Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas, Christmas Time is Here ...

Christmas is always so much more entertaining with a baby in house! I have no idea what we did for holiday entertainment before Christian came along.

Christian enjoyed his presents, but they all paled in comparison to his stereo obsession. He loves to push all the buttons on the stereo and look at the lights. So ... really ... Mommy opened his presents and called him over to take a look.

He was particularly intrigued with an Elmo blanket that he got from his Cousin Rebecca. Christian loves Elmo. He stared at the blanket, reached for it, made cute high-pitched cooing noises at it.

We invited Liz and Terrill over for Christmas dinner. Jonathan did all the cooking and made mighty fine meal of spiral-cut ham, sweet potato casserole, procuitto-wrapped asparagus and biscuits. Yum!!

And for those of you wondering what kind of weather Phoenix gets for Christmas: it was a bit chilly and very rainy. "A bit chilly?" you ask. Yes, it was in the 50s. In looking at the nationwide weather map, it was pretty darn tootin' balmy here! :)

The evening ended with a $5.00 bet between Jonathan and me on who would win the Seinfeld Edition of Scene It. I won ... by a landslide. :)

All-in-all, a nice Christmas for the Lucero family. But I sure did miss being home in New Mexico!

Enjoy some videos of Christian! :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

T'was the Night Before Christmas ...

... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a scorpion.

What? A scorpion? Yep, we have scorpions out here ... but none are stirring. Thankfully!

Our day started with a grocery trip to Walmart. Usually not recommended on Christmas Eve, but everything was fine.
I tried to make biscochitos, but learned that there is a difference between "star anise" and "anise seed." I got star anise, and the receipe called for anise seed. So I crushed up the star anise in the VitaMix and did my best.

We weren't going to put up any Christmas decorations ... we've just been too busy. But I decided that wasn't going to do, so I found one of those rosemary Christmas trees at Lowe's and I put out luminarias last night.

I certainly miss a New Mexico Christmas with luminarias everywhere and snow (or at least realistic hopes of snow). Back in NM, there are luminarias everywhere ... houses, office buildings, strip malls, etc. But out here, I have only seen one home with luminarias. So I decded it was time to bring some NM tradition to our neighbhorhood.

We went to a nearby church for Christmas Eve services. We sat in the last row, just in case Christian got restless (which is inevitable these days). And once he got restless, we put him down and let him crawl around in the back. Jonathan stayed with him ... so he didn't hear much of the message. And I was distracted by wondering what my two men were doing that I didn't hear much of the message. Oh well ... we tried.

We got home, lit the luminarias and let Christian open one gift (a tradition in my family ... see the video below). After that, it was bathtime and bedtime for Christian.

Poor Bella hurt herself while I was taking this video. You can hear her yelp in the background.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Familiar Face in Old Photos

People often comment about how much Christian looks like Jonathan. To be honest, I don't see it. To me, Christian just looks like himself.

However, I have seen the light! Here are a couple of pictures of Jonathan as a child, and wow ... sure looks a lot like Christian!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures!

We piled into the car and drove across The Valley (aka metro Phoenix) to Gilbert for a Thanksgiving meal prepared by our Uncle Philip and Aunt Lise. Until that drive, I hadn't realized just how far out we live. It took us about an hour and a half to make our one-way journey ... wow! I jokingly tell people that we live so far west of Phoenix that we're practically in California. I now see that isn't too much of an exaggeration.

Many thanks to Philip and Lise for inviting us over. I was able to get away with not making Thanksgiving dinner yet once again! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And below is how tiny Christian was last Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to Bella!

Those of you who know us well, know that we absolutely love our dog, Bella! Bella has just turned four years old ... awww! And despite her "mature age" (for a dog), she still acts like an energetic lil' puppy.

In years past, we've given Bella a special doggy cake. But this year, we don't live near a doggy bakery, so we couldn't give her a real cake.

Here is the video of Bella and her "cake," and Christian deciding he wants some, too! We are so thankful that Bella isn't possessive over her food. There have been several times that Christian has grabbed food from Bella's bowl while she's eating (despite our best efforts to keep him away every time), and she does nothing about it ... she just keeps eating.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Monday Chuckle

This sign always makes me chuckle when I see it ... and we finally had the camera in the car at the right time. Surprise is a city in the Phoenix area. And the prision and zoo ... well, there is a prison and a zoo down the way.

This photo was taken yesterday on our way to check out some model homes in the community we want to move to in late 2009 (which is coming up quickly!). I love going through model homes! Jonathan starts off enthusiastic, but quickly gets worn out. And Christian ensures our trips through the houses are quick. He has his limits.

We went to two different builders and walked through six homes ... and found a couple that would work for us. There are many more builders to visit in that community, but we need to space our trips out so that Jonathan doesn't get completely burned out. Maybe I can convince him to visit one more homebuilder this holiday weekend - esp. since he gets FIVE days off. :) And if I promise him coffee and a Chipotle burrito ... and Cold Stone Creamery. He can be bribed with coffee and food. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How do YOU spend a November day?

Do you spend a November day bundled up in a coat raking leaves outside?

Do you spend a November day inside because its just too cold to be outside?

We remember those days (especially November temps in the teens - or colder - in Santa Fe). They are but a mere memory, though. Here in the Phoenix area, the temps have been in the mid 80s!

On Saturday, we went in search of a farmer's market in a nearby community. Turns out the farmer's market was on a lakeshore! We arrived to blue water, grass and palm trees ... it was like walking into somebody's vacation!

We walked around and enjoyed the sun and warm breezes. Afterwards, we took a drive to the community we hope to move to next year and had some lunch ... and then looked at some model homes. It was a mighty fine day!

Click on this last photo!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Off to Switzerland!

No, no ... not the Luceros. We're staying put (well, except for Jonathan, who is in North Carolina this week for training).

My sister Liz is off to Geneva tomorrow for ten days (where she'll see the sight to the right)! And so now she can add Switzerland to her list of international travels, which already includes India and China.

Liz is pursuing an MBA in Global Management at the Thunderbird School of Global Managment. And its A LOT of work. I had no idea MBA programs were so intense until I started hearing the details of her program.

Like most MBA programs, the students also work full time in their real-life careers. So Liz is working full time and spending most of her free time in class, or studying, or writing papers, etc. She's busy, busy, busy. So this trip to Geneva is for her MBA program. Later in the program, she'll also be going to Dubai and somewhere in South America.

We are very impressed with Liz's ambition and drive! She works for an engineering firm and is a project manager with a Professional Engineer License. She was the first woman at her firm to be a project manager and have P.E. license. As I recall, she was also the youngest project manager at the time.

And somehow, Liz still finds time to visit with us (good thing we moved close to her!). Christian and I had dinner with her just last night. So, Christian gets to see his Auntie Liz a lot!

Liz has joined us in the world of blogging! You can check out her blog by looking at the list of blogs we have on the right side of our blog - Un Cafecito Por Favor or by going to She plans to update the blog while traveling in Geneva.

Liz, we wish you happy travels and a wonderful time in Geneva! We look forward to reading updates on your blog and seeing the photos you'll be taking with your cool new SLR camera!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christian's First Birthday Party!

Christian's Turns One!

On November 2, Christian turned one! Aw, we just can't believe our lil' guy is growing up so quickly!

On his birthday, we had a party for the family. Jonathan's Uncle Philip, and his wife ... along with Jonathan's cousing Amy and her family live in the the Phoenix east valley, and we'd been wanting to have them over, so Christian's birthday provided the perfect opportunity for a gathering.

We'd like to thank our party guests for coming over, and also thank everybody who sent cards, gifts, sent e-mails and called us for Christian's special day. Wow! We weren't expecting such an outpouring ... thanks!! And a special thanks to Auntie Liz for making Christian's Elmo cake!

Granny sings Happy Birthday to Christian!

Everybody sings Happy Birthday to Christian

Here's how Christian is doing nowadays:

  • He's really interested in things he can move, such as doors, drawers and cabinet drawers. If we don't remember to close a door somewhere, he's sure to find it and close himself up inside. The other day, I knew he was playing down the hall (the upstairs is as childproof as I can make it, so I let him go exploring). All was well, but then I heard a cry in the distance. I bolted up to go find my baby ... but I couldn't determine where he was. He had shut himself in a dark closet ... the poor kid!
  • He's fascinated with windows. We have a couple that he can stand up and look out from, so I crack the window open a bit so he gets a nice breeze.
  • He still loves his books! Most toys get cast aside in favor of the books. He loves turning the pages and gazing at the various pages. And he even has the ability to correct a book that has been given to him upside down. He immediately turns it right side up. He'll even do it to books he's unfamiliar with. Its pretty amazing!
  • He's become a rather picky eater much of the time, and so that's been a challenge for us. We try to be very selective about what he eats ... his birthday cake was the first dose of sugar he's had ... and taking a bite made him gag a bit. We don't give him juice ... just water, and now milk. Jonathan enjoys making new creations for Christian using our new VitaMix. The latest creation is a mixture of grass fed beef, peas, carrots, spinach and rice (all organic). We freeze it in ice cube trays and just have to heat it up at meal time. Its pretty darn tootin' tasty, and Christian can't get enough.
  • He's not talking or walking just yet. He used to babble a lot in his earlier months, but he stopped for a long time and is starting to pick it up again. But he does have comprehension. If I say, "Christian, where's daddy?" He looks for Jonathan. If I say, "Christian, where's Bella?" He looks right towards Bella. We think the move in August may have impacted his progress with walking and talking - it was a stressful time for all of us. But that's okay ... he'll do both when he's ready. He "cruises" right now and can quickly get himself from point A to point B.
  • He gets a giggle out of most things these days. I hear this all day "heh heh." He's so silly!
  • He has six teeth now ... two on top, four on the bottom. And he's got lots and lots of hair ... it straight in the front (and impossible to keep combed), and little curls for on the back of his head throughout the day.
  • His eye color is still a bit of a mystery. They are definitely not brown like Jonathan's; definitely not blue like mine. But sometimes the look gray, sometimes they look light brown, other times they look deep blue. Depends on the light and what he's wearing. I think Christian got his Uncle Eldon's eyes, which also change color.

Christian has developed some interesting play skills.

  • In his tub, we have foam letters that stick to the wall when wet. Some of these letters are in his play area, and he tries to stick them on everything: the wall, furniture, mommy (ha ha!). Since they are dry, they don't stick, but its interesting to see the connection he makes. He knows they're supposed to stick.
  • And he also gets a kick out of placing those letters, or blocks, up high on a shelf ... waiting a moment, and then taking them down.
  • And with his blocks, he likes to ever-so-gently stack them together. Its so cute to watch, as he tries to be very precise with the placement.
  • And lastly, he has a little "farm" that has all sorts of things to spin, twirl, push, etc. He's had this toy for several months and has figured out how to work all the features, except for one. Its a large button that gets pushed down and something rotates and plays a song. He's been manually rotating that thingy, but yesterday was trying to show him that the button will rotate it, too. He watched me push on it, and then he'd touch the button ... but not understand that he needed to push it. After we went back and forth for a few minutes, he finally grabbed my hand and put it on the button. So he made the connection that mommy's hand can make it move. So its little stuff like that that its neat to see.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Biblical Perspective on This Week's Election

I've been tempted to post a political comment or two from time-to-time, but have never done so because #1, I have no idea what I'm talking about and #2, I don't want to get people all riled up.

You may have seen that one of the blogs I have listed on the right side is that of Levi Lusko (
:: better fresh than frozen ::). Levi is a young pastor who has planted a thriving church in Montana. He used to be an assistant pastor at the church where Jonathan and I were married, Calvary Albuquerque. And I've followed him online ever since.

I really like Levi ... he's young and hip and loves the Lord with all his heart. And he tells it like it is. He has posted a Biblical perspective about the elections. And regardless of who you voted for on Tuesday, and regardless of your feelings about our president elect (good, bad or somewhere in between), I invite you to take a few moments to read Levi's post:

Remember: God is in control.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Christian's First Halloween

There goes Mommy and her camera ... again!

Hello, are you new here? My name is Christian ... what's yours?

Cool leather jacket, Mommy!

Daddy says I'm a "Greaser." This is his costume choice for me.
Mommy's costume for me was Superman (scroll down the page to see that picture).

I'm still happy sitting here ...

Mommy, enough is enough! I'm hot, tired and cranky!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yay! A fun game!

Christian and Daddy invented a new game tonite. We just LOVE his contageous laugh!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Superman and The Pumpkin Patch

You never know when Superman will show up and save the day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Remembering Last October

As I sat here looking at the calendar, just a few days before my sweet baby's first birthday, I was thinking back to those last few days before becoming a mommy.

A year ago, we were filled with excitement and the unknown of what was going to happen. When would I go into labor? How long would it last, and how painful would it really be.

Christian was due on 11/9, but two weeks before that date an ultrasound showed that the baby was already 10 pounds and with two more weeks to go, the Dr. decided we'd have a C-section on 11/2.

A year ago, I was so incredibly uncomfortable. As you can see in the photo below (which I vowed I'd never make public, but after a year, I'm less sensitive about it), I was ENORMOUS! It was painful to lay in bed, so I was sleeping on the couch - and not very comfortably. I was getting weird cramps from time-to-time, which later learned were mild contractions. And I felt as though my pelvic bone was going to rip apart.

A year ago, our thoughts were consumed with "everything baby": do we have enough clothes? Enough stuff for mommy? Is everything clean enough? How will Bella do? Who will be here when the baby is born? and on and on and on.

And it was about this time a year ago that there was a full moon. We had been told that full moons tend to trigger labor in very pregnant women. So I found out exactly what time the moon would be the fullest that night, and made sure I was all packed and ready to go. What happened? Not a thing. Ha ha ha!

Good times, good times.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Here's What Happens When Daddy Brings His Work Home ...

Radioactive Decay!

Just kidding ... :) I gave Christian some "green smoothie" to try.
Dear PETA: No humans or animals were harmed in the taking of this photo.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Arizona State Fair

Yesterday was fair day! We loaded Christian in the car, picked up Liz and all headed to "the greatest show on earth." It seems the biggest excitement for Christian was Daddy's peanut-dipped caramel apple. But babies can't have peanuts, so he could look, but not touch or taste.

After having gone to the New Mexico State Fair, I was a bit disappointed in the Arizona fair. For being in the heart of a huge metro area, it was small and kind of disorganized.

We did find some unique food ... which is sometimes hard in the world of fair food. I ate fried macaroni and cheese, and fried artichoke hearts. Both were mighty tasty and I highly recommend trying some if you ever come across it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Christian's Baby Signs Class

We enrolled Christian in a Baby Signs class so we could all learn to communicate using sign language until Christian starts to talk. We were sold at the demo class the moment our instructor's daughter, Briley, started signing to her mom that she wanted some cereal. It was amazing!

The class is 45 minutes and involves singing, a parachute activity, story time, snacks ... and everything involves learning a variety of signs. The kiddos are all younger, and easily distracted (including Christian who several times decided he'd rather crawl off and explore his new world than sit down and participate - and that is fine).

Its fun to see Christian interact with the other kids, and we get to learn the signs and spend the week in between classes trying to incorporate them into our conversations.

Here are some absolutely adorable pics of Christian ... and some with his new friend, Briley.