Wednesday, September 30, 2009

San Jose

I'm in love with downtown San Jose (it reminds me a lot of downtown Boston). I can't get enough of it. It's a shop-a-holics paradise. So many stores, so many bargains, so little time. I can spend all day there.

I went to San Jose yesterday. Main purpose: to buy all natural organic hair products. My destination place was the Mercado Central, the central market: shoppers beware, this place is a dream and will suck you in the way it does me. A million stores jam packed into an octagonal (it seems to me anyway) space, crammed closely together with barely enough room for a long passageway path for shoppers to walk. And if you don't know your where-abouts, you can get lost. I did, but only for seconds. However, get lost. It's fun and you'll come upon new, more interesting stores to shop in.

I was able to find the store I was looking for fairly quickly. However, I was in San Jose, so I wasn't just gonna go to the central market and then head home. I had to make a few pit stops along the way.... Universal, El Sotano, El Gallo, Toys, to name a few. I was having so much fun, mostly window shopping, I completely lost track of time... not to worry though, the kids were home with my mother in law... so I was all by myself *insert HUGE smile here* : )

I decided since I was in a great shopping central, I should start getting ideas for Christmas and price checking items on my list (you know, for the 'budget'). I was very pleased to see I had options in every price range on almost every item on my list. I even picked up a few items for Princess already: a toy phone and camera and a magna-doodle pad. I figured might as well get an early start on the things I can buy now so I don't have to do too much come December. My goal: to be done Christmas shopping for the kids by November so I can focus my attentions on other people.

Most stores are rapidly getting ready for the Christmas shopping season by stuffing their aisles jam packed with toys, new clothes, and the newest seasons shoes. New arrivals almost daily, it seems and I want in on that action. The air was so ripe downtown, I didn't want to leave.

It was more than just the shopping though. San Jose is just a fun place to be. So many people milling about, going to work, on their lunch break, tourists having lunch, mothers running errands, people selling 'boot-leg' products right on the street side. Fun!!!

I am counting down the days until I go back. I don't make it down there as often as I used to anymore. I have missed a lot.... some of my favorite stores are there. But I plan on making up for lost time in the next few weeks. So San Jose, here I come.

I Survived

I made it. I had 2 kids under 2 years old and I lived to tell about it.

Seriously, it is very demanding having two kids so close in age. And unless you've done it, you have no idea. Having 2 kids is tough enough, but try having one who just completed their first birthday and then a newborn. Lucky for me, Princess didn't regress much when Fatty came along... except for the occasional cries for attention, drinking from his bottle, etc. Nothing I had to worry about.

Now that Fatty is past the year mark and Princess is chugging along towards 3, it's a little easier. But let me tell you, those first few months were tough.

I never thought I would be one of THOSE women. You know the ones. The women with 2 little kids dragging down their hems, one barely walking, the other barely talking. Or the women with both hands tied, one baby occupying one arm, a toddler in the other. Or the women with a baby strapped to their chest (or back) while the toddler grabs on to their hands. Yup, those women. Biting off a little more than they should chew. Yet there I was, one of them. One of THOSE women. And I admit, I LOVED it.

I'm glad I have a little expertise on both ends of the parenting spectrum when it comes to being a mother to children of different ages. Of course, like I mentioned a gazillion times before, Boobie and Princess are 7 years apart. That jump from once child to 2 was a cake walk. However, when it came to take the plunge (and I mean that literally) from 2 children to 3, well that was a whole other story. That my dears, was like making souffle (and I don't really care too much to bake).

I figure it was that much more difficult because of the age of my second child. After all, I'll say it again, Princess is just shy of being 17 months older than her baby brother. Barely even putting sentences together when she had to share mommy with the new kid on the block.

But I survived it. The subtle signs of sibling rivalry and jealousy. I managed to get them on a semi-schedule to keep some semblance of my sanity. And I was very lucky Fatty was a fairly easy baby.

Now, as they get older, Fatty being more mobile, a lot more vocal and a hell of a lot more active, life is falling into place. He's no longer 'the extra kid', the 'intruder'. He's a huge part of the family and a great playmate for Princess.

Watching them play together, seeing just how happy Princess is to have someone she can 'hang with', it's like having diamonds in my back yard. Seeing the look on Fatty's face as he jumps on his big sisters back, pulls hair, or slaps her face (playfully) makes it all worth while. I am so glad I had them so close together. Boobie was a loner for most of his life, being an only child for so long. Princess and Fatty are built in playmates; insta-friends. I look forward to the squabbles to come, as they are inevitable (they already have their fights now). But they play so beautifully together.

I loved having two kids under 2. It was what kept me going, as I do love a challenge. I enjoyed finding ways to cope... how to change both kids, feed one while breastfeeding the other, entertaining 2 kids at the same time, cuddling with both. And lets face it, bath time with both was a lot more fun (and much easier), plus it allowed for a photo ops.

Most important, I survived the battle. The bedtime battles, nap time battles, meal time battles, bath time battles, early morning and late nights. I survived. And I look forward to another day with my now two kids under 3.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What A Great Weekend

I somehow managed to turn my birthday into a weekend full of fun... so I guess it was not a birth-day after all, but a birth-weekend.

Saturday was spent mostly with hubby and the kids. First though, I was able to get dressed all by my lonesome because hubby was nice enough to take the little ones with him for a few hours (Boobie spent the whole day at his friend's house). It felt nice to get dressed without the constant whine of my 2 year old or the bellow of my 1 year old... no kids following me around, reaching for me to pick them up, crying for me to pay attention to them while I try to get ready. I was able to get dressed in peace and the quiet that has alluded me for some time now. I was even able to use the bathroom without Fatty banging on the door or Princess coming in and out every so often, to say "ewwww, nasty mommy!" I even tossed in a little quality reading time. It felt so wonderful.

When hubby got back with the kids, we headed over to Nova Centro, the shopping plaza near the center of my town, where hubby took me shoe shopping and I snatched up these VERY cute pumps:

Oh and love the bag... instead of a regular old plastic bag to tote my purchase home in, the store gives these bags to customers. Almost like a token of their appreciation. Nice, huh?

We were famished, so hubby took us to lunch. Well since it was my birthday, he got the restaurant staff to sing me happy birthday. I even got a cute mini cake, which Princess and Fatty were all too happy to devour.

Singing the birthday song

My mini cake

The costumes that Princess just had to pose with... the restaurant sometimes uses these for birthdays.

That evening, hubby took care of a few chores for me (mainly, the dishes. Thanks hun!) And we were able to watch a few minutes of a movie online before I headed out to the movies solo. Now, I will skip all the gory details about why I went alone to the theatre, since it was supposed to be a date night for hubby and I. But long story short, hubby was tired, all 3 kids were still up, Fatty was cranky and hubby didn't want to leave them with his parents. I had my heart set on going to the movies, so since it was MY birthday, I went, albeit alone. And I left hubby home with the kids. Yay me!!!!

I saw 'The Uninvited'. Good movie, great ending. Not too scary.

I was home by 11:30 (not a late night by a 29 year olds standard) but I didn't get to bed until after 1.... trying to stretch out my birthday for all it was worth, I guess.

Today, I celebrated my birthday again with a lunch of rotini pasta with ground beef in mushroom tomato sauce, garlic bread, salad with ranch dressing and honey mustard baked chicken and rice (mother in laws contribution). I had some of hubby's family members over, also close friends of mine. We ate, talked, reminisced, drank (juice, LOL!) and had cake. I got to hear the birthday song again... this time, the 'cha-cha-cha' version. By the way, the cake was absolutely delish (a strawberry chocolate concoction that's all gone now). AND I got another gift; a very nice bottle of 'vino'. I say very nice as I know VERY little about wine, but the bottle looks so fancy.

getting ready for cake

The girls

Thank you. thank you very much for helping me celebrate my big day.

Even though it rained and I thought my beautiful day was ruined (I had a massive headache too), after about 2 hours, the sun came out again and the clouds rolled away to reveal clear blue skies... this time without the excessive heat. And after a dose of acetaminophen, the headache went 'poof'.

I have to say this was one of the best birthdays I have ever had. And I look forward to more celebrations in the future. I just can't believe I am actually 29!!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yeah Baby!!!!!!!!!

"It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to... you would cry too if it happened to you..."

Ok, I am so NOT crying. Far from it actually. But it is my birthday. I haven't been this excited about my birthday in a long time. Well, last year was exciting because my grandmother was here and she made me an awesome traditional Jamaican meal for my birthday dinner. But somehow, this year is so filled with electricity; I just don't know how to really put it into words. I am all dressed up and ready to go.

This is the last year I'll be in my 20's (I think this is a turning point for me, yet I have not felt younger than I have the past few weeks so I don't FEEL any older). Plus this year, we are relishing in the fruits of hubby's labor. We have a little more padding in the bank so a celebration is not a wish, it's a reality. And though I am not all that into celebrations when it comes to my own birthday (I reserve all that excitement for the kids), this year, I am taking full advantage of all the positives working for me: I am young, my littlest baby is 1, hubby has a good job, life is good, and my birthday fell on a Saturday this year. And it's a beautiful day too.

So I am going to live it up. I deserve it. I rarely get to treat myself. So watch out baby, I'm painting the town red, or blue. And I am fixin' to have a good 'ole time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Birthday

It's Wednesday. There are two more days until my 29th birthday. What to do? What to Do?

I am not big into celebrating my birthday like I am into celebrating the birthdays of my children. I get more fun out of their birthdays than I do my own. But this year, I have a few ideas of what I want to do and I am actually looking forward to it.

Twenty-nine seems like such a big number. Wow! One step closer to being 30, yet I don't feel a day over 18. Oh well, it is just a number after all. Who cares that when I was younger, I thought 29 was OLD!

So to celebrate this milestone (and yes, it is my milestone because it marks the soon to be end of my 20's, and the beginning of the journey into my 30's), I want to do something nice.

I am contemplating having a little soiree here at the house. Nothing over the top or fancy (still have Fatty's party to think about). Just a small gathering of close family members and friends for some good food, good drinks and good cake.

Then I am also thinking of having a girls night out, something I haven't really had, ever. How fun would it be to just go hang with my girls, have fun, some laughter and good conversation. So I am thinking a girls night is a must... I have to mark this milestone with something BIG, something different. And something I am in desperate need of. No hubby, no kids, just me and the girls.

Then there's hubby's idea of what he wants to do for my birthday, which is to get away for the weekend to the beach. Hubby's always trying to 'get away' to the beach. So this weekend marks a perfect excuse. Just me and him, lovers, having an intimate weekend, without kids, reconnecting on so many levels and rekindling old flames within our relationship. It does sound nice.

No matter what I end up doing though, be it something for me (girls night), something for everyone (a small get together) or something for us (me and hubby). I am sure it will be a good time.

Can You Believe It!!!!

My father in law was robbed. It happened on Sunday and it pissed me off. Why do these people think it's OK to rob an elderly man. A man who worked hard his entire life for all he has?

Thankfully he's alright, just a little roughed up. They stole his jewelry and all his money, almost $300.

He went to the ATM, an ATM I use frequently. After exiting the ATM, he was told to get in a car with 4 people, two women up front, two guys in back. One of the guys put their hands around his neck, and they robbed him. Lucky for my father in law, all they wanted were his possessions and not his life. So he escaped unscathed ( a lot of people aren't so lucky.)

I am beginning to be afraid of living in Costa Rica. These thugs scare me. Although father in law didn't see a gun, I have heard stories about people being robbed at gun point, my mother in law included, and it frightens me. I am usually naive about my surroundings, thinking I am safe. I don't want to have to go through such an experience. But I know it's not just Costa Rica. It happens everywhere, even in the States.

My father in law seems to be a target though, as he's been robbed twice before in Boston. And when I was 3 months pregnant with Boobie, I was almost robbed too.

I was coming home from work one night, walking with hubby, as we sometimes did, when 3 guys came upon us, one brandishing a knife, the other threatening us with a gun, supposedly hidden in his sweater pocket. Thankfully, hubby is a quick thinker and we were able to back onto the front porch of the house behind us and ring the doorbell, which scared the robbers off. The homeowner, a guy, was so shocked a robbery almost took place on his front steps, he kindly gave us a ride home, less than 5 minutes away to our apartment. That night shook me up and I carry that terror and fear with me now. I was lucky that I wasn't actually robbed. But now living in Costa Rica, I fear it is closer to happening to me than it was when I lived in Boston.

So I 'll have to change the way I do a few things. I have already stopped wearing my flashy gold jewelry on a daily basis. Now when I go to the ATM, I will have to hide my cards and my cash. And I must always, every time, be aware of my surroundings. Too often, I get caught up in a daydream and lose myself, not really paying attention to what is happening around me. I know anyone can get robbed. At anytime and anywhere. So I have to be on my guard.

I also strongly believe that if you look like a target, you will become a target. My father in law is a flashy person... gold rings on each finger, nice gold chain around his neck and always dressed to the 9's when he's out, no matter where he's going. He's older too, and often alone. I try not to attract attention to myself, although it's hard. But I don't think about being a victim, and in that mindset, I bring an aura about me that I hope will prevent robbers from seeing me as a target and leave me alone.

The downside to being robbed in Costa Rica... you can kiss your goods 'goodbye'. The police are no help and most likely, you will never see your belongings again. But like father in law said, they are just material things. He's OK, and that is all that matters.


Why is it that Boobie can take 10 minutes putting on his socks, 20 minutes just to dry off and another 30 to get dressed. Oh and there's the 5 extra minutes it takes him to put on his shoes.

I have never met someone who dresses as sloooooooooooooooooow-ly as my son does. And it drives me insane. And to top it off, he only seems to dress this slow when he's getting ready for school in the mornings. On the weekends, he can get dressed in a matter of seconds.

I have done everything, short of actually dressing him myself... OK, I have actually done that once or twice or a few times. But I cannot watch him get dressed every single day. I am busy too. I have morning chores to take care of. If I watched him get dressed, I would be falling behind like he does.

Every morning, I have to remind him NOT to take forever in the shower. We all love a long, hot shower, especially on those cold days, just to knock the chill off . But Boobie will stay under the shower, letting the water beat over his head for an unseemly amount of time. I remember one morning, as I laid in bed breastfeeding Fatty, Boobie stayed in the shower for almost 45 minutes. He was barely able to get out the door on time for school.

Why doesn't he get it? He's a boy after all. It's not like he has THAT much to do. He styles his hair in less than 5 minutes, so he doesn't have much to do there. But why on Earth does it take him that long to actually get dressed? I have never seen anyone dry off for such a long period of time like my Boobie does.

It's definitely a mystery as to why, after all this time, he still refuses to get dressed in a timely fashion. I'll give him credit for the days he is dressed promptly and out the door by 6:30... that is a record ladies and gents. Most often than not though, he's usually scrambling out the house at 6:55... leaving him an inch of a second from tardiness.

Way back, when he was in Kindergarten, I had issues with him getting ready too. Back then, I got him dressed. I would give him a quick bath or shower and occasionally wash his hair (at that time, he had long luscious curls that took forever to comb, style and then dry). Then when it came time to actually dress him, he complained about his socks (they were too itchy). He complained about his shirts (the tags were too itchy). He complained about his pants, not sure if they were also too itchy. Once, when his shoe was untied, it took him 15 minutes just to tie it... we were right outside his school and were early for a change. That tying incident made him almost late (and yes I could have just tied his shoe for him, but then what would I be teaching him, really).

I really hope he gets control of his mornings soon, because in the near future he'll be responsible for himself. I don't forsee myself being THIS involved in his am routine when he's 15. Plus I'll have two other little ones to tend to. I just hope Princess and Fatty are a little better at getting ready than he is.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Living La Single Life...

Well, not really. I do feel like I am a single mom though, most of the time.

I have true respect for single moms out there. To have to get up everyday and be the only one to have to do it all... my hats off to you. I am getting just a small taste of that life, and it is hard.

Hubby is working non-stop it seems. Even on his days off, he is working. He's constantly busy, doing something, this, that or the other. And he just never stops. He is the energizer bunny, he just keeps going. As time goes by, he seems to get busier. The kids can sometimes go a whole day with out seeing their dad and sometimes that irks me.

I am glad my kids get to grow up in a two parent household... and not just any two parent household. A loving one. Yes, we fight and in front of the kids *oops*. Sometimes it gets loud, knock out and drag down *gasp*. But we love each other and the kids feel that and they see it too. We're not perfect, but we try and we give them the best we can, which is a lot.

But lately, hubby has not been home that much and I can tell the kids miss him. This past weekend he was not home at all... he picked
Boobie up from swim practice and had to take him back to work with him. Then he slept over at the 'apartment'. The next day, Saturday, they headed 3 and a half hours away for some father/son bonding, while hubby fit in some extra work hours. I was home alone, with Fatty and Princess.

Why does my hubby work so much? Well, he's doing a million things and he's got a million things going on. He has a full time job that he works Monday to Friday plus a side job. He's starting up a company and that takes time. I don't have to tell you that running a business is a lot of work. But the time that goes into that business in the beginning is a lot, at first... you have to put in the time to reap the rewards and the benefits are usually a long time coming. So he works and he works hard to ensure our future. He has become a work-a-
holic. However, he's working alot now so he won't have to work alot later.

A typical day for hubby starts at 5 in the morning, 5:30 if he's feeling a little tired. He's usually out the door by 6... before the kids are up for the day. On a good day, he's home at 7 pm. On a busy day he won't get home until well after 9; some days the kids are already in bed by then.
Boobie can go a whole week sometimes and not see his dad, since his bedtime is at 7:30. If he's lucky, he might see his dad in the morning just before he leaves for work.

I take it in stride for the most part, but there are days I get frustrated. I need a break too occasionally, but it's hard when hubby works crazy hours. So I am left taking care of everything, kids included. I have to remind myself, on the days that he's not home, that he's working for us.

Lucky for me, as much as I feel like a single mom at times, I am not and so if I really need him home, he's there. Lately not so much, as he gets closer to his dream of realizing his new business, but he tries to be home as much as possible. He tries to set aside family time at least one day a week... some weeks that doesn't happen , but for the most part, we spend as much time as we can before his life gets hectic again.

I know it's
alot of pressure on him, as the sole breadwinner... the sole provider. Everything financial rests on his shoulders. I can just imagine that stress. So I try to give him some lee-way. If he needs to blow off steam every now again with some 'hang' time with his friends before he gets home to face the chaos, I give him that time. But my life is also stressful and I need my 'hang' time too.

I am the sole caregiver most days, the only one the kids can run to to kiss an "aye
ay ay" or hug away fear or tickle away the grumpies. I am the one who gets breakfast, gives baths, changes diapers, cuts nails, combs hair, brushes teeth, scrubs markers from elbows and knees and lips, etc, etc, etc. I can sometimes feel overwhelmed. But I deal better with stuff pertaining to the home, while hubby deals better with our finances. That man can turn a dollar into $50. So we play our roles and we play them well. Then we try to meet somewhere in the middle.

Living a single mom life is just not for me. I prefer to have my partner there even if he's not 'here'. I think knowing hubby will be home eventually keeps me going. Not saying I can't do the 'mom' thing without him. Just saying I don't want to. And to all the single moms who do it everyday and do it so well, *applause* you deserve an award.

What's Coming Up?

I seem to have a jam packed schedule in the works. It's not really definite, as most 'future' plans aren't. But I am excited and terrified, at the same time, about it.

First, I have
got to get through Fatty's birthday party. I still owe about half the money (you only pay 50% down when you book the party, you pay the rest at the party). As soon as that is over, I can focus my attentions on my other up-coming plans.

It seems that as soon as September rolls around, the realization that the holiday season is upon us comes flooding in like a bucket of rain water on our heads.

There's Halloween. Not a big deal in Costa Rica like it is in the states, but I still like to 'celebrate' now and then, for the kids. It's fun!!! What's not fun about dressing up and getting free candy?

Then of course, there's Thanksgiving. Now T-day isn't celebrated at all in Costa Rica. After-all, it is a North American holiday. But I like to think people can still celebrate a Thanksgiving day, as there is so much for us to be thankful for. So I have plans for that.

Then there's the biggest holiday of all, Christmas. It seems the holidays take so long to get here and when they do, it's a whirlwind. They come and go so fast, they make my head spin. So this year I am trying to enjoy the season, not rush and take it one day at a time.

I noticed that stores already have all their Christmas decorations and
knick knacks up for sale already. Since Costa Rica doesn't celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving, the X-mas season comes faster than usual, in August. They just skip over everything and jump right into Christmas. And it's BIG in Costa Rica. I mean HUGE!!!! I love Christmas, so the bigger the celebration, the better. As for the fact that they start the celebration so early, I am not complaining at all. I love to shop and any excuse to start shopping early is OK by me.

But this year, I have to take it slow and focus on one holiday at a time, not to get ahead of myself. I just don't want to feel overwhelmed by it all.

So first up,
Fatty's birthday. I am actually anxious to get this over with. I should have gotten it over with last weekend, but alas, I have at least 2 more weekends to go before I can focus my attention anywhere else.

Once his birthday is out of the way, I can start Christmas shopping (YAY!!!). But then too, I also can Halloween shop. I am NOT throwing a party this year. I just don't want to spend the extra money and put in all that extra time. With
Fatty's birthday and the fast approaching holiday season, I do not want to waste money on a party for Halloween when that money can be put to better use and spent on something more meaningful. I do plan to get the kids some (cheap) costumes though. And I'm crossing my fingers that there is a celebration or party somewhere I can take the kids to so they can show off their costumes (and have fun too).

After Halloween I can start planning for
Thanksgiving, which will be on the 26th of November this year. I am crossing my fingers Hubby won't have to work so we can have a proper meal, at a decent hour. I have a nice dinner planned and hope to invite a few guests.... to make it officially a real Thanksgiving, complete with all the trimmings. I don't have a set menu yet, but I know it includes a turkey and at least 1 or 2 desserts. I guess after Halloween I can plan a menu for my Turkey day festivities. I just hope I have a nice turnout. But first I need to figure out who to invite.

All the while, as I prepare for
Halloween and T-day, I plan on shopping for Christmas. It's bad to leave all the shopping for the last minute... trust me. It's not wise, not with 3 kids to shop for. I have to make my list of people I need to buy for this year too... thankfully it has gotten smaller in recent years.

I want to shop for my kids first though, just to get that out the way and off my mind. Then once they are done I can start shopping for everyone else. And with the list of what I need to buy for kids this year, I hope I have enough time and money to get it all done. I plan to start with the smaller stuff first, since they seem easier to shop for. Then the bigger gifts can wait to be purchased closer to Christmas.... just in case any returns need to be made.

I am truly excited... and with the Christmas we had last year, it will be hard to top as it was as close to perfect as any Christmas we'd ever had. But I look forward to it. It's my favorite time of year (
OK, second to the kids birthdays). But oh, how do I love the Holidays, Christmas especially. And just to imagine the season, with all it's wonder and merriment... it's such a magical time to be a child...young or old.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Days Like These

Days like these call for outdoor fun, with a camera in hand to document the wonder of it all. It's about all you can do. When the sun is so hot, yet the day is still cool, forget sitting in front of the television. You have to get outside. And don't forget to take pictures.

And down she goes

And up she goes

Excuse me... me first!

Wanna go up Fatty?


Gotta get up first though

Can I get a hand...


What a view, a swing-set view


Here I go...

Take MY picture

This is a September day in Costa Rica. Feels like a June day in Boston.

It is unusual weather for here, when this time of year is full of rain storms and flooding (usually it rains in the afternoon to late evening though... and lots of rain. So far, we've been lucky... it's been on the light side, barring a few days of torrential rains last week, but overall a great start to winter so far.)

But we're enjoying days like these to the fullest. Soaking it all up before we get hit with true winter, Costa Rican style.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

These Legs Are Made For Walking

Fatty (I have got to find him a new nickname) is walking.

Ok, not walking walking. But he's taking steps, which is a big deal. He went from being too afraid to even take a step by himself, to now being so excited that he wants to walk.

He's been walking with help for some time but he would never let go. Lately, he's gotten to standing on his own... and loving my reaction, will do it just for kicks.

So he'll stand, look for my reaction with a smile on his face and then plop back down on the floor... but for the first time last night, he actually took his first few steps. I was elated! I had no idea he would try to walk so soon. And I know 1 year old isn't 'soon' (Princess starting walking around 11 months). But I just figured with his fear of walking, he wouldn't be so 'daring' until well after his 1st birthday... maybe even 13 months like Boobie. Well, it happened sooner than I thought. And I am happy about it.

So for your viewing pleasure, here's a clip of my Fatty 'walking'.

****** Argh!!!! Ok, so the video isn't working... you'll just have to take my word for it. I'll have to try and post a video tomorrow.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My One Year Old

"Fiesta Time"

I have so much to be thankful for, the list is endless. And yet another addition to my list is the fact that I was able to nurture yet another child past their first birthday and be with them to celebrate the big day.

We had a small, impromptu, celebration last night for Fatty's 1st, complete with cake, balloons and even a birthday banner. It was very nice and lots of fun, especially for the kids, who used the opportunity to run about, playing, acting wild.... a rarity on a school night. I had 9 kids including my 3, so it kind of turned into a little 'fiesta'. The party didn't end until after 9, a good sign that everyone was having a good time. While the moms (3 of us) talked and played catch up, the kids had the chance to just go crazy.

Fatty opened his gifts, ate some cake and played for a while, until the day exhausted him out. He slept peacefully all night. So did Princess, who insisted on not only blowing out the candles on the cake, but singing Happy Birthday to herself.

I am so thankfully that I have the opportunity to see my kids grow and change and just do everyday things. And it's more special knowing I have the chance to be with them on their special days to help them celebrate. Life is truly wonderful.

I have passed through his first birthday and I look forward to his party and the year to come.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Costa Rica Day

So yesterday was Costa Rican Independence Day (September 15). We didn't do much, as I was prepping for Fatty's birthday today. But Princess did wear her traditional Costa Rican dress. The day before, On Monday the 14th, Boobie had a celebration at his school with food, dancing, music and a few patriotic songs and speeches.

I was very proud of Boobie for the moves he put down on the concrete dance floor. Not bad for only a few short weeks of practice. Not to mention how cute they all looked dressed Tico style in their traditional wear.

This is my my fourth Costa Rican independence day.... my first Tico type celebration. And I have to say, though it does not mean as much to me as it does to a Tico, it did make me a little blurry eyed, watching the kids reciting with pride, their national anthem and pledge. And the girls, proudly carrying their flag. It reminded me of the 4th of July (sadly, I have to admit, I cannot remember any independence celebration in Jamaica.)

That night, we actually got a chance to watch some fireworks in the sky overlooking our back yard (we have the best view). It really was something special.

I look forward to next year's celebration. And hope it is just as fun and full of pride as this one.

Dancing the traditional dance (Boobie is standing on the left in the blue/white long sleeve shirt)

on our way to the celebration

My 3 Ticos!!!

The Birthday Boy!

It's official. My baby turns 1 today. It's an exciting day for me, not as sad as I initially thought it would be. After all, he is my (very much likely) last baby and today is his first birthday. He will officially be a toddler soon enough; walking, running and mouthing off, just like his sister. I just didn't know if I was prepared for all that. And yet, I am surprisingly calm about it all. And extremely happy.

I get to celebrate yet another birthday. A milestone birthday. A one year old's birthday, The 1st birthday.

First birthdays are a big deal to me. Scratch that. They are a HUGE deal to me. I get that some people might think I am crazy for going all out for a one year old's birthday when they are too little to know much let alone remember it. But I will remember it and of course there are the pictures, which come in handy for jogging a child's memory. I have always thought the 1st birthday to be significant, even more so than other birthdays to come. And you know me, I love birthdays. Why would I pass up the chance to celebrate one?

So today, I have a few things planned. Though his party is a few weeks away (looking forward to that), I still want to celebrate my baby on his actual day of birth. I get one more chance to do it up big for the first time.

I'll take him to get his 1st year pictures done (tradition in this family... every year the birthday child gets their picture taken professionally... Boobie now does school pictures.)

Then I, of course, want him to have a new outfit for that... another tradition... the birthday child gets a new outfit to wear for photos and for the party.

I am also attempting to bake cupcakes. I have never baked cupcakes before so I am pretty excited about this. I just might add it to the list of birthday traditions.

And I will most definitely take a ton of pictures and some video (these are memories worth remembering).

I am just so happy. And I think the shock of my baby turning 1 might hit me later, after the festivities. But thankfully, today is not my only chance to celebrate Fatty's big day. In about 3 weeks, I get to celebrate the little man again at his party. A fun filled day of cake, games, face painting and fun, fun , fun at the Children's Museum. I can't wait. I wonder if he'll be walking by then.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


So life has caught up with me. I have been on the run for 2 weeks, no time really to take a breather. And in 2 weeks, I have attended 4 birthday parties. Ok, technically, its only 3 as I didn't actually attend the first one. But it still counts.

We had 4 birthday parties (September is party season it seems). There are more family birthdays this month it seems, than any other month, mine and Fatty's included. We had the ever so lovely Parque de Diversiones birthday party on the 5th, which is always fun. A party at the amusement park just can't be boring... there is so much to do and do we did. Then came the Wendy's party. Now that party was HUGE.. over 40 kids alone (I didn't dare try to count the adults). And then today, a last minute birthday lunch.

I love a party (what's not to love); free food, free cake... and all I have to bring is myself (and a nice, but inexpensive gift). Can't beat that.

Friday, September 4, 2009

What's Wrong With Me?

I am in some sort of flux. Not sure when it started but I feel so odd about it.

For the past few weeks, months maybe, I have been yearning for the days of my youth. OK, youth is not the right word... I am still young.... at nearly 29 I can hardly be considered old...LOL. What I mean to say is, I've been missing my teen years, my high school years, terribly. Why? I have no idea.

My life as a mom, a stay at home mom at that, is wonderful! More wonderful even, than I could have ever imagined. And this life is far more rewarding than the life I had as a high schooler and far more befitting, I might add. So why the recent (constant) nostalgia then? It might have something to do with Boobie's swim practices. I am constantly surrounded by teenagers and what seems to me like young love... inevitably so when you thrust teenagers together especially when they spend 3 hours a day in swim wear, bodies exposed.

I am NOT yearning to be a teenager in love. I am yearning for something else.... but not sure if I can fully put it into words. I am totally in love with hubby. And the past few days I have been, lets say, a bit frisky with him. But what I think I am missing is the old me.... the one who could wow a crowd. Walk into a room and get stares of admiration. The one who always felt sexy and looked great. The one with a rocking body and a to die for outfit. I am missing the old me. And I need the old me to feel young and fun and hip and dangerously sexy again. That is what I most remember about my teen years. And so that is what the yearning is for.

But I also find myself wondering about the young men. If I were their age, would they find me attractive, the old me I mean? I never had a problem attracting the opposite sex. I still don't. And every woman (if you have a damn pulse) wonders that question as I am sure some men do as well; Am I still attractive to the opposite sex, besides my partner? Could you still turn men's heads and leave their hearts racing with just one look? I think I could, if I could just have me back. I am not looking for lusting men to pursue me (eww... I get that occasionally). I am just looking for reassurance.

I look at hubby and I know just how another woman would see him... how another woman would want him. He is attractive, has a nice body and has the most gorgeous black hair you've ever laid eyes on. Plus too, he has a killer sense of humor. I know if he were single, scores of young females would be falling at his feet (he doubts this).

I just want to know that men would do the same. Ever heard the word MILF? Well, yes, ladies it's a new title many moms would love to have. And I wonder if that title could be bestowed upon me (I am sorry to admit that although the title itself is degrading, the thought is fairly nice).

So I feel in a funk sometimes, but each time I get that craving, it makes me want to work that much harder to attain a semblance of my old self again. The flirtatious, bodacious, bootylicious babe men sought after but who was unattainable because, of course, my heart belongs to another and always will. It's just nice to know you are still a hot ticket and that men's veins still pulse, their pulse still race, their hearts still flutter at the mere presence of you in a room or a slight glance in their direction. The beautiful MILF.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Welcome to My Neighborhood

I don't take the chance very often, to browse about my neighborhood. I am always wishing I lived somewhere else, like Escazu, the 'gringo-land' of Costa Rica or Curridabat...places more booming and where people like me have settled. But I think it's time that I started appreciating where I live.

I occasionally take a walk around the neighborhood, weaving my way around the hilly, winding streets. Most houses, so neat and well kept, I find hard not to admire and the quiet is really a nice change of pace. But it gets boring after a while. I haven't been everywhere there is to go in the neighborhood and the times I do choose to explore my surroundings, it looks so desolate. My sporadic morning walks seem to take place when most everyone is either at work or in school, so the neighborhood often looks empty.

Plus too, I tend to prefer the tranquil privacy of my piece of earth, my back yard.... tucked away down my private way and hidden behind a tall electric gate. But sometimes, I feel isolated from the rest of my neighbors, as we don't live so close to really get to know them. And we miss out on the bustle of the neighborhood.

Well, Tuesday night, Boobie had a birthday party to attend for one of his classmates. The boy lives in the neighborhood, not too far from the school (one of the good things about going to a neighborhood school is you have the chance to make friends with the kids in the neighborhood). The party was at 5pm, a time I rarely venture from my home for a walk.

What I saw while walking Boobie to the party was so deliciously fantastic, I couldn't believe I had been missing out on all that.

There were people, kids and pets milling about, having a gay old time. Boys on bikes, hanging out. Girls on roller skates. Men walking their dogs. Kids sitting on the side walk, listening to music and fraternizing with each other. Little children running around, squealing with laughter. The air was so filled with life and fun, I only wished to be a apart of it. And here is the best part... there were no hovering parents. The kids were free. My kind of neighborhood.

It's the kind of neighborhood I envision for my kids and the kind of neighborhood I thought was of a time long passed. Kids being able to just be kids, hanging out with friends while parents watched from the safe distance of their front porch or living room window. Letting the kids have a childhood and allowing them the freedom to be outside, having fun with friends. It reminded me of my neighborhood growing up. And I can only hope, it will be a place Boobie can spend time with his new friends and get the chance to have that life of a carefree childhood, free from worries of kidnappings and murders.

Now, my neighborhood is not perfect... and knowing me, I will probably still long to live somewhere else (you know the grass always seems greener...) But seeing my neighborhood in a new light just made me appreciate it even more. I feel the urge now, to go walking in the afternoons where I can be amid that wonderful shuffle of youth and fun filled chaos.

She Finally Did It!!!

Yes, my Princess finally pooped in the potty. I will spare you the gory details (and I will not post pics, LOL). But she finally did it.

I have been potty training her, on and off, half-assed, since she was around 2. She showed no interest and I wasn't going to force her into potty training... when she's ready, she'll go. I am taking the kid led approach to this difficult task. I will follow her lead. If and when she shows interest, I plant her little booty on the potty and wait and see (after all, potty training is more for the parent than the child right. After all we don't want to be changing diapers forever. But I have yet to see a kid in college wearing diapers so they eventually get the hang of using a toilet, right?).

Well, today she came to me and said she had to go 'caca'. I put her on the potty and gave her a small bribe (I am not ashamed) so she would hang out on the potty for a little while just to make sure she would do something.

Well, it worked. She pooped! I told her to stay on that potty and she was on it for like 10 minutes... and she pooped. She was proud of her accomplishment, though a little grossed out at seeing her poop lying there. I, of course, made a big deal about it. I just don't want this to be the first and last time she poops the potty for long while. I remember Boobie pooped in the potty once around the time he was 2 or so, then didn't use it again until he was almost 3.

In the meantime, I feel like celebrating. I feel like having a party. I just hope this is the beginning of something new... less diaper changes for me, more potty time for her,