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.

 

A post about nothing. Seinfeld would be so proud.

'I'm not a neurologist, but according to this X-ray, you have no brain.'So I just realized my brain has turned into spaghetti and I haven’t been able to form a single coherent sentence since the holidays. Hence, my absence from the blogging world and I’m sure your lives. Rrriiight…

Let me start by apologizing for this post before you even read it because I have no idea what it’s going to be about, I’m going to wing it, just like I’m winging my children’s upbringing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope they grow up to be descent human beings.

As I was saying, my mind is completely blank and it’s been that way since the holidays. January has been like one big massive hangover, and not precisely from drinking too much, those days were left in the past, along with a face that doesn’t have permanent puffy eyes.

I think I lost my brain sometime between getting over the initial shock of reading my daughters’ Christmas list, making one VERY realistic list of my own, Christmas shopping, and trying to figure out how to make a Christmas expense excel spreadsheet.

I thought about making a spreadsheet so I could find a way to organize my holiday shopping budget and not go haywire like I did last year. Dear husband, this is where you need to stop reading.  Actually, I’m not going to say how much I spent, because if I know my husband well, he is still reading even though I just asked him not to. But why should he start listening to me now?

Anyway, excel spreadsheets are hard. And I went over my budget. Again.

So this post will not be about my adventures in computer land.

Back to where I was telling you about my non functioning brain.

Right in the middle of that mess, I figured I should at least start laying out ideas on what to write next. So I started looking everywhere for all these random notes I’m usually jotting down on any writable surface. I checked my phone OHMYGODCANDYCRUSHISGONE!!!  I checked the palm of my hand Buy toilet paper and tampons. I checked the bathroom stalls Get a new writing pad. I checked my purse and surprisingly, all I found was an overdue speeding ticket and thanks to my zombie brain* I now have to pay double the amount.

Since it was still December, I figured I would write about how excruciatingly exhausting it is to keep lying to my kids about Santa. Not only does it drill a hole in my pocket every single year because my kids think Christmas is a toy free for all, but I always have to take it up a notch and start making up all these stupid “magical” stories about how all the reindeer send them letters every night without thinking first that I was going to be the one doing all the writing and printing, which in itself wasn’t hard work because who am  I kidding, I got the pre-written letters from the all mighty Pinterest. The real hard work was waiting for my daughters to fall asleep and not forgetting to roll up the letters and stick them in their stockings. That was too much of a commitment.

Do not even get me started on the as*hole that invented the elf on the shelf. This person clearly had too much time on her hands. Also, who designed this toy? What is the same person? And does she know that this creepy elf is just waiting for you to go to sleep so he can murder you in your sleep?

My daughters got theirs as a gift from someone who hates** me and we decided our elf, Nancy, was NOT going to be reporting back to Santa. They couldn’t stand the pressure of another set of eyes watching them, Santa’s eyes are enough.

So Christmas Eve rolled by and after partying until 1 am (and by partying I mean eating like a pig), mama here went to bed at 3:30 IN THE MORNING putting together a desk because my 7-year-old “absolutely needs an office”, and making sure “Santa” laid all the toys in a perfect semi-circle by the Christmas Tree. Naturally, two of my last working brain cells died that night. I swear to God when these kids find out the truth about Santa I better be getting a trip to the jewelry store as a thank you.

So this post will not be about the magic of Christmas.

Let me tell you about our crazy New Year’s Eve partaaaay!!!

We got all sorts of ready for NYE. I got party poppers, party hats, we had sparkling cider for the girls, soda for us (we’re boring, deal with it), ordered pizza and wait for it…. my husband fell asleep at 8:04 on the couch wearing a glitter party hat.  I have the picture to prove it but I can’t show it because he threatened to post a picture of when I thought I looked cute in a pixie cut, sooo…yeah…whatever…I rang the new year at 9:45 pm with my daughters and my mom while watching Disney reruns. Whoop Whoop!

So this post will not be about our New Year’s Eve fiesta.

On new years day, I sat down in front of my laptop (not hangover and totally refreshed from a good night sleep) and decided that for the first time ever, I was going to make some new year’s resolutions and all I could come up with was this:

1- Stop eating chocolate bars as a midday snack.

Because “joining the gym” would be just setting myself up for failure. And guess what? Chocolate is still my best friend forever.

So this post will not be about my New Year’s resolutions.

Also, this post will not be about how much weight I gained during the holidays. I don’t want to talk about it OK?!?!?

This post will NOT be me complaining about the weather. It’s January and it’s freezing cold and it sucks and it sucks and it sucks.

So what should this post be about?

 

*I don’t think Zombies have brains.

**I’m kidding S, I know you love me!

 

Dear Santa…

Dear Santa,

First of all, I just want to tell you how proud I am of you. Not only do you survive this crazy holiday every year, but you hand deliver every single toy to all the believers out there. I know it must be hard to keep up with the demand and all these new complicated video games and tablets. It must have taken you forever to learn how to assemble all these games with the chips and the 3-D and the gigas and the bytes. Whatever happened to the good old wooden rocking horse? I know. I feel the same way. I must say, you’ve adapted wonderfully and all while rocking the same red suit. Kudos to you!

Anyway, you must be confused as to why a grown ass (OMG! I’m soooo sorry for cursing) woman is sending you a letter. Well, the truth is, I have lost all hope and was hoping you could restore it for me. You see, the other day I asked my husband what he wanted for Christmas and he said he didn’t want anything (bless his heart). However, I think he was expecting the same answer from me. That didn’t happen of course, because I want lots of things. Now, don’t think I’m being selfish or anything; I’m actually the complete opposite of that. I always put everyone’s needs before mine and only expect to get rewarded at the end of the year. Never mind, that does sound really selfish. Let me rephrase that. I think I deserve to get everything on my list because I take care of my family without asking for anything back except hugs, kisses and the occasional compliment here and there.  So when I showed my husband the list, he laughed uncontrollably and walked away. And this is when all my hope went down the drain.

So this is where you come in, Santa. I’m sending you this list in hopes I wake up on Christmas morning and find that not only my daughters’ wishes came true, but also mine.

santa

It’s not that long Santa, just wait until you see my daughters’.

1 – Endless supply of toilet paper – Santa, do you know that I am buying a 24-pack of toilet paper on a weekly basis? I mean, I know there are more girls than boys in the house and that we have more…err…”stuff” to keep clean, but come on!! I’m starting to believe my daughters are trading toilet paper rolls for candy. It’s no coincidence that I keep finding more candy and less toilet paper around the house. So if you give me an endless supply of TP it would mean fewer trips to the store, which means I would have to drive less, which means less pollution to the environment. So really, it’s a win-win situation.

Actually, while you’re at it, can you add a couple of nanny cams? I’m going to catch the little suckers!

2 – 30 hour days – Not to get more done. No. I need 30 hour days in order to squeeze in a few more hours of sleep. Don’t you just feel like punching people that only need 4 or 5 hours of sleep and yet they still wake up radiant and full of energy? Probably not, ’cause you’re Santa and you’re perfect and fluffy. But I do! Sorry about all the aggressiveness, it’s the lack of sleep. If I get more hours of sleep, I’ll probably wake up singing “It’s a beautiful morning” and make pancakes for the whole building. Again, a win-win situation.

3 – The ability to cook – I’ll just get straight to the point. I have tried to learn and have failed miserably. So this is why I need you.  I need to be able to make a grilled cheese sandwich without this happening:

IMG_9300

Who feeds their children plastic? Me.

 

 

 

 

 

Or cook a simple pasta dish without burning it like this:

IMG_9301

I seriously give up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is pathetic and I need you to fix it please.

4 – The power to transform into Martha Stewart or at least suck all the talent out of her: I for once would like to be able to sew my daughter’s Girl Scout badges on her vest and not run like a little girl to my mom asking her for help. Anything that requires sewing, I will staple. Anything that asks for frosting, I will buy pre-made. Anything that involves paint will end up on the carpet and up my nose. All I want is to be skillful enough to redecorate my living room by only using a wooden crate, paint and tape. I’m sure Martha can do it.

5 – 24 hour concierge service: I know some buildings do have it, but I’m neither rich nor live in NYC.  So what if sometimes I crave ice-cream at 2 in the morning? Or forget to buy more juice boxes for my daughter’s lunch box. I don’t want to leave the house at 6 pm. That’s so late for this old body. I need someone to go fetch me stuff at a moments notice and my husband has already said no.

6 – Healthy junk food – Santa please, I beg of you!! Not everything healthy has to be boring. I need junk food in my life but I need it to be healthy because I hate the gym and I can’t stop eating cheeseburgers from the mall and my waist is paying for it. Also candy and carbs. No matter how much I eat them, I need you to make all this stuff super extra healthy because I have no plans of stopping.

That’s it Santa, I only want these 6 things. After all, my parents taught me not to be greedy.

Sincerely,

Me :)

 

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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.

once upon a time in Colombia…

Once upon a time, I used to live in Colombia.  In Barranquilla, where I grew up, it’s a summer heaven all year long.  The furthest beach was a long, tedious 15 minute drive. We used to go there for hours every Sunday.  Sometimes we would ditch school and just drive straight there.  I think I owned a couple of long sleeve shirts to have just in case our winter night breeze got out of control.  I had coconut and mango trees in my back yard. No kidding. Do you want to know what I have in my back yard now? Snow, I have snow. Endless piles of snow. After 10 years of living in Virginia, I’ve learned to absolutely love Spring; remember my childhood in Summer; enjoy the crisp, cool Fall weather and just tolerate Winter.

The first snow of the year is always exciting.  It’s the start of the holidays and everything is white and red and green and perfect. Until January comes and it hits you in the face with the same shovel you’ll be using when to clearing the sidewalk for the next two months.  There’s no Christmas anticipation, no New Year’s party to plan, just the hope that winter will be kind to us until Spring gets here. And that’s only if Punxsutawney Phil feels like it. How did our hopes of sunnier, warmer days end up in the paws of a groundhog?  This effing winter is getting the best of me. I’m no longer the happy, smiling mom of two beautiful girls. I am now the shriveled, cold, bitter, bearer of two kids that are messing up my house because school is ALWAYS closed.  Go away winter, seriously, I’m over you.

P.S. I will no longer be saving for my daughters’ education. I will now be spending our money on a three month trip down to Colombia every winter.  Sunny, coconutty  Colombia.

P.S II: I love Virginia, I really do :)

#rantmuch #sorrynotsorry

FACT:

photo 2

They do look cute though :)

photo 1

 

Antonella & Itala