December 17, 2010

Causal Fridays

This post is called a Day in the Life.  I got this idea from another blogger and thought it would be nice if I can speak about my day in images.  You should try it, it's fun. 

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  I have fruit cravings now that I'm pregnant.  I stuff myself with mangoes, pineapple when I can find it, and plenty of apples.  I usually have two during the day.
I don't leave my house without a little dab of foundation and primer.  I love Laura Mercier products.  They are gentle and cruelty-free and they do wonders without adding lines and toxic chemicals to your skin.

 Of course, I ride the metro everyday, so this is part of my everyday life.

I love sleeping in.  Now that I'm pregnant, I feel more tired than usual and I usually stay in bed longer in the morning.

Cooking is part of my life.  I cook almost every weekday for my husband and I.  And this is my most prized possession.  A copper skillet.  

With the frigid temperatures we have been experiencing in this early Winter. I don't leave the house without my legwarmer.

And a scarf to keep me warm. 

I read a little bit everyday.  If I don't, I feel handicapped and restless. I always carry my current selection with me.  Books are priceless to me. 

I carry my daughter everyday.  She is my other priceless possession.   

A small shot of espresso keeps me jolted and focused.  Plus I love the taste.

I get my decor fix by visiting ApartmentTherapy and other websites.

Nesting is also part of my daily life.  I have tons of ideas and a tight budget to create the perfect nursery/bedroom for us.

My favorite TV show of all time:  Law and Order: SVU.  It's only on three days a week, so I never miss it.

This clean and lemony scent from Versace feels my days with freshness.

December 16, 2010

My first poem

 This time of year reminds me of the future memories I will share with my soon to be daughter. I can't wait to read it to her.  

The Holidays

You have been bitten by the holiday bug
If you suddenly feel the Christmas rush
You can run and hide from the cheerful hum
But you cannot ignore the holiday buzz

‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa la la la la, la la la la…

For some unpredictable reason
Christmas starts early this season
Black Friday¹ has become
A nation-wide symbolic spur
We can’t believe our eyes
When we see the sales arrive

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose…

In a time when consumer choices
Trigger global warming causes
The best way to feel redeemed
Is to recycle your Christmas tree²

Joy to the world, the Lord has come
let Earth receive her King…

At Christmas time,
Christians and non-Christians alike
Make the holiday festivities
The center of their lives
After all, unto us a child is born
So is the need of improving our souls
Something we all constantly seek
Regardless of our religious beliefs

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose…

Bountiful feasts abound everywhere
Around fireplaces, children will play
While others instinctively will discern
That kindness and grace will not wane
When the spirit of the season fades

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
dressed in holiday style…
Soon it will be Christmas day

Wherever we find ourselves
Excitement is everywhere
Winter wardrobes are on display
As scarves and mittens warm up our days
In city centers, windows are dressed
Holiday lights beaming away
While holiday music fills the air
In dreams, children gaze at the Polar Express
And parents hide their holiday stress

Frosty the snowman
was a jolly, happy soul

The holiday spirit is a funny one
Debts are forgiven and people have pride
On the things they offer in a generous fashion
For free smiles are a contagious reaction

In the meadow we can build a snowman
then pretend that he is Parson Brown

The holiday spirit is put to the test
When family members celebrate
One of the things they truly enjoy
Seeing their children play with new toys
But old Charlie Brown was wise,
Christmas has been compromised
By commerce, greed and bottom lines

Good king Wenceslas looked up
on the feast of Stephen...

Wouldn’t it be nice if for once?
Instead of maxing up our cards
We do something small and nice
And give to charity with open hearts
The generosity of giving souls
Fulfills our dreams and hopes

Silent night, holy night
all is calm, all is bright….

Sad as it is, it’s worth mentioning
An ugly side of holiday bliss
Our furry friends³ may stray away
Others will be left in the rain
Nights could turn into despair
If we fail them in good care

¹In the US at least, frenzy consumers fill the stores to slaughterhouse capacity the day after Thanksgiving.
²Not only are we putting our lights earlier this year, a weak economy means Christmas tree sales could spark as more people stay home for the holidays.
³Millions of pets end up in the streets during the holiday season, victims of abuse and neglect.


December 13, 2010

It's a Girl

We now know the sex of the baby. It was no surprise.  During the fetal echo, the technician asked us if we wanted to know, and we said, of course.  “I don’t see any boy parts here.”  And just like that, she was announced.  She’s also a feisty one.  Kept dancing the whole way through the echo.  I guess she takes from me.

Of course, anyone tells you whatever you have, boy or girl, or in between, it doesn’t matter.  You’re blessed with child. Well, it’s a half truth.  I always pictured a girl.  A character strong, little Mafalda to continue on the footsteps of her family’s lionesses. Let her character shine through, her taste for adventure stay strong, her convictions sail steady and her compassion go undimmed.

Girls are always close to you in heart and soul.  They grow up, marry and have children, but they always come back, in some shape or form.  They weep and laugh and hold your hand.  They rest their heads on your lap and keep their children close to you so that you may always know that, yes, they are still yours.  

Needless to say this post is dedicated to my mom.  The flame of all flames.  

December 7, 2010

A Rush of Blood to the Heart

Today's appointment is for a fetal echocardiogram.  I'll tell you how we got here.  Some years ago, back in 2007 I went in for a flu checkup and they found a heart murmur, which resulted in ASD diagnosis.  I was lucky.  My "hole" was medium size, and a device called Amplatzer plugged it requiring nothing more than two days in the hospital and surgery done by high frequency (and carcinogenic radiation) X-rays and catheterization.

Naturally my ObGyn urged me to seek a cardiologist in the District and tied my ability to deliver vaginally to a pending cardiology examination. I laughed and skeptically took a plane to Miami to see my doctor and get an Echo.  At the time I was only 3 months pregnant and as I suspected everything looked perfect. My hole had completely sealed and I was as normal as the next person. Of course,  I've known this since my last checkup two years ago.  When I saw my ObGyn again she gave me the green light for a vaginal delivery and that's when I saw fumes coming out of my temples.  

Now that everything is back to 'normal', and it always was, she wants me to get a fetal Echo because heart defects are sometimes genetic, according to her. Mind the 'sometimes' here. Tests, tests, and more tests.  My husband calls it "CTA" or Covering Their Asses, but I feel it's more than that.  Normal is boring to them.  A normal risk-free pregnancy in this case is dull, not challenging and therefore substantially less exciting.  We all look for excitement and challenge in our careers.  But doctors take the lead.  It's the natural high of their professional life.  But these doctors are tampering with statistics.  To them many things are contentious.  When I had my ASD closure almost 4 years ago, I understood this underlying prevalence in medical diagnoses today:  find something, anything and treat it.  Do I think this fetal Echo is medically necessary?  Not really.  Is it life saving?  It remains unclear.  

Did you know that heart murmurs are fairly common in newborns and that many babies are born with a hole that closes on its own?  Mine didn't, obviously, but what is the need to see if this baby has one right this minute? I tell you , I think it's a case of doctors displaying their batches, like boys scouts proudly display theirs.

December 2, 2010

Eating, Miami-style

When I see the red roof tiles, the empty sidewalks, the heat-distorted streets, the tired palms, the Spanish signs, the numerous dollar stores, the chain restaurants, the fake boobs, the magic lights, the image of Desi Arnaz coming home flickers in my mind, “Lucy, I’m home.”  Yes I’m home. 

 Only a few weeks from touching home. The place I thought was never that.  That grew me up and made me the person I’m today.  She’s sometimes called Little Cuba, the Other L.A., the Magic City, the Gateway to Latin American and lately, Floreclosure Capital of the US.  I have now spent more than half my life in Miami, and I’m ready to return.  This time with child.  Aloha to the symphony of tastes that abounds.  After two long months of morning sickness, the tastebuds are firing up:  the Argetinean empanadas, the Cuban tostadas with cortadito, the South Beach sushi and the sancocho.  Too bad I won’t be able to savor essentials like mojito, cerveza and margarita.  The usual suspects this year:  Copas y Tapas, Sushi Samba, Che Tanos, Casa Juancho, El Farolito, Sergio’s Don Pan, and La Estancia.  And a few more for the first time:  Benny’s Seafood, Tap Tap and Chef Adrianne’s.  This baby is in for the feast of a Holiday Lifetime. Cheers to that!

December 1, 2010

Fun Wall Decals

One of my favorite shops online, Etsy, carries a line of wall decals for nursery, children and other family rooms in your home.  Some are made of vinyl and others are stencils that could be used over and over again.  They are easy to apply, according to instructions.  I love them because it's an inexpensive, temporary way to dress any room, and I'm planning on using them for our new nursery/bedroom.