"I love you and want for you all things that make you happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Celebrations

This week has been full of Christmas celebrations with family and friends. Between Monday and Friday we successfully navigated 7 Christmas parties/gift exchanges and had a relatively pleasant toddler at all of them despite the drastic shift in naps and bedtimes these celebrations caused.

John loved Christmas this year - unwrapping presents, playing with toys and even sitting on Santa's lap. He's now well stocked on bath toys, books, winter clothes, trucks, cars and much more! We've enjoyed watching him smile his way through all the gifts and excitement, even if it has meant a lot of cookies, candy and snacks.

Overall, the holiday season has been good to us. We got more than we could ever ask for or expect from friends and family. We were able to travel safely from STL to SAT on Christmas Day with no delays and all our luggage arriving with us. Despite having to deal with Ms. Stephanie getting bit by a pit bull on the morning of the 26th (and the chaos that ensued) we were able to happily celebrate her birthday that evening. It's great being around family!

Now we're nestled in at the Garcia household in San Antonio with family and are recuperating by eating more food and sweets, watching the random marathons that run on TV during the holidays and napping several hours each day. Life is wonderful!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Continued Successes...

It's that time of week again where Danielle Bean at Faith and Family Live! reminds us to celebrate the small successes in our week - because we all know that it's the small things that add up to one big triumph!

1. Most of our Christmas presents are wrapped! We have a few more to still wrap (and a few more to still buy) but we're feeling good about our progress.

2. I've survived my first trimester! Today is the official start to the 2nd trimester and I've done great so far. We've seen the little bean on an ultrasound, heard the heartbeat on a doppler, and I only got sick a few times... All of these are successes as far as I'm concerned. It's hard work making eyebrows!

3. I've done all of this with a sick toddler and my husband out of town this week. John has seen the doctor 3 times in 4 weeks. All with different outcomes....stomach bugs, blistered throat, ear infection and croup. So I've had a baby sleeping on my chest for the last week and a half who pretty much refuses to be set down at any point in time during the day.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Long Hiatus...Small Successes

So it's been brought to my attention by more than a few people that there has been a long hiatus in our postings to the blog. I'm full of excuses for why I haven't posted lately - we were in NC packing our house so that the sale of it could fall through 2 weeks after we left, since our return from NC John was sick, then Matt was sick, then I was sick, then John was sick (I think they are going to name an infirmary after our family), we've been busy Christmas shopping, I'm growing a baby which make me want to nap at every free moment, etc. However, to bring back the posts I thought I should start by celebrating some of the successes we've had over the last month.

1. We successfully packed the entire contents of our house in NC with a 1 year old in tow. OK--let's be honest, the moving company crew REALLY helped us out when they realized that we had a baby and full house of stuff and flew in from STL 4 days before they were supposed to load the truck.

2. Most of the Christmas shopping is finished. We still have a handful of extended family to finish up, but I'm feeling really good about it. Planning on knocking out the rest by the end of next week.

3. We've survived the whole family being sick at different times. We've had stomach bugs, ear infections, sinus infections, colds, and most recently, hand, foot, and mouth disease. God bless the weary! We're ready for good health.

4. The Christmas tree is up and decorated. We got all the ornaments on and it looks fabulous. Pictures to follow soon.

5. After 2 days of non-stop loads of laundry, I can honestly say that I'll be completely caught up by tomorrow afternoon - just in time for Matty to leave for Colorado. How do clothes multiply so fast when people are sick and wear pajamas all day?

6. I've made the conscious decision to start shopping for maternity pants. With John I didn't switch to any maternity clothes until almost 7 months - but my waist seems to be thickening faster this go around and while my shirts are still fine, I'm going to buy a few pairs of pants. (After reviewing my maternity wardrobe from John I realized that I only own one pair of light weight pants and that won't work considering the high today was only in the 20's)

7. We've done a pack and purge of John's toys for the time being. We're banking on many toys being replaced in the upcoming weeks and are finding that toys are making the corners of our house round instead of square. The purge felt good!

Well, I've brought you up-to-date! I'm feeling good about getting things completed. Hopefully my energy will be returning with the approaching second trimester and I'll actually be able to get some stuff off the to-do list other than survive day-to-day!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Celebrating Our Successes

Every week I try to post the small successes I've had around the house. Sometimes I really have to search my recolection to come up with those successes, but this week several come to mind pretty quickly.

1. We've made arrangements with our realtor and movers to get estimates for moving our belongings from NC to IL. We're grateful to get our stuff closer to us - now we just need to talk to the storage facility about getting a bigger unit....

2. I've been to the gym twice this week. Twice! One of the times I even dropped John off in the nursery. He did great! When I came back from yoga he was the only child left in the room and was sitting on the lap of the caretaker eating a snack and drinking from his sippy. I'm not sure he even missed me... :(

3. I finally put together a friends birthday gift. He was leaving for his birthday trip to Vegas yesterday. We missed the party due to travel schedules and whatnot - but I really wanted to get his gift to him before he left on his trip. Got it to him right before he left for the airport!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hip Hip Hooray!

As promised...

And yes, before the questions come...that is a sock in his mouth.

We like to think it's like Dumbo's feather...only in sock form....

Sunday, November 1, 2009

We're Walking!

Well, it's official. We've taken off! Not down the hallway quite yet, but John is definitely toddling from chair to couch, couch to table, table to toys. He's taking more and more steps every day and we're having to watch him like a hawk. We'll have video of our walking adventures up shortly - just as soon as we get some footage. But for now, we nap....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

One Little Thing at a Time

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.


1. I made it to the doctors appointment....with family in tow. And everyone appropriately dressed for the weather. And fed. And on time! And found out we're expecting another one to tow around.... :)

2. I signed up for Mom N Me water aerobics again. John loves splashing in the intertube and I've enjoyed getting a little bit of a workout each week. (I also enjoy the lunch I eat with friends afterwards - although this probably..no definately....negates the calories I just burned). I also signed up for yoga this time. Don't know anything about yoga, but there is no time like the present to learn.

3. Despite wanting to go into the car dealership raging about how my car is having the same problem they "fixed" less than a month ago....I went in calmly. I provided them with paperwork showing I had just visited their service shop a month ago with the same check engine code. I didn't even demand to talk to a manager about the extremely rude way I was talked to yesterday on the phone when I called with this problem. Some things are just better left to pass.

Need more inspiration? Check out other moms' successes at Faith and Family Live!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Successes Always Count

Life is just never static - I posted that on another site earlier this week. It just seems that things around here are in a constant state of flux....I think I like it that way. But it can make me nervous none-the-less. So to take my mind off the busy-ness of the week, I'm posting my successes (no matter how small).


1. We enjoyed having John's great-grandma over on Monday. She loves seeing John and never stops talking about how sweet his disposition is...or so I'm told. My uncles all claim that's all she talks about for a whole week after we take the time to visit. :) I just have a great baby. God blessed me (or he's tricking us into having more....)

2. We talked to Bruce and worked out the details for him to be our general contractor. More on this later (hopefully).

3. I took the time to make all the phone calls I needed to make. You know, the ones that get pushed off every week. I scheduled doctors appointments, car repairs, talked to our insurance agent about a random fee increase, returned the calls of some friends and more. It's nice to have them off the list!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Small Successes - First Birthday Edition

Danielle Bean tells us that it's important to celebrate the small successes in life, because they can add up to ONE big triumph! With that in mind, these are the small successes around our home this week - First Birthday Edition...

1. We picked everyone up and dropped everyone off at the airport on time over the last week. This is quite an accomplishment considering that on Sunday we dropped off 6 people at the East terminal (one of whom we picked up only minutes before at the Main terminal) at 3 different times for 4 different flights.

2. John's birthday party was a success! We hosted 30 people and served ribs, corn on the cob, homemade mac n' cheese, bacon-wrapped chicken, baked beans, 2 salads, Italian bread, birthday cake, and ice cream. John got more toys than he could have ever imagined and has spent the rest of the week running from toy to toy to toy. Current favorites (for this week) seem to be the singing/dancing toolbox, Flicker the flashlight and the helicopter with ball that drop into the blades....however, I don't think any toy has been ignored yet.....

3. John's 12 month check-up is completed! He's in the 90% for height, 70% for weight. He's more mobile than verbal (according to the doctors magic chart) which predisposes him to temper tantrums they tell us. We're suppose to give up the bottle cold-turkey now and let him feed himself. But the point is---we have a clean bill of health and we made it to the appointment on time.

Check out other Small Successes over at Faith and Family Live!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Boy!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday, Dear John!

Happy Birthday to You!

Hope you had a fun and blessed day!
We're looking forward to another great year!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweet Successes

Yay for Thursdays! It's so refreshing to take the time to look back on the past week and find some successes, no matter how small.


1. Many of the little things are coming together for John's upcoming birthday party. For example, I was able to buy all the ribs on sale and actually had the space in the freezer to 10 racks (although this was courtesy of a freezer door that was left open a few weeks ago resulting in both a mess and a much emptier freezer).

2. I've cooked both lunch and dinner every day since Monday. It's amazing how easy it is to fall into the habit of grabbing something out. Lunch is the toughest for me, because I always feel like I can get something while I'm running other errands.

3. My husband brought me flowers. OK--this is probably his small success. It was such a nice gesture after a particularly tense week last week. Oh - they're still alive....that's MY success.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mom Can Do It!

It has been a busy week around here and Dad has been on the road for the 3rd week straight. So it's a lot like being a single parent....although the grandparents help out immensly. (Seriously, I am amazed by single parents - how do you all do it?)

So to honor all the little things that were accomplished this week Faith and Family Live is once again hosting Small Successes. These are mine...

1. I stuck to my guns at the pediatrician's office and insisted that we see a doctor, not just a nurse. Turns out that John DID have an ear infection---moms know best.

2. I went to my water aerobics class for the second week in a row. :) It feels good to get some exercise and I love that I can take John along and let him float in the waves we create. Now if I could just get to the gym more than once a week...

3. The odometer is hooked up to the stroller. After one didn't work I just about called it a wash. But I talked to the bike shop, they found one that worked for a stroller, and I got it set up and running yesterday. John and I took an afternoon walk to celebrate - 2.2 miles. I think I should get to count that as yesterday's trip to the gym.

Make sure to check out other successes at Faith and Family Live!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Steps???

John took his first steps today?
Yes, that's a question...

He's never liked being outside. Apparently, he has sensitive skin that doesn't like to rubbed by the grass or scraped by the sidewalk. Evident by the fact that he sits with one leg up in the air every time we sit down outside.

Today he was standing on the concrete sidewalk, mom standing behind him, and he took a few steps (Mom had trickily let go of his shirt) towards the porch. Ecstatic, I picked him up and ushered him inside. But when I set him down inside...he sat down and took off crawling.....towards the door! John pointed outside. Out we went. Back to the sidewalk. Took a few steps. Got to the porch....you get the picture. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So as far as I can tell, John can take a few steps, but only outside. I can see it now. He'll be 22 years old, walk from the car to the door....then crawl into the house.....

Friday, September 11, 2009

Today's Outing

I have great memories of packing up the car with snacks and ice cold water then heading off to the STL Zoo. It's a fabulous zoo (one of the top in the nation) and it's FREE to the public. The residents of STL have never turned down a tax hike to support the zoo. Now don't get me wrong, many things have changed over the years....They now play host to sting rays that you can feed and touch 4 months out of the year at Caribbean Cove. There is a delightful (all be it chilly) penguin and puffin exhibit. The cost of the railroad and children's zoo has gone up. And the River's Edge, filled with elephants and hyenas, is now complete.
But many things stay the same. The animals are close enough to breath the same air as you. The railroad gives you a behind the scenes tour. The herpetarium still creeps me out a little. And the primate house still smells like...well, you know....
Places grow and change over the years. Many things that I remember from my childhood in this area are gone...restaurants, hangouts, parks. Perhaps the best part about the zoo is that even as an adult, I love it there. It's great to be able to share the zoo that I frequently visited as a child with John. It's fun to rediscover the zoo through his little eyes. I enjoy pointing to different animals (although he can only find the ones that are moving) as we wander from exhibit to exhibit. And hearing the glee in John's voice as he pet a guinea pig at the Children's Zoo. Even if he did call it "iddy" which refers to our kitty, Valvoline. It seems that everything with fur that moves is an 'iddy' right now. Sharing a pretzel while sitting on the benches by the sea lions and being begged for bites by the ducks are memories I have from my childhood and now ones that I have in parenthood.

Can't beat it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's The Small Things

Danielle over at Faith and Family Live always says that it's the small things that add up...so here's raising a sippy cup of milk to that!

1. The house is relatively put back together following the painting of 4 rooms and a hallway and the installation of new baseboards throughout. (This success is shared amongst my mother, father, and husband - the latter two actually installed the baseboard.)

2. After having saved some money over the last few months, I finally called our financial planner and put it to better use rather than letting it sit in our savings account with a crappy interest rate.

3. Went to the grocery store and saved over $20 on groceries with my coupons! Still had a huge bill, but $20 is $20....maybe we'll be able to put a little more $$$ away!

Check out other successes over at Faith and Family Live!


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Yay! Mom!

Every week Faith and Family Live hosts small successes because they know in motherhood it's the small things that count! Stop by and check out other moms' successes after you celebrate mine...

1. I polished all the silver in the house. Not just the stuff that is in the china cabinet, but the stuff no one sees too! Plus, every piece of the chandelier was hand washed by yours truly! If you can't tell, we're deep cleaning around here...someone has a first birthday coming up. Nothing like a little elbow grease to make things shine (and to give you a sense of accomplishment).

2. We ordered supplies for the aforementioned birthday and created our guest list and menu. With family flying in from various locations, the planning of a larger party has become paramount.

3. Instead of bothering my sleeping son when we got out of the car by trying (most likely futilely) to get him back down to sleep in his crib, I let him sleep on my chest. But the real success here is that I've typed this whole post with one hand while lying on the couch with a dozing toddler... :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Small Successes - A Day Late

So yesterday I missed the Small Successes wagon over at Faith and Family Live!. So here's to the small things that add up....


1. My small successes are late because I spent yesterday enjoying my birthday and dealing with a child who was having an allergic reaction to medication. I think the success here is that we've finally figured out the allergy and I didn't let the um-teenth trip to the doctor ruin my happy birthday (not that the small success were late...)

2. On Wednesday John and I made it to 3 appointments before noon. I personally think that impressive for me alone...but with a 10 month old...that deserves some kudos!

3. I've had a sick baby since Sunday. First with pneumonia; now with an allergic reaction to the meds...And I've still managed to get a decent amount of sleep. (Thanks to my extremely laid-back child and a husband who has gotten up a little earlier than normal for a few days.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No Longer Contagious - Now We're Just Itchy!

Great news! The doctor confirmed that we are no longer contagious with pneumonia, so we went to breakfast with the MOMS club this morning to celebrate my birthday.

Bad news! We left breakfast with a spreading rash (we've had the rash for a few days) that was now sneaking down John's arms and into his "diapered region."

Important news! The doctor/pharmacist team has confirmed that John is allergic to everything in the penicillin family including it's derivatives, cephalosporens. Sweet! Cause that doesn't complicate things at all....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


So I'm trying to figure out how a 10 month old who stays at home with his mom gets pneumonia during the middle of August...any thoughts?
At least now we know what the high fever was trying to tell us. The pneumonia has set in right behind John's heart in his upper left chest cavity which is why no one could "hear" it in his chest. John's on a high does of antibiotics and we're monitoring his breaths/min and his temperature. Dr. Herman was great in catching the pneumonia;John had very few other symptoms (an occasional cough here or there, but with his nasty allergies that has been almost constant). We've got orders to take him to the hospital if his breaths start to get rapid or shallow and call the office daily with temperature and breaths/min. We're also supposed to be on the look out for purple lips and limbs...let's hope we don't get to that point....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Good and The Bad

We've been adjusting John's sleep schedule recently. Over the past month he's been getting harder and harder to put down to sleep for his naps and at night (especially when he wakes up during the night!). So after some diligent online research, I read that most sleep problems in young toddlers result from the child being overtired. That being said, we moved up nap times, moved up bed time and adjusted our night time routine when he wakes up at night. By the end of the first day, we (and by we, I mean John) had mastered going to sleep without a bottle and without any holding, going to back to sleep on his own when he woke up at night, and went from sleeping 9 hours at night to sleeping 12! What an accomplishment!!!

Now for the not so great news...John's been running a fever of 102.5 all day long. He's physically roasting when you hold him, but he doesn't want to be put down much. Tonight when get came out of the bathtub his lips were purple and he was shivering from head to toe. Poor kid! Obviously, we've been dosing him with Tylenol all day and resorted to giving him a dose of Motrin right before bed. I have the distinct feeling we'll be calling the pediatrician tomorrow morning....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Family Is Always Too Far Away

I haven't had the chance to blog about our trip to San Antonio yet. I was so excited to post our small successes that week, that I failed to post anything else about our trip. We had a great time in San Anton with the family and were blessed that John's aunt and uncle made the lengthy drive from Dallas to visit. The real purpose of the trip was to check in on Matt's father who was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. The best part--we found him in great spirits and feeling pretty well considering the hormone treatments he's on. The trip was equally as important for us, as I think we both had knots in our stomach for the last month that were only going to be resolved by a hug from Dad. Cancer is an amazing disease. I'm never ceased to be amazed by the people who face it head on, with a positive attitude, and with the faith that God has a plan for them. Dad was originally told that his cancer was terminal, but the oncologist seems much more optimistic.

John's been blessed to have all 4 of his grandparents and 5 of his great-grandparents. I never felt like I missed anything not knowing my great-grandparents. And I definitely heard lots of stories about both of my grandfathers, who passed away before I was born. But I know how lucky John is to have the chance to spend time with these family patriarchs.

I can't help thinking about the great times I had playing with my grandmothers. My maternal grandma passed away when I was young, but I still remember many sleepovers at her house, being picked up from pre-school and wisked off to her office just down the road for a lunch of bologna and ketchup, and begging for pocket change to get a treat from the ice cream truck that drove down her street everyday during the summer. My paternal grammy and I became closer much later in life. I remember when I first learned I was pregnant she was in the ICU and I had such trepidation that she wouldn't make it to meet my little baby. Now, John and I enjoy taking her lunch periodically and sharing our new talents with her as he grows.

Matt's grandparents are all still around, so John has gotten to spend time with them whenever we make it to San Antonio. We are trying to take as many pictures as we can to help us remember these times with them. Trips to the pool for water aerobics with great-grandma Warren and coffee at Target with great-granddad Warren are always winners. Sitting with great-grandpa Garcia and wearing the clothes and hats that great-grandma Garcia makes for us are great memories.

Really, what it comes down to is that family and love is what makes the world tick. I wish we could live closer to both sets of family. I'm grateful that we have the means to visit Matt's family often and I'm looking forward to seeing them in October when they come up for John's birthday. Bottom line, no matter how close you live to your family...they're always too far away.

We miss you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Mother...

A mother is the most important person on earth. She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any Cathedral -- a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby's body.
-- Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty

Rock On, Mom!

It's Thursday! That means it's time to recognize the small successes of the week so that I can add them up to one big triumph!

1. After being postponed several times by the contractor doing our roof, I asked if it could be finished by Friday since we are having company over tomorrow. He gathered 10 guys to come on a Sunday and do the roof in one day. That means we had 3 less days of banging and pounding - so John's naps were only disturbed for one day!

2. I researched some sleep training techniques this week and have started implementing a few basic concepts with John. They seem to be working. He slept for 11 hours last night, waking only once and he soothed himself back to sleep without me! And this morning's nap was spookily easy to get him down for. He's in his crib now for the afternoon nap---but he's playing, not sleeping..although I guess the alternative would be crying (these are small successes, remember?!?)

3. The carpets are clean. I'm not talking vacuumed, I'm talking Stanley Steemer came in and really cleaned them. This is a success because I took the time to call them, empty all our shelves and tables of miscellaneous items, and stayed off the carpet for several hours while it dried.

Bonus #4: I called several doctors, found one who was accepting new patients, and scheduled my annual check-up. I've been meaning to do this for at least 4 weeks---but now it's off the to-do list! Next week's small success will be having made it to the appointment on time!

Head over to Faith and Family Live! to check out other mom's successes for the week!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh If Wishing Made It So...

John wants to walk. He pulls up on everything, cruises around the furniture and is now trekking up and down the hallways with his clacking alligator walker. Just let go little boy...you can do it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Small Successes....

It's that time again when us Moms take the time to look back on this week's small successes, because it reminds us that the small things can add up to one BIG triumph!

1. After spending 8 days in San Antonio visiting Matt's family and arriving home at 9:30pm last night...we are unpacked and caught up on laundry! (And it's only 9:27am!) It helped that I came home with only one load of laundry to do because I did a few loads at my in-laws house.

2. While in San Antonio this week, we managed to catch up with soooo many people that we don't see often enough. It was great spending time with mom and dad (a.k.a. grandma and granddad). But equally as exciting was getting morning coffee with John's great-grandparents, having Aunt Megan and Uncle Chris come down from Dallas with good friend Stephanie for the weekend, spending an evening with Sanguinetti's, Zera's, and Kiolbassa's, enjoying John's first-ever visit with his great Aunt Dana, two lunch outings with Lacey and newborn Anthony, and sharing fajitas at the house with great grandparents, Erra, Hunter, Mark, Kyle, Aunt Gloria and Uncle Jim. Seriously! We should go to Texas more often!

3. With all the activity and visitors, John's naps were short...if not non-existent. While one would think this would result in a baby that is so exhausted they sleep soundly all night, my son chooses to respond by waking up every few hours and refusing to go back to sleep (I guess he's afraid he'll miss something!) So with the multiple wake up calls and the hour long process of getting John back to sleep, I went against my better judgement and sacrificed my sleep quality to let my baby sleep between mom and dad and stick his feet up in my ribs.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Small Successes!

It's time again to post my weekly "small" achievements because we all know that the small successes in our everyday life add up to one BIG triumph....

1. Our family enjoyed a wonderful dinner out at Al's Steakhouse, even though they looked at us like we were crazy when we asked for a highchair. Apparently they don't have highchairs at this restaurant, but we had our portable make-shift highchair with us. We are not deterred!

2. Despite being a mobile petri dish, our family isn't letting illness dictate our vacation fun! Mom has pink eye in both eyes, dad's allergies are in overdrive thanks to Texas trees, and John has ear infections in both ears and pink eye in one eye....if you want to invite us over to contaminate your house-just let us know.... :)

3. We flew from St. Louis to San Antonio on Tuesday with one layover. John was awake for the first 40 minutes of the first flight, then he fell asleep on the seat between mom and dad. He slept through the landing, deplaning, the walk to the next gate, boarding, take-off, and landing...opening his eyes only when we parked at the gate in San Antonio. (This is probably more John's success than mine, but sleeping babies on planes are God sent-especially when they have double ear infections and pink eye)


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Joys of Being a Toddler

Today we got our first "big boy" scrape on our chin! While helping Daddy wash the car, John leaned against the car door. Who knew that the car door moves when you push against it? And since John's balance isn't great, he bit it face first into the concrete driveway...tears followed...

In the past week we've been enjoying the days of toddlerhood. By this I mean, John gets into everything! He loves to empty purses and wallets, clean out his diaper bag, rearrange Grandpa's bill filing system, clear the coffee table of all magazines and papers, and periodically knock all the diapering supplies off the end of the bed. In addition to this new talent, we've also been recipients of all the bumps and bruises that come with being an unstable toddler who loves to pull up on everything. It's now a great game to stand up under the dining room table, bump our head on the underside of the table, sit back down, stare up at the table with a "how dare you" look, and try to stand up again---hitting our head again! (We'll be enrolling him in the school for the gifted next week...)

However, with all the bumps, bruises and messes...Mom's been excited to have someone who loves to sit and "fold" laundry with her, chases her around the kitchen and "gathers" the pots and pans out of the cabinets for her, and is willing to crawl around the family room while Mom posts blogs about the "Joys of Being a Toddler"

Loving every minute of it.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Small Successes

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.

1. We booked plane tickets to San Antonio. After looking at tickets for the last few weeks, contemplating the cost, thinking about schedules, and whatever other excuses we were using, we finally bit the bullet and purchased tickets to go visit Matt's family. The trip is long over due - the grandparents need to see John more than every 9 months! (And John's great-grandparents kicked in one free ticket thank to frequent flyer miles)

2. I made banana muffins this week for my sister. She loves homemade baked goods but rarely finds the time or supplies in her college apartment to make them herself.

3. When the morning plans were derailed by an explosive diaper right at naptime, I didn't get flustered. Instead, I thanked God that my husband was home, asked for some assistance, changed the diaper, cleaned the child, and then let my dear spouse put John down for a nap while I showered in peace and washed my fecal covered shirt...


Monday, July 20, 2009

Things I Never Knew...

  • I never knew a child’s cry can be music to your ears.
  • I never knew my son’s gleeful exclamation when he "caught" the cat the first time would be stuck like cement in my mind.
  • I never knew how much more you could love a man who changes diapers and plays peek-a-boo for hours.
  • I never knew that my life will seem to have lost value when compared to the value I place on my child’s.
  • I never knew you are assumed to be, all mother, all nurturing, all knowing, all understanding, all wise, ... all of a sudden!
  • I never knew I could fall in love with my husband all over again for doing things that I once thought of as unromantic.
  • I never knew I could sit and stare at a sleeping baby and not notice time passing by.
  • I never knew that once I became a mother I would pray for more years, not so that I can accomplish my dreams, but so I can watch my son accomplish his.
  • I never knew that a family, which was once complete with only two people, now feels even more complete with three..

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Small Successes

It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.

I just read through many of the other mom's small successes for this week looking for inspiration to hit me (now that I'm thinking about that I feel like it's cheating a little!) While I'm not sure that I found any of my own successes in theirs, it did inspire me to look a little deeper to find my own successes.

1. I took great joy in completing John's 9 month well-child check-up. This is the first well-child visit we've had since we've diagnosed and resolved John's hemolytic anemia. We departed the appointment with no referrals to specialists, no orders for lab work, no visits until his next well-child visit! Yay!

2. When I realized I had double booked myself one day this week, I called and cancelled an appointment that would have been just as easy to skip. It's a courtesy that I sometimes overlook, but I need to remember that others' time is just as valuable as mine.

3. A couple times this week I dropped what I was doing when my husband needed my help. Not that he physically needed me to do anything...but he needed my emotional support and prayers. I gladly offered both and will continue to do so through as he struggles to find God's path in his father's cancer. Prayers are always appreciated...

4. (bonus) John attended his first swim lesson this week. It was tear free - until he bumped his head in the locker room after he was already changed into his street clothes, but we're not counting that because it was after the fact - and he truly seemed to enjoy being around the other AquaTots (even if he displayed this by having an almost obsessive fascination with another child's ear...)


Friday, July 3, 2009

911 Emergency...How Can I Help?

At the ripe, young age of 9 months, John has already been grounded from using the phone. Yesterday he successfully dialed 9-1-1-1 on the house phone. Needless to say, I grab the phone and hung up - then realized what he dialed. Luckily, 911 called us back and inquired about the hangup phone call rather than sending out all the response vehicles. After I apologized profusely on the phone and the operator laughed at the situation all was well. But we still grounded John from the phone....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Small Successes

Faith and Family is hosting a weekly listing of the Small Successes of motherhood because, "the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph." The goal is to post these small successes every Thursday because it is in the small details of our work that the strength and splendor of motherhood is revealed. So in my effort to join and support other moms in celebrating our calling, here are my Small Successes for this past week.

1. I asked for help. After we discovered that John's medical issues were a result of my breastfeeding, we were in need of formula. A great group of fellow mothers stepped up to the call and went digging through ads/mailers providing me with a handful of coupons for the only formula that John can tolerate (Enfamil Premium). Equally successful was the realization that asking for help isn't all that hard...

2. Instead of dealing with the mountain of laundry or emptying (and reloading) the dishwasher, I spent quality time sitting in the front yard with my son. We observed a cement truck and construction crew work across the street, watched a neighbor hitting golf balls in his yard and examined a worm that was at least 12 inches long.

3. After several months of reading other moms' small successes, I finally took the plunge and wrote my own! Why was I waiting?


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

John's Crawling

Watch out! Here he comes! John is up and on the move. He's only going about 6 ft at a time, but he's up on his knees! John prefers to move his entire hips (much like he's salsa dancing on the floor) instead of picking his knees up off the floor. So far today he has crawled to Dad and managed to chase down a cell phone that Aunt Lizzy kept moving farther and farther away. John also successfully got into his diaper bag, retrieved his Gerber snacks, opened the container, dumped them on the floor and indulged in a few handfuls of the sweet corn snacks. (I guess that's a sign it's time to start baby-proofing?) Hopefully we'll have video to share shortly!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pearly Whites

John is now up to 4 teeth. The top two broke through this week amid a bit of fussiness. We're happy to have 2 new chompers---but realizing that gone are the days of letting John chew on our fingers for comfort. It's quite possible that there is at least one more tooth (or two) trying to come in too. Although both of the teeth have fully cut through John is still chewing on everything in sight and we can see some stretched gums next to the two new ones that popped in this week. Only time will tell...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Twinkle Toes

John has been on the move for about a week now. While he hasn't officially learned to crawl, he has mastered scooting all around the room with nothing but his arms and his teeny toes. It's actually quite reminiscent of Fred Flinstone bowling. He bends at the hip, pushes up on his toes and basically 'plows' around the room in pursuit of whichever toy has evaded him. It's been hard to catch a good picture of Twinkle Toes in action, so you'll have to do with this image instead...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Heme/Onc Update!

Great news! Dr. Bednarski released John indefinitely from the Heme/Onc clinic at Children's Hospital. We still don't have a full diagnosis but the working diagnosis (which will probably never be confirmed) is that at birth I passed antibodies to John. For whatever reason John's body was trying to fight off the antibodies and that was causing the problems. It's also a result of John recieving antibodies through my breastmilk (explaining why things seem to get better now that we have stopped breastfeeding). No real concerns for future pregnancies other than the need to make sure that the doctors are aware of John's conditions and monitor any other child's hemoglobin very closely for the first couple months of life. I'll also probably end up having amniocentisis for future preganancies so that we can determine if my antibodies will mesh with the babies.

Nonetheless, it's great to feel like we're past all this. We're excited to quit having blood drawn and looking forward to not having to wrestle John to get medicine in his mouth.

We celebrated with a joint victory/Father's Day/Matt's birthday gift last night.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Saturday, May 30, 2009

All Boy!

John has recently taken to being a fine example of a little boy! This week he successfully pet a frog and rode the riding lawn mower. Now we just need a John Deere hat and a worm in his pocket....

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ear Infections and Runny Noses

After our last post about the trip to Children's Hospital we diligently gave John tylenol and benedryl as directed. The tylenol kept the fever at a constant 102 (down from the normal 104) and the benedryl, which was supposed to help him sleep through the night, instead helped him wake up every 45 minutes all night long for two nights. Needless to say, after night two we gave up on the benedryl.

On Monday (after 5 days of fevers) John went back to the pediatrician where we learned he had a full blown ear infection in his right ear again! So he got a shot of antibiotics and a new oral antibiotic to help with the ear infection. His poor nose runs constantly! I've taken to giving him Zyrtec at night to help him dry out (and I think it's helping with his sleep too). Overall, he's been doing progressively better all week long. We've had blood counts checked again and they are still holding steady.

We'll be back at the doctor on Wednesday for another 'all-clear' and the approval to let John fly to NC this upcoming weekend. Keep your fingers crossed and say some prayers for us!

Last week was rough, this week is better. We're on the up and up now and ready to start feeling well enough to enjoy this wonderful summer weather!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Even Superman Needs A Teddy Bear

Yesterday we noticed John was running a fever of 102 (in typical John fashion he was in a pleasant mood, playing, giggling and cooing, but he was physically roasting so we took his temperature). We took him to the pediatrician who said that there is a virus going around and to watch his temp, give him tylenol, and encourage as much liquid consumption as possible. No problem!

However, we woke up this morning to a baby who's temperature had spiked to 104. After we got it down to 102, called the pediatrician, and got him a bottle of pedialyte, we talked to Heme/Onc at Children's Hospital. Dr. Bednarski was worried his blood counts would drop with such a high fever and strong virus. Needless to say, we packed up John and headed to Children's ER where they ran several blood tests and did a urinalysis. Luckily, Heme/Onc had called the ER and told them we were coming so when we got there we were rushed right into a room.

It seemed to take forever for the labs to be drawn and the results to come back...so we took a couple laps around the ER in a wagon (Children's uses padded Radio Flyer wagons to transport little ones instead of wheelchairs like they use for the older kids...frankly, it's quite cute and since John wasn't feeling particularly bad he really enjoyed it). And while we were out on our tour of the ER one of the nurses gave John a teddy bear to play with! Good trip!

Garcia Are Tough! The blood work came back fine. (A little lower than last week, but nothing to worry about). He's lost about 1lb since last week but that didn't bother the doctor because John was well-hydrated and still had good color in his lips and cheeks. After 5 hours at the ER and a number of doctors, nurses, needles and catheters, John was discharged with instructions for tylenol and benedryl. Not bad!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I Can Feed Myself!

Since I have mastered Cheerios, Gerber puffs and yogurt melt-a-ways, it was time to tackle bigger and better foods! So I got down to my diaper, headed outside with my highchair, and tackled some chocolate pudding....





Mom took me inside and tossed me straight into the bathtub where I was hosed off with the shower head. Dad took the garden hose to the highchair and the tray table.

What a team they are!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Blood Work Results

Children's Hospital Heme/Onc called this morning with good news! John's hemeglobin is going up for a change! His count is at 12.5 (well within the normal range now) and his hematacrit, which measures how well he's producing red blood cells, is at 35.1 which in on the low side of normal. The folic acid seems to be helping. We've been transfusion free since February 6th which seems like forever when we started this doing transfusions every 9 days.

John heads back to the clinic the first week of June for his 3rd appointment with Dr. Bednarski. If he holds out on needing blood until then we're hopeful that we can send more of his blood off to the Mayo Clinic again for testing. In the meantime, it seems like STL is doing us well and John is on his way to a full recovery!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Go Cards!

What a Day!

My first trip on Metrolink!
My first baseball game!
My first Pujols homerun!
Better yet, my first Pujols GRAND SLAM!
My first Cardinals win....8-2!

Waiting for the Metro with Dad

Checking out Busch Stadium with Grandpa
And looking sharp in my Cardinals gear!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snotty Little Boy

After our Easter week jaunt to San Antonio little man came home with a runny, stuffy nose and a nasty cough. He held on for about a week, but when his lungs were literally rattling in my hands while I was holding him, we decided to head to the doctor. So after the doc listened to his chest and looked down his throat...she announced...I think you just have a "snotty, little boy." Aaahh, the relief! However, then she took one look in his right ear and gave us a prescription for an ear infection. Darn!

Now, one would think that this is the end of the story. Ten days worth of meds, recheck in 2 weeks, no big deal. But I've always said that John does things his way and this is no different. More of the first dose of medicine was on his face and clothes than in his mouth and resulted in a screaming, crying, mad, gagging on snot, upset son. Yay! Dose 2 came right beefore bedtime. Grandma held him (assistance for this sport is needed) and I attempted to hit the moving target which was John's mouth. Repeat the screaming, crying, mad, gagging on snot, upset baby....add vomitting everything he ate for dinner and all the snot he had sucked down for the past week all over Grandma, Mom, baby, couch, floor, and bathtub! Time for bath #2 of the evening.

After the cleaning frenzy that ensued I decided to let him rest a little in the den before trying to give him anything to put on his stomach---but when the wailing got uncontrollable (and fearing more snot induced vomitting) I gave in and made him 4 oz of formula. Exactly 4 oz later, I had a vomitting baby all over again! This time he hit the bouncer, Mom, baby, floor and bathtub. Time for bath #3, the third set of jammies, and me to break down!

But alas, he finally went down to sleep shortly there after. A 1 am wake up call required an unprecedented 6 oz of formula in the middle of the night (the whole time in which I silently prayed that I'd never see that formula again) but the little man made it through the rest of the night.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Easter Morning

This morning we attended Holy Trinity with Grandma & Grandpa Garcia, Great-Grandma & Great Grandpa Warren, Uncle Chris, Aunt Megan, Stephanie (Uncle Chris' girlfriend) and Tia Nubia. As you can tell from the picture...John was by far the most handsome 6 month old in church and received several comments on the black patent leather shoes and pinstripe vest. The afternoon is going to be spent with San Antonio family and friends (with a short break to talk with the Rekowski family on Skype.)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Priests, Godparents, Family, Friends and Water on My Head!

Ready and Waiting in White

Today we were blessed to be surrounded by friends and family for John's baptism at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in San Antonio, TX. Father Charlie and Monsignor Fater presided over the baptism. Uncle Chris and Aunt Lizzy have officially taken on their roles as godparents and seem to be fulfilling it by refusing to set John down and spoiling him with gifts. :)
Monsignor Fater & Father Charlie baptize John

Christian Family Photo