Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 in review!!!

What a year it's been. 

January
We welcomed 2014 with a sweet celebration of AJ's second birthday. Days later I began a new job which I though was what I always wanted 9-5 no weekends no holidays but as it turned out the heart can be deceiving and although I met amazing girls here I would only be here for the course of the year. Let's call 2014 my transition year in the career department.  

February 
I got baptized! It was a big commitment, and up until the night before I had my doubts on whether I was ready for that, one that I'm still working with but as it has it it has been the best decision I've ever made! I also started a no heat challenge in which I decided to discover my natural hair texture 

March 
I celebrated my 27th birthday home with my loved ones and did some winery hopping over the weekend with new friends. 

April 
After celebrating Easter we packed our bags and headed to the Dominican Republic for multiple reasons. Mainly to witness my mother become one with her long distance love. This trip was recorded as the worse vacation ever but with a blessing in disguise because little did we know it would be the last time I'd get to see my grandmother alive. Another great season of baseball for us, best season thus far. 

May 
We attended one of the many weddings of the year. Towards the end of the month my only living grandmother passed away. It was very sad and still unbelievable but indeed true. I started my garden again this year with great success, those zucchinis were on point! lol

June 
We celebrated our three years of marriage anniversary. We didn't do anything special other than pack our bags again to head to the west coast to visit my SIL. A much needed vacation for us all. I got another big chop, the biggest yet, to get rid of damaged hair. 

July 
Steven turned 8. When did that happened? My baby is growing up way to fast. Pretty soon we'll be saying hello to the teen years. Oh dear. We returned from our Cali vacation which I've yet to blog about.  We built a deck on our backyard and I didn't blog about it either. 

August 
Two more weddings were celebrated this month. I started school again with the hope of starting nursing clinical next fall. It's been a rough journey yet exciting. I have to admit that I'm proud of myself for keeping up with everything on my plate. :) a few cousins and I planned the first ever family reunion for my mom side of the family. It wasn't as big of a turn out as we had hoped but what's important is that those who truly matter were there. Let's  hope next year is a better one! 

September 
We celebrated my hubby's 28th birthday. We're nearing the 30s! School started back up and my big boy has done great in the 3rd grade so far. Last chop got done this month, I'm officially natural oh yea! #curlyhairdontcare I never thought this would be my natural hair texture. I'm so glad I went ahead with my decision of going natural. 

October 
We did our annual pumpkin patch with the kiddos and once again had an amazing time. AJ had his first dentist appointment and it was a success! Baby boy impressed us all. Second annual Penn State Tailgate. It was so much fun!

November
got elected to be MOH at my cousins destination wedding in 2016. This is so exciting! I cannot wait! We had our family photo shoot. Lots of bonding with family. Thanksgiving at MIL. 

December
Stressful yet successful month. We started the search for a good daycare for AJ. I became a foster parent. I applied for a new position within my health network and got it. I start next month. Last wedding of the year. My hair has grown so much since September! There's so much happening that will follow in 2015. I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be a great year! 

We decided to welcome it at home in our pjs watching tv. It may or may not had something to do with all of us getting hit with the stomach bug but honestly I don't think it could be spent any other way. Just my boys and I together as a family as I expect 2015 will be, all about my little family. 

(the hubby is on the opposite side dreaming in the new year)


May you all have a wonderful night and a prosperous New Year! Be Safe. 

xoxo
Pamela 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

(This is our Thanksgiving picture)


What a blessed and wonderful day it was. Aside from the no sleep part the day was very nice. Us Hispanics usually start the celebration on Christmas Eve, which mainly consists of the family gathering under one roof for some bonding with lots of food, alcohol, and dancing. At least that's what my family did when I was young.

I never really believed in Santa from what I remember. Back in the Dominican Republic, before I came to the states, I remember the month of December was a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Family from all over the island gathered to spend time with each other. Then on January 6th we celebrated the Three Kings. I remember putting grass under our beds with some water "for the camels to eat and drink it". Then the Kings would leave us some gifts right under or on the side of the bed. As we joined the American tradition of Christmas the 6th of January was soon forgotten. I don't recall my mom ever making any "special traditions" for Christmas. We would just put up a Christmas tree and got to open gifts on the night of Christmas Eve. 

Now that I have my own family and having my husbands family have many traditions we're trying to figure out what we want to do for our own kids. We make it a point to have our oldest understand the true meaning of Christmas, and I'm glad he understands it well. He stopped believing in Santa a very long time ago, even before he turned five if I recall correctly, so there's been no elf hanging around our house lately. 

So what do we do? 

For the past eight years we've just gone with the flow. If my mom is in town we celebrate Christmas Eve with her and open gifts at night right before we head back home. There have been times we've waited till the next day to open them with her. On Christmas morning we go to MIL's for breakfast, exchanging gifts, movies, and dinner. We usually skip the movie part and head to my moms where my brother and his family and my sisters get together to open gifts. If my mom is not in town we just spend it at MIL's house. This year however we got invited to two houses to celebrate Christmas Eve. We went to both houses and honestly I don't think I'll ever agree to that again. For starters both celebration started after 8pm (I wanted to be home by 9pm). I get it, the point is to party and who parties at 4pm? Next year however if we get invitations for anything past 6pm we will be declining it. I would much rather be home watching movies with my boys and put them to bed at a reasonable time so that we may all be well rested for the next day. 

For Christmas this year I hosted brunch at the MIL's house. All her kids (with the exception of my SIL) and my FIL and his wife were there. As brunch was cooking in the oven the kids opened gifts. After all gifts were opened we ate some delicious food and sat around relaxing. The kids played with their new toys, the husband and I napped on the couch, MIL and her husband cleaned around and organized their foster kids toys, and FIL and his wife left home to prep for Christmas dinner which they were hosting at their house later that day. 

It was perfect. While at the same time I wish that my own family was as organized as my in-laws, wishful dreaming I know but alas I love them either way. Each family have their own traditions and we're just finally getting around to having our own. I look forward to a more organized holiday season next year.

xoxo
Pamela

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thinking Clearly or Am I?


For years I had the thought of being a foster parent. I saw my mother-in-law do it since I joined the family. It didn't seem hard at all and she always had extra cash. I would think and think about it but I never took the steps required to become one. 

leapoffaith-01-480x600
Years, many years, later I thought of it again. Well I should say I gave it second third and fourth thought because the initial thought had always been there. Did I lose you? As the new year (2014) came about I found that thought frequenting my mind more and more. Five  months into the year I printed an application and filled it to the best of my ability. I called the office to get more information and was transfer to the person who was in charge of the application process. Being that almost everyone works the 8a-5p shift this person and I played phone tag for over a week. Eventually we started having conversations over voicemail. Then we finally set up an appointment to meet. She came over my house on a Tuesday morning and completely overwhelmed me with all the information she gave me. 

Now I was really having doubts on whether or not this was for me. I remember praying about it and saying "you know what I'm going to try it. Worse that can happen is that things don't work out and that will be the end. But if I don't try I'll never know and I will always continue to give it thought and have doubts. I said "lord if this is for me you'll make it happen". 

My reasons for doing foster care has changed a lot from when I first thought about it years ago. Today I see it as an opportunity to help a child in need, to be home with my children every day of the week at all hours of the day, to focus in school without a strict and overwhelming schedule, and I'd be lying if I don't mention that earning some cash is a bonus. I've always wanted to be home. To be the primary caretaker of my children. However I didn't want to have to depend on my husband for every single thing! 

I want to work but have a flexible schedule, hence my interest in the medical field. I also want to be home but earn cash. How can I ever do that? Well this is how. Honestly most people won't get it and many will judge and say that it is all about the money but is truly not. Just as I see the good moments in my in-law's house I also see the bad and the crazy. I'm well aware that it will not all be sunshine and rainbows and that it will be challenging. Many kids come from troubled homes and are damaged goods as my hubby says. Therefore, I shouldn't care what people think. What matters to me is making a difference in a child's life while being there for my own children. This is a full time job in itself, you'd be surprise how many people make this their "career".

When I met with this person I felt overwhelmed mostly because having another child while still working 40 hours a week was not going to make matters better. No one was going to benefit from this but my bank account and was the hassle really worth it? I don't think so

I had a decision to make. And clearly I can't understand God's language. So when I held off on going through with the application process trouble stroke once again. I lost my babysitter. Yup, and right in the middle of the week. What was I to do? It had been a horrible week at work. I couldn't just call off. I almost did though. After all my kids a worth a lot more then what I make. And after crying in my kitchen for over 10 minutes I looked up and there it was. Proverbs 3:5

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not in your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all that you do and he will make your paths straight"

Weeks earlier I had written this verse on our kitchen chalkboard with the intention of changing it every week. Here this verses had been there for almost a month and once again it gave me just what I needed. Strength! Strength to keep calm, trust, have faith, and proceed with his plans. 

imageI don't know where this is all headed. And these decisions will certainly be life changing not only for me but for my entire family and workplace. 

Coincidentally I've repeated multiply time "when in doubt never make a decision". However for some reason I feel like this decision has already been made and I'm holding back a blessing that's headed my way. 

Well last Thursday I signed my contract. After months of procrastination, background checks, training and more training, and more procrastinating there was nothing else holding me back from signing on the dotted line. And so I took a deep breath and signed.

So once again welcome to yet another journey in my married life. Let's see where this road is meant to take me as an individual and us as a family. God bless!

 photo sig.jpg

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Family Photos 2014

Family '14



Back in November we had our family pictures for 2014. Anyone who know me knows that I am a sucker for pictures. I love to be in front and behind the camera. Although this year came short to last year’s amount of pictures taken by yours truly, I could not end the year without our family photos which I try to have done yearly. I’ve always wanted a fall outdoor photo shoot, the scenery this time of year is just breath-taking. So back in October when I contacted our local photographer to book a date and she had multiple dates to choose from I was over the moon. We had originally booked for November 2 and due to the windy weather (worse part of a fall photo shoot) we had to reschedule to the following weekend.  I was a tad bit worried because I didn’t know what to expect from the weather but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as the weekend before.

So, on this Saturday afternoon we headed down to a nearby park to capture some photos. Being that we were standing still most of the time it felt pretty cold so we literally stood there for about an hour if that. I have to admit though, the photos came out lovely.  The kiddos behaved better than expected and I got my family photos in the beautiful fall scenery. 

Family '14

Family '14

Family '14

Family '14

Family '14

Family '14

I wonder if I could try convincing the family for a winter family photo shoot for next year, snow and all of course...


 photo sig.jpg

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Confessions Wednesday


Where did the last eight years go

This has got to be the worse timing for me to feel this way being that is November and all and I should be thankful for all that I have. Not everyone can be as fortunate as I am to be where I am and have what I have today. Yet for some reason I can't help but to be honest with myself and jot down how I'm feeling. Afterall this is why I blog, to chronical my married life. The good, the bad, the adventures, and frustrations. 

So on this cold and late night in November, as I rock my 22 months old to sleep, I have a few confessions to record. 

1. I feel like I've wasted the last eight years of my life. I'm still struggling to finish my nursing degree which at this point I can't even consider it a nursing degree since I've yet to be accepted to the nursing program. 

2. I'm scared. Although I try to stay positive I can't help but to worry about the possibility of not making the cut to the nursing program. Acceptance letters go out in June 2015 which is still 7+ months away and everyday as I see my struggle to be a FT working mother of 2 and housewife I fear that all the sacrifices I am making to balance it all will be for nothing. 

3. I was nuts to think that going back to school while still working 40 hrs a week and having to take care of the demands of a family wasn't going to be too hard. 

4. I cry at least once a week because I feel like I can't handle it all, like there's something I fail at regardless of how hard I work. It's so hard! 

5. I feel like I'm being selfish because I chose to want to further my education. I'm missing out on time with my boys and even though I know is for a better future I still feel guilty because I will never gain back these years. 

6. Sometimes I want to take a personal day from work and not tell my husband or mother so that I'm not asked what's for dinner? Or can you pick up Steven at school today? Does that make me a bad person? 

7. I'm guilty of letting my husband crash on the couch so that he keeps me company while I make lunches and clean the kitchen. I don't care if he's snoring away as long as he's in the other room, it makes me feel a little better. 

8. There's been several occasions where I've walked in my bedroom to find my husband and two kids sound as sleep in my comfy bed and I have turned right around to my son's room and have crashed on his bed because I've been too tired to carry them back to their rooms. Call it lazy if you must, I call it being smart. I get my own bed at least for one night and I don't have to wake up for middle of the night cries. 

9. I'm thisclose on calling it quits on the workforce for a little while. Enough said. Do you blame me?

10. Even with all my frustration in this journey I have to pat myself on the back for maintaining an A average in both of my classes. I'm determine to achieve my highest goals no matter the struggles. I just have to understand that there'll be times when I'll feel like it'll never end or get better and when those times come I have to remember that I'm closer today than I was yesterday. 

Happy Hump Day! 

 photo sig.jpg

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Confession Wednesdays

As much as I love having my boys with a little gap in between I have a confession to make. 

Sometimes I wish the gap between them was a lot less. 

bro

Let me explain. 
Steven is at a stage in life where he thinks that he knows it all and he's never wrong. I wonder what the teenage year will bring. He wants to do whatever he wants and wants nothing to do with arts and craft projects or coloring. Whereas AJ, well that little peanut even when he's saying no to everything he still enjoys doing anything and everything you put in front of him. Most time anyways. 

They both have different interest at their specific age and I'm finding that hard to keep up with. I'm sure it has a lot to do with my time management and priorities. I do have to cook and clean and make lunches so the little bit of time left is critical on whatever we do. How do I meet both of their needs? So I've been thinking. It has to be the age thing right? If they were closer in age they might have similar interest. 

It makes me sad to think of the very likely possibility of a similar gap with future children. I'm getting ahead of myself I know but I can't help but to think about it. I'm thankful for the relationship my two boys have developed over the last 21 months. They were meant to be each other sibling and maybe the gap is not that big of a deal and I'm just being a little selfish wanting things to be a little easier for my own sake. 

Yet I simply wonder how things would be if they were closer in age. I guess I shouldn't wonder too much because if the tables were to turn I could find myself wondering how things would be if such gap did exist.  :-/


 photo sig.jpg

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Oohh October...

Although Fall officially started two weeks ago and there are a few decorations popping up around the house for me the season doesn't feel like it should until we enter the month of October. I don't know why but the changing leaves, pumpkin spice coffees,  chilly weather, scarfs, boots and sweater wearing are true signs of Autumn. I can't wear boots in September or even go to the pumpkin patch. I just can't. I associate September with the ending of summer, is a time to transition to the cooler weather and little by little start welcoming the festivities that leads to the end of yet another year.

I have so much plan or the coming weeks and months.  For starters check out our Fall Bucket List.


Slide1

Exciting right!

Obviously the tailgating is an adult only event. We did it last year for the first time with cousins and it was such a great time. This year we're going to see the biggest game of the year, Penn State vs Ohio State. Is a night game and I was told an all white game. I don't know what to expect but I am very excited!

I'm looking forward to recreate a picture we did with the kids last year at the pumpkin patch and to take AJ to Halloweekend at Dorney. It will be so much better then last year since he didn't quite understand hat was going on being only nine months old.

I've been wanting a Fall photo shoot since like forever and my plan is to get it done this year. I'm already in the works for booking it with our local photographer for the end of the month.  I just want to make sure that we get a great day with beautiful scenery. Even tour dog is participating in this photo shoot. :D

I don't decorate for Halloween per say but I've been eyeing these Pinterest inspired door decorations for the rooms on the second floor. I want to decorate them while the kids are asleep or while they're out of the house so that they may be a little surprise when they see it. I wonder how AJ will act. hahaha

I'm so  lucky to live in a state where I have the best of all seasons, this time being Autumn.
Happy Fall!


***I have a new bloggy friend. Lola @Lolasworldunveiled go check her out, you will love her!*** 


 photo sig.jpg

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Decisions

Many times in life we come to a point where a certain decision must be made. We might not want to decide on it but deep down we know that we must. Even if we don't understand it, it just needs to be done and that's the way it is. 


There's a decision I have to make. And it'll probably be the first of many hard ones. I knew years ago that this had to be done but I was in denial and by the looks of it I still am. I kept holding on to hope and faith and years later there's simply no hope for change. And truthfully I don't understand why? I've done everything in my power to allow for change and nada. Clearly then, it's not me. It's not. That's life. Maybe, just maybe, this is not a path that I am meant to be on. I find that hard to believe and for years I've prayed for guidance which has made the matter even more difficult then it was back then. 

Still a decision must be made. Whether it's today, next month, or with the coming year. The problem is fear of the unknown. That fear has been taunting me and at the same time fear of the unknown keeps pushing me toward the decision that I don't want to make. Mainly because I desire peace of mind yet even  with that what guarantees me that making a decision will give bring me piece?                   

Why does life have to be so complicated? I don't know the answer to that. What I do know is that I'm responsible for my own happiness. Coworkers don't care much and neither do strangers. Only I care whether or not I'm truly experiencing the happiness I deserve and sadly enough these days are a hit or miss. 


 photo sig.jpg

Friday, September 12, 2014

Adrian at 15/18 months

imageAs I was digging in my drafts I found AJs 15 months update. I'm sure I had intended to publish it after gathering some pictures from over the months but I guess I never did and with the blogging break that came about this post was lost in between. Until now that is. I decided to read over it and add to it while erasing some things however after reading this I just couldn't. That was you at 15 months baby and I can't believe that in just 3 short months after so much changed and all you've learned. So bear with me friends and baby as this 18 months post turns into probably the longest post I've written. 

To distinguish what is from what month I'll be making some paragraphs into italic. That been said, if you're reading words in italic that's from my post at 15 months and if the words are regular font that's from 18th months. 

You are an amazing toddler Adrian. The perfect balance to your 7 going on 14 years old brother. You are so silly and have a great sense of humor.  Laughing from your belly can make a bad day disappear in a second. You're just a funny toddler. You take everything as a joke. Something as simple as hearing animal sounds or taking the cotton made bunny tails off the bunnies makes you laugh so much that it makes us laugh. You are also so ticklish. That's definitely a mama' inherited gene. I love how easy it is to make you laugh which then changes my entire attitude about the little things in life. 

image
You can walk much better now. Pretty much run from point A to point B. You go up the starts without fear. You haven't mastered going down yet but if you're on the third or fourth step you can easily get back down. You can bend over to pick up objects on the floor without shaking one bit. 

If I though you ran at 15 months I had no idea what a running toddler looked like. Now you can really run and not just that but you can do an actual jump, dance, and imitate our feet. 

You recognize what some objects are used for. Like a toothbrush and comb/hair brush. You know the difference of one being used for your mouth and the other for your hair. You can drink from an open cup as long as there's not a lot on liquid in it. Otherwise you start out good and end up with the liquid all over your self. You like talking on the phone and love the sound of a ringing FaceTime call. Anything shaped rectangular you use as a cell phone. I find that to be hilarious. You pretty much have your own conversation alone



Your latest obsession has been balls. And that my sweet boy deserves a post all on its own. 


image image

Speech:
Your vocabulary has increase a lot. You can say a little over two dozen words and identify if it's an object or person. Some of the words/names include pollo, AJ, bye, hi, oh oh, ball, dog, puppy, mama, dada, hat, leche, peas as in please. Of course that when I would want to point them out  they don't come to mind at all. You can use them all so well when you are trying to communicate. You understands so much too. There have been times when we say thank you and you'll say "you're welcome" in your own gibberish that is but clear enough for us to understand what you are trying to say. You swear you are having a conversation with us at times. You'll call me, "mama". I'll say "yes AJ". Then you will gibberish away. It goes on and on for a while. So funny. You use pointing a lot to ask for what you want and don't want. 

One thing I do love is how well you understand English and Spanish so much. I can speak to you in either language and you respond to both without an issue. I hope we continue to make our native language a part of your learning. Is a great skill to have as an adult. 

Lately however I've been noticing that you are understanding more of the English language and are pulling away from the Spanish. I should really focus more on speaking Spanish to you and your bother. It's just so easy to speak English when that's the language that we use 90% of the time. 

You are so much more into books now. You go and pick the ones you want to read. Some of your favorites are animal books and texture books. You love to rub your fingers on the "hair" on the dog or the soft surface of a shoe and even the sticky part of jelly on a toast. 

image 

You can shake your head no but don't quite say the word no just yet. No complaints here. When you don't want any more food or milk or anything else you push it away. 

Ha! That lasted long enough. Even before you reached the 18 months mark you started to use the word no. "No! no no no," has definitely been your most used word lately. 

You are also a climber buddy. You love to climb on top of things or people. You are always climbing on the couch trying to reach the light switch to switch it up and down. You try to climb on your crib go get out and get on the tip of your toes to reach the light switch when you don't want to go to bed. 

Yup this is still going on around here. 

Teething:
You have a total of 6 teeth now. And four molars. They  actually just erupted no more then two weeks ago. It was very frustrating for all of us. I couldn't figure out what was the matter with you. Why all the crying and bad nights. All I was able to tell was that your cry was that of being in pain which was a mystery because although it crossed my mind that you could be teething I just didn't see any red or swollen gums. One night after two hours of crying I decided to rub some oragel and surprise surprise. There they were, just making you as uncomfortable as possible. I felt the one that had already erupted and the other three where just very very swollen. In the verge of erupting at any given time. After the discovery of the source of your troubles it seemed like things have gotten better. You are sleeping much better now and went back to being the funny and mischievous AJ that we all know and love

Now at 18 months you started to teeth again and finally got two more teeth in the bottom with the last four canine teeth on their way as well. The top two canine are already out we're just waiting for the bottom two. This time around it wasn't as bad as with the  first molars, thank heaven. 

image  

Eating: 
You are your brother's brother in this department. We've been blessed with two kids that are not picky at all when it comes to eating. You have tried pretty much everything and I can't even think of one thing you do not like. From veggies to fruits to green smoothies you love it all.  Some things you still find unpleasant to eat, like celery sticks but spread some peanut butter on it and that's a different story. This summer is going to be so much fun experimenting with lots of fruits. You've tried nuts and love peanut butter. Spaghetti and soup has got to be your favorites though. Bananas and tangerines are also faves in your book. Pancakes, eggs, and cereal with milk are your favorite for breakfast. You still cringe at the taste of meats but you deal with it most times. 

I spoke too soon. Is a phase I guess. You have your good and bad days. Lately I've just been going with the flow, I serve you whatever we're having for dinner and if you end up not eating it we simply make you something else that you like. Things at the top of your list right now are mac and cheese, pancakes, chicken nuggets, cereal with milk, my famous banana smoothie, rice and bean for sure. You could eat that for breakfast lunch and dinner if we gave it to you. You also love pasta and pizza, another mommy inherited thing :). Your least favorites are meats unless its chopped so small that you can hardly notice it or you won't eat it, eggs, and corn. You like most fruits and veggies it all depends what your tastebuds feel like on certain days that you get overly picky.  


image

Cloth Diapering: 
We're still at it baby boy. We've made it past the year already and I'm so proud of us! Many doubted we could do it. They said you wouldn't have it and that I would chicken out just weeks into it. Don't get me wrong, I almost did when you would get your explosive episodes multiple days in a row but thankfully I didn't and here we are. Fifteen months later here we are, still going at it. Stronger then ever. Kuddos to us!!! 

Yea I spoke too soon on this as well. Hahaha. After our trip to DR in May I thought about taking a break from cloth diapering. Mainly because of the wash. I was getting so fed up having to go down two flights of stairs to wash diapers especially later in the evening when I was tired of working all day, cooking, and cleaning the dishes. At nine o'clock the last thing I wanted was to wash diapers. I let simplicity get the best of me and two weeks before our Cali trip we started disposable diapers. I keep saying it's only for the summer and that soon I'll start up again. We'll see how that goes. 


image

Brotherly Love: You and your brother have such an amazing bond. I can't get enough of it and I'm sure I always talk about it when I get the chance. It's so much fun to see you too interact the way you do. He comes down to your level and play with your toys as well as bring you up to his and let you use his controllers so that you could pretend play with him. I say I have the best of both worlds by having a grade school child and a toddler. It can get hard at times to meet your independent needs but it's sure not impossible. 

This bond is just getting stronger and stronger over the months. You try to say his name but it sounds more like you are calling him "Ean". The first thing you do in the mornings is go to his room to see if he's up and if he's not you start to shout his name "Ean, Ean! (Insert some gibberish here) Ean!  Is the funniest thing. And vice versa if he's the first one up he'll come to you and "stare"at you till you wake up, I honestly think that he wakes you up purposely but I haven't caught him just yet. 

image

Eighteen months already my sweet baby. It doesn't feel long at all since we celebrated your first year of life and now here you are breezing through the second year. Slow it down a bit will you, we want to enjoy you being small a little longer.

 We love you sweet Adrian. 

 photo sig.jpg

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Confession Wednesday

image

I don't think I've ever felt as guilty as I did almost three weekend ago for going away without my children. 

Nothing could ever compare to the guilt I feel for not being home with them everyday day of the week like I should but the difference between that and the guilt I felt that weekend is that the working mom guilt is out of my control. I would like to give my sons as much as I can possible can and give them stability while at the same time keeping my own identity and in order to do that I need to work. Plain and simple.

Let me explain better. With my boys being so far apart is like starting over for  me. I lack experience in dealing with tantrums, especially in public. Steven is at the age where he questions everything that he is told to do and AJ, well AJ is pretty much entering the terrible twos. He wants to do everything his brother does and be everywhere that he's at. And when he doesn't get his way, oh dear Lord, can he test your patience. Is frustrating! On both behave I am sure. 

Well that weekend we had plans to go visit friends and family in NYC. I knew Steven would be bored because there wouldn't be kids his age for him to play with so we decided to leave him at his grandmothers, he always has a good time there and almost always will chose to stay behind and hang out with his uncle rather then going with us places. 

AJ in the other hand. We had plans to take him and at the last minute we decided to leave him as well. Mainly because I believed that there would only be our friends' newborn baby there but also because I could almost foresee what AJ behavior would be like. So I chose the easy way out. Shame on me. I left him behind and that decision has been tearing me apart. How dare I leave my child behind so that an outing can be more convenient for us and less of a hassle. 

While driving to the big city I justified myself for my decision by saying that visiting these friends was few of the many opportunities we got to spend time alone since we're always pretty much doing things as a family and hardly as a couple. Also with their newborn baby I wanted to be able to really enjoy her and not be running after my 19 months old. Then while there I couldn't think of anything else then of how much I missed my boys. I wanted to blink my eyes and have them be there with us even if Steven would be on the iPad which would of for sure kill the battery and then he would be asking for our phones. And even if Adrian would not want to sit still and would not like me holding the baby. I didn't care about tantrums happening or Steven questioning I just wanted my babies with me.

It's been a little over two weeks now and the guilt has subsided. Thank God. But I learned a lesson, being a mother is way more gratifying then having convenience.  Duh! I'm not the only one, the first, nor last. Kids will be kids and their behavior does not make me a bad mother or less of a mother. Right?

Vent over. Back to making sure AJ is not trying to climb the stairs going after his big brother. 


 photo sig.jpg

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Third Grader

The last week leading up to the new school year was an interesting one. Lots of activities and shopping to get done. I remember asking Steven "are you ready for school?" He looked at me with a strange look probably thinking what are you talking about mom. Then he says "no, when do I go back to school?" I told him that classes start Tuesday after daddy's birthday and he thinks about it for a long minute and replies with an ok. And that was that.

Monday comes and we're getting some last minute shopping done. You know the norm, school shoes and some pencils and notebooks. Let me just say that we were nuts to wait till the day before school to get this done, yet is in my nature to wait till the last minute. The shoes were not an issue, school supplies however was a different story. Finally we found half the things we were looking for and headed home to get ready for the next day. 

I honestly didn't know who was more nervous, Steven or I. The first day of school was always so exciting for me as a kid yet my son could care less. Is that a boy thing? I remember the days leading up to the start of the new school year and my mom would take us shopping, get us new backpacks, under garments, clothing, shoes, etc. I would organize all my school supplies in my new backpack, take showers the night before, and be in bed super early anticipating what the next day would be like. I remember one specific time when I was going to the seventh grade and I went to bed at 8pm, I happened to wake up at 11pm that night for whatever reason and headed to the kitchen where my mom was at and asked her what was for breakfast. I remember her saying something along the lines "what's the matter with you? Why are you asking for breakfast this late at night?" I thought it was morning already and since she was up and the lights were on I guess I never noticed that darkness outside. That night was the longest night ever. 



My son in the other hand acted like any other day except that he complained about the earlier bedtime. That didn't last long. The next day my alarm went off and I hit the snooze button. A few minutes later Steven walks in and says mom is time for school. I was surprised yet half asleep still and told him to go wash his face and brush his teeth that I'll be right up to help him get dress. I must have dozed off and next thing I know he was back in my room all dressed up and ready to go. Umm ok, I guess I should really get up now I though and did so. I asked him what he wanted for breakfast and he said egg in a whole, his favorite. Easy enough. I fixed him breakfast and fed AJ cereal while I sipped on my coffee. Soon he was done and even before we walked out the door he had already dirty his shirt. This is definitely a boy thing right? lol. I changed he's shirt and we headed out. While we drive away Steven tells me that he doesn't feel good. He says his stomach hurts. I figured he's just nervous. I wait a couple of minutes and ask if he's feeling better. He replies "mom I'm serious my belly hurts, please don't talk to me so I can feel better". Oh dear I am laughing so hard as I write this just thinking about it. 

We arrive at school, park, and walk about a block to get to the entrance. As we get closer and closer my poor kid looks like he's about to pass out. He definitely gets that mom his momma. I don't do so well when walking into a room full of people which I've never met and without being sure if there'll  be anyone there that I'll recognize. 


I took a couple of pictures of my sweet boy and walked him to the door. Unlike last year, the parents weren't able to walk their children to the classroom which kind of sucked. I like to meet the teachers and introduce myself. But whatever no biggie. Steven walked in and I saw him talking to the principal who was the vice principal last year. I'm sure that after seeing a familiar face he started to feel much better. 

The day seemed to have flown by while I was home with AJ. I did some cleaning and lots of thinking about the future and what it had waiting for me, for us. Thinking about how I really cannot be a SAHM full time. Thinking about possibly having another child in the next couple of years. So many things ran through my mind today! 

Soon it was time to pick Steven up from school and what do you know my child did not pass out. He did very well and even confessed that he was really nervous this morning because he thought that third grade was going to be really hard but that the teacher taught them new math problems and he got it right, "because I'm smart mom". He made a few new friends and has a friend from last year and from first grade in his class. He gave me the 411 on his teacher who will be getting married soon, the vice principal getting promoted to principal, third graders having to eat lunch last, and he emphasized how he did not dirty his white shirt. That was an issue last year, kid stained so many shirts it was ridiculous. 

I've never really given the first day of school a full post but today, today was different. Today I saw a different side of my boy. Today I realized how fast both of my kids are growing. Today I confessed to the hubby that I wanted another baby within the next couple of years. Today was the day I made some decisions about the future. 


 photo sig.jpg

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A lesson behind tragedy

Someone once asked me,

"Would you rather live a moment in time that you have always wanted to experience but have no memory of it whatsoever?" 

Or 

"Would you rather have tons of pictures of a moment in time and have it feel so real yet have never truly experienced it?" 

I went back and forth thinking what I would want and I remember saying I rather live the moment even if I won't remember it. That was back 10+ years ago, when I didn't quite understand the true purpose of a photograph. 

After this eventful summer and realizing the lack of pictures I've collected to remember it all I've changed my mind. A picture is worth a thousand words. A photograph tells a story even years down the road when that story have been forgotten, or rather stored way back in your loss memories. 

When I was in California last month, I decided to go through my cell and remove some pictures to make room for new ones. I usually store my pictures in shutterfly because I get great deals on photo books and prints. I went ahead and separated the pictures into albums and as I looked back at all the pictures I've gathered since 2007 it hit me. A picture is worth a thousand words. Why haven't I been snapping away the past six months like I normally do? The happiness I felt from looking back at old pictures and seeing how much my 8 year old have changed over the years was priceless.  

In 2013 I collected over 5,000 pictures and this year so far I don't come nearly as close. What happened to me? All the memories from this summer that I've only stored in my mind is bound to end up in the lost memories bucket eventually and here I am allowing that to happen. Thinking ahead into the future I want to be the old lady that has boxes upon boxes filled with pictures of her youth and growing family. I want to be able to share them with my children future wives and their children. 

I never got the chance to sit with my grandmother and ask her about her youth or how her marriage to my grandfather was. I never got the chance to ask her to tell me about my father and how he was when he was a kid and as my age. What she remembered most about her life, if she had any regrets, did she ever thought she would have 13 kids? How did raising 13 children affect her and changed her? So many question and now I'll never know. That makes my heart feel so hurt. It makes me angry that I allowed the distance to come between the relationship I could of had with this special and admirable woman. I see this as  a lesson to be learned from. I want my 50+ year old self to make it a priority to build great relationships with her grandchildren. I'm glad to have realized now the importance of a photograph. Now is a even more as important for me to snap away at every opportunity. To have stories to tell and show at my old age. 

Life is so precious. There's so much to do and look forward too. I want to enjoy every second of my life and take nothing for granted. I know it won't always be easy but life is what we make of it.


image

 photo sig.jpg

Monday, July 21, 2014

Transitioning: 6 Months Update

Since my first and last post about transitioning lots has happened. And to be quite honest I'm well pleased with the results.


I mentioned that back in February I went for my big chop. It was a big decision because my hair was pretty long. Not only that but it had taken me a long time to get it to where it was. Problem was that it wasn't at its healthiest, I had two textures, and I was losing my hair like my bulldog loses his. It was bad and it had me so down. It always had to be blow dried and I had not been able to just wash and go for over a year due to the two texture thing. Once I got the "big chop" it got better but just a little. Although I had chopped off a chunk of my hair I still had a lot of relaxed ends. I want to say about another 5". So much for the big chop uh. 

Well 8 weeks later I went back to my stylist and asked her to cut as much as possible. I didn't want my hair washed or styled, I just wanted a cut.  And a cut I got. I cut another 3+ inches and when I came home looking like this hubby was not happy. Oops. 


I even started questioning my own decision to cut so much so soon. I was having second doubts but it was too late for that at that point. 

Over the months I tried different styles for an every day look. My favorite has been the braid outs. I feel like it gives me a better look and it's easy, fast, and comfortable to sleep in unlike Bantu Knots and the Curlformers. 


About a week after the second time I cut my hair I decided to blow dry it at home due to the simple fact that I was going to be going to the Dominican Republic on vacation and for my mother's wedding. I wanted to know for sure how my hair would look blow dry and I wanted to experiment with different styles for the wedding. It didn't look bad at all. Actually for my Easter picture is when I did it and although very short it still looked great! 


A week later in DR I blow dried it again only because it was the wedding and the Salon there only charged $5 (American money) to wash and dry your hair. Ummm yea, I would have been stupid not to take advantage of that deal. Since then I blow dried it several times, I know shame on me. The first was 3 weeks after getting back from DR because we had another wedding to attend, again the weekend that my grandmother passed away, and once again 4 weeks later when I went back for another cut which has officially been my final cut to complete the transition from relaxed to natural. 

So yes, I have officially transitioned from relaxed to natural and to be quite honest if you would have told me 15 years ago that my natural texture was curly hair I would have never believed it. No diffuser, products, or crunching can ever curl my hair as close as my natural curl pattern. I am beyond excited that I did this journey. It was only six months because I am as inpatient as they come and kept chopping away. Now, I should really keep away from heat but that's a never ending battle for now. However, I think that since that first chop back in February I've done pretty good with that. Normally I would apply heat to my hair on a weekly base and since then I can count with my hands the amount of times I've applied heat. :)


Outcome is curly but short hair. Very short hair. I love it, though I'm not use to it. Since my hair is layered out I have the longest length in the lower back that bothers the crap out of me. I'm thinking to either cut that part shorter to give a more define curly look or just blow dry my hair until it grows a bit more. I don't know, there's a lot at stake there don't you think? I have to think about it very hard and list the pros and cons then I'll be back with the final thought. 


 photo sig.jpg

Friday, July 11, 2014

Life Lately



Let's see. Since I last published a post I was lost in my little world of the "what if". Since then my world has crashed over and over again. Frustration has set in and taken over but lucky for me my Heavenly Father has been merciful at the same time. Since Easter lots has happen, 

1. We traveled to Dominican Republic for vacation among other things. This vacation was officially recorded as the vacation from hell. Yet at the same the it was a blessing in disguise. 

2. My mother married her long distance lover. Just kidding. They've been dating over 10 years. 6 which were long distance, Wow.  

3. My grandmother, the last one left and the one I had just seen 3 weeks earlier passed away unexpectedly. I will forever cherish those last memories with her. 

4.I applied to be a foster parent. Say what now?… Check back for more on that. 

5. My husband and I celebrated our 3 years wedding anniversary by staying home doing nada. Not even a picture for the books. Sad. 

6. The next night we flew to San Diego, CA on another vacation already pre planned before my grandmother passed. 

7. My firstborn turned 8 years old. Happy Birthday baby. Mommy loves you more today then yesterday but not as much as I will tomorrow :) 

8. My little guy turned 18 months and is doing so much! Where has the time gone to?

9. I gained 6lbs on this vacation which I'm sure 5 were from the wine. 

10. I've discover that reading devotionals and the bible, drinking coffee, and not making decisions when in doubt keeps me sane and happy. 

***BONUS***
I have a new bloggy friend. Lola @Lolasworldunveiled go check her out, you will love her! After months and months of persuading this lady to start a blog she has finally done it. 

Yes lots has happened. I'm excited to be back and to have found an even greater love for blogging. I have so much to talk about :) 


 photo sig.jpg

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Only if I knew then what I know now

At a marriage seminar this past March I got lost in my own thoughts just thinking about how different I would be today if only I knew then what I know now. 

As kids we question our parents when they say no to us. No on sleepovers. No on going to parties or even a movie. No on dating at a certain age and no on many more things. Especially when we are teenagers. But because we are young we don't realize that they meant well. They were only concerned about us and wanted no harm to happen to us. 

During the seminar I went off to my own little world and it got me to thinking. What if? 

What if I knew back then what I know now? I wondered how different my life would be today. Yet it makes me think. Do I love my life today? Am I content? What if knowing then what I know now gave a twist to the life I live today. Maybe I wouldn't be married to that hunk of a husband I have. Maybe I wouldn't have these two amazing and precious boys I have today. Is it really worth looking back into your life going over the things you would do different? 

That night while in bed I realized something. I can't blame anyone for the childhood I had. Or for the mistakes that I've made. Because living that childhood and making those mistake have brought me to my destination today. And as I think back and wish that my mom would had been more involved.  That I would had taken high school more seriously. That I would had went on to college right away. That I would had developed a better savings skills. That I should had thought more closely about the near future (because you know, 10 years will pass by so fast it'll leave you dizzy).  My wants, goals, etc. 

All of those things that I'm just figuring out now and didn't know back then have only made me a better person. A better mother and a better wife. Although we only get older with each passing year it's  never too late to start fresh. To give your life meaning. Right now I have knowledge  and I will use that knowledge to raise my children the way I wish I was raised. If I wouldn't have went thought all that I went through I probably wouldn't realize what is of greater importance to teach my kids. Age is only a number. It doesn't dictate when my life will be over. So when it comes to my personal demons, they just got the boot! I'm proud to be 27. With an amazing husband, two beautiful kids, an almost paid off car-that I will have paid myself with my own hard work. A homeowner and homemaker. 

That I did things a little different then most people? It's ok. That I'm still working on my college degree? It's ok. Not only will that be an accomplishment to myself, it will also be a lesson to my children. Their mama never gave up. Even when she felt age and society beating her down. She came through. I will come through. Knowing early is not always best. It will only defeat the purpose of your life and push you off the oath you are meant to be on. 


 photo sig.jpg

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter 2014




What a beautiful day it was. 

This time of year is very special to me because it brings back many memories from my childhood. I remember getting new outfits from our parents every year to celebrate Jesus resurrection. Along with that, as soon as the Semana Santa started they had tons of movies on TV about our savior and I got to watch them all with my brother and parents. It was the season for habichuela con Dulce, a very popular Dominican dessert made with beans. This is the type of dessert that you either love or hate. There's no in between. However, you may hate it at first and love it down the road. Take for example my darling husband. 

Growing up the bunny and egg hunts didn't exist. It was all about our Jesus and what he had done for us. Raised in the catholic religion there were many events that happened during the Passover which at that age I didn't understand many of them, but now, now I get it. Too bad I changed religion. 

This year it was even more special to me because I recently got baptized therefore I was determined to start new traditions to go along with the old ones with my little boys. We started with a kids devotional from the Bible App "Children's Guide to Easter" which talked about Jesus life the week before his death. Steven jr and I read it each morning and I loved how much questions and curiosity was in him.  I also learned how much my child really new on this topic. This made me feel so proud, it was such an amazing feeling that is so hard to explain. 

They don't give movies like back in my days but I am glad to say that I am still able to teach my kids what this season is really about. Of course that they are still kids and the Easter bunny and egg hunts are a must. We've been doing it with Steven since he was about AJ's age and this was AJ first year hunting for eggs. It was too funny watching him get the eggs. He would just open them up to see what was inside and when he tried a piece of chocolate... Oh dear, it was the end. My kid has officially became a chocolate lover. 

Overall it was a very nice day with a service at church and our traditional dinner at my mother-in-law's house. I love keeping up with traditions. Looking back at the pictures is what I enjoy most! To see the change within all of us is priceless. 

I believe I've said it before, I think we enjoy the holidays just a bit more after we've become parents ourselves. Don't you think? 

 photo sig.jpg

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Husband

image

This man right here. He's my heart. He makes me a better person. He allows me to see the world and different events with a different eye. He's not perfect. But neither am I. We have our disagreements but I think that makes us learn a little more about each other. It's been almost a decade that we've been together (that sounds long doesn't it?), yet it feels like it was just last week when I looked into his eyes and fell in love with his smile. 

He's not the easiest person to live with. Or deal with for that matter. But the best thing about it is that he knows it and will take responsibility for his actions. He's not that handy around the house when it comes to fixing things. And it may take him quite some time to get it done but it gets done one way or another. Usually another. He can be a bit on the old fashioned side, he gets that from his daddy, but we manage. 

He provides for his family. If I didn't know better I'd say that that is his priority in life. He's a fantastic father. I remember at some point in our relationship questioning my ability to be a good mother because he was so much better then me. At everything. Seriously, it was bad. I would feel like crying at times. I'm glad his stay-at-home-dad days are over that's for sure. 

He's determined. It doesn't matter what it is if he wants he'll work for it. I admire him for that. He knows his worth and is not afraid to let it be known. No low self-esteem there. Very outspoken this husband of mine. And let's not forget friendly. He gets along with everyone no matter if they're orange or pink. He's a jokester. This can get to me sometimes.  

Did I mention Handsome? With a killer smile? And dreamy eyes? Oh yes. That smile and those lashes swept me of my feet from day one. So much so that I said I loved him well into our first couple of months into dating. Yeah, that was embarrassing. Kinda. I didn't even know how to look at him in the face after school that day. 

He's the complete opposite of me in many ways. I guess opposites do attract ;) 

We started this relationship early. And I can say we missed doing many things by becoming parents at such young age. It has been a learning experience. A journey. One that I would do over in a heartbeat. We're still learning. And growing. We're not perfect and we've dealt with our fair share of drama but this man, this man here, he has my heart. Always has. Forever will. 

I love you husband of mine. Muah! 
Here's to 9 more years together, and then some :)


 photo sig.jpg