Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Random thoughts

Harry Potter (character)Image via Wikipedia

I haven't been here for over a week.

I've been busy with the kids and exercising once again. Not much, but I definitely have to loose some weight.

On Wednesday, baby boy and I went to watch Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We agreed we would do to the first show, as soon as it was released. We enjoyed it a lot.

The thing is that I am a BIG Harry Potter fan and was quite disappointed by the movie. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but the book is soooo good, that the movie didn't come close. They left so many things out, that to me, were really important. They made up things that needn't to be part of the story. What the hell was all that Borrow fire about?

Anyway, we went again with the girls and they decided that the trailer was much better than the movie.

On Thursday we drove to stay with my younger brother and his family for the weekend. We had a blast!

We were relaxed and did a million things, considering that we were with five children: my three kids - 8, 7 & 6 and his two babies - 3 years & 18 months old.

Our parents arrived Friday and we hanged out, went to Schlitterbaun, ate great food - courtesy of my bro and went swimming.

My brother and SIL invited baby boy to stay with them for a week and he was very excited to be the big boy and take care of his little cousins.

The girls, mom and I arrived home on Sunday night. We've been busy.

And today, my big girl woke up sick. It is horrible to see her feeling lousy, with fever. She began taking meds in the afternoon and I hope she gets better asap.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Me, the seasonal single mom

Supreme Summer SunsetImage by _setev via Flickr

I am very lucky to have been married for nearly 13 years.

As all marriages, we have had our good, our bad and our worst moments, but mainly it has been a great decision to share our lives with each other.

We got married believing firmly that we were meant to be with each other for the rest of our lives. We have tried to fulfill such believe.

Five years ago, we bought a second home in another Country. We bought it knowing that we would be spending here as much time as we could, giving our children the possibility to experience, first hand, the way of life of other people, to broaden their horizons, to learn a new language.

At the begining, it was very difficult for me to be with three children under the age of 4 by myself for long periods of time. My mom came and my dh tried to spend more time with us.

Now that our children are 8, 7 and 6 years old, things are easier for me as a mom. But it is begining to be difficult for me as a wife to see my husband come for a weekend every two weeks and leave again.

I know that he has to work hard. His job and his expertise at it, is what allows us to have the life style we have. I don't earn a penny, no matter if I teach or not, my salary is an embarrassment to all salaries. I know that his job is only possible in our Country and that is why he has to go back... but still, it is hard not to be with him.

Don't get me wrong, it is not only the intimacy thing here. When we are at home, he is dad and I am mom and we do our best to raise the kids. He goes to work early in the morning and comes back to have lunch with us and then gets back at night. I get up early, very early. Get the kids ready for school, drive them and then all the things we SAHM do. I also do my volunteer work at home. I go to pick up the kids, drive home for lunch, help them with their homework, oversee their computer time, their TV time, their Wii time, see they eat well, get them to bed and wait for my dh to arrive home.

While we are here though, things are different. We have a routine when dh is not here: we get up, eat breakfast, the kids help me with their beds and dirty laundry, drive the kids to daycamp, get back, get lunch started, do some housework, go pick the kids back, get home, have a late lunch - early dinner, see that they get a shower at least, watch some TV together, do some summer homework, go to bed.

When my husband comes home it is like Christmas in July: no routine, no order, no helping with house chores, unmade beds, eating outside, going very late to bed, toys everywhere.

It is not that I am complaining about the mess, I am grateful for the kids' mess. I am grateful that he comes for a weekend.

Still, this is not the way I like my life to be. I am a summer single mom and I don't like it at all. I want my family together, everyday.

I know we made this choice together, but it is hard not to be together.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, July 10, 2009

Life's firsts

Havana City sunset, view from Castillo del Morro.Image via Wikipedia

While taking a shower this morning, I began to remember some of my firsts in life. Those that made me who I am today and from what I have learned so much.

So I thought that I wanted to share some with you:

  • First time someone in my family died: I was 6 years old, it was my father's grandfather and I remember a lot about him.

  • First book: Little Women, between 6 and 7

  • First time I traveled by myself: I was 7. I went to Chicago to spend time with my dear aunt Mary and my dear uncle Dick.

  • First time I was crushed by death: At 11, when my dad's dad died.

  • First time I taught: I was 10 and I taught a ballet lesson to younger girls... That was fun!

  • First time I hated someone: I don't remember the exact age I was - maybe 5 or 6. My mom was crying into the phone, she was talking to her mom, who always made her cry. I hated my grandmother so much for hurting my mom I wanted to slap her hard.

  • First time I was kissed: I was 14, he was my first "boyfriend". He was the oldest brother of one of my friends. I was so confused by all my mixed emotions, that I broke up with him the next day.

  • First surgery: The one that I remember was when I had my wisdom teeth removed at 15. My first one was at 3 months old.

  • First time I fell in love: I was 15, he was 5 years older than me. I was head over heels for him. We broke up 5 years later.

  • First time I knew who I was: I was in Cuba for ballet training, I was 16 and I was on my own for 1.5 months. I learned so much about myself and the values I hold dear.

  • Text Color
  • First time I defied my parents: I was 20 and they grounded my baby brother. I decided to pay for his trip and take the consequences.

  • First time I failed a class: I was in 5th semester of Law School - 20 or 21 - and I failed "History of Medieval and Modern Law". I swore my parents would kick me out of the house, but instead, they just smiled and said "welcome to normality".

  • First time I was really proud of myself: when I presented my bar exam and defended my thesis.

  • First time I knew I had found the "one": I was 24 and my mom's mother died. My then boyfriend stood up by my side all the way. He helped me handle the horrible funeral arrangements for her.

  • First home: a tiny apartment dh and I lived in when first married.

  • First death I witnessed: My beloved dad's mom died and I was honored to be by her side.

  • First time I wanted to die: when my oldest son died.

  • First time I considered suicide: when my second daughter died.

  • First time I knew I would survive: It was late at night and I had an epiphany: I was the voice of those children that died before their time. If I wanted to see them again, I would have to be stronger and fulfill the mission I have on earth.

  • First book: I was 28. It is called "Introducción al estudio del Derecho Norteamericano"

  • First time I knew I would be happy again: When I held my son in my arms.

  • First time I reached out to others in grief: When I met Isabel through the internet.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Death in our lives

See also the page at the Finnish National Gall...Image via Wikipedia

One way or another, death is always there. Like a monster in the closet, a shadow on the corner of our room, like an unexpected visitor, like a dear friend.

Its presence is felt differently depending our own fears about our own death and that loved one we fear might die.

If we are OK with the reality of our own mortality, death will come easier than to those who fear it.

But death, ultimately, is about the death of others. The effect it will have upon us depends on our attachment to them.

We are so used to listen about death that we don't notice the times the "d" word reaches our ears. All news programs refer to death at least once. Tragedy is present in every corner of our world and with the easiness that media gets to the facts and the way it gets to us, it is more present than ever.

Sometimes, when we are with our friends and family, someone will relate that someone's friend, cousin, brother, sister, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, parent, wife, husband or child died. It might cause an impact on us, but not the same way someone we love died.

That love we have for one another is what changes our views on death. When it reaches OUR friend, cousin, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, grandparent, partner or child it devastates us in ways we never thought possible.

What matters in death, is the death of a person we love. It will break the relationship we have, the communication between us will get "disconnected", our life - as we knew it- will end.

Those of us who work with the bereaved, usually think about those left behind with death comes.

I can't fail to think - even to say a little prayer - for that parent, partner, child, relative or friend of that person that died.

Today, a dear friend of one of my cousins died. He was 39 and died of a massive heart attack. It has already made the news. But I just can think of those parents that have joined a club they never wanted to be a part of, of that young widow that is alone from now on to raise their children, of those children that will grow without the physical presence of their loving dad, of those friends that were so close to him, that will miss him dearly.

Tonight, my heart goes out to them and I just pray that they find the strength to find peace after the tragedy stroke hard.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The teadiousness of housework

An advertisement for a pneumatic vacuum cleane...Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever noticed that housework always goes amiss?

If you do it, no one will notice. But if you stop cleaning your house, just for one lousy day, everyone will realize how filthy it is.

Everyday the same list has to be crossed out: dishes, clothes, bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, dining room, living room, food, etc. Then, there is an extra list that pops out from time to time: windows, garage, closets, pantry, oven, fridge... You name it!

And we all have our own routine. I have tried different ways to do the same things everyday, but they are tedious, no matter how much I use a cleaner's new fragrance to change things a bit.

I think back to my mom's times. Those ladies used to have their houses clean, even though they didn't have the appliances we do have now. I grew up used to a clean house, a hot meal (three times a day), and washed and pressed clothes. I never thought of all the hard work my mom put into it, until I had to do it.

I haven't cleaned the house as I usually do. I have swipe and mopped the kitchen and the bathrooms. I have put the dishes into the dishwasher and taken them out promptly. I have loaded the washer and the dryer every day and then folded everyone's clothes after the buzz went off.

I haven't used the vacuum cleaner, cleaned the windows, tidy my kids' rooms or even attempted to press a single item of clothes.

I am on vacation and I am entitled to take a break!

I am also conscious that this is a break: I don't want my kids to get used to the dirty mess. I want them to learn to enjoy a clean, tidy environment so when they have their own place, they, at least, try to keep it as clean as possible. On the other hand : I cannot live permanently in the mess we are currently.

I am not a cleaning freak, I promise I am not. But I do believe that good habits begin early in life and somethings you just learn through your pores, and your nose.

Ah and one more tip before I forget: if someone does the cleaning for you, even once, please appreciate their hard work and say Thank You
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, July 3, 2009

Back to school

A 1581 reprint of the Digestorum from Justinia...Image via Wikipedia

No, not yet. We are only on our first week of summer holidays!

I accepted to return to high school as a teacher next month. I'll be teaching Law and Sociology to a bunch of teenage girls for a year.

I am so excited! The last time I taught Law in high school was 13 years ago.

The program has changed and I have a lot of homework to do. I brought with me my books and the new stuff the school gave me. I have to study Sociology again to be able to teach.

I am thinking of buying a planner and some cute stuff, but again, I'll be teaching high school, not elementary school.

I'll keep you posted on how things are going. Working with teens keep you young and I really enjoy sharing their senior year with them.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

My Sister's KeeperImage by lux2night via Flickr

Today in the morning, I finished reading My Sister´s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

I bought this book yesterday, hoping to have an interesting story line while the kids swim all day long. I never thought I would be taking a wonderful plunge into a magnetic story.

Honestly, it took me awhile to understand her writing style. I had trouble understanding that the story was being told from the characters' point of view. Once I got hold of it, I was caught.

The ending is great and sooooo unexpected.

As you can imagine, I slept very little. I just couldn't put the book down.

Thanks Ms. Picoult for an intriguing, well written novel!

Now, I have to go to the bookstore and buy a new one.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]