Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas + Miami family reunion

Christmas happened! We had a traditional Cuban dinner on Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) with cousins visiting from Miami, and then Frank and I went to a 10 pm caroling service followed by "Midnight" Mass at 10:30 pm at our parish. The church and the liturgy were stunningly beautiful. Just like last year, walking into the glowing church late at night to see this display took my breath away. I got this picture of the Christmas decorations the following Sunday:

Frankie had taken a good nap that evening but he was still a seriously cranky Frankie for most of Mass. After a solid nursing sesh in the vestibule, he caught his second wind and was all smiles for our friends and priests after the service. We didn't even mind his behavior because we were so happy to be there. "Midnight" Mass at my parish is my favorite liturgy ever, and that's saying something.

We had a quiet Christmas morning with just the three of us. Frank made a delicious breakfast and we FaceTimed with his family, then took turns opening gifts. I was thrilled to get a new camera from Frank (hurray for much better quality photos!) and a Fitbit from my parents. Frank couldn't resist getting Frankie these cute art books* and a maze toy and wooden car from IKEA. In the afternoon, we went to my parents' house for a Secret Santa gift exchange with all my siblings, followed by board games and Christmas dinner. It was a relaxed and low-key holiday, perfect with the babies around.

On Saturday, we decided on a family outing with our cousins to the Art Institute. Lillian and Matt rode the train in with Frank and me. Lil and I were excited to take a bunch of photos while we rocked babywearing in the city together (and I had to break in my new camera!):

Frankie and his cousin thoroughly enjoyed their day in the city, especially riding the L. I was pumped to capture a photo of this classic puffed-cheeks Frankie face:

Skipping ahead a bit, Frank and I left bright and early Monday morning to head to Miami for a giant reunion on my dad's side of the family.

It was Frankie's first time flying, and we were really anxious about how he would handle the plane rides. Frank in particular was kind of a nervous wreck just thinking about it. Frankie is generally a happy baby, but he likes his routines. With two flights and a whole day in airports (we had a two-hour layover in Atlanta), we didn't know what to expect.

Fortunately, Frankie's behavior exceeded our wildest hopes. The flights both fell right around naptime, and the roar of the engines provided the perfect white noise to put him right to sleep. We were so relieved! It was also a huge help that we flew with my mom and my two youngest siblings. They took turns holding him and helping with diaper changes, which made the whole day flow so much more smoothly. Here's the intrepid little traveler himself hanging out at the Atlanta airport at my brother's feet:

Now we are all staying on Key Biscayne (where my aunt, uncle, and cousins live) and enjoying lots of time at the pool and long walks on the beach. Oh yeah, and marathon naps from Frankie, who both loves and is terrified by all the attention from relatives he's been getting. There are about ten little cousins who constantly want to hold him, play peekaboo, sing to him, and otherwise fawn over the littlest members of the family. Frankie loves it until he gets overstimulated and starts to cry! Good thing there are two babies to share all this attention, because it would be too much for just one of them alone.

Lillian and I have been having so much fun dressing up our little men for the family parties and watching them interact. They show great interest in each other, taking turns staring and giggling at each other's antics. Frankie always tries to pull his cousin towards him (and sometimes succeeds in toppling him over) while his cousin got back at him one time by grabbing his hair and giving it a good tug. As much as we joke about them "boxing" or "wrestling" with each other, we mostly love watching them clap their hands at each other or pat each other's legs and laugh and laugh. It's darling. I think they've gotten so used to being around each other that they will really miss their "twin cousin" when this trip is over!

Frank and I branched off from the group this morning for a trip to the gorgeous Vizcaya. This evening is the final dinner of the reunion and I'm looking forward to hearing everyone's toasts. 

We are in town until the 6th, so let me know if you have any tips for things to do during the rest of our stay! Thanks guys, and Happy New Year!

*Quick note: I've decided to sign up for the Amazon Associates program after hearing good things about it from other bloggers. Purchases made through Amazon affiliate links (which will show up occasionally on this blog from now on) yield a small referral fee. This applies to all purchases made on Amazon regardless of whether the product the consumer purchased was mentioned by me or not, and the consumer’s purchases are confidential.


  1. Ohmygoodnessyourchildissosquishable. Too darned cute - both of them! Happy New Year!!
    The Starving Inspired

    1. Thanks Iris!! I'll pass on the compliment. ;) Happy New Year to you too!

  2. Ahhh, YAY FOR NEW CAMERAS! :) :) :) So exciting!

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