Thursday, January 29, 2009

What I woke up to this morning...

FOCA: get the facts...

Even if you are a Barak Obama supporter, please do not brush this off... this is not about Democrat vs. Republican... You may be shocked by the following:

I know this seems long and wordy, BUT PLEASE read it to educate yourself about the Freedom of Choice Act that Barak Obama said would be the first thing he would sign into law in the White House.
FOCA would allow for unspeakably horrible acts to now be completely legal.

Barak Obama said he wanted to do whatever he could to reduce the number of abortions in this country... How does signing this ACT do anything but create more opportunities to have one, and force people who do not believe in it, to pay for them and perform them?

PLEASE DO NOT BRUSH THIS OFF. this is real and there is something that can be done...

This is from the website called

- FOCA would establish a new fundamental right to have an abortion at any stage of the pregnancy. Even up to 2 hours before giving birth without any legal restrictions. In the last stages, a "health" reason would be required. But as we have seen, "health" reasons have not prevented any abortion from being performed.

-If FOCA becomes law there would be sweeping changes in the legal landscape of abortion. Hundreds of state laws would be nullified including: - All informed consent laws would be overturned. Informed consent laws require that a woman be given accurate medical facts about the abortion procedure, the alternatives available, and her legal rights, all for her own protection.

- All parental notification laws would be nullified. This means that any pregnant girl, no matter how young, could have an abortion without telling her parents. Nurses and doctors would not be required to inform the parents of minors if they referred for or provided an abortion. Only six states currently are without some kind of parental involvement law.

- All laws requiring a waiting period before abortion so that a woman can take time to think about her decision would be eliminated.

- The Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 would be reversed. This ban was vetoed twice by President Clinton, and finally signed into law by President Bush. It was tied up in court for 4 years, and finally became effective on April 18, 2007. It banned the brutal practice of aborting a child who was delivered normally, all but the head, and then killed.

- The Hyde Amendment, which restricts taxpayer funding of abortions, would be reversed.

- Religiously affiliated hospitals that do not currently allow abortions in their facilities would be forced to either perform abortions or stop providing health care.

- Military hospitals would now be required to provide abortion the same as any other health procedure.

- Health insurance for federal employees would have to cover abortion as a regular procedure with no restrictions.

- Abortions would no longer have to be performed by licensed physicians, creating a greater likelihood of complications and safety issues for women.

- Health and safety regulations at abortion clinics could be invalidated.

- Doctors, nurses, and hospitals that conscientiously object to abortion would no longer be protected from lawsuits if they created a delay or inconvenience for a woman wishing to obtain an abortion.

- Artificially implanted cloned human embryo's could now be allowed to be carried to term.

- FOCA would require any government program that provides, pays for, or insures childbirth or healthcare services to do the same for the abortion procedure.

- All public hospitals and medical schools that restrict access for abortion procedures would now be open to be used for these procedures.

- Taxpayers would now be required to pay for elective abortions with their tax dollars under the Medicaid program and in the military.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

10 things I have learned about surviving Motherhood so far...

1. MUST make time for yourself in order for you to get your gas tank filled up. Fiercely guard that "YOU" time to make sure you actually do it. You're no good to anyone if you're out of gas all the time.

2. MUST be surrounded by a support system (that is only a phone call away) of people who can commiserate, listen, and correct your thinking on those days when you've heard so much toddler talk that you can't think straight.

3. MUST have trust in GOD for all those "unknowns" and all those times when you just can't be there to make sure... Or those seconds when they get out of your hands and into harms way when your back is turned.

4.MUST have adequate rest. This is a form of torture, you know.... Sleep deprivation.

5. MUST learn how to ask for help. Humbling, I know. But it's not fair to get mad at people for not reading your mind. Especially husbands.

6. MUST get out of your pajamas and shower. The world looks so much more conquerable when you are refreshed and ready to take it on... its amazing how much better everything seems after a quick shower.

8. MUST have a sense of humor. Farts are funny.Poop is funny. And there will be a lot of it!!! Probably all over you!

9. MUST be flexible. You can plan all you want, but with kids, you just can't control them. And if you try, they will resent you for it later on.

10. MuSt have grace for yourself. Because you will screw up. You will yell. You will feel like you're doing it all wrong. You will do things differently than initially planned. You will need "the whole village".

Silly moments...

This, a blog entry for family that is abroad, to update them. Everyone else, can just gawk at my gorgeous family and kids.

Rio has his second conformer in. The Ocularist says that in a couple of months, he thinks we can begin the process of making a custom one for him that has "art" where they actually paint on it~ to match his other eye. And after that, it will be barely noticeable that his eyes are different.

His surgery for his lip is scheduled for April. I am nervous, but I know that having this done sooner than later is best. My baby...
I still struggle with the fact that he has to endure all this at such a young age, but I know that he will have such an amazing story when all is said and done. He is sooooo special and precious, and called. God bless him.
Sometimes, I am freaked out by how smart Rio is. for example, the other day, he was in his jumparoo and I said "show me how you jump..." and he started jumping!!!! And sometimes, he babbles words that, I swear, are real words!!! Yesterday, Vivia said "Mommyyyy" when I entered the room where she was laying beside him. And he says as clear as day... "Mom-mum-mum--mumm--yyyyy" Maybe it's a stretch, but I believe he is a bit of a genius!

Vivia continues to be an awesome big sister. She loves her little brother "so much", as she says. She is full of kisses and love and desire to be with Rio. She really is growing up so fast. I can't believe how fast! She is, all of a sudden, a little woman. Who has so many funny little things to say about life and family, and God...
She is so smart! Every day she is learning more about reading. She knew how to read the whole alphabet and numbers 1-10 at age 2!!! We practice the alphabet in the tub and in the playroom, and with songs... She loves learning! May she never change her mind!
Dear God, I am so blown away by the little people that you have given us to raise. I am so humbled at the task and I am so happy to do it! They have made my life more colorful and more beautiful! Thank you for exemplifying your love to me through my children! I am speechless.
oh, and P.S... may the next one look like me. PPPPPlease!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Find- wanted to share. Love the ideas!

The following is from an AWESOME new blog I found called TheCreativeMama.
Click to check it out- leave a comment and tell her I sent you!

I don't even know her, but I want to support the effort because I love her work that I've seen so far!

Here is the article, which I plan to implement right away... because it is one of my goals in 2009 to completely declutter our house.

your room, your haven.


webster’s dictionary describes a haven as: a place offering favorable opportunities or conditions.

is your bedroom a place of favorable opportunities? is it a place of refuge for you? chances are, if your room looks anything like mine has in the past there are dirty clothes sandwiched in between dog bones, and star wars characters buried in corners of the carpet you didn’t know existed. why not make your room… your haven?

Simple as one, two, three – right? No. But, that doesn’t mean it is impossible. This is a project that will most likely take you hours, and I mean hours. The payoff though, is a tidy, comfy, organized bedroom that takes just moments a day to keep up. The ‘Declutter, Clean, Organize’ technique will be your best friend during this project. Live it, breathe it.

Before you begin, do a quick sweep of the visible clutter that may be in your room. Make your bed, put things away. Take only 5 minutes to do this.

clothing & other

First, be sure all of your laundry is caught up, folded and put away – we are decluttering. Clear off your bed to make room for the three piles you will create: toss, donate, & keep.

start small and work your way up. yes, that means socks and panties. go through each one, work your way to PJs, tops, jeans, dresses, everything. this even includes accessories, scarves, and gasp, shoes. uh huh, i said shoes.

the following questions you will now ask yourself:

  • is it stained, does it have holes or a missing match?
    If the answer is yes, put it in the toss pile.
  • does it fit?
    If the answer is no, put it in the donate pile.
  • have you worn it in the last 6 months?
    If the answer is no (and not a seasonal item), put it in the donate pile.

everything else that is left stays on your bed while you move onto the cleaning phase. now, take a clean cloth and wipe down your drawers or shelves, wherever your clothing lives. if there is any garbage, throw it out. your clothing is important to you, don’t let it live in a dusty, dirty environment. be sure to take appropriate action with your toss and donate piles.

now organize. begin by neatly folding your clothes that live in drawers. match up your socks and keep them together. i like to organize my hanging clothes by color and style. tanks go first, whites to darks. next come short-sleeved tops, and long-sleeved ones… keeping with the color scheme. makes it quite easy to find what i am looking for when the clock is moving faster than i’d like. when you pull a top off of the hanger to wear it, put the hanger to the far left. you will slowly gather a little family of hangers in that one section, as to not have this massive mess of twisted hangers. your closet will breathe freely and you will feel much less overwhelmed when you are browsing through it.


chances are you are a housewife, or perhaps you are in school - you are bound to have paperwork somewhere in your room. Gather it all and either sit on your floor, or on your bed. Get ready to make piles again, this time you will be making four: to-be-filed, to-be-dealt-with, recycling, and unsure.

Declutter by immediately recycling the garbage pieces to that pile. If you are unsure about an item, put it in the unsure pile. You are now ready to organize and clean. Be very picky. Determine which papers need to be filed (pay stubs, health paperwork, etc) and which need to be dealt with (consent form to sign for your son’s field trip, projects to be done, bills to pay, etc). Be sure you deal with those papers. Take them to the appropriate people and places. Do not leave any paper untouched. Take your unsure pile to someone who can help you better deal with its contents.

everything else

This includes but is not limited to the following: items that do not belong to you, memorabilia from events, your daughter’s most recent art, and your beloved things (books, journals, trinkets, etc).

Declutter by pulling everything out into the open. You should have by now put your clothing and paperwork items all away, so you should have a clear space to work with. The amount of piles will be determined by you. Work through everything. If it is something that does not belong to you – put it by your backpack to take to that person tomorrow. Start to organize and clean by putting your items in their appropriate places. Again, be picky. Toss or donate those things which have no use or you do not believe to be beautiful or hold a special memory. Once you have put everything away, tossed the garbage piles, and returned borrowed items you can now focus on giving your space a good ole fashioned cleaning. Dust, vacuum, scrub. Make it shine, light a yummy candle and turn on some pandora.

keepin’ it up

Now you have a clean and comfy environment. Be sure all your hard work was worth it by not allowing things to pile up. Set a timer for 10 minutes each evening and see how much you can get done in your immediate environment. Recycle papers you don’t need, file ones that are important, hang your clothes up and keep your haven as peaceful as it deserves to be.

I promise it will be so worth it.

MORE Vivia-isms

Vivia comes running up to me this morning...
"MOMMY, MOMMY... there are MONSTERS in my LIFE!!!"

Earlier she says to me.
"Mommy, we need to go downstairs"
"Why, honey?"
"Because my tummy hurts because I'm hungry, because I have gas, and makes me fart!"

Bella and I laugh and laugh, and she says...
"What's funny guys?"

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dinner with friends: My first Vegan Experience

Who knew Vegan could be so tasty?
We had a great time at our new friends Jenna & Reuben's house on Sat. night, where they graciously tested out their new pasta maker on us. The food was delish! And the company, even delish-er!
I just realized too, that I didn't get any photos of Lyric on here... Next time! So glad to have been cruising Target that night! :)

Para Abuelita Nonita

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sewing 101

A few pics of me and my domestically challenged friends attempting to sew a straight line in our sewing class. We had a ball! Next step is making aprons! Hmmmm... And the step after that, cooking classes that teach us the art of casserole making, or better yet, CROCK POT cooking so we can have a warm meal on the stove every night for our husbands as they come home from a hard day's work at the office. (Don't forget to put on a little make-up and a spritzer of perfume before he walks through the door...) *gags* :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Relatives dropping by...

So, my Father's sister and her husband that are from Canada called the other day and told us they were going to be in town. And on Wed. they dropped by. This prompted us to yet another impromptu day of plans. So, together with my sister Desiree, we went to Animal Kingdom. We had a really good time together. Now for us to go visit them, in Canada. Will need to brush up on my French.
Here are some pix from the great day we had!!! Vivia took her "noc-yoo-lars" so she could get close-ups of the animals. At one point, she even wrote a new song. On the way to the Safari, she started singing: "old MacDonald had a... SAFARI" and she would scream out "safari". It was soooo funny. Actually, it was hilari-ruos- (as she says).
As we were watching American Idol, she was talking about how Hilari-ROUS the bad singers were! And she would say "OMI GOSH!" I love her so much, I can't describe it in words. :)
She got picked at the Lion King show to be in it. The little kids came out and they gave them instruments and they sang and danced. My uncle got picked on as well. HE turned BRIGHT red! It was great! This woman who worked a the show randomly came up to me and said, "Hey, I have a surprise for you- we saved a seat just for you... come with me" and she proceeded to take us over to the back door to the show and put us on a list to sit in VIP seats. (FRONT row.) So, we didn't have to wait in line or anything! That's what I call the favor of God!
Oh, by the way... in the photos below, look for the smiling goat- that too, is HILARI-ROUS.

Special Moments with a princess...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My husband... gotta train him.

This morning, Gabriel headed back to School for his final semester of his MBA. He will have it in his hand by this time, come August. He's been off for three weeks, and this morning, he was all business. I had to leave early this morning as well to go speak at an Encounter (conference). I got all dolled up in my new clothes from Anthropologie- put on make-up, my sexy knee high leather boots, and my navy blue pea coat. I was lookin' darn good!
He comes over pecks me quickly on the cheek and says "Bye."
In the flavor of "Do unto others..." I hinted... "Bye HONEY! You look gorgeous, good luck today..."
He goes "THANK you" and walked out the door and shut it behind him....
I giggled to myself at the sheer comedy of HOW FAR THAT JUST WENT OVER HIS HEAD...
I can see his feet through the glass window at the bottom of the door.
They pause, slowly turn, and come back and open the door where I am still standing in the same spot waiting.
He goes, "Did you want me to say that to you?" He laughed sheepishly.
Uh-huh, I nod.
He grabs me, plants one on me, and says "You look gorgeous, good luck today."
I say, "Why, thank you!"

Did it mean less because I had to tell him to say it? Absolutely NOT. The fact that he came back and made it right... MAJOR POINTS!!! Not that I keep track...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Most embarrasing moment... two in one week: more toddler talk

So, it happened. The proverbial deer-in-headlights moment where your toddler says something, and you absolutely FREEZE because there is just nothing you can say that will make it any better... I never had a "most embarrasing moment" until having children. Mostly because I do not embarrass easily. Never say never.

One: We are at this restaurant called "Aldo's" where they have awesome Italian subs. A little hole in the wall type spot. We are at lunch with all the women from my cell group, and with the head Pastor (my leader's husband), and the associate Pastor, and a couple other guys from the church office. Vivia is sitting next to Aslinn, one of my best-ies, I am engrossed in conversation with Crystal, and out of nowhere I hear this:
Vivia: "What's that?" pointing to Aslinn's Cindy Crawford-like mole.
Aslinn: "A mole."
Vivia: "Like on mommy's boobs?"
followed by roars of laughter from everyone at the table.
I believe I must've turned 5 shades of red within seconds...
So needless to say, the entire male pastorship of my church knows a little TMI (too much information) about my anatomy...

Two: We are leaving Chick-Fil-A Tuesday and this lovely woman who works there comes over to help us clean off our table. She begins talking to Vivia, making small talk, and out of nowhere, V.V. says "You're really really really black, and you have really really really curly hair." I wanted to crawl under the table and hide, or ask her "Whose child is this?" but instead, I just said: "It took her three years to figure that out!" The lady laughed and told us a story of another little girl who told her that her hands were dirty and she needed to wash them.

Oh, I just thought of one more...
Our neighbors are Indian. Not like Lone Ranger and Tonto Indian, but the "Thank you, come again" kind. (I'm not being racist: I love people of ALL races- just quoting the Simpsons). Their house smells very strongly of Indian Curry and other spices that resemble the smell of body odor after a day in 100 degree heat. So, we walk outside to go to the car, spout out the obligatory greeting to them because they are always ALWAYS outside, and she goes... "I smell something stinks, mama- (uh-oh, here it comes...) smells like Likeet." Likeet is the 3 year old son of the Indian family that we are constantly finding out on the sidewalk with his uncircumcised manhood for the world to see. And when I say manhood, I mean it! I wonder if that is why his father allows him outside, naked all the time: so as to parade around the idea of "Like father, like son." Or "the apple not falling far from the tree..." Either way, I am NOT happy with the thought of my daughter learning about THAT just yet. Although, I am sure she's already noticed, she doesn't miss a beat. I can see her a few weeks from now bringing that up at lunch with my pastors: "Hey look Mommy, that looks like Likeet's ___________. (insert whatever that little mind of hers will equate it to.)
So, how does one tactfully say to one's neighbor... "Please do not let your son walk around with his freakishly large genetalia hanging out for my daughter's virgin eyes to look upon?" hmmmm...
Good thing that's what husbands are for... to have uncomfortable conversations with neighbors.
Ifya say "good luck with that one..." I'll start throwing punches!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vivia's Birthday Adventure... (in more ways than one...)

Imagine what you get when you have three first-born, strong-willed 3-year olds; along with their younger siblings and one being a birthday girl! That was our day yesterday. A day full of giggles, screams (both the happy and unhappy kind), hugs, hand-holding, hitting, "NO!'s", and Tinkerbell dresses. Us moms had a GREAT time as well, all bundled up on this cold Florida day. Papi met up with us after he got off work- with his own little gift for his Tinkerbell. (See some of the last photos).
I have tried doing the play-by-play in words alongside the photos and it always seems to not line up correctly. So, I am not even going to try here. Just follow the photos. They tell the story JUST FINE without me adding a buncha nonsense anyway! We had a blast! Thank you to Katie, Maggie, Allegra, Miranda, Alex, and Bailey for sharing this day with us! And all the fun presents too!