Sunday, August 18, 2013


So she turned big 10 a couple of days ago.  I can hardly believe that a decade had passed since I became a mom.  I vividly remember her birth, the first few weeks that followed it, how crazy I was about her and how our lives changed for the better with her entrance into this world.  I remember being determined to breastfeed her to the point of stressing out that I won't be able to which in turn did cause my milk supply to decrease and I wasn't able to...  How I cried when I made her first bottle of formula and how happy and content she was when I finally gave her enough to eat.

I remember her being an early walker and talker and oh such a quick learner.  She was barely 3 when she learned to write her name, scribbling ABBY to prove to the pediatrician that her proud mother was not exaggerating.  She entered kindergarten being ready for 1st grade while knowing about 5 words in English and in two months we couldn't get her to stop speaking English which she wanted to do at all times.

As ambitious first time parents, she was our guinea pig.   I was smack in the middle of my teacher program when I had her and she had to endure a mother who was also a student and worked outside of home part time.   She was our only child for (gasp!) whole three years.  Which is a luxury for most kids with several siblings methinks.  I got my current job as a part time teacher when she was only two and dedicated most of my days off to visit various kid places with her.  Just her and I, sweet times.  

Fast forward several years, I find myself so very blessed to have her.    She is a wonderful big sister--she adores all of her brothers, but especially the youngest.  Most days, I don't know what I would do without her.  She really is a second mom to him.  Only she gets to do things with him I couldn't do :)  

She is creative, responsible, bright,  independent, loves to cook, athletic, outgoing, and incredibly studious.  She's got one funky clothing style. Most days I try not to fix it, but some days such as when she insists on wearing my extra long skirt out to public or picks high heel shoes at TJ Max, I cant help but interfere. Her favorite clothing store is currently Justice ;)
We celebrated her tenth over the course of several weeks.  We went to the beach, camping, and attended a family reunion on the actual day of her birthday.  This year, she chose money over having a birthday party which I gladly agreed to ;)

I bought my sister's camera (finally, a decent lense!) and brought it over to my sister in laws house one day.  Abby's cousin, Kristina asked to see it and next thing I know Abby is dressed up in her other cousins' clothes and is on her  way out for a photo shoot.

When I think of taking pics of my kids, I first let out a long silent sign.  The truth is I would rather be scrubbing toilets than getting them ready for it.  Finding outfits that match but not really, doing their hair, taking them to a place, making them cooperate.  Talking about energy sucker...  This happened on a whim and I loved how they turned out.

Looove this one.

When we found them, her brother went to get her.  Kristina snapped these two of them.  Love.

Love you, Abs.  Here is to many, many, many more years of beautiful life, baby girl!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


5 is how old my third child turned this past week.  He is my power ranger/ninja turtle/knight/roman soldier/Captain America boy.  Out of all my kids this one has been into dress up the longest.  He's requested a different costume for several holidays in the row and this past birthday was no exception.   I thought this power ranger costume suited him well.   Thanks, sis! 

We had a little celebration for him.  My husband and I both took a day off and spent a few hours at John's Incredible Pizza with the rest of the kids (who happen to have a day off from school) and my mom.  We decided a few years back that instead of giving our kids things for special occasions, we would give them an option of going to a place we usually don't go to.  They usually choose the latter.

We invited some boys his age in the evening for some play time.   He requested sushi and cake (no cupcakes! strange kid:).  Because I forgot how easy it is to cater to kids, in addition, I ordered some Thai food, asked mom to make a couple salads, made salmon spread sandwiches, made another salad and mac and cheese.  You can probably guess the two items that were actually eaten by his guests.  Yes, that would be sushi and mac and cheese.  Everything else was pretty much ignored and left to the few adults that were there. 

He didn't want me to prepare any games, but instead couldn't wait to open his gifts and play with them.   Patience is not this child's virtue (sign).   The rest of the evening was filled with boyish noise and play; it was just like I wanted it to be. 

This is my favorite picture of that day.  Him in between his two grandfathers so tiny and happy looking.

 I also love this picture with my beautiful mom. 

Blessed are those who grow up being loved on by grandparents and aunts. Amen.  

Oh how much I adore this child.  He is our surprise baby.   I still remember the morning I found out I was pregnant with him.  His older brother was only a year old and barely walking.  I was sleep deprived, tired and just came back to work after an extended leave.   After the initial shock and "how am I going to do this" I remember blessing this child and feeling incredible love towards him.  

I am so glad God gave him to us and cannot imagine our family without him.  

He is bright, funny, real-which is a good thing most of the time.  He's been writing his name since he was three years old and could have probably started kindergarten last year.

He is very articulate and does not keep his feelings and thoughts to himself.  Again, we like that about him except when he gets mad or upset and starts speaking his mind.  We sometimes give him heads up and say--"you are about to say something you might later regret...lets come down and then think about whether this is necessary to say."    I probably need to hear this as often as he does.  ;) 

He is very active and loves all things sport related, but has never been a child that would storm the house and turn it upside down.  He enjoys quiet play time just as much as he enjoys to run around.  He has his likes and dislikes figured out.  Once he makes a decision, it is hard to convince him otherwise.   He is not easily swayed.  "I'll have what they're having" is not his style. 

He likes to be a good boy though. Sometimes, I sense a pleaser. Not sure how I feel about that--but hope it doesn't transfer to adulthood...
He is social and loves to make friends.  He constantly asks me to invite boys over for play dates.

Just like most boys his age he loves potty humor, rough play, why did the chicken crossed the road, Legos, tickling and back rubs.  No days is complete without a book and/or a Bible story. 

 Love you, big guy!  Stay awesome! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Little Update and He is 1!

Hi!  Long time no blog.  Oh, how I missed this space!  I have a great excuse to write a little update today.  Our baby Phillip is 1 today!  Forgive the cliche, but it really does seem like only yesterday I wrote this post about his grand entrance into this world.  And today, 12 months have passed, flown by at a blink of an eye.

A lot has happened during that time.   We had a fun filled summer tagging the baby along everywhere including camping (which should have been its own separate post mostly consisting of my whining of how that wasn't a great idea).    All three oldest kids tried out Tae Kwon Do and loved it for 3 lessons.  Ahem.  I was persistent and dragged them to almost all remaining lessons, cuzzz we are no quitters!  Besides, it was their idea in the first place!

Abby played volleyball for her school in the Fall and loved it.    She has now narrowed down her sports of choice to volleyball and soccer which are both Fall sports.  Not sure how we are going to do that.   Nick and Tim are doing swimming right now and are really enjoying it though Nicolas is super excited about doing soccer this Spring(our local community center hosts the league in the Spring) and both of the older boys will be doing wrestling next Winter.  Because they want to and their mama agrees that they need to ;)

We sponsored a family of newcomers for a month and a half that has an autistic child who melted my heart and turned it toward unending gratitude.   I stayed home for 10 months and returned to my part time job.   I've met my students and have been trying to win over their naughty adolescent hearts while at the same time teach two subjects that are new to me.   I've watched my baby start to crawl, and was there to hear his first word (which was teetya--translated breast, by the way ;).    Oh and I lost 25 pounds by ditching wheat last Oct.  Must write about this sometime soon.

I am sure there was more but since I neglected to journal,  I have probably forgotten it.  Which is why I need to journal more.

Most of 2012 was spent getting to know the little guy.    He is definitely popular around here.  His older siblings adore him.  His sister is his second mom who on many days does a better job of rocking him to sleep than I do.  He is not yet walking but loves to explore.  His crawling gets him everywhere he wishes to go.  Climbing stairs are his favorite mom is busy lets see if this gets her attention activity.  We think he knows about 5 words already.  Most are names for the people closest to him.  He loves to wake school kids up in the morning by crawling on them and giving them hugs.  Even the crabbiest non-morning persons of them are tamed by this gesture.    He is learning the animal sounds right now and can mimic dogs bark and cats mew good enough for a 1 year old.   He loves to rough play.     Whenever he sees his older brothers wrestle, he gets right in the middle of them and joins in the tackling.  Most of all this boy loves to eat!  At age one he eats everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) we eat and a lot of it.   At Sweet Tomatoes once we joked that even though Phil was free, he ate more than Nick and Tim combined.   He gives me no grief about my cooking for which I love him even more ;)

He is still being breastfed.  The longest of all of my babies.   In fact, he is the only one who outright refuses formula and cow's milk.  Which is not worrisome to me but presented a problem to his nanny (my sister in-law) when I first went back to work.   We still rock him to sleep and on most nights he ends up in our bed because he still nurses about three times a night.  Yes, I have no spine.  And no, we haven't really tried to fix that problem except for a time when I was sick and slept in a different room.  The training lasted for 3 nights and the sleeping through the night thing lasted 3 nights as well...[sign]. 

We had a little party celebrating Phillip turning one.  We kept it small (by our standards) and had about 5 families over.   I kept the decorations at a minimum too since it is against my religion to spend $500 on a decor for a 1 year old's birthday)   I was happy with what I was able to get on a $40 budget.  Here are some pics from his big day:

 He didn't like the party hat.  None of my kids did, don't know why I thought he would as this one hates all hats. 

 With his 3rd cousin.  They are about 1 month apart.  Adelia is walking though, little stinker!

With his auntie who is expecting her first baby this summer!  Super excited about that event in our lives. 

 With his uncle....He has 9 uncles, this adores him the most.  
 I had a headache and went to bed early.  I guess they had a party after the party.  My sis took some cute pics of him.