Monday was a productive day at work and my girls brought home their UIL awards from their Meet this past weekend.
So proud of them and how much they love writing!
Jorge was on a business trip for almost 3 days this week. He was taking another Certification exam, this time in San Antonio. The girls usually set up camp in my room when he’s out of town.
Emily always chooses to sleep on my futon (which I’m using as my closet for just-laundered clothing. I don’t have any space left in my closet!) and Alaethia sleeps next to me. It’s hard for me to sleep when Jorge isn’t home, but even more-so when Alaethia’s next to me because any little movement she makes sends my Mom-Senses into overdrive because I feel paranoid that she’ll fall off the bed. My arm literally flies across to grab her and pull her closer to me! It happens automatically. She even told me, half-groggily, “Mom! You’re too paranoid!” 😆 But I do love that this will be a memory they’ll appreciate as much as I do when they’re older.
We had shopping to do Tuesday evening, the first day Jorge was gone, so after work and visiting Gramma, we rushed to Ross. We’d received an invitation for Alaethia over the weekend inviting us to a “formal” event, where they were recognizing students that had Mastered part or all of the STAAR test. She needed an outfit and shoes, since she’d grown out of everything she had. She refused to like any of the outfits I picked out (how dare) and she picked a pretty plain looking black/white dress, but her mind was set. She did pick out some cute, quilted Michael Kors flats, that I’m pretty sure will fit me 😆 .
I spoke to Jorge before going to bed and wished him luck on his certification exam he was having the next morning.
We have some events coming up at work, so it was rush, rush all week. Thankfully, booth sales started picking up for both events that are happening in tandem, so that was a relief.
We also had a group of dancers and artists coming in from Oaxaca to perform “La Guelaguetza,” so my boss and I went to the Performing Arts Center to welcome them and take note of what was going on.
It was incredible to watch them create this from scratch!!
The girls were invited to their friend Jimena’s birthday on Wednesday, so I rushed after work to pick them up, buy a gift and make it on time. It’s always great getting together with Jenny, Erica, Flor and the other moms. I really am so blessed that my kids’ friend’s moms are all so damn awesome and easy to get along with <heart>.
I managed to stay Keto during the party. Well, for the most part. I ate the toppings off of one pizza slice and ate Emily’s pepperonis. And took a piece off of her chocolate cupcake. 😕
Then, when the party was over, Emily and Maddie locked themselves in the truck (or so they thought–I had the keys, of course lol). And it took 20-30 minutes to get them to separate 😆 . I love that they love spending so much time together!
So, instead of taking the girls home like a good mom because it was late, we stopped by the 99 Cent Store because I was still hungry and needed peppers in all the colors! I also found some snacks for them, like Mother’s brand iced animal crackers, Goldfish and Special K Red Velvet pastries.
I put them to bed when they got home, and then I microwaved some cheese and pepperoni and used my colorful peppers as “chips”.
Spoke to Jorge while I ate dinner. He was going to bed because they were taking off at 5am from San Antonio to make it on time for another project.
I rushed through work Thursday, checking things off my to-do list because Jorge confirmed that I WOULD need the day off on Friday. Awesome!!
We had to get an emergency special event permit at work (so glad they helped us!) and we did a walk-through of the displays.
I left at 4:00 to pick Alaethia up from UIL practice and went straight home to get her ready. She had to shave her legs (mmhmm–told her it was drama), so that was going to take a bit. Emily declared she had no dress OR shoes so off we rush to Wal-Mart. She liked a cute peachy dress and scored some $2 T-strap sandals. We really wanted some glittery gold flats but they didn’t have her size. I’m just glad the girl let me put her in a dress!
Rushed home again and Emily and I changed. I tried to use my curling iron to curl Alaethia’s hair, at her request, but I really haven’t the slightest idea on how to use it! But she still looked cute and at least she agreed to spiffy up her dress with a gold belt.
We arrive just on time at the assembly, where Mario and Mary saved us seats. We find out that Alaethia has Mastered ALL THREE of the STAAR test subjects!!
When the event is over, we rush to the Performing Arts Center for La Guelaguetza. The parking lot is packed. We find parking in the back, and make it to our VIP seats, which are 2nd row. Woo!
The girls were bored at first, but they had some crazy and hilarious performances, like the one about “El Torro”:
and El Baile del Diablo lol.
It was so entertaining!! The outfits were beautiful and so vibrant!
They’d send dancers out after almost every dance number with armfulls of little baskets, or hats made of palm, or tiny brooms or beautiful woven fans with colored corn-husk flowers, and they’d toss them into the audience.
The first time they handed out the items, the girls got a little wicker basket each. No one was storming the stage yet. The 2nd time they handed them out, I made eye-contact with the dancer and he handed over a palm-woven fan, so I reached up and sprang out of my seat. As I sat back down, my bag (which was holding the seat down with its weight) must have shifted because my seat closed and my bum made a mighty *thud* as it made contact with the hard outer-edge of the seat. Then I slip right off and my bum once again hits the back of my heels. Lord help anyone if they got flashed 😕 . My boss was a few seats down and I’m sure he caught a photo of the entire thing 🙄 . I thought tragame tierra (“ground, swallow me up”) from embarrassment, but then I laughed it off because seriously, this kinda shit only happens to me 😆 . Gotta laugh at yourself sometimes!
Emily wanted a tiny broom but the large women that would push the little kids out of the way took them 😡 . Still, the girls made out like bandits lol. No falling on my part for the rest of the stuff, either, heh.
Mario took the girls with him right afterwards; the show ran longer than expected and none of us had eaten dinner.
Jorge had arrived at home earlier and had picked up the boys. I changed and told him about the show and then we made a late-night run to Whataburger for bunless Chorizo Burgers. OMG, so good!
We got into bed because the next day: WE WERE GOING TO VEGAS!
I think we’ve successfully gotten into somewhat of a routine now that school’s started. Unfortunately, that means waking up at 5am every. single. day for me. And being exhausted by 8pm. And passing out on the couch. And forgetting to wash my face at night. And starting the cycle again.
BUT!! The girls are doing well in the morning. We had a couple of days when Emily cried and didn’t want to stay at school, and a couple of other times when she got in a bad mood before leaving the house, but she’s doing so much better, thank goodness. Waking up at 5am and waking the girls up by 6:30am means that we leave the house by 7:35am and Emily gets to test her book. It annoys me that–even though I wake up at 5am–I’m still arriving at work at 8:15 >_<. I'm just glad my bosses don't mind.
That first week was crucial to the girls (especially Emily) getting accustomed to attending school again, so it was crucial that I drop them off in the morning, but a group from Irapuato had scheduled a visit for the end of that same week and I had to be at work super early Thursday and Friday. Ugh. It's always fun taking the groups on tours, don't get me wrong, but I just wish it had been a different week.
I worked late Wednesday to meet the group at the airport with my boss, and when they took too long to show up I left to a training Michelle, EZ, Wally, Maritza and I had. We all passed!
We started the tour Thursday morning with breakfast at Cracker Barrel:
[caption id="attachment_2424" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A somewhat healthy meal from Cracker Barrel[/caption]
We finished up there and continued with our tour for the entire day; a lot of it being outdoors in the heat, and later: humidity >_<.
It was a late night for us. We didn't end up eating dinner till 10pm and left Republic of the Rio Grande at 11pm. (My first time there, ever.) Needless to say, I was beat. The girls were already in bed thanks to Mom so I re-tucked them in and kissed their foreheads =\.
I had an early morning. Michelle met me at the office to help me pack up my truck with all the stuff we'd need for the El Salvador Consulate Ribbon Cutting. Thank God that went without a hitch; though the building was teeny tiny and hot. Bob and EZ helped us take all the equipment and stuff back to the office and then my boss and I were picked up by the limo where we met the group at the Library. We went on our way for the rest of the tour and it was supposed to be another late night, but I got out of going to the going-away party. It had been raining all day, I was tired and wanted to go home to the kiddos <3.
It was a mix of bubbles and painting and the boys being silly, like always. I cleaned and was literally in the kitchen most of the day so I gave myself a break to re-pot some of my succulents. I love them, but sometimes they stress me out! I just want them to LIVE. I don't know what got into me, but I saw my plain clay pots and decided to draw and paint them. I didn't really even measure, so it was a bit crooked, but I think it came out alright:
[caption id="attachment_2407" align="aligncenter" width="300"] My first painted sugar skull pot[/caption]
I had to come in to make dinner, but I couldn’t wait to make more. I got a lot of compliments on it :).
We had movie night with them on the porch, which we hadn’t done in a while. We got snacks together and watched “Blended”. It was SUCH a good movie!!
The next morning (the 31st), I had the itch to make a good breakfast. I had been wanting biscuits forever and decided to make some from scratch! They were a hit (thank goodness hehe)!
The girls had a playdate with their BFF’s later that day. They’re not in their classes together, so Jenny and I agreed that we needed to have a playdate every once in a while so they could spend time together.
We started the date off at Ben & Jerry’s then went a few doors down to Barnes & Noble.
They spent a lot of time, running through the isles and giggling. We were surprised nobody kicked us out or “ssshhhh!!”‘d us heh.
They had a short playdate back at Jenny’s and they were so disappointed when it was time to go, but I had laundry to do and dinner to make and they only had a couple hours before they needed to get in bed.
It was Dad’s 1-year-anniversary since his passing. I’d been thinking about him a lot; regretting, still, not taking that final photo at the hospital. Not having that last bar-b-q :'(.
Woke up early again on Labor Day to drop the boys off at school. There was tons of traffic, so for the 3rd morning in a row, Jorge dropped the girls off. I spent the day cleaning, visited Gramma with Mom, ran errands and cleaned some more. I at least got to paint one of my pots :).
It was back to the grind on Tuesday. That was the morning Emily had her first meltdown, which I should have seen coming when I went into their room at 6:30am to snuggle them awake. As I lay there next to her she softly says, “I don’t want to go to school today, Mama.” She was fine until we got into the cafeteria. She cried and wouldn’t let me leave and then Alaethia became sentimental for her sis and started crying, too. A counselor had to intervene and held her back. I hate when they do that, but I know I have to let her be strong and leave. It’s just heartbreaking to look back and see the counselor holding her and Emily pulling forward with her arms outstretched for me :(. Alaethia calmed down, too, but not before saying, “Why can’t you just take her home, Mama??”
I didn’t make it on time to my morning meeting, and my boss asked me about my absence at the end of the day. I apologized and explained about the girls and he listened and empathized. Thank GOD.
Jaylen’s Meet the Teacher night was that evening and of course, his teachers had nothing but nice things to say about him. He’s such a good boy :). His football coach also said, “He’s doing well. I put him up against some big guys and he took some pretty good hits.” Oh, my little guy!!
I went back to Mario’s to see Eenan and the boys and I took a selfie:
I love my guys!
Emily did a little better the next morning. There were still a few tears, but nothing like the day before. Alaethia was alright, too. It was pouring, so they were grateful I still took them all the way into the school. I was drenched :(. I headed straight to the place of one of the events I help coordinate. We had a great turnout, despite the pouring rain. Dania, one of our local artists, made a wonderful, inspiring presentation. Her story really hit home and I felt motivated. Jorge kept saying how good I was at painting my sugar skull pots and I decided that I may just start selling them :).
I got home that evening and the girls were inspired, too. They asked to paint some pots, so I let them while I made dinner :).
Eenan’s Meet the Teacher Night was Thursday evening. Again, good things from his teachers, of course. He DID get his phone taken away during his World History class that day, and the teacher held on to it to give it to us that evening, but he wasn’t angry about it. He said he wanted to hold it hostage so we’d show up for sure, hehe.
He’s doing PE this year and he runs and works out every day. He’s sore all the time, just like the other 3 boys who are in football LOL. I’m glad they’re all getting physical activity this year!
I worked for only half a day on Friday, which was awesome. I met Jessica at Cheddar’s and we celebrated her birthday almost a month late, heh. We caught up on all the gossip and life in general. It was good seeing her :).
I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up a few supplies for my pots. I love that place! I could spent hours (and tons of cash, heh) there! But instead of doing that, I scurried out of there. It’s dangerous!
I was bored all evening without my love and the kids, who were at the other parents’ homes for the weekend. Jorge was driving back from working at the Island. I’d wanted to go to the Music After Hours-Craft Fair, but I had already gotten into PJ’s and felt lazy, heh. When he got home we sat at our kitchen nook while he played his Clash of Clans and I painted :).
The one on the far right is one I’ll have up for sale. I was pretty amped up about starting this :).
We made ourselves go to bed since Jorgie, Justin and Jaylen were all having games the next morning.
We were so proud of those boys :). Mary had Emily and Alaethia with her and we all sat together and cheered Jaylen on. I was crossing my fingers that he’d get some play time, so I was thrilled when he went into the field every single time :)!!
And they won!!!
I stayed at home mostly that day, paid bills online and painted another pot. A black one this time. I got a lot of good feedback for that one!
When Jorge got home that evening, he asked what I wanted to do after all. We had discussed the night before that we were totally going to go out, maybe to a bar…but we decided on Kumori, heh. In our defense, we did have a cucumber Martini! It was great just talking and spending time together, just us two :).
We debated doing something after dinner…but decided we would just go home. And we were both okay with that :).
I started painting another pot as we sat at our usual spot in the house. This time the pot was for Dina :). Briana was in town so I wanted to send it back with her when we saw her the next morning :).
I sent her a photo and she liked it :).
Jorge and I woke up the next morning and got ready to go to Peñitas to meet Briana and the kids. We had breakfast from Subway (been wanting one of those breakfast sandwiches for ever!) and then were on our way. We tidied up the house a bit, caught up, I brought back a few wild succulents and then we said our goodbyes and Jorge and I ran some errands at Walmart. We dropped the stuff off with Mom and then met Jr. at his apartment so we could go hunting with him. It was hot, but it was fun :).
My love did pretty good, although he lost a few birds in the field. Jr. and I just lounged around watching, and we can’t forget the amazing bar-b-q Jr.’s Dad’s friends had made!
We cleaned up and I was relieved ’cause I REALLY needed to pee. The guys kept telling me to “pop a squat” but I just got the heebie jeebies thinking about it. *shudder* I was grateful to arrive at Jr.’s, where we hung out with Rudy and then came home :).
It was back to the grind the next day. It was such a good, productive week, and I’m grateful :). I’m hoping we can do really great with these events. I just have a feeling they’ll be great. I hope I can continue to be excited and motivated about it and not feel overwhelmed and stressed *crosses fingers*.
I made a Halloween wreath on Wednesday night after I spoke to my boys. It’s always good getting an update from them, though they were somewhat distracted this week, with their games. Eenan did let me know he’s been reading my blog. I still don’t know how I feel about that LOL.
Emily has done so much better all week, I’m so proud of her :).
Thursday morning was a bit hectic and it seemed to continue all day. I picked the boys up in the evening after work and Jorge picked up his. My boys and I had all different sorts of conversations. I’m glad we can be so open in our talks :). We got home and I made dinner and then we put all the kiddos to bed.
Took the boys to school the next day. We didn’t converse as much as usual because Jaylen was reading his book. The day was already so much better than Thursday. Something happened that bothered me, but I eventually shook it off after I had lunch with Jorge. We went to Mom’s Smokehouse and we had this:
Yes, you read that correctly: Cheezepotle Elote and Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas. Since I was already in a crappy mood I was annoyed that there wasn’t any “green” in my tostada (some avocado or lettuce, c’mon!) but it was just amazing!! I could go for one of those elotes again!!
I picked up my kiddos after work (the girls included, since Mario took them with him when he picked them up). It started pouring as soon as we got to Dollar General. I needed detergent and of course they had a garden sale so I got a bird feeder and a bathmat for the boys’ bathroom and a few other things. It took us a while to get home since it was pouring. We had pizza night when we got home and just relaxed the rest of the evening since our 3 football players had games very early today.
Thunder woke me up around 3am and when we woke up at 5am it was still going. We knew there was no way they’d play in this weather, but we got no warning from anyone. The kids ate, got ready and Jorge took his boys to their school and I took Jaylen to his. We could hardly see in front of our windshield, the rain was SO BAD. I was going 30-40 miles per hour on the expressway, sometimes even less, hydroplaning all over the place. When we finally arrive at the school, all the parents and kids are still in their cars, in the darkness and only the headlights showing how hard the rain was coming down. A few brave kids got down to ask if they were playing and the nice boy in the car next to us signaled a “no”. The other kids signaled everyone else and little by little everyone left. Jaylen said, “I hope they don’t make those who left do Lombardi’s!” LOL
So we made the trek back in the scary rain again. It was worse for poor Jorge, who drove all the way to Palmview and they said the game was still on, so he drove back to McAllen, where the game was being held, just to get a call when he’s almost there to go back to Palmview ’cause they cancelled the game. Eff our lives!!!
Poor Jorge had to go back to work, but I threw myself on the sofa where I eventually passed out and kept waking up ’cause the boys were playing Destiny. I asked Emmos to take a nap with me, but she wanted to play instead hehe. I got to rest just a bit before hanging out with the kids, picking up McDonald’s for the boys and getting the girls ready for Jessica’s little baby’s party. It’s POURING again by now and we park at the party place. We try 2 unsuccessful times to get out of the car and into the building, but the rain is just awful and the parking lot was flooded. Jessica and I are going back and forth on text and Facebook and after the girls and I have been trapped in the car for over an hour she calls to ask if I can see the empty parking space. Then she says, “Can you see the Boot Jack?” and then I feel like a complete moron because we’re at a completely different party place!! My poor girls were looking forward to it and I didn’t pay attention so they didn’t get to have fun. Ugh. We tried making it the last 30 minutes of the party, but the rain was so bad down Dove Ave. that I didn’t want to risk driving with the girls anymore so we picked up Burger King and headed home. They didn’t seem to mind, thank goodness!
So here we are, lazy and home and I’m so glad. Poor Jorge was stuck in Brownsville for a while and he said the road was completely flooded, even on the Expressway. We ordered pizza and I’m hoping to finally, finally sleep in till at least 7 tomorrow, heh.
And I hope our pond dries up a bit >_<.
[caption id="attachment_2421" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The backyard![/caption]
I’ve been telling myself for months that I need to start eating better.
There was always an excuse though: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, my events being back-to-back at work and not having time to eat better, selling (and eating) Girl Scout cookies. I vowed to myself that after the whole Girl Scout cookie thing and after February 16th, the date of my last major event, I would start eating better and jogging again. But February 16th and then the 17th came and I continued to eat crappily.
The girls were sick the week of February 7th so I took them in to the doctor. I was already there, so I figured I’d go in to get help with my acne again.
That’s a whole other story, but to summarize: I was on birth control since I was 17 years old, after having Eenan. I got my tubes tied after I had Emily on February 2009 at the age of 27. About 6 months later, after not being on any kind of birth control, I started getting acne and about 2010 (combined with the stress of the divorce and fighting for my kids) my face erupted like never before. It was awful. So in 2011 when I couldn’t take it anymore my doctor put me on Minocycline, an oral antibiotic, plus pledgets and a topical antibiotic. My face cleared up a lot, thank God, but in 2013 I must have become immune because it stopped working. So I changed my eating habits, drank more water, etc. and nothing seemed to help.
So I went in with the girls that day and my doc went ahead and did my yearly physical while I was there, plus blood work. When I had picked the girls up I’d had 4 Thin Mints with Emily (grrr), so I reminded the girls at the office that my sugar might be a little higher due to that, and being checked after lunch. Dr. Guzman prescribed birth control to help with my acne, and we went on our way.
Fast forward to 1 1/2 weeks later and Laura calls me on the 19th at 3pm that they need me to go in. That always means that something came back abnormal on the results. She tells me that my cholesterol is super high and they need to see me. So in I go. My cholesterol total was at almost 400 and my “bad” cholesterol was at 300. Not good. I even reminded all the girls that I’d had those Thin Mints that day before my blood work was taken but Dr. Guzman somberly said no, this was something that was developing for a while. She said I was thin, healthy overall so she was blaming my crappy genetics. (My first thought was Damn you, Mother!!)
She put me on a strict diet and basically told me to stick to the produce section of HEB, fish and chicken. That’s it. She also gave me a list of names that were a creative cover-up for high cholesterol on “Fat Free” or “No Trans Fat” packages. The first thing I thought was, “OMG. No cheese. No cookies. No butter. No BACON!”
Oh yeah, and she also prescribed Lipitor. Yup. I tried getting out of it by telling her I would cure myself by eating better and exercising (like I did back in 2008 with the diabetes) but she said no way; it was too high and I needed to take the pill. It really sucks. I had a bit of a hard time dealing with it for a few days.
It’s a pretty known fact that I love food. My Facebook and Instagram streams are probably 70% pics of food that I make, or food that I’m eating at restaurants. I just love food. The expression “sad” is an understatement for how I feel about having to make grand changes in the way I eat.
There’s no better way to kick your ass into gear than being told you have extremely high cholesterol. So my meals went from:
(FYI, Mambo Seafood’s service SUCKS. Jessica and I were 30 minutes late to work and I never got my cocktail sauce!!)
I got that hummus recipe from Pinterest, but instead of using white beans used the traditional chick peas and OMG. Seriously the BEST hummus I’ve ever had! I just wish I could find a good, healthy, low-cholesterol store-bought pita bread or a recipe for a good one. It wasn’t bad with celery at all. Jorge wasn’t too fond of it. He did the whole *aherk* thing, so boo LOL. More for me!
So it’s not too bad, but man I miss my cheese. And bacon. And beer brats. Waah.
I’ll get over it, and maybe, hopefully used to it. I thought of food all the time before, and now it’s even worse. Before I eat anything I research it. I research my recipes for the day. I have so much to re-learn. And it sucks to be surrounded by food at work (donuts, chocolate chip cookies from Jason’s Deli, grapefruits that I can’t have because it clashes with my medication, etc.). I seriously felt like this on Friday:
I almost resent and detest people as I see them stuffing delicious food in their mouth, but I have to pep-talk myself into not cursing them 🙁 . Jorge is certain that my test results were wonky and incorrect, but I don’t know. I was eating badly. And then I was doing the Keto diet and stopped suddenly and started stuffing my face with carbs, so maybe that had something to do with it? It’s been almost a year since I’d started Keto. I started after my birthday in April and stopped around July 4th. So who knows. I wasn’t going hardcore or anything with the red meats and say, Bulletproof (butter in my) coffee. I’ll have to ask next month when I go in for a follow-up.
Wish me luck on this new journey!! I kind of feel like I’m damned, but by golly, I WILL get over this darn thing! I will get off the pill!