Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where a kid can be a kid,


Chuck E. Cheese has become one of Lilly's favorite places.
Jacob already loves it and now it looks Aaron is the next CEC lover!
It has become our place to go when the kiddos need to let off a little steam!
Gerardo likes it because the kids can run wild and we don't have to worry too much about them.


So we'll keep our quiet family dinners for certain nights.
But some nights need a little "action" and for those nights you will find us at Chuck E Cheese!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

In honor of my honey..the peanut...



My honey loves to remind me how poor he was growing up and how privileged I was.

He reminds me daily with a "I was so poor that..." joke.

Today he let me know that he was so poor growing up that the only cartoon he could watch was The Charlie Brown specials that would come on t.v. once a year during the holidays!

So, in honor of my honey...please listen to The Peanuts song link!

My honey..my peanut.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Macaw please,

Lilly's favorite cereal is Fruit Loops. But because of "Toucan Sam" on the box, she calls them "Macaws", ok, so she's only 3 years old and doesn't quite know the difference between a toucan and a macaw, but that's okay, she will some day.
So every morning she asks for a bowl of "macaws" without milk and sits at the table and enjoys!
I guess this could go with Nina Mimi's "blog o'shame" Lilly calls Fruit Loops "macaws" and she calls popcorn "cop corn". Well, what can you expect from a three year old? She is talking so much more now and it it so fun to hear her come up with new words and phrases that she has never said before.
Last week she had a balloon that floated to the ceiling, and she said "I can't reach it!", such a perfect, clear sentence for my 'baby' to say!
Oh, how she's grown. Time is going by so fast. Soon the day will come when she doesn't need to hold my hand. Soon the day will come when she will stop following me around. Hopefully she will take her time and stay my princess for a little while longer. I see her growing up and she is such a beautiful addition to this world and I am so proud of her.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Who are you? Oh, that's right...my kid!



Have you ever had a day when you find out something about someone that you thought you knew everything about?

Today was one of those days for me and Jacob.

Jacob has been having some anxiety issues so he has been seeing a therapist. I was very skeptical of the idea that this would actually help him, but it is actually doing a lot of good. He is getting more self confidence everyday with the help of this therapist.

So today was his visit, I am usually in the room for about 45 mins and then the next 15 mins Jacob has one-on-one time.

During our time in the room together I told the therapist that Jacob has been feeling really anxious & nervous lately and I didn't understand why. He hasn't told me anything that has been worrying him or upsetting him, so I don't know what to do. She asked me if there would be anything for Jacob to be worrying about, I couldn't think of anything so I told her no.

She asked Jacob and he started to tell her about how much he misses his dad because he is at work all the time. He told her that he worries about his dad getting in another car accident or getting hurt by a bad guy. Wow! I never thought that Gerardo being gone all the time would affect him.

She asked me if there has been any life changing experiences for Jacob lately, I couldn't think of anything so I told her no.

She asked Jacob and he said that most major thing that happened to him recently was his grandma dying.

My jaw just about hit the floor! This was an absolute life changing experience for me as a grown up, but never did I think that it would effect Jacob! Jacob was not very close to my mother-in-law, but I guess just because you don't see someone every day- doesn't mean you don't care for them or that they don't have an effect on your life.

Even though Mama Chayo was not his "real" grandma, Jacob believes whole-heartily that Gerardo is his "real" dad, all his Tio's & Tia's are his "real" Tio's & Tia's and all his Flores cousins are his "real" cousins.

Jacob went on to explain to his therapist that it was very sad and hard for him to see his Tia Mimi and Tia Brenda cry so hard at the funeral. ----Who is this kid? He sounded like a little grown up, he even remembered clearly that is was Noemi & Brenda crying so much at the funeral!

So this was an "Ah Ha" moment for me. Jacob is getting older and I really need to pay more attention to what is going on in his head. I have to let him know that my love for him is unconditional and eternal. I think we will have more one-on-one talks of our own, and not wait for the therapist.

At the end of today, I learned something new about Jacob...someone that I thought I knew everything about...and I make a promise to him that from now on I will be the one who gives him comfort when he needs it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Other Me

I guess I can't have my own blog without talking about "the other me". The person that I was just 4 years ago. Most of you remember me like this picture above. Here I was actually one month pregnant with Lilly. This was also 5 months after my weight loss surgery. I had lost about 100 lbs at this point. I would still lose another 30 during the first few months of my pregnancy. My doctor was not happy about that but my body was going through changes and I couldn't stop it even if I wanted to.
This picture was taken 14 weeks after my surgery, weight loss at this point was about 75 lbs. To get to this point took a lot. But by this time I was feeling a lot better.
This was my date outfit for me & Gerardo's first New Year's Eve together, ringing in 2004. It was 11 weeks after my surgery, and my weight loss at this point was about 65 lbs. I was gaining more and more self confidence every day. I was pretty much feeling on top of the world. It wasn't so hard anymore to deal with the surgery. I also had a wonderful man in my life and was starting a whole new chapter in the book of me.
This picture was Christmas Day 2003. It was 10 weeks after my surgery. This was a pretty hard day with every one eating a big holiday meal and I knew that I couldn't. Jacob and I took our first trip ever to Disneyland and I could actually keep up with him, not to mention fit in the seats on the rides.
This was me before surgery 296 lbs. That's a lot of pounds of misery. Unless you're fat, you will never understand what a fat girl goes through. A lot of heartache, heartbreaks and headaches...literally.
This picture reminds me of all of the things that I missed out with Jacob. We couldn't go to amusement parks because I couldn't fit into the seats on the rides. I couldn't run with him because I would get so out of breath that I felt like I was going to die. Overall, I was embarrassed to look the way that I looked. And I hated the way that I felt.
So let me tell you the truth about weight loss surgery. It may change the way that your body looks, but it doesn't change the way you feel inside. This was probably the biggest mistake that I made when I took the leap into surgery. I am still and always will be a fat girl on the inside. The reasons why I would overeat did not go away. My ability to eat a lot went away, but that only made things harder. I remember one month after my surgery was Thanksgiving, I can remember sitting there sobbing because I couldn't grasp the concept that my body couldn't eat but my head was telling me that I wanted to pig out.
A few days after my surgery I was praying to God to take me because I thought that dying would at least take the terrible pain away. They don't tell you how bad it is going to hurt.
At the beginning was the worst of it. Awful constant pain, trying not to get addicted to the pain killers that they give you. Getting used to having a small stomach is totally mind blowing too, during the first weeks after surgery my meals would literally consist of one ounce of half chocolate ensure & half water. How much is an ounce? Think of one of those little cups they give you with cough medicine.
As time went on things got better. But I will, like most wls patients, have on going problems for the rest of my life. I will always be anemic, I have had 4 blood transfusions so far. I will always be malnourished so I will always have to take a large amount of vitamins for the rest of my life. Then there's "dumping" syndrome, that's when I eat too much sugar or carbs and I feel like I am going to die until it gets out of my system.
I am grateful that I had the opportunity to have the surgery. I lost 130 lbs all together and gained a husband. But, I would never recommend this surgery to anyone.
If I had it to do all over again, I would do it the old fashioned way with diet and exercise.
So in the end I thank God for a new day. I want this experience to be a success, not a failure... so that I don't regret the price I paid for it.

Sugar Free????

I have kept my daughter Lilly pretty much sugar-free for all of her 3 years. Except for an occasional sip of soda, she doesn't really like sweets at all.
So I just naively thought that Aaron would be the same way. He is practically the same DNA as Lilly right??
Wrong!! To my horror this morning I found Aaron with a candy cane that Jacob had left on the couch!!
The worst part about it was how much he was enjoying it! And he let out a shriek when I took it away! OH NO! Another Jacob, lover of candy, soda and anything sweet!
Why are my two boys so much alike? All the way down to the double cowlick!
They say a "mean mother" never allows candy and snacks to take the place of a well-balanced meal. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Who's your Daddy???

This weekend was my husbands weekend off. This month he was home a total of 8 days. He told me yesterday that I am so lucky to be home with the kids all the time. He says Aaron is growing and changing every single day. Thank you to Daddy for making it possible for me to stay home with the kiddos.
Auntie Cindy got Aaron this cute Sheriff beanie, it fits his head perfect and he gets to "represent"!! Yeah Sheriffs! Especially Deputy Daddy!!
I've always told Gerardo that you would never have to see us on a "who's your baby's daddy?" show on Maury... cuz there's no denying these pure Flores faces!!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yum, Yum

I SMILE WITH A HAPPY SATISFIED GRIN, WHILE WEARING FOOD UPON MY CHIN!!

Today was the day!! Finally Aaron decided to eat some baby food!! I have been trying everyday with no success to get him to eat, but all he wanted was bubbas of formula. If there is a flavor of baby food, I have tried it. But all that ever happens is Aaron spits it out and my daughter Lilly gags in disgust!
SOON I'LL LEARN TO EAT WITH GRACE, BUT FOR NOW I'LL WEAR FOOD ON MY FACE!

After all of that effort the winner was CARROTS! Mixed with a little rice cereal, he was in heaven. He ate about 1/2 of the jar.
Sometimes it's not the great things that bring us the most happiness, but the small things done with great love. Little accomplishments from our children, even small are important.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lesson of Love,



Although I consider myself a pretty careful and cautious mommy, I have found myself leaving my 11 year old son Jacob in the car by himself lately.

He's more independent now and doesn't always want to hang around with mom so I will let him stay in the car playing his video games.

Tonight I was just running into the 99 cent store for a couple of things, so I took the babies with me and Jacob stayed in the car with our dog Spike. I had found a parking spot in the very front so I could see my car from the store windows.

When I was in line I heard a car alarm going off, I looked up and saw it was my alarm because my lights were flashing. I paid at the register and then me and the babies went to the car.

I asked Jacob why the alarm was going off and to my horror he told me that a man had tried to get into the car!!! He said that the man had a hood over his head and he tried several times to open the front driver side door. Our dog Spike started barking and growling, and then the alarm went off.

Jacob says that the guy must have got scared with the alarm and the dog because he ran off towards the store. He lost him in the crowd of people so Jacob's not sure where the guy went after that.

We're not sure if the guy actually saw Jacob. Jacob says that the guy tried to look in the backseat but with the tinted windows and it was dark outside, who knows if he saw Jacob or not.

I have to say I have this horrible sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and a pain in my heart to think that this person may have hurt or kidnapped my son in his attempt to steal my car. The car can be replaced, but my son cannot be.

Needless to say, I will NEVER leave my kids alone in the car EVER again!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

SAHM_I_AM


StayAtHomeMom is what I am.
When we first decided that I would quit my job that I had been at for almost 9 years I thought my husband was crazy. What would I do at home all day long with the kids? What is the purpose? What good would I be if I wasn't bringing home an income? Would I become what my sister in law Sandra called a "desperate housewife"?
I am grateful that my husband has faith in me to do a good job at home. He is a wonderful provider so I don't have to worry about the bills getting paid. He loves me so much and loves our children so much that he will sacrifice more so that I can stay home.
March 1st, 2007 was the last day that I ever drove to work. The last day that I ever dealt with a complaining, hard-to-work-with client (I left those for my sis-in-law Brenda). The last day that I would have to listen to my daughter cry for "mommy" when I left her at the door of my mom's house.
Instead I spend the days taking care of my sweet babies. Watching them play. Singing to them. Teaching them things only a mommy could teach them. Hearing them laugh and hugging them when they cry.
Of course there are the endless dirty diapers, laundry, dishes. And the need to speak to an adult every once in awhile. But that is what email and cell phones are for.
So, this is my job, my career, if you will. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Pay it Forward...



The story begins with my daughter's 106 temperature and grumpy, grumpy attitude. She wanted to go to the store with her dad. Of course he said yes, even though I was sending him with a huge list. But anything to keep his princess happy.

Then the phone calls started coming in. Lilly was having a meltdown in each aisle at the store, throwing things into the basket and crying over every little thing. This must have been when it set in to Gerardo that it was not such a good idea to take a sick 3 year old to wal mart.

Every aisle another desperate phone call from Gerardo for advice on what do in each situation. At one point my husband asked me to go to wal mart and pick her up, well I would have but he took the keys to his car with him by accident so I had no vehicle!

Finally after 1 & 1/2 hours of shopping/crying Gerardo finally got to the counter to pay. Lilly decided to throw another fit at the register so my husband had to hold Lilly with one hand and very slowly put all of his items on the register one by one...much to the dismay of the customers behind him.

The cashier rings him up and asks for $76, my husband reaches into his pocket for his wallet. Right about this time I am sitting at the computer and I look up on the shelf and see my husband's wallet sitting neatly on the shelf! You can only imagine how I felt when I saw it knowing he had no other money and he was going to be stuck. So I call him and he tells me of an act of kindness that many of us can't even fathom.

When the cashier asked for the money, he reached in his pocket and found no wallet. He realized that he had left it at home. He apologized to the cashier and asked if she could please set his things aside and he would return for them later. He explained that his daughter had been really fussy with a high fever and bladder infection & that we had stayed up with her all night watching Dora the Explorer and were pretty sleep deprived. Just then an older woman behind him (who he thought was getting mad) told him that she would pay for him.

Gerardo says he could not believe that someone now-a-days would do this. He told her no, that it was a lot of money. But before he knew it, she had swiped her card in the ATM machine at the register. She did not want to give him her information because she did not want the money back, she only wanted to show kindness and do something for someone in need. Gerardo thanked her and convinced her to give him her address. He later went to her home to pay her.

This makes me think about how we treat other people sometimes. How many times have I been behind someone that didn't have enough money and all I could think was that person was making me late. I guess sometimes we have to go through something like this to realize that there are still good people in the world. It has given our family a little more faith in humanity.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

video Aaron loves his rain forest jumperoo. It was a baby shower gift from my unit at work. This is by far one of the best baby presents that I have ever received! He loves this jumperoo and can spend all day in it if I would let him! He even turns himself around to play with the different toys.

As you can see he has a back-and-forth motion that he likes to do, and then that revs him up for full on bouncing action. We love it when his little feet come completely off of the floor!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Two flowers were planted next to each other one summer day...

They were supposed to only be one week apart. But ended up being 20 days apart! A wonderful, wonderful blessing for our family to have two babies in one month!! Two cousins that hopefully in the future will run hand in hand, love each other like brothers, play with toys, laugh, sing and be there for one another.

Saying goodbye


On November 12Th, 2007 we said goodbye to one of the strongest women I have ever known. My mother in law-beautiful and loving.
I don't have a lot to say about this, I can't ever say that I understand what my husband & his brothers and sisters feel, I can only empathize with them. My heart breaks for them and I wish I could take away the pain my husband feels every day for the loss of his Mama. And I am sad that she will not be here to see my children grow up.
I can say one thing for sure-- that she raised her son right and gave me the gift of a wonderful husband and father for my children. I will forever be grateful to her for that.
To My Other Mother:
You are the other mother I received,
the day I wed your son.
And I just want to thank you Mom,
for the loving things you've done.
You've given me a gracious man
with whom I share my life.
You are his lucky mother,
and I his lucky wife.
You used to pat his little head,
and now I hold his hand.
You raised in love a little boy,
and then gave me the man.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Who can make you smile????

Tia Sandra that's who!! I don't know how she did it but Tia Sandra got both of my Flores babies to give her their very first smiles! Above is when she first met Lilly and below is her meeting Aaron in the hospital. Two babies, two smiles just for Tia Sandra!!



And then He was born...

Aaron Gerardo Flores born June 5, 2007. This was the easiest of all three of my labors. As with Lilly I went walking at the mall on the day I gave birth, it seems to work for me. By about 7pm I knew that I was in labor and having pretty hard contractions.
I had spoke with my sister in law and she was planning on having natural childbirth. I went natural with my first son and it was horribly painful. I had an epidural with my daughter and it was a wonderful experience, I could actually enjoy the delivery and wasn't completely exhausted to enjoy her after she was born.
But I thought I might try natural again because if my sister in law could do it...then so could I!
We went to the hospital about 11pm after dropping off the kids with Grandma. My husband drove like an absolute maniac since the hospital was about 45 minutes away. I knew we had time, but he was totally nervous that we wouldn't make it.
We finally got to the hospital and I was admitted but only dilated to about a 2 or 3. By about 2am I could no longer stand the pain and my thoughts of a natural childbirth went out the window as I screamed for an epidural!!
I got my epidural right away and was in complete relief from then on. Of course Gerardo went to sleep, I tried but was too excited to sleep.
Then, about 4am I started to feel contractions again. Just then my nurse came back from her lunch break and I told her. She thought that I just needed to change positions, but when she checked me, I was fully dilated and my son was already coming out!
All of the nurses started running around and they paged my doctor. Oh, and get this... they put all the lights on and the baby warmer and they are running around setting the room up for delivery and all of this time Gerardo is sound asleep on the bench in the room!!! This time he was too far away for me to hit him with my pillow so I just let him sleep until he finally woke up from the noise.
My doctor was there within 10 minutes so this brings us to about 4:20 am, he broke my water and two (yes I said 2!) pushes later Aaron just popped out at 4:30 am!! Gerardo and I didn't even get to see him come out because we were too busy preparing each other for pushing. The next thing we know, the doctor is putting Aaron on my chest!
Our perfect baby boy was finally here for us to hold and love. Born at almost exactly 40 weeks, he was the biggest of my babies at a little over 7lbs. He had lots of visitors from all of our family and friends. Everyone was excited to welcome the new baby into the world.


Oops..we did it again...


In October 2006 we found out that we were pregnant again. Actually, I found out at the doctors office and I sent my husband a text message to tell him that I was pregnant! He always makes fun of me for that.
We were so overjoyed to become parents again. I looked forward to bringing another child into our world.
My husband wanted a boy so badly but I was longing for more pink so I wanted another girl.
Gerardo was so excited to call all of his brothers, sisters, mom and dad to tell them that we were expecting again, but because of my previous miscarriage we decided to wait as long as possible before telling anyone.
And then one day when I was sitting at my desk at work I got an email from my sister in law saying that she was pregnant and due in June. So, I had to let the cat out of the bag and let her know that I was pregnant too and also due in June!! She was the first family member that I told. It was so funny and exciting, I remember I started to cry right there at my desk. I called Gerardo right away to tell him and he was so surprised and excited too. Two new babies for the Flores Family, there could be nothing better than that!!

Little Goat???


I just had to put this picture in our blog. I think Nina Mimi took this picture of my husband and daughter. It was taken sometime around when she was baptized in the summer of 2005. Anyway, she loves this picture because she says her brother is feeding Lilly like a farmer feeds a little goat or little cow!! Very funny!!

Lilly's baptism

In 2005 our beautiful princess was baptized by my husband's little sister & her husband. We are very honored that they accepted the responsibility of being our little girl's God parents. They are very special to us.
Sometimes when you marry into a family you will feel like an outsider, but when I married into this family I feel like I am truly a part of the family. I am really grateful for that. We are more than just relatives, we are friends.