raised by culture

raised by culture: April 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Duke on Omar.

I started to write a post on Omar and our 6 year old Duke saw it, started to read it and this is what he typed:

He's so cute.
He's so beautiful.
I love Omar.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

This week in Art.

Fafi made a rare appearance at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra on April 16th.  Unfortunately, I found out too late and missed it. I would love this print and if you want it too, let them know! Fafi - Artwork - hululu (eyepatch) - Nucleus | Art Gallery and Store

One of my favorite Artists Greg "Craola" Simkins has a show opening tomorrow, April 21st at Merry Karnowsky Gallery in LA.  Also showing is Artist Johnny "KMNDZ" Rodriguez: One Step Beyond.  Both shows run until May 19th, 2012.  Do not miss it!

Greg "Craola" Simkins
Cloud Theory
Johnny "KMNDZ" "Rodriguez
One Step Beyond

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Loving:  My life.  I finally feel I'm where I need to be.  I can't explain it in this post so I'll save it for another one.

Thinking About: Shopping! When I was a teenager I used to hit thrift stores and yard sales like crazy. I didn't get back into it till last year and it's been so good to us. Still haven't made it out to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena and it makes me sad. I can't stop thinking about the stuff I might find.  It is addicting.

Anticipating: Still anticipating the birth of our baby. I will be induced tomorrow at 9am.  I was induced with my oldest two.  I had a checkup on Ty's due date and the Dr. said I was leaking amniotic fluid for a couple days.  I wasn't having contractions so we needed to get him out.  I got the pitocin drip and it was a long process, I wasn't a fan.  With Dame, he was 10 days overdue and again, I had to be induced.  Because the Dr. waited so long to induce him, they kept him for 5 days for observation, I was devastated that I couldn't go home with my baby.  Again, I wasn't a fan.  Now Duke, I went into labor on his due date.  I don't know how I did it but I made spaghetti for dinner that night, was feeling fine and then my contractions came on strong.  I still took the time to take a shower and then we rushed to the Hospital.  I think I was only in labor for 6 hours, Duke wanted out!  I kept hoping this little would change his mind but it's looking like his date with destiny is set tomorrow.  I can't wait.  We are all so excited!  

Sidenote* This will be the first time I've ever been away from Duke and for at least 2 days!   

Listening To:  The hum of the air conditioner in the living room, the rattle of blinds in our room and Curious George on TV.

Eating: My husband and I had, what probably is going to be our last dates for awhile, lunch out yesterday and today.  Yesterday he wanted Sam Woo and today I wanted Tacos San Pedro. I don't know if it's because I am pregnant but the food at both places were exceptionally good.  Nothing worse than feeding a very anxious pregnant woman some awful food!  

We order a la carte at Sam Woo - Yesterday was Chicken Fried Rice, Sweet & Sour Pork and Beef and Broccoli.  
At Tacos San Pedro, I got a Carne Asada Plate.

Wishing: BlogHer was in San Diego this year instead of New York.  I love New York but the expenses and dates away from my newborn are just impossible.  I really love connecting with fellow bloggers and hoped that I would get to meet more this year.  Last year I barely got my feet wet and this year I feel like I'm really ready to take it on.      

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today's Scores

Duke has been on a Dr. Seuss kick for a couple months now. It started when we took him to see The Lorax on opening weekend and the weekend after that, one of his friends at school had a Dr. Seuss themed Birthday Party. He pretends he's the Once-ler and has almost memorized The Lorax. We've stocked up on books from Target - surprisingly only $5 each and borrowed the others from our local library. His Amazon.com wish list is full of Dr. Seuss. So imagine my luck when I came across these Dr. Seuss goodies at our favorite thrift store:

Horton Hears A Who Vinyl .95
Horton Hears A Who Vinyl

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are - This was .95 with the How The Grinch Stole Christmas Coloring Book
Dr. Seuss finds
Dr. Seuss finds

American Me book from 1948 (Missing it's dust cover) $1.95
American Me book 1948
The inside has a few illustrations.
American Me book 1948
And a glossary of Spanish and Spanglish words.
American Me book 1948

I'm always on the look out for frames. These gorgeous ornate frames were $1.95
Ornate Frames!

Alice In Wonderland book from 1946 (Missing it's dust cover - not sure it had one) $1.95
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

1909 Sears Catalog from 1979 .95
I have been wanting one of these forever! It's a reprint but it's still interesting to check out
1909 Sears Catalog from 1979
1909 Sears Catalog from 1979
1909 Sears Catalog from 1979

My husband and I are huge fans of print so coming across these treasures guarantees our house will be full of books for the kids for the next few generations.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Business as usual.

My life is always busy. I think everyone (especially family & friends) assumes that because I'm always on Social Media that I'm not working on thangs...

Last week, the week of my due date, I had an appointment with my college Counselor to discuss updating my Educational Plan. I changed from transferring to a CSU because of the impending enrollment freeze and tuition raise to obtaining my AA and declaring my official major as Marketing. Because of this change, some classes I'm in the process of taking weren't worth anything, just fluff on my transcript and a complete waste of time. I left her office in a daze wondering what could I do to make this work for me? So last night, I went back to see my Counselor again and decided on declaring a double major. The dreaded Business Management degree. I have been in the business long enough to know that this career is in my blood but I really don't care for it - I just wanted it to be official and on paper. So now, God Willing, I'll be done with school in a year to 18 months and then we can move on with our life plan!

Yesterday I had another checkup, still dilated only 1.5cm and no contractions so I am scheduled to be induced this Saturday. I'm trying to be optimistic that he shows up on his own. I was induced with my oldest 2 and I didn't like it. I've been given tons of advice by family & friends: Have sex, eat spicy food, walk, do squats, try castor oil...

With my baby's date in place, I got cracking on assignments and exams. I was so productive today and now we're back to the waiting game.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunday Morning Hospital Trip.

Woke up. Looked at my cellphone. It was 8:46am.

I went pee. There was blood when I wiped. Wiped again, MORE BLOOD. Yelled at C to wake up and look at my bloody toilet paper. Stood up to flush and there was a blood clot at the bottom of the toilet bowl. I freaked. I've just heard about mucus plugs being pinkish and the same with "bloody show".

We decided to go to the Hospital. I took a shower. While waiting for my Ex's wife to drop off my oldest son Ty, I went over some rules with Duke. My Ex's Wife came up with Ty and said if we needed anything to let her know. Chris & I talked with the kids for a minute, kissed 'em goodbye and we were on our way.

When we got to the triage area of Labor & Delivery, I saw my Nurse Midwife and felt relieved. Checked in at about 10am, had to pee in a cup, get a gown on and wait in a room. The Charge Nurse strapped on the baby heart monitor and the contractions monitor. My Nurse Midwife came in and checked my cervix, 1.5cm dilated and she commented that my "bloody show" was more than normal but perfectly fine. We discussed a few things and said they would discharge me in an hour if the baby was fine.

C found the Hospital's FREE Wifi was super fast and that we didn't have any cellphone reception in the Labor & Delivery section of the Hospital.

Thank God our baby is fine. Checked out at about Noon and we were starving.

Every pregnancy is different. This being my 4th pregnancy, I still don't know what to expect and no, it's not like riding a bike. It doesn't get any easier. I have to laugh at people that think it does. There are no routines. You play it by ear, by the baby's rules. You do what the baby wants. Someone who deserves huge props is Michelle Duggar. I couldn't put my mind, body and soul through 20 pregnancies.

I have an appt. tomorrow morning and we should know a little more then but so far, no regular contractions. Thanks for all the well wishes and love!

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Peek-A-Boo Baby Where Are You?

The waiting game.

Today is my due date. Still no sign of baby. My husband Chris made last night a little special for me. He went grocery shopping, cooked dinner, washed dishes, we snuggled on the couch and he told me cute things. And now I'm finally ready for this baby.

I should check my Hospital bag again.

I need to write a post-it with other stuff I need to grab: My cellphone, charger, camera, camera charger, wallet... that 2 liter of Cherry Coke my husband bought last night. Mmm... I can't wait till I can drink Cherry Coke. And have some sushi. A couple sunny side up eggs. All things pregnant women shouldn't have.

There's four weeks left in the Spring Semester. I think I'm crazy for taking on as many classes as I did this semester. Especially since I was sick with morning sickness my first trimester and had to drop 2 classes last semester. I need to take another post-it and write the remaining assignments and due dates. After the semester I'll be enjoying my little family - FOR THE WHOLE SUMMER. We're planning on taking advantage of California's Paid Family Leave together and extending my Post-Natal Maternity Leave an extra 6 weeks.

I saw my Dr. on Wednesday and he said if nothing happens, I'll be induced next Friday or Saturday so until then, we're keeping it low-key and waiting around here at home. Wish us luck!

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Caine's Arcade.

Do yourself a favor and watch this video. Watch it with your kids. Make your significant other watch it. Tell others about it.

Caine is amazing. So creative and inspiring. It's good to know that kids these days still have an active imagination and don't rely on the latest devices and video games. His Dad is supportive and from watching this video, brings me back to what The Former First Lady Hillary Clinton said, "It takes a village". Kids are capable of changing the World but it starts in our homes, in our communities. Do your part to encourage a kid to do something.

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New Generations of Life & The Internet.

I've been on the Internet since 1996. It's amazing that I remember the exact year. I feel super old when I say it but super proud. Card-carrying member of the Internet since 1996. I used to pay for the Internet by the hour. On dial-up slows, not speeds. My sons will never know how slow the Internet was. They'll never know Geocities pages and life before Google and YouTube. We used to have to sit at a desk to use the Internet (or a Computer) and now they can go online anywhere and sometimes, for free.

If you live in the dark ages and think that meeting people on the Internet in 2012 is weird, imagine meeting people back in the 90s. My inner nerd is going to show but I don't care... We used to have crews, cliques, whatever you want to call them and we'd meet up to party, have dinner, catch the newest episode of The Sopranos. It was awesome.

One of the longest Internet friendships I've had is with Noel. We figure we've known each other for about 13 years. He went from growing up in NY to living in LA, meeting his future wife and moving back to NY - got married and had kids. He has a huge circle of family and friends and I've added friends, got to experience NY, expanded my knowledge of photography and music all because of him. He's one of the good dudes and his wife Ana is just as awesome. It's no wonder they have 2 amazing kids.

Ana & Noel were in town last week and we finally got to meet their sons Gabo & Natho. Duke and Gabo warmed up to eachother and were so sad when we had to say bye. When Ana brought up that they could Skype or Facetime eachother, I couldn't help but think, "Damn this is technology, our kids are lucky." We'll be lucky if they remain friends like us. We can hope.

Noel & Natho
Gabo & Duke playing freeze
Gabo & Duke at the Thrift Store

The Internet has evolved, thus is life. Guaranteed for a good time.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

A week till my due date...

7 days. I can't believe it's already here. 39 weeks of being pregnant flew by.

This pregnancy has been full of emotions, I thought my first 2 would be it and then Duke came along and we wanted more. We still want more kids but sadly, I'm knocking on 40's door (in another 3 years) and financially, we can't do it. I always wonder how my Grandparents did it, in another time, in another place - they were able to raise 6 kids. That's not the case these days and it's sad.

Because I was 36 when I got pregnant with this one, I had to go through Genetics Counseling and additional screenings. I was advised to have an Amnio done. We declined. There was no way we were going to put ourselves through a potential miscarriage, especially since this one would be our last one. Whatever God had planned for us, we would deal with.

I had morning sickness with this pregnancy and with my other 3 boys I didn't so I thought there was a possibility this would be our girl. All we cared about was that our baby would be healthy but I couldn't resist shopping the baby girls section, there were so much cute stuff! When I had to see a Specialist in my 6th month, he confirmed that we were very much having another boy. All the super cute girls clothes and shoes had to be returned and we started shopping for a boy.

I've been active and busy with this pregnancy, in the beginning because of the morning sickness, I actually lost weight but I went on early Maternity leave at the end of January because of drama at work and started to gain weight. I've gained about 20 pounds and it is all in my belly. This baby has been so busy and I can feel everything he does. He loves hearing Duke's voice and usually reacts when Daddy is around.

We're so grateful to our friends that have sent the baby gifts - We're so happy to have you in our lives.

We took a tour of the Hospital on Wednesday and it really kicked up my emotions. He's going to be here. Any day now. I need my rest. Chris needs his rest. I can't wait till I can look into his eyes, hear that beautiful first cry, smell his toes, kiss his feet, hope he grabs my finger... I can't wait for you baby. We are so excited for your arrival. You can't imagine how much we love you.

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness.

My husband Chris is an amazing gentleman. We're teaching our sons to be the same.

I love when he stops to hold open the door for strangers, when he says, "Thank you" to someone holding open the door for us, when someone needs help grabbing something off a shelf and he asks if they need help... Most importantly, I'm proud of how he has stepped up to caring for 2 of our local Homeless men, Rudy & John.

Around the holidays - after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, I came up with the idea to make "Care Packages" for our local Homeless. There were a few we've seen around the neighborhood just doing their thing, never begging for money, never holding up signs. I mentioned on Facebook my idea and my coworker/friend Maria said she would like to donate too. So one afternoon we hit Dollar Tree and stocked up on supplies. I packaged up huge recycling Ikea bags and we left them in the truck to hand out whenever we saw them.

John was the first one Chris made contact with, he introduced himself, shook his hand and asked if he'd be interested in a care package - John said yes and since then, Chris has bought him a hot breakfast and stopped to give him $10 on another day.

One of John's carts

Rudy is the 2nd one we watch over. Chris gave Rudy a care package too and since then, every can and bottle we've saved - we give the bag to Rudy to recycle. Rudy smiles so big when Chris pulls up.

We tried to give care packages to a Homeless lady we always see by the mall but she wasn't interested. It didn't discourage us though.

A couple months ago one of my friends on Facebook asked for crayons, coloring books, stuffed animals, socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste because she was going to visit India and wanted to give them to local kids. She returned this month and we got this picture. How precious!!!

A lot of times we get lost in our own lives that we forget to do for others. Giving does so much for your soul, try it sometime!

If you want to create your own care packages for your local homeless...

Here's what we picked up at Dollar Tree to make 4 care packages - We spent about $20:
  • (2) 3 packs of Toothbrushes with Travel Holders
  • (4) Tubs of Baby Wipes
  • (4) Mini Deodorants
  • One package of cough drops
  • One package of mints
  • One box of bandages
  • (4) Packages of Rain Ponchos
  • One 4 pack of Gum
  • One 6 pack of Shavers
Thank You Maria for donating:
  • Tube socks
  • (4) Bottles of Mouth Wash
  • (4) Packages of Crackers and assorted snacks

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