Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Favorite Things This Month - March

1. My Dog, Coco Beware: We got Coco Beware on May 7th of last year from my sister n law, Vanessa. I didn't hesitate for a second but I did regret it just a little when I started training him. "What are you thinking!" I was told. "You have two children and now another dog! How do you have the time!?" Well, I didn't have the time, but what was I to do? I wanted a puppy and even though training takes time and lots and lots of patience, I took the challenge and went and did it. But now I'd like to report that Mr. Coco Beware is house broken, 100% trained by no other than me. It took exactly ten months to train him, actually I take that back it took, 8 months for him to hang out outside of his crate all day without any accidents and 10 months to sleep with my other two dogs, outside of his crate at night. I do take a lot of pride in training my dogs. I hate seeing dogs in crates all day long. With patience, persistence and well-rounded daily routine dogs can be easily trained to walk around the house with no accidents. Now, the only problem, I have with Coco is chews my daughters toys but, I give him a pass because he's still growing.

2. Fillo Dough: I love this dough! It is so easy to bake and make into exciting and easy pastries and Hors d'oeuvres. I don't mind spending more an hour or more working with Filo. I think I have finally found my niche.

3. Baba Ganoush: John worst mistake was to introduce to Baba Ganoush. I can devour this thing with all the pita breads in the world and be satisfied. I take the Ganoush over Hummus any day.

4. Garlic-Pepper Seasoning: I don't like pepper at all, but John bought this Garlic-Pepper seasoning as an additional spice for our foods and I have to say garlic gives it that little extra pepper push that I had not tasted before. Not bad!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Five on Friday - Handle

1.How well do you handle the sight of blood?

Not well at all. I may be color who knows, but I just panick.

2.How well do you handle bumpy plane rides?

Not well at all. In fact, I don't like plane rides. I like vacations but not plane rides.

3.How well do you handle spicy food?

Very well, in fact. Whoever invented spicy food is top chef in my house.

4.How well do you handle (or think you could handle) yourself in fisticuffs?

My husband thinks I hit like a girl but I know I can cause some real damage.

5.How well do you handle a chef’s knife?

Butter knife, very well. Thank you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Glass Slippers: For Real!

Marc Jacobs has come out with the real deal Glass "Cinderella" Slipper for those who ever dream of owning their own fairy tale slipper. As for me, I can't imagine how my toes would look inside this pump! But most importantly, why in the world would I spend $595 on a pair of shoes. 

And since we are in the topic of shoes. These shoes were sold at auction only for $57,000. They were Marie Antoinette's shoes circa 1790. She were worn for a particular French celebration sometime in the month of July in 1790. My question is: Who saw Antoinette wear this shoes this particular day? They wore dresses down to the floor! At any rate, these pair may have been pretty and fashionable back in the day but who would wear them today? They could be haunted!

What Not To Wear: Prom and Proper

Apparently, U.S. High Schools have finally decided not to allow teenage girls to dress inappropriately. I wonder why it took them so long? Perhaps it was getting out of hand. But, really, if the parents allow their daughters to dress like tramps why would anyone else care? It is not the schools issue to tell everyone how to properly dress, God forbid, it should be the parents first line of duty to show their daughters how to dress properly and respectfully. I was not allowed by neither of my parents to disrespected them in the way I dressed or spoke.

Moms who buy these sort of clothes for their own daughters are shameful.

I don't like any of the appropriate dresses either. I have seen very cute, nice and proper prom dresses better than the ones below.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

When I Get Sick

When I get sick it truly sucks in many, many levels. I can't play, I can't laugh, I don't feel like stepping out, I feel guilty for laying in bed, I blame myself for not taking care of myself knowing my family needs me. I need to take supplements every day not just when I remember. I must take my Advair every day not just when my Ashtma kicks in full force.

I wish I could call my Doctor and say, "send me a Z Pack please." That way I don't have to d r i v e to see him and explain is the same thing I get when I sick. I could only do half our laundry yesterday.

John was able to pick up where I couldn't and ordered me to bed and made me chicken soup. He got brownie points yesterday.

HATE being sick. Period.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Emotionally Relocate

Earlier today, I had made a decision not to go to my grief class due to many, many excuses, So, when I called John he told me this parable of a dog sitting on top of a nail in a corner, long story short, at 6:40pm, I was on my way to my class. My intuition was telling it was going to be a painful class and perhaps I should have paid more attention and not allowed John to made me feel guilty.

Tonight, we shared "good stories" of our relationship about our deceased one. I had none to share. I struggled to find one story but nothing came to mind. I sat there unable to speak or say anything. When the facilitator asked me to share, I said pass. I felt overwhelmed and I only wanted to get out of there. I felt just like I did at his funeral. Hurt and angry.

I need to forgive.

This is the prayer we did tonight:

Dear Lord, I know that...

To let go is not to welcome sorrow but learn from it.

To let go is not to deny but to accept.

To let go is not to stop caring but to care in a different way.

To let go is not to reject what was but to make the most of what can be.

To let go is not to isolate myself but to realize I can make it on my own.

To let go is not to push others away but to let them into my life.

To let go is not to forget the past but to live in the present and dream for the future.

To let go is to fear less and love more.

Dear Lord, help me to let go.

-Author unknown

Monday, March 19, 2012

Being Human - Grief Is Not a Mental Illness

I have been given prescriptions for depression among all other things but I have always refused to even purchase them due to the fact that these pills do not fix the problem; they only put a blanket over the issue at hand. And yes, I'm very normal, only that I deal with my issues differently. People view having depression as abnormal and if you grieve longer than month, one is seen as being stuck and one is no longer well perceived by those who "are normal."
By: Chuck Colson
Published: March 14, 2012

How do emotions become mental disorders? Well, it depends how you define “mental disorders.”

Last year, Dr. Marcia Angell began a two-part series in the New York Review of Books by writing, “It seems that Americans are in the midst of a raging epidemic of mental illness, at least as judged by the increase in the numbers being treated for it.”

Her use of the word “seems” told readers that Angell, who teaches at Harvard Medical School, was skeptical.

That’s putting it mildly. Obviously, Angell doesn’t doubt the reality of mental illness or the toll it takes on people. Her concern is that it is becoming “harder and harder to be normal.”

Case in point: A National Institutes of Mental Health survey of random adults found that 46 percent met the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria for mental illness at some point in their lives.

Angell calls this finding “astonishing” and asks the obvious question: “Why?”
One answer is the ever-expanding definition of “mental illness.” As Angell pointed out, back in 1968, within most Americans’ lifetimes, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the so-called “bible of psychiatry,” contained 185 diagnoses.

By 1980, it had risen to 265. The 2000 edition reported 365 and the next edition, to be published in 2013, will undoubtedly have more. Among possible new entries is something called “grieving disorder.”

When you think about it, the idea of grief as mental illness is absurd. As the British medical journal The Lancet put it, “Grief is not an illness; it is more usefully thought of as part of being human and a normal response to the death of a loved one.”

Grief is our response to loss and to reminders of our finitude. We grieve because on this side of eternity nothing good lasts forever.

While neither grief nor loss is good in and of themselves, the experience of them can be beneficial: It can help you gain perspective and can make us more resilient. I’m not denying that real suffering is involved, but even if we just muddle through the experience we can become stronger. I’ve given to many friends who are grieving a wonderful book by C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed.

Of course, there are people for whom grief turns into a debilitating downward spiral. They need and should get professional help. Some people may need medication, but The Lancet is right when it says that, in most cases, “doctors would do better to offer time, compassion, remembrance and empathy” instead of pills.

The journal is also correct when it says that classifying grief as mental illness is part of a larger pattern of “medicalizing” everyday experiences. Instead of being shy, people suffer from “social phobia;” people who were once called “jerks” are now described as having “antisocial personality disorder.”

This is, as Angell tells us, partly driven by our infatuation with pharmaceuticals. A psychiatric label means that there may be a pill that will make it better, and TV ads regularly promote it.

The real problem is that we increasingly see ourselves as biochemical machines with brains instead of souls. What we think and feel is the product of brain chemistry and correcting what ails us is a matter of tinkering with that chemistry.

This worldview has no place for compassion, remembrance, or empathy because, ultimately, it has no room for being human, especially a normal one.

Seaman Happenings

Javier, our nephew and his beautiful fiance visited us on his short trip home. It was great seeing him and his pictures from his trips around the world!

They love to stir food when I'm cooking. 

and Raquel loves to wear all her necklaces and bracelets and wear her sister's sun glasses. 

Spring time came in way early this year and as far as anyone is concerned no one is complaining about the warm weather and the rain we have recieved.

A true gardener in the making. Sofia does not mind getting dirty. In fact, she decided to build dirt castles for the "little dirt people." 

Not Raquel! She doesn't like to get dirty one bit. So she decided to follow her daddy and ask the same question one hundred times. "What you doing Daddy?" Of course, we thought it was cute. 

"What you doing Daddy?" - 30th time.

"What you doing Daddy?" - 84th time.

In the meantime, Sofia continued on making her dirt castles. 

"What you doing Daddy?" 100th time. 

Then Sofia found a shell like thingy while building her dirt castles. 

I will show Raquel how to make Jewerly early on so that I will keep her busy.

Sofia loves to build as well. She's very proud.

John showed them how to plant a seed. They have been thrilled to see the seeds grow. 

Supper time for the dolls!

While I was busy in the kitchen the next minute, my living room had turned into a camping ground.

Letter of the Day: R!

and they keep stirring away! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Movies We Watch

Movie: Reel Steel

I felt in love with boxing in the 80's. My dad used to watch a lot of boxing matches on TV and I remember when Mike Tyson become popular. This movie took me back to those days of amazing boxing fights that get you up on your feet and start cheering for your guy, in this case, robots box in a ring with the owner, Hugh Jackman as Charlie who controls the robot. Set in the future, fights are no longer done by man but by pretty amazing robots. Charlie fight his robot and loses bets along the way, but a son he has never met and now has custody takes him along with him and together they find "Atom" the robot who takes them into the biggest venue there is to fight Zeus the undefeated World Champion Robot. On a side note, Hugh Jackman does take his shirt off. This movie blew us away by the amazing robot fights and the father-son struggles along the way. I didn't expect too much out of this movie, besides just seeing Hugh Jackman without his shirt off. We loved the ending!

4 Hugh Jackman's Stars!

Movie: Killer Elite

A true life story spy movie that has two different stories colliding into one. Set in 1981 we see a retire spy agent who is called by a rich Arab to help him evenge his three sons death if not his captured spy friend would die. The payback: Six million dollars. After ten minutes, we turned on the subtitles as their English accent was rather hard to understand. The beginning and end of this movie were ok, somewhat flat, the middle was good when Jason Stathan, hired his crew and planned the murders. Clive Owens plays an agent who collides with Jason in a great fight scene. I do like Clive Owens. Overall, not a good movie, not a bad either. Oh yeah, and Robert Deniro shouldn't be running at his age, he looks bad running.

2 1/2 stars.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five on Friday - Go Fly a Kite

1.When was the last time you flew a kite?

Let's see. I was probably ten. I was in El Salvador and we always made our kites out of newspaper. It was always fun making them, attaching a string was, I think the hardest. If the wind was blowing too hard, the string would snap out of the kite and it was back to square one.

2.When did you last jump into a lake?

My Father used to take us to Lavon Lake here in Dallas. I hate it. It was muddy. Not like the lakes back in El Salvador.

3.When did you last get outta town?

This year January to Kansas City, MO. Job related.

4.When did you last take a hike?

I believe it was last fall, Labor Day. We are due for one very soon.

5.When did you last play in traffic?

I don't quite understand this question, since driving and playing do not correlate like texting and driving.

Friday, March 9, 2012

10 Things to Never Say to a Working Mom

1. It must be hard missing all those special moments every day.

Comments like these certainly never help when us working moms help bring the bread home, but they are a lot of insensitive stay home moms out there who have nothing better to do than to judge and criticize. Comments like this, I'm sure help them forget about their insecurities for a day.

2. I suppose it's smart that you're working. You know, in case your husband leaves you some day.

I was doing the math this week, and I've been working 23 years non-stop with that in mind,I wouldn't want to put all the burden on my husband, much less, make him feel he's got to financially support me. I believe it is my duty to work hard for him and my daughters. I don't work just for myself.

3. I'm surprised you went back to work. Your husband seems so successful.

If John made a gazillion dollars a year, I still wouldn't sit back with my arms cross doing nothing. What a waste of a lifetime.

4. It's cute when they call your nanny "Mama."

There is only one "Mama" in my house and I wear that title. Our Nanny is called by her God-given name. Ms. Patricia and she is loved, respected and a part of our family.

5. I just love my kids too much to leave them during the day.

I love my daughters and they love me, but there is nothing wrong with us being a part for a few hours; they are excited when they see me coming home. Our bond isn't broken one bit by me going away to work. My mom worked hard for us and even though I missed her dearly, I was thrilled at the sight of her when she came home. Her sacrifice will never be forgotten.

6. Did you see Dateline? The one with the hidden camera in the day care?

Well, yes I did! And that's why I was blessed that my Mother cared for my daughters in my own home for the first two years of their lives. Their schedules and naps were never interrupted.

7. I could never let someone else raise my children. But that's just me!

You Silly Rabbit, who ever said I ain't raising my kids? Everything is done to my expectations, you fool!

8. I hated my mom because she was never home after school like everyone else's mom.

Well, you weren't alone. My mom was a single mom and if she didn't work, we would have probably lived out in the street. My mom was straight up and told us if she didn't work, there was no food, no clothes, no brick house over our heads, and no private school. Yes, I hated that she wasn't home but I never reproached her for working.

9. You must feel so guilty.

Sure, I did. And there are times that I do want to stay home and do stuff with my daughters but our reality is different from those that can. Therefore, you go ahead and keep the guilt trip to yourself, no need to spread it.

10. I wish I were as laid-back as you and could just let the housework go.

Now, this one is hilarious! Who says I let go of the housework! I would not allow for my family to live in a filthy house and yes, I must admit that I work harder than stay home moms. Yes, I do work harder than any stay home moms. My house is clean and no I don't hire help, I'm the cook, yes, I cook everyday, real food not the frozen kind; I am the nurse - I have to make sure there are enough band aids to go around, etc, etc. etc. Everything a stay home mom does, I do and more.

Lastly, I'm a working mom, hear me roar! I'm not ashamed and yes, my kids are no less than your kids.

- Liz Gumbinner of

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Movies We Watch

Movie: There Be Dragons

"All wars begin long before the first shot is fired and continue long after the last bullet has done its job."
Set during the Spanish Civil War and tells the story between two friends Manolo and Josemaria Escriva who later becomes a Priest who during the civil war starts Opus Dei (God's Work.) This movie is about betrayal, love, hatred, friendship but most importantly about forgiveness. This movie moves slow but the ending is so powerful and it hit too close to home for me; I cried and cried at the end of this movie, very powerful. The Dragons are the ones that you can't let go from within ourselves, the dragons are the ones who keep us from moving forward, from forgiving.
5 Stars.

Movie: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Chimpanzee's are captured and seized from their natural habitat and used as lab rats to find the cure for Alzeimer's then suddenly something goes wrong and all of the Chimpanzee's are killed but not before finding out a baby Chimpanzee who has been born with the drug given by his mother, now dead and Ceaser is now raised by the Doctor who later leads the first EVER Chimpanzee revolution from mankind. This is a great prequal to the original Planet of the Apes movie. I love animals and I can't stand it when animals are being abused. Great movie and I bit off all my nails! Ceasar is home! and E.T went home! I hope there's a sequal to this one, they sure led you to believe that!
5 Ape Stars