Christmas Traditions… & the Lack of Christmas Spirit in 2016 

When I first decided to write a post about Christmas, I was so excited to share the traditions we have created for our family, but after several attempts I realized that I wasn’t feeling it. The truth is that as much as I wanted to get into the Christmas spirit this year I kind of failed. Things felt rushed and even though we were still able to keep most of our traditions alive… some felt forced and others like sending out Christmas cards simply didn’t happen. I know that my migraines are to blame for my mood and lack of energy to get things done, but I also feel that this is the world we live in today… Always on the move! Always in a rush!! I mean seriously, Halloween hadn’t passed when Christmas was already exploding everywhere! Who can keep up with that?! I know I can’t!

Well, this year I was over it… so I made it a point to give us one day where we just dropped everything and actually enjoyed Christmas. I took the kids to see Santa. I really wanted a picture of all 3 kids with him since Vicky will be 18 next year 😢 and I’m not sure she’ll be willing to do it again. 

Julieta (13), Antonio (4), Victoria (17)
My Babies with Santa! ❤❤❤

At home, I made us some hot chocolate and sugar cookies. We started the fire and made s’mores in our fireplace. We watched The Polar Express and we camped out in the living room next to our Christmas tree. It was perfect & just what we needed! But now all I keep thinking is how I want more nights like this, and what I’m going to do differently to alleviate the pressure & actually enjoy Christmas next year. 

So here are a few things I came up with… 

  • Plan Christmas activities for the month. This year we missed a few events and tried to squeeze some others at the last minute. 
  • Finish ALL Christmas shopping by December 10th. That gives us 15 days to enjoy the festivities without worrying about shopping. 
  • Wrap gifts as they are purchased. Every year I wait until Christmas Eve to wrap and then I’m completely miserable on Christmas day! This year I finished wrapping at 4:45am!!! 😪
  • Take Christmas pictures by December 15th so that I can…
  • Send out Christmas cards! I’ve done this for years and I’m always sad when I don’t get around to doing it. 
  • Plan activities for our Elf on the shelf ahead of time. It’s just easier when there’s a plan on what Joaquin will be doing instead of scrambling at night or first thing in the morning. 

    I know these changes are very basic, but I feel that with a little planning this can be the answer to a less stressful Christmas next year. 

    For now we are just grateful for the good times and the opportunity to learn from the stressful ones. In the end we always make the best of things and our time together.

    Do you have any ideas on how to survive the craze of the holiday season? What lessons have you learned from the past years? Do you think any of these ideas can help you? Please share… I’d love to hear from you. 


    En Español

    Uno-Dos-Tres- Flores! 🌹🌹🌹

    I’m really making it a point to speak more Spanish to Antonio & making him repeat everything I say. I never thought I would have to “make it a point” or “teach” my kids to speak my native language. Salieron de madre Mexicana!! They should automatically speak Spanish que no?! Well, they don’t. And it’s literally something that weighs down on me. I know it’s not only unfair to their abuelos & other family that can’t communicate with them but also for them… As Mexican Americans in this country – in this state – in this city I feel like I’ve let them down. Being bilingual myself I know the benefits and I want them to have those same opportunities. So I’m “making it a point” now cause it’s never too late. 

    Thank you Patty Rodriguez for creating Lil Libros and reminding me how important it is to share nuestra cultura with our little ones.❤️🇲🇽 

    If you haven’t checked out these books do so now! Lil Libros are easy to read with beautiful illustrations that will capture your little ones attention. We have all 8 books and Anthony loves all of them… his new favorites are Elefante & Lucha Libre. 😍  

    These adorable pins are now available!

    A Day at the Natural History Museum 

    At last a day together… Anthony & I were way overdue for a little adventure that required us to get out of our pjs and out into the real world.

    I had been wanting to visit the Natural History Museum since September but things kept interfering with my plans. So when I realized it was the first Tuesday of the month, aka Wells Fargo First Free Tuesday, I didn’t think twice and headed out the door!

    Anthony was so excited to explore! We spent about 4.5 hours walking around the entire museum. We walked through the halls with the animal dioramas where Anthony pointed out and would “aww” at all the baby animals he saw. His favorite of course, were the elephants!

    I heard about how “awesome” the exhibits were and then he started making up stories like one about the coyote “rescuing” a cat. 🙈 Oh my innocent boy – someday we’ll talk about the circle of life just not today.

    The exploring continued through all the halls and exhibits at toddler speed.

    In the Becoming Los Angeles exhibit, we saw some of the history of LA and he was fascinated by the 1940’s model of the city. He recognized City Hall but asked where all the cars & trains in the city were. What can I say… trains are always on his mind!

    Once at the Discovery Center we couldn’t leave without taking a picture with this classic hands on exhibit…

    Polar Bear

    Another fun shot I got, was actually a remake of a picture I took of Julieta in 2011. Check out this side by side of my cuties…

    The Ostrich Attacks again!

    We ended the day in the Nature Garden after a very interactive time in the Nature Lab. Both of these were new to me so I can’t wait to go back and explore some more.

    In Anthony’s words “We had a great day!”. He lead the way and I followed. It’s seriously my favorite thing to do when it’s just the two of us. There’s nothing like giving a child your undivided attention to hear their thoughts and to see the world through their eyes. I always end up learning so much from him.

    The Natural History Museum is always a fun & educational outing for the whole family. It’s great for kids of ALL ages and allows everyone to explore without too many limits. In other words: there are no haunting eyes watching your every move through each exhibit. And even though, there are some things and perimeters that shouldn’t be crossed there are also lots of hands on activities for busy little hands.

    *** If you would like to visit the Natural History Museum click on link for general information including admission and special events. Don’t forget to check out Wells Fargo Free First Tuesday for free admission day.

    A Year Since You’ve Been Gone But A Lifetime Without You 

    I think about you almost everyday. More now, than I did when you were still alive. As my head starts filling up with thoughts of you, I start feeling this tightness in my heart so I quickly stop.

    There’s just so much I’ve had to say…

    I’ve only cried once since last year and I barely speak of you. I guess you can say it’s my way of protecting myself.

    I know that what happened to you was tragic. I know that it wasn’t your fault. I also know that you are loved and very much missed.

    And I wish I could say that I share those feelings too, but I can’t…

    I can’t miss you because one can’t miss someone that was never there.

    So here it is… Here is what I wish I could say to you…

    The time I had with you wasn’t enough.

    I was robbed. Robbed of the opportunity to know the father your other kids know and love.

    And cheated. Definitely cheated of the opportunity to know where I come from and what you meant to me.

    I had waited for you to come into my life. And when you finally did… you disappointed me.

    I came to realize that I was never going to be fully accepted by you and I was done letting you juggle around with my feelings…

    That’s why I stopped answering your calls.

    I resented you for not appreciating me. For not being grateful that I had allowed you into my life without any harsh feelings. All I had were some questions. Questions that were never answered because you would just beat around the bush.

    The last time I thought of you before your death was on your birthday. I remember the exact moment and I remember how upset I was. Upset that I had thought of you when I don’t even think you knew my own birthday.

    The truth is… I wanted to know you. I wanted to love you and appreciate you. I wanted to find myself in you. And I wanted you to enjoy and cherish your only grandchildren; who carry so much of you in them.

    But now it’s too late… you’re gone and with you vanished the hope I had of someday having some sort of connection or at least some closure.

    My only regret I guess is that I didn’t push harder, that I didn’t demand more of you. I just let things be and we simply ran out of time.

    I don’t hate you. I never did and never will. Hate towards you or anyone in your family was never installed in me. I may have not agreed with my mother’s (or your mutual) decisions but I’ve come to understand and respect the choices that were made.

    I’m a love child… created by a love that was never possible. I don’t know if you ever really knew how much my mother loved you but I do and I feel it in how much she loves me.

    So there it is…

    I want you to know that I forgive you for not being in my life and for not standing up for me. My heart still needs some healing but I’ll get there… just know that no matter what, a part of you will always live within me.

    Descansa en paz M.O.