Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Bump Files: Week 37 (AKA the woosah log)

Much crankier now. So cranky in fact that I just don't want to have anything to do with my co-workers. Well, mainly the dumb ones who say retarded things to me like "oh, you're still here!" to which I desperately wish to reply, "no, I'm not. I'm a hologram. A figment of your imagination. You're still sleeping and dreaming of me...how weird are you?" To the ones asking how I'm feeling, you clearly see the size of my belly...how do you THINK I'm feeling? Of course I'll respond "I'm hanging in there," but I really feel like saying "I'm 37 weeks pregnant with what feels like a baby elephant, figure it out." To the ever-polite ones that feel the need to tell me yet AGAIN how huge I am. Yes, I'm massively pregnant. No, it does not brighten my day to have you tell me. To the ones saying "Omg you're STILL pregnant?!" No, I had my baby, this is baby #3 on the way!! To the EXTRA lovely girl who likes to say in a sing-song voice, "your nose is spreading!!" EFF YOU!!! Honestly.

A special shout out to the home attendants and clients of this agency. To the home attendants: figure out your coordinator's schedule and stop asking for someone who clearly isn't in and is NEVER in this early. Also, do I sound: Russian, Jamaican, or have a heavy Spanish accent? No, right so don't be retarded and mistake me for someone who is or does. ALSO how often does your coordinator answer the front desk phone? Never! Sooooooooooo...that's right stop saying "oh, hi (insert any given coordinator's name here) it's me!" Which is an excellent segue into another complaint. Saying "it's me!" whoooooooooooo the hell are YOU? And what in the world makes you think I have voice recognition software installed in my ears? To clients who are no longer with my department STOP CALLING MY DEPARTMENT!!!!!



OK, I'm done.

Rant over.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Bump Files: Pregnancy Log week 29

Um...clearly I should've started this log approximately 20 weeks ago (when I found out I was pregnant) but the idea just hit me last night. Why? Because my friend (who is 38 weeks along) and I were comparing pregnancy woes. She's expecting her second child and it's a boy (just like me) and she's starting to get nervous because she's been informed that he's weighing in at 8 lbs 5 oz. She thinks she won't be able to push him out. She's a slight girl with a long thin frame, so I can imagine the fear of being unable to push out a large baby. She has been posting adorable bump-pictures on her Facebook page throughout her pregnancy, but last night she confessed that her belly isn't that cute. She sent me a picture and...


she's RIGHT!!!

Her belly is stretched taut and it honestly looks like her skin will tear at any moment! On such a small frame it's intimidating to see SUCH a large baby bump. It's not the kind of thing you see in people's pretty pregnancy photos. It looks almost painful. She complained about her stretch marks, which I didn't even notice and I felt I could definitely one-up her in the ugly stretch marks department. So, I sent her a picture. She said mine didn't look bad and I said my camera didn't do them justice.

First of all, my first pregnancy left me with three angry red-turned-brown stretch marks right across my abdomen that made it appear as thought I'd gotten into a tussle with Wolverine and obviously lost. Now, this pregnancy has only added insult to injury and now I've got these pink stretch marks scattered around the original three...not pretty.

Pregnancy is NOT pretty. Not all the time, and women neglect to mention this to other women.

My friend and I discussed several different "uglier" sides of pregnancy...like heartburn. A lot of us suffer from this horribly intense heartburn, I've had it with both pregnancies. But how many times have ANY of your friends told you that their heartburn is so bad that they have to upchuck just to get rid of it sometimes? I've done it and so has my friend -- we both thought we were "the only ones." I told my friend that once mine was so bad but I just didn't want to vomit so I was coughing it out and well, the bile decided it was going to come up any way and it shot out of my nose!! BILE CAME OUT OF MY NOSE! How disgusting is that?! Maybe sufferers of chronic heartburn experience this as well, but personally, it's just a pregnancy horror story.

I'm not trying to freak any one out by posting this stuff, just trying to be honest about what pregnancy can be like. It's still a beautiful experience, but it can be pretty icky sometimes too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Fear of Favoritism

For as long as I can remember my sister and I have felt that our brother is our mother's favorite child. She vehemently denies it and I can see the pain in her eyes when my sister and I point it out to her, but it's just so obvious. We feel it and other people see it. She even said it once. Although, I'm sure she'll go to the grave swearing she never did but she did. I remember the day clearly, my sister, my parents and I were in Petland because we needed a new light bulb for our iguana's heating lamp. My sister and I didn't want to ask a question; we were being stubborn kids and didn't feel like being our parents go-to translators. My mom was probably annoyed from working the whole day then having to tend to her kids' crazy pets, she probably had a migraine, it probably pissed her off that after treating us to Burger King we couldn't do this one little favor for her. There were probably a lot of contributing factors that led her to shout "THIS is why your brother is my favorite!!!" She should've never said it and she'll always deny it but I still remember it. Clearly. Obviously.

When I had Isabella I understood what true all-encompassing & unconditional love felt like. Each passing day of her life illustrated to me that I could never and would never want to love anyone other than her. In other words, when I had Isabella the idea of having more children kind of repelled me. I wanted to selfishly love only Isabella for the rest of my days of my life. I didn't want any more children because I couldn't honestly picture myself loving anyone else as much as I love Isabella. I didn't want to be like my mom and have a favorite but pretend I didn't.

Then I found out I was pregnant.

I've been afraid since two lines showed up on that stick I peed on, sealing my fate as a mommy of two. Everyone has been happy & excited during this pregnancy, especially Isabella. But, a part of me is still nervous that when this little boy is here I'll have a favorite and one of my children will suffer the pain of feeling that favoritism and I'll suffer the pain of knowing I couldn't hide it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things I do NOT need right now...

If I didn't have a toddler, a baby on the way, rent, electricity, gas and a phone bill I'd get up and walk out of this place right this second. Why? Because I'm FED the EFF up. I am in no way saying that I need to be treated like a delicate little flower just because I'm pregnant but for Pete's sake have a little mercy on my nerves! I don't think I need to remind these people that I delivered my daughter 6 weeks premature and the ONLY contributing factor that anyone could come up with was STRESS! This place always makes me feel borderline guilty for being pregnant -- like the birth of my child and maternity leave are so detrimental to the entire company! I don't need that sh*t...here's a list of other sh*t I don't need from this wholly awful institution...

  • I don't need to be treated as though my pregnancy is some sort of inconvenience for MANAGEMENT.
  • I don't need to be pressured until the stress of it all makes me lightheaded and has me on the verge of tears from the injustice of it all.
  • I don't need my boss staring at my belly like it's a ticking time bomb that's going to blow up in her face leaving her with *gasp* unfinished work!!
  • I don't need to be pushed into finishing everything pending on my desk as if it's all as easy as snapping my fingers.
  • I don't need to literally be poked when I overlook an error that frankly was made by my boss in the first place!

I really just don't need anything from this Godforsaken place other than the money.

Sadly, that money really talks.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Scents of My Childhood

This is just a little something that came to me while on the bus on my way home from work:
A man just hopped on the bus, his scent was instantly familiar. It was the malodorous scent that permeated the parties I attended as a child. Sitting side by side with my siblings, ankles crossed, hands folded in my lap, dressed in itchy frills. It was cheap cologne, beer and a working-man's sweat. Sweat that percolated from pores a few drops at a time before bursting forth in rivulets that streamed down faces that tried to tickle and bite me and eventually shoved a dollar into my little folded hands. The smell of my uncles.

I think it's something I can expand on to include other scents from my childhood. Oscar de la Renta perfume in that tall bottle with a floral embossing on it's front that will always and forever remind me of my mom. The musky smell of sweat and "outside" that's the signature scent of teenaged boys all around the world that reminds me of my early teen years and following around my skater boyfriend.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


As a child my parents always expected the absolute best from me. I've always been the brainy one, so anything less than the best was not acceptable. It wasn't that they wanted MY best but THE best. That's tough to live up to, but I always did well anyway so it was tolerable. My father was the pushy one for the most part. An A wasn't good enough, why wasn't it an A+? My mother was always proud of anything I did, as long as I did well she was happy.

Given that I grew up with such high expectations from my parents, I guess it rubbed off on me and I have nothing but high hopes for my children. So, when I saw a cousin of mine post her son's report card with THREE C's on her Facebook page I was confused. I wouldn't be flaunting Isabella's report card if it had three C's on it (regardless if the other grades were two B's and an A like her son's) and I definitely wouldn't be patting myself on the back and writing off the report card as a job well done on my part. To be perfectly honest, I'd be disappointed.

Is that wrong...?

I shared my feelings with Isabella's father and he said he WOULD be proud of Isabella "just as long as she passes." That's it? Just as long as she passes? What kind of goals will Isabella have if all we ever want/expect from her is the bare minimum? I'm not saying I want Isabella (or my son on the way) to be a super genius and anything less will cause them to be the bane of my existence. Not at all!! Unlike my father, I just want them to do THEIR best, that doesn't mean they have to be THE best. As long as they challenge themselves and do the absolute best they can then I'll be happy. I do not want my kids to just skate by in life. Their dad on the other hand seems like just getting by would be fine by him. He said to me "you have your degree and what has that gotten you?"

On some level he's right. I went to private school from kindergarten to 8th grade, graduated high school as a member of the Honor's Society, a Regents endorsed diploma and ranked 60 out of 519 students academically. I went on to Hunter College, where I obtained a BA in Media Studies. Now, I have a  job as an Intake Coordinator at a home care agency where I make a measly $15 an hour. He was born and raised in Guatemala, did some of his elementary schooling here in the states, was shipped back to Guatemala for bad behavior, came back and got his GED. Now, he's a receptionist at a dental office where he makes a measly $15 an hour. To be fair, his boss is his uncle's "special friend" so his pay rate is higher than that of any of his co-worker's -- it's favoritism. But on the same note, it sucks! He really hasn't done anything compared to me, academically, but he makes the same amount as I do. Although, this could be the infamous "glass ceiling" that people talk about...

What ever the reason and what ever my kids turn out to be like I'll continue to help them do their best and never expect anything less than the results of their hard work.

Which, ultimately, I guess, means I would be proud of three C's if I knew my kids worked hard for those C's. If they didn't then I'd do MY part as their mom to encourage them and inspire them to DO BETTER, isn't that what we're here for anyway?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pregnancy: Version 2.0

A while ago I came the realization that I am much more nervous with this pregnancy. I was discussing this with my friend (who is also pregnant for the second time) yesterday. She only has 9 weeks left until her due date while I have 18. My heart literally skips a beat every time I think about those pains, that delivery room, the sleepless nights, the tiny breakable baby -- I'm FREAKING out! Thankfully, she is too!

Isabella is such a breeze now, being her mom isn't scary anymore. Being her mom is fun and easy. She's almost two years old and my latest venture in raising her is a foray into making bento lunches for her to take to grandma's. While pregnant with Isabella, I had my first time mom fears; is this car ride too bumpy? Why haven't I felt her move yet? Is this much discharge normal (seriously, though)?! Now with this second pregnancy all of those first time mom fears aren't an issue, it's the knowledge of what's to come.

I'm being given progesterone shots to prevent preterm labor (since Isabella was six weeks early), so at least that worry has been assuaged. But what about everything else? What if this labor isn't as quick as Isabella's? This baby will be full-term, hence bigger. Will it be a long drawn out labor? Will I give in to the epidural this time? With Isabella labor was 5.5 hours if that and then she was out, by the time I arrived at the hospital I was already 6 cm dilated. There really wasn't any time for an epidural. Having Isabella ALL NATURAL is a badge of honor I wear very proudly! But what if this time I'm more like my sister who was stuck at 3 cm for hours?! Or what if, horror of horrors, I need a c-section this time? I don't know why none of these fears assailed me with Isabella, but they didn't.Then there's the issue of maternity leave. I only get "paid" for six weeks of short-term disability. Which in reality only comes to less than what I make biweekly when I'm working. I have rent to pay now, electric, gas, a phone bill, oh and yes I have a two year old! Where am I going to get the money necessary to keep us afloat? And of course let's not forget the hospital bill!!!

Ultimately, I am overjoyed to be having my little boy but his arrival comes with a whole boat-load of worries.

Still, I adore him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Giraffe that Saved Me

My daughter is away for a weekend with her father. They've gone upstate and I'm oncall this weekend so I can't go along. He took her Friday night, I had just enough time to say good-bye. It was heart-wrenching. When their ride came I couldn't face her dad's family. I wanted to spit in their faces and step on their feet. I despised them in that moment. They were ripping her out of my arms in that instant and that's unforgiveable. Especially when you're under the influence of pregnancy hormones.

I went upstairs to our apartment and saw her favorite giraffe staring up at me from her crib.

I grabbed him and cried myself to sleep.

For two nights that giraffe was my only ally. He was all I had to cuddle with to remind me of her.

Did I miss her dad? Yes, I did but it wasn't his absence that made me feel like there was literally a part of me that was missing. My heart, my soul, my reason for being was not with me. I had the new little life growing inside of me but Isabella's absence made me feel like I'd cry until I simply ran out of tears.

Maybe it was overdramatic but I don't think I'll ever spend a weekend away from her again. Unless it's her choice.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Long Live Netflix!

I moved out of my mom's house six months ago and I still don't have cable. And let me say right now that being completely tv-less ain't easy! I totally miss it and so does my daughter. She doesn't watch much TV, I don't want her to be one of those kids who just sits in front of a TV for hours and doesn't get out and play or read books but when she's at my mom's she gets to watch (for a span of about 5 minutes at a time) what ever she wants. She's gotten accustomed to taking breaks from wreaking havoc to have some down time with Linny, Tuck and Ming-Ming, but once she gets home it's all DVD's and after 6 months -- she's pretty much seen them all. So, ultimately down-time at home for her can be pretty boring.

When we first moved out, when we were bored, my boyfriend and I pretty much hijacked my sister's Netflix account so that we'd all be able to watch NEW things. Then two short months after moving in, my apartment was robbed. They took the laptop, the Wii, the TVs, the PS3...you get the gist. We lost everything and really had no way to replace it all in one go. Slowly and, lately, thanks to our income tax returns we've started the process of restoring what we'd lost. I bought a Nook for myself in January and we had fun with that -- I read, a lot and solved crossword puzzles,. Isabella had some Read to Me books read to her and my boyfriend used Pandora and played chess (he's more of a gamer than a reader). Then the novelty wore off  for them (mainly because I kind of became addicted and couldn't STOP reading). Around this time, I had expressed my interest in writing for GeekMom and I was contacted shortly thereafter to be a blogger for them (yes, I'm still totally geeked-out over that!). Which meant I would need better access to the internet and more often that every other weekend.

When I got my tax return, I went ahead and purchased a netbook for myself from Walmart.com. I knew at the time that my boyfriend would get his grimy boy paws all over it (even though I bought a girly-patterned one), so I offered to buy him his own, he shrugged it off saying he wouldn't need one. Fast forward to now and he's on it more often than I am and I've reverted back to using the internet on my phone or my Nook. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind sharing my toys, and I'll totally let him use it for as long as he likes and for what ever he likes with no nagging, just like he'll need to surrender it to me when I need to use it for an indefinite amount of time to post my blogs or if I get to it first and just want to do what ever I want.. I even refer to it as "the netbook" instead of "my netbook," so that he doesn't get all touchy about using "my" things. However, more than anything I like it when we can enjoy things as a family. Which is why when I got an offer in the mail from Netflix for a free one month trial, I jumped on it. We get both the DVD (note, not plural we opted for the just 1 DVD at a time deal because we'd lose them if we had more than one in our home at a time) and the watch it instantly selections that we can stream immediately on the netbook. Now we get to sit down as a family, stare at this tiny screen and get entertained for an hour and a half or two. When Isabella is asleep, we watch things we actually want to watch instead of Dora or the Wonder Pets. Sometimes we'll even stay up late watching movies that we wanted to see when they arrived in theatres but were unable to with a tantrum-throwing toddler in tow.

While having a netflix account with it's one DVD at a time and decent selection of watch it now movies and TV shows can't replace cable altogether it has provided a good few hours of fun diversion until we decide whether or not we're going to get cable in our house (I'm still iffy, since it's pretty expensive and I'd rather spend my weekends off taking Isabella to museums and libraries). On that note, it's doing a great job of keeping us from killing each other.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Things You Know

As a mom, you know your kids will get hurt. Inevitably something is going to happen to them that will cause some sort of physical harm to them. However, simply knowing this fact doesn't make it any easier when something actually happens.

Isabella had her first big fall today, causing a HUGE bump just above her eye. It happened while under my mom's care but I don't blame my mom. Isabella is 15 months old, bumps and bruises come with the toddler territory. Frankly, it sucks and I can't quite explain how it makes me feel to see her facial features being altered by a puffy eye (sad doesn't quite cut it, more like freaked out, I'm still freaked out. She's acting normal but I still feel helpless like I don't know what to do for her and I'm her mom and there's this huge bump over her eye so I should do SOMETHING, right? Right?! But, what?! WHAT?!) but truth be told we're lucky that it didn't happen sooner! So to blame my mom seems nonsensical to me.

Speaking of blaming my mom (or rather not blaming in this case) now that this has happened to Isabella while under my mom's care I can honestly say that I can't relate or understand my brother or sister-in-law. I'm only further puzzled by their reaction to my mother accidentally pulling out an IV, at the time attached to my nephew's foot, while carrying him when he was hospitalized with a severe UTI. Did Shawn cry? Yes. Did it hurt? Of course! Did she MEAN it? Definitely not. I knew that then, just as surely as I know now that she genuinely means it when (describing Isabella's accident today) she says "creo que yo llore mas que ella!"

The great IV Catastrophe seems to be the root of all of the current inter-family awkwardness that exists between my brother and his in-laws and us, his one-time close-knit immediate family. My brother doesn't bring my nephew over to my mom's house. She always has to go over to their place to see him. Mind you, the IV incident happened when my nephew was months old, he's now 14 months old. Thankfully he recovered from the UTI and wasn't left with any lasting emotional or mental trauma from my mom yanking out that IV, I'm almost 100% positive of this. Even so, I feel like my brother and sister-in-law hold a grudge against my mom for the whole thing. As a result contact between "us" (my parents, sister and I) and "them" (my brother, sister-in-law and nephew) dwindled down into non-existence. The lack of contact caused yet another problem in the form of my family (sometimes overtly) favoring Isabella. My sister makes no apologies and (maybe it's because I'm Isabella's mother) I agree with her point that their favoritism was bound to happen because they NEVER see Shawn. As I stated previously, my brother does not bring him to see my mom. They've never been to my sister's apartment and they only made a fleeting appearance at Isabella's first birthday party.

I don't think my mom meant to pull out that IV. I know Isabella's accident today was in no way her fault. I know my brother is a big dummy who will live to regret cutting us off from his life. I just don't think HE knows...
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Queso Frito...

Growing up, the best Sunday mornings consisted of my mom blasting cumbia music while cleaning and making breakfast. The memory of waking up to the mouth-watering smell of platanos fritos (fried plantains, with salty sour cream, YUM!) , huevos estrellados (huevos rancheros to some, basically sunnyside up eggs with a homemade tomato sauce, YUM!), or queso frito (fried cheese, YUM!) remains indelibly etched in my mind.

This morning I woke up in the mood to recreate one of those mornings for Isabella. When she woke up, I picked her up out of her crib, changed her diaper and took her to the living room, while I went to rummage in my fridge. All I had in there that resembled a proper Sunday morning at my mom's was eggs and queso tropical (that's troh-pee-cahl not trop-ih-kil). Queso tropical is a fresh white cheese for frying and it ended up winning by default because I definitely CANNOT make my mom's tomato sauce for the huevos estrellados...not to mention there was no bread in the house.

So, I put on the Sonora Dinamita station on my Pandora radio while frying up some slices of cheese. As the female vocalist crooned about an old man hitting on and honking his horn at her, the oil in the pan popped and little drops landed on my arms causing sharp little bursts of pain. I yelped a small "ouch!" with each drop that sizzled on my skin but the slices of cheese browned nicely and the fantastic smell of fried cheese filled my kitchen. I was only able to fry up two slices of cheese because Isabella walked in and I didn't want any of the popping oil to burn her. So, I took my two slices of fried cheese, got a glass of juice and shuffled back to our bedroom.

My boyfriend woke up when I came in with a steaming plate and mumbled "mmmm...food! What are we eating?" "Queso frito!" I exclaimed, he pulled a face and retorted with a drawn out "ewwwww."  To which I replied "that's fine, I didn't make any for you! Just me and Isabella." At the mention of her name, Isabella started in with her "mum-mum-mum" babbling signaling her eagerness to dig in. I cut off a small portion of the cheese and popped it into her awaiting little mouth. She chewed for a bit almost as if she was mulling over the taste before finally deciding that she was not a fan and spitting out the chewed up bits of yummy cheese all the while pulling a face remarkably similar to her dad's. I sighed, gave her a bottle while I finished my cheese, then returned to the kitchen and got her a bowl of fruit loops, which she gobbled up.

So, maybe I haven't got Sundays at my mom's down to an exact science (what with Isabella hating the fried cheese) but I can at least create my own version. As long as it includes breakfast and some really great tunes, we'll be set! After all she did shimmy and wiggle to the sounds of El Viejo del Sombreron and why wouldn't she with lyrics as awesome as these?!

Dicen que es vino tinto
Pero es un rojo uva mi carrito

Es un último modelo

Que siempre va conmigo a donde quiera voy mi carrito

Por que el es mi compañero ese carrito es mi vida

De el nunca he tenido quejas

Cuando consigo a una chica

El me lleva a donde quiera

Cuando consigo a una chica

El me lleva a donde quiera.

¡Señorita a la orden la llevo!

No gracias estoy esperando al viejo del sombreron

Uy no me diga que tipo tan afortunado

Ay llego vera.

¡El viejo de sombreron!

Ese viejo si es rebuena

¡El viejo de sombreron!

Para conseguir mujeres

¡El viejo de sombreron!

Será que tiene secreto

¡El viejo de sombreron!

Ese viejo si la mueve.

Voy a comprarme un sombrero

Un sombreo bien jalón

Pa' hacerle la competencia

Al viejo del sombreron

Señorita de mi alma

Tengo una preocupación

¿Por que esta tan entregada al viejo del sombreron?

Lo que pasa es que una gota de agua sobre una piedra hace un orificio

Ese viejo tiene su carrito y cada vez que pasa se sonríe conmigo

Va de largo, se regresa si me encuentra parada en la puerta

Me lanza un piropo y me toca el pito

Va de largo, se regresa si me encuentra parada en la puerta

Me lanza un piropo y me toca el pito

Pipipi es a cada ratito que pasa el viejito y me toca el pito

Pipipi es a cada ratito que pasa el viejito y me toca el pito

Pipipi siempre vivo pendiente

Pipi cuando el viejo me toca

Pipipi siempre vivo pendiente pi pi cuando el viejo me toca

Pipipi ya me tiene mareada con el pi pi con el pi pi con el pi pi

Con el pi pi me toca el pito pi pi me tiene mareada con el pi pi.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bi-weekend-ly...(and the wonder that is my NOOK Color)

So, it seems like this blog will be updated bi-weekend-ly. It's the ONLY time I really have to myself, because I'm not at work (well, actually I am at work but not doing my regular work, which takes up much more than my allotted 8 hours per day and would NEVER allow time for blogging) or at home therefore my daughter isn't around to crawl/walk/climb all over me or knock anything out of my hands. Also, my boyfriend isn't around to suddenly attack me in need of "business time" ... which, naturally isn't always a bad thing. Except for when I'm sound asleep and a cold hand startles me awake...that's just not sexy, I'm sorry. I love him to bits but he has the WORST timing...but this blog isn't about him*sigh*

What is this blog about?

Nothing, really I just felt like writing. That happens to me a lot when I've been reading incessantly (that and I start to narrate my daily life in my own head, I'm a bit of a weirdo). And since purchasing my Nook Color I haven't been able to STOP reading. Which, of course is fantastic -- I know, I know as a self-proclaimed bibliophile an e-reader goes against everything I stand for but, damn it all! I LOVE MY NOOK!!!!! I have downloaded 71 e-books since January (a special shout out to Barnes & Noble's "Free Friday," which has definitely contributed to the increase of my library). Granted, some are samples and some are short stories but it's still exponentially more reading than I did last year.

I mean the fact is that since becoming a mom I don't have the energy (let alone the space what with carrying around a diaper bag more often than a purse for myself) to carry around any books, with the Nook I can carry around 71 books in ONE slim little device. Plus, I get to read in the dark because of the fantastic backlit screen. I've always been, what my sister lovingly refers to as, a book-eater, which means once a book lures me in, I'm hooked and I can't stop reading until I've devoured every last morsel of a word. This has led to many a night spent squinting at tiny fonts with nothing more than my cell phone to illuminate the pages and at 27 years old, that's really not cutting it anymore. Because let's face it my eyesight definitely isn't what it used to be (on a different and ironic note, I think I need glasses now, whereas in the past I wore them as a fashion accessory).

In addition to all the wonderful stuff the NOOK color has for me (oh, did I forget to mention the other features? Oh, well let's see it has crossword puzzles, chess, Pandora radio and sudoku. Plus it's not only for reading books you can read magazines and newspapers too! Also it runs on Android and I've been on Team Android since the G1 came out -- which, incidentally I still own! But I digress...) it also has kid's books with a "Read To Me" feature, which will be so incredible when Isabella is a little older. And, don't worry the Read to Me books do have a Read by Myself option so I can read the book to Izzie, or when she's old enough she can read them by herself...if I let her touch my Nook, which I don't...not often...not yet.

So, all in all, while an e-reader can never truly replace the wonder that is reading a book (i.e. the intoxicating SMELL of a book), it's still a great little device and I'm simply in love with it.

Maybe Barnes & Noble can invent a Nook case that smells like an actual book...hmmm...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My ultimate search for the perfect umbrella stroller...

This all started when my lovely boyfriend and I went out for the day and he thought he could handle carrying our (at the time) 11 month old daughter around in her BABY carrier. I warned him it would put some serious strain on his back (which is already giving him trouble, he blames it on turning 28) and his shoulders. I explained I had taken her out with her carrier when she was 8 months old and she was already way too heavy for it. But he insisted and with all the macho-bravado he could muster he gave me his signature half-smile raised an eyebrow and said "c'mon, babe, I can handle it." Needless to say, we got two blocks from our building and he was already huffing and puffing all the while a string of giggles spilled out of our daughter's mouth with each bounce that resulted from her dad trying to re-adjust her into a comfortable position for him. When I saw him in distress I instantly started suggesting buying a cheap 99 cent store variety umbrella stroller. About four blocks from our building, he conceded. We stopped at a Shopper's World, spotted a Disney-princess themed super cheapo umbrella stroller and purchased it just to put my boyfriend out of his misery. It was supposed to be a temporary thing but now it's 4 months later and we're still using it.

This contraption has definitively become the BANE of my existence. I use it every morning to take my daughter to my mom's for the day while her dad and I go to work. And every day I struggle with it because it's so low that her JJ Cole Bundle Me automatically gets caught under the wheels. Her Bundle Me is constantly filthy, it's digusting and I'm so tired of it. Not to mention the flimsy canopy that has gotten all bent out of shape. The time has definitely come to invest in a better, sturdier umbrella stroller, especially since I'm walking in the March of Dimes March for Babies walk and the AIDS walk both in May.

So, for the past few weeks I've been researching better umbrella strollers on Babies R Us.com and Target.com to name a few. Thus far I really like The First Years Ignite Stroller (ranging from $38.99-$48.00 depending on the store and the theme of the stroller), Babies R Us' Butterfly stroller ($54.99) and the Maclaren Volo Stroller (a splurge at $98.00). My first two choices rank higher than the Maclaren because they take us parents into consideration in the form of a large parent console with the First Years Ignite stroller and a cup holder with the BRU Butterfly stroller. The Maclaren offers nothing for the parents other than a lower storage basket, though to be fair that's more than I can say for that disaster of an umbrella stroller that we're currently using.
All in all, I'm slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that the final decision can't be made by just perusing different strollers online, I have to go to the store and actually test them out!

Three Years Later...

Wow, it has been three years since I've posted a blog! It's not so much that I've had nothing to write about as much as it's I've had absolutely NO time to myself. You see, I've become a mommy, and as many mothers will tell you mommyhood is all-encompassing...

My daughter was born in 2009 and I feel as if I spent the whole of 2010 looking and feeling utterly bedraggled. The introduction of a baby into my life has provided me with endless experiences (funny and scary alike) that would amount to tons writing material but with zero time to actually put a pen to paper (or a finger to keyboard). The thing is, I strongly believe that to be a good mother you have to be dedicated and devote as much of your time and energy to your child possible. So, that's precisely what I did however, 2011 has signaled the arrival of a new revelation for me...dedication and devotion to your child does NOT mean letting yourself go to pot. I've dyed my hair and bought some new clothes and I'm not stopping there. I'm going to lose this baby weight if it's the last thing I do (you know, with 2012 around the corner it may very well be). Furthermore, I will make a strong and diligent effort to not let my brain detoriorate. I've been reading a lot more (something I never had the energy for during pregnancy or for the first year of my daughter's life) and now I'll be writing more too...the only difference is now I'll be writing from the point of view of my life as a mom. What am I ultimately but a writer who had a baby and became a mommy? Having my daughter hasn't made me any less of a writer and so I need to make serious changes in my life to improve it and ultimately to provide better for Isabella...ah, yes that's her name by the way. The absolute love of my life, Isabella Yamileth. Her birth story and naming story have already been written down, now let's move on to her LIFE and my life as her mom!