Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let 'em Think

I have learned that you simply can't please everyone.  I would not lie down and let my ex-husband walk over us on his way out of our lives.  I would stand tall and let him go.  I would not call him back or inflate his image in the eyes of our children.  I would be resolute.  When he became my ex he became something that is not.  He made that decision over and over again.  When I was satisfied that a relationship was not salvageable I let go, completely.

The rules for me are simple.  The children are ours.  If he wants to see them that is fine.  I will never turn away his calls.  The children, likewise, will always be allowed to call him.  None of these things happen though.  The phone doesn't ring.  Their birthdays pass with only the fanfare that I can create.  They used to tell me that they missed him.  I won't revive that except on special occasions (like father's day when Hallmark brings him up) I will ask them if they want to call him.  They say "no" and I remind them that they can. 

As time passes we all continue to forget but I know that they will embellish.  Either they will make him a god or a demon.  I used to want to shape their memory, to tell them why I loved him and that they are the best of him but after the conversation that I had last night I think that truth isn't what naturally lives.  We believe what we want to.  I had put his family on a pedestal but learned that they refer to me with rather unsavory language.  It bothered me for a bit last night.  I felt that if I didn't speak to them, the story of me would just continue to degenerate.  After some thought though I realized that I have nothing to say to them.  People will believe what they want. 

It is hard to know that someone believes something about you that you feel you haven't earned.   It can't matter because I cannot waste any energy on their feelings.  I have to raise our children.  I have to help them cope with the sometimes deafening silence of their father.  I have learned that there is no power in being the victim and since that is the role that he wants to play with his family I will keep my distance and allow him to play it. I will be making a life for our children in the meantime.  He can keep his created narrative warm in the retelling that is sparked by my name.  Any press is good press.  There is no power in being a victim.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I ended the day yesterday watching the Olympics after going to the gym and cooking dinner and I felt alot better.    Right now I am switching back and forth between NBC and the spanish channels.  My son is really enjoying the Dominican volleyball team. 

My Garden Today

This is my haven.  This year I have spent less time just sitting in it and more time working with it.  I have been able to harvest something daily.  We have really enjoyed the cucumbers and tomatoes.  I call it my Cuban "ensalata"  (Yes, I know it's misspelled -or spelled in Italian.)  My 11 year old son has really enjoyed the garden as well.  He always goes in search of bugs.  There are always bees around and they don't bother us they just do their work while I do mine.  My son just sits and watches the ants and bees and whatever other insect he can find.  When it is his time to read everyday he askes if he can read on the patio.  I like to read out there so I was saying "yes" but then I realized that he is not reading he is bug watching and looking at the plants.  My pepper plants are doing really well right now.  I have red bell peppers and some type of red chili and some jalepeños, probably as many as 10 on that plant.  This is my salsa garden.
I won't use the upsidedown planter again though.  They developed some kind of fungus growth right away and though the plants have grown well they have not produced tomatoes. 


"God almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures."   -Francis Bacon-

Friday, July 27, 2012

Looking for the Bright Side

In a few minutes I will return to the gym.  Lately, I have been full of angst.  I have been yelling more than I have in years and just explosive. My children seem lazy and yes, at times stupid.  I don't think they are and I know that it is my job to teach them better but I get so angry at the way they just sabatage life.  They bicker constantly and say things to make their siblings angry which causes chaos and makes me put gravel in my voice. 

I have asked my son 3 times to pack up the trash.  It has overflowed onto the floor.  He ties up the bag leaving the trash on the floor.  On the second request he pickes up maybe 1/4 the trash and walkes away like he's finished. 

I go to take the dishes out of the diswasher and they are not clean.  I need to rewash all of them.  I look in the kids bathroom and there are clothes all over the floor.  I will stop there.  I am going to the gym.  Well, I am after I wash my gym clothes.

I'm looking....



"God almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures."   -Francis Bacon-


"God almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures."   -Francis Bacon-

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I WILL go to the gym today... even though my washing machine doesn't work and my gym clothes are dirty. I just washed out clothes for today's trip by hand.  They were sopping wet when I put them in the dryer.  I called maintenance; last time they took three days to come.  I told them that with this many people it is urgent but the operator that takes the maintenance calls just said he would get them the message right away.  'sigh'  I just caught up with my laundry and then my washing machine breaks.  ...cardio and arms today. o


What a beautiful morning.  I don't know why everyone still sleeps at almost 9am but I won't complain.  I have had almost two hours to drink coffee, eat french toast and read The New Yorker online.

Getting in Shape 

I am so sore from my gym visits but I feel good to be going.  This is one of my many new beginnings.  Today I will do cardio and arms again.  I am learning how to do this but I am emphasizing cardio.  Working out seems simple enough until you start to do it.  The first day you only feel fatigue and the second and third you feel the pain - at least I do.  But there are sets and reps and it took me forever to figure out how many of what to do and what a set was versus what a rep was.  I am a novice so I am starting with 3 sets of 10 for most of the machines at the gym.  For abs it's 3 sets of 25.

I was the child who pulled out the asthma card every time gym class got too active.  The truth was, and I don't mind saying it now, that I was born without any kind of athletic talent.  How was I to know that no one was and that if I worked hard enough I mightn't have always gotten chosen last.  But to me it was better to sit on the sidelines and to be invisible than to be rejected.  I guess I've never really gotten away from that if I really think about it.  My 3 year old asked me the other day, "Mom, do you have friends?  I stopped what I was doing and looked at him smiling and said, "Well, I imagine that I must've at some point."  "You have friends." He retorted.  Curious to know who these people were I asked him who my friends were.  "You students" he said confidently.  And galloped off through the house with his cape bouncing behind.    Who gets to have 7 children AND friends?  

Today's Reading

I am finishing up a book by Heidi Grant Halvorson called "9 things successful people do differently." As a teacher I have covered much of what this book talks about but in that context I am usually thinking about the students.  When I read this book I think about my plans for life and I feel inspired and detirmined.  I would recommend this book to anyone.  It is full of straightforward steps that you can take to being more successful.

Monday, July 23, 2012

...a good day.

Today I worked out.  I went to the gym and did cardio and arms.  I then came home and did Xbox Zumba.  I am so tired. I see that there is a cycle class really early every morning and for a split second I was excited but it won't work and right now I am so out of practice with my early rising (still getting up before the kids though) that I think it might actually hurt to be at the gym at 5am.

I will do abs and cardio tomorrow or legs and cardio.  So tired.  I've never worked myself to exhaustion but today I did.  I can actually jog for a minute or two now.  Running always triggered asthma but I am trying to build my stamina.  I could see when I got on the machines that I am stronger now than I was at the beginning of the summer also.  It feels good. 
I was telling my children what an exciting year it is going to be.  We have the Olympics and then the election and THEN things get either exciting or scary but they stay interesting.  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sleepy Sunday

I am so tired.  I enjoyed a late cup of coffee yesterday and was up until after 3am.  That is not me.  It is going to be difficult to get in the swing of going to bed at a proper time when I go back to work.  Well, not after a few days.  Teaching takes so much out of you; I usually kind of collapse.  I walk in the home and do everything I need to without sitting because I know that if I sit I will go to sleep.

Last night I was up watching Torchwood on Netflix and sorting clean laundry.  It is, of course, never finished but I was able to clear the pile. Yes, we have a gargantuan laundry pile most of the time :-(put things away for winter that were just mixed in with their summer clothes, throw things away and make a give away pile.  I still felt good this morning when I dragged myself out of bed to take the children to church.  They are getting ready.  They wanted to go so badly.

Before they went to bed, they asked if we could go to church today.  I realized that I hate to promise anything about tomorrow.  There are too many things that I simply must do and I just don't want to give away any time I might use for me.  That translates into every area of my life.  I couldn't tell him I loved him and give him my tomorrows, simply couldn't do it.  Even when he was gone and I missed him I couldn't imagine myself giving all of my tomorrows.  The funny thing is that I could always imagine him in my today.  I mean tomorrow is a kind of a faux gift, right?  Like giving someone a box of and telling them it is an eternity's worth of love.  Only you don't really know how much you can love any more than you know how much someone can love you. 

I imagine that there are people who let go easily.  I am not one of them.  I think constantly about my yesterdays and my tomorrows.  I am, however, happy to say that I am aware of the problem and am fixing it ... or trying to live in the moment..trying, isn't that the point?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

...but it does end, so I might as well enjoy it.

It's rainy today, just kind of misting and I need to do something productive.  The rain makes me feel sluggish.  I just find myself kind of staring out of the window, remembering things that are best forgotten. 

I realize that though I am determined to be confident, my confidence has taken a bit of a hit.  I'm faltering I'm reading the writing of others every day and wondering what my writing looks like.  To me, it is just my voice and lately I haven't done anything more than keep a journal. 

Life, as it is, fills my thoughts. Constantly trying to figure out the logistics.  I watch always for exceptional people and I want to give whatever they were given to enable their greatness to my children.  So far it is just desire.  I want to give them the childhood that they deserve and still be enough to keep them safe. 

I have been wanting to start a website for awhile and I haven't been able to get moving.  I couldn't find a title for the thing.  I think I just found one and am going to run with it - TODAY.  I don't even know where to begin.

It's raining, the kids are reading, the washing machine and the dryer are both going 'sigh' ... and I have two heads of hair to do for church tomorrow (three including my own).  I need to laugh.  I think I'll look for something funny to watch... after laundry and some work on the website.

Today I give myself a point for not calling or sending an email.  That brings me up to 3 hard earned points.  On days like this when one aches to be held, I start remembering and then I start feeling poetic and inspired and before I know it I have emailed him an ode I've written in his honor.  Meanwhile he's living his life, one that has absolutely nothing to do with me. 

Today will be a day for Zumba!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

'yawn' [stretch]

Friday morning.... not much to say.  I'm happily sipping coffee and though I need to go water my plants I haven't felt like combing my hair just yet.  I'm tired.  I stayed up again last night.  I used to enjoy sleep so much but lately I just feel like my summer is slipping away and I must actively use every moment of it.

I started laundry and put away the dishes and the house is still nice and quiet because all of the children are still asleep.  There was a thunderstorm last night so they all slept in one room, except the tiniest one who cannot sleep if he is not taking up my entire bed.

I have decided to continue my education in the area in which I work.  I feel like it is a smart decision to make though it doesn't excite me and my educational choices usually excite me.  What I will do is carve out some section of each day to still work on my business ideas.  I was thinking that I need to meet some techies to work with because I have the idea but not yet the skill to bring it to life.  

... I"m going to sit and read...

It's funny, I stress about all that I have to do but when I start to check off the list and I am down to all that I can do for a given moment I can't stand the nothingness of just putting my feet up.  I have to start to plan tomorrow.  I guess it's that not having something to do at a moment is not having nothing to do.  I mean it usually means the washer and dryer are both going and I've done the dishes until someone decides they are hungry again;usually this happens when I am doing the dishes.

Well, the garden is doing well.  Emïl is trying to grow a cherry tree.  He wants to plant it when we buy a house;  It's going to be awhile.  I have little cucumbers everywhere and tomatoes growing while others are turning red.

I haven't done anything special with the kids this summer.  I wanted to take them to Gettysburg and the museums in DC and the zoo but we haven't I worry about my car the cost of gas and then I tell myself maybe in a couple of weeks and here the summer is almost over.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

From my patio garden

It's not until I get sick that I realize that I have been blessed with good health.  Last night I was up with body aches mostly my legs and feet, it was strange.  I woke up and the power had gone out so I turned on my phone and checked Facebook at 3am.  My battery was dying so I turned on my Kindle thinking I would just read until I could go back to sleep but my 3 year old recently did something to my Kindle so I couldn't access any of my books without an internet connection.   When the power came back on I ate something so that I could take some medicine for the pain.  I then watched Doctor Who until I fell asleep.

I still managed to get up before the children and I feel better. I am at about 85 or 90% with the occasional urge to puke and rolling pain in my upper stomach. I am on a diet of watermelon and probiotics. Today, I begin my exercises again.  I will go hard today.  I am going to do the Jillian Michael's workout.  I know what I want my body to look like and I am not far from where I want to be.  Flattening my belly, however, will be a feat of extreme willpower, if not (I'm beginning to believe) a miracle.  I don't want to or need to lose weight; I just want to flatten my belly and tone a bit.

I have two things weighing on my mind today my registration and my taxes.  I must get them resolved today so that I can again be creative.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keeping My Head Up

Yesterday, after going to Urgent Care I made myself stay in bed all day, I just thought I needed rest and I was in such pain that I thought it would be welcome rest.  I felt so depressed and just blah by the end of the day. I haven't had coffee in two days, still unsure of what is causing the discomfort.  It is better than it was yesterday but still present.  I am tired but I need sunlight and time sitting in my little garden.  It felt so good to get sunshine this morning.

I have only been doing this superficial observational writing I haven't gotten into "the zone" as I want but the closer I get to the school year the more I start to do work.  I've fallen off on my reading and exercise and just vegged out in front of the computer watching Doctor Who with the children and being aware of my discomfort.  I must get back on the wagon.   I think I need to push through this.

I even have a playlist to exercise to ... I guess I'll go to the gym tomorrow???

Sunday, July 15, 2012

High Fashion

The school year encroaches and I think about how much I have still to do.  My biggest worry is bullying.  It brings tears to my eyes even to remember when my son was picked on last year.  All of the beautiful things that I told him about himself didn't matter at that moment.  He was nothing because they said he was nothing.  I tried to tell him how stupid they were.  (Yeah, I know.)   I wasn't able to move so I have to make the best out of him attending the local school for a bit.

Fashion.  I was blessed with children who don't give a hoot for what they are wearing.  We can go to thrift stores and are given the occasional bag of goodies and they don't complain.  Last year, about half of their uniforms were given to them.  For middle school I know that won't work.  Better to be well dressed and unnoticed than to be badly dressed and afraid of being noticed.  As we all know from the recent bus video middle schoolers aren't the nicest people.

So I spent hours yesterday online looking at styles of clothes.  I thought of my students and what they wear and then thought about what they pick on. I have always bought him clothes that were nice enough, I thought, but as I looked at what I usually buy (Old Navy) I could see that that just wouldn't do, not for middle school, not for him.  I looked at everything, American Eagle Outfitters, Aeropostle, Gap ... but the only thing that I found that I thought would do him justice was Abercrombie & Fitch. I then did a search for their style elsewhere - nothing, not even close. Now, I break all of my rules getting him Abercrombie, I mean, their marketing tells me that I should buy the opposite because I don't want my son to be a prissy snob.. but Abercrombie it shall be - somehow.  I am still looking for an alternative.  I have an idea for an ad campaign for them "Because middle school is just too *#$% hard not to at least look good." or some variation thereof.  My inner fashionista is loose now and I can't afford for her to be.  I wonder how their clothes will wear.  I mean, at that price he won't have too many pairs of things so we'll be washing a lot.    I am so glad that they wear uniforms.

I am just going to have to lay my hands on them and pray the spirit of Abercrombie out of their perfect clothes.  ... Maybe I'm getting them confused with Hollister... no, it was Abercrombie.

....I'm not feeling great today.  I think I'm gonna fast tomorrow.  Can't get rid of the pain below my ribs.  ... haven't worked out in a couple days.  My belly looks huge :-(

My little one is running through the house calling himself  "Muscle Man".  I asked him where his cape is and he answered, "Muscle Man not wear a cape.  Him wears only packpack (backpack) and boots.  He then went running through the house "Muscle Man save you" but came back to tell me that some people call him "Michael Muscle Man".
I should take the children to church.... conserving gas.... for the next 4 weeks we will be close to $0.  I will be able to pay my rent and pay on a few bills.  Things will be tight but I won't complain.  I can't complain.

This morning I got up and sat on the patio an sipped my coffee.  My 6 year-old came out and sat down without saying a word.  It must be he who knows me best, who knows how important that time is for me.  I was tired when I got up this morning.  I walked to the kitchen to find that all counter space was covered with dirty dishes.  I turned the light back off and walked back to my room.  I turned on my Kindle and read some sayings from a book I got free yesterday....sayings...

I went to the doctor yesterday for some pain that I have been having in my ribs.  I really started to think and to be afraid of what might be wrong.  I thought of what I would say to my children if I knew that I only had a short time left to live.  I thought of all of the things that I don't say because they are taboo and how much more frank I would be with them about life and themselves.  I would tell them shamelessly and desperately knowing that I would not be able to navigate them through the experiences that would teach them those lessons.  Then I wondered if the conversations shouldn't take place just like that anyway.  I wondered if I shouldn't come right out with it and talk about those things that I fear most for them, for me for that matter.  I didn't get an answer on the pain but I think I did get some answers after all.

I got back up and did the dishes and made my coffee before going to sit on the patio and watch the bees pollinate the flowers of my cucumber plants.  Today, as all days, will be about 30% about cleaning.  I will once again roll my stone up the hill, laundry, laundry, laundry... it is never done.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Dance

Oh my!  Despite doing Zumba at home I find the class difficult.  The moves are all mixed and it is more of a dance class without time for teaching.  I can follow but not if I don't see her feet.  It really is humorous but I am tired right now.

Zumba people are my favorite.  They are free.

There's the 19 year old dancer who exudes pure femine sexuality and seduces herself in the mirror with every move.  The 55 year-old either Asian or Hispanic woman in front of me (I think hispanic because of the body shape, watch and nail polish) who was all rump shakin.  The white woman in the front who keeps up (much better than I do) and who at moments, all can see that she feels like a woman.  In a way that seems to be what dance is about and then I get a sense of profound loss because I was taught that dancing was wrong.  I didn't dance as a child.  There is a self awareness that is gained and sharpened in dance.

It is a conversation but it is also a deeply personal moment.  And there I was just studying everyone else completely out of step and tyring hard to see the instructors feet so that I could follow.  I need to see the feet to follow.  I think I will try to get there early next time to get a better place.  I don't feel that today was terribly beneficial as a workout.  I will try to do some Jillian Michaels today.  Coffee or nap, coffee or nap ....

I consider it more of a mental workout.  For me it is overcoming a shyness and shame I was handed in childhood and that I don't wish on any of my children.   The biggest thing that I will do in life will be to overcome it - to dance.  I absolutely hate getting glimpses of myself in the mirror when I go to work out.  I looked around and thought about my hair and maybe getting highlights or cutting my hair around my face.  Oh, it all just makes me feel tired.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Today again... click, click, click... ahhhh I feel movement and it feels good -progress.  It is not exactly as I would have written it but it is something and it is good.  It gives me some reprieve, a moment to breathe and to think and some assurance that tomorrow will take care of itself as long as I master this day, each day.  I intend to master this day.

I have been avoiding the gym, mostly because I haven't waxed and I only have a couple of things that I can wear to the gym.  Today I spent the day waxing - self-waxing.  I am getting better at this whole beauty on a budget thing.  It is rather humorous.  I sit down and put Doctor Who on Netflix, take a few deep breaths and begin.  Within minutes my other little Doctor Who fans are all sitting in my room watching with me.  My 3 year-old starts to wince with me as I rip off the strips.  At one point I think he might have tasted the wax; there was some popcorn not to far from it though.  It did look like candy.

As the days tick away I still spend some of each one trying to figure out how to give the best to my children. Today I had an epiphany and I don't know how to make it come to fruition but I think it's a good one.  It will give me an outlet when I feel stressed.  Right now I am exhausted and I don't know why.  I haven't done a work out in days.  That Jillian Michaels XBOX game left me feeling so sore.  Maybe it was that I did that and Zumaba back to back, but for 2 days I didn't want to walk.  I did, but I didn't want to.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Makin a list...

So, although I can't seem to get comfortable no matter how I try, things are once again working out.  I do know that it is not meant for me to be comfortable,  I will not be allowed to become complacent.  I have once again gotten proactive.  In the next two years I intend to have a Masters Degree and to be Nationally Board Certified.  I'll work out the details as I go along. It just seems like the pracitcal thing to do. 

I went to the dentist this morning.  I had been dragging my feet - again.  I am so glad to have that behind me though.  I have something rather major to be fixed and I was telling the dentist that I simply have to maintain my teeth because I'm not sure if I have enough inner beauty to compensate and even if I do I am not sure that after seeing to the needs of my many, that I will have the strength to force my inner beauty to shine. 

I brush faithfully, take calcium and add my teeth to the list of new(er) car and home with yard.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I was thinking,...

Since separating from my husband and divorcing I have begun to remember who I was before him and to decide who I would like to be now; to see who I am.  For some time there was only what I wanted, to be loved by him.  Almost nothing existed outside of that.  But the person he met was someone who wanted to live her passions only.  She wanted to eat good foods and chat with friends over dinner and coffee frequently.  She wanted to travel write for a living and keep alive the art of postcard sending.  The world called her.  She wanted to lose herself in good books and explore the unknown.  She wanted to sit and listen to the conversations of strangers to seek inspiration, to learn to draw, to sing old songs with friends and laugh about things that weren't funny at the time.   And then like something out of Dr. Who she was gone. 

I remember her bit by bit.  Today it was holding one of my old books:  The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe.  I smiled.  I will curl up with that book tonight.

Today the issue is my hair.  Again I am tempted to dred it. (I am not sure how to spell it and though "dread" seems appropriate for my hair. I may still be in denial.)  It just seems simpler.  80-90% of the time I wear a ponytail and no one can see what is inside - a heap of tangles.  I love it straightened but I notice that it is hard on my hair so I try not to do that too often and the cost of having it professionally done is prohibitive.  I have recently tried the imitation Wen conditioning shampoo by One that I purchased from Sally's Beauty Supply and so far I don't love it but my hair wasn't feeling so good before I used it so I am going to stick to it a bit and see if it gets softer or sexier (always the real objective :-).  I would also like to try the Instyler.  I saw the commercial and it seems to do what the Dominicans do with their brushes and blow dryer but I don't need extra hands.  It's not cheap (for me) though so it will simply stay on my wish list for now.  I still need the ultimate conditioner maybe a leave in...  I imagine that dreding my hair and going completely natural would free my mind to do really great things.  It would be abandoning my vanity.  I don't know why I bother - I just do.  And my poor daughter has my hair so I have to figure this out - for her.  Now, we can just braid it.  She's at the pool now so I guess we'll be doing that tonight.

I would still like to travel write.  I would like to study things that are completely impractical and simply guide my children through life's lessons.   I would like to spend more of my time making memories.  I must, however, make practical decisions for them, for us, we need Karate lessons and soccer games and a house with a yard for a garden and a computer for them and we need to travel.  So I must be observant and watch for and protect their memories because whether or not I get to choreograph them they are happening, they are living and they will never get THIS day again.   Watching the littlest one walk to the pool with Alpha in his little swim trunks, life jacket, flip-flops and goggles just makes my heart sing.  A minute ago I was bonding with my daughter (we were watching Dr. Who) when 4 more came in. I went and sat in the living room with my oldest; There was no longer any room for me.

Sometimes we dream about what we would like to do as a family.  I'll try to make them happen.  It means that I have to live two lives; safely living the practical while making the impractical happen.  It must happen in my "spare" time though in little stolen moments.


"Mommy you have magic powers."  My 3 year old ran up and said to me as I sat at my desk.  "Oh yeah, what are my powers?  What can I do?" I said smiling into his smiling face.
After a brief pause he says, "Make hotdogs."  "Yeah, that's about right" I said laughing.  "That's about right."  Recognition at last.

Early Cantalope?


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sauteed Homegrown Yellow Squash


Why I Am

Perhaps one of the best things about having 7 children is that things are never dull.

 My oldest is hardworking and dedicated to the idea of his success.  I am trying to get him to realize the "perspiration" part of it but I trust that it will come in time.

My second son, my frat boy, is at a point where he needs to get serious and he hasn't yet.  He just keeps assuring me that he understands and that he will.  I want to put him on my back and carry him to where he needs to be.  The hardest part of being a mother is accepting that I cannot live for him.

My third in line is in his moody years but is altogether an awesome person (they all are).   Yesterday he sat on the patio looking at plants and bugs for the longest time.

His twin is lazy and book smart but she has a good heart so she overcomes her inclinations and apologizes for them.  She is most like me.  She writes and wants her own blog.  If I can get her regular use of a computer I will approve it.  It will not be my computer.  Children break everything.

My fourth son and fifth child is a most incredible being.   He is also a twin and was small at birth.  He is still small for his age.  He is 6 years old but used to people talking to him like he is maybe 4. Shortly after birth he had two stints in the NIC Unit at the hospital.  He was tiny and strong.  Never a crybaby, he is very strong in his opinions and once he learns the "right" way to do something he is terribly put out when other's don't observe it.  He can be quite self deprecating when he feels unnoticed or under appreciated (which can happen with this many).  This very morning he woke up first.  He went to the bathroom, dressed himself, made his bed, decided to refold all of his clothes and rehang his precious suit.  It was purchased just about a month ago for his kindergarten graduation.  He wants to wear it again so badly.  He wants to learn martial arts and I think it would be great for him but I can't see it in the budget for a good while.  He watches Japanese animation with his siblings and practices what he sees with his Nerf sword.  He also wants to play soccer.

HIS twin is also her own special person.  She is nothing like him.  She is an artist.  I like to watch her watch music videos.  I know she sees herself on those stages.  So far she seems to be slightly tone deaf but I still hold out hope that she is not trying.  She always wants to be beautiful.  She likes to do Zumba with me (though as I don't look like the women in the Zumba video I don't often welcome company).  She was born a bit of a diva.  I try to encourage her brain.  When I get some money I am going to have a T-Shirt made for her that says "Sofía the Super Speller."  I would like for her to take gymnastics.  I think she would excel but alas THAT is not yet in the budget either.

Then there is "tiny."  He is not really tiny but he is the smallest of the lot.  Not by much though he and son no. 4 can exchange clothing.  He has the benefit of learning from so many peers.  The other day he was using the Kindle and telling me to zoom-in and pinching his little fingers together on the screen to make it the size he wanted it.  He can navigate Netflix.  If he knew the password to my Kindle, he wouldn't need me at all to use it. He even switches back and forth between applications.

As I look at each day these are the things that I am thinking.  I will contribute something today toward their tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sent from my HTC

Sweetest Words

He sits backwards on the chair looking at the side of her face as she types on the computer.  "We could be Barack and Michelle Obama" he says whistfully.  She turns to look at him and after a pause says, "I want to be Barack."  "I'll be your Michelle" he says without missing a beat.  

Mi Little Miracle

My one little miracle, if miracles are ever really little, is this.  Every day I have a cucumber that is ready to pick.  Just one.  I don't know how I missed it the day before or how it grew that much overnight but there it is.  I went out this morning - day 4 and yet again.  Another cucumber on the vine ready to pick.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I just realized that my budget is off by a week.  I don't know how I did that.  The next two weeks are going to be so tight.  It was a stupid mistake.  If I get a child support check it will bring us up to about $0 which though not comfortable will keep a roof over our heads.

I sat down today and went through everything.  I am not going to be able to leave the house except for doctor's appointments and we are going to be back to a rice and beans diet.  I am just kicking myself.  The rice and beans are okay.  I was eating mostly that anyway.  The kids eat so much though.  I've talked to them and told them that they are going have to be understanding for awhile.  They will have what they need but this summertime snacking is on hold.   Being at home just makes them hungry. 

It has forced me to really sit down and calculate everything.  My car needs to be fixed and I simply don't have money for it.

Wow!!! I spent most of the day organizing myself so that this doesn't happen again.  This year is going to be about self control for me.  No McDonalds, Wendys or Chick fil A.  I am really going to have to rely on the snacks that I carry to work with me. 

I'll say a prayer and get some sleep.  Oh my! 'sigh'

Quote of the Day

"Mom, one day when you get a lot of money can we have a feast?"
                                                                                         tired of rice and beans


It's early, well, kind of ... the kids are still sleeping so it is for me.   I got up and decided to read a bit and to warm up some of last night's dinner - beans and rice.  It is the best of diet foods. 

I fell asleep before them last night and found each set of twins asleep together when I got up in the middle of the night. I don't get it.  They don't even get along. They were all in the girl's room. The older twins weren't asleep; they were watching my Kindle.  The baby was, of course, in my bed sleeping horizontally so that I wouldn't dare get too comfortable. 

I am going to go ahead and prepare for the first week of school today and maybe do a skeleton outline of the year giving each week a title. 

I need to meditate also.  I have so much in front of me.  I need to make the decision that will move the children and me forward but I haven't been able to figure out how to do that.  Should I continue to apply to business schools?  Should I look for a program in creative writing - I would LOVE that!  Should I just go finish my masters in education.  That is my least favorite option but it ensures that I at some point my pay will go up.  I would be living for a paycheck though an I don't like that idea at all.  I want to write.  I have much to learn about writing.  I have ordered some books and will seek some expert advice as well. 

The center of what I want to do is sound.  I will need more formal education either to advance my personal growth - ideal or to ensure that I move forward professionally, that is, working with what I know.  There is less chance in it.

I am really anxious about my children attending the local middle school.  I will be THAT parent who drops everything and shows up ready to "show out".    The thing is that once a teacher accepts what he/she is dealing with he/she needs to create the environment in the classroom, in EVERY classroom and therefore in the entire school and they simply don't.  The environment is therefore not a safe one.  There is all of this talk about bullying.  The key is simply not allowing it.  We have horror stories and talk shows and people on the morning news.  Yeah, I guess there needs to be conversation but by the time it gets to my classroom it simply will not be.   I tell them on day one that I do not like mean people and I will make sure that I follow through and that there is a consequence for them.  Too many accept it as a natural part of children's (especially boy's) behavior.  And here my children have to go off to that madness.  I'm stressed.

My 6 year old just walked into the room and said "Excuse me Mom.  I think you need to sign Emïl and Zoë up for the Annoying Oranges"

Saturday, July 7, 2012

More High Art

  I am most impressed by the fact that my 6 year old draws us the same size.  It's really flattering - I feel huge these days.

Bella sin la bestia

  I am, aren't I!  Awesome, that is.  AND Gorgeous!!

My Tomato Plants are Sick

  Today I "pruned" my tomato plants.  They have some kind of bug that lives on the backs of the leaves and has tiny webs.    I cut off most of the affected leaves and sprayed the plants.  I hope it works.  


 My other tomato plant after the "trimming".  
  Mateo and I transplanted my pepper plants.  These are my Walmart rescue plants.  The top leaves are almost all new and they are about to blossom.

Friday, July 6, 2012

 I think this is Beto's work.  I have been going through my collection of children's art to "archive" here.   At the rate they produce it we will have to get a bigger home. 

Things to do TODAY!!

Today I will make a long dreaded dentist appointment.  I don't know why I dread it, I just do.  Last year I went to the dentist so many times.  I think going to the dentist reminds me that I have more work to be done than I have money to get done.  

I have so many little things to do today.  The temperature is supposed to be around 100 degrees. 

 I need to travel.  I need to wander through the unknown and come back changed, better.  There's something about that kind of isolation that makes you work harder to connect and allows you to easily separate when necessary.  I mean to travel to a place completely foreign.  Mind you, I haven't traveled to any place with extreme poverty.  

I  have decided to really focus this year on getting my children to a place where their growth is natural and they don't have so many external forces bringing them down.  For that, I need to move.  God help me.  Moving takes money...

Today I will:

-organize my papers
-find my calendar
-search for a doctor
-reschedule a missed appointment
-buy some potting soil
-look for a part-time job

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My worries

So my few minutes are gone, those are the few minutes after I get paid when I feel like I have some money.  I go to the grocery store and buy a few of the things we need and breathe a sigh of relief.  

THEN, I start looking at the bills that haven't been paid and a tension begins to build in the center of my chest.  

I will go look for a part-time job today.  I don't have a choice.  Between the summer doctor's appointments and preparations for the new year and the attempts to keep writing will just have to make time to work.  I thought a part time job at a shoe store might be therapeutic.  Not glamorous, just therapeutic.

I picked out a beautiful meditation bench for my patio.  It sits on my wish list where it will remain gathering dust until I can solve all of the problems that must precede it. 

I have to move.  I fear my son will be bullied where we live now if he attends the local middle school.  I was watching some boys at the local pool and they were so aggressive and inappropriate.  How do you teach a child to be a peacemaker and a problem solver when he is surrounded by aggression?  Necessity dictates that he too become agressive in order to protect himself.  And then what have you got - a thug.

In the aftermath of femenist movements I have always heard talk of how difficult it is to be a woman and all that we have suffered but as a mom I have a feeling of awe about what it takes to become a man, the kind the compliments a woman - if such a thing exists.  I can guide my daughters through childhood and adolescence and can see the moods coming and tell everyone to duck but my boys and middle school.  Oh God!   I have to change things.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Some-er, eh...

I feel good if I work out every day for at least an hour.  When I don't, I feel like I am carrying a beach ball in my shirt.  It kills my self esteem.  Today I decided to go to the pool.  I probably will not go back.  I was going with my kickboard to learn swimming form and to exercise.  They do not allow "flotation devices" in the pool.  I did a little exercise but then left.  I will do Zumba in a few minutes I will do Zumba cardio.

As I left the pool with my son the attendant came to sign us out and instead of looking at my face he looked at my belly.  He just kept looking at my belly.  I write this down so that I don't forget.  I will lose this belly this year.  I will do all that it takes. 

I hadn't done a real exercise in days but I simply have to be faithful to me, more faithful than anyone ever has been. 
These days I'm writing to write.  I write to pay attention.  ...I'm going to the pool.  Uglies be damned!
I hurt my back sleeping on a sofa the last few days and I have been up since 3am.  I am in so much pain.  It feels better with a heating pad and worse after a heating pad so I tried ice but that made the muscles in my back cramp.  Out of ibuprofen I took some other medicine but so far it has done nothing.  I did some reading and watched an episode of Doctor Who.  I guess I'll read some more.  I would love a cup of coffee but I haven't replaced the milk yet.  I googled back pain but nothing has worked so far. 'sigh'

Monday, July 2, 2012


I just hope we have electricity.  Camping out at Mom's has been fun for the kids.  Right now they are asleep across the floors and sofa.  Still tired... not used to sofa sleeping anymore.  There was a time when I liked sleeping on my sofa.

I make coffee and get bits of news, Spain won the EURO, something more is happening in Syria and still no one seems to be doing anything ... men in suits talking.  There is no sense of desperation.  I'm relieved that the coffee maker works.   I need to begin my first week of school preparations.  I will create a presentation "  They say not to speak in negatives, "Tell them what they should do, not what they should not do."  I will tell them what they will not do without consequence in my class."  The spin muddies the waters.  A student told me last year "You didn't ask us not to! incredulous to the fact that they were in trouble.  My response was that they are ALWAYS expected to exhibit common sense in my classroom.

Emil hurt himself on an exercise machine on Saturday... I hope he is feeling better this morning.  I have been debating taking him to Urgent Care but a Google search on the injury led me to believe that there is nothing they can really do but manage the pain and wait. 

I only exercise in the privacy of my own room.  It is still not very attractive.  I haven't exercised in days other than the usual belly tightening.

We need to re-implement austerity measures in our home.  I have got to get out of debt this year.  Delinquent debt anyway.  I will be making tiny payments but they will still make ME feel better.  I will just add them to my cycle of "robbing Peter to pay Paul".   I have even considered getting a weekend job to solely devote to bill payment, the difficulty is that I have to make sure that I am still the best mother I can be.  Right now I am brainstorming.

Let me check to see if my power is back on yet.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Well, were camping out at my Mom's because we have no electricity and that means no air conditioning.  I am personally not a big fan of it but with the way houses are constructed here or specifically the way my apartment is constructed, during this part of the year I have to have air.  There is no way to create a draft.  I am sure that the air is thick and stagnant.