Saturday, November 28, 2009


On Friday, my friend lost her baby during childbirth. I was shocked to discover the news...utterly shocked.

Of all the women in the world, she was the most prepared soon-to-be-mommy I have ever known. She's like me, a planner. So, it was only natural for her to be prepared for everything. But no one was prepared for this.

The Lord had other plans.

In the last few months of her pregnancy, I felt a connection to her. Unlike our other friends, she had a difficult pregnancy, like myself. So, we were connected by the fact that we hated all the other women in the world who loved being pregnant. It annoyed us to our core to hear women say, "Oh, I just love being pregnant." For both of us, we lost control of our bodies during pregnancy. Our days were filled with nausea, vomiting, migraines, and insomnia. Again, I felt connected with her, because she understood how I felt being pregnant, and vice versa.

But nothing prepared me for Friday. Nothing.

I was in utter shock and disbelief when I heard the news. My heart ached when I read the eloquent e-mail she sent to us regarding the passing of her baby girl. Immediately, I wanted to fix things and make them right for her. She doesn't deserve this, I thought to myself. But, there was nothing I could do. Nothing.

As a mother, I can't imagine her pain. I can't imagine how she feels at this moment. The hardest part is not knowing what to do or what to say.

I'm a simple person. If there's a problem, you fix it. But this can't be fixed.

Today, the only thing that comforted me was running. I wanted to turn the pain I felt in my heart into a pain I can control and endure- a pain I'm used to. I know the pain of running 12 miles. I can deal with that pain. I can endure and handle that physical pain. I thought the physical pain of running would suppress the pain in my heart, but it didn't work. I thought if I could channel my heartache and sadness into my running, it would disappear. But I was wrong. Terribly wrong.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Only 2 more days to go until I can see these guys on screen. I can't wait!

Update on being a complete failure as a mother

Okay. On Friday Jude had another spelling test. I was waiting with anticipation as I watched Jude walk off the bus last Friday. It was like the kid was moving in slow motion, carrying a bomb in his backpack. The bomb was Friday's spelling test. To me, the spelling test would either be an affirmation that I am the worst mother on the planet that has completely failed her child at the ripe old age of 5, or that I am a good mother trying to do my best in this crazy land called parenthood.

When I finally got Jude's backpack in my hands, I ripped it open like it was a freaking Christmas present. I looked through all his worksheets until I found the test. It was like the angels in heaven were looking down upon me and had a spot light shining on me as I waited to see the results. As soon as I held the test in my hand, the words Very Good caught my eye like a naked man in a Playgirl Magazine. I looked over the test in awe. The kid spelled every word correctly! That's right, people! EVERY WORD WAS CORRECT! The angels in heaven began playing their harps at that very moment, and I heard their angelic voices sing, "Aw." The world was perfect again. Jude was a success in Preschool! (That's right, he's only in preschool. There's this silly rule that says you must be 5 years old by September 1st to start Kindergarten. Jude missed the cut off by one month and 21 days.)

Keep in mind, last week after I realized I was the worst mommy on the planet, I went on-line and printed out a shit load of worksheets with short vowels sounds. Each night we did 2 worksheets and then practiced writing 2 lowercase letters. We even practiced on the weekend! In addition to the word and letter writing, we no longer allow the TV on during the week. And we practice spelling words in the tub with foam letters. These simple changes and additions have made all the difference.

At first Jude was reluctant to do more homework, but we try to make it fun, and we rewarded him with a new Star Wars toy on Sunday. For him, the new toy made all his hard work worth it.

So, I'm no longer a complete failure as a mother. At least, right now I'm not.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't shake the baby

...but it's okay to hold the 5 year old upside down by his ankles!

The winners

*******Obscene language below. Read at your own risk!
Okay, the mother effing computer finally worked. Here are the "chosen ones."
******This was written before the pictures were downloaded to Blogger.

Okay. I picked out the 3 pictures I'll be using for our holiday card, but I keep getting this message from Blogger saying Internal Fucking Error every time I try to download the pictures. (I added the word Fucking, obviously! Because if it did say Fucking, at least I might giggle when the error message popped up every time I pressed the freaking Enter button.) So, I'm pissed because I can't show you the pictures.

Piece of shit computer and Internet! I hate all electronic devices. They were created to make our lives easier, but all they do is fuck up and piss me off!

It seems all week I've been having computer issues, and I'm getting really tired of it! I'm about to hurl this piece of shit out the freaking window. But, for fear I might kill someone, seeing as how we live on the 5th floor, I'm resisting the urge.

Damn computer! Damn Internet! Damn Blogger!

(Isn't it amazing how I can turn something like joyous Christmas photos taken by an awesome photographer into a bitching session?! Talent, that's what I got!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Strike a pose, again!

Here are more awesome pictures from our photo shoot.
Now, I just have to decided which pictures to use for our holiday card!

Strike a pose

Yesterday morning we took pictures for our annual holiday card. These are the results:
This is my favorite one, I think.
I think our photographer took great pictures. If you are live in Japan and need someone to take awesome pictures, you should give her a call! I've got her contact information if you're interested.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Big D!

I just wanted to take a second and wish Not-So-Big-D a Happy Birthday. So, Happy Birthday! I wish I could be there to celebrate with you! Miss you lots!


Monday, November 16, 2009

On being a complete failure as a mother

Okay. Last Friday I received an e-mail from Jude's pre-school teacher. It went something like this: Today we had a spelling test, and Jude did not do very well. Could you please work with him at home? We are working on words with short vowel sounds. Thanks, Jude's Teacher.

I was totally caught off-guard be the e-mail. First of all, I was totally unaware that Jude was having a spelling test. Second of all, my kid is in pre-school. How many words is he supposed to know how to spell? Finally, WHAT THE FREAK?! My kid just failed his first spelling test?!

I was completely dumbfounded, confused, upset, worried, and totally freaked out.

How could MY kid fail a spelling test?! I teach English for God's sake!

So, I e-mailed his teacher and told her I was unaware of the spelling test and asked for the list of spelling words, so we could practice at home. Her response went something like this: I don't have a list, and I won't give it to you because I don't want Jude to simply memorize the spelling. Please work with him at home. Thanks, Jude's Teacher.

Okay, doesn't learning how to spell require memorization??!! Last I checked it did. Since most of the words in the English language don't follow the phonics rules, don't we all just memorize their spelling? Since English is kind of a hodge-podge language filled with words like niche, and conscience, and croissant, and knight, and well, I could go on and on, but you get the point, right?! Don't we learn by memorization?! So, how can I practice with Jude at home if I don't know the words his teacher is going to test him on?

Okay, so after a series of e-mails between Jude's teacher and myself, I felt horrible. I mean H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E! I felt like a complete failure. Seriously! My kid didn't do well on his spelling test because I had not properly prepared him for such an event. As a mother, this was my lowest point ever! How could I have failed my son, already? At the young age of 5, no less. I mean, if he was 18 years old and in rehab, I think I could deal with that better, seeing as how he comes from a long line of great alcoholics.

But, instead, I felt guilty. So freaking guilty: guilty for spending too much time at work and not enough time working with Jude on his phonics, guilty for having a life and trying to train for a marathon, guilty for sleeping instead of making flashcards for every freaking word that exists in the English language, guilty for not giving Jude my absolute best. Doesn't he deserve that, I thought to myself?! Of course he does. And, if the best means making flashcards and labeling everything in our apartment, then so be it. I will give him my everything! My bestest best! (I know bestest is not a word. I'm trying to make a point, here.)

So, now the TV will not...shall not come on at all during the week. The computer will not be on when Jude is home. Instead, we will spend our time practicing and learning how to spell every damn word in the English language. And when we're done with English, we'll move on to Spanish and then Japanese. After that, we'll start on fucking Chinese!

So, I feel like such a schmuck for already ruining my kid's life, because, after all, failing your very first spelling test is a precursor to failing everything else in life, right? Well, at least he had 5 great years of perfection. And, in a way, I'm preparing him for failure. I guess 5 is a good age to start with that. When did your parents start?

(For those of you with more than one kid: If you fuck up your first kid, you've always got a spare. If you screw up Kid #1, you can kick him/her to the curb and put all your energy and resources into Kid #2. You always have hope for #2. But Jude is my only kid and will be my only one since PoPo de-nutted Husband with 2 red bricks about 5 years ago. S0, I can't screw this kid up. He's my only hope!)

((By the way, PoPo didn't actually de-nut Husband. That happened the day Husband married me!))

(((Okay, I'm just kidding here people! Husband has nuts; they just don't work properly anymore!)))

((((Okay, okay...they work, but let's just say the piping is broken...I'll just leave it at that!))))

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Hawaiian Lagoon

Posted by Picasa

I just downloaded Picasa from Google. I was playing with it and created this cool collage. I took these pictures during our Hawaiian vacation. They were taken at the Hilton Hawaiian Beach Resort lagoon. Enjoy!

The Japanese Roller Slide Revisited

We went to our favorite park about 2 weeks ago. It has a 500 meter roller slide that we love.

We've been here before. You can check it out here.

I love Japan!

2 years ago

We arrived in Japan exactly 2 years ago today. That's right. On November 10, 2007, our adventure began. Crazy, huh?! It's hard to believe we've been living in Japan for 2 years.

And what an adventure we've had!

I hope the next two years are as amazing as the past two!

So, Happy 2 Year Anniversary to us!

Monday, November 9, 2009

On being his mother

I'm no longer myself. I'm no longer known by my name. Instead, I've become Jude's mother. I no longer have my own identity. (When I go to the bus stop, all the kids yell, "Hi, Jude's mom!")

I knew this time in my life was coming, but I never expected it to be so soon. You see, when people start addressing you as some one's something, it's a little weird at first. You realize that you are no longer the person you were or tried to be. The force which exists has decided that you are no longer you. Instead, you are your son's mother and nothing else.

I'm totally okay with this, though. I just didn't expect it to happen this soon. I mean, I can recall when I was in high school, and my father was simply known as Weenie's dad. I was fine with that. But now the tables are turned. It's a little weird that I am only known as my son's mother.

But, of all the children in the world, I'm glad I belong to Jude!

The principal visit

About 2 months ago, my vice Principal came to my apartment for a Mexican Fiesta. I had to show her and her family how the beaners eat and drink. She was quite impressed, especially with the Margaritas.

I try to share my Tejano culture with anyone who's willing to sit down and chug Margaritas with me. So far, everyone I've invited over is good at chugging.

I'm SO going to jail

...and this is why!

Okay, okay, I know the kid is only like 17 years old, and it's totally wrong for me to be thinking dirty thoughts about a minor, but, OH MY, what a hottie he is! I know, I know, I'm horrible! Husband keeps trying to make me think about my favorite, other hottie Hugh Jackman. At least he's a man, Husband keeps reminding me. But somehow, my sick, demented mind keeps coming back to Jacob Black, I mean Taylor Lautner.

I keep reminding myself how wrong it is for me to be fantasizing over a 17 year old BOY, but I just can't help myself, especially when the Internet is full of half-naked pictures of this irresistible hottie!

Lord help me and all the other 30-something year old women who are lusting after this 17 year old boy! Lord help us all!

On being a slacker

Okay, I've got a ba-gillion pictures on my cameras from Jude's birthday party at home and at school, the in-law's visit, Halloween, and Jude's Halloween party at school. But I've been too lazy to purge them onto my computer. Actually, I've been cleaning up our place trying to downsize a bit as a result of all of Jude's new toys. The downsizing is going well, but damn, it's time consuming.

In addition to that, I've been running a lot, gearing up for Tokyo Marathon 2010. It seems this year that the running is sucking away all my energy, leaving me tired and worn out. I feel great an hour after the run. But three hours later, I'm beat. I have to take a nap or I'm in bed by 7:30 PM with Jude.

But, I think today will be the day. Today I will try to download the 1,100 pictures on my cameras. I'll try to get it done, but don't hold me to it!

Patience Grasshoppers!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I can do better than that, Dooce!

So, Heather B. Armstrong of, a wonderfully, witty, little piece of Internet heaven, posted a picture of her two dogs doing the nasty. You can find it here. But I can top that with this:

Donkey ding-dong! I wrote about this before. You can find it here.

and this:

The king of the jungle getting it on. You can read about it here.

There's nothing like a little animal porn to bright up your day! You can thank me later!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The sounds of my childhood

So, I'm not a real Mexican. I'm okay with that. Mexicans are people from Mexico, and I ain't that. I consider myself Hispanic, Latina, but most of all, Tejana (a Hispanic born Texan). I was born and raised in Texas and that's where my heart will always be.

I can recall all the times I attended my cousins' quinceaneras (15th birthdays), weddings, graduations, and Tejano Days at the Houston Rodeo where Tejano music blared. Polka music with accordions filled the air, along with the occasional mariachi band, with their lead, female vocalist belting out lovely, Latin lullabies with gusto. I can hear it in my head, echoing in the distance.

I can remember watching the mariachi bands, strumming away on their acoustic guitars, wearing Texas-sized sombreros, with trumpet players blasting away at the highest, high notes, with sweat running down their faces, with their mariachi costumes shining in the lights, glistening like a shiny, new Corvette. I can remember being in awe at the beautiful melodies and the power of the lead singer's voice as it echoed through the guitars. Microphones were never needed to hear their voices. Instead, their voices carried through the night, bellowing with emotion, filling the arena or hall. I marveled at their unbridled talent, most of which was God given. I was always transfixed on the lovely sounds the mariachi bands created. I'm still in awe.

However, now those sounds are only memories. They are only found in my head or on YouTube. Since I live in Japan, I'm missing out on all the quinceaneras, weddings, graduations, and Tejano Days at the Houston Rodeo. I can't turn on the radio and turn the dial to the local Tejano music radio station. Obviously, that doesn't exist here. Occasionally, I log onto Houston's Puro Tejano Station 102.9 FM to listen to the music I yearn to hear. It helps to satisfy my need, but it's not the same.

Since Husband and I didn't grow up the same way, he doesn't understand how or why hearing Tejano music makes me as happy as it does. Sometimes I desperately want him to twirl and whirl me around, with hips swaying to the polka beat or to the sultry sounds of a sad, mariachi song. But I know that will never happen. Husband doesn't know how to dance to Tejano music. Since Husband's mother is Filipino, he didn't attend the same quinceaneras or weddings I attended. To Husband, Tejano music has no significance.

But for me, I remember the decorated, smoke-filled halls where we celebrated birthdays, graduations, and weddings. I can remember my father, slightly intoxicated, holding my mother tight to his hips as they danced across the dance floor in unison with my aunts, uncles, and cousins swirling around them, happiness on their faces, happiness in the air. Maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the music. Whatever it was, it was happiness.

The music reminds me of all the happiness of my Tejano childhood.

I'm sad my son won't get to have the same Tejano childhood I enjoyed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

On having acne and gray hair

I've mentioned this before (you can read about it here), but this subject is worth revisiting.

Okay, my gray hair has taken over. It's like a wild fire spreading rapidly over my head, invading my brown locks, turning them white and wild. For some reason, the gray hair is totally unmanageable. I'm beginning to look like Don King and Albert Einstein combined!

In the beginning of the color change, I ignored it. But, it can no longer be ignored. Hence, the recent red dye job.

But to make matters worse, my skin is erupting like freaking Mt. Vesuvius. Soon I'll have a crater face like Edward James Olmos! Okay, okay, maybe it's not that bad, but it does seem to be getting worse. And, I just don't understand it! Why on earth would I be getting acne at the ripe old age of 30-ish? And to top it off, I've got freaking gray hair, too! This is so unfair! Next, I'm going to need freaking bifocals. Won't that just be lovely: a midget, Mexican, momma with gray hair and acne, wearing little, old, lady, bifocal, reading glasses. That's just what the world needs!

And, the stupid acne is totally ruining my chances of becoming AARP's Next...Top...Model or spokesperson. How can the members of AARP take me seriously or believe that I'm a senior when I've got effing Mt. Fuji on my cheek, ready to explode and squirt them in the eye with icky, white, puss?!

Getting old sucks!

Running on empty

Sometimes I'm a complete dumb ass. Sometimes I have a lapse in clarity and do things I shouldn't do. For example, Saturday I ran 8 hard miles, and then on Sunday I decided to run a 10K (6.2 mile) race. What the hell was I thinking?

When I woke up late on Sunday morning, and by late I mean 7:15 AM, I should have known I was too tired from Saturday's 8 mile run to even attempt a 10K race. But, I didn't listen to my inner voice that was screaming, "Don't run today, you moron, your legs are sore and tight, attempting another 6.2 miles at race pace is a stupid effing idea!" No! I didn't listen. Instead, I laced up my ASICS Gel Evolution running shoes and headed for the race.

Needless to say, I ran my worst 10K race ever. Whatever! At least I covered the distance, and I wasn't the last person to finish the race. Small victories do count, ya know!

Note to self: Don't bite off more than you can chew!