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.