Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Traditions, Old Traditions
Gideon Rides the Subway
For those of you that have been reading this blog since last Christmas (that is over a year!), you know that the Morales/Soto clan goes to Chinatown for Christmas Day. This year, we couldn't go on the 25th, so we went this Saturday. Last year, Gideon was only 3 months old, so we drove in and found parking on the street. This year, we thought that Gideon would benefit from the experience of public transportation. Also, we didn't have a car that would fit six people, and we were too afraid of paying parking for two cars. So, we all drove to Hoboken (the land of my early twenties) and took the PATH to 33rd Street, and then to the N train to Canal Street. Gideon wasn't fazed by the noise of the trains, nor the amount of people. He was just really, really annoyed that we wouldn't let him run around and crawl on the subway floor. Go figure. So, here are some pictures of the Gidster on the trains, and yes, he looks really, really annoyed.With Grandma and Grandpa. Looking toward heaven for guidance.
Making a pouty face with Da-da.
Please, please let me down to lick the floor. I am ever so cute and sweet.

Look at this face. See how annoyed I am?

So, of course the reason we go to Chinatown is to eat. To eat delicious Chinese food. We usually just pick a restaurant when we get there. We factor in the menu, and the prices, and if we have eaten there before. This year, we factored in how close the restaurant was to the subway. Because, we didn't bring a stroller with us. And Gideon is really heavy. And even though there were five adults, we all ended up with lower back pain by the end of the day.

So, here we are. Gideon found that chopsticks make excellent drum sticks.

Did I mention that we also usually end up in Little Italy? For cappuccinos and pastries. Did I also mention that my whole family is really chubby?

My rum cake had whipped cream on it. Gideon discovered it.

The whipped cream might have had some rum in it. Can you tell by Gideon's face? (Just Kidding!)
More Christmas Pics


Wrapping paper for Gideon...Yay!

Too much fun! Gideon working up a sweat.

"X" is for Xylophone.... a gift from his Tia Andrea.

Oh...and a random pic of one of the many recent father and son days Gideon and I have enjoyed together. Please note that Gideon plays guitar as well as as I do.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Two-Part Shameless Plug

First Shameless Plug: Our blog has a Google ad at the end of each post. Plus, there is a line of ads at the bottom of the page. Feel free to click on any of the ads. By doing so, you help to generate a little income for running this blog. We are close to getting our first payment, so we ask for your help. Won't you please click on an ad or two.

Second Shameless Plug: So I've been sort of looking around for job opportunities the past week or so. I know that I said that I would remain a stay-at-home dad a bit longer just about 2 months ago. And believe me, being a part-time stay-at-home dad is the most rewarding job in the world ... but it doesn't pay the bills.

Does Alexa pay all the bills working hard at the Library, while I play and teach Gideon all day long? No. In fact, I have Gideon just a few times during the workweek because I've been getting consistent writing projects since about mid-June. So I've been very busy. Thank God for grandmothers!

As many of you know, I'm a miracle-believing, everything-is-going-to-be-all-right type of guy, even in the most painful of situations (i.e. Gideon's surgery in the beginning of 2007). But as of late the projects have languished significantly.

So, if you know of anyone who can use my services (writer, marketing strategist and just overall pretty smart guy) please let me know. In case you wanted to see my resume, I have posted an ad on Craigslist.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas Mayhem

Hey, did you know that a 14 month old can stay up until 1:30 am? Well, believe it, mister, because it can happen and it did. My in-laws celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way, by opening gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve. I, frankly, was very worried about this. I was very sure Gideon would either be: a.very sleepy and grumpy and crying or b. fast asleep the whole time and miss out on the gift opening. Boy, was I wrong. Not only did he outlast his cousins, but he was running all over the place and entertaining the whole family. He was making funny faces, and telling his 14 year old cousin Joel what to do (and Joel would do it).

Gideon LOVED opening presents. Once he realized that it was perfectly ok to tear paper and make a big mess, he was all over it.

And the cutest part was, that since we have trained him to hand us any garbage he ever finds on the floor, he just kept handing me all the torn paper.
Like so:

Needless to say, this year it was all about watching Gideon. Everyone just sat there and waited to see what he would do. He was slightly manic; suddenly bursting into tears because he was so tired. But God forbid I would pick him up and try to soothe him to sleep. He would give me this very suspicious look, as if to say "I know what you are doing, and it's not going to work."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Soto Family

Just a quick post to wish all of you a very merry Christmas. I am sorry, but there are no adorable posts of Gideon wearing a santa hat, or standing in front of our Christmas tree. But, hopefully after tomorrow night, there might be. So stay tuned. Until then, enjoy your Christmas dinner, and the opening of presents. We will be going to my inlaw's tomorrow night for midnight Christmas eve, and then to my parents for Christmas Day to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Feliz Navidad!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Pics

Here are some more pictures of Costa Rica. These are actually of one of the open air markets that towns have every weekend. Most people do their weekly food shopping there. The vendors were posing for me, but I just took pictures of the food. Again, taken with my mom's camera. The date is wrong. And I don't know how to take it off. Someone help.

Some clay pots.

Papaya Galore.

Gideon whats-upping one of the vendors. He LOVED them, because they would shout out their wares, and he thought it was hysterical. Also, he is in a stroller that I ended up having to buy in San Jose, because my ginormous Graco stroller did not fit on the narrow sidewalks of San Jose.

Pejivalles. I just googled it to give you a better description, but let's just say it is a fruit/vegetable that gets steamed or baked and it is delicious, and people eat it with mayo.

Round zucchini type thing.
One of the vegetable stands. The bowl is for money.
Exotic Costa Rican delicacy. Oh wait, it's corn.
Called a water apple. Not really an apple, and it doesn't have any water in it. But it is yummy. Maybe it should be called yummy red fruit.
Another stand. With bananas and pumpkin. But it's Costa Rican pumpkin. So, it's more exotic.
Shame on me, and a little bit of Costa Rica.

I know, it's shameful. How can a person have a blog that features an adorable baby, and not post constant pictures? I don't have an actual reason. I can't even use the "oh, I just had triplets and am too busy" excuse, because my friend DOES have triplets, and she posts on her blog regularly. And, I don't even have any really recent pictures, because the ones I took, I saved on the internal memory of our camera, and our camera refuses to give them up. So, the ones you will see now are some Costa Rica pictures that I never posted. Oh, and I took them with my mom's camera and the date is all screwed up, but I have actual witnesses that can testify that I was there in September 2007. If you need them to. You would just have to pay their airfare.
Gideon and his Tia Andi.

Gideon and his great-grandmother, Abuela Melida. She is the one that said that if she died before meeting him, she would come to my house and haunt me. So, I really had no choice in the matter.

My cousin Jerry, his adorable daughter Abril, and myself and the Gidster. Jerry wanted me to tell you all that we did not plan on matching. And that we are not twins. Oh, and that he did not break my tea set when we were little. Oh wait, except that he did, and still has not replaced it. Interesting.

Gideon on a plane swing in my aunt's backyard.

The banana tree in the same backyard.

Gideon excited to be on a plane.

A semi-artistic shot of a Gideon profile.
What Gideon was looking at.

Gideon after too much milk. What was in that milk?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Portrait of A One Year Old - Part 2

Ok, Amy-Mama of 5 pointed out that the poll was limited to six choices, when there were seven portraits to choose from. My bad. Unlike Florida, there will be no hanging chads in this election.

Apparently, the poll functionality doesn't allow for a seventh choice. To resolve the issue of having more photos than choices, I had to make a very difficult decision. I cut one of the portraits out. Now, won't you all be part of the democratic process and vote for one of the six Gideons to the right. And remember, a vote for Gideon is a vote for cuteness!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Portrait of a One Year Old

Alexa and I are having a tough time choosing from one of the seven portraits on the right hand side of the page. Please scroll down, view the photos and help us select the portrait that best reflects Gideon's cuteness and personality. The poll, which is also on the right, ends on December 5th. Thanks.

Monday, November 26, 2007


In the privacy of our homes, we all tend to do things that are not socially acceptable in public. For example, trimming one's toenails in a NYC subway train during rush hour is probably contrary to all that is civilized and will quickly garner menacing stares and glares from those around you. However, at home, it is perfectly acceptable and fully expected for a person to do this in order to be a functioning member of society.

This is also true with sneezing. For the loud, energetic sneezers of the world, we try to quell the act of sneezing as to not offend or startle innocent bystanders. But at home we let it all out expecting a "God bless you" or "Gosh, why do you have to sneeze so freakishly loud all the time!" (I've learned to contain my sneezes in the presence of my better half).

Sometime a few weeks ago, when I was on daddy duty for the entire day, I was compelled to sneeze with great intensity. I completely forgot that Gideon was in the play pen, so I let it all out. I then remembered I was in the room with another person (Gideon) when I hear "bleshu." In pure amazement, I told him, "Thank you," as I ran to the phone to tell Alexa what Gideon just said (God bless you) in his own, optimally cute way.

But I was stopped in my tracks when I heard him say "Gacias." Basically, he translated my "Thank you" into "Gacias" or "Gracias" (Gracias means Thank You in Spanish). I was struck with emotion and unbelief. Here, my son, who just a few months ago learned how to crawl and sip juice by himself from a sippy cup is responding to my crazy actions using language.

Topping it all off, last week, Gideon began walking by himself. He is not an expert yet, but he's getting there. I'll let Alexa tell you the story of when we first witnessed him walking across a room. For now, enjoy the brief movie below.

I must apologize for my "man voice". I hate the way I sound in videos.-Alexa

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey centerpiece made by Izzy
Thanksgiving Day Recap
(or as it will be known to future generations)
"The Alexa Soto Humiliation Day"

Ok, so you can guess from the title of this post that the preparations for Thanksgiving did not turn out exactly as expected. Before I begin this tale of woe, let me reassure you by letting you know that the actual dinner was a success, with everyone having a very nice Thanksgiving, and the food was very yummy. Ok, let me take a big breath, and continue. Please comment when you are done reading, since the telling of this story will send me further into a deeply embarrassed state from which I may never recover.
Ok, so I was hosting my first Thanksgiving. I had proposed this to my in laws, since Alex and I have to travel to 2 dinners every year, and eat full meals at each one, lest we offend one of the moms. Also, this year, since we have the Gidster, it makes travel and such a bit harder. Ok, so we got the green light, and everyone offered to bring side dishes. All I had to do was cook the turkey, the stuffing, get the pre-dinner munchies ready, and one dessert. Easy, right? So, I start the prep on Wednesday night. I get alot of done, and I am feeling pretty good. I have got this Thanksgiving thing in the bag. Stuffing is all set to go, turkey is prepped, spinach dip done, and pecan crust for the pumpkin cheesecake is chilling.
The next day, I wake up early, stuff the bird, put him in the oven, and start getting the house in order. No problem. And of course, I am going to shower later in the day, so I am nice and clean when the guests come over. At the time, however, I am wearing a gross, stained pajama top (thanksgiving prep stains), Alex's camouflage cargo shorts (which don't fit me, so I am wearing the waist all rolled up, and half way down my butt. But, the pajama top is covering that) and my blue fuzzy slippers. Why do you need to know what I am wearing?
This is why: I go check on the turkey, open the oven door, and dark EVIL smoke starts pouring out. The turkey is not burnt, but there is liquid spewing onto the bottom of the oven, and soon the kitchen is completely covered in smoke. And then, the centralized smoke alarm goes off. This is the smoke alarm that is hooked up to all four apartments. At this point, I am not freaking out yet. I figure I can get the burnt stuff cleaned off. I try pulling the turkey (did I mention it was 28 lbs?) out of the oven, and more liquid hits the bottom, thus more smoke. I finally lug the bird out, and shut off the oven. (What I didn't know at the time was that there was a hole at the bottom of the aluminum pan I bought. Umm..thank you Shop Rite.) The entire apartment is engulfed in smoke, and the fire alarm is screaming. The doorbell rings. It is the POLICE. They ask Alex(and Gideon) to come downstairs. Alex then calls for me to come also. I yell down the stairs, that I simply cannot, (CANNOT) go downstairs in my current state of dress. Then Alex tells me that I HAVE TO come downstairs. They are EVACUATING the apartment. (i am sorry for all the caps, it is simply a caps kind of story) I go downstairs, and there are police cars, and fire engines downstairs. With police officers and firefighters IN THEM.
I have to escort them through the apartment (in my fuzzy slippers), and show them that I have not set anything on fire. That it is simply a little bit of smoke, firefighter. I am not running a meth lab, officer. Yes, I do know how to cook a turkey, you funny firefighter guy. I realize that the smoke is not an indication that the turkey is done; oh, you are so so funny. One thing that did strike me as funny, was the fact that the ARMED police officer asked me to put the cat away. Because Miggy hissed at him. Ok, so I am sure you deal with mean and scary criminals all the time, yet the cat made you reach for your weapon? That is the power our cat has.
After the tour, I had to go back downstairs, and face all the neighbors, who have congregated on our street to watch the show. Don't you have dinners to make, people? My landlords have rushed over, assuming that their building is on fire. Meanwhile, I am standing on the porch, using one hand to hold my shorts up, the other to gesture with when I talk. Gideon, meanwhile, is sitting with Alex, wrapped in a blanket, waving excitedly at the fire trucks.
I do have to say, that the firefighters and police arrived in record time, and if we had an actual emergency, I would have been thrilled to see them, rather than mortified. So, I do thank them for coming. They had no idea that they were running to the rescue of a turkey, rather than a family. So, thank you Rochelle Park Fire Department, and Police Department. I hope you guys had a nice Thanksgiving, and if you ever want to see what I look like all nice and clean and showered, for goodness sake, please honk as you drive by, and I will wave from the window.
So, here are some pictures of my Thanksgiving. We don't have any shots of the police activity, since we were too frazzled to grab the camera, and plus, we didn't know where it was.
Behold the turkey. Ignore the date on the picture.
My mom's camera doesn't know what year it's in.
The sage-sausage apple cranberry stuffing.
It tasted alot better than it looks.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Gideon Takes Part in the Electoral Process

Last night, the Soto family went down to their local school gymnasium to take part in the democratic system. Forgive the blurry pictures, it's just that voting is so much fun! Gideon enjoyed himself. He blew kisses to the nice ladies working at the polls. He is such a flirt.

Gideon is clapping, he is so excited.

The whole family in front of the VOTING CURTAIN.

Father and Son...rocking the vote

Monday, November 05, 2007

Halloween Day

As some of you know, Halloween is a controversial subject in our house. I grew up celebrating it full force. My mom used to stay up until 4am, sewing our costumes. I was a bunch of grapes once. My mom sewed each individual grape, stuffed it, and then put it on this giant purple costume. It was awesome. I always won most original. Now that I think of it, there was only one year that I did not win, and that was the year I was a clown!!!! My classmate who was dressed up like a baby won most original. Maybe that is where my fear and loathing of clowns started. Anyway, Alex prefers to ignore Halloween totally. Where he grew up, Halloween was a scary time. Mischief night(or goosey night, or cabbage night) was actually a time when criminal activity abounded. He breathes a giant sigh of relief when November rolls around. I am usually the one in charge of handing out any candy.

This year though, (this year!) was different. Because now we have a son. A cute son. A cute son who would look even cuter in a costume. But, we had to figure this Halloween thing out. Are we celebrating it? How far do we go? Do we buy him a costume? Do we take him trick or treating? We pretty much have to search our hearts and decide. Alex feels very strongly about not celebrating. I felt very strongly about dressing Gideon up. The rest...well I could live without it.
However, the decision was taken out of our hands. Gideon's cousins, Luis and Izzy, gave him a Mickey Mouse costume for his birthday. I mean, there we go. We couldn't NOT use it. Right? See for yourself:

Gideon lounging at Gymboree

No longer lounging...on the move!

I usually dress up for you think he approves?

He wouldn't wear the hands with the costume, but he wears them solo.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Security Blanket

Alexa and Gideon entered the living room to watch parts of The Great Pumpkin, a Peanuts cartoon (which is also an annual Alexa tradition). I was inspired to write this post after watching Linus (Lucy’s little bro) hold on tightly to his infamous “security blanket.” Gideon too has one of those. But it comes in the form of a Mickey Mouse plush toy.

Try to take Mickey away from Gideon and you’ll soon encounter his Kung Fu grip. Seconds later, he’ll extend his arm out to you as if handing Mickey over. It’s like he’s saying, “Oh, did you want to temporarily hold on to Mickey? Well, here you go.” But beware, as you reach out for the plush toy, he’ll either pull it away quickly or hold on to it for dear life. Here are pics of Gideon and his “security blanket.”