Friday, August 30, 2013

Santa Monica Beach

I love this beach. I have heard people around say that it's dirty and too crowded and not as pretty as other beaches but in all honesty I am not sure what people are talking about. It looks clean enough to me and I go during the week so it's never crowded when I go. There are bathroom nearby and lifeguards all over plus the police comes and does rounds every so often do I feel pretty safe which is important when I go by myself.

Bentley is totally content playing on the sand the whole time, barely gets in the water which makes it nice for me since I'm not freaking out the whole time about him possibly drowning. 

Growing up in Costa Rica and only 30 minute drive from the beach we went often but we were always warned by my mother not to trust the ocean, it would betray you. Because of this the ocean has always scared me so in my whole life there has only been one time a long long time ago when I actually swam in the ocean and rode the waves but during the trip people were getting stung by jellyfish and that was enough to cure me of ever really wanting to go back in the water. I will I only go up to my knees and that it. 

Jon is convince on teaching Bentley how to body surf so I am sure eventually I'll have to get in with my boy but for now I'll enjoy my peaceful time at the beach. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


These are some pictures of the park we found within walking distance in the middle of Koreatown. We love this park!

Its normally pretty quiet until about 3pm when kids get out of school so Bentley doesn't like going early too much but I am glad to have the option of walking here. They have gym equipment that here and tons of grassy areas if you wanted to have a picnic plus they have tennis courts and a baseball field.

We did make a friend which is always nice for Bentley. This little boy goes there every day with his mom in the afternoon. His mom brings different toys for him to play with other kids. On this day the brought a soccer ball which Bentley loves so he had a blast running around kicking the ball. He had some rosey cheeks by the time he was done playing, always a good sign.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fun day with mom-mom

My mother-in-law came to visit so we wanted to show her what we do on Thursdays, which is hit the library, let Bentley play there and then head to the mall and let Bentley do some more playing in the playground. Thursday's are fun around here. 

Thanks to my awesome friend who grew up in LA I was able to find this awesome library that's got two floors and the second floor is all about children. They have tons of toys for them to play with and books galore. The good thing is there is always children around so someone will for sure play with Bentley which just makes his day.   

I always have a good time picking out books for me to read to Bentley during the following week. The librarians here have been so amazingly sweet and helped me out so much and they already know me, ha. I am becoming a nerd but I am okay with it. I just now need to start getting a book for myself every now and then. 

After the library we head to the mall which is within walking distance. We got some frozen yogurt at Pinkberry which was very disappointing. I remember it being different back in the day. Plus it was so expensive, so not worth it when you can go to any of the other frozen yogurt place and pay for two what you pay for one there. Oh and I have to tell you Bentley is normally very polite in the sense that if he smells something funny he quietly will ask me what it is and he will just keep quiet or if someone looks different he will ask me quietly. Well when we get into Pinkberry these two guys came in right behind us. They were either Indian or middles eastern and my understanding is that people from those countries sometimes bathe in oils that to Americans don't smell good but to them they do, at least that's what I had a neighbor tell me once when I asked him why he smelled. All of a sudden Bentley plugs his nose and says "mom what is that smell, it's gross" I try to ignore him but it gets worse and louder. I tell him he sounds like a pregnant lady and then he gets mad and says "mom don't tell me you don't smell that, I could choke up". I knew the whole time it was these two guys but I didn't dare tell Bentley out of fear he would say something. Finally these two guys left. Made me feel bad but not much I could do. 

This made me think of my friend from high school who was suspended for 3 days for bringing in deodorant for some girl she though smelled bad and when the deodorant didn't work she brought some Victoria secret spray and sprayed the poor girl down when she walked by her. She said she couldn't take the smell any longer. 

Anyways after eating our super expensive frozen yogurt we walked over to the playground and let Bentley play with the kids there. It's very common for playgrounds in this area do not have mulch but beach sand and Bentley can't get enough of it. 

Then my mother-in-law took us out to dinner at our favorite Korean BBQ place, yumm and for desert we treated her to the boba place where they have the yummy Korean deserts. We really had an awesome day. Wish she could come once a week. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Relaxing weekend

On Friday afternoon I got to hang out with my niece while Bentley played with his friend Ellen, which was really nice. We also had movie night which is always fun and relaxing. This week we watch  Mud and I actually really liked it. When it was being explained to me I didn't think I would like it but I was pleasantly surprised. 

Have you heard of Lowes build and grow program they have for children? Honestly best thing ever and where has it been all my life. I heard about Home Depot having a program similar to it from my sister-in-law and got Bentley all signed up for it at Home Depot for the next 3 months but was curious if Lowes had it and they sure do. Not only do they have it once a month but they have 2 different activities in the month and 4 different dates to choose from. This month was all about the movie Planes and I knew Bentley would love it. We had a good time hammering away and building a plane which Bentley named "Francesco" and no one can tell him that it's real name is "la chupacabra" funny kid. I will be doing this with Bentley on Saturdays from now on. If you have a free saturday and have little ones check this out in your area its free and you get to take a "toy" home.

Saturday afternoon Bentley had another play date with Ellen which basically lasts all day long so I invited my sister-in-law to come with me to the spa to go in the steam room with me. We got my wonderful mother-in-law to watch the baby and off we went. It was heavenly to be able to take a long shower with no one calling for you or trying to join me. I got to wash my hair and put some oils in it and go sit in the steam room for a while. It was so relaxing to be able to sit in quiet for a little bit and to be able to talk to my sitter-in-law and catch up with her. It was rejuvenating and so needed. On our way home from the spa, we were walking and we noticed it was drizzling and then it started to rain a little bit harder but people we are in the desert so it never rains and when it does it goes away quickly. I ran to the closest tree near us for cover but it was not stopping so we decided to just run to a little hut they have at the golf course and wait it out there but by then we realized we just needed to jet home as fast as possible. We were so soaked at one point we decided to just enjoy the rain and take pictures. I always have a blast with my sister-in-law she is so down to earth and funny.

Later that night we went out to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday. Jon and I took a picture together which never happens so even though we both don't look that great I had to post it on here cause they are so few and rare.

Really one of the best weekends so far since school started. Oh and to top this awesome weekend I finally learned to crochet, hallelujah! It's only taken 4 people trying to teach me till I finally got it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

First week of preschool

Our letter this week was the letter A.

Bentley already kinda knew the letter and is pretty good at writing it. I had 4 books to read throughout the week. 

Our schedule goes as follows:
    Monday-letter introduction along with music videos about the letter of the week
    Tuesday-letter of the week along with some math
    Wednesday-geography, we study a state that starts with that certain letter
    Friday-arts and craft

So on Monday's I have him watch a clip from sesame street with the letter of the week, then we listen to songs that have to do with the letter. He really enjoys this, after that we do a little scripture study which is interesting having him ask me question about Jesus. Tuesdays we go over the letter and trace it on the iPad, then I take out our numbers page for him to trace over the numbers and count. Wednesday we go over different states and he is trying to remember the state bird for each state, so far we have Alabama and Alaska memorized. Thursday we learned about air and read a really cool book. I can't remember the name of it but it had some experiments for children to do to understand what air is. Then Friday we so arts and craft that start with the letter of the week. This is our short day.

If he is able to do everything we need to for preschool after lunch we get to go do something fun afterwards. Last monday since it was our anniversary we didn't do anything fun but after dinner he got to go to the corner store and get an ice cream bar. Tuesday we ventured in Santa Monica which was heaven. I now understand why people pay the crazy amounts of money to live here cause it is so nice living 20 minutes away from the beach. Bentley is in love with the beach, its like he was born to live here. Wednesday we had movie day after preschool. Thursday was a big day since we had my mother in law come visit us, she came with us to the library we go to and then we went to the mall and let Bentley play at the playground for hours, we got frozen yogurt and had a ride on the trolley, it was really a fun day. Friday we do preschool and then packed up for the weekend.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Preschool has started

In light of the fact that we are broke and cannot afford to send Bentley to preschool as it cost $400-$600 a month around here, we are doing preschool at home. Plus I am refusing to send Bentley to public school in this area, it's scary, so I might as well get on a schedule we will most likely be doing kindergarten at home unless he can get into a charter school.

My boy is growing up so fast makes me a little sad.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our 7th wedding Anniversary

I can't believe I have been married to this amazing man for 7 years. He has been the answer to many prayers not only by me I am sure. He walked into my life at a moment where I needed him. I am pretty sure God send him my way because he knew that Jon would be the only person equipped enough to deal with me. 

7 years ago his aunt turned her backyard into a magical place full of all the colors I wanted. She truly turned the place to something out of a magazine. It was the wedding I never thought I would have. 

I had only known my husband in person for a total of 2 months when we were married and I am sure everyone thought we were crazy and that it wouldn't last but we have made it work. We have had to work at this and it ain't easy let me tell you but it's worth it. 

In 7 years we have: 
    lived in 2 states
    6 different cities
    owned 6 cars
    had one child
    owned a pizza restaurant
    stopped going to school
    Jon went back
    got his bachelors in Economic's
    applied and got into Law school
    started law school
    I learned to cook and enjoy it
    learned many hard lessons
    have realized what things are really important to us
    what we want for our future
    became best friends 
    know each other better than anyone else knows us
    love each other more than the day we said "I do" 
    we have grown together

On our 7th anniversary Jon had school so not much was planned plus we are on a really tight budget so  I couldn't plan anything amazing like I wanted to but we have many more years to come where I can hopefully plan something big. I went out to some Korean markets to try and get some meats and things to have a Korean meal since I know that's his favorite but after going to 3 different stores and leaving empty handed because I don't speak korean I decided we would be using our woohoo money for the week on dinner. We already found our favorite Korean restaurant so off we went to go have korean BBQ and it was amazing. They already know us so they bring us out our favorite things. After dinner Jon treated me to some korean deserts which were to die for. All in our we had a good day and so grateful to be in this crazy ride called out lives with him.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy 30th

Happy 30th birthday to my one and only love!

He is getting old that's for sure.

We had a great weekend with our family in the desert and we got to celebrate Jon's birthday. We went out to dinner and after dinner we came back to his aunt's house for cake and ice-cream and she had the whole place decorated for his birthday. I know it was a big birthday for Jon, turning 30 is a pretty big deal.

I am so proud of this man and everything he has done in his 30 years on this earth. I am truly lucky I get to call him mine for eternity.

Funny thing: Bentley has a really hard time whenever it's anyones birthday, he gets really sad and doesn't like wishing anyone a happy birthday. He has told me that it should be his birthday every single day of the year. The kid is funny. Can you tell he is an only child?

Well my man is now 30 years old and we have started a new chapter in our life starting law school. The next 3 years will be hard but so worth it in the end and by end I mean in 20 years when we are hopefully done paying off a mortgage or what a mortgage would be.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

First full week in LA

We survived our first week in LA and I am so proud of myself. I was a little depressed and sad at the beginning since I was feeling overwhelmed and lost in this huge city. Even though I grow up in Philly I have been living in Utah for the last 7 years and that had made me too nice of a person. You can't do nice here.

While walking around I have seen a few things that seem weird to me. The first thing was while we were walking around the neighborhood I kept on seeing public pay phones which I have not seen in years. I thought these things no longer existed but I was proven wrong they sure do and some even work and have the directory book hanging off of it. Pretty awesome stuff. The other different thing I have seen is amount of trash just in general everywhere however the one thing that made me the saddest seeing tons of trash on the playground where children play. Broke my heart that people are so careless and ungrateful for the things that have been provided to us citizens and that people would treat it so crappy just goes to show the kind of people living around here. I have been driving around and seen people throw bags of trash out of their window car are they are driving. It's quite shocking but I guess normal for here.

Our first official day in LA our aunt and uncle took us out to Korean BBQ which is our favorite thing about living here. It was delicious. Our second day here we decided we needed to find a Mcdonalds since that was always my savior in Utah on a rough day. We walked about 10 blocks in order to get to one and it was a cute place but very different from any Mcdonalds I have ever been to and to top it off it had no playground, booo. There is another Mcdonalds closer that I have found and has a playground however I checked out reviews as I have figured out that's how I will survive living here and this Mcdonals is a big no no.

By Monday morning Bentley was going crazy being stuck indoors and with no plans of going out. The night before I had read a few reviews for the parks near us. MacArthur Park was a big fat no. If you want to be entertained for a few hours just look up the reviews. Those reviews are for reals about this park. I checked out another park and that one didn't seem as bad, it had some okay reviews and some bad, I had decided I would visit as a last resort type of thing. By Monday morning Bentley had gone into full on whining mood and I figured "dodging bullets" as the reviews had put it sounded better than sitting at home. Of we went, from far away it looked nice and so I was hopeful. We get in and there was a skate park which was nice, it had basketball courts and a playground. As we made our way to the playground I noticed I was the only woman in this park and Bentley was the only child but I didn't think much about it. Then I see an older homeless man and I smile at him and said good morning. Big mistake! That was enough for this homeless man to follow me, he started having a deep conversation with me about raising children. He was so close to me I could smell alcohol on his breath, then he showed me he had no teeth. I kept on trying to get away but he followed. At first he told me he wasn't a homeless and just came to the park to lift up the homeless and I believed him. However when I asked him his name he told me it was Testament "like the final testament" and that he had been send here by God as the final testament to preach. That's when I realized there was some type of mental illness going on. Thank goodness right then Bentley told me he needed to go pee so we left the playground and this old man left us alone but by then I was just wanting to get out of this park. The playground was so beautiful however so amount of trash was shocking and quite frankly I was scared of finding used needles or used condoms there so as soon as I saw the old man get far enough away I left the park as fast as I could. I got home and felt down the rest of the day.

On Tuesday I had to go to the office to get something and I told them how I was looking for a playground nearby. They immediately told me not to go to any park around here and that I shouldn't even walk outside by myself because this is not a great area. Then I see my neighbor and he tells me the same thing. Well that was enough for me to have a self pity party. If you know me you know I do not do well staying indoors, I need to be outdoors and have something to do every day. I called my aunt and talked to her and she made me feel a whole lot better.

The next few days we just had some lazy days where I just let Bentley watch way too much TV as I tried to keep busy cleaning or looking up things to do in LA. We watched tons of movie on our bed while eating popcorn, made pizza for lunch, jumped around, played with puzzles and legos. On Thursday we went outside for about an hour to play catch but that was on school grounds where there are security guards walking around everywhere.

By Friday I decided it was time to brave the outdoors again for the sake of our sanity. We walked a few blocks to a frozen yogurt place which was heavenly. The people were so nice they all smiled at us, it was a very much needed smile. Bentley and I sat there for like an hour eating our frozen yogurt while talking and watching people go by. After that I got enough courage to go check out another park about 6 miles from us that a lady had told me about. From far away all I could see were tennis courts but once you got up into the park it was the most beautiful scene I had seen in days. I was so happy I jumped on that bouncy floor for a good 2 minutes. Bentley ran and jumped and played and we swung on the swings it was the best feeling ever. We only stayed for an hour since we needed to get back home to back for the weekend.

We survived our first week and even found a nice park nearby, hallelujah!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Last week in the desert

For our last week in the desert I wanted to make sure we had a blast and that it was a memorable one for Bentley.

So I took him to storytime which was so much fun, I now wish we had been doing that all sumer long but oh well. We also hit up our favorite spot which is Barnes & Nobles kid section, they have a train set our for kids to play with. We normally go there at least once a week, the summers here are hot so you have to figure out things to do inside to survive because sometimes even swimming is not fun at all. One of those really hot days he wanted to go on a trike ride so off we went and he showed me how he can ride with no hands. Silly boy, he was so proud of himself though. Another night he became a ninja turtle which just means you will be getting beat up on. He also got to hang out with uncle Paul a little bit extra which makes my heart happy. This is one of his all time favorite people I am so glad he has such a great man for Bentley to look up to. Then on Friday he got to go on a date with Meme, I think all his dreams came true that day. He was the happiest boy on the planet. 

Honestly, I am a little sad we are leaving. Having lived out here with Jon's family has made me that much closer to then. They have treated us like their own and have helped us out with anything that we needed help with. They have given Bentley more attention than I ever expected. have loved my boy with all their heart. I am truly lucky to have them around. 

Friday night we started a new tradition of movie night as a family. We all meet up at our aunts house and watch a good movie and talk. It really is so much fun and it now gives me something to look forward to for Fridays.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Moving to Los Angeles

This first picture has nothing to do with moving to Los Angeles but it was taken the day before and I wanna remember it forever because this boy is so silly. I say lets take pictures and he immediately starts making funny faces. He really cannot take a serious picture most of the time because he really is a silly boy who makes me laugh all the time. These are the faces I see on a daily basis around here. I could be having a bad day but if he starts with his silly faces my day has been made and he knows that so we just don't have too many bad days unless he is throwing a tantrum. I thought we were over those but we our crazy life I guess its just to be expected with all the changes that have happened in the last 3 months.

Ok now about our move.

August 3rd we woke up packed our aunts car to the max and headed to LA as early as possible. Our aunt and uncle offered to watch Bentley for us while we went up to LA since we were coming back that same night cause Jon still had one more week of work. Mind you up to this point I had only been in LA once before and the last time I hadn't really paid attention. We hit traffic which Jon said was nothing compared to what it could be but to me it seemed like a lot of traffic.

We get to our apartment which we had never seen before because when he came up last time it still was being build. I was truly impress at how cute they made the place look. The apartment came furnished which was amazing. It is a very small apartment at 490 square feet but the lay out makes it not seem so small. It truly is perfect for us.

We got everything in and organized. Then we went and walked around the town to see what it looked like. We are right in the middle of Koreatown which felt like home to Jon since he served his mission in Korea. This area is actually kinda scary but more on that later. We then went out to look for some Korean BBQ. If you don't know what this is look it up and find a restaurant near you ASAP. It will change your life forever or at least it did mine.

We found what I believe to be the best restaurant in Koreatown for all you can eat BBQ. The service was amazing which I was grateful for but more than that their side dishes had the things I enjoy and I was able to ask for more at any moment and they would bring it out.

All in all we left LA feeling pretty good about the move and excited for the following week when we would be officially moving in with Bentley and bringing the rest of our stuff.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Quick trip to Utah

We ended up  taking a very short very last minute trip to Utah. 

It all started when I called to switch over our car insurance over to a California policy. When they wrote our new policy I was red flagged since my license had just expired. So I was not put on the new policy and had to sign some paper work stating that I would not drive the car. So this really sucked since I am very independent and like to go as I please and do whatever I want that will make my day fun. The next day I made it over to the DMV and asked what I would need to show in order to get a California drivers license.

Mind you when we left Utah our plan was that we were moving to Texas so I knew we would be going back to Utah to get all of our belonging. So I wasn't too worried about bringing any documents with us. Silly me. 

The one paper I needed to show in order to be able to get a license was somewhere in our storage unit in Utah. I looked up how to get a replacement of this paper and immediately found out it would cost $345. 

So long story short. I wasn't born here and didn't become a US citizen until 2010. I needed to show my certificate of naturalization to proof I am here legally. Had I know this paper was so valuable I would have brought it but I didn't.

So I get started with the process to order the replacement and its asking me for the certificate # and my green card #. Who knows where my old green card is and how am I supposed to know my certificate # since I am requesting a new one because the other one is not with me. Anyways we called up an immigration attorney and turns out in order to get those numbers from immigration you have to go through an attorney. It can take a few weeks for them to get it and then to get your replacement it will take up to 3 months. 

I didn't have 3 months to wait, specially since we would be living in a new city away from everyone we knew. So the decision was made that we would be going to Utah to look in our storage and try and find it.

I have never prayed so much in my life. I think I have everyone I knew praying for us and fasting. 

Lets just say prays work and they are answered daily in my life. My brother found the paper within 5 minutes of being in the storage unit. I was beyond myself, really. I hugged him and kissed him which he hates. 

We ended up being in utah a little over 48 hours since Jon was missing work and we needed that money.

In our short visit we got to see my cousin the first night and hang out with her which is always way fun. Bentley loves her. The next night we got to have dinner with our friends the Hardy's. We miss them dearly, she was my saving grace up in Utah and always came to my rescue. Bentley misses his bestfriend Brae so bad he often talks about her. Then Wednesday we hung out at my moms for part of the day and then we headed to my bestfriends house Jen who was one day away from giving birth. I am so bummed I wasn't able to be there for the birth but at least I got to see her. Then we headed to have dinner with Jon's sister, mom and kids. Bentley got to hang out with his favorite cousin those 2 are inseparable. When it was time to say goodbye many tears were shed, mostly by Bentley and his cousin. I think by them he had realized that he was no longer going to be able to see his cousin as often as before. It is pretty heart breaking but that's life.

We had a good drive back where we talked about our goals for the future, about keeping a budget and what it would look like about how we are going to pay off the major debt we are about to take on and about what we want for our little family. I do love long rides for that and especially long rides on caffeine they help you really think things through.

So as we left Utah we said goodbye to the last 7 years of our life. We had some really good times and memories and we had some really, really bad times that I wish I could erase from my memory but probably best I don't so I can have a reminder of where we were at one point. Coming into California we said hello to the next phase of our lives. What lays ahead we don't know but we are pretty excited and hopeful. 

Life is pretty awesome even with the not so happy memories you just have to look at the positive in it all. Sometimes its really hard to see the positive but if you look hard enough you can find it, trust me I've had to look really hard at times to see the positive in a not so good time and there have been times when I just realize that at the moment I will not know what the point of it all is but that some day I will look back and be able to recognize what the good in it all was.