Thursday, January 20, 2011

Girls' Night out!

So, a while back I asked a certain little chickie out on a date.
She's my most favorite girl in the whole wide world.
And lucky for me, she said yes!
And yesterday was the special day.
(Yes, I realize it was a school night. We're kinda crazy like that sometimes.)
And she got all dolled up:
 And together, along with two cute boys, we enjoyed a nice dinner downtown.
But since it was supposed to be a girls' night, we ditched the boys.
But only after they paid for dinner ;)
And we went to the Orpheum to see this:
And right off the bat, we spent $15 on a set of Princess Fiona ears.
Ouch! She's an expensive date, this girl!
And we both wore them.
And we took some pictures.
OK, we took a bunch of pictures.
And then we headed upstairs to find our seats in the balcony.
And the anticipation of it all was killing us both!
And then we waited for the show to start.
And while we waited, she took over my camera and started shooting away.
Here's The Orpheum, as she sees it!
Beautiful, isn't it?

You all know how much I LOVE me some Broadway musicals.
Remember this post?
But in all honesty, even though Isabella has been to many
Disney-type productions in the past,
I was a bit concerned about how she would like a musical.
Being that it's a Broadway production, and all.

But I'm thrilled to report that we both thoroughly enjoyed it!
I love how they brought such a fun movie to life.
It followed the movie, yet it was quite different in many ways.
Does that make sense?

As always, they incorporated plenty of adult humor.
As well as plenty of farts and burps for the kids.
I mean, it is Shrek, after all.

I thought my favorite character would be Donkey,
since he's my favorite in the movie.
And even though he was very funny, 
unfortunately, he was no Eddie Murphy.

But in my humble opinion, Lord Farquaad stole the show.
I'm so glad they developed his character as much as they did.
He pretty much stole each and every scene he was in.

I'm so glad I was able to share such a nice evening with Isabella.
Next up... Beauty & the Beast in June.
Oh my goodness,... can you stand it?!?!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hey baby, what's your sign?

OK, so I just found out through Facebook (the ridiculous time sucking black hole that it is) that zodiac sign dates/horoscopes as we know them have changed, with the recent addition of a new zodiac sign, Ophiuchus.

Say what?
Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?

My entire life I've been a Gemini: very lively and charming and excellent conversationalists. They are active mentally and physically and are often much younger-looking than they really are. They are restless, easily bored and unable to concentrate on any one thing for a prolonged period of time. Since they are restless and keep changing their minds, they are notoriously undependable. They will decide on an option and completely change their mind next day. Nothing is ever written in stone by Gemini. They are free soul, driven by curiosity and desire to know. Geminis rarely get deeply absorbed in any one task and anything they haven't touched intrigue them the most.

But suddenly, I'm a Taurus: realistic, security loving (both on the material and psychological level). In order to obtain this kind of security, they use all their qualities of resistance, quietness, patience and practical intelligence. The steady character makes them reliable and practical with a natural ability for business or anything involving money. They are placid and at times stubborn as they do not appreciate change. They seldom lose control, but when they get angry they can be violent.

So basically, I go from being a twin, to being a bull. 
I'm confused!

But according to an article I read in The Stir, it is "all very scientific and has to do with the moon's gravitational pull on the earth and how things have shifted over the years, but astronomers at the Minnesota Planetarium Society say it's so. Apparently the way the stars are really aligned mean a lot of people think they're a sign they're really not."

I also read that this sign has existed since Babylonian times, but back then they only wanted 12 signs, so apparently the one that sounds like a dog with a bad case of distemper, Ophiuchus, was cut.

Now let me assure you I don't subscribe to astrology, zodiac signs or horoscopes. But I actually find this pretty funny considering all of the following scenarios:

(1) The people who have their astrological sign permanently tattooed on their bodies, but now, quite like me, have a totally different sign.

(2) The people who make important life decisions (like who to date/marry, when to marry, when to expect "great things" to happen, or the return of a former flame, or a really big promotion, or when it's time to walk away from that dead end job you hate) based on their zodiac signs or their horoscopes.

(3) The people who will have to google "new zodiac signs" next time they're in a bar and someone asks "Hey baby, what's your sign?" I can imagine that exchange would go something like this: "I'm a Can,... well, hold on. No, I'm a... Hmmm. What am I? Let me think,... carry the one... OMG! I don't know who I am anymore!"

Anyway, here are the signs with their new dates:
Capricorn: Jan. 20 – Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11– April 18
Aries: April 18 – May 13
Taurus: May 13 – June 21
Gemini: June 21 – July 20
Cancer: July 20 – Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 10 – Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 16 – Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 30 – Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 23 – Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 29 – Dec. 17
Sagittarius: Dec. 17 – Jan. 20

 So tell me, did yours happen to change?

Monday, January 10, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, we have snow! 
And it's the good kind too! 
The kind that's fun to play in and with.
It started last night. And you'd think that since we already knew classes were canceled today, we would've totally slept in. But no! The kids were SO excited and ready to play, they were up and at 'em by 7:30am. So, after having some breakfast and getting dressed, all paths led to the big cold white snowy outdoors.

Sam loved playing tag/catch/tackle with his unsuspecting sister.
This picture makes me laugh.  Look at those faces!

They both made snow angels:
Although I must admit, Sam's were a bit more on the abstract side.

Isabella worked very hard building her tiny snow girl:

And we threw snowballs:
  Lots and lots of snowballs.

Then Sam decided it was time to bury his head in the snow.
 Like, literally!
I just about peed my pants from laughing so hard.
This boy is some kind of crazy!
"I'm alright, Mama!", says the boy after coming out of the snow.
Yeah, I'm still laughing!

I can't tell you how much we love our snow days.
I can however tell you, no one loves them as much as this one:
If it were up to her, we'd be out there ALL day long.
Which would not necessarily work for me, 
since my toes are still numb and all.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Wise Men Day!

It is a HUGE Puerto Rican tradition to celebrate the three wise men who visited Jesus and brought him gifts after his birth. 
The day we celebrate that visit is today, January 6th.

Dia de los Reyes Magos or Three Kings/Wise Men Day is one of the most beautiful religious traditions amongst Hispanics, especially in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is famous for having the longest Christmas in the world; starting the day after Thanksgiving and ending in late January. 
And can I just tell you how much I love that?!

So, that being said, if you happen to stop by anytime in the next couple of weeks, don't be surprised to see our Christmas tree and decorations still out.
What can I say? 
You can take the girl out of Puerto Rico, but you can't take Puerto Rico out of the girl!

In my culture, children gather grass in shoe boxes and water and place it under their beds as an offering to the camels on which the Wise Men travel. In exchange, the Three Kings (as they are best known back home) leave presents to those who have been good during the year. 
Sound vaguely familiar? 
Very much like Christmas on the mainland, 
children wake up much too early to check out what they got, 
and families gather to drink, eat and be merry.

***** says this about the wise men:
In the conventional version of the Christmas story, the wise men or magi:
  • Gaspar,
  • Melchior and
  • Balthasar
started the gift-giving custom of Christmas by bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ child on Epiphany, the day on which the infant was presented. The 3 magi have been described not only as wise men, but also as kings or Persian priests and astrologers.

I'm definitely no theologian, so I was really excited to learn a few facts about these special men during one of our church's Christmas services, like for example:

* It took these men (who the Bible says came form the East) somewhere around two years to get to Jesus. Can you imagine everything they had to endure during their journey?

* Although we always include these men in our nativities, they did not visit Jesus while he was in the manger. The Bible says they "arrived at the house and saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him". Theologians estimate Jesus was between 1 and 2 years old at the time of their arrival.

* Until recently, I never really understood the significance of the gifts they gave Jesus. But apparently, these gifts held a strong prophetic significance.
The gold represented a gift fit for royalty; they knew Jesus was the King of Kings.
The frankincense was used on offerings to God inside His temple, where people believed it to carry their prayers to heaven. This tells us they understood Jesus' role as Priest, his Godly nature.
I've heard a couple different interpretations for the myrrh. One is that in the old days it was used for embalming or anointing of the dead. The other is that myrrh was also used for medicinal purposes, a common analgesic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory. Christ was offered "wine mingled with myrrh" to ease the pains of the cross. So basically, the myrrh represented Jesus' mortality, suffering and sorrow. They knew he was born to die for the world.

* The idea of giving presents during Christmas originated with the wise men and the gifts they gave Jesus.

OK people, is it just me or is this stuff totally fascinating?! 
I love it!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy your day today, 
and Feliz Dia de los Reyes!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. We had to take Sam to the ER last week after he was playing with a flashlight and suddenly started screaming hysterically because of the pain in his left eye. When we got there, it was jam packed with people. Standing room only! Lucky for us they were all adults, so pediatrics was able to get us checked in, seen and checked out in about an hour and a half. Fortunately, he did not scratch his cornea. The doctor said the pain was mostly due to irritation, so we needed to get him some eye drops and he'd be fine. Yeah, I don't know about that,... he still complains about pain in his eye every now and then, so we're off to see an optometrist this Saturday. That should be so much fun! Right!

2. I have a confession to make: yesterday was the season premiere of The Bachelor,... and after swearing it off for the last couple of seasons, I watched it. I know, I know, not my proudest moment. But how could I not watch it? There's a girl on there who has vampire fangs. And Chris Harrison says this will be the most dramatic season EVER! He wouldn't lie about something like that now, would he?

3. Today was the first day with both kids back in school. I had a plan. It was a good plan. It was a highly productive plan. Unfortunately Amazon, and some pretty great deals on some awesome camera accessories, took priority over everything else I had planned. Oops! I hate it when that happens. On the bright side, I'm expecting F*O*U*R packages filled with goodies sometime next week. Can't wait to start playing!

4. Isabella is learning to read. And she does it so well. And she loves to read to us. And I could listen to her read all day long. And she shares my passion for books. And my heart just swells up with pride every single time I hear her. How I love that girl of mine!

5. I was looking through some of the photos from our recent Zoo Lights visit (which I'll share with you soon). This one made me laugh. Like, REALLY hard!
Meet our "party" animal!
It was taken on our way out of the zoo. He had to stop and dance to Jingle Bell Rock. This boy's a mess!

6. We have to replace some (read all) the windows in our house. They are old and drafty and our insanely strong mutant dogs have somehow managed to break a few of them over the years. So I scheduled a couple of companies to come in and give me some estimates. This guy today (Ron) gave me his company's quote ~ Wowza! Windows are NOT cheap, people! Anyway, shortly after I asked him about the company who constantly advertises $189 windows on TV. He gave me a very long overly-detailed technical explanation about how Window World does not operate to his company's standards, about the amount of complaints they have against them, about the poor quality of their product, the low caliber of their installers, and so forth. He then asked if they were coming in for an estimate. "Pfft, NO WAY!", I answered.  

7. Between you and me, Window World was recommended to us by a few friends and are scheduled to come in for an estimate tomorrow morning. Just don't tell Ron, kay?

8. When I arrived at Sam's MDO to pick him up this afternoon, I found him sleeping on his little mat. This boy never EVER naps at preschool, so this was a sure sign that he wasn't feeling well. I got him in to see the doctor. He's in the early stages of bronchitis and now taking an antibiotic. Never a dull moment with this boy, lemme tell ya!

9. I've been coughing a lot lately. I think I too am in the early stages of bronchitis. Oh, the joy! I'm going to have to go see someone soon. Remember this little episode? Yeah, good times!

10. Parenthood's season premiere is tonight. Can you stand it? That is my most favorite show ever! It's currently being recorded on our DVR. Waiting for me. So I gosta go!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My "One Little Word" for 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!

Isn't it exciting to start the a brand new year? The thought of all the new possibilities, opportunities and experiences. Oh, it's enough to make this here girl downright giddy!

And as you may (or may not) remember, I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. And that might just be because in my entire lifetime, I have never once managed to stick to a single one of them!  Never. Ever!

I do however, subscribe to Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" challenge! And I am happy to say that it's that time of year again, my friends! The time when I disclose that "one little word" to focus on throughout the year. And since I wanted to make sure this posts today, on 1/1/11, I'll be sure to keep it short and sweet.

Following are the OLWs I've focused on the last few years:
2010 ~ Declutter
2009 ~ Simplify
2008 ~ Relax
2007 ~ Go

This year, after thinking about it for a few days, my word finally hit me like a ton of bricks. My OLW for 2011 is: RENEW.

(ri no̵̅o̅, -nyo̵̅o̅)
1. To make new or as if new again; restore
2. To make new spiritually; regenerate
3. To take up again; resume
4. To begin (an activity) again; recommence
5. To restate so as to reaffirm; repeat
6. To make extensive changes in; rebuild 
7. To restore to a new or fresh condition; replenish
8. To regain or restore the physical or mental vigor of; revive
9. To bring into being again; reestablish

I will spare you the details of how this word found/chose me, but I can honestly tell you it is perfect, and in this season of my life, I could not have picked a better word for myself if I tried.

The desires of my heart are to renew so many things in my life right now and I am so excited about sharing these with you in the coming year. So, to help me stay on track, I'll be highlighting some of the definitions from above and blogging about how I've applied them to myself and my goals.

Have you made your New Year's resolutions yet?
If not, wanna give this approach a try? 
If so, what's your OLW for 2011?