Sunday, May 31, 2020

We Bought A New Fridge And Other Wonderful News

We bought a new fridge and, as exciting as that is, that is not the only good news I have to share in this blog.  We actually bought two new appliances last week and I have been loving my new purchases so far. But before I get into details about our new "toys", I have some great news I just have to share.

The best news of the week has to be my oldest son getting his very first job!  My son is 20 years old, recently out of  high school and just waiting on a few minor details to be sorted out before he can head off to college.  But before all that can happen, he needed a job and the deal was that after we got back from our epic Boston trip and month long vacation, he would look for one.  It took a little bit longer than expected for him to secure a job because of the whole pandemic and I honestly gave up hope on him getting a job while we were still on this lockdown. But good news always has a way of fnding our family when we least expect it.

He and I went looking for starter jobs back in February as expectations of him getting anything serious was low.  He is very inexperienced and we just wanted him to get his feet wet with a bit of work experience before he headed off to college.  He needed to immerse himself into the real world and that meant he had to work.  After the lockdown happened, we decided to hold off on the job search as many businesses were closed anyway and jobs were few and far between.  Then one day, when the opportunity presented itself, I sent in a job application on Facebook to a call center just in case.  Well, that just in case gave my son a call last Friday.  By Monday he had the job and his first day of work was on Wednesday.  Tomorrow marks his second week as a working adult and I could not be more proud.

The job itself is pretty self explanatory as he works as a customer service rep in a call center.  It's a pretty decent job and an awesome opportunity for a first timer fresh out of high school.  He'll be making more money than he'll know what to do with and gain experience along the way.

Now on to our appliance purchases.  We have been looking to upgrade our refridgerator and stove for years.  For starters, both were over 14 years old and slowly falling apart.  Our stove was already a hand me down without a working oven.  And our fridge, while purchased brand new about 14 years ago, was not the fridge I had wanted. But it was cheap and it was a gift so I graciously accepted. 

For starters, the fridge was small. Bulk shopping each month always proved tricky and I had to play tetris every time I needed to arrange items in the freezer.  The fridge section was no better as items had to be taken out to reach other items in the back and it proved difficult maneuvering certain bulky items in and out of the fridge.  The doors lacked sufficient space as well, and over the years certain parts started breaking. To add to all those problems, the fridge atarted leaking and the door would not close on it's own.  I had to scoop water out of the bottom of the fridge twice a week or water would end up spilling out all over the kitchen floor.  We also had to get into the habit of not just slamming the door shut but kicking it as well to ensure that the door was closed properly.  Faiure to do so would leave the door ajar which, of course, was not ideal.  Also, temperature control was an issue as items would freeze in the fridge and veggies and fruits would go bad too quickly.  In short, our fridge was a nightmare that we had to live with for years. 

Finally, after much discussion, we decided to just go ahead and buy a new refridgerator.  Not just upgrading to a more functional fridge for our family that works but also stepping into the 21st century with a more technologically advanced appliance.  Oor dream refridgerator was a side by side stainless steel or equivalent with ice and water dispenser.  We also thought it would be nice to get one with a feature that would keep our produce fresh as long as possible.  We honestly didn't do much in depth research on what model or brand we wanted because honestly, we just wanted a basic fridge that worked.  Anything was better than what we had.

To be fair, I have to give credit to our old fridge for lasting so many years.  Even with all it's issues, it still kept our food cold and somewhat fresh.  That was one reason we kept it for so long as it did still work for the most part and the kind of refridgerators we were looking for are very pricey.  Appliances in general cost a pretty penny and we wanted to make sure we were ready to make such a huge purchase. With the ongoing remodel of our kitchen, we decided now was as good a time as any to not just upgrade the kitchen but the appliances as well. 

We ended up purchasing an LG side by side large capacity refridgerator with ice and water dispenser system in the door as well as wifi capabilities (an extra feature we probably won't even use). Having a bigger fridge means I won't have to play tetris with my groceries.  It'll be a nice change not having to worry about the amount of food I am buying every month, wondering whether it will all fit or not.  I also love the sleek stainless steel look of the fridge as it's very modern and fairly easy to clean. Plus having cold water at the push of a button is a luxury I can certainly get used to

The GE stove we bought is most definitly the upgrade we needed.  I finally have a working oven and it feels amazing.  I am in love with the glass cook top as it's sleek and easy to clean.  And I also love the stainless steel and black modern look.  The oven is also very spacious and the warming rack at the bottom gives amazing storage space. Holiday cooking and baking will be such a breeze from now on. After years of pining after a stove like this, I finally own one.

We are finally living a dream with our new appliances and I could not be any happier.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Trying To Get Back On Track

I have fallen off the wagon, again.  People make jokes, but I think we'll all be coming out of this quarantine life just a little bit on the fluffier side.  Thankfully I am still working out, but I have just been loving my snacks just a little too much.  I know I need to get back on track before I am too far gone, so starting this week, I will try to make the effort to not eat so much.

I don't really want to restrict myself too much but I know I have to cut back on all the snacking I've been doing.  Plus, I am doing myself no favors with all the super yummy but not so healthy foods I've been indulging in.

Ever since my return from Boston, it has just been super hard to get back to my normal way of eating.  My normal way of eating, admittedly, is not so normal but it has worked for me for some time and had helped me maintain a slim physique.  With strength training exercise I have gained some musle and have gotten more toned but I have also bulked up a bit as well. 

I know I should be happy and I am not that upset at all.  But I know me and I know what makes me happy and I am much happier 10 pounds lighter than I am now.  My family would tell me that I am crazy in wanting to lose 10 pounds.  They know I have body issues and while I admit I do, I still want what I want.  So starting this week, I hope to get back to a relatively better way of eating in hopes of slimming down just a tiny little bit. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Just Not The Same

We all know by now, with everything going on in the world, that life is just not the same as it once was.  We all yearn for a sense of normacly but at what price.  Are we willing to pay the steep price they want us to pay to get back to our normal lives.  And what constitutes as normal these days anyway.

Is it normal to wake up at 5 am and grind all day at work or school, come home stressed only to repeat the same normalcy day in and day out?  Is it normal to shop until your bank account screams at you?  Is it normal to never have anytime left in the month to spend time with loved ones?  I have to say, being on quarantine has defintely helped with those normal daily routines running a rat race.  Everyone seems to have more time on their hands now, we are all moving at a slower pace and there are no more excuses as to why we are so busy.  There's is nothing to do and nowhere to go.

On the other hand, it is not normal to not be allowed to visit loved ones.  It is not normal to not be able to head to a park or the beach.  It's not normal to wait outside a supermarket in an hour long line just to get inside to shop. It's certainly not normal not having the freedom to decide when to leave our homes, where to go and how to live.  Those small liberties have been slowly taken away for fear of a virus and we have unwittedly consented. This is our new normal.  And even when live resumes as it once was before, if it ever does, nothing will be the same.

Monday, May 11, 2020

A Quiet Mother's Day At Home

It was a good day.  Not a great day but I was pretty content with my Mother's Day. There were no fancy gifts, no elaborate plans or overly embellished cards.  It was simple, plain and simple. And for a celebration in quarantine, I really didn't mind the quiet day at home. 

My wonderful kids all made me simple yet beautifully created cards for my keepsake pile and that was the extent of the gift giving.  I made a delicious dinner and then pretty much chilled in bed the rest of the day.  It was my kind of celebration and I guess I would not have had it any other way.  No rushing to get ready, no pressure of picking the perfect place to go.  No unwanted presents and wasted dollars. It was just the Mother's day I needed this year, a quiet Mother's Day at home.

Now, as far as the rest of the year and upcoming celebrations and holidays, only time will tell how we will be allowed to celebrate.  Restaurants are opening back up slowly, as well as certain stores.  I want to take this time stuck at home to appreciate the little things, having no obligations and having nowhere to go.  And then when the world is ready to get back to normal, I will be waiting with my fancy jeans on, ready to go out and conquer.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

A Dream I'm Glad Came True

Before my kids started at their new school (almost three years ago) I dreamt of being a homeschooling mom. I wanted to homeschool my kids because I was seriously unhappy with their old school. I thought homeschooling would solve a lot of the issues I was having with their previous school, mainly the scheduling and dealing with staggered hours. Both kids entered and were dismissed at different times andI hated that.

I thought I might even have a little more control of what they were learning in school and of course I would be able to set our homeschooling times and be on a sort of flex schedule.  However, after researching homseschooling options in Costa Rica, I was informed no such thing existed.  Homeschooling was not recognized in Costa Rica and was in fact illegal. My dreams were dashed.

Fast forward a few years, and a change of school.  I love my kids current school and the thought of homeschooling them never crossed my mind again.  That is until the pandemic hit and shut down the entire world. All schools were closed and all parents essentially became their kids' teachers.  Everyone in the country and the world is now being homeschooled.  In a country where homeschooling was previoulsy illegal, they found a way to allow students the ability to do school work from home.

So now I am an unofficical homeschooling mom.  I have all the benefits of having the kids at home, setting our own hours and having a flex schedule and basically being in charge of my kids learning. But I do not have total control of what they learn as we are distance learning and having to follow the curriculum set by the ministry of education and the school.  I can't say I am complaining.  I am glad I got the chance to homeschool the kids and see what it is all about. It's nice being so involved in the kids' daily learning and being in constant contact with the teachers is a nice change of pace. But I also will be very happy when they all go back to school.  Mama needs some alone time and a couple of hours at home by myself.