Monday, 26 April 2010

Counting blessings....

93. A week of good weather
94. God's word
95. Kissing the rosy warm cheeks of Lemmy when he wakes up.
96. Marc's Risotto
97. Lemmy & I listening to daddy lead worship sunday morning
98. Playing Canasta with old friends
99. Going for a quick visit to the Zoo
100. Lemmy is such a good boy!!!!!!!

holy experience

Thoughts about tipping

As I was paying the bill  for our meal tonight, there was the choice to give gratuity, or not. The question was : Did I want to leave a tip? Well, the service wasn't amazing. In fact we wanted pasta and sauce on the side for Lemmy, and she explained that it was not possible because they cooked it in the oven. Ok, so can we please have just plain pasta? No, sorry but it will be dry. Basically she explained all the meals come frozen ready to cook in the oven. Ok, just give us the pasta with the bolognese sauce. When it came, good thing Marc tried it, it had frozen bits in it! For a toddler! This was at Pizza Express in Harpenden, if you want to know. Note: Never again take Lemmy there, or just bring a healthy choice from home for him.
It was Saturday afternoon, so the place was packed, meaning the service was rushed.
I never know what to do for tips. I ended up giving 20%, which was too much in my opinion.

While talking in the car with Marc, we ended up talking about tips and lots of question came to mind.
I often struggle to know what to do when I go to a hair salon for example, for waxing, manicure, or haircut. Do I leave tips for the service? I'm always awkward when it comes to the end of the service and is time to pay for the work done on me, so I leave without a tip. Occasionally I have given too much and then I felt bad. Or embarrassed.
 I know in some cultures is rude not to leave a tip, but some others is rude to leave a tip. So, it leaves me in limbo land about what to do.
Also, in one of the beauty saloons that I often go, the lady is the owner so it feels weird to me to give her a tip for the service done when I know that she probably has more money than I do!

All of this it makes me think, what about other jobs that involve harder work than those,why we don't leave tips?? Better yet, why is not socially acceptable to leave tips?? To the man who does staging work for example, to the musician who is yet not famous but hardly gets payed for their dream of playing to the 5 people standing in the crowd, who one is the wife and the other is the mother.

 I mean think about the person who does manicure. Wow, what a hard work that is! Sitting in a comfy chair, a nice environment, gossiping away about who's husband left who? Peaceful setting, music in the background,  just to paint those nails in front of you. Ok, they must get the occasional smelly callous feet or really hard nails to polish. But, come on, we all know there's jobs that they are more sweaty than those and I don't see people leaving tips for them. For a stage well built or a great gig.

I say staging cause my husband did some of that, and is hard! Waking up at 5am to be at the yard by 7am, work without breaks sometimes, heavy lifting and well, everything that putting up a stage involves. Coming home tired and late at night for the same to start all over the next day.

He is also a musician of a rock/blues band. When I didn't have a baby I used to go to every gig I could!  I witnessed the amount of sacrifice and the hours involved of their hard work.
He would drive 6 hours, to get to the venue for sound check. Unload all the gear, set up and soundcheck. Eat junk food provided by the venue or from a near gas station. A few hours later, rock out for 30 to 1 hour or more, depending the place. Finished gig sometimes about 12pm, then go to sell cd's, talk to people. Pack all the gear up, and hit the road home for another 6 hours of highway until the time arrives for bed.. And how much he got paid for that?? Sometimes 10 pounds for all that work, and the band ended up paying for the gas to get there. That's what I call a hard day's work!
Musicians have it hard.
See, those are jobs that should or could be tipped!
Those are only 2 jobs that come to mind but surely there's lots more out there, we all know them!

That makes me think, why do we tip anyway?? Why do we tip when we have already paid for the service ?
I mean, do we give a  tip to the mail man for giving us the bills? Do we tip the midwife for delivering our baby safely into the world? Do we tip the cash person in the supermarket for checking our groceries? Why then, we have to tip the person who wax our legs? Or cuts our hair? What is the difference?? I'm curious to know.
Nobody tips the rock band that is playing in the pub next door, for free or almost nothing. They may have wife's and a bill to pay their rent at the end of the month. Well, they probably have another job waiting tables during the day, and live of other people's kindness to tip them . :)

Some facts:

I did some looking up about tips.
One of the most tipped places is New York City. They tip pretty much for everything.
Is actually really helpful to read the customs for each city you would visit, so it won't ruin your holiday
for doing otherwise.

Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell University's hotel school, has calculated that over $26 billion a year is spent on gratuities in the United States alone. Despite occasionally being under tipped, the majority of servers make more money under the current tipping system than they would as low-skilled salaried employees. Servers in good restaurants can pull down $150 in tips a day ( much more in better restaurants). That’s $40,000 (and up) a year. That’s ridiculous for that skill level. 

There's so much one can talk about this issue. So many other things come to mind. 
 If one person gives you a real good service, then you are happy to give more tip instead of having a real bad service. Of course, then by etiquette of what to do in what culture, you may give them 20% or whatever is expected even though they didn't "deserved "it. But if they go beyond what is expected we are happy to give more than what we intended.
When we travel as a family to Spain, it was the coldest season for many years in the UK. Snow so much, that flights got cancel and it was almost impossible to find a taxi to take us to the airport at very early hours of the morning. At 4am one taxi showed up, the man waited a lot for us to get all the luggages together, and then helped us to get everything in an out of the car, he was really helpful and nice to us. It made a difference.
On the other hand, while we were in Spain, the taxi driver over charged me cause I have an Argentinian accent. And then, gave me the wrong change. That's actually a good trick that Argentinian taxi drivers often do. I have known of DTS students who just arrived into Buenos Aires, put the luggage in the trunk of the cab, to never seen them again. I guess for sure that one didn't deserved a tip.

In Argentina, there's lots of street children who stay by the road, by the traffic lights. When the red lights comes on, they hurry to wash the windows of your car. My dad used to get really upset with them, cause instead of cleaning it, they basically made it dirtier, with that muddy water they had in their buckets who knows for how long? My dad used to call them by the window and tell them, look I give you some money for the job but please don't clean my windows, I just did it myself ( which it was true!) They were spotless. My dad took really good care of his cars, always spotless, always as good as new! But the kid, will refuse and will want to clean the windows anyway. We understand that they want to earn their money, so off we went hardly able to see through our windows.

....Some of my thoughts.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Counting blessings....

More blessings from this sunny week!

81. Had my eyes checked for the first time, all good. They are a little tired, but healthy.
82. We had the hottest day in the UK so far this year.
83. The hot sun on my face as I was sitting in a bench at the Zoo, it felt amazing.
84. To see a new baby elephant at the Zoo, only 5 days old!! super cute!
85. The energy my son has to run around all day and seems to never get tired!
86. Seeing my friend Rita, and her new son Even.
87. Discovering a bigger playground in a park near home
88. Finding Quinoa in the supermarket again!
89. There's something special about talking with your husband for hours late at night even when you are so tired, reminds me when we were dating and we stayed up until early hours of the morning chatting away, neither of us wanting to say goodbye. Now, it's in the comfort of our bed :)
90. Bubbles!
91. Lemmy's reminder to brush his teeth and to clean ears before bed, he loves it!
92. Ducklings

holy experience

Monday, 12 April 2010

Counting blessings....

Is hard to find blessing when you are not feeling well....But here are some I spotted this week.

71-Seeing the elephants at Lemmy's request in the afternoon
72-A nice walk in the park with Marc and Lemmy chasing each other and playing football
73-Beautiful fields covered with daffodils
74-Blowing bubbles while Lemmy laughed hysterically!
75-Lemmy's joy while jumping on our bed!
76-My mum booking the tickets to come visit us this summer :)
77-Finding another good book to read
78-Staying up until 3am ish talking to Marc
79-I got a Bob Fitts album on i-tunes!!! ( this was my first ever christian tape!)
80-Capturing so many precious moments in video.

holy experience

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Everything comes to an end

6 of April

Lemmy turned 21 months old and started to lose interested in nursing. He was only drinking a few minutes before nap time and right before bed time. Sometimes he would skip it if we were out and about. It was a nice unwinding moment for him, he would snuggle in and I would enjoy just looking at his angelic face, still my baby. Just a few days ago, he started to cut it short ( 2 minutes each time), then only 1 minute...and then the saddest moment for me : No leche, no lechita, no mas lechita. I kept offering him but no interest at all. Well, I'm happy we both did it for this long! I never planned it this way, but I'm glad I followed his needs first.
There were times I wanted to give up, for one reason or another. Marc would remind me of my desire and belief, you know what is best for him, you know you want the best for him, and thanks to that reminder I kept on going! I'm so glad for in those times of weaknesses I had Marc standing strong as for what we both believe in so much.
I could write so much about our journey in breastfeeding. I could actually write a small book about it! I learned so much and now is time to say goodbye! I never expected to be this sad, but I am.
I will miss the comfort it brought him right away if he was teething, got hurt, or had a sniffly nose.
I will miss the way he looked at me with those deep dark eyes, as if reading my every thought.
I will miss those gentle touches he gave me on my face, or arm.
I will miss looking at him running to bed, getting the pillow and place it in my lap, ready for milky time!
I will miss his eyes looking a bit drunk until he finally snoozed off.
I will miss how he played with my necklace and pointed to my every freckle.
I will miss how he used to stop for a second to give me a full smile or giggle, as if we were sharing a private joke.
I will miss how he used to ask me : leche, lechita. With his sweet little voice :)
There's something so magical, so tender, so deep in the connection of a mother and his son or daughter in those precious times, the sweetness of those moments I will miss.

Having a snack during a trip to Hawaii.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Counting blessings....

This was a busy week, but good busy!

59. The sacrifice made for us
60. Lemmy's new phrases and words, each day something new!!
61. Marc got a new video camera as a gift
62. Lemmy is 21 months old now!
63. We took Lemmy to a pet farm and lots of other fun stuff  for him to do!
64. The daffodils are out!!
65. Meeting with friends we haven't seen in a while
66. Discovering more of the incredible characteristics that make up my son
67. Tiramisu with pecans
68. Lemmy yelling: huevo huevo while looking for the plastic eggs around the house
69. Enjoying and eating all the raisins that they were in the eggs :)
70. Listening to Lemmy sing: Our God is an awesome God, Hosanna is the King of Kings, I really really really really really want to be like the Lord ! :) makes me happy!

holy experience

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Easter special

This morning we went to an easter special held in a near by church for the little ones. First, Lemmy got to play with all the toys, then we all sat in a circle and waited for story time. Lemmy was so engaged by it at all. He listens really well and does all the motions that he supposed to do. He didn't want to be seated long though, he wanted to participate in the story ( well, that's what we do at home!)

We sang songs and Lemmy went on his first egg hunt.
There was 1 egg per kid. And off we went to look for one, we saw a blue one and Lemmy got it right away. Huevo, huevo!! He yelled. He was so excited but then looked at it a bit puzzled, as if he was thinking, now what do I do with this plastic egg? he he. Well, there were some chocolates in there, but since he doesn't eat any sugar yet , I guess it will be for mummy and daddy!

He walked and ran, playing and smiling with all the chairs in the hall , and we found another egg! A bright pink one, his face said it all! Well done Lemmy I said, and he smiled proudly.

Then he ran to see a piano , and dropped the 2 eggs to the floor! Music does comes first for  him! ;)

It was a fun morning for all of us!! :)

I want to share also some of his new words and phrases, he is cracking us up with what he comes out with!

Last night Lemmy woke up twice before we went to bed, and wanted to be cuddled. So, this morning Marc asked Lemmy: Why couldn't you sleep last night?
Lemmy answered: I don't know why?!

Hope everyone has a good easter weekend!!

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