Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From Our Familia this Navidad

In lieu of a Christmas letter, I give you the Alvarez Family Christmas Blog. I'm sure most etiquette gurus are barfing about this total lack of respect for the holiday tradition, but, let's be honest, it's December 28th and there is no sign of any mail coming from my home to yours. So, without further adieu, I give you the Alvarez Family 2010.

The biggest and most important event of 2010 was the arrival of AV, known everywhere else including on her birth certificate but excluding facebook, blogs and text messages as Ana Victoria Alvarez Hickey. Unless, of course, you are looking at her US birth certificate where she is just plain old Ana Victoria Alvarez. If I haven't made it clear to all of you on this blog, you probably haven't been reading this blog for very long or maybe we need to check your reading comprehension skills, my child is the cutest and most amazing child on Earth.

Ramon is doing his architect thing, making sure roads, highways and bridges are built correctly. Blah, blah, blah, People only read these to get to the pictures and to find out about the babies.

Shannon is still teaching little spoiled brats, I mean, lovely fifth grade children. Blah, blah, blah. Get to the pictures of the babies.

Here she is, in all her glory. The great AV at almost 9 months old. Hello, little princess.

Here we are. Ramon, Shannon and Ana Victoria Alvarez. Just about the cutest little Mexican-American family out there.
The whole family. In my world, we are known as the HIYA family. Hickey, Isbell, Young and Alvarez families in age order make a delightful and dangerous acronym. Watch out when the HIYA's are about.
From left to right: Ramon, Shannon, AV, Liam, Mom, Dad, Erin, Connor, Justin, Baby Sawyer (due any day!), Caitlin, and Josh.
Pretty cool considering this time two years ago, Caitlin and I weren't married and this time last year Liam and a still cooking AV were the only kids.

I hope my Christmas letter finds you still reading now and in the coming year. If you keep reading, I'll keep writing.
Feliz Navidad from our familia to yours.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We are go for travel...

This weekend starts the travel season for us and I'm so pumped! And, no I'm not being sarcastic for once.

We are heading to a little town outside of Pachuca, Hidalgo. (Look it up on a map!) My friend from college who is ultimately responsible for my being in Mexico and meeting Ramon, is having her big church wedding in her husband's hometown. It's sure to be a blast!

Then next week we head to Seattle. AV's first Navidad! According to weather.com it is supposed to be in the 50's in Denver where we have our layover which means ontime flights! Then it's supposed to be in the 40's and rainy in Seattle. Disgusting and delightful.

Christmas cookies, eggnog and family? Yes, please.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yes, We're alive

I know it's been a long time. It had been a long time two weeks ago when I finally started writing my Thanksgiving memoir.

Then, it happened, again. Stupid Expletive Computer. Even though I got it "fixed" just two months ago, it is on the fritz again. Do I need to explain to you how frustrating it is to turn on the machine to have everything work except the screen. Blue lights blinking and taunting me with the computer's black screen seemingly saying "I hate you...Bah Humbug."

So, for now, you'll have to imagine. Imagine a witty post about Thanksgiving also full of pictures. Imagine a delighful ditty about how 5th graders and how the words "I will make you put on a coat if you don't stop being distracted by your own arm" came out of my mouth earlier this week. Imagine all my recounts of Ana Victoria and how wonderful she is.

Think of it as blogging Advent. Wait and prepare, because when I'm back, it'll be good.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The ups and downs of a lentil mess

We had a little situation last night in the Alvarez kitchen. I was cooking up some lentils for AV, yes she eats lentils. In fact, she loves them. They are right up there with black beans and spinach and bananas.

Pretty uneventful Sunday evening.

I was using the pressure cooker which is an essential kitchen appliance (is it an appliance, a pot, what?) NO good Mexican wife/woman lives without one. I am so good, I have two. Watch out.

Pressure cookers, if you can't tell by the name, cook things quickly but under great amounts of pressure. This requires the operator to have patience when the cooking process is complete so that the pressure goes away, and you can open the lid. (Your welcome, you have all now passed PC 101).

Ramon, for once in his life, didn't show his normal extreme patience. In our house, the one who is patient is him. The one who is not is me. Needless to say, I didn't quite know what to do when I heard a big pop and then a few choice words coming from my husband.

When I ventured to the kitchen, you can imagine what I found. Lentils. Lentils high. Lentils low. Lentils on the clean dishes. Lentils on the stovetop. Lentils. Everywhere. Which is funny, because when would you ever see a kitchen covered in lentils. (How many times can I write lentils? Lentils.)

Now, I thank my lucky stars that Ramon, aside from being patient, is also a great cleaner-upper. So, I just said, "What happened?" He said, "The lentils exploded." And I said, "Oh, that sucks." and watched him clean. Well, I helped a little.

I learned that my stove top can be taken apart. So, that was a nice tidbit of information. I also learned that when you take the stove apart you can see to the wall behind the sink. And guess what I found when the stove was in bits and pieces? My long lost cookie sheet that fell behind the sink after the great Cookie/Cracker baking fiasco of 2010.

Moral of the story. If you want to find a cookie sheet, have your husband explode lentils in your kitchen.

How's that for a moral?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Bomb Threats and Brown Trout

Today was one that started like any other. Cold, but not quite as cold as other days this week. The kids were their normal chatterbox-y selves. I threatened taking recess away about 11 times. They saw right through me all 11 times.

Recess came and went. We were trying, big emphasis on the trying, to get down to business, when the word to evacuate quickly came. Here we go. Teacher hell. Right up there with Halloween, bomb threats make poking your eyes out with a toothpick sound enjoyable. But, since we (I) here at the Casa Alvarez blog like to find the humor in things. I give you the following.

Plus sides to Bomb Threat Day:

-Impromptu suntanning (burning). When am I ever just standing in the sun for two hours. This would obviously be way better without 1200+ 2-12 year olds running amuck and with a beach and a sangria, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.

-Impromptu half-day. I swear, I'm going to start thinking that the first mom who arrives has got to be the one who made the call. How is it possible that we haven't even finished evacuating the building and they're already there to take their precious cargo home? Do they wait in the parking lot all day?

-Watching Super Model wannabe moms stumble through the rocky/grassy field in 5 inch stilletos. Some call it dismissal when the music rings at 2:00, I call it "Who can wear the tightest pants, lowest cut blouse and highest heels." Fine when you only have to walk in the hallway. Not so fine when you have to navigate a soccer field full of 50+ groups of students to find that diamond in the rough that you call your child.

-At least its the soccer field and not the cactus garden. At the AS world, we are moving up. I say this because not very many people have witnessed much along the ways of improvements in these parts. My first bomb threat corralled 300 some-odd students into the schools 30 square foot cactus garden at 7:30am. Yep, kids and cactus = great idea.

-Confidence that the school is safe. (Not funny, but true) There is 24/7/365 security at the school plus an alarm system. So, basically if you're not supposed to be there, you won't be. It's nice to know that even if someone wanted to plant a bomb at the school (which what kind of person would?), they couldn't.

So, on that note, let's move along to this evening. After such an eventful afternoon at school, AV decided to rest for me for about an hour and a half, a miraculous, gift-from-God, afternoon nap for her. After, we played, we took and walk, we had dinner and we got the bath ready. A normal evening in the Alvarez house. Until....

Ana Victoria decided that she would rather have a jacuzzi than a bathtub. I'm with you on that one sister, I would settle for a shower that was actually warm for more than 2 minutes. What I am not, however, supporting is that she decided to manually make the bubbles go. She tried a little too hard and one of those jacuzzi bubbles came out with a prize. Actually three prizes

Everybody clear the pool. Brown trout.

Needless to say, bath time was cut short and followed by a serious talking to about when and where we move our bowels.

In the words of the late and great Dave Niehaus, My, Oh My.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Guilt-driven parenting

I'm going to go ahead and assume that if you're reading this and you're a parent you have at some point, and most likely at many points, made parenting decisions based on that fabulous thing we like to call guilt. If you're not a parent yet, then you can roll your eyes at me all you want. What do I care? I can't see you. But, mark my words, when you have your own children, you will make guilt-based decisions, and you will think of me. And, on that day, I will say, I told you so and feel very pleased with myself.

Guilt-driven parenting could be a totally new craze. If I had the patience and train of thought longer than like 4 minutes, I would write a book about it and make millions. Eat your heart out attachment parenting and babywisers- GDP isn't gross domestic product anymore (thank you whatever class in high school taught me that) GDP is THE new way to parent.

My GDP started when AV was very young. I thought that anytime she was awake I needed to be talking, interacting, playing, etc with her. I felt guilty when I would put her down to do something or another. Not to mention, God forbid, put her in the car and take her somewhere. Guilt, guilt, guilt. Then, of course, my guilt-driven thinking took over and I started thinking if I would like it for someone to be talking at me and playing with me and not giving me a second to look around during every second of my waking hours. I concluded that that would be obnoxious (something I do well). Then, the GDP took over on the other side. Oh jeez, I haven't been letting her be her own person. I haven't taken her places. GDP, baby.

GDP worked wonders when going to work, too. The wannabe stay-at-home mom in me thought of what horrible irreversable damage I was doing to the poor creature entrusted to my care by abandoning her to the loving arms of grandparents for 6 hours a day. Tears, hugs, and all sorts of get rich plans abounded from GDP and the working mom. Then, guilt-driven thinking told me that if I didn't work the baby wouldn't have a house to call home, wouldn't know her family in the USA and wouldn't have the education she deserved. GDP told me that I should head back if only for the tiny silver lining every 15th and 30th called payday.

GDP is at work right now in the mother's milk factory. This mama cow's supply is dwindling. My poor child will no longer be one of those magical, mythical creatures who are closer to angelic than they are to human, whose poop, literally, does not stink, who will never be obese, who will get a 1600 on their SAT's the first time without studying, who can most likely speak in complete sentences at 5 weeks old. She will be thrown to the proverbial dogs and become one of those alien children who drink.......formula......eeeewwww. I'll let you all shudder and shun me by shaking your head at the computer. (It's okay, it's all a part of the GDP process.) In my desire to not send my child to the dark side of baby nutrition, I tried everything I could to make more milk. Then GDP started working its magic. What does this GDP mom really want: a starving unhappy breast-fed baby, or a health strong bottle-fed one? When it comes down to it, formula (eeeewww) was invented for a reason, so that babies could grow strong and healthy when their mothers could no longer give them what they needed. It sounds a little less nasty now, but only just a little. GDP, in all her glory.

GDP, you might be realizing is just a fancy way to find balance. I shouldn't tell you that, because now my non-existent book won't sell. As parents we do the best we can with what we have. We trust our instincts and make choices every day so that these tiny humans under our charge grow into some semblance of normal, healthy and hopefully, good-looking, smart and successful adult humans. As long as the GDP thinking is evenly weighted with pro's and con's, the parents have a pretty good chance of making the best decision for their children. (pretty good chance is a very technical term, you need technical terms for your method to sell) That isn't to say that I won't look back in twenty years and think about all the things I should have done differently, but I will at the very least, be able to tell my children that I thought through, and probably overthought, every single decision that involved them and their development.

I will be accepting your pre-orders for the GDP book. Let me know how many copies you want.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Saturday and Sunday are Chores days around the Alvarez household.

I thought Saturday and Sunday were the weekend, but apparently, I was wrong.

Now, the more I do chores, the more I realize how terrible chores are. I've heard people say that chores are a way of loving your family. But, let's be honest, I would much rather love AV and Ramon over a box of white chocolate Oreo's. I think they'd feel the love way more, too, because I wouldn't be righteously annoyed.

Chores suck, plain and simple. Here's why.

They are never actually done. You spend all day, sometimes night, and sometimes even the next day if you live in a dryer-less world like I do. Sunday night you finish the laundry and have every sock put away, but inevitably you have to take off the clothes you're wearing. The empty white basket is now one step closer to full again. It just makes you want to scream sometimes.

Sweeping and mopping are also lame-o. Mexico is the dust capital of the world. So, once the floors have been swept and mopped you can already see those stupid butt-holey dust specks starting to settle back down in their place. I can hear their tiny dust voices whispering, "Nice try, Sssuuuccckkkaaa."

Now, let's talk about the kitchen. The kitchen is usually clean for about 10 hours a day. Pretty impressive, I'd say. Except for the part where 8 of those hours are when the entire house is sleeping and no one can enjoy it. The second you wake up, someone needs to make breakfast. That someone is 99.9% of the time, me. I don't have one of those magical dish hiding places that other people have been known to call dishwashers. The dish washer, again, is 98.4% (we'll give Ramon a little more credit on this one) of the time me. After washing all the dishes, without fail, you turn around to find one lone cup or spoon who defied the instruction to be washed and stored. Whatever, that jerk gets to sit all night alone in the sink and think about what he's done.

Don't get me started on the bathroom. I've decided it's going to be Ramon's chore. I hate cleaning the bathroom. The second you finish, you always ALWAYS have to go the bathroom. And if you live in a house like mine, you don't have any other viable or appropriate option other than to dirty up your nice clean bathroom. It's not so much the going that bugs me as much as it is the washing hands part because the nice clean shiny sink now has drip marks. Since I'm unwilling to give up the handwashing part of the bathroom experience, I just have to resign myself to the fact that the bathroom will never be perfectly clean.

Some parts of cleaning are, however, extremely satisfying. I love the feeling when you think, 'Oh yeah, that's what that coach looked like.' or 'That spot wasn't permanent? Sweet.' But, come on, that doesn't happen often enough to outweigh all of the negatives.

They say a woman's work is never done. I think that phrase should more appropriately be changed to read, "Chores suck, but you still have to do 'em."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If Strollers Could Talk

To start, my stroller would have an awesome accent. Something to drive all the babes wild.

Then, my stroller would get a little more serious and probably tell me the following things.

Dear Owner,

I was not made for what you are putting me through. I was happily shipped to Babies R Us USA where there are sidewalks and paved roads and ramps and crosswalks and all sorts of other amenities of this sort. If I had been informed upon my purchase that I would soon be exported, I most likely would have objected very loudly. I would most definitely have objected had I known that you were going to be my owner. Every night, I sit alone and cry, "Why me?!" I think you deserve to know why.

1. Your child, while extremely cute, (I might say that she is the cutest baby I have ever seen in my entire life, and strollers have been around for a while, that's saying something. But, I digress.) is not even seven months old yet and has already puked on me and peed on me more times than I can count. That, dear woman, is gross. I do not like to have any bodily fluids other than my own, which I have none, on me.

2. Focus, woman. Your child was barely 6 weeks old when you burned the living crapola out of one of my wheels. I understand that lights in the floor is supposed to be something modern and interesting. However, my wheels are plastic. Plastic melts. Even if the streets were paved in gold, my ride would now be just slightly wobbly because of your lack of general awareness of your surroundings. Next time when you smell something burning, check my wheels, it's probably me.

3. I am not as small as you think I am. I am a travel system. We are the SUV's of strollers. We take up entire trunk spaces just because we can. We have no qualms with taking the space of things like groceries. We are that important. Please, understand, come to terms, and begin respecting this fact. Stop trying to force me through spaces between buildings and telephone poles. Stop taking me to crowded market places. You can pretend you don't see the dirty looks when you push me into the ankles of those in front. But, the baby and I? We feel those scornful looks, and frankly, it hurts.

You are very lucky that your baby is so cute, because if she were one of those weird-looking alien babies that are out there, I would have rebelled against you a long time ago. I just ask you to open your eyes, ears, nose and work on your spacial awareness. If not for my sake, for the sake of the precious cargo I transport, I don't know how much more we can take.


Your Stroller.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Wait, what?

Wait, what? This is an all too common phrase that is most often accompanied by a raised eyebrow and confused face and it can most likely be seen on me when trying to decipher my students' work. Once I figure out what the child is trying to say, the confused usually turns into a smiley laughing face.

Want some examples? I though you would.

We are dead for food.

Translation: We were dying of hunger.

It was a week very heaviest.

Translation: It was a very tiring week.

The convencion durate to one week.

Translation: The convention lasted one week.

The sending is the aple richen large that whit spon and spar centing cente.

1st Response: WTF? What is this?

2nd Response: (Just hit me in this moment 3 weeks after reading the work) AAhh, she has tried (big emphasis on the tried) to copy from the book to answer the question: What is the setting?

Translation: The setting is the castle kitchen, large pots with spoons are placed center stage.

Define Shellfish (not my student but definitely share-worthy)

Answer: Shellfish is when you only care about yourself.

Use Majesty in a sentence.

I say to the teacher Majesty because I want more recess.

Response: Nice try.

Use porridge in a sentence.

The people want porridge.

Response: Give the people what they want, I say. Their demands aren't outrageous.

Use peasant in a sentence.

This school have a peasant to do the school nice.

Response: Oh, is that what we're calling janitors and gardeners now?

By far, best sentence I have read in all of my five years of teaching.
Drum Roll, PLEASE!

Use dungeon in a sentence.

This person are bad they kill chickens and are in the dungeon.

Response: After I stopped laughing, read it again, laughed again and stopped again, I thought "Chicken Killer? Really? That's what you have to do to get sent to the dungeon?"

PS Yes, we read a story about a king, so, no, these vocabulary words aren't weird.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cookies or Crackers?

I have an amazing oven.

It's amazing for many reasons none of which include its ability to cook food. I don't know how old it is, but let's just say that if we ball park it in the time frame of older than me, younger than dirt.

I will give it this, though. It is the first oven that I've had in Mexico with numbers. I'm talking real temperatures, people. My first oven went from temperature minus sign (-) to temperature plus sign (+). Your guess is as good as mine, or maybe better because I always guessed wrong with that baby. My second oven was way more high tech; it had a scale from 1-5. Again, your guess, probably better. This one has temps, in celsius, which, even after 5 years, still means very little to me.

The door doesn't close properly. Handy Fix-it Man Wally Hickey rigged up a nice latch system for me when he was here in April which took the oven's usability from zero to functioning. To use said latch, you must push all your weight against the oven door and then latch. Though, when the oven is on, this means that you will burn your leg and fingers because the door and latch are just about as hot as the inside of the oven.

Everything around the oven gets hot when its on. Note to self, plastic should not be close by. Learned that lesson the hard way.

Oh yeah, that part about how the oven has temperatures? Big, fat lie. The temperatures mean nothing. I set my oven to less than 350. It heated up to over 500.

The point is this: I now have 60+ chocolate chip crackers.

Anybody hungry?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Never seen that before.

Sometimes living in Mexico gets old.

Like on the days when you have to push a stroller on what can only be loosely defined as sidewalk, and more accurately can be described as blocks of concrete of varying heights, super steep driveways, with telephone poles in the middle that require you to take aforementioned stroller into traffic to go around aforementioned pole.

Mexico can get old when you realize that you've been cut off by the same bus three times in three blocks because it speeds up to get in front of you then pulls over and stops to let people off.

Somethings don't get old.

Like seeing a man walking down the street carrying three GIANT bags of cheese puffs. I'm talking bags that are almost the size of the man.

Now that, my friends, is funny.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I'm a teacher.

I bet by the title you think this is going to be a real deep and meaningful post about the joys of educating the future world leaders. Nope. Sorry. (Though, I know most of you are probably relieved since you don't want to read a serious blog post.)
Think back to the days of Barbie to that fateful day when you, and you know you all did, decided that barbie needed a haircut. Same idea.
I cut Ana Victoria's hair.
AV was growing a little Mexi-Mullet. Party in the back and on top with a nice little bald patch around the middle. If you know my dad, think opposite of Walter. So, since Ramon and I both cut our hair yesterday, we decided it was time for AV to join us. Little snip here, little snip there. Then I snipped some more. I'm no Gene Juarez, but if you like crookedy bangs, I'm your gal. Don't look close while the hair is wet. Just look at the overall style. (Most haircuts look better styled anyway. Whoever believes in wash and wear, just likes boring hair....ie... me...lots of dots...) Let's just say I'm not going to quit my day job yet.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feeling cool.

I saw this today and all of a sudden felt real cool.
Who do I know in Latvia, Germany, Netherlands and China?

PS The height of people reading my blog was July. You've been slacking. I've been slacking. Let's fix that.

Pageviews by Countries
United States

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Adventures in Public Transportation

I've only really used public transportation in a few countries, but I am taking the liberty of generalizing that public transportation, along with its users, has some serious quirks that, if you catch the rider on a good day, can really be quite enjoyable. My, that was a long sentence.

If you didn't read my last post, shame on you, you may have missed the part about how I crashed. The car is still in the shop, not because the problem is that serious, but more because the car is really only Ramon and my priority. Not the insurance, not the shop, nobody. Sucks to be us? Yes, a little bit.

Any way, I've become a bus rider again. I thank my lucky little stars that this will be a relatively short lived period of my life, since I'll only be able to find humor in it for so long.

There is no such thing as a bus schedule. Three might pass at the same time, racing each other, of course, and then it can really honestly seriously be twenty minutes until the next one comes by.

Black lights are cool. They're especially cool if they make Jesus on the cross glow.

Speaking of Jesus on the cross, He is on every bus. Not in the spiritual kind of way where Jesus is always with us. No, he's there. Usually in giant crucifix or life-size window cling form. He is usually accompanied by Mary, Our Lady of Juquilita, and/or some pin-up model in a bikini.

There is no such thing as a full bus. Friday I got on one that was obviously overfilled when I got on. Think enough seats for 30, already had close to 50 when I got on. My silly little naive self thought, "Oh good, he probably won't stop much more, now." Wrong. Think sardines. Smelly, sweaty, unshowered, Friday afternoon sardines. I think I just threw up a little.

Here's my wondering. I'll chalk it up to life's big questions. Isn't it in the bus drivers best interest to get people safely and comfortably from one destination to the next? Isn't that good for business? Isn't it probably a good idea to stop the bus completely while people get on and off? Isn't it probably wise to pick up passengers, especially when your bus is empty?

Call me loca... Here's to hoping the car is ready soon.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gone, but not forgotten

Have you missed me?

So much has happened in the last month, good and bad. I'll try to do a quick summary for you.

1. Went back to work. The first day of school is always amazing. There so much wondering going on, just what oh what, incredible, invaluable, can't believe I lived so long without knowing this, information will they present to us?? Last year it was a mathematician who talked for, no joke, two full hours about doctorate level math problems with the sole purpose of showing us that with all that math that only about .2% of the population understands, you can, in fact, make a graph that is a pretty little flower. So, you can only imagine the level of excitement I had anticipating the first day. I was pleasantly surprised to have a visit from Apple, Latin America who told us all about the amazing things you can do with Apple products. Do you think I can do that with my Apple 2E (just kidding, I have a little fancier technology, a little)? Nope. But the second speaker blew me away. Did you know that you can get old without aging? I didn't. I still don't get it. I'm also still trying to figure out what that has to do with elementary school...

2. Computer stopped working. It turns on, and by on I mean the little blue lights on the top turn on. The screen? Not so much. That's fun. It will be around 200 bucks to get it fixed, which I have to do because my entire Master's degree and all of my pictures are saved on it and I'm not quite willing to live without those.

3. AV started eating food. She loves pears. She makes faces at the first bite of apples. She is an eating monster. She can roll over front to back and back to front. She laughs. She sleeps 11 hours. I love her. She's amazing.

4. Crashed Ramon's car. Insert your favorite expletive here and you might come close to the colorful language implemented by me last Thursday morning. Ramon's hierarchy? Ana, Car, Me. I think I might have dropped a few spots now, too. The good news? He's now speaking to me again. The bad news? I crashed his car. The good news? The baby wasn't with me and nobody was hurt. The bad news? I crashed his car. The good news? I learned how to call the insurance company and deal with transit police. The bad news? I crashed Ramon's car, had to deal with slimy corrupt policeman who took my money and then hit on me. Aaah, the joys of life.

So, that's me. Once I get the computer up and running again, I promise to make my absence up to you all. Please, don't go jumping off any cliffs. I still love you. I still think of you often. We will be together again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

4 months, what?

My baby girl is a world-traveling, laughing, rolling, sleeping through the night (almost), machine.

I love her with everything that I am. Even when she's being a turd.

Here she is all dolled up in a dress that was hand-made for her by one of Ramon's family members in Veracruz. So sweet!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Traveling with AV

Getting on an airplane with a baby is a serious walk of shame.

I see your scornful looks. I hear your silent prayer, "Please, for the love of all that is holy, do NOT let that baby be sitting by me." I feel your dread. Your attempts to hide are feeble. Don't fake smile at my baby, she sees right through you.

I laugh now, ha ha ha, because you are kicking yourself and feeling guilty for underestimating the amazing, super-hero-esque, lovable little girl that I call my child.

Ana Victoria was a FABULOUS little traveler. Scream it from the hilltops. AV has redeemed the name of traveling babies for once and for all. (We will accept your congratulations and thank you's through monetary donations...no limit)

This little one loves adventure, I guess.

In 18 days we did all of the following plus some. We rode the bus to Mexico City, flew to Houston, stood in line with 20 other flight's worth of passengers, missed our connection, ate a ridiculously overpriced salad, flew to Seattle, visited, shopped, played, swam, met people, hung out with cousins, went to church, ate too many Cheez-its, flew to San Francisco, drove to San Jose, met great-grandparents, picked oranges, drove to San Luis Obispo, partied with the Hickey's, got up at 5 am, drove back to San Fran, spent 15 bucks on a bagel and fruit, flew to Mexico City, waited for a stroller that never arrived, reunited with Ramon, rode the bus back to Puebla, stopped for tacos and went home!

I guess that just means we'll have to travel more. I'll make that sacrifice for you, AV. Who loves ya?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mexico Q & A

I live in Mexico. Surprisingly, this brings on lots more questions then, say, living in Bellevue does. They are all, usually, good natured, honest questions that people really just want to know the answer. So, to the inquiring minds that need their fix of useless information, I'd like to just set the record straight.

Question 1. You live in Mexico, so why don't you have a tan?
To me this is like asking, you live in Seattle, why aren't you wet? Yes, may come as a shocker, but there is inside in Mexico, too. And, another shocker here, I have a day job. And to just keep the shock effect going, I don't live in Cancun, wish I did, but I don't. So, the answer to this question is the following: My life consists of going to work, coming home, taking care of a baby, cleaning (sometimes), etc. It doesn't leave to much time for basking in the rays. Plus, where would I bask? The parking lot in front of my house just seems like maybe not the best place.

Question 2. When are you moving back to the USA?
This one is a kick in the guts every time I hear it. I love Washington. I love the trees, the fresh air, the Cheez-its, the Targets, the Old Navys, ok, getting off track. Point, I love where I am from. But there comes a time in every young woman's life, (please imagine me with grey hair in a rocking chair while I share) when she needs to make the decision that's best for her family. My family unit consists of Ramon, me and AV right now. Here's the short answer, I don't know. We will be wherever it is best for us to be for as long as it is best for us to be there. That means anywhere in the whole wide world. For now, it means Puebla. If you know how to convince my husband that Washington is the best place for us, by all means, share away.

Question 3. Will AV speak English?
Short answer, She'd better. Long answer, I speak 100% English to her and around her. I blab on and on about anything and everything so that she is inundated with English. The rest of her world operates in Spanish. I can't control that. She'll speak all right, she might prefer Spanish, but she'll be a native English speaker.

Question 4. What's it like where you live?
I get the feeling that people have two very general understandings of Mexico- tiny little towns where everyone wears sombreros and beach paradises where only tourists where sombreros. I don't fall into either of those categories. (I know I'm like totally shattering some people's worlds right now, sorry) Puebla is the 5th largest city in Mexico. Approximately 2 million people. Yeah, so it's big. It was one of the stops along the way for Hernan Cortes as he travelled and claimed Mexico for Spain from the port of Veracruz to what we now call Mexico City. Puebla is known as the city of angels. And, now I sound like a tour guide. Long story, short. It's a huge metropolis.

Those are the main questions that I commonly hear, but if you'd like to hear my witty, intelligent, and oh-so-interesting answers to any other questions, feel free to share.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Like there was ever any doubt

In my world, since March 30th, there has never existed even the slightest shadow of a doubt about who's kid is the cutest in the entire world. Just so we're all clear, it's my kid.

Case in point. I give you the following:

AV has shades.
There are no words to describe how awesome she looks.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Learning a lesson...

AV has two new tricks. Rolling over and screaming.

Not at the same time or that would be three tricks.

I'll focus my mind on the first trick while I write this to remind myself how normal, sweet, smart, and wonderful she is. It's so cute to put her down on her belly and watch her flip right over on to her back. She gets so much momentum sometimes that she almost does a full 360. On Saturday, I told Ramon that by the time we got back from the US, she would be rolling over. Not 5 minutes later, she did!

Now that I've calmed myself down, I'll focus on the second trick. I guess I shouldn't describe this so much as a trick as it is, hmm, what word shall I use? Thinking... Choosing wisely... Umm, what do you call the thing that makes you think twice about having another baby? I guess for lack of a better word and considering my mood, we'll call it "extreme vocalization" for now.

AV has learned how to extreme vocalize. Yes, that sounds much better than scream bloody murder. This has come in tandum with her refusal to take long enough naps to make her not so tired. I feel like I've got one in the "win" column because I am about 89% sure that she cries because she's tired. Another 1% thinks she has something wrong with her. The last 10% is the first-time parent uncertainty bubble that looms around every possible child-centered decision.

Hearing your child scream, I mean extreme vocalize, is a sure-fire way to make you feel like just about the worst parent out there. Part of me wonders when I can expect a knock on the door from curious neighbors wondering just what in the world I am doing to her. She has this really awesome knack (Does knack have a silent-k? I feel like it does, or at least should) for vocalizing when we are around Ramon's family. So, the discussion begins, what's wrong with her? To which the defensive new-mom in me wants to scream, "Nothing! Sometimes babies cry!!" but to which I nicely (at least it's nice in my head) say, "I don't know."

We started a new nap routine today- Operation Nap Time. It worked pretty well in the morning. She slept for an hour and a half and only needed her binky back in once. We tried again this afternoon and she slept for half an hour. Then we went to my in-law's to eat, and the vocalizing commenced. COME ON, AV! I mean, seriously, you couldn't just vocalize at home? You had to save it for the abuelos?!

After rocking and swaddling and shushing her to no avail, I politely said goodbye and wandered home. She was quieter outside. (Putting that one in the ideas pile for ways to get her to vocalize less extremely) I came home put her in the sling to chill her out some and then transfered her to the crib. I could have kept her in the sling, but mom needs a break.

Here's my top 10 new-mom self-help counselor advice-
1. Chill out, mama. Babies cry. That's their job.
2. You need to cry with her? Go for it. But, only for a minute. No wallowing.
3. (Very important epiphany) Put her down and walk away. Step away from the baby, crazy woman.
4. This, too, shall pass.
5. No one said parenting would be easy, they just said it would be worth it.
6. It's beer o'clock somewhere. She's asleep now, reward yourself with whatever you want, beer, chocolate, facebook, whatever floats your boat, honey girl.
7. Tomorrow's another day. Maybe she won't cry. If she doesn't, great. If she does, you'll deal with it then.
8. You think she's crying because she's tired. You're probably right. Go with that. If it doesn't work, try another idea.
9. Take a deep breath. Relax. Get your shoulders out of your ears from being so tense. That's not helping anyone.
10. Jesus, I trust in you. (I said this all through my labor and all day for the first few weeks of her life. It helped then and I'd forgotten because I'd gotten confident.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When the goings get rough

It's times like these that I wish Puebla and Seattle were neighboring cities.

My baby nephew, Connor James, was born Saturday, July 10th. His original due date was August 19th. The doctors had scheduled my sister for her c-section on July 27th due to a rare condition called Placenta Accreta. She had been on bed rest, in the hospital for over a month, when she had serious bleeding and they decided that baby needed to arrive even earlier than anticipated.

He's in an incubator, he needs oxygen, he's jaundiced, he's a tiny peanut. He's beautiful.

Knowing the love I have for my baby girl and how I used to cry and cry when she would cry and cry even though she was healthy and strong, I can't imagine the hell my sister and brother-in-law are living right now. I'm crying as I write this just thinking about it.

I wish I could be there right this instant to hold hands, give hugs, distract worried faces, try to calm frightened family. The next week will be an eternity while I wait for the day I can finally be with them.

For now, it's a lot of prayer. Asking Jesus to protect His little angel, Connor. To help him grow stronger with each passing hour. To comfort his Mom and Dad and big brother. To calm their fears. To heal my sister from her surgery. To help them come together as the united family that they've always been. To help them be brave. For their hearts to overflow with peace and comfort. For their sleep to be restful and multiplied so they have the energy for each new day. To know how much we love them and would give anything to make everything better.

May this, one of life's most difficult trials, bring praise and glory to God when Connor and Erin are both home and healthy.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Closing up shop.

It's the end of the year at the AS world. That means there's a whole lot of sitting around doing nothing on my work schedule. The end of the year brings a whole lot of ridiculous with it, too. I will allow myself to share with you.

1. Change classrooms AGAIN. In August, I will begin my 5th year at the American School. I will begin it in the 6th classroom. That's right. 6 classrooms, 5 years. It's a good thing I'm ocd about throwing things away so I don't have that much to move. But, honestly, again? Another classroom? I'm going back down to 5th grade because they say they need my crack-the-whip, respect-my-authority, no-you-may-not-do-whatever-you're-asking-to-do, yes-you-do-have-to-do-what-I-say, discipline-is-my-best-friend attitude with the next generation of kids. Needless to say, I'm psyched for the groups to come.

2. Have a party. We celebrated 4th of July with a staff barbeque- hot dogs, burgers, baked beans, etc. Only a few people gave the beans a look that blatantly said "You put sugar on the beans." To which we kindly resonded with the look of "You put chocolate on your chicken (aka Mole)" The 6th grade team and a couple others spent the WHOLE day, 8-2, preparing, partying, and cleaning up a 1-hour lunch. Complete with Conga line and dance party. It's just what happens when teachers get a little freedom.

3. Say good-bye. Now, this doesn't really fall so much into the ridiculous category as it does into the I-can't-believe-it category. I'm not lying or exagerating when I say that I can count all of my friends here on approximately two hands. So, when people decide to go back to the USA or dedicate their time to their families, I'm jealous, I mean sad. My good friend Claritza is leaving with her husband and soon to be born little girl. We started at the school together, did our masters together, got married and pregnant within months of eachother. We've really grown-up together from late Friday nights with too much beer and dance parties in our living room to sharing ups and downs and asking eachother's advice. I will REALLY miss her!

4. File and unfile, and file again. The Secretary of Education sends report cards for Spanish teachers to fill out, in pen, with zero mistakes, at the end of every school year. This year those report cards are behind schedule. Which means that everything is now behind schedule. We file student grades in their individual files at the end of every year, too. Because we didn't have grades to give to parents, we had to unfile the previously filed grades, put them into the envelopes to send home, print out new report cards and file them again. Maybe I'm just nuts, but couldn't we have skipped a few steps here, printed the report cards again and just put those in the envelopes??

5. Here's my year in review:
Number of times called to the office: 6
Number of times called to the principal's office: 1 (a real improvement for me)
Number of times accused of starting a strike with the 6th grade teachers: 1
Number of weeks worked: 30
Number of weeks of maternity leave: 14
Number of hours at work per week: 30
Number of hours of actual work completed each week BEFORE maternity leave: 28
Number of hours of actual work completed each week AFTER maternity leave: 2

School's out for summer. One month from today, I'll have to be back. Better hurry up and start enjoying the days off!

Monday, July 5, 2010

And you wonder...

...with eyes like these, how could her nickname be anything OTHER than bug!?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

365 days

365 days ago, I married my best friend. On that day, there were smiles, tears, laughter, mariachis, photos, friends, family, and so much more. It was an incredible way to start an incredible journey.

365 days later, we've had ups and downs. We've had joys and sorrows. We've laughed and fought. We've welcomed the most beautiful baby girl into our family.

I can't wait to see what the next 365 days hold. I love you, Ramon!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I'm a lemming

Everyone else has been changing blog styles, so I HAD to, as well.

I'm a lemming. Let's all go jump off a bridge.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Feeling thoughtful

Because I know you love my insight. Because I know you love my reflective nature. Because I know no one else would blog about this in a million years. Because my baby's asleep and I have a few minutes.

I give to you, drumroll please, my thoughts on Mexican bathrooms.

They usually leave a lot, bold font, italics, to be desired.

The thing I usually desire most is a toilet seat. Why would you have a toilet with no seat? Even if you are going to cover and hover, the seat just needs to be there. This is not a random occurance that I speak of, it's a real common occurance, actually. People move from home to home and bring their seat with them because you can't be sure your new house will have one.

Toilet paper outside the stall. I don't get this one either. One giant roll to share amongst all. I like to think that the goal is to reduce tp-wastefulness. But let's be honest. No one is going to undersestimate their tp needs. You will inevitably take more paper than you could ever possibly use. The savings are lost. Just give each stall a roll, please. If not to save money, do it for the poor new-to-Mexico Gringa who hasn't learned about the one roll and who will at least once enter the stall before realizing she is tp-less.

On the subject of tp...What is up with roll placement? If you are lucky enough to get a roll to yourself, it always ends up being in a weird place. This happens in public and home bathrooms. You have to pivot and turn, or reach and risk falling just to get your squares. I feel like most people end up putting the roll on top of the tank since it's just too much effort to get the tp from its designated space.

Gold, in Mexibathroom world is this, for me:
Individual TP
Running water
Free or less thn 3 pesos.

There you have it, deep thoughts.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

AV at 2 months.

She's two and a half months now. These are her two month pictures. I got behind. Sorry.

Things I loved from this month:

-Smiles and sounds. She loves to chat. I love to hear her. We have some awesome convos. Hopefully she'll still like to talk to me when she's fifteen.

-Sleeping more. Getting up only once or twice each night is amazingly easier than three times. I can't wait until it's zero-one times a night, though.

-Growing confidence. I finally feel like I generally know what I'm doing. I have moments where I lose confidence, but mostly I think I've got the hang of things for today.

-Going back to work. Weird, I know. But, it really makes me appreciate and take advantage of the time we have together in the afternoons.

-Drinking alcohol. I missed my occasional beer and sangria while I was pregnant. All you moms know you did, too. It's nice to be able to have a drink again without thinking that a sip is going to cause serious irreperable damage.

-Hats! As if my kid wasn't cute enough to start (shameless bragging and I don't mind), throw a hat on her and her cuteness goes through the roof.

Things I'm looking forward to:

-Laughing. I think she's on the verge. She'll open her mouth real big, but no sound yet. Come on, baby, laugh!

-Washington Summer. Counting down the days until we go to WA. It's been so hot and I can't wait to have a cooler, but still warm, summer visit. I can't wait to get AV splashing in the kiddy pool at Samena.

And here she is! Yes, we are still getting the hang of the whole "sit by the bunny" photo shoot thing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On bad luck and brain fog

Mommy brain. It's a real, true and debilitating illness. When you add in some bad luck, sometimes it gets so ridiculous that you go from totally p-o'd to laughing hysterically to sobbing in 2.4 seconds. Since I have no shame and even though something embarasses me, I have no qualms in sharing, here are some of my adventures. These have all occured in the past 6 days:

Last Saturday, I had a good friend's baby shower. I was in charge of games. I got all prepared weeks earlier. I researched. I planned. I got presents. I got excited. I, also, got to the shower with NOTHING I needed for the games. I told another person I had about a million safety pins(which I do) and I would bring them(which I didn't). Smooth move, Exlax. (When's the last time you heard someone use that phrase?)

I went back to work. This means that now I can't just carry a diaper bag. I must go back to carrying a purse. It also means that when I leave the house with AV I must remember to put items from the purse into the diaper bag AND remember to return them to the purse upon return. Back to the baby shower. I needed to be there at 10. I planned to leave the house at 9:30. I left the house and 9:53. Getting out of the house with a mini-me is still not my forte. I decided the most appropriate thing to do would be to bring the purse and the diaper bag. Great idea. Except for the part when I got home and realized I had no keys, no wallet, and no purse.

Upon arrival, I turned off the car. Normal? Yes. Did you know that the air conditioner, if not turned off, causes the car battery to die? Normal? Nope. What's more awesome is when you discover this at 7:30 on Monday morning when you need to leave for work at 7:25.

My friend is visiting from the US. She has two boys, one who is 11 days older than AV. I was supposed to go to her older son's party on Sunday. Didn't get there... We made a plan for her to come over on Monday at 4:00. She did, she waited, she called, she texted. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Where was I? Inside my house, telling my child about how her friend was coming to play. Was my phone working? Nope. When did I figure this out? 5:00. She waited outside my house with a screaming baby for half an hour. She said she was worried, but let's be honest, you know there was a little (or maybe big) part of her that was thinking, "Double-you Tee Eff."

On Tuesday, AV and I went over to another friend's house to see the friend who we missed on Monday. On the way, another friend called (I feel popular, I have three friends, they all called me on one day). She told me she was worried about something and I told her I would call her right back. An hour later, my phone rings. Guess if I had called her back. What an amazing friend am I.

I like to think that I generally have things together. I like lists. I like efficiency. I like being in charge.

Right now, I look in the mirror and roll my eyes at myself and say, "Oh, honestly." It's my mom phrase.

Maybe it will get better, but what if it doesn't? I guess as long as I get out of the house and back to it in one piece and with my child in one piece, I'll call that a success.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Cheese and Sap...

...Things found in a house in a forest?

Nope. It's the general sentiment of this post.

This week I went (came since I'm here now) back to work.

AV is fine. She is such a good girl. She sleeps and eats and melts her abuelo's hearts for the morning. Then she spends the afternoon in my arms. Not so much because she wants to, but because I don't want to let her go.

There's nothing like being mom to make you feel like the most important person in the entire world. Obama, Benedict 16, Lightning McQueen, and Lady Gaga have nothing on me. They can be plastered all over magazines, newspapers and the internet. But, they can't make my baby smile. They can't make her fall asleep instantly. They can't make her stop crying. They don't know what each cry means and the different ways to make them go away.

I knew I wanted to be a mom. I didn't know how amazing it would be.

I have days (usually nights) where I pray that she will just go to sleep and stay asleep for a while. I have afternoons where I think, "Oh my goodness, wasn't it 4:30 an hour ago. What am I possibly going to do with this child for another 4 hours before bath and bedtime?"

Every moment I'm at work, I'm wondering what she's doing. I can't wait to get home every afternoon.

My kid is just that awesome.

Being a mom really is just that amazing (minus the 1st month when you have no idea what you're doing and everything makes you sob).

If you're considering procreating, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Start Calling Dibs

Since I assume I am just as, or more, popular than I think I should be, I feel it is my duty to make the following report. Ana Victoria and I will be in the USA. Yes, you read correctly. I'll give you a moment to jump up and down, wipe your eyes from the happy tears you're now crying and generally compose yourself.

Ready? Ok.

We are heading to Seattle on July 21st and will be around until August 2nd. Then we're off to California so AV can meet her Great Grandparents and the whole rambunctious bunch of Hickey's at the SADOPH reunion.

Needless to say, we're pretty psyched.

So, start calling dibs on when you want to see us! I know you mostly just want to see my child, but at least pretend to be excited to see me, okay?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Creative Money Making

I've been trying to come up with some creative ways to make money while working from home. I've scoured the internet, but everything seems just a little bit shady. You know what they say, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself. So far I've come up with the following ideas. I'm not sure how viable any of them are but, it's a start.

Win the Lottery. Very low investment on my part with the potential for huge pay-off. The only problem is the millions of other people who are also using this plan to get rich and stay at home.

Mexi-gut Diet Drink. The premise is this: you buy my diet drink and get thin quick, I get rich. It seems simple. All I have to do is invest in some water bottles and a label maker and then fill 'em up with my tap water. Where I live there is some serious hard water, I'll charge extra for the vitamins and minerals that you just can't get from any old tap water. Low cost investment on my part. The side effects for the consumer are pretty detrimental, however. Unless you don't mind living with the runs and amoebas in your system, of course. Though, now that I think about it, those could be the side effects of a lot of different diet drinks. So, really, the idea isn't that too far fetched, I guess.

Be a full-time blogger. I read a little about blogging for profit. Here's the scheme though, you have to write about one thing, be good at it and get other people to think you're good at it, too. I've got about 250 friends on facebook, maybe 25(on a good day) will click over to my blog. I don't think that's enough to get rich. Plus, there's the whole write about one thing and be good at it part. Oh well, I guess that one's out.

Start a School. This is really a dream in the works. I have recounted the adventures of the AS world. It has its ups. It has its downs. They are doing a fabulous job at taking away just about every perk that existed for working there. My hat's off, really. The only thing really left is the paycheck and the schedule (You can't really complain about Monday-Friday 8-2). So, if that's all that's left, why not start my own school? I've got access to curriculum. I have a Master's in Administration. I know quite a few people here and State-side who would make the jump with me. I'm just missing the start-up capital and the population. I think I could get the students. Now, how about the money. I'm totally willing to go into reality TV. If the Gosselin's can do it, why can't I? I'm totally way more interesting, and way less annoying. Plus, I haven't been nor will I ever be married to Jon Gosselin, that's got to be a major plus.

Afternoon tutoring. I could definitely start my own little after school-school in my home. Counting each couch cushion and chair, I could have a total of 10 kids at a time. I could open a 3-4, 4-5, 5-6 and 6-7 time slot. 4 hours times 10 is 40 kids times 30 bucks a week each is, (hold on I have to open up the calculator. What? I don't teach math) 1200 bucks a week. Really? I just had to go back and do the math on that one again because I wasn't convinced. It's true. I might have just found the winner. With cash flow like that, I might even give the kids a snack or something. I will definitely have a disclaimer that I have no responsibility over their grades. Monday-Thursday. 4 hours a day times 4 days a week is, besides being math that I can do in my head, 16 hours a week. I'm totally down for that.

The last option is to spend half of what we make now. That's easy, we already do. Almost all my money goes into savings. The only problem is we need to buy a car, a house, and plane tickets. Put that on your list for the grocery store and it comes up to about 100+ some odd thousand dollars. When you only make two thousand on a good month, that's a lot. We're going to need my mula, at least for a while.

I'm totally open to other options for money making. That's a lie, I don't want to have to work that hard, I don't want to have to do anything weird, and I don't want to leave my house for very long. So, I guess I'm not that open to very many other ways to make money. However, if you would like to give me around 1,000 bucks a month and have me do nothing, I would have no problem obliging.

Think about it and let me know.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Am I the only one?

As I was drifting off to sleep last night, as with most nights, my mind started to wander. This is dangerous usually because it tends to wander really strange places. Last night it wandered here, to things that really skeez me out. Then, I started to wonder if these same things skeezed other people out, too. Or, am I the only one.

Am I the only one seriously, like I'm talking your knees want to shake and some portion of you brain totally shuts down, teeth hurt, etc, skeezed out by the following:

1. Unidentifiable bugs. There was a, later defined by Ramon, grasshopper in my house. If you've never seen a grasshopper up close, they are absolutely grotesque. They have weird antennae, fat legs and are transparent. Gag! The worst part was that I saw it one day, tried to kill it, missed and lost it. Then I found it again the next day, tried to kill it, failed again, and lost it again. Then, I found it again while in the bathroom. By the way, everything is scarier when it happens while you're sitting on the pot. Almost fell off said pot, smashed bug with a box of toothpaste, lost the bug, found it, made sure it was good and dead and then carried it, at arms length, to my husband for identification. It's not so scary knowing it's a grasshopper, but those first few days were pretty bad.

2. Getting your socks wet. Eeew. Gross. There is nothing more skeezy then when your socks get wet. Like when the shower is dripping and you try your best to step on a dry spot to close the faucet, but you ALWAYS, without fail, step on a wet spot AND turn the handle the wrong way and spray yourself a little bit. I can handle a wet shirt. I cannot handle wet socks. It makes my joints hurt just thinking about it.

3. Warm chairs. There is very little worse than sitting down in a public place in an unoccupied seat that you didn't see become unoccupied to find that the seat is warm. Ugh, it makes my stomach do flips thinking about it. You know it grosses you out, too.

Now, you might think that these must be the thoughts of a sleep-deprived mother, but no, that's just normal for me. We'll see where my mind takes me tonight.

PS. I'd really like to know what skeezes you out to see if I've missed any obvious skeez-inducing events.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The road to...

They say the road to H-E double hockey sticks in paved with good intentions. But, I disagree. For me, I think my good intentions are just paving the road to not losing pregnancy weight.

I was feeling so proud of myself yesterday. I went to the grocery store and got good, real food. I came right home and chopped up my canteloupe and carrots so that I would have healthy snacks ready.

I thought, foolishly, that this might help me to limit my chocolate and cookie consumption. Oh, was I wrong. Why eat carrots when I could have a Girl Scout cookie? Why eat canteloupe (is that even how you spell that?) when I could eat, oh, I don't know, anything that contains copious amounts of sugar and bad fats.

You know you'd make the same choice. And if you say you would go for the carrots, you're a liar.

My logic works like this: If I eat all of the bad foods, then they'll be gone and all I'll have left is good food. I didn't say it was sound logic. I didn't claim it was health-wise logice. But, it's my logic.

Gotta go, I just got hungry...

**UPDATE** I ate the stupid carrots. Stupid carrots, stupid guilty conscience, stupid desire to actually wear all my clothes again one day....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

AV at one month

Ana Victoria turned one whole month old on Friday. Pretty impressive. In honor of the momentous occasion, we had to hold a photo shoot. And we did, but then I erased all the photos on my camera. So, we had to have a second photo shoot.

By photo shoot, I mean, I took about 10 pictures before she started to cry. Four had to be erased because they were blurry, or she was blinking, or she just was feeling a little bit un-photogenic.

Here is the progression and three "keepers." I got the idea of taking her picture with a stuffed animal from my sister. This way we can see how she grows every month.

Take 1. Oh mom, another picture? YAWN! I know I'm gorgeous.

Take 2. Tiiiimmmbeerrrr. Umm, mother? Remember how I can't sit up yet? I've got some tricks, but not that one yet.

Take 3. This will have to do, crossed eye and all. Better luck next month, madre.

I've learned a lot this past month. But there are still two things of which I have a conceptual understanding but not quite a practical one yet.

1. Burp rags were invented for a reason. Use them.

2. When the baby is sleeping do things like go to the bathroom. Do not do things like facebook stalk.

Hmm, maybe I'll get this by next month??