Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Nico's Travel Themed Nursery



Well if this isn't an embarrassingly late post, here's the nursery of my almost 21 month old little boy!  Regardless of that, I am thrilled to show off his little love-injected space.  Nurseries are always full of sentiment for us, little bits of love that I've accumulated through my life and that are so cool to repurpose for a nursery.  

Let me show you around!  That cuckoo clock was my parents'.  They got it when they lived in Germany, where I was born.  The tin, round photo is a picture of my parents that they had made in Turkey.  The other items on the gallery wall are a map of Puerto Rico, song lyrics for Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, a quote from Jim Eliot and a drawing that our nephew drew when he lived with us 7 years ago.

The hot air balloons were made by a friend for my shower and I love them.  The frame was made by Gustavo from old slats off a bed that was my great aunt and uncles bed they gave me in college.  



We made the nursery with a travel and mission minded theme.  I fretted and cried putting it together as I whispered to my belly to never actually leave me in spite of what it looked like that is what I was suggesting to him.  



That little leather jacket!


These shelves are full of little meaningful quotes and items too, everything from a UNC football my Nanny gave Carolina to the monkey that Gustavo made for me our first Christmas together.  Theres a book about Puerto Rico and some quilts my friend Nancy gave me that were her son's.



Everything has a story and I could go on and on.  Thank you for taking a tour of the nursery with me!  It was really such a blessing to create something for our sweet Nico!

Monday, May 15, 2017

21 Day Food Challenge

Carolina's Portrait of Me

So I've decided to do a food challenge with our YMCA.  It's a clean eating challenge that is pretty strict and not something you do for the long term, but more of a reset to clean up your eating habits.  I am on day one and sitting here slightly hungry.  Yikes.

You really need to have a "why" to do something like this.  It's not for the faint of heart to be sure!  You have to be prepared with food plans and preparation to be successful.  I have done Whole 30 several times and it's similar to that except you can't eat fruit or potatoes.  One caveat, for me is that I'm still nursing and even though you aren't supposed to do this if you are nursing, I plan to modify it for myself slightly by eating potatoes, which are starchy carbs.  They tell you that you can modify like that if you need to do so. 

Here is my "why" list:

1.  Eat more vegetables.  I feel like if I'm left to my own devices I never choose vegetables.  

2.  Cut out dairy.  Every time I do Whole 30 I feel fantastic and I don't really miss it much.

3.  Cut out sugar.  I love to bake and eat sweets.  It's good to take a break and it usually doesn't bother me with Whole 30 but I also can eat fruit with that.  We'll see how this goes!

4.  Lose the rest of the baby weight.  I have 8 pounds to get back to pre-pregnancy weight and I only seem to lose weight if I do diets that force me to restrict sugar and bread.  

Here is the link if you are interested in joining too.  Or maybe you are doing Whole 30?  I really loved that and it has a lot more information and support.  I just chose this one because my gym group is doing it and I wanted the accountability and fun in being part of a group.

I'm certainly not advocating this particular challenge because I'm just beginning but if you are interested in what I'm eating, or some recipes that are healthy and creative, let me know!

Here is breakfast and lunch from today, along with some almonds and coffee for an afternoon snack.  

Spinach omelette with garlic and herbes de Provence


Tuna salad put into jicama tacos with a side of guacamole

Oh, and I made these homemade strawberry pop-tarts for my Doctor's birthday last night!  See why I need to do this?




Thursday, May 11, 2017

New Haircut



Why is it so hard to cut long hair, especially when it's a perfectly renewable resource?  Why is it so loaded with feelings and potential regret?  Why is long hair supposed to be young and short hair means you are getting old?

I said phooey on all of that and took the plunge.  I had been cutting 3-5 inches for the last couple haircuts but I needed a change.  All the stresses of a helicopter mama deciding the future of her firstborn kindergartener got to me.  I also got it considerably blonder.

I love it!  I love that I was brave enough to do it, even though that seems completely ridiculous to say.  It's only hair, but the truth is that your hair makes a big difference in the way you feel and how you get ready for the day.  My hair was always in a ponytail and it wasn't even the cutest ponytail.

Now I am forced to fix my hair.  Ok, that's not always a good thing.  Now I am forced to fix my hair.

What else can I be brave enough to do?


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Catching Up in May

I'm not sure where to ever begin when it's been so long since I've updated the blog.  Life with two little ones is so busy and although I'm always writing in my head, it rarely makes it onto the computer.  I'll do a quick and easy list style update.

1.  Life has been consumed by kindergarten discussions for months now.  We have finally chosen a school which is a classical homeschool curriculum that she will attend a school setting for two days and be at home for three days.

2.  Nico is starting to say more and more words and has turned out to be quite the boy's boy.  He loves to throw balls and get into everything all of the time.

3.  I spend a lot of time cleaning up messes.

4.  This week I have fasted from Facebook and Instagram.  Maybe that is why I actually have the time to update my blog.  Hmmmmm...deep thoughts.

5.  There is still so much decluttering and simplifying efforts in our home and life.  I have systematically eliminated so much clutter in the form of things that may surprise you this year.

6.  Here's a picture, because what is a blog without a picture.



7.  I would really love to write more on this space.   High five to me for doing it today.  Baby steps while baby naps!  

8.  It's amazing to me that I can actually still write a sentence without relying on emojis.  

xoxo




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Carolina's Fourth Birthday

I hate it when bloggers start post with it's been awhile, but goodness it has!  To say that my brain is scattered, would be putting it mildly.  Add a just-turned-four-year-old Carolina chattering in my ear, and it's no wonder I can put two thoughts together at all.

Soooo, Carolina turned four on June 17!  It was a splash pad party which was meant to be easier on us and was really fun but no less chaotic than being in the house.  It was so hot and I should have gone into the water myself!  Carolina had fun with her friends and besides the icing melting fast, it was a total success.




All of us except Nico 

Mommy made her a special cake.  It's tradition!

Carolina saying goodbye to her BFF Grace

Thank goodness someone else was always holding Nico!

Spoiled much?

She also got to celebrate at Sal y Pimiento in City Centre

Mommy had to take advantage of the 50% Kendra Scott discount for Carolina's birthday!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Carolina's Rock Garden

Carolina watering her plant (a weed)
I'm outside in our back garden area watching Carolina play.  She doesn't need much to play; the watering can from her bath toys, the water from the back of her tricycle and the rocks and dirt.  She could play for hours out there.

I grew up playing outside unsupervised.  I made mud pies, played tag, went to the store and walked around the neighborhood with my friends.  Times have changed, but it makes me want to instill in her and Nico the imagination and creativity spurred on by playing with simple things on your own or with a friend.

I recently read this quote.  It's something to think about.

"We want to give our children the things we didn't have,
 but don't forget to give them the things we did have."  








  



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Introducing Nicolas Gustavo


Oh time, how you do go by so quickly.  Nico may have just turned 7 months but I thought a birth announcement post should come before a first birthday one.  


Nico was born August 17, 2015 around 3:30 in the morning.  I woke up at 12:30 am with contractions which I wasn't sure were the real thing or not.  I timed them for 30 minutes before waking up Gustavo.  They were 2 minutes apart so I thought we should definitely get to the hospital.  


This time was a little more tricky with having a child at home.  We arranged with a friend that if I went into labor in the middle of the night that she would come over.  Gustavo called her and she got to our house by 1:00 am.  By that time I was writhing in pain in the passenger seat of the car.  I could barely even acknowledge her.  I'm one of those crazy people that likes to do labor with no epidural so I was already focused and knew what was coming.


We got to the hospital and had the most amazing delivery nurses.  I asked them to dim the lights and I continued to labor quietly while everyone in the room chattered about this and that.  I stayed on my phone timing the contractions up until I started pushing.  It helped me to know when another one was coming.  I even texted a few people to let them know!  This was so much different than with Carolina because I was screaming a lot.  The midwife even told me with her, "You have to stop yelling."  


I had back labor this time and Naomi, the labor nurse, put her fist into the small of my back.  It was everything to me.  Gustavo tried it once but I put him back on hand holding duty. Gustavo was so supportive and amazing too!  Labor went much quicker this time and before I knew it we were waiting for the doctor to come break my water so I could push.  She was in an emergency c-section with another patient and I remember not being so patient.  I think I had to wait 20 minutes or so but when she broke my water, it was such a relief!  I could no longer feel the contractions and didn't even know when to push.  However I did feel the next  part and got much more vocal at that point.  It hurt, a lot!  


Birth is such a primitive surreal experience and I can't believe I got to do it twice!  I had some scares about Nico being breech and transverse at every appointment for about a month.  I did some Webster Technique with the chiropractor and also hung out upside down several times a day.  Knowing that a c-section could be imminent I was truly praising God for every labor pain that I got to experience.  I told you I'm weird.


After the baby was delivered I had major shakes and the stitching part while they clean the baby is the part I hate the most.  Finally they handed us the baby and all the love and responsibility flooded my soul.  A little boy that looks just like his Papa, how lucky can I be?


Nicolas Gustavo
7 pounds 3 ounces
19.25 inches long
August 17, 2015
3:30 am

With both Carolina and Nico, I gave birth at 39 weeks and 4 days and both of them were delivered 2 hours after getting to the hospital.  Carolina's labor was 7 1/2 hours and Nico's was 3 hours.  


 We had to stay in the hospital for 4 days because he had a dangerous case of jaundice.  Apparently our blood types are very incompatible and he needed 24 hours of lights to help him clear it out of his body.  It's interesting that Carolina and him both have the same blood type so we had this jaundice problem.  Both times I wanted the delayed cord clamping but it didn't happen either time which I am thankful for because I read that it can make the jaundice even worse.


Bringing home another sweet baby was so incredible.  I had a great delivery but recovery was rocky both times.  I could literally hardly even walk to the door and could hardly carry the baby because I was so bruised and sore.  Life with a toddler doesn't stop for anyone though and we made it through those very tough months.  


I wanted to post one of the sweetest moments of our hospital stay, when Carolina came in to meet Nico.  You can see the wonder and love in her little face.  What a joyous moment for us!  



Monday, March 14, 2016

A Blog World Re-Entry?



It's been so long.  When I think of filling in the blanks from my last post, my mind reels.  I was just announcing I was pregnant and now I have a six month old little boy.  His name is Nico, really Nicolas, but we call him Nico.  And Carolina is three and a half, getting so big.  These moments and days just fly by with a heart full of treasured memories and it makes me sad that I haven't recorded them here.

Today is different.  A friend kept Carolina last night and even though Nico went to bed at almost midnight, he is sleeping now.  I looked over and my neglected computer happened to be next to me, and I have coffee.  The coffee isn't cold and I didn't have to reheat it in the microwave.  Curious George is not on the tv.  I thought, why not now to get a re-entry into the blog world in motion.  Why not?

I still am the same person that started this blog many years ago when I was single.  I still love to declutter and think about capsule wardrobes, and simplifying life.  In fact, now even more than ever are those things important because the clutter and lack of simplicity steal from my family.

I am always thinking of new ways to be efficient and feeling mostly like I fail, but that's a lie.  I am not failing because my house is a bit messy.  In fact, I'm accomplishing more and greater things.  Because of the press of time I have to be more proactive and organized.  Meal planning has become a priority because everyone seems to always want to eat.  I'm trying to do laundry almost every day just to keep up and not be overwhelmed by Mount Washmore.  Carving out time for the things that matter the most is a top priority and in doing so makes me see that those things that used to be important need to take a back seat or be altogether eliminated.

As I write here, I realize how much I rely on expressing myself with emojis in texting and instagram. Look at all the full sentences!  I hope I'll be able to add blogging back into my life, for my own journaling and place to share my thoughts as well as to look back and see the seasons as they unfolded.  I want to write about topics that are important to me these days and of course I will write about Carolina and Nico because... no explanation needed!  So can you put emojis in blog posts?  I think I might need them after all.  :)

Image Credit

Monday, March 09, 2015

Carolina's To Do List


We are so thrilled to be able to announce a new baby!  God is so good to allow us to have another precious gift in our lives.  We are beyond grateful and pinching ourselves every day.  

Carolina thinks everyone has a baby in their belly but she definitely loves babies.  I know she'll be a wonderful big sister.  

Friday, September 05, 2014

Carolina's Meet the Teacher Day



My sweet Carolina is soon going to a Mother's Day Out program one day a week.  It is hard to believe that she is growing up so fast!  I need to document these milestones in her life here because  I'll soon forget if I don't. 


She was a little shy at first today but she soon warmed up, especially after her friend Grace showed up.  They are going to be in the same class so I'm glad she'll have her friend there.

I just love everything about having a 2 year old.  She is babbling away but I can't always understand what she is saying.  She is so cuddly and loves to have me right next to her.  She is independent and a free spirit too.  I love to watch her in a group of kids because she makes friends so easily.  


Those two sweet little girls love each other and I love them!
It's just one step toward letting go a little bit of my baby.  I read the stories of first days of kindergarten and I know I'll be in tears.  

On the non-weepy side of it though, G and I will have every other week on his day off to go to the movies or do whatever we want.  I'm sure I don't have to explain that going out to eat with a 2 year old is not that relaxing.  I'm looking forward to some fast errand running and who knows what else?  I know Carolina is going to have a great time and just maybe, 

she'll learn that not every color is blue.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Date Night


Wow, we had a date night!!!  This is the second one since Carolina was born.  I'm not going to lie.  It was a little weird not having her with us.  

We had to get warmed up to each other again.  It was good because if we are already feeling a little isolated from each other, it's obvious that we need to make it a priority to do this more often.  I used to laugh when people told us to have date nights.  

 We went to a restaurant next to a grassy area so we could see the families playing and people walking around.  I thought I would be brave and order oysters because I just finished the book Shucked and she made them sound so dreamy.  I've only had oysters one other time and they were fresh out of the ocean in Puerto Rico.  See the above picture and how it looks so perfect?  The next picture would be of me spitting that oyster in my napkin.  The mushiness was not cool.  

We made the waiter eat one, his first one, and he was a trooper.  The real trooper was Gustavo though who finished them off.  He's a star like that.  No food left behind, as we say.



The most fantastic part of this story is that this date night was brought about by our friends who offered to babysit for us.  What a blessing!  Tonight they are going on a date and we are watching their little one.   It will be good to see what life with two kids is like for awhile.

xo-Jennifer

Nico's Travel Themed Nursery

Well if this isn't an embarrassingly late post, here's the nursery of my almost 21 month old little boy!  Regardless of that,...