Thursday, January 11, 2018

Losing a Pet

This post is a departure from my usual fare of kid life and travels.  Last August our first baby, our furbaby Leela was diagnosed with cancer. A mass appeared on her right leg in June and grew rapidly.
Treatment was too expensive and our normal vet couldn't do the surgery because of the location, we would have had to go to a specialist.  So we decided to make sure she was happy and comfortable and not in pain.  That stupid tumor kept growing, her last few weeks I could tell it was hurting her to walk.  We increased the pain meds, I had her on a holistic diet, trying to get every last day we could with her.  But then the time came, we knew we had to let her go.  She stopped eating, could barely walk and she was suffering.  We did the kind thing and her euthanized in December.  Its not an easy decision to make but we were there with her till the end telling her we loved her and giving her hugs and kisses.   
Its been a month since we had to say goodbye.  I thought, ok, we'll be fine.  We'll just be cat people.  I have my girl Padme and my boy Vader.  But when you have had a dog companion for over 9 years the house is so quiet when they aren't there anymore.  I mean don't get me wrong, the boys are super loud and crazy as ever.  But when they are asleep or out and you don't have your dog buddy there it feels so empty.  We've been going on weekends to different shelters looking at their dogs.  Mike would find one he liked or I would find one I liked but we couldn't agree on the same one.  It got to the point I was getting anxiety searching for another dog.  I decided enough, we aren't going to look anymore I can't take this stress.  Then on Tuesday, I was near the Charlotte shelter after work and decided to just pop in and walk through the dog section.  And there she was, happy little face, tail wagging, running up to the door to greet me.  This tiny little dog not even phased by all the other dogs barking and making noise.  I knew I wanted a smaller dog around 20-30 pounds only because so many places discriminate against larger dogs.  There would be times we wanted to take Leela and the people would tell us no she's too big.  It didn't matter she was completely housebroken and would never do anything in the house.  So I ask to see this little tiny happy dog.  They bring her into the meet and greet room and she runs right up to me giving me kisses.  She melted my heart and I decided to adopt her.  I couldn't bring her home till the next day because she had to be spayed.  That night and the next morning I felt like I was betraying Leela by getting another dog.  How could I do this to her, replace her?  But here's the thing, she can never be replaced.  She will always be our first baby, we brought her home as a 10 week old puppy and raised her and trained her.  We gave her a home and a family.  She will never be forgotten and was an important part of our lives all those years.  By getting another dog, another pet, is a testament to her memory and how incredibly awesome she was to us. 
So me and the boys picked up our new doggy yesterday.  Even though she just had surgery she saw the loud, rambunctious boys and wagged her tail and tried to lick them.  They were both so excited.  As we got in the car Roman said, Mommy, Leela will like the doggy.  Yes, Roman, Leela would have loved her.
Meet Cocoa

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Time keeps marching on

I looked at my blog and I realized I haven't posted since March.  That's just awful.  I've thought about posts and what to write and just as quickly the idea disappears.  Some things seem redundant if I post again.  A lot of what we do day to day is the same and doesn't seem post worthy.  I had to scroll back through my photos to see what we've done since March.  Me and my mom took the boys to the beach back in April all the way down in Florida.  We had a super fun time, just sight seeing, chilling and meeting up with friends.  I wish all vacations were that relaxing.  Not to mention the boys absolutely loved the water and the beaches near Saint Augustine are superb.

Lots of trips to the park, shopping and Target.  Me and Mike took off for a quick weekend to Barcelona, while fun, was exhausting.  The food was amazing.  Let's see that brings us almost into summer, more trips to the park, lots of water activities either pool or splashpads.  My grandmother Martinez passed away end of May and almost the whole family on my mom's side converged in Oxnard to celebrate her life.  It was nice seeing everyone even though it was a sad occasion.  Back home, more of the same, trip to Durham and day at the beach with the fam, Regional Convention in Greenville, weekend in DC for a race with my cousins.  That brings us to August, lazy summer days, movies in the park, trips to the library and Ikea.  So that's what we've been up too.

Boys are doing good, getting big.  Roman likes to build things and redesign whatever he's building.  He's currently obsessed with Angry Birds.  Why can't he be obsessed with an educational game?  Dominic has a great imagination, he'll be flying his plane making plane noise, or marching to something, talking on the phone (if its a real phone or a remote it doesn't matter), walking around playing his guitar.  He still loves to laugh and give kisses and hugs.  They are both super active and when they get going are completely wild and loud.  Eh but whatever, you are only a kid once.  Roman is going to be four soon and I can see the difference between him and Dominic.  Its so nice having a kid who understands what you are saying and mostly listens.  I say mostly because, c'mon, he's still Roman and he still does his silent protest of laying on the ground and not moving or taking off at high speed into a roped off area because hey its roped off lets check it out.  Dominic has a great high pitch cry he likes to do when something isn't going his way.  I can't wait for this phase to pass.  But then again they are growing fast.  Roman now has a big boy bed and we took the crib rail off Dominic's bed converting it into a toddler bed.  :(  No more babies in our house, just a toddler and a little boy.  Even on the days when they are driving me crazy at the end of the day I love them so much and just give them hugs and kisses even though Roman says ewww stop mommy.

Anyways, here's a video from our summer.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

No, No, No

When Roman was about 15 months old I started getting newsletters from BabyCenter talking about how the child's vocabulary will start to expand.  One of their new favorite things to say will be No and how to deal with that problem when it started.  So I waited and waited.  Roman turned 2, then 2 1/2 and finally 3 before he started saying No.  But he never said it like you hear, no, no, no.  Just a matter of fact, No, I don't like that and he moved on.  So I was like, hmph, okay, every kid is different I guess.  Then comes along Mr. Dominic.  He's been saying various words for a few months now.  And his favorite thing to say is No.  Not just one No, multiple no's in escalating voice till he is screaming it.  Course I can't remember what BabyCenter said about how to deal with this problem.  And frankly I'm too tired to care.

I am just amazed how two kids can be so different.  Roman has always been full tilt, running in every direction with tons of energy.  He just doesn't stop.  Dominic, he likes to play, but he listens more, doesn't wander off too far (I say too far because in comparison Roman would take off at full speed in the mall and be on the other side before I even got out of the store. Hence, why he constantly wore his Monkey backpack till he was 3).  Dominic tends to stay in a 10 - 15 foot radius of us which is fine.  Dominic loves to give snuggles and kisses.  Roman wants a quick hug (usually to see what's on the counter and if its something to eat) then to be put back down so he can get back to business.  Roman started off eating everything, but as he gets older he's getting pickier and prefers all food Italian.  Dominic is a more open eater, willing to try anything at least once and he prefers rice and beans with a side of avocado per his Mexican heritage.  Dominic is more into books and will sit quietly and play.  Roman is into trains and making things crash. Dominic is very gentle with the dog and cats and Roman is pulling their tails.  Roman is real smart, he knows his alphabet and numbers and he's constantly spelling out names and words that he sees.  Both boys enjoy music and will dance.  Roman sings along with me to Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Twenty One Pilots.  And of course some of their favorite shows are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Masha and the Bear, Disney Animated Collection and they watch Voyager and Star Trek Movies with me. 

I am excited to watch these little guys grow but it would be nice if they slow down just a bit.  Because Dominic will be 2 in June and Roman will be 4! in September. 
Mr. Dominic

Roman doing his favorite things, choo choo, eat and sleep

My family

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fly the Friendly Skies

After doing a whirlwind trip to California I came back with a couple of insights while flying with small children.  I don't really have an issue on the plane with my kids (the airport on the other hand, oy vey! Sometimes Roman just doesn't want to walk).  They have both been flying since a young age so they know the drill.  I usually have a car seat for Roman and as soon as we take off he usually knocks right out.  Course now that he is getting bigger he likes sitting in the regular seat too like a big person.  Dominic does best when he can get down after he wakes up.  He likes to stand and walk a bit in between our seats.  Gives him a little freedom and keeps him from getting antsy from sitting all those hours.  I like flying non stop because I don't have to worry about lugging the kids around an airport but when there is a layover its nice too because it breaks up a long flight and everyone can stretch their legs. Unless you have a short connection time and by the time you do a potty break you barely make it to your next flight which is in completely different terminal (true story, had ten minutes to spare before take off). I carry snacks and the kids tablets and now that they have wi-fi on planes I can play a movie for them on the airplane's entertainment page.  Finding Nemo was a big hit on the way to California.

What I did want to mention is if you are flying and see a parent struggling don't be afraid to ask if they need help.  This lady sitting two rows in front of me, her poor kid was cry/screaming for the whole first hour and a half of the flight.  I mean loud!  He woke Dominic up.  No one offered to help her or asked if she needed anything.  The lady right in front of me was all annoyed.  I got up and sat with her for a bit, asked if she needed anything and just talked to her for a few minutes.  I couldn't actually hold her son since I had Dominic but in those few moments, her son calmed down and at least she knew she wasn't alone.  Since I was traveling alone with the kids this time it was hard for me to walk on the plane carrying Dominic and a car seat.  The first flight, one of the flight attendants helped me, the second one, I struggled halfway down the plane before a nice gentleman got up and carried the seat the rest of the way for me and my last flight when we were in line to board a guy behind me carried the seat all the way on the plane for me.  That really helped me a lot.  I know, people with no kids wonder why people with kids have to be in the same space with them.  But try to put yourself in their shoes.  They don't want their kid screaming on the plane, they are probably embarrassed and tired and just wish they were in their final destination already.  Even if you can't help a kind word and a smile go a long way.  That's my little tip during this busy travel season.  Safe travels everyone!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Traveling with Kids

Hi, sorry I've been gone for a bit.  I've been busy (go figure) and I haven't had any ideas for the blog as of late.  As you  know, this is just my area where I give the odd update on the kids or talk about some random going ons in my life.  I'm woefully behind on updating the blog seeing as its almost September and the last update was in April/May?  I don't even know. So if you are a loyal follower thanks for sticking around or if your new here, Welcome!

I've had several ideas for blog posts floating in my head, how the kids are doing, the cute way Roman pronounces words wrong, he still calls water, wa-wee, sausage is saucy, hot dog is hogog (I could go on).  The day he pronounces them right I'll probably cry.  Or how he repeats me and when I tell him wait, he says wait and puts both hands up.  How he loves to march to some songs.  Or how Dominic gets on his little car and glides across the floor like a pro. Or whenever you tell him bye or he's leaving the room he'll wave to you and walk away.  Cute little things that they do that I'll forget when they get older.  Darn you bad memory.  See how I got sidetracked there...What I wanted to talk about today was traveling with kids, specifically small children.

So when we travel we tend to go all out.  Going to New York?  Great!  Lets do a road trip and stay in a different place every other night.  Going to California to see family?  Awesome sauce.  Lets do 2 days in LA, 2 days with family and fly over to Reno and drive to Lake Tahoe for funsies.   Yah, we do crazy things like that with an almost 3 year old and just turned 1 year old.  So how do we do it you ask?  Well, even if you didn't ask I'm going to tell you.  Determination.  Ha!  No, but seriously it involves planning.  If you have ever traveled with me you know I like to have my itinerary.  I plan each day out, where we are staying, sites of interest, optional travel routes if necessary.  But with kids its also important to be flexible.  Sometimes you get to your location and both kids are sound asleep in car seats.  Well, that's nap time then.  Or if you have been driving around for a bit and you see an awesome park, pull over and let the kids play.  The best moment from our recent trip to Malibu, stopping at Bluffs Park in  Malibu.  It wasn't scheduled, I just saw it while driving and since what we wanted to do was closed decided to take the boys there.  They loved it.  It had a great play ground and a really nice walking trail right on the coast overlooking the ocean.  And Roman only tried to walk over the side one time so its all good.

So besides my itinerary, with small ones, its important to have lots of snacks on hand.  Sometimes you can't stop for lunch or dinner is going to be late.  Well you can't tell them to just wait, especially a 1 year old.  I always have fruit pouches, crackers, lots of water, granola bar or nutri grain bars on hand to hold them over.  Now while flying, I can't bring a ton of these on the plane and suitcase, so I like to stop at a grocery store at some point during the trip and pick up some extra.  However, I don't like packing just a few diapers and having to buy some when we get to our destination.  I always pack diapers and wipes for the whole trip.  Some people like to buy those when they get where they are going but I don't like doing that.

Lastly, sleeping arrangements.  Roman is easy since he just sleeps in our bed.  Since Dominic is still little, we travel with his pack and play and he sleeps in there.  It really helps out even though its a pain to bring along.  Its a familiar place for him and it keeps a sense of consistency even though we are in a new place.  So those are my little travel tidbits for traveling with kids.  1) Have a plan but be flexible 2) lots of snacks and water 3) keep some sense of familiarity for the small ones.

As always, here's some photos from our most recent trip to California (August 2016).  Till next time!

This is how you get around the airport with two kids.

Roman looks so grown I almost cried.

Ready for takeoff!

Layover in Nashville.  Dominic checking out the planes.

Dominic always making friends.

Made it to Hollywood and the famous TCL Chinese Theater.

Hanging out on the pier.

That Roman is such a ham.

Fun at the playground.

Unexpected car problems, means shiny new playthings for baby.

Much needed break at winery for parents and children.

Breakfast with the grandparents.

Roman seriously was in love with this icecream cone.

He also loved the ocean.

Walking a million miles to the observatory.  Its in the far right hand corner of the photo.

Sometimes, kids get sick when you travel.  Be prepared with thermometer, home pediatrician's phone number and children's tylenol (which I always forget to pack).

Love our pack n' play.  Take a nap child!

Riding the gondola up the mountain

I was a nervous wreck in this picture, terrified Roman was going to throw himself out of Mike's arms over the side.  But had to play it cool and pretend I was totally chill.
Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe.

Super fun slide at playground in North Lake Tahoe.

Playground in North Lake Tahoe

Aren't I adorable?

Just the two of us acting like we are traveling alone.

Super fun time at the arcade in the hotel

Someone is glad to be home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The end of a chapter

Its crazy to think that Roman is 2 1/2 years old and that Dominic will be 10 months next week.  Roman seems to have slowed down a bit in growing, even though he did just recently jump from 2T to 3T in clothing size, like overnight.  I put a dress shirt on him the other day and the sleeves stopped way above his wrist and he looked like he was wearing a crop top.  Our little guy is getting bigger all the time too.  I don't realize it until I see him next to a younger baby and I'm like, oh yah, you are bigger than a newborn. He's into size 9month/12month pants and 9 month onsies.  He's not as porky as Roman was at that age but he's very long or I should say tall.  But the point I'm getting to is we are quickly outgrowing our baby phase.  Dominic crawls all over the place, he pulls up to stand and he'll take a few steps holding our hands.  He is lazy though, he'll tend to sit down after a few steps and crawl away.  Like dude, this is too much work just let me crawl.  He's eating all kinds of things even though he only has two teeth.  He doesn't let that stop him.  Even though Roman was/is a big eater I think Dominic is the one who will eat us out of house and home.  He is not picky in the slightest and eats everything. 

Another change, a couple of weeks ago I had to admit that my breastfeeding days are almost done.  I had the 24 hour flu about a month ago, I think.  And it was a doozy, I could not keep anything down.  To just function I took some Theraflu so I could at least try to attend to the kids.  The combination of being extremely dehydrated and taking the Theraflu greatly decreased my milk supply.  Thankfully Dominic has no problems taking a bottle (unlike Roman who refused all bottles and would just wait till I got home from work).  He's always taken bottles while I'm at work, either pumped milk or formula.  After having the flu, though I couldn't pump anything and I wasn't producing enough to keep him satisfied when I was home.  I came to the realization that this is it.  No gradual tapering off at 12/13 months like Roman.  Just done.  I still can feed Dom before bedtime but that's it.  The rest of the time he is on formula.  I know my days are numbered for the bedtime feeding too, I'm just trying to make it till he's 10 months (only 9 more days).  I know some people are like, well at least now you can do whatever without worrying about feeding him or that I'm being silly about it.  But it never bothered me, I always enjoyed our little time together.  I still hold him while he drinks his bottle but its just not the same for me.  I know there are ways to try and increase your milk supply but why prolong the inevitable.  A couple weeks ago, I was nursing him forever and he just kept crying because he was hungry and I had nothing so I had to give him a bottle.  Oh he was so happy and content finally.  I've never had a problem giving him formula.  As long as he likes it, its fine with me.  I read your body goes through this crazy hormonal thing when you stop breastfeeding so it could be my hormones talking and making me emotional.  I didn't experience this when I stopped breastfeeding Roman but he was a little older and I was pregnant with Dominic at the time. 

I realize my little baby is growing up and moving on to the next stage, toddler and I'm just not ready.  And that my toddler is actually a pre-schooler (that's what he's called in my babycenter emails) and I'm like excuse me?  Didn't I just have babies a second ago.  Oh well, such is life.  They can't stay babies forever.  I am just doing my best to try and enjoy each and every stage.  Even though I could really do without Roman's running away from me when we are outside stage or laying on the ground and refusing to move so we have to drag him.  Can we skip that please? 

So to all those breastfeeding mama's out there, enjoy it while you can because before you know it you'll blink and you'll be done.

My little sweet pea

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Potty Training Days

So we knew eventually one day the diapers would have to end.  Roman wasn't going to be graduating high school in them you know? lol  I've tried a couple times in the past several months to initiate potty training but he just wasn't ready.  He would cry and scream putting him on the toilet or potty.  So I decided to wait till a later date.  I really needed support from the other adults in the house too because me doing it by myself was exhausting.  Not only with Roman but trying to keep up with a demanding baby.  So when my mom told me a month ago, "I'm working on potty training Roman today." (this was on a Monday on the day she watches him) I was like, ok cool.  So just like that we ditched diapers.

The first three days were the worst.  He wasn't letting us know when he had to go or he would tell us after he went.  We didn't do the bare butt method because he would just pee where ever and go on playing.  So we had him in underwear only in the house.  Finally on the fourth day we had the breakthrough.  He peed his underwear and instead of changing him right away I made him stand there wet for 5 minutes while I cleaned up the mess on the floor.  He hated it!  He did it again a little later and I did the same thing.  No lie since then he lets us know when he has to pee.  Now I'm not saying he hasn't had accidents since then but the majority of the time he tells us.  In the past week he's only had a couple accidents.  He's holding it all night and during naps.  So its safe to say we have number one down pat.  When we go out I put him in pull ups just in case but the rest of the time its underwear.

Now if we can only have success on number 2. Ugh.  That my friends is a post for another day.

Losing a Pet

This post is a departure from my usual fare of kid life and travels.  Last August our first baby, our furbaby Leela was diagnosed with cance...