Friday, April 28, 2006

Weigh In day!

Today is my official weigh in day, and as of this morning I am down 10 whopping pounds! 10 down, about 24 left to go......

Still hacking up a lung. If its not better by Tuesday, I am definitely going to see the doctor again. This is getting ridiculous.

My friend Fernando is travelling to visit Keith on Tuesday, along with his friend Hector. They wanted to experience the US "Keith" style. He is pretty excited - although I lose my bowling partner, which stinks. They fly into Chicago and will spend the night at Pat O'Brien's apartment, and then travel through Northern Michigan and hang out in Grand Rapids. I hope they have a good time! it will be cool for them to meet our family, too.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I think I'm finally getting the hang of this.....

I'm an author

OK, well, not quite. But i really dig this scrapbooking thing, and by some round about sort of way, this one chick with a pretty cool site that i like a lot asked me to write a little blurb about how I fell into digital scrapbooking. I even got a bio page up along with my article!

Here are the links:
The Article

The Bio

Oh yeah, also did a couple more for my kitties and another about our Christmas party :) I'm much more productive with these digital layouts than I am with traditional scrapbooking!


So my nasty cough hasn't quite gone away, but at least I have enough strength now to drag myself to work. I missed yesterday and half day on Monday. In addition to the cough, a stuffy runny nose decided to attack me as well, so I was pretty much miserable. I even had to call my mommy so she would feel sorry for me :o) But, i think its going away finally, so that makes me very very happy.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I made the leap into digital scrapbook world a few months ago - out of necessity - because there is not a plethora of scrapbook supplies available here. I took a class (online), and I must say I enjoy it! So, I figure I will share my layouts here as well. I am by no means a professional, but with the help of lots of online goodies I have come up with some cool things!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Busca de casa

Pat O'Brien's realtor has a cool nifty online thing where she can send you the prospects and you can peruse through them at your leisure with pictures and virtual tours. It makes it a lot easier for me to participate in the home search even though I can't go to physically see many of the homes. The other great thing is Pat O'Brien and I have the same tastes, and are looking for the same things in a home. One big difference - he really wants a deck or patio, while my kicker is a nice bathtub. Somehow I think we'll manage.....

There's this one condo - on Catalpa in Andersonville - the first time I looked at it I thought it was totally adorable. Apparently I subconciously feel in love with it...because I had a dream about it last night. I don't really remember it, I know I was in the kitchen (which is totally cute, and has this beautiful painted or wallpapered short wall with big letters that spell out EAT above the stainless fridge, but I guess they don't come with the condo) and I'm pretty sure I was frolicking about inside the place - and at the end I was taking a bubble bath. Ahh, life was perfect.

Pat O'Brien looked at it today, and he said it was REALLY nice, like the nicest he's seen. Like, ranked #1. Of course, its also one of the most expensive and at the high end of what he can afford. Anyway, it was exciting that one that I only got to see online ended up just as cool in real life!

Tengo Tos

I have a cough. A nasty cough. One that you can taste. You know, when you're lungs are so full of mucus that every time you cough a chunk comes up? well, I don't have any chunks yet, but I'm sure they're coming. I can taste them. I managed to fight it yestserday, but today a few have excaped from me. I'm sure tomorrow and Sunday I'll be full blown laid out

It never fails. Even if I arrived at family's home confined to a bubble, I am sure I would still get sick. My whole family over Easter was sick in some way. I'm pretty sure I got the cough from either my sister or my nephew. Thanks man, thanks a lot. I suppose it could be a combination of that and air travel. Recycled air is never good. Think of how SARS, the SuperFlu and heck, even the mumps started....its always traced back to someone on an airplane. Maybe I will buy one of those sharper image personal airfilters to wear.....

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Random thoughts.......

The guy who sells these fried cinnamon tostada shell things got a haircut.

I really like the Foo Fighters CD - Part 2 Acoustic version - that's the side that's not all headbanger.

Pat O'Brien rocks my socks.

I got summoned for Jury Duty in Wayne County for next Tuesday. I won't be there. Luckily, I can fax them my drivers liscence (with my Sag-nasty address on it) and I don't have to go. I just hope they don't call Saginaw County and summons me there.....

87 degrees is way too F'n hot. I prefer our mornings, which are like 45. Its nice and refreshing. 87 just makes me want to melt. I'm sure this is just the beginning....

Green Tea is yummy.

Insurance Sucks My Ass. Huge. All types - car, health, whatever. They can all kiss my half breed ass.

Mexicans are very conscious of the environment, at least 50% of them carpool, and 50% of those people have at least 10 people in the car.

I miss my friends. For some reason I don't reach out enough to them on my own. Maybe I need a kick in the ass.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Garlic Hummus

I am still officially on the bandwagon of my weight loss journey even though I was temporarily derailed over Easter. I joined to help me along the way. I know whats better to eat - but its just easier if I have a preset menu seeing as how i am lacking in the culinary department. I've actually been cooking some pretty yummy things!

today, i tried my hand at making hummus, yet another item that is not available in Mexico. it called for 3 cloves of garlic. i love garlic, so i almost always add an extra clove or two into whatever i am making. it probably wasn't a good choice for this dish. don't get me wrong, it was very yummalicious - but i only ate a tablespoon full and i don't think i will stop burping garlic for days. i think i was sweating garlic earlier. it is so bad, that when i tried to chew a piece of gum, it just ended up tasting like garlic mint. which, really, wasn't too bad of a combination :P

I also found these cute little trackers to log my weight and minutes for the various challenges i am doing. they are way too cute!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I’m a Big Girl Now

I arrived at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez Airport late last night, but I still manager to catch the last bus to Toluca. The bus only costs 100 pesos, so it beats a 600 peso cab ride! I was pretty proud of myself, because even though I was an emotional wreck the entire flight home, I still managed to not break down after getting to the airport and managed to get home by myself. Its sort of a big deal, I’ve been pretty dependant on Keith for lots of things, and now that he’s gone I have to re-learn how to be a big girl and depend on myself. Which isn’t such a bad thing, I suppose – but its much easier to depend on someone else.

I did however realize that I hate HATE hate taking taxi’s late at night. I do not feel safe at all! It was just a short ride from the bus station to my house, but I was white knuckled the whole way. Pretty much sucked. I will have to do it at least one more time when I go back to Chicago in May…..because Keith won’t be home yet.

One more thing that stunk about the trip home, is they asked for volunteers to give up their seat to stay an extra day in Chicago for a $500 flight voucher and a ticket on the same flight the next day. I pretty much jumped out of my seat and flew to the counter – I was there before he even finished the announcement. I was first in line, but it turned out to be a big tease. There was just enough room for everyone. Pretty much broke my heart, and I bawled the whole way home. It would have been, like, getting a free ticket to spend an extra day with Pat O’Brien – not a tough decision there.

The trip home was nice, but of course too short. Monday morning Pat O’Brien and I went with his realtor to do a little house hunting. Whoa. Huge shock to my system. Bouku Bucks for not so big places. I am going to have to do a LOT more purging if we are going to merge households. I thought I did pretty good from moving to a 2500 sq ft place to a 1200 sq ft place – but now we’re probably going to go down to 950 sq ft, and having two households….I’m going to have to watch a few episodes of Clean Sweep to get me in the mood.

We found a couple places that were very nice though – they were both courtyard units that were gutted and rebuilt brand new, very pretty. In a super cute area too – called Lincoln Square on Chicago’s north side. We also saw a couple that were pretty much right on Lake Michigan, with the most amazing views of Belmont Harbor, the beach, and lake. I could just plop a chair in front of the window and stare for hours. Unfortunately, views don’t make up for small spaces and / or orange paint. We’re hoping that he has it narrowed down by time I come in May, and that we’ll be able to make a decision then. Keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Beautiful Day

Its a beautiful day outside, while I am sitting on the patio writing this blog. Outside on the deck is the only place that I can steal wireless internet.....good thing its not raining :) Pat O'Brien and I took a scenic run of Carrollton this morning. It was the first time I actually ran since my surgery. I didn't run tons, maybe 1/2 mile at the most, but it felt good. Well, right now I am a little swollen, but it felt good while I was run/walking.

Coming home was a very good thing for me. It feels good to do silly things like go to Meijer with my family and grocery shop, or go to family video to try to find the 10 commandments. And, the coolest thing is that Austin finally knows who I am! Its pretty terrific for him to cuddle with me, and hear him call me Tia Karin, and ask me all his "Why?" questions (which is his current phase).

However, apparently American food gives me diarrhea. How ironic is that?

So, plans for the rest of the is pretty much just a chill day, we'll have cake and ice cream for Mom's and Austin's birthday. Tomorrow is dinner for the family, and then Pat O'Brien and I will head back to ChiTown. Monday morning we will do a little house hunting with the realtor, and my flight leaves at 5:30 to head back to the motherland.

OK - I will check in again sometime after I get back to Mexico. Hope everyone has a fun, safe and happy Easter / Passover :)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm Home!

We got in safe and sound on late Wednesday night. Thursday was spent just chillin around Pat O'Brien's apartment until the O'Donnell family joined us. I drank lots of beers before we even got to the Red Wings game. Drank a couple more at the game. By time we got home to Pat O'Brien's brother's house, I did not feel very good at all. I took a shower, and headed to sleep.

This morning I felt OK, I've definitely seen better days, and definitely can't hang as well as I used to! I'm getting too old! So, now, we're getting cleaned up and showered and we'll head to the 'Naw to see my fam! I was pretty fortunate to be able to see both families while I'm home :) It doesn't always work out that well!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

So much to do.....

I am a master procrastinator. I have a ton of things to do, but have spent the majority of the morning being a "CYBERCHONDRIAC" making sure that my brother isn't going to die of dengae fever or anything like that. Back to that in a minute....

Today is my last day here until next Tuesday, and I have a few things to wrap up - but nothing really earth shattering or urgent. I think I work best when my ass is under fire and I have to produce something right away. If I am given time - then I take time. I have never been good with self imposed deadlines.

Anyway, I slept again like big hairy ass last night. I figure I only got one or two hours of sleep, tops. I was just restless, not sure why. I'm sure hearing Keith wretching every two hours starting at 3AM didn't help much either. But I really think I would have been awake anyway.

So, when I first heard Keith throwing up, I thought to myself - I just went to bed a couple hours ago......did he decide to down the three liter bottle of tequila we just bought? Or just decide to see how quickly he could get really drunk? So, I went downstairs and found no evidence of a two hour binge drink fest. I went back upstairs and asked if he was OK. He said yeah, except for the coca crispies and strawberries that were launching out of his gut - he thought it might have been something he ate.....

This morning, before I left for work I brought him up some gatorade, saltines, and cold water, and checked in on him to make sure he didn't have cold sweats or body aches. I also checked to make sure he had not recently played with any dead birds or had contact with people who have travelled recently to asia - or that he didn't eat any thing from a can that was dented, or stuff that smelled funny. A big negative to all of the above. Which means A) its the flu or B) he did eat something bad in our fridge. I have ruled out salmonella and botulism as possible causes based on my research online this morning :o). I wish I knew for certain if it was the flu or not, because now I am afraid to eat anything in our house! We'll see how the kids holding up when I go home for lunch.

Friday, April 07, 2006


When I came to Mexico, I had all these grand visions of saving tons of money, travelling the countryside, visiting far off places every free chance I got, taking up photography......I realize now that I should have had more realistic expectations. As in, A) I don't have the energy to go travelling all over the land on the short weekend time that I have off because I work 10 billion hours a day during the week, and B) Even if I did have the energy I wouldn't have the $CASH$. And photography? Well, I was going to buy a digital SLR when I bought my computer, but I held off. Good thing I did too......because money is TIGHT!

One thing that I do want to do - no, that I will do - is visit the areas that my grandparents & thier families are from. Lucky for me, they are in the next two neighboring states, Michoacan and Guanajuato, which is definitely weekend driving distance (I would say less than four hours). I just got the information from my cousins of the names of the cities/villages/ranches and such, so now I am going to start doing some research. It would be great to be able to access public records and such while I am here. I think my first goal is to visit one of the areas by June. Not sure which, or exactly when, but putting that goal out there is the first step to achieving it, right?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

Happy April, Daylight Savings Time & Opening Day!

Go Tigers! This really could be their year!

It’s been a flurry of activity since we’ve talked last. I’m dragging ass today for no particular reason. I guess maybe because I didn’t do yoga last night and I slept like big hairy ass. I hit my snooze button for an hour and a half. That’s totally unlike me – once or twice maybe, but 20 times ????

Medical Mania
My health has been improving, but it seems to get worse even though I am feeling OK. Friday I had two doctors appointments – Summaries are below:

Doctor #1 – I went for a review of my CT scan that I took a while back. He said my nasal airways are over 70% closed, and referred me to a nasal surgeon. He said my allergies are a secondary problem to the fact that I can’t breathe!! I still haven’t decided what to do. I mean, I’ve lived with not being able to breathe well my whole life – do I really need to address it now? I think I might put off seeing the surgeon until I move back to the states…..

Doctor #2 – On the way to this appointment, I managed to cause an accident by cutting a guy off – and the car behind him smashed into him. I thought he was letting me in, but then as I was halfway over he kept on going, then stopped rapidly. I know it was my fault, but I didn’t stick around to feel the wrath of people I can’t understand.

Anywho, this was a gyno appointment, so I won’t go into all the gory details here. What was cool is that I got to be on TV! He also did colposcopy (sp?) so when we did the exam he had my cervix up on the screen so I could watch. After the initial shock of having my crotch on an extreme close up, I actually thought it was pretty cool. Although, at one point I did get a bit nauseous and had him turn it off. I asked him to turn it back on after I did some deep yoga breathing and calmed down. He was cracking up!

Rugby Road Trip
Saturday I decided it would be a good idea to travel with Keith and his rugby team to Celaya, a city in Eastern Guanajuato. I really didn’t want to go – I knew it would be a long day, and I really just felt like sleeping and doing nothing. Turned out to be a good idea. It was a fun day, and beautiful outside (at least in the shade – in the sun it was over 90) even though they lost. Keith got rattled on one tackle, and it made my heart drop when I saw him not getting up. Turns out he just got the wind knocked out of him – but I always think the worst and my mind goes directly to head injuries. I’m also pretty sure he broke his nose. Again. Which reminds me, I need to remind him to make sure he still has emergency travel insurance when we’re home for Easter.

On the way back we stopped in DF at Ofo’s house (really, we’re going to start calling him MoFo, because that’s all I can think of when I hear his name). There was lots of drinking and libations, starting from the point of leaving Celaya. Apparently they have not heard of the whole open container law in Mexico. I did not partake – I actually only drank one beer at the social after the game. I’m watching calories and carbs, and beer is a good source of both. It ended up working well anyway, since I was the driver. The pic is of the group, right before we left. From left to right, Christian, Keith, Ofo, Me, some random guy I don't know, and Nico.

Sunday was a lazy day. I couldn’t do laundry because I got up too late and in the afternoons here it usually storms for an hour or two. I guess that might not make sense to most people, but we don’t have a dryer so we have to hang our clothes out to dry in the back yard. Not like a little bit of rain would normally hurt clothing, but the rain here is dirty. It leaves dirt marks everywhere. It’s pretty gross. And the storms come with rough winds, so our clothes would end up in our neighbor’s backyards. I think Keith has already lost a couple shirts to that. I should probably get some clothespins. The weather should act like this from now until August or so. It reminds me a lot of Denver – I’m sure it has something to do with the mountains all over.

We did manage to get dressed and go to Wal-Mart for grocery shopping. I don’t know why I continue to go there on Sunday afternoon – I end up being all pissed off after we’re done. There is soooo many people and they usually have some sort of marketing people outside blasting three different kinds of music, and it really is sensory overload. I guess we just end up going at that time because we don’t really have any other time to do it. *sigh* such is life.

On a happy note, we thought Keith was going to have to go to immigration to get his visa extended, but when we looked at it this morning, turns out they gave him a 180 day visa when we crossed the border instead of the normal 90 day ones you get at airports. Pretty cool!