Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Busy Month
August has been crazy. We have already attended one wedding, semi-celebrated our 4Th wedding anniversary, dealt with Gideon being sick for the first time, and found out that I have to go to Costa Rica next month. Also, I apologize ahead of time. There are no pictures of Gideon in this post. GASP! I know. Sorry.

We will start with the wedding. It was truly one of the most beautiful and luxurious weddings that Alex and I have ever attended. Our friends from church got married, and it was just so touching and sweet. It was black tie optional, and Alex and I got to get dressed up. Of course, our only picture with the bride and groom came out blurry. Interestingly enough the person who took it (you know who you are) fled the scene right after handing us the camera.

Don't we look fancy?

August 16 was our 4 year wedding anniversary. We had some fun-filled family beach plans. We were going to drive down the shore on Friday and relax and soak up some sun. However, on Thursday, my mom calls me a bit frantic. She was watching Gideon and he had a 103.8 fever. He was burning up, and she couldn't get the fever to go down. She had tried infant Tylenol to no avail, and he had been consistently lethargic and whimpering for hours. So, I call the pediatrician, but in the meantime, my mom and Alex get frantic and rush him to the ER. It turns out he had a virus, and we were to give him baby Motrin at regular intervals. So, instead of fun beach time, I stayed home with a feverish and fretful baby. And our fancy anniversary dinner? Well, my husband took me to a place I have been craving for weeks:

That's right, White Manna in Hackensack. What? You haven't been? Ok, so they make delicious small cheeseburgers. I mean delicious. And the minute you leave, you are craving them again. I would write more about it, but there is actually an old post on one of my favorite food blogs, Off the Broiler: Read it and crave!

And now, the sad news. My grandmother in Costa Rica is very, very ill. I won't go into the details here, but suffice it to say, I have booked a flight out to Costa Rica on the 5Th of September. I would actually go sooner, if not for the fact that I had to renew my passport and get a new one for Gideon. Alex cannot go, since he has to work. I spent all day in Philadelphia yesterday, working on getting my "emergency" passport. It was an excruciatingly long day, and I didn't even get to eat a cheesesteak. Also, I missed my friend Shinae's goodbye dinner. Insert sad face here. However, my passports are all done and I am so relieved. Now comes all the stress and worry about traveling with a baby. I have literally stopped all women with children at the library and asked them if they have gone on a plane with their kids, and for any advice. How about you all out there? Any advice for traveling with a 10 month old?

I hope everyone is having a good summer. All you pregnant moms out there, take care of yourself. Don't have your babies while I am gone!

Friday, August 17, 2007

His Latest Trick
He simply bites down on the spoon when I am feeding him and holds it there. He then scrunches up his nose. He thinks it is super funny, and frankly, so do I.

Can You Tell Me How to Get....

Ok, so I must admit. I love Gideon. I love him so much that I can't imagine sometimes having another child because I can't imagine loving anyone more. (I wasn't really admitting to loving Gideon. Everyone knows that already. I am admitting to the following sentence.) HOWEVER, I sometimes think that the reason I gave birth to a child is so that I can enjoy the attractions and amusements that are usually seen as being only for children. Example? Sesame Place. I have never been to Sesame Place, yet I have always, always wanted to go. Sesame Place is strictly for kids. It isn't like Six Flags Great Adventure where there are more rides for teens and adults than there are for kids. Sesame Place is geared toward...well, kids who watch Sesame Street.

Last Saturday, we headed to Sesame Place for Luis's 8th birthday (Alex's nephew). It was a gorgeous day. Gideon loves water. He loves getting wet, and splashing everything. So, we headed over to the "tidal wave" pool. Ok, so isn't a tidal wave a bad thing? Doesn't it cause destruction and mayhem? Why would you name a pool area a tidal wave? Anyway, I digress.

Here is a picture of Gideon having fun:

I thought for sure that Gideon would love the lazy river. You get into a tube and ride the river and it is very soothing and relaxing. What I didn't realize was that Gideon would have to wear a life vest, and that he would think that it was trying to kill him. He was pretty much crying and screaming and biting the vest during the whole ride. You can imagine how relaxing and soothing that was. However, there were a few instances where we would have to pass under a waterfall. I thought that was going to make him freak out, but in fact he thought it was hilarious, and enjoyed watching me get soaked.

Just like at Disney, Sesame Place has a parade several times a day. I was anticipating this, since I have been curious to see if Gideon would be afraid of the characters. So, we took a place on the street, and saw the following:

And did Gideon watch and clap his hands to the music? Or did he burst into tears and cower in fear?


Sigh. He napped through the whole thing. Maybe next year.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Proverb to Live By

I was going to write about how the other day I was on my way to get a bagel and coffee to start off my day when I heard the news on the radio... Baby Einstein doesn't work. Apparently, a University of Washington study showed how babies who watched the popular series were verbally inept in comparison to those who didn’t watch the series. But, since Gideon has yet to see Baby Einstein, this news doesn’t really affect us.

But it did get me to thinking about the sounds Gideon hears when we try to get him to sleep… usually Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and the like. Will he equate classical music to sleep time, or does it really enhance his brain development? Will this music give him the advantage in life making him more intelligent than other kids? I don’t know. In fact, I don’t know much. Maybe I should have listened to more classical music.

What I do know is that Alexa and I predominantly put classical music on because when we’re rocking him to sleep, the music adds to the mood of the moment. He looks around the room, the ceiling fan and then gazes upon my face. Occasionally, he stares at me when he thinks I’m unaware of it. He lays his shoulder on my chest and rubs his eyes, which is phase one of his strategy to convince us that it isn’t bedtime yet. Sometimes, his feistiness becomes overwhelming so we put him in the crib with his soft covered fabric book (so soft it’s like a pillow), bears and chew toys. At times, he whines. Other times, he is fine if I walk out the room. About 10 minutes later, I check up on him, finding that he has succumbed to the power of sleepiness.

He’s truly a smart kid. The wire bead maze frame, which is usually recommended for kids 12 months and up, is a piece of cake for him. He pushes all the beads up the wires and when he realizes they are no more beads, he holds onto the entire thing and flips it in his direction, forcing the beads back to their original positions, just so he can do it all over again and again. To attribute his intelligence to a music CD, DVD or even a book is not a fair assessment of his learning experiences.

As I see it, what matters is the love, guidance and attention parents give their children. Proverbs, Chapter 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Alexa and I believe this. We also know that if anything will give Gideon the advantage in life, it is the knowledge of loving his neighbor, as he loves himself. The rest will fall into place.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Angel Soto?

Alexa calls him angel at least 20 times a day. "Hi my little angel" or "Is my little angel hungry?" And he is an angel! But there are glimpses of mischief, which is expected given my track record.

For example, Gideon Juan Soto has developed a new skill, which makes his daddy proud. It begins with a moment of cuddling with Alexa, when suddenly, he finds an open spot to practice his new skill ... and that is to blow raspberries. He has become quite proficient in it I must say. He also brings joy to all who hear it - from kids to adults (Ok, well....mostly kids and mainly me as the adult).

I guess it's only fair with the jumping on daddy performance he delivers every early morning.

But in reality, he is an angel. I'll enjoy while it lasts. I've heard many stories of the supposed "terrible 2s" and have witnessed it for myself.

These pictures of a recently-bathed Gideon visually tells the story of his angelic nature ... although it kinda looks like he's planning something in the first one. Enjoy,

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Baby times 3!
Just wanted to brag on my blog about my amazing friend Amy, who this past Saturday gave birth to three beautiful babies. They were born at 34 weeks, and are in NICU, but they are all doing fine and dandy. I would post a picture, but they are not mine to post. Congratulations to Amy and Shane and the whole family! We are mucho excited for you, although Alex doesn't think it's fair that there are so many new Yankee fans now. Love you and God bless you.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Our Little Met
Just a cute picture of me and my son at the library.
Doesn't he look like such a big boy. Almost 10 months!
How To Be A Parent

I don't venture out to find and read articles about parenting, but if they come come across my desk, chances are I'll read it. Gideon is almost 10 months old, so advice on how to get your child away from the Ipod, Playstation or text message thingy and more involved in reading or sports really isn't relevant right now. These days, I'm just trying to get him to nap time more quickly and change his diapers without him squirming around. But, on ocassion I read how to parent articles just to get an idea of how things may or may not be in the near future.

So I am reading an article on Super Moms and how they create harmony and order in the home. Alexa came home early from work today so that we can all get ready for a special event taking place tonight - the wedding of Bharat and Christa (friends from church). During the transition of handing off the reins of Gideon-caretaking to Alexa - just minutes from watching some of my favorite SpongeBob episodes - Avatar shows up on Nickelodeon. In case you don't know what Avatar is, here is a picture:

As we all sat in our living room, I started to read advice from the article aloud to Alexa on how to positively discipline children. Seconds later I notice her response, or lack thereof. She replied, "................"

Notice the dots!

This means that there was silence and that all you heard were the sounds of crickets ... that, and the dialogue coming from Avatar on the television screen. I turn to investigate. And there I found Alexa deeply focused on the cartoon, shusshing me in the process. is not as shameless as my genuine interest in Spongbob (Patrick Star is my favorite), but shusshing?

Oh, and guess what....Gideon is now getting to his feet. He doesn't stand alone, but he holds on to whatever is in front him ... crib rail, sofa, daddy's belly ... to get up to his feet and stand. Here are some pictures to prove it.

Look Daddy! I'm standing!

Hey Daddy! Are you looking?

What's that over there? That's a new perspective on things.

Yum....wood railing.