Sunday, May 31, 2009

Some Me Time

We've all heard the 'experts'. When it comes to motherhood, we, as moms, must take time for ourselves. It's imperative to do so. Take care of yourself and you'll be in better shape to take care of your family.

I know it's true. But while it's sound advice, most busy moms barely have enough time in the day left over themselves. And as my family grows, time for me gets put on the back burner. Family comes first in this house. First my kids, then my hubby, then me. Sound familiar?

Well, today I got a 'break'. It's been a LONG time since I've been anywhere 'fun' without my kids, and I'm not talking about going to the store or the farmer's market either. My 'me' time was WAY overdue. I did feel like I was missing a piece of me though. It felt odd. I was a whole cake, with a slice missing... so I didn't feel 'whole'. But I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

It was a short outing... a mere 4 hours or so. But I promise myself I will make it a regular thing to take some time for me from now on. I am not JUST a mother. I am Carina. I used to be this carefree, fun loving, social butterfly. I know the old me is trapped inside the 'mom' me just dying to break free. And I'm ready to let her loose, just a little at a time though... don't wanna go crazy! : )

So what do I do with my free time. I shop, of course. I hadn't really planned on going shopping. It kinda just happened (oops! that's what I get for window shopping while I have money in my purse).

You would think I would try and do something that I can't do when I'm with my kids though, like go to a movie or something. And I HAD planned on going to a little cafe, just sitting at one of the tables, reading a magazine and slowly sipping on something sweet and chocolate-y... drinking in the peace and quiet. But I was with a friend and she wanted to head downtown. Since I hadn't been downtown in a LONG while, I was more than happy to oblige.

Shopping in downtown San Jose is a real treat for me. I love all the people, the atmosphere, the stores and especially the bargains. I tell you, there are so many great stores there, you can't just stop at one... although to save some time, you have to be selective. Like which stores will give you the most bang for your meager buck. You want a better deal than $7 for a pair of baby sandals... just walk a few blocks to another store. Finding deals are easy, and for a bargain hunter like me (what stay at home mother on a budget isn't), it's all about the best deals at the best prices.

I had fun. But true to my nature, I only bought stuff for my kids. It's hard shopping for myself sometimes. Next trip, I promise. We had lunch at Vishnu Restaurant, a vegetarian spot. I had the (huge) vegetarian burger with fries (so delicious... and I forgot to take pics) and an iced tea (te frio). I was satisfied and ready to head home. After all that shopping and being 'free' we both missed our kids. It was a Sunday well spent.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Excuse Me While I Scream, part one

Well another day is coming to an end and as Sunday approaches, I have to think to the week ahead. Weekdays start out pretty hectic for me, so I relish the weekends where I get to sleep in and lounge about. Housecleaning takes a backseat and my stove gets a break (as do I) from all that cooking.

Today was trying... lets see why. Hubby stepped out for a minute (which is usually about a 2 hour outing for him). The baby refused to nap for a long time so he was cranky most of the morning. Both Amaya aka Princess and the baby pooped, so I had to change them (potty training Princess is another topic....*sigh*).

While changing both kids (which is an Olympic event in itself since neither of them like to stay still... I should get a gold medal in wrestling... LOL), the phone was ringing and there was a knock at the door. I was busy, so I asked my son, Boobie, to answer the door and the phone. But he was too busy watching Transformers to care to do either. Plus on top of that, while changing the baby, Princess decides to slap him in the face. Hard!!! Into time-out she went. With Boobie giving me lip, the baby and Princess crying, I just lost it. Why must I deal with a sullen pre-teen, an unruly toddler and a rambunctious baby all at the same time. It only lasted for a few minutes, but boy did I wish I could have crawled under the covers and locked myself away for a few hours just to re-group. I hate to yell, although some would think I like to since I do it so much. Luckily, my Saturday wasn't all downhill from there. It actually got better. Both Princess and the baby FINALLY went down for a nap... and I even got one too in the process. It also rained, which I tend not to like too much, but since I was home, I welcomed it.

Tomorrow is another day. And I have quite a bit to do to ready us for the week. I have to go grocery shopping for the week and make my menu. Clothes must be laundered, folded and put away and Boobie's uniforms ironed. At least that's the beauty of uniforms... not having to iron a different outfit each night. I can do the ironing all at once ( or in my case twice). I also need to look at the double stroller sometime tomorrow... all the way in Escazu. *Blech*. That's like an hour drive... hopefully, tomorrow being Sunday, there will be little to no traffic.

So I look forward to tomorrow. A new day, a new start. And the countdown to yet another hectic week. Let me check my daily planner and my do to list...

Flash Back

Ok, so in order to move forward any more, I have to take a tiny step back and give some history. How did a Jamaican born, Boston bred city girl end up in Costa Rica? Well, it all started because of this guy... namely my hubby, Pablo.

When I met him, all he ever dreamed about was one day moving back to Costa Rica. That dream didn't seem so far fetched when I came with him for a visit in 2000. His sister was getting married and his whole family made it into one big excuse for a vacation.

It was love at first sight. We talked about moving back and even set a time line for 5 years. Our son, Pablito aka Boobie, would be 5 then. We hoped we would have saved up enough money to make the transition a smooth one. However, 5 years came and went. And the dream seemed like just that... a dream. There was barely enough money for us to make ends come together willingly, let alone money to set aside for a move of such epic proportions. AND one thing we did not want: move to Costa Rica and have to struggle there like we struggled in Boston. No thanks... I'd rather not.

Then everything changed, literally, overnight. It was winter, 2006, when hubby got the call. His father had come into some money and wanted us to move. He was building us a house and would help with the move. Let me just say the news could not have come at a better or worse time.

We were living paycheck to paycheck. Times were hard... and then to find out that we would get to have a chance at a better life in our OWN house with a YARD!!!!! I could not have been happier. But on the other side, I was deeply sad. Why? Because of my mom. I had not seen my mother in over 10 years. I got the chance to re-unite with her in the winter of 2006. We had big plans for our time together.. shopping trips, late night conversations on the couch, watching tv and chit-chatting, lunches out, movies in. It came as a shock to me when I realized I had to choose between spending extra time and trying to make up for lost ones with my mom or leaving my miserable life behind and taking a chance at a better one.

The choice was hard, but it really was a no-brainer. I crammed in as much time as I could with my mother. How does one make up for 10 years lost in less than 4 months? You really can't but I tried. Then I packed my bags and left. I was going through so many emotions. I was like a roller coaster. I was giddy, angry, upset, happy, full of regret, excited. Things didn't start out on a good foot when I got to Costa Rica either. I got terribly home sick. To make matters worse, hubby was still back in Boston. He was traveling by bus and wouldn't get to Costa Rica until July 4th. I had left Boston by plane on June 29th.

I missed my mom something awful. AND when I first saw my new house, I thought maybe I had made a mistake. It was SMALL! I hated it. It wasn't what I had day-dreamed about. Suddenly my dream life was slipping away. I cried most nights. Until Pablo made it to Costa Rica.

Things started looking up. I took another look at the house and it wasn't so bad. Hubby loved it right away. What was not to love. Aside from the fact that it was OUR house. It had three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an office. It also had genuine tile floors.. none of that linoleum crap that was so hard to clean back in our old apartment. I could come to love it, and I did.

So although my journey started out a little rough, I made it. And I haven't looked back since. I miss my family, no doubt. But I am glad I made the choice I made for me and my family. I really would have it no other way. Well, except for a second floor... in the three years we've been here, we've already outgrown the house.... 2 babies in 2 years and a 3 bedroom, 1600 square foot home can seem a little tight. ;)

Get Back On The Wagon

So I realize it is time for me to stop making excuses and "just do it". Exercise, that is. This baby weight is not going to walk off, so I have to help it off. Man, when I had my first son, the weight kinda ran away... I didn't help it, it just left. And I remember worrying about that when I was pregnant. What if I don't lose the weight? What will my body look like post-baby? But it was so easy, I figured it would always be like that. But when I had my first son, I was 19... and not too long before that, I was a very active high school senior, involved in cheer-leading, volleyball, and various other extra curricular activities.

Now, I have to actually do the work. I Kept telling myself the weight would magically disappear, especially since I was breastfeeding so much. With my daughter, I was walking a few times a week and the weight was coming off... but I wasn't exercising a whole lot. This time around, my body is probably still in shock... you know, getting pregnant again so quickly... that it is still trying to deal with healing itself back to 'normal'.

I can't complain though. Apart from some flab on my belly and my jiggly thighs, I am not THAT bad. I still look good in clothes. And a few pairs of my pre-pregnancy jeans still fit. But I am not 100 percent happy.

After all the talk, I am backing it up with some action. And I started today. Though the original plan was to go to a local spinning class... that door was shut, literally. So I am picking up walking again. It's the one exercise, besides yoga, I actually love to do.

Like any busy mom though, I am armed with a plan to try and make this work. In the mornings, after dropping my son off at school, I figure I can start out by power walking for at least 30 minutes. Maybe work my way up to an hour.. and after that, who knows. Maybe I'll even start (gulp) jogging. The little ones will be safely strapped into a jogging stroller (hopefully... if I buy it this weekend), which would make walking a lot easier than pushing my daughter in her umbrella stroller with my 8 month old strapped to my chest.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Finally Did It!

So I joined the masses of moms and FINALLY made a blog. I didn't want to do it as I much preferred to write in my daily planner turned daily journal anyway. But I figured it can't hurt to have my thoughts put on the internet too. I spend enough time online on a daily basis, so why not.

After all, maybe one day, I can use this stuff for material for my book. I must admit, thoughts of fame danced in my head as I imagine my blog becoming so popular, I'll accrue millions of followers, get famous and end up on Oprah (or Ellen)...LOL. But in reality, I just love to write. And one day, hope to become a published author. I see this blog not only as a way to connect with people far and wide, but also as practice. So here I am. An official blogger. Let the journey begin....tomorrow. It's late and I am off to bed.