Sunday, September 24, 2017

This Pa Broken

For the last few months, Benjamin has been chewing on his pacie (also known as Pa). We weren't going to buy him a new Pa when the last one got gross, but we broke down and did since things were still a bit of chaotic in our lives with Nico's arrival.

We noticed the other day that the current Pa was all chewed up and getting gross. On Friday morning (my birthday), he pulled the Pa out of his mouth and said "This Pa broken. Go in trash".

He walked downstairs and gave it to Norm and told him to throw it away. So Norm did.

In my very paranoid ways as first timer, I wanted to go buy him a new one just in case. But folks knocked some sense into me and I didn't... surely we were going to survive.

Bedtime could be a living hell, or it could be fine. It was just a matter of time to find out...

Bedtime came and as I was getting Benjamin's pajamas on, he asked for Monkey (which lived hand-in-hand with Pa...) and he asked for Pa. I reminded him that he had told us Pa was broken and had asked for it to be thrown out. He paused and did a fake cry. I quickly reminded him again and immediately without skipping a beat changed the subject. It's amazing how we develop super powers like that when we become a parent.

Nighttime has been going great... naptime has been tougher, today he didn't sleep. Which means that everyone's world became miserable come 5:30pm.

The ironic part of this story is that my mom has always told the story how when I was about 2 years old, I grabbed my pacie and threw it away in the bathroom trash - all on my own. And that was the end of the pacie for me. This is pretty much the only reason why I had a tiny hope that Benji wasn't going to go crazy asking for his Pa after he threw it away.

It is becoming more evident that we just may be raising the male version of me which ought to be fun.

Here's an appropriate picture in memory of Pa:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Things He Says

Because I can barely remember what I wore yesterday (and chances are they are the same clothes I wore the day before), I want to start writing down all the quirky things Benjamin says to help us remember how his little 2-year old brain works.

My mom wears a watch.
Neither Norm nor I wear a watch.

The other day Norm was cleaning out his night stand drawer and found one of his watches. Benjamin saw it, picked it up and gave it to Norm and said:

B - Daddy, this yours?
N - yes, that's my watch
B - that your watch? Like Nonna?
N - yes, like Nonna
B - Daddy, you wear it!

About an hour later, Benjamin was playing and Norm was in the kitchen. Benjamin comes up to Norm and says: "Daddy, you have watch. Like Nonna!"

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Month 4

This little guy turned 4 months yesterday!

He is still as serious as ever - for the most part - although he has started cracking a smile here and there. Except at bath, he is quite ticklish, so at bath time he is all giggles! Big giggles!

He is quite aware of all his surroundings. He follows people across a room - it is pretty neat to watch him turn his little head as his target moves. He has started reaching out for things and quite often is he able to grab and hold on to his rattle, or stuffed friend, or blanket. He is quite strong and won't let go of easily!

He is a champ at falling asleep by himself. He is still not fan of the pacie, but has since discovered his three middle fingers. So he sucks them and goes to sleep - quite often all on his own. Very seldom do we have to rock him to sleep. I am pretty sure that with Benjamin we were still doing the 5 S's come 4 months.... And speaking of sleeping, he is still sleeping all night! An average of 12 hours, he looks quite chunky so I don't think he is missing out by not getting that midnight feeding. No complaining from this end!

He is not a fan of baby wearing... which is disappointing (and inconvenient), but I keep trying to see if maybe one time he will last in the carrier for more than the squirming 20 minutes I usually get.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Eclipse

It is so amazing when a plan comes together last minute - things always seem to work out. As an event planner, I cringe when we don't have a plan, but deep down inside I always know that with or without a plan things are moving forward and we just better go with it in the moment to make them happen.

The plan for Eclipse Day was:
I was going to experience the Eclipse with Natasha and her girls in Columbia
Norm was going to work
Michelle and Juan Ma were going to be in Savannah

As of about 48 hours ago:
I had a conference call scheduled for 11:30am so I wasn't able to go to Columbia.
Michelle and Juan's trip to Savannah got cancelled because whoever Juan was meeting with cancelled (she probably realized it was Eclipse Day and was not going to stick around for a 2pm appointment)

And as of this morning:
Norm was getting out from work at 1pm.

So after multiple texts throughout this morning, we came up with an alternate plan to drive up to McCormick, SC - where they were going to have totality - for the Eclipse. Augusta was 99.9%, however, that .01% is quite significant, so we decided to make the 40 mile drive.

Benji stayed at school and the rest of us, including Nico, piled into my car and we took off. We weren't exactly sure where we were going... we were just driving up to McCormick. As we got closer, Michelle discovered that there was a county airport nearby... so that's where we ended up.

No crowds. No traffic. Just us 5, a broken down car, two propeller airplanes and two other families.

We got there about 1:40pm and immediately put on our glasses and started looking up at the sun.

I fed Nico... because even though he now eats every 3.5 hours or so, it seems like he is always eating...

Then we changed his diaper and I got an ant bite

At about 2:20pm, a huge dark cloud went by so we just waited... surely it was going to get out of the way by 2:40pm....

As 2:40pm approached, everything around us changed. I do not know how to describe it because I've never experienced anything like it to compare it to... not only did the sky started getting darker, but it was a weird sort of light... almost like twilight, almost like dusk, sort of hazy, sort of reddish. The breeze picked up, the temperature dropped, the crickets started chirping, the cows mooed and the roosters crowed. We just tried to capture it as much as possible. Meanwhile through our special glasses, the sun kept getting smaller and smaller as the moon took over.
Disclaimer - we put glasses on him for fun.
He stayed in the shade - facing opposite from
the sun
And suddenly the moon was directly in front of the sun, we were able to take our glasses off and admire nature in its entirety. It was unbelievable, the ring of light around the moon was perfect. 

In what seemed to be nowhere near long enough, the sun got super bright again and it was time to put on our glasses back on. As soon as the temperature started rising, we got in the car and headed back. 

Yes - all of our necks will be sore tomorrow. Time to go take some Motrin and do some neck stretches. 

Been Happening

Life moves fast with two little boys, a dog and both Norm and I working full time. In brief, this is what's been happening over the past - who knows... month? months? These are in no particular order...

Benjamin has taken to washing the dishes. He has also discovered that the possibilities are endless when he brings the chair from the dining room to the kitchen counter - until of course, Mami or Daddy Norm catch him pulling all of the silverware out of the drawer and then the fun is over.

Benjamin has been playing pretend a whole lot - here he is pretending to feed soup to Nico. Nico seems to enjoy it... he kept licking the spoon.

Juan Ma has been in town, taking a break before heading back to his senior year at NYU. Senior. Year. #isheoldorarewe


Nico is just cutest as ever!

He found "his tools" at Michelle's house and decided to clean up the kitchen. Gloves and all. 

Yard work is an integral part of our lives and we enjoy it, so we don't mind it. Neither does Benji. Especially when it involves dirt, power tools and water!

Nico sat on the green chair for the first time - he really likes it!

Nico started going to his school! He really likes that too!

Until one day when he ran a fever for about 24 hours... we were all miserable. Thankfully it was nothing.

Benji got to wear his firefighter rain jacket to school. He was so excited!

My mom and Pablo have been in China for what feels like 42 days.

Benjamin found a chuyo (that's what we call the knitted hats with the ear coverings in Peru), he put it on and said "Ho ho ho. It's Christmastime! Go find presents"

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Practicing Camping

It's not a shocker to state the fact that neither Norm nor I are outdoorsy in the sense of camping and hiking and all that. We are, however, outdoorsy in the sense of sitting outside drinking a beer or doing yardwork...

We are going to the beach in two weeks and due to the limited cargo space, we are only going to be able to take one pack-and-play, therefore, we are going to have to get creative on how/where Benjamin sleeps. As we were wandering through Aldi the other day, we picked up a sleeping back for a ridiculously cheap price, with the thought that Benji could sleep in it when we go to the beach...

Norm and Benjamin went "camping" the other day in the office... they got the sleeping bag out and did fun things like read books with flashlight and stay up waaaaaaaaaaaay past everyone's bed time.

The sleeping inside the sleeping bag only lasted but a minute, since this is what I found in the morning:

Yesterday morning we got the sleeping bag out again (more practice) while we were being lazy watching Saturday morning cartoons... 

That night, because it was the "weekend" (concept that we are starting to introduce to Benjamin...), he camped out in our room... besides me sitting on the rocker waiting for him to fall asleep and not wander about the room (as he attempted multiple times), sleeping in the sleeping bag was a success!

We have one more weekend to practice before the real thing!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Throw Hair Away

The other day, Benjamin was perusing in the toilet room in our bathroom. Naturally, because it is at eye-level, he came across the trashcan and its contents. In it, he found a good bit of my hair (because the amount of hair that falls from my head is out of control). He pointed at it, and Norm says "that's Mami's hair. Mami throws her hair away".

Then Benji walked off.

I kept doing what I was doing and Norm kept doing what he was doing. Next thing we knew, Benji came back into the bathroom with Nico's hairbrush in his hand. He walked straight to the trashcan, leaned over it and started combing his hair with a downward motion as he said "Pepe throw away hair.... like Mami"

I can't make this stuff up. Child is crazy.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Because We Can

Because we can, we go to the market on Saturday mornings. It is fantastic.

We wake up, have breakfast, and head on out the door with no real agenda or plan. We had a great time downtown yesterday!

There is a permanent stage down by the river and there was music playing when we got there, so Benji got up on the stage and danced:

Then he asked Daddy Norm to get up on the stage and dance too!

Later we found the splash - which is really just a shoot of water straight up in the air...

Before heading out we found a shady spot so Nico could eat!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Month 3 (and 1 and 2)

Well months 1 and 2 seem like they flew by, even though some days (and some hours) were never ending. Nico turns three months old today and we can officially say that we have survived the Fourth Trimester - hooray! go us!

The first couple of months were a bit challenging as we learned how to cope with Nico's reflux, his spitting up, and his gassiness, his congestion and of course nursing. But we managed and here we are!

At three months he is pretty much sleeping through the night from about 8:30pm all the way through 5:30am! That's really the only time of the day that he keeps consistent because during the day we still just go with the flow. Sometimes he takes a three hour nap and eats every 4 hours and other times he eats every 2.

He loves to have conversations! He coos and laughs! He certainly smiles when he hears our voices and see our faces. He is such a good sport when it comes to playing with Benjamin (or better yet, when it comes to Benjamin playing with him). Benji brings him cars, and brings him his pacie, his rattle and even sits next to him and has "conversations" with Nico. Our hearts melt.

He loves tummy time and sometimes even naps on his belly (it apparently is good for the reflux and to let the farts out...)

Here are the pictures from One Month:

And Two Months:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fireworks Holidays

It has been almost 30 years since I lived in a world that every time you heard any kind of loud noise it meant that a car bomb had gone off somewhere near by enough that you were able to hear the noise and sometimes feel the shake. As soon as the loud noise was heard, regardless of where you were - your house, your grandma's house, school, the store, the gas station - everyone within earshot said the same word "bomba". To this date, the second I hear a loud noise, regardless of time of day or where I may be, my heart sinks and in my head I hear "bomba".

That's why I am always caught off guard on days leading up to a Firework Holiday... and I am caught even more off guard when fireworks go off on a Non-Firework Holiday, like Thanksgiving or Halloween. 

My heart just sank about 20 minutes ago when my neighbors started firing off fireworks and all those memories from 30 years ago came back. Along with them came back Pellet, this is the first Fourth of July without him and it is such a bittersweet feeling. In a way it is peaceful because there is no constant barking, panting and running/sliding around the house for hours, which would in turn wake up Nico (because Benjamin can sleep through just about anything) and make Cali crazy. In another way, it is sad because I miss that dog so much and the house feels so empty. He was such a gentle giant and a protector. A big teddy bear that just wanted you to hold him and cuddle him. 

At least here we seem to have a head's up because the neighbors post (at least these did) on the community page a head's up that they will be shooting off fireworks, so we would've had a head's up and been able to give Pellet some calming treats to take some of the edge off.... 

As soon as I heard the first loud noise, once my heart came back from sinking and my brain realized the noise wasn't a car bomb, and Cali went upstairs to sleep, I went outside and enjoyed the show... for once.




I miss you Mellow! 

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2016

Family Picture 2015

Family Picture 2015

Christmas Picture 2011

Christmas Picture 2011

Family Picture 2009

Family Picture 2009
Thanks for reading! Come back Soon!