Monday, October 12, 2009

Where has the year gone? (I don't really need an answer, I KNOW where the year has gone.) So we're heading right back into the holiday season again, and I'm determined to hang on to EVERY shred of my sanity. With my "buy low, sell high" philosophy, Christmas should be a breeze. Plus, I cancelled it. Remember?

Lydia is in 3rd grade now and is becoming a bit of a math genius, if her MAP scores are to be believed. How this is possible being the spawn of 2 people who couldn't balance a checkbook to save their lives is beyond me. She's also an excellent reader. This does not surprise me. Books are our friends. Her current obession is a booked titled, "Emily Upham's Revenge or How Deadwood Dick Saved the Banker's Niece". She's been working on it for about 2 weeks now. She reports that she is currently on page 160.

Genevieve is getting big, literally, surpassing her peers in weight and height, where once she was such a peanut. She likes to dance and sing and read books. Lydia brought home a box full of new books for her from the neighbor's house yesterday. And that, my friends, is what raising decent human beings is all about, is it not? One sister, being thoughtful and procuring new books for another? My work here is done. Just kidding.

We've got dance class, Girl Scouts and in January - skating lessons for them both. We've got 2 trampolines in the backyard by a stroke of good fortune. Anyone need a trampline? Brand new? You can have it for a song!

Early snow showers are making everything kind of pretty today. Although I question my ability to get through the winter with a smile on my face if winter is going to start 6 weeks earlier than normal. Pray for me.
In other housekeeping news, literally, Lydia left something strange and juicy in her room and now we have an invasion of fruit flies. In October. With snow on the ground. Help.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Christmas 2008

Well, Little Reyes Sisters, I sincerely hope you enjoyed this past Christmas, because it will our last. <collective gasp from everyone reading this>

Let me explain. You see kids, Christmas is hard. I don't mean emotionally hard, we have liquor for that. I mean it's difficult. The magic, the warm memories, the WOW Santa gifts waiting in the living room for you on Christmas morning - all converge upon me in the weeks leading up to the blessed birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and conspire to kill me. And it isn't for lack of effort on my part. I shop, I bake, I arrange for the delivery of surprise gifts that requires a level of global logistics that boggles the mind, just to make the holiday special.

So what I'm saying is, I've given it the old vo-tech try, and 8 years into it, I'm calling her quits. From now on, its one gift a piece which you will open at an appointed time in a rented time share in any exotic location from Grand Rapids, Minnesota to Acapulco, Mexico, depending on how many "points" grandma and grandpa have left over on their plan in any given year. The world is our oyster, girls.

And don't worry, there will still be cocktail and hor d'eurves on Christmas eve (you guys haven't gotten to fully appreciate that part yet, but you will.) And we will still gather as a family to play liquor dice. Trust me, you won't even notice a difference. After all, they have Christmas eve mass everywhere, right?

You may think me cruel, or selfish, or maybe even just lazy. But here's the thing: I have a sneaking suspicion that if I ask you in May what you got for Christmas last year, you will have trouble listing even 3 things. But after a fabulous family vacation over Christmas, you will be able to recount memories that we have made well into the future. That is my hope, anyway....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Got Flour

You know you're jealous of her mad rolling pin skillz!

And I'm so grateful for all of the help with the lefse stick!

You may think by looking @ this picture of Lydia that we were making lefse in the middle of July, but no, she is just dressed unseasonably.

On Sunday, Robin & Jaime came to our house to make lefse. Lefse is a tradition in our family. So is lutefisk, but we want no part of that. (Sorry Grandpa). I don't know if it was the recipe (my grandma's) or the people who were trying to make it, but the dough was very hard to work with and the lefse didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. But we had a great time. And I'm sure we'll be done wiping the fine layer of flour dust off of every surface in the kitchen before the holidays roll around. And as it turns out, the person who had the most success rolling out & grilling the lefse? One Miss Lydia Marcela.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


So then why didn't I upload a picture? Look, I'm going to be completely honest here. Posting from work is quick. It's easy. It's convenient. Posting at home is hard. It takes a long time. I'm not bright enough to figure out if we can afford high-speed at home. I could go on and on - you see where this is going. But I promise you this: I will post a picture within the next month. Okay, within the next week. No let's be realistic, I'm busy. Within the next month.

Lydia is 2 weeks in to her preparation classes for her First Reconciliation. I'm so in love with the nun that runs the Faith Formation program. Who wouldn't be? With her sensible shoes and flippy little haircut. She's adorable! Anyway, last night we were trying to memorize the Act of Contrition. Apparently there are a few different ones - because that isn't the one we were working on. But it was difficult nonetheless. I didn't ever memorize and act of contrition. Need to know the words to the Hail Mary? I'm your gal. Our Father? "Me! Me! Pick me!" The act of contrition, however, seems to be falling out of my head as quickly as I try to cram the words in there. Lydia too.

Jenna has been sick with a cold/cough/runny nose/ear infection. I think she has turned a corner though. She's about 4 days into a 10-day course of amoxicillin and feeling better. And by the way, enough with the amoxicillin. If there is a more useless, ineffective antibiotic out there, I'd like to see it. Would I be a bad mother if I waltzed into the pediatrician's office and demanded an IM dose of Rocephin at the first sign of trouble? Seriously - just shoot 'em in the ass with the good stuff and let's ALL get on with our lives! I know, I'm horrible and selfish. Here, give me the syringe and I'll administer another 6 mL's of sweet pink bacteria-killing nectar!

My sweater has a funny smell today. That's about it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Kingdom for a Camera

If you thought my description of Lydia's first day of school outfit was outlandish, you should get a load of what she came up with for today. Again, I apologize for not being able to post a picture, but suffice it to say, today's outfit has her equally ready for a day of learning or an evening at the prom.

A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law Mireya, who has 2 girls that are slightly older than Lydia, sent a couple of fancy dresses from Mexico. The one that Lydia chose for today is lavender, with 6 lbs of tulle under the skirt and comes to just above her ankle. There are various stains on the bodice of the dress, which I managed to convince her to cover with a white sweater. She added some white tights and some metallic purple and white polka dotted ballet flats, and she was out the door.

How did I not notice before this how much joy it brings her to pick out these outfits for herself? As someone that has to control everything as far as the eye can see, I understand that letting go in the this manner is a process. It started with, "pick your battles", which then turned into, "How about if I be in charge of washing the clothes, and you be in charge of putting them on before you go to school?", which has now evolved into, "Oh, your teacher said that its ok to wear tu-tus to school? Sounds great! Aaaaaaand, more importantly, looks great! Have a good day, sis!"

And Lydia? When you read this, and I'm certain that in time you will, on Wednesday, September 10th, 2008, when I dropped you off at school in the morning, and watched you make your way to the door, your beauty nearly took my breath away. It always does.

Love, Mama

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Getting Closer

When I got home from work yesterday, Shell reported that Jenna had woken up from her afternoon nap, quietly crept into our room, removed her diaper which was full of stool, and deposited the whole mess onto our bedroom floor.

"Who went poop in my room?" I asked her cheerfully when I heard the story.

.......blank stare.......

"Who was naughty after their nap?

........looks around the room, avoiding eye contact with me.......

"Genevieve, what did you do with your diaper in mama's room today?"

"Does TJ love me, mama?" she asks. This is a practiced tactic for her. Any time there is a hint of trouble, she learned at an early age to change the subject to divert attention from whatever heinous act she has been caught in.

"Yes, Genevieve. TJ loves you."

And so do I. I should warn you though, that stealthily depositing your soiled diapers in my bedroom will most likely be mentioned during the toast I give at your wedding reception.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Day of Firsts

Lydia successfully completed her first day of 2nd grade yesterday. I am cursing the fact that we don't currently own a camera, because the outfit that she chose has to be seen to be believed.

On Monday night, she disappeared upstairs and came down with a very stylish black dress and her black boots (or "high boots" as she calls them.) This was fine, except for the fact that the high boots are lined with fur, and the cold front that was going to pass through on Tuesday wasn't forecasted to arrive until late afternoon. I pointed this out to Lydia, explaining that fur-lined boots will be great in just a few weeks, but for a 79 degree day, with a dewpoint in the 70's, she may find herself a little overheated.

"Fiiiiiiiiiine!" and back upstairs she went.

Seeing where this is going, I decide to go upstairs and move things along. When I get there, she has chosen a red t-shirt, a leopard print baby doll type shirt to go over the t-shirt, and completing the outfit, a leopard print mini-skirt that I bought her for last Thanksgiving.

Probably, the horror registered on my face immediately, because she was quick to point out that this outfit, with it's leopard print/slightly different leopard print combo made it look like an outfit. Like she had just sauntered into a store and found the whole thing already pieced together on a mannequin by some junior stylist with a fondness for animal prints.

I tried to redirect her a bit: to different outfits altogether, and also suggesting different tops or bottoms to complement the leopard (squared) outfit she had chosen.

"No, mama. Those outfits are more like, fun, you know? And I want to save those for the 2nd or 3rd day. For the first day, I want to be taken seriously, like I'm not going to mess up, or talk back to the teacher. This outfit will make me be taken seriously."

There's nothing more deadly serious than 2 animal prints together in the same outfit, is there?

My response to her surprised even me. Of course, my inclination was to dig my feet in and explain to her that less is more, 2 leopard prints in the same outfit is too much, they'll think you're a mental patient, and on and on ad nauseum until one or both of us was in tears. But in a surprising moment of clarity and parental intuition I said, "You know what Lydia, if you want to be taken seriously by your friends and your teacher, and this outfit will help you do that, then I absolutely think you should wear it."

And so she did.

And you know what? She came home in one piece. No one had teased her. She reported that her teacher was very nice, and she had a good day.

What the hell did I think was going to happen? Honestly, the hyperbole of my own thoughts is unbelieveable to even me sometimes.

So Lydia completed her first day of 2nd grade and her mom, for the first time, chose to take the path seldom-traveled in our relationship and let Lydia be Lydia with no negative consequences at all.

Congratulations to us both.