Monday, July 25, 2016

Oliver: 10 months

Today Oliver turns 10 months, which means we're so much closer to his 1st birthday and also nearing the end of the baby years in our family.. it is a sad and happy feeling at the same time so we're enjoying him as much as possible...
Oliver is SUCH a sweet baby.. I can't handle how cute he is sometimes and how affectionate he can be even at his young age. 
This month was HUGE for Oliver, especially in the sleep department (I can't believe I'm actually saying this!).. he FINALLY sleeps through (ish) the night! It was a long road but we finally made the decision to "sleep train". We were traveling for a month and the sleep situation kept getting worse and worse; he'd wake up every 45 minutes at night (sometimes waking up even 12 times per night!).. We were so exhausted and it came down to us even crying of desperation because we didn't know what to do..he just wouldn't settle. 
So on the night we came back from our month long trip, we decided to just let him cry to sleep, following some version of the CIO (Cry It Out) method. As controversial at it is, I will gladly admit the method worked for us and my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. He cried on and off for about 20 minutes the first night, less than 5 on the second night and not even a whimper on the following nights. It has now been 2+ weeks and he has been sleeping up to 7 hours at a time and going to bed without any issues.. I feel like a new woman and I'm glad we took the plunge! I hope he keeps sleeping the way he has and even longer stretches!
This month Oliver also visited the beach for the first time; he really enjoyed the sand and the warm water and it was so cute to see him crawl around without fears!
Oliver can now pull up to standing more firmly, he cruises around furniture, climbs stairs and is as mobile as he can be even though he's nowhere near walking, which I'm TOTALLY ok with! Ha ha!
He also babbles and talks up a storm even saying a good amount of words very clearly.  He follows simple commands, mimics sounds and movements, interactively plays with his sisters (or whoever!) and eats like a MANIAC! (with his two tiny teeth). We're still breastfeeding full time even though he eats all kinds of food in crazy amounts...this boy really loves food! :) He also mastered the skill of drinking with a straw and loves drinking water and juice boxes...
He enjoys music and starts shaking as soon as a song comes up; he laughs so much and his latest "thing" is grabbing his head when we say "oh no!"..it's so cute!
He currently weighs 23 lbs and is 30 inches long; wears size 12-18 clothes and is into noisy and rattly toys.. such a big boy!
Here are a few pictures of the newly 10 month old boy! ;)


Sunday, July 17, 2016

9!

Today is Olivia's 9th birthday! My little lady is at the last of the "single digits" and she couldn't be happier about it even if she tried! 
Olivia is SUCH a wonderful person and can light up a whole room with her beautiful smile; she truly is my best friend and is so much like me in so many things. The more she grows, the more affinity we find in each other and that makes me so happy. 
Olivia is so inquisitive and has some good antenas for ears...nothing gets by her.. really.. NOTHING! I really love that I can have mature conversations with her and get pretty good feedback about particular situations or scenarios; she really rocks!
Olivia is also incredibly friendly, sweet, very family oriented and such a joy to be around! I love the way she views life and how energetic and positive she is; I wish I could be more like her!
At age 9, Olivia is into art, Legos, music (her favorite artists are Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift), singing karaoke, going to the movies and all things iPad! 
Aside from it being Olivia's birthday, today is also the day I celebrate the anniversary of becoming a mother; which is by far one of the biggest and most fulfilling accomplishments of my life. My kids have taught me so much and I know this is only the beginning.  I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a mother to my two girls and cute little boy and every time they celebrate another birthday, I can't help but thank God for these amazing gifts that keep on giving!

Happy Birthday, Olivia! You're so awesome!


Here's a little collage of Olivia through the years! She has grown so much!!!


Saturday, July 16, 2016

7!

Today is Gaby's 7th birthday and she has grown into SUCH a great girl.
I came across my Facebook "memories" from today and they brought me back to this day 7 years ago when I was frantically broadcasting my labor and then happily announced the arrival of our second daughter, the one we also thought would be our LAST child (ha!). She was so tiny and cute and she resembled her older sister; some people went as far as saying they looked like "twins". 
But even as a baby, Gaby was SO unique; she displayed her very own and funky personality from the start and even though she has matured and evolved with the years, the core of her spunkiness hasn't changed much!
Gaby is our "toughest" child; she is stubborn and has more self awareness than
 any adult.  She is self reliant and incredibly independent in every aspect of her life. She isn't afraid to be herself and her genuineness is amazing... I really love the fact that she is her own person even at the young age of 7! 
In the past year she has developed a bit of a "middle child syndrome", which even though usually carries a negative connotation, it's actually a good thing.  According to research, middle children tend to be more cooperative and trusting in their friendships; they are more independent and outside-the-box thinkers. Research also supports the idea that middle children are true leaders and more empathetic towards others; all of these are qualities that Gaby definitely possesses and I am glad she's so mature that she has been able to use her environment to her advantage. 
At 7, Gaby is into Legos, Barbies, fashion accessories (especially cat ears!), Shopkins and cat print clothes and pajamas. She enjoys music and singing and loves spending time with her friends and family. Gaby also loves swimming, math, reading and eating sweets...she is funny, she is creative, she is inquisitive and most of all she is HAPPY!
I am so proud to be Gaby's mom and I can only hope she stays so sweet through the years!
Happy 7th Birthday, Gaby! We love you!!!


Here's a little collage of Gaby through the years! 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

This is 40!

A week ago my husband turned 40 years old! When I casually asked him "what has been your biggest accomplishment in life so far?", he quickly answered "marrying you!", to which I replied "no.. really! I'm serious!" and he said again without hesitation "I'm serious, YOU have been my biggest accomplishment"...he proceeded to elaborate and told me that everything that came after he met me has been part of the "happiest time of his life". I will admit to the fact that I never saw myself as someone's "accomplishment" so the concept he was trying to explain was a little hard to grasp. 
On another day, I asked him "what do people constantly thank you for?" and he replied "cleaning up!"; this was much less romantic and deep than our last conversation but his answer got me thinking... "do I thank him enough for everything he does for us?".. I felt weird and sad at the same time.. There he was, turning 40 and basically telling me that I'm the center of his world and all I thank him for is "cleaning up"?... While I'm sure he didn't mean to make me doubt myself as a wife and life partner, his answer really resonated and struck a chord so I decided to write this post, which will be part of this blog book that I will print one day...

My husband is a "workaholic" (or so I think!); he has a tendency to immerse himself in his job to the point of ignoring everything and everyone around him; if I had to name the one complaint I have about him, this would be IT! We bicker often because I feel like he works "too much" and his travel schedule is insane...
With that said, Iggy is also the most selfless and caring husband and father anyone can ask for.  He is loving, patient, gentle and incredibly helpful and we don't thank him enough for his dedication to our family (although we apparently DO thank him for cleaning up! LOL) . HE is the reason we are such a happy family, he provides for us, protects us, loves us and makes us proud every day and I can never thank God enough for putting this wonderful man in my path.
What this 40th birthday conversation taught me is that it's never enough to *think* something of someone because even if we spend all our waking hours together (and we really do!), Iggy is not a mind reader and I know showing him (and telling him) our thankfulness will come a long way. 
So, on the octave of your 40th birthday, I want to say THANK YOU Iggy for EVERYTHING you do and everything you are! You definitely do more than "cleaning up" and I see it and we feel it. 
We know you're here and our world is better because you're in it. Our kids are lucky to have you and I am blessed to call you my husband!
I hope you feel more appreciated by the time you hit 50..and thank you always for "cleaning up!"...you also are my BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT!

We love you, Iggy!


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Oliver: 9 months

Our little baby boy is turning 9 months today, which means we are officially entering the last quarter of his first year! wow!
Oliver is SUCH a fun baby and I absolutely love the age he's in right now; he's interactive, talkative, adventurous and very loving!
This month he mastered crawling (the right way!), feeding himself, pulling up to standing and he's VERY close to cruising around furniture; he can also drink from a sippy cup and is slowly getting the concept of drinking with a straw... go baby Oliver!
He is big and chubby and currently wears size 12-18 months; his legs are rolly and his cheeks are round and chunky.. have I mentioned how much I LOVE chubby babies!??! ;) Even though I don't know his exact height and weight, I know he's over 22lbs now; his next doctor's appointment isn't until mid-July. 
As far as sleeping goes.. well.. I wish I had better news :(.. Oliver STILL doesn't sleep through the night and wakes up every 2-3 hours. His nap schedule is also very crappy and we've officially named him the "cat napper" since he NEVER naps for longer than 20 minutes; I still wonder where he gets his energy from since it sure isn't from sleeping! :/
Oliver loves music and as soon as he hears any song, he starts shaking and puts his arms up. He also loves tickles and finds waving good-bye to be one of the funniest things people can do; it's so cute to see him laugh when people wave at him.  He loves playing with balls, stuffed animals, cell phones and remote controls. 
He eats SO MUCH and still breastfeeds like a champ...I swear he's addicted to my boobs and I'm already starting to wonder how I'm going to wean him off when the time comes even though there are no plans to wean YET!
Here are some pictures from his 9 months!


Oliver's first time in the pool! (06/16/16).. It was so much fun and I still can't believe I held off that long to put him in the water, especially living in South Florida.. he had a blast and couldn't stop splashing around! 


..and here he is during one of his rare naps.. he looks so peaceful and I wish he did this more often!


Happy 9 months Mr. Oliver! We love you and we are enjoying you so much! 

Friday, June 10, 2016

End of school year reflections...

As we wrap up another school year, I can say that I've never been happier to be DONE with school work for at least 10 weeks.  This school year was TOUGH in so many levels and I'm just glad we get to enjoy our summer without worrying about anything but having fun...
My girls grew so much this year and matured even more; they faced many challenges including becoming big sisters and sharing the spotlight with a new baby that has been more than demanding. I was incredibly tired for more than half the school year, the amount of work and tests was overwhelming at times, there were bullying issues at school, their dad's traveling schedule was insane and many more things made up for a hectic school year.  Through it all, both of them maintained the best attitude and excelled academically and in everything else they took on. 
This year was also very tough for me; I was an emotional roller coaster when Oliver was born and for a good amount of time I felt like I was neglecting my daughters by not dedicating my whole life to them like they're used to. I had many issues adjusting to them "growing up", coming out of their shell and "needing" me less, I guess...
I learned that my kids are fighters and the most optimistic little girls there are. I also learned that they are incredibly smart and have many academic strengths that I wasn't really familiar with. Olivia is a writer at heart and has the most beautiful handwriting I've seen and Gaby is a genius at math, sometimes even helping her sister with her homework; their skills really blew my mind this year!
I also noticed some wonderful traits in them such as creativity, ingenuity, generosity, compassion and a faith stronger than I could ever dream of.  I am so proud of them for finishing another school year on top of the world!
Congrats girls! I can't believe I have a 2nd and 4th grader! Enjoy your summer!!!


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Oliver: 8 months

Our baby boy is 8 months today! Oh my, how time flies! And I realize how much of a cliche this phrase is, but really... time is just passing by SO quickly!
Oliver is a VERY challenging baby, and I say this in the most loving way possible...this boy keeps me on my toes and is incredibly active, especially now that he is mobile...nothing can stop him!
He is "crawling" and even though his technique isn't perfect yet, he sure can get around by rotating on his own axis and scooting back and forth..it's quite funny to see him reach his desired destination when we place him on the rug or the floor. 
He laughs, coos, smiles and talks up a storm; by now he says 2 or 3 clear words (mama, dadda and mas), I could swear I've also heard the word "teta" (boob) a few times but as the other words I am sure they're all involuntary babble that results in known sounds..but a mom can only hope her baby is getting closer and closer to actual talking.. right?..either way it's funny and cute all the same...
Oliver LOVES food.. and I mean ALL KINDS of food.. he definitely makes it known when he wants a piece of whatever you're having and he will not rest until you put it in his mouth; he loves chicken, yogurt, avocado, rice rusks and basically anything he can nibble on...he is my best eater by far! This month he got his first two teeth (bottom ones), which are so stinking cute! 
And now, the thing I write every month that I pray I never have to write again.. he STILL does NOT sleep through the night and what's worse, he STILL nurses every TWO HOURS even at night! A lot of people don't believe me when I say that my 8 month old cannot sleep for longer than 2-3 hours at a time.. I seriously don't know how we've survived this long on so little sleep.. it's so exhausting and I really hope we're nearing the end of this ordeal...
The lack of sleep has been the biggest challenge so far with Oliver; I really thought by now we'd be turning a corner in this department but I'm losing hope.  Sleep deprivation is EVIL; I swear the most awful thoughts come to my mind when I'm on the 3rd night feeding at 3am or 4am, I wonder WHY God thought I could handle another baby, I wonder if my life will ever be "normal" again, I wonder if I'll ever have the energy to do something other than sleep when I have a little bit of free time, I wonder if I would be happier if Oliver didn't exist, I wonder if I'll ever be a good mother to my other two kids... I wonder a lot of things... and then I sleep on it.. or at least I try!
But even with his crappy sleep habits, constant need for attention, clinginess, unending hunger and loudness, I wouldn't change my baby for the world.  He is such a happy little boy that has brought so much joy to our lives; the way he plays with his sisters, the way he looks at me when I hold him, the way he smiles when he sees daddy.. it all just melts my heart... he's SO PERFECT!


I will also add that we are still fully breastfeeding and he loves it as much as ever! He nurses like a champ and just loves his mommy's milk.  I'm hoping to make it to at least a year of nursing exclusively and then play it by ear.  Breastfeeding has been one of the best experiences of my life and it has inspired me so much as a mother; I hope to blog about my breastfeeding journey in the coming months since I still can't believe I went from an anti-breastfeeding person to a full on boob advocate.. it's crazy to even think about it!


So.. Oliver.. I hope you start sleeping soon and I thank God every day for you!  Happy 8 months, little buddy! We LOVE YOU!!!!