Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Forward!

...And that is just what the Sweet Pea is doing! She is a full-scale crawler now. She is officially and entirely mobile! You can tell how she just relishes the freedom of indpendent mobility. She is working to pull herself up into a standing position, and is having more frequent success at this endeavor! Also, she got another tooth this week (the second center tooth on the bottom). I have pictures of all of these really fun updates, but am having trouble with my firewall. I will post more pictures and videos as soon as I can get that worked out.

In other news, Eric has been accepted to Durham University (UK) - so that was exciting!! At this point, we're still awaiting word about funding before we make a decision... hopefully, by the middle of April we will know a little bit more. We will keep you posted!

Monday, February 23, 2009

More fun with the Sweet Pea...

For those of you fans of her crazy hair (which tamed considerably in her fourth month), you'll be pleased to see that something of a rebellious mop is surfacing now in her eighth month. Not as edgy, perhaps, as the spikes of yore... but funky in their own right. Definitely they have a sort of free-flowing personality that mimic's Belén's. Now that she has discovered the possibility of mobility, she has actually become a pretty determined little girl. Cuddle? Not so much. She understands now that there is a world out there and she must learn how she can first access and then conquer it. She will do this first by rolling with authority. And as seen in the picture below, she is very close to full and complete dominion. If only she can master the crawling maneuver. For the present, she pulls her knees up under her... and she's pretty sure she is supposed to do something after that, but she hasn't quite worked out the particulars of how.

Here she is at her play table. She is getting pretty good at holding onto tables to hold herself up. Standing is her favorite thing. That, and when Papa walks her through the house. Here's a little video of that. I know the lighting isn't so good, but the giggle is worth the poor quality of the video.

Oh, and yes, the pearly white prize I promised you last post... here is my attempt to capture it. I admit, it is a little hard to see - but I assure you, it is there and it is sharp like a puppy-tooth. Watch out!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eight months... wow!

I know we have been woefully remiss at posting new offerings. Life is speeding along at a breakneck pace, and our baby girl is growing far faster than we are wiling to admit. Interestingly, the past four months have been somewhat lacking in updates (except for photos, which most of you are able to peruse regularly via Facebook).

But, I am pleased to report that the last two weeks have been chock full of advances in her development, and so I have been inspired anew to boast, er, publish some of these highlights!

I believe it was February 1st when I sensed her dental discomfort, stuck my index finger on her gums and discovered the point of her first little baby tooth! Sharp little guy, like a puppy tooth. It is the center tooth on the bottom, just right of center. I'm trying feverishly to catch a little picture to post, but it is still somewhat stingy in its revelation. The gums around it are so swollen (presumably trying to push forth it's left-sided counterpart) that I cannot see it very well. Over the last three weekends, though, it is becoming decidedly more apparent. Pictures will surely follow in the next week or two.

Eric and I have been working with her for months to teach her clapping. She is always mildly amused when our hands make that anticipated sound - but she had never once been inclined to mimick it. At best she would grab our hands... for weeks, we would teach, unable to see the fruits of our efforts. Well. Last Thursday, I got home from work late - after 7pm - and as I looked to my left, I saw Belén in her high chair. In my usual, mama's-rather-crazy kind of voice, I exclaimed, 'Sweet Pea!' and looked up with a huge smile and began clapping her hands! She repeated the act the next morning when I walked in to kiss her as Eric was changing her out of her pajamas. :) She is a happy, clapping little girl! I was encouraged not only because she expressed joy at my arrival, but because, while it seemed that all of those weeks of teaching were not yeilding any fruit, they were producing something deep - under the surface, gathering strength, just waiting for the right moment to be revealed. I expect this is one of the most important truths of parenthood from here on out: even if it doesn't seem like they're getting "it" (whatever you may be trying to teach them), do not give up. Your input, guidance and encouragement are sowing seeds that take time to sprout. God is that way with me. I'm so grateful for His patience and persistence and unconditional love.

Another development that will change our lives forever has begun taking place over the last week or so. As Belén crossed the threshhold into her eighth month, she finally got the hang of rolling over expertly. Previously, she would use this skill only to relieve herself of the burden of Tummy Time, to which Eric and I were relentlessly committed for her. Now, she rolls around the room with gymnastic proficiency. She has also begun pulling her knees up underneath her, with her arms extended. She rocks back and forth like that for some time. She appears convinced that she ought to be able to move both knees forward simultaneously, and so she is fixated on that tactic. Unfortunately, this usually results in a face plant and subsequent tears. But she has had a few moments of shining success where she moved one coordinated crawling motion forward before collapsing into the posture of tummy time. Putting her to bed now is a rather futile process. As soon as we lay her down she quick flips over and begins the work of lifting the weight of her midsection up on her toes with her arms extended in front of her. Then she preforms a series of tuck-and-rolls around the crib until she hits her head on the bumper-less slats. I'm rethinking that decision to return the bumper now. :) She will survive.

Now we just pray that Eric and I will survive as she enters this very fun, very new, very mobile season of life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Autumn with the Lopezes

It has been far too long since we posted here. Really - I think God should reconsider this whole "time" thing to add more hours to the day... Belén is growing so beautifully. Eric and I so often look at each other and marvel that this little miracle is ours. She started giggling last week. I literally jumped for joy last week when I first heard it; it is the sweetest sound in the history of the world.

She just turned five months old last week - we've hit a few major milestones: she now sleeps in her own bedroom, in her own crib (up until last month, she was in the bassinet next to our bed). To be honest, I think it is much more challenging for us than it was for her! She is now sleeping 9-11 hours each night. And a few weeks ago, taking cues from her that her tummy just needed a little something more, we started her on rice cereal. She doesn't mind it - as long as she's not too hungry. If she is too hungry, she has no patience for dealing with a spoon - she just wants the bottle. Standing up is her favorite thing. We try to give her plenty of tummy time to encourage rolling over and starting to crawl, but really, she would rather stand all the time. She can't sit unsupported just yet, but she is getting close! Her teeth clearly bother her sometimes, but we can't feel the teeth poking through just yet.

Friday, we get ready to go visit our family in Georgia - and we can't wait for them to meet her. Who could resist THIS face??!

Here are some of the highlights of fall we have shared:

The coming of the Red Cup is a great tradition in the Lopez family - and this year it was awesome to get to share this goodness with our little girl.

I love how she looks like she just took a scandalous sip of caffeinated beverage... :) (she didn't)

We had a great time visiting the Pumpkin Patch with her!

And, she enjoyed her first Presidential Election! Our friends Todd and Mandy came over to watch history unfold together with us and Belén did her part in a patriotic onesie...
Mandy made an awesome stars and stripes crudite platter with non-partisan ranch dip... and we added some Freedom Fries, and Chicken Wings (Left Wings AND Right Wings) to add to the bipartisan fun. A lovely time was had by all!
It has been a beautiful (and very eventful) autumn season here in Portland. Here is a shot of the trees that line the main road leading to our complex.
And Belén seems to be enjoying all of our Lopez Family traditions.... Good thing! 'Cause we're having a lot of fun with her!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We were walking through the mall on Friday night and were offered a free 10 X 13 photo just for coming in. Not having anything else to do, we stopped in for an impromptu photo session with our baby girl. This was my favorite one (nevermind the watermark that keeps us from stealing them... if you'd like to purchase prints or see the other prints, just go to:

She is getting more and more vocal. She loves to sing with me. When I lay her on the changing table, I sing her "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (because that's her favorite) and she just ooohhs, and aaaahhhhs and coos right along with me to sing her song, too. It is the sweetest thing ever! I try to catch it on video to post, but she is mighty aware of the camera these days and quickly quiets herself in its presence.
She is also discovering her hands; in fact, she is rather obsessed with them. She watches them and while she moves her fingers one at a time. She is now very skillfully grabbing at things in her play gym on purpose. She is also sitting up straight (although she has to be supported still) and doing little baby-crunches. She's going to have Baby-Abs-of-Steel in no time! :)
She has fun on Fridays when she goes over to Miss Michelle's house and plays with Michelle's daughter, Belle, who is one week older than Belén. She does really well when we need to leave her with someone for the day. We get consistent, rave reviews that she is the easiest baby ever. Although, now that I've blogged that, it is sure to change. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Pictures!!

I've posted some updated pictures on Facebook. You can view them here:

I know - it's not ideal... but when I can, I'll add some of them to the blog page here and comment a little more.

Blessings to you all!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Working Mom

So, last week was my first week back to work and it went well. I did cry on Tuesday morning as I left, but who wouldn't? Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us during this secondary transition to parenthood + working full time... Thank you to my awesome coworkers who have made me feel so missed, and so welcomed back. In fact, special thanks to my boss, Paul Griffin, and co-workers Dave Funk, Russell Lacy, and John Mayner who dressed in costumes and danced to an updated rendition of Y-M-C-A, penned by Dave Funk. This amazing performance put an inforgettable joy into a day that could have otherwise been melancholy. Here are the lyrics for your viewing enjoyment... (Don't forget to do the hand motions!) :)
Young mom, there's no need to feel down
I said young mom, got your friends all aroun’
I said young mom, 'cause you're back in our town
There's no need to be unhappy

Young mom, here’s a place you can go (motion to seat)
I said young mom, ‘cause you're short on your dough
Welcome back here, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways to have a good time

It's fun to have you back, T-A-R-A (rpt)
We have everything, but Belén, to enjoy
You can hang out with all us boys

Young mom, are you listening to me
I said young mom, no maternity leave
I said young mom, you don’t have to feel grief
But you've got to know that one thing

No mom does it all by herself
I said young mom, put your pride on the shelf
And just call her, that is Belén Lopez
I'm sure that you will smile when she says…

It's fun to be with Dad, T-A-R-A(rpt)
He has everything that I like to enjoy
I can hang out with all my toys

Young mom, we were once in your shoes
I mean, we were down and out with the blues
We knew no one answered 5-3-5-5
We felt the whole world was so jive

That's when someone came up to us
Said this young mom, took a car or a bus
To a place there called the Multnomah U.
And there’s no no diapers to do

It's fun to have you back, T-A-R-A(rpt)
Your desk is all clean
It’s just two bucks a meal, You can do whatever you feel

If only I had the pictures or video to show you! :) It was great!

And I'm happy to report that Eric is loving being home with Belén (and he's just the best dad you've ever seen). After her shots last week, it took several days for her to get back to her normal, laid-back self, but they seem to be finding a good routine so that he can get some work done during her naptimes. So, life in the Lopez household is moving right along... God is so faithful to us and we're so grateful for this life we get to live.

Thankfully, I am happy to report that little Miss Belén is about sleeping through the night. At least half of the time, she is sleeping from about 9 PM to about 5 AM. So as long as we go to sleep when she does, we can get a full night's rest! :)

I know I need to post some updated pictures. But those will just have to wait for another day (sorry!)...