lunes, 9 de septiembre de 2013

Ready to have kids? San Antonio 2013.

I am blessed to have the family I have. I've said this too many times on this blog probably, but I felt like saying it again. 

The trip to San Antonio was fun, and sometimes stressful. Mostly, when we were on our own we wad a great time - always. But it was a trip with friends from our small group, so sometimes we all tried to do stuff together, and then it was that it became stressful. One of my biggest struggles in life was that for a long time I was a people pleaser. I tried to make people like me and love me at any cost, and I did a lot of stupid stuff. So I thought that because we had gone to San Antonio as a group, we needed to do things as a group.

Long Trips with Toddlers
1. Make a recording of someone shouting 'Mummy' repeatedly. Important Notes: No more than a 4 second delay between each Mummy. Include occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet.
2. Play this tape in your car, everywhere you go for the next 4 years.
You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

At least in my family that's the way it was. I remember vacationing on my mom's time share, with my cousins, aunts, and uncles. We always did the same things together. If my mom said we were going to place A, all of us had to go to place A. All. Of. Us. I don't know for sure, but maybe she would've had her feelings hurt if people didn't do what she said, after all she had organized the trip, and paid pretty much for everything for everyone.

Ride to San Antonio

(Saturday morning. Used Civic to save gas. No minivan's TV = Lots of crying.)



I was a child, but I still remember my parents arguing with my uncle, and stuff like that. I didn't really care about it, I was happy to be all day long in the pool with my cousins. My mom would bring us lunch to the pool. We would get out, eat, and rest for 20 minutes to digest so we wouldn't drown - yeah, like digestion takes place in 20 minutes- and off we went to the pool again. But I guess it was stressful for the adults to hang out all the time if they didn't feel like hanging out. We were also older than my children are, so probably it wasn't that stressful after all, who knows... but we would always leave the hotel super late to go to the beach because my uncle was a lazy bum according to my dad.

Rain Forest Cafe

(Lunch on Saturday, as soon as we got to San Antonio)

She likes fishes

Big Monkey

The men in her life
Happy with her flower

Watching the monkey
With Enzito

"Hi! You might recognize me from the alphabet"

So I'm glad I got to talk with Dana - she organized the trip- after we came back, and I apologized for my behavior, which was off most of the time we were hanging out as a group. I was very stressed out when we were together, mostly because of my children. They are ticking bombs, you never know when things might go wrong... but let me try to explain you my perspective on hanging out with couples who have no children yet.

I might be probably the only woman who feels this way, but when I didn't have children I enjoyed not having children, specially when other people's children were misbehaving. And I was very selfish... so if I was with my friends (all of them had children in Ohio) I never offered to help with their children. Like, I thought, "Well, they are their children, right? They need to take care of them".

Sure, I baby sat every now and then for them, and I actually remember Miss Ava asking me how Satan looked like... ha ha ha!! I think she was about four years old. I thought, "Crap, what the heck am I supposed to tell her? What if I screw this child who's not even my own? Mary never said I would be asked these questions. She just said put them down to sleep..." 

And so I sat down next to her on her bed (this was at bed time), and said, "Look, Ava... I do not know how Satan looks like. But I tell you how he doesn't look like. He is not this funny cartoon you see on TV, you know, red with horns, and a tail and a fork. Satan hates us, he really does because we love Jesus. As you grow up, he might look different every time... BUT, we shouldn't focus on Satan, let's talk about Jesus instead. Never be afraid of Satan because you have Jesus. You don't have to be afraid of Satan, do you understand? Jesus loves you. And if you have Jesus, Satan has no power over you whatsoever." 

Hotel Room

(After Rain Forest)

Pure happiness in this trip

Mi ñoñis en acción
Awesome pencil grasp

Pericles Hanz...ome

So cute, it's not even fair...
She rocks my hat

My prayer from 2012. Romans 12:10. That they will love each other with brotherly love

So answering questions about Satan, and other kind of episodes, like Kahl spanking me this one time and saying in Ethan's tone of voice, "Alright!!" made me feel intensely happy these were not my children. Even happier every time I saw Jesse throwing a tantrum, or Kahl screaming his lungs out because he didn't want to go night nights. I'm confessing these to my two best friends, Mary and Kate, for the very first time. I know they love me so much they would totally understand how I felt at that time of my life being childless, and totally selfish due to my childlessness. 

So now I'm at the point, where I know how people feel or might feel in regards to my children. And Dana and Anita are very kind when they try to help, but in all honesty, I don't think anybody who is not a parent knows how stressful it can be at times, even tough they say they understand. They just don't. I love my children to death, and if they throw a tantrum I'm not embarrassed of them because those things happen sometimes. But I just don't want to be the center of attention in a restaurant, especially if my children are acting like this because it's almost 10 pm.

So get this picture on Saturday night...

Norvis and Anita knocked on our door and said they were going for dinner. They gently invited us to join them and we said yes, because we wanted to hang out with them. Norvis said the restaurant was two blocks away from The Alamo, and off we went thinking we'll be back at the hotel by 8:30 pm, but the restaurant was one mile away. ONE MILE AWAY!! That was not two blocks from The Alamo. It wasn't not even in the downtown area, but in some ghetto neighborhood, and here we are walking pushing a double stroller. And I've said this to Norvis' face, joking around, but seriously, I told him. So don't think I'm talking behind Norvis' back.

We get to the restaurant and it's not the regular family place, so the waiters say they don't have high chairs for the children, because other people are using them. Really? So you're a restaurant and you just have two high chairs? Then Anita says I should leave them in the stroller, that way they could eat. But I felt what I really wanted was Anita to get on the stroller for almost all day like them, sweating under the sun for being in the stroller almost all day like them, wanting to go to sleep and being hungry, and then having to ride for thirty minutes to this restaurant and eat in the stroller. It wasn't Anita's nor Norvis' fault. We chose to go with them. When you have children, your life changes. You do not do things only thinking about yourself anymore. You do it for the greater good, I guess. You do it for the good of the pack, aka Libby and Enzo.

The Alamo 

(Saturday evening)

Some weeds

Enzo's fake smile

Daddy loves his girl
She is my girl, too

Beso trompa

"Wate, wateeee"

No comment

My babies

Sweaty babies

Trying on hats
Family at the garden

Then my husband gets upset, because they are making us wait, and it's already 8 pm. We are waiting and we don't know if they are gonna have high chairs. He tells me we should go, that we should just leave, and come back to the Riverwalk and have some ice cream as we had told the children. And here I am embarrassed to say, "You know what guys? We are gonna leave. We came all the way here, but see ya!". So we stayed... and it was awful. My children never cried, or made a big scene, but I know how they act when they are totally exhausted, and Libby was being extremely rough with Daddy and Enzo.

Food was the only thing keeping Enzo happy so I stuffed him like a pig. They ate more than enough, but I wasn't going to keep giving them food. We were done eating, but people didn't even have their food yet. Then Emerson and I weren't even hanging out with people, we were trying to control our little monsters, and you don't get to hang out as much when you are entertaining your children. It was just awkward. The waitress came and she told me to take my time, but I handed her my credit card, "Nop, I'm ready to go. Now.", I said. And we left, in a hurry, just like that. We said bye, but I guess, in a way, for me that was the point of no return. Oh, the drama of my first world problems...

1. Start talking to an adult of your choice.
2. Have someone else continually tug on your shirt hem or shirt sleeve while playing the Mummy tape listed above.
You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

On the way to the hotel I apologized to Emerson for me not listening to reason. He didn't want to go to San Antonio in the first place, but I got him to go because I couldn't say no to my friend Dana. I mean, she had paid already for the rooms and stuff with her time share, and I wanted to have fun with everybody. But our family fun is not their fun. Norvis and Ana left the restaurant at 10:30 pm. that night, they danced and enjoyed their time together as a couple. I was very happy when she told me that the next day. If we didn't have children, we would've stayed with them. And then come back to the Riverwalk, get a drink, or just walk looking around for things you can see... we are all about walking.   

Dinner in a hurry

(Saturday night before dinner)

"This should be enough" 

Trying Goldfish
Mommy giving fishies

Horsie, horsie

Eating like a pig 
Roughness in her face

So we came back to the hotel, and by the time we put them down to sleep, it was 10:30 pm. We drank a couple of beers, and hung out. I tried to ask Emerson what we were doing the next day, but he said he was on vacation and that he didn't have a plan. That drives me crazy... but at the same time, it is exactly that what I enjoy when we go out. I'm not trying to control everything that happens anymore, and it feels good to go with the flow. I mean, we do what's necessary for our children, to make them comfortable, but other than that, we always go with the flow in this kind of situations. 

Libby and Enzo woke up at 6 am... I wanted to call Ana or Dana around 10 am., we were ready to go. We had been ready since 8 am, since our children were up that early, but we were kind of killing time. That's the thing with children. They get you up, we don't get to sleep in. So if they were ready, we had to get out of the room. 

But I did have my coffee in the morning, and I got to spend time with Libby and Enzo having Cheerios. I even got to take a shower and getting dressed without having to hurry up, because Emerson was taking care of everything. He made the children a smoothie, put everything in the dishwasher. I didn't feel I was the caretaker. My husband was taking care of us. I felt freaking awesome. I felt loved.

Smoothie Emerson's version

"Mo? EEE? Yesss!"

Nena eating Cheerios
Mommy having her coffee in peace

"I love you so much, Nena"


We walked towards San Fernando Cathedral and let the children play in the water for a while. Then we kept on walking towards the Market Square because we wanted to have lunch at Mi Tierra, but it was too crowded. Libby was so happy walking. I think we as adults see things different from children. Duh! I mean, I honestly think that for her it was just enough that we let her walk almost all the time. That's what made the trip worth it in her eyes. We stopped for awhile to have a talented man make some caricatures of them, and then we had lunch. Libby walked almost all the way there and back. I actually started the app I use for my runs, and she logged two miles. At a 55 min/mi. pace, but she walked it all :)

Going for a walk
a. Wait.
b. Go out the front door.
c. Come back in again.
d. Go out.
e. Come back in again.
f. Go out again.
g. Walk down the front path.
h. Walk back up it.
i. Walk down it again.
j. Walk very slowly down the road for five minutes.
k. Stop, inspect minutely and ask at least 6 questions about every piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue and dead insect along the way.
l. Retrace your steps.
m. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbours come out and stare at you.
n. Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.


(Sunday morning)

Loving the water

Very cold
Getting all wet

Playing with Sissy

Jumping in the water

Enzo posing
Libby posing

Mommy is happy

Aug. 31st, 2013. Enzo
Aug 31st, 2013. Libby. 

We should advertise for NB
That's love and trust in our faces

We wanted to make them tired so they could take a good nap before heading to Sea World to see Shamu. But only Enzo napped. After almost two hours, he woke up, and we headed towards Sea World. We would've loved to get there earlier, especially because the tickets are not cheap... but there was no way, NO WAY, I was gonna make my children stick around for 8+ hours under the sun, just to see a whale. It's not like they were going to ride any rides, or that we would leave them with Dana or Ana to go ride the rides. So we met everybody there. We were able to hang out for little amounts of time here and there, some shows got cancelled, and we left because we needed to watch Shamu at 7:30 pm. I think Ana, Norvis, Dana and Chino watched the 9 pm show. It was totally awesome. I don't care how expensive it was, my husband does, probably. But just to watch a show of that category - my weird words here- it was pretty well worth it. I've seen Keiko before, but I don't remember Reino Aventura having that kind of shows. 

I remember when I went to Reino Aventura as a teenager all I wanted was to ride the rides ALL DAY LONG. Why would someone waste their time watching the dolphins, and the sea lions, and the stupid whale? Who would do that if they had the rides to enjoy? Now I know the answer:  Parents who look at their children's faces when they see the stupid whale. Plus the whale it's not the stupid one. I was the stupid one for not realizing how much time and energy trainers put into those animals doing that kind of acrobatics. And people say the show doesn't change much year to year. DUH!! I want you to train a whale to do something different year to year. It's pretty amazing. It was really fun.     

Sea World

(Sunday afternoon)

Exhausted. She finally crashed when we got there

Con mi Papucho
I think I relived my childhood here

Getting ready

Family with Shamu

Building expectation on Shamu

Shamu 2013

After Shamu soaked Elizabeth and Enzo in water, I tried to explain Libby what Shamu had done.  While the show was still going - it was about to finish- I told Libby Shamu only wanted to have fun. I told Libby that Shamu didn't know she doesn't like the water in her eyes. I don't use the word hate a lot, I think I've said that before, but Libby hates to have water in her eyes. She screams at bath time if a tiny amount of water gets in her eyes. So I just said that Shamu lives underwater and wanted to share her water with us. Libby calmed down, as if really understanding that. 

I wasn't going to say, "Your daddy thought that because the ground was dry we weren't going to get wet. Only he forgot that at the 5 pm whale show, they don't show the biggest whale."

She was happy after I took the time to explain that to her. She even said she forgave Shamu :)

Shamu soaking my children

"Bye, bye, Shamu"

By 8 pm I was starving. We had had lunch at the hotel, the leftovers from Rain Forest the day before. We bought two pretzels at Sea World, 4 dollars each. How do they away with this? Those pretzels sucked! Buy we were hungry, so there you go, just to entertain our children's stomachs and ours, too.

We stopped to have Rudy's for dinner, it was just outside Sea World, literally, across the highway. Even during dinner she was still saying Water, Shamu, and My face.

Conversations with children
Repeat everything you say at least 5 times.

The Art of eating Ribs

Shamu was a hit

We were so devastated we were gonna miss Breaking Bad for watching Shamu, but AMC repeated the episode at 11 pm. The children, by the way, didn't even cry this time when we put them in the pack 'n plays. They were totally exhausted from that day, and the day before. They slept from 10:30 pm till 8 am next morning. SWEEEEET!

OUT! And wearing Libby's pajamas :)

Next morning we got ready and around 10:30 am we checked out from the hotel. We called Ana and Dana to see if they wanted to see the other missions, besides The Alamo, but they were having lunch somewhere, and we had just had breakfast. We went to Mission San José. There were three other missions we were going to see, but Emerson felt pretty content with San José. It was really something. So he said that we should just get on the road so that the children could sleep a little bit. We had lunch at ChickFilA, and we headed home. 

Mission San José  

(Monday morning)

The most beautiful hostess

My boys
Nice arches?

Looks The Exorcist-creepy

Walking away with ducky's face

"We have to go, Mami"
"Bye, bye"

Sept. 2nd, 2013. Mission San José

Pony tail
"My hat"

The loves of my life

Somewhere along the way, before the children fell asleep, Emerson promised Libby he was going to take her to a farm. But we couldn't make it on time to the farm he was talking about. However, he did keep his promise, and we took her to a farm near our apartment. She was happy to see the cows, and some goats. At ChickFilA they had given them these cow watches, and she was supper excited about it. 

Even when they went to sleep that night she was crying and saying, "My cow, Mommy, my cow!!". I thought she was having a nightmare! "Darn Old McDonald videos! It's the only thing she likes to watch", I thought. But it was until the next day that I realized she was asking for her watch. 

On the way back they slept for about two hours both of them, in the same position. I felt happy they were resting because they really needed it. Enzo got up just as we got to the usual spot in Chappell Hill where we always have pie and ice cream whenever we go out of town. We woke Libby up, ate ice cream with pie, and came home :)

Resting, too

Once home, I gave them baths while Emerson put things away, and did laundry. We brushed Enzo's tiny teeth for the first time. Yay!

First time brushing Enzo's teeth

(Sept. 2nd, 2013)

In case you forgot the opening line for this post, I'll write it again: I am blessed to have the family I have. I've said this too many times on this blog probably, but I felt like saying it again. 

I love my husband, and his love for me goes beyond telling me he loves me. He goes to work everyday to make sure I don't lack anything. He took care of me that morning at the hotel, and I really felt relaxed drinking my coffee. We are a team and I can really see it, specially when working around the house and taking care of the children. He knows it is his job, too. Yes, I do nag him sometimes, but he listens to my needs, and addresses them because that's what you do when you love someone. Like, when I need him to dress Enzo up after a bath, or put the children to bed because I'm going for a run, or taking care of the children when I'm not home, or just taking Libby grocery shopping with her own HEB shopping cart. 

Enzo and Libby are children now, and so young. I don't think they will ever remember this trip, if not by the photos and the things I wrote. 

Dressing Small Children
1. Buy a live octopus and a string bag.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the string bag so that no arms hangout.
Time Allowed: 5 minutes.

Grocery Shopping
1. Go to the local supermarket. Take with you the nearest thing you can find to a pre-school child - a fully grown goat is excellent. If you intend to have more than one child, take more than one goat.
2. Buy your weekly groceries without letting the goat(s) out of your sight.
3. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Nena and Enzo, 

I want you to know that I love you with all my heart. And I enjoy every single minute of my life with you, even if I don't sleep well that night. I love being your mother and raising you. I was very confused growing up thinking my life's accomplishments depended on how many years I was able to study, or how many degrees I would get. I was very confused thinking education was the same as wisdom. You are making me wiser. You make me cling to God, the Giver of all wisdom. God is using both of you to shape my character. He is refining me. I am a better version of myself now that I was 10 years ago. Not perfect, never perfect, but more patient, and tolerant and kind. More loving, and faithful. More self-controlled. Way more self-controlled. I owe that to you, gays :)

God is using you to help me. Don't you think God has great plans in storage JUST for you? I think He does. I think He does.   

*Tests from online article Are you ready to have kids? After you read this, maybe not. At

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