Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pepperocinis

What's up with me and pepperocinis? I have been craving them quite often lately. Stop before you get any crazy ideas! No, it's not that. This factory is closed. Of course my primary care physician scared the heck out me one day when she told me it isn't totally impossible.

I asked, "Ectopic, right?"
"No, I know the grown child," she answered.
Thanks Doctor Torres!

Seriously, I have been lusting after pepperocinis and jalapenos, two things that I did not start eating until my mid and late 30's, like I mean just a couple of years ago with the jalapenos and a few months ago with the peperocinis.

Obviously I need something more important to talk about today, but as usual I don't really have time to get into deep subject. Oh I know! I finally finished my short story "The Canal" and I submitted it to a short story collection in a literary magazine of stories about families. I got the lead on that Literary Mama's website. Check out the really cute t-shirt I bought from them.

It's 11:15 p.m. here and I still need to take a shower, pack my son's bag for the sitter's tomorrow, and lay out my daughter's school clothes. I also need to set my coffee maker and wash my blender. I am exhausted from a crazy week!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dead Computers

A while back I reported that my beloved laptop, where I wrote my novel, half died. Half of the screen went black. Something inside the screen gave out. I guess it was tired. Then this past weekend, after putting our desk top computer through a Yahoo virus scan, our desk top completely CRASHED!! It wasn't pretty...

My husband found a very ingenious way to make a right out of two wrongs. He hooked the laptop up to the desktop monitor and now I'm typing on the laptop, but using the desktop monitor. Isn't that pure genius? I love my smart husband! kiss kiss

So that's one of the reasons why I haven't written anything in a couple of days. That and I don't really have anything to say. Well I do have some things to say, but not enough time right now. I want to say some more about my friends' robbery at gunpoint and about the crime inside the city and how I think that neighbors should band together to do something about it, but I'll say more about that later.

Sunday is Superbowl and like many Americans we too will be watching. My in-laws are coming over and we're going to share in the festivities. I'll pop in only to watch the commercials.

Not too much more planned this week. I'm just busy as usual. I'm off to submit a recipe to the Neighbor's Project blog. They are accepting recipes for things that you can make using your neighborhood store. I'm going to submit a recipe for pork chops in tomatillo sauce, using the ingredients from our neighborhood Matamoros Carniceria. I hope they like it and accept it!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Super Cool Stationary

I always see this ad for Expressionery Stationary in O Magazine and I decided to visit their website today. Super cute stationary and cards that you can personalize. Go to their site and check it out. If you use the link I gave you here they are offering O Magazine readers 40% off!

I love the folded note cards with the shoes and purses. I also like the notepad that says "I Need More Shoes!" You can choose different fonts for your name and then you can see a preview of your card or stationary. Very cute! I'm definitely getting the note cards and the notepad. They have a ton of cute designs.

I've gotten into shoe art. Like I mentioned before, I want to make some personal business cards and I found some super cute hot pink clip art of a girl in big shoes. I have a co-worker that also likes shoes and she has the cutest shoe sculptures in her office space. Once I found some cute shoe art note cards and sticky pads at the Dollar store of all places and I gave her one of each.

OK I have to go clean my house now... I don't want to, but I have to. My in-laws are coming by for a visit so that's good because it's forcing me to clean. :-)

My Love for Magazines

I love magazines. If I had more time I would read more magazines. Sometimes when I think about it, it's cool that I work for the Hearst Corporation and that they publish some of the best magazines in the country. (And I get an employee discount!) My favorite magazine of course is O Magazine, but my love for magazines started a long time ago when I was just a kid.

The first magazine I ever remember reading and loving was Highlights. I used to love to read that magazine at the dentist office and I was thrilled when one of my sisters bought me a subscription for one year. I cherished those issues.

My second favorite magazine was Young Miss, now known as YM Magazine. When I was a kid it was published on a small 5 x 7 size and the pages were newsprint. I loved to read, "Was My Face Red" and the fiction stories. The best!!

Then I moved on to Teen Magazine. Do you remember that one? I loved to read the poetry submitted by other teens and I used to clip my favorites. I wonder what ever happened to some of those kids. Did they become writers? I still have some of those poems taped to the inside cover of one of my photo albums. That's the age when I started reading fashion and beauty advice. Loved it!

What a stroll down memory lane! I remember the days when I had the time to read magazines. Now when I receive my O Magazine it takes me forever to read it. I usually keep it in my car so that I have it available for those times when I have to wait at the nail shop, the doctor, or for someone I'm meeting for lunch. Or if I'm having lunch by myself I like to read. Before I know it I'm receiving the next month's issue and I haven't even finished reading the current month.

I love to ponder over the different finds they recommend, just like I did when I was a teenager. I love reading their book recommendations and I ALWAYS read "What I Know for Sure" first. I open the magazine to the very back, very much like Harry read books in "When Harry Met Sally," and I read the last article. I also enjoy the Ahaa! moments of different celebrities. Not because I'm into celebrities, but because I enjoy seeing the human side of all people.

I LOVE reading Martha Beck's and Suzie Orman's advice. And I love Lisa Kogan! She is so hilarious. I love this magazine. I don't really mind not having time to read other magazines because this magazine fullfills me, just like Highlights, Young Miss, and Teen did when I was a kid.

Friday, January 25, 2008

If I Had More Time

I would love to be crafty. I love this woman, Crafty Chica. Check her out.

I need to get her books. Especially this one, Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life.

Busy Past Two Days

Starbucks Poem

After six months of it being open, and going there more than once a week, we finally remembered to take our poem to our Starbucks. My daughter added a star drawing for the Starbucks logo. The staff was very touched and they hung it on their bulletin board. So if you're ever at the Starbucks on 610, between Shepherd & Yale, check it out.

Homework

Yesterday my daughter had some really cool homework assignments. One was to think of 25 mammals and to list them. Then she had to find a way to categorize them. We started looking at the list and then I got the idea of looking them up on Wikipedia. We found out that there are 19 different orders of mammals. So we looked up each mammal and found out what order they were in. We (and I'm including myself) learned a lot from this exercise. For example, did you know that a camel (a hoofed animal) is in the Artiodactyla order but that a horse is in the Perissodactyla order? Very interesting! Yes, we're nerds I'm afraid.

Pantyhose

I have not worn pantyhose in a long long time, but today I was wearing a suit and it was so freezing that I had to stop by Walgreens to buy some hose. I had forgotten how warm pantyhose really do keep your legs until I got home, ran in to use the restroom, took them off, then went back outside to bring in the groceries. Brrrrr!!!

Shopping

I was afraid I spent way too much money today but I just went back and looked and it wasn’t that bad. It all started when I went in to my first lap band appointment and afterwards I decided to go into the little store in the lobby of the building. I kept seeing that store but for some reason I never went in. They had so many adorable merchandise! The name of the store is Neal's Cheezy Co., and believe it or not, they don't have a website. I did find them listed here. It is such a cute place too!

So if ever you are in the Med Center at 7515 S. Main go into that little store. They have a variety of things from jewelry to notepads to purses, just a bunch of stuff. They even had some Dolly Mama and Anne Taintor items! I bought a really cute big red stone costume jewelry ring. I also bought some cute costume jewelry earrings with different colored stones. They wrapped them in leopard print tissue and put them in a leopard print paper bag. CUTE!!

Later I picked up my kids and I took my son for a much needed haircut at Super Cuts. There I bought Nioxin shampoo on a friend's recommendation for thin hair.

Then it was a trip to Kroger where I went to buy needed groceries but ended up coming out with a lot of extra non-essential items. Somehow a DVD of the movie The Iron Giant snuck into my groceries!

Finally we went to Family Dollar to buy the kids some toys. My daughter for staying on "green" all week and getting an E in conduct for the 3rd week in a row. My son for being a good boy today with the sitter and being a very good boy while he got his hair cut. With the very challenging personalities they both have I have to reward them for any good behavior I can get out of them.

It always amazes me the prices you can pay at Family Dollar for name brand toys. Check it out if you never have assuming it's a dollar store. It's not. It's a discount store but everything doesn't cost a dollar. Therefore you get a lot of good name brand stuff for $3, $5, or $10.

KUHF Local "This I Believe" Series

You know how when you hear about something all of a sudden you are hearing about it all the time? Well today I heard one of the local "This I Believe" essays. It was so excellent! It made me want to look up this college professor to send her a note telling her how much her essay impressed me. I'm glad I looked at these online because now I can go back and hear all the ones I missed. Check it out.

FINALLY!
I have a sore throat. It started yesterday and got progressively worse today. I need to suck on a lemon with honey. I need to drink some hot chamomile tea with lemon and honey. I hate being sick!

And I got my first fill today! It wasn't that bad. It felt like a shot. They told me everything looks really good. I've been very fortunate. I haven't had any complications and my healing has been really good. I am supposed to feel a lot more restriction now that they put a tiny bit more fluid in my band. The fluid helps the band tighten up more. I'm on fluids for 48 hours, or until Sunday afternoon. Then I'm on mushy foods for another day. I hope it helps kick start me on a little more weight loss.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Links To My Stories

If you haven't noticed it already, check out the LINKS on my side bar. They will link you to the short stories that were published on the Houston Institute for Culture website.

One of them, "Margarita," is a chapter from my novel. I've revised it since I wrote this version and the chapter title is really "Beatrice," because she's the one telling the story about her mother Margarita.

The other, "The Grapefruit," is a fictional account based on a true story that my father told me growing up. The main character is actually my father and something exactly like this happened to him. I just embellished it, like most fiction writers do. I have another similar one that I need to finish called "The Canal."

Hope you all like them, if you've never read or heard any of the fiction that I've written.

Wish Me Well

I just submitted my first essay/article to a magazine yesterday. I'm really nervous about it and I hope they seriously consider publishing it!

It would be so awesome and I need to get newspaper and magazine clips to add to my writing portfolio.

I'd also love to submit something to an anthology and to literary journals. I found this awesome website for writing mothers. It has news on who is accepting submissions in that genre. I'm going to try one of these.

Photo Below

Is that picture of the stomach with the lap band on it really gross or is it just me?

Update on "This I Believe" Essay

Hello all! Here is my update. I went to record my essay at KUHF today. First of all, their (not so new offices) new office is beautiful!They've had this building for a few years now, but it wasn't there when I was there. They built it after I left there. This picture doesn't do it justice and the view from all the windows is great.

I worked for UH Student Publications when I was in school and later after I worked at the Chronicle, the first round, I worked there for a couple of years. During that time we shared the same Communication building. They sure have come a long way! Now they share this beautiful building with Channel 8.

My recording went really well. I met with one of their senior producers. He said that they will air my segment in May. When they do it will also go online on KUHF.com so anyone can go on and listen to it at any time.

Thanks for all the notes and all the well-wishers!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Newest BIG NEWS

I am so excited!! Over a year ago I posted a blog entry about how I sent NPR an essay for their "This I Believe" series. I never heard back from them so I posted my essay on here.

TODAY I received an e-mail from KUHF telling me that they are now teaming up with NPR to present local segments of "This I Believe". He said that NPR had forwarded them my essay and that they want for me to go in and record it for the local show!!

I was so extremely excited that I screamed. I called my husband immediately and then proceeded to call each of my three sisters and my dad.

When something like this happens it just makes me feel so good about my writing. I felt validated, even though I know I should be confident on my own. But it still feels good.

I especially loved it when the radio producer said, "I think your essay is outstanding and I believe it would be a great radio piece for our listeners to enjoy."

Talk about a shot of confidence in the arm! Thank you KUHF!!!

I go in and record it on Thursday. I'll keep you all posted on what date they'll have it on the air.

Monday, January 21, 2008

First Lap Band Meeting & Follow Up Appointment


I went to my first Lap Band Support Meeting on Saturday. It was a meeting made up of people in the Houston area who have received the lap band. I got there late but I wanted to hear at least part of it and it was really informative. It was totally voluntary.

I learned that the lap band is made of the same kind of plastic used inside of bodies, like hip replacements, etc. That was comforting to learn.

I asked some of the people there if they ever considered taking the lap band out and they all said absolutely not. I told them that one of the things that had gotten my attention about the lap band was the fact that it is reversible, however I haven't really given that part much thought.

Someone put it this way. People who have a pacemaker keep it inside for years. If they took it out they would die. The lap band is the same to an overweight person as a pacemaker is to a heart patient. If we take it out we may likely gain the weight right back and yes, it can lead to disease (heart, diabetes, high cholesterol) and death. Interesting analogy and very true.

Anyway, I go to my first follow up appointment THIS FRIDAY and for my first fill!! I am so excited! By fill it means that they will put saline fluid in that small tube that you see in the picture that leads up to the band. The band then tightens and restricts how much I can eat. As I lose weight the band loosens and I go in periodically for "fills." SO that's why I'm really excited about going in for a fill this Friday.
More than likely I will be on liquids for the rest of that day and probably mushy food the next day. Then I go back to normal food, but I'll feel full really fast. I am so looking forward to that! As I'm healing more and more my regular appetite is returning and it's scaring me! I need some more restriction. Let's see how I do with this first fill. (It's doing it again. Not leaving space between my paragraphs, even though I keep putting a space there.)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Westcott Cemetery

Dedicated to my sister Rosy who has always had a fascination with old cemeteries, especially this one.










Ever since I was a little girl I have been intrigued by a cemetery not too far from the house where I grew up. It's on the corner of McDaniel and Schuller Street. It's North East of and right outside of the 610 Loop, off of Jensen Dr. This was once a predominantly African American neighborhood in the late 60s and through the 80s, although now it's probably equally or more Hispanic.

It was my sister Rosy, a teenager then, who first noticed the cemetery and asked my parents to stop so we could look at the gravestones. We were amazed that this ancient cemetery sat right in the middle of a run down old neighborhood and it was clearly unattended. Weeds were overgrown and there were parts of the wall that had fallen. Some of the stones date back to the mid 1800s and a few as late as 1960.

We were also intrigued by the gravestones outside of the wall. After reading Victoria Holt novels we remembered that in Victorian times they used to bury family members who had disgraced the family in some way outside of the family cemetery walls.

We guessed that since the cemetery bore the name "Westcott" and since almost everyone in the cemetery had that name, that it must have belonged to a family. But we were puzzled as to why they would let the graveyard become so neglected. Why didn't anyone take care of it?

As the years passed we think that the city took over cleaning it because all of a sudden the grass was always cut and it has remained cut for the most part. It's that way now but very neglected otherwise.
Today I went by to visit and to take some pictures. The sad thing is no one has really taken care of the gravestones and many of them are cracked or fallen over. It looks like several are even missing, probably stolen.
I often think of that cemetery and I wonder who it belonged to. With the arrival of the Internet I've searched for the Westcott family of Houston several times and I never find anything. There is a main street by that name that runs near Memorial Park, so I wonder if this street was named after someone in the same family. Nothing ever comes up. Very mysterious!
(I don't know why these last three paragraphs keep sticking together. I keep trying to fix them but they keep going back.)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Maid's Daughter

It's never safe to be nostalgic about something until you're absolutely certain there's no chance of its coming back.~Bill Vaughn

I felt like revisting this old post from 5-13-06. I just came across it and I really enjoy remembering this about my mother.

My mother had a few careers during my life with her. When I was one month old she started selling Avon. She told me that she told my father that she needed a job where she could have me with her, because it wasn’t my fault that she had me late in life. She was thirty-nine and my father was forty-six. So off I went with her on Avon calls. I often think that she’s the reason I went into sales, because of her early influence in my life. I also know that my mother had a great influence on my drive and my desire to do better in my life, more than she probably realized.

I’ll never forget the first and only time I heard someone call me the maid’s daughter and the feeling that that invoked in me.

When I was around seven or eight my sister convinced her to take a job cleaning a woman’s house. My sister wanted a summer job so my mother agreed to take her to this woman’s house to clean it. Every week my sister and my mom would make the drive, that seemed very far at the time, to Bunker Hill.

When the summer was over and my sister had to go back to school my mom found that she liked the money and she kept cleaning for Mrs. Sears. This was the first of many customers that my mother would take on.

Soon my mother’s business grew. I never really thought of my mother as a maid. I thought of this as her business and these were her customers. My mother, the daughter and sister of businessmen treated it exactly that way. When one of her customers told her that she had a friend who also needed a cleaning lady my mother didn’t just say yes. She had to think about it, weigh her schedule, and figure out how she would work another house in. Before she knew it, she was doing two houses a day and she had to take someone to help her and would pay her a portion. She had made this a business with an employee now.

She had Mrs. Sears, Mrs. Fisher, Mrs. King, Mrs. Burns, Mrs. Drake, Mrs. Collins, among others. These are just the names I remember.

I’ll never forget the first woman’s name, Mrs. Sears, for a few reasons. First because I always thought of the store and second because she died. Soon after, Mr. Sears married his neighbor and one of my mother’s other customers, a Latina.

My mother wasn’t particularly fond of the new Mrs. Sears. She was demanding and would ask my mother to do difficult jobs that the other Mrs. Sears and the other customers, didn’t ask for. I seem to remember one of those was for my mother to get down on her hands and knees to scrub her floor.

There was some tension between them and one day my mother moved a decorative seashell on the bathroom vanity and it was broken. I don’t remember the details exactly, but when my mother told the new Mrs. Sears about the broken shell she either acted like she didn’t believe my mother or told her outright that the shell wasn’t broken before my mother had cleaned the house. My mother was extremely offended and it became a matter of principle for her.

It was the beginning of the end with the new Mrs. Sears. The situation culminated with my mother telling Mrs. Sears she couldn’t work for her any more. She also told her in Spanish that she had worked for many “Americanas’ and had a much better relationship with them. She told her that it was sad that she couldn’t work with a Latina.

I’ll never forget Mr. Sears calling my mother at the house and asking her to please reconsider. My mother told him that she was sorry it couldn’t work out. Although she really liked him and had really enjoyed working for him these years, she could not work with his new wife.

That was the end of that and it taught me a very important lesson. No one should put up with unfair treatment from any one, no matter who that person thinks they are. We all own our own business, the business of our self, and it’s up to us to decide what we will and will not put up with.
Another one of the women my mother cleaned for was Mrs. Fisher. She was a thin red headed woman with three children, two teenage boys and a little girl my age. I loved cleaning this woman’s house with my mom during the summer because I got to play with Cheryl and her friends. I also got to clean Cheryl’s room when Cheryl was away, at camp I think, and I loved looking at all the things she had. She had the perfect girls room with all the pretty furniture I longed for and all the games and toys. I would spend a long time dusting, arranging and rearranging her things.

One day I was in her room “cleaning” and her brother walked by with some friends on his way to his room. I saw them glance in to Cheryl’s room and they saw me. I heard one of the boys ask who I was and the brother answer, “Oh that’s the maid’s daughter.”

I remember standing there realizing they were talking about me. I was the maid’s daughter. Up to that point no one had ever verbalized that. I mean, I knew I was the cleaning lady’s daughter, but no one had ever actually called me that, especially not one of the kids of the homes where my mother cleaned.

Mrs. Burns and Mrs. King were always telling my mom to send me with a bathing suit, so I could swim in their pool while my mom cleaned. My mom only let me do this a handful of times. A couple of times their own kids swam with me. One day when Mrs. King’s teenage daughter had a few friends over and they invited me to swim with them and layout. I hadn’t brought a swimsuit, but Mrs. King insisted that I borrow one of her daughter’s suits.

When Cheryl’s friends came to visit Cheryl invited me to play with them. I knew I wasn’t one of them but they made an effort to make me feel welcome. Up to that time in my life I didn’t have any White friends at all. I felt awkward and like I didn’t fit in.

The moment I heard that boy call me “the maid’s daughter” was significant in my life. I think it shaped a lot of what I thought and as I grew up it probably drove some of my ambition.

My mother continued to clean houses until I was eleven and my uncle died. She then quit to help my aunt with my uncle’s bakery. After that she became a tortilla sales rep when she inherited the tortilla route my uncle had left their cousin Juan. Juan had decided to move his family to the Valley so he passed the “ruta” on to my mother.

Even after my mother took on this new career she kept one customer, Mrs. King. She and Mrs. King had developed somewhat of a boss-employee friendship over the years. Maybe it was because Mrs. King was always the one who gave her a raise and continued to give her raises every time my mother said she couldn’t work for her any more. They did this dance for a few years until finally my mother’s health became a factor and she had to quit.

I never told very many people my mother had been a cleaning lady. A couple of years ago I was talking to a co-worker and I asked her where she grew up and she told me Bunker Hill. That was the first and only time in my life that I’ve ever met anyone, outside those homes my mother cleaned, who lived in Bunker Hill. I laughed and I hesitated then I told her about my mother’s cleaning lady career. I felt funny telling her that I had been the maid’s daughter, but at the same time I found it funnier that I had hesitated and felt the same tinge of embarrassment.

How was this possible? Why should I feel embarrassed because my mother had owned her own cleaning business? It seemed ridiculous that I should feel this way, now that I thought about it logically. Besides, who cared if I was the maid’s daughter? This was a part of who I was and that had shaped who I had become as an adult.

The other day one of my very good friends and I were talking about this experience and she said, “You should write about it,” and I thought, “I should.”

In retrospect it was a wonderful experience. My mother was the example of running your own business, of standing up for yourself, and of what type of employment awaited me if I didn’t get an education. It also gave me a glance inside the lives of wealthy people, wealthy as compared to me. It taught me how to interact with people in a different social class and I know this served me well later in life. It especially helped me as I entered a new middle school, outside of my neighborhood, and met other White girls who became very good friends.

I hadn’t thought much of Bunker Hill until that day my co-worker told me she had grown up there. I often drive down I-10 but I never thought of driving into Bunker Hill. One day I decided to drive that direction. I saw how large the houses and the properties are. I was also surprised at how close to town Bunker Hill really is. It doesn’t compare to how far the suburbs are. I thought of my mother and her career here as a cleaning woman and I wondered how much these homes cost. Maybe, just maybe, one day I can afford to live in Bunker Hill and maybe I won’t choose to.

Children's Books

I have to do a shout-out for two friends of mine.




I recently ordered these two books from Amazon. One is local writer Gwen Zepeda's first children's book, Growing Up with Tamales. I love the illustrations by April Ward. It is on pre-order and won't be shipped to me until June 1.

The other book is Grandpa for Sale. My co-worker Vicki Sansum is one of the co-authors, along with Dotti Enderle. The illustrations, by T. Kyle Gentry, also look beautiful in this one.

If I ever write a children's book, which I have wanted to do since I taught a Pre-K class twelve years ago, I would like for my sister to do the illustrations for me. She is a wonderful artist and does not give herself enough credit.

More Crime

My husband went to play pool with some friends after work on 18th street, not too far from where my friends were mugged, and his truck was broken into. They stole his stereo and his headset. They broke the back driver's side window on a very cold and rainy night. The back seat was full of glass and soaked!!

What a bad night! I was up all night waiting for him (he's been home for a while now) because the police took forever to get there, of course.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Houston Crime

Today is going to be a blog record day! I thought I was done blogging today when I received a call from one of my best friends telling me that she and another very good friend were robbed at gun point!

I am just speechless. I've never been to the restaurant where they ate on 19th Street, but I know the area in the Heights well, and nothing like this has ever happened to any of us before. Goodness! I went to middle school at Hamilton on 20th St.

She said that they came out of this restaurant and they had parked in the back. As they walked to their car they were approached by a Hispanic man with a gun. She said it was the most terrifying experience. I can only imagine.

She said he asked for their purses and their rings and of course they gave them to them so he would just go away.

An experience like this could not have happened to two better people that are going through some huge challenges in their lives right now. I can't believe this happened to them. My heart just breaks for them...

I Need a Literary Agent

OK. I'm taking Nikki Hardin's advice in the January issue of Skirt! and I'm yelling it out to the universe to see if anyone answers. (Do you notice the essay had a profound effect on me?) No, I don't believe in any New Age stuff, but I do believe in the power of the Internet. So here it is. I need an agent!

I need a literary agent who wants to take on a new never-published author. A Hispanic Chica-Lit author who has written a book about mothers and their daughters. My husband affectionately refers to it as the "Latina Joy Luck Club." I don't mind. I love Amy Tan, so any comparison to her greatness is fine with me.

So I need an agent who loves literature by Hispanics, about Hispanic women, and who knows publishers who love that type of literature too. If you know anyone like this, please send him or her my way. Or if that person is you, please contact me.

Weather Update in Houston

And for the record, it is FREEZING in Houston. Not literally of course (not like my poor sister Rosy in Baltimore) but it is really really cold for Houston. Reminding us of course that we still have February before our wonderful March Spring. That is! If it doesn't decide to rain through March. My mother used to have a saying, "Febrero loco, marzo otro poco."

Small Annoyances

You know what annoys me? And I know this annoys others as well. When you go through the drive thru lane and forget to check your items before driving home. Inevitably you will have the wrong salad dressing that doesn't match your salad. This especially happens to me when I get the Asian salad. Somehow I don't get the Asian salad dressing. Today they gave me Caesar salad dressing. With oranges and edamame (sp?)? No thank you!

OK, weight loss update because I know you're dying to know. (note sarcasm) Today I was very upset to find out that I didn't lose any weight this week. I was very disappointed in myself and I got paranoid that now I'm going to gain back the 17 lbs I've already lost so I really watched what I ate today.

Famous!

I just keep getting more and more famous! Skirt! picked up what I said about them and they put my comment and a link to my site on their website! How sweet! I think the feelings are mutual. Kiss Kiss!

I updated the links on my front page and I included a link to one of my short stories. Now why hadn't I thought of that before? I also have a link to the interview with me on the Neighbor's Project Blog.

Writer's Almanac

Weird wild stuff. I opted out of receiving daily e-mails from the Writer's Almanac a while back because I was just getting too much stuff into my in box each day. I love listening to it in the morning on NPR, but it so happens that it airs right at the time when I'm dropping off my son.

Well lately I've been pondering my place in the world. My husband laughs at that and says I've already arrived there and I don't see it. Anyway, that's besides the point. :)

I've been thinking a lot about my writing and lack thereof. I've been thinking about how I need to get off my butt and I need to start sending out queries again to agents. (I know! I know!)

So I was really surprised when Tuesday I suddenly started getting the daily e-mails from Writer's Almanac again and I didn't even ask for them. I haven't even gone on their website in months until today. How wild is that??

It just reminded me of a great essay I read by the Publisher of Skirt! in the January edition. In her case she couldn't figure out where to rent office space. After renting a building, and torturing herself about the decision, they tore down the building next to her. Written in old faded letters on the side of the building were the words, "Skirt Factory." I loved that!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oh Yeah

I did remember one thing. People keep squinting and looking at me, like something is different about me but they can't figure out what. Those that know me well, like one of the artists upstairs, just asked me point blank today as I got off the elevator, "Are you losing weight?" Yes, it's a very cool feeling!

Ran Out of Time

It's now 11 p.m. and I've run out of time. I've been designing a writer's business card for the past 30 minutes. I wish I could post it here, but the little shoe art doesn't show up when I cut and paste it here, for some reason. It's really cute! It's a hot pink square with a little woman standing with each foot in a big black shoe. I wish you could all see it!! If you have Office Word clip art type in "Shoes" and it will come up as a choice and you can see it.

Anyway, I'm having one of those days where I thought of something interesting to write, but then I forgot what it was. Maybe I'll remember this weekend and I'll write something worth reading.

I have a lot going on personally with work but I told myself a while back that I will never write about my job on here, except for the occasional mentions of things that are public knowledge. I don't want to be one of those people fired over their blog. That would be so sad (sniff sniff)...

I hope you all had a wonderful week and have a great weekend.

I know what I'll post about soon--- I'll try to post some photos of that cemetery and I'll post an entry about Judy Blume.

En Español

(Apologies to those of you who only read English. I'll try to write an English translation soon. I just wanted to try my hand at writing in Spanish directly from my brain.)

Hoy voy a tratar algo que nunca he hecho en este blog. Voy a escribir todo en español. El español y yo tenemos un pasado. Cuando la gente me pregunta cual lenguaje aprendí primero tengo que decir que honestamente aprendí español e ingles a la misma vez. Mis padres y mis hermanas me hablaban en español, pero mientras iba creciendo iba escuchando a mis hermanas hablar en ingles. Así que en verdad los aprendí juntitos. Pero como nos pasa a muchos Americanos, seguí creciendo y hablando más y más el ingles.

Algo que me ayudo mucho en aprender el español lo más correcto que era posible, creciendo en un mundo de ingles, fue que mis padres me inculcaron que aprendiera a leer y a escribirlo bien. Como asistíamos a una congregación (religión) en español, era necesario que yo aprendiera a leer y a escribir para poder estudiar mis lecciones bien.

Siempre recuerdo que cuando aprendí a leer en ingles, en el kinder, mi papa me sentó y me dijo, “Ahora que sabes leer en ingles vas a aprender a leer en español.” Así comenzó mi lección en un librito que publicaba mi religión llamado, “Aprenda a leer y a escribir.”

Primero aprendí los vocales y de allí aprendí a formar las palabras usando esas letras como fundación. No seria completamente honesta si decía que se me hizo difícil. En verdad como ya hablaba el español, y ya sabía leer en ingles, se me hizo muy fácil. Y mi padre era un maestro muy paciente y amoroso. J

Por mucho tiempo pude seguir mi práctica de español porque asistí a esa misma congregación en español hasta los veinte siete años. En esos años escribí muchos discursos de cinco minutos en español y daba esos discursos en frente de una audiencia. Era muy buena practica, no solo para el español, sino también para hablar en publico.

Mi vida cambio cuando me case a los 27 años de edad porque me case con alguien que no sabe el español como yo lo se. Y nos movimos a una congregación en ingles. De allí en adelante cambio mi vida y mi práctica del español. Ahora la única practica que en verdad tengo es hablando con la señora que cuida a mi niño y cuando leo los periódicos en español en el trabajo.

¡Ahora como madre tengo el gran desafió de tratar de hablar en español con mis niños y no puedo entender PORQUE me cuesta tanto trabajo! Quiero hablar con ellos en español pero no me sale de naturaleza. Lo chistoso es que ellos entienden todo en español. La señora que los ha cuidado desde que nacieron solo les habla en español, pero ellos le contestan siempre en ingles.

“¿Como es posible eso?” me preguntaba. Entonces leí un artículo que decía que los niños relacionan el lenguaje que escuchan de su madre. ¡Allí estaba mi respuesta!

Ahora pregúntame si esa información me hizo comenzar a hablar español con los niños. Tristemente, no. Todavía lucho todos los días con eso. Todos los días digo que lo voy a hacer y se me olvida tan pronto como lo recuerdo. Aun creo que si lo voy a hacer. ¡No he perdido la esperanza! Y eso cuenta para algo, ¿no?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Reading to Your Kids in 2008

I was reading to my son from Dr. Seuss's ABC book and he was jumping from the headboard across the bed to the foot board every time I hit the last line for each alphabet rhyme. He had a pretty good rhythm going.

As I was reading it for the third (and last) time he stopped and says to me, "Pause! Don't start it until I come back!"

"This isn't TV," I yelled out to him as he ran into the restroom for a potty break, "This is a book. I'm reading to you."

He comes back from the restroom. "Did you pause it?" he asked.

So go our lessons to prepare him for the Vanguard test in 2009.

My Real Book

One of my best friends came over tonight to have dinner and a drink (yes I can have a glass of wine) and we were reminiscing about my insane family. She and my husband were cracking up and my husband said, "There's your book."

My family alone would make a great comedy. I need to write about them.

We were remembering the time we (my friend went with us) took a family vacation to California and the Grand Canyon and we spent the night at a rest stop and my dad went to sleep outside and he tried using a rock as a pillow, and then he broke his glasses when he dropped the rock on them.

On that same trip he wanted for us to just spend the night in a gaudy "honeymoon suite" hotel (there were no rooms to be found) in Las Vegas but he just wanted to just drive through. We were all confused as to why we stopped in Las Vegas in the first place and it turned into an argument.

My friend was remembering one time when one of my sisters was super pissed at me one night and into the next morning. In the morning she came into the front house (she lived in an apartment behind the house) and was talking smack, so I closed the door to my bedroom. She kicked open my door proceeded and to kick the mattress I was sleeping on on the floor. My friend was sleeping on my bed and she was so startled and told her to calm down, so my sister stopped. I'm sure that if my friend hadn't been there she would have kicked my butt.

I know we sound crazy, but some (er) passionate Mexican families are like this. We were cracking up at the memory as we told my husband about it.

Yeah, I had a pretty crazy family and if I wrote about them they would fill up a whole book on their own. That's what I need to do. That's my real book.

Skirt Magazine

One of my co-workers heads up a wonderful publication that is fast becoming one of my favorites, Skirt Magazine. It is such a fun, sassy magazine! What's really cool about it is that it originated in Charleston, SC and the publisher, Nikki Hardin, took it national by partnering with newspapers around the country. What a cool idea!

The Chronicle launched their local edition of Skirt! in late 2007. You can pick it up in racks all around the city.

The national website is pretty cool too and you can see the themes or each month's publication. You can also go online to see the stories that ran in the Houston edition or any of the other cities. Anyway, I just wanted to tell y'all that I really love this publication. It is exactly the kind of magazine I would want to publish if I was going to do something like that. I definitely want to submit something to them. Maybe they'll consider publishing one of my essays....

That's all.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Recent Interesting Finds


I said a while back that I wouldn't wear flats any more, unless they are tennis shoes. Although I do wear a shoe that's a cross between a tennis shoe and a flat with little straps. That was until I found this Loeffler Randall shoe. I just really like this look! They come in some other cool colors like a pretty brown, gold and rose, but I just bought the classic black because I can match it with more things. Who knows, if I really like it maybe I'll go back for another color, like the brown or rose. And best of all they're at TARGET!
I also found out about a really cool product by Bumble and Bumble that is a hair powder. I read about it in the January issue of O Magazine. It's great for oily hair like mine because it absorbs the oils and makes your hair fluffier. You can see it on the site, but you have to buy it at a salon that carries it. I found out that Inside Blu and White A Salon in Houston carry it. I'll let y'all know what I think after I get it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Restful Weekend

I had a nice restful weekend. I didn't do much of anything, which always leaves me with mixed feelings. It feels nice to rest, but then I feel guilty that I didn't do more. I know there are a hundred things to do, but I don't always feel like doing them. I don't quite understand that about myself. And I don't just mean laundry, housework, and other obligations, I mean artistic interesting thing too.

My friend and I were just saying today that we need to do more artsy things. There are so many things to do in Houston.

Here's a list of places in Houston that I would like to visit more.

1. The Museum of Fine Arts Houston
2. The Menil Gallery
3. The Lawndale Art Center
4. Talento Bilingue Plays
5. Contemporary Arts Museum
6. Station, Museum of Contemporary Art

I just saw a really good movie, A Good Year with Russell Crowe. I never heard of it before and I was pleasantly surprised. It had a really "good" feeling to it.

Every time I see movies like that one, and like French Kiss, I dream of living in Europe. I always tell my girlfriend who married a guy from a small town in Spain that French Kiss reminds me of her and her husband, except that instead of a vineyard her husband's family owns a jamon factory. So maybe she's more like Jamon Jamon. No, French Kiss, because her story is more about romance. I always threaten to use the skeleton of her story as the outline of a novel, if she doesn't write it herself.

I love it when I hear my husband telling people that when we are old we may retire to Spain or Italy. I love that he also thinks that way, even though we don't talk about it often. It's a possible dream.

Another not so recent favorite movie was The Lakehouse. I love movies like that, that have to do with time differences. I love watching it again, even though I already know what's going to happen. I have it playing right now while I write. I'm weird like that. Once I've seen a movie and I know what it's about I can just listen to it while I'm doing something else.

Bath time for the kids and bed time soon. My daughter is taking the Stanford test tomorrow so I need to put her to bed early.

I start working out this week! Not weights or stomach crunches yet, but I can start doing the treadmill and eliptical machine. A new week of working out, being a mom, and work.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Numbers At Week 2

Very interesting. As of Friday morning I had only lost 1 more pound this week. I was kind of disappointed but then I remembered something I read before. I've read that when you're on a liquid type of diet you lose a lot of weight the first week, but then your body thinks that it's starving so you slow down losing because it's trying to take from itself to feed itself.

I wondered what would happen once I started eating on Friday, since now I'm eating reasonable food and reasonable amounts. Now my body doesn't think it's starving anymore.

Well I am happy to report that as of this morning I have now lost 1.5 more pounds for the week, making my total for the week 2.5 pounds and so far, 17.5 pounds total!! Very cool.

I think I've written before that I lost weight with each pregnancy because I was on such strict gestational diabetic diets. So after having the kids, and then nursing them, I ended up losing weight. Inevitably I would return to old habits and I would start to gain weight back each year. Well, now I'm only 7.5 lbs from what I weighed after each pregnancy.

So those of you who know me remember how I looked after I had my son. I'm almost that weight again. OK to give you a good idea of what I look like at that weight, see the picture of me on my profile here. I started this site not too long after having him.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Lori McKenna

I was driving along today listening to my Lori McKenna CDs, because I hadn't heard them in a while, and I was reminded of how much I love her music. I was listening to her Paper Wings and Halo CD and every time I listen to "What's One More Time" and "Don't Tell Her" I think they are so beautiful, but so sad. They make me feel melancholy.

I wish I knew how to post a video from YouTube and I would post this video. I don't have the CD with this song but it's a good one.

Check her out. http://youtube.com/watch?v=XANE2SguBbc

That's all. Good night!

Report Card Celebration

Tonight I had to go to a reunion planning meeting. I had such a good time with the girls that showed up. We had some good laughs going down memory lane.

Afterwards I went to pick up the kids at my sister's house and my daughter told me it was report card day. I didn't even remember! Actually, I don't remember seeing anything about it in the take home paperwork. She got straight A's again for the second 9 weeks! I was so proud of her! I told her that even though it was late we would go by Starbucks to celebrate.

As soon as we got there my son said, "I want to go inside!" I called my husband and told him we were stopping at Starbucks to wreak havoc and bother the poor unsuspecting customers who were quietly reading inside. And we did.

One poor man, who was trying to read, left after my son decided to go sit on the "tall chair" next to him and was trying to make conversation with him. Meanwhile my son kept ignoring the poor woman who was sitting next to us, who was trying to make conversation with him.

We didn't stay long but it was a nice little stop on the way home. My daughter was asleep by the time we got home. My son isn't of course.

I sent some pictures of them to a friend in Seattle today and she said they looked like they have a lot of personality. I told her they have HUGE personalities and they are fearless.

A few days ago we had dinner at Cafe Express and we were in line in front of a police officer. He kept chuckling at things my son was saying and doing. Finally my son turns around and lightly pokes him in the stomach. The policeman really laughed then and said, "That's assault on a police officer." Crazy boy!

It's Friday night and I just had coffee, against my better judgement. I'm taking a shower and going to bed soon.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Neighbors Project Article

Check out this interview about my belief in the Magnet/Vanguard program in the Houston Independent School District.

How exciting! Although I wish I had a better picture than this one. I look old!! And this picture was taken around 4 years ago! I think I'm pregnant with my son in that picture.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Secret Fetish

Okay, it's not really a fetish, but I have a macabre interest in old cemeteries. There's one cemetery in particular, not too far from my house, that is really really old and abandoned and it really intrigues me. It has headstones from the 1800s. I'm going to post some pictures and more details about it soon.

New Year New Goals

I have gone nine days into the year without once mentioning that obviously this is a new year. And obviously one of my goals for 2008 is to lose weight. However, I do have other goals in addition to this one.

This is the year of passion. This year I will make it my goal to do what makes me happy. Obviously my true passion is to write full time, but that's not going to happen. SO if I am going to continue my career in advertising, like I have for the past 19 years, I am only going to do what makes me feel passion.

Around 4 years ago I learned something very interesting about myself. I get really turned on by project management. I've been in advertising sales for a long time, but five or six years ago I became a coordinator. Soon I moved from simply coordinating special sections and special projects to managing a much larger project from the ground up.

I found myself completely in my element. I loved taking a project from nothing and building on it until it became something. In my case it was the creation and launch of a new publication, La Vibra, our weekend entertainment section. I loved bringing all the departments in the Chronicle together to create something. Ironically at the same time that I felt like I was giving birth to La Vibra I was also literally giving birth to my son.

Anyway, I want to capture that feeling again. I want to feel the same passion that I did when I launched La Vibra or when I worked on some other large special sections. That is another one of my goals for this year.

I have a bunch of other boring ones that I won't share here. They have to do with fixing my house and more novel stuff.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Day 12 of Post-Op

It's Day 12 since my surgery. I've been working very hard on this post-op diet and I'm happy to report I'm doing okay. There are some days, like yesterday, when I'm very hungry and then days like today, when I do really well. I'm learning some interesting things along the way. Like stringy vegetables can clog you.

Yes! I had a bowl of cream of asparagus and afterwards I felt really full and kind of backed up, like the food was coming up. It was a nasty feeling! I wondered about it so I went on the lap band group on Yahoo and I posted a question about it. Someone answered and told me that stringy veggies can get clogged, since the opening to the rest of the stomach is so small. And that's considering there were only a few small pieces of asparagus in the soup. Another thing that can make you feel that way are the skins on potatoes and fruit. Another thing to keep away from.

I like the way someone described the difference of how we feel full now. She said to remember that now we feel full in our chest first, instead of our belly. So I know that when I get that weird feeling it's time to stop. I'm sure that as time goes by I'll learn to recognize that feeling earlier.

Today I had something really cool happen. I had to go downtown for a meeting and when I got there I still had a little time so I went down to the tunnel to get some Starbucks. When I was walking from the tunnel that leads from the Chronicle building I saw three girls from the Classified department. They smiled and said hi and as soon as I passed them one of them, the one I know better, made a U turn and came up to me.

"You look so good! Are you losing weight?"

I was so thrilled to hear her say that and I told her, "Yes, I lost 15 pounds." We were in the middle of the tunnel and I didn't want to tell her there how but that made my day. Like my daughter says, "It was the best day ever!" Ha ha ha!

Monday, January 07, 2008

The Changing Face of Houston

After being holed up for almost a week it was really good to get out last Friday.

I'm always surprised to see the changes going on all around me. One change is across the street from Lindale Park on Fulton and next to the Korner Bar, the bar I mentioned in my tamale post. The neighborhood is officially called Fulton Court. These houses are really cute and great for someone that doesn't want a yard. The Metro Rail will eventually go down Fulton, right past this neighborhood so I think this is a great investment. Hey! Maybe the non-Hispanic patrons came from across the street!

Not too far from there, along 45 N, before it meets 610, they are building more new homes. I haven't driven by them yet, but I can tell they are more of those 3 story skinny monsters.

Also, next to my new Target on I-10 (notice how I call it "my") they are building new lofts called the Sawyer Heights Lofts. Great location! Great view of the park on one side and downtown on the other (I think). I'd have to stand inside to see if that's really the case.

They are also building a Chili's next to the Target! Now Chili's isn't my favorite restaurant, but with a shortage of chain restaurants in the 'hood it's nice to see a chain that saw our neighborhood worth investing in. Thanks Chili's and thanks Target. Target with the Starbucks inside.

I LOVE that Target. It was the best gift given to the city dwellers. It's such a great central location, close to downtown if you work downtown and close to everyone who lives on Washington, The Heights, The Woodland Heights, Lindale Park, Northside, I could go on and on...

I also drove down Washington and that area is ever changing. They are building building building! A new shopping strip is going up with a Yoga center! I also saw a cute new coffee shop driving towards downtown. I can't remember the name, but I think it was Italian. It looked very cozy and inviting and I need to go back there.

I love my city! I love what's happening with it. I only hope that Rey and I are ready with a cool renovated house soon to match our cool neighborhood!

Lap Band Girl Here

I am really enjoying chronicling my lap band experience. I've even thought that it's a great reference tool for people thinking of being banded. I'm no "expert" or doctor, but I’m think it would be cool for people to read the point of view of an average girl's experience. (notice how I like saying girl, not woman ;-) But I'm thinking that maybe I should launch another blog especially for this topic. Like "Lap Band Girl."

Send me your thoughts. That way that topic doesn't take away from this blog topic, which deals more with the thoughts of a working writer mom, living inside the loop, and my observances. Or should I just incorporate this experience into the same blog as part of my over all experience as a writer working mom struggling with her weight too?

I like the idea of starting another blog, but then I think that I’m a one-woman show and it’s hard enough keeping up with this one. I don’t even blog on my MySpace blog. I often just copy entries from here to there. To tell you the truth, I’m not that crazy about MySpace. I only went on there to begin with because that’s how I communicate with my young nephews and niece. So the idea of launching yet another website seems daunting. Hmmm… maybe not….

OK. Thanks for helping me flush those ideas out.

Neighbors Project Blog

Remember that website that's linked back to a couple of my blog entries? Well the editor "interviewed" me on something that I feel really strongly about, public education. The feature on my "project" will publish this week some time. Pretty cool!

Living in Houston, and being an inner city dweller at that, can be challenging for some parents. Some may opt for a private school education for their kids. I am a firm believer in the Magnet program within HISD and especially the Vanguard program.

I already have to start working on my little one. Just this morning I had to get off at my daughter's school to drop off her after school program payment. (they have extended day) When we were walking up to the school I started telling my son that he too can go to the same school if he works with me on his ABCs and numbers. I told him that that's why it's so important for him to learn the phonics song with me. He was listening to what I said too. I just have to keep reminding him, without too much pressure.

I have a year to prepare him for the Vanguard test. He'll have to take it next year for Kinder in the Fall '09. If he doesn't make it we'll have to have a back up plan at a Magnet school nearby.

Thinking of Mama

Thursday made eight years since my mom left this world. Sunday would have been her 77th birthday, if she would have made it this far.

I miss her!
I miss talking to her.
I miss laughing with her.
I miss hearing her "constructive criticism."
I miss her smell.
I miss her hugs.
I miss her sense of humor.
I miss her sarcasm.
I miss her honesty.
I miss her unmovable faith.
I miss her mischievous eyes.
I miss the way she would arch her eyebrows at me.
I miss her cooking.
I miss traveling with her.
I miss pretending to sit on her lap.
I miss sleeping next to her.
I miss watching a movie with her.
I miss sharing a piece of pie with her.
I miss sharing my children with her.
I feel cheated of time.
I only hope that I make her proud when I see her again.
Until then...

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Numbers Are In

Yesterday when I went to Target I bought a new scale. Turns out I haven't lost 13 lbs since the surgery. I've lost 11. I know, still good. So that, plus the 4 I lost pre-surgery, I've lost 15 lbs. From now on I'll just tally from pre-surgery on since that diet was part of the whole process. So I've lost 15 lbs so far. Not too shabby! I keep reminding myself that it will slow down once I can eat food.

It's been one week since I had the surgery. I am feeling surprisingly good. I was a little tired yesterday when I got home. My back was aching. I think I overdid it, although I did limit how much we did at the downtown aquarium. Of course the kids wanted to do everything but I told them we would only ride two rides and visit the gift shop for a toy.

I promised we will go back another day with their dad and we'll go inside the aquarium. We haven't seen the white tigers or the giant snake yet. I told them we'll have dinner there too. We've never done that since my son was born. My daughter ate there when she was younger because our neighbor across the street had his wedding there.

I go back to work on Monday after being off for a little more than a week. Interesting things are happening in Texas and in the Spanish newspaper publishing world. A really big newspaper publishing company bought the other Spanish weekly papers (not my papers) that are in Houston, San Antonio, and the Valley, and they are making them a part of their big newspaper network. It will be interesting to see what happens there. So I'm excited to be getting back to work and into the swing of things.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Interesting Revelations

There's a girl on the local group of people with the lap band who was banded on the same day as me. She has been experiencing nausea and sickness this whole week. It finally got to the point of being unbearable so she called our doctor, Dr. Felts. I was really impressed on how quickly she says he responded to her message. He called her personally on her cell phone to find out what was wrong. When she told him he said that she probably couldn't tolerate the fluid in her band and that he would take out half and then he'll put it back in at her one month check up.

We didn't know we had any fluid in our band. We thought that they just put the band in and then filled it when we went in for our first appointment. As it turns out, we have a little fluid in there already.

Then I wondered something. Am I the opposite of her? Maybe I don't have any fluid in mine. I say that because I've been feeling the same hunger I would as usual and I could drink a whole shake from the get go. I'm feeling very little restriction. The only real restriction that I have is the one I impose on myself by following the rules. I don't want to risk damaging the band and I'm not about to cheat, so I'm not eating food.

Today was the first time I could eat creamy soups and that's all I ate today, I was so grateful to eat something different. After one week of fluids I woke up eating cream of mushroom for breakfast, cream of tomato for lunch and cream of chicken for dinner! Tomorrow I'm going to go back on my shakes. I'll have a shake for breakfast and then soup for lunch and dinner or some combination like that.

Today was also my first day out and about. I went to Target and then I took the kids for a quick visit to the aquarium. We rode the train and the ferriswheel. I was so surprised that my little one wanted to ride the ferriswheel twice. It was his first time on one. I was also glad to see that they were feeling well enough for a little jaunt. I thought that my daughter would end her vacation without ever going anywhere. They were literally in the house with me for 6 days straight, first because of me and then because they were sick.

Well one last weekend and we're back on schedule. On with the show!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Arbonne Shakes

These are the shakes that I'm drinking on the post-op diet. I'm not advertising for the products, but they are really good. They are made by Arbonne and they are really filling. They've been very helpful in the weight loss. I have the chocolate, vanilla and chai latte. I've been mixing them with low fat yogurt and fruit, interchangeably. It's been doable. I'm surprised!

Day Six

First off, my scale sucks. My sister came over and checked it and said that it worked just fine, but every time I got on it gave me a different number. Finally I found that if I placed my feet in a certain position then I got the same reading consistently.

SO if the scale is in fact correct, then I have lost 13 lbs since the surgery. That's crazy! Thirteen pounds in less than a week just because of the liquid diet! And since I lost 4 lbs during the pre-op diet I've lost 17 lbs total in 2 weeks. The thing about this liquid diet is that it's necessary for me to heal. I can't start taking regular food down my stomach and through the band until it's healed and it's been in place a couple of weeks. So one more week of liquids, except I do get to have something a little thicker this Friday.

Now that I'm feeling better I'm starting to get cabin fever and I can't go out because the kids are so sick. My house is a sick house right now! My daughter threw up last night and then again this morning at 4, except that time it was just fluid and phlegm. I felt so sorry for her. I know she's sick when she hasn't wanted to eat anything at all today. She's only had something to drink and medicine. The phlegm takes away her appetite.

My son seems to be feeling better and he's coughing way less today. Yesterday he was coughing non-stop.

I do hope they are better tomorrow so we can go out somewhere. My daughter wanted to go to Chuck E Cheese, but my husband pointed out that a place like that can be a cesspool of germs and they may get worse instead of better. But maybe I can take them somewhere else, like the mall or Target, to at least get out and walk around.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Day Five of Post Operation

It's Day Five and I'm actually counting down the days until I can have thicker liquids, like cream of mushroom soup and cream of chicken and split pea (w/o the ham), and yum, tomato soup.

Okay, I know I sound pathetic but you try drinking nothing but liquids since Friday. Actually I had my last real meal (although carb free) Thursday. Friday I couldn't have a shake or anything heavy. I only had tea, water, broth, etc. It's Tuesday, so I haven't had food in five days. It's a first for me!! LOL!

The biggest challenge has actually been juggling getting me better and nursing these two sick kids. My baby boy has been coughing non stop this morning. It looks like the Tylenol cough medicine isn't doing anything for him. Rey had to go into work for a couple of hours today so he's picking up something stronger for him. My daughter was still running fever this early afternoon. I just hope they are better by tomorrow, my poor boobooshkoos.

This blog has taken an interesting turn. I started off as a working mom, writer. Then I've talked about the neighborhood and living in the city, and now y'all are reading all about lap band surgery. Interesting! More later!