2019 – Everything’s the Same, but Everything Changed

I guess instead of updating weekly or even monthly, I’m going to do a bi-annual update. Or better yet: yearly. 🙄

I’ll probably go back and post a mass photo dump of birthdays, holidays and events–because I hate missing recording those moments here. But I guess a quick recap of the last year will have to suffice for this post.

We spent a lot of time going back and forth between home and San Antonio every other weekend. Well, I did–Jorge was already there, obviously. I’d usually go when we didn’t “have kids” and they were with the “other parents”.

Sometime before the holidays I stopped “Keto-ing” and screwed up my eating habits terribly. I’d go back to attempting to hop back on the low-carb train but it was to no avail–it seemed like my lack of willpower had completely derailed my Keto train and crashed into a firey wreckage. Needless to say, in the last 6 months I’ve packed on about 15-18 of the 20 lbs I’d lost and managed to maintain for 1.5 years while I was doing Keto. So disappointed in myself!

This also means that I’ve gone from running at least 3x a week to doing nothing. Which is pretty bad considering my awesome, super-low-key job is 95% sedentary.

I had attempted a “Run for 30 days” goal for myself in the month of December to counteract the sweets-binging that was happening since Halloween…only to injure myself 8 days into it because I was trying desperately to run an 11-minute mile 🙄 . So there went that.

I knew I needed to keep myself occupied–especially with Jorge away so much–otherwise my thoughts and anxiety would slip away from me and it was over.

So–the brilliant idea I came up with was I’d start school! I had finally ordered the assessment training book I’d need to review to take the mandatory placement exam I’d have to take to start school in the Spring/Fall, and I had my mind set: I was going to do this! Even if it meant graduating with my kids 😆 !

At the end of December, once I had mostly gotten over the sprain from the beginning of the month, I started running right after work and was really happy with my routine:

Drop girls off at school, go to work, eat lunch at work (it helps me focus on low-carbing), change into running clothes at work at 5pm, run, pick up HEB Curbside if I had to (Curbside and HEB Delivery are a GODSEND), get home and shower and make dinner, talk to Jorge on the phone, sleep.

It was a great week. (–Yes. I only got to keep my routine up for 1 week. I’ll get back to that shortly.)

Then comes the new year and I’m finally motivated enough to stick with my plan.

Sandra came over on January 4th to catch up and have cocktails. Jorge had invited Robert over after work for drinks too. As we’re sitting around, Justin calls Jorge about picking him up from his mom’s. Then their mom calls to tell Jorge to pick Justin up. They had just gone with the other parents the previous day, so we found that kind of peculiar. Jorge is going back and forth on texts with Justin and with their mom and finally, Justin decides he’s staying with his mom.

Cut to Saturday night, where Jorge and I are alone and had ordered take-out and were watching “Black Mirror: BANDERSNATCH”…till 2am! We kept “playing” over and over again to achieve the maximum happy ending…until we gave up lol.

We wake up at 9am on Sunday, January 6th to find missed calls from the boys at 5:30am. We panic and start calling and texting frantically until we finally get through to Jorgie and rush over to their mother’s apartment to pick them up. We didn’t know what to expect; all the other times we’d tried to pick the boys up when we “weren’t supposed to have them” there were always cops waiting.

Long story short: Jorgie and Justin have lived with us permanently ever since. Jorge was home for a few weeks and so the transition wasn’t anything drastic–yet. Then came time for Jorge to leave back to work and I needed to figure out driving schedules. When I told them how early we’d have to leave and how late I’d have to pick them up after work I was positive they’d change their mind entirely and say they wanted to go back to their mom’s. But, they didn’t. They were okay with the upcoming routine. I look from them to Jorge after the discussion and I say, “So, that’s it? They’re ours?? They’re gonna live here?” I give them both hugs and Jorgie says, “So I can call you Mom now??” I said, “Dude, I’ve always been your mom.”

(Just to clarify: I have never and won’t ever try to take the place of their biological mother. On the contrary, I’ve encouraged them to reach out to her, even now.)

When a few more weeks passed and they were still with us and I took them to pick up stuff from their mother’s after school, they put their white trash bags full of belongings into the back of car. As I got ready to drive off, realization hits me again and I say, “So this really is for real?” Justin looks over at me and says, “Gee, Yajaira, I thought this was for real.” I explained to him that it had happened before–they would get into it with their mom and stay with us and then she’d want them back. They said, “Nope. Not going back.”

It’s still surreal to me that after all the custody battles and years of trying to “get them”, just *poof*. All of a sudden, they live here.

Needless to say, my trips to San Antonio came to a standstill, since now we had the boys and it would get expensive lol. Instead, Jorge would come home–when then started taking a toll on him and his sleep schedule and work schedule. That, in turn, caused us to be at each other’s throats.

Since Jorge works away most of the week my schedule changed completely. I’d wake up an hour earlier to get the girls and Jorgie and Justin in the car and dropped the boys off by 7:15am (an hour and 45 minutes before they even had to be at school, poor things), then I’d drop the girls off by 7:35 to get to work by 7:55. It was tiring for everyone, but we had to make it work; there was no other way.

Same for the afternoons. I’d get out of work and instead of going to run or to buy groceries I’d go straight to pick the boys up. Again they’d have to wait for me for an hour and a half after they got out of school to be picked up.

We spent a lot of those first 2 months stopping by a place called Snowball Express–buying junkfood and sometimes completely forgoing dinner to have snacks. I wasn’t running or exercising at all. And I felt the difference from one day to the next–no joke!

That shit creeps up on ya!

I’d completely stopped low-carbing, and was much less sticking to the Keto diet. And it showed. Because my acne had ALSO made a comeback. Ugh.

Then, to top it off, my brain was going 100mph, non-stop and I’d begun clamping my jaw again from stress, which resulted in needing to use my mouth guard again. I hadn’t used a mouth guard since I left the Chamber!!

As I’d mentioned in my post from October 9, 2018, (my last “in-real-time post”) I was beginning to come to terms with the fact that my anxiety was taking a toll on my well-being. I had accepted it. But the little breakdowns at work (it’s happened 3 times) for absolutely no reason except that I was probably on my period and incredibly hormonal and someone slightly inconvenienced me–well, that shit needed to NOT HAPPEN.

So, in February, I went to the doctor because they needed to see me in order for me to get a refill on my acne topical medication. I told the doc about my acne problem and since it was a new doctor I’d never visited with before, I gave her some history. She asked about stress and I told her that I seriously didn’t have much to stress about–my job was the most chill job, ever–but it was perhaps all the free time that I had at my job that caused me to cycle thoughts in my head repeatedly. She asked what a day was like for me and I told her about the kids and how I recently became the boys’ primary parent, in essence, and about how I wanted to start school, too. I told her how my husband worked away from home most days–and then IT HAPPENED. I STARTED BAWLING FOR NO REASON. I pointed to my face and choked on a sobby-laugh and told her, “You see what I mean?? It just happens! She said, “What you described in 1 day is way more than one person can/should handle. And then you want to add school, which is great, but we need to get you to get to a good state first.” So, she prescribed anxiety medication–which I was adamant about staying away from for years, but I figured I’d give it a go. What’s the worse that could happen? I chill out? LOL

Cut to 6 months later and although I’m much more carefree about things (sometimes TOO carefree) I still stress out, just toned down about 80%. The one side effect that I’ve had the most trouble with is the 15 pound weight gain I’ve had. It’s depressing. The pill makes you lethargic, which in turn makes you want to sleep. That’s all I wanted to do at first. I had no energy so I became infatuated with Bang drinks (Frose Rose, Rainbow Unicorn, Cotton Candy and Georgia Peach Tea are my faves!) but they heighten my heart rate and anxiety, boo. The lethargy is also the reason I’ve stopped running and working out, plus the kids’ end-of-the-year stuff.

Alaethia and 2 of her besties (they call me mom ?). Alaethia was wearing one of my new dresses and heels!

I also recently, FINALLY, had a visit with a dermatologist to get to the bottom of my acne problem. She prescribed a brand new topical medication plus a new pill that I have to take at night with a snack. It’s also a diuretic. AND, I was trying to get back to Keto and was doing really good until she confirmed I needed to lay off the sugar and DAIRY if I want to make an actual, internal difference, not just on the surface. That about killed me. The only thing that was left to bring me joy was cheese and Halo Top/Enlightened ice cream–and now I couldn’t even have that!! Suddenly, my goals of being healthy and happy with a clear complexion weren’t looking too appealing! I seriously wanted to throw in the towel; but decided not to. I’ve just got to focus and get serious about it. It’s just incredibly frustrating that I KNOW what being on Keto does for you and I’m still expecting the same results as last time, which was an 8-lb weight loss in 2 weeks, but I keep sabotaging myself!. And the last time I was finally focused and was eating how I should (starting April 20th till I sabotaged myself after my dermatologist appointment) I had GAINED a pound in over a month!! BUT–I know I’m not being completely consistent because I’ll mess up during the weekend and then I have to start all over. Ugh.

Being an adult is hard.

But it’s also got its silver lining. My kids are becoming more independent! At the end of the school year Jaylen started driving and we’ll send him off for errands. And Justin is driving too now, so he was driving himself and Jorgie to and from school. That was pretty darn badass and a relief that last week of school lol. At least we have a solution to that now, thank goodness!

It’s always fun hanging out with the kids, too. Which is mostly what my evenings and weekends consist of these days. They’re my best little broke friends 😆 and they’re pretty darn awesome.

Also, John is a DAD NOW!! I finally have a baby to love on and buy things for ??. I just wish I could see them all the time ?!!

So there you have it, folks. It is now summer vacation and I must start some kind of worthy routine, which includes school. I need to do this for myself. NEED TO!!!

Dia de los Muertos in San Antonio & Halloween 2018

Some of the best Fridays are when I get to have lunch with a friend and then take off to go see hubs right after work.

This day I had lunch at Hop Tung with Ne.va.

Yes. I am still consuming carbs. Don’t judge me!

I’ve always wanted to attend a huge Dia de los Muertos shindig since it’s one of my favorite things. It was a last minute event that we saw on Facebook, but the family decided we were totally going to do it that weekend.

I finally thought ahead and packed for my trip the night before so I’d be ready to go right after work the next day. But of course I would see that some boots I wanted were 40% off so I did that right after work first, which set me back around 1 hour.

The drive is always long, but talking to the kids and singing loudly to my music while sipping on some iced coffee or ice cream (yes, I packed it and left it in the freezer at work) always helps the trip go faster.

I really don’t mind it. (It’s the trip back that feels like it takes an eternity!) Seeing the hubs after an extended time is always a relief and he always promises me food as soon as I arrive! This time, it would be Pineapple Ninjas!

We ran into Jerry, the owner of the food truck, as soon as we arrived at The Block food truck park. The park was everything I wished I could have turned McAllen Food Park into when I still worked at the Chamber. It was a chilly night, but there were heaters where the picnic tables were under the bar area, so we were comfy. Jerry brought us some awesome Arizona teas and the food was to die for! Nothing beats fresh, healthy eats!

Ironically, I went all the way to San Antonio to try out Pineapple Ninjas for the first time! I’d never tried them when they were at South Padre Island or at the events in McAllen.

We chatted with Jerry till 1am, so by the time we got back to the hotel it was 2am. That was the latest I’ve stayed up in a LONG time.

We slept in the next morning, obviously. Well, I did–Jorge got up earlier than I did to run to the bank and to get us some breakfast from Bill Miller’s. It was a nice surprise, having breakfast in bed 🙂 .

We got ready and went to see one of Jorge’s projects. I was dressed and ready, and pretty excited, to help him with this project. It was a total trash heap, but the few days of work he’d already accomplished made the place look so much better. He walked me through as he checked off what else needed to be done. He fed me Reese’s and sour candies (even after I told him I was done with sugar! It’s screwing up my face, bad!) and then he did a few things here and there as I watched. Oh well, maybe I’ll help next time!

He took a good nap when we returned to the hotel and then we got ready to have dinner with my in-law’s in Austin. We stopped by Bucee’s to get some snacks (I had the best candied cashews and pecans) and then we proceeded to get stuck in traffic several times. It felt like forever before we finally made it to the apartment!

We chilled out a bit and Mia told us about how happy she was to receive Alf from us for her birthday. Briana told us she had a newfound love for Alf after she introduced her to the series and she had her eye on one at Minnie’s Hidden Treasures. I told her not to worry, I still had my old Alf in the garage! I’d been meaning to put him on eBay since I don’t collect Alf items, but it was truly meant to be that we keep him because he belonged with Mia.

Briana had this awesome cake made for her, too!

We went to Chuy’s for dinner, which was great because we were starving after skipping lunch.

I got my usual fajita plate (was attempting to be Keto-ish) but then had this amazing drink which was sugary (but delicious) AF.

We ate and then went to an outdoor’s 1800’s type haunted house that Briana had heard about.

We weren’t sure what to expect, but I was excited. Poor Mia was nervous and asked Jorge to carry her, since we were advised that phone light nor flashlights were allowed. All that was allowed were the red “ring” lights they gave us at the entrance.

It was dark except for some fairy light-edged arrows pointing us in the direction we needed to go. We can hear people screaming as we reach the more “mature” side of the haunted houses/trails. As soon as we walk in a little girl in white pops out from behind a door and scares the shit out of us. It’s so dark you can’t see when someone slowly creeps up behind you and is breathing behind your neck to “watch out”.

We’re halfway through (I think) when we’re walking down this trail that has dark dips in the ground. We continue to walk and slow down when we see a huge dark puddle–only it isn’t a puddle, it’s a girl, flat as ever, slowly sitting up to grab and hiss at us. We don’t even notice that Briana has run off with Mia, so Jorge, Dinah and I run to catch up. I scream, “Oh no, there’s another one!” as I see another dark spot on the ground…only to realize it’s Briana and Mia who’ve tripped on a branch and fell into a dip in the trail! Poor things! Briana ended up hurting her ribs!

And also…you know you’re getting old when someone literally scares the piss out of you and it takes all your energy not to let it flow!! THEY. WERE. SCARY!!

We were going to the Dia de los Muertos Festival at La Villita in San Antonio the next day. We didn’t really have a game plan but we did want to dress up and paint our faces. The only bad thing was both Jorge and I forgot about his black jacket, but it was too hot to wear it anyway.

We gathered our things to be ready for check-out and had a late breakfast at IHOP, where we had the sweetest waitress named Sharon. She was well-known by everyone in New Braunfels, because she spoke to everyone and hugged everyone as if they were family. Either that, or she was just that sweet.

And I think she was, because when she came up to us she said I was beautiful and told Jorge to “take care of me” and called me Babygirl the entire time. She was just too sweet. Jorge joked that she was trying to get a good tip. I said, “Well, then SHE GOT IT.”

I gave her a huge hug when we were getting ready to go. Jorge left to pay and she waved a hand over me to the next table and asked the bearded gentlemen, “Isn’t she so pretty?” Jorge said he was going to take her tip away for that one 😆 .

We had another good drive to go so we took selfies while we drove. Or, I should say that Jorge drove and I took selfies:

I brought minimal makeup for our face painting: an ELF liquid eyeliner, normal black eye liner and some hotpink rhinestones. I forgot my eyelashes, earrings and the base paint. So our first stop was Party City, where we got Jorge some face tattoos and some white paint and new rhinestones. Then we stopped at Dollar Tree where we got some eyelashes.

We found a parking space downtown near La Villita and then took about 30 minutes to put on our makeup. I quickly dabbed on white paint and drew on my swirls with eyeliner and stuck on my rhinestones. Then I helped Jorge stick on his face tattoos and fixed the ones that cracked with the liquid eyeliner. All-in-all, I think we did pretty good for 30 minutes!

We met up with everyone and admired the ofrendas.

Then we all decided we were hungry so we went to a nearby restaurant. We didn’t really know what to expect, but it was nicely decorated…(and very expensive for the type and quality of the food LOL.)

Still, it was nice spending time with the family. Poor Briana was feeling sore from her fall the night before, so she was taking it easy.

The Procession began while we were still eating but Jorge, Mia and I ran out anyway.

It was quick, but the costumes were pretty cool.

We looked around a bit more and were total tourists taking photos wherever we could.

Then it was time to say our goodbyes :(. Not before Briana gave me a gift! I love them!!

Jorge walked me to the car while everyone else waited in Dinah’s. They’d be dropping him off in New Braunfels 🙁 . We kissed goodbye and then again when I dropped him off at the car on the way back out of the garage.

Of course I would take the wrong turn, but once I was safely on the road began my car concert all the way home. That ride…felt like it took forever.

I sucked it up and got ready for work the next day. If I remember correctly, it was a low-key Monday.

The girls finally told me what they wanted to be for Halloween: 3 days before. Emily wanted to be Agnes from Despicable Me and Alaethia a character from The Purge with a very specific mask. So of course we would spend the evening scrambling. First stop: THE DREADED MALL.

First, we scooped up Aly’s friend Jaylinn. Then we made our way to the mall.

Emily wasn’t feeling well and I thought it was so cute that Alaethia took this pic.

Emily needed overalls so they looked around at H&M and Tilly’s. She ended up with some overalls and a tee from Tilly’s and Alaethia ended up falling in love with everything at H&M. That one’s a shopaholic like her mother 😆 .

We got them some Starbucks and we took a little break.

It’s about darn time they make a Starbucks inside the mall!

The girls wanted to meet their other bestie at the Disney store, so we trekked that way. After a selfie sesh we continued our search for the mask…but all the possible stores were sold out since the day before. OUR LUCK.

We got some Auntie Annie’s pizza and cinnamon pretzels and we made our way to the Spirit Halloween Store…where they and the other stores sold out. Finally Alaethia decided she’d be a baseball player (random!) so she found a men’s shirt and socks at Target. I would figure out the letters and number she wanted on the shirt later. I was EXHAUSTED.

Another easy day at work on Tuesday. I got lunch from Lei Lai, which I instantly regretted because I wanted all the noodles…but ended up chomping on rice anyway 🙄 .

Ne.va was in the office and we got to talking about the girls’ costumes and I told her I still needed to head to Walmart after work for felt to sew on Alaethia’s baseball number. She rolled her eyes at me and said that wouldn’t do–we should go over in the evening and she would screen print the shirt for us. She’s the best! Of course the girls would fall more in love with her lol.

Emmos dressed up for school the next day; Alaethia didn’t in case she would be “dress-coded”.

I wish I’d had time to fix her hair up like the real Agnes!

Work was another low-key one, heh. My biggest stressor is determining where I’m going to eat. My life lately is constantly thinking about what I’m going to eat next–because I’m kind of tired of eating 😆 It sounds crazy, but I’m sort of tired of always nit-picking if there are carbs present just to screw up and eat the carbs anyway 🙄

But I had fish that day, so that was good.

I had to mentally prepare myself for the evening. Sally and I were taking the kiddos to watch “Thriller” and Trick-or-treat Downtown. The plan was to also go to the library but I would take too long getting myself ready 🙁 . Sally was able to get out an hour early–I got out at 5:15 and had to rush home, grr. Still, I think I did ok for getting completey ready in 30 minutes. The eyelashes take long enough!

Once we were all ready, we took off and found some parking after circling the area several times.

Alaethia wanted to go trick-or-treating with her friends, so naturally, my whiny tween was whiny. There was lots of eye-rolling, sighing and teeth-sucking going on 🙄 (Help me, Jesus!)

But they still watched the show and did a teensy bit of trick-or-treating. (We were late for that, too, since we watched the Thriller Dance Mob first!)

On the way to the car we *had* to stop by for a photo shoot at the mural wall! Finally, finally had a chance to stop by.

We noticed the time and rushed into the car because once again, we were running late. We tried meeting up with Alaethia’s friend and her sister in the neighborhood we typically go to for trick-or-treating, except we couldn’t find them OR a parking spot and my anxiety was shooting through the roof. I even snapped at Alaethia to get on the phone instead of Snapchat to get the details of their location better. We finally get somewhere and park at the park I usually run at…which meant a lot of walking. in wedges. FML and choice of footwear.

We meet up with the girls and have to keep up. I can tell poor Sally and the little girls are getting tired, so I leave Alaethia with her friend and older sister and they would drop her off. What a relief. We still however, had to make the trek across the park to the car. Sweet. Jesus. But we still took a photo op!

We got to the house and I dropped Sally off at her car, then Emmos and I rushed to pick up McDonald’s. It was already late, so this mama was not cooking! All-in-all, it was a great day!