Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Continuing the Tradition!

In my family birthdays were kind of a big deal...let me rephrase that...they were a HUGE deal! Whoever the birthday boy or girl was got to pick out a special breakfast and dinner meal, and got to eat off of the "special" plate...a plate that was almost solely used for birthday occasions or other special days. A cake (or pie for Grant) was always made and decorated beautifully. We almost always had a big dinner celebration with our immediate family and grandparents. Oh, how I loved our birthday dinners...time spent with family is precious! We got presents too, but I mostly just remember the togetherness, and the love felt from family. And that's the best gift of all.

Well, tomorrow is Johnathan's 1st birthday! Not only is it his first b-day, it's my first time continuing the tradition of meaningful birthday celebrations! I just wrapped his gifts, and they are sitting on the living room floor just waiting to be torn open. I'm about to go make his "cake"...it is going to be unique, that's for sure. Unlike my sister, Gwen, cakes aren't exactly my forte! I'm going to give it my best shot though, so we'll see how that turns out!

I know that Johnathan won't really understand what tomorrow is, but as the years go by I hope that he knows how much the anniversary of his birth means. Birthdays really are a wonderful thing to celebrate, and I'm so very excited to be able to continue what my mother started...birthdays to remember for years to come.

We love you, Johnathan! Happy almost birthday!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Uh, oh...we're in trouble!

It seems that our little Johnathan has his daddy's big appetite. That boy can eat! I don't know where he puts it all, and I'm constantly amazed at how much he can chow down. For example, tonight he had 1) a whole turkey sandwich...two pieces of meat between two slices of wheat bread...with mustard!...2) a baby banana...3) about 1/4 cup of peas...and 4) two cubes of spinach/chicken...homemade by me! And then afterward, while I was trying to recreate his meal for a picture, he was still making his hungry fuss so he had some banana Puffs! Can you imagine an almost 1 year old eating all of that?!! Maybe it's normal, but it sure seems like a lot to me. Here are the pictures of his "meal" and some pics of him as he enjoyed his food.

Of course I didn't feed him the veggies still frozen, like here in the pic, but I just wanted you to have an idea of the amount of food. It's a lot, right?!!
Finishing up a yummy meal!
Ooh, getting frustrated...give me more food!
All done!
Sweetest smile...gotta love those cute little teeth!
I love this crooked little smile!
He was really starting to ham it up for the camera!
I'm happy when my belly's full!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Going for a swim...sort of!

Yesterday, after getting up early to continue our painting headache, I decided that it would be a perfect afternoon for a "swim." Johnathan had a little baby pool that he got last year (thanks Nana & Papi) and I've been wanting to try it out. So, after blowing it up, putting our suits on and getting the towels, we were all ready to fill up the pool and go swimming! Of course the pool is only meant for one baby, so Aaron and I were just going to lay in the sun and watch Johnathan enjoy the water.

As with most endeavors that you're excited about, things never quite go as planned. First off, it took a while to get the hose into the backyard since we had been using it to water the front. Then, once we did get the water in the pool it was freezing! So, I boiled a kettle of water to warm it up a bit---and then I boiled some more because it really was quite cold! No wonder Johnathan cried when we first tried to put him in the pool! Pobrecito!

Once we got things all set, Johnathan did enjoy playing in his little mushroom pool for about 10 minutes or so. All in all it was an okay "swimming" experience for us, and I was able to take some cute pictures of Johnathan before the big swim started. Aah, I just love looking at him in pictures. He is so incredibly cute!

I love his serious face here, so precious!
This picture could be titled "ha!" That is the sound he makes when his little face looks like that.
Sweet smile!
Checking something out...is Daddy coming with the water???
Oh yeah, looking cool and relaxed at the pool. Anybody wanna join me?!!
Look at that big ol' noggin! It's still sort of big looking, but a perfect place for kisses!!!
Oh, this one just makes me melt! Isn't he so sweet looking?!!
Cute little buddy!
I just love his little legs! So squeezable!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


As some of you may have read in a post I wrote a week or so ago, we found out that our house contains a lot of lead paint! All the windows, every door, the mantle around the fire place, the step down into the sun room...pretty much everything that's painted contains lead, except for the kitchen, thank goodness. After contacting our land lady we have a plan to enclose all the lead painted areas, and yesterday I started that process. I taped around several door frames and around the mantle. I am so thankful that most of our home is wood---the walls, floors, and molding---but there is still a lot of work to be done. As I began the process of making our house a safer place for Johnathan (and us) to be, I started to really get discouraged.

I actually started this post yesterday, and had titled it Procrastination because I was seriously delaying the process of enclosing the poisonous paint. If you read online how to fix a lead paint problem, the information that is out there will scare your socks off. I guess that is the reason that I was procrastinating so much. I didn't want to do anything wrong that would make our dilemma even worse. Anyways, I procrastinated so much (and read way too much on the internet before beginning) that by the time I actually started taping and painting yesterday I was really discouraged. Thus the new post title.

As I taped, which took FOREVER, and as I started to primer the mantle, all I could think was "oh, what if the painting is not enough---what if Johnathan's doctor tells us to move to get away from the paint---where could we afford to move---it would have to be a house so that we could keep Bo---will we have to get rid of Bo so we can move into an apartment?" I thought these and other similar negative thoughts. I was really getting bogged down with all the discouragement, and by the time that Aaron got home I was one big ball of negativity. Ugh!!!

This is where having someone with his head on straight really comes in handy. Aaron told me just to pray about it...seemed so simple, why hadn't I thought of that??? So, as I started our dinner prep, I prayed. Prayed that God would show us what to do. Prayed that He would protect our little boy from the "unseen danger" in our house. Prayed that I would be able to relax and to trust that He would take care of everything. I just prayed!

After spending a little time talking to God, I did start to feel a little less discouraged. Amazing how that works! So for now, we will keep doing what we can to protect our little one, and pray to see if God wants us to stay here or if we should move if the painting is not enough. And, if we have to move, I know that God will provide for us in our new place just like He has in our current home. He is good like that!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mac 'n Cheese Disaster!

Yesterday while Johnathan was taking his morning nap I was trying to decide on what I was going to feed him for lunch. Now that he's getting older he is able to add a wider variety of foods to his diet, and since we had been stuck on turkey sandwiches for a while I wanted to try something new. So, looking in the pantry I picked out a box of Mac 'n' Cheese that I had purchased several weeks earlier...and not just any Mac 'n' Cheese mind you, Annie's Organic!

As it neared the time for him to wake up, I started to prepare his lunch and by the time that he finally made his first little I'm awake noises, I had his lunch all ready. I sat him down in his high chair and plopped some yummy Mac 'n' Cheese with Sweet Peas on his tray. He went after it, let me tell you, and he really seemed to be enjoying it. After a couple minutes I noticed that his face looked a little red around his mouth. I was actually looking to see if he would have any type of reaction since it was a new food, and I just wanted to make sure he did okay with it. Well, he did not! A few minutes more and he started rubbing his little chubby hands all over his face, especially around his eyes, and right after that the hives popped out all over his poor little face. His eyes started to get really swollen looking around them, and I was getting really scared! I called up Aaron really quick to find out the correct dosage of Benadryl to give Johnathan, and after administering that I rushed him to the tub to wash off any of the food that might have been on his skin.

Aaron told me to watch him and if the medicine didn't take effect in a couple minutes to take him to the ER...except that he had the car seat in his car! Oh, great! He was scheduled to get off around the time that I called him, and by the time I got Johnathan out of the bath he had made it home. Boy, was I glad to see him walking up to the house. The Benadryl started to work fairly soon after I gave it to Johnathan, and after about 30 minutes he looked pretty much back to normal...then he got another little flare up! So, more Benadryl and watching to see how Baby J. did with that, and two very anxious parents hoping that he was going to be okay. We didn't end up having to go to the ER, thankfully, and now I guess we might have to get Johnathan tested for allergies. I'll talk with his doctor about it when he goes for his 1 year check-up, and in the meantime I won't be trying any new foods. So much for trying to be all healthy and organic!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

6 Years and Counting!

It's hard to believe that so much time has gone by since Aaron and I tied the knot. But, today, March 22nd, 2009 does indeed mark the 6 year anniversary of our marriage! This is one of those times where there is so much to say that trying to pin (or pen) some of the highlights down is actually kind of hard. How do you recapture 6 years worth of life together?

I've been watching our wedding DVD, and it is bittersweet to look back and see the girl I used to be. Oh how naive I was to the sorrow that life can bring...I'm not talking about being married here, but for those of you who know us, you know that our first years of marriage were overshadowed by losing our boys and our "angel babies." So, watching that happy, life-is-always-going-to-be-wonderful girl that I used to be is sort of painful. In other respects though it is wonderful to see that I am in some ways still that happy girl. More in love with her beloved groom than ever, and well aware of the unbreakable bonds that have forged between us because of what we've conquered together.

I feel like this past year of marriage has been our best ever. I'm sure that it is largely due to the birth of our sweet son, Johnathan. It is such a joy to see "proof" of our love in human form, and having him to love has taken our love for each other to a new level. I love seeing Aaron being a daddy, a role that he has craved since we first learned of the life growing inside me when we found out that our love had created a child in our first year of marriage! Now that he is able to live out that role, and now that I am able to live out my dream of being a mommy, we are both in a place where our love for each other has grown by leaps and bounds because we now know joy in addition to sorrow. Having a child just does something for you, and each of our children is a blessing from our Creator.

So here's to us! Happy Anniversary! 6 years down and counting...and counting...and counting...yep, we want to make it to at least 75!!!

- - - - - - -

To my beloved,

Thank you for picking me to be your life's partner. To share in your joy, to help carry you through sorrow, and to be the one you turn to for love. I pray that each year I have with you allows me to give you the respect you deserve as my husband, and the honor that you've earned by being the father of my children. I love you more than life, as your love is life itself. I am so grateful for the 6 years we've had together as husband a wife. I'm thankful for the trials and triumphs that have bonded us together, and I am so blessed to be the recipient of the deep love that you have to give. May each year bring us closer together, and also may it bring us closer to the One who made us for each other. It is only through Him that we are sustained. I love you, my Favorite! You are the love of my life!

With all my heart and all the love I have to give,
Your Grace

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Crazy, Wonderful Mess!

It's no secret that babies are messy. It just can't be helped, and no matter how hard I try to keep things in order throughout the day, well, it just doesn't happen. When Johnathan first started to roam beyond his infant play mat, we set up an area in our living room that would be just for him. A place that would be the home for all his little toys and treasures. At first he kept his things relatively close to their designated area, but that's all history now. Once he starts to play, our living room begins to look as if a tornado has hit!

When I first thought of having so many baby toys in the living room I wasn't exactly thrilled about the prospect of things being out of order. I like things neat, everything in it's place, and when things aren't that way I sometimes get a little stressed---yep, I really do! While I was struggling with the thought of messiness, I had a conversation with my sister Gwen about a time when our Mema had come to visit her apartment. Miles (my nephew) was down for a nap when Mema had arrived, and so Gwen's home looked neat and orderly. As soon as Miles woke up he started playing and of course things got messy really quick. As Miles enjoyed playing with his things, Mema said something to Gwen like " Now everything looks good. It looks like a baby lives here."

After hearing that, it really changed my perspective on messiness. Who wants a home that looks like a picture in a magazine all the time? Okay, I admit it, sometimes I do, but I'd much rather have a house that is a happy home for a child. A place where it's okay to just be a kid...and like I said at the beginning, kids are messy, so it's all part of the package! Of course when Johnathan is older we'll teach him how to clean up too, but for now we will just enjoy his crazy, wonderful mess!

A sample of what our living room looks like during a normal day!

When Johnathan is down for the night, the No-Mess Mommy comes out in me, and I get things all ready for another day! With the mess put back in order, at least I can sleep good at night!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walkin' the Talk!

A few posts ago, I wrote about giving our elders the respect and time of day that they deserve. I didn't want my words to be that only, I wanted to put into action what I was talking about. There is a phrase that comes to mind which I'm sure we all know that goes something like "You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?" Meaning that words are meaningless if you don't act on them. So, Wednesday, I was walkin' the talk, and was able to spend some time at an assisted living home passing out home made cookies to the residents there. The story of how this all came about was actually due to my two Bright Lights girls, who I am very proud of!

Several weeks ago at one of our Bright Lights (Bible study) meetings, we had a lesson on ministering to others and also one on sharing the Good News. After going through the lessons, my girls, Arden and Mikaela, wanted to do something for some nursing home residents. There is an assisted living home really close to our house, so I called it up and spoke with a Sister Barbara there and asked if we could make some cookies to bring to the residents. She was more than pleased to let us, and it worked out for us to be able to go Wednesday afternoon.

After making about 6 dozen cookies around lunch-time, we wrapped them up and took them along with some Bible verse cards we'd made to give out to the ladies and gentlemen at the home. When we got there we spoke with Sister Barbara, and she sent us to the dining room where a lot of the residents had gathered for a guitarist who was playing for them. As soon as we showed up we had their full attention! I doubt they get home made, still warm from the oven cookies that often, so they were ready to enjoy a treat!

We handed the cookies and a Bible verse card out to each person, and I it was refreshing to hear a sincere thank-you from every one. You could tell that they really meant it. Afterwards, we mingled a bit, and showed off little mister Johnathan! Of course he was a huge attraction, and I heard "oh, I have some great-grand babies almost his age" and "I used to have a little one like him...and know he's 60!" Everyone, especially the ladies, thought that our lil' man was adorable and just the best baby ever!

We didn't stay quite as long as I thought we would since everyone sort of shuffled out right after they were done. A couple of ladies did seem to be craving some talk, and we were able to spend a little extra time with them. Arden and Mikaela really shined, and were so gracious to each person. We all want to go back again soon, and we're already planning our next visit. We're thinking maybe something for Easter!

I encourage each of you to walk the talk the next time the opportunity presents itself to you. It is amazing how it makes you feel, especially knowing that you were a bright spot, or should I say Bright Light, in someone's day.


Beanie Baby & Tribute to Auntie Glenna!!!

Last night Johnathan had one of his new meal faves...Beanie Wienies! Normally I'm not a big fan of this meal myself, but after sneaking a few bites of his food I actually kinda like it! I made his meal with Bush's Baked beans (of course!) and some Organic Grass-fed Beef hot dogs that I found at HEB. They are really good, and that's coming from a girl who doesn't really like hot dogs! As you can imagine, eating this yummy meal isn't exactly something you do wearing your Sunday best. It can get pretty messy, so I only let him enjoy this messy yumminess at dinner so that he can hop in the bath right after.

After making a really gooey, smelly mess, especially when he decided to smear his chicken and spinach all over his face along with the beans, he went directly to the bath tub. This brings us to the tribute to Auntie Glenna. When she was a baby, my mom would always do her hair in a curly mohawk type do. So here is Johnathan sporting his baby Auntie Glenna look...pretty cute, huh?!!! We love you Auntie Glenna!!!

P.S. See previous updated post with pictures!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


This past weekend we were able to spend some time with Johnathan's Papi & Nana---Aaron's folks. They got here (late!) Friday night, and were able to stay until Sunday afternoon. As with most of our family gatherings, we enjoyed a lot of good food, several cups of hot coffee and lots of time playing with everyone's favorite little monkey, Johnathan! Speaking of our lil' monkey, he even got to open up some birthday and Easter gifts a little early...and like every good child, he enjoyed the wrapping almost more than the presents! Haha! As if he wasn't spoiled enough already, he now has even more fun learning toys to enjoy. He also got some really cute clothes...he is going to be stylin' this summer!

One of the highlights of the weekend was the visit we were able to make to Robert's (Papi's) Uncle Julio & Aunt Ophelia Aldape. They are a true testament to long lasting marriage...60+ years and still going strong! They are hilarious to be around, and you can tell that laughter has been a big part of their life. Some of Papi's cousins were also able to be there, and everyone had a blast hanging out with Johnathan. He was such a trooper that day. He went all day with only one 30 minute nap in the morning. Usually he takes a long morning nap and a pretty good afternoon one too, so I was so happy that he was able to make it with just a tiny nap for the whole day. And he was so happy all day too! Way to go Johnathan!

I will post pics of our weekend soon...I just need to get them from Papi. Somehow I forgot to take some with our camera. As soon as I have some I'll put 'em up! Love you all!

Playing with his new farm animal puzzle...thanks Papi & Nana!
Looking at his Easter Bunny (thanks tatarabuela, Celia) & hanging out with his new big lambie!
Enjoying his new toys!
Playing with Papi!
Cute little Monkey!
Look at that long hair...and the drool dripping off his lips! Hehe!
Posing with his Nana!
Precious boy!
Salsa dancing with Mama...we love us some Enrique Iglesias!
Walking in his space ship walker!
Trying to eat his little lambie...yumm!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mama Bear in Action

All you mothers (and fathers) out there know that there isn't a thing is this world that you wouldn't do to protect your children. You know how they say, don't get between a mama bear and her cub? Well, that's how I felt yesterday, although instead of a physical threat I was protecting my little bear cub from an environmental predator...lead paint!!!

Sometimes my paranoia actually comes in handy, because I'm constantly on alert when it comes to keeping my baby safe. So, when I felt a nagging deep down in the pit of my mama bear stomach, I just knew that we had to test our home for lead. It's an old house, and after reading that lead in paint wasn't regulated until the late 70's, I figured that our home might just be a danger zone for the toxic paint...and boy, was I right, unfortunately. After testing several surfaces, painted and otherwise, all but two tests came back positive for lead. So, I got out my Dyson and vacuumed up anything that resembled a paint chip on the floors, and Aaron got to reading in his medical journals about the safest way to protect our little one.

We've contacted our landlady and are still waiting to hear back from her. In the meantime, I just have to be really aware of all the potential places that Johnathan could come in contact with the lead paint. And we also will have him tested for lead in his blood at his 1 year doctor's visit. Anyways, Mama Bear here is in action, and there is nothin' that going to harm my young...nothin'!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Wisdom in Wrinkles

I was talking with my Dad on the phone a few nights ago, and during the course of our conversation he told me about some of the work he's been able to do with a senior living community, and how some of the elderly ladies get a kick out of his hugs...everybody likes a good hug! Anyways, after we hung up, I started thinking about our conversation which led to thinking about the older generation that we often overlook or fail to take time to interact with. If there is one thing that I've learned from my dad, (and there are many things!), it is that there is just something special about the people who have quite a number of years under their belt.

In thinking of the people who are considered "senior citizens" one of the things that popped into my mind was wrinkles...now I'm not discriminating here or stereotyping older people, it's just a fact of life that we all will have to deal with sooner or later. Anyways, as my mind wondered in the philosophical realm, here is what I came up with...there is wisdom in wrinkles. And behind every line is a story waiting to be told. Sometimes you know the story without even having to hear it. Such as a woman who has smiled so much that the dimple in her cheek is permanent...I have a grandma like that! You just know that someone is a joyful person when there is a permanent dimple mark...dimples don't lie, y'all! In the same way a life lived in anger will show up too...turn those frowns upside down folks, or they just might stick---for life!!!

I'm not really sure where this post is going exactly, (haha!), I'm just trying to write down some mind's ramblings. I guess one of the main thought processes that I went through was thinking how, in this age of botox, lifts and the like, we cover up and change the stories that made us who we are. We, as a society, put so much emphasis on looking younger and being wrinkle-free that we fail to appreciate the beauty lines that we've gotten from living life! I'm turning 30 in a couple years, and I'm really trying to embrace the thought (and the reality!) of getting older. I hope that when I'm in my golden years that my face will tell a story of a life lived being joyful.

Anyways, my mind is still rambling, but sometimes it is hard to get things out of it and down "on paper" and still be able to make some sense. I do know that I am going to try to start being more in touch with the older generation that I come in contact with. I want to be able to appreciate them for who they are, what they've been through and slow down a little to listen to their stories...the stories spoken or written on their beautiful faces. There is wisdom in wrinkles. And someday I know that my face will be full of the lines of the story of my life. What will your face say about you?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We're Back!!!

Phew! After over 3 weeks of being deprived of my blogging (minus my one attempt on Aaron's phone), I am back in the Land of Blogger and so glad to be home! :) Although our "hiatus" was not planned, it was sort of a blessing in disguise. Sometimes it takes something being taken away for you to realize just how much time you were spending/wasting on it. Not that blogging is a waste of time, actually it is sort of like therapy to me because I love to write, but I was spending a little too much time on the computer doing other stuff that was "just for fun"...eBaying, shopping (or at least window shopping), etc. So, in the absence of my computer time these past weeks, I have discovered new and fun things to do instead. Johnathan and I have both benefited from the lack of a working computer, and even though it's working now, I still plan to limit my time on it, and devote it to more important things...like my sweet boy!!!

These past few weeks have been some fun ones as Johnathan has continued to change, and to adapt to his ever-growing abilities. He is now saying several words, some of them just babble words, but some of them he will say at the appropriate time which is awesome. My favorite is when he is finished eating and will put his arms up and say "ah-dah" (i.e. all done)!!! We have been practicing that for a while, and just in the last week or so he has really caught on and says it at the end of every meal now. It's so cute!

Johnathan has also learned to clap, and really seems to love his new trick! Oh, and one of the things that he loves to do is to head-butt...we tell him "noggin" and he will head-butt us! Aaron taught him that little trick, inspired from the Finding Nemo movie. If you've seen it you know what I'm talking about. :)

The weather here has been beautiful lately, and has allowed us many trips to the park. Luckily there is one just a few blocks from our home, and if our schedule allows it, we try to visit it daily. Johnathan loves the swing, and is content to go back and forth for ages in it. He looks so cute all tucked into the baby swing, and really enjoys the time that we're able to spend outdoors.

Aaron continues to stay busy, although this week we've been blessed to have him home every day for the "staycation" that he was able to take. The way that his schedule was this week allowed him to take a couple days off in order to be home the whole week!!! It's been nice to be home with him, and I know that he is enjoying some extra time with his little boy...and with me too!!!

Aside from spending most of my day watching over and caring for my little monkey, I have also continued to do my bi-monthly Bible study with my cousin Arden and her friend Mikaela. I really enjoy doing this, and it is a bright spot in my life. I've also been able to connect with some of the other young moms whose husbands are residents too. We started going to the library on Tuesday mornings for the children's reading club. It's a 45 minute read and sing for young kids, and Johnathan loves it. He has really started to take an interest in books, and his day is not complete unless we've read some. He also loves looking through them himself, and will sit on the floor and turn the pages in his little board books. He is quite the intellectual!

Well folks, that's all for now. I'll post more as it comes! Love y'all. Miss y'all. Bye-bye!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Unwelcome Hiatus

You may have noticed our absence the past couple of weeks...I know that I sure have been feeling it! Believe me, I have been missing my blogging! Our little break is a result of our computer catching a nasty virus which even doctor Aaron couldn't prevent. So, right now I am currently pecking away on the good doctor's iPhone to give all our fans a much needed update.

Johnathan is doing great these days, and continues to make me melt with his cute little antics. He does this cute little thing now with his tongue and will stick it out of the corner of his mouth, or he will rest between his lips, which makes it look like he has a triple set...it's so precious! He is also in the process of getting a top tooth which has made for some fussy nights and lots of slobber. Hopefully we'll see another pearly white inside there soon. One more recent heart melting moment was the first time I heard him say mama, which is the newest word in his vocabulary! One simple word never sounded so sweet.

There's so much more that I could say here but my thumbs need a break from all of this typing. I'll update as soon as I can, and in the meantime know that we love you all very much.