Tuesday, December 27, 2005


I used to be a pretty laid back driver. It seems that I inherited my mother's driving skills and I've always had a habit of accidently cutting people off, going through the stop sign in a 4 way stop before it's my turn, and generally pissing off other motorists. I used to do the "It's still yellow, so I'll run this red light" thing, before a City of Chicago Police Department camera caught me running one on Madison and Pulaski and sent me a $90 ticket with pictures of my car. (Those cameras really work!) I really don't do it to be a nasty driver or to be rude, I've just been kind of clueless. I was a nice bad driver though...again I got that from my mother. When people yelled at me, or flipped me off, or gave me dirty looks; I made the "Oops!" face and mouthed "I'M SORRY!" I never really understood why people got soo mad. I mean, nothing happened right? Why get so worked up over the possibility of having a car accident? We didn't actually have one, so relax! Enjoy the rest of your day!

THAT attitude has changed. It started when I was about 8 months pregnant and my doctor told me that I would have to cut down on my driving for work.

"If you get into a car accident, your belly will hit the wheel and hurt the baby."

"You mean there IS a baby in there? and it can get hurt?"

I surprised myself this week when I had to resist the temptation to put the car in park, walk up to the guy that was recklessly driving a semi and say,

"Don't you know what I have in that car? The most precious baby on earth. My reason for living. I carried her in my womb for 9 months while God put togather every cell in her body, breathed the air in her lungs and handed her off to me. Every breath she takes is a gift to me and every laugh she makes is a little ray of sunshine. You put her and every other little precious child on this road in jeapardy when you drive like that. Count your lucky stars that our vehicles did not make contact, because if they had, you would have experienced rage and fury unlike anything you could ever imagine."

It still surprises me how much I'm resembling a grown up more and more each day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Best Movie Ever?

Since Stephanie is staying with us this week to help out with Aimee while I work, Brian and I decided to go on a date. Yay! After making sure that Aimee was asleep for the night, we headed over to our favorite theater, Nova 8. We knew traffic would be awful, since there is really no way to get there without trying to negotiate through mall traffic, but driving through 2 car accident scenes within 1 block of each other proved to be worth it, for $6.50, you get admission to the movie, a bag of popcorn, and a medium drink! We were so excited to see the Chronicles of Narnia that we didn't mind the 50 middle school aged youth group kids that laughed at inappropriate times and screamed their heads off when a dog started talking.

Was it the best movie ever? I can only give you a half-hearted yes. Not because the movie doesn't deserve a whole-hearted endorsement, but because we can only testify to the quality of the first half of the movie.

Yes. Aimee did it. She woke up and screamed her head off until she was coughing, choking, and almost drove her Aunt Stephie to desperation. After 2 full hours of screaming, and trying every remedy she could, she called us. Unable to offer any other solution, I decided that we would leave the movie and come home. Brian and I were totally engrossed and enchanted by this marvelous movie, but our commitment as parents pushed away any feelings of regret, frustration, or depression over not being able to finish watching what is probably the best movie of the year. That is, until we were 2 minutes away from the house and received another call. "I finally got her to go to sleep."

Should we go back? How much have we missed? We're too far gone. By the time we return, it will be too late.

Dejected and depressed, we returned home and ended our night as if we had never left. Maybe we'll try again tomorrow. At $6.50 a person, it's worth another try!

Snowman Guard

we even went sledding...down the hallway!

Mommy and me!

We're going to see Santa!

it was a long weekend

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Talk is cheap...or is it?

I guess I should explain why I was so upset about the anonymous comment leaver's seemingly harmless rude comment. (My rebuttal can be found in the comment section of the post about Remmy's hair).

Over the past year, I have been learning to be more careful about what I say. See, usually, you just don't know what people are going through in their lives and a harmless rude comment can really stick with a person who is going through something.

Brian and I are leading a young married couple's group and we are learning about communication. Words have a lot of power. What you say to each other can make or break your marriage, and any other relationship for that matter.

"Fools have no interest in understanding, they only want to air their own opinions." Proverbs 18:2

We all know someone like this. It is impossible to have a conversation with them, and they think they are always right. They usually judge other's harshly, and then call everyone else "judgemental" or "close-minded". I find it very difficult to have a relationship with someone that is like this, because they constantly say carelessly rude things that hit you like little arrows.

"A person's words can be life-giving water, words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook." Proverbs 18:4

There are ways to express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas when you don't agree with someone without making the listener feel bad. We are learning that disagreeing with your spouse can be a great thing for your marriage, that is, if you know how to share your ideas in a sensitive building up sort of way. Even disagreements can be like a drink of refreshing water in your relationship.

"Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life". Proverbs 18:21.

Be careful of what you say, because you can't take it back! Once it leaves your mouth, it's out there forever.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A cry of a different kind

I took Aimee to the doctor today and had to step out of the room for 1o seconds to get something that I left in the waiting room located just 10 steps away, around the corner. The nurse stayed with her in the exam room and guess what happened.... Aimee cried. It wasn't just a run of the mill, "I have a need that needs to be met" or an "ouch that hurt!" cry. It was her very first "WHERE'S MY MOMMY!" cry.

It was beautiful and I loved it. When I walked back into the room she leaned in towards me, and she hugged me, and she stopped crying. It was awesome.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Dear Yoli and Stephanie

Sorry for trying to kill your patriotism when you were in elementary school.

Sorry for telling you that Abraham Lincoln owned slaves.

For the "This land is NOT your land! This land is NOT my land! This is the Native American's land and the British STOLE it!" tirade when you were learning that song in choir.

and I'm especially sorry for the "I'm not His-panic or Her-panic, or anybody elses panic, I'm Latina!" line. (Mostly because Stephanie reminds me of it about every 3 months).

Not that you didn't need to learn it, but maybe I could have waited until you were at least in the fourth grade or something.

That's all.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Punk Rock Puppy

Our little guy is going through his rebellious stage.

He may look tough, but he's got a heart of gold.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Why I decided to go back to work...a series

I've been wanting to post about work for a while now. This is a big part of my life and I want Aimee to know why I went back to work, the feeling surrounding this decision, how I'm coping, how she's adjusted, and whatever else comes up. Today I'm just going to list the reasons.

In no specific order....

1. I love my job.
2. I love the people I work with. Yes. Love.
3. My Vice-President, Director, and Coworkers are the most gracious, suportive, encouraging people I know in Corporate America.
4. I have a GREAT schedule that allows me time with Aimee.
5. I get to work from home.
6. I have a GREAT sitter.
7. I make a decent salary.
8. I'm good at what I do.
9. I do not feel lead to quit right now.
10. My husband supports me working.

Stay tuned for more...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

A Lazy Saturday Afternoon

Thursday, December 01, 2005

For Mrs. Simpson...

New pics on Aimee's Album blog...

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Return of a Bully

Middle school was a hard time for me. I went from a fairly decent elementary school to a tough middle school that was located about a block away from the projects. My parents didn't know it was a bad environment and by the time they realized it and pulled me out of there, I had already endured a full year of torment, bullying, threats, and the occassional physical abuse. My second year there, I decided that since I couldn't beat them, I'd have to join them.

When I entered High School, I went back to my nerdy book-lovin' roots and spent my entire high school life working to change the stupid notion held by most of the Latino kids that if you were smart you were "acting white". By the time I graduated, I convinced my Latino peers that it was our responsibility as Latinos to be smart, go to college, and be role models for other kids.

In the spring of my freshman year at Purdue, I came back to my dorm to find a really big scary looking guy, covered in prison tattoos, sitting on the steps of the building I lived in. It was Javier M. One of my chief tormentors during my middle school and high school years.

Javier told me that he had just gotten out of prison a few weeks before, and that he had come to visit a relative that lived about 45 minutes away. He heard I was at Purdue, so he called Campus info and got my address and phone number.

He told me that he came to find me because he wanted to apologize for everything he ever did to me. He told me that he was proud of me and that I was an example for the kids in the neighborhood. He went on to say that it was great that I didn't care what other people thought of me and that I did what I knew was right. He asked for forgiveness for the abuse and bullying he put me through when we were kids.

I forgave him. We ended up talking for several hours and I know that he left feeling better about himself. It was very validating for me to know that he actually thought about what he did and how it affected me, even years after it happened.

When I volunteered to teach Junior Achievement classes in the West Side of Chicago, I encouraged the kids to stay out of trouble, go to college, see the world. There was always one kid that asked, "What if you are being bullied by a gang because you won't join?" Javier has given me a hopeful answer that I can pass on to these kids. I am greatful to him for that.

This is a nice story that ends well. But lately, I have been struggling with issues of forgiveness. It is a simple concept. As Christians we are called to forgive, as Christ forgives us. I wonder if when we get to heaven, we will be able to see the consequences of the hurts we have imposed on others because of our sin. I wonder how much I will grieve the harm I did unto others. I also question why we sometimes hold on to the hurt that other's have inflicted on us. Why not just release it to God and receive healing when it obviously hurts the person who holds on to it, more than the person that hurt you to begin with.

Some wounds run deep and resurface. If Javier's bullying had lasting physical or emotional affects, would it have been so easy for me to forgive him that spring afternoon? What if I hadn't? Would I have ended up being bitter and hating him? He probably would have felt bad for a while, but then he would have forgiven HIMSELF and he would have forgotten about me. Holding on to anger doesn't punish the offender, it just makes the offended sick.

Any thoughts or encouragement on this issue are welcomed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

If I wasn't so nice, I would have known what to say...

Lately, people have really caught me off guard with their rude comments. Here are some of the best ones we've been told lately...

Brian: Hey everyone! Me and My wife are pregnant!
Office Lady at his former job: Great! Now everyone's insurance premiums are going to go up.

Later on in that week....

Office Lady at his former job: Hey Brian, the boss decided that he's only going to offer insurance for you. Your wife and baby will have to pay for their own.

A few months later...

Brian: I found another job.


Set up: I was at one of my doctor's offices a few weeks ago meeting with the head doctor. It was a difficult meeting and to end on a positive note, I shared that I had just come off of maternity leave and that I was a new mom.

Dr. Rude: Oh! That's great! How old is she?
Me: Five months and she's beautiful and I already think she's a genius!
Dr. Rude: Is she drooling alot?
Me: Oh Yeah.
Dr Rude: She must be an idiot then.
Me: Uh no... Actually she's TEETHING.

What kind of a low life would joke around like that? I know that the proper response would have been.... "Well you're not drooling and you're an idiot." But I'm too polite! I don't think of these things until much later!

Set up: At a dinner party. We didn't know some of the other guests. I was telling a story about how our beloved neighbors from across the street came over in their beautiful outfits that they wore to celebrate the end of the muslim holiday Ramadan and to share some food with us. Aimee threw up without warning and some of it got on one of the boys.

Host: Oh! Are they the boys that always ask if they can come over?
Me: yeah. They are so cute!
Guest we had just met: Maybe they are training to be suicide bombers.

The room fell momentarily silent in disbelief that the guy said something so stupid. In unison we turned to look at a guest who was also from that part of the world. The host quickly changed the subject.


So readers, is it wrong to pray for a quick tongue? How about for the presence of mind to know what to say right when this stuff happens?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Reason to have kids #1

Because just the thought of her stinky little baby feet is enough to bring me out of my depression.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The REAL reason Harry Potter is pure evil...

Because there is no way you can read a 750 page book from cover to cover without losing sleep, not cooking for your husband, and letting the house go without cleaning. You KNOW you've let your house go when your husband says,

"If you walk into the kitchen you think you are walking into a crack house."

The sad part is that this statement could go for the rest of the house too.

I'm going to go clean now.

If you were thinking about giving us money....

Please don't!

A few weeks ago, our pastor called Brian and asked him if we could help out with a sermon he was preparing by going up in front of the church and telling our story about how we didn't agree about titheing and how God changed our hearts about the whole thing and how it's affected our lives since then.

Brian and I agreed and in a nutshell, this is what Brian said....

We both felt that we need to give consistantly to the church, but we didn't agree how to give. One of us wanted to tithe to the church and the other wanted to give money to friends, family, and missionaries whenever there was a need. We started to fight about this alot, so we agreed to pray that God would help us come to an agreement.

A month later, we agreed that we needed to tithe to the church AND give to those in need. Right before this happened, we found out I was pregnant and I took the job I have now. That meant a big huge pay cut, but more time at home. Instead of us freaking out about how we were going to pay our bills, we just trusted that God would make it work out. For those of you that know Brian, this was a big deal. Brian has always been a big worrier, especially about providing.

A year has passed and we have seen lots of positive changes in our life that we attribute to our decision to give joyfully and faithfully. Brian worries a lot less because he trusts God more, and I'm more responsible with our money. We have seen lots of progress towards our financial goals too!

Anyway, as we were preparing what we were going to say, we lost something very very valuable and very very meaningful to us. (please don't ask...it's still too painful to talk about). Years of the hard work, sacrifice, and saving down the drain. But the truth is, that there has been a blessing in it. Because in dealing with this, we see how God has deeply changed our life. The verse that comes to mind is 2 Corinthians 4:18 "while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things that are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." We accept that life isn't always going to be easy, and we are reminded that our treasures are not here on earth, they are waiting for us in heaven.

So anyway, if you were in church today, and you were thinking about giving us money. Please don't! This didn't really effect our day to day finances. It's really more of an emotional blow. Your willingness to give to us really touched us deeply.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Things that brighten my day...

Having a 3 year old tell me that I look cute today.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Wroblewski

JOB WELL DONE. I want you to know that your son is a compassionate, sensitive, strong husband.

Some men are happy living their life like the little stream behind our house. There is just the right amount of activity in their lives to keep it interesting, but they are afraid to think about anything deeper, so they live their lives on the surface. Their area of influence is small, but they don't seem to mind, because they don't have to take many risks in life.

Some men are like raging rivers. Their life is rich and abundant. They learn, grow, and change at speeds that surprises even them. Their legacy is like the soil at a river's banks. It is rich and abundant and lives on for many generations.

Your son is a river.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Hello old friend!

So it's been a while since I've posted. My company has entered the busiest six months we'll probably ever have and today was day 10 of working without a day off. (By the way, if anyone with Medicare needs me to help them figure out the changes that are taking effect in 06, give me a call or drop me a line. I've been giving seminars on this stuff and I have an insurance license so I know what I'm talking about...kind of). I've taken Aimee to work with me 3 days out of the 10, and I don't think I'll be doing it again any time soon. I was supposed to just go and set up for a health fair at 8 am, and then return at noon to break it down. By then, Brian would be home from work and he'd take care of Aimee. The agent that was supposed to meet me there didn't show until 10 am. Being the only insurance company, and the very first vendor at the event, Aimee and I were left to deal with all the senior citizens swarming the table... all wanting info and freebies. She did very well for the first 1/2 hour, but she was WAY past her nap time and she started to cry. The people didn't really care that she was crying and they wanted their questions answered. Random Grandpa's and Grandma's were touching her cheeks and one guy actually had the nerve to take her thumb out of her mouth and say "Cut that out little girl!" Doesn't he know what will happen if you take a baby's thumb out of their mouth! All hell breaks loose in my house!

I don't mind that Aimee sucks her thumb. It gives her a sense of comfort and a sense of control over her wobbly little body. My mom and I had this discussion already. And yes, I witnessed my sister's expensive and sometimes painful orthodontic treatments. But listen, most babies do it, and research shows that most stop by the age of 3. Anyway, I don't appreciate some stranger coming up to my baby and telling her that the only thing that is comforting her at the moment is wrong. It's none of your business buddy! Besides, did you even wash your hands before touching my baby?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Sox Win!

Do you think they will sweep it Mommy?

Monday, October 24, 2005

To sleep, perchance to dream

I've had a lot of anxiety lately for no real reason. I worry about stuff I can't control and lay awake in the middle of the night. It must be one of the side effects of motherhood. The temptation to never EVER let Aimee out of my sight is pretty strong. I really have to stop watching Oprah.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Happy Anniversary My Love

It was 2 years ago that we walked down that aisle togather. We promised to submit ourselves to each other and to fulfill God's purpose in our lives togather. Our little Aimee was just a distant dream. We've worked hard to build this happy life togather. I love you.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sleeping Angel

Monday, October 17, 2005

More neighborhood madness

The other day, the two 12 year old girls that live across the street came over to see if Brian could help them saw a pop can in half for a school project. He wasn't home, but Aimee was asleep and the weather was a perfect 72 degrees, so I went outside to sit on the front step and listen to them rant about how much they love Orlando Bloom, Green Day, and Simple Plan. The neighborhood kids came out one by one and they all ended up gathering around me to talk over each other and compete for my attention, everyone accept for the tomboy in 10th grade that lives around the corner.

Now, I've had my eye on this girl since we moved in. Having worked with kids in high school and middle school, I've learned to pay attention to the typical distress signals that kids give out when they need help. This girl is a walking billboard.

So she rides her bike past my house and stops at the sidewalk right in front of me to talk to the girls. I called her over and noticed a rather large bandage on her arm.

Me: Hey Sally, what the heck happened to your arm?
Sally: Oh, I fell off my bike.
Me: Oh Really? Hmmm... What grade are you in now?
Sally: 10th
Me: Are you thinking about college yet? You know you have to think about your future starting now. If you want, I can help you research schools.
Sally: Ok. Cool.

So I sent the other kids home to have my serious "college talk" with her.

Me: Hey, So show me your arm.
Sally: Why?
Me: I want to see what happened. Show me.

So she took off her bandage and I immediately felt an overwhelming sense of panic. About 50 small cuts made with a razor blade.

Me: Sally! Did you do this to yourself?
Sally: Yeah.
Me: Praying in my mind: Oh God, Please give me the words to say to this girl. Why aren't you giving me the words? What the heck do I say? Why does everything I want to say to her right now sound so cliche? What am I getting myself into? Well, I guess I'd rather sound like a total dork to her with what I'm about to say then not say anything at all.

I will spare you all the incredibly embarrassing details of what I told her. Let's just say that after fumbling for the words, I decided to just speak from the heart, and as most of you know, my heart is mostly made of sap and cheese.

I know that cutting is a disease, that an overwhelming percentage of woman that cut have been sexually abused, and that this is way out of my league. So if you remember, even if you only do it this once, please say a prayer for her. I know God is still a miracle worker, and that these are exactly the types of miracles he likes to work. I also know that having a bunch of strangers praying for her can only help. I have faith.

By the way, her name isn't really Sally, but He'll know who you are talking about...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


It's so weird, but I'm SOO excited! I took Aimee for her 4 month check up today and my little girl's life is about to get more interesting! She can start to each cereal and in six weeks, she will taste her first vegetable and two weeks later, her first fruit! She can also start to play in her Excersaucer! An Excersaucer is like a walker, but it's stationary. The seat part goes around and around, so the baby can "practice" walking without really going anywhere. It has toys all around it to stimulate the baby to move. It's so cool. I will post a picture of it soon.

Anyway, I have a poll on the sidebar where you can vote for Aimee's first veggie. Brian and I will probably taste each of the choices and give her the yummiest. I'm thinking that maybe I'll just make my own babyfood. But I'd like to see what your choice would be!

Love you all!

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I stayed home from church today because Aimee was having a difficult morning. We are having to suppliment her diet with formula and she's not reacting well to it.

I was telling Brian that I feel like I'm a total mess. Two weeks ago, I felt so well put togather. I did chores every day. I managed to organize a few cluttered spaces around the house, I even made a few home cooked meals. But this week was just so brutal for me. Work is getting busy because of all of the radical changes that are going on with medicare. Another competitor has entered the market. My company is rolling out 8 new products and scrapping the 2 we've been selling. I am now responsible for working with over 200 clinics spanning from cicero to elgin, carpentersville to joliet.

My house feels so unorganized and messy to me. I can't seem to finish laundry, and who knows what my poor husband will eat for breakfast, lunch, OR dinner.

I had a unique experience today. As out of control as I felt, I made a decision to not care and to just enjoy my little girl and my big man. I decided that even though I didn't check 1 thing off of my to-do list, today was the kind of day I wouldn't mind re-living over and over again.

Marrying Brian and having Aimee are the best things that ever happened to me.

Living in the 'burbs

I made my first scene in front of the neighbors last night.

The grandpa to my favorite neighbors, known to many of you as, "The Pakistani Kids" showed up at my front door with a cab driver last night. Grandpa wasn't able to find the family at the airport so he took a cab. Simple solution right? Wrong. Grandpa made a few mistakes.

1. He didn't have a street name, only an address number and city.
2. He got into a Chicago Cab, which tried charging him $160.
3. He didn't have a cell phone or emergency contact number.

The family was still at the airport, frantically looking for him, calling the police, ect.

Anyway, I invited Grandpa in while we waited for the family to come home. I told him that we could call the airline and international terminal information booth to let the family know. He agreed, but the Cab driver had a problem with it. Grandpa still had to pay him.

Grandpa did have enough to pay it, but I wasn't about to let him give what was probably the majority of his cash to the driver. I demanded that the driver justify why he was charging him $160 when the standard fare is $35. The driver then showed me the placard in the cab that states that a City cab will charge a full fare and a half. The meter read $101.00.

"How could you accept him as a passenger instead of directing him to a suburban cab that would have charged him $35? What kind of person does that? You see that he's an older man, coming from another country! And you knew what situation he was in!" At this point I was yelling. See, the cab driver was African, and anyone that is here as an immigrant can understand how scary it can be for our relatives and us when they travel here and plans don't work out as expected. I once spent 12 hours at the International Terminal fighting with customs officers because they wouldn't release my pregnant cousin.

The driver calmly explained that the fare would have been close to $35 had he not spent the past hour driving him to each and every street in Aurora that had the number 3121 in the address. He declared the he had done Grandpa a great favor by finding where he was supposed to go under such circumstances. I asked Grandpa if it was true and he said yes. The cab driver was telling the truth.

At that point, our nosy neighbor Ed, who usually stands in his garage with the lights turned off when he's eavesdropping, was standing in his driveway, lights turned on, arms across his chest. Now let me tell you a little bit about Ed. He's the kind of guy who seems like he can't decide if he likes Brian or not. Brian is the best neighbor a guy could hope to have. He has every tool and machine known to man; he can fix just about anything, and is happy to help anyone fix their stuff; and he is a diligent yard guy. and he shovels snow for the single mom across the street. But it is our impression that in Ed's eyes, Brian has a small flaw. He married outside of his race and is very friendly with the Pakistanis across the street. Who also happen to be Muslim, who also happen to not obsess over their lawn. Ed and his wife completely ignore the family. One day, before they knew about the relationship we have with the kids, in a conversation with us, they called the youngest one (who was only 3 at the time) a "little son of a ....".

What kind of a person calls a toddler a cuss word?

But I digress, I convinced the driver to lower the fare and asked him for a receipt with all his info in case the family wanted to investigate or whatever. Right when we were done, a guy drives up to the family's house looking for Grandpa. He also freaked out when he heard about the fare and the scene played it self out all over again, only that he was even madder than me, and he was on the phone with the family giving them a play-by-play. In the mean time, Brian drives up to the racket we are making in the drive way and starts to freak out, "What are you doing in my driveway? This is my driveway, what's going on here?"

So the family's friend and the cab driver are duking it out, I'm yelling at Brian to calm down and explaining the situation, poor Grandpa is standing on the lawn shivering, and Ed is enjoying the show.

Everything worked out in the end. Grandpa went home with the family friend to wait for the family to come home. The cab driver got paid. The family didn't mind the fare, and Ed got his entertainment for the night and a good story to tell his wife.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

The Hole in The Wall...

Brian and I were lucky enough to enter into marriage with the understanding that we were creating a new life together as two very differently flawed and wounded people. Our goal as a couple has been to honor God by honoring each other and serving as intruments of God's healing in each other's lives. I can honestly say that we are accomplishing that. We believe that a marriage without a clearly defined and unified purpose is a stagnant marriage, and if we are going to be stagnant in our relationship, we might as well just be roommates. I in no way want to try to convince you that we have a perfect marriage. The ruined saucepan and hole in the wall (that just so happens to fit the saucepan perfectly) are a testament to my sudden temper and Brian's moments of insensitivity. But our commitment to being honest, promising to give all of ourselves, and to work towards true intimacy ultimately supersedes our personal sinful desires to struggle for the upper hand. By the grace of God, our marriage has been our ministry.

Enter Aimee

I feel an even deeper responsibility to work through all these things that bind me. The wounds that keep me from forgiving, hoping, trusting, and asking for what I want, need, and deserve. See Aimee was given to us fresh from God's hand as a perfect, living, breathing symbol of hope and potential. "...To Whom much is given, much is expected..." If I don't care to become whole, to grow to the potential God has for my own life and to seek and accept God's healing, I cannot fully invest into her life in the way God calls me to.

I have been given much.

It is a painful to accept, but I know that I will hurt this little girl. I know that I will wound her and make mistakes. I know that someday she will come home from school crying because some teacher or mean kid hurt her feelings. I know that someday, some little boy out there is going grow up with his own hurts and will have his own moments of insensitivity when dealing with her. I know that Brian and I won't be able to shield her from the sinfulness of this world that will scar her spirit. But we can pass on the tools to help her deal... The knowledge of the love of Christ. Our own surrender to each other and to the will of God. An environment that helps her discover who she really is.

Much is expected

I am aware. Yes. I am aware that I will never be the perfect mom. My ministry is myself right now. Because I can't be a whole mom, or wife, or anything without that. I am seeking healing, forgiveness, hope, trust, and the boldness to request what I need. I will start with this, a request, remember me as you pray.

ps...Don't worry people. I stopped throwing things a good year and a half ago...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Some days...

Aimee and I did a whole lot of talking today. (Calling it that definately seems to make it more tolerable). I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I tried everything, including doing a little bit of singing and dancing. Nothing seemed to work. It's ironic that she would have several days of crying fits right after I wrote the previous post about how I've become patient and zen and crap. *sigh...That's life I guess. Sometimes as soon as you have a handle on something you realize that it's not always that easy.

I've had a migraine for a little over a week now. Yesterday I puked as soon as I walked into the office. (Hey! At least I made it to the bathroom). No, I am absolutely not pregnant again.
Gotta go! The princess calls.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Aimee's Voice

Aimee has entered the stage where she entertains herself by speaking her little baby language. I get such a kick out of hearing her and I imagine that she must think it's so cool that she can affect the environment around her by making noise. If her sounds could paint a picture, her coos would look like silky pastel colored ribbons drifting, twisting, and falling through the air like feathers. Her delightful squeals would push them right back up, so they'd never hit the floor and her laugh would punctuate the air with brightly colored confetti.

Along with the sweet laughs and cooing, she is learning that she can express her frustration and discomfort in ways other than her usual little baby cry. She has learned to have tantrums. Yes. Over the past few days her rhythmic "waa-waa's" have turned into bratty, toddler-like, middle of the store "why can't I have this candy bar" screams. What would her screams look like? Well, to be honest, I'm so amused that she is learning different ways to express herself...and that she is showing her personality...and that she is acting like me... that I haven't decided what it would look like.

However, this development in her personality has made me step back and realize a few things.

When she was going through her hours long crying sessions for the first 2 months of her life, I felt like she was spinning our world out of control. Her cries filled the room, and in my mind, this little 10 pound baby was really an untamable Goliath. What would soothe this savage beast? I frantically tried everything within the first 60 seconds. Is she hungry/ wet /cold /hot? Should I rock her? Bounce her? Sing to her? Feed Her? Lay her down? Where's Brian? Where's my mom? Where are the books I've read? Someone Help me!

So one day, my father in law came over and Aimee was having a hard day. She wouldn't stop crying, but he just held her calmly. Talking to her and walking her. After checking to make sure all of her needs were met, He just supportively let her cry, and after a while she just stopped. His zen-like state and superpower soothing skills perplexed me. Then he casually made a comment that changed the way I saw Aimee during these hard times. "She's just a little baby and this is her way of communicating."

"How could I forget that?" I asked myself. I guess that in my quest to make her stop crying, I had forgotten that she is a little person and that when we aren't feeling well, we sometimes just want someone to listen and understand what we are going through. A few weeks later, I discovered a book called, "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to calm, connect, and communicate with your baby". This further reinforced the idea that a baby's cry is her voice. I learned to appreciate her cries and to be supportive of her. So now, when she has a crying fit, I calmly hold her and listen to her complaining that I didn't put her in a crib for her nap soon enough and now she's overly tired. I know that when she's done "talking" to me, she will fall into a peaceful sleep, knowing that her mom was there for her and that I listened to everything she wanted to say.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Current state of affairs

My brain has been kinda mushy lately. It seems like lately I don't have much energy for introspection or even finishing complex thoughts or conversations with myself. More than anything, I'm trying to figure out how my mom managed to raise the 3 of us, work from 8-4 (more like 6:30-5 with the commute), make meals from scratch EVERY DAY, keep the house spotlessly clean, earn extra cash by supplying area restaurants and stores with my grandfathers famous Chorizo, keep us in check, and still find time to hand wash our whites. I'm exhausted just WRITING about it.

I'm appreciating her more and more each day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Like 10,000 of his babies and a public apology

So here is the thing. I LOVE everything that has to do with being a mom. Even though the initial shock and anxiety was overwhelming at times, I loved being pregnant. I loved the cravings, the tiredness, the vomiting before important meetings...yes even that. I loved feeling Aimee kick, I loved feeling her hiccup in the womb, seeing her on the ultrasound, and feeling her little body squirm inside my belly. I loved going in to labor, being in labor, hearing her cry for the first time, and seeing her little round face. I love the way Stephanie and Yoli treat her, the way my mom and Brian's parents look at her, and how my dad cries whenever he talks about her. I love breastfeeding, burping her, and smelling her stinky diapers.

Now I know why people have large families.

ps. I'd like to issue a public apology to my inlaws. Brian and I forgot (actually Brian forgot, I never knew) my inlaw's 35th anniversary. Yes. I feel like a piece of crap daughter-in-law. They are so overwhelmingly generous with us. They call us regularly to see how we are doing, bring us gifts, buy us dinner, and stock our freezer with specialty meats from Johnny G The Butcher every time they come over. We didn't even get them a card. This just confirms that the love of a parent is like no other. Even after your kid stomps all over your feelings, you still love them.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm off to make the donuts...


So today went without a hitch. Woke up at 5:30 am, was ready for work by 6:30 am. Aimee woke up at 6:45 and I had all morning to be with her. I couldn't believe how nervous I became when it was time to strap Aimee into the car seat. When it came time for me to leave the sitter's house to go to the office, I couldn't help myself and I started crying. The sitter cried with me and prayed for my day. My boss is very supportive and didn't expect me in the office until 11 am, then he cut me lose at 3 pm. Aimee did very well today. She slept her usual 3 hours and ate well.

I have a busy month ahead of me, but nothing I don't think I'll be able to manage. Still, I'm just going to take it one day at a time. Thanks to all who prayed for me. It's good to have a community of friends and family join togather in prayer for you.


In 12 hours I will be joining the worldwide club of mothers who work. If you are a mother you know what I'm going through right now. This is the moment that I have dreaded since I found out I was pregnant. I have so many thoughts and emotions going around in my head that I can't really untangle them to describe what I'm feeling, except to say that I've never really experienced this kind of sadness. I'm not in dispair. If I didn't know for sure that Aimee would be well taken care of, I would even go back to work. But it's still hard. There's nothing more I can say.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What we didn't have

It's a total cliche to say that we want to give our kids what we didn't have when we were growing up, but I think I can safely say that we all feel this way in one way or another.
Some want their kids to have toys, clothes, or vacations. Other's will want to give them freedom of expression, spiritual direction, or a stable home. For me, I always wanted my kids to have Grandparents.

As a kid, I rarely felt jealous of what the other kids had. My mom taught us to be compassionate towards others, and with that lesson we learned to be grateful for what we had. (see previous post "Nosotros los pobres...). However, I can distinctly remember the first time I felt the painful realization that there were things out there that I could not have, no matter how badly I wanted it, how hard I worked for it, or how much my parents tried to get it for me.

It happened in the 4th grade. Lucy O. And I were walking to my uncle's house after school and we stopped into her Grandma's house along the way. It wasn't what I expected a Grandma's house to look like. Having not had one, I only had what I saw on TV to go by. I thought she'd be a sweet little old lady with white hair, an impeccable house, and warm cookies on the table. That she was not. I remember feeling pretty shocked that she had long messy black hair, her house was a wreck, she smoked, and *gasp* said "sh_t" in front of us! After the initial shock wore off, I sat down on her ratty old couch to process the death of my dream and watch the Home Shopping Network. I was utterly disappointed. Maybe Grandmothers weren't all they were cracked up to be!

Then, after putting out her menthol cigarette she went into her room and came out with a box and handed it to Lucy. "Here Honey, I saw this on the Home Shopping Network and decided to get you one!". Lucy excitedly opened the box while I looked on. It was sparkley red watch. Before we left, her Grandma reminded her to pack the "off to Grandma's" suitcase she had gotten her for her overnight stay on Friday. When we resumed our walk to the sitters, I asked Lucy why her grandma got her a present. Was it her birthday? "No, my grandma just likes to get me stuff". I remember thinking that she was so lucky to have someone besides her parents that would buy her stuff "just because", and how cool it must be to just be able to stop by her house to hang out or to stay the weekend...No matter how ratty the place, It was on that day that I wished that I too had a pink suitcase that said "Off to Grandma's"

It is such a JOY that our Aimee is abundantly experiencing the love and attention of all 4 of her grandparents...And even one extra by "adoption". The enraptured look on their faces when they see her is beyond any words I can think of to describe. It is one of the most beautiful feelings to know that your child is loved so deeply by people that mean so much to you. I realize that there are certain things that I didn't have growing up that I may never be able to provide for Aimee, so I thank God that she already has what I didn't.

For Images related to this post, please click on Aimee's Photo Album.

Aimee's Online Photo Album

In response to several requests for more pics of Aimee, I am creating a new blog that will exclusively contain pictures for your viewing pleasure. My limited technical expertise limits me to what I can do on this blog, and I want to keep this as a space for me to express my feelings and everyday experiences as a new mom.

I will update her "album" on a regular basis, so when you feel like a quick dose of sunshine, just click on the link to the right and get ready to say "Awww, she's SOO cute!"

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Who Defines Success?

Senior Year I was chosen by my classmates as "Most Likely to Succeed". I'm not sure why they thought that someone that ranked 24 in a class of 200 had a better chance of succeeding than say the valedictorian, or even the saludatorian. I've always wondered what they expected of me. What would I have to achieve to be successful in their eyes?

When I look back at the past 10 years since high school graduation, my life hasn't necessarily taken the path I thought it would. And after all of these years of wondering if I'll ever be successfull enough to live up to their expectations, I can say that I don't care what they think anymore. My life is great and I am blessed.

*My husband is a man that loves me like Christ loves the Church.
*I have a healthy beautiful daughter.
*I have an amazing support system of family, friends, and church family
*God is constantly healing and restoring me, bringing me closer to the potential he has in mind for me.

Anyway, these days just surviving each day seems like a success of great proportions. The demands a newborn makes of her mother are overwhelming. Each night when Aimee goes to sleep I feel like a world champion for having taken care of her with energy, patience, and love.

I don't know if that's enough to satisfy the expectations of the class of 1995, but for today, it's enough for me.

Making my world a brighter place...

Two very special people in my life had birthdays this week. My sister Yoli turned 24 and my Dad-in-law is 49-ish (?).

We had a quiet celebration for my father-in-law over the weekend. He came over with plans to go shopping with Brian for his gift at this store in the area called Farm N' Fleet. I guess it's kind of like a wal-mart, only it specializes in stuff for farmers, and then to Bobaks for lunch. (It's the best polish buffet around...). Those plans got shot down when Aimee decided to sleep in her Grandpa's arms all day long. He didn't have the heart to put her down, so Brian went to the grocery store and we grilled everything and anything that could be grilled. It was literally a quiet celebration, we whisper-sang Happy Birthday so we wouldn't disturb the sleeping beauty, and he blew out the candle on his little cake with her on his shoulder. It was really sweet.
I really love my in-laws and I'm glad to be a part of the family...

I wasn't able to celebrate with Yols, she's about 4 hrs away, but I sent her a gift and thought of her all day. She's visiting this weekend so I'll be glad to see her.

Maybe she doesn't know this, but I'm really proud of her. It's not because she's graduating this year, or because she's held her own for the past 2 years supporting herself, or because she's been working out lately and has broken the "Gutierrez/Maldonado Curse of the Big Booties". I'm proud of her because I love her. Plain and Simple.

I think back to 24 and I was just coming out of a quarter-life crisis. I was out-of-my-mind crazy for a good 2 years I think. Trying to find direction for adult life is a stressful thing, and at 22-25 you sometimes feel like you have to figure it out RIGHT NOW. Sister, let me tell you that your whole world can change in a second.

My best advise to you is this... "Offer yourself as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will". (Romans 12:1-2)

You have a lot of decisions to make pretty soon. May God pour his blessings like fragrant oil over your life my dear sister.

Aimee Elizabeth: The Queen of my heart

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Brian and Lizzie Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 05, 2005

Nosotros los pobres...ustedes los ricos

I've never been impressed by anything having to do with consuming or acquiring things. Going shopping has always been a dreadful event for me. Every time I look at a pricetag I think

"That money could surely be put to better use than this!" or "I'm not the type of person that would own an outfit that costs this much"

Having come from a family with a clearly defined "poor side" and rich side", I've been able to experience life on both ends of the spectrum. I never really knew a Christian perspective on being able to afford nice things. All I knew was that my Grandfather was incredibly wealthy and there was serious drama over his money when he died. It would put even the best Mexican soap operas to shame. Growing up we couldn't afford expensive things, but my mother made sure that we were cultured, well spoken, and nicely dressed. We traveled to Mexico quite often and got to experience how "The rich side" lived. It was during these trips that I realized that although we were considered the "poor side", we were fortunate to not have to sell gum on the streets at age 5 like the hundreds of poor children that would starve if they didn't work. Negative experiences combined with watching old mexican black and white movies that villianized the rich (most notably the one that this entry is titled after) led me to believe that the rich simply lived to get more money and spend it as lavishly as possible just for the sake of telling others how they spent it.

My first exposure to a healthy Christian perspective on wealth was through a roommate. I was so impressed with how she enjoyed the process of looking for and finding good deals on quality items. Just as she wasn't afraid to spend substantially more for an item if it was made well, she wasn't snobbish enough to not buy something second hand. Her criteria for purchasing things had nothing to do with name, label, or even newness; rather, her primary concern was if the item was made with skill and care. She didn't own a lot of things. Her home wasn't cluttered with trendy things and her closet didn't overflow with the latest styles. Instead, she selected a few pieces of well made furniture and laid out carefully selected artful decorative pieces that had meaning to her. I realized through her that owning nice things is not wrong and that if you are going to spend money on something, that item should be worth owning.

Nowadays I'm trying to see and appreciate the details that make something special, and not reject something just because it was expensive. I want to allow myself the time and money it takes to buy things for their quality and not for it's cheapness. Being a mom has helped to change my perspective because I find myself wanting the best for my daughter. Not because I care about what anyone thinks, or because I want to tell people what label she's wearing; but because I think she is WORTHY of it. And if she is WORTHY just because God made her that way, then maybe I am too.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Today we had a milestone. Aimee and I went to the grocery store. It may not seem like a big deal, but I have been planning this for about 2 weeks now. Actually, I've been wanting to go for 2 weeks, but my plans were usually cut short by episodes of projectile vomiting, super smeary craps coming out of her diaper, or crying spells. But today, I saw the opportunity and I seized it! Aimee was really well behaved. I think she's starting to get used her to car seat. Thank God!

I had a root canal yesterday and I have come to the conclusion that I would rather give birth to 10 more babies than have another root canal. Can't they give epidurals for anything other than baby having? I always prided myself on having a high tolerance for pain, but now I see that I'm really just a big wuss. I'm actually considering going to one of those places where they knock you out for dental procedures. Just the memory of it is painful. I guess I can add that to my list of experiences to draw on when I need courage.

Here's the list so far,

1. Getting hit by a car
2. Driving through one of the worst snow storms in NW Indiana history
3. Getting arrested for reckless driving
4. Traveling to Mexico by bus
5. Having a baby
6. Root canal
7. Taking Aimee to Dominick's by myself.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Today was a good day. There was a much needed break in Aimee's 2 day crying spell. I am learning that in life it is best to enjoy each moment as it comes. I knew that her painful fussy cries couldn't last forever, just as well as I know that today's peace may only be a merciful break to allow me to regroup. Either way, I'll take it all as it comes.

Becoming Aimee's mother has really changed my world. Although since she came into my life, I havn't had the mental or physical fortitude to care for her, try to care for myself, say "hello" to my husband every once in a while, AND ponder the meaning of this new wonderful life. But in the precious seconds between trying to remember the words to lullibies, figuring out how to be a good mom, and deciding whether using the bathroom is worth the 2 minutes that she will scream her head off because I put her down... it is in those few short moments that I think that there is great wonder in this new life, that I need to stop living my life for next week and live in the now.

Tonight, while I sat with her in the dark, I could only focus on her. Her sweet breath, her chunky arms and legs, her round belly, and the most beautiful face I've ever seen. It was magic. The bible verse that says that we are created in God's image has new meaning for me. I clearly see God reflected in her. I want to discover this new world and my place in it.