December 15, 2013


It's so good to have friends.  When my son Alex began kindergarten, I started meeting lots of other moms.  My Spanish was a lot choppier back then but these ladies didn't mind. Over the past six and a half years, some great friendships have developed.  I can't even express how thankful I am for them.  Even though some have moved on to other schools, we still keep in touch.   Yesterday it was great to see them and celebrate a birthday/ primera comunion.

Top from left: Evelyn, Janine, ME, Vicki, Liz
Bottom from left: Connie, Charo

December 13, 2013

just write something!

Its been a while.  I feel like I'll write this and then take eight more months to write again.  I don't want that to happen but its hard for me to just WRITE!

Life has been so busy with school and soccer... I've barely had time for anything!  My boys' teachers give too much homework.  Seriously, hours of it!  Then we have soccer three to five days a weeks depending on the game schedule for the week.  I've been feeling stretched thin.

I've also had issues with my thyroid since this past summer.  It is really going crazy on me.  I've known I had hypothyroidism for ten years.  Now I've found out I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis...I still don't underestand it exactly.  I'm not sure if that has caused an enlargement of my thyroid or something else.  What I do know is that it is making me more irritable than usual and it has helped me lose almost 30 pounds.  I needed to lose the weight anyway but I hope my thyroid gets back to normal soon.

Its been seven months since my mother-in-law passed.  My husband has had many ups and downs since then.  I guess that's normal.  I don't feel like I've grieved so much.  It was just such a relief not to see her suffer any more.  Sometimes I cry a little bit.  Sometimes we cry together.  Sometimes we remember something funny and laugh together.  Life goes on.

I'm glad we'll have a break from school and soccer for a few weeks starting next week.  I need it!  I'm sure by January 7th I'll be ready for some active boys to return though.  For now I'm just going to feel relieved and allow myself to relax and try to do fun activities with my boys.

Whats going on with you?

May 8, 2013

Ashes Again

That burning sensation in your throat and chest?   That taste of sulfur in your mouth?  No worries, its just ashes from Don Goyo.  He has not been happy this past year!  Today we awoke to what looked like a fine dusting of snow on the trees, cars, street and roof..  Unfortunately it was a fine dusting of volcanic ash.  This is the worst I've ever seen and felt.  I hope he will calm down sometime soon, or I might have to go hang out at the beach for a week.  That wouldn't be too bad if my kids didn't have to go to school.

May 4, 2013


My mother-in-law, Carmelita, passed away last Friday morning. She had been hospitalized again for internal bleeding and the doctors found that she had stage IV kidney cancer. She came home on Monday and died Friday morning. It was a very hard time but in the end, we're thankful that she is at peace and have faith that we will see her again under much better circumstances.

 I'm sad she suffered so long but glad I had the opportunity to help care for her and love her in that way. I'm also thankful that although she had been sleeping most of the time she was home last week, she woke up on Thursday and was able to smile and laugh and hear our goodbyes. We told her how much we loved her and were going to miss her.

 We had her funeral Friday night and were overwhelmed by the outpouring of kind words from so many friends that came to say goodbye. There was a little more laughter than tears as people shared their memories. It was not a typical funeral. Even a few people came to me at the end and said it was one of the nicest funerals they had ever attended. I think the most beautiful thing people said was that her life was evidence of God's love. She didn't have to throw her Bible in anyone's face, she showed love through her actions.

 Our friend Victor said that everytime he visited with her, he felt better when he left than when he had arrived. Another friend told of how she always had room in her kitchen and even if there wasn't much to share she would share and that no matter what she made, it was delicious. To this I am also a witness. She was an amazing cook! I can say she is one of the most generous people I've known. She was always giving her things to others who had less. I guess growing up in poverty could've made her hold on more tightly to things when she had them, but for her, it made her more generous and more aware of the needs of others. 

Maria del Carmen Ocaña, descanse en paz. Te vamos a extrañar.

February 7, 2013

2012 turned out to be a year with major changes for our family.  At the beginning of the school year, my mother-in-law had a very debilitating brainstem stroke.  She is still with us but her health has declined so much that she is never going to be able to walk again.  She requires constant attention and care as well.  This means that someone has to be with her all the time.  We have a team of friends and family who have stepped in to help and without them I don't know how we would have survived.  Nonetheless, it has been overwhelming many times.  My mother-in-law was always used to being independent so it has been so difficult for her to rely on others for everything she needs.  She has become very depressed and hopeless at times.

Also, at the end of the year we began noticing some problems with Alex at school.  He has always been a very active boy so we are not suprised when teachers complain about him standing up or walking around during class, but then he started becoming more and more aggressive, explosive and angry towards other classmates and his teachers.  Finally there was an incident that caused alarm with his English teacher and I realized we might need to get some outside help.  Christmas and New Years came and went and with everything I just let him have a break and tried not to worry about it.  But as soon as school started back, his teacher informed me he might need to see a neurologist.  That made me angry since she is obviously not qualified to make that kind of comment... but I decided to see a child psychologist that a friend recommended to me.  After spending three sessions with Alex she told us that she found him to have attention deficit and hyperkinesis.  She told us that he is highly intelligent and has really tried to cope with the things he is dealing with but this year it has just exploded. He has a very strict, old-school teacher who just pressures him too much.  She said he is acting out to protect himself and that he is really having a hard time dealing with everything.  I was so sad to think about how hard it has been for him to cope, but at the same time I was glad to know that this has a name and a solution.  We are starting weekly therapy with her, for Alex and for us as parents to learn how to help him better, to set the right kind of limits for him and to help with his self-esteem and development.

I know there is no use in worrying about the future, I have too much to do for me to be able to stop and worry about anything, but it has been a rough six months.  I guess all I can do is move forward and work hard....but I could sure use a vacation already!