Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Birthday To You!!!!!

Happy Birthday sweet child of mine. What a magnificent day it is. I continue my posts on all things Paloma - why? Because she is the birthday girl! We have had a fun morning already and are now preparing to head off to the theater to watch "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." She is so excited. Later it will be cake time, gift time, and just celebrate Paloma time.
For now, I'm continuing to stroll down memory lane. So here is Part 2.

Paloma's first few days were spent differently than Mattea's. First of all, they were noisier, more chaotic and were spent hanging out in a suitcase instead of mommy's arms. Yep - hyperbilirubinemia plagued my sweet girl until we were forced to put her under phototherapy - which she HATED! But at least her sweet dog Kody stood guard the entire time.

Oh and then came all the hugs, kisses, and help from big sister Mattea who was thrilled to finally have her home.

What a cute set of girls I have!

And of course, the sleepless nights started almost immediately. But what we would soon find out is that they never really stopped. Experiencing breathing problems and reflux from the beginning, both mommy and daddy would realize that once Paloma came home, sleep became NONEXISTENT!

But who needs sleep when you have these beautiful blue eyes staring at you. Starting off as not quite the "cutest" baby, Paloma has definitely evolved into a gorgeous little girl. We love you Paloma and are so proud of you. You keep us smiling and you keep us laughing. (You also have raised our blood pressure - but we aren't going to mention that in this blog post!) May you continue to fill our hearts and house with the joy and laughter that you have already provided. You are developing into such a sweet young lady. What a blessing you are.

God bless you baby girl!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paloma - Part 1

It is that time....
You know, where as a mom, you look at the calendar and realize a very special birthday is coming up. It makes you both happy and sad to see that day circled in red on the calender. Makes you even a bit weepy. For me, it is that time.
My little baby, Miss Paloma Rae is turning 3 tomorrow.

It all started here back in May when we realized we were expecting our second child. I remember thinking to myself that morning when I woke, I am pregnant. Having had to work that day, I sat in curiosity all day until I was able to stop at the drug store and find out for sure. Yep, it was positive. I didn't need a test to tell me though, I already knew.

Both excited and overwhelmed with this pregnancy, I made sure to document just about everything - for in my head I had told myself this would be the last.

The day my baby was delivered was like a scene right out of a book. Literally, a snow storm had hit Albuquerque and the city was experiencing record snow fall. I think Dave and I were the only people on the road that morning. But we made it safely. A few hours after arriving, a few walks around the hospital, and many intense contractions, my sweet Paloma entered the world.

We had the honor of having one of my fellow nurses from the NICU attend her birth. Maybe I was overreacting or maybe it was just job hazard, but I was convinced I needed another nurse in the room to focus solely on my baby. Plus it was just comforting to know somebody was skilled enough to take care of her in case the need arose. And it did. Entering rather quickly, I think Paloma just didn't get the time she needed to squeeze out all the excess fluid and therefore she did have some minor respiratory issues.

Weighing in at only 6 lb 7 oz, she was small and sassy from the beginning. Nothing has changed.

Call me crazy but I chose to spend 2 days in the hospital - having nothing to do with the room service or the terrific menu, I knew that once I got home to a rambunctious 23 month old, I would literally have no one on one time with my newborn. So I chose to cuddle, sing, nurse, bond with my baby at the hospital. It wasn't all bad. I had a million visitors - many friends and coworkers who would stop up on lunch breaks. It was actually kind of nice.

Of course from the moment Mattea laid eyes on her, a bond formed. A bond that to this day has not been broken. Although they fight, bicker, bite and hit each other, they are truly in love with each other. Mattea is so protective of her little sister. I love the relationship that has formed and will do my best to nurture that in the years ahead.

That is the 1st part of my walk down memory lane. I loved getting out the photo albums and digging through pictures for these next couple of posts. Literally, it was as if it was just yesterday - but sadly enough, it wasn't. It has been 3 years. So with that, I will flip through my albums, re watch my birth video, and smile as I think of how wonderful (yet exhausting) these last three years of been. I wonder what the next 3 will be like?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Fondue

At our house, holidays are always a little bit "nontraditional." Because we don't have family to travel and see or big meals to prepare, our little family of four likes to be creative and make our own little holiday traditions.

This year we decided that we would fondue for Christmas. Sounding like a good idea at the time, Dave ran out to buy the pots. I ran out to buy the veggies, fruit, bread, cakes, and other ingredients.

Let's just say that although we were well intentioned, our fondue idea was a flop ~ at least to the adults. The two recipes we tried definitely need some tweaking. The kids on the other hand, didn't seem to notice the bitter tasting chocolate or the bland pot of cheese. They had a blast.

We had fun watching them have fun. And... they ate some vegetables.

So here is to holiday traditions, and here is to fondueing. May we try it again and be more successful next time than we were this time.

Happy Holidays!

Lovin on My Ladies

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas ~ 2009

What a truly magical Christmas we had this year. Although Santa didn't magically appear through our fireplace, there was magic to be had - relatively speaking that is - remember we don't believe in magic.

I wish I could bundle the excitement and energy that we experienced and bring it out each year. The kids were beside themselves with joy at the thought of once again celebrating our Savior's birth. We had cupcakes, songs, treats, presents. What a birthday party it was. It wasn't quite the Fancy Nancy party Paloma will have in a week but I'm pretty confident Jesus would be happy. Paloma was beside herself with joy - and pure delight. She danced around all evening yelling "I so excited, I so excited."
The girls received minor gifts - many recycled, to which they still don't know the difference. To them, it didn't matter, they were simply caught in the moment. Dave and I sat back and simply smiled at how truly special this holiday season is. The foundation of our belief system rides on this very evening - the evening unto which our Lord was born. In a not so posh place (stinky to say the least) in the least favorable conditions, Jesus was delivered into this world. Amazing!

These photos do not do the night justice. All I simply can say is that you had to be there. There was no Santa, no reindeer, no plate of cookies, no magical sleigh rides - just our girls, our family, a few gifts, and a whole lot of love and appreciation for what the season really means.

Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Jesus. We love you and can only hope that we celebrate you even more in 2010 that we did in 2009. We can't wait until your party next year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stinkin Darn Cute

Even with obnoxious green frosting smeared all over my face, I'm stinkin darn cute.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Paloma's Plug

Today I took the children to see the Veggie Tales movie that was showing at the local "cheap theater." A friend of mine called me last night to inform me that the movie was playing this morning and admission was free with a canned food item.
With David out of town, I jumped all over that. (A chance to get out of the house, a chance to contain my children in a movie theater, a free movie.....)
It was Mattea's second time in a theater and Paloma's first. They were both so excited and I was excited for them.
Anyways, we went and had a good time hanging out with friends and watching the good old Veggie Tales.
Mattea followed the story a little bit - Paloma, not at all. She hung out on my lap the entire time eating snacks. She behaved well but only laughed when those around her laughed.
At lunch, we were sitting around the table eating and I asked Mattea what her favorite part of the movie was. She told me "when the girl was singing" which I thought was sweet because it happened to be the part where the nun was handing out food to the poor. She described how she was happy in her heart and had a desire to help others. I then turned to Paloma and asked her what her favorite part of the movie was (totally expecting her to say something crazy - as she always does).

Her response: "sitting with you momma."

I just about melted. She just totally enjoyed hanging out and sitting in my lap. That girl surprises me sometimes and today was one of those times. I told her that was my favorite part too.


Take a moment to listen today
To what your children are trying to say...
Listen to their problems
Listen for their needs...
Tolerate their chatter
Amplify their laughter
Find out what's the matter
Find out what they're after
But tell them that you love them
Every single night...
Listen today, whatever you do
And they will come back to listen to you

The Best Little Camel Hump Around

Mattea was so darn excited a few weeks back when she came out of preschool one day. "Mama, I'm a camel hump." My response, "no honey, your not a camel hump, your Mattea Dean."

"No mooooom, I"m a camel hump in the Christmas program." Sure, I knew exactly what she was talking about all along. Last year she was a sheep, this year a camel hump. Not sure what my daughter is doing all day in class to deserve such awesome parts. Just kidding, we are proud to have the best darn camel hump in the west residing in our house.

(See my little camel hump on the left - isn't she adorable?)

This year's Christmas program at The Children's Academy was a success. Mattea and her classmates all looked beautiful and they did an amazing job. The songs and scripture they recited was amazing. I stand back in wonder at those teachers. They manage to organize that entire program - directing several 4-5 year olds to sing, speak, walk, and march on cue. I can't do that with two of my own kids. Nonetheless...

We were excited to see our little girl perform at her very last Christmas program at this preschool - a bit sad for this weepy mom.

Good job Mattea, you were amazing.

After this performance, I think your headed to Broadway.

Jingle Bell Jog

Christmas Fun Run, Jingle Bell Jog,whatever you want to call it. The family and I bundled up, braved the cold, and dressed up in lots of festive colors and bells to run on Sat. morning. It was a fun a local YMCA fun run which produced a pretty good turnout.

I was impressed by the number of participants but simply not impressed by being passed up at mile 2 by Santa Clause. The girls were cold but definitely enjoyed watching everyone running around like fools in Christmas costumes. I'm not sure how the big yellow banana fit into things though?

Oh well, we enjoyed the fresh air, got a workout in, and hung out as a family. Who could ask for more?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Craft Project Gone Wrong - or Right

Paloma discovered her paint set the other night and begged me to do some painting. Since it was close to cleaning day, I was happy to oblige. I am impressed at how far Mattea is coming on her artistic abilities. I've been a little worried since she seems to not really exhibit any interest. She likes to scribble, not taking any time to stay in the lines. But as I let her go and "get creative" this is the picture that she produced. Pretty cute huh? At least I think so.

It didn't take long for the painting project to get totally out of control. And to be truthful, I took part in the nonsense too - flinging paint at Paloma and dabbing Mattea's nose with a dainty dab of pink paint. It was OK though because Crayola makes cleanup easy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One of Those Days?

Have you ever had one of those days where you want to laugh and cry at the same time?

Have you ever had one of those days where you diet and inhale an entire plate of cookies all within the same hour?

Have you ever had one of those days where you have a love/hate relationship with your hair, clothes, house, dogs, kids? husband????

Have you ever had one of those days where you want to finish your to-do list and nap all at the same time?

You know - those days where all you can do is throw your arms in the air and say I quit! But I'm glad God that you don't!

I have never had one of those days - just wondering if any of my blog readers had.


Two adorably crazy girls missing!

One with brown pig tails - one with a brown wild, unmanageable heap of curls on her head.

One with bright blue eyes - one with gorgeous green eyes.

One with a gaping hole between her two front teeth - one who picks her nose and sucks her thumb (sometimes at the same time.)

One with a kind and compassionate heart - one with a stubborn and mischievous demeanor.

One who loves to sing songs, tell stories, and talk over just about anything - one who refuses to pray and interrupts anybody so that she can be heard.

One who loves and thrives on learning - one who purposefully gives wrong answers so her mother will stop practicing flash cards.

If you have seen these two adorably missing children - please do not approach - they may just charm the pants off of you.

Just a Little Something to Think About

Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,
but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight.

Jeremiah 9:23-24

Funny concept? Not really - those are the exact words spoken by God in the book of Jeremiah (that I'm still struggling to read through.) I stopped and held my breath for a moment as I read through these versus. How often do we brag about the things we do, or the tasks we accomplish, or our riches, or our knowledge. How often do we mention all the good things we do during normal conversation with our friends or family - mentioning how many chores got crossed off our list or how much our Christmas bonus is going to be. Guilty as charged!!!

I don't know why, but I think it personally makes me feel better inside when I am able to verbalize all the good I've done and all that I've accomplished. Problem - life isn't really about me! It's about HIM! It is about what He is doing through Me! Slap face now!

I am so guilty of being selfish, self centered, boisterous at times. Oh where would I be without God's grace. But as I am reminded in the above passages "let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth."

How often do we walk around proudly proclaiming what God has done rather than what we have done? And I'm not talking about your occasional "Praise God's" that come out of our mouth but truly those proclamations about the awesome God we serve and the amazing things he does for us on a daily basis.

Just a little something to think about the next time we are in conversation and feel the need to pat our own back....

Wordless Wednesday

Early Christmas

Mattea brought home her presents that she had made at preschool today - boy was she excited. She could not even contain herself in the car. She was clutching each paper bag - one addressed to mom and one addressed to dad. Begging me for blocks to open her presents, I finally convinced her to let me wait until we got home so she could take a picture of me doing it.

How fun to open her homemade gifts. I just knew it was going to be something special. It was a ornament she had made with her picture inside and then a crazy/upside down/backwards snowman card. Love it - actually brought me to tears. She of course was ecstatic to have me opening it. Her enthusiasm is just like her mother's ?!?!

Thanks Mattea for a beautiful Christmas gift - your dad is going to have a hard time topping this one.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just Because

Just because I think my children are the cutest kids in the entire universe,

Just because I think my kids are the sweetest thing since chocolate cake,

Just because both of my children looked absolutely adorable this weekend before church and were both willing to pose for the camera on command,

I offer you these!