Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sympathy Pains

With my due date less than 8 weeks away, I wanted to update you and review some of the pregnancy symptoms that we’ve been experiencing. “They say” that husbands often experience sympathy symptoms…whether it’s sympathy or not, here is a side-by-side comparison of the household that anxiously awaits my arrival:

Pregnancy symptoms:

Mom – hungry all the time.
Dad – wakes up at 4am with hunger pangs.

Mom – craves oranges.
Dad – craves Oreos…and tortellini…and pasta…and…

Mom – gained 25 lbs so far.
Dad – also putting on *some* lbs.

Mom – gets tired easily.
Dad – can be found going to bed at 8pm on many Friday and Saturday nights.

Daddy says we should wait to have my siblings because this pregnancy has been rough on him!

Mommy and Daddy started their Childbirth Prep class this week and, while it was helpful to start learning some breathing techniques for labor, Daddy didn’t feel too well when they showed a video with a birth scene. It’s a good thing Mommy told him when to cover his eyes (and to stay like that…I think she said “Do NOT look…do NOT look…”) otherwise he may have tossed his cookies right there in the classroom! I’m glad they’re learning about the day of my arrival, even if Daddy said Mommy should come to the class alone next time…

Some new developments:

I’ve had my first hiccups! At least the first ones that mommy could feel. I get them right after mommy eats lunch…maybe she should slow down a little when she eats. They’re cute, unlike mommy’s hiccups that are loud and obnoxious and sound like a desperate gasp for air every time (and can only be cured when daddy plugs her ears while she holds her nose and drinks a glass of water!)

Third trimester swelling is in full effect: Mommy is definitely feeling the “Cankles” at the end of the day. She has to put lotion on in the afternoons because it feels like her skin is being stretched tight. It’s not cute, but she’s working on putting her feet up when she gets home so that it goes down a little bit. Let’s just hope that Daddy’s ankles don’t start swelling, too!

Well, I’m off to my Aunt Shelley Rose’s wedding this weekend!

Until next time…

Baby G

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Hello soon-to-be friends and family!

I’m still cooking in Mommy’s belly, but I wanted to introduce myself anyway.

My name is Nicanor Gonzales IV. That’s right, the 4th! I will be carrying on the family name and will, no doubt, represent it as well as the three before me. Even though my Grampy and Daddy have the same name, I’m proud to carry on the family tradition. If you have a “Nick”-name for me, that’s fine, call me whatever you like…just don’t call me late to dinner ;). I should be making my grand entrance around March 2nd (or whenever I feel ready) so have some dinner ready! Well at least for Mommy. She gets really hungry! And I’ll just have some of hers.

I’ve been good to Mommy lately, even when I’m moving all around this dark home she’s got me in. She’s entertained by my kicks, twirls and swooshes – it even makes her stop whatever she’s doing (working, grocery shopping) just to feel or watch my movements from outside her belly. Sometimes she pushes back against my foot or arm when I’m just resting against the side…I think she just likes the reaction when I freak out and move even more.

Mommy’s been eating a LOT of oranges, which makes me happy and I do somersaults for her. I like them, but I hope it’s not too much sugar for her cuz there are quite a few temptations of sweets this time of year.

In our last Doctor’s appointment, Mommy got a star on her medical chart for not gaining too much weight. The Doctor was really happy with her, and it made her feel really good (she may have celebrated by having an Egg McMuffin on her way to work). The Doctor felt around Mommy’s tummy to see my exact position. Turns out Mommy was right – I’m head-down with my legs sticking up toward her right side…still below the ribs, but once in a while I give her a little taste of what I’m really capable of in the next couple months. We’re going to be seeing Doctor-man more frequently now that we are within 10 weeks of my arrival! Wow, time flies! I'll be here before you know it!

With 2 ½ months to go, Mommy and Daddy have been busy preparing my room. Mommy and Mimi painted the room a really pretty color and then Mimi did her magic and there’s a gorgeous, hand-painted Mimi creation…here are a few photos for you to see it:

Mommy made the curtains (with the help of Mimi and Nana picking out the fabric...she's not too confident when it comes to that stuff):

Then Daddy made all the furniture for my room. It’s all made just the way Mommy wanted it for me. Even though it didn’t quite fit the way they had pictured it, they made it work and it looks great! I'll have to show you those photos in my next post...

Hand-painted walls, hand-made furniture and hand-sewn curtains…I’m pretty excited about my room! And to meet all of you! That's all for now, but I'll be sure to update you as I grow and eventually join the outside world.

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Growth, New Discoveries

How wonderful to live in such a beautiful place and to be learning every day about the land and animals. I have so much to share, but it's hard to know where to start. I love having my phone (camera) on me at all times because there's always something new that I find, discover or see happening. Here are some pics and I'll explain what I mean:

One of Sam's favorite plants to stalk the wildlife that seek refuge inside:
It's hilarious, he does this repeated stutter-step as if preparing to pounce on whatever it is that he hears inside the bush:
Here he is in full search mode: whole head in the bush!

This is our afternoon walk up to the mountain...well Nick takes the dogs on this walk every afternoon, but I only get to come on the weekends, because it's dark out by the time I get home from work. So it's been really fun having a three-day weekend that I can enjoy so much daylight here!

Here's Sam: King of the Mountain...and the view of the house behind it from atop said mountainSammy coming down the mountain, with Nick in tow:
This one is from this morning's walk around the lower "pasture" area, I wanted to try and get a photo of the house from below, that's my morning cup of joe trying to block the sun for a pic:

Along my walk, one of the things we discover often around the property is old machinery which makes for a beautiful vignette photo:

One of the things I love most about the property (and the looming Spring-time in general) is seeing new growth. The property is FULL of new growth: roses, mystery plants, possible cherry or plum trees...
It's not only beautiful, it's exciting to see all that we inherit with this house! Here are Irises that popped up unexpectedly, but most welcomed, and the Indian Paintbrushes in the background (which may not be their official name, but it's the name we, Cambria kids, called them!)
New growth on a mystery bush just outside the Secret Garden where I planted sweet pea flowers and am hoping to see new growth there sometime soon!!

In other new growth news, we have new additions who love to eat everything, including new growth! Here are our goats!
These are "the girls," they're sisters (twins even) Janice and Princess:
Here's Carlos and the girls in their convenient but not permanent home...although they love it in there:

Carlos teaching Zona that there's so much more to life than playing fetch..."you could just stand here...and eat weeds..."
Sam getting in on the action:

Saturday morning we went out to a friend's ranch to see the new baby horse, he doesn't have a name yet, nor has he ever even been pet! He's 9 days old, all legs, knock-kneed and goofy, but oh so adorable!
His mom, Cha Cha, is very protective of her new little one:
He was kind of curious and wanted to come see us, but once we pet him he would startle and jump back...and then start all over again.

Here, they had to lock up the momma in order to handle the baby (they were whinnying back and forth...heartbreaking). They're "breaking his spirit" so that they'll be able to ride him when he gets older. It was hard to watch, but all part of the process, I guess. He controls the colt by wrapping one arm around it's neck and grabs its tail in the other.

Then they work together to put on his halter:

Ahh, new discoveries! It's an educational process out here. And I love every minute of it.

I leave you with my symbolism for God's new growth in us: I find so much joy in seeing the tiniest purple shining leaf on the rose bush or a new flower bloom on the (cherry) trees, just knowing that something is about to take off and blossom in full beauty. God must delight so greatly in any new growth he sees in us...just the slightest softening of the heart or smallest act of kindness must be what he loves to see, knowing that with a little nurturing and caring it will time.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Since we bought our property in December 2009 (that makes it sound like we've owned it for longer than we have...which is just over a month!), I've wanted to document the transformation that is surely to take place daily, weekly and over years of living here and share my thoughts and adventures with family, friends and my BFF. I tried thinking of other ways to do this, and found that a blog will quite possibly be the best way to keep a log and share it with others. I don't know if I'll be any good at it, but at the very least, I'll have a record of some of the things that go on here for future reference. There are constant changes and unending metaphors for life that I just can't let go undocumented.

I happen to be starting my first blog the weekend after a big storm, so I have especially beautiful photos to post and updates to note.

The past week has been nonstop rainy, windy, thunder and lightening, hailing and stormy. So, on our first day of sun we headed out to survey the damage...beautiful wreckage is more like it!

The patio set after the storm:Nick using the "antique" wheel barrow given to us by Joe Rea last weekend:
Part one of the creek photos...there are two creeks, this one flows at the base of "the mountain" and down toward the horse stable and out to the street:
Same creek, further up toward the mountain:
Shady Hollow Oak trees and green beauty from all the rain:
Creek on Shady Hollow was more of a river the last few days, but has returned to its creek-like nature:
Now, I'm not sure if this translated well in a photo, but this is the lone blooming rose on one of the rose bushes. If you look closely, you can see the petals have been, a critter did not come feast on the flower; no, I did not chop it up with scissors...this is the work of the wind and the plant's own thorns:

Here's the same rose last weekend:A rose just about to pop open and its friend behind, also waiting to show.

I constantly see metaphors for life during my day, but especially in the garden and around the ranch lately. Below are a couple pictures of an extremely thorny rose of a few that had toppled in the storm and needed a little reinforcing dirt to help them stand sturdier. You can see the large thorns easily, but the specks on the branches are also thorns and there are thorns on the leaves...making it extremely difficult (read: painful) to help this plant.

How alike God's creations, a rosebush has so many thorns that, even though I try to help it by maneuvering around it to add supporting soil for it's continued growth, it pokes me and stabs me making it almost impossible to actually succeed...eventually leading me to give up and hope that what I did would be enough for the days ahead. In families, friendships and life relationships, we come across those who need help, may even request or demand it, but yet, with each attempt they poke and stab those coming to their aid. How can anyone get close enough to them to help?? Eventually, you may need to walk away and hope that any advice or comfort you've given is enough.

Bottom line: How will anyone ever be able to help, support and repair you if you jab at them each time they reach in?

OK, that's all for now...I leave you with a pic of what I might look like while having my rose-revelation. This is me adding stabilizing dirt to the rosebushes that were toppling over:
Rain boots so I can slosh through all terrain, sweats and sweater because it's still quite crisp out, hat and sunglasses for protection, of course!

May God bless you and show you beauty in your day to day life!