The Versatile Blogger Award!

The Versatile Blogger Award!

Last week Lorena from The Mommy Diaries nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! I was super happy to receive this award. It came at the right moment as I’m hoping that in 2015 I will blog more. I enjoy this little corner of the internet that I have created for myself. WordPress has been great. I have met some wonderful blogging friends here— like Lorena. Please check out her blog. She shares her adventures and a young mom with two adorable children. She has gone through many challenges and has overcome a lot in her personal life but her positivity and love her her “littles” shines through.

Here are the guidelines for the Versatile Blogger Award:
1- Show the award on your blog.
2- Thank the person who nominated you.
3- Share seven facts about yourself.
4- Nominate 15 blogs. – (I’m nominating seven blogs)
5-Link your nominee’s blogs and comment on their blogs giving them the good news!

Seven Facts 

1-I make an amazing banana bread.

2- I love bright colors. They make me happy.

3- When home alone I blast my music as if I was 15, sing a lot, but very badly! My poor neighbors.

4- My office is the subway. That is where I blog, write emails, read and catch up on the news.

5-I am obsessed with journaling- hence the blog. In my journal I have started to add drawings to my daily entries. Its fun and relaxing.

6- I have a glass or two of wine every night. Its therapeutic.

7- I’m already longing for the summer. Winter just began…..

My Nominations

To my nominees- you don’t have to post this on your blog if you don’t want to. No obligation. You guys are busy and may have already received five of these. Its really just a high five- I just really like your blog. Cheers!

Adventures in Rain Tree Land– Mom is a designer working at H&M and has the most adorable little boy. Her blog is filled of beautiful mother and son photos. There is so much joy.

Journey2Dfuture A british gal living in Poland with her sweet son and husband. She is about to have another baby.

A Nugget of Joy– Written by Zee, a mom in Singapore. She writes about family and fun. It has been beautiful to watch their daughter Aly grow. Then she welcomed a new son.

And Three To Go– A family who travels around the world with their toddler daughter.

Finding Cooper’s Voice– This is an amazing blog written by a mom in Minnesota. She has two children Cooper and Sawyer. Her love for her boys is so powerful. I enjoy her honest writing.

Hanson’s Health – Personal Trainer who writes interesting articles on fitness and health.

Our Life in 3D– Blog about a dad and his two small daughters. They have endless fun together.

Daily Post: Home Sweet Home

When you’re away from home, what person, thing, or place do you miss the most?
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I’m currently away from home. I am in Spain visiting my husband’s family. As long as I have my husband and my son close to me I don’t really miss my home. My home is wherever they are. I am also assured by the fact that my home in New York will be there waiting for our return.

My subconscious will tell you otherwise. When I dream of home I dream of the home I grew up in with my mom. Those walls will never leave me. Even if I have my son and husband in the dream the location of “home” is where I grew up. I will always want to return to her home and curl up with her on the sofa to relish in the familiarity that has entered every cell of my body.

Daily Post: Home Sweet Home

La Siesta

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The siesta time is taken very seriously at my mother-in-law’s home in Sevilla. In the morning you get all that you have to done. By 2:30pm you must be at home. This is when lunch is ready and on the table. Lunch is usually a delicious feast- gazpacho, lomo, jamón Serrano, salad, boquerones en vinagre, meatballs, shrimp, cheese, bread, wine, beer and water. For dessert there is fruit and some times ice cream for special occasions. After we are sufficiently stuffed my mother-in-law ushers us out of the dining room and tells us to “echar una siesta” – take a nap. She takes hers in an easy chair in the living room where she will dose off for about thirty minutes. For the rest of us we go to our bedrooms and we can happily sleep for up to almost two hours.

Ale, my husband and I are on vacation so this is a great welcome. Our first day here the three of us climbed into bed and passed out for an hour and a half. We all slept deeply for that time. We were exhausted. Exhausted from the trip to Spain from New York, but also exhausted from our lives in New York. We don’t stop. We just keep going, and going. Even Ale who naps all the time sleeps better here. He is not picking up the stress of our daily routines.

When the siesta is over it’s like a new day begins. We might have a cup of coffee and a piece of pound cake to get us going again. Then we are off to the park, or strolling around the city. We finish off the night with conversation and a dinner that was meant to be light. My mother-in-law wants to make sure we are all well fed and jolly. Then it’s bedtime again around midnight. Ale goes to bed around 10pm instead of his usual 8pm. He wants to join in the fun as well and play with his cousins and laugh at his uncle’s jokes, (Mama, he’s funny!).

It’s impossible to replicate the Spanish way of life in bustling New York but I can learn from this. We need to just stop, rest and take time for ourselves to recharge our batteries. To take a moment or two to just stop moving, running, planning, thinking, or whatever. Just stop and breathe and have a siesta moment. It’s ok. The planet will keep spinning. I have to record my mother-in -law her to remind myself- “Venga! Hala! Iros a dormir!” (Go, go on! Go to sleep!).

Photo from Hotels Monte

Welcome to España!!!

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A few days ago we arrived in Madrid, Spain. We are here visiting my husband’s family. This has become a yearly pilgrimage now that Ale has come into our lives. I want him to know his family better beyond faces that appear on the computer screen via Skype. I am also hoping that he will pick up a few more words in Spanish.

International travel with a toddler is cruel and unusual punishment. Ale is a fantastic little traveler but the first days were very hard. The jet lag made him very sleepy and super confused He would wake up and not know where he was and would ask for Grandma- my mother- and his friends from daycare. Then he would walk around the apartment looking a bit lost. Last night he took his backpack and said he was going home.

My fear of Ale getting sick almost became a reality. Our first day here poor Al ate half a shrimp and came down with a low grade fever and hives covered his body. The solution was ibuprofen and Benadryl. My husband and sister in law had to go out at 11pm to the 24hr pharmacy to get these meds. Since then he has been ok but I’m still nervous!

Yesterday, Ale had the best time of his life. We went with his Aunt to the Museo del Ferrrocarril (train museum). Ale was in heaven running, jumping and dancing for joy! So many trains!! We even had a snack of potato chips and pineapple juice in an antique dining car. The best snack ever!

Today we are on the train going to Sevilla to see la Abuela- my husband’s mother. More adventures await!

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Fall Weekend

The last few weeks I have been stressed with work, looking into preschools and now I’m also planning Ale’s second birthday party. This past weekend was like an oasis for me. I had both Saturday and Sunday off from work and I made the best of it.

On Saturday my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. We got tickets to take a beer tasting cruise on the Clipper City sailboat that goes around lower Manhattan. Grandma came to look after Ale while we were away.

It was a perfect fall day. It was sunny but not hot. The beers that we tried were fantastic sand the views were spectacular. We had a lot of fun on the two hour sail.

We generally don’t go on date nights together. We don’t even really have a babysitter so it was fantastic to get away and remember ourselves without Ale.
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The following day, Sunday, we went to the Queens County Farm along with grandma. This is one of the largest surviving farms in New York City. What a delightful place! Ale loved the animals especially the chickens and the sheep. We went on a hayride and picked out a small pumpkin. To round out the fun the fall weekend I made an apple cake when we got home.

These are the kinds of days that keep me going!

Now I can go back to the grind- with a smile on my face.

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Pre-School’s Don’t Like Working Families

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A week ago we went to a birthday party of Ale’s friend who turned two. It was a lot of fun. The kids were running and playing together. There was a woman who did face painting and made balloon animals. The parents were having beers and chatting. I spoke to a mom who’s daughter just turned three. Her little girl left Ale’s day care and was starting pre-school the following week. This was the moment the party ended for me. I learned that the applications and process to attend pre-school next fall starts now.

We live in New York City. I love New York. I am from New York and I suppose my family will be here for many more years. Unfortunately, New York’s education system is a mess and it’s very much divided by class. If you live in a wealthy school district your public, private and parochial schools will most likely be good. If you live in poorer areas the opposite will occur. Yes, the city has improved over the years to shorten the gap but this is still an issue.

I am fortunate to live in a fantastic school district. My local public school is excellent. As a plus it has an early drop off and after school until 6pm. Unfortunately, it does not offer pre-K and to get into a public pre-K class somewhere in my neighborhood I essentially need a hope and a prayer as the seats are few next to nothing. If my son were to attend a pre-school next year then stay for pre-k for the following year I would have to pay a pretty penny. There are few options for middle-class working families.

This week I made a preliminary list of the pre-schools in my neighborhood. So my hunt is still fresh. There are a few that I like and I know that Ale would thrive in. They are pricey. What upsets me even more than the cost are the hours. Most pre-schools start at 9am and end at 3:30pm. Doors close. Goodby kids. My husband and I both work. I must be at work at 7am and I don’t get home until after 9pm. My husband works 9 to 5. Who is going to drop off and pick up Ale? I would have to hire a nanny – another cost. Some schools offer earlier drop off and extended afternoon hours at an additional cost. Even more money.

Excuse me for this rant but it’s so hard to be a working parent in New York City. I want the best for my child. My husband and I need the two incomes. The pre-schools appear to not want to assist families like mine.

In the end, I know this will all work out because my husband and I will make it work out. We are determined to find a pre-school that is right for us in terms of cost and that will meet our schedules. Until then, we are on the bumpy road to pre-school. Or…. maybe Ale will stay in daycare one more year. Will that really lower his chances to getting into an Ivy League University? 😉

Daily Prompt: Sorry, I’m Busy

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On my days off from work I try my best to devote 100% of my free time to Ale. There are, however, days when I have to carve out time to make phone calls, pay bills, clean the apartment, and organize my life. If possible I try to do most of this during nap time. This is a one to two hour window of time to rush and get things done. If I’m super busy it will spill into the rest of the day.

This is when the working mom guilt sets in:

Guilt for doing chores and having Ale on my leg vying for my attention while I tell him to stop- Mama is washing the dishes. Guilt for using the iPad as a babysitter. Guilt for talking on the phone and making excuses for the sound of Ale playing in the background. Feeling guilty on the rare days I say – Forget it! The Cheerios can stay in the rug another day and I try to do something for myself. At the end of the day I feel like I failed miserably in my role of super mom.

These scenarios happen to all moms but I think there is more pressure on the working mom. As a working mom I have to work more than 40 hrs a week then go home and take care of my home and son as if I was a stay at home mom. This is often places way too much on my plate. In the end, it’s Ale who feels the brunt of it. He is the one who sometimes gets placed on the back burner. I greatly dislike this.

Time is so precious. Each day Ale surprises me with something new in his growth and development. I just wish there was a bit more support (family, friends, city, state and federal government) for working moms/dads so the “Sorry, I’m busy” phase is said to our children less often. This way we can enjoy each moment a bit more and be more present when we are at home.

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Tell us about a time when you should have helped someone… but didn’t.
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/daily-prompt-denial/