Friday, July 31, 2009

Safe Travels Rafa!!!!

Primo Rafa leaves Georgia tomorrow for Iraq.  His countdown ticker is now set and we'll be anxiously awaiting news from over yonder!  Good luck Rafa.  Stay safe and let us know if there are hard to come by amenities that we can send you such as bubble gum, burlap socks, flea collars or anything else.  Please send me your address as soon as possible so that we can at least send you a letter now and then.

We love you!

Lots of love,
Titi and Rafaelito, your tocayo

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Analysts sought

Some years back I read a book about "the 24 hour mind."  The premise was that since it's your brain that creates all the strange stuff that you dream about, why not get to know your dreaming brain a little better.  One of the suggestions they give for remembering your dreams is to drink lots of water before going to bed so that you're more likely to wake up during the night and remember your dreams.  And now I offer up an even better plan... sleep with a cranky, teething baby!  

Last night I was fortunate enough to be woken up at least 4 times and each time I was yanked from a bizarre dream.  I won't go into too much detail, but will just give enough so that maybe someone can help me analyze what the hell was happening inside my brain last night:

1. I was going on a date with my cousin Rafa... that seemed really strange since he's my cousin and happily married to Vivi, but it is what it is... I was annoyed because Rafa did not seem to want to be on this date with me.  Then he let me in on the reason for the date.  We were under cover to find the secret code!!!  

2. While at the mall, I heard Radar crying in the bed and was again annoyed because my babysitter, John Cusack, had left Radar in the bed unsupervised.  

3. Rafa responded by making me do push-ups even though my shoulder was injured.  

4. It turned out that John Cusack actually had the secret code (and I knew this because Lali told me when she pulled me behind the truck to whisper it to me).  

5. Just as I was cracking the code, Radar started crying again... 

...but this time he was really crying and had woken me up from this anxiety inducing dream that I don't understand.  I won't go into the other dreams as I only remember snippets of the others, but suffice to say they were all equally strange.  

Any analysts want to give this one a try?

Now, for some fun... Guess who's back, and guess who is doing guess what?

Two weeks ago while on vacation, Radar did his first combat crawl (dragging himself forward on his belly).  In two weeks, this is how far he's come.  I am in BIG trouble now!!!

Lots of love, 
Titi and Radar

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A playpen for two

It seems that the one who really needs to recover from vacation is old mommy and not young Radar. I got home yesterday at 6pm and although I desperately needed a nap, Radar would have nothing of it. He moves too much now to nap with him in bed or on the couch (unless he's conked out which he most definitely was not last evening.) So instead, I crawled into the new playpen for two, where I could recline while Radar continued to work on all his noise-making toys. Less than 10 minutes after shooting this picture, mommy was out cold and I don't know when, but at some point, the little one snuggled up next to me and there we stayed until I moved the operations up to bed at around midnight!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - Here's just a quick shout out to whatever genius thought up this idea... it's a little mesh bag with a handle. I put frozen fruit pieces inside and Radar sucks on it for 15 minutes like a Popsicle... it feels good on his gums, is healthy and teaches him to feed himself in a not so messy way!!! GENIUS, I tell you!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Return to the regular routine - I think not!

It wasn't a perfect routine, but there was a semblance of a routine in our lives that looked something like this:

6pm - mommy returns home from work
7pm - bathtime for Radar
7:30 - 8pm - bedtime for Radar
6:30am-ish - uppy time for Radar
8:30am - mommy heads off to work

Then came two weeks of what we'll call "routinus disruptus" (aka vacation), where Radar was dragged out of bed at 4:30am to travel on airplanes, cars and junky old trucks, waking up in a different place most mornings. Then yesterday I get home and expect Radar to slip right back into his routine so that I could hit the sack at 8pm... It is now 9:40pm and I'm exhausted from a nearly 2 hour battle with an impossible to please or console infant nearing toddler boy. He has finally collapsed, but I'll have to keep this pretty short since I'm burned out.

I guess the best way then to tell a little more of the story of our trip is to do it with more pictures and fewer words. So here goes.

We got to see our dear friend, Aunt Lori of Maine.
She knitted this gorgeous sweater for Radar.
It's the most beautiful thing he owns.
He seems pleased with it.

But not nearly as pleased as he is with the crinkly, silver paper wrapping.

Tia Andrea, my dear friend who also lost a son to trisomy 18.
My Pennsylvania soul sister.
She opened her home and arms to us after two long days of driving.
She is undoubtedly Radar's new crush!

Felipe Pazos, my smart, funny and engaging 11 year old nephew (Rafa & Vivi's son).
A rule breaker (87.75 points and counting).
With my magic camera I was able to capture the devil behind the eyes!

Editting tricks on Marco and Xavier.
What do you do when the subjects are great, but the backgroud is ugly?
Smudge it!!

We loved seeing all of you and can't wait to see you again... remember that our home is always open to any and all of you. Thanks for making our two week vacation a super memorable one once again!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Truck for sale - $25 obo

Well, here we are back in the nest! When the taxi dropped us off and I opened the front door, Radar's eyes lit up and he beamed one of those famous Radar Love smiles!! I think it's safe to say that my super traveling companion is exceedingly happy to be back home.

Now it seems that I've got a little catch up work to do. Let's start with a glaring, nearly unforgivable omission of some three days ago. On this, the second Radar World Tour, Radar had the chance to visit with all of his first uncles and his only first aunt. I say “first” because Radar's extended family of what we call Tios and Tias is massive and includes my aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and sometimes an occasional stranger... but as for the “textbook” definition of aunts and uncles, he has 3 uncles and only 1 aunt. And while all of Radar's uncles have received a happy birthday mention on this blog on their birthdays, July 23rd passed and not a peep was heard about Radar's only and excellent Tia Lali silently slipping past the 25 year mark.

To this, we can only say... “my bad!” Lali, you are the world's greatest Tia and sister, and we love you to Jupiter and back. We are sending you many super sloppy kisses. Happy big 25!!!

One other mention I'd like to slip in here before moving onto the title subject, is my primo Rafa. As you can see from the sidebar, primo Antonio is nearing his 3 month mark over in Iraq. Yesterday Rafa made his way to Fort Benning, GA for one week before he also ships off to Iraq next Saturday. We are so happy that we got to see you before you left Rafa... I am as proud as ever that my perfect son carries the name of my perfect cousin!!! Good luck in Iraq... stay safe and stay in touch. We love you!!

As soon as I have Rafa's address I'll post a link. Even though he insists he doesn't need anything, I'll bet he wouldn't poo-poo an occasional letter and chewing gum from family.

And finally, let's talk about that obstacle that I mentioned in the last post. Without going into too much detail, part of our plans for our just wrapped up trip had been to rent a one way minivan from Maine to Philadelphia to move a few pieces of furniture from my grandmother's house to Tio Javier's place. Before the trip, I had done a little bit of surfing and hadn't been able to find a one way rental, but I figured it would all work out once we got there.

Fast forward to the there... we arrived in Maine late on Sunday afternoon after hitching a ride from Boston with cousin Magee (aka Aunt Magee to Radar) and first thing Monday morning, I started calling every rental car agency. No one way minivan rentals. So I called U-Haul and Budget. The only one way rental they offered was a 10 foot moving truck which had two bucket seats in the cab... not enough room for two adults and a baby seat. Ok, how about hiring a moving company to take the few pieces of furniture and just renting a car? Two problems... the movers charge $1,200 and no rental car agency even offered a one way car to Philadelphia.

Say hi to Aunt Magee

Crap! That same morning my mom had an appointment at the bank, so Magee took me to a wi-fi spot where I could start searching for solutions. Last minute airline tickets to Philly were bookoo bucks. We could do a one way rental car as far as Boston, then change over to a train or plane... not tempting with luggage and a baby in tow, not to mention that every option I found ran upwards of a thousand bucks. I left not knowing what to do when I noticed an auto repair shop across the street with a few cars for sale on the lot. There was an old Caddy on sale for $1,895. We pulled in and I asked the guy if he thought the Caddy would get me to Philly... he scratched his head and said, “Yeah. It should.” I asked what he'd take for the car and he said $1,500.

Bingo!!! If I could get a Caddy for $1,500, imagine what I could get for under $1,000!!! So we got a newspaper and there in the classifieds, in fine black print were the magic words... “1996 Ford F-150 with fiberglass bed cover. Asking $950.”

I called for directions and a half hour later, there he was. I took him for a 2 minute test drive and asked the key question, “will he get me to Philly?” The owner, Dwayne, instilled enormous confidence in me with his answer, “I think so,” so I offered $850 and we were the proud new owners of Dwayne (after his previous owner), the Ford F-150 with 235,000 miles, no emergency brake, door locks or spare tire, a leak in the gas tank and a hood that doesn't open, that got us safely to Philadelphia where he sits outside Tio Javier's place waiting for a new owner.

Thank you Dwayne!!!

Lots of love,

Titi and Radar

PS - More about this guy and all of his adventures tomorrow!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Can you hear me now? How about now?

Wow!!! You can hear me... I must be back in the 21st century! Just like the sailors who spend months at sea, then kiss the ground when they reach shore, I feel like kissing the magic wi-fi beams that are zooming around the air that are putting me back in touch with the world (that's how I explain wireless technology).

I am so sorry to keep you all waiting for so long... this is the longest hiatus that Radar Love has ever taken since its star made his debut. But it couldn't be helped. Between visiting black holes where internets and mobular phones dare not go, to running into a major obstacle, to resolving said major obstacle, to driving for two full days... well, I just never had the chance. And the chaos isn't quite over. Today is another driving day (Philadelphia to Charlottesville) to a 40th birthday party and then tomorrow morning we'll be on a plane to home sweet home.

So for today, I'll just give this short shout out to let you know that Superman is just fine....

... and our travels have been adventurous...

... but we've missed all of our blog friends (although we have met up with a number along the way and we'll tell you about that starting tomorrow).

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What vacations are all about

Vacations are all about losing track of time... and it seems that's what I've done. Although presently I am keenly aware that it is 4am and that both Radar and my mom are snoring in their respective beds while I am up pumping and blogging, I have sort of lost track of the days. How else can we explain me not blogging for two consecutive days of the RWT II? We have been back to New York, onto Boston, to two different hotels, to museums, visiting with friends and family, to a fabulous tapas restaurant (drinking fabulous Spanish wine), and enjoying ourselves to the point of exhaustion.

And to make matters worse, later this morning we'll be heading up to the real boonies in Maine where the internets and the mobular telephones don't work! Mom has promised to let me sneak off to a nearby internet cafe periodically so that I can get my fix and maybe even post a little something here.

But for now I'll just post a couple of pics from these last couple of days.

playing with food and feet at our first hotel in Boston...

playing with Grammy at our second hotel
(the first was overbooked for night 2, so we had to move)...

snacking and posing on Boston Harbor outside the Institute of Contemporary Art
(after visiting a very cool exhibit of works by Shepard Fairey (think Obama poster))...

... tapas with Toti sporting a fabulous handbag from gay Paris!!
(that Lali gave me and that Toti was made to carry since it matched his shirt)

... and the whole gang... (clockwise starting with the guy in yellow are Doug, Toti, Moi, You know who, mom, Casilda (my godmother) and Ricardo ("The Godfather!"))

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - Marco had asked for some pics of Felipe and Vivi with Radar... sadly, I have only this picture to share. Although Felipe looks uber cute, the two Vivi's are crowded out by one of Rafa's very typical power plays to grab the spotlight! He's so vane... he probably thinks this picture's about him... he's so vane!!!

(either that or it might have something to do with putting a pretty pickled Tia Lali in charge of the photo set-up!)

PSS - And finally we have what we like to call "a pug in every port." Meet Tio, Toti and Doug's pug.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

El tocayo

What's this?

Need a bit more information? Well, here's the story in pictures.

First I dressed Radar in a new outfit that a certain someone brought him from a certain somewhere.

Mommy: "Radar, can you smile for the camera?"

Mommy: "What a beautiful picture sweetie... let mommy give you a kiss."

Radar: "Mommy!!! Get away... I'm doing a photo session!!!"

Mommy: "Ok then, on with the photo shoot. Why don't you sit with your Tio... after all, you are his tocayo!"

Radar: "Tio, what's a tocayo?"

Tio: "Well, that's when you share the same name as someone else."

Radar: "And why did mommy say that I'm your tocayo?"

Tio: "That's because my name is Rafael and so is yours... so you are indeed mi tocayo! Get it?"

Radar: "Oh yeah! I like that! Does that mean we'll be hanging out a lot now?"

Tio Rafa: "Well, not just yet mi tocayo. Next Saturday I have to go to Iraq for a year... but once I get back, we'll see each other much, much more often."

Radar: "Hmmm... well, can you at least toss me around for now?"

Tio Rafa: "You bet!"

And that's the story behind the picture!

For the first time in three years, I got to hang out with my cousin Rafa, his wife Vivi and their kids Felipe and little Vivi. (They've been in South Korea for the past three years). I'm sorry it's only for a day and I'm sorry that Rafa will be heading off to Iraq in just a week, but hey... you take what you can get!!! The little Chinese outfit was a gift that they brought from Korea and it is so cute, cool and comfortable, that I think I'll dress Radar in it every day until he outgrows it. We love you guys!!!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

I heart NY, but not like this

Hi y'all! I didn't post on day 5 of the Radar World Tour II because Radar and I were apart all day. It was the longest we'd been apart, by time and distance. At 6am, I took off for New York City to attend some meetings. I was back at LaGuardia airport at 6pm for a 7pm flight back to Radar. He hadn't been awake when I'd left in the morning, so I was very happy to see that he'd waited up for me and at just after 9pm, a bit more than 15 hours after last holding him, we were snuggling together again! For the first time, he actually reached for me!!!! Talk about melting mommy's heart.

Anyway, I had hoped to sneak in a few minutes for shopping in order to get Radar a little NYC outfit or hat or bear or whatever. Unfortunately, this was all I saw of NY...

It was airport to cab to meeting to cab to next meeting to cab to airport. I really do love New York... but not like that.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - stay tuned for a second post today, day 6 of the world tour where I will be posting a very, very special picture!!!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


That stands for "subsequent pregnancy after loss." Radar is my "spal" baby. When I lost my first son, Bennett, to trisomy 18, I spent quite a lot of time corresponding online with other women who had walked a similarly painful journey of trisomy 18. Believe me, it's a bond you don't ever want to make with someone... but it's a very strong bond, even when just exchanging messages on an online message board. It's a bond of sharing, grieving and healing together.

In the last year and a half, I've really bonded and built an online friendship with a handful of these mothers. Before today, I'd had the profound pleasure of meeting three of these mothers in person. And today, I had the extra special pleasure of meeting one more, along with her 7 year old daughter and her "spal" baby. Tara lost her beautiful daughter Sophia to trisomy 18 in August of 2007 after spending 5 precious weeks with her. On July 13th of last year, she welcomed her new son Alex into her family (yes, his first birthday was yesterday which gave us an excuse to eat cheesecake today). Talk about beautiful on the inside and out...

meet Tara and Isabel (two very hot chicks)

meet Alex (handsome, with some serious "baby blues"...)

our "spal" miracles together

Tara has been such a rock of support for me and so many mothers and families. We count ourselves very lucky to have had this wonderful, wonderful opportunity to meet, hug and share our families, even if just for a few short hours.

Thanks for making the drive down Tara! Next time we'll make the trip up to see you guys in "Ay"mish country... we can't wait!!!

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - Tara and her family are of the Republican persuasion and knowing that we drink a different flavor of political tea, she brought along a very nice dusting rag as a gift....

Just kidding!!! Radar will wear it with pride... it's sure to provoke some very fun comments in this family!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Conspiracy to keep mommy awake

I think the title says it all. Here we are on day 3 of Radar World Tour II and I am far more sleep deprived than I ever am at home. Why? I have all sorts of baby sitters and I'm on vacation... I should be getting extra sleep. But after 3 days, I have uncovered the conspiracy. These people (ie, my family) have been playing on my weakness for dominoes. They don't start the game until 8 at night knowing that I can't resist playing. After watching a few hands, Radar winks at his co-conspirators and they wink back... then Radar craps out and sleeps right on the floor through all the rest of the games (which have gone on past midnight these past couple of nights). Only then do I go to bed (with Radar) to get some sleep... and in accordance with the conspiracy, Radar then wakes up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5 am. Obviously I have no choice but to get up and unfortunately there is no one else awake, so he's all mine. To survive the early morning, I make coffee. Around 9:00am or so, a few bodies start rolling out of bed.... they come into the kitchen where I've now poured enough coffee into my veins, that I can't go back to sleep... and that's when Radar winks at his fellow tricksters, they wink back and he dozes off again for a two hour nap.

That's a long way to say that I'm tired. It doesn't matter though because we are having a blast on the world tour. Yesterday's highlight was...

... not to worry... the water wasn't hot (89 degrees) and there were no chemicals in the water. After being re-energized by the hot tub jets, Radar composed some masterpieces for everyone.

And today's highlight was a scrapbook keeper!!!

Yep! Tia Lali gave Radar his first haircut and the boy that I thought couldn't get more handsome, just did!

Tomorrow gets even better. We will be meeting a fellow spal... and if you don't know what that means, tune in tomorrow and I'll tell you more.

Lots of love,
Titi and Radar

PS - While I may not be getting much sleep, I've included some evidence that others around here are getting a-plenty!! Mommy and son even snore together.

PSS - And just because Radar's cousin X (short for Xavier) is so darn cute, here's one more...