Love is love is love is love

I cried myself to sleep on Tuesday night for many obvious reasons. I cried because we had lost the election. I cried because we are yet to celebrate having a woman for our president. I cried because a racist, misogynist, pussy grabber was elected to lead our nation. But mostly I cried because I saw tears of fear, disbelief and angst running down my daughter’s cheeks.

My heart shattered into a million pieces.

I woke up Wednesday morning trying to be hopeful, trying to find the silver lining. But I didn’t.  As I was preparing their lunch boxes, my oldest one came into the kitchen and asked me again if Trump had really won. Yes, he had. Those same tears ran down her cheeks again. And my heart, again, shattered into a million pieces.

I reassured her that everything was going to be ok. That this amazing country was going to be ok. That we were going to be ok. That SHE was going to be ok.

“How?” she asked.

I didn’t have an answer then, but just promised her we were.

Little did she know that she had already given me the answer. As I walked into my office, I found a note she had left for me the night before. It read, “Love is what I work for.”

And just like that I had my answer. LOVE.

So that night, while we ate dinner she asked me again:

“So, how are we going to be ok?”

I told them I had a plan. A good one.

 

This is how we are going to be ok:

We are going to love.

We are going to live an amazing life.

We are going to love and respect our friends, no matter where they come from, what religion they practice or what they believe in.

We are going to speak up and not remain silent. We are going to defend our shy friends against bullies. And we are going to show compassion to those bullies that are surely trying to fight their own personal battles.

We are going to celebrate holidays, birthdays, we will make up excuses to have laughter-filled family reunions as often as possible.

We are going to stuff our faces with ice cream and cake.

We are going to go on trips. Lots of them. Disney, Chicago, Detroit, LA, Miami. We’re going to travel all over the country. Because it’s an amazing one.

We are going to go to the beach, the pool,  all of the parks, summer concerts, festivals…

You will go to gymnastics, or ballet, or swimming, or whatever you want to learn this month.

We are going to try to catch Santa this year….and the Leprechaun too.

We are going to cook and eat together (your father’s food, not mine, don’t worry).

We are going to go outside, way past your bedtime to catch fireflies.

I will visit you at school during your lunch time and you can visit me at my office during mine.

We are going to visit all of the Smithsonian museums for the 100th time because it’s one of your favorite things to do.

We are going to have picnics.

We are going to laugh about silly things and cry at sad things.

We are going to build forts out of blankets and make a mess in the living room.

We are going to pray together.

We are going to grow together.

And we will BE together. Because love trumps hate and love is love is love is love.

 

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surviving spring break

No, I do not have a sunburn from laying out at a Florida beach all day, nor do I have a horrible hangover from partying all night at some loud, neon light filled club. Those days are long gone my friends. I’m actually recovering from spring break with a 6 and a 3-year-old, and let’s be honest, even the strongest person can come out of this feeling battered. Spring break was last week and yet I’m just picking myself up. With my husband working endless hours at the restaurant, it was just me, my willpower and my girls. I had planned on not having a plan, I was just going to wing it and go with the flow, relax, it’s spring break! Actually never mind, scratch that last part, the truth is that  I can’t ‘roll’ with anything, I need plans, schedules, lists, charts, all of that! And that’s why I needed to make a Plan of Action, like my cool uncle G used to say: “you gotta have a PofA”. You just have to listen to the wise. After diligently writing down my week’s PofA, I felt ready to go into this Spring Break full force, forgetting that I was about to attempt to entertain my 2 daughters 24/7 …solo.

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planning like a boss

On day 1 my youngest daughter decided that she was going to take full advantage of me while I was off from work and wake me up at 6:50 am…sharp. This happened every single day for the next 5 days. Wish I could unplug her internal clock.

Itala: Are you ready to play bawbie?

Me: Play what? No, I’m not ready to play whatever that is. I need coffee before I can do anything.

Itala: There’s no time for coffee!!!!

Really? Really? REALLY?

My perfectly coordinated PofA didn’t include playing with bawbies Barbies at 7 am. An hour later we had played Barbies, school and Old Maid, this last one she won three times in a row because she ‘shuffled’ and handed out the cards, clearly making sure that she NEVER got the damn Old Maid. Sneaky, sneaky child.

When I finally felt awake, you know, around noon, I packed the girls and headed out to the happiest place on earth: Target. I needed to get my Target fix if I was going to survive the next week. I had actually just planned on stopping by for a second to return a box of white seashells I had purchased in the middle of the Polar Vortex; I was hoping the sight of seashells on my coffee table would make me feel a little warm, they didn’t help at all, so back to the shelf they went. So one hour and a pair of Convers, a light spring scarf, a much-needed maxi skirt , 2 perfect white T’s and a box of princess band aids later I was a happy mama (that’s the Target effect, it’s really not my fault).

I told the girls I had a whole week of activities planned; they on the other hand, reminded me that it was THEIR spring break NOT mine and that this is what they wanted to do:

  • Go to ALL the parks… all of them
  • Go to Chuck E. Cheese
  • Horseback riding
  • Petting Zoo
  • The pool (even though they know they’re still not open)
  • Decorate the house for Easter
  • Oh, it’s almost Easter, so decorate eggs
  • Go Easter Egg hunting
  • Learn to climb a tree

Me: It’s that all you want to do?

Antonella: Yeah, we’ll think of something else to do for tomorrow.

 

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Say what now?

 

Let’s just say that this mama did all of that…not really, but almost.

Tree climbing + park: check

photo 3 (2)

more like swinging

 

Horseback riding: check

we even squeezed in a picnic

we even squeezed in a picnic

 

Easter egg hunt: check

the competition was fierce

the competition was fierce

 

All right spring break, you took the best of me, my body is numb and my energy level is non-existent, but my kids had a blast, so no hard feelings ;)

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well hello there 70 degrees!

We finally got a break from this eternal winter and got a nice, sunny day last Saturday, so of course, like any other person suffering from cabin fever here in the Northeast I decided to spend the day outside. I grabbed my girls and headed out. We decided to go to D.C since I had an aunt visiting from Colombia and thought it would be nice to show her around. I told the girls they could finally wear their new spring jackets and you should’ve seen their eyes pop with excitement, their mouths wide open: “You mean spring is finally here?” Oh these poor souls. I packed snacks for the car, because any car ride over 15 minutes long is a road trip for them and snacks MUST be provided.

We stopped for lunch at the most amazing burger joint ever, Shake Shack, and well, well, well, no one told me that this was the place to be on a Saturday afternoon. The line was almost as long as the line outside Georgetown Cupcakes (don’t even get me started on that, that line situation deserves a Post of its own). But it’s ok, trust me, these burgers are worth the wait, I mean, seriously, best burgers ever. I’m so hungry for one right now. Damn.

Heaven on a tray

Heaven on a tray

While I ordered I asked my mom to walk around with Itala sitting on the stroller, maybe someone would feel bad for this lady pushing this huge baby around and not grab the next empty table, because obviously there were none available, people were sitting on the sidewalk eating and I don’t even want to imagine the disaster of doing that with a 6 and a 3-year-old.  After leaving burger heaven we headed to Georgetown because of course every tourist needs to buy a $45 “Channel” bag. I didn’t even try; I would’ve purchased every single purse in the kiosk. Original, fake, big, small, all of them. I’m a recovering purse-aholic. My mom took my aunt purse shopping and I took the girls down to the waterfront.

I forgot that everyone else in DC had been holed up inside for the past 3 months just like us and holy smokes Batman where did all these people come from?!?

Ok, it was not this crowded but you get my point

Ok, it was not this crowded but you get my point

We found an open space and I set the girls free, it was like they’ve never seen sunshine…or freedom. It was a beautiful thing.

Run children, run! Be free!

Run children, run! Be free!

Antonella did some yoga:

Not bad for a first timer

Not bad for a first timer

And Itala did some of what I suppose are karate moves:

Wax on, wax off

Wax on, wax off

 It was an awesome Saturday….and then Tuesday rolled in with this:

Why oh why must you tease us this way Mother Nature?

Why oh why must you tease us this way Mother Nature?

 

And then I remembered what March is all about:

march

Patience my little grasshoppers, patience.