Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bring It 2012!

2:22 pm on Saturday, December 31st and I have absolutely nothing to do. I LOVE THAT. Ethan is fighting a fever and just lying down, quietly. Ron is working. I have a ton of errands to run (laundry, food shopping, staples, I guess I do have a lot to do) but alas I can't very well leave my son all alone to battle his 101 degree temperature. So I have nothing to do.

I have done a lot of thinking about what 2012 is going to mean for me. I made a couple of resolutions for 2011, none of which I even remember but it was probably the usual fare - save money, lose weight, do more community service. I had a word for 2011 too - de-clutter - which I worked really hard at but was unable to accomplish fully. The fact of the matter is that my home is cluttered because it's too small. And until the renovations are complete, the clutter will continue.  My office was cluttered because I had not a moment in the day to just do some basic filing. So while de-cluttering as a goal is not going anywhere, I have moved on to a new word for the year - FOCUS. It will indirectly include de-cluttering, saving money, losing weight, blah, blah, blah. But yes, FOCUS is my word of the year. The common denominator is ME. I am going to FOCUS on ME, inside and out. I am well on my way.

1. New job - CHECK
2. New beauty regiment - CHECK
3. New exercise routine - CHECK

So while I will continue my 40 and Fabulous blog posts on the 17th of each month, I am adding a new component to my blog. On the 12th of each of month, from January to December 2012, I will be FOCUSing on ME and I invite you to join me and focus on yourself. On the 12th of each month I will be taking a photo of myself, or having someone else do it. No matter what state I am in, I am going to take that picture. I am going to look at that picture and appreciate myself for who I am regardless of what my hair is doing or where I am going. Focusing on myself will make me a better worker, a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend and a better person overall. I hope you will be inspired to join me on this journey and do the same for yourself.

So like the title of this post says, bring it, 2012! Because it's all about me.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

216 Days and Counting

$40          Trip to the hair salon
$25.00     1 hour in a midtown Manhattan parking lot
$300        New Interview Suit
New job closer to home making more money...PRICELESS!


I am so glad that 2012 is only 2 weeks away. It cannot come fast enough. I am so excited to start a new job that my current colleagues have noted a new bounce in my step, as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. And it has.

Everyone says that change is good, including me. A quote about change has been part of my email signature for a long time.  But DAMN! The changes at work have been stressful and anxiety-ridden. I think I was the most excited for the changes that I knew were coming, but the changes went so over the top that morale has taken a huge dip even among the most optimistic among us. While I am going to miss most of the people I work with, that is all I will miss. I am happy to give up the one-hour plus commute, the huge gas and toll bill,  the early morning alarm and some of the unpleasant feelings that led me to leave my current place of employment. Those who have become important to me and who have developed a friendship with me, will not be lost to me. I am not moving out of state or going hours away. I"m just going into the county next door. I cherish my experiences and I have learned a ton, but alas, it was just...time to go.

So goodbye 2011. And good riddance. 2012, here I come...hitting the ground running and diving in head first. Can you hit the ground running and dive in head first at the same time? Probably not, but you get my point. So "say a little prayer for meeee."

By this time next month, I'll be reporting on how my first 2 weeks at the new job are going. And I have a great new series of posts starting January 12, 2012. So get your cameras ready and do your hair, or not. I am going to encourage those of you who read my blog to develop stronger self confidence and love of self and our imperfections. Trust me you'll love it. But more to come in a month. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Picture of the Month

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

185 Days Later

Change doesn’t happen in the middle. It only happens when we venture over to the edge and take one small step after another.            -- Karen Sheridan

I’m 40 ½. 6 months into my 40s I find myself at a crossroads. The crossroads feel more like cross hairs, truth be told. This crossroads of mine has proven to be very taxing. But I have learned two things as a result of this time in my life. 
  1. Life is too short to be miserable (anywhere).
  2. If you are comfortable at work, it's time to go.

Man at the Crossroads, infamous 1934 mural by one of my favorite artists, Diego Rivera. The mural was painted at Rockefeller Center and quickly destroyed after its completion because of its communist viewpoint. Diego got comfortable!

I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. Comfort is good at home. It’s not good at our places of employment. The moment something rocks that comfort level and takes you out of your groove, you’re in deep trouble. I have learned that the hard way (and so did Diego). But I’m perceptive and adaptable and those characteristics have proven helpful to me as I do all I can to learn all I can to make myself marketable. Do I sound overly cryptic or enigmatic? Well that is intentional. I have some major changes happening in the next month and I am very excited about it all. More to come.

In the meantime, I did a scrapbook page called "12 Things about Me Right Now." They are in no specific order and they are by no means comprehensive, but it’s always a good idea to take stock of you, even if it’s not about the profound stuff in life.
  1. Scrapbooking, sleep, and watching TV relax me.
  2. Michael’s Italian Restaurant on Nostrand and Avenue R in Brooklyn is my favorite local spot.
  3. I shop at Target almost ever weekend.
  4. My favorite color is red, but I love earth tones to decorate the house.
  5. I worry about my money, my job and my weight.
  6. I’m hooked on the Twilight Saga.
  7. And I love any and every cop show on TV right now.
  8. The trunk of my car is full of clothes that I need to give away.
  9. My ideal Friday night is quiet.
  10. My ideal Saturday is to run errands in the morning and be home to chill by the mid afternoon.
  11. My ideal Sunday is to never step out of the house.
  12. The new year is going to bring big and wonderful changes.
Definitely not a Diego mural and definitely not Communist.

Photo of the Month, wink wink:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

150 days

Top 5 Things a Woman (i.e. ME) Should Know before Turning 40 (and didn't)!
  1. Bra Fitting - Really? It took 40 years to get a proper bra fitting? It should be on the agenda with the birds and the bees conversation.
  2. 5% chance of getting prego at age 40 - TMI you say? I feel it's important to educate my fellow 40 year olds. 5%? Well at 20 it only 25%. At least that's what the Today Show "experts" said. But at 20, the energy levels are at 100% and at 40 energy is barely at 25%. I'll leave it at that because I know you know what I'm talking about!
  3. After you turn 40, it's harder to get a new job. And that is not necessarily due to do the economy. So make sure you moisturize. It keeps you looking young. If you look 30 when you interview, you should be fine because they aren't allowed to ask your age in an interview.
  4. It's harder to walk in heels. At least in my case. Maybe that's just me and my larger posterior, but I just can't last in heels as long as I could have even 5 years ago. I love my heels and refuse to part with them for a new collection of Easy Spirit sensible shoes. I just can't do it. I already have a few pairs of Minnetonkas and that's bad enough!
  5. I love TV. And I love sleep. How are these things related you ask? I can barely stay up past 10 pm and that's when some of my favorite shows are on. Thank you DVR inventor! I can't sleep past 7 or 8 am on the weekends.  So you see I can't fully enjoy my prime time TV shows and I can't get the proper rest on weekends. This, I believe, is a consequence of getting older (not old), just older!
So why is this important? I wasn't sure at first. But as I asked myself this question, I opened my new little book that I used to write my last post for inspiration and the first page to open said:


My ladies over 40, be sure to drink to that. Toast your extraordinary selves. We were extraordinary at 20 and 30 so logic tells me, you are just (if not more) extraordinary at 40. CHEERS!

Picture of the Month

This kid is turning into quite the car guy.
He made a bee line right for the Mustang and struck a pose.
And YES, he's ONLY 4!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just a thought.

“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” -Proverb

check out more inspirational words at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

120 Days and Counting

I am 3 days late in writing my monthly reflection. It's writer's block. I was uninspired. But I think that has changed. I ordered a book titled "I Am Her" on the recommendation of a blogger whose blog I enjoy reading. She's issued a challenge: write a series of “she” statements about yourself and answer them with a resolute “I am her.” I pass the challenge on to those of you reading this to help you explore who you are, for better or worse. All of the people who comment on my blog are women. But i you're not, feel free to answer with a resolute, "I am him." It all counts.
  • She is constantly exploring who she is and what she wants out of life.
  • She is well aware of her imperfections and always wondering if it's worth trying to correct them.
  • She embraces imperfection.
  • She is working hard to reduce clutter in her life and is having a hard time succeeding in this task.
  • She believes strongly in balance.
  • She doesn't believe in workaholism.
  • She doesn't believe in losing herself so completely in family obligations that she forgets to take care of herself.
  • She has an unfinished goal or two.
  • She loves her family dearly and unconditionally.
  • She is a lipstick feminist.
  • She is a wannabe Renaissance woman, dabbling in a little bit of everything as it catches her interests.

Photos of the Month

New landscaping on campus thanks to Hurricane Irene.

First time at soccer.

First scrimmage is about to begin.

Flagged for un-sportsman-like behavior.

Nice Surprise. Tio Eric joined us at the soccer field.

He's going to be taller than me very soon.

He's such a ham! I didn't pose him. He did that all by himself.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

90 Days Later - The Reflecting Continues.

Wow, 90 days into 40, summer is 2 weeks from calling it quits and I won't see another week off until Christmas Eve. SIGH. So now that I've gotten my complaints out of the way....

What I've noticed about myself in these last 4 weeks is how engrossed in body image I have been. Perhaps it was the torture of shopping for a bathing suit. Or seeing all the cute outfits that I couldn't fit into. Maybe it's the realization of how out of breath I get when climbing a flight or two of stairs. Never before. Body image is a constant in my life and I know I am not alone.

What makes my neurosis different this time? My self-confidence is not what it used to be and that worries me. Up until about 4 years ago, I have always felt good about myself. My self-esteem has always been high. It's not quite in the gutter, but I want it back in excellent shape. I want to get back into the gym. But with what time? Seriously. I have a 2 hour commute roundtrip. I haven't seen a 5pm exit from the office in forever. And I won't for the next 6-8 weeks. I have a young child who requires a great deal of attention. Oh and hello?! I do have a marriage to care for. Excuses right? Maybe, but excuse or not, it's a reality. There are just not enough hours in the day. I found a great class during the week but it's at 8pm. 8pm. Really? I'm going to kick box my ass off for one hour at 8pm after battling the airport traffic on the Van Wyck? Not going to happen. I'll fall asleep on the drive back.

I am very conscientious about self-esteem. I really have practiced what I preached about the importance of taking care of yourself and not letting others define your happiness or your beauty, especially as women.  But I can't help shake this feeling of dislike for how I look lately. I really would love to just blame pregnancy. I mean I was at my best right before it. But pregnancy was just an excuse to indulge and not care. And how many people have babies and bounce right back to their previous weights? So pregnancy is no excuse. At least not for me.

Sometimes I think I'm just lazy. But if I were lazy, I would have been fired a long time ago. My garden would be ugly. And I would never have done a few home improvement projects here and there. So that's not it either. I most certainly have new interests and hobbies that take up a lot of time. And I am and always have been a TV junkie. Again, none of this is the problem. Maybe if I go to bed at 10 p.m. (DVR my fave 10pm shows) and get up at 6 a.m., I can get back into the swing of the work outs. When I work out, I always eat better because the idea of watching Billy Blanks for an hour only to binge on twinkies, does not appeal to me. That's a good goal. Not to binge on twinkies but to change my sleep habits. Maybe writing it, or in this case typing it, will make it so.

You know how some people need Jesus? I need vegetables! I don't like vegetables. Never have. I mean I'll have the occasional salad or peppers but please oh please do not put broccoli on my plate.  YUK!

So I have rambled enough about my lack of exercise and legumes. I'll keep coming back to this topic as I try to move more and eat less this fall and winter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

My one week resort vacation has come and gone. It was well deserved and much needed for us, but we are glad to be in our home and in our own beds. The customer service left a lot to be desired this time around, which I found very strange since I always stay at the same resort and have always been more than satisfied. I am just going to chalk it up to one bad stay and hope it doesn't happen again.

I love to sight see and visit new places when I travel. But there's something about being in the Dominican Republic for me that makes me feel at home on so many levels. I don't feel the need to be a tourist. I don't feel like a tourist there. I even hope to live there some day for part of a year like the NY/FL retirees. But like in my 70s or something far far away like that!

In the meantime, I will just have to be satisfied with one or two weeks per year in my home-away-from-home paradise.

Here are a few of my favorite pics.

We were lucky enough to share this vacation with my great friend, 
college roomie and hermana, Monica, and her gorgeous baby AJ.

 I mean really, can they get any cuter?

SUPER STAR! She signed a lot of autographs that day. 
It was nuts. Who knew Ecuadorian stars were so popular in DR?

Actually, AJ was the real superstar.

Ethan just couldn't hide the excitement of being on a plane. "Are we there yet?"
"No Ethan, we haven't even taken off!"

"Where the hek are we? I MUST find the pool!" 

This is what we call the HYYY YAT Jump! 
Those swimming lessons are really paying off.

"Hey, stop squooshing me! i want to be in the picture too. 
Mommy and E-tan are camera hogs."

"Phew! Was that so hard? Yes, Yes get my good side."

The water felt as good as it looked. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week in the Life - Day 7

July 31, 2011


Ron hates to be photographed. I wonder why.

Apparently, Ethan wasn't in the mood to be photographed either. That quickly changed however.

"This is the perfect pool, mom. Take a picture." How sweet! If he only knew how the other half lived!

I didn't pay too much attention to my garden this summer. But there were a few diamonds in the rough.

We see a lot of butterflies in my backyard. They love this Butterfly Bush...aptly named!

Giving Chewy some love.

Mr. Drama Boy said something bit him. I didn't see anything. But he has a fear of flies.

He called himself Fireman Ethan.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Week in the Life, Day 6

July 30, 2011 - Day 6

The day started off very slowly. But I was determined to see the Hot Air Balloons at the Annual Festival in Readington, NJ.

There is something magical to me about hot air balloons. They were so cool to watch. Next year, I am definitely getting a ride on one of them.

Then we hit some rides.
Maybe not such a great idea after all.
He got the hang of it.
I neglected to mention that I couldn't find my car right away. Because of the way I entered the parking lot, I didn't get a look at the aisle I was in. So I wandered a bit. But at least I got to appreciate the night sky.

Week in the Life_Day 5

Oh Friday, Sweet Friday, where have you been all week?

I found this little package waiting for me outside. Everyone says Ethan looks like my brother Eric.
I  "vintaged" the photo. You tell me. Could this have been Eric Santos in the 70's? I'll try to dig up some old
photos of my brother for those who don't know him. To be conitnued!

I guess I can retire the tricycle.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Catching Up with My Week in the Life

I was in Boston a couple of days for a conference and I was unable to write about my week the past few days, but I was definitely recording it with photos.

Day 2 - July 26, 2011
The pet peeves continue. Garbage day is Tuesdays, bright and early in the morning. This is what I found Tuesday when I got up. Well past bright and early.

Then I went to the Westchester to run an errand and visited the family restroom. Normally this is TMI and not too interesting. But this restroom is next to Tiffany's. If you've ever been to the Westchester, then you know it's not for the broke! Have you ever been in the family restroom at Target? This isn't that.

After I oo'ed and ahh'ed about this restroom, I was like, there are no napkins in here. Brownie points deleted. Then i look and there it is. This thing is a dyson hand blower. From the toilet it looked like a seat for a baby. When i got closer....impressive piece of machinery.  Just put your hands in there and your hands are dry in 2 seconds flat. It's the little things people.

Ok so off I go to Boston College for a conference. Got there in 3 hours flat. Very nice campus. Open bar. H'or doerves. A harpist for entertainment.

Day 3 - July 27, 2011
Long day, but the evening reception and dinner for the conference was at the New England Aquarium. We had the place to ourselves. Very cool. 

Day 4 - July 28, 2011
Nothing special today. Except my 4 year old refuses to give up his giraffe. I think he's a little to big for it now. What do you think?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Week in the Life, Day 1

This week I am documenting a week in my life. It's a challenge from the Ali Edwards blog. She always does interesting things to get people to really think about their lives and understand that everything we do from the minutiae on up, is important. It's the little things in life that count. It's all important. Even if it's annoying!

So what was my first day of the week like?

  • Today, I was so busy at work that I didn't really stop and record my day. Overall it was orientation for the incoming freshman and I am in charge of parent orientation. I enjoy speaking with and to the parents. They are so thoughtful and focused on what is best for their children. And I can truly appreciate their point of view.
  • When I picked up Ethan he started doing the limbo out of nowhere. Where the hek did he learn that? Turns out the limbo, hot potato and muscial chairs was part of the curriculum at camp today. Don't I wish my day was that much fun.  I didn't get any pics sadly! 
  • I was driving on the Van Wyck and there was an overturned truck on the Jewel Avenue exit (Queens). I had no clue how it got that way based on where it was. It was on its side on the shoulder. It looked like someone pushed it really hard and tipped it. Traffic was moving so I couldn't safely take a pic.

I did get pics of the pet peeves that I deal with regularly. Do these things only happen in my household?

SIGH. Seriously, Ron!?! I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I see this. This is a regular occurrence in my home! 
See the OJ on the counter? IT'S EMPTY! That's were I found it. Right over the open cabinet that has the recycle bin and trash. IT WAS OPEN. Does it not take the same energy to put it in the trash as to place it on the counter?