Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Agustin in his "cool clothes"

Agustin has a real complex about what he thinks is "cool" and what isn't. Basically it has to do with what's comfortable and what isn't, rather than brands, although anything with skateboards or dinosaurs or Transformers on it will get extra points. Today he got himself dressed to "look cool" because Mommy and Daddy cannot always be trusted to get the look right. He also made his bed by himself!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The daily nap

The daily nap. It usually starts in the car on the way home. Nico gets transferred to the couch. Today he woke up and grabbed Winnie the Pooh and kept sleeping.

Monday, March 29, 2010


The kids are on vacation this week and were SO excited to spend time at Grandma's house. They had a lot of plans - go to the park, go around the city, etc., but Grandma's car broke down and it was in the shop all week, so it was just time at Grandma's house...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hanging out in Tin's room

Caught the kids today playing up on top of Tin's bunk bed. We have been trying to convince one of them to switch to the top, but they want to both be on the bottom together. I wonder how long they will be able to sleep together before they get too big to fit? It is already a tight squeeze. In the meantime, the top bunk is where they put a bunch of their little toys. When Nico was a baby we made Tin put all his little stuff up there so the baby wouldn't get into it. Now Nico climbs up there like a monkey. While Tin plays, he just throws all the toys down to the floor.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mr. Crabbypants

Nicolas gets angry easily. We went out to eat tonight with the kids and Nicolas got angry before we left and wouldn't move from the door. I think he is growing because he has been taking 2-3 hour naps in the afternoon. He didn't get one today and that is probably why we had to put up with the tantrums.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Parking lot

I have the day off today and got home after dropping the kids off at school and just had to smile. Sometimes you look at the house and think, "What a mess," but not when it's toys. It makes me laugh to see these little pieces of evidence of my kids' free time and imagination littered around the house. I know this mess is Nicolas's - this step is the place where he will play for hours, parking his Hot Wheels cars. I almost didn't pick them up, but decided that it was a bit dangerous leaving them there. They will probably reappear this afternoon when the kids get home, anyway.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monthly magazine

Grandma Bauer subscribed Agustin to a National Geographic Kids magazine for his birthday last November, and every month he looks forward to getting his new magazine. He loves the movie reviews and the little trivia bits about different animals. Today he got his magazine and took it out after dinner. I was washing dishes and all I kept hearing, from both kids, was, "Mommy, look at this! And this! And this!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bedtime Music Ritual

Grandma Chris gave the kids these books with funny songs a couple years ago. The one the kids like the most is "Philadelphia Chickens". They will often sit on their bed during the day and turn on the music and just listen while they follow along with the books. They listen to it as they fall asleep, too. Daddy hates it - he says they listen too loud, but I love it. I think it is cute that they want to listen to music as they fall asleep (I remember doing the same), and they are easier to convince to go to bed now and seem to wake up fewer times during the night.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Budding pianist

Second day with Daddy. Playing a few tunes. The kids have two keyboards, and will sometimes pull them out and bang away a bit.

Some days I really want a piano. I have nowehere to put it though, and have no idea how much one would cost here. Probably more than a car, so I suppose it is never going to happen.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mini pizzas make me smile

The kids are at home with Daddy these new few days while I am in Quevedo and Santo Domingo giving teacher workshops. I hate the three-day trips because the kids really get affected by it, but Daddy keeps them busy. As Daddy loves to eat it is usually all about the food. They might go out for hamburgers or seafood, or stay in and make mini pizzas. While I'm in Quevedo eating gallinazo (some sort of vulture-like bird - like eating roadkill - looked like it at least), the kids were enjoying Daddy's culinary treats. I'm so jealous!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I want SHRIMP!

Nicolas loves shrimp. While Agustin might ask for a hot dog or slice of pizza, Nicolas will ask for SHRIMP! Today it came out of nowhere at 10 a.m. Daddy was already at the supermarket, so a quick call and 15 minutes later Nicolas had his breaded shrimp. Then it was, "I want LEMON!" He wanted a whole one and would squeeze it on each piece of shrimp. A boy after my own heart.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fighting robot

Agustin knows that we don't like him watching violent shows or cartoons. Nothing with fighting. We don't like them to play cops and robbers and all the other games boys like to play. They still play sometimes (boys will be boys), but they know it is something we don't condone so most of that kind of play is clandestine.

So, today Agustin made a robot and he was showing it to me, real excited. I asked him what it did, and he says, "It fights." I look at him and he realizes his mistake.

A moment passes... and then he says, "He save the world."

HA! He sure got me...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ear tapping

Some kids have blankets, others nuks, and still others suck their thumbs or bite their nails or twirl their hair. (I don't have to tell you which one I am...) Agustin has a strange little habit, however. He grabs his ears, with his index finger in back and the other fingers in front, and then taps his index fingers at the back of his ears.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Future Dentist

Back to playing dentist again. I was the patient tonight and Nico was the dentist.

He goes around the house and finds toys that work as dentist utensils. Here is one.

Now tell me that isn't a little scary...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Torture Device... or Necklace?

Not really sure what happened to this guy.

Agustin. Agustin happened.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


It's a great feeling when your house is laundry-less. Probably because it doesn't happen often.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Daddy's pillow

I used to be Daddy's pillow, but now that job has passed to the kids. This is a typical scene in our house - Daddy snuggled up with one of the kids watching TV. No one even blinked as I took the picture.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Grilling days are back!

Andres finally got a new grill, something he has wanted for a really long time. It's probably been a year since the old one completely rusted through and basically disintegrated in my hands one day as I tried to move it. He got a bigger one this time, and not a gas one, which is fine by me since I like the taste of the carbon, and the pain of fanning it and all. (Although, admittedly, I don't really help out with that part. But I do watch.) The kids love it when Daddy buys something new, because they get to help put it together. They both love puzzling things together, but especially Tin.

Later this afternoon the gas guy came by to clean our hot water heater and Tin and Kas watched him the whole time, asking him a gazillion questions. I am sure the guy didn't think it was so cute, since he couldn't work in peace, but I sure enjoyed hearing them ask, "What is that piece for? What are you doing now? You'd better get a new battery! Oh, the new piece is blue! Cool!" and so on and so on.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New pyjamas

One of my favorite things to get the kids is pyjamas. I love seeing them all comfy and warm in their pjs. Tonight we got to wear new ones - a pair Grandma Chris had given us a while back that were too big (in Agustin's case) but finally fit, and a pair that used to be Big Brother's, not that Little Brother knows that, of course!

Tin loves his new pj bottoms (the black Spiderman), and I keep catching him admiring them, from the back, from the side, from the front. Now he is convinced that he is Spiderman, and shoots webs from his wrists all day long.

ETA Pyjamas = British spelling

Friday, March 12, 2010

More memory

Nicolas loves to play memory, although he pouts if he doesn't win. He usually does win, which makes Big Brother pout, because he wants to win. But tonight, Agustin was on his game, and Nicolas wasn't getting many pairs, so he started pouting and we couldn't finish the game.

Nico is at the point where he is becoming more sensitive. Little things hurt his feelings, and make him cry, especially things like Big Brother saying that he doesn't want to play with him. It is sweet, but sad. Nicolas has never been very sensitive, and to see him get upset is really rare, and makes me feel bad too!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Say "whiskey"

I decided to give the kids the camera today, since I never have any pictures of me on here. Agustin took this picture - not too bad.

But Nicolas seemed to be the real photographer. He went crazy, snapping pictures, and they turned out pretty good!

Agustin, of course, wasn't too happy to be interrupted right in the middle of a Bumblebee-Decepticon fight to pose, but he managed to stop playing for a minute while Kas snapped this picture.
Then Daddy came to join us and we got this family picture. Everyone say "Whiskey!"*

* Definite differences in US-Ecuadorian culture. In the US we say cheese, in Ecuador, whiskey!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A blond daddy?

Caught Andres on the phone with his mom tonight. We don't talk on the phone much, but occasionally my mother-in-law will call, and will keep Andres on the phone for awhile. Nico saw the camera come out and had to get in the picture.

A lot of people tell me that Nico looks just like his daddy. Do you see a resemblance? Sometimes I do, but the blond hair really throws me off!

And before I forget, I wanted to write what Nicolas was saying the other day at the beach, while we were playing in the pool. He kept telling everyone that the last one there would be a "rotten egg", but if Mommy was last, she would just be a "scrambled egg". He really loves his mommy, I do have to say so.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

It's over. The end is here.

Well, it's over.


The best books I have ever read.

I am thrilled, happy, but also so sad. It's over. Harry grew up too fast. I read the books too fast. I couldn't help myself - they were amazing and so much fun. J.K. Rowling deserves to be a millionaire.

I asked Agustin today what I will do with myself now that I had no more Harry Potter to read.

He said, as matter-of-factly as the type of kid he is, "Read them again!"

Amazing kid.

No doubt my family will be happy this obsession is over. They will have their mommy and wife back.

Oh, but I miss Harry already and it has only been 30 minutes since I last saw him...

Monday, March 08, 2010

This is the robot...

Coming off a three-day beach weekend isn't easy. We got to celebrate Grandma Shushu's birthday at lunch, but had over 2 hours of homework to catch up on. Agustin was a trooper though and barely complained. I think he is getting used to his homework. When he was finally done he said he deserved some play time. Of course, said play time revolved around this robot.

Yes, this robot. The one from Monsters vs Aliens.

This is the robot we only have one of.

This is the robot that Nicolas wants if Agustin has.

This is apparently the coolest toy we have in the house.

And both kids want it. Always.

So today, after three days at the beach where the kids got along so well, we were back to the same fights. Over the same robot.

And since it is no longer Nicolas's birthday, and Agustin "had it first", guess who got to play with it?

Sunday, March 07, 2010


This weekend was a shrimp-a-thon. The sea and ocean air always wake up the kids' appetite, and this weekend all we heard from Nicolas was how "starving" he was and how he wanted "camarones...and shrimp too". Every time we went into a restaurant, he would shout at the waiters, "I want shrimp, just shrimp, lots of shrimp". They would laugh at this little guy demanding shrimp the minute he walked in the door.

What a little character.

Once home, Agustin was excited to give Nicolas the birthday card he had made him a couple of weeks ago. Nicolas was so happy to have a specially-designed card from Big Brother.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Happy birthday, Nicolas!

Hard to believe, but my little baby is not a baby anymore. At four, there is no more pretending. He is growing in leaps and bounds, and getting more and more independent every day.

The way he plays, intense just like his brother, makes me feel complete. His imagination is amazing and he comes up with the craziest stories.

Today he was the swimming instructor and we all had to do what he said. He had us swimming laps, back and forth, back and forth, then kicking, blowing bubbles, and splashing. He, of course, just sat and relaxed while his pupils worked.

Watching him float in the pool, unafraid of the water and "relaxing", just made me laugh.

Later, after hours at the beach and in the pool, Agustin took a break, spreading all his toys out on the bed to play with.

Nico, however, wanted to go back in the pool. So we did. He got his way a lot today, since it was his birthday. And he took advantage of that as much as he could! :)

You don't need much in life if you've got this smile to look at every day. I am so lucky to be your mom, Nico!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Lifesize airplane

Today we went to the beach, a request Nicolas made a few months ago (he wanted to go to the beach for his birthday). One of the presents the kids got from Laura and Checho for Christmas was this blow up toy for the pool. Nicolas was a bit taken aback by it - it was too big for him and scared him a little. Agustin, however, was more than happy to spend more than 3 hours in the pool today, much of that time crashing his airplane into anything that moved.

Another favorite game in the pool today was "big shark-little shark."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Birthday week

Nicolas has been excited about his birthday for a long time now. Today was the party at school. He had a dinosaur cake, lots of presents, and goodie bags for everyone, and it was a good time. Now, however, he is convinced that he has already turned four. He doesn't quite understand that we celebrated early. Worse when he got a visit from Laura and Checho tonight, who brought not only birthday presents but Christmas presents as well (we haven't seen them for a really long time!). He got beach toys and a basketball hoop and was pretty happy. In his mind he is officially four.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

So handsome

Much needed haircuts today. Nicolas is so cute getting his hair cut - he sits absolutely completely still, watching himself in the mirror and admiring how it is going. Afterwards, with typical Paredes humility, he exclaims, "I'm so handsome!"

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Agustin at age six

Sometimes Agustin looks so old. I can't believe he is in first grade, 6 years old. It seems like yesterday that he had started preschool, needed language therapy, and was such a poor eater. Now he gets excited about Math problems, can read (even a little in English!), plays games that are more and more complex, loves to hear stories about Harry Potter and the Transformers, has lost four teeth, and eats by himself, even getting excited about food occasionally.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Alien families

I spent the whole weekend cleaning - DEEP cleaning - so it is now prohibited to eat in our rooms or anywhere other than at the dinner table. In response to my other post, tonight I told the kids that they had to sit at the table, and they started to complain a bit. Of course I did the Mommy thing and told them that from now on we are going to "sit at the table, like a normal family!" No sooner were the words out of my mouth than Agustin looked at me, and in all seriousness, said, "Yeah, not like the alien families."