On Christmas morning we had a really nice surprise. All my mom's siblings (except for one) plus two of their wives came to visit us for a "Christmas Lunch". My brother, sister in law and nephew also came.

No kids were part of the visit, but my girls and my nephew know how to have lots of fun by themselves, especially with new toys around the house. Of course, most of the toys were too girly for my nephew, but somehow he always manages to have a blast.

I took lots of pictures, but of course, I am only posting a few.  Still pictures from my Galaxy phone, but they are just good enough for me.

The girls playing with their new toys...

Mia and  my nephew being silly...
Posted by Anelys Perez On 11:30 PM No comments READ FULL POST
... and the girls got spoiled once again!

It looks like Santa Claus was very pleased with the grape soda and cookies (yes, that is what I suggested the girls to leave out for him). I am sure it was a very good booster for him for all that work he had to do in the middle of the night.

They got a lot of things and in all honesty, I have no idea how Santa managed it.  I know Santa likes to spoil all kids, but sometimes he just doesn't have enough resources for all the things he would want to get.

I know that he worked extra hard this year to be able to make my girls happy.  The girls know that I am the one that gives the gift suggestions to Santa and I am happy that he listened to my suggestions and was able to get them most of the things I asked him for.

Here is a picture of how the tree looked after Santa passed by our house...

They were awake since 3:30am... I managed to make them wait until 6:00am when they just couldn't wait any longer! My cell was almost out of batteries and I am really sad that I had to take this picture without flash because it was still very dark :(

Playing with the gifts...

Posted by Anelys Perez On 4:07 PM No comments READ FULL POST
We didn't plan anything big for Christmas Eve because, after all, it was a Tuesday. The girls are on Christmas break, but my job doesn't stop because of the holidays, if any, it increases. As an interpreter, we take 911 calls and hospital calls and people don't stop having emergencies during the holidays (they should, though).

Even when it was just us with my mom and grandma, the girls wanted to dress up and they did.  They got dresses, their Santa hats and they were thrilled.

The girls don't get to dress up frequently because they normally get invited to a kids party where they can just use an informal dress or even jeans.  Mia and Mimi have a lot of dresses that they haven't been able to wear, especially dresses that used to belong to Gaby.

Gaby was extra happy because I allowed her to wear a dress that I would not allow her to wear to go any other place.  It was given to her as a gift and I'm sure it would still fit her when she is actually old enough to use it.

She looks like a teenager in that dress and she is only 10.  I want her to stay within each stage and I'm not in any hurry for her to grow up.  I want her to enjoy being a child for now, and then take care of being a teenager when she reach that age. She was also wearing some heels she got off my mom's closet (something else that she won't be allowed to use for a while).

We all sat at the big table and my mom did a beautiful prayer. We are light eaters at night, but tonight we ATE... A LOT.  I honestly can't handle eating heavy at night, but I knew I had a LONG night ahead, so it was not going to be so bad for me eating all that rice so late.

It was nice to have my grandma with us for dinner, because she normally eats in her room as she doesn't move around much... After all, she is already 95 years old.

One thing that was due to be done today was set up the Christmas Tree.  We did the decor a couple of weeks ago, however we wanted to set the tree together and we arranged to do it today.
Posted by Anelys Perez On 11:47 PM No comments READ FULL POST
As my grandma is under my mom's care, we are receiving a lot of visitors. This is always fun for the girls, especially when the visitors includes children.

Whoever reads my blog knows that I have a favorite uncle (I am seriously hoping the others uncle don't read my blog), and he has two grandchildren.  Today, he came to visit us with his grandkids and they had a blast.  I didn't take the pictures myself as I didn't have the camera with me and my cell was very low on battery, but I hope to be able to take better pictures with the same group very soon.
Posted by Anelys Perez On 10:35 PM No comments READ FULL POST
Every year we plan something special for the girls to wear for Christmas night. This year, we decided to do something different.

I saw an idea for Christmas Tree decoration on a tree at a local bank and loved it.  I knew I had to do that with the girls... I got the supplies and this is a picture of the last trip to the store to get a few more stuff... One of my favorite pictures of my girls with my nephew.

We had a lot of fun creating the ornaments and they worked hard and with a lot of dedication on each one of them.

And here is Mia showing off the white fingers and finished work
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This year the girls were not part of the Christmas Play at school.  Some kids worked on a play where they selected kids from every grade and for some reason my girls didn't want to participate.

Even if they were not part of the play, they still wanted to go.  I confess I was not really looking forward to go to a school's play to see other kids perform, while my girls were just sitting down... but they begged and begged and even black mailed me telling me that I was going to be able to take a nice picture of them.

And I sure did got my picture.  I actually got a picture that became one of favorites of them together.  Even when they cooperate, there is always something that is not perfect about the picture, and I love love love this one.

The show was also really good.  It was a full play and it also gave me the opportunity to meet the new principal.  They attend a school that is international and they switch principals from one country to another, and this is a new one in the country.

Here is also a picture of Gaby with some of her classmates...
Posted by Anelys Perez On 11:12 PM No comments READ FULL POST
So, yes, mama bud was sick.  Blood pressure was playing tricks again and I got a very lovely (NOT) nurse that was extremely mean and was very rude when drawing blood from my arm.  A few weeks later, I still have the bruise, but this is how it looks this morning.  It actually have the shape of a heart. Makes me want to go back to the hospital and show it to her.  It means that there is always love always, even when people try to harm you (and please, ignore my hairy arms).
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The girls had their family day at school and we all had a great time. Sun was shinning like there was no tomorrow and we ended up with sun tans.

The girls have been looking for this day since it was first announced and they enjoyed themselves a lot.

I also met lots of their friends and it was nice to see them interacting with them.  But, of course, they were more interested on spending the time with me and showing me everything they were doing.

I love how all my three girls a mama's girls.  It wasn't always like that, but it really feels amazing.  They have an special love for my mom, my brother and one of my uncles, but it is a different love.  When they look at my eyes, they spark in a way that goes directly to my soul.  I can't really describe it, but I can feel it and other people can see it.

Just a few more pictures of our day... The first two are Mia and Mimi with their main teachers and then the girls going down one of the slides.

Posted by Anelys Perez On 11:20 PM No comments READ FULL POST
Since Gaby lost her baby fat, she has always been very slim. Her weight has always been in correct proportion with her height.

She has always been a picky eater and food never was a priority for her. She would still eat which is why her weight was always average... not thin, not fat. On the picture from the right, you can see how you looked up to 7 years old.

But then, something changed. Suddenly, she started having an extreme interest in food and she would eat and eat and eat some more. It was refreshing for me to see, and I was very pleased that my very picky eater, it's now eating like there is no tomorrow. Also, as her father and I separated, I though it was normal for her to have some kind of anxiety because of that.

Months went by and I started noticing that she was looking a little chubby. At this moment, I tried to decrease the amount of carbs a little bit, and increase the amount of proteins. Still within a healthy range for her age, but just a bit less. I also cut down the starches and sugars.

My girls have never been sugar crazy and for that reason, I have never been worried about it. For example, they don't eat much ice cream, but if one day I treat them with ice cream, I would let them eat as much as they want. With this being said, if we go out to eat ice cream, Gaby would be allowed to eat, but just a moderate amount.

At this moment, I didn't anticipate what was about to happen. One hour after having a very good lunch, she would ask the maid for more rice. Then, before AND after the mid afternoon snack, she would ask her for one or two sandwiches.  This means that she was having breakfast, snack, lunch, extra lunch (more rice), extra meal (1 or 2 sandwiches), snack, extra meal (1 or 2 sandwiches), dinner, and then milk. I have NO IDEA how she was able to fit all this on her stomach, but she WAS doing that from Monday through Friday (when the maid was home).

For this reason, she gained A LOT but A LOT of weight. Her weight was not in proportion with her height anymore. Trying to understand the reason for that, I asked the maid if she was giving her candies or something like that, and she told me everything. It never occurred to her to mention it before, because for her there was nothing bad with giving food to a "hungry" child.

I was extremely concerned and I sat down with her pediatrician to design a plan of action. We both agree that she was not going to have a "diet to lose weight", but she needed a very healthy menu to get rid of the extra fat while she kept getting taller. The goal was to bring her back to proportion between her weight and her height.

I sat down with Gaby and talked to her like if I was talking to an adult. She is very smart and I knew she was going to understand better this way. I talked to her about diabetes and all the possible diseases. I talked to her how I was also going to work myself on getting fit and that it will be a goal for both of us.

As she still needed many carbs on her diet, I knew it was going to be a long road but SHE DID IT. Here are the changes she made:
- She started eating 3 meals and two snacks only
- She stopped eating "kids cereals", and started eating Honey Bunches of oats instead
- She started using skim milk and whole wheat bread
- She started eating more veggies than carbs.  She was still eating her carbs, but just the right amount. This was not a hard task because she have always eat her veggies. She simply started getting full on them instead of a bunch of rice.
- She would only drink juice with her school snack at mid morning (4 ounces)... then she would drink water at every other moment on a normal day (and lots of it)
- Sweets and sodas were down to almost nothing. She would only eat sweets and drink soda at a party or a special day
- She would play outside for at least 1 hour every day and putting extra effort on her gym class at school

After a year and a half, Gaby is back to complete proportion between her height and weight... not thin, not fat.... and I'm just really proud of her.
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Gaby's 10th birthday was at the beginning of the month and I was trying to come up with a theme (I still like to surprise them with the theme) as I had already used mostly all the themes for the things she likes. One of the few themes of the things she likes that I haven’t use is Barbie.

Even though some people thought that she was too old for Barbies, I decided this was going to be the perfect way to close this stage of her life. As a treat (and because she likes sweets so much), I came up with Barbie's Candy Shop. I also decided to have to have the candies arranged by color and then have the goodie bags empty for them to put the sweets in there to take home.

I had a LOT of fun planning and decorating the party and here is the invitation I made for her...

As the candies were arranged by colors, here is a picture of each area.  One area was Pink with Orange... Another Green with Yellow... another Purple and Turquoise... and the last one was Red and brown.

I have always preferred Arts and Crafts instead of games at birthday parties.  That minimizes that amount of accidents and sweating.  We did a DIY project with Wood Treasure Boxes and it was so fun.  I set up everything on the floor with a cardboard for each child.  They had paint, paint brushes and self-adhesive jewels.

The birthday girl blowing her candles...

And here is the thank you note for all the people that helped me to make this day a reality.
Posted by Anelys Perez On 11:27 PM No comments READ FULL POST
... on her age!

It seems like "the other day", however it has been 10 years since I became a mom for the very first time. Happy 10th Birthday to Gabriela Michele! 

Gaby: I am so lucky to have you as my daughter, and your sisters couldn't ask for a better big sister. Continue working hard at school and making us proud. Hope you never lose your sweetness and kindness! I LOVE YOU sooo very much!
Posted by Anelys Perez On 11:59 AM No comments READ FULL POST
All three girls have been complaining non stop for headaches and I knew checking the vision was in order. Gaby is the only one that has been prescribed with eyeglasses for reading, but Mia and Mimi were supposedly fine.

After lots of testing done, Gaby got new eyeglasses (only for reading again) and Mimi got prescription for eyeglasses full time. This doesn’t surprise me because they were born early and I knew this was something that could happen. Mia was sent for a more specialized test, but so far, it looks like she won’t need them.
 photo 092013-1.jpg

And here is a close up of each one of my girls with eyeglasses...
Posted by Anelys Perez On 4:43 PM No comments READ FULL POST
The girls are back to school and they are really excited. Gaby started 5th Grade, Mia started 2nd Grade and Mimi started 1st Grade.

I'm very excited also because I was able to get them into a school that I have been trying to get them in since last school year.  It is very hard to get spots in this school and we were blessed with a lot of help to get this done.

It is also the same school that my nephew is which means that Mia and him will share the same classroom.  Of course, they are thrilled about it and I can't wait to see how that will work out.  I'm sure it will be more than perfect.

I also got tired of purchasing backpacks every single school year and ordered three new backpacks from Land's End.  Gaby has one since she was 4 years old and even though she doesn't use it for school anymore, it is still around and it gets a lot of used.  I chose their favorite colors and I honestly hope to get the most use possible out of them.

My 5th Grader

My 2nd Grader

My 1st Grader
Posted by Anelys Perez On 3:24 PM No comments READ FULL POST
My grandma turned 95 years old today. All her living children where with her and she was thrilled.

Sadly, I couldn't be there because I had to work, but my girls and nephew were there. Also my brother and his wife were with them. Mimi was sleeping for a while, and she is not in the pictures.

They told me that they had a great time and my grandma was very happy.

She is extremely healthy considering her age and she doesn't really have any illness or any serious health condition. I think she's not even close to go to my grandad's side in heaven. She's staying with us for a very long time.
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I weighted the girls today and here is the verdict.....

- Mimi is 41 pounds and in 22nd percentile for her age (my peanut)
- Mia is 63 pounds and in 85th percentile for her age
- Gaby is 103 pounds and in 95th percentile for her age

If you look at the picture, even when Mia is not completely straight, she is still way taller than Mimi and she is only 13 months older.  Mimi is really petite but I'm not so worried anymore... She really eats very well, and she IS growing... just in a lower pace than usual. Maybe her metabolism is just too fast and she will be one of those ladies than eat and eat and never gets fat.
Posted by Anelys Perez On 11:53 AM No comments READ FULL POST
... I graduated high school and we still know how to have a great time!! We got together at a local bar and had an awesome time!  Here is a picture of SOME of the ones present...
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To celebrate their good grades, we decided to take the girls to Sirenis Aquagames Punta Cana. It's a great water park with lots of rides and attractions.

I dare to say that this day was one of the best days on the girls life.  It was non stop fun since we got there until we left.  My nephew has been there before, but I don't think we had the same fun with his parents only than today with us.

I am a bit paranoid when it comes to my girls running around without having all three on my eyes.  For that reason, at first they were not able to have all the fun because I was keeping them all three in the same spot. They wanted to run around and be in different areas and my brother told me "woman, just let them have fun"... and I did.  I knew they were in a safe area and that nothing was going to happen to them, so for the first time in my life, I allowed them to do whatever they wanted to... FREELY. My only rule was they needed to tell each other where they were, so if I were to ask Mimi "where is Gaby?", she needed to know to answer me.  And I have to say that they complied at a 100%.  I was still going around from one area to be other to make sure they were still alive, but I let them be free for once.

The park is full of areas for them to have fun with only 2 or 3 attractions were they were not allowed. Mia and Mimi spent most of their time in the pool pictured above because it had many many slides, and Gaby and my nephew spent most of the time in the big kids pool because Gaby wanted to be there, and my nephew would follow Gaby to the end of the world.

They were all dying to go to the big slide, however Mimi didn't meet the height requirement by half inch.  I explained the guy that she was already 6, and that she was a big girl (only petite) so they allow her to go ONCE (with me by her side... oh fun). I though it was going to be too much for her, so one time was going to be enough.  I was so wrong.  She wanted to go again, and the guy refused to.  She was sad and all, but nothing gets in the way when Mimi wants something.  Not sure how she did it, but she managed to go down the big slide around 7 or 8 times, just as much as others did.

Here are some more pictures...

Here is a picture with my babies....

And here is my mom with her babies...

We look forward to do this again very soon!
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