Saturday, August 27, 2016

Maybe Some Good News!!!!

I don't want to get my hopes up too too much BUT, we might be getting our family car a lot sooner than we thought!!! EEEKKK!!!!!

I am so excited but I have to remain calm and cool.  So remember I blogged my disappointment about the car buying process in Costa Rica.  It basically sucks.  So we went to look at a car we thought we wanted... knew we wanted as it was in our price range meaning we could afford the monthly payments and it fit our entire family with a little room to spare.  That turned out awful.  We didn't go as prepared as we thought we were so we did not get to buy the car.  Yes, I was a baby and I cried.

Fast forward to now and we are about to get an even better car,  in a matter of weeks.  OMG I am too stoked.  So the car we are about to get is a 2017 Toyota Avanza.  It is very similar in class to the Suzuki Ertiga as that they are both considered compact MPVs (multipurpose vehicles).  They both look like a cross between a compact mini van and a compact SUV.  The Avanza is slightly roomier than the Ertiga and has a slightly bigger trunk space.  It also has a slightly more powerful motor but still remains fuel efficient.  They are both 7 passenger vehicles and are considered safe for families, which was the most important.

They are both marketed to families with small kids who are looking for compact cars with more space but are more economical and affordable.  But we all love the Avanza a lot more than the Ertiga.  The body style looks to me more like an SUV than the Ertiga.  And because it is a Toyota we feel a little more comfortable about the maintenance.

I am so excited I can barely contain myself.  But I don't want what happened to us the last time to happen again, so I am still being cautious.  Updates to come.

2016 Toyota Avanza Google Image

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Party Planning, Prepping and The Like!

It's party time again!!  I am super excited.  And a little bit sad.  My baby, my last child, will be turning three years old this month.  The 29th of August to be exact and it is a truly bittersweet moment.  I always knew this day would come and it brings so much joy to my soul yet tears to my eyes to see my baby boy grow up.

Enough setimenta (LOL).  Lets get to the party planning.  I am planning a nice little birthday party for my munchkin, a Cowboy Western themed party and I am super excited to see it all come together.  Of course I got a ton of ideas online.  And of course I am getting out my glue gun and my scissors 'cuz it's DIY time.  I love DIYing decor and the like for my kids' parties.  not only is it fun but it saves money too.  And because I am not trying to be all extra, I keep my DIY decorations on the simple side so they are super easy to do.

For the decor, we are keeping it simple with a red, blue and brown color scheme.  My Hubby made 2 wanted posters of the birthday boy to go along with the Western theme.  And the invitations came out so super cute with the "You Are Wanted" at the top.  Because as we all know, the invite sets the tone for your party.

We have sheriff badges for the kids, gold coins and handcuffs for prizes.  A few horses for table decor and some cute cowboy boot cup centerpieces.  I cannot wait to see it all come together.  We even got the birthday boy a cowboy hat to wear on his special day.  He looks so darn cute in it.  He'll be a hit at the party.

When it comes to parties, I like to keep things simple but I love adding special touches to set my parties apart from the norm.  I want my kids to feel special on their day but also for my guests to feel welcomed and have a ton of fun.  And I love bringing a theme to life to make people feel like I have transported them to that specific era or place in time.  Whether it be by adding small touches here and there like wanted posters, butcher block paper, or cowboy boot centerpieces, I know it will be a rootin' tootin' good 'ole time.

My Little Cowboy!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Getting Rid Of Baby Stuff AGAIN!!

I hate to jinx myself and that is why it always takes me such a long time to get rid of all my baby gear.  But I figure it is about time since my baby will be turning 3 years old this month *sigh*.

Here we go again.  Another one grows up.  And it's so funny because I was pretty much done with having kids at baby number three and yet here we are with my 4th baby about to turn into a pre-schooler.  How the time does fly and fly and fly away.

So I am a tad bit superstitious and hate to think it.  But I am at the mid-set that as soon as I get rid of all my baby items (the high chair, the crib, the swing, the bouncy chair, etcetera), I am going to BOOM! Get pregnant again.  EVEN THOUGH I AM DONE with having babies.  I want no more kids.  But God always has other plans.  I just hope another child is not in the works for our already enormous family.  I am happy with 4 kids.  It took some adjusting but I have finally adjusted to being the mom of four and I could not be happier.  NO MORE CHILDREN.

So why am I so terrified to get rid of all the baby stuff???  No longer.  I have listed the last of it on Craigslist and am anxiously awaiting the phone calls.  Please random strangers come and buy my leftover baby items.  I will free up a lot of space in my house and make some money all at the same time.  Win Win!  But at the back of my mind I still wonder.  God forbid I sell it all and then "surprise, baby number 5!!!"  I would literally keel over and die.

I am happy my last baby (please be  my last baby) is growing up.  I have loved being a much needed mommy again to a baby and then toddler.  I like it even better being a mommy of a growing preschooler as my other three kids are off at school most of the day.  It feels nice having a little one around to keep me company.  And I love that I still have another 2 more years before I have a (semi) empty nest for real.  But I also look forward to what that day holds and what that time of our lives will be like.  Will I want another kid?  I HIGHLY doubt it.  This body is done having babies.  The baby making factory is CLOSED!  But I still cling to my baby all the same, no matter that he's almost 3 years old and pretty much a man at this point.

So off with the remnants of the rest of the baby stuff so I can let go and finally move on.  I hope!

Friday, August 5, 2016

New Couch

There is something about getting a new piece of furniture that just makes a room or space feel fresh and alive again.  A few days ago, we finally got a new couch, a much needed new couch as our old one was basically on it's way out to the garbage.  After almost 6 years and 4 kids, the old couch just died.  A slow death but a death all the same. 

Now let me just tell you about the NEW couch.  It's not just ANY couch, but a SECTIONAL couch... a REALLY nice sectional L shaped couch that we have wanted for a LOOOOOONG time.  It's the style and type we have been meaning to buy and just never got around to it until recently.  And we didn't even have to buy it; my wonderful father in law saw the state our old couch was in and bought us our new couch as a gift.  How nice, right!!!

We had looked online at the various styles of sectionals we thought we would like in our living room that would fit the space nicely and even poked around a few local furniture stores to scout out prices.  But the one we got was just by accident, I guess.  

My father in law had gotten us a sectional that was not what we were wanting.  It was a weird shaped couch that kind of formed a semi circle and was really uncomfortable to sit on.  Not to mention the shape of the couch forced us to sit knees in which meant not enough room for everyone.  We are  family of 6 after all.  After talking a bit with my father in law, we went the very next day to change the couch for one we really wanted.  The owner of the shop was really understanding and after looking around for about 30 seconds, we found our couch.  Lucky for us he happened to have a couch in the exact style we were looking for. 

I cannot tell you how much nicer our living area looks.  It makes the space look so sleek and modern, so spacious and comfortable.  And so elegant and beautiful.  The new couch gave me the energy I needed to reorganize and redecorate the space, and not just the living room but the entire house.  All I want to do now is shop for accents and accessories that will coordinate better in our living room to go along with our new couch.  

Can a new piece of furniture give you a new outlook on how you live your life?  On how you live in your home?  Well, I sure do think so.   

This is just a random google photo of a couch that looks very similar in style, shape and size to the couch we bought.  Our couch has more of a modern touch but pretty similar in it's design. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Late Father's Day Post

I have to give a shout out to my amazing husband, who has just been working himself thin to make sure his family, us, have all we need and things we want.

He is a wonderful dad, so patient and kind.  So generous and understanding.  Just so gifted in his people skills.  I tell him all the time, he is a better parent than I am, especially when it comes to how he handles the kids.

I know Father's day already passed like a month ago, but I still just had to post this.  It goes without saying that everyday is father's day and he is appreciated and doted upon more than once a year.  But this year we did make sure to shower him with special gifts, like a bottle of wine and a t-shirt saying #1 Dad.  And we all went out to dinner as a family to celebrate his special day.  So even though Father's day officially did pass, this post is still right on time because no matter what time of year, it's always dad's day around here.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Buying A Car In Costa Rica

Buying a car in Costa Rica is a B*%&*$!  It's a beast!  I cannot believe how hard it is to actually buy a car here, I just wanna rip my eyes out and weep.

So we have been needing a bigger (newer) and better car for a while now.  Once we got pregnant with our fourth child, we knew my Hubby's 5 passenger Honda Civic sedan was not going to be roomy enough for our large family.  We needed something bigger but affordable and also reliable as well.

We started researching and looking into the cars we wanted about the time we had our baby, who is about to turn 3 in a matter of weeks, so we have been searching for a good deal on a car for a long while.  Mind you, we were not really in a position at that time to actually physically purchase a newer car, but we wanted to make sure we did our research.  We knew what kind of vehicle we wanted and around how much we could afford to pay each month.  Plus we factored in a rough estimate of how much we would need for a down payment.  We also knew in order to buy a newer car, we needed to sell our old one.

So in order to sell our car, we knew it needed some work.  After taking our sweet time (after of course getting the funds in order), we finally sent our car to the mechanic for the second time in about  7 months to get it ready for the sale.

In our wildest dreams we never thought how quickly our car would sell.  We purposely priced it competitively (which means below market value, like, way below) because we knew it still needed some cosmetic touches and body work.  In just under 24 hours, our car was sold.  Now we could move onto the next step of seriously looking into purchasing our newer vehicle.

So we knew exactly what we needed in a car.  We needed room for our entire family.  We needed comfort, which meant we needed air conditioning in our new car.  We needed automatic and this was a requirement for me.  And we needed something a bit newer, made in the 2000's.  So we started our search again.

We really only looked mainly at cars we were familiar with and brands we knew we could trust, mainly Honda and Toyota.  We thought the best vehicles to suit our families needs would be either the Honda Pilot or Odyssey, both 7 passenger vehicles with loads of space.  We knew these cars came at a premium price and so in order to actually afford either car, we would have to buy used, like at least 8-10 years old to be exact.  But then something happened unexpected.  Someone told hubby about a 7 passenger vehicle that was roomy enough for our family but less expensive than a Honda and we could get a newer model, like 2015.  It was the Suzuki Ertiga.

Never heard of the Ertiga? Yyou are not alone.  I had never heard of it either.  But now that I know about it, I see them everywhere.  We went to check out the Ertiga and we fell in love.  Now, Suzuki is a good brand and we are familiar with the company so no worries there.  We were impressed with the car itself as well.  Though not as roomy or spacious as a Honda Pilot or Odyssey, it has more than enough room for our family.  The trunk space is little tight, well, a lot tight but it works.

And the best part is for the same price we would pay for a 2008 Pilot or Odyssey, we can get a 2015 Ertiga.  We were ecstatic.  Where do we sign up?!!

I did a ton of research online about the Ertiga to make sure we were buying the right car for our family.  Looks are nice but we needed a reliable and safe vehicle as well.  After all my time on google and Youtube, I was ready to sign and buy our new car.  Halt! Stop! Brakes! Not so fast!  The buying process in Costa Rica is SO MUCH DIFFERENT than it is in the states.  We were so not prepared for what happened next.

With a $2000 down payment in hand (which we thought for sure was enough) and my Hubby's excellent credit, we headed off to the dealership to buy our 2015 Suzuki Ertiga.  As we got excited about having all the paperwork and finally being able to get our car we were blindsided to find out we needed $4000 for a 2015 semi-used car.  WHAT!!!!!  Are they insane?  Costa Rica is a third world country.  Why do they make it so difficult to buy a car???  We were devastated.  We thought for sure we would be walking out of the dealership with a newer car.

Come to find out, you cannot buy a car here without a downpayment and most places, if not all, ask for 25% down on a used vehicle.  We were clueless to this newfound information as we had newer bought such a new car in Costa Rica before through a dealership.  Now, deflated and a little confused, we have to figure out what to do as far as getting our car.  The Ertiga we were about to purchase was the only one the dealership had in their possession and who knows how long they'll get another 2015 Ertiga automatic for that price.  Without that $4000 downpayment, we lost out on our car.

Lesson here:  do ALL your research and don't just assume, like I did.  But there is something positive that came out of all of this.  We are now pretty much debt free and that means hubby's excellent credit just went up a few notches.  That will make it even easier for him to get a loan (again), which we will probably need in order to get the car we want.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that we will be able to get our newer car in the next month, so stayed tuned.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Trying To Lose It All

I had made a new years resolution with myself, sort of, to lose weight.  I missed how I looked before I got pregnant for the fourth time and wanted to get my body back.  But there was a big problem.  I had NO motivation.  I was in no mood to exercise.  And dieting is just not a part of my mentality.  So how was I going to lose the baby weight and then some?  Well, I got sick.

How did getting sick spark a weight loss journey you ask?  Well, I was sick and a little on the down side after my phone got stolen, so my appetite was not really at it's peak like it usually is.  So I lost a few pounds.  That was all the motivation I needed.  I knew I had to at least start eating more sensibly and cut back on all the late night snacking if I wanted to take this weight loss seriously.  If I could curb my appetite without feeling deprived, the weight would disappear without me even having to sweat, literally.

So I started eating more sensibly, less snacking.  And stopped eating after 7pm which, for me, is a big weight loss factor.  I was finally fitting into jeans I was not able to fit into for the last 3 years.  It felt good being able to wear the clothes I wanted to wear and actually look good in them.  I no longer had to 'hide'.  My stomach is flatter.  My thighs are slimmer.  My arms even look more sleek and toned.  Now, I know I will eventually have to start doing some sort of exercise a few days a week in order to stay on this path but for now, I am happy with the results from just eating better.

Hopefully I can keep this up, without going overboard.  I only need to be at around 130-135 to be happy and to fit all my clothes, with having to get a whole new wardrobe.  Anything less than that and I might start looking anorexic again.  That is why I am slowly building up to the exercise part of my weight loss journey.  Once I am happy with how my body is, and I am pretty happy right now, I can maybe start walking two days a week just to keep the weight off and to kick start a healthier lifestyle.  Eventually, I'll be my old self again with the confidence to boot.