Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Shirley's 2015 Resolutions

Yes, I do resolutions. They really helped me this year. Here's looking ahead. #2015resolutions

Live More Simply

Since Qori died, I knew I had lost not only my best friend but one of my greatest sources of stress relief.  And I don't handle stress well.  So during my mourning, I tried to figure out what I needed to be happy without Qori, and how to minimize the stress.  The one glaring thing that I kept coming back to was embracing simplicity.  Whether this was in my cooking, in my shopping, around the house, at work; I just needed to remove the complexity and live a simple life, to avoid stress 

  • Remove clutter, organize house and desk at work
  • Don't be wasteful in your spending.  Do you really need another OPI nail polish shade?
  • Continue your goal at clean-eating in the kitchen
  • Take time to appreciate nature

Be More Active

My Fitbit really helped me out last year, but there are some things that it was just lacking.  The fitbit focuses on number of steps, but I've got more I need to work on, namely lifting my butt and flattening my belly.  I will continue working with my fitbit, but I know I've got to look for some other apps to help me feel accomplished on my butt and tummy.  Additionally, I'm just not that active naturally.   As a homebody and introvert, I can't just get up and go.  So I'm going to do some fighting against my own natural tendencies, and take myself "out" of my comfort zone, so to speak.

Maintain Happiness

This one is fully-loaded.   I went through a depression with Qori's death.  I know it's not possible to always be happy, which is why "be happy" is not my resolution.  There will be highs, there will be lows, and my resolution is to stay as positive as possible during those lows.

What makes me happy?
  • Animals - I'm very close to getting another dog.
  • Nature - I will need to surround myself in nature more often
  • Photography - Watch out Instagram!
  • Video Editing - I stopped this awhile back, but I'm losing out on preserving my children's childhood moments
  • Journaling - I'm going to need to pick up the pace on this blog again!

Enrich Family Time

This year, Diego will be entering Kindergarten.  I want to make sure he's prepared, so enriching our time spent together is key.  We have a lot of days where we get stuck in the Skylanders or iPad rut.  My plan is to add more arts & crafts, book readings, and mini-chalkboard lessons into our routine.

We'll also be enrolling him in an extra-curricular activity.  Some type of Karate is looking promising at this point.

Hubby too, is included in this resolution.  We'll need more date nights.  We might have only had one or two this year. In 2015, I'd like to try to have 1 every 2 months or so. 6 in one year?! Seems like a steep goal ;)

And finally, time with my extended family is important as well.  Especially, my parents and my sis (and her family).  We'll continue to invite my parents to some of our weekend outings, but we'll also extend invitations to my sis.  That way, the boys will bond more with their cousin Emily, uncle & aunt, and grand parents.

Let's see if I can stick to these!
Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Family Pets & Basking Buddy

There's no question I'm a dog lover.  And since Qori's passing I knew I was going to get another dog eventually.  However, I wanted to "ease" into it by getting something small.  I flirted with a guinea pig for awhile.

My people eat them, you know?  What would happen if our pet went missing after a family party?!!!  I kid, I kid. We're Americanized.  ;)

Ultimately, I didn't think I could bond with anything other than a dog, and even flirted with a small dog, like a Chihuahua, but I'm not Paris Hilton my Aunt.  If I were going to get a dog, it's go big or go home!  I'm just not a small dog kinda girl anymore, though they sure are cuties.

So I decided that my indecisiveness is a sign that I'm still not ready, so I curbed my dog plans for a short while.  Instead, we decided to ask our kids what pets they wanted.  Imagine that!?  Diego (4 y/o) was very clear; he wanted a turtle.

Mateo (2 y/o) on the other hand was leaning towards a chicken or pet bird.  After a few weeks of getting the same, consistent answer from Diego, we went to Chinatown and came home with 2 turtles: Leonardo and Donatello. 
Introducing our newest family member: Leonardo. Introducing our newest family member: Donatello 🐢

Both boys are very happy with their pet turtles.  Diego is nervous to hold his turtle, which is good because Leonardo is skittish.  Mateo on the other hand is very 'hands-on' with is turtle, to which we fear his turtle's safety sometimes.  It's a good thing his turtle is more active, and not skittish like Diego's turtle.  I guess each turtle was meant for each boy!

So these past weeks, I've watched every youtube video ever made about Red Eared Slider turtles and how to set up their tank; it's become my obsession.  Hubby says I'm taking things too far, but I'm just an animal lover who also happens to be obsessed with interior design (terrarium tanks included).

I realized that the store clerk in Chinatown did not give us all the facts.  So one by one, I've been buying all the necessities for Leo and Don.  I'll probably post pics once I get a few more things.  One thing I recently learned is that turtles require UVB lamps.  Their terrarium should not be placed in direct sunlight due to flucuating temperatures.

So while waiting for the UVB lamp to come in, I decided to share, with the turtle boys, my favorite part of the house this weekend: my deck. For some much needed and natural UVB-love.  I love to bask out there on a hot day, its way better than any spa, in my opinion.

That's when I realized that my spirit animal is probably a turtle, and I may or may not have bonded with Donatello over the weekend.

My new basking buddy and me, having our moment, he's the only one who understands me...

My new deck basking buddy, Donatello.

Mama Turtle Ruff - Shirley

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

October 2014, Month in Pics

Haven't posted a damn thing on this blog, but not because I've been sitting on my a$$!

So many things happened this month.

Our vacation to Punta Cana.... of course I took A LOT of pics.

2014_InstagramOctober8 2014_InstagramOctober7 2014_InstagramOctober6 2014_InstagramOctober5

Pumpkin Patching and Vampire Children....

2014_InstagramOctober4 2014_InstagramOctober3 
Pumpkin Carving and Halloween.  This was the year of the SPIDER!


And oh yes, how could I forget, my other babies; my nails, which finally grew too long for me.  


And Tater spent the month building fat reserves for the winter, building Legos and custom kitchen cabinets, and celebrating the Giants World Series win!  Go Giants!

Good bye October!

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sept 2014, Month in Pics

September is always a special month for me because it's my birthday month!  Now, it's become even more special because it has officially become my family's "crazy birthday" month, where me, my husband, my cousin, and now my little niece's birthdays are all celebrated.  So there was a lot of birthday time this month!

The RIGHT way to do it. You know I gotta celebrate my bday for the entire month! instagrampics_2014Sep_3 instagrampics_2014Sep_2 instagrampics_2014Sep_1

 To prep for their cousin's very first birthday, I put the Ruffians to work.  It paid off with a fabulous, new growth chart!  And speckled, gray wood stain on my deck, but what can you do?!!!!

The boys hard work on their craft project paid off. Cousin Em has a new growth chart for her birthday. It just needs to be hung!#putthemtowork

And apparently I was very hungry this month (even though I should have been stuffed with all those cakes!)

instagrampics_2014Sep_5 And the nutrients from all that cake food helped me grow out my nails, which in my opinion is the best birthday gift ever!


And then there were our day-to-day shenanigans, if you will:


And I guess although I love September so much, some of us feel that October 31st can't come any sooner!

And that was September 2014 in an Instagram nutshell!
Shirley (Mama-Ruff)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

35 Years Old and NOT! Pregnant


Today, I'm 35 years old.  Just 5 years ago on this day, I was pregnant with my first child at 30 years old.  Look at my goofy face at 30, not knowing all the sh!t that was in store for me.  How that little bun baking in the oven was about tip my world upside down and then rip it apart.  I had no idea how motherhood would enable me to see through the walls of Hell and send me back shivering with regret while I would revert back deep to my introverted shell where extended friends and family would barely see me for almost three years, while I tried to hide figure out this thing called motherhood.

And even through all the moments of utter chaos where I could barely hold on to my own sanity, where I could barely hang on before I burst into tears due to the jealousy that ensued over everyone else's calm babies --  and all I wanted to do was to Fast Forward 18 years and take a nap, somehow I broke out into full-on madness and decided to get pregnant AGAIN! 2 years later.  At 32, I was pregnant again.  We all do crazy things.  32 yrs --- that was my craziest year.

I'm happy to say that at 35 I am NOT crazy nor pregnant, and planning to keep it that way for the rest of my birthdays.  Every day gets a little easier with the Ruffians.  Hell - we can even go to restaurants now and we seem semi-civilized (although I'm still traumatized and my nerves start up whenever Hubs says, "Let's go out to eat!" ------> shudder & chills.)  Things are still not perfect, and they probably never will be. I'm OK with that... anything is better than the Hell I've seen.

I'm still not at the point where I would say, "I'd do it all again, if I had to." Because although I love my ruffians so much, at this time, I still wouldn't do it all again.  I'm the person who announced, "I will never drink again!" And actually didn't! 

And my mind still occasionally wanders into my deeply introverted and anti-social thoughts where I'm convinced that society somehow tricked me into thinking that having children ---and buying a house--- was a good idea.  I sit here today with two kids and two houses.  It's a lot of stress!  And apparently I handle stress very poorly.

Then again I tell myself of course it's a good idea, Shirley!  You're just suffering with the not-knowing-what-you've-got-until-it's-gone syndrome.  And I can only back this theory up by the pit in my stomach and feeling of overwhelming sadness I feel when Hubs says, "Let's go out to eat!  and leave the boys with your parents!"  Leave my babies?!  Why don't we just order in, instead?

So today I'm 35, and it has been my first birthday in 5 years that I didn't really need or desire a nap.  Look at my face at 35, it's been through Hell and back, but I feel like I'm looking at a refined 35 yr old who almost knows her stuff now vs. the goofy 30 yr old that I was. 

So as I blew out my candles this year, I didn't have any particular wish in mind.

Because I already got what I wanted.  I got out of Hell and that stress level is almost gone, and out of those ashes I now have two little Ruffians that although still drive me crazy, they're beginning to make me laugh more. And to me, life is about laughter......

........ and long, natural nails :)  --  I finally got that this year too!

New ring, new mani! That last black mani was crap. Sticking to water decals vs. stickers from now on.  Going natural before the crazy holiday nail art season starts. #frenchmanicure #realnails

Damn, I've come a long way.
Shirley (mama-ruff)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August 2014 Month in Pics

Yet another month has gone by and no posts.  I'm really disappointed in myself.  Missing out on documenting my children's childhood here.  Luckily - it's only here in the blogsphere.  We've actually been quite active LIVING, so I guess that's good, right? Lots of rides this month & my nails.... man- I love my natural nails lately.

-Shirley (Mama-Ruff)
Check us out on Instagram @simplyshirley08

iphonepicscollage_Aug2014 iphonecollage_Aug2014_2 iphonecollage_Aug2014_3

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July 2014 Month in Pics

It was a really relaxed month of July.  We celebrated the 4th having a Peruvian style Luau called Pachamanca. The boys had a lot of good experiences at pool parties.  I got recognized at work with a nice amount of rewards points that I used to buy a new big-girl camera.  My natural nails' length have really taken off after a month of taking Biotin and Calcium <--- which I'm calling my new "nail crack".  And finally, of course, boys will be boys!

I hope you had a nice July!
-Shirley (Mama Ruff)

InstagramPics_july2014_1 InstagramPics_july2014_2 InstagramPics_july2014_3 InstagramPics_july2014_4