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.

We survived!

 

Alcalá de Guadaíra
Alcalá de Guadaíra

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.

Bianca's Baptism day
Bianca’s Baptism day

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.

Bianca's Godparents
Bianca’s Godparents

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!

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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.

Nido! Neat-o!

Lately my little Gia has been fascinated by birds. She loves pointing them out every time she sees one and, if she can, she’ll chase them too! A couple of days ago when a couple of pigeons flew away I explained to her that they’ve gone home to their nido. “La casa de los pájaros se llama nido,” I told her. The next day we see some birds flying away and she says, “Mira mami, los pájaros van a su nido!” (Look mami, the birds are going to their home!) What a memory this one has – maybe that’s normal for a 2 yr old, but nevertheless it makes me so happy since my memory seems to get worse every day!

Of course when I saw this crafty little snack I knew Gia would love it! This will be our little project when she gets home from pre-school today. We’ll post pictures later.

coat pretzels in melted white chocolate and top with a few colorful candies
Coat pretzels in melted white chocolate and top with a few colorful candies.

I got the inspiration from a great blog youaremyfave.com

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Here are the little nidos Gia and I made today!

Teething sucks!

Little Bianca is teething.  Poor thing is a baba factory! Slober production is in full force.  She can’t keep her fingers out of her mouth, unless of course she’s found something else to rub on her gums like a wood block or her sister’s plastic Dora doll (no small pieces to choke on, don’t worry mom!).  She’s also pseudo-crawling – she pulls/pushes herself on the floor like nobody’s business.  In short, she’s a handful right now.  I keep saying that those teeth are coming any minute now, but my husband thinks I’ll be saying that for another couple of months.

My question to you today is: what are your techniques for getting through is period? I went through this a couple of years ago with Gia, but I don’t remember anything in particular that really helped.  Is there a particular product you really love?

Mac-n-cheese from scratch

Here’s an awesome recipe (found here: http://sayyestohoboken.com/2013/04/10-minute-homemmade-mac-and-cheese.html) with a slight twist of my own.  Despite the fact that it resulted in a massive amount of mac-n-cheese no one complained about eating it at every meal for a few days because, like I said, it was mac-n-cheese!

Next time I might try putting it into a casserole dish, topping with panko bread crumbs and broiling.

3 T of butter
3 T of flour
1 can of evaporated milk (2% milk)
1 box of pasta shells
1 cup of milk (low-fat)
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese (2% milk and only sharp!)

1 cup green beans or asparagus chopped into bite sized pieces

Pinch of: Salt, garlic powder, pepper, nutmeg and dash of tabasco or two!

Welcome!

Michele Lepe Headshot

I’ve been wanting to start a blog for some time now but I don’t want this to be just any blog.  I really hope this can be an opportunity for a conversation, a chance to meet new people, a way to share advice…basically I hope this turns into much more than just a boring blog about how hard it is to raise two kids and what I cooked for dinner last night! There will be plenty of time for that too 🙂

So I’m asking you to create this blog with me! Of course I can’t wait to hear about your kids (and hopefully how much they love The Good Night Show) but I also want to hear your advice and your experiences and if you have a question…ask it! Maybe I can help or someone else in our little community can.   I especially hope we can help each other get through this thing called life with a big smile on our faces!

I’ll tell you a little about myself and don’t be shy…you tell me a little about yourself too!

First and foremost I’m mama to 2 little girls – Gia 2 1/2 and Bianca 7 months, wife and partner to Poncho for almost 15 years, and actress/host of The Good Night Show on Sprout. It’s quite an adventure trying to keep up with these 2 while attempting to get settled in to a new home!  One of my favorite things in the world is hearing my girls laugh so hard they start to hiccup!  My second favorite is probably when they both nap at the same time!! LOL!  A few more things you should know: I try not to take myself too seriously, I love to find the humor in all things, I procrastinate too much, and I have a terrible memory.  OK there’s so much more to share, but if I said it all now there wouldn’t be anything to blog about tomorrow (or next week.  Remember what I said about procrastinating!)

xo,

m.