Kiddie Date

IMG_4520 IMG_4521 IMG_4522

we had a kiddie date with our lovely gaby a few weeks back at chuck e cheeses. the place was empty, the kids had fun and the food was good! to be fair, i was starving, but i had never eaten there before and i was pleasantly surprised. but i digress…

now, while i can assure you that brandon was not neglected and that he had a ton of fun with some of his favorite people, i just had to post these pics of jonathan wrapping his arm around his gabrielle.

oh, these two sure do love each other! i almost can’t take it.

images taken on mu iphone.

A Fish Named Rocky

IMG_0330 IMG_0336 IMG_0345 IMG_0359

when i was pregnant with brandon, just around the time jonathan turned two, he became obsessed with sea animals. he asked to go to the aquarium every single day, watched sea episodes of all his favorite shows and splashed in the tub every single night with all his sea animals toys.

on a summer day that was pouring rain, we had just finished watching baby einstein’s neptune’s ocean dvd in spanish when he started saying “quiero ver pez!” over and over again. call it hormones, or just being a sucker for my kid, but i packed him up and headed straight to the pet store with the intention of getting him his first pet along with a small tank and some food. i didn’t tell nelson till after we were already home with our new fish!

now, i’ve had several beta fish in my life, but none that i got so attached to myself. this fighter even withstood brandon’s newborn phase when he was definitely neglected and overlooked.

here, in june of 2013, we decided to take some pictures of him with the boys with our new camera. we gave him some medicine changed his water and tried to commemorate him as we were sure rocky’s days were numbered. he was sick and according to our experience, we thought he was past the point of getting better.

of course he made an amazing comeback, we upgraded his tank to a larger one with a light and filter and grew even more attached to him. the little guy was older than brandon for pete’s sake!

it was with immense sorrow and a few tears that we said goodbye to our rocky on easter day this year. we found him in his favorite spot with no more life left in him. once we emptied the tank, brandon just thought it looked weird without him in it, but jonathan cried to have his fish back…

so here i am, posting the images i never had to use until now.

thank you for surviving with us for so long and for being jonathan and brandon’s first pet. hope fishy heaven is treating you well, rocky.

*images from june 2013

Nelson’s Birthday

IMG_0199 IMG_0175 IMG_0203 IMG_0216 IMG_0221 IMG_0233

the truth is my husband deserves the very best everyday and his birthday is no exception. in fact, his birthday should require all the fanfare the world could muster! now, while this is often not the case, i decided to take matters into my own hands and plan a big diner outing with his family. the birthday boy also requested to be home, cuddle his boys and take a nap for the actual big day, so i just made sure he got the best of both worlds, by planning his diner the night before.

we went to our favorite hibachi spot in city island, ohana. we had an incredible meal, the funnest entertainment and truly enjoyed each other’s company.

it was an amazing time celebrating the best man i’ve ever known. a night all about him. something he thoroughly deserves.

and the children L O V E D that place!

i know my man had a great time and we are so thankful the family came out to celebrate him!

First Sleepover

IMG_0084 IMG_0098IMG_0101IMG_0122 IMG_0129

it’s no secret our eldest nephew, damel, is with us as often as possible. he loves hanging with his tio and we adore him. he’s hilarious, amazing with the boys and as he gets older, is becoming an amazing friend, too.

our youngest nephew, sebastian, who is also our godson, was in our care practically daily for the first two years of his life. we couldn’t get enough of him and we were probably the most smitten aunt/godmother and uncle/godfather around.

now, while we love our nieces thoroughly, we’ve never taken them for a few hours, a night or much less a weekend, so we thought it was about time to change that. we planned it out and got them on a friday night with the intention on having them through sunday.

taking care of children, has never been a problem for me, but with my dance teaching days far behind me and my comfort in “knowing” mostly just how to handle boys, i started becoming a bit apprehensive. girls are sweet but they all tend to have their sass. i should know….

turns out these girls were so happy to have their turn at our house, listened to us without asking questions and doled out the best cuddles this aunt could ask for.

oh yea, the boys were happy, too.

obviously damel ended up coming, too and we even got a special visit from sebastian for pizza and a movie night. getting quality time with these kiddies made me a very happy lady. seeing them all have an amazing time together with my boys? well, that was pure bliss.

*big duh moment, when i realized i didn’t adjust the aperture on that last image -_-

Mother’s Day

IMG_4747 IMG_4753 IMG_4752

in all honesty, i thought this mother’s day wasn’t going to be very special. not for me at least. low and behold, my mother in law opted to celebrate on dominican’s mother’s day (two weeks later), my mother opted to celebrate a late lunch/early dinner and suddenly there was going to be time for me.

i was the laziest mother in all the world.

i slept in. got breakfast in bed. started a new show on netflix and was totally selfish.

i usually wake up with this innate need to coddle my babies and am filled with the biggest, most privileged feeling of having this role. its humbling and soul filling.

not this year. yes, i demanded that my babies come to me the moment i woke. yes, i showered them with kisses and hugged their guts out. BUT i just wanted a day of nothing. my husband delivered. he’s always wanted me to enjoy mother’s day, but i never felt it was a day for me. it was still a day just for our mothers….until this year when i decided to do nothing and reveled in being pampered. i got up to shower, got dressed and went to eat with my family. as if that wasn’t enough, when we back home, i went back to my room to lay back in bed, regardless of the messy state my house was in. it was glorious.

i hope however you spent your mothers day, it was exactly what you wanted.

*images taken with my iphone.

Jonathan at 4 Years 9 Months

IMG_3198 IMG_3199 IMG_3205

oh jonathan! my big, big boy! do you know that even though you’ve been at roughly the same height and weight for a little whiles now, your size still manages to surprise us?!?! i recently took out your old clothes that brandon is just starting to fit in to and realized that by the time you were his age, you had long gone outgrown that size already! i’m having a real hard time finding more pants for you and i’m also going to need to buy you some shorts, too now that summer is on the horizon.

you still have a tendency to overeat a bit. you still try to finish your brother’s plate of food if he hasn’t finished it by the time you’ve finished, but we’re still on top of you. you’re also getting better at not finishing if you are already full. your snacks also tend to be more carrots and apples than crackers or cookies.

i keep finding you have crept into bed with us at least once a week. i’m thinking not having a railing is the cause of this, cause let me tell you, your bed is waaay comfy. if they made it in king size, than i would have long ago started a campaign to convince your dad we need a new bed. you are also getting re-acquainted with falling asleep on your own. daddy reads you guys a book, tucks you in and walks out. you sometimes scream out to us to try to get us to fall asleep with you, but you know the deal and after another kiss and a fresh tuck you hang out in bed till you eventually fall asleep. where you sleep varies from night to night, between your bed and our bed, between sleeping alone and sleeping with your brother, it changes from night to night. but your dad and i enjoy the little extra time to work on things and hang out with each other.

you’ve become obsessed with nursery rhymes, even the ones i’ve never taught you. you especially love tuesdays, when you get music time at school. i always stick my chest out with pride when i hear you perfectly recite a song or rhyme you’ve just learned that day.

you’ve taken it upon yourself to be your little brothers soother. you’ve always been so caring with him but now it’s like clockwork. the second a cry begins, you walk over and sing to him, sometimes before i even get a chance to figure out whats wrong. also, now that the weather isn’t so miserable, you are well aware that going to the playground is a possibility and you love “running so so fast!” when you come out of school all sweaty and hot, i’m so happy you got that outdoor time.

*images taken with my iphone

Brandon at 2 Years 5 Months

IMG_9952 IMG_9978 IMG_9979

my dear brandon, you my boy have grown. you’ve taken a very long nap or two, have slept in till way past 10am on more than one occasion and every time you wake i find a taller boy. to add insult to injury, all your baby chub has melted away.  a l l.  o f.  i t. (p.s. what’s your secret?) i never thought i’d find myself with a tall and thin babe, but that’s what you are and i am absolutely in love with the act of scooping you up, letting your long legs dangle below and squeezing tight that skinny frame of yours. needless to say, your clothes have been fitting a bit short on you so i’ve pulled out your brother’s old 3T clothing. the only catch is that your brother was a chubby 3T-er and while the length of the shirts seem right, they are just too wide for you. and your pants…..they have to be set to the thinnest button possible. i love your little waist, but we’re gonna have to invest in some slim fitting shirts for outings and family get togethers.

you’re eating habits have come full circle and you’re back to being a neat eater. you finish your meal or snack or drink and hand over the plate or cup exclaiming “finaash!” you pretty much finish all your food now, and you keep your tantrums away from meal times. but you’re also obsessed with our kitchen. well, you always were, but now more than ever. i swear some days i feel like i’m running a relay race from living room to kitchen to living room to kitchen again. if i dare make a detour to the bathroom, you make it clear you thought i was heading towards the kitchen and have me make a pitstop in the kitchen on the way back to the living room. i cannot imagine where you put that food since your baby gut is lacking. i also cannot imagine how we’re going to support you and your brother when you’re both teenagers!

your naps are still hit or miss. it’s rare that you don’t eventually fall asleep later during the day, but the rule is still the same. you cannot nap for more than an hour after 3pm. 45 mins after 4:30pm. or 15 mins after 5:30pm. your sleeping rituals have changed, though. a few days after your big brother got his bed, we went out and bought you the same exact bed. you are enjoying all the new space you have. the first night you slept in your bed it was as if you had been waiting so long for this upgrade and couldn’t wait to fall asleep. also, after story time is over and you’ve drunk your milk, daddy leaves the room and you fall asleep in your big boy bed all on your own. sometimes you demand to stay in your brother’s bed, sometimes your brother sneaks into your bed, but you always fall asleep without daddy having to be in there. nap time has changed, too. i no longer rock you to sleep in my arms. we cuddle up in your bed together and you drift away pretty quickly. its sweet and comfy and i usually feel guilty for not staying with you, but then i wouldn’t eat….or get a break, so i kiss you and cover you and let you sleep on your own.

your talking keeps on impressing us. there’s something new every day and you amaze me. you’re getting good with animals and people’s names, too.

another major development has been the bottle situation. we were really going to wait it out until your turned two and a half, but the nipple on your very last bottle broke. your father did not want to go out and buy more nipples or bottles and gave you cup of milk right then and there. i eventually convinced him to get you some sippy cups and it went really well for a couple of days and then suddenly you started getting upset about it. your milk intake has drastically reduced, but we’re staying strong. you usually outright refuse the cup but eventually always pick it up and drink at least half of the milk. i’m making sure you’re having more yogurt and cheese to offset this. come to think of it……it might be why you’re eating so much more…

we bought frozen the day it came out and you are obsessed with “let it go.” you have the best time getting your brother to make you giggle (which cause him to giggle hysterically…and then you giggle harder, too!) and you enjoy jumping on our backs, wrapping your arms around our necks and inadvertently cutting off our circulation. every single time.