August 30, 2010

14 months

Dear Danilo,

If there was any hint of infancy left in you last month, there is certainly none now.  Tonight you insisted on going to bed with your stuffed chinchilla.*  Not that we've ever put you to bed with a stuffed animal before, but that certainly doesn't stop you from blazing new trails.  You are my big little boy and I just marvel at all the new things you are doing. 

Your biggest accomplishment this month was walking.  One day I grabbed your hands and pulled you up and you just stepped forward.  Then for a while you just lifted your legs up and down and stepped on things in front of you just because you liked the feeling.  You got your first pair of shoes this month, wore them all the way to California and back (which, by the way, is where you spent the majority of this month) and they are already dirty, worn and almost too small.  You no longer walk when I hold your hands.  You run.  And of course that leaves me to run after you. 

When we ask for a kiss or when you decide you want one, you lean forward with your mouth wide open, and at the last second, drop your head down so that our lips are planted directly on your forehead. 


It is SO CUTE.  You were your Daddy's favorite distraction as he worked in California and when it came time to test the weight capacity of the drawer he was building, you were right there to lend a helping hand body. 

This picture looks hauntingly like a picture of myself at the same age with the same stance and the same expression. 


You did not, by the way, get into this standing-up position by yourself.  Nor did you know what to do once you were there, but the view delighted you none the less and so did the buttons on the firetruck at Grammy and Grandpa Shaun's house. 

You did like standing up quite a bit, apparently, because now you pull up to standing on the side of whatever you can, and you're starting to ease your way around using those things to hold onto.  You often get stuck there though, as you haven't quite figured out how to get back to sitting.  At least you trust no other support to sit down besides mommy's hands.  And frankly, I'm savoring that.  Because frankly, you're growing up entirely too fast for me. 

I find myself savoring a lot of things lately:  An arm void of circulation because you want my hand cupping your face while you fall asleep in your crib.  Slobbery items that you want to put in my mouth.  Endless games of "give" and "take back."  A sweaty forehead against my face when you wake up wanting a hug in an unfamiliar place (there was a lot of that this month).  Dirty hands and feet all over me.  


Clinging to me when something is a little too dark, a little too noisy, a little too big or a little too unfamiliar for comfort. These things won't last long and so rather than worry about training you out of bad habits (we do plenty of that anyway) I'm just enjoying the times when mommy's comfort is more important.

Grammy taught you (or maybe you just did it) how to treat books with care.  Yes, this picture is your Grammy, not a more distinguished me.  I know we look just alike.  Especially from the back.  Especially when I wear her clothes for a month because I only brought four days worth of my own clothes...  Nevermind. 

You now turn pages carefully and though you are particular about which books you read, you love the activity of turning pages.  Although the words don't interest you yet. 


Speaking of words, you say lots of them.  Not that I know what you are saying, but you are an endless stream of babble as you play quietly (or not so quietly) in the living room by yourself.  You crack me up when you suddenly decide that not enough people are listening and so you turn the decibals up about ten notches and holler with a look that says, "Um, hello?!  Is anyone listening?!"  And then we do. 


You haven't lost that contemplative look, nor have you lost your winner of a smile.  Happy 14-months-old-birthday, kiddo.  I love you. 



*Our last name is Chinchilla Porras.  No, it's not hyphenated.  No, it's not partly my maiden name.  The ll is pronounced like a y, and no, Alejandro was not excited when he learned that the first half of his long Costa Rican last name was a furry cute rodent people find in pet stores.  Yes, I've explained that too many times.  So, yes, that's why Danny has a stuffed chinchilla instead of a teddy bear to go to sleep with.

August 29, 2010

stream of consciousness

first of all, we made it home! hooray!! it was about 3:30 a.m. when we did so and we were dog tired, but we made it.  thank you to those of you who prayed for us on our drive.  i know it made a difference! 

so this morning we went to bed at 3:30 a.m. and woke up at 10:30 a.m., which felt to us like 9:30 a.m. because we're an hour off, and it's not like the time changed a ton, but i still can't figure out what time it is.  or what day it is, for that matter.

we did manage to make it to one of my best girlfriend's baby shower/picnic/goodbye party.  albeit 3 hours late.  but we made it!  and i also made it to another one of my best girlfriend's director promotion party.  it meant the world to me to make it to both of these events. 

then i came home to screaming disoriented 14-month-old who didn't understand that really he was in his own room in his own crib and the familiar pac-n-play he longed for was really not home but Grammy and Grandpa's house.  i sure hope he realizes that soon, because i do not want to repeat the two hour ordeal it took to get him to sleep.  i finally resorted to hunching over the side of his crib with my hand on his back for 15 minutes while he dozed off into dream-land.  my back was killing me and my arm had lost circulation by the time he was out, but it was worth it.  it was a sweet thing to watch. 

i love that he really just still wants mommy.  i'm gonna hang onto that for as long as it lasts.  even if sometimes he is being manipulative. 

it helps me a lot to remember that i'm gonna miss all this, as mckmama so eloquently put it in
this post

oops i got side-tracked.  i started looking back to posts from a year ago and now i'm reminded how much i do already miss
this.  wow time flies.  that was one year ago almost exactly.  ...which means that it's time to do a "dear danilo" post very soon. 

i think i'll go grab some left over pasta salad and settle in to under the covers with my new netbook (have i mentioned i'm excited about this thing? ok i'll stop) to crop some pictures for it.  :)  see ya'll soon... 

it's so good to be back. 

August 27, 2010

Remember When...

Written April 26, 2011

Remember when we spent a month in California?  
Remember getting ready for the 17 hour drive home?

Remember when Danny had hardly any hair and baby fat?

Remember when he tried to wear his Papa's shoes?

Over Night in Phoenix

I think Toby enjoyed our pet-friendly hotel last night.

Danny enjoyed kicking us all night long.

We enjoyed the knowledge that we're on our way home. :)


August 23, 2010

The other












Just because.  :-)

Bonding Across Four Generations

My grandmother, who just turned 90, has been nick-named Namas every since that was all that my sister and I could pronounce as little girls.  She has throroughly enjoyed her great-grandson.  There is something a little unique and special about having four generations of family in one room, and Lord willing, I imagine that when I'm her age and have my great-grandchildren in my home, I'll probably glow like she did.

Wanting to find something to entertain Danny while he was visiting, she scoured the house for something fun for him.  She finally found one of the things my sister and I used to enjoying playing with:  A very old bag of clothes-pins.  The bag was made to look like a dress and it would hang on the line as my grandmother hung the laundry to dry outside.  I still remember hiding between the clothes as she worked. 

It turned out to be the perfect toy for Danny. 

Check out this video of him playing.  While he played, Namas taught him to say "uh-oh" and he hasn't stopped saying it since! 



Today was a day full of memories. New ones and old ones.

We visited my mom's church this morning. It's a sweet small congregation up the hill from her house (we actually walked there). There were gentle old men with toothy grins and a smile for Danny. There were devoted old women who hung on their husband's arm as though they'd been doing so for 50 years. And I'm sure some of them have been. There were tired and glowing (somehow at the same time) mamas of young children and proud daddies looking after them. There was a pair of the cutest four year old bouncy blonde pig tails you've ever seen in your life.  And everything in between. But most of all there were welcoming smiles and genuine eyes and a love for Jesus that overflowed out of the choir pews, through the wood-decorated sanctuary, into the foyer and out the front doors.

Oh and there was iced Starbucks coffee too. Which just means there was an extra measure of the Holy Spirit. ...Just kidding.

I even ran into an old college class-mate. What a great way to begin our Sunday!

Then I met my sister for a lunch and a coffee date at The Living Room, our favorite coffee house. Memories of college study sessions, dates with Alejandro, late night snacks after swing dancing for hours and really good coffee come flooding back whenever I think of The Living Room. It has also been the most enormous blessing to find a new best friend in my sister. We talked about all things important and not and sipped on rasberry mocha somethings while we gabbed. It was splendid.

Then I headed back towards my mom's but took a wrong turn and ended up driving down the street where my old junior high school is. I turned into the parking lot and glanced in at the lunch court yard while memories came flooding back: Passing notes in 7th grade math class. The days which blurred between childhood and adolescence. The beginning of pimples and boys and way-too-early first kisses.  And the beginning of the dating scene.  Boy am I glad to be past that stage!

Then back through the Mission Valley where I stopped in at the ring store where Alejandro found my wedding ring. While they inspected and cleaned my ring, I took a trip to the ladies' room where I relieved myself after way too much coffee. On the way out I was met with this:

All I have to say is that sign should be required in all public restrooms. I love it.

The day continued with a low-key afternoon and dinner and then it ended with a Mary Kay facial party with an old high school friend of mine and her roommates.  I hadn't seen her in fourteen years, so we had fun reminiscing about English papers, Rococo paintings and high school friends.

So now I have a super shiny ring,

a worn off caffeine high, a new thankfulness that I'm not just starting in the dating scene but rather that I'm done with it, a fully tummy, hurting cheeks from lots of smiles, tired feet, and a happy heart.

How did you all spending your Sundays?

August 21, 2010

How we're spending our days...

We've been pretty busy lately...  but we actually have been doing other stuff besides working, or spending time with family, or going to the bay, or playing at the beach or, you know, a whole host of other Southern-Californian activities that we've been up to.

We've also just been doing a lot of hanging' out with this growin' little boy.


One of his new favorite games is to give stuff to me.  Or you.  Or anybody.  Of course, then he wants it right back.  That's the game.  He loves it.


We've also been hangin' out with family.  I've gotten some great quality time with my sister, Lisa.


She's going to be a famous movie director some day.  Just for the record.

Oh, and there is never-ending fun when it comes to Mary Kay boxes and packing popcorn and little boys.






That's just a little bit of what we've been up to, when we're not up to all kinds of other crazy California stuff.

San Diego Coronado Beach