Friday, November 15, 2013

Singing talent

I have zero singing talent and I am always amazed when people sing and they are able to MOVE me.
I wanted to share the following videos which are so beautiful in their own way.

If this is not angelic, I don't know what is (first time I heard this I cried)
Direct link here.

Also, Susan Boyle's audition in Britain's Got Talent is moving, unexpected and beautiful!
Direct link here.


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

New purpose?

I hear it's good to journal. I honestly am very bad at writing. I can't tell a story really, but I can make bullet points! So with that effort, I will try to journal as much as possible our days.
You see, even though I work, I get to be home when my kids come home from school. I am very VERY lucky in that regard. Earning money, while helping my kids be kids after school - SCORE!

So with that spirit, I will share what I experience every day with my kiddos. They are growing up too fast. I'm so happy they are growing healthy and blossoming into amazing people. But I know this is going fast and I need to slow down somehow. Maybe by recapping our days right now here at home, it will give me an even deeper appreciation of their childhood and perhaps a look back for them (the kids) to go back and remember our times together.
Like I mentioned above, I'm not a great writer, so kids, bear with me :)

Monday 2/4
*Jackie came home announcing she would be reading the first reading at mass on Wednesday! Wonderful news, as I love the fact they get to be involved in church at such a young age (Jackie you are ALMOST 11 years old my sweetie, and I'm so happy for you! I promise to be at mass on Wednesday!)
*Jackie ALSO has to present her Desert Biome project to her class on Wednesday... double opportunity to get in front of people and talk. I hope you are far more comfortable doing it than I was at your age. Your daddy is the expert at presenting in front of people and so am I (now) but it still gives me butterflies in my stomach. You practiced in front of daddy and me, and our only feedback was to speak LOUDER :) You are going to do great.
*Julien, you are VERY interested in reading Harry Potter(the first book) and are doing a wonderful job. At 7 years old I find that quite an amazing challenge!!
*I can't believe I have to say more than once (almost every night) KIDS, put the books away, time for bed. So, so thankful you guys like to read, but when it's time to rest for the day, it's time to rest.
* I still need to find a fiction book to read. I keep looking but get turned off by Amazon reviews. I really should just pick something and go with it!!
*Jackie - your tap dancing is awesome! You are learning your dance routine for your presentation in the spring and are doing amazing. I honestly think you are a natural at tap!

Tuesday 2/5
*Julien - you my boy have decided to create a comic strip! You worked on it quite a bit on Tuesday and it's all about a napkin who didn't know it was a napkin. You enlisted my help to assist you in spelling, but the drawings and original idea comes from you. Great job and I can't wait to see your finished project!!
*I finally made beef stew - a family favorite. But Julien dislikes carrots (and I LOVE Carrots!) so I had to eat the leftover carrots you wouldn't eat my boy.
*Jackie announced that we should go to NYC and go to FAO Schwartz and to the Harry Potter section. I suppose to buy a wand, spell book and the likes?

*I think you guys are in a Harry Potter trend. You like to quote lines from the HP movies... and are doing a pretty good job with that English accent!!
*Julien, I have a really hard time with you sometimes. You don't listen to me. And I think your teacher is also having a hard time with that. Is it because you just HAVE to do what you want to do? Or is it defiance? I really hope it's the former.
*It is COLD outside! Boy, I have to double up on my layers to just pick you guys up! Brrrr!!!
*We are still talking about our ski adventure and are hoping to get out to the slopes soon!! Julien and Daddy snowboarded and Jackie and me did some skiing! That was the first time for all of us and we all had a blast!

I found this youtube video on an amazing story (which I must have missed when it came out originally). Watch it and if you ever followed the 1996 Olympics (which I did and still remember very well) you'll love it even more!

Stay warm! Wear your hats and mittens/gloves!!

The Holidays - 2012

Well, Christmas and New Years has come and gone. And with it a lot of memories built here in our casa. Our house was filled with wonderful cheery smells and sounds. Lots of giggles and excitement when on Christmas morning our 7 year old woke us up with so much excitement.... he came, he came, he's real!! Come on get up!!.... how can you not get up and enjoy looking at their faces as we place baby Jesus in the manger (because HE is born!) and of course open the loot Santa left!!

Nifty wrapping!
Here are the pictures starting with the weekend before Christmas when we visited their aunt and uncle up north!

Patiently waiting for the obligatory picture before opening their presents.

Ms. Jackie!

Baby Jesus and our Manger.

Lewis - the elf!
Cookies ready for Santa!


Merry Christmas!

Lego world!

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! (this is a few days AFTER Christmas that we had quite a bit of snow)

Monday, July 30, 2012

On keeping busy kids.

My kids have tried quite a bit of activities! Gymnastics, soccer, baseball, dance, piano, swimming, tennis, basketball and even theater have been in our list of classes they have tried or are currently involved.
Even before I had kids, I knew they would have to do some sort of sport and an instrument. My husband and I have made that a reality and I'm so glad we have the resources and have dedicated the time to foster their extra curricular activities.

So what do they do anyway?
We started with swimming lessons (a life skill really) , soccer, gymnastics, dance and martial arts. Now they do (throughout the year) - soccer, basketball, baseball, dance, swimming and piano. Not everything all at once of course (we are not THAT crazy!). Each activity has its own season. The only activity they do all year around is piano which never stops.
During the summer I've enrolled them in a theater camp - which was really fun and the kids enjoyed performing in a play at the end of the camp.

 {a bat - Aladdin play 2012}

{the girl in the yellow and purple is mine - she's the princess in Aladdin!}

Some people mention to me "Boy, you have those kids busy!" and recently I started thinking on why.
Why DO we keep our kids so busy?
Well, I guess it's because that's the way I grew up and now that I live in the suburbs, that sort of lends itself to this type of lifestyle. What I mean is that in these areas, there are a lot of places which are convenient, affordable and accommodating to all families with the activities.
Most kids around here do similar activities to what we do(or a flavor of what we do) and some families go even further and have them in quite more than we do (i.e. lacrosse, football on top of what I've mentioned above).
But I digress....why do WE keep ours so busy? Is it because we want them to be all star Olympians or champion dancers? No, that's not it. Most of the classes they do are at the rec (recreational) level so their environment is more of a nurturing environment rather than competitive.

I think I can list the following reasons why:
Health - mentally and physical health. I think when kids are moving and eating healthy they stay away from bad habits (video games, watching too much tv). Believe me, we don't deprive ours from video games or TV, but the extra curricular activities certainly gets the entire family moving. On Saturdays, if we don't have a basketball game to go to or a soccer game, then even the parents start to lounge a bit too much and don't get out of the house until 2 PM!

Confidence booster- I think this is key! Piano is a perfect example of success via failure. We don't call it that at all, but basically it is. They practice and the song sounds less than perfect (the kids get frustrated!) but then they keep on practicing and practicing and lo' and behold, when they can play a beautiful tune they think it is the easier thing ever! But it took a lot of work and a lot of patience to get to that point. Or a lot of "failures" to get to the "success" of playing a song to the best of their abilities. That is a HUGE lesson in my opinion, because their confidence level goes way up when they come to the realization of their journey.

{summer piano recital - 2012}

{summer piano recital - 2012}

Confidence booster goes with the rest of the activities too. Even though once you get into the competitive circles in sports, confidence can be shot, it's up to US (parents) to boost that morale up and get them to keep on playing and maintain their head on high. Of course, we must recognize when to stop something that they are just not enjoying and move on to something else or focus in other activities a bit more.

Bonding opportunities - You see, my husband LOVES to coach! He is a natural with kids. He started coaching soccer and now he coaches basketball for our kids. Since we do rec leagues, he's more than welcome to do so even with little experience in the sports. That's another opportunity for him to bond with his kids at a different level. He's coach on the court/field and there has to be some level of respect the kids need to convey. When they loose a game they all work on getting better and my husband uses loosing as an opportunity to always encourage them to get better. A certain drive sparks out of them to try again (and again and again). When they win, well - it's priceless!!

{Daddy congratulating his daughter on their latest tournament victory}

Strengthen friendships - We live in a suburb and we keep running into the same families which is great because the kids really start making friends! Their friendships get stronger as they do more and more activities together. It's so fun when friends play on the same team, but even more fun when we have to play against them - which makes for an interesting match!



Staying out of trouble - I wrestle with this one. Because part of me says, if they are playing soccer, baseball, basketball, etc, they are not roaming outside in the neighborhood getting into who knows what. But then there's the train of thought that kids should roam around the neighborhood by themselves and be kids! I do let mine go out but to be honest, I am always with them or they are with someone I trust (usually another parent). We ride our bikes, we go to the playground, we play outside quite a bit, but you won't see my kids roaming around by themselves with other kids. 
When I see a group like that around here, they are usually up to no good (because they are so bored). I don't need to go into the details of what I've seen kids do when there are no parental supervision and let me tell you, I live in an affluent neighborhood. So it's not that the kids are deprived from their needs (food, clothes and shelter). I'm not saying that if you let your kids roam around being kids is wrong, but I don't personally feel comfortable with it (not yet).

I know I'm not perfect and I don't have all the answers to parenting, but I'm doing these activities as trial and error and adjusting as we go along. 
For now, they are busy and learning new skills. Will they become professional pianist or soccer stars? I doubt it. But they will learn: 
Respect towards everybody (peer, coaches/teachers and opponents)
Working in a team
Success via failure
Staying healthy

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Baby!

Aqui les presento a Mr. Dominic, quien nacio el 13 de Enero de 2012! Desde mi punto de vista la historia fue asi:
Thania me llamo a las 4 PM el Jueves 12 de Enero para decirme que creia que ya se sentia con dolores.
Yo agarre todo lo que pude(ropa, camara, maquillaje, etc) y despues del trabajo me fui para Cleveland.
Los dolores comenzaron fuertes a la 1 AM.
A las 2:45 AM estabamos en el hospital y Thania todavia creia que era parto falso ... hmmm ....
A la 1:30 PM nacio Dominic!!
Mama, Papa y tia estaban muertos del cansacio pero con un high increible!!
Y aqui les paso las fotos que tia Rossy tuvo el privilegio de tomar ese dia!

{Thania lista para ir al hospital}

{los papas emocionados - la hora: 2:22 AM}

 {ultima foto de Dominic en su mami}

{esperando ansiosamente} 



{dominic!! 5lb 15 oz}

 {amor instantaneo}

{orgullo paterno}
{lady, I don't know about you but I'm beat} 

{con los ojitos abiertos}

 {tomandole los datos tan pronto}

{con sus primitos emocionados}

 {conociendo a su hermano mayor}

{bouncy bouncy}



No hay nada mas bonito que la familia y el amor que se tiene cuando un bebe llega a nuestras vidas! 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Since I didn't post about each individual birthday as they were going on, I'll post about them all at once for the 2011 birthdays!

Birthdays are a time to celebrate you! It's YOUR feast day! In our house there is always a cake with candles! I honestly don't like making a big fuss on my birthday but my dear husband likes surprises.

My birthday was a super nice one! Chris decided to have a dinner at a swanky restaurant this year (totally surprised!) and invited a few friends that were available to join us. It was a rainy evening but a fun one to share with people I love!! Thanks husband for being such a great guy! (no pics of that one as I am usually the photographer!)

Dear husband's birthday fell on a Friday during Lent. We decided to invite our great friends to have dinner with us to celebrate... so we had a delicious fish meal with rice and veggies and homemade mac n cheese (made by my faboulus friend). For dessert I made one of my hubby's favorite cakes!
{blowing their candles off of the tres leches cake}

Jackie's birthday party. A party at our house (which is rare for us) but she had her closest 9 y.o.'s in tow and did a dance party (Just Dance 2) in our newly remodeled basement. The girls (and Julien) made their own personalized pizza and they had a delicious Phineas and Ferb cake :)

{just dance}

{jackie's 9th birthday}

Julien's 6th birthday party was at a city park close to our house. The weather cooperated, and over 40 people joined us to celebrate Julien's big day. It was fun to also have a pinata for a change (we hardly ever do pinatas due to the weather here). Julien truly enjoyed his day and we are so blessed to have so many great friends showing up wishing him the best!

{Julien's 6th birthday party and me, showing them how to use this safely}

{julien's 6th birthday}

Celebrating us!

My favorite things...

My guys :)

{i heart them}

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Baby Shower!

Last Saturday we did this!!

My sister's baby shower at her house was so much fun! Filled with delicious food and awesome guests! We played some games and had a great ol' time wishing Thania the best on her new road to mommyhood!!

Here are some pictures of it:

{above the games/activities set up}

{a matted picture with the "belly" - guests would write messages for the parents to be}

 {card from our dad - he should know he has 5 kids!!}

{eating baby food and guessing the flavors}

 {Jackie giving her 2 cents}

{my mom and Ronnie}

{she's all set!!}

{Julien playing with the baby}

{soon to be a family of 3}

Congratulations! We are so excited!!!

Felicidades!! Estamos emocionados!!