Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Friend Julie

I have a beautiful friend named Julie who is expecting twins in April.  She does not know the sex of the twins, but she and her husband Brian are so happy to meet their first born babies!  Julie is 32 weeks pregnant, and she often sends me photos of her and her growing, awesome belly.  Salvatore wanted to see the pictures and I told him that he was looking at his auntie Julie.  As I scrolled down the photo so we could see her belly, he gasped...not because of the size or anything (she looks fantastic), but what he asked me was hilarious.  He asked, "She has a Valentina, too?" Jules, can't wait to see you soon!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

His Tender Heart

After watching the winter Olympics early this evening, NBC did a segment on how many Canadian communities were so helpful to the U.S. during the tragedy of Sept. 11th.  It was very touching.  Salvatore watched intently and squealed with delight every time he saw an airplane from the show.  When he first saw the footage of the planes crashing to the towers, he would shout to me that the planes were crashing!  Then they showed the footage of the people crying and running for safety, and he watched with silent tongue.  As they continued to show all of the people and their sadness, he started to shout at the television.  He was saying, "It's O.K., will be O.K....please don't cry!"  He kept repeating it when he saw these images, and I just sat teary-eyed, thinking of how he doesn't understand Sept. 11th, but he understands when people are sad and hurting.  And he seemed to have some idea of what to do or say about it...our little guy with a great, big heart!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sisters and Brothers

Salvatore likes to give kisses to Valentina, but he was so distracted by himself in this photo.
David and his sister Aura.
Me on the left and Brian on the right.  I can totally see Salvatore's face in my face here.


When I got home from school today, I gave Benedict his usual doggie treat.  He gets it in the kitchen and runs with it into the living room, where he gobbles it up in a few bites.  He must have been careless, because he evidently left a piece on the carpet.  As David and I were in the kitchen, Salvatore walks in chewing something.  Before we could ask what he was eating, he told us.  He proudly and honestly told us that he was eating a piece of Benedict's cookie treat off of the carpet. Salvatore has NEVER been even remotely interested in Benedict's food, water or treats before, so we were pretty shocked that he did this.  It was funny that he was so honest about it! 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Throwback Thursday-Benny Excitement

Benedict was Salvatore's first and favorite playmate, and the adoration they had for each other was mutual.  Salvatore was 8 1/2 months old here and he followed Benedict anywhere he went in the house.  If Sal was cranky, a couple kisses from Benny would calm and distract him from his misery and off Sal would go to chase him around.  I love looking back and remembering how little Salvatore was and how he was learning so much so quickly.  Sorry that this video was recorded sideways.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


How cute does he look in this bandana/hat combination?  He loves to wear this hat because he looks just like his daddy.  We were sitting outside enjoying our first ice cream treat from the ice cream truck when I took these.  Now he knows the truth about the ice cream truck-we always told him before that it just played nice music for the neighborhood and he would press his face to the front window as it drove by and would try to sing along to the songs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Gentlemen...Start Your Engines

This is for his Sita in Florida.  Yes, he likes Nascar!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Today is my favorite holiday. The one that brings the joy of Christmas and the miracle of Easter together and shows you how important it is to understand how Jesus lived and how we can do the same.  When Dad would take us to church for ashes when we were kids, I would get a special feeling inside when I saw everyone else with the ashes.  We all looked exactly the same.  Not just united by faith, but by something you could physically see this time.  It still fills my heart in a way that I can not explain.  I made special plans with my close friends and family tonight to celebrate.  Dad, Brian, Rebecca, Salvatore, Suzanne, Paul, Sean, Paige, Sara and I sat down together for a meal and then went to Our Lady of Guadalupe (where we baptized Sara), to receive our ashes.  David had to work, but he got his ashes on the way home.  We had a lovely meal and nothing makes me happier than hosting and cooking for people in our home.  In church, we all received our ashes and knelt down to say our prayers.  With no prompting, Salvatore made the sign of the cross and started to recite the Our Father in Spanish.  Another wonderful memory of a beautiful holiday and tradition.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two Weeks

My friend, Michelle, and I came up with an easy answer for almost 95% of all motherhood questions and queries.  We call it "two weeks" because WITHIN  two weeks of a challenge or decision, you will either:  solve it, get over it, or give up.  Usually, the first one happens and all is well in the mommy universe until the next big question or situation comes up.  And when it does, simply try it and give it your best for two weeks.  You will usually have your clear answer by then. Here is our latest victory, which took exactly one week, we got him off of the bottle.
Salvatore would drink his milk and water from all different kinds of cups throughout the day, but he only wanted a bottle of milk in the morning and at night.  We knew that part of this battle would be to get him away from drinking anything in his bed.  So, last Monday, I took his bottles away cold turkey. That is how I have learned to get over anything in my life-cold turkey-so I wanted him to learn the same.  Here was our week:

Monday morning: 
When he asked for morning bottle, I brought him milk in his regular cup. He freaked out and cried for maybe 20 minutes.  We ignored him.  He did not drink any milk that day.  At night, he cried himself to sleep asking for a bottle. I again brought him milk in a cup that he swatted away.

He asked for morning bottle and I brought him milk in regular cup.  He freaked again and David said he did not drink any milk for him either.  My dad said the same.  He then asked for a bottle while riding in the car and did not get it.  He was grumpy and cranky all day and night.  I started to doubt myself. 

Same morning as previously stated. Did not drink any milk at all for David or Dad.  At night, I secretly threw away all nipples and showed him his empty bottles.    I poured his milk into the bottle with no nipple or top and he gulped almost 16 ounces straight from the bottle as if it was a cup.  Still cranky at night when he asked for a bottle and I brought him the bottle with no top or nipple.  He acted like he had never seen this before and freaked out.  Did not sleep well either.

Did not ask David or Dad for bottle, but would not drink any milk from any cup.  He also refused to drink it for me from the bottle as a cup.  I cried from frustration and almost gave up.  Luz gave me good advice: she said to put something gross or yucky in the bottle that he can see so he won't want to drink it from the bottle anymore.  I tried it when I got home, put a dead bee that I found outside in his milk in the bottle and he freaked out.  It did not work for Sal because it did not turn him off from the bottle, it turned him off from milk.  I started freaking out at the loss of calories, fat and calcium he was getting from all of his milk drinking before.  

Did not ask for milk or bottle.  Only drank water and had to have a diaper change only twice instead of the usual 4-6 times daily.  No poop.

He drank milk for me from MY cup, which I had to hold for him because it was a glass.  I cried again, thinking, "this is SO NOT THE POINT"!!!  And then, I remembered, TWO WEEKS.  He was less cranky finally and was well behaved for his cousins when they took him out to MotorCross.  He drank milk from his cup at the table and slept very well.

He drank milk from his cup at the table with his breakfast.  Did not ask for bottle at all.  He drank milk at the restaurant.  He drank milk for dinner.  No whining or crying.  He was well-behaved.  He slept well.  He is also using less diapers now and is staying MUCH DRIER at night than before, since his last liquid is at least 2 hours before he sleeps.  

Today, Monday:
Same as yesterday, drank milk for breakfast from his cup.  Drank milk and water from his different cups.  Happy, happy kiddo!  I cried in the shower for joy!  My son is resilient and smart.  He can do things "cold turkey" like his momma.  He only needed my faith and support for about TWO WEEKS.  

I will remember this when we potty train him in the future.  I hope the teen years are this flexible and easy!


Valentine's Day used to be all about romance to me, but now it is all about LOVE!  The kind of love that doesn't need romance anymore, because it secretly always is.  The kind of love that you shower on your kids because what they love is now what you love.  The kind of love that you cherish with your parents because you still need them now as you did before. 

Valentine's Day 2010:
David, Dad, Salvatore and I went to Long Beach to see the train convention.  They bought lots of presents for him and we all enjoyed the time together.  Next, we had fun at GameWorks and then a nice lunch at Islands.  It was such a beautiful, sunny day.  We came home, took a long nap, then David had to work.  While we missed him, Salvatore and I only read books, colored, and had dinner together, no TV.  It was wonderful to love all of the things that he loves.  David returned and we all (Benedict also) piled in the car and went to our favorite donut shop and ate donuts and drank hot cocoa.  It was LOVEly!!!  No wonder we will proudly name our daughter Valentina!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Our First Date

My school PTA had their annual "Mother-Son Dance" tonight and Salvatore took me.
We met and sat with Sara and Jack and had a great time.  We took photos, ate, talked, laughed, hugged students and moms, and danced. 

 I got to quietly observe those students who are so loud and squirmy in class, take their moms by the hands and dance with them, eat dinner with them, and pose nicely for pictures with them.  I saw a whole different side of these kids and their families and I was very proud to know them all and to share a part of it with my own son.  While it is never easy to get up and leave him everyday to go to work, I am proud of the hard work that I am able to do and of the love and care that I am trusted to share with these kids.  Salvatore will one day soon get to have the same experiences and I pray that he has great teachers who get up and do the right thing for him day after day also.  The highlight of my evening was watching him dance and watching all of the other people watch him!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Spanglish Soccer Talk

Currently, Salvatore speaks more Spanish than English.  It is very exciting and I am learning new words and more correct phrases right along with him.  Most of the time, he speaks clearly in either language and is easy for most to understand.  Sometimes, though, his Spanglish doesn't make much sense to any of us, and we just laugh.  He is speaking mostly in Spanish here, with the exception of "Here you go."  I try to translate, but mostly it is entertaining to hear him so excited over his little soccer bobble head dolls.  He loves to sit on his top bunk (I can barely make it up there anymore) and play.  And I still make the hike up that skinny little ladder because I love to play with him.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yes, Jesus Loves Me

Salvatore has this little white bear that was a gift from his Sita.  You press its tummy and it sings a little song for you:

Yes, Jesus loves me, 
yes, Jesus loves me,
yes, Jesus loves me,
the Bible tells me so.
(it repeats this twice)

Salvatore thinks it goes like this:

Yes, Chicho love me,
yes, Chicho love me,
yes, Chicho love me,
the bing bong ya cabo.
(he repeats over and over, then kisses the bear)

He also likes to sing this song for Benedict and shows off for him by dancing around.  He gets quite upset if Benedict walks out of the room in mid-performance, which is most of the time.  

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Monster Trucks


Sara...My God-daughter...

had a very important day yesterday.  On her faithful walk with the Lord, she received her second holy sacrament-Reconciliation.  Some know it as Confession-same thing.  She made her first one yesterday and is now on the road to receiving her third holy sacrament-First Communion.  Sara has always had the kindest heart and spirit in her, much like her momma Suzanne.  I was so proud of her and felt teary and emotional to see her growing up so quickly and so well.  I was in the room the day she was born, and she was my first god child.  What an honor to be in her life!  

With her dad and lovely sister Paige.
Suzanne, Paige, Sara and I

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Most Beautiful Card...

came to me today from my son.  My dad takes him to a library class where they do a story time and craft.  Today's craft was a Valentine's card for mommy.  Lolo said that he was so excited to do it, he could barely sit through the story, knowing they could work on it next.  When my dad brought him to me at school, Salvatore came running with card in hand.  He excitedly pointed to everything and told me about how he made it and then tried to read what was written inside.  It is my most cherished gift and the best Valentine's Day present a mom could ask for!

Baby Booties

I shopped for the first time for Valentina yesterday.  Found her these.  Can't wait to wrap her little toes in them!

More Throwback Thursday-Bath Time

This kid loves the bubbles!

So proud as he plays sports in the tub.

Sitting up in his bath-about 8 months old.

Getting used to the camera in all of his personal business-4 1/2 months old.
After a week of careful spongebaths, his first real bath-about 2 weeks old.

Throwback Thursday Theme-Hats and Hoods

Salvatore was about 11 months old here and cracking up out loud all of the time!

Wearing a hat we got for Lolo for Father's Day. He was 8 months old.

Angels! He was about 6 months old.

His first Angels game, he was about 4 months old.

His first Christmas and Christmas Santa hood.  About 3 weeks old.