"What we do in this life, echoes in eternity."
Maximus, Gladiator
"Our creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sunday, May 31, 2009

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON trailer in HD Video by Trailer Park - MySpace Video

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON trailer in HD Video by Trailer Park - MySpace Video

My friend Karina told me the MTV movie awards were on tonight and that they were going to show a "New Moon" clip. I DVR'ed the show, and once the kids were in bed I watched it. Oh my! What else can I say? Maybe that enduring the MTV MA's was worth it just to see so many shots of "Edward Cullent," and to hear the actors and director thank Stephenie Meyer over and over for creating Twilight. Thanks Stephenie from me too! That girl must be having a great night; I know I would if I were her. Heck! If I were Stephenie Meyer I'd be so excited I wouldn't be able to sleep!!!! I hope you guys enjoy the movie trailer. How much longer till November? If it weren't for Harry Potter in July, I'd be tempted to skip over Summer and go stright to almost Winter. Almost...

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON trailer in HD


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Friday, May 29, 2009

Bittersweet


He's truly my son! And that's Harry Potter 4 he's reading!

PiƱata lane

El Cangri happy on the Barbie scooter


When we went to the Hare Krishna Temple last year

After Dinosaur Park

BFF

I have been dragging myself towards Friday. Each day this week I woke up a little later than the day before; each day I have either given my kids money for school lunch or had to go back to the school to drop off their hot lunch. My spoiled kids! They're not peaky eaters, but they won't eat everything you put in front of them. Mystery objects on their plates? Non-attractive presentation? They won't even touch it. But when I give them a lunch of fish and carrots, salad and oranges, they clap in delight. They like to eat well my darlings. But I digress, my post wasn't supposed to be about the bittersweet taste of a particular dish, but of the last day of school.
We started Cryfest on Tuesday when my Cangri finished his first year of preschool. He gave Mrs. K. a beautiful bouquet of baby roses and a picture he had made for her. She cried when he hugged her, and I was taking pictures and crying about my baby growing so cruelly fast. Again, and just because it was the last day, I drove to the teacher's corner (remember she has the school at her house), and I took the Barbie scooter out of the trunk of the car so he could experience going to school on his scooter, as his little friends do. He was ecstatic! But Chubbers cried because she still couldn't go to preschool. "One more year baby," I told her, and she calmed down a little, but my throat closed in agony.
And then it was today. The whole week, all kids did at school was play. They celebrated their teacher's birthday; they had field day; they had a read-a-thon. Fridays is early out day, and they stayed until the regular time. Like I said, I have been getting up later and later each day this week, and today they were LATE! But they still wanted to go to school to say goodbye to their friends and those teachers they love so much!
When I went to pick them up, I dropped off a little bouquet of flowers for their teachers, and Thank You notes that they had left on the counter this morning. I waited outside in the car, and what I saw filled my heart with tenderness. I saw children coming out of school and lingering on the sidewalk, hugging each other and their teachers. Many teachers, including my kids', were teary eyed. The school secretary kept informing on the intercom that the school needed to be vacated, that everyone needed to exit the building NOW. GO TO YOUR CARS,; YOUR PARENTS ARE WAITING! SUMMER IS HERE!!! Still, we, the parents, waited a long time for our children to say their goodbyes.
Finally, I saw them walking arm in arm to the car. These kids of mine had armfuls of half eaten cupcakes, a million pieces of paper with phone numbers, and they each had a scrapbook that their teachers had made. I just bow in veneration to those wonderful souls who have been such an inspiration for my children.
I opened Swan's scrapbook, and I saw her happy little face in different pictures at field trips, school parties and activities. The teacher also included Swan's writing reports, and I could see how my little girl's writing skills and penmanship improved report after report.
When I opened Gorgeous Boy's scrapbook and read the words his teachers had written for him, I promised myself that I would see that child, my own son, through the teachers' eyes more often.
Mrs E wrote:
Mr Josh Groban Jr:
I have seen you serve in silence all year, helping to clean up the classroom, picking up trash in the playground, helping others. You have a very caring personality. I feel blessed to have known you.

Mr W. wrote:
Keep working hard. Keep reading and writing. And please keep me in your mind when you are famous. Thanks for a wonderful year.

I love this stage in my children's lives. They have such a yearning to learn, to see the world, to be good. Children, don't grow up. Get bigger and stronger, but don't lose that which adults fight so hard to gain back.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day and 25 de Mayo

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This is my pitiful attempt at creating a collage with Picasa. I wanted to document what an amazing day we had today for Memorial Day! We started by driving all the way to Payson (half an hour each way with no traffic) to get milk, and after that I made hot dogs for the kids. My children looked at me as if I had lost my mind; they couldn't believe we actually could eat hot dogs at home (they think hot dogs are just Costco food), and we had a very pleasant lunch out by the swing set. I had bought tickets online to see Night at the Museum 2, and the kids were super happy we got to go. Some parts of the movie were a little lame, but it was still a fun show; it made me laugh a lot and it also made me think. One of the lines from the movie that stuck with me was "Do things because you want to, not only because you have to. Have fun." And then Amelia Earhart/Amy Adams said, "I became a pilot just for the adventure," or something along those lines.
I had fun with my babies today, and they were great at the theater. We make quite a nice little group. My homies!
After the theater we went to get flowers for El Cangri's preschool teacher because tomorrow is the last day of school for him. Hence the pictures of Chubbers hording the small shopping cart. She was the shopping cart tyrant; she wouldn't let anyone touch it.
And then we came home, and I had a few minutes to reflect on this special day. When we drove by the cemetery and saw crowds of people paying tribute to their family members, I realized we don't have any graves to visit, and I am grateful for that. At the same time I appreciate the sacrifice so many people have done and do today so that I and my family may live in a free country. In my family tree I don't have any ancestors who have fought in any wars (Jeff's family does), but I come from a family of immigrants who all their lives were seeking a free country where they could raise their family. I'm only third generation Argentine, and I wonder what struggles my Palestinian great-grandfather went through to make him leave his beloved country to move to a place so completely alien as Argentina must have been to him. And here I am now, a new citizen in this wonderful United States. Today, May 25th, was a holiday in Argentina too. A celebration of the first national government after breaking the chains under Spanish submission. In my two countries, Argentina and the USA, men and women fought for freedom not only at war, but day by day, trying to leave a legacy of liberty, commitment, and hard-work to the next generation.
I thank not only our troops fighting overseas, but also those men who so long ago had the vision of a land of freedom and opportunity. All across America, North and South, men dreamed and lived for a place where they could worship, live, work and progress according to the dictates of their own conscience. What a responsibility I feel to pass this legacy of accountability and leadership to my children.
And there they were, my four children, playing happily under the flag that undulated on our front yard and the white and blue above us in the sky. My two flags united on the background; what peace! Except for Dandi barking her head off, but then, I'd rather have a barking dog as background sound and not the blasting of cannons and cries of war. What blissful lives we have. Thank you brave ones! Thank you!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Wings, by Aprilynne Pike

Oh! Isn't the cover of this book just beautiful? On Aprilynne's blog I saw a picture of the British cover of the book, and I fell in love with it too! Not only the cover is beautiful, but the story inside is fresh and clean and compelling. This is the review I wrote for my goodreads; I hope you enjoy it. 


Wings Wings by Aprilynne Pike


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love everything fairies, and I'm so happy I found out about this new and successful Utah author from following Nathan Bransford's blog. He's an agent and linked Aprilynne's blog on his post the day Wings reached #6 on the NYT best-sellers'; just a few days later Wings had made it to the #1 spot.

Now to the story. It starts by describing Laurel, a 15 year-old girl, as she starts her first day of school ever. She had been homeschooled up to that point. School is not the only change Laurel has to face during the following weeks. She finds friends and love, and a personal discovery that will shake her life and make her doubt everything she had believed up until then.

She also finds love; who will she choose? The trustworthy human friend, or the handsome fairy she can't remember consciously but whom she feels so attracted to.

I agree with other readers, the beginning is a little slow, but in a way, I'm happy I got the first several pages to get to know Laurel and her family before her secret was revealed.

I can't wait for the next book of the series. One of the bad things about reading a book by a new author is waiting for the next book to come out. It is also one of the most fun things. Oh! The speculation and anxiety! I love this kind of torture!!!!!

Go Aprilynne! I'm so happy that this is happening to her. Her own experience is a fairy tale to me, and I hope one day I can have my very own!


View all my reviews.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Tooth Fairy Didn't Come

I have always thought that once the first weeks are gone, I get the hang of things and I can manage this family without a husband. After all, even if he's home I'm the one who cleans and cooks and does laundry. He helps me take the kids to school, and oh, I miss that a lot, especially when stay up until after 1 o'clock watching the American Idol finale or reading/writing/listening to music. But I still get up, and except for a few close calls, I've never slept in and the kids have never been late for school.
Yesterday was a challenging day though. Swan Princess had a field trip to Dinosaur Park, one hour and a half away from home, and I decided to go with her class. At least I didn't have to drive because I rode with two other moms. We arrived home totally exhausted, and as I was planning on just vegetating for about an hour before we had to go for dance recital, I got a message from one of my clients who needed a translation right away. I love having a challenge, seeing what I can do, how much I can stretch myself. Besides, I love having my own money to do whatever I want with it, which is usually buying books for me and clothes for the kids. But father's day is coming up, and there is something weird about buying a present for dad with the money he makes. I know, we've always believed that money, no matter whose name is on the check, belongs to the whole family. Still, I love having my own!
So instead of taking a nap, I did my job, and after taking a lightening fast shower and getting Swan ready for her recital, Gorgeous Boy, Swan and I left.
I loved spending time with only my oldest son, laughing because the three-year-old bumblebees looked so adorable doing their number, and waving like crazy when we saw Pepperminty Swan. On the way back, I got them food from Wendy's even though it was already 10 0'clock and it was Wendy's. The children were happy; they knew it was a special occasion . At home my babies were asleep and my mom looked OK, like she had survived a wreck but still OK. She left, smiling of course, the second I got home.
My Gorgeous Boy wrapped his little tooth which had fallen off on Tuesday, and he asked me if he could put it under his pillow. Due to a little incident, he hadn't been able to the night the tooth fell off. So I said "Yes, of course my love!" and I already knew how much money he would get and how happy he would be the next day, but this morning when he got up I saw the light on his face dim and go out. He handed me his tooth fairy box which still contained his tiny baby tooth, one of the last baby teeth he has left. I didn't know what to say ... I just looked at him, and he must have seen something like guilt in my eyes because he came to me and hugged me and said, "It will be OK mom."
I hurriedly told him not to worry, that it had once happened that the tooth fairy hadn't taken my tooth, and that tonight we would invite the fairy in case he had been busy and not realized he had a job to do at home.
Now, as I write this I realize why and how children find out about about Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. Adults get sloppy; we don't cover our tracks and we show our emotions too readily on our faces. I also realized that usually Jeff plays tooth fairy, and that made me sad, for Gorgeous, and Jeff and me.
Tonight I won't forget; I'll even ask Jeff to call me and remind me. Maybe the tooth fairy will come for real and do his job, the little slacker.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Awesome May Giveaway

http://mormonmommyblogs.blogspot.com/2009/05/may-giveaway-motherload-of-stuff.html

Copy and paste the code to visit the link to some awesome giveaway!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

If today Was Your Last Day

I love music, and I have the radio on from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. When last year I noticed that several of my friends' blogs had a music widget, I searched for one for my own blog. I remember staying up until very late one night in Springfield, Missouri, searching for the music of my life, my own personal soundtrack, if you wish. I included music from Argentina (Soda Stereo, Vilma Palma, and occasional tango), Puerto Rico (reaggeaton and Ricky Martin), from the US, from the 80's and the time my kids were born. Each song I included had a sentimental value to me. Listening to these songs could take me back to my childhood, my teenage years, the first months Jeff and I dated, our wedding, and different other situations in our lives. I realized sometimes it was the tune or rhythm (like Lambada) of a song that called to my heart, and others, it was the lyrics.
Right now, the number one song that speaks to my heart is "If Today Was Your Last Day" by Nickelback. The group is on the heavier side of my musical taste for sure, but those lyrics are branded in my eyes it seems. Whenever the song comes on the radio, the kids and I sing it, and we discuss it. I confess, I think the older kids were a little thrown off balance when we discussed what we would do on our last day of life, but I know it's a good exercise to put things into perspective.
If today was my last day, would I clean the house all day and do laundry nonstop? Probably not.
Would I drive all over town? No, again.
What would I do? I'd probably stay at my favorite place in the world, which is my house, with my kids and Jeff, looking at new and old family pictures while drinking some mate.
I know we can't just hang out around the house doing nothing; there are places to go, and things to do, and I love having a clean house, so maybe if it was the last thing I did, I'd still make sure the house smelled clean, but still, when I get too frustrated about the mess the dogs make, or the food that no one touches, I think about the song's lyrics (wow! that's a long sentence!).
Here they are for you to ponder. Nickelback has proved that behind the hard rocker's voice and sound, there's the sweetness of a poet.


If Today Was Your Last Day
in "Dark Horse" by Nickelback

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

(chorus)
If today was your last day
and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day

(what if, what if)
(if today was your last day)

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you'll never live it twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

(extended chorus)
If today was your last day
and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce of memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you're dreamin' of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothin' stand in your way
Cause the hands of time are never on your side

(Chorus)
If today was your last day
and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?

Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce of memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you're dreamin' of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day
---

These lyrics are not available for printing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Karma

I used to never buy from door to door salesman because I never wanted what they sold. We already had Dishnetwork (remember Jeff sold it for a while, like 3 years?), wasn't interested in Magazines or coupon books, and never dared try the meat or chicken that was offered to me. 
I don't exactly know when I started giving salesmen a chance. It must have been a couple of years ago, when this guy stopped by selling organic beef and chicken. The T-bones were the best I had had in my life (and I'm from Argentina, and I've had my share of T-bone for lunch. It is considered a lunch meat in Argentina, yes). We all liked it so much that every time he stops by, I buy from him.
A few months after the beef guy came the fruit guy. It's always the same man driving a pick-up truck and selling the BEST oranges, grapefruit, and apples in the wold. We go through so much fruit that even if I buy two boxes, we eat it all within the month. Amazing Fall snacks! 
I draw the line at letting salesmen come into the house. I know, my husband does that for a living, but I can't get away from the feeling that I'm going to be robbed or murdered if I let anyone come into my house. So if I'm interested in something being offered to me, I go outside and close the door behind me. 
Today this guy came by offering cleaning products; he demonstrated on the driveway, the glass door, my SUV's rims, and even my plants. I bought from him, and I've been on a cleaning frenzy all evening. The stuff works like magic, and it's non-toxic. It works on glass and granite counter tops, and bathroom, and everything else in between. So tonight when I talked with Jeff I told him I bought something, and he groaned. "What?" I asked him and continued, "You know I NEVER buy from door-to-door people!"
"Yeah, right..." was his reply. The truth is, my heart has softened towards salesmen. I'm sure it has nothing to do with him being in Florida right now; nothing at all. 
I just hope the universe reciprocates my good deed, and when I buy something, five people buy from Jeff. After all, there are five people here rooting for him.   

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Ageless


In my mind my mother has always looked the same and been the same age. Sometimes my siblings and I, while looking at family pictures, would comment on how everyone used to look the same, have the same kind of outfits, the same hairstyle.
My mom was ageless; when she told us stories of her childhood, I pictured her a grown up, playing teacher with the trees, or singing the songs she made up for her father. She could not have been a little girl like me or my sister; even looking at the very few pictures of hers, we couldn't believe she hadn't been a mother forever.
She was one of those mean moms; she didn't let me wear make-up until I was sixteen, and I begged her to let me at least wear lip gloss for a high school dance. When my aunt came to visit us and painted my nails, my mom would make me take it all off once my aunt left the house. She hated my boyfriends, and could see, hear, smell, and perceive every tiny thing any of us four kids were trying to hide from her.
She was so strict even today I see her face on my mind before I take an important decision, and I consider how she will react to what I do. Sometimes I rebel against my instincts to please her, but subconsciously, I hear her voice in my head repeating her endless advise: "Remember who your are," "I don't care what the others do," "I know you can do it."
Now that I am a mother of four myself, I wonder constantly how she did every thing so well. She cleaned the house, cooked every day, did laundry (by hand, mind you!) and ironed every single article of clothing we owned, knitted and sewed our clothes too, and went everywhere with the four of us attached to her. She has never driven, so we'd all go on the bus to school and church. When I ask her how she did it, she always answers, "You were all very good children, and the angels helped me."
I look at pictures of hers now, and she looks the same to me, but when I was born she was only nineteen years old. Sometimes I remember her singing and her laughter, and I hope she enjoyed the years she was a young mother, even though they must have been so hard for her.
My mother and I are friends. Like all friends, we have our good and bad moments, but unlike many friendships, she's the one person who knows things about me I don't even know. The success I have had in my life is a consequence of the principles she taught me. I am my own self; I've done things by myself too, but without her support and direction, I might not have achieved much.
It's very funny to see my mom as a grandmother now; she buys make-up sets for my little daughters, and spoils my boys rotten. She's always saying I'm too hard on the kids, and I look at her in unbelief. The woman has forgotten how she used to be. But she has another role now; she can enjoy these little kids who adore her because at the end of the day, she can have all the time in the world to read or do her embroidery. The kids go back home with me. I'm sure she loves that.
When I was little and I complained about something she did, she used to say, "You'll understand when you have your own children," and of course she was right. I call her sometimes to tell her the things these kids do to me, and she listens and laughs. To her it is all so funny! The little challenges I have are a paradise to her because now she has adult children to worry about. And yes, she worries all the time; this mothering thing never ends, never gives you a break.
On this mother's day, I want to say thanks for all the things I never saw; I never noticed.
I look at my mom and she's still ageless, not a grandmother. I hope I show her my love everyday, as when I was little. Sometimes I go to her house, and even though it is not the place where I grew up, she's there. And that's home, one of them. In one home I am the mother, the fixer of things, the doctor, teacher, judge, playmate and friend. In the other one, I am her daughter; she can take charge of things there, and even my kids know it. When at her house, all the rules go out the window; and they love every second of it. She didn't have a mother as an adult. I feel so fortunate that I do, that even though I am a mother, I can still be a daughter and have her to support me and love me. As I love my children above all other people, she loves me; I can't thank the Lord enough for that.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Newborn Fairy

Thanks to having a deadline for the Utah Children's Writers Association Blog, I got into a writing frenzy and wrote several short stories. You may recall I chose Teenage Warrior, and this one that follows was my first runner up. I think it's very appropriate for this time of the year, a Winter that doesn't want to go, Spring that teases us with blue skies to disappear the next hour. I hope you enjoy it; if you do (or not), write me a few words and let me know what you thought. Thanks!

The Newborn Fairy
By Yamile Saied Mendez

When the earth spins and Spring wakes the world, the fairies make ready to welcome their newborn, who have been dreamt of during the long months of Winter. In a tulip blossom a mother fairy smiles in her sleep, waiting for the arrival of her first child. With her dreaming eyes she can see the perfect features of her baby miracle; chubby, round, rosy cheeks, a tiny upturned nose, long silky eyelashes that leave shadows on the porcelain face. The baby is curled up like a sprout, waiting for the breath of life to wake her from slumber. The child also dreams. The images in her mind are bright colors dancing in a golden light, a wisp of black hair, and the music of a happy laughter. Mother and child are each others’ dream, tied together by a ribbon of love.
For a moment the mother stirs; she can feel a change in the air outside her red cocoon. But Spring has been delayed. In a neighboring rose, a mother fairy wakes up before her time. She thought the winter storm was bringing her baby. When she realizes her error, she cries in disappointment. She can’t fall asleep again, and her dream is lost in the night. The rose fairy sings a song to guide her babe to her. She can’t see her child, but her child can hear her and follow her voice.
In the tulip, the mother fairy now dreams of a dancing fairy child, wild hair whipping in the air. The child is learning how to fly, and peals of laughter perfume the air and send light to everything they touch. Fairy laughter gives the world its colors. Bumblebees, butterflies and hummingbirds fight amongst themselves to entertain the child, but the winner is a clumsy dragonfly that falls in the pond, drenching his wings in the cool water. He smiles a silly smile, and the fairy giggles with delight. The mother still smiles in her sleep, imagining her daughter’s voice, the sweetness of her kisses, the silkiness of her skin.
Mother Earth moves her pregnant belly, and stirs the winds that bring Spring showers. The tulip drinks her nourishment, and grows. In the gray skies there is a glimpse of golden light, and through the clouds, the fingers of Father Sun stretch to touch the Earth, coloring a pathway for thousands of children of light who slide down the rainbow.
The rose fairy sings loudly, searching for her white haired son. Her eyes can’t see him anymore, but her heart leaps when the sun rays touch her flower. In the white light, she feels a breeze brush her lips. She closes her eyes, and feels her baby snuggling against her chest. Father Sun smiles down on them, and the rose fairy waves with her hand in gratitude. Her song wakes the birds.
The tulip fairy hears her name called in the wind and rain, and when she opens her eyes, she sees her miracle baby swaddled in light. The child is even more beautiful than what she had seen in her dreams. Mother fairy gazes into her daughter’s eyes and sees herself smiling in joy. The babe hungrily sucks her mother’s milk and smiles in contentment; then, she closes her eyes to continue her dreams. Now, the wisp of black hair has a face. The face of love, the touch of silk, the music of rain is her mother.