miércoles, 29 de mayo de 2013

Parks and Recreation

Too much to tell, and so many pictures and videos to post. I'm getting caught in the middle of all these pics and videos... it's crazy!!!

I've been thinking lately about sending Elizabeth to a Mother's Day Out next fall so that I can spend more one on one time with this guy... But I'm still not sure about it. 

"Sister, you are out of here..."

Going through videos and stuff this weekend, we realized I started teaching Libby her letters when she was 15 months old. I bought her her fist set of flashcards at Walmart. I also bought her crayons, markers, a toothbrush and toothpaste. Time flies. It's been nine months of everyday repetition, but she knows her letters, at least the uppercase one. At least... what's is wrong with me? She is two years old and she knows the letters and the sound they make. She also knows her colors, and her shapes, and her numbers from 1 to 10. 

She shows you her fingers as you count 1, 2, 3, 4... 10. At ten, you get to see her hands opened wide. She is amazing. What can I say? She is my daughter. But really, she is amazing... I can't stop but wanting to show her off. Emerson told me the other day to stop doing that. His dad used to do that all the time to him, and he hated it. My mom did that to me also, and I hated it. I guess there's something in you that wants to tell everybody, "Look how amazing my child is!!", and I guess there's nothing wrong with being proud of your children, but I'll stop asking Libby to show people how she can count, and how she can sound her alphabet. Emerson says she's is not a fair pony.

You pick your battles, and I want my daughter to know I love her for who she is, and not for what she knows. I also realized it's like trying to find validation from people. My daughter's success in life has nothing to do with her letters, nor my identity has anything to do with being the mom of smart children.   

My handsome men :)

So anyway... I need to start giving Enzo more of my time, and not because he needs to know his ABC's, but because I have never been with him only. To be honest, since he was born, he has been always on his own. I'm not neglecting my child... what I mean is that I want to spend time with him alone, take him places, play with him... all the things that we do everyday, but give him ALL my attention. Just like I did with his sister when she was born. But I'm having a hard time letting go of Libby. I don't want her to go to school. She doesn't need to go to school. I mean, it's not school school, because you know... MDO is not school, they just give you a break. But Libby lights up when she sees other children. She needs interaction, she need friends. She needs to start learning how to be herself with people, and discover who she is, and what she is able to do.

She also needs to start saying NO when people hit her face, or push her, or pull her arm... I've been teaching her to say NO with a very firm voice. And I said, "Libby, I'm not telling you to hit back or push back because that's not kind, that would be wrong, but you need to let people know you don't like what they do to you."  Now she says NO to Enzo almost all the time when he is trying to grab her sippy cup, or her books, or her toys, or actually pulling her hair.

And I praise her when she yells NO when he pulls her hair, because basically she is learning to defend herself. Hopefully it will serve her well with mean children at MDO, if there are any mean ones...

Seasoning the molcajete

Grabbing a lizard
Not sure about the lizard...

Hanging out with Daddy
Picking up leaves
More leaves

My babies are not babies anymore. Libby is getting more and more confident with her slide skills and she is also a beginner runner. She walked/run about 0.5 mi to get to the slides the other day. We usually get there through the trails and visit with the horses. Then after Mommy finishes her workout, we spend at least 30 minutes playing at the playground. I love taking them there. See, this is what I don't get... Why would I want to be without them??

I was going crazy before. YES. But it was mostly because I had no other option but to either walk miles and miles to get to the playground, and get tired OR stay inside the house all day long. I didn't have options, freedom. There was no way I could say, "Okay, guys, let's go workout with Mommy, then we go to the slides, then we have a picnic, and then we go get ma ma ma..."

Now we can do that!!! We have a car!!! I can fit the double stroller and Libby's bunny chair for her picnic, and the single stroller, and even more, even groceries if I want to. I get the break I need. And I know I need to rest, and be away from them, but I have alone time every day while they sleep or not. They go in the bedroom for two hours every day. I don't want to let them go... and I'm thinking that next year when Enzo goes to MDO they are going on different days, so that I can get to be with Libby, just us, doing girly stuff, without Enzo. 

I'll have time for myself -just myself- when both go to school... 

Libby running

Libby on the slides

THE  Learning Center

So Enzo is sitting up on his own pretty well now. I still put a pillow on his back in case he decides to throw a fit because he doesn't like it when I put him on the floor. I don't know... I think second children are more spoiled than first ones in this matter: you don't let them cry as much. I might sound weird, but I guess you need to let them cry sometimes, otherwise you end up with a baby who needs to be held ALL THE TIME. But I don't have the same patience with Enzo. He has this high pitched cry... I can't take it sometimes. Emerson can never take it. I handle it well, but sometimes I just have to pick him up, just to make him stop. 

He likes all the toys that once were his sister's. The green ball rattle, the Elmo wheel, the I'm a bear, a hungry bear, a happy bear a sleepy bear. We haven't started doing any flashcards because at this age, Elizabeth ate half of them. This is why I want to spend time alone with Enzo, because the truth is, I don't really teach him one on one. But he is so smart. Elizabeth began doing letters and "advanced" stuff - like everybody says she is- at 15 months old. At Enzo's age, she would only watch Harry. But I think Enzo has only watched Harry three or four times. He usually does phonics, numbers, shapes, 50 states in the USA... so I guess he is learning, right?

We borrow books from the library, thirty at the time... BTW we have one that we were supposed to give back by May 4th. That's what happens when you check out more books that you can actually keep track of, lol!! 

Anyway, we haven't read a lot lately, and I KNOW it's been since we bought the minivan. Now we are playing outside, and going to the slides almost all the times, and we spend little time at home. Enzo only wants to eat whatever is on front of him, he is so funny and cute. He is so handsome, too :)

Enzo, please STOOOP crying!!!

This is what I mean... Emerson had to vacuum with Enzo riding on his back. I was doing something else and couldn't take care of Enzo. Emerson decided to make him stop. And he did. Enzo was really happy vacuuming with Daddy. The other time this same thing happened was when I was making some cupcakes for Emerson's coworkers. This happens very often... at least he was very peacefully sleeping at the sound of the shapes :)

Two real men
Ahh... it's quiet

Happy with Daddy
Cupcake preparation

Mother's Day

Enzo is riding in his new Eddie Bauer car seat. It's the first new thing he has actually had since being born. Family have given him clothes and stuff, but mostly he has used what was his sister's: the car seat, the exersaucer, the bumbo, the toys... But it was time to get a car seat. He is a big boy now. He looks adorable :)

On Mother's Day, Daddy made me a special breakfast: a smiley face, orange juice and my coffee. I don't think we went out and did anything special, we just hung out here. Lately, the weekends seem more relaxed, but I guess it's because I go grocery shopping on Fridays. So on Saturdays, there's no rush to get out of the house, we just chill and watch TV, or go out to eat. We love each other :) 

Guapito a los 7 meses

Most of the time, Enzo and Libby take a nap around 1 pm. Sometimes, however, Enzo is very tired before that, and he has to nap earlier. That means that when Elizabeth is napping I have to be entertaining Enzo. He likes so much to be held... it's crazy. He also likes to sit down and play with toys, even more if I'm with him. I took all these pictures of him while we were on the bed.

Guapito con su Mami

He is growing... He has teeth coming in already. He is very long, too. I remember he was tiny when he was born, but look at him now. These eight months have passed by so fast... I guess it's different once you have a second child. At least the very first two months of his life, I was just on survival mode. Well, my mother was here, but once she left, I remember I was constantly changing diapers and nursing him. And when he didn't need something, Libby did. 

We are more into that routine now, he is actually nursing only three or four times a day, sometimes I give him a bottle. He was eating pureed food, but it wasn't enough. He was eating a gallon a week... I'm not kidding, a gallon of pureed food a week!! 

We went for lunch the other day with some lades from BSF, and I forgot his food. So I give him some chicken and mashed potatoes, and he loved it. So now, he is eating real food. He seems to be very happy and satisfied with what he is eating. He even yells at me when it's time to give him more :) 

Daddy enjoyed one of his birthday gifts. Libby gave him a pizza peel. He used it one day before the party because we were going on a road trip and couldn't use it after that. He needs to perfect his technique, tough. 

These photos of Libby were taken because it was actually the very, very first time in two years Libby lets me do something to her hair. Now she wants to have a pony tail almost all the time, and she even cries if her barrette falls down. Not a lot of fashion with those sandals and socks, but the house had to be around 70 F, since the cake was out for 32 hours. It was cold. I had to make the cake happen, and there was no way to store it in my fridge, and no way I was gonna make it on time on Thursday, since I had to pick up my mother in law at the airport. I didn't want any additional stress in my life... so it sat on the counter for 32 hours, and tasted great. Nobody got sick.  

Mastering the pizza making
Curly hair

Add caption

30th and 2nd Birthdays

People think I'm really kind because I offer to do all these cakes for them when they have birthdays or stuff. And I'm kind, but up to this point all I wanted to do was practice, practice, practice for the big day. I couldn't do their cake last year, and I originally went into the cake decorating thing just for that: to be able to make cakes for them. So I guess practicing paid off. It wasn't very big, but I think it was a really pretty cake. 

Emerson had to see it a day in advance, I mentioned that already. He really liked his surprise and the fact that I thought about things that both of them loved, like the book, and the planes. Those planes (the one on the cake and a bigger one) actually flew all the way from The Netherlands. That's Emerson's favorite plane. So he was really happy, and that's what I wanted. Libby was excited to see me making all the preparations for the cake like three days in advance. I needed to start baking all I was going to need, and I kept telling her, "In three days it's going to be your birthday, and your Daddy's. And they are going to sing to you, and then you can eat cake"...

"In two days it's going to be your birthday, and your Daddy's. And they are going to sing to you, and then you can eat cake"... 

"Tomorrow it's going to be your birthday, and your Daddy's. And they are going to sing to you, and then you can eat cake"... 

"Today is the day. They are going to sing to you, and then you can eat cake. We have to go get Nana first!!!" 

Stars for corners
Three layers with filling
Practice cake
Practice cupcakes
One nigh before I started

Almost there...

"Let's fly, Daddy!"

Emerson's first time looking at the cake

The party was fun. All our friends from small group came, and they brought snacks, and we have a nice time. Libby got markers, and flashcards, a coloring table. Oh, and Daddy gave her a tricycle!! She loved it!!

Emerson got a shirt, and some gift cards. The cake tasted awesome, it was really moist. The next morning we sang Happy Birthday to them in Libby's room, and we started getting ready to go on our trip. 

McKinney Falls State Park

We left on Friday morning. I drove for about two hours and we stopped and McKinney Falls State Park. We couldn't walk a lot there, because the trail was kind of dangerous for Libby. But I was able to take some cute pictures with my cell phone. 

After the park, we checked in at the hotel and we had lunch at a Denny's just next to it. Then it began raining dogs and cats, and Emerson got all wet trying to go get the umbrella. Libby and Enzo did great. They ate a lot of food, and Libby had fun coloring. Enzo had fun pooping. When we came back to the hotel, I gave them a well deserved bath -especially Enzo- and we played with some crayons for the bath tub that Libby got for her birthday. 

It took her about an hour and a half to fall asleep, but she finally did it around 8:30 pm. I guess she was really excited about it all. She was exhausted, but kept on talking, talking, talking with Emerson by her side. I wanted to sleep with her because I never get to do that at home, but Emerson fell asleep. It was okay, though. I love when I see them together like that.  


The Beauty of learning
Crazy about lemons
After pooping

Having fun in the tub
Hanging out with Daddy

The next morning we had a very substantial breakfast at the hotel, and we came back to the room to get ready. I put on the crib where he slept -very good night sleep by the way- to take a photo oh him. It looked like an orphanage crib. I would adopt that baby without thinking about it :)

Enchanted Rock State Park

So we got to the next park around 10 am. Libby climbed the whole rock. It's not very high, but the elevation is about 425 ft. It was a good workout for all of us, especially for her. It took us about an hour to get there, and half an hour to come down. We were helping her a lot on the way down. Just playing with her, grabbing her hands and making her fly. So she touched the ground way less coming down. 

About to climb THAT

Loving the flowers

"You can do it, Daddy!"
Almost there

Taking a break

Keep climbing

Mama picking flowers

Mi nena y yo

Playing on the water

Mi Nena

Coming down
Going up

Have a Snickers, you guys!

Enzo and Libby are so much like their Daddy. They get a serious case of the "Have a Snickers" commercial whenever they are hungry. These are just random photos of how much they like to eat. 

Finished his 1/4 c oatmeal
Milkshake with Dana

They are up to something
Enzo's first time eating real food

This is from the time I forgot his food...

Enzo on solids for the first time

After climbing the rock, we drove for about 20 minutes to a little German town called Fredericksburg. I would love to live there... Well, maybe not live there, but it looked really nice. Small, cozy... like a little town from a movie. We had lunch and I took some photos of Libby. She has a serious addiction to the lemons from everybody's water. 

Lemon Face

LBJ National Historical Park

Finally, we stopped yet at another park, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. This guy happened to be the 36th President of the USA. The midwife who helped his mom when he was born was one of the daughters of a family who owned a farm. Their last name is Sauer. My last name is Sauer. 

I just took this photo for the sake of making fun of people with my sister as an inside joke. I have some uncles who believe they are THE real deal because of the Sauer last name. I don't know... they may actually believe they have blue blood just because one of their ancestors came from Poland or somewhere else in Eastern Europe. Well, there you have it, guys. A part of the family owned a farm.

We saw some cows, and stuff. They have the farm operating as in the old days. They cook with no electricity, you know, like when these guys lived. It was neat to see some photos of those Sauer's as all of them looked like my actual great grandpa. They say Enzo look a little bit like him.

Riding the saddle 

On the way back, we stopped to have dinner at Chappell Hill bakery, one of our favorite places. I was exhausted, and was thinking about Jesus, church, and everything in between that messes it all up... just my own struggles, you know? 

The children were watching Cri Cri on DVD, and I saw them holding hands when their favorite song started. I don't know if it's their favorite song or not. All I know is that with that song I always sing with them more than with any other song. And I change the lyrics... I sing stuff like, "Venga, hermana, venga hermano, vamos piojo, vamos pulga, los hermanos se aman para siempre... venga perrito, venga mi nena, a bailar con el Ratón Vaquero, los hermanos se aman y se respetan porque así los creó Dios...

And even more nonsense, but it's not nonsense... It's my way to tell them I love them, and that I am proud of them. I say that they are best friends, and that they are beautiful because God made them. That they will always have each other, and more and more things... you know, my lyrics change every time we play the song :)

We don't have all the answers, and we go crazy with many everyday things... Libby disobeys, and has begun to hit to express her frustration. Enzo is crying even more now a days since he is teething. I'm tired. But these things... these moments are when I see how faithful God is, and how much He loves my family. 

Keep it up, Daddy. Can't wait for the next road trip :)

Holding hands with El Ratón Vaquero

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