We 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.
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!
Finally! 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!
Our getaway to Puerto Rico was so very sweet. Beautiful memories were made that I will cherish forever. I am beyond grateful for the the moments where I literally felt like rainbows, butterflies, and glitter would burst from my happy heart. I promise my next post will be a photo overload of the beauty that was our #llvgoestopuertorico adventure. I actually started uploading all the photos when I stopped and realized that I wanted to be honest. I don’t know about you but I like to receive bad news before someone gets to the good stuff. It just makes me feel better. So here we go.
> Lucas is a born and bred city kid and we walk or take the train just about everywhere. My mom lives in the suburbs and we keep the car seat with her for trips and such. The poor boy could not get used to being strapped in for long periods of time. My phone was ready with fun and exciting apps. Nope. He would shut them off and hand the phone back to me. Not even Siri, his main squeeze, could save the day. Disney dvd’s on rotation? Ain’t nobody got time for that. To be fair, he was content most of the time. But at a certain point, usually the 20 minute mark, the only thing that would help was a bottle of a milk and a little prayer for a nap. Oh yea, then there was the one time I forgot his bottle and we drove 30 minutes with a screaming toddler. Good one mom.
>You have to carry a lot of shit. Everywhere you go. At home I’ve stopped lugging around everything we own and only pack the essentials. But on our daily vaca adventures? At times I had no idea where we’d end up and was nervous I wouldn’t be able to get what we needed in case a of a toddler emergency. So the most logical idea seemed to be to chuck everything in a bag. Most of which we never used. Go figure.
>Another shocking revelation? Toddlers don’t care if their mommies get a tan or sit poolside with a cocktail. The nerve! I don’t even know why this came as a surprise to me but it did. Don’t get me wrong. I loved splashing in the baby pool with my boy and watching him kick and squeal. It truly melted my heart. But every now and then as I was sitting in an unflattering indian position in 12 inches of water I’d see a childless woman strut by with a fruity concoction and stare her down with an evil/envious glare.
>Lucas is in a “mommy only” stage which is understandable since I work from home and we spend every waking moment together. I’m pretty fond of the kid myself. But sometimes I need a breather and daddy is an acceptable stand in. My hubby had to sit this trip out because of work and he was missed. I longed for our goodnight kisses and sleeping snug in his arms. But most of all I missed his help (we’re being honest here, right?). I missed having my teammate. Inconsolable toddler? One taps out and the other jumps in. I thank the heavens my beautiful mother was there to help change poopy diapers, sing songs, and dish out hugs when needed. I really am grateful, believe me, but there is nothing like having your partner with you. Someone who knows when you just need 5 minutes alone without ever having to utter a word.
>I love the feeling of sand beneath my feet. A luxury for this city mama. Lucas on the other hand hates it. Apparently this is common among toddlers (or maybe everyone was just trying to make me feel better). What did this mean for our beach trips? A baby cub clinging to me for dear life. He loves the water, but sand? No cigar.
> I bet you didn’t know that toddlers DON’T CARE that a vacation must is sleeping in. Shocker, I know. Lucas normally goes to bed around 8:30pm and wakes up anywhere between 7:45 and 8:30am. For 9 days Lucas refused to go to sleep until he decided he was good and ready. Usually around 10pm. For 9 days Lucas woke up at 6am. 6am people! His nap schedule was also all out of wack until our fourth day in. He was clearly ignoring the angry messages I was sending him via mommy brain waves to go the f to sleep.
>Something Lucas was really, really good at: sleeping on a plane! Don’t hate me for this one. I don’t want to rub it in but he slept both ways from take off to landing. Throw me a bone, ok?
In conclusion, traveling with little ones is hard. You need help. Lots of it. Things don’t always go as planned and you need to roll with the punches. BUT. It’s worth it. I got to witness the joy in my sons eyes as he met new family members, was showered with love, experienced new foods and adventures, and for goodness sakes, went down a water slide for the first time! I wouldn’t change a thing. Except for maybe smuggling Ivan into my suitcase. So tomorrow get ready for a post full of photos of one very cute boy on a Caribbean island and a few tips that I hope will help on your travels with the kiddos. I’m pretty sure you will agree that I saved the best post for last 😉
It’s a celebration for all the papa’s and what a celebration indeed! I grew up without a father figure (no pity party here…my mama was superwoman). That being said, it has been nothing short of amazing to witness the man I love become the ultimate role model for our son. He is everything I hope for Lucas. This man of mine has the patience of a saint (seriously) and the stamina of a superhero. He treats me like a queen everyday and shows Lucas what it means to be a good man. Baby, Lucas and I are forever thankful that God chose us to be a family. We celebrate you today and always. Te amo mi rey.
Oh, Puerto Rico. You were so so good to us. We are headed home tomorrow on an early flight and I’m looking forward to seeing my handsome man and sweet pup. Lucas on the other hand seems to love it here and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind extending our trip by another week or so 😉 I can’t wait to share our adventures and photos…after this mama finally gets some sleep (can I get an Amen for daddy’s?). See you tomorrow NYC!
On my visits to Puerto Rico as a young girl, by far my favorite family members to visit were my Tia Carmelina and my Tio Miguel. I got to play with my two older cousins from sun up to sun down and being an only child, this was extraordinary for me and free entertainment for mom! Their house had acres of land filled with the most beautiful mango trees, chickens, roosters, dogs, puppies – what more could a little girl ask for? Each morning fresh eggs were placed on a basket on the kitchen counter and every meal was made with fresh fruit, vegetables, and lots of love.
Yesterday afternoon after a glorious day at the beach, we went to my Tia and Tio’s for lunch. They still live in the same house and each time we visit all these amazing memories come flooding back to me. We had a delicious meal which consisted of lasagna, rice and fresh beans, sweet plantains, and home made tembleque for desert (ps – I’m coming back 10 pounds heavier after this trip). After our bellies were filled with goodness, we took Lucas outside to meet the chickens! He had so much fun feeding the hens and would squeal with laughter when they flocked around him. Then the best. thing. ever. happened. Something spiritual, magical, and surreal that cannot be properly described with words but rather felt with every fiber in my being. My cousin Orisel and I used to wait for these random bursts of rain that would pour of the sky. Fierce and strong drops of rain that would fall from the heavens for 15 minutes until the sun decided to shine again in all its glory. We would run outside fully clothed and let the water fall down on us until we were soaked. These moments were my absolute favorite. Something about it was so freeing and I felt it even as a little girl. So as we were feeing the chickens, the sky opened up and a rain shower started. Without missing a beat I kicked of my sandals and ran out with Lucas. It was an instinctual moment and it wasn’t until after I was inside drying Lucas’s curls that the magnitude of what had just happened hit me. I will be forever grateful to whoever up there decided to grant my son and I those few minutes of glory. There is something surreal and magical about experiencing your most treasured childhood memory with your child. It was a defining moment for me as a mother and on the days where I find struggle I will look back on this day and remind myself of the gifts of love I am passing down to my boy.
“motherhood is not a hobby. it is a calling. it is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. it is what god gave you time for.”
Hello from Puerto Rico! We made it! As excited as I was for our getaway, I had been dreading the trip over here. Our flight was scheduled for 5:40am which basically meant no sleep for mama. I’m an insomniac and knew I wouldn’t be able to go to bed at a decent time, no matter how hard I tried. The luggages, carry-on bags, stroller, and car seat were all set to go packed neatly by the front door. I put Lucas to bed in his fancy pajamas so he was all set outfit wise (monkeys are fancy, right?) and he was snoozing by 9pm. I showered, read for a while, but alas, like clockwork, I didn’t fall asleep until midnight. The alarm was set for 2am. Fun! When the dang thing finally went off (which felt like 5 minutes after I had closed my eyes) my mom and I scurried to gather the bags, get dressed, and seamlessly transfer the prince to his carseat. Btw – the hubby had to skip out on this trip but I’ll talk about that in another post. I already miss that man of mine so very much. Our car was already waiting for us downstairs and off we went. Once we arrived at the airport, check-in and security check were surprisingly easy. In less than 15 minutes we were inside and enjoying a coffee. Lucas was wide awake at this point. Equal parts confused, cranky, and energetic. Once we got to the gate it was packed – we were on a full flight. And by full flight, I mean a crap load of kids. Cryingkids. All very pissed off at the parentals who decided an early flight would be a good idea. After watching 2 ladies traveling with 6 kids combined struggle to get to the front of line, I started to feel less sorry for myself. Heck, I only had one munchkin AND a grandma with me. The kicker? This little army wound up sitting directly in front of us. Curious George (ahem..Lucas) just had to see what was going on so instead of fussing, he spent the first 10 minutes of the flight creaking his neck in between the seats to check out all the kids. I swear he gave me a look that said “mom, what in the world is wrong with these kids. maybe their mamas should have dressed them in some monkeys. sheesh!” He drank his bottle and drifted off to sleep. No sleep sheep for this boy! Crying babies would have to make do 😉 Three hours later, a stiff neck for mommy, and nothing short of a miracle, he woke up just as the pilot announced our landing. Moral of the story? I was worried for nothing! Our little adventure went off without a hitch (I’m currently tossing some salt over my left shoulder). So now here we are. After a fabulous first day of exploring and swimming my boy is currently snoozing, and hopefully I won’t be to far behind.
This is a recap of our seriously awesome day in the park last week. Better late than never, right? 😉 So back to the park. Central Park. Our beautiful backyard. Literally a hop, skip, and jump away from our little ol’ apartment. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have this lush haven to explore with Lucas. It has been our saving grace on many a cranky afternoon. I am a Central Park ninja at this point – I have scouted out and know all the perfect nearby spots to let Lucas run free and fill his pockets with dirt (under close supervision of course 😉
Last week was no exception. I rounded up the boys and off we went. One of my dearest friends was celebrating her grandmas birthday via a Central Park soiree and we were invited to join the festivities. There was lots and lots of kiddos, amazing food, music, and balloons. What more could we ask for?
We were having such a blast that we didn’t even realize we were still out having fun during Lucas’s bath time. We packed up the stroller and gunned it home, desperately trying to make it back before the little mister passed out. Well not only did he pass out, he was catching those z’s while sitting upright in daddy’s arms! We paid for this later when we HAD to wake him up for a quick rinse before bed (there was actual dirt in his diaper). At least it made for a funny photo op and video. Always a good time with my boys!
Today was good. Really good. It was the type of day NYC summer dreams are made of. Ninety degree weather..pshhhh. You don’t scare us! The hubs and I hopped on the train and headed downtown to meet a few of our loves and make a special stop at the Washington Square Outdoor Exhibition: “Art in the Village”. Lucas’s Uncle Phil is one heck of a talented artist and we had to go see his amazing display.
We set up camp right on University Ave. and spent the afternoon drinking chilled tea, blowing bubbles, and watching the passerby’s. One thing about NYC in the summer time, it sure brings out the crazies. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but seriously, sit in one spot for longer than 20 minutes and I guarantee you will be able to count the number of characters that pass you by on both hands. I write this not to scare you, but to assure you that this is what makes our city unique and fun 😉
Today was only the beginning of what looks to be an incredible summer for us. Keep the scorchers comin’! This mama isn’t complaining one bit (don’t hold this against me when I start rambling about how the heat is unbearable, the trains are stinky, yada yada yada ;). Happy summer days, you guys!