Birth Announcements by Diego

We have really been working hard around here to help Diego understand that he is still super special and that the birth of his second baby brother will not change the way we feel about him. Since my mother arrived last week, Diego has been a little extra naughty, a little defiant and a little extra silly (he mooned our new babysitter Yesenia in the kitchen!!!). Jose and I had a special date night with just Diego (he loved it!) and he and I sat down to make birth announcements after he expressed his concern that his classmates were mispronouncing his new baby brother’s name (they were calling him Georgie). I wanted him to go to school the day of my c-section with homemade muffins and kid-made cards.

Gathering materials was super simple. I bought blank blue cards from Target for cheap along with some baby boy friendly stickers. We already had stamps and markers and we got to work!

I helped Diego with the stamping. He wrote his name and his classmates names on each card (practiced that handwriting!), he drew pictures and stuck stickers.

We made 10 cards, one for each buddy, and we made an extra special one for Mrs. Stroman.

Voila! We stuffed envelopes, added more stickers and now everyone will know how to spell (and hopefully sound out) Jordi Mateo’s name. I thought this would also be a nice way to let the other moms know that I have finally popped! They have been so nice to let me take the closest parking spot at school and asking if they could help in any way. Most important, this project took 3 days! Diego and I worked side by side on an “art project” right after school. It was definitely great bonding time.

Have a great weekend! And Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!!!!!!!!
Your friend,


What’s in a Name?

Jessica had her baby yesterday! As I was reading all about it, I couldn’t help but notice the disapproving comments on the baby name they chose as the parents for their baby girl!!! It reminded me of this old little thing I wrote and wanted to share again. Enjoy!

Today we are celebrating the birth of my cousin Brenda’s baby boy, Damian. With today’s technology, I had the play by play on her decision to be induced, to her trip to the hospital, to the time of the 8cm dilation and pictures and video of the new baby boy via text, Facebook and the old fashioned telephone call. I was super excited and I kept asking my cousin Yvette about the baby’s name. She must have told me five times in the last three months that the baby boy will be named Damian. I couldn’t believe it was so different and even expressed my preference for other names. Today, I still sent her a message this morning confirming the spelling of Damian and to make sure I didn’t miss a middle name. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked it and had a revelation. There was a clear indication that our extended 60+ Roman family was moving on from the common names such as Jesus (we have 4 in the Roman family), Jose (2 including a Maria Jose) and Maria (5 that I know of). Oh, but this does not even compare to my husband Jose’s Banda side of the family!!! Forget about the names, you also have to memorize the typical Mexican nicknames.

When I first met Jose, I met a lot of his family with nicknames such as Baby, Bibi, Panchito, La Bola, and he himself was known as Chepe (you know, because Jose isn’t short enough). There was also a Charlie and it seemed weird to me that this cousin had such an American name. There was also a Paco and I have a cousin Paco so that was normal. But names such as Kako for a Ruben really surprised me as I struggled to keep everyone straight. His sister Gloria Melissa was just “Meli” but when I call her at work, I don’t know who to ask for!! Or I have to double check when I send out a dirty email that it doesn’t go to her mother, my mother-in-law who is also Gloria!!!

This weekend, Jose had a real good laugh as I was preparing the guest list for his parent’s 40th Anniversary Surprise Party. I kept asking questions like, “Who is Juan Fransisco?” and he would say, “um, Panchito?” Oh. Then, “Who is Juan Carlos?” He replied, “That would be Bibi”. But isn’t Carlos Alberto really Charlie? And then, “”Who is the other Juan? Juan Alberto?” “BOLA!!!!” He couldn’t believe that I couldn’t keep the names straight. I continued deciphering between Juan Manuel (Tio Mane is how I know him) and then there’s Jorge Manuel and 2 Francisco Antonios!!!!

We were guilty as well when naming our little boy Diego Antonio. Jose is Jose Antonio because Jose’s grandfather was Antonio and Jose really wanted to honor his grandfather by giving Diego the middle name. We later found out that a Don Diego was a great-great grandfather and even a mayor of Cerritos, San Luis Potosi. Oh, this had the Banda family jumping for joy although I didn’t honor that poor man on purspose! I guess it is what it is and I am kind of proud that Don Diego was so important to the town and to the family.

In all the Velascos, Romans, Bandas and Galvans, I haven’t heard of a Damian and it was refreshing to hear Damian. Just Damian. Although it is honorable, meaningful and touching to name our children after our ancestors, it is also nice to hear something different and unique. We don’t want to forget where we came from and at the same time, like Juliet said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” A Roman is still a Roman. From the girl who grew up with one cousin Chuy, one Tio Chupis one Tio Chucho and 2 Abuelitos Jesus, let’s think of a little apodo for the little Damian…

Your Friend,


P.s. I’m still keeping our Baby #3 name kinda under wraps…sshhhh! Can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks! xoxo

Awesome Mami

It’s time!!! It’s time to welcome mi mami and Baby Boy #3 is holding on for my mother’s arrival! Tita Che is scheduled to arrive in less than two days, Jose is working from home (just in case) and I am just so excited! She’s bringing tortillas!! jajaja

I know how lucky I am that my mother is only less than two hours away from me by plane but she has been 14 hours away when we lived in Tokyo and 22 hours away when we lived in Singapore. My mother had never traveled alone until I became a mother and she said she put all her fears aside for me because she knew I needed her. Tear.

I don’t care that I am 33 years old and want to crawl into my mother’s lap as soon as she arrives. When you are a mother, you appreciate your own mother like no other time before.

Reasons I love her so much:

She welcomes me by making me the best Entomatadas ever! They are a poor man’s Mexican meal of tomatillo enchiladas, flat not rolled, topped with cheese, sour cream and onion with a side of homemade pinto beans. Yum! And she welcomes my siblings with their own special meals.

She doesn’t pretend to know something she does not know. She isn’t afraid to be vulnerable.

She traveled alone (for the first time in her life) to Japan for my emergency c-section…right before my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary!!

She is so discreet. A true lady. Never poking her nose in gossip, never interfering with her children’s love life (even when she saw them in tears as teenagers in love).

She has more energy than any mom I have ever met. At 56, she puts me to shame with all she manages at home and at work.

She is a fantastic grandmother. She has literally rolled around the ground with my boys!

When she worked in a factory in Chicago, she would go to work in the latest 80’s fashion! Sometimes in pumps!

Her presence makes me feel relieved, peaceful and in no need to be in “control”.

She’s the least judgemental person I know. My mother taught us not to judge anyone, to try to walk in their shoes instead.

Mother’s Day is approaching. My mother will be able to welcome her third grandchild on Mexican Mother’s Day (May 10th). What a gift! Speaking of gifts…what are you planning for your mom or mother figure(s) this Mother’s Day?

Have a great weekend!! I know I will!!

Your friend,


Queen B

I went to the nail salon this weekend and while picking out from the rainbow of OPI choices, I noticed a lot of mother/daughter pairs and I thought, “There must be a little girl’s birthday party going on!” I sat in the waiting section and while pretending to read from my iPhone, I looked around and realized there was no party. It just happened to be that the weekend is very popular for little girls ages four and up to get their nails done with their mothers. I watched how patiently the moms helped pick out up to ten nail polishes for their little girls’ each and every tiny nail (poor nail techs)! And I watched how they could barely reach the foot bath on the pedicure chairs…but there they sat, giggling from the foot scrub. I smiled with them but felt a little emptiness in my heart.

When I tell people that I am having my third son in a few weeks some say, “How awesome! Boys are so easy.” My favorite has been, “Mothers of all boys are bad ass!” But I have definitely have had the, “Awwww…will you still try for the girl?” or a blunt, “Were you sad when you found out you were having another boy?” I don’t lie to people (even if they are strangers). But honestly, now that I know what is coming I tell people, “I’m-having-my-third-boy-I’m-super-excited-It-will-be-a-lot-of-fun-and-that’s-it-three-kids-are-enough-for-me.” I say it all in one breath so I don’t give them a chance to be sad for me. I think about my aunt who had three boys and when she became pregnant the fourth time with twin boys, I remember thinking, “It was just meant to be.” But I never felt bad for her. Things happen for a reason. So I don’t lie. I tell people that I was sad for a few hours after Jose and I went right before Christmas to a special 3D scan in Chicago. We were hoping to be able to surprise our families with the news of a baby girl. I was sad to think that I would never go prom shopping with a daughter, I would never be mother-of-the-bride, I would never help her with her children the way my mom has helped me… But I think about how I will raise gentlemen, how amazing three boys will be and how truly blessed we are to have such healthy, cute, good boys.

I can’t wait to meet my baby boy #3 (less than three weeks!) and I can’t wait to see how he will get along with Diego and Santi. The two have just started to really play together (four year difference in age is huge with boys) and it is hilarious to see them interact. They are gentle, they are silly and they are sports fanatics. It makes my heart melt to see Jose so happy with his boys and that he won’t have to have his heart broken by a little princess later in life. I love that I am their queen and that I will rule this kingdom! I will teach them to be gentle and to be kind. I will teach them proper etiquette, I will build their confidence and hopefully one day… far, far away, they will bring me amazing women. I look forward to meeting the girls they introduce to me and I’m sure I’ll be able to squeeze in a nail appointment or three.

Happy Monday!
Your Friend,


The Power of Words

I just posted a picture of myself at 35 weeks preggo on Facebook and I received tons of beautiful comments and “likes”. I have to say that it really made my day. Nothing like going on Facebook for a little pat on the back these days. It’s really, really sweet that people can’t believe I’m only a month away from giving birth. It’s also really sweet to hear that people can’t believe I’m having baby #3. “You look so good!!!” As if having baby #3 should make you look like you are carrying a baby elephant. But anyway, I feel like I can’t complain about how I feel after such nice compliments. This is what I want to say:

I kid, I kid! Haha! I kid because I don’t ever hold back. I let everyone know how miserable I have been feeling and give them details on how it’s so tough to chase Santi around…blah, blah, blah. BUT, I have decided to stop. I really believe in the power of what you say coming true. I believe your intentions go out into the universe and God is going to hear me and say, “Ok, let’s put this whiny woman out of her misery.”…and the baby will come early. And there is no crib ready! And the new baby clothes have not been washed!! And I don’t have my hospital bag packed!!! And I don’t have a sitter for the boys at night!!!! AND MY MOTHER ISN’T DUE TO ARRIVE FROM CHICAGO FOR ANOTHER 2 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So that’s it. I’m telling you this last time that I am not feeling fab, that I am only eating foods that are white or brown (pasta, pad thai, cookies, chocolate and coffee), that I can’t sleep anymore, that I can’t walk anymore, that I’m gassy…and I’m done.

Please put YOUR intentions out into the universe for me to HOLD THIS BABY IN PLACE til at least my mom arrives. Thank you. Apparently I’m also losing my mind. :-)

Your Friend,


P.s. Yes, I am also seeking words of encouragement, pats on the back, “YOU CAN DO IT BETTY” cheers and lots of positive comments on here today. I have no shame.

Fabulous or Not?

I couldn’t help myself. I already had one-too-many things in my Target shopping cart today and although I have seen images of Jessica Simpson and her baby bump, I couldn’t resist picking up the April edition of Elle. People have criticized Jessica throughout her pregnancy but all I could think was, “Damn, Girl!”. If she is feeling fabulous with her pregnancy weight then more power to her. I read the article while shoving a frozen pizza down my throat (but it was Trader Joe’s pizza!) and realized that she might be having a ten pound baby girl! Again, more power to her. Her fiance is an athlete and she is curvaceous so a ten pound baby sounds about right.

I don’t put on a lot of weight during my pregnancies, I have had small babies and yet you won’t catch me posing nude anywhere! I did belly pics when I was pregnant with Diego because I felt fabulous at 28 in my 34th week. I don’t feel fabulous anymore…so no pictures. So sweet readers, not for you to tell me otherwise, but here is a little list of why I don’t feel so hot during my third experience. [Read more…]