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.

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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.

Cancer Free- For now!

After what seemed like an awful Thanksgiving, thanks to the surgery and whole neuroblastoma cancer diagnosis of my adorable, not even 10 months old at the time, his battle continued after he was discharged from the hospital. He was discharged on the Friday after thanksgiving, and our appointment with the Doctor was the following Tuesday to determined exactly what they had removed from his body. So Tuesday came, and in fact it was neuroblastoma. They removed more than 99%, which is great, but due to his age, the doctor decided to do a full cancer testing on him. He wanted to make sure that the cancer didn’t spread and that it was only contained to the tumor. That same Friday the doctor had already scheduled his Bone marrow test. So the test was supposed to be 20 minutes but because of his age it ended up being the whole day. Got to the hospital around 8 am, they draw blood and then we had to wait for anesthisia people to come and sedate him, then after the “procedure” we had to wait 2 hours for a follow up sonogram. They do this test in the same room where they do all the chemotherapy for children. It was a lot of mixed feelings seeing all the kids receiving that treatment and thinking that my little baby might need the same therapy. Yet I noticed how well this kids were being treated and how happy they were. Then I had peace in my heart. I just let what would be, be. 

That weekend we left for Maryland. We came back Saturday for a week from hell! Not only were both boys fighting a little cold. The baby had a week full of testing. On Monday he had a pediatrician appointment to be cleared for the following test. Tuesday he went to the hospital to get blood drawn and a shot of radioactive material for testing the next day. Because he is such a hard stick (for IV) they left it on and sent him home with it still connected. Wednesday was his MiGB scan, this is a nuclear scan to see where else in the body the cancer might be hiding. The test started around 11 am we came home about 4 pm. Thursday he was off and we had a lovely playdate. Friday was his bone scan. He was there again all day with anesthesia and all. The best part about these test was that the results were available the same day. Each time when the doctor called I celebrated a small victory against cancer. Monday was our final appointment for the next month. All the test came back negative. There is no cancer anywhere else in his body. But because it is cancer he needs to be monitored for the next year. The schedule for him is a bit tough but nothing that he can’t handle. The week of Jan 28 he has his 12 month check up and shots, as well as MRI & blood work. Then February is another MRI & blood work and then again the end of March. After that we have a break until the end of June and then 3 months after that and then another 3 months after that. This is to make sure cancer hasn’t grown back. So as you can tell we are cancer free for know and I’ positive we will remain cancer free but the battle is only beginning. Another year of testing and monitoring. On a liter note, he is now walking!!! 6 days before turning 11 months the little kids is up and away… The emotions are too many to try to explain. 

December 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Growing up!

So I started a video blog diary for my boys… is that crazy?? I hope to stick to it. And it makes me kind of mad not to have started it before. But today as I was nursing my little chunk at 8.5 months I got emotional by the baby scent coming from his hair. I have always thought babies smelled delicious! It should be bottled up and sold. I don’t know any mom who wouldn’t buy it! But as I saw him try to launch and take one step all by himself, that scent reminded me of how much I have experienced in only 8 months. How much joy he has brought to our lives, even though he was completely a surprise from God- and Aruba!

Yes, when you become pregnant for the first time, EVERY SINGLE PARENT out there is telling you “ENJOY EVERY MINUTE, THEY GROW SO FAST” and we believe it, but is not until you have your second baby that you really notice it. You see the different periods, you see everything with different eyes. I think Glenn reminds me of when Gavin was little, but Gavin as a toddler reminds me more that Glenn will grow up before I notice. I don’t know if this makes any sense to you but it does to me.

See the way I see it is this. Gavin and I had unlimited, uninterrupted, uncomplicated time together. We met great people, we leisured, we slept (a lot!!, thank God). Now I don’t stop. It’s always something going on. And I love that, but it also takes away time like today, were I just sat and for a whole hour and nursed and smelled my baby. Before it’s too late. I am glad I have been at home. I could not imagine it any other way. As I start to look for a job, to start as soon as he turns one, I wonder if that is the best decision. Because I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to miss him in the morning when he wakes up or at night before he goes to bed. With Gavin I had that, and I want to experience it with Glenn as well. I want to marvel in the way they hold their Elmo or Mickey and go to sleep. Or be able to actually sit down with them on the couch when they ask for cuddles. And take a picture of that hug between brothers, that hopefully they’ll keep giving each other for the rest of their lives.

There are just so many emotions. I don’t think I’m perfect, but I am glad to have been able to take the time and enjoy those moments. Because in the blink of an eye just like that they vanish. Like the baby scent. Like a shooting star, you are just able to see and when you make your wish, the star is gone.

Am I crazy? Am I the only mom who feels like this? I hope not. I know a lot of moms who just had second babies. I hope if they take one piece of advise from me is this: really take the time to admire the small things, the things that a baby sitter will not be able to appreciate, the things that even a distracted dad will miss. Be click happy! With the camera! With the phone, with anything that can possibly record that moment in your brain forever. And enjoy even the cry, every laugh, every crazy moment, for you will miss it once they grow. And they will grow before you know it.

Last picture with no top teeth!!! ImageGlenn Mason 8 monthsImageImageBrotherly LoveImage

October 18, 2012. Tags: , , . Babies, Parenting, toddlers, Uncategorized. 4 comments.