September 30, 2010

Of course, what's a trip to San Diego without some really great pictures at the beach?

 

September 29, 2010

The last couple of nights have been a little hectic and so I haven't been able to sit down and write anything, but since we just happened to choose a western flick with the worst acting I've ever seen, I figured I'd post more pictures from our California trip while we watch. 

Danny's sleeping soundly - he's got a mild fever from a bug he picked up in the church nursery.  Alejandro and I are spending our days keeping up with business and being incredibly thankful for the business God is bringing our way.  Toby (the dog) is misbehaving just enough to remind us not to ignore him.  And we're enjoying the last days of warm weather before Autumn hits and it's too cool to leave the windows open. 

I hope ya'll are enjoying these days too!

Here you go!  Just click here.

Enjoy!

September 26, 2010

Yep...  More catchin' up on picture posts from our San Diego trip.  Here are the San Diego Mission Bay Park pictures.  :)  Enjoy!

Hi everyone! 

I've been catching up on my picture posts from California last month. 

To read the post about how we surprised my Grandma that we were in California, click here.

To see how Danny helped his Papa while he was working, click here.



September 25, 2010

Living and Hearing

The first week of September ended up being a doozy of a week for us. We had received our Jeep back with a new transmission. We spent two days driving halfway across the United States from San Diego to Colorado Springs, arriving at about 3 a.m. that Saturday morning. We attended a baby shower and a director promotion celebration for two really great friends of mine. We had been attempting to catch up on a month of mail, chores, house cleaning, and life in general. Monday morning at 2 a.m. I heard God's voice audibly for the first time. Yes, you read that right. I'll come back to that story in a minute. And one evening, we spent well over two hours on the phone with family in Costa Rica. A new crisis had hit.  Thankfully, it has been (for the most part) resolved since then.

So, it'd been a rather full week, to say the least. At least it's been a balance between really great things and bad stuff. But I never managed to post this story, and I really wanted to!

How are we doing? We're doing pretty well. Alejandro has officially quit job-searching (I don't remember if I'd shared that with you all) and he is devoting his energy to lining up handyman jobs rather than filling out applications. It's proving to be more successful and more profitable. Do you need anything fixed, painted, dry-walled, built, rebuilt, remodeled... etc? If so, he does a really great job! Yeah, I know I'm biased. But still, call him.

My business is doing very well and I'm really excited about the women God is putting in my path!  I am so blessed!

So, back to the hearing God's voice audibly story... that Monday night we went to bed in a bit of a tiff (ok fine) fight. Alejandro was downstairs cooling off, and I was in bed, praying and tweeting and reading blogs from my phone, which is a common way I wind down before bed. About 45 minutes after falling asleep, I had a "Samuel experience."

Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, "Here I am." And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me."
But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.
(See 1 Samuel 3:1-10)
I was laying there, asleep, and I awoke with a start when I heard (what sounded like) Alejandro's voice call, "Renee!" 

I sat up and called toward Alejandro, who had fallen asleep on the couch downstairs.  "Ale?!"

No answer.

"Was that you God?"

"What do you think?"

I got up and went downstairs.  "Ale, did you call me?"  He moaned and groaned and rolled over.  He was clearly not awake.  "Ale, did you call me!?" I said louder?  "No....." he mumbled. 

I went back to bed.  Another hour later, I woke up again, as if someone had shaken me, although I didn't feel anything.  I rolled back over, irritated that I couldn't sleep at 1 a.m. and I'd been woken up again. 

Another hour later, I woke up with a jump, as if someone had shoved me in the arm, although I still didn't feel anything.

"What?!" I said silently to God.

"GO down there and minister to your husband!!"

"Ugh, fine," I said. 

Yeah, I tend to argue with God.  It's not really something I'd recommend you do.  But at least I know I have authentic conversation with Him.  My prayers are defnitely  not filled with thees and thous and all that.  I talk to him like I talk on this blog. 

I went downstairs, and sat down next to Alejandro with my hand on his shoulder.  He had had a nightmare, and we spent the next hour or so in one of the deepest, most vulnerable conversations we've had in our almost-seven years of marriage. 

I'm really glad I listened to God in those wee morning hours. 

And a really humbled and awed that He'd call me by name and let me hear it. 

The experience was a deeply impacting one.  Yet not totally life-altering, as one might think.  It's like there is a quiet surety in my soul that brings peace beyond what is reasonable and a deeply rooted confidence (despite the fact that some of you now think I am completely whacky).  Do you know that God is alive?  Do you know that He still speaks?  If not, that is my prayer for you tonight. 

Love,

September 22, 2010

Oops!

He likes playing with spices. It's a great plan! Until one of them comes open.

Round 3

Two points for Mom. One point for Danny.

Well, actually, it was a win-win for both of us. Danny couldn't wait for his nap today.  He was pretty cranky by lunch time and threw a hum-dinger of a temper tantrum.  Correction, redirection and good food helped through, and we got through it.  When playing after lunch proved to just be a power struggle and one tired little kiddo, I carried him upstairs for naptime.  By the time I got him down and tucked in with his blanky up against his face (yesterday he held onto the knit blanket my mom made like it was his best friend) he was more than ready to drift into dream-land. 

And now... sweet silence!

I thought I'd take some time to share how I do transition days here... since I get asked a lot by my Babywise friends.  Not that I'm any sort of expert.  I am, after all, the mommy of only one.  Actually, Kingdom Mama should probably be writing this post, since she is really the one who taught me how.  She and I both transition from one nap/wake/eat schedule to another in a single day.  I think cold-turkey is much easier than a drawn out week-long process.  And usually, it only takes a day or two for Danny to adjust.  Here are a couple other things I do that I've found helpful:

I try to make "transition day" (that is the day that we move him to a new schedule) on a day when I don't have much else important planned.  I don't schedule appointments or have friends over, because if things go awry, like they did yesterday, it pretty much sabotages those things.  I also prepare myself for a day when I get little work done. 

Secondly, I try to get us out of the house for part or most of that day.  Being out and about provides just enough distraction and adrenaline for my little tyke to help him forget that he's tired and past his naptime.  On the other hand, I avoid car rides that are longer than ten minutes, otherwise he'll end up sleeping in the car and I want him to sleep in his bed.  So we do things like walk to the park, play in the front yard, take baths, play in water outside (if it's warm) or make a short grocery shopping trip. 

It helps when I have hearty deliciousmeals planned for him that day.  The last thing I need is additional fatigue because he didn't eat the meal that he didn't care for. 

When nap-time does come, if he bucks it and cries or yells, I employ the ten-minute rule.  He goes down and if he cries, I let him for ten minutes.  NO less.  It's REALLY HARD sometimes.  Like yesterday.  And the younger he was, the harder it was.  After ten to fifteen minutes (use your mommy-judgment) I go in, pick him up, wipe off his tear-streaked face, change his diaper (if only for the routine of it), shush him, hug him, kiss him, offer him a little drink (if his throat is sore from hollering) and put him back down.  If after three or four times he still hasn't settled in, I give him and rock him to sleep or let him get up, depending on what time it is and what the schedule calls for.  I don't win every time, of course.  But persistence usually pays off in the long run.  The key is to stick to it.  Danny needs to know that nap time is nap time whether he thinks he needs it or not.  The reason I don't push it longer than 3 or 4 ten-minute tries is because usually Danny is really worked up by then and it's no longer productive to try again. 

Kingdom Mama also suggested praise music.  In those moments when he's hollering and it's all you can do it pull your hair out, praise music always soothes me!  Yesterday I forgot the praise music, but called  her instead.  :)  She was so gracious as I vented on the phone about to lose my mind! 

Lastly, I remind myself that in the long run, it will pay off.  Danny will be a happy well-adjusted kid with healthy sleep-patterns.  He and I will both know what to expect each day.  Crying never killed anyone and this is one of the tougher parts of parenting (at least at this age). 

So there you have it.  That's how I do transition days

September 21, 2010

Round 2


One point Danny. One point Mom.

Danilo's in his bed. Asleep! (I was able to get him out of the carrier down to bed without waking him.)

Round 1

One point for Danilo. Zero points for Mom.

He cried and played in his crib for an hour and a half. He pulled up on the side of his crib, but since he couldn't figure out how to sit back down - despite the fact that I was sure he'd eventually figure it out - he stood there until his little arms and legs were so tired he practically collapsed when I picked him up. Um, can we say hard-headed? I wonder who he gets THAT from!

Then, since he was having no part in being put down to play, I grabbed my Ergo carrier and walked him for about 2.5 seconds till he fell asleep. So here we sit. Him asleep on my chest. Me blogging and reading on my phone and wondering what on earth I'm going to do differently tomorrow.

Lord, help me!?

Renee

I Love My Ergo Baby Carrier!

On "transission day" right when Danny is at his fussiest and won't be put down, I can still work in my office while he hangs out in back! This thing is the best thing EVER!

Renee

P.S. Since it's not often in pictures, I just have to brag... Alejandro made the wall fountain behind me from scratch!

Papa's Gone For A Few Days

So today was day 1 of being a single mom for three days.  Alejandro is away on a job a couple hours from our home and it's just easier for him to stay there, than to drive back and forth three or four days.  And serious?  I just don't know how you single moms and military wives do it.  It was midnight before I had the laundry done, the kitchen clean, the cloth diapers in the dryer, the dog fed, tomorrow's lunch and dinner made (because I'm certainly not going to have time to make it tomorrow) and myself in my pajamas.  I decided I needed to make tomorrow's meals tonight because of how today went. 

Today, Danny decided (for the 5th time in a week) to scream through his afternoon nap, because he's pretty much over the second nap in a day.  Which makes me very sad.  And which makes it very difficult for me to get any of the things done I usually do in the afternoon.  One of them is dinner, so today, instead of packing spaghettti for him and I to take on the road (tonight was my Mary Kay training meeting, so Danny went to a friend's to play while I went to the meeting) we stopped by Walgreens for a few things.  I had microwave ravioli.  Danny had microwave toddler food.  It was carrots and mashed potato something or other.  He wasn't a huge fan.  I wasn't really either.  Therefore, I'm cooking at midnight to make sure we eat no more microwave food. 

So I'm also learning to GREATLY appreciate all that my husband does around here.  WOW!  He is an enormous help and is very involved.  Danny definitely will be missing him by the time he gets back.  Ok, actually, he already does. 

Things are going pretty well for both of us in our businesses.  Alejandro has plenty of work for this month and I am so very blessed by the women crossing my path, trying my product and spending time with me.  Thank you for all of your prayers for us!  Please do keep them coming!  But we praise Jesus every day for how greatly He has blessed us.  I am SO TRULY THANKFUL for Alejandro's lay-off. I never thought I'd say that, but it seems as though we've "broken through" in a whole new way on several different levels.  I've mentioned before a new level of comaraderie.  I may have also mentioned a new understanding we have of one another.  There are some pretty unique challenges one goes through in establishing and maintaining self-employment that are hard to explain if you've never done it.  There is a "mental game" that goes on that takes time to master.  Ok, well it took ME time to master.  Alejandro seems to have figured it out instantaneously.  I feel like I'm rambling about the whole thing, so I'll stop for now, until I have my thoughts more organized and can articulate them better. 

I'm quickly veering from the theme of this post, but I wanted to fill you in on our camping trip...  We had a great time!  Our little family of three thoroughly enjoyed three days of being dirty.  You should have seen how filthy Danny got.  Yeah, we let him crawl around and play in the dirt and gave him regular baby-wipe baths.  We discovered that he likes to eat rocks.  Oh well, there are worse things, right?  He could like eating dirt.  Little Caleb (Matt and Melissa's 9 month old) decided to have a taste.  He didn't like it one bit.  Actually, he was a little unsure about the whole camping experience in general, but we are so glad Matt and Melissa decided to give it a try and venture out.  They had a rough night, but all in all, I'd say they fared pretty well.  Well, at least that's my take on it.  You'll have to stop on over to see what she says.

Ok well, it's 1:20 a.m. and this may well be one of the worst posts I've written but I better stop now and get some sleep for tomorrow's big day.  Danny is officially transitioning his schedule to only an afternoon nap.  Please say a prayer for me us. 


September 18, 2010

How We're Doin'

We have cell service so I just had to share this picture with you. It's not great photography but Danny is snoozin' late this morning. Isn't that just too cute?! I mean HIM, not the fact that he's sleeping late, although that IS fabulous.

Last night we tried out our new-to-us zero degree mummy bags. We stole - I mean we were given the bags from my parents who had them from their backpacking days before I was born. Their age hasn't affected them at all, because man were we toasty last night! Which means I'm a happy girl because if there's one thing that's not my favorite, it's being cold.

After striking out on the first two campgrounds we tried last night (they were full) we drove an extra hour to another campground where we searched for a campsite and put up our tent at 10pm. That wasn't really super fun. But no matter. We are resilliant, we are camping, there were roasted hot dogs last night and there is bacon to be made this morning!

Usually we aren't campground type campers. Actually we have a favorite spot (*our* camping spot) that we have to off-road to (which is half of the reason we like it) that we had our hearts set on this weekend. Our plan was foiled when the weather went dry and fire-restrictions outside of campgrounds went up. But like I said, we're resillient.

And we're EXCITED because our friends and their little one will be joining us this morning! You all know them from over at www.aheavenlyjourney.net. Matt and Melissa and little Caleb have yet to embark on a tent-camping adventure since they became three and we can't wait get them out here! I will, of course, let you all know how we all do. :)

Well Danny is stirring and bacon and the bathroom - I mean a bush - are calling my name.

And since this is a bloggy type of camping trip, let me all know what you're doing this weekend! Comment away!

Renee

September 17, 2010

Stream Of Consciousness

About all I'm conscious of right now is getting to our camp site tonight.

Yes, I'm feverishly typing on my phone to tell you all we're camping this weekend.

And I got my contacts in today! Yay! I'm so glad I don't have to camp in glasses this weekend.

So with that, I'll sign off, while I still have signal to do so. And (unless we have cell service in the middle of nowhere) I'll be back on Sunday with lots of pictures that I'll be cropping on my netbook at our camp site. (Yep I'm an addict and totally looking forward to leisure time to feed my addiction.)

Have a great weekend!

Renee

September 16, 2010

September 15, 2010

Shameless Advertising

Yep, that's right. I'm advertising about my business. On my blog. But it's um... My blog. So, you know.

Anyway, I'm EXCITED!

It's been WAY too long since I've had a sale in my Mary Kay business and we just celebrated the company's 48th anniversary so it's perfect timing!

So tonight through midnight CST you get
15% off orders of $40 or more!
How's that for great?!

(Ok I'll tone it down with the exclamation points.)

You can call me... 719-352-1052 (Oh boy I just posted my phone number on the internet. Oh well it was already there anyway.)

Or you can email me. reneeporras@marykay.com

Or you can order online: www.marykay.com/reneeporras

Happy shopping and you're welcome!



P.S.  And I'll be back later with your regularly not-at-all-scheduled picture posts of the cutest 14-month-old in the world!

September 13, 2010

9/11

This weekend at our house, a flag was flying high.  You see, I think it's important to remember. 

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But lest I be misunderstood, let me clarify.  I don't think that what they did...

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...is really what we should be remembering.  That part is significant.  But I don't think it's really what we should be fixing our minds on.  Please hear my heart on this.  In no way do I mean to minimize the loss experienced by many on September 11, 2001.  However, we are told clearly...

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

What I think we should really be working on remembering are things like this.

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I think we ought to remember the redemption that came from that day. 
The miraculous rescues that happened.

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The sacrifice of those who gave to the end of themselves.

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And those who gave even beyond that.

life lost 510

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We ought to fix our minds on families restored.

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...On the way God showed Himself through the events of the aftermath of the attack.

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And the way the people of this country came together in unity as never before.

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That is why our flag flew high this weekend. 

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To remember...

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...what He has done.



***With the exception of the photos with the flag flying in front of my house, none of these photos are mine, but rather, I found them on the internet.  I was only able to find the site for the photo by Kimberly Petty Photography .

September 11, 2010

Will He Be...

**Oops!  Now the video should be working.  :)

...a doctor, a lawyer, a candlestick-maker?

Possibly, but if things continue the way they're going these days, I'm thinking a mountain climber, a soccer player, and... 


...a mechanic may be in his future! 


Danny has developed quite the fascination with his daddy's tools. 


Are we a teensy bit surprised?


Um....  NO.


His attention span is somewhere around 2.31 seconds right now. 


But when he's playing with Daddy's tools...  he'll last for a solid hour and a half.


And as long as he's not taking apart any of his limbs or any of the household appliances, I'm sort of inclined to let him. 


Because he's wearing me out.

Check out this video of him and Daddy working on dismantling a remote control car. My favorite part is when Danny won't share his Daddy's screwdriver with him. 



____________________Español____________________

¿Qué Será?

¿Doctor? ¿Abogado? ¿Bombero?

Posiblemente, pero si continuan las actividades como han sido en estos días, pienso que tal vez será futbolista, escalador de montañas y ...  



...mecánico! 


Danilo está fascinado con las herramientas de su Papá. 


¿Me sorprende a lo mínimo?


NO.


Danilo puede enfocar en una sola cosa por alrededor de 2.31 segundos. 


Pero cuando está jugando con las herramientas de Papá...  puede jugar por hora y media fácil. 

Y mientras no se esté lastimando, ni desarmando ninguno de los electrodomésticos..  bueno, estoy inclindada a dejarlo jugar. 


Porque en estos días, él me deja agotada al final del día.

Vea este video de Danilo y su Papá trabajando en desarmando un carro a control remoto.  Mi parte favorita es cuando Danilo no quiere compartir el destornillador. 


At The Park

On this crisp Autumn morning, we're at the park. Danny has decided to become a soccer player I think. He kicked the ball in front of him for a solid 20 minutes. Alejandro and I are thrilled. :)

Renee