If you follow my blog, you will be wondering when will all the birthdays end, since we´ve been celebrating since November Gabriel´s (Nov 10), mine (Dec 2), my dad´s (Dec 18), Emiliana´s (Dec 26), my mom´s (Jan 25), Alessia´s (jan 31) and February 19 we´ll close the cycle with Arianna! And of course we have Christmas in the middle, so by Ari´s birthday we are all kinda like with a hang over.... haha
Anyways, Ale will be 12 tomorrow! My baby, the one that made me a mom, my little artist, the one I held for hours on end, the one that didn´t sleep through the night until she was about 2, the one that cried the most, the one with the tantrums but the happiest baby alive, my baby... the one that taught me that life was nowhere close to what I thought it was until she was born. The one that made me see the colors of the sky again, all the beautiful flowers that crossed our path each day and that I had stop seeing a long time ago, the one that made me see how beautiful life can be in every tiny little detail, the one that awoke my sense of wonder again.
Is Ale´s birthday tomorrow, and my birthday as a mom! We have learned together, I have failed at times and she has forgiven me with wanting eyes, arms wide open and a head full of hair for me to caress. She taught me to laugh my head off, or just sit silent immerse in my own thoughts, she taught me to be patient, to keep my cool, she taught me to see the colors in my own garden, Ale showed me how to be generous at heart... she taught me how to be a mom!
So tomorrow, I´ll miss my baby girl because as hard as I try to stop the clock, time goes by and quickly, and all I can do is watch my baby blossom into the most stunning of flowers, into a big girl, into the daughter I have dreamed of, and painted through out all these 12 years. We are beginning a new road again, parenting has again become something new to me again, we are learning again how to walk this new path of teenage years where I don´t always know if you are listening, where am not the idol, or the coolest, or the funnest... but then comes the night and you still hop into our bed, and curl up underneath the blankets with me and I know that no matter how old you are, you will always be my baby... my very first one!
Happy birthday mi Alessita bonita.... te amo de aqui hasta el cielo y mas alla! te amo te amo te amo!
Being a mom can be overwhelming at times, it can drain you and leave you as tired as if you had ran a marathon, but we sometimes need to pick ourselves up and make time for some adult fun! It is painful to leave the kids behind but once you are out of the house you never regret it and always come back renewed and with more energy to tackle life!
And because a little help to get out of the house doesn´t hurt, I decided to accept Rukkus a cheap ticket site, invitation to team up with them to get you some free tickets, $250 worth in free concert, sports, and theater tickets!
Last week, Rukkus, reached out to me and asked if I wanted to team up to offer you $250 in free concert, sports, and theater tickets. Since I had never heard of them, I checked out their site and was not only impressed with how easy it is to buy tickets, but also their great prices (apparently they search the entire internet and their network of brokers to get such low prices). Essentially they’re cutting out the middle man which is why they’re able to undercut sites like StubHub.
Anyway, here´s how to enter:
This past Sunday was my mom´s birthday, she turned beautiful 71 years old!!! I have been thinking what I wanted to write in this post... and to tell you the truth I have been a little overwhelmed by feelings and emotions lately, so that I didn´t want this post to be overly sentimental. My mom... there is no way I can get the cliche out of the phrase ¨my mom is the best in the whole world¨ because to me is not a cliche, it is the absolute truth! Of the things I love most about her is how she raised us to be strong women, women capable of loving and being loved, women who think can conquer the world from wherever they are standing. She taught us by example to see beauty anywhere, she taught us to bloom! My mom is an example of generosity, happiness, selfishness, love, compassion, understanding.... I love how she is able to love without judging and without expecting really nothing in return. Well anyways.... that is my mom... the best one!
And then, my mom is the best grandma ever... the cool thing is that she doesn´t do the typical grandma stuff with her kids, she is just her plain beautiful self, and her grandchildren no matter how young they are, know it! Here is a letter that my niece Thelma wrote to her for her birthday (I translated it the best I could trying to keep it as real as the one in Spanish). I think that after this I need to say no more! Happy birthday mom! I am so happy to be your daughter!
Here is the letter:
Happy birthday! Hope you have a wonderful and fun day... enjoy!!!! Today is the most special day of all! I think of you every time I think of good things, you are an example to follow, you are good to everyone, you help everyone as if it was a gift you were receiving, you put everyone before yourself all the time. I want you to know that every January 25th I think of you every second of the day. You are everything to me, you are my role model, you are the one that inspires me to be a better person. You are beautiful, spectacular, on the inside and on the outside. Every time I am going to do something good or bad, I think first what you would say, you always give good advise to everyone and specially to me. Thank you so much for helping me in everything, and for being good to me in good times and in bad times.
I also want you to know that on January 25th, 1944, I was a little angel in heaven, and as an angel I was so happy to see that such a beautiful person had been born, and right then I decided that I wanted to be your oldest grand daughter. Beautiful Abi I wish you the best! Today is your day ,and my only wish is that we get to enjoy many more birthdays and that when I grow old I want to be as beautiful as you, I want to help the world following your example.
You are my all, my daily inspiration, and the one that makes me smile every time I feel blue. You are like the last diamond on earth, so special and unique. To sum it up.. I love you with unexplainable frenzy, and I wish you the best!
Happy birthday Abi!
and of course you know we couldn´t sing happy birthday just once!
aaawwww she is so cute.... let me steal a kiss!!!
Yesterday afternoon my cousin Gise gave birth to her first baby... Our family is very close, and I think that when people that love each other are apart, their connection gets even stronger. So if you add to that five latin women, with cellphones, facetime, whattsapp and the best to be grandma armed with an iphone and flooded with love... you can only imagine the feelings we shared throughout all of Matteo´s delivery. This day I know will be forever embedded in our hearts, we were a tribe before, but our tribe just got stronger!
I would like to share with you a ¨letter¨ I wrote to Gise hours before her delivery.
My dear Gise,
I am dying to be there with you today, the most important day of your life, so far and for the rest of your life! In a few hours you will be a mom, you will finally know what love really is, today everything will make sense, and a lot of things will stop making sense too... and life as you know it will be no more. You might think you know what love is, you might think you have life figured out by now, but guess what... you are in for the surprise of your life! Just wait until you see those two little black eyes (I am assuming they will be black) looking back up at you. Looking at you like no one has ever looked at you, looking at your soul, looking at your heart, changing your life forever. Life will happen today, and you mi Gise will be there to make it happen!
Be a happy mom, be a cool one, don´t be afraid to sometimes not have it together, don´t be afraid to cry with him... for this will make him strong. Cherish every single second of your baby´s life, kiss him a million times a day, and rediscover life and the world with him. Don´t worry too much about teaching him beacuse you will everyday, but worry more about being there to learn what your son will teach you along the way!
Enjoy the ride mi Gise! Love you like crazy....
The moment each of my girls arrived in this world is forever tattooed in my soul. Their first cry, their eyes looking at me, how beautiful, and tiny, and perfect Ale was, how Emi stopped crying once I held her and sang to her, the way she smelled and how it stayed imprinted in me, and Ari... her crying that lasted forever with me crying with her as love invaded me harder than ever, and the realization that this baby was not in my imagination , that she was as real as she could be... that I had just had yet another baby girl.
These moments... I¨ll cherish them forever. These are the memories that have helped me through difficult times, and that make even brighter the good times. These are the moments that I have cherished more in my life, the moments that peace me out in any moment of stress. These are the moments that changed my life forever.
I don´t know if it is right or not, but motherhood defines me. Being a mother has been the greatest gift I have received from God and the one thing that has made my life complete. Maybe that´s why seeing someone I love bringing life into this world absolutely touches me so very deep... Oh, I would give the world to relive those three amazing days again!
Happy Birhday Matteo! I will always love you my beautiful baby boy!
Last december 22nd, was a very special day for me... I had been planning along with my mom, my sister Lilena and my aunt Manela a visit to an ´orphanage¨ here in Caracas. 70 children from ages 0 to 9 live there, the majority have been taken by the government from their homes due to whatever type of abuse or neglect, very few of them are real orphans. This I think makes it even sadder because you can see the suffering and abandonment in their eyes, you can see heartache in their faces, and is hard also beacuse as they are not real orphans their future a lot of the time means going back to the same family they were taken away from. The place is privately funded and is really very nice. Children live in a villas with 10 other children plus two ¨aunts¨ who take care of them and the villa as a home.
The preparation for this day is one of the things we enjoy the most. First we have to get some financial help from friends and family.... this part is not the best, since asking for money is not always an enjoyable task, but then you get the chance to create some awareness which I think is part of helping this kids, and then the prepping of the party and wrapping the toys, and anticipating making children´s happy for a day is always the fun part.
We hired a magician to entertain the kids, took some paper crafts to make with them, baked some cakes to take, made sandwiches, and jello... candies, and chips. The times I have done this type of social work, I always arrive with very high spirits, but then is like if a truck of sadness and helplessness hits me head on. I see some very happy kids, then I see and start imagining all the suffering that this children surely have been through and all the suffering that is sure to come too. The children that have been there a while look very happy, but then you see the ones that have just arrived, and your heart just aches... even physically. And then I start thinking that what am doing is just too little and will not change reality but for only a few hours before the magic fades.
After this visit to Fundana, I cried, I cried, and I cried. I couldn´t get myself to write a post about it, it felt kind of senseless, a little selfish. But I couldn´t forget the faces of the children, I couldn´t forget the baby that didn´t want me to put her down, I cried for the two siblings that had just arrived and were clinging to each other, I cried when I remembered some terrible stories that the ¨aunts¨ told me, I cried thinking that we were not able to help at all, and all we were doing was crying in silence, unable to change anything for any child. I even started thinking that maybe it was selfish of myself, and that I had gone to Fundana only to lessen my guilt and teach my children compassion and to show them a piece of reality.
Last night, I stumbled upon the Pope´s homily in the Philippines. "Only when we are able to cry are we able to come close to responding to your question," Pope Francis said. "There are some realities that you can only see through eyes that are cleansed by tears." "We need to ask ourselves, have we learned how to weep, how to cry, for somebody left to one side, for someone who has a drug problem?" And then.... is like another truck hit me again... That day I cried, I wept, I felt, my mom cried I know, so did my sister, Alessia and Emiliana saw me crying.... and maybe they learned to be compassionate, maybe we touched one life, one heart, maybe these tears will move us to do something more. Maybe it was not all a waste of time.
I heard hopeless, helpless, and uncomfortable stories of children living in Fundana. Stories that made me cry and want to avoid them altogether, but that some other people faced with courage, and sacrifice, and saw as an opportunity to help, to make this world a better place.
So, this is a story of a day that started up with tears, but that maybe ended up with hope, and action for a better tomorrow, for a better world... for a smile to last forever on a child´s face...
I think most of us spend our time trying to be extraordinary, to be out of this world awesome, to do something so amazing that we get praised by society... or the people around us. But then I see that little things as feeding your children, holding your child, listening to a friend, petting an animal, helping a stranger, cooking a meal... things that require nothing more than basic skills but do require someone willing to do them, and that often go by unnoticed, are the things that change lives, sometimes little by little... sometimes all at once.
I remember some years ago my youngest sister was visiting us from Rome, and after getting her up to date with things around here, my life, the girls, Gabriel, my stepsons who at the time were living with us... she asked me how I was doing, and I said ¨well I have been telling you all afternoon that, I don´t understand the question... ¨ then she repeated... ¨Caro, I just want to know how YOU are doing...¨ and then, I burst into tears. I remember that she asked me then why was I crying... I just told her ¨just happy that you are asking... am fine, am actually doing great... is just that I think nobody really asks that sincerely anymore... and maybe I needed someone to care today¨ What I mean is that sometimes, we don´t stop to really ¨be¨ and care for someone. We just go by not noticing people in our thrive to live big.
I also remember last year in our summer vacation in Disney, it was the end of the day, we were all hot, but happy, Ari was not as happy as she was crying in her stroller as we were walking our way to another attraction. I wasn´t really having a bad moment, nor was Ari´s crying tormenting me... but maybe it didn´t look that way to people pasing by. Out of nowhere, this lady came up to me and put her arm around my shoulder and as she walked by me she said ¨mom, you are doing a good job¨ when she said that it kind of freaked me out since I didn´t know this lady or why she was being nice to me. So I said thank you and sped my pace, but she again said.. ¨really mom, you are doing a great job! you are beautiful , you have a beautiful family and you are doing an excellent job! keep it up and never forget that!¨ I then turned and thanked her, really thanked her. She smiled and walked away to be with her family. I will never forget her, don´t know her name, nor do I remember her face... but I will always remember how she made me feel.
What I am saying is that if you are lucky enough to feel abundance of love, to be aware of the goodness around you, if you are thankful for being alive, for family, love, for life... make something beautiful of it, use it and share it. I pray to God every single day that I am able to always be aware of the virtues that I have, of the love for my daughters and my family, for the vulnerability that I sometimes feel for a stranger´s suffering. The interest I have in other people´s stories.... Let me make something good out of it, let me give back to the world, let me share my life in a useful and meaningful way.
I think am in heaven!!!! I have been longing so badly for time in front of this computer, with a blank post to write, and feelings to relive and feel. On Christmas afternoon with our bags packed and happy children with their imagination and innocence more alive than in any other day of the year, we left for Florida to spend the rest of 2014 with two of Gabriel´s sisters, their families, and his mom.
I love traveling, love the feeling of new sights, new foods, and just the change in routine makes me happy! Of course Florida almost doesn´t count as new since we often go to visit, but still is so different from Caracas that all of us fully and deeply enjoy it! That, and seeing how happy the girls are with their grown up cousins, and their aunts and uncles just makes us always want to go back again and again!
On January third we boarded the Liberty of the Seas for a five day cruise to the Caribbean! Ale and Emi had their own cabin next to ours (of course) and experience a little independence which made them feel as grown up and responsible as can be. We enjoyed our balcony and a little independence too (just a little.... since Ari found that going back and forth from one room to the other through our joined balconies was super super fun!), the best about this cruise for me.... late afternoon sitting at the balcony, salty air, the sound of the sea, a beautiful sunset and coffee and cookies to just make it even better! But the best of the best.... sitting at the beach... whatever beach... and looking at all my three sun kissed girls, just looking at them, and going back and forth from the day they were born to a future that I am right there imagining as a story book... that for me is paradise.
Then of course... as life, vacations are not ¨perfect¨, there are also loud moments, a thousand ¨hurry up we are going to miss breakfast¨, some fighting and bickering, super messy rooms, TV always on Disney Channel, Ari not wanting to wear shoes ever.... and never wearing them, a lot of crying and visiting diaper changing stations, us falling asleep before the girls, me never eating a meal without Ari on my lap, but when you balance the good moments like sun kissed cheeks, the togetherness that gets stronger after sharing every single minute of the day, Ari´s curls even curlier at the sea, a cup of coffee in the afternoon, the excitement of a new summer dress, learning that not doing what you want all the time can also make you happy... You know that real is good, that family beats it all, and that love conquers all.
Can you imagine how many times I have kissed this little face???
And then, if you ask me when do I love my husband the most?!?!? I would easily answer that in moments when I see this.... I fall in love again!
As I always tell my girls... open your eyes, pay attention, life is happening and you have to o pay attention. Be curious and do things, don´t let anything keep you from living! Be brave, conquer your fears, try new things! but it all starts with opening your eyes!
Happy 2015! L I V E !!!
Hi! my name is Carolina Perisse de Rico, I am a stay at home architect with the biggest project ever... my girls! The oldest is 13, then I have an 11 year old, and now I am starting again with our three year old happiest toddler ever. Glad you are here, hope you stay a while!
Am now a member of Communal Global!!!