Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy 3rd Birthday, Valentina Lee!

Our darling little girl is 3 today! It's hard to believe how quickly it has gone by. We have had our traumas, but the stress of it all gives way to the pure joy this little thing called love, brings us each and every day. 

I haven't decided if I will return to this blog... Perhaps I will start another instead. But for today, I will give you a little update.

Valentina is growing like a weed. I don't have her current measurements in front of me now, but she is right on target for her height, and while she is on the skinny side, she is well with get the range of normal and healthy! She is long, and lanky like her father. I am convinced she will have his height and leanness. Her hair is a lot darker than mine was at her age, but it is certainly a lot like my natural color... Dark strawberry blonde. And her eyes.. Hazel brown. (I am hazel green, daddy is brown, so her golden eyes are very unique here in Portugal, and in general!) 

Developmentally, we are a little behind agede in some respects, but I think given the circumstances, she is on target, maybe even advanced in some ways.

Valentina speaks predominantly Portuguese, but uses command words in English. She knows her ABCs (almost perfectly!) in Englisg, and can count to something around 15 in English, 10 in Portuguese. She knows her colors, shapes, and animals and correlating sounds in English, and has some letter/ word identification. For example, if I show her a flash card with the letter H, instead of saying "horse," she will say "neigh!!!" We are only now stringing together short sentences, but she sings songs from start finish (ABCs, I'm A Little Teapot, Baa Baa Black Sheep, On Top of Spaghetti, Wheels on the Bus, etc). 

Valentina is obsessed with the film, Annie. We watch it 3x a day. She sings, dances and acts out the parts. Shaun the Sheep and Timmy Time are also big favorites in this house. There is nothing more joyful than hearing her giggle in the next room, curled up with her iPad, watching Shaun the Sheep. 

Oh, and she is a freakin' terror. We routinely trash the living room, and is kinda terrible at cleaning up her toys., but we have arguments over the broom, the vacuum, and the mop. (She does a terrible job with these, too....) 

Valentina loves the color purple, which is in fact, was a big surprise to me one day. I wasn't even really aware that she knew how to say the colors, or identify them correctly, until one day in the way to pick up big sister Bianca from school. I asked Vivi what her favorite color was, and she immediately responded with, "purple!" 

Despite my best efforts, this kid is a night owl. She is 3 going on 17. Ready to rock and roll all night, sleep until noon if you let her. She is still obsessed with her monkey, loves coloring, play doh, dancing, singing, gardening, her baby dolls, putting on boots, sitting on the potty (no real success yet, but we are working on it). 

She is caring, demonstrates a working knowledge of right and wrong, but is a total firecracker. Clearly the "ask for forgiveness is better then asking permission" philosophy is strong with this kid. (Sigh) Valentina loves soccer and Minnie Mouse. When Bianca is at school, she is always looking for "sissy," and is obsessed with Daddy. Obsessed. 

She is becoming a great little swimmer, and enjoys her grandparents (Patsy, Poppa, and her Vovos in Portugal). And of course, loves her American doggies, Dappy, Dada, and Hudsie. And since I call my mom, Ma, a lot, she follows suit, bellowing, "MAAa!" to Skype my mama, every time I open my computer. 

We start school in September. What else?! 

How about some photos... ;D

That's all for now, folks!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Almada Roller Girls!


After all the roller derby struggles of Lisbon, a few southside ladies decided the commute + drama was enough... So we founded ...

Almada Roller Girls

And a little video to see what we do......

And then there are the hits....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer Plum

The first of the summer plums are showing up in the markets this week. I did the ol' squeeze 'em test... But I should have taken a bite, because I bit into a tart one... But since baby was interested, I gave her a taste, assuming she also wouldn't want to eat it and it would be discarded. But she seemed to enjoy it, so I let her gnaw for a few minutes with those 2 teeth of hers. Within a minute, she had peeled a long piece of plum skin off, do I took the choking hazard out of her mouth and got the peeler out, to remove the skin and let her enjoy her snack. Ooooohhh she screamed bloody murder!! She was pissed!! I quickly peeled... Them gave it back. But there were a few tears.. That were just too precious not to share...

Omg! <3

Monday, June 10, 2013

DIY Friday Weekend Projects

So Victor is working the sound board at music concerts and festivals most weekends this summer... So I declared my weekends to be dedicated to DIY projects that I have pinned on Pinterest. Here is my first successful project!! Thank you Mom & Dad for the plants to complete this gorgeous display of my craftiness!

I have about 7 other projects in various stages I completion... I am ashamed to say. But if Baby continues to actually nap once a day... Maybe I will be able to catch up on some of them.

#palletgarden #DIYFRIDAY 

tiny terror on 4 wheels

bia-birra on 8 wheels

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Baby loves laundry. Clean, dirty, she loves it all. Her favorite is clean, folded, and ironed clothes.

Monday, June 3, 2013

( i couldnt help myself)

so in the last post, i forgot to mention that among baby's new skills, preferences and things that make me giggle...  she loves to kiss her mama. oh oh oh, swoon.  

12 Months Update!

I know, I know, I know.......  I have been the WORST.BLOGGER.EVER.  Especially after my New Years Declaration to write more, post move, take more photos, etc...

But more on that later... I swear...

VALENTINA LEE CASTRO is awesome.  What more do I need to say?!  At her 12 month check up, she weighed 7.390 kilos, which is about 16.5 lbs.  Her height/ weight is perfect for her corrected age, which at the time of her first birthday, was a little more than 9 months old.  My momma and Grandma Lee came for a visit at the end of April, and Momma and I were looking at MY baby book.  Valentina is remarkably similar to my hight/ weight at 9 months... c.u.t.e.... 

She is crawling all over the place, looooove standing with support, and is now getting into everything!  Drawers, cabinets, anything anywhere near the floor is bound to be slobbered on and smashed in her pudgy, sticky little fists.  OMG.  swoon.

We need to start baby-proofing the house, in a big. big way.  

In other news, I have been crazy busy gardening, skating roller derby, cooking, baking, tackling a long list of DIY projects around the house.  Photos of my projects coming soon, too!  AND I know I was talking about Valentina's Birthday Photo Shoot!  It got postponed for several reasons.  Daddy Victor wanted to be there and the weekends just keep slipping away... Then my car was stolen in Lisbon, so I was literally stuck home for about 2 weeks, as Victor has been working crazy hours lately and I couldn't get to the beach, the scene for our epic photo shoot.  The huge plus to the postponement though, is that I have officially decided on the theme for Valentina's Coming Home Party, at the end of July.  Since baby couldn't eat cake for her official 1st birthday, May 8th, I was reading online how preemies celebrate their first birthday.  So we are celebrating the date she came home from the hospital, which is more accurate to a 1st birthday, developmentally speaking.  I have no problem giving her a sugary delicious cupcake to smash ("eat") when she is developmentally 12 months, but 9 months?  She could hardly swallow bites of bread without giving me heart palpitations!  

OK OK OK bring on the photos!!

And I swear... cross my heart + hope to die, stick a needle in my eye:  I. WILL. BLOG. MORE. OFTEN. PROMISE. 

omg! this is my morning!

happy birthday baby

not humored....


1st time baby pulled herself to stand
she immediately began to chew the railing... 

google wished me a happy birthday!
i'm 25! woohoo!!!!


morning walk to the school bus with big sissy 
new game.
we both laugh a lot. 
this is my baby and her baby

grandma patti & great grandma lee came for a week in april!
here is their arrival photo

nice view from their hotel in sesimbra

day in lisbon

omg i love this baby
(see those little scars on her hands?  from all the IVs? sniffle sniffle)


happy birthday big sissy bianca!
9 years old!

monogram silver toothbrush.
nothing but the best for our little petunia.

beautiful birthday baby

"baby- proofing" the liquor shelf

big girl cup!

i love my puzzle from great.grandma lee

we dont have much hair... but its growing in
NO diaper NO

practicing for our photo shoot

apples & blueberries for baby

i was missing MY daddy, so bianca and i shared a banana split
cos "grandpa steve makes the best ice creams" says bianca

chicken, baby rice, sweet potatoes and carrot "meatballs" 
what i am doing lately