Baby Bird

april-2009-birdies-and-painting-003While Kanan and I enjoyed the warm evening at dusk playing in the sandbox, a baby bird fell out of its nest and landed in the grass next to us. Kanan pointed it out to me right away– “Whats that Mama? Whats that?” he cried. And I turned and saw it. It hopped precariously along the grass, crying out for its Mama. Even Kanan noticed and said, “Is crying Mama” so empathetically. We followed it along. Kanan asked if he could touch it “nice” and I explained to him that we couldn’t touch it or its parents would reject it. As dusk grew dimmer, we videotaped the parents watching over the bird and swooping down to try and rescue it. I had to erase most of that footage to make room for the footage I was hoping to catch of the actual rescue, but unfortunately, my batteries died before I could get there. Enjoy picture and the couple of videos. 🙂

Closeup of baby bird in action and Kanan’s curiosity.

Me trying to capture the bird’s parents rescue it…never got it. And the next day bird was still there! I hope it survives all alone. 😦

Kanan Can Memorize Lyrics!

Here is a cute video as proof. He is singing (with Mom’s help, so excuse my annoying Mommy singing voice) “Are You Sleeping Brother John.” And in the car today, there was a song on the radio called “Good Morning Planetariuim” by Falling Up and Kanan actually sang one of the words at the right part! 🙂 I am so proud. 🙂

Kanan Turns Two!

3346189558_17b634d02bHis birthday party was awesome. Thank you so much to everyone who came and for those who couldn’t come, we missed you! Kanan loved all of his friends, jumping on the jumper, playing in the park, hitting the pinata, and of course eating his cake. He loves all of his presents too. You all spoiled him! 🙂 Thank you again, so much. I wish I could have talked more with everyone who came, but Kanan did seem to have a bad case of Mamitas on his birthday so he kept me busy. I’ve posted some pictures on my Flickr account so check it out to the right.

I heard a lot of guests commented on how divine the cake was, which is exciting because my good friend Rebekah Gusman made it. If you ever want to order cakes, cupcakes, or entrees (she is a personal chef !) from her, she offers great prices and delicious meals. As a matter of fact, when I had Kanan, she made me almost two weeks worth of amazing meals, which she she packaged and gave to me to keep in the freezer. So after having a c-section, I just had to pop the meal in the oven (she provided the temps and times too). This was such a great help and I’ll never forget her for it.  You can find her at www.cravepcs.com.

 Kanan said the cake was “yummy” and has been saying even more since then. He has developed in language and in growth since two weeks ago when I bragged about him. Within the last two weeks, he can say “mano” (animal), “oh man!”, “oh dude,” “Hailey,” “Nono” (for his friend Nolan), “Rara” (Grandma), and “C-Duck” (for his Uncle C-dog, real name Chris).  He is also starting to play a little make believe. He excitedly fed juice to his Manny doll given to him on his birthday by his Great Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Bernie. He also has these miniature father, mother, and child that he sets up and puts in his trucks. He also has them hug and kiss all the time. He calls them “Mama” “Dada” and “baby” too, so I was a little intrigued as to why he puts “Mama” in the back of the truck, while “Dada” and “baby” get to ride in the driver and passenger seats. Hmmmmmm 😛 Well, regardless, it is so cute. Especially since he hasn’t taken Mike’s and my seperation in a negative way or even shown it in his reinactment of a family with his little dolls (except for putting Mama in the back of the truck part I mean) . That makes me happy.

It is crazy to believe that a year ago my little boy who weighs now about 31 pounds was born. He is such a joy and with every milestone, he just gets better and better.

Enjoying MLK Jr Day

martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-weekend-2009-006Today was such a wonderful day! Aside from Kanan waking me up at 530 this morning, it really was grand. And thankfully I own a delicious blend of espresso I bought at Sprouts and my favorite creamer in the world–Italian Sweet Creme, so I was able to make it through the 530 A.M wake up. Kanan and I started our morning off cuddling in bed for about a half hour and then cuddled on the couch and watched Martha Speaks and Clifford on PBS while I woke up with my morning cup of java. We then had breakfast, went for a walk, and played at the park. Kanan climbed up the rope ladder about three times in a row all by himself. He is so cute when he says “up, up, up”  every time he moves his feet up each rung.

The real fun came in mid-morning when we went to Lake San Marcos and fed bread crumbs to the ducks. Kanan spent more energy eating his white bread than throwing it into the lake, but he certainly enjoyed watching the ducks while he munched and did throw a few crumbs here and there.

martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-weekend-2009-025Afterward we went to my sister’s house and Kanan ran around with his cousin Harley for about an hour before passing out for his afternoon nap. My sister, Grandma, Dad, and Linda chit-chatted a bit. Then I napped too to catch up after waking up so early. After Kanan woke up, my dad, grandma, and Linda left for downtown Carlsbad to snoop around. Kanan was great. He snacked on cookies from Starbucks, played with his toys in his stroller as we walked the streets, pointed and smiled at cool decorations at a local import shop, and ate well at Coyote Bar and Grill where we ate dinner. The salsa there was delicious and Kanan liked the salsa so much, he ate all the salsa I poured on his plate and then when he finished, grabbed the salsa dish, pulled the straw out of his water and started slurping it up! No joke and I promise you no one at the table initiated martin-luther-king-jr-holiday-weekend-2009-049that! My salsa loving son came up with that brilliant idea all by himself! He then saw a little boy in the next booth and decided to talk with him in his little baby talk. I’m not sure all what he said, but I did hear “truck” and “shoe” and Kanan did kick out his foot and point to his shoe as he told the little boy all about it.

He is sleeping well now, clean from his bath and teeth brushing, and warm from his blankets and his first pillow. I blessed him before he went to sleep. What a joy it was to spend the day with my family today and of course, watch my son grow and learn and laugh.

Quick–How Many Christmas Parties Does it Take to Tire Theresa?

december-2008-008Since my family is not only large but also seemed to to do Christmas separately this year, it took me a while to be able to make this post. At first I was very upset about it, but it worked out and it just made Christmas feel more like Hanukkah instead, which does have its perks. We didn’t have just one Christmas….we had like five! So it took about a week to get through all of my Christmas-get-togethers and boy am I tired!

Our Christmas adventures started last weekend when Kanan and I went to my Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Bernie’s house out in Newport Beach. Some of my dad’s family was there and while we didn’t exchange gifts, we used that time to just talk and eat and enjoy the time together. I hadn’t seen my cousins Jennifer and Christopher in over a year so it was a real blessing to see them. Kanan loved playing with his third cousin Noah and eating chocolate and refusing to take a nap. He didn’t get to bed that night until late, but he was super happy.

Then on Tuesday, Kanan and I packed up my car and headed up to december-2008-042Upland where we spent the afternoon and evening at my old friend Lisa’s house. We exchanged gifts for the kids and the Kanan had a wonderful time playing with his buddy Nolan. They shared trucks, played chase, watched cartoons, went shopping at the local mall, ate dinner together, and took a bath together before going to bed. What a joy it was to be with my friend Lisa with whom I’ve been friends for 15 years and see our children growing together.

Kanan and I stayed through the next morning, Christmas Eve, and then left at 1130 to head out and make a quick visit to my other old friend’s house—Bekah. Bekah and I have known each other since 6th grade and now her children Alex and Cole are friends with my son. Kanan and Alex played and exchanged gifts as well, and we ate a quick lunch with them before all the boys needed to take a nap.

Kanan and I headed back to Upland and went to my Grandparents house to take a nap and prepare for Christmas with the Colombian side of the family. I attempted to make it to a Christmas Eve church service at my mother’s old church Water of Life, but they didn’t have child care available december-2008-0011for the 3 o’clock service. The ushers told me not to worry–that they were going to have a puppet show and that kids were welcome. Well, apparently none of us were ready for Kanan’s plans although I had an in-cling of suspicion. He was okay through the worship part but then started wanting to run down the aisles and climb up on chairs and throw his toys over the backsides of chairs or shout out hello to nearby Christians. I gave him a cereal bar which appeased him for about 3 seconds, but thankfully the puppet show started. I thought for sure, this would entertain him. They wanted all the children to come up on the stage and listen to this monkeyish puppet teach the children about the true meaning of Christmas. All the kids from 3 months old to 5 years old stared quietly, in awe of the little hairy animal telling his tale. That is every child BUT mine. Kanan was more interested in the kids around him and in jumping down the steps of the stage. He then attempted again to run down the front aisle, but thankfully a nearby saint grabbed him for me. At this point I gave up, went back to my seat, grabbed my purse and told my mom we were leaving. She smiled understandably. So I took Kanan in his dressy Christmas outfit out i3144739785_46343ccc11nto the playground where he played a bit before discovering a muddy rain puddle. That was the end of his handsome Christmas getup. I was so done. I carried him out to the car, drove through a local Starbucks for a Espresso Truffle for me and a Vanilla Steamer for him and we went back to Grandma and Grandpas

The afternoon was filled with family coming in, delicious food including bacon wrapped prunes ( I know, crazy, but amazing!) cookies, and other sweets. I don’t give Kanan sugar at all and so made the naive mistake of thinking one special occasion wouldn’t hurt. Yeah right, my child turned into a crazy kid! He was running around non-stop, rebelling, rolling around on the ground. He passed out in the car on the hour and a half drive back home, slept through the night and woke up on Christmas morning a total grump! Don’t give your children sugar! It is poison! 🙂

christmas-2008-001Christmas was otherwise good. We had a small get-together at my dad’s house where I currently live. My mom and her boyfriend came over (yes, my parents are friends) and my step mom Linda’s best friend came over with her boyfriend. We enjoyed opening gifts, eating an amazing brunch that Linda cooked up, and then after Kanan’s nap, we headed out to my sisters to do a Christmas dinner with her and her family. Barbie’s boyfriend Paul made an incredible prime rib roast and Kanan finally cheered up although it took the whole day before he was somewhat normal and recovered from the previous day’s sugar. We played Catchphrase, exchanged gifts, laughed, and talked. Kanan thought my mom’s toes were candy and tried to nibble them and later pointed at his rear-end and said “butt” so that was in deed a highlight to our Christmas evening. Unfortunately her kids were not there because this Christmas was their year to spend with Dad.

christmas-2008-008So Christmas continued on through yesterday, when Barbie came over with her daughter Harley so Harley could open her Christmas gifts. We had another delicious dinner with Honey Glazed Ham and Au Gratin Potatoes. My Grandmother Lois came as well because she spent Christmas with my cousin Breanna in Palm Desert. Harley and Kanan played with each other because Mike stopped by for a bit so Kanan could see his favorite cousin. Kanan left on Friday to be with his dad and have their own little Christmas on Saturday morning with Mike’s family who drove down from Santa Barbara.

Gah! So here I am now. My biggest regret is not getting any large pictures of everyone together. For more pictures of other family and friends moments in my grand Christmas party race, check out the Flickr thumbnails on the side bar. But I digress…..My final point comes now: Tired? Yes. Blessed? Indeed. Waiting on the New Year? You bet! I’ve got plenty of excitement and hope for 2009 and will be posting a New Year blog here soon. I hope everyone’s Christmas was Merry indeed.

Halloween and Kanan

pic-01471This year’s Halloween adventure was much better than last years. Check the archive for my details on that although I warn you, the crying skunk pictures are adorable. This year, Mike had Kanan on Halloween, but because I couldn’t resist spending time with my son on such a fun evening, Mike allowed me to not only tag along on their adventure, but even allowed me to direct us where to go. So where to? We went to my Church’s Harvest Festival! It seemed like a fun, wholesome place for Kanan to go and we wouldn’t have to worry about Kanan running in the streets or getting hit by cars or having big kids steal his candy. Mike dressed him in a wet suit and messed up his hair. He was the cutest little surfer there and danced to the band playing music, played bingo, rolled over-sized balls around, and made friends with a little girl dressed as the Cowardly Lion. He even introduced me to her in his little baby gibberish. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, I did forget my camera, but asked Mike to take a shot of Kanan with his cellphone camera. Here is Kanan taking a break from dancing as he gazes at the audience. He was exhausted at this point in the evening and we left shortly after. All in all, Halloween was a success. Kanan had one piece of candy—a tootsie pop and loved every lick it took to get to the center.

Kanan update—the good, the bad, and the ugly!

The Good:

Kanan went to the doctor’s last Friday for his well checkup. Mike was there for most of it, but I came in for a short time to drop off my new health insurance information and came in just as tge pediatrician was telling him that Kanan is advanced for his age in his verbal skills and he is right on target for other milestones for his age. He is in the 75th percentile for his weight and height (I don’t remember the actual weight and height though because I came late and saw only the percentiles while Mike got to hear the details).

Two really cool things he said recently include:

  • “Momma, what wrong?” ( I was crying about something when he said this….so cute. Showed empathy and good language skills)
  • “I want breakfast! I want breakfast!” (This was right after he woke up last week during his growth spurt).

He has a total of 10 teeth. Four on top, two on the bottom and four molars. He finally can chew raw veggies which excites me. Of course, the only raw veggies he will eat is salad if it is doused in Italian dressing. But that is good. It’s a start. He still doesn’t fall for steamed veggies covered in cheese sauce or peas mixed in with his Mac and Cheese so I’m still using Jessica Seinfeld’s technique of blending veggies and sneaking them into sauces and other foods. It works.

Kanan is also starting to experiment with the potty. He hasn’t actually gone to the bathroom in it yet, but he sits on it. And he even asks for toilet paper and tries to wipe himself. So funny!

Finally, Kanan loves his new place here at Grandpa’s and looks forward to the weekends when he gets to see his grandparents. He loves spending time with his Dad of course. He eagerly runs to them when they are home and gives them hugs and kisses before bed on Saturday and Sunday nights. On my days, Kanan and I go on bike rides, play with Kanan’s new friend across the street named Hailey (and her super cool Mom who is now my new friend! Yay!), go to the park, and go on walks (Kanan’s newest self-made ritual is a walk to the park after dinner. He initiates the walk and I spend the whole time following him where he wants to go—so cool! We also draw together and read books. Kanan often reads books by himself too. Tonight I came into the room to find Kanan with one of his books and he was jibber-jabbering to himself about choo-choos. I looked at the book and there on the page was a picture of a train. So he knows what he is talking about! 🙂 Good “reading comprehension” I suppose. As for his other life—Mike tells me that Kanan is learning to boogie board and is even trying to balance on the board, so hopefully surfing will be a natural next step. They go the beach almost every day they spend together. They also go out to eat a lot with Mike’s buddies. And Mike recently took Kanan to the Birch Aquarium where Kanan had a wonderful time.

The Bad:

At this recent checkup, they gave him 4 shots. Of what I don’t remember, but I must say, he was a miserable mess the next day. I took him to Bate’s Nut Farm (Folks around here call it Nate’s Butt Farm—just rolls off the tongue better, ya know?) with my Dad and Linda expecting for Kanan to have a great ol’ time jumping in the jumper, sliding down slides, going on haystack rides, petting the animals, etc. But instead, my little grumpy baby screamed his head off until I layed him down in his stroller and stuck a pacifier in his mouth, whereby he instantly passed out. We hadn’t even made it to lunch yet. When he woke up, he was interested in the ducks and Turkeys but could care less about the jumper which is crazy because he LOVES LOVES LOVES jumpers. He normally jumps around in it with all the other youngsters and screams “jum, jum!” But not this time.This time, after the birds, he was obsessed with going on the haystack ride. He called it a choo-choo. It was a train of wagons pulled by a tractor so I can see where he saw the resemblance. We waited in line. Well more like I waited and he screamed with impatience. I was exhausted to say the least.

The Ugly:

It was a tough day. And to top it all off, I made the mistake of trying to cheer him up with a sip or two of Sprite. Well, it attracted a honey bee and the bee stung Kanan on his eye! At that point we decided to go home. Poor kid. I pulled the stinger out and we put some medicine on his eye to prevent any swelling. He was okay. He had a reddish ring around his eye the following day, but otherwise, no deadly reactions.

He is finally starting to get back to his old self today aside from one temper tantrum, and some night wakings but the temper tantrums just might be his new self given he is at that age. We are all practicing ignoring his fits and hoping that he figures out they just don’t work at getting what he wants. Cross your fingers for me, please! 😛

The Truth:

Regardless of the good, the bad, or the ugly—my child makes me smile everyday. He is a joy. He is a blessing. I love him so much. I truly know now what “agapeo” love is. And I hope this update made you as happy as it made me while writing it. If you are not mentally ill or severely irresponsible, I strongly suggest you have child if you haven’t already done so. You will not regret it! 🙂

The Potty

Yes, it is that time. Now I am not expecting anything grand. I know Kanan is a boy and chances are he won’t be fully potty trained until he is three, but I thought I could start now. And so far, it has been quite interesting.

Kanan and I bought the potty at Walmart on Wednesday. Nothing spectacular, just a simple $9.95 potty from Safety First that can sit on the floor, fold into a stool, and also can have the seat removed and inserted into the adult seat on the big potty.

That night, I pulled out  the potty and showed it to Kanan. I told him what it was and asked him to sit on it. He was quite eager to do so. However, instead of approaching the seat from the front side and backing up and then bending down to sit on it like one would expect, my little guy approached the potty from the backside and straddled it like a ride-along toy. I laughed. Then I pulled his legs to the front of the potty and watched. He sat happily, smiling his amused smile and babbling as he always does when content. I talked about pee-pee and poo-poo and how we do it on the potty. He listened and then he got up and moved on to bigger and better things. It was a good start.

About an hour and a half later, right before it was time for Kanan’s bath, I tried again. I pulled it out and he happily sat on it (straddle style again) then I sat on the big potty and told him that we could both go. He sat amused, but was over it in like 2 minutes. So into the bathtub he went. And what happened? He played for 5 minutes and then got this funny expression on his face and then he grunted and looked relieved. I ran toward the tub (I was standing at the sink) and shouted “no, don’t go poo-poo!” It was too late. There floating in the white bubbles amongst orange shovels and blue toy cars was a long brown turd. I pulled Kanan out immediately, took the bowl out of his toddler potty and scooped up the turd and dumped into the toilet. I showed Kanan the turd in the toilet and flushed it. He looked quite perplexed and then reached for the flusher to try it out himself. Then he walked away dripping wet to go play. I wanted to dry him off. But the images of bacteria infesting my bathtub and toys haunted me. I couldn’t do anything but solve that problem first. I quickly poured bleach into the tub and turned on scalding hot water to soak his toys as well. I threw the potty bowl in there too. Then I attempted to find my wet son but didn’t take long because I heard him shouting in the bedroom “eh-eh!” and pointing at the ground. There on my freshly vacuumed carpet was a second turd.

Maybe this potty training thing will be harder than I thought. 😛

Let the Chaos Begin

The school-year has begun again and this time, I took off with a bang. Kanan and I moved into my Dad’s house two weeks ago. It is a couple of cities away but the move will save me some money for 18 months and help me get really grounded on my feet. If the market continues the way it is going, I’ll probably buy a condo at the end of my allocated time I’ve planned to get set. So yes, while I have seemingly taken a step back in my life, this is a necessary step that will help me get further ahead than I would have had I not taken it. And there is no better time than now to do this. In many ways, it has sweetened the sour taste of being a single mom because it has given me a hopeful future. But moving is stressful and so I’ve been running around the last couple of weeks trying to fine tune the details—-getting rid of stuff I’ve horded, lending things to friends or family to save room in our little room we share in the guest bedroom of my Dad’s house, and buying other things to help me organize the small space.

Then my work situation has changed—I had to move classrooms. I had no idea, I have collected to so much stuff in my classroom after 5 years of teaching. It is crazy! But I’m settled in my new class and I love it. Its a great location and I have more space. This leaves room for me to focus on the classroom management needed for my classes this year. My schedule is nuts!! I went from having two preps last year (that’s teacher jargon for two different classes which require me to prepare two different lessons) to four preps this year! I have two sections of ninth grade English (one prep), a two-hour-block with my ESL kids (2 preps), and a sheltered English 9 class for my first and second year ESL kids (another prep). Needless to say, I will have to figure out ways to plan these lessons, run my academic league team, and my adjunct duties,  and take care of my son and squeeze in some social time, along with just-me time, and Jesus time! I just took up an offer with the women’s ministry in my church to write the script for a dramatic scene they need for the women’s retreat coming up in October. I am going and am so excited to get into my creative side. I was originally planning to take another Masters course this semester, but decided to hold off until  next semester once my machine is working by itself. Yes, my life is a machine.

But to help me get focused, I’ve come up with a schedule and I also bought a devotional bible so I can read a section of the bible each day and read the whole thing in one year! I just finished the new testament last week and loved every bit of it. I know that may sound crazy to some of you, but I learned so much and it wasn’t difficult at all. Especially with the New Living Translation, understanding it is so much easier. But I wanted to read the old testament while still staying connected to the forgiving side of the new testament. that’s where this devotional comes in. It is great. I get one or two chapters from an old testament book, one chapter of a new testament book, one Psalm, and one Proverb a day. And already I am seeing connections between the books. It truly shows how divine the Bible really is. I’m on my third day of the devotional so far and bought a journal to journal my thoughts and connections in. So far, it has been a great way to end my day and get me focused on what really matters. Life distracts us from the truth!

As for Kanan, he is adjusting well. It didn’t take him more than one day to adjust to the move and I don’t think he has even noticed that I’ve gone back to work. Thank God he is already used to going to daycare since he did that during the summer on his dad’s days when he had to work. I had him every day he was in my care because I was on vacation and wanted to use every second to spend time with him. Going back to work has been hard in that area. I’ve lost my leisurely Monday’s with him and Wednesday days! But excited news is that Kanan is teething right now. I think he has like six or seven teeth coming in at the same time! Crazy, eh? I can’t wait to give him salad and other yummy veggie options he hasn’t tried because his six teeth couldn’t help him. He is leaving me this weekend to go up to Mammoth with his dad and his grandparents. It will be good for him, but I am going to miss him so much. I plan to just keep myself so busy, I can’t dwell on the fact that I am not with him. Sometimes I think I need him more than he needs me, you know?

So…..we will see how this year pans out. Normally I’m a crazy mess by now, but God is seeing me through as he promised. I prayed for patience this year and peace. And in effect, I have noticed less anxiety and I having been taking the stresses in stride much more. I hope this sticks! 🙂