Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Es el queso!!

The title of my blog came from a campaign for California cheese many years ago. It started with billboards with a phrase or question and the answer was always "It's the Cheese". For example, "Why millions come to California...it's the cheese." One of my favorites was, "2 out of 3 Californians are bilingual....es el queso." So behold, my license plate to honor the phrase. S (es) L (el) queso which surprisingly stumps some people even though I have the translation in English as a frame. Guesses include sliced cheese or sell cheese. Ugh... at least mine is not that hard to figure out unlike a lot of other vanity plates I've seen.

We are having another storm which should bring another 2 feet of snow to our local mountains. It had been sprinkling off and on all day until it was time for me to pick up Josh from preschool when it began to pour and still continues to come down. It doesn't take long for the streets in LA to flood which causes all sorts of traffic problems. I keep checking the weather channel site to see what Maui is like and they've been having nonstop rain for the last week or so. I'm seriously hoping that it will stop by Tuesday when we arrive.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The last few months have been spent having Joshua evaluated for autism which has been like a roller coaster ride. One place did various tests and determined that Joshua has developmental and language delays but is not autistic and we were referred to Launch in Torrance. Launch performed their own tests and they agreed with the delayed speech & development but said Josh has autistic like behaviors. That was a big blow to me but we rallied together to deal with this. Joshua will start the Launch preschool with speech therapy and occupational therapy tomorrow. The team assigned for Joshua already have goals prepared for the whole year and they are broken down into smaller goals. He has school for 3 hours every day, 5 days a week which I think will be a great opportunity for Joshua. So I need to get all the forms ready and get his backpack ready. Wish us luck and keep us in your prayers!!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I haven't posted as often as I like since Hector bought the sequel to Champions of Norrath called Champions of Norrath: Return to Arms. We found the way to import our characters from the previous game to continue on to the new game. Then we started the more challenging level and it kicked our butts!! All our free time is spent playing this game which is making me tired but it sure is lots of fun. We usually wait to play until the kids are in bed or on the weekends but it reminds me of the good ol' days when we could sleep in and play video games whenever we wanted to. Sigh! Now we have to take turns with the kids to play video games.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Remember last weekend, Hector took Tyler up to Big Bear mountain. Well, that was the plan...the storm that weekend wrecked havoc on those roads up to Big Bear. The main highway was closed due to a landslide so they took an alternate route and about 35 miles from Big Bear the sheriffs announced another road closure due to an accident. Hector decided to drive back down the mountain & they checked into the Hilton. The next day, they headed over to Mountain High in Wrightwood where they had a great time skiing and playing in the snow. The above picture is an action shot of Tyler throwing a snowball at Hector.

It is pretty late in the season for all this cold and rainy/snowy weather but it's great for our local mountains. Most years the snow season is blah with an occasional year of major amounts of snow. Hector bought a new set of chains before their trip which it turned out great. This brand he got was so easy for him to assemble which he practiced before they left. So when it was time to put the chains on, Hector was done in 10 minutes.

And last but not least, a picture of Joshua wrapping himself up in the Bob the Builder sofa bed. This bed was a birthday gift to Tyler for his 3rd birthday from Uncle Carlos. Tyler really loved that bed and still does. I found out that it is very comfy to lay on & watch TV. When Josh was 2 years old, Tyler would fold Joshua in the sofa like this picture but then sit on him. I guess Joshua still has fond memories of those times because I find him like this every so often. The fabric is getting thin & worn but the kids fight over who gets to sit/lay on it. Maybe it's time to get another one.

Friday, March 17, 2006

St. Paddy's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day to y'all! According to my son Tyler, he doesn't think there is anything special about today except that people wear green. He hasn't learned that people also drink green beer and eat corned beef & cabbage. A friend of mine from the Chicago area said that Lake Michigan gets dyed green today. That would be a sight.

We have another rainy weekend in store for us. I'm not sure what we are gonna do. My friend Vickie says a St. Patrick's Day parade will be on Saturday but it will be not as much fun when you're standing in the rain with 2 kids. Maybe I can get my husband to watch the boys so I can go shopping. I probably will just curl up by the fire and play our latest video game with my hubby. It is called Champions of Norrath which is a fun since we pick a character to fight monsters and complete quests to save Norrath. There are very few games of this type that let 2 players side by side. I guess this is cooperative playing since we are on the same side instead of against each other. We have been playing for a while and I think we are getting towards the end.

My son brought home his first note from the principal the other day. It said he peed by a tree in the playground instead of using the restroom. Just when I think he is being good & doing well in school, he gets in trouble. After many questions, I find out that another boy peed first then Tyler decided it was funny too. He was scolded and his TV watching was suspended for a few days. Hopefully he learned his lesson and will start developing some common sense very soon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More Harajuku Girls

I can't wait to go back and do Japan
Get me lots of brand new fans
Osaka, Tokyo
You Harajuku girls
Damn, you've got some wicked style

excerpt from "What Are You Waiting For?" by Gwen Stefani.

Enjoy the pics!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Harajuku Girls

I'm sure a lot of people have seen the Japanese girls that run around with Gwen Stefani this past year which she calls Harajuku Girls. She even has a song about them on her latest album Love Angel Music Baby. In Toyko they really do exist and come out in droves on Sundays in this one area. Mostly teenagers come to hang out with their friends while tourists take pictures. The style of dress ranges from goth to the absurd to punk. The most popular seems to be the goth Lolita style where goth makeup is paired with babydoll type clothing. My husband and I don't find their dress shocking since we've clubbing in our heyday in Hollywood where unusual styles abound but these kids definitely stand out among the traditional dress code of Toyko. The usual dress for the working Japanese person was standard for almost everyone we saw. The men wore dark suits and coats with a scarf. No bright colors. The women usually wore skirts with fitted jackets or blazers and high heeled boots. The teenagers wore uniforms which varied according to school.

My sister-in-law, Lupe has more pictures from her camera so I will post more another day. These kids dress up and gather only on Sundays so we scheduled our train ride earlier from Kyoto just so that we could make it in time to see the Harajuku Girls.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Lost in Translation

It's been a while since I posted any Japan-related topics so today I will show one of the many incorrect uses of the English language. It's not really the Japanese' fault since English has so many meanings and it's difficult for even those who have English as their first language. On a city tour of Tokyo we drove past a popular shopping area and I noticed a store front with the words Don't Forget Woman on it. Hmm, after a few minutes I understood what they meant to say. Unforgettable Woman. I can see how the translation would turn out this way but the next example is mind boggling. We were in Kyoto and stopped at a store for an ice cream. It had a counter to display the ice cream and treats and a sitting area for people to eat. There were also stairs near the store front and a sign at the foot of the stairs.

I am not sure if this is a direct translation of Japanese to English but it is funny. I think they mean to say you can't bring any purchased item from the first floor to the second floor to eat. We had to take a picture of this since I wouldn't possibly remember the exact wording.

This is Kyoto Tower just s few blocks from our hotel. We went up to the top at night but our pictures were awful. This is the third tower we went to the top which served as a test for Lupe (my sister-in-law) since she is afraid of heights. She was able to face her fear and enjoy the views. Actually she is more afraid of standing near the edge and looking down but she did great. Here is a picture of her at City View tower to document this occasion. Notice her death grip on that bar so she won't fall over the edge. The kids loved all the towers and the elevators are among the best I've ever been on. No lurching or bounces just a smooth fluid ride up to the top and back down with no stomach reactions. Perfect.

Friday, March 10, 2006


The weather people have been warning that a big storm is coming today and will last the weekend. I think they are actually right this time and of course, Hector decides to take Tyler to Big Bear mountain this weekend to go skiing. Big Bear is expecting lots of snow at least Tyler will get a kick out of that but it will be very cold and windy. This trip is a father-son weekend while Joshua gets to spend time with Mommy. We already had our pancake breakfast before the rain comes down and managed also to go to the grocery store too. I don't think we have to leave house at all today so we can be warm and cozy when the rain comes down.

I'll see if my mom will babysit so that I can go shopping with my friend Kat. I need to find some clothes for Maui and she needs to find clothes for her cruise is 2 weeks. Oh, I also had my appointment with the podiatrist Thursday. He took a x-ray of my foot and confirmed that I have a bunion on my right foot. I had thought that wearing tight, pointy shoes caused bunions but the doc says that bunions are hereditary. The big toe has 2 phalanges, 2 joints and 2 tiny round sesamoid bones that enable it to move up and down. From the x-ray I found out that I have only 1 sesamoid bone which causes the ligament to pull my big toe inward and form a bunion. I will need surgery but it is an out-patient procedure and under local anesthesia and sedation. My foot will need about 6 weeks to heal so I will schedule it end of April/early May. I don't want to be recuperating when I have Maui and Vegas to enjoy next month.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

March Madness

Ugh, I don't mean basketball...I could care less. I am getting closer to my vacation to Maui in April followed by a mini-trip to Vegas. Winter in southern California is almost over which overall seemed like a roller coaster with temps soaring up to the 80's then dipping down into the 40's. We just had some rain yesterday afternoon which made for a beautiful morning today. Hector wants to take Tyler skiing this weekend at the local mountains so maybe the rains will bring more snow. I think I'll stay home with Joshua since he is too young to ski and my foot has been bothering me. I have an appointment with the podiatrist Thursday to check it out. It sucks getting old!

I need to start getting our stuff together that we will need in Hawaii. Make sure shorts and T-shirts fit and I have to find reef shoes for the kids. Lots of sunscreen although I can buy that in Hawaii. Actually anything I forget, I don't have to worry since we will be in civilization. I know the kids and Hector will get tan while I will just try not to burn! It will be so nice to relax and just enjoy the family without all our usual distractions.

The top picture is Wonder Boy (aka Tyler) in the mask while Wonder baby decided to shun his mask. The second picture is Joshua posing for a quick shot then off to chasing bubbles again.