Thursday, December 13, 2007

Owen loves anything with wheels...

...including his grandpa's TRAIN! You can see from the expression on his face here that this is true!

I have to share :)

Owen did NOT want to go to sleep last night, even though he was obviously tired. Very tired! I spent 20 minutes lying next to him in our bed, laying him back down every 30 seconds or so after he'd roll up to sitting. He was of course quite angry w/me, and I was getting a little irked myself!

Then suddenly he decided he WAS tired, and he settled into the rump-in-the-air sleep position (see earlier post) with his face toward mine. He was also suddenly cheerful and smiley at his mommy...he grinned, and if you have ever seen Owen really grin, you know his whole face squinches up. His eyes squint, his nose wrinkles, his whole face smiles. He did this, and made his little giggly noise (I have no idea how to spell that noise--'he-eh' or maybe 'hingh'), and reached over to pat my cheek. He rolled around some, putting his cheek on mine, then snuggling into my chest, just moving till he found a good place then giggling a little and snuggling in for a new good place.

Then he fell asleep, and his mommy cried with joy. I just was totally overwhelmed. As I've written before: this kind of love is the most amazing, God-given gift I have ever experienced. To go from 'good grief, will this kid ever go to sleep,' to 'I can barely stand it, I love him so much' in about 90 seconds--talk about mood swings!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sleeping solution

Well, we may have a solution. We put Owen's pack-and-play in our room. So, I hold him till he falls asleep, either in the living room or in our bed. After he's asleep, I put him in the pack-and-play. So he's close enough to see us when we awakens, and yet not RIGHT in our faces if he wakes up and whines. We can tell him 'shhhh' from our beds, and he knows we're right there and goes back to sleep. He usually sits up about 4:30 or so, and that's when we go get him and bring him in w/us.

I like it. He's nearby, we can see each other, and we all sleep MUCH better. Last night he slept w/us till 1:00, since he and I fell asleep at 7:30 in our bed and Shannon was already asleep in the other room!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Some pictures, finally

The one with the writing on the bathtub wall says it all--the drawing of Owen and his little mouth shows he color he ate!

The others are this weekend, Sunday, after we got home from my parents'. Owen's cheeks were absolutely raw, even though he hadn't been out in the cold longer than it takes to walk to a car or into a house.

He's standing by his radio here, too--he is quite a dancer! :)

Things Owen thinks are funny.

--Daddy sneaking up on Mommy and him after Owen is out of the tub--for some reason DAddy stalking Owen In A Towel is hilarious.

--Things falling off people's heads. Pa started this one.

--When he shakes his own head to the music.

--When Mommy rolls two balls from Guatemala down the back of the chair so they hit the back cushion and makes a silly noise while doing so. Why is this funny? ????

--The Owen Parade.

--Kitty. Always, kitty!

Why no pictures, Becca?

Um, because I haven't even turned our computer at home on in three weeks or so. So no uploading pictures anywhere. Sigh. I'm sorry--but BOY, motherhood is SUCH A JOY and VERY BUSY! :)

I'll put some up soon, promise.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thoughts on cosleeping and biology

Shannon and I are both biology majors by training (and teachers); my Master's is in bio. We were discussing how Owen seems to freak out lately in his own bed (we think we know why but that's another story). We're not knocking ANYONE's choices. This is just our perspective (which doesn't mean we're going to cosleep from here on out....).

Here's what we came up with:

-Humans are apes, like chimps, bonobos, and gorillas.

-Those other apes do not leave their babies alone in a separate nest at night--ever. They sleep together, secure.

-Only lately have humans begun to think that babies need to sleep alone, in another room. Before that, whole families slept in rooms together, sometimes in beds together; babies always slept w/their mommies.

-Other apes carry their babies around all day; we don't get to do that, usually. So sleeping in the same place makes for extra bonding that otherwise isn't available most days for working mommies.

-And for babies, bonding = survival.

-Biologcially speaking, cosleeping makes perfect sense. The baby feels secure; the mommy knows the baby is secure and right there; if the baby has any distress, mommy is right there to determine what's wrong; feeding can occur whenever needed...etc.

I am just writing about this because I worried about cosleeping for so long, and didn't want to do it when Owen was younger because I didn't want to roll on him. But he's bigger now, so it's not as much of an issue. And I miss him all day. And he clings to me this week when it's bedtime. And he grins and giggles into my face and his daddy's face when we come to bed and he half-wakes up.

And biologically, it really makes sense. As a biologist, I tend to view many things on that level.

Not for everyone, but slowly becoming maybe for us.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Report on last night's sleep

He fell asleep in my arms watching that old old old "Rudolph" Christmas TV special. I put him in bed where he stayed asleep till midnight then got up and howled. I was not awake enough to try the Ferber plan, so he ended up in bed w/us--where we all slept great! Sigh! :) :) :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Mommy Caved.

Well, last night I rocked him to sleep--he was out like a light. WITH his arms clenched around my shoulders every time I so much as shifted. I tried to put him in his crib 3x, and no dice--woke up and cried/screamed.

So I laid down on the floor w/him, on some blankets. He snuggled up to me and was out. Then I was out (thus foiling my own plan to try to pick him up and put him in bed)

At 1am, I woke up, and tried to move him to his bed. Didn't work. We went back to sleep.

I have 3 sleeping books ordered. I hope they come soon! I slept fine but missed my bed and my husband!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Help with sleeping issues, please...

To my fellow mommies who perhaps have been there:

We were doing just fine w/sleeping before last week. Before then, Owen would fall asleep w/one of us in our bed, and we'd move him to his bed w/o incident when we went to bed. Well, early last week he stopped that nonsense--his little head would pop up and he'd sit and try to crawl around. This would go on for as long as we let it.

So, then I started putting him in his bed first. He absolutely screams. Cries. Kicks. Tears and everything. The first night it took nearly an hour to get him to sleep. After that it was like 20 minutes each time. Not bad but exhausting for all of us. And at the same time, he's started waking up in the night howling. If I go in there, I find him sitting up or on his knees with his hands on the railing, just wailing. Last night was the worst (hence my plea for help)--he howled for 45 min. and I finally went in there. I took him out and rocked him to sleep--three times. Every time I got up he'd wake up, till the last time. (I think that was from sheer exhaustion.)

He's never let me rock him since about a month after we can home (he came home 1 Aug.). He'd sit up and twist and at that time, wanted to just be in our bed lying down to fall asleep. So rocking seems to work. But I do not want to do this at 2am. I'll do it when he goes to bed, if that works!

Has anyone else come up against this issue? Any input? If so, email me or post a comment here!

Two things we think it could be:
-teething--he has 4 coming in altho he doesn't act like they bother him AT ALL during the day

-separation anxiety

But we're just not sure. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some things Owen does/can do now

--Pull up on anything of the right height

--Walk w/a baby walker--he's soooooo proud!

--Dance when there's music on

--Say kitty, mama, dada, ball, bus, bath (debatable), maybe dog

--Try to say Grandpa--mutters under his breath, "Am-pa, am-pa..." to practice

--Can sign eat, milk, all done, and more, and is working on light, cheese, thank you, and mine

--Laugh hysterically at his parents' apparently OUTSTANDING funniness

--Attempt to stand up in the bathtub, and understand when I tell him, "Sit down, please,"--he does it, and looks at me like, "Hm...I did it this time. Should I push it?" and then he pushes it. heh heh. In fact, he watches me AS he starts to pull up to see IF I make him sit down again. !!

--Hold his regular cup and drink out of it by himself (but it's more fun to spill it)

--"Pet" the dogs, and he knows when I say 'be nice' to tone it down (from yanking on and biting tails, to wild patting instead)

--AAAAAAAAAAAAAAs at the Christmas Tree!

--Point out the 'truck' in one of his books when prompted

--Has four teeth coming in at once!

--Cause his already-tired parents to run around like maniacs, entertaining him with the "Owen Parade" (ask his Aunt Shawnna), chasing him through the various rooms of the house, making him 'fly,' pretending to run into walls because he thinks it's hilarious, etc.

--Make our lives happier than EVER!

Monday, November 26, 2007


I don't have pictures yet, but we had such a great Thanksgiving. A year ago on T'giving Day was the first time we met little Owen--he was just a peanut then, not even a month old that first day. We were terrified--if I watch the video now of us going thru customs, my eyes are HUGE with terror and nervousness and I am jittery and shifty-eyed. (Shannon filmed, smart man.)

I remember we couldn't even see him, he was wrapped in so many blankets, even though it ws really warm out. I remember climbing into a 2-door blue Toyota Tercel with his in my arms in the backseat--no carseat--as we made the 45 min. drive to Antigua. He was so teeny, and perfect! What a wonderful 4 days that was!

We had a great time at my parents' with my g'ma there, too. Owen loves loves loves turkey! We spent the whole day playing, reading, having a great time. He is loved so much by so many!

On Sunday, we went to the Hanging of the Greens at Shannon's parents' church. Owen climbed all over all of us, from one end of the pew to the other. He tried to grab the candles we held at the end. During scripture readings, he poked his Aunt Shawnna, and then his Uncle John, in the back (they were in the pew in front of us) trying to get their attention. He thinks he is something else!

Best of all, he SANG! When we'd sing hymns, he'd let out, 'Aaaaaaa, baaaaaa, aaaaaa,' over and over along w/the music! We should have known. He loves the radio, loves to dance, loves his toy guitar, loves to play 'drums' with pots and pans. Shannon says he'll be the next Santana.

Pics later!

Friday, November 23, 2007

random photos

My grandma (dad's mom); this summer when my brother Eric and his wife Heather were in from WA; my father's father, who died just over 2 years ago today (he would have LOVED Owen); my maternal grandfather's military picture--he died just under 2 years ago; my cousin Jody w/her 3 boys, Kolton, Dylan and Mason. :)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A couple more pictures from the weekend...taken by Grammy

My dad used the air compressor, his leaf shredder and climbed a step-stool this weekend--all of which elevated him to Super Cool Grandpa in Owen's eyes!

And, Owen biting the squeaky Christmas cat. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A few pictures from our weekend

The picture of him napping with his little behind in the air was Thursday, when I stayed home w/him because he had/has another ear infection. We spent Friday night hanging out here (see nap picture with my 2 boys), and Saturday O and I went to Grammy and Grandpa's. Owen watched NASCAR for the first time this weekend---he is enthralled (see pic of him staring, open-mouthed, at the TV). He also got another present from Nana's friend, the blue robe and matching puppy slippers. Shannon and I were cracking up, picturing him sitting in his robe and slippers, reading the newspaper and sipping coffee. Our little man!

Today we went out to eat w/Shannon's parents, and have spent the rest of the afternoon wondering why Owen is howling and complaining and whining and falling asleep in his high chair. ???? Could it be the molar and the 2 premolars coming in???? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A molar?!

Little Mr. Owen has a molar trying to come in! It's the very back right, on the bottom. Poor kiddo's run a fever off and on since Sunday, up to 102. So, we'll see the doc today to make sure that the molar is the only cause. He acts happy almost all the time, and is not lethargic or dazed, so I'm not panicky...just making sure!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Some stuff

Random goings-on around here:

-O got his first haircut. Unpleasant for all. She made it too short.

-Is that a porcupine emerging from that box?

-He looks great in mommy's do-rag and with mommy's pink phone!

-He crawls faster than a speeding bullet now, and likes to be chased.

-He wants his bottle in the AM and the PM, but we're going to a sippy cup in the afternoon for his milk. His Guatemala bottle-nipples have about had it, and he doesn't like any from here I've given he may be going cold turkey soon!

Friday, November 9, 2007

The season may be over, but we know we're good

At the All-Conference meeting Monday night, all the conference team coaches vote on All-Conference winners for each position and also for an All-Conf. Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. We have 6 offense first team all-conf. players, 8 defense first team all-conf. players, and about 10 2nd team O and D players. One of our players also got All-Conf. Player of the Year, and guess who was voted All-Conf. Coach of the Year?

Owen's daddy! Congratulations, Coach! We love you and are so proud! You are an inspiration to our son, our school, and our community!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Our football season has come to an end...

...but what a ride!

We played NMCC last night there. It was an exciting game, and we did play very well. But NM has some amazing athletes (we do too!) that we couldn't seem to stop. The final score was 30 - 20. We are sad but so, so proud. As their head coach (Shannon!) said last night, they are an inspiration to this town, the school, to other teams.

To the seniors especially, you are an amazing group of kids. We will miss you next year!

And who can complain about a 9 - 2 season?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How scary, and rewarding, it is to love someone this much

I've been thinking a lot these last few days about our son. As usual.

During the 8.5 years of our marriage, I have learned what it truly means to love someone unconditionally. My husband has shown me this time and time again, and I learned what it meant to love someone so much that you feel like if something happened to them, you might as well be buried. I would sacrifice anything for him. He is it for me; if I was not his wife, I...I can't finish this sentence, because I honestly don't know what I'd be.

Now, with Owen, I know what it means not only to love unconditionally, but to love a person with every fiber, every cell, and to know that you'd sacrifice your life, your well-being, everything else that mattered to you, for this little person. My body hurts with the love I have for this child. I would fight to the death for him, in a heartbeat, no questions or hesitation.

My mother told me one time when I was around 4 months old, she realized that her life would be shattered if anything ever happened to me. She said she decided that even if something terrible happened the next day, she'd do it all again, because I was worth it.

I agree.

Environmentalist Edward Abbey wrote once, about his daughter Rebecca, 'I would not sacrifice your little finger to save a nation.' That, my friends, sums it up. Owen, I would not sacrifice your little finger to save a nation. You are the most blessed thing to come into our lives, and you have made our world whole and beautiful. We thank your birthmother for her brave decision, because without her, we would not have you. And, we thank God for you every day.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Look at this little sweetie!

Just over a year ago, we received this beautiful picture of little Fredi Armando Gutierrez Cruz. He was 2 days old in this picture--we got his referral on 30 October 2006. I love looking at it, and recognizing in him the little face we see now.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy 35th Birthday, Dear Husband!

Tough Monday

School is fine, but I had a hard time leaving him this morning. He was just such a happy, joyful little guy all weekend, and I just couldn't let go of him at the sitter's. Sigh.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

More happy birthdays!

My little brother, Eric, had a birthday on Nov. 3. He turned 29. I think. ;)

And Shannon's 35th birthday is Monday! Old man! (Handsome old man...)

Love you both, gentlemen!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Football update

For those of you who are following the football season here-----we were 9-0 before last night's game, and wanted SO BADLY to have a perfect 10-0 season.

It was not to be.

We lost to Central, 33-31. We scored what would have been the winning TD w/just 1 min 20 sec to go...and then, with 50 sec to go, they threw a pass and madea 70-yd run to make the actual winning TD. It was heartbreaking.

BUT!!!! Last week's game clinched our spot in the Missouri division 2 sectionals. We will be playing at New Madrid County Central on Wed. LET'S GO BLACKCATS!!!! Just 4 more games to win to make us STATE CHAMPS!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007


Oh, bittersweet, bittersweet! I can't believe I am the mommy of a one-year-old! No longer can I say, 'He's 11 months.' He's ONE!

Saturday we went to my parents', where we played all day and ate grilled burgers, made by his Grandpa. My grandma was there, too--she turned 87 on the 17th, so we had a joint bday party. After lunch Owen got his very own banana creme pie, which he dug into quite voraciously! His Grammy and Gramps got him a new winter coat (it's awesome! I wish it fit me), and his Great-Granny got him a sock hat and mittens to match, as well as an SUV complete with a mommy and baby and stroller--not that he likes those much. He's into the CAR part of that toy! :) His mom and dad got him a fire engine!

Sunday we celebrated at Shannon's parents, where he got his very own little cake, and a big cake for all of us. He got VEHICLES! A dump truck, a race track, a big mixer...he loved it! His Aunt Shawnna's friend Julie also got him pop-up books--a big hit. He shared this bday with his (older) cousin John, who turned 14 on the same day as Owen turned one.

I spent most of the weekend being amazed at this little person who has filled our lives with joy. He's only been home 3 months, and yet our lives are centered around him and the happiness we find in raising him. He's ONE--which came too fast, but I also love knowing that we'll be with him for all his birthdays to come!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Woohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! Yeah, BLACKCATS!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Owen now has 3 or 4 videos on YouTube, is anyone is interested...! My username is platyneuron. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Birthday coming up!

I can't believe in 5 days I'll be a 1 year old's mommy! My little sweetums! I miss him all day...although when I left him w/the sitter this AM, he was happily crawling from one length of their big playroom to the other (while the other 2 kids watched TV--I'm proud of him for not being interested in that!). He gave me his cold and now mine's progressed into sore throat and achey. He seems to be lacking those symptoms, thankfully!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm gonna get you!

This is what I told Owen as we started a new chase game tonight. He started crawling into the kitchen, and I followed him on my own hands and knees, and said, "IIIIIII'm gonna get you!" He went NUTS and giggled and started crawling just as fast as he could to get away from Mommy! I tell you, there is NOTHING cuter than a little baby boy's behind as he scrambles to crawl away! He was hysterical with laughter when I'd 'get' him, and wanted to do it all over again. Of course, he's lighter so it doesn't hurt HIS knees so much! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tired already this week!

Last night we all fell asleep on the bed (and when I say 'all,' I mean all 3 humans and the cat and 1 dog, the other dog on her bed at the foot of our bed) at 8:15! Woke up at midnight to O's crying. He cried every couple of hours after that till time to get up; I think he was developing a cold, because this morning, he was couhging a little and was snotty. I had to dress him one layer at a time and hold him and snuggle in between each one, poor little squirt!

As for school, it's good. I really do love teaching, and I love the structure of my day. I need some structure. Anyway, I still haven't gotten the timing down and so haven't gotten to give O breakfast at home yet, because we're always running late. Tomorrow, I'll get up 30 min. earlier so I can spend that meal w/him!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One hour and 56 minutes till school's out and I can go get O.

Day 2 of being back at work

Yest. afternoon, Owen was SO excited to see me when I went to pick him up! He said, "Aaahhhhh," over and over and snuggled into his carseat. We went to the store (even this is more fun w/him around!) then he slept HARD on the way home then for another 40 min. when we got home. His sitter said he just slept for 30 min. all day Monday! Usually he has a 2 hr nap! But he and another baby, who is 8.5 mo old, played all day and even crawled around together.

I also bought Owen a toy bus yesterday. Why?

Because he CAN SAY BUS! He loves them!! At the game Friday night, he pointed at the visiting team's 2 buses and said, 'Bu!' over and over! That counts as a word! He also says 'momma'--but only when he's ticked at me for being too slow w/his pacha. Heh heh...just like his mommy. Grouchy if the food's slow in coming.

So, Owen has 2 words in his vocabulary now. :)

Monday, October 15, 2007

First day back

Well. Here I's 2:56 and I can go get Owen in just 19 min.!

Shannon dropped him off for me at the sitter's this morning. I just couldn't bear it. I got him up and dressed, though, and bless his heart, I woke him from a sound sleep at 6:40am, changed his clothes and he was just all smiles. Happy as usual. :) Shannon said he seemed excited that Daddy was there at the sitter's w/him, and a little confused when he left (usually it's Mommy leaving!).

I've done ok. I just got teary-eyed once, when someone gave me a little card and scrapbook to welcome me. You know how it is: when you're holding on but feeling vulnerable, and then someone's nice to you...and the tears roll! But that was short-lived. I'm doing ok.

HEY! The bell rang! I'm outta here! ;)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My grandpa's legacy and love.

My father's father was a woodworker, and a wonderful one at that. He made tables, chairs, wine bottle stoppers, lamp bases, and toys. Several years ago, after Shannon and I had been married for a while, he made some wooden toys for our future children. He made a little pull-toy rabbit, and little man whose legs and arms pop up when you pull a string at the base, and this wooden horse for riding. I got it out for Owen a couple of nights ago. He sat on it and tried to push it forward (he can do rocking toys, like rocking horses), and I pushed him around the kitchen on it for a long time. He also likes to push it around the kitchen.

Every time I see him with it or on it, I get teary-eyed. My grandfather was one of the most amazing, loving men I've ever met. Everyone loved him, in the way that you can love someone who is genuine, funny, kind, and laughs easily. Kids adored him. Some of my best memories are of spending summers at the house w/he and my g'ma, and laughing and laughing at his jokes and teases. I still miss him so, so much. He would have loved Owen, and Owen would have thought he just walked on water. I was so lucky to have my grandfathers till I was more than 30 years old, both of them...they died within 2 months of each other. I still miss them terribly. My grandmothers are still around, still active and quite feisty...and they are such a blessing.

But oh, I miss my grandpas. But the love they gave to me, I will pass on to my son, their great-grandson.

Wild baby!!

Owen really likes the slide at the park, we know that. BUT--last night we sat him on the back of the couch and let him 'slide' down. He did this a few times, and each time Shannon would catch him and set him back up there.

After a few minutes, he started literally JUMPING off the back of the couch the SECOND Shannon sat him up there! S would put him right back up there, and he'd open his mouth and eyes really wide and JUMP off into S's arms! Totally fearless! Crazy, craaaaaaaaazy baby!