Friday, April 28, 2006

don't be jealous

First of all let me tell you that my stomach is in a knot right now because tomorrow Alex will be running his very first marathon. I am so excited and proud and nervous. Everybody knows that running a marathon is a physical feat but I didn't know how huge it was until Alex started training for it. It is such and incredible effort and so taxing not only physically but mentally and emotionally. I can honestly tell you it's been a team effort. On my part, I had to sacrifice time for myself and my silly craft projects; Tino had to sacrifice being able to spend time with his dad and having to spend more time with a, very often, cranky mom; and Alex, obviously, had the biggest sacrifice of all, physically from work straight to running on most days, no weekends because he would do his long run then and he would be too exhausted to do anything else and some days only being able to see Tino 5 or 10 minutes the whole day. And I am so proud of him for sticking with it all the way. See, here's the thing, we are not athletic at all, we've never been. But when Tino was born we both made a commitment to get healthier for ourselves and for Tino, because, among other reasons, we just don't want him to grow up with all the activity and food hang ups that we grew up with. And I think we are getting there and that why this is soooo huge for us. If a year ago somebody would've told us that he'd have the physical strength to do this we would've laugh incredulously, but here he is and he is so doing it. And I couldn't be more proud! Please send him all the good vibes and positive energy that you can tomorrow, ok? He'll need all he can get.

OK, I hope I didn't bore you. On to crafty swapy things. Look at this bounty that I received from my super sweet friend Didine. I sent her some pieces of fabric that she wanted some time ago and this is what she sent in return. Everything is so lovely! And no, that wasn't me who ripped the box so savagely like that. That's how it arrived at my doorstep; clearly it made it here by way of some war ridden country, fortunately everything inside was intact. That rat was part of the goodies she sent me, except it wasn't for me, it was for Tino. He loves it! I think he thinks is some type of vehicle because he plays with it in the same way he does his little cars and trains... you know? making it walk on surfaces.

Look at this lovely fabric and pin cushion...perfect!

And one of Didine's tissue boxes and a fun bead necklace. She's so talented!

And an awesome cool pencil bag and note pad.

Thank you so much Didine! I love, love, love all my goodies.

I still have to tell you about Chicago but this is post is getting
too long. I just wanted to show you this picture of a skirt I saw at H&M in Chicago. So cute! Very Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
The apron is attached to the skirt. (I felt all self conscious taking the picture at the I was stealing some kind of industrial secret). More about Chicago over the weekend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

how do they do it?

I got back from Chicago a couple of days ago and it's taking me a minute to gather myself back together. I'll give you some highlights tomorrow. I also got some mail goodness that I need to share, but it'll have to wait. This is a quick post because, oh my God! how do they do this? Go here to take the quiz and find your sleep pose. Mine is so accurate, is scary! How do they know?

Friday, April 21, 2006

day of firsts

First, I got in the mail a package from my very first swap (Open Yours Too 04). I am a virgin swap no longer. Hooray! Thanks so much Eireann, I loved all my goodies! I just realized my pics don't do justice to the beautiful pieces of Japanese fabric that I got. The center stage is taken by those lovely vintage quilt patches. And look at all my other goodies, ribbon (it looks very boy like... maybe I can embellish some of Tino's jeans with it) and the vintage golden buttons and the colorful embroidery floss. Yes, yes, I'm one happy swapper =).

You can see what I sent her here (at the bottom) and here (if you want a close up). And I am soooo happy that she enjoyed her package!!!!

Second first: my very first meme. I just got tagged by Carolyn, ready?, set?, go:

1. Five Minutes to yourself how would you spend them, ideally?

In front of the computer sipping a nice cup of coffee and a eating some chocolate looking (peacefully)at my favorite blogs without being interrupted by a little hand tugging at my shirt or my elbow or biting my side (yes, it's happened before) to get me away from the computer.

2. Five bucks to spend it right now, how would you spend it?
five bucks...mmmh...everything that pops to mind would be more than five bucks. Right now, since is so quiet around here, I'm going to go for a cup of coffee and a nice warm freshly baked scone to enjoy my five minutes above.

3. Five items in your house you can part with, right now that you hadn't thought of already?
This one is a tough one, now that we are about to move I become less attached to things because the thought of taking too much stuff with us is very stressful.
*a ceramic fondue set that we never use
*a bunch of old New Yorkers and Artforums (ok, the Artforums hurt a little bit)
*some of Tino's baby toys that are completely messed up and have parts missing
*a bunch of negatives and prints from my first projects in college
*a gazillion copies of my graduate thesis that are rolling around the house

4. Five items you could absolutely never part with in your house?
*all family pictures (Alex's, mine, our dogs, our wedding and Tino's)
*all my art books (just because I'm nice I'll include here all of Alex's design books)
*my engagement ring that Alex designed. (Does this count? Is more of a personal item)
*Tino's newborn clothes (a onsie and an itty bitty pair of socks)
*all of my Paul Frank stuff

5. Five words you love
You do know that english is my second language, right? So there are some words I enjoy not really because of what they mean but more because how they sound. So, here they are:
*stagnant (I find it very sophisticated)
*layout (I can't think of a word in spanish that is this versatile)

My turn to tag, right?
Didine, Holly and Liz

I'm off to Chicago for the weekend. It's already 1am and I'm going to pay for it dearly tomorrow when I won't be able to fall asleep during the 5 hour drive because I have to keep Tino and Alex entertained. See you all on monday, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

a hundred years late

So, I think I'm the last person in this world among the people who are into these things to have watched My Neighbor Totoro. Of course I loved it, that's a given. In the summer of 2003 I watched (but not paid attention to) Spirited Away almost everyday , 7 days a week for 3 weeks straight for work related reasons (a long story...), and I completely fell in love with the visuals, and when I finally did pay attention to it I completely fell in love with the characters and story so I was sure I was going to like other Miyazaki's movies. Alex and I love Spirited Away so much that "thank you Mr. Boilerman" is still a household phrase with us and it has to be said in a high pitch tone of voice (like a little girl). But I digress. I loved My Neighbor Totoro but (and please don't hate me for this) I didn't like Totoro that much. I liked the shape, all round and poofy but not so much his personality. I think the spirits in Spirited Away were stronger, but that's just my humble opinion. I did love the soot sprites (tried to look for an image but couldn't find a decent one) but again, I think you can see more of their personality in Spirited Away.

Having said that, my favorite character bar none in My Neighbor Totoro was Mei.

I loooooved that little girl!!!! She was the animated version of Tino. The
resemblance is uncanny!

Her facial expressions, the shape of her body, even her personality a little. I think she was brilliant!!!! And this also confirms my suspicion that Tino could be famous in Japan =p.

Other things I loved about the movie: the opening and closing title sequence (the bottom pics) and the little crab on the letter that Satsuki sends her mom (couldn't find an image).

All images downloaded from

Monday, April 17, 2006

hello? is anybody still there?

Bad blogger, bad blogger! 11 days without a post...tsk, tsk, tsk. I don't have any excuses but I can give you a recount of my activities while I've been gone. First, I was working on translating my resume because, yes, my days as a lady of leisure are counted. When I go back to Guatemala I'll definitely have to work so I'm trying to get a move on that. And believe it or not my spanish is kind of rusty... not the vernacular (Alex, Tino and I speak strictly in spanish amongst ourselves) but the professional-technical-sophisticated one. So I had to sent it to a friend to proof read it...and well, you know how it is, those things take time.

Then, I had to do our taxes. I honestly think that filling out tax forms is on the top 3 of my most stressful activities, I can feel the veins on the side of my neck
tensing up. But they are done and they have been mailed. Hooray!

Theen, I'm participating in this.

And I was so excited that I got in because this is my very first swap and then when I got the name of my partner I totally froze! Really, I did! I had been to my partner's blog before OYT 04 (Open Yours Too 04) and I loved her work, let's face it, she's a total crafting pro (literally, she has a little online shop and you can also find her amazing designs here.) So I started stressing out because I thought I was going to get a partner like me... you know, someone looking to build a non-existent stash of materials and supplies. But, oh boy, this girl makes such beautiful things that I'm sure she's got everything she needs and then some. I did the best I could and I really hope she enjoys her package (I'll post pics of what I sent once I know she's got it.)

Theeen, my friend Rachel came to visit from Chicago for the weekend and I had soooo much fun!!! It had been a year since I last saw he
r and now I'm going to see her again at the end of this week because we're going with Alex to Chicago. She's Tino's godmother too. She hates to get her picture taken, so I knew that this was the best I was ever going to get (she'll probably kill me for posting it). Do you want to hear a funny story about Rachel? Apparently she's a dead ringer for Alex's ex-girlfriend. Once, when Rachel and I had just become friends, Alex showed a picture of the two of us together to his mom, and his mom scolded him because she thought he had been messing around in photoshop putting together a silly picture of the ex and me. And the funniest one (and my favorite), Rachel was the maid of honor at my wedding in Guatemala, and a lot of the guests were freaking out thinking it was the ex.

And that's it. That's what it was like for the past 10 days.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

five years ago today...

I was still in grad school in Chicago, Alex was a professor at a university in Guatemala and had come to visit me for spring break. This particular day I was kind of cranky because Alex made me go to the Lincoln Park Zoo under the pretense that he absolutely had to conduct an experiment which he had to document and then send the images to the university asap. It was rainy and gray and I was cursing on the inside because I was wearing sandals and my feet were getting wet walking through the damp grass. I didn't understand why the hell he couldn't do this some other day when it was sunny. We had lunch reservations at this nice restaurant downtown called Spiaggia and for some reason we HAD to do this before lunch... I wasn't happy.

The "experiment" was to throw an egg inside this contraption (which I couldn't photograph because of the bad lighting today but I promise I will someday) and make sure the egg didn't break. I had to 'perform' the experiment because he had to document it (he couldn't be the subject because he was the professor). So we walked around the zoo looking for a suitable bridge from which I could drop this thing (again, a lot of walking in a grey day...not happy). We finally found a spot, I dropped the object, then had to open the thing to make sure the "egg" had survived and when I opened it there was no egg, I was soooo mad! I thought Alex had forgotten to place the egg inside and that we were going to have to go back and do it all over again. Instead I saw a little capsule, like the kind you would find inside a Kinder chocolate egg... I thought it was a joke and was about to start yelling at Alex, he was laughing and told me to open it and there... five years later you too can witness my reaction when I opened the little capsule and saw my engagement ring. I don't know what I thought when I saw the ring, to be honest with you I hardly remember what Alex said afterwards, I just remember feeling so happy and excited that everything felt like a dream... almost like I was floating and looking down at everything that was happening. It was so surreal and funny and great and unexpected! This was trully one of the happiest moments of my life.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

my urban baby

I had a wonderful start to my day this morning. My own urban baby and I went out for breakfast so Alex could sleep in with no noise. We went to this cozy cool bakery in our neighborhood called Breadworks. We skimmed through the New York Times while having coffee and a scone (me) and latte (just the latte part, no coffee) and a chocolate croissant (Tino). I had a great time talking to Tino and staring at him and he had a great time staring at strangers.

In the afternoon I met Liz and Holly for some knitting... fabulous! But when I came back home Alex had cut Tino's hair...booo hoooo, my baby looks like a boy now. He'll be 19 months old tomorrow but he looks so much older without his messy curls. I want his hair to grow back NOW!

The pictures of this post are from a book I got from the library called Urban Babies Wear Black. It doesn't really have a story, more of a list of things that urban babies do... like, you know? go to galleries and drink latte. But I love the illustrations! They are by Nathalie Dion. I love the styling and the colors she uses. Look at that awesome (expressionist?) painting the little girl with the red bandana is looking at! Too cute!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

to new beginnings

My little sister got engaged last night!!! AND, a-n-d she got a kick ass new job this past week!!!! I'm soooo happy and excited for her! She called us last night and I feel like a heel for not picking up the phone right away, Alex and I were watching a movie and it only had like 10 minutes left. But I called her right back and she gave me the news. Apparently she had been bugging everybody that she wanted and iPod nano, so Jason (the boyfriend now turned fiancé) had a little romantic evening picnic thing prepared in a park in downtown San Antonio and she thought it was to celebrate her new job. Jason gave her a nicely wrapped present and it was the iPod nano, then he told her that he got it engraved and when she turned the iPod to see, the inscription read "will you marry me?" ...How cool is that? how techno-romantic! he then (I guess) went down on one knee and gave her the whole spill and the ring. I'm sooooo happy for her!

*the picture is totally unrelated to the post but I really don't like posts without pictures. The image does mark a rare occasion when the whole set of Tino's blocks are accounted for. =P

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