Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My baby is 1

One year ago today at 1pm Maya Adriana was born via C-section at 7 pounds 2 ounces. Today she is a crawling-cruising-cuddly one year old! My favorite things about Maya are:

1) The way she dances when I sing- she shimmies and shakes and giggles- so cute!
2) She snuggles into my neck sucking her thumb and humming and gives wet laughing kisses. She LOVES when I rock her and sing to her at night.
3) At age 1, she refuses to hold her own bottle (can you believe how much she has me wrapped around her little finger??) so I hold it for her while she really delicately tickles and plays with my fingers.

Although the Maya anthem* implies that she may enjoy sweets, she actually has never had anything sugar-y. Actually once I gave her ice cream (a tiny, tiny bite!), and the horrific look on her face from the cold brain freeze definitely deterred me.

*Apple dumpling pudding
pumpkin pie-a
sweet potato, sweet pea
Maya plays with one of her presents:

Good midwest girl:

I'm not sure what to do with this???

Hey mommy! I like frosting!

I like sugar!!!

Now how do I eat this?

Just shove it in, right?

And then squish my hands in the frosting?

Mommy, can you lick my fingers?

No, not the face! Let me at least lick the napkin.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We love playing at the spray parks!

There is a spray park near our house that is *perfect* for the kids because it is enclosed, it has a rubber surface (so Maya can crawl around) and there are no mommys worrying about kids drowning. There are some covered picnic areas, and then a decent playground and sandbox area that Tonito LOVES.

Tonito's vocabulary is bursting, and he really enjoys talking and letting the world know what he is thinking about. His sentences usually consist of a noun and a verb "Maya crying," "Tonito fall down," "Vivi hit me." He and Vivi had definitely have perfected the "tattling on your sibling," but then at the same time they also have become inseparable buddies, and always look for each other to goof around.

Since China (and still now) Tonito has always been his Papi's little boy. His face lights up when Tonio comes in the room, and anytime anything happens during the day (he draws a picture, he gets an owie) he says "Tell papi? Show papi?" Very cute! So now that Tonio has been travelling more to Houston and Norway, every time I talk on the phone in Spanish (even if it's a telemarketer) he asks "Papi?" When we come home and Tonio's car is parked in the driveway (which it is when he travels), Tonito screams "Papi home!!" He loves his papi so much and really wants to impress him. So at the spray park (a different one than above) he took off his shirt and threw it somewhere, and we ended up leaving it there. When he told his papi that he lost his beloved "barco" (ship) shirt, the tears welled up in his eyes, worried that he had disappointed his hero. Poor Tonito! I told him next time we have to be more careful and he says "OK mommy, I careful."

So here is the other spray park we visited, where the favorite tee disappeared:

Monday, August 25, 2008

My crazy day

7:45am: Vivi (sleeping with me, at my parents house) declares "I slept willy well mommy!" We went downstairs and Maya was already awake. We woke up Tonito, ate breakfast, got ready for the day and hurried home to meet the plumber coming between 10-2.

10am: We found a katydid on our screen door while unloading the car, so we made a little habitat for him in our aquarium. The kids gave him a water dish and lots of different leaves and sticks, and "friends" (rolypolys, ants, and some old cicada shells that the kids think are bugs). The plumber didn't come, so we went to the post office to get stamps for our party invites!
Now from 11-2 things get hazy: our realtor in Houston calls us with a counteroffer and I have to make the decision on what we should counter back; I call Tonio several times in Norway, but he doesn't answer; Maya starts crying wanting to eat; I make lunch for the kids and sit them down to eat; the plumber comes and gives me the estimate to fix some random things our buyer's inspector found (leaky pipe and something with the water heater)- yikes I decide to have the work done and he starts; Vivi starts calling me from the bathroom- something about needing help; our realtor stops by with a builder to look at cracks in the foundation (again, that the inspector found); I walk around the house with them looking at the cracks and *fortunately* 2 are cosmetic and the 3rd will need 2 anchors- which is cheaper than the plumber's bill; I reach Tonio via phone about the counteroffer and tell him to make the decision and let our Houston realtor know; the kids are yelling "the toilet's broken" from upstairs;
I say good-bye to the builder and go upstairs to see Vivi and Tonito standing next to a clogged toilet. Vivi deciphers "Mommy I go potty and I say Mommy help me but you are outside and Tonito helped me but he had mucho mucho mucho toilet paper and now the toilet's broken." At this point I hear the builder and realtor coming inside downstairs and I need to think fast. "OK, Vivi and Tonito, sit on my bed in a timeout, you know you're not supposed to put a that much (ie a whole roll) of TP down the toilet. Just sit here for a minute." I run downstairs and finish the conversation with our realtor and the builder and he says he can fix the cracks by mid-September; they leave and the plumber comes up and wants to show me he fixed the angle of the flue vent on the water heater; I hear screeching and laughing upstairs and carrying Maya around is making my bicep numb; I quickly feed her a bottle and put her down for a nap and walk toward the squealing in my room. I grabbed the video camera to catch the kids in the act of whatever they wer doing in there, and all I managed to tape was two 3.5 year olds laughing hysterically and jumping on the bed. :) Life is good!!!!
3: The kids napped, I paid the plumber, washed dishes, and then when everyone woke up we walked to the Post Office to mail the letters and to Jewel to get whatever food you can fit in a double stroller with 3 kids. Except when the cashier's cubic zirconia studded 2 inch nails slipped and charged me for 61 cucumbers instead of 1 and couldn't figure out how to get rid of the charge, the walk was uneventful. Somehow I convince the kids to run from hydrant to hydrant (which later helps them sleep!:). I came home to 8 missed calls and found out we got the house we had been bidding on in Houston!!!
6: Dinner, pajamas, and a bottle for Maya who goes down without a sound.
7: Pajamas, millions of books, and teeth and the kids went down.
8:15 Aaaaaaaaaaaaah. Oops, let me quick go let out Mr. Katydid.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

MI08: "Fun size"

So the annual Michigan weekend this year was a little light on the booze and heavy on the diapers and goldfish! There were a lot of cute kids being followed by their paparazzi parents (oh wait, that was just me). No one fell in the fire this time, and there wasn't a lot of "fire talk," but we did have fun playing in the sand, watching the kids goof around with each other, and seeing the amazing opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Annie came with Sarah and Sam and Nate- I can't believe that Nate is younger than Maya:). Check out the picture below of these 2 cuties!!! Also look at the smile on Tonito's face when he got to steer the boat- priceless!!! Vivi was in heaven playing with her older cousins Abby, Jack and Josh, who were so nice to her. At one point we were all around the fire and she and Josh were jumping off the bar of the swingset- laughing so hard I wish the pictures had sound. Jack is the most gentle and kind boy with Maya- he really interacts with her and she just smiles at him adoringly. Tonito loved being held and played with by everyone, especially Uncle Harpo. He wasn't talking that much during the weekend, but he just kept smiling and crawling into everyone's laps. I was amazed at how well all of the kids got along, even though they are different ages and don't see each other all the time. We are all so lucky!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prairie Path

Here are some pictures from the Prairie Path, the garden path we frequent when escaping from potential buyers. Maya was sleeping this trip and didn't want to wake up for the photo shoot. Poor baby! I hate when there is a showing during her nap time..

As most of you know, Tonio was offered a job in Houston (with the same company). Soooo, that means we are trying to sell our house in this wonderful market. It's already a challenge to keep the house clean with 3 little kids, but when your definition of clean changes because there are people coming to look at the house, life is a mad rush of me throwing toys and dirty dishes in hidden corners and cabinets while Maya watches from her stroller the kids playing with their bikes in the garage. I then take the dogs and kids in the minivan and either a) go for a ride (if there is only 1 showing) b) take them to the park (2 showings) or c) go to my mom's house (3+ showings). Fortunately we have had a lot of traffic, but since many people haven't sold their own houses yet, and real estate is based on a chain of buying and selling, we are waiting for the perfect family who have already sold their house. It seems to be taking forever (I know I shouldn't be complaining after only a couple of weeks of this), but it seems to be dragging on.

In other news, Maya now has 6 teeth and crawled UP the stairs!!!? because our house is on the market I don't have any gates up and apparently I was not watching her as well as I thought I was (that is so dangerous, I know, I know, I have to watch her more carefully!!!).. She says "uh-oh" all the time now, and is starting to say "wuf-wuf" for dogs. She loves to be held, LOVES to cuddle and give open-mouthed, wet kisses. She is such a snuggly little baby, I just love her to pieces. I am so in love with my kids, I can't hide it at all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tacos and a trip down memory lane

Vivi has been talking so much more now, and because of this, says the cutest things!!!

Vivi: I want the tacos!!
Me: What tacos?
Vivi: The taaaacos, for me!
Me: What are you talking about?
Vivi: Mommy, I want the tacos for the pool.
Me: ??? Wha...? I don't understand Vivi. Do you want to eat tacos??
Vivi: Mommy. The tacos. For my eyes. To go underwater. THE TACOS!!!!
Me: Aaaah, the goggles?
Vivi: Yeah. the tagos.

(Vivi doesn't say "l" or "r", and only says "g" sometimes. For example: wed why gwee why. Say it fast and you'll figure it light green light:)


Christy and Colleen: Just today, Vivi had these memories, triggered by random things we saw today.

We were in the supermarket, and Vivi saw yogurt covered pretzels and said " 'member in Mickey Mouse?"... back in September we went to Disney World for a couple of days when Tonio had a conference there, and Vivi and I shared her first (and I guess only so far) bag of yogurt covered pretzels. Later in the same store, she saw cashews and said " 'member at Tia Colleen's house?" (so watch out Colleen, you might always be associated with cashews:).

Tia Didi came over to play with them, and when I told Vivi she was on her way, Vivi said " 'member when I a baby and Didi's room dowstairs and we dance and sing?"... when Christy used to live with us, in what is now Tonito's room, she used to call Vivi down for "dance parties" of blaring salsa and merengue music.