Kill’em with KINDNESS!

Oh how I love to be kind! I so absolutely DO mean it ya! The whole “kill them with kindness” phrase started swirling in my head after two people whom I respect very much mentioned the phrase in two completely different scenarios. It just got me thinking… this is so the best way to live life! So let’s explore that together, shall we?

The first person who mentioned this phrase was an instructor at a class at work. She has reputable credentials, has been keynote speaker at administrative professional conferences, wrote a book and is overall a smartsie pants lady. We were talking about how to handle difficult people. People who make our lives challenging to say it nicely. People who think stirring the pot is a must. There were about 18 people in the class and we were discussing the best ways to respond to difficult people. Of course the first answer was to ignore them. Sure it sounds easy but have you ever tried ignoring someone who is literally on your face bitching about life and bringing your mojo down?! It ain’t that easy. And this is an “easy” scenario since it doesn’t “hurt” your work directly just your ability to not kill someone who is on your face! Someone else said that she would have a conversation with annoying person and ask to please respect her space and allow her to work. Sure this sounds like a very professional solution but not everyone can do this. Of course you can’t go to your boss to tell him or her that annoying person is annoying because as professionals we are expected to solve these kind of issues by ourselves. I mean this is not even a work issue; more like an attitude issue. How can we make someone want to change the way they behave?

The other person who brought this phrase up was a brother at my church’s group. No I won’t be talking to you about religion, don’t worry. We were talking about what it means to love as a Christian. Like I said, I won’t bring here the religious details, but we came to the conclusion that to be good a good neighbor you need to try to accept and embrace every person for who they are. With that said, there will be one, or two, or many people out there who will be hard to swallow (if ya know wha’ I mean), and that is when you want to use kindness to offset negative behaviors and keep joy in your heart. I know not everyone is religious but we all want to be good neighbors, right? Yes? Maybe? Come on, you got this!

So how do we do this? To begin let’s be realistic. Sure changing their behaviors would be great in La La Land, but that is not always possible in the real world since it requires for the other party to do something and you don’t have control over that. I mean you can’t force them to be nice. So what can you do? Well, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. On that note, you only have control on how you react to annoying person or annoying neighbor. Let’s talk about our reaction before we inspire annoying person or neighbor not to be so freakin annoying! What can we do?

  • We can get mad! Sure we can but why get mad about it? When we get upset about what someone did, it only affects us and not the other person. If you choose to get upset you will engage emotionally making your pretty heart ache and you will engage physically getting wrinkles on your pretty face not to mention all the bad stuff stress causes to our body. You don’t want that right? Of course not!
  • We can ignore them! Sure that is also a choice. It might work some days and others not so much. There is no guarantee on this one because some days you will have the willpower to ignore and some other days it will be impossible so I say not a great choice.
  • We can confront them! Yes, let’s tell them what is wrong with them! (insert sound of evil laugh here would ya) That is also a choice but when we confront others we risk the relationship. In addition, some people get extremely defensive so they might not even hear your great argument and is no bueno to have enemies right and left because I am telling you is no bueno so trust you me.

Getting upset doesn’t solve the situation and only affects you not the other person. Now there are a few things in life that spread like the flu in October and kindness can be one of them! Being nice to them can change things up in a good way. How so? Let’s dig deep just like Shaun-T shall we:

  • When we are nice not only our souls feel good and pretty, but there is a physical response at the biochemical level. That good feeling is some type of healthy “high” for our bodies thanks to elevated levels of dopamine in the brain.
  • There is a hormone called oxytocin which is also known as “cardio protective” hormone. Turns out when we are nice there is an emotional response in our body that produces this hormone which after all that science stuff I won’t bore you with basically means our blood pressure lowers and that is all good healthy stuff ya!
  • And remember that awesome oxytocin hormone from before? Well when we are kind and we lower our blood pressure we also reduce levels of radicals and inflammation which translates into slowing down aging. Say wha?! Yup, there is a response in your body when you are kind that slows down again. Young again!
  • And the most important, in my opinion that is, kindness is contagious! Good acts, trigger more good acts, which ultimate help with better relationships. Ain’t that cool? Treat others the way you want to be treated and I while can’t guarantee 100% of the people will respond treating you better, I’ll guess a good 97% will and that is great! What about the other 3% you ask? Those are real jerks and we can’t do much about them BUT we can continue to be nice to them jerks and feel good, improve our health, our spiritual being and slow down aging! Now that is pretty cool if you ask me. And because kindness is contagious there is a high chance that annoying person or neighbor will start acting differently and make things better between the two of you. Score!

Let me tell you it is definitely worth trying. Be kind always. When someone is not being nice to you, try harder and make them want to change their negative behaviors. The world needs more kindness. Be the reason why someone smiles. Be the reason why someone acts nice. Be the reason why others are inspired to do good things.

kindness

I miss you endlessly…

Have you ever lost a loved one? Believe it or not, not everyone has. There has been the case when someone you knew from school, work, your neighborhood or long lost relative passes away. You are human and you empathize with the loss but it doesn’t hurt you because there was no emotional connection with that person. There is nothing wrong with that. It happens. It is part of life. But some one of us have suffered losing a loved person. Let me tell you… that hurts. This is the story of the worst day yet of my life.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008. I had worked the graveyard shift at the hotel the night before. I came home early in the morning and slept for a few hours. My next door neighbor was watching our almost 5-month-old baby while my husband went to school that morning. He came home around noon time. I woke up, and got ready to go grab lunch for him, breakfast for me with the baby. We left the house and were at the stop light two blocks away. My phone rang. It was my mom. I answered and she gave me the worst news I have yet received. She said my baby brother had passed away. When she finished the sentence her voice broke and I could hear her crying. This was the second time in my life that I heard my mom crying. I will never forget the feeling… it felt like ice cubes had been dropped in the back of my shirt and they were slowly rolling down my back. I felt a pain on my chest. My stomach was suddenly tight and felt like what I would imagine it feels for someone to punch in the stomach. The tears started rolling down my cheeks. I couldn’t believe it. I was in shock. It seriously felt like the time had stop and many of my fondest memories of him went through my head. It was a quick second that felt forever. I asked what happened and she went to tell me about the accident that had taken my brother’s life away.

That wasn’t all. She was not able to get a hold of my other two brothers who also lived here in the US. She asked me to call them and tell them the bad news. See, over here in the US the time between a person passing and a funeral can be big. I don’t know exactly since I’ve only been to a few but I guess 3 days to a week, or two? Back home, it is not like that. The funeral takes place the day after  the passing so it was critical for us to get ourselves on a plane back home asap so we could say our goodbyes to our baby brother. I cried and with all the pain in my heart I called my brother. He answered. I told him the news… I could recognize in his voice the same reaction I just had a few minutes ago when my mom told me about it.

I remember we got some Hawaiian BBQ take out but i couldn’t even get to take a bite. I swear I could feel my heart broken. I was for sure in the denial stage of grief. I just couldn’t believe… he was gone way too soon. I was mad wondering why would this have happened. Did anyone try to help him? So many questions running around my head. I was stuck on the anger stage of grief until I was able to see him. I scrambled to get a ticket back home for the next morning. We weren’t in the best financial shape of our lives back then but luckily for me, a good friend came through and helped me so I could go home and say my goodbyes to my baby brother. I was in Guatemala for only 5 days and to be honest most of it was hazy. I only remember two clear things from those days:

  1.  When everyone was gone the night that I arrived, we opened his casket. Until that moment a part of me was hoping this was all some type of mistake and it wouldn’t be him laying in it. Sadly for me, it was him. He looked like the last time I visited about a year and a half prior. But what I remember clearly was his face expression… he looked so peaceful. There were a few bruises on his face, very minor stuff, but his face was even angelical I swear.
  2. The next day at the funeral I saw my mom in a whole new light, a light I will never forget. I’ve always thought of my mom as a strong woman. She raised my three brothers and I as a single mom and she has gone above and beyond to provide us with the best possible. I will never forget at the funeral, there was a lot of people because I am blessed to share my brother was a loved person. I could hear them crying, sobbing. My mom started crying but she checked herself real fast. She was holding together quite amazingly considering she had lost her baby son. I on the other was not holding it quite well and all I wanted to do was cry because there was nothing else I could do make things better. My mom’s oldest brother was next to me and he said: “mija, you need to hold it together because that’s what your mom needs now”. I don’t know how I did it but suddenly I felt this strength in me. A strength that made me realize he was in a better place for my brother was a believer and as such he will always live in God. My mom knew that too, and while it hurts to said goodbye to her son, her faith was stronger. I will never forget that. My mom’s strength was beyond me; she was been upheld by God during one of the hardest moments in her life.

Why was this kid so special? Well, let me tell you a bit about him. He was by no means perfect. Nobody is really. But he was such a special boy since day 1. Extremely determined (yup, that also means stubborn at times), he knew what he wanted, and he was a very religious man. He was an altar boy since he was allowed, was extremely serious about religion and being respectful at church. He was the sacristan of our church when he was like 14 or 15 and he had no problem telling other people to stop bad behaviors while at the church. His vocation was quite clear to him and he joined the minor seminary as a teenager. I want to say he was finishing her second year in the major seminary when a tragic accident at the year’s closure retreat took his life away. He had turned 21 earlier that October. I have not a single doubt in my heart that if he were alive, he would be a priest by now. I know one of his fellow seminary-mates ordained as a priest a year or two ago. He loved studying, not so good with sports. And if you wanted to drive him a bit nuts you could serve his food all together on the same plate. Ha! He didn’t liked his food touching but I totally get that one. He was funny but only if he was comfortable with you. He used to protect me in middle school although he was one year younger than me. He would save his lunch money to buy me a bag of mangoes on our way to the bus stop. My angel. He was the best.

I miss him endlessly. Sometimes when I think of him, my eyes filled with tears just like right now as I type this. But every time I make the effort to not think of how much I miss and rather how much I love the memories we created together. I can picture him falling on the bus on his back with his backpack on and looking like a turtle that can’t turn around which actually happened in fact more than once. I believe there is a place where our souls go to after they leave our bodies and I am sure we will meet again in the after life. Until then, sending a big hug to heaven to my baby brother Omaito P. I miss you endlessly brother.

omaito p

Dreadful Commutes!

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Well, you have probably noticed that most of my posts are cheerful and on the positive side because that is the kind of person that I am and if I find myself gearing in a different direction, I push myself back to happy land where it’s all sparkly and unicorns are pooping rainbows. My life is by no means perfect. I simply choose to focus on the positive, and that’s just me. BUT this morning I was reminded of how overly annoying commuting to work can be, and well hello here I am!

I feel truly blessed that just before baby no. 3 was born we were able to move to the south bay. I am not particularly a fan of the heat that comes along with moving farther from SF by the mile, but it was a great opportunity for our family to live closer to our work and also to a nicer neighborhood so that was a no brainer for us. My commute went from spending 45 – 90 minutes during the morning commute to about 20 or less. My evening commute also improved from 1 to up to 2 hours in afternoon traffic to 15-20 minutes. You can see what a difference that is, right?! I always wished that I could have some of that time back to spend it in something that I love much more and need more of: working out! Seriously, seriously! When you are siting on a car for 1-2 hours every day and just listening to the radio to stay busy and possibly snacking on something unhealthy to keep you awake or in a good mood while you are driving 16 mph on I-880N, and you could instead use some of that time to do things you need like running, or lifting some weights, or attending a zumba class or yes even take a nap that would be great!

Now while I have gotten a significant amount of time back by moving closer to work, I am not spending that spare time on working out all the time but I am doing others things that are equally or even more important such as: sleeping more, walking my kids to school every morning (this is my favorite one), cooking dinner (ok this only happens sometimes but it sure counts!), taking the kids to after school classes, among other things. And it doesn’t end there. Before my husband and I would find ourselves mentally drained after a 90 minutes commute at the end of a work day. You come home, and all you want is to lay in your bed and take a nap. There are so many stupid drivers on the road, I am telling ya! After having to deal with many of them for a long time you don’t even want to deal with people when you get home. But, oh wait, that’s not a choice to me because I am parent and have little ones waiting for me. So needless to say those days were rough!

Now I get why people are moving away from the Bay and being forced into long commutes every day. The prices for rent have been spiking over the past years like crazy. Seriously! There was a craigslist ad that made it to the local news not too long ago. This person was charging $1000/month to rent his walk-in-closet in SF. His closet! The closet was big enough for a sleeping bag laid down and maybe a couple of suitcases for your stuff next to it. So it wasn’t big enough but was that a good deal? It actually was! I know it sounds ridiculous but ask anyone who lives in the Bay Area and will think it was quite affordable despite of the ironic joke behind it. The rent prices are off the roof! Real state is really no different. I am imagining $900K is the average price for a house in the bay and that barely gets you a 3 bedroom/ 2 bathroom townhouse so no, that is not a lot of land I am talking about! This clearly explains why people are moving east to Tracy and Stockton area where the house price is cut in half as well as the rent. You get more value for your money. I get it. But you also are forced to spend 1-2 hours in traffic each way every day… I don’t think I can do that!

It’s no joke to live in this beautiful area, with great weather, with such diversity, with safe neighborhoods (not every where but you get me), there is price for it. And don’t get me wrong, I absolutely, totally, completely  understand some people are left with no choice than live miles away and have long commutes. Back to what got me thinking about this was a visit to my dentist which is located in the East Bay and since I only go every 6 months I figured it wasn’t too bad of a compromise. I had an early appointment too, at 7am. Was on the road back south by 7:30am. It took me a bit over 50 mins to drive 20 miles south during Friday morning commute which is typically light. That was crazy?! So what do you do when you have no choice but sit on traffic for  a long period of time? This is where the good can come if you allow it.

When I had the long commuteI wished there could be a way that we could make the most out of this “down” time. Sitting on a car for 2 hours that instead I wished I could go to the gym since when I got home I had no time… but wait a minute, there is something you can do! Actually, there are many things that can be done and I failed to consider before:

  • You can listen to audio books during this time! Knowledge is power my friends. The more educated we are, the stronger professionals we are. The stronger professionals we are the better our reputation gets. The better our reputation gets the more teams want us as part of theirs. Boom! Amazon has great audio choice called audible. Look into that. Sure we can memorize Beyonce’s new lyrics during this time, but if you can instead use that time to create more value for yourself better yet.
  • Listen to books of the things that interest you, or the things that you should be learning more about such as industry-related stuff. I am such a half-full-glass gal and I like motivational books so I have gotten some of those for me now. My commute might be less but I have now learned the value of every second of my time. I try to make the most of it. Learning on your drive to work, that’s a  great way to turn a dreadful commute into a productive one!
  • You can go to they gym by your work and get on the road later when the traffic is less. This only works for so many people, but if your responsibilities allow it, and by that I mean you have no kids or a good backup system, go to a class while waiting for traffic to die down a bit.
  • You can go to school after work and improve your skills! Find a community college close to your work and sign up for an evening class. Most start around 5pm. Go to school and learn a new trade or improve your current skills or learn a new language. Remember, we have to invest in ourselves first. The more you know, the better, trust me.
  • If your employer has flexibility ask about modifying your work hours. You might need to start much earlier but that means you can go home before traffic starts which means you will get there faster. Or you can ask about coming in later and waiting for evening traffic to die down to head home. Don’t be afraid to ask. You might think you don’t have a choice but sometimes we don’t have it because we didn’t ask for it.

Well, hopefully this helps you a bit if you are one of the many with a long commute. Try to make the most of it. I know is hard but let’s stay always positive. Shall we?

Cheerios,

Kim

The Many Looks of Kim

One of the things I am ridiculously daring with is my hair. I know many women who care about their hair a big deal. Most of them have long hair, and cutting an inch off is a big deal to them. Me on the other hand, don’t mind experimenting with my hair. Maybe that’s one of the reasons people forget about me… or is not that they forget me is that I look different very often so they don’t recognize me easily. Life is short, so is good to be crazy about at least one thing. For me, is my hair.

So just recently I reached the shortest I have ever had. And let me tell you that getting to this point wasn’t easy, but I am glad I dared to do it. Why?

  1. First because is ridiculously easier to get my hair done in the mornings. Seriously! I just washed it comb it a bit and done. If I am not washing my hair, I don’t have to do anything else really. Brush it sure because I don’t appreciate tangled hair.
  2. I’ve always wondered how would I look with a pixie-like haircut. I’ve had a short bob to my shoulders in the past but never shorter than that until now. Curiosity is a good reason to try new things!
  3. I found this quote on Pinterest and it really resonates with it. Femininity is associated with long hair, dresses, makeup but a woman can still shine through with her own style and without any of the obvious elements. short hair
  4. Because if I don’t like how it looks, I can just let it grow out again. No big deal. Sure it won’t happen in days but if I am in a rush for long hair I could wear a wig and sure why not?!

I’ve received many compliments with my new haircut. And do you remember how I was wondering for the longest if it would suit my face shape? I am sure part of it, might be people been nice because there’s no need to be mean to me especially since I go around minding my own business and not messing with others. But I truly feel there is some true to it. It does look fine. I do look good, and in fact I feel pretty! So I wanted to share some of the many looks I’ve had over the past years. We go through phases in life, and while I wouldn’t describe my life as a rollercoaster, my sure hair would disagree with that.

I am telling you, so much fun! I think I will do a few more things to my hair. I am seriously considering shaving the side a bit or more like a lot, but I want the top part to be longer and even as there’s a bit of a bangs-like there now and I want it all about the same length if possible. I am also considering a lighter brown or caramel-like color but that one is an slight idea still. We’ll see what happens next!

Now writing a post about my crazy hair is okay but I am sure you are wondering what is in it for you. Well, I guess the only thing I can say is don’t be afraid to take chances. Not all haircuts were good, perfect, or actually worked for me, but I tried. Sure this post is about haircuts but maybe there is something else that has created a little spark inside of you and you are wondering if you need to shut it down or let it shine. I say, let it shine! Give it chance. Curiosity can be a great thing. Your best ideas might be these small sparks but you can turn that into fireworks! Just let it be. Give it chance. Even if you fail, you always win a lesson and that sure is at the very least hella worth it.

Hope you enjoy the reading and consider allowing curiosity be a factor in your life. Feel free to send me any hair recommendations you have because as I said, I am always open to try new things.

Cheers,

Kim

Girls’ Weekend with Mermaids & Unicorns

So a few weeks ago, I did something that I haven’t done before. Not even before the kids or when I was single. I had a “girls’ weekend”! Well, wait… it wasn’t a whole weekend but I was gone for most of it and that counts, right? I was away from my babies for about 34 hours and that is way more than my current tolerable limit of 12 hours which would come from work day + commute hours + work event. It was a great weekend! Now let me tell you more about the whole shebang so you know what I mean by mermaids and unicorns.

So as many of you know I am part of a fitness community through Instagram. There’s a large group of us women who are in the fitness journey to become a better version of ourselves. We are at a different stages in the journey and we all do different things but we have many things in common. I receive so much love and support from this group! These babes are my friends, and share not only fitness goals with me but also struggles and fears. We basically cheer on each other each day and remind each other how freaking amazing we are! There’s ladies from all over the world, and a group in SoCal decided to join together The Color Run. They shared the idea on IG and next thing you know over 200 ladies registered for the run, myself included. My supporting husband knows very much how important this group is to me and given that the drive from the Bay to Huntington Beach while is not the end of the world is way more of the tolerable car time with the kids for us, we decided it was best for me to go alone… ALONE? Just me?

giphy-downsized

The idea was exciting and scary. I know I sometimes complain about not having time just to myself but the truth is that I love being a mommy more than anything else. Sure it would be nice to watch a movie and just chill without interruptions, but can I handle alone time? And in the other side, I’ve known many of these women for years now and a small group from my area were coming, but can I handle being close to so many women who I didn’t know IRL? Some of my coworkers thought it was weird to go and just hang out with a bunch of strangers, is it really? Sometimes strangers are nicer than your “real friends” but that’s another subject. So I decided to go for it because they weren’t real strangers to me at least. I was anxious about leaving the kids but I trusted my husband can handle it and besides my mom was there to help. I am not super social. I am okay with people that I have gotten comfortable with but I am no social butterfly. Not even the slightest bit. Would this work?

I booked my flight, reserved a hotel, and off I went. My roommate was another girl from the Bay whom I’ve met a few years ago but we had different flights which meant I was gonna arrive to the bonfire where everyone was meeting the night before the race by myself… please picture a terrified me, would ya! I wasn’t worried about traveling from the hotel to the beach because hello Lyft, but it was nerve racking approaching a group of people you’ve only met online. The driver dropped me off at the parking lot and I started walking looking for the group with the most amazing women I’ve known in digital life. And I found them. My hands were sweating cold. What if they don’t like me or I don’t like them? Should I just go back to the hotel and snack on unhealthy stuff and watch a movie? That wasn’t the original plan. So I dared. I walked towards them and it was best decision ever! So many of them like I said, I knew through pictures and videos. And as I walked myself through the crowd saying hi’s, I didn’t felt weird at all. I knew them already. Some more than others thanks to IG algorithms that have you looking at only the same people all the time. I hugged each one tight and their responses were as amazing as I expected. I know these ladies, and I finally get the chance to hug them in real life???? Bring it on!

We had a great time meeting each other in person at the beach. We ran/walk together the next morning at the Color Run. We had yummy lunch, and yummy afternoon coffee with great conversations. It was a really good time. I didn’t regret for a second making the decision. I was looking forward to going home Saturday night and kissing my babies, but I enjoyed to the fullest every moment I was in SoCal surrounded by some amazing souls.

So why mermaids and unicorns? Well to be honest, I don’t know how it all started a few years ago in the group but I think is pretty obvious. Both creatures are magical, beautiful, unique. Each women in this group is a unicorn, a mermaid or a mermicorn because why choosing?! Some identify themselves with unicorns. Unicorns are a symbol of purity and tireless mythical animals. Unicorns stand out in a field of horses. Also don’t forget unicorns poop rainbows! Some identify themselves with mermaids. Mermaids on the other hand often represent sensuality, love and untouchable captivating goddesses. Mermaids are more than just a pretty face. Mermaids are also unique. And like I said, some women don’t want to identify themselves with just one or the other but choose to be mermicorns which is a combination of both!

I am seriously super beyond grateful with every single one of them! Each one was caring, loving and accepting. I consider them all my friends. I feel truly grateful to have a strong group of badass fitches on my side!

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Flawsome!

So on my last post I used the word “flawsome”, have you heard about it before? I am sure you have! We are all flawsome! Like totes, a bunch! To be honest with you, this word didn’t come into my life until about a month or so ago as part of my fitness community. But when I heard it for the first time and learned about its meaning it was

mind blowing

So what does flawsomeness means? Flawsomeness is the noun that captures that overwhelming feeling of acceptance, self love, confidence and inner peace with one’s attributes and flaws that makes us unique and awesome. Yup! I told you is a thing. It sure is. Now I am sure you’ve seen around social media promoting self-acceptance, and that is great! But the only way to get there is to understand why the good and the not so good in us is so important to embrace. Flawsomeness is that one thing that we all have and we need to discover. Once we do, our lives will be a gazillion times better. How so? Keep reading.

So is no secret to you that I am a mother of three. Things that are common “side effects” of a pregnancy are stretch marks, saggy skin,  baby weight, more stretch marks, you get it. While I know this might make some people go: “ew, gross!” because they can only find beauty in a women’s mid-section that is tight, with a six-pack, no stretch marks, there is also beauty in a mid-section like mine. Absolutely, and hell yes!! While my saggy pouch with stretch marks that is protecting my abs with an additional layer of fat, might not get featured on a magazine cover, let me tell ya it is beau-ti-ful! BEAUTIFUL! Now before I go into the reasons why, I would like to add a bit of a disclaimer here. There are plenty of women in this world who have a baby and can bounce back to a flawless body in months, nay make that weeks! Their skin’s elasticity is so great that it truly stretches out and back to normal without a problem. That have no stretch marks because their DNA is awesome like that. That gain little weight with a pregnancy because that is just how it worked out for them. To those women I say: “bendito! how awesome it is that your bodies can do that.”

While my body is not that kind of awesome, it is still beautiful, and my flaws are part of my beauty because that is how I chose to live my life. I am gonna show you a very personal picture. One that I have never shown before because it would make me feel embarrassed. One that I would have deleted from my phone. One that I would have probably not even taken before. One that shows one of the most sensitive parts of my body. One that shows something that has made me feel insecure in the past. My belly

my belly

I see my belly and I think: “bendito!” How amazing it is that I was able to assist God in the miracle of life THREE TIMES?! It is pretty awesome, I’ll tell ya! I have friends who are struggling to get pregnant and a few others that know they will never be able to because their bodies can’t do it. Mine did! I am not bragging or trying to make my friends feel bad but I am trying to say that what I’ve gone through is an amazing thing. See that imperfect belly? It housed three healthy babies! What else can I ask for? I am so blessed to pay the price with stretch marks and my pouch because my kids are so worth it! I will continue to workout as much as possible and eat as healthy as I can so that pouch shrinks one day but I will not beat myself down for having it. Not now. Not EVER! My belly is my biggest asset. It made me a mom. That has been my greatest gift from God.

For the longest time I felt that something was wrong with me for not bouncing back to my pre-pregnancy body. I felt horrible with my body. I hated my body. But now I have a healthy relationship with my body and that is the absolute best thing ever! Now I can see my imperfections and still be happy with the lady staring back at me in that mirror. She is not perfect, but she is great. She is working hard to be the best she can possibly be each day. In fact, my relationship with my body is better now that I care for it much more. The least I can do for my body is to nurture it, to care for it, as a thank you. Every day I am alive, is best day ever. Living my life this way wasn’t always the case, but now it is. I have accepted me. All of me. Flaws welcomed. I am freaking flawsome!

Now, if you are reading this and having a conflict with your body and maybe you are not a mom, wait for it… I got some for you too! Sharing is caring, right? Whatever might be the “issue” with your body when you look at yourself in the mirror can be fixed. It’s a quick fix really. It’s called acceptance! Now is not easy to do it, but it is possible. If you for instance complain that your arms are too flabby or not strong enough, workout to change that. While you do this pay special attention to the fact that you have arms that are good enough to do things for you. That you can hug your loved ones. That you can pick up your nieces, nephews, kids, your dog. That you can throw a ball even if it’s not baseball pro level. That you have arms! There are people in this world who have lost theirs. They wish they were you. They wish they could do the things that you can do. So don’t be hating on your arms. Love them. Accept them. Work to change the things that you want to change about them, but always love them and accept them.

I strongly believe that once we all start realizing how freaking flawsome we are, this world will be a better place. Once we accept our bodies and embrace them, we will be happier. We will all be working to better ourselves. Life isn’t a competition. So freaking love your flawsomeness and help others do the same.

Cheerios!

 

Why I am not into Snapchat

Yes. I said. I admit. Out loud! I am not into Snapchat despite all the noise around it. Why? Well, I am about to tell you why am I one of the few who hasn’t downloaded the app, who hasn’t created an account and who doesn’t know how to use it. Before I go into my reasons, I would like to first and foremost clarify that this is how I feel about it. I am not trying to push my opinion on anyone nor am I trying to offend the people who like and enjoy Snapchat (free speech… sounds familiar?)

So why the hate? Well, is not hate really. I promise I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it. I don’t even know all the filters that are there but let me tell you that the few I’ve seen make me go “wait, what?!” Let’s get down to my reasons:

  • The doggy. I’ll begin with a really famous one, the puppy one or doggy one. I am not much of a sticking my tongue out kinda person. And even if my real tongue will be covered with the doggy one I still gotta stick my tongue out to get that in the picture. So for me is like, “thank you, but no thank you!” I think the doggy one is not the only one where if you stick your tongue out I will add a filter to it, but anything that has sticking my tongue out is a pass for me.
  • The flower crown. I like flowers a lot. I like crowns okay. In my opinion, flowers in hairstyles give that feeling of nature, boho, even rustic, and for bridal up dos flowers are perfect! I wore a flower crown for my baby gender reveal party because I wanted to have that in-sync with nature feeling and even a bit of a goddess feeling because we were celebrating the life that was growing in my womb. The filter on the other hand, doesn’t get me interested at all. Seeing Kim Kardashian with the flower crown and her ducky lips… is just not my thing.
  • The butterflies. The same thing goes for the butterflies filter. Same feelings. Now with this one I actually I can’t help to stop and think about the fact that butterflies are initially caterpillars. While butterflies are beautiful and have such amazing colors, I only like to see them from far away, not on my hair even if that is what princesses do.
  • The pink crown is too pinky for me! Yup, that is in fact a thing! I am not very girly. Maybe that’s why I am not overly crazy about pink stuff. Any pink stuff really. I do absolutely love Agnes from “Despicable Me” and her unicorn with a pink horn if that counts.
  • The deer. Now deers are absolutely cute! I think so oh so very much! They do make me think of Christmas but apparently with these filter they have become every day kinda animals. Now this filter scares me a bit… the eyes! What in the world is up with those eyes? I think it has to do with an individual’s eye shape or how open the person’s eyes are while taking the pic but something about it just doesn’t quite do it for me.
  • The bee. Now seriously this is a creepy filter! The eyes again! What in the world? Again! And is this the one with the annoying voice? I know my voice ain’t the prettiest but that voice… not for me.
  • The alien. The eyes, the voice, the face. I just don’t want to make myself look that way even if it is a filter and it is supposed to be funny.

Clearly you get, I am not a funny person, oh well! I am sure there are a ton more, and maybe there’s one or two in there that I might like but these ones are the top ones according to google search which explains why are the ones I see the most… Now the reasons above are just, you know, things I am not into. There is, however, a bigger reason why I don’t like Snapchat and also to include any of the filters that Facebook and Instagram have now when you swipe right. It is one thing to add pretty flowers on your hair because that’s not the way we normally wear our hair, and a whole other thing how much these filters, stickers or whatever they are called distort reality. Distortion? Whatcha talkin bout Willis?!

To better show what I mean and what it comes down to me not liking the use of Snapchat or any like-filters can be better described with the picture below that I was able to create with my Instagram app.

snapchat.JPG
Look at that, I’m a cute cat… or am I?

Both of this pictures were taking just seconds apart, what?! I was thinking about this new post on my blog and figured the best way to show why it doesn’t work for me was to show this. Both pictures were taking at the end of the day, makeup removed, face washed, and with a very tired looking mama. On the cat picture my skin is lighter, clearer, evenly toned, my face is also smaller. Clearly if I want to post a picture of myself, and not take the time to do my hair or makeup I can apply a filter but some of these filters change a lot the shape of the face besides of course skin tones. That doesn’t work for me. I am not perfect, and I am sure if you are a Snapchat lover you are sharing your pics with filters without pretending to be perfect. Our society has now created these expectations about beauty such as cheekbones or a pointy nose, and these filters can easily feed into that. I am not perfect, but I love who I am flaws included. I looked tired because I was tired, and that is called life. No need to cover it with a filter. My skin has spots because during most of my 20’s I didn’t care about sun damage on my skin, and now I have spots and can’t forget my SPF moving forward. You get it, right?

Filters are for some people cute or funny and used for something extra. But for others, are a cover up of their flaws because they want to pretend to be perfect. That’s the part I don’t like. That’s why I made it clear at the beginning that I didn’t wanted to offend anyone with this post. You might be on the first group or the second. That’s your choice. All I am saying is that I am part of the third group. The group that thinks we are what we are, we embrace it, we love it, we rock it. We are flawsome! If you don’t know what flawsome means, don’t worry I will talk more about on my next post.

Cheerios!

 

Really strong sperm! Say wha’?

So you know my sharing style is more on the mommy life, but I heard something on the radio yesterday that I really, really, really have to share. I’ll do a short intro this time to go straight into the predicament because you wanna know that!

So listening to a Spanish radio on the way home and some type of ask the listeners segment was on. Guy was calling from Mexico with a… dilemma. He was deported 6 months ago. His wife was supposed to join him in Mexico but she won’t do it anymore because she found out she is pregnant. She is currently 3 weeks pregnant and is most definitely his baby because the doctor said a man’s sperm can live in a woman’s body for up to one year after having sex…

giphy

I am no doctor but let me tell you that sounds a bit off to me, right?! I knew that strong sperm can hang around for up to 72 hours and I even took the time to google it yesterday and learned that really strong sperm under great conditions can actually survive after 5 days, but a whole year? Sounds to me like someone got his facts wrong or actually share some wrong info.

Now let me tell you that I felt really bad for the guy calling. One of the radio hosts couldn’t help but to laugh about it because this is impossible and the other host reminded her that this was no joke to the caller who was looking for advise. The caller said: “I don’t know if I should believe it but I don’t know enough about this. If the doctor said it is possible, then I believe it is.” I am sure than more than one had made a comment to him about it because after all he was calling to ask fellow listeners whether or not this was possible. Now, this is the kind of question you should probably take to a doctor and not to a radio show but we all trust different sources and I guess he imagined a fellow listener might had the answer to this dilemma.

I was not able to wait for the listeners’ responses because you know how they start playing music and get back to it a few songs later and well I just had no time to wait. But I wanted to share about it because I truly felt horrible for this guy. Why? Because ignorance is pricey. Maybe he wasn’t able to attend school and learn about this in anatomy class. Maybe he was one of the many kids in third world countries who can’t attend school and have to start working at young ages to help the family and bring home money. Maybe. I don’t know his whole story but what I do know is that there are many people who are taken by fools because they didn’t have the means to inform themselves. This is the point that I want to bring up. We need to inform ourselves. We need to ask questions. We need to know.

Now, I am not done here. There is another part to this story. That of that woman who is bluntly lying to her husband. That woman who cheated and doesn’t have the guts to admit it. That woman who is taking advantage of her husband’s ignorance or his sincere love that trusts her beyond reasoning. Let me tell you, she is no bueno. Sure we are not perfect. We make mistakes. We break rules sometimes. But whatever drives anyone to make a mistake is irrelevant to owning our mistakes. I don’t know why this woman cheated on him. I don’t know how strong or weak their relationship is. I don’t know if he is a good or bad husband. What I do know is that someone whom he trusts told him a ridiculously big lie and he is buying it. That is not nice. She needs to own her mistake and if she feels is not a mistake that is okay. But she certainly doesn’t need to make him a bigger fool by feeding a lie.

My place is not to judge their relationship. My place is not tell him or her what to do. Is their life. They will need to figure it out together. But I do want to remind you how important it is to educate ourselves. We don’t need to know it all. We don’t need to be masters of all trades. We do need however to be able to make decisions in our own. When the time to comes to make one, we need to inform ourselves to make informed decisions. To choose truly what is best for us.  This is 2017. If you are not sure of something, do your research. Whether it comes down to an online search, a visit to the library, or asking someone you trust AND is informed, do what you must. I will highlight again that trust and informed person in your life you look for advise. I can’t ask my husband for a diagnosis when I feel sick because he is not a doctor. I can however ask him about data centers and get trustworthy answers because that is within the scope of his profession.

Really strong sperm? I doubt it. Poor dude. I am sure no one wants to be in his shoes. All I can say is let’s be nice to each other and make sure we get ourselves educated.

Cheerios!

My idea of romantic

sunset

Isn’t this picture pretty? This was one of the many pictures that popped on my browser when I googled (yup, that’s a verb these days) “romantic”. It is such a beautiful picture! The sunset, the beach, the company, the tree… or is it? Well, I got the idea to write about my definition of what romantic is because when my husband and I were talking about it just recently, I realized romantic means different things to different people.

Again, I think this picture is lovely. Would I like to be the one in that picture with my husband? Absolutely, that would be nice. Would it be romantic? Sure. Would it be comfortable? I think not! I am sure that palm tree is strong but would it be able to hold my husband and I safely? I don’t know. Sure I am working on my fitness but even if I was several pounds lighter, I am not sure I would be comfortable sitting there for a long period of time. Should we then put a limit to the time we will be sitting there to make sure is romantic? No, romanticism shouldn’t be timed. That is why when I think of romantic the picture in my head is a lot different than what Google found for me.

Red roses, candlelight, champagne or wine if you are into that, strawberries, fireplace, poems, romantic music.. I am sure you get the idea. You name these things and most people would say: “ah, romantic!” And while that is true, that is not the kind of romanticism that I am talking about. While all of these gestures can sure make any moment special, I want to focus on the romanticism that should live in a marriage day after day. These romantic gestures will create a deeper connection between a couple because I believe the quote below describes marriage fairly well:

marriage

So what’s the point Kim? Roses, champagne and all of the before mentioned things can definitely make any moment extra especial but that is not all there is to romanticism, at least not the kind I think needs to be present all the time. When I think of being romantic, I have this picture of the two of us sharing a moment that makes me fall in love with him all over again. This place doesn’t have to be a secret spot in the Hawaiian islands, or at the top of the mountain, or at the most expensive restaurant in the city. It doesn’t require roses or a glass with bubbly. It doesn’t require to wear fancy gowns or a limo to pick us up. So what to do you want Kim? I have been married for almost nine years now and while not every day is perfect I know we have a strong marriage. So when I talk about romanticism in the marriage, roses and cute details are ALWAYS welcomed 😉 but these are some of the things that I prefer over tulips (my fave flowers):

  • A long, deep hug. What do I mean by that? A tight hug that wakes up the butterflies in ma belly and that is not rushed or interrupted. Especially for us with three kids, we are always making sure the kids are taken care of. I swear the moment I stop to hug my husband I suddenly feel little arms around my legs because almost every hug ends in a group hug, ha! Don’t get me wrong that is an amazing thing too, but I love when we can find just even one minute to hug each other and have the time to enjoy each other’s smell, share sweet words, and feel goosebumps because hello love!.
  • Cuddling. Now this might sound super obvious and possible but I am telling you, the moment my husband and I decide to cuddle while watching a moving, then is group cuddle! Is like the kids know is happening and they suddenly show up in our room if they were not there and if they were there from the get-go, they jump in to cuddle. Those are really sweet family moments, but as a couple is important to make time for the two of us.
  • Holding hands. Three kids, two parents. You do the math! Because the little one is still a baby one is holding the baby or pushing the stroller and the other one is holding onto the other two kiddos. Whenever we go out and it is just the two of us, I enjoy oh so very much when he holds my hand. It makes me feel safe, and I think that is romantic.
  • Compliments. When is our anniversary, or a birthday, or we are celebrating a holiday like mother’s or father’s day, is so easy to write down a list of things the other one does amazingly. But I love when compliments happen organically. We are doing a great job most of the time (we aren’t perfect parents so I won’t lie and say it is ALL the time). Taking the time to pull your significant other aside and remind him or her how amazing he or she is at being your partner, best friend and your everything it’s a great way to keep the relationship strong.
  • Now the next ones I think they speak for themselves:
    • Tucking my hair behind my ear and whispering some sweet words.
    • Love message, which these days is pretty much by text, can light up my day and warm up my heart.
    • Doing chores without me asking for it. Thanks babe!
    • Bringing home my favorite sweet treat because it’s my favorite.
    • Weekday lunch date. With our work schedules is not always possible to coordinate but I love when we can meet somewhere and enjoy lunch just the two of us.
    • Watch her movie/ his show. We have very different tastes when it comes to TV. I like romantic comedies, and he is into zombies and whatever GOT is. It is a nice touch when he compromises watching a movie I like or I compromise watching a show he likes. It shows you care and yes, it is romantic in my book because I have limited TV time (busy mom here).
    • And don’t forget about a sweet kiss! Sure French was nice when I was fourteen, but this mama wants a soft, tender kiss that makes my body tingle because of so much love! You know it 😉

If you pay attention, almost all the things in my list do not require money or fancy gifts. It is about the gestures. The sweet gestures. Love can’t be all about sex. It needs the connection. The chemistry. I fall in love with him again every single day. These romantic gestures are simple but especial. They make our relationship stronger. I will always love when he shows up with a bouquet of tulips after work, but I will do fine without them as long as we can continue to fall in love with each other every day because of who we are and the things we do for each other. The simple things do count.

 

Baby blues

Just recently I celebrated my oldest’s son 9th birthday. I mean nine years?! I am sure that as long as you are busy time will pass by fairly quickly but when you stop to think about the actual changes within a specific time frame, then is like: “woa, wait what?!” So I was sharing with him the story of the day he was born, I started feeling some kinda of blue. But why? It was a joyous day. Why do I feel this way? Well, let me tell you why.

My experience post labor was not ideal. Many factors came into play which I will share with you. And as much as I love motherhood (add two kiddos to the equation) whenever I think of the days following my first son’s birth, I always feel a bit blue. I don’t know if postpartum depression was part of it. I honestly don’t think so. But maybe as I share this with other mommies out there, it might help someone feel a bit better that is going through this. So nine years ago, that’s when this happened:

It was around 2am when my water bag broke. I followed the instructions given to my at the hospital. Called, spoke to a nurse, and once it was confirmed with them we grabbed our diaper bag and went to the hospital. The first thing when you arrive is a check in the triage room where a nurse confirmed my water had broken so I could be admitted to the hospital. After some paperwork and a few minutes waiting for our room to be prepared, we went into a delivery room where we stayed for about a day. My water bag was broken but I had no contractions. They waited a bit hoping my body would catch up to the water bag news and start the process but I guess my body was too scared to admit it so it played dumb! A few hours later they started injecting small doses of pitocin to get the labor started, but again my body was like “nope, no thank you!” Finally about 8 hours after my water bag broke, the contractions started. They were pretty mild at that point that it wasn’t crazy painful.

I’ll never forget this Filipino nurse that was part of my care team. She comes to me and says: “Mommy, you can get the epidural now. Do you want it?” I wasn’t sure what to do. The idea of a natural birth sounded better to me. I told her that it wasn’t too painful at that point so maybe later. She said to me: “Why wait? This isn’t the 1800’s and there’s no need to feel more pain than you really have to. Women say they want a natural delivery and suffer the pain but is not about being brave but being smart! No need to feel pain if it’s possible”. EXCELLENT point, don’t you think?! I agreed with her. I mean, I had been at the hospital for a while now without pain and the labor wasn’t moving at all. It was so slow, why not? So with my first baby, I had an epidural. Does that make me less of a woman? I don’t think so. Does it make smarter as suggested by the nurse? I don’t think so. It just made that first day at the hospital pain free as I waited for my son’s arrival. To each its own, right? So if you can and want to get an epidural, go for it!

We were getting close to 24 hours since my water broke. I was desperate and mostly hungry! I wasn’t allowed to eat since I got the epidural and to be honest, I thought we would be done way sooner.  So finally the time came for the baby to be born! We had difficulties during delivery because my lil man had his hand positioned in a way that wasn’t allowing him to evacuate naturally if you know what I mean. I was so frustrated, tired and hungry, I actually begged the doctor for a C-section. He said that was the last resort and he needed to try a few other things before opting for it. Not to super worry any preggos out there or go into the TMI category, I can say that another doctor joined him and with a couple of things they had to do, I was able to welcome to this world my first born. My goodness that feeling! I knew the first thing I needed to hear was the baby’s cry once he was out, but that didn’t happened. Like I said there were a bit of complications there but with a pediatrician also there in top of the other doctors and nurses a few seconds later I was able to hear him cry. My goodness that feeling! What a relief! That pregnancy/ delivery complicated part was over. Little did I know the hardest part was just about to start.

Until this point it was just my husband and I. A couple of friends had came to check on me earlier in the day while we were waiting. My friend Elsa was there, waiting outside. Once the baby was born she was able to join us in the room and bless her heart she was feeding me while I was figuring out how to feed the baby, ha! Women multitask, I’ll tell ya. It was round 3am when he was born. Later that morning around 7am, I was taken to my recovery room. This is when things got rough real quick. I guess it was a full moon because the hospital was full. We weren’t able to get a private room. In fact, I was sharing the room with two other moms! I could hear people coming in and out to see the other two mommies. My husband left after I was set up in the room. I wanted to rest as I was not able to sleep all those hours before the delivery but I was too scared to close my eyes and for someone to take my baby without me noticing. I was concerned about my baby’s safety because it was just the two of us in that large hospital and I was too tired.

The first 60 hours or so after his birth we were at the hospital. Those two additional nights, I couldn’t sleep. I was in pain from the delivery and too afraid of someone taking the baby. He was in a little hospital crib next to my bed and the only thing that separated us from the rest of the room was a curtain. Not much protection if you ask me. I know they have this safety thing at the hospital with bands that go on the baby’s arm and leg and matching ones for the parents that have an alarm that goes off if you pass certain point. But that wasn’t enough for me.  Now this might not seem like a huge reason to many but for me it was a big deal. First time mom alone in a hospital with a newborn. I wasn’t at ease.

Now you are probably wondering why it was just me and the husband during this important time? Well, my mom was still in Guatemala and his parents had just moved to Nicaragua. I don’t have sisters. I have brothers, but if my husband wasn’t allowed to stay, I am sure they wouldn’t be allowed either. My best friends were miles apart one in Guatemala and the other in the opposite side of the country. I don’t have any immediate family in the area. The few friends I had were busy with their own lives and I can’t be mad at them for that. I felt lonely. Very lonely. Like ridiculously lonely. When I think back of that day, I feel sad that I was so lonely. I wish we could have had a private room so my husband could stay. Even if he was sleeping in the couch, I would have felt a gazillion times better. I wish that my mom had come to the US sooner. I wish at least one of my best friends was closer. I wish I would have dare to ask any of the friends I made here Cali to please stay with me even if that was too much to ask. But you know life isn’t perfect, and things had to happen the way they did.

I can’t explain why. Whenever I think of this time, I feel blue. My other two experiences were very different. The labor, the delivery, the company. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means saying that I hate the experience of my first son’s birth. What I am saying is that I love that experience even if whenever I think of it my heart turns a bit blue every time. Sometimes we create expectations and when those aren’t met we feel terribly bad. I actually didn’t have any specific expectations for my labor. I just wanted a healthy baby and that is what I had. All the details aren’t perfect but he is. His arrival into my life has changed my world. I am better person because of him. I try to. Maybe as time goes by I will be able to think of this memory and don’t feel sad at all. Only time will say for sure.