FYI Update

It's 3:05 am. Am I having a major stress-fest? It's just that Coke I had at Midnight. Maybe I should stop doing that, ya think?

Two days ago, Monica took three steps! It was completely adorable and has prompted me to finally go and buy a tape for our camcorder. Why do the days fly by so fast? I wish I could just stop time and hold onto these baby stages a bit longer - they are just so fleeting!

Elijah is still is in his speech delay funk but he put two words together today, which is a good next step. He said, "No Bob!" as in he didn't want to watch Spongebob. I find that they times he comes our with new words is when he is mad or frustrated - why is that?!

Jeremy has been super busy putting together a kick-butt proposal to snag some schools in the Anchorage School District for fall pictures and such. Please pray we get this because it would be a huge boost in our income.

My huge feat was teaching Elijah how to sign his alphabet. He learned mostly by watching YouTube videos. There are some nice ones out there. We browsed through YouTube for awhile watching old Sesame Street videos and this one was soooo adorable I had to share! Made us laugh every time!

Click here!


100 Things About Us You May Not Have Known

1. Jeremy and I met in high school. He asked if I would marry him someday three months after we started dating. I was 16 and he was 17. I said yes. :)

2. Before we started dating, we both got summer jobs at the Captain Cook Hotel and ended up in the same restaurant. It was very fun getting to know each other better over work. I always thought Jeremy looked cute at 5am, tired and with his glasses on.

3. Jeremy asked me to a movie as a friend at first. We went to see American Pie, which completely scandalized me! I ended up hiding my face in his shirt a couple of times, which was sweeeet! He asked me out when he dropped me off.

4. When I first met Jeremy's mom, she gave me a bracelet she brought from Peru when she came to the U.S. Very big gesture. I guess she knew that I would be "the one."

5. Jeremy and I saw a lot of movies. One time we went to the theater and we had seen every movie except for one. Then we went to that last movie. It was Pitch Black.

6. Jeremy and I ate out A LOT and we have a lot of special places in Alaska. But we will not eat with anyone else at Sack's. We will take you to Fletcher's, Sullivan's, or Whale's Tail. Not Sack's - that's ours.

7. Jeremy made me several promises when we started dating, which I never was going to hold him to - it's just cute dreams I thought. He's fulfilled all but one but he's very close. He already drove me across the country and took me to Europe.

8. We love Italian food. When we were in Italy, we brought some Panettone to the airport - it never made it back with us because we devoured the whole thing. Not to mention pizza - we'll eat it anytime.

9. Jeremy and I get embarrassed at completely different times. I don't mind meandering in stores and asking a lot of questions when I don't actually plan on buying anything that day - Jeremy paces around and hushes me the whole time. Jeremy dances and makes silly noises for the kids - at the grocery store. I walk away like I don't know them.

10. We are not afraid to walk out of restaurant. We will if the service or food is horrific. No shame.

11. Jeremy thinks Johnny Depp is hot. I can't stop conjuring up Edward Scissorhands as soon as the name comes up.

12. We went to college together. Our Martz bus trip went awry when we missed our stop and got stranded in Ohio for awhile. I was scared and crying and Jeremy took care of everything - I knew from then on out that he would always take care of me. And now us.

13. Jeremy never really wore jeans before we started dating. Just sweats. Clears up things of why I was his first girlfriend (just kidding).

14. Jeremy always teases me about how many guys there were before him. I was a little boy crazy, but I thought it wasn't a big deal if I wasn't sleeping with any of them. Now I worry about my daughter.

15. We both got new majors during college. We both started out in Communications but Jeremy switched to Philosophy/Communications and I switched to English/Secondary Education.

16. Jeremy and I have never believed in having individual friends, especially of the opposite sex. All of our friends know us as a couple and our facebook and myspace accounts are jointly shared. Everything is "ours."

17. Jeremy waited in line outside to get a Nintendo Wii. I was 5 months pregnant in the car in 20 degree weather. I support my husband at all times I guess.

18. While we were away at college, we always lived separately even though it would have been much simpler and cheaper to live together. I'm so glad I can tell that to my kids. I just won't mention how many times daddy spent the night.

19. We ordered pizza so regularly in college that the people who took orders knew us. And one student was able to identify me as "Cubas: Wednesday night, 2 pizzas, wings, and a soda" during my student teaching - so mortifying.

20. At college I had to take a couple of embarrassing jobs to pay rent, both waitressing. At the first, I had to wear a cowboy hat and bolo tie. At the second, I had to serve my students when they came in - double mortifying!

21. Jeremy and I got a Jack Russell Terrier. And then another, and then another. We had to give them away - we will never get that breed again. How insane are those dogs anyway?

22. I love water. Jeremy hates it.

23. I hate ice. Jeremy loves it.

24. We love to decorate with black and white pictures. We usually only use black frames. Sorry if you bought us one of those fancy bright frames in our closet...

25. I have the tendency to forget completely some movies I have watched. I forgot Pirates of the Caribbean. Several people were annoyed at me. Jeremy made me watch it again.

26. I lose things. I have lost a lot of purses and jewelry. I once left behind a nice, expensive leather jacket. Don't tell my grandma!

27. I love shoes. It's sad that they wear out and I have to purge them. I always have a new pair of shoes or boots on my wish list, in multiple colors.

28. Jeremy loves the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. He also likes What About Bob. I'm less crazy about the latter.

29. We are 11 months and 1 day apart.

30. Jeremy and I decided not to wait until we graduated college to get married. We planned our wedding in two months. I loved it.

31. When Jeremy asked if I wanted to go to Belgium for graduate school, I said yes because I had been at Barnes and Noble and randomly sat at a table where there was a travel book about Belgium and had perused it. I took it as a sign.

32. Belgium was quite possibly the best thing that could have happened for our marriage. We were together all the time and depended on each other to get through each day. For example, when we got lost in Italy, Jeremy understood enough Italian to get us back to our hotel.

33. Jeremy loves it when I watch him play video games. It's not that fun when I don't participate. That's sweet.

34. I decided the mommy button had hit me when we were in a Catholic church in Belgium and there was a little girl running around her parents and grandparents. Life wasn't about this plan of education and career for me. I wanted to continue the love we shared. We were pregnant four months later.

35. We drove the Alaska Highway three times "destination or bust," meaning we were almost broke, and in the last case, broke and can't believe we made it! But it was so much fun.

36. We got pregnant with Elijah about a month after we got to Alaska. I went in with some pain and the nurse wasn't very good at delivering the news. I just asked her to repeat her mumblings and I heard the word pregnant! I've never been so scared and happy at the same time.

37. The most beautiful face my husband has ever made was looking at his son for the first time.

38. Jeremy wants to name one of his kids Aristotle. Don't worry - I vetoed it.

39. My favorite bird is the dove. I hope we have a pair someday.

40. Jeremy loves his mom's cooking. I knowingly compete with every meal I make. So far, only one success - thank you risotto and Giada!

41. I taught for a year and loved my students. But Elijah missed me so much, one day he woke up and hung onto my neck until Jeremy and I had to peel him off. It broke my heart. For months after I quit my job he would wake up at 8am to make sure I was still next to him.

42. I always assumed I'd crib my babies, then I had them...and both are still in our bed...and we are all happy.

43. The bed is a huge not-real argument for us. Jeremy needs to stay on one side while I like to switch (weird I know). Jeremy lets the kids eat in bed and I hate it. Elijah comes in and jumps on it with dirty shoes and Jeremy doesn't bat an eye while I nearly have a panic attack.

44. I love trying new food while Jeremy prefers his favorites. I always urge him to order something different, and he does, but he also takes pride in that I sometimes order the same thing, like the Shrimp Avocado sandwich from Sack's.

45. Both Jeremy and I were named for no particular reason. With no precedent of how to choose baby names, we will name all of our kids with planned initials. Elijah's are like Einstein's E=MC but without the square (unless we have another EMC) and Monica's initials are MAC for Apple, Jeremy's favorite company. Have a suggestion? Has to end in C!

46. Our wedding song "You've Got a Way" by Shania Twain is on neither of our playlists. I'm still contemplating what "our song" is.

47. Monica kicks out her legs when you throw her in the air. It looks very silly.

48. Elijah knows how to use the iPhone. If he calls you, our bad.

49. I love french fries and hate eating them now because Jeremy has let me know exactly how "cute" I look wolfing them down.

50. Jeremy doesn't have a favorite color. Mine is maroon.

51. Jeremy and I love Felicity, Friends, and The Office and own those DVDs and can quote lines.

52. We know Elijah recognized the tune of The Office theme song after he was born because he turned his head toward it at two weeks old. He must have heard it so many times from the womb.

53. We drove to PA when Elijah was 3 weeks old. In April, when there was still snow. I don't think I could do that again - it just sounds crazy and dangerous. That's us.

54. We procrastinate and we are late most of the time. Jeremy told a professor he had forgot his 3-page paper in his room, when really he went back and wrote it in a half hour and then turned it in. He got a B.

55. Jeremy and I have foretelling dreams some times. We've had deja vu on more than one occasion.

56. Monica and Elijah are two years and one week apart. We do not use birth control and we don't have a limit on babies right now.

57. Jeremy hates doctors and will not go in to see one unless necessary. However, he makes me go whenever I have the slightest irregular occurrence.

58. Monica has grandma Nelida's green eyes. And her middle name Adalguisa (Ah-da-lisa)

59. Jeremy will wear things until they have holes. Once I had to sneak out a pair of disgusting, falling-apart shoes.

60. Jeremy and Elijah got me to like chocolate - didn't like it before! Now I like chocolate ice cream and chocolate candy - even truffles!

61. Jeremy wants to go on that carnival attraction that springs two people in a seat up into the air. I refuse to do this.

62. Jeremy hates bugs. I let a bee land on me one time and he freaked out.

63. I love that "Go Meat" song and also the "Manwich" song.

64. One time we were so thirsty (and of course Jeremy can't drink water) that we melted all of our popsicles into a pitcher - it was okay.

65. Another time, I dumped cups of sugar into a pitcher thinking they were the measurement "cup" and put way, way too much sugar into our tang - it came out tasting exactly like Sunny D! Now I can't buy it - ick.

66. We have stayed with our friend, Denise about 4 times now, and we will probably stay with her again in the future. She is our home away from home!

67. When Elijah was an infant, he loved to stare at Denise's painting on the wall. If he was crying, I just pointed him towards the painting and he stopped!

68. Elijah fell in love at 9 months old with a 1 and a half year old girl who was with her mother in line in front of us at PennDOT. They reached out and touched hands and he touched her hair. It was so cute.

69. Jeremy wears my socks and stretches them all out and puts holes in them. I hate that. I love the feeling of brand new socks though and I get a lot in this situation.

70. Jeremy doesn't like his eating to be interrupted. Watch out - fork coming your way!

71. I gave birth both times without painkillers. And without yelling.

72. Our biggest pet peeve is when people complain and are discontent with the way things are.

73. We love going for drives, if that wasn't obvious. And we spontaneously take off on trips - was that obvious too?

74. I know the roads so well in Anchorage and memorize roads very easily. Jeremy - not unless he figures it out himself will he remember.

75. Monica is allergic to some enzyme in dairy and I've had to give up a lot of foods to breastfeed her. Milk, yogurt, cheese - so painful!

76. We all look really good in hats.

77. My favorite story as a child was Jemima Puddle Duck by Beatrix Potter and my copy of Benjamin Bunny is from the 1930s.

78. I love to be really, really warm. Jeremy sweats too much and opens the window. Will we ever reach a happy mean?

79. Our car is always dirty. We wash it about once a year, and in Alaska, it blends in well most of the year anyway.

80. Jeremy puts on the gloves and dyes my hair without asking after I buy the dye - it's one of the most romantic things he does without even thinking about it.

81. I am comma happy and Jeremy doesn't let me be when I edit his things.

82. I am really good at writing resumes and cover letters and junk. I would like to work in human resources I think.

83. Jeremy doesn't know how to swim and I carry him every time I get him into the water because I think it's funny.

84. We all are night owls and love to sleep in. We would stay up all night and sleep in all day most of the time if we could.

85. Monica is loved and complimented everywhere we go - we really have to teach her humility and selflessness!

86. It feels way good to get a kiss for no reason from Elijah. He can't talk but he communicates very well.

87. Jeremy's biggest eating fear is that he'll take a bite out of a fruit and half a bug will be sticking out.

88. My biggest fears concern snakes and tarantulas and black widow spiders, all of which do not inhabit Alaska.

89. My kids never react to lemons the way I think they will the first time I give it to them. And it's disappointing - I want to see some puckered faces!

90. I love the smell of vapor rub, the inside of VHS tape books, and baby feet!

91. Elijah and Monica love to have their picture taken - they are such hams.

92. On Christmas, Monica and Elijah liked each other's toys.

93. Jeremy is a better decorator than I am. Ha-ha!

94. I sometimes put Elijah's shoes on backwards - whoops!

95. Jeremy doesn't like re-gifting. I don't mind it if I know the person would really enjoy it better than I would.

96. Both my kids have a mischievous nose-crinkle look that I think they got from daddy.

97. We hate Alaska's long winter but at least I love sweaters and hot cocoa.

98. We thought we would never give our kids "the drugs" of gum numbing gel. After the third night of Monica screaming and moaning, we ran to the store to get it!

99. Jeremy's favorite people are Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple; Hadeo Kojima, Creator of the Metal Gear game series; and Shageru Miyamoto, Creator of Mario.

100. We love each other SO much. Can't imagine life any other way!


Sugar Drop Jam Cookies

I had planned to let Elijah roll and poke dough, but he was cranky so Jeremy helped me make Sugar Jam Drop Cookies using seedless strawberry jam. It was very fun and while we made all of these last night, they are already all gone! It was a successful batch for sure! Jeremy rolled the drop and I thumbed it and put the jelly in before he put the pans in the oven...such a nice husband.
Mom, I want some!
Can I have some too!?
It was all quiet on the homefront for a little while...
Thanks to Aunt Mary for the cookie mix!


A Poem that is How I Feel about January

There’s a certain Slant of light,

Winter Afternoons —

That oppresses, like the Heft

Of Cathedral Tunes —

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us —

We can find no scar,

But internal difference,

Where the Meanings, are.

Emily Dickinson


Opening Presents Christmas Pictures

Christmas dinner and the opening of presents - Elijah scored some gift cards, a play table, a chalk/marker board, clothes and shoes, and bath toys. Monica got clothes, stacking blocks, a musical alligator and bath toys. Christmas 2009 definitely got an A+!


Philosophy of Life: Love It

I do not like New Year's Resolutions. New Year's Resolutions are fun and quirky, and sometimes good for your health if you are truly determined, but to cry and agonize over them? Love your life now - you are alive!

I am grateful for my life as soon as I wake up. Too many people assume they have tomorrow. But really, even if you are safe at home, going to bed - you might not wake up. Life is a gift everyday.

Now, a lot of people might agree with that - that death is inevitable and unpredictable. But those who really think that may also believe in seizing the day - Carpe Diem! I do not.

If someone, an angel or dream or whatever, came to you and told you the exact date of your death, would you "seize the day"? What would you do if you had a year left, or six months, or one hour? How is any of that important than just continuing what you doing (assuming you're not a drug dealer or something). Love your spouse. Love your kids. But also, love everything about your life.

There is a quote (from a man I don't really like but the quote is good) from Frederich Nietzsche that reads: That one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary....but love it.

I love my life, and in the end, I know that all of this does not matter. What matters is love. And I live everyday with love first. If my son wants a cookie for breakfast, I might give it to him. If he suddenly dies because he had an undiagnosed heart failure, was the fight important? He could die in a freak accident, or we could just be in the wrong place at the wrong time...I would want to know that I loved him and showed him love everyday.

I have complaints and moments of discontent, and we all do, but we shouldn't want to change or have regrets. We dwell on them and they consume us, and pretty soon, we take life for granted - everything happening right in front of you is your life. We should live our lives just realizing if we had to live it over again, we would because it was our life!

We don't control life. I hate it when people say I'm in control this and that. Having control does not make you happy. Loving the chaos that life is, that's happiness.

Is saying I could die at any moment, this way of thinking, morbid? I don't think so. I'm hopeful. I have dreams. I believe in miracles. I just love life. I wouldn't change anything about my life.


Christmas Cards Family Photo

OK, so we may or may not have (but definitely did not yet) send out Christmas cards yet but we will, WE WILL - so stop bad mouthing us - geez! They may, however, say Happy 2010 - just to be more appropriate. We've had a lot to do for Omega Artistry so all of our stuff got pushed to the back burner. I didn't want just a regular card, but a photo card so I think it'll be worth the wait because the kids look really cute. This is the one of all of us - there's more but I don't want to spoil it for you.

The kids were pretty good for the shoot but I should post a "bloopers" of their mischievous behind-the-scenes ways...more to come.