"What we do in this life, echoes in eternity."
Maximus, Gladiator
"Our creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Saturday, January 31, 2009

My favorite people in the whole wide world




I spend 24 hours accompanied by one of my children or the other. I'm never alone, not even in the bathroom. I lock the door, and one or two little hands always crawl under the door. Luckily, these are chubby, pretty hands, and not ones like in "Signs," do you know that movie in which Mel Gibson sees an alien hand under the door? Yes, pretty disturbing.
Going back to the locked bathroom door, El Cangri found a way to unlock it without a key! He usually grabs a coin from my purse, but he's used credit cards, toys, car keys... whatever is flat enough to open the door. It must be the Puerto Rican genes in him!
Usually during the day, I am very patient with this constant persecution even though I feel like a prisoner under constant vigilance and supervision. When they can, they touch me or my clothes too. Gorgeous Boy also touched my hair when he was a baby, and still, when I'm too close to him he brushes his fingers against my hair, with a dreamy, satisfied smile on his face. 
Right before the Christmas break, Swan Princess called me every day from school because she missed me. And at night!!!!! You who know me, know I hardly ever sleep (hence the craziness), but when I reach a certain point of exhaustion, and I can't take it anymore, I'll push the nightly visitors from my bed, and MAKE them sleep on their beds. They always react the same way: they look at me as if a monster took the place of their beloved mother, they cry, and gnash their teeth. One of them even pulls his own hair. I'm not exaggerating. By this point, my beloved husband tells me, "Oh well! Let them stay! They're still babies and they only want to be with us. What is wrong with that?" So then, I'm the bad guy, and the kids and my husband look at me pleadingly, begging me to let them stay close to me. 
I always, always relent. 
I'm not saying this to show I'm a loving, perfect mother, which I'm not, by any means. It's just that often I think I'm too demanding on the kids, especially the older ones, and I say yes on the only thing that doesn't cost me a thing, besides sleep. Also, I feel so safe, so at peace, when I hear their soft, deep breathing, and see their smiling faces just hinting at the sweet dreams they're having, that I can't deny myself this treat.
I know this phase will pass; they won't still come to me at night when they're in college (I hope), and in the worst case the boys at least will go on their missions, and by then, they will HAVE to sleep in their own beds. 
I'm so torn between setting limits and being a loving parent for them, and for the love of me I can't hear them crying, especially at night. It does something to my brain and my heart. 
So I guess I'll just enjoy this time in their lives when I'm their favorite person, and treasure this years forever. They're growing so fast... I look at their sleeping faces, and I still see them as babies, and I pray that they may always feel safe and loved, and that their dreams may always be sweet and beautiful. 
The funny thing is that when I'm by myself (once in a blue moon), I miss them! So yes, I'm officially insane!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Updates and 4 thieves

I can't believe I only have one post for January, and it's not because I didn't have anything to blog about. After all, Jeff and I went to Cancun for four days; it was the first time we went away without the kids in more than four years! Jeff's parents were so awesome to come all the way from North Carolina to stay with the children, and I'm so happy to report they survived! (the grandparents and the kids). The kids were great (I was told, and I believe it!), and Jeff and I had a great time. One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the ruins of Chichen Itza, one of my childhood dreams. When I was about 10 years old I came across a book about the wonders of the world, and there was an entire section on Mayan ruins. I must have read that book at least 20 times; I still remember some sentences from that particular chapter. Well, the thing is that we went and we had a blast. It's amazing to see the wonderful things mankind was able to build at a time when they didn't have the technology we enjoy nowadays.
We also had fun playing in the ocean because the beach was gorgeous, and there were some pretty strong waves. I'm not a good swimmer, so I stayed in the shallow until Jeff finally decided to join me and we had a lot of fun, mainly because even though Jeff was holding my hand very tightly, I was still tossed about by the waves as if I were a rag doll. 
I also wrote a lot in the trip because after years of trying to think of an original fantasy story, I finally had a wonderful idea. 
Why is it that when I don't have time to write, these wonderful ideas come to my mind, and these characters talk to me all day long? And then I sit down to write, and instead of working I read the news, check my mail a million times, spend hours on facebook... Oh well!
On a different note, I just heard about a wonderful product that I don't know how I survived without all my life! This wonderful thing goes by many names, mainly, Four Thieves, Thieves, Medieval Remedy, etc. In essence (pun intended) it's a combination of essential oils (cinnamon, lemon, clove, rosemary). Its names derive from the legend/tradition that during the Plague in France, the king was told that when the caretakers of the cemeteries removed the bodies of the plague victims from their homes (usually the whole household had perished. It reminds me of I Am Legend!) these people noticed that the houses had been stripped of all valuables, suggesting the work of thieves. After much investigation, four men were apprehended. They were spice traders and perfumists, who were offered a lighter sentence in exchange for the secret of being immune to the plague. These men had a family recipe/formula for a mixture of cinnamon, lemon, clove, and rosemary (all of these are oils effective in killing virus and bacteria), and they confessed to robbing countless of homes without contracting the disease themselves. They covered their nose and mouth with a scarf previously sprayed with the oil mixture, and they also rubbed it on their temples and wrists. 
I don't know how true this story is, but I googled it and I was surprised to see how many companies have their own version of this oil. Prices vary from $15 to $40, depending on the purity of essential oils used. I was shocked I had never heard of it before because I'm always researching natural ways to go through the flu season. 
I'm happy a neighbor and friend (the one who told me about it) had an extra bottle that I bought from her, and I was able to try it that very same night. 
Chubbers had a croupy cough, and I rubbed on her feet some 4 thieves that I had diluted on olive oil, and ... the cough became wetter, more productive, not as disturbing. She's sleeping peacefully now. I had a cough and a sore throat, and I rubbed some on my chest and the cough is gone!
The beauty of this oil is that you can put a few drops in a spray bottle and fill the bottle with good, pure water, and us it to spray and sanitize everything from kitchen counters to toilets, to hands to any surface you can think of. They also have products such as toothpaste and soap, that are great natural antibacterials. No fear of feeding more antibiotic resistant bacteria!
So now I'm hooked to the 4 thieves! Ah! And for this flu season, elderberry syrup is fantastic. I was about to say something, but I thought better of it, and I'll say it in June, after I'm sure we've survived flue season unscathed. You know what I mean?    

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy 2009!!!!

We started the year a lo grande! Jeff's brother throws this magnificent party every New Year's Eve, and this year's was the best ever. He cooked all Italian food, which was amazing. Who would have thought Mac and Cheese could be so sublime? 
The kids played with their cousins, and Jeff and I talked in a corner of the noisy family room. 
I can't believe it's 2009. I remember thinking about the year 2000, that I would be 22, and that seemed so old to me!!!!! Now, 9 years later, 31 seems young enough, I feel the same as always after all! I have four children. Back on that night 9 years ago, Jeff and I had been married only a year--my children were a dream to me still. 
I hope all of you family and friends had a wonderful New Year day, and that this 2009 may bring much love and peace to your lives.