Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas, Christmas Time is Here!


Yes!  It is December and I can FINALLY say....It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  Even though we have been up to our eyes in Christmas lights, it NEVER...EVER feels like Christmas until this happens.


Visiting Santa is the start of our Christmas season.  Unfortunately, baby girl was not having it.  Even though I prepared her with Santa songs and books, she was too scared to sit there. 

Waiting in line and looking at santa from afar was not a problem, but once she sat on his lap it was over. I did have to leave her there long enough for our annual shot, but she was not happy about it. 
Is it just me, or she a very cute cryer?? LOL
What a classic picture though, right?
On a side note, I am not happy with Santa's couch this year.  In previous years, it has always been a tufted green velvet,(like so) and this one is just bad.  Santa is still good.

Although Ernesto did get started lighting our big dogwood on Thanksgiving day, he was not able to finish it until after he got everyone else's lights up (the cobblers son, that's us!)  Boy was it worth the wait though.  So. AWESOME!  

We have people slowing down to check out our lights.  The tree is impressive - to say the least!

I have adventurous, daring kids.  And I like that about them...However, this I did not like.  
"GET DOWN OFF THAT ROOF RIGHT NOW...but wait....wave for my picture!"
Seriously [mom], they were only up there one minute.
Since that was too dangerous, they decided to do this:

Not. Scared. Of. Anything. [except monsters on the lower level of the house?? whaaa?]
This Santa blow up was only $50 at a warehouse/surplus/random store in Alabama.  (Thanks Sue Ellen!)  I wanted to put it outside the boys' room in the back, but it really fit perfectly with our lights out front.

Our house felt like Christmas on the inside too.  Actually the tree was assembled on Thanksgiving day, but unfortunately did not get decorated until a couple weeks after. #priorities
My new white tree brought a smile to my face. As you can tell by the picture, I decorated the top half [with my beautiful blue glass ornaments] and the kids had free reign on the lower half.

Ernesto was working hanging lights until the 17th (!) this year.  This didn't leave much time.  We made sure to squeeze in our Christmas traditions before jetting up to Ohio.

Atlanta Botanical Garden lights is a must.  Yes, we have seen lights before,  but it changes a little bit every year, and it is just so special walking around with the crowd.
This is one of my favorite displays.

And Even though it was past baby girl's bedtime, she was wanting to runnnnnnn with her brothers.
Well. brother.  Marcelo was not his normal bouncing-off-the-wall self.  We brought in the little stroller in case Paloma was sleepy, but then this happened... 
Out like a light.  Marcelo fell asleep!?  What?  But your brother is ready to run around with you and cook marshmallows, why are you so tired? 
Oh you have a fever? UGH!  Yep, he slept the whole time.  Transferred him into the car and into his bed and he slept until 9am. NEVER!
Mateo roasted marshmallows and still had a good time, but he really missed his sidekick.
The next morning both boys weren't feeling well.
I got them set up all cozy in mami and papis bed and there they stayed.  All. Day. Long.  They did not make a peep.  No fighting, no name calling, no nothing.  Yeah, just not themselves at all.  I periodically checked on them and offered water, food, and lots of hugs and kisses.  Ernesto and I hung out with Paloma and were reminded how easy the days were with one child.
Fortunately, they were only down and out for one day.  

We are enjoying a few more days en la casa before the hustle and bustle of traveling during the holidays.  Yes, we will be flying up to Ohio as usual, but I think like anything, you forget the bad when you are making good memories.  

Just tryin' to live a bloggable life my friends, and it has been a little tough lately.
BUT BUT BUT....2017 will be "the year of the BLOG"

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Round Here Lately...

Yes, just absolute CRAZINESS my friends.  Such is the life of a Christmas Light Pro.  Its been a while forever since I have posted something other than pictures of my beautiful babies, but we have been busy up in here.

I never even got to show you halloween pictures.  It's not too late is it??  I thought not.

Halloween is getting more exciting now because the kids are into picking an outfit.  All I can say is that Im glad we tried something besides super heroes this year.   I did not think that would happen, but Mateo and I went to Target and he was super excited with this ninja get up. He wore it well.  And boy did he know how to play the part.
The pirate costume was from a friend.  I did not think it would last until Halloween.  Marcelo wore it for almost 2 weeks STRAIGHT, he even slept in it. I tried to avoid washing it and just prayed it lasted through trick-or-treating. 
It did. It actually made it through three events, so I was happy.
We marched in the Grant Park Halloween Parade with our old neighbors and it was great, but once we reached the "party" at the end, there was a long line for HOTDOGS and chips.  No.  And there may not be enough for everyone.  I packed the kids up and we headed to East Atlanta Village (with a stop at Chik-Fil-A for some grilled nuggets-my kids needed some real food before the onslaught of sugar that was coming their way.) for EAV-O-WEEN.  The kids popped in to all the local business that were handing out treats.  It was cute and meeting up with Marcelo's friend Hugh was even cuter.
I mean, come on.  Isn't that just ridiculous!? My little pirate, Celly-cell.
Speaking of ridiculous...HER. 

STOP IT! 

MEOW!  Yes, she loved this kitten costume, but alas, it was just too hot to wear this outside.  The ladybug she wore was not a TON cooler, but every bit helps when you are a sweat-er.

Since our neighborhood is predominately Jewish, the kids were not going to get much candy.  (an that's a bad thing why Cindy?)  Yes, although a few pieces of candy would be enough, that's no fun!

We drove 3 miles down Briarcliff to Virginia Highlands, one of the best neighborhoods in Atlanta (IMHO). We drive through their every day [taking Mateo to school] and notice that almost every house it decorated, so you know there are tons of kids = trick-or-treaters.  It was even better than we expected.  We parked on one street walked a mile (or so) down one side and back up the other.  Every. House. Participating!  
Not only handing out candy, but decorated to the fullest!  So awesome!  I think that is going to be our annual spot!   Yep. We decided then and there we need to move.  Ha!  God, there is just so much to love about that neighborhood.  Great houses (albeit super pricey), walkability, central location, good food/bars/shops, the list goes on... and they give out good candy!
You better believe "candy" was the 1st word out of their mouths in the morning.  
Our friend told us about the Switch Witch.  Have you heard?  You give half your candy away and the witch will come switch it for a toy.  I LOVE her!! 
They each filled up a ziplock to keep.  The switch witch brought them this magic tracks (you know from TV?) and they didn't give that candy another thought.
Ever year the farm where Marcelo's school is located, sells pumpkins from the navajo indians in New Mexico, so it feels good to spend our money there. Sometimes we just play after class.
That pumpkin in the upper right corner was a gift from my husband.  He said "It reminded me of you."  ehem.  I wander what he meant.

In other old BIG news, I turned 43.  What in the hell is happening?!?!?!?!  HOW am I forty-three??

My morning celebration was wonderful.  Breakfast in bed (a tradition that I love!) and PRESENTS!! My babies went to Target to shop with Papi and I was impressed with what they came up with.
(Ernesto said he did not help them. They had ideas and he let them pick out what they wanted to buy)
 They picked out some cheetah jammies, very similar to the ones Im already wearing. LOL.  
Like I said, Ernesto let them pick out what they wanted, and they said "Mami would like these because she likes cheetah jammies."  They also remembered this lovely yellow bird feeder that I told them I liked while we were in Target months ago.   "Let's get mami a dress," said Mateo.   It is a black and white striped shirt dress and very cute.  (pictured later) Good job boys!
This was not picked out by the kids.  Ernesto surprised me ....mostly because he hates it when I don't answer my phone.  No excuse now I guess.  This thing, although not a necessity, is pretty darn handy.  I have yet to add all the bells and whistles so this thing can really run my life for me.  A watch can organize me right?

Anywho.  My friend Sue Ellen and her son Ben came over for dinner and Ernesto bought a DELICIOUS carrot cake (my fave!) from Whole Foods.  We sang and that was that.  Im 43 now.

Are you still with me???
Moving on...Thanksgiving!  I met Mateo at school before his break for a special luncheon and he was excited to see me.  I hope that lasts forever.  Ahhhhh sweet dreams are made of these!

The ONE DAY we have off.  Ernesto had been working 42 days straight before Turkey day.  Now we get some shit for not working all year, but who works FOURTY TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS?? WHO?  The PRO does, that's who! 

You know what he did on his day off? 
YUP!  Wrapped our big dogwood tree out front.  In RED.  So awesome.  You'll have to wait to see, because its not finished yet.  (the cobbler's son).
Our friends Richard and Floyd came over to feast with us and that is exactly what we did.
 So. Much. Food.  No pic of all of us:(

But you know who was there and we DID get a picture of??

Tio Brrrian and Bruno.  After a couple years absent from the PROS, this top-notch crew member gave it his all for two solid weeks and we SO appreciate it!  It's great because a) I love tio Brrrian and his laugh  b) it's always fun having guests.  And c) my brother is about as low maintenance as you can get!


This was a picture taken before we were stuffed to the gills with Turkey.
Im wearing my new birthday dress the boys picked out for me.  Nice right??

The day after Thanksgiving I arrived home and there were flowers on my doorstep with "guess who?"  on a note.  Who???  God, I love surprises!  And it was a good one.  My dear friend and former neighbor (5 houses down in Grant Park) who moved to Philly was in the ATL for the weekend.
Look at all the cuteness:
My boys had just gotten haircuts...sparked by a 5 year olds self-tim of his bangs.  I about screamed when I saw big clumps of hair on the stairs.  "WHERE DID THIS COME FROM?"
OMG, half of Mateo's bangs were chopped to the scalp! Yikes.
Once at SportClips, Marcelo decided he wanted his hair cut too.  This was his first "non-mami" cut.
I have yet to be excited by a boys haircut at a barber,  but I think my boys would look gorgeous bald, so I guess it doesn't matter.  Its only hair right? (im totally trying to convince myself of that.  Mateo said he wanted to get his hair cut short-almost to the scalp- like his friend Deshawn at school.  NO. Marcelo keeps sating he wants his hair cut like Grandpas. NO!  Mami likes your hair a little shaggy boys...and it's not much longer that I will have a say so.

Right after my birthday I may have had my most stressful week EVER!

We have had a TON of calls and inevitably I end up writing about 3x the estimates vs. number of new customers. Yeah, a lot of work!  Between running the kids to school and lights I had absolutely NO free time.  As a matter of fact, I had to do this SEVERAL times:
No shit. 

Notice how the reminder is 50 minutes old.  Did I ever get in the shower that day?  Who knows? But I can honestly say that I did my part in conserving water over the last few months.  (oh hell-the last 5 years even!)
Back to the SHIT... The week before my "week from hell" Marcelo wakes up in the middle of the night crying "my cheek hurts."  I didn't notice anything abnormal and soothed him back to sleep only to wake up in the morning and find his right cheek and jawline swollen.   
This picture is not the right angle to you to see the full puffiness, but it was BIG.  It was sore to the touch too.  Poor baby.  Before the puffiness appeared he slept 16 hours one night and two days later 14 hours. (2 days after that is when this appeared)  I took him to see our long time friend and doctor, Richard (at his house-3 miles away from us)  and he was stumped as to exactly what it could be, but confirmed it was not Mumps, as Ernesto had diagnosed from pictures off google earlier.

Of course even the thought of it being mumps was scary because here I was due to take Paloma in for her one year check up in 2 days. ..when she would get her first rounds of Mumps vaccine.  Yeah. Yikes!

Well what do you know?  Whatever Marcelo had was gone, (spoil alert: it wasn't!) and he seemed back to normal.  Whew! Oh Oh Oh but then ... then the doctor found Paloma had an ear infection.  First time ever on amoxicillin and on the 7th day (of 10) she looked like this:
 HORRIBLE!! Besides this one scratch while in the bathtub, she didn't seem bothered by it.  I don't know HOW that is possible, but she wasn't even super fussy!?!  The rash started as little red bumps, but within 24 hours, she was beet red.  My poor baby.

The doctor said "this is normal." WHAT?!  "give her some Benedryl".  Only thing doc....the package says not for kids under 2 years old! ugh! It started to fade after a couple days, but was not totally gone for a week.  She was a sport.
Ok so back to Marcelo.  
Hold on to your pants here guys.......shocking....just shocking!

A week after his swollen cheek [and while Paloma's rash is raging], it was 7pm and Marcelo was going #2 when I hear him excitedly say "mami, there is a worm in my poopie!" 

What?  No.  No there's not.  There is NOT a worm in your poopie Marcelo. 
I looked closely and about puked when I saw...wait for it...a tinywhite thread size worm wiggle.

OMG OMG OMG - Nooooooooooooooo.  Grossest.  Thing.  Ever!

That about put me over the edge.  I called Ernesto who wasn't home from work yet- and I MAY have freaked out.  What does this mean?  WORMS??
Not to make it about me, but I was too busy for worms.  I would now have to go sit in the doctors office [with two kids] the next morning.  UGH UGH UGH!  Also, groooooooossssss.

Luckily, after I pulled myself together, I thought to consult google, as I do for almost all of my [parenting and the like] problems and was super relieved when I typed in "tiny white worms in 3yo poop" and "pinworms" appeared.   

Yes, I was able to definitively diagnose my son online and avoid a doctors visit by driving to Walgreens at 10pm and buying Reese's Pinworm Medicine.

Surprisingly NOT harmful, but these little worms are SUPER contagious.  Im sure he got them at school or maybe a playground? but who knows?? The eggs are ingested.  (dirty hands!) UGH!  So disgusting!

So right in the middle of a CRAZY A$$ season and all this other SH**,  my car starts making a loud noise.  Perfect. Turns out it was the back axel.  What does that mean?  Who knows, but it was $1500 to fix and took a week!  I had to rent something big enough for 3 car seats and a crap load of supplies.  I ended up with this...
Well, as much as my family will harass me about saying this (I have been adamantly against owning a minivan forever) I have to admit, I really enjoyed driving this van around for the week that I had it.
And boy did I log some miles.  I am NEVER driving to Alpharetta again!! (Until next season.  Ha!)

I was mostly into the features of this 2016 Chrysler Pacifica,  namely bluetooth -handsfree phone and Spotify?  Yes, please.  The kids were all over that too.  They wanted music on the second we got in the car, which is the norm.  But with their Spotify playlists accessible, it was "my turn, my turn, no my turn."  Also, when Marcelo hears a song he likes, he asks "Mami, can you add this one to my WIST?"  Kills me.

Anyhoo, the practicality of a minivan is undeniable with 3 kids.  It's almost like a camper in there. Paloma can actually walk around and play.  I changed her diaper on the floor!!  We can have extra passengers.  Whaaaaaa??
Yep, pretty handy when guest pop into town.

Oh mommy!!  I was soooooo glad to see her (as usual!) but maybe a little more so this time.   Paloma LOVES her grandma and is so content being with her.  (If you are around her for any amount of time, she will love you too.)  She freely gives out kisses and hugs, so much sometimes that her brothers don't want anymore.

She is persistent.  (not sure where she gets that!)

Even though my tree was put up Thanksgiving day, it sat there undecorated.  With my moms help, we were able to unpack everything.  I let the kids throw up the ornaments where ever they could, and I was finally able to hang my beloved indian glass ornaments on the upper half where little hands can not reach.  (real trees were never able to support them)
Gosh, these pictures are dark.  Note to self- break your "real" camera out once in a while or do some photo editing.  Reply to self - I barely had time to put this post together let alone edit pictures.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
Last night we left our shoes out on the windowsill for St. Nick take our xmas lists and leave us some treats.  This is exciting at our house folks.  Of course any promise of surprises of the toy and candy variety always are.
We are on the final stretch for Christmas lighting, although you would not know it by the number of calls I am getting.  As of today we are booked until the 12th, but it will straggle on a few days after that Im sure.  Some people just don't plan ahead! Ha...WHO could live like that????
Christmas season - TO BE CONTINUED! 

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