Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year Birthday Best Friend!

Today is a very special day, 7 leap years ago my very best friend in the world was born. Today is the day we celebrate the day of his BIRTH! I am so glad that he was born, and that he has been here to share in my life. And my families life as well. No matter how near or how far we are, he is and always will be my best friend (along with my husband of course!). Sometime people determine their best friend by who they have known the longest, but I don't. I didn't meet Alex until after high school. But I feel like I've known him my whole life. You know the friend who can make eye contact with you and just know what you're thinking. That's him. He just gets me, all of me. Sometimes people just fit together perfectly. His personality just meshes well with mine. In some ways he could also be my opposite. Where I am quiet, he is loud and funny and the life of the party. He's not afraid to let it all out and make a fool of himself.

I think we did a lot of growing up into our adulthood together. We spent a lot of time going on adventures, last minute road trips, and got into our fair share of trouble along the way. He was my partner in crime, someone who I never had to question whether he would have my back no matter the outcome of a situation. He can always make me laugh. ALWAYS. Besides being my best friend, I also consider him a brother. For awhile we saw each other every day, sometimes all day. And I never got tired of him. He was and always will be, there for me.

A few year ago, he was taken from us. Not in the death sort of way, but in the sort of way that the government controls. Without getting too deep and political. Alex's family is from Mexico, his mom and dad brought him and his siblings to the U.S. for a better life. While all of his other siblings achieved their green card, he was dealt a card of bad luck. In paper work, and court systems and lawyers. His was somehow lost, brushed through the paces and at times forgotten. He has been here since he was a tiny baby. He grew up in our community, went to school, played sports, held down jobs and even educated our communities youth. He was an amazing teacher with a gift at teaching children. Alex is known all over Fresno as being one of the very best gymnastics and swim instructors. Parents specifically requested him for their kids because he was so good at what he did. Not only did he teach but he encouraged, which to me is the biggest part of being a teacher. Long story short, he missed a court date that he didn't know he had and homeland security came and deported him back to Mexico. California is his home, his entire family is here, his whole life is here and they took him and dropped him off in Mexico. Can you imagine? It makes me sick to think about where he was and how he felt at the time. He's not a criminal, he was an active and thriving part of our community. He then spent some time in the southern most part of southern California in a detention center while waiting to hear if he would be able to return. Unfortunately, he was denied. Which makes me burn on the inside with anger. He has now been living in Mexico, working and living in an apartment with a roommate. I don't know his chances of returning soon, but I just KNOW that one day he'll be back here.

He has been gone so long, he never saw the first house Pete and I bought, never saw me pregnant, missed the birth of my first baby, and has never met Harlow. All which breaks my heart. Your best friend experiences life with you whether to celebrate or to cry. Both of those I wish more than anything we could do. ESPECIALLY today, on his birthday.

I have some great memories of spending birthdays with Alex. He once baked me a cake, got a concussion and couldn't remember baking the cake. He'll tell you the concussion was my fault but don't let him fool you. He was also the one to drive me home and make sure I had fun but also was taken care of on my 21st birthday. I won't mention on here what happened on the car ride home from that birthday but he will remember :) So lately we haven't gotten to add to our list of adventures and memories together but he has still been the best friend possible. I wish I could say the same for myself. I need to make sure to text him more, call him more, Skype with him more, and leave him more messages on Facebook. But I hope he knows how much he means to me and to my life.

Alex, if you read this, you are the best friend I could ask for. I've spent the day thinking about all of the things we've done together. Like naming our some-day rock band (The Wild Gatos), meeting celebrities, going to concerts, and spending one New Year with a great secret and confessional letter. Thanks for helping me meet Pete, and getting us to go on our first date. Near or far, I LOVE YOU FRIEND! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Copy Cat

I've mentioned before that Harlow has recently been doing a lot of imitation. Sometimes it's really cute. And other times its not. Not by a long shot. For example, she has been calling me by my first name for the past 5 days. Not every time, but enough to drive me a little batty. I worked hard to achieve the title of Mom, Mama, and Mommy. I can't pinpoint where she learned it exactly but I think it is just when we are out an about. I pick up an order and have to tell people my name, I check in somewhere and I have to tell them my name, I order a Starbucks and have to tell them my name. Stuff like that. So from now on friends and family, please only address me as Mom, Mama, or Mommy. Please and thank you in advance! (PS: I plan to ask the Starbucks lady to do the same) ha!

She does do some pretty cute imitations though. She loves to try and copy the Fresh Beat Band dance moves, she learned the words to Selena Gomez's "Love You Like a Love Song" and sings along, and lately she has been copying facial expressions. This has been my absolute favorite by far. Check it out:

I love this girl.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk

If Harlow had her way, we would be outside every afternoon coloring out in the front yard with sidewalk chalk. But this momma can only sit on the concrete so many times. Not to mention how cold it gets. I learned my lesson after the first couple of afternoons with the chalk. That stuff is beyond messy! It sticks to everything. So I have been putting Harlow in the most random clothes. Most of which don't really fit anymore, because there is no way she's ruining new clothes. So if you look at these pictures and notice Harlow's high-water pants, now you know why.

She still has no interest in figuring out her colors. No matter how many different ways I try. To her, every piece of sidewalk chalk is PINK. Guess this girl doesn't know that I don't give up easily...

Setting up her work station.

This is a series of what happens when I ask her to smile.

Showing me where the birds are.


And eventually she lost interest.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


On Saturday Break the Barriers had an event at their gym. The actress, Lauren Potter, from the hit show GLEE was stopping by to visit. Not only is she an actress but she also has Down Syndrome. She plays Becky who is part of the Cheerios on the show. It was pretty cool to get to meet her. She was cute and funny and a really big flirt! Along with her appearance, the performing teams all performed as well. So not only was it a chance to take Harlow to meet her first celebrity (outside of Disney characters) but I wanted her to be able to see another great BTB performance. She was in LOVE with the dancing and flipping. At one point she got to go out on the spring floor and dance with the big kids. She was scared stiff and didn't move an inch but when she came running back to me she kept telling me how she got to dance with the big kids. She sat so nice and still while they performed and clapped whenever they did something she liked. And the other highlight of her day was meeting Time-Out, the Fresno State mascot. She sat and talked to him, petted him and even sat in his lap giving him hugs. It was the cutest thing ever!

Lauren arriving in her limo with Tony and Jeremy from Break the Barriers. Her mom and aunt behind them.

Part of the Fresno State cheer and dance team was there to greet them as they arrived.

She caught sight of Time-Out.

She loves him!

Clayton from Fox 26 was there to emcee.

Deby and the Barrier Breakers meeting her.

The teams and the CSUF cheer and dance team waiting to perform.

BTB Dance Team.

BTB Jr. Team and Lil BB's.

The Barrier Breakers.

Joining in on the dancing and fun.

Lauren and Clayton had a dance-off.

Dance instructor Sam took Harlow on the dance stage.

Just hanging with Time-Out.

Taking a picture with Lauren.

This is pretty much how the end of the day went.

Oh, and showing off her handstands and forward rolls.