Having a daughter

Mark Walter and I have been talking lately about how we never imagined this having daughter thing could be so wonderful. She is a light in our home and life, she bubbles up enthusiasm, silliness and wits. We just didn't expect this sort of surprise. Now, please don't get me wrong, the demands are also high. Girls have more emotions to tend to, and at an early age their fashion needs are to be met. Plus, they tend to have a mind of their own and know very well what they want. 

Our little girl has an incredibly nurturing nature, she's already talking about protecting her family! Don't mess around with her loved ones because she will get you. I will never forget when we moved to our apartment in Brooklyn and everything was new, new school, new friends and such. There was a particular boy in Mark Jacinto's school who was very mean to him. One afternoon, after picking him up from school, Dominika witnessed the boy being mean to her brother. She immediately took Mark Jacinto's hand, spoke loudly and clear to the mean boy to leave her brother alone, and took her brother to another place. She said: "Let's go Jacinto!" all the while giving a stern look to the mean boy. 

I don't know what the Lord's plans are for this princess of mine, but her fierce love for her family is shinning through already. We love our little girl, her little body disguises the incredible strength of your heart.

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Happy 3RD Birthday to our beloved daughter. We are very grateful with God for you. 

Brooklyn Children's Museum

Hi!

This week we made it to the Brooklyn Children's Museum, so excited to have shared that with Mark Jacinto since last time I was there, he was at school. My awesome friend Nora, (my respects to that sister who I consider her to be a great mother), gave us our first introduction to this amazing museum!

After lunch and some much needed apartment cleaning, we headed to our museum adventure. You have no idea how much I'm enjoying this summer with them! We are getting to have leisured breakfasts ( my favorites) and have a wonder approach to what we do each day. We do have a certain level of structure but given that it is summer, we are doing things in a more relaxed manner. We are starting to get free from the stroller as well, taking little steps of freedom each day. 

As we arrived to the museum, Mark Jacinto spotted giant and colorful paper flowers at the museum's entrance. He was fascinated since he says that he loves art and wants to be a "game artist" when he grows up. Miss Dominika went a step further and asked to take them home, haha.

As soon as we entered, I saw the glow in their eyes. I knew it would be a fun time. But first, a potty break. 

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We have only explored the lower levels of this museum, because it has that much to offer. Below is the sensory room in which they let groups of people for a set time and no shoes allowed policy.

The kids got to jump on top of a giant bean bag over and over again at the sensory room, can they make this for adults please!?

Learning about insects and plants.

The museum also has a nice area to eat. You can eat at their indoors"food truck" or bring your own. 

Learning about dough, and the steps to make bread. 

One of my favorite things at the museum was their around the world markets and areas were the pretend play is at full bloom. They could have stayed there for hours. I specially enjoyed seeing older kids enjoy themselves and working together for the greater purpose of the grocery store.  

 I heard things like" I'll take the register, you please answer the phone!" "I have a customer waiting". I love that.

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Our second favorite was the pizza place were they got to make pizzas, eat gelato. I got into the role and started answering the phone and saying: " No, sir, sorry for the delay we'll get you a refund immediately" I guess I liked it that much. 

I think what I'm understanding about this pretend play childhood thing is that sometimes as adults we stop using our imaginations and that is quite sad. Our imaginations are powerful agents of change, and if we just live in the practical and pragmatic 24/7 then we are robbing ourselves of a much richer life experience. 

Because yes, we must be doers and be active participants of our beliefs, but the permission to imagine of what could be and is not, is just too good to pass.

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After much play and me starting to actually believe we were in a pizza place, the time when the museum was closing came up. Kids were sad.

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We headed to the gift shop to let each child pick something they like. And what was the result? Dominika picking up a herd of stuffed animals;-) Needless to say, she had to pick one.

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Mark Jacinto has been talking about pizza for the last couple of days so we decided visit our local pizza place.

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I love that as such tender age Dominika enjoys flowers and stops to smell them and touch them, admire their color and comment on their beauty. I pray my children's eyes are trained to always seek the beauty and goodness of all living things even if at times may seem very difficult to do.

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And to seal the day with fun, we went to our local coffee shop for an iced dirty chai and heart cookies.

Au revoir!

Our visit to Toca Boca!

It all started in San Francisco. Every time that we passed by the Toca Boca office on Folsom street, Mark and Dominika will sing the intro song Toca Boca!!! They specifically requested to go visit their cool office. Toca Boca is a company that makes awesome apps and media for children, fostering creativity and imagination. 

So a mother had to do what a mother had to do. I contacted them not really expecting a reply. Before I knew it, my children's enthusiasm got their attention because they invited us over to their offices. I was so excited since I knew what it would mean for them, and who am I kidding for me too! ( I love visiting software companies!). Anyways, the week that we exchanged emails, happened to be the week before we were moving to New York. Yes, sometimes I'm a bit crazy. The day our visit was arranged, happened to be the day that we were flying to our new home, so I told them I was moving to New York City. They said, "oh that's no problem we have offices in Brooklyn!". I said: "Awesome, lets meet!"

Mark Jacinto started school and loving his neighborhood and one day I picked him up at school saying: "I've got a surprise for you!". He is my son so he loves surprises as much as I do. When I mentioned Toca Boca, the kid's face lighted up with a huge smile. 

It took me a while to find the place, but when we did, I felt butterflies in my stomach. I'm so silly sometimes!! 

As we say in Spanish "sin más preámbulo" here are some photos:

They celebrated 5 years as a company!

Excited kids^.^

Choosing their favorite characters.

Dominika having fun around the office.

These kids were in heavenlandia, apps, ipads and kids toys. To be honest, we don't use a lot of apps and electronics but when we fly, doctors appointments and situations of that nature come by, apps are life savers.

John was super nice with the kids as well as the staff, I thought it was so sweet of them to ask the kids' opinions regarding their products and future projects. Is kind of how they ask kids to design and ask for what they want in a playground nowadays, is the same concept. They are humans too, with less experience and at a different cognitive level but deserving of respect and dignity. Is the "for us by us" kind of philosophy I totally support!!

The kids got stickers and non-permanent tattoos and I got an amazon gift card card! Thank you Toca Boca!!!

On the way out, by the gorgeous Manhattan Bridge.

When I took this picture, I couldn't help but notice how fast time is flying.We had pizza for dinner and on our way out of the restaurant a beautiful lady opens the door and Mark looked super surprised and  whispered to me: "Mom, she's the cutest thing I have ever seen!! She's the cutest, mom!!!" 

This is the same kid that wants to "marry a girl and have a family" I love this kids so very much. His heart is a constant reminder to me of being present and grateful for life. He loves and cares for people so much.

They are such a great team already<3

Thanks to Toca Boca for the wonderful experience, it was one to remember!!

Life in New York lately

Hi there!  

I hope you have been enjoying this crazy amazing Spring weather(yep, I started this blogpost last week). I have been wanting to share bits and pieces of our new life here in New York, but quite frankly I have not been very motivated to do so. My heart and mind have been completely focus on one general purpose: Set up home, making a life here and that includes places, spaces and relationships. 

My heart's desire has been for us as a family to feel happy and comfortable in our new New York! I'm glad to report that we have been enjoying ourselves here, we absolutely love our neighborhood and are extremely grateful for the opportunity to live here. New York, you are my dream city.

We have discovered the public library and the wonderful programs that they have available at our local branch. 

We have...

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Taken a few trips to Chipotle because its such a familiar thing for them and stems back from our Ohio days.

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We have gotten to explore our beautiful neighborhood on a daily basis. This Spring flowers all over the brownstones in my neighborhood are just insane, they seriously brighten my day and make me so happy to be here. Ah, how I love color!!!

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And of course, crafts. I'm making a habit of hanging their creations on display somewhere visible in the house. Their ceramic butterflies are now embellishing the plant area in the back and Dominika loves pointing out its her art work right there, too cute!

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At this particular place, Dominika asked for mami to take a photo. She wanted one with "Jacinto". This girl, I'll tell you. She loves deeply.

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We have had several playdates by now with new friends. I know this makes the kids happy at a deep level. Mark and Dominika are both extroverted children and love having friends over or going to people's houses to play. Our very first playdate was the second week we moved here! My friend Kathryn invited us over a few days after we met, she is such a sweetheart.

More beauty!

More beauty!

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With his friend Reese playing this awesome game that actually makes you think hard and problem solve, I love it! Mark Jacinto, Dominika and I started swimming at the gym. I honestly didn't expect to like it that much but its such a wonderful bonding experience with them. 

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Ever since I told him that singing to the plants "helps them grow", he has been singing to them everyday!! Well, I guess there was truth to that because they are now quite grown. I can instagram their progress some time.

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These silly kiddos! on our way to the playground to meet with nuevos amigos. They bring so much joy to my life.

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Walking the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time was fantastic!

Tapas date night in Midtown with my sweety. Can't wait to explore more with him.

Tapas date night in Midtown with my sweety. Can't wait to explore more with him.

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There is one of many qualities that I find irresistible about my girl.. She has an uncanny ability to find common ground with people in her own unique way. She loves Ethan and Ethan likes her, yet they are generations apart. This keps happening quite often lately.

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Oh, when my Mark Jacinto got that soccer medal! I would never forget the expression on his face.

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Sometimes Dominika and I go on dates and love to start our day with an egg and cheese croissant. One of many things we share in common;)

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Friendship have no limits when it comes to age. Dominika's friend Vico and her clicked right from the beginning. They met at the playground and one day Vico brought her a cute gift. At night night time, Dominika prays for her friend Vico. She seriously melts my heart.

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Mark Jacinto learned about Earth day and he has been taking his role to take care of the earth quite seriously. 

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Mark Jacinto is in this new season of life were he thoroughly enjoys games, especially Monopoly. The other day we took over three hours to finish it. Apparently there is a junior Monopoly which I'm curious to see how that goes. 

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One of my favorite meals to make at home lately! Baked tilapia (forgot the capers that time), brown rice and delicious brussel sprouts!

One of my favorite meals to make at home lately! Baked tilapia (forgot the capers that time), brown rice and delicious brussel sprouts!

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Excited about our new grinder and drip coffee cup. On weekends, I love to get a cup of joe right after I rise. Dominika is loving toddler class and has met a cute little friend she affectionately calls "sister".

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Our library nearby has really great classes we are grateful for. On rainy days, our local library has been our go to.

Decorating and crafting.

Decorating and crafting.

Cheeky girl oyu.

Cheeky girl oyu.

Yes, we kind of like them a little much;-)

Yes, we kind of like them a little much;-)

Learning Chess!

Learning Chess!

We like to bake our cake and eat it too;)

We like to bake our cake and eat it too;)

Shake shack after shopping with Minnie.

Shake shack after shopping with Minnie.

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So yeah, its been almost 2 months since we moved!! Can you believe that?! This place feels very much like home to us now. Thanks for tuning in to our glimpses of everyday life. 

Stay tune for more..

Chelsea: Highline + Market

Hi!

Meanwhile some family members played a new card game, I decided to write this post. Going to Chelsea for the first time and walking along the Highline was pretty special. Last time I visited New York City ,I was five months pregnant with Mark Jacinto. It's amazing how fast time goes!

Dominika fell asleep as soon as we got to the Highline, so Mark Jacinto and I got to have a little bit of a date. We had fun snapping pictures of anything and everything such as wall murals, buildings, leaves, flowers and people.

It was an amazing feeling to visit the Highline for the first time with my two children and just getting to explore and enjoy it. Pictures below.

My giggly guy

He was specially charming that day^.^ 

Is never a dull day with my kids.

Ok, so Mark Jacinto plays director sometimes and he had fun telling me what poses to make( like the one above). He literally says: " Mom, do like this( while showing me the pose)".

He, for some reason, enjoyed taking pictures of me and giggled like crazy throughout the process. 

Right before this, he got a haircut by a guy that was warm and generous enough to give him a puppet ring. How cute is that! 

A chopped head picture proof my son's amateur but delightful efforts. 

She was out. ZZzz..

The place was so beautiful. A landscape, a beautiful cross between the urban and natural. The new buildings that surround the Chelsea Highline add to the overall beauty and uniqueness of this place.

Where are you heading my darling?

The afternoon sun had started to say good bye and it was time for a snack anyway, so with a heart full we headed to the Chelsea Market.

The Venezuelan woman that attended L'Arte del gelato was a true sweetheart. Marky ended up picking a strawberry ice cream which I think is so cute that that's his favorite ice cream flavor^.^

Dominika picked the raspberry one and I a ice cream flavor that started with S and that tasted like a cross between tiramisu, butter pecan and chocolate; a delight for the senses!

Dominika is a girl after my own heart. She loves flowers, pearls, accesories, lipstick and all things girly. Naturally she headed to the flower shop.

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I have heard so much about Sarabeth's from other New Yorkers that i had to try it. Let's just say that the experience wasn't extraordinary.

My favorite part probably was their bookstore. An wonderful selection of books, in particular children's books. We were there about an hour plus, the kids couldn't get enough! 

We ended up buying some really cute and unique toys for our cousins, until my husband came to see us.

Ay mi niña! She cracks me up sometimes with her personality. Full of zest, full 0f cheekiness, full of zeal.

We four headed out to Artichoke's Basille Pizza, seriously good and highly recommended for Chelsea visitors. 

My boys<3

The place was lovely and with a wonderful view of the Highline. I think Chelsea is now among my top 5 favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan.

See you soon!

A pumpkin patch in the city!

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul
— Proverbs 27:9

Hello amigos!

I just came from an awesome date my husband and I had tonight, mouth watering duck and sea bass dinner, great conversations while watering the plant of our marriage. Her name is Lolita; she was named over ten years ago when we started dating. 

Today, more than I have felt in a while, I feel very blessed to build sweet friendships and lasting relationships with really great people. While we don't have family living in San Francisco, we have wonderful friends that have become like family, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers.

I'm giddy to share a little outing we had with some great mama friends and their cubs. 

The gang.

He was so excited to find different looking pumpkins.

It was Friday afternoon, the goal was to enjoy time at the pumpkin patch, grab some pumpkins and then go for pizza on Irving street. It was my friend Lidia and her girl's first time experiencing a pumkin patch; they loved it! 

Beautiful amigas<3.

The kids spent  significant  time grabbing, grouping, categorizing and organizing pumpkins according to size and color, while giving us mamas a chance to talk and catch up. I find that nature always allows for this sort of break because the kids always end up inventing their own games with the "natural toys" available. As a results, mothers become observers and kids explore their environment in a very engaged manner. There a camping trips and nature walks in the near future for the Kropf family.

Pumpkin nirvana!

I love these kiddos<2

I was so excited to find out there is a pumpkin patch in the city! I mean, it is quite the accomplishment for Clancy's Pumpkin Patch to achieve this sort of thing. They offered hay rides and pony rides. The staff was really nice and attentive as well.

What are you sayin'...?

Look at Emma's face...priceless, haha.

Pumpkinssss!

On a mission

She fell in love with that rabbit( part of the patch decor).

There were carts available so the kids could push their own pumkins but instead they decided to carry each other, except miss Dominika wanted to carry her baby bunny everywhere. It was hard for her to leave Mr. Bunny there.

Playing hide and seek.

Dominika is such a nurturer<3

Lidia and her girl

Nuestras amigas lindas<3

We did the hay ride and the kids had a blast. When we got home there was hay everywhere, in their tummies, in their armpits in their..

Hey,  ride!

The start of the hay ride.

After the hay ride, we decided it was time to go have dinner on Irving street. Emma's mom always has great suggestions for food. She recommended Park Chow so we all met there. Park Chow is a very family friendly restaurant. Due to the size of our party, we ended up going to the second floor which had a delightful atmosphere. If you  are in San Francisco and hungry while strolling your family at Golden Gate park, I highly recommend this restaurant.

Emma feeding Mark Jacinto; a very functional relationship;-)

We had a great time with our friends, specially Mark Jacinto, who after having dinner suggested Emma fed him too;-)

These kids, I'll tell ya...

Till next time.

My Kid's Report: End of Summer 2015

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.
— Internet anonymous

I haven't done a kid's report in a while. I love doing these reports because I know I will love to read them looking back. In many ways, my blog is a homage to my family, and it will be there when they would like to read about their childhood. I cherish good memories, I think those are the snapshots of life to keep. 

We went up to the roof a couple of weeks ago to play and check out the growing herbs and kale at the little garden and took the camera with me to snap some pics. Summer was very beautiful but also very exhausting. Since I knew kindergarten was on the horizon, I wanted to really enjoy it to it's fullest with my littles. We were out and about pretty much everyday and painted a lot! We developed some close friendships and got to explore a bit more of this gorgeous city.

Towards the end of August, Mark Jacinto started Transitional Kindergarten, and my heart was broken. It took me quite a while to recover, going through the process and digestion of what it means to have a kindergartener now. Kindergarten requires longer hours than preschool, so bedtimes gotta be earlier as well, in order to allow the child enough sleep. It's quite foundational for children to sleep well. All this was, in many ways, life style altering since the things that we used to do and our past routines got reconsidered. In many ways, we were forced to reform our practices, and took a while. Seeing him so happy enjoying school, his teachers and new friends, gave me a renewed sense of confidence for this new season of life though. Perhaps we don't get to spend nearly as much time together due to school, but we have found new ways to bond, new friends have been made and most of all, the gratitude and satisfaction that I feel at this past five years of life together. We had so much fun! 

This next season brings family fun in a different way for us, and I'm embracing it. Dominika and I surprised him by showing up at a field trip the other day and he was so excited to see us! It was endearing to see him so engaged with his teachers and peers ^.^ On the other hand, I'm  thrilled to be spending more girl time with my sweety Dominika and getting to know her deeper. There are so many things to do with a girl! =-) I'll write more in depth about that in future posts. But for now, some pictures below if you'll like to see.

Mark Jacinto:

  • While in a crowded restaurant Mark Walter was trying to have a conversation with his son who seemed to be distracted. Dad: "Mark Jacinto what do you think of ... " Son: "Dad, please no more questions, I'm watching the peoples".
  • For the longest time every night before bed, Mark Jacinto would point at his belly and say: " Falta, mom. Falta" ( falta in spanish means missing, in other words he was telling me his belly was ready for more food, haha.)
  • "Mom, I want to meet Jesus"
  • We were walking in the street and I didn't realize there was a homeless person sleeping on the floor so my stroller almost touched the person's feet. Mark Jacinto was severely concern saying: " be careful mom, be careful ok? you could have hurt her, she was sleeping!"
  • If he's not feeling like eating a certain food, he will say: Not today mom, I don't have to eat it today. I ate it last year" haha. 
  • This past summer my husband has been traveling weekly, so I made it a little goal to go out everyday and explore together and spend the day out with friends. By the time we would get home in the evening, he would say " so mom, what are we doing next"? and every morning he would ask: " who are we gonna see today, mom" This kid, he energy is fantastic.
  • He started hugging me by surprise from the back, wrapping his arms around my neck and saying "I love, you". I don't know if he understands the wonderful effect his love has on me. Mood enhancer!
  • "Hey mama, c'mon it's story time!" "Sit with me" ( he is so inclusive, haha) 

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Dominika Gabriela:

  • She gives sporadic singing concerts throughout the day, specially after experiencing a great meal or when doing puzzles or playing with her farm animals. ( One of these days, she'll let me film her singing!)
  • She gives the best girl hugs ever!
  • It's so cute how she looks up to her brother, although already displays strong convictions/preferences about things.
  • Cintooooo!  ( last two syllables of his middle name). I love how she nicknamed her brother. I couldn't have thought of a better nickname!
  • She has such a  dancer's spirit,  her hip movements don't lie. 
  • ABC's is her favorite song to sing followed by twinkle, twinkle little star.
  • She's a daring and adventurous eater, loves sucking on lemon wedges and sipping tea, hehe. Hey, it is supposed to balance the ph in your tummy, right?
  • She prays already for the people she loves, at night night she always makes sure to mention her aunt Taty and her "big sister Emma" ( I don't teach her this stuff you guys)
  • She is such a caring little person already and always wants to make sure that everyone is doing ok, if not, she hugs them and says " it'll be ok, it'll be ok". 
  • She absolutely loves painting, I think it soothes her in a way.
  • I love how much she loves Mark Jacinto, right after her nap first thing she asks for is her brother^.^
  • In order to discipline her, I gather all my human will together because, as she knows it, her smile and charm are enchanting to me. 

Thanks for reading!

Happy 5th birthday Mark Jacinto!!!

What can I say, our Mark Jacinto recently turned 5 and it would be a short bit before he starts ranking up the double-digit numbers on his birthday cake. I'm a big believer that birthdays are a blessing, it reminds us of our limited time here on earth and that we must make the very best of it; have fun!!

I got all teary eye of joy because his birthday was truly beautiful. We had grandma and grandpa Kropf coming to town for a few days for the sole purpose of his birthday, and dear friends came to celebrate our boy with us as well. It was a very simple celebration, some well received party staples, homemade guacamole and chips, hummus, pita chips and veggies, hot dogs, cake and  ice cream. Gary, my father in love(law) made a killer guac.

It was, as everything I seek, a very meaningful event. I was so happy and grateful for these dear people in our lives that you can tell genuinely care about our boy Mark Jacinto and we care very much for them as well. The reciprocity of love, I guess is what got me. Our Spanish friends just came from a well-deserved long vacation in Spain and we missed them so much. Absence does make the heart grow fonder!

A corky combination of flowers and Star Wars. Totally intentional, of course;-)

We got a chocolate cake from Whole Foods. Grandpa made it a point to decorate the cake with some Star Wars since that was the theme of the party and he ended up getting this super cute miniature Star Wars characters^.^

Serving, prepping.

He's the best.

I probably would have not be able to attend and talk to the guests if it wasn't for the in-loves help. We celebrated up in the roof of our building and brought some bubbles, cars, toys, basketball hoop.

Caught in the moment. Mi reina<3

Lovely neighbors!

Always in the mood for sunflowers.

Friends^.^

We had several friends that recently gave birth come to the party, so it was very meaningful that they made the effort to come. My goodness what's up with these ladies that pop up kids and they look fabulous soon after? =-)

Her face says it all, these two adore each other.

High five, dad!

For Mark Jacinto, this was paradise. The equation of his favorite people on the planet( well most of them we are missing cousins, uncles, teachers and other friends), presents plus yummy foods made up for a very merry Mark Jacinto.

With his friend Alexander.

His friend Alexander thought it was his birthday party , the kid lived every moment as if it was his own and  loved it!! His mother told me that he indeed thought it was his party and that's why he was so eager to blow the candle and open his presents, haha. The point is, he had fun! He was too tired by the time they left to realize what was truly going on, so cute haha.

Our beloved Spanish friends<3

Dominika the water drinker, you know...it helps the skin;-)

My friend Jess and Isaac=-)

We had some recently made friends come to the party but that Mark Jacinto talks about them all the time. I think there is magic in newness, of friends, of places, of everything!

Mommy and daughter.

They were pretending to be knights.

Whaaat? No way, girl. I can't believe that... ( i just made it up, I don't remember the conversation).

Maria Jose, baby Eliana and I>

Adorable!

He laughs even at battle=-)

Happy birthday to you, la la la la la la.

Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you... This was such a highlighted moment for little Mark. The birthday party was just was Mark Jacinto has been looking forward for many months. From planning what food he wanted to have, to his ever-growing bday wishlist, to his close friends and grandparents being a part of it, it was a significant moment in his young life. 

Cut that cake!

Awesome gift from the grandparents, his watch allows Mark Jacinto to take pictures and videos. It's been adorable to see what catches his eye. From flowers to animals, his interest in photography is being fostered and enabled by his grandparents.

kids were in toy paradise...for a hot 20 seconds;-)

Mark Jacinto's love for life and for people continues to inspire us, his family members and friends. I can truly say, we are blessed to have him in our lives. God bless you son. 

A little craft and life lately..

When life gives you good things it usually comes in a bunch. This coming weeks we will be hosting and meeting with family and friends. Some of them we haven't seen in a while and others it's just been a few months. Still, it's pretty cool and hope we get to be good hosts and give them a nice experience while being here. Right now my mom-in-love and sister-in-love( if you have read previous posts you will know what I mean) are here with us and the kids are beyond themselves with excitement. It melts my heart, really. I just hope that Mark Jacinto and Dominika take their leave with as much maturity and calmness as they have in the past.

Our friend from London is soon to arrive but before that I wanted to share a little craft that we have been into this week. As in our Daniel Tiger post, we have been making masks of all types and characters. This has really proven very fitting in our family and how we play. There is a lot of make believe games going around here. I love how making this masks, as simple as they are, give me a medium for my children and I to get to know each other more. As we interact and see what conversations their characters come up with, I get to understand what their inner world is like.  

For example, Mark Jacinto is getting acquainted with the emotion of anger, he talks about it through one of his villain characters and it let's me know his take on it with the way he does the dialogue and interaction. We love doing this masks!

Dominika, though an early talker, is still developing her understanding of complex emotions. But oh, does she watches her brother closely!  

My little painter<3

Peppa pig

He has never watched star wars but has an interest for it. We watched the trailers together and he was amazed!

Mask's done! Pardon the lighting, it got late.

Cheeky boy.

Have a lovely week,

Kiss

Snapshots of life lately

This week has been a blur. With my work and Mark Jacinto being on Spring Break getting things done had an extra layer of challenge; plus papi was out of town so we missed him much. In spite of that, we got to have many beautiful moments together that I would like to share with you. We visited the Children's Creativity Museum with friends a couple times. This museum is very fitting for both my littles right now, because it caters to both age groups really well. Dominika has gotten very much into playing dress up, foam blocks and using their chalk wall. Mark Jacinto loves their wood slide and animation studio. They also enjoyed their first music/story time show there.

Very much into hats.

This pic reminds me of Cinderella^.^

Last Sunday we went to see a powerful and emotionally charged Flamenco performance at Thirsty Bear, while enjoying Spanish Tapas. I like this place very much, the vibe is nice and relaxed. Our friends Krithika and Amit joined us on that ride. My mother and father in love(law) sent us the cutest Easter Box full of fun Spring/Easter goodies, not to mention cute outfits for the kids. Thank you!

Excellent flamenco show.

Papi's beer, just sayin'.

Some have beer, some wine and some drink milk. Got milk? haha.

This is so my daughter! "Mami, mami help!" ( putting it on)

Love this hearts around San Francisco.

The Palace of fine arts at the center of the pic. 

My Marky.

My girl.

Sunset! View of Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Mason area.

So excited!

"Look, mami".

Mini date, or so it felt.

Chilling. Taking it all in.

One of the items in the box were inflatable kites for the kids, and they went nuts! We had the best of times flying the kites on a bright sunny day and mother running and laughing like a lunatic across the grass field. I can unashamedly say that I can become a five year old in the beat of a heart; given the right conditions of course. Mark Jacinto ran and ran so hard to get his kite going, that by the end of it all, he laid down on the ground completely exhausted with his cheeks as red as a tomato. Dominika took a few good strides at getting her kite going, she had a blast too. 

We explored the marina neighborhood, had dinner at Squat and Gobble and did a little urban hiking through the fort mason area as you can see in the pics; the sunset was absolutely stunning. I love sunsets!

Dominika rarely takes a nap in the afternoon, but one day we played so hard that she fell asleep right before dinner. My heart has been longing for a special bonding time with Mark Jacinto. See, he will be attending kindergarden this coming Fall so I'm a bit nostalgic about the whole thing. It's not that I don't want him to grow up and experience life, that's unavoidable. It's the fact that he will be gone for a longer period of time, that he will be starting sports and lessons and that the amount of one on one bonding times that we used to have will be far less. I'm happy for him because he loves school, his friends and learning things. But also I'm a bit sad because I feel as if time is literally flying so I better squeeze every bit I can. I don't let the latter feeling overpower the fact that we have a beautiful mother and son relationship, that he is an intelligent and happy boy and that he feels very loved. 

Parenthood is such a dynamic thing isn't it? It definitely feels to me like you are juggling many balls at the same time.

We are looking forward to Easter weekend. What are your plans?

Enjoy your family

Kiss 

 

My kid's report

We went to the library hand in hand, and rented what seemed like a boat load of books in Spanish( we are a bilingual household). These past two weeks, we have gotten into a little but very significant and pleasurable habit. We have been curling up on the couch reading books, discussing and doing some basic critical thinking. It's oh, so much fun and  relaxing. The first couple of days, either Dominika or Mark Jacinto would throw a little tantrum regarding the book of choice, but as the days passed, we have gotten into a rhythm thankfully. 

It's not that we haven't read to them before, its the consistency of it during the day. We usually have read to them mostly at night. I think they are starting to get that reading is an enjoyable plus cognitively stimulating activity. Don't even get me started on how much I love cuddling/bonding with them and their funny questions. Mark Jacinto has even started giving us his own little summary of the story. Yey for simple yet impactful life altering things; one of my favorite things. You may ask life altering, why? First, because I tend to be quite dramatic in my expressions sometimes but really, it has changed the genetic makeup of our home. Dominika and Marky both have started to pick up books on their own for pleasure and really sit for themselves and 'read'. It could take sometimes good half an hour, other times they just say "libro, libro" (book) and I immediately know that they want me to read to them. The seed of love for reading has been planted, now it's my job to keep providing opportunities beyond bedtime stories and going to the library. I'm quite passionate about this topic. More on this in future posts.

Now, onto my kid's report. These kids never stop amazing me. Their little signature phrases, gestures and character traits make my life full of silly smiles.

Dominika:

  • This girl is catching up to her brother rather quickly. She knows what she likes and very clearly voices her opinion when something doesn't please her.
  • She wakes up with the coolest morning hair I have ever seen!
  • Her current most consistent question after papi goes to work is: "Mama, where's papi? " Mother: He's at work. Dominika: Whyyy?! Mother: Because he has to work, it's good to work. Dominika: Whyyy,  Mother: He is at work till he comes home ok?  Dominika: "Okeyyy".
  • She loves to shake her head from side to side like a rock star while laughing uncontrollably. No wonder why my love for Queen started when I got pregnant with her.
  • The other day...Mom: "I love you, Minnie"(we call her like that sometimes) Dominika: "Ok". (with a nonchalant attitude, hehe). 
  • Mom: " We are are getting out the door in 5 minutes" Dominika: "Yeiiiii, yeiiiii!!!" and runs to get her favorite shoes.
  • She waves and says hi to everyone(when she's not in shy mode, of course) "Hi. hiiiiiiii" 
  • Almost every time I change her diaper she sings.
  • She woke up so cranky this morning that every time I wanted to caress her, she would say "no". I figured it was because she didn't want to be disturbed. Goodness, it's way to early for that!. It's quite comical in reality because there she is, that little body of hers but such a strong energy already. 

 

Mark Jacinto:

  •  "Mom, I'm so glad to see you!" (with a big smile while looking straight into your eyes)
  • "Good morning mom, How did you sleep? Did you sleep good?" ( I don't get tire of these questions, ever)
  • He has gotten a little bossy( we are working on that) and likes to lead. If we are playing say legos, he always has instructions and communicates his vision for how the game should go. It's a natural part of his personality.
  • He is always thinking about his family members, asking about them and how they are doing. He is equally concerned for his friends. 
  • I know when he really treasures someone because he places the word my before their names. An example would be: "My Leo" or "My  grandma"
  • "I'm so happy mom!" (He started saying that since our Disney World trip=)
  • He wants to make sure everyone is always happy. If everyone is happy, he is happy. I love his heart. He's got a big one!.
  • He asks about everything, I mean everything. Why this, why that. "But, why mom?" This mama needs to take a very deep breath sometimes. 
  • He asked his dad "Why is Dominika upset?" Dad: "Don't worry Marky, she is just PMSing" Mark Jacinto: "Eeeeew!" 
  • He looks quite grown up lately, it kind of hurts to see him growing up so fast.
  • His latest thing is making sure you really get what he is communicating. He does so by asking at the end of almost every sentence "Ok, mom. Okey?"( with a firm voice)

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you'll like to share, I would like to know what are the cutest things your kiddos are doing right now? or what was the cutest thing you did as a kid? 

If you don't know, ask your parents;)

have a lovely rest of the weekend.