April 10, 2008

I'm a real boy!

I'm sure many mothers have this issue; not accepting the fact that your baby is now a toddler. Alex will always be my baby boy and I literally was avoiding the issue of him becoming a real toddler. I was avoiding it so badly that his hair was so long. Everyone was telling me, "Cut his hair! It's really long! He can hardly see because the hair is covering his eyes!" Nah, it's fine!
One morning as he was eating his pancakes with maple syrup, I finally noticed that his hair was indeed too long. How did I open my eyes to the truth? He ran his maple fulled hands through his hair and it was sticking up in many places. Time to get a hair cut.
Jason and I took him to a cute little place in San Dimas where they specialize in kids hair cuts. Inside the place it is filled with many toys. Then they have cute little barber seats with cute little minature aprons that they tie around their cute little necks. I knew that Alex needed a real boys hair cut so I basically said, cut it off and make him look even more precious.

Poof, my little baby is now a real boy. :(

September 11, 2007

One morning, six years ago

I'm a loyal listener of KROQ's Kevin and Bean morning show and I awoke with Ralph Garmond's confused yet anxious voice on the radio. Something about a plane hitting a building in New York City. I rubbed my eyes and raised the volume on the radio. Then he said, "I can't believe it! Another plane has just hit the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center. I don't know what is going on and I can't explain it, but apparently another plane has hit the 2nd tower of the World Trade Center." I immediately turned on my TV and there it was; an image I'll never forget. Both twin towers were engulfed in flames. I couldn't understand what was going on until Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America said, "I believe we are under attack."

I never thought I would hear the U.S. is under attack. We're the freaking United States of America! We are too big and too strong to be under attack. And yet, there it was, the evidence was plastered all over our TV sets. I couldn't peel my eyes off the TV. It was time for me to get ready for work and yet I couldn't move. As I started to get ready for work, I heard screams and yells from the TV. I ran to see what happend and the first tower went down. Soon after that the second tower fell to the ground. Immediately I felt great sadness, a sadness I still feel today.

It makes me so mad when I see blog posts, signs, and/or articles that suggest that our President is responsible for 9/11. I can't believe that some people actually have the idea that our President woke up on day and said, I think the world trade center should go down and kill thousands of people. Thousands of people!

My family, Jason and I went to New York City in November of 2004, 4 years after 9/11. We all had mixed emotions about visiting Ground Zero. And I couldn't quite understand why they called it "Ground Zero" until I saw it for myself. Here's the thing; New York City is a very busy city. Cars are buzzing by, people are running, walking or strolling through the streets. An ambulance goes by, cars honk their horns. The city is loud. What's so erie about Ground Zero is that when you approach it, it's very silent. You feel an incredible sadness and emptiness. At that time, the buildings around it were blown out, some had windows, some did not. There's a big square in the middle, about 10-15 ft deep. That's where the towers once stood, where so many lives were lost.

I couldn't help it but cry. Cry for the workers that lost their lives, for the rescuers that couldn't escape, for mothers that lost their sons or daughters and for those women who were left behind pregnant, alone to raise their child.

So today, in memorance of 9/11, I pray that God gives the families that lost loved ones comfort throughout the years because even though it's been 6 years, it's still fresh in my mind and in my heart. It's true, I'll never forget.

May 29, 2007

You're not the boss of me!

As you may all know, I love my job. I finally found a place where I'm comfortable with the work and the people and the fact that we are helping people who are in need. However, just recently my direct boss is a new person. She lives in Atlanta and she's got a super thick accent. She seems nice and I guess I like her, I'm just hoping she's just a nice and fair as my other boss was.

Weeks go by and she finally showed her true colors. First off, she's the type that will cut you off regardless if you are asking a question or answering hers. Secondly she's very aggressive. I get super turned off by people who are too aggressive. Life's too short to be fighting because they are say the sky is pink when it's really blue. And thirdly, she'll fight you to the bone on issues where she thinks she's right when in reality she's totally wrong.

A problem arose to where it seemed I wasn't giving the account team the information that they needed. The real problem was I was waiting on more information from this account person so I couldn't move forward with the request. I'm in a conference call meeting and after the call was finished I stepped out of the meeting room and someone is running down the hall yelling, "Dude, you are getting paged like crazy. You need to call the receptionist now." What the heck is going on? I jet down to my cube when my Production Assistant tells me that my boss has been paging me numerous times and she needs me to call her immediately. Great, just what I want to do, call my boss and have her run me over so fast I don't even feel the pain.

I dial her number and she answers on the first ring. She tells me she has to conference in Babra, my old boss. So she conferences her in and she starts asking me, "Why haven't you sent this out for pricing and why would you have a meeting with out the creative team because you are not supposed to have a creative meeting without the team there and why didn't you tell anyone that you were taking longer than expected? Raquel, this doesn't look good and the President knows you are not performing your duties". Whatever happened to, let's hear your side of the story? I start to answer her questions and she continually keeps cutting me off. And because she's cutting me off she saying something that is not true so I try to correct her and my justifications of why I did what I did and again she cuts me off. And it's not that she starts to talk over me she cuts me off by saying, "No no no no" in a very demaning tone. I literally had to raise my voice so she could stop talking over me so she could FINALLY hear my side. After all the yelling, she finally calmed down and realized what I had done was right.

After losing 50 lbs of sweat, I'm left in my cube shaking, nervous, upset, angry and frustrated. Then I thought, who the hell is she to be talking to me like that?!?!?!? My own mother doesn't speak to me like that and neither does my husband. So why is it ok for her to speak to me in that manner and tone? Just because she's my boss she has every right to do this? She doesn't own me and she's not my mother! As my thoughts keep progressing, I'm getting more and more angry. And finally I thought, just because the company pays my bills does that give them the right to treat me like a 5 year old?
As the days pass, the more and more I'm starting to get peeved by my boss. She's so rude, so arrogant, so blunt, why does she continue to do this? Then one day, we had a conference call and she was making some points that were not right for the team. And it seemed like she wasn't understanding the full circle so I put my two cents in and boy I wish I hadn't. About 15 minutes after the conference call she calls me and says, "When you're in a meeting with your boss you are not to disagree with me at all. You must be supportive at all times even if you feel the issue is wrong. Then after the meeting you can call me and we can discuss it amongst ourselves." This blew my top but I understood where she was coming from. However, here's my argument: If you are going to have a "brainstorming" meeting, tell me that I'm not open to brainstorm with the team and then if I see any issues, I'll bring it up to her attention. But since it was a brainstorming meeting and she didn't tell me her expectations I thought it was an open discussion with everyone. So of course I tried to tell her this and again that annoying "No no no no" cutoff line came up again.

I give up, I'm just going to let her run the show and I'll sit back and take it. I guess I have to right? What are my rights at this company? Because you know what will happen; if I complain about her to HR, later on, I'll be fired. I've seen it happen and it's not pretty. So here's my other question, what gives the right to someone to treat you like crap but you cannot point it out or defend yourself? Corporate America SUCKS!

I'm not alone. There must be a reason why mean bosses are mean. You're not born with this mean attitude. Something triggered this behavior. I just wonder if I'll ever know what caused her to be so mean.

April 09, 2007

Stupid DNA trait

I cannot wait for this stupid cold season to be gone for awhile. Jason comes home from working at Citrus with a stuffy nose and a headache. Great, Alex is going to get sick and then I will get sick. Yup Alex gets sick but this time he has a horrible cough. I take him to the Doctor's and he checks his ears out and says they are clean and there's no infection. So I ask what should I give him for his cough and he says Pedicare. Two weeks go by and he still has the horrible cough except this time there's a bit of a wheezing sound. I suspect the worse and I schedule an appointment to get it checked out. I know what the doctor is going to tell me so I'm expecting to hear, he has Asthma.
Doctor Shah walks in, listens to his chest and asks, "Does someone smoke around him?" I answer no, no one does. Then he asks, "Does someone has Asthma?" My heart sinks. I raise my guilty hand and he says, "I don't think he has Asthma, it's brochititis but I'm going to call it Asthmatic Bronchititis". I feel like a ton of bricks hit me at once the word "GUILTY" is stamped right across my forehead. I'm a horrible mother, I gave him Asthma. My stupid ugly DNA gave my son Asthma. Why didn't he get my flat butt? I think he would have an easier time dealing with a flat butt rather than Asthma. Jason tries to console me as much as he can but I still feel so bad. Stupid DNA.

You know what you are? You're a slacker!

I work in advertising so life here is fast. You have to be on your toes, your mind ready with fresh new ideas for those creatives and you gotta know your stuff. Everyone here asks my expertise, can we do this fabulous idea and still afford it? I work in print so the creatives look to me and pray that I make their vision a reality. There are 3 others in my department; Babra my boss, Kent and Sydney (Sydney is male but swings to the left). The boys and I are all Production Managers. I work on 2 accounts and special projects, Kent works on 2 accounts and Sydney works on 1 account. It's Monday morning and Babra calls a team meeting with only Sydney and I. Kent of course is running late this morning so why even have him part of this meeting. Meeting starts off with Babra saying that Kent cannot handle the workload he currently has so she has to shift some accounts around. In the end, Kent ends up with the easiest account that requires hardly any brain power. I end up with the 3 hardest accounts and Sydney ends up with 2 medium hard accounts. A week goes by and Babra calls another team meeting. Kent doesn't have to participate. She announces that she will be going on vacation for 2 weeks and needs us to fill in and help as much as we can. No problem!
First Monday of Babra's vacation both Kent and Sydney are late. It's 8:30am and they are still not in. 9am rolls around and Kent strides in and soon after Sydney rolls in. Here's the thing, Sydney and I are good friends. We go to lunch almost everyday and we get along pretty well. He doesn't bother to even call or send a message that he's running late. For some odd reason I have a feeling he's going to slack due to the fact that Babra is out and I'm his friend and he knows I'll cover for him. Wednesday comes, Kent comes in late and Sydney calls and says he's having "car trouble", right. Rolls in at 10 am, takes an hour lunch and leaves at 4pm. Not cool.
Friday comes, Kent comes in at 9am, Sydney calls and says he cannot believe he overslept and will be in as soon as possible. Sydney comes in at 10:45am, takes an hour and a half lunch and leaves at 4PM. Meanwhile, I'm doing my work, covering for Sydney because he's running late and covering for Babra. I lose it.
I'm driving home after a hell of a week and I'm pissed at the fact that these two clowns do not have the decency to pull their own weight. I decide that I have to say something to Sydney and basically call him out that he took advantage of our friendship and he thinks I won't say anything to Babra about his slackiness.
The crap hits the fan, we both yell at each other, he says that he's already put in his time at this place, which I forgot to mention. He's a temp and he's only been there for about 6 months so this whole thing of him already paid his dues is bull. I get so pissed off on him that I hang up on him. Now what I do I do? Should I tell Babra that this slacker has pissed me off and he slacked for the 2 weeks she was gone? Yes says half of my brain and the other half says no, not your problem. But it is my problem. I had to cover on his work because he slacked.
Monday rolls around and I request a meeting with Babra. My mother taught me to play it safe at work by just presenting the facts. Do not say anything that is your point of view or your feelings when it comes to issues with people, just present the facts. So I presented the facts, Babra thinks "slacker" and that Friday becomes Sydney's last day. Kent ends up quitting a month later and as we stand today, it's just me and Babra. I'm slammed with work, which gives you the answer of why I haven't written in my blog for ages, but I'd rather be slammed with work than to deal with slackers. I hate slackers.

January 02, 2007

Oh by the way......

It's the most wonderful time of the year.....da da di da da di da..... Ah the wonderful voice of Andy Williams echoes through the great crowd at Montclair Plaza. It's the day before Christmas Eve and all the little Montclairies are running around purchasing their last minute gifts. I took my family on a last minute gift shopping and to finally get Alex to take his picture with Santa. We weave through the crowds looking for Santa's Toy Village and we finally see the little land and notice the line isn't so long. So we quickly walk to the end of the line only to find out that it ends there but starts way back there. Bummer. Oh well, it's Alex's first Christmas and we must have his picture taken with Santa.

Four hours later, not really more like 1 1/2 later, we gaze upon our little 5X7 glory when Jason pipes in and says, "I think we should buy something really nice for my friend Kristy since she spent a good $50 on us for Christmas". I automatically think, lotions from Victoria's Secret. What girl doesn't like to lather up on the flowery mystical scent of Victoria's Secret and secretly pretend she looks like Giselle Bundchen. So off we trek to the great big elevator so we could get to the 2nd floor, which by the way, the great big elevator is in the center court of the mall and Victoria's Secret is on the east end corner of the mall. That's stupid in my book.

We finally arrive to sweet smelling store and it's a zoo in there. Women are digging their hands through the 50% off panty bins and there were bras thrown everywhere on the ground. It was war and I had to fight through to pick up the scents I needed to get and make sure I made it out alive. However, I had a special mission. In June, I received a 3 bottle gift set from my Aunt. I loved the 3 bottle gift set but I didn't enjoy the scent. I simply wanted to exchange the 3 bottles for a new scent, the Pear Glace, my favorite scent. I approached a sales assistant and gave her the scenerio. She says, "I'm sorry, you can't exchange it cause we don't make it anymore." I was puzzled because right behind her was the scent I had and wanted to exchange. So I ask, "What do you mean by that?" She says, "We don't make it anymore so you can't exchange it." I pointed to the wall behind her and calmly ask her what is she talking about if the scent is right there. She explained that they do make the scent but they don't make the set anymore. That's stupid if you ask me that I cannot exchange the same bottles for a different scent regardless if it's a set or individually purchased.

After fighting with the retarded sales assistant for 10 minutes, she's not really retarded but in my mind she is, she finally directs me to her manager. She looks at the box and says, "We can go ahead and exchange it but I'll have to credit you $14 for it so you can't get a full exchange since we don't make the set anymore." There's that stupid line again. By this time, I was so tired of hearing that line, we don't make this set anymore. What's more irritating is what makes it a set is the plastic mold that holds the bottles and the dumb stripped box. What I should have done is chucked that stupid box and brought the bottles to the stupid store, sorry, I'm annoyed. The scents and the bottle shape and size is the same as what they had there. I gave in since I wanted to get the heck out of there and away from the scary women who are now fighting each other over the one 34B Body by Victoria bra. I pick up a bottle set for Kristy, one for my Aunt Lucy and one for myself, I had to reward myself after losing my mind over the stupid bottle set.
I pay for the bottles and I weave myself out of the we don't make that set anymore store. I see my adoring husband and cute baby standing outside of the store when Jason asks what I got for Kristy. I show him the bottles of Romantic Wish and then he says, "I think she's allergic to flowery scents." I stare at him and envision myself pushing the stroller aside and throwing myself off the 2nd floor and landing right in the middle of the crowd and the Verizon kiosk. Instead I say nothing, grab the stroller and simply walk away.

December 29, 2006

Need a shot of Botox please

Alex is the best thing that has happend to me but yet it's very bitter sweet. I love my son and I would do anything for him, just ask Jason how the mother hawk comes out of me. However, I miss my ALONE time. Ah yes, my ALONE time, a time where I could do anything I wanted. Christmas Eve was a breakdown day for me. It was 6AM and I dragged my tired body out of my warm, fluffy, sweet bed to get Alex out of the crib to start the day. The day before I had flown in from Houston, Texas, yes siree bob, I was in Houston. I went there for business, flew out Wednesday night, flew in Thursday night. Hi Houston, bye Houston, literally. Worked on Friday, fought horrible traffic for almost 2 hours only to play with Alex for a few minutes, feed him, change him, play with him, bathe him, change him, make the bottle, feed him and put him to sleep. Then about 3AM, Alex wakes up and there I go again in his room trying to put him back to sleep.

So there I am Christmas Eve with all the glorious gifts piled up all around me waiting to be wrapped up in cute little fat Santas or a cute reindeer holding a sign that says "NOEL" when I sit down and cry. Jason comes over and asks what's wrong, "It's Christmas, you shouldn't be crying." he pipes in. Oh yeah? I think, let me count the ways of why I'm crying.

My eyebrows look like two caterpillers have crawled up and made it their home. My hair is long and annoying and Alex finds it funny to pull the hair to hear Momma say, ouch! My toenails are horrid! They are so naked and ugly, I haven't had a pedicure in months. My cuticles on my nails are dead that they actually look like man hands.

I miss getting my purse and saying, I'm going to go get a pedicure/maincure at 10am, get a haircut at 12pm and finish it off by getting an eyebrow wax at 2pm. See you at 3PM. Sadly those days are gone. While I'm crying my eyes out complaining about my 3 feet long eyebrow hair, Jason says, "You can go get all of that done. You should just do it." I look at him with my tearful eyes and say, "When? You always work on the weekends. I never have the time to go and take care of myself."

I think this is completely unfair. Why is it that mother's lose their independence once they have a child? The father still has his. The father can say, "Hey honey, I'm going to Home Depot to look for that thinga majig that will stop the leaks" and will be gone for 4 hours. The father can sleep in bed longer since he doesn't feel that it's his obligation to wake up first before the mother to put the baby back to sleep at 3AM. And why do I have to remember to pack the food, the spoon, pack the formula cup with 3 scoops to make 6 oz of milk, the bibs, the burping pads, change of clothes; one for just in case it's hot, one for just in case it's cold, diapers, making sure the wipies container is filled up, etc, etc, etc. WHY, WHY, WHY? Why me?

Another reason why I had my meltdown on Christmas Eve is because I have to remind Jason to do what he needs to do. Exhibit A, going to the Montclair Mall to have Alex take his picture with Santa. Jason knows that the mall is in Montclair which is east of us. However, I have to tell Jason, make a right on Garey and a left on Arrow Hwy. So he makes the right on Garey and almost misses Arrow Hwy. Jason, hello Arrow Hwy, make a left! He sits there and says, oh yeah I forgot. What? Forget? How could you forget where we were going in a matter of seconds? I don't get it. Exhibit B, Jason gets a cold. I remind him that the baby has had 2 colds already, the last one being the worse he's had and he ended up on antibiotics. Jason, remember to take Zicam so you can get over the cold faster. He chimes in, "I hate taking that stuff, it tastes nasty, no I won't take it, I won't, I won't, I won't". He all of a sudden becomes 5 years old and there I am running after him saying, "Come on sweety, take your medicine!!!". Drink plenty of water to flush it out of your system. Jason it's time to take Zicam again, did you drink water? No wonder I don't have time for myself anymore, I have 2 children.

Don't get me wrong, Jason is a great help with Alex. He sometimes lets me sleep in on a weekend, he does help feed Alex and change his diapers. But most of the responsibility lies on me and I think it should be 50/50. I work just as many hours as Jason does, I help bring in the income, yet I'm the one responsible for cleaning the bathrooms, moping the hardwood and tile floors, washing the clothes, dusting the furniture, making the beds, etc. If I don't do it, it won't get done. It's like Jason has blinders and doesn't see that the bathroom has a beard plant growing in a corner from all of his shavings. Here's another example, Jason was coming to Glendale ,where I work, to have lunch with me and he was bringing Alex with him. I had to type a task in my outlook tasks section to remind me to call Jason to remind him to pack the bottles, Applesauce for lunchtime and a spoon. When I call him with his tasks, Jason says, "Alex is still in his PJ's". Oh my gosh, he was planning on bringing Alex in his PJ's?!?!?!?

I feel like I've aged 10 years in these past 10 months. I'm tired, I'm always tired and it upsets me that I don't have the energy to watch "The Devil Wears Prada" on a Friday night. My stomach turns in knots when people ask me, when are you going to have another one? Will I have some energy reserved somewhere inside of me to have another one? Of course I want another baby but when will it be a good time to have it? When Alex is 2? No, that's too soon. No wonder we age so much more faster than when we are supposed to. No wonder there's Botox, eye cream, face lifts, reverse aging process in face creams and eye lifts. We need to be fixed so we look 31 and not 65.

August 25, 2006

New door

Last day of work, May 26th. First day of doing nothing, absolutely nothing, May 28th. It's memorial day weekend and I woke up with an annoying earache. Why is my ear plugged up and why can't I hear? Stick finger in ear, shake it around a bit, did it clear? Nope still plugged. Maybe once I take a shower it will unplug. Ug, this huge tummy is still with me. When will this kid come out? Oh no, it has to come out. How will it come out? I know, sounds crazy, like I don't know how a baby comes out, but seriously, how will it come out? I started thinking, my mom obviously did it three times, although the last one doesn't really count because she had a C Section due to my baby sister being breeched. Then I thought of my mom's 6 sisters, they all have kids and all of them were delivered naturally. So it's possible. I'll just have to push him out, that's all. Then I felt anxiety; my whole life will never be the same. Will I be able to watch TV while I have the baby? Can I still watch Sex and the City reruns or watch new episodes of Lost? Probably not since I'll have to feed the baby, rock the baby to sleep, try to figure out what's wrong with baby and why it keeps crying. My entire time will be dedicated to taking care of the baby. I can't deal with this, I need my TV. TV is what keeps me moving, keeps me alive. Then I thought, well since I can't watch TV what will keep me entertained? I guess I can talk to the baby or talk to my husband but I know that will get boring eventually. I have to watch TV. Every morning I wake up with Channel 4 news and then I watch 15 minutes of Good Morning America to get the latest headlines throughout the world. I have a weekly schedule of TV watching.
Monday nights: Wife Swap, Supernanny
Tuesday nights: American Idol
Wednesday nights: Lost and American Idol results show
Thursday nights: Alias and Dancing with the Stars
Friday nights: America's Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars results show
Saturday nights: Nothing but I do watch DVD rentals
Sunday nights: Desperate Housewives.

See, the schedule is full so I can't possibly take care of the baby while watching my TV shows. Am I really ready to take care of a baby? I was 12 when my baby sister Erika was born. She was my guinea pig; I learned how to feed a baby, how to change a diaper, how to make a baby laugh, how to change clothes because they had spit up on their onsies. I learned everything from her but she wasn't mine, she wasn't my baby. Now I'll be responsible for a tiny human being and I'm not too sure I can do it. What if I break him from holding him too tight? What if he poops so much I can't clean him properly? What if I can't breastfeed him because I don't produce enough milk? I can't deal with this. Suddenly anxiety breaks me down and I'm having a meltdown. I need help, I can't deal with this, I must runaway, run far far away and no one will have to tell me to take care of the baby. Wait, I can do this. I've been wanting this baby so badly, I have to face it. My life will be different and yes perhaps I can't watch Lost and find out what "the others" are all about but I have a saving grace; I have TIVO!