Friday, December 1, 2017

Traditions YAY or Nay!!

So as we say goodbye to Thanksgiving and gear up for the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa I am left thinking about traditions. As my "new" family (hubby and critters) have tried to start our own like seeing Santa, get a Critter Santa pic to share, decorating our tree altogether and driving around the neighborhood to see all the beautiful decorations (this is a fun one it  reminds me of Halloween but replace candy with hot cocoa). Along with our new ones we try our best to incorporate the traditions that my husband and I have brought with us from our childhood.                   
These beauties were taking at the Queens Mall at the Santa HQ -

One of mine helped me create a new one. We all used to pile in the car to see the Big Beautiful Christmas house on Pelham Parkway. Yes the one Mariah Carey shot a Christmas video at. So this house is not what it used to be or it is just not cool. I still find it amazing but my kids are done with it after one glance. So I built on this by taking a look around the neighborhood to see the other houses. There are so many people that take just as much time to decorate got to show them love too right. Maybe this year we can even add to this and choose another night and go to the city to see all the store windows done up for the holidays. Just get me some Starbucks and I am good to go. I like to dream when we have our big house on the hill, lol, on what decorations I will have.

Another one from my childhood is going to my grandma's (Abuela's) house every year for Thanksgiving. Most of the family had been keeping this tradition but slowly over the years it went from getting together for all the holidays at Abuela's to then just Thanksgiving. Now just a few of us show up on turkey day. She always like to make a bring spread, classic PR grandma loves to feed her family. We all try to chip in and bring dishes or drinks but no one confirms until the last minute and we all show up when we want so kinda hard to eat together. I guess the most important part is being there since my Abeulo is no longer with us (RIP) Abuela definitely needs company.                                          

Since these tradition have grown and changed over the years as many things do, I am left with the questions why do we continue to follow traditions? Is it that we are comfortable doing them or do we all just feel forced to do things that we do not necessary like or even want to do.
As a newer mom, I want to instill Love, Pride and Joy in my critters lives not Regret, Anger and Hate. So even if we are going to continue some traditions we will still do them our way. For example, we will continue to go to abuela's house but not at the time one or two family members decide we will got at the time that works best for us. As the tradition goes we would all try to arrive early to help Abeula cook. I am talking like 9am she would never let us help and we really dont need to have turkey at that time so we would all just be there feeling uncomfortable because of the heat in the apt or the latest family drama. So this year we left the BX at 2pm and arrived to Manhattan at 3pm, traffic was still impossible so got to find a better time or route for next year, lol. We still had a early dinner but it was dinner not breakfast, lol.

I hope this helped you to think outside the box and do things that work for you and your family. I hate to say it but LIFE IS SHORT. So if there is anything you are doing that maybe you hate or puts you in a mood try to put "your" spin on it. If it means not showing up until most of the family leave because you want to avoid drama and confrontation do it. If it means eating ham and not turkey because you hate the smell of turkey then do it. The happier you feel the happier the holidays will be.
After all of that thinking and thinking I have decided to change my blogger name to RebelMom618.
I have and will be doing things my way and I invite you along for the journey. I hope you will update the link and continue to follow my journey.

                                                           Happy Holidays to all of you.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Santa HQ

So this was our first time seeing Santa so early in the season but I am so happy we got to see him. I think it will help my critters to know that he is already watching and fingers crossed they will all continue to do good jobs or at least I can use the "Santa is watching" for a few extra weeks.

So since we are from the BX we do not honestly venture out to Queens much but Santa HQ was the perfect opportunity. We arrived at the Queens Center Mall, which is HUGE. We have a mall in the BX but it is super small potatoes compared to this mall. You can fit maybe two or three of our malls in this mall. This was our first time and we did not see half the mall so it will not be our last.

So when we arrived we had to figure out where we needed to be, a nice security guard helped to point us in the right direction, Level two, center court. We made it to the right floor and could see the display from far away so we knew we were in the right place. We checked in at the entrance, where we got to see a magic show happening and an arts and crafts table. My critters raced to the arts and crafts table, we made some cute little elves we will use to decorate our home for the holidays.
                          Arts and crafts and we found JustaBXGirl making a elf too

Next we joined in the Magic Show fun because this Elf knew how to please a crowd of little ones (and even grown ups). He actually turned a EGG into LOLLIPOPS. Seriously, I was even impressed, lol. They all grabbed a lolli and then we went to explore the Santa's workshop.

                                  He kept their attention for a very long time, very impressive.

We then went into the workshop where we got a chance to be put on the Nice list. There was basically a huge Nice/Naughty meter where you are "scanned" and then you see if you made the Nice list or NOT.
Tip - Make sure you put in your kids name not yours. Yes, I have to confess, I put myself on the nice list the first time we tried it. Hey you live and learn right, I thought they wanted to parent;s info and then the kids. Also just write you Kids First name and put in the last initial if you have more than one kid, time saver.  Also, that is all that will come up on the big screen so no need to type our a long last name. My critters loved to see just how nice they really are. Of course my oldest critter was the "nicest" of them all, lol.

                  The meter would go higher or lower but I think always on the NICE side

Next we took some fun Winter Holiday themed pictures or tried to. The Santa HQ photo elf, Jessica had a wonderful vision of the boy critters holding the Naughty sign and our RebelGirl.0504 holding Nice. Nope that was not happening for them. My mom would say I give them too many options so they feel like they can pick and choose but come on we just did the Nice meter so no one wanted to be Naughty especially literally on the way to see Santa. So there were some tears but we got at least one nice shot. Big thanks to Jessica because the critters sure make her work for the nice shots. She did not give up and I think I will use these pictures in this years holiday card. Definitely a job well done. Thank you so much.

                                          We got a picture of Jessica working her "magic"

Here is another parent tip so you can be 110% prepared for this fun experience. There is a app that you can download before hand so you can interact with the workshop. Unfortunately we did not but you definitely should and let me know how it works. Download the free Elf-Ray Vision app on your mobile device to begin exploring. (available for iOS and Android). You will probably want to have this on your phone and then bring your camera to take pictures of everything else. After the Elf Ray photo op we moved into a room were there were table of tablets, where we got to make a Elfie video.You can choose how many elfs you want in the video and it is pretty cute. I put all three critters in the video and the best part was after we watched the video there was a option to email it to myself. I did and know I can forward the video to our friends and family. Helpful hint to know before you make video so you are not stressing to record the whole video on your phone to post or share later.


We kept moving exploring all the scenery, Fake snow is super interesting for my critters. They had to touch and discover how their was snow inside of this mall. Since I am all about learning and discovery I showed them the fabric, cotton and some shiny confetti that gave the workshop this awesome winter wonderland look and feel. They really did a wonderful job, everything looked sooo beautiful. The next room was the control center. 


Here the very tech savvy Cruz Critters got to use tablets and explore the Control Center. The objective was to collect all the presents around the room for Santa. Since this was a tablet you know they were all about it. Santa was just steps away from us but they all needed to try out this tablet game. This interactive aspect was very fun, I even wanted to try. We had a Santa HQ tech elf helping us every step of the way which was very nice and helped to unlock all  of the bonuses in the game. After we helped Santa get all his gifts, in the game, it was time to meet the big guy and let him know all the Christmas wishes.

They ran to him as if they were all old friends. RebelGirl.0504 made herself comfy on Old St Nick's lap. It was like she knew this is where I go and I have to go here first, lol. The boys sat next to Santa and then Santa offered his other knee to my middle guy. They all got a chance to let Santa know exactly what they wanted, Yes Toys, Toys and more TOYS. Santa was the best in my book because he did not just "OK Ho Ho Ho." Santa told all the critters "Make sure you listen to your parents, eat all your veggies and brush your teeth and I will see what I can do". This alone was worth any and all drama that lead up to this meeting. I mean come on the guy of all guys, at least to kids, Santa said to listen to your mom that was pretty awesome for me.

                                         Making sure Santa knew the toys they need, lol

We got some great pictures and they even offered to let the grown ups in the picture. My hubby and I declined but our good friend JustaBXGirl took them up on the offer and jumped right in the picture.
Check out her experience at

To book your wonderful Santa experience The package prices are reasonable as well and you get them printed right there. Here are the options below:


I hope everyone has as great a time visiting Santa as we did. Have a Happy Holiday.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Super League Minecraft

TEAM NEW YORK FURY made it to the FINALS !!!! and the crowds go WILD. This means we get a extra week of playing on the big screen at the Cinema De lux theater. I am hoping for more goodies but we are just excited to get to play again for another week with our new friends aka team mates.

This week was full of ups and downs but as always the Team from Super League that organized this event was on point and always trying to keep all the teams spirits up. We arrived right on time and in a mad dash to get logged on to the SuperLeague server we were told by our team, there was a major problem with the WiFi and the server was unavailable. We slowed down and got comfortable. At this session, we had the whole crew, all of the Critters, with us so we had extra people to get settled. When we actually started playing this meant we have extra cheerleaders.


                                           Baby bro and Dad watching Big Bro rock it out on Team E

We learned the problem was not a quick fix so we would have to wait a while longer. The Super League team got us all a snack to pass the time. Huge buckets of popcorn were passed around the room for everyone to snack on. A few moms in the group got the snack situation under control by getting all the players individual snack trays so everyone could enjoy their own portion of the huge popcorn bucket. You got to love the Team Moms, excellent thinking.

         Rebel.Girl.54 got her hands on one of the huge buckets, don't worry it wasn't full

As the popcorn was winding down the problem was still not fixed, the players were keeping busy chatting with their team mates and playing Minecraft, off line or other computer games that did not require internet. The Super League kept trying to keep us all updated and then even confirmed that the players would all get pizza at the end of the session. There were all excited so there were no riots, lol. Since we were still waiting some kids had a rap battle with the Super League staff. The players won, of course, wink wink. It was pretty cool to give the kids another opportunity to shine.

So at about 12 noon-ish the teams were allowed to start connecting to the server. They did not want to the server to crash so they advised to log in team by team. We are Team E so we had to still wait patiently, we watched as the other teams slowly logged on. It was meant to be that they gave out Nickelodeon fidget spinners. This definitely helped to pass the time, more great thinking. Due to the delay they two cut events out, Workshop and Walls. Some of the other Team E players were not happy about this but they still did great. We placed in the top 3 for the Soccer event which was definitely cause for a big cheer. I was cheering for them and I felt good because I actually understood what was happening, only took me a couple of weeks right, LOL!

                                                                   Go Team E !!!!!!!

We are so happy to be going to the FINALS and I will have the full report next week. Be sure to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss it.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Super League Gaming - Minecraft Edition

In  case you did not know I am a true gamer YUP. Girls can like games too, lol. I was the middle kid of five always fighting for MY turn on the Sega Genesis. I would ask for video game consoles for my birthdays and would absolutely love my time spent ALONE when I would get beat levels or even entire games. I was all about the Mario games and Sonic was also my jam.

So with all of that said, it is a given that my Cruz Critters are gamers as well. Yup all 3, my little @rebelgirl.0504 even loves to grab my tablet and play some games. It is a nice thing we can all relate with. Believe it or not I still have to fight for my turn, LOL.

My oldest critter is all about the latest trends and will try all of the new games. He does have his favorites and Minecraft is definitely one of them. So when @justabxmom told me about a the Super League Champs MINECRAFT event I thought we have to go. We already had our day planed but I am all about trying new things so we got up a bit earlier and make it work.

We clicked the link , below and registered right away. Check it out here

My oldest son got his own laptop for his 8th birthday. He has been buggin us to get him the full version of Minecraft on this laptop. We did download the trial version (because it was free). This was the perfect reason to finally buy the full version of the game. So as I was trying to prepare for the Super League Champs event I downloaded the Window 10 Minecraft version. Did you know that there is not only ONE version of this game available for download on a laptop. I mean me being a gamer I think I would be pretty savvy but nope. So we arrive early to event and we are ready to go. laptop is charged, charger packed and excitement high. We signed in, got our special edition jersey and tag to write our Gamer tag on, he wrote his gamer tag himself. I helped a little though, lol.

So we go into the movie theater and the seats are labeled for all the gamers. The parents were supposed to go to the lower level to just to enjoy the game on the big screen. I never made it down there because we had a lot of technical difficulties. Before I go into that I have to say the on site Super League staff was great. They were so helpful and apologetic. They did realize things were a little crazy for the first day of this event but they did their best and always smiled and thanked the gamer or gamer's parents.

So we needed the JAVA version of the Minecraft laptop edition not the Windows 10 version. So we had a lot to do and Marco, Super League staff member got it all done. We needed internet so he made his phone into a hot spot. He uninstalled the Windows 10 version, we created a new Mojang account, install the Java version and then installed the Resources Packs we needed to play on the Super League server. So does seem like a lot but because Marco was so helpful all of this got done with just enough time to play the last round. The last round was ZOMBIES, which is always fun especially right before Halloween.


Once he was playing I sat back, still in gamer's section and just listened and watched the game. It was awesome to hear other kids saying good things about his gamertag, TattleTailXD.

I am hoping to get a better understanding of all the rules and rounds the next time we go.

Let's Go Team New York Fury!!

Definitely sign up for updates from both of these sites.