Thursday, April 29, 2010

Confessions of a shopaholic...Bitter melon makes me bitter

I’m half Filipino
half Caucasian (to be politically correct)

When you see me,
you think I’m Mexican.
I suppose that’s what the mix produced in my case.

Which means when I walk into a Filipino grocery store,
they look at me and wonder what I’m doing there.

I usually get the quick glance as I walk in,
that simply says,
Does she know which kind of market she just wandered into?

When I have a planned recipe in my head,
I know exactly what to go for.

However yesterday, I was on a mission for one thing.
One thing only.
A bitter melon.

I walk into the store,
They look at me and look confused.
I look at them, smile,
look at the vegetables,
then look back at them confused.

What in the world does a bitter melon look like? I wonder.

I ask politely, Do you have bitter melon?
Yes, it’s in there.
He points to a fridge full of vegetables,
Long green beans,
And a few other green items.

I look again, trying to figure it out by a process of elimination.
I know what this is,
I know what that is.
And I try to think back about when I’ve made the mistake of biting into a bitter melon.
I just can’t figure it out.

Ummmm…which one is it? My obvious not Filipino enough self asks with shame.

This one.
He points to something that looks like a shriveled up, unripe, green, hardened squash.

Oh yeah, ok. Got it.

Now the smell of fried fish is dancing in the air.
If you’ve grown up with that smell…
You understand.

It makes you happy inside.
It makes you hungry inside.
It makes you crave a giant plate of fish and rice.
It's comfort food.

I try to redeem myself by acting like I know what I’m doing now,
I decide I’ll make the one dish that I know uses bitter melon.

I turn around and there’s the seasoning packet for Sinigang.
It’s a fish soup.
Now my tastebuds are at full attention.

I walk back to the butcher and ask him to clean and cut up some fish for sinigang.
And while you’re at it, fry me up a Tilapia.
(clearly I know what I’m doing)

I’ve got my bitter melon in one hand.
Sinigang packet in the other
My fish is on order.



Hmmm…where’s that guy again?
Um, excuse me…I’m making sinigang.
What other vegetables do I use beside bitter melon.

He looks at me as if he’s gonna laugh in my face.
Then he does!
This little man looks like my grandpa.
And he’s laughing at me.
You don’t use bittermelon in singang, he says with a little chuckle.
Hmph, My Grandma does, I quickly reply.
(so there)
No, she doesn’t, he comes back.
Noone does.

Ok, so maybe you’re right then.

So what soup do I put bitter melon in?


Oh geez, I’ve heard of it.

He takes my sinigang packet out of my hand.
Then he hands me a Tamarind packet.

We bicker some more about which soup I’m supposed to be making.
I pick up a few more vegetables that he suggested.

I take a look at the new seasoning packet, it’s got shrimp on the picture.

But I just had him cut me up fish?

It’s ok, he says as he laughs in my face again.

I’m thinking…you know what Grandpa, I’m beginning not to like you!
The Boy and I load up our cart full of goodies.
And head home.

My house is now full fish, vegetables, and seasoning packets.
I’ve looked up recipes for both soups.
But guess what, I don’t have all the ingredients for either…

That’s it, I’m calling my Mom!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

1+ 5 = 6 Duh…

The Boy is assigned a homework packet
about once a week

Yes, in preschool.

This month the focus is math.

His assignment began with tracing the numbers
in numerical order
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Then came fill in the blanks
in numerical order
1 2 3 4 5
What comes after 5? He asks
I looked at him and could tell his little noggin was working hard.
His brows were scrunched.
One hand was on his head.
The other holding the pencil firmly
And I watched as he wrote his number 6

6, he says so satisfied with himself.

The number is 6 Son.

Yeah, 1 + 5 is 6.
I’m so not looking forward to spelling…

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Comforting words...

As I'm dropping off The Boy at preschool today,
his teacher stops to tell me a story.

She says, Oh, I've been meaning to tell you.
My Grandma passed away last week.
On Monday I came in to school and was pretty emotional.
The kids were asking what was wrong,
so I told them that my Grandma had died
and was now in heaven.

Then she continues,
Your son shouts out...
Oh she's with Michael Jackson now.

Oh my Boy, so young, but so wise in his words of wisdom!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Motherly love...

Tonight I came home from work
and slaved over the stove
to turn Sunday’s leftover steak
into Tuesday’s Tantalizing fajita feast.

To even further please my loving family
I decide to make them strawberry shortcakes for dessert.

Seriously, how much better can you do, right?!

The Boy comes over as I’m starting to prepare
He climbs up on the step stool next to me and asks
How do you know how to make strawberry shortcakes?

Because, I reply, I’m a Mom.
All moms know how to make strawberry shortcakes.

Oh, does Sandra know how to make strawberry shortcakes?, he asks.

(You see The Boy loves his Sandra,
she was his babysitter from the time he was 4 months old to 3 yrs old
she reigns supreme in his mind)

Yes Son, I’m sure she knows how to make them.

Then I ask
(because surely he must’ve lost some lover for her,
it’s been a year and a half since he’s been gone
from her daily life)
Who’s your number 1 Mommy, Me or Sandra?

Sandra! he quickly replies with a shoulder shrug

Teen 2’s standing right there with her jaw dropped open
Wow! she starts, How does that make you feel?

Then she continues to further dig the knife in…
Does it make you feel unaccomplished as a mother?

Sheesh...they'll appreciate me eventually right?!!

Tuesday’s ramblings…

Remember that Biker Babe jacket I told you about…
Well it showed delivered on Friday afternoon.
I got home and searched everywhere…
It was nowhere to be found…
And is still nowhere to be found…

Wanna know what else…
It was the last one in stock!


Guess that means when we get our money back, I get to go on a new search…
Where does The Boy get all this energy from.
Boys are so different from girls.
I had no idea!
Noone warned me!
With the girls, they would sit quietly in their room and play dolls
Watch Barney and dance along
But The Boy, he jumps on and off of every piece of furniture
Wants to ride, skate, skooter,
Do wheelies, pretend the curbs are ramps
Play basketball, football,
Hot potato
This weekend he wanted to help me clean
So I let him spray some Fabreeze in his room while I finished the vacuuming that he started
I gave him a nearly full bottle (my first mistake)
He handed me back a bottle that was only ¼ full.
When Hubby and I headed for his room,
he told us “Be careful, it’s slippery in there!”
scary part is his room is carpet!!
Yep, it still smells pretty fresh 3 days later!
Teen 2 and I got up early to make a Forever 21 grand opening sale.
They were handing out free giftcards and a coupon to be used.
Too bad the directions only put us in the middle of the city.
A city that I’m not familiar with at all!
Since it’s a new store, it’s not in my GPS
Needless to say by the time we got there, the giftcards were gone!
However, we had the coupon and got some really cute things!
Summertime is around the corner!
Can’t wait for our Laughlin trip!!
There's NOTHING to do out there
but hang out by the pool
or the beach and lounge
and I love it
Forced relaxation
Teen 1 is applying for jobs around the city.
It scares me…
Just registered The Boy for kindergarten
They’re getting older….

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Now I know why animals eat their young...

Because they must’ve gone through the teenage years with a previous litter.

Oh my Teen 1
How I love thee…
but I truly wonder what kind of logic is going on in that brain of yours…

These are downright serious conversations with Teen 1.

She calls me after school as she does daily to tell me about her day

Mom, Ms. X gave me a compliment today, she says.

Oh really? What happened?, I ask
(Ms. X and her have been having issues since day 1 since I'm quite surprised)

Well I asked her if I could bring my grade up by the end of the semester
And Ms X. said, Yes, I know you can do it, but I just don’t know what’s wrong with you.

I'm sorta perplexed?
I reply, Oh really, so that was her compliment.


(ok, if that's what she thinks?!)

Then she continues on asking if I would take her to get an application for a job.

We talk some more and I tell her I’m not comfortable until she brings her grades up.

Yeah, well I’m lazy.

(I went on and on with my motherly lecture but I’ll spare you the details)

Mom, did you know that most geniuses were lazy?

No, actually I had no idea.

Yeah, most of them were! I’m like a genius.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Bomb

Every afternoon when I pick up The Boy from preschool
he asks with excitement, Did you bring me a special treat?

No, is my usual reply.

But he still asks with such enthusiasm
day in and day out

On very rare occasion
I do bring him a special treat
(usually because someone brought something into the office
so I grab one for him

On this particular day, someone brought in coffee cake
The extra yummy kind with strawberry filling
And cream cheese topping
Well on second thought, I guess that would be a Danish, huh?
Ok so on this particular day, someone brought in a giant Danish cake.

I heard one of the older ladies say, This is THE BOMB!
As she oohhhed and aaahhhed over this cake

I took a slice, wrapped it up
and fought with my inner demons
the whole hour long drive home
as they continued to taunt me to eat this treat.

I admit, I did unwrap it on occasion
to take a look at this yummy goodness
and I did think about telling The Boy
No, no special treat today, as usual.

But it made it the whole way home.

And when he asked me for a special treat this day.
I said, Yes, I do have a special treat for you today.

I unwrapped it and described this treat
it's a coffee cake Son(yes at that time that’s what I thought it was)
it full of strawberry
and cream cheese
and it is yummy.

I let him open it up and enjoy his treat on the ride home.

I asked him if it was good.
He replied, Yep…mmmm hmmmm.

Is it The Bomb, I asked?


The Bomb.
The lady at work said it’s The Bomb.

What’s The Bomb mean?

It means, it’s the best!
It’s better than good.

Is this the best cake you ever had?

No!!!! (I could hear the "duh" tone in his voice)

Ok fine, I’m old.
maybe “The Bomb” is outdated slang
and Coffee Cake is only the bomb when you’re old enough to drink coffee.

3 days later when he came home from school
He was so excited to tell me all about the cupcakes he made.

They were chocolate Mom
we got to put frosting on top
and sprinkles too
They were The Bomb!

Mostly Wordless Wednesdays...Cuts by Cousin

he's cracking up hilariously as he walks down the stairs
Kaia cut my hair
Hahahahahaaaaaa...he continues
We all turn and look at him
and the pieces of hair in his hand
It takes a minute to register...
She cut his hair!
A little from the middle
and a little from the front!
I ask,What did your Cousin say, can I cut your hair?
He nods, she said Sir
and I said SURE, he quickly replies with a big smile.
It's a good thing he just got a new hat!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Confessions of a Shopaholic…Biker Babe

Hubby drives a Honda CBR
aka Street Bike
aka Crotch Rocket

I must admit, I think it's pretty hot.

And I wanna be a Biker Babe
I wanna be this hot girl
In the tight jeans
And gorgeous boots
With a jacket that fits in all the right places
The girl that pulls off her helmet so sexy
with all her long flowing hair
Shaking and falling
to land just
P E R F E C T…

This past Valentines Day,
I asked him to take me on a ride
So I could be that
Hot Biker Babe


The reality of it was
I don’t have a cute jacket
So I had to wear one of his jackets
Uggh…men’s cut
Instead of being tight in all the right places
It’s big and bulky

It’s leather,
Which only means it’s
REALLY HOT (literally)

Then I have to wear his gloves
So now I have man hands to top it off.

I put on my helmet
And I think…
I’m g o n n a pass out….

I am wearing some cute jeans
But the whole time I'm worried
My butt crack was on display

Whenever we would stop at a red light
I would look over and see people looking at us
And all I could think about was
My butt is hanging out!

Oh and before I forget to mention this...

I’ll tell you that my head bumps into hubby’s
everytime we stop or accelerate


This is so not the picture I had in mind.

When I take off my helmet,
I feel like I’ve got helmet hair.

Oh well, at least I've got a cute helmet!

We rode to have breakfast by the marina
Then cruised along the beach

On the way home,
I learned how not to bump heads.

And how to hold on tight and lean with him.

After all the stress and unsexyness- it was fun.

But next time I wanna be the Biker Babe.

Which lead me to my search-

I found Levi’s Skinny Jeans for Curvy girls.
These things are amazing!
If you have a larger derriere
And thicker thighs…
Say built like Beyonce
(wink wink)
These jeans are for you.

And I found my own jacket
No more manly build
This sweet jacket was marked down from $149.99
To only $49.99


There's no more though,sorry!

Although I would to have one of these sexy things...

This beauty is $239.50,

I just couldn't bring myself to pay that much for something I'd hardly wear.

This sexy curvy thing might need to get a savings started for $157.99

Now if I only I can find some new boots!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hot Chocolate Lava...

Twas a gloomy Sunday-
all day...
Teen 2 suggested some Hot Lava
some Hot Chocolate Lava
Molten Lava Cake...
thou shall gather all the ingredients
then melt the chocolate into lava
and whip in the mayonaise
(yes I said mayonaise)
next pour in the chocolately cake batter
then crack the eggs
and thou shall
whip it good...
but don't get caught with your fingers in the batter...
fill thy metal tins with this chocolately goodness
then wait patiently...
before the hot oven...
after the hot oven...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Home coming...

Hubby went straight from work to dinner
with an old friend the other night.

I have no problem with it.
The Boy on the other hand is a different story.

I was able to keep him busy most of the night
shuttling him and the girls from store to store
as we ran errands.

But anytime he had a free moment,
He would start in with the questioning,
Where’s Daddy?
When is he coming home?

I would reply, Daddy went with a friend.
He’ll be home soon Son.

Shower time came and went.

He wanted to call his Daddy.
I let him send some text messages and smiley faces.

Then it was bedtime.

I put him in his bed,
turned on the TV,
and sat at the computer desk across his room.

He watched TV for a while
Then I heard the unhappy exhale


He began as he lay there on his pillow
looking up at the ceiling
with one leg crossed over the other…

I think Daddy’s gonna spend the night at his friends house tonight.

What’dya say Son?

I think Daddy’s gonna spend the night at his friends house tonight Mom.
He’s not coming home, he continued on with such disappointment.

I chuckled, Yes, he’s coming home Son.

It seemed almost instantaneously
that we heard the roar of Hubby’s motorcycle

He jumped up outta bed
and ran full speed to the front door.

My Daddy’s home.
I’m so excited! He shouted!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Today was a good day...

The girls are on spring break this week

Teen 2 texts me on Wed and asked if she could go to the beach Thurs.
We had our usual back and forth questioning?
Who’s going?
She quickly rambled off 10 kids
5 girls
How are you getting there?
The bus

Hmmm…my instincts are kicking in
And I ask for half the day off

I prepare my bags the night before
And ask the girls to make sandwiches
And pack snacks for the beach

How embarrassing…Teen 2 replies
Then don’t eat my food when we get there!

These girls are so funny-
They curl their hair
Put on their make up
Find the right outfit

We’re going to the beach right?!

I pull up to the beautiful sunny beach
with 4 teen girls
And one 4 year old boy in tow

We find our spot in the sand and I’m getting the look…
Are you staying with us Mom? She asks
Ummm…I was, I replied.
But I get it.
She wants me out of sight.

So I plop down the cooler and snacks
And leave the girls in position
The Boy and I settle down closer to the water

I text hubby…I think she’s embarrassed of me!

The Boy wants to get in the water
So we tiptoe in
It’s freezing, oh yeah, it’s only April
He teases the waves as he runs back and forth with the water

The girls meet up with their boy friends
And head back to “their” spot

I turn around and look back every so often to watch them from the distance
And just giggle to myself that she’s at that age
That stage where everything about your parents is so embarrassing

Eventually she comes over with her friends
And they take The Boy into their little click
They bring him into the water
They jump with him
Swing him around

I stand in the distance with my camera
To forever capture these moments

Eventually I get to move in closer

The Boy is now one of their friends.
Here’s proof, he got to tattoo one of her friends
About just how cool he is!

They play football,
Go back in the water,
Boys boogie board
The girls tan

We stay and play for about 3 ½ hours
I'm able to convince them to take a group shot before we leave.

We get home and the girls ask if they can go to a bonfire at a friends.

They begin the routine again,
The hair,
The make up,
The outfits

By 7:40 Teen 1 and Teen 2 leave together
The Boy and I sit at the kitchen table
And watch as 5 teenage girls rush out of the house
They wave good bye

He turns to me and ask for a 2nd serving of Salmon
And an apple for his side.

I sigh…
And am thankful

Today was a good day.

Think, think, think...

"Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out"
-Michael Burke

As those little girls of ours are growing into young ladies,
they must go through the dreaded teenage years.

They will test their boundaries,
Talk back,
Try to sneak around,
Fail tests,
Fail to do homework,
Blame it on the teachers,
Fight with friends,
Break up with boyfriends,
Get caught doing things that they know they shouldn’t be doing…

We will talk,
hug and kiss,
and tell them we love them
even if they did make stupid decisions

We will have to understand that we cannot be the perfect parents
We will not be their friends
We are there to guide them
And teach them
And sometimes we can’t catch them when they fall
But we’ll be there to pick them up and dust them off

We will remind them to go with their instincts,
Because they’re probably right from the beginning…

We will also remind them as I did the other night,
That I love them,
But they need to think of me
“The Beast”
In their face
Before they make a bad move!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday...Gatorade break

Sometimes you just have to thrown down the bike
Rip off your helmet
and quench your thirst

Follow along through the fun and agony as we try to figure out how to raise two completely opposite teenagers- Teen 1, the fiesty yet inquisitive one, Teen 2 quiet but wise-cracking and our ball full of energy known as The Boy. It aint always pretty, but we’ll sure try to make the best of it!
These are the stories of our lives…