I’ve been keeping a Secret

I’ve been quiet for a while and there has been a reason.  Well, there have actually been may reasons but mostly I really haven’t been cooking much and I’ve been keeping a secret.  And the secret I’ve been keeping is the main reason why I really haven’t been cooking that much; that together with my work, and Alan finishing up school – he graduates in May yay!!!!

So what is this secret I’ve been keeping? 

 Pregnancy Ticker

Trust me this has been a hard to keep secret.  We’ve wanted kids for a loooooooong time, but we were a bit on the paranoid side and just kept waiting and waiting until we felt we had surpassed most of the risks so that we could share these wonderful news with the rest of you!

What? the sex of the baby? No clue.  We are not finding out, it will be a surprise for ALL of us.  Do you know how hard it is to buy stuff for a baby you have no clue what the gender is?  The baby marketing industry is either team pink or team blue.  There is no neutral anymore – and what you do find is yellow or green.

Names?  Well if it is a girl it will be Hannah Isabel Lambie, if it is a boy it will be Davi Samuel Lambie.

So as of right now we are 21 weeks pregnant and our next u/s will be on the 28th.  We are VERY excited with our pregnancy and really cannot wait to see our baby again (even if it is on a screen).  We hope that you share our joy!


Cuban Home Economics

My friend Marta has two great posts on how Cuban girls get groomed to be the Perfect Cuban Wife (PCW) through intense training on Cuban Home Ec.

So, it got me thinking about my own Cuban upbringing, and how I’ve supplemented or added to it, through the years.

I graduated with HONORS from the Cooking course, but unfortunately failed miserable on the Home Management course……much to the avail of Alan, my husband.  We’ve butted heads more than once on cleaning schedule, where things should be stored, how they should be stored until I found the HOME. MANAGEMENT. BIBLE:

The Home Bible

Master Martha, as she is referred to at my home, has come to be the decider on many argument.  Like what you ask?  Ask and you shall receive.

I always keep all the cleaners under the kitchen sink.  Perfect sense right?  Not to my husband who came up with a different scheme – the linen closet.

But honey the cleaners ALWAYS go under the sink. Says who?  You and your Cuban upbringing?  That doesn’t mean it’s right or the ONLY way.  HERESY! How dare he attempt against the Cuban Home Ec.?

Alás!  Martha Stewart to the rescue.  There under Your Kitchen, and Organizing, guess where we are supposed to keep all the cleaners?  UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK!

So now, whenever my wonderful husband gets a new idea of moving something to a different place in the home, I just go ask Martha.  But don’t get smug, Martha has been on Alan’s side sometimes too.  That Martha she is one nit picker when it comes to cleaning – as is Alan – so when I won the cleaner argument, Alan won the DREADED clean as you go argument.  *blushing*

I must admit, I WAS one of those cooks that creates a big mess as she cooks, but always cleaned everything at the end.  Now Martha has me cleaning as I go, and cleaning the kitchen every single night…..with Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner in Basil which now is my favorite cleaner (love, LOVE, how it smells)….  And Alan is a very proud husband, and very grateful to Martha. *sigh*

So what is your Home Ec. upbringing story?

Finally, I graduated

Last Saturday May 22, I was officially conferred my Doctorate by the University of Rhode Island.  Even though it’s been almost a year since I defended my dissertation, I was really looking forward to the graduation ceremony (and also to being back in RI).

Unfortunately no one in my family came.  Well, I lie.  My family did come and his name is Alan J. Lambie (you all know him as my husband!).  He was the biggest supporter I had during this 6-year adventure in RI and even more so after Papi passed.  And yes, Papi was SORELY missed on that May 22 afternoon in the Ryan Center at the University of Rhode Island.  But somehow I have a feeling Papi didn’t miss it at all.

So, with my one man entourage-video-photographer-family-supporter we set out to RI to stomp our old ground and take some much needed vacation.  Did I mention Alan earned a 4.0 average this past quarter.  Yes a 4.0.  Nerds, I know.

Our graduation weekend started with a much awaited Friday dinner with my advisor, Ruby and her husband Nik, and my Rhode Island adoptive parents, Mike and Nancy James.

Nancy, Me and Mike

I met Mike and Nancy during my last year at the PhD program (summer 2008 to be exact) as I worked as a  waitress at a local Italian restaurant called Cucina Twist.  Mike and Nancy would come every Friday for dinner and sit in my section.  Since they were early birds (5pm) they would always inquire of my progress in the PhD, and my job interviews and my dissertation.  For an entire year Mike and Nancy sat in my section and followed my progress like only parents do – to the point of even buying me a going away present.  Therefore it was only natural that they be a part of our celebration.

The Dholakia's, The James' and The Lambies'

Friday night dinner was at Spain’s of Narragansett, a Spanish restaurant where all 5 times that I’ve been I’ve always had the same thing: Paella Valenciana.  We had reservations for 6pm in order to have an enjoyable dinner and a long sobremesa.  We had a wonderful time, and went to bed quite early.  I needed my beauty sleep 😉

Saturday May 22, I rose early to get my hair done, and even still we were sort of against the clock.  I like to arrive early to places and graduates had to be at the Ryan Center by noon, so I wanted to be there half an hour early.  Torture I know, but it relaxes me; otherwise I would be too stressed.  So once I had hair, and makeup, and earrings and everything else ready we left….but not before Alan captured the moment.

The Graduate

So with academic regalia on hand (gown, hood, and tam) we left, parked and were shuttled to the Ryan Center.  While I was in the back on a line for about an hour, Alan was searching for the best spot to take pictures.   Let’s play Where is Adriana?

The Doctoral Candidates

So after very brief speeches by various Deans and the University President (no I’m not kidding they were actually short) we were off on our way to get hooded.  Getting hooded is what makes a PhD graduation special because it is your advisor (or major professor) – the one person you’ve loved and hated at the same time – who hoods you and makes you a bonafide Dr.  So within academia it is a rite of passage.  I don’t have hooding pictures yet, Alan was taking video at the time and I cannot post video here at WordPress. (I mean I can, but I’d have to buy an upgrade and I don’t really paste that many videos).  So I give you a picture of me and my Diploma instead!

My Diploma and Me

After the ceremony, my advisor Ruby had a small cocktail at her house with friends and future PhDers.  Later that night Alan and I went to dinner, with friends – Gema and Daniel (she graduated from her MBA).  But before I took pictures with my family – Alan!

The proud and happy Hubby

Also, the traditional picture with my advisor Ruby!

Ruby and I

And then we were off to our cocktail hour with even more pictures of all of us!

The Graduates

It was a great day and one that will be in my memory forever.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of myself.  Finishing the PhD took every ounce of energy and motivation I had left, in particular after Papi’s passing.  Which is why we celebrated this event every which way we could.  After all that celebrating we were dead tired but we still had to celebrate the RIGHT way.  And what is the right way you ask, well, the Perrier-Jouet way of course!  Cheers!

My favorite Champagne!

Oh and I’m sure you want to know what my graduation gift was right?  Well, stay tuned.  All I can say is he’s from Jersey and has a smile to DIE for.

Back in Time

I’m not much for Halloween.  I did the usual as a kid, you know the trick or treat, but I wasn’t really big on decorations or costumes.  Probably still traumatized by the time my parents and grandparents thought it would be a good idea to have a Haunted House for my birthday.  You see I was born right in the middle of October – the 15th to be exact.  And this Haunted House extravaganza was for my 5th birthday.  Yes you read right, F-I-F-T-H.

Needless to say I was scared out of my mind, and it took some cajoling and major convincing for me to venture into the Haunted House in the arms of Abuelo.  Unfortunately, our first stop was my bedroom that was now transformed into a morgue.  One of the dead suddenly rose and I screamed.  It didn’t matter that they turned on the lights.  It didn’t matter that the undead was speaking to me reassuring me over and over again that she was Josie, my front door neighbor.  That was it for me and the Haunted House….or Haunted Houses for that matter.  But I digress.

So, I never really celebrate Halloween.  But, here at Rochester one of our professors is a fan of Halloween.  He grew up with block parties of costumed kids and adults, so he and his fiance have one every year.  And 2009 was the 80’s Halloween party.  Dude!

As Alan and I both came of age during the 80’s our biggest problem was deciding what the heck to dress up as.  Magnum! I blurted.  After all, a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and a Tigers’ cap is not that hard to get.  Nope, he said.  He wanted to be a headbanger….you know a heavy metal fan.  Ok I said, but then I want to be Pop – a lá Madonna. ..you know the tul skirt with the leggings, the rubber pulseras and the big hair with the bow.  So we went dressed as Pop and Metal – and boy did we have fun doing it.

Alan’s was much easier than mine.  We got him a wig, a bandanna, zebra tights (no I’m not kidding) and a Def Leppard t-shirt.  A little bit of black eyeliner and  alas! I had a headbanger husband.  See?Alan Headbanger

Me, well that took a bit of effort.  First I washed my hair and used some extra body mousse.  Then I set it up in choronguitos – you know I twirl them tight and set them as mini buns with an elastic.  Then I blow dry the heck out of them.  But what I was most looking forward to was re-enacting the makeup.  Oh boy, did I ever.My 80s Makeup

After the makeup was done, it was on to the outfit, and the hair, and of course the BOW.  Don’t believe me?  What do you think of this?80s Outfit

What’s that? You want a close up of the hair and the bow?  You got it!The finished product

So off we went, eager to see what other people dressed up as, and the comments on our costumes.  Once there, Billy Idol was our host.Billy Idol our Host

Spiderman, was our bartender.Our Bartender - Spidey

Boy George decided to drop by for some entertainment (yes, we had a karaoke machine that YOURS TRULY brought because, ahem, we own one.  I know, shut up!)Boy George

The Ghostbusters made sure no paranormal activity disrupted our fun and, in case we could possibly get bored, Rubik’s Cube was in attendance.Ghostbusters!

Rubik's Cube

Everyone thought I was dressed up as Madonna *sigh*, but EVERYONE loved our costumes.  So much so, that towards the end, one of my co-workers asked me if I had BOUGHT the outfit of if I had DUSTED it off from storage.  That made my day, and made me feel so proud of my 80’s upbringing.  So in the words of Huey Lewis, let’s go back in time and Rock On!Metal & Pop

The Lambies go to Fenway!

Baseball has always been a part of my life.  Papi used to take us to the Hiram Birthorn for the MLB exhibition games and we always hoped Puerto Rico would get an MLB team.  In the meantime we would be die hard fans of the Puerto Rican winter league Cangrejeros de Santurce!

On the MLB we as a family were die-hard Altlanta Braves fan. Yes I know Ted is a commie and so is his wife.  But we lived in PR and really didn’t know much about Ted.  All we knew is that we had three teams to choose from: WGN Chicago Cubs, WOR New York Mets (I had the biggest crush on Keith Hernandez) and WTBS Atlanta Braves (my crush on Dale Murphy and subsequently Damon Berryhill were bigger).   And so we liked and loved America’s team, the Braves.  As fans we wetn to Atlanta a couple of times to see them play, and I once drove from Maryland to Pittsburgh to see a 1992 playoff game (Avery was pitching and it was a bad game).

But I digress; the point is I, as any Cuban-American, have always loved baseball and loved going to games at the park.  However, Boston Red Sox tickets are HARD to come by; I mean, two weeks ago they celebrated 500 consecutive SOLD OUT games.  Here you have no choice but to watch the games on TV (Yes Marta, I’m talking to you!).  And Alan, as the newly minted American Citizen that he is (1.5 years) LOVES baseball and is a DIE HARD fan of the Boston Red Sox (and so am I).

So the other day the Marlins were in town, and my curious nature got the best of me….breaking from my dissertation work I decided to check if there were tickets available.

OMG Alan, there are tickets available for the game!

“Buy them!”  Notice there was no hesitation in his answer and we really are in la prángana.

We didn’t even care where we were seating; I mean tickets available and for $30?? @ Fenway Park?  what is there to think?  So off we went on a not so great day for baseball for our Fenway adventure – our first time at a RedSox game in Fenway Park.  It wasn’t really cold, but it was drizzling and damp, so taking pictures was a challenge.

Alan @ Fenway

Alan @ Fenway

As you can see Alan was decked out in New England gear and happy as a little kid to be there!  As you can also see everything was very VERY wet.  I have to admit that walking into Fenway was a bit intimidating.  Why not big, it has a lot of stores, food places, and kiosks…people, lots and LOTS of people…..but nothing really compares to the feeling of walking out to the seats and seeing the Green Monster for the first time.  What???  You don’t know what the Green Monster is?  Let me show you….

The Green "Monstah"

The Green "Monstah"

Doesn’t it look beautiful?  There are seats on top of the Monster, and of course home runs get batted either to it or through it.  It looks small in the picture, but it’s quite impressive in person.  Fenway is a special park, and as such other parks such as Camdem Yards have been designed/remodeled after it.  The field also looked beautiful although it still had the tarp on.  Remember, it was raining.

Alan @Fenway Green

Alan @Fenway Green

Doesn’t he, I mean it, look beautiful?  After a while they took of the tarp and the players took to the field to practice; that’s always been my favorite part of watching baseball in person – getting to see the players warm up and of course, take pictures with Alan’s new camera.  Like this one of team Catcher and Captain Jason Varitek, who is currently having a pretty decent season and rebounding from a bad 2008.

Captain Tek

Captain Tek

Needless to say, I was the one taking pictures; Alan was filming and I don’t have the upgrade here to show you video just yet.  And as you can see we weren’t the only ones either taking pictures, video or even trying for autographs.  Alan missed Beckett by a matter of seconds.

In the end the RedSox lost 2-1 to the Marlins, after a 3.5 hour rain delay after the 5th inning.  The umpires chose to call the game and give the win to the Marlins.  We were VERY disappointed.  Not because they lost, but because we couldn’t really see a game.

So, since we are moving to Rochester, NY, which is about an hour away from Toronto (as in home of the Toronto Blue Jays, division rivals of the Red Sox), we found it completely appropriate to buy two tickets for the August 18th game.  And this time we’ll be sitting by Third Base, right behind the dugout!  How to I feel about this?  Well I’ll be there with my RedSox jersey on, and the Gaelic Red Sox Hat.

Let's Go Red Sox!

Let's Go Red Sox!

It may not be Fenway Park, but it’s a dome (no rain) and we have better seats (actually we have seats whenever we want since regular games are not sold out), and it will be our new way of watching the Red Sox L-I-V-E!!!!!!!

Take me out to the ballgame…

Yes folks, I’m alive.  You see after being cooked up in the house for 3 months, we needed some air.

So I turned in the first draft of the first manuscript (there are two) of my dissertation; and I also ran the data for the second manuscript.  Guess what?  The data did what I predicted it would do!!!! Yipppeeee!  If you have no clue what I’m saying, just now that THIS is a GOOD thing!

Of course, with such good news we went out for the air we needed so much.  We are BIG baseball fans, and BIG RedSox fans (especially Alan) so it was only natural that when we heard Dice-K would be doing rehab starts at Pawtucket PawSox (AAA RedSox) well we bought tickets of course!  Dice who? Daisuke Matzusaka, the Japanese pitcher who helped his team win two World Baseball Classics.  Why not see him at a RedSox game?  Yeah, good luck getting two tickets.

It wasn’t a good day for baseball. It was COOL. It was DAMP.  It was WINDY.  It was DRIZZLING.  How did we fare?  Well just look at me:



You think I look funny?  You should’ve seen the people with blankets.  And all the Japanese media that left after Dice-K completed his three innings.  Of course we also took some pictures of Dice-K while he was warming up at the bullpen.  This one is my favorite:

Dice-KWe are sort of a tag team.  Alan takes the pictures; I edit them online.  I don’t have very good editors, only iPhoto and Acorn, the latter of which I’m still getting around.  Once I buy something decent, Photoshop or Aperture, they will be better I promise.  Originally the picture was in color, but I like how the BW treatment gives the picture a sort of ajada look, and fits with Dice-K’s pose.

The game was actually good.  We each had a Smithwicks and a hot dog…..and after bearing the cold, we finally broke down and had some hot chocolate with fried dough.  We only made it to the 7th inning, but we also saw Rocco Baldelli play, which for us was an added plus.  And being AAA we had great seats right behind home plate, which sucks for pictures because the net is in the middle but the view is SPECTACULAR!

McCoy Stadium

As you can see, we’ve also been making use of Alan’s gift.  He literally does not leave the house without it, so I have many pictures of the area to post, so you can get to know this little state that we will be leaving and will be missing dearly.

Yes, yes, recipes to come too.  I have a couple in particular I believe you will like.

For now, PLAY BALL!

La Recompensa

As you are all aware, we are here in Rhode Island because I had this crazy idea of pursuing a Ph.D. degree.  You also know, that I’m at the end of such a process and that we’ve been working so hard we decided to call our hybernating status life on hold.  I kid you not we’ve been cooked up in this house since February and have just recently started venturing out in an attempt to have a social life.

Why was our life on hold you ask?  Well, Alan – that wonderful man of mine – decided to take it upon himself to create the website that would house the last research for my dissertation.  It was hard work.  He spent every free and awake hour he had working on this.  So it would be ready in time; so it would work; so it would gather the needed data.  And he accomplished it as we released it last week.

As I watched him work so hard, so diligently and so detail driven, investing all this time that was his on my dissertation, I decided he deserved a gift.  Something he’s been wanting for a while.  No, we really can’t afford it right now, but credit cards allow me to throw it a couple of months forward until I can.  So what was this gift?  It was a surprise and it arrived today.

Alan opening his surprise

Alan opening his surprise

I did a lot of research on this; I even consulted professionals friend on this.  I was a bit torn between two brands.  One I’m loyal to, the other was cheaper.  Said professional said to go with the one I’m loyal to, because in my budget it was better quality.  Alan at this point still has no clue of what’s in the box.  I’ve created so much expectation about this that I think he was scared to open the box.

A camera?

A camera?

Yup a camera.  Funny thing is at this point he still has no clue of what kind of camera it is, except that of course it is a Nikon.  See Alan loves taking digital pictures; I don’t.  I’m old school on this.  I own a 1988 Nikon N2020 and I’m considering buying an FM10 especially now that I’ll be working at a university with a School of Photography.  See I’m all about developing film and creating and developing a picture.  Alan is more immediate in his photography.  As you can see from the box I got him a Nikon D90 with a 18-105mm Lens.  He’s been wanting a digital SLR for some time so he can get more serious about his photography.

The Reward

The Reward

I gotta admit I was a bit jealous when I saw the camera; had to keep reminding myself that it was digital.  First thing I did was to make sure my regular Nikon lenses would fit.  They did! Yay! (Thanks Mike for all your help!)  But, you ask, did Alan like the gift????  Well judge for yourself!

The Proud and Happy Photographer!

The Proud and Happy Photographer!

See that smile?  That’s the smile of an evil man plotting and thinking the possibilities of “oh the things he can do!”  So it goes without saying that we immediately charged the battery and once it was ready took the camera out to try it.  Let me tell you this thing takes AWESOME pictures.  Here is the best picture of our outing, taken mind you with the sun behind the object.  Look at the crisp color and imagery!

The American Flag at URI

The American Flag at URI

Cool huh?  However since I’ve created a monster, if you are around us, be afraid.  Be very afraid.