Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Expanding Vocabulary

These are some new words Aimee has picked up over the last two weeks.

Apple (for apple sauce)
Daddy (it's what she calls the phone because whenever it rings I yell, "IT'S DADDY!")
Mom (What she calls everyone)
Mami (What she calls me)
A, B (working on C-Z)
1, 2, 3 (working on 4-10)
Belly and Button used interchangeably. (Used to describe any part of the body that is usually covered with a onesie or diaper).

She also hums a song I made up that I've been singing to her since she was a week old. Brian and I sing it to her before we lay her down in her crib for bed at night.

In our quest to be healthy...

There are certain products that we've discovered over the past year that we find that we can't really live without anymore.

Egg Beaters
Roll Up Flat Bread's (For making pizza)
35 Calorie Breads
Dannon Light N' Fit Yogurt
Everything that Trader Joe's sells (It's the Aldi of Organic Foods)
Frozen Fries and Hash Browns
Subway Sandwiches
Canned pumpkin for baking brownies and cakes
Starbucks Sugar Free drinks
Edy's Slow Churned Ice Cream
Jalapeno Chicken Sausage
Kashi Products
Barritas De Coco (Mexican Coconut cookies)

Stuff Aimee can't live without. (Also known as the stuff she won't share with our dog Remmy.)

Apple Sauce
Yobaby Yogurt
Trader Joe's Fruit and Grain Bars
Rice and Beans made Puerto Rican Style
Kashi TLC crackers.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. The little girl can eat a whole bowl of it in 4 minutes flat. I can barely choke down half a bowl and it takes me all morning.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are full of deceit. Proverbs 27:6

That verse means that a real friend will tell you the truth even if it hurts, while an enemy will tell you that you are right when you are clearly wrong.

I had a friend come over the other day. Someone I really enjoy spending time with, who I respect, and who isn't afraid to be a real friend and tell me the truth (in love of course). Her and her husband have been faithful friends to Brian and I, and I can safely say that we owe a lot of our personal growth to their supportive, honest, and sometimes painful feedback.

During the course of our conversation, she paid me a compliment. A compliment that was so nice, so meaningful to me, that I actually told her to stop talking for a minute. I wanted to take that compliment and wrap it around me, I wanted to absorb it into my being. For one of the first times in my adult life, someone told me something nice about myself that:

  • I had no idea was the case until it was told to me.
  • Was completely unexpected.
  • I whole heartedly believed it to be true at that very moment.
  • I did not, at any point in time think, "Yeah, I'm just fooling you, wait until you REALLY get to know me".

There is alot more than that comment that has brought me to this point, but her words will serve as a marker for the moment when I came to accept who I really am. A headstone for the insecurity that held me back until now.

If the wounds of a friend are faithful, how can I describe the feeling of a sincere blessing? I can't, except to say that I am greatful.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I just remembered why I'm not as clean as my mom.

My mom's house is spotless. You could eat off of the floor. The bathroom Floor. The basement Floor. The concrete steps that lead up to the front door. You know how most homes have a unique smell? It's usually a distinct odor that stays in your clothes and hair when you leave. Sometimes it's the scent of candles, or garlic, or the new carpet. The odor in my mom's house? Clean. She always complains that she never has time to clean and do stuff around the house. I secretly think that she must clean in her sleep and doesn't realize it, because her house is ALWAYS clean. Growing up, we cleaned the entire house, from top to bottom every Saturday. If we wanted to go out on Saturday, we cleaned on Friday, or my mom was gracious enough to do the chores on her own, because there was no outing or holiday important enough to NOT DO CHORES.

My house is pretty clean. I like to keep it "company ready". I don't like clutter and I don't like feeling embarrassed when people come over. I like to feel organized and I do the best I can. But I'm not my mother.

On Monday, I had a flashback of living at my mom's house and I decided to give the floors the scrubbing of their life. An hour and a half it took me to clean about 700 square feet. I swept, I vacuumed, I mopped with piping hot water and Pine Sol, I rinsed with cold water, I dried. It was floor perfection. A floor my mother would be proud of.

Then... Yoli came home. She spends the night every now and then. It was dark and wet outside. My pristine floors were ruined by her boots tracks. But it was nothing a few paper towels and a bottle of bleach couldn't get out. Then... Morning came and I was making breakfast. An entire carton of eggs crashes to the floor, landing egg side down. Shells! Yolks! Gooey Whites everywhere! !#$%@& Like the little boy in a Christmas Story, the 4 letter words exploded from my mouth so quickly I didn't have time to censor myself. Then....Today Aimee is enjoying the last of the apple juice. A full sippy cup of it. "Oh OH!" I turn to see what she'd dropped to find her brand new khaki pants soaked in apple juice, and a puddle right in the middle of my once clean kitchen floor. I took her pants off right in the kitchen to keep her from getting juice on everything else. When I turned to get some paper towels to soak up the puddle, she discovered the joy of a wet slippery floor and decided to play slip and slide in the middle of the kitchen.

That is why, even if it's just for these next toddler years, I will not be as clean as my mom. I do not have the dicipline or character to invest so much time into something and not freak out when the work is undone. So excuse me while I go dig out God's gift to the lazy person. The Wet Swiffer.

The Cuteness!

I was babysitting my friend's 11 month old, Colin, the other day. Aimee loves that kid so much, she follows him around and shows him all her cool toys all day long. I was getting the kids ready to go to my friend's house for a play date. I had their coats on. The hats and the baby carrier were sitting on the sofa. The baby carrier is made of fabric and it has straps. It kind of ties the baby to me so that I can carry him without any hands. I was in the kitchen getting the diaper bags ready. I walked into the living room and Aimee had put Colin's hat on his head (correctly too!) and had wrapped the carrier around his body. It was the cuteness!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Stephanie In Spain

Stephanie started her own blog to chronicle her adventures in Spain. I've linked it over on the links column. Don't forget to check her out. Leave comments and feel free to send her stuff. She's feeling a little homesick, so she'll love it.

Also, here are some cute pictures that Stephanie's friend, Emily posted on her Blog.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Giving you what you REALLY came here for...

I know that the reason most of you come here is to hear about Aimee. It seems like it's been a while since I've written about the cute things she's doing now, here's an update.

She's learning how to count. All day she walks around counting. She mostly counts her steps as she walks, but she'll also count toys, magnets, or she'll just randomly start reciting. she confidently goes up to three, dares to go four every now and then, when she's REALLY concentrating, she'll babble on, past four, into the realm of unknown numbers hoping that maybe she'll accidently get five-ten right.

She doesn't freak out at the grocery store anymore. She used to scream for mercy whenever I'd lower her into the grocery store cart seat, as if it burned her butt to sit in one of those things. Since receiving her own grocery store cart that she carefully sits her babies on, she's decided that grocery store carts must really not be that bad afterall. So, as far as Christmas presents go, I'm going to rate the baby grocery store cart as one of my personal favorites (It also serves a portable toy box).

This next update is also store related. Perhaps another reason that she doesn't mind the grocery store anymore is because it gives her access to strangers that havn't seen all the things she can do now. She's become quite the show off and loves to count for people, sing her favorite part of Twinkle Twinkle, and offer up her toys. The check out is her favorite place. She'll start of with a quiet "Hi". If the stranger politely ignores her, she will raise her volume until she is practically jumping out of her seat to get closer to the stranger's face, yelling, "HI! HI! HI!".

Aimee has entered the social stage of toddlerhood. She likes playing with other kids, instead of playing around them, or worse, using smaller ones as toys. Taking her anywhere is so much easier and fun. We went to a friend's house for dinner this weekend, and she had so much fun playing with our friend's two kids. It was 2 hours past her bedtime when we finally put her in her carseat to go home. She was exhausted and happy. She babbled and sang the entire way home, in that "I just spent the day at six flags and got on every roller coaster" kind of way. Sleepy, pink cheeked, and happy.

More updates to come.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I hope not!

Stephanie is safely installed in her hotel, registered with her study abroad group, and still hasn't figured out how to use the shower, but is ok with taking baths instead. Our entire family has stopped holding it's collective breath and can finally relax.

Her journey was not without obstacle.
  • Yoli had to run out a few hours before Stephie's flight to buy her a new, more manageable suitcase.
  • Her flight to London was delayed several times.
  • When she finally arrived to Madrid (after a 12 hr flight with a screaming baby) all of her luggage was lost, leaving her with a breath mint, some make up, and a comb for the next 2 days.
  • The hotel lost her reservation.
  • She still can't figure out how to use the shower.
  • She thinks she may have insulted a cab driver when he told her that she'd return to the States speaking like a Spaniard and she replied, "I HOPE NOT!"

Despite all of that, she is happy to be in Seville (and have clothes to change in). She has made new friends and has already begun making good decisions for herself. By now, she has met the family that she is to stay with and we are all hoping that they will be kind and gracious to her.

This trip has been a big deal for our family. It's been difficult for each of us, in our own way, to let her go. We are tight knit and will come to each other's rescue at a moment's notice. It won't be easy for us to do that when she's a continent away. The program has warned her that she may change quite a bit, and that readjusting to American life, and reintegrating into the family may be a challange too. We want her to grow and to expand her horizons. We want her to gain a larger perspective on the World and to see and experience new things, but our hope is that she remain the same at her core.

We are proud of her. The program was not easy to get into. I worried with every quiz and test she took that she would come down with an ulcer. She gave up coming home lots of weekends to finish assignments. She swallowed her pride when she had to ask us for money because she turned down hours at work in order to do homework or prepare for tests.

She had to work harder than most, because let's face it, even though she was an "A" student in highschool, the School City of Hammond isn't exactly focused on churning out the Ivy League level students. She's a smart girl, that silly little girl. She may have loved her Winnie the Pooh teddy until she was a senior in Highschool, and she really loves to play the roll of helpless little baby, but she has really taken charge of her life and that is something to be proud of.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Worse than a crackhead in rehab.

One of my first jobs was as a mental health case manager. People that needed counseling or rehab would call the insurance company and speak to me, I'd ask a bunch of embarrassingly personal questions and then find an appropriate counselor or rehab program for them. We had lots of pregnant women that were addicted to heroin or crack that would call and we'd put them in a methadone program. Methadone is basically a copycat narcotic that makes the body feel like it's had the drug, without any of the nasty effects of actually doing it. Addicted pregnant woman go to a special clinic every day to take the methadone during their pregnancy to protect the baby from the withdrawal, and it keeps them from actually doing drugs.

All of that to say that I've had a really difficult past few days. After 2 months of eating like I didn't care about my weight, I am back on my weight loss program. It is so much harder now than I remember it being last year.

I know that if I can just get through this week, I'll be fine. I now it's mental. I know my body enough to know that I am, in fact, eating enough and I should not be hungry. However, I am not only hungry. I am crabby, short tempered, slightly depressed, and oh yea did I mention that I'm hungry?

A few days ago, Aimee was really upset. The baby I watch needed a nap, and Aimee wanted to play with him. She was so upset that she actually cried for the entire duration of his nap. Nothing would distract her from the fact that her little buddy was upstairs and she wanted to play with him. A box of chocolate cookies sat on the counter, a few feet away from her. I knew she'd stop crying if she could just have a chocolate cookie. I didn't give it to her. It took a lot to not give her the easy fix, but the emotional eating gene runs in her veins and the last thing she needs is for me to teach her the very behavior that I am fighting in myself.

Friday, January 05, 2007


We've done so much over the past few weeks that it's been hard to find time to write.

Big Family portait
Too many toys for our small house
Bathroom redecorating
Stephanie's going away party
Brian and I bought bathing suites that weren't plus sized
First overnight date for Brian and I without Aimee
New Years
Stephanie's going away dinner with all of our "Chicago Friends"
Stephanie spent the night
Aimee got sick
Brian got sick
I got sick when I saw that I gained like 10 pounds
Stephanie leaves tomorrow

I really can't wait for life to get back to normal.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2007 is here and I don't have any resolutions

Is it me, or does having a child speed up time? Time was never so important to me. I never wanted to hold on to it, like I do now.

Stephanie leaves for Spain in 5 days. I'm freaking out.