Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Everyone Notices

It can be a good thing when people notice your weigh loss and compliment you on your hard work. But all that attention can turn sour when people start to comment on just how much weight you've lost in the negative.

You've seen my pictures. I am far from anorexic looking. Far from it. Yet at a recent family party, the attention I got, and the comments, made me uncomfortable and self conscious about all the wonderful weight I'd lost.

I have lost about 20 lbs through hard work: exercise and eating right (not dieting). I finally feel great in my skin, love my new body and get excited each day picking out my outfit to wear. My clothes fit great, I have so much more confidence and I finally feel like my old self again. I'm happy about the way I look for the first time in 4 years.

I have to say at first, having people gush over how skinny I am now was super flattering. Now though, it's just old. People actually say I am TOO skinny (so not true) and that I should not lose any more weight (don't worry, I am not trying to lose any more, just maintain).

I feel like people just don't get it. I was over weight before. Maybe not 'fat' by society's standards, but definitely overweight (and unhappy). And since I have to live in this body, I did something about it.

Am I thrilled to be thin once again? Hell YES! Am I happy with the compliments and attention? Yes, sometimes (it does get old real fast). Do I wish people would stop commenting on the negative about my weight loss? Please, yes.

At the forefront of that is my mother in law... quick to comment and agree with anyone who notices my weight loss as too much. I am "too thin" now, they say. Oh please. When did 125 lbs on a 5 ft' 4 in" woman become borderline anorexic (which is what Hubby's cousin called me).

I don't care. I will keep doing what I am doing. After all, it is my body. I know how I look. I know how I want to look. Trust me, I get the concern. But seriously, I am fine. I know my history, and it's not something I want to repeat. I am happy I lost the extra weight the 'right' way (the right way for me anyway). So to everyone who thinks I am too skinny, don't fret... I am just fine. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


That's right baby. I hit my goal weight of 125 pounds. According to the scale at the gym last night, I am currently 57 kilos, which is roughly 125.4 pounds. Whipppeeeeee!

My goal was to be 125 by September... I made it!!!

What do I do now? Celebrate. And try to maintain that weight while also working on toning.

Tae Bo

Unless you've been living under a HUGE rock for the last 10 years, I know you've heard of Tae Bo. Well, last night I tried out my first Tae Bo class at the gym. Verdict: DAMN!!!

It was HARD. I have to say the instructor was great, she knew how to kick butt, but she was way too fast in switching out the movements and she was just like a little energizer bunny on crack. She maybe thought everyone in the class was or should be on her level. Seriously.

I think I prefer the aerobics class... but I guess Tae Bo is not so bad. I liked the class but since I was still sore from aerobics the day before, I could only give the class 80% effort. And my sore muscles only made it that much harder... I had to give up on some of the arm movements.

I think I'll give Tae Bo a rest for now and try again some other time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Aerobics Class

I went with my friend D yesterday to my first ever 'live' aerobics class in a gym. Boy let me tell you... whoooooooo!

When D asked me if I wanted to go, of course I said yes. I have been running and doing other exercises for months now... what's a little aerobics class. Yeah I can do an aerobics class easy, I thought. I used to do aerobics at home years ago. Not a big deal. Right? WRONG!

She told me how sore her arms were from using the 2.5 pound dumbbells and I actually laughed. I lift a 15 a pound dumbbell for my weight lifting at home... 2.5 is NOTHING. Or so I thought (again).

OH MY GOODNESS! The aerobic instructor is EVIL! He worked us so good! My arms are STILL sore. I am still sore. How can that be: I've been running and toning and doing yoga for months now, an aerobics class should have been a breeze. Not so. I got such a workout... I can't wait to go back this Friday... and yet I dread it as well. Who knew how easy my workouts were at home (when you can go at your own pace and do what feels comfortable to you, it's not the same as keeping pace with a class with an instructor that thinks you should be able to do anything he throws at you).

I think I sweated out about 5 pounds (hopefully LOL). Man, I will never laugh at a 'simple' aerobics class again.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Never say Never

This is my new motto. Things I said I would never do, but have done:

Eat sushi.

Wear heels with shorts.

Drink (I used to think I would drink only Sparkling apple juice at my wedding... now I know I'll have that glass of champagne).

Run for exercise.

Go au naturale in public.

Have more kids without a marriage certificate (yeah this one went out the window).

Swear... oh you bet your ass I swear now... the F bombs drop like, well bombs from my lips now (not really, mostly I swear when I am really really angry).

Yell at my kids (LOL, I have to Laugh Out Loud at this one).

Eat mushrooms... ewwww, aren't they are fungus : )

Go to Catholic church.

Weigh more than 135 pounds (this was the wake up call to get in shape).

Leave Boston (meeting Hubby changed that).

Let my kids watch more than 3 hours of TV a day (having 3 kids changed that LOL).

And a few things I'm not brave enough to admit to on the world wide web... but definitely fit in the category of things I said I would NEVER do but have done.

Africa Mia

The latest vacation we took just a few days ago was to Africa Mia and Thermo Mania, Miravalles in Guanacaste. It was with a tour group, so it was an all inclusive trip; Transportation, lodging and food included.

Now, of course I will have to post pictures of this amazing trip (later)... it was our first time to Africa Mia and our second time to Thermo Mania, Miravalles. Picture post to follow.

What I want to blog about is Africa Mia. Ever since I saw the signs for Africa Mia, Ive wanted to go. It advertises itself as an Africa style safari type zoo... well, don't believe the hype.

While Africa Mia was 'fun' and the kids LOVED it, it wasn't at all what I expected. First off, the whole Africa Mia experience was less than 1 hour... the tour itself was so short if I had paid for the entrance itself I would have wanted my money back. LOL!

Second, they have like 6 or 7 types of animals, maybe 8 different species altogether. For a place that calls itself AFRICA Mia (with a strong reference to AFRICA), I thought it would be as close to an African Safari as one could get here in Costa Rica.

If you call yourself AFRICA MIA (which is My Africa), then you should have at least a few famous African animals on hand to wow the crowd. In this, Africa Mia did not disappoint totally, but I would not compare it to an African style safari at all.

For a place called AFRICA Mia, there was not even ONE lion or even an elephant, not even a single monkey. They did have African Zebras and Giraffes though, which was fun to see. Feeding the giraffes the bag of carrots we had previously bought was one of the highlights of the trip, with their long snake-like tongues slipping out of their mouth to grab a carrot and lick your hand.

Fatty and Boobie quite enjoyed feeding the animals (at least the ones we could feed). Aat our first stop we entered a petting style like area where we got up close and too personal to animals that looked a lot like deer). Fatty, so young and unafraid fed these animals like he would feed Foxy, our family dog. Princess was a bit afraid, but I could tell she still enjoyed the experience.

For me, I was in awe for the first part of the tour (just the fact that I finally made it to Africa Mia after all those years of wanting to go). But as the time flew by and we gazed upon more empty grassland than there were animals, my interest waned just a bit. I mean, it was like going to a small zoo. But even the zoos in the states have more animals than the selection offered at Africa Mia (which is big on space, but small on selection).

I loved that I got to see Africa Mia, and I get that they are still in the beginning phases... maybe 2 or 3 years down the road, Africa Mia will truly be able to live up to it's name. But if you are a Gringo used to zoos with tons of exotic animals, maybe Africa Mia will seem almost like a joke to you. Maybe not though. After all, I am still glad I went and will hopefully go again when the selection gets more varied and plentiful.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stop Beeping At Me

UGH! Why do cars, trucks, even buses, beep at me while I'm running? I know I don't know ALL those people.

It's not like they've never seen a girl running before... I see lots of females running, so I am not the only one. Geez! Leave me alone and let me exercise in peace.

On a positive note, I am getting faster and my runs are not that tiring anymore. My routes used to take me 45 minutes, now I am clocking in at around 35. I shaved off a good 10 minutes. I am trying to work harder so as not to get too used to my jog... I don't want my body to stop working hard. I still sweat and my routes vary each day... I have 2 running routes that I alternate on different days and a different walking route that I take, all with hills and inclines for a bit of difficulty. I'm hoping this keeps my body feeling like it's working hard so as to keep off those pesky pounds.

On another positive note, EVERYONE has noticed my weight loss. They say I look great but they also say I am too skinny and shouldn't lose anymore weight. (I guess they are trying to say I'm at a perfect weight now and don't need to loose anymore) But, PLEASE! I am NOT too skinny. I have hit my goal weight (YAY!!!!!!!).... but I want stay that way and it takes work. If I lose a pound or 2 in the process of trying to maintain, I won't complain. I just wish people wouldn't say how skinny I've gotten. I am not THAT skinny, trust. I am skinnier than before, true, but I still have lots of fat on me. LOL.

So for now I will keep doing what I'm doing. I just wish that those damn drivers would stop beeping at me... I don't know you. And if I do know you and you see me running and beep at me, sorry but I won't respond to your beep: I am too busy exercising.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why Is It

Why is it that whenever people here ask me where I'm from, I automatically say "Estados Unidos" (United States)?

I am Jamaican, proud to be, born and raised. BUT I was also raised in Boston (USA) as well. Do I identify more with Americans? Many people would say yes, since I hardly speak 'patois' (The Jamaican dialect), I have VERY few Jamaican friends and I am so far removed from my Jamaican culture and heritage it's like I am a joke, a poser. The fact is, I know more about the USA, it's history and culture than I remember about my own native motherland.

Yes, like most everyone, I love almost everything Jamaican. I love reggae and roots music. I love spicy Jerk chicken and just about all typical Jamaican cuisine (how can you not, Jamaicans can cook). I love the dance hall nightlife (at least watching it anyway). I love the country itself... it's beautiful. And I love the people. (I won't get into all the things I DON'T like or what's wrong with the country where I was born.... that's for another post).

Yes, I love being 'Jamaiquina", but I don't usually tell strangers that I am Jamaican when they ask me where I'm from. It's just so much simpler to tell them that I am American, which is technically true. It is my second home and I have considered it home for many years, something I haven't considered Jamaica to be for a long time.

My older son is American, born in Boston. Most of my closest family live in the States. And the fact is I AM AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. Which, in essence, makes me an American.

So when people ask me where I am from, I tell the simpler of 2 truths: The United States. After all, it's where I came from when I moved here, right?

I mean, how do I explain to people that I have never met before and will most likely NEVER meet again, that "I am Jamaican born and raised but also raised in the States, where I am also an American citizen, which makes me an American and so it's where my home is?" How do I say all of that in Spanish?

I'm better off just telling them that I am from Boston, which is the truth. But then, why do I feel slightly guilty afterwards, like I'm shunning my Jamaican heritage by not telling them the full truth. I mean, I don't owe these people any explanations, but how much better would it be if they knew the true me? I guess they already have their own assumptions about where I'm from until they hear me speak, then their curiosity peaks. It's just easier telling the half of the truth: I am American: I celebrate the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. My kids are all, or will one day be, American citizens, and it is the country I spent my tween and most of adult life. It's my second home but more like my real home than Jamaica. And so when you ask me where I am from, if I don't know you, you'll get my automated answer. I am from The States and damn proud baby.

My Accent

A few times now people have mentioned to me how well I speak Spanish... so well in fact that they (these native Costa Ricans) thought I was a fellow Tica. How cool is that.

I am happy I blend in because I would hate to be treated differently, like a Gringa, which can be both good and bad.

The fact that I am barely fluent (maybe 50%) makes this compliment all the more sweeter. I have a looooooong way to go with my Spanish, but in the last 4 years I have also come a loooooooong way. Ticos praise the fact that I actually make an effort with my pronunciation of Spanish words, trying my bestest to get the accent right. I learned this by living with Ticos for so many years, but I also learned it in school too. My teachers would compliment me on my 'skills' on speaking the Spanish language, not being a native speaker myself.

I feel great. Now I know that as long as I don't open my mouth, I will be looked upon as just another Costa Rica. On a recent trip, the bus driver who chauffeured our tour group mentioned that when he saw me, he initially thought I was Tica but as soon as he heard me speaking to my kids he knew I wasn't. According to him, my English was too perfect to be a native Costa Rican (I know what he meant, or what he was trying to say... not like there aren't any native Ticos out there who don't speak flawless English... I've met a few). But him saying that to me made me beam from ear to ear. And like I said, he was not the first to comment on my accent. I had heard that comment before.

I guess the effort pays off. I just need to work on my fluency. I am getting there though, one year at a time.

Did I Forget To Mention

Princess had her 3 year check last Monday and I couldn't be happier that things turned out fine. She had the usual checkup, on top of having a stool and pee sample taken and some blood work done.

After the results came back, the doctor gave her thumbs up and Princess is in tip top health. Things are A-OK. Did I say just how blessed my life is? Thank GOD.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Time Fun

Or should I say "winter time fun", since technically it's not summer here in Costa Rica. But it was a small break and since it coincides with summer break in the states, it felt like summer (minus all the rain).

Taking advantage of our short time off, while on vacation, I did a few activities with the kids to keep them a little busy, out of the house and entertained.

On top of vacation getaways, we hit up the library (I know), the mall and the movies!

At the mall arcade

Movie day at the library. First day was Ratatouille, second day was Tarzan. After each showing, kids were able to go into the kids room and do an arts and craft activity.

Princess with her Tarzan movie mobile.

Princess Made It In Tico Times

Well, not in the actual newspaper, but on their web site.

She had her picture taken by a Tico Times (The English language newspaper here in Costa Rica) photographer at the 4th of July picnic and I crossed my fingers she would make it in print. Well I bought the paper today and was disappointed that her photo wasn't in it: She's cute, who wouldn't want to put her photo in their 'periodico'.

However I noticed just how small the photo section was for the 4th of July coverage and saw that they had a whole video and photo section on their website, so I headed to the site to see if Princess was there.. and sure enough she was. Here's my 'famous' Princess in print (on the web).

Go to: ticotimes.net
Scroll down to: Multimedia Report: 4th of July
Search through the pictures until you get to my Princess

Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to get the actual photo on here :(
If you have a clue, let me know.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I NEED A Bigger ...

Trying to find space... anywhere

I just loved a stocked fridge and pantry... just wish I didn't have to work so hard to find the space.

Well, the list goes on for ages of things I need 'bigger' of, like a bigger house, a bigger car, a bigger chest... you get my drift.

But what I could use 'a bigger' of right now are a refrigerator and pantry.

I have a standard sized fridge. Good enough on most days. But when I go grocery shopping, and then calculate in left overs, its like my fridge is busting out at the seems, literally. Especially the freezer. I cannot stock that bad boy full or else I have trouble closing the door.

As for the pantry, I had to actually re-organize things, throw a few unused items away and de-clutter so everything would fit. I would love a double sided refrigerator and a walk in pantry. I guess a girl can dream, right.

It's funny because, back in Boston, I actually had a walk in pantry in my APARTMENT! I kid you not. It was so big, I had trouble filling it each month. And the extra space actually allowed us to set up our computer desk in there, so it also doubled as an office space. And we still had space leftover. I want that pantry in this house.

And while I am dreaming, I would love a new stove. As of right now, for the third time, the oven is busted and does not work. Stove top works fine, but all my baking is done next door at mother in law's (while mother in law enjoys her new nice stove with working oven, I piddle away with her old hand me down). I don't want to fix the oven for the 4th time... I want a brand new stove. I guess things could be worse, right. Oh woe is me... but at least I can cook. So for now, I will put up and just shut up. *sigh*

Cooking (and baking) Up A Storm

Baked from scratch, scratch (not a box mix) cupcakes. My first attempt and they were divine. They weren't gorgeous, but they sure tasted heavenly.

Vegetable lasagna and cheesy garlic bread. I damn near ate the plate it was so good.

Now this sloppy mess was so delicious, I ate this whole plate by myself. Saved me from getting seconds. LOL. Spaghetti topped with beef 'chili' and mounds of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese with a nice slice of garlic bread to sop up the juicy sauce.

And bow-tie pasta in a olive and garlic butter sauce with fried tortilla chips, re-fried beans and rice. Oh My Goodness. Salivate if you will 'cuz this was off the hook tasty!

4th Of July Picture Post

On arrival

The day was hot and there were people everywhere

Princess in her festive July 4th dress

Fatty in his patriotic attire for the 4th

Flags to go around waving

A new concept to Fatty

The formal ceremony

The proud crowd

Uncle Sam

The US Navy. Since we were so close to the airport, every time a plane flew over head, it sounded almost like a military airshow.

Games and fun ready to be had

Volleyball area

The kids area

Our departure

The live band

After the picnic, we headed over to San Pedro and to Hooters restaurant and Bar for some 'real' food.

Coloring and games for the kids

The food was good. The prices kinda high and the service top notch (pretty girls in short shirts and boobie shirts flirting with my kids LOL). Our first time at Hooters probably won't be our last.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

One Pedicure, Please

I finally found the time on Saturday to get me a pedicure. I got up early (well, early for a weekend day, seeing as the kids were still partially asleep), got dressed, made breakfast (seeing as Hubby would be a lot happier with food on the table before I took my leave), then headed out to the salon.

I was savoring my time alone, so few and far between, that I got to steal away sans kids in tow. I was in such energetic mood, I almost skipped all the way to the bus stop.

I had been meaning to get a pedicure for months now. Heaven knows my feet needed the pampering (and boy did my piggies appreciate it). But I could never find the time and every time I got tempted to take the kids along with me, I had to stop and think realistically: 2 small kids in a salon while I was stuck at a foot spa, not a good idea.

So when Hubby finally found some downtime to be home on a Saturday, I took my chance. And while I was at the salon, I decided, "why stop at a pedicure, why not get a manicure too, OR better yet, why not get some acrylics or gels on my nails."

I was super excited. My nails aren't strong, and as any mom will tell you, daily household chores and neatly manicured (natural) nails do not get along. So the next best thing was getting strong tips put on over your nails so you can maintain that sophisticated look of having great nails without the worry of breakage and well, not such good looking nails.

I didn't really want acrylics (they are horrible for your nails, as you know), so I was looking for something a little kinder. I figured gel would do, but the salon owner convinced me that, despite the higher price tag, getting organic nails was the way to go.

It was a wonderful time spent at the salon. My feet felt heavenly, especially afterwards and my nails are so 'purdy' now. Of course it's taking time to get used to my new paws... having longish nails are something I am not used to. But at least I don't have to worry too much about chipping (fake nails hold nail polish much longer than natural nails do) or breakage.

I hope I'll be able to steal some time to make another trip back to the salon for a touch up and in a few weeks or so, another pedicure. Next on my list, an appointment for a blow out. Now that would be celestial!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The 4th Of July

It's a day late, but I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.

We went to the annual picnic held by the American Colony Committee here in Costa Rica at the Cerveceria in Alajuela and we had a blast. It was HOT day, too hot and made it that much harder to enjoy the festivities with kids, but we manged.

While I have to say I was disappointed with the fact that they ran out of Boston Bagels (after I made line with 2 small hot hungry kids), that I failed to get any beads or patriotic leis, that they only had water and soda (no juice), that they had no more patriotic tattoos left and that the rides had no lines.... it was still a great day.

I didn't get to do everything I would have liked to do, like volleyball, balloon toss, etc (which would have made the day that much more fun) and the kids barely got to do anything besides play at the park. But there's always next year to look forward to.

The upside: Princess got her photo taken by a Tico Times photographer and might very well end up in the newspaper this Friday. I'll keep an eye out for it.

I'll have to post pictures of our day on another post.

I Think....

I think Fatty is ready to be potty trained (Oh Boy!). But I am anticipating an easier time than I had with both Boobie and Princess. Why, you ask? Well, because he's already showing the signs he's ready and he has expressed interest in using the potty, which is a good thing and the right signs to a great first start at potty training.

For a few weeks now, he's been going into hiding to do his business. He hates it when people look at him when he's busy with number 2... lets face it, who would like that: people staring at you while you go to the bathroom. So I knew the time was approaching for me to entice him into sitting on the potty just to get used to the idea.

Well, tonight as I was getting him and Princess ready for bed, I found him in the bathroom pointing to the potty. I didn't think much of it though. As soon as I walked into the bathroom followed by Princess, he started screaming "no" to us, his way of telling us to leave him alone so he can get down to the "nitty gritty dirty poopy". That tipped me off that he was doing his thing and to leave him be.

But he had been trying to tell me he needed to poop by going into the bathroom and pointing to the toilet and I missed his non verbal ques. By the time I asked him if he wanted to use the potty, to which he responded yes, it was too late. He'd already been in the bathroom for a good while and had already done the damage in his brand new diaper I had just put him in for bedtime.

I guess tomorrow starts the first day of potty training for both of us.

As for Princess, miss high and dry (sometimes); well lets just say, a few wet nights and damp mornings are still plaguing us. But at least she is put of diapers eh...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Princess's Bad Habit

Princess has taken up a bad habit lately, one she now shares with her big brother and her dad: nail biting.

Every chance she gets she has her fingers in her mouth and it irritates me to no end. First I had to deal with Boobie, now her.

And she not only bites her fingernails but one day I caught her, while she was on the potty, biting her toenails as well.

I hope it's a habit she will outgrow (unlike Boobie and Hubby, who still both occasionally nibble on their nails). Oy Vey!

First Time At The Movies

Heading out... in their new customized T's Hubby got them from the mall in San Pedro.

After the movies at Outback.... I so recommend this place in Escazu right by the Mulitplaza Mall. My dinner could have fed 3 people, the portions are HUGE. And the food is so delicious.

Coloring before our orders arrive

Waiting for a table

Loving the kids play space

After the movies

We loved Toy Story 3... but I wouldn't waste my money and watch it in 3d. Princess and Fatty hated having to keep the glasses on (thankfully we didn't pay for them) and there really weren't any totally awesome or cool special 3d effects to warrant the money.

Right before the movie... so excited

Having lunch at the food court before the movie... we had a good 2 hours before the film was scheduled to start (it was the only one in English and in 3d) at that early time slot.

Yes, that was a good sandwich.