Saturday, December 10, 2011

Keeping Calm

 I don't know about you guys, by November I started to feel the crunch of the impending holidays coming. This insidious feeling of anxiety encroached when I began to see notices for upcoming events, performances, meetings, practices, parties, fundraisers, bell-ringing solicitors... Thankfully, this came on the heels of my first iphone-giving me a way to really organize and prioritize my thoughts and commitments. I decided it was O.K. to opt out of whatever I didn't feel like taking on and do what I could.

The picture above was taken at Macy's. The kids and I were so excited to see the first inkling of Christmas burgeoning. It was the calm before my personal storm. As we were exiting the mall I realized I lost my parking ticket. I know exactly what happened. When I took out my precious iphone to take the photo, it fell out of my back pocket and was lost in fairy land. Ya'll know I HATE to waste money! The thought of paying $20 to exit the mall was more than my frugal heart could bear. I (may) have done what any practical (not really) person would do- I gunned it! Yes, I tried to escape the clutches of the parking arm only to slam on my brakes as it let me know it wasn't happening. I (may have) left this detail out of my original telling of the story to my husband and cop dad.

 Lesson learned! My car is worth more than $20 and I (may have) scared the mess out of my children and surrounding pedestrians. Where am I going with this? Calm the bleep down is what I learned! Just and hour earlier I was surging with Christmas-induced oxytocin watching my children enjoy the first signs of this season's beauty.

Fall 2011 began the countdown to the last year of my twenties. I must say that I am clearly still maturing and constantly being humbled. I have always struggled with life's unfairness and keeping an eternal perspective. I may have failed this test; hopefully I'll get it next time. ( I may have three free parking passes to the same mall, after I may have called and complained about their nonsense lost ticket policy) Allegedly.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Deja Vu Times Two

Does this sweet face remind you of someone? That's me as a wee one, not too much younger than Tatianna is now. Over the last few months I have been bombarded with deja vu moments of being in the 5-6.5 year age range. I have a profoundly acute long-term memory and this time period is where I began to catalog memories in greater detail. Tia is now in that age range; it is so weird to experience her experiencing some of the same things I did at the same age! It's even more surreal when you add to it that she and I are like clones.

Besides the fact that we are both obsessed with all things Christmas, some examples of this phenomenon are her saying "I love this song"! Referring to "Beat It", Michael Jackson's 80's hit. I can see myself rockin' in my pjs to the tune with my childhood babysitter who was his biggest fan (she was probably wearing a T-shirt with his face on it that day). Then there was the time I came to my mom with a bow right on the front of my hair, my mom matter-of-factly let me know I looked like Minnie Mouse (and not in a good way). Guess who is combing her own hair and placing bows in the exact same place?

My favorite deja vu moment happened after a recent business trip Patrick took. He went to MN for a few days and brought back some cool souvenirs for the three of us. Snuggled in bed; we all closed our eyes and received our gifts. Watching Tia fawn over her treasure (an itty-bitty shopping cart) reminded me of the anticipation I had for my dad's return home from trips- the feeling of "all is right in the world because we are a family again" had my heart feeling so big!

My favorite television shows are on T.V. for my mini-me to see too. Watching her engaged in She-Ra , My Little Ponies, and my all time favorite Gem makes me feel like I'm in a time-machine with her, it really is deja vu times two.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"I Wanna Smell Good for Jesus"!

Today I'm linking up with Kelly from Kelly's Korner about my best marriage advice.  Here it is- Laugh Loudly! Whenever I write a bridal shower card I write the same thing "A laugh a day keeps divorce away"! Think about it, when your laughing can you really be mad or resentful, or any other non-fun-emotion? My husband and I have been together over 14 years and have experienced the lowest of the lows. When there is no laughter to cushion life's blows,marriages suffer more. After a recent promotion, my husband has been working very late hours this season. It has been a burden as I have been operating as a single mom for three months. During some reflection, I realized something huge-even though we have been seeing less of each other I feel closer to him than ever-weird huh? When you allow God to refine your marriage you mature. My grown-up-wife self knows this is just a season and my husband wants to be home with us, but he just can't right now. So instead of feeling resentful I just cherish the time that we do have.
      Back to laughing, my husband is a cheeky little bugga (some Brit term I picked up). He can get under my skin like no other, of course. He is also the nicest smelling man because he NEVER goes a day sans cologne. That's all fine and dandy except when we are late and he has to stop and spritz. I told him that even if the world was ending and we were about to be raptured he would still stop and spray, he said "I wanna smell good for Jesus"! He took my frustration at making my son late for school and made me laugh. Laughter is medicine. Bible. Every marriage is like a fingerprint with its own dynamics; one cant' compare theirs to anothers', but something that is of universal benefit to all marriages-a smile. On that note, always kiss goodbye and goodnight!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oh, Darling Don't You Ever Grow Up!

      Last November I bought Taylor Swift's latest album, yes; I like her music. There is a track that sounds like a lullaby and the lyrics are a message to her young self which choruses "Ooh darling, don't you ever grow up, just stay this little, it could be this simple". The song is in hindsight; wishing she knew how precious and fleeting her youth was and it encourages her to treasure simple things like the sound of the door opening when daddy gets home and to speak nicely to her mom because one day she will be quite old and will want more of her.

It warms and warns my heart because my doll-of-a-daughter has the sweet innocence of  a youngster and the insightful maturity of an old soul. I was "wise beyond my years" as a child and with that comes a premature awareness of the ugly things in life. However, I don't want to cushion her from every blow because that would be a disservice. The song recites about a lack of scars at this blossoming age. With God's grace I have received virtual Mederma to cover scars amassed through my nearly three decades; I have seen more than I wish and want to shield her preciousness for as long as I can.

The job of a mom is strange in theory. As humans we nurture our young longer than any other mammals. We invest the totality of our protection into these blooming creatures only to send  them off into a world we know is flawed and sometimes tragic. This picture is of her Kindergarten graduation. One stranger exclaimed to me,"I've caught fish bigger than that baby" when she was a a tiny preemie. Tatianna is now an energetic, reading, rock-climbing sage. She is only on loan. I will hum the tune of "Ooh darling don't you ever grow up until she is, well, grown-up.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Piece-of-Cake Parenting Workshop

Join us on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 6:45-7:30 pm at the Playa Vista Branch Library to learn Easy Recipes for Making Sweet Children. Go to for more info!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's Not Fair!"

Actually when my kids proclaim that they say: "It's not there"! Makes me laugh partly because it sounds silly and partly because it reminds me of when I would say that as a child. My dad's comeback was; "If you want fair go to Pomona". I had no idea what he was talking about until I asked him and he let me know there was a notable county fair in Pomona, CA. I'd get so annoyed at my parents seemingly, careless attitude toward my essential desires.
Then the unthinkable happens-you utter the exact same words your parents said to you as a kid. You hear yourself say it and you think "I can't believe I just said that"!  You did. For good reason. My three-year old said "That's not there (fair)" to me recently when he really shouldn't have. I looked him right in the eyes and told him "What's not fair is that there are people in Japan who don't have anywhere to live because tsunamis washed there homes away, and did you have breakfast this morning? Well some kid in Africa didn't, and they are hungry because they had no dinner either- NOW THAT'S NOT FAIR (said with more sterness than yelling :)!"

He was silent and still. And the voice inside me said "Good for you Corrita"! Part of maturation is knowing that no matter your upbringing there are lessons you will want to discard and lessons for keeps. It's O.K. Go ahead, say those cringe-worthy quips.
Here's a good one: "Because I said so"!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Don't Get Boys

That's what I said to a mom I just struck up a conversation at the park with the week I found out I was expecting a son. She told me "You don't have to get them, you just have to love them". Still apprehensive, I believed her.
I remember hearing a comment Madonna made in reference to her two bio kids; she said that because her daughter was so much like her she could more easily get under her skin, however; her son could do no wrong in her eyes. I'm sure the latter didn't always apply, but I get where she is coming from. Daughters who mirror you reflect back your flaws; showing you-the mother, how the world sees you. Conversely, boys are such anomalies they just cause us to gaze with wonder-sort of how we do when we fall  in love with with our husbands.

Last month, Ethan picked up a box of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse figurines at the Disney store and looked up at me with wide eyes and shoulders up and said "I loooove Mickey, I want to buy this", I said "I know you do" and got him his heart's desire (not like me). I was weak in the knees! Budget-busting boys they are! Of course Tia wasn't going to walk out of there empty-handed! Mothers of both genders will probably agree that we allow our boys to operate with more latitude than girls. Its just one of those things. Even with having and helping to raise two younger brothers I was still nervous about rearing my own son. Just like we totally don't get the man we married (they would say that about us too) somehow we are smitten by these mysterious earth dwellers. Leo was the name of the aforementioned mother's son at the park, how ironic; the mother of a "lion" taught me these wild ones can tame our hearts.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


That is the Hebrew meaning of my cousin Shaina's name. She has always had a special place in my heart. When she was born my family was stationed in Germany. I was so excited to meet my new little cousin when we came to visit California that summer. She was born on April 7; diamond is her birthstone and the number 7 is God's perfect number. For that reason, I never forget her birthday and I have always believed she had a divine touch of angelic origin. Her mother comes from the same cherubic lineage; which explains why I have the same notions about her.
Since Shaina was a tot she had a boldness in her faith and her actions. Those who don't know her well would characterise her as shy or even introverted. But her family knows different. Shaina isn't timid about matters of importance to her. When she was a small child we would come by her house and pick her up for church, she would have her Bible and pigtails in tow. It is as if she has always known where she "truly" comes from.

As I write she is walking where the Messiah walked! She received, through and arduous process, a paid trip to Israel via the program Birthright. Our entire family is proud and jealous of her adventure through the Holy Land. I have very maternal feelings toward her because I know how beautiful her heart is. When people throughout here 21 years have seen through her it bothers me greatly because they have committed a great infraction against one of the loveliest of God's creations. She is a priceless diamond whose family is blessed to live with the light that reflects from every facet of her soul.