The Time is NOW!

I’m feeling sentimental today.  Probably because of 2 reasons:  It’s Christmas season and Boogiezone’s 10 year.  My friend Vy, wrote somewhere that after looking at all the Breed and Boogiezone pictures she said those years were probably the best times of her life.  That made me think…it probably was mine too.  God, I loved my dance family.  Late rehearsals, dancing and performing ALL THE TIME, partying till the wee hours.  Then I thought, wait…kaSAma and college days…those were also the best times of my life.  The dorms, the friends, the parties, the CLUB.   Then I thought….okay but highschool, highschool was fun, dance groups, dances, cheer, boys, heck, even classes. Elementary school was amazing…started dancing with Kultura, made best friends that I’m still besties with, everything was just so fun with no real worries and I did everything with my best friends…those were the best times of my life.  BUT HOLD UP, NOW is the best time of my life too, a new little family, Max, Rio, my HB and my heart is bigger and fuller than I could have ever imagined!  The whole “seeing the world again through their eyes” …the eyes of a child…it’s the truth. Everything is fun again…puddles, snow, slides, m&m’s, birds, even using the.microwave is a fun activity. It’s different.  I’m not having crazy wild fun and endless laughter and partying, but I get tons of hugs and kisses and just pure joy from my very own little family.  I also have my parents and my extended family…the Rivera’s, the Golla’s, the Mostrales’…they are my constant.  Unconditional Love.

I’m always having the time of my life!  If you live in the moment and appreciate your daily blessings, you will too.

Just a little update on my babehs:

Rio (a little over 10.5 months):  Standing and climbing on everything.  Babbles a ton.  Laughs so much.  Loves to explore on his own…probably prefers to explore on his own.  Starting to point at things.  He can say Mama, Dada, Ball, and Dede (milk).    He enjoys crawling up and down the stairs, enjoys crawling over the bottom of his highchair over and over again, loves to throw himself around on the bed even if he can barely stand, LOVES to dance and loves music, kisses everything, and eats or teeths on anything in sight.

He seems smaller than Max was.  He’s fearless.  He’s tough.  He’s my heart!

Max (3 years):  He talks so much.  He should be a lawyer with the way he argues for things he wants.  He is not shy AT ALL.  He loves to play hide and seek and freeze games.  Still loves to read.  His favorite show is Doc McStuffins.  Favorite movies:  Despicable Me and Monster’s University.  Loves to play anywhere and asks me “where are we going?” every morning.  Loves to “HELP” do EVERYTHING and anything around the house.  He’s starting to enjoy drawing a little more…but much rather prefers toys and crafts.  He says his best friend is Kuya Wesley and Kuya DeyDey.  Does NOT like sharing, but we’ll get there. :)  He’s a great big brother except for when Rio takes his toys.  He likes to help feed Rio or make him laugh when he’s sad.  He’s my sunshine.

My dad is still coming over to help me take care of the kids every Monday and Tuesday for 5 hours a day.  The boys ADORE him.  Nick is working closer to home now which all of us LOVE because we get to see him more.

And Rio is crying, so that’s it for now!

Here are pictures from our Christmas Tree cutting day.  Love family fun days.






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I’m not a horrible mother…

image(Exhibit A:  Look how sweet I am with my babes at the pumpkin patch, haha)

…but some days, like today, I really question if motherhood is meant for me.  I’m totally aware of the fact that parenthood is NOT for everyone.  That some people, though they may love their children, might regret having them.  Am I one of those people?!

I’ve been a horrible mother all morning.  I had no patience when trying to teach Max how to count.  I yelled at him because he couldn’t count to three.  He can count to 20 for crying out loud, but when it comes to “meaningful” counting…he still doesn’t understand.  This is not his fault and by yelling at him and making a huge deal of it, I’m afraid that I’ve made him hate counting.  When he wouldn’t clean up his toys, I yelled again, and threw some of his toys across the room.  I refused to make him warm milk when he asked because I was still butt hurt from him not helping me clean up.

All while Rio is innocently playing and listening to me be a monster mom.  I want my kids raised in a calm and loving household…but why am I the one that always stirs up the angry emotions???  I’m overwhelmed some days to say the least…and I always openly admit to being overwhelmed.  But I’ve never said this before….that some days I hate being a mom.  I love my babies, but some days…are just BAD days and I hate having to “mother”.  Yes, when I feel this way, usually I just suck it up, give them all the hugs and kisses they deserve, and be the good mom they need.  However, on days like today, when the hormones are just raging…I let it take over me and become a horrible mother that NO ONE deserves.  If I ever saw anyone treat my kids the way I’ve treated them today, I would probably throw a fit or beat someone down.

I’m surprised that even after I’ve said and done mean things (not physically) that my family still loves me.  That Max will still say, “Hug me, mama”.  Motherhood isn’t the same for everyone.  For me in particular, it’s been tough.  People say that I’m a great mother, but I would never yell at my kids the way I did today if others were around.  I know I am a great mother most of the time so I hope it all just balances out and I haven’t traumatized the kids for life.  :(  I’m just so envious sometimes when I hear the super mom statuses on Facebook like, “Today I brought my 5 kids to the park and we built a giant sandcastle, then went home cleaned the whole house and worked out during their nap time, and then tonight is movie night!  So glad I made an extra lasagna yesterday so I don’t have to cook tonight!”  I love these kind of moms and usually they inspire me, but on my worst days…it just makes me feel mediocre.

Just being honest.

But honestly speaking, I know that I can be better, and I know that I have been that super mom on occasion.  It is not possible, for me at least, to be  super mom everyday.  I just need to focus on being my best and keeping calm.  I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.

I love my little guys and before I know it, I will be crying because they won’t need me as much.



He’s about 9.5 months.  He’s been zooming around the house like a pro for a couple of months now.  He can climb the stairs but he doesn’t know how to go down them yet (the feet first on the tummy way).  He’s not “cruising” much but he likes to stand up and hang on to furniture and just hang out there.  He can say mama and Dada and he loves to copy sounds.  He dances EVERY TIME he hears music.  He thinks his big bro is the funniest person on Earth.  He’s not a big eater but he’s eating pretty well.    I’m “still” breastfeeding him and will continue to, hopefully, until he is 2.  He doesn’t seem to love books as much as Max did at this age, but maybe it’s because I don’t sit down and read to him enough.  He loves his brother’s big boy toys and would much rather play with ANYTHING but his baby toys.   He knows how to give big wet sloppy kisses and can kind of give high 5′s.  He’s a tough little guy.  He’s already learning how to stand up to his Kuya Max when he picks on him.  He has such a loud deep voice.  We joke that it’s already deeper than Max’s voice now.  He loves to grab at my face with his dagger hands, LOL.  His favorite toys are balls and anything that moves around or makes sounds.  He has grown so much in just the blink of an eye.  He’s the my little love bug and the cutest thing ever.  My favorite thing about him right now, is that he sings along with me whenever I sing to him.  It’s the sweetest sound ever.  I wish that I would have blogged more about his growth, but if I did, I wouldn’t have had enough time to sit and cuddle with him.


He’ll be 3 years old next month.  He is a handful.  I think God is testing my patience with this one.  He is still my sunshine and my sweetie patootie pie.  He’s a bossy little fella.  He also thinks he’s grown up.  Anytime we leave the house he’ll say,  “You got your keys, mama?  How about your phone?”  He likes to know exactly where we are going, who we are going with, and if it’s “right or left”.  “Is Nanay’s house right or left?”  He remembers everything so don’t ever make a promise to him that you can’t keep.  You won’t hear the end of it.  He loves music and always has specific songs he wants to listen to.  In the car right now he asks for, “Pearly shells”, “back to back”, or Kid songs.  His favorite toys are his Monster’s Inc and Monster’s University figurines, dinos, legos, puzzles, and toy story toys.  His favorite thing to do is make forts, tents, and hiding places for himself and his toys.  He tries to hide Rio too.  His favorite shows are Handy Manny and Doc Mcstuffins but you enjoy anything on Disney Jr.  He needs a snack EVERY hour.  Favorite things to do is play the freeze game, hexing game, help with cooking and cleaning, blowing bubbles, and going to playgrounds…especially the slides!  Loves to play with his friends and his family and is always looking for people to hang out with.  So holla if you’re bored!   He is fully potty trained but still needs to sit down to pee and requires help.  He has never wet the bed at night!
He speaks very well (but not too clearly) and can speak in paragraphs and tell stories.  Speaking of stories, I have to make up new stories for him every night before bed.  “Tell me a Dino story mama!”  Or a woody/monster/nemo story, etc.  He’s afraid of closed doors and being left in the car.  Note:  We have never locked him alone ANYWHERE!

Rio and Max are absolutely adorable together.  They play definitely more than they fight.  Max has never been jealous of Rio and loves to see Rio laughing and happy.  However Max TRIPS OUT if Rio tries to take a toy he’s playing with or if Rio is after his food.  Max is still learning how to share…but overall he’s an amazing big brother.

Daddy is home more now because he demoted himself to a barista temporarily…so that means we are broke…but happy.  We need to find a balance still.  Isn’t that the goal in life for everyone though?

I started typing this when the kids were napping.  They are all awake now (including Dada) and I feel better and not so horrible already.  Max and I read his baby book and I ain’t mad anymore.  I think I just needed that hour for myself. #sorrybabies



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Life with two babies. Just a little update.

I’m getting more and more used to having two kids.  I have my tricks here and there to get things done and it involves a lot of switching Rio from swing to vibrating chair to the play mat to the bumbo and to the floor to keep him entertained.  He doesn’t love the carrier that much.  Max is a little easier…turn on the t.v.  Judge me not.  I’m a stay at home mom and he has PLENTY of 1 on 1 attention. Oh the day when they can entertain each other!   By the time I get them both fed in the mornings, it’s time to put Rio down for his first nap.  After he’s asleep I have like 1/2 an hour to clean up before I have to prep lunch!! And the day continues on like that. And it’s not like I cook a gourmet lunch!  It’s usually left overs from my parents, grilled cheese, pasta, chicken nuggets, some steamed veggie, sliced fruit and that’s it!  Everything just takes so much longer with my little shadow wanting to “help” with everything or needing me to help him stand up his toys that keep falling, or help him get something that is stuck, etc.  And he has the nerve to tell me I’m too loud when I’m making him HIS smoothies and he can’t hear his toys or the T.V.  GEFF.

Max is such a cute big brother though.  He gives Rio age appropriate toys when Rio is crying without me even asking.  When Rio cries he says “I’m coming Rio!! Kuya is coming!” as he runs to him to give him a hug.  Caught him trying to put Sophie the Giraffe in Rio’s mouth though…a little too roughly.  UH.  NOT GOOD.

Max is growing so fast.  His communication skills always surprise me and make me laugh with how much he tries to sound like a grown up.  What worries me a little is that he knows how to trick me!  He says he needs to poop so we give him privacy…in which he takes advantage of his alone time to play with something he’s not supposed to or to play on my phone without me seeing.  Sometimes he’ll yell, “don’t look at me mommy, stay over there!”.  LOL.  He knows how to negotiate and has become quite the complainer.  He says, “Just for a little bit….pleeeeassssse!” about almost everything.  We are currently potty training.  That’s a whole other post though.  Let’s just say, it takes a lot of patience.  I’ve actually enjoyed the process so far.  I love seeing the look of accomplishment on his face when he poops or pees in the potty.  Surprisingly it has been a bonding activity and I will cherish this time as well.  Cleaning up solid poop isn’t that bad. 

 Meanwhile my sweet Rio has had a diaper rash so I’ve been keeping BOTH kids diaperless.  I feel like I’ve been cleaning up poop and pee 24-7 for the past week and a half.  hashtagmommylife.  Rio is so so sweet though, I don’t even care if he pees on me.  He makes the cutest sounds.  He smiles every time Max interacts with him.  He smiles when you smile at him.  He smiles when you wave any fabric in front of his face.  He smiles all the time!  He still doesn’t laugh much…but when he’s in the laughing mood, he’ll crack up at anything.

He just learned to really roll over about a month ago and now he’s really trying to crawl!  He kind of tries to do the caterpillar crawl but ends up slamming his face into the floor.  I can’t get enough of him!  His voice is so cute.  I think he has a deep scratchy voice.  We’ll see.  He loves running water, moving hands, and looking at people’s faces.  He’s a simple little guy. 

Nick and I are doing well.  Having two kids has taken its toll on us physically.  We are tired and gaining weight.  We need to change our mind set and get healthy again.  Our kids deserve healthy, fun, and active parents!  We used to dance all day and now we just dance to the beeps on the microwave and choreograph to disney junior theme songs.  We try to make time for each other, but we definitely need to try harder.  Tonight we went on a short date night to get Menchies…but ended up going to Babies R’ Us as well.  Haha, at least we tried.

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Noelle Reese and her amazing family!


(Earl, April, Jordy and Noelle celebrating Noelle’s 7th week of life.  Stole this photo from April’s blog :))

I’ve been meaning to write about our cousins April and Earl and their 2 beautiful daughters, Jordy and Noelle.  Jordy just turned two years old and Noelle is about 9 weeks old.  April has been such a blessing in my life because I feel like we entered into this journey of motherhood together.  We talked about all the frustrations and joys of becoming a mom together.  We laughed and cried together.  So glad we both married these wonderful Golla men.  :)

Jordy and Max are 5 months apart and and Rio and Noelle are 2 months apart.  I will never forget the day we told each other we were pregnant…AGAIN!  We were both so excited and so nervous at the same time because while still learning to become the ideal mother, we had to do it all again with another little human.

Weeks passed and we were both waiting to find out the gender of our babies.  We found out we were having another boy and they found out they were having another girl.   They also found out that their baby has a condition called, holoprosencephaly, and she wasn’t expected to live very long or live at all.  They were told she might pass away in utero or she might pass away the day she is born….or after a few weeks.  They were told most people would terminate the pregnancy at this point.

Let me tell you, they ARE NOT “MOST PEOPLE”.  They are extraordinary people!  They continued with the pregnancy and after many months of uncertainty, the wonderful Noelle Reese was born and is now over 2 months old and has brought so much love into the world.  She is strength and determination personified.  Read her birth story here and follow April’s blog to read all about their journey:

Seeing April and Earl take this challenging experience “head on” is truly inspiring.  I can’t help but think, what if this happened to my baby?  Would I be as strong as them?  Once you become a parent you can’t help but think of all the things that can happen to your child.  You just want to give your child the best of everything and most importantly be safe and happy.

April and Earl, Noelle is safe and she is happy.  She is loved.  If I can feel your love for Noelle in the 2 hours when visiting your home while we laugh, talk, and chase the two year olds around, then I’m sure Noelle feels that love x 1,000,000.  I love how you love Noelle and how you love Jordy and how you love each other.  I love how you guys are showing the world how to really LIVE life.

You live it by holding on to the people you love and enjoying the little things with them by your side.  The big picture is….just all the little things put together.  Thank you for reminding me that tomorrow is not promised and that we need to ENJOY LIFE!

Always remember that you gave Noelle a chance at life and in turn she is teaching us how to live!  I’m positive God is smiling upon you four and no matter where this journey will take you, have faith that God is by your side…and we are too.

Here’s a little collage of the past couple of visits to the Gollas (the other Gollas):


Ps.  Max loves that tiara.  LOL.  Max and Jordy play SO WELL together now, it’s sooooo cute to see.  I don’t think they fought once last time we were over there.  Too bad, because it’s always so funny.  :)


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I want my friends to have babies.


I want my friends to have babies too, so they’ll understand our lives.  I want them to experience the joys and “lessons” of parenthood.  Most of all I want them to experience the most pure and natural love ever.  BUT MOST MOST of all, I want them to have a messy house like us.  ;)

This post is more about the challenges…yet again.  Haha.

I tried to go to church for the first time by myself with the two kids (the Sunday before Easter).  The picture above says it all.  It was a disaster, but I’m proud of myself for trying.  Of all the public places to go to by myself for the first time, why oh why would I pick church????  you have to be quiet at church…I know my son better than to think that he is anything BUT quiet.  We usually have lots of family at church though, so I assumed I would have help.  I couldn’t find a single person.  Max helped me look too.  He yelled, “where’s my family?  where’s my family?”  about 20 times.  I was getting so frustrated because Max kept running around and yelling.  Then Rio started to get fussy too!  I was about to leave when my Aunt and her kids walked down the stairs for communion.  They were sitting upstairs!!!  UGH!  She said, “I thought I heard Max!”  Omg.   So we decided to stay till the end since I had someone to help me tame my little monster.  I’ve learned my lesson.

Everyday is such a learning process.  Handling a moody two year old really takes a lot of skill.  You can’t just approach a crying two year old and say “STOP CRYING”.  You need to acknowledge why they are crying, distract them, offer options, smile, and if they are in trouble, explain to them why but keep it short and not too “scary”.   At the same time, I have to make sure I’m spending enough time with the other little human that deserves my attention but seems so content in his vibrating chair that I don’t engage him as much as I want to.  How can I with a big brother climbing on my head at the same time or climbing on the chair to “do something” as he would say.  I was talking with my cousin April who also has a newborn and we shared how we both have A LOT less patience for the 2 year old now that a newborn is here.  I have to keep reminding myself that he is still very little and to be nice.  He just seems so much older because Rio is so much smaller.

I can’t wait until the 2 kids can play with each other and Rio is old enough to….protect his own head.  Rio is growing up so fast though!  Seems faster than with Max.  I’m already missing him as a little newborn.  He’s just so sweet and loves to smile and “talk” to people.  He also loves his sleep.  THANK THE LORD.

Although I like to “vent” a lot on here….like how Max and I were up from 1:00 am to 4:00 am last night because he had a nightmare, then Rio woke up, then he was itchy, then he was hungry, so I got him water and half a banana, then he had the hiccups….what was I talking about?!?!

Oh yeah….I like to vent on my blog a lot, but I really really do feel blessed to have my boys.  Does anybody feel me on this?!  Hhaha.
I can’t wait till all my friends have kids…so they can understand.  So they’ll know why I’m always late.  So they can see how sometimes it’s difficult to “control” their own kids or how sometimes you just don’t want to damnit.  I was AMAZING with babies and kids before I had my own.  I could get them to be quiet in 2 minutes tops.  So we can have super fun play dates together.  So we can share advice and stories because there is no better way to bond women than through motherhood.


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Big brother Max


This child is too much right now. Perfect timing with having a newborn huh? He loves to “help” me clean the house and change Rio’s diapers.  Which means he spreads all the junk around after I sweep when I can’t get to the dust pan soon enough. When I’m changing Rio’s diaper he insists on getting the diaper out and then proceeds to put A&D ointment on Rio’s CLOTHES for me.  He talks back to me all the time in the same tone I’m using.  He basically repeats what I say but changes “max” to “mama”.  When i say, “stop throwing your toys max”, he’ll answer back, “stop throwing your toys mama!”  He’s so bossy right now.  He says,  “i can’t get it, you get it lolo….get it nowwww”.  He also lets us know when he doesn’t like something or when he’s mad.  “I mad mama. ”  Or “I don’t like it, take it away”.

On the flip side he’s also very sweet.  He always has been.  Lots of hugs and kisses.  He still hates to see anyone sad.  If you are sad he’ll go to you and ask “you okay?  No sad.  No sad.”  When someone says “ouch”, he’ll ask, “you okay? do you need ice?”

He runs to Rio when Rio is crying and says, “I’ll fix him! ” then pats or hugs him….or sometimes sits on him or puts toys in his face,  but at least he’s concerned, right?

This photo is one of my favorite moments of the two of them so far. Max went to hug Rio, Rio touched Max’s head, then Max said, “I luh you too, baby”. It was so sweet.

imageHe talks non-stop that he drools even more than he used to, if that’s possible.  My favorite bossy but cute thing he does right now is when he grabs my face softly and says, “listen to me mama”….then says something like, “don’t touch my toys please”.

Not only does he say all this stuff but he repeats it a million times.  Drives me nuts sometimes. This kid is terrible twos at its finest. He is almost 28 months old.He never sits still, he’s always yelling at the top of his lungs, he makes a complete mess out of everything then wants to clean it himself and screams if we don’t let him, and he thinks he’s invincible and can jump off or climb anything.  Luckily he’s never had any uncontrollable tantrums in public that last longer than a minute. I just have to keep reminding myself that this is all normal and to enjoy this stage as challenging as it may be. It’s hard, but we also laugh together all the time.

A lot of times he is a complete comedian. He literally tries to tell jokes because he loves to see people smile.

We’ve created a monster…and I love cute monsters.


He’s already such a great kuya (Big brother).

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Baby Rio

Rio is such a sweet baby.  He smiles almost every single time he’s asleep and sometimes he even laughs in his sleep!  Every time I look at him or hold him I fall more in love.  He’s also so patient.  I’m sorry to admit that he waits around a little longer than he should because we are so preoccupied with such a loud and demanding 2 year old big brother.  Big brother Max has welcomed Rio with open arms.  He’s only said, “just mama, no baby!” twice, he’s only sat on him once,  and the only time he gets mad at Rio directly is when he thinks Rio is trying to take Tigger away from him.  So far he sleeps well.  At night he sleeps for a length of 4 hours, then 3 hours, and then 2 hours.  I’m still sleeping with Max in his room and Rio sleeps in the master with Nick.  I just bed hop back and forth all night and to be honest, I don’t mind.  Of course there are still those moments where I’m thinking, “UGHHHH, go the F to sleeeeeeep!!!” – to Max, not Rio.  LOL.  Rio is too sweet for me to think that towards him.  Ha.

I can’t believe Rio will be 2 months in just a few short days!  The 4 of us are so happy together.  I keep thinking of the day when we’ll take the boys to Disneyland and how much fun we’ll have!

Day to day life has been okay.   Not gonna sugar coat this…having 2 kids is tough!  Someone always needs something.  My dad has been coming over a lot to help out since he is currently unemployed.  My parents have been amazing and have helped us so much to adjust to having a newborn and a toddler.  Nick’s parents are older and live further away, but I know Nick’s mom would be here at the drop of a dime if we asked.  Which reminds me, we need to visit them soon.

We are so blessed and so thankful for everything.

One of our favorite photos from Rio’s 1 month old photoshoot.


rio 120 basket

Photo by Daisius Photography


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