Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Birthday Wishes

I turned 27 on Dec. 28. Casey had a game that day, so we celebrated my bday on the 29th with all the things I wanted to do. As you can imagine, nothing worked out as planned. But it all ended in a spontaneous and really fun day.

On my actual bday, we went to Mar Chiquita beach. It's shaped in a horshoe from the waves coming through the rocks and creating a cove. The waves were so big when we were there and it was a spectacular sight.
Then Casey's team played against their rivals, Naranjito, and beat them in 4. It was a really intense match. There was even a red card issued and a fight amongst the fans after.
Casey did really well of course. I'm really proud of him. He's come such a long way from his college days. And he is getting so much better every year. He even has his very own action card, tre cool.
The next day we were supposed to go to Culebra, a tiny island with the one of the top three most beautiful beaches in the world! But the weather was supposed to be bad on the island so that trip was delayed. Instead we went to our pool and hung out.
Then we drove to San Juan for sushi, shopping, and a movie. Problem is that everyone else in Puerto Rico had the same idea. It took us 30 mins to find parking. Then the ticket line for movies was ridiculously long. And the shopping wasn't that great. I wasn't feeling it. So we end up leaving. It takes us another 40 mins just to exit the parking structure. I'm thinking this must be the only mall on the island.

At this point I'm sullen because my birtday plans are not turning out as I had wished. We get back on the freeway to go home, and Casey sees the carnival that I've been asking to go to since we've been here. I'm a sucker for crappy carnivals. He pulls off and gets in line for parking. Suddenly, I was one happy girl. Despite another terrible parking experience, an overpriced entrance fee, and a very tired baby, the carnival was a perfect end to my bday.

Casey hates carnival rides so he watched Cash while I went on the rides by myself. We enjoyed a crappy piece of pizza. Three of the best hot dogs I have ever had (Nathan's!!!). And a piƱa colada. Happy birthday to me!!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cash's First Christmas

We spent Christmas Eve with the Rodriguez and Morales families. They are our family here. Such kind, warm, and fun people. We had a traditional Puerto Rican feast with a roasted pig, rice/beans, pasteles, and lots of things I can't spell. It was so yummy.
At the end of the night, we sat around the Christmas tree and opened gifts. Cash got his first presents!!! He of course didn't really get it but loved the toys after.

The next morning we woke up to a hot sunny Christmas and made a huge breakfast. Then we met the Hatch family at Cerro Gordo beach for a true Puerto Rican Christmas.
It was perfect beach weather. We ended the holiday at their house with a BBQ, pumpkin pie, and the Grinch.

I read the nativity story in Luke before going to bed last night. I love celebrating our Savior with the ones we love this time of year. I'm so grateful for the birth of Christ. For his sacrifice. For his plan. For bringing me Casey. And letting me watch over Cash. I'm one blessed girl.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Feliz Navidad Folks

To Our Loved Ones,

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Puerto Rican Patterson's
(Casey, Lexi, and Cash)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Six Month Hump

Cash turns six months old today!!!
Two teeth
Rolling all over the place
Placing binky in mouth by himself
Sleeping on his belly
Eating baby food. He likes rice cereal, bananas, apples, and pears.
Advancing hand control
Pikes on his mat like he is getting ready to scoot
Sits well with just a little support
Stands strong
He is getting so smart and quick. And he makes us laugh out loud every day.
Cash is our big lover boy!
And we love him so much.

A Puerto Rican Way of Life

Cash and I arrived in Puerto Rico on Dec. 4. It was a long day of flying and we were so excited to see Daddy. Especially me. It had been three weeks since we parted. I don't know how single parents do it. I felt like I was going crazy without his help and support. I didn't realize how hard it would be without him. We love our Daddy!!! So happy to be here with him finally.

We live in Vega Baja, PR and Casey plays in Corozal which is about 30 mins inland. We live in a three bedroom condo on the third floor. Hate the stairs. We also have two floors inside our condo. By the time I walk from the car to our bedrooms, I have climbed six flight of stairs. Killer. Costco trips are murder. (But the bright side of that is we have Costco, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and lots of American stores/fast food.) Trying to carry baby et al with groceries is near impossible without Casey and lots of trips to and from the car.

Our condo has walking access to the beach. We also have two clubhouses with pools, jacuzzi, a gym, tennis courts, basketball courts, sand vball court, and playgrounds. It's pretty cool. Unlike Puerto Rico which is so very hot.

There is only A/C in the bedrooms. The bottom floor is so hot. We have fans but that only helps a little. We try to spend most of our time in our bedrooms so we don't melt. But tv, food, and jumperoo are all downstairs. Which means we are hot most of the time. I can't complain too much. It's December and we go to the pool or beach almost every day. Hard life.

Casey's team is in first place and doing really well. His teammates are really nice and his setter's family has invited us over for Christmas Eve. They are a great group of peolpe and always make sure to include us Americans in their parties.

We attend an English speaking ward and really like everyone we've met. My cousins, Zach and Katie, are in that ward so we already feel included. The conditions are looking pretty perfect so far. Casey is doing what he loves. I'm doing what I love (mothering a beautiful baby boy). And we live in paradise. Not too shabby.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Jumping Jehosaphat

I need to devote an entire post to this heaven sent toy/gym/playstation. My friend Jenn sent Cash a Fisher Price Jumperoo for my baby shower. I broke it out when he was about 4 months old. At first, he didn't really like it. He would just hang there and look at me. Sometimes the music and lights would get his attention and scare him. Then one day he figured out that he could touch the ground and move around. Slowly he figured out the jumping.

Now my friends, the Jumperoo is Cash's best friend. He sits there and jumps and jumps and jumps and smiles and laughs and then jumps some more. It's hilarious to watch. He starts getting into a toy and focusing on it for a while. Then I will come up and start talking to him and he starts smiling, laughing, and jumping all over again. It cracks Casey and I up. He seriously loves this thing so much.When we were packing up to go to Puerto Rico, I debated bringing the Jumperoo. Looked into shipping it even, but not worth it. After we got here, I realized how much I truly depended on the Jumperoo. It was my trusted babysitter while I cooked and did various things around the house.

So we did something I am not proud of, but we did it nonetheless. We borrowed one. It's a loaner. From Wal-Mart. :) Just don't tell Wal-Mart that.
Look how happy he is? Isn't it worth the crime of taking back a used toy in two months? I think so.

Can you hear the silver bells ringing?

My entire family went on the Polar Express in Heber, Utah the day after Thanksgiving. We bundled up, took pictures, dressed in pajamas, sang Christmas Carols, drank hot chocolate, read the original story of "The Polar Express", and got a visit from Santa Claus. The train was hot and slow, but on the whole it was a fun adventure. And I even heard the bell.

I was really excited to get Cash's picture with Santa. But it didn't go as planned. Santa was a little creepy. These were the best two pictures. Really.

A Brown Family Thanksgiving

While Casey was in Puerto Rico getting to know his team and settling in, Cash and I flew to Utah for two weeks. I love coming home.

Spending time with my Dad, family, and old friends. Seeing familiar faces. Visiting my favorite places. Eating to my hearts content. Staying up way too late reminiscing and playing games. Bundling up in warm clothes. Showing off my beautiful baby boy. Holidays. Utah has become my oldest and dearest friend whom I yearn to visit to share in her goodness.

Cash turned 5 months old while we were there. He are some things he loves:
  • blowing raspberries
  • laughing
  • screaming at random times and then gooing and laughing at the noise he created
  • flipping onto his belly at any chance
  • drooling and putting everything he can get his hands on directly into his mouth
  • not sleeping at night, and then sleeping like a champ during the day in his carseat
  • being tickled, although it still kind of surprises him and the laughter comes out in grunts
  • bouncing on the bed, he laughs so hard when I bounce him
  • jumping high and being thrown in the air
  • eating. There is a reason he's chubby, he loves eating. He tried his first rice cereal and banana's while we were in Utah. He made sour faces and gagged at first, but eventually warmed up to them. He loves sitting in the bumbo and eating.
  • sitting up like a big boy
  • staring at his cousins running around and playing
  • dogs. All of my sisters in Utah have dogs, so he had lots of chances to stare at these little hairy creatures.
  • christmas lights. He experienced his first Christmas tree at my Dad's house. I set it up while I was there. Christmas was my Mom's favorite time of year and I always looked forward to helping her set up the tree, lights, and decorations over Thanksgiving weekend. I missed her during the process, but it made me so happy to remember her and see my little baby enjoy it.
  • Grandpa Brown. I don't know why, but Grandpa is one of the only people he will stare at when he holds him. One of his favorite things to do right now is not look at the person who is holding him. It seems like he purposefully looks at whoever is not holding him and tries to avoid your attempts to get his attention. But when Grandpa Brown is holding him, he stares at him like he's trying to figure something out. Like maybe, why is this guy so old?
  • being good and cute. He is a really good baby. He doesn't cry much unless he's starving (don't come in between him and his food), overly tired, or woke up sooner than he wanted to. All of those things make me want to cry too! He is really pleasant, calm, and happy. Such a sweetheart. I can pretty much guarantee that every time I look at him and smile, he will smile back. How's that for generosity?

We had a huge Thanksgiving party in true Brown fashion. All of my 10 siblings were in attendance. We had way too much food and way too much fun. There was even a fight during dodge frisbee, classic Brown tradition. No one does Thanksgiving like our family.

The night hit a sour note for me when Cash threw up 4 times all over me. My siblings thought it would be funny to give him food, so he tried bread, butter, potatoes, yams, and gravy. I don't blame them, he looks bigger than he is, and he has a way of always looking at you like he is starving. Especially when you are eating, he sits there and smacks his mouth, licks his lips, and bats his big eyes at you. Hard not to offer whatever is in your hand. Fortunately, he threw it all up. We cleaned up and had a pretty good night after that.

I'm so grateful for a big family. We have a lot of fun together. My favorite memory from this Utah trip will be all of the quality time that Cash spent with my Dad. Just before we left, my Dad said, "I'm sure gonna miss this little boy. I have bonded to him so quickly. I'm gonna miss having him around." That made me really happy. I am so grateful that he is still here to enjoy my son.