Friday, February 28, 2014

My Name is Eliza And I Can't Do Double Unders..............Yet.

It's that time! The Reebok Crossfit Open.  The Open is a time for crossfitters of any skill level to have a go at qualifying for the Crossfit Games.  This is my very first time to sign up.  I was brand new last year when I first learned of the games and had no idea what was going on.  But this year, I know what's up!

Do I think I'll qualify?

Is that stopping me?

If you know me, by now you have realized that I have fallen in love with this sport.  It's not because I'm super good at it.  I'm not. It's not because it makes me look like a super model.  I don't.  I love it because it makes me a better me.

People can say what they want about this sport.  Injuries.  Egos. Overly competitive.  Whatever.  I don't believe a word.  I passed by the box near my house hundreds of times and always saw the athletes running, and working out.  And I wondered...

What the hell is wrong with them?!! It's freakin' summer!! My sweat is sweating!

Day by day, I drove by.  And still they were running.  And lifting.  And jumping.  And there was a lot of them!!  My interest was peaked.  I had recently been going to a weight lifting class at my local YMCA.  Which was wonderful.  But no one ever talked but the instructor.  If I said hi, most times I was ignored. If I felt like I couldn't do it, no one really cared.  And when class was over.  Class was over.

So spring of last year, (when my sweat was not sweating) I called this box and set up an appointment to check things out.  The owners showed me around.  The gym was full, people came in for the next class hugging and greeting each other.  Athletes were smiling! Someone almost done had a buddy cheering them on! It was surreal, and exciting.

My younger years consisted mainly of dance.  I would have never dreamed that I would have fallen in love with a sport where I'm lifting heavy weights and doing push ups and sits ups.  I didn't even know what a burpee or a box jump was.  Don't even get me started on running. But here I am, almost a year later.  Ready to try my best at participating in the open.

There are many, many things in crossfit that I cannot do.  But I use modifications.  Go as often as my crazy schedule and crazy family life will allow me.  I try to complete the full workout every time. AND I DO MY BEST.

As corny as it sounds, what these coaches have instilled in me have become a metaphor for my life.  In times where I feel like things around me are impossible to do, they have taught me to go at them my very best.  Take each set back as a learning opportunity and keep going.  I've learned a lot about camaraderie and what it truly means to support one another.  While things are not always sunshine and rainbows for me.  I definitely go at them with a different outlook than I did before since being a part of the crossfit community.

So.  What happens next? Sometime before the weekend is over, I will be trying the first workout which is called "14.1".  The 14 is the year and the 1 stands for the first week of the open.  This first work out has one of my major weaknesses.  Double Unders.  A double under is where you jump rope but the rope passes around your body twice with each jump.  In the past year, I've only been able to get two.  So here we go.  The past two nights I've been jumping like a crazy woman in my garage trying to master these things.  For me 14.1 will be all bout the the Double Unders.  I will be super stoked to even get one round in.

I will do what I would expect my own children to do when they have a new challenge. Give it all they've got.  Try their very best.  And be proud of the accomplishments they make.

My name is Eliza. And I can't do a Double Under........Yet.

Where do I crossfit at?
A taste of what's in store for us this week:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Under Pressure

So what ever happened with the mammogram you got Eliza?
Yeah, what happened?
What did they say?

Good Question. Wanna hear about it? Here it goes!

My job was offering mammogram night for employees.  I kept debating whether or not to go.  I'm under 40, I haven't felt any lumps.  I don't have any pain. 


I am 37, and I did lose my mother to breast cancer.  While her testing did not prove to have any genetic component to it, she still got cancer.  It came from somewhere.  And after much battling with the lump in my throat, I decided to bite the bullet and get it done.

My hubs  asked if I wanted him there, and I was so thankful.  Even if he wasn't in the room, it was so nice to have him waiting outside when I was done.  So Kris and my girls went with me to be my cheerleaders.

Except my four year old's cheers sounded more like screaming, with a lot of "I don't love you anymore!" and "Stop looking at me!", at the top of her lungs.  It also included both of my girls eating white cheddar popcorn in the waiting room. If you had seen them, you would have thought they were crocodiles, the way they were rolling around and making a mess with it.  We also wanted to be sure of everyone's safety and set off the emergency exit alarm.  It works. And we are well equipped to toss our popcorn in the air and jet out of there, should the need arise.

After causing all kinds of upheaval in the waiting room they finally called my name.

It wasn't too shabby.  They made me change into this white Hugh Heffner looking gown.  And I had to use this little wipe to remove any deodorant or lotion off of my un-Hugh Heffner worthy breast and armpits.  This immediately reminded me what I forgot to do that morning.  And putting on deodorant wasn't it. I figured this is not the first time they've seen armpit hair, and there weren't any razors in the room, so I had to keep on pushing.

They take me into the next room with the mammography unit.  I wish I could accurately describe what it looks like.  I have a vivid imagination, so I may not be the best for giving a true account of the way it truly looks.  But if you can imagine an ATM machine, a frozen yogurt machine, and a kitchen counter all mixed into one.  Yup.  That's it.

Damn.  Now I want some fro-yo.

Anywho.  The lady there is super duper nice, explains everything boob-by-boob, I mean step-by-step and we're rolling! She basically advances you up to the machine, places the girls in different angles (one by one of course) and had me hold my breath at different times and of course the compression.

Now the compression is not what I was expecting.  I thought I was gonna cry.  I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out.  I also thought I might pee and debated wearing Depends. But guess what?!! I had a coupon for the Depends, so score! And the compression wasn't any of what I thought it would be! I cannot even describe it as painful at all.  I don't think I can even use the term uncomfortable, because it wasn't that either. I've even come up with a list of things that I think are worse than a mammogram.

Things That Are Worse Than A Mammogram
  1. Stubbing my big toe is worse than a mammogram.
  2. Getting a Dorito stuck in my throat is worse than a mammogram.
  3. Getting brainfreeze is worse than a mammogram.
  4. A caffeine headache is worse than a mammogram.
  5. Burpees are worse than a mammogram (for my fitness peeps). 
  6. Skinny jeans are worse than a mammogram.
  7. Hitting my funny bone is worse than a mammogram.
  8. Burning my tongue on cocoa is worse than a mammogram.
  9. Houston summers are worse than a mammogram.
  10. My singing is worse than a mammogram. (No don't count that one. I'm a pretty awesome singer)
So it was pretty good.  No problem.  I was so proud of myself.  And then they sent me a letter.

It said there was a nodule and I would have to come back.

What? A nodule?
What the hell does that mean?

So here we go.  The worrying mode in me goes into full throttle.  Although it's more tame than it normally would have been, because the awesome technologist told me to expect this.  Especially on the first mammogram.

Okay.  Expecting, but still scared shitless.

What happens next is to go and get a follow up mammogram on the affected side and do a greater level of compression.  If that one comes out all good, then I'm good to go.  If not, then I have to go and get an ultrasound.

At this point I'm pretty worried.  My mind is automatically preparing myself for the worst.  This could be something and very possible given my family history. But the worst part about all of this, was the person that I wanted to talk to the most about it, she isn't here.

I'm expecting at the end of the second mammogram to get the green light to go on about with my life.

No such luck.  The technologist nicely tells me that they will see me at my next appointment the following week. At this point I pretty much lose it.  I think no matter how hard I have tried to stay positive, I finally cracked.  I don't know what was worse.  Going through all of this and not knowing, or knowing that my feelings are all of the feelings and emotions that my mother went through as well.  And wondering what her mind must have thought when her appointments went from "Everything looks good!" to "We'll see you next time".  

I'm so super blessed that my family was waiting for me.  I can't lie about my emotions.  It's really hard.  My face will either turn red like a tomato or I'll just cry.  This time, when I saw them, I just cried.  And at this point I just really wanted to know one way or another what I needed to do.

Monday rolls around and my ultrasound is here.  I felt so bad for the technologist because the my wait for her to come into the room was a mere five minutes, but an eternity for my mind to go crazy wondering what the answer would be.  I should have just kept my eyes closed and not looked at the screen. Because when I saw the technologist using the measuring tools with the computer on the nodule, a little piece of me melted away.  As a nurse, I know that even if we know what it is on the screen.  We are not allowed to say.  So I was very eager for the doctor to come in. She came in with a smile and immediately said "Good News!".

Thank you Jesus!

My 'nodule' was a small benign cyst.  Not one to be of concern or need any further biopsy or testing.   Game plan is to be sure I do not have any pain, and to continue with annual mammograms.

My mammogram story ends on a happy note for me.  I had good results.  Maybe not the way I expected to get them, but good none the less.  My mammogram revealed something that was so small that I couldn't feel it or see it, but had this been something of concern, this was probably the only way that I would have known that it was there. And this mammogram would have been my first step in getting early treatment.  I'm thankful I bit the bullet.  I'm thankful I got over my fear of the squish and just went for it. 

Working in oncology I see so many scary things on a regular basis.  Things that I hope many of you never have to see or experience in your lifetime.  So do something for me.  Take care of yourself! Eat right. Exercise. Quit smoking! And know your family history, and know what preventative care you should have.  Check your skin! Check your moles! Do self breast exams! Do self testicular exams! Get your colonoscopy! And get your mammograms!!!

I say do these things for me. But really, do these things for you. Do these things because you love yourself.  I love you! You should too!

Happy Squishing!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Nailed It!

It has been a super long time since I have written on here. I truly blame social media for all this.  Instead of keeping random moments of my life in my head and writing them down I'm too busy falling asleep with my phone in my hand waiting to pin the perfect recipe that will self clean my kitchen and keep my craft closet organized.  Instagram is another force in the social media world that is also ruling my life. It makes me feel the need to take selfies where I look an absolute terror and take pictures of all my food.  So now when I go back and look at my feed, I'm just hungry and scared all at the same time.

But let's get down to it.  Let's get down to the nitty gritty of what I'm really writing about tonight. The worst nail spa experience I've ever had in my life.

So, I wouldn't classify myself as a girly, girl.  I think mainly because I'm poor and a procrastinator.  And in the world of beauty, that is just a really bad combo.  I am notorious for wanting my hair highlighted.  I get it done and when they say "See you in three weeks", I'm convinced they are speaking in another language because my brain never gets the message.  I've convinced myself that my ability to turn beautiful highlights into roots, brought about the 'ombre' hairstyle.  Because that's really what it is right? Just overgrown roots? That's a style I'll never get.  I'll have to write about that one in another blog titled, "How I know that I'm Old".

So I've given up on the hair scene altogether.  My only hope for myself right now in looking halfway decent are my nails.  I don't get to go too often, so when I do go, it's a real treat.  Recently after being on call all week, I decided I deserved to spoil myself.  So after my shift was over I went to get my nails did.

I always see this salon on the way to work.  It's not an awful area.  It's right below a little high rise and next to a sandwich shop called the "Spicy Pickle".  That and the burglar bars on the front door should have made me walk away.  It was about 5pm on a Sunday so I knew I was probably pushing it.  But the sign said Walk Ins Welcome and the were opened til 7.  Awesome!

I'll never learn.

What came next has been burned into my memory and not in a good way. As I past the entry way my eyes began to squint and I prayed I hadn't left my sunglasses in the car. The wall color was lime green! Neon lime green! I was so distracted by it that they had to tell me three times to sit down.  As I walked in I saw the pedi spa chairs.  Each and every one of them had that little foot bath at the bottom that was a different color for each chair.  Some were pink, some were blue, some were green.  At this point I had to go to the restroom and wipe off my eyeballs because they had fallen out of my sockets from me gawking like a crazy person. It went on and on.  I couldn't even focus.  It was like a nail spa circus.  I think the only bad decor that was missing were those light up paintings of waterfalls that look like they're moving.

It's so hard to describe the decor in this joint.  But if Willy Wonka and Rainbow Brite ever got married, I'm 100% sure that this is where they would like to live. 

After I sat down and picked my colors the rave music started. 

What the hell? 
I'm not sure what kind of ambiance they were going for, but relaxing was definitely not it. It was sooo distracting.  What makes it worse is that I'm not one of those people that can ever fully relax at these places.  One because I'm damn nosey.  I like to see what colors other people have chosen.  I like to see if the nail lady is going to be able to shave that corn down on the chick next to me.  And I also like to hear people talk on their cell phone like they're the only person in the room.  Free entertainment.  Thank you!

Speaking of cell phone talking.  The whole time my little nail lady is calling everyone in her phone and having a full conversation with them while she's doing my nails.
This is weird.
What do I do? Where do I look? Do I smile? Do I ask to say Hi? She's cussing me out isn't she?  Shit. I think if she wasn't making my nails look like I could be the next Palmolive hand model,I would have complained.  Plus I was tired and my werewolf hands were due a mani. So I figured I could just tough it out.  

My nails were done and looked fab! The last part left was the hand arm massage.  My favorite. I can never relax any other time, but for some reason I can always relax during this part.  

I will never learn.

My arm massage began to take a trip south, or should I say north, when she went from massaging my forearm, to my elbow to my bicep, to my...Whoa Lady! Back it on out of my sleeve! I've already had my mammogram this year! She managed to get a little past my arm pit when I literally jumped out of my chair.  Oh my word.  I felt a little violated.  I honestly don't think she meant to.  At least that's what I kept telling myself.  Too bad for her I had forgotten to wear deodorant that morning.  That is definitely gonna linger.

I'm still contemplating if I will return back or not.  I think my retinas have fully recovered from the paint.  But I don't know if I'm ready for another pit massage.  Unless that's the new thing in relaxing massage? Is it? 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Somebody's Knockin'

Somebody's knockin'
Should I let them in
Lord it's the Devil, would you look at him
I've heard about him, but I never dreamed
He'd have blue eyes and blue jeans
At exactly 6:53 A.M., someone decided to knock at our window asking for someone named 'Ryan'. I don't know how long they were knocking exactly. I honestly was dreaming I had to get up for work. So when I first heard i,t I thought it was part of the dream. This is when I looked at my phone, and I knew it was exactly 6:53. This was probably the first time I woke up and checked the time first, and not my Facebook updates.

It's a sad, sad addiction. Another blog, another time.

It was a bad moment all around. I had slept in my bra and panties, so I immediately felt violated.

Can they see me? How's my hair? Where are my clothes?

I began to worry about myself for a moment. Those are not appropriate responses to someone possibly breaking into your house. Of course I'm the only one that hears this crap. I'm a light sleeper, so I had to go get out my tuba to make my husband wake up. Thank God I still have it. He was kind of in that, 'Where are we-What time is it-Sleep daze, ' that you have when someone wakes you when you are not supposed to be awake. As much as I claim I am independent, and can take care of me. I need my hubby to protect me in moments like this. When crap like this happens I'm sure I need to be connected to some kind of heart monitor. He was probably thinking I was crazy.

While I thought I was saying, "Kris! Wake up! Someone is knocking at our window! Attack!", it probably came out like "Kris! Ooohh my god, oh my god. Window. Ryan. Where's my pants? Get up!"

At this time we're both up. He looks out the front window and sees a Lexus parked outside the front of our house. Of course he got out the zoom lens to get a pic of the license plate and the kid.
He said he was a white male (don't you love when it's crime related we get all technical, I guess the cops don't appreciate when we say, 'some white dude'), wearing a black hoodie, shorts and socks with sandals. This immediately threw Kris off track already. He hates when people can't decide what season they want to wear. He has major fears that the girls will grow up and be these teens that he sees wearing a sweater, shorts and Uggs. He quietly yells under his breath when they walk by, "Make up your damn mind already, are you hot or are you cold?" Ahhh, I love it. He also hates when I wear a spring short dress with jeans underneath. I love to do it, and it drives him nutty.
Anyways, all I saw was a dude in a black hoodie. If I had to give a description, it would have just been a floating hoodie. I was too scared shitless to really look at them. For fear they would see me, and then when they see me on the street, they would recognize me, lock eyes with me and then take me down, because I was that lady that dared to look them in the eye when they were breaking into my house. It's all too much really. You can't put a person with a wild imagination in these situations. It just gets lunatic. I'm having palpitations right now just thinking about it. Where did I put my pacemaker?

The 911 lady stayed on the phone with me. It was great. It was probably the most boring 911 call of her life. She's probably with her 911 friends right now at Starbucks, talking about the chick who called because someone was knocking at her window. But I do appreciate it.

I did put some clothes on in the midst of the madness in case you were wondering. It was all in a rush, and I put my dress on inside out. I'm sure I had black eyeliner smeared up to my eyebrows, and I'm sure my hair was a mess. But I didn't feel like I looked crazy.

Do you ever have those moments where you are walking around all day, thinking you look like the cat's meow, and then you finally are at a mirror and you scare yourself. 'Holy crap! Who let me wear tangerine lipstick? What was I thinking?" That's what I felt like as I was talking to the sheriff. I felt relatively put together. But then halfway through, I realized my tag on the side of my dress was on the outside. I didn't even want to think of my hair. So my moment happened.

What I thought I looked like as I was talking to the po-po, and what I actually looked like. I scared the crap out of myself when I finally went to the restroom and looked at the mirror. Yipes! They must have thought I had a seizure in my sleep. I looked a mess!

At any rate. We are safe, and the girls slept through the whole thing. At least I don't have to worry about having trouble going to sleep tonight. I've been up for a while now.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Get yer discount Valentine right here. Limited time only.

Ah. Valentine's has come and gone in the Rodriguez household. Our three and five year old are at that age where they 'get' the holidays now. Maybe not so much 'get it', but know they get something out of it.
I was in utter fear to come home from work. I was sure they would be climbing the walls and that their eyebrows would have morphed into tootsie rolls after all the sweets and goodies. It wasn't as bad as I thought. I did have to empty out the candy bags and contain them in a Tupperware. We like our candy to stay fresh.
I also had to empty out that lovely Valentine shoebox. You know the one. You try all year to remember to not throw out your shoe boxes, so your child can craft this cute contraption to hold their Valentines. You have to be on top of this as a mom. You don't want to be the mom that your kid has to use a Kleenex box.

The shame. The horror.

The opening of a Kleenex box is far too large for a Valentine. We will not even speak of it. I collected my shoe boxes. But forgot to send them. Oops. Some kind soul must have given out of the kindness of their heart for my child. For ours came home in a shoe box.
Bless you.
I have fond memories of these little cards. They haven't changed much. They still come in those sheets that are perforated. I used to painstakingly decide who got what card. There was never the right ratio of 'I like you' cards to 'I love you' cards. I would pray as a kid not to rip one wrong. If I did I would have to contemplate on whether to give the ripped one to a boy. This usually worked out, except in the cases where the ripped one said 'Be Mine' or 'Hug Me'. That's practically a marriage proposal in elementary school world.

I'm cleaning up after dinner and I had a hard time just throwing my kids little school Valentines out. Someone spent good money to pick these out and give them to my child. I tried to make myself feel better by putting them in our recycle bin.
Still feel guilty.
I gathered them up and put them on the counter. Later my five year old ask me what I'm going to do with them. I didn't have the heart to tell her later they would be in the trash. So I lied and said I don't know. Mirah was not happy with this answer and immediately chanted out her solution to me.

'I know!! We can sell them!"

Sell them? This is genius! Why had I not thought of this? We can play it off as this whole save the earth gig. We'll make a killing! I asked Mirah how much should we sell them for.

"Twenty bucks. "

Wow. Twenty bucks. I asked her how many I got for twenty bucks. She told me one cost twenty bucks. Whoa. I need to get on this kids good side. She's gonna have me set for life.

So I'm passing on this deal to you all. Upcycled Valentines. Only used once. Still contain lots of love and they are low calorie (the lollipops are missing). Please don't miss out on this exciting opportunity. Limited supply.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

NyQuil Take Me Away

I hate being sick. There's almost nothing I can think of that I hate more than being sick. As a Houstonian, I am blessed to be in a city where the weather is in a constant state of havoc. The Katy Perry "Hot Cold" song should really be the theme song for our city. I leave to work with a scarf, an undershirt, a jacket, and an umbrella. Then I come home in flip flops, a coconut bra and a hula skirt. It's insane really.
All of this crazy weather has lead to crazy things going on with the pollen in our area. This pollen in our area has decided the best place to hunker down for the rain is in my nostrils apparently. If I could fuel my car with the amount of force that I have been exuding today with my sneezes, I'm pretty sure I could have traveled to Austin and back. Over the years I've gotten used to dealing with the allergies. Started taking my allergy medicine before I go to bed to try to heed off whatever floating particles of sneeze inducers are headed my way. I cringe when I drive by someone mowing their lawn. I hold my breath and try not to breathe in the air until I'm sure that I have passed that invisible line. That line that I know that the grass pollen cannot possibly have floated that far and followed my car.
Ughhh. Allergies blow!
What blows even more about allergies is that 9 times out of 10 my allergies turn into a sinus and upper respiratory infection. Okay, well I really don't know if it's 9 times out of 10, but doesn't it sound so much more convincing when I say it like that? I really must add this to my list of "Mommyisms" that I will be sure to tell the girls as they are growing up to try to convince them to do something that I want them to do.
'You know, 9 out of 10 teenagers pay for their own cell phone and bring their parents breakfast in bed every Saturday.' Yeah, that's a keeper.
Oooohhhh, anyways.
Back to sinus infections. I try my very best to ward these off. Eat chicken noodle soup. Take a hot shower. Take the dreaded Nyquil. Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Just the thought gives me shivers up my back. Yes, I am fully aware it comes in capsule form now and I really don't even have to taste it. But my husband swears by the liquid version. I think he's convinced that the burning sensation as it's going down is killing germs on the spot. Not me. I cant' stand the stuff.
I hunted and hunted for the gel capsules tonight and couldn't find them. I almost took some DayQuil, but feared I would be up all night. But there she was, in the cabinet. Shining her goofy dark green smile. The liquid NyQuil.
It's a true ritual I have to go through to get this stuff down. First I thoroughly inspect the label to see how much of this motor oil I have to drink. I don't want to have to drink any more than I have to. I would really rather drink less. Luckily there was not very much left of this one so I didn't have to take the whole dose. I know folks will argue otherwise, but like I said I hate it, and it gives me less of a hangover feeling if I don't take the whole thing.
Next I pour my dose out and also pour a glass of something to chase it with. Tonight it was sweet tea. I gather my tiny Nyquil cup and my tea and then go find an available sink. I stare at the Nyquil dose and try to reason with myself if I really want to take it. I don't, but I know I need to survive work tomorrow so I decide it's a go on taking it.
After this I hold the two cups right directly next to my mouth. I want to be sure the tea is on immediate stand by so that the taste of disgust does not stay on my tongue for long. I take three deep breaths, say my 'Please don't Puke' prayer, and then shoot it down. This is immediately followed by rapid stomping of my feet while simultaneously chanting sounds of disgust.
This stuff is so nasty. But so effective. I'm pretty sure I'm drunk right now, because I shot down a glass right before I typed this. I survived. I taped a pillow to my head right before I started typing this should I fall asleep at some random moment.
Wish me luck tomorrow and let's hope I have put a pending sinus infection at bay.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Steel Magnolias Just Pooped On My Nails

**I can't leave things on a sad note. I get through things with a smile. Old post from my Facebook page**

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I not listen to my instincts?
Went to get my nails done this morning and vowed I would think outside of the box. Try something different. Pick a color other than dark red, dark blue or black. Ughh, my stomach is hurting with the uncomfortableness that I am going through right now.

I picked a pink that I thought was going to emulate a soft spring breeze where your clothes smells like Gain laundry detergent and your hair blows just the right way in the wind to make you feel like a super model, until you look in the mirror and are snapped right back to reality.
I really thought that was the pink I was picking. Instead I got a pink that reminds me of Ben Gay and the Golden Girls all at the same time. And now I have a strong desire to take a Geritol.
The horror.
Why didn't I stop her midway you ask?
I don't know. I really don't know. It's probably because I need therapy and was thinking I didn't like it because I was that far out of my comfort zone. It was also Shellac nail polish and I didn't want to sit there another ten minutes with her glaring at me while she removed all her hard work.
I don't know what I'm gonna do. I think I will dress like an old lady for the next to weeks to match my nails. Or maybe I can fake the Molly Ringwald thing and make it seem like I have an obsession with pink.
It's beginning to look a lot like Pepto. All across my nails.