Friday, November 30, 2012

The Witching Hour

It did not take me long to learn about the "witching hour" with Baby SA. That hour or two between the afternoon nap and dinner. Mr. SA isn't home yet, she's bored with me, and we're just trying to survive until Mr. SA walks in the door. 

For awhile this was my least favorite time of day. I was cranky. My baby was cranky. Everything I was trying to accomplish was being thwarted. I was frustrated, tired, and ready to unload my negativity on my husband as soon as I could. 

You can imagine how well that worked out. 

Some time over the summer - after I had quit my paying job and was home full time - I decided that the way I was handling this dreaded time of day was detrimental to my marriage, and to our family as a whole. I couldn't fix Claire's attitude or behavior. I couldn't change the fact that I really was exhausted. But I could change my behavior - and I could do a few things to smooth out that time.

I thought about what the hardest part of those hours was - and concluded that it was when I was trying to make dinner, pick up the house, and get everything ready for Mr. SA to come home. Which would be fine, except that Claire often wanted to be held that whole time, didn't want to be "worn" in one of those baby carriers, and just generally needed more of my attention during the one time of day I wasn't prepared to give it to her. 

So I changed my schedule. Instead of working out in the morning, that is when we run errands, because she is happiest then and less likely to melt down in the store. I use her naps times to chop vegetables, clean up the house, empty the dishwasher, or do any other tasks that I know will be harder once she is awake. I used to work out in the morning and then was worn out by the afternoon. Now I wait and go for a run after her afternoon nap. She loves being outside, and it is the most consistent way of calming her down - and therefore the perfect activity for the time of day when she is most on edge.  

Some of these things may seem obvious to those of you reading, but they weren't to me as a new mom. I'm just glad I was able to find a schedule that works for us so quickly. 

Now we have less of this:

And more of this:

The Pampered Bird

Friday, November 9, 2012

Grandma, Because of You

This past week has been pretty emotional. My Grandma (mom's mom), transitioned from her life here on earth to her eternal life with Jesus. There were good days where we thought maybe she'd make it out of the hospital. And there were rough days when we weren't even sure if there were hours left.

Through it all she kept saying, "I'm ready to see Jesus, and I'm ready to see Paul" (my Grandpa). It was hard to watch, and our prayer was "Just take her home Lord, end her pain and bring her home."

At one point I bought a plane ticket to fly out to see her one last time, but for a long list of reasons I ended up canceling it. As nice as it would have been to give her one last hug, I knew that there was nothing unresolved between us that demanded one last in-person interaction.

Instead I talked to her on the phone, and then video-chatted with her, being able to wave good-bye and say "I love you" one more time while seeing each other's faces.

Having spent 9 years living just a few miles from her, I remember spending many week day afternoons at her house after school. She would make cinnamon sugar toast and we would do our homework at her kitchen table. We would hang out there while my mom took one (or a few of us) to sports, speech therapy, doctor's appointments, or ran whatever errands she needed to for the week. We would go explore in the creek behind her house. We'd pull out the old fashioned toys from the garage shelves. I can still remember their musty smell.

At Halloween we would trick-or-treat in her neighborhood, and all of her friends would give us extra special treats.

Grandma always had a junk toy drawer in the kitchen. Odds and ends, cheap plastic toys, costume jewelry  candy, etc. would accumulate in there and we were encouraged to take home goodies as a gift.

She always told us that she prayed for us every night.

As we got older her homework help matured into dating advice: "Marissa, sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince". Or (in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, "You know Marissa, your Grandpa and I spent a lot of time in groups, but we still always made time to find a place to neck".

Meeting Mr. San Antonio and getting married myself I watched her marriage to my Grandpa very closely and was inspired and encouraged by their devotion to one another.

And I'll never forget the time I visited her when I was very pregnant. Hearing her stories about child birth and child raising, and having her tell me how confident she was in my ability to be a good mom.

But probably the memories I will cherish the most are the ones of her holding her great granddaughter. She would lean back in her chair with Claire curled up asleep in her arms. With one hand my Grandma would play with Claire's fingers. She would close her eyes and hum lullabies while rocking gently with a smile on her lips.

Everything Claire did brought joy to my Grandma's face. She would light up and say Claire was the most beautiful, smartest, most darling baby girl she had ever seen. And she always told me how proud she was of me as a mom. She said I was the best mom she knew.

But Grandma, I am the mom I am, because of you.

The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bipartisan Photos

Ok, I've started this post several times. Each time with a brief political summary. But to be honest I get so fired up and upset while writing that I end up deleting it each time. I've sworn off Facebook for the rest of the week because I don't want to see any of my friends post things that I fundamentally disagree with for fear of harboring negative feelings towards those I care about. 

The truth is that politics do matter. Many Christians will say that we are to be above politics and that God is in control so it doesn't matter what laws are in place in our country. Yes, God is in control; however, God is also very clear that there are absolute truths and that there is an ultimate right and wrong. As a Christian I believe we are to fight for those absolute truths to exist on earth and we are to point people to God's truth and ultimately to God (and his Son Jesus Christ). So to either vote for something/someone that is opposed to the Truth, or to check out and not care whether Truth exists in our country - I believe is wrong.

Ok, I'm done (for now). 

Now, here are some recent photos of Baby San Antonio. Because I needed to post something bipartisan. :)

Claire loves things that roll around on the ground. She'll chase a ball all over the house. She'll even "throw" the ball to you and then wait for you to roll it back. I think we might have a future athlete on our hands.

Uh oh! I've been caught! 

She's not really coming for me, she's coming for the camera. 

Aaaaaand side tracked. Probably by Mr. SA's guitars, or an empty water bottle, or a shoe. All of her favorite toys.

Now if that face won't improve my mood today I don't know what will. :)

The Pampered Bird

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cutest Produce on the Block

We dressed up Claire for Halloween and let her "trick-or-treat" at some of her favorite places:

We started with Daddy's office, then went on to Grandmommy and Granddaddy's house. A stop to see Mimi also included a nap before heading off to see some friends and their kids' costumes. But we didn't stay long because this little piece of produce has an early bed time. She was asleep by the time the first trick-or-treaters hit our front steps.

I'm not sure if I wrote about last year's Halloween fiasco.... it will forever go down as the Halloween that I forgot to buy candy. Whoops.

This year I thought I had made up for it by purchasing two full bags of candy (!!!!!), but I grossly underestimated the number of children people that would come to our house. (Since when is it appropriate to ask for candy once you have kids of your own?)

Apparently (does this happen in your city too?) families who live in less desirable neighborhoods travel to other parts of town to trick-or-treat. I have no problem with this, and am glad we live in a neighborhood that families feel safe walking through; however, we end up getting some interesting characters on our steps.

Like the girl who told Mr. San Antonio to "look over there", and while he turned his head she grabbed a huge fistful of candy (after he asked her to only take 2 pieces) and ran off. She ran off into the arms of her grandmother who was carrying a pack of cigarettes in her bra (which was easily seen because of the low cut of her shirt). I don't think it was a costume.

At this point, Mr. SA came in and said "we need more candy. Oh and by the way, you're forever banned from being on Halloween candy duty. Let me show you how it is done."

He left and came bag with armfuls of candy. I laughed. But that candy also disappeared, and we ended up with a sign on our door that said, "sorry we're out of candy", and we finished our evening in a darkened house feeling slightly ashamed of our empty candy bowl.

The Pampered Bird (and her strawberry side-kick)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Patching

Every day I have a list of things that I want to accomplish as a mom:

1. Tell Claire I love her
2. Tell Claire God loves her
3. Teach her (or reinforce) something new
4. Make her laugh (a real belly laugh)
5. Get on the floor and play with her 

It's a short list on purpose - I like being able to accomplish my goals!

When we went to the pumpkin patch this weekend I figured this would be a great opportunity to do all 5 things at once...

These are pumpkins Claire. They are orange. God made these pumpkins, and God made you. God loves you!

Daddy and Mommy love you too!

But someone wasn't in a laughing mood...

So we tried again...

And again...

And then, when we had finally come to terms that getting a teething baby to smile/laugh/be joyful wasn't going to happen, we got this...

And our pumpkin outing was complete!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What a Responsibility

I've noticed recently how often I label Claire.

She is stubborn passionate, active, social, curious, passionate, talkative, funny, loving, passionate, and did I mention passionate?

Maybe because life seems more manageable when things are properly placed, neatly arranged, appropriately labeled.

But people aren't that neat. And this baby (with her nasty boogies this week, and banana infused hair-do) is definitely not neat.

I've always been told that I wear my heart on my sleeve and that I am horrible about hiding my emotions. Well, this baby definitely got my emotions.

She feels things. Deeply.

When she is mad she spits. When she is happy she laughs and gives kisses. When she is frustrated she throws things. When she is scared she snuggles. When she doesn't want to do something she can cry and spit and throw things.

Sound like anyone you know?

Emotions are good, they are a gift from God who created us with emotions as a reflection of His emotions and character. But all these gifts can be used for good or evil. It's my job as her mom to teach her how to reign in her emotions. How to control them rather than be controlled by them. How to use her anger to stand up for what is right and just and true. How to use her joy to encourage, love, and bless. How to use her passion to inspire, lead, and act in faith.

What a responsibility.

The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Last night I should have been sawing logs, but instead I was wide awake with my heart racing as I thought of my long "to-do" list that has been hovering over me for... awhile.

Maybe it was just the espresso I had in the afternoon...

Or maybe it was just jitters over my new commitments that start up this week...

But the stress I felt was real, and it was mostly the cause of self-sabotage.

What I mean is that as I attempt to accomplish a small task (i.e. change the ink cartridges in our printer), I allow small hurdles (i.e. not knowing how to open the printer) keep me from moving forward with the task (we've been out of ink for months).

The hurdle paralyzes me. Why? I have no idea. But for some reason, rather than ask for help (i.e. "babe, can you show me how to open the printer?), I stress over the fact that we don't have ink, AND that I don't know how to open the printer. I have even used the phrase "I'm so stupid" in this process.

Finally last night, I let out my frustration, confessed my paralysis, discussed the hurdles, and allowed Mr. San Antonio to act as CEO and give me (the self-titled COO) some encouragement and direction.

We started by labeling all the non-truths in my thinking (i.e. I'm NOT stupid). And then addressed the specific issues (i.e. Mr. SA opened the printer). And finally we talked about the root of the problem.

Not that we figured out some profound insight. I sure hope you weren't expecting one...

But I did ponder the fact that this is the first time in my life when I haven't had someone else giving me deadlines for things. No teacher telling me when assignments are due. No boss telling me when a project needs to be completed. It's just me directing my day - deciding what is highest priority, and what needs to be delegated to others (others? can I delegate things to Claire yet?).

Today has been totally stress free (even though it has been non-stop busy).

Maybe it's because Mr. SA used his CEO title to give me deadlines for all the tasks I was stressed about.

Maybe it's because I set my alarm a little early this morning and spent some time with God before the day got started.

Maybe it's because I'm focusing on truths (i.e. some things are more important than ink cartridges, and I am capable of changing the ink cartridge when the time is right).

One thing I know for sure - no more espresso in the afternoon.

The Pampered Bird

Monday, August 20, 2012

Moving and Shaking

We officially have a crawler on our hands. Sometimes she goes sideways before she goes forward. Sometimes she pushes off with one foot while dragging the other leg under her. And sometimes she goes backwards when she means to go forwards and gets very frustrated. 

Time to hide all her favorite chew toys - namely our shoes and anything with a cord. Who says having a baby isn't like having a puppy?

We've had a busy month. We spent some time in Tahoe with family where we enjoyed my cousin's wedding, cool nights, days on the lake, good food, a campfire, lots of hikes, and I even got a bubble bath! 

This past weekend my grandparents came to visit and got to spend some quality time with Claire. Mostly we all sat around and waited for her to crawl or do her fake laugh (which is so much better than the fake cough she did for awhile). 

My days consist of having my clothes pulled out of shape by a girl who climbs all over me and uses my shirts to pull herself into a standing position. 

I also spend time introducing her to new foods. So far she has loved everything except for the rutabaga, carrot, pea mixture that a baby food book swore...

(Sorry, I had to pause because Claire just pulled herself up by the coffee table and then proceeded to fall over onto her head. Don't worry - we put a nice thick rug down in here over the weekend, and she's obviously not too fazed - she's up doing it again....) 

Anyway, the rutabaga food was disgusting (after the book said it was delicious). Probably the reason I've never eaten rutabaga. And why she never will again. (This is coming from someone who generally loves vegetables). 

Ok - before another face plant happens - here are some recent photos. 

Someone wouldn't sit still for her photo so Mama had to jump in and hold her down.

This is the fake laugh - We LOVE how she closes her eyes to do it. Makes us laugh for real every time.

One of her favorite toys. Good thing Mr. SA is so generous with his guitars.

Mid conversation. Have I mentioned this girl likes to talk? As in - I've caught her talking to the walls - not a joke.

Have a great week! And if you need to get some exercise you're welcome to come chase this baby around for awhile. I'd love the company! 
-The Pampered Bird

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One of Those Weeks

There are weeks, and then there are weeks. This week is one of the latter.

Now I'm going to take a minute to let out a big sigh, sip my mango lemonade, and embrace the fact that it is quiet right now. Because I think this might be the first time it has been all week.

It started on Tuesday when Baby SA was not acting like herself, and turns out was running a fever.

Our stroller got a flat tire which my father in law graciously fixed for me.

My car overheated while picking my mom up at the airport. Again Ed came to my rescue (Mr. SA had gone on a run without his phone - which I had said was fine - "I'm just picking up my mom, nothing is going to happen!"). While waiting for Ed my former boss and his wife drove past us at the airport and stopped to help.

Then after getting the car within 5 blocks of our house, it gave up on me again. Mr. SA picked us (my mom, Baby SA and me) up and drove us all out to my parents' house to drop off my mom and pick up their extra car for me.

While on our way out there Baby SA started crying really hard - she was still running a fever. The only thing that would calm her down is if I sat right next to her, with my hand on her cheek and singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". If I changed songs, or heaven forbid took a breath, she started crying again.

Eventually I had to move to the front seat to drive the car home. She wasn't thrilled about it, but as long as I kept singing that song she was able to just whimper and not full on cry.

I sang that song for 30 minutes straight.

30 minutes.

It's not a long song. Do you have any guess as to how many times I sang it?

Whatever you think it felt like a million.

Baby SA is feeling a bit better today. Our stroller is fixed. My car is at the shop. And I made cookies. So things are looking up.

Hopefully next week will be one of those other kinds of weeks.

The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Photo Montage

If you woke up this morning wondering, "gee... when do I get to see more photos of Baby SA?", then today is your day!

I didn't really want this blog to become a "baby photo album" but there are exceptions to every rule - right? And today I'm taking that exception and running with it.

This is her sleep position of choice. I usually wake up to her on her stomach or her side with both legs stuck through the bars of her crib.

This is her common, quizzical look. Or her, "Momma, aren't you done taking pictures yet?" look.

This is her common, happy look. Or her, "Can I wear a tutu forever and ever?" look.

And this is her caught mid-reach for her toes... which I'm sure she was trying to get in her mouth. It's her favorite thing to do with her toes.

The Pampered Bird

Monday, July 9, 2012


Baby SA has been showing an interest in big-person food for awhile, and now that she has two teeth I figured we should embark down the scary road of solid foods.

So far it's been fairly successful. She loves rice cereal. Goes to town on frozen banana and frozen peas (stuck safely in a mesh baggie that she gnaws on). Seemed to enjoy sweet potatoes, and passionately spit out avocado. Oh well, you can't win them all.

All this eating is giving her lots of energy for her jumper.


The next post will be a shameless photo montage of this precious girl (not that I'm biased or anything). 

The Proud Bird

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Trip to the Coast

We spent last weekend at the coast. They don't call it the beach here in Texas. They call it "the coast".

For those of you accustomed to "the beach" - there are a few key differences between "the beach" and "the coast":

The beach is cold - the water is cold, and often the air is cold.
The coast is hot - the water is warm, the air is hot.

The beach has large waves and the water gets deep quickly.
The coast has small waves and you can walk at least 1 1/2 football fields length into the water with no problem.

The beach has some seaweed.
The coast has lots of seaweed.

There completes your Texan lesson for the day.

Going back to our trip - we spent it with Mr. SA's side of our family - sharing a condo with his sister's family and his parents, and one lost possum/raccoon who got stuck in our wall. There was lots of good family time, either playing in the waves, touring the aquarium, or eating my mother-in-laws amazing brownies.

I'm not going to lie, at 3:00am on the first night/morning I got a little skeptical about the whole trip. We got in late and Baby SA was tossing and turning and making all sorts of noises which were keeping me awake.  

By 1:00am I had hardly slept and was losing my patience. Mr. SA had also woken up and I asked him to help me move her into the living room so I could sleep. We got back into bed only to have the sounds get louder. Mr. SA followed what sounded like scratching and thumping (what I had thought was Baby SA) to the wall and as he got right up next to it there was a loud SNORT.

He jumped back and exclaimed that there was an animal trapped behind the wall... "and you know, those walls aren't that thick, if he's really determined he can probably break through".

And there went any chance of me sleeping.

We moved our mattress, and all our stuff into the living room and barricaded the bedroom door. But at 3:00am I was still awake having visions of a rabid animal bursting through the wall and trying to eat my baby.

Later that morning, after some very strong coffee and leaving Baby SA in the more alert arms of her Grandmommy, Mr. SA and I wandered down to the water to relax for a few minutes. As I sat on the coast I watched a storm approach. The clouds, the rain, the lightning, all were such amazing reminders of God's presence and control in the midst of our lives.

How wonderful to know that the God who stores up the lightning and commands the clouds to release the rain, also watches over the animal in the wall, and all of us sleep-deprived parents - and gives us just the right amount of grace to make it through our days.

The Sleepy Bird

P.S. the animal was rescued a couple days later... yes a couple days...

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Milestones and Other Things

It has been two weeks since I stopped being a Development Manager and took a promotion - becoming COO of Bondurant Enterprises (this job is so great, I even got to choose my own title).

Baby SA and I have been having a grand time reading stories, listening to music, rolling over from our backs to our fronts and to our backs again, running errands, and folding laundry. It's never too early to introduce chores.

I've had more time to cook and bake which has been fun. I've had some successes - such as honey whole wheat sandwich bread, and homemade pizza dough. And some major flops. Whoever decided it was cool to make brownies out of black beans should have their culinary license revoked. Please, if you love chocolate, or have any respect for chocolate at all - do not bend to this new trend in "healthy baking". Leave the beans on your dinner plate and for the love of all things tasty put flour back in your brownies.

Baby SA's latest milestones include:

- Throwing her swaddle blankets over board - they restricted her ability to play in her crib at 2am and therefore had to be removed. No plea from mom could convince her of their innocence.

- Becoming fascinated with iced beverages.  This is either a milestone, or proof that Texas Summer has arrived.

- Developing a taste for reading. Literally.

- Realizing that if she kicks in her bathtub she can soak mom. Anyone have a stylish poncho I can borrow?

- And flirting with daddy. She has an unbelievable ability to smile and then demurely duck her head and flutter her eyelashes. Watch out.

And watch out for those brownies I mentioned above... if you ever come across them, please throw them overboard. 

The Pampered Bird

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Love at 2AM

Perhaps we were getting prideful about the fact that our baby slept through the night so early.

Perhaps we were over-due for a little challenge.

Perhaps we were in need of an excuse to drink (coffee that is).

But the only thing I could think at 2am was "why aren't you sleeping!?!?"

Baby San Antonio has been sleeping through the night (almost all the time) since she was about 6 weeks old. But this past week she decided that sleep time should be awake time (who planted that idea in her head?).

I was being fairly tolerant of her midnight musings until Sunday night roled around. Knowing I had to get up early to get ready for work made me less patient when the noises started shortly after 1am.

But I'm not yet at the point where I'm willing to let her cry it out - so I went to check on her and when it was obvious she was hungry I fed her and laid her back down. She appeared to fall asleep and I thought, "that was easy".

No sooner had I nestled back in under the sheets than she started crying again. She hasn't done that in almost two months (not going right back to sleep)... I didn't know what to do. So I went back in and she immediately started smiling and cooing at me.

I decided this was an appropriate time to have a heart to heart conversation about how there is a time for playing and a time for sleeping, and 2am is most definetely a time for sleeping.

She responded by filling her diaper.

Then she laughed.

This time Mr. San Antonio got up to see what was going on (or maybe I woke him up by shaking him and begging for help? did I hold the dirty baby over him too? I can't remember... and probably shouldn't be held liable for anything I did at that hour anyway).

After cleaning her and putting her down and having her continue to cry unless I was touching her, we decided to try bringing her to our bed - and having Mr. SA move to the guest room for the night. We aren't typically bed-sharing type parents, but you do what you have to do.

I got Baby SA situated and laid down next to her. She contined to fidget so I put my hand next to hers - she immediately grabbed on and fell asleep holding my finger.

Even though I didn't really sleep the rest of the night (that girl can grunt and can pack a punch), I did find joy in knowing that she was at peace next to her momma. And I felt a little bit of pride in the amount of love that fills our house - all thanks to the One who first gave that love to us.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Inside City Limits

Several months ago a friend gave Mr. San Antonio a pellet gun. It is complete with a silencer, because what pellet gun doesn't need a silencer?

The silencer, as a result, makes the pellet gun look like an assault weapon.

Now the purpose of the pellet gun is to shoot birds. Namely doves that like to perch in our pecan trees. However, if a possum, squirrel or other non-domesticated animal happens to get in the flight path of the bullet... well, that's a shame.

Over the weekend Mr. San Antonio had some friends in the back yard and when I peeked out the window they were holding the gun.

A few minutes later Mr. SA walked through the house wearing my gardening glove.

A couple minutes pass by and Mr. SA pokes his head around the front door and suggests that I occupy myself in a different part of the house.

Then his friend comes in the house asking me for a plastic bag.

Now, perhaps I caught on later than most - but eventually it dawned on me...

So I marched outside and in the most commanding voice I could muster I said, "Mr. San Antonio, what kind of dead of animal did you just carry through our house?!"

Laughter filled the back yard and Mr. San Antonio wore an extremely guilty look on his face. "Do you want to see?" He asked me with a hand behind his back.

Before I could answer, a headless bird was brought out into my view. I reacted like this:

Please notice that you can't see my face. That is because the camera was in the same place as the headless bird - neither of which I wanted to look at.

After the laughter died down, the bird was prepared for the grill - cooked and subsequently consumed by Mr. SA and his friends. We don't waste dead animals here in Texas.

Just please don't tell me that to become domesticated I have to start plucking birds.

I'd rather scrub our floors with a toothbrush.

And you know that's saying a lot.

The Pampered Bird

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A New Job

Maternity leave ended, and after returning to work full time for a couple weeks, Mr. San Antonio and I made the big decision for me to quit my outside-the-house job so that I can focus all my energy toward being a mom and a wife.

This decision was much more difficult than I expected it to be. I knew juggling everything would be tiring. And I knew that ultimately I wanted to stay home full time. But when it came time to put in my notice at work I struggled.

Partly I didn't want to disappoint my boss and my co-workers - people who have really invested in my career through trainings, advice, support, etc.

Partly I didn't want to disappoint myself - even though I've heard "you can't do it all", part of me thought maybe I could.

Partly I couldn't quite believe that God would want to bless me by giving me my heart's desire - of staying home with Claire. I often assume that God's plan must include my suffering (i.e. exhausting myself by trying to juggle work and home life, and stressing myself by thinking the only way God can provide insurance for us is through my job).

But one day when I shared these things with Mr. San Antonio he reminded me that God loves to bless His children. Sometimes those blessings take the form of suffering, but not all the time. Would I refuse God's blessing just because I think I have to be a martyr in order to be doing God's will?

So we sat there and we weighed the pros and cons:

1. I give up my fantasy of having a house cleaner
2. We postpone any deluxe vacations for a while
3. Mr. San Antonio's dream truck will remain on the lot for a little longer

1. I get to put my whole self into loving and serving my family

Pros won. Big time.

Besides, I did get a house cleaner.

You might know her as the Pampered Bird.
Until now, I haven't been known for my cleaning skills, but I'm on a journey toward domestication.
Now how do I turn on this vacuum?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Princess Ruffle Bum

The end of my maternity leave is looming. I go back to work next week - and this season, that I thought was going to last forever two months ago, has flown by.

Baby San Antonio is now cooing, smiling, laughing, and doing her best attempt at sitting up. She loves facing the world and will stare at you for hours.

I had the privilege of introducing Claire to all her living great-grandparents in these couple of months. My dad's parents (Nana and Napa to Claire) flew out here for Claire's first tea party. Then a couple weeks ago I made a very last minute trip to visit my mom's mom (Grandma to Claire - and to me for the matter!). It was such a blessing to see everyone hold Claire and get to spend some special time with her. 

Our predictions are that Claire will be a world renowned musician. Our belief stems from our own biased understanding of how well she is developing, and from how enraptured she is when Mr. SA plays for her.

Here is her close up:

And now that we have started reading children's books, Mr. SA and I are convinced that we could write something at least as clever as what these authors come up with. In fact we already have our main character (inspired by Baby SA)...

Let me introduce Princess Ruffle Bum

Princess Ruffle Bum goes around her little world trying to find the most ruffliest, puffiest, most ordained outfits possible. 

We may or may not introduce an actual plot line (that seems to be a trend in children's books). 

Stay tuned...

The Pampered Bird

Friday, March 9, 2012


Have you ever heard the story of the man who sells his pocket watch in order to buy his wife a hair comb, and the wife sells her hair to buy her husband a chain for his watch?

It's supposed to be such a sweet story... but really it just makes you want to cry.

Mr. San Antonio and I did something similar (minus the make you want to cry part) - in that we both plotted surprises for each other. On the same day...

How did that happen - you ask.

His 30th birthday was coming up, and we had just had a baby, and neither of us had much energy to put into planning anything. But it was his 30th birthday and I wanted to do something for him beyond the typical family dinner. I asked my mom what she had done for my dad's 30th birthday and she said she surprised him with a party with all their friends.

So I thought about it, and (after considering the fact that his birthday was 2 weeks away, and that I had a 2 week old daughter at home) I said "let's do it!"

I made a couple phone calls to family members, picked a date (February 18th) and sent out an evite. Over the course of the next week and a half I booked a caterer and some mariachis, purchased some beer and festive garments, and kept up a rouse to Mr. San Antonio about how sorry I was that I didn't have time to think about his birthday this year.


Mr. San Antonio saw how tired and overwhelmed I was with the baby, and knew what it would mean to me if one of my dear childhood friends could come for a weekend visit. He began a series of secret phone calls and emails to arrange for a visitor... on February 18th.

Both of us confided in both our families - not considering the possibility that the family members were having to keep two secrets straight. Now, who can't know about the party? And who can't know about the visitor?

On the morning of February 18th, after I had a rough night of little sleep, Mr. San Antonio snuck out of the house (by telling me he needed to help his dad with something), and returned a couple hours later. He came in to our room to see if I was up.

"Would you like to get up?"
"Would you like me to make you some coffee?"
"What about pancakes, would you like me to make you pancakes?"
"Ok, I'll come back in a few minutes."

I laid there for a minute, feeling a bit guilty with how sweet he was being and how grumpy I was being - and finally got dressed, picked up the baby and walked out into the living room in a haze of grogginess.

*Why is Mr. San Antonio holding a video camera?* I thought to myself...

"Babe, I have a surprise for you..."

I looked around and heard a very familiar and lovely voice say, "Good Morning!" from the sofa.

The joy and shock mingled with my sleeplessness and the adrenaline from keeping a secret the last two weeks and I was this close to breaking into song, "Isn't it ironic... don't you think? A little toooooo ironic..."

Fortunately for everyone involved I kept my wits about me and the song only played in my head.

As the day unfolded I snuck phone calls to family members to ask how long they had known about the visitor and in turn heard heard the lengths they had been going through to keep both surprises hidden. Our poor families almost lost their minds trying to keep things straight.

That evening, Mr. SA was under the impression we were having a small get together with a few family members to celebrate the big 3-0. Typical. Usual. Nothing to get too excited about.

When we pulled up at his parent's house he started recognizing cars... "Why is Matt's car here?"

As we pulled into the driveway and he could see the front porch filled with people.... "Why are there mariachis?"

I turned to him and said, "You're not the only one with surprises this weekend."

At that Mr. SA got out of the car in a daze, completely forgot about me and the baby, and strolled up the front steps to a chorus of "Happy Birthday!"

I didn't have to sell my hair, and he didn't have to sell is watch - but we surprised each other all the same. Maybe it does make me want to cry...

The Pampered Bird


Related Posts with Thumbnails