"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Affectionate + Adorable + Adroit = A.J.

Those are just a few words that come to mind when I think about the youngest piece of my heart.

He is all boy, even when he's playing construction worker and stops off for a quick tea party with his sister.


I think one of the many things I adore about this boy is his loud, boisterous, impetuous laugh! He laughs with his whole body and soul and you can hear the roar building up from the deepest parts of his lungs before it spills out.


He can turn on the charm and enchantment likes he's flicking on a light switch. I try and fight it. Really. I do. But when I look into those big, twinkly, hazel eyes, it's so darn hard not to get tangled up in that string he holds around his little finger.


Beneath all the charisma and allurement, lurks a mischievous, playful and coy little boy. One who loves his Mama with all his heart and truly tries to please, but sometimes it's just a losing battle, for both of us.

Oh yes, he gets into everything. Every. Thing.

His direction following is as good as when you release an air filled balloon that hasn't been tied. You never know which direction it's going to take.

I especially love it (well, not really "love") when he breaks something or goes into someone else's things. He usually comes running with a look of pure horror on his face, all the while exclaiming, "I don't know who did it. But "...."'s whatever is broken and I just happened to find it that way. Right now. Really. It wasn't me."

Oh yes, the entire family then knows that it was A.J. who did it. No further investigation is needed. And when he finally 'fesses up, he's been heard saying (on the way to the time-out chair that now has a built-in imprint of his bottom since he's in it so much), "For crying out loud! I did it again!" Hehehehe.

The boy is a hoot. But, honestly, that makes him who he is. Although, he challenges me to the core at times, I wouldn't change a thing about him. Well, maybe just a little.

Truly, the Lord blessed us immensely when he called us to be AJ's Mama and Daddy and it's been absolutely nothing but an honor and pure joy!


Right after this picture (above) was taken, he hopped off of Santa's lap and came running to me with complete excitement in his voice. He said, "Mama! Guess what? I have it all under control! Santa asked if I was a good boy and before I could tell him that it was the old me doing stuff, he started asking what I wanted for Christmas! Mama, he didn't care!"

The raw emotion in his voice believing not only that this was really Santa, but that Santa didn't care about his not-so-great behavior made me almost tear up.

Oh, how could I have burst that bubble? So, I didn't. I shared in his joy and told him Santa was a really good man to overlook the "old" AJ! :)

My feisty little guy is also doing great in school. His favorite subject is bible study. His little face becomes very serious as he grasps each word I read to them during our bible stories. He's inquisitive and tries to make sense of why God does what He does. He loves God with all his heart and says the sweetest prayers at bedtime. I love when he's had an exceptionally tough day behaving but makes sure he asks God to help Anna Grace and Kai be good for Mama and Daddy. Of course, not mentioning himself at all. We gently remind him to not worry about others' behaviors and to ask God to help him be a good boy. Then, with eyes still tightly shut and little hands folded, he includes, "And Jesus, please help me behave a little better." So cute!

It's hard to remember that he shouldn't even be in kindergarten until September, yet he knows all his alphabet, can count to 20, knows all his sounds and is starting on sight words and basic math. He's smart as a whip and has an excellent memory. He can remember things you've told him once, from the previous year, and has an amazing sense of direction. Sometimes to the point that it's scary what he can remember.


What I think I love most about my sweet, baby boy is just that. He's sweeter than sugar and treasures his family. He's definitely a 100% Mama's boy, which of course, makes my heart mush.

I think my favorite part of the day with AJ is first thing in the morning. He wakes up bright and early and drags his sleepy, little body, with tousled hair and crumpled pj's to my bed. Then, he stands on the edge just staring at me. No words spoken. No attempts to wake me. He just stands there. Waiting. I'm not sure what for. But, waiting.

Oh, many, many a times I have woken up and jumped out of my skin because he's just standing there staring at me. Then with the cutest, most sheepish grin he could muster, he climbs onto my side of the bed, wiggles himself onto most of my pillow, pulls the comforter over himself and snuggles in next to me. He always whispers a barefly audible, "I love you, Mama." and within seconds, he's fast asleep. I love those mornings!

I love kissing those sweet cheeks and seeing that impish little face!

He's a great swimmer and has enough energy to put the sun to shame.

Nothing in the world makes him beam brighter than when he is praised for his achievements.

He loves being the tallest of the trio and is strong, lean and muscular.

He is confident, determined, brave and persistent. He makes a great case for himself when caught in the act and he is dauntless. He can go from being rough and tough to being a tender hearted, warm spirited, gentle, soul.


He has an imagination that is unrivaled and can go on for hours extending the story about how this happened and then that happened.


He loves being called Mama's Silly Goose and loves being held like a baby and rocked. I know that in a few years, that will wear off. So, I treasure each time he asks me to "rock him like a baby".


I often tease him when I'm carrying him (all 41 pounds!) by pretending to cry and saying, "AJ! Please! Please stop growing!" He giggles playfully and says, "Mama, I can't! Every time you feed me, I grow."

Oh, this little boy, who I can't believe is going to be five years old in just a couple of months and was literally dropped from heaven into our family, owns a huge piece of my heart. I am so very proud to be his Mama! And the best part is he darn well knows it. ::sigh::

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snapshot Sunday: It's all about Anna Grace!

Ni Hao Y'all

I haven't had much time to blog with the holidays and all the craziness, but today as I was editing pictures, I decided to join Stefanie's Sunday Snapshot and include a picture that I absolutely love, of Anna Grace. Well, of course, this Mama's heart can't always settle on just one picture when it comes to her kiddos, so I decided to give you all a much anticipated update on our girl. (Don't fret...I will do the same for each of the other kiddos also!)

So, today, it's All About Anna Grace!


Be still my heart....


Little elf helping put up the Christmas decorations. Oh, and the blue lips and mouth? That was courtesy of the ring pops Daddy has gotten into the habit of bringing home. :)


Helping Mama bake yummy Christmas cookies!

surgery ag1

On January 4, my darling girl had another hand surgery done. We are praying for positive results, which shall be known on Thursday, Jan. 13, when we return to Shriners.

cast ag

She wanted to make sure that I took a bottle of pink nail polish to the hospital to paint her piggies the same color as her cast. Of course, Mama obliged. Here she is with perfectly polished toesies, just 3 hours after surgery.

toothless anna grace

Her first set of baby teeth that were loose had to be pulled by the dentist a few days before surgery because they were afraid they'd snap off when they intubated her. The tooth fairy paid double for this. ;)

curlers ag1

Of course, all Princesses need beautiful, curly hair, so we decided to go all out and get spongey curlers to achieve the perfect look. As you can see in the first picture, voila....Princess hair!


Having breakfast on some very cool plates Santa brought!


Is that the cutest little Indian ever? The boys were Pilgrims on Thanksgiving and she wanted to be the female version of "Squanto", since we had learned about him at school.

So, where do I start? I think of the little ones, Anna Grace is the one that has changed the most over the past six to eight months. She has continued to grow like a weed (she is 75 percentile in height on the AMERICAN CHARTS!!) but this Cuban Mama thinks she looks like a beanpole she is so thin. I took her to the doctor and the doctor reassured me that she is fine and that the reason she looks so thin is because she is so tall. Thankfully, I have a latin doctor who agreed to appease me and prescribed an appetite increaser. She's now eating us out of house and home. Heh.

Not only is she growing physically, but she has matured by leaps and bounds.

She had 2 adult teeth grow in right behind her baby teeth on the bottom. This occurred just weeks before her scheduled hand surgery at Shriners. When the doctors up at Shriner's saw that the baby teeth were beginning to loosen up, they recommended having them pulled so that they wouldn't break off during intubation. So, off we went to the dentist. My girl was so brave! They gave her a small bit of laughing gas and did their job. She didn't budge. Her courageousness was well rewarded by the tooth fairy that night and she woke up a very happy camper!

In school, she's been storming through her workbooks. She's actually doing mostly first grade work and while she is reading well, her strong area is definitely math. So much so that during our timed math tests, she surpasses Kai, completing approximately 30 problems in 2 minutes! She can count by 2's and by 5's and count forward and backwards from 100. I am so very proud of her! She now can write sentences and point out nouns and plural nouns in sentences, too! She recites scripture better than the boys and can remember not only the scripture, but the book and the verse, too. She is competitive by nature and while not very verbal about it, you can see the fire in her eyes. Then, she sits back and waits for the accolades to rain down beefore hamming it up! Pretty funny.

As to her attachment issues, we continue to make strides. Sometimes it's 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, but we are moving along. Like last time, the surgery helped reassure her that Mama was here to stay. We went up to Tampa, just she, Daddy and I. She was very insistent on sleeping with me the night before surgery and asked many, many times if I would be there when she woke up. I, of course, said yes to all of her requests and was the first face she saw when she opened her eyes in the recovery room. She then slept in our bed the first few days after surgery, until I was comfortable that she was no longer in pain. Then, I moved her back to her bed, saving me from receiving quite a few middle-of-the-night smacks in the face with a rock hard cast.

We continue lifting her up in prayer because one of the fingers that they worked on, the surgeon was a bit fearful might not survive, due to lack of blood flow. He told us he was giving it a chance, but if obviously the finger died, or any part of it would turn black, she would need to have it amputated. My heart is heavy for her because I know she was so looking forward to having 5 little fingers, but I also know how resilient and tenacious she is.

God has huge plans for this little girl and we firmly believe that she will achieve them all, for His glory. On the 13th (next Thursday) we return for the cast to be removed so they can see how the healing is progressing. If all is well, a new cast will be put on and we're done. If there is not sufficient blood supply to the finger, then we will schedule another surgery to have it removed. Please, if you are reading this and she comes to mind, would you say a little prayer for her?

Other than that, she's doing great! She is feisty, bossy, stubborn, mischevious, sweet, loving, gentle and caring all rolled up into one! She loves all things girly and is really beginning to learn to nurture her "babies". She understands what a "Mama's role" is and often talks about when she grows up she will live in the house next to Daddy and I, so she can visit us everyday with her babies. Yes, this coming from the same little girl that a year ago would have taken off running with a stranger if things were not going her way. She now looks forward to our Mommy dates and comes back and tells the boys about the special things that only Mamas and daughters could do.

I have been blessed infinitely with this precious treasure and thank God every day for placing her in our lives. I love her so much and am so very proud of how far she's come. God's wisdom is beyond anything I could ever comprehend. How could He possibly know that this little girl would fit seamlessly into our family? Because He's God! And I believe when all is said and done and I am an old lady with an empty nest, Anna Grace's bond with me will be just as strong as each one of my other blessings, if not stronger. That thought, makes me smile BIG!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin