Tuesday, September 30, 2008

10 year Anniversary

We have made it 10 years! How lucky we are to have spent the last 10 years together. September 26th, 1998 was when we got married in my grandma's backyard with all my family and poor Javier all by himself. None of his family had the money or visas to come for our wedding. I can't believe how fast these years have flown by! These past years have been good to us. We have two happy and healthy kids, and we have grown so much-both together in our relationship and personally. For our anniversary we took a little trip to Tahoe for the weekend. My mom kept the kids so we could go. We left Thursday afternoon and got there just in time for dinner. When we left I told him I didn't want to talk about business, money, or kids. So we were quiet for about 5 min. until we thought of something to talk about. I have to admit, it was kind of hard since that is ALL we talk about now. I wanted to talk about things we used to...like funny stories about our families or friends, gossip, childhood memories, future goals, what we love about eachother. You know, the things you talk about when you are newly in love and dating or newly-weds. So we told eachother things that we would never forget about our courtship. I will never forget how he sobbed on my shoulder when I left Costa Rica to come home after my 6 months were up. We were so in love, and we didn't know if we would ever see eachother again. I was so young and he was so poor. How would we ever be together again?! It seemed hopeless.

September 26, 1998

He was able to come on a work/study visa through his university. He borrowed the money for the program fees, which included airfare to Miami and he was able to legally work there for 4 months. Well, he went to Miami, not much closer than Costa Rica. But cheaper to talk on the phone! So we talked every night for a couple hours, him from a payphone outside his work or apartment, and me at home annoying every member of my family. For my 18th birthday we convinced my grandpa to get him a ticket with his flyer miles so he could come to California and meet everyone. Grandma at this point would refer to him as "turkey" because "Javier" was too hard for her to say. She cracks me up! I remember the night he flew in, grandpa drove me to the airport to pick him up. It was arriving around 10p.m. and he had a layover in Denver. I had butterflies in my stomache and could fell my limbs weak with anxiety as we stood there at the gate waiting for him to appear. I hadn't seen him for 6 months and I just wanted to kiss him all over when he was finally within range. People were trickling off the plane in little groups here and there, and the gaps between them were getting bigger and bigger, and my heart began to sink as I worried that he got lost in Denver, or never boarded in Miami for some unknown reason and hadn't been able to contact me to tell me why. Grandpa could feel my anxiety building and gently put his hand on my shoulder and asked me if I had seen him yet. I choked back the tears and replied, "No. I am worried that he didn't even get on." He tenderly assured me that he probably just got stuck behind people and would appear any second. I was glad that grandpa was standing there with me, to keep me from melting down as the disappoint was becoming overwhelming. Then I saw him. I couldn't stop smiling, and the tears came anyway. He slowly walked up to us and gave me a big hug and he looked just as handsome as when I left him. I could tell he felt unsure of how to act with my grandpa there, he couldn't talk to him because he didn't know English yet. Now I wanted my Grandpa to disappear so we could make-out right there in the terminal. Ok Gramps, it was good for you to be around a couple of minutes ago, but now you need to go. The sooner the better. Don't you have a sudden urge to use the bathroom or get a drink? Of course he didn't get it, and just stood there towering over us, sizing up this latino rico suave that was after his granddaughter. This granddaughter that wouldn't stop talking about him for 6 months. On the way home we sat in the back seat and whispered sweet nothings en espanol to eachother. My grandpa's ears were perked, but I knew he wouldn't understand anything. Something I use to this day around my family. We got back to my grandparents house and he met my Grandma, who was instantly sweet to him. I hadn't told him yet that she had nicknamed him "turkey". By now it was almost midnight and they were ready for bed, but we wanted to talk and just be together. Of course that wasn't going to happen. Over their dead bodies were they going to allow us to stay up after they were asleep. So grandpa did what he does best; hoover! We were in the kitchen and I could here him pacing in the foyer-as if there is anything to be doing in there. Duuuhhh grandpa! I know what you are doing, I am just ignoring you! My grandpa is a professional hooverer. It really bugs when you just want some privacy. So I played dumb for as long as I possibly could before he finally summoned us both to get to bed. "You can see eachother in the morning. You haven't seen eachother for 6 months, you can wait another 8 hours," he said. "He had no idea what it was like to be in love and seperated for so long, another 8 hours is an eternity!" I said to myself. I finally went to bed and was a bucket of nerves and didn't sleep a wink. I was so nervous because I thought maybe after seeing me after six months he would decide I wasn't worth it anymore. You know how you think you want something until you have it, then you're just not that into it? I was also nervous to introduce him to my family. I knew everyone was so skeptical and questioned his motives even if they didn't say it. He was 8 years older than me, from a foreign country, no money, etc. All those things didn't matter, because I knew what was in his heart and even though we have always bickered (because of my oneryness) he has always been true to me and never, ever let me down. I love that man!! How lucky I am! I truly don't know who else would put up with me. He remembers the same night, but for different reasons. He remembers exactly what I was wearing and thinking how "hot" I was, as he puts it. As Dr. Laura says, men are simple. My memory of our "reunion" took up about 20 minutes of our car ride and his was one sentence! Haha!

It definately isn't easy being married to someone who is from a different country, and learning a new language, and changing culture, religion, family, and friends. There have been tough moments that most couples wouldn't experience, but also funny ones too. I bet no one has had there husband ask them to make him "muffins with frosting" because he didn't know the word "cupcake", or call gophers "woofers" and watch people pretend like they know what he is talking about. He hasn't said anything like that in a while, but we still laugh when we talk about it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dog-Hating Nazi's

Yep, that's what we were called when I told my family about our new puppy.
"What! The dog-hater's got a dog? What on earth came over you!?"
"Well isn't that interesting, the dog nazi's got a dog."
Those are just a few of the comments we got when I told my siblings about our cute little puppy "Twinkie". She definately looks like she has some German Shephard in her, and who knows what else. She is a mutt, but is a very pretty color. She is a light brownish-blonde, which is why we named her "Twinkie". I was even a little surprised that Javier wanted this dog, after our kids have both been bit by my parents rat terrier, Tootsie twice. Poor Cassie was bit right on the cheek when she was only 15 months, and we had to take her to the emergency room in Sonora because we were at the cabin when it happened. It was totally unprovoked and happened so fast there was nothing I could have done even if I was right there with her. So needless to say, we have both been weary of dogs because we don't want our children's faces scarred for life. So whenever we are around dogs we remind the kids to not get close to the dogs, because we are scared that any dog will bite unprovoked like the last time. Our protective comments have made us be perceived as "Dog-hating Nazi's" by my siblings. Naturally we just want to avoid the tip of a nose bit off, or a lip, or something worse. Javier had to get some landscaping materials out in Paicines, which is about 10 miles away from Hollister and very rural. A mother dog and her three puppies, about 4 months old, had been dumped out there, which is a common tactic to get rid of animals you don't want. People drive out into the country and dump them off, because if you take them to the pound you get interrogated. Twinkie was one of the puppies, and she was so sweet. She came up to Javier and was nudging his leg and licking his hand. Needless to say he wanted to bring her home, but was worried about whether I would want one or not. He told me she didn't even bark or jump up on him, so I was willing to listen to his plan. He wanted to take me back out there and meet her and then I could decide if we wanted to bring her home. I went back and saw her and yes, she is a mutt, but she was so mild-mannered, I thought if he wants her and agrees to clean-up her poop, and feed her, why not? I like dogs, I just don't want a tore up yard and my children bitten. She's a female, mellow-even for a puppy, and we'd be rescuing her from the pound or certain starvation our there. So I agreed to take her home and try her out for a few days and see if she was going to stay mellow and not start those annoying dog things like digging everywhere and chewing everything up. So far, she is a playful happy puppy and we still have her. I just don't know what to do about her farting! She stinks soooooo bad! I have to put her out because my eyes start to water. Hopefully she will get used to her food, otherwise she will be mostly an outdoor dog.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Butterflies and Red Bulls

These are the names of Cassie and Seth's soccer teams. Can you guess who belongs to which team? Today they both had their first games. Cassie's game was the early one, starting at 8:20 a.m. She did great. She ran the whole time and got some good kicks, and even almost made a goal once. She plays with 4-6 year olds, and the 6 year olds pretty much dominate. The girls were focused and played the whole time without much fuss. The boys on the other hand.......let's just say they needed a lot of encouragement. I think Seth spent as much time on the ground as he spent standing. Every little kick or bump made him fall, and then he would stay down long enough so that everyone would see that he had been injured. I think he has been paying close attention to his dad's games. Men are such babies!When you watch little kids play you will see that they don't pass. Passing the ball to a team-mate is above their skill level. They all just run after the ball and kick it, but because they are all standing around the ball it doesn't get far unless it get's lucky and passes through someone's legs. I call this kind of soccer "bunch ball", and you will agree when you see this next photo.

A few times Seth broke loose with the ball, which was great considering he is only 4, and because the 6 year old boys were dominating. One time he was even right in front of the goal, and he turned and shot and it just barely rolled into the net. GOOOAAALLL!!!! He turned to us with a big smile and a very proud look on his face. So we jumped and clapped and cheered. Javier and I yelled from the sidelines "Way to go Seth! You're the best!" Then we turned to each other and laughed because neither of us had the heart to tell him it was the wrong goal. Hey, a goal is a goal when you are only 4. These next shot two shots I took before he scored and right after his first auto-goal. Sportsmanship can change in the blink of an eye on the soccer field of 4-6 yr. old Boys.

Here he is walking off the field pouting.

Right after his auto-goal. He thinks he is hot stuff!

With all the injuries, pouting, and wrong goals, I am wondering how we will ever make it through the season! I guess we will just have to take one game at a time.

I Love Co-Ed Softball!!

Javier and I are playing on a co-ed softball team for the first time! Not only is it our first time playing together, it is Javier's first time ever playing. He has always played soccer, and played well. Last year I was invited to play on this team, and of course I jumped at the chance to play. I had never played co-ed, but I was excited to get out there and have the fun I used to. Well after a season of playing with the team, I decided that it would be much more fun if Javier played with me, since there are several couples that play on the team. He was reluctant because of course he has never played and was worried that he would make some dumb mistake that would cost us the game or something. I reassured him that even though he hasn't played softball, he is an athlete and all he needs to do is learn the game and he will be a good player. So they played him in center field and he caught all the fly balls that were hit to him. For fielding, we're good. Now it's time to bat. He didn't strike out, but he didn't get a strong hit so he got out on first. The second time he was walked, and in co-ed if a man gets walked he goes to second base. Now we are good, we have runner on second. Well he decides to play like a pro and lead off second base. The umpire behind home stops the game and calls him out for not being on the base during the pitch. He was embarrassed for not knowing and making a mistake, and after the game he said he didn't want to play anymore. I thought I was talking to Seth for a minute, then I realized oh yeah, this is my 36 year old husband, he'll get over it. After that game Jesse, my brother, coached Javier and taught him how to stand at bat. For our next game Javier was ready and waiting to leave when I got home to get ready. "Oh good, he is over not wanting to play," I thought to myself. Javier finally gets up to bat with his new coaching fresh on his mind, and he swings and gets a good hit right in between two players and makes it to first base. I am cheering loudly when I see him walking off the base into the dugout. I am like "get back on the base you are safe!" Turns out he was called out again for throwing the bat and hitting the catcher. Another little rule that no one ever breaks so we forgot to tell him about it. Everybody on the team are really good sports and just laugh at his little mistakes and keep playing. Now the joke is "what new rule is Javier going to discover?" Our next game Javier got on base again, and was running to third and tagged the base but then went over and was off the base for a few seconds. Everyone in our dug out was yelling "Javier!! get back on base!" He jumped back on base just as the third baseman caught the ball. The next player got a hit so he ran past home and came into the dugout and Ms. Anna, who's both Cassie and Seth's preshool teacher, ran up to him and said in a laughing teacherly voice "Javier you learned something without getting out!" Everyone in the dugout laughed. In soccer he dominates and his team always takes 1st place, so I give him points for being a good sport to keep playing with me, especially since he has had to swallow some pride.

Seth's First Day of Pre-School!!!

Today Seth began pre-school in the same class that Cassie was in last year. Seth is already familiar with Ms. Anna, the teacher, and the classroom since he went with me to pick her up everyday last year. I am the class-rep for his class, which means that my job is to schedule the mom's for their workdays in the class, since this is a co-op preschool. Well I figured I would just do myself a favor and schedule myself the first day of school, since I was probably going to be hanging around anyway. (Last year he tried pre-school and we only lasted a couple weeks) But this is a new year and he is one year older!
When you are working in the class you get to wear a black apron and your child gets special priviledges that day. They get to ring the bell to call the class in, they get to bring something from home to share with the class, and they get to pick a song from the song box. So for sharing time we brought "Bear-John" from when we went to Build-a-bear with Tita, who is actually a cheetah dressed as a soccer player that roars. We had to make sure he was nice and safe for the drive to school.
Now when it's sharing time, you get to sit on the teacher's lap while she asks questions about it and then walk around the rug and let your classmates touch and wish they had your toy because you are getting all the attention at that moment. It truly is the highlight of Preschool!

The first day of school went nice and smooth, however I can't say that for the second. I found out when I picked him up that he and Ms. Anna had a rough day. He almost got sent to the principal's office and a phone call home! I am hoping that it was because he was disappointed because he didn't get VIP treatment like the first day, and that it isn't a preview of the next 12 years!