‘Tis a Lonely 4th

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Happy Birthday, Amercka!!!

It’s the Fourth and while many people are out celebrating the freedoms that have been paid by the blood, sweat, and tears of our country’s soldiers; I stayed home…and sulked…and brooded…all the live long day.

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Where did I misplace my family???

Why be happy on a day where families get together and celebrate with food, drinks, merriment, and fireworks, when my little familia is no where to be found? Ok, I know where my family is. The kids are with their grandparents and the hubby is working his ass off to provide for us. Unfortunately, work put the man of the house out of state. So, it’s the little man of the house and one depressed mama. I know, I know many families/people go through this and I should be grateful that I get to see them sooner than most. True. This is just the first Fourth in 15 years where we are all separated. It’s either all of us or the kids and I or the hubby and I, but never just me. It has hit me really hard and I really miss them.

You see in my mind we would all be around our families. The kids wearing those patriotic colors of red, white, and blue waving sparklers and minute American flags. The table would be decked out with condiments, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, steaks, potato salad, and anything thing else you can think of. The tables decorated with some crafts the kids and I made. Oh and that unmistakable scent of charcoal passing by your nostrils with each passing of a warm breeze. Then to watch the fireworks show and watch the girls ooooh and aaaaaah, while the little one figures out how to react.

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One of the few holidays I picture like this.

That is just a fantasy in my mind for now. I must put my flights of fancy away because life dictated a different reality. It has been filed in my mind under the label “Someday” for when my fantasy becomes my reality.

Reflections of Mi Familia..

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Oh the quiet moments...

I love these moments. Those enjoyable parts of life in between all the chaos, routine, normalcy, and hardships that life can bring. It makes me happy knowing that all these little things that we do with our children lets them have good memories, lets them think of me as a good mami.

There are times when I doubt myself. Belle doesn’t get to play soccer or Mérida doesn’t get to go to a birthday party because we can’t afford a gift. I remind them that it’s OK. There will be other parties and other things to participate in school I keep telling them. I want them to have this wonderful childhood with friends, homework, milk and cookies, sleep overs…well you get the idea. That whole supermom standard I know I can’t live up to and I’m not even going to try. It doesn’t help the Belle is entering her teens and Mèrida is feeling lonely. Good news is, Belle still enjoys somethings with her sister.

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I loved this project!!!


One example is when we were making Gravity Falls ornaments for the Christmas tree. They were laughing and giggling while reenacting scenes from the show. They had so much fun and were so proud of their finished projects. I was able to help them out with their colors and take pictures. Though, I am still trying to understand Belle’s fascination with Minecraft. I just don’t get it. Sheesh, I must be getting old. Hopefully, I’ll be able to hang them next year as long as they don’t break.

Then there are the times when they are just perfectly happy with each other. Like when we went to Myrtle Beach. They were so happy looking for seashells and playing in the surf. I had Simba in the stroller thinking, “Why can’t they be like this all the time?” Of course, they didn’t like that I made them hug each other for 3 minutes after listening to them constantly argue about nothing. She took my spot. She’s breathing on me. She’s touching me. She’s looking over my shoulder watching me play my game. It was the last straw. Told them to put down their devices and start hugging. Mérida wasn’t happy, but Belle…she was mad. Which was then made worse when their grandmama took a picture. Hehehehe, wish I had THAT picture, but I prefer to keep the beach memory in my head and keep it there.

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Check out this cool seashell!!!

I’m loving this phase in Simba’s life also. He’s only 10 months old and I am amazed at what he can do in comparison to a few months ago. His personality just shows and I am in awe of how his face lights up when the light bulb goes off in his head. I love watching the hubby and the girls interact with him. They are all so tender with him and he reacts to their every laugh and smile. It’s just amazing. I’m enjoying it now that he is my last. I noticed that I am more patient then I was in my 20’s. Who knew 8 years would make all the difference in the world?

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Simba at 3 months

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Learning to be a tech addict.

The hubby has always been good with the kids and watching him with them makes me love him even more. He has such patience with them that I don’t have. I try, I really do. Words cannot describe how thankful I am that he is a good father. He bought the girls camping gear so they can camp in the back yard. He has gotten them devices so they are not behind when it comes to technology. Helps me out with keeping them on the straight and narrow when it comes to their grades. And he works his ass off to provide for them. Don’t worry. He’s not perfect and I am thankful for that also.

Only Fools Rush In…

And here I am, making some Puerto Rican food no one likes in the hopes that it comes close to what my mami makes. What’s on tonight’s Family Doesn’t Like menu? Arroz con habichuelas y bistec. Where is the man I love? Working very hard to provide for his family.

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And our story begins...

It was a hot and humid summer day in Atlanta. My classes started that Wednesday and I was really excited to begin this new phase in my life. The sounds of change sliding down the vending machine, chairs banging against the tables, murmured conversations, and the beeping of that damn microwave filled the walls of the eating area. The smell of microwavable popcorn, cheese fries, and chicken fingers lingered in the air like eau de teenage male parfum in the boys locker room.

I was the fresh meat and I sat alone at the rounded table, happily keeping to myself by writing letters to my friends back home. I guess I just have that “I’ll cut you” face. No one came near me, until someone did. Some brave soul dared to interrupt the flow of my words to paper. He was well dressed in light bluish button up with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, dark slacks, and black shoes. He balanced his chicken fingers in one hand while grabbing for a chair, turns to me and asks me politely,  “Excuse me. Is it alright if I sit there?” I nodded. He sat and began to inquire about the obvious things. Are you new? What’s your name? What’s your major? I asked him where the computer lab was. He walked me up a flight of stairs, we traded numbers, and began dating that Friday. We got pregnant in December of ’98 with Belle got married on June 19th the following year, and had the baby in September.

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Moving too fast??? *chuckles* Naaaaahhh

We’ve seen each other at our best and at our worst. I am so thankful that he is in my life. I’m glad that he is the more analytical of the both of us. It helps him keep me and my dreamy meanderings in check. I believe we compliment each other perfectly. I don’t want anyone else in my life but him. I feel stronger and better supported because of him. Who knew that that geeky, comic book loving, animé watching, kenpo styling young man was going to make such an impact in my life and in our children’s lives? I’m glad we decided to rushed in. Best decision I ever made.

Lost In Translation…

I grew up in a Puerto Rican household within the U.S. We had arroz con habichuelas, perníl, pasteles, along with tacos, hot dogs, hamburgers and everything that the good ole’ U.S. of A had to offer in the ways of food. We also spoke español. That’s all that was spoken in the house, amongst friends (dad was Army), and at church. We really didn’t begin to speak English until around 4-ish. Thanks to many, many, many episodes of Reading Rainbow, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, and Sesame Street, I am able to speak pretty good English without an accent and people wonder where the hell I’m from. I can’t really say the same for when I speak Spanish and unfortunately, I write Spanish sentences using the English sentence structure. I have been reprimanded by my daddy many a time because of it (and also for using double negatives).

Being bilingual has its advantages. Being bilingual, light-skinned, and blue-eyed has some real advantages. You can listen in on conversations and no one is even the wiser. Seriously, no one suspects me speaking any Spanish at all. Been asked if I was Greek (Greek, really?), but never Latina.

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Maaaaaaaaaay beeeeeeeee….

Anyways, another advantage is when I say full names and sentences in Spanish, I’m suddenly the drill sargeant that says, “JUMP!” and they say, “How high?” There are days when I do feel that I need to learn some angry sounding languages to keep this fun going (German or Russian anyone?) Supposedly, you will get hired faster if you are bilingual. Meh, don’t know really know how true that is when people tell you you don’t look “Latina” enough. Yeah…sorry, I don’t look like your ideal Latina/Hispanic chica, bitches. That’s another post all together.

Now, the one disadvantage that I always seem to run into is when I talk in English. The first time I encountered this was when I was 18. We were waiting to get measured for our cap and gown. I asked my friend about the toga. Yes, my friends, toga is what we use for cap and gown in Spanish…well, at least in Puerto Rico 3 years prior to that incident.

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You know you thought it.

Another bilingual snafu was when I told my daughters that they were “out in the street all day.” It made total sense to say this in my mind because my mother would say, “A estado todo el santo día en la calle.” Of course, I get that confused look from my girls as if I was speaking in some sort of alien language and they have yet to figure out how to communicate with me. Then when I try to explain, their beclouded looks become glazed and I’m forced to admit defeat by uttering, “Nevermind.” Always good to know that I can bore them with tales from my youth. It doesn’t matter that they may learn something from it. It’s just too damn boring for my 13 and 8 year old to process. So much for sharing my wisdom with them.

I also just realized that because of this language word cross over in my vocabulary, it has lead to some minor miscommunication between the hubby and I.

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Yep. It’s like that sometimes. The hubby is Tucker’s character and I’m Jackie Chan.

After 14 years, we figured out why we have this miscommunication about cups, mugs, and glasses. He would tell me to get him a cup of milk and I would bring it in a small glass. A cup of coffee was pour in a mug. A glass of tea was poured in a tall glass. He didn’t understand why I would pour him milk in a small glass when he asked for a cup. Finally, it dawned on me that one plus one doesn’t always equal two when you’re speaking more than one language.

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Aaaaahhhhh and there’s the rub.

So, after being together for almost 15 years, we finally understand where we are coming from. At least, when it comes to what drink goes where. I laugh at myself thinking how long it took us to get to this point.

I would love to read some of your issues about being bilingual or even trilingual.

Heeeeeeeeeeere’s Flaca!!!

Ok, so it doesn’t have that nice ring to it like when Ed McMahon used to say Johnny Carson’s name back in the day, but it’s me. I’m also old enough to remember that wacky guy that would babble about “champagne wishes and caviar dreams,” the Challenger disaster, when there was just the U.S.S.R., when Germany was divided East and West, the fall of the Berlin Wall, when there was no Euro (Deutsche Marks, Liras, and Francs…oh my) and Operation Desert Storm. Yeah, don’t let this face fool ya! I’m 33.

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Remember these two crazy kids???

What can I say about myself? I’m a Latina. Puerto Rican to be exact. We’re that island in The Caribbean on the right side of Hispañola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). So, if there are some Spanish words here and there…you know why. I’m artistic, love to eat, and love my family and friends. I constantly get confused for my children’s older sibling (I will appreciate it when I’m older). I love reading the news and just reading in general. I haven’t had much time for it because of some little somebody eating up my time. I love to crochet and draw. I mean really like to draw, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been inspired to do so. My hubby does also. Actually, we met in art school. Shiiiiiiitttt! This post isn’t about him. It’s about me!!!  Here’s my most recent stuff. Some was done with a Wacom tablet on Photoshop and the other in Draw Something.

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Damn it! Nobody likes me.

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I told you to get ME COFFEEEH!!!!!

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Somebody takes this game…

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…a little too seriously.

I love tv shows, movies, music, and animé.  I love watching the educational channels on cable (NatGeo anyone?) until they all became “reality” shows (TLC= The Learning Channel The Lacking Channel). I’m watching quite a few shows right now. Hannibal is really good with its dark tone and shots of him having dinner with or without guests. When he has guests over, you just want to scream a la Samuel L. Jackson, “No, motha f#%&!!! DON’T EAT THAT $#!+!!!!” Lol…I find that bit amusing. I don’t like girly, sappy movies (Sorry, The Notebook), love my vampires pre-Twilight, and am all for a good cut ’em up film. Unfortunately for me, these also become my visual lullabies after the kids go to sleep. If i try to watch anything past 9 pm, I’m out by 10 pm. I don’t remember finishing a lot of the episodes or movies that I’ve I started. Sad, but true. I’ve been to ONE animé convention when I was pregnant with Belle. Animé favorites? Well…Hajime No Ippo, Generator Gawl, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo. My current favorite is Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin).  I’m in a WTF part of the animé where there is one lone survivor and this kid is one cold biyatch.  No, I didn’t spoil anything for anyone.

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Channelization of Sweet Brown complete…

I’m sure there are bits and pieces that I’m missing. I AM quite the scatterbrain. My thoughts have become less cohesive with each child. Hope you enjoyed these little tid bits about me. Hasta la próxima…until next time!!!

Yo Homes, This My Crew. But Don’t Expect Shots of the Hubby

Let me introduce you to the actors in this theatrical masterpiece called my life. I named them after Disney characters and rightly so. It is 1) easy to remember. 2) They remind me of the characters I named them after. And 3) Hell, it’s just plain fun!!!

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Wanted: The Tremendous Trio

First is my oldest, Belle. She is very much her father’s mini me. When your in laws comment on how she reminds them of their son and your parents comment on how she doesn’t remind them of you, then you can blame everything on your better half, she’s very analytical, straight to the point, and thinks history is boring. Her book smarts and loving to read, she gets from me. If she can walk around with her nose stuck in a book (hey, like that Disney character), she would. She’s just entering her teen years. The hubby’s mindset with estrogen mixed with puberty. This should be interesting.

Next is my youngest, Mèrida. We Puerto Ricans have a saying, “Hijo eres. Madre serás.” Translation: You are a child now, but you will become a mother later. In other words, “You’re gonna get it when you have children!” That is Mèrida. All me. All the time. It makes me wonder if I was this dramtic as a child (For the record, I have already apologized to my parents years ago.) She loves to sing. You know that song Loving You by Minnie Ripperton. On my good days I would sing the high note (yeah, used to be able to reach that.) One day I sung it an octave lower and was joined by this adorable high-pitched, on key little cherub!!! I was like, “HOLY SHIT!” This little thing was about 18 months old and has been singing ever since. She’s makes up lyrics along with being able to know the melody after hearing the song a couple of times. How do you foster that kind of talent? Anyways, she’s also artsy, a bit girly, sensitive, spirited, and marches to the beat of her own drum (the last two are definitely like the newest Disney red-head). I love her to death, but her impatience gets on my nerves. I can’t blame that one on the hubby damn it…

Last, but not at all the least is Simba. He’s the youngest of my brood and is my Leo baby (Simba means lion in Swahili). Right now he’s at that “everything goes in my mouth” stage , so I have to keep everything off the floor. He’s a little prankster and takes his time (started contracting Wednesday, had him Tuesday.) With two older sisters, this one is gonna be spoiled and is going to have a difficult time dating. Can you imagine the scrutiny the girl dating my son will get from not just me, but also from his protective older siblings? THAT is going to be a riot. Since he’s my last, I want to enjoy his babyness for as long as possible. Lots and lots of pictures…

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The wonders of make up and a glowing pregnancy.

Then there’s me. The tired mami that I am. Hoping that I am raising these children right with my hubby by my side. You May get the rare glimpses of him, but don’t hold your breath.

And you get to read all about it on this piece of blogosphere real estate. Catch ya on the flip side…

Tis the Intro Yo…

Hey, this is Denise aka Flaca. Giving you a quick introduction while Belle, Mèrida, and Simba (not their real names) are all busy and dinner is cooking.

I’m married with 3 kids ages 13, 8, and 9 months. My hubby is sometimes described as the 4th child. You ladies out there understand.  Nothing like sharing hilarious stories about my tremendous trio and some things I’ve had to contend with with them being so far apart. Gotta go. Simba requires my presence.