Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Choppers, Fire Trucks and Cops... Oh My!

When we last left off, my family and I were about to make the big cross-country move: west coast to east coast. Happy to report that despite many obstacles (many, many, many, many, many obstacles) we made it! 

The plan was to drive straight through for two days. No hotel rooms, just gas, food and potty breaks. We had four drivers: me, hubby, his brother and my brother's best friend (he was in it just for the adventure and oh did he ever get one!). 

I won't bore you with every little detail, but here are the highlights: 

How much longer? 
The kids were warned that if the words "Are we there yet?" were ever uttered during our trip, those words were surely be their last. 

So they got creative. 

About 30 minutes into our trip, the words "How much longer?" left the lips of the youngest teen. <insert smirk on face and the smiling faces of her two smiling here> 

Had I not been driving, my shoe would've flown from the front seat, hit the smart-ass kid in the back of the head and boomeranged back into my hand in 1.2 seconds.  

The "Mommy death stare" in the rear view mirror would have to do. Problem solved.

Excuse me, Mr. Officer... 
I was stopped by a police officer near Houston. The reason? I allegedly failed to reduce my speed by 20 mph and failed to move into the left lane, which would've been impossible with all the traffic. Why is that important? Because two police cars had stopped a couple on the side of the road for what seemed to be the beginnings of a domestic violence situation. (Honestly, I feared for the man's life.) Apparently (allegedly?), it's the law in Texas to reduce your speed and pull the left. 

Officer Garcia: That's the law around here, but I'm gonna let you off with a warning. And the warning will only cost you a $1,000. 

Me: {tears swelling, can't talk} 

Officer Garcia: Haaaaaaaaaa! Just kidding... 

Me: {more tears, still can't talk}   

News choppers, fire trucks and more cops...
Just two hours outside of our new home city, the lug nuts break off on one of the tires on the U-Haul trailer. The tire blows and sparks from the rim (about 20 feet long) set pieces of the tire on fire. Tire remnants end up in the grassy area on the side of the freeway. THIS SPARKS A SMALL WILDFIRE IN THE GRASS AND TREES! 

Within minutes, there are news helicopters hovering over the scene, several fire trucks and yay, more cops... The works! 

Thankfully, no one is hurt. A number of good Samaritans stopped by to help with fire extinguishers and asking if we needed any assistance. This was bizarre and, at the same time, amazing to me. This is something we had never experienced in our old home state. 

As my husband is on the phone with a U-Haul representative via the 1-800 number, an employee from the local U-Haul office just happened to be passing by. Turns out he's the guy that U-Haul sends out to fix broken down U-Haul trucks, trailers and to replace tires that have been shredded to pieces only to start a small forest fire. 


Other random adventures... 
There were plenty of other adventures such as: 
- Food poisoning after breakfast at a Denny's in Louisiana or Florida. Just can't remember anymore... 

- Running over a skunk somewhere in the middle of Texas... 

- PMS hitting the youngest of the three teens with a vengeance! To spare the lives of her two sisters, we had to pull into the emergency lane (in the middle of Texas) to search for a tiny box of Midol in the trunk. I say tiny because compared to the many, many, many bags of luggage, backpacks and cosmetic bags, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Her sisters are alive and well today. 
   
- Watching a deer nearly hit the U-Haul truck that my husband was driving in front of me... Then almost being hit by that same deer in my car... Again, somewhere in the middle of Texas. 

- After a brief stop in Louisiana (pizza!) and discovering that you should NEVER EVER leave your car doors open for any length of time, anywhere in Louisiana, we got back on the freeway only be terrorized by the biggest mosquitoes we've ever seen in our lives! Picture two adults and three teen girls squealing and squatting only to be out-maneuvered for miles by these critters. We looked absolutely ridiculous! We finally remembered they were attracted to the light so we each pulled out our cell phones, pointed them upward and killed each one. That reminds me... There are still mosquito parts splattered on my car's upholstery that need to be removed. Awesome... 

Closing thoughts...
When my husband first approached me with the idea of driving across the country, he said, "It'll be an adventure!" That turned out to be the understatement of the year, my friends.  

But we made it safely (barely) and these adventures will become lasting memories, things we'll be able to laugh about in the future... Right??? 

Please tell me it's true, because I'm not laughing right now. Sure, I have a little bit of a psychotic giggle and a nervous twitch, especially when I hear the word "Texas," but I'm hoping this is all temporary.

What's next? Stay tuned... It won't take long, folks. It never does. 





Friday, August 15, 2014

Two Kids and a Fish now Three Teens and a U-Haul

Make that "Three Teens, a Husband and a U-Haul." 

By the way, I got married... twice... yes, to the same man. Surprise! 

That was 7 or 8 months, depending on which ceremony you're referring to. Today, we're a week away from packing up our lives and moving to the other side of the country (west coast to east coast) in a U-Haul with three teen girls in tow (2 his, 1 mine). 

Are we crazy? I think you know the answer. 

But maybe we're not so crazy, just good parents. Excuse me while I brush my shoulders off... 

If you could improve the health of your kids and had the means to relocate to a city where they could breathe, where the climate (pollens, pollution, etc.) wouldn't cause their skin to break out around their eyes, mouths and hands, and the bumps on their arms and legs (that sometimes bleed) would finally go away... Wouldn't you do the same?  

But wait... It's not that easy. It's not just the logistics of relocating that you have to deal with, you still have the exes. We're talking about three teens under 18. 

Cue Michael Buffer: "Let's get ready to rrruuummmbbbllleee!"



Five months later (several court hearings and some cash for one lucky attorney), here we are. 

Sure, we've been knocked down a few times, sucker-punched more than we care to remember, but we've picked ourselves up each time and reminded ourselves that we were doing the right thing. 

And that's why this time, next Friday, we'll be starting our 36-hour cross-country trek, eastbound, in a U-Haul, with three teen girls. 

Three teen girls who are already fighting over who gets stuck in the middle seat, whose music will be played in the car, who better not take the big pillow because it'll take up too much room plus it's itchy and it stinks... and so on and so on. 

OK, so maybe we're a little bit crazy.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A lot can happen in a year...

I've been away from the blogosphere for a while so here's a recap:

June 2012
- Go out with friends after blowing off a date
- Meet a guy who proves to be "the one" 

January 2013
- We move in together (We have 5 kids between us, all girls)
- We go on an amazing 10-day vacation to South America

April 2013 
- My oldest (early 20s) moves out of state 
- I have a breast cancer scare (Get your boobies checked, ladies!)

May 2013 
- We head to East Coast for work/vacation 
- Three weeks after moving out, oldest wants to move back in 
- I say no, tell her to put big girl panties on, she stops talking to me
- She moves back to town without telling me, lives with a friend  

June 2013 
- Oldest kid still not talking to me, but shows signs of responsibility (Yay!)
- Drama with boyfriend's ex ensues (Does it ever really go away?)
- Above drama causes his oldest (teen) to move in with us  
- Oldest kid finally starts talking to me, relationship on the mend 

That's just a brief snapshot of my life this past year. What I left out are all the meaningless battles with the exes that, in the end, don't really matter unless it directly affects the well-being of our kids. 

What I also left out are all the private, intimate moments that my man and I have shared since we met a year ago. Moments I thought I'd never have again. Moments I really never had in my marriage, to be honest. 

Get your heads out of the gutter, I don't necessarily mean "intimate" in that way. I'm talking about those moments when you're lying in bed and you both reach out for each other in the dark and your hands connect. Or the moment you get that text message and it says, "Just wanted to tell you how happy and thankful I am to have you in my life. I love you." 

And then there are those moments when you simultaneously look at each other from across the room and you just... Well, you just know. 

Anyway, it's been great catching up with you guys. Until next time... 



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My boobies and me: A breast cancer scare

I recently found a lump on my breast and endured one of the most agonizing weeks of my life. On the day of the biopsy, I took to twitter to over share in hopes of bringing just a little more awareness to the importance of self exams and mammograms. The following is what I posted via @twokidsandafish on April 13, 2013: 

8:13 AM - 11 Apr 13 

Hello world, it's been a while. Don't have much time so will use a few tweets to catch up because my life may never be the same after today.

8:17 AM - 11 Apr 13

See, I found a lump on my breast last Friday night which sucks because it's not like you can go to the ER for this.

8:19 AM - 11 Apr 13

So over the weekend I had the unfortunate pleasure of waiting for 9am on Monday to "get here already!" so I could schedule a mammogram.

8:21 AM - 11 Apr 13

Well that didn't turn out so hot either because today is the biopsy. And like I said, my life may never be the same after today.

8:25 AM - 11 Apr 13 

Why am I grossly over sharing such personal info?

8:26 AM - 11 Apr 13

While this may cause some to scream "TMI!" I'm hoping this sounds the alarm for those who don't do self exams or have annual mammograms.

8:28 AM - 11 Apr 13

I just had my yearly mammogram in January and here I am four months later... That's how fast things can change!

8:32 AM - 11 Apr 13

After sharing this with a few close friends and family members, I learned some hadn't had exams in over 5 years. Unacceptable!

8:34 AM - 11 Apr 13

So think of this as a not so friendly PSA and get your damn boobies checked!!! Monthly self exams! Annual mammograms!

8:36 AM - 11 Apr 13

The past 7 days have been hell but I've found comfort in the fact that I've had my annual check ups and have stuck to my monthly self exams!

8:38 AM - 11 Apr 13

So if this turns out to be "something," (God forbid), then I know I've caught it early. 

8:38 AM - 11 Apr 13

If this turns out to be nothing, then I can look back at all the tears I've shed this week and laugh my ass off!!!

8:44 AM - 11 Apr 13

So long for now. I'm going to spend the morning with my man. He's amazing plus he makes the most decadent desserts. I think I'll keep him. 

And finally, at 2:48 p.m.: 


More information on breast cancer, mammograms and self exams:
BreastCancer.org
NationalBreastCancer.org
PinkRibbon.org






Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Having fun being single until one Saturday night...

Hello again. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy… really busy. If your mind is in the gutter after that last line, good! Now, let’s catch up, shall we?

*Note: Photos used to show resemblance. You can thank my mom for the eye candy. She insisted I use photos. *sigh*  

The Spaniard
This is Iker Casillas, goalkeeper for Real
Madrid. Similar smoldering  hotness as
"The Spaniard."

In summary: Remember "The Spaniard?" Of course you do. He was my first post-divorce, um, rodeo? It was hot, intense and short-lived. He was supposed to be in my city for six months, but he was re-assigned and sent back to Europe three months early. We promised to keep in touch, and we did, for a while.

The issue: Long distance relationships are hard and this wasn't really a relationship. It was never going to be. He was only supposed to be in my city temporarily so there was never a future. Between his work travel and mandatory immigration travel (he had to go back to Spain every 90 days) and my own travel schedule, it was hard to keep up. Throw in a batch of new guys that I was meeting locally, and it became harder and harder to keep in touch.

End result: To this day, I’m thankful that I met him and I’ll never regret our time together. After all, he helped to kick-start my post-divorce dating life. But he was in another state, and at times in another country. What’s that saying, absence makes the heart grow...no, wrong one. Out of sight, out of mind… Yup, that’s the one. 

The Cop

In summary: From the beginning, fireworks. Intense fireworks! The first time he touched me (his hand brushed my elbow), sparks flew and we both knew it. And he was hot! OMG, he was hot!

The issue: There were a few issues, but the biggest one was his need to be in control. Then one night at dinner, it hit me. He was just like my ex. It suddenly became hard to breathe. I found myself looking for the nearest exit. As hot as he was (and damn he was hot), I couldn’t get away fast enough.

End result: We finally had it out. I called him out on his bullshit and constant contradictions. In so many words, he said it was his way or the highway. It was over. Did I mention he was hot?

The Stalker
Yes, these Derek Jeter eyes! Doubt
Jeter is a stalker though. 

In summary: Green eyes, Derek Jeter-esque eyes to be exact, good looking but short at least for my taste.

The issue: He was like “chicle” (Spanish for gum). As in “chicle” stuck to the bottom of your shoe.  Text messages every day at 6:01 a.m. followed by a text pic of himself around 6:30 a.m. No, not those kind of pics. These were of his face… at work, driving, etc. Plus he wanted to take me home to meet his mom – in another state – and wanted our kids to meet. Um, no… Hell no!

End result: Blocked his number. He called from a new number. I blocked that one, too.  

The Banker

In summary: Ugh, this one is tough because he was a really nice guy and good looking. But he was looking for “the one.” I mean he was really looking for “the one.” I think a lot of guys say that because they think that’s what some women want to hear (the exception being yours truly), but this guy was really looking for the next Mrs. Banker and he wanted kids. I was honest with him from the beginning. I wasn’t looking for a relationship and I definitely wasn’t looking to get married (ever again!). And it would take a medical miracle to get another kid out of me. But we got along really well and had similar backgrounds.

The issue: He was looking for a relationship that would eventually lead to marriage that would eventually produce some kids. I wasn’t.

End result: We wanted different things, but we stayed friends.

The Young Gun
Different face, same abs.
And an excuse to use yet
another gratuitous
William Levy photo. 

In summary: Just looking at him makes you say, “Oh… Hell… Yes!” Ladies, that’s how gorgeous this guy was. But he was only 25. And my rule is: If I’m old enough to me your momma, I don’t need the drama. I knew immediately that he was out of my age range when he first approached me. And I was very surprised when he did, plus I was in a mood, as in, “I only play with the big boys” kind of mood. So I patted him on the shoulder and said, “I only play with the big boys.” I forget to filter myself sometimes. Anyway, this comment made him even more persistent. Tempting…

The issue: The age, of course, but it gets even better! Come to find out, this young, gorgeous specimen of a man worked at the same place as my ex. In fact, he was, on occasion, my ex’s supervisor. Are you freaking kidding me! What are the odds?

End result: I said no to the eye candy because really, who needs that drama in their life. I had found a peaceful, serene balance in my life since the divorce and getting involved with this guy – even for recreational purposes – would possibly disrupt that balance. And remember Karma? Well, she’s still a bitch. 

The Quasi Co-Worker
This isn't him, but it's pretty damn close.
The first pic he sent me showed more,
um, down below. Again... Rawr!

In summary: Another young gun, but not quite as young as the one above. Not young enough to be his momma, but I don’t shit where I eat. Tempting, very tempting, but I declared him off limits to my head and to my libido. Although, I kept the text pics of his washboard abs that he sent me. Rawr!   

The issue: While we didn’t work for the same company, we ran in the same circles and he was close, too close, to a few of my employees. NFW!

End result: We’re friends. He’ll flirt with me privately via text when we run into each other, but I squash it every time. Then I walk away with an “Mmm hmm, I still got it” pimp walk and attitude. 

The Soldier

In summary: Good looking, great sense of humor, but a little short. I like ‘em tall, remember? But we always had a good time. We were the same age, had similar tastes in music and we both loved to dance.

The issue: There was no spark, no passion, no umph! And he never really stepped up. What I mean by that is he never demonstrated that he was really into me, and that’s OK. As it turns out, I wasn’t that into him either. If we went out, cool. If we didn’t, I would go out with someone else or with friends. Example: We were supposed to go out one Saturday night but, eh, it just didn’t happen. I ended up going out with a friend who introduced me to her friend and well, everything changed that night. You’ll understand as you read on…

End result: When he finally decided to step up, it was too late.  

The One?

In summary: I was dating, having fun and meeting new people (read = meeting a lot of guys!). And then one night, a friend drags me to a grand opening of her friend’s business. And there he was: the owner, her friend. Truth be told, he wasn’t my type, but he was tall (just like I like ‘em!). While I knew he was checking me out and asking my friend about me, I didn’t take him too seriously... Until 3 a.m. when we were still on the phone as he tried to convince me to have dinner with him. Why did I need convincing? Because I was dating at least four other guys at the time. In fact, I was supposed to be on a date with "The Soldier" that night. But there was something about him... 

The issue: Well, none so far… Unless you consider being completely head-over-heels in love with each other an issue. 

End result: Neither of us was looking for a relationship. We were both perfectly happy living the single life. But when you can't wait to see each other even after spending the weekend together, can't keep your hands off each other and start making long-term plans, then you know it's more than just a fling. Six months and counting. To be continued…  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

So my ex-husband cheated on me. Now what? We’re already divorced.


When I left my marriage two years ago, I was not short on reasons to do so. The mistreatment of me and my kids, the lies that led to our financial ruin and the lies, lies and more lies.

Now it appears I can add one more to the list: Infidelity.

I recently found out that my ex-husband cheated on me during our 17-year marriage.

Whoa, wait, wait, wait… Let me back up a little bit… He cheated during our engagement. And then he cheated after we married.

It was common knowledge at his workplace. People in his office were practically taking bets that he’d never really make it to the altar.

Speaking of people in his office… You know where I’m going with this and you know who “the other women” were.  

What a cliché this has turned into.  

I won’t go into details on how I found out, but the lead was legit and it led me to the truth.

So my ex-husband cheated on me. Now what? We’re already divorced.

Do I confront him? Do I go take a Louisville slugger to his car and go all Carrie Underwood? (Sounds very therapeutic so I may roll with this one...)

Do I hunt down the women (yes, plural) and confront them? (And say what? “How dare you mess with an engaged/married man who was once mine but he turned out to be an asshole so I divorced him!”)

I can’t really explain how I feel. There’s some numbness but then there’s this faint yet annoying pain. Yet I feel this considerable hole. An emptiness perhaps? Or my gut telling me, “I told you so, stupid.”

I wish I had the words to really describe this. I think it would help me to better comprehend what I’m feeling because I don’t understand it myself.

I saw him today for the first time since knowing this. At first glance, I felt as if I had vomited in my mouth just a little bit.

When I realized my face was hurting from scowling so hard, I decided to take a different approach.

I straightened up my posture and pushed my perky boobs and tight ass to the heavens (I’ve been working out), took my daughter by the hand and said, “C’mon sweetie… Let’s go home.”

Related link:

*Note to readers: I originally wrote this in my journal a couple of months ago. I was uneasy and unsure about sharing this. But ya’ll know about my spring fling with the Spaniard so what the hell, right? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Part Three: My Date with “The Spaniard”



“Babe, I have some bad news,” he said, his eyes still amazing, but now somber.

The bad news was that his company was reassigning him to another project. He would be leaving for Europe in a week. Instead of three months, we had seven days.

The only silver lining to this news was that he was expecting to be reassigned to project two states away; however, it wasn’t definitive. But with any luck, fate would bring him back to my time zone. 

We talked about how we could still each see other once he came back to the states. 

“Guapa (Beautiful), I’ll fly out to see you first,” he said. “This isn’t goodbye.”

He then continued to list all the ways we could stay connected – phone, text, email, Skype. Gotta love technology!

But I’m a realist and a bit cynical so when the loud, cranky voice in my head said, “Mmm hmm… We’ll see… Ya… Whatever,” I wasn’t surprised.

What was this anyway? We’ve only known each other for a couple of months, he wasn’t my boyfriend and this wasn’t a relationship. Or was it? The woman with no game (that would be me) didn’t know what to make of this.  

Then for the first time in my new post-divorce life, a soft, sweet, little voice in my head said, “You know, it’s possible. You could see him again. It could happen.”

Meanwhile, the loud, cranky voice replied: “Aw, she thinks she’s going to see him again. She’s so naïve.”

As we kissed goodbye that night, he held my face in hands and said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

I was tempted to ask why he was thanking me and for what, but I’m learning how to shut my mouth, especially in moments like these.  Instead I chose to enjoy the moment and his hazel eyes .

When my mind wanders, it takes me back to this moment. The look in his eyes (remember, they’re amazing!) and his graciousness.

So we had seven days and the countdown was on!

FATE, THY NAME IS BITCH

A funny thing about fate… She can be a real bitch.

Three days later, I was bed-ridden with the flu. Every single muscle ached, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk. My throat was so swollen I couldn’t even take a sip of water. When I finally crawled into my doctor’s office, my fever had hit 102.

The diagnosis: Influenza, Strain B.

Recover time: 10-14 days.

Number of days until “The Spaniard” left: 4.

@#$% fate!

Our plans to see each other at least one more time before he left for Europe were crushed.

My window to see “The Spaniard” before he left the country was shortening. But I was determined to get better in time to see him before he left, even if we only got five minutes.

But it didn’t happen…

SAYING GOODBYE… VIA TEXT

The night before he left and since I still had no voice, we texted furiously, trying to say whatever we had left to say to each other before midnight. Yes, midnight, just like frickin Cinderella. Since he was leaving the country, his U.S. cell phone was set to be shut off at midnight.

By 11:58 p.m. my fever was spiking and I could barely keep my eyes open until I got this text…

“Babe, thank you for everything, so glad you came into my life. I’m going to miss you very much, guapa, and your sexy curves. We will see each other again, I am confident. Te mando un beso muy suave (Sending you a soft kiss).”  

Then at 11:59 p.m., I got his final text…

“We will meet again, guapa, I’m sure of it. Un beso …”

I mustered just enough strength to write, “Me too, babe, me too. Besos (kisses)…” but I may have been too late. To this day, I don’t know if he received my last message. 

By the time I woke up the next morning, he was gone.