Category Archives: Randomness

The inevitable 2014 goal post

nye1314

Happy new Year! Feliz año nuevo! (Don’t forget the tilde on the n!)

NYE 2013 was just as low-key as NYE 2012. Sean and I joined up with siblings, cousins and some friends for dinner and games at Adrian and Alexis’ new-ish apartment. Xavi crashed way before midnight.

For 2014, I want to do more:

Running. I miss it. I have a jogging stroller and mainly open weekend mornings so I should be able to get out there. It should also help me lose a little bit of weight without being restrictive about my diet — which I’ll have to do eventually if I want to get back to pre-pregnancy weight.

Reading. Inspired by Punk Rock Mom, I’m taking up an A-Z challenge to read at least one book by an author from every letter of the alphabet.

Writing. Let’s see if I can knock out two blog posts a week about more than just baby/new mom life. I know that’s not interesting to some people. And I do have thoughts about culture, politics, education, etc.

Lucky Thirteen

Prince Charming

It’s been a good year. Well, better than good. I’m loathe to exaggerate, but I’d say the year I became a mother has been the best. It’s the year love, family, blessings, husband, partner, work and being grateful took on more complete meanings. It’s the year I met Xavier.

I took your glasses

I look forward to more tender and silly Sean and Xavi moments.

Selfie at daddy's work

And selfies. Always selfies.

Happy new year!

The Baby’s First Noel

Santa's littlest helper

When I was a kid my parents always went all out for Christmas. As a result, I have dozens of memories of large family gatherings, visits from Santa, oohing at the nativity scene and Santa’s village my parents painted and set up (and tried not to break), singing Las Posadas and eating more tamales than one can count.

As an adult I became pretty lazy about the holidays. Some of it had to do with associating the days on/after Christmas with the passing of my grandparents. And some was just being burnt out from finals and a busy fall quarter.

Someone got a new hat.

Now that I have my own little family, I realize I need to step up my game. I want Xavi to look forward to singing carols in English and Spanish while Grandpa Charlie strums the guitar.

How do I get on the good list?

I want him to be excited when Santa Claus shows up to the Christmas Eve party.

Lights!

I want to see his eyes light up with awe and elaborate light displays and rush to play with the new toys Sean and I picked out.

First Christmas

I can’t wait for those moments, but for now Christmas is just awesome even if he almost sleeps through Santa’s visit.

Our family

Merry Christmas from our family!

Thirty-three

My birthday was pretty awesome.

bday33a

Xavier was the first person to wake me up and wish me a happy birthday at 1 am. He gave me cuddles after his midnight snack. He did it again a few hours later, but didn’t sing “Las Mañanitas.” He left that up to Lori.

Pancakes at S&W

Sean and I went out for a first breakfast of pancakes at S & W Country Diner. Even at 8 am, the place was already busy. Xavi slept through the noise.

bday33b

We relaxed at home for a little while before getting ready for a reunion lunch with college friends/former roommates. I met these women 15 years ago as freshmen and quickly became friends.

bday33c

There have been many long MEChA meetings, late nights staying up writing papers, parties, happy hours, weddings, a few babies, and sadly some tears.

bday33d

They treated me to lunch for my birthday and oohed over Xavi. I know babies are an attention getter, but didn’t expect so much attention from strangers.

Chilaquiles & black beans

I had my favorite Mexican/savory breakfast dish for lunch, chilaquiles.

I bumped in to my friend Diana and met her boyfriend as they were finishing up brunch at Homegirl Café. It was quite a nice surprise since she was only in LA for the long weekend.

I got birthday greetings from many friends and family members.

bday33e

And then I relaxed at home with my favorite guys and tried to stay cool.

bday33f

On lockdown

Years ago I signed up to get Google news alerts for any mention of my hometown. Most of the time the “news” is about sports or an announcement from a community center. Actual “real news” is rare, but when it happens it immediately makes me reach out to my family.

Yesterday “real news” popped up in my inbox.

Overheard statement leads to lockdown, search at Los Altos High School in Hacienda Heights

HACIENDA HEIGHTS – School police and sheriff’s deputies found nothing suspicious as they searched Los Altos High School Wednesday after a student reported overhearing other students possibly talking about a gun in a campus bathroom.

The incident began about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday at the school…

“A student who was in one of the restrooms overheard two other students that were in one of the bathroom stalls saying, ‘it’s loaded,'” the lieutenant said. The student did not report seeing a gun.

The student reported the incident to administrators, who then checked the bathroom but found no one inside, Sotelo said.

Sheriff’s deputies assisted officers from the Hacienda La Puente Unified School District in locking down the school and looking for the student who made the alarming statement, as well as any weapon on campus, Sotelo said.

[Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune]

My first thought was “Oh, shit! That’s where my mom works.”

Naturally, I freaked out a little. I called my dad thinking mom might have checked in with him. He sounded too cheery and normal. I told him about the lockdown and he immediately hung up with me to get ahold of mom.

A few moments later dad got back to me. Thankfully, mom was okay as were her students. Almost as soon as I hung up with dad, mom called to check in.

She told me the students were getting antsy and uncomfortable not being able to get out to use the bathroom for a few hours. Their class was searched, but they didn’t really know what was going on. Later in the evening, I spoke to mom again. She was home after a longer than normal day thanks to the lockdown. Apparently, getting students picked up after a lockdown was a lengthy process as emergency contacts had to be verified.

I felt extremely grateful to hear that no one was hurt. More selfishly, I’m glad my mom was home last night and we could talk about mundane things like making tamales.

Sadly, I know there are lots of families who have been through something similar. Even worse, there are too many families who don’t know the feeling that everything is okay.

Assessing 2012

C

I couldn’t sleep a few nights ago and started thinking about the health and fitness goals I set for 2012. I didn’t even remember them, nor did I ever explicitly post them on the blog. They were part of the monthly goal posts I wrote early in the year. I found my goals in my notes and wrote self-assessments in brackets. I used the same format from the citizenship section of my elementary school report cards (outstanding, satisfactory, needs improvement, and unsatisfactory).

Eating
– 5 servings of fruits/vegetables per day [Needs improvement.]
– More water, limit Diet Coke habit [Needs improvement, satisfactory for the Diet Coke aspect.]
– Eat out <2 per week (ideally 0) [Satisfactory.]

Fitness
– Strength 2xs a week [Outstanding for 2/3 of the year, unsatisfactory after August.]
– Yoga – use Groupon [Unsatisfactory.]
– Cross training 1 time per week [Satisfactory for 2/3 of the year.]
– Wear a bikini and be comfortable doing so [Unsatisfactory, not attempted.]

Running
– PR in all race distances [Satisfactory; I only ran three official races and PR'ed in the marathon and the 18-mile distance.]
– Minimum of 4 runs per week [Satisfactory until April thanks to marathon training; outstanding during 5-week run streak]
– Reach weekly and monthly mileage records [Outstanding, I think. I know I did break my weekly mileage record, but am not 100% sure about the monthly record.]

Weight loss
– Get back to goal weight (ideal <130)
– Fit in to khaki pants and H&M dresses again
– Return to WW, follow plan
[Unsatisfactory on all of these. I'm at the highest weight I've been since '09 and just removed the pants and dresses from my closet.]

Propose & collect data [Big fat unsatisfactory]

I didn’t do so great. Maybe a C grade? At least I know what I need to work on — along with other stuff.

target sucker

I did do better on other non health & fitness goals. I planned a wedding with Sean and our families without going crazy (or making them crazy). I also got my Target spending habit under control. I’d get an A- or satisfactory in those areas.

Twelve firsts for 2012

Chilling in 100+ degree weather

Got married to Sean surrounded by 250+ family members and close friends. I did wear shoes most of the time. [Posts]

The only runner that matters to me

Ran a sub-4 marathon… The rest of the year was unimpressive on running, but I did get in a 38-day run streak and started regularly strength training. [Post]

Aerial station at La Cienega/Jefferson

Rode the newly opened Expo Line from Culver City to downtown LA. It’s nice to have the option to take the train downtown to concerts, games, etc.

Backlight con Rosario

Finally got around to that Blogotitlán reunion with people I’ve “known” since 2004. I met Elena and Gustavo (plus wife and adorable daughter) and saw others I hadn’t seen in a while (David, HP, Nathan (and Rosario), and Adriana. Oh yeah, we ran the Carlsbad half marathon or marathon in the middle of it. [Post]

Shadows

Let go of a longtime goal and finally did what I should’ve done years ago: quit grad school. [Post]

Swoon.

Visited Joshua Tree with Sean for our anniversary. [Post]

The family (sans tía Eva)

Celebrated Mamá Toni’s 90th birthday with the family. [Post]

Second Line through the French Quarter

Attended a wedding in New Orleans, complete with a second line through the French Quarter. Only regret is that my first trip to NOLA was less than 48 hours. [Post]

After the Simpsons table read

Attended a table-read for The Simpsons. [Post]

Actually got in to the track competition during the Olympics thanks to Leo Manzano. It also helps that Sean is Jamaican and insisted that we watch all the sprints where the Jamaican men and women dominated… which was a lot of races. [Post]

Diver waves to kids in the Pacific exhibit

Took on my first post-grad school full-time job… in the same office. The new job included getting paid to go to Disneyland and the Aquarium of the Pacific. [Post.

Westbury

Spent Christmas with my in-laws in New York.

Tío Johnny

Tío Johnny passed away on Wednesday morning. These are the ways I’ll remember my uncle:

Always with the guitars

Playing guitar with dad at numerous parties and camping trips when I was young. Tía Susana even brought out the guitar so we could sing to him on Tuesday night. We sang his favorite Beatles songs as well hymns typically sung at funerals and wakes.

Reloj, no marques las horas...

Playing guitar and jamming with the Marcianos — the band that formed out of their church youth group — at his 50th birthday party in 2005. Dad always said they called themselves Marcianos (Martians) because they “were out of this world.”

Still rocking at 50

As the first person in the family to run the Los Angeles Marathon a couple of times. I remember thinking it was so cool. Dad displayed his brother’s finish line photo proudly in our home. During my first marathon, also LA, I got some strength thinking of tío Johnny and wanting to make him and Grandma and Grandpa proud.

Celebrating the grandparents' 40th anniversary

3/4ths of the Mosqueda clan

At big and small Mosqueda family events for anniversaries, birthday parties and holidays.

At the carwash

Surrounded by a bunch of Marcianos (he’s in red, sitting in the center of the first row). I know they’ll all come out to sing for his services.

Tío Johnny and Tía Susana

Young family

As devoted husband to tía Susana and father to their son, Johnny.

Los Hermanos Mosqueda

Cracking jokes and having a good time with his brothers.

I don’t have photos showing tío Johnny’s talent for massaging away aches and pains. He learned/inherited the gift from Grandpa Bartolo. I was lucky not to get injured much, but I know mom needed his help pretty often.

Tío Johnny and Tía Susana

I definitely don’t have photos of what I’ll remember most. Whenever I saw tío Johnny he always asked, “What book are your reading now, mija?” I went from answering Babysitters Club books to educational theory books in grad school. I loved that he didn’t just think I was the bookworm in the corner.

Love you, tío Johnny. Rest in peace.

Mexican pop culture costumes

I’ve written before about my distaste for those pop-up Halloween store “Mexican” costumes. You know the kind, the ones with brightly colored sarapes, straw sombreros, and mustaches. The type that inspired the We’re a Culture, Not a Costume campaign.

Aside from the inherent ignorance and racism (considering the roots of such images) of such costumes the laziness also bugs me. You want to dress like a Mexican for Halloween? There are so many other options. Hell, you could go as George Romney. I heard he was born in Mexico, just like my dad!

Since 2007, I’ve modeled and featured creative and low-budget costumes. Some are based on Mexican and Chicano cultural icons. Some were based on scandals that year and have lost their humor. Anyway, if you need some last minute ideas, check out the list.

Red & yellow!

El Chapulín Colorado (or La Chapulina Colorada)

La Dama costume

La Dama from La Lotería

Hairdresser on fire

Hairdresser on Fire (Morrissey inspired)

Calendar girl (3)

Mexican Calendar Girl

Continue reading

August of this year

Status updates:

1. Still not running much. I think the only miles I’ve run in the last few weeks have been while doing intervals at the end of my NROLW workout.

2. I completed stage 2 of NROLW. I didn’t like stage 2 as much as stage 1. I purposely kept the weights lighter and might’ve sandbagged a bit. Additionally, I began using the gym at work (same as the one the students use). I like the convenience of the gym being 5 minutes away. Plus, there’s no excuse not to go when it’s 5 minutes away and I already have my clothes with me. I like the facility, but the weight room gets just as crowded as my local 24 Hour Fitness. At least it’s bigger and more well stocked with the weights I need. Another downside os the lack of some equipment (e.g. a low step). Since I used different gyms, I wasn’t that consistent with workouts. I took a week off from stage 2 and 3.

3. I started stage 3. Workout A kicked my ass. I’m still sore two days later.

4. There’s some vanity to my change in workout plans. I tried on my dress while meeting with a tailor. I fit in the dress, but didn’t like the look from behind. My butt looks fine thanks to all the lunges and squats. My upper back? Not so much. It’s not just the wedding dress. I really would like to fit in to half of my clothes (especially my business casual dresses).

Ornate flower girl dresses

5. Wedding planning is coming along. It excites and worries me that we’re less than 6 weeks away. Even though I feel like we’ve gotten a lot done, I know there will be stuff to do at the last minute, but I want to minimize the rush in the final days. Things we’ve done lately:
– Bought accessories for the ceremony (unity candle, lasso, ring bearer pillow, etc)
– Bought dresses for the flower girls (not those above, that’s too frilly)
– Selected and bought our wedding bands, fixed my engagement ring
– Planned out the liturgy (readings, prayers) for the Mass and met with the music director/organist to plan the music. My dad helped out here since he’s very familiar with the music selections.
– Applied for a marriage license
– Found a tailor, took in my dress for some minor alterations
– Found someone to do my hair, need to work out details
– Bought my shoes and some accessories for the bridesmaids

6. Work is going well, but it’s overwhelming at times. In my old position I had very few moments where I needed help. After six years, I had figured things out and due to the cyclical nature of the program/academic year I was sort of on auto pilot. That’s not the case in the new job. I’m not complaining. I like the challenges and opportunity to learn new skills. The trouble is that while I’m trying to learn a new job, I’m still filling in the tasks of my old job since a new person hasn’t been hired.