Saturday, October 31, 2009


My Decorations:

Yes, it's that time again... the once a year fun fest of dressing up like a scary character or your favorite celebrity or cartoon, and getting tons of free candy. Although, if you live in Costa Rica, Halloween is a bit more subdued. No trick or treating here (unless you live in a Gringo neighborhood).

The past 2 years I hosted a party for the kids. This year, I just had to pass (I wasn't even in the mood, really, to decorate... as seen above, my sparse, last minute Halloween decor). But I still wanted my kids to have some Halloween fun, so I dressed them in their costumes and we headed to the mall.

Let me say, although not the big to-do it is in the states, the mall was a ton of fun. Stores really go overboard with the decorating, getting into the Halloween spirit. Adults seem to enjoy the holiday here just as much as, if not more than, the kids, it seems; to reiterate this point, there were a lot of costumes for adults. Not to mention a whole bunch of Halloween parties for adults this week. I thought my kids would be the only ones dressed up, but there were quite a few kids dressed in costumes as well, and nice ones too.

There was a pirate wench, a ballerina, a butterfly (I am thinking barbie inspired), a few witches, Superman, a bunny, a lion, and so many others. I was tickled to see it all. And happy that others here (and not just North Americans) share my love for Halloween as well. We weren't the odd balls. Let the kids have fun, it's a Saturday and it's Halloween.... I was happy to see that other parents went the extra mile to do something on this special of days. Plus, others were pleased to see all the kids in their splendor.

Now, as for my kids. I didn't spend a pretty penny on their costumes but they sure did look cute. It took me a while to find Princess's and Fatty's costumes (I bought them yesterday, just in the nick of time). I just refused to spend $60 on a costume that they would only wear once, maybe twice. Not worth it... plus since we don't go trick or treating, I don't see the point. But today, I did feel that old happy feeling again; it was nice to see other parents like me, willing to do we what we must in order to give our kids wonderful childhood memories, even if it means buying useless costumes. And I saw that other parents put a lot of thought into their kid's costumes, giving me the incentive to do the same next year.

So what were my kids this year? Princess was all kinds of cute dressed as an Hawaiian girl. Fatty was Goku for Dragon BallZ and Boobie decided to go as Ben 10. We had so much fun. We shopped, we ate and we walked the mall. The kids (Princess and Boobie) even had a go in the moon bounce, although Princess was tackled by some little boy as she was about to get out, leaving her nose bloody. She was pissed, but the promise of chocolate got her feeling all better.


Hawaiian Girl

Hawaiian girl and Goku

Hawaiian girl and Ben 10

HG and Goku

HG and Ben 10... showing off his alien force watch

Sharing an ice-cream cone

My three little Halloween munchkins

After ice-cream and a little more shopping, we headed home. It was, in my opinion, a great Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fashion Forward

I see a lot of 'designer' labels here and a lot of the times I have look twice to see if they are for real. But I have come to this conclusion: If you can afford to buy a Coach purse, you should NOT be taking the bus.

I know it sounds a little 'snippy', but it's true. Would I be on the bus if I was rocking a $200 purse? Nope. Granted, a purse is way less money than a car... but if you have that much extra dough available for a bag, shouldn't you have the sense to save up your extras for a vehicle? Makes sense to me. It's just my plain old opinion, of course... you shouldn't be taking the bus if you have a purse that's worth more than your rent.

Of course, if you are rocking a faux designer purse (or shoes or clothes or anything), rock it like there's no tomorrow. After all, who said you still can't be fashionable if you can't afford the big names.

Costa Rica is full of fashion forward fashionistas. Girls that look as if they stepped right off the pages of a magazine. What's hot in CR this season:

Ballet flats.

Not just for ballet classes, just about everybody has ballet 'slippers'. In every different style and color. Not only are they practical (imagine walking around San Jose in wedges), they are also cute. I have been searching for the perfect pair for me.

Cell phones.

Yes, everybody and their mamas (literally) has a cell phone. And the more fancy and expensive the phone, the more you want to pull it out and show it off.. just so people can envy you. Yeah! Please... I don't need you to pull out your phone for the 50th time just to look at it. I get it, you have a nice phone, lets move on.

Over sized handbags/totes/purses.

Not just for fashion. These giant sized bags, big enough to hold your whole life and have room to spare, are a welcome breath of fresh air in contrast to the tiny cute little purses of yester-year. For the woman who not only wants to carry around a tube of lipstick and a tube of mascara, but would also like to have a change of clothes, a jacket just in case, and maybe a change of shoes. Plus, they are a great substitute for the 'cutesy tootsy' diaper bags that are quickly being left by the way-side in favor of bigger, more fashionable bags. They can hold a ton of baby gear, plus a little extra for mom too. And mom not only looks trendy, but savvy.

Belted blouses.

These are really cute... and really only for the small waisted of us. Though I do have a shirt that is belted, I have only worn it once... not trying to advertise my pooch you know. These shirts are so elegant looking, even in casual material, they make an outfit look so much more.


Have these ever gone out of style? However, these are not your grand-mama's heels ladies. The heels of today are sleeker, sexier and just so much prettier to look at. Plus too, they are so hot, they make any outfit, jeans or a dress, come alive.

Fashion jewelry.

I have never seen more women wear fashion jewelry than the women of CR. Maybe because of the fact that well, gold jewelry is so darn expensive here. Fashion jewelry is so much cheaper, plus you can get earrings, necklaces and bangles to match just about any outfit. How cool is that?


Are you heading out? Make sure you've got your shades. Not just to keep the sun out of your eyes, they are a fashion statement as well. But you already knew that.

Cute sandals.

Not just any old regular flip flop sandal. They have so many styles to choose from now-a-days, it can make your head spin. They have the 'Native American' inspired sandals with the shredded leather. They have the sexy flip flop type sandal with a high back that wraps around your ankle. They have the sandals that strap all the way up your calf. You can dress them up (with a nice summer dress or jeans and a belted blouse) or you can dress them down (in cut-offs or a mini-skirt). I have a few... well, only one if you don't count my fancy black Air Walk flip flops with the yellow flowers adorning the top. I wear them more then my boots and wedges because they are so damn comfy.

Of course, the thing that is always fashion forward and that a lot of CR women tend to have, is confidence. Never leave home without it. It's something that is always in season.

Princess Got Stung

I went to pick up Boobie from school and left Princess outside. Granted she was crying because she wanted to come, but I was going to be quick and father in law was watching her.

I get back to some bad news. As soon as I enter through the gates, D warns me to be careful because we have a swarm of bees near my house. I tell her I thought that was what those things were circling the plant nearby. But they never bothered us before, so.... no worries.

As I approach my house, I get attacked, literally, by a couple of bees... these are not the bees I was talking about. These bees were out for blood. Damn pesky things... trying to get at me every chance they had. My father in law comes out of my house calling my name, with his fly swatter in hand. I run screaming, hands flapping to rid myself of the attacking bees. Boobie is safely inside my in-laws house.

Then I hear the bad news. Princess got stung! I guess when I left her she stayed outside and a bee stung her. Father in law heard her screams and saw her jerking about (not in seizures just in pain and shock).

They took out the stinger (the little bitch of a bee stung her right near her mouth) and put some kind of cream on the the stung area. Poor Princess... as soon as I hear, I race towards her. She's lying in bed (mother in law's guest bed, her home away from home) watching cartoons. As soon as I get near her to try and inspect the sting for myself, she goes into hysterics... crying and trying to get away from my grip, she's yelling, "mommy, don't touch it". It breaks my heart.

My poor Princess got stung, and I wasn't there. I could kill that bee for hurting my baby. I know she must have been terrified to be stung and be in such pain, yet not know why or where the source was coming from. She just went into shock, standing there.

Someone, or something disturbed a hive of bees, who have now descended on us. And I am pissed. I just hope Princess isn't allergic. I think I'll bring her a chocolate to cheer her up and to commend her on her bravery.

My Jog Blog

So far, my jogging has been going great. I have stuck it out this far, three weeks in a row, three days a week for an hour.

I head out as early as 7 am now, instead of 9 am, first with a few simple stretches then a brisk walk to get my body and muscles warmed up. Soon as I feel my groove, I start out with a very slow, comfortable job. I keep the same pace, without stopping (even running in place at stop signs and intersection) for at least half the length of my jog.

On my way back (I run up towards Nova Centro on the 'backside' past the Mega Super in Moravia, then return on the main side back to my town), I speed up a little bit to get my heart racing even more and my legs pumping. It feels so good, almost as if I am flying and the fact that I am not pushing myself too hard makes me proud. The faster paced jog gives me a boost, a second wind, and I feel like I am on cloud 19.

I do get a tad sheepish with all the people watching me, as if they've never seen someone jog before, but it actually works as a stimulator for me, helping me to push forward without stopping. I do like the attention, which is a good incentive to continue. I always did like showing off. LOL

So far, without jogging with the kids, I can jog/run nonstop for the whole hour. I mean, really! Me!! Jogging!!! Nonstop!!!! I would have laughed at anyone who suggested I could do this maybe a month or 2 ago. But here I am now though, jogging like I've been doing it my whole life.

I actually look forward to my jog. Maybe even one day I'll add a weekend day to the routine of Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

My only complaint: my poor feet. I need better running shoes. While my feet don't fare too bad, they sure do feel it as I hit the pavement. Lucky for me, I know how to jog, or at least figured it out so that my feet don't come off too sore. But they do hurt. The stretches at the end help a little.

I don't know where I got the motivation or the will to jog, but I love doing it. I know me finally getting back into an exercise routine has a lot to do with me losing weight and getting healthier, but jogging? Who would have thought!

As I near home, I slow down, trying to get my breath back and easing my heart back to a normal pace (not that I am too out of breath...I never forget to 'breathe'). As I reach home, I take a long swig of water or fruit juice, then do a few more stretches. I even added 2 sets of 15 squats to my workout. I'll work my way up to sit ups eventually. I did 30 the other night and my stomach was on FIRE!!!

I am thinking that I will want to go to a gym and do something else, maybe a yoga class so as to start working on relaxing my muscles into a more limber state. Then I'd like to find another high energy cardio workout to add to that. But for now, I like just jogging. It lifts me up, makes me feel great and after 3 weeks, I am already seeing a difference.

Plus, my problem is I always take things I do (be it exercise or whatever) too far, pushing myself to the edge where I get burned out too quickly and end up quitting. One day at a time, I tell myself now and not to the extreme; I don't want to make the same mistakes over again.

However, I do look forward to the day when my exercise routine consists of 5 days a week, instead of just 3. I know for me, when I look good, I feel good. I cannot wait until results are evident. That I am sure will push me to do more and stick with the jogging. I've come a long way baby, and I am not stopping now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Independent Lady

Princess is so independent. I swear her favorite thing to say is "let me do it" or "I want do it". She wants to do everything for herself, just about.

She, of course, picks out and puts on her own shoes. She tries to put on and take of her clothes. She likes to comb her own hair and brush her own teeth. She even wants to put the potty back in the bathroom when she's done.

She sometimes likes to put her own dish in the sink (this I had to teach her as when she was done with a meal, she would throw the dish and spoon in the trash).

She wants to wash her own hands and soap herself in the shower. When I change the baby, she'll grab his dirty diaper and say "I wanna put it' and will put it in the diaper pail in the bathroom... she used to do that with her own diapers too.

She has even learned how to change the channel to her favorite station, once or twice.

She prefers, of course, to feed herself, something she's been doing for a long time and she's only 2.5 years old.

She truly amazes me with her independent streak. I know she'll be doing a lot of things solo at a young age that Boobie probably didn't do until much later.

She learned how to swing herself on the swings, pumping her legs and holding on for dear life (something her dad taught her). When she learned how to hoist herself up onto the swings and go down the slide by herself, I could have cried I was so in awe.

She is just one independent chick. I think she'll be the type of girl Destiny's Child used to always sing about.... 'all my ladies who're independent throw your hands up at me'.

Fatty's Birthday's Pictures....Finally

They are posted backwards...meaning from ending to beginning. So we'll start from the end and work our way forward. LOL!

The favors I put in the favor boxes, along with a truck load of candy supplied by the museum.
A photo bookmark, balloon whistles, bubbles and mini maracas.

A closer look at the goody boxes with a nice Mickey Mouse head shape attached to a toothpick and tied with a blue ribbon with a poem written on it, along with the party's date.

Opening gifts at home... he made out like a bandit with a ton of clothes. No need to go clothes shopping for a whole year!

On the drive home from the party... he was 'pooped'.

Playing on the swing set at the museum.

Mommy and birthday boy

Having a good 'ole time at the mock supermarket exhibit in the museum.

Playing outside at the museum.

Birthday boy in his birthday crown.

Signing the HUGE birthday card... Thanks Joe for doing the awesome design on the front for us... it looked GREAT!!!

After the pinata... checking to make sure they got enough candy. : )

And one of the Princess, with her 'bowfly' face paint.

Breaking the pinata.

Wow... mucho ninos! All the kids waiting for their turn at the pinata and the candy.

Birthday boy posing for one pinata shot before taking a few hits. Don't you just love the pinata... how very cute.

Handing out bags for even more candy... I guess the mountain of candy they each get in the goody boxes just aren't enough.

A nice family picture. Awwwwwwwwww!

Me and my 3 kiddos and the man of my dreams...

Playing games

The birthday spot. I love it here... what a great place for a party.

Eating lunch... a slice and Hi C. Yum! Check out the little tables.

Playing more games... they had some pretty cool prizes.

Say cheese... not!

The museum tour.

That's how long your intestines are..... geez! Informational tour.

All the party people say "hey"!

The face painting station. Now if I had to do it over again, I would NOT hire a face painter for the party. There was already so much for the kids to do.. she really wasn't needed. Although a welcome treat for the kids, I thought she did a mediocre job... not what I was expecting. Plus her station was set up way in the back, almost out of sight. I didn't even notice her there until a good hour into the party. Luckily the kids weren't as clueless as I was and found their way to her pretty easily and quickly. But I could have saved c16.000 colones or roughly$27 dollars. I should have listened to hubby. Oh well, the excitement of Princess finally getting her 'bowfly' was worth it. I guess.

The table they set up with popcorn for each child as they arrived and to place gifts on... it also held the pinata.

I snapped this pic to show off the moon bounce. Yes... they include a moon bounce with the party! How cool. I finally had a moon bounce at one of my kids' parties. I was very excited about this. And the kids LOVED it.

The cake... I loved it. I have only done one other photo cake, and that was for Boobie's 2nd birthday. No other birthday party I have been to here has done a photo cake... I felt so innovative. LOL.

The cake and goody boxes table.

And a pic of mommy and the birthday boy, again. I love my Fatty.