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: