Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Our Christmas Weekend

Usually we would drive down to Des Moines as soon as the semester is over but we decided to hold off this year since we have Gabriel (I can't even imagine spending 2 weeks out of town with a picky-sleeper toddler). Jaime and I were SOO excited to play Santa Clause and put presents under the tree Christmas Eve after Gabe went to bed! I even made homemade chocolate chip cookies, yum! We decided that since we have our own little family now that we would spend Christmas morning at our place and then drive down to see the grandparents. After church we drove to Jaime's parents in Des Moines for Christmas and Monday we spent with my parents. There was even time for a girl's day out!

Here are some pics documenting Gabriel's first Christmas as a mobile little man :)

 Coloring for the first time with daddy.
 So sleepy already
 A (failed) attempt at ginger bread houses

 Our dilapidated ginger houses
 Sliced my hand open with a pair of scissors (while opening the icing).
 Gabriel's bouncing turtle

 Grandmas Sandoval and Gabe
 Opening presents

 BAZINGA!!!! oh, I love that show
 We got Jessica some baby clothes
 CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!! Gabriel slept from 6:30pm - 8:15am without waking up once! First time EVER! awww :)
 And lucky me the past 2 nights he's only woken up at 5:30ish and is back to sleep in 20min!
 Very excited/emotional about my fancy mixer


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dead Week

In college, the week before final examinations are often known as "Dead Week." As my mom said, "What on earth is 'Dead Week?'" Technically, it's an unwritten but socially expected agreement between the professors and students that no additional homework will be assigned during the pre-final week so that students can focus on studying. In reality, I'm pretty sure it's because we'd rather be dead than suffering through sleepless nights, hours of: reading, highlighting, group projects, fighting with our printers, stress, and headaches.

On top of the "traditional" double-whammy of homework given at this time of semester, I also had to deal with having no babysitter- which means this past week my husband and I took turns skipping whichever of our classes were "least important" so that we could watch Gabriel. In my opinion, Dead Week started last Monday, not this upcoming Monday, and it was more like "A week in Dante's Inferno."

The good thing about Dead Week and finals? CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!

I highly doubt that students would enjoy a 3 week break as thoroughly if they weren't put through so much stress before the freedom.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Study Session

Just to give a little background- I am 21 years old and a full time student at Iowa State University, as is my husband. We have one beautiful son, Gabriel Zechariah Sandoval, who is 13 1/2 months. My husband and I go to school Monday through Friday he works and I don't (yet, I have an interview tomorrow). Our life can be kind of crazy and stressful but as my cousin Beth says, "I'm moving in with you guys; I'll sleep in the laundry room, your house is just so homey! There's so much love!"

My wonderful sister in-law has agreed to be a live in nanny and watches our son from 10:30am until about 3:00 or 4:30pm everyday except the weekend. This gives me a chance to do some homework before I get home and see my son. Well, hypothetically. Sometimes I forget my lunch and come home right after class at 1:30 and don't start homework until 8:00pm....anyways. My favorite thing to do is find a semi-secluded cubicle desk at the library and dig into my homework! Considering I get an average of 4 hours of sleep with and baby intermission halfway through, my homework usually puts me to sleep.

This is what a typical study session looks like for me:
 Reading (there's a lot of reading as a History major).
 Taking notes on my reading.
 Going insane due to exhaustion.
Passing out on my books.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't take back anything. But having a toddler while in college definitely makes it more interesting (and by interesting I mean intense & difficult). Sometimes I hear other students complaining that they're so tired because they had to stay up until 5:00am studying last night- well maybe if you didn't procrastinate by going out to the bars, partying, or goofing off playing video games all weekend and actually focused on your school work you wouldn't have to do all the studying in one night! It just frustrates me that they actually have the time to focus more energy on studies and still have free time and they waste it (at least it's wasteful in my opinion to party or play video games).

When I have "free time" after I put Gabriel to bed I still have to do homework, make dinner, clean the house, and find time for my husband. Sometimes I wish I could just relax and watch TV with my hubby or read my Kindle.

But don't think I regret having my son a little earlier than planned :) I'm just ranting because I'm tired of hearing people complain and just tired in general. Having my son while in college makes me appreciate the little moments even more. Like when I bring him into the room to wake up my husband in the morning and the two of them lay in bed cuddling - would I even notice how precious that moment was if things weren't so hectic? If I always had time to relax after the house was clean and Gabe was in bed, would I be so thankful for it?

Anyways, even though my free time consist of studying and cleaning I wouldn't trade it for the world. My family may demand a lot of attention from me, but they are worth it and are my motivation to finish college strong. Thanks for listening to me rant :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

We got a new kitten!

My husband and I have been thinking about getting a pet ever for over 2 years now. Things kept hindering us: college, living in non-petfriendly apartments, money, etc. Well, we seriously started considering it last week and visited the Ames Animal Shelter. We had decided that a cat would be best since we live in an apartment and it would be inside most of the time. Sadly, we did not fall in love with any of the cats at the Animal Shelter and were planning on visiting the ARL in Des Moines. However, a girl in Jaime's class said her cat had a litter of kittens about 6 weeks old and she still had 2 that she needed to find a home for. Of course we found time to visit her last night and just fell in love with the little girl kitten!

This will be mine and Gabriel's first ever time having a kitten! We are so excited! After thinking of countless names we finally decided on Lavender (my husband's idea). He said it and BAM! it fit her perfectly. Here are some pics of her first night home and this morning.

 Playing in the laundry basket.
 Zooming in and out of daddy's legs.
 Sleeping on my pillow :)
 Cuddling with mama.

 Gabriel chasing her this morning.
 Gabriel looking for Lavender.

 Lavender playing with my hair.

 Yawning is so cute!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lost Again

So I think I loose my camera every other day. I've been meaning to blog since Friday but couldn't upload the new pics to my computer for the blog...and I don't like blogging without pics unless I have no other choice.

And finally, here is the post!

My cousin turned 22 last Thursday and my husband and I decided to throw her a little surprise party, and when I say little I mean little. It was just going to be Beth, her little sis Aubrey, my husband, sis-in-law, and myself. However, we had an unexpected but pleasant surprise guest, my father-in-law. I guess he was lonely in Des Moines so he drove all the way to Ames to pick Jessica up a day early. husband made an amazing lemon-garlic chicken (which he had killed and plucked this summer) and I made homemade chocolate chip cookies! It's been forever since I made homemade cookies and they are my FAVORITE thing to bake, it felt so amazing!!! And my husband worked so hard on his chicken which tasted amazing! It was a great night, we put Gabe to bed at 7pm, chatted over dinner and hot chocolate, and watched Despicable Me. Ooh and I put little bundles of balloons all around our living room so it actually looked like a party :)

Unfortunately, I was so caught up in chatting with everyone I forgot to take pics until the end :(

My amazing cousins doing the dishes so I wouldn't be up all night doing them.

What was left of the beautiful cookie cake I made for Beth.

My husband enjoying the chance to watch TV.

Hehe, caught Beth in the act of talking.

Friday night was even more amazing because I had spent that whole week studying for two test that I had on Thursday and Friday. It felt great to be able to breath and not have a bazillion hours of studying to do! Of course I still had readings for my Classical studies, Western Civ. and Sociology courses but it was Friday! I'm sure I will pay for the slacking this week but at least I got to spend time with my bestie :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Little Tigger

I'm a little late posting this, but two weekends ago we went to Night Eyes at the Blank Park Zoo with Grandma and Grandpa Sandoval. It was Gabriel's first "trick-or-treating" experience!

Being cute is what Tiggers do best!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Reading to Baby

I LOVE reading, and I want my son to share this love of books. I want my son to have a good vocabulary, be successful in school, learn about other cultures, science, fairy tales, etc, and I want him to share this love with his future children. Reading leads to so many opportunities in life and I am going to do my best to give my son a boost. This is a link I found that does a great job explaining to parents why it's important to read to their babies (from just a few weeks to a few years old). 

Besides all of the developmental benefits, I want my son to have the fond memories that I have of my mom reading to me and to my youngest brother. She read to him EVERY night from the time he came home from the hospital. My brother is 11 and still reads before bed every night and excitedly tells my mom about his stories the next day. So please, read to your baby. Read to him to create fond memories for yourself and your child, and read to improve his future.