Saturday, August 29, 2009

La Super Nanny came a knockin.....

I decided to take the kids to the LBC to meet their primos for a playdate. All was going well in the park until Maia thought it might be fun to pour sand down the slide. Let me include that my soon to be 2 year old son and neice were on the slide as well as two other children. From where I was sitting, I jumped up and started yelling "Maia" at the top of my lungs. Did she hear me....NO!

I ran over and pulled her to the side and start yelling "What the heck! Who told you it was a good idea to put sand down the slide? Que no ves que hay otro ninos, no piensas? It was when I switched to Spanish that the mother of the two other children came and got her kids and scooted away. Was I embarrassed? A little. Did I stop? Heck no.

I was in the middle of my sermon of using common sense when I was interrupted by some woman with a clipboard. "Excuse me, are you familiar with the show Super Nanny?' What? Oh yeah, I watch the show. (This is when Maia made her escape) She then asked me if I would consider trying out for the show and that if I was chosen I would be paid for having the SuperNanny in my home for one week. For one quick second I considered it until I realized my home would be on tv and damn, I am trying to pull the carpet out of the living room. Also, the camera makes you look heavier and God knows I don't need that.

Needless to say, I politely said no thank you and that my husband would never agree to it. What I really wanted to say was "Girl, don't interrupt me when my Spanish is flowing (because it's when I am angry that I speak Spanish without stuttering)

When I walked back to the blanket my sister in laws were cracking up. They also thought the woman was bold to interrupt a scolding. She was not a mama. If she were, she would never have done that. We give each other the respect and wait until they are finished.

Lesson learned: Don't yell at my kids in public. Do what my mom did. Shoot the kids a crazy look and make the hand gesture of "pau pau" or "ya veras when we get home."

Go Ask Beto....

Did your mother ever have a famous saying that you completely heard wrong?
Well I do....

Once upon a time when I was a young, single Latina joining my mother in the kitchen....(this is where you hear the harp music)

My sister and I were asking my mother a question and she responded "Ve tu ha de saber" which roughly translates to "You should know". My sister and I heard "Beto ha de saber." We looked at each other and wondered the same thing, who the heck is Beto and why should he know?
We asked her who Beto was and she shot us a look that needed no translation. Par de mensas, de que estan hablando?

This now has become a joke between us now. When we are not sure about something, we tell each other to go ask Beto.

And on the flip side.. our dad the beloved Cleto or Cletus as the neighbor used to call him...one day in anger yelled "hoddamodit". WHAT?! We (Lucy and I) sat there repeating the word slowly trying to break it down in syllables. Hod-a-mod-it? No. Hod-amodit. Oh! God damn it!
It was his accent and a couple of Budweisers that made it sound like that.

So we, the Alamillo daughters now use both expressions. Hodamodit is so the children don't hear our swearing and it's not really a sin if you don't actually say God, is it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gorda, Flaca, Prieta, Ciega...What's In A Name?

The Alamillo family (including my mother) gives everyone some sort of nickname. My brother Max is notorious for pointing out that the person resembles a cartoon from our childhood. "Doesn't that guy look like the crossed eye kitten that Sylvester the cat teaches to catch mice. Remember, he was always going fffft, fffft?" And in truth, he did.

Let's see...Max was flaco, Richard was negro, Lucy was gurumis. I don't remember what a gurumis is. I will have to ask mom and get back to you on the definition. Yours truly was gorda. How messed up is that? Started me off early with the self loathing of my body. The crazy thing was that these names were given to us with lots of love.

Boyfriends and girlfriends were fair game in our family. My brother had a girlfriend that we called Peppermint Patty. She had the blunt cut, freckles and the sandals. The only thing missing was a sidekick to call her "sir".

My husband got the name "mil usos" (a thousand uses). Get your mind out of the gutter people. This name was given to him by my mother because he is such a handy man. He can tune up a car, unclog a sink, fix a toilet and plant a garden. You name it, he does it. About the only thing he can not do is caulk tile and take me on a date (I am still waiting). Either way, I love my mil usos. His family has given me a nickname as well. They like calling me "la gata" because they swear I was a crazy chuca in high school. Not really people. I was a good girl.

And now we have carried on the tradition by giving our kids their nicknames. My oldest daughter has always been referred to as an old soul. We swear she has roamed this earth before because the look in her eyes tell you so. Her nickname is "mai-mai" and cabezona (not for the size of her head but the fact that this girl is stubborn). Maite is the viking. This name was given to her by our good friend Denise. My father calls her "chispa" (spark). She can be yelling one minute and then turn around with a smile and say she loves you. Both of these names are appropriate since I find myself debating with a six year old on a daily basis. Why can't she understand that no is no? Because while she lives under my roof, she will live by my rules (oh wait, that is the other blog posting about using your mothers sayings). Gael is known by my father as the "vaquero" (cowboy). He finally got his grandson and swears he wants to take him to Mexico and return him when he is 18. I keep telling my father that it is my daughters who will wipe the drool off his chin when he is an old man. Gael's other name is "duende". Those goblins/elfs who come into your home unseen and wreck havoc on your belongings. Yup, that is my little man cub. He has the killer smile that will let him get away with anything.

I am sure you have names given to you by your family. Some of my good friends are flaca, tatu, stinky, chismosa, trollop and nopalero. My sister in law lovingly greets me on the phone with "que honda pinche india." I know she loves me.

Nicknames give us a clue of what they are made of. Which of their characteristics stand out strong. Only those closest to us know our nicknames. It is a treasured secret amongst the familia.

So what is your nickname? Share. Andale, you know you have one.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Estas son las mananitas...

OOOH weee! How long has it been since I blogged. I have all these ideas floating through my bilingual brain but have not written them down. To my 8 followers, I apologize. Let this Chicana get her butt in gear and start tapping away at the keys.

To those who are new, bienvenidos. What's up and welcome.

Today I turned 44. Yup, I can actually admit it. I don't have a problem owning up to the age. It's the gray hairs on top of my head that I am having trouble with. My husband wished "the old geezer" a happy birthday and I came back with the fact that he could get "cash for clunkers." All he has to do is trade me in for a newer model. He is attached to old things (proof is the falcon sitting on the driveway) so I am staying. But chale people, is not 40 the new 30? I have 3 kids not even in their teens yet. Doesn't that count for something?

For a quick second, and I do mean second. I moped that at 44 I had no real career. Not one that I got paid for. It didn't help that the girls were fighting today, the most blessed day. In return I yelled at the top of my voice "Stop it! No fighting on my birthday! What kind of present is this! This sucks!!" It worked. They cleaned their room and behaved the rest of the day. Acting a little crazy does wonders.

I do have a career. Mother. I get to witness all the ups and downs of my children. I am their northstar on their compass. When in doubt, go to mama. I have three angelitos (with broken halos sometimes) that God has given to me. I am also blessed with a wonderful family (Alamillo & Ramirez) and amazing friends that I can vent to, laugh with and create ever lasting memories.

So as my Mexican Buddha husband has told me "The grass is not always greener on the other side". This is true. I have no business cards or a blackberry (even though I am working on this one). I do have people around me to create wonderful memories with stories to tap onto these keys.

The best gift I got? The realization of noticing my blessings. Second? The starbucks card I got from Angie. Chow......(the east l.a. cry that is pronounced "sha au" in a high pitch.)