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the agnes chronicles: chapter 1

June 22, 2014

Our beautiful Agnes is just over a week old, and what a week it has been!! We may be exhausted but we are so incredibly happy. Agnes is such a joy! We’ve had our ups and downs as we are all getting acclimated to our new life, but it has been a very blessed time.

We are grateful for all the love and congratulations we’ve received in honor of Agnes. We are also especially grateful for the overabundance of prayers during labor and delivery. Labor was surprisingly peaceful despite being lengthy and intense. Karl and my sister-in-law extraordinaire, Lindsay, were a fantastic team in the delivery room. I never could have done it without them! I was hoping Agnes would be born on the Feast of St. Anthony, June 13, but she missed it by a couple hours. By that point, I didn’t care what day it was; I just wanted her out! Of course we didn’t know if we were waiting on Agnes or Karl. When, after 25 hours of labor, our child was finally born into this world, the doctor held her up in front of us and said “Tell me what it is”. It took me a second to process – I was rather tired after all that pushing – but I looked at the little person in front of me and saw Agnes. “It’s a girl!” I told the doctor. “It’s Agnes!”

It was so wonderful to officially meet the little lady who had been residing inside me for the last nine months. And we have been thoroughly enjoying getting to know our daughter day by day. Like I said, she is a joy!!

Here are a few photos of Agnes during her first week outside the womb.

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Ready to come home


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Our little strawberry muffin


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To infinity and beyond!



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Watching Despicable Me and being burped by Tia Angie and her minion.


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Mornings with Daddy


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Sleepy Baby


That’s all for now!

it’s a girl!!!!!

June 22, 2014

Our little Muffin made her appearance in the wee small hours of the morning of June 14, after a 25 hour labor.

Readers, meet Agnes Maria:

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6lbs 4oz, 19in


Our little family

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More to follow…

the muffin chronicles – prologue: week 39

June 5, 2014

Muffin and I had a great Week 39 checkup yesterday! The doctor was very pleased with the results of the quick ultrasound he did to check the amniotic fluid and placenta. He said everything looks good and I will probably go to the due date or just past it. I’m glad everything looks great, but I am a little disappointed… I was kind of hoping Muffin would come this week or this weekend. My original hope was to have the baby after June 7 because our good friends are getting married that day, but I changed my mind when I found out that my mom is coming this weekend! She and Ang will arrive tomorrow, and she can only stay until Sunday (Ang will be staying for as long as she wants). If there is ever a time a girl needs her mom, it’s now. I’d love to be at our friends’ wedding, but even more so I would love for my mom to be there when I give birth.

This is a woman who has gone through labor and delivery six times, each time being as different and unique as the child that came out. Both of my parents educated themselves about pregnancy, including labor and delivery and have been an incredible resource for me and Karl. With all her knowledge about the topic along with her strong yet calming presence, I think Mom could be a doula. Who wouldn’t want all that wisdom and experience in the delivery room?!

I didn’t plan on her coming this weekend; it just worked out that she was able to get some time off and figured she’d bring Ang out (Did I mention that my mom is on her way to sainthood?). So if I go into labor and Mom is here, great! But even if I don’t go into labor while she is here, I already have a plan. It’s called FaceTime. Thank the Lord for technology!

Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from trying to help things along… Everyone keeps telling me to walk, so Karl and I took a stroll down to Lake Parsippany Monday night. Tuesday I walked the one mile from Port Authority to the office and then walked again all through my lunch hour. I didn’t walk as far yesterday morning (the bus was late so I hiked it to 6th Ave and took a cab the rest of the way), but I ended up walking a mile at lunch. Today, I walked about one and a quarter miles during lunch. So far all this walking hasn’t made much of a difference aside from making my legs swell and leaving me even more exhausted. Rosario pointed out that I should probably stick with the leisurely strolls rather than mile long walks, and Mom keeps telling me to let nature take its course. I’m all about nature taking its course, but I’m open to some divine intervention too. So here’s praying that this little Muffin decides it can’t wait to meet Abuelita and comes in the next couple of days!


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On our stroll to the lake Monday evening



the muffin chronicles – prologue: week 38 + 5 days

June 2, 2014

Muffin’s due date is just over a week away! I can hardly believe it!

Our birth plan is typed up and has been approved by the doctor. The hospital pre-registration forms have been sent. The diaper bag is packed with both boy and girl coming home outfits. My hospital bag is (mostly) packed. The Family Phone Tree is completed and sent to the main contact persons. I got a pre-labor pedicure on Saturday. And after said pedicure with a couple of girlfriends, they came over to help build the baby swing and co-sleeper while Karl was out of town, so that’s done. Next on the list is installing the car seat, which will be done tonight… I think we are about as ready as we can be. Sure there is more stuff we could do… but there is always more that can be done. We’re not going to make ourselves crazy with the preparations. We have the basics covered and that’s good enough for me.

And believe me, I am ready for this kid to come out. I didn’t think I’d get to the point of “just wanting to be done”, but I am done being pregnant. Last week was rough. I”m exhausted from not being able to sleep. I’m exhausted from my commute and the twelve hour days. I was so exhausted I didn’t even to to ballet class (You know it’s bad if I can’t make it to the barre)! I survived, of course, but barely.

On Saturday morning, after yet another night of restless, uncomfortable sleep, I sat on the bed and complained to Karl about how I had to go to the bathroom really bad but I was too tired to get up. He looked at me sympathetically and then said jokingly, “Do you want me to hold Muffin for a minute while you go to the bathroom?” I burst into tears. “I would love for you to hold the baby for a minute!”

“Oh babe! I didn’t mean to upset you!”

“I know,” I wailed. “But I’m so tired. I know you want to help but there’s not much you can do until the baby until it comes out!”

Oh, I know I will have sleepless nights once Muffin is born and I will be even more exhausted, but at least I will have some help. My mom is coming this weekend to bring Angelica who will be staying with us for a few months. Between Karl and Ang, there will be someone around to hold the baby while I go to the bathroom!


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38 Weeks + 4 Days

reaching through stardust

May 23, 2014

Stardust has always had a special place in my heart. I associate the song with my grandparents, because it is a song they often danced together to way back in the day. If my memory serves me correctly, it is one of the first songs they danced to. I know I had shared this with Karl at some point during our relationship, but it still took me by surprise to hear him singing it a few weeks ago as we were getting ready for work. I got all nostalgic and started missing my Grandma. No matter how much I miss her, thinking of Gram always makes me smile.

After our move, Karl decided to wind down the weekend with some relaxing music on Pandora. The first song that played was Stardust. We both looked at each other with surprise and smiled, and he pulled me to my feet for a dance. A few days later, Karl picked me up after work and wouldn’t you know… Stardust was playing on the radio!

“That’s crazy!” I said. “We’ve randomly heard Stardust at least three times in the past few weeks! I think there may have been a fourth time too, but I can’t exactly place it… It’s really making me miss Grandma.”

Karl reached over and put his hand on my belly. “Is your Great-Grandma trying to tell us something, Muffin? Is she reminding us that she’s always close by?”

Well, that did it. My eyes filled with tears. I wish she could have met Karl and I wish she could meet Muffin, but it was comforting to feel as though she was reaching out to us through Stardust.

This one’s for you, Gram!




the muffin chronicles: prologue – week 36

May 14, 2014
Week 35 + 3 days

Week 35 + 3 days

We’re down to the last four weeks, folks! Amazing, right?! Please forgive the lack of updates during April – the month slipped through my fingers before I even knew it was in my hand, thanks to countless doctor’s appointments, routine tests, birthing classes, Holy Week, Easter, and moving, in addition to our regularly scheduled programs (work and such). It might not sound like much, but believe me – it was A LOT! But now we are in May. Life hasn’t necessarily “settled down” yet, but with the move and the birthing classes under our belts, it feels much more peaceful than April.

Our little guy or girl is growing like crazy. Muffin doesn’t have as much room to kick these days, but there is a lot of rolling action going on in there. It’s mostly upside-down pirouettes; Muffin has been hanging out head down for a while. There has also been some boxing going on in my hips, along with daily hiccups. Karl and I are getting more and more excited to meet this energetic bundle of joy!

Now that we are settling into our larger home, we are slowly getting things set up for Muffin’s arrival. The planner in me was feeling a little stifled because I couldn’t get things ready before we moved, but nesting is officially in full swing! And I am loving it! My back and ankles, not so much… They keep me in check, as does Karl, to make sure I’m not overdoing things. I don’t always listen, but I am trying to. Especially since I know I am nearing the end of my training and the marathon of labor is looming before me.

Please keep us in your prayers as we get ready to end the prologue and start the full story of Muffin’s Life!



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PS. Please excuse the mess in the photos… We just moved…


celebrating ol’ ornery

April 4, 2014

Today is my beloved yet ornery Grandpa’s birthday. The man is 94 and sometimes worries about losing his youth. I don’t think he has a lot to worry about; he’s ornery enough that old age is staying far away from him. Every time I talk to him, Gramps tells me about all of the batches of wine he has in process, as well as his workout regimen. Once in a while he’ll mention a few black hairs that he’s found among the lush silver hair that tops his head. “I must be regaining my youth; my hair’s turning back to its original color!” he says with a chuckle.

I love that man, even though he gives me a tough time.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!






Aside: This was a special occasion, so Grandpa was on his best behavior.

Usually he scowls at me something fierce.

And then I have to scowl back.

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