Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bring on '09!

Happy New Year everyone! I'm ending '08 alone. Dan is bartending and Will is sleeping. But before you feel sorry for me, know that I'm listening to some Metallica, drinking wine, and baking. Dan and I will bring in the New Year when he gets home from work. I have a bottle of sparkling wine (who could afford champagne this year?) and will make some yummy brushetta.

I will not be looking back to '08 at all. The past shall stay in the past with this coming year. Call it a New Year's Resolution. I'm looking forward to all of us getting out of this slump we've been in. In order to change the world you have to change first. If you mope around about how crappy '08 was, guess how '09 will be?

My next resolution is no more "bye-bye arms". Ladies, you know exactly what I mean. I've been working on it by doing some mean push-ups and playing Wii boxing. Laugh all you want, but that game works me out. I'm looking forward to purchasing Wii Fit in the very near future to continue my body make-over. Besides that, I've found a new gym partner. Normally, I don't like working out with others, but I think this will be the motivation I need. Bikini body here I come!

By the way, I went to the gym the other day and found out that I'm fitter than I've ever been. I guess that's what happens when you run around Manhattan to and from work and carry a 24 lb. toddler around. I was able to run on the treadmill between 6.5 and 7.5 miles an hour. This a feat that I've never been able to accomplish. The fastest I've been able to run was at 5.0 mph and that's alternating with walking every two minutes. I'm feeling some kind of marathon (whether the big one or little ones). Bring it on!

I'm excited about this new year (damn Metallica is good; at the moment I'm listening to One from And Justice For All). I feel that there will be good changes coming up for the Diaz family. I'm sure I'll blog about them. We'll see. Anyway, I wish you all the very best. May this new year bring you tons of happiness!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Big Change Coming Up

You know how I'm always complaining about the little time I have to do anything? Yeah, it's only going to get worse starting next month. Why? Well, I'm heading back to school! It's official! I got my acceptance letter yesterday in the mail. What I'm going for? Technically, I'm going for certification to teach ESL. Unofficially, I am going for a Master's in Urban Education with certification in ESL. I have to take the GRE in order to get accepted into the program, which I will since you need a 2.75 GPA for the program and I graduated with a 3.76. There is no difference between the two programs just the thesis courses. So once I take the exam, I officially get accepted into the Master's program.

To say the least, I'm excited and a little bit in awe. I've always dreamed of getting a Master's, but moving between three states in a matter of a few years, my lack of making a decision on what to do next, and money it always seemed like a distant dream. Well, not anymore. I'm very proud of myself for finally making up my mind about this. I'm a little scared, but once I'm in the program I'll be fine.

It's time to go! I have a haircut to get and a need to jump into the shower. Talk to you soon!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Gobble Gobble!!!

What a great Thanksgiving we had! We had so much food! Let's see, we had turkey, sweet potato au gratin, yucca, arroz morro, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cappuccino spiced cookies, apple pie, cake, and ice cream. That was only for dinner. We started off the day with little hot dogs in pastry puffs, taquitos, and pizza. Needless to say, you had to roll us out of Dan's aunt's house. We truly had a great time.

You know me, on days like these I go crazy baking and cooking. The turkey was curtesy of me. Every year, I'm the designated turkey maker. I don't mind either. I know I'm patting myself on the back for this, but my turkey rocks. How could it not? I wrap it in bacon. This year, I wanted to make some different stuff. So I made sweet potato au gratin. This was by far, my favorite dish of the night. Deadly to my hips, but oh sooooo good. I'm making another batch this weekend. The sweet potatoes just melted in your mouth. The next thing I made was pumpkin pie. It was such an easy recipe, but it was also so delicious. I'll be making this quite often (after a week of serious dieting). The last thing I made, which isn't new were the cappuccino spiced cookies. I made them last year for Christmas and heard that everyone still remembered them and wanted them again. I obliged. They're so damn good.

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your four day weekend for those of you lucky enough to have off. I'll leave you with this great picture of Will enjoying pumpkin pie.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why? Why? Why?

This story breaks my heart (Child left alone in tub dies). This little girl was only 14 months old. That's how old Will is. Just the other day while I was giving him a bath, he was trying to climb out of his tub. He wasn't in the mood for a bath and stood up crying while a bathed him (something he never does). Imagine I would have a walked away? He would have climbed out of the tub and probably fallen and hurt himself badly.

I'm not sure if this woman is overwhelmed. Maybe she has too much on her plate. She has two other boys and was cooking dinner at the time of the bath. Trust me dinner could wait and so can a bath. I don't bathe Will everyday because he gets eczema behind his knees and bathing him more regularly would aggravate his condition more. I wouldn't bathe him during cooking time and I would never, never leave him alone.

This woman has to deal with the fact that she killed her daughter over something that could have been avoided. We always try to do too many things at once and it's just not worth it. Please don't leave your child unattended.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Emotions Riding High

What can I say about Barack Obama being elected president? A million things. I cannot begin to tell you how overwhelmed I felt when I heard CNN call it. I sat there speechless. Actually, I said "Holy crap Dan, they just called it." Amazing. I stayed up to watch McCain's concession speech, which I thought was very well put. If he would have sounded like this throughout his entire campaign and hadn't picked Palin, his chances of becoming president would have been greater. The outcome probably would have been different. I was very disappointed in how the crowd was booing, but that's a result of the negative campaigning McCain/Palin ran.

I stayed up to watch Obama's speech. Mind you, I woke up at 4:30 am to vote and he didn't begin his speech until midnight. You could imagine how delirious I was at that point being awake for 20 hours and knowing that I had to wake up at 5:30 am. Anyway, back to the speech. I saw people crying, laughing, cheering, and shocked in that crowd he was standing in front of. Jesse Jackson was standing there crying. I'm not a big fan of his, but watching him moved me. I couldn't stop crying either. Obama's speech was perfect.

I have to tell you a little story about where I voted. The place I voted at is one of the grammar schools I attended. I went to this school for half of 1st grade through part of 3rd grade. Back when I went to school there, hispanic kids were definitely the minority. Not so much now because the area I live in is probably 90% hispanic. I wasn't treated horrible, but there are few instances that stick to my head.

One of my teachers would always call me stupid and slow. If this was because of my ethnicity, I'm not sure. Needless to say, this teacher wasn't nice. I was put in a speech class for my "S." You know we hispanics tend to pronounce our S very hard. This teacher would make us read on our own. I was always done first. I read very fast. I could read very fast in English or in Spanish. Apparently, the teacher didn't believe so. She would call me a liar and make me reread and reread until the other kids in the class were done. I sometimes would sit there and cry while reading the same story four to five times.

Last but not least, I was put in a low reading group. Why? Well, I guess because my S was thick and I obviously couldn't read. God forbid anyone would ever ask me to read out loud. I hated that school. So when my parents decided to move to another town, I was happy. Guess what happened at the new school? I never had to take a speech class (I guess my S was fine) and a week after being in the low reading group, I was placed in the high reading group for the duration of my elementary years in that school. A WEEK!! Imagine that?

I can only tell you that when I walked into that school at 6:15 am I was beaming ear to ear. The irony of stepping into this school twenty-five years later to vote for an African American to be our president is beyond me. It's priceless. Listen, I'm sure this school is great now and those horrible teachers aren't there anymore or if they are they've changed their ways. I also don't hold grudges. These lessons I learned early on in my young life have shaped me in ways I never expected. What I hope that comes from this historic time that my son won't have to face discrimination like I or anybody else has. Being called a spic or made fun of because of my strange name or told that I'm lucky for being hispanic because I get to go to college for free (yah, I'm still paying my student loans) or countless of other things I've been told, won't be told to my son. It's been a long time coming.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Busy, Busy Month

I can't begin to tell you how busy life has been for me this past month. And to be honest, I'm not so sure why. I could tell you that two Fridays out of the last few weeks, it took me hours to get home. One Friday was because I was stuck at work finishing some stupid project that was dumped on my lap at 4:30pm. The person who did so has a history of holding on to researches and then giving them to me at the end of day. My boss is aware of this and he's annoyed too. The other Friday had to do with the Lincoln Tunnel being closed for three hours. Yeah, not fun getting home. Oh yeah, I had a wedding to go to. The wedding was beautiful. The couple is stuck in St. John because of hurricane Omar. I think they were suppose to get back this weekend.

Will has been keeping us both busy. This past week or so, he's decided bedtime is at 10pm. And since he insists on hanging out on the floor walking around (yay), I kind of have to keep an eye on him. He's so adorable! But by 10pm, I'm ready to go to sleep and don't even bother to check my email. I'm so behind on reading blogs that I'm not sure I'll catch up. And looking for jobs? That's done in the morning at around 5:30am. What else should I do?

Well, I'm keeping this short. It's time for Will to have breakfast.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

What a wonderful birthday I had yesterday! My family and friends love me!!! First off, Dan, my Mom, my mother-in-law, and my aunt-in-law all pitched in to get me the iPod Touch (16G version). Can you believe that? I was soooo taken aback when Dan gave it to me. I never in a million years thought I would get it. Especially, not the Touch. It's totally awesome how I could store my entire photo library (about 1600 pictures), go online, play games, and oh yeah listen to music. I love it, love it, love it!! Thank you so much for doing this for me. You all have outdone yourselves. I'm very touched.

My birthday gets even better than that. Dan told me to be ready by 11:30am. I had no idea why or where we were going. So, I did as I was told. He then gets a phone call from my bff, Sal, saying that she wants to give me my gift and to make a pit stop at her place. I found it fishy, but I wasn't going to think about it too much. We reach her place and she asks me to take a quick drive to Blockbuster with her. Well, as you can guess, we didn't go to Blockbuster. She took me to get my hair done! Fast forward a few hours later and my hair looks awesome! I no longer look like a beat-up mom. I look like a hot mama!!

But wait, the day got even better than that. After I was all coiffed, I found out that Guy (bff's hubby) was going to grill for me. Sal and I picked up some food and off to the bbq we went! Aren't they the best? I really have such beautiful people in my life. I love them! Thank you so much for all you did for me. I really appreciate it.

We all had a wonderful time and ate plenty of yummy food. Even Will got in on the grill action. He ate salmon. Yes, SALMON! Can you believe that? He was loving it. I kept on breaking off little flakes and giving it to him and he kept on opening his mouth for more. Now that I know this, we will have salmon very often.

Dan did have other gifts for me. He got me this gorgeous orange knitted cardigan and the book Twilight. I had heard that the movie was coming out and told him that I wanted to read the book before it did. He remembered and got it for me. Isn't he great? I love him!!!

Again, I want to thank you all for making my birthday so special. I have very special people in my life and I'm always very grateful for them. Thank you all!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Will's Birthday Party

Will's birthday party was great! There was no rain up until the very end when we were packing the cars. We all had fun. The food was great (OMG was it great). The cake even better (it had dulce de leche with peaches). My mom made a wonderful pasta de bocadito (a ham spread). Let me put it to you this way, no one left that party hungry.

The theme to the party was Blue's Clues, which is Will's favorite show. You put that on for him and he laughs the whole 25 minutes it's on. Thanks to my dear mother-in-law, the decorations were awesome. She got to the park first while Dan and I finished up some business. She put everything up. She was great! Also, Sal made all the goody bags for the kids. She had pictures of Will on them. I could always count on her for being creative!

We were the losers that showed up late (well we were picking up the food) and left our camera at home. Yes, we left our camera at home. Losers! I can't believe we did that. Thankfully, everyone else had cameras. Unfortunately, we haven't gotten all the pictures yet. I promise once I do, they will be posted.

I do have a video that my sister of us singing and my nephew blowing out his candle (cute):

I also have a picture of us at home. Will is busy trying to grab tissue paper from inside his huge gift bag.

I do want to than everyone that came by and helped us celebrate. It meant a lot to us. We had a great time and appreciate all the help we got. Thank you!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Will!

A year ago today, my son was born. It's been one of the fastest years of my life. He's already walking and talking. When all I could remember is him being tiny. He's gone from 6lbs 15oz to 21lbs 10oz, from 20 inches to 28.5 inches, and from baby to toddler.

Happy Birthday Will! Your birth has had the most impact to my life. I love you more than you'll ever know and I'm ok with that. You won't remember this birthday, but that's fine because you'll have plenty more! I love you!!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Catching Up

What a hectic week! And it's only going to get worse this coming week. Thursday is the big day. My little guy turns ONE! Saturday is the big party and I haven't even gotten a cake for him. Worst case scenario: I'll bake one myself! It'll probably taste better. So, you won't be hearing much from me this week. Tomorrow, we're buying all the stuff needed for his party including the food I'm going to make.

Alright, enough about that. Labor day weekend was great. We didn't go apple picking on Saturday because of the morning rain. I was upset, but we had a nice time at home. Besides, we left the apple picking for Monday. On Sunday, we went to a BBQ and it was awesome! This was a Cuban style bbq with a whole pig being roasted in a Caja China. I'm not a huge pork person, but I had to have seconds on this bad boy. Wow, was it good! My mouth is watering just thinking about it right now.

Monday did not start out so great. We got lost on our way to Lawrence Farm Orchards. It took us two hours to get there. I got so tired of looking for this place that I almost gave up and then we found it. Let me tell you, I'm glad we did. My only complaint was that it was too damn hot, but the place was gorgeous. Will had a blast looking at all the different fruit they offered. He even walked around with his own pear, which he was licking most of the time.

Here are some pictures:

He didn't last long in this wagon. It wasn't so much that he was bobbling all over the place, which he was, but because he tried climbing out one of the times.

Here he is picking a plum. They were so delicious!

This is the famous pear!

We had a terrific time and can't wait to go back. Cooler weather is definitely a requisite. I can't picture myself doing this in hot weather ever again.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Budget: Since I'm buying all the things I need for Will's party, I've cut it close. I think dipping into savings will have to do or not buy any food until payday. I'm making it sound horrible, but I do have plenty of food at home (a bunch of frozen meats and plenty of pasta/rice). The only thing I need to buy is chicken for Will's (and my) weekly soup. I did splurge and ate lunch out three times this week, but that's because I woke up too late to prepare lunch. We also bought Will his birthday outfit, sneakers, a little hoody, and a winter coat. Oh well, at least gas prices are going down.

Job: I guess the hiring gods decided to hold off on getting me a job. I went on an interview a few weeks ago that looked very promising. In fact, they found me. On Monday, the dreadful call came in that the position had been filled, but they would keep me in mind if anything else comes up. So in four months that I've been looking, I've had one interview. This doesn't do much for my moral.

Weight: My pants' size has shrunk again! I have now, officially, dropped four sizes. I am doing the usual of walking 10,000 steps a day. Whenever I can, I walk. For instance, today I got off the bus on whole 1 1/2 avenues before I had to. I walked from 10th Avenue all the way to Broadway. New York City is a haven for walking.

My dinners have also become light. I'll eat, but really I'm not that hungry. Last night, I had hummus with pita chips (a good amount). Lunch was big for me (cheeseburger with fries from a diner). When it came down to dinner, I was still slightly full from lunch. Tonight has been a repeat of last night. My lunch was heavy so dinner doesn't have to be. I also became busy cleaning around the apartment, which keeps my mind not occupied on food. Now, if I could only tone up...

I think it's time for me to hit my bed. Tomorrow will be a busy day for us because we're going apple picking. I promise to take plenty of pictures!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Clean, Clean, Clean

That's what I did this weekend. I feel bad that the baby didn't go out, but we have gone out the entire week. On Saturday, I spent almost the entire day shredding. Dan and I have a bad habit that we don't open our mail. When we do, if something needs to be shredded, we put it in the "shred" pile. The problem was for quite some time Will was afraid of the shredder. He would cry and have such a frightened face that we would not shred. The pile became a bag. Throughout the day, I sat there and shredded. I did so much that I filled up a garbage bag. I didn't get to finish it all, but it is manageable.

The next thing I need to attack is Will's drawers and closet. He has stuff in there that no longer fits him and I need to make room for new clothes. It's really a 15 minute job that I plan on attacking tomorrow. After I'm done with that, I'm attacking my yarn stash. I'm not aloud to buy any new yarn until I finish using what I have. Fair enough.

I'm almost clutter free! It has been a nonstop process, but I feel good about it. To be honest, I've been so busy that I haven't been able to focus on much negativity (well for the most part; there were some exceptions this weekend). I like the way I feel and I expect it to bring a lot of good my way.

Well, I'm off to bed. I can't keep my eyes open.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Clutter Free (almost)

A house filled with clutter makes it difficult to remain positive. You can only focus on that clutter, which I believe makes it easy to focus on the negative aspects of your life. It's like when you're thinking of way too many things, you can't concentrate and you loose focus of what's important. By getting rid of stuff you don't need, you're getting rid of the bad baggage.

I am the type of person that holds on to clothes (unless they're really outdated). For instance, I have the terrycloth hoody jacket I bought the day I got engage. I'll never get rid of it because it reminds me of that wonderful day. But, I think it's alright to hold on to that. My drawers and closet are filled with close that no longer fit me. My underwear drawer; forget about it! I have all range of sizes of bras and undies in there. It's ridiculous and there's no room to add new stuff.

That being said, I went on a rampage yesterday. The first thing I attacked was my underwear drawer. Wow! I could actually fit stuff in there now! I may even have to get rid of the bras I have in there now because if I measured correctly, I dropped a size. The next thing I attacked was my closet. I pulled out all the pants and jeans I have in there. Out of all the bottoms that didn't fit, I believe I could get three of them tailored (thanks Lindrea!). They fit me fine from the hips down, but the waist is too big. My dresser drawers are free of outdated and big tops. You could actually see what's inside.

Now when you look at my drawers and closet, you see everything neatly folded and put away. You also see that I'm in desperate need of clothes! Well desperate is a bit of an exaggeration, but some new outfits wouldn't hurt. Dan was ecstatic when he saw what I did. He even suggested to put his bulky sweaters into my drawers since there is space now. I stopped him right there. There is space for me to fill up not him! Lol! He got the picture.

I feel very good getting rid of clothes that are just sitting there taking up space. I should have done this a long time ago. I'm hoping as I make my apartment clutter-free that I'll be able to move forward. I feel as if my state of mind, which is reflected in the clutter is holding me back on finding a better paying job. Now, I don't want you to think that my apartment is so full of stuff that you can't walk through it, but it does need some tlc. So, I'm off to cleaning before Will wakes up for breakfast.



Is this the look of happiness or what?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Evening at the Park

Since I didn't have to pick up Will at my mother's today, I got home rather quickly. Dan was going to the movies with his buddies to see Tropic Thunder. I decided I was going to take Will to the park. What an awesome idea!

When we got to the park, I put him in the swing. He was laughing and watching all of the other kids around him. I think I had more fun than he did. Seeing him happy melts my heart. Once we were done swinging, I took him by the lake and fed him (he ate all of his food today; no food strike). He again was watching everyone around him and just having fun.

I then decided to walk him around the lake. I contemplated doing so because it was getting chilly, but I saw so many kids in shorts and tee shirts that I figured he would be fine. Well, I figured right! I was kind of speed walking (I need to get my exercise in). On his food tray, he had some cereal puffs that he kept on grabbing to by the fistfuls. He would raise his arms with the cereal puffs still in his hands and start screaming with joy. He was laughing so hard that I couldn't help but laugh with him. Mind you, he never lost a cereal puff on the floor.

We got home and I gave him a bottle of milk. Right when that bottle was done, so was he. Hopefully, he'll sleep the night through like last night. Now, I get some me time! Well, I'm making a macaroni salad. So, I'll be doing stuff. But anyway, if I could spend every evening like this one, I would. I love being outside at parks. I swear, I must have been a ranger in a past life. Being surrounded by nature invigorates me. I love it!!

I'll leave you with a mobile picture of Will on the swing. It's not the best, but he looks cute.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tough Day for Mommy and Baby

Today was the first time Will was taken care by someone else other than his grand parents (on a work day basis; he's been watched by family before). The lady that watched is family and a wonderful person, but Will doesn't get to see her often. She's Dan's Aunt's mother-in-law. She's like a grandmother to Dan because he's known her since he was a little kid. My parents are down in Florida on a much needed vacation with my niece and nephew. This is a big trip for my father because he's seeing his brother for the first time in 37 years. I won't touch on this story because it's really his to tell, but you could imagine how big this trip is.

Back to Will. He saw her on Saturday at his cousin's birthday party. He loved her. He threw his arms at her, laughed, and was just adorable with her. Yesterday, we went over her place to bring the playard, stroller, and food. She wanted him to get use to her and the surroundings. We hung out for probably a good hour and everything went well. Will crawled and walked (cruised) around her place.

I knew he was going to feel strange because since he's been a month old, my mother has watched him. In fact, he eats better with her than me. So when I started walking over a different building, Will had a serious look on his face. He wasn't sure what was going on. I was talking to him letting him know that he was spending the day with Titi (that's what we call her). I went in her apartment and his serious face did not go away. He did, however, smile at her at one point and threw his arms to her. I was relieved. So, off to work I went.

I didn't want to pester her with my phone calls. So, I waited until 11 to call her. Breakfast was due at around 8-8:30. I didn't want to catch her while she was feeding the baby. And feeding the baby was the problem. He was asleep when I called her and she told me that he refused to eat breakfast or drink milk (that's when I sort of panicked). I kind of expected the food, but not the milk. We left it at that she would try and feed him again when he woke up.

Well, he has to eat when he wakes up? Right? Not so much. I called her again around 2 confident that he had eaten. She again told me that he didn't eat (only half a jar of food) and refused to drink milk. He had fallen asleep again. She was going to try again when he woke up. The funny part of this story is that he never cried and was having loads of fun playing.

At this point, I decided I would give it another hour and if he hadn't eaten by then, I would go pick him up. Do you know how horrible I felt that my little guy was on a food strike? I was panicking. She felt horrible too. She kept on telling me that she just wanted him to eat.

Luckily for all of us involved, the food strike ended at 3 pm. He ate the yummy soup I made him the night before, which by the way I had for lunch today, and drank about 6 ounces of milk. What a relief! She was even able to give him another 6 ounces of milk before I got there. Poor baby!

The rest of the week, he's hanging out with us. Dan is taking off tomorrow and Wednesday and I'm taking off Thursday and Friday. Monday he's back with Grandma (and Grandpa).

On a totally different subject, I am no longer pumping. My milk supply has dwindle to the point that it's not worth dragging my electric pump all over Manhattan. I'm still nursing him in the mornings, but I have to give him the bottle afterwards. I have been giving him whole milk (I know I'm suppose to wait until he's one, but I wasn't about to start him off on formula to then switch him to whole milk in a few weeks). He's reacted very well to the whole milk. So what I do is mix half breast milk and half whole milk. He hasn't even noticed the difference. Today was very liberating in the sense that I no longer have to pump at work. My load has gotten easier. Carrying that thing around is a pain in the ass.

Well, I must go. My kitchen is a mess (like always) and I want to go to bed very soon.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

So Far....

I've only spent $11 for lunch this month (instead of $70 by now). I'm so proud of myself for that! I don't count the $.75 I spend on my coffee because that's my treat. Although, Dan and I did splurge on Starbucks on Friday. We did however get only one drink and shared it (actually we always do that because the amount of calories in one drink is too much for one person to have--in my opinion). This next week coming up I'm only working three days and I'm bringing lunch on those days. Probably next week I'll eat out for lunch.

Doesn't spending $16 a month for lunch sound a lot better than $140? That's a savings of $124 in one month! Now mind you, Dan is doing the same thing on his end. Our savings doubled. You know, I'm a little embarrassed that we were actually spending that much money on just lunch. The good thing is that we learned from our mistakes and we've changed our habits.

Another good thing about bringing lunch in is that we're eating healthier (well, in a sense). Eating crappy fast food stuff is not good at all (especially if you do it all the time). Since I make chicken soup for Will every week, I end up having it for most of the week. I change up what I put in it weekly, but the staples are chicken, potatoes, carrots, and brown rice. The soup I made this past week was phenomenal. I added sweet potatoes (which melt in your mouth), onions, and green peas. Needless to say, this is a very healthy lunch. I swear I bring it in Monday though Wednesday. Luckily for me, I don't get easily bored with food. This past week, I made an excellent macaroni salad. Obviously, this is not as healthy, but it yields a lot.

I will leave you with my typing partner this morning. He looks so serious in this picture and I look like I just woke up (because I did).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Budget Works!

Cutting out here and there is working out. And you ask,why shouldn't it? Even though it's obvious that becoming frugal will save you money. It's not that obvious until you actually see results. Except for my car insurance and cable bill, which get paid automatically at the end of the month, my bills are paid and I have money left over. There won't be any dipping into our savings account this pay period.

We really haven't been seriously budgeting until a few weeks ago, but I'm seeing a major difference already. Bringing lunch to work is making a huge impact on how much money we're saving. I'm still buying lunch once a week. Well, I had to do it today because I overslept and didn't have time to prepare lunch. I did, however, cut out my buying breakfast once a week. I would spend only $4.50, but that's still $18 a month that I don't need to spend.

Next month will be a bit tough because it is Will's first birthday. We're planning on a picnic, which I feel is the best option so far. I will be making most of the food. It will keep me busy, but it will also save me money.

One of my other concerns is that fall is fast approaching and I need to shop for new clothing. I have a dilemna (a good one). I've lost enough weight that only a pair of jeans and a pair of pants fit me properly and that's because I bought those last month. The rest of the clothes I own are big on me. So, I'll have to invest on some new outfits in the next couple of weeks.

Of course, I could use my credit card to buy myself a new wardrobe, but the point is not to bury myself in debt. Cash is my only option to use. I've mentioned this in the past, Dan and I are usually good with credit cards, but it's very tempting to use.

I hope that in the next couple of months, our budgeting will continue and we'll have more in our savings. A new job that pays more would be great at this moment. Will the hiring gods please hear me out?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ahhhh....Getting Away

Whenever the opportunity presents itself of taking a day trip, we do it. Our Mondays through Fridays allow us very little time to do much of anything. Our weekends are sometimes jammed packed with things to do (especially when Dan works). Summer is almost over and we haven't gone too many places (definitely not the beach and I don't think it'll happen).

This Saturday turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Dan was suppose to work, which saddened me because I knew it was going to be a gorgeous day. From around Thursday, I kept on wishing for him to stay home. On Friday night, we found out that the party he was going to work was canceled. He would have to confirm with the party coordinator Saturday morning.

As it turned out, it was canceled. I immediately told Dan that we needed to spend the day out and he agreed. The prior night, we had gone to his aunt's house where she told us about her camping trip. This camping trip took place in Bushkill Falls. She and her husband went on and on about how beautiful this place is. They even said they thought of us immediately when they saw the hiking trails available. So, can you guess where we went?


The place is gorgeous! We had such a nice time. Of course, it took us an hour from when we got there to actually start hiking (we fed the baby and I pumped). But once we started, it was absolutely great. The hikes are challenging because you are pretty much walking up and down stairs. If you notice the wooden railing next to us in the picture, the entire hike is made up of those wooden walkways. You start off at the top, end up walking all the way down, and then have to make it back up.

There are also different trails that you could take. Some last about 15 minutes and the longest one is 2 1/2 hours. We took a trail that was 45 minutes. It really took us 1 1/2 hours because we kept on stopping to take pictures and take in the beauty of the place. It was wonderful!


Will was great throughout the hike. He kept on laughing, smiling, and yelling. He would try to grab on to the leaves or anything he could get his hands on. Whenever we got close to the railing, he would look down at the water. He was so cute about it.


Next time we go, I would like to get there very early to take our time and do the red trail (the most challenging of all). Also, I think we'll wait until it's a bit cooler. We were hot! It's also quite tasking to carry the baby throughout the hike. I could have switched with Dan, but then I would have ended up with the book bag.

Besides the breathtaking views this place offers, it's very family and pet friendly park. There were dogs going up and down the trails. Little kids were also hiking along. Outside of the hiking area, you could bbq and picnic. There is also a campsite you could stay at. I'm sure there are more things to do, but we didn't have the time to do so. I would love to camp there (I've never been camping). We had a blast. If you're ever by the Delaware Water Gap, go there. You'll love it.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

We Saw Him!

Will has taken his first steps! He was sooooo cute about it, too. He cruises along his playard. Dan and I went crazy when we saw him. And Will? He laughed. He must think we're the goofiest people in the world. My little boy is growing so fast. Next month is his birthday. What a year!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Will Standing

There! We got a picture of him standing. My parents told me that he even took his first steps today. It doesn't count unless Dan or I see him do it!!

Monday, August 04, 2008

He Knows I'm Mama!

He's in his playard calling out mama and looking straight at me!!!! I love him!


Saturday, August 02, 2008

Trying to Save Some Cash

I know everyone shares my sentiments on this one. Where's all of our money going? Well for us, it's going to groceries. Luckily, we don't really drive all that much. Our gas tank has to be filled up about once every three weeks (and that all depends on whether we go out on the weekends). But groceries are killing us. I'm spending more money and bringing home less.

This is frustrating for obvious reasons, but more so because with Dan's new job we shouldn't be seeing our money disappear so quickly. On top of the fact that he bartends a few times a month, we really shouldn't feel this strapped. I've had to cut down on how much money we're putting away into our savings and this month I had to dip into it. This is really scary because I hope we don't have to do it again next month or do it continuously. We'll run out of money and then what?

The other day while I was at the supermarket freaking out about how much everything had gone up, this little old lady stopped and asked me about the different types of canned tuna. I don't eat tuna fish so I really wasn't that helpful, but I tried anyway. She was telling me that she wanted chunky light in water. She wanted the tuna fish so that she could eat with noodles. I showed her a can of what she wanted, but she told me that she couldn't spend the $3 on the can. So, she opted for a smaller can and grabbed one. She also told me that rice had gone up too much for her from $4 to $10.

This poor old woman on fixed income is eating tuna fish (not that tuna fish is horrible) over noodles because she can't afford anything else. Can you imagine getting to the age of 70 and not be able to buy food? You have to settle for canned tuna because that's the cheapest thing around. How sad is that? I wanted to bring her home and cook her dinner. I believe that day I spent about $180 and didn't really bring much home. I know there wasn't any meat in my cart so I can't blame it on that.

Since there doesn't seem to be any significant change in prices in the near future. Dan and I are changing our spending habits (not that we really have bad habits; seriously, we're very conservative on what we spend our money on). Dan will continue bartending a few nights a month. In October, hockey season begins so he'll be working a few games a month. As you can see, he's doing more than his fair share.

Both Dan and I are bringing lunch to work. About once a week we'll eat out, but I think I'm even going to cut that out. I make enough food throughout the week to bring in leftovers. This will save us a lot of money. I had notice that the money I was spending at lunch had gone up too. It's ridiculous. I only spend money in the morning by purchasing a small cup of coffee at my favorite cart for $.75 (no Starbucks here). Even that adds up to $15 a month. Maybe, I'll bring in a coffeemaker to work and brew my own cup. We'll see.

Another thing that we changed is where we buy our meats. This past weekend Dan went to the butcher shop (Extra Supermarket for all of you locals; great meat and cheap). I'm going to get all Cuban on you right now, so bare with me. Dan got una bola, which is a big chunk of beef and had it divided evenly into carne molida (ground beef) and bistec (thin steaks). The "bola" was $32 and it gave us about 4 lbs of ground beef and 24 steaks. Then he purchased 2 lbs of chicken breasts, which he had them slice into cutlets for less than $5. When he came home with them, we were able to slice them up some more and came out with about 6 or 7 big slices of chicken cutlets.

If we would have purchased the same amount of meat at the supermarket, there is no way in hell we would have only spent $37. No way. He also got cold cuts there, but they were priced like everywhere else. So, for all of you locals go to 55th st on Palisade Avenue in West New York. You'll be saving loads of cash and have your freezer stocked up. Or if you don't live around the area, try out your local butcher shop. I'm sure the prices are better than in the supermarket. Dan also bought vegetables there. In total, he spent about $65 and came home with many bags of food. I was impressed and relieved that we were able to save some cash and have enough meat that will last us a bit.

I can't think of anywhere else we could save some more cash. It's not like we eat out all the time (last time was a week after Father's Day when we went to New Hope, PA). We do order in about once or twice a month. So I guess, I could cut that out, too. We're definitely not spending money on clothes (only on a need basis) or anything else for that matter. The good thing is that we're not charging anything we buy. We do have some credit card debt, but nothing out of this world. Although, with the way things are going that may be a problem. But hopefully, it won't get to that.

Last but not least, I've been job hunting. The only other way we'll relieve some of this crunch is if I make more money. I won't make more money at my job. They've closed down more than half of their offices around the country. There were massive layoffs in our office a few months ago and sales are down. I'm sure there won't be any raises this year, which they have been known to put freezes on raises in the past. And of course they don't pay us market value even though the president believes he does. He also thinks we're not in a recession and it's all in our heads (seriously, he said this in a meeting). I guess he doesn't have to worry about where his money is going.

Well that's that. Let's see how this cookie crumbles.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm Having a Mommy Moment

Will is right now in his playard trying to stand-up on his own. The only problem is that he can't reach the top of the playard to pull himself up! Sigh...I love him.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Eighth Wedding Anniversary!!!

That's right! Dan and I are celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary. I can't believe it that much time has gone by. This year is extra special because we have someone else to celebrate with. Unfortunately, I'm sick. I had to leave work early because of this horrible headache and body ache I have. I even got a fever reaching 102 F.

That's fine though, I'll survive. Besides, Dan surprised me last night by having a nice dinner cooked for us and got us an ice cream cake, too. We weren't able to eat as adults due to a little guy who now stands up and tries to grab our food, but it was still very nice.

Happy Anniversary Dan! I hope to celebrate many, many more with you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Marketing That Annoys Me

A few weeks ago, I received a big envelope from Enfamil. I opened it up to see what it was all about. As soon as I open this oversized envelope, I get smacked with the ingredients of whole milk. I open the other side of the envelope and the ingredients to their Next Step Lipil is shown. In this envelope, there is also a check for $10 to use on this product.

I was annoyed when I finished reading all the information. If I haven't used formula at all, which I guess they wouldn't know, why would I use it now? I have contemplated mixing breast milk with formula because my supply is dwindling. I still have enough milk in the freezer to last me a bit and he'll be one soon. My plan is that once he turns one, I'll start mixing breast milk with regular whole milk.

The reason I'm annoyed is because this is not the first time I get formula shoved down my throat. I have three ready to serve bottles of formula plus one can to mix that I got from the hospital. Now, I have never been tempted to stop nursing and give Will formula. It's not like nursing him has been a piece of cake. He never really liked it. I actually had stopped nursing him for three weeks and gave him pumped milk. Slowly, I restarted nursing him. I've only successfully nursed him twice outdoors. He's very fidgety and gets distracted easily. With the nice weather going on, we've been out a lot on the weekends, which I've basically given him pumped milk. The only time of the day that he will nurse without any problems is first thing in the morning (and even that is beginning to change).

As you can see, nursing has not been a piece of cake for me. Maybe if my determination to nurse him had not completely been there or I had given up because of the hard time he's given me, I would have turned to those bottles of formula sitting in my closet. Listen, I don't have anything against formula. It's an alternative to breast milk and it has tons of vitamins and minerals. I just don't agree with it being shoved into my face and undermining nursing.

So guess what I received in the mail today? A sample of this toddler formula with checks to be used to buy this product. Do you know how freaking pissed I was when I saw this and still am? When I'm thinking of giving regular cow milk, I have to worry about it not being adequate enough for Will. First, you get formula in the hospital just in case you can't nurse. A year later, don't go out buying regular whole milk. There's not enough vitamins. Give your child formula.

What this makes me want to do is continue breastfeeding for another year instead of stopping on his birthday. Breast milk is better than cow's milk or formula. And guess what? It doesn't cost a thing! The can of formula costs around $24 for 24 oz of powder. With the amount of milk Will drinks, this can would last about 9 to 10 days. I would be spending about $75 a month on this! It's insane. Besides, Will takes vitamins. I'm sure he'll be fine with whole milk.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Coxsackie Virus

That's what Will has. Yup, his little throat is full of sores, which explains why he's refusing to eat. Luckily, he hasn't had anymore fever and it should be clearing up within the next few days. Unfortunately for him, there's nothing we could give him since it's a virus.

Last night was especially rough for him. He spent most of the night screaming. He slept on top of me and whenever I tried moving him, he would wake up. I hate seeing him like this. It's heartbreaking.

Hopefully, it'll be over soon. Wish him luck.

Will's Update

Although his fever has gone down, he's still not feeling well. I've spent the entire weekend comforting him. He's been happy at times willing to play, but he just wants to sleep on me. Once his medicine wears out, his temperature begins to rise. So, I'm taking him to the doctor depending on how he spends the night. We shall see....

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Will has His First Fever...

My little guy is not feeling all to well. It's not so bad. He's sitting in his playpen playing with his piano and watching Blues Clues. He just has those droopy eyes you get when you're not feeling well. We gave him Tylenol about an hour ago, but his fever has only gone from 101.3 to 101.1.

I'll keep you updated....

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

What? Time?

The baby is asleep, Dan is not home, and I actually have a minute to blog. Wow! I'm pretty surprised about this. As usual, things around here are hectic. But, what's new? I won't bore with the same song and dance about not having time.

I will bore you about nursing. It's seems as if the little guy is weaning himself off. I'm down to nursing him only in the mornings when he first wakes up. The rest of the time, he becomes too distracted. I think (maybe I'm wrong) he'll be dropping off that morning nursing. This week so far he's seems less interested.

As much as I want to stop, I feel guilty. Then again, what don't I feel guilty about? He will be 10 months old on Friday, which means eight more weeks of breast milk. My goal has always been to nurse for a year. I still have plenty of milk in the freezer, but my supply is dwindling. I'll keep the morning feeding until he decides he's had enough. Nursing him has not been easy for the two of us. The first three weeks I nursed him exclusively and he gave me a really hard time about it. Maybe if I would have been able to stay home longer than the five weeks, things would have been different. He really just didn't like it. The only nursing he truly enjoys is the one first thing in the morning.

My pumping supply use to be anywhere from 6 to 7 ounces of milk every three hours. I'm down to 2 1/2 to 4 ounces every four to five hours. It's a bittersweet relief that I am pumping less. Sweet because that means I won't have to lug the pump around. Bitter because I won't be providing for him like I have been this past year. This makes me sad.

Well, I have to cut this off. Dan just got home. We need some "we" time before we fall asleep in about an hour. There will be more rantings some other day.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

I Can't Keep Up.....

I seriously need a maid. How am I suppose to keep a tidy house, work, and be a mom? If someone has an answer, pass it on to me because I'm desperate. Now before you volunteer Dan to pitch in, he does his fair share of the work. Plus, he technically has three jobs. I can't ask him to do more. In fact, he's working tonight (and worked last night). He even put away laundry today.

So back to the maid....I need to start a "maid fund." Yeah, I don't think it'll work. I'm actually in the middle of cleaning, except I'm taking a break. I managed to have Will sit in his playpen and watch Blue's Clues for an hour (he actually sat there mesmerized). I did feel guilty. But before you go criticizing my parenting skills, I sat for a good half an hour and read to him (I try reading to him everyday). So, no he doesn't spend all day watching the television. In fact, I don't put it on for him when we're home. Anyway, I digress. He then played with his piano for a few. During that time, I cleaned every room in the apartment except for the kitchen and bathroom. I think I'll call it quits once I'm done with the kitchen.

Enough with cleaning. I can't keep up with anything else. The workout that I long for so much hasn't happened. Honestly, I don't think it will. I'm too tired. My crocheting/knitting has been nonexistent. I do, however, manage to read. I do so on the bus to and from work. I probably read about ten pages a day, but it's something.

Forget about reading blogs! Sorry guys, not that I don't like reading them, but I don't sit in front of the computer long enough to digest some of the posts and try to comment. I've given up on them (for now). I feel guilty about that, too.

Well, I'm cutting this short. The kitchen is screaming my name out. If I don't go there soon, I think there will be a mutiny. I'll leave you with this wonderful picture.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

So What Have I been Up To?

There's been a lot going on and not a lot at the same time. My head is spinning out of control with all that's going through my mind (work, school, work, school). I've been job searching, but not as hard as I should be. Going back to school to get a masters' degree is dancing around my head. I complain about the lack of time I have right now. Can I handle being in school again? What should I do? If I found the right job that paid me a decent amount of money, do I really need to go back? With a recession looming (or in a recession), is it wise to add to my student loan debt? How about the house Dan and I want? And baby #2?

Exercising has also been nagging me. I can't make it to the gym for the life of me. Dan's new job has required him to stay late (very often), which has been a real bitch. I'm stuck. I can't go anywhere. By the time he gets home, I'm exhausted from doing everything. His hours are getting a little better because they're fully staffed now and the slow season is now. So, maybe I'll be able to squeeze at least one workout throughout the week.

It's kind of upsetting to me this lack of exercise. The reason being is that I've lost a lot of weight. I'm the thinnest I've been in about 12 years. The problem? I'm not fit. I'm flabby. So, I don't feel good about my body. I didn't feel this way when I was over 200lbs. Why? Because even though I was fat, I worked out. Exercising is essential in my life. Without it, I feel lost.

Anyway, that's what's been going on (at least in my head). Besides that, I've been enjoying William to the fullest. He's such a wonderful baby. I love him so much. On Mother's Day, Dan got him to "write" on my card. Man, did I start crying. It was the best card I've ever received. I will keep that forever. He's finally saying "mama." Actually, he's been very talkative lately. It's fun seeing all of his little expressions and how much he enjoys having us around. He's very sweet.

I will leave you with pictures of him:

Monday, May 05, 2008

Making Time

Is it me or is time flying by? It's already May! There isn't enough time in the world for me to do anything. Maybe, I just don't manage it well. How do single parents do it? When Dan works on weekends, it throws me off in such a way. Granted, I do have to admit that I did nap Saturday afternoon. Besides that, I didn't get to do anything else. For some reason, Will decided to stay up until 10:30pm. Do you think I was going to do anything at that time? I did manage to put some of my laundry away, but actual cleaning didn't happen.

Sunday wasn't that much better, but we did do food shopping. This however took up a good four hours (we went to two different places). By the time we got home, fed the baby, and put groceries away it was 10pm. At that time, I managed to clean some parts of the bathroom (yeah, not the whole thing), mop the kitchen floor and do the dishes.

And you ask about the gym? Yeah, it isn't happening. I haven't been able to go back. This makes me sooooo sad. I'll try again this week, but it's just tough and I'm exhausted. Last night, I only got 4 1/2 hours of sleep. How am I suppose to workout like this? Someone shed some light on this for me.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lots of Stuff

Can you see how tired I look in this picture? Yup, that's how I was in Miami. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's what I look like right now (probably worse). No amount of make-up can cover up how tired I look or feel. This weekend that just past wasn't easy either (when it comes to sleep, anyway). This past week, I've spent it coughing at night.

Let's see what else is going on with me. Well, Dan got a new job! He started this past week. So far, he's been working late hours (he's still not home and it's 8:15 pm on a Friday). You know how it goes. When you're the new guy you have to put in the time. Besides being the new guy, they are short one other person, which adds to the stress. I'm sure things will calm down soon enough.

There's really so much going through my mind right now that I can't even begin to blog about it. I actually went back to the gym this week. I've only gone once before. The baby is 7 1/2 months old and I need to get back to somewhat of my past life. I'm not expecting things to go back to the way they use to, but I need some me time. With Dan working three jobs, it's difficult to find that time.

I'm probably one of the few people that enjoys exercising. I love the "zone" you get into right about 10 minutes into your workout. The feeling of my heart pumping really hard gets me going. I began the workout feeling sleepy and ended it feeling invigorated. I need this aspect of my life back.

So, I made a deal with Dan. I told him that on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays I will be working out. If I don't set this time aside for myself, then it will never happen. You know how it is, something always comes up. Let's see how this turns out!

Do you see this little cutie? This is Will's first time at a park! He had so much fun (we probably had more watching him). I can't wait until it's consistently nice so that we could take him to the park more often. He had a big gorgeous smile on that swing. He also had fun looking at the other kids around him. It was great!

You know who had loads of fun with him? Dad. He wouldn't stop taking pictures of Will and of walking him all around the playground showing him around. I think if Dan would have been able to. He would have gotten on the slide with him.

Btw, this post has been ongoing for days. I started it off on Monday and I'm finally done with it at 12:45 am on Saturday. Yeah, talk about my limited time. I could barely manage reading other blogs. Well, until next time!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Back in Jersey

We made it back without a hitch. The flight went so well that it was an hour ahead. We landed at 8 am. Yes, we took the 6 am flight, which sucks when you have to get up at 2:30 am, nurse a baby, and drive 45 minutes to the airport. The glory of an early flight is that you have the whole day to recuperate. And that we did. Dan (he's great when it comes to stuff like this) unpacked and put away all the clothes while I tended to the baby. The three of us then took a much needed two hour nap, got up did food shopping, picked up the dog, and came back home.

With the baby sleeping (hopefully he sleeps through the night unlike this past week), I'm ready to hit the sack. I want to pump one more time before sleeping and it should be smooth sailing (well of course except for my constant cough). I think I could be in bed within the next hour.

So, our last two days were good. We went out to dinner with the family on Friday night and had a really nice time and on Saturday we had a barbecue. The entire family was over including Will's great-grandparents. It was so great seeing everyone excited about the baby. It's nice to see that he brings joy to a lot of people. He had a blast being carried by everyone. We really had a great time.

Even though there was no beach, the baby was constipated, and I've been sick, we had a nice time. There was really no resting, but at least we weren't at work. Next time we go, I hope to have an easier time. It's sad that it went quickly, but that's how vacations usually go.

I promise to post some pictures soon, but for now I need to get to sleep!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Vacation...Not so Much

My idea of relaxing while in Miami has gone out the window. Our flight was wonderful. Will slept through most of it and when he was awake he was having a good old time on our laps. There was some turbulence, which sucked. Of course, the worse turulence came when I was in the bathroom changing the baby. I kept on going back and forth hitting the door and the toilet because I couldn't keep my balance while holding on to Will. Luckily, he stayed on the changing table. It was brutal and I feared going back to my seat, but by then the turbulence was manageable.

Will has only pooped once since we've been here. The poor guy has been suffering from horrible tummy aches. He only manages to fart, which seems to relieve him a bit. We're trying prunes and peaches, but nothing seems to be working. Dan is on his way to getting us some prune juice. Now, to get him to drink it is a whole other story.

He also hasn't been sleeping well. He keeps on kicking his legs really hard to the point of waking himself up. I guess he's just out of his routine and not comfortable in an unfamiliar bed. Last night, we opted for him to sleep with us and he only woke up twice. I nursed him both times and he went back to sleep.

On top of Will's tummy problems, I'm sick. I sound like a frog and my head feels like a big balloon. I'm exhausted from waking up every few hours and hacking my brains out. We tried going to the beach (this is before I got sick) and it was raining. We were also going to drive up to Naples where my in-laws have a condo by the beach and decided against it. It's not like I'll be able to lay out or the baby for that matter.

We have managed to go out a few times. They haven't been long outings. Between the baby screaming in the car for what seemed forever and the freakin traffic in Miami, we haven't gotten far. As gloomy as this all sounds, I am enjoying spending time with my two favorite guys. I love them so much. We're just hanging out inside rather than out. Oh well, we have two days left. Hopefully, things will turn around.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Got Caught Up!

My evenings are filled with cooking, feeding, nursing, washing dishes, pumping (along the way), and then realizing it's already 10 pm. Yesterday was especially brutal. From the moment I got up (4:40 am) till I was able to sit down on my sofa, it was 10 pm. I couldn't believe it. So, that's how it been for me this past week. Surprisingly enough, tonight is super calm and relaxing even though Dan is not home. I'm not sure why because he's so helpful. Well, I didn't cook and that always helps.

I want to show some pictures of Will (of course). He's so much fun! I love him!! My father retired on Friday. So, I made him dinner to celebrate. Here's the two of them hanging out:


Here's my mom, dad, Will, and me:


Here are other random pictures:




And now I must go. I probably won't be posting for a bit because I am going on vacation this Sunday. Down to Miami we go. We need some relaxation and the rest of the family is dying to meet Will. I'll have pictures!

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Friday!

All week, I've been thinking that we're a day ahead. Only to be sadly disappointed upon the realization that I was wrong. Well, at least I made it. The week has been somewhat tough in the sense that Dan has had to work two nights out of this week (tonight being one of them). This shouldn't be a big deal, but let's factor in my dog, the baby, and living on the second floor (you get the picture). In addition to that stress, I started feeding the baby at night. I must admit, the feeding part is going a lot better now that he's gotten use to oatmeal.

I was hoping to go out tonight, but Dan had to work. Today was a coworker's last day and we were suppose to meet after work. The plan was (mine away) was to have Dan pick the baby up and I would get hang out a bit (I need it). But since Dan is at work, I had to rearrange my plan. So, I'm enjoying a Samuel Adams Hefeweizen in honor of her last day and me needing a little relaxation. Yes, I do occasionally indulge in a beer (I just finishing pumping and won't be doing that again for a few hours). The last beer I had was Super Bowl Sunday. Once in a while is ok.

Well, I think it's time for me to go. My beer is done and I have a sink full of dishes. My apartment needs some cleaning and I want to take advantage of the fact that the baby is sleeping. I hope you all enjoy your Easter. Chat with you soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Is it Friday, Yet?

Wow. I am tired. On Sunday, I was watching 60 minutes (I think) and saw the segment on sleep deprivation. Your body basically needs 7+ hours of sleep a night or else you suffer memory loss, slowed reaction time, and a bunch of other stuff. Well, that makes me feel great. I could barely keep my eyes open (of course I have to blog), I need to do the dishes, and it's already 10:20pm. I don't think I'm getting my 7+ hours tonight or any night in the near future.

At least the baby is asleep now and I could move right along. When he's awake, it's tough getting things done. Speaking of the baby, he finally accepted eating food today without throwing a fit. Man, was he hating the rice cereal. I switched him to oatmeal and it didn't make a difference.

Even though I pulverize the oatmeal, it wasn't smooth enough for him. My mom figured this out and strained his oatmeal, added more milk, and gave it to him. Well, it worked. He started having dinner yesterday, which went terrible. Tonight, was another story. He was reaching for the spoon, grabbing it, and putting it in his mouth. It was very cute. He ate more than twenty spoonfuls of oatmeal and then nursed.

Tomorrow, he starts his first vegetable. I made him one big yam, which yields seven lunches. I hope he likes it. Worst case scenario, I have carrots as a back up. Either way, he'll be eating three times a day. This comes at a great time because I'm producing less milk. I don't know if I'm drying up, but I know it's less.

On another subject, I weighed myself at Will's doctor's office and was very impressed with my weight. I'm ten pounds off of my goal weight. I never thought I would loose all of my pregnancy weight and then some. I've lost a total of 25 pounds. Not bad!

Well, got to go. Chat with you later.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Happy Six Month Birthday!

I hope your past six months have been great and you've enjoyed them. I love you!!!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Will's Big Day

Will had his first solid meal and he turned over!!! He was so cute about it. I thought he would be spitting everything up, but he took it well. We were so excited about it (of course). Dan was busy snapping pictures. He even shot a little video, which you'll see below.

I've been waiting for this day for a long time. I want him to eat as natural as possible. So, I made his rice cereal from scratch. It's so easy to do. For any of you moms interested in making your own food, here's a website I found that is very helpful: Wholesome Baby Food. I'm not being a baby food snob. I will buy baby food, but if I could make it why not? From the recipe listed in the website, I made enough for six days. I portioned the cereal out into little bags and froze them. Each portion has more than he'll eat, but I want to make sure he'll have enough.

He's finally turning over! He now goes from his tummy to his back. Dan saw him in action and started yelling. It was so cute. Soon, he should be rolling around. It's amazing how everyday he does something new. It blows my mind.

Enjoy the video below!!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What Am I Doing Up?

One of the drawbacks of falling asleep on the couch is waking up at 2am realizing that the kitchen is a mess. Besides that, having to nurse the baby because he also woke up. It's now 3:15am and I just finished pumping. It's going to be a long day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Funk

On my way home from work, I came to the realization that I'm in the middle of a funk. How did I come to this realization? Well, I ripped my brand new jeans (the ones that I wasn't crazy about). They're not even 24 hours old and they're ripped in the knee. As I was trying to sit down on the bus, the seat in front of me was torn and had a sharp piece of metal sticking out. Of course, I caught my jeans on it.

When Dan sat down, I showed him what happened and cried. I cried and laughed because it's just absolutely ridiculous. He tried calming me down, but man those tears wouldn't stop coming down. After a while, I calmed down. What else could I possibly do? At least the rip isn't huge.

I know why this all happening to me. I'm worn out and I'm attracting all of this weird stuff. My days begin at 5 and don't end until midnight. I'm out of the house by 7 and don't get home until 7. I try to keep some normalcy around the house by making dinner so that it doesn't feel that all I do is work. It also irks me that the baby is only awake for an hour after we get home. The only times I get to enjoy him awake are on the weekends.

I need to change my frame of mind in order to start attracting some good stuff. This will be hard to do because it's hard getting out of a funk once you're in it. Meditation is out of the question. There's no way I could stay awake long enough to relax.

Anyway, time to go. It's midnight and I still have to finish the dishes. Ughhhh......

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Hate Today

Today is one of those days that I want to throw things at people. In fact, the sight of people piss me off. It has been a really, really long time since I've felt this way. My morning started off with finding out that part of my laundry is missing (we have our laundry done for us). I opened the bag to grab my favorite jeans in the whole world and they weren't there. My other pair of jeans, which I don't really care for weren't there either. I don't know what else is missing, but I had someone else's laundry mixed in with mine.

This may be petty, but it ruined my day. You know why? I'll tell you. I don't have any clean jeans for tomorrow. Guess what I had to do after work? Yup, buy a pair. Do you know what happens when I try to buy jeans? I want to smack the living crap out of designers who forget that there are women out there that actually have fuckin curves!!

By no means am I heavy (anymore). I'm not skinny either. I have hips and a big butt. My tops are usually mediums. My bra size is normal (well, they're a bit bigger since I'm nursing). I fit into a size 10 (well the jeans I have at home are 10s). Apparently, there are different size 10s. I went to Old Navy and tried on 4 pairs of jeans, two 10s and two 12s. None of them fit me right, but I did buy one of them. I bought the size 12 Classic Fit Flare. They look great up until it reaches my waist. Guess what? They're huge around my waist and my underwear stick out. You would think the size 10 would fit. Nope. They were too tight and my underwear really stuck out.

How is a woman suppose to feel after trying on clothes that just don't fit right? There's nothing wrong with my body. Could I loose some more weight? Sure, but is it critical to do so? No. I felt totally not sexy or good about myself after I left there. This is so frustrating.

Get it together designers! Make clothes that fit!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

So What Happens When You're Experimenting in the Kitchen?

You end up with a tummy ache. I was trying to make chocolate mousse, but instead I ended up with more truffles (I'll explain in a little bit). It was the best mistake I've ever made. I might have mentioned this before, but I want to start my own truffle business. In order to do so, I need to come up with my own recipe (only fair).

Well I did and not on purpose. Not to brag, but what I came up with today was fabulous. Those of you that know me, know that I don't brag about my cooking. In fact, I tend to be very critical and I'm never satisfied with the outcome. Although I have to perfect this recipe (after all, it was suppose to be chocolate mousse), I was very satisfied with the outcome.

The truffles were rolled in roasted hazelnuts that were absolutely delicious. My secret ingredient made these chocolates stand out. The flavors came together beautifully. I can't wait until my friends and family try these out. I want to see their reactions!

So how did I go from chocolate mousse to truffles? Well, I ran out of heavy cream, which didn't allow me to fluff the chocolate up as much as it should have. I didn't want to throw away the chocolate, so I rolled it up. Since I did whip up the cream, my truffles are pretty soft. I actually have to keep them refrigerated. Nonetheless, they are still yummy!

Continuing with the kitchen theme, I made a pretty good meatloaf. I'm not sure if it tastes like a meatloaf should, but it was pretty damn good. As a side dish, I made mashed potatoes. My original idea was to make potatoes au gratin, but I had run out of the heavy cream. There was no way I was going to venture out today with the storm. So, mashed potatoes it was.

Well, I don't have to worry about cooking tomorrow. We have plenty of leftovers. Baking is also out of the question. With all the truffles I've made in the last few days, the last thing I need is any more sweets.

Time to go to sleep! I'm exhausted! Even though I didn't go into work today, I never got a chance to take a nap. I've been up since 5 am. Yawn.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

They Were Yummy!!!

My truffles were received very well at work! The flavors blended together and smoothed out the brandy. I'm so glad they worked. Now that I've made them, I have to make them my own. Chat with you later!!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Truffle Time (Maybe Not)

For the first time tonight, I tried making truffles. Well, I faked the funk on truffles once because I had extra ganache. So, it doesn't really count. Anyway, I followed this recipe that called for brandy and a chocolate coating.

The brandy over powers the chocolate. So much so that all I could taste is the brandy and I felt it in my chest. The chocolate coating didn't workout for me. The chocolate didn't melt enough, but it was at the temp the recipe called for. Well, I dumped the chocolate covering and just rolled the truffles in Dutch processed cocoa and powdered sugar. Hopefully, the flavors will come together overnight and I'll have yummy truffles tomorrow morning.

Anyway, I have to go to sleep. Chat with you soon!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Treacherous Snow

Will had his doctor's appointment today, which would have been fine except it was snowing. Normally snow doesn't scare me, but this snow was turning into ice when it hit the floor. Not an ideal driving situation to say the least. There were so many cars slipping and sliding all around me that it scared the crap out of me.

I made it to the doctor's office just fine. This is Will's first snowstorm so I snapped a picture of him (look below). The visit went great. He's gained 3 lbs. in a month! My guy is weighing 17 lbs. and 6 oz. Wow! He also took his vaccines like a little man. The first shot was for polio. He didn't cry at all. The doctor and I were amazed. The second was the pneumonia shot and she told me it was going to be painful. This one he did cry, but it lasted about 30 seconds. I was so proud of him.

By the time we were out of the office, it was really coming down. I had to warm up and clean the car. I was driving on Kennedy Blvd (for you Jersey people, you know how dangerous it could be). Everyone on the road was driving slow enough even though there was salt on the ground. As I'm reaching my block and begin to slow down, my car decides that forward is not the direction it wants to go. Yup, I spun out and pretty much faced the opposite direction.

Luckily, there were no cars next to me. I braced for the impact, but it didn't happen. For what seemed like eternity, I prayed that if a car was going to hit us that it would hit me and not the back end of the car. I sat there very motionless and calm (I did not freeze; I was praying the baby wouldn't get hurt) considering that I was waiting for the impact (I always do that in extremely stressful situations).

Nothing happened! Like I said, there were no cars around me. The person behind me was about ten feet away. When the car finally did stop, I very carefully tried straightening out the car, except there were a few cars that decided to drive past me and not let me do this. I finally did straighten up, made a right turn, and made it home.

Well, I'll leave you with this precious picture of Will all bundled up:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Random Things

Sometimes, I attract strange situations. I'm kind of use to it. For instance, one day Dan, Cody (coworker friend), and I were walking through the subway to catch the 7 train. A homeless man is walking towards us swinging a bag. He's seems really into it. As we cross paths, he swings that bag right onto my head. Dan and Cody didn't notice because they were slightly ahead of me. What are the chances of getting smacked by a homeless man?

Yesterday, I was on my way to the bus standing in the corner waiting for the light to change. All of us that are standing on this corner are looking towards our left to see if there are any cars coming. As soon as the light turns green for us, I turn my head to walk forward and I end up eating some guy's shoulder. He hit me so hard across my nose that tears came to my eyes. It was so hard that my teeth ended up scraping his jacket. Can you believe this guy didn't even stop to ask me if I was ok? He just kept on walking as if nothing had happened. I yelled out in pain and was just amazed.

If I hadn't had my breast pump with me (it's basically a suitcase) and Will's milk in there, I would have seriously grabbed the guy and asked him what the fuck was wrong with him. This guy wasn't someone homeless where you could assume that he wasn't all there. He was a young guy dressed very nicely. A simple "I'm sorry" would have made me happy. How do you walk so close to someone that as soon as she turns her face she eats your shoulder? My nose was still red when I got to my parents' house.

Keeping with the weird theme, I was in the kitchen at my job filling up these microwavable bags with my pump stuff (they steam the stuff clean; it's pretty neat). Now, my pump bag is open and it's pretty clear what it is. This man walks in, looks at my bag, looks at me, and asks if I have something good in there. I was a bit stumped at this one and must have turned bright red. My answer was "No, I'm just cleaning up, but I did have something good." I don't know what kind of an answer that was, but I wanted him to leave me alone, which he did right afterwards. What did he mean? Maybe his wife nursed their children and he's totally in the know about this kind of stuff. I don't know, it was weird.

Hopefully, my day turns out to be normal without anyone hitting me or saying weird stuff to me. And now I must go back to sleep. I'm tired!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Will and I Surfing the Net

This picture was taken from my webcam! Will likes looking online! I decided to take advantage and snap a picture!

Can you believe my little guy will be 5 months old on Monday? Why is time flying by? These last five months have been the best! I love you Will!!!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Can Anyone Say....

Big Blue!What a game! Yay Giants! Last night was great all around. We had a couple of coworkers over and lots of food. I made empanadas, a mean ass chili (my own recipe) in biscuit bowls ( a la food network), and a double chocolate cake from epicurious. The guys left my place stuffed!

Another congratulations is in order to my friend Nat. Her and her man welcomed a beautiful baby girl on February 2nd. I went to visit them at the hospital yesterday and all are doing well. Caitlyn (the baby) is beautiful and yummy. She was born at 7 lbs 6 oz and a little over 20 inches. Nat and I have known each other for 24 yrs. Her daughter's birth is special to me. I wish them all the very best!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

More Cooking

As I said in a prior post, I try making big meals that will last a few days. My evenings are so hectic that cooking every single night is not an option. With Dan now working for the Prudential Center doing the NJ Devils, MISL Ironmen (indoor soccer), and Seton Hall Basketball games, my evenings have become even more hectic. He still also works private parties at his uncle's lodge. So, I'm home alone quite often, which makes cooking not much of an option.

The other night I decided to make a pasta, which is a spin off of a great dish I tried at Umberto's Clam House with Sal. It is bowtie pasta with bacon and peas. The one served at the restaurant had onions, which I didn't add. First of all, I had run out of onions. Second of all, it didn't need it. However, I did add chicken to it. Anyway, I made a basic bechamel sauce. This I did by melting a half stick of butter and sauteing a good amount of minced garlic (five or six cloves) for a few minutes. Then, I added about three heaping tablespoons of flour, which I mixed together until it formed a nice thick paste. I added milk (about two to two and half cups). I then seasoned the sauce with salt, fresh cracked pepper, a bit of garlic powder (I love garlic), and nutmeg. I kept on stirring the sauce until it reduced and thickened.

The rest of the ingredients are pretty simple. With the chicken, I chopped it up into small medallions, which I seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano. I sauteed the chicken with some olive oil. For the bacon, I used eight slices, which I had cut up and threw in a pan. There's not much to the bacon. The peas were thawed out, but not to the point that they were warm. I left them cold enough to have a crunch and threw them in with the pasta.

The end result was magnificent. Dan absolutely loved the pasta. I practically devoured it! I separated some for my mom, which she loved. The dish lasted for three days! Well, on the third day there was enough for one serving. Since Dan worked last night, it was all mine!!

This dish is very quick and simple. The only problem with it is that you will dirty several pots and pans, but the end result is worth it. Dan loved it so much that he wants me to write down exactly how I made it, which I guess I did now. I didn't use exact measurements on anything. I kind of went with my gut. My parents loved it so much that I promised them the next time I make it I will double the recipe for them.

Until my next recipe!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Another Pump Story

At around 12 pm, I had to go the public bathroom to pump. I'm there minding my own business when I hear a woman ask very quietly what the noise was. She's obviously talking to someone else and proceeds to say that it sounds like a recorder. A recorder? If that is what a recorder sounds like, then that's the noisiest recorder I've ever heard. Just because she came up with that answer, I remained quiet and never said it was my pump.

Apparently, people are very creative when it comes to deciphering noises. At least this one didn't try opening my door. I hate the bathroom!

On a sweet note, there's this lady who always asks me how me and the baby are doing. She saw me in the bathroom at some point today with my pump and told me that I was an excellent mother. She said that she could only last a week pumping after she returned to work. It was too difficult for her. The fact that I'm still doing impressed her. She said that Will is lucky to have me. How sweet is that?

Pumping has become so part of my routine that I don't think of it as a sacrifice. It's just part of me now. I do sometimes wish I didn't have to pump, but it's not such a big deal to me. I'm happy that I'm able to do this for my little guy.

Well, got to go! I must go pick him up from Grandma and Grandpa's.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Renewed Passion

I love cooking. If I had it my way, I would stay home raising my son, crocheting/knitting, and cooking. Since I don't have it my way yet, I improvise. Crocheting/knitting is basically neglected (although I did make myself a hat yesterday). Cooking is something I can't totally neglect. Besides, we do need to eat. With all the breastfeeding and pumping I do, food is very important to me. I'm starving all the time.

In order to have a home cooked meal everyday without killing myself every night at 7 pm, I try making a big meal on Sundays that will last me pretty much the whole week. Now, I can't make any sloppy thing. Remember, we'll be eating this basically every night. So, I've become creative.

Last week, I made a cheeseburger mac & cheese from scratch that was just delightful and a vegetable soup that was very savory. We spent all week eating it. On Friday night (I was home sick), I made a chicken fricassee (Cuban style) that was to die for. We'll probably have this dish again on Monday night. We're going to a wedding today, which will hamper my cooking (but well worth it).

I've been getting great recipes off of the Food Network. While I nurse the baby, I put the Food Network on and get great ideas. Besides the recipes, watching the shows on there just opens up my mind about cooking. I never realized how easy cooking is. There are so many ways of making a good home cooked meal that are just simple.

Now what I do is experiment. For example, every time I've made mac & cheese, I've changed the recipe up a bit. I've made it plain, with bacon, with beef, and I plan to make it provencal style. It doesn't matter which style I make it because they're all good. Cooking could become boring if you cook the same foods all the time.

So when you're running out of ideas, hit the Food Network. You'll end up cooking something very yummy!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Great Pump Story

As you all know, I breastfeed Will. When I am at work, I have to pump. There are three places I pump at. I go into the conference room. This is by far the best place to pump at because it's private and I get to look out at Times Square. The second place I pump at is in the executive bathroom. I'm allowed twice a day to go in there (I need a key). The bathroom is great because it is also private. The third place I could pump in is the public bathroom at work. I hate it. It's my last resort.

I'll tell you why I hate it. There isn't a lounge area where I could sit and comfortably pump. I have to go into the stall. I end up sitting on top of the toilet with very little room for my equipment. I have to use the battery powered plug, which uses eight batteries. Last but not least, there's no privacy. As you can imagine, not an ideal relaxing spot.

Since my pump is electric, it obviously makes noise. I've gotten "What is that noise?" to "Someone must be playing video games." None of those take the cake like what happened the other day. The stall that I went into doesn't lock, which isn't a big deal in this bathroom because you could see if someone's in a stall or not. I normally choose this stall because the toilet is not automatic and I don't have to deal with the toilet constantly flushing.

I'm pumping away and I'm almost done. The bathroom was relatively quiet for the exception of only a few women coming in and out. The last woman that was in the bathroom before I was done managed to ruin what was almost an entirely relaxing pumping experience. This woman pushes my door open. I have the pump on a shelf that comes down (so that you could place your purse on). That's the only thing that kept the door from opening wide. She almost knocked over my very expensive pump (I didn't pay for it because it was given to me, but I know how much it cost). Now mind you, I'm attached to this pump.

As I grab on to the pump to stop it from falling, she realizes that I'm there. She apologizes profusely. She had been in the bathroom and heard a "noise" that she wanted to investigate. Investigate???? How about asking if everything is ok instead of trying to open the freakin door? I very rudely told her that the noise was my breast pump.

Of course now I'm pissed off and had to stop pumping (can't pump mad milk). Can you imagine just opening the stall to investigate a noise? What is wrong with people? At what point did this woman think it was a good idea to do this? Why didn't she look under to see my feet? Even if she didn't decide to look under (which I guess she didn't), the door was closed. These doors stay open unless there's someone in there.

People always seem to amaze me.