Monday, April 28, 2008

Battle of the Flowers Parade

Last Friday, in San Antonio, we celebrated the Battle of the Flowers. Every April, there is a Battle of the Flowers parade in memory of the fallen heroes at the Alamo and to commemorate the victory at the Battle of San Jacinto. The kids had the day off of school for the celebration. I took my two oldest boys to the parade. Here are some of our favorites:

Luckily, it was overcast and it didn't get too hot. It was crowded, but we had decent seats-three rows up from the street. We had a lot of fun.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wacky, Wild Seven

Well, Josi Kilpack, Stacy Gooch Anderson, and Janet Kay Jensen all tagged me for this 7 Things Tag, so I have to tell you 7 wild & wacky things about me. I just did my 100th post and posted 100 things about me, so it was hard to come up with 7 more, but here they are. I'm not sure how wild & wacky they are.

1. I once took a class at BYU and had Patti Edwards (BYU Football coach, Lavell Edward's wife) in my class. She was such a cute woman. It was the best class offered at BYU- African American Experience in America.

2. I screw up really easy recipes. I once messed up cookies that someone gave me a mix and all I had to do was add eggs & butter. Well, I messed it up. I've also screwed up rice krispy treats. Really. No one would eat them. If it isn't in a tub and all I have to do is scoop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet, chances are I won't make it. My poor 6 year old has been asking for those chocolate, peanut butter squares he had at someone's baptism like a year ago. I keep telling him I'll make them for him because he loves them. Poor kid. One day, maybe...

3. I once pulled an overnighter at a Blackjack table and won about $800. That was a long time ago when I was young and stupid. Decades ago. Okay, just one decade. Don't judge me. I haven't been near a Blackjack table in a long time. I just told you 100 things about me, I couldn't think of any more, just the bad little ones. Stop judging me, I said. I can still feel you judging me.

4. I don't like to wear t-shirts. I only wear them to bed or running. Once in a while, I'll wear a t-shirt if everything else is dirty, and my kids will ask why I'm still in my pajamas. They hardly ever see me in t-shirts, except to bed.

5. After I graduated from BYU, I worked for this cool organization called Centro de La Familia in Salt Lake. I ran a foster care program by recruiting & training foster parents and placing children in their homes. I loved that job. I hated the commute from Ogden every day. My husband was going to Weber State at the time. It was so sweet when we finally moved to Salt Lake and I was only 5 minutes away from work.

6. My husband and I went to a Lisa Loeb concert once. You know, she's the one that always wears the glasses. Well, during a quiet moment, my husband yelled out, "hey, take off your glasses, and she yelled back, "hey, take off your pants!" It was funny.

7. In college, my husband bought a motorcycle. It was orange, and we called it Orangina. I loved that thing. We would ride it everywhere. We once rode it to Idaho, about a 4 hour trip, and my bottom was hurting when we got there. We sold it when we moved to NJ and here in Texas, he bought a new one. We still love it, but hardly go for rides anymore. Can't fit car seats on it.

Here’s the rules:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are the people I'm tagging:




Danyelle F.



Tamra Norton

Friday, April 11, 2008

100th Post

This is my 100th post and as is the tradition, here are 100 things about me. Sorry it is so long.

  1. I was born in Guatemala and came to the U.S. when I was a few months old.
  2. I’ve lived in New Jersey (4 cities), Louisiana (New Orleans), Utah (3 cities), and Texas (2 cities).
  3. I had my ears pieced when I was a baby.
  4. I have one older sister.
  5. Both my parents were born in Guatemala. Most of their family members have now immigrated to the U.S., but there are still a few back home.
  6. I haven’t been back in over 25 years.
  7. I hated high school.
  8. I would have loved to be home schooled during high school, but it wasn’t such a big thing back then.
  9. I would never go to a high school reunion.
  10. I loved college. I still miss it sometimes.
  11. I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X in college. A great book. Best book ever. I highly recommend it.
  12. I was so obsessed with Malcolm X for a long time. I read all the books about him that I could get my hands on.
  13. I drew block letter X’s everywhere.
  14. I celebrated his birthday by sending cards with his picture on it to all my friends. Weird, I know.
  15. One summer, I made my parents take me to an upstate New York cemetery to look for Malcolm X’s grave. I didn’t find it.
  16. Someone stole my Malcolm X picture from my apartment. I have no idea where it went.
    I now have a new one.
  17. I still have my Malcolm X hat.
  18. I was big time into baseball when I was little.
  19. I loved the New York Mets and watched all their games.
  20. I still have my 1986 Gary Carter t-shirt to prove it. I still wear it too.
  21. When I went to BYU, I stopped watching baseball. I didn’t have a TV and you don’t get the Mets games in Provo.
  22. My husband loves the Yankees. Despite the rivalry between the teams, I started liking the Yankees too, mostly due to Derek Jeter.
  23. My husband proposed to me at a Salt Lake Buzz game. The proposal was on the scoreboard and the announcer asked the question over the loudspeaker.
  24. We planned our honeymoon around baseball games so we could watch a Mets and a Yankees game.
  25. I don’t watch baseball anymore. Sorry, honey.
  26. Kids and writing have taken over. No time for baseball.
  27. My husband still loves baseball.
  28. I can’t even tell you the name of one Mets player.
  29. In college, I was a big time NBA fan.
  30. I loved the Knicks in the old Patrick Ewing/ John Starks day.
  31. I even did Fantasy Basketball, and that was before the days of fantasy sports on the Internet.
  32. My husband and I used to figure out all the stats from the newspaper. (before kids)
  33. I was also a Minnesota Timberwolves fan in their early days, mostly due to Christian Laettner. I just found my Christian Laettner basketball card the other day.
  34. I don’t like the Utah Jazz and got a hard time when I lived in Utah. Why don’t I like the Jazz? Everyone would ask. Because I’m not from here!
  35. I went to a lot of Jazz games, but only to watch the teams we liked (and root against the Jazz).
  36. My husband was an intern for a sports radio station in Salt Lake and we got free tickets sometimes.
  37. Once I wore my Knicks hat to a promotion the radio station was doing. I don’t think they liked that. David Locke (if anyone remembers him) talked about it on the radio the next day—how the intern’s wife is a Knicks fan, and not a Jazz fan.
  38. It was tough when we went to see the Bulls and Jazz in the playoffs because I hate both teams, but hey the tickets were free.
  39. John Stockton once cut me off when making a right turn in front of me near the Delta Center.
  40. I don’t like the NBA anymore. (Kids and writing have taken precedence over sports)
  41. I can’t even tell you one player on the Knicks or the Timberwolves.
  42. I used to get excited for March Madness and filled out the sheets.
  43. I filled out a sheet this year, but didn’t even keep track of it.
  44. I didn’t even watch 2 minutes of March Madness this year. Sorry, honey.
  45. I’m not much of a sports fan anymore.
  46. My favorite shows ever are: Friends, The Office, Seinfeld. Funny!
  47. I went to Tom’s Restaurant in New York City, which provides the background for Seinfeld’s diner. They have awesome chocolate cake.
  48. I miss living in New Jersey because I miss going to New York City.
  49. New York City is the best place. I love the noise, the traffic, the smell, the amazing array of languages you hear when you walk down the street.
  50. I really want to take my kids there again one day soon.
  51. I love Jane Austen.
  52. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel and movie.
  53. I’m so bad at music. I tried taking piano, but I just don’t get it. I really wish I did because I would love to play an instrument or be able to sing.
  54. I don’t even know what ‘pitchy’ means or why sometimes people blow on those little things to find a note. I have no idea what that does for them. It makes no sense to me. I hope my kids don’t inherit my complete ignorance of music.
  55. I love to sing, but I know I’m horrible at it.
  56. I sang to my kids when they were babies and would tolerate it.
  57. I once lived in an old apartment on the third floor and you could hear through the floors. My downstairs neighbor once yelled up to me when I was signing my baby to sleep. She told me to stop singing because I was horrible at it. I didn’t like her. She was mean to her kid. I could always hear her yelling at him. I stopped singing for a while after that until we bought a house and no one could hear me anymore.
  58. I have 3 boys.
  59. Picking out names for them was tough because we wanted names that sounded the same in English and Spanish.
  60. We picked Omar, Diego, and Ruben. They are pronounced the same in both languages, with only a slightly different accent to each of them.
  61. I hate to cook.
  62. In college, my sister and I were roommates. We had a great agreement. She would cook and I would do the dishes.
  63. It worked really well until she went vegan and then she got married, and I was on my own.
  64. I have weird taste in movies. If it’s a bigtime blockbuster, I probably haven’t seen it. I’ve never seen any Lord of the Rings, Harry Potters, Shreks, National Treasure, (pretty much anything that grosses over 100 mil, except kid movies.)
  65. I was baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when I was 14 years old.
  66. I love serving in the Primary of our Church. I’m going on over 5 years now and hope to never stop.
  67. I love kids. Kids are awesome.
  68. I hate running, but I’m trying to do it 2-3 times a week with my 2 year old in a jogging stroller.
  69. I eat a Turkey and baby spinach sandwich on honey wheat bread almost every day.
  70. I was big into Bon Jovi growing up—old time Bon Jovi, not so much the new stuff. Jersey girl all the way.
  71. I have weird music taste; it’s really random. My favorites are (old) Bon Jovi, Lisa Loeb, and the Beatles. Throw in a little U2 & Madonna-her older stuff.
  72. I love chocolate chip cookies. (I happen to be eating them right now)
  73. My husband won a trivia contest on a sport radio station and won an all-expenses paid trip to watch BYU play in the Cotton Bowl. That was such an awesome trip (and totally free.)
  74. I have never bought myself a brand new movie DVD. I bought one from the clearance shelf of Hollywood Video once because it was $5, only $1 more than a rental. It was the LDS Pride & Prejudice.
  75. I love playing outside with my kids.
  76. I love making train tracks for my kids—wooden ones are my favorite, but Fisher Price’s GeoTrax is also a favorite at our house.
  77. I like playing Scrabble with my 8 year old.
  78. I’m very strict about the nighttime routine for my kids.
  79. We have story time almost every night.
  80. I’ve always wanted to go to France.
  81. I took 5+ years of French, but don’t speak it fluently.
  82. I’ve gotten stuck at a railroad crossing on purpose before. My kids have always loved trains and I would wait for the train to come and then get stuck so we could watch the train go by.
  83. I have naturally curly hair, which I really dislike, so I usually try to straighten it with a blow dryer.
  84. I love watching Charlie Brown videos with my kids. My favorite is the Thanksgiving one.
  85. At BYU, I used to sign up to be an usher at plays. So I got to see a lot of plays for free. I usually missed the first five minutes of each one, but hey it was free.
  86. My favorite Broadway play is Aida. Oh, what a great story and the soundtrack is amazing.
  87. When I was a teenager, I thought wearing glasses was so cool. I really wanted glasses.
  88. When I was 25, I actually needed glasses. I still think glasses are cool and I love to wear mine. I don’t like contact lenses.
  89. My husband and I first saw each other at a BYU men’s volleyball game and met later that night at a BYU dance.
  90. I’m obsessive about having my toenails painted all the time.
  91. Right now I am reading John Elder Robinson's Look Me In the Eye.
  92. I have a phobia of animals. I get scared of their rapid movements. I'm extremely scared of stray dogs and I just don't like cats in general.
  93. At BYU, there was a stray cat that used to sneak into our apartment. My roommates liked to play with it. I wouldn't touch it. When it sneaked into our apartment and they weren't home, I used to have to get my neighbor, Tami, to come get it out because I couldn't bring myself to even touch it.
  94. I love children's books. Before I had kids, I was so anxious to have kids just for the books. There are so many other great reasons to have kids besides the books, by the way. That's just a fun benefit.
  95. I watched way too much TV growing up. We don't have cable and we get a lot done. If I had cable, I could probably find something to watch every second. I think we stay without cable.
  96. I've tried gardening and would love to have a great big vegetable garden, but I found out I'm really bad at it. I'll be buying vegetables at the store for a long time.
  97. My 8 year old is so good with maps. He helps me find my way around town because I get lost a lot. He could tell you how to get almost anywhere in San Antonio.
  98. My 5 year old loves trains. Anytime we go see a movie or rent a DVD, his first question is: "Does it have a train?" Surprisingly, a lot of them do.
  99. My 2 year old is fabulous and fun. My favorite saying right now is when he tastes something delicious, he say: "Mmm. That's a good."
  100. I'm sorry this post is so long.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

1 Hour, 1 Coke, and 1 Thousand Words

I'm doing a Book In A Month Challenge this month. I don't expect to finish writing the entire book, but I have set a goal of writing 2,000 words each day, five days a week. I started this goal a little early on March 26 and had been doing pretty well with it. For 5 days straight, I hit my goal. Then, I stumbled a little on April 2. Now, the last three days, I have fallen short of my goal as well. 2,000 words is a lot, but I'm trying to achieve it most of the days.

Today, I want to get back on track. My parents were kind enough to invite the kids over to play this afternoon. We don't have cable at our house, and my parents do. So, once in a while, the kids like to go over and watch Nickelodeon. Today was a good day to indulge them in a little cable-watching.

I dropped them off, stopped at a convenient store to buy a 32 oz Coca Cola, and headed home to write. I was feeling really tired and the idea of a nap kind of crept into my head. To make that idea go away, I needed Coke. So, I had a little over an hour to write. I was able to finish up some writing from earlier in the day and totaled 1,000 words. It's now 9:15, and I have another 1,000 to write before I go to bed. I hope I make my goal for today.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys

I've always hated that saying-Boys Will Be Boys. I think it excuses a lot of behavior that is inappropriate. I only have one sister and did not have boys around growing up, so I'm a little clueless about boys' behavior. I do have 3 sons- ages 2, 5, and 8, but I still feel really clueless sometimes. I don't understand boy behavior and am struggling with knowing how much is okay.

I hate roughhousing and wrestling, but I know to a certain degree, that's just a part of typical boy behavior. So, I let it go a little, all the while cringing. Last night, the boys were really hyper and I was trying to let them have fun a little. I have to let it go a little, right? So, I just turned up the volume on my MP3 player and went to the kitchen to do the dishes.

My challenge is knowing how much of the hyper-roughhousing-climbing-on-each-other behavior to allow. I only allow a little for a short amount of time. Am I too uptight? Please, someone clue me in because sometimes I feel I am too uptight. I see other moms let it go a lot. When we're somewhere and kids are just wrestling, rolling around on the ground, I feel like I'm the only mom saying anything. Am I weird? How much of that is okay?

One Sunday, my son's so-called 'friend' pulled a chair under him in Primary. That's not funny to me. That's the kind of stuff that I hate, but some people say it's boys being boys. I also hate that whole grab someone's hand and make them hit themselves trick. That's lame! Am I the only one that thinks so? Also, I hate the whole pretend fighting thing or the arm twisting stuff boys do. There's a kid in my neighborhood that does that stuff to an extreme, and his parents don't say anything. They just watch and think, I don't know what... Maybe, 'he's so tough because he always wins' or 'boys will be boys.'

Like I said, I didn't grow up around boys so I'm not sure if that's the normal kind of thing you let go, knowing that they will mature one day. Or, is it the kind of thing you need to nip in the bud because it will become a defining part of their personality one day?

I would love to hear what everyone thinks. Am I too uptight? Do I need to lighten up?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Favorite Children's Books

I just found a new favorite children's book-- Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems. It's so cute. You have to check it out. Any parent whose child has a favorite stuffed animal that he/she cannot sleep without will understand.

This book is a sequel to Knuffle Bunny which I also love. My favorite part of these books is that the illustrations have photographic backgrounds. We discovered this book at our library's storytime. I take my 2 year old to bilingual storytime. It's so fun to hear her read the stories in Spanish. Mrs. Cindy, the librarian, is having her first baby soon, so bilingual storytime has been put on hold until May. I'm missing it.

I just love Mo Willems. His Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is also a favorite at our house. In another post, I'll write about my other favorite children's book author--Kevin Henkes.