Thursday, November 30, 2006

Students Speak Against Global Warming

Students Globally Unite

Some of their ideas make a lot of sense. Some make you wonder why we don't already do them. But it is good to see that it is becoming a topic discussed in school. Definitely needs to be, as they are the ones who are eventually going to be in charge.

I am already planning on electing Andrew Charles as president (as soon as he is of age). . . .

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


i guess you can never escape some kind of kitchen mishap(s) when it comes to thanksgiving, even when it's not going to be at your house. andres and i are going to denver this year and his sister will be preparing us a delicious thanksgiving dinner. but tomorrow we're doing a thanksgiving potluck at the clinic and i'm bringing a turkey. i have to cook the turkey tonight so i wanted to brine it this morning. well, when you wake up nauseous, the idea of brining a turkey really doesn't help. but it had to be done. well of course my turkey didn't defrost all the way, mishap #1. but i brined it anyway. well, as i go to place the turkey in the brine (the smell of which did not help the nausea), it slips and cannonball dives into the pot, sending a tidal wave of brine all over me and the kitchen, mishap #2. it was EVERYWHERE!!! i froze in shock for a moment, not knowing what to do. now knowing if i wanted to cry or laugh. i ended up laughing because it actually was pretty funny. me, running around the kitchen putting papertowels everywhere, trying to keep the dogs from licking up the brine, my pajama pants hiked up past my knees. i had to mop the kitchen floor, which it actually desparately needed anyways, at 8 in the morning. definitely did not want our ant problem to get any worse. i think what made me most upset was that my milano cookies got ruined.

Monday, November 06, 2006


We know, it's been forever since we posted something. At least we've put up some photos from recent trips, including Cornflower's first camping trip. She loved camping and was a good campfire dog. As opposed to Equis who preferred to go sulk in the woods by himself. Things have been pretty busy. Medicaid cutbacks have made work a big paperwork nightmare. And Andres has been really busy with school. We're excited about going to Denver for Thanksgiving in a couple of weeks to spend the holidays with Andres' parents.

Anwho, back to the subject of the post. Today, a co-worker of mine brought one of her patients back to the office and said, oh we're just getting some dittos. And it toally caught me off guard to hear someone use the term dittos when talking about worksheets. I just started laughing and the 2 of us decided that we should bring the term dittos back into style. How can you forget the smell of the purple ink and how it made your paper soggy. I remember how exciting it was go be the helper for the class and go make dittos and watching the wheel spin as it spewed out wet copies. Definitely made me feel a little older knowing what dittos meant.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Papi's 60th birthday

A couple of weekends ago we went home for my father's 60th birthday. We were really excited about going to DC, I had been getting pretty homesick since we hadn't been there since April. It's funny. On the plane on the way there, I was talking to the guy sitting next to me, and he asked me if I was visiting or coming home. I said to him, "DC is home, but we live in Atlanta". What can I say, I lived in the same house for 22 years until I got married. I can't wait to move closer. With God's grace, Andres will be able to graduate next May and we'll sell our house quickly so we can move.

But anyways, back to the weekend. We had the extra bonus of my sister having had her 7th baby (little Agnes Christine) the day we arrived! So that meant her other 6 were staying with us at my parents' house. It was definitely a full house. My mom remarked how she was going from having to cook for only 2 people to cooking for 11!! We had a great time though.

Upon being picked up at the airport by my dad driving my sister's 15 passenger van, we went straight to the hospital to meet the newest addition to the family. Mom, dad, and baby were all healthy and happy. I'm glad we made the trek out to the hospital that night, because unfortunately it was the only time we got to see Marisa and Dave.

Saturday we went to a fall harvest festival in Fredericksburg. We had tons of fun there. There was a corn maze that we split into teams and raced through, my team won!!! There were baby pig races. I don't think the pigs knew they were racing. There was pumpkin cannons, swinging on ropes in to hay, big slides, and a hayride. Fun was had by all.

Sunday we celebrated Papi's birthday with a gourmet lunch that my mom prepared. It was super yummy. Papi was surprised to receive a wine cooler from all of us.

Andres had to go home Sunday evening, but I stayed an extra night and got to watch the Redskins game with my brother and dad. I donned my Darrell Green jersey that I got dirt cheap on e-bay and had fun watching the game with true football, Redskins fans. My husband likes football, but he doesn't quite get into it like I do. I guess since he hasn't had to cheer for a sorry team like the Redskins he just doesn't have the passion, yet. He's getting more into the games. But unlike us, when "his team" loses, it doesn't put him in a bad mood. And I put that in quotation marks because I tease that Andres is a bandwagon fan, which he gets mad abot somtimes. He just cheers for whatever team he lives near. He didn't really grow up watching football. He didn't even know who Emmit Smith was. He even thinks that I will let him cheer for the Eagles should we move to Philadelphia. So wrong. He doens't quite get the division rival thing yet. But anyways, fortunately the Redskins won, in over time. Very stressful game.

Monday, my parents and the kids and I had a picnic along the Potomac River off the GW parkway. The weather was beautiful. Then we went to Gravelly Point to see the airplanes take-off. It's been so long since I had been there. The kids did not seem to think it was as cool as I did, remarking that it was more fun at Abuela's house because there was "nothing to do" at Gravelly Point. And little almost 3-year-old Kay kept remarking there was no playground. I thought it was cool. It's impressive to see the planes take-off and think how man found the ability to fly.

Then it was time to head back to Atlanta. It was a great wekend and went by too quickly. It's always hard to leave.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Fall-like Weather and Football

These last two days we have woken up to crisp fall-like weather. Definitely feels very nice, since this was an exceptionally hot summer. We would love to live somewhere that has weather like this for longer periods than you get in Atlanta.

Last night Julia and I went to the Virginia – Georgia Tech game. We had a blast, just wish that Virginia had represented itself better than they did. The only good thing was that we at least saw them put some points on the board, and were able to sing the “Good Ol’ Song” with the other Virginia fans that were sitting near us.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Recent Studies on Global Warming

Yesterday I came across a speech given by Al Gore on the recent discoveries on global warming. Here is the link to his speech:

Al Gore, Sep. 18, 2006, NYU Law School.

He states how the American Institute of Architecture and the National Conference of Mayors have endorsed the "2030 Challenge," asking the global architecture and building community to immediately transform building design to require that all new buildings and developments be designed to use one half the fossil fuel energy they would typically consume for each building type, and that all new buildings be carbon neutral by 2030, using zero fossil fuels to operate.

I find what he said to be very moving, and an eye opener to what our situation really is, and how we need to start changes now or it will be too late for our children to have a chance.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Agua de violetas

Last night we went to a Shakira concert. It was an awesome show; the music was great, the people were fun. We really had a great time.

Besides a good soccer game, there may be nothing else that gathers so many hispanics as a Shakira concert. As we were approaching the door to enter Phillips arena, amidst the throngs of other hispanics, I was reminded of how us hispanics love to bathe ourselves in cologne and perfume. I guess it's something we're taught from birth, being "baptized" daily in agua de violetas (maybe that's just a Cuban thing). Even one of my preschool students in CCD last year came wearing cologne every week. And no, it was not rubbed off from his dad. I guarantee you they put cologne on their son. And as much as the overdosing on perfumes and colognes bothers my nose somtimes, I am just as guilty. I admit, I LOVE wearing perfume. I work with kids that tend to hypersensitive to different smells so unfortunately I can't wear any to work. But I love picking out which perfume to wear when we go out. And you better believe that my kids too will be "bathed" in agua de violetas. I still love the smell of it.

Monday, September 04, 2006


We spent this past Labor Day weekend in Panama City Beach visiting Abuelita Gladys. We weren't really looking forward to travelling on the holiday weekend (and we did spend an extra hour and half in the car on our way home because of the traffic), but it was really nice to get away for the weekend. We spent Saturday on the beach and drinking frozen drinks, going to the dog track, and Sunday we spent on my uncle's boat looking for sand dollars and swimming with dolphins. It was a great weekend. We got some much needed time to ourselves, and got to spend time catching up with the family. It's amazing what you can pack into two short days away from home.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Faith and Healing

I struggled for the longest time to find a doctor I liked, a doctor that wasn't afraid to let their morals dictate how they practiced. I was tired of the stupid Kaiser physicans saying that the sympto-thermal method and the rhythm method were the same thing. Or being asked when I went in to confirm that I was pregnant if I was going to keep the baby. Or them making me feel irresponsible because I wouldn't consent to having a shot to terminate the pregnancy when they kind of sort of suspected that I might be having an ectopic pregnancy. Or when stupid Dr. Nixon suggested that I think of plan B to prevent the pregnancy from being ectopic (which you can't prevent anyways, so you know what she really meant by "prevent") if I "made a mistake" and got pregnant (Can you tell I hate Kaiser?). I am so tired of all the crap that you have to put up with and how doctors start to worry so much about their own asses and getting sued that they don't stop to think of the patient's needs anymore. I myself am in the healthcare field and I confess, it took a while (and a long debate at the beach with my family), for me to realize that I don't have to just turn a blind eye and keep my faith out of my work. On the contrary, I now strive to be characterized by my faith. I wear a cross to work, I tell my patients I pray for them, I talk about God's will when consoling my patients and their families. It is who I am. And if those patients have a problem with it or with me, then they can go see someone else. I am not going to change who I am just so that I don't offend someone.

But I'm getting off topic. My mom always talked about her doctor and how their were images of the Virgina Mary in the clinic. It sounded like exactly what I needed, except I was in Atlanta and my parents are in DC. After contacting some NFP teachers, I was blessed to find Dr. Raviele. This morning I was reading the Washington Post online and found this article. The cool thing is it talks about my mom's doctor, and my doctor here in Atlanta is also quoted. I hope that more and more practices like this continue to open.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Long day

Today was a long day. Started out with BFN today which was really disappointing.

Then Equis was really bad on his walk and refused to go to the bathroom. So I left him with a warning that if he went in the house he'd be in big trouble.

At least the drive to work was uneventful.

At work, though, I noticed a horrible smell as soon as I walked in the door. Apparently, one of the owners decided we would paint in the clinic last night, right by our desks. The fumes were AWFUL. I almost came home early because they made me so sick. I wish I had because my last kid of the day had a total meltdown. Now, there are only a couple things that I ABSOLUTELY do put up with from my kiddos (patients). One is raising their voice at me. I will not allow some "mocoso" to yell at me. The other is hitting me, or any other type of physical aggression. So little "Bob" went on immediate time out when he hit me because he didn't feel like wearing ankle weights. Well, trying to get a kiddo with Asperger's to sit quietly and face the wall is harder than it sounds. You would have thought I was beating the child when all I was asking was that he keep still and quiet and facing the wall. I mean, he was sobbing, hitting, kicking, throwing the chair. At one point, he starts throwing himself on me and moans "I'm dying!". He was breaking my heart. I hate when my kiddos get so out of control, I just feel so bad for them because they really have crossed a point in which they have absolutely no control. Any type of reasoning or consoling is almost hopeless. It made me scared about raising my own kids. I don't know if I'll have the strength not to just pick them up just so they stop crying.

At least my drive home wasn't bad.

Well, we decided earlier in the day that we really wanted spaghetti for dinner. So we start defrosting ground beef in the microwave. Well, I don't know if it's because I didn't take it out of the plastic bag first or because our freezer broke 2 weeks ago so some of our meat started to thaw and then refroze, but something STANK. We decided it was completely unedible. It was already past 7 so we didn't want to start over. So after debating whether we should order out Italian or just make something at home, we decided on saving some money and having chicken nuggets. So we turned on the oven and went to walk to dogs. Now remember, Equis did not poop this morning. So we were sure he had to go on his evening walk. Well, he was SO bad. He saw another dog and then refused to go to the bathroom. We tried to make him go for at least 20 minutes. It was no go. So if he tries to wake us up in the middle of the night because he's desperate, we wil not be happy campers.

Then we come inside to find that the oven is cold. Not that it's not done preheating, but cold. No heat whatsoever. Which sucks because we just spent about 200 bucks to get the fridge fixed, and then had to get new tires for the car. So not excited about having to get the oven fixed now.

I guess the evening was salvaged in part by the fact that we did get our spaghetti in the end. We figured it was destined for us to have Italian takeout. It was really yummy and I'm sure tomorrow will be a better day.

A Night at the Roxborough

We're hoping to move to Philadelphia once Andres gradautes with his master's degree (hopefully in May 2007). We've been researching different neighborhoods in the philly area and Andres came across one calld roxborough.

it would be supercool to live in a town called roxborough because, and i proudly admit this, i am one of the few losers that actually LOVE the movie night at the roxbury.

Monday, August 28, 2006


You gotta love the South. One day in April, Andres and I were driving into town along 85. The Georgia department of transportation had one of their little signs up advising of construction dates and detours. The sign said that the changes would take effect on "04/31/06".

Last time I checked, April only had 30 days.

This morning, I was driving to work and they were closing the road to fix the railroad tracks. I kid you not, the sign said the road was closed "at railroad crossin"

Even our GDOT signs have southern accents.

Concentration: Urban Renewal | Sustainability

Well, I have finally decided/ figured out what my concentration is in architecture. About time, as I have just started my second and hopefully final year for my master's in architecture. It's urban renewal and sustainability. I realized that one thing that I have always I wanted to work with is the integration of architecture with the environment. I see sustainability as a good way to integrate that with designing buildings that have a less impact on our resources and help combat the global climate change. As to the urban renewal, I see that as a way designing places that are healthier and make more sense. Both Julia and I loved the idea of being able to walk to the majority of the things we need, such as grocery store, and restaurants that we found in New York when we visited Carlos. The trip is what helped me realize that that is an ideal that I want to strive to achieve. Things do not have to be as dense as New York per say, but be laid out in a manner that is more prone to walking and have a sense of center. I want to move away from the sprawl that we see plaguing many cities and hopefully design urban centers which will lead to healthier happier lives.

The true test is to see if when I look back on this in a few years if I am still working towards or attaining these ideals. We shall see. (This is partly why Julia and some of our pt friends say that I am pushing for us to change our lights out to compact fluorescent , and am on my "green" kick.)

Spanky pants

Yesterday I was talking to my sister Claudia on the phone. We had a really nice talk about nothing really in particular. Andrew's starting preschool, Benji becoming a teacher, Claudia's wacky co-workers. Just one of those Sunday afternoon phone calls to keep in touch with your loved ones. When I got off the feeling I felt so good. I realized how cool it is that how my relationships with my sisters and brother have changed now that I'm "grown up".

I remember growing up how much I looked up to my sisters, especially Claudia. I thought she was so cool and I always wanted to hang out with her with her and her friends. I probably annoyed the crap out of her (I only did it 'cuz I love you Claudia!). And then I remember one of our last family vacations where all six of us went. We went to Italy and Paris. It was such a great trip, with the family home video so long it may rival The Ten Commandments. I have been smiling to myself all day just thinking of the different things from that trip: taking turns doing "chorizo duty", walking like the cross-walk signs in Nice, the train ride from hell where Carlos fell from the cot, my sisters daring me to sing El Condor Pasa in the shower loud enough for other rooms to hear, and playing Spoons in our humongous room in Florence using the little gelato spoons from the gelato place we literally went to at LEAST once a day. I think most of all, I'll never forget Claudia and I making up a song about the brand of underwear we both shared. They were called Spanky Pants. And I have to admit, I still know the song! And it goes like this (Claudia, I know you know it too!):
Spanky pants, they're the greatest thing
Spanky pants, they make you want to sing
Spanky pants, we love 'em, we love 'em!
We love spanky pants!!!

Heheh! I can't believe I just wrote out a song that we made up about our underwear!

But anyways, that trip was so great. For so long, I just wanted to be fun to hang out with instead of the annoying little sister. And that trip made me feel that way. Now, more than 10 years later, I get to have that again. I love both my sisters very much and I don't know where'd I be if it wasn't for them. They always have a shoulder to cry on, and will always listen, even if they don't agree with me. Thanks for helping me become the person I am today. I love you guys! And I love you too Carlos! I'm glad we've moved past me giving you bloody noses and you choking me! Whenever I start to get annoyed at someone, I think of you and how forgiving you are of others, and I try to act as you would.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Neat paintings

We saw in our Catholic Georgia Bulletin that this artist is having an exhibit in downtown Atlanta. The paintings are really cool. See his work here.

Did we mention that whenever we have kids, our nursery theme is along the lines of fairy tale and St. George and the dragon? We are excited to get some of the artist's prints for our nusery!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Little surprises

The other day Andres and I were putting some laundry away. As we have no linen closet, we end up puting extra sheets and towels away in the guest room dresser. When Andres goes to open the drawer, we started laughing to see it was full of Easter candy wrappers balled up into tiny little silver balls.

It put a huge smile on my face remembering one of my sisters' visit in May. Them coming to visit was such a blessing. We had had a rough month. May started out with us dealing with an ectopic pregnancy. My Mom kept telling me that maybe it wasn't such a great idea for my sister and her 6 children to come visit, that it would be too much for me to handle in our 2 bedroom townhouse. But it truly was a blessing. I took some much needed time off from work and got to spend tme with the family. Poor Anna, who is destined to become a veterinatian, was traumatized by our trout farm experience. Really, bleeding fish may be not be the best thing for a 4 year old to see. But don't worry, we made up for it by going to the aquarium where there were plenty of fish that were very much alive. I got such joy out of seeing and being with my sister and her kids, and I was able to find new hope for Andres and I to have kids in the future.

Finding those little surprises in the drawer made me realize how grateful I am that my sister made the 10 hour drive (pregnant, without her husband, in a 15 passenger van with 6 kids under the age of 12) to come see us. Thank you Marisa. I love you.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The ultimate irony

So Andres has been really into "sustainable architecture" lately. He keeps reading articles that talk about how if the world continues at the rate it's at, there will be a "catastrophic climate" change on the globe by the year 2050. basically, the ice caps will all melt and the earth will flood. so i say to andres, it doens't matter because we'll be close to dead by then. we'll just get a house boat when we retire and we can float away. then andres reminds me that'd we have to stock it with food, including vegetables. now, growing up, my mother would always scare us by telling us that if we didn't eat our fruit and vegetables, "te va dar escorbuto". young and innocent that i was, it was not until much later that i learned that the only ones who really die of scurvy are pirates and pilgrims. wouldn't it be the ultimate irony if i did in fact die of scurvy at the age of 70?

Picnic in the park

Equis had his first outing since his injury the other day! We went to Petapalooza, a day of music and pet demonstrations at a park near our house. We had a great time and Equis did really well. He still has trouble walking more than a couple hundred yards. He's still up to his old tricks though. The moment Andres turned away from his sandwich, Equis decided he would have a taste.

Cornflower was "en su gloria" as we'd say in spanish. She really wanted to get in on all the frisbee dog and flyball action. We want to try to train her to catch Frisbees, she can get some mad air when she jumps. Of course, we should probably train her to stay first. There's no telling what she'd do off her leash in a big open place. She'd probably just run in circles chasing other dogs, let alone catch a frisbee. And personally, we don't feel like having to chase after her. She can move.

Still afraid of lightning

A couple nights ago we had a big lightning storm roll through after we had gone to bed. Cornflower slept right through it, didn't even move from underneath the bed. Equis, on the other hand, just paced back and forth between our sides of the bed. And I wondered what he did those 3 days he was missing. We hadn't had rain in so long. And of course, when he decides to escape, thunderstorms came rolling through for 2 days in a row. I really wonder if he thought to himself, "what have I done?" Those few days he was missing, I was so worried about him being alone in the cold and rain. He must have been so scared. But, like we said before, he's back now and he's safe. I'll always wonder though what he could have been thinking.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Jesus' favorite color is blue

So this morning I had an orientation session for the CCD class I will be teaching this year at church. It started off with a 9 am mass. During the homily, Fr. Chito (yes, it's pronounced like the cheese snack) told us to take joy in our teaching. Now, I was a little hesistant to teach the 5 year olds this year. I taught the 4 year olds last year and there were several times in which it just seemed like glorified day care. But listening to Father Chito made me realize how much joy I did take in teaching the younger class. I remember little Matthew asking me what I thought baby Jesus' favorite color was so he could make him a birthday card (he decided on his own that it was blue). I'm now looking forward to another year of working with the little ones and the things that they'll ask that I'll never forget.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The prodigal dog

So it hasn't quite been the Summer of Equis. It was actually more like George Costanza's. The summer started off just fine, but then Equis decided he would have his own adventure while we were in New York City.

The day after we had left, we received a call from the kennel that Equis has escaped. Don't ask us how. But he got away. And he was missing for 3 days before an old man in an apartment called the police thinking someone was trying to break into his house.

It was our dog, who had dragged himself to the front door of this man's house.

He was injured when he was found, the vet thinks he had been hit by a car. So alas, this was not the summer of Equis. He spent the next 5 weeks with his dislocated shoulder in a splint and non-weightbearing, as well as healing up from a large wound on his left front leg, and getting used to not having rear molars (from being knocked out by whatever hit him). And the next month his activity is confined. Poor Cornflower is the one who's summer was truly ruined, as we haven't been able to go to the dog park or go camping. She's driving us crazy with all her energy. Not to mention Julia had to miss out on Brent and Ana's wedding in Los Angeles to take care of a gimpy dog. But, we are thankful to have him back and he is slowly but surely recovering well. It was a crazy way to start our summer.