Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friends and Family

Omar and I have grown somewhat accustomed to spending holidays without extended family. First when we lived in Sonoma with only enough vacation time and money to fly once or twice a year and then here in College Station with our babies having a preference to make their arrival during the holidays (no, Baby Gutierrez 2 has not arrived yet). So this year with not being allowed to travel again so close to my delivery date, we had accepted spending the Thanksgiving holiday alone without family. However, much to our surprise, other friends were also staying in town and one of those friends graciously offered to host Thanksgiving in her home and invite all of us that were staying in town. It was wonderful spending the holiday with friends and sharing our favorite family meals. Unfortunately, I only have one picture of the day...the kids having their Thanksgiving meal. We were quite busy watching and feeding toddlers. Thank you Melissa and Kris! We had a good time.

My sister and her family came over later Thanksgiving night. It was a short visit but it was nice to have some family over. We took them to Central Park for Christmas in the Park a favorite holiday activity that we enjoy going to and enjoy taking visitors to.
Cristina, Carolina, Charlie, and Elena
Try taking a picture of 4 kids smiling...At the same time.

Carmen, Charlie,(Dad)Charlie, Carolina, Cristina

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Elena's birthday

When I was younger birthdays were about parties, friends, and presents. As we celebrated Elena's birthday yesterday, I came to realize how significant her birthday is to me. I also realized how every one of my birthdays is probably more significant to my mother than it is to me just as Elena's birthday is now to me. On this day I was reminded of Elena's pregnancy leading up to her Birth-Day. You see those words mean so much more to me now. Maybe everyone has always understood it but for me it was the realization that on that day 2 years ago, by God's will, I brought a new life into the world. Looking back at all the complications and fears of that day God blessed us with a healthy baby girl and my life since then has never been the same. At just two years old Elena is her own little person with her own personality. On every birthday that Elena celebrates, I will always remember that a new life came into the world and what a miracle that is!!! To be handed the responsibility to raise a child and mold them into adults and to be given the privilege to love a child and to be loved by a child must be the greatest thing in life. Having Elena for two whole years now has been so full filling, and as I think about the many parents including my own who are not able to watch their children live their enitre lives because of other plans God may have for them, I am thankful for these two years with Elena and only hope that I will continue to be given the privilege to celebrate many more birthdays with her.

And now for the fun was a great day! Elena had many friends join her on her special day. She was so happy to see them all in one day. She played with balloons, ate her cupcake and really enjoyed it when they sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Here are a few pics of the day. It was hard to get pictures since I was running around getting things organized. Thanks Julia for taking some photos too! And thank you to everyone who made this day so special for Elena.

Elena's birthday cupcakes and the closest I will ever get to my mom's cake decorating talent.
Before the party
Picnic birthday lunch with friends
Playing a game
Smiling as everybody sings "Happy Birthday."


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Field trip

My good mom friends and I took the kids to the poultry farm for a little field trip. It reminded me of my field trips with my kindergartners. I forget how much of a learning experience any event or outing can be for a child. They really had so much fun! Thanks for the tour Omar!!
Dean, Ellie, Allison, and Elena looking at baby chicks
Omar holding a hen for the kids to touch. Allison and Ellie were the brave ones to touch it.
Allison loved holding the chicks.
Dean very confidently asked Omar all the questions he had.
Ellie with her Mom, Melissa. Ellie wanted to know everything about chicks.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pregnancy Update

I am now at week 35 and I feel great. It's almost hard for me to believe I can feel this good because by this point with Elena I felt terrible and being that it was my first pregnancy, I believed it was normal to feel bad in the end. I am finally truly feeling positive about the outcome of this labor, and I am so thankful to God for good health this time. Below are the most current pictures except for the last two, those are of my pregnancy with Elena. Now don't laugh at the leotard; it was a suggestion from the popular book What to Expect When Your Expecting but apparently only I followed the suggestion because I don't know of anyone who has posed in a leotard. Anyway, I decided to do the leotard again to show the comparison between the two pregnancies. I think they speak for themselves. Don't you think?
35 weeks
35 weeks
35 weeks35 weeks

35 weeks with Elena just 10 days before my induction

Monday, November 5, 2007

Baby carrying

I am almost certainly expecting to get a lot of use from my sling than I did with Elena because I must have free hands to chase an active toddler.

A friend suggested I have a sling for Elena too so I decided to make one for her. It was so much simpler making a "mini" sling than a real one, and Elena looks so cute holding her baby in it!
Elena with her baby doll in her new sling
Elena in a sling at 9 months

At the carnival

We decided to try out the carnival with Elena. She loved the lights and asked to get on the rides. Once on them she was a bit apprehensive, but thankfully she liked it enough and didn't cry. And Daddy got to ride in the off the ground ones with her except for one. They wouldn't let me on :( not even on the carousel.
On the big rig
"All by myself on the flying elephant" She even raised her arms up mimicking the older kids
On the plane with daddy. Notice the same facial expression :)

On the carousel

Pumpkin Patch

I forgot to post our pumpkin patch much going on.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ready for baby

I'm having my usual pregnancy insomnia tonight so rather than toss and turn in bed I decided to post a few pics. We've been quite busy.

Apparently my nesting instinct is early again and I've been busy getting everything ready for our baby. I'm 34 weeks now--the baby's room is ready, the clothes are washed folded and in the closet, the car seat is out of the box and ready (Omar's doing), and my bag is packed!! Although, it may seem ridiculously early to be ready now, I happened to get the nesting instinct with Elena at 35 weeks. A week later and a month too early I was induced so I guess you can never be too prepared or too prepared too early. In either case, it does make me feel at ease that mostly everything is set, and I can now focus on Elena's birthday party. Here's what I've been up to lately.

The bouncers are assembled and ready.
The cloth diapers for baby are washed and in the baskets
Clothing is washed and sorted
Reality sank in when Omar walked in from the garage carrying the infant carseat. Hmm...maybe I'm not ready afterall :)