Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday [Night]

So as a little way of celebrating our last day of summer vacation before the kids hit the books tomorrow... we decided to make a beach day of it. Now, when I say "decide" I mean I had to drag my teenager out of her cave and achieved this with a quick but effective guilt trip. The other two were crazy to get outta the house so all I had to do was mention "agua" and they were in bathing suits before I could order them into their bathing suits.

But since this post was supposed to be wordless Wednesday but technically it's almost Thursday... Okay, okay... Here's a little look at our day =]

How did you mark the end of summer break?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dearest, Lucas...

"He might only be here for a part of your life...
But to him, you are his entire world."

In honor of National Dog Day, I'm going to turn the spot light over to a very special member of this family that doesn't get nearly in return what he gives us...

This is our miniature poodle and youngest son, Lucas.

Say "Hey" Lucas!

Lucas came to our lives May-ish 2012 when he was just a couple months old.

Lucas' First Baby Picture

With our little one being just 6 months at the time and the closest human to the ground- Lucas and baby became instant best friends and partners in crime.

Baby and puppy getting acquainted

Little did I know at the time the responsibility I had taken on. For having a puppy was nothing like having a puppy at all- but more like having another baby. 

Lucas first home haircut/Youtube tutorial fail... PetsMart saved this day.

But the decision to bring you into our home was ours, and raising you was our promise to keep.

Lucas sharing his home in return.

And while being your mom hasn't always been easy...

Lucas and baby cuddled up after a fight.

We wouldn't trade you for any other. (I was joking about the pug that one time.)

Halloween 2013

See, the truth really is... 

That the more I acknowledge how loved you really are... the harder it is to imagine having to go on without you someday- whenever that day comes. 

Like I tell all my kids when they misbehave... "Momma was joking about the whole adoption thing." Believe that even if I don't always like you- (like when you've peed our bed after laundry day... or when I slid on your poop in the dark... or how you bite the ears and limbs off all the kids new toys and annihilate the eco-friendly wooden ones...)

I still love you.

Thank you for being our loyal friend and companion. For being babies first best friend, co-conspirator and for keeping the monsters away at night. For always coming back no matter how much we push you away and for not leaving our side when we're in need of a friend. For nudging our hands with your cold nose in the summer and keeping our feet warm in the winter. For loving us on our worst days and loving us even more on the good. Thank you for forgiving us when we've been mean and not judging us when we're wrong. For the heads up when solicitors come knocking and alerting potential burglars that they won't be climbing through our windows at night without first being announced. There aren't many friends out there in the world that possess all of the qualities I've found in you- in fact, none. And this, my friend, makes you priceless.

Most of all, thank you for making our family COMPLETE. 

Love Always,


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Trash to Treasure Coffee Table

For the sake of saving myself a whole lot of headaches, I like to keep things simple. With the amount of traffic we have going through our house any given day, that means keeping furniture to the minimum and making sure that whatever graces our space serves multiple purposes.

Which leads me to the coffee table. Without it, I have one less surface to rearrange and wipe. One less piece of furniture to trip over, bang up your big toe, slide back into place or take up needed space. But now since our living room is free of playpens, walkers and ride-ons... I've been keeping an eye out for a low priced coffee table. Since kids tend to jack your stuff up- the cheaper it is, the lesser it'll hurt when they crack the corner during a wrestling match.

So we took a trip to Goodwill to see what treasures we could find. We came across an old wicker trunk. A little beat up on the inside but for $5, it had a whole lot of potential. It sure beat the $90 for a footstool with storage we were eyeing a couple nights before.

A few small nails for reinforcement, a $3 can of spray paint, and a few little decorative touches later... We have our coffee table! Big enough to serve it's purpose, sturdy enough to hold our feet up, small enough to allow plenty of traffic space, and it provides some much needed storage for extra throw pillows and winter throws when not in use.

I mean, for $8 total- What do ya'll think?!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Eviction Day

The day finally arrived.

After a year of headache, mind crunching and agonizing about how, when and where she was going to go... our little one has been evicted from our bedroom.

I recall about 3 years ago, moving into this apartment originally intended for about 4 and wracking my brain as to how we would comfortably fit 8 of us. Somehow with a little creative use of space, DE-CLUTTERING and cooperation from the clan, we managed to make a comfortable living space for us- changing table and crib included. It was pretty okay.

Along the far wall of our bedroom we made room for baby. As dad assembled the little ones crib, I secretly loved that there was no other space in our home for this crib, giving me the perfect excuse to keep baby close at all hours. It was inevitable that somewhere along the line we'd be asking the question... How long are we keeping baby in the room for? Cause let's face it... once the kid reaches a certain age- things get awkward.

BUT... for as long as we lived in this apartment, I wouldn't have to face the dread of moving baby away from us where surely something HORRIFIC was waiting to grab a hold of our little bundle at night. Like a mosquito that snuck in when we took out the trash... Those carry all types of diseases. What if she rolls onto her belly in her sleep? What if she learns to climb up the bars and falls on her head in the dark? What if her blanket rolls off on a cold night? What if it covers her face on a warm night? What if she spits up in her sleep? What if she wakes up crying and I don't hear her so she has no choice but to drown in her sorrow all alone, at night, in the dark, sobbing into her pillow, wondering what she's done for life to be so cruel as to land her in the care of a pair of cold-hearted son-ova-bitches that would leave this helpless child all alone to fend for herself in a separate space, forever breaking our bond of trust which later on surfaces as issues with detachment and mistrust in people for the rest of her natural born life?! 

What about EL CUCO!? *The Boogie Man*

Fast forward 3 years later... Each of my two older kids has their own room with a set of bunk beds in each room. Aside for every other weekend... we have 2 out of 4 beds sitting empty. My excuse last year for not moving her was the age gap between my oldest girl and the little one. One was 12 years and the babe just 1. She still made full use of her changing table, she occasionally woke up to nurse so the thought of her little self toddling alone in the night across our living room over to our bedroom was a little scary and really... she was just so little. Even though it seemed like such a great waste of space, especially since at the time my preteen preferred to sleep on her brothers top bunk leaving this entire room EMPTY- I just couldn't pull the trigger.

As of yesterday- I ran out of excuses. My teen girl has her moments of genius where she'll fill the room with her odds and ends while flexing her creative muscles. For the most part though, she sits on her bed reading on her tablet, fiddling through Tumblr and occupying very little space in this room. Either way, toddler or no toddler asleep in the bottom bunk... the little ones toys and play kitchen take up a great chunk of floor space in this bedroom. What difference does it really make to my teen to add the sleeping toddler that goes along with all of it?

*This was me talking myself into this transition into toddler hood*

The little one being the most independent of all my kids, she was ready to take the leap and waiting on me to catch up to her lead. Like ripping off a band aid... quickly and quietly with no warning or signal to dad that I was finally ready to evict our nosey little tenant... I took apart the crib and changing table. I made space for big sis to store her toiletries out of reach to little hands and named the top bunk her sacred space free of little people. Privacy is a luxury in this joint, so it's great that this teen girl tends to live alone in her own head anyway. While our bedroom is still home for the little ones clothes and a few little belongings... all of our girls toys already had a home in the girls room... all the little one needed to take over to the big girls room was her pillow and her blanket. 

As sad it was to realize there was no going back to the crib once it's gone- it was about time David and I reclaimed some space. We need to be able to retreat away from everything KIDS some of the time and I needed a little corner that I can retreat to without being bumped into, tripped over, tugged at and squeezed by. Well, I'll be plenty tug still but ya know... I have a spot out of their peripheral vision.

I don't know how this new sleeping arrangement will work out. I predict the little one will end up between mommy and daddy every once in a blue moon in order to free up some space for the older girls to hang out with their nail polish and boy band CD's and it's totally okay. While our little baby may be a little too big for a permanent set up in mommy and daddy's room- she's just the PERFECT age and size for frequent cuddle time in mommy and daddy's bed.

Now if only we can get dad to bed in the big people's room...


It's been almost one week since Eviction day. Big sister is learning to keep her belongings out of reach the hard way (since my yelling and lecturing about cleanliness wasn't enough) resulting in a much tidier room. We've received little to no complaints in regards to her new downstairs neighbor. I'm also very happy to say the little one is enjoying the new digs...

Without daddy.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Mid-Summer Blues

It's weird. I don't know how many times I've looked at the sky this past year announcing how I couldn't WAIT to ship my kids off to dad's house in Florida for the summer. Ya'll may think that sounds mean but really... they can't WAIT to go. Dad is the fun one, you see... hard as that may be to imagine.

The month before summer my head is filled with ideas of things to do during my almost childless summer. By "almost" I mean, this is the littlest ones time with just mommy and daddy. And as much as I love that I have this time to devote just to her without having to rush off for someone else...

 I miss my kids.

I miss waking up in the morning and having somewhere to rush off too. I miss having my attention pulled in a gazillion directions and their energy. I miss the run around, the laughs, the conversations on the car rides home, the noise and even the sassiness and complaining. (Well... maybe, just a little.) As crazy as all of this makes me, it keeps me going. It keeps me from hiding out too long in my little mental bubble where depression is usually lurking.

Today is just one of those days. That son-ova-bitch, Depression, got a hold of me again. I've been trying dodge him... tried running past him as fast as I can hoping he won't trip me and drag me back in... I tried ignoring him...

Maybe if I pretend he's not there, he'll go away. 

It's beautiful outside, but I can't find the energy to go out. I miss my family. I miss my kids. The baby momma decided to have another psychotic episode this past weekend resulting in yet another denied visitation for the babe with his first 3 kids. At this stage it's pointless fighting it. Dragging it to court would only result into a slap on the wrist for her and more drama outside of the courtroom for us. The kids already know the deal and quite frankly, we're all over it. But I miss them too.

And I feel terrible for the little one.

I throw myself on top of my bed where she's sitting quietly playing. She's the best kind of company a girl can have these days, minus the temper tantrums that is. Those are occurring less and less with her ever expanding vocabulary. She's tucking away her daddy doll to nap for what seems like the 20th time today. She's peaceful, content and the little smirk on her face tells me she's happy in her own little world.

I find it a little funny how I always loved how she learned to entertain herself since she was an itty bitty baby. It was important to me that she learn to deal and appreciate the quiet. I'd lay her down in her crib wide awake to watch the butterflies floating above her crib and to learn to enjoy time with herself because that's where creativity lives... in the quiet moments with yourself. At least it did for me as a kid.

Yet, here I am wrestling with my demons wishing I could tap into something nearly as great as what she's experiencing.

I picked up my camera and started snapping photos. She lit up and posed for my camera... "Mommy, what are you doing?!" followed by happy squeals and giggles and "CHEESE!"

Lo and behold... Depression starts to loosen his grip on me with every snapshot. All it took was immersing myself into something, or in this case, someone, that truly makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mayah's Little Adventure in the Big City

One of my best memories I have as a kid growing up in Massachusetts were our frequent trips to aquariums and museums. I especially loved when they'd bring in the dinosaur exhibits. So one of the things on my summer-do list was to visit The American Museum of Natural History in New York. I figured this would be the perfect timing for the little one, since now she's SO curious about EVERYTHING. Her thing at this age is to point at everything and ask "What's this?" and she'll repeat it absorbing everything we say like a sponge. (I've always hated that little analogy cause it's like, sooo... typical- but she IS.) In a way I wanted to take advantage of this little stage she's in to expose her to something cooler than "zip-lock bags" and "batteries" in hopes that it'll all stick and contribute to her GENIUS {thunder strikes} *fingers curled in the air as I let out my best evil genius laugh*

*e-hem* Anyways.

Here are some of my fave shots of our day at the museum...

 Mayah's first train ride! She did really well and was mostly excited to be out of the confines of her car seat...

And now to catch the B train... (Or was it D???)

We're here!

 These guys preferred to hang in the main lobby.

We ran with the elephants...

And witnessed how other mommies protect their young.

We made new with some lively creatures...

Some, not as lively as others.

We learned about different cultures and people from distant times and distant places...

And shook hands with the natives.

We got up close and personal with the dinosaurs...

All of them. 

Later on we stopped in a popular spot for some dinner...

Took a stroll and snagged a little dessert.

We couldn't leave without soaking in a little bit of the city lights...

and admiring the architecture and GRANDNESS of Grand Central Station...

Before hurrying off to catch our train home like the New Yorkers do.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Connecticut Summer Lovin'

Since my move to Connecticut in August 2011, it's safe to say I've spent the majority of my time wishing I was back in Florida. Between the long bouts of the winter blues each year, missing my family as well as clean roads full of perfectly landscaped lawns, thriving new neighborhoods and just all aroundlively atmosphere. (Can't forget to mention Florida's much less crazy & more courteous drivers.) Who could blame me?

But I would be lying if I said that Connecticut isn't growing on me. While the bustle of Orlando kept me busy and always looking for something to do... What I wished to find more of was quiet and tranquility. I needed it. Away from the crowds of tourists, heat, noise and traffic! I found myself more often than not, hiding inside in central AC and away from the thick humidity just outside my door.

It could just be that this summer so far has consisted of temps in the mid to low 80's with cool, breezy nights. Perfection. But this year, I think I've decided... I kinda like this place. While I'll always be a Floridian at heart, nothing beats driving 10 minutes away from home and walking along the shore line. I could let the little one run off and soak her feet and not worry that she'll be dragged away by monster waves and rip tides if I'm not there to hover over her. As the babe explained, Long Island blocks us from getting any real big waves. (Least I think that's what he said.) And while I missed the real sight and sound of massive FL waves and beaches- I was informed there's no great white sharks in this water so... it's a trade off I'm happy with. 

Our neck of the woods on the East end of Bridgeport is finally getting some attention. A beach was just reopened to the public, construction on a new pier is underway, and a lot of our roads and neighborhoods are undergoing a much needed face-lift. In the meantime, I love knowing that on any day, without preparation or planning, we can drive off and soak in an eye full of BEAUTIFUL not too far from home be it spring, summer, fall... err... and I'm HOPING this appreciation follows through into this winter.