Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bienvenido a Miami

 This summer has been such a blessing. James, my husband, gets roughly eight weeks off in the summer. He has some work he has to do from home, but mostly it is just a sweet time for us to be together as a family. And boy, has he been super husband and super daddy. He lets me sleep in every morning, getting up with Adoration, preparing her breakfast, and dealing with her morning crankies. And lots of days he's been taking her on special daddy-daughter dates to the pool, park, or beach, giving me some time to myself and time to rest. I'm soaking it all on, knowing that very soon, he will be back to work and I will be very busy with a two year old and a newborn.

We've had lots of beach days, a trip to NYC and to Delaware for a wedding, and the last two days we had a little stay-cation in Miami. We stayed in a cute little neighborhood called Coconut Grove, right on the bay. We stayed in, what was essentially a penthouse condo, 2 bedroom, with floor to ceiling windows and a wraparound porch, with a view of both the bay and the city. It was pretty sweet, and amazingly, it was FREE. Awhile ago, my husband ran a sprint triathlon In Miami. He and his friend found a place to stay through couch surfing. And to their surprise, instead of sleeping on someone's couch, they got an entire swanky condo (not your typical couch surfing experience.) James was able to meet the owner and she invited him to bring his family back anytime. Currently, she only lives in her condo part of the time, and generously let us stay there for a couple of days while she was out of town. The first nine floors of the building is a hotel, and the top floors are people's condos, sporting an amazing rooftop pool and hot tub.
I was curious and checked out the rates of the hotel, and the two bedroom places go from $500-$700 a night! So we were super spoiled. If I'm ever super rich, I hope I'm as generous and hospitable as the owner of this condo.

We spent most of our time relaxing by the pool, enjoying the neighborhood, and eating yummy food. For dinner one night, we ventured out of Coconut Grove, down to the design district for dinner at Michael's Genuine, which was sooo yummy. On Tuesday, we wanted to check out Vizcaya, an Italian style villa and gardens, that is supposed to be pretty incredible. It ended up being closed for the day, so we hit up the beach at Key Biscayne instead. Miami was a city I knew nothing about before moving here. I think I envisioned the whole city was like South Beach. In reality, it's a a really beautiful city that has a lot to offer. I think we will be visiting more often in the future!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Learning at Home: Book Inspired Activities, Part II.

Our main book for this week was Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr.  It's a beautiful book and at the end it has all the illustrations of the different caterpillars featured in the book and the butterfly/moth the caterpillar transforms into.  We checked out some science books on butterflies and caterpillars from the library as well. Not so much to read (targeted for older children) but for Adoration to thumb through. She loves looking at pictures of the real things. 

Here are some activities we tied into our caterpillar/butterfly theme:

1) Painted a water color, coffee filter butterfly:
I accordion folded two coffee filters and cinched them in the middle with a pipe cleaner to make a butterfly. I curled the ends of the pipe cleaners for the antennae. 

Then I let Adoration go to town painting the butterfly with watercolor paint. We ended up making about three more of those this particular week, she loved it so much! You could also have your child paint the filters before making them into a butterfly, but I wanted Adoration to know what she was painting. She kept saying , "I paint Buttafry!" 

2) Made a caterpillar collage:
I just put a trail of glue on a piece of foam (or cardstock) and let Adoration place the pom poms onto the glue. This is a great way to encourage small motor skills as well. 

3) Played with play dough, making "caterpillars."  
We rolled out caterpillars and counted them as we made them.

4) Water color painted a caterpillar:
On a piece of card stock, I drew a caterpillar with crayon. Adoration painted the caterpillar with watercolors. After it was dry, I scraped the crayon away, leaving a picture of the caterpillar underneath the paint. 

5) Went on a caterpillar hunt in the backyard (you could also go on a butterfly hunt.): 
And we found one! Which was very exciting to Adoration. 

During all these activities, we talked about how caterpillars make cocoons and turn into beautiful butterflies. I also told Adoration that just like God turns caterpillars into beautiful butterflies, He makes us beautiful too. ;)  

I had also wanted to take her to a butterfly garden we have nearby, but haven't had the chance yet. She pretty much has caterpillars and butterflies on the brain now though after this week, so I'm sure it will be just as exciting whenever we go. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Boy or Girl???

Well, there you go folks! I didn't intentionally wait this long to give the reveal. Nor did I have some have extravagant reveal plan that was holding me up or anything. It started off as just procrastination and at least wanting some non-instagram pictures of the bump. Then it was kind of fun keeping it mainly between our little family for a bit. But I'm in my third trimester now, so we figured it was time.

We are super excited about Baby Boy. I think, at first, both me and James were wanting a girl a little more, because we wanted a sister for Adoration. But since we've found out we have been over the moon. I know this little man will bring a whole new wonderful dynamic (wardrobe and toy selection included) into this family. We are so thankful.

What's In a Name?


  [ad-uh-rey-shuhn]  Show IPA
the act of paying honor, as to a divine being; worship.
reverent homage.
fervent and devoted love.
1535–45;  < Latin adōrātiōn-  (stem of adōrātiō worship. See adore,-ation

Faced with the task of naming another baby, it occurred to me that I have never explained on the blog how we came up with our first born's name. The explanation is a little long, so bare with me. ;) 

My daughter's name is Adoration. Her middle name is Joy.  

I realize that to some (or many) may find her name unusual. And yes, it is a bit of a mouthful to say. I had a bit of trepidation in giving her that name at first, but now I can't imagine her having any other.  

She is probably the first person that most people have heard with this name. But it is not a new name for me. Adoration is my mother's name. More specifically, my mother's name is the the Spanish word, "Adoracion." So the name was never strange to me. My Mom went by a nickname because Americans had trouble pronouncing her given name correctly, but I always thought it sounded beautiful. So to me, the name is not "out there." It's a name I've become familiar with, and it's a real word, with a beautiful meaning. 

Both me and my husband believe that there is power in naming. Naming was the first task God gave to man. Names are such a huge part of our identity. Biblically, God would often give the name straight to the parent as a command, or parents would name their children out of things the Lord was doing in that season of their lives as a testament. God would even change the names of His people when they entered into a new aspect of their calling or when they have had a transforming experience with Him, ie (Abram-Abraham, Saul-Paul.) This is the way James and I choose to name our children. We pray. We wait. We ask God about who He is making these children to be, and we try to name accordingly. 

Also, during college my husband spend about 7 months in Malawi, Africa. There, it is common for people to have meaningful words as names. Names like, "Promise," "Blessing," "Surprise." And the people he encountered often embodied their names. And also unfortunately, parents would sometimes name their children out of unsavory circumstances; names like "Lust." And sadly, the person also embodied the name in these instances as well.  There is even a story of a little boy who was only called "Dog." Consequently, until he received intervention, the boy manifested traits of a dog in his physical being....he foamed at the mouth and barked uncontrollably. Experiencing life in a place where the spiritual is much more obvious and seeing the positive and negative effects of words and names being spoken over people had a profound effect on my husband. We knew as part of our children's names, whether the first name or middle name that we wanted to give them a meaningful word or character attribute as part of their part of their identity.  

So when I was pregnant with Adoration, we prayed and listened. We felt like that God was creating her to be a worshiper. That she would love to dance. That she would bring smiles, joy, and healing to hurting hearts and to dark places. Being familiar with my mother's name and as the word used in many beloved hymns, we fell in love with the name "Adoration." This happened more slowly for me, because I wanted people to not have too much trouble saying her name. But it became more and more clear that this was to be her name.  We chose her middle name "Joy," because that was what God was teaching us at the time as a family. In a dry season of my soul, where joy did not come easily, God brought joy into my heart and taught me a bit about what true joy looked like. The middle name of the baby in my belly will also be chosen by what God is currently teaching us in this season. 

So that's the story. We choose to call our daughter Adoration, but have picked out the nickname "Addie," for her if she chooses to use it in school, or for telling smaller children who may have trouble saying her whole name. So by some, at different seasons of her life, she may go by "Addie," but to us, she will always be our "Adoration."  

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