Be Yourself.

Over the last 3 years, this blog has become a way of documenting my moments, cooking journey and putting into words my thoughts about the kind of parent I want to become. It’s also a platform to reach other moms who struggle with parenting their children, working full-time or part-time from home or outside the house and encouraging them to cook fresh meals for their families in the midst of the 6 o’clock rush hour.


Being a mom is a lonely job. One that is often unappreciated, unseen and underpaid.  Some days, I think of my first year as a mom, when I quit my corporate job to stay home with Sofia and how torn I was in my emotions.  I never felt my own power and ability to love unconditionally before; yet, there were many times I felt awkward, unseen and alone.

It wasn’t long before I found a group of moms who were going through similar struggles.  Soon, we created our own community and support group every Tuesday and Thursday at 2:45pm at the park.  They were my “peeps” before I had “tweeps”.

Sometimes people ask me: What made you start a blog? And while there was no defying moment where I thought to myself “I must start a blog,” I am glad I did.  It has given me the opportunity to share with others my struggles, recipes and passion for real food.

Sharing my stories and recipes is part of my journey of self-discovery.  How I react to a situation -like when my kids superglued my hair- defines my parenting moments.  Savoring every day and one day at a time, in turn, weaves the fabric of my life.

When I glue my “moments” into stories in my posts,  you get to see the authentic ME. I live for my family.  Nothing makes me happier than having them in my life.  Some days, I remind myself how LUCKY I am that God chose THEM for me.

In this journey, I’ve realized that how I live my life can become an example not only for my family but for others as well.  There are many of us who who struggle being a working mom, achieving life-work balance, prioritizing our lives so we are present for our children… and most importantly: loving ourselves for who we are in spite of not being “perfect”.

I sometimes wonder: if I died tomorrow and my children read my blog… what would they think?  Because of this, I choose to be transparent, authentic and engaging for them and for you.  

Today I leave you with some of my favorite recipes and with this thought: BE YOURSELF, BE LOVING, TRY YOUR BEST. 



Favorite recipes:

Crawfish Monica, Baked Chicken Cordon Blue Pasta, Overnight Cinnamon Rolls, Perfect Pancakes, Cinnamon Raisin Fruit Roll ups and Nutella Sushi Rolls.



It’s getting easier to be on the go!

20120310-182518.jpgThe last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling with pumping, nursing, adjusting to a new gluten free and dairy free diet, and getting out the door in a decent time frame with 3 kids.  Good thing I finally have the diaper bag routine down to the minimal items I need to carry; otherwise, I’d be towing around useless stuff.

Since breast milk lasts 6-8 hours at room temperature, sometimes I will bring an expressed bottle with me knowing it will be consumed at the next feeding.  Other times, I bring a bottle and some formula so my other two don’t have to wait while I nurse for 30-40minutes in a store’s dressing room.

Just the other day, we all went to Pottery Barn to check out their Easter items (plus my other two consider it an extension of their playroom where they can try-before-mommy-says-no-to-buy) and after ten minutes of being there Baby G had to eat.

20120310-182600.jpgThankfully, I had with me my newly discovered best-mommy-on-the-go-tool-for-formula-ever! my Similac SimplySmart bottle with the On-the-Go powder cap.  It’s an-all-in-one powder to bottle dispenser that allows me to carry the right amount of formula for that particular bottle.

I like that it has an EasyMix “paddle” that reduces clumps (something I hate of powdered formulas) and minimizes bubbles that give Baby G serious gas. The nipple is wide so it reduces breast-to bottle nipple confusion so I don’t have to deal with the “it comes easier out of the bottle” dilemma.  Overall, I’ve found it to be a convenient choice if I am out and about and will find myself needing to supplement with formula.

mommy and baby G at pottery barn.jpg

Making ourselves at home in Pottery Barn

I love finding new tools that make it easier to enjoy my children and do fun things.  What could be could be more important than a healthy, growing, and happy baby?

happy baby.jpg

I LOVE my mommy. She feeds me well. Can't you tell?

What are some tools that make it easier for you when you are on-the-go?


From time to time, I am sent sample products to try and provide feedback with my opinion.  However, I only select to write about those that I truly find beneficial and that fit my lifestyle.  While I did receive a sample Similac SimplySmart bottle from Abbott Nutrition, I was not compensated for writing this post and all opinions are my own.

Adjusting to being outnumbered

Every morning, Sofia and Alex stumble out of their rooms and run to my bedroom to check on their baby brother Gabriel.  Their level of excitement and desire to be involved really makes me happy and proud.

They love to hold him, kiss him, and talk to him.  Sofia even sings to him; that alone will melt anyone.  They like to get some “baby time” before they head to school.  Here the two sleepy siblings are holding their baby brother before school.


It brings me great joy that they are both so eager to help me.  In truth, they have stepped up and have been much more willing to help when I ask.  You know… it’s the little things… picking up after themselves, listening to what they need to do (ok, sometimes), and helping out with the baby.  If you think that this includes changing diapers… you are mistaken.  Holding him so I can pack their lunch, go to the bathroom, or brush my teeth is help enough! I am thrilled when they come let me know that the “baby is crying” or that “Gabriel needs his pacifier.”

Sofia, who is only 5, is mommy’s right hand.  A couple of my friends have expressed concerns about her “dropping” the baby and all I can say is that she knows she is not allowed to stand up and hold him; honestly, the girl would die first than drop her brother from a sitting position.


Alex is the one I was most concern with when we welcomed Gabriel into our little world.  He’s 4, very loving, and definitely mammas-boy.  I am sure there will be days where he is jealous of something; but for right now he is so happy to have a brother he is counting the days where he can play cars and jump in the trampoline with Gabriel.


A lot of people have asked me how I’m handling going from two to three kids.  I definitely feel like we’ve started over.  The other two are only fifteen months apart so I basically didn’t sleep for about three years.  This time around the lack of sleep is what’s getting to me.  Now that I’m alone with the kids it’s pretty difficult to “sleep when the baby sleeps.”  So, I take it one day at a time, struggle with the lack of sleep, and usually recruit the help of a strong cup of coffee (or two) to get through the day.

A Baby Story

Chilling in my hospital gown

Had my family guest-starred in the TLC show A Baby Story, you would have watched me beg negotiate with my OBGYN to schedule my 3rd c-section at my week 38 visit…and at the week 39…  Just when it seemed like the baby “would never come” I was scheduled to deliver Gabriel in my 40th week of pregnancy on January 16th.

The only difference between this scheduled c-section and the other two is that when I went to the hospital I didn’t know if I would be getting an epidural or be put to sleep under general anesthesia.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might have read about my issues with scoliosis.  While it doesn’t prevent me from any normal activity; my curvature makes it extremely difficult to administer an epidural, and it has left me with residual back and leg pain for weeks post delivery.

All hooked up, nowhere to go

Want to hear something ironic? About an hour before surgery, I went into labor! oh yeah.  They had me hooked onto the monitors and I had to watch (and feel) the contractions come and go as I waited to be wheeled in. Go figure.

After consulting with the anesthesia team and looking over my x-rays (yes, I come prepared) they decided to put me to sleep with general anesthesia.  It was kind of a bummer, because I missed the delivery and the first 8hrs post surgery are very blurry.

Dad, the one awake during surgery

I have to admit that I was scared to be put to sleep for the c-section. A few times the thought: what if I don’t wake up? crossed my mind.  In the end, I had no choice and I did wake up.  The biggest difference between induction, c-section with epidural and a c-section under general anesthesia is the post delivery pain management.

With my first and second c-sections, a pain relieving narcotic was administered through the catheter before removing the epidural.  This provided 24hours of pain relief (and I didn’t need a pain pump).  With the general anesthesia, when you wake up… well it’s painful. No amount of pain pump relieves the “I just got opened in half” pain.  Needless to say, the first 48hours were painful and blurry.  Even with the pain pump (which you must self administer every 6 minutes) I didn’t find pain relief until day two when it was removed and I moved on to oral medication (more than likely because I’d often “forget” to push the button to administer).

And the episode ends with a beautiful baby boy, happy siblings, and beyond grateful parents.  Shoot! I forgot to set my DVR!


Sofia holding Gabriel


Alex, thrilled to be a big brother


Milk coma


Going Home!


Kids on Vacation = Mom’s Staycation

Last week my husband, mother in law and kids went to Disney World.  After some debate over missing school, budgets and being close to Christmas, and leaving me behind for a week at 35wks pregnant… I decided that the pros outweighed the cons (my OB said NO-WAY for me to go buy that I should take the time to put my feet up).

Many of you emailed me, tweeted, messaged me, and called me and gave me some fantastic ideas of what I should do with all my “free” time.  Topping the list was rest, nap, sleep, watch movies and eat.  While I appreciated the suggestions… those were not topping my list.  You said: a week to yourself, no kids, no getting up early, no cooking, folding, mountains of laundry, time to rest, shop, organize… the list could go on!  Ok, ok… I was a tad excited to have some time to myself.  More importantly, I would have a week to lock myself in the office to “get ahead” and prepare for when I temporarily ease out of there when baby #3 arrives.

I did bring things down from the attic, washed all the 0-6 months worth of clothes, completely organized my closet, cooked meals and froze them, went to eat lunch out with a girlfriend, got a pedicure and even a facial!  The other thing I should mention is that did not get to sleep in and I put nearly 11 and 12 hour days in the office 4 days in a row, skipped one to attend a funeral, and was back at it the following day.  Was it an optimal staycation?  Probably not in your yes… but it was great for me! I worked non-stop and I didn’t feel guilty, didn’t have to wait in carpool lines, and did lots little projects.

The house was really quiet.  It was nice to have the house clean and stay clean for a week, to only have to pick up after myself, and to not have to plan breakfast, lunch and dinner a week ahead of time.  When night time rush-hour never happened, I found myself staring at my phone waiting for my husband to send me pictures that would recap their adventures.  I missed my husband and children terribly and at times; and by the end of the week I had enough of being by myself.  Seriously, even the cats looked at me funny because I talked to them!

This past week, I was reminded of how much I love being a wife and a mother, enjoy having my kids and their friends at the house in the afternoon, and how cooking meals for my family brings me pleasure.  It turns out that I like chaos, loud kids, parenting and nurturing them, correcting them when needed, taking care of their needs, being a friend and a wife to my husband, and pulling out my hair while attempting to manage it all.

Could I live alone? Absolutely.  I’ve been there and done that.  Would I choose to? Never again.  Life is more about creating memories and sharing moments with those you love than living for oneself.  When I’m old, family is all I will want around me.  I will want to tell them funny stories like when my kids super glued my hair, traveled by myself with the kids, how much I loved food, and most importantly: how being a parent has let me experience the kind of love that people freely die for.



Has your family taken a vacation and left you alone for a significant amount of time?  Did you enjoy it?