Saturday, June 30, 2007

Flowers = pollenators
Pollenators = more flowers
More flowers = smiling children
Smiling children = happy mothers
"How can we say there are too many children?
That is like saying there are too many flowers in the world."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It's about time Wak-Wak!

Look who's finally here. Welcome to your family little Nolan. We will be here for you whenever you need us and you'll soon find out that you'll have to shake us off you sometimes. It's a great family kiddo, full of laughter. You'll have lots of aunts and uncles who will try to spoil you, and cousins to climb trees and jump in the mud puddles with. Your grandma will feed you large amounts of chocolate when we are not looking, so be careful. Take it from me, she is the candy stasher in the family. Your mommy is sweet, pretty and she is really cool. Your nina Jay is in California, but she has been eagerly awaiting your homecoming and if you look around your room, almost everything you've got came from her and your uncle Niel. Put a good word in for me at Christmas time will ya? Nana, Tata and uncle Charlie aren't here anymore, but I know they're smiling from heaven. I am your auntie Boni, your grandma raised me and taught me how to share, clean, and always find the good in people. She has the most amazing capacity to love and she would give the roof over her head to anyone who needed it. I would never have made it through the hard times without her. We are so happy that you are here little Nolan, baby Wak-Wak. Oh yeah, everyone in this kooky family has a love name, so that's yours. You will just have to live with it, it's one of the perks of being in this wild and crazy family.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Blogger Meet Up #6

It was the biggest blogger meet up ever, and we were still missing Jeff, Jane, Melissa, Cinta, Gus, and Mike. Two new blogs were created while waiting for everyone to show up : Stakeholders Speakup and Halloran in Saipan (forgive me for the spelling). Angelo stood up and greeted everyone and then he made us introduce ourselves. Did he not read about my social anxiety? I know there are more bloggers out there. C'mon guys, show yo' selves! I'm talking about you Glen, Middle Road folks, Captain Carl, etc. Speaking of bloggers, there are more than enough of us to get Deece a new camera. What say you all?

Miwa and Steve were there with
their camera. I cannot stop thinking about that darn camera! Steve started teaching Hope how to resize her pictures, but in a little while we couldn't tell who was teaching who. That's my girl and the youngest blogger on Saipan!

I missed the WWII, and didn't realize it until Deece showed up. I was the first guess this time, but I'm not very confident about it. I think Steve and Miwa did some kind of mojo on me 'cause after the starfruit, I have absolutely no game at all. Bev and Deece finally met in person. Whew, now that leaves me and Melissa. Next blogger meet up is the last Wednesday in July folks. Angelo has promised there will be chicken nuggets. Just 'cause Jeff is gone doesn't mean we all didn't want some nuggets!

Party girl recruitment post: Isa CNMI, Bubbles, EJ's World, Beyond Behaviors, supporter

Nerd Stew

The Blogger Powerfist by the real youngest blogger on Saipan!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Did you know?

What kind of world are we preparing our children for? What kind of world are we prepared for?
"We can't solve problems by using
the same kind of thinking we did when
we created them."
- Albert Einstein

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Bowling Date for Richard and Alec?

There is a strategy in Facilitative Leadership called "bracketing". Bracketing is something we are taught in Kindergarten, it goes like this: if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all! Taken one step further, it is the ability to hold our tongues even as we are thinking things in our heads. We all say things we regret, but most of us don't make the mistake of (hello!) vomiting our obscenities all over the information retrievable world. Having said that, there is absolutely no excuse for vile behavior. Retrievable or not, we should all be able to exercise civility in the face of conflict. While the House argues the merit of Mr. Pierce's appointment and the world battles it's opinion of Alec, I just want to say one thing. Mothers unite! Maybe what these two potty mouths need is a good soaping.

In all seriousness though, Mr. Pierce's disgusting email, which I will not post here (you can read them at Jeff's and Glen's blogs), are completely shocking. This is not about how to treat women or about being a gentleman. This is about integrity and the misuse of power, real or perceived.

Help Si' Deece Fan

Come on guys! Deece needs 7 more folks to help her get a new camera. The toaster reflections, the WWII duct tape, these are all signs of a woman in crisis here. It takes about 5 minutes and didn't cost me a dime. If you don't do it to be a good friend, do it for the boƱelos and mango jam (hint, hint).

Peyton: my little fabric softener

I haven't taken an afternoon nap since, well probably since Froilan was governor. Sommer and I crashed out on the bed while talking about intellectual stuff like the color of rain clouds and whether Billy Bob would make a better pancake than burger. I woke up an hour later to Peyton asleep on the comforters. She looked like a little kitty on the windowsill.
Mom can I use this pillow?
Mom this pillow smells like daddy.
Mom this pillow is so soft, it's my favorite pillow.
I'm serious.
Your cake, much like your life, will be as fancy and sweet as you make it. But cake is no good, no matter how artfully designed, unless it is shared. That means you'll have to cut your cake and pass it along. Slicing into your cake means you'll sometimes have to get messy. There will be days when no matter what, you'll have to welcome the ants. There will be times too, when you can't gather every crumb and you'll just have to let them fall from your napkin. You can't eat your cake alone, it always tastes better with frosting on your fingers and family & friends nearby. So, bake your cake and decorate it too, but don't forget to share. I will always be there for you in case you need another hand in the kitchen.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Saturday on Saipan

Get up Sommy, we're going to the beach today!
Yay! I'm gonna wear my babing suit.
So, we're going to the jump in the car to go to the beach. Jumping in the car requires packing it for this spontaneous outing. Cooler, mats, chairs, food, clothing, drinks, towels, more food. It takes us two hours to be spontaneous.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I Think I'll Keep My Day Job

I spent the early morning talking about blogging on the Harry Blalock Show with Angelo and Jeff. Well, maybe talking is not the word for it. I must admit I was nervous, especially because I know I'm a much better writer than speaker, which really doesn't mean I'm any good at all. I rolled in at 6:45 am and waited anxiously for my fellow bloggers. Harry asked basic questions which Angelo and Jeff both took the lead in answering quite eloquently. I just sort of sat there and giggled. All the witty and profound things I had planned to say evaporated at the sight of the microphone. Oh well, there goes my future in broadcasting.

I did get a chance to redeem myself later that morning when I did an online tour of the GES school blog at the Principal's Institute. I will be networking with Dr. Pascarelli and some principals on Guam this Saturday to help them start their own professional blogs. Ironically, when I googled the good Dr. Joe, my blogsite was #3 on the search engine list. Anyway, they want to find out how blogging can help them stay in touch with each other and administrators worldwide. Dr. Joe wants to explore ways to share information with his students while he is traveling. I offered to teach them in person, but oh well, what with the funding and all.... As for my colleagues here on Saipan, I would be more than happy to help anyone start their own blog.

Reminder: The Blogger Meet-Up is this Wednesday at Java Joe's at 7pm. So, if you aren't doing anything, stop by and pull up a chair. We can make fun of all things "Angelo" and since Jeff won't be there, we can divide his share of chicken nuggets.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What Look? That Look? Oh.

A friend said to me
You need a vacation. I saw it in your eyes today. I'm not kidding.
This concerned me, so I looked for the "look" and saw

A wife missing her husband
A mother who has to steal away to nooks for only five minutes of peace
Freckles, wrinkles and (what!) grey hair on my eyebrows?
You're right my friend, I need some time off.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Sommer

Sommer was born in a hurry. I went from 2 to 10 centimeters in 45 minutes, the needle for my epi was still in my back when she was ready to greet the world. At 3 years old she is a firecracker and a joy. Sommer, you are our sunshine!

Don't make up your mind

I can be a real dork sometimes, especially when I've pre-decided to shut down. I guess it comes from my teaching days, but everytime a mandatory workshop is scheduled my amygdala does an automatic off. The little beasties in my brain work overtime telling me that I'd be better off scraping bark off the tangan-tangan than sitting in a room listening to one more expert tell me how to be a dynamic leader. The Principal's Institute that started Saturday and will run until Thursday has been, to my surprise, a blessing to my spirit and mind. For the first time in a long time, we are talking about relevant issues, things Dr. Pascarelli calls the "undiscussables". We are not immersed in a bubble of group-denial and edification. We didn't talk about the importance of organizational structure, we got down to the nitty-gritty and admitted where we have built road blocks for ourselves, our staff and our system. I'm not a warm and fuzzy girl mind you, but today was personally and professionally validating. I promise to not make up my mind until I've opened it up to the possibilities first. Kudos to the folks who put this together.
Dr. Pascarelli discussing the principalship as a movie entitled "Every Child, Every Time"
The Fishbowl: how have we failed some of our staff?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Savannah Jade is a cutie pie
Peyton, Isa and Sommer cooling off
I want more coconuts grandpa!
Nanah playing patty cake on papa's head. Smile grandma Glen!

Happy father's day Pete. Come home bro, we miss you
Happy Father's day Jose! Nanah Girl is one lucky baby to have a daddy like you
Happy Father's day dad! Thanks for spending the day with us, even though we had you manning the barbecue grill and opening too many coconuts to count. Hope you like your new driver.

Happy Father's day, we miss you honey! Today was a great day, but we wish you were here instead of in the forests of North Carolina. Hurry home and remember that we love you big daddy!


I never have raunchy pictures to show, but here are some photos of people eating poop. Enjoy! The others are of a baby shower for my cousin Tanya that we had on Saturday. I was there when she was born 20 years ago and since I've somehow become the official Reyes Family Labor Coach, I will be there when she gives birth to her first child. Whew, I'm old.
Erik: Do I have to actually eat this?
Mary Laine: this one is a little soggy
The new Chamorro Party Balutan Bag
Grandma Doll serenading us
The famous three layer pamper cake!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

You're Beautiful: A Reflection of Pride

It was the week of Cultural Day and I was taking Peyton home from school. She said they were making beaded necklaces in class and then she asked, "Mommy, teacher wants to know what I am so that I can share something with my class. What am I?" It dawned on me that we had never really put much thought into explaining to our children "what" they were. Why should we? Culture is something they should experience and absorb, not something delegated. Tony and Hope were never told their heritage and yet they know that they are Caucasian and Mexican and Chamorro. It is important to us that they know this, but not that we teach it to them. They are exposed to their heritage and the cultures all around our islands. This is enough, no? But, what will Peyton say when she goes to school? "Mommy, what am I?" I turned to my daughter, "When teacher asks you what you are, say you are Peyton Ha'ani Reyes Gomez. You are beautiful."

HQA Baby! Give it up, woot, woot!!

Oh yeah! I just received confirmation that my grades have posted and I'm done, done, done. I have the requisite graduate degree, passed both my Praxis exams and just completed my administrator's certification courses. Don't ask me how many of us there are, just ask me how it feels to be done. It feels awesome! Now can somebody spot me 3 G's so I can pay for the actual classes, application form and certificate and then wait 10 months to get my salary adjusted? My woot just wilted.

"More people died last year from eating spinach" and other excuses for smoking pot

Me and Jeff actually disagree on something, I love it!

Some really good friends of mine said, after they quit smoking weed:
"It's really nice to actually remember what I did the day before"
"Gee, now I know exactly where I put my keys"
"I'm so much more active and able to really attend to the kids"
"I don't walk around looking like I've just had a labotomy anymore"

Then two seconds later ('k so I'm exxagerating) with a roach in their hands:
"but like, the smartest people I know smoke" (like after the 4th drink everyone looks sexy?)
"but like, you can smoke and drive, but you can't drink and drive" (NOT! help me here Melissa)
"but like, it really relaxes me" (so does being unconscious)
"but like, it doesn't affect my memory and also, that stuff about memory? Not me." (uh-huh)

And, I'm thinking to myself:
"Dude, your kid is with the maid and you're getting stoned...WTF?"
"Dude, the most pressing thing on your agenda is getting stoned...WTF?"
"Dude, you don't impress me when you slur and um, did you notice that your conversations are reverting to 11th grade speak?"
"Dude, finish your sentence already and wipe that grin off your face, did I sssay something funny?"

Not impressed. Not convinced. And though marijuana itself is harmless (meaning marijuana sitting on a table doesn't have any kung fu moves, my lazy, irresponsible, and totally deluded friends (who I love to death) are not. Why am I not afraid I'll offend them? Well you see, right now they're probably too stoned to care. Ha! Bring it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Jean Therapy

These are the jeans I am working hard for. There's nothing special about them, they're just too small. My sister Yvette and I have a bet going for them. So see Deece, I have double duty here. The first one to fit into them gets to keep 'em. Unlike Angelo's contest, the winner here actually gets a prize. I know, Jeff wants to teach me to swim, but I think I'll wait until I can actually get into a suit, eh Jeff. Then we can have a blogger picnic and bring all our families. They can all stand at the shore and point at me laughing as I eat seaweed. Speaking of eating it, if I'm going to learn to swim, I think that Gus needs to be cajoled into facing his fears too. Wadda you say bloggers?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sexy is in the eye of the blogholder

So Angelo started this poll and we all got into it right? It's over now, and I don't feel or look any sexier than I did before it started even though I "won". Shazam really won because they got a date with the Beach Boy. Now someone is coming to my defense for something that was truly misunderstood (love ya too Shazams) and there's a blogscussion going on at the Middle Road. The poll was all in fun and though I feel squeamish about voting for a fellow chic-ster, I'll tell you that it was a toss up between Melissa, Jane and Deece. Melissa and Jane because lawyers are hot! Deece won out because new mommies who can still work, manage a household, nurture her two babies and keep a sense of humor are outright sexyyyyyy! So, my fellow chicken-kelaguin-butt-Boni-loving friends probably tipped the scales regardless of the fact there there are soooo many sexy female bloggers out there. Thanks Reveler, for the bid to get a date for me and my sexy-in-his-own-right hubby, but it's ok. He's out on the forests of North Carolina right now on annual training. I got a smile out of it all, especially Jeff's associating me with the Kennedy's. Nobody should be furious because we are all downright G-L-A-M-O-R-OUS! Peace ya'll, give it up for your sexy selves!

Sorry Ma'am

Will somebody tell me what this gorgeous flower is called?
I was going to finish the script frenzy, but I had life chaos. My hubby is away on annual training and my kids are on summer vacation. I guess the world will have to wait for my monologues.
Hello, this is the bank. The checks you wrote to the bank will not be honored because they are in the bank's name, even though you specified your account number as the deposit destination and you've deposited numerous checks out this exact same way in the past. Please write a check to yourself and deposit it again. Yes, I know we're closed right now. Yes, I know you've never had a problem depositing money this way before. Yes, we will charge you a fee.

Next morning:

Hello, this is the bank again. The checks you wrote in your name will not be honored because the checks you wrote to the bank yesterday were not honored, and so we are convinced you are a schlep and we don't trust you anymore. We're putting them on hold, you will have to wait until next Thursday. I am new here, so I just found this out from my supervisor. Yes, you will be charged. I am very sorry ma'am.

You told me to write a check out to myself. Yes, but you can't.
Yes, but I was complying with what you told me to do yesterday.

I am very sorry ma'am.
You told me to deposit the other check by ATM last night, and this morning, it would be fine.
I'm very sorry ma'am. Yes ma'am (even if I gave you the wrong information because I am new here and didn't know that telling you to deposit cash would be easier), you will incur fees. I'm very sorry ma'am.
So, I'm being penalized for following your directions?(silence)
Can I speak to your manager? She's not here, but she's the one who told me to call you.
So, even though I did what you asked me to do, I'll have to wait until Thursday to access my deposit? I'm very sorry ma'am.
Me at the drive through: Can I have the sausages without the rice?
Customer Service: I'm sorry ma'am we don't serve the sausages without the rice.
Me: Can't you just take the rice out? If you want, give me extra corn?
C.S.: For a while...
C.S: What is your drink?
Me: What do you have?
C.S.: soda, coffee and chocolate
Me: Can I have some water?
C.S.: Oh, I'm sorry ma'am we don't serve water with breakfast.
Me: What if I don't want soda, coffee or chocolate?
C.S.: (blank stare)
Me: Can you just put some water in the soda cup?
C.S.: (hesitating) yes ma'am
C.S.: I'm sorry ma'am, my manager said cannot give you extra corn.
Me: But, I don't want any rice and I don't want any soda or chocolate or coffee
C.S.: We only serve with rice ma'am. Sorry ma'am
C.S.: So, what do you want?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Flower Power

I've been trying to get a garden started, so I've visited every plant stand and nursery I can find. Last weekend I went to a commercial nursery owned by some very well known people. I bought a teeny weeny purple border shrub (clueless about names) for $5. Yup, I too thought it was outrageous, but bought it anyway, the whole time cursing under my breath that it was really a weed, albeit a very pretty one, and how could anyone sell a weed for $5?

Today, I found a little nursery in San Antonio called D' little garden, run by a very sweet lady named Dhez. The same shrub at her place only cost $1! And, she said that was only that expensive because she had to make a profit! Needless to say, Dhez just found herself a loyal customer. I won't mention the name of the other place, not because I don't want them to make any money, but because I want your money to go farther. Enjoy the pictures!

Five for the price of one, I got took folks!

Dhez is really nice and doesn't make faces when you ask her questions.

It doesn't look like much, but this beauty is a vine, and when in full bloom, it is absolutely breathtaking. Dhez won't sell it yet because she's propogating it, but I'll be waiting.

There are fish in there!
Flowers from our own garden

When I get back later, we'll plant some flowers and play in the yard. A kiss on the forehead and mom's off to work on a Saturday morning.