Monday, June 29, 2009

31st Birthday Celebration

My mom lovingly and kindly offered to throw me a little Uruguayan style BBQ in honor of my 31st birthday because with everything going on and the new baby, I didn't have the energy to plan anything myself. I was so grateful to her for arranging everything and letting me invite friends and family.The food was delicious and the company was even better. I was glad that the family could be there, including Ryan and Roman, my uncle and aunt, my grandma and cousin Natalia. Also, I was happy that Mary and Chloe, Marcia and The Astles were able to come.The evening weather was beautiful and so we sat outside to eat and chat. The kids had fun playing together on the deck and dad grilled up the meat.The best surprise as my birthday cake. My mom made a Uruguayan dessert called Espuma de Mar (Sea Foam) which is a sponge, chocolate whipped cream and meringue cake. It is delicious and it had been many years since I had eaten it. Made me think I want to sell it at the bakery.It was a nice, relaxing celebration and I am so thankful for the love I felt from everyone. I do love celebrating birthdays even if I don't like the age I am turning.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Family Fun

Since my birthday was overrun with preparations for Jasmine's dance recital and finally watching her perform, we didn't get to do much for my birthday as a family so Lorne decided to make the day after a bit more relaxing and about me.It was a Roman weekend and it was hot so we decided to go to the park by the river and have a picnic together. We got sandwiches from Subway and had a nice time. The only problem was that the bugs got a bit aggressive and so we brought the party back home so the kids could cool off in the kiddie pool.They were so super cute together, Jasmine and Roman. They had a blast in the water and we all had fun watching them. Having grown up spending a lot of time playing with my own cousins, it is nice Jasmine has at least one cousin to play with that lives close by.
That evening we hung out in the basement, watched Bolt and ate some homemade ice cream! What a most fabulous day!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tummy Time

As parents, we are told by the doctors that we need to put our babies on their tummies for tummy time everyday. The problem is that most of our babies don't like it. Ava is no exception. The first few seconds after she is placed on her tummy, she likes it but then after a minute she decides this isn't her idea of a fun time. I even got her a cool mat to play on and that hasn't seemed to have made a difference to her! here are some pictures I caught of her on her tummy.

Jasmine's Recital - Annie

This year, the show that the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center (MFAC), the school where Jasmine is learning to dance, did Annie for their end of year production. They integrated the different dance numbers into parts of the show and it was really well done and entertaining. They have a lot of great dancers at the school and the production is really top notch. Much better than the dance recitals I used to perform in as a child.My family came out to support little Jasmine in her first actual recital (last December she did her first dance performance p this was the first recital) as they had for years when I was a little girl. Abuela Meme was there, Abuela was there, Daddy and Ava were there, I of course was there and Grandpa showed up later as he had a hell of a time finding parking.Jasmine was practically flawless in her performance and you could tell she loved it up there. They had the option of staying until the end and participating in the finale and Jasmine was begging us to let her stay and most of the other girls were staying too so we agreed that would be best as she had learned the little dance for the finale.
We were so glad we stayed. When the finale came and it was time for Jasmine to perform again, she did not disappoint. We were forbidden to film so I took pictures instead (we weren't even supposed to be doing that!). You can see from the pics that Jasmine thought this curtain call was so everyone could applaud her. She was great and seeing her exaggerated movements was cute and funny.After the performance, we went back to find our little dancer and Daddy had some roses to give to her from us. She was beaming, she loved the whole thing. It was fun to see her so happy with herself.We then took her out to see the rest of the family that was waiting to see her. Everyone gave her rave reviews and we took some pictures. It was a late evening and a fun one. I can't wait to see what kind of dancer Jasmine will turn out to be - hopefully better than I was!Oh - and did I mention it was my birthday that day as well?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jasmine's Dance Recital Rehearsal

The dance studio where Jasmine attends dance is a very large organization. They put on very large scale productions and they do a great job at it. Even though Jasmine is still young and she was only in 1 dance for the production, she was required to attend the dress rehearsal so that she could get accustomed to being on stage. We decided to go all together as a family and record the rehearsal since we wouldn't be allowed to record the real thing.
A few hours before we were scheduled to leave, Lorne had to run to the bakery to get a few things done. On his way home, he was the victim of a bad driver who decided to cut in front of him doing a U-turn from off the side of the road and Lorne hit the guy on his driver's side door after trying to avoid him. Lorne's airbag deployed and he got several bruises and burns on his arms and hands. The police officer gave the mini van driver a ticket and said it was his fault, not Lorne's. Thank goodness none of our children nor myself were in the car and thank goodness Lorne didn't sustain any other serious injuries. The car however had to be towed from the scene and we would have to wait for a damage assessment.
He got home just in time for all of us to pack into my car and go to the rehearsal. I drove since I didn't think Lorne needed to be behind the wheel so soon after a slightly traumatic experience.
Jasmine looked great - I did her hair and make-up and she was excited to put on her costume. She was also excited to see her little friends and be in the classroom where she would await her turn to be on stage.

When it was their class's turn, they took the stage and did great! I was so proud of Jasmine and so excited to see her performing up there. Here is a little video of her dancing.
video
After she was done, we were allowed to take her so she wouldn't have to stay until the end and so we left and went out to eat at Lonestar Steakhouse and Saloon - steak tasted good after sitting in an auditorium watching kids dance for 2 and a half hours!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ava is 2 months old!

Ava is growing so fast and it is wonderful to be part of another special little life that is developing so beautifully. Ava is strong and she has amazing neck and head control for her age. As you can see in her pictures, she can hold her head up as she is on her belly and propped up on her elbows.

She loves Mommy and Daddy but seems to be a bit more attached to Mommy. She has a preference to being held all the time and likes to have her face touched and feel your cheek against hers. Having Ava in a sling or snugli against the body seems to be a way to keep her happy for hours. The only problem is that my back starts to complain after a while.
She continues to be a good sleeper and she sleeps 8 hours in a row most nights, sometimes ending up in bed with Mommy all snuggled up in the early morning hours.
We have noticed that our little Ava is a very tender and gentle soul and it is refreshing to have another personality in our child that is different from her sister. She is her own person and we love that.

Father's Day

The day after Jasmine's big birthday party was Father's Day. I was so tired from all the work the day before but I wasn't going to let that stop me from making the day special for Lorne. When we woke up, we gave Daddy his gifts, which included Elton John/Billy Joel Concert tickets from me, a soft serve ice cream machine and pictures from the girls and Jasmine picked out a special balloon and card as well.Lorne seemed pleased with the loot and so I made him breakfast before he had to go to his church meetings. We had scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage and toast. It was yummy even if Lorne had to eat and run.We then went to church where Lorne gave an amazing talk in sacrament meeting all about what it means to be a father and encouraging all the fathers to take active roles in their families as they are the leaders of the home. I loved the talk especially because he referenced a lot of personal stories and I always love that. I also led the children in singing a few songs for their fathers during the meeting - it was cute.
After church, we headed to my parents house for an American style BBQ for the dads. I also brought some of the leftover food from Jasmine's party. We all had a lovely time and it was especially nice that Roman got to come as well.I must say that I live celebrating Father's Day because I was blessed to have such a great father and I am so blessed to have chosen a husband who is the best father I can imagine for my babies. He cuddles and loves them, he makes them feel special, he helps take care of them and he is super supportive. We all love you Daddy!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jasmine's 4th Birthday Party

We had another big blowout for Jasmine's birthday party this year and had a lot of fun throwing it. We always love throwing big parties for Jasmine because we invite a lot of kids and adults and so it really becomes a party for everyone. Each year we have a central theme for the party and structure the party around that theme. This year the theme was Cowgirls and Horses. Jasmine has been into horses a lot lately and loves playing with her My Little Pony dolls.Lorne and I had discussed renting a pony for pony rides and so I reserved one and didn't tell Jasmine. I wanted it to be a surprise and I also didn't want her asking me about every minute of every day until the actual party.
It had rained a lot all through the month of June and while I normally love the rain, I was getting anxious that it had rained too much and our yard was going to be mush. We hadn't had enough dry days to dry out the yard and to make matter worse, when I woke up that Saturday morning the sky was ominously gray and gloomy and threatening to rain. Needless to say, I was scared.
On our way home from Jasmine's ballet class, it started raining and I started getting stressed out. We needed to finish setting everything up and I couldn't put stuff out if it was raining. In addition to that, I needed it to stop raining because everything I had planned for the party was an outdoor activity and my house was in no shape to have everyone inside. Did I mention that 50 people had RSVP ed for our event?
Jasmine was also fretting because she knew that we were supposed to have her birthday party outside. I told her that she should pray and ask Heavenly Father to make the rain stop. So she did - and she prayed like 3 times.
Meanwhile, Lorne went to go and pick up the balloons and it was still raining. He called me and asked if we should cancel the pony and do it another time. I told him I still had hope and that the pony people were prepared to do it in the rain.
I began to prepare the inside of the house, with some help to see if we could perhaps move people inside. I started to fret also because I know God answers our prayers and sometimes not in the way we want but I didn't want little Jasmine's faith to shatter because she prayed for the rain to stop and it didn't.
Thirty minutes before the party, the rain stopped. I made the executive decision to have all the tables and chairs in the driveway so that they wouldn't sink into the wet and muddy ground and we set up the moon bounce and kiddie pool in the front yard. We planed on the pony rides to begin in the front yard with a circle around the backyard.
It was incredible - we all rallied and pretty much had everything set up when the guests arrived. The food was ready and warm and things were in place. On the menu we had pulled pork bbq, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, watermelon, baked beans and macaroni salad. It was all delicious and we were happy that everyone got to eat their fill.When the pony arrived Jasmine shouted with glee and was so very excited. She was also excited to be the first to ride the pony as she was the birthday girl. She rode it like a pro and really loved it. I think it was also fun for the other kids - everyone had a chance to ride at least twice and that pony never stopped for the 2 hours she was there. Her name was Pixie and she was pretty cute.She also spent a great of time in the pool. That girl loves the water, now if I could teach her how to swim so she could be even more comfortable.Midway through the party the sky started to cry a bit and we got scared it was going to really come down so we all rallied and brought the food and chairs inside. It turned out that it as just a few sprinkles and about 10 minutes later, all was clear and sunny again.
We cute the cake, which of course I made and everyone loved it. Jasmine was super cute and blew out her candles in one breath - she has a lot of hot air like her mama. Ava slept most of the party - her inner party animal is waiting to come out, I just know it!Pretty soon it was time for everyone to go and we opted to open gifts later since it can become such a madhouse and then I never see anything in the frenzy or get a chance to write it down or know what she got from whom.We had her take a bit of a nap because she was so tired after the party and when we woke her from her nap, you could tell she was simply exhausted as she opened all of her gifts. Look at her smile in the pictures, she was trying to force it she was so tired. She made out like a bandit - everyone was so generous and thoughtful and we really appreciate all the lovely gifts.Jasmine ran to me and told me it was the best birthday party ever and she gave me a big hug. It was so worth it to go through all the effort to see your baby girl happy and creating a memory to last a lifetime.