Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lap Band Girl Adventure Update

Hey, I haven't said much about the lap band lately, except that I was close to 25 lbs down. Okay, so now I am 25 lbs less than before surgery and I have a feeling I'm going to lose more this week from sheer starvation. Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, I'm not starving, I just can't eat very much at all.

I went in for a fill last Friday. For those of you who are behind on my story let me catch you up. I had the lap band put in on December 28. When you go in for a fill they put fluid (saline) in and it tightens up your lap band a bit more. Basically it's the way they ease you into eating less and less instead of doing it all at one time like gastric bypass surgery does. My appetite has definitely gotten smaller in these last 4 months.

Anyway, I had my fourth lap band fill and OH MY! I can barely eat. Even my protein shakes go down slow! I can only eat a few bites of food and of course I have to chew it down to practically nothing. But it gets better after a few bites and by then I'm full.

It hasn't been like this the whole time, only this time. I felt a definite difference with my third fill and I couldn't really eat bread any more at all, because it would get stuck. I definitely can not eat bread now, at all. I can hardly eat rice too. I'm eating a Progresso chicken soup with wild rice and I've had to eat the chicken and carrots. I also can't have any more Carbonated drinks. I probably won't be able to eat pasta any more too. I didn't think I would be able to give up Diet Coke and Zero, but I haven't had any carbonated drinks since my surgery. A first in my life.

Yes we shouldn't eat and drink these things any way, but the lap band forces me to stop and I can't have them even if I'm tempted. So that's what works for me. I needed this radical change and so far it's working for me. ;)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Manic Monday

I lost my CD case with all my favorite CDs, on the side of the freeway, I was chased down by a little dog, and I bonked my head on the door to my SUV trying to get away and it was barely 9 a.m. Read on if you’re interested in hearing one of my "only you Loida" stories.

Rey and I had to switch out SUVs this morning because he had to take my SUV in to have the brakes changed. I went outside in my nightgown. Maybe that’s where I started off on the wrong foot. I should have stayed inside. I reminded him to leave me his key and to put the car seat in his SUV. He did and then I had to go back out to unlock the doors, so he could put the car seat in. I noticed then that he had put my umbrella on top of my roof. I made a mental note, "put umbrella in car before I drive off."

Around an hour later I went back out to load my son and bags and I reminded myself again to get the umbrella. Once we were settled in and buckled in I pulled out of my driveway and out to the feeder road. Imagine my surprise when I heard something slide across the roof of my car and fall off. I figured it was my umbrella and cursed at the loss, but I kept driving, thinking the umbrella didn’t cost that much. Plus it was already half torn.

When I got to the sitter’s with my son I saw my umbrella on the floor of the passenger side. I called my husband.

"What else was on the roof of your truck?"
"Your CD case and your head band."
"How did you not see it?"
"Maybe because I'm super short!" I yelled.
"I've got to let you go."

So of course I had to drive back to the scene of the incident. I drove back and parked on a side street. I walked out to the side of the feeder and walked along the sidewalk. There are a couple of houses there and a little brown dog in the back yard of one of them started barking at me. Then he came out of the yard.

"Get back!" I yelled at it. Anybody who knows me knows I'm terrified of dogs, big or little.

First he stopped and went back and then as I started to walk away he started to walk towards me fast.

I walked faster. I panicked. I dropped my key. I picked it up fast. I got in the truck in a hurry. I bonked my head. Just then I noticed in embarrassment that a man had seen me. He was parking next to the gate of his business and was getting out to open the door.

"Excuse me," I yelled out at him and he approached me cautiously.

I didn't notice it at first but thought about it later. I realized he had seen me running from the street, in my chanclas no less (I wear flip flops in the morning when I get the kids into the car and don't put on my heels until I get to work), and I'm sure I looked suspicious running to my SUV and getting in in a hurry.

When I told him that a little dog had chased me the little dog walked by all non-chalant and didn't even bark at the man. The man cracked up. He took pity on me and he walked down to the feeder and looked around.

"If someone saw you drop that CD case they picked it up," he said.
"I know," I sighed defeated.

My head hurt. I was already late to work. It was Monday. I drove to work sadly. I told my story to my co-workers.

Then when I went home at the end of the day as I walked towards my SUV I couldn't believe my eyes. My favorite black head band (the one that doesn't hurt me and that I can wear all day) was still on the roof of my car, stuck under the luggage rack. Now why couldn't that have happened to my CD case? It's way heavier than a head band. It was the more logical choice of the two. Go figure! The super light headband is the one that stayed on the roof of my car all the way to 59 South and 610. Crazy!

Goodbye Cri Cri (kids' music in Spanish), Lori McKenna, Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks Live double cds, Walk the Line soundtrack, and anything else that I can't remember now.

I drove by slowly again this evening on the way home. Nothing.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mommy Blogging

I read a really great post on The Bloggess about blogging about our children. She quoted from this blogger who was quoted in this article. Or should I say, misquoted.

I find the whole subject of mommy bloggers really interesting. One thing I find interesting is that women who are mothers are dismissed as not having intelligent ideas or thoughts. It's as if somehow by giving birth we lost some brain cells.

I especially liked this quote from The Bloggess, "just because I am someone’s mom, or wife, or daughter, or friend that does not mean that I should have any less of a “voice” than I had before. If anything I should have more of a voice, because I have a hell of a lot more to say than I did when I was 20."

I couldn't agree more. We are mothers. We are writers. Writing serves as a daily writing exercise. I have to write in order to survive. If I choose to write about my children so be it. They are a BIG part of my life and a BIG part of who I am. It's a big part of who we are today as mothers.

No, we are not the mothers of yesterday. We are more educated and in most cases, we have careers, as well as being wives and mothers. In my case I have a career in advertising as well as being a writer. I see my writing as a very part-time job. If I was going out and working a small part-time job no one would really criticize me. Yet, women who blog or write are criticized for writing and being mothers. What makes working a job and writing any different?

I don't spend hours on the Internet. Some days I don't even get online in the evening after going to the gym, coming home and fixing something for dinner, checking homework and getting the kids to bed. Some days I'm exhausted and all I can do is take a shower and go to bed. I imagine that some of these mommy bloggers are doing the same thing. Some of them write for a living and work from home, so yes, they are going to blog a lot more.

But the bottom line is this. When did it become any one's business any way what we blog about? AND if someone doesn't agree with mothers blogging then why do they waste their time reading their blog or articles about their blogging and leaving negative comments. Read some of the negative comments that the article mentioned above generated. Her Bad Mother quotes some of these in her blog.

I love that more women are blogging. I love that more mothers are blogging. It's great to read other women's perspective and to know that I'm not alone in this precarious balance of writer, wife, and mother. It's a challenge, but then again LIFE is a challenge. We are not perfect. We make mistakes and we try to learn from them. We're human. And yes we are women, mothers, wives, writers and bloggers.

Friday, April 25, 2008

skirt! Update

I have great news! I am going to continue blogging for skirt! Houston. Even though there won't be a printed issue they will continue a digital edition for Houston for now.

Check out their site right now. All you have to do is register and then you can leave me comments on my blog! After you register go here http://skirt.com/weekendgiveaway and you can win this beautiful umbrella, this weekend only!

I may have more news to report about skirt! later, but I want to wait until I have more information. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm Not Crazy

This song reminds me of my husband. Especially the line that says, "but you're the only one that sees me" because that's how I feel about him. I've said it before. He was the only one who ever really saw me. I had a great time with him in San Antonio and I thought of this song.

I'm Not Crazy- By Lori McKenna

I can fall in love in the middle of the afternoon
With the TV blaring in the very next room
I fall in love again at the end of a raging fight
The kind that keeps us staying up all night

Baby, I'm not crazyI just love the way you look at me
Baby, I'm not crazy
I just expect ecstasy
And I'm trying not to take everything to the extreme
I'm wide awake and you're still my dream
Baby, I'm not crazy

Sometimes I hear a voice telling me that you're the only one
And I'd be nothing but a fool if I let this all come undone
Every now and then I see the vision of a perfect man
When you turn around and smile like you understand that....


Well, there's a dull sweetness in this life of ours pretty as graffiti
And I'm dancing without any music on but you're the only one that sees me, hey....


Oh, noBaby, I'm not crazy
I just love the way you look at me
I just love the way you look at me
I just love the way you look at me
I just love the way you look at me

Saturday, April 19, 2008

San Antonio Update

Was a blast! Here's a brief synopsis of the trip.

Wednesday night: Open Bar Welcome Reception, Patron shots through a giant rectangular ice sculpture, need I say more? Afterwards hung out on the river at a cute little Irish bar with colleagues and an agency client, sitting outside on the patio. Very fun!

Thursday: All day conference, meeting with an agency, and finally a wonderful reception at The Alameda Museum. Open Bar, buffet dinner and we got to see the first floor. Great Celia Cruz exhibit. Afterwards went to Mi Tierra with colleagues from the Dallas paper. Rey played golf during the day and met up with me before the reception.

Friday: Half day conference, went to visit the San Antonio paper, and then went back to The Alameda Museum on my own to see the second floor, that was closed the day prior at our reception. Hung out a Market Square for a little while waiting for Rey to come and pick me up. He was playing golf.

There was a lot of activity in the square because it was the beginning of Fiesta, a very unique yearly celebration in San Antonio. It's a celebration remembering the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle at San Jacinto. Had dinner on the River then met up with Rey's brother for drinks.

Saturday: Woke up late, checked out of the hotel, and went to see Rey's grandparents. Had brunch with his grandpa. Very funny and interesting man. Went back downtown before leaving SA and stopped by Starbucks. They have a really cool Starbucks that is one of its first in the nation. You can listen to different CDs and you can burn your own CD.

On the way Downtown we saw the King William neighborhood and I told Rey I've always wanted to see the houses there because they are beautiful and many of them are historical. And guess whose house we saw? Sandra Cisneros' house! He said he'd heard it isn't purple anymore. It's bright pink and she has wonderful art all over the place, even painted on the mailbox. She was home too! Her little SUV with her "Ay Tu" license plates was parked in her carport. It looked like she and someone else were working on the yard. She has cactus plants growing all over the place and wild flowers.

I felt like such a crazy tourist doing that. Of course I would never get off my car to go and say hello or anything, but it was fun and it was really cool to see where she lives.

The funny thing is that when I came home and told my in-laws about it they told me they used to live on the same street years ago. Of course years before Sandra Cisneros, but still it was funny to think that they lived on the same street at one time. Small world!

Today we're home and back to reality. It was a great break!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blog Break

I'm leaving to San Antonio for a business trip today and I won't be blogging while I'm there. Since my laptop died I can't take it with me, so no remote blogging from San Antonio.

I will update you on all when I get back on Saturday. I actually enjoy trips away like this because, although I miss the kids, it also gives me a little mental break for a few days. I think that as "working" mothers we need that every so often and I don't feel guilty saying it. I really believe that if I have a little break to recharge my battery that will make me a better mother.

Also, I can't say it enough. I love my village! My sitter, my sister, and my mother-in-law are the best! They are extensions of me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

skirt! Blog

I have some sad news. My skirt! blog days may be numbered. A couple of weeks ago The Houston Chronicle announced that they will no longer publish the Houston edition of skirt! It was a partnership with that publisher. The Chronicle announced that the April edition will be the last one, so more than likely the Houston page will only be up this month. These are my last entries and I am really trying to make them count.

As of now I don't know if skirt! will continue to publish the magazine on their own. It's possible. If they do, then my blog will probably stay where it is. If not, then I want to ask them if I can still blog off of their national page. We will see. I have really enjoyed that platform and I love the magazine, so I hope something works out.

What can you do to help? you may ask. Visit my blog on skirt! often and comment! Maybe if they see a lot of traffic to my site they will be more inclined to let me continue blogging there. :-)

Literary Mama Essay

Hello all! Just wanted to share some new news.

The online literary magazine, Literary Mama, chose an essay that I submitted in response to an essay on their site. Check it out! It's on their blog.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

High School Musical on Ice

We went to see High School Musical on Ice today. I took my daughter, her cousin who is the same age, and my mother-in-law. It was a lot of fun and it follows the whole script pretty much to the word. The girls loved it!

It brought back memories of the Ice Capades. My mother used to take me to the Ice Capades at the Colosseum when I was a little girl and it was a great treat. I thought of my mama today when I took my own daughter to see a show on ice. Sigh...

The Colosseum has been knocked down and the Ice Capades have been out of business for years. And so the world changes and time marches on.

I recently submitted a proposal to write an article for a proposed book about Milestones. I want to write about losing loved ones and how losing my mother made me want to become a mother. I'll let you all know if they accept my proposal for a submission. If they do I'll have to write it by May 30th. I have to keep putting myself out there!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Mariachis and Tequila

One of the best lines in a mariachi song ever: "...pero aquellos mariachis y aquel tequila me hicieron llorar." - Jose Alfredo Jimenez

I love that line!

Oh yeah, here's the best translation. "...but those mariachis and that tequila made me cry."

And can you even believe that there is no Wikipedia entry for Lucha Villa? I'm so going to create one.

Updated on Saturday, April 12. Here's the You Tube link to Me Canse de Rogarle if you want to hear it in its entirety.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Gloria Vaderbilt Jeans

In the 80s Gloria Vanderbilt, Calvin Klein and Jordache jeans were IT. Remember that? My sister used to let me borrow her Jordache jeans when I was in 7th grade and she gave me a pair of old Calvin Kleins she didn't want any more. I was ecstatic! Those, Nike tennis shoes, and OP shirts were the thing to wear.

What ever happened to those jeans? I'm not much of a jean person any more so I don't keep up with them. I've seen some updated versions of Calvin Kleins. I wear his perfumes more than his clothes nowadays.

Well, my mother-in-law, the queen of bargain shopping, gave me a pair of Gloria Vaderbilt jeans, 2 sizes smaller than my pre-lap band size. Today I tried them on and they fit comfortably. Like I have enough room to run my finger around my waist line comfortable. Pretty amazing! TWO SIZES down!! It's amazing what 23 lbs (almost 25!) can make!!!

On another great update Literary Mama sent me an e-mail today with some awesome news. They chose my essay that I submitted as a writing prompt to Terri G. Scullen’s essay, “Green Means Go.” They will be publishing it on their online literary magazine!!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Eggs & Wienies

I'll never forget the time I happily took breakfast to a team meeting. It was supposed to have a Mexican theme and I had often talked to a co-worker about the similarities in our ethnic diets. I told him that we cooked chicharones or pork skins in a red chili and that they were really delicious this way. He said he'd be curious to taste them, so I always said I would bring tacos one day.

I finally had a chance to do it, so I took a variety of tacos, from a taqueria in my neighborhood, to the team meeting. Mixed in the group were some egg and wienie tacos. I was really surprised when I saw the reaction of some of our co-workers that were not of color. They thought that eggs and wienies were gross. They made faces and turned up their noses at those tacos. They prefered the egg and potato or egg and bacon tacos.

It's so funny to me when we are so used to a specific custom and we think it's perfectly normal, only to encounter people who don't find it normal and even find it strange.

When I was a kid my mom always cooked up wienies and mixed them with other foods, specifically eggs. I didn't think it odd when I saw these at the neighborhood taquerias.

So this morning I made eggs and wienies for breakfast. The kids love it when I make that. My son was saying that he didn't want anything to eat, but when he saw that it was eggs and wienies he changed his mind. So it was a wienie and egg day!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"New Shoes Kinda Happy"

I picked up the April issue of skirt! today. I can’t wait to read it! I love the sentence on the cover, on the shoe, “be new shoes kinda happy.” Remember that happiness when you were a little girl? Remember that happiness now when you find a great pair of shoes on sale and they fit and feel great? Even better!

Tonight was a happy night! We had a great family night. All four of us went to see “Walking with the Dinosaurs,” at the Toyota Center. It was great and the kids loved it! I love watching the kids’ reactions when they see something new. Their faces and their expressions crack me up.

On a somewhat sad note, I’ve been congested the last few days because of all the pollen. I’m not usually affected but I was this Spring. I’ve been sneezing a lot, but thank goodness it’s gotten a lot better. That’s the only down side to a beautiful Spring like this one.

The weather in Houston has been so beautiful. I hate that I’m at work all day and that I miss it. I like it when I have sales calls outside because I can get out and see the day.

New favorite quote for the week- "Odd how the creative power at once brings the whole universe to order." - Virginia Woolf