"What we do in this life, echoes in eternity."
Maximus, Gladiator
"Our creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Birthday, Thanksgiving, Birthday





I've been trying to post more often, so that my posts make more sense, and are more organized, but I haven't really had the time.
I'll start at the beginning: my big boy turned seven-years-old. I can't believe it. He had a wonderful Pirate themed birthday party. I hadn't really organized myself very well for it because we were on the cruise just the week before, but I printed some pirate invitations from Family Fun and ignoring the school requests not to send invitations to school, I did. Only 3 kids from school came to the party anyway, but he had invited neighbors, cousins and friends from church (English and Spanish Wards). Keep in mind that the Latins I know at least send the whole family when you invite a kid to a birthday party, so I ended up with 22 kids. It was a lot of fun because for the first time EVER, I got smart and implemented a technique from elementary school: Centers... So I divided them into three teams; one group decorated bandannas with me, one group played musical chairs with my father-in-law, and the other played "pin the heart on the octopus" and had their face painted with Adriana. We were so well organized and we could contain chaos sooooooo much better than in the past. After everybody had a turn at each center, we served my mom's home-made pizza which was delishhhhhh! Then it was time for cake. The cake was an adventure in itself. I made the pirate ship from family fun, but instead of making one big ship I made two smaller ones. I also made a sheet cake to be the sea. Five minutes before the party the ships collapsed. It didn't help that Julian wanted to re-decorate the cake. But you know what? Even with the collapsed ships the kids thought the cake was great. While I was cutting the cake, Julian told a story he made up about how the ships attacked each other. I loved it that he was so happy. After cake we went outside for a pinata, which for once broke after only a couple of kids could have a go at hitting it. Later the children played on the trampoline and when everybody was gone, Julian opened the presents. We never do presents during the party, and I know some of the kids were disappointed, but we feel that by doing that we shift the attention from gift-getting to having fun at the party.
That night, I told Julian the story of his birth, and his big eyes were shiny and innocent and pure. And my throat choked with emotion--my boy is at the end of his rainbow journey now, more on this earth, more ready to try his wings on his own. When I asked him if he had liked his party he said, "Me encanto", which in English is not exactly "I loved it" but more like "I was enchanted."
Right after his birthday it was time to get ready for Thanksgiving. I was in charge of making the turkey which by the way was a total success. I actually made two small ones because I thought they would cook faster than the big ones. I also made mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, apple and pumpkin pies...My brother in law brought delicious arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas), and my sister in law made her delicious raspberry jello salad. Pat made the sweet potato casserole which everyone loved. We all had a great time. It was very emotional for my mother in law not to have her oldest daughter here. Of course, it's nearly impossible for them to make the trip from NC with eight children. All in all, it was a wonderful day with wonderful weather. It's wonderful that Wednesday was 85 degrees in Highland, but it also is a bit scary. It's not supposed to be so warm in November.
On the last note, Areli turned one today. Last night was such a bittersweet time for me because I felt that was the last hour I would have an infant. Now she's a toddler, and that babyhood is gone forever. How I have enjoyed this baby!!!!! She's always happy and content, patient, beautiful and peaceful. I'm so blessed to have her! Her birth was such a healing experience that I will cherish it forever. If I could have her naturally, and have such a peaceful, beautiful birth, I can do ANYTHING I want. My baby is gone, but my little girl is here to learn and to teach me what she remembers from Our Father. I'm so blessed to have my children, who are healthy, smart, happy. Yes, I have much to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

So much to blog, so little time ...

I have been literally buried by laundry this week. I complained and complained about it, until a couple of days ago, my beautiful SIL Vicci (who was on the same cruise we were, but just the week earlier) said, " I know, the laundry is so bad...but there's sand in it. You been to the beach!!!!" So I kinda woke up, "Sheesh!!! How come I have so much laundry when we've been on a cruise all week, not cooking, cleaning, entertaining, we've swam with dolphins, took 3 naps a day, etc, etc..." Yes, I know. What a hard life... But yes, the cruise was fantastic. The children had a lot of fun at the kids club. We had three days at sea, so I rested a lot, went to the spa, ate chocolate covered strawberries everyday...Jealous? I could continue with the details, but I'll spare you.
Today I've been avoiding housework all day. I'm so overwhelmed by all I have to do, that I don't do anything. I realized Monday that the love of life, my firstborn, Julian, is having a birthday this Sunday. So we have a party planned for Saturday morning. Then we have a birthday party for some friend's son, and then we have the High School Musical on Ice thing. I haven't told the kids I got tickets for that. They'll be oh, so excited!!!! I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm actually keeping a secret. My brothers and sister would have been happy about it--twenty years ago...
Thanksgiving is next week, and Jeff's sister, brother (with their respective families) and parents are coming over. I'm terrified that I'll burn or ruin the turkey (which I've never done before, ruined that is. I have made turkey before, you know), so I bought two, just in case...
Next Sunday is ...ARELI'S 1st BIRTHDAY!!!!! AND I KNOW I'M YELLING! BUT WHERE, OH WHERE'S MY BABY? I had planned these little souvenirs for her party, lavender filled star little pillows. But when am I gonna make them? And of course, the day after her birthday is my birthday. The big 3-0. I can't believe it. I feel the same as always, more tired, crankier, but the same...Sigh...
Joax allergies are coming back I'm afraid. His cheeks are all warm and rosy, but not in the healthy sort of way. He also has the infamous runny nose, and his temper, his temper was a lot better thank you very much. I'm debating whether he's sensitive to something at home, or if all the hustle of traveling is too much for him. On the trip he was very good.
Yesterday he pushed Areli's high chair, which went crashing on the floor with her strapped in it, he flung his rice with sardines all over the place, he scratched Maga's face again, and he got into the bath tub again with his clean pajamas (I had just changed him for the night). Yes, Joaquin is so high maintenance, but he's also my panda bear boy, so sweet and loving. He kisses me all the time, and he says "Te quiero" with such sweet chocolate eyes. I love him so tenderly, that my heart melts away when I look at him. Those are the times I remember when he's being terrible.

On another subject, my dear friend just had a baby girl, after three boys, including a false girl ultrasound. Send good vibes their way. Her little one had brain hemorrhage and seizures after birth. We're praying very fervently that all will be well with her. Her EEG (electro scan) will be in a couple of weeks. I'm praying that everything will be well.

I'll go play with my children now. The weather has been very warm for November, and that way I won't have to cook. Again!!!!!

PS: I did have my feet done on the cruise.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Leaving for Mexico!!!!!

We're leaving for sunny Mexican Riviera in just 7 hours and Jeff hasn't packed a thing. I have a dilemma here; on one hand, I promised him I wouldn't pack his stuff at the last minute. He was to give me his things earlier today so that I could fold them and pack them for him. On the other hand, I know he's totally exhausted; he's sleeping in the couch. But I don't know if he decided to go to sleep because he knows I'll pack for him anyway, or because he really IS tired. So I think I'll turn in a few minutes to be up on time for the packing marathon that awaits me. I really can't do a thing more tonight.
I just wanted to relate a couple of episodes from today:
Since I was so totally exhausted from packing, nursing Areli, taking Joax to the bathroom, nursing Areli, reorganizing things, nursing Areli, I decided I wasn't making dinner. We went to Rumbi's, Island Grill, and Juli was so engrossed in his Magic Tree House book that he took it to the restaurant, and read while he ate, not paying attention to his squabbling siblings. I know, it's not good manners to read while eating, but he was concentrating so hard that I couldn't bring myself to correct him. He reminded me so much of myself at that age, that I got a little teary. I love it that my son loves to read already. I can't wait for him to discuss books with me.
The other thing is, I think I have like a phobia to pedicures. I know, it's weird. I have been planning to go get a pedicure for weeks now; I ask Iris or Adriana to please watch the kids, I tell Jeff I'll be gone in for a couple of hours...and when it's time to leave I just don't go. There are excuses galore not to go, (I need a nap, I need to nurse Areli, Jeff's parents are over for a visit after being gone on a mission for 2 years, etc), so I just pick one and I don't go. I seriously needed something done to my feet though , so I just trimmed my toenails and polished them...red, of all colors, but it was the newest shade I have, just a couple of years old...I really hope nobody looks at my toes on the trip. Maybe I can arrange to have my feet done there...yes! That's what I'll do. See ya when I get back!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Souls Day

I love November 1st. I've always been very proud of having a birthday in November. I don't know why, but it's my favorite month of the year :) This day also has a special connotation for me, since it's the day I joined the LDS church 15 years ago. So it's my second quinceanera in a kind of way. My niece was also baptized on Nov 1st, but 4 years ago...



Well, here are the Halloween pictures. I hadn't realized how scary Juli looks in some of them. Or maybe I feel this way because I'm a little freaked out after reading some chapters of Eclipse in the Twilight trilogy. Never mind the invitation to Edward, handsome and charming or not. Hahahaha!!!!



We're going on our annual cruise on Saturday morning and I haven't packed a thing!!!! I really want to go, but since Jeff has been working like a mule lately, we haven't worked much in decorating the basement. I'm ready to have everything finished and ready; this remodeling has lasted all year it seems.



In a fabulous blog that I read, and that you can find here, Beck was reminiscing on her great-grandmother, and that made me think of my paternal grandmother, Elena, who was Abuela China for me and my cousins. She wasn't grandmotherly at all, but I loved her nevertheless--she was the only gandmother I knew. When I left Rosario to come to BYU, she cried. That was the first and only time I ever saw her get emotional, and it's an image I'll always carry in my heart. So, I think that today, All Souls day, (el Dia de los Santos), it's fitting that I think of her and say a prayer on her behalf (that's the Catholic education tugging at me) :)



Enjoy the pics!



Yes, that's me. With short hair...