Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tax time

Everywhere you go, it is tax time. Here in Ecuador we have to submit them by March 14, so lots of frantic receipt searching going on around here. Good thing hubby is so on top of everything. If it were on my head, we'd have a much smaller pile of receipts as I cannot seem to remember to keep them, or remember where I've stashed them when I do manage to keep them!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Airports and Spy Labs

Agustin is so creative with his Legos. This morning he was excited to show me the airport he made, and later in the day he made a spy lab. In the airport you can notice the planes, the main terminal, and the posts all over that let the planes now how to approach and sound alarms when there is an emergency. It looks really cool!

Friday, February 26, 2010

And more dressing by ourself!

Got another picture of Nico getting dressed by himself this morning. He puts the shirt really carefully on the bed. Then, he lifts one side and puts his head very gingerly in the opening. In slow motion, he pulls the shirt over his head, as if afraid that it won't work and his head will never find the opening. Once it is over his head, things go a bit faster. But the slow motion part is hilarious.

And the finished product!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Turning four means learning a few things

Nico will be four in about a week. He is really excited, and has finally shown some interest in doing more "big boy" things. It probably doesn't hurt that Mommy has been telling him Hannah, who is only 2, can do things like get herself dressed by herself. At first he wasn't impressed, but I asked him if he thought girls were better than boys, and he decided that they weren't, and if a girl could get dressed by herself, so could a boy. So now he has taken to getting dressed by himself in the morning. Not good on those frantic weekday mornings that we are running late, but worth it in the end, I know!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Retro Dinner

I had a little flashback tonight at dinnertime. I remember when my parents got TV trays and would let us sit in front of the TV and eat dinner. It felt like such a special treat. Now, I won't pretend that we have never sat in front of the TV for dinner before. It happens quite a bit, actually, although as the kids get older we have been better about it, but we haven't done so in quite some time, so tonight actually did feel like a treat.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Lately the kids have been playing so well together. They will invent a game and play for hours. The newest one is "Hot Wheels Spies". There has been considerably less fighting around the house as I see them acting like best friends.

ETA: Andres made me realize that almost all my pictures of the kids are in their pajamas. It's true! And it's sad, that I only see them early morning and late evening... :(

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Morning Routine

This is the early morning routine. The kids climb out of their bed and into ours. We were up before them this morning so when they came in all sleepy-eyed they were a bit disappointed they couldn't cuddle under the covers. Agustin is a bit of a bear in the morning (yep, he's my mini-me), but Nicolas is usually pretty happy in the morning. They both look so cold, though...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Welcome to the jungle

Tin enjoys a bit of 80s rock, along with his mum (been hanging 'round the Brits a lot). He likes Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Billy Idol, and Guns-n-Roses. He likes country, too. I like the fact that he basically likes any music I do. It's fun sometimes to have a mini-me.

Back to the title of the post, however. Welcome to the jungle - our jungle. The grass in our back yard has not been cut since before Christmas. It is long. There are insects and little animals in it. I am sure there are toys hiding in there as well. We have not had time to ask the gardener to cut it. It reminds me of something Tricia said, about how her brother-in-law living in Mexico cuts his little yard with scissors.

I laughed then, but now it is seeming like a good solution.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh, Harry Potter, How I Love Thee

Finished The Goblet of Fire last night, and started The Order of the Phoenix this morning. They just keep getting better. My mom had said that Goblet of Fire wasn't that good, but I loved it, and loved that it was over 700 pages, which means it lasted longer. I guess my favorite so far is still The Prisoner of Azkaban, but honestly, Rowling is a genius!

I am getting nervous though. What will I do when I finish Book 7?

{Gulp} I don't want to think about it.

One funny thing - every time Agustin sees me with a new book, he gets all excited. Last night he saw Book 5 on my night table and he looked at me incredulously and said, "Harry Potter FIVE?!" Then he started dancing and jumping all over, all excited.

As I write this, Nicolas saw Book 5 on my night table and took it and climbed up on the bed and said, "Harry Potter Five? I'm gonna read Harry Potter Five."

Friday, February 19, 2010

The table is finally filled!

Got some light decorating done this week. Finally filled the compartments on my lovely little coffee table from Cuenca. Was getting scared that I would forget to and get used to seeing it with nothing in there, and 6 years later realize it has stood empty the whole time.

I really love how it turned out - we've got popcorn, and red, black and white beans in there. The kids like it too. So far they have both asked if they can lift the glass and play with the beans.

Ummm, that would be a NO.

I don't think they will be able to lift the glass without the help of a paper clip, and those motor skills won't be ripe until age 8 or so. Hoping at least...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Purse as Decoration

These purses have been on the side of my bed for a good 6 months. They have become part of the background and just today I looked at them and thought, "Why don't I pick them up?"

Of course, I went to write this post without picking them up and imagine that in another 6 months I will be taking another picture about how they sit there still. Part of the decoration.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tick Tock

Got this cute little alarm clock today for the new shelf. It makes a tick tock sound and has a little light that can light up at night. So adorable.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hanging out with the ones who matter

Read a post by my sister today that made me think. I was sitting here at my computer working and checking the internet while the rest of the family was upstairs. After reading the post I thought, "What am I doing down here by myself?" Ran upstairs and hung out with the kids and hubby the rest of the night and it felt good.

MUCH better than surfing the internet.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Box

I think The Box is a big reason while the kids like Ambato so much. We barely left the house these past three days, but the kids had so much fun and did not want to come home this afternoon. Why? I think it is The Box - a big box where a bunch of Daddy's and Uncle's old toys have ended up. Old cars, Legos, Bingo cards - with a mix of a few newer acquisitions like killer whales and dinosaurs - make for nonstop, fun-filled play. Fourteen hours of it - from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Addicted to Harry Potter

It's bad. I'm addicted to Harry Potter. I finished the third one (The Prisoner of Azkaban) this weekend in Ambato and almost cried because I hadn't thought far enough in advance to bring along book 4.

Got home, first thing I did was go get it from Agustin's shelf.

Started reading and really just don't want to put it down long enough to make some supper.

So may skip supper tonight.

Yes, it's that, should I say good?

Next will be the movies!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Ambato was crazy crowded this morning after the parade. We did NOT go to the parade - we are not crazy. But the city was quite full and dirty when we went out for lunch as the parade was ending.

The kids were excited to get out of the house, though. They wanted to buy Carnaval foam (and we did - I was the only one who played with them. Me - ha! The only one who supposedly does not like Carnaval) and loved watching everyone spray each other. The only fun I get out of the whole thing is watching them. I really cannot see what is so fun about Carnaval.

Had lunch at Bottero, and it was good. I got this picture of Agustin, who was playing at the table as usual. We often bring some toys for the kids so they can play while they wait for their food, and Agustin really gets into it. He brought these little soldiers this time and spent a good half hour blowing them up all over the table. Poor guys. Agustin's always had a really great imagination, though. If we forget the toys, no fear. Just give him a napkin and he'll make a space ship or car out of it and zoom it all around.

The highlight of the day was the bit of scrapbooking I got in.

I brought a box of things and got four layouts done, and of course had a great time while I did! Will try to post them tomorrow!!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Off to Ambato we go

On our way to Ambato this morning to celebrate the Carnival vacation! The kids are SO excited - they love going to Ambato. All Kas says is, "Mommy, Ambato is cool, isn't it?"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Our Long-awaited Shelf

We finally got a shelf up over our computer desk. It was something we've wanted for a long long time, and Andres finally decided to go ahead and design something and get it ordered. He didn't tell me - it was a surprise (probably because I was the one who couldn't decide what the shelf should look like, so it never got done).

I love it. He did a great job. Now we just have to find some cool stuff to put on it!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A "New" Computer

Andres got our old Performa up and running and the kids have been excited to have their own computer to play on. Agustin especially, since his friends are always talking about their Wiis and computers and TVs. I doubt very much that those things belong to the kids (ummm, probably to the parents?), but Tin is convinced everyone has more than him. Oh well, get used to it, kiddo!

Kas isn't usually left alone on the laptop, but with this computer he can be on it without supervision, so he is excited to get on it and type. He types and types and types, and if you didn't know any better, it would look like he really knew what he was typing.

I suppose Aunt Amy would have a problem with all that typing going on in the other room, but the clickety clack of the keys just makes me smile!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy (early) Valentine's Day!

The kids got Valentines from Grandma Bauer today. They were so excited to open the package but I made them wait until after supper. Supper was pizza, which tends to go down pretty easily (or shall I say quickly?). By the time they finished eating I had forgotten about the package, but they hadn't.

"Where's Grandma Bauer's package?" Agustin asked after he finished his meal.

So we opened it up and they got a kick out of the stickers and Valentines. Nicolas decided to stick his Valentine to his head (something he learned at school apparently), and Agustin had to do the same, but didn't quite have the technique down.

PS Happy Birthday, Grandma Chris!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Astroboy up next

This weekend will be a four-day weekend (Carnaval!!) and we will be going to Ambato. Agustin has decided that we will have to go to the movies to see Astroboy, so that will be on the agenda. He saw on TV that McDonald's has Astroboy as the Happy Meal toy - I bet we will be eating lots of Happy Meals these coming weeks, trying to collect them all!

Monday, February 08, 2010


Duckie is Nicolas's favorite stuffed animal. He likes how soft he is. If Duckie isn't around for bedtime, Nicolas will whine and moan, "Duckie, duckie" until he is found. But during the day Duckie is mainly forgotten...

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Reading Hour

Lots of reading going on these days in the house. The kids picked up a Pink Panther book this weekend at the library and have read it several times. I just can't say no - when they ask me to read, I have to drop everything and do it. Daddy is the same, but for Legos - when Agustin asks him to play Legos with him, he drops everything.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Library Day

Went to the Damas library today - it has been a lifesaver for me these past 2-3 years. One of these days I will put up a post with the books I've read, 90% of them from that library. I took the kids with me today. Agustin goes through the books like water - he really is not selective at all. Since I have to rent them at 25 cents a book for every two weeks they are out, if he gets 25 books, that can be a bit pricey, so I told the kids to keep it to four books today. They were great - went through the big stack they had originally chosen and pared it down to four. But then...Mommy had to do the same.

One of the things I miss most about home is having a (good) library, as well as a Barnes and Noble, nearby. Geez how I miss the library and B&N.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Don't step on a car

I was in Ibarra today. The drive home was foggy and rainy and darker than dark, pretty tricky for these old eyes. The kids stayed up for me, which was great, so I got to see them when I came in. Walking in the door is tricky, however, since you have to try not to step on all the cars that always seem to be strewn around the house, regardless of how often you pick them up. But it makes me smile. My boys sure love their cars.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Getting around to Harry Potter...finally!

So I've decided to read Harry Potter, finally. My mom gave me the first three books many years ago, before I had kids, and I read the first two and half of the third. Then I decided that I wanted to read them all, in order, so I stopped reading and started collecting. This summer I got the last one, and so finally this week I decided to start reading. Just finished the first one, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and loved it (I liked it the first time, too). I'd love to read them to the kids (I remember my mom reading us Little House in the Big Woods), but I think it'd be too scary for them (they're huge babies).

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Looking for a school

The last routine of the morning - getting our shoes on. This year will be Agustin's last at Freedom. He will be going into 2nd grade, I can't even believe it. And we have to find a school, which is torture. Choosing the right one, one not too far, not too expensive (most of them are around $300 a month, too expensive in my opinion for the quality you get - most of those schools really aren't that impressive). I can't take the decisions. I just want someone to tell me that THIS is the school he has to go to and period.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Transformers for bed

The Transformers book has been a hit. We read it every day, and the kids are not getting tired of it.

Our nightly routine consists of reading 2 books (each kid gets to choose one, and unfortunately for me, if they happen to choose the same one, they end up choosing another anyhow - it can make for a long bedtime routine). Then the kids get tucked in, say prayers (Nico makes fun the whole time but Agustin takes them very seriously), and then Mommy has to stay and sing songs in the dark as they fall asleep. We started the song-singing back in November when one of the kids was feeling bad, to help him fall asleep, but somehow it has become a tradition. Right now the four most requested songs are Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, the Transformers song (from some commercial when I was small - I like that one since it is only two lines long), and On Top of Spaghetti.

I am usually exhausted by the end of the entire routine and collapse on my bed.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Bookshelf makes mommy smile

The title says it all. Somewhere to house the kids' books is a good thing. And I love that now the boys can get to their books easier (before they would always fall and make a mess). Nicolas is especially enjoying the shelf, as I will often find piles of books around the house or on his bed as he takes them off the shelf and looks at them.