Friday, August 31, 2007

Lost toys

I don't know why but I just can't stand losing toys, Elena's toys that is. All children's toys have parts and all children lose toys but regardless of that knowledge when a part of a toy is lost I go around the house searching and searching until I find it. Unfortunately, Elena went through a phase of dropping things into the trashcan. Now notice I didn't say throwing because she had no idea that what was going in there would be lost forever. And so although I tried my best to notice when something was missing and then digging into the trash and finding sippy cups, snack cups, and toys, Elena still managed to dispose of some parts to one of her favorite toys.
So I went to the manufacturer's website in attempt to find replacements. I had no luck but instead found myself looking at the equivalent toy in Spanish!!! Now this was extremely exciting to me because after teaching Spanish kindergarten for 5 years I found that educational Spanish materials were limited especially technology based ones. So, after searching the LeapFrog website more and more I continued to find more of their popular toys in Spanish. I was so thrilled I decided to make a wishlist for Elena. If your looking for Spanish or French LeapFrog toys visit their website. I am very impressed!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On the phone

Elena loves to play telephone. She uses just about anything as a phone--the remote, a calculator. I love to hear her very distinct Spanish sounds as she speaks--but don't worry if you don't know Spanish; she's not actually saying any words--just babble and an occasional bye-bye.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Not forgotten Jake

All parent and pet owners will tell you that once you become a parent you will love your pet less when you have children. Things will change and the pet which you so dearly loved will be 2nd place and then 3rd and so on and so on. If you've ever seen Disney's Lady and the Tramp you can envision this. But before having a child the thought of this made me sad as I really believed things would not change between my Jake and I. How could I love him less?

If you are parent but have never been a pet owner you may not understand this as you cannot possibly fathom the thought of loving a pet as part of the family. Well, yes those parent, pet owners were right. Jake sadly became less important when Elena came along and we no longer do the typical things with Jake as we use to like take him on car rides and play with him for long periods of time outside. We now put him away for playdates and don't take him to the park. Instead, we spend more time with him in the evenings when Elena is asleep. Jake is still a member of the family afterall, and we love him nontheless. And so, just as I have always done, I take a picture of Jake posing every year on his birthday with this same birthday hat with his new age--7 years old this year. Happy Birthday Jake!!

Getting ready for the river

The condo we stayed in in New Braunfels had a view of the river and Elena enjoyed watching the tubers go by. We decided to tell her we were going to the water, and I was surprised as how quickly she understood. We walked out to the balcony for some pictures before our swim, but Elena thought we were headed off to swim from there. However, we were on the 2nd floor and could not jump off the balcony as she seemed to think we were. So, immediately when we went back inside to get ready to leave through the front door as we should, she began to cry because she thought we were not going. Obviously when we got to the river she was full of excitement. She probably had the most fun out of all of us because she was in her raft being pushed by me as I only stood there, and daddy was sitting soaking his legs being careful not to get water on his incision. Nevertheless, it was wonderful experiencing the joy and amazement of a child in a new environment.

Vacation with friends

Every year Omar's old college buddies from the Texas Aggie Band and their families get together in New Braunfels, TX for a tubing trip down the Comal River. Although neither of us got to float it this time because of his recent surgery and my pregnancy, we had a great time joining friends for dinner, going to a wonderful local bakery, and taking Elena to the local children's museum.

our friends

Elena getting out of a kayak at the museum

waiting for dinner at Adobe Verde Restaurant

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Helpful Elena

Every morning after I change Elena's diaper she gladly helps me out by taking her diaper to the trashcan in the kitchen. She is very good at this and likes helping out. She may seem upset, but I think she was confused as to why I closely followed behind her with my camera.

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Why girls are fun

Elena's hair is getting longer and longer. Each day I wonder when I will be able to pull her hair back in a ponytail mainly to keep it out of her face and avoid cutting it. Well, one morning I awoke thinking that she may just have enough hair for pig tails. Lo and behold she did!! Luckily, Elena has learned that part of being a girl is being patient while your hair is being done so she gave me no problems and sat very still as Mama created her first updo. I had to share this adorable picture in her first pig tails. Who doesn't love a girl in pig tails?


During Omar's hospital stay and after spending several hours there throughout the day, Omar insisted we venture out and do what Elena and I would normally do on a typical day while he was working or at least take Elena to do something fun. After much persistence from him, I decided to go to the local Children's Museum where I met up with a friend. Elena had a blast and had many firsts.

first painting

first time playing the drums

first time playing the piano