Friday, November 28, 2008

Merry Christmas, Wilson and Family + Darci

We'll be spending Christmas this year with the Staleys in Evanston, Wyoming. So, since we were all together for Thanksgiving here in Portland, we wanted to give Wilson and his family along with my sister their Christmas gifts since we're not sure if we'll see each other before we leave. It was fun to do presents and watch them open their gifts. Sofia even got to open an early Christmas Present from MaMa. She was in hog heaven as she started to ride her new talking stick horse. Yay!

p.s. We missed you, Josh! (He was at his girlfriend's house for Thanksgiving).

Happy Birthday, Dad

In addition to Thanksgiving yesterday, it would have also been my Dad's 65th birthday. Most of you know he passed away July 13, 2006. I miss him terribly and couldn't stop thinking about him yesterday. I miss his sense of humor, his thick Texan accent, and his encouragement. He always made me feel and helped me to believe I could accomplish anything I wanted to. Whenever I wanted to do something or try something new, he would say: "Stormy, have at it. You figure it out, your mother and I support you 100%." He was a huge source of strength to me and still is to this day. When I'm facing something challenging I can always hear his voice in my head encouraging and pushing me. I love you, Daddy. I miss you so much.

THE cutest Mom, ever!!!

So yesterday, I gave a thank-you/ (for ALL of the help my Mom has given me in the past few weeks) birthday gift to her to receive on behalf of my dad. She really enjoyed it and I loved gifting it to her. It was nice to recognize what day it was aside from Thanksgiving and know that he would have devoured the 1/2lb of chocolate truffles I gave to my Mom. :D

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

Our Thanksgiving holiday was absolutely delightful this year. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with our family and I loved making dinner for them this year. Last year, I was so sick in the early stages of pregnancy that we ate out. It was certainly nice to be at home, enjoy some laughs, and some seriously "bomb" (as Darci would put it) food! My favorite part? Oh, yes...Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory! Thank you, Costco, for teaming up with our friends at the Cheesecake Factory--you made one happy woman on Thanksgiving! There were four flavors, I, of course, chose the Godiva Chocolate slice. Before Thanksgiving, I sent an e-mail to my family with the details about the menu and was sure to "call a piece of the godiva" since there were only 3 slices of 4 different flavors. Awesome. Delish. (We missed you Clarissa--I would have set a side a Godiva slice for you).

Darci and I with my two girls and our two nieces. Precious!!!
Darci, Sofia, Allison, Careese, Me, Sydnei

In my family, we have a tradition on Thanksgiving where we each take a few minutes to express what we're most grateful for that year. We've done this since I was very little. When we were younger, my Mom would have us write on a piece of paper one thing we were grateful for during the month of November. I still remember different Thanksgiving holiday "grateful for's" details from back then (like every member of our family writing down "The Simpsons" back when the show first debuted in 1989, I was 12). On Thanksgiving, we would read them aloud. As we grew older, we didn't write them down on paper, we simply shared them on Thanksgiving. Yesterday, was no different. We gathered after dessert and shared what we were grateful for.

Here is what I am grateful for this year:

1. The blessing to have children and be a mother. I especially cherish some very sweet and illusive moments with my girls this year--ones that only happen once, which I'll never forget.
2. My best friend, soul mate, teammate, confidant, Ryan. I couldn't be the person I am without his love, support, and guidance. We have accomplished a lot this year and couldn't have done it without each other.
3. Life lessons. I've come to understand some very key guiding principles for my own life this year, which have reshaped my perspective on things and helped me to mature as an individual.
4. A 180 in my relationship with my sister. The last couple of months' events have brought us together in a way we haven't connected since she was in the 6th grade and I was in 8th grade. It's been a long time coming.
5. To be done with all of our Christmas shopping. We are actually going to enjoy December this year!
6. My Mom's improving health, love, and friendship. I have the best Mom in the world. We have shared some fun and amazing times together this year.
7. My cousins down south. We never really knew each other growing up because of distance. Thanks to blogs, facebook, and e-mail we're connecting with each other one blog post at a time. We've even found some striking similarities--like Meredith and I sharing the same OCD behavior when it comes to folding and stowing clothes. Love you guys.
8. Costco--it just makes my life more simple and my pocketbook more flexible.
9. BFF's. You know who you are. Life wouldn't be the same or nearly as humorous without you.
10. Having a baby that sleeps through the night. Priceless.

Enjoy these pics from yesterday's celebration. Good times.

Gearing up for the feast. Yumm-o.

Cutie patootie to the MAX! She wanted to eat so BAD.

Our baby girl SO EXCITED to chow down.

I love you, Ryan.

Darci has a strong vain streak to her...she LOVES to take pictures of herself. I saw her doing this and ran over to join in. :) Love ya, Derch.

And to top it all off, I found this picture going through our digital files. This is Sofia on Thankgsiving in 2005 (age 17 months) doing a little taste test at the dessert table. Stink Pot.
Like mother like daughter.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Night at the Movies

Since Ry is in Graduate School now, our time to spend with him is VERY limited. Between his full-time job, and school not too mention church responsibilities, moments with him aren't as many as we are used to. Friday night, he came home with a surprise, the LCD projector from work! He suggested a movie/pizza night after a long day of studying on Saturday. Our dining/family room space was just perfect with a nice clean wall to project onto. We watched Cars which we checked out from the library. Most of us hadn't seen it at all (I know, isn't that crazy?) and Ryan had only seen a few parts. So, after some pizza, we popped some popcorn, got our jammies on, and had a fabulous time! Ry hooked some extra speakers up to his Mac and it was just as if we were at the movie theater --the sound, the smell of popcorn, and the big picture on the wall. I can't wait to do this again! Actually I'm hoping to do it again this Saturday when we'll watch The Polar Express movie together to gear up for our Polar Express Train Ride coming up next week at Mt. Hood. Fun, FUN, stuff!

MaMa, Sofia, Sydnei, and Ryan.
Our very own movie theater. It was awesome.
By the way, the pictures on the wall to the left are some art projects Sofia and her friends, Natalie and Isabel made. They've been "on display" for a few weeks now!

Papi and Sydnei enjoying the movie.

What a FUN night together, AND it was free! ... and "Free is a very good price." (That little saying if for all of you Portland readers--if you grew up here, you'll know where that came from!)

p.s. And while we enjoyed this, I got TONS of Christmas present wrapping done. Yessssssssssssss.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 Months!

By clicking on this picture, you can see her very first two teeth!

Miss Sydnei is 5 months-old today! She has grown a ton this month especially in length. She loves to laugh at her big sissy when Sofia dances and makes funny faces at her. Those two have a great time together. Tonight, she sat up on her own for the longest time without assistance. Just a few more days and she will have mastered the art. Yay! (That means, I can plop her anywhere in the house I want to)! She loves tummy time and tries her darndest to move her legs and crawl. She'll get there, it's only a matter of time. The only nickname that has stuck so far is "Stink." When I started increasing her formula feedings, her poo really stunk! I mean, who's poo doesn't stink?!?! But formula poo, oh man, that's a whole different league! One day she had a mega blowout and stunk to high heaven. I called her stink and still do to this day. It's really cute and she knows I'm talking to her when I say Stink. HA HA HA! I love this baby girl, she puts a smile on my face instantly.

"I'm going to get that phone and laugh at my sister while she cheers me on!"

"I want to crawl SO BAD!"

"Almost, almost."

"Yesssss. I got it. Awesome."

"Chillin' with Sissy in her room."

P.S. One of Sofia's nicknames is "Stink Pot."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Buenas Noches, Sydnei

Tonight Sydnei officially moved to her own bed and room. She has slept next to me every night in her cradle since she was born. She has grown so much the cradle is just not big or comfortable enough for her anymore. When we went upstairs to put her down for the night Ryan said: "it's time, Storm--she's just too big for the cradle now." My heart sunk. But, I knew he was right so we just did it. We set up the baby monitor, gave her a kiss, pattted her bum, turned on a lullaby and said good night.

Sound asleep in her crib with Sweet Pea at her side.

I walked out of the room and tears just came streaming down my face. I went back into my room and just stared at her cradle and cried. There is a really special story behind her cradle. It was hand made by her Great-Great Uncle Bill and her Grandpa Dave. It was used first for Sofia and now for Sydnei and will be used for our future child/children. This cradle is so special. It's by far one of the most precious gifts we've ever received. There is so much love that went into making it and it will stay in our family for generations to come.

Pictures of Great-Great Uncle Bill and Grandpa Dave the day they finished the cradle.

I know, this is the first of many milestones leading to independence but this Mami is a mess! I wish she could stay right by me but at the same time, she needs to grow and be her own person. The move to the new room is the very first step. My precious baby girl has grown so fast, she'll be 5 months old on Sunday...WHERE did the time go?

Meet Sweet Pea. She has slept with Sydnei since she was born and was a sweet gift from Lorenzo and his family.

This is a wall hanging Auntie Darci gave Sydnei for her bedroom. So perfect.

Te amo, Sydnei. Miss you already.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fun at the Pumpkin Patch

Friday, October 17, 2008, we went to the Flower Farmer Pumpkin Patch in Canby, Oregon, with Sofia's preschool, Amiguitos. It was fun to ride the train, climb the hay pyramid, pet the goats and bunnies, and pick a Pumpkin. Sofia got to do all of this along side her cute friends, Brooklyn and Lorenzo. Those three had a blast together. Sydnei and I had fun watching these crazy kiddos!

Brooklyn, Sofia, and Lorenzo point to the giant hay pyramid.
They were so excited to climb that bad boy.

Sofia pets the bunny.

This sweet bunny reminded me of the pet bunny I had named, Winefred, when I was a little girl.

Final answer.
After going through what seemed like 50, this was the winning pumpkin Sofia selected.

If you click on this picture you'll see it from the large view. Lorenzo is cheering Sofia on as she climbs up to the top but turns around to make sure I'm still watching her! I was so proud of you, Sofia, for conquering your fear of heights!

Snack time, sitting by none other than, Lorenzo. Shocker.

That was so fun!
Sofia, Brooklyn y Lorenzo

Halloween - Part 2

We had a blast Halloween night with our super duper friends, the Espinos. Amy prepared a delicious Italian Bean and Pasta soup, recipe compliments of Williams & Sonoma. We ate the soup in bread bowls, a perfect dinner on a fall Halloween night. During dinner the girls would rush to the door to tend to trick or treaters. Afterwards, we put the finishing touches on the girls' hair and costumes--sparkles and all! Sofia was Sleeping Beauty, Isabel was a Cheetah, Natalie was a Princess, and Baby Sophia was Winnie the Pooh. Amy and I nominated the Dad's to take the kids trick or treating while we stayed back to chat it up in a quiet house. It was a very peaceful and relaxing 20 minutes. :D

Upon return, the girls immediately began sorting and eating their loot. They couldn't wait to get home to dive in and apparently requested to go home sooner than the Dad's thought they would. While the girls enjoyed some Halloween candy, we indulged in fresh homemade Cinnamon Rolls. THANK YOU, AMY!!! Amy spent hours in the kitchen that day and everything came out perfectly. The girls partook of the Cinnamon rolls as well. Needless to say we had a ton of fun and definitely over stuffed ourselves.

Handing out the goods to the trick or treaters.

Just about ready to go.

These three were READY to hit the houses. Crazy girls.
Sofia, Isabel, and Natalie

No doubt the girls had a blast. I just love Baby Sophia already trying to take a bite of her Milky Way Bar. Cuteness.

Doing a little dance.

Two sissy's. Killer pic.

Sweet Sydnei. I love her little face!

Funny moment with Papi. Showing off her pig tail.

Relishing her favorite, a Hershey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bar.

The Cinnamon Rolls. 'nuff said.

A bit of Halloween History

Sofia is our girly girl.




She loves to play dress up and most importantly to be a Princess. She describes Cinderella as "magical" and selects dresses based on their "twirling" ability. This year she was Sleeping Beauty. It's the third year in a row she's chosen to be a Princess. I thought I'd post a little chronology of her Halloween past.

Miss Piggy



Snow White

Sleeping Beauty a.k.a. Aurora

Sofia, you will always be my Princess. I love you!