Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My roots

We found out sometime ago that the Honduras soccer team was playing for the Gold Cup in Houston at Reliant Stadium. Both my parents were born and raised in Honduras and all my four older siblings were born there. We could not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to watch them in Texas so we all went. It was exciting to watch my first soccer game ever, but it was even more exciting to see so many Hondureños and cheering along with them. Pictured from left to right is my older brother Manuel, my dad, my mom, and me holding Elena.

Elena came along in her Honduran t-shirt and enjoyed every bit of it. As she watched the people in the stands do the wave, she felt compelled to join them.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Decorative Fruit

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a shower in which I was in charge of food. I found an idea for a watermelon fruit bowl and Omar graciously agreed to make it. I was very impressed and at the end decided the carving would have been a hard task for me, but he said it was like carving a pumpkin and everything took less than an hour. Notice he also improvised. If you're looking to impress your guests at a party try making this basket.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Baby Products

Ever since I became a mother I have found myself reading reviews about baby products I'm about to purchase. Perhaps it's because there are so many baby products out there that you need and just as many that you don't need. But I think the main reason is that I've bought things that claim to do one thing and don't, or they break, or it doesn't make your life easier which is what a baby product should do. For instance, I've probably purchased every brand of sippy cup out there all claiming to be leak proof and spill free. Yet, it took me at least three brands to find the one that states the truth. So in an effort to help my parent friends avoid all this trouble, I've written below some of my favorite products tried and tested after many others preceding them. Feel free to try them but more importantly read reviews about the product which can usually be found at the store website like target.com or babiesrus.com. You'll be surprised at what you find.

Gerber sippy cups don't leak and their parts are interchangeable. Sometimes the leak stopper comes loose when the cup is dropped but it is the best brand I've tried so far. The worse brand was NUBY. They didn't last longer than a few weeks before leaking. They're all in the trash now. And if you're looking for a leak proof straw cup and find one, let me know. I have not been successful in finding one yet.

Bibs by Kushies These work best for toddlers who are learning to self feed. Cloth bibs stain unless you spot treat them after every meal and you have to have enough until laundry day. Many plastic bibs are edged with fabric so if food gets on the fabric (and it does) you have to treat it like a cloth bib. Kushies bibs are made of a plastic like fabric including the edging. It is so lightweight that I wash it by hand after every meal and it's dry by the next meal. It also has a pocket that really does catch food before it makes its way to the floor.

Kiddopotamus tiny diner placemat If you eat out frequently this placemat is for you. However, I also use this at home for a every meal. I love this product so much that I have two. One for home and one to travel with. This placemat stays in place, keeps food contained, keeps your baby germ free from rag-wiped restaurant tables, and has a food catcher that works wonders. What else can I say?

The Snack Trap cup This is the best way to give your toddler a snack without spills. I've put more than just Cheerios in this cup. I've put Goldfish, small animal crackers, grapes, and even peas when I needed to give Elena lunch in the car once. I love it! I often attach it to my umbrella stroller with toy links. If she drops it, it just hangs and doesn't get lost.

Diaper Rash Creams: Elena suffered through many bad diaper rashes and occasionally will still get some. Sometimes they were so severe that she would cry in pain when she sat down on her bottom. Because of this I was in desperate search for a cure, and therefore, I am fairly certain I tried almost every diaper cream out there. Here's what I tried:

Desitin Creamy
Dr. Smith's
A + D ointment (also used the equivalent Wal-mart brand)
Triple Paste
Boudreaux's Butt Paste
Desitin Original (also use the equivalent Wal-mart brand which works just as well)

I put them in order of effectiveness at least according to Elena's reaction to them. However, I have to say that all of them besides Desitin Original worked more like barrier creams for prevention not for healing anything severe. Basically what I learned was that the active ingredient in all these except the A+D ointment is zinc oxide. Desitin Original has 40% zinc oxide while all the others have less than 15%.

For severe diaper rashes (raised red bumps or area), I had a regimen until the rash cleared (usually 2-3 days) Basically I changed the diaper as soon as it was soiled and applied a thick layer of Desitin Original. On occasion, I would let Elena be bare bottomed and would take her outside to get sun on her bottom which is supposed to help heal the rash. For redness only, I used Bourdreaux's or Triple Paste which is not as thick and will work before the rash gets severe.

My favorite barrier cream is the A and D ointment because it's clear and glides on like Vaseline which makes things neater. On those days when Elena cried in pain this ointment soothed her skin while the others seemed to sting. Afterward I would give her a warm bath for more soothing on her bottom.

Strollers: Ahhh, the most sought out baby product out there. And it should be, it makes life with a baby simpler. After at one point owning 4 strollers I learned that a lot of your decision in buying a stroller comes down to personal preference but again you won't know what your preference is until you do your research and read the reviews. When you're at the store completing your baby registry it's difficult to know if the stroller will work for you. For one, there are not instruction manuals at the store to help you fold and unfold a stroller and each stroller folds differently. You also can't see how much space it takes up in your trunk. Secondly, you can test drive it there but the store floor is the best type of ground where you're going to use a stroller. I don't suggest trying it outside the store in uneven surfaces, but the reviews will let you know how they do. Finally, you usually don't have a baby to put in the stroller to check for comfort, recline positions, straps, etc. There is so much out there for strollers and such a range in prices that the best thing to do is learn from other parent's unfortunate mistakes. And yes, I was one of them. Here's my favorite website for stroller ratings and reviews. strollers It's not updated but most current models are listed and best of all, it has taken parent reviews and combined them to rate strollers accordingly so you don't have to read through a million reviews.

Friday, June 1, 2007


Sometime ago I asked my wonderful husband to do something different with our front garden. Well, he loves to garden and wanted to please me so without hesitation he fervently began working on digging up a large flower bed without any equipment just his basic tools to remove the grass. It's now finished and just needs to grow some, but everyday it looks prettier and prettier with blooms coming up everywhere so when I ask for flowers he says, "Look at all the ones I've grown for you." Well, he's right, and I must say he's done a wonderful job.


Elena loves to sing. Here's a very short clip. She stopped singing when I tried to get her on camera. Maybe I'll catch her sometime while we're traveling again.

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Bilingual Baby

At 18 months Elena has finally decided to share her known vocabulary. She has excellent comprehension but until now has decided to share some words. Using Spanish with her is not as easy as English would have been but the rewards are already showing because she knows words in both languages. I can't believe it! I knew that was the goal, but it is still incredible. Here are her new words:


mama-mamá (mom)
ma- más (more)
tres- te (three)
tateta-galleta (cracker)
ga,ga-gracias (thank you)
a-agua (water)

da or sometime daaa--dee for daddy
ta-thank you
do-dog This one sounds so cute because the sound of the o is in Spanish
bee bee-baby
bye- bah-bye

Passing down the genes

I don't know how I came across this picture, but I immediately thought of Sweet Baby Girl (Elena). Of course I realized it is me in fact probably at around the same age Elena is now. I'm not sure if I believe she looks like me since I'm covering most of my face, but Omar and I agree that there is something in the eyes, somewhat hidden smile, or maybe the playful expression that makes us think of Elena when we see it. It's a bit blurry since it is the late 70's but what do you think?

How about compared to this photo?

A baby!!

Yes, for some of you who may not have heard yet, we are expecting another little one December 12th. I hope to make it full term this time around. We went to our 2nd appointment yesterday. I'm at 12 weeks and the baby's heartbeat was 162 bpm. I'm still struggling with nausea but everything is looking good so far and I am thankful not to have the stress of work compounding my sickness this time around. Like many 2nd time moms I am showing a little sooner. Omar took this picture a few weekends ago on a day trip to the San Marcos River.

Here's a picture of Baby Gtz. number two at just 6 weeks. I can't believe you can see the head and arms so soon. Isn't it amazing!

Summer time

Elena is now 18 months and is enjoying more and more activities. Thanks to the summer time weather we've been keeping busy with water outings. The BCS area has some great splash pads. Elena always hesitates to go into the cold water but once she's wet she really enjoys it.

We've also made it to the local pool. This was by far her favorite activity. And of course our backyard now has a baby pool. I'll post pics of her in the pool soon when Daddy joins us and one of us can supervise.