Goodbye 2015!

2015 was an interesting year to say the least.  For us really 2015 was the end of 2012 when our sibling quest started.  As we look back it is beneficial to see all that transpired, to understand why 2016 signals a new beginning for us.

Life forever changed when our daughter arrived – 2011-2012 was a blur for us but a WONDERFUL blur.  Parenthood has been the BEST thing to ever happen to us!  We love our little miracle dearly and I cannot describe how much fun its been to watch her grow – even with all the sleeplessness factored in.

Grieving our loss of a sibling has not been easy for me – and honestly I don’t think it ever will be.  It’s one of those things you don’t get over but you learn to live with it.  When I lost Papi I learned that there are things you never get over – you just learn to live with that absence.  This will be one of them.  And I have no choice but to be ok with it, because my daughter deserves my 100% of a Mom and Alan deserves my 100% of a wife.

But not all is sadness and gloom.  2015 saw Alan defend his Master’s Thesis and graduate with his Master’s degree as well as to commence that road to scholar by starting a PhD.  Yes we will be a PhD household.  We are not sure if he will go the academic or the Research industry route – but the good thing is he will be happy either way.  For the first time in years we finally feel excited about our life and like it is going somewhere and we are giddy about that.  Daughter also started her new school which we love but most importantly SHE loves.  We feel its a good environment for her and will continue to develop her “free spirit” unconstrained.  We certainly want her to be whomever and whatever she wants.

On the job front I had a tough year.  I have research projects in the works but nothing stuck this year.  I am kind of under the gun since I go up for tenure next year, so I will have a busy January.  Teaching wise though things are in an upswing.  We participated in a competition of 45 schools and managed to place top 9.  My students and I are overwhelmingly proud of our achievement and cannot wait to see the presentations of the Top 3 teams!

We also continue to grow as entrepreneurs.  In May I entered the direct sales industry with Chloe and Isabel Jewelry.  It has not been easy, but it has taught me a lot about myself, who I am, and how to step out of my comfort zone. We also launched our own retail business and I became a LuLaRoe Fashion Consultant – arguably the most flattering and comfortable clothes you will ever wear.  It’s been a lot of work, and a lot of space – we carry inventory with LuLaRoe – but again, it teaches me every day that I can do anything I want, it helped me recover my feminine side and my self confidence, and has opened me to a world of strong supportive women.  I have made more friends in these past 6 months than in the past 6 years.  And it teaches daughter that she can do anything she wants.

As we look towards 2016 we have many goals to accomplish: tenure, a successful academic year for both Alan and I, daughters continued development, growing our business, blog more, paying down debt and moving into a house and out of an apartment.  We hope God graces us with the health and determination to accomplish this, and on the personal life get back to us as a marriage and as individuals (weight loss anyone?)

We wish you a wonderful 2016 that gives you many blessings and health, and sees your goals reached or at the very least get closer to attainment.

Happy New Year 2016!

 

 

Almost there :)

It’s been quite the quiet pregnancy, cannot complain. We are getting closer to our due date of August 25th, but both Alan and I, and my Mom, think I will be early – just not clear on how early. Were you early or late on your first pregnancy?

As you know, we have no clue as to the sex of our baby – we really want it to be a surprise. But my Mom, since she has some special circumstances that warranted her to know – well SHE KNOWS! We had the ultrasound tech write it down on a paper and put it in an envelope that we mailed to her. So she just sent us a box with gender specific clothing labeled DO NOT OPEN. See?

Do Not Open Box

I know, I know. Most of you are wondering how we can even have that box in the house and not rip it apart. To be honest, it is not that difficult. Since we always knew we wanted to wait, we are at peace with not knowing. Our friends and family have been taking bets. So far only three votes for a boy, and an overwhelming majority believe its a girl. Us? we just want a healthy baby! And DONT GET ANY IDEAS ABOUT ASKING MOM!!!! She is NOT telling!!

Obviously not knowing the sex of the baby slows down your gender specific preparations. For example, we don’t yet have a crib, as I like different colors for girl or boy. So we will have baby Lambie in a bassinet for the first three months. We have neutral clothing for about the first week, and we are having a baby shower this coming weekend so we’ll see what we get there. Once baby is born, then we will go on a shopping spree! (great reason don’t you think?)

I always wanted to do a pregnancy shoot – ever since Demi’s infamous yet beautiful Vanity Fair cover. We just believe that a pregnancy belly is beautiful and is to be embraced and not hidden. So we found a great photographer and we had our shoot. I don’t have the proofs yet, but she did post one picture in Facebook for us to share. I have to admit, I never thought they would look THAT GOOD. We are so happy with the one picture, and CANNOT wait for the rest of the proofs. I think we will have more than enough to work with, what do you think?

Alan & Adriana - 33 Weeks

One more thing to accomplish is a Baby Scrapbook – have any of you ever done one? I wanted to do a photobook scrapbook for our baby, but find that all the pages offered are, you guessed it! Gender Specific…..so that makes it hard. And I really don’t want to wait until baby Lambie is born…we will not have much time then. So if anyone knows a way around this, I’m all for suggestions.

So now we sit here at 34 weeks, counting down the days……we really are so excited and cannot wait for this baby to arrive. We are following as natural a birth as possible at the hospital. We have taken our laboring and hipnobirthing classes in an effort to avoid interventions and pain medications, and to keep me calm and relaxed. What’s that? Did I pack a bag? Not yet, but we have all the elements ready and bought.

Just 6 more weeks until we meet our son or daughter, six more weeks. Seems like such a short time!

I’ve been keeping a Secret

I’ve been quiet for a while and there has been a reason.  Well, there have actually been may reasons but mostly I really haven’t been cooking much and I’ve been keeping a secret.  And the secret I’ve been keeping is the main reason why I really haven’t been cooking that much; that together with my work, and Alan finishing up school – he graduates in May yay!!!!

So what is this secret I’ve been keeping? 

 Pregnancy Ticker

Trust me this has been a hard to keep secret.  We’ve wanted kids for a loooooooong time, but we were a bit on the paranoid side and just kept waiting and waiting until we felt we had surpassed most of the risks so that we could share these wonderful news with the rest of you!

What? the sex of the baby? No clue.  We are not finding out, it will be a surprise for ALL of us.  Do you know how hard it is to buy stuff for a baby you have no clue what the gender is?  The baby marketing industry is either team pink or team blue.  There is no neutral anymore – and what you do find is yellow or green.

Names?  Well if it is a girl it will be Hannah Isabel Lambie, if it is a boy it will be Davi Samuel Lambie.

So as of right now we are 21 weeks pregnant and our next u/s will be on the 28th.  We are VERY excited with our pregnancy and really cannot wait to see our baby again (even if it is on a screen).  We hope that you share our joy!

Cuban Home Economics

My friend Marta has two great posts on how Cuban girls get groomed to be the Perfect Cuban Wife (PCW) through intense training on Cuban Home Ec.

So, it got me thinking about my own Cuban upbringing, and how I’ve supplemented or added to it, through the years.

I graduated with HONORS from the Cooking course, but unfortunately failed miserable on the Home Management course……much to the avail of Alan, my husband.  We’ve butted heads more than once on cleaning schedule, where things should be stored, how they should be stored until I found the HOME. MANAGEMENT. BIBLE:

The Home Bible

Master Martha, as she is referred to at my home, has come to be the decider on many argument.  Like what you ask?  Ask and you shall receive.

I always keep all the cleaners under the kitchen sink.  Perfect sense right?  Not to my husband who came up with a different scheme – the linen closet.

But honey the cleaners ALWAYS go under the sink. Says who?  You and your Cuban upbringing?  That doesn’t mean it’s right or the ONLY way.  HERESY! How dare he attempt against the Cuban Home Ec.?

Alás!  Martha Stewart to the rescue.  There under Your Kitchen, and Organizing, guess where we are supposed to keep all the cleaners?  UNDER THE KITCHEN SINK!

So now, whenever my wonderful husband gets a new idea of moving something to a different place in the home, I just go ask Martha.  But don’t get smug, Martha has been on Alan’s side sometimes too.  That Martha she is one nit picker when it comes to cleaning – as is Alan – so when I won the cleaner argument, Alan won the DREADED clean as you go argument.  *blushing*

I must admit, I WAS one of those cooks that creates a big mess as she cooks, but always cleaned everything at the end.  Now Martha has me cleaning as I go, and cleaning the kitchen every single night…..with Mrs. Meyer’s All Purpose Cleaner in Basil which now is my favorite cleaner (love, LOVE, how it smells)….  And Alan is a very proud husband, and very grateful to Martha. *sigh*

So what is your Home Ec. upbringing story?

When life throws you lemons…..

…learn to make lemonade, the saying goes.  We have it in Spanish too, except our lemons come from the sky, not from life.  Religion ties into everything in our culture, doesn’t it?

I have several posts ready to go, including the much acclaimed and requested Chicken Vaca Frita recipe (with Congri Oriental to boot!), and I’ll get to them soon enough.  First, there is something that I have been debating whether to share or not, but I will.  I will need an outlet.

It seems our long awaited plans of multiplying the Lambie clan has hit a snag, and we will have to go the assisted route in order to see our family grow.  Those of you who know us personally KNOW how much we want to have kids, so you can understand that this has us worried and excited at the same time.

We are not sad; on the contrary we are excited to be able to somehow have our own.  And yes, I’m a  bit ansy, but what else is new?  I’m facing a big unknown, and I don’t do well with unknowns.

Emotionally it will be a trying time.  I’ve already picked up cross stitching and Kundalini Yoga to help manage the stress.

Needless to say, it will be quite the year for us 2010-2011 which hopefully will bring us the long awaited news of new life.  Please, as you read the recipes, and try them out, keep us in your prayers so that the Lord will look favorably upon us and bless us with little ones.

On an entirely different note, since I am now ORGANIZED with my work, look for more blogging to ensue as we welcome my cousin’s daughter Sofia, I take you to Santiago, Chile, and yes, show you how to make a killer Chicken Vaca Frita!

Life on hold

For the past month our life has been literally “on hold”.  Why?  Very simple.  I’m finishing this thing called a Ph.D which has this other thing called a Dissertation.  While the PhD programs demands commitment and time throughout your 4 or 5 years, nothing really compares to what it demands on the last stretch.

By the time you see the light at the end of the tunnel, you are soooooo ready to finish but you are also soooooo exhausted.  In addition, in our case, Alan has been working on what will be by final experiment.  And since it is a time sensitive thing we have literally been living cooked up in our home working, working, and working, to ensure it works and is ready in time.

So as it seems that all the programming and testing will end this week, and the experiment will be launched next week – we are really looking forward to “unholding” our life.

What does that mean you ask?  Well simple things like going to the gym, going out to eat sometimes or at least to have a drink, going to the park, en fin just being able to LEAVE the house and go have a coffee while you walk on the beach.  Seeing the sun, feeling the breeze in your face….being able to not feel stressed.  So stressed that I can’t even find a picture to include in this post!

In this last stretch I ask for all of you to please keep us in your prayers so we can pull this off in time and with results.  This will guarantee me finishing my degree before starting at my job – which is my goal.

So tonight when you go to sleep remember to tell the man upstairs to help us unhold our life.  Even Nemo will be grateful!

PS: If you teach college students and are willing to pass on the survey link to your students please email me through the contact me page!

Our New Digs

As I sit here and start calling moving companies so we can get estimates (we don’t actually move until August), I thought I’d share with you what our new apartment will look like.  It’s not too big, but it’s not too small either.  The good thing is that the bedrooms are not smaller than our current 2nd bedroom and it has plenty of closet space: each room, a coat closet at the entry, a linen closet in the bathroom and a hallway closet just because.  A heavy plus is that the $800+ monthly rent (probably $900 when we add Nemo – YES my cat pays rent!) includes HEAT and hot water (which of course is connected to the oil baseboard boiler heat).

You might not think that is a big deal, but currently in the heavy winter months we spend about $250 (part of Dec, January and February).  In the Fall and Spring Months (November, March, April) we spend about $150/month….and that is keeping the thermostat at 55 degrees.  For us, that is quite the savings when you add it up plus we get to stop freezing ourselves and our friends!.  I mean this is ROCHESTER we are talking about.

Fitness Room

Fitness Room

The complex also has the usual perks: a state of the art workout room (I refuse to call those things gyms) with lockers, showers and a vending machine, a great pool (I think its 25 meters which is half of an olympic size pool), an activity room with a kitchen (you know in case I decide to host some sort of Cuban Nochebuena), tennis and basketball courts, playground and get this: in the winter, they. have. a. skating. rink. How effing cool is THAT?  Alan has no excuse now.  He will have to learn how to ice skate! And oh yes, its 5 miles from campus and on the bus route!

The down side, it is a bit small, but we are sort of entering a minimalist stage of our live so we can save some money and buy a house.  Besides, even I am getting tired of my own clutter.  It also does not have a balcony, which is very depressing, it’s got carpets instead of wood flooring (free heat), the kitchen is somewhat small (free heat), it doesn’t have a washer/dryer in the unit (free heat),  no fireplace (free heat) and it only has one bathroom (free heat).

Did I mention the heat is FREE?

Here is a look at the floorplan of what will be our new apartment come August:

Floorplan

Floorplan

So what do you think?