Thursday, February 26, 2009


Whoever came up with the saying "Sleep like a baby", obviously did not have twins.

All the things you've heard about twins are probably true. They are each other's best friends, they do everything together, miss one another when they are apart. And they are definitely like day and night, at least mine are.

They are fraternal twins, so of course they don't look alike; and from the day they were born they have been acting differently.

Cade is the oldest (by a whole minute) and was the bigger baby weighing 5 lb 1 oz at birth. Both he and his brother were the same length, but Braden was only 4.5 lbs at birth. The first few days in the NICU, Braden was always awake. He would look for me every time I spoke and was always moving, alert. Cade slept most of the time, he just couldn't be bothered to visit with his parents.

Braden came home first. He learned to eat first, and was sent home a few days before his big brother. Then Cade came and our life became a chaotic blessing. Diapers everywhere, bottles, and sleepless nights.

We figured once they started sleeping through the night, we would be able to catch up on our sleep. We are still wondering if these kids come with an OFF button.

Braden is a night owl. He stays awake for hours after we put him in bed, talking, singing, laughing. Once he decides that it's time for bed, he is out and doesn't wake up until next morning, usually after 9 AM.

Of course, his brother is the opposite. Cade goes to sleep right away. Then he proceeds to wake up several times during the night, calling my name. Many times all he wants is to know I'm there. We've tried everything, Benadryl makes one hyper, and it doesn't work for Cade. We tried no naps, we tried putting them to bed later.

So I finally decided three years without sleeping through the night is enough. I'm tired of competing with Pete the raccoon (who hangs out in my backyard). I'm tired and it's time these kids go to bed and stay in bed until the sun comes out the next morning.

I ordered some herbal remedy that suppose to help. I just hope it does, and doesn't have the opposite effect on them.

Then again, if it does make them hyper, I'll just take the herb and call it a night.

So next time someone says they slept like a baby, feel free to smack them. Apparently no one told my kids what "sleeping like a baby" meant.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Music, Life, Lent

This past weekend Candace participated in her first music festival, hosted by MC. It wasn't really a competition, the children (adults too!) had a chance to display their musical talents in front of judges and get scored on their performances.

We left the house early enough to pick up her grandmother and arrive at MC on time for her 11:30 appointment. Just as we walked into the building, she informed me "she wasn't so sure about that" anymore. By "that" she meant playing for a judge.

She was obviously nervous, she has been playing less than a year, and she had to play in front of a complete stranger. We told her to pretend this judge was her piano teacher and she was at practice. As we waited for her turn, other kids who take classes from the same teacher, showed up and tried to ease her nerves. Then it was her turn. She was not too thrilled that we couldn't be in the room with her, but we were right outside.

I have to admit I was as nervous as her until I heard the notes streaming through the door. She did a great job! I was so proud because I know how much heart she had put into getting this done. Yesterday she had her weekly lesson and the teacher gave her the score sheet with comments from the judge. The comments were more suggestions than criticism and they ended with "Great Job" and a Superior score, the highest you could get.

Now we are getting ready for recital. As we practice the pieces she'll play, her favorite audience (her brothers) will be listening and cheering her on. They probably feel (as I do) that she plays the music of angels.

This time of the year always brings back lots of childhood memories. Lent and Easter were very important parts of our lives.

Throughout my life, I have observed Lent every year, sometimes casually, other times with full reverance. This year is one of those times when I'm determined to do it the right way.

So, the first thing most people ask is "what are you giving up for lent?". It should be a sacrifice, so I chose coffee. Nourishments of the gods, and what keeps me going every single morning. But I depend on coffee to function, and that's never a good thing. I could easily get the same boost of energy from exercising in the morning. That's where the sacrifice will be found because I have a hard time rolling out of bed every morning.

I keep remembering something I read a few weeks back. If you are a Christian, then you believe your body is the place where the Holy Spirit dwells. I want my body to be in its best shape so it can properly host such important tenant.

So I'll go to Mass tonight and have ashes smeared on my forehead. Hopefully the journey won't end on Easter, and will continue throught the year.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Life Purpose

Getting older sometimes has its perks (you can buy beer) but it also has it downfalls (wrinkles, gray hairs). For some reason, being a year older and closer to the prime of my life has made me think about my life, career, and put things in perspective. Plus having setbacks at work has helped my epiphany too.

I love what I do. I've never doubted that I chose the right career path, being an engineer is something I love. I also know I chose the right field, protecting the environment is something of a calling, I guess you could say. I have poured my heart, soul, and knowledge into this field, into being the best engineer in my area, and have always felt I needed to do more so that my contribution be more valuable to my employer.

Then setbacks happen. You begin to see, that no matter how many cracks there are on the glass ceiling, the ceiling is not budging. You keep trying, you try yet again, and the disappointments keep coming.

I'm not a quitter. I set goals, follow through with them, no matter how difficult they are. I'm not bragging, it's just how my brain functions. It's a curse, I guess you could say because I'll get so wrapped up in finishing the goal, that sometimes I miss the whole picture.

Then it happened, another setback at work. I had poured my heart and soul into a project that I thought would be awesome, and it was turned down. Not even given a chance to discuss it, and present it, just simply turned down.
Rejection hurts specially when you have invested part of yourself into a project, when the project is more than just work, when it is something you truly believe would benefit all parties involved.
I was upset, until now.

Maybe I've been looking to apply my talents in the wrong places. Yes, I am a good engineer, and I am good at my job. But being an engineer is only job. It's not who I am. Perhaps all those other talents I have been blessed with were not meant to be shared in this setting.

I was blessed with the ability to conquer my hatred of math, and pursue a degree most people don't ever dream of attempting. I was blessed with the intelligence to see it through, and a job that lets me apply my knowledge and protect the environment.

But that's just part of me. I have so much more to offer and for the longest time I've been trying and trying to use my other talents at work. I have prayed, I have cried, I have fought, and the whole time I forgot that sometimes an answer to a prayer is simply no answer.

All of a sudden, the glass ceiling is not important anymore. I still love my job, my career, and I plan to continue in this path until I retire, God willing. But perhaps I am meant to share the rest of me in other venues where those other talents can be best utilized.

Who I am is bigger than the career I chose. I am a Sunday school teacher and have discovered how much I enjoy working with kids, and I can apply those talents in place where my rewards are smiles and the knowledge I have "planted the seeds" in them. I am mother, I am a wife, a sister, a friend, and I have the chance to share my talents in all those roles.

So now I embark into the journey to find those other places where I can help others and use my talents. It won't be at work, that I know now. I probably won't be paid for it either. But I guess that's where the difference lies between your job and your life purpose. Your life purpose fulfills you and completes the person you are and that is its own reward.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I had a dream last night, in Spanish. Why is that important? Well, most of the time, I dream in English.

The brain is a wonderful, complex machine. When I moved to the US, I knew enough English to get by. I had been taking classes in school since I was 5, and I could understand written English fairly well. The verbal part was a challenge, though. I had to think about what I wanted to say, translate it, then say it. Imagine trying to have a conversation with me back then. Plus, I could not understand what people said because of the southern accent.

As time went on, I started to " think" in English. I vividly remember the first time I had a dream in English, it was so exciting. It meant I was thinking in English. Since then, I mostly dream in English.

I guess is because it is the language I use most. Even though I speak Spanish, I use only English at work, and mostly English at home. Maybe my brain stays in "English" mode even when I'm sleep.

I've been reading a book I picked up at (love that place). It's one of the books listed in one of those "100 books lists" circulating in facebook. I didn't know it when I requested it, but I'm glad I did. The book (The Shadow of the Wind) is great, the style of the narrative reminds of Garcia Marquez' style (my favorite author). I have been reading this book and cannot put it down.

I read until I fell to sleep last night, and for the first time in years, I dreamt in Spanish. It's like coming home to me. I don't want to lose my native tongue, and I love reading books in Spanish. I've decided to pick up more books in my native tongue.

I speak and read in English most of the time. I want my dreams to be in Spanish.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


A long time ago, a dear friend gave me this book The Prophet by Khalil Gibran.

It's a book of poems, and I enjoyed it quite a bit when I read it. But that I'm older (and I'd like to think wiser), a lot of this book resonates true.

This year, we are celebrating 9 years of marriage. When we first got married, I guess we were the typical newlyweds, who spent every moment possible with each other. We still spend time together, we still enjoy each other immensily but we also enjoy our times alone. My husband enjoys fishing and riding his motorcycles, I enjoy a good book and lazy afternoons on the couch. I was talking to one of my sisters a few weeks back about our marriage, and she said "that sounds boring".

It couldn't be far from the truth. The other day, a single line came to mind: "Let there be space in your togetherness".

After so many years of marriage, we are comfortable with those spaces, and I believe it's what makes our marriage stronger.

Here is the section of the book on Marriage.
Then Almitra spoke again and said, "And what of Marriage, master?"

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I've neglected this blog for so long, I decided to blog twice today.

I was reading Mandy's blog and had the need to blog about something she mentioned. Thanks Mandy for the inspiration.

Everyone has heard by now about the woman who recently had octuplets. It has been in every newscast since the day she delivered them.

My first reaction was "wow, eight healthy kids, what a blessing". I knew fertility treatments had helped her, and well, regardless of my opinions about them, children are a blessing, regardless of how they came to be.

As the news media has covered this event, more information has come out. She already has 6 other children, all conceived the same way apparently. Not only that, she is unemployed and lives with her parents.

Excuse me a minute while I compose myself.

These are tough times for everyone, specially those of us raising a family. Everyone I know is careful watching every penny spent, making sure their kids have everything they need, saving as much as possible, making ends meet.

Then you hear about someone, who is supposely disabled, with a back injury nonetheless, birthing multiple children at once.
I can tell you from carrying twins, pregnancy can cause quite a number on a healthy back, and I'm talking about carrying just 2 babies. Imagine what eight might do to your back.

A few questions keep coming to mind, how could she afford fertility treatment if she doesn't have a job, and how is she going to pay for the hospital bill for herself and the kids who are still in intensive care?

I guess my answer comes from CBS who interviewed her. Apparently she hopes to make money from her story, as CBS reported

I guess Dave Ramsey has a point when he says people suffer from the "I want" syndrome. "I want a house I know I can't afford but if the bank gives me the money, I'll take it. I want, I want, I want".

So this woman wanted kids she couldn't afford to have, found a doctor who thought this could be a great experiment and would get him recognition in medical journals. Now there are 14 children who will be exploited by their own mother for money.

And yes, I know I'm a Christian and I should not judge others. But I'm also human and I'm outraged by this woman's behavior. So I'm ranting, and I will ask God to forgive me and to forgive her; and to watch over those kids.


It has been a while since I blogged. I get caught in all the hustle of life, always running from here to there, tending to everyone, and rarely taking time to relax and just think.

I came home around 7:30 Tuesday night. I seldom get home that late, so as I walked out of my car, I glanced overhead and saw the most beautiful sky. The stars were out in full glory, the air was cold, and it made them look even brighter.

I stood outside for a minute, so I could stare at them. I thought about the many nights I sat outside as a child, staring at them, daydreaming, chitchatting with my sister about what we wanted to be when we grew up, our dreams, our aspirations.

I stood there in awe, and was thankful for the gift of nature. I very seldom take the time to just say thanks for the air, the sun, the water, the stars. I go about my busy day and never spend a moment thinking about what a wonderful gift I've been given.

A few weeks back, I talked to the sunday school kids about prayer. Many of them shared with me what they pray about: their families, their friends, a sick relative. We talked about the different things we may do when we pray, how we praise God for his kindness, how sometimes we ask for something like health for a sick aunt, and how we also give thanks for the blessings we receive. One of them said he gives thanks for nature.

Today, I am thankful for nature.