Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sippy Cup Training

When Sofia's doctor announced two weeks ago that it was time to switch from the bottle to the cup, I wanted to cry. It felt like I was also attached to the bottle. I almost decided not to do it, but after successfully enrolling her at the Little Saints Catholic program for the upcoming fall, I had no choice. Little Saints wants all 18 month old children to be sippy cup trained. So, it was a struggle.

She was in desperation mode the first three days and so was I. Many times, I wanted to quit the cup and go straight to the bottle but my mom kept reminding me that it wouldn't be long before she adapted. It's almost two weeks and she's doing better. I am doing better too. I didn't think I was going to have bottle withdrawal but I did.

A/C in February

This week has been pretty warm. Yesterday it got up to 81! We turned on our A/C last night, even John couldn't remember when we turned our A/C unit in February, we are not complaining but we still have March which can still get cold, but one more month of low temparatures we can handle!
Today temperatures will go up at about 85, but tomorrow it will come down to 60 degrees, and next week up again in the 70's. Yippe!

What is she saying?

I wish I could understand her. I'm pretty sure is Spanglish...Or just Spanish since that's about 98% of what she hears everyday from me and my mom.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is that Dirt on your Forehead?

By Father Jonathan.

No, that’s not dirt on your co-worker’s forehead. Today in the Western Christian calendar is Ash Wednesday. For more than a billion Christians worldwide (Lutheran, United Methodist, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Wesleyan, and many others), it is a day to recall together our mortality and need for repentance.

This year, in my own life, and I dare say perhaps too in our country and globe, the stark state of our human transience, weakness, and sinfulness is recalled with greater ease.

In these turbulent times we are blessed to feel our insufficiency in a way that many of our ancestors never did. Because of our pain we are now less likely to stay on a treadmill leading to nowhere. We are more likely to work for things that last.

A superficial glance back to this time last year suffices to prove how much life can change, so quickly, for so many. Economic and political security blankets have vanished overnight. We find ourselves newly dependent on variables outside of our control, and quite apparently outside the control of any single person or party. And those are just the changes we can see. We can feel so many more. A reflective look into our own hearts and into the evolving and devolving fabric of society will surely expose changes of other sorts–failed or restored relationships, broken or kept promises, growth in vice or virtue.

This morning as I stood in line for ashes and heard the words repeated softly by the minister to each of my confreres, “Remember, O man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19), I thought too of the billions of men and women, who over the last thousand years of this great tradition, have also heard these words, and now are what they were promised they would become: dust, again. And at once it occurred to me, that in these turbulent times we are blessed to feel our insufficiency in a way that many of them never did. Because of our pain we are now less likely to stay on a treadmill leading to nowhere. We are more likely to work for things that last.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Be Fruitful

Be Fruitful
By Mark Earley

A new book by Steve and Candice Watters, the creators of Focus on the Family’s Boundless webzine, broaches a subject that makes some blush. The title says it clearly enough: Start Your Family.

With the average marrying age increasing, and adults devoting more energy in their 20s and 30s to their careers, some couples are, as the Watters say, “pushing snooze on the biological clock.”

The result, they warn, is that “by the time the average couple tries to have kids... they are often surprised to find they are already moving past the peak of their fertile years.” In fact, a U.S. Census Bureau study found that the proportion of 40-something women who were childless and unlikely ever to have children doubled between 1976 and 2000.

Norms have shifted, and ever so subtly an American culture of married with children is disappearing. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead explains the trend in her report, “The State of Our Unions.” She writes, “Demographically, socially and culturally, the nation is shifting from a society of child-rearing families to a society of child-free adults. The percentage of households with children has declined from half of all households in 1960 to less than one-third today—the lowest percentage in the nation’s history,” she concludes.

The result is a coarsening of culture and a growing isolation for families with small children.
But the Bible tells us clearly that children are a blessing from the Lord. And God wasn’t kidding when he told us to be fruitful and multiply. Indeed, we were created to create, to be partners with God in one of the greatest miracles and creative acts we’ll ever participate in—the birth of a child.

But as having children and raising them to love and honor Christ becomes less and less the norm, the church needs to revisit both the blessings and opportunities children bring. I’m glad Steve and Candice have helped highlight some of these in Start Your Family.
Children give us a chance to see the world through fresh eyes. We rediscover the delight of a winter snowfall, spring blossoms, the wonder of a bulldozer and a ballerina.

But children also bring us happiness in a way our culture no longer understands. The ancient concept of happiness, which Aristotle termed eudaimonia, meant “an activity of the soul expressing virtue.” Having children is an opportunity for us to learn selflessness, to serve others, and sometimes to see our sinfulness on display in a way that makes us want to change.
Children are also an opportunity to advance the Kingdom of God and to make disciples. Psalm 127 compares sons to arrows in the hands of a warrior. A son or daughter with a heart for God reaches places, generations, and people that we never will.

So do what you can to help others see that children are a blessing from the Lord. Maybe you can give them a copy of the Watters’ marvelous book Start Your Family.

And if you are married and maybe pushing the snooze button, perhaps I can share this word with you: “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to start your families.”

Thursday, February 19, 2009

David and Yesenia

Aren't they a cute couple? Yes, indeed. I think they are waiting for Sofia to be big enough to be their flower girl at their wedding. I do too. Can't wait, I know Sofia would look amazing in her little flower girl dress, as well, as Yesenia would look amazing in her wedding dress, and oh yes, of course, David would look ....well, he would look like a groom.


This past Saturday Sofia turned off our television set. Is not a good thing, it was a bad thing. You see, the tv repair man came to check it out last December to see what was wrong with our TV set only to show us if you take off the back and blow dry with hot air one of the TV components we could get it back on, the only thing is that we couldn't turn it off. It was a much better option than buying a new one, so when we weren't watching TV we would change the channel to a blank one. The TV was on for about two months and even though we weren't happy with it, we were at least saving money.

This past Saturday, while I was away running errands for Sofia's b/day, Sofia managed to get hold of the TV remote control and turned it off. John jumped to turn it on again to no avail. He tried to blow dry the heck out of it. Nothing.

So, this past Monday we decided that we needed to buy a new TV for our living room (Top Chef is about to end!) So, We shopped at the almost out of business Circuit City, nothing. Best Buy, pricey....then, we went to pick up John's prescription at Sam's and wham! What did we see! TV's! The last place we would ever dream of purchasing a TV. So now, we are just happy that we get to turn off our TV set. Now is just waiting for some good Football/Basketball/Soccer/Olympic games!

Movie: Revolutionary Road


'Revolutionary Road'
By Chuck Colson

Narcissism as Virtue

Moviegoers are flocking to see their favorite stars from Titanic, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, reunited on the silver screen. But what the Oscar-nominated film Revolutionary Road serves up—and certainly what the critics are eating up—is rank, vile narcissism at its epic worst.
The central stars, Frank and April Wheeler, are steeped in pride to an almost unbelievable degree. This suburban couple from 1955 have it firmly in their heads that they’re “special” and “different.” Because they have dreams of doing something really “wonderful,” they reason that they’re better than all those drones around them who are satisfied with their quiet lives.

Obviously, all that ego doesn’t bode well for a marriage. But when they’re not screaming curses at each other, Frank and April bond by mocking friends and co-workers. In fact, these two talk like graduates of some preschool self-esteem course. Their dream is to leave all the so-called “morons” behind and move to Paris—as it apparently has never occurred to them that human nature is human nature anywhere you go.

When the dream falls apart, due to Frank’s promotion and April’s surprise pregnancy, April falls apart with it. Feeling “stifled” by her home and family, she gives herself an abortion, leading to her own death.
Nearly the only decent people in the film are an older couple with a mentally ill son who hurls insults at them. But this son is portrayed as a brave teller of uncomfortable truths. And the film’s very last moment shows even this couple subtly but unmistakably divided, as the husband turns off his hearing aid to silence his wife’s chatter.

(It’s a frequent occurrence in this film for people to try to make each other stop talking—not surprising for a film soaked in narcissism. When you’re that wrapped up in your own ego, the only person you want to hear is yourself.)
A worthwhile film could be made by dissecting the behavior of people like Frank and April and showing how loathsome their sense of entitlement really is. In fact, according to several readers of the original novel Revolutionary Road, that’s just what the novel’s author tried to do.
Well, leave it to Hollywood to try to show that those who rebel against “stifling” family life really are the heroes they make themselves out to be.

Thus, Frank’s gradual realization that he really is content with his job and wants that promotion is supposed to be the ultimate sellout. And April’s act of revenge against her unborn child—and by extension, against her whole family—becomes an heroic gesture, rather than an act of selfishness and spite.
The film’s website trumpets that Revolutionary Road “is an incisive portrait of an American marriage.” Please.

Don’t be taken in by the critical acclaim. Revolutionary Road is merely an incisive portrait of pathological egotism.
The proverb is right: Pride goeth before the fall. But the fall is a bad thing. Only Hollywood could make martyrs out of characters who sacrifice all for their pride—whose vision of happiness is perfect autonomy, and in the end, death itself.

Monday, February 16, 2009

And more pictures from Sofia's party!

Now, I realize I didn't get everyone and for that I apologize! and to punish myself, I will eat the remaining last two pieces of the Banana Chocolate Chip cake from yesterday!

Andrew and Sofia.
Alma and her nephews!

My siblings!

More pictures from Sofia's party!

Below Yesenia and David
Below Mima and James soon to be Compadre.

Below my mami and my sister Medith.

Below Guy and Mandy Seaman....He was going crazy on his wife...

The Cash Family!

Sunday, February 15th - THE PARTY!!!

All I can say is, thank you, thank you, thank you! gracias, gracias, gracias! To everyone who came and celebrated with us Sofia's 1st Birthday party! It was awesome! God blessed us with a beautiful sunny day in February!!
We had my Mother-n-Law prepare her outstanding Soy Chicken, with John's fabulous Bake Beans filled with bacon, and his famous potato salad and for the kiddos we had tuna salad sandwhiches and to sing happy birthday we ate Banana Chocolate Chip cake that everyone just loved!
We waited for everyone to arrive to start the games! We started with the Sack Race.

But very soon we had the adults take a go at it!! it was hilarious. Watch the end of the video, Phillip takes a last leap to get the W from Guy!

The second game was the Three legged race. On this race no adults participated. Afterwards, it was PINATA TIME!!!

Mommy, I'd like to hit the pinata, but I haven't developed arm strenght as of yet....
The kiddos hit the pinata first, then the adults finished it off!

Below is Ziera doing some collateral damage!
Below are the kids gathering the candy off the floor. Notice the pinata is already missing a leg!

Below is John's brother Guy doing more damage!

and finally John doing his part.
Now, I saw Hollis hitting the pinata as well and I saw a glimpse of it and it was hilarious. I will try to get that video footage for all to see!
**The birthday girl and the cake!**
This is the cake that had everyone saying, wow!!

The one below it was only for Sofia's enjoyment.

Happy Birthday to you!
We helped her out just a bit to blow off the one candle on her special cake.

Sofia after taking a bite on her cake. She's pondering on the flavor.

Everyone had left so to finish off the party Seaman style! Check out the breakdancing by Javier Chacon and Guy Seaman. Oh and the attempt of John Seaman as well.


Saturday, February 14th - Valentines Day

This day was filled with getting ready for Sofia's birthday party the next day. Oh and I managed to enroll Sofia at the All Saints Catholic School program "Little Saints" for the upcoming school year. She got in and she will be attending Tuesday's and Thursday's her classroom color is Red.

So, I picked up the cake, favors, balloons, plates, food and clean house. and got ready for the Valentines Marriage Sweetheart dance at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Our first time attending and we had a blast. They had a DJ, wine (red and white) and fabulous food and we also had the honor of sitting with outstanding couples. Two of them have been marriage for 39 years! Very inspiring. The oldest married couple was 55 years. God bless them.
Below is Sofia hiding from daddy. She didn't want to go outside to rake the remaining leafs.Her first touchdown sign!!!! I love her!
Here's Sofia making sure there is no leaf left behind. Such a trooper!
At the Valentines Marriage Sweetheart dance!
The dance was held at the Gym. There were 125 couples attending their biggest ever! The church youth group volunteered by acting as waiter's. My nephew, Andrew was there working hard! The party ended at 10pm.
The End. Day II.

Friday, February 13th

I hate it when the computer port doesn't work, I can't download my pictures!. Luckily there is another that saved the day. So, here we go again! Starting with Sofia's birthday, Friday, February 13th. Sofia got up to find her first birthday present from Abuelita (Itanea)
Then we headed to take her 1st year portraits. After the pictures she needed a break from all that smiling and posing. Then, we head out to lunch with Auntie Wendy and soon to be godmother (comadre). She took us to the ultimate restaurant. Lubby's.
By 2:30 that afternoon we were at Sofia's doctor's appointment for her annual checkup and shots. Not fun at all! Here she is playing before we went in to see Dr. Potter.
Here is her pediatrician right after her physical examination and right before her shots.
After the visit she was hungry so we headed out back to the house for her meal time and some relax time before going back out again for Maggie's baptism. But to our suprise Auntie Yesenia came in and brought Sofia her first rocker pony! It is amazing! Sofia can get off it, but not on it yet.
Below are some pics from Maggie's baptism at St. Paul Catholic Church.
The End.

Friday, February 13, 2009

1st Birthday!

I woke up this morning thanking the Lord for my daughter. A year full of so many unexpected and beautiful changes. Some were tough, like breastfeeding including pumping, waking up at all hours of the night, cleaning her belly button to heal (it took 5 weeks to get rid of it!) and going back to work and leaving her behind..oh and lastly postpartum I cried so much and felt helpless.

The beautiful things are endless. Saying I love you to a person who hasn't yet told me she loves me. I call that unconditional love. I began to understand unconditional love during my separation with John, but now, I am experiencing giving unconditional love just like it has always been given to me from above and for this I feel blessed.

2 day old Sofia - this picture was taken at the hospital.

Today! This picture was taken during her morning nap and we were starting to see that she was getting moody. I don't know how we got her to crack up a toothless smile!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Friend

This past weekend John and I attended the Retrouvaille Board Meeting and Sofia met pretty little girl, Ava. She's so cute and they both liked each other! Can you tell!?

Tornado in February

This happened this past Tuesday. We heard the sirens and my mom and I started to pray. The tornado hit in Colleyville. God help the people who lost their homes.

Uncle James!

Uncle James/Godparent brought Sofia a Houston onesie this week when he was away for a conference. Thank you! now, isn't he sweet!