Thursday, December 31, 2015

Farewell 2015

can't even begin to describe what kind of year 2015 has been. So many ups, so many down, and so many in between moments occurred but I'm thankful to have made it through the year with my health and sanity intact. More than anything 2015 was a year of growth. Personal growth. I have learned so much about me, life, and people around me that I only see it fitting to take all that I have learned this year and apply it to 2016. 

I don't know what this coming year has in store for me but I look forward to the challenge, the adventures, the frustrations, the success, the happiness, the tears, the joy, and everything else that it will bring. This year I will embrace and welcome with open arms all that is to come, the good and the bad. 

Adios, 2015. You were good to me but I'm ready for 2016 :) 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December Update

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We returned from our trip on December 2nd and from that moment on it was all about getting into the holiday spirit. I had off from work the following day and as soon as I dropped off the kids at school I headed to the store. My only intention was to pick up some red and gold ornament balls because I had lend my mother mine but with the move she could not remember where in the storage she had put them. However, when I walked down the decoration isle I came across some "rustic" style decorations in  red and burlap style and I was sucked in. I've been looking for this type of decorations for two years now and could not find it locally. I did find some online but the price scared me a bit and I never bought them. Needless to say three hours and $200 later I was on my way home. 

Having my mom living with us brings back so many memories from my childhood and teen years. I remember always convincing my mom to buy all sorts of stuff to decorate the house for the holidays and she would just look at me wondering what I was up to.  While setting up our Christmas tree and decorating the house I thought of the many times I did this growing up. I don't have a single creative bone in my body when it comes to decorating a home or dealing with fashion but bring around the holidays and they are sure to appear. Even more now that I have kids of my own. Although my boys could really care less about the decor around the house I was very pleased with the way the house looked.

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Work this month has been stressful because my work schedule is just all over the place. With my being off almost three weeks for our vacation, my mom leaving to DR, the kids going on winter break, the end of school semester for me, and holiday rotations at work I had to planned ahead and my schedule was just crappy. I'm looking forward to the first week in January being away from work to start the new year.

All of our shopping was pretty much done two week before Christmas. I have to admit though, our kids are spoil brats. We had the hardest time trying to figure out what they needed and what to buy them. With the exception of clothes, because you know that kids grow miles per day right?, they have it all. Steven Jr. ended up with a few xbox video games and a guitar as his big gift and AJ got books, some learning toys that teaches colors, letters, shapes, numbers, etc and boy am I impressed with how much my little guy knows. For his big gift he got a basketball court which I'm sure will be put to good use this coming year. They both got tons of clothes, pajamas, underwear and socks. Now we are on to saying goodbye to 2015 and ringing in the new year with AJ's 3rd birthday celebration. Let the festivities continue!

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This month I was lucky enough to partake in several girls night. A friend and I tried a new Mediterranean restaurant for happy hour one evening and it was so nice. Everything from the food, drinks, ambiance, service, and talks was just perfect. Another night I met up with my cousin for another happy hour moment to celebrate my last night in class for the semester. Drinks and appetizers are always a yes in my book :). The weekend before Christmas I went over to a cousin's house for Karaoke night which I have to admit left me impressed with my skills, Not! but it was so much fun. Now whether or not I dare to try it in front of strangers is another thing but I do enjoy the singing and being able to let go in front of those I'm close to. That Sunday I hosted a taco night in our home. It was originally a girl's night but then it turned in to something bigger and came the day of few showed. Or I should say, only those that mattered showed. I was a bit upset because I made so much food but it was a good time either way so I let it go.

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Before my mom left to DR we had my nieces over for some quality time and well, I just love them so much! I love having a house full of kids, especially kids that are the new generation, kids that are my nieces and nephews, and second and third cousins. I love the way my boys and nieces interact with each other. I love to sit and watch everyone play, get along, argue, and fight. It takes me back to my own childhood and I can't help but to think ahead into the future and wonder how their lives will be. Whether they'll be close to each other or stay in town like us, what career path they'll take, how many kids will they have, will they gather and try to keep the family together like us. So many questions pass through my head as I sit back and watch them interact but at that moment, the only thing that matters most to me is that they are together, healthy and enjoying life.

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On December 17th Steven had his last concert of the year. He has been in El Systema since January and he has gotten so good at playing the viola and reading music notes. I'm so proud of him! Last time I met with his music teachers they told me how much he has improved and how he was one of one the top violist in the class. They divide the kids into groups depending on how well they play their instruments for teaching and concert purposes I suppose and he's on the highest group. On his October concert, which I missed, he even had his own solo moment. Talk about proud parent moment :) 

This rounds up my December update. Like always, I have tons of things to blog about but never find the time to sit and write them and then the month comes to an end and my posts go out the window. I really hope with my time away from social media I find more time to write and document 2016, the last year of in my 20s! 8-O

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Monday, November 30, 2015

The scariest experience of my life


It was four days into our vacation. A Tuesday if I recall correctly. We had plans to go to a new beach with my husbands uncle but after driving there we found out the beach was closed. How that happens on a tropical island I have no idea but it makes sense since it was the week of thanksgiving and the "winter season". 

After a quick stop to discuss the change of plans we decided to go to the beach that we were at the day before. Crash boat beach, so beautiful. Is a must go every time we travel to PR. The water, the ambiance, is just perfect. I'm not even a beach person but I get in this water. Well I get in the water in other beaches too but salt water is not really my thing. I mostly hang out on the shore with the little ones. This day however I was daring. I got in waist deep and was on a boogie board with my toddler. 

Now you must know that I can't swim properly. I can float and can somewhat swim under water if need be so using the boogie board as a floating device was my way of "protecting" ourselves. We were all enjoying ourselves, chatting, and going with the waves which were not that strong. When suddenly I see a wave come our way. I look back and immediately know that this wave will push AJ and myself way into the shore. But as I look back again I know for a fact that this wave was going to take us under. I seriously thought the worse. And let's not forget, I Can't swim

As I'm underwater being shaken side to side I think of letting go of the boogie board to protect myself but quickly remember that AJ is on top of it too. If I let go he can go lose and who knows what his fate would be. So in a split second I manage to grab him by the waist and keep him close to me. I hold him as tight as I possibly can scared to dead that he would go lose and get taken by the waves that our coming on strong. Somehow in between all this I go head first into the sand feeling like I hit concrete. It was definitely a front flip under water and then another back flip. Then I found myself out of all that jumbo mess sitting butt first in the sand as the hubby and my son walked toward us. I quickly get up, hand over AJ to one of them I don't even know who it was and fix my top since there's boob everywhere. I started to feel light headed and touched my forehead feeling for the area that I hit on the sand. As I look at hubby's face he looks at me and says "babe your forehead. Is white". With a confuse face I stare at him then at everyone else in the group who are also staring at me. I ask what is it, meaning a scrape, a bump, a sea animal on my face, what was it? He says that it looks like a rug burn that pilled my skin off. He literally said "babe it seriously pilled the brown off your skin". Freaking butt-head said it laughing too. Shame on him. Then I started bleeding so I got out of the water and headed straight for a mirror.



This picture does it no justice. It was mainly bruised but Imagine the stares I got as I walked from the beach to our table :( it wasn't nice. 

As I sat down waiting for SIL to care for my forehead all I could think about was my baby AJ. My baby. What if I would have panicked and let go? What if I couldn't hold on to him like I did? What if he would have drawned because I was holding him tight and pulling him under water with me? because I'm sure he drank a lot, a lot of salt water. 



Im so thankful that we are both okay. And that only I got hurt from this. As I checked him for marks or bruses  and saw that he was fine I thanked God for protecting us. 

Needless to say that after that day I have not gotten in the beach again. I walk the beach and chill on the very edge of it but that's a far as I go. My mom always told me that the ocean is deceiving and cannot be trusted and after this experience I have learned the lesson. I will never feel the same about this beauty that although breathtaking can be very very dangerous. 

Seven days after the accident and this is what my battle wound looks like. I'm very sad about it. I always say beauty is not everything but my wave story is not that convincing. It looks more like I burned myself with a curling iron. :( the past few days the purple area had turned into scab-like and kept peeling off and today I was able to clear it completely. Of course that this has not stopped me from taking selfies and pictures with my family, after all it could have been worse and right now I'm only thinking about the fact that I'm alive, that my child is alive, and that this was the worse out of the scariest experience of my life. 



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Even on vacation I can't scape the trials


How is it possible that even when I find myself in the middle of a beautiful place surrounded by so much beauty somehow life manages to kick me down. I have to admit, I'm sure I let the enemy in my head at some point but when things continue to happen over and over and over again is hard to believe that that is God's hand in it. Or is it? As a toddler in my faith how can I distinguish the things that are from the Heavenly Father and those that are not? I mean it has to be the human part of me right? When we have some sort of expectations of how life should be like, a life that has been given to us by God, how do we know that it is truly God throwing us a curve ball instead of the devil trying to attack us and test us? What if it's both a test and an attack from God and the devil just like they did to Job? 

Call me crazy but some days I think that way. And I remember that I should do about it. I should keep focus, pray, and worship. But then days like today I wonder, what if it's God? What if he's trying to redirect me and I'm not being obedient to his will? How do I know? What should I do? 

How do I know what I should do? 

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Breakfast Oatmeal Drink ~ Avena Caliente

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This is one of my favorite breakfast drinks from my childhood. I remember my mom or grandma making this for all the kids and serving it in a mug with a piece of bread in the mornings. Last time I had this was in 2014 when we traveled to DR for my moms wedding. I had asked her best friend/our aunt to make us Avena and in my mind I had an image something completely different. I was thinking of cream of wheat. So when she called me to the kitchen and handed me this mug with oatmeal and sticks of cinnamon in it I had the the only look of confusion yet out of respect I didn't say anything, grabbed my mug, thanked her and walked away. Then I tried it and it was the most amazing thing I've ever had! 

I didn't have this again till last week. Which is funny because I've been meaning to ask my mom to either make it or tell me how to make it. My kids are weird when it comes to eating foods that I grew up eating, I'd say that they are very much Americanized in many things, shame on me. When she made this they were in school/daycare and I ended up taking the leftovers to work to have for breakfast and that's when I realized I had to make this more often in our home.

Came Saturday morning I woke up thinking about eating this. I asked my mom to make it and she said that she was going out. So I asked her how do I make it. I was worried about making it because I had to make a big batch for every at home. But I faced my fears and gave it a try anyways. And guess what? Success!!!!! It was just enough and it was delicious. A little less sweetened than what my mom's was because I always watch how much sugar I add to things but it was good nonetheless.  

So without further adieu here's the recipe per my momma. Remember, I made a double batch that fed 6 people using 6-8z mugs. 

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Lets pretend this is not a snapchat picture. Ignore the nutmeg, I didn't use it.

Ingredients
1 cup quick oats
1 can evaporated carnation milk 
2 cups milk (I used 1% but even almond milk can be used)
4 cups of water 
1/2 cup sugar (you can add more to your liking) 
Cinnamon to taste
Whole cloves to taste
Pinch of salt 
Lemon skin 


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Directions
-Put 1/2 of the quick oats and 2 cups of water in pot using medium heat. 
-Using a blender, blend the other 1/2 cup of oats with the remaining 2 cups of water then add to pot. 
-add salt, lemon skin, whole cloves, and  cinnamon to pot and bring to a boil. It will look very thick. 
-add carnation milk, regular milk, and sugar bring down the heat a notch and let it simmer for about 10mins. 
-serve hot and enjoy! 

This is a very easy to make and nutritious breakfast. All the kids at home ate every bit of it. I also served it with some bread like I had it as a kid and got no confused looks :)

***since this is a very hot meal and it takes a while to cool down I usually add a little bit more milk to each individual serving and mix it around so that it can cool a little faster. If you plan on doing this keep in mind the amount of sugar you add as it will make it less sweet. Next time I make this I will definitely add a little more sugar. 


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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

October '15 Staycation

This was a much need staycation from my part. I was able to actually relax, do school work, do things around the house, bond with my mom, and spend time with my family. Having my SIL in town is always nice but it also feels like her agenda gets too full before she even arrives to town. Almost every trip she has made back home after moving out west has involved some kind of event. And due to the fact that this girl has so many friends, she has to pencil time in with each and every one of them which gets me upset because I get thrown to the back of the bus. Well not really but that's how I feel. We're so close and we speak often when she's far away but when she's in town is like I hardly see her.

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Anyways. Enough venting, lets get to business. This was the highlight of my October Staycation :)

1. Being greeted with the most amazing sound coming from my 4 years old nephew/godson running out front toward my car from the back of MIL's house screaming "titi, titi, titi you're here". I seriously did not expect that. Yes we Facetime often and I know he loves me but having him come running to me like that and give me a hug made me feel so special. It was like "Wow! this kid loves me!". I kid you not, it felt like a movie scene :)

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2. Seeing SIL again after what felt an eternity. I mean it had only been one year, two months, three days, four hours and five minutes. Ha! just kidding, but close! It was funny because seeing her felt no different than when we talk on the phone or facetime except we were actually hugging. It was like she was never gone. 

3. Having Prestyn (that's my nephew/godson) over our house for a "play date" with AJ. They played together, ate lunch together, fought over toys, took pictures, made messes, and so on but it was so nice and surreal having him at home playing with his cousin like normal cousins do. Usually when they facetime they ask each each other "whatchu doing? whatchu playing with? what's that? whatchu watching" over and over again hahaha.

 4. So I took Prestyn with me to pick AJ up from daycare. I wanted to see both of their reaction when they saw each other for the first time, in real life, and omg it was not what I expected at all  (link that to video). They just starred at each other like "what? you're here? your real? you're not inside an iPad?" hahaha, so funny. I had to tell them to hug before they actually leaned toward each other. I was expecting this loud "Prestyn! AJ!" but nope. Nothing. It was cool to get their reaction on camera though.

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5. Bonding with both of my sisters-in-law. I love my Lola (hubby's sister) and the more I get to know Stephanie (BIL's girlfriend) the more I like her too. So we decided to plan a night out with just us three. We planned for appetizers and drinks at Brewworks but we ended up at Chilis. Just a little talking and a couple of drinks to make some bonding memories. It was low key and really nice. I can't speak for them but I did enjoy hanging out with them.


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6. Being part of Lola's friend bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding. I was meant to be her "wing girl" but Lola don't don't need a wing girl, that girl has enough wing for herself and an entire team ;-P It was fun though and I've always enjoyed everything wedding related and seeing how other group of friends interact. 

Staycation

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7. When Lola and I took the boys to Dorney Park for Boo Blast. I take my boys every year and hubby and I have been going since we were kids ourselves so adding that to the memories of our kids was priceless for me. Plus seeing the boys play and enjoy themselves together was the greatest feeling ever! Although Steven didn't enjoy himself as much as I would have liked :( I guess the age difference thing had a bit to do with it but thankfully hubby was able o make it up to him by taking him for Haunt Night at Dorney later in October.

Staycation

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8. The Pumpkin Patch. On Columbus Day we gathered all the kids (foster kids included) and headed over to the pumpkin patch. There we got tickets for some rides, took a hayride to the pumpkin patch, and took lots of pictures. Again this was more for tradition and to have the kids enjoy themselves than for anything else but it sure was fun.

Staycation

9. A night out with friends. I was very hesitant about this night. For weeks I tried finding a way to get out of it because I really didn't want to go to a "club" but as the day neared the dancer part of me got more excited for it. Especially because it had been so long since I went out. I justified that outing in so many ways I couldn't even begin to tell you. All I could think about how I was going to regret it afterward but thankfully it was a really nice time out with friends and family and honestly I'm glad it happened. I was able to scratch an itch while at the same time realize that that's just not me anymore. I'm on to great and better things now :)

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10. Getting a picture of my nieces and nephew to print and display in our home. The Sunday before Lola left she came over for brunch and my brother stopped by to dropped off the girls. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to capture one of sweetest moments in my life. It made me sad to have the newest addition to the clan be missing though and now this picture won't be as current as I would have like. Worse part is that I don't know when I'll have all my nieces and nephew together again under one roof. It may be years before that happens again :(

Staycation

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hello Sweet November!

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I can't believe how fast the year has passed by, this is insane! Although the weather is still bearable and the leaves on trees are just beginning to change color and fall off the changing of time today will make it official for me. Colder mornings and darker evenings, sigh not my liking but I must deal with it. I hope the winter ahead is not too bad, who am I kidding, I'm sure it'll be deadly.

On another note, just 20 days till we head out for our vacation in Puerto Rico and 10 work days for me :) I love having things to look forward to at the start of each month/work schedule. We are spending Thanksgiving there and this will be the first time in 10 years that we celebrate Thanksgiving away from MIL. However, it will be the first Thanksgiving we spend with SIL since like forever ago. I can already imagine the chaos of cooking dinner in a place that is not our home where we have every single dish and spice we need. Will we get dress up? Will we eat in our pajamas? Will we have a turkey? What will be on the menu? So many questions so little time. I'm so excited! Our last far away vacation was back in July 2014 when we visited SIL in California for July 4th week so we are way over due for another one. Plus, my boys need a little more beach time for the year ends. OMG it's almost the end of 2015! Eeeekk.

I'm ready though, I've had an unexplainable feeling about 2016 for a very long time and I am super excited to greet and live through 2016. In the meantime I'm planning to make these last 61 days of the year count! Bring on the Holidays, the most wonderful time of the year! :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Potty Training AJ

This journey feels never ending. We started potty training back in May when AJ was only 28 months because I remembered being told that boys are a lot harder than girls to potty trained. When we potty trained Steven I don't remember it taking this long. I don't recall exactly how long it took or the details but I do remember him being potty trained by the age 3. So one day after getting AJ from daycare and seeing on his daily progress sheet that they started taking him to the potty with the other kids I thought "oh, this is interesting. Let me work with him at home too". And that's how the decision to potty train came about. One day we just woke up and AJ wore no diaper the rest of that day. We had about a handful of underwear that mom had bought for him months back so we used that. Of course that he would dirty them all in one day but for the most part he was getting the concept of "peeing".

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Over the summer it was a constant battle trying to keep everyone on board on the potty training wagon. I was all in for it, the grandmothers would basically care less and not encourage him when he was with them, daddy was always forgetful about the situation and kept him on a diaper whenever he was with him, and daycare, well daycare was a whole other story. Although they were working with him as well and he would maintain dry during the day and pee on the potty for them they didn't think he was ready to stop wearing diapers because he wouldn't tell them when he had to go. Honestly I understood their concerns about the matter and quite frankly I'm sure it was going to be more work on them but I felt that he was ready, especially because he was doing so well at home. Yes he would have mistakes once in a while and wasn't telling us when he had to go but more often than not he would pee on the potty. I felt that what he needed was consistency in using the potty and for all of us to try at the same time, meaning no diapers! 

So then at the end of the summer after I had work so hard to train my child to use the potty it was like we were back to square one. For weeks AJ did not pee himself during the day or at night. I had a system going on. We peed first thing in the morning and before bed, an hour after his last drink for the day. As long as I reminded him to go pee he would go and all was well. He would even go himself to the bathroom and then afterward he would come to me for praise because he used the potty. I'm sure that my excitement about him peeing on his own was serving as strong encouragement for him to do it again and again. Problem was he would only do that with me. At daycare he wouldn't go on his own or tell them whether he was peed or pooped and that's why I feel he was going backward.

Toddlers are very smart, more than we give them credit for and I'm sure the problem we've come across with now and the reason why the daycare doesn't feel he's not ready to not wear diapers is that he now knows the difference. If he's wearing a diaper he knows he won't "wet his clothes" whereas if he pees himself when he's not wearing a diaper he knows the opposite will happen and his mickey mouse underwear will get wet. I'm telling you toddlers are smart. I'm convinced that this is the reason why he doesn't seem ready because he does it at home. If he's wearing a diaper he doesn't care about going on it but if he's wearing regular underwear he goes on the potty. Two week ago I feel was a major milestone for us and potty training because he now knows the feeling of the urge to pee. Just several weeks ago he would tell me he had to go pee but by the time he would get to the bathroom he wouldn't it in the potty. But since last week he's being doing great. He goes pees, flushes, washes and dry his hands, etc. Granted he's been doing all of this for months but now is like he has it all down pack. The issue is that he's not doing that when he's wearing a diaper, especially if he's entertained with toys, a game, or TV/iPad.

I know my child and I know he was ready for potty training months ago, he just needed consistency from the adults. Even the girls at the daycare the other day told me that they wished they would had started it when he was being consistent with peeing on the potty and having dry diapers because now it seems he doesn't care for the potty there. He's been having wet and dry diapers along with the occasional pee on potty but nothing like before. Until this past week that he has not had a wet diaper at daycare :) and still no talk of potty training him there!

It gets me so mad. This whole feeling like I'm the only trying here really bothers me, is like so what's next? Will he ever get it if he continues with this back and forth in diapers over the day? I mean I'm sure he will but it frustrates me to feel like no one else is  truly trying. And who knows, maybe they are trying, at least its seemed like it a couple months ago. Now however, I don't even know what to think. Either way that's the scoop on that which sounds more like I'm venting hahaha. Hopefully I'll have better news on his yearly post :)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Social Media Vent

So. I'm deleting my Instagram. I've had it on my mind for a very long time now and it was the first thing I jotted down when I was making my 30 before 30 list. I was planning on staying away from social media for at least a year. But then something happened. Again. I wrote about it here a while back too. Someone is sending me anonymous messages. It seems that whoever it is hates me and wishes me the worse in life. To make matters worse is someone who definitely knows me. Which makes it even scarier because who is it that I am trusting that is using my trust as key to harm me. Who could that person be? Only in the Hispanic community I tell you. It's sad, really sad.

Being that we don't know who it is and we don't have the slightest idea it's making it clear for me to decide on what I need to do. I need to step away from social media and cut out of my life all who might wish me harm. Funny thing is that I don't feel like I over share on IG. Do I? I'd love to hear from those who follow me on IG, do I share to much? Isn't social media about sharing the things that make you happy that bring you joy? Why should I feel guilty to post about date nights just because you are single? I'm sorry that you are single but how is that my fault? I'm sure not every one's life on IG is as perfect as it seems. How often do you post about the fight you and your husband had over the kids punishment? Or because the house was a complete mess? I'm sure that never. So why should I post about the bad moments in my life? That's personal to me and quite frankly I'd rather forget sooner rather than later. We all mostly share what makes us happy not what made us cry or got us angry. It doesn't mean that I don't have does moments just that I chose not to dwell on them. It happened, I get over it, and keep it moving. I'm not going to share it with the world. And I feel that I should not have to apologize for the way my life is. Certainly not every aspect of it is perfect but I chose to embrace those that are. And now I have to punish those who do enjoy seeing my life in pictures because you have a problem with what I've been blessed with? It makes me sad. 

So yes, I'm removing myself from IG, smh. But I will continue to blog. Luckily I never promoted my blog to those in my town. You can say that I'm a closet blogger but I honestly find that I can trust more those I've never met in real life than those I see on a regular basis. That just shows 
you what kind of community I live in. 

Although I have to admit that God is good. Boy is he good. He takes the bad things in your life and use them for good and I have a good feeling about what's to come in the months ahead. 

Another chapter in my life that has come to an end. But I'm not going to lie, it's giving me anxiety to end this chapter.  
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Friday, October 9, 2015

Mom moves in/Basement Reno

UntitledA couple of months ago my mother came to me with an idea. She said, "so, I'm not renewing my lease at the apartment again. I was thinking that instead of paying rent I could finish your basement for you and turn your storage room in the basement into a bedroom. What do you think? Will Steven be ok with that?" 

She left me speechless. I didn't know if this was a joke or a blessing in disguise. As I thought about it on the days that followed I started to like the idea. This could be beneficial for everyone involved. The house will gain value with adding an extra bedroom, an extra bathroom (we currently have one), and a finish basement. Most of the money toward the reno will be come from her so our pockets will not be hurting. She offered to pay the TV/Internet bundle bill, and for the cherry on top she can cook dinner on the days that I work and she can help out with the kids. Ok ok so I know it sounds like she's getting the bad end of the stick but she's really not, I promise.


She will b me able to save some cash, get a new car, enjoy her grandkids, and still have an area of the house for herself with her own bathroom. On the other side of things I was worry because her moving in meant that the hubby and I would have less privacy, she can be OCD about somethings (cleaning in particular), and most importantly I don't want her to feel that we are having her do too much or as if we are talking advantage of her. I also haven't lived with her in over 10 years so I feel that we might clash from time to time, which is expected I guess since we are both different beings.

So far things have been going well. She has been doing a little too much cleaning which is starting to worry me because again I don't want her to feel that she's doing everything. Although, I have been working the past several days so she's been home alone with nothing to do so I get why she's doing things. But I'll admit that's it's been pretty nice coming home to a super clean house :) not that I don't clean but I don't find it necessary to sweep and mop every.single.day. She has been moving things around too which I'm not happy with because then I can't find it but I just laugh about it. After all, she doesn't understand my system yet. 

In either case it's only been a week since she moved in so time will tell how things will end up but for now I'm glad to be spending time with my momma :)


Now about the reno, boy am I super excited for this!


We don't plan to stay in our house for a long time but doing the upgrades will sure be beneficial for us now as we enjoy them and when selling/possibly renting this house. So far only her "bedroom" is semi finished and needing to be painted with some framing  being started right outside the main living areas. I'm thinking the bathroom will be finished before anything else is though. 

After those two things are done the rest of the basement will be framed and divided into a seating/chill/workout area, and an official laundry room with extra storage. I am so excited for this! I'm excited for everything really but I've always wanted a designated laundry area  where I can fold and iron. Not that I enjoy doing laundry and all. 

Right now we're at a standing still since my moms friend who's doing the Reno has been getting lots of work so I foresee this little project taking quite the time to get done. In the meantime though I keep collection ideas of how I want the set up and how we'll decorate it. I've been learning a lot about construction too and electricity. I was able to assist him with the wiring and insulation. I can see myself doing that kind of work but do I have what it takes? Who knows. The hubby is in trouble though if I get any ideas to do other Reno around the house ;-)


Pamela 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Hello Autumn!


I am so excited for the adventures that are coming this season. On top of this being my all time favorite season, from the cool weather to everything pumpkin flavored, we have lots of things going on on the weeks ahead.
My SIL Lola is coming to town for a couple of weeks with her four years old son. That means that many of our Fall adventures/traditions like apple picking, pumpking carving, seed roasting, and trick-or-treating, to name a few, will be done alongside that little one who lives across the country. As for the adults, events suchs as a bridal shower, bachelorette party, and a wedding awaits. Lots of eating out, wine drinking, and quality time will also be a part of this month. I decided to take off 2 weeks for her home visit, I mean why not? I have the time to use :) 
Then in November we are heading to Puerto Rico for a two weeks family vaction over the Thanksgiving break. I feel fortunate enough on being able to take off so many days in a two months period. I thought that this summer was a great one and as we get more in the groove of things this Fall season and the end of year approches I feel like this year has been short of amazing.
I'm excited for the weeks to come! But what I'm truly excited for is some me time. I cannot wait to be off from work and enjoy warm pumpkin flavored coffee outside my poch or out on my deck while I indulge in a romance novel. Maybe I'll embrace the cool weather and go for jogs/runs after dropping off the kids. Of course that my own schooling will be there with lots of demands but I will use my time wisely to make the best out of this stay-cation ;)
Look forward to the stay-cation highlights toward the end of this month as well as the last DITL post for the year!
xoxo,
Pamela

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Christianity vs Earthly Desires: My Confessions

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Four year ago I decided to change my lifestyle. I decided that it was time to grow up and focus on my family and new life as a new wife.

For you to understand me you need to know a little more about me and my dark past. Ok so is not that dark, just a little grey. You see, I've always enjoyed parties and dancing. Dancing is my passion, music is my stress reliever. If I'm home cleaning and I put on music to liven up the mood you bet that I'll end up showing my broom some moves ;) But four years ago I decided to be a follower of Christ and my old ways had to stop. And it has not been an easy journey. I've encounter many trials and tribulations along the way. And this might sound insane but if there was ever a out in my mind about God not being real, well there will never be again. The things I've witnessed and the things I've experienced have been beyond unnatural. There was definitely a higher power involved. Call me crazy but it's the truth. Maybe one day I'll share those experiences. For now though let's stay focus.

Little by little over the years I've pushed away from friends and family that were not on the same path as me. Now wait a minute, before you judge me hear me out. I did not push everyone away indefinitely, I simply stopped doing the things they were doing with them. Things that made me feel guilty like going to a dancing club Saturday night then to church on Sunday morning. The more I became involved in the church the more I pushed away. I didn't judge them, I just did not feel comfortable doing those things anymore. Many of my friends drink and smoke and dress very provocative and I was the outcast. I didn't belong and so I moved on, alone. Thankfully everyone respected my decisions and didn't judge me. We kept in touch and got together from time to time to catch up on life. Four years later and it all remains the same. I'm still moving on, alone, and my friends continue to go out dancing, drinking, casino hopping, etc. And so for many Saturday nights I sat back on my couch and allowed my earthly desires to be fulfill through my friends. It made me envious to see a group of girls go away to the city for a weekend, laughing, happy, having a good time, enjoying their 20s and here I was home alone.

Yes alone, although far from it, is how I felt when everyone was out having "fun". My kids would be watching TV or sleeping next to me, and my husband would either be out himself or sleeping through the boredom. I mean, of course I love being home with my boys but feeling left behind on what the rest of the world is doing is not the greatest feeling. It came to a point where it created problems in my marriage. My husband and I were not (and are still not) on the same spiritual journey. Is a daily struggle. He still goes out some weekends to watch a UFC fight or to hang out with the guys while I stay home alone thinking about what loser I must look like in a reality TV series jajaja. Deep down I felt alone. I had no one that shared my curent interest. It seemed like everyone was on the same page except for me. It sucked and I would take it out on my husband. "He had no business being out there with the rest of them, he was a family man now" I thought. He was putting himself in temptation's way. He was going to end up doing something he'd regret. It was all I could focus on. For years.

Then finally one night it hit me. I wasn't mad at my husband for having a life that seem more exciting than mine, I was mad at myself "for staying behind". I was allowing social media to blind me with what I thought was cool and what I was missing out on. The parties, the dancing, the drinking, the fun times with friends. But deep down I knew something wasn't right. I don't like waking up with a hangover. I don't like dropping off my kids at their grandparents so that I can go out dancing. I don't like wearing provocative clothes to call attention. I don't like feeling disrespected by man. I just wanted to have friends that share my interest, I didn't want to feel alone anymore and no one understood me.

I love being a Christian. I have met amazing people on this journey and it has brought me so much closer to others. I've found peace, and true love, and how beautiful forgiveness and God's grace can be. It has been hard staying focus and feeling alone but I wouldn't trade it.

I'm not perfect and still enjoy my glass of wine or two maybe even a Cosmo. I still listen to Spanish music and dance some bachata here and there.

I'd love to have more people on board with me but right now it seems that I'm still finding myself and I'm ok with that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Oh Summer...

You have been a great one. The best one compared to the last 4. It was wonderful having you around and I am sad to see you go. Although Autumn is my favorite season it'll have to climb high to top you off. :)



You came around and brought new life, a precious baby girl was welcomed by my brother and his girlfriend making me once again a titi and godmother. EmiyahLee is the cutest little princess ever and I can't get enough of her. In only three months she has stolen my heart and the heart of many. He smile is priceless and I fall more in love with her every time I see her.

 

We decided to spend father's day visiting friends in NYC and celebrating with them their first child first birthday. Our boys had an amazing time and we were honored to be a part of their big and special day.

 

June 25th marked 4 years since our wedding and I am happy to report that we have survived. 4 years ago I never thought we would make it this far but boy what a gratifying journey has this love story been. My pastor once told me " Happiness is a journey" and I have to agree. It seems that over the years our happiness have increased immensily. I can't wait to se where the next four years will take us.

 

We said goodbye to June by taking a 5 day trip to Ocean City, MD. It was a wonderful time with the in-laws and my mother. You can read all about that trip here.

 

We welcomed July by celebrating our firstborn, Steven, nineth birthday. Holy Jesus, 9 years! I can't believe we have a child this old. Seriously, I simply cannot get over it. I'm not even 30 yet 8-/

 

As a late Father's Day gift, I took my FIL, Hubby, Steven, and AJ to an Iron Pigs baseball game. We got to watch the game from the porch party area loaded with tasty food. The guys had a fabulous time and I gave myself a pat on the back for a succesful (one of many) outing with this 3 generations of Perez boys. Not having my father alive to share special moments with my kids or having any granparents left on this world makes me feel as if I should cherish every moment with my FIL and use every opportunity possible to have my husband and sons spend quality time with him as well. 

 

Another trip to Ocean City, MD took place on August 1st to celebrate FIL's 60th birthday. Again it was only him and his wife with my little family, more quality time for making memories that will last a life time.

 

Many trips to Dorney Park that brought back many childhood memories for the hybby and I.

 

Trips to different parks and bike rides weren't that far behind either. I love to see my boys happy and their happiness was brought on by lots of outside time. Whether is riding bikes, going down the slide, blowing bubbles, or flying a kite, that's what being a child is all about.

 

One on one time with the hubby was well deserved after all the running around we did. Many dates were accompanied by siblings or friends. I love this man so much! I love you Hun :)

 

An engagement in mid-August made for some very happy parents-to-be. Will there be a destination wedding in the near future? I'm excited for this!

 

I paid off my car! I'm do excited to have done this :D


A weekend road trip to Baltimore, MD and Washinghton DC was the last trip we took for the summer. A post on that will be coming soon :)

 

And now that you are leaving dear summer, you leave us a handsome prince who became the 4th grandson in the hubby's side of the family. Although we love him very very much we are all itching for that little princess who will become the first granddaughter/daughter. I foresee a baby boom happening very soon in this family. Who will be the lucky parents of this highly expected baby girl?

 

xoxo,

Pamela 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

OCMD 2015 Part 2: Day 1

Vacationing with FIL is always so much fun. I say this because we get the best of two worlds. For starter, we get to enjoy the vacation by only having to deal with our two boys and second because he likes to eat (like me) which means lots of eating out and we go sightseeing a lot. At least that's always the case when we travel anywhere with him.

This year the husband thought that his dad would enjoy a trip to Ocean City, Maryland for his birthday and he was right. After he asked him how he felt about it he booked a two night stay in a double bed room at the Francis Scott Key Resort, our favorite place to stay in OC. This is how our weekend went. 

Saturday
Our alarm went off at 4am. The previous days were very busy and we didn't finish packing for our beach trip so the hubby and I divided tasks. He finished packing the things he needed and got himself and the boys ready while I got myself ready and packed everything else I thought the boys and I would need. One thing I have to admit about having boys is that they are the easiest to pack for when it comes to vacationing. Of course that depending on the age range it does get a bit challenging but at this age (2.5 and 9) and for this trip specifically all we needed for them were a few outfits, swimming shorts, towels, sandals/sneakers, underwear and diapers, and sun screen. On this trip Steven had his buggy board and AJ got sand castle buckets and pail. See, it can't get easier than that :)

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By 5:30am we were on our way to pick up FIL and his wife. When we got to their house they were waiting outside for us. Apparently they were up since 4am and even made a DD run before we got there. They put their bags in our car and I decided to sit with Steven on the third row of hubby's truck. AJ and Sonia sat together on the second row and hubby and his dad sat in the front seats. I thought that by me sitting on the last row it would give everyone enough room to change positions during the trip. Well, as per my son it was the worse ride of his life. We made a quick stop at McDs for breakfast sandwiches and coffee and being that I was super tired I decided to fall asleep after eating. I slept the entire way there. Again per my son, I'm a bad car sleeper and not only was I snoring but I also used him as a cushion for my head and legs. Needless to say that he was awake the entire ride and after we arrived in OC he never sat on the back row with me again. Not at all. I found it funny when we were leaving the beach later that morning that he pulled forward the seat and told me to get in first. Then he pushed the seat back into place and got himself in between AJ and Sonia. I asked him why he sat there and that's when he told me about his horrible ride experience seating with me. Jajaja

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We arrived at OC at 8:30am and that was way too early to check in at the resort. So we parked on 6th Ave and walked on over to the beach. Steven and the boys changed into their swimming shorts in the car and put on sunscreen while we grabbed the beach tent, towels, and 2 chairs. That's the only thing I forgot, our beach chairs so for the entire weekend we only had 2 instead of 5. We headed to the beach and made a stop at DD for a bathroom run, more coffee, and sandwiches. I had their frozen caramel colatta for the first time and it was delicious! So good but way too big. I drank most of it. We hung out on their little seating area just chit chatting for almost an hour before setting up at the beach. I thought to myself that this was going to be a relaxing vacation for sure. I had no doubt of it. 


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It didn't take long before hubby and Steven took advantage of the warm weather to start enjoying themselves. They headed right to the water while AJ played with the sand, FIL slept like a King, Sonia played games in her iPad, and I laid down for what I hoped would be a nice reading/nap session but of course I spent most of my time snapping pictures, texting, and playing with AJ. After a little while AJ wanted to go to the water so I took advantage to take some more pictures.

A little after noon we decided to gather our things and head on over to the resort to check in and eat lunch. Lucky for us our room was ready earlier than 3pm so they gave us the keys right away. After settling in the hubby and FIL went out to buy lunch. We were in the mood for chicken and potatoes wedges from a near by gas station/food stop. I am drawing a blank here trying to remember the name of the place but boy is their chicken good. I think it took longer to pick it up than what it lasted in the room. After lunch we walked over to the outside pool. Surprisingly this time I was all over that water. But to be fair I think the weather was a lot warmer than back in June. This time around in OC the temperature was in the 90s. HOT! Then while hubby was in the hot tub and FIL and Sonia went to the room I took the boys miniature golfing which is alongside the pool. That was interesting and harder than I thought. I've only done it once or twice before and that was many many years ago. AJ of course was obsessed with the balls and had his own little game going on in between ours. Then I kept on missing the hole and I'm sure the kids behind us thought I sucked bad since they had to wait for me every time. At the end AJ had a tantrum because the last hole kept the balls and he wanted his balls! It took a lot of convincing to take him away and have him return his "stick".

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Many hours later we headed back to the room to shower and go over to the boardwalk for some walking, pizza, and ice cream! I find it funny how much we remember about this place. There were so many places that brought back memories as far back as 2005 when I first started dating the hubby. So many different hotels we stood at before finding this one, so many restaurant we ate at, so many birthdays celebrated here, and the people we've come with.This place is like a second home :)


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This night after eating some delicious pizza and wings we walked from 17th Ave past over 1st Ave and back again to 17th Ave. On our way back we stopped at Basket Robins for some yummy ice cream. Various times over our walk we stopped to take pictures with some "Disney Characters" and to hear boardwalk musicians sing/play the guitar, etc. By 11pm we were back in our room ready for bed. It was a very long and eventful first day back at OCMD.


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I was obsessed with the ocean and moon this time around 


Day2&3

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Steven Goes to 4th Grade

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It's bittersweet to realize that this child of mine has started the 4th grade. I mean I remember clearly the details of his birth and even when he was just a tiny toddler, about 7 years ago. With his new journey I also can't help but to feel nostalgic since it was exactly 19 years ago that I came to the States and started school in the 4th grade. I remember my experience as a young Spanish speaking child trying to learn the language and the materials being taught. Now thinking back I realize that it wasn't the material that was hard, it was learning it while not knowing the language. It was tough. But enough about me, back to my fourth grader.


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Oh Steven, having you start the fourth grade has not been easy for me (or your brother). I'm constantly expecting so much from you that sometimes I forget that you are still only a child and you are not me. I was force to grow up faster than I would have liked from my childhood and I always told myself it would be different for my kids but it hasn't been. I like to say that I blame my expectations on your size, you are almost as tall as me and the way you express yourself, yet at the same time your maturity level is not as high as I like to believe it is making you just what you are, a child. Now that I have that drilled into my head I hope to take it a bit easier on you and I hope this school year become one of the best one yet.

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He was that upset to see upu walk away into a "building"

You are so smart and know a lot more than what you give yourself credit for. I don't like that you don't realize all that you are capable of doing but hopefully it won't take long for you to see it too.

You made it through the first week just fine. Your enthusiasm about the things you will get to learn this year is priceless. I wish you the best on your journey through the fourth grade my child. I love you more than the world will ever know. 

Good Luck!

Mom

Monday, September 14, 2015

OCMD 2015 Part 1: Day 4

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So I'm finally finishing up our last day of our first trip to OCMD. And that my friend is why I don't document vacations, because I can't never keep up with them. But then I read other bloggers vacation posts which are extremely detailed like Julia's here and I wish I had the time, energy, and motivation to write something as well written as she does but I always fail. This year I said that I would finish both trips even if it takes me all of 2015 to complete them. But knowing now how much work goes in to the detailed stuff I'm thinking that next time I'll probably be doing "trip highlights" instead. So be on the look out for those since we have quite a few trips coming up.

On our 4th day in OC we did what we had been doing every day since we got there. We woke up early and headed over to the beach. I guess the realization of it being the last day we were going to be there gave us motivation to wake up early and take advantage of the day ahead. 

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At the beach we simply relaxed. We were all just enjoying the morning ocean side, we don't have nice beaches around us back at home so this is plain luxury. And I'm not even a beach person. Meaning I don't care much for salt water or sticky sand. But the view and the relaxation is all worth it. 

As I had BIL take one last picture of me and the hubby we had a beach photographer come near us and ask us to pose for him. We declined because we knew exactly how that works, they take beautiful pictures of your family and then beat you over the head with the price for them. No way, no sir, thank you. But he got us hahaha. He asked and insisted until we gave in and said "ok, we will pose for you but it'll be just for fun. We are not buying!" He agreed. He tooks pictures upon pictures of my little family and a few of the parents to be then one more of the entire group minus MIL's husband since he had walked over to the boardwalk for a bit. Then just like that our beach time was over. We packed our belongings and headed to the resort to pack up the room.  By 11:30am we were all set to check out. We were planning on staying till later in the afternoon and heading home by 3ish. We had some pool time, ate some pizza, and then headed back to the pavillion to grill.


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At the pavillion the kids palyed, my mom enjoyed some more time in the inside hot tub, and the rest of the adults sat around talking while hubby and MIL grilled lunch. We talked about our time there, how many times we had taken small trips like that to OC and how much fun it has been to see the family grow year after year. 

While we waited for the food I thought it would be cool to have a little recording session asking everyone about their time in OC and boy oh boy this family sure is nuts hahaha but I love them either way. (Link to video coming soon.)

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After eating we changed our wet clothes in the inside pool bathrooms which have showers :) and packed the cars. My mom and I drove back with the hubby, Miguel and Stephanie drove my car back, and MIL and her entourage drove back in their car. There was a huge storm happening back home and MIL even contemplated staying another night but hubby shut down that idea faster then it had popped in her head. He was itching to get back to work. We left OC a little before 3pm and we made it home right around 6pm.

It never gets old. No matter how many times we come to this place we don't get tired of it. The memories that have been built here, the laughs, the fights, the tears, the money spent, it has all been worth it. Trip after trip I look forward to coming back once again.


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Stay tune for OCMD 2015 Part 2!

Day1|Day2|Day3|