Sunday, December 14, 2008

take that!

for weeks and weeks our wiifit has been lecturing me on my weight gain, asking me why i think i might be gaining. the thing even spies on me and asks andres about me, asking if i look any slimmer. every time i would get it on i had gained at least 2 pounds. i know why i was gaining weight, but it never occured to anyone over at nintendo to have a pregnancy setting. no, instead i reached obese according to my BMI and my mii just kept getting fatter and fatter and my shirt kept rising higher and higher.

well, it gave me great joy to step on the wiifit yesterday and have a 14 pound weight loss from 2 weeks ago. it's gonna love me for the next few weeks.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

life with antonio

having an 18 month old son means life is never boring. there are so many things i've learned from my little toddler.

for example, the 5 basic food groups have been redefined. they are as follows:
1. milk
2. yogurt
3. rice
4. cheese
5. ketchup

i've also learned that when you keep an 18 month old couped up inside for 4 days because you have a newborn, he turns into the tasmanian devil. running, laughing, and screaming in circles, not even cornflower can handle his energy. which makes her hide, and him seek her out even more.

he's discovered he can pick his nose, that he can fake burp, and that he can take off his clothes. he's even become quite the little exhibitionist. all wrapped up in his towel after his bath, he grabs the ends and opens the towel wide and screams, "hola!".

but the best thing i've learned is that no matter how tired you are, or how crazy he can make you, that that all disappears with his hugs, kisses, and laughter. there is no better feeling.

i'm so happy i'll now get double the love and laughter.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Baby Girl!!

6lbs 5 oz and 18.25"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

promise to myself

i vow to no longer shop at walmart nor target.

target. i thought i was taking advantage of a great deal when i recently purchased a carseat online for less than 50 bucks, a carseat that is normally 300 dollars. oh no. the next day my order was canceled, with target claiming that the item had been mismarked. yeah, i'd believe you except that i know, for a fact, several women that bought the same carseat and received theirs within days of placing their order. not surprisingly, there are several new-in-box britax marathons listed on craigslist now, and they are not 50 bucks.

walmart. several weeks ago i ordered my nephew's christmas present online with free shipping to the store. another great deal, less than 7 dollars on something that i found closer to 10 at most stores. two days after the target carseat fiasco, i received an e-mail that i was getting a refund because the item was lost in the store. yeah right. today i went to walmart to just go buy it in the store and they had PLENTY, all marked at 10 dollars. not a great start to my trip to walmart. then i basically get accused of trying to steal when i'm checking out. if you know me, you know that that does NOT go over well with me. it all started with an incident at big boy with my mom when i was younger.

so, my new promise to myself is to no longer shop at either of these stores. so what if target is the easiest place to get the method brand cleaning products. i'll find some other all natural brand or just get stuff online. so what if the sweet potatoes were 25 cents a pound at walmart when yesterday i paid 43 cents at kroger. so not worth it. i'm sure the atlanta stells will do just fine without shopping at target or walmart.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


that is our latest nickname for antonio. he is quite obsessed with his belly button. he has a lot of jammies that snap up off center and he still manages to stuff his hand in between 2 buttons to grab his belly. so he walks around, and sleeps, with one hand tucked into his pajamas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

well said

i know i am not a good writer. my sister has more beautifully been able to provide a sense of what the past few days have been like in her post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the loaves and the fishes?

i have never cooked pumpkin bread using a whole pumpkin that i cooked myself. in fact, i don't think i've ever made pumpkin bread period. so i had no idea that a small sugar pumpkin was all i would need to make a couple loaves. nope, instead i thought it was a great bargain getting a 20 pound pumpkin for 6 bucks at a local pumpkin farm, especially when the owner said that this certain variety was the kind she preferred for baking. let's just say that i have already made 7 loaves of pumpkin bread and a bunch of baby food trying to use up the massive amount of pumpkin puree that that pumpkin yielded. it's like it just keeps multiplying.

fat guy in a little coat

i am very disappointed in the fact that the sweater that i had bought for antonio to wear at thanksgiving is clearly mislabeled. he wore it the other day and it is way too small. i kept waiting for the sleeves to bust open as he bent over to grab his toys. hooray for having to deal with the mess of convincing the ladies at the store that it was mislabeled. as if i didn't already have enough to do.

listen to Him

i have struggled over the past few days with how to write this post. it's hard to find the words, and when i think i've found them, i get too emotional to write them and have to put the computer away.

late friday night, my dad called to tell me my abuelito carlos had passed away. while abuelito had definitely not been well the past several months, the news still hit me like a ton of bricks. in june, when abuelito first got very ill, i rushed to get my passport expedited. i wanted to see him for what might be the last time. slowly he improved, and i never went. i second guessed myself the whole time, thinking if i didn't go then, what would i do if something were to happen later and i'd be too pregnant to travel. but abuelito slowly improved and eventually went home. i spoke with my parents and kept plans to travel this coming spring at the back of mind so that abuelito carlos might meet both my children at once. i convinced myself that there was time.

i spoke with abuelito about 3 weeks ago. and the past week, i've been saying to myself to call him again and see how he was doing. but something always came up and told myself i would just do it the next day. i had a dream last wednesday night that my abuelito passed away. i know now that God was telling me there wasn't much time and that i needed to quit making excuses for not calling. i wish i had listened better for now i will never get to hear his voice again. to talk about the weather as we always did on our phone calls. to tell him about his great-grandson and his great-granddaughter on the way.

the past few days i've spent a great deal of time just thinking about my abuelito, my padrino. remembering him. like the time he took carlos and i to the zoo in lima. or how proud he was of his grandchildren that he took a picture of me while i was on patrol duty in sixth grade. of the time he got pulled over while driving us to school. or how much he loved having his nightly ice cream after dinner, and how annoyed he would get with my aunt when she tried to tell him he couldn't have any. or how a man in his seventies kept up with his teenage grandchildren as we trekked around the amazon. or how he kept scotch tape locked up like it was gold and velcro-ed the TV remotes to the couch to not lose them.

even in his death, my grandfather was true to form. he was a general in the peruvian army and he wanted to be buried in his uniform. not only had he set his uniform aside, but had included a note as to where his hat was. like i said, true to form.

i truly wish i could have traveled to peru for the funeral. but it would have been too risky at over 36 weeks pregnant. but i was there in spirit. i can only imagine what it must have meant for my brother and my dad when the military officer removed my grandfather's military medals, sword, and hat from the casket, and saluted my brother as he handed them off to carlos. and i don't even have to strength to ask my parents or my brother what papi said when he spoke at the funeral.

all these "what ifs" have been going through my mind. mami offered consolation by telling me that when you're young that you always think there will be more time. but i really wish i had listened better and called.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

like mother, like daughter

before antonio was born, i wondered what kind of parent i would be. my mom often teases me that i'm just like my dad in many ways. but this week i've caught myself doing so many things my mom used to do when i was growing up...

- antonio had a frustrating week at dinner time. he wouldn't eat anything. instead he would sit in his chair and scream at us. there weren't even any real tears. without thinking, i turned to my son one night and told him "te va a dar escorbuto por no comer".

- in part due to my frustration with antonio's poor eating this week, and yes, a little of the scurvy fear (i know it's ridiculous, but mami always made it seem so real), i was desperate for antonio to eat more fruit. his snack yesterday afternoon consisted of a sliced banana covered in sprinkles, just like mami used to give us. i don't think i've ever seen antonio so happy to eat a banana, though i must admit that at first he only licked off the sprinkles.

- i have an obsession with little gourds and those little, tiny, baby pumpkins. andres doesn't understand why i'm so drawn to them. and today at the pumpkin patch, as i looked over the gourds and wanted to bring home a basket full, it dawned on me. mami loves them too and always has them out during the fall. and don't forget pointsettias at christmas time. if i had my way, our fireplace hearth would be covered with pointsettias.

- every morning i put my pajamas under my pillow after i get dressed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


you know you are working in a rural area when...

- you pass more horses, goats, cattle, and alpacas than cars on your way to work
- the marquees on all the stores are all wishing the cabbage patch kids a happy birthday
- you pass no less than 3 corn mazes in a single work day
- you get an e-mail from work about a pig for sale that is ready for slaughter

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bus Accident

On the way home from work today my bus on I-85 was in an accident. Definitely shook me up. I am physically okay, but my bike is not. It was on the front of the bus when a car illegally changed lanes into the carpool lane (and he was by himself by the way) and clipped the bus, causing the bus to slam into the rear of the car at 65mph. The bus went into a skid, (luckily avoiding the jersey wall) all the while shrapnel from the civic was flying past my window. When we finally came to a stop, I was afraid to look for my bike at the front of the bus, and was surprised to find that it was still there. When the HERO unit came and moved the accident over to the right shoulder, I was finally able to get out of the bus to look at my bike, and found that the front wheel is bent to the point that it cracked, and the rear wheel is bent as well. The frame and the front fork may be bent as well, but I'll need to look at it more closely. Although I am annoyed that now I don't have a my primary means of getting to work, I have to thank God that no one was injured (even the guy driving the civic), and hopefully I'll be able to get my bike repaired/ replaced and be back on my bike in not too long.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

the perfect little family?

we are excited announce that we found out we are having a baby girl!! antonio is going to have a little sister!

as we've told people the exciting news, they've all been very excited for us as well. many times, immediately after being told congratulations, people say, "now you have a little pair". or, "one of each, what a perfect little family". it's amazing to me that so many people assume that we are done having kids because we already have one of each. or how people think the only reason others keep having children is to get at least one of each gender.

a friend of mine was leaving the gym with her 3 children: the oldest a boy, a 3-year-old girl, and a newborn baby girl. a complete stranger came over to dote on the baby and actually asked (about the newborn) "is she your mistake?"

like i said, i have just been amazed. we certainly plan on having more kids if we are fortunate enough to be blessed with more children. we may even have 2 "little pairs" eventually. maybe antonio will be our only boy. or maybe his sister will have only brothers. whatever we are given, we will be more than happy to receive. but it certainly will not be because of some societal quota.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

there's a monster under my bed

cornflower loves to sleep under our bed. sometimes she'll just go under there when we are all upstairs hanging out. we'll completely forget that she's under there and come downstairs. about 10 minutes later we might hear a soft tapping at the baby gate blocking the stairs at the bottom and a quiet whimper. sure enough, there she is at the gate waiting for us to open it. other times she'll sneak up there without us knowing and she'll just suddenly pop out from the under bed while folding laundry or making the bed. she's not a small dog, mind you. she's about 45 pounds, fairly solid. she's definitely caught me off guard a few of those times when she just jumps out from underneath the bed.

we've always joked that she's our blue monster under the bed. lately we've been wondering if maybe we should stop calling her that. otherwise, how would we ever convince antonio that there's no such thing as monsters under the bed?

my apologies... the lady in the pew in front of us at church a few weeks ago. it never crossed my mind that he might tickle the feet of the person kneeling in front of us.

Friday, July 18, 2008


if you clean their hands first they will inevitably get them dirty again by putting them on the tray you haven't yet cleaned.

if you clean the tray first, they will inevitably get it dirty by putting their not yet cleaned hands on the tray.

so which do you clean first?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Today as I rode up to the office on my bike I realized that I had forgotten to pack a pair of socks. Oops, so far I have been able to remember everything I need until this morning. At least it was only socks not something more important and more readily apparent than socks.

Monday, June 30, 2008

call it crunchy...

but we are switching to cloth diapers. it's something we had talked about doing with antonio from the beginning but we were given so many disposables that we didn't want to waste. and then we got sucked into the convenience of them. but we're finally ready to make the switch. we've been doing a lot of research as to what we need and what it will take, and it seems really doable. cloth diapering has a come a looonng way. seems like the only real difference between plastic and cloth these days is a few extra loads of laundry. i can handle that. we're gonna get started with antonio this summer so we are in full cloth diaper swing by the time "grillo" is born. (oh yeah, we're having another baby in december!). i'm pretty excited about making the switch. it'll be better for those precious little bottoms, better for the wallet in the long term, and better for the environment.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Flat Tire

Yesterday after commuting approximately 900 miles over the past year I got my first flat tire. And of course it had to be the rear one to make it a bit more difficult. But I actually was prepared. I had my new pump, a Topeak Mini Morph, an extra tube and my pry babies. The pump worked like a wonder compared to all the other compact bike pumps I have used before. So all in all it was I was able to change the tube with nothing more than a few ant bites (yes, I didn't realize that I sat near a path ants were using and was bitten a few time on my rear.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

my little foodie

here is a short list of some of the foods that antonio will eat without a fight:

- roast cauliflower with thyme
- grilled zucchini stuffed with onions, breadcrumbs, and mozzarella
- gnocchis with homemade marinara sauce

yet i cannot, for the life of me, convince my child to eat a chicken nugget. not even one bite. i would never have imagined that it would bug me that he won't eat fast food (he doesn't like french fries either). but seriously, who doesn't like chicken nuggets.

Monday, June 16, 2008

mixed bag

Antonio is 1!!! My sweet boy had his first birthday on June 1st! I think he knew it was his special day, his face would just light up when people sang to him. He was blessed to spend his first birthday with most of his abuelos, his aunts/uncles, and all his cousins. We had a wonderful time and threw him a birthday luau since we were at the beach.

Speaking of which, we got to go on a week-long beach vacation. We had a wonderful time at the Outer Banks. A nice long vacation where we weren't scurrying about was long overdue. I can't wait until the next one. (Even though there was a rampant strain of "pato-virus" going around. :)

Each day I am amazed at the things my son can do. He puts the phone to his ear and talks into it when he's playing. He makes "vrooom" sounds as he pushes around his toy cars. He dances. He claps. I could go on and on. I must comment on what I learned he can do today. Apparently he has figured out how to use a spoon. How do I know this? My sneaky little mouse found my sugar holder in the cabinet in our dining room and sure enough I find him with sugar spoon in hand, sugar crystals all around his mouth, and a huge smile on his face.

What will he figure out tomorrow...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

a little extra protein

i'm pretty sure antonio ate an ant the other day.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

what would Mary do?

that's right. not what would Jesus do, but what would Mary do.

the past 6-8 weeks have been very challenging. antonio has been waking at night, then refusing to sleep in his bed. he doesn't take a bottle at daycare anymore. it all makes for a somewhat cranky baby who only wants to be held.

when he was a newborn, i didn't mind the sleep deprivation so much. i could nap when he napped. but now, he's almost a year old. he's awake 10 hours during the day, not asleep 10 hours during the day. i also have to go to work.

the sleep regression, the clingy-ness, the trouble's all catching up to me. i find myself getting very frustrated and weepy, sometimes more than once a day. i have moments where i feel like i'm not cut out for this. it's hard. once the moment passes, the guilt at having those thoughts is even worse.

i needed to do something. i decided to turn to Mary. when antonio is crying about being put in his bed or screaming and refusing to eat, i think to myself "what would Mary do".

Mary is a mother too. she gave birth to our Lord, she raised Him, and she had to watch Him die on a cross to save us. and she did it all without questioning God. she accepted God's call and put her complete trust in Him.

so when i get flustered and feel the exhaustion getting to me, i say a few Hail Marys and ask for her grace. if anyone can help, she can. God gave me antonio in order to raise him to be one of His children. so just as Mary accepted God's call for her, i ask for Mary's intercession to help me live out God's call for me. to get through the tougher moments without doubting. to trust in God completely that this is His plan.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

the things we do for our children

for the past 10 weeks we have been taking antonio to a weekly swim class at our local YMCA. he absolutely loves the water.

the kicker is that it takes us just under 20 minutes to get there, i spend about 20-30 minutes afterwards getting him showered and dressed, and then another 20 minutes to get home. totaling about 70 minutes.

the class is a whopping 30 minutes long.

sometimes i wonder if it's worth it. it seems like such an ordeal for a measly half an hour in the pool. but then we get there and i see his big smile and hear his laugh upon getting into the pool, and it is more than worth it.

it amazes me every day the things we find ourself doing just because we love antonio so much.

the amazing race

several weeks ago we had to make a last minute trip to el paso. while trying to find tickets that were not outrageously priced, we found some on american airlines. we couldn't believe our luck at finding such a decent price at the last minute. well, unlucky for us we were flying out the day that all their cancellations began for plane inspections. we were supposed to leave tuesday night. we got bumped to wednesday morning. find out wendesday morning our connecting flight in dallas had been canceled. next available flight got us in at 10:00 pm on wednesday. this wasn't some leisurely vacation. we HAD to be in by 6:00 on wednesday. so here we are, 10:00 AM on wednesday, begging the ticketing agent to find ANYTHING. visions of contestants on the amazing race went through my head as we kept telling the lady "earlier, faster, this is very important". we had called my in-laws to see if they found anything online. it was 10:05 when they called back saying they found something that left at 11. the ticketing agent was doubtful that we would make the flight, but we insisted and ran across the airport to the delta counter. we begged for people to let us cut in line so we could check in. but we made the flight! we got terribly confused in the kansas city airport. then we had to run through denver to make our 30 minute layover. but we made it el paso at 5:30 on wednesday. and shortly after we landed they closed the el paso airport secondary to high winds. we really had our guardian angels looking out for us making sure we got there in time.

so claudia, submit the tape. amazing race would be cake.

Friday, April 04, 2008

the best 10 minutes of my day

are those few minutes after antonio wakes up from a good nap and is perfectly content snuggling with his mami. we just sit in his glider and cuddle and he tells me his dreams. i savor every moment of those 10 minutes because someday, probably sooner than i'd like, antonio will outgrow snuggling with his mami. it's a big world out there and he won't want to spare a minute of exploring it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Another Breakfast at Tony's

I was able to enjoy another Breakfast at Tony's this morning. Although it was really early when we got up, Antonio was in a great mood. He accidently poked my back while I was in the middle of a nightmare, causing me to jump at 4am, and of course didn't want to go back to sleep. So we went downstairs and he told me all about his night while I made my breakfast. As we were eating he beckoned Equis over & scracthed his spot & was actually able to get Equis to do his pompi dance (which I believe is Antonio's first time doing so). Although it is only 6:45 in the morning on my bus ride to work & I am already tired (as I am sure Julia is too, since Antonio & I ended up waking her up when I jumped this morning), it was a great way to start the morning.
- Andrés

Monday, March 31, 2008


As I am flying to Oklahoma City for work, I have been reading "Undaunted Courage" about Lewis discovering the northwest passage to the Pacific. The mention of some of his travels has really sparked my urge to travel. I am really craving to explore with Julia & Antonio Philadelphia and more of Peru. Maybe soon we'll be able to have some more family adventures.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

lack of posts

what can i say. life happens. maybe we'll get caught up this weekend.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

rite of passage

i am officially the proud owner of a new swimsuit where the bottoms are a skirt. more and more i find i do things that really make me feel like a mom.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


last week was very trying emotionally. a great job opportunity had presented itself to me, but alas, there was another candidate more qualified than myself.

thursday night we received a call that the father of one of our dearest friends was being admitted to hospice. he had been receiving treatment for cancer but had taken a rapid turn for the worst. he found peace only 12 hours after being admitted to hospice. lucy could use your prayers today as she has to bury her father.

we have been excited about the upcoming arrival of the baby of one of our other closest friends. they are pregnant and are due in july. her "big" ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby was last week, her first one. no first trimester ultrasound since she wasn't high risk. it was a bittersweet appointment. though they were blessed and excited to find out they are expecting a little boy, they also found out that she had been pregnant with twins and one had passed at what seems 15 weeks gestational age. i cannot even imagine. to want to feel joy for having a healthy little boy, but also want to mourn for a child that you didn't even know you had. she is being followed by a specialist for the duration of her pregnancy. at a second ultrasound on friday, the specialist said little stuart looks perfect, his words. we are praying for the saints' intercession that in about 20 more weeks, we all get to meet their son, healthy and happy.

after all this, i realized...things aren't so bad if the worst thing for us last week was that i didn't get a job i wanted. so i just thanked the Lord for all our blessings.

9 in, 9 out

i realized the other day that antonio has been here with us longer than i was pregnant with him.

the past 9 months have passed just as quickly as the 9 months i was pregnant. they have also had times that seem to pass so slowly you wish they were over. yet, when those very moments pass, you miss them.

i am constantly amazed at how much antonio has taught me. i always thought we would be the ones teaching our children, but being a mom has shown me that it's often the opposite. this tiny little baby has taught me about myself, about my husband, about what's really important in life. in 9 months, i've learned more from antonio than i have in the past 27 years.

Monday, March 10, 2008

i've been tagged

Ten years ago today, i was:
- a senior in high school
- captain of the varsity soccer team
- waiting for college acceptance letters

Five things on my to-do-list today:
1. take antonio to a playgroup at my church
2. wash a load of antonio's laundry
3. start packing for our trip to colorado on wednesday
4. make dinner
5. finish up some paperwork (for a job that i already left!)

Things I would do if I were suddenly a billionaire:
- be a stay at home mom without having to worry
- have another baby now
- pay off the house and our student loans
- give money to the church
- give money to my family so everyone can take a nice vacation
- go to scotland (one of andres and i's dream vacations)

Three of my bad habits:
1. spending money i don't have
2. spending too much time on the internet
3. leaving shoes downstairs

Jobs I’ve had:
1. pediatric physical therapist
2. university gym supervisor
3. assistant secretary at a property management company
4. worked at bath and body works

Five things people don’t know about me:
1. i would love to be an adapted PE teacher someday
2. i have a weird fear of heights/falling off cliffs
3. i really don't like to drive on the interstate at night
4. i love the movie "white chicks" and will watch it whenever it's on. that, and "night at the roxbury"
5. i want a tattoo of antonio's footprint

So, I am going to tag: marisa and christi. I would have tagged my anointed pals, but tara took care of that already. If you have been tagged, it is because I find you interesting, not because I want to annoy you.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Breakfast at Tony's

This morning when I was done getting ready and was going to go downstairs to eat breakfast and feed the dogs, Antonio woke up and was all smiles to see me. So I brought him downstairs and he kept me company while I made and ate breakfast. It was wonderful having him tell me about his dreams, his thoughts, what the dogs were doing and who knows what else this morning. The he later went back to sleep with Julia when I left to ride my bike to work. I hope this is a habit that Antonio starts doing more often. It definitly made my morning special that he decided to wake up and keep me company.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

march madness

my name is julia and i am addicted to buying baby clothes. i am often teased that antonio is my own personal "barbie" doll, and i get to play fashion show. it is not uncommon for him to go through more than 2 outfits day just because i feel like it. he does have a pretty decent closet. and yes, marisa, i can probably tell you every single thing in it. but how can one resist all the teeny little boy outfits?!

well, i must learn how to resist. you know you have a problem when the UPS man comes twice to your house in the same day, and also the fedex man. i actually dreaded opening the last package yesterday. it was like strega nona's pot of spaghetti except it was teeny madras shorts, white linen pants, and hawaiian shirts. baby boy outfits just kept spewing out.

so believe it or not, i have vowed not to buy antonio any clothes at all for the month of march (well, except for one consignment sale i had planned on going to. and even then, i will go with cash and have a limit). you can stop laughing and rolling your eyes now. i know i can do this. it won't be easy for me, but i know i can do it. i should take advantage of the weather and go outside more, not go to the mall. i don't think antonio will mind wearing the same outfit all day long.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

slightly worried

i would not be totally surprised if antonio's first words are "cornflower, no!". poor boy, i'm surprised he doesn't think that's his name.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Eating as a Family

I love that we have now been eating as a family. Yes, it does take longer, as one of us has to feed Antonio while we eat, but it is worth it. I know I love his company at the table, his silly grins and his sweet laughter.

Monday, February 18, 2008

it's like crack

Antonio:Gerber banana puffs AS Julia:Zaxby's tater chips

We have some serious addictions here. I may go into withdrawal whenever we move away from Georgia.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

growing up too fast

antonio has gotten his first tooth. and it makes me really sad. more sad than the fact that he's sort of crawling on his belly now. meeting his motor milestones haven't really bothered me this whole time. but there's something about his first tooth. it just makes me sad. no more gummy smiles.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

kids, gotta love 'em...

i have turned in my resignation at my current job. the hours, the drive, the caseload. it's been more than i can handle as a wife and mother. in changing jobs, i hope to spend more time at home with antonio.

it took a while to make the decision to quit because i really do love working with the kids. here's one of the reasons why, a conversation i had with P during his aquatic session.

P: when a grape gets all wrinkly it makes a raisin.

miss julia: that's right! do you know what it's called when a plum gets all wrinkly?

P: yes. a super big raisin.

i'm looking forward to the day when i can have such conversations with my own children. and now that i'll be spending more time at home, i'll make sure not to miss it.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


andres and i are in the process of getting our house ready to put on the market. we definitely need to declutter. there are many things that we can put away and live without for a short time. but there are also many with which we cannot.

i'm sitting here watching a show about getting your house ready to sell. you know, one of those shows where they want your home to look like no-one actually lives there. nothing on the kitchen counter, no photos, no toys, no dog beds, no crucifixes. they even put away a baby's booster seat!

i'm sorry, but i have to live in this house. my husband has to live in this house. my son has to live in this house. even the dogs have to live in this house. i will NOT take down the crucifixes. i will NOT put away antonio's booster seat or exersaucer (as space occupying as it may be). i will NOT eat on paper plates for the next few weeks just to keep the kitchen a little cleaner. and if it means making $500 less on the sale of the house, then too bad. i think it's a small price to pay for being able to live in your own home.

mommy moments

you know you're a mom when...

- you learn the hard way to never wear a white button down shirt to mass on sundays
- you walk around half the morning at work with your shirt on inside out
- you look like you just walked out of coal mine going up to communion on ash wednesday because your son's ashes have rubbed onto your face between his cuddling and squirming
- you SWEAR you know where the YMCA is to sign up for infant swim classes, yet you end up making no less than 4 u-turns along the same road
- you cry when he cries
- you cry when he laughs
- you start to miss him the moment you put him down for bed at night

dear carlos

i really wish my brother would start a blog. he has the most spectacular "stories", for lack of a better word.

for example, one of his latest is the travels of his cell phone all the way to london...

and back...

without him.

so carlos, if you're reading this, think about it. you'd have at least one avid reader here. :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

what's a $1.30?

apparently it's the premium that the grocery store charges to buy scallions pre-sliced.

all i needed as i stopped at the store on my way home was 1 bunch of scallions to put over the top of the jambalaya pasta i was making for dinner (happy mardi gras everyone!). ordinarily 70 cents.

of course when you only need ONE thing at the grocery store, they don't have it. so i thought, oh, i'll just get the pre-sliced ones. i'm sure it's not that much more expensive. wrong. it was TWO DOLLARS!! i may be a little irresponsible when it comes to shopping, but even i am not THAT bad. so i left. andres and i would have to do without the scallions.

i felt further justified as i thought to myself on the way home what $1.30 really is. here's my list so far.

$1.30 can buy each of these separately...

- a dozen eggs
- 3 jars of baby food (which is actually 6 servings for antonio)
- 2 heads of broccoli
- a bunch of bananas
- 12 packages of ramen noodles :)

seriously, have we become so lazy that we will choose to buy pre-sliced green onions (which don't even required peeling i might add) over fresh fruits and vegetables?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

a new perspective

the time to babyproof is fast approaching as antonio is slowly figuring out how to wiggle himself forward on his belly. to be prepared, i went to babies r us on friday to get a few basics. a baby gate, outlet covers, etc. however, it is almost impossible to go to babies r us and leave only with what you had planned. i got sucked into the toys section. and naturally, i was convinced that antonio needed a few "educational" toys that taught letters and numbers.

by the time i got home, i was rethinking my toy purchases. did he really need maracas that count? or a drum that says the alphabet? no. so i returned them the next day. i didn't have all the leapfrog toys to help you learn to read by the time you turn 3. but i still learned to read. and i love to read.

i'd rather have antonio use his imagination with simple toys. you can get one simple toy that a child can find a million ways to play with or you can buy a cheap plastic toy that does one thing. what do you think they'll play with longer?

my new realization that simple, preferably natural, toys are the way to go was further confirmed last night. antonio happily played for 30-45 minutes with a plastic duplo container. it gave me such delight watching him figure out that he can bang the sides like a drum, reach for blocks inside it, or make funny sounds by talking and squealing into it. he's already learning how to use his imagination.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

12 steps

1. arrive at the car and unlock the doors.

2. lock the stroller brakes. a very important step that must not be skipped. ask me how i know this.

3. buckle baby into carseat.

4. place diaper bag in the back seat.

5. remember that your phone and wallet are in the diaper bag (since the diaper bag now is your purse) and put them in the front seat so that they are accessible.

6. quickly retrieve pacifier from diaper bag for crying baby who's tired of waiting.

7. place shopping bags in the backseat.

8. fold the stroller. yes, this merits its own step.

9. place stroller in the trunk.

10. replace pacifier for still crying baby.

11. quickly run around to the driver's seat and hop in.

12. finally go on your way.

and this is why, when you think you should have enough time to do any sort of errand, you never do.

Monday, January 28, 2008

a non-answer is better than a bad answer

like tara commented, sometimes as parents we can know too much for our own good. the past 2 weeks antonio has been doing this weird thing with his tongue where he keeps his mouth open and you can see his little tongue quivering. at first i attributed it to some sort of food allergy. but even after removing suspected trigger foods, i could see his little tongue trembling. i finally decided to call the doctor today after it was at its worst this past weekend. given my profession and education, i know what sorts of serious things that a quivering tongue is signs of. but i don't know enough to know that it can be normal. so off to the pediatrician we went. after spending about 10-15 minutes with us, the diagnosis was....

nothing to be concerned about. he couldn't give me a reason for it (he doesn't think it's food allergies), but didn't think it was anything bad. i'm the type of person that likes answers so it was a little frustrating to not know why he does it. but my parents gave me great advice when i talked to them afterwards...a non-answer is better than a bad answer.

so true.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Frozen Water

This morning, it was 19 here in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, and when I got to work I noticed that the water in my water bottle on my bike had become ice. First time that has happened to me. I had on full fingered biking gloves, but for temps this low I need some gloves with insulation, my hands hurt by the time I finished my ride. But it felt good to feel the crisp air on my face. I am looking forward to the day we can go bike riding all of as a family (hopefully it will be warmer then).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

baby legs

i had a bad afternoon today. so bad i almost felt like going jogging when i got home to let off steam. but as i was switching andres' and my laundry over to the dryer i pulled out a teeny pair of red pants that had gotten in there my mistake. and it made me smile.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

any ideas...

on how to convince an angry, yelling 8 month old that he can't pick up the little green frog and eat because it is, in fact, embroidered onto his pajamas.

blueberry boogers

i'm home alone last night with antonio and the dogs. andres is in oklahoma. antonio and i are sitting on the floor playing and i look at him and see pink/red running from his nose. i start to panic because why would an 8 month old have a spontaneous nosebleed. then i remember that antonio got blueberries up his nose in the morning and they were now making their way out. the fun never ends.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

and this is why

i'm not freaking out that antonio isn't crawling yet. today i asked him to give mami "un beso" and sure enough he leaned forward with his mouth wide open and planted one right on my face.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

on andrew and other musings

i worry. a lot. when antonio was one day old and we were still in the hospital i expressed to antonio's pediatrician my concern over the spontaneous nystagmus that i had noted. at one month, i was googling intention tremors in the newborn. just last weekend i looked for information on infant tongue thrust.

i am a pediatric physical therapist. my job involves motor milestones and movement patterns day in and day out. antonio gets a lot of "therapeutic" play. i have, however, been blessed with a child that is in no hurry. i say blessed because i am slowly learning not to worry quite as much.

did i freak out when antonio wasn't rolling back to front at 4 months? yes.
did i freak out when antonio wasn't sitting independently at 5 months? a bit.
am i freaking out that antonio is not crawling at 7 month? not so much.
will i freak out when he's not walking at 12 months? i really don't think so.

antonio will meet his milestones when he's good and ready. i just have to be more trusting and have faith that everything is fine.

what got me thinking about how antonio's milestone acquisition, though slower than i had hoped, is in fact a gift, was thinking about my nephew. my oldest sister has never been much of a worrier. but my next oldest sister is more like me. or i should say was more like me. she was a worrier. until she had andrew. andrew is the sweetest, most caring little boy. he is also fearless and full of energy. my sister recently told me that one afternoon, he decided to talk like tigger all afternoon. he is 100% boy. he was the perfect gift for my sister. because if he couldn't teach her to worry less, then no one could. i realized how both my sister and i were blessed with the children we were blessed with for a reason.

then i started thinking more about andrew. he really is the sweetest boy i know. his eyes were teary and his voice choked when he sang "you are my sunshine" to my son. he wasn't even 5 yet. but such was his love for his cousin that he's only gotten to see just a few times. so maybe it's not that he just has tons of energy. maybe his heart is just so big in his little body that he is just bursting with love.

a season of firsts

so much to get caught up on...

growing up, the christmas season seemed to be the most wonderful time of the year. you just didn't think it could get any better than playing in the snow, decorating the tree, singing carols (the king of glory comes,...), laughing with your family, opening presents. i learned this year that it does get better, way better. i've had many many joyous christmases, but i don't know if any of them can surpass my first christmas as a mother. antonio's first christmas was more fun than i could have ever imagined. the only sad part was that we could only spend it with one half of the family.

antonio spent his first christmas in el paso. his abuelos doted over him quite a bit. and he was just as happy to meet his great aunts and uncles as they were to meet him. he was all smiles and giggles. he even got to meet his great-grandfather with whom he shares a birthday. abuelito roberto is over 90 years old, and while neither one might remember meeting the other, each brought joy to the other. abuelito roberto would reach out to antonio and antonio would grab his hand, and both would smile. truly a special moment that i will never forget and will repeat countless times to my son. andres' family always sings christmas carols on christmas eve and antonio was delighted when we sang his favorite christmas song, the little drummer boy. he loved opening his gifts, and he cried when we would take away the paper. while in el paso we were also able to go to chihuahua, mexico and the canyon del cobre for 4 days. it was quite an adventure, and a separate post altogether. it was beautiful, but definitely a trip for the books.

while antonio spent christmas day in el paso, he got to celebrate the twelfth day of christmas with his other abuelos and aunts and uncles. and his plethora of cousins of course. he and i flew to DC to celebrate his first feast of the epiphany. while we grew up always celebrating three kings day, the way my family celebrates it has changed over the years. nowadays, all the grandchildren spend the night on the 5th of january at abuelo and abuela's house, where they wake up in the morning to open the gifts that the three kings brought overnight. then the parents come over and everyone enjoys brunch together. as my parents' house is not yet ready, thanksgiving and christmas eve were spent at my sisters' houses. but my parents refused to abandon tradition this year when it came to three kings day. so there we were, abuelo and abuela, myself, and 9 grandchildren all spending the night at the "teeny house". what we lacked in space was made up for with laughter, joy, and love.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

does it get any better...

antonio and i flew home to DC this past weekend and unfortunately andres could not join us. while we had a great time visiting the abuelos, tíos, and primos, antonio and i really missed his papi. yesterday andres got to pick up antonio on his way home from work and antonio was so happy to be with his papi that andres told me antonio was laughing out loud from his carseat on the way home. it gave me so much joy that antonio was so happy to see his father.