Saturday, July 19, 2014

How U Sees it

I'm really lucky to work for one of the Fortune top ten best companies to for.  I landed my job by fate and saw a good thing when I saw it, so I stuck around.  It's now been over 10 years.

While I don't always use all of the benefits the company offers,  I definitely participate in our Giving Back Week where we perform community service, donate to charities (I donated to the humane society), walk for children, etc., and end the week with a huge, free Benefit Concert with surprise acts.

I took my family to this year's concert without my big girl camera.  I just wanted to have a good time with my family.  So all I have are crappy iPhone pictures:

Luckily, the final act, Usher, posted his own version of what happened on his Instagram account, howuseeit.

How does U see it?  So much better than my iPhone did!  I would love to have his IG photographer's job; if only it wouldn't take me away from my family.

P.S. The other acts were Colbie Calliat and (2nd-timers) Foo Fighters.  And Dave Grohl, the rebel that he is, let the final act out of the bag for all of us by saying, "I told them I'd only come here again, if Usher would be there!"

The awesome power of Dave Grohl.

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ugly Flamingos


A sudden bravery fueled by laziness took over me as I called and called and CALLED a certain Filipino restaurant to place a dinner order for pickup.  No one answered.  They NEVER answer, and each time that I physically reach the restaurant, I find the woman on the phone speaking Tagalog, probably on an extended overseas call that HAS to occur every Thursday: my only "get of jail the kitchen" day.

So I was mad at the restaurant, but Hubs insisted on Tapsilog and I insisted that there was no way I was going to cook.  So I thought, 'You asked for it, Filipino restaurant.  Now I will place my order when I physically get there.................. with my Ruffians.  And I'll stand back and let them unleash their wrath among your restaurant and patrons.  And if you even so much as give me a stink eye, the only thing I'll respond with is:  "Next time, pick up your phone....."

But when I got there, Chatty-Kathy of Manila wasn't there.  Instead a subdued woman was in her place.  It was sort of calm and peaceful.  Did they even have a phone now?  Did they silence the ringer?

So I sat the boys at a table and tried to keep the boys entertained as we waited for the food.

So, how was your day?  What did you do with Abu? I asked.

"Mama-Mam-mam, we went to the store and made Abu crazy and Mateo kicked Abu and Mateo was crying and Abu said [------ deep breath and pause]  No toys for Mateo!"
[distracted] "Mama-mam-mam look at that!" he yelled in his high pitch a few decibels too high for the restaurants atmosphere.  He was pointing at three paintings on the wall.  One with lucky fish, one with horses, and the last one with blue heron birds.

"It's a FISH!" he shreiked!  "And HORSES!!" he marveled.

"And what's that last one?" I asked, expecting him to say it was a bird.

Instead, very matter-of-factly he said, "It's an ugly flamingo."

I cracked up very stunned by his response.  He was so proud that he had made me laugh that he kept saying "Ugly Flamingo" all the way home.

Sure it was funny, but I was also a little saddened at that moment.  A little of his innocence was gone in his ability to discern between beauty and ugliness.  For me beauty is a mature concept. It's a sign that he's growing up now that he's calling things ugly.  And it will be up to me to instill the concept that it's not nice to call people ugly.  I hope it's not a hard concept for me to instill.

But for now, he's got a point.  Compared to flamingos, blue herons are pretty damn ugly!

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Don't Want to Go to the Pool Party :(

I prepped for weeks for the first family pool party that we were invited to.  In my mind it would most likely go very bad with Diego's water-phobia, or - with preparation - it could go OK.

My method was to tell him about the pool party well in advance so that he would be mentally prepared when we got there and not go into anaphylactic shock in front of family members.  I'd say, "Hey, Diego.  Guess what?  We're going to a pool party next week!  What do you think about that?!"

"I want to go the pool party!" he surprisingly responded.

"But you won't be scared, right?  Because you are a big boy and the pool is fun, right?"

"Yes" he said with a smile on his face.

So with this good forecast, I went to the store and bought water guns, arm floaties, and debated buying a big blue shark floater.  I wanted to be prepared should he truly decide that the pool was fun.

Unfortunately the day of the party, he woke up in a foul mood and only wanted one thing:  To go to Toys R Us and buy toys.

" I DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE POOL PARTY!" he screamed.  Just my luck, I thought to myself.  Of course today of all days, he doesn't give a sh!t about the pool.

We had obligations, so we went to the pool party despite Dictator Diego's wishes.  There were other kids in the pool when we got there, so Diego was willing to put only his feet in at first.

"Hey Diego," I said.  " I have a surprise for you!"  And I pulled out the big ASS blue shark.

His eyes widened.  "I want to ride it!" he said.  "But you hold me and keep me safe. OK Mama?"

Best $10 investment, EVER!
2014_HerreraPoolParty-13 2014_HerreraPoolParty-23
And I gave him pony shark rides in the pool for about 20 minutes.  He had a blast and decided to graduate to actually going in the pool.  He tried the arm floaties, but he sank down more than I expected.  ARM floaties suck!  They don't make them like they used to.  Fortunately, the floaties disappointment did not deter his new-found adventurous spirit, and he tried his cousin's pink life vest, which was OK, but he took it off after 10 mins.  THEN...... he found his baby-cousin's hot-pink inflatable donut..... 


2014_HerreraPoolParty-502014_HerreraPoolParty-58 And he spent the rest of the afternoon in the pool, he didn't even need me with him as  he went to the deep end in his cousin's donut.  He's come such a long way since these days.


A great family pool day indeed!

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Favorite

30-something years ago a woman lost her husband to leukemia.  She was left with two boys roughly the ages of my Diego and Mateo.  Who knew what she fears she felt for her future as a widowed mother.  I don't even know what or how I'd be able to cope.  It would have been great if someone could've told her that she'd be OK.  That she'd stay in the house that her husband bought them and raise 2 gentlemen who would go on to get married and give her the gift of grand-motherhood.

This woman was my aunt, whom I respect so much.  So when she asked me which of my sons was my favorite in such a sneaky way (In Spanish she asked me which one tugs at my heart strings harder) there was no question on who I immediately pointed to, although I wouldn't verbally acknowledge anything.

He just has a heart of gold.  He thinks about others.

When you sneeze, he will say "Bless you, are you sick???"

When he's eating, he'll share and will say, "You want some?  YES??"

When his brother decides that he wants the iPad that he's holding, he simply gives it to him!

He will try to tuck me into bed, and then he will want to snuggle. And snuggles with him are great since he's chunky.

My husband jokes that Mateo will leave the house first when he's older because some girl will steal his heart and he will fall deeply in love. I don't doubt it.

So that's my Tater at 2.5 years, in a nutshell!

And even though I treat my children equally, my aunt had a way of not making me feel bad for admitting that I had a favorite.  I never meant to have a favorite.  It just happened.

Just like my aunt and countless other mothers out there.  She made it sound so justified as she described a shopping scene many years ago with her 2 boys and their $10 allowance.

While the eldest, Jovan, would cry, scream, and demand more money to afford the toy he wanted; Jason - her youngest was more methodical about it.  He'd stand there, thinking out loud, "If I buy these two toys, I can't afford this third toy. But I can buy the third toy by itself, and give up the other 2 toys...." he would think about it and you could see a wrinkle forming in his brain.

My aunt's heart would melt at the sight, so much that she'd just throw more money at him.  LOL.

So it seems that, similarly, my youngest has stolen my heart.  I didn't want my youngest to be my favorite simply because he would be my last, but Tater has perfected the art of cuteness in a way I never expected, a way that I cannot resist.

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Where I'm At (An update and Instagram pics)

These past few months, you've been able to find me on Instagram (@simplyshirley08), but not on this blog.  Although we've been having a good time, living life as shown through the pics below, I still didn't post here very often.  All it took was one big loss (Qori), for me to go on somewhat of a hiatus on this blog. I didn't want my written thoughts to wander too deeply into a depression.

I've been meaning to get back to blogging and find inspiration in other things, but so far all I have are half-written posts that never made it out there. 

Where am I at in my head and heart now?  Well - deep down inside I'm starting to feel truly better about Qori's passing, but many times still I miss him dearly.  I think I'm almost at a place in my heart where I can truly start to write genuine posts again without being a Debbie-downer.

So I'm starting with some baby-steps in an Instagram compilation post that I've let stack up for the past three months.  Here's what we've been up to in April, May & June via Instagram pics:

AprMayJun2014InstagramCollage1 AprMayJun2014InstagramCollage2 AprMayJun2014InstagramCollage3 AprMayJun2014InstagramCollage5 AprMayJun2014InstagramCollage6 AprMayJun2014InstagramCollage7

I hope you are all doing better than I have been lately! -Shirley (Mama-Ruff)