Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ice cream, home videos, lots of tissue/meds, and missing our families

First of all, Happy New Years’s Eve to everyone! The start of a new year is always such a great time, normally spent with family and/or friends. Bringing in the new year with special loved ones has always been important to GeekMan and I and we fondly can look back on all the wonderful NYE get togethers we’ve been blessed with.

But this year is turning out to be a little different.

I am curled up under a blanket, in bed, with a low grade fever, a cough/itchy throat, sinus pressure along with a mild headache that refuses to go away, and a runny/stuffed nose. Yes, thank you sinus infection. It has been awhile since we met but as you would have it you are here with me now.

Meanwhile, I am listening to my wonderful Husband sing, dance, and play with our sweet Bigfoot. I love hearing them interact and listening to them while in bed is definitely making my soul happy.

This NYE is a bit different from many that we have had previous. First off, I’m sick (boo!); secondly, we are away from family and friends; and thirdly, we have the sweetest new addition to our family - fresh from my womb just a little over 6 months ago.  All of the above just means we have to get creative. GeekMan and I decided a perfect way to bring in the new year would be to watch old home videos from 2011, which I am so excited about. We’re talking family trip videos, many of Bigfoots firsts, Bigfoots arrival and all that led up to it, holidays, family, friends and more! I can’t think of a more perfect way to spend our time tonight given my health isn’t up to par for anything else.

I guess, the point in getting this post out is that, while in bed, I remember Sister K (Special K) and how she always encouraged me to see the blessings in all times and to be thankful. Without being sick the idea of reflecting on our year via all the videos we took may not have happened at all. And now we have this to hopefully do every year (whether that be a few days after the NY since we’ll be with family+friends or on NYE like today). As much as we’ll miss bringing in the New Year with family we love, I’m thankful that we get to have this special time to do so with our little family - not to mention, dear husband got me a pint of some delicious looking Blue Bell ice cream! Yes, our NYE plans had to be changed a bit last minute. But, thank you Lord for the wonderful family that you have given us that always have a place ready for our little family come the holidays.

I admit, I was pretty bummed and really missing that we wouldn’t be celebrating the new year with family. And, I really don’t like being sick! But, after some bed time and listening to my amazing husband and wonderful little boy I think I have things in better perspective. All it took was opening my eyes, ears, heart, and soul to our God who is always loving us and desires good things for those who love Him. How a thankful heart can change everything!

Family, we miss you, love you and are so grateful for you! Holy Family, pray for us all, near and far, those we know and those we don’t.

Any others out there doing something different this year? Prayers for a wonderful time bringing in the new year as well as a blessed 2012!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baby boy is half a year old (two months ago!)

Month 6 in Pics

Your first Teddy!:D
You love being superman! Flying around everywhere and pretending to fly while on your belly.
You spent some time with Great Grandma over Thanksgiving.
You play with your Eintein Gym in a whole new way.
Your first Christmas tree!
You hung out with some of your second cousins. They love you tons!
Ohh, that face!
Your feet are your new toy.
and you really love your teddy :)
Sleep bandits caught on camera! You have your two bottom teeth!
You still absolutely love playing with Lily...
...and jumping in your jumperoo!
Oh my dearest, Seph. You are so WONDERFUL and filled with amazing goodness that can only be from up above!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

And So They Begin...

Our family traditions, that is!!

Christmas is nearing. This year is different from any other Christmas. Not only am I a Mama now, but with being a Mama comes him who will eventually call me Mama, my little Bigfoot.

Because of our little sweetness, there’s a new whimsical feel to this year’s Advent. There’s a feeling of anticipation and wanting to do more to make everything special for our little guy - special and meaningful. Wanting to make the reality of Advent as present as possible in our home, from the Christmas decor to the celebrations of all the special Feast days that surround this time.

We started with St. Nicholas’s Feast day. Below is the wonderful story of today’s Santa.

Nicholas’ parents died when he was just a teenager. His parents left him a lot of money which made him a rich young man. He went to live with his uncle who was a priest.

Nicholas heard about a man who had lost all his money. He had three daughters who were old enough to get married. But in those days young women had to have money in order to get married. This money was a “dowry” and it was used to help the new family get started. If you didn’t have dowry money, you didn’t get married.

This family was so poor they had nothing left to eat. The daughters were going to be sold as slaves because they couldn’t live at home any longer. They were very sad. They wouldn’t be able to have families of their own. And they would have to be slaves—no longer able to decide where they would live or what they would do.

The night before the oldest daughter was to be sold, she washed her stockings and put them in front of the fire to dry. Then all of them went to sleep—the father and the three daughters.

In the morning the daughter saw a lump in her stocking. Reaching in, she found a small, heavy bag. It had gold inside! Enough to provide food for the family and money for her dowry. Oh, how happy they were!

The next morning, another bag with gold was found. Imagine! Two of the daughters would now be saved. Such joy!

And the next night, the father planned to stay awake to find out who was helping his daughters. He dozed off, but heard a small “clink” as another bag landed in the room. Quickly he jumped up and ran out the door. Who did he catch ducking around the corner?

Nicholas, the young man who lived with his uncle. “Nicholas, it is you! Thank you for helping us—I hardly know what to say!” Nicholas said, “Please, do not thank me—thank God that your prayers have been answered. Do not tell others about me.”

Nicholas continued helping people. He always tried to help secretly. He didn’t want any attention or thanks. Years passed and he was chosen to be a bishop. Bishopslook after their people as shepherds look after their sheep. And that is what Nicholas did. When there wasn’t any food, he found wheat; so no one went hungry. He always helped people in trouble. All his life Nicholas showed people how to love God and care for each other.

Everyone loved Nicholas. After he died, they told stories of the good and kind things Nicholas had done. Sailors took these stories about Nicholas everywhere they went. Some of the stories were about his special care for children—helping and protecting them when danger threatened. And so more and more people learned about good, kind Nicholas. They wanted to be like him. He is an example of how we should live. And that is why he became a saint.

This is the story of the real Santa Claus, St. Nicholas. To this day people say that St. Nicholas, or Santa, is the special friend of children.

—Carol Myers

St. Nicholas shared his wealth with all around him, and we hope by celebrating his life, that our little guy will learn that it is in giving that we receive.

Also, in that we had yet to buy our stockings that would be filled with gold chocolate coins (representing the money St. Nicholas shared) and candy canes (Bishop’s crook), I searched online to find a way to make some of our own (something Amanda friendly). GeekMan thought that they’d be a smidge more special if I made them and after some thought, I agreed. Through my search on Pinterest I found this lovely blog post and got excited! They were easy enough to make and they could be personalized.

Not anything too creative since that doesn’t seem to be my forte at this point in life. haha. Although, at one time, I did think of myself as one to have somewhat of a creative ability. Maybe I just need to spend some more time nourishing that part of me?

Tadaaa! I have to say, after dabbling in some DIY projects during the holidays, I am definitely feeling an itch to create more, which is exciting. So, behold, the stockings we now have to fill with gold coins, candy canes, and whatever else our little hearts desire! So, thank you, Laura, for sharing your amazing creative talents and encouraging the little creative spark in me.

Now on to other Holiday treats and family traditions.

We celebrated Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. And I made cookies on the Feast of St. Lucy (since I didn’t have any yeast to make cinnamon rolls or another sweet bread).

We have our Christmas tree! This year we decided to go with an Advent theme to encourage our Advent journey. A pretty pink and purple it is, along with sparkling white lights, some St. Nick ornaments, our little Nativity under our tree is ready with sweet Child Jesus awaiting His place in the manger, and an ornament that represents GeekMan and I, and one for our sweet Bigfoot. The tree will continue to morph, I’m sure, over the years, but for now, this is our dear Christmas tree.

Sweet Child Jesus awaiting His birthday.

Our nativity under the tree awaiting the most precious gift of all to be placed there Christmas day.

Another little DIY I found on Pinterest is this little idea from this site. It’s basically a little kid-friendly tree for our Bigfoot to decorate, once he’s old enough. I went ahead and made the tree this year and will add other decor in the year to come (i.e. more colored ornaments, , garland, and presents). I’m thinking a Jesse Advent Tree, but for now we have some Marian blue going on. It’s a work in progress, but I’m excited for when Bigfoot will be at the age where he’ll be interested.

And, of course, we have our Advent wreath.

I suppose that’s all for now. We have a few other little things here and there and other thoughts and to-do’s we’d like to implement during this beautiful season (i.e. 12 days of Christmas, the journey of the Three Kings and the Epiphany), but I will save that either for another post or another year when we are actually implementing.

I tell you what, our little one has really kicked us into gear in regards to starting our family traditions and joyful celebrations throughout the season, and we are both so thankful for that.
What sort of traditions are going on in your home? Would love to hear them!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

He who attaches himself to the earth remains attached to it. It isbetter to detach oneself little by little instead of all at once. Let us always think of Heaven. -St. Padre Pio

Where'd November go?!

Wow. November has come and gone, which means that Bigfoot’s month 5 has also disappeared from one day to the next. Going from November to December feels like going from a Monday to a Tuesday. It happens so quickly, and if you’re not careful, you will miss a whole month worth of goodness!

Now, where to start? I’ll let the few (sad but true) pictures I’ve taken be my guide for month 5.

For starters, my sweet, our Aggies have not been doing so hot. You and Daddy watched Aggie football like all loyal and true Ags would.

Even though it was a difficult season, we have much to look forward to next season (*hopefully*). Anywho, you and Daddy have had some man time watching sports and you seem to enjoy it.

Now, don’t hate me for posting this next picture.
So cute! Sweetheart, you’ve been doing this funny noise with your mouth lately. I think you find it entertaining. Either that, or it helps sooth your teething gums - I think. Regardless, you are so cute when you do it. You make this *smack* *smack* noise - pretty fun. (And, my apologies for trying to get another wear out of this PJ. This was the last wear before it was put to rest with all the other abundances of clothes you’ve outgrown).

You have ample time in your jumperoo, which you love!. We have already raised it one more level which seems to suit you better. Crazy to think how fast you’re growing!?! Also, I absolutely love watching you discover new ways to play with all the toys and gadgets on this play gym. You’re always searching and discovering.

We made a trip to see Grandpa, Yaya, and your Auntie in San Antonio. You had so much fun spending time with them and being outside.

And this trip was followed by our Bible Study family trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Again, you absolutely loved being outside and enjoying the weather and beautiful Fall colors that surrounded us. You had tons of fun time with all the other Bible Study kids, and Daddy and Mama got to enjoy their Bible Study friends in a new setting. We played board games, ate wonderfully, laughed, joked, shared stories, and just had a great memorable time.

Bye Bye, lovely cabin.

Upon arrival home, you had a few bad days and nights of naps and sleep. I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on until I put my little finger to your bottom gums and found the culprits. You cut your first two teeth. The bottom two. Congrats, little one. You are well on your way to solids!!

I have yet to capture the two new teeth! Below was one of my first attempts. Ha. Enjoy.

You officially graduated from swaddlehood, my dear. You are sleeping without your swaddle and this is one of the pics that we have right before you started going swaddle-less.

Also, Mama made some of her pumpkin spice cupcakes with maple syrup cinnamon cream cheese frosting - YUM! They were made for Daddy’s work, but Mama got to enjoy a few before the send off and eventually you will too! :)

You grab at everything! You are curious and love grabbing things - old and new.

You also love putting everything in your mouth once in your grasp. And you and Lily continue to nurture your ever blossoming furry friendship.

Daddy has worn you a number of times with his baby carrier while playing fetch with Lily. You absolutely love this because it feels like you are playing fetch with her. You laugh the whole time.

Uncle A and his girlfriend came to visit and loved every moment. They love you tons and really enjoy spending time with you and your little bundle of fun.

haha. I think in the picture below you’re telling Daddy to stop talking so you can squeal, or laugh, or do something that would bring an “Awww” face to all present.

You have been enjoying your tummy time so much. You continue to roll over to your tummy like nobody’s business. You are starting to worm around just a bit. You turn into the most wiggly worm while Mama or Daddy changes you and you think it is the funnies thing. I love cuddling with you, as does Daddy. You are sweet and precious and we continue to love you more and more as each day passes.

Thank you for all the wonderful moments in the month that likes to fly. This November may have happened fast, but according to your month-to-months we still have more November to share in your 6 month post. :)

we love you. WE LOve you! WE LOVE YOU!!! xo

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able tosatisfy the heart? -Saint Gerard Majella

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception

I feel like I’ve been MIA on writing. I probably feel this way because my thoughts have been so scattered with all the packing, traveling, packing, unpacking we’ve been doing this past month. I’m still trying to get into the swing of things back in our little home. Hence, the lack of posts.

You wouldn’t think travels would throw someone off so much, but I definitely felt the toll of November. Thankfully, Bigfoot seems to be coping way better than his Mama here. He seems to just go with the flow of life and all it brings his way. I admire this in him and pray that he keep this beautiful and innocent approach to life forever.

I, on the other hand, need to work at it a bit more. Hopefully, I’ll eventually find the balance that I’m looking for. And then I’m sure it will get thrown off again. But, at the least, I can start expecting it to get thrown off? And then, maybe, just maybe, will I be able to approach it better. Key word here is: Maybe.

I titled this post Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception, but apparently, my little heart had some other things to share. I mentioned earlier about having scattered thoughts, I really wasn’t kidding! Especially in regards to all the different posts I’ve thought about writing - Bigfoot’s 5 month update, Bigfoot’s travels to my hometown and all the wonderful family he met, a post on Thanksgiving, a post for how thankful I feel about being able to stay home with my sweet boy, a post about how grateful I am for my husband, the blessings of friendship, our decision to cloth diaper, how we decided to use cloth wipes for our little ones bum too, and for that matter, parenting and the plethora of decisions that come with it; I’m sure if I let myself I could keep adding and adding to this list, but I’ll stop for now. Like I said, many things to write, just haven’t had the calm to sit down and do it. Scattered posts floating in my brain. Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Holidays. Holiday shopping. Advent. Feast of St. Nicholas and fun family to-dos. Waiting on the Lord. Family/Advent traditions. All the different holiday crafts I’ve been working on in our home. Pinterest! Bigfoot’s new milestones of rolling around, sitting endeavors, more squealing, more baby babble, tummy sleeping, and tons more!

Wow. Haha. I am scatter-brain.

Well, in an effort to write a little something about what I initially intended, I will say that our little family will be going to Mass later to honor Our Lady and to celebrate her immaculate conception. I’m so grateful for Our Lord’s Mother. It’s really pretty hard to put into words all that she means to me. But, I can say that I am grateful. Grateful for her Fiat. Grateful for her parents, Anne and Joquim. Grateful for her life. Grateful for her prayerful presence in my life and the life of my family. Grateful for her love for her Son, Our Savior. Grateful for the role she played in our salvation. Grateful for her motherhood and for her womanhood. And so much more.

“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

Luke 1:42

Till next time, I wish you all a Happy Feast day of the Immaculate Conception.

Sweet Mother Mary, pray for us.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sleep Bandits

As of last week, our now 5 month old, has two little special visitors that I have named sleep bandits. These bandits are pearly white, fairly sharp, ready for solids, and came out of no where! Well, kind of out of no where. There were some tell-tale signs to their upcoming heist ( I mean appearance), but I thought that they surely knew that Bigfoot was just getting into some wonderful days of sleep. I mean, really wonderful. We’re talking 7-9 hours on any given night! Even longer on some really special nights. Nap times were getting to be easy with the routine we had set in place. I almost think Bigfoot started to experience some enjoyment during nap times because he knew when he awoke Mama would be standing right there. Almost like a really intense, drawn out game of pick-a-boo.

But, moving past the beautiful nights of sleep and fast forwarding to last week, our sleep bandits hit us and they hit us hard. Now, you would think that these bandits would have made their presence known in the quietest, most gentle/subtle way seeing how Bigfoot has been nothing but good to their landing grounds. The way I see it, Bigfoot’s wonderful sleep not only benefits him, but the little bandits themselves (and, of course, myself) by allowing them good healthy gums ready for all things pearly white. But, as life would have it, these bandits came with a vengeance, and they have stolen sleep. A little too much for my liking. Therefore, I have decided that I need to go into negotiations with these two little bad boys for the sake of our sanity. I’m talking, busting out all possible ammo that a mother can conjure. Things like: teething gel, teething tablets, infant tylenol for the really sore nights, teething toys, and frozen washcloths. Oh yes, you little sleep bandits, I will win for the sake of my son and for our sleepy family.

Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled at this new milestone that our Bigfoot has hit. I mean, he has gone from our little baby boy to our now baby man ready to chomp on some good steak (well not exactly, but you get where I’m going). Teeth are a big deal. Our Bigfoot had the cutest gummy smile that made my heart melt. And now, this beautiful gummy smile has the two cutest little teeth a Mama could ask for (yes, the bandits are very cute!).

Bigfoot getting ready for some solid food fun :)

Being a first-time Mama, I didn’t know what to expect when these little pearlies decided to show up. And, honestly, I wasn’t anticipating their first heist (because I imagine the other pearly whites will join the Sleep Bandit Gang) until 7 months or so.

But, here we are. Our son is just as adorable as before. The little one is just in need of some pain relief from time to time and that pierces a Mama’s heart like none other. So, I look forward to when the soreness either A) goes away or B) Bigfoot gets used to it and puts his foot down, telling those bandits that they can’t have anymore of his sleep.

And so, after two weeks of random and multiple night wakings, I have decided that the sleep bandits need to figure out a more gentle approach to the future invasions their other little pearly friends have yet to make. I have asked nicely and hope they can meet us halfway.


Sleepy Mama

PS I have yet to get the bandits on camera. They really are pretty sneaky and hard to catch! For now, enjoy this fun shot of Bigfoot.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let yourgentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. -Philippians 4:4-5

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Givelove to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next doorneighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better andhappier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in yourface, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. -Blessed Mother Teresa

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Traveling Bigfoot

The holidays are upon us! Pumpkin spices, fall weather, cream cheese frosting, turkey, apples, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and family, family, family!!! :)

Sweet Bigfoot has made a trip to GeekMan’s home town to visit great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Big foot has also been to San Antonio to visit grandparents and his sweet auntie. He has done absolutely wonderful in both locations, and we’re so glad that we were afforded both of these amazing trips to visit and spend some quality time with family.

CC trips

Trip to meet great-grandma G. Such a special gift that God gave us as a family before bringing great-grandma G home with Him.

Nonna and sleepy grandson.

SA trip - Auntie Red helping.

Empty plastic bottles - his new favorite toy.

Saying buh-bye.

Bigfoot also recently experienced his first family vacation. We went to Hot Springs, AR with a great group of friends we have in Bible Study. Imagine, 12 adults and 13 little ones later, we had such a great weekend of wonderful fellowship and fun!

Seph and Mama.


Family fun.

Mini-golfing with Bigfoot nice and cozy in his Ergo.

And now, *finally*, we will be making the über long trip to my hometown!! I am so excited to be bringing our little one to my home to meet more great-grandparents, all his great aunts, uncles, second cousins, and dear friends that have been waiting so very long to meet him and shower him with kisses, cuddles, and love!

In all, Lord, we are so grateful for all the safe traveling you have blessed us with and look forward to another trip with our traveling Bigfoot. But, most importantly, we are so very thankful for the gift of time spent with family and friends that we don’t get to see as often as we like.

Get ready Valley family and friends, this little cutie will be seeing you *soon*!

St. Christopher, pray for us.

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