Friday, May 29, 2009

Self Feeding

She doesn't even need me anymore.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Every day is different.

Yesterday Sofia was so sweet in the morning. She let me do her hair, notice the bow!

she ate all her breakfast

she even played quietly in her play room while I got myself ready.

I can only assume she was making up for the day before.

What this photo doesn't capture is just how much of those peaches are in her hair. You also can't see that the clock says 8:39 and we should have been gone by 8:30. And, is she flipping me the bird?

I love her nonetheless. With all my heart.

And then.

Yesterday afternoon she threw her first fit. And I mean, on the floor, crying, I'm mad at you, seriously mad at you, for taking that coke can away from me, fit.

I love her nonetheless. With all my heart.

Especially when she is sleeping!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Remember the Alamo!

As many of you know the time I spent living in Galveston several years ago was marked mostly by my little stint working in life insurance. I worked for American National Insurance Company (ANICO) and I despised most every second of it.

The only good that came out of it was my friendship with three other girls who felt my pain, Bobby, Lindsey and Kristy. We used to walk to lunch regularly to local restaurants and fantasize of being hit by a car on the way back. Nothing fatal, just enough of an injury to keep us out of the office for the afternoon or all week!

Yes, it was that bad.

Luckily, we've all moved on from ANICO now and Bobby, Lindsey and I eat lunch together regularly. Kristy, however, moved to San Antonio. Then we started having babies. Except Bobby, but she's going to catch up soon!

Kristy started it about three years ago when she had Mackenzie.

Then there was a baby boom. This time Kristy had Kamryn.

Then eight days later I had Sofia.

Then Lindsey had Isaiah six months later.

And now almost a year later Kristy is expecting baby Nolan soon. So we decided to get together to celebrate baby Nolan and just to catch up. We left the husbands at home, Kristy's husband got lost and we terrorized Kristy's house for a weekend.

We left Houston late Friday night. The kids were snug in their pjs, tummies full and they slept the whole way to San Antonio.

Well, they did wake for a bit when the officer's flash light shone in their faces. Bobby was pulled over for speeding. But I think the babies saved us. It seems their cuteness was a factor in her only getting a warning. By the way, she's really a very good driver!

We got to Kristy's around midnight. Sofia and Isaiah were wide awake and ready to play. They had lots of fun playing on the air mattress. And Sofia learned to say her old friend's name. She pointed at him often during this trip and would say, "I-yah!" She must be in love.

We eventually made it to bed. The next day Kristy's mom and aunt came over and were crazy (sweet) enough to watch all the kids while us girls hit the town. We got our toes done, ate lunch and were able to talk without kids in the way. Kristy's mom somehow managed to put clips in Sofia's hair. And Sofia managed not to pull them out. I was amazed. Sofia was cute. She loved to rock in the rocking chair and sing the song Grandma sings, "rock, rock, rock, rock..."

Later that afternoon Kristy brought in a company called Piggies and Paws. It's such a great idea. They come to your house and take your child's foot and / or hand print

and use that to make an artistic rendering of your choice.

The kids loved getting their hands dirty and I can't wait to see how Sofia's poodle turns out. I chose the poodle because one of her favorite words is "doggie" so I thought it would be nice to look back at her little handprint and remember one of her first words.

Isaiah went first and did his hand

and then his foot.

Mackenzie did her foot.

Kamryn did her hand.

And then Sofia got hers done too!

That night we were all exhausted. The kids took a bath.

Played in their pjs.

We ate a ridiculously huge amount of food. A platter to be exact.

We watched a Lifetime movie and went to bed.

The next morning we said goodbye to an exhausted Kristy and headed to do a little tourism. We posed them at the Riverwalk.

And then the Alamo. We took some pictures so we'd never forget. As they say, "Remember the Alamo!"

By the end of it all we were just as exhausted as they were. But it was a good time had by all!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Someone is watching us from afar...

As most of you know it was two years ago today that Mom was taken from us.

Right after mom passed I went back to work about two weeks later. My first day back was really, really hard. I was pregnant and exhausted. I needed to get out of the office, and I needed to be alone. I decided to go to lunch at a local Chinese restaurant. I took a magazine and ate alone. I was still adjusting to the idea of mom being in Heaven and how we think of people who have passed as looking down on us from there. Although faithful, I was not convinced. I just kept thinking so literally. Was she really looking down on me from Heaven watching me eat my wonton soup? The idea was too much for me but for some reason it was just about all I thought about during that meal.

The meal ended and my waiter dropped the check with the fortune cookie. I absentmindedly opened it, read it and it reduced me to tears.

My fortune said:
Someone is watching you from afar.
I got the message.

I kept the fortune and it hangs now in Sofia's room in a small shadow box I made for her before she was born. Inside there is a photo of me as a baby being held by Mom. I also put the prayer card from Mom's funeral with the fortune. I hope Sofia will keep it always - she points to it now and says, "Baba!"

Last night after work Dan and I went for a quick dinner with Sofia. We ended up at a Vietnamese / Chinese restaurant in our neighborhood. The meal was uneventful but when the waiter brought the fortune cookies he brought three. Sofia reached for hers immediately and was squealing with delight while I opened it for her. I broke the cookie, handed some to her and read her fortune.

Her fortune said:

I was almost in tears again. I couldn't believe it. But I get the message!

I know there's a company that makes fortune cookies and I know they make millions of fortune cookies and I know they reuse the same fortunes over and over.

I also know that Mom is watching us from afar.

I kept Sofia's fortune and put it with mine in her shadow box.

I love you, Mom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get Well Soon!!!

Our sweet guy, Matthew broke his elbow this weekend while playing. He is such a tough guy - take a look at that smile he's sporting while in the hospital. Get well soon, buddy!!! We love you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our latest adventures + Mother's Day

Happy Birthday, Mel!
On Wednesday we celebrated our friend, Mel's birthday. They had a small get together of friends and neighbors and we ate El Tiempo (my favorite ever Mexican restaurant) and drank margaritas. Sofia had a blast running around with the doggies, eating in a big girl chair and especially playing in a box from the catering. She also helped Mel blow out the candles on his birthday cake. (oops, Mel, did someone switch the numbers around?)

Since starting day care back in January, Sofia tends to get an ear infection every month. This day she not only had an ear infection, but her sweet eyes were all puffy and swollen too. She looks so sad but I assure you she's not. She's usually her same old sweet self when she's sick, at least on this day.

Since her pediatrician (or parents) wasn't too happy about all these ear infections she sent us to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. As we suspected, she'll have tubes inserted during a very short procedure on June 1st. Hopefully this will help take care of all this! I'll keep you updated.

But since we were already in the Medical Center we decided to trek on over to see Daddy at MD Anderson Cancer Center. We got to go up to his office and see a lot of the people he works with in Interventional Radiology. Sofia didn't get passed around too much since she was sick but she did get to eat lunch with Daddy.

Being at MDA and so close to Texas Children's Hospital, it is so hard to see so many sick people, especially the children. I don't know how Dan does it all day. It takes special people to work with the illnesses they see. Mommy felt like spoiling her girl so I bought her a colorful and huge caterpillar from the gift shop and I thanked God that I have a healthy child. The fun-filled day put her straight to sleep.

After we got home, I joined Sofia in a nap and we waited for Grandma and Grandpa to come over and help us out around the house. Projects on our 70+ year old house have been neglected for some time now. Most especially the backyard, as you can see.

But Dan and Loretta got to work and hopefully soon this big, empty space will be a great place for Sofia to play. Especially since one of her new favorite words is, "outside!"

Grandpa worked some magic and fixed the attic stairs that a 250 pound Jamaican guy broke. Sofia helped. Daddy tested the finished product. Now I can finally put away Christmas decorations!

Sofia has also learned that the windows in her bedroom overlook the backyard. Because of what our backyard looks like I never opened those blinds. But since Daddy and Grandma were back there she loved peeking over the window sill until someone would appear. If you look carefully you can see she's on her tippy-toes. Too cute!

This rest of Friday night we spent relaxing over a pizza, watching Sofia stumble around the house like a drunken bag lady. I put her bathing suit for the next day around her neck, then she picked up a hat along the way and wouldn't let go of the plastic cups she loves to carry around so much. She's her own little person, that girl!

Mother's Day Weekend

On Saturday we were invited out to Spring to visit Dan's Aunt Betty and Uncle Bob. Cousin Margaret drove in from Austin with her husband, John and their son, Nathan. Nathan was born just one week after Sofia but still on a holiday, New Year's Day.

Aunt Betty made great pulled pork sandwiches. Grandpa and I shucked all the corn.

We ate outside on their beautiful patio overlooking the golf course. It was a great day to be outside. We had so much fun. Aunt Betty pulled out every water feature she had! There were bubbles, a kiddie pool, and even a slip n' slide, although it wasn't quite slippery. That didn't matter a bit to the kids. And Sofia loved playing with the water.

and playing in the pool.

and lounging in the pool.

and playing with her new pink ball.

and Nathan's new blue ball.

and with the slip n slide.

and eating strawberries.

and guacamole.

It was a beautiful day and a nice way to spend the Saturday before Mother's Day. I loved having Sofia play with people who mean so much to us. It's great to get together. And as you can see Sofia loved the water.

She also loved spending time with Grandma, who's always behind the camera. Thanks to her we have all these great pics. But this time we had to get a shot of them playing.

Daddy loved cuddling with his girl.

Mommy loved seeing her in her cute bathing suit.

and her silly face when the suit came off!

Mother's Day - Sunday

Papi sent me and Julie and two of my aunts this beautiful note:
Dear Julie and Angie:

You are mothers and I want you to know how grateful I am, as a
grandfather, that you are. May God bless you always and keep you.
You are great mothers, like your mothers were before you. What a
privilege to carry life inside you and take care of beautiful
helpless little ones like Mathew, Sofia and Jake to eventually
become fine, loving human beings and parents as well. As we we
took care of you when you were little, I want you to have
compassion for us as our life rush to an end eventually, on God's
time. How great is to have your kids around me and feel that they
are my own flesh and blood. How much joy can I get by Sofia
holding my hand in trust and Matthew telling me "happy birthday,
Bobo", giving me his freshly drawn artistic rendition in
full color?

I'm blessed, and it is because you are mothers!! HAPPY MOTHERS
DAY. I love you very much.

I want to extend my best wishes to Areli and Clari in this Dia
de las Madres. Que Dios las cuide. Wicho.

May God bless our family.

Always, Papi

Reading that was a nice way to start the day. Last year Mother's Day was really tough on me. It was my first Mother's Day without mom as well as my first Mother's Day as a mother and I felt really lonely without her. This year, Sofia kept me so busy I didn't have a chance to feel lonely. I feel incredibly blessed to have Sofia in my life. Not just for the obvious reasons that all mother's feel blessed for their children. For me, Sofia is even more. She is such an appropriate distraction from the pain of the loss of Mom. She is my joyful reminder of the kind of mother I hope to be: one like my mother, kind, hopelessly loving, proud and tough. Those a just a few of the many ways I can describe Mom. I am so grateful that I had such an amazing role model to live up to.

The morning of Mother's Day Dan woke up with Sofia. He walked with her in the stroller down to the grocery store and picked up a few things for breakfast. We had yummy breakfast tacos washed down with mimosas. Then we took a family nap.

I dressed Sofia up in an adorable little outfit and tried to take a picture of her. She didn't like her hair clip.

so she took it out.

On to the park... we headed to our favorite park downtown to eat dinner and play. Sofia saw her first concert.

She was enthralled with reggae or maybe it was his dreadlocks?

She also explored her first piece of sculpture, Jean Dubuffet's "Monument Au Fantome."

And posed with Mommy inside the sculpture.

After the park we cuddled on the couch before bed. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day!