Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh, Did I Forget To Mention...

That I have lost 10 pounds (TEN LBS) since mid-October (when I started jogging).

All my jeans fit me now and some are even LOOSE! What! Yup, yup. I am skinny again. LOL.

I went from 145, with a BMI of 25 and being 'overweight' to 135, with a BMI of 23 and being ideal.

I still want to lose 10 more pounds, just for me. Then the goal is to stay at my goal weight and not flip flop. Losing is fine but sticking with it is the hard part.

But I feel so good. I feel younger, prettier, healthier, more energetic, etc, etc, etc. AND, I am so proud of myself too. Not because I've become an exercise junkie, but for doing it and liking it and making the commitment to stick with it.

Starting 2010 with a bang, hope to keep it that way. Oh, and I'll have to post a picture of my new skinny bitch-ish-ness!!!!

Shower Issues

I have been having issues with the shower heads in both bathrooms since day one. When we moved into this house, the shower in the kid's bathroom was not working... no hot water. We've since had both shower heads fixed numerous times... NUMEROUS!

Again the showers don't work. The kid's bathroom has not had any hot water for MONTHS now so everyone uses the 'master bath'... again master is used lightly... you've seen my bathroom. Nothing 'master' about it. LOL.

The master bath barely works and is on the fritz too. For some reason, the water barely gets hot. You need to turn it on many times in order to get it to a luke-warm temperature. It shuts off by itself often, especially if it gets hot, like it refuses to oblige you with nice warm water. There is a weird guttural noise that happens sometimes, coming from inside the pipes that I have no idea what it is. Taking a shower can be so frustrating.

Even more frustrating is trying to get a service guy out to fix the problem. One guy came a few months ago, but when he called, he got my name wrong and my father in law told him he had the wrong number. Since that time, I have had 3 others flake on me. Hubby's own cousin has told me he'll be here to fix the showers and he lives literally a few feet from my house. He never showed up.

Finally I called a guy yesterday and to my surprise he showed up. After he took a look at my shower heads, I got the bad news. The shower head in the kid's bathroom is fried and needs replacing completely. The one in my bathroom is about to be fried. At any minute now, the guy said, it could go, so that needs replacing too.

Two shower heads: c20.000 colones. Ugh!!!

On to more bad news. The problems don't really lie with the shower heads like I thought. The main problem is coming from the cables. Apparently the cables being used aren't strong enough and that is why they burn out, and in response burn out the shower heads too. So I need to buy new cables.

52 meters of cables: c36.400 colones. YIKES!

And then I have to pay the service guy for all his hard work. Luckily he's cheap!

Service guy: c20.000 colones. Sigh!

Yeah, I just wanted my shower heads fixed, now I have a slew of problems to deal with. Hopefully though, with the new, stronger cables, I won't have to fix the showers for a LOOOOOONG time to come. I have been fixing the showers in my house every year since 06.

The service guy will be back tomorrow and we should have both showers up and working well by the afternoon.

I cannot wait to give this whole house an overhaul. It sure needs it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Baby Showers

I LOVE a baby shower. If you know me, you know I love any kind of get-together; as long as there is free food and cake, I am there... no need to tell me twice OK.

I love shopping for the mom to be, picking out just the right gift (and at a baby shower, you want your gift to be the gift everyone ooh's and ahh's over).

I have been to more baby showers here in Costa Rica, in the 3.5 years I have lived here, than I have been to baby showers my whole life. Back in Boston, I think I went to maybe 5 baby showers, and one of them was mine. I have lost count how many baby showers I have been to here... more than 10 I'd say. The first month I was here, I went to baby shower. A good start to my new life, in my opinion.

But one thing I have to blog about is the custom some people have here for certain baby showers. It's the 'Tico' custom I think I like the least.... the pay per person baby shower. Yeah you heard me right. People actually have the nerve to ask you to PAY to attend their baby shower, on top of buying a gift. Really!

The first time I heard of it, the only thing I could think of was "how tacky". I mean you want me to pay you essentially for the baby shower... for the food and the location (if it's at a rented hall).

Back in Bean town, we're used to pot lucks if someone can't foot the entire bill for a soiree. And for me, I think that is a little better. You want to have a baby shower but can't afford it, ask your guests to bring a dish... much better than having them PAY for their food. And some people have their asking price a little too high. One baby shower was asking c10.000 colones. Another was c4.000. Yeah, I hope the food was good... and no I didn't not go.

I did go to one that I had to pay for (against my better judgment). It was a friend of Hubby's. A good friend. And I consider his wife a 'friend' too so it was hard to say no... but she got that I was uncomfortable with the whole payment thing, to which she told me the price was pretty cheap for CR standards at c2.000 colones. I guess she was right.

Her mom was throwing the shower in her Hubby's aunt's house. Since her parents are of modest means, her mother needed the monetary help with the food (you pay ahead of time). I didn't pay, Hubby did.

I am glad I went but really, I would NEVER think to throw a party, especially a baby shower where guests are kind of expected to bring you a gift, and then charge a fee for guests to attend.

The whole point of a baby shower is to shower the new mom/parents to be with necessities for their baby. If I am showering you with a gift, isn't that payment enough? If push comes to shove, don't serve food then. Hand out a few snacks and call it a day. No need for fancy, smancy showers that call for a 4 course meal, professional hosts and a million games and prizes, which can take away from the whole meaning of a baby shower anyway. Just get to the gifts and keep it short, sweet, fun and simple, if that's what you need to do to cut costs. And if a rented hall is necessary, then by all means, ask for donations (from CLOSE family and friends).

Better yet, have a garage sale of some sort to offset the cost of a hall.... let the guests be guests. And leave the money out of the equation.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Small 'Remodel'

Sometimes all it takes to spruce up your surroundings is a few small, cost effective changes and you can turn any room in your house into a brand new, refreshing space.

A coat of paint will do the trick but often times, it doesn't even have to be something that 'dramatic'. A new rug, a few nice decorative pieces and a room can be new again in minutes.

With that said, I have been meaning to spruce up the two bathrooms in my house since the day I moved in. But somehow that project got pushed to the back burner as more important life events took priority.

I had ideas of what I wanted to do of course, but something always stopped me from acting on my plans, be it price or indecision about decor.

Well, in the spirit of V-day, while I was out shopping today, I stopped by the bathroom aisle in Hipermas (Walmart). I was searching for bathroom shelves (gotta start small right?) I had already bought a few bathroom 'fixtures' a few days prior and wanted to go a bit further with the bathroom re-do.

Well, I struck out on the shelves, but I got lucky with a whole slew of other bathroom necessities to make my remodel happen and semi-complete. I was so happy I couldn't wait to 'get to it'! When I was done, the finished product was breath-taking, literally.

I have a few other small things to do to both bathrooms that will leave me content for now, until a big re-model is possible. But really, I'm just so happy with the end result so far, it was like a breath of fresh air.

All that's left now is the rest of my house. One small re-do at a time.

The new toothbrush/toothpaste holder

My new bath mats and shower curtain. I have ALWAYS wanted matching mats and curtain in my bathroom. I finally got them.

Love the color

Perfect match

The kid's bathroom... new bathmat and curtain (Love the animal print... cuter than ducks I'd say).

Check out the shower rods... so darling. I love matchy stuff.

The 'fixtures' in the kid's bathroom... new toothbrush/toothpaste holder and soap dispenser.

Oh and let's not forget, I did re-organize the toy room too... I was a busy woman. I re-organized the office, toy room and even the laundry room. Still need to decorate them and spiff them up a bit, but it's a work in progress that is progressing.

Yes, Princess playing piano in the newly organized play room.

The kids love it in here.

Happy Valentine's Day

Or should I say 'night' as it's just about 8:30 now and all my halflings are in bed..... *sigh*.

And what a Valentine's Day it was. As usual, there I was running around doing 'stuff'. On top of my 'stuff', I decided to bake chocolate chunk cookies to hand out with the cards 'we' made for a sweet Valentines treat for Boobie's little cousins and friends. We made 6 treats to hand out in total, so not too much (no overdoing it here). And it was fun, as I like to do little stuff like that from time to time for special days.

The cards and treats

It says 'Be Mine'

As for my sweet this Valentine? Well, lets just say he gave me more than I could ever ask for... he really fulfilled my Valentine this year, and it was sweeter than chocolates or roses or even a stuffed bear.

Happy valentine's Day everyone. Hope your day was just as wonderful as mine.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

No Time

I have been so busy these last few days I didn't even have time to turn on the computer. The kids are giving me a run for my money. Plus with Boobie's back to school schedule and my exercise routines (up to 5 days a week now), I just don't have the minutes in the day to take for myself to have some comp time.

Fatty and Princess have odd nap schedules, which leaves barely any time in the day for computer time. Today for instance, I went walking to Boobie's school and they both fell asleep in the stroller; but before I got home, they were both wide awake. So by the time we reached my front door, they were ready for some more action. Then of course, there are the regular chores that I still have to take care of. I just can't find anytime for computer time.

I am implementing an earlier bedtime, BUT since I have to be up at 5:30 and out the door by 6:10 A.M., I have to be in bed early too. Plus the energy I exert everyday running, power walking and doing yoga, I need all the extra zzzzzzzzzzzz's I can get.

I also have a jam packed schedule with errands to run, events to attend and activities to do. I had to have Boobie take a leave of absence from the swim team because we just don't have the time anymore. Since Boobie has to be up so early, he has to be in bed by 7:30... with swim practice ending at 7P.M., it's just not feasible. Plus Boobie gets home at 3:20 (he gets out at 2:30 but the bus has a route it has to take). By the time Boobie gets home and has to eat dinner and do homework, he would never make it to the 4 'o' clock practice. I feel bad he has to stop his classes, but hopefully once we get the hang of this new school, he can resume them again, soon.

As for me and finding more time in the day for some 'me' time? Well, that's a work in progress. The good thing is, less time on the computer means more time to do other, more enriching things, like spending time with the kids outside when we can and actually getting stuff done (in a timely fashion). Not that computer time interfered too much with my day to day tasks, but it definitely slowed me down, just a tiny little bit.

I'll have to find a few minutes here and there to pop in and say a quick hello from time to time. And of course, as the kids get older and more independent, I'll be finding my way back to the 'puter in no time. For now though, I can't say I miss it too terribly. I am enjoying my new busy schedule.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Football And A Presidential Election

I have to admit, I have turned a pretty blind eye to the presidential race here in Costa Rica. It's not that it won't affect me (as it will, since I live here.) But seeing as I barely understand politics as is, I could hardly understand Cost Rican politics any better.

All I knew was what I saw and heard. I knew the 2 front runner candidates: Laura and Otto. As they had the most money (I assume) to pour into their campaigns, I saw their faces and flag colors all over San Jose... Laura's colors are green and white and her face was splashed just about every where, from front lawns to huge billboards. Otto, the serious looking face of a man who meant business, had colors of red and orange.

People all over were flying the flags from their houses and cars. People had posters and stickers on their windows and doors. And yesterday, as I headed out on my errand run, there was a LONG line of vehicles heading to the polls to vote for their favorite candidate. Horns were honking and people were out waving flags and getting everyone excited about the big election, as many waited HOURS in line just to vote.

This morning I found out who won... a woman. Costa Rica's first female president: Laura Chinchilla. I kind of knew she would win. I just had an inkling, even though I wasn't following the election. But I had a feeling she was the favorite (and if I had watched the news, I would have found out that she was).

That was not the only big news I had to digest. While Costa Rica is celebrating it's monumental victory (I hope this Laura lady does a better job than the last guy, who happens to be her 'buddy'... sorry), America was recovering from one of the most exciting games in Super Bowl history.

Yes, I watched the Superbowl last night and I was at the edge of my seat the whole time. I was so into the game, you would have thought the Patriots were playing. I am a New England Patriots fan. Go Pats! But since they didn't make it to the big game this year, I had to root for the underdog as I know what it's like being a fan of an underdog team . Believe it or not, the Pats were once underdogs too... remember?

Anyway, I am not that big into football unless the Pats are playing a big game, so why did I decide to watch Superbowl 44? One day while I was watching the news (American news on Amnet), I found out the Saints were heading to the Superbowl for the first time ever!!! Once I heard their story I knew I wanted them to win... plus Reggie Bush is one of their players. I like Reggie.

The Saints had it rough. Considered so bad at one time, fans wore bags over their heads and called them the Aint's.

I wanted them to win so badly. And you know what? THEY WON!!! Against the COLTS no less... I was so freaking happy. I just love a Cinderella story. I was shouting at the top my lungs (well, not that loud, sleeping kids and all, but I was definitely jumping for joy).

It was such an exciting game. My heart was racing. And when it was over, I was happier than a pig in sloth. I wished it had been the Patriots, but I can hope for next year. For now, I can be happy for the Saints and the State of New Orleans and Louisiana. They deserved it. Congrats. Way to go. Good job.

Horsing Around

Talking on her Barbie phone.

Oh yeah!

1...2...3 Cheese!

"I'm too sexy for my .... glasses!"

Trying Princess's shoe on for size.

How cute does his fat little feet look in his big sister's heels?

Fatty ain't the only one trying other people's shoes on for size. Check my Princess out rocking my heels.

Sibling love....

One for the Fatty...

And one for the Princess.

Things That Make You Go Mmmmmmmmmm!

Breaded fish, rice and black beans, garlic bread and seasoned rotini pasta with broccoli and tomatoes and herbs in a butter and olive oil dressing.

Fried chicken breast, garlic mashed potatoes and spicy sweet garlic corn.

The potatoes, all mashed to goodness.

This had so much kick.... wow! Like a little party in your mouth.

I know I love the fried stuff... something I have to work on. But it is so good and I guess since it's not an EVERYDAY thing, I should be OK... for now anyway.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Good Week

Well, Boobie's first week of school is over. It was a short week (just 3 half days) but it was a good week.

We'll get the real taste of this new school and what it's all about next week when school is full day, all week and the real work starts. I have to say I am a bit nervous and still pondering if I made the right decision with this school. I have been reassured on all fronts, but I tend to second guess myself.

The good news is, Boobie loves the school. And so do I (so far). BUT if, for whatever reason, something should go awry, well, there are a million other schools to choose from. I know I'd hate for him to switch to yet another school, but I can breathe easier knowing that the option is there.

I can't wait for the parent/teacher meeting in 2 weeks. That will calm my nerves a bit. Plus, once Boobie gets all settled I'll feel easier. I just hate this uncertainty factor. I am just too nervous to think straight.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Boobie's First Day Of School

Boobie started school today and I think I was more nervous then he was. It was a great start to his first day at a new school... went off without a hitch. Everyone was up on time and things went smoothly (hope it's always like this LOL).

This is his 3rd school since we've lived in Costa Rica and I am hoping his last. I know he'll make friends fast. And I just wish him a good year and hope he does well.

Boobie is in 4-1.

His classroom door.

For all the newbies to 4th grade... a list of all their classmates and teachers names. Boobie has 18 kids in his class... 6 girls and 12 boys. Oh boy!

There's a smile. He was pretty excited.

Have a great day Boobie. See you at 12.

Operation: Clean-up

Or a better word would be, operation: organization.

Yesterday we spent almost all day cleaning up, cleaning out and organizing Boobie's room. It was a process and it took the 2 of us to get it done and done right.

It was a mess before, trust me. I don't have before shots as I would be embarrassed to even post those pictures, but the after results are stunning.

While his room is still a work in progress, I can live with it now. Everything is in it's place, and it looks so much bigger now. Amazing what a little organizing can do to a space... make it look spacious.

The biggest problem with Boobie is that he's a pack rat, like me, but he doesn't know how to hide it as well as I do. Plus, he is messy. To top that off, he was using an old box (the box that Princess's house came in a few Christmases ago) to store all his toys, which fell apart to pieces. I have yet to find a reasonably priced toy box that can store all his toys... so I found another temporary solution: the box that Princess's car came in last Christmas. That fixed 'the messy toys all over the floor' problem.

Then I tackled the space above his closets (it's a small room so every space has to be utilized as Boobie has a lot of stuff).

I hope he keeps his room clean all the time now. We cleaned up just in time for him to start school. So he has a fresh start all around.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm A Monster

I lost my cool tonight. Again. I was stressed, at the end of my rope and I just about busted a gasket.

I felt horrible and apologized but I still feel like a shitty parent. I NEED to learn from my parent's mistakes, not make the same ones over again. I am better than that.

New year, new me... I need a change.


I had this problem with Princess when she was smaller. She would disappear outside every so often and when I found her, she would be eating the dog's food. Yes... DOG FOOD!

Fast forward a year or so, and I am having the same issues with Fatty. I just need to be pre-occupied for a few seconds and there Fatty is, finding his way to the dog's bowl, eating the dog's food. I found him today AGAIN, with a mouth full of Purina and a handful ready to be stuffed into his mouth. Ewwwwww! Gross. How can kids eat that stuff? Why would he want to eat that stuff? He knows it's for the dog. Dammit! And it's so hard to wash out his mouth.

It's like the time (and thank God it was only the ONE time) when he picked up a piece of the dog's poop and put it in his mouth. He didn't swallow because he realized it wasn't food and started to spit it out. But I was LIVID! I swear God is with my kids. The amount of stuff that they put in their mouths that they're not supposed to and yet manage not to get horribly ill is a true miracle.

What nasty, beyond belief stuff have your kids eaten (put in their mouths) today?

Monday, February 1, 2010


Are we ready for school yet? Lets see:

Uniforms: check

School supplies: check

Shoes: check

Backpack: check

Documents handed in: check

Enrollment fee paid: check

Looks like we're ready to roll. All that's left is to pay the tuition on Friday and buy the books when they have the book sales near the end of this month. I cannot wait to just get settled in. I hope this year goes smoothly.

Disney Live

What a nice thing for my mother in law to do. This past Saturday, she bought us all tickets to go see Disney Live at the Palacio de Deportes arena in Heredia.

She foot the bill for 6 tickets (herself, my 3 kids, me, and brother in law's step daughter). I was kind of surprised she would do something like that, but I was very pleased she did. I guess my Princess saw an ad for the Disney show on TV (I'm guessing) and told mother in law, which in turn made mother in law go out and get tickets. Oh, how she loves my Princess.

We headed out to the 4:45 show. We left home at 2 (no assigned seats so it's a good idea to get there early so you can be one of the first people in line... that gives you the chance to choose the ideal seats for you and your crew).

It was so much fun! My kids definitely enjoyed it for sure. They got to see Mickey and Minnie and the while Disney gang (Goofy, Donald and Daisy). And they also had a few of the Disney Princesses on hand; Snow White, Ariel, Cinderella, Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) and Jasmine. Oh, and lets not forget all the magic. It was an experience and I know my kids will always have that. So thanks mother in law. You did good.

Enjoying the moon bounce while we wait in line to enter.

The line to get in... good thing we got there early.

The line got longer as we waited.

This guy on stilts was pretty cool.

The Palacio de Deportes arena.

A quick snap shot before the show.

YAY... the show began right on time.

There's the gang...

The vignette with Alice in Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts.

The hearts.

Snow White.


So into the coach goes Cinderella, dressed in rags...

And out she came, as quick as can be, dressed as a princess.

Dancing with her prince

Such cute couples

The Little Mermaid vignette... Ariel and Prince Eric

Jasmine floating on air... pretty cool.

This awesome magic act took my breath away, as I had never seen it in person before.

They CUT the 2 girls in HALF!!!

Then they put them back together again, but each girl got a different bottom....

See... when they went INTO the box, their pants matched their shirts, now their pants are a different color. Pretty amazing. They switched their bottoms.

Saying goodbye.