Friday, September 30, 2005


Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same. Flavia

In my opinion, friends are not coincidental, but one of the most precious offerings in our lives. To journey together with someone who cares is essential, spiritual, monumental. Without friends, we are not fulfilled, we do not grow, we do not learn or laugh or care. With friends, worlds are opened to us, we flourish and struggle, we love and we smile. We are forever changed.
What fun it is to see Ivan start this journey of friendship. Will some of these friends be lifelong? Will they make forever imprints on his heart? Will they love him even when he is ugly and help him know the ultimate Friend, the lover of our souls? I hope so, I pray so. May Ivan's friendships be true, longlasting and enriching.
To Ivan's friends and mine... thank-you.

Parental trickery

I thought of calling this post "in the light of wisdom" since it is the sequel to "in the light of dawn", our tragic ice cream episode. I'm excited to report that we no longer fall prey to the midnight sugar highed baby. How have we accomplished this great feat? Parental trickery is the name of our game. I'm not sure you are supposed to resort to this, but it does allow for sanity and survival in these early years. Ivan still screams for ice cream when I am eating some, but he gets a healthy, low fat, no sugar (allowing sleep) substitute called milk. Yep, we "dish" some up for him and feed it to him by spoon and he is quite happy with his treat "just like mommies". I'm not sure how many more months we'll be able to pull this off, but for now it is bliss (ours, not his). I guess we should make a name for his special "ice cream" treat. Do you have any suggestions? I remember when my little brother Andrew was little and had an unhealthy obsession with juice, my parents started offering him "tap juice" or "cow juice"- so I guess I come by my trickery naturally!

Don't feel so bad for Ivan. All day, he gets the best of us. He has a game called "race to the fridge". When I need something, he races from wherever he was to get in the fridge before I manage to close the door. He usually wins. You wouldn't believe how fast the little guy can crawl. I bet if they had crawling races, he would win. Just open the fridge door at the end line, or better yet put out a bowl of "ice cream".

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ivan's tricks

Thank you to those of you who have given your guesses for our contest and for those who haven't done it yet, check out our previous blog (****CONTEST TIME **** HIS FIRSTS****) on the side. Also, if you want to see the responses, click on comment. You can read them without commenting again.

I did want to prepare you that Ivan's first word may astound us all. It could be advanced beyond his years. He has been studying you see.

This wasn't part of the contest, but Ivan has performed his first tricks. He can throw a ball and fetch it himself. I don't know who is teaching him this stuff, Saba? See Saba and Ivan in the picture. I'm not sure who is teaching whom.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Time stood still

I had a heavenly shudder experience some time ago, before this blog exhisted, so we are going back in time to recapture this event. It was one of those moments when time stood still for me and I realized there was something important, something cosmic or eternal that I was to grasp from the incident. It was very simple really.

My friend Wynetta, Ivan and I were visiting our friend Mary who is in a nursing home (see picture of Mary and Ivan). A 92 year old lady walked up to Ivan (who was about 1 month old) as he was laying in his car seat. They gazed, cooed and marveled at each other, and in that moment, I realized that here before me was a person at the beginning of his life and one nearing the end.

I litterally had the sense of time stopping as I realized instantaneously how quick life is. I saw in that moment what a tremendous charge I have as a mother to a child, where I am allowed and even expected to guide, teach, nurture, love and invest in his life. I saw how the way I parent him will influence his entire future, help shape him and propel him for this life and eternity. It was sobering, beautiful, impacting. Through the hectic, difficult and mundane moments of motherhood, may I never forget how precious and fleeting life is. May I cherish my son every moment as well as the priviledge of having such a position of influence on his heart, soul, mind and body.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Prizes will be awarded!

Ok, the thing is there are all of 5 people who may read my blog and if you ALL answer, we can maybe call that a contest. So, if you have read this blog, found it or accidentaly stumbled upon it, you have to enter our contest. I will send out prizes for the closest answers- um Ivan and I are working on that. Of course there is no pressure or anything, but you have to comment! I mean, um please???

Ivan loves people, parties and anything new, except maybe salsa. We were at a neighbor's party, which took place as a way to feed families fleeing Houston. The neighbor told me the salsa was not spicy and Ivan was HUNGRY, so I was getting desperate. I gave him a taste of salsa, which is definitely not on the list of first foods for babies. He made his "what-are-you-doing-to-me?" face and shook his arms like "get it out, GET IT OUT!". He didn't scream or cry, but he sure didn't like it either. I took the hint and luckily I had his sippy cup of water at hand, so we quickly put out that fire. He did thoroughly enjoy refried beans, rice and chicken later in the evening and it made for interesting diaper changes. Ha, the mommy adventures (OK, confession time, daddy got the first post-party diaper!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

*********CONTEST TIME*******HIS FIRSTS***********

It's time to guess.
It's not a test
Of how well you know our guy.

It's just for fun.
About 1st ones,
So give it a little try.

(gms- I think your songs are permanently etched in my head. I just discovered this poem can be sung to the tune of "what time is it?")

Question #1- What day will Ivan take his 1st step? (he turns one Oct.20, 2005)
Question #2- What will be Ivan's 1st word? (apart from "mommy/daddy" or their derivatives)
Question #3- What will be Ivan's 1st sentence? (ie. 2 or more words together)
Question #4- What will be Ivan's 1st question? (creativity encouraged)

To help you with your guessing, you should know that Ivan is already walking assisted with 2 hands and can take steps while I hold one hand (but doesn't like to). He can stand a couple of seconds too, but doesn't like to stand on his own yet. Here's a pic. of his attempts when mommy got a sore back and decided we needed arm extensions.

Reply by clicking on "comment" at the bottom of this post. I'll say who got the closest answers and award a half-million dollar prize! Ha, ya right, in your dreams, this is the real reality, as opposed to a "reality" show.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Communication baby steps

It's truly amazing how a little 20 pound wonder can make a parent's heart soar from a little glance, giggle, sound or action. My head knew from reading numerous baby books that our little embryo could hear our voices, that at birth, he recognized us from our sounds and that those smiles and coos were his way of communicating with us. But my heart had a harder time joining in on the game. I've known factually that he is learning words, but it has totally rocked my world to realize he is understanding and trying to communicate back. Of course, at this point some of it is still a guessing game.

Ivan and I were in his baby pool in honor of the 100 degree weather we had yesterday. It was so hot, the plastic side of the pool was hot to the touch, unless mommy splashed it with water, which I did frequently. Ivan was having a blast nonetheless. Now that he has learned to crawl, pull up and fall over the side, the pool has so many more playing possibilities. His daddy checked in on us and as he was leaving, daddy waved good-bye... Ivan waved back and daddy had to stay 5 minutes longer as they waved and waved. Brian was sure that Ivan was waving bye-bye. Some part of me agrees. Another part says he was waving all afternoon. He waved when I sang a song- like he was conducting (hey, maybe he was). He waved as he babbled passionately- like he was teaching something very important (and maybe he was). He waved after touching the scalding sides of the pool.

While Daddy loved the wave, my favorite type of communication that afternoon was Ivan's invention of a funny game. The main jist was to stuff a swim toy in momma's mouth and *lol* (laugh out loud) while she bit it and he tugged until it came loose again (so that he could stuff it in once more -of course!).

As for traditional communication, we know he recognizes some words. If he's thirsty and we say "drink", he goes crazy (as if to say, "duh, that's what I've been telling you all along"). If we say the dog's name, he starts to scope our surroundings for her. If I tell him "come on" he stops what he's doing (most of the time) and follows me to another room. If we tell him "no" he either stops what he is doing, or starts crying (like he's terribly upset that someone contradicted him).

As for saying his own words, we are still in suspence. He said "momma" once out of desperation, but has pretty much figured out he doesn't need to call for me, I'm always there. He says "dadadada" lots, (along with "bababa" and now "va", which is go in French).

I'm excited by all the possibilities of language and communication with this little man that I love with all my being. If he has totally captured our hearts and blown our minds without a single word, imagine the thrill of the journey as he adds his very own vocabulary, ideas, impressions and loves to the mix. It is beautiful to watch language unfold, grow and take root in him. The landscape from here out will never be the same.

Precious, little tag-along

I have a little creeper,
Who follows me around,
Up the hall, down the hall,
Until I am found.

When I finally find her,
I smile and laugh with glee,
'Cause I love my mommy
And my mommy loves me!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Now that we have a child...

There are a dozen things we would never have done if we did not have a child. Like: wake up many times during the night, buy diapers, have strangers talk to us everywhere we go, smile, coo and ask info on stranger's kids, notice stroller accessible ramps and the lack thereof, discuss the quality of the school system, the importance of a good car seat or go to the West Texas Fair and Rodeo, 2005. Brian for one would never go to the parade, but suddenly we have a kid and we can be seen petting animals, laughing at clowns and puppets and experiencing life again as if we were children. It is great!

There is an amazing transfer that happens in our spirits when we have a child. We too gain tremendous joy as our son discovers things for the first time. We are filled with this exuberance out of the sheer pleasure of seeing him happy, but also because somehow we get to be transported back to a moment where we are drawn into the fascination of discovering the simplest, purest, most tangible and ethereal things of life. I remember showing Ivan his first leaf, seeing his delight and wondering how I could see leaves all the time and not pause to wonder at these amazing things of nature.

Abilene does not host the most dazzling parade (ok, so it was a little better than watching traffic go down our street) and I'm sure there are better fairs, but we went on an adventure that goes beyond the sights, smells and sounds, as Ivan heard bands, saw horses, talked to a puppet, saw llamas, an emu, donkeys, rabbits, chickens, goats, sheep, a pig... we too were captivated by the spirit of discovery and amazement. And I have to admit, that I for one found it pretty entertaining, I mean, have you ever seen a llama walk up a ramp, hurdle hay bales, look at itself in a mirror, trot, walk backwards and sideways?

Life is too short to miss all these weird sightings and amazing feats! So as they would say here in West Texas, y'all need to come down and enjoy the show. It may be impressive or a little dull, but there is always beauty and discovery waiting to be unveiled. It is not what is out there, but how you see it. Don't miss out, open your heart and imagination and be sure to join the great adventure of life through a child's eyes.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hungry ducks

I thought it would be fun to go to the park and feed the ducks. Ivan now knows how to throw so we thought this might bring some excitement. The ducks walked right up to us and Ivan laughed. Then we took out the bread. This would be great! The ducks came up expecting a great meal and Ivan got right into it.

That is he took his pieces of bread and demonstrated eating to the ducks! He was real excited about it all right. He figured we had live entertainment by watching the ducks squak (I'm sure saying "feed me, feed me"), plus a snack on top of it. Did I mention that Ivan loves bread? It was fun and funny, but I don't think the ducks were very impressed.

Monday, September 12, 2005

In the light of dawn

New mom wants warning label on ice cream. There are warnings on cigarettes: hazardous to your health. Pregnant women are warned from taking all sorts of medicines, home remedies and foods including herbal teas. New moms need to know that ice cream can be hazardous to one's mental and physical well being.

Ivan and I had a real bad night and I only now made the association of 8pm ice cream snack and my son's sugar buzz from 2-5am. It was BAD, we tried all the tricks and nothing worked. We tried everything you are not supposed to do and it still didn't work. I had one of those near breakdown moments as I tried to nurse him and it felt like my insides were crawling and ready to explode. When I couldn't take it any more, I took him into our bed, hoping he would surrender to the sleep he needed, but instead he crawled, climbed and clawed at me and his newest victim, his dad. Finally, after hours awake, I resign myself to a night with Ivan on the floor together. At some point, he fell asleep, while I tossed and turned in discomfort. Then it happened...

The room was steadily brightening and despite my weariness, my brain was refusing further attempts at sleep. I looked toward Ivan, whom I had to comfort all through our night's "carpet time" and in the light of dawn all became new. I forgot the lack of sleep and frustration and looked upon sheer beauty. He was totally at peace in body and spirit. Fresh sunlight played over his features and words can not describe his perfect loveliness. He was breathtaking. First as a wonderfully formed baby, but also as a son of mine- the meaning and ramifications of which are still totally lost on me, almost 11 months into his life. I am constantly amazed and bewildered by the miracle of motherhood, wondering if this is some wonderful dream, praying that it will never end.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Happy Grands

Three sets of grands celebrate their first. To Grandpa Ian, Grandma Ruth, Nana, Pawpaw Terry, Grandpa Ray and Grandma Sue, Happy Grandparent Day!!! Yep, first mother's day, then father's day and now the lesser known grandparent day. So what do we do on grandparent day? I have no clue. But we thought this message and pictures would be a good start ;)
Special mention goes to our other honorary adopted grands: Grandma Wynetta and Big Buddy.
We love you all.

Now a special word from the little man who made you grand (ok, so maybe you were grand before, but now it's even more noticeable)
"koyyyyjxxs0o0lxxxpo,o9"- translation with liberalities "I love you and you are the greatest, grandest grandparents. Thank you for all that you do, for calling me and visiting me, for the gifts you send and the love you show me and for helping my parents figure out all this parenting stuff" (baby language is very efficient!)
We hope you enjoy the blog and enjoy your grand day on this grand adventure of generational living.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tranquil trauma

Yesterday we had one of those eerie moments. Our son had a small bump removed from his mouth. We had prayed about and over the bump, wishing it gone and had total peace that it would not be a big deal. People prayed all over the globe, from England, to Canada, from Houston to Abilene and we could tell that a Holy Presence went with us. It really was amazing. We got Ivan dressed in his gown and they took his blood pressure and temperature. Different personnel talked with us, then a nurse took Ivan from my arms and left. We sat there bewildered as he looked from us to her and happily went down the hall in a stranger's care. He didn't cry, scream or try to escape. In fact, he seemed quite fascinated with all the bustle so early in the morning.
We sat in a recovery room reading magazines like we were in a coffee shop, totally at ease with some MD cutting in our baby's mouth. The doctor came back after I'd read 2 pages and said everything went well and that he didn't even have to give Ivan a single stitch. Shortly after, they brought Ivan to us. We were prepared for fussing, crying, even anger, as many kids react to sedation, but instead, Ivan had total peace. He was happy, cuddly, drinking, smiling, nursing and ready to explore a new location! We got home and despite a bleeding wound, he ate all sorts of food (like usual) and spent the day crawling and climbing, playing and cooing. The fact is that he was far better at the hospital than he is at home, he woke out of the anesthesia better than he gets up from a nap and he acts like nothing ever happened! While others felt sick, hurt, bewildered, troubled... we felt sheltered and blanketed by goodness from on high. It was weird, unexpected, fabulous... heavenly.