Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Creamies

One word: addicted.

Um...while we were in Utah, mi familia consumed 74 of these babies in 5 days. By the time we returned to Arizona, we had an unquenchable hankerin' for more. I took a quick trip over to Walmart to purchase a family-sized box, but that turned out to be a no-can-do-Shamu. The next day I went to Costco, and they only had Skinny Cows. Bluck.

Today I called the Creamie headquarters and asked them to direct me to the closest Creamie fix, and they said, "You'll have to drive back to Utah!"

They don't carry them in Arizona!!! Can you believe this situation? Dire. Dire. Dire. That's why I'm asking you to demand that Fry's fill their freezers with Creamies. Talk to the manager and tell them you know a gal who needs them in a BIG way.

Banana is my favorite flavor; what's yours?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Falsies

This morning I told mi Amor that my New Year's resolution is to become more selfish. He said, "You'd better check yourself, before you wreck yourself." I said, "Too late. Damage done." (J/K)

My REAL new year's resolution is to play the piano like Beethoven by year's end. OK, I will be happy if I can make it through 20 songs from the primary Children's Songbook. Last night during FHE I even tried accompanying my homies in singing "Families Can Be Together Forever." I made it through the first three measures, but then one of my homies said, "It sounds better with just our voices only." The truth hurts like stubbing a toe a 3 A.M. in the morning. (That happened to me this morning on my way to the ladies' room, FYI.)

Did you know that I ask mi Amor for another baby everyday? I think about having another one about 500 times a day. I think I have a disorder. Why would I want a baby anyway? My eggs are way too OLD, old, Old...We used to tell my littlest brother that he was an old egg, just to get under his skin. But mi madre always says she couldn't imagine life without him, me either. What if I have an old egg waiting in heaven for me?

P.S. I just got false eyelashes put on, and that bit of news was the REAL reason for this post. Mi Amor says he loves them, and that little compliment only encourages me to keep them on for the rest of my life. If I see you in the meat department at Bashas' today, I will flutter my lashes for you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Update

I've missed you so...

This year for Halloween I bought myself a costume and dressed up like a sailor gal. Someone at the ward party said that I was wearing a kid's costume, and I told them not to worry about it and that the church is still true. Then I asked if they wanted a bite of the diarrhea chili I was eating, and they said no thanks. (It was the chili I made, so I could say that.)

My homies were elated that I showed some Halloween spirit, so I think I'll make it a tradition to dress up every year, even if the costume happens to be child-sized.

In other news...My homegurl is trying out for cheer, and I'm bit-my-fingernails-to-the-nub nervous about it. I already contacted the school cheer coach and offered to be her assistant. She hasn't e-mailed me back--embarrassing, I know. It was presumptuous of me since my homgurl hasn't even made the squad. I think I have ants in my pants, and this may be my biggest flaw.

Actually, I have a bigger flaw, namely impulsiveness. That's why there's this picture of me doing the splits on the tractor. What is wrong with me?


I hope you have a good day tomorrow. I will be subbing in math at the jr. high. I'm going to tell the kids that if they're good, I will sing them a solo. Lady Gaga, MJ, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, I can do them all:)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mrs. Suzuki

I subbed in the same 4th grade class for three days in a row. By day three, I may have lost my cool a few times (maybe 10 times more than a few, to be honest). While I was explaining to the students how to form a strong hypothesis, from the corner front of the room, Big Frank (BF) stood up from his chair and began switching off and on the photo projector I was using to explain that day's science experiment.

Prior to this, BF had caused me some major grief. He threw paper balls at his study partner's head, "accidentally" slapped a half-blind boy on the knee, and disrupted my lectures with his nonsensical remarks. In my heart, though, I kind of loved Frank. I loved him because I knew he's the kind of boy who needed the extra love.

But my love is not patient, and so, I stopped my lecture and loudly clapped my hands three times. Then I said, "Outta here, Frank!" pointing to the classroom door. He immediately burst into hysteria, slammed his rear in his seat, and began sobbing with his head buried in the palms of his hands. The whole class waited in silence as I walked over to BF and said, "It breaks my heart to send you away, but you have shown disrespect to me, and to this entire class."

OK, you're going to hate me for what I did next.

I continued, "BF, I'm going to give you one more chance. (One more chance! Can you believe I gave him another chance?) "Will you show respect for me and the rest of the class?"

"Yes," he said, wiping his booger nose.

Do you think BF was good for the rest of class? No, he wasn't, FYI. But sometimes, when you're at the end of your rope, another student will rescue you by leaving a little note on your desk. The above mentioned pep talk is what got me through my last three hours with BF. My favorite sentence in the note is, "She was able to deal with us telling her what to do again and again." It's true. They helped me again and again, and I tried to do it all the right way.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Subbing Like a Crazy Lady

As the title of this post suggests, I've been subbing a lot lately. A LOT. Too much, I think. Did I mention substitute teaching is like reliving my first day on the job, from you know where, over and over again?

I just wish I were better with getting the sub key to unlock the door to the bathroom, the door to the classroom, and the door to the insane asylum, because behind that last door is where I might end up tomorrow afternoon. Pray for me.

P.S. I really love teaching Special Education. It's my favorite so far, and I'm thinking of getting my Master's in that area instead of Language Arts.

My least favorite class to teach: 6th graders. If I hear the girls gush about Justin Bieber one more time, I might lose it. Is he even a boy?


Monday, September 13, 2010

Work It, Girl!



So...my homegurl is running for Choir Council today, and I'm here praying my brains out that she doesn't botch her speech (so nerve wracking). I had her bring Edward and Jacob along for a little help, just in case there was any question who should be this year's choir president/party planner. Here's the speech she wrote, and I think it's pretty respectable, if I do say so myself.

Hi, my name is Hannah, and I am running for this year’s Choir Council. Some of you may have seen the movie Eclipse. You may be Team Edward, and some of you may be team Jacob, but the only team I am on is Team Greenfield Junior High School Choir! I want to be in Choir Council for these three reasons:

1. I love to plan fun activities! As a member of the Choir Council, I will help plan parties that will be memorable and a blast for everyone!

2. I love working with other people. When you work together as a team, better and more creative ideas can be created.

3. But most importantly, I will work hard to make your year in choir the best one yet!

So remember to vote for me, and together we'll make this year ROCK!

P.S. She handed out Pop Rocks to seal the deal.

P.P.S. Go get your own Jacob and Edward for 97 cents at Last Chance in Phoenix.

Does Hannah's speech remind you of Summer's speech in Napoleon Dynamite? Just wondering.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Brunette Bombshell?


So, I went to the dark side--so Darth V. of me, I know. Here's the thing: I have a bald patch in the back of my head due to non-stop bleaching and years of Sun-In streaking. (Did you ever use Sun-In? Did you, huh? That's the WORST lightening product on earth, FYI, and 7th grade in the girls locker room was the last time I sprayed that junk in my hair.) Anyhoo, my hair dresser Kim J. told me that the only way I could get my locks looking like Angelina J's is by using a semi-permanent, non-peroxide hair color, hence, the darker shade of hair.

I like my new dark hair, but one of my homies hates it worse than no Sponge Bob on Sundays. He said, "I don't know you anymore; you're not even my mom." To this I replied, "I'm still your mom, even with this hair." Then he began crying, and I scooped him up and gave him a big smooch on his forehead. And then he said, "Now you're my mom again." Kisses solve everything, don't they?

P.S. Of course I can never have Photo Booth all to myself. As soon as I snapped the above picture, my homies crowded into my photo shoot and hogged all my glory. Payback is the worst.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Substitute Teacher


Yesterday I substitute taught the kids in room F-5, and I may have behaved like Miss Viola Swamp. By the end of the day I had a pulsating headache, and here are the reasons why:

1. All 15 boys in the class asked to go to the bathroom, multiple times. After 20 bathroom passes, I quit counting. I remember hearing somewhere that you can never say no. So, since it was my first time teaching, I didn't want to get fired for letting Anthony Clepper wet his pants. Next time I will reward kids who wait until the allotted bathroom break times. Cash prizes, maybe?

2. They peeled old scabs and then asked for Band-Aids to treat the fresh blood oozing from their miniature sores. 3 kids did this.

3. One student told me, and the rest of the class, a story about how his mom was screaming her head off at his dad for drinking too much the night before. Then ten other kids joined in with stories that had nothing to do with the properties of a rectangle. Next time I will bring my director's clapboard. Cut!

4. They used their rulers as light sabers, and while I was scouring for the grammar worksheets, they built the Empire State Building out of pink pearl erasers.

5. They told me the teacher keeps her math book in her desk, and when I looked in the desk,
they said, "Just kidding. It's not really there." I taught math sans the teacher's edition--very dangerous for an English major. Plus, I forgot to wear my dress shields, and all that math made me perspire from head to toe, and also in my underarms. I had armpit tacos until lunch.

6. At the end of the day one girl announced to the class that I was the best teacher they've ever had, and this bit of news brought a tear to my eye. I think I was exhausted by this point.

P.S. I split the zipper in my hand-me-down jeans while I was shimmying them on this morning. Not a good feeling.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fiasco #2

Yet another Facebook fiasco. I'm the one in the middle, in case you were even wondering. The yearbook department published this hideous picture in the yearbook, and when I got my copy, I covered the picture up with a KROQ sticker. I hated it and hoped I'd never have to look at it again. But as some of you may know, Facebook hunts you down like an angry ex-husband and makes you pay for all the stupid you've done. Cha-ching!

The girl on the left was my best friend (Do you love her hair? She'll never go bald like me. Back then I had to use all of my hair for my bangs, and I used to just stare at her curly locks and wonder what she had done in heaven to deserve all that hair.) Anyhoo, we were all nominated for Freshman Princess, and the girl in the red dress won. She was beautiful and very popular and nice and kind and all that kind of junk. And for your information, she is currently using this picture as her profile pic. She hates me, I think.

I borrowed my dress from a good friend and rented the cream lace jacket from a bridal store. Mi Madre and I searched all over Southern California, looking for something to modestfy my spaghetti strap dress. The jacket was a happy compromise since I was just fine with wearing the dress as-is.

P.S. My best friend wouldn't even need a jacket to cover up her shoulders. She could just use her hair as a shawl. Lucky.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mormon Boys

Next week mi Madre is heading to las montanas, so she can teach the young women in her stake to sing it like the Mo Tab (and Beyonce). She's the very best at getting the girls all revved up and musical, so that's why I told her that she had better teach her campers the song mentioned below (a Camp LoMia fav). Here's a video and the words, just in case you're like mi Madre, and you are in charge of teaching the young women to belt it like they mean it.

I like Mormon boys, and I cannot lie.

You other sisters can't deny.

When a boy walks in with his scriptures in his case

and a smile upon his face, you get a date!

A celestial mate.

But wait!

He's goin' on a mission, havin' you wishin'...you had a man,

Someone to hold your hand!

Deacons! What?

Teachers! What?

We don't like your features!

Your brothers are hot, and you are not!

So give us some righteous Priests! Huh!


P.S. The looks of disgust that my homegurl throws at me pierce me to the core. I had better enroll in some "How to Be Cooler" classes. She thinks my Vanilla Ice rappin' skills stink like beef and cheese. Or maybe it's just my whole personage that offends every bone in her body. The church is still true.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Date Night


Mi Amor and I were going to go to tonight's D-backs game. I was going to get all gussied up in my D-backs gear and woo him all the way to the stadium with my fluttering eyelashes and D-backs foam finger. But as I stood, ironing our church clothes for tomorrow's 8 o'clock session of church (we're always 5 minutes late, no matter how much I prepare), this thought came into my brain: Go to the temple tonight, instead of the game. I went over to my phone and texted the following message:

Let's go to the temple--Pete's Fish and Chips instead of peanuts and Cracker Jacks?

Mi Amor said let's g-o, just like that.

Now I'm going to woo him all the way to the temple with my cactus cowboy shirt and denim coolots. Maybe I'll even rap and beatbox "I Love to See the Temple" on our walk up to the temple doors. Maybe not.

Monday, July 19, 2010

We're Off!

We're off to girls camp, and it's too bad my "Be Strong" T-shirt is covering up my bangin' biceps. They actually make me look manish, so I'm glad you don't have to barf your brains out at the sight of them. I packed my Gas-X and my scriptures, so everything should work out as planned. I will report back to you in a week.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Sabotage


So, I was hangin' outside in AZ's 115 degree heat stroke, and when I came back into the house, I walked right into the middle of my homegurl's MTV video production. I went ahead and cast myself as her leading lady. I need to get an agent. Seriously.

P.S. Please notice how I wipe my sweat-juice on the same towel I use to dry the dishes. Nice.

P.P.S. You're asking yourself why I allow my homegurl to listen to such a perverted song. A good mom steers her daughter's listening ears to the Mo Tab and Vivaldi. I will burn for the trash I allow into this home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beautiful


I inch my way north on Mesa Dr., repressing the urge to plow through the orange cones blocking an empty lane. If you're an AZ resident you know that the never ending road construction makes you want to jam a tranquilizer into your inner left thigh. But I usually say no to drugs (except for Ambien at girls camp), and treat my road rage with a natural dose of happy place distraction.

I look away from the red F-350 ahead of me, whose bumper sticker reads "God Bless John Wayne," whose driver I want to strangle for driving like a student driver, whose driver has, in the last two minutes, slammed on the brakes more times than the number of stars in the sky. Happy Place. Happy Place. I remind myself as I look to the east side of the street.

On the corner of Glade, a woman is standing small against the broiling sun, her onyx hair neatly coiled into a bun, which rests against the white rag hanging from her neck. I glance at my car's thermostat, 109 degrees. Then I look to the woman and watch her stretching to prune the top of her bougainvillea. One by one, the fuchsia blooms fall to the ground, quivering against the heat rising from the busy street.

The red truck ahead of me moves forward, and I follow it. Now I can see the backside of the woman and the rest of her yard. There's a sky blue Cadillac resting on cinder blocks, and oil smears across her driveway like black mascara after a good cry. The hay-like grass has grown barren from the heat, from years of neglect, from life. The woman and her bougainvillea are the only things thriving in this yard. Everything else rests six feet under.

The two of them look radiant together. She prunes, and the bougainvillea takes on a sleeker silhouette. Then I think: God will never let her bougainvillea die. Everything else may be dead in this woman's life, but not her bougainvillea. Like Moses and his burning bush, God talks to her while she prunes. And every time she looks at the flowers reaching upward, she's reminded that He is there, waiting for her to take in His love.

I look in my rear view mirror and all three of my homies are fast asleep, sweat beading on the tips of their noses, their heads resting on the next one's shoulder. Head shoulder. Head shoulder. The pattern repeats, forming a perfect row. We are still heading north on Mesa Dr. and a black Subaru has replaced the red truck. We're almost to 1st Ave when I'm startled by a loud "ding-dong." My heart is pounding as I remember, for the bazillionth time, that years ago my sister-in-law programmed the Mesa temple's location into the car's navigation system. Every time we pass the temple, we hear a resounding "ding-dong," and I always forget it's coming.

One of my homies awakens, and like a Pavlovian reaction he blurts, "The temple, Mom!" and I watch as his head slumps back against the headrest, his cherubic face relaxing as sleep escorts him back to his afternoon nap. "Yes," I say. "There's the temple," quietly thanking God for this beautiful life.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Facebook Anxiety

Facebook annihilates my self-esteem. It's taken years of daily affirmations to recover from my bad choices: claw bangs, orange skin, Boy George, and electric blue mascara. Like moths to a flame, the pictures come back to burn me (and Janet Jackson) for our wardrobe malfunctions. Does that simile even make sense?

In case you're wondering, I'm the one standing in fifth position, head tilted, ready to be crowned Miss USA. At least my orange hair matches my legs.

P.S. Please respect my white Keds.

P.P.S I still love you, Kara, even though you posting this picture forced me to make another appointment with my therapist.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Soakin' up the sun, even though it's 115*


I came home from Sunsplash (our local water park) with some bits of advise.

1. Think long and hard before you tattoo your lover's name on your chest. (Maybe skip the tattoo all together.)

Tattooing "Claire" above a crossed out "Veronica" brings shame to your love game. Declare your devotion for your main squeeze in a less permanent way. Putting her name on a T-shirt, or spelling out your love in red plastic cups, on the chain link fence on Lindsey Blvd., might be a better option?


2. A bikini will betray you like a philandering boyfriend

Sure, your yellow polka-dot bikini behaves while you're lounging poolside, but as soon as you step into the water for a swim, it will misbehave. While my homgurl and I were floating down the lazy river, a girl emerged from underneath the water sans bottoms. Let's just say: Full moon on Friday. Yikes. My advise is to stick with the monogamous, faithful one piece; it promises to stay and cover your ladybits, come water or sun.

3. Put down the book and swim

I'm the kind of mom who watches her kids swim from the comfort of a lounge chair. I don't like getting wet because the chlorine turns my hair into a green toupee. So instead, I enjoy the pool from a distance, periodically dipping my feet to cool off. But since it was a whooping 115* out today, I went swimming almost the entire time. My homies couldn't believe I was even in the water. They hung on my neck, whispered secrets in my ear, and raced me down the water slides. I need to worry less about my toupee and focus more on just livin' it up. Who cares what I look like, anyway?

P.S. I just snarfed an entire box of Goobers while writing this post. Muzzle, maybe?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Paying with Pennies

Today my homies and I went to the movies. I love going to the movies. Like Tom in The Glass Menagerie, I would go alone and often, if I could. But I'm dripping with babies right now, and so we go together, in a gaggle, and not quite as often as I would like.

We always buy popcorn. Always. Eating popcorn is the best part of the whole experience. Because if the movie stinks, the popcorn is always there to save the day, hot, buttery and so delish.

We layer our popcorn with mass amounts of butter flavoring, in the middle and on top. The butter flavoring, not to be confused with real butter, is probably worse for you than smoking cigs. I know this because I used to work at a movie theater. As we squirted butter on the popcorn, the flavoring would splatter all over the floor. Then we'd walk through it, and it would coat the bottoms of our shoes. Little by little potholes began growing in the soles of our Dr. Martins, and we'd complain about it to the candy counter crew manger. "It's the butter flavoring. It's like acid," he'd tell us.

But here I sit, writing you, not even caring that the butter flavoring from today's popcorn is now eating away at my stomach lining. I'm just grateful that I had enough cash to buy the popcorn in the first place. Somehow in all my unpacking from California, I misplaced my debit car. So when I went to pay for the popcorn, my heart sank at the realization that my card was still sitting somewhere at home. Luckily I had three dollars in cash, and that money placed me half-way to purchasing the large, refillable popcorn.

"Maybe we have enough change in the car to make up the difference," my homie said to me, as I began heading toward pandemonium.

"You're brilliant!" I told him as we ran out the theater doors.

I spilled out the change and noticed that all I had was a few nickles sprinkled amongst a bazillion pennies. But a movie isn't a movie without popcorn, so we counted out three hundred pennies and trucked them back into the theater, cupped in our hot, sweaty little hands.

We placed our mountain of pennies on the counter, and I said to the cashier, "This is so embarrassing, but I left my debit card at home, but we need a large popcorn, so here's three dollars in cash, and here's three hundred copper portraits of Abe Lincoln."

The cashier laughed and then asked me to sort my Vesuvius of pennies into groups of ten.

"I promise it's exact change." I said, hoping he'd just scoop up the mountain and call it even. But no, he insisted that I sort them all out. I kept messing up the groups of ten because I was so nervous. "I stink at math." I told the cashier. This bit of info. made no difference to the man.

But I did it. I counted all the change, grabbed my popcorn from the counter, and did a victory strut all the way back to theater 14. I gotz no shame about it, either.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

California Girls

OK, so I admit this is my wannabe attempt at being glamorous, but from this picture you can gather where we're headed: California. I will take lots of pictures and report back to you in a week.

This morning I did a boogie dance-jig for my homies, because I'm that excited. There's nothing like revisiting my homeland, where the girls are "unforgettable" (not to diss the girls living in good ol' AZ). That's what Katy Perry sings in her new hit single "California Girls," anyway. Not that I listen to her trampola music or anything. But I do have one question: Does she or does she not sing the catchiest tunes in the west? And don't they get stuck in your head for days, whether you want them there or not?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Living in the Moment

We've got D-backs spirit!

I pestered the guy next to me all night. I asked him who his favorite player was, if my homies were buggin' him, if he wanted to be best friends and whatnot. Do you see him trying to ignore my ridiculously self-indulgent behavior? I thinks he's peeking at me out of the corner of his eye. Crazy is hard to ignore.
There isn't an uglier picture on the planet. Just look at my neck meat--so disgust. Can you even stand looking at it? Right after Mi Amor snapped the picture, I knew it would go down in Suzuki family picture history. We've looked at the picture a hundred times since, and every time we look at it, we roar and scream about how crazy I look. It never gets old, so I just had to show it to you.

If you can't read my lips, I'm cheering along with the famous baseball game chant, "Da da da dunt da da, charge!" Of course I'm hamming things up a bit, but can I just tell you this is the best night I've had since my high school graduation?

I'm not one for letting go of it all. I'd rather worry about the bills, laundry, church callings, and the serial killer living next door. My want to worry 24/7 makes falling in love with a particular moment or experience very difficult. But on this night, I did it. I lived in the moment. I enjoyed every minute of the baseball game. We danced so much, we even made it onto the big-screen TV. The whole stadium got to see our moves.

We even stayed for the fireworks.

P.S. I think I'm balding.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

School's Out for Summer

Mi Madre would not approve (remember how she loves whole grains and healthy), but it's time to celebrate! School's out for summer, and I'm loving every minute of it (except for the five hundred fights my homies had yesterday). But we've gotten into a rhythm of sorts, and that's why I kicked off our three month long party with this bucket of cheese balls. I also loaded my Costco cart with other junk, like Carr's Lemon Ginger Cremes and ice cream sandwiches. Have you tried the cookies, though? I've already eaten through a sleeve and a half, and it hasn't even been 24 hours since I purchased them. Sick. And. Wrong.

P.S. My 5 year-old can fit his head through the container's opening. Impressive.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kai Razor


Once a week my homgurl and I cuddle on the couch and watch a new episode of TLC's hit TV show, "Toddlers and Tiaras." Have you heard of it? Does the TV show disgust you, huh? Do you become shelled-shocked as you watch the moms transform their sweet little girls into miniature tramps, all in hopes of winning a small wad of cash and becoming Miss Grand Supreme of Who Knows What?

A good mom encourages her daughter to watch wholesome classics like Anne of Green Gables and The Sound of Music. But, no, my homegurl is stuck with a mom who has a macabre sense of humor, and so, instead, we watch shows where parachuters fall from the sky with faulty chutes and moms turn their sweet angels into Britney Spear look-a-likes.

If you want to see an outrageous clip from the show, click here. My kids can do a perfect impression of Makenzie (the girl in the clip), and it's just so sick and wrong and hilarious, all at the same time. They go around the house saying, in a perfect southern accent, "You are driving me nuts!" We all laugh and say how crazy she is and how crazy we are for wasting our time on a show that exploits children.

The show has one redeeming characteristic, though: beauty tips. One mom used a Kai razor to contour her daughter's eyebrows. It was very humane of her mom, since waxing the eyebrows of a five year-old could be considered a form of physical abuse. Within six strokes of her magic wand, the mom had perfectly shaped the girl's eyebrows. I was jeal to my core, because waxing makes me bleed, so I immediately popped up from the couch and ordered some magic wands from Amazon.com. I just knew it was the answer to eliminating the baby caterpillar that's living on my upper lip.

It's been two days since I clipped the critter, and my lip looks great. I don't have a five o'clock shadow. And you know what else? Shaving doesn't make your hair come in thicker; that's an old wives' tale. So if you want a painless way to get rid of any unwanted hair, Kai razors are for you, me, Miss V., and the sick moms on "Toddlers and Tiaras."

P.S. I lost my spray tan in the lazy river.

Monday, May 24, 2010

White House

Did you know the month of May is when we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage? Neither did I! Well, President Obama and his homies invited mi Amor to attend an annual reception at the White House in efforts to commemorate the arrival of Japanese immigrants in America, and to honor the many Chinese workers who labored to complete the transcontinental railroad.

Mi Amor was shocked when someone from the White House called and extended to him a personal invitation. He felt honored to attend, and he said the President's speech was eloquent. In his words, "The whole experience was surreal!" Here's President Obama addressing the group. I think he's wishing he were as handsome as mi Amor.



Who gets invited to the White House? I'll tell you who: MI AMOR. He's that awesome. Maybe he should be the one who plugs the gallons of oil that are spilling into the ocean.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Temple, Conditioner, and Dance

We went to the Gila Temple Dedication, and it was the best in the west. Several years ago, we attended the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple (so historic), and I can't remember a single bit of the dedicatory service. I may be getting Alzheimer's, and I'm not joking.

Anyway, today, when President Monson came out of the temple and made his way to mortar the cornerstone into the temple, he turned toward the children and wiggled his ears. We all started laughing at his candor, and then I leaned over to my homie and whispered, "You can do that, too. Maybe one day you'll be the prophet." He wiggled his ears and smiled. Then I smooched his cheek.
Could my hair look any more like a scarecrow's? Yikes! Someone needs to deep condition her mop, like, asap. Plus, I look manish. I think I see a stache shadow on my upper lip.

I was driving while doing this photo shoot. (I'm my own paparazzi, you know.) Driving while posing is dangerous, and then I went home and slammed a Diet DP. Should I tell the bishop?
She brings tears to my eyes. I lied when I said she's not dancing anymore. She's still taking one class, just in case soccer doesn't work out. (Let's pray she sees the light.) I got her all dressed up for her recital pictures, and I said, "Are you sure your dreams don't include dancing for the rest of your life?" She rolled her eyes at me, and I don't blame her for it. What will she do with this nag-hag who won't let it go?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cha-Cha-Cha Changes

Before I sent my homgurl off to school today, I gave her a little pep talk about the "changes" video she will be watching in class today. You remember the video, right? The one about periods, reproduction, and the endless battle of unwanted hair. Bluck!

I told her I couldn't wait to be in 6th grade so I could see that video (what a perve, I know). I remember watching the 6th grade girls slipping out of the library after watching "that" video. They seemed taller and wiser as the group of them huddled under a tree to talk and giggle about their new and enlighten minds. They looked as if they had just unlocked the secrets to life's greatest mystery: boys. What I would have given to be under that tree, to be a big 6th grader.

I told Hannah when I finally had my chance to see it, I was totally disappointed. "It didn't teach me how to get a boyfriend or kiss or anything good at all," I told her. "It was informative, very clinical, common information, stuff I already knew about my body." Then I told her, "Don't be weird about it. All you need to know is that your body is beautiful, be glad you're not a boy, and periods are a drag and a hassle."

"Please, Mom, just stop!" she said as she walked out the door. "I can't wait to hear all about it," I called after her. "Take notes, please!"

I'm demented, I think.

The only change in my life is this new bedspread pictured above. Do you love it? 30 bucks at Target.

P.S. Please note the bed at the bottom, right hand corner of the picture. Some things never change. Like having your scaredy-cat kids sleeping next to you when they hear things that go bump in the night. That will change, though, and then I will miss it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Dear Hannah,

Do you hate me? Can you blame me?

Her beautiful stories made me laugh and cry, and I couldn't stop reading her insightful perspectives on life. Afterall, she's only twelve, but she writes like she's a mature eighteen. I was never as good as she. Never. And I can't believe she's mine.

P.S. Did I mention she's helped herself to my diary? I think we're even now, but I do realize that my eye-for-an-eye rational is deadly. I won't read her journal again. promise. Plus, this isn't her "real" journal.

P.P.S Did I mention that Mi Amor was invited to the White House? For reals. More about that next week.

**She just got home and said, "Moms are never to read their daughters' diaries, but I don't mind if you read mine. Just ask first."

Monday, May 17, 2010

Keepin' It Real In Gila


On Saturday we packed the bus and rode to the Gila Valley Temple open house. It was the first time my homegurl had seen a temple in its entirety, and I couldn't wait to watch her reactions to the temple's breathtaking craftsmanship: the furniture, the 9 foot solid Maple doors, the stained glass, the gold leaf trimmed ceilings, the life-size paintings of the Savior's ministry, the Bride's Room. I wanted her to see the Bride's Room.

More than anything, though, I wanted to stand with her between the mirrors that hang in the Sealing Room. I wanted to whisper in her ear how our love and friendship will go on for eternity, just like our reflection in the mirrors. We were meant to be, she and I. I wanted to tell her to find a man as good as her dad. Someone who will hold her high when she is low. A man who will sustain her divinity and amplify her very best qualities.

But I said none of these things.

She's at an age where my sentimental talk makes her feel squirmy, awkward, even queasy. When I actually muster the courage to tell her what is in my heart, she curls her lip and says, "Stop, Mom.  You're acting weird." Since I didn't want my mothering chatter to ruin our moments in the temple, I settled for trailing behind her.  I carefully reached up and grabbed her ponytailed hair and began twirling it round and round my wrist, and I vowed to not let go until we finished our procession through the Bride's Room and Ceiling Room.

"Look at the crystal chandeliers, Mom," she said in a whisper as we enter the Celestial Room, turning her head just enough for me to read her lips.

"They're stunning." I said immediately, wanting to say something more, wanting her to pinky promise me that she'll go to the temple someday.

As though she could read the thoughts in my mind, she quickly whipped her ponytail out of my hand. With a toss of her head and two quick steps forward, she was standing with her friends underneath the Celestial Room's chandeliers; I watched as they gathered and whispered; their faces outshining the twinkling facets that caught the lights above our heads. My impulse was to join her group of friends and tell them all the things I wanted to tell Hannah.  Instead,  I relinquished my thoughts and saved them for a more appropriate moment, for a time when she's older and wiser.

As we exited the temple, I quickly asked if she'd take a picture with me. She is gracious enough to let me have a few minutes of her time. (Seriously, moms can be such a drag.) We ask Brother Walker to take our picture, and he says, while adjusting the camera lens, "It doesn't get better: A girl and her mom at the temple together." I sucked in my want to cry, because crying in front of your teenage daughter is totally awk sauce-- Just say no to your emotions. Instead, I pulled her in close and waited for the click. 

As we walked back to the bus, I began twirling her ponytail round and round my wrist again. "I love you, Hannah," I said. "You're as good as they come." She smiled, "I love you too, Mom."

She tiled forward, pulling her hair from my hand. "I'm going to go find Grace now, but I'm glad we came to the temple together." "Me too," I say, taking another picture of her sweet face with my heart.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Love

The other morning I received this e-mail from a classmate. She wrote:

I'm not going to be in class on Monday and possibly Wednesday. My Ava passed away sometime last week and I had to go into labor to deliver her. She was born around 4:30pm Saturday afternoon...She was a beautiful 3.5 pounds girl. The doctor said Ava's umbilical cord was wrapped so tightly around itself that her nutrients and oxygen got cut off. Apparently, this had a 1/1000 chance of occurring. Maybe I should start playing the lottery...

I'm sure those of you that have kids do this often, but hug and kiss them all again.

"Hug and kiss them all again." Her words continuously march through my mind like an endless parade. While I'm tucking my kids in at night, I hear them. While I'm watching them play in the pool, I hear them again. As I'm listening to their chatter and play at the homework table, my words begin to trumpet along with my mind's parade, "I love you like crazy!" I say it out loud, wanting desperately to brand their hearts with my love.

"Hug and kiss them, Katy." I hear the words, as I sit here typing, and I will hear them again while I'm putting clothes away in their chest of drawers.

When they come home, I will wrap my arms around them, just as I did the day before. Each day, another layer of love comes to rest upon what can never be taken away. Our love.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jewels



I've listened to Jewels' (Julie B. Beck) conference talk about fifty times. (I call her that because we're sorta like bffs, in a way.) Here's my favorite thought from her talk:

"A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently."

Just last night I said to mi Amor, "I will avoid taking night classes at ASU; they mess up our family's groove. I will go to school when the kids are in school. That's my new rule." "Agreed," he said, cautiously.

He's always careful when agreeing with me, just in case I've set a trap. Like the time I said, in front of our friends, "Isn't my peach cobbler the best you've ever had?" and he said, "I've had better." He dwelt in a tent that night. But soon after, he quickly learned how to calculate his responses to my questions based on the tone in my voice. His responses are accurate about 95 percent of the time. The other 5 percent, well, you know where he has to go. T-E-N-T City.

As the thoughts from Jewels' talk sink deeper and deeper into my heart, I've come to this: I'm in my parenting prime, chicas, and I need to make sure my aspirations coincide with raising up my homies in the best possible way. Even though I'm a 4.0 (yes, I did just say 4.0) student, night school made our fhe, scripture time, and our family prayers spotty at best. And spotty isn't good enough. Spotty at ASU equals a C--a 2.0 GPA. These homies need routines that are constant and predictable, consistency that merits a 4.0. I'm working on getting that GPA up.

P.S. But I'm not whipping myself with the guilt belt; that's no way to live.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beauty by Josh


You may think you're staring at Sugar Lips the Drag Queen, but it's just me. I'm doing this glamorous pose just for you, and I'm hoping you're having a wonderful Mother's Day. Mothers are the best, you know, especially that mother who goes by the name of Mi Madre. Anyhoo...

On Friday I was invited to hang with my littlest homie and his classmates at an exclusive mommy makeover event. (Are you jeal?) As I walked into room A-3 the kids sang in unison, "Josh, she's here! Your mom is really here!" They made me feel like Queen Elizabeth, and so I graciously sat in my throne sized for Goldilocks's littlest bear. I began nibbling (like, inhaling) a sugar cookie while my homie sat on my lap and chatted in my ear about recess, corn dogs for lunch, and how we just saw Kent Grober pick it and eat it. All the while, the kids in A-3 continued announcing each mom as she entered, "She's here. Your mom is really here!" Within minutes, the room was overflowing with the lilting sounds of moms' kisses and best wishes.

As Mrs. Harnish stood to began explaining that day's event, my homie and I could hear coming from behind, "sniff-sniff, sniff-sniff." We synchronously turned around. "Alvin!" Josh said, concerned. "What's the matter, Alvin? I know what's wrong. Your mom is not here yet, huh? Where is she, Alvin. Where is she?"

Alvin lowered his head and we watched as his hot tears dotted his tan corduroy pants.

"Guess what, Alvin?" Josh said, wiggling Alvin's shoulders back and forth. "My mom has two eyes and she has two cheeks and she likes kids and so you and me can share my mom. You put makeup on this eye, and I'll put makeup on the other eye. We can share, Alvin, just like when we share our scissors."

Alvin said, "No thank you, Josh," and began crying even more.

"Where's his mother?" I said in desperation, while flagging down Mrs. Harnish. "Where in the world is his mother?"

"I have no idea," she said. "And I'm, like, dying right now." She leaned over Alvin and began rubbing his back. The whole class of kids and moms sat staring at Alvin who was now beginning to curl on the floor in the fetal position.

Just when we thought all was lost in Alvin's 5 year-old world, the door to room A-3 swung open. Like the angel of hope, peace, and joy, Alvin's mom stepped through the door. (She had wings.)

"Alvin, she's here! Your mom is really here!" we all sang like the Mo Tab choir. "Hallelujah!"

He ran and jumped into her arms, and while she rocked him back and forth she said, "You were the only one without a mom? The only one, huh? I'm so sorry!"

She kissed him head to toe and then sat in her throne sized for Goldilocks's littlest bear. A queen. An angel. A mom. She made his world new. Just like that.

P.S. Beauty by Josh is taking new clients. So if you'd like an appointment, just drop me a line, chica. Makeup artistry doesn't get better.

P.P.S In that top picture, do you see an arm that looks like a Madonna arm? Just wondering.

Happy Mother's Day!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

2010 Census


Just seconds ago Garth, from the US Census Bureau, knocked on the door. He had come to fill out another report since ours got lost in the mail, or something like that. I gave my littlest homey a crusty for answering the door--that's a no-no in our house. Only adults are allowed to answer the door.

I swept the bitterness and my bangs to the side, and let southern hospitality gush from my lips.

"Can I help you?" I said smiling.

"Um, yes, this will take just 10 minutes of your ti..." I cut him off along with the artificial genteel and said, "We filled that baby out already. Mailed it out over a month ago."

"Oh. Well I'm so sorry to hear that. You can never count on the US mail system; it's a real shame...Anyway, the Census requires that I interview you again, so that we can update our records."

"Well I can't right now; I'm writing a research paper." (A TOTAL LIE, and I can't believe how easily the lie formed and came to save the day. I'm not proud.)

I continued, "Besides, we already spent hours filling the thing out, and now you're telling me it was lost in the mail?" He nodded and smiled. "You know what?" I said. "This Census reporting system is inefficient. I spent my time filling the thing out, and now you're here telling me it's lost. I just can't believe my tax dollars are paying for all this wasted time. Do you even know that our local schools are running out of paper? What's happening to this country?"

"When would be a better time to come back? It has to be filled out by Saturday," he said calmly.

"Well Friday and Saturday are busy, so is Sunday the Sabbath; it's Mother's Day. Then on Monday, it's my birthday."

"Happy birthday! " he said, resting his clipboard on his hip. "I understand you're so busy, but..."

I cut him off again, "You bet I'm busy. Then on Tuesday I have a dentist appointment, a presidency meeting, then I'm volunteering in the cafeteria, and going to two baseball games after that. Wednesday we have dance, Karate, piano practice. Then on Thursday I'm starting my period, and you'll want to steer clear, so looks likes you'll have to come back next month!"

"I'll let you decide when I can come back, but please remember that we really need to get this filled out. It's the law."

Just as I slammed the door on Garth, a little speck of doubt landed on my heart. Maybe I didn't actually mail it in, I thought. I ran back to my junk mail pile and flipped through months of old papers. Nothing. Then I slid open another drawer and rummaged through my note cards. Nothing. As I began closing the drawer, I heard something heavy slide down the backside of the cabinet. I opened the cupboard door and lo and behold, ding-ding-ding, there was the Census.

"You're a fat jerk," I said as I ran to catch Garth.

As he was pulling away he must of caught sight of my flailing arms in his rearview mirror. He stopped, then rolled backwards in his SUV, and before he could get his window down, I started, "I found it. Look right here. See it? I lied. I'm a big, fat jerk of a liar, and I'm so sorry. Do I still have to fill the report out with you?"

"Yes."

"Well I can't. You already know that. But I'm going to mail this right now. Then we'll see what happens. I know you're just doing your job, but you don't ever need to come back. I just came out to say sorry for being such a snot. Sorry."

"Apology accepted." And he drove away.

Sometimes I wish I were a little more civilized. I'm an embarrassment to this family of mine (and to mi Madre). I had better shape-up and fly right.

P.S. That's the face my homegurl will make when she hears about my latest shenanigans; she's embarrassed to be my daughter. I can't blame her.

P.P.S I really didn't tell Garth that I was starting my period; that's inappropriate.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

If You Tell Me No...


While I was a student at BYU, I remember hearing all about this so-called controversial professor, Brian Evenson. Do you remember hearing about him? His book, Altmann's Tongue, which a few critics labeled gratuitously violent, ruffled the minds of some students and faculty members.

I asked my friend, "What's the name of his book again? I need to buy it, like, ASAP." She looked at me puzzled, wondering why such a religious gal, like me, would want to purchase a book like that. I wanted to tell her I've always been the kind of gal who trades a "no" for a "yes." Like when the lifeguards at Hunt Park pool blow their whistles and tell me to stop running, I take that walk down to a jog. And when I'm not tall enough for the roller coaster at Six Flags, I stand on my tippy-toes, and when mi madre says, "Only one cookie, Katy." I stuff two more beneath my shirt.

I do say "yes" to obeying the commandments, though. Almost always.

The other day while I was in our study looking for a book on how to write a research paper without ripping your head bald in the process, I came across his book. I've never had the chance to read it, and so I opened the book and read its first line.

"He had that day found his daughter dead from what must have been the fever, her swollen eyes stretching her lids open."

"Oh, boy, have mercy," I thought to myself. Reading this story is way more interesting than reading about how to cite sources in APA format. "Brian, where ever you are, why are you tempting me with your gory story?"

He didn't answer me back, and so, I went to the computer to look him up. I've always wondered how his stay at BYU ended. Wondered if he had ever found a place to teach that was just right for him. If you're curious about his whereabouts, you can click here. A little hint: Brown University, Ivy League, hellou!

I don't know if I'll get a chance to finish reading Ultmann's Tongue; the gory genre tends to give me bad dreams. Besides, I have other books waiting in line, for instance, Anna Quindlen's Every Last One. Have you read it? Huh? Can you even put it down? But before you rush to Amazon, I must confess there are a few swears in that book. Now you see what I mean about obeying the commandments almost always. Pray for me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Swine Divine


On Saturday we took a sunny drive to Pinal County's Pork Shop. If you're a close friend of mine (Stephanie and mi Madre), you know I can't stand meat, especially swine in any variety. I was a vegetarian in high school and lived on Del Taco bean and cheese burritos for about 4 years. But I married a T. rex, a total carnivore, a man who could live on meat alone, who just this morning sawed apart a sausage log and ate it for breakfast. I've surrendered to the fact that a chica must please her man so that's why we made the drive. We must have meat. We must always have meat.

The Pork Shop was swarming with people, and we quickly gathered the following: 4lbs of peppered bacon, a jalapeno-cream cheese log, ribs, a bag of dried pork green chili sticks, AND a green chili burrito. (Are you puking your brains out right now?) I know, it's enough pork to feed the neighborhood.

Do you know what else will horrify you? Our family, in two days, has eaten it ALL. The swine was that delicious, and the green chili burrito is the best I've ever eaten. The best!

Anyhoo, as we were checking out of the Pork Shop, I kindly commented on the man's stache pictured above. I said, "That stache is manly." To which he replied, "My wife hates it." To which mi Amor replied, "I can't grow a stache at all." To which mustache man replied to mi Amor, "But you look like you have such soft skin." To which I replied,"He does. He does. That's so true! The softest skin in the deep blue sea!" End conversation, add awkward silence.

We paid fifty bucks and walked out of the Pork Shop, and on the way out mi Amor informed me, "Never comment on the manliness of a man's stache in front of your own man; it's just not a way to behave." To which I replied, "I'm sorry." Good news: It's Monday and we're still married.

P.S. I have a Mia Maid whose thirst for bacon is unquenchable and so I delivered a pound to her doorstep.

P.P.S. Looks like this chica needs reminding on how to treat her man. Any suggestions?