The Gonzalez Family Herald

Headlines and commentary from a Northern California family of seven.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Swim season is over. The boy smiled.

My goodness, the league championships were absolutely intense! Here's the scene: 1,200 hundred kids (100 kids from each of 12 teams) converge on a local community college. They scream, cheer, draw all over each other, swim, play, swim, play, pack and go home after being at the college for 9+ hours. And did I mention 1,200 hundred kids?

One of the bright spots is that my oldest daughter competed well. She didn't win any medals or ribbons, but she swam some good races, had fun and made a lot of friends. My wife and I were able to do the same thing throughout the year. And next year ought to be a lot more fun. We expect that our 9 year old will return next year and that our 8 year old and 4 year old will want to swim next year as well. I am sure that come April 2006, you will see a good number of blog posts about the kids once again.

Seeing as the swim season is now over I have a little bit of time to dedicate to other things. One of the other things that I am planning on working on is The Official Newark Bluefins swim team web site. I am also planning on developing the Official East Bay Swim League web site while developing the sites of all the other teams in the league. That is going to be a massive undertaking, but I think it will turn out good.

The boy can smile
Today, while my wife was touching the boy's cheek, he smiled. He was awake, which surprised my wife. She wanted me to blog about it, so I am. He is so adorable, and his skin is getting better after a bad bout with eczema. Now if only our two year old would stop being afflicted by skin issues, everyone, but mostly she, would be a lot happier. Maybe after the summer heat starts to drop everything will clear up. We'll see.

Until later, happy reading. Stay cool. Go Bluefims (yes, Bluefims - I'll blog about this later).

Friday, July 29, 2005

Just like dad

That is just about all I can say. My wife took the boy in for a skin check-up yesterday (that's for a different post) and we found out that in 15 days he added 1 pound, 11 ounces in weight! That means that in his first month of life he gained 2 pounds, 13 ounces or an astonishing 40% of his birth weight.

Like father, like son, eh?

WOW the second (What a woman)
Speaking of taking the boy to the doctor, would you believe that my wife did this with all of the other kids in tow? What's more, she has ventured out with 5 kids since the baby was only 2 weeks old! How many other women would do something that crazy? That's right, none. Well maybe a few, but not very many.

My wife is a dream come true on so many levels. Somehow she manages to make it through each day, tired and worn out, without much ado. She teaches the kids, takes care of the kids, takes care of the household, takes care of me. I think if there were an award for the most Super Spectacular Woman/Wife/Mother, my wife would certainly win it.

Kids are excellent helpers
I am finding out that kids can be excellent assistants. Because of our current situation our older three kids (including our four year old) have been delegated quite a bit more responsibility than they previously had. And you know what? That have risen to the challenge. They are becoming more aware of things that need be done. They are doing things without being asked to do them. They are helping with the baby. They are doing their share and doing it with a good attitude. Praise God for these wonderful kids.

Well, it is that time again. I have got a lot to do and not nearly as much time as I'd like to do them. But how many husbands and fathers of five do you know that do?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Where you been at?

Whew! I am not sure if this is real or not, but I am going to keep typing until I wake up or hit the submit button.

Things have been hectic lately. The baby, who was very small when he was born, suddenly realized that he likes to eat. A lot. So he does. Then he sleeps. For a few minutes. Then wakes up because he wants to eat again. Yeah, that's not going to make anyone else in the house more tired that normal.

The good news is that my oldest's swimming season will be coming to a close this weekend. I say good news only because it will free up almost two hours each afternoon that I can use to clean, cook, teach, play, program, play, eat or play. It is a bittersweet ending of the season, though. I do get a lot of parental satisfaction from seeing my oldest daughter, who just a year ago was frightened to be held in the water, swimming with the big fish, touching the bottom of a nine foot deep pool, diving and all the rest of the stuff that a swimmer does. And if that's not enough, my eight year old seems to have taken a liking to the sport now.

At the team awards night the other day my eight year old was swimming, diving and having a good old time in the pool. I was most impressed with her diving. She has that down pat. She has always been an athletic kid. I will be very interested to see what next year will hold for our three oldest daughters, who as of this year, have committed to swimming next year.

Ooh, ooh. Speaking of next year, I am going to be the teams webmaster. I volunteered for that position for next and I am already looking at taking the team to the net bigtime. I am going to host the team site at It is still under develolpment right now, but it should be throwing content very soon. I am hoping that after this is done that I can work on the East Bay Swim League official website. We'll see.

Anyhow, I need to get. Time, she is a pressing on. If I am not watchful, she might leave without me.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

All my children

This one was too good to pass up. I set the baby down on the couch. Then I had a thought. Why not try to get a picture of all my kids at once? So here it is...

PS, in case you were wondering, it was really hot before I took this photo. The kids were out playing in the backyard sprinklers.

Friday, July 15, 2005

1 lb, 2 oz, 1.5 inches -- 91 degrees of separation

Watch out, he's growing!
Yes, you read that right. He grew more than a full pound and an inch & a half in just two weeks. I know what your thinking. And no, my wife does not use performance enhancing supplements mixed in her breast milk. The good Lord has blessed my wife with the absolute most intense breast milk I have ever known about. All of the kids have been breast fed and all of them experienced ridiculous growth from the day they were born.

Hoo daddy, it's hot out dar.
I'll tell you what, it's been hotter than a square dance on the sun around here lately. The last few days we have had 90+ degree weather. Nice and hot, and clear and hot, and hot and hot. But the good news is the house cools down at about 3:00 AM, just in time for all of us to get ready to wake up.

But it's all good. We only have a few more months of this pleasent weather anyway.

On a side note, don't ask your kids to do something if you aren't prepared to receive any range of possible results. After asking my children to get their pajamas on (in 3 minutes) I called them into the living room to make sure that they had done what I asked. In comes my eight year old, dressed in her pink jammies. In comes my nine year old in her orange jammies. In comes my four year old...

... in her birthday suit...

... dancing.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Another cute saying

Just a brief post tonight. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I need to get myself prepared.

Our four year old daughter was out in the back yard the other day. I was out there also, cleaning up the patio and spraying down some chalk drawings with the water hose. As I am doing this my daughter comes and asks me to wet a piece of chalk she has in her hand. I asked her why she would want me to wet her chalk. Her reply?

"I want to make water colors." Duh, you would think I would have seen that one coming, huh?

Anyhow, time for sleep. I am going to try to get a few more pictures up tomorrow.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Happy Birthday

I want to take a minute to wish a big, fat, daddy-sized Happy Birthday to my second and fourth daughters. Daughter #2 was born July 9, 1997. Daughter #4 was born July 9, 2003. Both put mom through almost identical amount of time in labor, both were born just after noon (12:29 and 12:17), both were fast deliveries (which ones weren't?) and both bring me incredible joy (as do my other children).

I was reminiscing with my wife recently and realized how fast times has moved past me. Not able to recall much about our pregnancies with either of our first three daughters, I find myself remembering only a few things about the earliest stages of their lives. One of those things is my second daughters electric smile. I say that because she can light up a room with her smile. It is so precious. The other is her uncanny ability to use a level of common sense not found even in many adults. She began to demonstrate this as early as four years old.

Fortunately for me the last two children are much easier to remember. Heck, they both occurred within the last two years. But I would recommend to any parent with young kids: make the most of the time you have with them and take hold of the memories before you reaize that the memories are now misplaced.

Happy birthday my two precious daughters. My life is so much more blessed because you are a part of it. Thank God for you. I love you both.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Man, there's a lot going on

I'm sure if I wrote about everything we have going on right now I would be here for hours and the page would reach clear to the floor. So I won't do that. Instead I will just give a brief update.

Little swimmer girl
Our oldest daughter found out yesterday that she was invited to swim in the league championships this year. That is a large accomplishment seeing as this is her first year in organized swimming. We are so very proud of her. She is pretty stoked as well.

Little chef
Our second oldest daughter seems to be developing a penchant for cooking. Over the past few days she has helped with several meals that I have prepared and she is doing rather well. I guess we can add this to the list of other things she would like to learn, like horseback riding, rock climbing, baseball, soccer, swimming and oh my goodness, is this a long list.

Little readery kid
Our third daughter (4 years old) is reading just about everything that gets in her line of sight. Amazing thing, too. Just a few months ago she was learning what the letters were. Now she can read regular phonics as well as combination sounds. Like I've said before, it is shocking what a mom can teach a young child when given the chance. Mom has taught all of the kids how to read. Now our oldest is reading 100 page long books while we are still in the store. She is nine years old. Looks like our third daughter will be reading like her older sisters in no time at all.

Little growing up bucket
Our youngest daughter just grew up yesterday. Well not actually yesterday, but just over the last few weeks she has gone from being a little toddler to a full fledged young girl. She is having conversations with us. She is voicing her opinions. She is understanding almost everything we tell her. Oh yeah, and she is still as intense as always.

Little clean boy
Our son had his first bath today. He really enjoyed it. He just laid there and got clean and let us take all kinds of pictures of him. Man, this kid is so much different than our other ones at this age. But laid back is good. It makes it a lot easier to take care of the other kids in the house.

One loopy Mommy
Here's one for the late night dinner discussions. Mom walks into the kitchen this morning and throws the switch on the wall to "On". She seems suddenly shocked to hear the garbage disposal running until she realizes she threw the wrong switch. She wanted to turn on the lights. This doesn't seem like such a big mistake... until you realize that the light switch is on the wall opposite the disposal switch. Did I mention that we are tired?

That is all for now. Just the meat and potatoes of it. Mmm, potatoes... Isn't it about lunch time?

Monday, July 04, 2005

Have you seen my sleep?

Ah, the wonderful first days of a new baby in the house. How quickly I forget just how many diapers can be changed in a single day or how little sleep one can get. Although I will say this about the boy, he is still very laid back.

He only cries when he is dirty, wet or hungry. After that little issue is handled he just lays there. So I really have nothing to complain about. Except the being up every hour and a half throughout the night.

But I guess my wife would probably have more to gripe about with that one. After all, she is the only one that can feed him at this point so she has to be up a lot more than I do. But I do try to be supportive and stay up with her so she doesn't feel alone. Hey, we are in this together. And besides, he is so cute and wonderful to look at, I'd stay up anyway just to watch him.

(yelled from another room)
"Kids, stop him. He's posting again."

Out of the mouths of babes

No, babe's. You know, young humans? Our four year old daughter today did something terribly funny. My wife and I were out of the room for a minute to get something from the kitchen. When my wife returned she began laughing. Then she called out to me. When I went into the living room I started laughing. While we were out (famous last words of a parent, eh?) our daughter placed a Winnie the Pooh wash cloth hand puppet thing on our newborn baby boy's face. When asked why she had done this, she replied...

"Because I wanted him to look pretty."

Duh, I mean why else would a four year old put a towel on a baby's face? Needless to say she got a kick out of this as did the whole house. And fortunately for all, the baby can't walk yet or I am sure he would have chased her down the hallway to do God-knows-what to her when he caught her.

That is my magic parenting moment for the evening. TTFN.

Friday, July 01, 2005

A picture of the boy

I hadn't noticed until now that I seem to only post to this blog on Thursdays. I think I should change that. Not only that, but I also want to put a picture of the newest addition to the Gonzalez family up on the blog as well. I am not going to be using any of our first names (and I would appreciate the same courtesy if posting comments to the blog). Anyhow, without further ado, here is our son...

Well, actually that is dad with the son, but I think you get the idea. I was looking for a picture of him all by himself but I couldn't find any like that other than this one...

I know, I know, half his face is cut out of the photo. Oh well, when you are as tired as I was you aren't really at your best "photographically". Anyhow, there he is all cute and quiet. He is a very laid back kid. I suppose that is useful when you have four other kids in the same house. Either way, my family is awesome. I love my kids, they love eachother and we all love mom. Did I mention how aweseome she is? Five and a half hours of labor and not a drop of sweat when this kid came out (in three pushes I might add). Man, is that lady a trooper or what?

Well, duty calls. I gotta go. Enjoy this unorthodox, non-Thursday post.