No saber es no entender.

Hoy participe en un evento para la comunidad-El Poder de Saber. Un evento desarollado por Telemundo y apoyado en parte por la cadena de tiendas Valsan.

Se repartieron mas de 1,100 mochilas llenas de materiales escolares para niños de sexto a doceavo grado. El evento enfocaba en estudiantes de estas edades, en particular, porque a esa edad muchos pierden la esperanza en el sistema educativo y dejan los estudios, sea por razones de salud, familia, o monetarias.

El Poder de Saber es una campaña que apoya los muchachos para motivarlos a continuar su educaion y, al menos, terminar la secundaria.

—–

Es el ultimo fin de semana antes de comenzar el nuevo curso escolar.

La reparticion de las mochilas seria de diez de la mañana a dos de la tarde, pero a las 8:45 de la mañana, ya habian varias personas esperando y preguntando sobre las mochilas. Algunos preguntaban con bastante anxiedad porque en los dias designados, no habian obtenido los vales necesarios para recojer una mochila.

Los que no obtuvieron vales tenian que regresar en la tarde para obtener uno, en caso de que sobraran algunas mochilas.

Muchos esperan hasta el ultimo momento para conseguir los materiales escolares, y no es por vagancia. La realidad es que muchas de estas familias no saben con que van a cenar, mucho menos como van a comprar algo tan sencillo como una libreta.

Por lo general las personas entendian las reglas.

-Se repartia un vale por cada niño de sexto a doceavo grado.

-Un adulto deberia acompañar al niño para obtener el vale, y luego para entregarlo en cambio de una mochila.

-El o los niños deberian estar presentes en el momento de recojer la mochila.

La mochila contenia libretas, una carpeta, composition books, lapices, y boligrafos-materiales basicos, pero esenciales.

Una señora se acerco a la mesa con sus dos hijos. Su blusa empapada en sudor, y sus cachetes rojos de esperar en la cola bajo el sol.

Entrego el vale y agarro una mochila para su hijo mayor. Enseguida el se la engacho en la espalda y se viraron hacia el parqueo.

Pero, parece que le salto alguna duda a la madre, y se viro de nuevo hacia la mesa.

“Las mochilas son para los niños de sexto a doceavo grado solamente, verdad?”

“Si señora,” le respondio la encargada de cambiar los vales por mochilas.

“Ok. Gracias.” En el momento que la mama contesto, el niño mas pequeño salio de atras de ella.

Ella le puso la mano en la cabeza y le restrego el pelo cariñosamente. “It’s okay,” le dijo.

Se despegaron de la mesa, y la encargada continuo a colectar los vales.

“Esperate!” Les dije, pero no me escucharon.

La coordinadora de la mesa me miro y entendio enseguida.

“Niño! Ven aca,” le dijo, a la misma vez extendiendole una mochila.

El miro a su mama para aprobacion y luego se acerco.

“Como tu te llamas?”

Apenas se escuchaba su respuesta, pues estaba apenado.

La coordinadora continuo,”Esta mochila es para ti. Portate bien en la escuela.”

El niño agarro la mochila sonriente y se acerco a la mama, quien lo abrazo a su lado.

“Muchas gracias,” dijeron y salieron caminando.

No habian caminado mas de diez pies del parqueo cuando la mama paro. Los hijos se viraron y le preguntaron,”Mama, que pasa?”

La mama se tapo los ojos, pero las lagrimas se veian correr por su cara.

Ella no podia hablar, ni yo que la estaba mirando.

Pero, ella no tenia que hablar, sus lagrimas lo contaban todo.

Pity Cat

If you utilize any form of social media, then it’s very likely you have encountered the Grumpy Cat meme.
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But…I bet you’ve never seen the Pity Cat meme…
20130523-003611.jpgOk. That is a really cute, sad kitty, but we all KNOW a Pity Cat.

They thrive off your pity and NEED your attention. Yet, rather than get attention by doing something positive, they focus on all the “bad” things that “happen to them” and ONLY them.

As with Grumpy Cat, we often enjoy drama and BS, like Maury and Caso Cerrado, more than we enjoy hearing good uplifting stories.

Pity Cat is often motivated by other Pity Cats through likes and friend requests across the social media board. Some “likers” probably really DO sympathize with Pity Cat. After all, they are sad, annoying, and pathetic.

I warrant I’ve had my fair share of whiny, complaining, “I need a vacay, NOW!” type of post; however, for the most part, I refrain from bombarding timelines.

Side note: I do need a vacation, and I’m taking one this weekend!

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YES!

Typical posts from Pity Cat consist of:

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Ohhh, damn. Traffic, huh? The cars must’ve magically dropped out of the sky and surrounded yours.

We LIVE in Miami! There is always traffic, and yes, an overpopulation of hispanics—Cubans to be exact. And I LOVE IT! In fact, it’s a little off putting that one day, when there isn’t traffic, someone honking at you, or cutting you off, and you actually get somewhere on time. If you DON’T like the traffic, or us “Cubans”, please move away.

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Bills? What are those? Oh, you mean like phone, light, & water bill, rent, car payments, insurance, food expenses, and so on. You’re right, you deserve to win the lottery; nobody else has to work long hours or pay bills.

How about the infamous…

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You know what? I will go over there right now to watch your kid, so you can have that drink!

Put. Down. The bottle! It’s called, Sarcasm!

It really might be 1 drink, but how big is the glass? Or perhaps, just a couple of innocent glasses of wine. After all, leading doctors recommend wine with dinner, right? It really doesn’t matter what they are saying now-a-days; doctors change their minds every time they go to the bathroom. Stop hiding behind statistics, and the latest pill pushing medical reports. It’s like adding “LOL” at the end of a rude or sarcastic message, it doesn’t hide your disdain…unless the person is an imbecile.

#JustSaying #WinkyFace #SmileyFace ❤

Let's face it, it's never 1 drink. You either think you have more tolerance than others, or believe that you know when to stop. Seriously though? I don't know about you other moms, but my kids do NOT sleep through the night, and they are 6, 4 and 2. When it’s not a bad dream, random fever or episode of vomiting, it’s one or more of them asking “mommy, can I sleep with you.” So, what do you do then, that “one” night when you and the bottle finish each other, and your kid wakes up crying, sick, or just scared, and you don’t…

Guess what, Pity Cat? Everyone has tough days, and bills to pay, mouths to feed, and mucho trafico throughout. Stop Winening! (spelling intentional)
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If you think you NEED to drink every day to get the “edge” off, you’re an idiot!
20130523-015923.jpgLOL
::remember to insert smiley face to take the edge off::

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The Jackpot

“Mommy, can I ask you something?”

Sofia begins 5-6 conversations a day with that question.

“Sure,” I say, quickly pondering what outrageous interrogation will ensue.

“Is it hard to be a Mommy?”

This was the second time in the past week that she had asked me. The first time, I responded with a lot of Uh’s and Um’s, but this time I was more prepared.

“Well, sometimes it feels hard, because I’m tired from work, but you guys make it easy, because you are so wonderful. Why do you ask?”

“When I’m a mom, I’m gonna have 6, or 4, or 5 kids.”

I was glad to hear that response, because I didn’t want to frighten her away from her dream of having so many children.

Women aren’t easily motivated nowadays to have one kid, let alone 6, or 4, or 5.

9 months of swelling, indigestion, and 20 to 60 pounds of weight gain—yes, I gained 60 pounds throughout each of my 3 pregnancies, on a 5’1″ frame, you could say I “got around; then a long, tedious, painful labor and delivery—with or without an epidural, it bites; 30 to 45 endless nights, of crying and crankiness, and not just you, the baby is adjusting to living outside your body, as opposed to the water world they inhabited for 40 weeks; 40 torturous nights without intimacy, where you think, “I’ll never say no to sex again!”—that doesn’t last; add on the throw up, poop, pee, and other things you can’t identify that babies spew all over you; and all of a sudden, before your baby is even walking, it’s settled. You’re done. “One baby is more than enough!”

You’re right! All of that does sound awful; but there are rewards in between. Sweet smiles and giggles; gentle tugging at your hair while they nap; eyes that bat softly to sleep to your lullabies, despite your awful singing voice; and when they start talking, it’s all over.

That first time they call you Momma or Daddy, it’s like hitting the 600 million dollar PowerBall. Ok, I know it probably seems like there’s NOTHING better than hitting the 600 million dollar PowerBall, but I feel that becoming a parent is like buying a ticket and winning the jackpot every day.

So, when Sofia asked me if it’s hard to be a mommy, I quickly answered no. I don’t mean to lie to her, I just don’t want her to fear motherhood and all the responsibilities, sacrifices, and spit-up it throws at you.

What is the right answer to that question?

I don’t know, but kids don’t know that you don’t know. So, just give it your best shot.

Tonight, I lay next to my curious daughter, after reading a story and praying. She said “Mommy, can I ask you something?”

Third time’s the charm, I thought. I was ready with my fairytale response about motherhood.

“What is it, Sofy?”

“Mommy, what’s a solar eclipse?”

Mouth agape, I blurted, “Go to sleep!

Quality versus Quantity

Every morning, without fail, my two year old asks, “Mommy, you going to work?” She looks up at me with those big brown droopy eyes, and frowns with genuine concern.

It breaks my heart every time I answer, “Yes, Vicky.”
I feel guilty to leave her when she pleads: “I wanna stay with you”, “I wanna work, too”, “Mommy, don’t leave”, “Mommy, I miss you.”

I feel like I’m abandoning her and her brother, failing them, by not being able to grant them this one wish.

This morning, she woke up and came to my room as usual, sniffing her giraffe blanky. “Mommy, you here?”

“I’m in the bathroom,” I said from my vanity where I was doing my makeup.

“Mommy, I sit too?”

I scooted over to the edge of the chair so Vicky could sit next to me. She adjusted the lighted mirror so she could see herself.

“Mommy, it’s my turn.” She took the blush brush from me and began to apply “Honey Lust” M.A.C. eyeshadow to her cheeks. I handed her a small eyeshadow applicator, and she selected another color which she commenced to dot madly below her brows.

“Mommy, I pretty?” She batted her long eyelashes at me and pouted her lips.

“Your beautiful!” I said squeezing and kissing her cheeks, and I meant it.

“And you know what? Your going to work with me today!”

She didn’t really say anything at first, but her eyes gleamed, and she sort of squealed. She held her face in her hands, and said excitedly, “I have to get dressed!”

I had promised my older daughter, Sofia, that I would leave work early to pick her up from school and take her to the mall to eat Johnny Rockets. So, I figured I’d make it a “take your daughter to work day”, as well.

We went to my office for about two hours, then came home to meet up with my sister so we could pick up Sofy and go to the mall together.

My husband and son were outside throwing around the football when we got there. I watched through the glass patio doors as they played catch. The goofy smiles on their faces as they chased each other across the yard; my son’s laughter when his dad grabbed him by the waist and lifted him high up in the air; the pure joy in their expressions made me want to stay and join them. I reached for the handle, but hesitated.

I was on my way out to spend the afternoon with my three girls–Sofy and Vicky, and my little sister Marta. She is seven years younger than me, so I always felt more like a momma, than a sister.

The boys needed their horseplay, and the girls needed their shopping and pampering, and eating at the food court, of course. I decided not to interrupt their bonding, and instead set off to pick up Sofy.

Sofy was really excited to see the three of us waiting for her by her locker. She got out of the line, pointing at us so her teacher could see we were there to pick her up. She grinned from ear to ear as she showed off her little sister to her friends and teacher.

“This is Vicky”, she said, smiling proudly as she introduced the mythical creature they had heard so many stories about.

“Mommy, can we go to the park,” Sofy begged in front of her classmates and teacher. I wouldn’t say no anyways, but when one of her best friends chimed in that he was going to the park, too, I quickly agreed.

Yes, one of her best friends is a boy, and he’s a cutie too. Needless to say, I’m in a heap of trouble when she gets older.

We watched the girls and Sofy’s classmates chase each other from tree to tree, just like the squirrels. I pushed Vicky on the swings, while Sofy played on the see-saw with her friends. The whole while Sofy smiled and laughed giddily, with that same emotion Vicky had expressed earlier that morning, and like Gaby while playing with his dad. If there is one commentary that is unanimous amongst people that know my daughter Sofia, it’s that she always has a beautiful smile on her face. You can’t fake that unwavering happiness.

At the end of the day, I suppose every parent fears that they don’t spend enough time with their kids. But, I firmly believe that the quality is just as important, if not more so, than the quantity.

The Scientific Method

Once upon a time… there was a social network called MySpace. Yes, you remember. Think back, back, back. If you see yourself in diapers, you’ve gone too far. In a way, MySpace was like a social network in diapers.

Just 5-6 years ago MySpace was thee space to be.

I worked on my page feverishly during the 6 weeks I was home after the birth of my first child. My days were consumed by reruns of Charmed, working on my MySpace profile, baby feedings, changing diapers and dieting, some sleeping.

I returned to my MySpace page today after years of not logging in, and discovered this post…

——-

9 Months…40 Weeks…280 Days…6720 Hours…403,200 Minutes…

I think you get the picture. It’s A LONG TIME and a long process. You may not know what I’m talking about. Or perhaps you know all too well—that familiar tingling or cringe when you hear yourself, or another say,”I’m Pregnant”.

Step One: The Creaking Board

You know in every scary movie, the protagonist is trying to sneak away quietly, and when they are almost in the clear, a floorboard creaks, revealing their exact location. The killer turns around and… We all know how it ends.

Well, the wrappers on pregnancy tests are much worse—hard, crinkly and impossible to remove quietly. You can run the water while you remove the plastic; although, it might seem weird that you’re washing your hands before using the toilet. You can always claim O.C.D. Go ahead and laugh at yourself a little—this is a nerve-wracking situation no matter what outcome you hope for.

Step Two: Try Not to Pee on yourself.

Your hand shakes nervously as you hold the test in your urine stream, while trying to count out five seconds in your head, because less is too little and more is too much, and you don’t want an inaccurate reading ’cause then… then you might have to pee on your hands all over again.

Step Three: The Scientific Method.

We all learned about “The Scientific Method” in elementary school. There are 5 basic steps:

1. Name the problem or question
2. Form an educated guess (hypothesis) of the cause of the problem and make predictions.
3. Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment.
4. Check and interpret your results.
5. Report your results to the scientific community.

You never thought you would use it in the real world, but what better time than this.

1 ) The Problem: You haven’t gotten your Period.
2a) Your Guess is that you are Pregnant.
2b) Your Prediction is that in 9 months a Baby is coming out.

Now back to the experiment, I mean test.

Step 3: Replace the cover over the tip and lay on a flat surface. Do not hold at an angle for a prolonged amount of time as this may cause an inaccurate reading. You really have to read the directions; there are so many little tidbits they throw in.

Step Four: The ballots have been cast and the winner is…

It takes about 3 – 5 minutes for a completely accurate reading. Slowly, but surely a faint line will appear in the first box and then in the next. If you are not already pacing, now is the time. Don’t stare at the result window, nothing will happen; it’s tricky, like watching the grass grow, you can’t. You just walk outside one day, and it’s to your ankles. Okay, so this isn’t exactly the same, but you’ve wasted enough time by now that it should be time to take a look.

Flip, flip, flip through the instructions again, even though the picture on the outside of the box clearly shows how to read the results. A second blue line may appear in the first window to form a blue cross. You frantically look back and forth between the paper, the box, and the test.
The moment of truth is upon you and the test reads…

Up to this point, all test-takers are equally nervous or anxious. But now, after seeing the results, it’s no longer a matter of reading instructions, peeing on a strip, or looking for a blue line in the test window. Now it’s time to face the music.

Step Four: Interpret your results
(Yes, we’re still on Step 4)

Is this good news or bad news? Well, you probably won’t decide yet. You’ll probably take another test. You might even take several tests over the next few days. You may buy tests from different brands just to make sure there wasn’t something wrong with that lot.

You may decide that the tests are faulty, because you have been on some medication that you are sure has affected the outcome. Or, maybe your period got off track because you forgot to take the pill that one day. Maybe your body is changing, and you won’t get your period this month. Maybe something else is wrong, but you aren’t pregnant.

STOP!!!

Just face it. You are pregnant. There is a tiny bundle of cells that is slowly, but surely, going to grow and transform into a beautiful and innocent baby boy or girl. If you don’t believe the 6 tests you took, then go to the doctor, but it’s time to start thinking about the future. What are you going to do? What do you want to do? Should you tell your husband, boyfriend, lover, that guy from your English class or that one night stand? Are you going to tell anybody at all? Who should you tell? When should you tell? Should you call your gynecologist to make an appointment? An appointment for your first prenatal visit or a consultation for a termination?

The truth is that not everybody wants to be pregnant. Maybe you think you are too young or too old, too poor, too busy, too single, too hot; finishing college; working in a convent; living at home, but feel like you’re living in a convent; maybe you don’t want that guy to be the dad; or maybe you don’t know who the dad is.

There are a million if’s, and’s or but’s; “Cada persona es un mundo” (Each person is a world of their own). They each have their own problems and solutions, reasons and excuses, and no one other person can really tell them what is right or wrong for them. However that may be, remember, you are not alone. There is always someone out there who cares about you, so OPEN UP! If you think you are pregnant and don’t know what you should do, or even if you have some other issue troubling you. Don’t bottle it in.

Step Five: Report your results to the scientific community.

In my case, the test was positive. An uncontrollable smile and irrepressible joy rose to my cheeks. I put the test down, picked it up again, and so on. I couldn’t believe it.

My husband and I were really excited. We had a beautiful little girl who was 17 months old. Girl or boy, it would be our second child, and we were very excited. We had been trying for the second one for about 6 months and finally, WE WERE PREGNANT! Eight months later, we had a beautiful 8 pound baby boy.

——-

I’m sure everyone on MySpace was really excited, too. After all, it pretty much gave birth to Facebook.

Tentacles

My son and oldest daughter drew these pictures of me.
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You may have guessed my 4 year old boy, Gaby, drew the one on the left.

“Mommy, it’s you. You have 14 legs.”

If you count, there are actually fifteen tentacles, which is good because that means I’ve got at least one arm. I look like I belong a thousand leagues under the sea. I don’t know if he’s comparing me to Ursula or Oswald. In any case, I suspect I look fat.

Sofy gave me brown hair and nice big eyelashes—those are real, by the way. I’m also wearing what appears to be a red robe. Am I a disciple? Am I late for supper?

I’d never compare my self to Jesus or even esteem myself in the same league, but you have to admit, there appears to be a biblical reference here. Mary Magdalene? Perhaps. My middle name is Maria. Interestingly enough, my daughter didn’t give me any feet at all. AND, I also have only one hand in her drawing.

Should I be concerned about these too completely contrasting images? Despite the age difference and creative development of the artists, I can’t help but read into it. On one hand, I could be pretty speedy with all those feet. I could potentially get a lot accomplished, except I’ve only got that one hand. On the other foot, (I’ve only got the one hand) I ain’t goin’ anywhere without feet. But, I do have hair, full red lips (at least a bottom lip), and a flattering red robe that was hip circa 33 AD. AGAIN with the one hand thing. I’m probably hiding candy from them in the other.

What their drawings also have in common is a big smile. Phew, that’s a relief. More often than not, I find myself rushing the kids to get dressed, or brush their teeth; scolding them for tattle taleing, biting each other, yelling or making a mess with the toys. I begin to worry they’ll think I’m always mad, at them. It’s hard to keep a happy face at the end of a strenuous workday, but they have been anxiously waiting for me to get home. And they are happily obedient, as long as I devote every waking second to them.

It’s hard to divide your attention equally with each child, so I try to read and pray with them collectively each night.

Tonight, I read them a short book about the rainforest and some of its native inhabitants. Sofy was all ears, asking questions about the animals beyond the stated facts. For the most part, I couldn’t answer, and I wouldn’t make the answers up either.

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Parenting Tip: Kids are like elephants. (I never quite understood this phrase so I googled it) They never forget anything you say to them, so try your best to always give them true and simple facts, and peanuts if they’re not allergic.

While I was reading about Orangutans, my youngest, Vicky kept interrupting me, “Mommy….Mommy, I’m! Not! Sleepy!”

“O! Kay!,” I’d say and continue reading despite her unhappy disclaimer.

“Mommy, can I have leche? Two leches.”

“Yes, Gaby, as soon as I finish the story.” I proceed to read about the Toucans, Lemurs and Tarsiers, careful to show them each pictured animal before reading its name and factoid.

“Mommy, I’m scared,” Vicky whined, covering her face with her blanky as I started reading about the Green Tree Python. Sofy helped assuage her fears by adding wide eyed, “Those are REALLY dangerous.”

“Mommy, can I sleep here,” Gaby asked.

“Sure, climb up to bed.” Sofy has a bunk bed; although Gaby has his own room, he sleeps on the top bunk for the most part.

“No, I wanna sleep here,” he groans and points to the floor next to Sofy’s bed.

I want to argue against this, but it really can’t hurt. I try to let them enjoy the silly, harmless, though sometimes messy, things that seem to bring them such genuine joy—i.e. Play-Doh, bubbles, camping on the floor in your sister’s room.

“Mommy, I’m not sleepy,” a less energetic Vicky insists.

“Vicky, just count sheep. Count ten sheep like this, 1 sheep, 2 sheep, 3 sheep.” Sofy demonstrated, but yawned after 5 sheep. Is this actually working?

I finally wrap up the story, and prepare a makeshift sleeping bag on the floor for Gaby.

“Ok, everybody, let’s pray.” I thanked God for each of them; for daddy; “for Abuela Gladys,” my son interjected; “for ALL the family, Gaby,” Sofy corrected; I thanked Him for school, toys, crayons; “for M&Ms,” Gaby added excitedly, “and the new house!” We prayed for Mima’s health, for “Daddy ’cause he has a cough”, and “for Nicole’s hair to keep growing”.

Every night, Sofy prays for her friend who was diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the first grade year. Thankfully, Nicole is in remission. Sofy was very excited when she saw that her friend’s hair was growing back.

When everyone seemed satisfied that we had prayed for, and been thankful for EVERYTHING, they still weren’t “sleepy”.

“Okay, I’ll sing you guys a song.” Nobody made a peep, so I started in right away.

Twinkle Twinkle is an obvious favorite for them, but I have several songs I enjoyed singing to them as infants, and even now. The Beatles, ‘A Hard Day’s Night‘; ‘The Way You Look Tonight‘ as performed by Frank Sinatra; and ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow‘ from The Wizard of Oz, are my personal favorites.

By the time I’m done singing, Vicky and Sofy are fast asleep. Gaby, quickly gives up camping, and shadows me as I first carry Vicky to her bed, then head to my room to shower and go to sleep, or rather, to write this blog.

He sits quietly in the bathroom until I am done with my shower, even though he can lay down with his dad who is already in bed.

“Mommy, can I sleep with you?”

“Of course,” I say wrapping my tentacles around him.

“I’m going to drink my leche and go to sleep, so I can snore like daddy,” he says grinning from ear to ear.

I smile and quietly say a quick prayer, “Dear Lord, Please don’t make me share a bed with the Predator AND Chewbacca. AMEN.”

Move Over, Me

As I lay in bed last night by my husband, fully clothed (this is relevant later), iPad propped up on my knees while I worked on this blog, my iPhone vibrated. It was my turn to roll in Dice with Buddies.

Is this what relationships have come to…electronic conversations and gaming, side by side with your partner?

YES! Five-of-a-kind! I take great pleasure in this roll worth 50 points, because my husband beats me all the time. In the game, he beats me in the game.

Marriage Tip: A little competition is healthy, heck, maybe even necessary in a relationship. It can keep things interesting, especially if you spice up the deal; loser cooks dinner; loser gets up if the kids start crying—null if more than one child is crying; or loser grants winner some other “special favor”.

::insert winky face::

Anyhow, I have been a practicing nurse, negotiator, singer, storyteller, and professional butt-wiper for almost seven years now. I have a 6 year old girl, a 4 year old boy, and a 2 year old girl who is thankfully almost potty trained. I have a full-time job operating a retail clothing-shoes-hair accessories-luggage-toys-watches-perfumes-custome jewelry-among other things, store.

::insert self promotion here:: VALSAN

I am married with children and have 3 dogs, Kobe, Konan, and Kay (Karl was recently deceased)—”every kiss begins with ‘K’ay, our favorite jeweler’s jingle. We also care for a spunky (that means loud) cockatoo, Mango; Maria Sofia the pet turtle who shares a tank with an orange parrot and other colorful cichlids; another tank decorated with disney and spongebob figurines that houses pleccos, a brainy goldfish, which my daughter claims is very smart, and 2 angel fish, who contrary to their name, can be rather vicious and territorial. A lonesome fighting fish keeps us company in the kitchen. A recently acquired lizard—and by acquired I mean I caught it in a red solo cup in my patio as the kids cheered me on—Mrs. Stripes, peers at the fighting fish, from atop her faux cactus. Thankful, the dwarf hamster, does cardio on his wheel in the laundry room. Hamsters are nocturnal, by the way.

Parenting Tip: If you should ever make the mistake of promising a hamster to your child if they behave well, and they will, be sure to grease the hamster’s wheel, or it’ll be squeaking ALL NIGHT LONG!

For those of you that don’t have kids or pets yet, I’ll even warrant that some plants need caregivers too, here’s a little heads up: MOM is an acronym for Move Over, Me.

In other words, whatever you enjoyed doing prior to having kids, or pets, and yes, in some cases plants, such as—falling asleep naked after a romantic evening; or, enjoying a romantic evening at all; driving to Krispy Kreme after midnight for a fresh, warm snack; vomiting out your friends SUV window, AND all along the side of the car, after a night of dancing and drinking; or just simple things like taking a hot bubble bath, quietly reading the latest bestseller on your toilet, sleeping through breakfast on a lazy Sunday; all of this and more, takes a backseat to your kid’s needs.

I never particularly enjoyed sleeping in the nude. I’m too friolenta (easily prone to being cold); I need a shirt, pajama pants, socks, a bed sheet, blanket and comforter. As I warm up throughout the night, I get decidedly provocative and start stripping; although, I never quite make it to ‘R’ rated nudity, nor do I have a sexy dance number, as I am not very limber.

I never cared much for staying out late either, partying it up on a random Tuesday. Who goes out on a Tuesday you ask…

Lot’s of people! Young, carefree, childless people; maybe careless, but also free of child.

When it’s just you and your husband, or significant other, you can pick up and go anywhere, anytime, with or without a plan.

Oftentimes, I pry my eyes open in the wee morning hours. After snoozing for 9 minutes, I get up to get my daughter ready for school, myself ready for work, my gym bag ready, then wake the other kids to take them to Abuela’s house, and I think, “Again?” Is it yesterday or tomorrow? Whenday?

I brush my teeth and shower every day, and that’s okay. You gotta eat regularly, and drink: 64 oz of water, half your body weight, or whatever the doctors are recommending now a days. You have to work, a lot. Occasionally get some exercise in, like at the gym; on a treadmill; or lifting weights; NOT at the office exercising your jaw chismosiando with the girls, that’s Spanish for gossiping. Then, I come home, eat dinner, play with the kids, read to them and tuck them in, before a quick shower. Wiggle in some time with my husband, at least cuddling for a bit before he’s fast asleep snoring. Then I find myself enjoying my new endeavor, blogging; or at least trying to between nudging him every couple of minutes when his snoring begins to resemble the snarl of the Predator. Finally, I’ll get a text from my sister, scolding me to, “GO TO SLEEP!” because she caught me Pinteresting. I fall asleep about 10 minutes later, after checking Facebook, Instagram, my email and WordPress one last time. Then to do it all again the next day.

This broken record feeling is NOT because of the kids; we’re just all grown up. It’s called life, and it’s not a simple game of rolling the dice.

For a while, I thought the spontaneity would be gone from my life once I had kids, but I was wrong. What’s more spontaneous than a child—throwing up curdled milk on you, and then some remnants of the macaroni and cheese from dinner, just when you thought they had evacuated completely; your son peeing at you and your surroundings while you change his diaper; your daughter cutting her hair to imitate Tangled, thankfully, hers does grow back; how about your youngest repeating a curse word after you yell at a veering motorist.

The truth is, you don’t realize until after you have kids, not so much with pets and plants, sorry, that there was something missing in your life. Kids occupy a special, messy and sometimes smelly, place in your heart.

There’s nothing more spontaneous than a sweet hug and “I love you” from your toddler after reading her a story; a heart shaped drawing left on your nightstand addressed to Mom; a genuine prayer, “for all my family members. I don’t know how many I have, but please bless all of them”; an innocent voice asking you to lay in his bed and give him cosquilla until he falls asleep…

Today, I accompanied my sister to get an ultrasound; she is 20 weeks pregnant with her first child.

Looking at an ultrasound most people wonder, “what is that,” while all along nodding and smiling as the technician points out the right foot, kidneys, and ,”oh look at the nose!”

Nose? I thought that was the sex of the baby. I guess it’s not a boy. O_o

Regardless of what our eyes interpret, every mother sees a vision of perfection; innocence and purity embodied in this tiny human she is blessed to carry for 9 months, and care for all her life.

Only God knows the plans that he has for each parent and child, but I believe they all include, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Jeremiah 29:11

I’ll admit, it doesn’t say anything about getting peed or pooped on; staying up late with a sick and cranky child; or giving up JayZ when the kids are in the car.

What it does say is that a child gives much more than it takes. So, Move Over, Me; let your child teach you about living.