Sunday, November 29, 2009

Last night’s dream

I don’t know why I have weird dreams.  I mean really weird dreams.  Once I dreamt of polar bears and penguins.

Anyway, last night was one of those weird dreams of all time.  Even my hubby, Miguel, said it was quite the weird dream.

Disclaimer: I enjoy listening to Justin Timberlake’s music. I’m not one of those crazy fans that would do anything to see him.  I do think he’s cute.  End of story.  Anyhow, read on :)

In last night’s dream, I, along with two other girls, Amanda and Debbie, were walking along the center of the aisle at church.  The church service had already begun, and somehow we were all a part of the service.  All three of us were pregnant.  This was Debbie’s second pregnancy and mine and Amanda’s first.  Debbie and I were the only ones that were married.  I knew my husband was around somewhere, but I wasn’t sure where and I looked for him as I walked down the aisle.

The next thing I know church had ended and I’m about to climb into an old style car (perhaps a Rolls Royce).   I see Justin Timberlake and a crowd of people along the fence.  They didn’t seem phased by who he was.  We’d dated quite a long time and decided to mutually end the relationship.  It just wasn’t going to work out.  He was there, watching me get into the car.  I caught him staring at me and all of a sudden, feelings that had died as soon as the relationship ended arose again.  I longed to run to him and desperately wanted to be with him.  I wanted to hold him.  But because I was pregnant (and about ready to pop), I couldn’t quite run to him.   So I just stood there, alongside of the car.  I longingly stared at him back.  He yelled, “I’m still in love with you”.  I thought to myself, “I can’t do this.  I love my husband”.  All of a sudden, I turn back towards the car and slowly put my left foot in.  Justin began running madly towards me.  He jumped onto the other side of the fence and continued running furiously.  Finally, he reaches the car and said in an hastily voice, “I love you”.  He holds and picks up my hand, gets me out of the car and says, “I’ve never stopped loving you”.  He then proceeds to give me a long, passionate kiss.  My body simply melted.  I’d forgotten how great of a kisser he was and how I felt when I was with him.  I had to pull back.  “I can’t do this,” I said.  “I’m about to have a baby with Miguel and I love him.  I’m sorry”.  I began to get back into the car and closed the door.  I told the driver to start driving.  As we left, tears began rolling down my face.  Part of me still loved Justin, but I was about to have my complete family with Miguel.  It’s what I’d always wanted and my dreams were finally coming true.

The next thing I know I’m lying in a hospital operating room and the entire cast of Grey’s Anatomy surrounded my bed.  Not only was there a glass viewing room (like in the real show), but the entire room was surrounded by glass and the entire room was surrounded by doctors.  The room was so full I assumed the entire hospital was there.  I look to my right and Dr. Bailey is there.  “Why are all of these doctors here and looking at me?”  No answer.  All of a sudden I was in labor (without any pain) and I was giving birth to a little girl.  During and after the dream I remembered how I felt after I’d given birth and I’d never been more happy in my entire life.  I was in love with my brand new baby girl.

As I gave birth to my daughter, the doctors took the baby away and wouldn’t let me see her.  I could hear her crying and I began to cry because I was so happy.  I said to Dr. Bailey, “I want to see her, I want to hold my baby!”  She looked at me like I was crazy.  All of a sudden I heard all of the machines furiously sound off.  I knew something wasn’t right.  I shrieked to Dr. Bailey, “What’s wrong with me?”  “Where’s my baby?”  I look to my left.  “Is something wrong with me?”  No answer.  The machines seemed to indicate that they were all flat lining.  I felt alone.  No Miguel.  No Justin.  Just a room filled with what felt like hundreds of doctors.

Then I woke up.  Reality set in.  My heart was racing pretty fast.  As I continued lying down my eyes were wide open and huge.  I thought to myself, “where’s my baby?  Then I remembered it was just a dream.  I calmed myself down.  It was only a dream.  I look over to my left and I see Miguel peacefully sleeping.  It was just a dream.  I continued to take a few deeps breaths.

After I calmed myself down for a few moments I looked over to my right at the clock to see what time it was.  7:20 a.m.  I quickly turned over and went back to sleep.  Dreaming time had ended.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

Although it was kind of unfortunate that we spent Thanksgiving alone, it was nice to have a quiet one.  We did, however, celebrate Thanksgiving with some friends two weeks ago.  I really wanted to gather all of our friends in town and spend some time together, as I knew that each of us would go our separate ways for the holiday.  I made my first turkey (I’ll post pics up as soon as I find the connector from the camera to the computer) and it turned out well!…except that  I couldn’t find the giblets and I put a little too much flour in the turkey bag, but hey, it was the moistest turkey I’ve ever made! :)  I did make some pies (pumpkin – that didn’t turn out well) and apple pie (I really liked how it turned out!).  I also made stuffing and gravy (from the packet, as I didn’t have any time to make real gravy with real turkey leftovers.  Maybe next year! :)  I popped the cranberry sauce out of the can (I love the flavor compared to real cranberries – unless somebody can prove me otherwise.

All in all our pre-Thanksgiving meal went well.  We played Rock Band with our friends, made a Starbucks run and chatted a while.  It was a great Thanksgiving!  On the actual Thanksgiving Day  I felt it was a lot of cooking/work for just two people, so we ate out at Hometown Buffet.

I’m so thankful for safety, friends, family, and especially my hubby.  Even though we’ve had a rough year I’m so thankful that he’s a part of my life.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Identity crisis – when does it stop?

Reading a blog a few weeks, I began to ask myself – who am I, really?  Growing up Latina in an Anglo world…I feel like I’m stuck in the middle and am not quite sure where I belong.  I want to believe that I’m embracing my Latin heritage (through cooking).  I feel like I can travel anywhere through cooking.  However, growing up in a strict household, I feel like I missed out on many things.

In a typical Latino household, you’re surrounded by family all of the time.  Birthday parties, quinceaneras, dances, loud music.  In my own household, we occasionally went and saw family (mainly my mom’s side) whenever we convinced my dad to take us.  We listened to classical music (I actually enjoy it very much).  We're a subdued family.

My dad is quite the introvert and homebody.  Anywhere and everywhere we went, everything we did, we did it as a family.  This can be both good and bad.  The unfortunate thing, for my mom, was that she didn’t know how to drive.  So when I had a school event (like the tennis team), my dad would drive me everywhere.  Even after I got my driver’s license, I never got to drive somewhere by myself.  It wasn’t until I got to college and got my first car, that I was able to drive alone.

Browsing through TV channels a few weeks ago, my attention was caught by a show on CNN called Latino in America.  What does it mean to be a Latino?  How much will Latinos influence our country?  How much has America improved and been influenced by all of the things that Latinos do, that other Americans don’t?

Growing up I never had sleepovers. I didn’t want to bring any of my friends home; I wasn’t allowed to talk on the phone (well not quite…my dad would listen on the other line and then ask afterward what I was talking about with my friends, thus leading telling my friends not to call home).  I simply didn’t want to talk to my dad about what I felt were personal conversations between my friends and I, especially when they were going through a breakup or something of sorts.

Looking back at my childhood, I feel like I was held back and missed out on something, perhaps a real look at my culture.  My dad is one of those people that doesn’t want to be a typical Latino family.  I kind of have that same outlook he does.  He wants to be proud of where he’s come from and what his family has grown up to be, what they’ve accomplished.  Who doesn’t?  But I want to do it in a manner that one can still proud of all of those things, accomplish something, still be proud of one’s heritage and not be ashamed.

Even now I roll my eyes at Latinos who are “stereotypical” Latinos.  (by the way, I really am trying to change my outlook on that).  But why?  It would almost seem as if I were the puzzle piece that didn’t belong.  Many typical Latinas are pregnant or have gotten pregnant while in their teens.  Many Latinas (if not most) dress provocatively and have major attitudes.  Many are dark skinned.  Most have a Spanish accent.  Me?  Light skinned, no Spanish accent, definitely not pregnant (or have been), not much of an attitude.  Is it a personality thing?  Sometimes I feel like I haven’t quite come out of my shell, although I’m pushing myself more on that.  On one hand I think, did their parents not teach them enough values?  Don’t those kids have enough common sense to not do stupid things?  One comment about a story in Latinos in America was that a mom, whose daughter got pregnant as a teenager, said, ‘What will the family say? What will the neighbors say?”  Why does it matter what other people say?  My dad worried about that ALL of the time.  What will people at church say?  Is it a cultural thing to worry about what other people will say about you and your family?  Why does it matter?   I think it might have to do a little bit about putting on a good image (things aren’t as they seem).  Why does image seem like everything?   Why are we putting on this image?

At what point does the identity crisis stop? I’m not just talking about Latinos anymore.  There’s teenage identity, midlife crisis.  Can menopause be considered as some sort of crisis?  How do you know when it’s stopped?  How can you cope and deal with it effectively as you’re going through this crisis?

Sometimes I still feel like I’m struggling against my own culture, still trying to find where I fit in.  I haven’t quite found the answers to my own questions, but I hope I find some answers soon.

An unforgettable week…and yet plenty to be thankful for

Stressed out, frustrated, afraid…these feelings this past week lead to stress eating for the first time in my life.  Never have I ever done this and I don’t know why I’ve resorted to this method of relieving stress.

On Friday, in the wee hours of the morning (probably around 1:30 a.m. or so), someone broke into our home while we were asleep.  Yes, asleep.  The side paneling that attaches to the door was busted and the door itself was halfway open.  A light was on.  And we didn’t hear any of it.

Normally I get up around 6 a.m., to get ready for work, but this time, my hubby and I were getting ready to go out of town for the weekend for a family event (there was a party for his grandma’s 90th birthday).  I planned to go into work early and leave early, to get into SF in time for our flight.  On Friday morning, I struggled a bit to get out of bed (as I’m not a morning person).  Right before I came out of the bedroom at 5:30 a.m., I noticed the light was on in the living room through the bottom of the bedroom door.  I thought to myself, did he leave the light on again? He sometimes has a tendency to do that (very rarely though).  However, as I came out of the bedroom, I saw that the door was slightly open and there was wood on the floor, the main light was on.  I immediately yelled out to my husband, “Get up, somebody broke into our apartment!”  I’ve never seen him get up so fast.  While he snapped up from sleeping and came into the living room, so many thoughts ran through my head.  Is anything missing?  Why did they turn the light on?  Did they see the travel itinerary?  I’m sure they saw the suitcase…are they going to come back in case they saw the itinerary, potentially knowing we were going to be out of town?  I quickly checked my purse (as my wallet was wide open – it was hard to miss) to see if anything had been taken.  Everything was still there.  My cell phone was on the couch as I had left it.  The laptop was still on the floor.  Everything seemed in place as I’d left it the night before.

We paged the apartment management and immediately called the police.  The police officer took a look at our apartment asked a few questions, asked for our IDs, took a look at our door and the wood spread out on the floor and wrote some things down on his writing pad.  In the meantime, I thought, “Aren’t you going to take pictures? Call for backup?  Take some fingerprints?  Try to find the people that did this to us?  This is a crime scene!!  You’re supposed to do all this high-level stuff!!  That’s all you’re going to do…write on your silly pad and take a few notes?  This is our home!!  Something horrible could have happened to us….we could have been tortured, even KILLED!!”  The officer told us he thought this incident could have been one of a mistaken identity…wrong apartment?  We’ve lived at our place for almost two years, we don’t have any enemies, that we know of.  We sure don’t plan on making any.  We’re homebodies and rarely talk to our neighbors.  What do you mean mistaken identity?

After thanking the officer for his time and doing his cop duties, he left around 6:30 a.m.  I immediately tried to get ready for work as fast as I could.  As I got dressed,  I thought to myself, shouldn’t the officer have done more?  Why didn’t the intruders take anything?  Why did they turn the light on?  Why did they leave the light on?? 

After speaking to our neighbors later that day, we found out that the dog began barking around the time the intruders were making noise on our door and maybe one or two of the neighbors were awake downstairs.  After the dog began barking, they initially saw one shadow pass by downstairs.  Then two more later on.  We’ve come to the conclusion that the neighbor’s dog might have scared them away and prevented them from taking anything.  That, and our guardian angels were protecting us that night.

We’re still a bit shook up from that day.  We haven’t fully slept well and I’m still in panic mode when I wake up in the morning;  but we are thoroughly thankful that nothing was stolen and that we are safe.  We’re so lucky to have reliable friends that take care of us and watch our back.  Likewise, we’d do anything for our friends.

So this special and unique Thanksgiving week we’re thankful for safety, a place we can call home and each other.  I cannot express in words how thankful I am to have my hubby.  I feel much safer when he’s around and he’s there to comfort me, especially in times like these.

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