Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our routine

It is nice to have a routine, now that the kids are in school. We come home, finish homework, then play for a while until supper is ready. By 8 p.m. the kids are in jammies and in bed, waiting for their bedtime story. When they were very little, I loved this tradition, but sometimes now I wonder if it was very smart of me. As they get older, the stories/books get longer, and now they both want a book, since they can never agree. It turns into an hour-long ordeal some nights, and if we refuse a story they have a fit, claiming that it will give them nightmares (and it usually does).

Today we "read" from the Arthur book we got this summer at the library sale. The pieces were missing so Daddy had them made and laminated, and the kids love putting all the characters all around the pages, in their slots. Now they like to tell their own stories with them (which involves a lot of smashing heads and feet in doors and standing upside down), but sometimes these stories will go on for twenty or more minutes.

They never seem to tire of them, though.

Monday, November 29, 2010

December Daily 2010

I finally got my December Daily base done. I had most of it done back in October, but needed to finish and tweak a few things. This weekend, with the censo and the order that we could NOT LEAVE OUR HOUSES, I was able to finish. It doesn't look as great as other years, in my opinion, but it will be different and once the photos start going in it will probably shape up.

Here it is, day by day.

Oh, and I am seriously loving my new scanner!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Feeling better?

Andres has been feeling pretty rough the last few weeks. But today he had to get up early to wait for the census takers (more on that below) and suddenly I hear music (gasp!) from downstairs. I peek down the stairs and see this. Dancing! Shocker.

As for the Census, Ecuador is making the hugest deal out of this whole day. I am getting a little PO'd at it. They canceled all national flights (tried to cancel international but couldn't - I just heard a plane go overhead), and are making the whole country shut down between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., so everybody will be in their houses for the census. No big deal, except last night they say anyone OUTSIDE of their house (like taking a walk or a run) will be asked to go home or go to jail if they refuse. I don't know how likely it is they would actually do that, but it is SO stupid. If the Census taker comes at 8 am, I have to spend the rest of the day locked up in my house? Craziness.

I shouldn't dwell on it more, it just makes me mad. There is always something completely crazy and ridiculous that these people have to invent.

In the meantime, I plan to get my December Daily done and (hopefully) my tree up. I was actually looking forward to staying in today, but to not even be able to leave the house to go for a walk seems a bit excessive. What is this now, a police state? Geez!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dinosaurs and Turkey

Agustin created these dinosaurs today, all by himself. He made their cave, and even gave the green one a slab of meat to nibble on while we took the picture. It never ceases to amaze me how creative that kid is!

On another note, we did end up having our Thanksgiving meal today. We didn't get home to put the turkey in until about 3 pm, but I was really organized this year, and also used Amy's crockpot stuffing recipe, which helped free up pans and oven space, and we were eating by 7 pm. Too late for the Ecuadorians among us, but it was yummy anyways.

The menu:
  • turkey
  • stuffing
  • mashed potatoes
  • green bean casserole (I laughed at the 10-minute prep time on the recipe - I have to boil the beans, make the soup from scratch, then make the onion rings from scratch, so this was a two-day process!)
  • deviled eggs (I didn't forget this year)
  • corn
  • jello pretzel "salad" (gotta have a salad ya know!)
  • pumpkin pie
No pics. We were all so hungry that there was no time for that!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A big surprise

Today I came home and Andrés told me to wait on the couch. Suddenly, he placed this huge box in my hands. A new printer! I am so excited - this is scanner, copier, and printer, can print photos (yay, here I come December Daily!!!!!!!!). I have especially been feeling lost without the printer now that I am teaching. Sometimes you need to print out something last minute for classes and it has been a nightmare trying to send it to Andres, then have him print it out for me at work. Now I can do it myself! Woohoo!!!!!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is always late around here. We don't get vacation, so we always have to work on Thursday. We usually celebrate on the Saturday after.

This picture is from last year. I am hoping to celebrate this Saturday, but just found out we have to be in Tin's school that morning. We have also all been really sick with a cold/flu for a couple of weeks around here, so not sure what I will be able to get done. And I haven't done the shopping yet. No biggie, except that because of the Census this Sunday, the supermarket is going to be packed. Nothing will be open on Sunday, so every Ecuadorian and his brother will be at the supermarket, stocking up in case the world comes to an end that day. Not sure I want to battle the crowds with the way I've been feeling.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Congratulations! It's a boy! And...an iPod!!

"Mommy, I was in your tummy when I first played the ipod. I was always playing monster trucks. And then when the doctor took me out he found me in there with an ipod."

Nico, age 4

(Sorry about the picture orientation. Some bug is refusing to rotate it.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The highlight of the week

This week on The Grandpa Dan Show...

Grandpa Dan goes to jail!

Grandpa Dan and the kids tell jokes!

A monkey swings from a tree!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The sun!

The sun! I found it! A sliver of it! It's still there! Somewhere behind the mountain! Somewhere someone is feeling it's lovely rays!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What happened here?

Woke up this morning and came into the hall and was greeted by this.

They didn't look like that before bed last night.

The kids had gotten up early and quietly decorated their doors. Then they each went into a room and informed us that if we needed to get inside, we were to knock and wait until they said we could enter.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cold feet

You know it's cold when the kids, who never want to wear a sweatshirt or even socks sometimes, go and grab their slippers without anyone telling them to.

Come on, Quito, warm up!

Where's the sun?

Friday, November 19, 2010


Happy birthday, Agustín!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taking turns

As I said, a familiar sight in our house.

Agustín waits patiently for his turn. Too patiently, perhaps, because Nico sometimes takes advantage and "forgets" that it is Tin's turn next.

Sometimes Tin gets a finger in there for some action of his own.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Lifesaver

It has been uncharacteristically cold in Quito this last week or so. There has been no sun, and temps have gotten to about 35-38 degrees Fahrenheit at night. I know it is no Minnesota, where it has already snowed and they are already complaining about the wind chill, but there's no heat in our house!

Meet my lifesaver. My sister Amy made this for me a few years back, and it has been the best present I have EVER received. You put this little baby in the microwave for 2 minutes (I do four - I like it HOT!) and it come out all toasty warm. Then, I put it on my feet, on my lap, in my bed, over my shoulder, etc., and it keeps me from freezing my poor little toes off. Better than sliced bread!

I saw these this weekend at the Damas Bazaar. I thought about getting another one, for those really cold days, but they were $40-59! Ha, I wanted to tell them, my little sister can make one that is WAYYYYYYY better than yours, so there!

Amy, you should make a whole bunch and then try to sell them down here. You could make a small fortune I supppose!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Almost 7

He will be seven in three days.

Seven years ago, today was my due date. I went into the doctor and the doctor said we should probably do a C-section and I freaked out and begged for a couple more days. I was terrified of having a C-section. More than labor, for some reason.

Well, we waited until the 19th, when I went in and the doctor scheduled an emergency C-section because the fetus was in distress and the heartbeat was going down. Agustín spent a week in the hospital, 3-4 of those days in the ICU, and I still can't help but think that it was probably my fault.

Or maybe not. I don't think the doctor would have let me wait if it had been dangerous. I want to tell myself it was just one of those things. It happens. No one really understands it. But in the end the C-section wasn't the worst thing that could have happened to me. Having a sick baby was, and suddenly how he came out seemed the least of my concerns.

(Almost) seven years later I can look back in relief and know that he is OK. He is healthy and strong and seemingly unaffected by the incident. But I wasn't, and am not, and will never forget that terrible scare. To this day, I can't watch the video that Andrés taped for me to bring into my room so I could "meet" my little newborn until I recovered enough to go up to the ICU without seriously bawling my eyes out.

We love you, Agus!

Monday, November 15, 2010

iPod Junkie

This has become a familiar sight in our house.

Both kids love my iPod, but Nicolás is developing a serious dependency on it. Every day, the first thing he says when he sees me is, "Mommy, can I play on your iPod?"

(Another thing he says when I ask for a good morning or kiss first, is, "When I see you, I think of the iPod." Ummm....)

If I say yes, he gets excited and then goes into iPod mode. Worse than TV mode, iPod mode means you cannot get his attention for anything, save taking the iPod away.

Which results in a screaming/crying fit, which, in turn, results in my saying no more often than not. When turns into a screaming/crying fit, and so on.

He loves the Monster Truck and Shrek cart apps.

Agustín also enjoys the iPod but isn't nearly as obsessed with it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


One of Nico's favorite things to do (well, aside from play on the iPod, but that's another story), is play ball. Soccer, basketball, volleyball, catch, baseball - you name it! Tonight he had me sweating, playing basketball in the house with him. I taught him how to dribble between your legs (still have it in me! Although it DID take some practice) and he LOVED it. He doesn't quite have it down yet, but practice makes perfect so they say!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Little surprise

Today I found this on my iPod Lock Screen. A little creation.

You might think it was a surprise from one of the kids. Nope, that was Andrés.

It's love, I tell ya!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Little Hands and Little (Pincher) Toes

Someone once told me to be sure to take pictures of my babies' hands and feet because someday I would miss those little fingers and toes. I didn't always remember to do it, but tonight Andres caught Nico's hands on film (chip? Can we say film anymore?).

He also caught him doing the pincher toes. Go on, Nico, make Daddy proud. Soon you'll be lifting tables.

Like father, like son.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


When all else fails, make beef and broccoli or some other stir fry.