Showing posts from 2011

Sweet Baby Jesus

So, I am a few days late in reporting back how Midnight Mass went, but here it is.

It actually went very well. Rose stayed asleep through the procession, which slowly wound its way around the church. The priest was holding her through that procession at the start of Mass - he and "baby Jesus" came last, after a slew of incense-bearing altar boys, our deacon, another priest, and Phillip and I. When we got to the altar he gave her back to me so that Phillip and I could move forward to place her in the manger. Then the manger scene was incensed and blessed. It was a truly beautiful moment, and I imagined Jesus as a newborn, come to save the world.  What an incredible sense of hope!

Up until this point Rose was incognito in her white swaddling cloth, so I am sure everyone was like, "Oooh, what a cute little boy!" and "Awwww, sweet baby Jesus!"

But then? Our priest outed her! He announced for all to hear that this was Rose Felicity and she was our baby Jesus f…

Merry Christmas!

Just about everything on my Christmas to-do list has been accomplished (because I am just that good).  The only thing left now is midnight Mass tonight, where Rose will be playing the starring role of baby Jesus. I'll be swaddling her in white, so no one will be the wiser that our pretend Jesus is actually a little girl.

This part she is playing is my ticket to getting reserved seats at Mass, which is no joke. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a seat at Mass for Christmas? The place is overflowing. You have to get there hours early just to get a seat.

The trade-off, however, is that I have to attend the Mass the priest wants baby Jesus to be in. Midnight Mass. So there's a little give and take involved. I give you my baby, you give me seats, and I take a caffeine pill to stay awake through it all. Ho ho ho! The jokes on me, apparently. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas and I'll see you on the flip side!

The Stash

I have a stash.

No, not a 'stash! Much as I love a good mustache, I don't mean that kind. What I mean is that I have a candy stash.


No, no, no...not a candy mustache. Though these do look tasty - what do you figure, black licorice or chocolate?

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I have a stash of candy that I hide from my kids and husband. This secret cache of sugary goodness is what often gets me through my sleep-deprived days. Funny thing about newborns - they do not sleep for very long before needing a diaper change or a feeding.

So I have been using candy as a pick-me-up whenever I feel tired, or stressed, or sleepy. Which is about 22 out of every 24 hours in the day. But see here is the thing - I have to hide it, otherwise everyone else will eat it and then where would I be?

I would still be tired, stressed, and sleepy - but without candy. And mama doesn't like that.

So I keep a stash. What vice do you turn to get through your day?

Get Your Spa On

Do you have any idea what it's like to have a chicken dance on your face? Or wear giant Hot Pockets on your hands? ...No? Well, up until this week neither did I. But now I can honestly say I have experienced life to its fullest. No - I'm not referring to delusions brought on by illegal narcotics even though it sort of sounds like I am.

This very odd-sounding experience was actually not that odd. In fact, it was stunningly fantastic. Again, not drugs.

The truth is that I was fortunate enough to receive an invitation by Euphoria Salon and Day Spa to come and try out their spa services. I've been going to Euphoria for several years for haircuts and manicures (love!), but had never tried out their spa services. 

"Would you come get a massage and facial?" they asked.

Um, yes. Yes I will.

They treated me to a Mom's Escape Package, which consisted of the Classic Facial (50 minutes) and a Swedish Massage (also 50 minutes). As a mom of 3, including a newborn, trust…


There are some uses of the word "sick" that are good. Like, "Hey that wheelie you just popped on your motorcycle was sick!" But these days, the word "sick" means this:

Ivy came down with it first, then I did, and now my poor little Rose is also sick at the tender age of 4 weeks! At least she is older than Violet was when she caught RSV from Ivy at just 1 week old. Somehow, I think that Violet getting sick so early somehow toggled a superhuman immunity response to illness - she hardly ever gets sick, and this go-round she has been just fine as well. But I myself have now incubated and developed my special little germs into full on bronchitis.

While you may think this post is about complaining about all the illness and sleeplessness on all our parts, its actually not that bad. Ok, the sleeplessness is bad. Always. But apart from that, the rest is totally do-able. I had dreaded having to look after sick children now that I have 3 kiddos needing me to feed, c…

Happy Thanksgiving!


Do Newborns Really Smile?

Last night was a much better night that the 2 or 3 days preceding it - Rose finally slept calmly instead of doing that newborn grunting thing that she was doing. What a relief, I thought I had given birth to a little piggy. And then I thought, shoot - does this mean I am going to have to start giving her mud baths? Because I love mud, don't get me wrong (its so good for the skin), but it really cramps my style for my kid to be muddy. I have this ridiculous desire for my house to be clean, and mud does not picture prominently in my vision of "clean".

The point is that this morning both she and I woke up in great moods.

So Ivy and Violet came in the room to coo at Rose and also to attack her under the pretext of "petting" her. In all fairness, I know they don't really understand that she is a person and not a toy. I am mostly referring to Violet - that kid is rough on newborn piggies! You would think she is aiming for some bacon at breakfast and is intent on …

Oh So Awkward

Now that the baby is out, and I am no longer pregnant, I am faced with that awkward postpartum phase.

I just got done being extremely pregnant and my body is trying to adjust - but my belly is still very distended. This means I do not fit in my regular clothes yet. This leaves me with really only one choice: maternity clothes. But I am not pregnant anymore. And the thing about maternity wear is that is emphasizes the round belly. So I am now in that awkward phase, where I am not pregnant anymore but I only fit into pregnancy clothes.

I am that woman that people unthinkingly ask, "Oh, when are you due?" only to realize I have a baby in the stroller and there is no way possible I am actually pregnant.

And its oh, so awkward!

Happy Halloween!

I didn't get to take the girls out Trick or Treating because, well, I just had a baby. And its funny how little energy one has when one has given birth a few days ago.

Also, can I just say I had no idea how much recovery is involved in a natural birth? I'd had c-sections until this point, and I had the illusion that regular birth would be a cinch to recover from. Oh, how wrong I was!

Although its not my usual style, I found this picture funny and timely, so to celebrate Halloween and my recent birthing, please enjoy:

She Has Arrived!

Introducing Rose Felicity, born on my birthday, October 27th at 1:31pm. 7lbs 3 oz, 19 inches long. 

Today is THE Day

Today is my due date. I am feeling ready to go. But nothing is happening yet. This is not part of my plan. I planned on going into labor either early or exactly on time. If I am not in labor by midnight tonight I am going to be ticked.

Well, ok, I will not be ticked. But I will be bummed. I cannot wait to hold this new baby in my arms, and everyone is asking me, "When? When? When?"

I wish I had an answer, but in the meantime I am starting to feel the pressure. I should just hide out in my house until she is born. Every time I see someone I know they ask me "When?" ... which makes me feel like I can't show my face around here until I am holding the baby in my arms instead of my uterus. I mean, how embarrassing! I am due but I am not in labor! Hello, body! Can we have some cooperation here??

So I think hiding is a good idea. That's my tactic. What do you do when you labor is imminent and everyone is staring you down?

Tina Fey at Green Valley Ranch

Since we moved so close to the District at Green Valley Ranch, and the weather has been nice, we are able to actually walk over there without too much effort. A sudden burst of energy over the last few days (a sign of imminent labor perhaps??) also contributed to us being able to walk over there the last two nights.

Tonight, though, instead of a band there was a DJ leading all the kids in the spongy play area in a rousing version of the Hokey Pokey. We were having dinner outside at Rachel's Cafe and enjoying the ridiculously perfect weather while this was going on, so we heard it but didn't get over there until after we finished eating. By that time, the DJ had moved on to more "adult" music for the kids and parents crowd. In other words, very urban pop music.

Can I just say how fascinating people-watching is? One little girl of about 7 years of age was busting some serious dance moves - I am sure I recognized some of them from past Madonna or Janet Jackson videos. …

Clark County Heritage Museum

Let's play a game called "Quaint or Creepy?"

This is where I post pictures of something that I must categorize as either quaint or as creepy. It's October so I think this is appropriate. I went to the Clark County Heritage Museum today for the first time. I am going to give it a Muppet Rating, but first the important part: Quaint or Creepy?

Kid-Friendly Las Vegas Halloween Events

Halloween is practically here! So I went through and found some of the Halloween-themed events going on around Las Vegas this month and on Halloween itself. 
I know my formatting is jacked up but I haven't snared my hubby to fix it for me yet. I figured I would just get it up here and worry about formatting later. 

Lied Discovery Museum - All month
The museum has lots of activities all month long, including Los Dias De Los Muertos Celebration and  Ofrendas which will be on display all month. Activities are divided by age. See website for details.
Oct. 8-14: Skeleton Candy Baskets and Skeleton Figurine; Pasta Skeleton. Create a colorful pasta Catrina or Zapatista to celebrate Dias de los Muertos.  Oct. 15-21: Mini Ofrendas and Calavera and Katrina Puppet.  Oct. 22-28: Halloween- Pumpkin Patch. Create a pumpkin patch using pre-cut pumpkins and your finger painting skills.  Oct. 29-Nov. 4: Sugar Skulls and Yarn Skull Paintings.
Cost: Regular museum entry fee or annual membership. Hall…

Movin' On

It is done. We are moved into our new house. This week has been crazy. It's not been so much stressful as it was exhausting. I seriously do not know how hermit crabs do it. If I were a hermit crab I would never move houses. I would just stay in my old one, even if it squeezed me in all the wrong places and made me look fat.

Somehow, extreme pregnancy and moving a house just does not mix. You would think that it would, but it does not. Of course, technically, we are not completely moved. I still have a ton of non-essential boxes in the old house. I have things that still need going through and things that need to be junked.

I hired movers for all the big stuff, but I was responsible for getting all our super-essentials into the new house. And since my husband started a new job recently he couldn't really take the time off during the week for the move. And yes, I scheduled it during the week on purpose - because my crazy nesting instincts are running overtime, and I needed to be…

Play Dates on $10 or Less

Here is the article I wrote for AOL City's Best a while back on play dates for $10 or less. I figure it bears repeating. See the original article here.
Family Fun for $10 or Less: Play, Stargaze & Skate! Mar 3rd 2011 4:00PM / by Andrea Leal
If you're feeling all kicky and reckless, it may be time to try a kid activity for $10 or less per person. Yes, I said $10 ... I did mention recklessness, didn't I? Sometimes you just have to go for broke. And if you are a parent, then being broke is your destiny. Don't try to fight it, just accept it. It'll be easier on everyone once you do.

Run Plus Fun: This clean indoor playground (pictured at right) is a good place for kids to let loose, no matter what the weather is like. There are slides, ball pits and an area reserved for babies and toddlers. For parents there are couches and free Wi-Fi -- win-win!
Day pass, $8 per child
10875 S. Eastern Ave.; 702-272-2255

CSN's Planetarium and Observatory: Make this outing an…

In Which Pregnancy Becomes Like Old Age

I am 8 months pregnant this week. That's a lot of months.  And it strikes me how similar pregnancy becomes to old age, especially the closer you get to D Day. And I know about old people. My grandpa lived to age 98, my grandma lived to age 101. And I adored them and miss them terribly. So believe me when I say that I know what I am talking about here.

Here are the ways in which, as an super duper uber gestator (is that a word?), I have become like a very, very old person.


Like many old folks, I simply cannot get through the day without a nap. If I do not nap, I find it very hard to get through the rest of my day. I remember my abuelita nodding off in front of the tv for several hours at a time. She would wake up suddenly, surprised that it was 2 hours later.

This weekend I told Phillip, "I am going to go lay down for a few." And a few hours later, I woke up to find that several hours had passed and I never even realized it because I was so deeply asleep.  


Baby Talk

Let's talk babies. Why? Because I have one. In my belly. I mean there is another human being in there, how weird is that! And since I said person is just chillin' in utero, I want to talk about it. It might be boring, but too bad. You are going to have to bear the baby talk for the next several months/years - and you are just lucky I have not drowned you in baby talk before this. 

Let's start the baby-talk kickoff with a shout out to my doula. Doula, yo! What up! I am happy I hired you!

Her name is Mandie and she is a Hypnobirthing instructor. Hypnobirthing is a self-hypnosis method of dealing with labor. When I first took the class I was preggers with Ivy, and expected my labor to be totally au naturel. This was a cosmic joke because in the end I had a scheduled C section. Ha ha, sooo hilarious, God.

With Violet, I did try a home VBAC but had pretty much forgotten all about Hypno, and anyway I had no doula to help me through it. 34 hours of back labor and in the end it wa…

What Am I Teaching Them??

Here are a couple of slices of our life today. Judge accordingly.

Ivy: Mom, I want a bug vacuum for Christmas.
Me: Ok, maybe we can do that.
Ivy: But I want a kid size one, not a big one. I want to catch bugs.
Me: Ok that's fine. But you know, you have to let the bugs go when you are done studying them.
Ivy: Why?
Me: Because you can't keep them, they like to be outside. If you keep them in there they'll die.
Violet (suddenly interested): Like Abuelita? She died, right?
Me: Yes... she did.
Ivy: So is that what happened to Abuelita? Did someone not let her out of a container?


Ivy is curious about the Civil War. She has been asking a lot of questions about it because we have several Civil War history books with old pictures and illustrations. She has been asking for days about what the different pictures mean. Today she asked me about the people fighting and I explained it as simply as I could.

She decided it would be fun to make Violet play Civil War with her. She was going to be…

My Parents Are Made of Gold

My parents are made of gold. And you know how precious gold is these days, right? So you can imagine how precious the two of them are, seeing as how they are well over a valuable few ounces in weight.

They are in town this weekend and are allowing me to completely take advantage of them. One of the special joys in my life is when they come for a visit so that I can completely abrogate my parental responsibilities and make them raise my kids. At least for the weekend.

And what am I doing while they feed, clean up, and entertains my kids?


Seriously, nothing. I might be sitting on the couch while my mom reads to them. One of my girls has to go potty. Instead of getting up and helping them I just call out to my mom from my cozy little spot on the couch, "Maaaa? Can you help herrrr?" And she totally does.

Or maybe I want to go run errands. "Mom, I'll be right back I have to run some errands. It'll take me an hour, max." And I breeze out the door for the…

Chore Chart Drawings - The Next Set

Here is the next set of my chore chart drawings. Here is the first set. Today's set includes mostly mommy and daddy chores.

Here is daddy taking out the trash - it's my fave one so far.

And here is a sheet for the rest of them. For the mom/dad chores they are more obvious and plus I know how to read, so the depictions for us are minimal and some have words. The chores are: Menu planning, sweep kitchen, do laundry, wash dishes, set the table (kid chore), and the upper right picture is "pick up after yourself when you get home from work" (dad chore).

If you are making your own chore chart like me, I suggest printing them on a pretty color, laminating them and using velcro to stick them to your poster board chart. Since my kids cannot read yet, I am putting a picture of each family member at the top of the poster board, and the pertaining chores go under the picture of each child or family member. When the kids are done they can take off the cards and put them in a wall…

Because I Love You

I have been looking online for some free clip art depicting girls doing chores so that I could make my own chore chart. Part of starting the homeschooling next week also involves other really ambitious things like starting the girls on a set of specific chores and running our days on a schedule (ha!).

But I could not find any clip art that I liked, so I decided just to draw my own stuff and hope for the best. And because I love you all I am going to post it on here so you can download it for free. I am not done yet, I still have other chores to draw, like setting the table and things like that. If I get favorable comments (or any comments at all for that matter, since I think mostly everyone has given up on me by now because of my lack of posting) then I will also post the rest when I am done. These are all princess themed because I have 2 girls and one on the way, so why even pretend to be neutral!

Here is a princess for the task of making your bed:

And here she is picking up the toy…

Fetch Me My Fainting Couch

Do you hear that sputtering sound? That is the sound of my engine running out of energy and fizzling out. I am not talking about my car. I am talking about my body. And how it is not yet 10am and I am already done.

Last night I woke up at 5am to use the bathroom for the 4th time, and when I got back to bed I simply could not fall back asleep. My brain got to thinking (stupid brain, of all the nerve!) about the things I have to get done this week. For those of you who only know me for pretends on this blog and not for reals, I should tell you that I am going to be homeschooling Ivy starting on August 29th.

So I have been busily putting together all my supplies and writing a basic Spanish and a basic Music curriculum to supplement the Catholic Heritage curriculum I already bought. I am sure there must be something out there for young kids in those topics, but since she already understands Spanish and is really flighty about Music, I figured I would just start her off where she needs to …

New Pizza at Chuck E. Cheese

I received an invitation to review Chuck E. Cheese's new pizza... they completely revamped it for the first time in like 30 years. When was the last time you went to Chuck E. Cheese? Before this year, the last time I had been to one was when I was a kid. And that was a long, long time ago.

What do you remember of this place when you were a kid? I remember a dark, dirty interior with creepy animatronic animals(?) or puppets whose eyes went CLICK CLICK when they blinked loudly during their song performances. Even as a kid I was not much of a fan of the place. So when I had kids, I stayed away. Finally, a friend invited me to a play date there and I decided to just go for it since it had literally been decades since I had been to one.

I was so pleasantly surprised to find that they were bright, clean, and the animatronics had been replaced with movie screens and only one animatronic Chuck, who didn't seem to click quite as loudly as he used to.

The games and rides were lots of fu…

The Carousel at Green Valley Ranch

I thought you would all appreciate knowing that the Carousel at the District in Green Valley Ranch is FREE for the rest of the summer (probably until Labor Day)! It used to be $2 per ride.

Also, on movie nights there is free popcorn. Woot!

Conversations with a 4 Year Old

Ivy: How old awe you, Mom?
Me: 34.
Ivy: Soon yo' going to die.
Me: What?!?
Ivy (matter-of-factly): Soon yo' going to die, I guess.
Me: No, I'm not! Why??
Ivy: Because yo' 34. That's old.
Me: Um, its not that old. Abuelita didn't die til she was 100. 
Ivy: Dad is old too. He's 35. He's an old man.
Me: Yeah, well, we aren't going to die yet.


Let's Play Good Idea/Bad Idea!

Good Idea: Hitting a piñata at a birthday party.

Bad Idea: Trying on the broken piñata head in the presence of the same children who destroyed it.

Run Plus Fun

I took the girls to Run Plus Fun in Henderson this week, which is an indoor playground, kind of like Child's Play.

The whole thing is set up on three levels where kids can run through at full speed. No worries on the children getting hurt as they come around corners though, because everything is padded. Like an insane asylum. Not that I have ever been in an insane asylum (Yes you have. No I haven't. Yes you have. No I haven't. Shut up! Shut up!). It's what I imagine an asylum would be like.

There is also an area for infants and small children, and a snack area with tables.

It costs $8 per child, and everyone has to wear socks - even the adults, otherwise you will have to buy some of the socks they sell there.

Here are the girls, all excited and ready for some running and funning.

There is a pit full of yellow and green balls, and kids can go down a slide and land right in the middle

And here is the comfy mom couch, which is configured so you can watch little toddlers …