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Thursday, July 22, 2010

This is what it looks like

Recently, I read a news story in which they were describing a robber who got away. They put up a sketch of the suspect.

Here is his description:
"He's described as a Hispanic male in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds."

People in the comments laughed: "That's hilarious!!! Don't hispanic males have dark skin? The description fits 90% of the hispanic male population until they get to the weight. A 190 pound hispanic male???"

Twenty-one countries claim Spanish as their official language. Still, when people think "Hispanic," this is what they imagine for each of those countries:

Not this:
And, certainly, not this:

They think this is Hispanic music:

When it is also this:

Hispanic heroes are jokes:
But they are also iconic:

Though there are Hispanics who look like this:

And this:

People still imagine this:

I am Venezuelan:

But when people hear "Venezuelan" they think this:

Even though the reigning Miss Venezuela looks like this:

And the previous Miss Venezuela looks like this:

I do not negate that there are Hispanics who look like this:

But they also look like this:

Yes, Hispanics look like my sister and my nieces:

But they also look like my brothers and my mom:

Yes, Hispanics look like my sister-in-law, but they also look like my nephew.

I have been told I'm not Caucasian enough, and I have been told I'm not Hispanic enough. I suppose someone should tell that to my parents, grandparents and great grandparents. And while they're at it, my great great grandparents.

If the world you live in dictates that a Hispanic person is brown and up to no good, then turn off the TV and turn on your mind.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Tinkle, tinkle, Little Dhis.
How much longer will it be
before you will pee in there
instead of your underwear?
Tinkle, tinkle, Little Dhis,
How much longer will it be?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Look, Ma! I'm Mexican!

She ain't the purtiest thing in the taco stand,
but she's mine, oh, mine.

I made this whole wheat tortilla.
It's not round, but she'll do until I get the hang of things.
(The innards are from my food storage,
the cheese is from my waxed cheese collection.)
(Oh yeah, who's the Pioneer Woman now?!)

This recipe for the tortillas:
(shared by the Millers, my next-door neighbors)

Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas Recipe

* 2 cups whole wheat flour
* 1 tsp baking powder

* 1/2 tsp salt

* 2 T olive oil

* 1/2 cup warm tap water

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Add olive oil and stir until well combined.
  3. Add warm water 1 T at a time until dough can be gathered into a ball.
  4. Add more water if needed 1 T at a time.
  5. Knead on floured surface 15-20 times.
  6. Let dough rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 10-12 equal portions and shape into balls.
  8. On floured surface, roll out ball from center into a circle.
  9. Cook on ungreased skillet over medium-high heat on each side about 30 seconds or until puffy.
  10. May also be cooked longer until they are crisp like a big chip.
  11. Wrap them in a towel to stay warm.

The recipe for the innards:
in this post

The instructions for waxing cheese:
in this post

Es hora de comer!

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cheesy Update

Wow- it has been almost a year since I waxed cheese.

As promised, here's my report, albeit incomplete.

First, I'm extremely surprised that our holiday mouse, who was ever so thorough in exploring every room of our home, did not touch the cheese. Maybe I've allowed too many Tom & Jerry episodes influence my beliefs about mice.

Second, I did not cycle through the cheese as often as I would have liked to because this pregnancy was much more nauseating, and I was less inclined to be found in the kitchen doing little more than eating ice cream from the carton.

Here is how the cheeses fared:

This week, I noticed the cheddar looking "weirder" but it was still good. There were a couple blocks that had some bumps on the surface. I cut a thin slice off each side of the block and the cheese looked awesome. So, I'm guessing a year is the cheddar's limit. I cannot see how other sources quote 25 years of storage. Maybe their storage is much colder than mine and located in the belly of an underground cave that warps time to the Ice Age.

Colby/Monterrey Jack-
I only had a couple blocks of this one, and I cannot remember what their state was when I opened them. See how helpful I am?

I opened a mozzarella block recently and HOLY NASTINESS! Lots of black growth! I immediately tossed that into the garbage. Mozzarella is a softer cheese which is what I think the problem was. I think IF I do mozzarella again, I will cycle through it every 2-3 months since it was fine then.

I didn't like how it looked when I opened them a month or two later. They were "swollen" blocks instead of square. I cannot remember if I ate them. I think I tossed them. I never use Swiss anyway and had only waxed them as an experiment.

In the storage room, CHEDDAR FOR SHO! Cheddar is beddar! I'll be waxing another 5 lbs in the coming month.

What thing are you adding next to your food storage?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Obscene Innocence

I was reading this post by Wendy and was flooded with memories of my bluer days.

I was about the age of Wendy's son when I saw the F-word written in the girls' bathroom of my elementary school. I had no clue it was a bad word, but I loved to read! And read I did. Aloud! I also liked repeating new words. And repeat I did! Thank goodness it was another more experienced friend who explained to me the weight of the word and not the school principal.

It was also in elementary school where I learned cool hand gestures. As an avid handgame player ("Miss Mary Mack", anyone?), I was always up for hand fun. I saw some kids on the bus flash a hand sign, heard someone else mention a bird and thought it was another game. So, I and a friend "flipped birds" at everyone on the bus. With both hands. The whole ride long. I don't recall how I was apprised of the bird's meaning.

Later, in elementary school, I was apparently a lazy waver. I was a friendly kid and waved to all the neighbors, but I apparently was too lazy to make sure all of my fingers were up when I did it, so often there was only one prominent finger greeting passers-by. My faux pas was brought to my attention by Dad when some neighbors came by and told him about his naughty daughter.

When your kid comes home with a new word or an obscene joke, give him or her a smile and a hug when you explain why their new found knowledge must be trashed. They are still sweet, little innocents.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July Resolution Check-in


That means it's time to check in on how we're doing with our New Year's resolutions.



Hey! A bird!
(Adhis scurries into hiding)


OK, my Rest Goals:
  • Sit alone with no radio, no book, no internet once a day.
  • Be out of the office by 8pm.
  • Read to my daughter once a day.
  • Nap at least once during the day, even if only for 15 minutes.
I haven't been resting as much as I have been passing out. A newborn will do that to me.

I will refocus by:
  • sitting alone in quiet right after my morning workout
  • setting an Internet lock-out for 8:30pm
  • reading to my toddler before bedtime
  • napping for 15-45 minutes when the baby and the toddler nap at the same time

Now, my Money Goals
1) Set aside $2,000 by April for this upcoming baby.
Check. And good thing, too! We didn't plan on an emergency C-section. Our bills totaled more than $12,000. Thank goodness for insurance. Our total out of pocket was about $2500. If we decide to have another baby, I think I'll push for a baby fund of at least $3,000.

2) Contribute additional $3600 into retirement account.
Not quite check. We did come across that much money but decided instead to throw it into our Emergency Fund to get closer to a 6-months' reserve. We also increased David's automatic 401(k) contributions by $20 a month.

BTW, did you know if you are paid biweekly, April and October have extra paychecks? We have our budget set up to live on 2 paychecks per month, so we used April's extra check to open college funds for the babies, set aside about $500 for my Roth IRA, and put some money aside for a family reunion David will be traveling to in September.

3) Earn an extra $20,000.
Not there yet. I have been earning some hundreds here and there, but I realized I have not kept track of these, so I would not know if/when I hit $20K. Lesson learned. I will keep a record starting now.

I'm sure of no surprise to most of you, adding a second child has thrown into the process a bigger wrench than I anticipated. I do have some things in the works. Now, I just need to wake up WAY earlier than the kids, so I have quality time to work. I work best late at night, but you can see that contradicts my resting goals.

How are you guys doing with the commitments you made to yourself?

Friday, July 2, 2010


We decided that with recovering from newborning, it would be nice to go on vacation without having to pack the crib, clothes, and fridge, so David took a week off work for staycationing.

Our staycation involved a lot more STAY and a lot less vacation. I've concluded that vacationing with very young children is different from vacationing. We quickly realized that the things David and I wanted to do would not be doable given our daughters' ages. Hiking mountains and robbing banks would just have to wait until the children move out of the house. We had to re-plan, and all plans would have to happen in the morning since the toddler naps from 1pm-4pm.



That would have been a photo of Wheeler Farm. The toddler began the day by puking 3 or 4 times in the morning. You'd think that would teach her to not drink from baby bottles that had rolled under a chair and been lost a day or two after being used.

So, we did laundry.

We did manage to still enjoy a steak and salmon dinner at a neighbor's house and a street party BBQ at another neighbor's home. Here, BabyDhis enjoyed a bouquet of rowdy balloons from a safe distance.



This would have been a photo of Bridal Veil Falls, where we had planned to go on a leisurely hike.
The toddler puked an extra couple times in the morning, so we got a late start on our day. She was also still extremely cranky, and by the time we got to the area, the rain was pouring down. We drove past the falls while the toddler slept in the car seat. We spent $50 of our staycation money on an unplanned lunch on the road. Baby Dhis ate none of her portion and instead decided to throw things at the table.



The City Library-- We finally did go somewhere. Of course, it would be the exotic library. In the 6 years we have lived here, we had never been to our library. David fell in love with it and decided that would be one of the destinations for future daddy-daughter dates.


The Farm at Thanksgiving Point-- Most of our time there was spent convincing Baby Dhis to look at the animals from a close proximity.

Here, I have convinced her for about a minute that the cow is at a safe distance.
And then it bit her hand off.
OK, not really, but that would have totally happened if it had been a Saturday Night Live skit.

Dhis would not even touch the fake cow in the lobby. David was POSITIVE the best therapy would be for her to "just get over it." And by "over it," he meant, swoop her up and force her to sit on top of the fiberglass bovine. Screaming ensued.

In true vacation form, I lost my cell phone. If you've ever lost your cell phone, then you know the gut-kick it is. Add to it that I had just bought it two weeks prior and you can multiply that angering, helpless feeling by kazillion. (I'll wait while you get your calculator.)

I only realized the loss after Thanksgiving Point office hours, but I left a voicemail message and emailed the department head over animals. (The Animal Head?) Twenty minutes later, I got a call that my phone had been located. Hooray! I had only to go down and retrieve it from the belly of a goat.


At home, we set up a new kiddie pool for Dhis. She has never been in a pool. She loved it about as much as she loved the fake cow.



That would have been a photo of Temple Square.
Toddler was still recovering from the puking, the cow, and the pool. Mommy was grumpy. Daddy was tired. Baby was cute.
We stayed home.


Discovery Gateway-- I had never been to the children's museum and thought it would be like the museum I visited in St Louis, which was huge and cool and awesome for all ages.

Holy overpriced-underwhelmedness! Admission is $8.50 per person over the age of 1! Why on earth do they charge adults $8.50 to enter when there is absolutely nothing they can enjoy doing there except watch their kids play with germy toys?? There were seriously dozens and dozens of parents just sitting on benches watching their kids play with toys they already have at home. David's admission fee covered him standing next to the stroller with Maya. Because we can't do that at home. For free. I guess.

Well, as with regular vacations, sometimes you go to expensive places you would never go to if you knew better. There were some cool things there, but Dhis could barely get in to play with them because other kids had taken off with the supplies and the teenage employees paid to recover them were busy playing with one of the displays instead.

Dhis did in fact discover a few things, which led us to discover what socially-neglectful parents we are.

You know these ride-on toys?

Yeah. My child? Never been on one. Here she is trying to get on it by backing up to it. She rode on this and another one for eight dollars. I mean, eight hours.

Here, a colander.


And because we like to torture her so, David put her on a fake horse against her will. Notice the glee and anticipation in the daddy's face?

The daughter loved it as much as she loves fake cows and kiddie pools.



That would have been a photo of us at the Ward Campout roasting marshmallows and singing a rousing round of "Little Pioneer Children." But we had had enough of our staycation with little kids and needed a regular stay at home to recover from our, um, staying.

We SO need a vacation from our staycation. Maybe when the last kid leaves for college. Dear, sweet, distant college.