Purpose…

I never realized how much my kids need me, I mean really need me when I was working full time.  I still remember those crazy harried days.  Morning madness to get everyone dressed and out to before-care, which was followed by a long day at school, a few hours at after-care, after which most days they would be the last children picked up from their school/ babysitter.  I’d come home and make dinner of chicken nuggets, or just buy them on the way home, bathe them and send them to bed.  While I’d run around washing clothes, or trying my best to do some home cleaning so that my neglected husband wouldn’t feel what he was, neglected. 

When I was laid off, my purpose for existence was gone.  My job being the #1 priority in my life had left me feeling useless and like a loser.  Cause I hadn’t given up, I was going to go the distance at work.  I was like a pitbull there once I sunk my teeth in I wasn’t going to let go. 

But now my purpose for existence is God and my family.  Yeah I know there was a big jump in there… how did all of that happen? Well, little by little really.  God had been calling me for so long.  He missed me.  But I had been too busy with my job to answer his call.  But once I did, the change in me was unbelievable.  I became a devoted wife and mother.  And I actually became good at those things too.

And I love doing those things… being with my husband, being with my children.  And I began to notice that throughout the day, my kids will NEED me. I mean really need me.  Even for something so little (or so big depending on how you look at it) as a hug.  And those little things, those little bits of rejuvenation are so important.  I love being able to be here for them to give them those things now.  Reassurance, words of encouragement, to teach them things… now for the first time in a long time I have no guilt associated with being a mother.  And I’m not saying that full time working mothers should have guilt.  When I worked I always believed, and I still do, that good child care was critical to enabling me to work with an easy mind.  Staying at home is not an option for everyone.  But it just speaks to how much I have grown as an individual that I am happy doing this, being that mom that stays home, because I never thought I could.  But I’m here doing this and I’m so happy.

Fresh White page…

blank canvas under my burning finger tips

eyes close

fingers feel

heart beats

smooth

endless

thoughts paused

thoughts caught

stuck on to the paper

moments in time

harpooned into stillness

captured for

turning you over in my palm

feeling the smooth grittiness of memories

long forgotten

smashed flat

pressed away in darkest deepest corners

never to be remembered

hope exposed

life untold

dreams smoke

oozed and seep through pores

too gaping to be refined

words jumble

minds entwined

wounds heal

love resounds

eyes opened

bright page

the cats meow

————————

so that’s it for me today… just a bunch of random nothing and everything all here on the page. my daily soul expose to my followers…

Strawberry kisses

Do you remember

blowing wishes on the wind

white thistles grabbed onto air as

your dreams floated off into the universe

to be caught only by God

and breathed back into your life

Prince Charming on White Horses

always ready with a song and a smile

curly haired cherubian babies to be born to you

laughing and smiling never a wet eye in the house

sweet kisses like strawberries always on your lips and your cheeks

every morning would be Christmas

every night would be New Years

Paradise a playground only for grown ups

remembering those wishes blown into the wind

so long ago

feeling happy that one wish did get up to God

and breathed back to me…

those strawberry kisses

Sr. Beverly Revisited…

I went to an all girls Catholic high school. And looking back on it now, I’ve always been opinionated. Taught from the time I was a child to always stand up for my rights, and never to let anyone trample on me. All of my years in school had been pretty tranquil, and I was typically known as the “teacher’s pet”. So in comes Sr. Beverly, during my Junior year at Hallahan Girls Catholic high school.

Now there was something about Sr. Beverly that just rubbed me the wrong way. The way she picked on certain girls in the class, usually all my friends. She’d twist their words around to make them look stupid and all of the girls in the class would laugh, she was such a clown. But I never did. The way she put people on the spot and made them feel insignificant never sat well with me. There was just something about the way she talked to me, how her eyes would open really large, she’d push her face really close to mine and stare at me as if she could expose my soul.

She had this “in your face” follow you around the school kind of philosophy on teaching. And for some reason today, when my husband and I were arguing about what color trim to put on the floors, she came to mind. It was was almost as if I gave into him, that it would be like being back in that classroom watching one of my friends being humiliated by her and staying silent. I could stay silent and just acquiese to what he wanted. Or I could open my mouth and say something to her, something to sting her and make her think and make the other girls laugh at her instead of my friends. And I’d save my friends from embarrassment and in turn save myself.

I deserve to have a say in this situation after all, I’m the person that is here the most often. I should just LOVE this space, every inch of it. So it’s like Sr. Beverly’s Religion class revisited at home today. Me, saying things that Sr. Beverly/ my husband didn’t want to hear, but that I had to say so that they wouldn’t weigh on my soul. And this time it’s not for my friends, but for me… so that I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror and feel pity. But so that I can look at myself and know that what happened was hard, but I’m a better person for having stood up for what I believed in, and not letting others trample over me.

Making Love Work…

So, for a while now, as long as I can remember anyhow, Carina has been sleeping in the bed with my husband and I.  It started out when she was sick months ago, we brought her into bed with us in the middle of the night.  The next night the same thing happened, and then the following night she went straight to sleep in our bed.  So for months on end now, Carina has wedged a gap between my husband and I at night.  At times I wake up to find her caressing my hair, or her foot in my face, arms tangled around me and pushing me off of the bed.  Its the mornings that I love the most.  I wake up to see her little face sleeping calmly next to me, deep in a world of dreams.  Sometimes I just lay there and watch her.  She laughs and even talks sometimes.  I love that little girl to pieces, let me tell you! 

But there’s someone else that I love to pieces, my husband Kike.  I love him so much!  Even though there are times, like today, when I feel like I could strangle him.  Coming home late to a dirty kitchen will do that to you though!  But all things considered he is truly the love of my life.  He knows me like the back of his hand!  He’s the only person that knows me, how I think, how my mind works, the things I don’t like, he knows it all.  And I miss him!  He’s been working 2 jobs for over a year now and the time that we have to share together is just not what it once was.  I miss late night cuddles and waking up in his arms.  With him tangled around me, pushing me off of the bed. 

So, I’ve decided that we need to take a step and get Carina back to sleeping in her big girl bed.  The transition will definitely be a hard one as we’re just transitioning her off of the bottle as well.  But we’re both committed to it this time (I think!).  So tomorrow, we’re going to take the plunge of getting her back into her own room.  Trials and tribulations, crying jags, photos all to be posted here.  Comments and advice from those experienced with transitioning toddlers back into their own beds, and everyone else will be truly appreciated!

P.S. to all my twitter friends – gosh it feels great to release some thoughts without 140 character limits! lol

I am the unwanted…

I love quiet moments at home alone.  They give me time to clear my head.  Being laid off was probably one of the best things that has happened to me in my life, although it still hurts me.  Because I had an opinion I was chosen; I was deemed “unnecessary”.  God forbid, a woman should speak her mind.  A man doesn’t want to hear it at home and he definitely doesn’t want to hear it in the workplace either.  I mean there at least the woman is getting paid to do a job and should be so “grateful” to have one.  Even if she was doing the work of 3+ people and one man was driving her nuts.  Well, he was a vital part of the organization.  A vital part of how the organization worked and I wasn’t.

When one thinks of mistakes, one must always look back and examine the actions that made you take that misstep and made you land where you fell.  Well, guess what? I don’t take one action on my part back.  Rather, I should have said and done more. 

I stopped writing here for a while because it started to make me feel like my soul was exposed to the world to see.  But then I remembered, I started my blog to expose my soul to the world.  Not to discuss politics, not to debate issues, but to write mostly just to clear my mind.  So here it is 3 months later, after I was deemed “fat that could be cut”, and I’m still not over it. I don’t know why.

I’m not sitting at home eating OREO cookies and crying.  Not by a long shot.  I go to the gym every day and work out about 2 hours a day.  I drop my children off from school and pick them up, no more before/after care for them.  I have so much more time for my family and for me.  I’m not in last place anymore.  When I was working 50+ hour work weeks, my time was about everyone else but me.  Not anymore.  I’m putting myself first for a little while.  I’m opening my mouth.  Rediscovering my own opinion and voicing it.  I think it will open new doors for me after a while.  We’ll see won’t we?

How to be a Latina DRESSING the part in the Corporate World – Part 2

Workplace Fashion DON’TSThings you should not wear to work

I love going salsa dancing. And when I get a chance to get out dancing, you better believe I am coming dressed to impress – which includes being sexy. But going out salsa dancing and working at a 9 to 5 in the corporate world are 2 completely different worlds. In the beginning, it was VERY hard for me to differentiate between the two different types of “dressing up”. You dress up to go to the club and you dress up to go to work, but that doesn’t mean that you wear the same type of “dress up” outfit to both places. In the club, you WANT to get attention. At work, the LAST thing you want to get attention for, is because of what you are wearing.

  • Stiletto heels – heels higher than a 3 inch heel generally should be saved for the club. Heels that have wedges at the bottom, to create a higher heal should definitely not be worn at work, as they’re probably a little too reminiscent of working dancers. But the height of the heel isn’t the only indicator that it’s not appropriate for work. Glittery sequins, bright adorning jewels, feathers, straps that wrap around the ankle – all these things make the shoes not the best choice for work.
  • Gauzy material – we’ve all done it once or another – well I know I have anyway! Bought a sexy fitted sheer shirt and then added a sexy black lacy bra underneath to finish the look. This is something that you can definitely wear if you have the confidence out to the club, to go out dancing, but to work, no way. Your shirt, skirt, pants should not be see through at the work place.
  • Flip flops – flip flops are becoming part of fashion and aren’t only for using at the beach or the pool. However they still haven’t made it past the level of casual wear. Casual wear should not be worn in the work place – especially not flip flops. The only time I actually did wear flip flops to work was when I was pregnant and my swollen fat feet couldn’t fit into any normal foot wear. So I bought sequined flip flops and had to wear those to work. But due to my condition, I believe most people didn’t hold it against me, especially when they saw my poor swollen feet.
  • Sneakers – although fitness gear was not a topic I wanted to touch upon, as Latinas typically are very style conscious and won’t be caught dead in a sneaker all day at work – there are some who do. If you come to work in sneakers for comfort – change your shoes once you get to work. If not, you take the chance that you can look slovenly and unkempt, especially if your sneakers have not been cleaned lately. Change them as soon as you get to work. The same goes for snow boots and rain boots.
  • T-shirts with words on them – any shirt that has words written on it should not be worn to work. Unless it’s underneath a form fitting blazer and the text is either hidden or camouflaged as a design because it is not all showing.

Skin that you should not show at work

  • Too much cleavage – Well, I am a woman and I buy clothes that accentuate that fact, so how do I know when too much cleavage is being shown? If you look at yourself in the mirror and your eyes are automatically drawn to your breasts, you may be showing too much cleavage. Are you questioning whether a shirt is acceptable? Sit down in a chair and see how the shirt may shift when you are seated. Does it become tighter across the bodice? Do the buttons strain? If the answers are yes, do yourself a favor and leave it for weekend wear.
  • Your belly – Your belly should NEVER, I repeat NEVER, show while you are at work in a corporate environment. If it does, you need to consider if you raise your arms to pick up something more will show and probably expose your back as well. This is very unprofessional. CHANGE the shirt or pair it with a long tank underneath that can give you the additional coverage that you need without taking away from the look you were going for.
  • Your lower back – Like midriff tops, super low rise pants show too much skin and create a distraction. Opt for more modest styles to be taken more seriously at work.
  • Your Thighs – If your skirt is short enough that your thighs are showing, it’s probably a mini skirt and definitely not for the workplace.
  • Your shoulders – Although wearing sleeveless dresses is now becoming accepted, strapless dresses and dresses with spaghetti straps, these are still not acceptable in the workplace. Save them for the weekend.

Rules for accessories

  • Are pantyhose/stockings a must in the workplace? In the past, it was considered inappropriate and brazen for a woman to wear skirt or dress that showed her legs and not cover her legs with stockings. In 2009, we have finally gotten to a point where stockings are not a requirement to wear a skirt. If you can carry the look, there’s no harm in it. But just remember that you must make sure that your skirt length is appropriate. If you mistakenly combine a short skirt with bare legs, you can do yourself a really big disservice.
  • I went to Catholic school up until I graduated from High school – and so a lot of my thoughts on jewelry in the workplace, I’ve retained from my time in Catholic school. No hoop earrings. Earrings no larger than a quarter. One necklace. Minimalism is what I try to practice. If your jewelry seems to overpower you and your outfit than do as Coco Chanel said “When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.”.
  • Piercings, although much more common, are not seen as professional in the workplace. While you are interviewing, you want to make sure that you don’t have any noticeable body piercings, and once you are employed, you want to pretty much stick to that as well. Others can perceive you as young, immature, and it can mean you can miss out on promotions at work. Anything extreme should be minimalized – ear stretchers, more than a couple of piercings per ear, etc.
  • Tattoos – I personally love tattoos, as I see them as bodily art. And tattoos can be a very personal means of self-expression, a way of memorializing a loved one, and any other number of things. But your personal acceptance and love for tattoos doesn’t mean everyone will feel that way. My husband for example still believes that women and men that have lots of exposed tattoos are “trashy” and no way is this true. Whereas I tend to see people with heavy tattoos as artistically creative, he sees them as trashy. So what does this mean? If you work in a corporate environment, try and keep all tattoos on your body in a place that can be covered by your clothing.
  • Make-up – Yes, believe it or not, there is even a difference in the way that you do your makeup for the club versus makeup for the daytime. Excessive makeup is not appropriate in the workplace. When you make up your face for a day in the office, make yourself look fresh and alert. Dark colors and shadows are not necessary for a day time look. When it comes to jewelry and makeup at work, remember the mantra “less is more”. You don’t want to distract people with your make up.
  • Hair – JUST SAY NO to extreme colors and cuts that could leave you looking more like a wild parrot than a dedicated employee. Natural looks are always better. And if you are looking for a hair change on weekends, buy a couple of wigs to wear and change your look completely, while remaining corporate during the work week.

This topic reminds me of my first real full time corporate position. In the department where I worked, there was a woman there who I really thought was off her rocker. Her attire was risqué to say the least and her makeup wasn’t far behind. She frequently wore wigs to work, she would highlight her brows in white, wear bright colored eye shadows. Glossy bright colors in her lips, that were always lined in black eyeliner. Bright red rouge on her cheeks and colored mascara. Did she see what we all saw when we looked at her? No I’m sure she didn’t. She probably thought that her work should speak for itself and she shouldn’t be judged for her looks. But that’s not the society we live it. I always thought of her as a strange bird. And could not for the life of me, get passed her strange attire, hair and makeup. Apparently our manager couldn’t either, she never moved up beyond her entry level data entry position within the company, although she had been there for more time than most of us in the department. Her growth within the company was stagnated because of how she looked.
 
If you look like Lady Gaga when you are heading out to work in the morning, you’re going to have to turn back around and bring it down a few levels. Remember, “less is more” when it comes to accessorizing and make up at work.


 
Where do I go from here?? Still feeling a little confused after reading my blog? I suggest watching TLC’s show “WHAT NOT TO WEAR”. They remake women of all shapes and sizes to look their absolute best. Watch the shows for ideas on how to make your body shape look it’s best without being seen as provocative at work.

How to be a Latina DRESSING the part in the Corporate World

“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” — Coco Chanel
Do people stop and stare when you walk in the room? Has your boss actually had to bring you into his/her office to counsel you on appropriate work place attire? As Latinas, we’ve been raised to embrace and accentuate our femininity. Most of us have become so good at enhancing our feminine side that it tends to ooze from every pore. Sounds great right? Yes, when you’re with your man or out at the club, it’s wonderful, but this doesn’t always go over well in the work place.


Before I was laid off from my position in the corporate world, every night and most mornings I would peer into my closet and stress over what to wear to work. As a Latina I truly embrace all aspects of my femininity. I love my body and wearing clothing that remind my man that I am a woman and therefore very different than he. I want his eyes on me. We all know that the Latino male is known to have wandering eyes, and whether that’s true or not, I’m not one who wants to take a chance on it. So I dress to keep his eyes on me. Not outrageously but everything I wear is definitely not anything a man would wear.


Some days though, when I get to work in my form fitting skirt that accentuates my Latina curves, I feel out of place and question why did I choose this? I looked fine at home, but now I feel too sexy for the work place. Do you ever find yourself in this position? Well here are a few rules that I pulled together based on my own experiences at work.  Mind you, I have not by any means done all of these things, but I have seen numerous people who have made one or more of these mistakes.  And while you might think fashion mistakes at work could not possibly be a big deal, guess what?   They can be and they are.  Fashion faux pas at work can cost you that job before your interview is completed, they can make your boss think you are young and immature and not ready to handle a promotion, and they can even make a reputation for you without you having to do a thing.  I know, I know!  You are all saying “well that’s not fair!  I should be judged by my work not by how I look”.  Well honey this is America, and as we Latinas know, sometimes you are judged before you say a word so make sure you play by the rules to give yourself a fair shot at all things that you deserve. So take a moment and read through the list.  You’ll be glad you did in the end.

What Really Happened Last Night in my room…

So I had a weird dream again last night. I almost hesitate to write about this one because of the recurring theme. Unfortunately, I can’t remember as much as I did the last time, with my last dream that I wrote of here. I just remember being shocked by it when I awoke and quickly replaying it in my mind. That usually helps the dream stick some in my mind.

So it was a long dream, and I only remember these bits and pieces. I just remember running away and it was my husband that was chasing me. He wanted to kill me. I remember running in some big huge ditch over dirt and mud. I jumped in an SUV, I think it was his car and I was driving away, but he climbed in through the back window. I remember trying to get away. Then the next thing I remember we were in some sort of a room. And this was it. I had a gun and someone next to me handed me bullets and told me to load it and shoot him. I had never done it before, and they offered to help, but I for some strange reason wanted to do it on my own, I wanted to learn now. So I started pushing the bullets in, but it was really a roll of quarters. But I kept pushing them in anyhow. I tried to shoot the gun, but it didn’t go off. I had loaded it incorrectly somehow. Then I looked at my husband. He was sitting behind a desk. He opened the zipper of his pants and pulled out an oozie from his pants. And he shot me twice in the stomach. I didn’t feel pain. But I knew I was shot. And that’s all I can remember. Kind of weird though that he pulled the shot gun from his pants.

So I went to my online dream dictionary and pulled up all of the references that I relate to my dream and have included them here. Why do I keep having these dreams with this theme of me, my husband and death? This is starting to bother me.

Killer
To see a killer commit murder in your dream, foretells sadness caused by the misdeeds of others. To dream that you are killed or being chased by a killer, foretells that enemies are working against you.

Murder
If you dream of witnessing a murder in your dream, it forewarns that someone will do something that upsets or saddens you. Dreaming that you are murdered by someone means you have rivals who are secretly conspiring against you. Also see “Murderer”, below

Murderer
To see a murderer kill someone in your dream foretells sadness caused by the misdeeds of others. To dream that you are killed or being pursued by a murderer, foretells that enemies are working against you.

Self-Defense
If you defended yourself in your dream, you should avoid forcing any important issues for the time being, as someone you count on for support could suddenly fail you. Also see “Martial Arts”

Shot
If you dream of shooting someone with a gun, your reputation is going to suffer in some way. If you get shot, you will be annoyed by a nasty person. If you hear the sound of shooting in your dream, this means that selfishness will be the cause of unhappiness between you and someone you love. Also see “Gun”.

Gun
To dream about a gun may mean you feel pressured by a male person in your life. It can also represent anxiety and the need for protection. Also see “Shot”.

Chase / Chasing
Being chased in a dream means you are avoiding facing a threatening situation in real life.

Relatives
If you dream of a family member trying to hurt or kill you, this reflects your anxiety over your real-life relationship with this person. They may have been behaving in an embarrassing or emotionally hurtful way toward you. Also see “Family.”

Family
If you dream about your family, it may be a way for your mind to express feelings and concerns about your real faimly that you could not express in daily life. Some believe that this dream usually has nothing to do with your actual family members, but rather the male and female sides of your own personality or self. So in a dream, your father may represent your expressive and protective aspects, while your mother could stand for your receptive and nurturing side. If family members behave very differently in a dream than they do in real life, or if unexpected things happen when you are with your dream family, the dream is probably a way of releasing your anxiety about real-life family issues. For instance, if you dream of a family member trying to hurt or kill you, it reflects a real-life concern about this person. They are acting in a way that hurts you, or threatens your emotional happiness.

Running
Running in a dream suggests that you are feeling trapped or pressured in a real life relationship. It can also mean you feel stressed by school or work. Also see the “Running” explanations below, and also see “Track.”

Quarter
If you dreamed of quarters (the coin), you will receive unexpected gains but they will come with responsibility. Make sure you act in accordance with your inner values!

When Tomorrow Starts Without me…

When tomorrow starts without me,
and I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me:

I wish you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn’t get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too:

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand.

And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.

I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I’d say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
Would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,

He said, “This is eternity.
And all I’ve promised you.
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew.

I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same way
There’s no longing for the past.

You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things

You knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?”

So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.

Author Unknown_______________________________

I found this poem on line today and it touched me. I thought I would share it with you all. It is especially fitting today. Today is Veterans Day and it brings me memories of my uncle who passed away this year, he was a Veteran. I thought I would share it with you all in case any one has experienced any recent losses of a loved one, or may be losing one slowly, like we lost my uncle.

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