Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm not that mom after all

I never wanted to be a mom who worried too much about dirt and germs and stuff like that. But when it's your own baby, you really can't help but worry some. I did scoop up the pacifier when it would fall on the floor and rinse it off quickly. I did lay down a clean blanket when putting Radar down for tummy time. I gave him a bath every day and washed him up after meals.

However, this weekend as he crawled all over the downstairs, dragging his hands, knees, toes and pacifier along the not so clean floor and after he screamed bloody murder when I tried to wipe his face after he ate his black beans and rice... well, I guess I finally realized that I'm NOT a mom who worries too much about dirt and germs and stuff like that after all!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Saturday, August 29, 2009

More life advice from Radar

Hi guys... since I'm almost 8 1/2 months old, I thought I'd just give you a couple of tips based on my vast life experience!

"Don't sweat it if you get egg on your face...

... the dog will lick it off later!"
(unfortunately, mommy missed that photo op.)

Oh, and now that Tio Antonio is back in Iraq with Tio Rafa, (you remember him... I'm his Tocayo!), I have just this one little piece of advice...


Lots of love,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wordful Wednesdaysssssssss

Some weeks ago I participated in a community blogging game (for lack of a better term) called Wordful Wednesday from this blogging mommy's blog...

The idea is to post a picture or pictures and just let the words flow. In honor of the second ps from today's posting, I'll stick to words that start with 'S'. I welcome any words I might have missed...

Savoring MY





stealthy &




swinging &









Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS #1 - Abuela made mention in yesterday's post comments to another of my "celebrity meets" with Al Roker (you know... the tv weather dude who lost all that weight).  Well, if you read that and misinterpreted her lewd implication, let me clarify...

I DID sit next to Al Roker on a flight from Miami to Nassau and I DID cop a feel of Mr. Roker's butt!  Clear enough?

PS #2 - It is with great sadness that I report the untimely death of our pet snake "Sammy" this morning.  Cause of death... MURDER!  Just before I left for work this morning,  I noticed a wriggling worm on the floor of the living room, so I calmly pointed it out to Maria.  Without a word, she put her foot out and stepped on it!  I screeched and as I saw it was still moving, I rushed over to see if I could rescue the poor thing.  That's when I noticed that Sammy was no wriggling worm, but rather a tiny black slithering snake.  I scooped him up, but within a minute his slithers weakened and he went rigid.  I sadly buried Sammy outside.  

Rest in peace Sammy!  

PS #3 - Maria thinks I totally insane!

PSS #4 - Oh, the reason that I'm posting something called "wordful wednesday" on Thursday is that I started this post last night but Radar wouldn't let me finish it, so I actually posted it this morning.  I've also learned that the days do pretty much blend into one another for a working, single mother of an 8 month old!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

May the Lion rest in peace

We're feeling rather blue at Radar Love today on hearing the news that Ted Kennedy passed away last night. On Thanksgiving weekend of 2007, before Radar's mom was Radar's mom, she had the pleasure of meeting Senator Kennedy in person.

I had flown up to spend Thanksgiving with Grammy in Maine. On Sunday evening, I caught a flight back from Boston to Miami and sitting right in front of me on the plane was Senator Kennedy. I didn't want to bother him so I kept quiet throughout the flight (although everyone who did approach him was received with a big smile and friendly handshake).

When we landed, I took out my cell phone to call my mom and let her know that I had arrived. On the phone I said to my mom, "guess who one of my fellow passengers is?" Obviously she couldn't guess. "Senator Kennedy," I tried to say in a sort of whisper. Then my mom asked how many drinks he'd had on the flight. But before I could say anything, the aid who was sitting next to the senator overheard and said to me, "hand the phone to the Senator!" Teddy Kennedy put out his hand and took the phone from me. I heard him say to my mom, "Hey Mom!! The daughter and I are heading to warmer weather!" They chatted for a minute and he handed the phone back. He shook my hand, gave me a jovial chuckle and we made a bit of small talk as we walked off the plane.

Of all my celebrity meets (except perhaps Matt Damon touching my Radar baby belly), this one made the biggest impression on me. We are so sad to see you go Senator. Rest in Peace and may your spirit live on in the heart of the US people and our government.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - By the way... the answer to my mom's question about how many drinks the Senator had had on the flight... 6 or 7! I guess that's another reason a Pazos might be especially fond of that Liberal Lion!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Love-off

One of the reasons that I love my sister, Tia Lali, so much is that she makes the little things so much fun. Yesterday I sent her a quick e-mail and in my sign off, as per our usual routine, I tried to express how much I love her (and Radar). She responded and in typical fashion, her sign-off outdid mine. So I responded and again tried to top her love, but then Lali, as she always does, put the case to rest today with her final love sign off... Once again, Lali wins the "Love-off!"

This is how it went...

1. (sign off from my first e-mail to Lali)

I love you sooooooooooo much! (but obviously not as much as I love Radar because that $hit is off the charts!)


2. (Lali’s response)

So I love you so much that it maxes out the charts. However, I love Radar so so so so much that it is way too off the charts. And you know when something if off the charts you can't really tell by how much. It might just be a little more than the max or it might be a million times stronger than the max.

So much freaking love,

3. (me)

So much love... off the charts, but then they made a new charting system and they were able to chart my love for you, which shattered all love records throughout history, but then they looked at my love for Radar and it was still off the charts (even the new fancy, sophisticated charting system that they made), so they hired every math genius in the world and brought Einstein back from the dead to try to make a chart that could measure my love for Radar and in every case the love plot line flew off their charts and showed no signs at all of leveling out, so they're still working on that.

4. (Lali)

I wikipedia-ed exponential growth and altered one of the little stories.
Titi gave Lali a beautiful, hand-made chessboard where every little square had a different picture of Radar on it. Lali was so pleased with the gift that she wanted to give Titi and Radar a gift in return. She offered to give one unit of love on the first square picture of Radar, two units of love on the second, four units of love on the third etc. A unit of love is a standard measurement of love. Most people you love would get one or two standard units of love. Titi and Radar thought that was a good amount of love but then started to realize how much love that was and were overjoyed. The requirement for 2 n − 1 units of love on the nth square demanded over a million units of love on the 21st square, more than a million million (aka trillion) units of love on the 41st! Everyone was baffled because it was previously thought that there were not that many units of love in the whole world and here Radar and Titi were getting it all!!!!

I really really really love Radar (and you). I would estimated it as 2 n − 1 units of love for an infinite by infinite chessboard. And that is crazy lot because from the above the story you can see that a normal chessboard would already max out the world amount of love and I increased this imaginary chessboard.


So WOW!!! Doesn't that make you love Lali too? And Radar, of course!

Lots of love (but most especially for Lali and Radar),

Sunday, August 23, 2009


How are you guys at spelling? For example... can you spell this?

(I think I can, I think I can...)

(Almost there... )

(Man this is fun!)

(Can you believe how good I am?)

(Oh boy, last one!)

(Only one thing left to do now...)

(Kiss your moments of peace goodbye mommy and...)

(enjoy watching me every single second from now on!)


That's right... that spells, "I AM COOKED!" For anyone who might be scrolling through this sequence feeling horrified that I was standing back and letting Radar climb the steps alone... just relax! I used a wide angle lens that makes things seem farther away than they really are. Radar was in range of my protective and panicky hand at all time.

And even though today's events terrify me, I couldn't let Radar in on that little secret. He was so giggly and euphoric over his monumental summit of the stairs that I couldn't help but cheer along with him. Then, when we settled down a bit, we celebrated more by doing another of Radar's favorite things... reading on mommy's lap.

Man oh man, do I ever LOVE being this little guy's mommy!!!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Friday, August 21, 2009

My little Indian

Lots of love,
Titi & Radar

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Staring match

Wanna have a staring match?

The rules are... no blinking...

no smiling...

no looking down... ooops... that doesn't count...

and first to blink or smile loses...


I guess you win!

I'm outta here.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Uncle Bus

Today's post is a little off the usual topic (Radar being the usual topic), but not totally. Today's topic is related to Radar, or rather Radar is related to today's topic in a rather distant way. Since my grandmother passed away in March, my mom has been up to her house several times to organize things and decide what to keep and what to throw out. Anyone who has ever had to do this knows that going through someone's lifetime of collectibles is no easy task... particularly when that someone was a 94 year old pack rat!

I remember when I would go up to visit Grammy in the last 10 years, one of my favorite things to do was to go through the old photo albums and scrap books while Grammy told me the histories behind all the people in the pictures and the doo dads in the scrap books. She kept everything and most of it really only had meaning for her... she used to say that she knew that most of the things were junk and that they'd be thrown out when she died, but for now they kept her company. It's sort of sad to think that we all have stuff like that and that one day it will be someone else's job to sort through it and throw most of it away.

But there was also plenty of stuff worth keeping... the stuff, mostly pictures, about our ancestors. Pictures dating back to the 19th century... old tin types. My mom is organizing and putting together little histories to go with the pictures so that all of us now living, including Radar, as well as future generations can preserve these little scraps of our family history that might otherwise have been lost. But before she gets to that, I thought I'd preempt her by telling one little piece of the story... the story of Radar's great-great Uncle 'Bus'.

Four years ago during one of my visits, as I was looking through the albums and looking at pictures of Uncle Bus, I thought I'd pick Grammy's brain a little and write it down. And this is what I wrote (I've had to change a couple of things to bring it up to date, but it is otherwise unchanged from what I wrote as Grammy talked about her older brother.)

"My great uncle Bus would have been 96 years old this year – if he’d lived. Instead, he drowned in the Penobscot River on the eastern coast of Maine 86 years ago when he was a 10 year old boy. He was born in April of 1913, one year after Titanic sank. He lived through the Great War. He died in May of 1923, three month before President Warren G. Harding died while still in office.

Since I was a little girl and came to Maine in the summers, I was intrigued by my long lost great uncle’s fate. When I was eight I tried to imagine how I would save my 10 year old brother Javier, if he were to fall into the freezing waters. When I was ten, I was imagining how I’d save myself. When I was twelve, I summarized all the things I’d done in the previous two years and thought about how poor Bus had missed out on those experiences. As I sat listening to my grandmother's vivid memories of Bus from so long ago, and of her lifetime of experiences after his death, I wondered how all those stories might be different if he’d had a chance to be a part of them. But he wasn't, and I'd like to at least preserve his memory for all of us who never knew him before the last person who did know him is no longer alive to tell his story.

Paper was a big industry back then and paper mills churned all up and down the coast of Maine. The Eastern Manufacturer paper mill was situated in South Brewer off of Route 1 and employed many people in and around the town, including my great-grandfather. The mill was the lifeline of the town. It opened in the 19th century and filed for bankruptcy just five years ago (in 2004). They were famous for their Atlantic Linen paper. There was a big wooden box called the broke box where they kept the paper with imperfections. Every now and then they’d let the kids take paper from the box, or employees would take paper home to their families.

Ships brought the lumber logs to the shore and unloaded hundreds at a time, creating booms, like long floating boardwalks running along the shore – and creating a fun past-time for boys.

Charles was nicknamed "Bus" by his older sister, my great Aunt Elise, who was trying to say 'brother.' Bus went to a different school than my grandmother and he had the day off. At lunch, he went to the school playground to play marbles with his younger sister Mildred, my grandmother, who was two years his minor and his buddy. They had shared a lot together, including the measles - while they were sick they shared the same room until they were deemed to no longer be contagious. When the school bell rang and Grammy headed back into school, she looked back to the schoolyard fence where she saw Bus sporting his famous freckled smile and waving a big wave goodbye. That was the last time anyone in the Pooler family ever saw him.

Nobody knows why Bus went out onto the boom with his two friends from school, George Coleman and Lewis Keyer. Only George and Lewis might have known and they’re both dead now. They were two years older than Bus, since my great uncle was a really smart kid who had already skipped two years in school. But he didn’t know how to swim. It was May 1st and the waters were still bitterly cold, hovering only a few degrees above freezing. It might have been a teasing dare; or more likely just a 10 year old not wanting to loose face in front of his older friends. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter because he was out on the logs and when one log rolled too quickly, all three boys fell in. Decades later, George recounted to my grandmother that he had been a very strong swimmer and had yelled for Bus to hold on to him. Bus held on for a while then simply said, “I can’t hold on,” and disappeared.

A rumor swept across the town quickly that a boy had drowned, but a name didn’t accompany the rumor. Mothers who got wind of the news, panicked until they had their own boys back in their embraces. My grandmother was walking home from school when a boy ran to her and said, “If you want to hear some news, follow me because I’m off to tell your mother.” But by the time they got to the house, my great-grandfather had already brought the news home. My great-grandmother, who was three months pregnant (with my great uncle Bobby), was in bed under doctor's orders for fear that the trauma might impact her pregnancy. My grandmother doesn’t remember much else about that day except that she wondered why her mother was in bed if Bus was missing.

My great-grandfather, with dozens of local men and authorities searched for days. The river was swept and divers were sent down where Bus had disappeared. Signs were posted up and down the river and surrounding coastal town, offering a reward for information or for Bus’s body. For months, relatives would hike to the mouth of the river, hoping that some tiny speck might hint of where he had gone. But nothing ever did. Not even a shoelace."

And that's all I wrote... I had intended to pick her brain some more about the things she remembered about Bus's life, but I guess I've lost that chance. But at the very least, we have something and we know that Charles Edmund Pooler, my mom's uncle, my great uncle and Radar's great great uncle lived and isn't forgotten.

Bus's last school card

Bus, my great-aunt Elise holding great-uncle Leo, and Grammy

Grammy, Elise holding Leo, and Bus
(standing in the same river that would soon swallow him)

Charles Edmund Pooler (Uncle Bus)

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - In case you just need a small Radar fix from this century...

Monday, August 17, 2009

The bad list

This little monkey of mine is turning out to be quite the trouble maker.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, my work permit has been held up because Radar's documents are not in order.  And as I also mentioned in an earlier post, I'm sick.  I've been trying to fight off a soar throat and cough for the last two weeks and just as I thought I was getting better, I took a nose dive this weekend and am now much worse... Radar, in the meantime, continues to slurp out all my good immunity for himself and has stayed healthy as a fern (I couldn't think of a proper analogy and fern came to mind... doesn't make too much sense, but hey, I'm sick!)

Then, yesterday, my little trouble maker reached new heights!  In the afternoon we boarded the plane in Ft. Lauderdale to come back home and were happily minding our own business, waiting for the doors to close and for the plane to take off.  That's when a representative of JetBlue Airlines walked down the aisle, stood right in front of me and asked, so that everyone could hear, "Are you Christena Pazos?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Can you please follow me off the plane.  There is a problem with your passport."

I asked if I had to bring the baby and she stated that no, the problem was with me.  So I left Radar with Maria and I slinked off the plane under the suspicious gaze of all my fellow passengers who were probably thinking terrible thoughts about terrorism or drug smuggling.  When I got back out to the gate, the agent asked, "Are you traveling with Rafael Pazos?"  

"Yes, he's my son," I answered.

"Well, he's on the bad list and we'll need to see his passport!"

What?  My baby is on the "bad list" with the airlines?  I laughed and asked if this meant that Santa wouldn't be bringing him any gifts at Christmas... my joke was met with a serious stare.  It seems that the "bad list" is no laughing matter - not even when it comes to an 8 month old!

Radar , "Bad-lister" making his baby gang sign

After they cleared up the matter (which apparently had to do with information from his passport being entered incorrectly at my original check-in), I proudly strode back onto the plane and declared to all the passengers as I made my way back to my seat...

"Not to worry ladies and gentleman.  Everything is under control. My 8 month old baby was on the 'bad list', but everything has been cleared up!"  

And unlike the agent at the counter, the other passengers finally gave me the chuckles I was looking for!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar (no longer on the bad list)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A quick stop over

Sorry for not posting sooner. Radar and I made a quick trip over to Florida with Maria, his nanny. Now that Radar is fully mobile, the new challenges for keeping him safe are in play. As a tiny infant, the trick was to not let him sleep on his stomach and not to drop him on his head. But now the list is so, so, so much longer. Don't let him chew on live wires, pull down stacked book cases, drop into the canal where I live, choke on any of the millions of things he puts into mouth, etc, etc... It really is becoming clear that you have to watch a crawler (very soon to be toddler) every second because they want to get to everything and have no idea what's safe or not... that my job - and Maria's.

In order to be better prepared, I am planning to attend a child/infant CPR course in Nassau and I wanted Maria to attend one as well... the catch? She only speaks Spanish and there's no such course given in Nassau. But as luck would have it, Miami, the Latin America of the US is just a short flight away, so last night we all hopped on a plane.

Radar, by the way, is really an expert flier now. Not a single whimper during the whole flight (unless you call opera singing a whimper.)

Then this morning we dropped Maria off at Miami Children's Hospital for her 7 hour course and Radar and I headed back to Grammy's... we popped into Aventura Mall on the way home... do you guys realize how fun those kiddy zones are at malls?

I had great plans for the rest of the day... but instead, I stayed at my mom's house, coked up on cough medicine (I have some sort of nasty bug that I've been trying to get rid of for two weeks and instead it seems to be getting worse) and listening to the storms beating rain down on the house. And now I'm going to try to get a little bit of sleep but I just wanted to check in and say hiya!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - Sadly, Jenna's cousin passed away yesterday. Jenna, please know that we're keeping you and your family in our hearts & prayers.