Oh Disneyland! We haven't been since Joaquin was born, (a mere 5 months ago!) So we were all feeling a little Disney fever and had to get our fix! It's funny what they say about the second child. Before kids we'd say, "we're not going until they're 5 years old. It will be such a hassle and they won't appreciate it or even remember..." We held out taking Santi until he was 2 and a half. He LOVED it and talked about it long after his first magical visit. And here's Joaquin, my second child, visiting Disneyland at Five. Months. Old. Look at his face, he loved it. He won't remember, but I will.
I headed back to Vegas this week. This time with Abe and the boys. It was Joaquins first flight! He did great. Plus we flew a cool new airline out of Carlsbad called BizAir. It was awesome. It felt like flying private.
Santi passed his crib down to his brother, and earned himself a new big boy bed! I wanted something he wouldn't fall out of, lol! How cute is the "house bed?" as he refers to it
This was the moment that Santi met Joaquin for the first time!
He was so excited! He was waiting in the front yard with Coco and Papa. A balloon for baby and a flower for me. He kept chanting "baby brother, baby brother, baby brother!" Naturally, he also coughed in his face, which I think is toddler for, "nice to meet you."
Joaquin, (pronounced Wah-Keen)
A birth story.
Monday, April 6th, started out like any ordinary day. Santi and I left the house early and went to our mommy and me preschool class. By the end of class, around 11am, I mentioned to another mom that I thought I might be having contractions. We headed home for lunch. Abe and his friend were leaving as we arrived home. I mentioned to Abe that I felt a little crampy and was pretty sure I was in early labor. Not wanting to alarm anyone or get worked up over false labor I told them to go ahead and run their errands.
I paid close attention to the contractions for a few hours. They were inconsistent and weak. I was certain it was just Braxton Hicks. But by 3:30pm, things were picking up and I knew Joaquin was on his way. I sent a text to Abe's parents to head over so they could stay with Santi. When they arrived, we all went to dinner at Burger Lounge, which was tradition. My last meal before Santi was born, was also at Burger Lounge. After dinner, I gave Santi his bath, tucked him in bed and told him that Daddy and I were going to go to the hospital to get his baby brother. He was very excited to hear that the wait was over and that he would meet his baby brother soon.
I delivered at UCSD Hillcrest which is 30-40 minutes away from our house. On the drive, my contractions started getting more intense, closer together and down right scary! I kept thinking about all the conversations I've had recently with friends who have more than one child. Two of them shared their experience of barely getting to the hospital in time and how much faster the second baby arrives.
We arrived at 10:30pm. I didn't want an epidural right away, and i wasn't 5cm yet, so they wouldn't officially admit me. They set us up in a small standby room. I walked around as much as I could, but the contractions were SO PAINFUL I was afraid I was going to collapse. Abe was rubbing my back and doing everything he could to keep me comfortable. We were admitted at 12:30am.
I had the most amazing midwife coach me through contractions. She used a wave analogy to help me visualize the swell of the contraction. I used my breath to ride the wave and get back to a calm peaceful place.
My body is amazing. It's really good at growing babies and having uncomplicated births. Is labor painful and uncomfortable? Yes! Did I ask for an epidural? Yes!! The epidural was all set and in full glorious effect at 2:00am. Luckily, I was still able to feel everything I needed to feel and have control over my muscles. Pretty soon, the urge to push was undeniable. I used my breath, my power, my inner goddess, and encouragement from Abe and the midwife.
And just like that, with 5 solid pushes, Joaquin was born at 2:33am. Our world has gotten brighter, bigger and more full of love.
8lbs, 20.5inches. Full head of dark hair. Big round cheeks. Perfect in every way.
We spent the past few weeks in El Paso. My last flight before baby comes!
Santi had a great time with cousin Ricky. Their favorite thing to do is race each other and see who can scream the loudest. They are so cute together.
Playing with Ricky and Chadi at the playground.
Visiting Great Grandma Rosa.
Next time we go to EP, we'll be a family of four!
My parents treated Melissa and I to a special MNO (moms night out)! We got to see Paul McCartney at Petco Park! He's a true legend and a BEATLE! Hello, the greatest band of all time. Such a fabulous night.
I know, I know...we were just there! But Santi had the greatest time we wanted to squeeze in one more trip before his Fontan.
For years, Abe and I had annual passes to Disneyland. We live about an hour away from Anaheim, so we used to drive up for the evening, have dinner at downtown Disney, ride a few rides and head home. Short & sweet. So easy, nothing to pack. I probably didn't even carry a purse. I'd just bring my pass in my back pocket.
We would laugh at the parents dragging screaming toddlers and sleeping babies around the theme park, pushing loaded strollers and carrying diaper bags. We'd roll our eyes and say "we will NEVER come here with anyone who requires a stroller or frequent diaper changes!"
We'll guess what?
Sometimes "never" just means until we have our own adorable two and a half year old who we're sure will absolutely love Disneyland and be on his best behavior.
The real deciding factor in bringing Santi to Disneyland so young, is his looming surgery. He'll have his third open heart surgery in October. We want to fill him up with fun and adventures before he faces the traumatic experience of recovering from surgery and staying in the hospital for an extended period of time.
To be honest, Disneylanding with a toddler wasn't as bad as we imagined. In fact, it was SUPER FUN! We did it right. We had a beautiful suite at Grand Californian, 2 day park hopper passes and the helping hands of Coco and Papa.
We made the Best memories!
Santi loved seeing the fireworks (we could see them from our balcony!), which he calls "pop pops!" We surprised him with a huge lollipop! You should have seen the smile on his face when he saw that sucker! He was so thrilled to ride the rides. I think he liked Jungle Cruise the best.
Santi has a new cousin!
My sister Aubrey gave birth to her son Rogan Redd Hughes on Friday, August 29 at 4:01pm. He's simply perfect!
Blonde! And so beautiful
Mom and baby are both doing great!
Santi and I visited Abe at his latest mural project. He's doing the store front for Macbeth in Encinitas.
Can you imagine being two and having a building named after you?! How cool is that?! We made a special trip to EP so Santi could attend the grand opening.
Santi Dwellings is part of Montecillo in El Paso.
It was kids day at the baseball field. Santi had a blast with cousin Ricky.
Santiago experienced fireworks for the first time on the forth of July. He got to stay up later than usual and it was worth it to hear him say "WOW!!!"