Friday, December 26, 2008

"Joy" to the World!

To add to our already long list of Christmas traditions Jorge and I decided to take Lori to see Santa Clause at Stanford mall last week. We waited in line for a little while and when it was Lori's turn the "Helper Elf" (He wasn't dressed like one but it was his job all the same) came up to me, very animated and said "OK, here's what we're going to do, we're going to have you "back her in" while you step over here and distract her, while we take a few pictures" My response was, "uh, I don't think she'll have any problems, but ok"
He looked at me and Lori, and then repositioned himself so he could PHYSICALLY block Lori seeing Santa. "Yeah, we don't like ones her age to see Santa" Evidently he takes his job very seriously! (and rightfully so, what would Christmas be with out pictures with a mall Santa?)
It didn't take him long to realize that Lori was in no way worried about meeting the Jolly white-bearded fellow so he let me go a head and put her on his lap.

This might have helped change his mind.
(Lori smiling at her Daddy taking a picture.)

Once Lori was permitted to sit on Saint Nick's lap they took some pictures, very quickly I might add and then it was time to go, but not before we purchased our photo package. (and those things ain't cheap!!)

As we were leaving the "Helper Elf" says to me and Jorge, "That is that happiest baby." I said thank you and something along the lines of "yay Lori, way to go!" and I shrugged it off as the elf just trying to get us to buy pictures BUT I realized that I had already bought the pictures. Then he looked at us and in all seriousness said "No, seriously, I've been here for 47 days straight and that is the happiest baby I've ever seen!"

and here's why he said that...


Love Jorge, Dana and Lori

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stay at Home(made) Mom part 2

Back in August our friend Tammy Myers showed me how to make my own baby wipes and I LOVE IT! There are many advantages to making your own wipes, the first of which is obviously cost. A box of baby wipes cost around 2-4 dollars depending on where you get them from and they usually only have about 80 wipes. When you make your own wipes you use "select a size" paper towels, which only cost about 2-3 dollars. Each roll has 133-140 sheets per roll AND you cut those in half so you actually get between 266-280 wipes. Because the "recipe" calls for baby wash the wipes are very gentle, gentle enough for wiping her face, hands and neck. And on top of all that, they smell really nice!

Besides the paper towels, there are a few supplies that you'll need but most of those you'll have lying around the house.

Here's what you'll need: Baby wash (your favorite brand and sent), Olive Oil, 1 roll of Select-a-Size paper towels (I like to use Bounty), a mixing bowl, a container for the wipes, a tablespoon, a 1 cup measuring cup and Distilled Water

Using a serrated bread knife cut the paper towel roll in half

Place the roll, cut side down, in to the container.

Then in a mixing bowl mix together 2 cups of distilled water,

1 tablespoon of olive oil,

and 2 tablespoons of baby wash.

pour mixture all over paper towels, making sure to pour in AND around the cardboard roll.

remove cardboard roll


Lastly,Tammy recommend writing the "recipe" for the baby wipes on the side of the container for easy access. She was nice enough to give me her old container that she used with her kids!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Lucky pushpins!

I'm not one to believe in "luck" but I do think that God does allow for some pretty close calls... our family just experienced one that had it gone the other way my life would have been forever different.

Tonight, while I was helping out with the kids choirs at church, Jorge took Lori to Walgreens to pick up some pictures for me. While he was there he decided to get some pushpins so he could hang a poster in Lori's room. It took him a few minutes to find them, pick between colored or clear (he went with clear) and check out. As he was walking out of the store he heard sirens and just then a car came RACING through the parking lot, no more than 5 feet in front of him (and Lori!!) followed closely by a cop car! Jorge said that had he not gone and gotten those pushpins he most likely would have been in the car backing out and would have been t-boned by that car! He said that even though he could hear the sirens he still would have backed out because when you hear sirens you don't think that they'll be racing through the parking lot your in.

Thank God for those pushpins!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So much to be thankful for!!

(After reading my sister's blog I felt the need to write a little bit about out Thanksgiving this year.)

We were blessed to have my WHOLE family join us for Thanksgiving this year!

They all got here on Friday and after we had lunch I introduced them to the joys of SuperTarget! (My sister Megan loves Target, so I knew she'd enjoy a SUPER one!) For dinner we all went to Logan's Roadhouse, a staple for all out of town company! Logan's has the BEST rolls known to man, and they GIVE them to you! You can't go wrong with a place that has free bread, ribs that fall off the bone, and that lets you throw peanut shells on the floor!! The best!

On Saturday we made our first Thanksgiving "lunch"

Ryan helping, enjoying himself to the fullest!

Dad working on his stuffing, or dressing as it's called in Texas

Megan makin' a pie. Note Megan's little belly in the top of the picture on the right! (I love it!!)

Jorge and a chalice of chicken drippings

I did my part too...

and then the four of us "kids" headed off to watch the Twilight movie. Needless to say, Megan and I were a little more excited to see it than Jorge and Ryan (our brother-in-law)

We were lucky enough to be able to plan it so that Lori could be dedicated while my whole family was out here. (more on this to come in a later post) It was so great to have them here for such a special time. Earl Baudin took some family pictures for us. He's an amazing photographer, here's the Proof.

We loved having them here. Lori loved it so much that she didn't nap the WHOLE week!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Splish Splash!

Bath time has become a lot more fun since Lori has been able to sit up in the bath. (thanks to a borrowed bath seat from our friends the Kuykendalls) She seems to really enjoy splashing and playing with toys. We even busted out the James Brown CelebriDuck which we have had for years now but never have taken out of it's box. To be honest, I am somewhat leary about letting my daughter play with such a hidious and almost frightening toy, but so far she hasn't had any nightmares. Its so much fun to watch Lori splash around in the bath, it never gets old. The video below is just a snipit of the fun. Keep your eyes open for the James Brown CelebriDuck... the ugliest duck you've ever seen)


Here are some pictures of bath time!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stay at Home(made) Mom

I've decided that I'm going to start a little "segment" called Stay at Home(made) Mom (a play on words... "stay at home mom" and "homemade" - get it?) where I can tell all about the things I'm making instead of buying in order to save money. I've recently had a revelation about buying baby food vs. making baby food, so here it goes...

Before Lori was born I decided that I wanted to make my own Baby food. I only started a few months ago, and I have to admit, I have used store bought. To be honest, I wasn't sure if it actually was cheaper to make my own. It wasn't until recently that I realized that it is in fact cheaper. I was talking with my friend Chilly, whose daughter is a little older than Lori and she was telling me that the once Lori gets a little bigger she'll be eating from the bigger jars and that the bigger jars cost more money... almost twice as much as I was paying. I also realized that Lori hasn't been eating a whole jar per feeding yet and she will be soon, which means I'm going to have to buy MORE food than I am. All these things caused me to take a closer look at the cost of BUYING baby food verses the cost of MAKING baby food. And here is what I have come up with...

Right now at Walmart it cost .42 for 2.5 oz of baby food. (that was the cheapest one available) Right now she's eating about half a can a feeding, which equals 61 cents a day. That's not that bad right?

The next size up is 4 oz and it cost 1 dollar. So that means that when she starts eating one of those a meal she'll be eating 3 dollars of baby food a day. (you like my crazy math skills?)

So I went to the store and bought the things I'd need to make baby food and here is what it came down to...

3 lbs of sweet potatoes at .79 a lb = $2.37

a bag of Fuji apples = .99

Ziploc Zip 'n' Steam bags = $2.79 (use these instead of steaming/boiling the fruits and veggies in water... much faster, and MUCH easier clean up!)

So the grand total is... $6.15, so far so good. The next step was to make the baby food and see how much I get.

I started with the sweet potatoes, I peeled them, and cut them in to large cubes and put them in the Zip 'n' Steam bags. I cooked them according to the directions. (7 min) Afterwards I placed them in to my food processor and blended the heck out of them, adding water until it was a good consistency. (I think next time I will add apple juice, she likes it better.)

I had saved up all the empty jars from the baby food I had purchased and I was going to use them for a project with the kids at the school I used to work at BUT I figured I'd use them for this instead.

Then I started filling up the jars. I actually ran out of jars before I ran out of baby food so I had to resort to using small Tupperware containers, and when I ran out of those I used ice cube trays. I repeated this same process with the apples.

When all was said and done I had enough jars, Tupperware containers and ice cube trays to equal 25 dollars worth, more or less. I was pretty happy with the outcome and plan on making more in the future.

If you'd like... I'll keep you posted. :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lori and her Laptop

When my mom came to visit us in October she brought her old laptop with her to give to us. I am enjoying the laptop, it's been fun, but Lori has been slightly jealous. All she seems to be interested in are the laptop, the mouse (yes, I use a mouse with my laptop... don't judge) and the remote control. So I got out her "laptop" for her to play with, and she's been enjoying it immensely. It's a toy that I think is intended for a much older child, but she likes to push the buttons and hear the sounds. She also likes to push it around the kitchen floor, whether that's intentional or not I am not sure, but either way, it's super cute! Lori learns something new everyday. She is the most curious child I've ever met, as well as the most diligent. She will not let anything stop her, nor will she take no for answer. Yikes... saying that out loud makes me kinda scared actually.

Here is some video of Lori and her laptop.

It's a little long, I'll admit, but it picks up around minute 4, (I said it was long) so hang in there. You're in for a treat. :)

We hope her smile in this video will brighten your day as much as it brightens ours. Enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween! I always have! As
my family will tell you, I'm a sucker for tradition, and this Halloween was no different. We went over to our friends Chris and Amy's house for the third year. (Has it been THREE years already?) We have the same dinner of Amy's homemade Chili, chat with friends, take A TON of pictures and then go Trick or Treating every year. The first year, 2006, there were 4 children... Natalie, Ethan, Ryan and Jenna. Last year there were 5, with the addition of Rachel. It was also the year that Jorge and I told everyone that Lori was coming! This year there were 7 thanks to Lori and Sophia.

Here is a picture of the three newest additions to our Halloween extravaganza

(note Lori's expression... she apparently was indifferent to taking this picture.)

This picture might be my favorite of the night! I love seeing Jorge with Lori! This is the first picture we've taken of Jorge, his friends and their daughters. I didn't realize it until now just how neat it is and how it really shows me how much our lives have changed and how far we've come.

Chris and Sophia , Jorge and Lori, Ben and Rachel

Ryan and his future bride
(unless Lori has something to say about it...

Ryan (in true Ryan form) and Rachel Kuykendall

Sydney Hammon (Ladybug) and Ethan Mann (Jr. Fireman)

Usually we go over to the Ferguson's house after dinner and hang out there until the kiddos need to go to bed, but this year Houston Christian High School (the school their daughter goes to) was having there Homecoming game. They stopped by to see the kids all dressed up. Doug and Lori hung out for a bit. For the record, Doug doesn't do diapers.

Ladybug and Kitty Cat (NOT a leopard) swinging...

Rachel the Bumble Bee and Katelyn Erickson

Chris and Brian having fun!

Amy's aforementioned chili and Ben and I enjoying said Chili

And FINALLY, here is a picture of our family on Halloween...

"Queen Kong" climbing the Transamerica Building and the Sears Tower

We actually didn't go Trick or Treating this Halloween. We ended up leaving a little early and heading over to our friends Dave and Jennifer's house to hang out and watch a movie (The Life of David Gale... it was Meh... not bad but just Meh.) Lori was so tired she went to bed at there house with no problem. All in all it was a really fun night!

Here's a few more pictures of our sweet little monkey, she definitely enjoyed the attention she got from being dressed up. She likes it when people smile at her!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Baby do the CONGA!

After reading my dad's latest post I figured it it was only fitting that I too post some pictures of Lori playing her Congas!!

I thought it was appropiate to use a line from the Gloria Estephan classic "Do the Conga" since she a latina singing about Congas (either dance or drum, it doesn't really matter) and Lori is a Latina playing with Congas. :)

These were a gift from our friends Brian and Andrea Mann who gave us a musical gift which is very fitting considering that they are both musical people... Brian especially. Now that she is crawling I thought it would be a good time to get out her "Go Baby Go, Crawl a-long drum set" (yes that is it's full name) and she was pretty excited about it. She still prefers to push around her "laptop" though(more on that to follow shortly)

In the meantime, you can all be looking forward to uncoming Halloween pictures of our very cute little monkey!! (This might be a good time to supscribe to our blog... see right hand column for more details.)
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Time for a change!

Well, after two years, (almost to the day) Jorge has decided that it's time for a change.

We were having dinner with my mom and some friends and while we were sitting there chatting, Jorge mentioned that he needed some new khaki pants, ones that would be good for a job interview. "And what interview are you going on?" "I have an interview Wednesday." (it was Monday) "What? Where?"
And that was how I found out that he had even applied to any jobs, I knew he was "looking" but I had no idea he was APPLYING.

So the next day, my mom and I got him some pants and then on Wednesday he had his interview, and it went well. Well enough that they wanted to meet with him again, and again and again. Four interviews in all. They're a small company and they were apparently looking for someone who would fit in well with everyone. And it turns out that Jorge DOES because they offered him the job this past Friday. Papers were signed tonight so it's official! In two weeks Jorge will no longer working at Hanna Carwash. I think I'm a little more sad than Jorge is but I'll get over it once he's gone.

Now I guess I should give you the details of the job. The company is called Evo-site and from what I can understand they design furniture. Not furniture for your home, but if you have a police station or a control room, they're your guys. So Jorge will be designing furniture, meeting with clients and supervising installations. It's a fairly new company and I think that it will be great for Jorge to be there on the ground floor. He's got such a great way of doing things that I really think that he will enjoy being able to really create the way things will be done. Unlike Hanna Carwash, there is an opportunity for growth and I know that Jorge feels good about that.

There are so many things that are GREAT about this job! First off, it pays more. Not tons more, but enough to make Jorge feel good. Second, it has health care!! Hurray! So now Jorge will be covered and we won't have to pay. Third, and my personal favorite, it is so much closer! Less than 4 miles!! 10 minutes away, as opossed to the 40-45 minutes it takes him to get to Hanna. So I'm thrilled! Oh and I almost forgot, he won't have to be at work until 8:00! He would start work at 7:00 at Hanna so he (and I, because Jorge will sleep through an alarm so I have to wake him up...) get up at 6:00 am. I don't think that we've ever gotten up later than 6:30 since we've gotten married. I can't believe it! It's going to be awesome.

And to top it all off the owner is a Christian!

So I think that's it!

Congratulations Jorge! We know that this was a big step for you! You're going to do so well!
We are so proud of you!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Secret Shopping

No, I'm not referring to going to the mall without telling your husband, I'm talking about the market research tool used to measure the quality of service or to gain other "insider" information that can only be obtained by pretending to be a customer. In my case I was a secret shopper for Chevron's Delo Oil. My job was to, along with another guy, call 105 different O.E (Original Equipment, I believe) Truck Dealers and pose as an owner of a fleet of trucks. This in and of itself seemed funny to me, not that I am completely incompitant when it comes to trucks and all that, but I certainly don't know enough to make someone believe that I am an OWNER of a small fleet of 25 trucks. (25 trucks sounds like a pretty large fleet if you ask me, but I digress...) I was glad these were done over the phone, lets just say that. My goal was to call these places and ask them to recommend an engine oil and hope that they recommend Delo L.E or Delo 400. If they did they would be rewarded with a 25 dollar gift card to Chevron/Texaco gas stations, and if they did not I would send them an consolation prize of a Delo hat. (these are truckers after all.) I was given seven scripts, each specific to the certain kind of truck that that particular company was selling and that was where the fun began...
Here is a sample of a script that I was to repeat... almost 50 times.

Hi, can I speak to a service manager or service writer please? ... I'm looking for a recommendation on engine oil for my fleet. I have a small fleet of 25 international trucks with 15 catapillar 3406 engines and 10 Cummins ISX engines. I am planning to order 5 new trucks with the new MX engine. Is there a single dessil motor oil that will work in my entire fleet and is good to use with Ultra Low Sulfur dissel?

That was mouthfull to say the least, after a while I was beginning to believe this myself. I was on a roll and having fun. But there were a few times when they would ask me a question and I would have to say I was just the the front desk person to explain my incompitance on the subject of which I was supposed to be a pro, this seemed to work, for the most part. One time someone asked me who I was with before they would transfer me to and I stuttered for a while and then answered "Hernandez Trucking" A simple white lie, but it turned out for the best because that company recommended Delo 400 to me and were rewarded.

I really enjoyed calling all over the country and got a laugh when I called Massachusetts. "Fowr suyvice press fowr" It was funny to hear all the different accents all in one day. All in all it was a really interesting job.

*For the record, this is NOT a full time thing, I'm just lucky enough to be able to get a few random temp jobs in order to help out the family. I'll keep you posted on my job situation as well as Jorge's in the next few weeks.

'till next time...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

4 years together and Mom's Visit

On October 2nd we celebrated out 4 year wedding anniversary. How did we celebrate? We went out to dinner... with Lori... and my mom. :) It was quite romantic. In all seriousness we were beyond excited to see my mom!! She stayed for almost a whole week, and every second of it was a joy! (and she did babysit on Saturday so that we could officially celebrate our anniversary.)

It is such a blessing to see her with Lori. My mom has easily fallen in to the grandmother role and from what I can tell it suits her. I love watching them together and I know that the older Lori gets, the neater it will be. I never had any grandmothers, so that might be part of the reason why I enjoy seeing them together so much. I think most parents want their children to have close relationships with their grandparents, and Lori certainly does, and will continue to for a long long time.

My mom took some family photos for us. Lori is growing so fast I think it's important to update our photos often.

I was able to take some of Lori and her Grammy...