Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Feliz CumpleaƱo Kiesha!

It's Kiesha's birthday today. I had yellow roses (her favorites) sent to her office this morning. Her mom has baked her a yellow cake with chocolate frosting - another favorite. I'll be making carnitas tacos for her since she misses her Tacos Mexico fare. She says I make them better than Tacos Mexico but that is debatable.

I love you baby! Happy Birthday!

Other notable events that happened this day in history.

Nelson Mandela Was Inaguarated today in 1994. Read other historic events that happened today.

Others celebrating birthdays:
1899: Fred Astaire, American Actor
1902: David O Selznick, American film producer
1967: Young M.C.
1960: Bono aka Paul Hewson (U2)

Kiesha's Horoscope
Don't sign on that dotted line or move that money around. Now's just not the time.

Still shopping? Still getting crazy with the charge cards? Well, it might be time to stop that nonsense -- just for a day or two. If you're not sure you can manage it, hire a bodyguard. A charge-guard, so to speak.

Find Your Horoscope

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Ruben's First Birthday Party

Ruben celebrated his first birthday on two occassions. First in Nebraska with his grandma, aunts and daddy. He did not enjoy wearing his party hat though. That set him off to crying, which led to him to not wanting chocolate cake, which meant I had to take him out his seat and comfort him. Po' Baby. Well, he did eventually calm down and eat some cake.

Kiesha, the nana, aunt, Lometa and I also threw him a party in Kentucky. The logistics in pulling off such an affair are tremendous. I now understand why my parents only threw me one party and did not have any parties for my sisters. They are exhausting. I think the best way to go is to hold a party in some restaurant or other venue and have them cater. Kiesha, Lometa and I were out grilling and preparing food and preparing the place and sending invites and hosting. I hoped he enjoyed it cuz that may be the last one he has, although I know I won't be so lucky.

We have put up pictures on our website so that everyone not in attendance could see what you all missed. Hahahaha. Here is the link.

Kiesha and I wish to thank everyone that attended his party and thank everyone for their generous gifts. He truly will enjoy all his books when he grows up. He enjoys them now too, but I know when he learns to read they will be items that he will always treasure.

Thanks to all those that contributed an item to his time capsule. Especially Molly McDonald who wrote a very touching letter that had Kiesha, the nana, aunt and I misty eyed. Kiesha and I did not know that we had touched her heart so. We all miss Molly. She's a good friend.

Best wishes to all our friends out there and you know who you are. :-)

Q-Family Not Moving to Music City

While Daddy did a great job at his interview in Nashville with Metro Social Services the agency decided to hire one of the other candidates. :-( Well, sometimes you win some and sometimes you lose some. The nana and aunt saw a bright side to this -- they get to keep Ruben in Madisonville.

I did not get a chance to see much of Nashville since I was only there for the night. On another ocassion I am sure Kiesha and I will spend much more time there and enjoy the sites. All I know of Tennesse is that Al Gore was the Senator, Memphis is where Dr. King got assassinated, Graceland is somewhere in Tennessee, Bill Frist is from Tennessee, the Titans play there, and Jack Daniel's is brewed in Tennessee. :-)

I think that now I am going to settle into my Mr. Mom role. I'm going to focus on raising Ruben. Making sure he eats well, plays well, and develops into a smart, healthy, and well-rounded lil guy. I'm going to focus on my Not-A-Pundit blog and help get it going to a more prominent status. I will have to now focus on Plan A and B of staying home and maybe pulling in an income. I'll have to develop some business plans for these two options and see which one pans out best. I'll keep everyone posted on progress.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Kiesha's Godson Praying for the Pope

Holy Family third-grader Travis Knight prays Friday during a vigil for Pope John Paul II at the church's sanctuary. John Flavell / The Independent

While the Travis is not Catholic, he attends Holy Family School and like many non-Catholics around the world, he is praying for Pope John Paul II. I didn't recognize him at first until Kiesha's mom pointed out that it was him.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Lazy Days Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

Food makes great hair gel! Posted by Hello

Friday, March 18, 2005

Chucky E Cheese Papi & Me

Rubens first time at Chucky E Cheese. I think Jose and I enjoyed more than Roo. Here is a special moment between father and son.

Father and Son Posted by Hello

Family Update

I finally got a job. It's at the Family Advocacy Center here in Madisonville. I will be working as a child victim advocate/crisis counselor. Which I know I will love. I start March 28. I have to go to a training in Lexington for a week. Good thing, Jose can go, bad thing, we have to leave Ruben for a week. I will miss him so much.
It will take some getting used to, going back to work after being off for a year. not that I wasn't working in that year. But I am looking forward to getting back in the work field.

Another topic, Ruben will be 1 in a month. Wow, he has grown and changed so much. He is the happiest little guy I have ever met and I'm not sure why. I mean does he know who his parents are? I guess he is still too young to realize just yet.
He is such a daddy's boy though. And I'm sure it will get worse once I go to work.
He is walking everywhere and babbling up a storm, although nothing is audible expect Daddy and when Jose is in another room and Ruben wants him he will yell "Hey Dad" and he says bye bye and ball. No momma yet.
Well more updates later. I think Jose has left this blog behind to work on his notapundit one. So I have to keep this one up :)
Hope everyone is doing well.

Napoleaon, how is the little one. Send pics soon!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Ruben's First Steps

The past week Ruben has been taking his first steps. His first steps last Friday. It happened where Ruben had fallen while cruising around the recliner and I picked him up and stood him up in front of me about four steps away, just to see if he would stand up without leaning on something like he had done in the past, but then all of a sudden he began walking towards me so that I could hold him. He had a huge grin on his face as he came towards me. Both his hands out in front of him trying to reach for me.

You should have seen my expression when he took those four steps towards me. Honestly, he seemed to walk in slow motion. He obviously wasn't, but that's how it seemed to me as I watched him take each step. If it were a scene from a movie you would hear the theme song from "2001: A Space Odyssey" playing in the background; a close-up shot of Ruben's face showing a big, slobbery grin; then a shot from the side as he finally makes it to me and I give him a big hug. All in slow motion of course. :-) Movies can sometimes be more dramatic than real life, but this moment for me has been etched in my mind in such dramatic fashion.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Here is Ruben in his high chair gnawing on some orange slices, broccoli, carrots, crackers and fish. Three of the four food groups. Yum! Posted by Hello

Friday, February 11, 2005

Unpacking never felt so good.

When we moved to Kentucky, Kiesha packed my last bottle of Red Rooster Louisiana Hot Sauce. Oh how I thanked her later when I found out she packed it. I love that Red Rooster and they don't sell it anywhere around here in Madisonville, so you can imagine that I was all depressed when I saw that last drop of sauce leave the bottle.

Well I looked on the bottle and saw that Bruce Foods produces the stuff. I went to their website and saw that they produce so much more good stuff. A co-worker at LAHSA kept a handy 12oz bottle at work. That's how much she liked it. I think Kiesha was eyeballing the Cajun Fish Seasoning. Needless to say I can have a little bit of Los Angeles here in Kentucky through my great friends at Bruce Foods. My order came in a couple of days ago, and I quickly unpacked six 12 oz bottles. Mmmm,mmmm,mmmm. God bless those cajuns!

"Dadda" came first

I would just like to go on the record saying that Ruben's first word was "Dadda". He first said Dadda shortly after arriving in Kentucky. And to mom's consternation, he has also learned to say ball and bye-bye but not mamma. We spend every day coaxing him to say, "mamma" but no dice. I guess he knows who butters his roll. :-)

Friday, February 04, 2005

Mammas don't let your babies grow up to eat Friskies

I am not one to jump to conclusions, but sometimes the evidence is hard to ignore. Maybe I'm just paranoid. But not the kind of paranoia like Mel Gibson's character in "Conspiracy Theory" where he he thinks the CIA is tapping his brain so he wraps his head in aluminum foil -- just a mild paranoia.

Ruben has been climbing all over the couches, he's been a little more agitated lately, he doesn't like his food as much, and he doesn't respond to his name but he responds when you call him Domino. All this has happened since he ate that bit of Friskies. Now I'm not saying he's scratching the back of his neck with his feet or using the litter box, but is there cause for concern here? It's funny so far but I guess I should stop calling Domino or else Ruben might continue thinking that's his name. At least that is what I think is happening.

Wait...what's that scratching sound?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Welcome to The Twilight Zone

I have come to realize that there are many benefits and drawbacks to being an unemployed daddy. I'm probably going to dispell a lot of myths so don't be shocked. I know we all sometimes find it hard to get up and go to work and wish sometimes we could just stay home and relax. Call the boss, fake a cough and sniffles, and call out sick. Be careful what you wish for because you may find yourself in...The Twilight Zone.

Pro - No huge stack of paperwork at the office that needs to get done. Ugh!
Con - You are staring at a stack of dirty laundry that needs to be done. :-(

Pro - Spending more time with lil Ruben, playing and laughing.
Con - Changing more diapers, especially the poopy ones. :-(

Pro - You avoid your boss at work.
Con - Your wife becomes your boss at home. (Just kidding baby)

Pro - Not having to wear a suit and tie.
Con - Spending an entire day in your pajamas and robe.

Pro - Relaxing in front of the TV with a mug of hot coffee.
Con - Day-time TV is geared to women. Example, The View. :-(

Pro - Taking your time to read the newspaper, along with a mug of hot coffee.
Con - The newspaper is a local fish wrap called, "The Messenger".

Pro - Avoiding idle chit chat with co-workers.
Con - Making idle chit chat with your mother-in-law.

Pro - Missing a day at work.
Con - Missing a paycheck.

Well, there you have it folks. It kinda seems like an episode out of the Twilight Zone doesn't it? Like the guy who loved to read books but couldn't find the time to read because work interfered with his love of reading. Then a nuclear holocaust hits and he is the only survivor and finds that the library was saved and all the books are intact. He is stacking up the books he plans to read and he is in hog heaven, except...he steps on his eyeglasses and crushes them. Welcome to The Twilight Zone.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

If that doesn't work, then I'll just lock him in his room

Just recently Kiesha and I were speaking about what we would want Ruben to learn about sex in school, when we will have "the talk" with him, and what we want him to know about sex, love, STDs, the whole enchilada. Nothing really that I've thought about in great detail or have been planning since his birth since I don't expect my lil guy to be sexually active for quite a while (we can hope for maybe at least 20 years from now). Hahahaha.

I recognize that teen abstinence programs, virginity pledges, sex education in public schools, and contraception at schools are politicized issues and often times partisan. They really shouldn't but this is the society we live in. Nevertheless, I think we can all agree that teens having sex and teens having children are things we all would like to see significantly reduced. The statistics are scary. For instance, approximately a quarter of ninth grade girls and tenth grade boys reported having sex! This particular article on the failure of a teen abstinence program in Texas raises many questions for me.

The study findings state that more teenage boys and girls "reported" having sex after the abstinence only education. Now I may not be a sophisticated researcher but my hunch is that if some adult wanting to research sex abstinence programs comes around asking a teenager if they have had sex, the first knee jerk response from the teenager is likely to be "No". My guess is that marked increase may be an increase in honest "reporting", meaning that the actual number of teenagers in the study group who had already had sex was higher than what was originally reported. That is even scarier.

But assuming the reporting was honest, it is still difficult to say if abstinence programs work or not. It would be absurd to think that the goal of abstinence programs is to reduce teen sex to zero. I think that is what proponents would like to see but that is unrealistic. I think the goal should be to delay sex as much as possible. Statistics show that the rate of first having sex increases with age, so that by the time a boy reaches the age of 19, close to 9 in 10 boys would have already had sex and 8 in 10 girls.

Abstinence programs should do cohort studies where the study focuses on teenagers who have not had sex at age 15, provide abstinence programs at that point, track the teenagers until age 19 and see if the abstinance program delayed sex. If not, then we can toss out abstinence programs out the window. "Just say NO" didn't work for drugs, so why would we think it works for sex. Same thing for making contraception available at schools or teaching teenagers about contraception. I haven't come across a study that says this encourages teenagers to have sex or delays intercourse, I think it doesn't increase the rate of intercourse among teenagers, just the rate of protected intercourse.

All this makes me think about my sex education. My parents were by no means good teachers, they avoided having the talk with me entirely. Other than sage tidbits like, don't get involved with married women and don't get a girl pregnant if you aren't ready to take care of a family, they were silent on sex education. The sex education I did get in middle school was less about sex and more about human reproduction (i.e. having babies). That can scare anyone into not having sex. I took a human sexuality class in college. Needless to say I didn't have sex until college. I doubt it was Professor Bolton's human sex class that clinched the deal. I would say for me it was more a matter of being properly educated and informed about every aspect of sexual intercourse, feeling emotionally prepared to have it, and having an opportunity to have sex. This isn't to say that I wasn't a raging sexual hormone on feet up until that point because I was and I think that if we are all honest with ourselves we all are that way. Thus you can see that our young teenagers are having sex potentially because of opportunity while not being properly educated and prepared to deal with the potential aftermath. Thus I am a strong proponent of sex education and contraception in schools, but a bigger proponent of sex education for parents so that they can sit down with their kids and talk about sex in a mature manner. I think if all parents were well informed, raised their kids right, had the "sex talk" with their kids, that having contraception available at schools would in no way make their kids have sex. I think "contraception in schools" is an easy scapegoat for a parent who didn't do their parenting job right.

Thus as Ruben grows I think my job is going to be to properly educate Ruben on sex and love, teach him he shouldn't have sex because of peer pressure, teach him to respect women and other good moral values, teach him that he shouldn't have sex until he is in love and is mature enough to handle the consequences, and monitor who he sees and where he goes, and cross my fingers that he'll wait until he's in his twenties. If that doesn't work, then I'll just lock him in his room.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Unemployed Daddy

Well, Daddy is still in the ranks of the unemployed. Every day I peruse the employment ads, internet, and company websites to see if a job opens up. By the looks of things, if I want to be a truck driver or housekeeper I could easily find a job.

I have sent my resume out to four organizations looking to hire. Keep your fingers crossed. I'm hoping one of them calls for an interview this week or next week. I will be sending out letters and resumes to some local contacts and see if I can begin to network a bit.

In the interim, daddy is enjoying his free time to play with Rubzilla (when he is in the mood) and spend time with mommy. I'm presently mid-way through a book that Jayme gave me a while back titled, "I had brain surgery, what's your excuse?". It is a very charming and intimate memoir by Susan Becker on her experience and recovery with brain surgery. I should have read this book much earlier, since it's been 7 months since my sister had brain surgery. I'm hoping to finish it soon so that I may send it to Soledad and Trista so that they may enjoy the book as well.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Ruben is a Friskies Boy

Ruben crawling around brings much joy to our hearts. It is fun watching his little diaper butt scooting here and there. What is not fun is watching him crawl into the kitchen and head straight to the cabinet door that daddy hasn't put a safety latch on yet. He apparently has a great power of recollection, because he remembers that he can't open the other cabinet doors, but he can open that one specifically.

He also loves to chase Abigail around the house. He gets a big kick out of touching her tail. For the past three weeks I've been catching him as he chases Abby and then heads to the cat food bowls wanting to eat the small bits of food that look yummy to him. One time he dipped his hand in the water bowl and now the cats apparently don't wish to drink from that bowl since it has baby cooties. The cats feel Ruben is marking his territory and they don't like it.

Two days ago I was in the back room while Ruben was up front with his mommy and nanas and finally reached his goal of getting into that Friskies bowl. He ate a piece and mommy was frantic, daddy was smiling and trying not to laugh, and Ruben was tickled pink. He didn't spit it out and continued to finish eating it so it must not have tasted bad. Surely, he'll be okay, but just in case we'll keep our eye out to see if he starts playing with the toy mice or using the litter box. :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What do Andy and our cats have in common?

Last night Kiesha subjected herself to be monitored during her sleep to determine if she had some sleep disorder. I think Kiesha would rather have her teeth pulled than have someone monitor her while sleeping but nevertheless had the courage to go through it. I love you baby.

Although the sleep technician there was not a trained sleep specialist, he gave us a preliminary analysis only, with a professional analysis to follow - what we do know is that Kiesha doesn't fall into the REM sleep and when she does she only gets a small amount of it. This means that Kiesha doesn't get the deep, restful, restorative sleep that she needs in order to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. This is awful! I would go nuts if I woke up every morning feeling like I didn't get a minute of sleep.

Now you may be asking, "How did they get to the point of going through a sleep study?" Heck, you may be asking, "What does Andy and two cats have to do with this story?" Patience, people...patience.

Well, it turns out that at times Kiesha's nocturnal tossing, turning and kicking would sometimes interfere with my sleep. Now, nobody messes with Daddy's sleep. Nobody. Lets just say that I value my 8 hours of sleep. Andy places a much higher value on his sleep since he one time uttered the all-time favorite phrase, "There is nothing I would rather be doing than sleeping". Our two cats would surely agree.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

"I HAVE THE MUNCHIES". -- Apparently, we don't feed the little guy enough. I hope he was heading for the mustard and not the bottle of wine. Posted by Hello

Monday, January 17, 2005

Update on Roo

He has TWO TEETH! Both on bottom in front. He is cutting his top front and I'm afraid he's cutting more all at once. Which has meant long nights and more crying than Jose and I have had to endure since the child has been born. So much for our perfect child who never cried :)
He is still mister happy go lucky during the day but at night is when he has the most pain. It's great to have his Nana and Mamaw here to take the monitor some nights! It's so hard seeing him in so much pain. He is pulling up on everything, getting into everything. and can stand alone for a few seconds. He will be walking soon, I can't believe he will be 1 yr in 3 months. Its crazy!

I went for my check up today. All my labs came back ok. Apparently I don't have diabetes, but they will continue to keep a check on it. They aren't sure why my sugar went so high.
But I'm an insomniac, have been my whole life so some how my doctor and dear husband got me to agree to go next Monday night to have a sleep study done so they can see why I can't sleep and why I am so restless when I do.
There is still time to change my mind. It will be really weird, having people watching you through a glass from 9pm till 7am, it is supposed to be set up like a hotel. What was I thinking when I agreed to this. Still have a week to back out!

Well I miss you all and expect you all to start posting! I have spoken to some and made my threats, the rest of you post your own news or atleast comment!
Rosa how is little Nathan doing?
Molly how's Oakland and the dating scene? ;)
Mee Mee how is married life?
Denise how's the weather ?;)
Clementina how is LAHSA without Jose, much quieter I'm sure ;)
Andy how are you liking your new condo and living alone?
Pete and Sharon how are things in San Diego?
Maythee how are you?
April how are you and Miriam?
Heather, where are you????

Well gotta go little man is screaming because Papi won't let him turn the channels on the tv.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

California Leavin'

Here is a portion of an article that is in today's Owensboro paper. Kiesha and I are not the only Californians moving to Kentucky.

California Leavin': "California Leavin'
Transplants from Golden State find a lot to like in Kentucky


By Rene� Beasley Jones
Samuel and Sandra Glazebrook moved from Wildomar, Calif., to Owensboro.
On purpose. And, no, they're not crazy.

The Skaufel family, from left, Heather, 30, Kassi, 7, Shelby, 5 and Eric, 33, moved to Owensboro from Oroville in northern California in March 2000. They made the change in part because of the lower cost of living and what they consider a family-friendly, small-town feel of the area. One of Eric Skaufel's friends who played baseball at Kentucky Wesleyan College and later moved his family to Owensboro called to tell him how great the city was. Moving to Owensboro has allowed Heather Skaufel to stay at home with her children while still making ends meet on Eric Skaufel's income, the couple said. Photo by Gary Emord-Netzley, M-I

The retired couple, who lived 27 years in Southern California, love bluegrass music and wanted to start a program that encouraged kids in the public school system to play the guitar, banjo or fiddle. Kentucky, the birthplace of bluegrass, seemed ideal.
Also, the Glazebrooks feared the skyrocketing cost of living in the nation's best clime -- where average rents run $1,200 a month and energy costs are the highest nationwide -- would squeeze their retirement income. So in May 2003, they lived out their own version of the Beverly Hillbillies -- in reverse.
They sold their Wildomar home for four times what they paid for it, which enabled them to pay cash for a comparable house here. They had enough left over for a nice nest egg and to fund a music program, which provided $8,000 in instruments to Daviess County schools last year. Now, they operate a similar program "

Sometimes Kiesha still asks me the same question just to confirm that I am not crazy.