Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

I love spending Christmas Day at home. All my childhood Christmas memories were at home. I would love it the same for my girls. :) After the excitement of Christmas Day, and Karina's birthday celebration, we headed to Laredo for a few days before the New Year. I guess I missed taking pictures in Laredo,but stay tuned because I have some during our Easter visit there.

Karina's 2nd birthday

It's so cliché and I say it EVERY.TIME. but time is flying way too fast with my littlest. The twos are definitely upon us and Karina has surprised us with new challenges that we didn't encounter with our other two. Mainly she's having the "terrible twos" while the other girls had terrible, terrible three's. But it means we're ahead of it right and 3's will be a breeze? Well, I won't fool myself, I am a seasoned parent after all. Aside from the toddler trials, Karina is a true delight. Who better to deal with the shuffling to and from the car for pick ups and drop offs. She is an awesome car rider which I too often take for granted. I have just now turned her car seat around to forward facing and she's 28 months. She had not been bothered by being rear facing, but we've recently put a portable television in the car and I felt bad that she couldn't watch movies with her sisters on road trips. Karina is loving and sweet and will hug me and say I love you many times a day. I love this! and I love that her sisters persistently taught her to say I love you. Karina just started to blossom in her music class. She is all smiles, joins in and has even learned a few songs. She recently ended MDO, a little early, but I chose to pull her out because she was hitting other children and the behavior was not improving. I decided to wait out the phase and give her time. That is why I am home after all. Despite knowing what I know about this age it is still a struggle to have "that child (that hits)" but I know this will pass and that it will all be behind us soon enough. I am anxious to have her speak more in hopes that it will stop her from acting out instead. Karina seems to have a very balanced Spanish and English vocabulary. I also think her receptive language is stronger in Spanish. Just recently I noticed that she is much more engaged in Spanish TV than English. I never would have guessed, I just assumed she didn't like to watch tv. Still, she's not the biggest fan of it but she is definitely more attentive with Spanish programs. Karina is still a great sleeper and still so adaptable. Almost daily she will fall asleep in the car and I walk her in the house, then up the stairs to her room and she continues to take the rest of her nap. I usually have to wake her to go pick up the big girls. On our way to Laredo one day she rode in the car so quietly taking a snooze or two and without fussing the entire 4 hours! Now that winter is about over Karina has been very healthy and we have only had to deal with an asthma attack once. This also means she is generally very pleasant. Karina, you are a joy, every experience for you is exciting and you express it in every way, in your beautiful smile your toddling run and just the sheer joy in your demeanor. I can't wait to learn more about you this coming year with the explosion of all the words and vocabulary in your head. I love you and am so thankful for you in our lives!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Trail of Lights

During the time we have lived here, we have heard about the infamous Trail of Lights. We've never seen the Trail of Lights during the holiday because the city was unable to afford to put the lights up all those years. Finally, this year they were able to put them up, so we could not miss them for who knows when we'd see them again. In order to keep costs down, the lights are only displayed for eight days so it's impossible to avoid a crowd, find parking, etc. We parked about a mile away and took the trusty double stroller with the scooter attachment. We managed pretty well until a tire went flat on the way back--in the dark, in the "woods" of Zilker Park. Yikes! But, we made the most of it or should I say Omar did since he was pushing the stroller, and we made it back. The lights were beautiful and incredible. The last time I saw lights similar to this scale was outside of College Station at Santa's Wonderland. The Trail of Lights was free however. Did I mention it was crowded? It took about an hour to get through it with masses of people moving through the trail. It reminded me of Mardi Gras. It was well worth it, and I recommend going at least once.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

80's style fun

My good friend Corinne celebrated her 40th birthday 80's style. We didn't try too hard but still, can you believe we picked this stuff out of our closet?

Marisa's 5th birthday

So after Elena's "big" birthday party at home we decided to have Marisa's party at another location to avoid the stress. Thankfully, she didn't want a party at home. She wanted to go to Build-A-Bear and I suggested we invite the girls in her class for a party there. This was definitely the place to be for Marisa on her birthday. She adores stuffed animals and would fill her entire room with them if I let her. Since there was somewhat of a bear theme, I recreated the bear cupcakes I made for Elena's 2nd birthday.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Austin discovery

Have you been to Ski Shores? I had heard of this place before and Omar and I finally went for lunch one day when Karina was in school. It was the best lunch date in a while. The location was superb right on Lake Austin in a somewhat secluded area away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was nice to have this time away in a quiet and serene atmosphere. There's nothing between the deck and the water to guard curious little children, but there's a nice gated playground away from the water so a future outing with the girls is likely.:)

More Thanksgiving holiday pics

I almost left these out. I loved how sweet Marisa and Yvette looked from inside our living room window.

Thanksgiving holiday

This Thanksgiving we wanted to enjoy a slower pace and stay home for the holiday. We invited my sister Carmen and enjoyed her company for the week. Lucky them, they get a whole week off! I love spending this quality time to catch up with no worries about schedules or rushing to get anywhere. We spent our days exploring things in and around Austin. The girls adore their cousins and entertained themselves every minute of every day. They play amazingly together which gives me a break too. I often wonder how my mom managed with 7 children. It's hard enough work with just 3. But I have lots of memories of being around my cousins frequently while the adults did their own thing. I rarely remember constant supervision but we never got into trouble, and I dont' remember quarrelling with my siblings when cousins were around. I can now understand the phrase, "it takes a village to raise child" and I while I sometimes wish we were closer to family, I am thankful we are this close. This is really the closest we have ever been. Now onto our week. We went for a very short hike near the Austin Science and Nature Center. Omar had to work so he stayed with Karina while she napped. The hike was just perfect for the kiddos and the reward came quick--a view of the city. We also went to Cabela's. Ever been there? It's just a short drive south in Buda. This store always amazes me, I personally think it's over the top, but it's neat to experience with the kids especially because Omar always adds a learning element to it. The girls enjoy the giant fish tanks. On Thanksgiving day my youngest sister and her family joined us too. She lives in Austin now. She is north, but still closer than Laredo. I can't remember the last time we got a picture of us or that all three of us were together like this. It was a nice treat and a nice way to spend the holiday . After Carmen left, Omar and I headed to College Station to watch the Aggies play. Would you believe this was my first game as an alumni despite the fact that I lived in College Station for 4 years!! as an alumni? It was a gift for Omar's birthday from his sister. We really enjoyed it and my favorite part was not being forced to stand. Coincidently we sat right next to the band on the first deck which brought back memories because that is where I sat in my college days with my band boyfriend...well of course it was Omar!! Aggie game