Momma of Dos: 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

#HoustonLatinas ::360:: Link-Up {New Year's Eve} Party!!

Hello All!

We would love for you to join us as we remember 2013 in the most fitting way! We are hosting our first ever Houston Latina Bloggers Link-Up party!!

Your hostesses are myself and Jihane from over at Onix.J

The ::360:: Link-Up is simple we have 2 rules:

1. Add our button somewhere on your post;

Houston Latina Bloggers


2. Use the Houston Latina Bloggers hash-tag when sharing; #HoustonLatinas

Post Content should be anything related to reviewing 2013 in a full circle ::360::, New Year's resolutions, or how you remembered/celebrated/honored 2013! 

You have from now until Wednesday at Midnight to link-up! 

NOW GO ON! Link-Up!!








::360:: From 2013 to 2014 #HoustonLatinas

First off, I can't even believe it's December and 2014 will be here in a few hours!

Where to begin?

Looking back at 2013, I can't complain.  My Hubby and I continue to grow as individuals and as a couple, he claims this Blog makes him {and us as a family) seem "perfect". Ha. He must not read all the way through when he comes to visit.  This year has allowed us to grow as parents and as a family which are the areas that I believe matter so much right now.

Definitely, we try more and more to be better people to the outside world {when possible, life is filled with so many obstacles that this is not always possible}.

It was a difficult year with some dark moments but also filled with Blessings. We could not have done it without a lot of support along the way from my family and my Husband's {usually my Momma and Dad, my Sister and his, his two younger Cousins and my In-Law's}. They have all been there for us from start to finish and in very BIG ways!

This time last year I didn't have a job, I was trying the whole Stay@Home thing. At the time it was a Blessing. My Husband's Grandmother fell gravely ill and during that time my Mother-in-Law spent a lot of time at the Hospital and with her Momma {She used to help us watch our little ones}. So, I am glad I was home and able to take over caring for my children while she was extremely busy...still is.

January through March/April were very difficult months filled with many financial dilemmas as well as personal family tribulations. We got by on prayers and hope. In the end all things work themselves out.







My beautiful Cami turned 2 in March ::excuse me as I ball my eyes out:: 2 years old, my lovely sweet little Diva. She is truly a sweet soul but don't catch her on a bad day, the terrible two comes out in her. She is my heart. Along with making great family memories on her birthday; we took a lot of pictures and oh boy, those pictures opened my eyes to a whole new personal battle that I had to start dealing with.





My weight. {A whole post on it's own} I was 183 lbs. It didn't look healthy and I decided to change my lifestyle. No more overeating and oversleeping. No more depressive moods and unhappy thoughts. Instead I took on a positive and pro-active approach and started doing my own little thing. Eating better, taking Nopalinaza {which I will explain in another post} and making delicious GREEN smoothies and fasting for faith-filled purposes. {Results have been slow but good none-the-less, I am down 15 lbs and counting.}

In May, I obtained a full-time job after 8 LONG months at home. A job which I posted about ::here::, it's a TRUE Blessing and I am VERY thankful for it. {BTW, I will never really discuss my job or reveal the company I work for unless I leave there, it's a very conscious decision.} I have a position where I can help support my family and maintain stability in our lives. Today our schedules are tight but I love the up's and down's of my life as a working Momma.





This Summer was a  good one, I turned 32 {June} and my Hubby turned 34 {August} we got to visit my family in Mexico and South Texas, finally after almost 5 years. We loved it. Going back home to South Texas was a good refresher and allowed me to expose my children to a life left behind. My childhood was a rough one but I always have good memories of my primos and all the amazing food and culture we grew up with!



In September by first born turned 4 ::excuse me as I ball my eyes out::  4 years old. He is such a little man. His charisma and beautiful sunshine just gives me so much joy. Which was a great celebration for the month. He had a blast. I also realized this month that I was no longer 183 lbs but 172 lbs. An amazing feeling! The pictures tell it all.



October was a busy month I am sure.



November hit us like a ton of bricks. My Uncle, who was the head of our family passed away from the worse disease I have seen eat away at a person. It wasn't easy. Life goes on, or we attempt to live a "back-to-normal" like life. Too soon to say much but one day I will finish the post about him. One that is fitting to his life and honor his time here with us.



Now the ::360:: December. Full circle of this year. Filled with celebrations and gifts. I wrote about Posadas and our traditions ::here::...and ::here::



So, what's next.....

::2014::

What do I want for this new year? More peace. More stability financially and mentally. More faith. More time to help others. Lessons worth learning. A life worth living {we create this everyday with our choices and attitude}.

What will I do different? Probably everything because as each year passes I learn and grow and decide that life isn't meant to be perfect or exactly followed, just to be lived. I do want to enjoy more family time without being so paranoid of what could go wrong and more date nights with my Hubby. {Which last year in December my Hubby made his New Year resolution to take me out on more dates, I think he did an amazing job and we had a great year filled with love and arguments but we are happy.}

Ok, NOW YOU!? What do you remember most about 2013? What will you change for 2014?

Monday, December 9, 2013

::Seeking::

A while back I set out to find my "Dream Job", because despite what my situation is right now, I have faith that, that place is still out there for me. I have since found a job. A good job but not what I would consider ideal. I know, "Connie you are so picky and such a non-conformist!" Trust me, I often question my own credibility. I wonder if maybe it's true, it's not the environment but rather me, who has a problem. I am never happy, so my Hubby says.

Is that such a bad thing? 

I mean really. I have been to so many places and  I have come so far. I went to college. Should be, 'nuff said. But, then there is this long history of paid work and un-paid work or volunteering. I mean. Not to toot my own horn, but I have been told that my background is pretty darn impressive and I am proud of that. As a Woman, as a Mexican-American and now as a Momma; I am very proud of my education and work history. Even my un-successful time as a Stay-at-Home-Momma which I failed at miserably, but that's a whole other post in itself. Trust me when I say..having kids and staying home is NOT for everyone! Yes, it has it's rewards and pro's but still not for everyone.

So, in further seeking I continue on this path of applications and interviews. And, I am once again haunted by that question; where do you see yourself in 5 years? Which to me translates into what is the perfect job for you and what do you want from this current situation? As one person put it; "I want to sit on a beach and drink margarita's all day and get paid for it." Really, come on, who the heck wouldn't but since that may or may not be an option for me I am not only determined but involved in seeking that perfect job, that perfect place. Just the other day I had an interview; when the manager spoke to me, she had LIFE.  When someone has true passion and purpose, you can see it in their face through their determination. You can hear it in their voice through their story and their words. And, they inspire you to do more and motivate you to live beyond what you think is normal.

That is where I see myself in 5 years. I challenge myself to live beyond what I think is normal and fitting not only for my well-being, financial stability and mental growth but what I deem a position that my children can look up to and be proud of. Yes, they should and can be proud of my accomplishments until now but I am not a conformist remember. I don't like to settle. I never have. If I did, I wouldn't have left a small town in 1999, to become a city girl. If I did I would have allowed the stereotypes and what-if's to consume me.  If I settled I wouldn't be a home-owner and drive an SUV. {Not bragging, just sayin'... Si se puede!} And, because I have SO much more to prove not to anyone but myself, I seek.

That passion. That job. And, that determination.

What about you? Are you a constant seeker? I know I am.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

{Blogging?} Que es Eso?

It's what I feel like the last couple of months if it weren't for my deadlines over at  Houston Mom's Blog and Houston Latina Bloggers ,I probably wouldn't be writing at all.

It's been busy and now it's cold so I have excuses. Ha.

{It's funny but when tough times come not many are around, it helps you appreciate the silence and those who are willing to not only listen but help when help is needed. The last few weeks have been difficult because you know Life is that way sometimes. I don't like to complain {but I do, I am human right? Definitely try to change this...daily.}, I don't like to "over-share" my troubles {as funny as that may sound, considering I have a blog and am all over all the social media sites.} and I don't tend to dwell {at least not anymore} on people, situations or thoughts.}

These days, what happened today. Well it pretty much stays there. My children and my Hubby need me on a day to day basis. They hear me out and I move on.



With that said. Life is busy and complicated some days. I can't promise much but I will say this...feel free to look around, check out my Facebook page I am there daily! We have a neat daily post going on right now; our November Thankful countdown to Thanksgiving where we share what we are thankful for on a daily basis.

I also have the following sites where you can follow me and keep up to date on what is going on with us:

Pintrest:http://pinterest.com/mommaofdos/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/MommaofDosTX
Instagram:@mommaofdos


{ I don't believe life was meant to be easy, if not what fun would that be...every day can be a challenge but overcoming those challenges are not only adventures but definitely worth it. A learning experience in every moment good or bad.}

~Just sayin'

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS {Meca}

{Momma Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or paid post. All thoughts expressed are my own beliefs and honest opinion.} 

Houston is filled with so many vibrant cultures and traditions. I of coarse love the Mexican {Hispanic/Latino} traditions. One that I want my children to learn about is El Dia de Los Muertos. It's not only a great way to learn more about our family history but also appreciate life as a whole. 

El Dia de los Muertos is traditionally celebrated by placing items at the deceased family members grave site or tomb. Not only bringing food offerings that the family member liked but also those things that you believe he or she would enjoy on this day. The altars are created with festive colors, fresh fruits and homemade dishes as well as pictures and personal items that belonged to the deceased; as a way to remember the life that this person lead while they were still among us. The belief is that on November 2nd your loved ones spirit returns to sit and enjoy those items brought to their grave site. 

It's difficult now to show my children this exact replica since most my family is buried in Reynosa, Tamaulipas and Cuernavaca, Morelos. I hope that one day they can accompany me to Mexico where we can fully celebrate life and honor those who have left our lives but still live deep within our hearts. 

On this day I remember not only one but several Woman who have some how impacted my life. From my father's family; my Grandmother Soccorro who passed away a couple of week before my 14th birthday, my Tia Lucy {My Dad's Sister} who passed away when I was a Senior in H.S., and my Tia Angelica {even her name means Angel} who passed away when I was 21. From my Mom's family; my Great Grandmother whom I was ultimately named after Maria del Consuelo and my Tia Nieves both whom passed away long before I was born and my Tia Lola our most recent loss she was a amazing woman of great faith and great impact in her family and community. Along with, my Great Grandfather Titos who passed away at 99 years old and several uncles.

From my Husband's family and someone that my kids will learn a lot about is his Grandfather, Don Victor, who passed away 9 months before we found out we would have our first baby. My Husband was very close to his Grandfather and he is someone who was very important to him. 

Next year I think we will create an altar. My children are more aware of their surroundings these days and the questions flow like clock-work. I know they will learn from the experience and enjoy creating an altar. In the mean time for the second year in a row we visited Meca for their annual Altar Exhibit. The colors, the items brought forth, the history and lost loved ones remembered just fill me with knowledge of how deep and rich our culture is. As well as how fragile and short life can be. 

Meca will also have their Calavera Rendezvous Fundraiser this Friday November 1st from 7 to 11pm and then their Dia de Los Muertos Festival on Saturday November 2nd and Sunday November 3rd this event is free and open to the public! Great way to explore Houston and find out more about El Dia de Los Muertos' history. Please visit their website for more information on all of the upcoming festivities. 

www.Meca-Houston.org

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Early {New} Year Re-solutions

So, you thought 2013 would be a year full of purpose and direction and it's now October and you can't seem to see your vision. But, why? No worries, re-direct and get it together!


I had many goals for this year. Sure most of them were accomplished and maybe slightly re-directed but honestly sometimes life is life and it just doesn't happen how you envisioned. Well, now is the time to start re-thinking those goals for the rest of this year. And yes, why not for 2014? Trust me, it will be here before we know it. It’s never too early to start thinking about what we want for ourselves.


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A few ways that I plan on getting back on track are:

Re-Organizing~ I started my year as a Stay@HomeMomma and then converted back to being a WorkingOutsidetheHomeMomma so my every day has been flipped up-side down! It's been almost 5 months and I think I am finally finding a new balance. Schedules are falling into place. Energy and motivation are finally back. My best advice; don't take on too much and when you feel overwhelmed take a break! 

Re-Thinking~ I am going to go over my goals and re-think, re-evaluate and re-prioritize what I feel needs to get done to accomplish some of my personal, home and blogging goals! I think everything in life can be re-written no need to get flustered or upset...just re-think it! 

Take Action~ After I am done re-organizing myself and re-thinking what and how things will be done the rest of the year and in 2014; then I will definitely be set to TAKE ACTION! I want to not only be a person of words but also of actions! 

What about you? Have you thought about way to start over and start planning for next year?!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

How to put your Words in Motion & Emotion?

How do I put my words in motion? And, emotion?

I pray and I think and I do what I think is enough for my actions to create reactions, change and results. Still not much happens. I linger in this place where just going through the motions is inevitable and I sit in the same vicious cycle of everyday life and routine. I am ready for more. But, how? What?

My friend Melissa from Painting Mariposas in the Sky; stated that she has all of these drafts sitting on her blog none that have seen yet the light of her screen or met the eyes of her readers. And, the question remains, why?

Then I read an article from one of my favorite writers Lysa  Terkeurst where she connects, with ME.  And, I sit and wonder and finally think; that's what it is! We {Melissa and I as well as many other Bloggers}, are connectors and we long for our words to jump off the screen and provoke that same action that we want to see in ourselves as writers. We put constant effort into our post and a lot of thought into our words. We are life storytellers. The question then becomes, how? How do make those connections? All I know now is that I am determined to do things and make changes that will allow my drafts to be not just blog post but new connections to the outside world and who I want to be.

I have already started making real connections in order to become a better Blogger, then next step is to see the results of my online, in-person, and story telling connections.

What about you? Are you making those connections?

If you want to share your story with me; message me on FB, connect on Twitter or comment below!

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Momma-of-Dos/167499493284586
Pintrest:http://pinterest.com/mommaofdos/
Twitter:https://twitter.com/MommaofDosTX
Instagram:@mommaofdos
Email: mommaofdos@gmail.com
        

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Raising Bi-Cultural Children {Toddlers Mexicanos}


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I think that when most people think of Bi-Cultural children you look for them to have parents with two different races or nationalities. It's not the case in our home. Both my Husband and I are born and raised Texans. I was born in Brenham and he was born here in Houston. 

The difference is that both of us have parents that were born in Mexico and came to the U.S. many years ago to work. 

From September 15th thru October 15th Hispanics all over the U.S. celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. http://hispanicheritagemonth.gov/ Being of Mexican descendant,  I not only celebrate U.S. holidays but I also celebrate many Mexican holidays. Such as, Mexico's Independence day which is September 16th, not to be confused with 5 de Mayo which is when Mexico won the Battle of Puebla. 

Here in Houston there are several places that you can go to help your children learn more about and celebrate the Hispanic culture. Places like the Houston Library have family friendly events that are free and open to the public, http://www.houstonlibrary.org/hhm-events . And, the Miller Outdoor Theater which has presentations such as Traditional Folkloric dance presentation called Mexicanisimo; http://milleroutdoortheatre.com/events/464/

There are also places that have events year round such as Talento Biligue de Houston http://www.talentobilingue.org/ and MECCA http://meca-houston.org/. Both places on the top of my list to visit in the next few months as the Day of Dead {El Dia de Los Muertos} approaches. 

I believe in embracing my roots and teaching my children to do the same; we celebrate a variety of holidays in our home which will help them learn not only about our America culture but also about our Mexican background.  

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{Perspective} #BEConference

3 weeks ago now, I went to Blog Elevated, met some pretty amazing and driven Latinas as well as reconnected with some very familiar faces! {Shout out to my Houston Mom's Blog Contributors; didn't get pictures with you ladies!!}

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On the morning of September 20th I stepped into a conference room and opened my ears and heart to what was to come. Our Keynote speaker that morning stated, that most of us would NOT do what was necessary to propel forward. I don't know John Saddington and he doesn't know me other than the brief "you are awesome john" and his "thank you" on Twitter, but if he knew me he would know that you really can't tell me that I won't do what is necessary to propel forward.

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You see my whole life has been created on actions. I am kind of a busy body. When I wasn't trying to work or go to school, I was out looking for places to volunteer, when I was all booked I went out to seek my faith and my purpose. Early on in life I decided number one I wouldn't be a statistic, because my 5th grade teacher told me I would be {more on that later} and number DOS, I wouldn't be stuck doing what everyone else is/was doing.

With my drive to move forward; I graduated college seeking a career, I have definitely been there and done that in corporate America.

Then I went on to bigger and better ventures and guess what I became a Momma and since I am a kind of an ambitious person I had two children within 18 month of each-other and now I am here. With a Blog that started as a family sharing and let me tell you about our crazy little lives which I think has evolved into a Blog about parenting and our culture along with some of my faith and daily seeking to be a better person.

I don't have as big of a  following as John has for his blogs and fan pages,yet, but I know that those that do follow me have been supportive and awesome!

Perspective. 

This word has been  burned into my brain since Blog Elevated and I don't think it will escape until I change the way others look not only at the word but at my Blog as a whole and ME, in this space

The question is, how? How am I going to change? How am I going to propel forward? 

Be different. And, rise above the crowd. I don't know, yet but you better trust that little Mexican girl is working on it.

John Saddington stated that morning "Maximize your God given uniqueness." Such a simple but powerful statement to me. His tips and pointers that morning definitely called out to me and I am on the MOVE and my goal is to DO more!

Friday, September 20, 2013

{Friday Update!} #BEconference

Happy Friday Everyone!!!!

Hope you enjoyed our posts this week the lovely ladies... Sybil and Darlene are really good friends and they are always so nice to share and join me on my Blog adventures!

As you may know I am at the Blog Elevated Conference today!!!! Focused and ready to learn and take it all in. So, yes....stay tuned to lots of fun recap posts next week! Follow me on Twitter {@MommaofDosTX} so that you can see what all the hoopla is about and maybe next year you will join us....



Last year I attended my first conference and I urge all Bloggers to attend at least one Conference per year, even if it's local because trust me  you will learn SO much and meet SO many great people!  I can't wait to come back next week and share all of my new experiences with you. Also, watch for my upcoming post over at Houston Moms Blog! I have a pretty great local restaurant review coming up, pretty excited about it!

Hope you enjoy your Friday and have a great weekend!

See you back here next week......


Thursday, September 19, 2013

{Inspired} Momma with a Mission~Part Dos

{Bella & Darlene's Story continued.....}

Even though Bella was delivered via emergency c-section, we thought the worst part was over. Relief overflowed as I sat waiting in the recovery room waiting to come off of the anesthesia. I remember feeling doozy but at the same time so alive and high, just really genuinely high on life! 

The highest high I had ever felt in my life

As I laid there by myself waiting for my husband or baby to join my side, I laid there and tried to let everything sink in and all that was happening around me.  

And then, my husband came into the recovery room to join me and told me something I could never forget and took more than just my breath away. 

“The doctor says Bella has Down Syndrome,” is what Alex said. 

At that very moment, we went from feeling the utmost high to the lowest of all lows. We both just cried… and cried some more… We didn't know how to deal with having a special needs child. We were both 21-years old and naive as can be. We thought everything was going to be perfect. We already had huge plans for our daughter. The moment we became parents our top priority changed. There was a new person who meant more to us now than ourselves. The only other kind of person who conquered our heart, the #1 spot and that was our child, Bella Mia… 

We were aware that she would entail a little extra special attention, a little extra love, nevertheless, the important thing is that she has a little extra instilled in herself. A little extra enthusiasm to life, a little extra innocence, a little extra charm and of course a little extra chromosome of the 21st pair that inspires so much fear in parents-to-be. 

Fast forward five years later… 

Raising a child with Down syndrome has brought significant changes to our life as well as immense perspective. Bella has helped us see there’s an infinitely more to life than intelligence, beauty and what we perceive perfection to be. I don’t know anyone else who holds as much love as Bella does. She is truly a gift from God. She has inspired me to not be fearful and chase after what I believe in. I now know that Bella was a huge part of God’s plan. Even though she cannot speak I hear it, I feel it and I see it. I hear her tell me she loves me through the noises she makes, I feel it with the hugs she gives me and I even see it in the twinkle of her eyes. 

Bella is a Kindergartener who enjoys going to school on the bus every morning and participating in circle time. Although she is non-verbal and has a really hard time communicating, she still shows the most love. She has always been a humongous cuddle bug. And, she will surprise you when she steals your iPhone, swipes it on, finds YouTube and will even get Elmo playing. Hahahaha. 

I started blogging to document some important milestones. And, it honestly took off from there. Since I got into reading other mom blogs, I noticed I never came across special needs moms or special needs parenting. So, I took it from there. I saw a need and told myself I would passionately seek it because I can’t be the only person out there looking for this type of connection, relation and therapy. 

As touchy as it may be, it truly is therapeutic for me to write about this stuff. What started off as a support group on Facebook that I titled, “A Little Xtra” evolved into a website with a blog sharing my experience as a mom raising a special needs child. And then a powerful podcast emerged all about the special needs community, which has now become a movement. I make no money doing this. I actually lose money. But it’s not about the money.

It’s about filling the void and spreading awareness because one flicker of a light switch in someone else’s thoughts can trigger a dark mind to be bright. You never know when that “light-bulb” moment of inspiration can happen in someone. I hope to be able to bring various topics to the table so that my audience doesn't feel alone. And so that others who may not know much about living with special needs can gain some valuable perspective and motivate them to do more with their abilities, not disabilities. 

And so friends, whether you’re religious, spiritual or scientific, it doesn't matter because we still can relate on many other levels. I tend to live by several principles, the main one being The Golden Rule,

“Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you.” 

It means so much to me because I believe what goes around, comes around.  And, I don’t know, I just like people. I challenge myself to be as open-minded as I can be, so that I may be prone to understanding new ways of life that I may benefit from or better yet; help someone else benefit from. And as negative as this motto sounds, I always remind myself that things could always be worse and to find the hope in everything because hope keeps you going. No matter how severe of a situation you are dealing with, I feel it’s important to remind yourself why you do what you do. 

As I mentioned before, I know Bella was given to me for a reason. Everybody has a calling in life, we all are made for something. Your real job in life is to figure out what that is and get to it! We are what we think and what we do. I will always be grateful for the cards that have been dealt to me. But I’m especially grateful that I allowed myself the chance to recognize it with a tolerant mind. There is no greater love for my children and I will forever in my heart do what I can for my babies. 

{About Darlene}

DARLENEANDBELLA


Please contact me if you’d like to share your story. You may reach me anytime @Darlasworld86 on every social media site out there.

To follow our journey with “A Little Xtra” please follow us @alittlextra21 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, You Tube, Google +, Vine, Soundcloud, etc.

(Ay! This is turning into a paragraph on it’s own! Lol)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

{Inspired} Momma with a Mission

Have you ever had to write about yourself?

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As easy as it sounds, it’s not very easy.  I know once I get started, I won’t be able to stop but it’s always the getting started part that gets me stuck! Bare with me as I spill my heart out and let you in on what I’m all about. So… Hi there! I’m Darlene. I was born on Groundhog’s Day back in 1986, which makes me 27-and a half years old. Born and raised in Southern California and still here… (writers block occurring, uh-oh…)

Okay, so… What else? Well… I’m a lot of things so I’ll start with my most important and go from there. As corny as this sounds, I was able to marry my best friend from high school. It’s definitely been a blessing because I always thought I’d be the type to never get married or have kids. I envisioned myself as being this extremely successful, independent woman that didn’t have to worry about anyone else but herself. And then, just like that… BOOM! 

I fell in love! Hahaha. 

Totally turned my life around. 

I always tell Alex, he was the only exception. He was the only guy I would instantly dismiss my selfish dreams for without a thought. And, I’m very glad I did because there’s no one out there that could fill his spot. No one. We had been friends all through out high school and I would tell him about my boyfriends, he’d tell me about his girlfriends, we’d talk about our problems, complain about homework, talk all night long about serious stuff and just all the other things you talk about with your best friend. But, what really drew us closer was all that we shared in common, which was our taste in music and humor. I knew I was crazy about him a year before we ever stepped beyond friendship, but he had his own thing going on at the moment and I wasn't going to dare tell him I liked him until it was the right time. Low and behold, our Senior year was approaching it's end, we were talking on the phone while we played our latest downloaded playlist, which happened to be a mix of R&B Slow jams, mainly lovey-dovey music (all obvious! lol). 

Suddenly, the entire mood totally changed and I could sense the conversation was steering somewhere new for us. We finally mustered up the courage to tell each other how we felt over AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). I remember sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for him to respond. Hahaha. From that moment on, we were crazy about each other, inseparable, head over heels in love… Everything moved fast, we told each other we loved one another the night we shared our first kiss, we got to experience our Senor Prom together and enjoyed life after high school, going out, exploring our independence, living together, going to college, turning life into adventures… and then the biggest adventure approached us~ Parenthood! BOOM! (There goes that boom again.

This time it was an extremely exciting boom! The day I found out I was pregnant, it was like a light switch turned on in my heart that I had never turned on before. It was a very exciting day filled with nervous jitters and happiness.

We were way into it. Each week we’d read up on our daughter’s developmental stage and what was forming than. Month-by-month, we’d take pictures and get more excited as the bump grew, started prepping our home for our baby girl that was soon to arrive. Life was going perfect for us... 

Or so we thought, with our naive sense, we never even thought about complications being a possibility, so you know what was coming next… BOOM! BOOM!! BOOM!!! 

Emergency C-Section, overly tensed nerves and 100% pure fright, and then life at that particular moment really threw us a curve-ball. More like, a curve-ball that went too curvy and ended up hitting us. And now this time, the BOOM hit us where it would leave us, in pain and forever sore. 

Our lives would forever change.


{Come back tomorrow to read the rest of Darlene's Story.....}


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{Guest Blogger} Sybil

{Sleeping in Goggles: The Beauty of a Child's Imagination}

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Like many nights before, the kids, hubby and I were all getting ready for bed. We were brushing our teeth, putting on our pajamas, preparing the pillows and blankets for our nightly rest. While checking in to make sure the kids were almost ready to go to sleep, I saw my oldest sitting in bed, trying to put on some water goggles my mother had bought her the day before.

"Ixchel, what are you doing with those?" I asked.

"I want to wear them," she answered.

At this point it was getting late and I brushed this nonsense aside, took the goggles from her and hung them on the headboard.

"Ixchel, you can't wear those to bed. Goggles are for the water. Anyways, they are going to bother you at night. I'm going to hang them right here so you don't lose them!"

"Okay, Mami," she replied.

I went on with the nightly routine and, after I was finally ready to kiss my babies goodnight, a smile came across my face when I saw my beautiful Leah Ixchel laying in bed, sleeping with her goggles on.

At first I chuckled at the sight of my little girl wearing those things in bed. But then I paused and I really took in the sight before me. It was magical! It brought thoughts of fantasy, adventure, exploration and imagination to my mind! I wondered whether my little girl was off on a scuba diving expedition or maybe she was in an airplane flying high in the sky.

When I saw her laying there, wearing those goggles, I was glad she hadn't listened to me. I didn't want to squash her sense of wonder, her sense of imagination. I want to nurture that and be the one who supports her in all her endeavors (be they imaginary or not). As a matter of fact, I wish I could bring back that childhood innocence I once had in me.

Many times we get caught up in everyday life: going to work, running errands, paying bills... just being practical, being adults! We might as well be on auto pilot, seeing that sometimes we can't distinguish one day from another because the days are all too similar. And just like we can fall victim to routine, our kids can be subject to it too: do your homework, do your chores, do this, do that!

So here's what I want to do. I want to build forts out of blankets and chairs and camp out in the living room, I want to fashion pirate swords out of cardboard and go searching for treasure, or maybe use a makeshift spaceship to travel across space and discover new planets.

Seeing how the adult world can keep me busy and I'll probably forget how inspired I was, I need to make sure to tell the kiddos my plan because I'm sure they'll make sure that I don't forget!


{About Sybil}
SYBIL

Sybil is an aspiring Houston Latina blogger. When not hesitating to write for herself, you will find her writing and producing for a local Spanish television station’s Community Affairs Department, where she has been since August 2003. Sybil graduated in May 2003 from the University of St. Thomas with a Bachelor’s in Communications and Spanish, minor in Theology.  Sybil is the mother of three beautiful children and wife of Francisco Sánchez.

You can read more from her at www.sybilblog.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter @sybil_sanchez, Instagram: @sybil_sanchez and LinkedIn: Sybil Moncivais Sanchez.

Monday, September 16, 2013

{4 years Santiago} Letters to my Son

My Beautiful Baby,
{it's what I call you every time I hold you in my arms, by the way...you are really big but still I hold you like a baby...my baby....}

4 year letter

Today you are 4 years old.
You are active and no one can stop you.
You are stubborn but still a sweet baby.
You are beautiful and loving.
Your smile lights up a room.
If you sleep long enough you wake up and say
"Good Morning Mami!"

You are taller than most and in a size 6/7 clothes and size 11 shoe.
You brighten up my days and make me nervous all at once.
Everyday is a new adventure for you and you are eager to take on the day's "challenges"...

You are curious and sometimes we don't agree.... you want your way and I
want what's best.

Your life is so simple and easy. You don't know how to have
a bad day. And, everyday that I pick you up from school you say,
"Mom, I had fun today!"
You have fun everyday, even when you don't feel good or are in a bad mood.
You fight with your Sister, a lot but you are also very protective, loving and giving...
when  you want to be.
You are definitely a Momma's boy and your Dad's best buddy.
You love to make up words and speak Spanish when needed.
You are full of life and vibrant!
You love to run and play and laugh and just be happy....you tell me...
"Mom, just let me be happy!"
when I try to calm you down or keep you quiet.

You are very much a ladies man and you even have the best dance moves.
You love all things "boy", you are rough and tough but sweet and sensitive and you even play with your Sister's babies and kitchen.

You want reassurance as to how much I love you almost daily. I don't mind telling you how amazing and beautiful you are and how much I love you...but know that this life is not fair and people of the world will never make you who you are. God has created you; strong, unique and loved...that is all that matters.
Your best friend in daycare is "Sanchez", the other Santiago of the class.

You are my life and although it's often filled with tantrums and tears...you have a way of turning all my wrongs into the best rights ever. God has blessed us with you and your Sister.
You are the little man that stole my heat 4 years ago.
Your Daddy and I love you { & Camila} more than life!

You may not know this but you have everything you need and everyone you need in your life, maybe not everything you want but we provide what we know you need to thrive as a child and to grow; mentally, physically and emotionally. We support you and we will always be here for you..if one day we are not..don't be scared...look to God, He has brought us this far.... and He will take us the distance...

Santiago; you have no idea the amazing and intelligent little boy that you are, you say the best things and you come up with the best comments... every word that you say is heard and acknowledged.

And, yes...some days we have our days. You push every button and try to surpass every limit. We keep you in line. And, although it's cliche...at times..it hurts us more than it hurts you...we want you to be happy but we also want you to learn to be respectful and humble. We will never break your spirit although sometimes you act as if it's the end of the world when the word "NO" comes out of our mouths. You have survived and you will survive even the most stern "NO's", life is filled with them so it's better you hear them now from us and learn that they are normal.

You are a great son and a good boy but you are over active and sometimes you beat us at the how's and what to do with you.... your imagination is expressed in so many ways. You love to draw Angry Birds,  your favorite game, in every notebook. You also draw me and your Dad and Camila. We look like potatoes but one day it will be different, practice makes perfect. You play with all your toys as if they were alive, scary yes but so amazing to watch.

You are built like an athlete and even "Box" with your Dad, and talk about "faceball"...{baseball, basketball or football...they are all "faceball"} yet I have a feeling the arts maybe your calling...your Dad claims I think everything is your calling at the end of the day..it's up to you. God will guide you. You will know how to use your talents and what you will develop.

You love watching "Connie Cow" on Youtube. You know how to use my cellphone and computer better than me at times. You love your GranMa and GranPa. You pray for us all and have special request when you know our loved ones are ill. You tell me about your Bible readings and sing songs everyday. And, so much more!

I love you and pray to God that you remain healthy and protected by all of those who love you. No words can ever describe how we feel on a daily basis to have you and your Sister in our lives!

Happy 4th Birthday my beautiful baby Boy!!!

We Love you!!!!

Momma {Daddy & Camila too!}

Friday, September 13, 2013

{Because I had to....}

It's Friday the 13th, and while I am borderline superstitious I couldn't miss the opportunity to post on this day! Because you know, if not then you get like 7 years of bad luck, o algo asi,no?

keep-calm-its-friday-the-13th-1


Well while this day may cause fear in some and laughter in others... 

The Gomez household has a lot of good new and fun new events coming up! In case you missed me a little this week, I have this sweet new gig over at ::HOUSTON MOMS BLOG::,  so head on over and check us out! I can't say enough how awesome it is to be working with this group of ladies and to be guided by our fearless leader ::Kelly::! It's been a lot of fun so far! 

Hope you have a great weekend filled with endless adventures and great family time! 

 Next week will be filled with fun new post, including a Birthday post... wait for it.... 

Oh yeah...HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH.... BWAHA-HAHA-HAHA-HAHA-HA....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

{Instructions Not Included} Movie Review

{::Momma Disclosure:: This is not a compensated or sponsored post. This review was not required but we did receive free admission from Cinemark. All opinions and thoughts expressed below are original and my own.}

::No se Aceptan Devoluciones::

Instructions Not Included-FB

Siempre e sido fan de Eugenio Derbez, es un cómico único y su modo de interpretar a diferentes personajes siempre me ha encantado. 

When I heard about this movie, I honestly had no idea that it had Eugenio written all over it. Then it came out. People I knew started filling their social media sites with pictures of long lines and others waiting to watch the film. Then, Eugenio Derbez appeared on Jimmy Fallon. I realized, I really need to see this movie. Not because Eugenio Derbez was on Jimmy Fallon but because EUGENIO DERBEZ was on Jimmy Fallon. 

For a long time "Mexicans" have been "portrayed" in American films and for the first time; a Mexican was staring in his own film being released in the U.S.. A long awaited moment for Mexicans in the U.S.. I know this film and this actor may not represent all Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. but he represents many. And, sure some of those other movies may or may not have us figured out but for the first time, it's real. I can identify on a whole new level. 

The movie is a beautiful reminder that life, is so fragile, no matter where you were born or what race you are. That we should all live life to the fullest. And, guess what.... that LIFE is not that serious. I say it everyday but today I believe it a little more. 

Instructions Not Included was also hilarious, I mean what did you expect...it's Eugenio. The jokes though,  I will admit, if you follow the English Subtitles get a little lost in translation, como las cosas de doble sentido. 


To me one of the most visible reasons why this film is doing so amazing is that; the U.S. is filled with not only avid movie goers but Mexican movie goers. Movie goers who know exactly who Eugenio Derbez is and his history in Mexican comedic television.

The theater we attended was packed with Spanish speaking Hispanic families. The entire theater laughed at every joke and clapped once it was over. It's a none stop journey through life as not only a Single Parent but through Parenthood, which I could definitely relate with. Eugenio's take on becoming a Single Father and embracing it shows courage and the fact that sometimes..it happens to Dad's too. 

My favorite parts were all the scenes that showoff Mexico's beautiful landscape, the fact that his Daughter doesn't look like a "typical Mexican" and that she was fully Bilingual. I also loved that it brought together so many well known Mexican actors like "Lola la Trailera" and Eugenio's own wife, Alessandra, with a group of up and coming actors like the beautiful and young Loreto Peralta.  

It's a heartfelt story that will change your heart, about a Daughter/Father relationship and their attempt to take over the world, one day at a time. I challenge you to watch the film and not feel inspired as a parent, as an individual and as a Mexican seeking your purpose and your place in this country. Definitely one I will purchase once it comes out on DVD.

A classic film in the making.... 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

{Vacation Mode} Summer 2013

Do you often find that coming back from vacation or getting back into a routine after a long time away from it to be a little well, difficult?!

So, we got back from vacation almost 3 weeks ago and we still couldn't manage to get it together;until this weekend! I think the 3 day weekend allowed for that extra time needed to adjust. We are still working on schedules, between being on vacation and being sick timing is off.

teamgomezvacation

Here are FIVE things that just had me feeling overwhelmed and well, a little off:

1) Laundry; I could't manage to get it under control with Dos toddlers who are constantly changing and between the Hubby and I and our work clothes and home clothes. I had to finally just wash, wash, wash...and then fold and put it all away in 2 days! It took a lot  but it's finally done!

2) Dishes; we often find ourselves using disposable dishes and still constantly filling the dishwasher or hand washing dishes. Again, I got home one afternoon and washed dishes until I couldn't wash dishes anymore...I did a double dose; ran the dish washer and hand washed as may dishes as I could! Finally getting the job done.

3) Unpacking! Yes, it had been almost 3 weeks and our suitcases were still sitting in our bedroom with some of our stuff still in them. The day{s} that I did laundry I finished emptying them and put them back in the garage! Until our next little getaway....

4) Getting Organized! So, last week I heard some good advice and I can't get it out of my head; Do one thing tonight that will make your morning easier! Last night, I set aside the kids clothes for today and I made sure that the kitchen and living room were clean. It's not something I usually get to do because I run off to bath time and then bed time, usually falling asleep before I can get organized. But, I think this is something I need to keep going.

5) Schedules; being a Blogger {and working outside the home} a schedule is really a blurred line... I Blog when my kids fall asleep but it's getting them to bed while my light is still on and the clickity-clack of my keyboard is going off that's a challenge. Usually we try to be in bed between 9 and 10:30pm. It's a little late but it works for us. Thankfully when the lights go out the kids fall asleep but it's those afternoon/nights when our schedule is super busy or I have too may things to do for the next day that our times are off but we try.

What kind of things keep you organized and going, or ready for the next day?

In our home we take it one day at a time because every day brings a new challenge... but we try to  be as prepared as possible! Un dia a la vez....  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"Sun in the Closet"

It's the best expression I have heard in a while....

I heard it this weekend as a good friend assessed my current job and abilities.

"Really Connie? It's like putting the Sun in the closet."

I couldn't help but smile and think....

It's true. You know those moments of shade or maybe even darkness in your life...when the Sun is stuck in the closet?

There come moments in life when we don't have all the answers, when we don't know what direction is best, and when we just don't shine the way we used to...

I think Dr. Seuss said it best in "Oh, the places you'll Go!" when he stated....

"And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done."

{Yes, I totally just opened the book and looked for this line....}

Not sure what kind of a place I am in but what ever it is, it's not my usual place.

Maybe I am in that place right before the door is ready to open and the Sun is peeking through waiting for the perfect moment to shine bright again and say... "HERE I AM!"

Maybe it's a moment of change and transformation, that I am not quite aware of...or that isn't very clear.

What ever it is, it's a weird place and I am ready for the Sun to shine once more outside the closet....just don't know how to get it going again.

If motivation, and inspiration surround me, then what is stopping me?

No idea.

But, I am ready to let the Sun out of the closet and let it SHINE! Shine. SHINE! Shine.

shine

{::meme credit:: created by: memegenerator.net}

Inspired. {Traveling Hubby}

{::Momma Note:: This is a series that I created in hopes of inspiring other Momma's in Houston to share their stories and connect with Momma's just like them. I have known Karen for about 2 years now, her and her family NEVER cease to amaze me. Their faith and what God has done and continues to do for them, just reminds me how GREAT life is and how awesome it is to count our Blessings and be happy! Enjoy!!}
Hello! 
My Name is Karen. 
I am from Houston. I am Salvadorian American. I am married and have 3 beautiful kids Noah (5) Emma (3) Aaron (1) and One the way. Yes, I am a busy mom!

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My husband and I have been married for 8 years. We married at 18 and three years later started having kids. You know once you start the fun doesn't stop. My husband was born with a retinal disease. It’s a degenerative retinal disease and according to doctors he will eventually lose his eye sight completely. We decided to make the most of our lives and have kids early so he could enjoy every moment before his vision worsened.

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He started at the bottom working in a warehouse counting nuts and bolts. Little by little he moved his way up. Every new position, every promotion is such a victory to us because we know the odds we stand against. He got a promotion as an engineering draftsmen and I cannot explain how proud I was of him. How far he had come despite the circumstances. Then shortly after that he was offered an awesome position as a Sales/Engineering coordinator for Mexico operations. I’m his number one fan and was ecstatic about the new position. Then I realized that coordinating for Mexico operations probably meant traveling to Mexico!! I wasn't too sure about that aspect of the job but nothing was mentioned so I figured maybe I was wrong. 

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He was only two weeks into the new position, when he tells me He has to go to Mexico for two weeks!! Not days but weeks!! I’m pregnant with the fourth and at that time I was in major morning sickness mode! More like all day sickness. I tried not to panic but it was hard not to when hubby and I are joined at the hip! Well, the day came and he was off for two weeks. That first day was the longest day of my life! I did not know what to do with myself. Nightfall was the worst, the kids were constantly asking for him and when was he going to come home. The two weeks did not fly by. Thank goodness for face time! I really think that helped the kids cope. They got to see him every night and tell him about their day. If not I think they would have felt it way more. It was the highlight of my day.  

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As our routine goes I kept us busy and tried to not be home around the time he usually came home because it made evenings hard and long. We enjoyed doing the things we usually don’t get to do. We visited friends and family all over the city. We got to discover new parks. We learned that the library is a great place to spend many hours. The pool became our oasis. I was able to bond with my kids more than ever. It was hard by the end of the two weeks since it was just me with the kids 24 hrs. a day. No little breaks here and there, but I am thankful I had so many friends checking up on me. Cheering me on and welcoming us to their homes especially on the weekends when I felt the loneliest. Every day I received a text from many friends making sure I was ok. Especially the ones with traveling hubbys! 

The biggest challenge is the loneliness and distance. Knowing that at 5 o clock he won’t be coming through our front door ready to hear our stories. The biggest blessing is my husband being able to experience things that we never imagined were going to be possible. My children being able to see how amazing their dad is. How strong their mom is. And the souvenirs are pretty sweet too! As of now He will be traveling maybe one more time before the end of the year. For another two weeks. Rumor has it next year will be a busy year, lots of traveling. I know I can do it all over again. God provided me with so much strength the first time and I know he will continue to do so. I think it will get easier. 

For someone just starting this journey as a wife of a traveling hubby I would say, you can do it! Keep busy and enjoy it! Discover new things around you. Time will pass. It’s OK to get lonely and cry. I did all the time, but most importantly is to have a great support system. Our Motto in our home is “we walk by faith, not by sight” I think this verse has really narrated our lives from the beginning. 

Faith will take you to promised lands. We are loving every minute of our new adventure.
{If you wish to contact Karen and learn more about her family please email her at kdcarrasco3@gmail.com}