Tell me, who ISN'T obsessed with Pinterest these days?  
For me, Pinterest serves a great purpose and is super helpful with planning.  For example, I have an entire board just for Marco's upcoming birthday party.  I can't wait to get started on all of that!  But mostly, my pins are all extremely practical.  

Let's be real, I'm never going to have THAT Kitchen, or THAT Bathroom, or THAT house, so WHY bother pinning it?  Yes, I would LOVE to have all of the above, but it's just not realistic.  

I'm a realist... not a dreamer. 

So, what then do I use Pinterest for?  You can be my Friend and see for Yourself! Or, I can just tell you. MOPS food, crafts and ideas... recipes to try out with the family... Marco's 3rd Birthday party... Ideas for the Boys' future room... REALISTIC ideas for design when we have our own house... And things I love. 

A little boring, I know... but that's what being realistic is like.  

But recently, I've been trying a few recipes out and I have some to share with you.  I became PINspired and wanted to PINspire you as well!

1.  Strawberry Gummies

I decided to give these a try because Marco is OBSESSED with fruit snack gummies.  And even though I get the organic ones, they're still filled with additives.  This isn't exactly the same, but might be a good alternate.  
This is ridiculously easy.  Literally, cut up strawberries, put them face down on a pan, sprinkle with sugar and salt and put in the oven for 3 hours at 210F.  
So now for the million dollar question... Did it work?  No.  Mine look nothing like this beautiful picture.  Mine were shriveled, stuck to the pan and flat.  I couldn't even lift them from the pan... I had to scrape them off and throw them away.  I don't get it because I followed the instructions exactly.  I'm definitely going to try this again, but I'm NOT going to cut the strawberries and I'm going to use the non-stick foil, because apparently the non-stick pan wasn't good enough.  I'm disappointed. 

2.  Honey Mustard Chicken

OMG, can you just see how amazing this chicken looks.  Sadly, looks can be deceiving.  It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't great either.  The breadcrumbs got a little soggy and it was just mediocre.  We wont be trying this one again.  It's a shame too because when I see the picture, I immediately begin drooling.  

3.  Oreo Truffles

I made this back in December for a Cookie Exchange I was involved in.  It was a huge hit.  Instead of using white chocolate, I just used plain milk chocolate.  It was pretty easy, but time consuming... I would definitely only do this one again if I could make a small batch.  You have to dip the rolls in the chocolate really quickly or the chocolate begins to set and you have to keep reheating it.  It's also REALLY rich, so you can only eat one or two at a time. 

Hope you enjoyed my PINspiration... this may become a series for me as I go along doing Pinteresting things.  Let me know if you decide to try any of these recipes... I'd love to hear what you thought about them!  

Jonas at 18 Months

Today my youngest, my baby, my angel, turns 18 months old.  It blows my mind that the youngest child I will ever have is now a full blown toddler.  It makes me excited and breaks my heart, simultaneously.

Jonas is the sweetest kid ever.  He's so different from Marco and I LOVE that about him.

He's funny, but subtly.  Like he'll call Mauricio "Mama" instead of "Papai" because he knows it's not right... then he'll laugh about it.

He sings "Twinkle Twinkle", "Jesus Loves Me", "Happy Birthday" and a Portuguese song called "Pirulito".

He says a bunch of words and knows how to get his point across well.

He's extremely observant and understands everything you tell him to do.  He's always watching, listening and learning.

He's very cautious and takes his time doing things.  He'll still climb up onto the table, but he'll do it slowly, measuring each step.

He loves his brother, but hates being pummeled by him. Everything Marco does is just hilarious... until it involves him!

He's very sneaky and quiet when doing something he knows is against the rules, like playing in the toilet.

He runs very quickly to try and get away from me.

He loves cuddling on the couch or in our bed.

 Words can not express how amazing having this little miracle baby has been in our lives.  He has really made us feel complete.  He adds something that we didn't have before... sensitivity.  I feel blessed beyond measure to have him, to know him, and to have the extreme privilege of being his mama.  I can't wait to see what kind of big boy, kid, teen and man he turns into.

The Tree on Our Street

Living with my in-laws has it's perks... aside from not paying rent! haha.

We live on a beautiful street... we're the first house on a cult-a-sac.  In the center of the cult-a-sac is a beautiful, enormous tree and green grass surrounding it.  It's a little piece of paradise.

There's a basketball hoop that the neighborhood kids play at on weekends.  There are also three swings hanging from the tree.  We never really go over there just because since we're at the end of the street, we don't really feel like it's our territory.

But all that has changed recently.

One day while Jonas was taking an extra long nap, I decided to head on down over there with Marco.  It was early enough that most of the houses were still empty.  We had the baby monitor on the ground and ended up playing there for over an hour!

The tree is beautiful, and under it's shade it's breezy and delightful!  I pushed Marco on the swing and then he pushed me.  I taught him how to climb up into the tree and he played with sticks and rocks.  We swung together and tried to touch toes.  It was a great day!

And since that day, we've been back several times.  I no longer feel like it's not "my territory".  Really, who's going to say something to a kid that's just playing nicely?  And if anyone ever does, I'll just play dumb... "oh, I thought this was for ALL the neighborhood kids".

We really love hanging out under that tree.  It's like having a quaint little park in our front yard.

Homework Time

My mom recently bought Marco a preschool workbook to help get him ready for school.  At first glance, I knew it would be too challenging for him, but I decided to give it a try anyway.  I figured, I'd walk him through it and see how long he could focus for.  At first he could only do about 3 pages at a time before drifting off, but within a few weeks, he was doing 5.  Now, 2 months later, he does about 7 pages at a time!  His focus is increasing!

The rule is that he can only do his "homework" when he's sitting down with me.  TV off.  At an early age, I want him to understand that homework time requires focus.  I want him to respect it... so that's why I don't allow him to do it by himself.  I know that if I just gave him the book, he'd scribble all over it and it would become a hot mess in less than 2 minutes.  We also go in order of pages.  There are some pages in the back that he always wants to do, but I tell him we have to get there by doing the previous pages first.  He's learning that things have to go in order.

 I really like this book.  It goes in order from easy to hard.  There are a max of 4 questions per page and they're super visually stimulating.  As you can see, I am usually the one to write in the book... Marco does all the pointing.

On this page, the last question is a rhyming question.  Marco does not yet understand the concept of rhyming... and that's ok!  For the ones that he doesn't understand, I give him the answer.  I say, "Do you hear it?  Plane-Train... they sound like AIN" and I know that eventually he'll learn by example... he'll get it!

This book is also great because on the next page, it has the answers shown.  I'm sure this will be helpful for children working solo (older kids).  For us, it's always just exciting to see that they match and he was right!
This book has 192 pages, (96 pages with questions on it)... and 301 questions!  We're about half way done and we've been working consistently for about 2 months.  It'll probably take us another month to complete.

Overall, I'm really impressed with how it's helping Marco improve his concentration and focus.

And better than anything... he LIKES doing his homework.  He ASKS to do it.  When we're done for the day, I draw a design on his hand or give him a sticker for his efforts... he likes this best!

#marchphotoaday {11-20}

Today I share with you my second installment of the March Photo-a-Day challenge.

I must confess that this is becoming more of a chore than fun, so I'll be skipping April and maybe I'll get a second wind for May.

If you want to follow along daily, you can follow me on Twitter (@NicoleTableFor4) or on Instagram (NicAvesani).

Before we get started, let's view the challenge.

Day 11:  Someone You Talked To Today
I talk to Jesus everyday.

Day 12:  Fork
You all know this has got to be Marco's favorite utensil.  He'll eat ANYTHING with this fork... even broccoli... ok, maybe not broccoli. 

Day 13: A Sign
I took this picture earlier in the year while visiting the zoo.  I thought it was gross, random, but above all, hysterical!

Day 14:  Clouds
I was lucky enough to be at the beach on this day.  Stunning.

Day 15:  Car
"Lighting Da Queen", as he's referred to by Marco, is definitely the most important car around here!

Day 16:  Sunglasses
My sexy man wearing his sweet sunglasses... rawr!

Day 17:  Green
The outside of an Irish pub, as we drove by.

Day 18:  A Corner of Your House
By far the messiest AND funnest corner of my house.

Day 19: Funny
I found this to be truly hilarious... look at the warning on the bottom right.  How can I NOT eat raw cookie dough.  Even to suggest such a thing is simply preposterous!

Day 20:  Before/ After
Bible study notes. 

The Ideal Mother

This weekend, my sweet cousin Mariah paid me the nicest complement I've ever been given. She told me that in her eyes, I was...

The Ideal Mother

Wow... that just knocks the wind right out of you, doesn't it?  Those are some hefty shoes to fill!

Let me start by saying that Mariah is only 18.  And what little she sees of me, she always sees in rose tinted glasses.  Being 10 years older than her, I've always been the "older and wiser cousin" who she's turned to for advice and has looked up to.  And over the years, we have formed a pretty bad-ass relationship... she knows she can tell me anything with no judgement, just love.

So Mariah labeled me as The Ideal Mother, and I had to laugh out loud... I am SO far from being ideal.  She said she was impressed with how kind, fun loving, sweet and smart my boys are.  Yes, they are (and I do toot my horn for that), but she doesn't see the other 99%.

Being a GOOD mother is so ridiculously hard.  Equally the BEST and HARDEST thing any of us will EVER do.  But being an IDEAL mother is actually an impossibility.

Is it ideal to think that you can calm your newborn down if you just put him in the freezer for 10 minutes? (I didn't DO it, I just THOUGHT about it, calm down).  Is it ideal to roll your eyes when your newborn is crying again?  Is it ideal to think that maybe having #2 so soon was a mistake?  Is it ideal to tell your toddler to "dry it up" or "suck it up"?  Is it ideal to scream "SIT YOUR ASS DOWN!" when it's taking 10 minutes to get in the car?  Is it ideal to sometimes want to go bonkers on them when you've had it up to here?!  Guys, I know this is gritty and ugly, but it's real, and it certainly ISN'T "ideal".

Wouldn't I love to be the picture perfect mom?  Freshly manicured and prim... wearing a flowing dress and apron with maybe a smug of flour on my forehead.  My children all sweet and polite, "yes please, no thank-you".  And when things get heated, instead of losing my dang mind, just telling them to "settle down now" or "go play quietly in the corner", and they listen?

This seems like Bizarro world to me.  This is not MY life... and I'm pretty sure it isn't any of YOUR lives either!

So I can't aim to be The Ideal Mother... I can't and I wont even try.  I'll never measure up to "ideal".  I'll never be patient enough.  I'll never be prepared enough.  I'll never cook well enough.  I'll never be dressed well enough.  I'll never be cool enough, or strict enough, or green enough, or liberal enough or enough of whatever the latest mom-fad is.  So why worry about it.

For MY kids, I'm the BEST mom they could possibly ask for.
But just in case, they don't have a choice anyway!

Nap Attack

We're having a bit of a problem at my house.

My 2 year old doesn't think it's important to sleep.

I know, I know, all of you moms out there are saying, "I hear ya, girl", but really... what IS it with toddlers and fighting sleep?  Holy cow!

Marco has always been a decent napper... he naps for about an hour and a half, but most days two full hours.  And when he was younger (and we lived in Greenville), he'd go to sleep around 8:30 with NO problem.  Everything changed when we moved.  I don't know if it's the fact that his grandparents are in the mix and they're softies... or that he's getting older, or a combination of the two, but night time sleep is a constant battle.

Most days we aim to get him in bed by 9.  I know that this is considered "late" to most of your standards, but remember we don't have school, so our schedule is less rigid.  Also, Mau doesn't get home from work till 6:30... so with bath time and dinner immediately thereafter, it doesn't leave a lot of time for him to enjoy the boys on the weekdays.  And, yes, 9 IS late... so we expect that when we put him in bed at 9, he be tired and go to sleep.  But that is not the case.

Some days, he is up and out of bed for TWO hours before he eventually falls asleep.  He uses the typical excuses... I have to do pee-pee, I have to do ca-ca, I'm thirsty, I need my cozy (blanket), I want water, I want ice... or I don't want ice (depending on if the cup has or doesn't have ice in it in the first place... manipulator!).  We find him standing up, standing in the corner, sneaking down the hallway, laying on the bathroom floor, in the corner of my room playing on my phone in the dark and worst of all, inside Jonas' crib, while poor Jonas is trying to sleep.

Sometimes it's gotten so late that both Mauricio and I have showered and are in bed and we're STILL battling Marco to go to bed so that WE can finally go to sleep.  It's horribly frustrating.  We have tried spanking, we have tried guard dog, we have tried locking him in his room, we have tried ignoring it... nothing seems to work.

Then we realized a pattern.  Like I said, he's a really good napper... maybe TOO good a napper.  On the days that he naps from say 1:30-4, he gives us a ridiculously hard time to go to sleep.  But, on the days he doesn't nap at all, he also gives us a hard time.  He becomes too over tired and super crankified.  So what's the perfect mix?  We're still looking for it.  We're trying to figure out how long Marco can nap for and still be tired for bed at 9.  Mauricio says a half hour, but I'm not ready for that.

You see, the real problem lies with me.  I am SO jealous for my mid-day break.  I need it.  I dream about it.  I've got to have it.  I absolutely adore nap time.  I sit and catch up on my blogs or my shows, I have a private lunch, I do my Bible study and I do my Vest.  The Vest takes 20 minutes, so while I'm enjoying my shake, I usually do my Bible study.  So the minimum break time I can have is 20 minutes.

The last few days, I've begun testing him.  On day 1, I gave him an hour and a half.  It was too long... he was difficult that evening.  On day 2, I gave him an hour... it was better.  And on day 3, I gave him 45 minutes... this was the best I think.  I also have to be sure that his morning activity is highly stimulating... either physically or mentally.

I know he still NEEDS to nap.  On days we go out for an activity, he IS tired in the early afternoon and he'll even ASK me to go to sleep a bit.  On days we stay in, skipping the nap is a possibility and probably best for everyone.  Of course I feel bad waking him and "depriving him" of sleep, but I feel like he needs night time sleep more than day sleep.

This is what is recommended for Marco via this guide on WebMD, "Most children from about 21 to 36 months of age still need one nap a day, which may range from one to three and a half hours long. They typically go to bed between 7 and 9 p.m. and wake up between 6 and 8 a.m."

This is pretty spot on.  Marco is on the latter side of the recommendation... he goes to sleep at 9 and wakes up by 9... he's sleeping about 11 hours at night.  And as far as the nap goes, we've got to keep playing with those numbers... maybe someone should come up with a formula for me.

Level of morning activity/ hours of night-time sleep = nap time length.

I'm no mathamagician. 

The Nail Files: Gelish

Today I'm linking up with The Nail Files again.  But not just to show you my new color, but to also share an experiment I've been conducting.

The Nail Files

Two weeks ago I decided to treat myself to a mani.  This is a rare occurrence, so I wanted to do something to make it last.  I chose to apply the special hardened nail polish, Gelish.  Gelish is applied in the same way as regular nail polish... they don't have to thin out your nails first or anything... the only difference is that your nails have to dry between each coat, so the whole process takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

It's twice as expensive as a regular mani... I paid $30, but they say it'll last 2 weeks, maybe even 3 if you're careful.  And guys, this to me is worth it.  Like I said, getting a mani is a rare occurrence, so if I can make it last longer, I'll do it!  On me, a regular mani usually looks good for 4 days.  Then it starts to fade and chip... by day 8, it's a complete mess and I've picked most of it off.  As you probably know, I do not live a life of luxury... my hands are always doing something... changing diapers, bathing children, washing dishes, buckling car seats, cooking... all things that chip precious nail polish.

But that's not the case with Gelish.
Day 1.  Nails are perfection... super shiny and hard.

 Day 8.  Nails are still perfect, cuticles are getting a bit dry, but overall still pretty perfect.

Day 13: One down, 9 to go.  Yup, that was it... it started coming undone on one side (probably because I was on the phone and absentmindedly gnawing on my nail) and next thing I knew, I had ripped the whole layer of polish off.  The other 9 nails look good... no chips.  The only thing is that they're growing out and there's a little gap by the cuticle... you can kinda see it on the middle finger.

So overall, it didn't last the full two weeks... but it's totally MY fault.  I think it could last between 2 and 3 weeks.  It's still shiny and beautiful. It's worth the extra money if you're like me and rarely get the chance to go.

But when you go, you HAVE to pick a color you wont get tired of.  I'm already bored with this color.

So there you have it... my Gelish Experiment is complete.  And sorry I don't know the name of the color... kinda forgot to look!

Womanly Stuff

On Monday I had an appointment with my OB.  I don't know if I should still call it an OB, or now call it Gyno, since technically we're done with the baby having stage... but anyway.

I hadn't been seen at this office since I left Miami in 2005.  And obviously a lot has happened since then... you know, married, 2 kids, tubes tied, etc... But I went back to my previous doctor.  I really like her.  Her practice is professional, super nice and very efficient.  I would have loved having my babies with them.

What I loved most was that before my exam, I got to sit in the doctors office and chat with her about what's new, medical history and any questions.  I got to talk with a doctor, by myself, in private, fully clothed!  How often does THAT happen?  I felt like an ACTUAL person!  I loved that.

Well, while we were having our chat, I filled her in on my baby-having history.  2 babies, 15 months apart, first delivered vaginally, second via c-section and tubal.  When I mentioned the tubal, she immediately pursed her lips.  I did not like this.  I felt a gush of anxiety, "oh no, what did I let those hicks in Greenville do to my fertile baby-making body?!?!".  She thought it was strange that they would push someone so young to have it done... and she asked me if I had any regrets.  I started to feel weepy inside, but I held it all together.

If you've been tracking with me for a while, I've written a few posts about how I felt and feel after having my tubes tied.  You can see them here and here.  So you know I've come to terms with it.  And I told her as much... but watching her reaction made me feel a small sense of panic!

Part of me feels that maaaaaaybe I didn't haaaaave to be so drastic and just maaaaaaaybe that door didn't haaaaaave to close just yet.  Not that there's anything I can do about it now... what's done is done.  Kinda breaks my heart all over again.  Pouring acid in a freshly healed wound.

Then we talked about my massive P.M.S.  I admit it... I'm not always a horrible monster... only the week before my period.  My loving husband pointed out that a week before, I blow up at everything, the smallest thing sets me off and I'm emotional.  At first I was offended that he would blame my "true emotions" on PMS, until I started to notice the pattern... and I can't blind myself from the truth.  So, I'm horrible to him and so short tempered with my kids.  She gave me a low dose of PROZAC!  haha.  But she urged me not to use it without trying other forms of relief such as meditation and exercise.  We'll see what works.  I might look into more homeopathic remedies that do not require me becoming zombie like or working out.

So my yearly appointment was good and bad... mostly good.  Don't have to go through that again for a whole year! yay!

myTunes Tuesday

Here's Marco singing his new favorite song that he's learned at BSF, MOPS and church.

It took me a couple of takes to get Marco to sing this one.  He was pretending not to know it and then making goofy sounds before he got serious.  Excuse my background singing... he still needs some coaching.

You know I've mentioned how happy it makes me to hear my children singing...  But singing about JESUS?  My heart overflows.

#marchphotoaday {1-10}

Joining in again this month for the photo-a-day challenge.  You can follow along daily with me on Twitter (@NicoleTableFor4) or Instagram (NicAvesani).

Here's a look at the new challenge.

Day 1: Up
Taking the elevator up.

Day 2:  Fruit
Old bananas.

Day 3:  Your Neighborhood
We are the first house on a cul-di-sac... I love that tree in the center.  It has a few swings on it.

Day 4:  Bedside
My essentials: My Kindle, medicine and glass of water.

Day 5:  A Smile
My hot pink lips.

Day 6: 5pm
Happy Jonas waking up from his nap.

Day 7:  Something You Wore
All my clothes on the floor before my shower. 

Day 8:  Window
At Panera

Day 9:  Red
Matching sippy cups.  Red for Jonas, blue for Marco.

Day 10: Loud
The most beautiful instrument I have the great privilege of playing each week at work.  Truthfully, it's not loud... it's perfect.

Kony 2012

Kony 2012... it's all anyone is talking about this week.  And here I am talking about it too.

If you haven't yet seen the video you must.  It's 30 minutes of captivating and heart breaking information. If you can't watch it right now, then come back later and be sure to do so.  

This video hit the web on Monday and today (Thursday evening) it has over 27 MILLION views.  The power of the social network.  And that's exactly what activists are putting all their hope in. 

After watching this video on Wednesday evening, I became overwhelmingly sorrowful... broken and shattered.  All I could think about was how badly this world is broken... and how much we need our Savior to come.  I could not believe that in a world with SO MUCH, this horrific behavior is allowed to go on... for 30 years!   

As stated in the video, if this happened to ONE child in the US, it would be all over the news and people would be outraged... but because it's all the way in Africa, we don't think of it.  Or if we do, we don't think we can do anything about it.  Basically, if it's not happening in MY backyard, I don't care.  

That's wrong. 

We need to care about WORLD issues... and what's more important than the CHILDREN of this world?  And the US turn their eyes away because they don't have anything to lose... Kony isn't threatening the US's security or finances.  Sadly, the world doesn't run on morality... it runs on politics and economy.  And this, it sickens and shames me.  This "amazing country" has the resources and POWER to help children all over the world... so why not these?  Why is it ok for us NOT to care?  

I think about my own children.  I know that we live in a truly amazing country, where I can tuck my kids into a warm bed, in an airconditioned house, with full bellies, go into my own room and sleep soundly knowing that they'll be alive, well and THERE in the morning.  The parents in Uganda do not know such luxuries.  On any given night, their children can be abducted and forced into slavery.  And there, it's common. 
So what can I do?  What can YOU do?  I'm outraged, yes, but I can't take a plane and fight myself.  What CAN I do?  I can do what I'm doing.  I can write about it, talk about it, share it and spread it.  I can be annoying as hell to Congress people and force them to get their asses in gear.  I can be outraged and demand the US to get involved because it's THE RIGHT THING TO DO!  And you can do that too.

Visit Kony2012, sign the petition, join the virtual fight and annoy the crap out of all our Congressmen.  And most of all, let's not allow this to be a fad... let's remember what we're doing until it comes to fruition.  It's really the LEAST we can do.  

**If you are in Miami and would like to Cover The Night on April 20, Mauricio and I will be participating.  We'd love to team up together to make a big impact.  Message me and we'll set something up!**

He Said

We were leaving the mall and we noticed a disabled man in a wheel chair being escorted by his elderly mother.  I'm not sure which disease this man had, but he was physically and mentally disabled.  Marco, who had never noticed anyone in such a state began asking questions:

Marco: Mama... what's that? (pointing to the chair)
Me: Marco, that's a wheel chair... kinda like a stroller, but for adults.
Marco:  But what's that (pointing to the man), is he sleeping?
Me: No baby, that man has a big ay-ay (ay-ay is the spanish "boo-boo") and he can't walk or run or talk and his mama has to take care of him.
Marco: Oh, Mama, he needs kisses. 

He found a lime on the counter:

Marco:  (yelling) Look Papai, it's an Apple-Corn!
Mauricio:  No, that's a lime.
Marco: No... it's an apple-corn.

I was showing him a picture of an igloo:

Me: Do you know what this is?
Marco:  Yes, a house!
Me:  You're right... it's a house made of ice.
Marco: And cheese too. 

We were outside playing and the wheel of his trike got stuck on the curb.  He starts talking to himself:

Uh, oh no, my wheel is stuck.  Uh... I can't get it.  Oh, I know, maybe a Mouse-ka-tool can help!  
(waits for Toodles to appear)
Hey? Where's Toodles?  
(screaming now)

Tubes: Round Two

Today Jonas had ear tubes implanted in both his ears.  This is our second time going through this... we had to get them for Marco back in July.
Read his story HERE.

I'll have to say that I felt a lot more confident and less anxious than the first time around.  We knew the drill and we were perfectly calm.

We arrived at the hospital at 6am and were checked in.  He was scheduled to be the second surgery of the day... since you have to be fasting before surgery, they schedule it by age.  By 7am we were taken into the pre-op room and he was given a bed, a blanket, some stickers and a car.

He was a little confused, but over all very calm and relaxed. Everyone was shocked that a toddler would just lay down in the bed and chill like that.  He's very serious.  It's his way.
Before long, the anesthesiologist came in to give us the run down.  Basically, they'd give him a medicine through the nose that makes them groggy and loopy.  Then once inside the OR, they'd give him the mask which will put him to sleep.  The doctor then performs the procedure and within 5-10 minutes he's back out in recovery.  No needles.  No IV.  No blood at all.  Simple.

Then the doctor came in to answer any further questions we may have had.  We had none.

The nurse came back with the nose medicine.  He wasn't fond of it... I mean, who can blame him?  But within a minute he was acting... drunk.  It was hysterical.  And, yes, we recorded it.  (Maybe I'll grace you with that little gem in the future). 

Since he was so drunk happy, they took him away from us with no problem.  He was gone, we were ushered back into the waiting room and then we waited.

That's the hardest part... waiting.  Every minute feels like 5.  We kept thinking it was taking longer than it had with Marco.  Then a hint of worry set in... what if there was a complication?  What if he's not taking to the anesthesia well? What if......

I prayed that Jesus would guide the doctor, hold tightly to my boy and ease my fears.  Just then the nurse came back in to get us.  We waited for about 10 minutes.

Jonas was just coming out from under... he was crying and confused.  He cried for a while, which is normal.  We tried soothing him with his paci, blanket, a walk to the window and offered him some juice.  He was in such a frenzy that he threw up a little.  We let him cry for about 15 minutes before heading out.  Once we were outside, he was more calm.

We got home at 8:30 and Marco had just woken up.  (No, we didn't leave him alone... my FIL was still home).  Jonas hung out for a while, then decided he was up for playing and by 10 he was completely back to his rascally and mischievous self.

So happy both of my boys are over and done with this... onto more healthy days.

A Modest Mama

If you know me in real life, you know that I'm not a very modest person... much to my husband's dismay. If we're in a group of girls, I'll change in front of everyone... why not?  I pee with the door open and I talk on the phone while on the toilet too... yeah, so?  I had NO problem with nursing in public... while I tried to be modest, if a little boob slipped out, oh well.

I grew up in a family that doesn't know the meaning of "modest'.  My mom still gets dressed in front of me and after I had my babies, she even helped me shower.  No shame.  It's my MOM!

But having boys kinda threw me for a loop.  My mom doesn't have any sons, so I couldn't ask her, and my mother-in-law is modest to the max, so I couldn't really ask her either.  Two extreems.

When exactly is the right time to stop dressing (or rather, undressing) in front of your son?

I got the answer... Yesterday.  Yesterday was the right time for me to stop dressing in front of my son.

When Jonas was born, Marco was only 15 months, so when I would whip-it-out to breastfeed, Marco didn't know or care.  As he grew, it was the norm.  He just didn't think about it.  I quit breastfeeding in September, (almost 6 months ago), and so the breast sightings have been less frequent.  You know, just not every 3 hours.

But what I've seen is that now, instead of it being the norm, Marco is starting to notice... he's starting to stare.  A few months ago, I knew we were coming onto this because when I took off my clothes, he looked up with a questioning face and said, "Mama? Wass dat?  That for Jonas milk?" And I told him that it was, but not anymore. A few other times, he's just looked.  And sometimes he passes his hand over my breasts while cuddling... once he even gave it a squeeze!

Well, yesterday he was trying to poop and taking forever and I wanted to shower.  Since we're at our in-law's, the 4 of us share a bathroom.  So I just started taking off my clothes to jump in.  I turned my back to him, so he wouldn't get the whole view, and he smacked my butt and said, "it's your boody", (which is fine, doesn't bother me), but then he wanted to see the pee-pee too.  He said, "Mama, where's your pee-pee?" I just hopped in the shower, hoping to stop any further questioning.

From the shower he continued to ask me, "Mama, you don't have pee-pee?" and I said, "No, I'm a girl".  I mean, really, I never thought I'd have to explain this to my two-year-old.  When he finished his business, he tried to pull open the curtain to have himself a good look... thankfully Mauricio stopped him.  Mauricio took him to another room, but within a few minutes, he had escaped, came running back in the bathroom and tried to look in again!

I know he's just curious.  I know that he doesn't understand and that he sees a difference between me and the rest of our little family.  He sees his dad and brother naked all the time, and he knows that they don't look the same way I do.  And his curiosity doesn't bother me, really.  But I'm not about to give him an anatomy lesson using my own body, either.  That's going overboard.

So what do I do?  (Aside from stopping the daily peep shows, of course.)  Moms of boys, how did you know it was time?

One thing is for sure, from now on I'm keeping my clothes on.  I'm about to become a modest mama.

Not So Cute

As parents of young children, we become accustomed to constant comments, words of affirmation and praise about our little ones.  We are always surrounded by peers who have young children, older parents who remember the "good ol' days" or loved ones.  All these people dote over each and every action and word spoken from our children.  It's the norm.

As parents of young children, we believe, although bias as it is, that our children are the absolute cutest.  We give them attention, clap at their singing and stop mid sentence to listen to them say just about anything.  We think they're cute and we expect everyone else to think they're cute too.

But what happens when people don't think they're so cute?

This realization occurred to us the other day... and we were a little confused by it.   Now, I know what you're thinking... "wait a minute, someone didn't think your kids were cute?  Impossible!  Blasphemy! Foolishness!"  I know... that's what I thought too! But alas, it is true.

One night, these acquaintances of ours stopped by to have a chat with my in-laws.  They are recently married and very young... the girl is still a teen.  They do not have babies on the brain and are no where near that life step.  So, I can see how they wouldn't be impressed with my children.

As they arrived and walked into the house, Marco became excited because he loves having visitors and he believes everyone is his "friend".  He grabbed Jonas' hand, lead him to the middle of the circle we were standing in and said "Hey, Hey guys, Hey!" trying to grab their attention.  But he failed.  They didn't even give him a downwards glance.

But Marco is not easily discouraged.  He tried again... this time, grabbing his coolest toy, Lightning McQueen and entering the circle once again.  "Hey, guys, look... it's Lighting DaQueen... Cachow!"  But still, nothing.  Not even an acknowledgement of his presence.

At this point, I felt a few things.  1. I felt heartbroken for Marco... he has never known rejection.  2. I felt upset... is it so hard to acknowledge someone?  I know he's not an adult, and you don't have to play with him, but is it so hard to say "hi"?

Let me make myself perfectly clear... I do not expect people to play with my kids.  I don't play with other people's kids.  But I do say hello to them... a kind comment... ask them a couple of questions... make them feel important and like they're a person!  This is common curtesy... if people acknowledge pets, why not kids?

Well apparently Mauricio was feeling the same things I was, but he had the to foresight to stop the cycle.  He grabbed Marco and lead him into the living room to play with him.  Mauricio felt that if they couldn't even acknowledge his presence, that he wouldn't acknowledge theirs... so he left the scene.

What about Jonas?  Oh, Jonas... the baby... he did receive some attention.  He got a couple, "oh, he's so cute" and "look at that"... but that's because he's still babyish.  The older these kids get, away from babyhood and into kid-land, they become less cute and more annoying to other people.  But I really don't think Marco is in the "annoying stage" yet.  Really.  We try very hard to keep him under control... to keep him kind, obedient, sweet and quiet around adults.  He is well behaved and we get compliments on his behavior all the time.

How should we, as parents, handle this rejection?  We still love our children with an intensity that is indescribable... but other people do not share the same sentiment.  Should we remove ourselves from such circumstances?  Should we come to terms with the fact that not everyone is going to give our children attention?  Should we be ok with that?  I really don't know.  I'm at a loss.

This whole situation, which I'm sure didn't even cross the minds of the young couple, has stuck with me for weeks.  Maybe Marco isn't so cute after all?!

No way... that's impossible!

Ask Me Anything!

Hello everyone and welcome to March!

I've got nothing really planned for this month... just more of the same.  Just two things: First, Jonas is getting ear tubes put it on on the 7th.  That boy has had too many ear infections in his short life and I'm hoping this will help stop them.  And secondly, we will be on our own for 10 whole days while my in-laws travel for Spring Break.  A true family of 4!

So I know my blog has been a little quiet lately... and the material has been a little weak.  I apologize.  I started off the year really strong but lost my energy in February... I wrote 10 posts less in February than in January.  And my stats proved it.  Not that it's all about the numbers... but bloggers know, it kind of IS about the numbers.  Of course I do this for me and for the boys... but I also do it for you!  If not, then I wouldn't bother with making it look pretty, hosting giveaways and such.  My readers are what keeps me going!

I am happy to welcome 3 new followers!  I am always elated when I have new people following!  And I also love reading and replying to each of your comments (so long as your not a no-reply commenter... then I CAN'T respond!) 

So I thought I'd kick the new month off with something I've seen other bloggers do when they're feeling a touch of writers block.

Ask Me Anything.

Go ahead... ask me anything!  What are you curious about?  What dirty details do you want to know about me?  What haven't I ever answered before that you'd like to know?  I will try to answer every question... not much shocks or embarrasses this girl!
Of course, I will reserve the right to NOT answer a question that I feel is inappropriate or would compromise my relationships... but you kinda figured that already.

And now, I eagerly await your questions...

{I'm a little nervous}