Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Family Traditions

Last Christmas I started a tradition with Tori that I planned to carry on to this year. We bought some cookies she thought Santa would like and put them and some carrots out for his Reindeer. Tori was so excited in the morning when she saw the carrots had been chomped and the cookies devoured. Just the memory of her saying "He ate the cookies!" was enough to make me want to do it again this year. Only instead of buying them, I asked her if she would like to bake them! Of course she was ecstatic, and when Eadie was down for her nap we found the simplest recipe we could and began mixing away. She loved every moment, especially putting the icing on, so I made sure I got some pics.

After they had been made, Tori was so excited about her creation she actually spent at least another hour standing there playing with them. Her idea of fun was to move them from the tray onto the rack and back again while pretending she was the host of a cooking show. I listened to her say over and over, "OK, now they are all finished we will move them over to here...." at which she would, one by one place them in the other place. "There we go", she would say. "Now, there are red ones, green ones, and these ones are blue. OK, now they are all finished we will move them over to here..." and so it went on. I managed to snap a pic of the intricate process:

It was adorable until I realised that her grimy little fingers were all over the food that I was supposed to eat....... But yes, they were nevertheless delicious! ;-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


At approximately 6am Vettoria and Eadith woke up and Tori ran into our bedroom yelling "It's Christmas! Wakeup daddy it's Christmas!" As excitedly as our 6am bodies could, we said "I wonder if Santa has come?!" The two of them hurried down the stairs as fast as their little legs could carry them, and joyfully exclaimed "He came!" when they saw the group of presents waiting for them.

They ripped open the paper and squealed with delight as they discovered repeatedly-asked-for gifts right there in their hot little hands. Tori had been asking for Aqua Sand, a new 'magic sand' that set in water but was dry when you took it out. She also loved her new 'Sunday DVD' of David & Goliath which now takes her awesome appropriate Sunday DVD collection up to a grand total of THREE, which she thinks is fabulous. A couple more little nic-nacs added to her overwhelming excitement, which made Juan and I feel like successful present-buyers for our oldest little girl.
Eadie opened her first gift, a 'magic drawer' which she took to instantly. Before opening anything else she had become obsessed with drawing, erasing, and drawing again on her new favorite toy. Despite a few other nic-nacs, before long she was sprawled over the kitchen floor drawing like a pro. Meanwhile, Tori was becoming familiar with her new Aqua Sand, a gift which I regretted buying instantly when, come 7.30am the pink sand was all over the floor and water was splattered all over everything else. And who was left to clean the mess? Moi. Merry Christmas mummy!! Here's some pics of our girls having fun:

They also received some very special gifts from some very special people. Grandma and Grandpa Hunt who now live in America sent them beautiful frames with special messages, and their Great Grandma Hunt made and sent them much cherished woolen dolls, which they absolutely fell in love with:

This year Juan said he wanted something hand-made from the girls, so we set about making something that he could take into work. We decided on a picture frame with a cute photo of the girls inside. The girls decorated the frame with a special message, and Juan was very excited at his new office show-piece:

The morning was a 'present-giving success', but the best part was when Juan and I would look over each other and silently read the others mind smiling and thinking, "Ah yes... this is what it's all about..." To our much-loved friends and family, Merry Christmas to all, we hope your Christmas is filled with many happy memories and the joy of the gospel in your lives :-)

CHRISTMAS EVE - Montes Style!

As the first instalment of our Christmas weekend, we start with Christmas Eve. What a night! Twelve adults, nine children under eight, a tonne of food, and presents galore! That about sums it up. Oh, but did I mention the wonderful surprise of Karla and Josh visiting from Canada, and Carmen and Joe driving down from Emerald? It has been so wonderful over the past week to catch up and see the kids play together again. Despite the distance we have had regular visit from both families at least yearly, which makes the separation easier. Tori and Eadie now recognise their cousins when they reunite, and it's special for Juan and I to catch up with them and their lives.

This particular night we were responsible for the desert, and the treat of choice this year was ICE CREAM CAKE. Juan took the responsibility upon himself to make two cakes of which he was relieved and proud to say, were delicious. But this meant that when we arrived and put the cakes in the freezer, despite my constant "Anything I can do to help?", between the three pure-bread Latina kitchen hands fussing over the mountain of food in the kitchen, there was really not a lot pregnant ol' me could do... so this pic was taken pretty early into the night.... needless to say I didn't keep that look on my face all night, but I was very comfortable there, none-the-less:

After a delicious dinner it was time to give the kids their presents. I am happy to report that in the Montes family (meaning Juan's family of origin) we all decided it was a good idea to just get presents for the kids. Great decision! Each family picks a child's name out of a hat and we buy for that child. So simple, so great! This year Eadie and Tori were given fabulous gifts from Tia Yanci and their Abuelos. The girls were so excited, and Eadie now falls asleep to the sounds of her singing book from Yanci, while Tori excitedly plays shop with her awesome grocery set, while wearing her 'diamond' tiara and matching earrings from Abuelita and Abuelito. You can imagine their excitement!:

After presents the grownups watched the kids run a muck playing with their new toys until late into the night. It was great just to sit and catch up while laughing at our cute kids. We particularly noticed one funny thing. Elly was given a make-up set for her present which consisted of blue lipstick and eye-shadows. She excitedly put it on herself, and you can imagine how cool the other girls thought it was! So of course Elly took it upon herself to dress them up too! The results were hilarious:

We then took the family Christmas snaps which came out really well despite crazy kids running everywhere and crazed parents trying our best to control them all! Check these out:

One of my favorite things to notice when all the Montes grandchildren are together is their hair! All of the girls looks so similar in their little Montes ways, and they each have their own version of latina curls. It is so cute. Elly with her large ringlets, Sofia with her long spirally waves; Tori with her loose long curls, and Kira with her tight ringlets from the top to the bottom. Then of course there is Isabella with her gorgeous wild afro curls, and Eadie with her 'good girl at the front, party at the back' curls, which my parents refer to as the Mullet. ;-)

As usual with Juan's family it was a great night, and then we all left exhausted and excited for Christmas Day... which brings me to my next segment......

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where's My Melon-Head??

Daddy affectionately refers to Eadie as Melon Head, ever since a few months ago she was 'diagnosed' with an "enlarged head" by our local GP. Eadie actually loves the nick-name; when Daddy says "Where's my Melon-Head?" she quickly smiles and puts her hands to the top of her head as if to say, "Here I am!" So cute.

Some people may think to themselves, "What's the big deal? So her head is slightly larger than other 18 month olds, it's ok...."
Well, her head was a bit bigger than 'slightly larger'. She was completely off the chart of other children her age. She was actually off the chart for two and three year olds! Needless to say, an appointment was made for us at the hospital to visit the Children's Development specialist. Although I knew there was nothing abnormal with her development I was still nervous walking into the hospital and looking around at all the children visiting the same specialists. Handicapped children in wheel-chairs, some walking with crutches, many with broken bones. Some had autistic issues, others had facial deformities. I couldn't help but wonder if I was missing something I should have paid attention to in my baby girl.

Once inside, I was instantly relieved when the doctor took one look at her and said, "Well, I can see that her motor skills are perfectly fine, and she seems to be completely on par with other children her age in all other ways... I wonder why your doctor sent you to see me?" What a relief! After re-measuring and discussing her history, she then asked me, "Do yo know if you have a large head?" I told her I didn't think so, but I had never had it measured. She measured it. To my utter shock it turns out I also have an ENLARGED HEAD! My head circumference is in the 98th percentile of females my age!! What the--?? You mean she gets her Melon Head from ME?! The Doctor then asked me to measure my husband's head when I arrived home, which I did. It turns out Juan ALSO has an enlarged head!! Thank heavens his head was bigger than mine (just slightly, believe it or not...), otherwise I would NEVER live it down.

Needless to say, after reviewing her stats and comparing all our head measurements, the specialist came to the conclusion that, despite the fact that her head is the size of an averege 5-6 year old, there was no reason to be concerned; Eadie simply had a large head that was most likely passed on to her from us, her big-headed parents.. Hmm... What a relief...?? Not so sure anymore! ;-)

Looks like Eadie is not the only Melon Head in our family!! And to my brother Jamie - you're now off the hook!! xx

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pregnancy Update - Week 29

So we are close to being 30 weeks pregnant! It is very exciting and we are anxiously looking forward to the arrival of our third little princess. I am now fully feeling the effects of "being pregnant", something I feel I have avoided for quite a long time this round. I now have fully "popped" as people tell me, and my clothes are feeling very snug and tight around my belly. Needless to say, Belly Belts and maternity clothes are all I wear!

I feel heavy and walk with the pregnancy waddle, despite the fact that I am technically not overly 'big' (according to the spectators). But I definitely feel the pressures of the belly and baby is moving often and strong. It is a nice relief since it took her so long to actually begin moving!

The girls are gretting more and more excited about their new little baby. Dolls and pretending to change nappies are becoming a regular part of play time. Even Eadie is in on it!

At last my appetite has subsided and I feel I am eating regular sized meals at normal intervals. Then, about 2 months ago Cassandra and I joined our gym's Aqua class. We both became addicted to it and we now go at least twice a week, often up to 4 days a week! The classes are lots of fun and we just love the extra time relaxing in the pool knowing the girls are safe and we can just chill and well, play in the pool! I am also happy to report that I am even developing a tan! I know, I am still the lightest skinned person in my family, but I'm hoping some of their gorgeous pigment has rubbed off on me over the years.... Hmm???
The pics shown were taken just this weekend when Juan and I went to his work Christmas Party. It was our first date since our Anniversary in February (and maybe a temple trip or two in between) and I was so excited! A chance to dress up fancy, go out just the two of us, hold hands and eat yummy food that was OFFERED to us on platters. I couldn't believe how excited I was... have I been a mother to toddlers for too long??? ;-)

Anyway, the night didn't turn out exactly as we had planned. The party was more of a stand-around holding wine glasses filled with orange juice while eyeing all the waitresses with the hors d'oeuvres who always seemed to avoid our section of the floor! After 1 1/2 hours I was sick of chasing them around the room, and Juan's work buddies had other plans, so we took off to have some fun! Our fun turned into driving around looking for various cafes that were no longer there, then we settled on ice cream at a local hangout and talked and laughed until about 9:45pm when we came home to relieve Cassandra from her babysitting duties for the night. Not quite the HOT DATE we had planned, but it was certainly wonderful to hold hands, laugh at silly jokes, and look into eachother's eyes without rolling them in frustration over something or other!

The pic above shows off a bit of my 29 week belly, and here is another one of us all dressed up on our date night. We realise it may very well be the last time we are alone at night together for the next 10 weeks and far, far beyond!

Anyway, I am honestly freaking out about having a third baby (I do have only two hands afterall!), but I am also so excited to meet her and start our life together. Well, that will happen soon enough, with only 11 weeks to go.. March 17 is quickly approaching! C'mon baby!

Monday, December 6, 2010


I just have to share this hilarious story before I forget and then it will be gone forever....

It took place a couple of months ago. I made scones as a morning snack for us. It was Tori's first time experiencing scones, so I dressed them up with jam and cream to make them exciting. I gave one to her and she quickly licked all the cream off and admitted she didn't want to finish the rest, however she would love some more cream. I told her the only way she was getting more cream was if she finished that scone and wanted another one with cream on the top. So she decided to eat the whole scone, pretending she thought it was yummy by making "Hmmm, yum!" noises as she ate it.

Once she had finished she came back into the kitchen and held up her empty plate.
"I finished mum!" she said. "Now can I have another scone with cream?" She then added very seriously, "Only this time can I have it without the jam or the scone?"

It was so funny I couldn't stop myself from laughing out loud!
"So you just want some cream then?" I laughed. She nodded and gave a cheeky grin, and I couldn't help but reward her ingenuity. How adorable is my daughter????  :-)

My little Busy Bee

Another cute moment to share:
We ere eating dinner the other night - chicken nuggets and vegies - and I looked over when Tori said, "Mum look, I made a bumble bee!" I was so impressed I just had to snap a pic. She had used the wooden skewers we use to hold the corn, as antennae on the bee. Very impressive.. And so dang cute!!

Our Big Day Out

An Amazing thing happened the other weekend - we had a Saturday FREE! That meant there were no meetings, no activities, no studies, NO SCHEDULE! What a wonderful way to begin the day! What to do?? Daddy suggested we go to the Museum in the city. Then I added in a swim at Southbank. THEN we decided to take the infamous BUS into the city! The girls are OBSESSED with transport that move large amounts of people. Trains, buses, planes, boats, you name it. We took the girls on a train about a year ago and Tori LOVED it. So we decided that this day was the one we went on the bus for the first time. (The experience reminded me why I don't catch buses with children -- but more on that later!)

So, we went to the local shops and caught the bus into the city. The museum was lots of fun, the girls just LOVED it. And Juan and I thought it was pretty great too! Tori was obsessed with every animal, it was so exciting to see her little face light up with ever corner turned.

After the museum we went to Southbank for a splash in the water. At first I was confused why Juan wanted to stay in the 'big kids' area to 'help Vettoria swim' instead of coming to the usual toddler area the kids were used to... it wasn't until I came over that I realised there was a giant screen set up above the beach area that was screening the Cricket 20/20 match. UGH. FINE!!! So we stood in the beach area with the kids splashing us and watched the 'exciting' cricket for a little bit. After which we made our way to get some lunch (Subway, which is Vettoria's favorite. SO relieved I have weened her off suggesting McDonalds at every opportunity!!!)

We then headed back to the bus-stop. What a relief, we JUST made the EXPRESS bus back to the shopping centre. We jumped on, relieved and exhausted after a fun day in the hot sun. The bus trip should have taken about 10 minutes to get back to our car, but we were a little confused as we began making twists and turns into suburbs that were NOT where we wanted to go. Before we knew it, 30 minutes had passed and we were still sitting on that bus!! Eadie had gulped her last bottle of milk, but thank goodness Tori was happy enough to drive around for a while longer than we had anticipated.... unlike Juan in this photo... haha.

Needless to say, we were on the WRONG BUS!! Who knows WHY it said EXPRESS on the front, because it took an HOUR to get back to the parking lot to drive home!! All we could do was LAUGH at how we managed to stuff it up so bad. (if we didn't laugh, we would have cried...) We were so relieved to be in our car the girls fell asleep before we had exited the shopping center, and Juan and I fell asleep at home not too long after that!

Despite it all, it was a great day and we made some fun-filled memories. But take my word for it, we will not be travelling on the bus any time in the near future... Juan can ride it to work of a morning and create his own fun-filled memories, thank you very much!