30 August 2011

1st grade

Isabella is loving 1st grade. "Mom, 1st grade isn't hard; it's just like Kindergarten." Apparently she had some expectations of it being more difficult. She has homework now, which is a change and she is diligently doing. We are only 7 days in.

We changed up our routine and are walking to school and Isa is riding the bus home (glorious since we are the bus stop and I don't have to wake Anna Teresa from her afternoon nap).

Diego was just as excited as Isa was to start 1st grade that he even got in all the pictures. He loves the just built, new school that Isa is going to and hugged Mrs. Khoury on the first day.

10 August 2011

6 years old

She is SIX! She is going into 1st grade. She is a very good big sister. She helps out a lot. Today, for example, she made her bed and then her brother's (they share a room) before coming out for breakfast.

She lost her first tooth when we were staying at a neighbor's house (b/c our a/c had gone out) and her second at my sister's house the day before her 6th birthday. While playing at the pool of course. She wouldn't let anyone pull out her teeth. They had to basically fall out on their own. Amazing she didn't swallow them!

She loves music and ballet. She loves the beach. She is in tune with every conversation you have despite her looking like she's doing her own thing. She has always asked a lot of questions. She's still a climber and loves doing the monkey bars (has been for over a year now).
She loves her family and is wanting her cousins to be near her. Lucky for her, she has her very first cousin coming soon (my sister is pregnant and expecting next month!).

07 August 2011

Anna Teresa Oliver - 10months

We love her. She's sweet. She makes everyone smile. She says hi. She has a ton of teeth considering she's one of our kids. She got her first one at 6month and her 7th one is coming in. She eats like a champ. She's our first normal crawler. She sleeps well. She's not a complainer. She's happy. She smiles a lot. She's been to Mexico, France and Tennessee -- in that order. She traveled like a champ. She's been to the beach twice. The second time she ate a ton of sand! She's loves using her pincer grasp. She likes to eat and isn't very picky. She is adored and loved by her older siblings. She is Isabella's best buddy. She is going to be another climber. She can say ga ga ga and ka ka ka and hi. She won't even attempt mama. She doesn't like going to the church nursery.

14 September 2009

George Henry Hargreaves 4.2.1916 - 9.5.2009

My grandpa passed away recently and my grandma is very ill with brain cancer. I grew up very close to my grandparents and spent nearly every summer there as a child. I was named after my grandmother and like to think that she and I are similar in a lot of ways. I greatly admire my grandparents, the life they led and the marriage they had. Below is the obituary that will be in the Logan newspaper which is a very good glimpse into the life of my grandfather.

George Henry Hargreaves passed away peacefully on September 5, 2009.

Throughout his life and distinguished career as a civil engineer, he was deeply concerned with the dignity of each human being and the future of humanity. He tried to make people aware that we are globally interconnected and that actions in one place have global consequences. In particular, he worked in more than thirty countries to ensure that future generations would have food and potable water. He is internationally famous for developing the “Hargreaves Method” of predicting crop water requirements. In his later years, he promoted the use of renewable energy, focusing on sustainable development and strategies that could benefit all of humanity.

George was born in Chico, California on April 2, 1916. He spent his high school years in Ukiah, near the family farm in Redwood Valley, California. In 1939, he earned his bachelor’s degree in soils from the University of California, Berkeley and a civil engineering degree in 1943 from the University of Wyoming. In 1943, he married Elizabeth A. Gardner, who died in 1947. In 1951, he married Sara Romero Sevilla in San Jose, Costa Rica.

During WWII, he was a naval officer in charge of activities related to mine warfare and sonar research. After the war, he worked in soils, irrigated agriculture, and water resources development for various governmental agencies – civil engineer U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento, CA, 1946-48; reclamation engineer, Greece 1948-49; engineer for the Agency for International Development in Costa Rica, Peru, Haiti, Philippines, Brazil, and Colombia, 1950-68; chief civil engineer Natural Resources Division Inter American Geodetic Survey, Panama Canal Zone, 1968-70.

After retiring from government service, he joined the staff at Utah State University as an irrigation research engineer, 1970-86; research professor emeritus, 1986. He authored World Water for Agriculture, 1977; served as lead author for Irrigation Fundamentals, 1998 (Fundamentos Del Riego, 2000); and wrote numerous technical papers published in professional journals.

In 1997, he received the American Society of Civil Engineers’ prestigious Royce J. Tipton award. This award is made to a member who has made a definitive contribution to the advancement of irrigation and drainage engineering through notable performance and long years of service. The “Hargreaves Formula” for estimating evapotranspiration is used worldwide. Since the 1950s, he has been listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who Internationally.

When George moved to Logan, he became a member of the Logan Kiwanis Club. He enjoyed playing bridge, and was a man of few words with a great sense of humor. George is survived by his wife Sara, four children (Margaret Stolpmann, Sonia Hart, Mark and George Leo Hargreaves), six grandchildren (Darwin, Thea, Sara Carolina, Sofia Cristina, Frances, and Oliver) and four great-grandchildren (Renée, Isabella, Dimitri, and Diego). He is preceded in death by two sons, Ronald and Henry.

Memorial contributions in honor of George H. Hargreaves may be sent to the College of Engineering Irrigation Program, Utah State University, 4100 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-4100 or at www.usu.edu/giving.

Per his desires, there will not be a viewing. Interment will be at a later date.

17 July 2009

Mexico Vive

Mexico Lives - that is their advertisement campaign currently.  Mexico has been hit hard - they are in an economic crisis, their tourism is down due to narco traficantes, the pig virus, and crime.  

I've got news for you folks!  Mexico is the place to be!  It is a beautiful country, filled with gorgeous beaches, friendly folks (not just my family), delicious food, economical, and best of all, a hop skip and a jump from Texas.  Seriously - a 2 hour flight later and you could be on a paradise beach!  

We went for two weeks this summer.  My sister, Isa, Diego and I went down June 29th, Bret and my dad joined us July 3rd and July 4th we celebrated US Independence Day by driving to Acapulco from Mexico City.  

Coming from a good Mexican family, my dad is one of eight children, thus providing several cousins for us.  We went to many outings at various homes of different families and had a great time seeing such a great city.  I didn't get to play tourist too much in Mexico City because of all the family visits, but next time I want to take the kids to Xochimilco, the pyramids, Bazar Sabado, the Children's Museum (it's HUGE), and several other fun things of the sort.

While we were there, we enrolled Isabella in a little school where she attended for a week.  She went with one of my cousin's sons.  She LOVED it.  She thought we were moving there and asked for specific things for her birthday party.

TANGENT: She is obsessed with her birthday and talks about it all the time.  She tells you that she will be turning 4 on the 2nd of August and that she will be eating cheetos, chicken nuggets and cheese for her birthday.  She's going to have strawberry cake and she is going to have a princess pinata.  We (her parents) will sing to her and that will make her birthday complete.  Her biggest illusion though is not to be 4, it is to be 5 - she thinks that 5 is very big and then she will move out of the house because the house will be too small for her.  At 5 she will get to climb the climbing wall at the gym (something she asks about every single time we go).  

Back to Mexico...our gracious hosts were my cousin, Karla with her husband and three children, and then in Acapulco, my aunt has an awesome condominium (if you want to rent it, let me know!).  

Diego loved the beach, but it was scary how much he liked the waves and getting pummeled by them.  I looked like a delinquent mom out there because he would let go of  my hand and run straight into the water and giggle the whole time until a wave came and knocked him down.  

Isabella also loved the waves, but she was more careful and always was held by an adult (mostly her Tia Fia) and went a bit deeper into the waves and liked the feeling of them with the sure grasp of an adult to keep her safe.  

We went to see these crazy divers dive off of a huge cliff.  It's very famous and called La Quebrada where 7 divers took either regular dives, back dives, or flip dives off the cliff into an active part of the ocean.  

All in all it was a great vacation where Isabella was exposed to the culture I grew up with, and it gave her a wonderful opportunity to hang out with all Spanish speakers and cousins relatively her own age.  It was one of the best vacations Isa has ever had.  She's still talking about it.  

23 June 2009

Diego's Update

A medical update on my sweet, cuddly, thumb-sucking, big deep dark brown-eyed babe, Diego.  Diego has been off the weight curve since October of 2008.  Our pediatrician took into consideration our history (our family history doesn't indicate giants or obese folk) which made us not worry very much.  

But, after seven months of Diego continuously weighing in only at 17lbs. (going further and further away from the weight curve), we were referred to a GI specialist.  I felt that I am privileged to live in Houston - a medical city with some of the best doctors at my back door - and therefore I should do my due diligence (so to speak) and check further into Diego's lack of weight gain.  

Some history: He went through a severe bout of colds this winter which caused him to basically throw up on and off for about 4-5 months.  A very unpleasant experience.  He also was only drinking soy milk because he was strongly intolerant of cow's milk.  Aside from these things, there was nothing indicating a cause for Diego's lack of weight gain.  He's pretty normal and pretty active.  He eats more than your average toddler (which is exactly how Isa was and continues to be).  

Well, after multiple tests of crazy, uncommon diseases - celiac panel, RTA, cystic fibrosis and several others, the doctors haven't found anything.  Diego's tests have all come back either negative or normal.  I have therefore put a stop to any more tests.  My baby is tired of being poked and prodded multiple times (some by very good nurses/techs and some by terrible nurses/techs which made it all the more miserable).  

My pediatrician who has been in practice over ten years says that he has seen a handful of kiddos who did this - and then went back on track to their curve (wherever they were on the curve to begin with...in our case 5%).  I am no doctor and have not a science brain, but I am taking stock in this and just chalking up his lack of weight gain for so many months due to his increase in activity and his genes.  

Diego's last weight check was 2.5 weeks ago at which time he had finally gained weigh and was up to the most he's ever weighed - a whopping 18lbs. 11oz.  Mind you he is 17 mos. old and Isa who was considered very small weighed 18lbs on her 1st bday.  We have not been able to turn Diego around in his car seat despite his legs being all scrunched up like a wee frog.  

So all this to say that Diego is fine.  For those of you who were keeping up, thank you for your prayers.  We are very much at peace with his health and are thankful for healthy children.

22 June 2009

Mexican Playdate

Today I helped two different friends who were in a bind.  They both happen to have 4 year olds.  I, therefore spent my afternoon with three pre-K kids and Diego.  

Amaya arrived first right after her school got out (3:15pm).  She brought her own two dolls - a very good move considering Isa owns one doll whom she rarely pays attention to.  

Some history:  Isabella is the mother of four children - Pinkie, Bluey, Fabiola, and "I knew her name once, but now I don't remember."  Keep in mind that Pinkie and Bluey are hugely overstuffed bunnies that my sister's boyfriend, Nehman gave Isa and Diego for Eatser.  Miss No Name is a rollerskate doll that Isa fondly calls her sister and frequently prays for.  I'm sure folks at school thought Isa really must have had another sister since she talks about her frequently.

Amaya and Isa proceeded to play most of the afternoon with the two dolls that Amaya brought - they took them outside to swing, fed them, put them to sleep, read them books, etc.  At 5 o'clock, Isa's neighbor friend, Jordi (pronounced Yordee for you gringos) came over.  The three of them played outside, played doctor and asked for lots of snacks.  I've become cooler in the last year and actually had some jell-o that I made and some jell-o pudding snacks of the chocolate variety that were a big hit.  The best was the three Pre-K'ers keeping the chocolate pudding snack away from the lil munchkin, Diego.

Amaya left at 6:15. Jordi and Isa continued the extended play date.  Currently, Isa and Jordi are playing house.  He's the dad, she's the mom.  He is very concerned about the steaks they are buying at the grocery store.  I am cracking up as I type this.  She's concerned about where they are going to dispose of the egg shells, and that they need to find a trash can.  Their children (the two huge bunnies) are hungry and they are about to feed them.  They have gone to the grocery store several times (I guess they forgot some things the first time).  

Jordi was picked up around 8:15, so the 5 hour play date afternoon is over for Isabella.  What a great afternoon!