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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The realization that I am not alone..

It has been a while since I was here...
And I have been debating with myself for a very long time whether or not should I write about it. But recently I realized that the struggle is real and I am not alone on this road, unfortunately.
Yes, don't get me wrong that I am and feel blessed for my children and for the privilege of witness each and every phase of life they go through. But there are days when I don't feel it, and it drains me to a point where I have no idea what I am doing.
Just as it marks the 10th  Anniversary since my BA graduation, I started to think about my life and how far have I came. I wouldn't say at all that abandoning my career was a mistake and I don't regret doing it. Besides I am living one of my dreams: motherhood. But there come times when I think about it and how would it be.
Being a wife and a mother is hard. Specially when you feel isolated and your only contact with the outside world is through the internet and social media. For most part I can't truly express my fears and feeling because I don't feel ready for the judgments. 
Then after watch a couple Ladies talking about their struggles after becoming mother's, it made me feel like I am not alone. Yes, just like them I am struggling, but unlike many of them I have no one to trust about it, because for one: Every time I tried to express I got cut or dismissed, or for two the quickly and easy way through people's eye is:"why are you not on medication? It would be helpful!"
At some point I just stopped caring or acknowledging it. I started not caring anymore if I could not operate and was being bashed for not being emotionally able to move my physical body. There was a time when I would spend day and night on my bath robe... 
What saddens me is that most of the times the ones you trust to be lifting you up are able to do that for others while pushing you deep down.
I lost who I am and stopped caring for myself. And recently I found help through a group on Facebook. Yes, I got to "meet" a lady that decided to help me find who I am through the one who created me: God! She has been on my shoes and she knows my pain! And she was delivered!
The recovery process is at the beginning and the realization of the long road I still have to go can be a push back.  
But I want and need this reconnection. 
My only goal is to refind who I am and bring myself to live again.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Playing with Barbie dolls, again!

There are so many great things about being a parent... And one of the best ones is to be able to go back on time and remember your own childhood.
Despite not having them, as most my friends would, I loved to play with dolls. I loved Barbie and baby dolls and could even make my own baby dolls with blankets or towels.
When I finally was able to have a real Barbie I would spend hours making them clothes out of leftover fabrics and anything I could find.
Just another day I watched a YouTube video with my 6 years old and she was very excited to experiment doing it too. So we went on the hunt for mismatching socks to make her many dolls clothes.
We just finished making a few ones and I can see we spending some time making a bunch more.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Homeschooling Workbook Review.

For a little while, I have been searching a fun and effective way to help my son with his reading, writing, and spelling. Then I got to watch this lady on Youtube doing her Homeschool Curriculum Hall and one of her books call my attention. It was the Evan Moor Daily Review. I really liked the idea and how helpful the Daily Reviews can be especially on days when things seem to be dragging around. We do a lot,and with the fact that our children need especial attention to keep them healthy makes things even more complex.
So I decided to check Evan-Moor website and just couldn´t get over it. So many good stuff that my compulsive buying mood was activated, luckily I had no funds to go CRAAAAZY, lol.
But I was determined to get something to help my boy, and after reading the reviews I decided to get the Spell & Write Skill Sharpeners from Grades K-2. Despite he being 2nd grade, as we were introducing it and the book seemed fun it was a good idea to review. We are working on it for a little over a month now, and just last week I saw my boy full of confidence picking a book a reading out loud!!!!
I am beyond happy and excited. And his writing is getting so neat!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Growing Wheatgrass!

Inside for the Second Half Haircut
A couple months ago someone,after watching my son's story, told us about the health benefits of wheatgrass juice or shots - as some would call.
We did our research and sure enough, we found out that it was not only good for our son and daughter which were born with Sickle Cell Anemia, but for all of us. Buying it in a natural store can be very expensive, and we attempted doing it for a little while, but didn´t work. Also taking it as a powder is better than nothing but not good enough for its health purpose. So we gave up since we do so many things that are equal or more important in this matter for the children.

Couple weeks ago I managed to go online and buy us a 1 pound bag of wheatgraIt'sand experiment growing it myself. It's pretty easy! But you might have to go through some errors and try on before you be successful.
My first experiment did not work since our kitchen is very humid. But the second time I decided to place it on our deck as soon as the seeds were sprouting and I was happily surprised by how fast and strong it grew.
One container can be cut and last us 4 days, time enough to get the other one on time for cutting!!!
2 days worth Wheatgrass Juice! And saves us $15.
My Wheatgrass Garden

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I'm addicted!

For quite sometime I have been hearing people talking about Pinterest and how addicted they got with it, but I didn't pay much attention or was that curious about it.
Wasn't until I started to go searching for some cute baby Crochet pattern and was directed to Pinterest:)!
Now I just can't get enough of it, lol. And most of the times I even forget about my other social media.
I just love Pinterest and have been using it to inspire me on my "more natural" day to day and what not's!!!!
It is a big hand also on our homeschooling journey!
Happy Pin everyone!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

OMG... my Kombucha brewing is growing so big!!!!

Back in June 2016, I made a post about the Kombucha tea and how excited I was to be able to get my own brewing process thanks to a very dear friend of my husband.
Yes, I have been making my own portion of goodness and it has been growing!!!! This is only one of my 4 pots I have going on right now, and a few ones I just started from my own brewed tea.
The best recipe I found and use is the one that asks for 1 cup of sugar, 1 bag of black tea and 3 bags of green tea for each liter of water to make the tea that will ferment with the scoby.
If you don´t have a scoby and doesn´t have a friend to share with you, all you need is to buy a bottle of Kombucha Original, put it in a pot  using the tea recipe above and let it ferment in a dark place for 3-4 weeks. After that you just keep repeating the tea process, only it will take less time to be ready to consumption. And don´t forget, while bottling your brewed batch to leave about of 10% of your ready kombucha as a starter juice for the new batch on the scoby.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Laundry Soap.

For about 3-4 months now I have been adventuring and doing my own laundry soap. It has been not only joyful the process of making it, but the way it makes the clothes feel and smell, as well as it has helped our Family to save money.

With 3 little ones, is amazing how much loads of laundry you go through. And before making my own soap we would be buying it pretty much every month. Now with the same amount we would spend on a month supply of laundry detergent I can probably get the ingredients needed for a whole year supply.

I have seen many recipes online and have tried a couple. But I like to keep things simple and able to fit on my day without too many complications. All I use on one batch is:
 4 cups of Washing Soda
4 cups of Borax 

1 bar of soap (you can use pretty much any kind you like)

As I let it in a powder form. I cut the soap into small pieces and put it with the other ingredients in a food processor to make it usable on cold water as well.

After the ingredients are mixed and powdered I store it in a big plastic container with locking lid and use one measurement for each load.

Also as a fabric softener, I have been using White Vinegar  or the mixture of 2 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar for a Gallon of Water, and 40 drops of my favorite essential oil: lemongrass.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Do you have a Hero?

I think we all had this fantasy about the cartoon heroes when we were little. And many of us would truly wish we would become one of them someday.
Many times in life we might encounter a life Hero. Someone that had gone through a real life battle and came out of it to not only be a testimony but to inspire us. I know for myself I have been able to meet a few ones, but never in my life I would imagine that my biggest life Hero would be someone that happened to be my own child.
Just 2 years ago, on this coming Sunday, we were coming home for a long Hospital stay. It was 58 days of tears, learning, celebrating little things and wondering what would be the next step. The coming home was long wanted and waited, but I confess that I was terrified. Can you imagine coming to your house and your 5 almost 6 years old is not even able to sit on its own?
The simple day-to-day thing was overwhelming. But we relied on our unit. And we were blessed with so much support that would be unfair trying to name just a few.
Today is hard to even think about all of that. And even when I am taken to remember those horrifying days, it fills my heart to know that this is a story in our past.
My Life Hero - Caesar Sant
He overcame! Mostly because of his persistence. It was just intriguing how could he still smile and find a way to not let the situation take him down. I still remember the day a psychologist came to his room at Rehab and while talking to him she asked him where he was and he said ¨home¨, I looked at him in panic and she told me not to worry because she could see that he had a very strong will and when she asked him: ¨is this your house?¨ He answered with a sarcastic smile ¨no, my house is in another city. I live there¨.
I guess he was right. There wasn´t his house, but we were there, all of us tucked in a room. Despite all he had his family, so it should be home.
Yes, I have a life Hero, and he just happened to be my son!!!
If you want to learn more about Caesar story and his progress please check his Facebook Page and feel free to like and share it.
Be blessed everyone!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

To me, the king of the Essential Oils: Lavender!

I believe it was 3-4 years ago when my husband was introduced to the World of Essential Oils. As we went on learning about the health benefits of adding it to our daily life, there wasn´t a single issue we faced that we didn´t run immediately to see which one would be more specific for what. We have learned a lot about essential oils and today we just cannot live without it :)!
If for any reason I am to choose one that would be the only one on hand anytime, would be lavender!
I especially have used it and am a proof that it works!!! My first experience was when I was pregnant with baby #3. Being pregnant in Summer months are very challenging, and I remember that I faced yeast infection once on my first pregnancy. Using medications is my biggest fear... but this time was different as I run for the oils and learned that lavender would do the job. Yes, a simple drop in the washer is all that takes!!
Then came baby shots... and believe it or not we never had to use Tylenol or lost a night of sleep, all thanks to the use of Lavender EO. We usually give her a massage before the shot, and once we are back home we keep passing Lavender on the site, legs, feet and back massage.
Also, we use Lavender to avoid mosquitos bite, stuffy nose, and allergens.
It´s hard to believe, but we go through a lot of Lavender!!! We use the Now essentials, and see no difference from the most expensive one.

A bottle like this would last no more than
 2 months for our family.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dishwasher Soap and Rinse.

How about save money while doing your dishes as well? Yes, lately I decided to experiment and make my own home cleaning supplies and was amazed by how many recipes and how to´s are available on the internet.
As for me I rather have something simple and with not many ingredients on. Most recipes I found had so many things to add that I could not even remember what and for what it was at the end. Mostly I use just baking soda on my dishwasher, and a single teaspoon is enough to do the job. This time, I decided to experiment mixing Washing Soda, Borax, and Kosher Salt. I haven´t noticed any difference between using this mix to just Baking Soda. And to avoid that any residue is left on my dishes I add White Vinegar at the Rising compartment.
So here you have it in just a couple bucks. Dishwasher soap and Rinser that works pretty great!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Thanks GPhotos.... I need this inspiration!

I just cannot believe this was me 4 years ago, and it was just the result of working out for no more than 15 minutes at home for a little over 1 year.
For the past 2 years, it has been very hard for me to keep myself on track and accountable to be in shape again. Despite my current body doesn´t please me I just find myself not willing to change it. It is not something physically but I don´t have the emotional strength to do it.
I know that I am the only one who can decide about it, as well as I am not putting excuses on anything or anyone for not doing something about it now, and I could find a billion of them.
It just brought me the memories as I was going through my G+ notifications saw my pictures and checked back to see my progress at that time.
Life hasn´t been perfect, in fact, it has never been, but I feel like if I could at least get a bit of this inspiration from my past pictures and get back to exercise.
Me 3 months after delivering my 2nd baby, and 2 months before starting working out!

Monday, July 4, 2016

DIY Pasta!

 My adventure another day was to try on a recipe of Pasta. My main idea is if I´m able to make it I can incorporate some veggies into it and sneak it into the kids meals.
My children will eat anything we give them since we make enforcement that we only would feed them what would be beneficial for their health. So I guess there is not much option. But as kids, they start to be picky here and there.
Another positive side of making our Pasta is that they can be involved in the process and get excited about the coming meal!
All you need:
2 cups of all-purpose flour;
1/2 teaspoon of salt (we used chicken bouillon);
2 eggs yolk and 1 whole egg lightly beaten
1/3 cup of water or veggie juice
1 teaspoon of olive oil

Mix the ingredients. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Cut the dough in a small amount and open it with a roller to no more than .5inches, then cut the strips to size and shape you want!
Cooking it the way you enjoy! Ours took 12 minutes to be cooked and I just stir fried with some garlic and onions!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Crochet Rug!!!

 This was my first crochet project done after a little while. 
As I was trying to figure out life with 3 little ones I came across this video tutorial and couldn´t resist but put my hook to work :). 
I only had this cotton yarn at hands and for it being white I decided not to go all the way and make it as big as the original.
I am looking forward to making one the original size in a different color very soon.
Since I had little time to dedicate to crocheting each day, it took me about a month to complete this rug. The big junk off it was done while in a Road trip back in April 2015.
Tapetao de sala - Prof. Simone

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Some material we use in our homeschooling!

When you think about a Homeschool you can for sure picture tons and tons of papers and books. And the thoughts about you being the one planning and giving your child the academic education can be overwhelming at first.
I think the beauty of homeschooling is that there is no ¨one rule fits all¨ and you go as it works the best for your children and for your family. 
For us, homeschool is like part of your daily basis since our kids were very little. And we could see how they are and what would work for each one. And as we got more in depth with homeschooling and they reached the school age we were so amazed to find how much material you can have for almost nothing or free available.
As of now the 2 major subjects for our children are Math and Music. It goes hand to hand. Reading and comprehension is something that came natural, since they started Kumon early, and by the time they were 4, both were reading fluently.
One thing we learned with our children is that they are ready and have no patience to stuck in textbooks and instructions. They like to see and try things. So it's much workable to explain something with the example than try to talk with them or read an endless instruction. Mostly we learn while playing, and it has been since they were very little. They learned colors, numbers, sorting and quantity while playing with blocks, for example.
Here are a few websites where we get our worksheets:

For books, we love very much many of the Carson Dellosa Publishing, like the grades specifics workbooks and all the supplementary ones.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cheese Bread ;)

One batch _ lasts enough time for one picture!
I was born in a State where cheese is something very common in dishes. One of the most famous snacks/ entree/breakfast in my birth State is the cheese bread. 
This is just the kind of food that if you like cheese and have no problem with eating it, all that takes is to try it once and you are in love!
There are many recipes to make it. The traditional one is the one I never even tried because I like thing simple. I feel like there is just too much going on and if I can simplify most of it I can get more done!
I learned one version of the cheese bread my Grandma used to make when my sister and I were there on vacation. Hers tastes and is more like a cookie.
Then I came to the USA and one day I wanted so badly to eat cheese bread, but I didn´t want the cookie like one. So I came out with the idea of changing a recipe and the result was just amazing.

All you need:
3 eggs
1 cup of Yucca Starch
1 cup of grated Cheese (any kind you like)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil ( I use coconut oil)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Blend it all together in a mixer or  blender until becoming a smoothie alike. Fill the cupcakes/muffins pan not more than halfway, and bake it in a preheated to 385F oven. Until it turns light golden. Usually takes 10 min.
Let it cool down a little and you can enjoy it!

At home, we skip the cool down part :). And it is so quickly and easy to make that is common for my son to wake up from his nap asking for some and in half an hour we are enjoying it. Yes, Cheese bread is one of his favorite and since he is so hard on eating, anytime he asks for it I run to the kitchen ;-).

I hope you give it a try and enjoy making your own cheese bread!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Recycling Furniture :)

As many would say: ¨Children and fabric furniture don't belong together!¨  And this is so true. Unless you can wash it from time to time. 
Those chairs came even before we get married, and as time went by, and after the children addition it was becoming quite disgusting. I cannot even count how many spills and what not went over them.
Then one day I was looking for something out of my ordinary to do while sitting with the children meanwhile they were having their BEMER session, and just came to me the idea of fixing those dirty chairs :).
We had some leftover of this red faux leather, and I had my staple and hot glue gun. That was all that I needed ;-).

 The sessions usually last 16 minutes for each child, and I was able to get 1 chair done in this time frame.
I was very pleased with the result. And it has been over a year since I did it! Now all we need is a dump washing cloth and any spill can be cleaned!!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Why we homeschool?

Very often I get people assuming that the reason we homeschool I children is because they were born with Sickle Cell Anemia. In fact, I got it from some close family and friends, what really intrigues me.
NO, the real story is that we have talked and decided to homeschool and invest in our children´s education far before they were born.
One of my favorites playtime as a child was pretend school. And one thing that my husband and I always agreed on is that we wanted to be the ones responsible for our children´s education and academic knowledge.
It can be hard and sometimes I feel like is too much and I am not able to handle it. But at the end of the day this is our family project and it is working. They take private music lesson since they were 2 years old and  started supplementary Math and Reading at Kumon around the same time. We believe in presenting them the opportunity and they are the ones leading.
At home we make all the experiences be a learning time. And anytime they ask about something we feel like they are ready to learn about it. So learning is fun!
There is no TV, and as they were born listening to classical music we don´t need to say anything, they are the ones turning on the stereo and choosing the classical they want to hear that day. Meanwhile is not a surprise to be listening to the same piece over and over again, while each one picks a spoon or a stick and pretend they are in an orchestra. Now even the 18 months old do the same :-)!
Our children are very social. They enjoy and are very comfortable around people. Also, they can distinct when is time to have fun and to be serious. Seeing them dancing and having a good time in a Party would make anyone jaw go down, knowing that they are homeschooled and listening to the Homeschool stigma: ¨Homechoolers are antisocial!¨.
We are very happy and pleased so far! And looking forward to starting our baby girl on the path her sibling are, as soon as she is ready. And believe me, she is already leading the way.
This is how they start ;-)!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Some crochet I made for my baby angel!

I learned how to crochet when I was 13 years old at my school art class, but I grew up seeing people doing it and appreciating very much the work.  
Since I got pregnant for the first time, I made sure my babies always had something made by me. And this time wasn´t different.
Here are just a few of the little garments I made for baby #3, as she was born in Winter time. Some of them I was following a tutorial, like the ones in the first picture with the hat and slippers.
Sometimes I have difficulties following a pattern as I go along, because on the way to making the piece ideas start to flow in my mind. I am not very patient in following then I rather create something inspired by a pattern I see.

Monday, June 20, 2016

DIY ToothPaste!

Natural-Homemade Toothpaste
After starting making my own kombucha and enjoying not only the process of making it myself and feeling the proudness of knowing what I am getting into my body, I decided to try some new things.
I´ve watched and read a couple of recipes, but I didn´t like much the fact that most people add some natural sweeteners to their toothpaste. At home, we are pretty good in keep sugar or any kind of sweets out of our diet if it is not really necessary.
Then I came up with this final product, which we have been using for more than 3 weeks, and I can really see the difference in my children and myself. My son´s teeth is a lot whiter and clean and I have for as long as I know had issues with bleeding gums, but after start using my homemade toothpaste it is gone :)!
The recipe is simple: 1tbspoon of Coconut Oil; 2 tbspoon of Baking Soda and 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon Powder. Mix together until you get a uniform paste.
I store it in this little containers and use a little spatula to take the amount we use to brush our teeth.
Even my 18 months old uses it and we don´t have to worry about she swallowing it.
Let me know if you try it on and your thoughts on it!
My teeth haven't been this light for years! :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

For many, it wouldn´t be possible 2 years ago...

As the days are passing, it is hard to enjoy it and do not remember where we were 2 years ago....
The memories cannot be erased from our minds, but seeing how far my warrior has come makes us believe that there something very special about his life.
I remember talking with someone, exactly a month after we were home from our long stay at the hospital, and she, after hearing me telling her what had just happened, told me that she felt it was the proof that my son had a beautiful soul and his mission on Earth was a strong and powerful one.
I remember her words very often.
Here we are, 2 years ago! And when so many involved in his care primarily could not believe he would be able to even walk, we have been facing serious adventures from his side! Yes, thankfully for a very loving family, a beyond everything imaginable dedicated Father, and Godly provided friends support we made it to where we are. Many people have been asking how is Caesar doing since this month mark 2 years of his last stroke... Here is a video update on his progress so far. We still haven´t got him to have his transplant done and have been working on it as our goal!
Life hasn´t been easy! And many times we feel like we are not making it to the end, but this warrior and his sisters make sure that we are not even able to believe that give up is an option!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kombucha Tea!

Our 2nd big batch!
 If you have never tried it before, there are a million good reasons why you should.
Kombucha tea is very good for your overall health. The bad side of it is that a simple bottle can be very expensive if you think of it as a daily supplement. And I can guarantee you that once you try it, it is impossible to live without it!
A few years ago, someone told us kombucha tea and advised us to implement it on our children health managements as a daily supplement. One bottle would last no more than a week, and give the fact that we all enjoyed it a lot, we found some way to make our own.
We bought the starter kit from a brewer, and it was at our home after little over a week, but somehow our first try was a big fail. We gave up, and as we do so many things all together we kinda forgot about the kombucha tea.
It was until a couple months ago, we went to visit a long time friend of Lucas and when we were leaving, after an amazing afternoon, he mentioned and showed us his batch. We told him our story with trying to make our own to save money... then he gifted us with a kombucha SCOBY :).
It has been a good 2 months that we are making our own and drinking it.
My daughter and I cannot live without it. And it has helped me so much with my constipation issues!
I´ll be forever thankful for this amazing friend kindness!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Breaking the Sickle Cell Cycle.

Today marks the 2 years since my son had his 3rd stroke. As I anticipated I have the feeling this month is going to be very hard, emotionally, since it is hard for me to go on and don´t remember what happened 2 years ago.
It has been a long and hard journey and living it has brought a lot of different experiences.
But I´ve decided that instead of crying about those memories that I wish I could erase from my mind I wanted to think about how helpful would be to let others know that there is a way to break the Sickle Cell Cycle.
Unfortunately, I only learned about it after my daughter was born, not that I regret having her, but I wish I could prevent her from being born with Sickle Cell Anemia, as well.
It was down the road, and a year after my second child was born, very often I would have a strong feeling that I wanted to get my tubes tied. I even mentioned it to my husband a couple of times, while I would be researching and reading about the options available. One day, while reading some of it I came across an article about a family that had a child with SS and decided to go through IVF to have another baby because they wanted to give the son 2 gifts: A sibling and a chance to live free of Sickle Cell.
After reading their story I was curious about his process they went through and was surprised to learn that it wasn´t a brand new procedure and still people wouldn´t talk about it or would have misconceptions about it and consequently be against.
I felt like this came to me for some reason, and at that moment, I cried. It was like I was being prepared for something. 
Sure enough, I knew I wasn´t supposed to go ahead and tie my tubes. And I felt like it would come a time when I would need to use the knowledge I got from all those reading and the strength and inspiration of the Fearless Love.
The time came, and despite so many information being already out about the IVF with PGD, still a lot to be available to everyone to know or access. And it started by the own Medical community that is not educated about it.
Yes, the only way to break the Sickle Cell is helping couples to be able to prevent their babies from being born with this rootless disorder, and it is only feasible through IVF with PGD.
We went through this process and were able to conceive our 3rd and miracle baby in 2014. Exactly when I was 12 weeks pregnant, we had to rush to the hospital with our son. There we lived for 58 days and left knowing that we were having another princess and despite our son not being able to even sit on his own, we were thrilled to know that there was still hope. To learn about his struggles please check this NatGeo Documentary and to see how he is doing today or help him keep progressing while waiting on his transplant visit his Facebook Page.
If you have questions about my IVF process feel free to ask in the comments as well as if I get enough requests I will be putting a blog post about my IVF cycle.
Until next time :)!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

9 years ago...

It has been some time since my last post. This month was a really crazy one, and somehow a very overwhelming month for me, emotionally. I just cannot believe it has been 9 years since I left the warmness of my family and embraced a new chapter of life in a Country where I didn't know much of its culture neither could I speak its language...
Nine years... And sometimes it feels like an eternity.
Grandpa'sFarm - Place where I would spend most of
 my off school time
So much had I lived on this years... so much have I learned... so much have I laughed... and I have cried more than I wished for.
But on this new chapter I have taken the biggest lesson of a lifetime: Appreciate where I came from!
Yes, I learned that I was a few lucky one that even though was born in a very humble family,  I had everything I needed to not be left without my need met. My Parents had family and friends that were always there for us. And this is not the same for everyone, and unfortunately, the ones that didn't have it sometimes don't know how to live with the fact that good people exist and not everyone had a miserable life as their and are poor in spirit.
Gosh, how much I miss being just able to chat with my siblings. Talk pretty much about nothing in special, just silly things and laughing. How much I miss going to Grandpa's farm and enjoy the simplicity of being in Nature.
Growing up I learned that I didn't have to have much to be happy. I had a family that loved me the way I was. I had friend's and family that admired me for what I am. I had family and friends that wanted to see me exceed and get anywhere I could possibly dream of being.
But, also I have learned that I can adapt. I learned that I am stronger than I might look.
I learned that sometimes dreams are beautiful but we have to endure the hardship that it comes with.
For sure, I left a lot behind to be here. And once here I embrace one of my biggest dreams: To be a Mother. And even though most of the times I feel like I am not the way I wish I could be, I don't feel like I wish time would go back to change it.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Living in fear.

Most of the times I feel that being a mother of Children with Sickle Cell Anemia is like living in fear. And it feels this way because this disorder is very unpredictable, pretty much no matter what you do to stay healthy, anything can trigger a minor or major crisis. Since environmental changes, to weather, mood, stress, sadness, excitement, happiness... And the list goes on and on.
We've been very fortunate, despite all. Most children living with SCD that is my children's age have been through more hospital stays than the numbers of months of life they have. Maybe this is because we chose to fight for what we feel is right for our children now and in a long way. My only regret is sometimes taking longer to move forward and fight with all we have on hands to get where we need to be. 
It saddens me to see and read how much struggles many families goes through  every day, and still not many people know or care about this Disorder that is considered the Second major hereditary Disorder existent.
There is just so much misunderstanding, judgment and mostly discrimination against it. I still remember the first time we went to a Hematology Clinic and both the doctor and the Social Worker telling me: "You know,  Sickle Cell Disease is a black disease!"
At that time everything was so hard and confuse in my mind, my heart was heavy and I didn't realize how bad those words were and there was a discrimination profiling.
It is hard to put into words how much you need to be strong and have faith that God empowers us to go through each day.
You have to be in a nonstop search. And yet deal with the fears of the unknown and the guilty of passing it to your most loved ones.
Most of the times it feels like you are constantly walking on egg shells.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

So proud of myself!


So proud of myself.... After a quite long time doing little to none physical activities just finished a 30 days emoticon

I did tried it 3 years ago, when life was less chaos, and I was in the best shape of my life but fell out of the wagon one week before it end. This time, I went through it all. Missed one day, but never stopped. Some days my weight were Helen, lol! ‪#‎25pounds‬
She wanted to be on my arms, then I used her as my weight.
I used to do the same 6 years ago when my fitness journey started. Now I was inspired to get back by my children: 7 and 6 years old!
smile emoticon


Monday, April 25, 2016

Quality time with my Boy!

Most of the times I get to spend alone time with my children I like to do something that will be both, fun and educational. Giving my son's needs I usually spend time doing some reading and writing works, but this time, after we were done with our "serious" playing I decided to do something different than just let him watch something on my computer.
He doesn't have much patience and can get bored easily, but I was able to take him into drawing a Spring scene.
I just loved the way we had fun and not only he enjoyed it, but it came out pretty neat. And as a good brother, he asked me to make him and his middle sister in our picture!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Everyone has its own gift.

Being a parent of multiple children, as pretty much anything in life comes with lots of discovering and adapting.
As human beings, we have this habit of always comparing ourselves. Sometimes it might feel like anything we are, have or do are not enough, because someone is better. And on this way of trying to match and being like, we get lost and forget to appreciate what we are.
It is common to compare our children among them and try to fit them in the what to expect guides of parenthood.
I remember when I got pregnant with my son, I already had a little experience with babies and children, since I am the first born of  a big family and grew up around many babies and little ones, but I wanted to learn more, besides, it would be my own child. Then I came across this article, where a child development specialist said that the worse mistake a new parent do is trying to believe those New Parents guides book are the manual for raising your child.
True enough. My son was a really mature baby, and despite being ahead development-wise, even though he was born with Sickle Cell Anemia, he wasn't speaking words probably until he was 2. I remember mentioning it on his 18months well visit, and his doctor telling me that it was fine for him not saying words, because he could understand and follow directions, he was in a multilanguage environment, and the doctor added, "I don't know any 18months old that understand music as your son" ;).
True enough. My son was very young and we could see how into the music he was. He couldn't even stand yet, but he knew what he wanted and would be fussy until we put music for him. As soon as he could sit and stand up on his own, he loved to watch and imitate the conductors in the orchestra.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Having a special need child... My take on the Poem "Welcome to Holland"

Recently I was introduced to the text "Welcome to Holland.", and as I was reading it I couldn't help myself but get back to the time when my son was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia through his Newborn Screen. Each paragraph could make me go back and revive since the first call from the Pediatrician asking if I knew of anyone in the family having it. In fact, now reading the text it makes me feel just s if the pilot was announcing the need to land somewhere else...
Yes, this text can illustrate exactly what life turned to be after the first appointment we had with a Hematologist. I was prepared and was for sure ready to have a child... Then there was a new piece that I knew nothing about but I decided to learn about it.
The guidelines for this new world made me cry and many times question "why". 
I was scared and felt alone. And now when I think back it hurts knowing that I didn't enjoy each moment as I wished because of the fears.
At some point, I felt as I should stop looking for answers and knowledge about my new world. And I decided just enjoy motherhood even having this voice inside saying to be aware.
I internalized my fears and feelings about it and now I realized that if I had looked for ways to accept it and walk through, it wouldn't take me this deep. 
It is hard to know or see, but I have been dealing with depression and lots of anger and anxiety since them.
Even though, I am blessed that I can find ways to keep my mind from taking me to the dark side. And among many ways, I found that reading and listening to others experience helps me cope with my fear. 
There is a saying that goes like this: "Those who spending time giving their shoulders for others to cry, have no time to cry for themselves", and I believe it is true, at least for me. I think this Poem is very special and very touching, and I would really recommend that everyone, specially us,parents of special need children, read it, because in the end no matter what we become parents and our babies, despite all, come to teach us something special about life. It is a hard and full of struggling road, but it is a full of meanings journey, where we learn to enjoy and appreciate every little tiny step! :) 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Jewelry Box!

Since she knew we would be the great part of the day by ourselves at home, she started to make a to To Do list ;-).
And the very special thing on this list was a Jewelry box she saw on her crafts book.
As we couldn't find a box with lid in the house, we had t make it from scratches. Luckily I had art class when I was in middle school and have learned quite a bit. Besides, I love those activities and I am glad she not only likes it too but enjoy making things.
So, we had some hard foam board. I cutted the pieces and hot glued it to make the box and lid. And covered it with fabric, her color choice, and paper. Then came her favorite part of all: decorating!!!
Then on this phase all I did was put the glue on the spots she asked for.
It came out beautiful and the best part of all... She loved it!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Keep going no matter what or how...

This week was a very hard week for me emotionally... It was the week my son goes in for his blood transfusions. Even though I know and completely understand that this is the only procedure available to about 98% of the Sickle Cell Patients that are at risk or had a stroke, it wasn't the option you decided on or wished for him, 3 years ago. And from the bottom of my heart I wished that by now my child would have done his transplant and would be free of this horrifying disorder. I hate seeing time passing by, and as the days keep coming and going I live with the fear of it striking once again. The transfusion are to give him the chance to keep going, but are not a garantee that he won't be at risk. It is only to allow him to go a bit further. As of now, the major cons of getting blood, iron overload, is under control and is not at a concerning level, thanks to the regiment of Yerba Mate Tea and many others natural approaches he is on. And after a long day of waiting and dealing with anxiety is very refreshing learn that everything went well and there was no unwanted changes on his body. But also, this week was a very special week, as my baby Angel turned 16 months old, ironically, the same day Big Brother was out for treatment. The day was filled with mixed emotions. And not all was sadness as I got to spend some quality time with my girls. I find it interesting how things happens in my life... Just 2 years ago, around this time, I was going back to the reproductive clinic to have a pregnancy test done. In fact, just to confirm it because I could feel her inside of me :-).

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A typical NE Brazilian meat!

Cured Meat! - 1 Day Old :)
Despite not being born in the NorthEast of Brazil, I was raised in that culture, pretty much :). Both my parents were born in the State limits from a NE State and my relatives from my Mother's side are from the NE.
Then I got married... And my husband was born and raised in Bahia, a NE State... eating the same things I did.
Coming from a humble family get you lots of pros... You need to learn about everything, and you need to be creative.
Since we live in the USA, it is not easy to find some of our popular food. And one of my husband's favorite food is the Cured meat... So I got adventurous in the kitchen and a few years ago I decided to give it a try. It was a Plus!!! And we were so excited about it that we didn't let it be completely done before start cooking it!!!!
Recently I did it again and got confident. It is pretty easy to make and the results are just amazing!!!! All you need is Beef and salt!!!! There are many ways people make it. I like to put a generous amount of salt on the beef and let it sit in a covered plastic pan for at least 12 hours. Then I drain it and put it in another place where it can still loose its water without being soaking. Also, you can let it dry in the sun. The previous times I made it I left the meat curing in the Refrigerator because was winter.
After the meat is cured, you can store it in the refrigerator and eat the cured meat fried, cooked in the rice or beans, with veggies... All it takes is to soak it in water for remove the excess of salt, before cooking!!!
Cured Meat in the process - 12 hours

Friday, April 1, 2016

From the children's mouth....

After we become parents, is very easy for we lack ourselves and neglect our bodies. I remember soon after having my second baby, as I was nursing I got rid of a good junk of pregnancy weight, but there was the last 5 pounds that no one could really see it, since I've been always a tiny person, but the scale wouldn't forgive and it was mainly on my belly site. And on top of it being making me sad, I was feeling it on my feet. At that time, even a 5 minutes standing would make my feet swell.
Working out with 2 little ones, specially when you don't have family and friends around to help, can be a good challenge. And even my husband would be incentivizing me to go to our condo Gym while he was home, it would have to be too early and wouldn't be something I was going to be able to pursuit often.
As I was due for a physical,  I asked to be checked for bone density. Sure enough, I was having some low numbers on my hips and needed to start something to avoid it becoming an issue. Then I discovered the home workout...
At first, it was challenging but feasible, I could get it did any time and soon it became something fun for the whole family. The first 3 months I did 12-15 minutes of HIIT, every day. And I saw the results very quickly. It made me happy and confident with myself! After 3 months my husband joined me. Then came all the craziness in life, with our son getting sick, and we starting IVF, getting pregnant and my son being hospitalized and needing a lot of support. No, I don't feel like it was a excuse, but after all my body became lazy and I just couldn't feel motivated enough to go back.
Then couple months after I had  our 3rd child, my son looked at me and asked: "Mama, do you have a baby in your belly?" Yes, he remembers how fit I used to be, how much happier I was and I had more energy to spend with them.
As I thought about it, I realize that getting myself back on track is not something good just for me and my body. It is essential for my family.
My children want me happy and confident.
And to start I began this fun Challenge I did back in Sep. 2013...
                                                   30 Days Squat Challenge -BodyRock

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Spring by a 6 years old!

When I was little and even today, one thing that always annoyed me was being compared to someone. No matter how much I loved or didn't care about that one, but it always made me feel like if what I was good at had no meaning. Then I learned to ignore it and just leave with the fact that nobody is alike and if people cannot appreciate my best is, this is not my problem.
As a parent, I very often can spot my children facing the same issue. And as much as I try to teach them and let them know that we all have particular specialties I know them cannot really understand or accept it, just yet.
It just happens all the time, and today morning as we were spending some time in the living room, my son was complaining that his sister can draw and he can't... Yes, this is true, she started drawing she was 3 years old, and her drawings are very heartwarming, as you all can see. But he is great at music. As I was trying to make him understand it, I just mentioned to him that we can always do better when we practice and that some people don't need as much practice in something if it is one's ability.
I guess he got it and knowing that she is a good painter made my daughter's day! And it made my day seeing her happiness! Then I thought I would share her piece if you all!!!! Why not???
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!!! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Source of All Suffering

At the end is everything in our mind.




Sibling's love!

I won't lie that many times I have felt so guilty, and quite to often sad by the fact that even knowing the risks of having another child with Sickle Cell Anemia, we moved forward and decided to take the chance... And it used to hurt me a lot and many times I have felt angry when I heard this question: "Why would you take the risk if you knew the possibility?" 
I just wished that by the time we decided to move ahead, I have heard of the alternative: In vitro.
One thing I knew for sure, and deep on my heart, was that coming from a big family and having many siblings I wanted this to my child. From my friends that were the only child, I learned that the best gift my parents gave me other than been there for me, was giving me siblings. And because of that I had a great childhood, and cherish many memories.
The beginning of my second pregnancy wasn't easy as my first one. As the same time I was growing a baby, there was a cyst growing on my right ovary, and I had to be followed closely. And because of the hormonal imbalance caused by the cyst I had very bad morning sickness and lost a good 6 pounds on the first 12 weeks.
But my baby was a fighter from day one. She was stronger and she took her space and she made it to 41 weeks!!!!
Then came the reality check... Yes, she was born with Sickle Cell Anemia too. And unlike her big brother she was hospitalized (Thank God, the only one from date) before she turned 1. 
And seeing what she means to us, I am learning that there is a reason why she made it.

It amazes me how can a little person be so full of wisdom. She gives us strength. She keeps us together. She makes us feel like we need to be better. We need to do more.
She is the best sister, the best daughter and very likely the best friend someone could have.
Today, despite the guilty, I can see that she came for a mission and she is sure following it through.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Special Easter!

Exactly on this day back in 2013, as my son was rushed to the hospital having the second stroke, something got stucked in my throat. And I remember getting to my computer and sending a message to the Reproductive Medicine Clinic in my area. I was just to anxious to wait for them to message me back and decided to go ahead and contact my health insurance and my primary Physician about our decision and need to have the IVF procedure in order to have our thrid child...
I'm very thankfull that my PF was very eager to help and was quickly to send the referral to the clinic as it was a requirement from the Health Insurance.
The process was a long one, and the wait was just full of fears and delays... But it was exactly 1 years later, exactly the same day and at exactly the same time I was shooting the first email, on the 27th of March of 2014, our angel was making her way back to my womb!
As we celebrate Easter, I just came across this reading of my Church's Periodic about the Resurrection and Human Sufferings. While reading the text my mind took me back to all this memories, and looking at my baby now I can testify that it was all for a reason and all of it makes me feel like I want to start a new chapter of life, and this is the spirit of Easter.

Happy Easter!!!!!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Step One, Balance!

I'm glad, as I was so fresh from reading an inspirational text and decided to search for things that would help me fill my mind with thoughts of moving forward, I came across to this teaching.


Monday, March 7, 2016

My Miracle...

As we celebrate your 15 month of life today, I feel the urge to write something about your meaning and how much I wanted and loved you, since you were not even a possibility.
While trying to put my words and thoughts on place I kept going back to the day and I can even see the reaction of the Physician when I said I was going to pursuit having you. And his disbelief was not because he knew I couldn´t but because he thought it was extreme. Why would someone put herself through an IVF procedure if she already had children.
The road until here hasn´t been an easy one. But I feel like everything falls apart when I see how well you match and complete us.
It hursts me and makes me deeply sad, when I hear people saying that you were just the donor, or even when someone suggests that you are a result of hormonal stimulation or whatever.
You are my angel.
I just can´t believe that after so many years people still can´t get over it and just try to see the reality.
I believe that God gave us the willing and the tools to make the World a better place, and I just don´t understand why break a cycle of something that was men created is ¨playing God¨.
Then I realize that maybe bringing you to our World is my mission to help others. And why not?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Great Math worksheets!!!! One of my favorite in our curriculum.

As we decided to homeschool our children, one of the things I do on my ¨free¨ times is to search for good materials to use on the daily base. It just blows my mind to find how many AMAZING materials are available and free on our days.

In our children school works, math is the number one subject and Math-Drills play a big and good role.

Check it out and Enjoy everyone!