Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nico Burrito

Our little Nico has the sweetest spirit.  He has his fussy times (6-8pm) and if mama eats something disagreeable to his little tummy, we all hear about it.  (It's funny how farts make little ones so upset.  It's also funny how amusing big farts sound coming out of such little bodies.  And again, it's funny that at my age, farts are still funny. oh well...)  But there is something very mellow about him that is different than Xavi. 

 They can both be intense but in different ways.  Nico is still intense and has shown a bit of a temper, especially when in the car or being held by someone new that is NOT mama.  He has a way of looking at you that is beyond his age (almost 6 whole weeks!)...very calm as he quietly assesses you with his big dark eyes.

 He loves riding in the Moby wrap, sleeping cuddled close to mom, and hearing brother's voice.

 Big brother Xavi has his ups and downs in regards to his it was evident that he is feeling jealous and wants to be held as much as Nico.  He may have a bit of a tummy bug, so who can blame him.  Don't we all want our moms when we don't feel well?  He got a bit too close a time or two but Nico was swept away by me and/or Gramma just in time.  Poor little guy...already getting wrestled by big brother.

Nico had his first bath last week...I know!  It took me 5 weeks to get him wet but really, he wasn't dirty and still smelled sweet.  But Gramma was coming and so I thought we ought to give haircuts and take baths...

Big Brother loves to "hold" Nico and here he was being very sweet while Gramma watched over the interaction.  He kissed brother and held him tight...  Being a mom of two boys is both very rewarding and very challenging...especially with one that is not quite two.  I sleep with one under each arm and so I'm never lonely at night...quite a blessing since I've been missing Mario so much.  I'm beginning to see that they have me quite surrounded and that I'm definitely outnumbered.  It takes two to raise two...(those of you with 3 and 4?  You people are in trouble, but you kind of asked for it - HAHA!  I'm so just kidding!  That could be us someday, you just never know!) 
But I am getting better at juggling the two on my own and I'm so thankful for all the help i've been given.  I know we have hard days ahead and probably more tears..but for today and tonight, we are at peace knowing that we have each other.  I feel peaceful knowing that I have two little pieces of Mario to keep me company while he is off being our hero.  

Super Grampa

Grampa drove out here from Wisconsin (with stops to visit Julie in Colorado and Uncle Jimmy in Arizona).  We got to have him here for a whole week and it was as always way too short.  He helped me with a few important projects like stroller storage, rodent containment (a whole other story that I'm not ready to get into right now), auto maintenance, diaper changes, Xavi playtime, baby Nico holding, and most importantly, he brought me some of his home brew!  Matter of fact, there wasn't much he didn't do!  Breakfast and dinners, dishes and walks...I loved having him here.  Xavi loved having him here and it breaks my heart knowing how nice it would be to live closer, see him more often, and NOT have to say good bye for so long.  Here are some highlights:

Grampa took over big truck watching duties

Making friends with little sweet Nico (Thanks for the shirt Julie!)

Xavi walking instead of riding in the stroller down to the beach (Thanks for the hoody Julie!)

Xavi's obsessed with his Thomas and friends trains...he lines them all up in just the right order and Grampa learned to NOT touch unless Xavi asked for helped to move them to another location...haha we've ALL learned that lesson.

Grampa holding Nico while mama got some much needed sleep (a 20 minute nap!)

Holding Grampa's hand as we walked through Costco (we went for 2 things and left with 7?)

"Helping" grampa set up the new stroller shed

Bonfire on the beach!!!  That has been on my list since I moved here...Yay!  

"Helping" grampa carve pumpkins

Playing with trucks and diggers on the beach

Sunset at San Onofre

Rough housing with Grampa

Going for a the "nude" beach (ages 2 and under only)
Self inflicted shot at sunset...Fun times!

See Grampa?  They work!!!  Thank you, Love you, Come back soon!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Settling in

I am happy to report that things in the Melendez family are becoming more "normal".  It's almost 4 and a half weeks since little Nico joined us (outside of my body) and it's been really hard to find time to update our status.  Ok, I still am finding it difficult to get ANYTHING done on any "normal" given day, including regular updates here...but I had to try and get it documented that we are doing better.
happy days are here again

Of course, we miss the head of our family as Papa is at "work" but we have been able to Skype regularly even with the big time difference.  Xavi knows he is working and I know he misses him...but it seems as if as long as mama is constant, all is ok in the world.  We've had a LOT fewer meltdowns in the last two weeks and I almost have my happy boy back.
getting Nico's birth certificate...he"s a real boy!

happiest playing in the dirt

Of course, when "we" are tired, hungry, bored, or someone "new" comes around...things get a little touchy.  But he loves his brother:   loves to "help" me change him, get him up from his nap when he wakes up, and demands that I bring him when we are heading out in the car.  Nico stares at Xavi and follows him with his eyes the best he can and definitely knows his voice.  Now the problem is that sometimes when one starts crying, the other joins in.

Of course they are sharing "chi chi" and make eye contact during that special time.  I know they will be best friends and I can't wait for that.  i've had friends share their own stories and photos about the bonds of brotherly love and I am so thankful.  I feel like a big mama piggy while they are having this special moment but since I know that this is temporary and NOT going to last for long and that this is the best thing I can do for both of them...I am ok with feeling temporarily like a piggy.

no caption needed

And of course, we are thankful that we've had family and other help reach out to us during this challenging time.  Xavi is still a bit wary of everyone that comes in the door but thats ok.  He warms up in his own time and way.  Nico is happiest in mama's arms and I'm remembering how to wear the Moby all day just in case.
guess what we are watching...

BIG TRUCKS! Trash day

Nico Felipe and Grampa Phillip

Gramma Nina 

Xavi wasn't the only one needing Grampa time

We are settling in to our new "normal"...if I was watching it on TV it might be funny...but we are getting there and I am figuring out how to fit in a quick tooth brushing every day. (Just in time for things to change or a tooth to come in or someone to hit a growth spurt...)  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
handsome #1

handsome #2

Monday, October 15, 2012

Church clothes

I have been wanting to get back to church and figured that now is as good a time as any.  I just got Xavi some cute new fall clothes and to get my money's worth we needed somewhere to show them off...haha  We met Debbie at her church near our house and...watched the service on TV.  I got the three of us dressed, some breakfast, and out the door in be early!

 They had a garbage truck and Thomas trains! And a nursery attached to the kids room with a TV, couch, and so Xavi got to try out "church" while having mom close by.
 Debbie and I watched the service on the TV.  Maybe next week, we'll get to sit in the sanctuary while Xavi plays happily.  If we go regularly, I want it to be a fun experience for handsome lil man...not painful because  I leave him in daycare.  A big step for all of us, but having done it for the first time...I figure it should get easier every time, right?  Amen!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

God Speed Papa...We Love You

We said good bye to Papa last night for our first deployment, my first not his.  It was a bit surreal.  I've known this was coming for over a year now and we've had time apart as he did his "work up" (6 months of training before the actual deployment).  Even still, when it came time to hug him for the last time and watch him walk out the gate...I was completely at a loss for words.  One because if I tried to talk I would've sounded like this..."baaaah, and then...waaaaah...but....noooo"; two because it was hard to wrap my head around him leaving for SIX months, a half of a year...In baby and toddler time, that is A LOT!  And in mommy time?  That is FOREVER!

The good thing is that the boys are still so young that although they love Papa - love knowing he is around and Xavi is loving the rough house play and wrestle that he does so well - Mama is the source of food, sleep, and major security.  They won't remember this time and it's less critical in the father son relationship schematic.  So...if he has to go, then I'm glad it is now and not when they are older.
Playing with best garbage truck EVER
We have had a wonderful month after his training was done to "re-integrate" as a family full time AND  he was here to welcome Nico to our pack.  I was so thankful to have that much time together both with the newborn and with Xavi.  There were lots of fun times with Papa and I wanted to record some good ones here so we'll always remember.  As I've said before, there is no one I'd rather see my babies play with, sit with, be held by, and loved on than this handsome man of mine.  (I always talk about how handsome he is...because he is!...because it embarrasses him a little bit...and because I know that's the most surface thing I can identify him by...he is that and so much more.)
Mario and I didn't get to sleep together much while he was home that gets a little crowded in a queen with Xavi, me, Mario, Diego, and now Nico.  I miss having that time with him...and I do miss the sleeping part of sleeping as it were.  Currently, I've been sandwiched between Nico and Xavi...all crammed onto my side of the bed...even when Mario isn't in bed.  I keep reminding myself that this is temporary...and we'll get a king when papa gets home!

"MORE!"  "MORE!"

Papa and Nico on the night he was born.

Helping out with tubby time

Gazing at Papa...always very calm in his arms

Kissing brother...such a good big brother

Family walk with new "Dualie" stroller...Xavi opting to walk instead of ride

On the beach with Papa close behind...heading to the swings

Proud papa...sleepy time for baby

...AND Papa
Discovering YouTube videos of garbage trucks, diggers, and Thomas

Peek a Boo...I see you

"FISHIES" Aquarium near LegoLand

Getting Nico's birth certificate and doing more gazing at Papa

And another favorite...throwing rocks into the ocean with papa
When Mario and I first started dating, he asked me up front how I would feel about him going back into the military.  Without hesitation I answered that I would be proud to support him in that way.  And I still feel that way.  Without hesitation, I am proud of his decision to return to serve.  I am proud of his hard work and dedication to his job.  I am proud of how strong he is both physically and mentally.   My heart swells knowing that my man can "operate" under the most demanding and challenging circumstances.  Without hesitation, I know that I did well to choose him as the father of my children and that we were "meant to be" (whatever that means).  I am proud that he has chosen ME to have his children and stand beside him through it all.  And I will feel so proud that in the end, I was stronger than I knew I could be, allowing him to do what needs to be done and keep our family together.  I will be here to open the gate welcoming him back home and I'm pretty sure I'll be "speechless" then too..only this time it will be through tears of joy.      Godspeed my love.  Godspeed Papa.