Sunday, August 30, 2015

OCMD 2015 Part 1: Day 2

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Plan for today was to start the day early by going to the beach for a bike ride. We did start the day early but not as early as MIL would have liked. The resort offers transportation to and from the beach however it starts after seven and we were out of the room just before seven. We drove both cars to the beach and parked on 3rd street, if you go this early you're more likely to find parking on the street then if you go after 8 AM. 

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We got our bike rentals and rode up and down the boardwalk for about an hour then we did a little bit of walking and picture taking. During our ride we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for some coffee and donuts. By 9 AM we were on our way back to the room. We went to get ready for the beach and to have some breakfast with the things that we bought the day before. MIL made breakfast for her crew in her room and I made bacon egg and cheese bagel sandwiches for the people in our room while my hubby went to the gym for a bit. Not even on the vacation he takes a break from the gym, you would think that that will motivate me to live a more healthy/active lifestyle but no I have yet to make it there.  

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After breakfast we headed to the beach where I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. We pretty much took pictures, sat around and relaxed, built castles with the kids, got in the ocean about knee-high water you know, because we weren't sure if any sharks would attack ;-P. I try to read my book keyword being tried and we played some more. Around noon the kids had sandwiches and juices we brought with us and then back to the water we went. 


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Around 1pm we headed back to the shuttle bus location to get back to the resort and enjoy some pool time. The pool water was super cold and I honestly had no desire to get in it. I did enjoy some time in the hot tub though as did my mom and the hubby. The hot tube was my mom's favorite spot, most of her time in OC was spent in the hot tub whether it was outside or inside. While everyone enjoyed multiple delicious piña colada by the pool I decided to spend some alone time in the room. I like to be a loner at times and just being left alone in a quiet place can be all I need to recharge. As a moms I think we can all agree that there's never a dull moment where we can have true quietness, therefore every time the opportunity presents itself I jump on it like white on rice :) the boys stayed with daddy and I went about my way to the room. Plus my phone was dead and I wanted to charge it. 

My time in the room was short lived by a knock on the door from the hubby who was bringing AJ back because he had pooped and had a mess from head to toe. Soon after and two by two everyone joined me in the room and they were all beat from the sun. While some showered hubby went out with BIL and MIL's husband to buy blue crabs and shrimps for dinner. MIL makes a delicious seafood rice and throws in crab legs, I call it the Puertorican Paella. That's what we were having for dinner on this night. Well at least the adults were and Steven, this child eats just about everything. The other kids had nuggets and Mac and cheese. Dinner was done pretty late tonight too so in we stayed. Plus hubby had a little too much to drink and was passed out sleeping since getting back from buying the crabs. He even skipped eating dinner which is rare for him. The kids played outside after eating and the adults talked for a little while. 

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After getting back to our room my mom put both of my boys to sleep with her, hubby was still sleeping, and BIL joined him. Stephanie watched TV while I picked up my book to read once again and that's the last thing I remember.  The next day Stephanie told me that the book read me lol in other words I fell right asleep after reading a few words. At some point over the night the hubby woke up to shower and eat his dinner. I remember exchanging a few words with him but can't remember what they were. He then headed to bed and that was day two at OCMD. 


The Crew!
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Day1|Day3|Day4


Bonus: Click play on the 10sec video to see my youngest run away from the waves with his famous scream. This was his second time at the beach. The first time he was just about 10 months and the waves didn't phase him. This time around that was a completely different story hahaha.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

OCMD 2015 Part 1: Day 1

 Every year for the past 10 years we have visited Ocean City, Maryland. We tend to go two times over the summer, once with MIL and once with FIL. Depending the occasion, others might join in on the fun like my mom, siblings, friends, aunt/cousins, etc. Each year is different and we never know who will  join us to the beach until the rooms are booked and we are there.

This year we had planned to go with MIL late in June. We stayed 3 nights/4 days at the Francis Scott Key Family Resort, which we highly recommend if you happen to take trip to OC, MD. We love this place, I mean we must if we've stayed there every year for the past 8 years right? :)

This particular trip was scheduled on my weekend rotation at work and although I was able to get the weekend off, I had another commitment the day we were set to drive down which required me to drive later in the day. That was the day I was scheduled to take my TOEFL test. MIL, her hubby, and their foster kids drove down in one car while my hubby, kids, and BIL with his girlfriend Stephanie drove down in hubby's car. They left town around 7am and by 1030am they were at he resort. MIL's room was ready when they arrived so they were able to check in right away but hubby's room was not ready and they all had to use one room for EVERYTHING! Can you imagine, 13 people having to use 1 bathroom. lol.

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Untitled

 I left town around noon with my mom. I figured we'd be there by 3:30p-4pm the latest as did the GPS until we entered Philadelphia (I-95 S). I don't know what was going on with traffic that day but as soon as we were getting off the PA turnpike we hit tremendous traffic. AS if traffic was not enough it started to rain. Scratch that, it was pouring cats and dogs and I was not happy because I dislike driving in that type of weather just as much as I dislike driving in the snow. Despite that we continued the drive and made a quick pee stop somewhere in Delaware for my old lady and to grab some snacks. After getting back on the road the rain got even worse and it lasted quite some time. When it finally stopped the drive became a bit more tolerable even if it felt like never ending. It took us exactly 5 hours and 45 minutes when it normally takes us 3.5 hours at its max. Although I can't complain much since that drive was time well spent with my mom. We talked about everything that's anything even from as far back as her childhood. Memories, you gotta love it!

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At some point during our drive I get a call from the hubby. He wanted to check on us and also inform us that one of the foster kids cracked his head open when he tried doing a front flip into the pool. Apparently, instead of landing in the water he landed head first on the concrete pool edge. Ouch! That ended his fun right away. He was rushed to the nearest emergency room and got staples on his head. He was told that he could not expose the wound to the sun or get his head in salt or chlorine water due to risk of infection. He had to follow up with his family doctor after we returned home. What a sucky situation for a young kid on vacation. Other than that he was fine and was able to make the best out of it on the days to follow.

Once my mom and I arrived we unpacked the car and settled into our room. The boys had been in the inside pool and where just getting out to get dressed. Plan was to stop by the supermarket to get some things for the coming days and for dinner that night. When we travel with MIL we don't eat out much because there are just way too many kids and that is complete chaos. After leaving the supermarket we each headed to our assigned room and relaxed till word was out that dinner was done. For dinner MIL made the best kind of food for a rainy day, Chicken noodle soup with white rice. Yum.

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That night was a quiet and early one. MIL stood in her room with her wolf pack while Stephanie, my mom, the boys, and I were watching movies in our room. The boys felt asleep almost immediately, as expected. Hubby and BIL went out for "night crab fishing". That was, well lets just say it was interesting but they at least had fun lol.

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Day2|Day3|Day4

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Reality Check: Speaking Like A Christian

"Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”


― Gilda Radner


The other day at work I found myself (brace yourself) bored. Yes, bored. A positioned that you rarely find yourself in in my place of work. I also found myself stressed and anxious leaving me feeling short of breath. As I tried to figured out what was going on with me and how I could avoid feeling that way I came accross this post

Being a Christian is challenging for many reasons but just as it is challenging it's also rewarding and as I get older I try not to allow myself to get depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed over certain situations in life that most often than not are out of my control, although that is not always the case. I always try to see the beauty in all situations even if I don't really understand them, however sometimes I fail because I begin to focus too much on that certain situation. What's my point and how is that post relevant to this post? Well something clicked that day. Something that I always hear, something that I'm always told, something that I believe is that  "Things are not happening the way I want them to or when I want them to not because God has forgotten about me or is taking a break from blessing me, but rather because he is preparing me for something bigger".Did you hear that Pamela, God is preparing you for the future he has in storage for you!

That post made me realize that many people, especially the ones in the bible, have been through situations that although "difficult" it only help prepare them for the future they were given.

"The pain you are experiencing now might be your life’s purpose later. "

Whether or not my purpose in life is as wonderful as others, it is after all my purpose. A purpose that even if it doesn't benefit me in my life time will benefit the one that it is meant to learn from it.

Is extremely hard not to get discouraged and even more frustrating to not understand why things happen the way they do. It's also hard not knowing when your fate will change, if it ever does. As a Christian I have to believe that someday it will change but if it doesn't it's ok, I just have to embrace it and find the joy within it.

God is the only only that can make the impossible happen, in him I have faith. Even when my faith feels weakened I know he can restore anything I may be dealing with. If he did so with my marriage why should I believe otherwise?

XOXO,
Pamela


Monday, August 10, 2015

Adrian at 36 months

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Oh sweet AJ, how much fun has the last six months been. Since your birthady in January I feel like you have learned so much and are a lot more "grown". From an increase in your vocabulary to getting potty trained, it has all been a great experience.

Early in the year your bedtime routine started around 830pm but many times it went past that. It included a cup of milk, a bath, reading/singing, 10-15 minutes of rocking and then to your crib. Most days you would sleep through the night while others you'd wake up wanting to be put in bed with us. Over the months you became more comfortable in your own crib and spent less time in our bed. Today we still take you a bath before bed and get your pajamas on when not soon after that you request to be put in your crib. I find it the best when it gets late and you tell me that you want to go in your crib, that's key for you're extremely tired. Some days we take you a bath earlier than usual to not have to stop in the middle of a movie since you'll fall asleep midway through and just the other day you said to me as I am putting you on your pajamas "I no go in my crib". It was the funniest thing ever because you were very serious about it. To confirm what you said I asked you "you want to go night night?" and you replied " no, I no go in my crib, I no go night night, I play with Pollo iPad." Priceless. I smiled, a big smile from ear to ear, and asked you for a hug and kiss which you were pleasantly happy to give me. I live for moments like this buddy. That's when I realized that you are growing way to fast and even with the amounts of pictures and special attention to your mischiefs I still overlook the fact that you are growing way too fast. You continue to request not to be put in your crib on a daily basis unless you had a long day, then you don't really care whether or not we put you to sleep in your room.

When it comes to eating I have to admit that although you continue to be a picky eater you have added more varieties of food to your diet. The biggest one being eggs. You are in love with egg and cheese sandwiches. You also enjoy peanut butter by the spoonful. Yogurts of any kinds are a plus and cereal whether fruity or blend you still enjoy. Breakfast continue to be your favorite meal of the day. You have a sweet tooth just like daddy and are a carb-a-holic just like mommy. Pizza, spaghettis, breads you name it :)


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You love your time at daycare, so far we continue to survive and we love to have you there. We feel that your being there the past several months has great correlation with all that you have learned. Your talking, shapes, numbers, letters, and animals recognition as well as many other things. If I'm not mistaken it was just back in May when they started working with you and potty training. You showed interest and they went for it, great decision from their part. Now you wear regular underwear at home (which by the way makes you look like a big boy) and you've had minimal accidents. You have surprised me multiple times with your desire to use the potty even when we are in public for peeing and have pooped twice on it at home. The only issue I find with potty training is that not everyone is on board when you spend time with them. Daddy and I have been doing well talking you to the potty every 1-2 hrs and there are days when you tell us that you need to go or simply just go. 
When you're at one of the grandparents house however, things don't go as smoothly and you go on your diaper. I'm sure it is because you are not fully trained yet and still have to be reminded of it and the grandparents are just no so into it. Hopefully after "the talk" with them things will change.

You have mastered going up and down the stairs all on your own, and I don't want to jinx it but you have not had any falling accidents either. Yaayyy! I noticed it back in April when we went away to our cousin's house for the weekend and you became fearless of the stairs. Of course that it freaked me out since you were only 27 months but after coming home I'd let you go up under supervision and one day I can't even recall a time frame, you were a pro at going up and down. Now you go up and down as you please which helps with the potty training because those are the times when I tell you lets go potty and next thing I know you're telling me "mommy I did peepee in the potty". Music to my ears! And of course that we praise you for going. So far we haven't had to bribe you and I'm hoping we don't ever have to. Yet again, this is only the beginning of potty training.

You were obsessed with Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Elmo for quite some time but not so much lately. You still love them but your love for the iPad is much bigger. If we'd let you you would spend all day playing on it. At one point we took out all non educational games you had on it and it didn't take long for you to realize that they were missing. That lead to lots of fighting with your brother because you always wanted to use his, and still do. I fear it is the beginning of a very long brotherly thing. You still enjoy playing with cars and super hero characters and are not so much into movies. Once or twice a movie has sucked you in but it rarely happens. You enjoy a lot Little Einsteins, Mickey Mouse Club House, Miles, Neverland Pirates, Handy Manny (to name a few) and lately you've been into Nina Needs to Go which is funny since it relates your current phase of toddlerhood but again you prefer to pass your time playing big boy games on the iPad, like Sonic.  

Being that you were able to identify many animals and their sound I knew that rips to the zoo this summer were going to be so much fun and I was right! So far we've been two times (not enough) to the local zoo in our area but we plan to make it to the Philadelphia Zoo before the weather changes.


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Back when you were a lot smaller we signed you up for swimming classes but it didn't last long because daddy thought it was a waste of 30 mins and expensive. He planned on teaching you himself at grandpa's pool and so far he has kept his word. You love being in the water. Some days you wake up and say "I go in the water today", it's the first thing out of your mouth. And in fact you have spent a lot of time in the pool and the water park. Your favorite thing to do lately has been to float on your back. You are learning so much! This video was the first time we let you swim in the pool without holding on to us. Here you were wearing this "floating gadget" given to us by your Godfather. It taught his son to swim and he thought he would pass it on. So far it has not disappointed us. I guess it helps that you are not afraid of the water. Although you are afraid of the waves, who can blame you? Even I'm afraid of the waves, especially the fierce ones. 


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Let me just note I love your hair! The curls, the length, its softness, and its manageability. I wash your hair 1-2 times per week with shampoo and conditioner and we detangle it, not your favorite part. I use natural hair products on your hair an on days that your hair does not get washed I simply shake it a bit or spray some cold water and voila all done. Your hair is seriously a dream. You turn heads when we're out in public and I honestly can't ever see myself giving you a hair cut. If we do in the far future it'll probably be when your hair is super long in which case we would donate it. Funny story, a few weeks ago I washed your hair and had the idea that maybe if I tied your hair up for bed it might take less time to work on it in the morning. Well I did so and you almost lost it. You kept shaking and touching your head and asked me "mommy where's my hair?" it really bothered you not to feel your hair hang from your head to the point where you cried and I had no choice but to let it loose. It was pretty funny at the moment and that's when I realized that your hair makes you You. I can't ever take that away from you, not anytime soon anyways. For now I guess you'll continue to rock the soccer player look, which by the way looks great on you! You've gotten into the habit of biting and screaming. A extremely high pitch scream that drives me, and everyone else I'm sure, nuts. No matter how many times we correct you in biting or screaming for that matter it does not work. You continue to do it. You've also learned some "bad words" and for the life of me I can't figure out were you learned them from. I know for sure it wasn't at home and no matter how many ways we tell you not to say it you just don't get it. Honestly I don't know how else to tell you not to say them. This has been the biggest challenged for us to deal with if I'm being honest. Licking people and dogs is another thing you love to do. I can't understand the joy you get from it but I sure hope it passes soon.

Your brother and you are currently having a love/hate relationship if I do say so. You spend a lot of time together, playing, and loving each other but you also spend a lot of time fighting. I say your fights consists of you wanting everything your brother has, you wanting to play with his toys/apps/video games, and you simply bothering him. He also gets jealous of the attention you get and that sometimes you get away with some things that he can't. I'm sure this is totally normal for both of your age since he's 9 going on 16 and you are 2.5 going 8.

I am sure I can go on forever taking about you, your likes, dislikes, and achievements but this will do for now. We love you sweet boy, you are a dream come true and I feel blessed to have you and your brother to call my own.God bless you both today and always!



Love,
Mommy, Daddy, Pollo, King

Saturday, August 8, 2015

When your faith gets tested part 2

If you missed the first part of this post click here


I took a moment to pray and ask for forgiveness for my thoughts and feelings. I turned on my radio and praised him. I asked for strength to withstand whatever was heading my way.

I decided to stop writing. 
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Over the weeks that passed I felt like I was being prepared for the worse. All my devotionals and bible verses talked about letting the present be even if it's not what I had hope it'd be. 

7.20.15 

After a semi long day at work I walk out side and see the sun shinning bright. The weather is perfect. 78 degree. It feels like a Sunday. All is calm and quiet. I snap a few pictures and walk to my car. Without even thinking twice I turn on the engine, turn on lily goodman station on pandora, and drive away. As I drive I plug in my phone to the speakers and wonder if today will be the day I hear from the nursing program. Twenty minutes later and I'm home. I text with a friend once I park which makes me laugh out loud. I get out of the car and head toward my house, look inside the mailbox and there's nothing. I go inside kiss the boys and ask the hubby if he grabbed the mail to which he replied by pointing at its current location. I walk towards it not expecting to find what I've been waiting for, yet to my surprise there it is. A plain white thin envelope from Desales University. 

My stomach fills with twitching nerves. I'm freaking out. I'm hopeful it contains the news I've worked hard for but is almost a given what this plain thin envelope hides inside. I grab it and head to my room. I undress and sit at the edge of my bed. I say a prayer, 

"Lord, please forgive me for being doubtful. I know that whatever is in this envelope is exactly what I need to see. If this contains what I hope it does not help me to accept what I cannot change and lead me in the path that you want me on". 

I hesitate. 

I hesitate some more. 

As I gently open the envelope I imagine what the first sentence will begin with. 

"We regret to inform you" or "congratulations" 

To my surprise neither of them. But as I continued to read my eyes meet with the word regret and they fill with tears. I'm heartbroken. I tell myself "I'm ok, I'm ok. I'm ok". But I'm heartbroken. I cry some more. All kinds of emotions run through my body and mind. I don't even know what to do. Should I go get a hug from the hubby? But I don't want his pity. Plus I'll feel like I've disappointed him. I decide to let it out by telling just one person. And so I text her the words 

I didn't get in. 



To be continued...