Tuesday, December 9, 2008


At my Love Affair Photography workshop, we not only learned tons of amazing and useful things about photography and the business but we also spoke about balancing life and personal priorities. Since I got back, I've been changing things both small and big in my life to really make sure I'm spending time with folks and things that are most important to me.

One of the thing I've been trying to do is find ways of spending more family time together during the week. Normally either Scott or I drop Gemma off at daycare but I thought, hey, what if we both do it? :) So we tried it! The first time I drove, Gemma got to see us all together, Scott got to read a little, we chatted a little, and we both played with Gemma a little. And you know what? It felt great and made the commute fly by. I think sometimes a little goes a long way.
We both agreed that we'd do this more often.
I think Gemma agreed too!:
Love and balance to you all! :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Panda Halloween!

Happy Halloween everyone!  Our friend Nerissa lent us this great panda outfit she made for her kids and it fit Gemma just right!  :)  She was a super good sport about it especially since we let her venture outside.  

At first she was a little shy.   But then she got into it.  

Look out, there's a panda foraging in the forest!  Hahahha, this picture cracks me up!

I can't believe how confident she looks.  Where did our baby Gemma go?  

"What's that?"
"Wow, I'm gonna get that!"
I love that you can see her little tail here.
Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!  Scott and I will be celebrating at Gemma's daycare with all the other parents and kids from the daycare.  It will be fun!  :)  Love to all!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Yesterday we tried pony-tails for the first time.  :)  It is funny to me how different Gemma looks with her hair pulled back.  I love it!  And can't wait to put more ribbons and braids and barrettes in her hair.  Gemma she was a really good sport about it too.  The hairdo lasted most of the day, eventually getting pulled down leaving her hair sticking up in chunks - it was hilarious.  :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Close Encounters

Our Gemma has started to use her baby sign language.  It started about 3 weeks ago and it is incredible to be able to get a glimpse of real communication with her.  At first I didn't really believe it was happening.  Could she really be signing?  Were the aliens in 'Close Encounters' really communicating through music?  We thought it was a coincidence - it wasn't.  At first each time she did her 'more' sign I'd get a little misty-eyed with joy.  I was so proud and amazed!  Now she does it so much we are getting used it and having her tell us what she wants.  :)  

'More' is for sure her favorite sign right now.  She uses it not just for food too.  If she wants more toys for her bath, if she wants to play on the bed more, if she wants to see pictures/videos of herself again she does her 'more' sign.  It is fantastic.  She also now has under her belt:
* cat
* bath
* daddy
* sleep

I know she understands a lot more but she hasn't started doing the signs yet.  For example she understands when we sign 'eat', 'change (diaper)', 'book', 'shoes', 'all done', 'bird' but she doesn't sign them herself.  So Scott and I will keep on signing and see what eventually she decides to sign (or not - either way is fine).  It is just phenomenal that we can have little conversations with her before her language abilities are fully formed.  We are hoping it will help with her toddler tantrums just a little (we know they won't go away).  :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playground fun!

This weekend Gemma and I discovered a little playground across the street from us at the School for Deaf.  It was great since we were the only ones there and she was able to freely explore at her own pace.  She had a blast climbing, seeing the world from new heights, running, discovering... she was so very proud of herself and so were we:

Speaking of new heights, she loved looking out at the top of the playground set by the slide.  I was always very close to her so she wouldn't fall or hurt herself.  Here is a series of pictures documenting her first time going down the slide by herself... not planned but ended up a good experience for her.  LOL.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Go Bears!

Gemma and her daddy watched the Chicago Bears unexpectedly pounce on the Indianapolis Colts in their season opener (29 to 13). For the occasion we mushed little Gemma into her old 3-6 month Bears cheer leading outfit. It was hilariously way too short for her but she didn't mind. :)

Here they are intensely watching the game. She really love to watch - I think she likes the colors of the uniforms. Victory lap!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

1 Year Old

1 year ago today at 3:40pm, Gemma Maria Krotz was born!

It has been an amazing year of personal growth, sacrifice and happiness filled with tears and lots of laughter - I wouldn't change it for the world. But how has my life changed? How has it not changed? I didn't realize I could survive with such little sleep and be happy about it. :) I didn't realize my heart would ache with joy when she first smiled at me or when she reaches out for me. I didn't realize I would be so interested and proud of her poop. I didn't realize little baby toes and chubby rolls could be so kissable. I didn't realize my priorities were screwed up. I didn't realize I'd feel even more human, more woman. I didn't realize my love for Scott could grow even more intense. I didn't realize life could be so good. :)

So who is this little creature we call Gemma and who has rocked our world? To give you a better idea, her are a bunch of things that she currently likes:

* spinning around in circles (although slow she still gets dizzy)
* the 'boing' of a door stop
* books, in particle "the very hungry caterpillar" and "precious kitten" - bilingual
* pressing buttons on all our electronics - cell phones, remotes, keyboards, alarm clocks - anything that gives her audible and or visual feedback
* cherrios
* feeding mama & daddy cherrios
* her water bottle 'agua'
* chasing Blitzy (our cat - who has become a really good sport about it)
* playing 'pillow attack' - a game she made up where she throws herself on the pillows of our bed , grabs it close then falls back so the pillow is now on top of her attacking her. We put the pillow back only to start the process over and over again. This makes her laugh to no end.
* drumming - on herself and anything that can make a sound
* music - she actually is starting to dance
* dancing and singing with mama
* playing the piano
* playing 'peekaboo'
* yogurt
* chicken
* strawberries
* raspberries
* pears
* mandarin oranges
* peas and carrots
* her white bunny
* her green Winnie the Pooh blanket
* bubbles
* magnets - actually the key to the baby-proofed garbage/recycling. Because I'm lazy, I leave it on the cabinets sometimes (I know that defeats the purpose). But instead of getting into the garbage/recycling, she take the white little magnet-key and places it on the refrigerator then tries to take it off the refrigerator. The first time she discovered its strong magnetic capabilities she was in awe. :) Now she like to play 'magnet' and she's even worked out how to get that powerful magnet off the frig! LOL!

Dislikes (not many, she's generally a happy little person):
* getting her face wiped
* staying put on the changing table
* the feel of grass or sand under her feet
* sharp loud noise
* fake keyboards - she caught on really fast when she wasn't getting the visual/audible feedback was was accustomed to on the real keyboard

* Gemmita
* Gemma-lou
* Gemma-wemma
* Gemma-jam
* Gemma bear (like gummy bear - thanks Tia Maria!)
* Gemmarie (thanks Tio G!)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gemma's 1st party!

-Well, on Sept 4th Gemma will officially be 1 year old! :) :) :) :) So this past weekend we celebrated her birthday at Vic Chung's (Gumpa to Gemma) house.

Here we are just before we cut the cake. Gemma had the '1' candle and was already having a taste of the yummy strawberry and creme cake from Prolific Oven (same as the one from our wedding):She really looks like she's trying to blow out the candle! :)
My family from LA drove up and it was amazing to have them with us. I couldn't beleive it - every person in my immediate family (except my father, que en paz descanse, and Olivia) made it! Gemma had all her first cousins from my side there to celebrate. :) Thank you guys for making the effort to come to the party! Here's Gemma's proud abuelita: Also my awesome familia from the Oakland area showed up and they helped make the party happen. Gracias por la ayuda e ambiente!!!! Some of Gemma's baby and toddler friends were also in attendance. It was quite the party including swimming and tons of yummy food:
Gemma was such a good sport considering all the people and activities and the fact that she was feeling a little under the weather. She pretty much stuck to me and Scott the whole time so I didn't get to take many pictures. Luckily my brother Gonzalo and sister Carmen took quite a few (the ones you see here). I know my cousins Christina and Ana took some too - can't wait to see them. :)

A party in my family wouldn't be complete without a piñata! Thanks to my cousin Christina y familia, we had an amazing one filled with chocolates, granola bars, tangerines, nuts... YUM!
Gemma was the first at bat but she wasn't too sure about the whole piñata thing:
All the rest of the kids really got into it. Thanks Felipe for doing a good job operating the piñata! Here's Lulu (Vittoria) taking a swing:My cousin's daughter Sophia is the one who finally took the piñata down in a glorious fashion and everyone screamed and shouted and launched at the bounty of goodies.

Even Gemma had a little candy. Well, she just held it. :)
I incorporated a cool Chinese tradition to Gemma's party (thanks for the idea, Nerissa). On the table were objects that Gemma hadn't seem before that represent different possible professions (starfish for biologist, whisk for chef, med kit for doctor....). The idea is to place her in front of the items and see what she picks up. Whatever she picks up is she will be when she grows up. Fun idea.
She wasn't in a great mood by then but she still played along. At first she didn't know what to do. She just sat there. Then a microphone caught her eye but she didn't pick it up. Finally what caught her eye was the model of molecules. I guess she'll be a scientist! :)
It was a great party. Thank you to everyone who could be there to help us celebrate.  Special thanks to:

*  Christina y familia for bringing the drinks and pinata and filling it.
*  Ana for bringing the awesome sushi.
*  Daniella for bringing all the lunch meats & supplies & for making the flans.
*  Felipe for making the food run with Scotty and for operating the pinata.
*  Gonzalo, Francesca, Nerissa & folks for decorating the streamers & balloons.
*  Nerissa and Mark for picking up the cake.
*  Felipe, Gonzalo y Marcos for being the wonderful musicians & playing for us.
*  Gonzalo for making the ice run and for making the big 'bombs' in the pool.
*  Carmen, Gonzalo, Christina & Ana for taking pictures.
*  All my Oakland family for joining us.
*  Maria & Eddie for bringing the whole familia from Palmdale.
*  All my LA family for driving up.
*  My amazing Scott for his patience and for surviving the party.  :)
*  And especially for Vic for hosting the party at his wonderful house.

Thank you to all Gemmita's baby friends (and their parents) for coming to the party too.

Woo Woo fun with daddy

Gemma loves to play with her daddy.  Here she is just enjoying herself and laughing and laughing so much.  :)  

Sunday, August 24, 2008

First Word = Agua!!!

Gemma has been very vocal and babbles quite a bit.  We thought that every now and then she'd land on a word that was recognizable like 'abajo (down)' and 'gato (cat)' but she hasn't been consistent.  Just in the past 3 days she has shown us that she really knows and can consistently reproduce 'agua (water).'  This is very exciting!

So now when we go to her in the morning, besides begin greeted by her regular cheerful demeanor, she says 'agua' and we now immediately go to the kitchen and sure enough she's thirsty and drinks a ton of water.  She loves to drink water, just like her mama.  :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


So just about 2 weeks ago when she turned 11 months, she started taking her first very awkward steps.  In fact her first steps were with all the same foot so she ended up pivoting and it was very hilarious.  She was soooo very proud of herself - she's been practicing tons everyday and everyday she improves in leaps and bounds.  

Now she's pretty much an expert walker - she walks from room to room without falling, can turn around and even transports her favorite toy of the the moment while walking!  We are all having tons of fun!

Here she is playing and walking at her daycare:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gemma feeds Daddy

Gemma's been learning so many things these days.  Her latest trick it to feed others, especially daddy.  :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

At the Park

We had a really nice 4th of July long weekend.  Just relaxed and recuperated (me from Jazz Camp and Scott from work).  Ahhh.  We did manage to get out on a family trip to the park and had a great time hanging out with Gemma.

Gemma tried a slide for the first time:
She looks a little concerned, I know, but she ended up loving it and laughing the more times we did it.
She's got this thing about all things daddy:  his belt, his shoes and especially his hat.  They played this game where he's place his hat on her and she'd squeal with delight and then take it off emphatically only to do the whole thing over again.  It was really fun and sweet to watch.

Gemma didn't really know what to make of the grass.  She didn't like the texture and refused to crawl on it.  LOL!  Computers she's all over but grass not so much.  We need to get her out more!
We all had a lovely time in the park.  Soon I bet Gemma will be running around like she owns the place.  :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Gemma is a super duper crawler now! Almost as soon as she learned how to crawl (about a month ago), all she wants to do is stand up!

All our videos these days end up with Gemma pulling her "Gemma eats Tokyo" move by grabbing the camera and eating it. She makes us laugh so much!

Here she is getting her crawl on first thing in the morning:

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tooth-y Girl!

No pictures, just an announcement:

Gemma is now the proud owner of her own little bottom baby teeth... more like tooth.  We see the other bottom one trying to come out but only one has slightly popped through.  Scott is the one who discovered this wonderful event yesterday.  When he told me over the phone I couldn't help but jump around for joy, literally.  Aaaahh.  I love being a parent!

And Gemma has been such a super star.  She was a little fussy the the before and drooling but nothing too out of the ordinary.  We feel really lucky that the teething (so far) hasn't dramatically affected her... yet... (crossing my fingers).  :)

I hear that molars are really the ones to watch out for... yikes!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Revvvving UP!

Gemma is on the brink of crawling.  She's practicing a lot but still hasn't fully connected all the dots yet.  We are not in too big of a hurry since we know when she starts there will be no stopping her!  :)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Laugh Attack!

Scotty has a way to really make Gemma laugh.  This video cracks me up!  Watch out for the surprise ending!  LOL!  :)

Grandparents!!! More

We had a wonderful time with Scott's parents.  Gemma got to spend a lot of time with her Grandma and Grandpa Krotz and it was sad to see them go...  Before they left they helped us with a lot of house projects like making curtains for Gemma's room (in the picture).

When Gemma turns 1 (in 4 months!) we hope to spend some time in Nebraska so that Gemma can meet her Great Grandma Krotz.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Grandma and Grandpa Krotz are visiting us from Chicago. After some craziness from the airlines, where they had to stay the night over in Denver, they finally made it to sunny CA yesterday! :)

Gemma has been really sick with a stomach virus all week (not fun) and she's finally starting to recover - just in time to give Grandma and Grandpa some smiles. :)