LEÓN WEARS

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I’m obsessed with this denim jacket from Camp Wolf. Created and designed by hot blogging mama Cora, it’s hand-crafted with vintage fabric. Her store launches this August – you can find jackets, vests, and BOW-TIES! I love me a good bow-tie 😉 You can also find Cora sharing her life with her adorable (and fashion savvy) son Miles over at Miles, Papa, & Me. Follow Camp Wolf on Instagram for updates on her launch.

NEW BEGINNINGS

photo1A little late night rambling. So here we go. I always dreamed of having a blog. When I was pregnant with Lucas, catching up on mommy blogs was my nightly ritual. They made me laugh, cry, and feel inspired. With a ton of support I finally decided to take a leap of faith, leave behind what I felt was “comfortable”, and start my dream project: Lillies and Leon. This whole blogging thing, though still very new to me, has filled my soul in a way that is so very satisfying. I have met so many amazing people and feel inspired to work on new ventures that in the past would have only been a passing dream.

Today was just one of those good, good days. I got to work with an amazing team of mamas and saw a vision come to life that just a week ago were words in an email (which by the way I can’t wait to share). Just surreal. I feel blessed to be on this journey, wherever it takes me, and so incredibly lucky to share with all of you. I kind of hope you stay a while and keep me company. End rambling. Goodnight loves.

FOURTH OF JULY

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Wednesday night we left the hustle and bustle of NYC to spend the fourth in a different kind of chaos: the Hamptons! This is Lucas’s 2nd time in the hammies and he loves it. Why shouldn’t he? Sun, sand, amazing food, awesome company, and a big ol’ house to run around in and let loose. I used to come to the Hamptons every summer as a silly 20-something and it’s pretty surreal coming back with my baby boy. It’s a totally different experience with Lucas (sayonara night clubs!) but he sure knows how to show his mama a good time. We drove up in the evening, collapsed, and woke up Thursday refreshed (sort of. I was golden after 2 cups of coffee. 2 years later and I don’t think I will ever be a morning person) and ready for some fourth of July action.

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BESOS DE MAMI | RECIPE: LONG LIVE THE PLATANO

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Just so we’re clear, I am from Puerto Rico and the hubs is from the Dominican Republic. That’s a whole lotta latin blood. Can you blame us for loving a good platano dish? And low and behold, it is now one of Lucas’s favorite things to eat ever. The boy has an excellent pallet 😉 We usually cook up some bananas for breakfast along with some simple but tasty side dishes. Ivan likes his with a side of queso frito (fried cheese) and salchichon (fried salami). While this tastes freaking awesome, it’s not really the healthiest of meals. I skip the cheese and salami, and serve Lucas his plantanos with fruit, eggs, and avocado if we have it in the fridge.

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LEÓN WEARS

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Sometimes it’s all about comfort. Lucas can usually be found running around the house in just his diaper. Today we accessorized with papi’s New York Yankees cap 😉 Casual is the new fancy! If I could, I’d totally jump on this bandwagon. Diapers all day, every day!

19 MONTHS (1 WEEK LATE)

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Welp. This week has been hectic to say the least and I completely forgot to take his 19 month photos, well, on the day he turned 19 months. Major mommy guilt. I finally got around to taking some photos and Lucas and Cesar didn’t disappoint. This duo gets me every time. A giant gorilla and a baby? Cmon now. Here’s what’s new with Lucas:

– His hand/eye coordination is on point! The kid is a little genius with his hands. He diligently takes things apart and carefully puts them back together. We might have a little engineer on our hands.

– His love for water continues to grow with each passing summer day. He swims in the tub, adores the pool and beach, and has a love affair with sprinklers. I now make sure to put a swim diaper on for all park outings (thanks to the one time he ran into the sprinklers with jeans..yea..good luck getting wet denim off a toddlers chubby legs).

– He HATES sand. Loathes it.

– We are learning manners! He now says “tank u”. My heart swells with pride every time.

– We are making leaps and bounds with Spanish. You can read more about what he is learning here.

– His locks are growing and becoming lighter with the summer sun. I can’t get enough of those sandy, sun-kissed curls. And YES I am aware he has a mullet. NO I am not cutting it. Please stop asking (this means you grandmas!).

What mama has learned: toddlers are so. much. fun. I love this stage! He never ceases to amaze me and of course I’m biased but I really won the lottery with this boy. Happy 19 months mi bebe!

CREAMSICLES | THE CURE ALL

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Friday morning my little babes was a little fussier than usual. Still running around like a loony tune but fussy and clingy nonetheless. We went to my moms, had lunch, and he passed out for his afternoon nap. Around 2pm he started to stir and I went to lay down with him in bed. I noticed he was shaking a bit and looked uncomfortable. I gently gave him a kiss as he slowly opened his eyes. He usually wakes up a bit cranky but his whines sounded different to me. More needy then “woman, what took you so long to get here. I want to play!”. I picked him up and he was hot. My mom doesn’t have a digital thermometer, instead she has a good ol’ rectal one. I thought for sure Lucas would go ape shit as soon as we stuck that thing where the sun don’t shine but he just laid limp in my arms as we checked his temp. At that point I knew for sure my baby was sick. So now I’m slightly panicking as I hold my sweet baby and see that he has a fever of 102. I immediately called the pediatrician and one of my closest friends who is a pediatric medical assistant. Both instructed me to give him tylenol every 4 hours and keep an eye out for any ear tugging or if he had trouble swallowing his food. If after 24 hours his fever hadn’t gone down then I was to immediately bring him in to be checked. I gave him his tylenol and put him in a cool bath. My water baby screamed the whole time. With each cry my heart continued to break. I’ve been pretty lucky in that Lucas really hasn’t gotten sick, even during our harsh NYC cold front this winter. I felt helpless. But then we had a creamsicle. He devoured the entire thing and even gave me a few smiles. Winning! Afterwards he ate an entire bowl of rice, a slice of ham, and a cup of crushed ice. I started to feel a bit better as I knew most likely he didn’t have an ear infection. We spent most of the day wrapped around each other and with him dozing in and out. He finally fell asleep for the night at 9 and woke up at 5 with a big, goofy grin and ready to start the day. He’s feeling much better but we are still keeping an eye on him, playing inside instead of taking him out in the hot sun.

Thank you for all your kind words and awesome tips on IG. I appreciate every single one. Lucas, I’m not a morning person but for you I will wake up at 5am until the end of the time as long as you greet me with that gorgeous, healthy smile.

BESOS DE MAMI | LANGUAGE LOVE

 vsco_0-1We have been speaking to Lucas in Spanish since the day he was born. However I have to admit, English is my first language. It is natural for me to speak in English before I talk in Spanish. My mama would ask me a question and my first reaction would be to answer in English. After having Lucas I realized the importance of speaking to him in Spanish right away. I wanted him to be bilingual and feel comfortable talking in both languages. On the grandparents side we are covered. All the abuelitas and abuelitos (grandmas and grandpas) speak to him ONLY in Spanish. This has been an immense help. The hubs and I have made a big, conscious effort to bring this home. I can’t tell you how good it feels to watch him respond, understand, and speak in Spanish! 
These are a few of the phrases/words that Lucas understands:
  • acuéstate // lay down
  • siéntate // sit down
  • leche // milk
  • almohada // pillow
  • dame // give me
  • ven aquí // come here
  • patea // kick
  • quiere agua // do you want water?
These are a few of the words he can say:
  • mas // more
  • pato // duck
  • leche // milk
  • nariz // nose
  • bobo // pacifier (this is more of a slang word, but it counts in my book! 😉 
It truly makes my heart so unbelievably happy to watch him pick up the language so quickly! It’s true what they say: babies are like sponges! If you’d like your little one to learn a second language, I highly recommend starting now. This has been such a satisfying accomplishment and I plan to continue talking and teaching Lucas in Spanish. My love Karla is also writing about language over on her blog and I couldn’t agree with her more. Knowing a second (or third, or fourth..) language can bring you so many opportunities both in everyday life and the work place. This mama plans on giving Lucas every stinkin’ chance to succeed that I can.

BESOS DE MAMI

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My culture has always been something I have been very proud of. I am of Puerto Rican decent and my hubby’s family is from the Dominican Republic. We are both American but our roots are full of rich, beautiful Latin culture. While on my trip to Puerto Rico I began to receive comments and messages from followers who had no idea that I was Puerto Rican and vice versa. I was completely unaware that this amazing community of Latina women even existed! It got me excited. Really excited! I started reading mommy blogs when I became pregnant with Lucas and admire, follow, and even have the privilege to call a handful my friend. However, after starting my own blog I realized that while I love so many of these beautiful families, none were like me.

I met Karla through Instagram  (I love me some IG 😉 and we have become fast, long distance friends. She lives with her husband and gorgeous daughter France in Sunny California. While I was vacationing in PR, we had an amazing phone conversation that got our juices flowing. Two Latina women getting worked up? You can just imagine the high pitched squeals coming from either end of the phone 😉 We came up with an idea to share with our readers what life is like as modern, American women instilling our core values into our children. Karla and I will be sharing everything from recipes, traditions, our roles as mothers and wives, and our struggles.

We have lovingly dubbed this series besos de mami. This journey is not just for Latin mommies, but all mommies. I think it is so important for us to teach our children to embrace all cultures and learn about what makes the people around so very special and unique. I hope you will enjoy following along and learning more about our families. Besos!

A TRIP TO THE ISLAND

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IMG_5678IMG_5683IMG_5694IMG_5701IMG_5702Finally! Over the 9 days we spent in Puerto Rico I took over 500 photos. I’m a little bit of a camera nut 😉 Each day we spent on our incredible island was better than the last. I know Lucas won’t remember much of this trip but I hope when he is old enough to look back on the pictures he will understand the magnitude of love that we shared on this trip. I plan to make this a yearly trip – nothing would make me happier than to watch him nurture the bond with his family as well as instill a love so great with this beautiful island where his ancestors are from.

This post is a bit of a photo dump. I narrowed down the images the best I could but there were so many favorites!

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