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!

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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?

I’m Baaaaaack!

Hello world!!!!  Greetings from Rochester, NY!

Sorry for the extended absence, but the quarter system hit me like a ton of bricks and I’m just coming up for air.  Unfortunately, to get things going in our new home and my new job, I was forced to neglect my blogging duties.  But fear not, you have not missed much either as my cooking has been almost non-existent.  But that too will change.

As most of you know I defended and PASSED my dissertation on August 18th.  So what was a girl to do to celebrate?  Baseball of course!  So on the 19th we drove (well Alan drove, but that’s really not the point is it?) to Rogers Centre in Toronto (yes, Canada) to see the Blue Jays play, who else? the RED SOX of course!

Alan & Me @ the game

Alan & Me @ the game

See Kikita? We too like to do SelfPortraits and it does not have to be on a Tuesday! Well, really, we sort of have to do self portraits….otherwise we’d have a whole bunch of pictures of me alone (oh wait we have those!) and another bunch of Alan by himelsf…somehow we don’t have as many of those! 😉

Needless to say the RedSox won that game, much to the dismay of the Toronto fans, even if they still ran out of steam at the end of the season to lose to the Angels.

We haven’t had much time to explore Rochester and the Finger Lakes, but we did venture out to see Lake Ontario and caught a really bad sun migraine the next day.  However, we did get some nice pics of the lake.

Sailing on the Lake

Sailing on the Lake

No, no, no.  We weren’t on the sailboat but it’s still a great picture is it not?  I mean really, if I don’t tell you it is a lake, would you think it is a lake?  The interesting thing is that Lake Ontario was once a bay, believe it or not, so it is a salt water lake.  Sort of a captive ocean if you will.  Where were we you ask?  Well, Alan is intent of creating a portoflio of his wife, so I guess you could say I was in a photo session.

My alter ego

My alter ego

I still can’t get over what great pictures the new camera takes….or maybe it is the photographer!

I have much to post, in particular since our anniversary was on July 26th, it has been three years of Papi’s passing, I just turned 39 and we are planning a little family expansion.

I hope you are all still out there, and thank you for sticking around!

Life on hold

For the past month our life has been literally “on hold”.  Why?  Very simple.  I’m finishing this thing called a Ph.D which has this other thing called a Dissertation.  While the PhD programs demands commitment and time throughout your 4 or 5 years, nothing really compares to what it demands on the last stretch.

By the time you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you are soooooo ready to finish but you are also soooooo exhausted.  In addition, in our case, Alan has been working on what will be by final experiment.  And since it is a time sensitive thing we have literally been living cooked up in our home working, working, and working, to ensure it works and is ready in time.

So as it seems that all the programming and testing will end this week, and the experiment will be launched next week – we are really looking forward to “unholding” our life.

What does that mean you ask?  Well simple things like going to the gym, going out to eat sometimes or at least to have a drink, going to the park, en fin just being able to LEAVE the house and go have a coffee while you walk on the beach.  Seeing the sun, feeling the breeze in your face….being able to not feel stressed.  So stressed that I can’t even find a picture to include in this post!

In this last stretch I ask for all of you to please keep us in your prayers so we can pull this off in time and with results.  This will guarantee me finishing my degree before starting at my job – which is my goal.

So tonight when you go to sleep remember to tell the man upstairs to help us unhold our life.  Even Nemo will be grateful!

PS: If you teach college students and are willing to pass on the survey link to your students please email me through the contact me page!

Our New Digs

As I sit here and start calling moving companies so we can get estimates (we don’t actually move until August), I thought I’d share with you what our new apartment will look like.  It’s not too big, but it’s not too small either.  The good thing is that the bedrooms are not smaller than our current 2nd bedroom and it has plenty of closet space: each room, a coat closet at the entry, a linen closet in the bathroom and a hallway closet just because.  A heavy plus is that the $800+ monthly rent (probably $900 when we add Nemo – YES my cat pays rent!) includes HEAT and hot water (which of course is connected to the oil baseboard boiler heat).

You might not think that is a big deal, but currently in the heavy winter months we spend about $250 (part of Dec, January and February).  In the Fall and Spring Months (November, March, April) we spend about $150/month….and that is keeping the thermostat at 55 degrees.  For us, that is quite the savings when you add it up plus we get to stop freezing ourselves and our friends!.  I mean this is ROCHESTER we are talking about.

Fitness Room

Fitness Room

The complex also has the usual perks: a state of the art workout room (I refuse to call those things gyms) with lockers, showers and a vending machine, a great pool (I think its 25 meters which is half of an olympic size pool), an activity room with a kitchen (you know in case I decide to host some sort of Cuban Nochebuena), tennis and basketball courts, playground and get this: in the winter, they. have. a. skating. rink. How effing cool is THAT?  Alan has no excuse now.  He will have to learn how to ice skate! And oh yes, its 5 miles from campus and on the bus route!

The down side, it is a bit small, but we are sort of entering a minimalist stage of our live so we can save some money and buy a house.  Besides, even I am getting tired of my own clutter.  It also does not have a balcony, which is very depressing, it’s got carpets instead of wood flooring (free heat), the kitchen is somewhat small (free heat), it doesn’t have a washer/dryer in the unit (free heat),  no fireplace (free heat) and it only has one bathroom (free heat).

Did I mention the heat is FREE?

Here is a look at the floorplan of what will be our new apartment come August:

Floorplan

Floorplan

So what do you think?

Beer!!!!!!!

It seems we have found the place we will call home for our first year in Rochester.  It’s nice, it’s cozy and It. Includes. Heat. Trust me, that’s a very good thing and a savings of about $1200 per year.

Nada mas con el testigo! as Papi use to say.

In other news, we went into the local supermarket chain, Wegmans, to figure out how our food budget would change if at all, so that we can estimate our cost of living in our new home.  The only thing more expensive, limes.  3 for $1.99!  I almost had a heart attack!  However, …..

Good News: eggs are 99cents, they have chorizo español (sorry Linguica), they actually sell PILON coffee (I know, Shut.Up!) and……..

They. Sell. Beer.

I swear I hugged the 12 pack of Killian Red.  I mean, how appropriate that on St. Patty’s I find out our future home sells beer at the super market!

Yeah, yeah, you’ll tell me that they do the same in Miami.  Please follow my timeline.  In Puerto Rico I could buy ANY alcohol I wanted at a supermarket.  I mean beer, wine, rum, you name it, you can buy it at the super market (Pueblo).  In Miami, I had to give up the hard liquor to the Walgreens but could still get the beer and the wine at Publix.  In Rhode Island, I depend on the liquor store.  No beer, no wine, no alcohol at the supermarket!

So to my delight, now we can get beer at the super market!  Yay for Rochester!

And Café Pilón, I mean REALLY how f*ing cool is that?

Needless to say we’ve had a wonderful trip here at Rochester, where everyone has been SUPER nice and I really CANNOT wait to get here and start posting about all our new experiences.

Searching for a NEW home

Many of you know (or not) that I will be joining the faculty at RIT this fall (yay for me!).  So next week during our Spring Break we will be visiting Rochester to search for our new apartment!  We are so very excited about the trip!  Not only because duh, we’ll be looking for a place to live, getting to know the area and meeting my co-workers and learning which courses I’ll be teaching during the fall….but also Alan will be able to meet his new school and honestly, we DESERVE this break!

That’s not to mean I will be taking an actual Vacation – see there is no vacation in dissertation! (geeky joke I know, I crack myself up sometimes) *sigh*

Anyway, that means that I will be taking my trusty Mac on the road me with us, and the hotel has internet acces (and Free to boot)l, and I will be taking the camera…..soooooooooo I will be blogging from Rochester!

Come along for the ride as we scope out this new chapter of our lives, that really promises to be something else!