Sunday, December 18, 2011

Getting Sentimental...among other things...

Settle in for a long winter's blog...

Since I've only been blogging once a month or every month and a half it seems like I always have a million things to say. You may remember my last post at the beginning of November. We had had a somewhat difficult fall and were all pretty worn out. I am glad to say that things have been better around here for most of us!

For those of you who didn't know I am expecting a third little miracle July 4th. It's been a rough pregnancy so far, but we are nearing the end of the first trimester and I have hope things will get a lot better in the next month.

Jonah is feeling 110% better and is back to his crazy cute little self. He views the world around him as his own personal jungle gym. I am amazed at his acrobatic skills every day. He isn't afraid of anything (with the exception large dogs)! His vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds every day and I love to hear him talk!

Liam is as smart as ever. He cracks us up all the time with the things he has to say. And he is so helpful. It has gotten to be a lot of fun doing things with him, taking him places and experiencing the wonder of the world again through his perspective. One of my favorite changes in him is his recent realization that Jonah can be fun! They play together all the time now. I hear them giggling about everything. and Liam now knows that Jonah will copy almost everything he does. This, I have found, is very dangerous!

Today was Liam's first participation in a Christmas program, or any type of program for that matter. I had been really looking forward to it, but I didn't expect to be so emotional about it! I helped lead worship this Sunday so I was there to see the program in the first service (Liam was only in the program for the second service). As I watched all the cute little kids I couldn't hold back the tears.

Most of you know that we went through 3 1/2 years of infertility before we conceived Liam. There were so many moments that I would be completely overcome by grief during those years. It would hit me at the most unexpected times. Today, all of the sudden, I was instantly transported back to a Christmas program about 5 or 6 years ago. I remembered so clearly sitting in the seat next to Edwin, watching all those cute little kids and my heart completely broke for the thousandth time. I was overcome with the realization that I would probably never get to sit in that seat with a huge grin on my face watching MY little boy or girl sing her heart out, or pick his nose, or just stand there like a statue. I actually had to get up and leave in order to go and compose myself.

Flash back to today and I was overcome with wonder! There I was watching the program, knowing that my little Liam, MY precious miracle would be up there in a little over an hour. That I would get to wave at him from my seat. That Edwin would be running around the sanctuary with a video camera trying to capture what would be to most people the most boring video they'd ever seen! God has been so incredibly good to us. He has given us more than we ever deserved. And this moment was such an overwhelming reminder of His grace and goodness.

So, without further ado (and mostly for the grandparents, because no one else will think it's interesting), Liam's inaugural performance...

And here are a few pictures of what we've been up to the rest of December.

We have had some MAJOR transitions. Edwin's parents and two of his cousins and their entire families all moved to the area on November 30th! We went from having very little family close by to having a ton of family close by. The cousins are all up in Vancouver and I took the boys up there a few weeks ago to begin getting reconnected. Here are just a few of them.

And this is Edwin's nephew Irie. Edwin's parents are raising him full time right now. Hopefully we'll all be able to help each other!

Meeting Santa and Christmas tree farm

Doesn't Jonah remind you of that kid in The Christmas Story with that poofy red coat?

Seeing the lights go on on the Christmas tree for the first time.

Watching Charlie Brown's Christmas

Discovering Nutella

Out to see the Lights Of Christmas at Warm Beach Camp with the Brennans

The crash after all the fun

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's been an interesting fall....

I haven't had ANY desire or energy lately to take pictures, let alone get a blog post up. But I thought I should make a little effort here for those of you who don't get to see the kids in person very much. The truth is Jonah has been sick for most of the last three months. And not just a little sick, he has been really sick. So, we haven't been out of the house much or done anything very picture worthy. Poor Liam! He and I are going insane with all this social isolation. It can wear you down pretty quick!

Anyway, I'll spare you the details (mainly because I am so sick of the whole thing) and get right to the few pictures we have taken. We went to the pumpkin patch a few times this month (we live super close and it is really cheap), once with Daddy and once with the Brennans. We didn't get many pictures, but at least you can see what the kids look like these days!

This one was taken right after Jonah took a face plant in the sand, running around. He was so crabby this day to begin with. Poor guy was still feeling pretty bad.

Liam couldn't care less about the pumpkins, he just wanted to see the animals. He still LOVES animals.

This is how Jonah spent most of the day.

Pumpkin patch take 2: Feeling a little better (but not much)

I am learning more and more that little boys need to get outside no matter what the weather. Good thing we have a great place to put on the rain gear and get crazy! I thought they'd end up a lot dirtier, but Merritt and Morgan were ready to head inside pretty quick. We might have to start calling them "the city kids". Liam and Jonah would stay out there all day if I let them.

Well, sadly, those are the only decent picture I have. Here's to hoping we have a much more fun November!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shifting Into High Gear!

Jonah is officially walking! He started about a week and a half after his birthday and is getting faster and faster every day. This video was taken about two weeks ago and he is a lot more steady now. Never a dull moment!

Liam decided one night a dinner that he really wanted to sing and sing he did! I LOVE it when he sings, it makes my heart so happy. And I think he has pretty good tone! He does, however, forget the words to most of the songs, but what he lacks in precision he makes up for in creativity. He kind of reminds me of my dad that way. I don't think I've ever heard my dad get the lyrics right on any song!

Finally, these are some of the shots taken on Jonah's One Year Birthday shoot. He is hard to get a picture of because he NEVER stops moving, so he gave the photographers a run for their money! But I think we got a couple of good ones.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Jonah!

You are sweet and cuddly, crazy and aggressive, funny, super active, cute, charming, curious, adventurous, and I ADORE you!

We had a great birthday week with Jonah. It started off Tuesday with a one year photo session (I will post some of those photos as soon as I get them). Then Wednesday, Jonah's actual birthday, we celebrated just our little family. And Saturday we had friends and family over for a party. It was so much fun! The weather was great, the food was amazing, and the kids had a blast. I am so thankful for my community and how they love on my kids so thoroughly!

Sorry for the media blitz, but I got a lot of great video throughout the week! The first is a slide show of the pictures from Jonah's party and the second is a video of the party. The third and fourth videos are from Jonah's actual birthday. In the third one I had blown up the pool to see how big it was and the kids thought it was the greatest thing ever. It was a little tall for Jonah by the time I blew up the third level so it turned into more of a wrestling ring. And I had to put the fourth one on because Liam made me laugh so hard. It's a great example of his incredible negotiating skills and his pure joy over birthday cakes and celebration! Enjoy

Untitled from Nina Martinez on Vimeo.

Untitled from Nina Martinez on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Annual Vacation with the Brennans!

We just got back from our annual trip with the Brennan family. This is one of my favorite trips every year and they are getting better and better as the kids get older. Merritt and Liam LOVE spending time together and Jonah and Morgan are getting to be more fun as well. The adults don't get as much down time as we'd like, but we have a ton of fun anyway. It's so fun to see the trips evolve as our families evolve and every year we dream up what we're going to do the next year!

This year we went to the bustling town of Cle Elum, WA. Why on earth did we go to Cle-Elum? Good question! With four kids at 3, almost 3, 1 1/2, and 1 it made more sense to find an amazing house with an amazing yard to spend all of our time at and Cle Elum had just the one with an amazing price tag to boot! And as it turns out there was a lot to do there. We found some great parks, went on a beautiful hike, toured the neighboring towns, hit the mining museum, rented some quads, and really enjoyed the house and it's amenities. So much so, that we didn't get a whole lot of pictures or video this year! But I put together a slideshow and video with some of the good stuff.

Oh, and I almost forgot, Jonah started taking some steps on his own! I know, we are in BIG trouble now! We got the first few on video the night before we left. There is also a picture of Liam and Edwin at Larabee State Park and the boys playing around in the Galaxy the day before we left. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cousin Fun

We just got back from a really fun trip to London, Ontario, about 2 hours outside of Toronto. Edwin's cousins, Pablo and Ceci both live there for the time being with their families and we flew out to spend a week with them. We all had a great time, but Liam was in heaven! The whole week before we left he talked about his "cousins" non-stop. I don't know if he knew exactly what he was in for, but he enjoyed every minute. The traveling there and back was a real bear with Jonah, but it was well worth it!

We stayed with Pablo, his wife, Mady, their son Alek (who is three days older than Liam) and daughter, Mia (5 months older than Jonah). It was a packed house, but full of fun. Ceci and her husband, Julio, also have 2 boys, Sebastian, 5 and Julian 2. The boys played really well together which left a surprising amount of time for us to enjoy the adults. We REALLY miss them and are hoping they might find themselves in Vancouver, BC soon (Edwin and I have been working on importing as many family members to this area as possible over the last several years and our efforts have not gone void!). Liam and Alek really have fun together and Sebastian was incredibly loving and sweet to all the younger kids as well. They are all so different and it was really fun to see their unique personalities. We didn't get a ton of must see video, so I put together a quick on of Liam and Alek having fun and also a slide show of our time down there. (Don't forget that you have the option to watch them full screen)

In other news, the boys continue to change at the speed of light. Liam's communication capabilities are off the charts! He never stops talking and what he has to say is so adult sometimes. I think Edwin's cousins got a kick out of Mr. Chatty. You have to spend more than a few hours with Liam for him to warm up, but once you do you cannot get him to be quiet, so most people don't believe me when I tell them he talks...A LOT. Here are a few of his recently acquired sayings:

In answer to anyone asking him to do something he doesn't want to do, "Not today," or "I don't think so."
When really wanting someone to listen to him, "Do you understand?"
"Mommy turn the music down, I'm talking to you!"
When talking about things he knows he'll finish his sentence with, "Did you know?"

Jonah is on the move and he never stops moving! He will try anything and has NO sense of risk! He has gotten to be quite the trouble maker, but he is so stinking cute! He has started to stand up on his own in the middle of the floor and has pretty good control when walking with any kind assistance. I am pretty sure he is on the verge of walking and that TERRIFIES me! I have no doubt that he will run just moments after he figures out how to walk and our lives will be high energy ALL the time! I can't take my eyes off of him for even a second as it is. Below is video of proof!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Monthly

I think I may rename my blog to something like "The Monthly". It seems like every time I write a post I am apologizing for the time that has passed since the last post! I guess thats what having two kids means for me, less time to post. So I'll just continue to cram tons of random stuff into one and maybe someday I'll get more consistent!

June FLEW by! I cannot believe it. And I think the rest of the summer is going to fly as well, since we have a lot of fun stuff coming up. The best thing about this last month is how much time we got outside despite the weather. I suppose it's all relative. I mean, I know the weather this last month was disappointing, but it was A LOT better then the month before it. So, that's something to be thankful for, right?

Here are a slideshow and a video of some of what we've been up to. I'll let them speak for themselves! And just as a reminder (for those of you who don't spend a lot of time on the internet) You have to click the title of the blog post in your email to see the media and if you want to see either of these full screen just look for the button on the bottom right that looks like four arrows all pointing outward ;)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

How are you doing last night?

Welcome, June. Please don't rain all month. We really need some sunshine! It felt like a really long May. The few days that the kids and I were able to get outside were so blessed. But the rain always came back and it starting to get a little oppressive! So I don't have a whole lot of fun pictures and video, I think we just hunkered down and tried to survive the last few weeks. But here is a little glimpse of what we've been up to.

We headed out to Edwin's family's place in Birch Bay a couple weeks ago and got to do some kayaking. I think Liam had more fun thinking about it and getting ready to go do it than he actually had in the kayak. But we had a good time none the less.

Jonah is still very adventurous. He is ALWAYS finding something to get into, or some way to get in trouble. He's creative, fast and won't take "no" for an answer! Here I was cleaning out his little drawers and he had some ideas of his own...

And he's always super happy after bath time.

Liam continues to change at the speed of light as well. His vocabulary has sky rocketed. My favorite is when he uses new phrases that he has learned but doesn't quite get them right. Like "how are you doing last night?" and when he is heading upstairs from the shop he says, "I'll be right back down stairs!" He still loves letters and counting and isn't very into things like his bike or motorized tractor. He's also in a phase where he doesn't entertain himself very well. He spends most of his time following me around and if I'm not paying attention to him he gets naughty! But he is sweet and very helpful and funny and so very cute!

Aww... brothers. If only they acted like this all the time! Jonah loves to be anywhere that Liam is and follows him around the house. But he is also very bad about trying to get into whatever Liam is doing. Liam doesn't show a ton of love to Jonah, but we're working on it and praying about it. He is just recently starting to get that Jonah can be fun, especially when there's nothing else to do. But the toy thieving and aggressiveness is a little frustrating.

This is Liam and his buddy Merritt at the Ski to Sea Parade. They loved it!

Forced to pose for a picture, but Liam was really patient and did his best to hold Jonah up!

With Grandma and Grandpa

And Mommy and Daddy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jonah Jokes

Jonah has the funniest little laugh and the one person who can make him laugh the hardest is his big brother, Liam.

(reminder - the videos don't show up in the email you get so you have to click on the title of the blog to watch it on the blog itself.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Semana Santa

We just got back from a trip to Guatemala for Easter week. It was a long trip down and back but our time there was wonderful! Liam hasn't been to Guate since he was 5 months old and this was Jonah's first time there and meeting a lot of the family. Usually when we go down we spend a lot of time working and driving, so it was really fun for me to get to stay in the city and spend the whole time with family. We had some kind of family fiesta every day and I think I ate enough food to hibernate the rest of the year! Oh well, back to the gym tomorrow.

Liam and Jonah had a great time. Liam got to play every day with his cousins and there were a ton of things planned for them to do. The communication was definitely somewhat of a barrier, as was the fact that he's so tall! None of his older cousins could figure out why he seemed so behind since he's the same size as them. But they all have a least a couple of years on him! And Jonah was just...well, Jonah. He's everyone's friend. He'll go to anyone and he smiles all of the time. You can't help but want to have him around!

We didn't get to spend as much time as we would have liked with Edwin's parents due to some unfortunate circumstances, but hopefully we'll get to see them again soon. We did get to spend quite a bit of time with Edwin's grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids, so all in all it was a very precious time.

Here is a slide show followed by a video of our time down there. Remember, if you want to see it full screen you can just click the box in the lower right had corner that has arrows pointing outward. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Toy Bin Trend

Jonah is getting more and more active by the day! And as is true with ALL kids the toy bin continues to be a huge hit. It didn't take long for us to get some video showing Jonah's enthusiasm similar to Liam's when he was that age.

And here is a picture of my little cutie playing in the clean laundry.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Keeping up!

Well, February and into March was a wild ride! We started to potty train Liam on the 11th of Feb. We did the 3 day potty training method and I am happy to tell you it only took Liam 3 1/2 weeks! Oh, it was awful. Edwin left for Guatemala just a few days after we started, so it was just me and there were many times when I would have liked to throw in the towel. But the day after Edwin got back it finally just clicked and we haven't had an accident for a week!

This trip for Edwin to Guatemala was my hardest yet. It seemed like everything that could go bad went bad. Colds, stomach flu, broken appliances, migraines, teething, weather, potty training rebellion, terrible twos, no sleep...I could go on. I was physically and emotionally spent most of the time that he was gone, but we are all doing a ton better now that he's back. And we did have some fun times while he was gone.

Liam now likes to do EVERYTHING himself. Commence instant meltdown if you try to do something for him that he wants to do. But it has its good sides too. He now likes to do things like "help" with the dishes.

For half the time Edwin was gone I went to my parent's house in Spokane for some help. I am so grateful for all the energy the put into the three of us! It was really a relief. And they had a lot of snow, which Liam loved. He doesn't really need to play in it, he just wants to eat it. But he humored Grandpa long enough to help build a snowman.

I love it when I go check on him and he is sleeping in some strange position. He is using the giant Tweety bird at my parents house as a pillow.

Jonah decided to do all of his growing up while daddy was gone. He is now just 7 months old and he cut two new teeth, went from rolling to swimming to crawling across the room, started sitting in a high chair and eating some foods on his own, started sitting up and saying Mama. Now he is starting to pull up to standing a little bit. He's a little daredevil too. He's getting into and trying everything which makes for several bumps and bruises. And he's still the life of the party. He is always smiling, and chatting and giggling. I catch him laughing at himself a lot! I love that about him. And the best part about him is that he is still a fabulous snuggler. Poor little guy, though, gets left on the floor to fend for himself a lot in this busy house. I fight the guilt that I'm not doing as much with him as I did with Liam. I need to read books with him more, sing songs and play games with him more. Liam tends to suck up a lot of the time I have to do those things!

Here is the little guy crawling through the exersaucer.

And here is a little video of my funny baby...