Saturday, September 30, 2006

Book Whore

Hidden City has a post up about the Miami Book Fair International. I look forward to this book fair every year, although it's been a few years since I make it to any author events (due to both lack of choices that interest me and scheduling conflicts). Still, it's the street fair that I love, anyway, and it's one of the "Miami things" I most look forward to throughout the year (last year, Max was a couple of months old and I felt like he was too little to withstand being out in the sun for over 3 hours, and so for the first time in like 10 years, I missed the street fair).

The thing is, I'm a book whore. I am in the process of building what I hope will one day be an enormous private library. When I envision my future house (the big, accomodating one from which I plan to never move), one room is The Library. In my mind, it basically looks like a scaled-down version of my ultimate dream libray. Right now, though, we have a relatively small shelf system hanging on our living room wall. When we moved here, we agreed not to bring all our books along, because at this point they already take up their own room, and we picked a few boxes to bring over. There are about 10 large boxes full of books in my mother-in-law's house right now, and we have a few hundred books here.

Problem is that I keep buying books, so those shelves are all but crammed with books now; plus, parts of our entertainment center are now crammed with books, too. I can't help it. I love picking books out. I tend to pick more nonfiction than otherwise, mostly books that can serve as a reference when you need to know about something. Glancing over my shelves just now, I see many cook books and books about ancient Egypt, aromatherapy, Salvador Dali, and classic lit. The parenting section is growing faster than I realized. But the genre that overwhelmingly makes up my collection is poetry. I've been writing poems since I was about 11, and for me there is no greater love or passion when it comes to reading and writing (I've got two books under my belt and am working on my third).

I can admit that we're about to be overrun by books, and I know it's one of the things that makes Ben feel crowded in here. But I just don't care - books me joy and comfort, and they're what makes a house a true home to me.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/30/2006   | | | links to this post

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Dear Hispanic Women: You Look Like Shit in Skinny Jeans


I am publicly asking - no, begging - every single clothing store in Miami to stop selling skinny jeans immediately. Skinny jeans have no business in Miami, where the majority of the female population is Hispanic and is therefore any variation of curvy, plump, bootylicious - just definitely not "skinny," because even the size 2's have some junk on them.

Ladies, if you are Hispanic (or black or some combination that includes either of these two races/ethnicities), YOU DO NOT LOOK GOOD IN SKINNY JEANS. You don't. Accept it, pick another hot trend, and move along. See that picture on the right? What's it saying to you? That you'll look like canned sausage in those jeans? Good girl, you're listening! Skinny jeans don't make you look skinny - they accentuate all the wrong things. As a matter of fact, even if you happen to be very thin and curveless, don't wear skinny jeans anyway, because you'll just look like the walking dead.

Face it, there was only one person in the world who could wear skinny jeans and look beautiful in them: Audrey Hepburn. And there's no imitating her, so don't even bother.

Trust me on this one, ladies. Forgo the skinny jeans. It's a losing battle. If it's a trend you want, stick to a big purse, wedge shoes or a shirtdress. Better yet, try the leg warmer.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/28/2006   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The One Regret

I was over at the new Carnival Center for the Performing Arts (fine, I’ll admit it, the name’s grown on me a bit) this morning, and I have to admit that being there brought right up to the surface the one big regret of my life: not pursuing a career in theater.

I was a theater geek, people. My junior high and high school experience was defined by my involvement in drama (and believe me, my high school drama club was cheesy, especially compared to some of the kick-ass programs other schools have) – there was nothing cooler for me than getting up an entire production, and nothing more thrilling than being up on that stage. I felt at home on the stage, I felt like I belonged there; and the times I would perform before an audience, wow – there was no better feeling. It was a high I could never fully describe.

I entered college as a theater major (and marine biology minor - shut up, I wanted to study both), but switched to journalism early on. At that time, there was something going on with the theater program at FIU. If I remember correctly, there were a lot of people studying theater, but the class schedules sucked - they'd offer the core classes once per semester, they'd fill up fast, and you had to sit there and wait if you missed out. Basically, it was a 6-year ordeal by the time you got through. And I was SO unhappy at FIU that I just couldn't take it. There was other shit going on in my life, too, and I chose to switch majors.

There was, also, the question of my talent. I don't know if I was talented enough to become a theater professional. Maybe I ultimately didn't believe in myself enough; maybe I was scared to take the plunge I knew I needed to take: move to New York or LA and make a go of it; maybe I was just a mediocre talent and nothing more.

I'll never know. I chose a different path. And there are days when I regret it very much, more than anything. Still, I can't say that I fully envisioned myself as a world-renowed, famous, rich actress (because I much prefer to be all those things as a writer), just that I thrived on stage and would like to have that in my life in some way. I think often that I'd like to join community theater or something like that, but I always manage to talk myself out of it.

Either way, today was definitely a day of feeling a bit of regret over the road not taken. The concert hall is big, impressive and top-notch. And the stage - the stage is just as enticing as ever.



Posted by Tere @ 9/27/2006   | | | links to this post

The Kids are Watching

As I venture out more into the blogging world, especially the blogging world outside So Fla, I keep discovering all these other mom bloggers who dedicate their sites to providing actual useful information for other moms, sometimes even for other people in general. I find it so cool, because I only wish I had anything of real use or value to offer readers (well, I could school you in public relations like nobody's business, but I don't even like PR enough to bother).

So the latest blog full o' useful info is over a 1 Smart Mom. Angel offers all kinds of tips and suggestions not just about parenting, but also for moms and their well-being. It's a relatively new blog, but she's already tackled picky eating habits, life's tough questions, and a topic dear to my heart: taking your kids to the library.

I was particularly struck by this post, because Angel discusses something that many, may parents are in denial about: children watch everything we do. And they mimic it. Or react to it in unhealthy ways. It doesn't matter how much you tell them you love them - if you don't spend meaningful time with them, if you don't show that love with actions instead of with material goods - it won't mean shit. If you tell your kids to eat healthily and be proud of their bodies but you starve yourself to stay thin and constantly feel down in the dumps about your love handles, you don't think they'll pick up on that?

Anyway, you get where I'm going. I think that one of the biggest challenges in being a "good" parent is remembering that they're watching you. Your words alone are not enough. We delude ourselves and think "they're too young to understand," or "they know better than to do this, I've told them otherwise," but that "do as I say, not as I do" mentality is bogus. I see so many parents in denial - in denial about they way they behave and how that affects their kids; in denial about how they're not living up to their responsibilities as parents but figuring their kids "know better" or are picking up whatever they need to know about life and healthy behavior and healthy attitudes at school or from thei friends' parents, or someone. And I just don't ever want to be that person. I don't want to live in denial about anything, least of all my children and how they're turning out and the role I've played in that.

The kids are watching. And they're taking it all in.

Posted by Tere @ 9/27/2006   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Story of my Hatred

Hatred has been on my mind for a few days now. Specifically, the hatred I feel towards another person. Actually, it was the hatred that I felt, because I can’t say I feel it any longer.

It’s been out of my nature to embrace such a negative feeling as strongly as I did. Well, out of my nature since I began to actually deal with my issues and bullshit a few years ago. But have you ever needed to feel something, even when that feeling is awful and crappy and stupid – but you needed it just to get from one day to the next, you needed it until you could find a good way to put everything into proper perspective? That’s how I felt – needing this hatred until I felt like I could handle all the crap related to this person and until I could place all that crap in a proper place in the story of my life.

What I find, as I sit here and think of that hatred, is how genuine it was. And I know this is true mainly because I didn’t even want to feel it, and was pretty surprised when I realized exactly what I felt. It was just the feeling that rose up and grew in me as I contemplated the situation and the person’s behavior over a specific period of time.

How to describe this particular hatred? It's not like I was raging and seething and feeling miserable every single day. I was actually quite normal. In fact, I was able to hide it from every single person in my life. It wasn’t for show, for sympathy, for revenge – it wasn’t for anything except my own sanity. It would just happen that if something made me think about the person and the situation, I would find myself concluding, "I hate them." Whether I was thinking about something good about them, or something ugly about their personality, or about how the situation played itself out, down to where it currently stands, I would always end up at that final sentence: "I hate them." If I gave myself more than five minutes to feel these things, I would also find myself wishing that they would one day feel what I felt at that moment - that acutely, that painfully, that hopelessly. And then it would pass and I would move on. It almost felt like an out-of-body experience.

I write about this experience pretty fresh from being freed of it. It’s funny, for all that I came to embrace that hatred, for as dependent as I grew on it, I still consider it “freedom” to no longer feel it. I guess that ultimately, I don’t like to carry these kinds of feelings with me, and I tend to face my negative feelings head on and find some kind of solution to them ASAP so that I don’t remain prisoner to them. This is probably the only time ever (or at least in many, many years) where I actually relished the hatred even as I sought to get rid of it.

In the end, I was able to get rid of the feeling in a way that for me is pretty funny. In the past, whenever I’ve had problems with someone, I end up writing it all down at some point. I write letters or emails that detail what I feel and why I feel it – it’s like, I’m putting it all down in clear English, stupid, what don’t you get? – and I send it off. In this case, I didn’t want to do that. For one thing, I chose some time ago to not have contact with this person, and I wanted to keep it that way. But considering my lack of communication with this person, such a letter would have been not just weird and random, but pointless. It also would have put me in an emotionally weak position, and I just don't do emotionally weak anymore - not an option. Still, the urge to write was too great to ignore. So I sat there and wrote an email to this person listing every reason why I hated them. Every single reason, including the ones that made me look like an asshole. And then I didn’t send it. I just saved it away, a reference for me to refer to when this person inevitably tries to enter my life once again. And when I woke up the next morning, the hatred was gone.

I know very well the therapeutic powers of writing something out. But I never really believed that I would ever feel better or free unless I shared the thoughts and feelings with the person. For once I didn’t do that; I did what’s always advised – write it and then burn it (or the virtual equivalent), and it turned out to feel even better than sending it to the person in question. Maybe it’s because this way I don’t have to deal with that person disappointing me (or any person, since most have always disappointed me).

I fear sometimes that the hatred will return. But maybe by writing this here, I've just ensured that it won't, that I'm really and truly free. I guess we'll just have to see.

Posted by Tere @ 9/26/2006   | | | links to this post

Monday, September 25, 2006

Excuses, excuses....

I'm sorry for the lack of posting (during the weekend, the Week in Review), but Maxi's been pretty sick and I'm tired and stressed out. I was also worried to death during the worst of it, but today he took a turn for the better. I wrote the leg warmer post last week and it came in very handy today, but the last four days have been consumed by fever, congestion, vomit, coughing and more fever.

And now I think I'm coming down with whatever he had.



Posted by Tere @ 9/25/2006   | | | links to this post

Are You Ready for the Leg Warmer?

Get ready, people. The Leg Warmer is coming at you this Fall/Winter, courtesy of me. That’s right, babies, I’m bringing it back.

Back when leg warmers were hot, I missed out on that trend. Why? Because I was about 6 or 7 years old, and my no-nonsense mom was not about to waste what little money we had on silly trends to outfit a small child. And also, my fashion sense has always been a little off, and back then I was too busy wearing fish-themed shirts with striped shorts and jelly shoes to notice or play into fashion trends.

One of my sisters, though, was a ballerina, and so she had some leg warmers, albeit for actual dancing purposes. I don’t remember if she or my other sister ever wore them as fashion; all I know is, I was robbed! I love the thought of those cute little leg warmers wrapped around my legs. I’m too self-conscious to get the cute striped ones, but not too much so that I won’t have fun rocking my black pair.

I’ve already bought leg warmers for a couple of my gals who want to join me in bringing them back. Would you like a pair, too?



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Posted by Tere @ 9/25/2006   | | | links to this post

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm an Ass, But are You Surprised?

As Rachel pointed out in the comments section of my last post, the $160 at My Gym is for the 10-week session. Hello, I'm stupid. That comes down to $16 a class - a fee I'm still not willing to pay but which is way better than what I thought!

I had seen the 10-week wording right above the prices, but it also said "one class," which I took as one actual class, not one kind of class. I thought it meant that one actual class was $160, and I'd have to buy 10 weeks of classes.

So, My Gym, I apologize. Prices are more reasonable than I thought. Sorry we won't be doing business together, though. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

Sincerely,

A Tere that feels stupid right now



Posted by Tere @ 9/22/2006   | | | links to this post

Dear My Gym: Are You F***ing Kidding Me? Love, Tere

I had a moment of panic a few days ago where I felt that I was not providing my son with any developmental activities. We have a routine: we get home, into his playpen thingy, and play for an hour or so before dinner, bath and bed. That's it. We play. He throws things, gives me books he wants me to "read" to him (which means I show him the pictures, invent stories about them, and he flips the pages), plays music on his little table toy, and toddles around. I don't let him loose in the house yet because... I haven't done much baby proofing (too many books, papers and magazines + not many places to shove it all into = me paralyzed and immobile on the couch), and to have him roaming with me literally hovering right over him seems worse than just letting him do whatever he wants within a contained area. For now, because I have about a week to get over it and do what I have to do so my son can be free to wreck my house. On non-rainy days, we take walks in our neighborhood.

Point is, we have a routine, and I panicked that this routine was doing him no good, from a mental stimulation standpoint. I don't know if I'm teaching him any specific skills - my tactic is to basically talk to him nonstop, react whenever he "says" anything, clap wildly whenever he does anything, and identify every single thing he points at or touches, in Spanish. That's it.

So I started thinking about the world out there of activities and challenges and techniques I should be exposing him to, and decided to check out My Gym to see if served any real purpose.

I will never know. The 45-minute class for his age group is $160. WTF? Oh no, wait, if I do a second class, I get 25% off that one, so it's $280 for two fucking classes. That are less than an hour long. That consist of my kid being exposed to the "exploration of movement." And pay a $50 membership fee.

Isn't this same exact thing FREE if I just start taking him to the park? Seriously, I expected to pay something, and by that something I mean a fee that I would most likely find expensive (because I find most things too expensive), but this is a rip-off. A total, brazen, shameless rip-off.

So, sorry Maxi. There will be no My Gym for you. Your mom sees no value in it and is now so turned off by the fees that she probably won't reconsider, not even if you throw a tantrum, because my stubborness can most likely outlast yours.

Am I being a cheap lazy mommy here? And yes, if you take your kid to My Gym or something similar, and you looooove it, feel free to share with me, because snark aisde, I really am curious.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/22/2006   | | | links to this post

Thursday, September 21, 2006

America’s Hottest Mom Reaches Out to Me (Or Maybe Not)

I guess I may be wrong about my complete derision of America’s Hottest Mom. Maybe, it’s too soon to really tell. I was, however, contacted by Jeff Greenfield, the executive producer of the show (I know! The big-wigs in Hollywood are reading me! OMGZ!) (that was sarcasm, did you get it?), and he went to considerable lengths to try to convince me that what the show is really about is closer to the real moms I described. He’s convinced of this enough to invite me to the auditions so I can see what they’re all about – I was so ready to take him up on that, but I have my best friend’s bridal shower on Saturday and can’t exactly skip out on that. Damn! I do wish I could have gone and checked it out.

As I told Jeff, I plan to watch at least the first episode to see where the hell it’s going. Right now, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but in my response to him, I pointed out that reality TV producers do whatever they have to shock the audience and get good ratings – so many people have debased themselves for all the world to see that at this point, I’m suspicious of anything.

Jeff did a radio interview about the show where he describes what they’re looking for, so I’m going to link to it so you can listen for yourselves.

I have to note, however, that just before I posted this up, I saw that Rick was also invited to attend the auditions. So me thinks Jeff’s doing his PR through the So Fla bloggers and wasn’t particularly interested just in changing this specific mama blogger’s mind when he contacted me. Hmn. Now I don’t feel so special anymore.

Yeah, right.

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Update: Rick pointed out that the audition announcement included this very mom-friendly tip: "Please note that the audition process can take several hours and children under the age of 12 are best kept at home or with friends."

I know my readers are smart enough to see the irony in that.

Can I just say - it would have been very easy to set-up a mom-friendly audition where mothers had a place to tend to their kids. Shouldn't part of the criteria be how moms interact with their kids? And yes, kids can be unruly and tired and annoying - but you're looking for "real moms" right? How do you determine that without any kids around? And, as The Florida Masochist pointed out, this opens to the door for any desperate, starlet-wanna be to show up and claim she's a mom, or some similar kind of cheating.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/21/2006   | | | links to this post

The Teenage Years: A Future That I Dread

So, I’ve been reading this log called Blended with Salt, right? And the author, Kelly, she has a son from a previous marriage and a daughter from her current one, right? And she blogs about life as a blended family, right? Well, the eldest, Ty, is a teenager now, and reading about life lately with that child is scaring me. Someone please hold me, because I fear my son becoming a teenager.

Wait! Ty’s not a bad kid. He’s just a teenager, going through typical teenager crap. But that’s the problem: teenagers suck, and I want no part in it.

Kelly is refreshingly honest about the challenges of being a blended family. In her particular case, her son is like his dad in many ways, and his dad is… Kelly’s ex-husband. So, how do you cope with a blossoming version of the man you left behind? Lord knows that if Ben and I called it quits, all those traits of his that Max exhibits would go from cute to unbearable in less than 15 seconds. And how do you react to someone who triggers painful old shit when that someone is your own child? Plus, he’s a freakin’ teenager!

I have high hopes for Kelly and her family, but for now, I’m making plans to go into hiding as soon as Max hits 13.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/21/2006   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Al Capone is talking to you!

(Miami Cross Blogination Day is here, and below is Al Capone's contribution. My post is over at White Dade)


You might ask yourself: isn’t he dead? Not at all, he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse, so I took his name and (some) of his behaviours. Because I’m fighting like him against prohibition. Isn’t that gone? Yes and no, you can get drunk as a newt where ever you want, but if you light up a cigarillo (yes, that’s what I do) you find yourself normaly kicked out of every restaurant, bar or home. I guess Tere would do the same, wouldn’t you, and the baby and everything, not even close to your home, I imagine. But hey, you know that most of the Cuban domino players (and all of the champs) do smoke, don’t you? Well, besides smoking, there are other nasty behaviours, and I learned that you would like to do some more piercings. Well, a good friend of Al has done some impressive work, so if you ask I’ll pay for it if you do it like this. I guess that’s another offer you shouldn’t refuse, should you?





Posted by Tere @ 9/19/2006   | | | links to this post

Monday, September 18, 2006

Miami Cross Blogination is Tomorrow



Just a reminder that the Great Miami Cross Blogination of 2006 takes place tomorrow. Al Capone (yes, Al Capone!) will guest blog here, while I take on White Dade. The rest of the participants are here.

White Dade is a white guy who hates "Latin" people (I think he means "Hispanic" people because the last Latins I heard of were Julius Cesar, Marc Antony and Horace, but whatever). He also calls himself a racist, a mysogynist and baby-hater - so we're in for a lot of fun! I'm hoping that's all show for extra blog dramatic purposes, but you never know.

So my post on his site is about my experience with my white boy, plus some thoughts on the mixing of cultures and religions. I know, deep. I don't think he'll agree at all with my thoughts, but that's the point, I guess.

So, visit White Dade for my post and check out what Al has to say here. Then take a look at all the other cross blogs and enjoy.

p.s. Avast, mateys! Don't think it's escaped my notice that tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I'll be having me grog early in the morning and celebrating all day long.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/18/2006   | | | links to this post

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Week In Review

1. Having your baby say "mama" and look at right at you as he does it has got to be one of the best feelings in the world.

2. I may a 29-year-old mother of one, but it's still nice to visit my parents and have a home-cooked meal waiting for me.

3. I will never, not ever, like how I look on TV.

4. Helping one of my best friends with her wedding, I'm reminded of how much I hate anything and everything having to do with planning weddings. If Ben and I ever decide we're done, there'll be no more weddings for me. Unless all I have to do is show up.

5. Watching your baby get stuck with four needles (plus an extra one to draw blood) is like being stabbed in the chest. Having him cling to you and nuzzle his head into your neck for comfort and knowing you can ease his pain is like being given new life.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/16/2006   | | | links to this post

Friday, September 15, 2006

I Bring You the Gift of Music

Lately, I’ve been looking for new music – something fun or introspective, something I most likely haven’t really encountered yet (go ahead, you’re invited to make suggestions). When it comes to music, I have pretty varied tastes, from rock alternative to jazz to ska (I love ska), etc. There are some artists of which I’m a diehard fan – I buy all the albums without even listening to a single track because I totally trust that it’ll be worth it (though the Dave Matthews Band has disappointed me with its last album, so they’re on notice). I used to have this rule that I wouldn’t buy an album unless I heard three songs and they were all good – that seemed to justify the purchase for me.

But in recent years, I’ve lightened up a bit and bought albums for just one song from artists I don’t consider myself a fan of, a tactic that has disappointed me a few times, but which has resulted in some pretty surprising finds, whole or almost whole albums full of good music with great lyrics and beats. So I share with you now some albums I bought for one song and ended up falling in love with the whole thing. Take it for what it’s worth, you may agree with me or think I have crap music taste.

Album: Opaline
Artist: Dishwalla
I bought it for: Track 3, Somewhere in the Middle
I fell in love with: Tracks 2, 4, 6, 10
Comments: I didn’t even like their hit, “Counting Blue Cars,” but I heard “Somewhere in the Middle” and was haunted by it until I found and bought the album. It’s now one of my favorites. Track 4 reminds me of the time Ben and I lost each other; track 6 of (Not Really All That) Good Ex.

Album: Useful Music
Artist: Josh Joplin Group
I bought it for: Track 5, Camera One
I fell in love with: Tracks 2, 3, 13
Comments: I found Josh Joplin quite wistful, and I liked that. Track 13 in particular hit home (and comforted me) during a very rough time in my life. I’d buy another of his albums.

Album: Lifehouse
Artist: Lifehouse
I bought it for: Track 2, You and Me
I fell in love with: Tracks 1, 3, 8, 10
Comments: I only had to see the commercial for the movie that featured “You and Me” (I don’t even know what movie it was), and I was hooked. So I got the album and fell in love – another surprising favorite. Lifehouse also has a song, “Everything,” on the Smallville Soundtrack (another favorite of mine – I’m a Smallville geek) – it’s one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Love it. It’s also in their album from the year 2000.

Album: Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second
Artist: Wheat
I bought it for: Track 1, I Met A Girl
I fell in love with: The whole album
Comments: I had heard "I Met A Girl" on MSN radio and loved it. Still don't know a thing about this band and haven't checked out their other albums, but this one rocks.

That's all for now. I'll do another installment later.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/15/2006   | | | links to this post

The Early Days

Looking for a particular picture of Ben and myself, I came across these from Max's first and second days home. I feel a mixture of sadness (my little boy isn't a baby anymore!), longing (those are such sacred days!) and relief (thank God I'll never have to go through those dreadful days again!) when I look at them.


(my boob was bigger than his head!)



(he slept on both of us like that for the first 2 weeks)

Posted by Tere @ 9/15/2006   | | | links to this post

Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Hottest Mom in America" Can Kiss My Ass

So I open up the paper this morning and what do I see? That the folks behind a reality TV show named "Hottest Mom in America" will be in Miami searching for "sexy, engaging, confident" mothers.

Or, as the president of the production company put it: "We're looking for moms that turn heads wherever they go -- the supermarket, the football stands or kindergarten."

In other words, people, they're looking for slutty moms.

They're looking for two kinds of women here: the mom with the low self-esteem who feels her self-worth is measured by the length of her skirt and her ability to look 18, despite the fact that she's had 3 kids and is pushing 40. You know the kind, the ones who refuse to accept that time keeps ticking and they're not getting any younger, but they can't handle it. If they're single, they borrow their teenage daughter's clothes and go clubbing with her; they usually don't miss the Friday-night happy hour at whatever the bar du jour happens to be; and they'll go to great lengths to tell you how "with it" and sexy they are even though they have kids.

Or,

They want the hot mom who didn't eat for two years after having her kids so that she could become skinnier than she'd ever been and feel proud of herself for fitting into girls' size 14; the one who wears a mini skirt and 4-inch heels to Publix and who somehow manages to always look perfectly done; the one who can actually be that hot because her husband earns $100K+ so she doesn't have to work, yet she has a full-time nanny, so her day basically revolves around the gym, the mall and the beauty salon. Then she shows up at the "football stand" looking hot, and you wonder, "wow, how does she do it?"

She does it because she does NO mothering!

Look, I'm the first to say that being a mother doesn't mean I can't be sexy or well put together or any of that good stuff. But do you really believe that TV show wants those of us who look good but are, you know, real people? The ones who get food and crap all over their clothes when their babies eat, who wear sneakers or flip-flops to do the groceries, who don't always look 100% put together, who will wear a sexy outfit but not one that shows ass/navel/extreme cleavage all at the same time?

Yeah, right.

These people don't want truly sexy moms. They want to perpetuate the notion so many of us already have that for women who have kids, being sexy and confident means going to sometimes-ridiculous, sometimes-desperate, often-sad extremes just to be noticed, appreciated and admired.

Seriously, they can kiss my ass. My sexy, but well-covered, ass.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/14/2006   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Be Proud of Me, Bitches!

Behold:

Friday, November 3, 2006

American Airlines 1970
Depart: 8:25am
morning
Miami, FL
Miami International (MIA)
Arrive: 11:15am
morning
Newark, NJ
Newark Liberty Int'l (EWR)

Return

Monday, November 6, 2006

American Airlines 723
Depart: 12:05pm
afternoon
Newark, NJ
Newark Liberty Int'l (EWR)
Arrive: 3:10pm
afternoon
Miami, FL
Miami International (MIA)





Posted by Tere @ 9/13/2006   | | | links to this post

So Fla Bloggers Mix It Up



This is why I'm loving the So Fla blogging community: we're a creative bunch of geeks who are game for some mischief. What mischief, you say? The Miami Cross Blogination is coming at you in a week, people. Are you ready? CAN YOU FEEL THE EXCITEMENT?

On September 19, a group of So Fla bloggers will do a virtual trading spaces and blog on other local sites. We were randomly assigned our trades, and you can check them out here.

Get ready for a bunch of links and a day full of fun reads.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/13/2006   | | | links to this post

The Goal Guru Helps You Get Organized - and Then Some

Jill Koenig is the Goal Guru. Her blog is a good resource for all kinds of information and tips for getting organized, achieving your dreams, and setting goals.

Why you should care? Because this stuff isn't just for busy moms - if you need to get focused, or want some help in managing your time, her site will get you motivated. From getting a book published to inspiring stories, there's plenty she covers plenty of useful topics.

I particularly like how she ends each post by saying "live your dream." What a wonderful, inspiring thought. I think I might take that on as my mantra.

Posted by Tere @ 9/13/2006   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Someone Please Convince Me to do This

Two of my best friends recently moved to NYC (another has lived there for years), and they've been begging me to pay a visit for a weekend. A girls' weekend in NYC - how friggin' awesome is that? I'm dying to have some real *me* time, and the thought of pissing my money away in NYC is pure bliss to me - add to that two of my dearest friends, and it sounds like an opportunity that's too good to be true. No wait, this sends it over the top: Ben wants me to go and will be paying for my flight, and he insists I take a long weekend.

So what's my problem? I am terrified to death of flying. TERRIFIED. Terrified to the point of being irrational about it. Terrified enough that I'm willing to take xanax like some pill-popping addict. And when I think of this trip, what's really freaking me out is the thought of dying alone and leaving my son behind without his mother.

We've flown twice since Max was born, and both times were really difficult for me. But both times, I was comforted by the thought that if the plane exploded, we'd all be dying together (of course, then I would start crying at the thought of my son's promising life cut tragically short, but we'll leave that for another post). But if I go on this trip, and the plane goes down, I'll be all alone, thinking of those I love, and my son will be left without his mother - and I would just miss him and Ben and everyone else so damn much.

While the flying's the big thing, I have to admit that part of me is also scared that my being gone for a few days will somehow traumatize Max beyond repair, like my leaving equates to a breach of trust. Ben and my mother are perfectly capable of caring for him, but what if he doesn't react well to my absence? Worse, what if I come back and all his attachment is gone? What if he no longer smiles when he sees me and reaches out for me? It would kill me.

Logic dictates that I have a wonderful opportunity to really and truly treat myself, and that I should take it and have a blast. But I've never believed in wonderful things coming without some kind of catch. At least, in my life I've never gotten or had anything great without paying some kind of price. So what's the catch here? My demise in a ball of flames 30,000 feet in the air? My son forgetting me or rejecting me for being gone for 4 days?

That sounds so ridiculous, yet I believe it. That twisted, irrational part of me is convinced.

So please unconvince me. I want to go and have a good time - without dying, my son's rejection or any other kind of tragedy.

Posted by Tere @ 9/12/2006   | | | links to this post

Monday, September 11, 2006

Part of Me has Moved

My 30x365 project has moved here.

Because I finally want to get organized.

Posted by Tere @ 9/11/2006   | | | links to this post

Mimi 013/365

My son’s nanny – without her, I would not be able to work, especially with the peace of mind she provides. She loves my son, and my gratitude cannot be measured.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/11/2006   | | | links to this post

Birth Day

(Part one)

I somehow made my way down to the birthing stool at the foot of the bed and squatted on it, with Ben behind me to support my body. I was anxious, in pain, and very badly wanting to push.

As Betty and Lisa accomodated themselves, I saw Lisa pull out a flashlight. My room was dimly lit, as it was my preference, and they weren't about to change that. Still, they needed light to look up, um, me, so they could see what was going on in there. Lisa turned the flashlight on and examined me. To me, the baby felt like he was right there, so I asked her, "Do you see anything?" Her response - "Just your chooch," was the funniest moment of the night and proved to be a much-needed tension breaker. It's Ben's favorite moment of the whole experience.

So I began to push and breathe and push and breathe, and this kid of mine was just taking forever to make his way through. I kept saying things like, "Come on, Max, we're ready for you. We want to meet you so badly. It's o.k., baby, you can do this and we're going to be here for you." When suddenly - holy fuck in all that is fucking painful in this world, I'm feeling the most pain I've felt in my entire life, and it feels like my insides are being ripped out of me. And with that, my son's head has come through, and Betty's holding a mirror there, and I see a tiny head covered in black hair. And that was all I needed - with that amazing bit of inspiration, I take a deep breath, push, and there slid out the rest of him.

And just like that, he was in my arms and I was holding him, crying, laughing and covering him with kisses.

It was 1:40 a.m. on September 11, 2005. I was a mother, holding this tiny, wonderful boy in my hands. And I could think of no better day than this one to usher new life into this world.




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Posted by Tere @ 9/11/2006   | | | links to this post

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Labor Day

Saturday, September 10, 2005 started out like the others before it: I hadn't slept well and was achy and tired, and the baby felt deep down low in my belly. Still, I loved being pregnant and was not ready to have him out. My original due date had been Sept. 12, but after one of my sonograms, the date was changed to Sept. 19 based on the baby's size. I grew accustomed to the Sept. 19 date and was disappointed when, at 37 weeks, my date was once again changed to the 12th. I wanted to be pregnant as long as possible, plus, I felt a sense of dread at the thought of having my baby on 9/11 - it seemed so depressing.

So on Sept. 10 I did what I had been doing for every Saturday for the last few weeks: I headed over to the birth center for a visit with my midwife. Because I was term and two days from my due date, Betty decided to check me out and see if I was dilated. I was not - at all. She told me I was "ripe" and ready, and predicted I'd start my labor in about 4 days at the soonest.

So I went about my day - most likely shopping, big surprise - and we ended up at my father-in-law's for dinner. At 6:30 p.m., I started getting contractions, the same ones I'd been getting every day at 6:30 p.m. for the last week or so. Betty had told me earlier in the day that they were more than likely due to exhaustion, and they were a sign my body was giving me to ease up and take a rest. So when they began as usual, I started to laugh, since I'd just been asked if I had experienced any contractions yet, and I went on to explain what Betty had said.

There was one (big) difference from what I'd been experiencing lately, though: these contractions hurt. A lot. And they weren't going away. We left my f-i-l's, and here things got complicated - we'd both left our cell phones at home (down in CG, and we were up in Broward, 15 minutes from the birth center), and we weren't sure what to do. We didn't have Betty's number on us (I know, we're idiots), so we went to my sister's house in Miami Lakes (she's friends with Betty and would have her number). Except that my sister wasn't home. So we ended up using the neighbor's phone to get a hold of my sister and finally, Betty.

Betty told us to go home and soak in the tub for an hour and check in. We got home at 9 p.m., and by then, my contractions were a minute long and two apart. And the pain kept increasing. I sat in that tub, hoping the warm water would help me deal with the pain. It did, a bit, but there was no denying that it was getting worse. I had to be in labor, or I was going to freak the hell out.

An hour later, I'm dying. I'm also worried that this is a false alarm, or that I won't even be dilated. Ben calls Betty and tells her my pain has increased and the contractions have held steady at one minute long and 2 apart. She tells us to meet her at 11 p.m. and warns us that if I'm not in active labor, we'll be in for a long night and may have to head home to wait it out.

We get in the car and head to Hollywood. It's pouring rain and as we hit I-95, another one of my fears seems to be coming true: the highway is backed-up - and I'm in that passenger seat, listening to Jack Johnson, the pain of my contractions growing worse and making it impossible for me to sit still - I'm literally climbing up on the seat and pressing up against the window as each contraction peaks. Also, I was freaking out that my water might break right there in the car while we were stuck in traffic and my baby would be born on I-95. The thought of my water breaking at the most inopportune time and place has been a lingering worry my entire pregnancy, and this just might be that moment. Thankfully, it was just a small span of highway that was backed-up, and we fly the rest of the way - without my water breaking.

We get to the birth center and Betty immediately checks me out - I'm 4 cm dilated and officially in active labor. "What does that mean?" I ask her. "It means you're staying right here," she says, "your son is coming tonight."

WTF? From no dilation at noon to 4 cm at 11 p.m. As I'm left alone to change into something comfortable, I'm a mix of intense pain, excitement and apprehension.

I spend some time walking around, being brought to my knees - literally - whenever a contraction hits. I drink water, chat with Betty and Ben, do my deep breathing exercises. When it all becomes too intense, I get in the whirlpool tub. (Word of advice: when in labor, never, ever, just sit there or lay down - walking helps you progress, and don't let any doctor tell you otherwise. Most labors take so long and don't progress because the mom is strapped to a bed, in the worst position she can be to help her body and child). Betty's co-midwife, Lisa, has arrived, and she comes in to check on the baby and me. He sounds great, and she tells me I'm 6 cm dilated. It's midnight. Because I'm progressing so quickly, we call our relatives and tell them what's going on. Thank God it's late and we have the place to ourselves, because within that hour, 12 people have assembled to watch Max enter this world.

Meanwhile, while everyone's in a party mood and laughing and taking pictures of my horrible self in labor, I'm slipping further into freak-out mode. Thankfully, it's a quiet kind of freak-out, because I keep repeating what I've been telling myself since the pain began : your body was meant to do this, trust your body, trust your baby, you'll be fine. Still, my mind was also racing with some other thoughts, such as "This shit hurts so fucking much! It has to end soon!" to "OMG, a baby! I'm having my beautiful boy tonight!" to "WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO WITH HIM??"

Now, during childbirth class, Betty had told us that when you're deep in labor, your hormones go into overdrive and you kind-of enter into this haze - it's the body's way of coping with the pain. Well, I was in that haze. I remember being in and out as people spoke to me, as Lisa listened to the baby, as pictures were snapped. I also remember that my water hadn't broken, and they had told me that the mucus plug would come out, and that we needed to keep an eye out for it. Can I tell you - I became obsessed with that mucus plug. I needed that mucus plug. I had to have it out to know my water was broken. Where the hell was that damn mucus plug??

And all of a sudden, I was just done with the water. I needed out. So they got me out and plopped me onto the bed. It was 1 a.m., I was fully dilated, and my water hadn't broken. And I felt then this horrible urge to push. Back in childbirth class, Betty had told us that we would know it was time because we'd feel the urge to push, that it was very important to not push until that time, because to do otherwise might harm mom and baby. And I'd been very skeptical that it would play out this way, and yet there I was, facing a very urgent need to push. So I ask Betty if I can push, and since I'm fully dilated, I can. And I tell her that the urge is very strong and ask if she can break my water.

As they get ready to break my water, I writhe in excruciating pain on the bed. One sister's rubbing my back, various mothers/sisters/friends are looking on, and I am feeling like hell. For one brief moment I feel gratitude that the intensity of pain matched the progress of labor, that I didn't feel so much pain and remain undilated. And then people, I began to scream.

All right, not scream exactly, more like release this incredibly primal yell that rose from the depth of my belly and exploded out my mouth. I've never made that sound before and doubt I ever will again. But that yelling was helping with the pain. With each yell, I'd release the pain. And besides, I was so far gone into my hormonal haze that I didn't care. I had completely surrendered my body and my will and was letting it do whatever the hell it wanted to do. I had no control whatsoever - and it was the most liberating feeling ever.

And by 1:20 a.m., Betty and Lisa had broken my water and it was time to push. Max was less than half an hour away from making his grand entrance.

The (so not pretty) face of labor:

(PICTURE REMOVED DUE TO CREEPY GOOGLING)

Yes, it hurts that fucking much.


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Posted by Tere @ 9/10/2006   | | | links to this post

Terry L-C 012/365

She introduced me to the magical poetry of Shel Silverstein and ice skating. Our favorite activity was playing “50 Ways to Die.” After her grandmother died, so did our friendship.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/10/2006   | | | links to this post

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Silvia P 011/365

A high school friend who was as cynical, sick and subversive as I was – loved bitching about everything with her. We wrote twisted versions of “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey.”

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Posted by Tere @ 9/09/2006   | | | links to this post

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Week In Review

All right, I'm gonna attempt to do a weekly feature on this site - no promises, though, because my brain is so scattered lately that committing to a regular feature may be asking too much of me.

So here's the deal: I believe I have something to learn from everyone I meet, from my daily experiences, and from the most unexpected people and things. I also think I have little adventures (or misadventures, most of the time), that I don't always even notice. This weekly feature will be my attempt to stop and notice those little lessons and little adventures. I got the idea to do this one day recently when two things in my world collided: Amy in Miami Beach's The Weekly and Jojo's Circus, wherein Jojo the clown ends each episode with the lesson she learned that day (damn it, that damn song will not leave my head! Out! Out, wretched tune!).

And so, with proper gratitude to my two inspirations, I give you, my Week in Review.

1. It's really not that hard to cook mac-n-cheese while holding a 20-pound boy in your other arm.

2. A year later, nothing still calms a fussy baby like a comfy sling.

3. If I have 3, as opposed to 2, cups of coffee per day, the b.s. I have to put up with at work becomes slightly more bearable.

4. A fever of 103 is terrifying, regardless of how cheerful and normal the baby is. And it's scarier in the middle of the night than at any other time of day.

5. If you're ordering one pair of shoes online, may as well get a couple of more pairs, especially if shipping is free and you get a discount after spending a certain amount. It helps when one of those shoes is a pair of boots.

6. Who says you have to spend tons of money on toys for kids? All you really need is an imagination and a little spice. A reflective trashcan doesn't hurt, either.



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p.s. This is my 100th post - isn't that exciting?!

Posted by Tere @ 9/08/2006   | | | links to this post

Betty my Midwife 010/365

Without her, my pregnancy and labor would have been far less wonderful, empowering and moving. She was both teacher and cheerleader. No words will ever express my gratitude to her.

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(I took Gus' advice and put the name first. Because it's more attractive and I just want you to love me).

Posted by Tere @ 9/08/2006   | | | links to this post

Thursday, September 07, 2006

To Pierce or Not to Pierce

I’ve always had a thing for body piercings. I remember being a very little girl, five or so, and being utterly fascinated with my cousin’s double ear piercings. I thought they were the prettiest, most feminine thing ever. From that early experience, I found myself completely taken whenever I saw people with multiple piercings. I can’t say I find them all attractive, but they definitely have an allure I’ve never been able to get over.

Many years ago, one of my sisters also like the idea of piercing more holes in her ear, and when she asked my mom, she was told she’d have to wait until she was 16. Why 16, I have no clue. My mother set arbitrary ages for us to able to do certain things: 12 to shave our legs, 14 to wear make-up, 15 to wear eyeliner, 16 to get an extra hole in the ear. I remember being really surprised at the piercing edict, considering that we’d all had our ears pierced at two weeks of age, but apparently, more than one hole in each ear is the sign of a loose woman (as are tattoos, by the way – all this according to the very specific Cuban code of moral behavior). So my sister waited until she was 16 and got her new piercings. Actually, she ended up getting a third hole in one of her ears, too, but I think she got that one after she left for college, because let’s face it, that hole may have caused severe freak-outs in my household.

So when I was about 12, I asked to get a second hole in my right ear. Just my right ear, because both ears would have been cliché, and I was aiming for hip and cool. But of course, my mom said I’d have to wait until I was 16. When I asked why, the answer was because my sister had had to wait, and now I had to wait, too. That was another annoying thing I as the baby had to put up with: waiting to do or get something until the exact ages my sisters were when they got or did that same thing. That was it – there was no further logic to their reasoning. They waited until an arbitrary age, so I had to wait to.

I spent those four years leading to my piercing growing more and more fascinated with the whole thing. My right ear was only the beginning. I decided at 14 I’d do my bellybutton, too, because that, for me, is incredibly sexy and feminine. I also wanted to get a very small labret and the top of my right ear. But of course, it wasn’t gonna happen under my mom’s watch (or as long as I lived under her roof, since all forms of body piercing except the ears were strictly forbidden), so I figured that if by the time I was on my own I still wanted these, then I would know my feelings were not a passing fancy and would get them.

Meanwhile, I was counting down to my 16th birthday and my super cool extra right-ear hole. Except that I was extremely pissed at having to live with all these stupid rules that my mom refused to discuss or explain to me. That old “because I said so” line? That was it. That’s what she and my dad would say, and then get pissed if we pressed the matter. So on top of being a teenager, and on top of being the only child at home (and therefore constantly getting all the heat for whatever bullshit my sisters and father did or didn’t do), this stupid thing with the piercing was the last straw and I refused to let her get the best of me. So the day before I turned 16, I showed up at the Little Big Store in Coconut Grove and asked Avi to pierce me.

That piercing was beautiful to me. My ear throbbed and glowed bright red, but damn it, I loved that little hole. I showed up at home in time for dinner and neither showed nor hid my new piercing. But my mother, ever eagle-eyed, saw and just gave me a look. And I gave her one right back. In my head I was thinking, “go ahead, make me take it off – tomorrow’s my birthday and I’ll just put it back on, and then what? I so got you on this one,” and I guess I was able to get that thought across, because she actually had a sense of humor about it and laughed. And then she left it at that.

While I waited out my next opportunity to pierce, I turned my attention to boys. Specifically, to boys with piercings. I want to clarify, I don’t like boys with a ton of piercings – one or two is all I care for. I hate nipple and genital piercings, and bullrings are just plain ugly. However, give me a boy with a barbell through his eyebrow and I’ll lust after him with all the strength of my lusty little heart. Seriously. In high school, I so obviously went weak at the sight of a boy with a hole in his ear that both Cold Dead Fish and TFBIETL went and got their ears pierced. Such blatant attempts to impress me were just so sweet that of course I was won over.

By the time I was 20, I was ready for more. I had abandoned the idea of the labret because by then I was working in Corporate America, and it just wasn't going to fly. The only other piercing I really wanted was my belly, so I went and did that. Now, before I go any further, let me just say: this was before the current trend of every little Britney-wannabe who goes and gets her belly pierced when she turns 14, and so does her 40-year-old mom. UGH. No, o.k.? When I did it, no one in my life had one; no celebrity was out flaunting theirs; and society still thought that a pre-teen with a belly ring was just wrong. I still lived at home and basically hid the thing until I got over it and just showed my parents one day. There were so not pleased. My mom told me, in all seriousness, that if I went and got a tattoo, I would have to move out. So I waited until I had moved out to get one. I also got the top cartilage of my ear pierced shortly after Igot married (which I removed but will soon be re-piercing).

I loved my belly ring - as soon as it had healed, I went to the location that's now Miami Ink and had them put a slave ring on me. I always told myself to enjoy the ring as best as I could, because if I ever got pregnant, that would be the end of the ring. For one thing, I couldn't imagine a huge belly with a ring in it; and it also just seemed like it'd be so sad for me to be a mom with that ring still on me.

But you know what? I got pregnant and just couldn't bear to part with my ring. I'd had it for 8 years by then, and it was a part of me. So I held on to that sucker as long as I could, which was about 24 weeks. By then, it hurt a lot and I had to take it off. And then the bad shit happened: the hole kinda closed before I discovered the pregnancy belly ring; and also, the hole closed in the middle, but the top and bottom punctures remained. The result? Ugly wierd hole-like thing on my belly. Yuck.

Well, I was about 3 months post-partum when I looked at my belly and felt that familiar pang: I wanted a ring in there. My belly, much to my surprise and relief, looked as it did pre-baby (it was other parts of my body that suffered damage). That made me feel like I could wear the ring again and not look whoreanus. And, regardless of all the shit I'd told myself, I just missed the damn ring.

So, there's my dilemma: do I re-pierce my navel, or not? I really miss it. But am I just too old and mommyish to get away with it? Imean, I'm not a suburban soccer mom, I don't drive a minivan, and I don't have a sensible haircut. The area looks odd because of the previous ring, and I just can't look at it anymore. Also, I don't show it off, so unless I show you or you see me in a bikini, you wouldn't even know about it, so it's not like I'll be offending anyone. Did I mention how much I miss it?


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Posted by Tere @ 9/07/2006   | | | links to this post

009/365 Patricia T

Truly heinous human being. Awful. Nastiest boss I ever had – I would go home and cry every night. I left her fate to karma; may she reap what she sows.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/07/2006   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

008/365 Fannie

She was young, pretty, married to a man 40 years her senior. They rented an efficiency to my nanny. She was very affectionate with me; I still remember her smile.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/06/2006   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

007/365 Edgar Mayne

I had known him two days before I believed he was my soul mate. There was no romance between us, but I dreamed of it. His letters just stopped coming.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/05/2006   | | | links to this post

Book Tag!

Chantel over at Fiction and Musings, with a Side of Yuca, tagged me on this book thingy. Great fun, and thanks, Chantel!

1) A book that changed my life: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Why? When I read it, I was going through an incredibly difficult and sad time in my life. The life I knew and thought I was going to have was destroyed, gone; and I as a person was in state of crisis and deep introspection. That I picked up this book at that time was pure coincidence, but it completely changed the way I view myself, my life, and the world around me, and set me on a new (better) path.

2) A book that I've read more than once: The entire Anne of Green Gables series. It’s like the perfect bowl of mac and cheese on a cold, rainy day.

3) A book I'd take to a deserted island: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez because it never fails to get me thinking and being more honest with myself.

4) A book that made me laugh: Anything by Dave Sedaris. He’s brilliant.

5) A book that made me cry: I’ll never forget how Where the Red Fern Grows made a wreck out of me. Those poor, faithful ‘coon hounds...

6) A book I wish had been written: How to Get Your Baby to Cooperate and Not Throw Horrible Screaming Tantrums When You’re Just Trying to Buy Some Groceries, Damn It, Groceries, Can’t You Sit Happily for Just a Few Friggin’ Minutes??

7) A book that should never have been written: A lot of those sniveling pregnancy books that are full of misinformation and treat the experience like some kind of condition you just have to bear with and then get over with in the quickest, easiest way possible. Reading such drivel made me want to stab my eyes out.

8) A book I'm currently reading: All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve.

9) A book I'm planning to read: The Zahir by Paulo Coelho, unless I randomly pick some other book lying close by.

10) Who I'm tagging next:

Steph

Lissette

Posted by Tere @ 9/05/2006   | | | links to this post

Monday, September 04, 2006

006/365 Alex from across the street

We called him “Ugly,” because he was… ugly. But he was also a teenager, and cool by my and my cousin’s pre-teen standards. We ridiculed him because he ignored us.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/04/2006   | | | links to this post

A Year Ago Today

I was exactly one week from giving birth. And I looked like a monster. These pictures tell the horrific tale (and my sharing them is a painful exercise in not being so friggin' vain).

The Sunday before I gave birth, my sister threw me a wonderful Blessing Way, where we had a henna artist and the ladies made me a labor necklace.

My henna belly



The day after, my brother-in-law Pete took some great "mama goddess" commemorative pictures - which totally make up for the ones of the day before.



The end was so definitely near. I felt like he was dropping lower and lower and lower, walking seemed like the hardest task on earth and sleep was a distant memory. And yet, I didn't feel like I wanted it to be over; I never felt that "get this baby out of me" feeling so many pregnant women have. If he had come two weeks later than he actually did, maybe by then I would've felt done. But by this point, I was still feeling pretty in love with being pregnant.

(EDITED TO ADD: I removed most of the pics due to creepy people googling and ending up here.)

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Posted by Tere @ 9/04/2006   | | | links to this post

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mama (Finally) Gets a Break

Saturday was all mine, people. Mine, all mine. A much-deserved 8-hour break from the husband, the child and the dog.

I started out by going to the library to vote, since there's no way I'll be able to do it on election day. With that done (in five minutes, I swear. It was quick and painless), I hit a salon (review up on the Gables blog) and got a massage and pedicure.

From there, I hit the mall, even though I really wasn't looking for anything. Ben was home with the baby, so I refused to be there, or I would find myself doing exactly what I wasn't supposed to be doing: looking after everyone.

So I took my time walking around and going inside every store I wanted to, and I have to say, it was nice to be able to go into as many stores as I wanted to, and take as long as I wanted, without having to consider anyone else's needs and wants.

I headed home about five and had some quality time with the baby while Ben got ready for dinner. Then I was back to Tere time and took my sweet time in getting ready (no rushing through the shower and slapping on whatever makeup was closest at hand). By the time I was ready, the in-laws were here and off we went to dinner at OLA at the Savoy Hotel. We went with my sisters and their husbands and did the Miami Spice menu. From there - Purdy Lounge! Oh God, I used to go to Purdy all the time and loved that place. It was so cool to be back - although we got there way early and left before things got good. Still, it's better than nothing.

All in all, a good day. Must do more of those more often. But I have to admit that the guilt was hanging over me all day long. How ridiculous is that? I was giving myself a well-deserved treat, and all the while a part of me felt like I was doing something horribly selfish. I've spent the last year feeling paranoid about not being there for my son. Like, if I was gone for more than two hours, he would suffer some horrible trauma about his indifferent mother abandoning him. It's only been in the last couple of months that I've felt like I've established enought trust between us that I can leave and he'll be o.k. (and seriously, the kid has always been o.k. He started with his mimi at five months, and to this day he's never once fussed or cried as I am leaving. He stays with my mom and Ben's stepmom as if nothing. The kid adapts without missing a beat - it's just me who feels like a traitor for craving some alone time). And now that I finally feel that he can handle my not being around for a whole day, I spend the day feeling like a selfish bitch.

I think that ultimately, I'm never going to give myself a break.


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Posted by Tere @ 9/03/2006   | | | links to this post

005/365 Joaquin

Landlord in the building we lived in when I was born. A widower, I think. I remember him as being kind and grandfatherly. My parents always speak well of him.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/03/2006   | | | links to this post

004/365 Ms. Pompa

Ms. P was my fourth-grade teacher. She was young, funny, down-to-earth - but all business when it came to schoolwork. Great sense of humor, too; she truly made learning fun.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/03/2006   | | | links to this post

Friday, September 01, 2006

Walking & Tantrums: The Photos

Revving up...

... and he's off!

Oh, the agony!

All because mama took the remote control away...


Posted by Tere @ 9/01/2006   | | | links to this post

003/365 Jackie

My very first friend; raised by the same nanny. Troubled teenager, found Jesus, married young, baby followed. Our falling out was silly and sad. She never responded to my emails.


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Posted by Tere @ 9/01/2006   | | | links to this post

So Fla Bloggers do a Cross Bloggination

Attention So Fla bloggers: we're doing a switcheroo! greenerMIAMI did a fine job of explaining it, so here it is, basically copied/pasted off the site:

On September 19, several Miami bloggers will do a bit of a switcharoo. Each blog will feature a post written by another blogger in the group. The post will be related to the blog on which it will be featured. It's basically going to be a fun, silly day in which we can use our blogs to create a bit of confusion, mischief, or maybe just great new content by a guest blogger!

Blogs on board so far:Critical Miami, greenerMIAMI, Miami Vegan, Stuck on the Palmetto, Sex and the Beach, A Mom, A Blog, and the Life in Between, Transit Miami, "Klotz" as in "Blood", Fanless, 26th Parallel, Urban Paradise, Hidden City.

So, if you're based in So Fla and want to participate, please go to greenerMIAMI and leave a comment or email Rebecca. Deadline to sign-up is Sunday, September 10, 2006.

Posted by Tere @ 9/01/2006   | | | links to this post