Category: Shopping

The Best Christmas, EVER

Finally, a chance to update! I’ll warn you now, this is a REALLY long one! Where do I start?

I guess I’ll start with Wednesday. I spent most of the day trying to clean and when Mary got home, I went with her and Noelia to town for a few Christmas gifts she needed. The last place we went to was K-Mart, where the so-called manager was a total ass. Let’s just say, I know why K-Mart is going out of business. Anyway, we went to the jewelry department, where Mary was going to look for some earrings Noelia wanted. I idly turned the display case and browsed through the bling. Then I saw the most perfect little 10K pink cubic zirconia (sp?) earrings. I saw the price…they’d been priced down to $5.99! I was about to buy them, and Mary said no, she’d get them for me to put in my stocking. I told her no, it’s just $5, I’d get them for myself and she insisted. She’s too sweet to me .

Thursday was spent wrapping. Sonia, Mary and I wrapped almost all day. Then I started whipping up the dough for the Snickerdoodles (will put the recipe up soon).

That night, John and I were watching the news. They kept mentioning snow and sleet and we were just boggled. We sat about a foot in front of the TV like little kids and anxiously waited for the weather to be announced. And then I saw it:

Yes. I took a picture of it, just in case I’d never see that announced ever again.

The next morning, as I got Mario’s clothes ironed, I turned the TV to the Weather Channel. I almost ironed over my hand when I heard them say it was snowing in Brownsville, Texas–which is about an hour and a half away from here! I was so excited. It wasn’t snowing here yet, but it was freezing cold outside. I made Mario his breakfast, he left for work, then I got the boys up and gave them breakfast, gave John instructions on what to do, when to feed them, etc. Then, off went Mary and I to brave the last-minute-shoppers crowd at the mall and in town. We were just in the next town when we started picking up speed and we notice there’s water on the rear-view mirrors and the water is freezing right before our eyes. I’d never seen that before!

We went to Wal-mart first to get some movies we needed. I picked up Noelia’s movies, and got Jurassic Park The Lost World for the boys. Mary got a few things too and then we left. We were waiting for Mario to call so we could cash his check before the banks closed and he called right when we were nearing the store. After cashing it, we went down Main street to check a perfume store for the cologne I wanted to get Mario, 212 by Carolina Herrera. I found it–and I got the 3.4oz. bottle for the price I’d get the 1.7oz. bottle at the mall ! Mary got Lucky for Noey, which was also for a really good price. Then we headed for the mall. Luckily, we had such good luck finding parking spaces all day! We got what we needed from all the stores…I even got the two Gameboy Advance videos I wanted for the boys (Yugioh and Ninja Turtles) plus one free (Cartoon Network collection) at EbGames! Then at Target, we got a few more movies, I got some tin platters for the cookies I was baking for each family and some other stuff. I got Office Space for Mario, which he’s been wanting since forever and I got 3 movies for him from Mom: Tigerland, Tears of the Sun, and Hackers. They didn’t charge us for Hackers! We thought they hadn’t put it in since it wasn’t on the receipt, but they did put it in there and didn’t charge us for it. So yeah, we had really good luck!

We went back home and unloaded the car. When I was taking some bags in, I noticed droplets on the ends of the orange tree leaves. I get closer and notice they’re teeny icicles! I listened closely and could hear the frozen Mesquite leaves clinking against eachother in the wind. I was amazed…I’d never seen frost/ice after 6am, ever, and had definetly never heard it!

We covered the boys up snugly and took them to see the ice, then took them back in so Mary and I could visit Mario’s Grandma for a while and drop off the gift exchange gifts. We ate some pork/beef tamales she’d made and talked with her. She gave us the gifts she bought for the boys and we went to pick Mom up from work. She’d be spending the night to spend Christmas morning with us . It would have been really odd and depressing had she not been here Christmas morning since she’s always been here. She was waiting in the lobby when we got there, a huge chocolate cake and a bag of presents and her clothes in tow. I helped her with everything and felt incredibly happy that my whole family would be together the next day. Except Gramma of course , but we’d be visiting her. As she’s getting in the car, she tells me, “Remember how I said you’d love your gift? Well, I forgot it.” LOL I told her it was totally ok, not to worry about it at all. We went to Subway to pick up a sub for Noey and for the first time in my life I saw long icicles on a building.

We picked up Angela and Yazmin on the way home, since they wanted to decorate the Gingerbread house kit Mary’d bought.

It was horrible. I remember it being much easier last year . After finally getting it to actually “stand”, the kids got to decorating.

A side view. It’s slipping…:

And after they picked off a few gumdrops:

Stupid thing . Never again!

After that disaster, I started baking the Snickerdoodles. I connected the kids’ monitor in the kitchen, so I could hear when the timer went off and went back to Mary’s, where she was baking Pan de Polvo, and started wrapping more gifts. One of the times I was running back to Mary’s from checking on a batch of cookies, I saw this on a lawn chair outside:

Could it be? Sleet? Snow?? I ran off screaming, “OH MY GOD, IT’S SNOWING!!!”. John had been sleeping and awoke to my shrill screams and said, “What the hell’s your problem?!” I tell him, “It’s SNOWING, John!” He was in a crappy mood, so he didn’t care much, but all the kids came running out (after being properly covered up) to see.

The first layer of “snow”. If it had snowed only this much, it would have been enough for me. It looked marvelous. It was the first time it’s snowed in 109 years and the first recorded White Christmas in history in The Valley. I love how my crappy little camera captured the snowflakes. Or, ice flakes since they weren’t really flakes yet.

Noey, Yazmin and I kept going out there to play in the snow. We were worse than the kids . Mary even yelled out, “You girls don’t stay out there too long, you hear me?!” I felt like I was 5 again, not that I saw snow when I was 5. It brought out the kid in us. I caught snow in my mouth for the first time ever and we made tiny snowballs. We went back in after taking a few pictures (which I won’t post of me because my pics weren’t too flattering LOL). Mario got home, and was pretty tired (and cold!) from being at work all day and chilled out on the couch and eventually went to sleep. I was a bit disappointed he wasn’t playing in the snow with us, but I understood he was tired. One of the times I went back out, I noticed the snow turned into little “balls”.

It was so awesome to touch!

After putting all the kids to bed (except Yazmin, who kept getting out of bed ) we finished wrapping the presents. I decided to take a picture of the tree before it was destroyed in the morning LOL.

There were a lot less presents under the tree since Jose, Elda, Jorge and the boys didn’t come . I finished up with all the cookies I was making (peanut butter, chocolate chip–which I cheated with and bought the Toll House squares –and the Snickerdoodles.

Then I made the trays I’d be giving to each of the families, since we couldn’t get them all individual gifts.

After Mary and I were done with everything, I went out and took pictures of everything I could. I wanted to remember the snow forever, in case it never happens again. Mary wanted me to get pictures of the house, but since it was dark, and my camera isn’t the best, they wouldn’t show. So she thought, “Let’s take video!” So there we were, at 1:30 in the morning, with a whole bunch of extension cords and the video camera. We went around the house as much as the cords would go without us getting electrocuted. I thought I’d have a hard time sleeping since I was super excited about the snow and excited about seeing the kids open their presents, but I fell asleep pretty quickly. The next morning, I awoke to this:

I went out with Mom before everyone else woke up and took more pictures. We even attempted to make a teeny snowman on top of the trash bin, but we’re South Texans and don’t own gloves, so our hands were freezing LOL.

Those are THE coolest icicles! Mario got dressed and went outside to see the snow. He couldn’t believe how much snow there was. We went in, where the rest of the family was and waited to open presents. The kids all sat patiently while the adults either passed around gifts or helped the little ones open theirs. Jaylen was in heaven. He had a Ninja Turtle Christmas LOL. That’s basically what his gifts consisted of. Kind of reminds me of John when he was a toddler…he had EVERY SINGLE old school Ninja Turtle action figure. After the kids opened their gifts, the adults opened theirs. Mario was super happy with his cologne and all his shirts and DVD’s and tools . I was EXTREMELY happy with all my gifts. I was really surprised with a lot of my gifts. A little list of what I received:

1. Polite Panda from Mary and Big Mario.
2. Perfect Panda from Mom.
3. Bashful Heart Bear, Best Friend Bear and a large Playful Heart Monkey from Jorge.
4. Care Bears checkers from Mary and Big Mario.
5. The new 18″ Rainbow Brite doll I couldn’t find anywhere from Mary and Big Mario (they had it sent by Elda from Arizona!).
6. Hello Kitty toaster from Mary and Big Mario (also from Arizona!).
7. Rainbow Brite Light Up Color Castle from Mary and Big Mario.
8. A multi-stone colored cross necklace from Aunt Nora and Tio Arturo.
9. 10K pink cubic zirconia earrings from Mary.
10. A Strawberry Shortcake Italian Charm from Mary and Big Mario.
11. A teeny Strawberry Shortcake purse from Mary and Big Mario.
12. 14K pink heart-shaped cubic zirconia necklace from Mario.
13. Love Spell from Victoria’s Secret body splash, shower gel, and two perfumes from Mario.

Mario kept telling me he didn’t get me anything, and I kept telling him it was fine. The best gift for me was that my family was happy and together, and that we got to get everyone else something, even if it was small. Then he popped out with two boxes and there was my necklace and Love Spell stuff. I was pleasantly surprised. I’m so grateful for my gifts, and most of all my family–who’re the best family in the world and the best I could ask for

Here’s Jaylen with his gifts:

And Eenan with his Kirby and the Amazing Mirror game he got from Nana and Bimpa:

They didn’t want to open any more gifts after those LOL. Here they are with their Megaman sword things:

Mario and I made breakfast for everyone and later went to play in the snow. Here we are in front of the pretty snow-covered logs:

I didn’t like this picture either. It was early, wasn’t wearing make-up, but it was one of the only ones with my love so I thought I’d include it . After taking that picture, Mario made a snowman.

He was about a foot high, and resided on Noey’s car. I told Mario the skittles were a bad idea…they made him look evil . We got into a snowball fight after that, which was the coolest! Even Eenan got in on the action. Jaylen was too busy playing with his Ninjas to come outside. Mario made this huge snowball, which he almost launched at me:

Mario left the ball unattended on the ground, and Eenan cracked it in half with his foot. Here he is carrying what was left:

I went back in and got the boys ready since we’d be leaving to Yadira’s (who didn’t have electricity) to get together for our Christmas lunch. It was nice even though the food was cool by the time we ate. Everything was yummy. After spending some time there, we all went back to the house and dropped Mary, Mom and John off, and the boys, Mario and I went to see Paul, Norma and their kids. They bought us gifts, which I told them they didn’t have to do but Paul said they wanted to, that it was little things we liked. We gave them the tray of goodies we made and they gave us our gifts. They got Mario a West Coast Choppers bike and a West Coast Choppers car and bike for Eenan. Jaylen got a Ninja Turtles robot and they got me a Care Bears domino set. They said they’d been eying it for me since October LOL. How sweet is that?

My dominos and an ornament I bought myself. It was on sale at Wal-Mart!

We chatted and caught up on things since we hadn’t seen eachother in almost a year. Their kids are all too adorable. Their little girls are gorgeous. I never thought Paul could have daughters LOL.

After visiting with them, we went home and got ready to watch a movie. We popped some popcorn, microwaved some nacho cheese, got some pickles, Hot Cheetos and gummy candies. It was nice, even though the kids were running back and forth LOL. Jorge called a while later and we went to visit with them. Mom stayed home watching TV and the rest of us went. The boys played Halo 2 while Maggie and I chatted in the kitchen.

The next day, Mom and I sat at the table and just chatted. Somehow, we got to talking about purses and I told her I needed to buy one because I’ve been using the same one for about 2 years and it was about to fall apart. She says, “Then I think you’ll like what I got you.” My eyes widen and I say, “No…you got me a purse?!” She nods. I ask, “From where?”, and she says, “Dillards.” I think, ‘Oh my gosh, what has this woman bought me?’ She tells me it’s pink, with little letters on it. My heart drops. I ask her, “Is it a Dooney & Bourke?” She says, “Eh, I don’t know what the name is, but it was expensive.” I tell her, “MOTHER! How much was it??” She says, “$150…but we got it on sale for $98…your Aunt Nora put it on her card and I’m paying her back. She suggested it.” I almost fainted. And hugged her

We dropped Mom off at work a while later and visited Gramma at the nursing home. She loved the sweatshirt we got her. I need to remember to get her the matching pants. Didn’t get them since they hadn’t been bothering to put pants on her. We (Mom, Jaylen and I–Eenan stayed with Mary in the car since he was in a bad mood) spent the whole time trying to fix Gramma’s TV. Before we left I asked a nurse if they could send someone to her room to help. I hope someone got it fixed. She’d be so bored! I’m glad they take her out for physical therapy every day. She’s moving her legs a bit more now. She can actually stretch them. They also have little activites and she gets her nails done every week . Too cute!

We stopped by Aunt Nora’s to visit really quick and to drop Mom’s clothes and their presents off. I gave her the tray of goodies I made and she gave us a huge basket of cookies she ordered for us. It was FULL of cookies.

It was much more full than that when we first got it. Mary, the boys and I got into it on the way home LOL. She told me to open the gift Mom got me, because she wanted to see my reaction. I opened it and my mouth dropped, and then I screamed.

I could not believe it. A Dooney & Bourke!! I always had one on my secret wishlist, but never, ever thought I’d own one. I couldn’t fathom spending that much money on a bag. I remember a while back when Jessica and Aunt Nora came over to Mom’s when they still lived here…they both had Dooneys. Aunt Nora’s was red and Jessica’s was pink. I’d wanted one ever since. And I had one. I filled out the registration card right away…I need to send it out tomorrow! I browsed around for a wallet…the one I want is $145…I should start saving if I want it sometime soon LOL.

So that was our surprise-filled Christmas. One of the best, ever.

On a sad note, I still can’t believe how many people lost their lives due to that tsunami . It’s just terrible. Everyone I’ve talked to, I’ve told that it’s really scary. I may be looking into it too much, but the fact that it snowed down here and then that tsunami…makes me wonder what else will happen. Global warming and the polar ice caps shifting (was on CNN a few weeks ago)…scary shit. God, I don’t even want to think about it. You see, I’m watching the Weather Channel right now…a tornado warning near Los Angeles…can we say The Day After Tomorrow??? *packs bags and moves to Mexico*

I guess that’s it…I need to wake up super early tomorrow. Blah.


Hectic Holidays

Finally…a chance to update. Well, actually…I put off mopping all darn day (I’ve had the water with nicely scented Mr. Clean in a bucket in the kitchen since around 5 this afternoon ) and I still haven’t washed dishes. And it’s 11:41. But I’m dead tired. The past few nights I’ve only slept 4-5 hours…and I cannot function on that little sleep.

The last time I updated, I mentioned we were picking Eenan up from school. There was a huge line so we parked at some apartments. We cross the street and while I’m zipping up Jaylen’s sweater I hear Noelia saying, “What?!” I turn and this man is howling from across the street, “Is this your car?!” I nod my head and he says, “Do you live here?” I yell ‘no’ and he says, “You have to move your car!” I tell him I’ll be right back and I hear him yelling his head off. We rush to get Eenan, then rush back to the car. Took us less than 5 minutes. When we get back, we’re putting the boys in the car and there comes the buffalo-sized man. I roll my eyes at Noelia and think, ‘Oh great…another run-in with a douchebag’. He says, “Do you rent here?” I reply, “Nope, are you the owner?” and continue buckling Eenan in his seat belt. He says, “No, but I’m the landlord. You can’t be parking here.” I say, “I know, Sir. We just needed to get my son. We took less than 5 minutes.” He says, “Well, I’ve been getting calls that people have been leaving their cars here all week.”

I feel my face get hot. “Well, this is the first time we do it, and it’s not like we’re going to do it again. It’s not like we’re taking up the parking spaces,” I said, as I glide my hand in the air, Vanna White style, showing him the empty parking lot. He gets all pissy and says, “Well, I already got your license plate number and I’ll call the cops.” I roll my eyes, begin to walk to the passenger side of the car and say, “Um. Okay. Go ahead. What’s that going to do?” He just stares at me for a while and I say, “I’ll be sure to let everyone I know, know about you and your apartments.” He chuckles and says, “Oh, that don’t scare us.” (Us? Was he skitzo?) I open the door to the passenger side, get up in his face and say, “Well, you don’t scare me.” I closed the door on him (while he continued to talk out his ass), which pissed him off more and I just smiled all sarcastic-like as we drove off. Idiot. Some people just LOVE to be assholes. And I usually have the pleasure of running into assholes. They think, because of my appearance I bet (I look like I’m 16 and helpless–a doctor told me a few months ago that I look like I’m 12!), that I’ll just let myself be talked down to. Boy do they ever get a surprise. I may end up getting my ass kicked one of these days, but hell, I’m not one to keep my mouth shut.

Thursday was spent baking. I woke up, got the boys ready and dropped Eenan off at school. Then I started baking. And making lunch for Mario and Jose. All the while, panicking over Eenan’s lost white polo shirt that he needed that night for his performance. I was a wreck that day–I surely thought I’d have a breakdown. Mario finally had a day off, and I didn’t want to bother him since he was spending time with Jose…but there were a few times I was on the brink of a system meltdown and I just had to ask him to help me out. I know I shouldn’t have felt guilty (I even got all pissy once when he left “without telling me”). It is partly the whole monthly, almost-bleeding-to-death thing’s fault .

I helped Eenan with his homework after Mario picked him up, then I took a shower and then got him ready. I was a bit disappointed that his shirt didn’t fit him as well as I wanted it to (Mary bought it the night before and matched it with another polo of his that fits him). He still looked adorable though :).

It was starting to drizzle by the time we left the house. Eenan’s performance started at 6:30 and Yazmin’s started at 6. So, we planned to go see Yazmin for a bit, then rush to Eenan’s school to get our plates ($15 for 3) and take Eenan with his class to practice or whatever they were going to do to get ready. We were going to leave around 6:20…but they didn’t start the concert till 6:15 so we didn’t even get to see her sing (she had a solo!). We took Angela with us when we left and halfway to their school I realize we forgot the camcorder. It’d stayed with Noelia. I called and asked if Noelia and Mary and Jaylen could come a little earlier to bring the camcorder. I was getting really upset about not recording him on his first program ever, but they got there on time. It was crazy–it was SO packed. I hope they never have their programs at that place again. There were no seats by the time we got there. We bought our plates in advance, and still didn’t even get to get seats. So Mario asked for our money back. There were also people getting in the way while I was recording. They very well saw that I was recording and would still insist on passing right in front of me. Other than that, their little programs were great . I almost cried watching Eenan sing his little song and wave the tissue paper pom-poms around they gave them to perfom with. I’m so proud of my lil’ guy *sniff*.

When we got home, I got comfortable and back to baking I went. After finishing the snickerdoodles, I started on the sugar cookies. I’d never made them before and well, they didn’t come out as good as I’d hoped. They taste great…they’re just kinda hard . I think I almost made Grandpa’s dentures fall out . Next time I know: roll the damn dough out thicker.

I let the boys decorate a few before they went to bed. I bought them these edible markers to paint the cookies with, since I don’t trust them too much with the squeezable gels LOL.

Here’s the cookie Eenan made his teacher:

And the ones I decorated and would put in a star-shaped box with some snickerdoodles:

There were dozens of snickerdoodles (which would quickly disappear within the next few days) and a whole bunch of (hard) sugar cookies. I even burned a batch and there were still a whole lot left:

Snickerdoodles & cupcakes

Sugar cookies

You can see the teeny cupcakes behind the snickerdoodles. Since they were mini cupcakes…1 box of batter made 72 cupcakes . I was up till 1:30am that night.

I don’t remember much from Friday, except taking Eenan’s goodies to school. All the kids were gathered around us admiring the cupcakes LOL. Eenan gave his gift to Ms. Ortiz, which was a little apple-shaped ceramic plaque that says, “Teachers plant a seed that never stops growing”, or something like that. She also gave him a “reader” to practice over the holidays. She said he’s her top student and she wants him to read it first. Yay . I hope he can pick up soon. He’s learning to read pretty quickly.

When we picked Eenan up, he was really happy. His friend gave him some Yugioh cards and he got a car in the gift exchange and his other friend gave him some little cars. Ms. Ortiz hugged him and said, “Santa’s gonna bring you lots of toys since you were such a good boy this year,” and we winked in agreement.

Mario picked John up that night. He’ll be staying with us the whole 3 weeks of Christmas vacation.

On Saturday I got up early, got Mario ready for work (ironed clothes, made breakfast), gave the kids breakfast and took off to go do Mom’s Christmas shopping with Mary. Not only did we make good time, but I found stuff that everyone would like, and for good prices. I even got myself Polite Panda from Hot Topic from Mom. Last one they had. Tonight though, after showing Mary the bear, she brings a Hot Topic bag out and says, “I didn’t want to say anything because I wanted it to be a surprise, but I already got you that one” LOL. So, I’ll be returning the other one. Not sure what I’ll get in it’s place…they don’t have Perfect Panda, Treat Heart Pig or anything else (for that price, $8.99) that I want there. Stupid store. I hope they have some more in by the time we go back Friday . We left the mall at around 3:30, got home and got the boys ready and left to Gorilla George’s for a birthday party. We got there really late, but they were happy we showed up. The boys played till around 5:30 and then we left. To ANOTHER birthday party at ANOTHER pizza place. They had fun. They were quickly becoming moody at the 2nd party since they hadn’t had their naps, but we stayed since they wanted us to have cake. Tres Leches cake. One of my favorites. It tasted so good, but of course I’ve been nauseous the past few days so I didn’t get to enjoy it. No, I’m not pregnant LOL. Here’s a pic I took of the boys in the Santa corner:

They’re actually not trying to kill eachother for once LOL.

We went home and left the boys with John. We were going back to the mall for the “sale” and to Target for a few things. We were meeting Mario at the mall after he got out of work. It wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be, but for being almost midnight it was still busy. I got the last of the stuff I needed for Mom, which felt awesome. I still need Mario’s, but he wants shirts so that’ll be easy. We got home around 12:15, and again I didn’t go to sleep till really late since the toilet tank overflowed and John left wet towels and my fish mat soaked on the floor and I had to wash them. Then I was just talking to Mario, who stayed up even later than I did.

We got up early to go to the big flea market/ garage sale. I took a shower and then we were off. John gave me $20 as my Xmas gift to spend there . I went back to that same lady I bought the sleeping bags from last month and she had the Jurassic Park comforter and complete set of Care Bear sheets (for $6…$2 less than what she was asking last time)! All I got next was a new release Twink Sprite for my Hot Topic Rainbow Brite Doll, two Care Bear poseables (which I thought were vintage but aren’t! Should’ve paid attention!), and yet another Putter Popple, which I bought only because the lady wouldn’t sell the pocket Puzzle Popple seperately. She said it was Putter’s baby and that’s the way they came, which is not true . She sold it to me for a dollar more than she was asking last time, too. Dammit. They had a Yum Yum…a cat, but it was really dirty and she wanted $5. I would have bought her, but I was a bit annoyed that she didn’t want to sell me a Twink mini sprite because she was only selling it with a really beat-up looking Rainbow Brite doll, so I said, ‘nah’. I have enough ugly Rainbow Brite dolls LOL. Plus, I was bitchy because I’m menstrual . I’ve been quite unpleasant this month.

After the garage sale we went to the movies to watch Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Don’t know if I spelled that correctly. I thought it was cute, but Mario and Sonia didn’t like it LOL. Not sure who else didn’t. I want to read the books now. And they look pretty short, so I’d be able to finish them quickly, without many interruptions from the boys.

Ok, going to bed now.


Christmas Shopping Pt. 1

Thank you so much to my Qbee Secret Santas for the extremely adorable gifts! I LOVE all of them!!

Well we didn’t go to the wedding afterall. I was a bit disappointed because we haven’t really gone to any weddings or special occassions where you have to get “dressed up”, and I was really looking foward to wearing that darn dress!

I picked John up on Friday. Actually, he was halfway here by the time I picked him up. I didn’t want to go too early because I didn’t want to wait long, and then I went late. Oops! Aunt Nora had called me earlier during the day and told me I should have a talk with John. She said she was worried about him because Mom was worried about him and she didn’t want anything bad happening to either one of them. That meaning, she didn’t want Mom’s blood pressure or diabetes to go berzerk since she was constantly worrying, and she didn’t want John to “hurt” himself if he really was that depressed. Depression (bi-polarism, whatever) runs in our family (my Mom’s side) and Aunt Nora really does think John’s suffering from it. I was worried he was too…especially with everything changing for him so quickly (moving over there, etc.). I even heard Aunt Nora cry for the first time in the 22 years I’ve known her. Not just over Mom and John, but because my cousin is depressed too. My heart broke in half. I didn’t even know what to say. So that night, I kept wondering how I’d bring it up and eventually just came right out and asked him what was wrong the past week. He opened up a lot. I had a lump in my throat the whole time. I wish he didn’t feel the way he does. We talked about everything really…I even told him he needs to be nicer to Mom…he doesn’t talk to her the way she’d like him to. He needs to understand she may not always be here and we have to make the most of the time we all have together. I hope I got through to him, and I hope he’ll feel better. He wanted to stay with us starting from this weekend, but I told him Mom might freak out since he was already planning on staying with us the almost-3 weeks of vacation.

Saturday, we all packed into Mary’s van (Mary, Sonia, Yazmin, John, the boys and me) and prepared for the chaos that is Christmas shopping. I got a Christmas present each for the boys, Christmas cards, mini cupcake cups and mini cupcake pan, the wireless controller for PS2 we’re getting John, and stuff from the dollar section. OMG…I am so in love with all the dollar items they have! I got Choco Cat some catnip-filled mice toys and some balls with bells in them. She LOVES them, especially the mouse one. Catnip’s like…crack for kittens!

I also got the $2 gift for Eenan’s gift exchange and a few stocking stuffers for them. I’d LIVE at Target if I could .

We still need to go back and get the rest of the presents. I don’t even remember how (gotta check my receipts!), but I spent $100+ on the few things I bought. I will be getting about $6 back from a price adjustment I’ll be getting. The two things I bought for the boys went on sale today–just my luck . Mario gets paid on Christmas Eve, so that’s when we’ll be going back to get the presents. I cringe at the thought of traffic and people congestion on that day. Yesterday alone was pure madness…and some people are so rude!

Mario didn’t end up getting the day off today. Last night the boss asked him if he could go in, and of course Mario said yes because if the employees say they have something to do and can’t come in, the tells them, “Oh…then go ahead and take a few days off.” Scary. So yeah, Mario wasn’t too happy about it (because he’s had 1 day off in a month, almost). He was really upset when he got home and kinda got depressed. While I was washing dishes and he was sitting at the computer, idly surfing the net he says, “I’m sorry I’m never home.” I turn around, walk to him and say, “What?? It’s not like it’s your fault. I’m sorry I act like a pain because you’re not here. I know you have to work…and I’m sorry I can’t take some of the burden and help you with the bills.” He says, “It’s my job to take care of you guys.” As always, I feel a pang of guilt in the pit of my stomach and say, “I’m sorry”. He quickly turns his face and says, “You shouldn’t be sorry….I want to be good at what I do.” I wrap my arm around him and say, “You’re getting there. You’re doing really good so far, and you’re only learning and getting better. I’m so proud of you…and so are the boys.” And they are. Jaylen’s still little so he doesn’t know too much about jobs and stuff, but Eenan does and everytime their commercial airs on TV he yells, “That’s where Daddy works!!!” I’m so proud of my husband…more than he could ever know

After Mario and I talked, I started on the peanut butter cookies I promised Annie. They came out even better than they did the first time ! Mario couldn’t stop talking about how good they were. He told me that the first time I made them and he took some to work, the guys all thought they were really good and that he kept bragging about how I made them from scratch. He said he told them, “Dude, she had a jar of peanut butter and a stick of butter on the table. And then she had cookies. She made them from scratch!” LOL…slight exaggeration on his part, but he’s too cute LOL. I have so much more baking to do in the next week. I usually help Mary bake on Christmas, since she gives little tins away with all the goodies. I need to make more peanut butter cookies and snickerdoodles (my favorite!). And of course the cupcakes I’m making for Eenan’s class. I LOVE baking. Although I do like EATING what I bake even more LOL.

So today we went to Catherine’s birthday party at Gorilla George’s. The boys had so much fun, even more than all the other times we’ve gone there. They got on the rides at least 5 times each. I was so sad that Mario wasn’t there with us, but John was there so it wasn’t totally boring. He’d keep an eye on one of the kids for me if they were on seperate rides, or if Yazmin was on a different ride than the boys. Jaylen was too cute on the “sleigh” type ride…it goes really fast in foward motion, then really fast backwards. He kept seeing Isiah raise his arms, and Eenan too on occassion, so he tried it once. He raised his hands about 2 inches above the bar in front of him and quickly clutched back onto it LOL. Poor Eenan hit his head on the headrest of the bumper cars he and Angela were on. Neither of them really know how to maneuver the car, so while they were quietly figuring it out in a corner away from all the other kids, a little boy found them an easy target and smashed right into them. Angela hurt her back and Eenan hurt his little head. The attendant had to stop the ride because she saw what happened and was worried herself. She rubbed his head (I couldn’t get in there yet) and she told me he wanted to stay in, so he did. He’s okay, thank goodness.

Catherine’s theme was Dora the Explorer. I’d never seen so many Dora the Explorer things. She got a bedroom full of stuff…she was so happy . I can’t believe she’s already 4! Damn, I’m getting old!

When we got home, Mario was already here. I’d brought him pizza, pasta and salad from the party so I didn’t have to cook dinner…yay! After he ate, he installed the speakers he bought his dad for his birthday and I made his lunch for tomorrow–lasagna. He called Albert right away to let him know I was making some, since Albert wanted some after tasting it the last time I made it. Hiram isn’t working tomorrow, but he told Mario to take him some on Tuesday LOL. Mario wants me to make a whole pan one of these days since some of the guys get “jealous” that Mario didn’t take them any. God LOL.

So that’s my update. Thank you all for the comments the past few days . I promise I’ll get back to you soon. Thank you Gonzo for the very generous gift you sent me …you’re a gem! And thank you to those who’ve sent me X-mas cards/gifts…I’ll post them up soon if I haven’t already! xoxo