The “Debbie Downer”

I have had a rough couple of weeks. Between being physically exhausted (taking care of two toddlers and being pregnant is hard work), emotionally drained, the excessive heat, and just regular shitty things that happened, it’s been HARD. Yet no one would really know! I am a negative person, married to a very positive person, after 12+ years his positivity has rubbed off on me (but also therapy has really worked)…

See, from being a negative person I never thought I could fix problems. I would just complain about my problems and not do anything about them. After having kids, although it was harder because I was so overwhelmed I decided to change and try to find solutions to my problems. I had no mommy friends, so I went online and got some! I was tired, so I took it one day at a time, and took breaks in between. I had no help, so I hired some. I was bored, so I got museum memberships and started going out.

I can’t say I don’t complain anymore, I believe we all have a Debbie Downer inside of us, but I just don’t feel like dragging everyone down with me, so I just complain to my husband!!! LOL, poor guy. But recently I have met a couple of people who are true Debbie Downers and I finally feel my husbands pain every time I complained to him!!

Don’t get me wrong, every single person has the right to complain and we all do, because we are human, but when you complain every single day for things that you can fix then that makes me mad. It makes me mad because I have come to the understanding that there is always going to be someone who is going through something worse than you.

I don’t want to diminish people’s problems, but sometimes I hear moms complain about things so trivial like how the kids didn’t complete their art project at the library, and I think to myself, damn my kid has cancer and I feel I shouldn’t complain, because his cancer is treatable, as opposed as kids who have cancer and have to go through chemo or radiation. Those are REAL problems. Those are parents who can really complain. Yet you never really hear them complain. I admire that.

Like I mentioned before I have had two rough weeks but everyone keeps telling me I look good. My answer has been, just because I feel like sh%$t doesn’t mean I have to look like sh%$t!!! So although I am still a rather a negative person, I am not a Debbie Downer, I think that problems have solutions, it’s up to us accept our solutions and move on.

July 25, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, experiences, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

May the Force be with me… Even past MAY!

It’s been a while since I have jotted down anything. May has been a beast. Emotionally, physically, in every single aspect of life. It has brought new challenges as well as new adventures, and it has taught me that life is just full of unexpected blessings.

It started with me leaving Facebook for what lasted maybe a week! I wanted to spend more quality time with myself instead of with the newsfeed. This brought some challenges as I missed some events that were in the calendar. I made my own calendar anyways and decided that we would do something fun every weekend in May.

There was three Baby Expos for me to attend. The Queens Mamas Expo, The NY Baby show , and the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower (an event I look forward to the whole year). If you are wondering why I like to go to these events, there is a simple answer, I LOVE BABY STUFF!!! I am obsessed with strollers, and bottles, and carriers, and baby toys. There is always something new and exciting to look forward to. It makes me want to keep having babies so I can keep having all these things! Seriously I have a problem. I have individual details on these events that I will post later on.

Gavin had baseball and there was Mother’s Day weekend. This Mother’s Day was so special. I got to spend it with the two most important moms in my life, my own mother and my sister. We had such high quality, amazing family weekend, with activities that included the zoo, shopping, Smorgasburg, and lots of picture taking! It was very special as my sister and I once again find ourselves in the same predicament.

May also let me see some old friends, that I have missed dearly, and it was full of birthdays and party fun. From first birthdays to engagement parties, we had a little bit of everything going on. I also got to spend an amazing weekend with my siblings. We see each other maybe once a month but my parents are always there. This time around, due to a family death, my parents were away and the 5 of us were “alone”. Of course, my sister had her 3 kids, I had my 2 and the dog and my brother had his dog. We ate, we talked, we shopped, we just had a great time. To me this is important because I know so many people that don’t have siblings or if they do, they don’t have the same relationship that I have with mine, and I think it is such a blessing for us. During that time we had lunch at a little food truck in Woodbridge, VA. This food truck had the most amazing Puerto Rican food I have ever had outside of the Island. The 2 hours we spent there, felt like we traveled not only in time but also we were back in our Island, we were just hanging out somewhere close to the beach, with a nice breeze and the sun shinning down. (All this sounds so corny, but even though we fight, ALOT, we are incredibly close, MAYBE TOO CLOSE!!)

As I look forward to June, which except for the death of my great-great aunt, has been amazing, this is shaping up to be an incredible year. Glenn is still cancer free, and our boys are growing into incredible little people, we are excited for the adventures we have had and the new ones coming up. Puerto Rico here we comeeeee, SWAGGER WAGON we will come get you really soon, and meeting the new member of our family. Come December our adventures will multiply!

June is looking good, I am ready to celebrate my 31st birthday. Which will be, I have to add, my third birthday pregnant! And yes I know it’s crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Let the craziness begin.

Pregnancy announcement3

June 14, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Babies, experiences, new year, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Relationships??

Adversity changes everything. From the way you feel to the way you react, to the way you interact. Especially with your family and friends. I have an amazing family, we are a bit nuts, but we love each other very much so. Since the diagnosis of my little boy everyone has reacted in different ways and I, in turn have no idea how to react to their reactions! An example is how my brother, who is the godfather of my baby, had the crazy idea to get a tattoo of my baby’s name and the date of his surgery. I understand why he feels that way. On the other hand, my other brother, had no idea how to react so he just didn’t call me at all. He was keeping update via my parents, but didn’t know how to speak to me. It’s hard to understand how people feel the way the feel.

Then with friends is even more conflicting. Be it because they don’t know how to react or don’t know what to say, but I have had mix reactions from different people who I didn’t expect. I have to say I don’t want to name names, but there’s a friend who has been amazing!! Lets just say our kids have 50% the same racial combination! I really felt and feel so much love from this person, and her family. The attentions have been amazing. On the other hand there are friends who have, to this day, even asked how the baby is doing. Hey, some people still don’t know what he had was cancer!

Needless to say, between hospital stays and visits for follow up tests and checkups, plus lonely holidays I have had way to much time to think. The best things in life are really free. You will get what you put out there. I really want to put out there positiveness. Just hope that the next day, week, month, year will be better. Not monetarily, although that would be ok too, but more about the blessings and small joys of life, like healthy happy children, and a wonderful husband…

February 17, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, experiences, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. 2 comments.

The Blanket

I am lucky to have a very talented mother. Not just talented because she’s my mom, but talented because she can anything. Her creative persona is always on high. She can knit, cortchet, she’s a graduated pastry chef, and every time I see what she can make I am amaze at the artistry in her craft. Everything is done to the best of her abilities and the highest perfection any artist could have. She has made me so many hats and scrafs and she has made my boys a couple of baby blankets.

When my sister got pregnant with her first baby almost 10 years ago, my mom made me  a blanket for my future baby. It was white with green turtles and green trim. I saved that blanket until November. I was saving for my future daughter, but for my son’s  surgery in November I took the blanket out and asked the nurse to keep it with him at all times (I have always loved turtles and in Chinese culture they are considered good luck and long life). This blanket was special. So on Monday I brought it with me to the hospital as baby was getting follow-up MRI (I’ve been trying to explain to friends and family that, even though he is “cancer free”, there is a 10% chance of recurrence, and we have to monitor the boy for 24 months- this period includes, MRI’s, urine test, oncologist visits, and so on). Every time he has an MRI I like him to have the blanket around because he does have to be under anesthesia. This always freaks me out.

After the hospital we had to go run some errands. It was a rainy, gloomy day. We headed to Babies R Us, the first stop in our run, I go what I needed, then we went to look for a couch, went to a couple of place and nothing, and after that decided to go to Ikea, when I’m getting together the stroller I can’t find the diaper bag. So I don’t really mind. I keep going like nothing since everything in the bag was replaceable, until I remember that the blanket was inside the diaper bag. I start crying like a little maniac, calling every place I went that day. Still today I called and nothing. No one knows, saw, or has the diaper bag. I didn’t even know how to tell my mom that I had lost the blanket. When I did she asked: “which one?” I replied with a description and she said “I have no idea what blanket that is. I don’t remember it at all”. It made me feel better for a minute, but I’m still hoping that I will call Babies R Us tomorrow or the hospital and they will have my diaper bag with the blanket in it. It might be superficial to some that this is why I’m weak. I’m an emotional mush when it comes to these things, even our couch, which we just got rid off and I cried. Because there are so many memories attached to that material object. To think my baby had the blanket during that time of pain, brings tears to my eyes, yet I realized that the most important thing is that those memories, and not the material things. It is up to me to remember and nurture those memories so that I can pass them on to my boys when they have their boys and so on. Memories are what keep us going. Making memories, living them, reliving them by passing them on and so on. So as I come to terms with the fact that I will never recuperate my turtle blanket, I enjoy the short memories I lived with it.

February 12, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, experiences, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Friday Saturday Night

So as any other normal couple we ventured out on a Friday night. Of course, nothing normal about going out with 2 kids, who are getting sick and under the pouring rain. But well, we did it. After what seemed hours at the NY Hall of Science, we decided to try to find a new hip place to eat in Long Island City. Of course we didn’t really calculate the traffic factor, as it was rush hour. Needless to say we ended somewhere in Brooklyn. During our car ride, or better said, being stuck in traffic, I asked husband to have an adult conservation as both kids were sleeping. I also proposed the idea to go park somewhere and start making out! Anyways I digress, we found our way back to Queens and had burgers from Petey’s Burger. But we didn’t get out of the car, we ate our burgers in the car under the rain with two sleeping babies in the back. After we were done with the burger, husband got craving for a smoothie from the mall. Not Queens Center Mall, but Roosevelt Field. He asked if it was crazy, to which I replied “So you don’t feel bad, I’ll get Starbucks out there”. So we drove to Garden City for a smoothie and a latte. 

We got home and got ready for our bedtime routine with the boys. This particular routine included me in the bathroom for half hour with older baby trying to make him go potty and also brushing his teeth. But these kids are so much smarter. Of course they didn’t go to sleep until like 11:30 at which time, hubby and I were able to have a lone time. And then of course baby #1 wakes up “mami!! mami!!! couddle hug, snuggle in bed, blanket, mami cuddle!” he comes in the bed and the whole blog I was writing at the moment gets accidentally deleted. 

Saturday woke up late, so no time to get nails done, but booked baby #2 birthday location! Then we go to a birthday party with the most amazing food, where I had an ackward encounter with person from the past. Everything turned out cool, and even invited the person to birthday party for #2. After leaving the party we decided to come home. Sitting on the couch hubby starts to talk about how we are home on Saturday night and it’s only 10pm. I remind him that we have 2 kids, we were out all day yesterday and today and we just need to catch up with rest.

Days like these two make me think of a lot of things. For one: how, what one person could view as a horrible weekend to me ended up being a perfect weekend. Secondly how lucky I am to even have the chance to enjoy things like a drive with my husband and kids. See, the reason why it was the perfect weekend for me is because we were all together. Because we shared moments that no one else will share, it was an intimate weekend with my little family. 

Perfection and beauty are definitely in the eye of the beholder. Many people I know would have never thought of driving to Garden City for a smoothie, but that is a ride I will treasure forever, for it is in the simplicity of just spending time with the ones you love. No party, no distraction, just four beings in an automobile, which I might add is a loaner car while mine gets serviced and it’s super uncomfortable! I don’t think my life is perfect but I am glad that God allows me to see the perfect moments he lets me enjoy everyday. 

And that is all. My perfect-not so perfect weekend. 

January 13, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Breastfeeding

I know there are so many blogs about breastfeeding and how and that and why and such.

This is how I see it:

One of the things I longed for the most when I got married was to have a baby, and one of the best reasons for me to have a baby was to nurse that baby. It was a picture I had in my mind since I saw my mom breastfeed my little sister. When I found out I was pregnant with #1, there was no doubt in my head I would breastfeed, but it was not commonly supported by the people I knew. So when my baby was born and I went to latch him on, it hurt like a bitch!!!! IT WAS PAINFUL! He did not latch on properly. To add to this he was 3 weeks early and very, very hungry. My milk was coming in good as opposed to other moms who struggle with milk production. After two weeks my milk production slowed down and his appetite increased. This meant not very happy baby. One night while visiting my parent I couldn’t handle the cry anymore, to add to this he still didn’t have the right latch and my labor pains where getting to me, so I went and bought formula. Everyone was so happy when I did, because the baby was full and happy. Of course giving him the bottle didn’t help the latch because now he had nipple confusion. When I got home I decided nothing was going to stop me. I went online and did a ton of research- research I hadn’t done before because I assumed the baby would just suck on nipple and milk would come out!

I also went and bought Fenugreek and Mother’s Milk Tea. I took it by the book, threw out the rest of the formula and set out to breast feed my child exclusively. I also attended two La Leche League meetings.

It was amazing how much everything changed once I knew what I was doing and got some support. After the labor pains stops and I trained baby to have a good latch, stress decreased and with the Fenugreek milk started to come in. I could not believe my eyes when I saw how much milk I could pump! I always planned on nursing for just the first year and I must admit I was nonchalant to stop, maybe because I was already 3 months pregnant with #2, so I was beyond exhausted, but also because I felt maybe I should kept going. But no, the day of his birthday I nursed him in the morning and that was the last time he latch on to my breast.

Now with second it was a bit different. I felt like a pro!!!! Except the labor pains where way more intense and it was hard to nurse during his time in the hospital. But as his birthday approaches I’m starting to wonder how I’m going to stop. I had a reason to stop with #1 (I was pregnant with #2), but now is different. I am conflicted. I want them to be equal, I am also tired and want to give my body a break as for the past 3.5 yrs it has been carrying or feeding a child. I really want to get back in shape before #3 and it’s just not something i want to do while nursing. I also feel differently with #2 because of everything his been through with the cancer, so what to do. That is my conflicting dilemma.

I want women who read this, or even men to understand that breastfeeding is just a beautiful thing. It is a way a mother nurtures her children in the form of providing them with the best possible milk. Breastfeeding is a FULL-TIME JOB. It takes time to feed baby, produce milk, pump, etc. Support makes a big difference as does education. Research is key for success! And also not quitting! I love nursing my children. In private in public, wherever-whenever (Shakira style).

I am an advocate for breastfeeding! This makes women 20 times more powerful than men, just because it’s something they can’t do! It’s super cost effective!! Hello, formula cost 20 bucks average a container! And there’s really no reason not to do it! Any problem that can come from breastfeeding, with the right support and information you can solve it.

I will update when my time comes to make a choice! To keep going or stop? that is my dilemma…

January 12, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

A big week in a small dose

(This post was originally about 2,500 words… I did the best I could to edit down)

How does a 9 month old change the lives of people he doesn’t even know? How does a 9 month old make people, who have never been to Church pray? How does a baby make people who haven’t spoken in years talk to each other? I’ll tell you how. By teaching adults to get over the bullshit because at the end of the day there is nothing worse than suffering from a health related issue. My son just went through what has got to be the hardest thing a baby and a parent could ever go through.

Hospital stay, tests, surgery, and the dreaded Cancer diagnosis. Yes, cancer. Neuroblastoma. After a scare with bloody stool, an x-ray, sonogram and MRI, a tumor the size of his little heart was to blame for our visit to the hospital. Sitting in the room with a group of 5 other doctors telling me that the way to attack this would be surgery to remove the tumor, was the hardest 20 minutes of my life. Holding the tears that whole time was like I was dying. As soon as I left the room the river started to flow as I couldn’t stop crying until the next day. Not only did my son got diagnosed with the second most common type of cancer, but the surgery was brutal. He had a microscopic camera inside his body, the incision in the removal site, a decompressing chest tube (to avoid swelling of the lungs), an IV on his foot, a central IV line at his neck, an artery line in case of blood loss, a breathing apparatus down his throat, and electrodes to monitor his heart. Yet, with all of this going on, this child proceeded to stand up after anesthesia wore off. He stood up in his little hospital crib like nothing was going on. His recovery was so good that he didn’t need to go to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). He was in recovery a total of 3 hours and next day he was his happy self. We left the hospital Friday and this kid still amazes me. He is trying to walk, and laughing his merry self. He hasn’t even complaint about pain even though his scar is about 5 inches long. This baby and what he has been through has made family members communicate with each other. It has made people pray for him and his recovery. So much that I have a list of hundreds of people who sent their prayers for him, some of whom are not even religious yet found it in their heart to give us a prayer! I never thought I would be strong enough to type this and not cry. I think I have more faith than I thought I had a week ago. Seeing how my little baby has been through so much and still manages to enjoy his little life, shows me that no matter what’s going on, he’s strong and he will get through it.

It’s crazy how things happen and it bothers me that this happened to my sweet child but I also think everything happens for a reason and I am not the one to play God. He will not let us go through something we cannot handle. It reminded me of the Serenity prayer, which reads “God grant me the serenity 
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; 
Enjoying one moment at a time; 
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
 as it is, not as I would have it; 
Trusting that He will make all things right 
if I surrender to His Will;
 That I may be reasonably happy in this life 
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
 Amen” (Reinhold Niebuhr).

Our battle is only beginning. We will not know anything until the tumor biology come back and the next three test are done, but I just know that today we are happy. Today my baby played, laughed, walked, and enjoyed himself in every possible way and that is the only thing that matters for him and that is the only thing that I need to be strong for him and get over this.

.

Like

November 30, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Babies, cancer, friendships, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Busy Bee

Never realized how much I do in a day and I never really keep a schedule. With the Avon Walk creeping up I started a calendar for September and October and wholy Moly there is so much going on. September included birthdays, lots of playdates, baby showers, and a trip this coming week to MD. And add to that school! October is looking the same!!! Baby showers, birthdays (3 of them!!!), Halloween, playdates, another trip to MD, and two very important events the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and the Ultimate Baby Shower by City Moms!!!

So let me explain. I have been getting ready for this Avon Walk since the beginning of the summer. I made this walk my goal when I turned 30, not only because I was turning 30 and wanted a goal to achieve but because my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. When I decided to sign up I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Fundraising, 1,800$, walking 39.30 miles, 2 days without my babies, sleeping in a tent I Randall’s Island in NY. It does not look like a fun filled weekend! But I M committed and so excited for that moment to come!!! I’m going to think about all the women that have to go through chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomies, me walking those miles is nothing compared to their struggles. I just hope people cooperate with me and donate to the cause so I can walk.

Now the ultimate great I have for the year, besides birthing my son is the opportunity to attend the Biggest Baby Shower by a group called Big City Moms. This is no ordinary baby shower!!! This is the yep of baby shower where you need someone to help you carry out all the stuff. And for a person who is super obsessed with baby gear this will be like heaven!!!! I got my ticket about a month ago!!!! And I still have 4 weeks to go!!!! Everyday I look and stare at my ticket!!!

Anyways I’m excited for everything going on.!!!

September 22, 2012. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.