I don’t know about you, but I get so happy when Spring officially begins. What I love to see all around me are the bright greens shooting up through the ground, the buds appearing on the tips of the mango tree full of promise of juicy fruit, and ,without a doubt, nothing brightens my day more than pictures of rainbows drawn by my little Gia!
One small act of kindness…
Last month I had a couple of trips that took me away from the girls. I prepared the house and my husband for the trip by making sure everything was planned, shopped for, and meals were made and frozen. I actually looked forward to the trips. There would be some “me” time blended in with work. As I sailed through the TSA checkpoint at the airport without a stroller, diaper bag and wandering toddlers to hold me back, I relished the thought of sleeping in a quiet hotel room and the million other things I did BK (before kids). Wrong, wrong, wrong!!
Let’s get cooking!
OK I’m not a chef but I do love to cook! I grew up watching and eventually helping my mom in the kitchen. Its where she spent most of her time, still does now that I think about it. And so it’s inevitable that I too spend much of my time cooking! I have fun doing it and, to be honest, I feel proud when I can serve my family a fresh, healthy meal. My girls are still pretty young but when I’m in the kitchen cooking they almost always want to watch and help me! Hmmm…I wonder where they get it from?! LOL
I’m going to share recipes on this blog and it’s primarily because I have a terrible memory and have recipes scribbled down on bits and pieces of paper that can be found in almost every drawer in my house! I need someplace to centralize my notes and this is as good a place as any. Most of my recipes come from my mom and most of them have the classic “about a cup of” and “a pinch of” as measurements. That used to freak me out when I started cooking on my own, but over the years I’ve seen it turn into an opportunity to experiment with a recipe and make it my own. So, dear reader, should you decide to try one of my recipes don’t be afraid to change something to your liking and if you have a question just leave a comment!
I absolutely love that Sprout is searching for a kind kid to be their “Chief Kindness Officer”! Teaching and fostering kindness in our children is so important and Sprout wants to share how our kids demonstrate acts of kindness. (For more info on the contest click here!) Now, more than ever before, I’m seeing how important it is to model the behavior and habits I hope my girls will one day take on as their own. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to program them to be any certain way, I’m just trying to set a good example. I value kindness and thoughtfulness and if I don’t demonstrate those qualities then how can I expect them to? I think this contest is a great way for me to show Gia that there are so many different ways we can be kind everyday. I hope you will be inspired to talk to your little ones about kindness and share a picture as well. Who knows? You might win a trip to Sprout’s HQ and better yet, a charitable donation will be made in your childs’ name!
Happy Birthday Baby Girl(x2)!
I’m faced with yet another challenge! My girls were born 5 days apart (and 2 years of course!). Come birthday time – what do we do? 1 party for both? Well, that was my intention this year since the baby was turning 1 and, let’s be honest, she won’t know the difference! But then my sanity flew out the window and I planned a cookout at the last minute to celebrate Bianca’s big day. Nothing fancy, but lots of work nonetheless! Then it was Gia’s turn and since her birthday fell on a school day I obligated myself to taking cupcakes in the afternoon so we could all sing her “Happy Birthday” together! And finally the “kiddie party” was on the weekend. Dora has been playing a big part in her life lately so I stuck with that theme.
I sure wish I had been smart enough to come up with the concept for Party City! Whoever did must be a gazillionaire!!! I’m such a sucker for putting together a nice-looking party, though. Thank goodness I love arts and crafts and I always try to have a few (if not most) of the decorations homemade.
Here is my version of Dora’s friend Map! I got the idea from one of my favorite websites: Pinterest! I used low-fat cheese sticks and a Sharpie to draw the face on. It only took about 5 minutes to do 24 of them.
No one said it would be easy…
Fullfilling, rewarding, fun, joyful…I can think of a million adjectives to describe what it’s like being a parent, but easy isn’t one of them! It seems like its just one thing after another. There are some really tough days and nobody tells you before you have kids that it will be like that. Its just one of those things you have to experience for yourself…and along the way just keep appreciating those amazing moments when you wouldn’t trade places with anyone for anything in the world!
Sometimes it’s just really hard to find balance.
Thank you everyone for your advice and encouragement prior to our big trip to Spain. The long flight with the two little ones wasn’t so bad, but maybe I was just psychologically prepared for no sleep at all! The couple of hours I actually got were a luxury 😉 The 7 hour layover in Madrid was dreadfully long but thankfully we found a rather nice children’s area with toys for kids of all ages and even a quiet room for naps. We packed snacks, we had toys and crayons and books, but at the end of the day what did my toddler do? Play on the iPad.
Alcalá is a special place. It’s a place where you walk through town everyday, you bump into friends on the street, and your kids play outside every single day. Maybe I’m just feeling a little nostalgic but they really do “work to live” rather than “live to work” like so many of us do here.
While there we baptised Bianca and we’re so lucky we could! Such a special day we will always treasure.
We also got to have fun at the Feria which is a sort of carnival that happens every year. It’s really hard to explain, and the pictures don’t do it justice but just trust me when I say it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen! I’ll puts some pics at the end of the post.
I think the big lesson from the trip for me was to accept that our routines were gonna change. I focused on trying to keep some of the basic structure of our daily routine but realized quickly there was no way that it was going to be the exactly same. Bedtime? That was the tough one! The sun didn’t set until about 9pm and we never even sat down for dinner before then. All in all it worked out, and as family, we really enjoyed ourselves. When we departed all we could talk about was when can we come back? next summer? can more of my cousins make it with their kids too? I have so many wonderful memories of the time I spent in Spain throughout my own childhood and nothing would make me happier than for my girls to have a similar experience.
That was until the flight home.
Traveling with Tots
I’ve been feeling a bit rundown this week 😦 being away from my babies last week wasn’t as restful as I had imagined it would be. I was in Sproutland working. I really thought that staying at a hotel would mean hours of peace and quiet and sleep! Alas, my girls were all I could think about and I woke up 3-4 times every night. Then, I got hit with some sort of upper respiratory infection this week (I think Gia brought it home from school and passed it off to me. Of course she’s fine – Strong as an ox that one is!) And now that I’m feeling better I get to open the flood gates of stress – here comes that overwhelming feeling of angst as I prepare us to travel to Spain next week.
Mom Is Here!
Happy Mother’s Day!!! I hope all of you mamas out there are feeling extra appreciated today. As looked through pictures of me and my girls this morning on my computer I realized there was only 1 of me and my mom together when I was a child. It reminded me of an awesome blog post by Allison Tate that I came across a few months ago. I really identified, as so many moms out there I’m sure can too, with that feeling of pride and joy in my kids and the thrill in capturing those special moments in pictures. There are so many reasons we don’t end up in the picture ourselves. Maybe it’s just part of being Mom; having the initiative to take those pictures in the first place leaves us naturally behind the camera not in front. And I won’t rule out that little voice in the back of my mind that reminds me that I’m not wearing make up or didn’t brush my hair today or that my face is just too tired for a picture.
Set an intention!
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? If you’re like me, then the idea of setting just one intention freaks you out! Only 1? How do I pick? There are so many things I want to accomplish. But, on the other hand, if I never set 1 how will I possibly get to all of them? Can you tell I’m a Libra 😉 So, for today, I’m going to focus on fitness. I was lucky enough to do a photo shoot with the very inspiring fitness guru Chris Freytag; and in this month’s Prevention magazine, she’s put together a 28 day challenge. If you see the magazine, you’ll see that my goal is to be fit for life!
Fit for life sounds like a big, lofty goal, doesn’t it? It may very well be, but what’s more important than your health? I’m lucky to say that I come from a fit family (not super athletes, just regular people who exercise regularly!) and I want my kids to be able to say the same thing when they grow up. I know that no one needs to hear me say how important your health is, but I do feel the need to tell every parent out there that we are ultimately responsible for our kids fitness. Considering the health problems facing our kids, it’s something we should think about everyday.
I’ve learned first-hand that my kids learn best when I model the behaviors I want to see in them. It’s pretty powerful stuff! When little Gia sees me lacing up my tennis shoes, she wants to wear hers…when I run around on the beach it becomes a game she wants to play too! So last year when I was lucky enough to be in a commercial for “The More You Know” (PSA campaign airs on NBC) I was thrilled to share the important message that our kids need 60 minutes of play everyday.