Monday, December 23, 2013

All it took was Faith


A little over two years ago I took a leap of faith. Or so I thought. I went with what I thought I wanted without thinking twice. I made a decision that I will always think back upon and wondered what in the world was I thinking. That decision was to work night shift. I wanted to be in an OB unit so bad and I wouldn't listen to anyone who would tell me how wrong this was. A newlywed, mother, and student doing a complete 180 with her life. I tell you right now that was NOT God's plan for me. Of that I am 100% sure.

Sometimes we want something so bad and even with the signs staring us right in the face, telling us don't do it, we still do. Because we want things done our way, in our terms, on our own time. Not thinking about God's plan for us. And he doesn't stop us either. I'm sure he thinks "OK, you want it this way fine. But don't start regretting it mid way through". Then we regret our decisions and pray and pray for God to stir us out of that situation. Is that just me? 

Last November I made another decision. A decision I believed would benefit my growing family. I decided to go part time because working nights was getting to be too much. I wasn't home enough and felt like I was missing out on watching my son grow and being there for him. I knew that working nights four days a week was not going to go well with a newborn at home. So I cut my hours in half before giving birth to spend some time with my oldest. 

While on maternity leave it felt so good to be home. And returning to work part time didn't seem that bad. The rest of the year went by smoothly. I have to admit night shift  has great perks. If I was doing it as a nurse and money wasn't an issue I'd totally keep doing it. But deep down I knew that this wasn't for me. Not yet at least. And this is when my prayers began. I prayed and prayed to get out of it and even before giving birth I applied to endless job openings and nothing. 

Don't get me wrong. I am thankful on being able to be home with the little one for the first year. To watch him grow and develop into a toddler. To document his first year and witness all his first. To see both of my boys create this amazing brotherly bond. It has been a nice thing to watch and experience. But I am ready for a change. 

 
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Over the summer I applied for several day jobs and I wasn't even called in for interviews. Then recession hit the hospital and cuts were being made, position were frozen and taken away. I worried. A lot. What if I was destined to stay night shift for years on end. I couldn't stay nights anymore and I needed to go full time ASAP. 

I started to pray even harder and looking at the good of every situation. Like I said, nights have it's perks and I know school would be easier this way. But I have to remember that school will always be there and that my family, happiness, and sanity must come first.

I wasn't sure what it was that I truly wanted, all I knew was that I needed to go back to full time or get a day shift job. There was a FT position that was going to be opening up, still night shift though. And then another one. I got the first one but at the last minute the girl backed down and just like that I had lost it. In a moment of desperation I went to the positions available within the network and saw a positioned that interest me a lot. I applied while saying, "Lord if it meant to be it will be and if not I will be patient". Not even a week went by when I was called in for an interview. I left that office with a good feeling. Next day I get a call back with an invite for lunch to meet the staff. Good feeling indeed. After rescheduling due to snow I made my way to the office again, and brought them homemade chocolate chip cookies, hey it was a lunch invite ;). That was two Thursdays ago. The supervisor told me that I would hear back either Friday or Monday but I just knew deep down that it would be Monday. I went on with my weekend at work hoping that it would be one of the last times I'd come in for that shift. 

Monday came and I went to bed after getting home from work. I woke up around noon, check my phone and nothing. I put up the volume just in case and try to fall back to sleep. My heart was beating so fast. I was so anxious. Not even 10 minutes later my phone rings. I look at the caller ID and I swear I hear God's voice telling me "good things happen to those who wait". 

I cleared my throat to not sound sleepy and everything I heard was music to my ears. "Offer. Position. Want you. Release date." I thought I was dreaming. 

After a few minutes it finally sunk in. God had heard my prayers. He hadn't forgotten about me. His plan for my life was getting back on track. 

I jumped out of the bed and ran to the kitchen to tell my mother. I called the hubby and texted a few people. It was impossible to go back to bed after that. I couldn't stop thinking that I needed to sleep because I still had to return to work that night but my excitement took over. I thanked God over and over again. Just 4 more shifts and I would be free. I would be working a normal 8-5 job. I would be home in the evening to have dinner with my family. I would sleep with my husband every night. I would read to my kids before bed and tuck them in, every night. I would have my weekends open to do as I please. 

Things are looking up for me and all it took was a little faith, some prayers, and lots of patience. 

In less then two short weeks we will welcome a new year. A new year that I hope will bring many good things. A birthday celebration. A new job. A wedding. New aspirations. New and better relationships. 

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The last 2.5 years of my life were hectic and long ones. But the wait to what's to come was worth it. I have a good feeling about this new path in my life. I look forward to the meal planning, free weekends, and evenings with the family. I am a little worried at the unknown but I wouldn't be human if I wasn't right?

I meet some wonderful people here and I know some have become life long friends. Every chapter has an end and this one has reached his. I'm off for a week now and I plan to make the best of it with my boys. 

I'm specially thankful to have a mother that can watch my kids so that they don't have to attend daycare. There are many blessings in my life, I need to appreciate them more. Not everyone can be as lucky. 


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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Change is good.

What a difference a year makes. 

This year has been hard. Very hard. I've seen things and have dealt with things I would never imagine I would. This has been a year where I almost lost faith.  When I thought it couldn't get worse, it did. When I thought things were looking up, it didn't. This has been such a year that if I could I would erase of my memory forever. Part of the year that is. Because apart from all the bad I had some amazing moments. Like the birth of my child. 

Then suddenly, and recently, things truly began to change. Something small made me realized that I've been selfish. I'm not the only one with problems and there are others who have it 3x worse then me. I should be thankful to be alive and healthy. I should be thankful that my sons are healthy and so is my husband and my family. That I have a choice and that I can decide where I want the rest of my life to go. 

Looking back at this past year I've had some good moment. the birth of my son. Another year with my oldest. An awesome vacation and few getaways. I joined a link up "blogging with a purpose" that made me think about things I probably wouldn't have if it wasn't becsuse of it. I learned the true meaning of forgiveness. I realized that sometimes I have to think about me. What makes me happy. I became even closer with a very special lady in my life. I let go of people who weren't helping me grow. I learned so many things. When I think of all the good that happened this year even the worse of the bad wouldn't compare on how blessed I've been. You probably read a few times on my believe that everything happened for a reason. Well with each passing month I become even more convince. 

I wouldn't want to relive most of 2013 but I certainly don't want to forget it either because it made me become a better person. 2013 has taught me so much and I cannot wait to put it all to practice. 

2013 you were one heck of a year but you made me stronger then ever. I'm ready to tackle 2014 with all it's glory. 

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Another Year...

Without you. 

Another child you'll never get to meet. My heart still aches with the pain of you absence. The experiences I've been through, the problems I can't come to you with. I miss you more than ever dad. I don't think I'll ever really be over your death. So scary, so hurtful, so unfair. 

Lonely are the nights I don't kiss you goodnight. Sad are the days that you've been away. The love of a father to his little girl can't never be erase and I will carry your face in my heart for the rest of my days. 

I know that you're in a better place now and that someday we will meet again, but until then I will miss you and cherish the memories that remain. Even though you are gone you will always be my papi and I will always be your pamelita. 

I miss you more than words can ever explain. It's amazing how it's been 15 years already yet the memories of your love remain like it was only yesterday. 

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cloth Diaper: My Experience

Well. It's about time I finish this post. 

cloth diapers

After years and months of wanting to cloth diaper I finally got pregnant. Then after weeks and weeks of debating if I should really do it, doubting if I would like it at the end, and trying to convince the hubby that this was for us I went for it. I started my stash and waited for Adrian to be born. Then he was born and I freaked. So one day I simply decided not buy disposable diapers so that when we ran out I would have no choice but to use my cloths. I went cold turkey. 

After researching I found that Bumgenius were the most commonly used cloth diapers. Many of the websites and blogs I read for info suggested that you picked two brands to work with in case baby didn't like one you had options. Well I'm the type that believes that babies are just that. Babies. They can't tell you if they like one thing or the other. You assume they don't because they cry or look uncomfortable or whatever else so you try something else. Now I'm not saying this is the case with everything. Like bottles for example. If a baby doesn't like the feel & flow in one bottle no matter how many times you offer it he's not going to take it. But if you insists and insist and insist giving him no choice eventually he'll realize he doesn't have a choice and become accustomed to that specific bottle. Don't you think? I think we as parents are just not persistent enough and we want to please our babies so we look for the best possible way to do so. Either way that's not the point for today so lets get back on track.  

cloth diapers

I decided to only purchase the Bumgenius brand. The AIO Pockets 4.0 because the brands options were endless and I was getting overwhelmed. These ones had the most reviews and the best review so I said to myself "you know what? this is it. We will both learn to adjust to them eventually." In the end I wanted to save money more then anything and although there are many many different styles, designs, and colors I was pretty set on what I wanted. To save money while having my baby look stylish ;) 

We started diapering at about 7ish weeks old. At first we were using the prefolds with the thirsties covers. So far so good. But I felt that six cover was not enough. I don't know if I was folding it wrong (I was using the angel fold) or what but I would almost always end up with a mess. A poopy mess. So there went the covers. We would use up to 4 or more covers a day and then the next day we would only have 1-2 available and laundry wasn't due till the following day. Great! That was a problem. It kind of resolved quickly though because about a week later my kid stopped pooping every 2 hours and got a bit more regular and less messy.

cloth diapers

I still remember the first time I used cloth. I was home alone and super excited to try it on him. I waited for the first diaper change in the early morning and just loved how he looked. Super adorable I tell you. Minutes later I had called my mom to tell her and right in the middle of our conversation I noticed my kid was having a BM. I let him finish his job while still on the phone. Then as I started to change him I had poop coming out of everywhere in this diaper. Biggest.Mess.Ever! I had poop on my hands, his legs and toes, clothes, bed, everywhere. All I kept saying was I cannot believe this is happening to me.  I thought, God must be trying to scare me away from cloth diapering or something. Then I just burst into laughter right there and then all on my own. After the fact I had called my mom to tell her about my experience and she just laughed at me. How rude!

cloth diapers

At about 9-10 pounds I started using my BG supply. What a difference that made. With the mess that is. It was easier to put on and it fit perfect. My baby's bottom looked huge! But cute :) when I would dress him in normal clothes the diaper would take over it hahaha it was cute and annoying at the same time. Eventually my baby grew into the BG as it should have and we haven't looked back since. 

There's been exception to this of course, like when we traveled to Puerto Rico a couple of months ago. I was not going to spend my vacation washing diapers and driving around tje island with soiled, poopy diapers. So we decided to use disposables. Then a time before that when our washers got messed up and we couldn't do laundry. Yes I could have taken a trip to the laundromat but it was way easier to just take a little break from all the washing. 

cloth diapers

My biggest fear when I started CD'ing was cleaning the poop off of them. I always thought, eeeww that's gross. Not to mention I'm a visual person and not knowing what to expect was driving me crazy! I searched and searched and searched the web and nothing. How did a messy CD looked like? Can the poop really just come off like that? Can the diaper really last 2-3 years and another child, or two? So many questions I couldn't wait to test out myself. 

Then one day out of the blue, right before I started to CD, I came  across this blog. It showed how a dirty diaper looked like and how to clean it. After reading that I wasn't scared or worried anymore. It was exactly what I was looking for. If it wouldn't have been for that blog I don't know if I would be writhing about my experience today. 

I honestly have to admit that cloth diapering has been a great decision. Even the hubby who wasn't on board at first loves it. Of course that he doesn't help out with the washing or stuffing but he has no problem changing the diaper pooped or not. I plan to continue until AJ is potty trained and on to my next child as well. 

We did dealt with some ordor issues and that almost made the hubby throw out my stach and go back to disposables but luckily it got resolved. I google and read forums about it and then finally found some info on the BG website. I followed the instructions listed there and we haven't had another issue since.

cloth diapers

To wash my diapers I started using Green Mountain detergent and it worked just fine. I bought that over at cotton babies and it lasted about five months. Then next time around when I went to order it they had it on back order for some weeks so I ordered the BG brand and I'm still using that. I do a cold rinse with a hit wash and an extra cold rinse. The inserts wet bag and pail bag goes I'm the dryer and the covers I let air dry overnight. Iberia the summer I plan to changing my laundry time for during the day and taking the covers outside to dry.

I'm still a little iffy about the poopy diapers but not as much. It has changed quite a bit after starting solids and aiding formula so I started using flush able wipes and that makes it a little better but honestly I find myself rinsing out the pooped diapers and it doesn't face me anymore. I never thought I would get over it but I guess with nursing as a major I was bound to sooner or later ;) 

 
Overall cloth diapers works fur me, my baby, and my family. If you are thinking about trying it I say give it a go. You'll be surprise at how much you'll end up loving it. 

Two of my favorite blogs I used to get me started were a Heather Drive and My Life on Transition. Julia talks about it in great details. Kelly's mom is another helpful site and currently Kaitlyn from Wifessionals us doing a serious on both diapering. I recommend checking it out. She makes it look so simply and it is. Good Luck! 

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our Favorite Things Giveaway

More gifts are coming your way! 

Dara from NotInJersey paired up with some of her bloggy friends, including myself, to host this giveaway. One lucky winner will take them all so rush over and enter! 

            a Rafflecopter giveaway -enter here!

Adrian 11 Months

Adrian

My sweet boy, lots of things have been happening this month. So much excitement. You had your first Thanksgiving and sure enough you enjoyed almost everything at the table. 

You started to sleep through the night the week of November 11. You usually go down between 8-9p and wake up between 7-8a, mostly 8a. This wake up time is perfect since that's when we have to leave the house to take your brother to school. I never thought this day would come and baby does it feel good. For everyone at home. No midnight crying that interrupts our sleep or no midnight feeding. Even after that long stretch of sleep you still manage to take two naps during the day anywhere between 1-3 hours at a time. And let me just say mama is not complaining. 

Adrian

You love to eat. No change there. You have been really liking green beans this month. You eat them like if they were French fries. Cheese too. I call you the cheese monster. You constantly are found snacking on a cheese slice or kix/cherious. So far it seems that you are not a picky eater. Everything that is eatable you eat without a problem, you get that from your brother. You had lasagna for the fist time this month and you loved it. I was surprised at how much of it you are. You are definitely my child! 

I had to start supplementing with formula on nights that I work but luckily you've only had about a handful of bottles with formula which makes me happy because most of your nourishment still comes from me :) since our freezer stack is pretty much gone daddy tends to give you formula more often then I'd prefer but you rather have me any day. I love that feeling. 

Adrian

You love to check your surroundings and explore. Any noise gets your attention whether is music or someone talking. And when you spot King you go after him likes he's the president or something. You love to touch him and squeeze his cheeks and pull him closer to you. It's the funniest thing. I don't know how he feels about it though, maybe he lets you since you feed him on the side. I think you do that on purpose too. Every time I put food on your tray I stand back and watch you and you grab one and put it in your mouth then you grab another and throw it on the floor. King usually hangs under your high hair so as soon as the food hits the floor he's all over it. Is like you too have a system going on. I love how good he is with you and how curious you are of him. He's def your puppy :) 

Adrian

You have a total of four teeth now. They all appeared within a week from each other. Quite the excitement there! Which I'm really happy it finally happened and has me surprised because it hasn't been affecting your sleep at all. Thank god. Except that you have gotten into biting and boy does it hurt. I honestly don't know how to stop you from biting me during a feeding. The only thing that has worked is when I pull you off and set you down so we can both get over it. You don't like it but it seems to get the point across. Most times. Luckily you are getting over that habit. The biting has decrease and with good timing because I was just about ready to stop breast feeding all together. Something funny I've noticed you've been doing is using your tongue to feel your teeth. Specifically the top ones. You just love to rub that tongue against it. So funny. Is like if you've just discovered both your tongue and teeth. 

Adrian

You love to say mama. And you know exactly when to use it. Mostly when I walk away or when you are in your crib and want out. When you are in need of me and that makes me so happy! Although you've been a little more fond of your daddy lately. When he gets home that the alarm goes off you look to the back door first to see if it's him. If it's him you start bouncing up and down with excitement and giving him the warmest welcome with your biggest smile. This makes my heart sing. I get so happy seeing the bond that is forming between the two of you. 

I swear you went through a massive growth spurt this month. You went from using 6-9 months clothes to 12+ months clothes. Finally! I guess you're not my peanut anymore. Ok maybe you still are. 

Adrian

You are obsessed with balls. Any size or color. Once you get a hold of one there's no pulling you away. You can entertain yourself for hours. You crawl into the smallest of spaces just to get a hold of it when it gets away. I thought it was so cute, until the Christmas tree went up and you kept going after my ornament balls. I had to leave two out just so you can play with then and stop going after the tree. That usually works until they get stuck under the sofa and you go right back to the tree. Boy oh boy. I even had to let you open an early Christmas gift, a ball, to keep you busy during the day. It rolls on its own and is so funny to watch you chase after it. Another obsession you have is opening and closing doors. Ever since you noticed that a door moves front and back you just can't get enough of it. How is it that the simple things get you going like that. This is such a beautiful stage. You know how to turn the light switches on and off. Every time we walk in a room I put you next to it and you know exactly what to do, I'm so proud of you :)

Adrian

Crawling is still your preferred method of getting around but you're definitely not opposed to walking by holding our hands or holding on to furniture or toys. Your brother walked a few days after turning 1, I wonder if you'll reach that milestone before or after his. 

You still like to share your toys or food. And you are continuing to listen to commands such as "come here" and "can I have that please". I make sure to use please and thank you so that you get used to hearing it and eventually using them too. 

This has been such a fun month. You have grown so much and are learning at such a fast pace. I can't stop thinking that soon you'll be walking on your own and talking in sentences. Where has the year gone to? I can't believe you're next monthly post will mark your first year of life. 

Adrian

Oh sweet AJ, I feel so blessed to have you as my son. I love you sweet baby. We all love you, including your puppy King. 

Love Mommy


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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

That's my son

Steven

There are a few things about our kids we never want to forget. That's one of the reasons why I blog. To record a moment in time before it is forgotten. A moment where years down the road I can incorporate in a wedding day toast. Or simply a graduation toast. 

Our children have this way of seeing the world. They are carefree. They speak from the heart. They are the most humble they'll ever be. Moments like these I want to hold on to and never let go. 

My son Steven is very outspoken. He gets that from his papa. 

He can also be very shy. He gets that from his mama. 

But there are times when he's just him. My carefree, outspoken yet loving boy. 

Two things happened several weeks ago that I want to make sure I don't forget. 

I was in the kitchen making dinner. AJ was in his high chair facing away from me giggling while his brother played fetch inside the house with king. Then a thought popped in my head. What if I didn't have the funds to buy my kids Christmas presents? How would they react? Mostly Steven. Would he understand? 

I called him over and said "Hey baby. Can I ask you a question." 

Steven: yea mom. 

Me: would you be mad if I didn't give you any presents for Christmas?

Steven: Mom. It's ok. It's ok if you don't give me anything. You already gave me something. You gave me my life and I'm so proud of you. That's my favorite present you ever gave me. 

I just looked at him and awe. Then gave him a hug. 

Steven: plus I'll get other presents from my dad and grandma and uncle and aunt and other grandma and papi and Sonia. But don't worry mom my favorite gift is my life. So you don't have to give me anything. I won't be mad. You don't even have to get me anything for my birthday mom because I understand. 

This sent such happiness to my heart. This day I learned that even when he misbehave I must be doing something right as a mother.

Steven

Then over the weekend we had a ninja turtle themed birthday party to attend. My husband was under the impression that the kids were suppose to wear costumes so he went ahead and ordered two. 

The day of the party arrived and I got the boys ready. We get to the party which was in this huge hall with 2 floors. We walk in and there are no kids on sight. We were told that the kids were on the second floor. Stevens runs up while we take a seat by some family members. 

Now let me just say that Steven has been super excited to wear this costume. He even tried it on several times just to make sure it fit him right and when Saturday came he was beyond thrilled. 

Let me also note that we had arrived late to the party. Something not unusual. 

Ok back to my story. So about 5 minutes later. Maybe less. Steven comes to me and says "Mom. I'm not wearing this." 

My response: baby but why, what happened? 

I'm thinking he was upset because someone else was wearing the same costume. I don't know. Then he says I'm the only one wearing a costume. Everyone has regular clothes on. I'm taking this off. 

Again my response: awe baby are you ok. I thought about how I would have felt. To walk in a room thinking everyone was going to love my costume and looking forward to seeing what everyone had on only to find out no one was wearing a costume. I personally would have been so embarrassed I probably would have wanted to leave the party. That's just me. 

So what ended up happening. My husband comes over and asks what's going on. Steven explains, takes off his costume (thank The Lord he ended up putting it right over the outfit he was wearing earlier that day. If not my poor kid would of had to wear that all through the party) and simply runs away to play with the kids on the second floor. 

What!? What just happened here? Wasn't he hurt? Embarrassed? Mad? Anything? 

That move right there made me realize that my son is much stronger then what I give him credit for. He can be put in situations like this and be just fine. Moving on like nothing ever happened. He gets that from his papa too. Definitely not me. 

My son is not a baby anymore. He's very well capable of understanding when he can't get something and doesn't let the little problems control or change his attitude towards something. 

Steven

My son is growing up. When did that start happening? 



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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Boys Wishlist




  
Holidays

I love shopping for the boys. Especially for AJ because I still get to buy him what I want rather then what he asks for, unlike Steven. Once they hit a certain age it gets a bit tricky. We decided to just get him a few toys because our family will be getting them both clothes. I much rather buy him things I want for him then getting a toy that's just going to be use a few times and does nothing for his learning. And being that his birthday is about a week later... yea, that's going to be interesting. I hope we get gift cards that way we can use it for things he will need in the future. I'm praying we don't get a lot of toys.

Steven is a big player so we decided to get him the X Box 360 now that the new one is out and get found an awesome deal on black Friday. Yes he might be too young for gifts like this but he knows the rules, no playing on weekdays and only a couple of hours a day. He didn't ask for this in particular because we own one that is like 8 years old. Seriously I remember having this when we first got together that the hubby was a big player. And since it's that old it lacks some features we decided to get a new one. I cannot wait to see his face! He was also in desperate need of a new scooter, the one he has now he's been having since age 3 and yea, it's a little too small now. He also loves to color and could use more crayons and color pencils. And those pajamas! I just now he'll love it. Especially because his little brother will get very similar ones and he's all about having his little brother wear the same thing he does. I'm thinking the pajamas will be the Christmas Eve gifts.

Aside the real meaning of Christmas, seeing my kids face Christmas morning while opening gifts is the the greatest feeling. Simply Priceless :)

What's on your wish lists?

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