Momma of Dos: 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

From 2010 to 2011

The past year has brought many, many things; good and bad...I embrace them all and look forward to another amazing year....

In this last year I have experienced:

  Jesus in my Life and Heart
A Husband who provides and supports 
A Blessed, Happy and Healthy Son
 A Blessed and Healthy Daughter on the way
  A Beautiful, Happy and Healthy Nephew
 Love
Peace
Happiness
 Accomplishments
 Affirmed Faith
 Long lasting Godly Friendships with Great Women
An Enduring Family
 A stable job
 Warmth
 Celebrations
 Praise
 Prayer
Strength
 Wisdom
Patience
Appreciation
 Acceptance
 Further Understanding
  A Caring heart
  Compassion
  Un-Answered Prayers {But for Good Reason}
  Life
Joy
Smiles
New Life
New Girlfriends
New Blog Readers {Ha.}
Confidence
Trust
Pain
Heartache
Growth
Responsibility
Sadness
Anger
Comfort
Survival
Foundation
Loss
Hugs by tiny arms
Kisses from Blessed lips
A listening ear

I am seeking a new year filled with...

Reconciliation
Confession
Repentance
Structure
Reality
Grace
Further Growth
Hope
Love
Security
Future
Humility
Respect for myself and others
Tenderness
Obedience
An Open heart
New experiences over all
Lasting Faith
New Friendships
A renewed Heart
A brighter smile
TO SHINE like God wants me to!

May the new year bring you and your family MANY Blessings!

Thank You for an amazing year and welcome 2011!!! We are ready for you!!!!

With Faith and God ANYTHING is possible!!!!!!







Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One MORE reminder before the year ends!!!!!

PROMOTION:

Rolando Huitron
the owner of Arson Entertainment and
Event DJ has asked me to feature his newest promotion.

Below you will find all the details for this upcoming event.

Don't miss out!

Especially if you are having a special event in JANUARY!

As an added feature; If your event is selected for this promotion, I will post about your special day and add you to my "Features of the Day"!!!


You can contact Rolando Huitron at
(281) 226-0858
or through his website at http://www.arsonent.com/index.html
or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Humble-TX/Arson-Entertainment/133503256683695?ref=ts

(Must click on picture to enlarge it)


Disclaimer: I make no promises, representations, guaranties or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of any information supplied to or by the stated website or vendor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we disclaim any and all liability with respect to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of any information supplied to or by this website or vendor and accept no responsibility for the reliability, and/or suitability for use. I undertake no responsibility hereunder. Please direct ALL correspondence in regards to this website or vendor to the stated contact person.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

♥ Blog-cation!

I AM WISHING EVERYONE A VERY VERY VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

I HOPE YOU RECEIVE EVERYTHING THAT YOU WANT AND THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY ALL OF THOSE WHO LOVE YOU AND WHOM YOU LOVE!

Christmas is about the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ so above all I wish you FAITH, LOVE AND CELEBRATION!!!!!!!

I will not be writing for some days....need a little tiny break.....

THANK YOU VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH TO ALL OF YOU WHO READ!!!! WHO COMMENT, WHO FOLLOW ME!!! I ENJOY YOUR COMPANY AND WISH YOU MANY BLESSINGS!!!!!!!!

Luke 2:16-20 (NIV) "So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told."


Connie

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

DON'T FORGET!!!!!!!

PROMOTION:

Rolando Huitron
the owner of Arson Entertainment and
Event DJ has asked me to feature his newest promotion.

Below you will find all the details for this upcoming event.

Don't miss out!

Especially if you are having a special event in JANUARY!

As an added feature; If your event is selected for this promotion, I will post about your special day and add you to my "Features of the Day"!!!


You can contact Rolando Huitron at
(281) 226-0858
or through his website at http://www.arsonent.com/index.html
or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Humble-TX/Arson-Entertainment/133503256683695?ref=ts

(Must click on picture to enlarge it)


Disclaimer: I make no promises, representations, guaranties or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of any information supplied to or by the stated website or vendor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we disclaim any and all liability with respect to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of any information supplied to or by this website or vendor and accept no responsibility for the reliability, and/or suitability for use. I undertake no responsibility hereunder. Please direct ALL correspondence in regards to this website or vendor to the stated contact person.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baby Update ♥

I am now 24 weeks! {6 Months and counting}

It's hard to believe that  it's been that long already. Because of my job, I had been very very busy and oh yeah not to mention that I have a wild and out 15 month old now!

When I was pregnant with my son, I had no life, Ha. I would go home, eat and sleep for 9 months...it dragged and seemed like I was pregnant for years! Plus, during the time that I was pregnant with my son the first couple of months at work were pretty laid back and non-stressful, which was not the case this time around! Needless to say, it's been very different! I was sick and never really thought about it and I was tired and had no time to rest. Now things have slowed down and I have gotten to enjoy and realize that, WOW, I am PREGNANT!!! Ha.

I think the most tiring part has been the fact that I have Santi. He is a non-stop little man. He usually wakes up between 7:30 and 8am, if I am lucky and doesn't go to sleep until about 10 pm! So, my days are long.... Not to mention the last 4 months my husband was not only a full-time intern but a full-time student as well! Therefore the 20 hour days with non-stop madness belong to me and me alone. The last 2 or 3 weeks have been great though, we are staying at my 'In-Law's house since our home has, well, "issues", they are hopefully fixed now and we should return back to reality in about 2 days! Also, my husband finished off his semester and will be home after work everyday to ease the madness at least until January 19th when he starts school back up again! He is a HUGE help when it's just us two and little man... God has seen me through many trying times and these are just a test...I will come out a live. I have made it the last 15 months... I will make it through 15 more...

My favorite part of all of this is Lil'Man's reaction to my growing belly. I think it happened over night and so one morning I woke up to his hand on my belly and his face full of amazement! Almost like "What is this? And why is it here?" Now we tell him that's your sister and he hugs my belly, kisses it and puts his ear up to it to see if he can hear anything! I love it. I have a feeling he will be very loving with his sister. I hope that he is not jealous and that he can realize at this young age that we love them both just the same! 

Aside from the growing belly, hospitalization, occasional nausea and light headed-ness and oh yes the being tired part; overall it's been a very different pregnancy and somewhat easier. I have only gained about 3 to 5 pounds on and off, meaning I gain and loose, mainly due to my diet and plus I stay somewhat busy with Santiago. 

I love feeling my Lil'Momma kick and thump around inside the belly and every doctor's visit I look forward to hearing her strong beating heart! At 28 weeks I will begin fetal monitoring and stress test due to my Gestational Diabetes and history of  Pre-eclampsia . Which thank goodness I have not at all started to swell up! With Santiago at this time I was the Goodyear Blimp, no joke. My feet look like small pillows and I was retaining fluid like he was playing in an indoor belly water park! This time around that has not happened. I am praying for a better c-section and overall delivery experience!  

I will post some belly pics soon, I have not taken one lately!

This is my last one at 19 weeks...I AM MUCH BIGGER NOW! HA.

And, here is Camila at around the same time...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Momma Yo Quiero!

There were many things that I didn't get to do with my son that I hope to do with my daughter like; Breastfeed and Baby Wear!

And although I would LOOOVE this sling:

A Silk Artisan Baby Sling by Sakura Bloom...it's a BIT overpriced!

But, no worries I found something similar on Amazon for a lot LESS! So, when I have the money I will purchase it! I love it.

Wearing children, it reminds me of Mexico and the indigenous Mayan Women wearing their babies. Such a vibrant and beautiful cultural reminder of that bond between a Mother and Child. It makes me feel amazing to know that I am a Mom. That I can feel the love and simple touch of 10 tiny fingers on my face every morning! These days it's referred to as Holistic Parenting. A lot of which really just comes from culture and how you were raised.



My husband and I though it is not recommended by our Pedi, have allowed our son to sleep in our bed the last 15 months. Some of which, I will admit some nights, scares me. But, it has been such a great bonding experience. We don't see him most the day and to be able to hold him and kiss him at night is a great Blessing. Although now we joke that we need a bigger bed with Camila on the way but uhm no, that will not happen! Santiago will get a big boy bed and his sister will then sleep in his "old" crib,we hope to make that our goal. Don't  get me wrong Santiago slept in his bassinet until he was about 6 months or so and too big for it. And, since then he has slept with us. We don't have the heart to let him sleep all alone in a cold room across the hall. We just can't! Sorry! But, it is one of the Holistic concepts: Co-Sleeping.

Another way that we attempt to be "Holistic" parents is by not allowing our son to consume too much, if any at all, processed or fast foods. Santiago eats mostly fruits and vegetables, raw or cooked, he loves them all. And, he mostly eats home-made foods such as; frijoles con arroz, sopa de fideo,pozole, caldo de pollo, chorizo con huevo, albondigas and many others. He loves milk, cheese and sour cream. He will try anything once. He LOVES water. Rarely drinks fruit juices or anything other milk and water, we've tried, he always goes back to water. We do this mainly because of our own bad habits, not to mention bad health, which we don't want Santiago to inherit. Don't get me wrong, we do feed him chicken nuggets and tater tots every once in a while, we are still full-time employees to the outside world and some days are just toooo hectic to get some home cooking in but we try! Plus it's much cheaper than eating out every night!  

In all we do our best to be the best possible parents and give our son and now our daughter the best possible life and up bringing! We can only try! Plus I don't think our parents think we can do it or that we do but we really do and really can be great parents if we set our minds to it!

Any thoughts or suggestions? Let me know! I would love to hear from you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Downsizing (Part II)

I didn't think I had so much input about this subject but I think it's important to know our story, our situation and our reasoning. I may be helping someone gain perspective or simply realize, you are not alone!

Needless to say, Ricardo and I had very different mindsets and were in a "bad" situation.

Well we made it through 2008, again Ricardo is very money savvy. He had savings, 401k, and got unemployment for 8 months. He then landed a job with Baker Hughes. He was unhappy there and after a year and a week before my son was born he found himself hitting that unemployment line one more time. This time, with more insight as to how it would all work out. We now had to factor in our son, the extra person to care for. So, we downsized even more! NO worries here. I was already used to it. What does that mean? We don't just spend. And even though it may seem sad to most; we have not done Birthday, Anniversary or Christmas presents for myself or Ricardo in the last 2 years. You simply, do without. At this point. I don't miss it. We have a Blessed extended family and amazing friends who give us their endless love and support, which is what God wants us to focus on right now.

So, today it's December 2010, we have had a rough and very, very meager last 3 years. Still we manage and even as penny pincher's we managed to afford to do enough and have just enough. I really don't mind that I have been wearing the same pair of shoes for over a year or that I haven't bought a new outfit in over a year, that I clip my own nails and avoid the hair salon... It's NOT that bad...I can do without! Trust me. I know how at this point. We know how and we pull through!

In watching this TV show; Downsized, I made the following observations:

  • That at times the Mom was more spoiled than her children! She was the one unable to control her urge to spend on that super expensive cup of coffee....You know which one... I mean it's great coffee but seriously, some self control is all is takes.  
  • That SERIOUSLY all it takes is a change in attitude! Yours and your spouses; you have to be on the same page...at all times and at all cost.
  • That we have to remember that our children resemble us. They mimic who we are and what we do, all the time. Surprisingly in this family though the Mom was very spoiled and of their 7 children, only 1 had the Mom's attitude; he was expectant; expecting more and more and more. Most the other kids made the needed sacrifices, understood what it meant to make them and dealt with it in a healthy manner. 
  • The part that upset me most was in an instance when the Mom had to tell their 10 year old daughter that she couldn't participate in all of her usual summer activities; such as Cheer leading and Theater Camp; she had so little self control that she cried in front of the child. It kind of gave the idea that it was ok to be overly upset about loosing materialistic things. I didn't agree with that. She should have held her composure and could have cried about it later. The Mom stated that she was sad that her kids didn't have the life that she had grown up with. She had money as a child. Well as an adult we must be the example of sacrifice. I think.
  • The Mom then turns her frown upside down and creates a job for them all to help with; House Cleaning! And, although she states that it was "demeaning"..I would have chosen the word humbling but in the end; she was taught a very valuable lesson and her daughters were there to help her get through it. They all learned the value of earning a good dollar, even the Mom. I loved this part.

In the end the lessons I learned were above all; Communication, Love, Patience, Budgeting and in the end some alone time to relax and knock all the stress out is never a bad idea!


BTW: I like the show but am just taking the good from the bad and applying it to how I am learning things in my own life! If you watch you will learn that the family is a combined family; Mom had 5 children from a previous marriage and Dad had 2. The Mom has MS. The Dad is an unemployed Contract Construction worker. Their story is one to learn from.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Can Do WithOUT...CAN YOU? (Part I)

Seems like these days everyone is talking about FINANCES. What to do, what to do? With so little money and so much to pay, buy and get! Well appropriately enough, while I was in the Hospital I saw a show on WEtv called: Downsized.

I am sure a million people have already gone, "THAT'S AN OLD SHOW!" Yes. Well you see, we don't have cable in our home. In many ways my husband and I have taken on this "Downsized" mentality even before an "expert" has to remind us, that it's always good to "Downsize"!



My husband worked for 7 years at the same job. He NEVER thought he would leave that job, at least not until he graduated from college which because of ..ohh I don't know...LIFE...he has taken a little longer than most students to complete.

Well, in 2007 after 7 years the company was sold and guess what, hundreds were laid-off. Laid-off? My husband's mind and world were blown away, he had not been without a job since his teenage years. He was now; 28, still in college, with a mortgage and thoughts of starting a family! Well everything was placed on hold and he set out to finish school and find a new job. At that time, we cut back on a lot. No more parties at our house, no more expensive dinners, no more yearly vacations, no more of  a lot...how selfish and dumb of us to wait for a situation like this to happen to change our mind set! We were humbled to say the least. "Everyone" around us was "moving on up", doing and being. Or so we thought. Here we were, stuck and down about money. ABOUT MONEY? Wow. Needless to say it changed our entire perspective about everything.

I didn't grow up rich and neither did my husband. I have stated in the past that I took my first job at 14 years of age. I cleaned houses and office buildings during my summer break with my Mom and Aunt. All the while my Mom would tell me, "Ya ves, por que te digo que acaves la escuela y que pongas atencion...para que no acaves como yo!" ("Do you see why I tell you to do good in school and to not loose focus...so you will not do what I do for a living!") And yes, I did finish school. I have a college degree but these days, even that isn't enough.

My husband grew up pretty much the same as I did. With very little but just enough! Even so, we both had two VERY different mentalities; mine was "If you have it spend it!", his...not so much. He is a very wise money decision maker. He always has a savings account ...WITH MONEY IN IT [Ha.] and looks for a good bargain... me..not so much... and then we got married. I quickly adopted his money views, he is usually right about money! Another thing that we differed in was about our children. Before we got married, I always said.."I am going to GIVE my children ALL that I never had! And, that's that!" Wow. How selfish on my behalf! To negate my children of learning about selfless-ness, about hard work and good ethic, about earning your way!

I now know that the best way for my children to become wise money decision makers is NOT by giving them EVERYTHING I never had; but by treating them as if I can't give them everything and reminding them that hard work is the REAL way to earn your way in this life. It will hopefully and God willing make them more money conscious and selfless as well as make them humble and Godly human beings.

I didn't always get what I wanted when I was young, and we didn't always have what all the other kids had! But, we never went without food, shelter and love.

When I started working and making money I thought, let me use it up and go crazy, huge mistake! I was quickly in debt and broke!

I didn't get the correct money education, thankfully God knew that and He placed the right man in my life...who would quickly knock me off my high horse and remind me to clean that floor until my finger nails bled to earn my way through life!

It sounds harsh but I appreciate it very much!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Woe Me! Or NOT!!!!


The perfect Christmas Tree. In the perfect home. With the perfect Christmas dinner and the perfect night! The perfect season and the MOST perfect reason!

Obsessed much?

Maybe.

I was SO caught up in making my life appear PERFECT...on paper. Upset when everyone didn't follow through. Upset when MY imagination had run wild. When MY perfect family was just average. And then. Reality. Uhm excuse me, We ARE  NOT PERFECT! My husband can be a grouchy old man. I am at times a NAGY wife! And my son...well he runs wild most the day!

I had gone to my PERFECT friend [Ha. Sorry. I must stop.] who is great at taking pictures. Upset. About NOT being perfect. About my husband not matching with us on our PICTURE PERFECT day! About how I WANTED this photo shoot to go. About how we were "suppose" to LOOK PERFECT.

::Arms folded. HUGE POUT:: 

And then, reality. This is who we are. NOT PERFECT. Not always matchy-match. Not always smiley and happy. Not always obedient and polite! We are not perfect. HE is.[Jesus. He is.] He is the reason why we are here. Why I have a HUSBAND. A man who provides for me, who consoles me, who communicates with me, who hides nothing from me, who never holds back and tells me how it is! HE is the reason I have a Lil'Daddy; ACTIVE, WILD AND LOUD! As children should be! HE is the reason why I am awaiting my beautiful Lil'Momma to enter our world. To love. To hold. To have and be Blessed. We are NOT perfect. And, I am done thinking that we should be. My FAMILY. MY FAMILY. My husband and my children. We are not perfect but we are in Love, we are Blessed everyday with life, we are together, we care, we share and are NOT perfect! I love GOD. I love my husband and my son and my daughter. 


Why are you going on and on about this Connie?

Well, one person made me realize that; we are WHO we are. We are not always a super happy family, with a perfect marriage and perfect children. We are not trying to be "exposed" today and secretive tomorrow. We are who we ARE. Blessed. In Love. And in the end, NOT PERFECT but happy!   

In talking to my friend Yvonne and her upcoming photo shoot with my amazing friend Casey Ayala of Dream Tree Photography; she told me how her husband wanted to wear a baseball cap for their shoot. She told him..."You don't wear baseball caps." He said but Ricardo is wearing one in their photo shoot, she said..."YES. But, he wears baseball caps!" And, like in MANY talks with her before, it hit me... YES...My husband does wear baseball caps!!! That's who he is! [ Thank You Jesus for always bringing the right Godly Women into my life at the right moment, when I need to hear and listen to you!]

I was blinded expecting us to be perfectly matching, somewhat posy but natural, smiley and picture perfect, BUT it didn't happen for us. [In my mind....Perfect!]   I needed to realize that Ricardo, he simply doesn't like pictures. He even told Casey at the beginning of our shoot. And, during the shoot he told me, "You are not my favorite person right now!" [ In so many words, HA.]

And, you know what?

I wasn't my favorite person at the time either. Blinded and wanting MORE. More than we could give. Pushing my family to look like everyone else....perfect. But, we are NOT. And, that's what I learned, that's what I have accepted as the weeks after our shoot have progressed. The other families LOOK AMAZING! They are SO warm and Holiday like and I love their pictures and I thought, we look "BLAH" and just there! But, truth is. Every family is individual. Every family is their own entity and we are all different. My family, I thought, doesn't look as picture perfect as all the others, but I now know, that, that's not true!

I have been so disobedient with HIM. Forcing my family to look and be who they are not. But, HE always shows me , reality. Reminding me. That MY plans are NOT HIS plans and for a good reason!!!!!

Now, the pictures. Which are just AMAZING!!!! Casey truly captures who you are and makes it all look...well PERFECT! [Ha.] I was just being a HUGE baby about it all.....or so I have been told! [Ha.]


{Please visit Dream Tree Photography: Casey Ayala is awesome at what she allows her imagination and creativity to capture!}






Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season! Again.....{SHUTTERFLY Blog Promo}

One of my fav places to create is SHUTTERFLY! I love this site!!! It has everything and anything a picture creative mom could ever wish for. Plus it's quick and easy!

Did I mention that you can pick up your prints at Target?! Yes.

The perfect duo: Taget+Shutterfly=Love

One of my favorite Holiday cards was last years. In 2009 we welcomed Santiago, our little Blessing. And, instead of a Birth Announcement, which Shutterfly has : http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/baby-cards-stationery/baby-boy-birth-announcements?c=60466; I created a Holiday Card. And, then for Valentine's Day, I created a collage to send out with cute cards! Here are both the finished products:




Get yours here: http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/christmas-photo-cards


Our first Christmas as a family of 3 was amazing and we look forward to many more but now as a family of 4!!


Now with our second Blessing on the way I plan more than ever to make our Holiday Cards an every year tradition!

This year though we are planning my sons Baptism, here is the rough draft of what I am working on for that event:



Create your unique Shutterfly invitations here : http://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/invitations



I also have several share sites on Shutterfly where I upload pictures of my son and share about our mini-adventures!

This is one of many that I have created: http://santibaby2011.shutterfly.com/

In all I love SHUTTERFLY and they have a really neat Blog promotion going on right now!!!!

Check it out: http://bit.ly/sfly2010

Hope this post was helpful and that you enjoy your creativity this Holiday season!

Now go on CREATE!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hospitalized. Baby Update. And then some?

Most of you know. I am 23 weeks pregnant with my second baby, a little Girl! (Or as we like to call her "Lil'Momma" a perfect addition for our Lil' Daddy!)  At this point. We have almost finalized our decision on her name...we think maybe...Camila Isabel. I am writing it and it looks perfect. So, we shall see! Most of my friends have told me..have several names and wait until they are born to decide...but I didn't do that with Santi. We had a name picked and stuck to it, and now Santiago, is the best name for our perfect Lil'Man, and it fits him JUST WELL!

Well in all baby is doing great. She is quite the gymnast and growing according to His plan. I love to feel the bump and jump in my belly. She is very active. Just as much as Santiago was around this time. I love knowing that she will be here soon, God willing everything will be great!

Yes. I was hospitalized for a couple of days reason why I have been MIA. I had an infection. Now hopefully gone. After some IV fluids and antibiotics not to mention some pain meds. I am almost as good as new. Normally. Pain comes and goes. But, with me being pregnant, I worry a million times over and NEVER hesitate with seeing an ER or two.

The first day, I felt lonely. Like I had no one. I admitted myself into the hospital and was there for hours..alone. Things got very overwhelming. Praying. Telling myself things would be OK. I quickly felt better. My husband was at work and crazily enough....completing his FINALS! Which we pray he got all "A's", he is such a nerd, is incredibly and naturally smart, don't tell him I said that, so I know he did. He always does. Even with all the pressures of having to be a WONDERFUL and LOVING Hubby for, a GREAT and LOVING Dad to Santiago, and a DEDICATED provider for our home, he manages, he does, and he ACCOMPLISHES!!! Always! God has Blessed me. I know this.

Then came the loneliness from not being with my son... for almost 3 days!!! I was devastated to say the least. I hated being in the hospital. Alone. Without  my Little Man. To think. And then. "HELLO. MOM. HERE I AM!" It gave me such rest and peace for 3 days that I had the BEST and most wonderful alone time with my daughter. This new little pitter-patter on my heart! This wonderful new Blessing in ma' belly! Ha. There she was...dancing around in my belly, reminding me that God has given me MANY Blessings and MANY reasons to NEVER again feel lonely, a son...and now a daughter. I didn't mind that the cold, dark room was just me and her. I didn't mind that my cell phone was dead and my hospital phone never rang. I didn't mind that the nurse was my only company with the exception of nights when my Mom was there. I didn't mind the silence because it helped me focus on her. It helped hear Him. I loved it. Yes. Can you imagine. I learned. I LOVEDAnd I moved on. In many aspects. Being hospitalized. I read some, watch TV some and slept some. It was OK. 

[ DON'T GET ME WRONG. I was texting the first day with two of my girlfriends, whom I really wouldn't have bugged or said anything to until now, just because I don't like to bother people. I know, I am sick and pregnant. But, most others have their own hectic lives to deal with and I feel like I can deal with most my ailments. My mom was there after a while. I was also communicating with my Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law both very concerned and since they were watching Santi, I wanted to keep them updated.  I also had to tell my job so my co-workers were on the phone as well. And my husband was texting and calling as much as he could. All until my phone went dead. I guess as a human being, I am used to human contact, HA. Go figure. And not being able to have my husband there with me the whole time, was different and well...made everything feel lonely.]

In the end. I am OK. I am back at work today. To which my boss joked.... "You still work here?!"

Yes. Yes. I do.  

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Las Recetas Que Me Dan:

Those of you who know me, know that number one..I say that a lot, those of you who know me, and secondly, I am not the best cook ever to live! I am a great "fake-cook" though. Give me a recipe that requires little to no cooking and I can whip it up! No joke.
Is it good? Suuure.
This is a recipe that we will call La Ensalda de Fruta de Mi Suegra ( My Mother-In-Law’s Fruit Salad), although it has been modified many Christmas’ ago when she gave me the original recipe, it’s very similar and everyone enjoys it!
It’s a very good all year round type of fruit salad that I mostly make around the Holiday’s.
What you will need:
  • 8 Medium to Large size Red or Green Apples (Both makes for great Christmas colors!)
  • 1 LARGE can of canned Peaches; preferably halves
  • 1 Regular can of canned Pineapples; preferably crushed
  • 1 LARGE can of Fruit Cocktail
  • 1 Large tub of frozen Cool Whip (You can buy one large container and one small to make it creamier just add them both when it’s time to add in Cool Whip)
  • 1 Large container of Daisy’s Sour Cream
  • 1 Regular size can of Condensed Milk (Not evaporated, Condensed)
  • 1 Large bag of crush Pecans (Really you can add any type of nuts; this year I did Walnuts)
  • 1 Regular size box of Raisins (optional, some people don’t like raisins, i.e. My Dad)
  • 1 Regular size bag of Marshmallows (Colorful ones again make for great Holiday colors!)
  • 1 LARGE TO SUPER LARGE Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Mixing spoon
  • Cutting Board and Knife (Unless you have a fancy chopper, which I prefer makes 20 minutes into 10!)

What to do:
First; finely chop the Apples, I have a chopper and it makes my Apples into small thin rectangular shapes.  If I use the cutting board and knife, I just dice them as small as I can. BUT, If you like big chunks that works also.  You will also dice the Peach halves into small pieces, which I always use the cutting board and knife for.
Then; you start mixing. To my super large mixing bowl, I add the Apples, Peaches, Pineapples and Fruit Cocktail first, so all the wet ingredients stay on the bottom makes mixing easier. Mix together.
I then add the Cool Whip and Sour Cream, all the contents in the containers. And, only about HALF of the Condensed Milk, you can add more later, if you think it needs to be sweeter. Mix together.
On top of that I add the bag of crush Pecans, HALF the box of Raisins, and half the bag of Marshmallows.  
One final mix to get everything covered in the creamy goodness of Cool Whip, Sour Cream and Condensed Milk.  You can add more condensed milk here if you think it needs more sweetener and you can add more Marshmallows also!
After that is all mixed together, I then place it in the freezer at least 2 to 3 hours before serving it. If you leave it in the fridge it gets a little soggy.
After a couple of hours I place it out on the serving table and as my son would say “Tah-dah!”
It’s ready to eat.
**If you want a nicer presentation, empty the contents of your mixing bowl into a nice serving dish before you place it in the freezer!
It’s fast, easy and VERY DELICIOUS!
I hope you try it. I would LOVE to hear from you if you do.
Enjoy.
BTW: I think some call it Ambrosia Salad and there are many versions of it...but this is the best, HA. Trust me!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Top 10 Tuesday

I am starting a “Top 10” post.

This week, I want to post about my idea of top 10 family friendly and children’s activities in and around Houston.

First off, I live in a land far, far away called Northwest Houston. I am in an awkward spot between Katy, Texas and Cypress, Texas. Many places seem distant and many places are “just around the corner” or “down the street” as I like to say! It's difficult to find places close by so most the time we have to travel, we don't mind though. It's always fun!
If your child is anything like my child; he or she will like anything outdoors, messy and easy to explore!
Therefore, I will kick my list off with my favorite and cheapest place to go…the park!

1. Not just any park; Bear Creek Park! It’s filled with trails, play areas and even a small walk through “zoo” like area. It’s perfect for a nice family afternoon. You bring your picnic basket and a camera and it’s an all together adventure! If you want to be more adventurous and you know your way through the trails you can even look for deer! Yes deer. It’s amazing the amount of deer that come out of the forestry area around the park. They are beautiful! On more than one occasion we have seen them and it’s just fun, fun, fun for everyone! Ok, more so for my husband and I, my son doesn’t get it just yet! Ha. Aside from all of that, it’s FREE. That is music to this Mom’s ears!  
2. The Houston Zoo. For more than obvious reasons. Here in Houston it is surrounded by a beautiful park with a Botanical Garden, a water spout area for the kids and a Train ride! My son is enthralled by the petting zoo right now. He could spend hours brushing the goat’s hair, chasing them and even bickering at them in his own “little man language”. I love seeing him explore and learn. This leads me to the next place….
3. The Children’s Museum. Now, we have not gone, yet. I have been on my own before I had children, with my nieces and little brother. Again we live in a land far, far away and for our little family to travel to the area where the museum is, well it takes time, a lot of planning a head, and well just time. We have not been able to, my husband has Saturday class this semester and it’s made it difficult BUT he will be on Winter break soon and that is my next plan. I want Santiago to learn about the Posadas and it’s one of the main cultural areas in the museum that I want us to visit.
4. This next place is a yearly event so you really have to set time and money aside for it. The Texas Renaissance Festival. We have gone several times now. It’s something different and somewhat magical, unless you are 15 months and developing stranger anxiety. But, again one trip to the medieval petting zoo and we were set. Santiago enjoyed all the music. The blond haired Fairies. The animals, they have elephant and camel rides, which we did not do. The jousting show. And, simply roaming around in an open area. Again, you have to set aside a nice weekend when it’s not too hot, too cold, or rainy and some money, it can get expensive. But, it’s definitely well worth it. Plus it’s only once a year, which makes it not so bad.
5. Now my son loves food. He also loves pizza. Being that he has been so young we really haven’t taken him to too many public eating places. But, his Dad is looking forward to taking to Chuck E. Cheese! Another great pizza place that I have heard of but never been is Incredible Pizza, it sounds like the place from Toy Story where the 3 aliens came from! We will also have to check it out. If you’ve been, tell me what you think!
6. Another yearly event that we are looking forward to this year, although we may miss it depending on when I have our little girl, is the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. They have a carnival, plenty of animals and awesome food! Last year Santiago was a bit young and we didn’t think he would enjoy it as much as if we waited until this year. Although, he is terrified of his rocking horse and any toy horse for that matter, which is bizarre because he loves real animals! Who knows? We are hoping that we can make it this year, so we can gear him up in his Cowboy attire! Plus, I am a HLSR Committee member which comes with plenty of perks that I like to take advantage of! I can inform you on how to become a member...
7. Who doesn’t love the beach? My son again loves being outdoors and what a better way to tire him out and spend little money than to drive down to the Gulf of Mexico!  Fun in the sun. My husband loves to fish and I love to tan, so it’s definitely going to be a place that we go every year! Santiago loves the water and being outside so what better way to have a nice family afternoon together! Although, this summer we spent it on Florida and Mississippi beaches, despite the oil spill, it was very clean and beautiful!
8. Another park that we have not been to but would love to take Santi to is Discovery Green. In recent years Houston has attempted to make Downtown not only a night spot for young people but also a safe family oriented child friendly place. Discovery Green is one of those areas in Downtown that easily converts from family fun in the day to a great date night spot at night! If you’ve never been, check it out!
9. One place that I have not been in years is the NASA Space Center. I know there is an IMAX theater and plenty of fun learning events for children of all ages. What better way to get your child’s creativity flowing!
10.  Finally, my husband and I love to camp! We love being outdoors, relaxing and getting away from the city! (Funny thing, I grew up in the country and ran to the city as soon as I could, now...I look to get out any chance I get!) The places we have gone are in Austin, which is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! It's called Krause Springs but I don't think it's too family oriented it's more college kids than families, but it's really nice! The one that is a little more family friendly is Garner State Park in Concan, Texas outside of San Antonio! There they have plenty of hiking trails, family activities and a river! Plus at night the deer are amazingly roaming free!

I hope you find these helpful if you live in Houston or plan to visit soon!

Also, I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! Email me, comment me on Facebook, or leave a comment here!!!
Thank You for reading!!!!  

Monday, December 6, 2010

~New Addition to the Family~

As part of this Blog going to a whole new level, I want to introduce the ~New Addition to the Family~ Feature. As the opportunity arises I will post a Blog with a Featured Guest. Therefore, without further delay, here is the first ever...

FEATURED GUEST POST: Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Signing During Early Childhood Education

A key to surviving in a tilted economic system is to have a set of unique skills that isn’t necessarily typical to have.  This includes the ability to be versatile and the ability to communicate articulately in a variety of ways with the widest possible audience; bilingual ability as well as the ability to communicate in non-verbal ways for the benefit of the disabled – primarily the deaf.

At the same time, with the growing shortage of qualified interpreters fluent in American Sign Language, there have been more career opportunities – and if current trends continue, it's likely that skilled ASL interpreters will have little problem securing lucrative employment in a society where such a commodity is destined to be in short supply.

Signing Before They Can Speak

A great deal of research has clearly proven that the early ages of 2 up to 5 are the best time to educate children in different modes of communication and language. This goes beyond the spoken word (though it is an optimal time for children to learn a second language); many young children have an aptitude for signing as well. This can be taught at home or some child care programs incorporate it into their curriculum.

Many indigenous peoples around the world, including American Indian nations, have used sign language for centuries to facilitate communication with other tribes with whom they do not share a language. Some paleontologists and anthropologists theorize that Neanderthals – who apparently lacked the vocal mechanism to produce many spoken words – depended a great deal upon hand gestures to communicate.

Recent research proposes that sign language is in fact innate. An article published in the Boulder Daily Camera in 2003 presented strong evidence that babies as young as six months old communicate with their hands:

                                "...by 6 to 7 months, babies can remember a sign. At eight months, children
                                can begin to imitate gestures and sign single words. By 24 months, children
                                can sign compound words and full sentences. They say sign language reduces
                                frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves
                                before they know how to talk." (Glarion, 2003)

The author also cites study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development demonstrating that young children who are taught sign language at an early age actually develop better verbal skills as they get older. The ability to sign has also helped parents in communicating with autistic children; one parent reports that "using sign language allowed her to communicate with her [autistic] son and minimized his frustration...[he now] has an advanced vocabulary and excels in math, spelling and music" (Glarion, 2003).

The Best Time To Start

Not only does early childhood education in signing give pre-verbal youngsters a way to communicate, it can also strengthen the parent-child bond – in addition to giving children a solid foundation for learning a skill that will serve them well in the future. The evidence suggests that the best time to start learning ASL is before a child can even walk – and the implications for facilitating the parent-child relationship are amazing.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the network of Texas child care  facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose child care schools.  Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their preschools.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Yesterday is gone....

OK, so I read my Blog from yesterday and thought....


"WOW. I am getting horrible at writing."


Had to do some edits.

So, I will be studying and researching this weekend. Like I stated in my list yesterday, I want to re-gain ME. Part of that ME, is my writing. I want to provide the best, least edited post for my readers.

In the mean time enjoy your day and have an amazing weekend!


 
My son enjoying some black beans with rice and chicken....


Thursday, December 2, 2010

~Mommy Wish List~

Christmas is just around the corner.... and how appropriate a Mommy Wish List Post! {Hohoho!}

Lets start this off:

  • First on my list! I want His and Hers Union 28 apparel more specifically a MY HUSBAND ROCKS tee and for him a MY WIFE ROCKS tee!! You must check these out! I love them!!!
  • I also want the same apparel for my children : http://www.union28.net/baby-children's {YOU MUST MUST check it out!}
  • I want to find a GOOD book that both my husband and I can read...about life, marriage and Faith...any suggestions, let me know. In the mean time...I run to my buddy Amazon and do some research!
  • We neeeeed a new computer! I would love one with all the fancy upgrades and programs...to Blog and what not! Oh yes and so the Hubs can do all his homework!!! {Ha.}




  • I want to start planning our Baby Girls new nursery. I need some time and money....go figure!
  • I want to go back to being more involved in my Church, I keep saying that..I need to put myself in motion...
  • I want to take a break before baby comes...
  • I want to continue working on my Blog. I like it. I love knowing that people are actually reading the stuff I write. I love sharing!
  • I want to get my son his Christmas presents....nothing big.....I took an idea from a fellow Mommy Blogger about 3 gifts and a Santa gift. The 3: Something you Need, Something you Want, and Something to Share. Santi is only 15 months and he has more than enough of the "Need" Thanks to all of our friends and family who came to his first Birthday...except a Winter jacket..which this weekend will be his "Need". He really doesn't want anything...except to play and eat..and sleep...and Laugh and Love. Oh yes and give kisses...so we want to give him a couple of movies and a tent..for camping next year. And, something that we already got him that he can share was a Radio Flyer! These things are great!!!
And well, we shall see what Santa brings.... I am sure he will be excited either way.....

  • I want to have a nice, quiet, peaceful, uneventful Christmas with my Husband and my Son and our families.
  • I want to be able to help someone out this Christmas...it will probably be through my church.
  • I want to give my family a hand as well, in whatever they may need, if I can.
  • I want to let everyone know that I am Blessed and that God has brought me here!!! I am Blessed and my Lord has provided. Amen.
{Philippians 4:19 (New International Version, ©2010)19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.}
  • I want to attend a seminar or conference or workshop..for Moms, Women, about Faith and Life to help me get pumped in 2011!
  • I want to attend a seminar or conference or workshop...for Husbands and Wives, about Faith and Marriage to help US get pumped in 2011!
  • I want to finish a project that I started.... CROCHETING! I must do this. I will do this.
  • I want to meet with my girlfriends for breakfast, lunch or dinner..I already have them in mind.... Be prepared girls. {Ha.}
  •  I want to finish reading the books in my everyday bag and on my night stand! NO really..I do.
  • I want to write more...as in literally hand write in my journals the way it used to before I met the computer and BLOGS!
  • I want to stand firm in my Faith and remind others to do the same....
  • I want to be ME! And re-gain ME! Through my Faith, with God by my side.
  • I want Peace. Eveywhere. Impossible. I know. Call me a Dreamer.....
  • I want more time to sit and just enjoy life, my Son, my Husband, and soon my daughter...
  • I want more cuddle and hug time with my Hubby...he works so much and he needs a break!
{Please note that these are in no particular order...and I will strive to be and do the best I can to complete my list...in no determined time..but His time!}

YOUR TURN!