Category Archives: Randomness

Fifteen things you probably knew about me

And an excuse to post old photos and link back to previous entries.

Marie tagged me in this questionnaire. Her answers made me laugh so I decided to answer the questions too, albeit after Christmas. I was a little behind on my blog reading.

1) What is my current health related goal?

Exercise more and eat more veggies.

2) What is my biggest irrational fear?

Mice and rats really freak me out. I don’t even like fake versions that look realistic. I’m not scared of Fievel or Mickey though.

3) Do I enjoy wrapping presents?

No. I didn’t wrap any this Christmas. I did place a couple in bags. Sean did all the wrapping.

4) What is my favorite cross training activity?

Strength training and stairs, but not a stair climber. Basically a BHIP class (workouts are a mix of strength and conditioning, cardio tends to be Tabata/interval style).

5) If you came to visit me, what would we do?

I can't remember what this was called, but it was good

If Marie visited I’d imagine there would be some running (if she doesn’t mind slowing down for me), a play date with my boy and her girls, beer at Father’s Office and really delicious Mexican food. Maybe we’d go to “shoppertainment” center like the Grove for the snark value.

6) I have two weeks off work and two round trip plane tickets to anywhere. Where would I go and who would I take?

Jamaica or Mexico with Sean. We postponed our honeymoon and then never got around to it because I got pregnant and Sean had a new job. All our vacation time was saved up for maternity/paternity leave.

Xavi can come along too since he doesn’t actually need a plane ticket. And we could get babysitting in Mexico with family members. Maybe.

7) What’s the most embarrassing thing to happen to me during a run or a race?

Aztlan track club 5K

My most embarrassing running moments didn’t happen while racing. However, it did suck to be so slow during a trail 5K that I was still on the out and back course when the male racers started. The trail wasn’t very wide so I had to scoot to the side and literally was left running through the dust they kicked up.

8) Three best days of my life? Or at least the top three that come to mind.

The day Xavi was born.

The day Sean moved out to LA. We were bicoastal for the better part of the year. His move was delayed due do a snowstorm so it was really happy relieved when his flight was finally scheduled and I picked him up at LAX. Our wedding day was memorable and I was happy, but it was also a bit stressful.

The late March day in 1998 when I got my admittance letter from UCLA. I was so relieved that USC wasn’t my only option.

Cindy finished under four hours!

The 2012 LA Marathon was awesome too. I feel like someone else earned that sub-4 because I can’t see myself getting there again.

9) Okay, so I HAVE to eat a fast food
meal. Which restaurant would I choose and what do I order?

That's what a hamburger's all about

I’m like Marie and don’t have an aversion to fast food. I had In-n-Out less than a week ago. For lunch or dinner I’d go to In-n-Out (cheeseburger with all the toppings plus grilled onions, fries and a diet coke). For breakfast I’d get the sausage egg McMuffin from McDonald’s, hashbrowns and vanilla iced coffee. Damn, now I’m hungry.

10) Have I ever met a celebrity?

Destiny's Child

Yup, but I’m always super cool about it because that’s how us Angelenos act around celebs. I was in a Destiny’s Child video; you can play the Kevin Bacon game with me and Beyoncé.

Go Lakers!

I’ve met some basketball players (Magic Johnson!), The Simpsons voice actors and my favorite band Café Tacvba.

La Chica Banda

Sherman Alexie is one of my favorite writers

I’ve also met some of my favorite writers (Sherman Alexie and Sandra Cisneros), but I don’t know if book signings really count as meeting or if they are celebrities.

11) Share a pic of myself in non-workout clothes.

Thanksgiving family photo

Thanksgiving family photo. That was the picture that doesn’t look like my kid is trying to grab my breast.

12) If I could choose to have a “do over” and switch careers, what would I choose and why?

I like Marie’s answer:

Whatever job pays the most money for the least amount of work.

In college I had a high degree of contempt for selling out and basing your career on earning power. Now that I’m a mom and thinking of the cost of raising a kid, planning for retirement, etc I’m kicking 20-something year old me.

I’d likely pick something in the biomedical sciences because it’s been drilled in me that with a research background in the sciences so many career doors open up. I could do what I currently do, but at a higher level (with more money!) and still feel like I was making a difference in increasing educational attainment rates for Latinos.

13) If I won an Olympic Gold Medal, how do I think I would react?

Probably like Leo Manzano. I’d do a victory lap with both the US and Mexico flags.

14) What do I want for Christmas?

Christmas want list

Sean and I switched lists of potential items. Mine was above. I got the Girl With Curves t-shirt and sneakers. Sadly they’re too big despite being my size.

15) What skill do I lack?

Just one? I lack a lot of useful skills like applying eyeliner properly and sewing. But I don’t really miss those much. So, I’ll go with getting Xavi to sleep without relying on nursing and sleep training.

Tagging:
Julie
Laura
Melissa
Anel

Grading 2014 me

In my 2014 goal post I wrote:

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.

I got one out of three done.

Second half of the year in books. I still have a week to go, but I really like the perfect 6x6 grid. #goodreads #books

Reading Grade: A+
I read 72 books and did two A-Z challenges, one by author and one by title.

Running Grade: C-
I ran more in 2014, but not enough to give myself credit for that one. However, I did work on my fitness and get back to regular exercise when I took a free class through work. BHIP was overall pretty awesome. I made significant gains and even though it wasn’t running focused, I was able to actually run a mile after thanks to all the strength training and cardio. I’m sad it’s over and the class is no longer free. (Review/reflections to come.)

Writing Grade: D
Maybe if I spent less time reading, I could’ve written more. I didn’t give myself an F because I wrote as much as I wanted to write. I’m not sure how to motivate myself to write more if I don’t feel like sharing my thoughts. For example, I have like 3-4 drafts about being a mom that are unfinished. I have my outlets and right now that’s okay for me.

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.