Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Works of art

The kids love getting their hands dirty with glue, markers and paper. Tonight before dinner we kept them quiet by having them create some art work. Agus drew a bat car and a dragon car and Nico practiced his numbers.

Last day of school today - no more homework for two months! Woohoo!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Love this face.

Love this smile.

Love his sense of humor.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Some days I get home and the kids are outside on the step waiting for me. I love the "MOMMY"! I hear every day when I come home.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Going through my photos today and this one caught my eye. Agustín in 2005. He was 2. This was at Mama's Pizza. At that time, we were having a really hard time keeping him fed - he wasn't interested in eating at all. This summer if we go to Mama's, I bet he'll eat a whole personal pizza himself!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Washing dishes

I don't really mind washing dishes, but I feel like it is all we do. This month our dish rack fell apart (luckily none of the dishes broke), so we finally decided to get a new one. This time something metal (not wood) - the last two dish racks were made of wood and both got rotten.

Exciting times around the Paredes-Miller household, huh?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pizza night

Went out for pizza tonight with the kids. Decided to eat in at Papa John's, where they have a couple of tables open. Nico didn't make it home, so it was the right choice.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Smothered in kisses

Attacked this morning by the kissing monsters!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A new flavor for Pringles

Agustín loves doughnuts, and this afternoon at the bakery I saw some and bought him one. Of course once I got home Nico wanted a treat (he doesn't "like" doughnuts, so I didn't bother buying him one), so I let Nico open a tube of Pringles. They were pizza-flavored. Agustín proceeded to inform us that he didn't "like" pizza-flavored Pringles, but once he saw his brother dig in, he decided he'd try one. He quickly announced that he "loved" them, then started getting creative, eating a bite of doughnut and a bite of Pringle. In the end, he started eating them together. And then he announced his great idea: "They should make doughnut-pizza-flavored Pringles!"

He made everyone in the family try his creation. It wasn't that bad, actually!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Take my breath away

These are the times when you want to have a really nice camera. Of course finding a bit of peace on the highway where it is safe to pull over is near impossible, so a quick 3-second stop to snap the shot is about all you can usually get, but what a beautiful view I had on my way home tonight from Ibarra.

Now I've got that old Berlin song going through my head...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stories of the good ol' days

Tonight Nicolás fell asleep before supper, so we had dinner as a family of three. Agustín loved the little bit of extra attention he got from Mom and Dad during the meal. At one point, he look at us and said, "Tell me some funny stories of travesuras you did when you were little."

This is not the first time we've told him about the trouble we got into as children. Daddy using Grandma's expensive French perfume as bathroom air freshener, me breaking Jenny K's garage window and locking Amy and Connie in the garage (I can't really remember the story, but that's the version he got), but his favorite stories involve Auntie Amy, especially the one of her and Connie going up to Tom Thumb alone. We will need Aunt Amy's version this summer, as well as any other stories she has for us (censored for a 6-year-old's ears!), because Aunt Amy has decidedly been named the most traviesa!!!!!

*mischief, like trouble you get into for being too curious and mischievous

One of the many faces he made every time we'd get to a good point in the story. He'd be like, "Ooooooo, you're getting in trouble!"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

More glasses woes

Andrés had a little problem today. While watching TV, his glasses just fell off his face. The leg on one side just broke right off. Unfortunately, things like glasses repair shops are not open here on Sundays, although we definitely went searching for one this afternoon. So he will look a little strange until tomorrow, when hopefully someone will be able to give him a solution.

He says he feels a slight breeze on that side of his face.

Ironic that I got glasses and contacts, although I didn't really need to have them, and then two days later Agustín finds out he needs glasses, and now this.

As Grandma would say, when it rains, it pours!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Blackberry

When I first got my Blackberry, I couldn't believe how I had survived before without it. I felt like that for about five months, and now barely ever remember to even charge it. I wonder why that is, that I get real excited about "new" technology when I first get something, but quickly lose steam.

I suppose it could have something to do with the fact that the only phone calls I get on it, as well as emails, are always work-related... I like having the internet on it, but it is a bit tedious and not as much "fun" to look at, so now I don't usually even bother.

What I really need is an iPhone or an iPad.


Friday, June 18, 2010

New glasses

Agustín got new glasses today. Andrés took him in this Monday and found out that yes, he needed them (his teacher had already warned us he was having trouble reading the board if the marker was red or green, so we were a bit prepared). Andrés let him choose the glasses himself, and this is what he chose. They are cute. I was in Guayaquil today and so had to view them on pictures sent to my phone. I can't wait to see him in person!!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Remote

I can complain a lot. Most people who know me would never describe me as having a sunny disposition, nor of seeing the cup half full. But all in all, there are relatively few things that really annoy me about my husband :)

Except this: the remote. And not the fact that he is usually the one in charge of it. I don't even watch that much TV. But The TV is near the computer, at an angle ,where I have to look up and strain my neck a bit if I want to see something on the TV while I am working on the computer. And for some odd reason, every time I seem to think that I need to (or simply want to) see something on the TV screen that Andrés is watching, the minute I look up and crane my neck around, he changes the channel.
He says it isn't on purpose. But seriously? He can be watching anything, and I hear something interesting, turn to look at click - there we go to a different channel.

Oh the dilemmas of modern marriages! haha

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The infamous coin sorter

Andrés wanted a coin sorter for years. This December, in Las Vegas, I found one and got it for him. He loves it and while I haven't seen him using it lately, here is the proof that somehow money is getting in there. (Although I can't help asking wouldn't it be the same to just stick it in a transparent container? This is looking a bit unorganized at the time...)

I still don't understand the fascination or the allure of this little machine, but apparently he is not the only person who feels the need to own one of these - for years I have looked for one, only to always be told that they were sold out.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My birthday present

My grandma sent me a picture of her and of my uncle along with a card for my birthday. It was so sweet of her to send something - I still love getting mail more than anything else, even if Skype and Facebook and things like email are so fast and immediate. But there is nothing like getting a little something in the mail. We always look forward to Grandma's letters, and while sometimes I wish she would get an email account so we could "talk" more often, there is nothing like seeing a letter in her own handwriting. I wish I was better at writing back. I usually take the "easy" way out a call.

Aren't those nice pictures, by the way? I love them!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Contacts again

I finally got contacts again. It is really strange to picture myself without glasses, but I am really excited to have the freedom contacts give you. It will be so nice at the beach!

My contacts are soft, and so much more comfortable than the gas perms. And they are disposable, which I love, since I don't have to feel so nervous about losing them or anything. I mean, I don't want to lose them, but if I did, I would have a replacement and really only be out about $15, since the pair is about $30.

Why did I used to wear hard contacts again? Why would anyone put anyone else through that torture?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Decorating the house

Agustín and Nicolás love to "decorate", and this usually has something to do with stickers. They are really into decorating their bedroom doors lately. This is Agustín's door at the moment. Every time I go by it there is something new on it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Such an imagination

I love watching how Agustin puts things together. While I would love for him to be into the social sciences and humanities, I am starting to realize that he is happiest inventing and creating. He is definitely on the road to becoming an engineer. He is so creative with putting things together and finding new uses for everyday objects. This is his Tweety bird, with a baby sock as hat and some sort of contraption around his waist that works as a tool belt. Even Nicolás was impressed - he's the one who encouraged me to take the picture!

At the moment, however, Agustín has decided his dream job is to be a tire salesman. He has big dreams to create white tires ("Mommy - why are tires always black?") and tires with glitter on them. For race cars.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dinos everywhere

The last time I was at my friend's Jenny's house, she had this cool circular sandwich cutter. It would cut the sandwich into a big scalloped circle, leaving the crust on the side. She swore her kids would only eat sandwiches cut that way, and as we were still having a bit of trouble getting Agustin to eat, we went on the hunt for one. We didn't find a circular one - but actually one that is even better. A dinosaur sandwich cutter. This has been the way to get the kids to eat almost anything - promise to cut it in the shape of a dinosaur and they are happy. Especially Nico, who likes to eat the heads off first!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

NG Kids

Agustín got his National Geographic Kids magazine in the mail (courtesy of Grandma Bauer) today, and it came with a bonus mini magazine inside. Agustín is starting to read more, and so he picked it up and got so excited reading it.

He loves this magazine, and I have to admit, it is pretty cool. Mazes, funny stories, amazing facts about cultures and animals (they love the animals), captions on funny photos, close up pictures and camouflaged pictures where you have to guess what animal is there - he picked through the whole magazine after his bath tonight, savoring all the details.

So fun to see him reading like that, like an adult. So weird to think that he is reading already. That he comes home from school with amazing facts about gravity and the stars and rockets and who knows what else. So fun to see your kids learning.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Making the bed

Every once in awhile I can get the kids to make their bed.

I have to stop myself from remaking it.

Some days I just go ahead and remake it when they aren't looking.

Today was one of those days.

It doesn't look so bad in the picture, but basically the only cover that got pulled up was the bedspread. All the sheets and covers were bunched up at the bottom.

I should probably rephrase the first sentence.

Every once in awhile I can get Agustín to make his bed.

We are working on Nicolás, but he isn't so interested in being helpful around the house yet.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

iPod for tykes

They need to make an iPod for kids. Nicolás loves our iPods and always wants to use them. He doesn't strike me to be as much of a music lover as Agustín is, but he sure likes wearing the earphones!

Agustín, on the other hand, has always loved music. In the car Nico always wants me to turn it down or turn it off, but Agustín is always telling me to turn it up. Agus is always asking me to buy his songs as well. In the last year I have acquired songs as diverse as "Coco Jamboo", "Please don't stop the music", some Pitbull song ("1 2 3 4 I know you want me"), "You make me feel like dancing", "You give love a bad name" (he LOVES this one!), "Welcome to the Jungle" (also a favorite), "The Lemon Tree", "So what" and "Staying alive". He likes Taylor Swift and Shakira. He likes country. He likes rock. He gets into jazz. He likes kids' music. He is truly a music lover.

Nico, on the hand, is very selective. Mostly he likes kid's music. But he does like to play music. He'll strum away on his little guitar or piano, or blow the recorder as loud as he can (very very VERY annoying. very.). While Agus likes to listen, Nico likes to play.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Oh the fights I see!

Tonight the kids were fighting over an ice cream scoop and a mini strainer, trying to decide which one was "cooler." They tried to drag me into the argument, but what can you possibly say? Really? Are either of those things cool?

So, what's your verdict? Which one is cooler?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

What the little ones say...

Overheard this weekend:

Agustín, upon seeing a new brand of milk at the table: "Mommy, this milk tastes the same as the other one. Why are there different brands if they taste the same?"

Nicolás, who called me "Mami linda" (pretty Mommy) all weekend long, and who took out a piece of "artwork" he found in the trash, looked at me with hurt eyes and asked: "Mami linda, how did this get in the trash?"

Agustín, who got a door hanger from McDonald's in his Happy Meal that said "Do Not Enter" and was very excited when we explained the concept to him (His eyes wide, "No one can come in my room?"), and who woke up this morning and put it on his door first thing, then closed it, as I overheard, "Now no one can come into our room, OK, Nico? Except Mommy. If she wants to, she can come in. But not Daddy. Only Mommy."

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Pow! Bam! Boom!

I just love this kid. He completely entertains himself, for hours at a time. He gets into his own little world and gets so totally involved in the play. He does not need any fancy toys to have fun. Today he got into the utensils drawer and pretended to fight against the bad guys. He played both roles - good and bad.

What I love about this is how original and creative he is in his own mind. Last night we went out to eat and didn't bring any toys with us. While Nico sulked and whined about being "bored" as we waited to be served, Agustín just looked over at him, made his two fingers into a "V" and inverted them, to look like a little person. Then he says, "Nico, at school when I'm bored, I don't need a toy. I just use my fingers and pretend and have fun." Then he proceeded to have a (loud) battle between the fingers on his right hand and those on his left.

(I should say that, as a parent, I find this extremely intelligent and ingenious. As a teacher, however, I could see that this is probably just very annoying...)

Friday, June 04, 2010

Zombies and Michael Jackson

Agustin had a dance competition in a local school today. He and his friends represented their school, Freedom, by dancing to the "Thriller" video. I'd been wondering why in the heck he kept coming home from school every day saying he'd seen the "Michael Jackson" movie (I think he means "This is it"). I guess they were doing "research" to get the dance moves down.

Of course he had to dress up like a zombie, in rags, and paint his face. He is always afraid of face painting, I was surprised he let me do it this morning. Under his uniform sweatshirt he had on a tattered shirt. I didn't get to see the final performance, but Grandma went, and he was so proud. He only had a half day of school, as well, and NO homework, which made for a VERY HAPPY boy the rest of the day.

Nicolás, however, was none to happy to find out that Agustin got out of school early and he didn't, though!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Another tooth gone!

Agustin lost another tooth today. We were at lunch and he was eating a cookie when he spit out what was in his mouth and said, very disgustedly, "Mommy, what is this hard thing in here?" He is so picky sometimes about textures in his food, I was just like, "It's just a part of the cookie, don't worry!" Then he put it in my hand "to throw away" and I was like, "Agustin! That's a tooth! Did you have a tooth loose?" He's like, "No," then puts his hand in his mouth, sees a drop of blood on his finger, and freaks out. After we calmed him down, he was okay about it, though.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

My bookshelf

Got a few books on the To Be Read shelf, at the moment. Most from the library. A couple lent to me. Most excited about the Garrison Keiler book. I haven't ever read anything by him. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Life is a bowl of Cheerios

Found Honey Nut Cheerios (actually, the generic brand, Tasteeos), at the supermarket this week, and Nico got very excited. Lately we haven't been able to find any of the imported (or, in my boys' words, "good") cereals, so we stocked up on a few boxes. Not much room in the pantry now, what with all the Special K, Lucky Charms and Captain Crunchberries in there!