October 31, 2009

farting sounds razzerberries

This weekend, Danilo figured out how to make
farting sounds razzerberries with his mouth.
Danilo aprendió hacer un nuevo sonido este fin de semana...
video
Now when he's playing on is own on the floor we can't figure out when he's playing and when he's filling his diaper!
¡Ahora cuando esté jugando en la alfombra no podemos distinguir entre cuando está ensuciando el pañal y cuando está jugando!

October 30, 2009

Four Months Old

Happy Four-Month-Old Birthday, Baby Boy!










I love you!

October 29, 2009

A losing battle...

I am in a battle raging war with Danilo's thumb.
And I'm getting my butt whipped.

Today before his nap, he cried, fussed, kicked, whined...
I gave him his pacifier... he spit it out.
Finally he found his thumb, and the whines turned to cooes
and the tears turned to sleepy closing eyes.

Since he doesn't seem interested in his green Soothie hospital paci anymore,
I tried the this one.

It didn't last long. Even when I tried to hold it in.

And invariably I go in to wake him up from his nap and see this.
Anybody got any ideas?
I'm stumped.

First Snow Day of the Year

Today was the first snow day of the year.

It's. October. Now, actually, I must confess (for all of you out there who are thinking that this is way too early for snow) that this is actually ALL My Fault.

I'm so sorry. I repent now before you. Please forgive me.

You see, sometime around July 5, when I was sweating out of every pore of my body, when I was raging with 6-day-old post-partum hormones, when I was still as big as a boat but no longer cute, and when all I wanted was to stop being HOT... I said, "I wish it were snowing."

Hey, I sweat from April until September this year without a break. Can you really blame me?

So, alas, I'm sorry... You are all enduring this frozen-tundra-like weather because of me.

So, what did we do on this first snow-day, shut in the house with nothing more than I could ever possibly do in one day? *** Well, Danny played. I am amazed at how different his play is now than it was, even just a month ago. See how he grabs his toys with such concentration?

video

***Ok, all these pictures weren't actually taken today. But we did do these things today.

I worked. I got lots of odds-and-ends tasks done that had been hanging over my head and I feel very good about it. And I even booked some appointments and shared the business opportunity with someone who decided they want to give it a try.

I always love it when someone decides to set mediocrity behind them and step into something new and big that could change their life. I certainly don't think that anyone without a Mary Kay business is living in mediocrity. I simply see so many women slip through their lives without ever doing something about their situation. So I love it when someone decides to draw the line in the sand and take some action. Anyway, it felt good to be productive in my business despite a snowy day.

...back to the subject. When Daddy got home, the two of them played together. I heard them both giggling from upstairs, and suddenly I realized that I had not heard Danny giggle before! So here you go... Danny's first giggle.

(It's right at the beginning of the clip. Unforunately, that's the only time he giggled on video. I caught the tail-end of their playing session, so I didn't manage to get much of it, but it still makes me bubble up inside and want to giggle too!)

video

No snow-day is complete without home-made cookies hot out of the oven and milk to dip 'em in! And the best part? Since it was my night off, Alejandro made them!

And last... cuddling with my little one. This picture (of him dead-asleep) was actually taken a few nights ago, but we did plenty of cuddling and praying together today. :) I had Matthew and Stellan on my mind, so I spent lots of time checking on their updates and thanking the Lord that we are so abundantly blessed with safety, warmth, security, health, and peace.

Thank you, Lord.
I am so undeserving and yet you bless me abundantly anyway.

Splish Splash It's Rainin' In My Bath

Oh how I wish I had a camera permanently connected to my forehead... (ok maybe that wouldn't be the greatest idea). But on Tuesday I DID wish I had a camera close, because Danny discovered...

...water is FUN to play in!


See the wet t-shirt?

I didn't even care. He was SO fun to watch. One of these days I'll catch it on video.

___________Español___________

¡Cómo deseo que hubiera tenido una cámara el mártes cuando bañé a Danilo! Descubrió que le gusta el agua. Casi toda la cocina estaba mojada cuando terminó, pero ¡cómo se divirtió! Un día pronto, voy a grabarle con video...

Prayin' for you Babies

Matthew isn't the only one
who needs our prayer today....
Stellan is very sick.



Praying for Matthew

Dear Prayer Warriors,

Today is the day we lift Matthew to the Lord and intercede on his behalf! Thank you for the way you all are praying and encouraging Lori and her family as they fight for him. Lori wrote to me in the comments section of the last post, but I wanted you all to hear what she wrote.

Thank you so much for this! You are amazing and I appreciate your prayers and your actions more than words. I want to clarify, just so that you know, that we have a TRIAL scheduled for April (although the date could be moved up). Thursday is a review hearing. While it may be possible that we could lose Matthew on Thursday, it is not probable. However, Thursday SHOULD have a major shift in where all the important people's opinions lie. Obviously, we want that pendulum to shift in our direction and not in the birth father's. I am very stressed about it (although I am praying that God would lift that) and it is, of course, a very big deal. I just wanted to make sure you knew it wasn't the actual trial. Again, thank you for your blog. Your words are a beautiful encouragment.

Thanks, Lori, for helping us know how to pray for you!

Everybody, please post your prayers in the comments section of this blog so that Lori and Troy can read them. This is for their encouragement. Of course, you can also click on the Praying for Matthew button on my sidebar and leave your prayer for her there too. (I'm not sure why the button in this post doesn't send you to her blog.) Or you could email them to me and just let me know you're praying and I'll let Lori know.


Thank you all for the way you have joined me to fight the spiritual battle for Matthew's future! May you be abundantly blessed by this experience.
______________________
Lord, thank you that we have the privilege of approaching your throne of Grace with our worries and fears, our problems and our trials. Thank you that you take interest in the big battles and the little ones. Today we lift up Matthew to you. We know that you already know the outcome of today's hearing and the future trial and you already have plans for Matthew's good and for his future and those plans are better than anything we could imagine or invent. Father I ask that it would be Your will that Matthew would stay with Lori and Troy for his childhood life and that in their home he would receive a clear understanding of his loving Heavenly Father who will never abandon him. By the power of the Holy Spirit, work today, in the hearts of the judge and all of those involved in this case, so that they would see that the best home for Matthew truly is with Lori and Troy. Relieve Lori's stress and remind her that You work everything together for the good of your people and that this battle is Yours. As it says in Exodus, she need only to be still. Be with Garrett and calm his anxieties as well. Thank you for how he loves his little brother so unconditionally. Strengthen Troy as the leader of his family and place in him a rock-solid assurance today of your love. Give this family peace. We pray all of these things in Jesus' Holy name. Amen.
______________________
(Here are a couple more prayers I've received in my Inbox.)

Hello Prayer Warrior,

Let's make this a wave of prayer that begins now, on our knees, on our lips, in our hearts, silently and aloud...so that wave after wave of prayer supports Matthew and, ultimately, Lori. Love and strength to Matthew, Lori and all the prayer warriors.

Ruth
___________
Hola Renee, I am praying!

Blessings,
Shirl Lee
"Do not worry about tomorrow, God is already there"

October 27, 2009

This is a really great blog...

...no, not mine.

Well, ok, mine is pretty great. ;)

But I was talking about this one:


...especially because she's, like, one of my very best friends.

AND because she photographed my son's birth.
AND because we met in a grocery store when she was pregnant with twins.
AND because...

...ok, I'll stop.

Love you Kingdom Mama!

October 26, 2009

Calling all Prayer Warriors

I want you to picture your baby(s) right now. In fact... if you've got a picture nearby, grab it and look at it.

Yep. I'm serious. Get it out.

In fact, if you're kids are nearby, take a look at them. If you don't have kids... well, you'll have to imagine with me.

Ok, look at the picture. Take a minute and think through all of the time, energy, tears, prayers, hopes, anxiety, love, gifts... that you've spent on them.

That first day.

How you brought them home from the hospital and how they breathed so quietly that you held your own breath just to hear it.
Those sleepy afternoons...

...when they'd take a nap on your knees.
The first time they found their thumb.

Kisses on the nose.
Tiny toes.
The first time they figured out how to hold something.

Baths.
Their first smile.

All the hugs that never seemed to be enough.

You've been their mom (or dad) forever.
There was never a time when they weren't your baby.

Now imagine that you have to go to court and fight to keep them. Imagine that someone might take them away and you might not get to raise them, even though you were theirs and they were yours since their first breath. Imagine you might lose them.

Imagine you have to do that on Thursday.

I'd like you to meet Lori.

I found Lori's blog through Kingdom Mama's blog. As it turns out, though we never knew each other, she and I went to college together. You can read her story in detail here, but in short, Lori and her husband, Troy, adopted Matthew. Matthew is their second son. They are now in the battle of their lives to keep him in their home, where he has been since he was born.

I am so impressed that despite the court battle that could break up their home and take away their son, Lori continues to stay on her knees, submitted to the Lord's will, grateful for each day with her two little ones. She has asked us to pray that Matthew end up being in the best home for him.

This is the prayer of Lori's heart. On Friday, she wrote:
There is a hearing scheduled for next Thursday (October 29) and I am begging all of you to please lift the day up in prayer. Please pray for the very best for Matthew. Please pray that the judge would begin to side with us. Please pray for the birth father. Pray that he would understand that parents put their children first and they don't use them to fill their own void, that he would see that this is the best place for his son, and that he would come to a place in his life where he recognizes that only one person can fill his void--our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please pray, ultimately, that Matthew would stay with us.
The desperation coming through in her words breaks my heart and I want to do all I can to stand in the gap for her and her family and for Matthew. On Thursday I will be fasting and praying in my best effort to bear another's burden in the only way I know how.

As a community of believers, I believe we can provide so much encouragement to Lori in these difficult days. I feel led to ask all of you to join me in a day of prayer for Matthew's family.

Here's what we're going to do: On Thursday I will be doing a liquids-only fast from sunrise to sunset. I encourage all of you to pray about this and join me if possible. If you've never fasted before, you can read scriptures on fasting here and a sunrise to sunset liquid fast is a good way to start. You can find out what time the sun rises and sets where you live here.

The purpose of this is to bathe Lori with all the prayer and encouragement possible, so before Thursday I will post my prayer for her family. Each of you can write your prayers for her in the comments section of this post or any other post about Lori between now and Thursday. That way, Lori can read all of the prayers and be encouraged. If you have a blog, please also leave your blog site so she can get to know you (as time permits her). You could even post your prayer on your own blog so your readers can join us too.

Father, prepare our hearts to learn about intercessionary prayer. Strengthen Lori and hear our cries for Matthew and his future. Thank you for the privilege of approaching your throne with our most desperate needs. Receive praises and honor and glory this day.

Hold your babies close and stand in the gap with me as we call upon the Host of Heaven for Matthew's little life.

My Office Door

My friend, Michelle just wrote a post from her heart about how life is never how you plan it. Michelle is one of my closest friends. Although life has taken us different directions and there have been seasons when we've hardly been in touch, she is one of those life-long friends that you can pick up a conversation about the most intimate of topics even though you haven't talked in three years.

Friends like that are a gift from God.

She really got me thinking because I can tell this blog from her came straight from a vulnerable place in her heart. I SO am right there with her. It is SO hard to be a mom and a wife... Actually the mom part isn't super hard right now for me. I mean he's still cute and cuddly and hasn't learned to say, "no" or to crawl somewhere he shouldn't or to ignore me.

The wife part is hard sometimes. Despite the fact that God has gifted me with the most amazing husband and the fact that we are perfectly fashioned for each other, there are times when I think that if this marriage survives it will be by the skin of our teeth. I think everybody who's married feels that at least once in their marriage. And many people feel that a lot in their marriage. Actually, if this (and any) marriage survives, it is only by the blood of Jesus.

And of course, there are other times when I am confident in the knowledge that we are triumphant conquerers in Him who gives us all power and strength.

Both are true, I guess. ...that we make it by the skin of our teeth blood of Jesus and that we are triumphant conquerers.

I recently listened to a sermon by our pastor called "We are More Than Conquerers." It was one of those messages that I had to listen to and digest several times to truly get it. But once I got it it was one of the most freeing truths I've ever understood.

There is no way I could do the sermon justice, so I'll just encourage you to listen to it. The bottom line is that God has already given us all we need to be confident courageous overcoming never-fearing super incredible mega-awesome triumphant conquerers over the struggles of this life and that we need not live in depression, difficulty or defeat. One thing he said stood out to me: "It would be poor stewardship on our parts not to live with all the benefits that Jesus Christ already died to give us." He went on to say that the Father has already given us his one and only son. What makes us think He would withhold anyting else we need in order to overcome?

The other day my husband told me something cool about the doors in our house. (Yes, this is related to my point.) The doors in our house look like this:
He said that the man who designed these doors purposefully put a cross in the middle of the design to remind others about Jesus. (Of course we have no way to knowing for sure that this is really true. But I thought that was pretty cool.) I started to think differently every time I looked at the door - and since the door to my office is directly in front of where I sit when I'm at the computer - it's what I stare at when I'm thinking something through.

Everything good in my life is through Him.
He is the entry-way into Life abundant.
He guards our home and makes it sacred.
He shuts out cold and keeps us comforted, warm and protected.
The analogies could go on and on...

So... needing something visual to remember the truth that I am more than a conquerer in Christ, I did this:

Everything that plagues my thoughts and worries me went up on that door to remind me to pray about it and to place it in the hands of my Lord who has all things in control. And Let. Go.

A day or so later I called Alejandro, worried about how we were going to pay for something. I said, "I just don't know how it's going to work out."

He said, "I do."

"Really?"

"Mmmhmm..."

"How?"

"You're going to put it up on your door," he said.

Immediately the tightness in my chest released and I relaxed. Yes. It's going to be ok. God is in control. And, thankfully, I am not.

Today, I rest in that.

October 24, 2009

Danny's first Halloween

Despite the fact that it's supposed to snow tonight... again! ...it is still Fall around here, and so on Tuesday, Danny attended his first costume party!

Alejandro dressed as Smoky the Bear.

I dressed as a fair maiden from Czechoslovakia. (Actually, I am a fair maiden with origins from Czechoslovakia. But on Tuesday, I actually dressed like one.)

And Danilo was the cutest little monkey you ever have seen.

See?!

Would you believe that that Smoky the Bear costume was made by my Mom for my Dad when I was little? ...I know... the number of items I keep pulling from our past is unreal. My mom was the ranger and my Dad was Smoky the Bear. Isn't that fun? And now my husband puts that costume on any chance he gets!

My little monkey even had a banana to eat. ;) You can't see his tail, but that is by far what made the costume so cute. I'll see if I can remember to snap another picture next time he wears it.

Of course he's going to wear it again! When else in life can you get away with wearing a Halloween costume on a regular day, except for when you are only almost 4 months old?

This is Jason and Jalina. Aren't their costumes awesome!? We were all in admiration of them.

And here is all of us... This actually our bible study group from this past year. Don't they look like fun people!? They are. ;)
Oh, and what makes this group even more fun is that two of them are pregnant! That makes three couples in six for the year... and Yes, WE started the trend.

October 22, 2009

These days...

These last several weeks have been busy around here. Fall came...




...and apparently it's already gone. Because it has already snowed three times this month. And it's not even the end of October. (For those of you who live in non-snowy parts of the world, October 31st is usually our first snow.)

But as I was saying, things around here have been busy. Danny has been particularly busy, improving his large motor skills.

He's practically mastered the reaching-grabbing-holding thing. This week he turned over my dinner plate for the first time. Oh joy. That stage.

Actually, I don't think he was really reaching. Kind of more like... flailing. But still.
And everything he gets his hands on goes directly into his mouth.

I think it's cute as ever.


Roar! Get 'im Tiger!

He has also gotten quite adept at sitting in his Bumpo Seat.

Sorry... I forgot that you can't turn video cameras sideways.
Everybody, crank your head to the left for just a bit...

video

Good... now slowly crank your head back to the right.
Easy does it. Not too fast or you'll cramp.

Anyway, back to the subject... He is fascinated by that clown. Who'd have thought? Some toys never go out of style. (That clown was mine when I was a baby.)

Holding that noggin' up is no sweat now too. Hee hee... just 9 months ago it was ME laying with my belly in that boppy.

Time flies when you're havin' fun.

But seriously, being a mom is good stuff. The other night, I looked over at my night-stand and saw this.
(Yes, of course I straightened it up before shooting the picture.)

It was one of those moments when I was hit one more time with the incredible realization that I'm a mommy. It doesn't get old. I haven't gotten used to it. Each new day is still a novelty. And I love every moment of it.

I hope that never goes away.