Monday, May 31, 2010

Perfect Attendance

I wanted Boobie to have perfect attendance this year at his new school. Barring any illness, of course, I was going to try and make that happen.

Well, that hope is out the window: Boobie missed his first day of school today.

I don't know why having perfect attendance is so important to me. I guess because when I was in school, it was important to me to attend school every day. I cried the first time I had to miss school. I remember. I loved school so much, missing a day was like torture.

While Boobie loves his new school, I am sure he is loving the extra day off.

And while one day missed out of 4 months isn't bad, since Boobie is just an OK student, he needs to be in school everyday in order to do well.

I guess there's nothing I can do about it now. Hubby planned poorly and in turn, caused Boobie to miss a day of school. I am hoping this will be the first and last time he misses school... an unexcused absence in my book. And lucky for him today was not a very important day so missing it isn't as big a deal as missing a day when he has exams.

I must also admit, having the extra day off for me was a good thing. I was able to sleep in a little bit longer today and recuperate a little. I feel great this morning. But I still wish Boobie didn't miss school today. Oh well. Vacation in one month and counting.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oh No He Didn't!!!

So where DID Hubby take the boys for their quality time boys day out: LIMON!!!!!

You heard me. While I took Princess to see Dora Live, he took the boys to LIMON! I want to go to Limon. NOT fair.

I figured it was a good time for the girls (me and Princess) to spend quality one on one time together since we rarely get to do that. And for Hubby to spend some quality time with his boys. I figured he'd take them to the mall, the movies, the pool; I don't know, anywhere BUT to the beach. Damn. I am jealous.

Not that I didn't have fun with my Princess. But she misses her brothers, especially fatty, who is her partner and buddy, playmate and friend. They fight but that's what makes them siblings right?

And I have to admit I miss my boys too. They left Saturday, early in the afternoon. I was expecting them back today. I actually loved the idea of being left alone for a whole day and night with just Princess, giving me that feeling of when I was just a mommy of one child and of easier times. But that feeling is old now. I want my other kids back home. One day was enough. And Princess is bored. She's not used to being an 'only' child. It does not suit her well.

I just cannot believe they went to soak up the sun on the beach in my favorite destination (I bet they went to Puerto Viejo).

All I want to know now is, when can I go?

You Have To Try This Recipe

Coconut and Parmesan Crusted Curry Chicken

Spanish rice with a Carribean twist

It was So good, I actually had seconds *gasp*!!! By the time I remembered to take a picture, this was what was left. LOL.

To get started:
So you season up your chicken good (don't forget the curry powder). Let the seasonings marinate the chicken for at least an hour to soak through. (You don't really HAVE to marinate that long though).

Wet your chicken with a little milk.

Put in a ziplock bag some coconut flakes and Parmesan cheese together. Place chicken one at a time and shake well to coat.


Cook your rice. In a pan, add a little butter. Add mixed veggies to the pan, saute. Add rice, already seasoned black beans, paprika, some garlic powder (since your rice already has salt, go easy on any salty seasoning), a dash of coconut milk and mix together, cooking on medium heat (kinda like a stir fry). Add a little olive oil over rice mixture. Stir around for another minute or so. Done! Takes no time at all.

I am so stuffed from this dish and yet it still makes my mouth water.

Dora The Explorer Live

Today I took Princess to see the Dora The Explorer live show at the Palacio de los Deportes in Heredia. This made our second time attending an event at the sports stadium (or palace as it is literally translated). The first time we went to see Disney Live, which was a spectacular show by the way.

This time, it was just the Princess and I. Hubby took the boys for an overnight boys night out or in.

Seeing how much Princess LOVES Dora I just had to take her. Tickets were (for regular entrance) c11.000 colones plus C1.000 colones for the service (what ever the hell that means). So I spent my $44 and bided my time until the day finally came.

I woke up early this am, around 6 am (I had set my alarm for 5:30 but sneaked in an extra half hour). I wanted to make sure I was ready and set on time so we wouldn't be late.

We left the house around 8:30 and caught the bus to Heredia (well to San Jose) soon after. The bus from San Jose to Heredia took us literally a few feet from the Palacio de Deportes entrance, where we waited just a little over half an hour to get in (not a bad wait time).

It wasn't as packed as the first time we went, which was nice. But there was still an enormous amount of people in attendance.

Now beware. If you plan on attending an event at the Palacio, the guards are strict. They wanted me to throw out my brand new unopened bottle of Tropical Te Frio as they allow no outside drinks, food or snacks inside the stadium. A little white lie got me to hold on to my items though. They also told patrons to NOT take pictures. @@ (those are eye rolls).

Like, yeah right. I am going to bring my daughter to an event like Dora live and NOT take pictures. Of course NO ONE obeyed those rules and soon after the guards just gave up (like the last time at Disney Live) and allowed people to snap away. I was able to then finally get some good shots and video. They had tickets on sale for people to purchase; tickets of a photo of your kid with Dora and Diego. The photo cost c6.000 colones. I can think of at least 50 other worthwhile things I can spend $12 on besides one photo. I was happy with the ones I took with my camera, thanks very much.

The show was fun and Princess had fun. Though I must say I had more of a blast at Disney Live. There was just more to see at that other show. And while Dora was fun to watch and the kids got to participate, it was just more of the same and did get a little blah at times. At certain points in the show, the audience was louder than the characters. I do still give it 2 thumbs up for the younger set though, but only maybe 3.5 stars out of 5. I think Boobie would have been bored if he'd come along with us. I even saw a few people leaving before the show was over.

Oh well, money and a Sunday morning (we caught the 11 am show which started at 11:15) well spent, in my opinion.

Enjoy the pictures:

On our way!

Waiting in line. And boy was it hot. Thankfully I had an umbrella I used to block the sun's powerful rays.

The show has begun!

Tico, Boots, Benny the bull and Isa the Iguana.

And Dora joins the gang.

Come on vamanos.

Hey, it's Back pack and map. (Is it me, or does Back pack look a little evil... LOL)

Swiper trying to swipe something.

Princess enjoying the show.

Diego finally came out to join the party.

The City of lost Toys

Show's over. See ya!

Singing to the song.

Dancing to the beat.

Yay. She had fun.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I had never in my life eaten or made meatloaf, a staple in many American homes for dinner. It's an American down home comfort food and yet I just never had any interest in it.

Until I moved to Costa Rica.

Before, meatloaf just looked too time consuming. Too many steps, too many ingredients, too much time to make. That's what I thought, until recently. After watching yet another chef prepare meatloaf on TV, I wondered to myself why I never tried to make it: it looked so simple. And it also looked delicious.

I decided to try and make it so I put it on my menu.

The adventurous me in the kitchen loves to experiment and make different types of foods, mainly trying out recipes I'd never dared try before. Watching the Food Network almost 24/7 has inspired me in the kitchen and has given me the extra boost of confidence to step out of my comfort zone. Just take a peek at the post where I blog my Chicken pot pie. Never made that before for the same reasons I never made meatloaf. Yet it turned out so easy and delicious, I can't wait to make it again.

Now making meatloaf is almost like making meatballs. You add some of the same ingredients like an egg and bread crumbs to bind the meat together but just put in a few extra ingredients for an extra kick for the meatloaf. Then you shape the meat like a loaf (instead of in balls), spread your sauce over it and bake for an hour. Easy as pie (literally... pie, yet another recipe I was scared to make yet turned out to be so simple).

Here's the recipe I used (just eye ball everything really). It was so yummy, you'll be dying to make it again.

1 lb ground beef
bread crumbs (maybe about 1 or 2 cups)
Black pepper
Cayenne pepper??? (I skipped this)
Chili powder
Salt (I used a mixture of seasonings like all purpose and adobe and meat seasoning)
bell peppers
jalapeno peppers (for an extra spicy kick)
1 egg

Season meat (let marinate for at least an hour)
Saute onions, garlic, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers together. Add celery near end to still keep a little crunch.
Mix into meat mixture. Add egg.

Add breadcrumbs (I just toasted some day old bread and crumbled it up into mixture)
Mix together with your hands. Form a load and put on baking sheet on top of foil paper.

Add glaze on top
Glaze: mix ketchup, salsa lizano (I didn't have Worcestershire sauce but if you do, add that), honey, brown sugar, and mustard together. Save some glaze for afterward (that's what I'll do next time).

Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees. Top leftover glaze on meatloaf. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies.

You can vary the recipe as you like, adding and/or deleting ingredients to make the meatloaf your own.

So the pictures were taken AFTER dinner so I used the leftovers to post these pictures. Obviously the plate was a complete plate with mixed veggies on them. And there was more pieces of meatloaf than just the three in the photos.

Then there's not much left to do than just to dig in and enjoy. I sure did.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Is It Me Or...

Is Father's Day approaching with rapid speed already? Didn't we just celebrate the New Year? I just can't believe how quickly this year is passing by. Like I said in a previous post, it feels like we've already been in the year 2010 forever. It's just going so fast.

Anyway, you know me. My thoughts are always to a celebration. Any holiday is an excuse for a party right? So I am already thinking about what to do this father's Day. Since it's not really MY day, I'll let Hubby decide what he wants to do and I am sure he will opt for a more laid back, quiet celebration as opposed to a noisy get-together.

The kid's gifts are already picked out, pre-ordered and about done, just need to be paid for. Gotta love 'insta-gifts'. LOL!

Boobie's school sent home a flyer requesting c3.500 colones for the Father's Day gift they already have picked out for each student. When I asked Boobie what the gift was he told me it was a mouse pad with his picture on it. Way cool.

Fatty's playgroup class opted for photo coffee mugs. Nice!

And Princess's playgroup class had 2 options: a simple photo of each child dressed like dad in one of dad's shirts, a tie and hat, placed in a decorative frame that each kid would do. OR a photo clock. I chose the photo clock. So a picture of princess will go on the clock along with a nice simple saying for her dad on Father's Day.

Boobie's gift: c3.500

Fatty's gift: c2.200?

Princess's gift: c4000

The look on Hubby's face, getting 3 very special and personalized gifts from each of his kids : well, pricless!

I just hope he doesn't read this blog before then. I don't want to spoil the surprise. *Shsssssssh*

So I Got Sick

Along with the kids... I also got a little cold. Unlike the kids, mine lasted a mere 2 days. I already feel better after feeling like a dog near death yesterday. Odd isn't it? My nose is clear, no longer stuffy. My chest is clear, no longer filled with phlegm.

I figured the cold would linger for much longer. However, when you're exercising as much I am and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle (and this is the first time I've been hit with a cold in a LONG while), I guess it's to be expected.

I love this new me. I exercise, eat well, and I rarely get sick. And when I do, it only lasts a couple of days.

Now I am not 100% better but I would say I'm about 99% on the way to recovery.

My back is out of whack though and not sure what that could mean. It started hurting when I got sick and now that I feel better, my back is still out of whack. I take a deep breath, it hurts. I cough, it hurts. I turn certain directions, it hurts. Even lying down hurts initially. I hope I didn't strain anything. Even though I've been sick, I still went running. Good idea or bad, it made me feel better and I am sure helped to speed up the recovery process.

Now if only the kid's colds would go away and never return.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A New Start

As of this week, the new trimester has started for Boobie at school. Costa Rican schools do trimesters instead of semesters. Back State-side, we had 2 parts to the school year, not 3; From September to December, and then January to June.

Costa Rica divides up their trimesters from February to May, May to August and August to November or something similar to that.

So Boobie finished his first round at the new school and though I wanted to have great news to report, it wasn't so great at the end. We're still working with him, making sure that he gets a better start to the trimester this time around. But he pretty much did poorly in Spanish, Social Studies and Math. He didn't even break into the 70's for either subject. : (

On the bright side, English and Science are his strong suits, so he did better in those areas.

Not sure what he got for gym, art or Christian Ed. Hoping he at least got an 80 in those subjects. I can't stand the thought of his report card not being up to par yet again, after so much hard work.

Well, at least he gets another shot at proving to himself, us and his teachers that he can do the work. Here's to a great second part of the trimester and a brand new start on the right track.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Am I Not Cool?

Hubby always ups me on the cool-o-factor meter. No wonder Fatty and Boobie prefer their dad to poor old me; mommy dearest.

Hubby is just more laid back and not as much into the 'rules' like I am. A good example of this is how we handle certain things when it comes to the kids, especially Boobie.

Boobie rarely spends time on the computer. He's not a computer savvy kid. But lately he's shown more and more interest in the computer, partly (or mostly) due to the fact that his best friend is a computer junkie. I mean this kid has his own lap top for Pete's sake.

OK, nothing wrong with computer time right? I mean I'm on this thing almost everyday. Besides it is a techno world and knowing how to work a computer is just plain smart and good sense. A good investment in your future. Why not teach 'em young, right? Right now, mother in law is interested in taking computer classes and wanting to buy a lap top. I guess you're never too old to learn.

It's not that Boobie never liked the computer. He was fascinated by it (like Fatty and Princess are now). It is a cool looking instrument after all. But lately he's been really into the computer and I know why.

When Boobie asked me if he could get an email account and a Club Penguin account, I knew he was under the influence of his friend. His friend has these accounts. Boobie had to have them too. OK, I'm cool. It's 2010. What 10 year old doesn't have an email account huh? So I said yes.

Then Boobie wanted a Face Book account. Really. I didn't even know he knew about Face Book. I don't even have an account. I told him no at first. I am cool, but why does a 10 year old need a Face Book huh? All his friends go to the same school and his best friend lives a mere block or so away. What are they gonna talk about on Face Book that they can't talk about at school? Or on on a play date? Does he even really know how to use a Face Book? Does he himself really want a Face Book or does he want it because his friend J has an account and he wants an account too?

Good questions to ponder on, I thought.

Anyway, I mentioned it to Hubby the other day in passing (who had previously set Boobie up with his own email and Club Penguin accounts ). What was Hubby's response:

"Why not. Sure. Get him an account?"
Me: "But isn't he too young."
Hubby: "No...."

OK, I guess Boobie will get a Face Book account then. If Hubby says it's OK, we can agree on this. Plus I guess there's more to Face Book than corresponding with friends.

And according to Hubby, I should get one too.

So I am gonna set Boobie up with Face Book account. That should up my cool factor, yes? We'll see.


Fatty has mastered the art of shaking his head 'Yes'. For a while, like most babies, Fatty knew how to say no and learned to shake his head in correspondence, side to side.

Recently though, he's been saying yes and shaking his head up and down. It is the funniest thing as he tends to shake his whole body as well. It's still a new art for him so he is getting the hang of it. But I ask him questions to things I know he'll say yes to ( "do you want chocolate")just to see him answer me with a head nod. It is too cute.

So he'll say "Mommy, want juice".

I'll respond, "you want some juice".

And he'll shake his head and body (LOL) yes. I love that little guy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reading list

Trying to fit in reading time in my life right now is as difficult sometimes as trying to fit in a full night's rest or even a sound nap. It's just one of the things that happens in motherhood; inevitably treasured hobbies or past times get lost or forgotten; pushed back in place of more imperative things.

Something as simple as sitting down with a good book becomes a luxury instead of a right once you have children.

Taking such things for granted in my early days, I read with such zeal. I could finish a whole book in one day, a fat book in 2. By the weeks end, I could have gone through literally 3 or 4 books.

I remember in middle school, I had a 'friend' who shared my love of reading and we would have our little contests: See which one of us could read the most books in a school week. While the downtime in home room in middle school (a time where everyone had to be reading in wait for the end of the school day bell) was an annoyance for many of our classmates, it was a favorite time of the day for us. We would have a different book almost everyday to sink our noses into. And of course we lived at the library, as selecting our next book to read was just as much fun as actually reading it.

Now I relish in my solitude times as I get to fit in even a couple of hours of reading. Anytime I can, I open my book to read.

As it turns out, my zest for reading has just recently resurfaced in the past year of so. As I found my time dwindling taking care of babies, with very little time for myself, I kind of gave up on reading too much beyond a magazine.

But once I discovered my local town library and saw their vast selection of ENGLISH books, I was in love all over again. How could I not take advantage? Especially seeing as that Costa Rica is Spanish speaking country and my library is fairly small compared to libraries up north that I am used to. The fact that their selection in fiction and leisure books rival that of a book store, I thank my lucky stars. I had to find time to read all those wonderful books, enticing me, calling out to me. Besides other mothers found the time to read, why couldn't I?

I signed up for a card (something I had been missing here in Costa Rica and a simple procedure) and started 'renting' books from the library once a week. And because the time you have to borrow a book here is so short, literally less than 2 weeks, you really have to be a fast reader, especially when you have little time to do so.

Right now I am reading 'Under The Tuscan Sun' by Frances Mayes. I can spend a vast amount of time selecting the perfect book to lose myself in. I just happened on this book and thought "Well, I did like the movie".

It's not much like the movie but a damn good read and to top it off, it has some simple Italian recipes inside. Two I will definitely try to make are the ravioli (store bought) with butter and sage and the peach tart (except I'll make mine an apple one).

It's such a good book, with exceptional writing, it's inspired me to get back to my own writing as well. For as much as I love books and love to read, it would be a pity if I weren't a writer as well.

Here is a list of a few of my favorite books and ones I have loved reading:

Waiting to Exhale by Terry Macmillan
The Lord of The Rings, The Fellowship of the rings
The Terrorists of Irustan by Louise Marley
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Kiss of the Spider woman by Manuel Puig
Small Island by Andrea levy
The Green Mile by Stephen King
Marley and Me (slipping the author's name)
The Nanny Diaries (author???)
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Whitney My Love (I forget the author)

And so many others I'll have to rack my brain (and make another list).... But you get the point. I LOVE to read. And whenever the mood strikes, I head over to my section of the library (the English section), carefully select a book that speaks to me after reading the back and perusing a sentence or 2 and then finally taking my treasure home to please my mind and play tricks with my imagination for a few days while I get lost in a another world, time or place (if only for a few hours a day).

17 LBS

Ring the bells, sound the alarm, rejoice the praises. I have lost 17 pounds.

I am excited and happy. BUT I thought it would have been more. I am trying to lose 20 pounds total, more if I can manage it, though I don't think I should 'manage it'.

It's been 7 months and all I lost was 17 pounds. It has a nice ring to it... 17 in 7. But I wanted it to be more, so I could just start focusing on maintaining instead of trying to sweat off those extra 3 pounds.

By September, I better be 125 lbs, come hell or high water.

BUT I am glad. Yay me!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

One Year Anniversary

I've been blogging for almost a year now, this month. I believe I started in May of last year.

I hope to keep on blogging for years to come.

This has become my outlet. A place to vent, talk (if anyone's listening LOL), test out my writing skills with a few short stories, share pictures and keep friends and family updated.

I can't believe as much as I love to write, I didn't start blogging sooner.

I am so thankful to all the (few) people that read my blog and actually enjoy it. I hope to broaden my readership base and have a few more followers before this year is through.

Maybe one day, I will be sharing the good news of a published book. Stay tuned.

A Bruised Heart... part 1

Mina glanced at her face in the mirror. It was almost unrecognizable. A tear rolled down her swollen cheek and she didn't even dare try and stop it. Her lip was bloody and busted at the corner. Just under her right eye, at the very tip of her cheek bone was bruised an ugly purple and reddish blue color. The finger marks around her neck made her look as if someone was still grabbing her there.

She brought her finger up to her lip and flinched at the touch. Her ribs hurt. Her arms hurt. She thought she might have broken a bone. Not this time though. She was good enough to stand, at which point she did and grabbed a T-shirt draped across her foot stool next to her bed. It was already damp with cold water. She used it to put a little pressure on her eye, which was practically swollen shut.

She decided not to leave the house today after all. Markus made sure of it. Mina was too vain. No amount of concealer was going to cover up the damage to her face. Markus knew this. Her over sized dark glasses was not big enough either. Over the years she's collected things to help hide what Markus had done to her: dark shades, just big enough to have their own zip codes. Scarves to wrap around her neck or head. And a vast collection of makeups, concealers, eye liners, lipsticks, to blend in with the bruises or cover them all together.

It was another stupid fight. She blamed herself (of course). She had provoked him. But she had no idea he would take it this far. She didn't want to place the blame totally on his shoulders though. What was she thinking. She walked slowly over to the bathroom vanity and turned on the faucet. She let the water run for a while before wetting the shirt again. Her nice Victoria Secret shirt was ripped. Well, there's goes another $30 dollars, she sighed. Maybe she should stop wearing such nice clothes. So far this year (and it was still early), she had lost 6 shirts. A few pants and a nice skirt. Some were too bloodied to salvage, others ruined by tears too ugly to patch.

She slowly took of the shirt, it was one of her favorites (they all were, really), and tossed it in the waste basket by the vanity. She walked over to her closet and grabbed an over sized T-shirt from her dresser she sometimes wore to go jogging. That would do. She had a shit load of work to do and she'd better get it done before Markus came back.

He'd left after their fight, as always, to cool down. He had explained to her, in so many words when he left, that he didn't want to come back to a "shit hole".

"Please have this place cleaned up Min", he'd sounded like he was pleading. His tone had changed from that of a wild beast to man in need. She felt bad. If she hadn't fought back, maybe she wouldn't have broken that antique Chinese vase his great aunt had given them for their 1st year anniversary. Maybe if she hadn't run away she wouldn't have toppled over the end table in the living room and broken their brand new lamp, almost $100 at Best Goods.

The wall plaster was his fault though, and he would have to fix that. And the photo frames were his fault too. OK, a few were hers. After all, she'd thrown a couple of them at him, one of them was a wedding photo. It had clashed into the wall behind him and smashed into pieces, wood and all. That frame was from Antiques and Things. Her best friend Alex had gotten it for her. She had went there a couple of days after receiving the frame to browse in the store and to spend her $150 gift card she got from her sister. She'd spotted the frame: $60! For a frame. Oh well, she'll have to replace the frame from the Dollar General for $5.

She still felt a pain in her side from where Markus's boot came in contact with her ribs. She'd heard a crack and thought he'd finally broken a bone, but when she got up, the pain that shot through her passed fairly quickly. Now there was a dull throbbing pain there.

As a matter of fact, her whole body ached from the ordeal, which lasted all of 10 minutes, maybe.

What had happened? She'd cooked a nice meal. It was Saturday, and she'd gone to the grocery store to pick up a few things for the dinner she'd had planned. She wanted the meal to be extra special because she was about to tell Markus she'd planned a girls night out with her girl-friends (the few she had left). There would be 5 of them in total. All friends she's had for ages, except Kelsy, who was a newbie. Someone she worked with and had known for about 5 months. But they'd become close, and Markus trusted her because of all Mina's friends, she was the only married gal.

Mina had had close to 15 really good girlfriends. But over the years some had moved away, due to family or careers. A few had lost touch with her, mainly because of Markus. They suspected 'something' was up and they didn't approve of him or his antics. As one good friend had told her once, "Markus is a pretty face hiding a terrible self".

Mina guessed because he'd had a few outbursts, embarrassed her a few times in front of them, that he was a bad guy. They didn't want to put up with him, so they stopped 'putting' up with Mina.

While at the grocers, she'd picked up a pork roast. Markus loved pork. She would slow roast it in the oven for a few hours with a few carrots and celery stalks, onions, garlic, parsley, thyme, onion powder, cream of onion soup and some tomato paste.

She picked up some russet potatoes that she would drizzle with olive oil and salt and oregano and roast in the oven alongside the pork roast.

She also selected a package of diced squash that she would mash with garlic and salt and a little butter. She figured too, that with the leftover lettuce and tomatoes and cucumbers she had int he fridge, she's whip up a quick salad. As she headed towards the checkout, she stopped by the bakery and picked up a chocolate tart. She liked baking, but with all she had to do that evening, she didn't think she'd have the time. Plus Markus loved chocolate.

Markus had to work so she had had the whole day by herself. He liked a clean house, so she spiffed and polished and swept and dusted. It was funny to her and to most of her friends that Markus insisted that she work (so as to keep herself busy) but also expected her to fulfill all the duties of a typical house wife.

"What does Markus do when he's home?', Alex had asked her one afternoon as they strolled the downtown shops on her lunch break. Alex was a life long friend, known Mina since they were 3.

"Well," Mina was trying to not sound too sarcastic. "He watches TV".

Alex laughed, that loud guttural laugh she does. "You serious ain't you girl".

Mina nodded, a wry smile on her lips. Alex glanced at her watch. "Anyway I'll get up with you soon, gotta run back to the office and finish this damn project nobody else seems to know how to do but me." She rolled her eyes, then leaned in to kiss Mina on the cheek, give her a quick hug and then sped off in a cloud of Chanel number 5.

Mina loved Alex, envied her at times. Alex was single mother. She had 2 kids, boys. But she was so carefree. So alive. So set. Mina wanted that. Of all her girlfriends, Alex was her closest friend, her confidant. But Mina dared not tell Alex the truth about Markus. Alex was protective of Mina and she feared Alex would try and kill him.

It was around 6 and Markus was due home in about 30 minutes. Mina figured she'd take that last half hour to finish getting herself ready. She'd sped up the stairs two at a time and rushed into the bathroom. She washed her face and brushed her teeth. She sprayed some VS body spray on her neck, arms and in her hair for good measure. Then she pulled her VS v-neck teal shirt out of her closet and pulled it on. A quick puffing of her hair and she headed to the full length mirror to give herself a once over.

That would do, she thought. Although Mina was a pretty girl, it really just ended there. She wasn't as exotic looking as Melody, who got mistaken for Selma Hyack all the time. She didn't have long ass legs like Alex, who was told her whole life to be model. Her hair wasn't glossy thick and beautiful like Kelsey's, who looked like she'd just got done shooting one of those hair commercials. And she didn't have the flawless skin and long ballerina neck like Iesha, who everyone thought was 10 years younger than she actually was.

Mina was just pretty. She had smooth skin, but not flawless. She had a nice body, but her stomach could stand be flatter, her thighs a little thinner, her ass a little bigger.

Her hair was super curly. Downright frizzy on a humid day. Her eyes were clear as glass, a green marble color. Her eyes, she thought, were her best feature. Even Alex, with her big dark brown eyes, always told Mina how she envied hers.

She hurried back downstairs and headed for the kitchen. With the last few minutes to spear, she opened a bottle of red wine and poured a glass for Markus, leaving it on the counter top. She downed hers in 4 seconds flat, wiped up the dribble from her lips and washed out the glass, placing it carefully in the dish rack.

She smoothed her jeans out, somehow it felt tighter than usual today. She'd have to hit the gym too on Monday, she made a mental note. She over did it yesterday at the Frances' Bar-B-Que. Oh well, she thought. One day out of seven ain't bad. I can give myself a break.

She heard Markus's car pull into the driveway and remembered that she had forgotten to pull hers out earlier.

Shit, she thought. She's gonna have to bug him to move it so she could leave. They needed a wider driveway. She was tired of the pulling out and in bullshit.

Markus walked in the door. He looked tired. Working 6 days a week was exhausting. But in his line of work, Saturdays ended up being his busy day.

"Something smells good", he cooed. He reached her in a few steps and planted a kiss on her thick full lips.

"Ugh, why you got lipstick on", he was wiping off his mouth. He gave a once over and noticed she was nicely dressed.

"Where you been", he asked, heading to the kitchen. She followed.

"Not 'where I been', but where am I going". She handed him his wine glass and he guzzled it and held it out for more. She went to pour him another glass.

"Nah, Min, baby, I'm tired tonight, OK."

"I know, not me and you going, but me and the girls gonna have a night out. You know it was Melody's birthday last week but since she was out of town, we're celebrating tonight." She pushed past him to the oven and pulled out the roast, setting it on the island.

A scowl came across his face. She hated when he scowled. He looked ugly. And Markus was fine. Scowling distorted his face; gave him to many winkles.

She remembered when she first saw Markus. She was just about fresh out of college and had gone to one of those mandatory workshops for soon to be graduating seniors where they tried to counsel you on how to find a job, what markets were good, life after college, etc.

He was sitting a few rows across from her and she noticed he was staring. She blushed and smiled. After the workshop, he had approached her while she was talking to a few of her soon to be former classmates. They'd talked for hours that day, exchanging phone numbers and talking again for hours that night.

He was a transfer. But he was graduating too. She'd never noticed him on campus before. Well, he'd said, it was a big campus. She had to agree. And they both laughed. He asked her out and she accepted.

She had to pinch herself that night before going to bed. As fine as he was; tall, lean and well muscled like a track star, she couldn't believe he was interested in her. He had caramel colored skin and eyes the color of toffee. His wavy hair was cut short. His smile was wide and bright. He had perfect teeth, a result, as she found out later, of 4 years of braces.

Their first date was magical. He's taken her to a little hole in wall soul food restaurant. She didn't remember what she'd ordered as she barely ate. But he had ordered a huge plate of fried catfish, collared greens, corn bread, fried green okras and rice. he polished his plate off. How in the hell did he eat so much, she wondered and stay so fit?

They shut the restaurant down but weren't ready to call it a night just yet. He escorted her to a little cafe near campus, one she had frequented as well. They stayed there talking until 3 am over cappuccino and scones, blueberry tarts and muffins. She was on cloud 10 when he walked her back to her dorm room and kissed her passionately on the lips for 10 seconds (she had counted as she didn't want the kiss to end) before bidding her a good night. She watched him walk away and only went inside once his frame had disappeared from view. It was the perfect first date.

"... is such a good idea tonight" she heard Markus saying. She snapped herself back. Daydreaming about the early days was no good.

She took a long loud sigh. "It's just a couple of hours, Mark and I made dinner that we can eat together before I go." She gestured to the roast and the potatoes that she'd placed beside them. "The rest of the food is on the dining room table" she said, "in the chafing dish."

"I don't give a fuck what you made, I'm saying right now you can't go... it's not a good night tonight alright." His voice had changed. It was gruff, demanding. Uncompromising. From her years with Markus and her experience with is moods, she should have just dropped the issue. But she continued. She deserved this night out. She worked 5 days a week in an office, 7 days a week in the house.

""We're not even going far," she continued. "Be fair, Mark."

He slammed his hand on the counter. Hard. It was granite and she felt it shake from where she was standing and leaning on it.

"Min, call your little girlfriends, who have nothing better to do, and tell them you can't make it, not tonight. Maybe next week. End of story". He walked off towards the living room. "Now look, I done lost my damn appetite."

"Mark, please", she was close to tears. She felt like a 16 year old begging her parents for a later curfew or permission to go to a school dance. "Please, Mark..." her voice trailed off and she took a few seconds to compose herself.

"Listen, Kelsey is going and even her husband gave her his blessing. He's a nice guy, not as controlling as you and...."

She didn't get to finish her sentence. For Markus, her comparison to someone else's husband, like he wasn't good enough, was the last straw. He took his fist and punched her square in the face. Mina lost her balance and fell back, tripping over her legs and falling to the floor. She hit herd head on the coffee table.

Markus didn't give her time to recover. He lunged towards her and pulled her up by her throat, snarling. Mina was terrified.

"I... can't... brea... Mar... le... guh...." she was trying to talk, but the words wouldn't come out.

"You wanna marry Kelsey's man, huh?". He punched her again in the eye. She struggled against his blows, he wouldn't stop. She finally wiggled away. She got as far as the mantle and as he rushed towards her she picked up the closest thing she could get her hands on, a photo frame, and hurled it at him. The first one cracked him in the head. That pissed him off more. She ran, not fast enough and her grabbed her by her hair and whirled her around.

Throwing her to the floor, his face dark and sinister, he kicked her a few times before she scrambled away on her hands and knees. The last kick came in contact with the wall, where he kicked off a piece of the paint and plaster. She heard him yell out in pain and frustration. She didn't want to remember anymore . Or she couldn't. Her brain was tired.

All she knew was it was the worst beating she'd gotten form Markus. Maybe he was making up for how long they'd been in a honey moon period, seeing that the last time he'd even raised a hand to her was maybe 3 months ago.

The last time they'd fought, Markus had gotten mad because a friend from her college days had called, a guy. He didn't like it, he'd told her. Men had no business calling other men's wives, unless they were looking for the husband. She'd told him that was stupid, that Kym was married, with kids and lived hundreds of miles of away. That he was acting jealous for no reason and for him o get a grip. That caused him to spin out of control. She'd gotten a fat lip that time and a few blows to the head.

He'd come back late that night and apologized, crying that he didn't mean it. That he didn't want her to leave him. That he was an asshole and he was going to try and change, for her sake. He'd brought her her favorites, pink roses and a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. He'd also made love to her that night like he'd never done before. It was amazing. She'd cum 3 times.

In all the years they'd known each other and been married; dated for 2 years, married for 3, Markus had only barley hit her. Well barely as in, never to the point he did tonight. Once when they were dating, he'd pushed her and threatened to kick her ass.

Right after the wedding, literally 5 minutes after the ceremony while they were en route to the reception, he'd slapped her in the face because she'd called his sister fat and laughed.

In the 3 years they'd been married he'd hit her maybe a total of 8 times. A few times nothing serious. Other times, she'd gotten a bloody nose, or lip or a shiner.

But he always came back and apologized. And after the 'I'm sorry', he'd be good for a while. She wondered sometimes if he was sick, like mentally. Sometimes he didn't remember the fight or even hitting her, even though she had the bruises to prove it. Many times he'd come back and blame her and beg her to not provoke him. That he loved her but she was difficult and all he wanted to do was love her and she made it hard. She'd accepted that fact.

Over the years, he'd grown more and more controlling. He'd stopped her from hanging out with men. He limited her outings with her friends and didn't like anyone who wasn't married or in a serious relationship. He started telling her what outfits were appropriate to wear and which were off limits, unless she was with him.

He was like two different people: The Markus she fell in love with and married and the one friends loved and got along great with and the hidden Markus that no on but she knew.

She wasn't sure which was his true side. She didn't know how she could not have noticed how he really was when they were dating. Or maybe she did.

The first time he actually hit her, she brushed it off but it had frightened her. She didn't know who to talk to so she'd called his mother. If anyone knew Markus, it would be her. Maybe she could talk to him.

But his mother made it worse. She'd asked Mina what she'd done. When Mina told her, his mother went on the defensive.

"Well, Mina, what would you expect. He's very protective of his sister. I am sure he didn't mean nothing by it. Just apologize, be good from now on and things will be alright, OK Baby". Mina never called his mother again. Except on occasions when she had to.

The downstairs was a disaster and she was tired. But she got to work. Straightening up, picking up broken wood and glass. Sweeping up what she could in the dust pan . Putting things back in their place. The pictures that were left homeless she placed on the mantle until she could get to the store to find them replacement homes. The phone had rung 8 times while she was cleaning up. She knew who it was even though they never left a message. Her girlfriends. Probably still out having a blast without her.

After the fight, she had immediately called Melody and told a her a bullshit story of not feeling well.

"I think I'm getting my period", she lied, "these craps are killing me."

If there was any acceptable excuse for canceling on your girlfriends, especially on a night you had planned, it would have to period cramps. Every woman knows how much that pain can knock you out. Almost as bad as labor. Melody said she understood and would drink a few margaritas for her.

Sh glanced at the humongous clock above the fireplace with it's Roman looking numerals. It was almost 10. They were probably calling to check in on her.

At 10:15 Alex called.

"Girl I hope it's cramps you've got and you're not blowing us off for some mind blowing sex with that hot ass hubby of yours... she could hear them giggling in the background. They were wasted.

"Anyway," Alex continued "We missed you a lot tonight. Feel better." There was a long pause and then the background got quiet. "Listen" Alex whispered, " I'll come and check on you tomorrow OK. I hope you're really OK." She stressed the really as if she knew what was up. Then she gave a few kisses into the phone and hung up.

Mina knew she was going to have to make sure she wasn't home tomorrow when Alex came to visit. She didn't know how she would explain away all the bruises, the lip, the finger prints around her neck (which looked even redder and uglier now.)

This was not a black eye that she could cover up. No more excuses about how clumsy she was, falling down the stairs, getting hit in the eye from a ball at her nephews softball practice or the like. She was running out of excuses and the last thing she needed was for people to know what she knew all along. That her husband beat her up and that there was nothing she could do about it.

Awww, Heaven

I was allowed to sleep in today. A rarity, even on a Saturday morning. But a late night last night left my kids zonked out until well past 8 am. I only woke up, really woke up, when I heard Princess trying to sneak out of the house so she could go next door to the in laws (no worries, the door was double locked).

I glanced at the clock as I lifted myself out of bed, feeling well rested. It was almost 8:30 (8:20 to be exact). That's better than the 7 am wake up, sometimes even as early as 6:30 am that these kids would wake up on the weekends. Gimme a break huh! Well they did. And while Princess woke up around 8 am, Fatty slept until well past 9. I was able to make a nice breakfast in peace.

Breakfast of champions: 'pinto', tuna fritters, breaded and fried boiled eggs and tuna empanadas

That hefty breakfast, along with a good nights rest = Heaven.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

They Don't Tell The Truth

You know what I hate? Super skinny models who lie about HOW they stay so super skinny.

Yeah, I know you know what I'm talking about.

All the time, they come on TV and when asked about how they stay so thin, they always give a bullshit answer. At least it seems like it to me anyway.

Some of them say they still eat whatever they want and NEVER exercise and it's just genes. For lot of people that's true. But come on, give the rest of us a bad name because we have to actually work at being thin (and I don't mean eating disorder thin).

Then there are the actresses who say how much they love their junk food and they just happen to never gain weight.

Be real and honest. I love it when a model tells the truth. Why did it take her only 2 weeks to lose 60 pounds of baby weight? Because she worked her ass off and lived at the gym and only ate salads. That's why. Most people take a year to lose all or most (if at all) their baby weight. Why do models and super stars take a month? You know why.

How do they stay so thin? They work out everyday and rarely eat junk. That's why. They have personal trainers, a private home gym, a nutritionist on staff and a dietitian on call. Not to mention a personal chef or meal home delivery system. That's how come they look so good. They pay up the butt to make sure of it.

The average woman can barely afford to go to the gym, whether financially or time wise.

They also stay away from Micky D's and french fries (for the most part). They treat fast food like it should be treated... as a 'TREAT"! Most people eat that stuff on a daily basis. They also tend to always eat their fruits and veggies.

Granted there are stars that take the healthy lifestyle a bit too far. Like for instance, eating only raw foods, never drinking anything else but water, trying every latest diet fad out there and going to the gym for 5 hours everyday.

I'll take my size 'whatever' body at the moment and be able to eat what I like and exercise minimally over that routine. But at least they're honest about how they keep the fat at bay.

I know I have to work out and watch what and how much I eat in order to have the body I have now. I am OK with that. I wish I was the type of person that could eat what I wanted and never HAD to exercise and never gain weight. But that's not me. Plus exercise is not just about losing weight. More important is keeping healthy and without exercise, that is virtually impossible.

So if you're super skinny and you claim all you eat is junk, never exercise and still never put on a pound, then I guess, lucky you. Dammit. But watch out: working out, even minimally, will help you out in the long run.

I've Been So Beat!

The last few weeks I have been so exhausted, I've reverted back to daily daytime naps.

I tell you, nothing like a nap in the afternoon to quench the soul. I have just been sooooooooooo tired.

I know why I am tired. I exercise EVERYDAY (well 5 days a week). I cook, clean, do laundry, take care of the kids, take care of the Hubby, playgroup 4 days a week, etc. And with less than 8 hours of sleep many nights. Most nights it's about 5 or 6 hours. The late nights are my fault really. I love my TV time (and about the only time I get to be alone are when the kids are in bed... or when I go running). So I relish my alone times. Just so happens that my 'alone moments' come late at night or really early in the mornings.

But with all that I do and with the lack of a good nights sleep (especially recently with the kiddos being sick), it's all just catching up to me now.

I use to nap everyday with Boobie when he was younger, per my doctors advice. It was a lifesaver. And then I got used to it. It was hard to break nap time as my body would automatically start shutting down around the same time everyday in anticipation for it's nap.

With everything I had going on, nap time was just something I couldn't fit into my schedule anymore, until recently. I just had no choice. Most days I zonk out on the couch... TV still going. But then I wake up ready to face the evening with new vigor.

I hope these kids appreciate nap time now. Because as I've learned, it's a rare treat as an adult.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Coughs

The kids are still sick. They've been struck with a case of "The Coughs". Thankfully they're not bedridden, throwing up or fevered down. Just 'The Coughs" and some runny noses.

However, it's been weeks and they're still coughing. They take the medicine alright. But I have to take a few more pre-cautions. It's just been way too long for them to still be burdened with this cough (especially when it wakes them out of their slumber late at night).

So from now on, no more dairy. It causes mucous and irritates the stomach even more when you have a cold.

No more playing outside until dark. It's winter now and their little behinds must be kept indoors. And they must ALWAYS wear a sweater/jacket while outside.

I know if we were back in Boston, they would have no choice but to be kept indoors. But here in CR it's just that much harder. And living RIGHT next door to my in laws doesn't help. My kids prefer to be there than here, at home, any day of the week. So keeping them inside is a feat in itself.

Also, they must eat better. My kids nit pick and snack all day long IF you let them. It's a struggle to get Princess to eat much in the mornings, yet an hour later at playgroup she claims she is 'hungry' and wants a snack.

Fatty is my eater, but even he is becoming a picky eater at times. I just have to take better care of them. They are my precious miracles and I hate when they're sick. I am thankful they're not THAT sick, but I don't want them to get any worse, so drastic measures are in order. Starting right now. They're NOT going to like it (not one bit).


Yes, somehow May snuck up on us and we're smack dab in the middle of 'winter' already.

Well I shouldn't say May snuck up on us. But already it feels like the year is halfway over when really, it's still just in the beginning. I keep counting on my fingers how many months now since Boobie's been in school: just a mere 4 months (not even). It feels like he's been in school an eternity already.

And because winter (the rainy season here in Costa Rica) started early (like in March), it feels like it's later in the year than it actually is. Sucks. And doesn't suck at the same time. I have so much to still look forward to. Like more upcoming birthdays, 4th of July (check out my countdown), Mother's Day (Costa Rican style), Halloween and of course the mothers of all holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas.)

But I am savoring the fact that it is only just May. And I have mucho tiempo before this year is even over yet. So while my mind reels with all I have to look forward to, I am taking it one day at a time.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Some Good News To Share

I'd been bitching lately about Boobie not doing so well in his new school and just really stressing out about it. But lately he has been doing an exceptional job and I just have to share.

He has not gotten any notes home of complaint in a LONG time which is a sign of vast improvement in his behavior.

He has been doing his work and doing a good job too.

He's been listening in class and at home.

He didn't turn into the perfect child over night as he still has a long ways to go and a lot of work to do. But I have to tell ya... I am liking the (semi) new Boobie.

I like not being scared to open up his books at the end of day, worried what I might see from his teachers. I like knowing that he's doing his work and passing his exams. It's a good sign. And I have confidence now that come report card time I won't be too embarrassed to receive his 1st trimester grades.

This is a project he did for Social Studies. It's a model of Costa Rica. He got 100!

He got 100 on his Science test. The first 100 in ages. And he was only 1 of 3 students that got 100!!!

I am so proud of you Boobie. Keep up the great work.

Oh and I owe him c1.000 colones. For every good grade he gets (above 80), he gets c1.000. He stopped getting an allowance because I just didn't see the point in rewarding him for his bad behavior (and grades). So now he has to earn money by doing good in school and at home. I don't pay for chores as that is a given and something he HAS to do.

This method seems to be working out great. He wants to earn his own money, he has to do well and work hard at his job, which is school. I hope when he gets his report card I'll be shelling out money left and right for all the good grades he got. LOL

Tell me some of your methods to get your kids to do well in school.


It's Sunday, May 9, 2010 and it's Mother's Day. I wasn't expecting anything really, so imagine my surprise when I did get wonderful gifts from my kids and hubby.

The picture Princess drew for me...

The flowers Boobie picked for me...

And the breakfast Hubby and Boobie made me.

I feel on top of the world.

Now mother's Day isn't celebrated until August in Costa Rica, but for me, today is Mother's Day. It's what I grew up with my whole life. It's the day I know and recognize as my special day and special day for all moms. Now I am lucky as most people say, since I get to celebrate TWO Mother's days. But really, this is the day that means the most to me and the one I really care about. So I was glad I was appreciated on this day of all days.

While Princess and fatty have no idea what today means, they try. Princess wished my "Happy Birthday " on two separate occasions (because special days to her means it's your birthday). And Fatty just goes along with everyone and wished me a "Happy day" after a prompting from his big brother. LOL.

Right now Hubby is outside with the kids playing to give me a much needed break. *sigh* I feel great.

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there, who get this ONE day out of 365 to feel like a super hero.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Princess's Dora The Explorer Birthday Party

My Princess is 3 years old!

Cruising in her Barbie Jeep!

Chilling out in the play room.

Taking a break in her play house

And hanging by the play 'kitchen'. She is such a big girl now.

So I had a Dora Party for Princess. Seems like Dora is a VERY popular party theme for 3 year olds. Who would have thunk it! Princess is enamored with Dora, so it was a no -brain-er really as to what kind of party I would throw for her.

I wanted to set the tone just right, so of course I made Dora invitations with Princess's picture on them. Everyone knows an invitation can set the entire tone of a party and I wanted people to know this would be a Dora adventure so come prepared. Of course it's me so everything had to be 'just so'. I had spent my entire motherhood planning what I deem to be spectacular parties, but I always had to compromise on something, somewhere. I didn't want to this year so I did most of the decorations myself, the set up and the planning. I needed to get this party right, since I was doing it on a much smaller scale than previous parties.

I also knew it would rain so I hoped it wouldn't dampen the festivities.

I had about 17 kids, plus my three, so 20 in total. Then I had 21 adults, plus me and Hubby. So a total of around 43 people... not bad for a rainy B-day party. And as I was told, a pretty BIG party.

So it rained... but luckily before all my guests arrived

And it rained some more. But by the time everyone got to the party, it had stopped. Thank heavens.

I made a ton of food.... Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken), tuna rice casserole bake, tuna pasta salad, Rotini in ground beef mushroom tomato sauce, mini fish pancake fitters and cupcakes. Mil made her 'famous' salad. And yes I had a little of everything, including cake. Oh and there was Cantonese rice and pudding and coffee.

I set up crackers and cream cheese, 2 kinds of chips, cookies, pretzels, Funyuns and plantain chips mix, banana bread I made and fruit salad.

The cake... store bought. I had grand plans to bake the cake but I just didn't have the time. Plus I settled on the fact that I baked cupcakes... and I had baked Princess a cake for her actual birthday so I was satisfied with that.

I knew what I wanted the cake to look like and I wouldn't settle on just any old round or square sheet cake. It had to have a 'wow' factor, which is what I was going for AND 2 tiers. Store bought or not, I was going to make the cake that was ideal for a 3 year old's Dora party (and the cake of my dreams). So I got 2 round cakes of different sizes, white chocolate and dark chocolate. Froze them, put them on my cake platter and "decked" it up. I added the stars I'd made and marshmallows, to fill in gaps and "prettify" the cake some more. Then I went ahead and decorated the cake table. It came out perfect, if I do say so myself.

The Dora head I made on the wall behind the cake. Surprisingly Dora is one simple character to draw. Took me all of 5 minutes.

The birthday Princess

The decorations

Rainbow Forest/Bosque de Arco Iris

The decorations were carefully planned out as I knew what I was going for (of course).

This idea I got off the Internet. How cool is this, using photos of the birthday girl as decorations.

Windy Valley... with streamers actually blowing in the wind. LOL.

The coloring station

We did a game using the famous Dora map (I got the map off the Internet and printed it up). Swiper swiped the pinata (gasp) so the kids had to use their map to go through The Windy Valley, The Rainbow Forest/Bosque de Arco Iris and across Crocodile lake to find it. In order to cross the lake though, the kids first had to go on a scavenger hunt to find Swiper and little cut out foot prints of Princess's feet.

Swiper, you sly fox

Explaining the 'expedition' to the kids.

They were pretty excited.

"Swiper no swiping"... too late!

Searching for Swiper.

Kids had a blast. Especially using the special binoculars to try and find Swiper.

What do you see.... is Swiper over that a way?

Hurry up...

Yes, Swiper was hiding in the 'forest'.

There you are Swiper. "Aw man!"

Now we can cross Crocodile Lake.

Careful, those crocs do bite. LOL.

Now we've made it to the Rainbow Forest/Bosque de Arco Iris and it's time to Pin the Back pack on Dora.

Pinning backpack on Dora. You know she needs that backpack as Dora goes nowhere without it.

Now it's time to color some Dora and Boots coloring pages... hurry, we still have to find that Pinata for Princess.

Princess's Dora picture.

After a a fun time coloring, it was off to the Gold Tunnel/Tunel de Oro to retrieve the pinata Swiper had swiped.

Gold Tunnel/Tunel de Oro

YAY! We found the pinata.

Ok, now for some fun games.

Time for Pass the backpack.

Sack racing time!

Yes, even Princess wants to race. And she does not want any help thank you very much. She want to do it herself.

And she does!!!

Pinata Time!!!

Cake Time!

Happy Birthday To You!

Time for presents...

A Dora hamper... way cool!

It's a puppet! Time for some puppet shows.

Decorative hair clips. Perfect for 4th of July (or anytime really).

Loving this outfit.

And this one too.

And this dress is so cuuuuuuuute!

And of course Princess was in love with her new baby doll... she would not put it down for the rest of the evening. Even slept with it that night and took a bath with it the very next day.

The Princess card I picked out for Boobie and Fatty to give their sister.

And a lunch box, stocked with goodies.

It was a GREAT fiesta. Almost perfect, if not for the little rain. Everyone had fun. And I felt it went well. I had blast planning it and executing it. I didn't do EVERYTHING i set out to do, but I was better off for it and it turned out to be a better party despite it. I'm already dreaming up ideas for next year. You know me. In my head, I am always planning something.