Monday, January 17, 2005

Very Charlotte's Web

I have to write this before I go to bed and forget. I had a HILARIOUS Belia Casares moment tonight. For those of you who knew my mom you’ll love this.

I hardly ever cook. Seriously. I know! It’s terrible. Well I defrosted some chicken and started to cut it up on Friday night. I never made it so tonight was the last night I could make it before it went bad.

When I finished cooking it my daughter wanted a taste. As I opened the lid to serve her, a little spider came dropping down on a little piece of web right above my food.

I almost panicked but I controlled myself. I quickly covered the pan and slid it to the counter, all the while keeping one eye on the tiny spider so I wouldn’t lose it. With that movement the spider went back up the thin thread back up to the vent above the stovetop. I took off one chancla (house shoe) and swatted it until I was sure it was dead.

After going through all of this with my daughter standing wide-eyed at my side I cracked up. I thought of how if this had been my mother in this situation she would have thrown away the whole pan of food just because the spider could have dropped some eggs in the food when it came down its web.

I also laughed at the coincidence that the ONE day I decide to cook this spider decides to come and visit. It’s almost as if the spider was shocked too and had to come and see for herself to believe it.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Reading at Nuestra Palabra

I’m going to be reading again for the third time (it’s becoming a tradition) at the Nuestra Palabra Showcase on Wednesday, March 23 at MECA. Hope you can all make it! More details to come later.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Remember the 80s?

I sent my grey jacket to the cleaners 2 times and still it came back with a lipstick stain. I wanted to wear the jacket the other day so I figured I could camouflage the stain with a brooch, since they are in.

I fished in my jewelry box with no idea of what I could use. I thought I only owned one turquoise and red butterfly brooch and that one didn't match. I have a couple of cat ones but they weren't quite the hip pin I had in mind.

As I looked in the drawer I found an old brooch I can’t even believe I still own. It has a clear emerald cut rhinestone in the middle and two smaller dark stones next to it. I decided to wear it and when I got to work I showed it to my co-worker.

"Circa 1986," I said, showing her the brooch, "Remember these?"

She cracked up laughing because she knew exactly what I was talking about. Picture this.

The year is 1986, I'm 16 and I'm going to a party. My hair is cut in a curly bob, I'm wearing a black short skirt, flesh colored hose, black pumps, and a red plaid shirt buttoned to the neck. At the neck I'm wearing this brooch. That memory alone sends me way down memory lane and we reminisce about different outfits we used to own. Yes! I owned a torn sweatshirt off the shoulder with a muscle shirt underneath, a la "Flashdance."

I can't believe I still own the brooch but I hold on to it like I do to so many memories of my youth. I have a friend who says that when we are old ladies we'll be rocking in our chairs smiling to ourselves and our grand children will have no idea what we are thinking about, lost in our memories.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Missing Mama

Tonight as we drove home I was thinking of my mother and then I realized that almost at exactly that same time (10:30 p.m.) five years ago today I had my last conversation with her.

Rey and I had taken my niece Hannah to Dave & Buster’s and we were getting back kind of late. I called my mother on my cell phone and told her that since it was so late I wasn’t going to take Hannah to her. I told her I’d take her in the morning before going into work. I said, “See you in the morning,” and that was the last thing I ever said to her.

I miss her.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Weaning My Baby

I’ve decided that blogs are just another way to procrastinate. I sit down to work on my novel and I find many other things to do, including writing this blog.

Yesterday I decided it was time to completely wean the baby. I’ve been weaning him little by little every month since I went back to work five months ago and he was down to 1-2 feedings per day since I’ve been home on vacation. I didn’t even plan to breastfeed this long. I only nursed Miranda until she was 5 months old so I went 3 months longer with the baby at eight months.

It’s funny how I always knew I would nurse my children. There was never any doubt in my mind about it. I’m sure it was because my mother nursed all of us and my two sisters who have children nursed their kids too, but I don’t think either one of them nursed as long as I did. I remember taking a picture under a painting in Spain of a mother sitting naked and cross legged on the floor nursing her naked baby. I thought it was such a beautiful sight.

I know that technology has given man the ability to recreate some of the same nutrients in formula and I’m not saying that if women choose to bottle feed there’s something wrong with it. I introduced formula to the baby early on at the hospital because I wanted him to be able to go between the two easily. Some women just can’t nurse. Some can only nurse for two weeks and that’s still good. I believe that some nursing is better than none.

I just personally believe that breastfeeding is one of the best gifts I could give my children. Not only are breastfed children healthier and smarter, but it gave me the opportunity to bond with my child. Bottle feeding doesn’t give me the same bond that nursing a baby does. Yes, I could still create a bond, but it’s not the same one I have with nursing. There’s something about a sweet baby nursing from my breast and tugging at me with one free hand while looking up at me adoringly.

Our bodies are so amazing too. Did you know that while you are nursing if you get a cold or any type of sickness your breast milk creates the exact antibodies needed so that your baby doesn’t get sick too? Can formula do that? Amazing!

With Miranda my goal was to nurse her for 6 months and I was one month shy of that goal. With Seth my goal was also 6 months but I left it open ended. Since Seth has been more of a baby it was easier to nurse him this long. At eight months Miranda had been crawling for 3 months already and was starting to talk. Seth just started really crawling these past 2 weeks and he still can’t push himself up into a sitting position or hold that position for very long. He’s definitely not talking but I didn’t expect him to. I’ve often heard that boys develop very differently from girls.

He’ll be okay. I’ve been truly weaning him by taking the breast away little by little and more each time. When I only bottle fed him yesterday I don’t even think he noticed. It was time to wean him. I wanted to stop before he starts walking and another thing he's started to do now is to pull himself up to standing position while holding on to something, like the coffee table, so it was time.

I know now why the baby of the family is more spoiled. As I rocked him to sleep last night I thought to myself how these moments are fleeting and how he will be Miranda’s age before I know it. I want to hold time still. I wish I could video tape this very moment so I can capture it and never forget it.

I cupped his little foot in one hand and felt the softness of it against my palm. I felt his little head sweating on my shoulder and his damp hair against my neck. I patted and rubbed his little back and sang him Cri Cri lullabies as he drifted off to sleep.

I thought about how this is the last time I’ll do this and that’s probably the main reason I continued to nurse him. I know this is the last time that I will nurs a baby and the thought makes me kind of sad.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

No Time To Be Laissez Faire

It’s the first day of the year. Some see it as a fresh new start and an opportunity to get things right this time. I see it as 2005 and I’m going to be 35 this year and oh my! I’m halfway done with my life, if I’m even here that long. It’s a scary thought. I’ll be 35 in 9 short weeks and I still haven’t done everything I set out to do!

I remember every year making a list of things I wanted to accomplish that year but I didn’t call them New Year’s Resolutions. Whether I celebrate New Year’s or not I always look at the year ahead as a fresh new start and I still make a list of goals, both public and private.

Yesterday I decided to pamper myself so I left the kids with Rey for 2 hours while I went to get my hair cut, a manicure, pedicure, and my eyebrows waxed. It felt good. I’ll start of the year at work feeling good.

Then I came home and took the kids to The Mad Potter. Miranda made Rey a cup for the one she broke. He made this beautiful cup a few years ago with water lilies fashioned after Monet’s on one side and Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” on the other. He made the mistake of leaving it on the retractable part of the desk next to the keyboard. Miranda jumped on the desk chair and slid into the desk, pushing the keyboard in and the cup hit the floor and into many pieces. It was sad.

So yesterday we went and made him a special cup I’m sure he’ll treasure way more than his beautiful cup.

Life is funny isn’t it? It’s funny how our priorities shift so quickly when we have children and things that seemed important before don’t any more.

OK, so you all know one of my most public goals for this year. I wrote about it a few weeks ago in the “My New Allergy” entry. That, my novel, and some private spiritual things are my goals for 2005. I have to get serious with my health goals. I was reading something that said, “don’t start on a Monday or on New Year’s Day because it’s too much pressure.” I’m sorry but I need the pressure. There’s no time for me to be laissez faire about this. (I love that word!) It’s now or never!

Last night I did something really nerdy. My sister came over with my nephew. He played X-Box Live with Rey and some of Rey’s friends while my sister interchangeably held the baby and sorted coupons, throwing away anything with a 2004 on it.

I, on the other hand, sorted two years worth of O Magazine and cut out every article I really liked or that I didn’t get to read and thought it looked interesting. Earlier when I went to get my pampering done I had stopped at CVS and I bought some 3 ring binders. The plan is to put all the O Mag article in a binder and thus eliminate one of my pack rat tendencies of keeping 2 years worth of magazines.

A new day! A new year! I’m going to go put my tennis shoes on and I’m going to take the kids out for a walk in the double stroller. Miranda will probably walk ½ way and I’ll let her ride ½ way. At least I’m inculcating exercise values in her. You all have a wonderful day!