Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Blogger block!

I'm going through a case of "Blogger Block" that's why I haven't blogged in almost 5 days..
I know it doesn't sound like much, but to me it is a HUGE deal..
I don't know if it's the weather, my crazy moods or the insane amount of work I have.. but I've been so uninspired lately...
I hope to find my inspiration soon!
Keep on bloggin' my friends! ;)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Isabella's Baptism

Today is one of those days when I'm having such mixed feelings because I realize how hard it is sometimes to live so far from family and miss all the wonderful family gatherings/events that happen back home..
Our niece Isabella was baptized today in a beautiful Catholic ceremony.. She wore the same dress my girls wore for their baptisms, so I was especially emotional when I saw the pictures they sent us...
I hear the baptism was great and baby Isabella was little angel throughout the whole thing...
I get so sad when I think about how we'll never see her grow up or experience any of her "firsts"..how my girls will not get to play with her on a daily basis and they probably won't get to be best friends...
I hate that I have to settle for some blurry cell phone pictures instead of being able to actually hold her and take my own..
Thankfully, modern technology always keeps us in the loop of each other's lives and we get to see Isabella's little face at least 3x per week.. 
I don't always feel like this, but on days like these I miss being able to share these moments with our family in Venezuela... I wish I was easier (and cheaper!) to travel there...
For now, I keep looking forward to December when baby Isabella will grace us with a visit and we will spend the holidays together...

Here are some pictures of her baptism... She looked so adorable!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Kindergarten Chronicles: "First Week in review"

I probably shouldn't title this post "Kindergarten Chronicles" considering it's about the experience of both girls so it isn't exclusively about kindergarten but also about pre-k..
Anyways.. I'm glad to report that we survived the first week of school and we are all embracing all the changes, school rules, challenges and such...
The girls seem really happy with the new school and things seem to be on track... Incorporating religion in their daily learning has proven to be a good thing..in just a couple of days they started talking about Jesus and such.. which is always a good thing...

This is one of Gaby's first coloring sheets.. how cute is this!?


Some highlights of the new school include the following:

1. Behavior Charts: This is something the girls are definitely NOT used to.. All the teachers in this new school are completely fixated on behavior and consequences...I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing.. I mean, I'm all for reinforcing the good and keeping children accountable, but I also don't believe behavior should be the sole focus of the school day...We'll see how this plays out...
This is the "Buzzing Behavior" chart from Gaby's classroom.. the kids collect a bee every time they behave well and then they get to exchange them for a toy from the "treasure box", which is supposed to be a good motivator...



2. Uniforms: the school has a VERY strict uniform policy, which drives me a little nuts.. they really care about the length of dresses and skirts and all the little details.. I like this.. all kids look so cute in their little plaid uniforms...

3. "Car line": this is probably the biggest nightmare of all..There's something about standing in a car line for 30 min, twice a day (drop off and pick up) that is so unappealing..but it has to be done.. Kids HAVE to be dropped off and picked up via care line, which has proven to be more difficult than I thought.. Let's just say, I'm relearning the concept of "patience".. Let's hope it gets better as time progresses...

This is a picture of Olivia's first piece of art work.. it features a cute drawing and a sweet poem about the first day of Kindergarten.. so adorable...


 ..and this is Gaby's certificate of good behavior, which she brought home today after earning her first "10 buzzing bees".. I'm really happy she's doing well in her new classroom.. considering a few tears were shed on the first day (by her.. and me as well)


4. Olivia's behavior chart is a story of its own... The teachers have 6 different levels of behavior, which have been the topic of conversation for the week...
The breakdown goes as follows:
Purple: Outstanding
Blue: Great Job
Green: Ready to Learn
Yellow: Warning
Orange: Think About It
Red: Make Better Choices
The first two days Olivia came home with "green" circles, but the next two days they were "yellow".. oh my! Needless to say we had a LONG conversation about her behavior and why she should always strive to be on green or above.. She must have understood what we meant because today she came home with a "blue" circle, which made me very proud... Let's hope she keeps it up!


Here are the girls after a successful first week.. I'm feeling very accomplished after passing the first hump..
You all know how anxious I was about school starting so this is a big deal for me..
I know we have a long road ahead and many school years in our future, but somehow, having had such a great first week makes me feel really good about what's in store for us and the girls...


Happy blogging!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Kindergarten Chronicles: "The first day"

 So it happened... the first day of Kindergarten came and went just like that...
It was emotionally very difficulty for me....but as usual, my kids surprised me with their great behavior and overall positive attitude...
This is how the day went...
I barely slept last night from all the anxiety so I woke up promptly at 6:30am (unusually early for our house, but it will become the "new normal")... I washed my face and said to myself "today is the day"...Got dressed and went straight to the girls' room.. they were still sleeping soundly so I took advantage of the peace for a few minutes and stood near them to hear them breathe...they looked so angelic so it took me a few minutes to disturb their sleep...
I decided to wake Olivia first.. I laid next to her and whispered in her ear "baby, get up.. it's your first day of Kindergarten".. Her eyes opened immediately and her whole face lit up.. she said to me "mommy, remember I want piggy tails".. and then she smiled... She got dressed right away and I helped her do her hair.. piggy tails.. just like she wanted!
Quickly after we woke Gaby and got her ready as well..then we had a small breakfast and off we were...

The girls posed for a quick picture right before we left.  They looked so cute in their plaid dresses and they couldn't contain their excitement.. Especially Olivia, who is the kindergartener.. 


 I also took this picture of Olivia holding a frame that says "My 1st day of Kindergarten!!!", which I plan to make a tradition.. I think it'll be super cute to make an album with all these pictures and then give it to her on her senior year.. I know we're ages away from that, but I like to think ahead! ;)
A friend of mine also suggested I should take a picture of her on the last day of school holding this picture.. that would be cute too!


 ...and of course even though Gaby isn't starting Kindergarten, I HAD to take a picture of her holding her personalized sign as well.. "My 1st day of Pre-K3"
How cute is she??


 We got to the school around 7:30am and there were tons of people running around, the vibe was good.. very positive overall.. Because it was the first day we were allowed to walk the kids to their classrooms.. They are normally dropped off via "car line" but today was an exception...(thank God!)
We walked Gaby first and she went ballistic as soon as she realized we were leaving.. She cried, I cried.. that's all I remember.. I tried leaving her classroom as fast as I could as to not to drag the sad episode any longer...(*a few minutes later I peeked in her classroom and saw her playing with some toys.. that was a relief*)

Then it was Olivia's turn... my little kindergarten entered her classroom with a smile on her face... she kept looking around trying to find a familiar face and recognizing the new ones.. She smiled and said to me "Mommy, I'm so happy... I love this place!"... My eyes immediately filled with tears and she hugged me tight... There I was, standing in the middle of the classroom and this little person was consoling me, letting me know everything was going to be ok!
She sat at the table where she saw her name and said to me "take a picture, mommy!".. so I did and then hugged her and kissed her good bye.. She was unbelievably sweet and caring.. like she sensed how I was feeling..
She said.. "I'll see you later and will tell you all about it".. Other mothers were crying too so I didn't feel that silly... but it was such an emotional moment! Wow!


I thought about them all day long.. I kept wondering what they were doing, if they had eaten their lunch, if they had made any new friends, if their teachers had been nice to them, if they had any time to rest, if they missed me.. you name it, I thought of it!
2:30pm came around and I rushed out to get them.. I was so anxious to reunite with my two little ones.. 
As soon as I picked them up, they both ran to me and hugged me tight.. Olivia still had a huge smile on her face and Gaby was just really happy to see me...
I asked them what they did and they both said it went great. They seem to be really happy with their new school and Olivia was particularly proud of herself.  She told me a few stories and mentioned a few names of the kids she met today...
I felt a sense of accomplishment and my mind was at ease right away... I know it may sound like I'm making such a huge deal out of all this, but I think most mothers would understand...
I feel good for having survived "The First Day" and I am confident things will only get better and better each day!
I hope it goes as well tomorrow! We'll see!

Happy back to school day, kids!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Kindergarten Chronicles: "The day before"

I've decided I will chronicle the first week of Kindergarten in this blog so that I can document my exact feelings day by day as well as Olivia's progress and discoveries in this new adventure...
I figured this will also help ease my anxiety and get a better understanding of my emotions during this exciting and challenging time...
I will start by writing a little bit about today, which I've deemed "the day before".... here we go:

Today I woke up late....Iggy let me sleep in since my mind has been working over time lately and we went to bed really late last night...
The first thing I did was go to the girls room, make their beds and sort out their uniforms for tomorrow... I stood there, contemplating the plaid dresses they will wear for school and a couple of tears came down my face...weird feeling...I'm not sure why this is making me so emotional...
We got ready and went to church like we do every Sunday.. the kids were less than well behaved during mass, but the priest's sermon was so deep I was still able to focus on today's word.. At the end of the mass, the priest offered a special blessing for all the kids that will start school tomorrow.. As soon as he started praying over these kids, I started bawling and my eyes filled with tears.. I could barely keep my composure and the girls seemed rather surprised I was sobbing like I was...
We went out to lunch and came home... I spent hours labeling school supplies, sorting out lunch boxes and snacks and getting everything ready for tomorrow...
We put the girls to bed and laid out all of their clothes, shoes, accessories, etc...
They're excited.... VERY EXCITED... and I'm excited for them.. it's just really hard to "let go" of my baby and admit she's growing up.. there's just something about this school stage that makes me feel all sorts of things.. I will cry tomorrow when I dress up my kids in their uniforms, I will also cry when they wave good bye and I leave them behind in school..but I will especially cry when I pick them up and hold them again!
So.. I say.. let's do this.. it's the first day of Kindergarten tomorrow!!!

Happy Blogging!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The power of "cyber" friendships

I met my husband online so I'm clearly a believer of "cyber" relationships and friendships.. I think the Internet is such a powerful tool and a great way to meet people... While it does have certain limitations, it also has amazing benefits...
The "What to Expect" pregnancy forums, for example, were such a blessing to me in so many levels..Not only did they get me through two very emotional and long pregnancies, but they also served as a channel for meeting some of the most amazing women I know..
To this day, I share many very powerful "cyber friendships" with some great girls, whom I inevitably consider part of my life (and I part of their lives).. As a matter of fact, if you're reading this, chances are you are one of those women and I'm so thankful to "know" YOU!
Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity of meeting yet another WTE girl in person..yay! (I love this IRL encounters)
My friend Lauren (whom I met during my 2nd pregnancy), came to Miami with her husband Jereme.. They live in Connecticut with their two girls (3 and 1)..and although the kids didn't come to Miami with them, it was still great to meet 1/2 of the Christensen family! ;)
After talking to Lauren for almost 4 years (WTE, Facebook, text messages, etc), we finally met and our encounter couldn't have been more exciting and amazing.. She is just as sweet as I had imagined and I felt like we clicked right away... We talked for hours and really enjoyed each other's company.. It definitely felt like we've been friends for years (which, ironically, we have.. just not in person!)  It is such a joy to have friends like Lauren, and an even bigger joy to get to meet these people in person...
Thank you, Lauren.. for taking the time to hang out with us during your quick trip to Miami...

With that said, I can only hope I have the opportunity to meet even more WTE girls in person and continue to forge amazing friendships that will last for a life time.. Thank you WTE girls for being part of my life during all these years!

Here's a couple of pictures of Lauren and I!  ;)

When in doubt....


When in doubt.... go straight to the source!
That's what I learned this week and I'll tell you why....
As most of you know, Olivia will be starting kindergarten this year and I've been such a nervous wreck because of it... I never imagined this would make me so anxious...but it has.. and I've been dealing with my unexplained anxiety as best as I can...
This past Thursday I attended the school open house, where the parents (not the kids) had an opportunity to meet the teachers and tour the classrooms..
First I met Gaby's teacher.. Mrs. B.. and she was "ok".. not overly nice but not mean either.. She explained the classroom rules and such.. nothing too fancy...I know Gaby will love her new school (because she's just a loving child).. and that gives me peace of mind!
It was all fine and dandy until I walked into Olivia's classroom and met the infamous Mrs. S...OMG! I had heard a few things about her (not all good), but what I saw in the open house was a million times worse than I had imagined...
Let's just say my first impression was "This woman SHOULD NOT BE A TEACHER". She was mean and standoffish, spoke about the kids with disdain and didn't pay too much attention to what the parents had to say. Time with her during the open house was less than pleasant and it only helped to stress me out even more...She had a lot of silly rules and limitations, which usually don't go well with 5 year old kids!
I came home almost in tears and felt like such a failure...like I had chosen the wrong school, at the wrong time, like I had put my child in "harm's way" (a little dramatic.. I know!)
Keep in mind that we chose this private Catholic school for the kids over all public and charter schools available in the area and it took us a while to make the decision so I feel like if anything is wrong with this school, it's all my fault for not sticking with the county school board...I guess it remains to be seen!
I spent all night praying and looking for the positives... Maybe this teacher is just what Olivia needs?  Maybe she's just not a good public speaker? Maybe she was nervous? Maybe she'll change her ways once she meets my awesome daughter?  All of these things went through my mind and I hoped and prayed for a better day today...

Fast forward to today....
8am- Pre-K students were scheduled for a "meet and greet" with their teachers.. Gaby met Mrs. B and she seemed to be "ok" with her.. she wasn't jumping of joy or anything, but I'm sure that's normal for a 3 year old.. (or so I hope!)...She'll get used to her...I know that!
I peeked inside Mrs. S classroom, but she was nowhere to be seen.. Even though Kindergarten students weren't scheduled for a "meet and greet" I had secretly hoped I would see Mrs. S again.. not such luck!
Later in the day I had to drop by the school again to turn in some paperwork.. After my quick visit to the office I walked towards Mrs. S classroom and this time she was there! (lucky me!)
I doubted it for a second, but I finally knocked on her door and asked her if she had a minute..
Wow... this lady was like another person.. I thought to myself "is this the same *bitchy* teacher I met yesterday?".. could this be?  Maybe she was just having a bad day yesterday or maybe she is a bad public speaker after all?
While she wasn't pouring love and smiles all over me, I have to admit she was surprisingly pleasant  and considerate.. I told her a little bit about Olivia and a little about my anxiety and apprehension and she took the time to talk to me and humor me during this impromptu visit to her classroom.. (thank you, Mrs S!). So in this case, it was a good idea to go straight to the source (Mrs. S) and clear my doubts about her once and for all!
Now (unlike yesterday), I have HOPE and I'm EXCITED for the change and the new school.. For the first time I felt some reassurance and confidence.. I feel like Mrs. S can be a good thing for Olivia.. I feel like she will be a good fit for her and I'm happy I knocked on her door and decided to talk to her.. She was so much better when approached at the individual level.. She seems to really care.. and I really hope I'm right...
I know the stress and anxiety aren't over and I can only hope that everything will get better with the passing of time.. I know this is a stage and all kids are meant to go to school and learn new things, but as a mother, "letting go" is never easy.. I can only imagine how much I will "suffer" when Olivia goes to college...so let's just not think about it... for now!

Happy Blogging!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Friend reunion

Today was such a fun day because I got to reunite with some longtime friends (Gaby and Marianella) and reminisce about our past childhood adventures...It's so great to see loved ones after a while...and even though Gaby lives in town (her sister lives in Venezuela), we don't see each other as often as we should..
During our time together, I also got to see baby Alanis, who is one of the most adorable babies I've met.. She is so sweet and her cheeks are so squeezable! ;)  I got to hold her and cuddle her for a while; which only reassures me that newborns are the most awesome thing in this world..ahh!!
Here's a picture of our reunion.. fun times!


Here's baby Alanis.. already 9 weeks old! She's sporting one of the bows I made for her.


..and here's me holding the princess.. how do I look with a baby? (*wink, wink*)


..and here's me posing with Gaby and Nella.. so great to hang out again!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Miscellaneous "summery" stuff...

Summer is coming to an end (*sniff, sniff*) and pretty soon the girls will be back in school (more *sniff, sniff*), so we've been trying to take in all the wonders of this time (although technically it's always "summer" in Miami).. I took some time off work to be with the girls and we thoroughly enjoyed each other's company...
So, as expected we've enjoyed some "water" time.. pool and beach included.. 
Olivia really got into the Olympics and pretended to be a synchronized swimmer every time she got in a pool.. Here's a picture of one of her pirouettes... She really has been enjoying her tennis camp and has gotten quite good at swinging and hitting the ball...(daddy is super proud!)


We visited the "Young at Art Museum" (YAA) a couple of times..(this really deserves a post of its own, but I'm too lazy to write it now)... The girls really enjoyed spending time doing arts and crafts and visiting the wonderful exhibits the museum has to offer... (for local folks: The YAA is a great place for kids and the family membership is totally awesome!) 
Here's Oli and her friend Melissa enjoying a day at the YAA...


Olivia showing off her "shadow puppet" (also made at the YAA).


Here's Gaby posing next to the fish tank at the Rainforest Cafe (we didn't eat there, because I really think their food sucks!)... We visited the fish tank when we went shopping at Sawgrass.. She really likes fish and water...


I also took Gaby to the beach (while Olivia was at camp).. and although the weather was rather cloudy that day, she really enjoyed building sand castles and playing with the waves.. The water was unbelievably quite and warm.. we loved it!


..and of course we ate out (TONS!)... diet anyone? LOL...
here's a picture of a scrumptiously delicious Pistachio Cheesecake (@ Russo's Coal Fired Pizza).. one of the many desserts we ate...
I swear after this summer I have to go on an olympic diet (no pun indented.. ha ha!)..but this cake was GOOD!!!


...and I HAD to sneak in a picture of our adorable niece Isabella, who's already 6 weeks old!! Look at those cheeks!!!  Ahhh!! Can't wait to hold her... (4 more months!)


...and last but not least.. we've got all school supplies ready for the BIG day... The kids will be starting school on August 20th and in case you're wondering.. yes.. I am an EMOTIONAL WRECK and still can't believe Olivia will be starting Kindergarten in just a week! Ahh! I promise I WILL CRY that day and you WILL read about it...;)


So.. here's to a fun last week of summer.. It's back to the grind for me tomorrow but the kids still get to enjoy the "summery" stuff for another week!
And I'm sad the Olympics are over.. they were fun while they lasted!...right??
Happy blogging!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Meeting baby Stephanie

Today I met another beautiful newborn... the third daughter of my friends Emeris and John, who was born on July 11th...
Baby Stephanie joined her two big sisters Emily and Sabrina, who are 4 and 2 and I'm sure will teach her all the fun things that come with being part of the wonderful Lucas family...
I held baby Stephanie for a long while; enjoying her sweetness and adorable baby scent that only newborns posses...what a joy!
It's always so great to be around all these cute babies that continue to prove how good God is and that the miracle of life doesn't compare to anything in this world...
Welcome to the world sweet Stephanie! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Meeting baby Samantha

Today I *finally* got to meet baby Samantha, who was born on June 19th to my friends Luis and Valentina.  Samantha joined big brother Daniel, who turned 3 in April and she is the perfect addition to the Rambsbott family...
I hung out with her and Valentina today and I got to hold and squeeze this precious newborn.  She is so cuddly, tiny and sweet and is already smiling and cooing a lot. It was so awesome to rock her to sleep and feel her baby scent....
How does someone NOT get baby fever with so many babies around???  :)
Here's a picture of the baby and I... way too cute!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The "Heimlich Maneuver"

Just like I post the good and the beautiful, I also feel compelled to post the bad and the ugly...and this is what this post is about...
I believe we learn so much from our bad experiences, probably more so than we learn from the good ones..(sad, I know.. but true!)...
I'm sure some of you remember this post, where I told the horrific story of Gaby's near drowning experience...it was a type of fear I never thought I could feel again..but unfortunately I did..way sooner that I had hoped...

I am by no means a perfect mother, but I do try my best to keep all eyes and ears on my kids at all times, which I consider to be the right attitude given the huge responsibility at hand...
Well, today Olivia was eating chicken nuggets at a fast food joint and as I was intently watching her chow down her food, I noticed she started to choke and she immediately grabbed her neck as if she was gasping for air.  Naturally I freaked out and started patting her in the back, followed by desperately shaking her whole body... She kept choking and grabbing her neck and I started screaming "somebody help me! I don't know what to do!".. A guy came from out of nowhere and practiced the "Heimlich Maneuver" rather swiftly and she immediately spat out whatever piece of food was stuck in her throat... I'm sure the whole thing took less than a minute, but it sure felt like an eternity....It's sad that I just didn't know what to do.. I felt so helpless!

This brings me to my point of how fast and unexpectedly bad things can happen... and how, as parents, we can never protect our children from everything... In the past I've taken infant CPR classes and also a few emergency response courses (Heimlich Maneuver included), but for some reason, in the middle of my stress, I just couldn't react... It has happened to me before, where my whole body freezes and my brain doesn't seem to be able to send the right orders for my body to move... It also doesn't help that I've never really had to use any of these techniques and whenever I learned about them, didn't really take them seriously!

In light of the scare, I started reading about the "Heimlich Maneuver" so that I could at least try to refresh (and expand) my knowledge about it.. I found a great site that describes how to perform the maneuver for choking adults and children.  Please take a minute to visit this website to learn a little bit more about this life saving technique.... You never know when you might need to save your child's (or someone else's) life.  I was lucky someone reacted as quickly as they did and I can tell the story next to my happy child!

Growing up bilingual

Speaking two (or more) languages is usually considered a great skill and an advantage in so many levels...I happen to agree since I have experienced first hand what it feels like to have such "skill"...
I started studying English while I was still living in Venezuela, and I have been fluently speaking it for more than half my life.. When someone is bilingual, there comes a point where your brain just thinks/works in whatever language you're using at any given moment... I've had a few people ask me if I think in English or Spanish, and I find it very amusing.. the brain is such a mysterious thing...
Now...it's clear my native language is Spanish and I can easily switch between the two languages I speak, but now that I'm a parent of bilingual children is when I've really started to think about how challenging it could be to develop (and master) such a skill.  My kids are getting to a point where their vocabulary is expanding by the second and their brain is going a thousand miles an hour. Just recently I've started to notice them mixing the two languages and having some trouble expressing their ideas clearly by using just one language at a time... I've noticed Olivia trying to translate her thoughts and often getting frustrated when she can't find the right words... At first I thought they were favoring Spanish over English (considering I only spoke in Spanish to them until they were 2 years old), but now I just don't know what they prefer and it really stresses me out when they can't seem to find the right language in which to communicate...
I know in school it will all be English, but I really want them to embrace the fact that they are meant to be bilingual people and I also really want them to be able to speak (and write) both languages to perfection! It's going to take a lot of work from us as parents to be able to achieve that.. and I am fully aware of it...
Just recently I've started to do some research about what resources are available for parents of bilingual children and I've noticed a growing trend of bilingual toys, books, cartoons, etc (hello Dora the Explorer!)...In my research I came across a site called "Growing up Bilingual" (http://www.growingupbilingual.org/), which is probably one of the best ones out there; this site covers issues regarding concerns revolving around bilingual education and the different resources out there.  It also features a forum for parents of bilingual children and a list of books on different topics having to do with raising successful bilingual kids... It's really good!  There's also another great website called "Growing up Bilingual: Raising & Educating bicultural kids" (http://growingupbilingual.com/); this one lists a ton of useful blogs, recipes and resources addressing bilingual families and bicultural children.. really good too!
I know there are many parents of bilingual children out there, and I also know that many of those parents don't even think about the challenges that can come out of growing up bilingual. Of course, speaking multiple languages is a great thing (in most cases), but it is also very important to support an environment in which this condition is positively nurtured and properly encouraged. If your child has the slightest change of growing up bilingual.. you've got to help him/her embrace the skill and develop it to a point of total comfort!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Birthday party marathon...

This was truly a marathon weekend of birthday parties... we had 4 total and all of them were amazingly fun and entertaining...
The kids had a blast as usual and we ate like pigs (LOL!).. really fun times...
The first party was on Saturday and it was for my friend Jessica's son, Daniel, who will turn 6 tomorrow.. The party was held at Game Time in Sunset Place, which is basically arcade paradise...the girls got game cards and played all sorts of video games... It was really fun!


 ..and of course I had to sneak in this super cute picture of Olivia and Daniel's baby sister Allyson, who is 8 months and the most adorable baby ever!


The next party was Leo's 5th birthday party, celebrated at his house.  Leo is a one of Olivia's classmates and the most adorable little guy. His party theme was "Star Wars" and it featured a bounce house and tons of fun foods... Although it rained tons in the middle of the party, the girls had a blast with the piƱata and hanging out with all their friends...
Here's a picture of Olivia with her friend Isabella and her cousin Erika..


here's Leo's Star Wars/Lego cake..


..and the whole Salazar family singing Happy Birthday.. fun times!


Today was equally fun.. with another 2 birthday parties...
The first one was Nichola's party, celebrated at Little Java's in Weston.. Nicholas is another one of Olivia's classmates.. he's the cutest and sweetest little boy...


here's the birthday boy.. super happy about his party...


..and here's a picture of Olivia and Iggy ready to walk on ropes.. they had a lot of fun..


The last party was Gaby's 3rd birthday party... Gaby is Gaby's best friend..they're so close they even share their name... Those two are inseparable.. it's really cute to see how much they love one another...
Gaby's party theme was Dora; it was specially fun because the kids got to dance to some Dora tunes and they really enjoyed themselves... 

Here's the birthday girl.. ready to jump in her bounce house...


Gaby and some of her closest school friends... four little divas!


Needless to say, the girls (and us) were totally beat after all the fun and crazy action of this weekend... Thankfully, I have a few days off this coming week so we'll be able to regain some energy and get some rest!