Lady date in MVD pt. 1: Me Spa

I mentioned in my previous post that my sister is moving far far away! I’m still not ready to talk about her new adventure but I will say that as the day of her departure approaches we have been spending a lot of quality time together.

A few weeks ago we decided we needed a lady date in Montevideo. Get away from the baby and all the craziness that is our house. My sister is obsessed with all things beauty and is definitely my biggest supporter in taking care of myself. So she suggested we have a grooming date where we get bikini waxes and I could get my eyebrows done.

Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal for us but in Uruguay I’ve been VERY hesitant to get waxed because of some horror stories. Women have told me that some places recycle the wax (EW!) and that they don’t sanitize their utensils in between customers. I don’t know about y’all but basic human hygiene is not something I want my salon to skimp on.

As a stay at home mom I found it really difficult to find places based on word of mouth so I had my sister ask one of her coworkers what her suggestion would be. Her friend suggested we try Me Spa in Punta Gorda. It’s located in a very quiet residential area with lots of parking available in front. Beautifully decorated, both outside and in. Very spacious and welcoming aura. I decided to check out their facebook page (linked above) to see what kind of work they do. To say I fell in love is a total understatement. Lucia, owner and eyebrow QUEEN, posts before and after pictures of all of her clients. Her eyebrow philosophy clearly showed through each and every picture published. I knew we were led in the right direction.

When we got to the spa we were welcomed by Camila, the holder of all things wax, who would perform our bikini waxes. Of course the amazing sister that I am let Vanessa go first so I could hang back and check out all their stuff on display. P.S. I definitely made sure to copy jokes I saw in THIS buzzfeed listacle about getting a bikini wax beforehand. Anyway, it had been FOREVER since I had seen an O.P.I. nail stand so I was in heaven. Lucia was working on another client and I noticed it was strangely quiet for a spa/salon. Eventually I was told that Lucia and Camila work by appointment only allowing for a calm and quiet experience.

Once Vanessa was done it was my turn. Their waxing room is located in the back, really nice and small room with plenty of privacy. When it comes to getting waxed I don’t like big rooms because it just makes me more paranoid about being naked in front of a complete stranger. I appreciated the more intimate setting. Camila was super professional, especially considering it had been more than two years since I’ve gotten waxed, and friendly during our time together. If her demeanor and cleanliness hadn’t sold me yet, she told me they use a homemade all natural wax. Seriously? Could this place get any better? No burning, no rough chemicals, no bumps or redness afterwards. A+!

Shortly after it was time to get my eyebrows done. Let me say that it had been about two years since I had gotten them done professionally. When I was in Miami last September I didn’t have enough time to get to a Brow Bar at Ulta so I figured it wasn’t worth risking a spotty experience. Right away Lucia sat me down in their comfortable eyebrow chair, leaned me back and explained her process to me. I opted for the pricier design package where she would design and shape my eyebrows. Most of my previous eyebrow experience was basically all done by winging it. I wanted to see how it would go. After cleaning and prepping my eyebrows, she outlined the natural shape of my eyebrows. She then proceeded to MEASURE them to make sure they would be as close to perfectly symmetrical as possible. I had never had anyone EVER measure my eyebrows before. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Based on what Lucia told she normally does all her eyebrow designs using tweezers but since it had been so long since I had done my very bushy brows, she would use wax to clean up most of the mess. No complaints on my end. Once the almost painless waxing was over she went to work. I swear I have never been tweezed by gentler hands. It took about an hour just for my eyebrows but it was worth it. I was almost crying when she was done. Not from pain but because I looked and felt like a human again.

Lucia and Camila definitely have a return customer in me. We actually already have reservations for next week to get our nails done with them. If you’re ever in Montevideo and find yourself needing a mani-pedi or a wax it’s definitely worth making your way to them. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00am to 8:00pm by appointment only. To gauge their prices a bikini wax was $250 pesos or roughly USD$9.00. The eyebrow design was a little more expensive $590 or roughly USD$28.00 but I have paid way more for my eyebrows to get done in Miami. However after the work she did if that’s not a bargain, I don’t know what is. Check them out, I promise you won’t regret it!

Since no lady date would be complete without dinner make sure to stay tuned for my review on Fusimi Buffet in Punta Carretas early next week!

The Before and After!
The Before and After!

Sick momma. Sick baby. No ones happy.

In an attempt to spend some quality time with my sister before she leaves for Italy–whole other blogpost–we decided that we would go for a run. This was about four days ago. Since then I have been bedridden due to the exacerbation of a herniated disc and broken vertebrae from my freshman year of college along with intense sciatic pain.

Normally this would be no big deal. My mom and dad would have to help me a little bit more with Paloma but last Thursday she was diagnosed with an ear infection. Sick baby equals an intense case of mommy-itis.

It’s been a rough few days. For those that don’t know me in real life, I don’t like to show that I’m in pain unless it’s totally unbearable. My freshman year of college I broke one of my vertebrae helping my roommate move into our dorm. I spent five weeks in unbearable pain, even asking my roommate help bathe me, until I finally called my parents and asked them to pick me up in Gainesville to go to the hospital in Miami. The doctors in the emergency room thought I had tried to kill myself from all the pain pills I had been popping.

Anyway, the point is that all I wanted to do was sleep to numb the pain but PJ had different plans. At first we cuddled and watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates. But after awhile she wanted to play hide-and-seek. Normally I’m all up to watch Paloma run around the house like a jack rabbit but I physically couldn’t. That led to tears and tantrums, causing my fuse to shorten with each shout. After about two days I LOST IT. I want to get better so I can go back to running, laughing, and snuggling. But with PJ on top of me it was really difficult not to find myself caught in an uncomfortable position.

I started snapping at her and eventually just left in the playpen with the television on just so I could get a few minutes of rest. It was awful and it’s not like I felt good doing it. A part of my soul died with each frustrating moment. She’s only 19 months old. It’s not her fault that she doesn’t understand that mommy isn’t feeling well either. All she knows is that she’s sick and wants her momma around. Reminding myself of that I would find myself holding back tears every time she would reach up and cry, “MAMA! MAMA! sob MAMAMAMAMAMA!” She would get bored of watching tv. She wants to run and be chased, to be tickled and loved. But my parents and sister had their own things going on and would just put the tv on for her to keep her quiet. I would get so frustrated because she needs more stimulation than a tv.

It’s been a rough few days but today I felt better. Paloma had her last dose of antibiotic last night and overall I would say our collective crankiness has begun to subside. She went to CAIF with my sister today and from what I heard chased a boy and finger painted without being coerced. We took a nap together when she came home and grandma made meatloaf for dinner. Tomorrow my sister and I have a lady date planned where we’re going to try out a new (for us) spa in Montevideo along with a sushi buffet. I’ll make sure to post a review of those places.

These rough days have served as a reminder that while my parents may not parent the way I do, they are my support system when raising my daughter. I may spend most of my days taking care of them, but I’m still their baby and they will do whatever they can to take of me. They changed diapers, gave baths, took care of meals, and were overall picking up my slack. I may whine about being in this alone but I know there isn’t anything further than the truth. We’re an “all for one, and one for all” kind of family.

Happy Father’s Day?

While a lot of people take this time to celebrate Father’s, I like to think of it as a second (or third, fourth, fifth, etc) reminder to think about family. About the choices that come with parenthood and grandparenthood or anyone that is blessed enough to raise a child.

Today I’ve seen a lot of posts stating things like, “To all the mother’s that double as mom and dad, y’all are the real MVP.” And while yes I agree that being a single parent is probably the most difficult job on the planet, it doesn’t take away from anyone that chooses to raise a child. Every person that raises a child makes sacrifices, has doubts, fears and difficult choices to make.

I’d like this post to be a thank you to those people who don’t get enough recognition in raising a child; the grandparent that is picking up where a parent is lacking, the single parents, the parents that are doing it together, the childcare workers in foster homes or orphanages. Doing this job is hard. The sleepless nights, the endless crying, the potty training, teaching how to read, write and add. There are different aspects of this life that make it difficult, but it’s a job that NEVER ends. Whether your child is two days old or 50 years old, you never stop worrying or caring for you child.

Yes, there may be grandparents day or aunts/uncles day but for those who carry that title along with mom and dad for a child that isn’t their own shouldn’t be overlooked. Know that while your child may be unappreciative a lot of the time, there are people out there that appreciate everything you do to raise that child. That any choice you make, no matter how difficult, is to do what’s in the best interest of your child.

The outside world may look at a child that isn’t raised by their parents with pity, thinking that they may not be getting love at home. But only you know the love that flows in your home. That while there are days you worry that you aren’t enough for your child, you’re doing your best to give that child love.

Every morning I wake up and see Paloma surrounded by love and kindness by all sides. Her grandparents are constantly spoiling her with hugs, her aunt makes her delicious meals and cuddles on the couch, her dad and I are completely in awe of everything she learns on a daily basis. We are blessed to be able to raise our daughter with her whole family around her. You are equally as blessed to raise a child, because of the choices you made you are able to bless a child with love.

This may not be a popular view but it is how I feel. Parenting isn’t a competition because at the end of the day we’re all doing the best we can. Today we appreciate our father’s but I feel like we should also appreciate any child rearer.

Putting ME before MOM.

The past few months have been rough on me. Paloma has been getting curiouser, the construction on the house has been keeping me busy, and taking care of my parents has been draining. As the construction has started to wind down (today is hopefully the LAST day!), PJ enjoys playing alone more, and we are finally seeing an end to unpacking I’ve realized that I haven’t prioritized myself since January.

It’s been so easy to get lost on the teacup ride that has become my life. My contractor doesn’t buy the supplies for the house, rather he gives me a list of what to buy and I have to go to the hardware store and pray they have them. If not it’s a whole day trip to Las Piedras (the nearest city) or even further, Montevideo. Once I return home he’ll inform me I have purchased the wrong items, forcing to me grab my already grumpy one and a half year old and make the hour trek back to the hardware store. This doesn’t include the three to four trips to the grocery store–because God forbid my parents know what they want BEFORE I leave the house the first time–,the agropecuaria (a veterinarian pet supply store), the bank, the money exchange, and the vegetable stand. After this I come home, pray I brought the right things so I don’t have to leave again and start cooking dinner. All the while I have my parents telling me the internet/DirecTV/phone doesn’t work and I have to fix it along with my daughter screeching to be let out of her playpen.

Look, I know what you’re thinking. “So? We all have a million things to do as parents and caretakers? It’s our job.” And you’re right. My job is to take care of my parents, my child, and run their/my home. But have you noticed that apart from my incessant grumbling, I haven’t talked mentioned taking a second for myself?

Prior to construction starting in January I took about an hour or two a day to work out/meal plan/write/vegetate online–anything to just clear my mind from my daily pressures. As the stresses started piling up I put my personal time on the back burner, dreaming of the day when I’ll be able to have a minute to myself again. Since then I’ve been getting ridiculous headaches, body aches, nausea, and dear Lord have I been binge eating.

I went to the doctor last week complaining of my gong-like headaches in fear of having a brain tumor and even though she referred me to a neurologist, she told me she believes it to be psychosomatic. As someone with a history of debilitating anxiety and depression (what’s up Zoloft?) I wasn’t surprised to hear it. I’ve taken the past week to take a look at my life, how I’ve allowed myself to unravel at the seams and simply put, stopped caring about myself. But not anymore. I need to create order and happiness in my life. I don’t have anything to be upset or unhappy with. I have my whole family, I have a happy and healthy daughter, I have a marriage that exudes love, tenderness, and respect.

For the past week I have made it a point to get my hour or two a day back. I wake up every morning and make it a point to put on actual clothes. I apply make up even if all plan on doing is staying home–take a look to your left to my Instagram feed for proof. I started eating healthily again and am slowly easing my way back into exercise. I have spent my whole life lying to myself saying that eating like a beast makes me happy. It doesn’t. I always feel sluggish, glum, and bloated afterwards. Whenever I eat healthily I feel light and untroubled.

I need to constantly remind myself that in order for me to take care of those I love, I need to put myself first. Like on an airplane during the safety demonstration. Should your oxygen bag be deployed please put it on yourself first then place it on those traveling with you. Since I’ve made these adjustments to my daily life I’ve been so much happier and better equipped at caring for those around me.

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Friendly show or an intro to bullying?

Just to get it out of the way, I let my kid watch television.

I’m not proud of it or anything but a lot of days I need a mental health break from mommy/caretaker mode and put it on for an hour to myself. For my 18 month old there really isn’t really much that holds her attention except for Teletubbies or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I normally opt for the latter because it’s easier to find on Netflix or the dish.

This morning I decided to put Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on for PJ while I unpacked some boxes. Normally I don’t give it much thought, I don’t really pay attention to the dialogue except for those ridiculously catchy tunes. But today I paid attention to the dialogue and caught Mickey throwing shade at Goofy for calling himself handsome. I remember giving the computer a side eye glance but kept on going through boxes. As the episode progressed they called on Toodles and the handy helpers to bring them a Mouskatool. I was completely appalled that one of the Mouskatools was Pete’s pants. They used them as a sail but the way that they mentioned it and then laughed that Pete got left without pants made my blood boil. I couldn’t believe that this beloved Disney character was promoting alienation and bullying of his “friends.”

I thought that this might have been just one episode. Disney couldn’t possibly be promoting these morally corrupt values to 0-5 year olds. I started watching other episodes and saw these instances recurring more and more. How is it that a show with talking mice, ducks, and dogs can encourage children to poke and make fun of things or people that are different? Are these the type of leaders and role models we want to give our children?

My job is to raise my child to be kind, loving, and generous. To encourage her to be the best her she can be. But we all know that no matter how well a parent tries to nurture these values in their child, bits of their character are molded by what they see on television.

Imagine that these little jabs Mickey gives to Goofy or Pete are a drop of water, each one collecting at the bottom of a bucket. Eventually those individual droplets fill the bucket creating a pool. That bucket is your child’s mind and those droplets form the pool that are filling it up. That pool is what your child is made up of. Images of bullying and alienation become her normal. The children watching these shows are at such an impressionable age. Should we really be allowing them to be watching these things? NO!

After today I don’t will not allow PJ to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, or any television program that advocates, no matter how stealthily, the mistreatment of people different than the social norm. All of us, no matter how cool we think we are, are quirky, weird, and dare I say it, DIFFERENT. I’m not going to teach my daughter that she has to fit a societal mold because it makes people feel more comfortable. I’m going to encourage her to be whoever she is, no matter what anyone else may say.