Monday, January 28, 2013

Aquatic Miracle


When we're not out discovering new children's parks in Peru, we're either eating or playing in the pool. I knew that Diego would be a tough cookie when it came to getting in the water during this trip. He barely put his feet in the first day, opting to kneel over the pool and splash with his hands instead.

But by day two, he must've had some type of miraculous internal revelation. While I played with Tiny Tater in the water, Diego slowly made his way into the third step of the pool without any prodding from his mama. He was fully-clothed, but I didn't let that stop him.


It's a well-known scientific fact that oil and water don't mix, but Diego goes beyond that. It's like when two negatively-charged magnets repel each other and refuse to touch. If you were to throw Diego into the ocean, the water would repel away and he'd be standing there completely dry like Moses parting the Red Sea! You probably know me not to be religious. It goes to show the miracle captured in the picture above; so much that it warranted my shoddy use of a biblical reference.

Miracles DO Happen! - Shirley

Park Tourist

I've left blood samples with at least 300 mosquitos in the Amazon jungle, taken photos with llamas at the very top of the ruins of Machu Picchu, watched the festival of Inti-Raymi in Cuzco, and dined on culinary master pieces in Lima. But now with two little ones in tow, I've become a tourist to Peruvian children's parks instead, sight-seeing large tube slides and bounce-houses like nobody's business.

By the time this trip is over, you can ask me anything about Peruvian parks for kids.

Just don't ask me how to get the mosquitos to stop biting.

They love that McDonald's-infused blood - Shirley


In-flight Survival

Travel With Toddlers

OMG I'm alive and well. My mini apocalypse came and went, and it turns out that the Earth is still here and so am I! (Although I'm now on a different hemisphere). I'll post more about what we've been up to, but for now I wanted to exclaim how amazing it was for me that the secret children's Benadryl, stashed in a TSA-approved bottle in my pocket, stayed in my pocket for 10 hours in flight. It got a little "if-y" during the last couple of hours, but I made it through.

There was really no way for me to simulate an airplane flight so that I would know how Mateo would react. As it turns out, he barely acknowledged that the plane had an aisle - the thing I was most worried about due to my past experience with Diego, Mr. "I must walk up and down the aisle for 7 hrs on a red-eye flight to the Bahamas or I will throw a fit and wake all the passengers."

The flight was also empty enough that Mateo did not have to be a lap-passenger - the second thing that I was most worried about. The boys probably slept only 2 hours in flight during this daylight flight. I don't know exactly how long, because I immediately dozed off too as soon as the opportunity presented itself. I woke up to hear Mateo's cries and judging by the movie that was playing on my screen, we couldn't have been asleep for that long.

I really don't know how I survived the other 8 hrs. I think it just had to do with Diego being older and Mateo being a more tolerant baby than Diego was. In any case, we're here in Peru now enjoying the hot weather and I'm already sun-burned. I'm making the most of this trip now knowing that the second mini apocalypse might occur in a couple of weeks during the flight back home. That one will be a red-eye.

Lord help me if it's anything like the past Bahamian red-eye - Shirley


Wednesday, January 23, 2013



If you're reading this on the same day as it posts, I'm currently trapped in a flying tube of metal for the next 10 or so hours (who's counting anymore) with Mateo running a muck on my lap.  Have you ever thoughtfully answered the question:  "If you could know when and how you were going to die, would you?"

Well - since we bought our tickets to Peru, Wednesday January 23rd became my own personally known apocalypse.  You might be thinking "Oh, there she goes; exaggerating again!" But honestly I try to see past that date, and I can't.  I don't have the words to properly explain to you how terrified I am to endure this flight.  For God's sake, I'm a grown-ass mom of 2 and yet the thought of getting onto that plane instantly turns me into a groveling little girl in the fetal position.

I'm too consumed in having NO idea how I'm going to handle a 10 hour flight (smack-dab in the daylight hours, no red-eye was available) and one connecting flight with 2 kids under the age of 3.  It's truly been weighing heavily in the back of my mind for some time now.  The past flight to the Bahamas when Diego was around Mateo's current age, really did a number on me!

I wish the entire flight of passengers were made up of readers like you: moms who understand my plight.  I wish we could all be on the flight singing Kumbaya and letting our little ones smash the beverage carts into the seats while we drink in-flight cocktails, and watch Despicable Me on the big screen.  But I don't have you here with me right now, and you KNOW I'm struggling.  I'll imagine you cheering me on:  "You can do it, Shirley!  This one is for all the traveling mothers out there!"

I hope I don't let you down, truly.  - Shirley

P.S.  Posts may become scarce here for the next couple of weeks but I am bringing my Ipad (tricked out with a bluetooth keyboard) in case I have the opportunity to write a little (if I survive).  I'll probably be on Instagram more (again - if I survive the flight). @GoldenDreemz

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

3 Years!

Dds 3 yr bday
Your 3rd year really established what a great big brother you are. My little sister and I are twice the age difference as you and your brother are, and yet I don't remember being as doting an older sibling as you at that age. I often see you go up to your brother in a semi embrace, place your face very close to his, and then you usually try to kiss him on the forehead without anyone spurring you on. You don't do this to anyone else.

Not even the dog.

You still need to work on sharing your toys Kindle, but for the most part it seems that "older brother" is a role you were meant to take on.


  • About a month ago you started asking for shows specifically by name. Your favorite requests are: "Captain Hook" (Jake and the Neverland Pirates), "Gabba-Gabba" (Yo-Gabba-Gabba), and "Bubble Guppies".
  • You imitate everything now. Your dad loves making you say, "Mama farted". Your grandpa likes to make you say "Brother's crazy" or "Brother's Gordo (FAT)" and I love to hear you say "soda" for some reason. You seem to say it with an accent, a drawl, AND a lisp! I love it!
  • You also said your name about a month ago. You pronounced it very clearly while imitating me DEE-AY-GO, but when I asked you what your name was you said "Eggo" (we don't even eat waffles) and now you often speak in the third person.
  • You play with your dinos and Godzilla the most out of all your toys. You identify the T-Hex (T-Rex), Ty-haha-TOPS (Triceratops), and Diplodicus (OH-kiss). And watch Deee-Ho Dan (Dino Dan) at your grandapa's house.
  • Your terrible two's seems to have calmed down although I've already been warned by other mothers that it lasts through 3 years too.
  • At some point in the middle of your 2 years, you started getting shy around strangers, which is a good thing. I noticed it one day on the elevator.
  • You no longer wake up at 6am like before. I have to wake you in the mornings now, and I've clocked you up to 9:30 am on weekends occasionally. Too bad for me that your little brother still gets up a 6 on the dot!
  • You take one 2-3hr nap a day. Usually starting around 2 or 4pm.
  • You love to drink instant Ramen soup and specifically ask for it. I moderate though. You'll get enough of that in college while on the starving student diet.


"I did it!" (while winning a game on his Kindle)
"Dada, help"  (when he can beat a game on his Kindle)
"Dada did it!" (when Dada wins a game for him on his Kindle)
"No brother... Nooooooo"  (when little brother tries to touch his Kindle)
"Here brother, brother. Take this"  (when he's giving his brother something instead of the Kindle)
"Watch Hook"  (when he wants to watch Jake and the Neverland Pirates)
"Eggo fell down" (when he falls down)
"kee-cho-cho!!!!!" (Spanish translation for "Cochino": Dirty boy! when he farts on cue.  Such a boy. So gross)
"Mama! Mia" (trying to say Mama Mira - which means Mama, look!)

Me calling brother:  "Mateoooooo!"
Diego imitates but can't say his name:  "Brodahhhhhh!"
Me calling him again:  "Matayto - Potatoooooo!"
Diego imitating:  "Brodahhhh-Brodahhhhhhhhhh!"








You're so sweet - Shirley


Friday, January 18, 2013

Fashion Friday 18 Jan 2013

I haven't done one of these in awhile.  I've honestly not been feeling very fashionable.  But I find that taking pictures of myself (so vain!) in my outfits has really helped me see what does and doesn't work on me.  It's also helped me stick to a healthy diet this week.  Today is Friday aka: Forgotten-Fast-Food-Friday (sadface).

Instead of my usual McDonald's treat, my mom has offered me a home-cooked meal when I drop Diego off after his speech therapy.  I'll take it!

I bought the blouse below for $13 on clearance at Target.  I don't usually wear blouses, but I'm trying to add some variety here.  I added one of my favorite rustic neclaces and didn't bother to do my hair a messy bun.  I liked the change for a day.

Then there's the pic below.  I totally didn't want to get dressed that morning.  Do you have those comfy go-to pants that you always gravitate towards?  For me it's these old, worn-in Paige jeans.  But now that I took this pic, they're obviously too warn-in.  Time for a new pair of go-to jeans!  These can stay as house-loungers until I eventually throw them out.  In order to dress up this blah-outfit, I added an arm-patched blazer recently gifted to me from my sister's cleaned-out closet.  I just love the arm-patch detail!


Favorite Frock Friday


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bedtime Declaration


Over a year ago, I was picking up Diego from daycare and in our normal mom/sitter discourse, (i.e., me asking how things went) the sitter said, "Fine, but he didn't want to go to sleep today; he kicked the crib".

And THAT, my friends, is the best picture I can paint for you when it came to Diego and cribs.  The little dude, just never liked them and that's why he's a co-sleeper today.  Mateo on the otherhand, sleeps well in his crib, but he always wakes from his naps screaming to the top of his lungs.  I subconsciously assumed he was indifferent to the crib.

Until last night.

It was 9:15pm and Mateo started with his 'tude, the classic indicator for bedtime.  He scampered away into the nursery in a fuss and crying.  Instead of following him, I made a quick detour to the kitchen to warm up his bottle first, I knew that my detour activities would only piss him off more.  As I walked into the room, I expected to find him sitting on the floor, amongst his toys, with a sourpuss and red face, his eyes half closed, and tears streaming giving off a "My-mommy-doesn't-love-me-and-I'm-alone-in-this-world" vibe (refer to picture above).

Instead I found him standing at his crib pulling the covers through the railing in his attempts to figure out how to get into the crib.  He actually WANTED to get in?  He didn't look tired to me.  I hadn't noticed him yawn, but apparently, he was declaring his bedtime.  I always thought if I kept him up late, he would just hang out until he would ultimately crash somewhere (preferably on the area rug) and just fall sleep out of pure exhaustion.  I don't know why, but I never expected any of my children to WANT to sleep in their crib.

 These kids surprise me every day! - Shirley

Monday, January 14, 2013

13 Months!

Hard to believe that it's only been a month since you hit your 1 year milestone. Since then the most significant change for me is that you've FINALLY become more confident walking on hard surfaces without my help! Now that my days are more "hands-free", I enjoy executing mommy tasks much more peacefully: like cooking dinner.

The other day I was drifting off into one of "said" cooking trances, when your brother crawled by on the floor pushing along his yellow dump truck. Then you appeared trailing after him pushing along a blue truck. I just loved it. I love how you two play with each other now (plus you keep yourselves entertained and keep me out of the equation).

That truck scene confirmed to me that fate had made the right decision by completely discounting my desires for a girl and handing me another son as my second child. There, I said it ok... Fate was right.

I was wrong.

Does fate want a cookie? (because I can whip one up much more peacefully now! Ha!)

  • You know how to drink out of a straw. Say what? When did that happen?
  • You love blowing on a flute and blowing bubbles
  • You do this clicking sound with your mouth and point to the kitchen counter. Can you be any more clear that you're hungry?
  • You fight me tooth and nail when I try to put on your shoes (and I think it's ironic that all your shoes have laces -which are not conducive when someone is fighting you tooth and nail - and yet it's your older brother whose shoes use velcro straps.  Where did I go wrong?)
  • You don't fight me when I put on your puffy jacket: it means we're going out! And boy are you ever the man about town!
  • You imitate sounds of airplanes flying as you soar a toy plane in the air
  • You try to copy sounds that we say occasionally
  • I handed you a brush and you skimmed the top of your head with it numerous times
  • You bring books to me and then want me to pick you up onto my lap and read them to you, but your attention span is pretty short
  • You love to dance to music and Grandpa enjoys playing Peruvian music or salsa to watch your moves
  • You also always dance to the Yo Gabba Gabba theme song.
  • You and your brother fight occasionally, and when you do you hold your own. Pushing him, biting him, and pulling his hair. I can already tell, your future wrestling matches are going to give me gray hairs!
  • You always set your lips in an O-shape like you are permanently making the "ooooo" sound. I think it's your version of a frown because it's usually followed up with an unhappy ooooo noise. And most times I see you making that face when you're restraining your smile. Don't do that, you have such a beautiful, dimply smile!
Trying to restrain his dimples with O-shaped lips.  Doing a bad job.  Those dimples are potent!


Friday, January 11, 2013


I looked over last night and found him sulking in self-punishment mode after ferociously amputating one of Diego's Godzilla action figures.  We got home and Diego pointed to the missing foot and said, "Mama, -ix it." 

"Sorry Diego, I can't fix it.  It's broken now."

He looked at the toy, then he looked at me and seemed to want to reassure me.  It was like he said "It's OK. Don't worry"

and then he said very calmly, "Dada -ix it."

I didn't punish Qori for what he did.  It was too late, but I think Diego's reaction got to him.  Or maybe he was just to lazy to move?  Yeah - probably the latter.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Cord


When Qori was a fresh new puppy, my sister and I used to joke around that he had an invisible umbilical cord attached to me.  We'd go out to the dog park, and there was only a certain number of feet he would venture away before he came bouncing back to me.  It was very handy.

Mateo's invisible umbilical cord was much, much shorter.  In fact he had to have constant skin contact (mano a mano) for the first year.  I noticed that during the latter part of the year, his umbilical cord's length seemed to directly correlate to whether he was walking in a carpeted room or on hardwood flooring (unfortunately, my entire house is hardwood). 

But I gotta tell you guys that last Sunday (at almost 13 months), the umbilical cord reached an ideal elasticity for my taste.  Finally.  Before you know it, I had not only taken down Christmas in our house, but I also ORGANIZED it for storage.  All this while Mateo was wide awake and calmly hanging out not needing my contact at every moment!  A week ago this would've been unheard of.  The closest I would've been able to get to taking down Christmas was grabbing a snowflake ornament out of Mateo's mouth as he tried to eat it. 

I feel strangely free, but not.  After all, I do still have 3 invisible & elastic umbilical cords attached to me. 

Bungee jumping, anyone? - Shirley



I meant to post this earlier.... I guess I'm having a hard time committing.  LOL

I still believe in resolutions or goals, even though the rest of the bandwagon scoffs at them.  I still believe in resolutions even though I failed miserably at my goals for 2012.  I totally underestimated my son's terrible two's stage, I underestimated my new life as a mom of two, and I underestimated just how much the house remodel sucked out of my piggy bank.

So this year I'm trying to be more realistic, and I'm treating my personal goals the same as my work goals.

I'm using a similar format to write them and each time that I have a check-in with my manager this year, I will follow up with a personal check-in.  I'm also keeping it short.  Just the high-priority goals.

Here goes:

  • I will be more financially responsible
    • I will pay down my debt by at least 30% by the end of 2013. I will use at least 50% of any bonus or tax return money to help pay off the debt.
    • I will join the ASPCA (or other) charity by April and use part of my bonus money to provide a significant donation
    • I will create my priority wishlist of items (excluding clothes/shoes, because, well - come on... you know I would never be able to get to the other stuff on the list!) for 2013 and buy only things on the list for myself throughout the year (about once a month) if there's financial wiggle room.
  • I will get fit (lose the baby fast-food-friday pouch and tighten the glutes)
    • I will walk down and then up at least 9 flights of stairs daily at work, when my work schedule permits
    • I will run on the treadmill at least once a week.  (If I fail at this because of the kids, then by April I will buy a double-jogger and take them with me)
    • I will do sit-ups and lunges at least twice a week.
    • I will eat more healthy:  I will drink more water instead of juice and eat healthy snacks like multigrain crackers and cheese, nuts, and fruit. 
  • I will be more healthy with my cooking and provide more variety in my menus.
    • I will take at least 4 cooking classes throughout 2013
    • I will make more side-dishes of veggies, beans, or grains when it supplements the dinner menu.
    • I will make things that I've never made before (casseroles, meatloaf, etc) or try to perfect things that just never taste right for me (e.g., beef chow mein - how the heck do cheap restaurants do it???)
    • I will institute Meatless Mondays for dinner
    • I will incorporate less rice in dinner, and if I do make rice, I will only serve myself 1 cup. period.
Diego and Mateo (aka: I) have a couple goals too:
Diego:  Get potty trained by the end of 2013
Mateo:  Encourage speech (reading, talking, imitating, etc)

I have other goals like blogging, putting more thought into my wardrobe, and starting up one of my hobbies again, but I feel like those will happen without any significant push needed, so for now I will focus on the three main goals above.

Do you have any resolutions this year?

Wish me luck and good luck to you! - Shirley

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Recap!

I'm saying goodbye to 2012 with a big smile on my face.  Sayonara!  I really did enjoy this past year, but it was also EXHAUSTING learning how to be a mother of two, taking care of a baby ALL OVER AGAIN but this time with a toddler, still dealing with the tail-end of a major house remodel, and dealing with constant sleep deprivation and terrible two's.  We made it though!  And I'm proud that although I was running on empty most days, I still managed to somehow make wonderful memories with my family (or I'd have you believe with these pictures!). 

I wonder what 2013 has in store for us.  I hope a little more sleep at least.  Just a smidgen...

My first full month into being a mom of two, I struggle on how to juggle the kids.
Diego copes well with having a little brother
We celebrate Diego's 2nd birthday with an Angry Bird Birthday party and he gets a shiny, new Kindle Fire

I don't adjust well to the sleep deprivation that Mateo is putting me through.
I buy a SwaddleMe and surprise! It helps a lot, but still not enough
We take Diego on his first real train ride
We take a four hour roadtrip to the snow in Lake Tahoe and Mateo practically cries the entire time
Diego starts his speech therapy

The Hubs forces me to go on a much needed adult-only weekend to wine country.  Although it tore at my heart to leave my boys behind, I realized how much I needed it after my second glass of wine.
I am elated that there is paint on our walls, finally!
I take both boys on our first solo outing, difficult but successful

Our master bedroom is finally complete and we begin sleeping in it!
I try transitioning Mateo to bottled breastmilk with little success until I find Tommee Tippee Bottles
I go back to work... Booo!

Diego starts stringing two words along
I celebrate my 3rd Mother's Day
Mateo starts eating solids and can't get enough!

I get an awesome Father's Day gift idea which starts my obsession with making these.
Sleep troubles arise in our household when Diego starts freaking out at bedtime refusing to leave the couch, and I bite the bullet and move Mateo from the bassinet in my room to the crib in the nursury
Mateo turns 6 months but still isn't sleeping through the night, sigh

We go on a trip to Cancun, Mexico sans Mateo and airtravel with Diego is much better than the last trip, thanks to the Kindle!
I return from this trip with reduced lactation and fail to stimulate it back to regular volume
Mateo starts walking forwards in his wheeled walker and his sleeping is improving, but not quite there yet
Diego starts counting

Mateo says "Mama" and I feel like I've won the Olympics!
Diego starts letting out more words too, his favorite is "Shark" which sounds more like "Chuck"

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Mateo turns 9 months and has crazy separation anxiety for me
He starts crawling
I completely dry up so he is switched to formula
My inlaws come to stay with us for a couple months to help me, yay!
I celebrate my birthday

We celebrate Fleet Week in San Francisco
Diego says "Bridge" but it totally sounds like another word that rhymes with "Witch"
Mateo turns 10 months and FINALLY sleeps through the night
Diego discovers his love of pumpkin patches and we carve Angry Bird pumpkins
The boys are dinos for Halloween.  Diego is a T-rex, and Mateo is a Triceratops because he gets around on all fours and is a chunky-monkey (and Mama is a cavewoman)

My inlaws leave, sniffle, sniffle, but that means Qori comes home, yay!
Diego has an insane speech spurt
Quickly followed up with insane constipation which leads to rectal prolapse.  Sadface

I keep my head above water by scheduling my personal life and sacrificing my work lunch breaks to clean the house
Tater starts walking a few days before he turns 1
Tater turns Tot! (1 year old) and we throw him a Cookie Monster-themed birthday party
 Then a week later he says his first word, "Bubble"
Santa stops by the house and we celebrate a Merry Christmas
We ring in the New Year at Universal Studios Hollywood (a much better car-ride than in February!)

What an eventful year!-Shirley

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Month in Phone Pics: December Recap

It was a wonderful month full of birthday joy, Christmas Spirit, and New Year fun!  Oh- and Tater learned to walk!

Hope you had a great December too! - Shirley

SantaHat1 SantaHat2 SantaHat3 SantaHat4 SantaHat5 SantaHat6 SantaHat7