Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cruz's 1st Smiles Caught on Camera

Cruz has been smiling at us from the very first weeks of his life, but recently those smiles have changed to be more in response to our voices and interactions with him.

Now, when I say his name in a soft, high voice he will smile at me. It's the most precious thing ever and absolutely melts my heart!

It's one of his first real gifts back to us and I am so glad I finally caught it on camera. I'll treasure these pictures forever!

Luke's Art Gallery

Luke came out of the toy room yesterday with what he called his Art Gallery. He proudly displayed the bristle block creation and told me all about the art inside, the roof geometry, special gaps in the ceiling that allowed a waterfall to flow through when it rained and the spaces in the walls where the people would come in to view his art work. I'm shocked at how creative Luke is and how much he is learning. He's such an intelligent child and I love seeing the world through his eyes.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Super-Spy Luke

Ever since Luke received a Target gift card from Granny & Gramps, he's been enamored with this section of spy toys at the store. Each time we go, he picks a new spy gadget to buy.

This time he decided on two different toys. First, is a walkie-talkie set so that he can communicate top secret information to me. The second was a spy-kit that includes a finger laser bean, a motion detector alarm system, a disk shooter, and more.

It's hilarious to watch him hide out in the dark in our room just waiting for a bad guy to enter. As I walked in, I was blinded by the red laser beam and startled by the motion detector alarm. That was followed up by a bombardment of little red disk flying through the air at me.

When I asked to take his picture, he kept making all these funny "bad" faces. Look out 007...Super-spy Luke is on the job!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wonderous Writer Award

Luke received the, "Wonderous Writer Award" at school today during the Wrangler Roundup assembly. His teacher told me she chose him for the award for the great improvement he's made in writing. Having a passion for writing myself, I was SO proud of my honey-bunny.

We were able to film him receiving the award and take a picture of him, being silly, after receiving his award.

I just love this kid...all his ups and down...silliness and successes!

Congratulations Luke!!!

Our Little Monkey

One of the hobbies I've rediscovered during this phase of my life is crochetting. My great-grandmother Gragg taught me years ago when I was 11 or 12 years old. I've had more fun making hats and trying new patterns.

I think this sock monkey hat is one of my favorites. When I saw Cruz's sleeper, I knew I had to make a hat to match it.

Before he was born I laid the hat and sleeper on my bed and imagined what he would look like in it. Even my wildest dreams didn't live up to how precious he actually is wearing it.

It brings a tear to my eye looking at this beautiful boy. I'll never understand why I was chosen to for such an honorable task of raising this sweet baby!!

After Christmas Fun

One of the Christmas gifts Granny and Gramps gave all of us were gift certificates to Target. Luke was especially delighted and has been dreaming & planning all the things he wanted to buy ever since. Well, we finally got around to going and (as if I had any doubt) Luke found many fun things.

First on his list was a tool belt...a real tool belt...and a hard hat! He's so obsessed with being a grown up "worker" and this was just what he needed to validate his status!

Next, he found some super-cool fireman rain boots. They were so neat that we got a pair for Noah too! These came just in time, as it rained this week and both boys shoes were sitting muddy on the back porch.

We also ran across an area of the toy section that had "spy" toys. Luke lit up like a Christmas tree as we explored all the toy options. He ended up chosing a spy watch that has eight different super-spy features and a voice changer that disguises his voice in several different sounds & tones.

Last but not least, Luke has REALLY enjoyed all the arts and craft supplies that Granny & Gramps gave him for Christmas. He has colored, drawn with markers, painted with waterpaints & acrylic paints, as well as made several snakes and caterpillars with the modeling clay!

Granny and Gramps always know just what to get us and we are so thankful for their generosity and thoughtfulness. Best of all, we haven't come close to spending all of the gift certificate, so we will have great fun the next time we go to the store too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

First Snow of the Season!

Wow, wow, wow! We had our first snow of the season!! It didn't measure up to the foot we got last year, but it was enough to cover the ground and build a snowman!

The boys could NOT wait to get outside! Oh my gosh, you would have thought we were keeping them in jail the way they were protesting! After Noah woke up from his nap though, we bundled them up as warmly as we could and out the door they went!

Both boys had fun making snowballs and throwing them at each other. It was so funny when Noah came inside because he had a hood full of snow in the hat attached to his coat that had fallen off his head. Thankfully, he had a stocking cap on as well.

At one point Luke actually came in crying because his hands were so cold. We washed them in cool water and warmed them up with a mug of hot chocolate.

I'm certain they hadn't been in for more than 10 minutes and they were ready to go back at it again. We had to wait for daddy to warm up though before making one more trip outside.

The next two days were below freezing so the snow actually lasted a few days. Today though the last of it is melting, leaving us still with enough time in the season to hope for another snow day!!

A Final Christmas Visit

Wrapping up the holidays was a special visit from Granny and Gramps. They drove all the way from FL to meet baby Cruz and spend the New Year with us!

It was such a special treat to keep up our Christmas tree and decorations and extra week. The boys were delighted to have one more Christmas morning, complete with a whole set of new presents!

Luke and Noah both got huge boxes of art & craft supplies: watercolors, acrylic pants, finger paints, markers, crayons, modeling clay and more! Their big Christmas present was a gift certificate to Target! Both boys (with a little guidance from Mom & Dad) can now pick out whatever they would like!! Luke was especially delighted since he can "pay" like a grown up!

While they were here, Luke was in school, so Granny and Gramps had some special Noah time. I think Noah gave Gramps a run for his money!! Those two spent more time outside playing baseball, swinging, looking for air planes in the sky and who knows what else. The one thing I do know is that every time Gramps came inside Noah said, "Grimps outside me!" He just didn't want to be anywhere without him!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention, as one of the highlights of their visit, a trip to Yougurtville! It has quickly become one of our favorite places to go...and I think it's one of Gramps' favorite places now too. Such a delight to explain to him about the wall of yogurt flavor choices and the bar of toppings!

It was a sad day when Granny and Gramps went home for so many reasons. We were really sad to see them go, but it also marked the end of our holiday season and the last of all our visitors to go home. We are now officially on our own as a family of five! That is both a scary and amazingly wonderful thought!!

Happy Birthday Jesus

Every year over the Christmas holiday we bake a Happy Birthday cake for Jesus to help explain the real meaning of Christmas to the boys.

Luke always helps measure and mix the cake, but he has FREE reign over the decorations. I get out the sprinkles and let him go for it!

This year we used my new round cake pans with a yellow cake mix and chocolate frosting, which is our favorite! I wrote, "Happy Birthday Jesus" on it and Luke went to work with the rest of the decorations.

By the time he was done, it was quite the creation. He was very proud! I think next year Noah will be able to get in on the fun too! It's so precious to see my boys growing up and being able to do so many fun holiday activities!!

Happy Birthday Jesus!!

Christmas 2010

Christmas this year was extra-special with the addition of our newest baby boy, Cruz! No other gift really comes close to him, of course. However, we did have many other things to be thankful for.

First off, Nana and Aunt Niki were here. We absolutely LOVE having family here at the holidays, so having family from both sides was especially wonderful!

One of my most precious gifts was the necklace and ring set that Luke gave me. His school has a holiday store that he gets to shop in and pick out gifts for the special people in his life. We sent him with a certain amount of money and a budget for each person on his list. He spent a big part of his budget picking out two gifts for me. It melted my heart to listen to him explain how he decided what to get.

I believe Luke would say that one of his favorite gifts was his skateboard. He asked Santa for it last year, but didn't get it and he reminded Santa of that when he sat on his lap again this year! We decided 5 years old was old enough to get a skateboard, as long as he wore ALL his pads and helmet. He was SO excited to put on all his gear and show off!

Noah was delighted to get a coat that looks like a fireman's jacket! He put it on right away and didn't take it off the entire morning. He also thought his 3-&-1 Zebra was pretty cool. It is a walker, ride on toy and scooter!

Looking back on the day, I can see the finger-prints of God all over it. We had such a wonderful morning, lounging around in our Christmas pajamas, enjoying our family and celebrating Jesus' birthday. We are so blessed and will always be grateful for the love and grace that Father God pours out on our family every day.

Merry Christmas 2010 and Happy Birthday Jesus!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Padron Brothers

Today the "big" boys met their little brother for the first time. I'm so grateful my friend, Sharon, was there to take pictures and capture the preciousness of the moment.

Luke and Noah were absolutely smitten with their baby brother! The expression on their faces says it all! Luke wanted to hold Cruz immediately and was so gentle with him. I wasn't sure how Noah would react or if he would understand, but he was truly in awe of this new little being in our family.

Seth is an experienced brother, with FOUR little brothers of his own now...but, he was also captivated by his newest baby brother. He kept saying, "Awe...he's so cute!"

I love seeing all my boys together. I'm completely overwhelmed by the love and blessings that God has so abundantly lavished on us. I just can't fathom his trust and faith in my abilities as a parent. I will spend everyday in complete dependence on Him to live as the mother these precious little boys deserve.

Little Bear

We are still praising and celebrating the birth of our third baby boy!

After much deliberation we've decided on a family nick-name, Little Bear! Each of my boys has a special love-name from me: Luke is honey-bunny. Noah is sweet-angel. It didn't take me long to settle on a name for my baby boy...little bear fits him perfectly!!

His going home outfit and crochet hat that I made him sealed the deal. A little bear outfit and matching bear-ear hat! Cruz barely filled out the newborn-sized outfit, but seeing him in it was pure perfection!

Complete adoration and extreme gratitude sums up what I'm feeling today! I can't wait to go home and settle in with my new family!

Welcome Baby Cruz!

It's a good day to have a baby!! We're up early and ready to head to the hospital. We're running a bit late, but I'm not's going to be a great day - one that I will never forget!!

We're scheduled to be at the hospital at 7:30. Sharon, will be there by 8:30 to take our "before" pictures. At 9:30 we'll be in the operating room waiting to meet our new baby boy!!

PTL everything went exactly as planned. Christian Cruz Padron was born at 10:15am. He weighed 6lbs 9oz and was 18 3/4 inches.

I'll never forget those moments waiting for Cruz to be seemed to take forever! Finally though, the words I'd been waiting for from Dr. Roberts..."Get your camera ready...we're about to have a baby!" Right after was a beautiful cry...a loud, long baby cry." Relief! Sweet relief! The baby was healthy and strong, turned a beautiful shade of pink, and scored great on his Apgar test. Cruz came out of the womb sucking his fist. Everyone assured me he would be a great eater...and he was!

The nurses cleaned Cruz up and Leo got to put on his first diaper. They swaddled him tightly and handed him to Leo who brought him over to the operating table so that I could see him. My initial thoughts were that he looked a lot like Noah...who happened to look a lot like Luke! All my boys had the exact same nose that's for sure!

After the initial birth and knowing everything was as it should be I couldn't help but think about how blessed I was, how much God loves me and how grateful I was for my beautiful family of five! It's going to be a crazy, wild and blessed life!!

Last Day as a Mother of Two

Today was my last day as a mother of two boys. Tomorrow at 9:30 I will be in the operating room meeting my new baby boy.

Looking back on my pregnancy, it hasn't been easy. It seems like a long journey for sure. From the initial surprise of being pregnant again, to the many painful Braxton Hicks contractions, sleepless nights, etc., it's all culminated in this one moment - birth.

Despite the physical difficulties, I've grown so much closer to God during this time. I've allowed Him to draw me to Him as I've had to depend on Him to get me through each challenge. I'm SO thankful for that closeness and know I will use it to get me through the exhaustion and pain of recovery, as well.

The one thing I have prayed for most during this pregnancy is a healthy baby. Nothing else really mattered to me. I know children are a gift from the Lord, so the gender and just about everything else was irrelevant to me. I really just want to enjoy this baby and feel the joy that God intends for all new mother's to experience.

I think this mostly stems from the fact that I was SO very nervous with Luke. He was my first baby and I was terrified I was going to do something to hurt him. Then, with Noah, we missed that joy because we were in the hospital with his surgery and just praying he would live. Surely with this third baby I'll be relaxed and able to soak in the love and joy and peace of having a new born.

Tomorrow is the big day! I'm looking forward to it and trusting God for every good thing! I'm SO excited to meet my new baby boy. Until then, I'm dreaming about how much he'll look like his brothers, how much he'll weigh, what his first cry will sound like and how it will feel to hold his precious little life in my arms for the first time.

Thank you Jesus for this amazing gift...and welcome my sweet boy to the world...mommy can't wait to lay eyes on you for the first time!!!