Friday, March 24, 2017

Bad Things Happen Sometimes

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later.  We crashed our brand new car!  And when I say we, I mean hubby.

In our experience, we just can't seem to keep a car looking new for long.  Before we know it, something always goes wrong.  This time, something went really wrong and now, we are once again without a vehicle for our family.

Thankfully, the crash was not that bad.  Hubby was with our oldest son and our youngest.  They went on an errand to buy our 17 year old his 'birthday' gift:  a playstation 4 slim.  The excitement was though the roof as he sold his Wii U to earn the money for the new gaming console, one he had been wanting for over a year.  And he was proud of himself that he was able to mostly fund the purchase all on his own.  

From what Hubby told me, they went and bought the console quickly and it was when they were heading home that the accident occurred.  It was a minor fender bender and no one was hurt.  But legally speaking, we're not sure how much this little accident is going to cost us, even though we have insurance.

To say it was a stressful night would be an understatement.  I was pretty calm as I had scratched up the car just a bit the day before and was freaking out myself about the cost of repair.  I took the car to 2 different mechanics to get a price quote on how to 'buff' out and repaint the front bumper.  My little scuff up was because I overestimated how much room I had parking into our little carport and rubbed against the wall, making a small and not so noticeable ding in the wall and a few scratches on the car that you had to get up close to see.  But that got me all shook up and made for a miserable day.  I could just about imagine how my hubby felt from his real accident, where another person and car was involved.

Thankfully, he took all the necessary legal steps you have to take here in Costa Rica; speaking to the transit police, the insurance and the dealership, as well as the lady whose car he hit.  But the unanswered question remains:  how much does insurance cover for the the other driver and how much out of pocket do we have to pay to get our car fixed?  The car doesn't even really look that bad to be honest, although up close it looks like we had a slight run in with a wall or something.  But the radiator was punctured, rendering the car pretty much useless as it cannot be driven.  We have to take it in on Tuesday, which was the soonest we could get an appointment with our dealership and it will take about a week to fix.

It has been a looooooong week, that is for sure.  With all the paperwork involved with this process, I highly doubt we're ready to see the light at the end of tunnel just yet, as someone mentioned we might have to go to court?  I am not too worried though, as I feel it will all work itself out in the end.  I just have to have faith and trust in a higher power.  As for not having a car for a whole week, well, that will suck.  But I have been without my own personal vehicle before so I can handle a measly one week.  Having to shuttle the kids to and from school on bus is no picnic, but it can be done... and besides, I have my mother in law's brand new car as a back up just in case.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

He's Almost A Man!

I am not sure what to feel right now.  As of March 28, which is less than 3 weeks away, I will have a 17 year old SON!!!  I am excited and feel a little odd because "HOLY CRAP... I have a SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD SON!"

It makes me truly happy that I have raised a well behaved, fairly competent, and mature young man. He is such a good son, a good brother and pretty good friend.  I love him to pieces.  Loving him to the moon and back?  How about I love him to Pluto and back (or whatever the farthest planet from the sun is).

He is such a simple kid too, which is awesome because his personality is very low key.  I got more than lucky having him as a son, I got blessed.  Yes, we've had our ups and downs (most likely documented on this very blog), but he has matured so much over the years that I am truly humbled to have him for my first born son.

To celebrate his birthday this year, he decided on a Paintball outing with a few friends and family.  It'll be low key (like his personality), with some pizza and snacks after at home for refreshments.

To say that he is the best older son I could have asked God for is probably an understatement of how I truly feel.  He is truly a wonderful person and will one day be a wonderful man (sooner than I can blink).  I can only hope and pray for the best out of life for him because he deserves the world.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Settling In

After a full month of the kids being back to school, I have to say we have finally settled into a routine.  So far, the kids have been liking me being their chofer and I have to say, I don't mind it at all so far.  I do have concerns about sick days, mainly mine, when I am too weak to drive them to school.  I feel like I should have a back up plan for those days, as I would hate for them to miss school on account of my illness.  But so far, things have been going smoothly.

I also love being able to take my 3 year old more places with me, as having the car at my disposal makes  running errands with a toddler tolerable.   And he loves coming along with me for all the mundane things I tend to do, like grocery runs.

Now I 'm not going to lie, I am pretty nervous about this school year.  With exams right around the corner, extra credit homework to be done and just school work in general, it is going to be a pretty busy year for my kids.  Every parent wants their child/children to succeed at life.  And to succeed at life, you have to succeed in school first.  So it is a lot of pressure.  As much as I dislike the public school system in Costa rica, I have to say that, thankfully my kids do go to a public school.  They are only in school for 5 hours a day instead of the typical 7 to 8.  And their course work isn't too overwhelming.  I guess my biggest beef, if you will, is how the public schools are set up.  But I am lucky the school my kids are in is not so bad and the teachers so far, from my own personal experience, have been wonderful.

I think that if I become more involved and stick to a routine that my kids can easily follow, the school year will be a success and not at all terrible.  Besides, the year will just fly by, like 2016 did and soon enough, it'll be vacation again.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Creating Lasting Family Traditions

When you have kids, there's just something about wanting to create memorable family traditions that will last for years.  Traditions that will stay with your kids into adulthood.  Traditions they will want to carry on with their own families.  For me, it was important to have those moments and memories my kids can look back on with fondness because a childhood without family traditions is not much of a childhood at all.

For many reasons, creating fun traditions for my kids were important to me because I remember the few that I shared with my family growing up and how those memories made me feel.  The main reason, however, that I find myself creating so many great traditions with my kids is because there weren't many when I was young.  Yes, I come from a traditional family and culture.  But as far as special family traditions go, traditions that were created just for us as kids, there weren't that many.

That is why to this day, I hold steadfast to the traditions I have with my kids and make sure to carry them on from year to year.  There are the traditions that we only do once a year at very special times of the year, like for the holidays.  For Easter, we have our scavenger egg hunt, a special breakfast and the kids get their baskets.   For Halloween the kids dress up in costumes and I take their picture for memory's sake. Thanksgiving is a thankful holiday where we share a special meal and recount our blessings and what we are thankful for from the previous months.  And of course, the biggest tradition of them all, celebrating Christmas.

Every year, we celebrate the Christmas season with homemade crafts like making cards and baking goodies to give as gifts.  We watch all the Holiday specials on TV and try to find fun Christmas related activities to do as a family.  And when it comes to birthdays, we, of course,  always have a special celebration every year and that is a tradition that I will forever hold true to. 

Then there are the traditions that aren't just for special holidays and occasions.  Traditions can be something you do daily, like reading a bedtime story to your kids each night. Or something you do weekly, like our Friday night movie night.  Or even the once in a while family game night, where Sorry or Go Fish dominates the afternoon.

When my kids grow up, they'll look back on their childhood and remember all these special and fun traditions we did as a family and have special memories to share with their own families.  Traditions that they will, hopefully, one day pass on to their kids.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Job Hunt

I decided (not so recently), that maybe I'd like to get a job.  Not really because I WANT to or am in some desperate need to be a working mom.  I actually love not having to work.  But I thought it would be nice to start helping out just a little bit financially.

I am not ready for a 9-5, steady, full time Monday to Friday gig;  I am a mom and I have kids.  Not to mention I have responsibilities that prevent me from getting a normal, regular old job.  I need a job that can work with my schedule and allow me to still be a mom.  Lately, I've searched the web (well honestly I've searched just one site) for work from home positions that are flexible, mainly part-time and require very little experience or skill-set (I have been out of the job market for quiet some time).

I never imagined it would be so hard to get these jobs to respond to my emails.  The jobs are there, plentiful even, but not one of the jobs I applied to have responded to me.  Not by phone, not by email, not even by Skype.  I find it odd as I have never had an issue in the past, hearing back from a job online... I'm usually bombarded with replies and requests.  I feel like it's a sign... maybe I am not meant to be working, even if it is from home, at this time.  So I'll wait and I guess when the perfect job comes along, I'll know, because they'll actually get in touch with me.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Lazy Mom Syndrome

Is it just me?  I am the only lazy mom out there?  Please tell me I'm not!  I am a self professed 'lazy' person.  By nature, I am just lazy!  And to be honest, there is not much I want to change about that.

Now, let me explain.  I am lazy only about certain things.  When it comes to my house keeping, cooking and just being a mom in general, I am definitely not lazy.  My house is pretty neat, always organized and fairly clean on a daily basis.  I am a little anal about a clean house because a messy, disorganized home would drive me insane.  Also as a mom, I get involved with my kids.  I attend school meetings.  I help with homework and projects.  I do all the mommy duties, like the laundry, getting lunches and uniforms prepped and making sure my kids are safe and healthy, well loved and happy.

I also think I go above and beyond when it comes to making sure my kids have a decent childhood. Regular movies nights and fun filled activities keep us pretty active.  And random outings to the park make sure I give my kids the childhood they deserve.  I also make sure they stay involved in some sort of regular program, like Judo, guitar and piano lessons. So in terms of being a good mom, I am not THAT lazy.

Now as a lazy person, I can get lazy with certain things that either aren't that important to me personally or that I'm not interested in (or to be honest take too much energy).  I can also be lazy with things I feel will just work itself out on it's own (without too much interference from me).

The reason I am writing this blog post and hoping some other mom can relate to me is that I have become very lazy with the learning and early education of my youngest.  When I had my other 3 kids, I was very involved in their early stimulation, teaching them to recognize letters, numbers and colors and learning their ABC's at a young age.  My oldest knew how to read in Kindergarten.

As I got older and the more kids I had, now on my fourth who is three, I just have not been consistent with his learning at home.  The times I take to actually get engaged in his early stimulation are few and far between and I feel I just have to step up my game and be more involved with his education. Yes, he knows how to count to 10 (but at times will skip numbers....oops!)  He is in an early stimulation program that does help tremendously, but that is only once a week.  And at 3 years old, still doesn't know his colors or letters or knows how to recognize actual numbers (although he can show you 1, 2, 3 4, or 5 fingers.)  With this my being lazy has made me feel like I am failing him as a mom in some sense.

He is so smart though so I know those things will come.  But I feel he would be far more advanced if I actually took more time to sit down and do a few educational activities with him.

I mean, I think kids are in school for long enough in their lives to be putting him in any type of formal school just yet.  Plus I don't want to really put too much stress on myself or pressure on him... as a 3 year old he is doing what he is supposed to:  learning through play.

But I had to get this off my chest... being a lazy mom is awesome at times.  I get to just relax without too much guilt.  But then again, the guilt does come with certain things, like homeschooling my kids to help propel them ahead in the future.   But such is life.  Am I the only one?  If you are a lazy mom out there, raise your hand.  You are not alone, apparently.  You have me to keep you company!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Back...To...School!!!

The time has finally come for the kids to go back to school.  How fast vacation time flies.  The kids went back February 6th after roughly 2 months of 'summer' break.  A 'summer' break where summer never officially arrived.  Oh well, at least we went to the beach, twice!

 So far, we survived the first week of classes and I have to say, not bad...not bad at all.  There are quiet a few changes to the back to school routine this year that will take some adjusting but so far, so good.

First off, the kids are on different schedules this year.  With my daughter in 4th grade, she goes in at a different time than my son who is in 3rd.  That means I have to get up early everyday, no off days. And the kids never get to actually see each other at school.  I am NOT a fan of this set up at all...but I gotta roll with it as that is the public school way of life here in Costa Rica.

Also, the kids are not taking the school bus this year, which I have to say I am pretty thrilled about.  I am officially a 'minivan' carpool mom.  Although technically I don't drive a minivan, I have become THAT mom, where I'll be spending a lot of time in my car shuffling kids back and forth to school.  I have to make 3 trips to the kids' school everyday:  once in the morning for the 7am drop off, pick up and drop off simultaneously at 12pm and another pick up trip at 5pm.  It's gonna be a looooong year. But at least I don't have to stand outside in wacky weather for up to an hour some days waiting on the kids to be dropped off by the bus.   I'd say that's an improvement, seeing as the kids' school is about a 10-15 minute drive away.

I have to admit, I was seriously dreading the new school year what with all the new changes about.  Not to mention I am not a fan of homework or exams.  Oh, and the getting up at the crack of dawn isn't my favorite either.  Oh, how I was wishing for the school year to be over way before it even began.  But I am hoping for the best and I do wish all my kids a successful (and speedy) school year.