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.

 

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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.

 

Career path… where to go?

Do you ever think about the next step on your career? How often do you change work/ positions? Do you have a 5-year or 10-year plan? I think about my career often but don’t always take action on it. Earlier this week I attended a work event and the guest speaker is this brilliant, super successful woman. She has years of experience backed up by many awards. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her talk. I was hoping for something inspiring but I’ve heard other successful people talk and sometimes it gets boring. Well, she was not a bit boring and extremely inspiring. Hence, new post on the blog!

So I will keep her info private because this is a personal blog and don’t want to get in trouble, ha! But let me tell you that she is in on her mid-40’s,  has at least 10 awards (really good ones too!), and has participated in groundbreaking technology trends. After sharing about school, career changes and a bit of her personal life, she shared her advice for a successful career. Some of the things were expected suggestions such as think of your career as a team sport or don’t be afraid to fail (although not everyone can do this one). But there were a few that I don’t think easily make the list and those are the ones I want to share with you and I’ll explain why.

  1. Stay outwardly employable.  Even though I am not currently looking for another job, I keep receiving messages in LinkedIn for other job opportunities. Some are good ones and others I am not very interested in. Some are for my current role and others are related to the previous industry that I worked for a long time. In any case, I am happy where I am and not looking to change that at this time. As she pointed out is important to keep receiving this messages because it shows you are current in the game. The moment you stop receiving these ones then be concerned and make the changes to be that candidate all companies want as part of their team.
  2. Never say “that’s not my job!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard other people say this. So many times. Not only do you come across as a lousy team player when you say that (in my opinion that is) but you are limiting yourself to learning/ doing new things. I know sometimes people think they are “better” than those tasks that are not part of their job. Even then, do it. Be a team player. And if that is not part of your job and you don’t know how to do it, learn it! I am sure your employer can’t force you to do it but be willing to learn new things. Your portfolio will be expanded 😉
  3. Be part of a team where you’re the best/worst/average player and make a contribution to all of them. Now this one I didn’t see coming at all! Why would I want to be part of a team where I am the worst? But see even then or especially then you have all the opportunities to learn. I think I am too “average” for most teams I am part of so I have to change that. I need to be the best in at least one team not for bragging rights but because I wan to be the master of at least one thing! You should too.

Again, she shared a bunch more but I think these ones are important to keep in mind. Stay current with your industry. Find out what’s coming next. Dig deep. And above it all, do not be afraid to soak your feet in new waters. Maybe you are currently good in sales, then go the extra mile and become at expert at it and don’t stop there and learn about marketing. Not into marketing? Then think outside the industry. Maybe you are the best cake decorator ever! Are those two related? Yes! You might not be a sales rep for bakery BUT you can use your decorating creativity to enhance presentations or layer the information so it is introduced to the client in a way that makes more sense. Learn new skills and try to use them as much as possible.

Where will I go next? Well, is time for me to decide that. I have a gazillion plans and sometimes you have to bet big to win big. I haven’t decided if I will put all my eggs in one basket or spread them among a few that interest me. I can tell you though that I will be spending more time thinking about this. I am good at my job but I wouldn’t call my current role my “ideal job”. So is time to sort things out so that I can make a living of something that I can enjoy more. We will see how this one goes. I shall keep you updated.

Cheers my peeps!

When life gives you lemons…

lemons

Have them with a tequila shot! Make it SHOTS-SSSS! Am I right? But since I am still not drinking alcohol because I am still breastfeeding, I shall make a lemonade with them. No, make it a raspberry lemonade! Who says you can’t add your own special twist to it? So, I was thinking about it because I had a conversation with a good friend just the other day about this, and by this I mean our attitude towards sschtuff life throws at ya, so here is my take on it. Keep reading, it might be something worth trying if you aren’t doing it yet.

For starters, let me tell you that I do not appreciate at all the victim attitude. Like I said sschtuff happens to all of us, and we can’t live pretending life is only mean to us (or you as you want to see it) or we never get a chance in life. Nothing makes me more… blah that people with such negative attitude. My family and I have been through quite some stuff. My mom raised my three brothers and I as a single mom after my dad passed away. There were some great days and some tough ones. You won’t hear me complaining about the bad ones, ever! Why? Because I know that it wasn’t my mom’s fault that things got challenging, and I know that she tried her best every single time, and I know that every single moment of our life is a learning opportunity. I won’t stress about how things happened or how they could have been different. I can’t change the past, but I can use it to learn and make better decisions now for a better future.

Second, I would like to highlight again how everything is a learning opportunity. I don’t mean to offend anyone with this, but I think only losers give up. We are humans, we are not perfect and we don’t know it all. It is in our nature to try things, to modify things, and to deliver results. Quitters don’t go past trying things. If at first the result is not what they want or expect, they don’t try to modify things to get the result they want. I am not a great cook but I love cooking (too many cooking shows have me feeling like a chef, ha!) I have tried numerous recipes from Pinterest. Sometimes the first time the food came out great! Other times the food came out really bad the first time, but after trying so many recipes I can often tell where I went wrong. Did I put too much of one ingredient or not enough of another? Maybe it overcooked and the texture now makes me think is not right? Maybe it’s undercooked and now I know to bake it a bit longer than the recipe said. Why did I continue to try after failing the first time? Because I love food! I don’t want to eat the same food all the time, I want to try new yummy things. They don’t come out yummy all the time but I keep trying.

Now back to sharing some of the things that help me keeping the best possible attitude in life:

  1. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. Would have my life been better if my dad was still alive? Maybe. I truly can’t tell for sure that it would have or not been better with him around. What I can tell you is that I have a strong woman for a mother who raised me with strong values, who believes me, and taught me to believe in myself. It would have been nice to have my dad growing up, but he is my angel and his absence has made my mom, brothers and I stronger. Daddy’s spoiled little girl was not meant for me and I am okay with that especially now that I am mom. I try to be fair with my kids; I love their uniqueness and don’t want to spoil them.
  2. “When you hit rock bottom the only way is up”. Heard that before? I wouldn’t say I’ve hit rock bottom but there’s been difficult times. I call them lean times. And guess what? Lean times motivate you to go on the opposite direction. Do whatever it takes to get better. While a rough patch is an excuse to many to get stuck,  to me is a motivation to try harder and get myself out of it.
  3. Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. Experiences can only turn bad when you chose not to learn or grow from it. Change the way you think from a bad experience into a learning experience. It’s all about perspective here!
  4. Focus on the positive. Glass half-full you say? Heck yes! Use those lemons for something else. Sure the apple you wanted might have been nice but oh well, no biggy instead make a lemonade with the lemons you got! I am telling you, when you focus on the positive life will be a more beautiful and enjoyable.
  5. Laugh it up! (LOL so you can understand me).  I was just today showing my coworker the picture of my face when my wisdom teeth got pulled out. My face was so swollen for almost two weeks! Did I stopped seeing a dentist because now I hate dentist? Nope. Did I complain about it? Nope. Instead I posted this picture on Facebook because guess what? It- ISSS – HILARIOUS! I still use this picture often to make people laugh when they are having a bad day. You are welcome!

face pic