29 December 2010

No news, good news?

I know I haven't been here for a little while. Well, there are multiple reasons for that.

First of all, it was Christmas and Christmas is about Jesus and family and friends, and not (!) about the computer or the internet and all its inviting websites and virtual acquaintances. So I enjoyed being at home, with the hubby, having his family here and going to Christmas parties and going to church. We had a very nice Christmas Eve service with candle light, the kids were read the Christmas story up front by our pastor's wife - it was really nice. Christmas Morning was a huge success for the kids. And we got a huge surprise on Christmas day, when Tia was standing in front of the door. She said, when I opened the door, my face was 'priceless'. What I was thinking was more like: "what is she doing here? How did she get here? Who picked her up from the airport?" Because you know that she doesn't live around the corner, so for us to get unexpected visitors is a rarity. We were ALL very surprised, Coqui was beyond ecstatic, and Peanut, well she was not so sure at first, but warmed up pretty quickly.

And second of all, I have not many things to write about lately; call it writer's block. There are many things going on in my mind. Before the holidays, I was very involved with a dear friend who is going to go through a divorce. I was in the middle of all of it, and I was very surprised how much it affected me. I mean I couldn't sleep very well, I thought about it all the time, and I was fuming inside, for her. She went on vacation for the holidays, and it was kind of a blessing for me too, as I got a break in being right amid the tumult. It is normal to take sides when it's your friend, but this story has more to it, and maybe one day I will make an article out of it - that's how much it bothers me.

The other thing is very private, and actually surprising to me. Not long ago, I wrote here that I was over the whole jealousy-thing with other people getting pregnant. Well, I guess I wasn't. I mean I enjoyed my close friend's pregnancy, and some others that didn't bother me. But then, about two months ago, I learned that our carrier is pregnant; and it hit me again. I was not aware of it at first.... only just recently, when another friend announced their pregnancy, I had to admit to myself, that I was jealous again. I can not explain it. I can not. We were blessed with our children. But I think, it might be because I don't know what our number of children is suppose to be. One friend wrote a whole blog post about her number and that it's perfect for their family. A different friend wrote that they are what they call quiverful, meaning that they let God decide how many children they can handle (here is the blog post). A beautiful way to look at children as being a blessing. I agree. And I guess I feel like I have no say in it. Not that I do anyway - God is in control. But... yes, I am human, so there is a but.... It makes it all so much harder to have more kids than the natural way.... you know, enjoy your husband and nine months later there you are.... For me, it brings back all the 'bad' thoughts I had after the cancer diagnose and the resulting infertility.......
So I guess, I have to pray harder that God will either satisfy me with the number we have and 'kill' any desire for any more children. Or He has to send us another one and provide the finances.

So besides still having visitors in the house, and actually getting a break from the kids. And going shopping on my own! And running.  And having a phone conversation with old friends without being interrupted five million times. I am fine. I am loving my family. And I am thankful for what I have. If I put all things in prospective, I am truly blessed.

22 December 2010

I did it!

Since I started to 'count' my miles with this fantastic website "www.dailymile.com" - I have accumulated 150 miles just today! It was not an easy run, but I did it.

18 December 2010

More Christmas preparations

The other day, Coqui and I worked on the Gingerbread houses - this year, we have a whole village. Last year, I believe we did a train, and the year before, it was a real house. I am actually glad, that innovative America comes out with new stuff every year. I took some pictures, but of course haven't had the time to work on them yet. So they will follow soon.

The other thing we did this morning was go and see Santa. We went to a not-so-local Cabela's where they bring in Santa for about three hours. We went early, so we wouldn't have to stand in line for hours, and guess what, there was practically no line at all. It was great. Peanut, of course, did not want to go near him - here is the picture of her pulling back. But Coqui had no such fear, jumped right on, and told him what he wants for Christmas - which is still the same: a motorcycle. Now I just wonder where he got that from??? Picture of today's event are here.

Happy Fourth Advent.

15 December 2010

Catching up...

... with the school work before the grandparents come and before the holidays.

I am sure over the next two weeks, there won't be much learning, so this morning Coqui had to do double his usual share of school work. But I think he took it well. We did alot of sheets this morning. Here is a picture:

As usual, I am trying to have him do a little of everything every day. In this age, repetition is what does the trick! So he has certain letters to work on. We went through the entire alphabet already, but there are some letters that seem to be harder than others. One of those is the 'S' - for some reason he can not and does not want to write it by himself. So I have him practice it any chance I get.
The other sheets where shapes and patterns that he is doing so well with. He got them all right the first time. Colors are already kind of boring to him, so I just use those pages as coloring pages - learning how to stay within the lines and such. The Shape Sort page was one of four pages that became more like a mini project, with glue. And he loves to do projects involving glue - because his Mami is such a 'neat freak' that it does not happen very often that he gets to 'use' the glue. All together, we were busy for at least 45 minutes - just enough to keep his attention and fingers busy.

I am happy with the progress he has made within this last year. We started to home school pretty much this January, so it has been a year. He has learned many things. And there are a 'few' things that I have to learn and improve, and that is my consistency. There were a lot of days we missed in the beginning, but there are much lesser now - so I am happy with that. I know if I really want to pull this thing off correctly, I have to start making a schedule and a lesson plan. I give myself another half a year to see how it is going. He would start school, I guess, next September, so by then I want to be able to have all this set up, plus some more books, and most importantly a home schooling support group! At this age, it is not the most important, but it will be later, so it can not hurt to get to know those people now....

Cancelling Christmas

Yesterday, I wrote about all those lovely German Christmas traditions. Today, I have to report that I am ready to cancel Christmas - at least the commercial part of it.

I still want to celebrate the birth of Jesus! Totally. I mean that's why we are having it in the first place. But I am ready to tell the truth about Santa and his non-existence. I am ready to cancel ALL the gifts. It bugs me.

After behaving like an angel for about two weeks, Coqui is starting to lose it. He has been acting up the last few days and I can not explain where it comes from.

But maybe it is also the anticipation of his grandma to arrive - fearing she is overdoing it with the presents, again!?! She has been warned that we don't appreciate too many gifts. She has been told that this year will be a meager year for several reasons, I don't want to list here. So I am kind of dreading Christmas morning......

But please, you all out there, be merry and enjoy!!! I will try....

14 December 2010

Our Germarican Christmas

As you know, our family consists of two parts, my German half and the hubby's Puerto Rican half. So we are celebrating a mixed Christmas. I guess an American Christmas.... But today, I want to tell you HOW I used to celebrate Christmas back home and what I miss most.

I read somewhere that Christmas is suppose to be considered by Germans as the most important holiday. (I only agree if you do NOT forget my birthday - because that is MY favorite holiday.) Truth be told, I think they are right, we Germans make quite a big fuss over it. I mean we don't have Thanksgiving in our way, so we can actually start 'getting ready' in early November! We put up real trees - and when I was younger, we put real candles on those real trees!!! Yeah, shocker! Well, for some reason my parents stopped doing that when we got older - can't explain that one. My favorite memory is singing with my mom ALL those Christmas songs and carols. I loved it, and we sang through book after booklet after sheet music.

The German holiday season is a time for family and friends - it is most definitely less consumption-oriented than over here in the states. Not only the holiday itself, but also the weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas involve many traditions and customs.
There are those lovely the advents calendars - that by the way were invented in my home country. They can be store-bought or home-made. When I was young, I had lots of homemade ones, and I am definitely planning on making some for my kids.
Then there is the Advent -the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. We used to sit down as a family in the living room, Christmas music was playing, candles were burning, and we had tea and cookies or Stollen. Stollen is the oldest known German Christmas treat; it's a loaf-shaped cake containing dried fruit, and covered with sugar, or powdered sugar.
We put up Gingerbread houses, nativity scenes, hand-carved wooden Nutcracker figures, Christmas pyramids, and 'Schwippbogen' .The Advents Wreath is a wreath with four candles, one the first Advent only one candle burns, on the second two, on the third three and on the fourth all four candles are burning.

The one thing that I miss most about the Christmas season are the German Weihnachtsmaerkte, the Christmas markets. And any American attempt to recreation or copying has not worked - at least I have not found it yet. One can find those lovely markets pretty much in every German town, large or small, on the town squares. Vendors sell all kinds of goodies there, from hot mulled wine, to baked goods, to Christmas ornaments, or wooden toys. It is a blast. They play Christmas music over speakers, and the entire atmosphere just makes one jump into the season if you want it or not!

The last German tradition is the Nikolaus - but I mentioned that in this post: Nikolaustag.

So German children get their gifts already on Christmas Eve. I am not sure why? So I googled it. Here is what it said where it comes from - source is Wikipedia. They say this tradition began with the Reformation, so with Martin Luther. It says that he was of the opinion "that one should put the emphasis on Christ's birth and not on a saint's day and do away with the connotation that gifts have to be earned by good behavior". "The gifts should be seen as a symbol for the gift of God's grace in Christ".

I like it, or actually I used to like it until just recently. I was thinking about it and it makes so much more sense to have Santa Claus come overnight and open gifts, in PJs, on Christmas Day. Since I am a Christian, I love going to the evening service at church to celebrate Jesus' birth because that is what Christmas is really about. In the morning, we can do the gifts and all the commercialism that comes with the American Christmas...

Merry Christmas to all.

10 December 2010

The Elf On The Shelf

I think I started a family tradition for the whole family that we all enjoy and will create memories that'll last forever. There is this book called "The Elf On The Shelf" that includes a book and a pixie-elf. The purpose is the following: how does Santa Claus really know who is naughty or nice. I mean he is not God, right? And I was kind fo struggling with that, too. Because I didn't want to tell the kids that he can see everything because only God can do that. But for some reason Santa still knows who gets gifts and who doesn't. So how does he pull it of? He has a little helper that comes to the family, it's an elf. (The doll that was included inside the box at purchase.)

When the elf arrives for the first time at the house, the children are to name it. In our case, Coqui called it / him / her Olli. I have no idea where this name came from but I really like it. And I think it is a great fit for an elf. So the elf comes, stays during the day, but flies to the North Pole each night to report to Santa what happened that day and if the children were naughty or nice. In the morning, the elf will be found in a different spot, so when the kids wake up they never know where the elf might pop up. (I have to say, after a few days, a parent can run out of ideas where to put the elf!)

Of course there are rules to this 'game'. The kids are greatly encouraged to talk to the elf throughout the day. They can tell it all their wishes - hoping the elf will report those wishes back to Santa. On the other hand, they are not allowed to touch the elf! If they do the elf will lose it's magic and will not be able to fly back to the North Pole - I guess forever, but I am not sure on that one.

So the first day, Coqui talked to the elf alot, but not so much anymore. Some mornings, he forgets to look for the elf, but eventually he finds it and tells me where 'Olli' is.

It just adds more fun to the Season and is a fun way to support the whole Santa idea! I guess.

I have read all of the negative comments on Amazon, and decided for our family, that we will never forget about God and that there is nothing greater than our Lord and Savior. But that Santa still is in the picture and Santa has little helpers, the elves. It doesn't hurt and Coqui has fun. He is not afraid of the elf, and I am not making it ALL about the elf watching, like some people said! There are more movies out there that are scarier and support the whole watch-you attitude. This is just a fun game for the holidays. Those people are more paranoid than Coqui ever will be! A little imagination is healthy - so as adults we can still have dreams!

I dream. Do you?

Merry Christmas!
(And remember, Santa is watching!)

07 December 2010

Attitude towards crisis

 When I was driving today thinking about my post from yesterday, I remembered a line that I recently read somewhere:  "Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it." How true is that? I love it.

So maybe I just need to change my attitude towards my daughters screaming sessions? Why do I get this frustrated? What exactly is it that gets me to the point when the glass is full?
Well, I have to say, lack of sleep is not really bothering me - I can sustain for a couple of days with little sleep. Actually, sometimes I need a night that I don't snooze too much - for some reason it gives me more energy the next day. But I think what does aggravate me is that with little sleep I am NOT getting up at 5:30 AM to run in the freezing dark! And then I am screwed for the rest of the day. Running relaxes me. I think I need it for my inner balance, or something. You know, to feel good about myself, to feel healthy, and also to feel liked by others.

So tomorrow morning - no matter what happens at night, sleeping through it or waking up from midnight to 2:30 AM - I will go running. Only for a mile - just to prove that I can change my attitude!

Because not running will stress me out over the long-run. Stress on the other hand will lead me to negativism, moodiness, irritability, depression, and loneliness - just to name a few. I DO not want even one thing on that list - and by the way, this is only part of a list that I found on Wikipedia - I am just glad that I am not one of those people that get physical pain from stress - I only get it psychologically! Which is not better.... it's actually a vicious cycle, and I am trying to step out of it. I need to be positive, which will lead to motivation and that will get me to where I actually want to be! Yeah....

But enough of the self-pity! I am going to run tomorrow morning. And I will go run later that day again - because I have an amazing friend that is willing to take my daughter off my back for about 3o minutes, screaming or not, so I can go and run and actually relax - because that is what it does to me, it is relaxing!

Be positive! Be positive! Be positive!
(it's my new 'mantra')

Letting some steam off

I was about to tell you how frustrated I am until I saw that I just wrote a post about my 'bad girl'.... So I guess I can not go on and tell you all about my bad nights I have been having for the past two weeks. Or can I?
She is fine during the day, a little, mostly happy, princess. But at night, the dragon comes out - out of nowhere! She gets into these screaming sessions and there is no apparent reason why she is screaming. She is not wet, can't be hungry as she hasn't eaten at night since being six weeks old - so it's not something new for her! She points to the rocking chair, so I give in. At first, it looks like she would go back to sleep - that is until she has fully calmed down and is ready to play! Yes, play. She points to the floor or just babbles away, like saying 'Coqui' over and over and over.... that's when I start getting frustrated. Because it is not about calming her anymore - Mami instincts are not made for playing in the middle of the night. So I tell her that she needs to stop and try to go to sleep. Eventually I put her back in her crib.... and let her cry it out! Sometimes only for minutes, but for the most part, it's for at least an hour! I hide in my bed with the covers and try not to think of what a 'bad' Mami I am at that point..... but what else can I do??? I am not playing with her.... and her high-pitched screaming that stops immediately when I enter the room tells me that there is nothing wrong with her besides not getting her way!!!

But while laying there last night, it got me thinking. What if people really do think I am a bad Mami? Because you know someone really special went through alot for us to give her to us! Maybe it is just me, but I have this feeling people watching me saying 'she should be a little more appreciative'....
What I have to say to that is: shut up! She is our flesh and blood, was 'simply' baked in another oven, but nonetheless, she is completely ours! We are the parents and sometimes parents have to do what they have to do! Being guidance and being the extended arm of God in love! She is a very testy child, that tries to push every button on me! She likes to get her way, and lets it being known if she is not getting it! If Coqui would have been the one being carried by someone else, I would still be on wings!!! Or heaven on earth.... he is wild but he is compliant. And for that, more lovable of course. That does NOT mean, I don't love my daughter. I DO!!! Totally. I love her so much and I am thankful for her - maybe just not at 1 am when she just wants to play and I can not give it to her at that moment. Her terrible twos just started already at 14 months. But it is just a phase and she will get over it. There is no reason to cease loving her, and I do get ALOT of joy from her during the day.
"Yes, we are thankful for you!"
I feel like I have to add something here.... like that people take 'crisis' in very different ways. What is a crisis to me might not be one for someone else. But what is a tragedy for somebody, I might think that it's not a big deal. I am always keeping that in mind when some friend is hurting or just frustrated, so I hope I find some pity for my crisis right now. The real danger for me lies in depression, and this kind of behavior and the frustration with it could throw me deep high in one, easily. The reason for that is that when I am frustrated I can (and will) find comfort in food. So I am overeating. But then I don't get to work out as much as I should and would because this certain someone doesn't stay with anybody!!! I haven't even thought of bringing her to the gym, knowing she'll just scream bloody murder and they won't have her stay like that. She has stayed with others before, so yes, I have gotten a break, and I AM thankful for those times that it worked!!! Thank you. But right now, it doesn't and it is frustrating......

Just this Sunday, she didn't even want to go inside the church building because she knew that eventually, she'll end up in the nursery. We got her in, got settled, sang the songs during worship, but when I headed to the back, she started crying already. The closer we got to the room, the louder she got. When I just dropped her in and said "Mami needs a break" she lost it. I walked away, knowing they would take care of her, praying that she would calm down - like she has done so many times before! No, she kept screaming. So loud that people started to look at me during the service with that look "aren't you gonna go get her?" I am thinking 'no'! But I also knew that it was (!) very disruptive, so I had pity with the congregation (not my daughter).

But yeah, this is my life right now! I know, all those unmarried people without kids are thinking "I will never have kids, and if I do they won't be like that!" I hear you, I thought the same thing like.... six years ago, no wait, it was only two because my son was NOT like that at all!

So I pray for myself that she will calm down, and I pray for her that she can enjoy going somewhere and not be so clingy. Because I can't imagine that this is fun for her!?! It's more like some joy is taken away from just being a careless kid... I don't know. God bless you.

06 December 2010


Today is the 6th of December. What does it mean for you? I am sure most readers are like what? Well, if you are by any chance German, there is no question - it's Nikolaustag, translated Nikolaus' Day. It is not a federal holiday, but celebrated by most, children of course, not adults. It starts the night before, when the children have to clean their shoes or, like me, boots. The clean boots are then put by the door of each child. The children go to bed and overnight Nikolaus will come and bring them little goodies that are put in the boots. Here is a picture of what it looks like after he had arrived: 
That is of course ONLY if you have been 'good'! For as if you had been 'bad', there are no goodies to celebrate with, there is a branch, or a twig. And you know what one is suppose to do with that, right? Beat the butt!!! Yeah, yeah, I know, in modern times I could go to jail for this, but it's a folklore, so what! 
The small goodies can go from apples and candies to cookies or even small toys and such. Of course, I don't want to stuff my kids with too much candies, so I prefer small gifts that they need.  Here is Coqui opening his goodies bag. And here is Peanut with Coqui's bag - because of course she did not get a bag at all.... not only had she not been a good listener, but who wants to feed her too much candy???

01 December 2010

It's that time of the year again

Yes, it is the first of December and I hope that you got your personal advents calendar. I know we have ours. My parents sent one for me and one for Coqui (Peanut doesn't care yet!), and then I got one for Coqui that is filled with chocolates. I mean that is one of my favorite things I remember from the calendars....
This one is the chocolate filled one that I got at the local Christian store. For each day until Christmas, my son will get a piece of chocolate and a scripture - I thought that was pretty cool. And repetition is all at this stage. I am so impressed that he almost got the whole Christmas story down, the people involved and everything. It's pretty neat.

Here is a picture of the first day:

30 November 2010

Bad Girl

So today's post on Facebook was something like this: "Today, I am not a big fan of my daughter."

Oh yes. This is true. She is amazing at pushing ALL my buttons. You tell her not to do something and she has to go back again and again. I know this is part of this stage. Coqui did some of it, too. BUT he stopped after getting his hands slapped once or twice. He really did. It's not my bad memory. Her? Not at all. She keeps going. And sometimes, she does it looking at you (or in that case me), smiling. Now there you know that she knows better but chooses to do it anyway....

It's so frustrating.

So today, it just seemed to be a little more than usual. Pushing my buttons all day long. For instance, throwing a fit because I want to feed her her morning cereal. Dumping her lunch, plate and all, on the floor because, I guess, she didn't like it. Getting into her brother's draws and pulling out all his clothes. Screaming inside the store over and over, even after being told not to. Touching shoes constantly. (And I mean, shoes are just so filthy!) Etc.... etc.....etc.....
But to top ALL that off, tonight, she pulled off her dirty diaper. After dinner, I had to still make the hubby's dinner who came late from work. So the kids were playing downstairs, and I had to step outside to get the food form the grill. In that instance, she pulled off her poopie diaper and smeared it all over the kitchen floor. Now there, I was mad!!! I was enraged! And I had to spank her for that. After that, I dropped her into the tub and washed her. And then we had an hour of somewhat normality, until she went to bed.

Now, please, someone, explain to me why??? Why is she not listening? Why is she choosing punishment over complying? Why did God think I needed her to be like this?Is because I can pay less attention to her because there are two of them now? Or is it just her? Why does she think this is funny?
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE her! I love her with all my heart. I wanted her and I still want her. I just also want her to listen! So we can have fun!!! Together! Not just Coqui and me.

So I guess my prayer for tonight is that tomorrow will be a better day! Amen.

29 November 2010

My old hobby renewed

When I was in school, I was not much of a runner. I could do short runs. I was not the fastest but not the slowest either. But I never ran outside of school if I didn't have to. When I started to work and I had to sit for the majority of the day at my desk, so I thought it might be a good idea. A coworker was really into running, so I tried it out. It was okay. For the next fourteen years, I have been running on and off, probably more off though. But I actually enjoy running. For the past two years, I have been going to the gym where I have been using the treadmill of course, and I liked it. My friend Beth started her running journey about a year ago, starting with the couch-to-5K program. It seemed to work for her, but I knew that I didn't need to start all the way on the bottom of things.

Need less to say, she inspired me and encouraged me, AND offered to watch my kids for me when I go running. So I started about a week and a half ago. I went to her house, dropped the kids off, and went running. And I ran, and walked some. It felt great. But that was just once a week. And I understand, she can not watch my kids every day for me, and she does live a little far from us to do this on a more regular basis. So now I just had to figure out when I could go running. Because I have a daughter that doesn't stay with many people - or should I say anybody? So it is a little harder than with my outgoing son. The hubby is at work all day, and when he comes home, it's time for dinner and bath and bedtime. Do I still have some energy left to go running after that? It is fall and winter now, so that means it will be dark. And he doesn't like me running here at night. So I figured, I go in the morning! There will be no rapist sitting at 5 am just waiting for me to run by..... So I made the decision to go running in the mornings. He gets up at 5:30 am, so I just have to get myself motivated enough to get up as well. For the few times I have done it, it worked. I just run a little mile or mile and a half. And you know what, it makes me wake up, and I fell energized for the rest of the day. What a great way to start the day.

Some runs were good, some runs were just dragging myself to the finish line. I need alot of encouragement to keep going. This morning, I got to run a longer run, and it was a great success for me. Mostly when I ran so far, I had to walk a few times in between and then keep running. I had never done an entire run with just running. So today, I felt good, and I thought I just need to push myself a little. And wouldn't you know it, I ran the entire time, for 2 1/2 miles! I am very proud of myself. And I feel very encouraged. Thank you, dear friend.

26 November 2010

Weight loss in the bible

Well, wouldn't you know it! Yesterday, I was praying to God for a change in my eating habits and myself. I mean, I became a Vegan after surviving cancer. I made that decision to be and stay healthy. And three years later I can not explain what happened.

But last night and today, I found something that made me think, at least! Thinking is good, I guess. I googled what the bible has to say about weight loss and I actually got a 'few' hits on that subject. I was surprised.

So there is a website that had an article about "Using the Bible to Lose Weight". And it says that the subject appears over and over in the bible starting pretty much in the first book Genesis. The bible mentions specific foods that were eaten in those days, and it states that overindulging foods is seen as a greed. Wow, that actually struck me in a way that I had never thought about it. Me, having a greed? No way. But once I thought about it properly, it is true, it makes sense. The bible also mentions fasting, not as a weight loss tool but maybe more like a starting point to a new diet, a more bible-based diet. Then it mentioned that many churches "support Bible-based weight loss programs and hold meetings and workshops to help members support each other in their diet journey". Oh, I like that! Where do I sign up?
Well, it also says that once applying those biblical principals to our own life, we will shed pounds, feel energized and free our bodies of toxins. That sounds good. And I have to agree because I have done the Daniel's Fast a few times, and it made me feel less intoxicated.

So in my new effort to do something good to my body, I will pick up one of the three recommended books:
  • The Lord's Table: A Biblical Approach to Weight Loss by Mike Cleveland
  • Be Healthy!: A Christian Alternative to Weight Loss Diets by Marcia Haynes-Cody
  • The Bible Cure for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain by Don Colbert

  • I have to learn how to use prayer as a tool to stay strong throughout my journey and how it can help me to resist any temptations that are thrown my way. One article mentioned that our food intake should be there to glorify God. Our body should be seen as holy temples. So we should treat them like that, not like a garbage disposal or landfill of unhealthy foods. Oh, it is so true. When I write about this, it all makes so much sense. How am I not going in the kitchen to eat that Vegan cheesecake I made this morning? Resistance! Stay away from the fridge!

    And I have to remember that I am not losing weight for someone else but for me, myself and I. God made us all different - different for a reason. And I am made beautiful by God. I just have to lose a few pounds to look a little better, but most importantly to be healthy!!!

    25 November 2010

    Prayer for a better self

    I always have been a 'big' girl. I mean I am not fat, but definitely, I could lose a couple of pounds. So it seems naturally that I always look critically at myself. As a Christian I shouldn't. But I have not been a Christian for a long time. Growing up - and it doesn't matter on which continent that is - it seems, still, that model figures rule! They are the norm. So how can we not see each other like that? How can we not judge someone just because they have a few pounds too much on them?

    Most days, I am fine with the way I look, but there are a few days, that I really struggle. When I can't stand to look in the mirror. When I know that certain clothes just won't fit. And it is so frustrating. Frustrating because it seems it isn't just eating too much. My bones are broader than others. So even if I lose, my hips won't get smaller. If I don't eat anything for days, I still won't lose a thing. Stress doesn't bother me, or my weight. You know like some people have a little drama and they drop ten pounds right away....
    Frustrating because for the past month, I have tried (and I thought succeeded) to eat less in general, to eat less in the evening in front of the TV, and exercised. Guess what! I gained two pounds! How frustrating is that?

    I am not sure how my body works! Really. I am not one of those people who feel inside.... I just don't! So I am actually ready to see a nutritionist. Maybe. I am not sure if that person can help me but I am just plain frustrated! It makes eating a rather unenjoyable affair where everything that goes in my mouth comes along with a bad conscience. I am ready for a change.... a real change that will last a lifetime! I want to love myself! I want to look in the mirror and like what I see. I also want to be healthy. Healthy for myself and for my kids. Healthy to live my life to the fullest. I want to be able to run without dragging my body across the asphalt. Healthy to live a long life. I am a cancer survivor, why does this weight loss seems to be so much harder?

    So my prayer for tonight is that I will find support in God to help me, to support me, to make me strong when I need to be strong, to show me ways to change, to hold me back when I want to fall backwards. I am purposely writing this in the midst of the 'eating season', meaning Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the goodies that come along with the end of the year season. I don;t want to stuff myself. I am praying for something to click in my head that says enough! Please God, stand by side. I need you. Amen.


    The hubby and I went to a football game on Saturday. You know that they don't allow purses or bags in the stadium, or at least we didn't want to deal with security and such hassles. So I gave the Hubby my ID and my phone. Well, guess what happened! I never got my ID back. And this has happened to me before. Try traveling with babies and toddlers. When I have to fly and go through security, I usually stick my purse in the suitcase and put my wallet in the backpack that I carry with the kids' stuff. It usually takes me up to a week to remember to put my ID back in my purse, so I don't drive without a license.

    So driving without a license is against the law and you can get a penalty for it. Right? So on Monday (and Tuesday), I was driving and just before I reached my destination, I remembered that I drove without my license! Oh bummer.... guess when I remembered? When I saw the cop in front of me of course! So of course, on my way back, I drove as nice as I could. That means for me, that I have to drive the speed limit. I am sorry, I am German and this one is really hard for me. Most times, I drive with cruise control, because I have a 'heavy foot'. So that day, and the next, I forced myself to drive just under the speed limit. It's hard.

    And here comes my point of why I even wanted to write this. While I was driving so 'slow' down my way, I was thinking: if I was a cop, a person driving BELOW the speed limit would be much more suspicious than a person driving just a little over! Don't you agree? I mean the speed limits over here (in this beautiful country that I love) are just so SLOW!!! It is hard to drive this slow. So if you decide to drive even slower than that, there must be something wrong with you or your car, right? Oh well. I guess I got used to it in the past ten years.

    Drive safe, and with a license!

    22 November 2010


    Okay, lately, I am feeling like an advertisement company... and so here I go again with yet another product of great value in my life. Okay, okay, that is a little much.... but hear me out!

    As you might know, I am cloth diapering my daughter. (read here about it and here) Trying to be efficient, I did some research and found out, back in the day, that you need to wash these diapers in special detergent. I know that scared a lot of people off. But because I am shopping at a certain grocery store like every week, I didn't mind picking it up there. It works great for the smell and also for the dirty business that those diapers have to endure.

    Now I have to admit that it kind of threw me off at first that this detergent didn't smell. What I mean is it didn't stink like perfume. We used the wonderful brand Tide for the past five years and we were happy. Then a friend of mine found an article about that particular brand having the highest amount of some cancer-causing ingredient of all tested detergents. Mmmh, could that be? So that scared me a little and I thought to myself, why not using the detergent from the CDs for all my clothes. As I said, it kind of was weird to pull them out of the machine and it didn't smell like a Douglas store....

    But then I got to see some of the washing results. It was amazing what this detergent can do! I mean next to pee that had been sitting in the pail for two days, and the poop, it also removed berry stains of the worst kind without any pre-treatment! Usually when I have a bad stain, I would use some stain remover and let it sit. Not anymore! I wash it when I get to it, with this wonderful detergent. And it comes out!

    So not only am I doing a good thing for the environment but also for ourselves and our health. So I have to buy less 'chemicals' that goes on our clothes and eventually on our skin. To top that off, this detergent needs only a tiny cap (not cup!) full of detergent. It is about the same price like the one we used before. So I think at the end, I might actually safe some money here... Great!

    So I am in love and never will go back!

    15 November 2010

    Christmas shopping list

    Can you believe it is mid-November? Time just seems to fly by the older we get. Seems like yesterday that we were in the middle of summer, on vacation and getting ready for the fall. Now it is cold outside - not as cold as up north, but still.... And everywhere you go, it just screams Christmas.... Are you ready for it?

    And every year, I am sure, we all have several lists - one for things to do, the other for gifts to buy! Do you? Well, I have one. Or more actually. One is for buying things like gift ideas for the family and friends. The other is a wish list that I have been having for the past, say, three years. On this list, there are things that I would like to have, eventually. I know it's crazy. Mostly, really, it's just books. But a few other things as well. Do you have a list? Or more than one?

    Well, my son is actually "reading" the Toys'R'us catalog and tells me all about his wishes. His list is about a foot long..... but thank God, he understands that some things are too expensive - living on a budget these days - so he knows that Santa might not bring them all.... I am thankful for that. He is such a good boy and I hate to disappoint him, but things are just a little tighter this year.

    Do you believe in Santa? Do your kids do? Well, we decided on believing in Santa, for our kids. So we told our son, who has some listening issues lately, that Santa will only come if you listens better in the future. So far, he has improved his listening skills somewhat, enough for me to see the effort. So now every time he tells me a wish he has, he asks, too, if Santa heard his wish. I tell him that he did, but that doesn't mean he gets it.... It is so tricky.....

    Merry Christmas in advance.....

    09 November 2010

    Blessing someone else

    This blog is about me and my family and our journey together and our many blessings in this life. In a children song that we often play in the car, it says something like 'stand still and count your blessings, you'll be surprised at how many they are'. Very deep for a kid's song. Yet so true. I am constantly writing about how blessed I feel and we truly are!

    So I want to share once again how blessed I feel but this time to bless someone else. My neighbor just had a baby - I wrote a birth story on it! So when I asked her what I can do for her, her requests were to cook for her. I thought I don't hear right - me, cooking? Have you not heard me when I said I don't like cooking? Have you not read my story on 'Daily struggle with dinner'?
    So I told her I will see what I can do. I mean I can do errands for you, I can take the older kid and watch them for you, I can even clean the house for you if necessary. But cook?

    When I got home, I thought to myself that she needs me for this particular thing, so I better get my act together. And after all, this does not involve any meat cooking. I can do Vegan, right? SO when I shopped for us, I shopped a little more than usual. And I started cooking. Vegan. The first day, I came with a small dish of lentil soup, not knowing what she would think of it. She liked it. Okay, I can do this. The second day, I came with a dish of mushrooms and couscous. She liked it even better. OKay, I think by now I was on a roll and I actually enjoyed it. First of all, someone needs me, so I better get to it, and second of all, she likes my cooking. One-dish-meals are the best and I eat them for myself all the time! Just the hubby and my son don't like it much.... I have to train them better, I guess....

    To make a long story short, I provided five meals for her for the entire last week. I even baked a cake. I went shopping twice. And I took her daughter out one day, so she gets out of the house. And you know what - it felt soooo good! Just to be needed and to be there. For an honor to help. I loved it and I even loved the cooking. I am still getting my glass containers back, one at a time, and each time it reminds me of someone actually liking my food. How cool?

    Now I have more confidence in cooking. Actually, I even have figured out how to make it every day with much less struggle. I talk to the Hubby and ask him what he wants. This is what I had been waiting for. So we are planning together! Yippy. Then I prepare everything possible when Peanut is taking her nap. Coqui is good at playing by himself for a while, though he will interrupt me occasionally. But it seems to work. SO either, I just have to warm it up for dinner, or I cook it then quickly on the grill when we come home from our afternoon activity.

    Thank you, neighbor!

    08 November 2010

    Susan Komen Race to the Cure 2010

    On Sunday, I participated in the Susan Komen Race to the Cure. One of about 19.500 individuals. It was cold, very cold, close to freezing when I had to leave the house.

    I have been doing this for a friend that is a survivor for three years. Her team has grown double the size by now - it seems more and more people want to get involved or support her. It is fantastic. The past year, we have been walking, all of us.

    But this year, it was a very split team. We had four timed runners, four untimed runners and the rest, the other half of them, were walking. I ran for the first time. And I have to say that I am so proud of myself. My last workout is like three months ago, I had not trained for this at all, but I did it. For 80 percent I was able to run and only for 20 percent I was walking, mostly the uphill parts. I even had some energy left to sprint to the finish line. Yeah for me. It took me about 41:30 minutes. Not to shabby!

    Now I am looking forward to next year. Maybe I'll be able to train that I can be a timed runner. Would be just too nice....

    05 November 2010

    Mud Pie – Vegan Chocolate Cake

    (I would call it Brownies)

    My aunt recently asked me for a brownie recipe. She has tried multiple ones that are all too dry - she doesn't like it. So she wants a wet Brownie recipe. I can help with that. And it is even healthier than the regular mixes. So here is a Vegan recipe that I found and tried out and edited a little to my liking. Yummy....


    • 1 ½ cups flour
    • 1 cup sugar
    • ½ cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • cup oil (= 5 Tbsp. oil)--> I prefer using 3 T applesauce + 2 T oil (!)
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 tbsp. vinegar
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


    1. Preheat oven to 350 F
    2. Put all ingredients in one bowl and mix it all together until smooth
    3. Pour mixture into greased 9” cake pan
    4. Bake for 10-12 min.
    5. Let cool, cut into 15 pieces