Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

Halloween is always a fun holiday for the kids.. and even though it's a "pagan" holiday, we embrace it and try to make the best of it...
Today was not the exception.. it was such a fun filled day...
It started off with a "Harvest" celebration in Gaby's classroom, where all the kids dressed up and paraded around the school's piazza...it was so cute.
Here are all the girls in Gaby's classroom.. they all looked adorable...


...and here's a picture of the boys, who looked just as cute...


...here's a picture of the kids during the parade...


..and another one...


..at night the girls got ready for their trick-or-treating session.. and even though Gaby was a little sick, she still put on a good face and enjoyed the adventure..
This year they went as Rapunzel (from Tangled) and Merida (from Brave).  Gaby's wig was the sensation of the night.. it was really hilarious and she really took her character to heart..


...Olivia also looked adorable with her long hair and amazing dress.. she was happy!


Happy Halloween, everyone! It's always great to see all the kids having so much fun!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Super Storm" Sandy

"23 out of the 50 states have been somehow affected by Hurricane turned Super Storm Sandy"... this is one of the many news headers I've heard in the last couple of days...
Hurricane (later Super Storm) Sandy has been one of the worst and most devastating storm in the US in the past few years...
It hit the East Coast between Monday and Tuesday and the damage has been tremendous...

Here's a map of the track Sandy had and some of her path


Thousands of people on the East Coast remain without power and 40 deaths have been reported up to now..the images are so heartbreaking and we all know recovery is going to take a while...
Here are some pictures I found on the net...


I am praying for everyone who has affected by this terrible storm and hoping that a clear path to recovery can be set up as soon as possible...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

...and WE VOTED!

This election has everyone on the edge and we're not the exception...
In our house, we're very passionate about politics and we've been very eager to vote..especially Iggy, since it was his first time ever voting...
So today we took advantage of the early voting session  and exercised our right to vote...
The girls came along so it was like a family affair..they did great waiting in line and were very patient considering it took us FOUR HOURS to cast our vote...
When we got to the booth section, they gave Olivia a little ballot so she could "vote" too; her ballot had two choices:  George Washington and Abraham Lincoln... she proudly circled her choice and deposited her pretend vote in a box they had set up at the site.. it was adorable.. I think it's great that they do these little things to get the children involved and of course Olivia loved it!
So, I'm proud to say that WE VOTED!..and it felt great! Now to hope our candidate wins! ;)


Happy Voting, everyone!!

Fun times with fun friends...

Hanging out with friends is always a fun thing...but for kids it's even more fun and extra special..
I love to see my kids and their friends interacting and having fun, so I make every effort possible to facilitate whatever play date I can...
The kids had no school on Friday so we invited Isabella (Olivia's BFF) to our house and spent the day doing some fun Fall-themed activities..
First we carved a pumpkin and the girls had a blast with it...


...here's our fun "Jack-o-Lantern"... 


...we also made and hand painted butter cookies, which was so cute and fun...


Today we went to Naples to celebrate Cecilia's 2nd birthday...She is the youngest daughter of our good friends Alejandra and Jicham...the party was celebrated at a water park (yes, we can still do that in Florida at this time of the year..LOL)... the kids had a blast bathing in the pool and eating all the yummy stuff at the party...
Here's a picture of the adorable birthday girl...


...and here's the hole Zaatini family, celebrating the birthday girl... 


..the girls with Cecilia...


..and finally a picture of them right before they jumped in the pool... the weather was absolutely beautiful today!

Friday, October 26, 2012

My blog is 4 years old!!

"Stories of a Happy Mom" (formerly known was "A World of My Own") is turning 4 years old today!!
Woo hoo!!  For anyone who blogs, I'm sure you know that keeping a blog alive is NOT an easy task...
Finding stuff to write, pictures to post, topics to discuss are just a few of the challenges that most bloggers face, and I'm obviously not the exception...
Oftentimes I wonder, "does anyone read this blog?", "are my topics relevant?", "do people really care about my life and what I have to say?"... I ask myself those questions among many others, but then I think "I LOVE writing a blog"... "I LOVE keeping THIS blog".. and a lot of times I sit and read my old posts and relive the happy (and not so happy) moments all over again... and that's why I write it...it all makes sense!
I've said this before... my ultime goal is to print out this blog and give it to my kids as a gift... and even though I haven't figured out the time frame, I really hope that they will enjoy reading it, as much as I enjoy writing it...
If you've followed my blog or even read a post at some point.. I THANK YOU for taking the time to share a piece of me!
Happy Birthday, blog!
Happy blogging!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

School pictures

Who knew school pictures would be such a BIG deal for me!?!?
We got the girls' school pictures back today and I'm so upset and disappointed... they're definitely not what I expected.. I feel like the photographers were lazy and didn't put much effort into taking these pictures.. Also, because the pictures were paid for before hand, I feel like I have to settle for something that just isn't good enough...
Either way.. like Iggy says "they're just school pictures!".

Here's Gaby's.. I hate that she's not looking at the camera and her face is missing her usual grin, which is adorable.. She looks too serious and stiff.. maybe the photographer was mean to her? LOL

..and here's Olivia's, which is better than Gaby's but definitely not her best picture.. I really dislike the way they fixed her hair and she isn't sitting straight.. I guess I was expecting much better pictures...

... so these will be the pictures that show up in the yearbook.. I guess I'll have to warm up to them...


Halloween Memories (continued)

I wonder how much longer will my kids enjoy dressing up for Halloween??  Until what age will they think it's cute and fun?
Of course, Halloween is fun for all ages, but the innocence of dressing up wears off at some point.. and I honestly don't want that time to come...
It's so adorable to see their eyes light up when they're picking out a costume or tying it on for the first time.. I really love this time of the year...
Here are some pictures of Halloween '10 and '11.. the girls looked adorable in their costumes...

Here's Olivia in 2010 (she was 3).. that year she decided, with my help of course, that her and her sister would be "twins" for Halloween so they both dressed up as ladybugs...
The costumes were entirely too adorable and the girls had a blast trick-or-treating that year...


How adorable is this picture!?!?  Gaby was 15 months old...


Last year (2011), it was the first time that Olivia picked her own costume, and of course she picked a Disney princess (which I'm sure will be the case for many years). She dressed up as Ariel and Gaby was Tinkerbell.. it was such a fun Halloween that year...


...and this year, they're just as excited to dress up.. They keep talking about it and planning out their day.. it's really adorable and so much fun!
So..what are your kids going to be for Halloween??

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Memories

I really love looking at old pictures and reminiscing about good times...
For some reason, old pictures are that much more meaningful since having kids and even though I've always been a "picture freak", now that I'm a mom, taking pictures is one of my main purposes in life...
With that said and since Halloween is right around the corner, I've decided to post some pictures from Olivia's 2nd and 3rd Halloween and Gaby's 1st (2008 and 2009)..(I previously posted a picture of Olivia's 1st ever)..
These pictures are so freaking adorable!!
Here's Olivia in 2008, she was a Flamenco Dancer and the most adorable little girl at the mall..(she was 15 months old)


Here she is with her cousin Erika, who was a pirate that year...


...here's a picture of Halloween '09.. Olivia was an Arab dancer and Gaby was a flower.. They looked so adorable..right??


..and here's little Gaby with her "Little Pumpkin" hat.. she was so cute... about 3 months old in this picture


I will post more Halloween pictures in the next few days.. I still have to relive years 2010 and 2011...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Movie review: "Argo"

Considering every time we go to the movies we end up watching a kids' movie, getting out of the house and going to see an "adult" movie was a must...so we picked the much talked about, ARGO, starring Ben Affleck, who also directed the movie...and what a great job he did, both acting and directing....
"Argo" is based on the true story of the rescue mission of 6 Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979-1981....The 6 Americans were able to escape from the USA embassy in Tehran (and were hiding at the Canadian embassy) while it was being taken over by rebel Iranians, demanding the extradition of the Shah, who was given asylum in the US.
The movie revolves around the CIA's mission to bring these 6 people back to America through an operation called "Argo", which consisted of posing as a Hollywood production team in order to rescue these 6 Americans in hiding...
The main character is Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), who was the main creator and executor of the rescue mission.  He goes to Iran and provides each one of the 6 Americans with a fake cover and coaches them through the mission...In the end, they're able to escape and Mendez is given a special award by the CIA... (that's the short version, of course!)
The movie has moments of tension, intensity, mystery and laughter.. it is just so well written.. I loved that they squeezed humor into this masterpiece and the whole thing was thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat for 2 hours...
 I strongly recommend this movie.. I think it's one of the best I've seen this year...
I give it 5 out of 5 stars! A MUST see!

Adriana Perez, MS

Even though I finished all of my degree requirements back in July; there was still an exit exam to be done in mid-September, which had me a bit anxious.. of course!
I got my test results back at the end of September and then the waiting began... I was checking the mail every day expecting to get my coveted "Master of Science" diploma!
...and so it happened.. the amazing surprise, which brightened my day...and my week... (and probably my whole month)...the diploma came in the mail last Thursday....
Adriana Perez, Master of Science... how awesome is that?!?!?
It's funny how God has a way to speak to people.. just this week, a few days before I got my diploma, I had a bit of a meltdown about my student loans and the repayment plans.. According to my calculations, it will take me approximately 25 years to repay my student loans (that's at the lowest repayment rate, of course).. that day I just felt so defeated and depressed...as if my efforts weren't worth it.. I even joked around with Iggy and told him I would rip off my diploma as soon as it came...
But then the diploma came and my worry and frustration just went away... all I wanted to do was hang my diploma somewhere I could see it every day.. and that's what I will do, celebrate my accomplishment and live it up!
Did you know that only 6% of the American population holds a Master's degree?? ;)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Patch/Fall Festival

The Fall season in South Florida isn't as "nice and cool" as it is in other places, but that doesn't stop us from having fun, celebrating fall festivals and attending a pumpkin patch...
...and that's exactly what we did this weekend...We went to the Fall Festival and Pumpkin Patch and the girls had such a blast....they got their faces painted, did arts and crafts and even went on a hay ride, which even though wasn't pulled by horses, it was still just as fun...
Here's a few pictures of our weekend adventure...


On the hay ride with our awesome friends.. it was fun!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Billy Bear"

Some of you might remember "Oreo", a special panda bear who was part of a friendship project created by Olivia's teacher from last year...
Well, apparently this type of project is very popular in PreK since we now had the chance to spend time with "Billy Bear", who is a teddy bear and the mascot of Gaby's classroom...
The idea is to let the kids bring "Billy Bear" home for a weekend so that they could take him everywhere and have fun with him...
This weekend was Gaby's turn to bring him home and this little bear went EVERYWHERE with us and Gaby wanted to take a picture at every spot she stood with him.. wow! The kids also have to make a journal page, so this is where the pictures went!
It was such a blast to have "Billy Bear" with us this weekend and a real adventure for Gaby!
We will miss "Billy Bear"


Billy Bear and Gaby having breakfast...

Movie review: "Hotel Transylvania"

We were a bit "late" in watching this movie since every time we tried it was sold out... and I can totally see why...this is such a GREAT and ingenious movie...so much fun and colorful...
The movie revolves around Count Dracula and his daughter Mavis, who happens to be turning 118... (LOL)...
Back in the 1800's when Mavis was just a baby, Dracula had a hotel built, with the idea that all monsters could visit without being persecuted by humans (somewhere in the story, they state the fact that Dracula's wife was killed by a human, hence his fear of them)...
With Mavis' 118th birthday around the corner, she asks her dad if she could go out in the "real world" and count Dracula does everything possible to keep protecting her from the "evil" humans... that is until one of them (Johnny) manages to enter the hotel and falls in love with Mavis...
..the monsters then realize that humans are not all that "evil" and they are actually fun...
I think the story is so well written and the whole "monster thing" is handled so well for the kids.. The movie isn't scary at all and the kids can totally relate to the story...
The voice overs are hilarious and Adam Sandler does an excellent job at personifying Count Dracula...
This is such a wholesome and funny movie... ideal for the whole family!  We really enjoyed it...
I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.. A MUST SEE!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Meeting baby Dean

Another day...another baby!!!
It seems like my life is surrounded by babies and cute kids...and IT IS!!
Today I had the chance to meet baby Dean, born to my friend Meryem and her husband Hakim on September 5th.
Baby Dean was a big baby... weighing at 8lbs 13oz...he joins big brother Elias, who is 18 years old!
I spent part of my afternoon with Meryem and baby Dean, getting some baby snuggles and enjoying the awesome newborn scent...
I chatted with Meryem while enjoying some amazing Moroccan desserts.. it was such a delightful afternoon.. and of course holding baby Dean was the cherry on top!

I just love babies!!! ;)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sebastian and Santiago's birthday party

To finish our weekend with a golden seal, we attended a wonderful birthday party yesterday. 
The party was for the Guio brothers (Sebastian and Santiago), who are the sons of my great friends Harold and Jimena; they were turning 5 and 2 and had a fun Spiderman themed party at Tag USAGymnastics.
The girls had such a blast, as usual, and spent a great deal of time jumping around and playing with all the gymnastics apparatuses, which they're very familiar with...
There were tons of food, drinks and sweets.. and of course a piƱata full of candy for the kids.. how fun!


Here's Sebastian, one of the birthday boys!


Happy Birthday, kids! Thanks for a great party!