the outsider.

El Cuco (Folklore Demond): “why were you so quick to accept my existence?”

Holly (investigator): “An outsider can always recognize another outsider.”

Last weekend was my sister’s birthday. I asked her many times what she had planned to celebrate and if we [the family] were going to do anything. She was not sure… The day came and went and I never heard from her. A few days later I learned that her boyfriend threw her a surprise birthday party. I was not invited because it was only for “close friends.”

This got me thinking about how I am an outsider. I have friends and I have family (blood relatives) but rarely am I included in life events; weddings, birthdays, holidays, game nights, etc. It’s actually one of the reasons I always wanted kids, because I figured if I wanted to be part of a tribe I had to make it. That’s not to say I don’t have friends that include me – I do. I am lucky to have some close friends who have now become my chosen family, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that even with them I sometimes feel like an outsider. And most of the time, I am fine with it. I have become accustomed to my alone time; I actually prefer and enjoy my alone time (I don’t think people appreciate alone time as much as they could or should). But sometimes, some days, I do stand outside looking in and wonder why I didn’t get to live in a world where I felt like a full fledged member of your life [you: the abstract you].

This disposition as an outsider is my biggest strength and biggest weakness. It gives me such a unique view on life but also exposes an insecurity that many have tried to exploit. Some people have succeeded and some very hard and painful lessons have been learned. Let’s just say I definitely have some scars AND some secret wisdoms to life. This is all to say, Reader, if you ever feel the way I do just know that you are not alone and, to me, you are imperfectly perfect just as you are.

Never be fooled into thinking that you aren’t unique or special just because you are an outsider, like myself. Know yourself and know that even if the whole world doesn’t understand you, it does not mean you are not worthy. I may be an outsider but I know my worth. I know my intelligence and my character. I know I’m not willing to behave unethically because I’m asked to blindly follow the decisions of a bad boss; even if everyone else does. I know I will listen to the same story over and over again just to keep an elderly woman with dementia company. I know that I will always drive with dog food in my car just in case I see a homeless person with a dog because I know that’s their furbaby [their family]. I know that I would wait in line for an hour and then drive seventeen miles to bring a friend a chicken sandwich from Popeyes, just because we share a love of Popeyes. I know that talk to my dogs too much, and I sing to my daughter probably too much too; songs I make up – including a song about playing with her toes. This is me. And for a long time I was made to feel like it was wrong; feel ashamed. But now… if who I am makes me an outsider, then I’m okay with that.

What I’m watching: Netflix cartoons (well, most adult cartoons) are my jam and I’m glad Paradise PD is back. It’s fun and a good distraction from the dramatics of the current state of things going on in the world.

Another show that I’m in love with for it’s serious yet light hearted approach is All Rise on CBS. This show revolves around the life of judge Lola Carmichael, a new judge navigating the world of the law, unique cases, friendships, and professional relationships (which sometimes clash). The cast is filled with diverse characters that provide depth to the story lines. I seriously hope this show sticks around past this first season.

Tech specs: I’m still a huge advocate for the Speck Presidio Grip Case. It’s a sturdy case that provides a low profile so it does not feel bulky while still ensuring drop protection thanks to its unique construction. But the truly best part of this case is the grip part – the lines on the back of the case provide a texture and design that truly create a grip for your hand. This is especially important since smartphones are now both big and delicate. Oh and Not to mention EXPENSIVE! This is a great investment for a secure outfit for your $1k+ smartphone. Best of all, this series of cases is available for most of the leading brand phones – not just Samsung and Apple, but also Motorola and LG, etc.

Random thought: more of a plea – please please please EDUCATE YOURSELF on the COVID-19 coronavirus BEFORE joining the many many people who have flown straight into blind panic and hysteria. I won’t give you statistics and scientific facts because I am not a doctor and therefore would come off as just another opinion, but the cases speak for themselves. People recover from this virus. Only those already compromised are at risk of fatality. You don’t need to stockpile like it’s the apocalypse, just simply WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY AND PROPERLY.

Doggy pic of the day: I’ve been working on my back yard as much as I can lately (you have to work slowly with a busted hip and ribs), and Walter and Charles have been my wonderful assistants!!

words that start with the letter F…

Fears of failure frequently feel like foreshadowing of fucking up my family and fur babies.

I have a confession, I still have a hard time calling Peanut my daughter and I feel weird when people call me a mother. Often, this entire thing feels like the sweetest dream that I will wake up from at any moment. When I’m away from her, I have brief moments of doubt; is she real? Is this really my life right now? I was so used to disappointment and heartbreak that I don’t know what to do with this immense happiness sometimes. Professionally, I’ve been harassed and defeated; and had dreams of an alternative profession crushed by people I should have been able to trust as mentors. Romantically, I have been disheartened and defeated. So I never expected I would get what I’ve always wanted: a family of fur babies and fun little tiny human. There’s this cute Peanut human baby who loves me and is my family! How did I get so lucky? It overwhelms me with joy, but it also overwhelms me with fear of failing her and losing my little family.


The next F word on my mind is friends; what that means and looks like. Friending as an adult is hard. Being an adult is lonely when you don’t have a partner or even a best friend who is your person, but all your friends do. Don’t get me wrong, I am insanely lucky to have a good group of awesome friends, BUT they all have their person; their ride or die. And I’m pretty sure it’s not me. I don’t think anyone considers me their best fiend; their person. Many times I thought I had found my person but I was soul crushingly wrong… But I still hope…


For fucks sake freaking shake it off!! That’s right, I am yelling at myself in my own blog. Told you this would be a wild/weird ride… So other much happier things to report: Peanut is amazing! She’s rambling a ton and squirming around like the little sixth month old that she is. Her personality grows with each day and it’s so cool to get to watch. She is also beginning to build an adorable bond with Charles. My little man Charles, the terrier mix, is turning into a great big brother. He watches Peanut closely and protects her; cuddling with her feet and sleeping with her during naps time.


What I’m watching: in case you didn’t get the clue above, Grey’s Anatomy. We are now in the 16th season and it’s been a bumpy ride. I have seen all of the seasons and up to the current episodes and have stuck by the good, the bad, and the ugly… I screamed at the tv when Izzy recovered from stage 4 brain cancer (since it happened after my Lori had died of stage 4 cancer)… I briefly lost faith in love when they killed off Derek… but I remain a loyal watcher. Even when it is bad, I have gotten to the point of this parasocial relationship where I can’t abandon Meredith (Ellen Pompeo). Don’t judge me. Lol.


Tech specs: I’m getting back into the swing of things with house projects. There’s much to be done with my back yard, front yard and office. One thing I have always been terrible at is using the damn tape measure on long distances by myself – enter the Stanley 30 Pocket Laser Distance Measure. This thing is AMAZING. Extremely tiny, pocket sized, usb rechargeable, laser measure. I have been using this little guy all month and it makes taking measurements a breeze – such a time saver!


Random thoughts: I try not to be political or super religious on this blog because I want everyone to feel welcomed and included in my journey. I want you in my life even if we don’t agree on everything – it’s important to be friends with and try to understand people who’s truths are different than mine. But with that being said, I will share my personal sentiment on the current democratic race for the primaries – simply for pragmatic reasons, there are some front runners that are a bad choice. It’s just the simple truth that die hard fans of those people refuse to see. [Sigh]. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.


Doggy pic of the week: Professor Walter looking extremely handsome while helping me measure and clean the back yard.

Peanuts, poops, and piercings…

This week, in a very clever marketing ploy, Mr. Peanut (a mascot of 104 years) “died.” A new commercial was released by the company showing Mr. Peanut sacrificing himself in order to save his friends after a car accident. The company relied on the mix of nostalgia and social media to humanize Mr. Peanut and create a parasocial relationship where consumers no longer saw this character as a fictional two dimensional immortal character, but instead like an old friend who passed away. Quickly, there were articles discussing this marketing strategy; criticizing it or praising it. To be honest, I was rather amused by this clever marketing strategy. And as Peanut’s namesake, I cross paths with Mr. Peanut in my purchases of domains for her (such as this one), and social media handles, so naturally this crossed my path. It’s just an amusing thing to watch companies use social media to breathe life and personality into their mascots. And when one company does something like this, it gives others the opportunity to piggyback on the wave of attention and advertise their own products by engaging in the marketing strategy within social media (see images of other companies responding to Mr. Peanut’s death).

Yesterday I realized that with Peanut with me I have the power to punish people with poop – Revenge poop! I often carry not only the means to change diapers, but also a way of transporting them in a bag that locks in the odor pretty well. I do this out of curtesy to those around me – I never know when I have to wait to find the proper out-of-the-way waste basket. I’m constantly worried about inconveniencing the olfactory cortex of those around me. But yesterday, I was faced with a different challenge – how to deal with an office cunt at one of my medical appointments. This woman has been extremely unnecessarily unpleasant to me every single fucking time I see her, and yesterday, during my visit to the office this particular cunt works at, Peanut required a change that included a poopy situation. Like the considerate mother that I am, I swiftly stored the stink to save the sanity of those stuck in there with me. As I was leaving, this bitch required I get in line in order to speak with her (there was no one else in line, or even in the room, so she sent me to the door across the room to stand at the beginning of the line so that she could then call my name for me to walk back to her). As I approached her desk I noticed she had a waste basket in front of her out of her sight or reach, so I grabbed the dirty diaper out of the bag under the stroller and put it in the waste basket without her noticing so that throughout the day she could enjoy the random wafts of baby poop. Why didn’t I think of revenge poopy diapers sooner??? This is going to be my new thing! So if you’re mean to me expect to smell baby poop the rest of the day!

Speaking of poop… my little guy Vinny, the Italian greyhound chihuahua mix, has been struggling lately with anxiety attack/seizures that induce uncontrollable poopies. He had this terribly when he first moved in with me, and it seems the change of Peanut joining the family has triggered these to flare back up. Do any of you with anxious fur babies encounter a nervous tummy/body like my little dude? And what do you use/do to calm your pups down? I’m looking for new ways of helping him relax. It’s really difficult because restricting him to certain areas within the house means the other two have to be restricted as well so he’s not ostracized alone; causing him to be even more anxious. And I prefer letting them roam the house freely, but as long as there a chance of uncontrollable dog poop, I can’t risk my baby and furniture.

In my family, and a part of my culture, having your ears pierced if you are a girl (or for those of you who require gender be referenced about as part of the spectrum of a social construct and want to be a pain in the ass about it – I mean born of the female sex with female reproductive organs) is expected to be done within days of birth. Peanut turns six months soon and she still did not have her ears pierced, so among many other questions, my family members (and I have MANY) have been asking me constantly why Peanut didn’t have her ears pierced yet and when I was going to take her. My grandmother even gave me money to get it done and get her proper earrings because it was bothering her that it had not happened. So I am happy to announce that Peanut got her ears pierced this week! (And if you are against getting baby ears pierced keep it to yourself – I respect your right to live your life based on your truth, culture, norms and beliefs, so please grant me the same courtesy.)

What I’m watching: A new season of the show 60 Days In has begun. In this show, people from all walks of life volunteer to go to prison for 60 days – both for the personal experience and to give the warden an inside look of their facility and what needs improvement. There are a few things I find interesting about this show: what drives someone to voluntarily go to prison for three whole months?? How much insurance or how intense and broad are those liability waivers for the volunteers?? And do the inmates have access to the show – as in, does this potentially create a long term risk for the volunteer if an inmate is motivated enough??

Tech specs: The Ringke brand for phone accessories! This brand is my new obsession. They offer cases for ALL TYPES of smartphones. I was so surprised to find they even have cases for some of the lesser known phone brands and models. I have tested the Ringke Fusion X case (pictured) for the Google Pixel 4, Samsung A50, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max – and this case combined a thin profile with a sturdy and grippy outer bumper. Bonus (if you’re an extreme nerd like me): Ringke cases come with the slots for wrist lanyards and they sell lanyards in all colors including (the one I have) glow-in-the-dark! This brand offers quality products for a bitch in a budget (such as myself). Cases average $10 and lanyards $6. They sell other types of accessories but this is as far as I have ventured into the brand.

Random thought: what the fuck is this? (Image)… what the fuck is the deal with Gwyneth Paltrow? And why is Netflix condoning this pseudoscience foolery?

Doggy pic of the week: snuggle session – Charles, top left; Walter, middle right; and Vinny, bottom left.

Broken Bones & Baby Blues…

When I was pregnant, I carried Peanut very high and could literally feel her putting tons pressure on my rib cage, making it difficult to breathe or move my upper body. It came to the point where I sneezed and heard a loud POP! – Busted my ribs. I’ve broken ribs before but not being able to take meds or relieve the pressure made the rest of my pregnancy extremely painful.

The last time I broke ribs, I will admit, I relied heavily on opiods. I don’t have an addictive personality so although I did take a lot of pills on a daily basis, I was able to pull myself out of the fog without the unfortunate reprocussions that many others have suffered.

This time around I am in massive upper body pain and pushing through without opioids; instead slowly working on repairing the damage through physical therapy (along with my busted hip injured during delivery). I am not gonna lie, it’s been very difficult. The pain triggers my anxiety and PTSD. Sometimes I can’t even sleep from the pain and anxiety, but I am committed to taking the proper route of recovery for Peanut. She is the motivation that gives me strength to push through.

Does postpartum baby blues by proxy exist? My little guy, Charles the terrier, is really struggling since before the arrival of Peanut. When I went to the hospital to deliver Peanut, Charles did not sleep. The entire time I was gone – over 5 days – he waited anxiously hoping I would return and wondering where I was. When I finally got home his eyes were so heavy from sleep deprivation that he could barely stand. He stayed by my side for days after; getting nervous every time I was getting ready to walk out the door.

Since Peanut’s arrival, everything has been constantly changing to meet the needs of the household. I’ve had to manage keeping her in a separate extra clean environment with the dogs at a bit of a distance for the time being while she is still so small; balanced with ensuring that the dogs aren’t suffering too greatly from all the changes. Walter is stubborn but adapts quickly – though he gives you a dirty look the ENTIRE time. Vinny (bless his heart) is dumb as a bag of rocks and just does what he’s told. But Charles, the sensitive boy, struggles the most. He is sad and cries and I try my best to be there for him while still tending to Peanut’s needs first. Any of you experienced postpartum problems with your pups?

What I’m watching: I have randomly found myself watching Life with Fran on Hulu (Fran Drescher pictured above). I had never heard of this show but figured it can’t be too bad – I was a Nanny fan. There was only 2 seasons made, and it is essentially Nanny 2.0; Cheesy PG wholesome family comedy. It seems silly but with the current state of politics and crap like overdramatized reality tv and documentaries, this show is a good palette cleanser for the tv viewer soul.

Tech specs: ANY Motorola smartphone! From their budget E series to the mid-range G series, up to the high quality Z and X series. I have one of each series and these have got to be the most underrated underestimated smartphones. They pack a solid aspect ratio even at the budget series level, solid speeds and hardware, and run on the latest Android version. I will have to do a blog devoted to all things Motorola. But if you need a budget or midrange phone, DEFINITELY go to Motorola FIRST. And if you want a high end phone that isn’t exactly like everyone else I recommend the Z and X series, or their new One series. Of note: They are also bringing back the Motorola Razr smart version but I wouldn’t get in on the first go at it – first run is always a buggy mess!

Random thoughts: Not so random – my heart goes out to my fellow Latinos in PR and the struggles they are facing after these natural disasters. Please HELP! Donate to send aid to Puerto Rico:

Hispanic Federation

https://www.hispanicfederationunidos.org/

American Red Cross

https://www.redcross.org/local/puerto-rico.html

the six Ps…

Post partum physical pain and parenting Peanut.

When I became pregnant I had a general idea of the unique obstacles I would face given my medical history. Socially, that’s the part everyone talks about, the stress of being Pregnant; being large, limited, and lugging a little one. What no one discussed with me, and I naively failed to research, was postpartum physical pain while parenting Peanut.

I carried Peanut high, so it was no surprise when I broke and bruised ribs by simply coughing or sneezing. Combine that with a natural child birth, and post partum physical pain was at an all time high. As a single parent with mental health problems, this had to be a very delicate balancing act. I could not let the post partum pain and preexisting problems prevent Peanut’s proper care. I know myself well enough to know what triggers my anxiety and depression, and what can keep it at bay. But when you throw physical pain in the equation along with being a new parent, things get more complicated.

I am not ashamed to admit I enlisted the aid of my primary physician, obgyn, pediatrician, physical therapist, and cognitive therapist to manage this. One thing this experience has reaffirmed for me is: being strong does not mean doing everything on your own, being strong means knowing when you need to ask for help.

Peanut just recently turned 4 months old, and at my most recent doctor’s appointment my doctor pointed out that Peanut was wearing a very color and theme coordinated outfit. As I held Peanut and rocked her back to sleep, my doctor said, earnestly, “you’re a good mom.”

This caught me off guard. She then continued to explain that most people who suffered the trauma I did during pregnancy and especially during my delivery, would have postpartum depression or worse; struggle to bond or connect with their baby. But I seemed connected and comfortable caring for my little cutie.

Now, I know that postpartum depression happens. It is actually pretty common. But it never once occurred to me. Negative thoughts about my Peanut never once crossed my mind. Even though I was certain it would be one of my obstacles.

It seems like there’s something about my preexisting depression and anxiety that helped me. I was so conscious of the possibility of postpartum depression that I made a strong effort to circumvent it in every way possible. I checked in with my doctors, enlisted a therapist for weekly sessions, and adjusted my medications. I was so afraid that it was inevitable, that I made it impossible.

Unfortunately, not everyone is as lucky. And yes, even with all the work I put in, I consider myself lucky. But between the postpartum physical pain and parenting Peanut, I wish I had been told about the recovery problems. The bleeding, the pain, the swelling, the crying… Had I known about the physical pain and recovery as well as I was warned about the postpartum depression, I would have prepared as much as feasibly possible.

So why dont we talk about it? Why dont we openly talk about the bleeding, and the pain, and the tears, and the God damn swelling! We need to be more comfortable and open with discussing the ugly parts of postpartum. Not emotionally ugly, but literally physically disgusting and ugly. We are so bogged down with the stigma of losing our appeal if people see our struggle.

I struggle. I have scars. Emotional and physical scars. I get help. I get depression. I get anxiety. But I get HELP. I’m so tired of the stigma. The taboo of it all. Tell me about your ugly parts. I want to hear it. All of it.