Monday, December 6, 2010

Now I Get It! Why Parents Want To Buy a House Before Having Children...

  • Children need a place to RUN!
In case you didn't know... children (specially toddlers) need something to do.  The more tiring the activity, the more likely the child will nap 'longer'.  So now I understand why it is important to take children outside 'daily' (as the daycare officials say).  However, if you own a home and have a fenced in backyard... your children can run and play outside almost all day... get tired, do something, nap longer... keep you sane longer... etc.

If it was up to Jonas, he'd stay outside ALL DAY...

We're in the process of owning a home.  Let's see how it pans out.  

  • No neighbors upstairs trying to give us lung cancer.

Neighbors.  Hmm.  I have moved every single year after getting married. 

First time, I moved from my mom's to live with my husband.  

2nd move, I was pregnant with Jonas and needed a deleaded apartment (I know some don't care about this, I do)... by the way, looking for an apartment while 'pregnant' happens to be harder than I thought.  People seem to not want children in their apartments--mainly so they don't have to pay to delead it, etc.  

PLEASE KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:  You cannot be denied an apartment for rent because you are pregnant or have children or because the place is not deleaded!  Unless the owners live in the building.

There was a man who was outright rude, mean because he saw I was pregnant and the place was not deleaded.  He seemed angry at my 'wasting his time'.  There aren't a lot of places that are deleaded.  It's a rare find.  (I didn't know all this until I had Mya).

3rd move, with Jonas, to a place with 2 bedrooms (closer to each other), better neighborhood (so you don't have to hear the drug dealers' party and their bragging about their 'empire'; so that no one steals from your car while you're parked out of the street), and no rats (if someone lives with a cat and brags about no rodents--beware!  It may be they have the cat for a reason).  

4th move, with Jonas and second pregnancy... because the condo was for 'sale'.  Okay... this was the worst search for an apartment, with the best results--in a weird way.

The search for a deleaded apartment proved impossible.  I was almost due so I was in a hurry to find an apartment... so I started looking at apartments that weren't deleaded (or it was just unknown).  It seemed like the whole world was trying to hide from my obviously pregnant self.  

At one point, the lady the was going to show me the apartment, saw me pregnant getting out of the car, and REFUSED to let me 'see' the apartment.  THIS IS DISCRIMINATION, according to the HUD laws.  I knew the owner didn't live in the building and I told her she was discriminating against me... but she just said, the apartment is not deleaded and I don't want to lose my license.  Wow.  Anyway, I filed a complaint against her.  This was in May 2010, now it's December and the investigator assigned to my case decided to take it further because of "probable cause".  This just means I got appear at a public hearing in January.  I didn't think it was going to go this far, all I was looking for was basically an apology.  Then they started lying... wow, they lied badly... they twisted everything up and made it seem as though I was the crazy one--that they NEVER denied letting me see the apartment.  Well, I just found out they have another lawsuit against them.  I'm not sure where this is going... I'm just making sure they CANNOT do this to somebody else.  By the way, isn't it weird that they didn't let me see the same apartment I already saw 3 yrs back when the man was really rude to me... yeah, he's getting sued also.  I didn't know until later.

Anyway... neighbors upstairs smoke so much, the smoke comes into our house through the bathroom.  I've complained... but I just don't want to deal with this anymore.  I've only been at this apartment for 5 months.
  • Protect those expensive toys with your own storage.
Okay.  Who knew that children's toys would be SOOO expensive???  If bought brand new.  However, I've learned that it's best to buy them used, like in yard sales and 'building 19' or other used stores... make sure you wash them well.  

However, if you don't own a home, you run the risk of living in an apartment without secure storage... as is our case.  Small apartment cannot hold all our things... so a lot of our stuff is just vulnerable to... you know, those who take something that doesn't belong to them?

And so, finally, this is why we have decided to own a home NOW... other than the fact that houses are selling SO cheap right now... and that interest rates are at 4% right now... and that now that I'm not working--for some weird reason, I'm getting more help to buy a home than when I was working full time.  Hey, I've payed my taxes :).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mommy- what’s your schedule like?


God’s will for me…

I KNOW that Scripture says our purpose is to glorify God with my life.

I believe I glorify God in my life through my obedience to His words.

His words are… umm… a lot!

But when asked what the most important commandment was, Jesus said that loving God was first and the second was loving our neighbors as ourselves.

I love God by obeying Him and loving others.

I love others by… well one of the ways is by meeting others’ needs around me.  Helping others when they need the help (usually when they can’t get something done on their own).

So, I read the Bible to know what His words are and strive to obey them in my life… which requires trust.  And then I’d like to live my life more aware of those who are in need around me (family, friends or strangers)… and not be too quick to say “no, I can’t help you today—but what about tomorrow”. 

Around me right now I have very needy people.  I mainly have Jonas and Mya—who cannot feed themselves, clothe themselves, put themselves to sleep, change their own diapers, take a bath, brush their teeth/gum, go to the park on their own, etc.  So it is my responsibility to help them and meet their basic needs.

I believe it is to God’s glory that I take care of my children’s needs.

A day schedule “could” go something like this—IF I sleep through the night… IF daddy’s not home… IF there’s nothing else planned (appts, etc), which means I’ve never done this just like this in one day…. it’s just an idea… not necessarily my ideal :):

5 am         Feed Mya

8 am         Feed Mya/change diaper

8:30 am    Change Jonas’ diaper/Breakfast with Jonas

9:30 am    Clean up kitchen/do one load of laundry

10:00 am   Mya sleeps.  Jonas and I watch t.v. (Sesame street is great nowadays/play the next day with his toys instead of tv or go outside to play/and alternate)

(while tv plays, I clean up living room and dining room;  when we play, Jonas and I pick up his bedroom and toys after we play;

11 am       Snack with Jonas (tuna sandwich or with crackers).

11:30 am   Feed Mya/change diaper; Jonas plays.

12:00 pm  Bathe Mya or Jonas and get them ready.

12:30 pm  Make lunch; eat lunch

1:30 pm    Jonas and Mya take a nap.

--I take this time to:  make important phone calls and cross out to do items for the day (as many as possible in the time allotted)/ put away laundry.

2:30 pm    pick up kitchen if sesame st. day/ pick up living rm and dining rm if not.

3:00 pm    feed Mya/Help Jasmill with college apps

4:00 pm   Snack with Jonas/Go outside.  (playdate; park; walk outside; visit family; etc)… (if we went out in the morning, we may stay in through the afternoon… or vice versa)

6:00 pm   Prep dinner/Jonas eats dinner.  Feed Mya.

7:15 pm   Clean up kitchen.

7:30 pm   Rest time… as is possible… read with Jonas.

8 pm        Jonas has time with daddy then bed time for Jonas. 

8:30 pm    Daddy and mommy eat dinner.  I do dishes… and get ready for bed—pick up bedroom and bathroom.

9:30 pm    Mya’s last feeding.

10-12 pm     My time (depending…)

Doing this everyday could make me go crazy… which is why this can’t be done everyday.  I go with the day’s flow and am flexible.   

I wish everyday of his life was the same… I know the importance of routine.  But since Jonas is not going to school… we’re not being strict about a specific bedtime.  I can always make sure he’s sleepy earlier or later… by manipulating nap time.  If he will be awake late into the night… he naps later.  If he will be going to bed earlier… we may have nap time earlier.

Hubby has decided to prep dinner on the days he’s off.  Yay!!  He likes it and reminds him of his father.  And we’ve decided he should actually have ‘off’ days.  Too much work can make us both cranky.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Work… Work… Work… Then Poof! We’re gone.


My aunt Rosa was the first person I knew closely who has passed away (other than Soila R.I.P)… She is the first family member.  I grew up being close to her.  Hey, we even shared beds.  Cancer took her life SO suddenly on Sept 23, 2010.  So suddenly.  None of us expected this at all.  She looked so full of life.  And she never complained about anything except a pain here and there “because of hard work”.  She was a housekeeper at a hotel… and she was 65.  Just almost nobody knew her age since she didn’t look it nor dress it :). 

I remember us in front of the long mirror in the bedroom along with my sister and other aunts dancing to her favorite kind of music—bachata.  As a young girl, she was teaching me how to dance this the ‘right way’… you know, gotta move the hips right… gotta have some flavor… cuz anybody can do 1-2-3-tap.  I think. 

We were shocked by her death.  I dream about her very frequently.  And many times, I just make believe that she’s in Dominican Republic (DR) with her family—and that this is why I don’t see her anymore.

Well… the reason I share this is because all her life here in America, she worked like a horse.  We all admit that her job was especially very hard physically on anybody.  But one of the things I admired about her was that every single year, she took a three month vacation to DR to be with her family.  She always brought to DR lots of clothes and toys for the kids over there.

And then I wondered… are we meant to just work and work and work without any real enjoyment of family and friends… even enjoyment of the money we’re working so hard to earn?  I don’t think so.  It’d be so sad to find oneself working non-stop and then realize that ‘life passed you by’…  I don’t think other countries are as ‘fast-paced’ as America is… maybe it’s what keeps up “#1”?  I’m happy my aunt took her three months off from work to visit her family in DR… I’m glad her job allowed her to do this.

So I’ve been inspired by Tyler at to live my life—to live my dreams, without fear.  To be one of those people who does what I’ve always ‘thought’ of doing, but never could.  I mean Tyler goes mountain climbing or skydiving for a job… he writes about his adventures and gets paid.  Me?  Well, get paid or not is not my main concern… right now.  LIVING the present to the best of my ability… I want to make sure I am.

Nowadays I have this desire to take on some sort of challenge—I don’t know—something I wouldn’t normally do.  And those who know me well know that I am safe… I do not like change.  I resist change.  I would prefer to stay where I am and do what I’ve been doing forever… forever.  It’s safe.  It’s safe.  I’m a scaredy cat. 

I want to be bolder.  Actually, I am bold.  The last personality test I took at work showed courage to be my top strength.  I guess I’m not scared to speak in front of a public… or to voice my opinions even if they are not agreeable.  But I should take a test again… the year before that, my top strength was faith…  I just feel a bit different once again… just a bit… I need more faith… I need more courage… so I wonder what’s my top strength now?  hmmm.  Got it!  Living without sleep :).  LOL. 

I’ve listed some of my ‘challenges’ or ‘risks’, such as acting in plays and traveling, etc.  But I’ve also been wondering… what would happen if I actually TRULY believed God again?  I mean, I KNOW what could happen—in college!  I was a fire-ball.  I KNOW what has happened… very unbelievable-weird things.  I saw things and experienced things that left me dumbfounded by how much God loves His people.  It’s why I can’t EVER deny God.  Since I was 10 years old… He’s shown me things that are amazing.  He’s answered prayers that I’d feel a bit freaked out knowing Someone was actually listening to me.  So, because of my actual experiences, I cannot deny God and His existence.  It’s impossible.  I am grateful for what I’ve been blessed to know and be… because of Him.  I was raised without a dad around… but I always thought God was my Father.  As a young girl, I went to Him for anything.  And I truly truly believed He was listening… which is why I think those prayers were answered.

So life keeps happening. 

I understood Jesus and His purpose for coming to Earth in DR as a Catholic about to do my 1st communion.  I confessed all my sins to the priest… and felt oh-so-clean!  I believed Jesus forgave all my sins then.  I remember coming into my house and telling everyone that I’m sinless.  I remember sitting down on that white rocking chair and just enjoying being sinless… I was more like cautious… didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything—in case I would say or do something wrong… and then tarnish my clean self :D.  But then, I realized that I could confess my sins every week at my Catholic church… and so I would always have a chance to ‘clear my heart’ and feel clean again. 

Jesus was my best friend growing up.  I remember crying when I was coming to New York for the first time ever.  I was sad that I may never be with Jesus again… since I was coming to “America”.  Now, I don’t know why.  But I don’t remember seeing a map of the world while I was in DR.  I only knew the map of DR.  I drew it.  So when someone said I was going to America… I thought it was another planet.  Really.  I was kind of disappointed when I came to “America” and I saw cars and streets and places to live that looked… normal.  I didn’t see anything ‘special’ as everyone used to talk about.  However, I soon realized that I could still have a relationship with Jesus in this normal ‘planet’.  Thanks to Grandma.  Her faith was and still is so refreshing.  I hope she is still just as faithful, even after what happened to her.  She’s a strong woman.  Every time I go visit her… I feel as though I have to—umm.  Fix up.  You know, do my hair and make up… eat a little extra and around her so she thinks I’m gaining weight :).  She always is concerned about everyone around her… especially me.  I love you Grandma.

So what if I actually took God at His words once again?  What if I did whatever He asked of me… with or without fear once again?  And then share my journey.  Just because I like to write.  And talk.  And don’t get to do it as much as I’d like.  I wonder… how can God use me now, as a mom?  I still haven’t found a comfy routine with 2 kids.  Oh, there’s a lesson!

Well, according to your personality or mood :):

Lesson 1:  When you do find a routine that works with two kids… Write it down!  You may forget.  I did.


Lesson 2:   Forget Lesson 1.  Just make sure kids eat… nap… go outside (when possible)… spend some quality time with you… at least once a week are exposed to other kids… and play.  Then you, just eat, sleep, shower (at some point), rest, do a load of laundry (or save to buy that oh-so-needed washing machine) and pick up as you go.  oh!  and don’t forget to bathe the kids during the week :).

Ha!  Easier said than done.


In regards to ‘believing God again’ challenge… I will begin… with Prov. 31 :)  next time.

And in regards to life… I’m living it.  For the first time ever… (drumroll please)… I have straightened my hair—I mean, I have chemically damaged my hair so that it is straight and NOT curly anymore (until it grows out).  I know, I know… what did I do?  It took me a long time to make the decision.  But I thought—after 26 years of doing nothing but a ponytail and a bun… and spending an hour each week to distangle my curly hair, I just needed a break… something new.  AND I LOVE IT!  I was so happy when my hair was rinsed out and the woman at the salon could actually pass a brush through my hair.  and it was sooo long.  Anyway, I took a risk.  Now I want to get highlights in the future.  :D

Now… what is God’s will for my life?

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Baby Mya!


My pregnancy with Mya

Was not that comfortable… compared to my first pregnancy.

I went to my friends’ wedding and I thought I’d be able to ‘dance all night’ like I did with my first… but, no.  I was so uncomfortable and crampy, I couldn’t dance much at all.

I was so crampy by the last month.  So uncomfortable.  I’d be walking and suddenly I’d get a strong cramp on one side of my hip.  I’d have to hold on to someone or something.  I felt so handicapped.  I was afraid to do anything… lift, even walk at times, thinking I’d get the cramp.

Mya was due June 30th.  She was born a day after—July 1st.  I secretly did pray it was in July… (thank you God).  I just wanted her in July because Jonas was in August… so they’re right next to each other :)  Maybe the next one will come in June… just kidding.  Ok, maybe not.

My water did not brake first this time around.  I felt like a new mom, asking people ‘how does it feel when you’re in labor?’  ‘How will I know I’m in labor if my water doesn’t brake?’  Lesson learned:  Umm.  People forget so easily.  Well, people like me.  The doc said this is why women keep having children :).

The answer to my questions:  You’ll KNOW when you’re in labor. 

I kept hearing that the 2nd baby comes faster.  My fear was that I’d be in labor, not know it, and then have the baby without an expert around.  :D  and then my midwife said:  “you’ve been watching too much t.v.”  Yeah.  You know that show ‘I didn’t know I was pregnant’?… I don’t watch it anymore.

Labor with Mya

So, I knew I was in labor when at 1 a.m. I’m feeling contractions but they’re not stopping… they continue around every 5-10 min and they’re stronger than my ‘cramps’.  So, I get up, and call the nurse to let her know and to remind me when I should go to the hospital.  I just have to wait until the pain is so strong that I can’t talk during a contraction.  I think knowing this, I started thinking that I couldn’t talk anymore during a contraction :0  Well, I waited until the pain got stronger.  I couldn’t sleep… so I cleaned and asked DH to help me some.  And so I was awake and ready in the middle of the night.  I couldn’t believe my husband was sleeping.  I thought he should be chatting with me.  So I felt neglected.  (I was so energized, emotional, and sensitive).  Not sleeping ended up being a BIG MISTAKE!

Okay so I go to the hospital around 6-7 a.m.  I’m eventually told that (although I’m having consistent contractions every 5-7 min) I’m not really in labor yet.  These contractions didn’t get ‘closer’ like my first pregnancy… they continued 5-7 min.  They just felt really strong when they did come.  So the nurse asks me to go for a walk around Boston (where the hospital was located) or go watch a movie etc.  since I wasn’t dilating.  YEAH RIGHT!  I was crying the whole time mainly in between contractions because I wanted to sleep.  I was sooo sleepy I couldn’t think, and I didn’t want to go through labor or watch a movie… I just wanted to sleep.  So I asked the nurse if I could just go home so I could sleep… and she says no… since they never know how fast I may be ready. 

I ended up just staying in the hospital… I had some nurses who talked her out of her ideas… and to let me sleep some.

I wanted an epidural right away so I could sleep (I knew I would have it), but they said they don’t give epidurals until I’m 4 cm dilated.  Dang, I still had to go through pain to give birth :)  I learned how to relax (I call it ‘take the pain without screaming-just grit your teeth’ :))… Water helped me—I’m not sure why… and helped me dilate faster… in both pregnancies.

At 5 cm. epidural was given… and I slept a bit.  Yay!

I gave birth to Mya at 8:38 p.m.  And I recovered in a room # 838… hmm.  weird.  I guess she was out in 2 pushes… I think 5 min.  I guess this is impressive, but it just seems normal to me.  There was a teeny bit of meconium, so she didn’t come out right into my arms… she came and first was thoroughly cleaned by docs.  I thought they were taking too long, so I started telling them to ‘give me my baby’… lol, I’m silly.

Mya wasn’t so alert… she was sleepy.  She sleeps a lot.  She always sleeps… I was trying to wake her up in the beginning to try and feed her in the middle of the night.  Today… at 2 mths, I’m proud to say she sleeps from around 9 p.m. to around 5 a.m. (give or take an hour) and she’s growing very well:)… thank you God.

Wait… I think she just woke up (12:40 am).  Hmm.  There goes my boast of her sleeping through the night :) 

Lesson learned:  It doesn’t always go as you plan… or… once you think you got a routine down, it changes on ya… or… once you think they sleep through the night… they don’t  :)

I love my little girl.