band of Bagpipes. That, and Shriner's Cars, which, regretfully, were not in this parade.

Looking back

It’s getting towards the end of the year and I can’t help but evaluate 2011; I have many regrets. The most offensive (as far as my purchasing choices) is probably not buying these boots. 

How could I resist these babies?

Seriously. They were straight out of 1986.  They were in excellent condition.  The were Esprit for crying out loud!  AND, they were super comfy. 

Why do I let my practical side take over?
“Oh, I live in Vegas, I’d hardly wear them”
or “Oh, they’re $15.00. That’s just a little pricey for a thrift store”
or “Be frugal, be practical, blah blah blah”.  

I came across this picture and thought, “I would totally be wearing those RIGHT NOW!”  What was I thinking?  Whoever owns these now, better appreciate.


“Mommy, whenever you yell I feel like all the flowers in the whole wide world have all died.”

~ Chunk #2, sometime in September 2011

I just got a comment from my SIL hinting that I needed to update my blog.    Thanks “Wanda,” I feel loved. 

Hopefully this quote will tide you over until I can get my act together.  Although, now that I’ve posted it, I feel a little vulnerable.  Ummmm, let me explain.   I’m not THAT much of an Old Yeller to my kids, however this particular morning I do recall the volume of my vocal chords slowly going up until, finally, the three of us sat down at the kitchen table, a little bit miserable, and had a talk.  We also decided to start the day over.  Chunk #2’s quote was the perfect segue to a lighter mood (although she was quite serious when she said it).

Sooooooooooo, anyone kill any flowers, fairies, rainbows or unicorns lately?  Or is it just this crazy mama?

****Photo credit: Robbie Becklund photography @ robbiebecklund.com

Happy Birfday

See that guy in the blue shirt standing next to me?  I love him.  It’s his birfday today.

Happy Birthday, Boy Sweetie.

Humor, and passing it on to my children.

We’ve been watching DVDs of The Muppet Show with our children.

Man, that show was funny.


*photo courtesy of Minkoff on flickr.com

January Slide Show #4

Photo by El Jefe (7-24-10)

Are there even words for the awesomeness of this picture?
This daily slide show is in honor of Kodachrome’s 75 years on this earth.

love list lunes #22

Chunk #2 woke up with a yucky cough and a slight fever. I woke up feeling a little snotty (not to be confused with the snooty kind of snotty….then again, there are those days, too).

Although I could and should get a lot done, sometimes it’s nice to just chill with my Chunks….. even if it means enduring Dora the Explorer (which is why I’m on the computer right now). I’m too lazy to actually go and get the camera so this picture will give you a sense of our day together.

Sometimes I just love a lazy day.

What’s on your love list today?

A letter to October

The big pumpkin is October, the little pumpkin is me, La.

Dear October,

You started out pretty good, awesome in fact.  We had a visit from The Todd, we finally had our windows trimmed/framed (however you say it), and it even rained more than once.  But then you got really mean.  In fact, I will now refer to you as the “Month of Repairs.”  I can understand one car needing some fixing, but both?  You took our budget, punched it right in the gut and left it gasping for air. You’re such a jerk.  And then the lap top almost died.  Thank goodness for Apple Care.  Seriously.  You tried really hard on that one but my  hubby’s foresight outsmarted you.  Take that!  Other things happened that I’ve already complained about in the cyber void so I won’t go there.  But then, for whatever twisted reason, you ended as great as you started.  Incredible, in fact.  We went to one of my favorite places on earth for beach camping, we were surrounded by people we love, and of course we celebrated Halloween.

So, dearest October, why so fickle?  Why you gotta be like that?  You chewed me up and spit me out like I needed some sort of challenge. Was that it?  You were trying to make me stronger? Nobody asked you to do that.  So, I bid you a fond farewell.  Thanks for the memories.  I will now turn to November for a bit of regrouping.  OK, November?(hint, hint)


And now, dear readers, tell me, how was your October?

***Pumpkin image from “Extreme Pumpkins” by Tom Nardone

At what point is it too much?

I’m talking about all the “geeking out” we do on Star Wars. I liked Star Wars as a child (and I’d like to thank Princess Leia for influencing my favorite hairdo in Kindergarten….I wish Chunk #2 would let me do it to her hair) but, I never enjoyed it then as much as I do now with my Chunk #1. I would compare it to rediscovering your favorite doll from your childhood and watching your daughter love it even more than you did. I don’t have that joy, yet. My only left over doll is my Cabbage Patch one and I think it kind of freaks out my daughter. But I digress. Back to nerding up my son. It seems that the combination of Legos and Star Wars has opened up this world for my child and he is not going to leave it too soon.  I see him pore over books like a miniature scholar.  He tells me about the droids and what they do.  He makes his own Star Wars cars and ships.  I hear him and Chunk #2 play pretend Star Wars.  And we just feeeeeeeeeed it.

I’m not really that worried.  Afterall, Geeks do rule the world.  I’ll just make it a point to encourage other things.  Right?  Right.

With that said, here is the birthday cake we made for Chunk #1 on his Golden Birthday.  (Please note the “Golden” Frosting)  (And I say “Golden” because Chunk #1 kept saying it was not golden it was yellow and to please make it golden)  (and while I’m writing in parenthesis we also had a golden dinner but I can’t find the shots so, imagine if you will, orange chicken with brown rice, corn, sparkling apple cider, and some salad flecked with yellow peppers and carrots…It was, indeed, a lovely golden birthday)

Ok, here’s how you make an R2D2 Cake…..except this was an R7D7 cake……I thought the Chunk chose it because he was turning 7 but it was really because he has a triangle for an “eye”(?).  He found it in the Essential Encyclopedia of Star Wars Droids (available at your local library):

We used a 9x13 pan and a 9" circle pan. Cut two legs off the 9x13 part and then after you cut 2/3 of the circle for the head, use the other semi circle for the feet. Or go to another blog that explains it better 🙂

Now the decorating.  I prefer to get the kids involved:

I just do all the finishing touches:

And viola!  You have an R7D7 cake!

Yeah for birthdays!

And for El Jefe’s brothers……. a little Fu Manchu….Chunk #1 wore it especially for all of you:

A trade off

Yesterday I outed my daughter. Today it’s only fair that I out myself.

I am posting this picture because I think I need to start the day over.  I’ll just jump into my jammies, curl up, wait a second and then Bam!  It’s morning!  May I please undo what I did today?

It didn’t help that I went to bed late last night. It didn’t help that I got a little lenient on my own rules. My Love and Logic Ninja moves went out the window.

Perhaps my downfall was that I let them play Lego Star Wars before they made their beds and cleaned their rooms. They said they’d do it before we went swimming today. Guess who didn’t get to go swimming.

I took away Legos, the damn tiny stuffed koala, and anything else that would promote movement from my kids.  And my children reacted just like I would if someone came in to my room and told me it was a pigsty ————-and why can’t I just do my work ————–and what is my problem?  (How would you react?)

I was the de-motivator.

I yelled like Chris Farley at least 5 times.

When El Jefe called from work to see how we were I told him he should come home and watch the kids so I that I could go swimming “all by myself!”  At that I heard his voice switch into 911 operator mode.

My son cried when I called to cancel swimming. My daughter pretended not to care when I told her to “stay in her room forever!” because she wouldn’t help clean toys.

I wish I were the soft-spoken, easy going, straight-talking mom.  But just like my kids,  I can get emotional, I sometimes throw fits, and when I don’t get my way I’m not very nice.

So, there you have it.  I’m out.  Most mom blogs paint you a picture of cozy love where blessings abound.  I’ll try that tomorrow.

Anyone else need to start their day over?


Some correspondence…

Dear Blog,

I’ve abandoned you again. What can I say?  I have no excuse except that I feel like my world is crashing down around me.  Wait, was that too dramatic?  Let me try again.  You know Atlas?  You know how it must have been such a pain to have the world on his shoulders?  Hmmmmmm, I can’t seem to get away from the drama.  I’m just so very tired, Bloggy.  We have completed another phase in this lovely Blue Bungalow and I’m just so tired (yes I know I already said that).  I’ve shut down.  I’m a scrub.  I know, I know, “Don’t be a scrub!”  but here I am.  El Jefe is very kind to put up with me.  My “Inner Blogging Voice” has written many posts but I have no proof do I?  No.  Just give me time.

Love, Me

P.S. Here, enjoy a picture of me last summer.  I crack up every time I look at it because it looks like I’m totally annoyed at my sis-in-law, but I’m not.  The camera just caught me post carbonation throat burn (or something like that).

P.P.S.  Here’s to paint fumes.  Cheers.

I needed a reminder. How about you?

I wish I knew where I got this so I could give credit.  In my days when I posed as an English Teacher, I would say that borrowing and not giving credit is “wickedness” and  “would not be tolerated” (yes those exact words )….but alas, I’m a hippo0-crite… and there you have it.  Can’t you see?  I’ve got other issues!

Right now…

Right now my kids are coloring crayola masterpieces on huge boxes that packaged my cabinets (yes, almost fully assembled and ready to embrace all my food storage needs).

Right now I am in decompression mode – a calm between storms.

Right now I have a crush on my lemony yellow walls (actually it’s called Meadow Rue) and the temporarily painted gray floor.

Right now I am adoring my Chunk #1’s summer haircut and Chunk #2’s legs that are somehow skinny and chubby at the same time.

Right now I want to freeze time and put off the start of this crazy week.

Right now I need to get off the computer and go cut a cat for the Chunks.

Right now I’m also wondering when my children will stop loving cats so much….

What are you doing right now?

For the love of words: #6

art from hermanmiller.com

“Some people have a way with words….some people….not have way.”

~ Steve Martin

Volcanoes, Glossy Magazines, and Dreams

Back in the days of high school and figuring out my destino, I had dreams of becoming a National Geographic Photographer. That, to me, seemed like the perfect job combined with the perfect lifestyle. Think about it, traveling all over the world, capturing incredible images, nothing predictable, always an adventure.

I was a dreamer.

Then one day my mom gave me a National Geographic article that delved into the life of their photographers.  It was inspired by that movie “Bridges Over Madison County.”  It showed that, though traveling the world was an adventure, as well as trying to get the perfect shot (duct taping themselves to poles to get that right shot), the photographers also lead lonely lives.  Many of them were married and divorced many times over.

Obviously I needed to see the real picture, the one hidden behind the amazing shots spread across the glossy pages.  Because I also wanted to be a mother.    Perhaps a modern woman would tell me, oh sure, you could do both.  You can have it all sister!  Do it!  To which I could only say, nah.  So I reevaluated my dreams.  And that’s ok.

But when I see pictures like this…

….I get a tug at the very back corner of my heart. This tug is small. Very slight. And it passes quickly. But just look at those shots! Amazing.  And what did it take to get them.  Seriously, I wonder.

In the mean time, I’m married someone from Madison County (there are even bridges there), I am not lonely nor do I duct taping myself to poles (not yet anyway), and I thoroughly enjoy the adventure of these, er, little tiny volcanoes….heh heh

For the Love of Words #5

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” ~Henry David Thoreau

photo of the day

photo by el jefe

Hmmm, it just occurred to me after I uploaded this picture, that it could be some sort of political statement, given the climate of things.

It’s not.

I was going through some files on el computador and there it was – a photographic reminder of a very humorous night.

Say hello to Mr. Jones (“put a wiggle in your stride”-Talking Heads).


love list lunes #15

ok, hoy es martes.  whateves.

I love my great, huge, monstrous, stinking ginormous familia.

I love my siblings: the ones with friendly eyes, or the ones with mischievous grins, or the ones with quick wit, or the ones with contagious laughs, or the ones with pleasant conversation, or the ones with kind hearts, or the ones with logical brains, or the ones that are plain goofy, or the ones with beautiful smiles, and I could go on.

I love their husbands and wives: their straight talk, their laughter, their kindness, their wisdom, their subtle humor, their big hearts, their hard work, their chattiness, their jokes…again, I could go on.

And, I love their children.

Oh, how I love my nieces and nephews! They are all awesome. All forty-two of them (forty-two?! I hope that’s right). Sometimes I wish I could have been born in their generation so I could be surrounded by so many cool cousins.   But lucky are my kids who get them as cousins.  So lucky.

photo by el jefe

This summer I hope to sit around one of these with my family again.

photo by el jefe

In the mean time I suggest they gather round their computers and warm themselves by this blog post.

What’s on your love list today?

love list lunes #14

Sí, hoy es lunes.

Like a broken record (er, a damaged mp3 file for the younger generation) this song has been playing in my head. This is on my love list today (thanks, Amy, for introducing me).

And then this song reminded me of a late night, when I was the last one to bed and I sat watching SNL, cracking up out loud. So this is also on my love list today (thanks, Justin Timberlake, for being so stinking hilarious).
Oh, wait, youtube won’t let me share this one, so click here if you’re interested.

What’s on your love list today?

la mamacheetah instruction manual

It would be good if we all had our own instruction manual. We could throw in topics like, “How to thoroughly charm me,” or “This is my ‘love language’ and why,” or “What to do in case of mood swings.”

Here is a section on “Things that annoy me:”

#1 -Please don’t touch me with your feet. I don’t like anyone putting their feet on me with out permission. If you want to touch me with your feet, you must ask  first. And since most people don’t ask to do such things why don’t you just not put your feet on me, ok? Thank you.

#2 If I tell you I hate cats and I have a long history of reasons to hate cats, please don’t insist on acting like one around me. That’s right, don’t meow at me and refuse to speak English. Please especially don’t do this while rubbing your feet on me.

#3 When I’m on the computer ….please…. just don’t touch me. This sounds a little “OCD,” I know, but it used to be that I just didn’t want to be mauled. Then I didn’t want to have anyone on my lap. Then I didn’t want anyone rubbing their nose on me. Then I didn’t want anyone leaning on me. Now, I just don’t even want to be touched. If you must touch me, please wait until I’m done stressing out over whatever it is I’m working on at the computer.  Thanks.  Also, if you need my attention while I’m at the computer, do not impatiently repeat my name over and over if you expect a civil response from me.

Perhaps these are things I should work on. Perhaps. But for now, this is part of my instruction manual (Especially right now…while I’m working at the computer…. with my “attention starved” “cat children” around me).

What’s in your instruction manual? I won’t judge your quirks, I promise.

Happy Easter.

On this day….

Print by Dekanimal on etsy.com

On March 21st, 1976, my mother had nine children. Before she left to have her tenth on that Sunday evening, she made dinner. My dad took her to the Women’s Hospital, then located on East Sahara in Las Vegas. Her hospital bill was $185.00. That was without insurance.

Out of all the 10 births in our family, mine was the only one my dad attended.  Those were the days of men sitting in the waiting room, but Dr. Christofferson insisted that my father be at this one, the last one.  My mom said that Daddy looked at her differently after that experience.

Born at 8:46 pm, I was a fat one – 9 lbs 5 oz – 23 inches long – and my head was 14 and quarter inches.  (I need to compare that to my children cause I’m pretty sure their noggins were much bigger.)

My mom was grateful when we got home because I slept and slept and slept.

I love my huge family.  I’m so glad to have grown up with them … and to keep growing up with them.  Last year was a good one, and I look forward to the next.

See my sweet hubby’s birthday wishes to me….except ignore the fact that he calls me snookums….he never calls me snookums…..

So…that’s life…unscripted even

In my previous pregnancies I waited a long time to tell people I was pregnant.  Like, 16 weeks.  The first was because I was in denial, the second was because I thought it was a fun game.  But both had the underlying reason of “just in case we miscarry, we’ll wait to share.”  This one I waited 9 weeks.

Yesterday, when I finished my post, and just before I clicked “publish”, something in me asked, is this too soon?  Naw.

Later that afternoon, however, I found that,  for lack of a better description, something was “amiss”.  I worried, did some research, felt ok, hopeful even, and went to bed.

Around 2:00 am I had to come to terms that I would, in fact, be experiencing a miscarriage.

I guess you could call this post a “retraction”. And yes, at about 3:00 am I was kicking myself for posting the announcement.  But that IS life and it IS unscripted.  And this blog, is to share parts of my journey in motherhood.

If you’re wondering how I feel, just tired.  I will say this though, a miscarriage sucks.  (I don’t like to use the word “suck” because I feel my 15 year old self feel slightly ashamed as the voice of my father says: “We don’t talk like that.”  And I don’t.  I really don’t like that word in that context.  It bugs.  However, I find it fitting here  and I’m not saying it, I’m typing it…..and there you have it.)

Mainly, I feel sad.

Luckily I had El Jefe with me.  The kids are sick and so he is offering all sorts of support.  And as always, he finds a way to make me laugh.

Exhibit A:  When I asked how we would tell the kids about this he said:  “Maybe we should tell them that the leprachauns took the baby.”  I imagined in my head my children hating St. Patrick’s day for their whole lives because “the leprachauns took away our baby.”  Sick sense of humor.  We cracked up for a good five minutes.

Joking aside, I apologize for the retraction, for getting anyone’s hopes up etc.. etc…

But please know that blue skies are ahead.

photo by La

Muchos besos.

Between 11:00 am and noon the other day…

I went for a walk with Chunk #2, and this was my view most of the way:

photo by La

Then we got home, she was hungry.  So I had her make her own mini pizzas….

photo by La

photo by La

…with olives of course.

photo by La