Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Reunited and it feels so sore...

The good news is that I remembered the combination on my lock that I use at the gym.

The bad news is that they didn't remember me. I kid of course although I secretly wish they didn't remember me because that would have been easier to deal with than the looks they give that sort of say "Hey's been AWHILE" making me feel even more guilty and then to throw salt on the wound they comment that Mia has grown taller since the last time they saw her (killing me softly). You see, it's been over 2 weeks since I've been to the gym. Part of that is because the weather is nicer so we're outside more but mostly because I'm just not motivated to go. These girls drain me enough as it is, just getting them into the car seems like a workout. Let alone taking them somewhere to, um, workout.

But If you recall from the last post, us Narciso girls baked 5 dozen WHITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. So, honestly, there was no place I'd rather go than the gym. It had to happen.

And as I began my usual elyptical workout, I smiled because I was proud that I was there. The first 5 minutes are always the worst. Ten minutes in and your body starts to get used to it. After twenty minutes the endorphins kick in and you're on top of the world. It felt great. In fact, my body wasn't tired because of the pregnancy my body was tired because I haven't worked out in 2 weeks.

I gave it a good 35 minutes and was proud of the calories I burned.

Which probably cancelled out about 1/3 of the cookies I inhaled the night before. But, hey don't I burn calories actually putting the food into my mouth and chewing? And don't you burn more calories when you're stressed out? So, actually- eating, then feeling guilty and then working out may have just covered it! Yahoo!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our weekend--family style!


Wow...I'm 2 for 2 in less than 24 hours. Not too shabby. We had a great weekend. First off, Eugene was home all last week plus the weekend, how lucky are we?! Here's some pics proving how great our weekend was.....

Spent an afternoon at the Shedd Aquarium.
The girls got to dress up like penguins and have some fun!

After reading my friends blog about her new KitchenAid mixer I was inspired to bake some cookies. Uummm, yeeaahh, like 5 dozen of them! These lil' girls LOVE baking.

On Sunday we spent the afternoon with my brother and his family at a local Egghunt in the city. It shouldn't be this cold. BUT IT IS!!!

These kids weren't scared at all. I mean, c'mon, isn't EVERY kid supposed to cry at the sight of the Easter Bunny. They're way too adjusted!

Out to lunch. Notice the two tall glasses of Guiness? That was the start to a great afternoon for the guys. I swear--the main reason Eugene loves that I'm pregnant is because he gets an automatic designated driver for a year...or more. Ouch, I
need a drink!

These girls are in LOVE with their cousin E. Isn't he a heartbreaker already?!!

We had a perfect day to end a perfect weekend!
Tomorrow.....maybe I'll find something witty to say about the twelve loads of laundry I have waiting for me.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Um, can I get fired from being a blogger?

Cuz, I'm so behind the times. I think I'm going to make a promise to myself that if I don't have the energy to write something witty than I should at least post a picture. I mean what the hell else am I going to do with the 4,999 pictures taking up space in my iphoto.


That seems unlucky. I need to take a picture right now just to get it to 5k.


Well at least I feel better about the number. Which, holy shit, I have FIVE THOUSAND pictures. Is my computer about to smoke? That's crazy. Before I start to morph into the hard-drive nazi that I'm totally known for, I am going to post some pics so that at least I know they're not there for nothing. The good news is that I recently got a new camera. Yay! No more grainy iphone pics. So here's a sample of my new pics....

Good morning!

Umbrella time. Enjoying some warmer-ish weather.

Nature walk!

Oh Mia!

Celebrating St. Patty's Day!

Mia's first gymnastics class

Our dear Aunt Mae passed away and as we headed to the wake I had the conversation with Bella about death. It went something like this....."remember that ladybug that you stepped on...."

Before arriving to the service we stopped by a game zone to let off some steam.

These girls are inseparable

Bella and her recent masterpiece, which lasted a whole 5 minutes before Mia's grubby little hands came and wiped it all away. She's loving like that.

And how about some pictures from the past to conclude this pretty boring post......

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oh my God....

Be careful, this one is gut wrenching. This is a MUST READ!

Nella's story

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Brush Hour

Here's my latest post at All Kinds of Pretty

Hey there girlies. Today I want to talk about something that I think is important but often goes overlooked, BRUSHES! Please don't click away, please.

Dammit, don't brush me off.


For the most part I think women and trannys focus their cosmetic attention on the make-up itself. In most cases, it's not so much the type of make-up you're using as it is the tools you're using to apply it. Brushes are key. Up until last year, I've pretty much spent my entire cosmetic life using the brushes that came with the make-up. Total cosmetic no-no. My sister Gabrielle, a complete make-up GODDESS bought me this for Christmas last year

A 40 brush MAC make-up sachel. I know, I've got a great sister. But the truth is, this sassy little sachel sat unused in my drawer for months. Months! All because I didn't know how to properly use the brushes. I was overwhelmed. I didn't know the difference between an angular blush brush and a synthetic concealer brush. I mean, they all looked like, well, brushes. So she decided to give me a brush breakdown, and oh my goodness. There is a brush for everything. Wanna make your nose look a little leaner? There's a brush for that. Wanna make your cheekbones a little higher? I've got a brush for that. But c'mon on who has the time to create a slimmer sniffer? Not me. But I do think that these 5 brushes are a must have for any make-up bag

Behold, from left to right, dense eyeshadow brush, synthetic concealer brush, angular brow (and eyeliner) brush, full coverage blush, and contour blush. These 5 brushes can transform your face. Toss out your those foam eye shadow brushes and cotton circle pillows that come with every single Cover Girl compact (ahh, remember the days when we'd splurge on Wet-n-Wild and rock our Bonne Belle kissing potion? Tee Hee). I've learned to use these brushes daily and I swear by them. However, when my sister came over the other day and took a gander at how I was upkeeping my brushes, smoke emitted from her ears. She couldn't believe how careless I was. She looked at the brushes, then looked at me and asked me if I've even cleaned them since her last lesson? My rather loud and defensive response was, "look Mary Kay, I just freakin' learned how to use these things, now you want me to bathe them?" WTH! So, like the great sister she is, she gave me another brush breakdown: the art of maintaining hygenic brushes. Oh shut up, like you really wash your brushes. Sheesh, I barely have time to wash my hair.

But dude, it totally works!

Gabe mentioned the best product to clean your brushes is this

But if you don't have an official brush cleaner, any mild shampoo would do the trick. Add a little bit of cleaner or shampoo to your palm, run your brush under luke warm water and begin to carefully circle the brush onto your palm. Proceed to dry heave at all the crap that comes off of your brush.

Yowsa! After cleaning and rinsing the brushes, it is now time to condition. In fact, any hair conditioner will do. Apply conditioner to your palm, and in the same circular motion, rub the brush through it.

Rinse it off ladies, and let em' dry. In a couple hours you will be amazed at how soft and clean they feel. Don't forget, we should do this cleaning process to new brushes as well to help keep shedding to a minimum. What about you? Got any advice on how to maintain your brushes? Got any favorite brush recommendations you can pass on?

Monday, March 15, 2010

"I cannot go to school today" said little Peggy Ann Mckay

Are the first words of my beloved poem, Sick by Shell Silverstein. By far, one of his best. I had this puppy memorized word-for-word at the age of 6.

"I have the measles and the mumps, a gash, a rash and purple bumps"

You see much like little Peggy Ann McKay, I am sick. Though after about 400 words you find out she was faking it so she didn't have to go to school, and then in the last line she realizes it's Saturday and hops out of bed to play outside. Ahhh, melodrama.

First, I too wish it was Saturday and second, I wish I was faking it.

I'm sick. And it sucks. I am SOOOO thankful that the girls spent the entire day at my parents house. Putting on their pajamas and brushing their teeth was almost too much for me to take this evening, so thank you a million times over. And how great was this: I called my OBGYN this morning, who assured me on my first visit that I was to call him for ANYTHING related to me and my health for the next 9 months, and told the nurse my symptoms: sever sore throat, awful headache, lethargy, and ear aches (um, just from the sound of my adjectives I totally sound like Peggy Ann). After speaking with the doctor she proceeded to tell me to have my pharmacy call their office for a 5 day antibiotic RX. You mean I don't have to come in? You mean I won't be forced to take a picture of the way I look heading out the door for a mommy style blog I'm a part of called All Kinds of Pretty? You mean, you trust me? Hell ya! And within an hour my devoted parents dropped off my prescription and shoveled the kids out of my hands.

"my mouth is wet. my throat is dry. i'm going blind in my right eye."

And my friends, I slept the entire day. Well, let's see I woke up about around 3:00 to have a leftover corned beef sandwich and some irish soda bread. Clearly, my appetite is fine. And then went right back to bed and slept some more.

"my tonsils are as big as rocks. i've counted 16 chicken pox. and there's one more--that's 17. and don't you think my face looks green?"

I plan to be in bed before 10:00 tonight and hope that I feel better tomorrow. There's so much that I want to blog about. For starters, we had our 20 week ultrasound and found out the'll just have to wait. Total cliffhanger, huh?

"I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke. i'm sure that my left leg is broke. my hip hurts when I move my chin. my belly botton's caving in."

Until next time....

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ooh....I'm a part of a mommy style blog. Pause for laughter.

Recently, I was asked by my friend Sarah to contribute to her new Mommy Style Blog. Isn't that exciting? A bunch of us mom's will write about all things fashionable. The blog is called All Kinds of Pretty and the tag line is Real Women. Real Bodies. Real Budgets. Isn't that awesome?! Since I barely have enough time to keep this blog up to date, expect duplicate posts. Sorry, kinda worn out over here.

In case the link didn't work, here's the address

Last night I made my very first post on the blog and here it is....

If The Shoe Fits

Remember that Cameron Diaz movie, In Her Shoes, where her sister Rose possesses a closet full of fancy schmancy shoes that she buys but never wears? Internet, meet Gina. I can't tell you how many times I've purchased a pair of shoes that I've fallen madly in love with to only have them collect dust. Literally.

Just last week I removed a pair of shoes that I thought were gray but after sneezing three times in a row two things occurred to me: I love shoes but lack the confidence needed to wear them and I should buy more swiffers.

Even with the countless number of shoes I have in my closet, I can narrow down an entire year of shoe fashion into two pairs of shoes:

From early fall to late, late winter, almost spring, EVERY SINGLE DAY you can find me wearing these

Brown and boring and rather homely looking Uggs. We're talking almost 120 days straight I wear these suckers, with NO SOCKS mind you! Did you just throw up a little in your mouth? Yeah, me too.

The moment the weather turns even remotely warmer (which was like two days ago) you can find me wearing these all the way until the afore mentioned fall

Red and plastic and rather average looking Crocs. Sure, I moved up from the Swiss cheese looking crocs from 2 years ago, but there's no denying it Gina, they're washable with soap.

But this is not to say that I can't appreciate a fine pair of shoes, oh no, I've got great taste in shoes, this I know. It's just that 9 out of 10 times I don't feel confident enough in my outfit to warrant wearing such a killer pair of shoes. I'm picturing those 4 inch stiletto leather cuties that I bought in Italy paired up with my super sexy navy track pants that actually make noise when I walk cuz my thighs are too close together. HAH!

So when I saw that runway fashion was sashaying it's way into retail, I definitely did a double take.

Christian Siriano, the season 4 winner of Project Runway, recently showed off his Spring/Summer collection during New York's fashion week. With artsy blues he wowed us with his creations

And just months later, AT OUR LOCAL PAYLESS STORES, we can find these

How cool is that? Not the shoes, mind you (cuz they are a tad akward, huh?) but the fact that high fashion can be available to us at reasonable prices? These pumps retail for $79.99, the highest sticker price in the history of Payless, but probably more on par with the average sticker price at say Nordstrom's or Macy's. I love when I see affordable fashion on the racks, or shelves in this case, even if I don't have the guts to wear it. Cuz honestly, don't you think that this shoe would feel the same as walking on a coffee can stilt? Which is why I'm actually eyeing his more toned-down version

also available at Payless. This is the perfect type of shoe to offer a little style and personality to any outfit. I say Bravo (no pun intended) to Christian Siriano for reaching out to those of us who would normally never see Bryant Park with every step we take. Now if only they were washable.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bella's Birthweek...cuz really? A birthDAY clearly isn't enough!

If you don't already know this about our family, we LOVE birthdays. They last a week long and every day includes some sort of rendition of the birthday song. Mia's 1st birthday was way back in May so you could imagine how excited I was to celebrate Bella's 4th year. When I look at the number 4 as I type it doesn't seem so big but when I think of Bella, the feeling is much different. She's maturing so much-so fast.

Her birthweek celebration began Tuesday morning with my ever popular personalized pancakes.

The celebration proceeded into Wednesday morning at our little library story time

The giddyness continued into Thursday as we put together little takeaways for her classmates. Personally, I think it's pretty ridiculous to give away little gifts to the class, but since the other kids did it for their bdays, Bella wanted to follow suit as well. And come on, a reason to be crafty and creative, I'm all about it! But really? Giveaways? I know!!!!!

Our assembly line consisted of Bella, Aunt Christine, Mia and myself.

Remember that scene in I love Lucy when she got really behind at the chocolate factory and everything starting going crazy. Yeah, um, that was Mia. So, I put her in charge of putting discarded labels (that were 5 cm off-center, how anal am I) on a sheet of paper. She was in heaven!!!

The final product:

a very gender neutral giftbag with a Crayola notepad and two little markers. Cute, right? Thank you dollar aisle at Michael's.

On Friday we made brownies. Cuz that's what she wanted. Cuz she was going to be 4. Cuz she was listening and her tummy was telling her that she needed chocolate. I wanted to tell her that she had me at the word "brownies." I'm 5 months preggers, I don't think I need a reason to justify double fudge brownies but I appreciate your art of persuasion Bella. And btw, thanks for the brownies Castaneda family. They were delicious!

On Saturday we headed to the city for some sight-seeing.

Which of course included a stop at The American Girl Place.

I've got to admit that all these years I've been harboring secret doll envy because American Girl became big just after I was too old for such a craze. But privately, I totally wanted one. In fact, I totally wanted Molly. Preppy, little Bostonian Molly.

So of course, me taking Bella here for her bday was clearly fulfilling something in myself. But this store, oh my holy lord, it's a cult. Here's the salon. FOR DOLLS.

I could go on and on about that store, but I'll save it for another post. I did realize, however, that Bella is too young for these dolls. Maybe in another 3 to 4 years she'll get into to it. With the ridiculously artificial Barbies and dare-I say slutty Bratz dolls that stock the shelves, you better believe I am going to push dolls that represent a time where they fight for civil rights or where these dolls/characters petition for womens' voting. It's crazy, they've now introduced Kaya, a Nez Perce Indian girl growing up in 1764 who has to stand tall to revoke her "Magpie" nickname (untrusty and selfish bird). Hee hee.

It came as no shock that all Bella and Mia wanted to do was sing and dance on the little stage.

We ended our downtown tour with a birthday lunch at Ed Debevics.

Bella woke up Sunday morning, her actual birthday, with a new sense of self. She was SO excited to be four. Which I'm assuming isn't the same feeling when you turn 4-0. But she seemed so different to me today. As I watched her cautiously eat her oatmeal oat by oat (AAGGHH) I couldn't believe how fast this time went. Four years ago to the date, all she did was cry

Three years ago she tasted cake for the first time

Two years ago she jumped on the trampoline laughing so loudly

Last year she blew out the candle that topped her castle cake

This year she gave a smile bigger than I've ever seen before

Mia spent a good portion of the morning helping me stamp out her sister's banner

Rather than have a "friends" party (cuz really, she's in preschool people) we had a party with our immediate family. Back in the days at Bradley we always started the year off with a graffiti party where everyone wore a white shirt and "tagged" eachother. Bella loved the idea. So, we had ourselves a very sober 4 year old graffiti birthday party. It was so much fun!

Here's Bella admiring her Cinderella cake that my mom and sister baked for her.

I mean, come on, how cute is this!

Tag you're it!

Mia, so true, so true.

Fun with balloons

We dined on a menu that consisted of cheese pizza and spaghetti, per the birthday girl.

After opening her gifts, we were ecstatic to show Bella our gift to her. We had the girls sleep in our room the night before while we spent the night rearranging their room to accomodate a "stage." Complete with curtains, and hooks to organize all the tu-tus and costumes. Even more hooks for jewelry and hats that we scoured the second hand stores for. All in all, a perfect little area for her and her sister to put on their shows. She had not been able to see her room all day until we let her in.....

I'm not sure who loved it more, Bella or Mia

Getting ready for her debut!

Here's their entrance......

After several costume changes and a few dance numbers, Bella and Mia were READY for cake. They waited patiently, staring at the cake for almost 10 minutes before we were able to round everyone up. All the while drooling over the frosting.

I can't thank my mom and sister enough for making this cake. It was so thoughtful of you and not to mention super yummy! I mean, really really tasty. Bella spent the rest of the day into the evening trying on every possible costume she could put together. It really was a perfect day.

Happy Birthday my little sweat pea, Happy 4th Birthday!


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