Miles is 5 months old

Sometimes we look back at how difficult we thought things were when it was just Jacob and laugh. It was nothing compared to how difficult things are now with both he and Miles. Then one of them will do something so cute and it will warm our hearts, making things seem a little easier.

Miles has grown so much in such a short period of time. He is definitely moving up in clothes sizes faster than Jacob did. And you can tell he is eager to get on the move in order to chase after his big brother. The two love each other so much. Miles is still one of the first thing Jacob looks for in the morning and Miles always keeps an eye on Jacob while wondering what he is up to.

Miles is rolling all over the place. Earlier today, within seconds, he rolled from the middle of our living room to half under the couch. He would have made it too if not for his big noggin getting in the way.

He had his first taste of solid food today too. It was a bean without the skin. He seemed to enjoy it so solid foods are right around the corner.

Miles still greatly prefers mommy to daddy. Normally I would feel bad about that but Jacob was the same way when he was younger and I eventually won him over and got on equal footing with Val.

Stress is high for mom and dad, but we are managing. These two little guys are so worth any trouble that they can dish out. Before we know it, both will be running. That’s when the trouble will really begin.

Happy 3rd birthday Jacob


I still remember the feeling of that day. The mixed emotions that included excited, scared, and everything in between. It was the day that I received the most important title I would ever earn. It was the title of “Daddy.” He would not call be that until later, but every time I hear it now, I realize how blessed I am.

So much has changed in these three years. Jacob has grown so fast. Much of his personality has emerged. And while he has his moments of naughtiness, for the most part, he is a very good boy that is driven by curiosity and a love of fun. That’s something that we as adults could learn from him.

Watching him meet his “friends” this week brought so much joy to my heart. His “friends” are named Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and others. Seeing Disneyland through his eyes was so very different for me. While I saw lines, crowds, and dollars flying out of my bank account, it was all worth it to see the joy he was experiencing.

And now, he has a little brother in Miles who he loves so much. A little brother that he wants to see first thing in the morning. A brother that he worries about when he is crying while trying to calm him by saying, “It’s ok Miles. I am here.” He is a great big brother and all of this is just one example of how big his heart is.

I cannot imagine my life without this family. It has helped me to grow and love even more than I thought possible. There are trying times, but through it all, I am thankful.

Happy birthday to my little man. I want you to never lose your sense of wonder and joy about the world. Keep playing. Keep loving. Keep enjoying life. It is an honor to have you as my son. I love you.

Jacob David Bonilla
Born 9:30 PM on May 6, 2013
6 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches from head to toe

Miles’ first laughs

Mellow Miles

Two days ago, while we were visiting Valerie’s coworkers to introduce them to Miles, he laughed for the first time. Unfortunately, it was during a moment when it was just he and I. No one else got to witness it.

Then yesterday, he laughed for the second time. This time, both Valerie and I were there to see it. She was so happy to finally see that little laugh of his.

Like everything else he does, his laugh is uniquely Miles. It’s not really like how I remember Jacob’s first laughs. Jacob would laugh hysterically. Miles kind of laughs and then just smiles at you. It is more subdued but not any less adorable.

Sadly, Miles was running a bit of a fever yesterday. So it was his first time being sick as well. But through it all, he is just as happy as ever and finds time to smile, laugh, and wonder what big brother is up to.

This little two-month old is growing so fast and it brings back great memories watching him go through all of his own firsts.

Where has the time gone?

Jacob riding “his” pony named Chips

Every now and then I see a photo of Jacob from one or two years ago. Even the photos from just a year ago make me wonder where the time has gone. People are correct. They grow so fast that if you blink, you will miss a lot. 

Sometimes I look at Miles and remember what Jacob was like at his age. It doesn’t seem like it was almost three years ago. Three years is a long time. But here he is, closing in on his third birthday and he is communicating with us much more clearly than I could have imagined. He has his own distinct personality. His own likes and dislikes. He even tries to trick is sometimes to get his way.

Where did the time go? I feel like I missed a lot for some reason. I didn’t, but he has grown so fast, it just feels that way. I keep thinking that I need to just sit there and stare at Miles to fully appreciate these moments that go by so quickly. He is already smiling and wondering about the things around him. Looking at him and then realizing in less than three short years, he will be where Jacob is – it makes me emotional.

Jacob even knows how to show me that he loves me. He gives me kisses and hugs all the time and it just melts my heart. I never want to let go. They are perfect moments. Just as perfect as the first time I held him in my arms. 

Then I see him playing on his iPad, going from app to app and interacting with each. He has been doing that for some time now. He is so big. He figures things out so fast. Sometimes I just want him to be that little guy that needed us to carry him everywhere. At the same time, I love his independence and eternal quest for joy. He loves his family. He loves loves loves his baby brother. He loves his friends. He loves his Lord. He loves his music. He loves so much. There is so much love in his heart. 

I am proud of who he is. He gets into trouble, but overall, he is a very good kid. We thought he would be jealous of Miles, but it has been the exact opposite. He loves him so much. When he hears him in the morning, he wants to climb into his bed to be with him. When he cries, he wants to comfort him. When I pick him up from school, he asks about him. “I want to see baby Miles,” he says. And he means it. I am so proud of who he is and who he is becoming. 

Today was Valentine’s Day. Typically you think of romantic dinners, time between two lovebirds, etc. Well, for this family of four, it was a usual Sunday filled with lots of family fun. Do I miss those romantic times with my wife? Sometimes. However, what she has given me means so much more and I would not have it any other way. 

Miles is two weeks old


Asleep at Panera Bread

Miles popped into out lives just two weeks ago. Time has flown. That’s not because it has been all sunshine and rainbows since he was born. It has been hard, very hard, on both of us. He pretty much just eats, sleeps, poops, and repeats. However, it is all on his terms.

Jacob loves his baby brother. He asks for him every morning. When he gets home from school, he goes to look for him. Lately he has been getting into a little trouble at school. Perhaps it is related. We’re trying to figure all of that out right now.

Miles went to Panera Bread with mom and dad for his two week birthday. Exciting, huh? Well, he slept through the whole thing so he probably doesn’t even know that he left the house.

For the most part, he is a pretty mellow kid. Sometimes he just lays there looking around or staring at us. I guess he is trying to figure everything out too while taking in his new surroundings.

Figuring out our routine and dealing with getting everything done while having another little one around again has been a task. Luckily, for the first week or so at home, we had help in the form of Valerie’s mom. We are always so grateful for our family who is always willing to help in any way they can.

We sure are tired, but our little family of four sure is worth it.

39 weeks and ready to pop!


One way or another, our newest addition will be out by about 7:30 AM on Tuesday. Jacob is excited to meet his little brother. After all, he said that he wanted a baby brother for Christmas. We’re just a little late on this gift.

We’ve gotten most everything done that we needed to get done in preparation. Our overnight bags are even in the car already.

I have not allowed Valerie to venture far from the house or the hospital. The other day she craved a restaurant a little further out and I said, “No! 20 minute radius!” I’m not taking any chances. The nice thing is that unlike when Jacob was coming, we live just minutes from the hospital. So I am a little less nervous about that.

So 2015 passed without a delivery. So that means no tax credit until next year. I think Valerie is just ready to get this done though and meet the little guy. I think I will always feel like we can use just a couple of more days.

Soon enough, he will be here and the [even more] restless nights can begin. Stay tuned…

37 weeks: Time is running out


Well, that snuck up on us. Here we are at 37 weeks now (as of yesterday) and it feels like we had all the time in the world not too long ago. Of course, things have been hectic since Halloween so that may have something to do with it.

With work on our house 99.9% done, we are focusing on getting things ready. Today, I had the fun task of raising Jacob’s old crib back up to the newborn height. A task that sounds easier than it actually was. We are gather supplies like diapers and such in preparation.

Val started her maternity leave, so now we’ll be able to coordinate things better.

Jacob seems to be getting excited. Sadly, he gave up his bedroom for the baby. It was just easier than moving the crib and everything baby related to a new room and figuring out a way for it to fit. We just moved Jacob’s bed. He likes his new room though because all of his toys are there. After all, it was his former playroom. He’ll get the bigger room back when he gets older.

The baby has turned and is now upside down, waiting for the day to exit Val and enter our lives. Val seems to think that the baby will come early. Like right after Christmas. Of course, that is just a feeling. We shall see.

We’re almost there.

34 weeks and busy busy busy



With unexpected work going on at our house and Team Bonilla living out of a hotel, things have been very busy. Once we get back into our house, we will probably start scrambling to get things ready for our new addition’s arrival.

Baby Bonilla has been moving around a lot in mommy. Sometimes to Val’s delight, other times causing mischief. Just like with Jacob though, Val is strong and a real trooper. She goes through all of that and still manages to be a great mom to Jacob.

Just a few weeks separate today from Jacob meeting his little brother and we could not be more excited, even with plenty of life distractions keeping us busy.

Breaking my heart and filling it with joy at the same time


Being a father has opened me up to all kinds of emotions that I didn’t even know existed. Sure it is a lot of work, worry, and stress, but it is all worth it. Times like when your son wakes up, jumps out of bed and runs over to your bedroom to find you. Even if he does say, “I went poo poo daddy.” You can’t help but laugh.

Apparently you can have your heart broken and filled with joy at the same time. Jacob must love ‘Father & Son Friday Mornings.’ After we finished at Coffee Bean, we headed to school to drop him off. As I got ready to leave, Jacob pulled me close, gave me a big hug, and whispered in my ear, “Don’t go daddy.”

It broke my heart, but after a little thought, it filled my heart with joy knowing that he loves me so much that he wants me around. It’s one of those mixed emotions that just makes you sit in your car and reflect and relish that moment.

Things are very hectic at home right now. Things are tough on Jacob and they won’t be easier for another month or so. Plus, the time change has prevented our near-daily trips to the park (or ‘pawk’ as he calls it) after school. He has been trooper. The stress of everything going on really gets to me sometimes. However, moments like that bring me back and remind me of how much we have and how blessed we truly are.

30 weeks and counting


Valerie at 30 weeks

The other day, Valerie showed me a little countdown app that she has on her phone. It said there were 60 days left until her due date.

How has time flown by so fast? And with the holidays coming up, these next two months will probably fly by too.

Valerie is now in her 30th week. It is almost time to get the ball rolling on baby’s new room. I’m a little surprised there has been no nesting yet. Of course, we are both so busy and about to get even busier.

Yesterday, Jacob said that for Christmas, he wants a baby. Well boy, do we have a surprise for him!

Jacob gets a new drum set


Last weekend, friends came up to is in church and asked, “Are you two the dumbest parents in the world?” We had to answer “probably.”

Of course they were joking — maybe. What they were referring to was photos of Jacob with a new drum set. And we’re not talking a toy drum set either. This was the real deal.

Originally, for Christmas, we had planned to get him a bigger drum set than the little toy ones he has. Turns out a friend of ours had different plans when she found this professional junior set at a garage sale.

Once he saw them, we knew there was no going back and we had to bring them home.

It’s needless to say that he loves them. In fact, on the car ride home, he fell asleep with the drum sticks in his hand.

We’re trying to make sure he knows that drums are for after school, not early in the morning before school. Luckily, houses in our neighborhood have a little distance between them. If we lived in a condo or something, our neighbors would hate us.

And then there are times when Val and I say something to one another but just realize that it is pointless because we can’t hear each other. Maybe we should text each other.

Jacob knows that he has to wear his ear muffs too while drumming. At least his ears won’t suffer. He loves them though and we are glad. We want to encourage his love for music along with his love for coloring, bubbles, and peanut butter.


Valerie at 28 weeks and counting


Valerie is at 28 weeks now. Before we know it, Thanksgiving will have passed and we will be scrambling to get everything ready for Jacob’s little brother.

As the baby grows and Valerie’s tummy gets bigger, she still finds the energy to keep up with Jacob. Valerie’s app says that the baby is the size of a head of cauliflower right now. I can’t really picture that, but it sounds like a decent size.

Once again, we heard the heartbeat today. I am feeling movements when I rest my hand on her stomach. Soon enough, Team Bonilla’s numbers will grow by one. Sadly, Valerie will be outnumbered three boys to one girl. Go boys!

Jacob never ceases to amaze me

Jacob on the swings

So we were just sitting at the dinner table enjoying our food. Jacob was mumbling something – as he often does. We didn’t think much of it until Valerie recognized that one of the mumbles was the name of a month.

It turns out, he had been naming the months of the year. The kid is two! Two! Look, this is my first experience with this, but this seems amazing to me. Maybe there are a bunch of two year olds out there running around saying the months of the year for fun. I don’t know. There is no way I was doing that at two. I was probably trying to avoid running into walls or something. He must get it from Valerie. 

The amazing thing to me was that he was saying them in order. I was floored, flabbergasted, and any other past tense verb you want to throw out there. I asked him if he knew how to do calculus too. Come April, he’s doing my taxes. 

He really is learning a lot at his school. We are so happy that he is there. So far, he knows his months, can count to 39, say his ABCs, knows all his colors, knows the days of the week, knows his shapes (including octagon – seriously?!), and much more. We’re glad he loves learning. 

Valerie at 24 weeks and counting

While Jacob hits milestones like going potty in his potty chair for the first time, our newest addition, due in early January, continues to grow, grow, and grow.

I had the pleasure of feeling a little flutter already while resting my hand on Valerie’s stomach. I have yet to feel the full on kick that I first felt with Jacob when he was around the same age.

Baby is moving around and kicking though. Soon we will start looking at getting his room ready. We can’t wait to introduce ourselves to him.


24 weeks

Valerie at 22 weeks



This is Valerie at 22 weeks along. Our new addition is expected in early January and everything is going well. There is still a long way to go, but we know time will pass by fast. We have a lot to do like getting the baby’s room set up, put Jacob in a big boy bed, move his crib into baby’s room, continue teaching Jacob about being a big brother, and much more.

I asked Valerie how she is feeling right now. She said, “The answer is always ‘hungry.'”

We wish Jacob fully understood what was happening so he could feel like he was more involved. He probably just thinks mommy is eating a lot.

We can’t wait to meet Jacob’s little brother.

So blessed.

5 months already? Jacob learns how to be a big brother

It’s hard to believe that Valerie is already 5 months into the pregnancy of our new little addition. Time has flown by so quickly. The due date may even sneak up on us. The good and bad thing is that Valerie has been craving some pretty awesome food lately. Last night was chili cheese fries. The bad thing is that I’m gaining some weight too. Probably more than Valerie. Haha!

We have been trying to teach Jacob about being a big brother, making sure he feels involved. Today, a baby visited his class at school and his teacher said that he was very good with the baby and that he will make a great big brother.

Here is a video of Jacob looking at his book, “I Am a Big Brother.”




Proof that Jacob’s belated Christmas gift will be a little brother

Here are some pictures of Jacob’s little brother at 19 weeks (from Friday), including proof that Jacob will be getting a little brother just after Christmas. They asked if we wanted to know the sex and we said “Yes!” Then with a quick turn, we saw what you see in the second photo (minus the text of course) and just started cracking up. “Well, that was easy.”

What’s funny is that before we saw the second image and were looking at the profile view, Valerie said, “That looks like Jacob.”




Dad: Still a work in progress


Jacob and dad time at the “pawk.”

Over two years later, and with a second son on the way, I am still trying to figure everything out. Jacob is an amazing kid. He really is. I’ve noticed that I have become more emotional since Jacob has come into our lives and I became a dad (Darn you Zillow commercial! I can’t even watch you anymore!). There are so many wonderful gifts that he gives me without even knowing. A laugh, a hug, or even him putting his hands on my cheek to give me a little kiss that just melts my heart.

However, I am not a perfect dad. I’m not even close to being a perfect husband yet! Just ask Val! At least she knew what she was getting into, right? Jacob had no say. I mess up — a lot. No really, I mean A LOT. You take your average dad and double the mess ups and you are maybe getting somewhere close to me. I understand my faults and just continue to try and push myself to be better.

There are days where, after stress, being rushed, or the combination of both, that it just gets to you. Sometimes my patience wears thin. Hopefully Jacob knows that no matter how frustrated I am at times, my love for him never weakens. Hopefully his little brother realizes that as well. Jacob is my best little buddy and soon another little buddy will be joining us, and poor Val, even counting Chalupa (our pet tortoise) will still be outnumbered by boys and all the craziness that comes with us.

I’m not perfect by any means, but I am working on that and won’t stop working on it. Hopefully Jacob and his little brother remember my successes more than my failures.

Because they were previously hidden, here are all those posts about baby #2:

Baby Bean Bonilla

Special Announcement Video

Some already know. Especially those that have seen us lately. For everyone else, friends and family alike, we’d like to take a moment to make a special announcement via the quick little video below.

Who needs music?



Jacob loves to dance. Jacob loves to make us dance. Jacob loves to dance with us. He loves music. He loves signing. Jacob loves a lot of stuff.

Apparently, he loves dancing so much that he doesn’t even need music. Today, Valerie told me that, after dropping him off at school, Jacob was having fun dancing. The interesting thing was that there was no music playing. Who needs music, right? If you want to dance, just dance! If you gotta dance, just dance! No music? No problem! DANCE!

This is all just another reminder of how happy Jacob is. He has his “2-year old” moments, but for the most part, he is a really good kid and we are so lucky to have him in our lives.

He enjoys playing and fun. Something the rest of us should enjoy more often.

Jacob is not a fan of change

So we got Jacob a new toothbrush. We got him a cute little Elmo one since he kind of likes him. His old one was a blue Colgate toothbrush with little safari animals on it. 

How did he like his new toothbrush when he first saw it? He fell to the bathroom floor screaming and crying. How did he like it the second time he saw it? He fell to the bathroom floor screaming and crying. I’m sure you can guess how the third time went. 

Well, we needed him to brush his teeth. So off I went to the store to try and find a new toothbrush that was exactly like his old one. Luckily I did. When he saw it tonight, he was sooooo excited. 

His mouth is finally clean. 

16 weeks (and a few days)

Our new little bundle is growing growing growing. Valerie is showing and baby is growing. In a matter of weeks, we will find out if Jacob will have a baby brother or a baby sister.

Things seem to be going well. We are trying to teach Jacob about being a big brother. Valerie even bought him a book all about it and he seemed pretty interested in it. Every now and then we will point to Valerie’s tummy and say “baby.” He doesn’t seem to react much.

I guess we’ll just keep working at it.



Baby Bean’s 12 week ultrasound

On Monday, we got a better look at our new little addition. He or she is measuring out fine and looking oh so comfy inside of mommy.

We can’t wait to see what you actually look like and see your little face for the first time. Big brother Jacob is waiting for you. I’m sure he will love playing with your baby toes.


Jacob knows how to touch my heart and teach me a lesson

Even when Jacob isn’t trying, there are times when he really touches my heart in a very positive way. He doesn’t even know he is doing it either.

Today in church, I heard a sad story which, as a father, touched me emotionally. The story was about the one-child policy in another country. Parents are allowed only one child and therefore, want sons because they will earn better livings and therefore be able to care for them better in the future.

Anyways, the reasoning behind the law wasn’t what hit me hard. The fact that parents will give up (either before or after birth) a child if it is a girl or has a defect is what broke my heart. As a result, there are buildings many stories high that are filled with children and babies who were given up on. Most of them either girls or children with a defect. Rows and rows of cribs are there and those that work in these places will simply place a bottle in each crib and move on. If the baby figures out how to drink from the bottle, it drank. The ones that don’t … well, I don’t even want to think about that.

The part that really struck me hard was that most of these babies never know what it is like to be loved or held. That was so tough to hear. Thankfully, our church is one that goes to these types of places on missions to try to help, which makes me so proud.

Still, I think of our little Jacob and am so thankful that he has both Valerie and myself. I thought, “Wow, I mess up — a lot. I may not be a perfect parent, but I am sure better than that, right?” I tend to focus a lot on the mistakes that I make with Jacob, trying to learn from them and do better, but still feeling bad for them.

Then later, when Valerie picked up Jacob from our church’s ITM (Infant/Toddler Ministry) and brought him back into the worship center, he saw me from the door and ran to me while yelling “daaaaaddyyyyyy” and practically jumped into my arms. He was so happy to see me. Then I got emotional again because it was then that I realized something. No matter how much I think I mess up as a parent, no matter how many mistakes I think that I make, it does not matter to Jacob. His love is unconditional. Mistakes are forgotten and all he knows is that I am daddy and he loves me no matter what. The mistakes won’t stop, but neither will Jacob’s love. And trust me, the fact that this lesson was taught to me in church was not lost on me.

Even at 2 years old, an age when you would think that it would be Jacob learning lessons from me, it is actually him who has a thing or two to teach me.


Every day is an adventure


Cool Jacob

I love this picture of Jacob from this morning. He woke up happy and ready to attack the weekend.

Jacob is such a happy kid and is always ready for his next adventure. Since turning two, he is starting to have a bit of a naughty streak, really trying to test the limits at times. Overall though, he is still such a great kid. He has so much energy and is always ready to go go go.

We love hearing him sing (mostly the Itsy Bitsy Spider), have fun with his drums, ask for more ‘dance’ (which is music), and get excited for ‘more Amen’ (heading to church). His hugs, kisses, and ‘love you daddy’ fills my heart with joy.

We are so blessed to have him in our lives.