29 September 2010

Liberty Island

Once again, I have made the trip to New Jersey. For once, to do my cancer walk and then to spend time with grandma, and then there is a wedding to go to! I haven't seen my aunt for over a year now, and when I suggested to her to come and visit me over here for a week, she actually booked a flight. She is here since Sunday, so for about four days now. BUT, and here comes the big but..... since I got to Jersey, fall has really hit me over here. No more 90 degrees! But 70 and RAIN. Yes, rain and rain and rain. It's great for my kid that wants to "dance in the rain", but not when you have visitors from Germany. So today, finally, the sun came out and we headed out to see Statue of Liberty.

I will post pictures at home here!!!

But what I want to write about is traveling with children! I am of the opinion that traveling is not that much of a big deal, with or without children. Sure, how much nicer is it to sit in an airplane and be able to read a book, instead of having to watch that your kid doesn't spill the very little drink you got! But then, would we see the river flowing underneath us? Would we feel the thrill of 'bumping' to the ground (meaning the landing of an aircraft)? Would we get excited about a bug crawling on the car's window? Or would we get angry at an exploring kid in the ladies' room? My point? Well, it is not always easy, but sure can be fun!

So today, we had a tired 4-year-old and a happy 1-year-old. And that in itself is unusual. Because usually, my big boy is Mister Happy-Jack! And the little princess is Miss Whinny-whine! We had to drive for an hour to where the ferry leaves to the island. From the beginning, we knew to skip Ellis Island - the kids are just not big enough! So we stayed on board and went straight for Lady Liberty. Coqui was all excited about going on a ferry. But once there, he wanted to go back home! What was going through his mind? Peanut just has been sick and this was a very clingy illness. I am so happy that she is back to normal and lets go off me! So she was running after seagulls and loved that she was on the loose! We did not spend a whole lot of time on the island, just enough for my aunt to see what needs to be seen as a tourist, and enough for the kids to get tired! Well, I guess too tired!?! Because when we were waiting for the ferry to take us back to Jersey, I had a boy that had pied on himself because he couldn't wait to go to the bathroom. I had a baby in a stroller that didn't want to sit in it anymore! I mean enough is enough, right? Okay, here is the real reason why I write this post because it got me real ticked off! As a parent, have you ever felt like people are staring at you like you have no idea what you are doing??? Well that was ME today!!! And these people are not quite about it either! They talk! Right in ears' reach. Like: "oh, she is so tired!" Why can't they put her to sleep? "She needs a nap!" or "take her out"! Now I am asking: who is the mother? Don't I know all this? Don't I know what my kids need and don't need! They need God! They need love! They need food and clothes and a roof over their head! What they don't need are strangers with comments that are completely out of line! I was so mad, I actually said something to those "lovely" people! I said that they should stare somewhere else and take care of their own offspring!
I am so proud of myself!

Have a good night.

Btw: My baby had her two naps, like every day! She went to bed early. As did my son - he actually fell asleep on the floor tonight because he was so tired! But don't I know that??? I love them, and I think I give them enough time to sleep and grow!

28 September 2010

Being Blessed: Walk To Beat The Clock

Last year, I wrote about my favorite walk: Being Blessed: Walk To Beat The Clock
This year, I planned this vacation around the walk so I could attend! And I did, this last Saturday! Up front, I want to thank everyone for supporting me, for donating to this fantastic organization, and for two ladies, especially, that came to walk with me. I was very fortunate with my diagnosis, with the support from family, friends, and my doctor, so that this horrible experience actually wasn't so horrible after all.

We got there on time, we even participated in the warm-up, we prayed, we cried, we walked and we talked. It was a beautiful day! It was perfect. Tamika Felder is the organizer and founder of Tamika & Friends, Inc., she is a cervical cancer survivor and advocate, and now my friend as well. I admire her for her outspokenness. And I am glad that I can be there with her and all the other survivors. It is amazing. And I want to learn from her. I want to be outspoken, too. I want to go around and proclaim that I am a survivor and education is the key! It's not just this particular cancer, it is any cancer. In support group, they always say to us: Be your own advocate! Fight! This was one way to fight.

This is this year's group in New York City. When I heard that this walk almost didn't take place, I was upset. So if I can, I want to make sure it will take place next year. My two ladies said that we should form a team and have more people walk for me. How cool would that be??? It's an awesome idea and I would be thrilled. What an honor!

22 September 2010

My pillow collection

I mentioned yesterday that I had made several pillows for all the members of this family. So here they are, "my pride and joy".
For Coqui:

For Peanut:

And for the Hubby:

It took me a while to figure it all out, like the corners and the zippers, but I think for not having a layout and for doing it the first time, they turned out quite alright! The family loves them. The hubby sleeps with his every night. And the kids uses theirs during the day, to read or other stuff.

21 September 2010


So for the few readers I have, here is an update on our life. If you follow this blog, you have read about several things that I have introduced to the family or I have tried. When I am reading something like that, down the line, I am always wondering if the people stick to the new habit or fall back to old habits. So I examined our routines and found this:

- we are still having TV-free Sunday. At least me and the kids. I am not watching any TV that day, nor sit in front of the computer. Emails and Facebook just will have to wait until Monday. It is also fun to see ALL the many emails and comments that have come in over the one day!!! It's almost like a birthday every Monday!?!

- I am NOT trying to potty-train my little peanut anymore! She just doesn't want to sit still on the potty, not the portable one, nor the "big" one! I am still cloth diapering most of the time. Mostly, on the weekends, when the Hubby is watching the kids or we are out for hours.

- we are still homeschooling - more or less. We took a break for the summer and only did it sometimes, especially when Coqui asked for it. Now we have to get into a better schedule, but we are definitely still learning every day new things, just in a less school room way, more like a learning-by-doing and learning-along-the-way. We started to have a "word-of-the-day" on the fridge. He wants to learn how to spell so badly. Then we use maps to show all the traveling we have been doing and will do within the next four weeks. So it is less regular but nonetheless effective.

- being green is still a huge issue on our house. We recycle and reuse old things. We just got some wood from our neighbor that we will use to make a floor for the kids house in the backyard.

- I had put away the sewing machine when we had visitors and haven't gotten it out since. I need to find a new project for that. But I am wearing my apron in the kitchen. And the kids and the Hubby are using their pillows. I guess I never posted pictures, did I? That will come tomorrow then!

- I have found a new hobby! I am baking! I will write about that within the next days. But it is exciting.

20 September 2010

Walking in the neighborhood

Lately, it is a little cooler outside. I mean we still get up to the nineties in the afternoon, but the mornings are definitely more enjoyable. So I take the kids out on a walk. Not only do I get some exercise done, that I can't get with my baby that is super clingy and doesn't stay with anybody!!! So I take out our wagon and put both kids in it and off we go. Sometimes, we stop at our local playground. Coqui pretends being a pirate or loves hanging from this rope.

Here are a couple of pictures:

16 September 2010

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham - book review

Okay, I am sure, it was less than a month ago that I posted my last review, but I just read this very funny book and I had to share while it is still fresh in my memory.

The book is a John Grisham book, but not a lawyer one like pretty much every other book from him. Now this is called: "Skipping Christmas". I had found it in a garage sale last summer and wasn't sure what to expect. It is pretty thin, less than two-hundred pages. I read it in less than two days while being sick in bed. A good read while mending a sickness....

So what to expect from a Grisham book that is NOT about lawyers? It is a satiric fiction, totally to love. It revolves around the 'tyranny' of Christmas, the wrestle in overfilled stores, people going nuts and stressed out, money spent on stuff you normally would not give a penny; to summarize it: it is a story about the 'overblown ritual of the festive holiday season'. It gives you an insight of the craziness we go through once Thanksgiving is over. You know what I am talking about! The morning after giving thanks, we go up to the attic and pull out boxes after boxes of Christmas stuff that needs to be taken care off within the next three days off from work. Lights are to be hung, decorations to be put up around the house, a tree needs to be bought and "colored in"! Then we need to think of gifts! Gifts for the entire family, gifts for friends and neighbors, gifts for the less fortunate, toy drives and sick people. Support this and support that! All this might not be too true for Texas, but for sure I know it is true for the east coast! Not being an American, it seems excessive! And you can drive yourself tremendously nuts with this kind of behavior. And not to forget the pressure that is incredible.
The book, it is funny and light, no serious action or legal thriller-like. And that's exactly why I like it so much.

09 September 2010

Cleaning Day!

I know this is not the most interesting subject but it is part of daily life around a household with or without kids. It is not my favorite thing to do, rather a necessity that needs to be tackled. So here it is, we are cleaning today. Well, mostly deep cleaning in form of vacuuming. It is NOT done daily around here, maybe only around the dining room table. So we are upstairs today and do room by room. I mean we are talking: removing everything movable from the room and then go in and vacuum! And the best part of all: my little helper! He loves to vacuum and has done so many times before. By now, he is actually able to handle the big vacuum cleaner by himself. Here a picture:
That is his room and he had so much fun. He even cleans the corners on the side! I am so proud of him and seriously consider to "rent" him to others that need help. Any takers???

03 September 2010

Reconnecting with an old friend

I am sure you all know how it is, life keeps on going and on the way, we lose friends. Some were just acquaintances and others, we were pretty close with! So when all those sociables websites came along, I was able to reconnect with friends from all over the world. There were French friends (I lived in France for a year!) that I had completely lost for years! I mean years! It has been sixteen years since I left there, I came back twice for the summer. But then ten years ago, I came to America and I have not been back there. It was so great to see them with their families and follow them now on pages like Copainsd'avant - which translates to 'friends from before'.
I also found some German friends back from school on 'Stayfriends'. And I found some American friends with Facebook. I am still trying to contact a friend in England but I will get him sooner or later. Who said the internet is not a fantastic tool??? I love it because I have so many friends from all around.

So I am happily writing emails and texting and even skyping with my friends. I wanted to share this because sometimes we on;y hear those negative and scary comments about the internet - it is not all bad. Yes, I am sure I have clicked on a button that was not so good, but that is okay in my book. Having friends and communicating with them IS important to me!