Thursday, May 29, 2008

Today has been a mentally exhausting day.

To say the LEAST. For a few minutes today I DIED. I FREAKING DIED. MY HEART STOPPED, my life flashed before my eyes and the world as I knew it was over. What happened, you ask? Well thank you for asking, let me regale you with today's event.

We live in a stupid apartment complex with no place for the kids to play. I'm a paranoid mother thinking that everyone is out to steal my kids or harm them in some way, so I want them to play within my view. I allowed for them to ride their bikes on the sidewalk in front of our apartment. They rode for a while and then the two girls parked their bikes next to the window and came inside to play on the computer. I didn't see J come inside, maybe I was in the kitchen - I'm not sure. But when I didn't see his bike parked next to the others I figured he'd strayed behind the complex. I have specifically told him NOT to leave the front of the apartment, so I was gearing my mom-self to scold the little punk.

I walk outside with NO SHOES ON (I like being barefooted) and kinda rush around the complex trying to spot the kid. The concrete was freaking HOTT. With a double T. I didn't find him, so I panicked a little but came inside to put some shoes on and look for him on the other side. I went to the other side and didn't spot him either. At this point PANIC has set in full blast and my heart has stopped. I start walking back to the apartment when I spot his bike next to another apartment door. Being the paranoid mother that I am, I start SCREAMING out his name on top of my lungs - my throat still hurts - and banging on the door where his bike is. I'm so freaking hysterical I start banging on a couple of doors trying to see if my kid is in one of these places and ready to murder whoever lured him in. I'm running up and down the sidewalk screaming his name when a little voice of LOGIC told me to check inside the damn apartment.I came to the door and holler for him and he answers. He comes to the door and I've never been so happy to see the little punk. My heart starts working again and all these emotions surface and next thing I know I'm in tears. I tell the little punk to go get his bike from where he left it and plop myself down to recover.

One concerned neighbor asked what was going on and was about to go off looking for J when I FOUND him. Of course, I call DH to tell him of my HORRIFIC ordeal, and he only laughs. In retrospect, I did look like some kind of psycho by screaming and banging and running around like crazy. I feel bad for banging on people's doors like a maniac... I think I woke them up. Eeesh.

Kids want to ride their bikes again... I'm gonna go watch them like a hawk.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Because my kids are geniuses,

and the world must know this. The world must know this so it can be prepared - I'm just saying it'd behoove the world to know what's on its way. ANYWAY, Emma likes numbers a whole lot. She will open the phonebook and just start shouting numbers out. Check her out in action. And notice the cute little wiggle she does when she gets praise. LOL

Emma: Genius in the making from Peace in the Storm on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Summer? Who needs summer?!

Hell has unleashed it's fury upon my household. SCHOOL is officially over. Kids are officially fighting and I am OFFICIALLY losing my mind. *SIGH* How many days till school starts up again?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Even in the desert there are signs of life

Spring is here! Yep, sure is. But as a friend told me not too long ago, and I have since realized it's true, there are only TWO seasons in Arizona: winter and summer. I'm smack-dab in the middle of summer as the scorching 90+ degree temperature can attest. But even though it's too hot to be outside without LOADS of sunscreen for us humans, I can see plants thriving in this impossible weather and terrain. The skies are usually clear and a vibrant blue - and the sun is HOT HOT HOT!

Yep, spring... er, summer is here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tooth Fairy UPDATE and more...

Today I bought the Tooth Fairy a gift card for Subway as a way of saying "THANKS!" I included a note in the envelope and signed it, "Safe Flying - The Castillo Family." I thought it would be fun. I'm corny that way.

Today I also had my post-partum appointment, and lemme tell you I was livid by the time I got out. I asked DH to take the morning off so I could go sans kids. He obliged and I even left EARLY to make sure that I would get out of there early as well. In my brain, this makes sense: get there on time, leave there on time. ANYWAY, my appointment was at 9 a.m. - I got there at about 8:30 a.m. I wasn't seen until a few minutes before 10. I left at 10:15. Almost TWO HOURS of my time - GONE. Every single time WITHOUT fail this happens to me. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I hate this stupid doctor's office and once I get my birth control, I'm not going back. I'll go to the same family practitioner I take the kids to. STUPID PEOPLE - AAAARRRRGGGHHH! To top it off the doctor always seems to treat me like I'm an IDIOT. I know I'm young, I know I'm Mexican and I know I have a bunch of kids - but this does not give you the right to categorize me or label me as that of a stupid knocked-up statistic. I am a smart, educated woman that is not the least bit TRADITIONAL in how she runs her life. Saying, "Wow, you really did some research." in a condescending tone is very infuriating and only confirms that you think I'm stupid.

Okay, once those two hours of my life were WASTED. We all headed to J's school to catch his "performance." We got there in time, although with our monster stroller we had to stand in the back. I was able to sneak to the front and record a video of him singing - until this insanely tall girl blocked my view of him. Hmmphh. We also ate lunch together (cafeteria food - some was good some was BAD) and then off he went to play with his friends, DH went back to work, and the girls and I headed home.

I leave you with a video of my firstborn...

May 16, 2008 - 1st Grade Concert from Peace in the Storm on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

HOW TO: Spanish Rice

Ever since I have been married and having people over for dinner, I've always been asked to share my recipes. Problem is, I never really measured anything to be able to write a recipe. I learned to cook by looking on when mom cooked and used her "measurements" - a dash of this, a pinch of that, and so forth. I decided I'd waited long enough and set forth to make a recipe. I also decided to take step-by-step pictures... cause I totally suck at giving instructions. So here we go...

(Before we start, forgive my point-and-shoot pictures. It's the best I can do at this time.)

Ingredients: Rice, Oil, Chicken Bouillon
Garlic Powder, Ground Cumin, Tomato Sauce
Note: I use this specific brand of bouillon and it produces good rice.
I definitely recommend it and you can find it in the Latino/Ethnic food
section of any local Wal-Mart.
Also you can use fresh garlic instead of powder, I just use this because it's faster.

Add 2 TBS of oil to your hot pan.
Heat the oil a bit since it will help the process of browning move faster.

Add 1 CUP of rice to oil.

Coat the rice in the oil so that it can all brown evenly.

Keep stirring making sure your rice doesn't burn.
Once you get this golden brown color you are ready to move on to the next step.

Add 1/3 CUP of tomato sauce. Stir and coat rice evenly.

Add 3 cups of water to the rice.(I know I measured 2.5, but I didn't want to use the huge cup.)
Make sure to stir the rice just a TAD to break up any clumps of rice stuck together.

Add 1/2 TSP of Ground Cumin

Add 1/2 TSP of Garlic Powder

Add 2 TBS of Chicken Bouillon. Stir to distribute spices evenly.

Bring to a boil and then bring to a low heat. Cover and let simmer until all the liquid is absorbed or about 20 minutes. If you use a clear lid, it's easier to tell when all the liquid is gone. Let stand for 5 minutes after you've turned off the heat.



And you're DONE.
Your rice should "bloom" - you'll see that it splits and curls at the tips.
That's totally, okay - it's how it should be.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tell me this doesn't make you smile...

I dare you... go on... tell me it DOESN'T.

Dear Tooth Fairy,

So J lost a tooth last week. HIS FIRST EVER! Sadly, he swallowed it, so he only has a gap between his teeth to show for this great milestone. Since he had no tooth to put under his pillow, we encouraged him to write the Tooth Fairy a letter.

Dear Tooth Fairy,

I have a tooth and I know that it is out but I might have eaten it. please give me a prize thank you. Name Jesus Castillo

So, being the great (and exhausted) parents that we are, we completely forgot to snatch it during the night and put a "prize" in it's place. The following day, we reasoned with J that maybe he needed to put it in the MAILBOX (duh!) so that the tooth fairy could take it and deliver his "prize." Satisfied with our explanation (a.k.a excuse) he went out and put his letter in the p.o. box.

The following day DH called to REMIND me to go take out the letter from the p.o. box and in its place put a prize (pictures to follow). I ran out there AFTER the mail carrier had left and was surprised to see that his "letter" was no longer in our box. Now, he didn't drop it in the outgoing mail slot, or put it in an envelope or anything remotely close to MAILING it, so I was very surprised to see it was gone. I imagined the mail carrier would just ignore it and I would find it there... I was wrong, obviously. I pushed the thought aside and placed the prize in the box and went on my merry way.

When J got home from school I gave him the box keys and told him to see of the Tooth Fairy had replied. Internet, you could HEAR his excited shouting from across the complex, "MAMI! She did! She did! She got me a prize!" Points for us, after having failed terribly the day before.

This is MY response to HIS letter:

Dear Jesus,

I'm sorry to hear that you lost your baby tooth, but the good news is that you'll get a bigger and stronger one in its place. Soon you will see your new tooth grow. Thank you for writing to me and letting me know you might have swallowed it, I would not have known otherwise. Here is your prize for your tooth. I hope you like it and use it a lot. Remember to brush your teeth every day.
Tooth Fairy

So... all that has transpired and we're minding our business on Saturday. The kids are bored out of their mind so DH tells them to go check and see if we have any mail. Imagine our SURPRISE (really we were VERY surprised) when he says the Tooth Fairy wrote him another letter. Uh, ...what? Yep, the mailman/woman WROTE BACK and left a little prize for him (some "bouncy balls"). S/he signed it Tooth Fairy, INC. We didn't make a big deal of it for fear that it would DEBUNK the first letter. DH talked amongst ourselves for a while after that contemplating how to thank the mail carrier. It was a very thoughtful gesture, and one that not many would have done.

This is his/her letter:

Dear Jesus,
Thanks for the note. I hope your teeth are very important to you. You must take good care of them or they will go away - That means good brushing every and less candy --
Good brushing,
Tooth Fairy, INC.

I'll be thinking long and hard on what to get the mail carrier and how to approach him/her. DH I should put a package in our box addressed to TOOTH FAIRY, INC. This was so nice of the "Tooth Fairy" and something we didn't expect. So.... any suggestions?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Moment of Truth

Ya know how you get one of those moments... when things that were hazy before suddenly seem clear? Times when the big picture just comes together... when the last piece of the puzzle is in place? Well, DH had one of those moments last night. It was rather amusing.

He was holding Baby E, giving ME a much needed break from holding her. He was holding her different ways, trying to entertain her, trying to put her to sleep and mostly just trying to keep her happy and keep her from crying. He sat down for a few minutes since Baby E was content at the time when she had a sneezing fit. LOUD and EXPLOSIVE sneezes came from this tiny 10-plus pound creature. One sneeze after another, after another and with every sneeze her expression was even funnier than the last. Something about squeezing her tiny little eyes shut and just letting it go... anyway, after she was done DH looked PROUDLY at her and said, "Yep, this is my daughter." As if there was ever any doubt about that. One look at her and you can see the striking resemblance between father and daughter. I've always said that with each kid that's born they look more and more like DH - I guess now they are also being born with his sneezing ability. Who needs DNA tests when all you gotta do is hear your kid sneeze. That, my friends, is the moment of truth.