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! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Both Can't Have Mickey

Benjamin has been wearing the same brand-type of diaper since he was itty bitty. They are Huggies and they have Mickey on them. Now Nicolas wears the same type of diapers and they also have Mickey on them.

The other day Benjamin was helping me change Nico's diaper and his little brain just could not process that both his diaper and Nico's diaper looked the same (although they are certainly not the same size)

So he got all of of Nico's diaper out of their basket and moved them to the basket where his are kept. The whole time he kept saying "no Nico diaper, Pepe diaper!"

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Whole Weekend

This year we celebrated Father's Day the whole weekend! I still can't get used to the idea that we can celebrate things like holidays and weekends together as a family! It is so awesome! 

So we started by taking selfies early on Saturday morning. Even Nico is in this picture lifting his little head up!

Then we headed over to Trenton, SC for the Peach Festival. It was so fun! And so hot...

 We got front row seats to watch the parade. After the initial scare once he saw the soldiers and heard the marching band, Benjamin really got to enjoy the parade!

He waved at all of the cars, tractors, fire trucks, motorcycles...

Afterwards we got to take a close look at the tractors!

"Front loader too"

"Red tractor Pepe picture too!"

We were home by 1:30pm - exhausted. We just hang out at the house, relaxed, spent time outside and enjoyed each other!

Sunday morning we went to Mass and came back to take pictures on our front porch! We are so lucky to claim Daddy Norm for our family. He works so hard to make sure that we have the best possible and is so patient to deal with not only me but crazy Pepe and now Nico (still to early to tell if he is going to be crazy too... there is a high chance he will though).

Benji loves selfies...

We spent the afternoon in "Pepe Pool" - we have an awesome pool in the neighborhood but it's more convenient to play in "Pepe Pool" mainly because of the little one...

Kisses for Daddy Norm!

Then Norm cooked a cowboy steak that he had keeping an eye on for about 2 months....



Today Benjamin rolled down the stairs.

It was horrible.

He hollered and was all shaken up.

But then I said the word "Play-Dough" and he stopped crying and all was well in the world.

On a lighter note, here is a picture that shows what a good sport Baby Nico is... sticker on his forehead and wristband all the way past his elbow...

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Cows in the Farm

A Chick-fil-A has recently opened here in our little suburb of Augusta. So today for lunch, my mom, Benjamin and I (and of course Nicolas) went there for lunch. We figured we would go check it out and battle the crowds. Surely they probably had some sort of giveaways and fun things.

When we got our food and sat down, Benjamin noticed the big cow mascot walking around outside the restaurant greeting the cars in the drive through. He was fascinated. "Cow! Cow! Moooo! Mooooo!"

A little while later, the cow came inside the restaurant and Benjamin started freaking out a bit "Pepe no see cow. No cow! No cow!" in borderline tears, however, he would still want to look at the cow, just not go anywhere near it. Thankfully the cow stayed away from us as all the other little kids (and grown ups) took pictures with it.

Finally we saw the cow go in the back, towards the kitchen. Relieved, Benjamin said "Cow go farm".

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Four Little Birds

It is so weird living in a neighborhood... with real neighbors (not neighbors that live half a mile down the street). A few weeks ago we bout hanging ferns for our front porch and planted flowers in the pots. A few days later, we noticed that two other houses on our street also had hung ferns and flowers and had started taking better care of their front yard/porch. I guess you can say that we are the Clarinbridge trend-setters?

Pretty flowers and nice ferns require lots of TLC which involves watering. Whenever it is going to rain, I bring the ferns down and set them out on the yard so they can get rain water (less water I have to pay for, since those things require so.much.water).

The other day when I went to bring down the fern that hangs on the side of the porch, a little bird flew out of the fern.

When I put the basket on the ground, I noticed that there was a tiny nest with four little eggs!

Of course Benjamin had to come inspect the nest...

So I hung the basket back up... now I am concerned that the fern is going to die because I don't want to water it with fear that the water will interfere with the bird's nesting... 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

All Clean

Over the last two days, Benjamin has been quite concerned about Baby Brother wearing socks. So Benjamin pulls Nicolas's socks off and then he gets to see his tiny newborn-peeling feet and says "Baby Brother feets dirty"

Baby Brother was in fact, quite dirty, and tonight he finally got a real bath! Nicolas spits up a lot, and although I try to keep up with it by cleaning him up and changing his shirt, he is still a bit of a hot mess at the end of the day. We have managed to survive almost 3 weeks... but a bath was certainly finally due!

This child does not like to be cold. He also likes to holler a lot - and quite loudly. Here are some pictures of the bath, I will not post the videos because they consist of non-stop, ear-piercing newborn screams.

I look (because I am) tired. Nicolas looks (because he is) cranky:

He is all dressed and is still screaming...

After all that stress, he had a good feeding and then passed out... here we have a clean baby! Or in Benjamin's language "Baby Brother all clean"

Although they are brothers and they have the same genes, we are starting to find out that Benjamin and Nicolas have quite different personalities. I know we do not need to compare them but one can't help to do so specially in situations like The First Bath....... Benjamin loved his first bath and every bath that followed to this date. Nicolas, not so much. This ought to be fun! 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Nicolas's Story - Part 2

We (Norm, my mom, the nurse and I) pushed from 10:15pm until midnight with very little progress. Nicolas was estimated to be over 8lbs and apparently was just not making it down the birth canal.

At midnight my doctor brought up that word that I never wanted to hear "c-section".

I didn't want to have surgery. I was against it 110%.

The doctor was concerned that even if we managed to get Nicolas's head out, there was the very high probability that he was going to have trouble getting his shoulders out due to this size (and my size).

He gave me the option to keep pushing for 30 more minutes or go to surgery at that moment. I decided to keep pushing. Before he left, he also mentioned that if we push for too much longer and have to end up in surgery anyway, there is a possibility that Nicolas's head may get stuck and then the birth would become more complicated because he would have to get pushed back in (that's not the medical term, but that's basically what would need to happen) in order to get him out via c-section.

The doctor left and I pushed a couple more times and that's when Norm and my mom knocked some sense into me. As adamant as I was against surgery, I wanted Nicolas to be born healthy and not be hurt in the process. So we stopped pushing and went to surgery.

The nurse rolled me into the OR and it was a bright room with white walls. There were about 8 nurses in there, each doing their own thing. They were playing music... the radio pop music station.

Everyone was excellent - my nurses, the doctor, the baby's nurses, the anesthesia nurse. Everyone! Before I knew it, they put that blue curtain up, then Norm showed up in his scrubs and shortly there after I heard a voice saying "we have a boy!" followed by a tiny cry... must have been 1:02am.

One of the nurses brought Nicolas over so I could see him, she was cleaning him quickly and he was slightly blue. Norm went over to the newborn table as they did all the birth tests on Nicolas and wrapped him up.

From there, they knocked me out and I woke up at 3:00am in the recovery room. SHAKING. Apparently that is normal as you come off the anesthesia. Good to know. By 3:30am I met Norm, my mom and Nicolas in my room and was finally able to hold my little one.

While I was in recovery, Norm got to have a mini photo session with Nicolas as he took him to the nursery and rang the birth bell - this is a bell that is rang every time a baby is born. It plays a little melody that is heard throughout the hospital.

Thankfully Nicolas was born healthy and strong! We were only in the hospital through Sunday and were dismissed Monday midday. That's when Big Brother came to meet Nicolas as well as Godmother Michelle and Grandma Tillie!

Big Brother gets to hold Nicolas for the first time!

Michelle had the privilege to change Nicolas's first diaper!

Benjamin brought Nicolas a Giraffe on our second day at the hospital.

Finally it was time to go home and someone was not a happy camper...

And just like that, another chapter in our life started... 

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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