Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

Rachel, Lori Jo, me, and Julie loving on our dad.
We were very blessed to have him his as our dad.
 Today was Father's day...and I forgot to call my dad.  I got Xavi to bed, made supper, and sat down to write a quick blog about how thankful I am for my dad...and realized that I didn't make a special call in honor of the day.  I hate to forget since I know how he looks forward to our calls and loves to hear from all his girls.  But I hope he knows how much I love him EVERYDAY, not just this one "hallmark" holiday.  I did send a card...but as usual, I got it in the mailbox on Saturday...the day before the holiday.  Man, I am telling of these days :)  Any suggestions?  I am sorry Dad...I love you and I am so thankful to have had such a hard working, tender, supportive, faithful, health conscious, strong, and LOVING man as my father.  Thank you for giving me roots...and wings to fly. 

Happy Father's Day Phil and Carlos (Mario's dad)!
Today was Mario's first Father's day...and he was in class all day yesterday AND today.  Xavi and I made the most of our time together...he was happy and full of life...and he helped me pick out something special for dad.  Xavi's vote was to buy adult sized shark jammies...just like his baby sized ones!  We opted for something else and some yummy chocolate.  Happy Father's day Mario...I am so glad that we chose to go on this amazing, lifelong journey together.  I am thankful for everyday we have...good and bad...and hope for many more, side by side leading our "pack" on this adventure.   

3.5 months pregnant with Xavi.
We both had a nice surprise ...the daycare that Xavi goes to in Wisconsin sent a package that had a gift from Xavi to Dad inside.  It was a t shirt and a craft that Xavi made himself.  We both LOVED it...our first kid craft...and it is now on our mantle.  I can only imagine how hard it will be to decide what to keep and what to, gasp, throw away!  (I'm sure I'll need some moral support from those whom I have helped toss boxes of life's memories in the honor of decluttering and simplifying.  That's what friends are for, right?) Thanks VitaKids!

He painted it all by himself...he's a genius!
When we were little, Lori, Rachel, and I made our dad a Father's day cassette tape of singing, stories, and lessons (you see....)in our little kid voices full of love and joy.  And they still bring it out to embarrass us (especially me and my original songwriting/singing debut)...I am glad you kept it and hope we can find a way to preserve the memory, just as we will find a way to bottle up our days with Xavi baby. 

No toy required...
Happy Father's day... the first of a lifetime of grubby hugs and slobbery kisses (even if they become only memories once he is a teenager...).  And I'll give you an extra hug when I see you next week, ok dad?  And we can share a yummy Scruffy Dog beer, deal? 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Busy days

Trying to climb up the couch...won't be long
He's determined to ride Ricky before too long

Eating FOOD...egg yolk, avocado, and banana is my favorite

Looking out the window...and trying to pull off the leaves

knocking over the trash and finding mom's macaroon wrapper

chewing on my new looks like a real nipple (albeit blue). 

And of course, in general looking for trouble. Here is a video evidencing that quest...he's wearing his sleep sack (tied in a knot) because he was supposed to be napping! Ah well...

Back in Cali

We love our's small (at least in Wisconsin standards, huge for Cali), but we get lots of sun, protection from wind, and it's private.  So Xavi can sunbathe in the nude without worry of exposing himself...ok, not that he is worried about it, but he IS concerned about his farmer tan.  (heehee)  Most of the time I don't use sunscreen.  His skin is such a nice color, tans easily, and this way he's producing lots of Vitamin D. 
 We got home on Saturday night and crashed.  It was an exhausting trip home but I swear he knows when mama needs his help and everytime...he rises to the occasion.  We did have a major diaper blow out just before boarding the plane requiring an entire wardrobe change..on the floor by the gate (eeek!)  But he slept the whole flight (3+hours) from MSP to the OC, even while another baby shrieked for at least half of the trip.  Dad was there to pick us up and I was so relieved to see him.  AND have help carrying the luggage.  Sunday we were up early and went surfing!!!  Mama got a turn and it was sooo much fun.  It took me awhile to get into the swing of it but once I did, I had a bunch of sweet, long waves.  It felt like I hadn't missed almost a year of surfing.  Then, we went for breakfast at my fave - Pipes- while Xavi napped.  It was a perfect welcome home and one of those days I hope I'll always cherish. 
 Monday it was back to work but we were happy to see Miss Debbie.  We tried on a pair of our summer overalls...too small!!!  I had to take a picture since Gramma Nina gave these to Xavi and he only got to wear them once. 
 The whole week Xavi had a weird schedule as he was re-adjusting to this time zone and this routine.  He had a few cranky moments but almost always got happy when he got to be naked.  Here he is doing his hurdler's stretch.
Warm up is essential when pulling up on everything, stretching for the remote control just out of reach, and making a run for it. 

I'm out of here!  Later Mom!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hard to say good bye...

We loved being at "home" with Gramma and Grampa.  We had everything we need to feel right at home and we settled in comfortably.  Xavi enjoyed his time there and he was the happiest I've known him to be. 

Saying something profound, for sure...he IS advanced

And finds a nipple wherever he can...this was his favorite toy
A rolling pin with TWO on each end!

Might it have been the two teeth that broke through while we were there?  Did that allow him some relief from the gnawing, naggy pain? 

Maybe it was that he started to crawl and with his new found mobility used up that extra irritating energy?  or he could now finally go after toys on his own terms with some control over his limbs? 

He woke up with a smile, met my tired face at the end of a long day with a huge, heart melting smile, and thrilled Gramma and Grampa with his grins from ear to ear.  He makes everything more meaningful and I cherish every moment I have with him.  Nothing is more important. 

And nothing makes it harder to take him away from Gramma and Grampa than their sad faces, empathising with the pain their hearts must feel.  Cause I feel it too when I have to say good bye to Xavi, if even for a few hours.    Alas, we missed Daddy waiting for us at home in Cali and so our time in Wisconsin had to come to an end.  We promise to come again. 

Memorial Weekend - Together at last

Everyone came "home"! 

Cousin Elodie "holding" the "baby".
We ALL met in Wisconsin at mom and dad's for the long weekend.  Rachel, Roger, Owen, and Gabby drove down from MN.  Jewely, Todd, Elodie, and Caleb DROVE from Colorado...with bikes.  Lori and Matt flew in from Tampa (I had never met Matt and was like the LAST one to give my approval, or NOT!...he totally passed.  what a great guy!).  AND Mario got home from  Costa Rica, jumped on another plane, and despite having tons of homework and tests to take, joined us for a weekend of family fun.  Xavi and I were both happy to see him...even hearing his voice on the phone was uplifting as we hadn't had any communication in over a week while he was traveling. 

Yay!  Daddy's here!!

Elodie wasn't thrilled that I was "helping" her.

Lori and Matt...wait a second...?!

Gramma and Grampa at their happiest
Gabby, Elodie, Xavi, and Owen

The four "Larsen" girls
(Maybe I should put the quotes around "girls" too...well, I guess it depends on what we are talking about!)
We played bean bags, drank Scruffy Dog (Dad's homemade beer) and Dad's wine, watched the Lightening play in game 7 (they lost, boo), sat on the swings, took in a Brewer's game from the Club level (awesome seats and food), and watched a slide show (literally) of mom and dad's early days.  It's always great to be together and always goes too fast.

Riding the dog (Caleb) as if he were a small horse...definitely not frowned upon.
(I love that commercial)

Taz with his Go Bolts beard...for good luck!

A rare date for us

Dad with his favorite, coffee, AND sweets!

Lori, Matt, Todd, and Dad enjoying our awesome seats (Thanks Lori and Matt)

Aunti Lori and Xavi

Julie playing games with Aunties Paula & Karen, and Gramma

Todd and Roger "Dude, you can't fit in that car..."

ummm,'s my Mario and yes, he fit! (I'm so...proud?)
When everyone left, the house was so quiet.  I was glad to still be there so that mom and dad didn't lose everyone at once.  Mario stayed an extra day and was able to spend an entire day with Xavi as I had a business trip to St Louis. I left at 7:15am and returned exhausted and relieved at 9pm.  The boys had a great day, with a little help from Gramma.  I love that he was there and had that day to spend with Xavi. 

Elodie riding her strider bike on the Emma Carlin trails with mom Julie, nervously, cheering her on. 
Memorial weekend is always nice to have that extra day to spend with family...but we always remember the reason for that day.  I am thankful for those that served our country and gave their lives for our freedom.  God bless their families and although I know the pain of loss will never go away, I hope they know that we honor them today...and every day. 
God Bless America. 
Thank you.