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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quick, empty the suitcases, do the laundry, then pack them again!

We had about one week between our trip to Mexico and our trip to Houston- which means one week to do a LOT of laundry. Of course the kids spring break did NOT coordinate with either of our trips (much to our chagrin and dismay!) so they were out of school for 3 weeks total, ugh.
On the bright side, Maya is chatting up a storm- I am amazed at everything she says!!!! In addition to single words, here are some recent spoutings:
-I did it!
-Can I see it? (cai-see-it?)
-No, mama (her favorite; she also likes No, Bouddica; No, Mingo; No, Toto; No, Vivi; the possibilities are endless!)
-Hi guys!
-Mio! Maya! (mine!)
-All done
-Go Diego Go
-Cargo? (from me asking her "te cargo?"= "should I carry you?" SO she is actually saying "I carry?"
-aaamonos (Vamonos, said while trying to snap her fingers. She also says Go mama, go!)
-Princesa (princess)
-Ven mama! (come here mama!)
-Aqui (over here)
Recently she also began singing her ABC's, which really just sounds like "AECEECD"...
Eating lunch with our cousins Sam and Nate!:)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mexico!!!! March 17-24...

We were so excited to be able to take a trip to Mexico to celebrate Mario's wedding. This was Tonito's first trip to Mexico!!! It was awesome to witness this blossoming of his and Vivi's Spanish- their little spongey brains are incredible. I had to fly BY MYSELF, because Tonio was coming from Houston. This was a trial by fire- me, alone with 3 kids, flying internationally, going through customs alone.... To add to the challenge, the morning before we left I had a hunch that Maya was not feeling well so I instinctively took her to the doctor for a quick ear check- yep, an ear infection. Come on, really??! Are you kidding me?!? Obviously the antibiotics weren't working yet (nor was the tylenol) and the last hour of the flight the pressure of the descent brought on the high-pitched screaming that only comes from pain. Poor baby, poor mommy, and poor passengers (but mostly poor Maya). Once we landed she felt much better and her lungs were able to rest as I carried her through the airport, pushing the empty stroller. Tonito and Vivi stepped up, thank goodness they are well-behaved when necessary!!! So we made it through customs and I felt my body completely relax once we were in Tonio's mom's minivan. We had a fabulous time visiting 'ita and 'ito (the kids' nicknames for Abuelita - grandma and Abuelito - grandpa), Tonio's brother, Mario, and sister, Normita, and our cousin Iñaki.

Our trips to Mexico always include lots of fun family parties! This "party season" started off with Iñaki's 2nd birthday. Roberto works at a crazy fun children's party place (think Pump-It-Up meets a street carnival), and graciously invited us to celebrate and laugh and burn some energy with Iñaki. We sledded down "snowy" hills, drove boats and cars, played in the balls, dressed up as Spiderman and a princess (check out Vivi's new princess smile), and had a blast climbing and jumping and screaming. Feliz Cumpleaños Iñaki!!!!! Nos divertimos mucho!!! Un beso, chaparro!

The next day, on March 21st, the Spring solstice, Tonio's brother Mario got married to the love of his life, Sandra. The wedding was outside in a sunny green garden, surrounded by magenta buganvilia, stone fountains, and a white tent covering the ceremony and later, the dance floor. Sandra was stunning in her "princess dress" (described by Vivi), and Mario looked handsome as usual in his khaki linen suit. Most of the new age-y ceremony I was chasing the girls around (Tonito was sleeping in the arms of a family friend!:) so I didn't get to appreciate the readings, but I can tell you the reception definitely gave the kids a chance to burn some energy since they NEVER sat down!!! All those nights at home we've had our i-tunes "dance, dance, dance parties," all paid off!

Wow, that is one of my favorite pictures:), me with my 3 beauties!

Here we all are before the ceremony.

Abuelita with her 4 grandchildren... pay no attention to the man behind the grandma holding Maya in place:).

Why are there so many pictures of the girls? Tonito fell fast asleep for almost the entire ceremony- he was so tired! But he did wake up to dance every single song during the reception:). Our family did not leave the dance floor the entire time- the kids loved changing dance partners every song, and would try to imitate the feet of those dancing around them. It was very cute! Tonito did his famous wiggle dance, and Vivi would chose her dance partners depending on their fancy dresses (she thought this was a princess ball!)...

The gorgeous couple:

Look at them!!! Felicidades Mario y Sandra! Se ven enamorados, felices, brillantes y hermosos.

After the ceremony they reorganized the chairs and tables for the reception...

This is a great picture (below) of Tonio's family's good friends, affectionately called "La Bola." He grew up with them, and their parents celebrate weddings, birthdays, graduations, etc. together. The kids danced with almost every one of them at the wedding!

Tonio's aunt and uncle with Maya; Tonio's dad, his brother Mario and new bride Sandra, Tonio, his mom holding Maya, his sister Normita, and me, with Tonito and Vivi in front. Roberto and Inaki had already left so we missed them in the picture!

The day after the wedding, we baptized Tonito in Santa Monica, the same church where we were married, where Vivi was baptized, and where Maya was baptized. It is a beautiful, stone and white-washed colonial church that is always filled with these pure white callalilies.

After the baptism, we went out to lunch at Xochitl- a great Ecological park near Mexico, with a mouth-watering restaurant. My favorite part of the restaurant was the 2 señoras in front of the comal making fresh sopes and quesadillas to order... oh and the guy at the parrilla mixing up carne asada and veggies... when are we going back!? Fortunately there is a park outside the restaurant for any patrons who have overeaten:).

The best part about Sunday was spending time with our family catching up and just sharing stories and talking.
The next day we visited the Children's Museum...

The fantastically interactive Mexico City Children's Museum: "Papalote" was filled with screaming kids, and their doting parents and teachers. We played and experimented, dressed up like bomberos, built towers, observed science, and rode on mini-cars. The kids were running around from exhibit to exhibit, wanting to try everything at once. I highly recommend it! What I do NOT recommend for an 18 month old little girl, 2 year old cutie boy, and 4 year old princess girl (Tonito is exempt from this recommendation because he LOVES to be scared) was the enormous, 3D IMAX "MONSTERS of the Sea." Just imagine the scene where the shark feast on the cute fish, the teenage girls behind us are screeching in fear, and you can imagine the rest. Tonio's mom took Iñaki out, Tonio rocked Maya to sleep within minutes, Vivi sat on my lap terrified, and Tonito jumped every time with a smile from ear to ear. It was a great show but so scary and realistic!
Our trip to Mexico was so much fun- we loved visiting with Tonio's family and all of our friends, and especially seeing the kids play together with Iñaki. We decided that we are going to take a much longer trip this summer, and I am already looking forward to planning it!!!:)
Muchísimas gracias a toda nuestra familia increíble y a todos nuestros queridos amigos por habernos recibido y cuidado tanto durante nuestro viaje.