Monday, November 30, 2009


I asked James, "what are you thankful for? what do you love?" James said, "So much!" Good answer!

Well, first he was thankful for the great little table and chair set at Grandma Laura's house. We were there for breakfast on Thanksgiving day.


Heh. They put James to work!

We had our Thanksgiving meal at Tia ChaCha and Tio Donkey's house. James was "so excited" to go! It took him a few minutes to leave my lap but eventually he warmed up to the house and the "strangers", who aren't strangers! A few of ChaCha's friends join us for Thanksgiving, like familia :)

Here Grandma Rosie entertains James with crayons before the turkey lurkey.

Oh, and some tortilla chips held James over. I hoped he wouldn't fill up.

And then the food... Mmmmmmm.

Thanksgiving tradition says that we say "Cheers!" with Wild Turkey. James was thrilled to have a mini glass of water to clink glasses.

Tia ChaCha found all sorts of "treasures" for James. He is definitely a collector of things. His current box holds 2 quarters, a mini yarn ball, a toy lizard, seashells, a light up ring, a plug, wine corks, golf balls, a mini notepad, etc.

Pumpkin pie with Grandma.

Pumpkin pie smeared on Grandma's face! So much fun!

We had a full day with our familias and we went home very full and satisfied :)

On Friday we went to the MN Zoo. I didn't take many pictures but here's a cute one of the prairie dogs.

It was a chilly day but we enjoyed the time outdoors, especially at the Zoo playground. It seemed silly that we went all that way to play at a playground, but whatever makes James happy makes us all happy!

Here's a fun set of shots. I watched James and another child struggle to take turns and get up a ladder. Here's what played out.

I'd like to think that James is just polite and knew he could wait to take a turn. I know he can be strong and ask for what he wants, but he chooses his battles.

"I'm King of the World!"

James stayed the weekend at Grandma Rosie and Grandpa Larry's house. It was a nice break for Jim and myself and we relaxed a lot, shopped, and saw a movie.

I heard that James went mini golfing with Grandma, shopping with Grandma, and ate very well.

"Help Mama, Grandma is smothering me with love!"

He came home clutching this chocolate bear. He was so excited! We had to convince him to eat a real lunch before we let him dig in. This is the look on his face when Jim first handed him the bear. Pure joy.

James even shared a bit with his Dada.

The chocolate bear has NOT made an appearance since Sunday lunch. I absolutely refused to let James eat it for dinner, though he begged and cried for it. Toddlers!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful still

I had a great holiday kick-in-the-butt on Monday. I wasn't looking forward to the "work" of organizing and then delivering the holiday meals that my families signed up for through the school. I admit that I grumbled a bit about all that needed to be done. I stopped my grumbling and whining after my first home visit. The Mom was so grateful and obviously needing the holiday food. She was a bit awkward greeting me and I realized she only had one tooth. I don't say that to make fun or be flippant, I say it because I know I've never walked in her shoes and probably never will. I am lucky/blessed to have so many privileges, possessions, and so much love! I delivered the rest of the meals quite happily.

Grateful that a hot meal was waiting for me after that day at work...

Mmmm cranberries!

James continues to thrive at daycare. We are amazed daily by how much he is learning and are thrilled with the artwork that continues to come home.

I wonder if James was supposed to assemble these as a tree?

Ummm, a kitty? I think maybe he meant "Katie", his new favorite teacher at daycare.

Turkey cookies for Thanksgiving at Tia ChaCha's.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Little imp

This little boy is so happy and energetic...

Jumping in the "Bounce House Clubhouse" with balloons.

So much energy that he fell asleep playing in his closet clubhouse. Now, this isn't where I left him for his nap. He took himself and a blanket inside the closet and this is how I found him. In the picture he's pretending to be asleep. He wouldn't acknowledge me for a minute, refusing to talk but giving me the most mischievous smile. Funny.

I don't just carry my camera everywhere. I went downstairs quickly to get it because he was just too cute.

Apple Cranberry Cake-Pie


Jim gave his stamp of approval- "Very, very good"! We both agreed that it could use a few more cranberries next time.

A video from my iPhone today. I bumped my head so James did the sing-song little chant that my Mom did for us when we were little. I'll have to get the Spanish translation from Grandma Rosie later. I say it often enough to James that he tries to copy the Spanish :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wild Child(ren)

On Friday we assembled all of our students at CRMS together for a motivational type program. In our school's history they had never had an all-school assembly so it was quite a feat! It was a little overwhelming to have so many people in one (small) gymnasium- about 1500 students plus staff... The only scary part was the end when there was a mad scramble to get OUT for the end of the day.

You can't see all of the students in this picture, there were many more on each side, on bleachers.

My wild child started his day at 5am. He woke up this morning at 5 and so Jim and I each took a turn putting him back in bed, telling him its "too early". He may have fallen back asleep but we doubt it. He probably played quietly in his room or read books in his closet :) We all ended up waking up at 7am and we started our real day at our favorite breakfast spot, where James gobbled up TWO adult sized pancakes all by himself. Dipped in strawberry syrup? Yum!

After breakfast we wanted to take advantage of what might be the last great weather weekend so we headed to Springbrook Nature Center, in Fridley, to walk the trails and visit the exhibition building.

James' school is studying "Forest Friends" so we asked him to look for friends. We saw many squirrels and birds. I am thankful we didn't see any bears or wild animals :)

Inside the exhibition building there were stuffed animals, aquariums full of snakes, fish, and frogs.

James listens to the bird calls through the speakers.

He found a friend. James followed him around enthusiastically, and didn't even care that he picked his nose. Heh.

Touching snake skin. Ewwww.

Forest friends!

Skunk fur.


At home we played in the tunnel and kicked the soccer ball around. Fun!

I think I riled James up. When Jim got home from an errand, he asked me, "How much sugar did you feed him?!"

We settled down after dinner for movie night. The movie "Up!" is so good! I really think it was the best kids' movie I've seen for a while. I love that it featured an old man. I just think old men are the cutest, especially my Grandpa Gutierrez, the oldest man I know :)

James got slightly antsy and I didn't think we'd finish the movie, but he just switched seats and then settled in again.

I love this little boy, even though he wipes away my kisses!