Saturday, December 26, 2015

This Christmas

We've been able to enjoy Benjamin's first Christmas over the last couple of days! We started off the festivities by going to Mass on Christmas Eve. Being that we are parents of a baby now, we need to embrace activities such as Children's Mass where they act out the gospel and all. For whatever reason, or maybe because when you become a parent all your perspectives shift and you don't even realize it - Children's Mass wasn't that bad as it once was. Not even the 1 hour wait once we got there.

Nativity at St. Lawrence Catholic Church
On Christmas morning we woke up and opened our presents - after Benjamin had his bottle AND his breakfast. Here he is helping Mimi open her present:

Then he got to open his present!

But of course anything that can go straight into the mouth is more interesting. 

 Dada!

Pellet and Cali got presents from Mimi and Bobby too! Here is Pellet hogging one of his fancy tennis balls.

And Cali got a blanket, she modeled it around for us:

We got ready - which was a bit challenging considering the warm temperature of 80 degrees. I'm not complaining, I'll take the warm weather any time of the year! Being able to wear a "Summer" dress reminded me of our Christmases back in Peru when we were little... We headed to Augusta to spend the day with the rest of the family.

This child just might skip crawling and go straight to walking...

We had lunch and opened presents at Nonna's house. Grown ups still get excited about presents too!




After doing that, we headed over to Michelle's house to open more presents and eat sweet treats made by Grandma Tillie et all.

I don't think an explanation on who gave him this present is due. Godfather Juan at his best!


Can't be part of this family and not do goofy things... starting him young:

Dada again! Poor Dada wasn't feel all so great, battling a sinus infection (again)

Getting the grown ups to smile and look decent is sometimes more difficult than getting the infant to cooperate...

Those eyes... and that finger in that mouth...


We enjoyed each other's company, some delicious coffee and then it was time to head back home... We wish we all lived closer so we didn't have to rush through days like yesterday. But we are grateful that we live close enough to be able to spend days like yesterday.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Kroger Angel

Dear Kroger Angel,

I got to the register as you were cashing out. I picked that register because it was the one with the shortest (almost non-existent) line, I am pretty sure I had "about 15 items" like the sign said (give or take 8). You finished cashing out and stood at the end of the line, by the bags. I didn't think anything of it, actually, I looked at your small buggie with only 2 bags and imagined you were maybe waiting on the manager for something. There you stood idle with your white hair, short sleeved shirt (because it is 75 degrees in Georgia in December) and jeans - you must have been about 72 years old.

I unloaded my groceries from my big buggy onto the belt as Benjamin played with a roll of tape hanging from me on the kangaroo. This trip was playing out like all other 27 Kroger trips since he's been grocery shopping with me. I get him on the kangaroo, we get a big buggy, shop rather quickly as he babbles and I talk back to him.

My total came out to $93 and as I was pulling my card out of my wallet, Kroger Angel, you interrupted my transaction and said "Ma'am, I am going to pay for your groceries". My initial reaction, in my stubborn ways, was to immediately reply to you with "No, there's no need for that" and you quickly followed it by "I'm paying for them", as the cashier turned the credit card machine towards you and you swiped your Kroger Visa card. The cashier gave you your receipt, my receipt, and I stood in shock repeating thank you, thank you. You said "God bless you" and just like that walked out the store with your small buggy with only 2 bags. I wanted to say so much to you, but I could not get words out while my heart jumped as I held back my tears. After the cashier loaded my big buggy with my bags from home, she realized you had left your eggs behind so she took off running to catch you - I hope she did.

Kroger Angel, I have read about people like you out there in the world, who pay it forward and do random acts of kindness, however, I had never experienced it until you crossed my path this evening. I apologize if I did not seem appreciative enough, I was in shock. I am still in shock. I will never know what triggered your overwhelming generosity - did you already have in mind when you got to the Kroger that you were going to pay for the person behind you in line? Did you maybe see me walking quickly through the aisles with my hair looking crazy and face with no makeup talking to my baby? Did his sweet babble perhaps remind you of a child in your life?

Kroger Angel, you have touched my heart in so many ways - you have changed my life. Merry Christmas kind man. Merry Christmas.

Here we are at the Kroger this evening! It just so happened that while we were shopping, I had sent this picture to my mom... you can see Benjamin playing with the roll of tape. He was cranky because he skipped his afternoon nap, and because the four top teeth that are coming in all at once are making him a little crazy...

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Month 8

It is overwhelming to sit and think how much Benjamin's little life has evolved in the last month.

He is crawling all over the place - and that is an understatement. Before you know it, he has managed to find the dog's tennis ball. You certainly can't leave him unattended on the bed - in the blink of an eye you can find him propped up at the end of the bed and looking down at the floor - about to dive head first. Due to safety concerns, he has been spending more time on the floor instead of on the bed - this usually happens on Sundays and Mondays, when the floors are at their best. 

He loves the dogs! Whenever he sees them (mainly Cali) he cracks up laughing, like belly laughing. Along those lines, he also recognizes people. The other day we came home and he was in his car seat on the couch as I let the dogs outside and fed them. At one point I came back into the living room and he saw me. Oh my! His arms and legs started spazzing out and he smiled huge from ear to ear! Melted my heart.

He is starting to figure out that crying (or whining, because he only cries for real, like with tears, when there is something seriously wrong, like hunger) is a great attention getter. We have to be conscious to not run to him the minute he starts fuzzing. 

He holds his bottle at every feeding. He loves getting his ears cleaned, not so much getting his nose cleaned. He sleeps like a champ and wakes us up around 5:30am every morning with the sweetest little voice that we hear through the monitor. He is starting to figure out how to drink from the zippy cup and now feeds himself scrambled egg (which requires unbelievable amounts of patience to watch). He expresses himself by grunting and shutting his eyes and making fists. 

You can already see his two bottom teeth - now he has the top 4 coming in at the same time. Poor thing! Last week he kept waking up slightly around 9:30pm crying and complaining.

This little guy is awesome. He has our hearts!

This month's photo session was quite challenging - he moves so much! And his attention is on everything all at once. It was impossible to get him to sit still - buried in many blurry pictures, I was able to find this one, which I think pretty much captures what this 9th month ahead of us is going to be like. Let's just say that next month's photo session is going to have to involve the photographer (me) and a helper (anybody else).

Monday, December 7, 2015

Meeting Santa

Today Benjamin got to meet Santa! It is amazing how literally everything changes when a little baby enters into your life. Growing up, I have always been indifferent about Santa. Yeah, I knew he existed and as I got older I started to figure out that Santa always came to my grandma's house right when we were outside in the park playing (growing up in Peru, Christmas is in the Summer). Today my mom was telling me that because we grew up in the 80's in Peru when terrorism was at it strongest in the country, visiting Santa (or any other type of social event that gathered any kind of crowd) was nonexistent.

But thankfully, today Benjamin got to visit and meet Santa!

First we got ready and put on the outfit his godmother gave him! It fit perfectly. He looks great in green!
 
When we got to Santa's place, we had to wait in line. But there was only 1 person in front of us - we had the luxury to do this on a weekday as opposed to a weekend like the rest of Atlanta. Sometimes working in the service industry does pay off!

Finally we got to Santa. Benjamin stared at him while Santa spoke in a gentle voice.


Then we got to walk around the mall for a bit and enjoy our time together

We ended up at the Pottery Barn - where he found a couch with upholstery buttons. #fascinating.

And this is how we wrapped up the afternoon. Meeting Santa for the first time is exhausting! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bathed and Ready for Christmas

I am embarrassed to admit that I can't pin point the last time these guys got a bath... I think it was shortly before Benjamin was born because I have vague memories of trying to hold a leash while Norm bathed them and being quite helpless in the situation - like literally unable to help.

Finally today all the stars lined up and Norm was able to take them to the vet for a grooming session. Bath, ears, nails, brushing. They came back with their Christmas bandanas looking (and smelling) beautiful!

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2015

Family Picture 2015

Christmas Picture 2011

Christmas Picture 2011

Family Picture 2009

Family Picture 2009
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