Monday, January 27, 2014

The Jordan Almond Incident

Hi everybody.

I don't know if you like them, hate them, love them or just don't care much for them.  This sugar covered almonds are almost a staple in my house.  My husband just adores them, (I bet he even dreams about them, probably hoping he can be one someday.)
In my family, this (very expensive) almonds were meant for very special occasions.  We would only see them at weddings, baptisms, showers, quinceañeras, and other similar activities.  At every event the adults would get together to prepare all sort of favors for guests.  Of course the children (a.k.a my cousins and me) would steal them from the table whenever one of us would go by.  It was the forbidden candy.  We HAD to eat and we would go to all extremes to do so.  It is understandable, after all we were children, adults weren't really into them. Crazy, right?

Fast forward a few years, I am the mom and as expected I am not into them anymore.  Don't get me wrong they are delicious, but now I understand why they are a candy for special occasions. 

Five years ago I decided to start a new life with a wonderful man, my husband a.k.a. The Handyman.  Oddly enough he is nuts about the nuts.  I am guessing mostly the candy because in five years  have never, not once EVER, seen him eat an almond.  It's like he obsesses over them, at the movies Cheese Nachos, Big Soda and Jordan Almonds (I mean, what kind of a combination is that).  At the supermarket, at birthday parties, wherever he can get them.  Are they dessert?  That is not even the worst part. Ask him to share and he will give you 'The Look', every time I ask I only get three.  Three??? Are you kidding me. He is officially a Jordan Almond junkie.

The first time it seemed strange, after five years it is expected.  But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, could prepared me for the Jordan Almond stare down that took place at his niece's birthday.   On Sunday, we went to the birthday party, she turned 6 and is as adorable as ever.  The event was very nice, with family and friends and all sorts of amenities for parents and children alike.  We had the snacks area which had the usual corn chips, cheese plates, fruit plates, soda, potato chips, among other snacking goods. We also had a Candy Bar with cookies, brownies, marzipan, lollipops, candy rings, Jell-O shots and, brace yourselves, Jordan Almonds.  I knew there was a reason why The Handyman was disappearing all the time.  The afternoon went by normally, he was under control.  At the very end, people started taking their favors to leave.  At the Candy Bar they had placed cello bags at both ends so attendees could take whatever sweets they craved.  So as The Handyman was lining up to take his bag and get his beloved Jordan Almonds, a girl cut in front of him.  I mean it is okay because it is a kids birthday and she is a kid.  He is a parent who can control himself and let it go. 

The problem?  She went for the almond and thus The Incident.  Where else will you ever see an almost forty year old man (he is thirty-six and I said almost) try to stare down a ten year old who has one thing on her mind and that is candy.  I imagined it as an Old Western stand-off, where my husband would be Clint Eastwood and the little girl the punk.  One ten year old at one end of the table, my tall, bald, handsome, almost forty year old husband on the other.  Instead of guns, they had tongs.  Well, at least one of them (it wasn't my husband) had tong in had and was actually in front of the almonds (again, not my husband).  So there he is, watching in despair as the girl was filling her cello bag.  He would look at me (as if I could have done something), and he would look at her, again at me (probably pleading I would get the girl's mom, I guess, I am not telepathic), back to her. Clearly in this scenario Eastwood didn't have a chance.  Eventually, she walked away from the almonds.  And guess what, unlike him she doesn't mind sharing the almonds. She left him six almonds.  He grabbed the tongs threw then aside and poured them into the bag.  The best part of the story, when he went to eat them today he discovered that our three year old BamBam had found them and ate them all.  Isn't life sweet.

Do you or anyone you know crazy over this sweet treat?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

To be or not to be...HAPPY


Recently my husband asked me if I am happy.  I answered yes.  ''All the time?'' he asked again in disbelief.  I said yes.  "Really. How?'' he looked as if in shock.  My answer very simple, "I choose to be."  You see I am human and I also have a temper (still working on that one) and I can be a pain at times (working on that one too) and I am also a mom to a three year old (who started his terrible twos at eighteen month and it is still going).  I get stressed out like any other mom and wife, sometimes even cranky, but a few years ago I realized something that has saved me from a lot of problems.

I used to try and control everything.  I was always micromanaging everything, chores, work, exercise, relationships, my kid, the list goes on and on.  If something did not go the way I had planned, I would turn into a huge bitch.  Hey, first step is admitting it, right? 

Fast forward a few years, I no longer let things I cannot control change or affect my day in such a way that I would become hostile and offensive to other people.  Recently I started going to church and reading The Bible.  I have learned to let go.  Every night when I put my son in bed, as I am rubbing his back until he falls asleep I think about how blessed I am.  When my husband gets home with food just in case I am hungry (because he knows me so well), I know I am blessed.  When I get up in the morning, taking in that first breath in the morning I know I am blessed.

Every day I make this choice consciously and I try to abide by this decision.  Sure I get upset ( I am human), but even when this happens I sit back and look at the whole picture.  Is this upsetting moment even worth allowing it to rob me of my happiness, 9.5 out of 10 times the answer is no.  I choose to laugh with my husband and his jokes (even when they are not super funny), to rejoice in the little things, to dance, to love, to smile, to give, to forgive, to be silly, to enjoy my family. 

The way I see it, the Lord is in charge of everything in my life.  He takes care of everything and he has made it so easy that I only need to make a choice, to be happy or not to be happy.

 All in all, I choose to be Happy.

Monday, January 6, 2014

It is my turn...because I want to

Hello.  Happy Día de Reyes.

As I'm writing this I find myself in the ER sitting next to my grandfather.  Today is Jan 6, a normal routine day in many countries, but here in Puerto Rico it is a holiday.

While many families are celebrating together, mine has been taking shifts to take care of my abuelo.  I am writing this post on my Android phone with one hand.  My other hand, he has tightly held in his, as if making sure I am not going anywhere.

Since he got sick on Friday and specially today while my husband drove me here I have been thinking and remembering, and I realized I have been so lucky to have my grandparents in my life.

I was very blessed.  I got to meet my great-great grandfather on my mother's side.  I knew my great-grandfather, he passed away ten years ago.  My great-grandmother who lived 98 years passed when I was in 8th grade.  People could not believe they were still alive.  Most of my friends didn't get a chance to meet or could not remember their grandparents.  So I always wanted my children to be as blessed as I was.  Because you learn a lot about life when you spend time with people from all different generations.

I have such an amazing relationship with my grandparents.  Even today in my late twenties, I go see them everyday.  We have coffee and talk.  I love chatting with my grandad (who I'm keeping company today), even though he no longer knows who I am.  I always ask him, do you know who I am? He say you're Juana (everyone is Juana to him now) or he'll say la vecina (the neighbor).  He cries a lot, I kind of figure that he probably remember but he forget the words and he gets frustrated.

This journey with abuelo BamBam began almost 15 years ago.  But it is in the last 4 years that he has rapidly declined.  Seven years ago when my niece was born, he called her mi chulita (my darling), then my nephew was born and his mind was still here.  I really started to pray.  I asked God to give him a chance to get to know my kids.  That he would have health and some of his mind still there so that he would really know them.  In 2010 I got my answer to my prayers.  My son BamBam was born. 

For the first 2 years of BamBam's life my abuela helped take care of him.  Therefore my son spent a lot of QT with his great-grandfather.  So one day, I asked him if he knew who the baby was.  He said '' ese es el chulito''.  My grandmother used to tell me how the baby had been a blessing for my granfather because he would ask for his chulito all the time.  And when the baby was there, he would sit and watch him all day.  One day he even got the baby out of the cradle and when she walked in, he was rocking him in the chair.

He no longer remembers him.  But I make a point to visit everyday.  I want to instill in my son values of respect and taking care of others, feeling empathy and above all love. I want him to see how much I love being around them.  Maybe one day when it is his time to be a dad, he'll teach my grandkids the same.  He sees me help shower, feed, dress my grandfather and doing everything that needs to be done.  Not because I have to but because I want to.  I cannot think of a better way to honor them.

Bottom line is they took care of me.  Now it us my turn to take care of them...because I want to.

How do you honor your parents?

Above: BamBam with his great grandfather Abuelo BamBam and BamBam when he was one.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Hopes for 2014

Happy New Year everyone!!!!

I hope your New Year's Eve was as exciting as mine.  This post is very important to me and my family.  Not only is it the first one of the year, it also marks a new beggining for our family.

I recently became a full-time stay-at-home mom.  Not easy and rather scary process in a way.  My husband is the one who has been in charge of full-time hands-on parenting for the last six months.  We have a 3 year old super active-never gets tired boy.  And they have developed such a bond that I find myself at a loss because my little helper only wants to do things with his dad.  So I am hoping this time with my son will allow us to reconnect again, and hopefully my son will stop calling me Linda (which is not my name by the way).

This year also marks the beggining os my mission to bring awareness of SPD to our island.  You see my son was diagnosed last year with Sensory Processing Disorder.  Where we live that is something unheard of.  If you have had a child diagnosed with such an uncommon disorder and then find yourself being stonewalled by it is not a medical disorder, and there is nothing we can do for you attitude, you know how frustrating it can be.  I am hoping to reach out to the masses somehow (still, don't have a plan-accepting suggestions) to let them know this an all too real disorder affects our everyday life and with a little planning and patience we can achieve wonders.

This year we plan on getting in shape, something we have kept putting off by putting everybody else first.  (We always make these resolution, somehow it becomes not-so-important by February).

Since now I am a stay at home mom my house should be spotless all the time (I hope).  To be honest I am not the most organized person and the rush of everyday life put having a neat and tidy house on the not-so-important to do list.

Last but not least I want to make this new adventure of being at home a success.  How can I make money working from home.  Recently someone asked me ''If time and money weren't an issue in my life, what would I do?''  I don't know, but I think it is worth thinking about it.

I wonder if there are other moms out there that can relate to this.  Need all the help I can get.  Suggestions and advice will be greatly apprecciated.

Make it a great year!!!


PS.  Sorry for any typos you may find.  English is my second language and I am writing this very early in the morning before my coffee...