His grace is sufficient for me, for power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy 2nd Baptismal Day!!

It's true. We have always celebrated Baptismal Days in my family. I have loved this tradition in my family and I have been excited sharing this with my own children...and soon my own little Godson, Evan, who will be baptized in November!

For as long as I can remember (and to this day), my own Godparents have celebrated this special day with a special gift or dinner out (when I am in Colorado!). My parents call me each year on July 13th to wish me a happy Baptismal Day and I am forever thankful for their decision in having me brought up in this Faith! Why celebrate? Because it's a big deal...we celebrate the day we were welcomed into God's family, the Church; the day we were wiped clean of original sin - a beautiful thing!

So...we carry on the tradition. Greg and I buy our children a Veggie Tales CD or DVD or book to celebrate their special day with another uplifting way to build their faith and to help them learn the love of God! So, I thought to myself...why not do a blog update on Greg's spiritual life as we celebrate his special day today!

*Greg attends Mass with us each Sunday. He spends the Liturgy of the Word in the nursery, and we go down and get him before Communion to have him walk down and receive his blessing with us!
*On the way to Communion, he always looks at Jesus on the cross and blows him a kiss...melt my heart!
*Greg loves to pray before meals...in fact we say grace at least 3 times each night at dinner.
*He says AMEN when we end our prayers. On retreat last weekend, Nancy was praying and Greg shouted Amen several times...it was awesome...and I was proud! :-)
*He thinks all water is Holy Water. He takes it and puts in on his chest (his way of making the sign of the cross) and says Amen! :-)
*Greg knows every picture and cross with Jesus in our house! He call him "GEE". He also knows that Mary is Jesus' Mommy. He call her "Ma!"
*Greg says evening prayers with Mommy and Daddy and Maria...but most times, our bed time prayer is after dinner, before Greg goes to work! Even our evening prayer is traditional. It is the same prayer my Godmother (GAR) used with her kids. I remember praying with them each night I was in Colorado as they grew up. When I pray this prayer with my own children I cannot help but see Eryn and Mark as little 4 and 5 year olds in my head. It goes like this:

Dear Jesus. Thank you for my wonderful life. Keep us safe and healthy, always. Help Daddy at work. Keep Uncle Jonathan safe. Help us get a good night's sleep. We love you, Jesus. Night, Night, Jesus. Amen.

Happy Baptismal Day, little man! We love you. We are proud of you.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


I forgot to include Maria's doctor's appointment information on her 9 month post!!
*Maria weighs 20 pounds, 4 ounces (74th percentile!) and only 8 pounds less than Greg! HAHA!
*She is 28 3/8 inches long! (72nd percentile!)
*She got two shots, but only cried for a little bit after them!
*The doctor said she looked GREAT!
*She is developing in all areas right on track...and in some instances, ahead of the game!
We have ourselves one healthy girl! :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Watch Me Grow...9 months!

Maria turned 9 months on October 6! As usual, I am slightly late getting around to blogging about it. Story of my life...
It was not easy getting her picture this time around!
I think her thighs are slimming out. Do you see it? :-)

So what is Miss Maria up to these days?
*Maria wears 6-9 month clothes and 9 month clothes.
*Maria is in size 3 diapers.
*Maria still naps three times a day. :-) Her morning nap is about an hour. Her afternoon nap is around 1 1/2-2 hours. Her late afternoon nap is usually about 45 minutes! She sleeps from 7:45 pm- 7:30/8am!
*Maria likes to be laid down in her crib to nap or sleep. She does not want to be held...she rarely cries when we lay her down! So OPPOSITE of big brother!
*Maria eats a lot and loves meal time! She has oatmeal and fruit in the morning. She eats one stage 2 veggie and one stage 2 fruit for lunch. She has an 8 ounce bottle around 2! She eats two stage 2 foods for dinner. She has an 8 ounce bottle with oatmeal in it right before bed time!
*We have been introducing table food to our sweet girl, too! She loves mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. She also likes cheeze its and vanilla wafers...these are broken up into tiny pieces! :-)
Snoozing with Grammy! This is very rare for her to fall asleep on someone...only when extreme exhaustion sets in does this happen!
*Maria has her two bottom teeth, and more coming in!
*Maria loves having her teeth and gums brushed!
*She crawls VERY well. She is very coordinated when she crawls, and very fast!
*She stands on her own for a few seconds!
*She walks around furniture or holding my hands very well and without any problems. She will probably be walking any day!
*She waves bye bye and hi on cue (most of the time!) or when someone says the words to her!
*Maria loves bath time. She does get frustrated when Greg is in her space in the tub!
*Maria lets us know that she is not okay with Greg taking things from her and picking on her!
*She plays pretty well on her own in the playroom!
*She loves getting into the Tupperware!
*Maria likes to play with Greg's cars! She loves to read books, too!
*Her favorite toy is probably her Violet dog that she falls asleep with!
Kevin put her in the offertory at Church!
*Maria is very social in public. She loves the attention she gets from others and always makes sure to let people know the attention is welcome with lots of smiles!
*Maria is a Mommy's girl!
*Maria travels very well in the car! Praise God for two awesome travelers!
*She loves when Greg plays peek a boo with her while she is in the high chair. Greg knows how to make Maria laugh better than anyone else!
*Maria has a snorty kind of laugh.
*Maria can climb up the stairs like a champ.
*When there is just one step to go down, Maria knows to turn herself around and climb down and does it without falling.
Sweet girl!
*Maria likes to climb on Greg's bed after bath time! Maria is not good at getting off of the bed!
*She talks and babbles all day long!
*She says MAMAMA and DADADA very well and to the correct parent!
*Maria understands object permanence now.
*She drinks very well from her sippy cup! She just has water in it after each meal.
*She bangs objects together and shakes others to make noise!
*Maria is getting better and better with her pincer grasp...not quite there though!
*She understands the word no! She does not always listen to it...she kind of just grins at you. She still requires a physical redirection most of the time!
*Maria has some stranger anxiety. Nothing consistent. She usually lets others hold her, but usually not for long. Then she wants someone familiar to take her back.
*She would rather be down and crawling around then held or contained somewhere!
*She is beginning to scream when things don't go her way.
*She does not like keeping bows and headbands on! She always takes hats off right away if we put one on her head!
Just hanging out!
Her smile makes every day perfect!
Out like a light.

It's hard to believe that it will be only three more months until this sweet angel is 1! Time is certainly flying, but raising her (and Greg) is the best ride I could be on!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Summer Travels: Heritage Square!

Heritage Square is another childhood favorite. The village contains lots of rides for kiddos, go-karts, shops, food...and the infamous Alpine Slide! Although the kids were not old enough to ride down the mountain with Mommy on the slide...Mommy had fun taking a break and racing her cousins down the slide and on the go-karts!

We rode the Merry-Go-Round with Grammy about one million times.
Maria on her first ride!
Eryn, Dillon, and Mark! I love how happy Dillon is in this picture!
Mark being mean, and not letting me in front!
Greg's first roller coaster!
Great Grandma and Great Pap! I love this picture of them with the kids!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Summer Travels: Casa Bonita!

Okay...so, it is totally mid-October...but I just downloaded the pictures from my mom's camera from our summer travels!

Casa Bonita is a part of my brother and I's childhood. It encompasses all that is good. :-) This blog post cannot do this place justice, as it is a must visit to understand. Going back to this childhood place brought back many memories and made me realize that this place is not as big as I remember. This Mexican restaurant in Denver allows you to eat dinner in front of entertainment (which was a lot more cheezy as an adult...but little Greg loved it as much as I did when I was little, and that was all that mattered). There are skits and waterfall divers that go on as you are eating your meal, an arcade, puppet show, scary cave walk, treasure chest, and gift shop. This place is also the home of the best sopapillas in the world! Casa Bonita will forever hold a special place in my heart and I look forward to many more visits with my own kids!

I didn't get very many pictures with my mom's camera, and the ones from my phone came out too dark! :-( Here's what I did get though!! Accompanied on our trip was Grammy, Great Grandma Shirley, Great Papa, Great Pap, Great Grandma Judy, GAR, Ed, Eryn, Mark, Dillon, Great Aunt Shelly (GAS!), and Great Uncle Porter!

Papa, Grandma, me, and Maria!
Papa bought Greg and Maria glow in the dark, light up toys!! We still play with them and LOVE the way they light up and spin!
Coming out of the cave walk! He got only a little scared!
The Great-Grandmas and Maria hanging out!
The boys watching bags!
Shelly and Maria!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Greg is 2!

This sweet boy is 2! I seriously cannot believe it! Time is simply flying by, and I know I will be sending him off to college before I know it...okay, I'm being dramatic! He is growing so fast and doing so much these days. I'll try and document as much as I can remember! HA!

Warning: This post is long and has an obscene amount of pictures! (All pics are from his birthday party at Monkey Joe's!)

(Heather and Greg checking out the cool cars!)
*Greg weighs 28 pounds 4 ounces (53rd percentile)
*He is 35 1/2 inches tall (79th percentile)
*Greg had a great two year check up! He is one healthy boy and progressing just as he should developmentally!
*He only had one shot, and took it like a champ!
*I was so impressed how well he did with the doctor, especially since we were in the ER just days before!
*Greg wears size 4 diapers. We will give potty training another shot in December!
*Greg wears size 24 months in clothes, which is not the same as 2T...go figure! He can wear 2T shirts, but the pants are way to big on his tiny little waist!
*Greg likes to help dress himself by putting shirt on...although this turns into a game of on and off!
*Greg wears a size 7 shoe...but will probably be in an 8 soon!
*Greg loves to wear his hat and sunglasses!
(Mommy and Maria at the party!)
*Greg eats inconsistently. Some days are great, others not so much! Some meals he eats a ton, others he barely touches what is on his plate! The doctor said it was normal toddler behavior to do that...so no worries here!
*Some of his favorite foods: sausage, hot dogs, pork, french fries, ALL fruit, cucumbers, tomatoes, waffles with syrup and lots of butter, mac and cheese, pepperoni, cheese, any kind of bread, green beans, and anything sweet! :-)
*Greg drinks water, with a smidge of juice in it. He gets some watered down sweet tea, sprite, root beer, or kool aid on rare occasions.
(Our great friend, ZOE!!!!)
*Greg naps once a day for an hour and half...but on occasion will give me 2 hours!
*Greg falls asleep at night between 8 and 8:30, and is asleep until 7:40/8 each morning!
*He is starting to fight getting his teeth brushed.
*He has his two year old molars coming in.
*He procrastinates at bed time, telling me that he has pooped and I need to check him, or giving lots of hugs and kisses to prolong laying down.
*I still rock him for nap time.
*For nighttime, he gets held for some quiet rocking, but has been requesting to go to his bed. I lay him down, and he is usually out in under 10 minutes!
*Greg loves bath time! He loves splashing and playing. He is also discovering his boy parts more...lovely.
*Greg plays well by himself. He prefers to have Maria with him in the playroom to hang out with.
*He is getting better with sharing with Maria...this is a day to day thing...at times he is great, and other times, not so much!
*His favorite toys: his new train table (train from Mommy and Daddy and table from Grammy and Papa), cars (especially the one Jack got him), anything outside, balls, his Elmo, his truck book, tools. He really plays with everything!
(Following Monkey Joe around!)
*Greg sits still in the morning when he first wakes up to watch about 15 minutes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. He then watches Elmo's World on Sesame Street (about 20 minutes). He really is not interested in the TV or sitting still to watch it! He does like having it (or the radio) on in the background!
*Greg loves to dance to music. Greg likes to play his guitar and other musical instruments. He is loving his Kindermusik class that we go to once a week!
*He likes to draw with crayons and play with the play-doh!
*He LOVES to be outside! Praise God for his play gym in the backyard!
(Fun times on the slide!)
(Zach was right behind him!)
*Greg LOVES the phone! He loves to talk to people on ours. He loves to hold it...this no longer happens since he knows how to unlock it! He pretends lots of things are phones and he talks into them all the time!
*Greg likes to clap and dance to music in the car.
*He travels very well in the car and plane.
*He has been to PA, CO, VA, and SC over the past year.
*He still uses a boopie for naptime and bedtime.
*He loves his blankies, but does not always bring one with him. He mainly just uses them for bedtime!
(Maria and her Godparents)
(Maria and Papa)
*Greg likes the nursery during Mass on Sundays and plays nicely with the other kids there!
*Greg plays pretty well with kids around his age. There are always issues with sharing, but he usually does not throw fits or cry about things when others are around.
*He loves to tell Maria night night. He gives her kisses and hugs when the mood strikes. He throws away her diapers and puts her bottles in the sink. He tries to share his food with her. I found an entire Cheeze-It in her mouth the other day when I walked in on them in the kitchen playing.
*Greg can climb on anything and get into anything if he sets his mind to it. He is craftynat creating things to stand on to get things off of the counters.
*Greg has excellent receptive language skills and understands all that we say to him. He has great reasoning skills and is beginning to understand the if-then concept. If you eat two more bites, then you can have dessert. Or if you play with the fireplace tools again, then you will go to time out.
*Greg has gotten much better with his speech over the last few weeks! He still talks in Greg talk when he gets excited or when he is playing by himself. He attempts most words we ask him to repeat. He has a great vocabulary with all the basic words. He drops the end of some words (Maria=Ma), and does not enunciate all of the letter in some (blue=boo). The special educator in me knows that this is completely normal and will come soon! :-) We encourage his language development and make him use his words to tell us his needs and wants. We don't give him what he wants if he points and makes noise. We ask him to say the word, or try and say it, before giving things to him. He has been doing great!
(Party Time)
*Greg can name and point to most of his body parts! The main ones anyways...
*Greg strings two words together to communicate things.
*He refers to himself as me and Greg.
*He loves to play peek a boo...especially in the car! He loves to go behind me and jump and grab my back and say boo!
*Understands the concept of later.
(He loved the basketball game!)
*He jumps very well.
*He runs, not walks!
*Greg names items in books as we read. He likes the texture books and can tell you which textures are bumpy and rough.
*Greg can open doors without a problem...and unlock them, too!
*He follows directions very well. I can even tell him more than one thing at a time and he can remember and do what is asked of him.
*he has no problems walking up and down the stairs. He even walks up like adults do...one foot on one step, and takes the next step with the other foot.
(Future basketball star!)
(Greg and his friend, Maddy!)
(Maddy and Greg jumping)
*Greg likes to throw and kick balls!
*He is a stubborn boy. He is very persistent and gets upset when toys do not work the way he wants them to.
*He frequents time out on the occasions of hurting Maria, or when he is doing something dangerous...climbing on counters, playing with the fireplace tools, etc. He also visits time out if we have asked him several times not to do something and he does it anyway.
*Greg pretends very well. He pretends to drink from things. He pretends to stir and cook things in my tupperware. He pretends to talk on the phone to people. He takes his tools and fixes his cars because they are "boke"
*He has gotten into the stage of telling us "no" more frequently. No fun.

Our sweet boy is growing up so fast. We have loved every moment of being his parents, and thank God each day for entrusting us with His precious children. It is so hard to believe how quickly time is flying. We love teaching him things and watching him explore his world. He is a curious little man on the move and we wouldn't want it any other way!

Twas the night before...

...Greg's 2nd birthday...and we were in the ER...again...for the 4th time in 9 months! Awesome.

Greg and Mommy hanging out.

So...Greg is allergic to peanuts. He was in the church nursery last Thursday evening, and the ladies watching him gave him a peanut butter cracker. (In their defense, we did not know Greg was allergic to peanuts when he first went to the nursery, so it was not noted on his form. I really didn't even think about telling them as I assumed that all nurseries, preschools, and daycares were peanut free places...lesson learned...NEVER assume!)

So, I go to pick up my sweet boy as Daddy had already left for work. I saw that he had a red rash around his mouth and thought he must have fallen on the carpet...and then he came walking up, and I saw it...the orange cracker. Crap. I immediately picked him up, and ran back to the room to see if any other of the mom's had benedryl on them. And one did. Praise God. I now carry benedryl with me. I gave him the meds and his hives faded pretty quickly. I was unsure whether or not to give him the epipen, so I talked with some other moms and because he was getting better with the benedryl decided he would probably be okay. He certainly was not getting worse.

My friend, Pete, helped me load Maria and Greg in the car. As we were chatting, Greg started coughing forcefully with lots of mucus. Great. I was hoping and praying the hives were the end of it, and I would not have to worry about respiratory craziness or him going into shock. I called the pediatrician and they said to give him the epipen and head to the ER. Great. Not only have I done CPR on the poor boy, but I now have to stab him with a giant shot. (Perhaps, God is calling be to be a nurse and not an educator!)

At this point, Pete, his parents who lead our Young Married Group, and the Haywards were gathered around. The Haywards prayed. Pat held down Greg. Jon held down me while I held onto Greg. And Pete administered the shot. Yep. True story...I chickened out. When the shot was given Greg kicked so hard the needle slid about 3/4 of an inch down his little leg, leaving a lovely open cut. Better to have a bleeding leg, than a not breathing baby, right? I am forever grateful to Pete for doing this for me! So off we went to the ER. As I got in the car, Pete looked at me like I was crazy and told me I wasn't allowed to drive. Good thing someone was thinking clearly. Pete and Pat hopped in the car, and Pat stayed with Maria while she slept in the car as we went in to the ER. (Maria always sleeps through the excitement) Jon also came with us, and stayed with Pat and Maria...and they prayed!

Upon arriving at the ER, they took us right away. After vitals, and the usual...(funny, I call it usual? It's true.)...the doctor came in and did several things. Number one, assured us that we did the right thing. Number two, told us Greg would need to be on steroids for 5 days. The nurse came in and rubbed numbing cream on Greg's leg so they could dermabond it together. The cut was not deep, but it did spread the skin a little too much! As we waited for the numbing cream to work its magic, Greg cried a lot. He was tired and his whole body was turning into one big hive. When the doctor came back to dermabond his cut, she took one look at his face, and immediately ordered another round of epinephrin. His face, back, groin, and tummy were red. You could not even see the individual hives, they all just blended together. His hives came back down pretty fast, and they sent us off with prescriptions for steroids, new epipens, and lots of stickers for the sweet patient.

And breathe...

Little Greg finished his rounds of steroids yesterday...PRAISE GOD! Apparently, steroids turn your child into some sort of crazy person who forgets how to act like a human toddler. He was non stop...even more than usual. It messed with his eating, sleeping, napping, the way he acted, the way he talked to me, how he treated Maria...EVERYTHING. It was crazy. He was BEYOND defiant. It made me feel so much better as I talked with Moms of all ages to hear that their children reacted the same way to these crazy drugs! They are finally out of his system, and my sweet baby has returned once more!

I am so thankful for all of the support of those who were with me that night. My Mom and Dad were out of town and Linda and Greg were hosting a Life Teen Mission Night at their house, and hubster was at work. The prayers of everyone and their support for me and my babies were felt and answered!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Who's your Mama??

Like any good Catholic family, we talk about Mary a lot! We love Mary...I mean hello? She mothered the Savior of the world! She's kind of big deal and she deserves a lot of respect and honor. We talk to little Greg a lot about Jesus, but he knows very well who Mary is, too! We hope to instill in him that she is someone he can rely on for intercession. Mary knows Jesus' his heart so well and can bring her Son our intentions and prayers. I am a firm believer Jesus is a Mama's boy and He still listens to her...remember that whole Wedding of Cana miracle? He was just following his Mom's directions! :-)

My in-laws bought me an Our Lady of Grace statue for my yard for my birthday this year. It just came in recently and we put it in our yard. Our Lady of Grace is my favorite face of Mary...hence, my daughter's name...Maria (Spanish for Mary) Grace! Greg LOVES our new addition to the backyard.

Why hello Mama Mary!! :-)
Deep in prayer and conversation with Mary!
AHH!! Melt my heart!! Before saying Bye Bye to Mary, he bent over to kiss her, and off he went to play!!