Saturday, December 13, 2008

Portland Trip in Pictures...

On our way!

Our little reindeer in the airport.

All together...

Meeting big sissy Lexi for the first time. Lexi was amazingly great with Bella. She took lots of initiative to hold her and take care of her...and didn't even mind her crying. Bella loved being with her big sissy.

Meeting big brother Eric for the first time. Eric pretended like he wanted absolutely nothing to do with Bella when they first arrived. Later that day when she was asleep in my arms he said, "Ok...I'm ready to hold her now." That was the start of a beautiful relationship. She fell asleep in his arms and won his little heart. Now he doesn't think having ANOTHER sister is all that bad.

Meeting big sissy Maddie for the first time. Maddie was so excited that her little sister was here. She wanted lots and lots of sissy time...and insisted that when bella was crying it was because she missed her big sissy. Bella's been crying lots these days...we hope her big sissy comes to visit again soon!

We'd win the father and son look alike contest.

The J's loving on their new cousin. They couldn't get enough of her.

Meeting Bop for the first time. Well, she actually met him in the airport for the first time...but she finally got to be held by her grandpa!

Happy 18th Birthday Lexi!

Happy 9th Birthday Eric!

His two favorite gifts - night vision goggles and a new basketball

We told the J's that Bella was practicing ninja moves when she's kick out her legs. They were amazed...and then one of them tried to ninja kick her back...aiya!

The lovely miss Lexi

Maddie's new journal entry..."I love my daddy so much. So far I'm having a wonderful time here. I am so happy."

Now she is writing on her "secret" page.

Just because you dare them doesn't mean they HAVE to do it...right?

Bella's first time in the snow!

Packing for a baby...

So after looking it up online I have found the following list of "must-have packing items" for a trip with a baby...

Diapers - One for each hour you'll be in transit, plus extras in case of delays

Pad to put under your baby during diaper changes - You can buy disposable changing pads at supermarkets or reusable ones at baby stores

Blankets - Bring a few — you'll use them to lay your baby on, cover her, cover yourself if you're nursing, protect your clothes from messy burps, shade your baby, and more

Plastic bags - Carry a variety of sizes for storing soiled diapers, clothes, and blankets

Diaper rash cream


Small bottles of disinfecting hand gel, baby wash, and baby lotion


Extra pacifiers (if your baby uses one)

A few of your baby's favorite toys

Clothes, socks, and booties or shoes - One to two outfits per day is a good guideline

Washable bibs

Sun hat

Lightweight plastic feeding set with utensils, and baby food - If your baby's eating solid foods

Formula, water, and juice if appropriate

Extra bottles, nipples, and sippy cups if appropriate

Energy-boosting snacks for you to munch on

Breast pump (if you use one)

Nightlight - So you can keep the room lighting soothingly low during middle-of-the-night diaper changes

First-aid kit - Baby pain reliever and supplies for treating minor injuries

Sling or front carrier - Lightweight, hands-free way to keep your baby close in crowded places like airports

Portable crib or play yard - A safe place for your baby to sleep or play

Inflatable baby bathtub - Can make bath time easier at your destination

Car seat for safer travel by car or plane

Collapsible stroller - Can be gate-checked or stored in the overhead bin of an airplane

So, when you get to the airport...look for me...I'll be the one hiding behind this pile...

We're going!

Ok...we've agreed to it...we're leaving Saturday morning and returning home on Tuesday. I can't believe we're going to Portland! Now watch us get totally iced or snowed in...luckily we've got layovers in San Francisco and Los Angeles...which means we at least won't get snowed in on the stopover flights.

I'm excited!

We won't have a car, but I'm hoping everyone can come and visit us to meet Bellina!!!


Last night we received a very strange call from Cruella's MOTHER...we'll call her GC. She offered to purchase plane tickets for John and I to fly to Portland THIS WEEKEND.

What's the catch?

She says the kids miss John...all little giggle talks about is Isabelly (as she calls her)...its a gift from Grandma to the kids, not us...yes she expects the tickets to be around $1000 each...

So I ask myself again...What's the catch?

She says there is no catch...she's just trying to give the kids a special gift for Christmas...

Pros - We get to see the kids, Isabella gets to meet her brother and sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins live there too...we'd get to see all of the extended family and friends we miss so much. We get to see snow at Christmas time (expecting 2 feet tomorrow!)

Cons - other than the obvious one of having Mr. C's ex-wife's MOTHER buy something so expensive for us....traveling at Christmas...missing out on our tree and home that is so festive. Traveling with an infant is going to be interesting...having to be ready to go by Friday night...aaaaaaah!

I can't help but think there is some way this will backfire....John will have to claim support or money from GC at the next support hearing or she'll suddenly try to "require" something from us if we accept the gift...

Or maybe she is just being generous as this is the season for giving?

Of course I can't say no to this...what an opportunity for John to see the kiddos. We thought we'd have to wait until summer time to see them again.

But, am I right to be suspicious or am I just being Scrooge?

Dear Santa...

I just want more milk and snuggles please...

A mixing bowl of things and thoughts...

Two days ago squeaker turned 1 month old. I was in tears just thinking about quickly she is getting older! She is still so small...doesn't fit into anything but newborn clothing sizes...everyone keeps saying she'll chunk up in a month or so, but I just can't imagine it.

We have had so many generous gifts from our friends and family over the past couple of months. Thank you EVERYONE. Thank you notes are on the way if you haven't yet received them. Just yesterday we got two big boxes for Bella from her cousin Savannah. Savannah is just a few months older than Bella so she sent all her clothes she doesn't fit into and some she just had too many of. was like Christmas day. We just kept pulling outfit after outfit out of the box. We found about 6 outfits that will fit her some onesies. She'll be a styling little girl now.

Grandma Annie left for Phoenix yesterday. I was very sad to see her go. There is something about having your mom around when you just have a baby that makes it hard to say goodbye. Especially when you wake up from a nap to a scene like this...baking fresh cinnamon rolls, sitting by the oven and loving on the squeaker.

I realized later that we hadn't gotten a photo of the three of us while she was here...that made me all the more sad. Its the same with John's mom. I didn't think about the importance of the generational photos while they were here.

My brother and his family came to pick up grandma. It was fun to have them here...we had such a nice lazy day. We decorated sugar cookies, watched the movie, HOLES and went for a walk to get the mail and decided to dip all our toes in the hottub before going back home. Of course with three young children how can you NOT get wet when there is a hottub...even if your parents tell you NO?

While nursing the squeaker last night I just looked at our beautiful christmas tree and sang every carol I could think of. Funny how I've forgotten some of the words to carols I knew as a kid. I decided its time to brush up on the Christmas Carols so that I can sing them to Bella the way my mother used to sing them to me. Its important to me that my home is full of music.

I got a Fedex package on Thursday from my work. I received my FIVE YEARS OF SERVICE plaque. Wow....Have I really worked there for 5 years? How quickly time flies.

Right now Mr. C and Squeaker are taking a nap together. Its so cute...she's curled up behind his back and they are both just snoozing away. Its a beautiful Saturday morning. The Ft. Huachuca Winter Carnival/Family Fun Festival is today. I'm going to wake them up soon...Its time to enjoy the festivities that say CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Grandma's...

Oh we've had so much fun these past few weeks with the visit of Bobbi (short for Babushka - or grandma in Russian) who is John's mother and Grandma Annie - or my mother. I had to blog an ode to Grandmothers. They've been so loving and helpful and kind and it is so precious to see them with Bella. I've loved watching them with this little baby girl. Whatever will I do when left to my own devices?

Grandmas Wings
© Ricky R. Hernandez

Grandma I wonder
where you keep your wings.

Are they hung in your closet
with the rest of your things?

Do you put them away
and just use them at night

or give them to Rosie
to polish up bright.

I know you have wings,
for this must be true,

'cause God always gives
them to Angels just like you.



Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Turkey day this year was probably the quietest that I've ever had. Just John and I and Bella celebrated together this year. We had invited a few geographical bachelors to join us, but they all had places to go so it just ended up with the three of us.

I have a theory about Thanksgiving...nobody should ever have to dress up for this holiday in my opinion. As a kid I remember a HUGE family celebration with my cousins and aunts and uncles...seriously over 100 people...but we'd play the whole time...there was never anything formal. We also used it like a family reunion each year....For anyone who has ever been to the Butler Bash - do you remember the pinatas, the basketball, the football on tv, the movie room, the giant pots Aunt Sandy owns to cook the food...and, of course, we'd have the regularly scheduled family talent show. Oh how I'd love to see reruns of those talent shows.

Anywho...all that to say that I personally didn't get out of my pajamas the entire day. It was marvelous. Ok...NONE of us got out of our pajamas that day. It was total heaven.

As for the food...John cooked the whole meal. It was so incredibly yummy. I nominate him for next year too.

Carving our teeny tiny turkey breast...

Pouring us glasses of Apple Cider bubbly...

Our Thanksgiving spread...

Due Date

I had intended to write this blog yesterday after a movie that John and I were watching, however, when I found myself being wakened in the middle of it, John ordered me to bed...I have been TIRED. And it is...around 2:30AM and
Squeaker has just finished nursing and is attempting to go back to sleep so I thought...since I'm WIDE AWAKE now...might as well get that blog done....

DECEMBER 1, 2008 - The day that Bella was supposed to be born. Instead she is 21/2 weeks old and so I thought we should take some photos in honor of this momentous occasion.

And PS...can I just say how glad I am that I didn't have to wait until NOW to have her be born?!

All curled up...

On the day she was supposed to be born...

Sweet little girl...

Hanging with mama...