Thursday, March 20, 2008

Jueves Santo: The Last Supper

Today, jueves santo, is the big day for Ecuadorians. For some reason, however, I am at work. We will be here until later today conducting teachers' meetings, getting ready for the next cycle, which starts on Monday. Of course, it is strange because Easter is so early this year. It's been hard to remember that we are already upon that day. (And I, the lone Easter bunny this side of the equator, have NOTHING to put in the baskets! EEK!)

Today is the day that Jesus and the disciples ate the Last Supper, so Ecuadorians celebrate by gorging themselves with fanesca. This soup is pretty complex, and aside from the dried salt cod (making it the vegetarian choice - imagine us Protestants eating HAM on Easter Sunday! My goodness, haha), it also contains all of the spring harvest items found in this part of the world: pumpkin, squash, peas, corn, fava beans, red and white beans, peanut sauce, even hominy and lentils or rice in some families! After you eat all you can of fanesca (for me that means a half a bowl - that soup is rich!), you eat some more. Then, you follow it down with a dollop of thick mashed potatoes on a leaf of lettuce, and rice pudding for dessert. A lot like Thanksgiving in the U.S. When you think your stomach can handle no more - you have another bowl of fanesca and a jug of Mylanta and call it a day. I don't think we'll be making fanesca this year - it gets quite involved and has a lot of ingredients, but I will contribute something to Sunday's lunch - I'll make deviled eggs with those eggs we colored last week. I hope they'll be good - last year they all went rotten on me and we had to throw the whole lot away.

We have tomorrow off and I plan to just lounge around the house. We are all trying to get over a cold, and the weather has been so rainy that the highways to the coast are pretty treacherous (can you say landslides?). So no beach for us this year. Anyway, the beach for semana santa (Holy Week) is usually so packed it hurts to go. No, we'll stay home watching DiscoveryKids and whatnot and eating deviled eggs.

In other news, last night at about 1 am we were rudely awaken by a quick tremor. It only lasted about 2 seconds, but was the type that, had I been standing, I probably would have been thrown to the ground. The earth totally shifted, it didn't even shake, and while it did that about 2-3 times quickly in a row, we stayed up for another hour wondering when the next ones would come. Luckily, there was nothing else, and the news this morning reports no one hurt and no property damage. After the huge earthquake in Peru, however, I am more nervous than ever. This was only a 4.4 - not much, but the first one I've felt since moving to our new house (over 2 years ago).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I guess I should send out a very Happy St. Patty's Day to all of those with Irish descent out there. I forgot completely and am decked out in pink instead of green, but when I get home tonight I'll have myself a nice beer (no Guinness around here though) and wear some green to bed. I do have Irish blood, by the way, so by default so do my kids, and I am probably doing them a disservice by not hamming it up a bit more. Of course, what fun is St. Pat's Day until you're 21 and old enough to get some green beer? So, until then, my kids will probably never appreciate the nuances of this so-very-Irish holiday...

Pic from

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Getting ready for Easter

Agustin helped me dye eggs this morning. He got a little rough and ended up squishing a couple, but he was so excited. He was very particular in choosing the colors we used - first blue (of course), then turquoise, then orange and peach and then green (the prettiest in my opinion), and then he opted for a violet pink.

Little brother was with daddy doing errands, but got real excited when he saw them too. Amazingly, Nicolas was very gentle with the eggs, holding them so carefully. I'm surprised he didn't chuck it at the wall or someone's face, though. I think he'll grow up to play basketball the way he likes to throw things around.

Here they are choosing their favorites.
They don't want us to eat them though - too pretty.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yes! It's the weekend!

Say cheese!
Getting ready for bed. Agustin didn't go to school today because he's got a bit of a cold. Nicolas is quite crabby and ready for bed. After the kids fall asleep I plan to scrapbook, blog/journal, check out the 2peas web site and just basically loaf around. Thank God for Fridays!

Friday, March 07, 2008

On the Merits of the Marshmallow

What is it about marshmallows? they seem to have an unexplicable lure for the members in my family, and father and sons together will literally drool for a small bowl of mini marshmallows. Every time my family comes to visit they are expected asked to bring a bag.

After school snack? Marshmallows. Hungry for supper? Need a marshmallow fix first. Why are the kids bouncing off the walls? Why, marshmallows, of course!!!!

In other news, yes, I forgot to upload the picture yesterday. We got back from playgroup rather late and by the time supper was made and kids eaten and in pajamas, there was no time for anything else. Agustin didn't have time for homework, either, and I'm sure the teacher won't be happy with us today. His homework is too long, some days, and I just can't make him do it when he's sleepy or crabby. Thirty minutes of copying a huge sheet of the letter Ss is too much for a four-year-old, especially when he's been in school all morning! I am just against this whole excessive homework idea, and I can see that this is going to be an uphill battle for me as the kids go through school.

Weather? Cold. Not as cold as MN, but downright too chilly not to have heat in the houses and at work. Add a co-worker who refuses to close the window, and you've got one ex-Minnesotan with frozen fingers having to type everything twice because her fingers aren't working right.

I suppose minus 5 is worse, but still: WHERE IS THE SUN?!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

My baby turns 2!!!!

Wow, it is hard to believe but today Nicolas turns two years old! We have a party planned for this Saturday, and will also celebrate Grandma Shushu's birthday that day. Hopefully a few kids will come, and some family, and it will just be a restful day where everyone can enjoy each others' company. The weather hasn't been so pleasant lately, so we'll be happy if we just get no rain or drizzle (I'm sure the kids would like to play outside a bit) and, if we're lucky, maybe we'll even get a peek of sunshine.

We got our toddler a Prep n Serve kitchen, something we've wanted to do since Christmas but couldn't get the time to go and pick it up, and then they ran out of them at the store and it was too late for a Christmas present. This time we bought it early (Monday) to be sure to have it in time for the party, and the kids have been cooking nonstop since. Of course, now we basically just break up fights over who can cook and who can wash dishes (wish this were real life and not make-believe!) and of course, who the lucky duck that gets to play with the frying pan and hamburger bun will be. When they finally come to an agreement, however, I can think of nothing more pleasant than sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and watching my two growing boys playing peacefully together. It usually lasts about half the cup, so I've learned not to fill the coffee to the brim.

We have playgroup scheduled for today, so I'm thinking about bringing a cake so we can sing Happy Birthday, and then once we get home I plan to upload a picture of our birthday boy, taken early this morning on his special day. More to come!

Edited 3/14: Here he is on his birthday morning!