Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Law school widow


This is the first thing I heard when we decided law school it was and I looked online to see what to expect so to say I was slightly worried was an understatement, I was full on worried about what was waiting for me.

I knew I would not be seeing Jon as much as I was used to running a pizza store together and all but I was excited nonetheless with the prospect of my husband getting through this and us at some point being able to be somewhat financially stable and by some point I meant a long time from now but that's how things in life work. Nothing worth going for is easy a fast.

Now that I have been here for 4 months I can attest to the fact that this is not for the faint of heart and to top it all off we are doing it with a 4 year old. Honestly at times I think we are completely insane for doing this but some day I will look back and think differently and laugh, hopefully.

We are living in a HUGE city where people are not friendly. I get it trust me everyone has a life to live and is so busy with work, raising kids and what nots so making friends or hanging out with people is not that important.

I wasn't aware of the fact that most people are not crazy like us and are not married let alone have children so yeah we look pretty weird being married and having a child. Most people here are also super young like 25 and younger which makes it hard for me to relate.

This had left me feeling super lonely and a bit crazy.

Imagine being with your child 24/7 every single day for 4 months and not getting a break. Yeah that wears on you. I love my child and all but oh good Lord it is quite something. Jon and I in those 4 months have had only 2 dates and a few hours where he got to go out of our apartment with us. So I am pretty much on my own out here.

My only haven is the fact the we go down to his families on the weekends and I get to actually talk to adults and they talk back to me and care about what I have to say, if it weren't for that I would be completely insane by now.

I think I was spoiled in my little Utah bubble that I had created and I know that it took me a long time to create so that could happen here but I had my family close by, my cousin who is also my best friend just a few minutes away. I had really good friends just a few blocks away and good neighbors that liked me and talked to me. If I was ever in need of anything I just send a text and within minutes someone was at my house, I miss that so much.

I miss Bentley having friends to play with on a weekly sometimes daily basis, I miss my mom coming over to clean and cook for me, I miss getting hugs from her, I miss my brothers coming over all the time for me to feed them or for a chat or to sleep over and play with Bentley, I miss knowing where everything is, I kinda miss hearing the cows and dogs barking at night, I just really miss a lot but that is no longer my life and so I need to move on but some days are hard being out here on our own with no one to talk to.

The hardest part of law school so far has been feeling lonely.

Well with that said I am hoping next semester will improve for Bentley and I. Maybe by the grace of God we can find some friends here or something.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The people of Los Angeles

Honestly I have never met such unfriendly people.

Don't get me wrong I have found some friendly people who will talk to me but for the most part people are not friendly.

In Utah if I was out and I smiled at a mom they normally would try to make small talk, not here. They look at you like you are crazy or something. Even the mormon moms, trust me I can spot them from a mile away and I know they don't think I'm LDS because I don't look like it I am sure but hot dang why are people so unfriendly here?

I am used to smiling at people and that is not going to change people I love people, I love smiling at random people and making them feel good because when someone smiles at me it makes me feel good and I want to do that to people.

The other day at the park I finally had a mom talk to me and be nice and she has been living in LA for 10 years and told me not to expect too much. She said people here are not out to make friends plus they like to stick to their own groups. She told me at her son's school she asked a mom about getting their kids together for a playdate and the mom told her "no, thanks" she was shocked. I was shocked as she was telling me this.

Oh and whatever happened to teaching your children to be nice to others? Because I guess parents are forgetting to teach their children that. I've had kids punch Bentley, push him, ignore him, tell him to go away, scratch him and tell him they don't want to play with him. Really? Not that I am a great parent but that stuff would not fly with me at all and Bentley knows that. We treat other people how we would want to be treated.

The other day while at the park Bentley wanted to play with a group of kids that were already playing they told him no and ignored him which broke my heart but what can you do as a mom. A mom (the one that talked to me) went and told her son if Bentley doesn't play neither does he so the other boys let Bentley join them. After a while of playing Bentley and one little boy started talking and running and were playing really good together. They went by the swing and here come big old meanie pants and pushes Bentley away and pokes him, well I am mama Bear to a tee and I lost it. I yelled at this boy to never lay a finger on my son again and how dare him think that its ok to push someone else. I probably made a full of myself cause I kept going on and on about how he was a mean, rude little boy who was never going to have friends, anyways......DO NOT mess with my boy or else you will have to deal with my wrath. Mind you I was loud enough that whoever this little boys parents were for sure heard me but don't think for a second that any parent got up to see what was going on or said anything.

Now I understand why there is so much prostitution, drugs and gang activity going on in this city because children are raising themselves. There is no one there to correct them or lead them anywhere. Parents here in Koreatown do not care about their children and it's really sad to say thing because I am hispanic but all of the children I witness that are like this are hispanic. Where are the good hispanic moms? Probably not living here but man it's so sad to see this type of behavior I used to think us hispanics were different.

After this weekend I have realized that there is no way in Hell this boy of mine is going to public school. He will get beat up on the daily just because he is an easy target because of how sweet and tender he is and I am not ready to have his little spirit be tore down just yet. After a day of him crying to me and asking me why people are mean and don't like him I have had to tell him that if someone is mean and treats him bad in any way he should respond in a mean way because clearly that's the only way these children survive here.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Amanda came to visit

The second I moved to Los Angeles I told my friends that they were more than welcomed to come visit me whenever they wanted to. I didn't think anyone would since everyone has their own lives to live and things to pay for. However my friend Amanda whom I have known and loved for the past 16 years  had already come to visit me once in Utah and almost immediately asked if she could really come visit. I of course told her yes and within the month she had some dates set. I love this girl so much and I know whenever she comes to visit it always a fun time because she does not like to just sit around, she likes to get to know a city in a very short time. Since I barely know Los Angeles I knew it would be a blast having her here because it made me feel a little safer, two crazy women are better than one.

She came in on a Tuesday morning and we were off to explore LA so off we went to The Original Farmers market which I had heard good things about. Even Jon's aunt used to go to it when she lived in Beverly Hills and my other aunt used to come with her old boss for lunch so they told me great things about it. It was pretty interesting, I had never been to anything like it. Very cute but very pricey and I don't do pricey as of right now. Then The Grove is right next to it which is a very popular mall out here, it's where all the movie stars go and get photographed at. I didn't see any paparazzi that day so no celebrities must've been there. We ate lunch there and Bentley ate a highly priced cookie. The Christmas tree was ginormous at the mall so we had to take a picture with the huge ornaments.

From there we left for Malibu. I had been wanting to go hiking near the coast to a place that had a view of the pacific coast and most of the hikes are in Malibu. It was a beautiful drive down the coast. On the way there we got to see a scene for a movie being filmed on the coast, tons of production vans and cameras plus police stopping traffic while they filmed and the actress was covering her face with a hat so we weren't able to see who it was. We finally got to our hiking spot and made it up to the top which gave us an amazing view. Honestly I kinda wish we would have stayed to watch the sunset up there. it was so peaceful. I was proud of my little man for making up there with us.

The very next morning we woke up nice and early and left on a hike while Bentley slept with Jon. I wanted to take Amanda on a hike where we could see the Hollywood sign since you have to see the sign if you come out here, it's a must. We found this one hike spot where they found a dead body a few months ago so I was kind of scared to go but when we got there it looked so safe and not scary, not that I would ever do it by myself but lots of people on the trail. This hike was no joke though, my butt got an amazing workout that's for sure and Amanda is in amazing shape plus she has long model like legs so yeah I was probably having to work harder due to my short legs. I almost quit a few times but once we got up it fell pretty good and going down was a breeze.

The next day we drove around ALL of LA looking for souvenirs and I came to the conclusion that doing that is not for me and not for LA. Parking here is very, very expensive more than it is in Philly or anywhere I have ever been to. So I ended up doing a lot of drive-bys and coming back around. We did drive past Skid Row which I wanted to do but didn't want to do it by myself and can I just say it was heart breaking. Skid Row if you haven't heard about it is a section on a street that runs a few blocks that is packed with homeless people, prostitutes and drug dealers. I knew it wouldn't be pretty but I figured during the day it can't be bad. My heart breaks for homeless people but nothing prepared me for seeing small children in line for food outside the homeless shelter and that's when I decided I had seen enough of Skid Row. We are so lucky even on our worse day we are lucky. I'm trying to teach Bentley this concept. I then took Amanda to our favorite place in LA which is Glendale we found this cute Vietnamese restaurant that was just beautiful, they had a huge wall of greenery which made it feel like you were in the forrest. Later that night we hit up the Griffith Observatory which I went to 5 years ago the day I found out I was pregnant with Bentley so it has a special meaning to me. She loved it and we got a great view of Los Angeles. By the end of the day we were all pooped out and ready for bed because it had honestly been the longest day of my life, it felt like.

Thursday I had planned to go up the our family's lake house but it snowed up there and I don't do snow driving on a mountain. So we had to come up with something to do with our day. I chose to take her into Beverly Hills because every tourist should drive down Rodeo Drive. I wasn't sure she would like it but she loved it and loved seeing the beautiful houses. We got to see paparazzi which is always fun and interesting. From there we went to Hollywood walk of fame where they have the stars of famous people. It goes on forever and you get to see a lot of interesting people and shops. Bentley was over the moon because we got to see a transformer and Iron Man, Iron Man alone made his day. Glad I got to go with Amanda and experience that with her because it sure made it easier and made me feel safer however I'm not sure I'll be going back any time soon as the parking was out of control expensive.

Her last day with me before she headed to her other friends house was her birthday so I wanted to make sure she had a great morning. We again woke up super and headed out to the pacific as she wanted to do a hike that had a waterfall. She had found the place she wanted to go so off we went and it turned out to be in one of the nicest neighborhoods around there so I felt pretty good but the second we got on the hike itself it looked a little bit sketchy. There was graffiti everywhere and very wooded and kinda gave us a weird feeling so we turned around pretty quick. She still wanted to go on a hike and I knew of one that had a pretty view so we went and did that one which was pretty short because the farther we went the more we saw animal prints and they were not of dogs so I was getting worried as I hadn't brought anything to protect us with. After that small hike I took her to our favorite little beach just to show her and walk around but it was super windy and really cold so we didn't stay long. I wanted her to be able to find some shells and take home but for some reason this time there were none that we could see. 

I truly had the best time hanging out with my friend and staying up late talking and laughing, remembering our childhood and teenage years which were both rough for us. She has turned into an amazing person and I am so proud to know her and have her in my life because I know all of her struggles and I sometimes wonder how she made it out.

Now it's time for someone else to come visit me.......I am trying to convince my brothers but so far it hasn't worked.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November was busy

The first part of November flew by, I got back from Utah on the first and we have been busy on the go ever since.

The first part we got to go to an italian festival which we truly enjoyed, specially Bentley. We spend a lot of time in the desert that first part which is always a blessing for me and what keeps me sane with our crazy life. Bentley gets a lot of attention from everyone which I am grateful for. It's always perfect temperature in the desert to take Bentley out on a ride around the neighborhood to feed the ducks.

While in Los Angeles we got to go to the Natural History Museum on their free day and I love that place, just so beautiful inside and out and feels like a safe haven from the craziness that goes on just near it. We played tons on their water feature then got so go see some real life animals that they have in there then we got to walk the rose gardens at USC which are beautiful and a must if you are ever near here. We also got a few playdates with Bentley's friend, one day we hung out at the Roxbury park in Beverly Hills which was new to us and actually really cute, quiet and clean, another day we got to go on a hike and explore a canyon near Topanga Canyon. I really enjoy the outdoors so this nice weather has been really nice and being able to get out of the city has become one of my favorite things to do.

Then we had my friend Amanda come visit me all the way from Philly and that was just a blast..........

Saturday, November 2, 2013


How my boys loves this day, it probably is one of his all time favorite days in the whole entire year.

This year he had told us a while back he wanted to be a Ninja Turtle so we were all game for that however every other child in America had the same idea, at least thats what it looked like. At the beginning of October when we normally buy his costume every Ninja Turtle costume in his size were gone and the ones left they were selling for $60 and that's where I draw the line. There is no way on earth I am spending $60 on a Halloween costume that will get one day use for a few hours at that. So I became mean mami and said no. His second choice was heat blast which is a super hero from the show Ben-10 which he is obsessed with. When I saw the price on that one I was one happy mama. So heat blast it was for Halloween and I think he looked mighty fine.

He have always celebrated Halloween at my sister-in-laws every since Bentley started going out for it so this was the whole reasoning behind me going to Utah. We would like to keep that tradition as long as we possibly can. Bentley had so much fun going out with all of his cousins to go trick-or-treating. This was actually my favorite year so far. Thank goodness we normally only last an hour maybe so we don't get too much candy.

Bentley and candy do not mix. So I normally only allow him to have a few on Halloween night and they I hide the candy and only allow him one a day. I know I'm horrible but this child has the worse teeth ever and going to the dentist is pricey so I gotta be mean.

By the 31st I was really missing Jon, it had been 3 weeks since I had seen him and my ride back had now pushed going home for another 5 days so I freaked out and told Jon to figure a way to get me home the very next day cause everyone was starting to get sick and I was worried of catching something or Bentley getting sick and I was home sick already. My husband always comes to my rescue and I was back in California the very next day by noon.

We had a great trip back home but we are never going back for that long, the longest I can be gone from my normal routine is 10 days before I start to go all crazy. I enjoy having a routine.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October comes to an end

These are just random pictures I got on my phone while we were in Utah. It was a very long three weeks but honestly worth it since I do not know when we will get another chance to go back. I knew I wasn't going to be able to go for the holidays so this was my way of making up for it.

My plan was to stay with my mom for 2 weeks but after 10 days she came down with some  horrible sickness and out of fear Bentley or I would get it my father got us out of there ASAP so that meant we got to spend more time at my sister-in-laws which is always a blast but my heart was sad. I really wanted to spend that time with my mom and Bentley didn't even get to give her a hug or kiss goodbye cause I could't risk him getting sick like that.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

We went to Utah

We took a 3 week trip to Utah and it was so nice but way too long. It seems every time we make it to Utah we end up sick or something bad happens. Not kidding. Last time Bentley and I got horrible allergies which ended up as pink eye. We first went to my sister-in-laws house and hung out with her for a few days which is always so nice to get to talk to her and hang out. She is superwoman with 3 small children and everything she has to get done in the day I am not sure how she does it all. This is why I only have one. My two request were first I needed to have some Rita's water ice which is part of my childhood in Philly, I was one happy girl and the other one was that she needed to drive me through Provo Canyon which is where Jon and I took our engagement pictures so it a special place for me. It really is a magical place and when I get to Heaven that's what it will look like. I just love seeing all the yellow leaves and white tree trunks. Bentley and I got out and took some pictures which came out pretty cute but pretty quickly after that he started sneezing and I knew that was it. this boy is allergic to something up in those Utah mountains. Thank goodness I had some Benadryl for him and he wasn't down for too long.

Then we headed to my moms and got spoiled by her with cooking every meal for me and playing with Bentley and letting me sleep in. It was heaven. We also got to have two playdates with my really good friend Ashley and Bentley's best friend Brae. These two are just so stinkin cute I swear. I cannot get enough of their cuteness when they are together, they act like an old married couple for sure. We also got to see her new baby girl Reese, we had already met her in July but just for a few minutes and she has gotten so big and Bentley is loving babies so he got to hold her this time around. I really miss being back in Utah and having my family close by and having friends I can count on for anything and children for Bentley to play with. 

On Sunday after church my dad took us all to a park to go on an afternoon stroll which was a blast. A river runs right by it and its just so peaceful. It's the same park I used to take Bentley to when he was first born. Brings back good and bad memories of those times. I sure do love Utah but California is also so magical. We had a good time with family and friends while back in Utah. It's always a good time when I go back.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

First half of October

Can you believe we were still going to the beach in October? This weather is really spoiling Bentley and I. Once it drops below 70 we are wearing winter clothes. I'm sure our Utah friends and family would laugh at us. 

We got to meet up with some friends at the beach and had a blast. It was a new beach we had never been to called Topanga Beach and we fell in love with this place. It has free parking plus it secluded which I liked cause not too many people were there. The kids got to run around nonstop and play in the sand and rocks. We spend almost 5 hours at the beach with the kids. 

Some of the other things we got to do before we headed up to Utah are in the pictures below but I'll explain: mom-mom came to visit for the day and we ended up at the Los Angeles temple which is beautiful and it felt pretty calming inside the visitor center, Bentley likes to fall asleep in weird places, Jon, Bentley and I got a family picture taken that actually turned out good, our Philly cousin who I love to pieces she totally gets me probably has to do with the fact we both grew up in Philly, cousins playing games on the iPad, took Bentley to the kid museum and he is such a silly kid, more from the kid museum, do you see superman doing his thing? yes my child is crazy, and last check that smile I love this boy to pieces.

Then we were off to Utah for 3 very long weeks.........

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Childhood friendships are the best

Early October I got a message on facebook from a childhood friend whom I had gotten back in contact just a few years ago. The day I found her online I was so excited. For years I had wondered what had happened with her and her family. 

Her mom was truly an angel send to our family when we first moved to the States, she got us registered for school and took us to all of our doctor appointments to make sure we had all the vaccines needed to go to school. She translated for my mom any time my mom needed her for something. She was truly God send and I know my mom feels the same way. This lady had 3 daughters at the time one was an infant, one was a year older than me and one was 2 years younger than me. We all clicked and became good friends. 3 years later they moved to Indiana for work and I remember that being one of the saddest things I had experienced up to that point. I cried for days and tried to stay in touch but back then it was hard so we lost contact. 

So when I found her online I was super excited to see how life was going for her. I hadn't heard anything for about 14-15 years. She had 2 beautiful little girls.

Anyways fast forward to me getting her message on facebook where it said she had noticed we had moved to California and that she was in the area and wanted to know if I would like to meet up. Immediately I was jumping from excitement. Meet up with an old friend who I loved dearly? Of course I was up for it. I send her my phone number and we made plans to meet up at Knotts Berry Farm. 

Seeing her was like we had never missed a beat, felt so natural. How I love when that happens. I feel like we were meant to be friends and one way or another I was going to have her in my life. Her husband was really nice and her girls were so good with Bentley. He fell in love with them. I got to go on some roller coasters with her older girl which was a blast and I would have never done by myself but I couldn't say no to her sweet face. 

It was a bittersweet meeting though. My friend Nicole was diagnosed with cancer a few months back and she had just finish her last round of Chemo. Breaks my heart to see someone so amazing have to go through such a hard trial but I know the Lord has a plan for her and she will beat this. 

To be honest I fell in love with her little family and hope to be seeing them again soon. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Till we meet

Jon's grandma whom we loved dearly passed away on the 25th of September. Exactly one year to the day of his grandpa passing away. 

I know this must've been a sweet reunion for them both. We also know she is no longer in pain but it is always hard saying goodbye to a loved one.

I was worried about how Bentley would take it as this is the first person that he was really close to who has passed away. Bentley was able to create a great bond with his great-grandma even though she couldn't speak, he loved her so much and always run up to her first thing to give her a hug and a kiss.

The day of the funeral Bentley said he wanted to say goodbye to grandma. 

I grew up in a country where death is not hidden from children. If it happens you are there and you witness everything. One of my earliest memories is my grandpa's funeral when I was only 4. I still remember all the men in my family taking his casket from my grandma's house to the cemetery. I still remember we sang "Oh my Father" and how emotional I was about it. In Costa Rica when people die at home they are never taken to a hospital or anything you die and your family dresses you they have the casket brought to the house and the viewing is that same day and you have to be buried within 24 hours so that you don't start to stink. So really there is no time to think about what the children might see or not.

So anyways me having been brought up that way when Bentley said he wanted to say goodbye to grandma I wanted him to have that closure even if he is only 4. I waited till Jon got to the funeral home to talk to him and Jon was on board with me that Bentley gets to make his own choice about this. I knew Bentley didn't really understand what was going on but I didn't want him saying to me that I didn't allow him to see grandma one more time. He got to see grandma and say goodbye which made him really emotional and he probably cried for a good hour but he has to learn these things happen, right?

Anyways grandma's service was the most beautiful service I have ever been to. She gave her own eulogy. A few years ago our cousin made a video of her telling her life story and we thought no one will be able to do it like grandma would. What a very special woman she was to so many.