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Showing posts from 2017

Bye Bye 2017

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

2017, is almost gone 45 more minutes I'm not sad to see 2017,  go.
I had some good days.  Yet, those good days were overshadowed by Hurricane Maria destroying Puerto Rico.  She shattered my heart when my parents were missing for close to 2 weeks.

After Maria I had another family emergency, my uncle who lives with us fell into a diabetic coma and when he awoke he lost his memory.  He now in a nursing rehab facility regaining his strength and memory.

The good things about 2017, #Gingersnap is no longer a baby but a little boy with many toddler opinions and when things go bad I get great hugs.  My faith in God grew stronger though I encountered many trails this year.  

Also, my travel business keeps growing Amen.

Blessings to each of you.



Last Week of Advent-Merry Christmas

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The last candle is lit for PEACE
Advent is over;  tomorrow is Christmas, the day our King was born. During mass Catholics tell each other "Peace Be With You."  This Christmas I wish you peace, love, hope, and joy in 2018.






The Third Week of Advent

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This week is the candle Joy.
I am juggling many things this Advent/Christmas season that I was having trouble finding joy.  Hurricane Maria, my Uncle's health, my health it all seems overwhelming.

Yet, though I was having a troubled spiritual week, I did find joy some joyful moments

-I finally got my NEW wheelchair after 4 months of waiting. My current wheelchair is 11 years old.
-The Ginger Snap is progressing in potty training.
- I got to try some new recipes 
- For the last couple of weeks, my leg spams are not occurring. That means I can do my ADL's (activities of daily life).

I'm going to do an experiment in 2018, I'm going to try and write one thing that brought me joy each day.   


Organizing My House and Clearing My Mind

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Advent is a joyous time of year it's about preparing and celebrating Jesus's birth.

I don't know what is happening but my pain and leg spasms are decreasing. I'm excited that I have mobility again.  That gives me the energy to do the things I use to do and love such as cooking and baking.

Now that there is less pain, I have been clearing out the clutter and organizing the house and the boys.  Each week I have the Lupus Foundation come and pick up donated items.  Most of it are things that #TheGingerSnapToddler has outgrown or never wore and toys he doesn't play with anymore.   Also many kitchen items.   

Decluttering and organizing helps me mentally and physically.  I'm always working on making my home wheelchair friendly which is a challenge because the house is (67) years old.  We don't have a coat closet, we used to put our coats on dining table chairs.  My solution was to put #CommandHooks on the backside of the fireplace. Now we have a place to hang our c…

He Did It

For those of you that follow me on Twitter a few days ago, I tweeted that it was easier for me to potty train my puppy then # GingerSnapToddler

Yet, early this morning while getting ready to go to daycare.  He said I have to potty, he sat down on his Mickey Mouse potty and ACTUALLY went potty.  He had a full bladder.  When I took off his diaper this morning it was dry.

Yes! I'm excited about this for many reasons:

-He stops hiding in a corner afraid of the potty and having many accidents.

-No more purchasing diapers (they cost about $50 in Costco)

-He is getting to be more independent

I miss the baby days, he will be (3) years old in January.  He is growing fast, I try to enjoy each moment with him.  I love when he comes home with Dan in the evenings and walks into the house, announcing  "Momma I'm Home"  while taking off his coat.



A Child Never Leaves a Mother's Heart

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My #GingerSnapToddler will be (3) years old next month.  Time has gone by quick. Yet, these past few days I find myself thinking about our other baby.  In 2006, (7) months into our marriage we had a miscarriage.  Our baby went to heaven early into our pregnancy.  Yet, I think about that baby almost every day.
This weekend my son was getting into everything.  He ran around the church like a wild boy.  At home his toys and clothes were everywhere. This morning he was loud and whiney asking me to play with him. That is when it hit me my first baby would be (10) years old this Christmas.
I would love to have that child with me on earth. To hold, hug and talk to them. To see both my children interacting like silly siblings.  My first baby would be a great help to me with their younger sibling.  My #GingerSnap would have some to be with him when I’m gone.
I keep thinking was it a daughter or a son? Would they also have red hair and a loud laugh, like their little brother? What would be their fa…

The Second Sunday of Advent Peace

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Living in the United States after 9/11 and being a military wife.  I lived the first (10) years of my marriage with looming thoughts of war daily.  My husband and I celebrated many Christmas apart. 
When I leave my home, I come across much negative draining energy. I find myself longing to seek refuge and the only place I find peace is at home.  Yes, it’s noisy and I must go into the tub to pray the rosary at times, but home is peace.  It is where I know I can pray, eat, laugh and enjoy my family.  It is not easy to stick to a routine.  Since my uncle went into the nursing home for rehabilitation after his coma.  I feel overwhelmed with taking care of the house, going to working, spending time with the little one, my husband and visiting my uncle to keeps spirits up . You must find a way to be at peace and be still during the day to keep sane in this fast-paced world.   Each morning I read a mediation from my e-mail subscription from the Catholic Company and I pray a rosary.

Happy Advent

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It's the first day of advent and this home is chaotic. 
My mother flew back to Puerto Rico Saturday.  Yes, you heard correct she went back home.  Though Puerto Rico is in disarray, we all MUST REMEMBER this island is home to millions.  Many don't want to leave their homes abandoned. Puerto Rico will always be home for many, I included.

Sunday morning my aunt went back home to Florida.  I sent for her when my uncle, her brother fell into a diabetic coma.  My uncle has been transferred to a nursing/rehab facility, after a month in the hospital.  When he woke from his coma things were different he has memory loss, no balance, he's weak and can not stand for more than a few minutes.  

The house feels empty with the exemption of the active #GingerSnapToddler.  My uncle is an important person in our family.  He helps take care of our son, my son thinks of him as a grandpa figure, he takes care of all the little things I forget around the house and we consider him the patriarch of t…

Mary Undoer of Knots

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I started this daily seminar from Good Catholic called Mary Undoer of Knots.  It's been helpful during these hurdles my family and me are facing.  I'm taking it slow because I want to immerse myself in each lesson.

I went back to the beginning of the course and try to do it twice a week.  I want to do a lesson a day but it feels like a busy train station in this house. I'm having a difficult time calming down and concentrating.   I know I need to learn to take at least 30 minutes to pray and reflect.  I'm working on it baby steps.  I dusted off a plague I got of Mary and baby Jesus in Spain and started my small mediation space on my night stand.





The Advent Wreath Tradition & Meaning

The Holidays This Year...

It's almost here Thanksgiving. As I have written before our families rent a home during Thanksgiving and Easter in Lancaster PA.  This year I'm melancholy  since #HurricaneMaria and now with my uncle in the hospital I'm struggling to see the bright side of things.

My mom's and uncle's younger sister Amelia came from Florida to be with me for (3) weeks to help me out while uncle is in the hospital.  Amelia is a beautiful soul her presence is calming.  

My mom flew in today from Puerto Rico to get some medical treatments and much needed rest.  (60) plus days with no water, power and little food has taken a toll on her and my dad.  Dad refused to come.  I had to give my worry regarding my dad up to God because after much tears and prayer I heard my mother in law say 'Let GO And Let God'  it has been emotional grueling to let go.

My uncle is improving but it will a slow recovery.  He finally started talking in 4 word sentences.  Baby steps.  Arthur-Ray asks for hi…

Handel - Messiah - by London Philharmonic (Complete Concerto/Full)

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Getting Spirtuality Ready for the Holidays

This is a tradition for us to go and hear this live in concert.

Then there is the Nutcracker Ballet.

A Christmas Carol at the Ford Center.

Then there is a trip to Visit Bethlehem PA

With it Nativity plays and scenes

I Can Cook Again

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Disclaimer:  I'm not an affiliate of the Air Fryer XL.  I'm not getting money to talk about their product.  I'm writing about the fryer because it may help moms with disabilities cook for their families or any busy mom for that matter.
Uncle Joey is the cook in the house since I can no longer stand at the stove. Since he is in hospital dinner fell on us.   I decided to put the air fryer to work.

I have to say it's easy to use and I don't have to worry about getting burnt.  
Homemade french fries are my favorite. They cooked in air fryer in 18 minutes. All I had to do was spray oil on the fries. We had Omaha steaks also made in the fryer I don't remember how many minutes.





No one likes salmon in my house but me so I got to make Salmon and Bok Choy.  The Salmon was excellent it was cooked through and not dry.
















We also cooked pork chop but I forgot to take a photo. All you have to do is spray the food with some oil put it in fryer and use the automatic setting.  I turn t…

Happy National Redhead Day 2017

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The Season Of Advent Is Fast Approaching

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Advent is fast approaching.  The #GingerSnap is aware of holidays this year.  This will be the first advent he can join in the celebration. I'm trying to get advent candles that are toddler-friendly.  I found this great advent calendar at The Catholic Company and these greatbatteries operated advent candlesand Nativity Advent Wreathon Amazon. They should be here Monday, thanks to Amazon Prime.

I can't believe only about (7) weeks left of 2017.  Life is flying by I have to remember to stop and smell the roses.  Also, let go of anger and sadness.  Last week I spent 2 days in the hospital because I have gallstone issues with my common bile duct.  I have a stent in the CBD it gets clogged though I changed my diet and take meds. I have to get it changed about every three months.

Then last Sunday morning at 2 a.m., I thought my #GingerSpap fell out of bed he sneaked upstairs to sleep with his great uncle (more like his grandpa).  Yet, his screams were more then a fall.  When my husban…

My Loves For All Things Disney

Everyone that knows that  I'm Disney crazy.  Yes! I love the Mouse and EVERY DISNEY movie.
One of my favorites is Mulan.  I love the music and the story.  A young woman, in the beginning, was unsure of herself but by the end of the movie, she realizes her worth.  Mulan saved China and herself. As I write this blog post-Mulan is on Disney Junior. 
Movies like this and the joy of Disney is why I became a Disney Travel Specialist.  I get joy from creating the most memorable family vacations for my clients.  It's no secret I'm always saving for my next Disney adventure.  I also get asked for tips for planning a trip to Disney World.  The easiest way is to let me plan it for you.  Yet, if you want to book it yourself here are a few tips:
1. Think about what Disney theme park your family will visit the most.  Disney World is HUGE. There are close to 26 resorts on property and 4 theme parks and 1 water park.  I usually stay at the resort closest to the theme I will visit the most…

Is An Air Fryer Worth The Price?

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YES! My uncle has become a kitchen gadget guy since he moved in with us three years ago. Vegetable slicers, baking pans, copper frying pans, can openers, we got it. His latest purchase was the XL Air Fryer.  He got it after watching the infomercial for the 100th time. We love to try out products and if they do not work like the commercial says we sent it back.


This whole chicken cooked in an hour.  Breast down for (30) minutes then breast up for (30) minutes. The skin was crunchy and the meat was juicy.  No more over cook dry chicken in this house.  Clean up is a breeze a  bit of soap and water and rinse out the pan.
I love making this chicken because I use the leftovers in casseroles, soup or salad. And I freeze the bones until I'm ready to make stock.  We need to try other recipes. 

When Your Told Your Child Needs an Evaluation

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During a parent/teacher night at the daycare, the staff brought some concerns they were having with our son.

-His speech wasn't clear
-His temperament was causing disruption in the class.  He's quick to anger and is frustrated quite often.

They suggested we have him evaluated by the county.

This caused me distress and tears.  No parent wants to hear that their kid is different.  Even though as his mother I knew what they had brought to our attention.  As a former teacher, I knew his speech was a bit delayed.  I experienced his frustration daily.  None of these issues was a surprise.  The surprise was they wanted him to be evaluated.  I just believed he was a bit immature.  I keep hearing boys develop slower them girls.  I was upset and feared to have him evaluated for the simple fact I didn't want him to be labeled, put in a box and forgotten.  He's only (2) years old.  Again as a former teacher, I knew most special ed classes were filled mainly with boys and these bo…

No Fuss Easy Casserole

Most Sundays during fall I make a casserole with left overs from the week, Last night  was no different. Yet this week I made (2) casseroles and gave one to my neighbor another busy working mom of a teenager.

We cooked a box of Penne pasta (I use whatever I have in the pantry)
I had Arthur-Ray help chop mushrooms with a butter knife. Yes, get those 2 year-olds working.  I find if he helps he will eat dinner.

In a large bowl I added:

-chop mushrooms they were sliced all ready but I had my sous chef cut them in half
-a half of a bag of frozen broccoli bits
-2 can 10oz. of canned chicken
-1 bag of shredded cheese (I had a 6 cheese Italian blend on hand)
3 cans of cream of mushroom soup

Mixed it together.

Cook the pasta to al dente reserve one cup of the starchy pasta water.
Drain the rest off
Pour the mixture from the bowl into the pot.
Add a bit of pasta water to thin out the mixture.

Spray a casserole dish with pam spray we use olive oil.
I divided the mixture in two casserole dishes.

The Missing People Choir Bring Crowd to Tears!| Auditions 1 | Britain’s ...

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This was a moving audition.  I couldn't image my child going missing.






Our Children Make America Great

There is much division in America these days. Many people are forgetting we are a land of immigrants. Last week in daycare the kids had to bring in items representing their heritage.

I loved reading the groups newsletter last week:

Child  A)  is from Minnesota and Nebraska and he brought two towels with beautiful designs on them and a book of each state and what makes them so interesting.
Child B) is from China, she brought a Chinese horse and a colorful book in Chinese. She also taught us how to say hello in Chinese.
Child C) brought a giant panda bear to talk about his Chinese heritage, and we learned about how special pandas are in China,
Child D) shared with everybody his dominos with the Cuban flag on them, and some pasta to represent his heritage from Italy!
Child E) brought a special interactive poster that helps him learn his alphabet in Amharic, Ethiopia’s language.
Child F) family is from Uganda. She brought a special and beautiful container to keep the milk fresh for the ba…

The American Flag

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If Americans love this flag and are angry with NFL players.
Why isn't this flag in a museum?

And this flag Even ALLOW in America?

If Americans REALLY cared about our flag the other two SHOULD NEVER BE FLOWN AGAIN.
THERE IS ONLY ONE AMERICAN FLAG THE RED WHITE AND BLUE 






The Elephant Lingering in My Home: Puerto Rico

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that is how many days it took before my mom called to tell us they survived #Hurricanemaria.
Emotions bubble to the surface unexpectedly all the time. we are going about living and I burst into tears at my doctor appointment, in the shoe store buying new shoes for my toddler, and it was waterworks at the supermarket. 
I think of my family, my cousins there are many, aunts, uncles and my parents, who are going without these simple luxuries we take for granted.

It's week (3) of the aftermath:
My cousin posted on FB this is 74-year-old mother called and said that she celebrated today because she got enough water to wash up a bit. My cousin posted on FB that they are bathing in the river, waiting in line for gasoline, she is trying to find food for herself and her elderly neighbors. Then this video shows up on my FB feed regarding the Western side of the island where my family is: Video of the Western Side of Puerto RicoThe tears flow again.  I didn't see my town's post office as …

My Parents Have Made Contact

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MY PARENTS ARE FOUND This past weekend my cousin spotted my dad in town but he was preoccupied looking for necessities and she didn't speak to him. We keep it to ourselves until we got more information. Since my mum was not with him. We were afraid of the worst because pop would not leave mum alone in this environment. Mum called my sister and spoke with her briefly yesterday evening. Mum said they were ok. They were getting water from a Spigotat one of the grocery stores about (7) miles from the farm. She said her ulcer in her leg burst open and she and pop were scared because she bled for a while until it stopped. Today made 12 days since I spoke to my mum. While working on some Disney bookings for clients. My cell rang it was mum. I began to shake because her photo and number were blinking on my cell. It was a quick 5 minutes emotional call with tears and fast-talking. We were afraid of the call dropping. She told me she loved me. Yet, the farm is gone only the house is…

Eight Days and No Word

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I now know. how family members of loved ones living in New Orleans, during Katrina felt waiting for news. Any news, most of my family have been found alive.  My parents are still unaccounted for and it's day (8).  This is a nightmare I can't wake up from.

Sleep is elusive and I'm guilt-ridden each time I go to the grocery store or try to eat.  I weep because I wonder about my parent's are they hungry?  My cousin got word to us, she drove to San Juan to find a cell signal, water, and food for her children.  She cries because they are hungry and there is little to no food.  As any mother would she feeds her kids before herself.   She tries to get them to sleep so they will forget they are hungry.  She is trying to get to Wisconsin to her sister's home.

I'm scared and frustrated the news reports are telling me that the supplies are at the ports. Yet, there are no trucks, or drivers to transport the supplies since Saturday, September 23, 2017.  #Maria made landfall a…

The Aftermath of a Hurricane

#Maria has decimated my home, Puerto Rico.  I have sent the e-mails to PRFAA, FEMA, and Redcross and just sit and wait.  I broke down in the office for the first time on Friday when a co-worker asked if I heard from my parents.  I sobbed and fell into a crumbled mess just saying over and over again "the photos coming to light show it all gone water is everywhere."  That is the moment I knew what it must have been like for all those people in New Orleans after Katrina destroyed NOLA (12) years ago.


I'm going bat crazy.It has been about (6) days since I heard my mother's voice.  Communication has been cut off.  News reports say it may take (6) months or more to have communications/power restored on the island. My mum told me Monday that since #Irma hit the week before there we little provisions in the stores.  Water and gas were being rationed in preparation for #Maria.  I asked about their medicine supply and the animals.  Mum replied "we have our medications for …

It's Not Always Easy To Speak Out

Below is a link to an article that my cousin posted on Facebook:


N.J. mother shared her toddler's hospital bill; then came death threats
This was my comment:

Every American has a health care story. Yet, other Americans telling her, that her child's life isn't worth much is sickening. America has become a callous nation cloaked in false Christianity. I'm tired of our leaders and fellow Americans saying they are Christian but have failed to act as Jesus told them to do. Jesus loved everyone unconditionally and helped the unwanted. That is your calling as a Christian. #HumanityPassItOn


Of course, it made some people uncomfortable.

My reply: There are times in life we as humans have to say and do things that we believe to be right while others disagree.  Our nation is hurting and we as its citizens need to speak up for those who can not speak for themselves.  

I'm a Christian and I try every day to do what is right.  I pray for people I do not know or care for. I find m…

Tired

Yesterday, in Charlotteville, Virginia, the KKK protested the removing or Confederate statues.  The KKK protesting doesn't bother me.  This is America and as Americans, we should be able to agree to disagree.  The first amendment protects free speech even the ugly speech of hate.  

What bothers me is the KKK walks around with hoods on their head to instill fear in people.  Those hooded people are COWARDS.  If you are going to hate me because I'm not WHITE.  Show me your devil face.  If you want to hurt me and kill me I want to see my killer's face.

Let's not forgot the KKK openly endorsed our current President. The same President who exhibits daily unbecoming behavior of a federal employee and the President with his tweets and actions.  
I will not let the hatred seep into me. Fear control me. My mind hurts, my heart breaks and my body aches over all this turmoil in my country.  I worry and pray for they young people in my family that come in many beautiful shades.  I pra…

The Best Graduation Present

One thing I learned as a new mom of a toddler.  As a parent you will do anything for your children
A dad worked  about (13) years on this gift for his daughter's graduation.

http://themetapicture.com/her-father-kept-this-secret-for-13-years/

Picking your Battles with Your Toddler

Today, Arthur-Ray wanted to choose his outfit
He decided to wear his Spider-Man PJ top his gray pants and Elmo Clogs.

Uncle Joey tried to change him into trainers and a t-shirt.  Which was a no go.
During breakfast I told Uncle Joey, to let it go, this wasn't a battle to have with Arthur-Ray.
It's just clothes and whatever makes him feel comfortable.

Of course, I tried to take a photo but he ran away.  He doesn't approve of my paparazzi ways.

As for potty training that is a battle I chose to fight.  He's doing good when it comes to peeing in the potty.  Now the other stuff that is a challenge,  poop isn't going in the potty yet.

What will Happen To My Family?

The politicians in this country don't care about #WeThePeople.
I have about (7) pre-existing conditions.  My husband is close to (60) and I care for 3 seniors.
I fear we will have no insurance and nowhere to turn to for help.

These lawmakers say they are Christian. So, I ask you why aren't they walking in the light of Jesus.
Jesus cared for the poor, sick, children, humanity and all living things he created.
Nothing these politicians say or do is Christian like in words or actions.

I'm already in debt because of my medical bills.  I'm scared a loved one or me will get ill and we will be turned away for treatment or need to file for bankruptcy and becomes homeless.  It's possible many families are only a paycheck away from losing everything.

We guarded our finances but when Dan became unemployed for (2) years because he could only find part-time work. We used our savings and investments to stay afloat.There is little to fall back on.

This administration had a chan…

Why the only future worth building includes everyone | Pope Francis

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What if people with this much compassion and understanding were the rulers of the world?   Oh, the positive possibilities.

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As a person with many pre-existing todWay's voting of the health bill scares me.
I feel betrayed.  I feel like this country hates sick people, poor people and anyone that does not
look or act like the men and woman in congress and administration.                                          

They had months to work on improving the ACA.
Why did they rush it?  That's how the last congress made the ACA ineffective.
If I didn't have my faith I would be dead from despair. The times we are living in are sad, scary and depressing.

I prayer and hope lawmakers have a coming to Jesus moment in their lives.  Many Congressmen and Senators say they are Christian.  Yet, the way they behave doesn't  seem Christian to me at all.



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In this world of the fast-paced living, we have to stop and come back to the family. Dan and I took a vacation day to go the Zoo with our son's his daycare group.This year he turned 2 years-old and allowed to ride the Big Yellow Bus. I was worried but we let him ride the bus while we followed behind. He was happy to see us when he arrived with his group. We saw so many animals.  The loin was his favorite. He roared the whole time. I enjoyed looking at flamingos
I was excited myself to be at the zoo, I love giraffes and I never saw one that was not a photo. We got to see elephants and just hang out as a family. The chimps scared him and his great uncle.  As we walked outside the chimp enclosure the chimps were out inside in the enclosure are that has grass. The chimps started to grunt behind a tree, it took everyone by surprise, the adults jumped and my son cried. "No Monkey No".
When we met up with our group my son got back on the bus to head home. When we pulled into th…