Santi's first music festival! He had a great time watching his dad paint and exploring the festival with his cousin Ricky and BFF Chadi! These boys are TOO COOL!!
The El Paso Chihuahuas!
For Santi's latest trip, (His forth flight since he first started flying 2 months ago, if you're keeping track!) We took him to visit my grandparents in East Texas. They have a lovely farm, about 180+ acres, brimming with little boy adventures. There are tractors, motorcycles and a 4 wheeler with no brakes. Acres and acres of thick woods to stomp around in and several gardens which he plowed with his toy tractor.
Within 5 minutes of being on the farm Papa had Santi and I up in a tractor cruising the property. I was pretty sure Santi's head was going to explode with excitement. Santi started saying a new word after that, "Papa!" "Papa!" He fell in love with my Papa. They bonded instantly. Later in the week Papa took him on the riding lawn mower and fed him freshly picked wild berries.
I lived in Houston as a kid, a 4 hour drive from the farm and my mom would take us there for almost every school holiday and a few weeks every summer. It is such a special place for me. It is quite and calm, rich in nature and enchantment. Green and lush. Seeing Santi here, enjoying the company of grandmother and papa was simply beautiful.
Santi's cousin Ricky turned 1!!
All of these beautiful images were shot by Corey Villicana at the Oceanside Pier.
Taking Santi on his first flight is a HUGE deal for us. His cardiologists originally said he wouldn't be able to fly until after his third surgery. That date is still TBD. A few months ago we asked his cardiologist what he thought about Santi flying. His response was, "sure, why not!" Wait. What?! We sat on this idea for almost 6 months before we booked his first flight. To Las Vegas!
When the day came, we were nervous for his health. Would he maintain his blood oxygen saturation at 30,000ft? We were nervous to travel with a toddler. Would he have a tantrum on the plane? Would he scream for the duration of the flight?
Lucky for us, Santi did amazing. He loved flying. He loved Las Vegas. That city is made for toddlers. He was in awe of the lights and the larger than life decor in all the hotels.
Abe's family met us there, including our Nephew Ricky, who will be one in April. Santi is such a sweet big cousin. He loves his baby cousin.
Santi came to cheer me on at the 10/20 race in Del Mar. 10 miles, 20 bands, running with my bestie and greeted at the finish line by our husbands, sons & in laws...it was awesome!
There is a famous steakhouse just east of El Paso, called Cattlemans. The property surrounding the Restaurant is an actual ranch and small zoo. We took Santi last week and loved seeing all of the animals up close. He made friends with the bunnies, goats, longhorns, llamas, a donkey, peacocks and buffalo! So cool!
We had a lovely visit to the EP zoo with our great friends. Santi was more enamored by seeing the animals than ever before.
Santi attended his very first football game! To my dad's dismay it was not my alma mater, the Vista Panthers. It was the 80th annual Sun Bowl! UCLA vs VA Tech. UCLA killed VA 42-12! Go bruins!
The only thing better than being a kid at Christmas time, is watching your own kids on Christmas.
We had an awesome pre-Christmas celebration in San Diego with my family, before heading to El Paso. Santi wasn't too sure about tearing open wrapping paper, but it didn't take him too long to catch on!
Santi surprised us on Christmas morning with the sweet and unexpected gift of sleeping in until 9:30am! He's a great sleeper and all, but 9:30 breaks all of his previous records!
We spent the day at Abe's parents house with lots of family and friends. Santi had a wonderful day (besides skipping his nap!) and was given so many thoughtful gifts.
Just a few more days!
We started our day with a beach walk in Oceanside to see the Turkey Trotters cross the finish line.
We had a non-traditional vegetarian feast of homemade butternut squash soup, sweet and savory roasted veggie stuffing and a Julian apple pie. Yummy! Vegetarians can have fun on Turkey Day too!
Our lovely day ended with a jaunt through LegoLand, which was surprisingly empty. Santi loved running wild and checking out the decorations.
We had brunch with Santi's great grandmother, Rosa. Abe calls her "Crema."
Santi was Dracula! And look at his sweet cousin Ricky, he's a little owl! So cute!!
Abe's grandparents just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary!