Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You're Almost 20 Weeks Old

To My Little Child in Utero:

Our anticipation grows. Everyday, your big sisters are showering you with kisses. Everyday, your mom and I discuss names for you. Everyday, we pat and rub mom's tummy to tell you that we're here, that we love you, that we can't wait to meet you, that you are already a part of our family.

20 Week highlights:
You now weigh about 10.5 ounces . You are ~6.5 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel — the length of a banana. You're swallowing more these days. You're also now producing meconium, a black, sticky by-product of digestion. Woohoo!

Next Monday, March 1, we going in for your 20-week sonogram. We're excited to see you, Little Guy. Get ready because we hope that you'll entertain us with a little show.

You are already unique, and I love you as such even now. Keep growing, stay healthy, stay warm. Keep up the good eating: just don't give Mom any weird cravings! Know that we have so much love to give you. We are excited to welcome you in our person into our homes, though you are already at home in our hearts. We love you.

See you soon,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Importance of Fostering Creativity in the Lives of our Children

Below is a great video on the importance of cultivating creativity in our children and allowing them to express themselves as they are. I admit that I all too often try to conform the kids to my own mold or expectations, forgetting to allow them to simply be themselves. The video doesn't go into the human-divine co-creative experience that exists on the vertical plane. Creativity is one of God's greatest gifts to humanity, and, one of the most profound and intimate ways to share in the life of God. Furthermore, I would argue that the pinnacle of human creativity is the collaboration with God in creating new life. In that sense, all parents are artists and share in God's creativity.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Uncle Micah Visits

Highlights include: trip to Natural History Museum, dinner at California Tortilla, performance at the Kennedy Center, brothers' Holy Hour, trip to Wegmans, family Pictionary game, breakfast at Ikea, Valentine Day dinner, games of hide and seek. We love you, Uncle Micah. Thanks for coming to visit us!

Listen to the Baby's Heart Beat!

We had our 18 week appointment today. It was great to hear a robust little heart beat. The little guy/girl behaved very well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Baking and Fun Inside

Yesterday was another day of the world slowing down. We made all of our vanilla cupcakes for Friday's St. Valentine's Party with lots of school friends. Daddy got to be home from work, because of the snow here in the DC Metro area. Still there are many areas that are not cleared, roofs have collapsed in DC, and thousands of people were still without power... Time to gear up for another snow storm. Yes, there is MORE coming: starting in the Midwest, the snow will travel out this wa. The forecast was 5-8" for today, but yesterday that changed to 10-20" more! So, today we will be making paper snowflakes, reading snow books: The Snowy Day and Snow Friends, and making some more special foods.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What We Did Inside Whilst It Snowed

Another Little Story

Let There Be Snow!

Yes, we're surviving the blizzard with snowmen and hot chocolate. We're quite happy being cooped up at home. Warm. Watching the white snow flutter to the ground. Been snowing for 26 hours straight. Another 10 hours to go, supposedly. Fun, fun, fun!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy 17 Weeks, Little Pookie!

Say, hey, Little Pookie, you're a wonder to see!

Today you're seventeen weeks old in utero. (NOTE: These are photos from the web. These are not photos of our Little Pookie. I am guessing we'll get some new ultrasound pics around 20 weeks or so.)

You continue to move around in Mom's tummy. We feel you poking out every now and then. We can't wait to meet you.

Mare has a very little stomach at this point. At least it's noticeable. Mares is in such good shape, that all she has is this little bump in the front of her stomach. Here are some pictures of our little miracle. Mares is probably pushing out her stomach somewhat to enhance the view.

Guadi, You May Not Talk Much Yet, But You Definitely Communicate

My Dear Little Guadi,

A couple days ago, you turned 19 months old. Your verbal vocabulary is growing, but still somewhat limited. The list contains the following: please, thank you, Mom, clean up, sorry, Maddy, Daddy, doggie. I think that's about it. However, despite the limited list, you communicate so much more with your facial expressions and arm motions.

One of my favorite things to do with you is playful head bonking. As I hold you, we lock eyes and bump heads. You always get a kick out of it. To be successful, we have to repeat this exercise about a dozen times.

Speaking of bonking heads, you take it upon yourself in an important way to inform us of any time you get hurt. You hold the part of your body (such as your finger) that got hurt, show us a hurt look, and then point to the exact thing or person that injured you. Of course, the injuries are never serious. But your Mom and I enjoy watching you recount the whole story of what happened and how it took place. Again, no words. Just lots of babbling and pointing to things that play a part in your story. Classic.

You're a sweet little girl. One of the parenting books I had read suggested that a toddler understands 10 times whatever you as a parent think your toddler understands. I totally believe it. The other night, you were fussing in the kitchen. After multiple admonishments to cease the fussing, I disciplined you by having you sit on your step at the bottom of the stairs. You cried quietly but stayed in your spot on the stairs. After a minute, I came and sat next to you. As soon as I was next to you, you stopped your crying and gave me your full attention. I spoke to you about why you were there. You gave me a hug and said "orree". After that, we went back to the kitchen and you were the perfect little girl.

I love you, my Guadalupe. Thanks for my being my beautiful girl. I can't wait to hear your voice as you learn to speak and communicate.

All my love,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

With Crossed Arms

Madge, you're too cute.

Recently we have begun to say our family rosary before bed in the kitchen. The reason for doing that is because the girls area always hungry for a last snack before hitting the sack. So, two nights ago, we were all seated at the kitchen table praying the rosary. Madge and Pita were each having a bowl of cereal and a protein shake (aka "shakie").

I looked across the table at Madge and she had her arms crossed. I was sort of confused since I have never seen her cross her arms that way. I gave her a befuddled look. Then, I looked down at myself. Without realizing it, I had my arms crossed in the same way! Madge was simply imitating the posture I had adopted. That cleared up the confusion. I know how much kids love to imitate those around them. I am just always floored when I see the girls with such cute mannerisms. Madge has also been doing this side-mouth smirk to express uncertainty--another of my traits (always good, of course...he, he, he...if only!). I love you, Madge.

Fashion Show, Thanks to Nana and Uncle Brian

Nana and Uncle Brian,

Thank you for the beautiful clothes for both girls. Maddy is already getting first tries on both outfits-- the beauty of girls back-to-back= lots of clothes-swapping!

The are loving the blocks too, and the books are wonderful. Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Peter Rabbit are real favorites!

We love you, Nana

Is this Narnia's Winter Wonderland?

We woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland. It is one of the most gorgeous scenes we have observed this winter. The trees are beautiful, just completely covered with snow--stunning! Here are a few pics from early this morning. At about 6:30am-7am, Madge looked out the window, saw the snow and said, "Let's go sledding!" Thank God for early risers... and the many things we can accomplish by 7:30am!