Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What I'm Reading

Just finished "So Much for My Happy Ending" by Kyra Davis. Very good chick lit. Sad and funny at the same time.

Now I'm reading "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. Beautiful lyrical prose like this.
"Leaning back on my elbows, I slid down till the water sealed over my head. I held my breath and listened to the scratch of river against my ears, skinking as far as I could into that shimmering, dark world. But I was thinking about a suitcase on the floor, about a face I could never quite see, about the sweet smell of cold cream."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I love vacations! I love being off from work with a plan. Tomorrow we're going to the Children's Museum or the Zoo. Friday we're going to the Fine Arts Museum to see the Norman Rockwell picture of Ruby Bridges. Miranda has been a fan of hers since we heard the Lori McKenna song and I bought her the children's book about Ruby Bridges.

The rest of the time I'm relaxing and making time to write. You all have a great one and I'll check in in a few days.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Isabel Allende Quote

Someone asked me on my comments where I read this quote by Isabel Allende, "My mother is the longest love affair of my life. We have never cut the umbilical cord." It's on her website in her photo album on Picture #31, a photo of Isabel and her mother Panchita.

The Dallas Trip

There really isn't much to say about the trip itself. I had two sales calls scheduled with some ad agencies so I had to get out there to do that. I had originally had this trip scheduled that week that I had that mystery pain but I had to reschedule.

So Friday I had to do the Working Mommy thing and I had to organize my schedule so I could drop the kids off early and still make it to the airport on time. My two calls were back to back because I wanted to get out on a 5 p.m. flight back home by 6 p.m. Of course my flight was delayed getting out but thank goodness for family. My husband was also working late because of the short week this week so he couldn't get the kids. My sister was gracious enough to pick them both up and to keep them until I could pick them up. I was eternally grateful! Which reminds me. My cousin Oscar sent me a really great article from the NY Times on working moms who have to travel. It was really well written and hit on a lot of truths.

There was one funny part to my trip when I arrived at the airport in Houston. I walked up to the gate and looked around for two empty seats. I'm weird like most people and I want a seat in between me and the other person if possible. I saw around 5 White men sitting together. Two across from three others. When I sat down I noticed a pause in the conversation and all of them glanced at me, as is natural in a circumstance as this. They weren't checking me out or anything, just a pause and a once over. I sat down on the seat on the end and went about my business double checking my stuff to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything. (anyone who has traveled with me knows this annoying habit that I have of checking and rechecking my bags)

Almost immediately after I sat down the man 2 seats from me, obviously the ring leader or boss, started talking about some woman who they needed to bring with them next time. It was almost like I reminded him of this woman because I looked like a salesperson to him. He went on about how "well prepared" she always was and how she always had what she needed with her. She always had the "specs" whatever that meant, probably engineering lingo, and that she never told anyone that she had to get back to them with that information. Not like some other poor woman he complained about who was "never prepared" and always told people she had to get back to them.

I almost cracked up listening to him because I couldn't help but wonder if he says the same thing about the men who work for him. Do they always have to be as "prepared" as the women and do they have to have all information needed at their fingertips? I doubt they do. It's just that the standards set for women are completely different that those given to men. I glanced up at the men and most of them were looking at the man go on about training issues, etc. One younger guy around my age looked at me kind of embarrassed like he realized I was totally listening to this guy go on about "women" employees. Who knows, I may have been wrong, but it did seem like he was slightly embarrassed or amused or both.

It reminded me of a manager I once had who I really admired because she really knew her stuff. One thing I found very interesting about her was that whenever she went in to a meeting she took a huge folder of papers. So if we were sitting in a meeting talking about anything "X" and she could pull out a paper to answer any question posed. It was amazing! But her director absolutely LOVED her and she did well.

I'll never forget one time that I went in to meet with that same director and I didn't have the answer to something he asked me and he looked at me with the most obnoxious face and told me in an extremely condescending tone something to the effect that that was the reason why I was the worker bee. My manager, that same woman, looked at me apologetically, but I wasn't mad at her. I was mad at that jerk for his tone and manner. Thank goodness I didn't work for him for long and even better he didn't make it in the company. He pissed off one too many people and was gone shortly after that incident.

My manager on the other hand was a Latina woman who knew that the only way to move up in Corporate America was to go above and beyond and to do a better job than everyone else. She was the poster child for the hard working Latina trying to move ahead and she was kind and encouraging to other women too. She was great to work for and she taught me a lot about project management and communicating effectively with everyone involved in project. She was a mentor in many ways, simply by example. She's a director now at another paper and it was a well deserved promotion.

On to other matters. I'm working on revisions so I probably won't be writing too often these days. I am on vacation Wednesday through Friday and I'm looking forward to that. I'm also potty training my little man since I'll be with him 5 days in a row. Wish me well!

Friday, November 17, 2006

In Dallas

Very tired. Took a really fast trip to Dallas for the day for 2 sales calls. More later!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Alive and Kicking- Vivita y Coleando

Whenever I would call my mom and she would answer I'd ask her how she was doing and she'd reply, “Aqui estoy, vivita y coleando.” Alive and Kicking is the best translation for that one! So even though I haven’t been writing for the past week I’m here.

My sister from San Diego has been visiting this past week so I spent a lot of time with her. She left early this morning so it's back in the saddle again starting tonight, back to my usual schedule. Starting with going back to the gym, after a 2 week absence. First because of my mystery pain and then for my sister’s visit. I also need to get busy writing.

The last few weeks have been challenging to say the least. When I was sick the baby was also really sick and running fever. Then Miranda was sick with a sore throat and an ear ache. Yesterday the baby woke up with pink eye and both his eyes full of gunk. Back to the doctor and we found out his ears also have infection. She prescribed two antibiotics and he needed one of his vaccinations so we took care of that too. Today he woke up with a lot of sleep in his eyes again so I decided to keep him with the sitter one more day until it clears up. NEVER a dull moment when you’re the mother of 2 small children!!

Funny story. This week at the grocery store I bumped into one the little boys from my class the year I taught Pre-K at Browning Elementary. It was so funny! First I saw the mother and I recognized her and we started talking. She told me that her son was there too. He came around the corner and we talked. He’s sixteen now. It was bittersweet. I can’t believe it’s been twelve years since that time and all those kids are almost grown now. How time flies! That will be me with my two kids before you know it.

Monday, November 06, 2006

American Girl

I didn't know what American Girl was until I had my own American Girl, my daughter. When my little girl receives an American Girl catalog in the mail she squeals in delight. (www.americangirl.com) Even I look through the catalog and I remember what it felt like to look through a book like this when I was a little girl. I would longingly look at the dolls and would wish that I could have one with all the beautiful clothes and furniture that came with it.

The only difference now is that I can afford to buy my own daughter a doll and some of the accessories. Not all of them, but some of them, and only one at a time. If I bought all the parts I would be broke!

Miranda owns a Bitty Baby, the baby doll and she proudly tells people that she's the same color as her, her mama. With Bitty Baby and another one of the dolls you can choose a doll that matches your daughter's hair color and skin color.

There isn't an American Girl store in Houston but when I was in New York I visited a store that has a cafe, theater, beauty shop and hospital. Yes, believe it. I bought Miranda a little ballerina outfit for Bitty Baby.

Sunday we had a mother daughter experience when we attended the American Girl Fashion Show here in Houston. (http://www.hitstheatre.org/AGFS/AGFSindex.html) It was such a cute event. There was a breakfast, lunch and tea. We attended the breakfast.

All the models were little girls from the HITS theater group. In addition to the fashion show some parents paid to have their little girl walk the runway while the mistress of ceremonies read a little bio on her and then they gave her a bouquet of flowers and took her picture. I would have loved to have Miranda do it too. Maybe next year.

We had a nice surprise when I saw my dentist and his wife, who are also acquaintances of mine, and we saw their daughters in the show. They’re a part of HITS.

Miranda had a wonderful time and couldn’t wait to tell her friends about it today at school. It was one of those nice moments when I really enjoy having a daughter and doing mother-daughter activities. It’s nice to know that she’ll have memories like this one when she’s older. My baby girl!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A New School Year, A New Mentee

I am so excited! I went to Reagan High School this morning to meet my mentee and I was matched with a great girl again. The best part is that she's a Junior, which means that I'll be able to mentor her for a couple of years if all goes well.

I have really had a great experience mentoring through Project Grad and I would recommend it to any of you looking for a way to reach out to the community and to kids specifically. (www.projectgrad.org) The Chronicle is a big supporter and offers complimentary subscriptions to all the families with a Project Grad student in the house.

From the little I was able to learn today, this young lady is very active in school and is a great student. She's active in volleyball, basketball and soccer and she carries a challenging work load taking Pre-Cal! I'm always impressed by anyone who is really good at math, especially young girls. I think that is so awesome!

I still keep in touch with my mentee from last year too. She's a sweetheart! We're talking about getting together once a week so I can help her with her English. She’s a freshman at UH Downtown.

Bueno chicos & chicas, lunch break is almost over. I have to hit the grindstone again.