Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Family picture

We took this quick family picture the other day for Kim and Kristin's birthday. It was just meant as a quick hi from our family, but now I am realizing that we don't do this enough. There are very few pictures of the four of us, as a family. Normally I wouldn't care or notice much, but last week we went in to our embassy appointment to renew Nico's passport and one of the things they ask for is "proof" that the kids is yours. This usually means pictures over the last five years that depict kid with parents. We had lots of pictures of Mom with Nico, Brother with Nico, and Dad with Nico, but only 3-4 (in the last five years!!!!) of Mom AND Dad with Nico. And those were the pictures she wanted. Luckily, we didn't have any problem at all renewing his passport (he's gonna need it soon!), so no biggie, but one of my goals this year will be to get more family pictures. You never know when you might actually need them!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Eating healthy

It isn't easy trying to create a dinner that is easy, fast, and healthy, especially when your kids won't touch a vegetable and almost won't even touch a piece of fruit. Daddy got the great idea the other night of making little "tablitas" of cheese and ham for the kids, and they loved it! Of course, no veggies or fruits - these two live off of meat, potatoes/rice and cheese - but it was so popular it has been requested a couple of times since!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday is Empanada Day!

We invited Andres's aunt (greataunt) over for lunch today. We have been meaning to do this for a long time - and more often. She has a lot of dishes and recipes that everyone is interested in, so we decided to make pineapple cheese (just a gelatin dish, but called so because it cuts like cheese - please don't throw up in your mouth a little, Amy :) ) and sweet cheese empanadas (de mejido). The kids had to get in on the fun, as well. Andres had the great idea of using the pasta machine to roll the dough.

Unfortunately, they looked better than they tasted. His aunt forgot to tell us to put margarine in the dough, so they were very rubbery and chewy on the outside. I wrote down the recipe and steps, however, and added the margarine in, so hopefully next time we make them they'll turn out a lot better!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Becoming Best Friends

These last three days the kids have been getting along so well together, it's incredible. They never really fight, but all too often Agus wants to do his own thing and Nico just stares at him, whining "Agus, why don't you play with me?" Today, we didn't see the kids even once! (Except for lunch and dinner). They were so busy playing pirates and looking for treasure, they had no idea we were around. It was so fun to just sit and listen to their imaginations at work, and not have to try to find something for Nico to do while Agus played on his own.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Mini container garden

In Orlando I found some seed packets for basil and dill and decided that those were two herbs that I wanted to try growing myself. Basil because we use it often (or would if it would keep in the fridge - but it never lasts more than a day) and dill because it is impossible to find here (although last weekend I found it at the supermarket. Go figure - as soon as I start growing it, after sixteen years of never being able to find it, so does someone else. Oh well, fresh grown will be better anyway!). The dill is growing very fast, but the basil just sits there. I think it said that it takes about 6 weeks. Hmmmm.... worth it?

Next I want to grow green onions and chives! And cherry tomatoes. And zucchini. I am going to need a LOT more space!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two Bugs in a Rug

Another restless night - but this time they both got involved. I love the fact that they want to sleep together in the same bed, even though said bed is not really big enough for two growing boys anymore. Usually it is Agustin who sleeps on top of his brother, but tonight, I don't know what came over Nico, but he came out of his normal sleeping stance of vampire with crossed arms over his chest and actually hugged his brother all night. Agustin woke up and said that he slept so well because his brother hugged him all night.

Is it a little stalker-ish that we go in to stare at them while they sleep? We just can't get enough of the kids, I admit. You can't wait to put them down for the night and then all you think about is how quiet and lonely the house seems while they're sleeping.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Eating our fruit

We made taxo ice cream with all the taxo we had. It is one of the only ways we can get Agustin to eat fruits. Ice cream.

I'm sure the doctor wouldn't agree on this strategy.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Mummy

Agustin, aka the Wiggler, the Wiggle Worm, Mr. Ants-in-his-Pants. This kid can NOT stay still as he sleeps. Poor Nico, who sleeps like a rock and doesn't move an inch during the night, has to put up with this kid's nonstop movements. Tonight, Agustin was whining in his sleep, so Andres went to go check on him. This is what he found. He unwrapped him and put the covers straight, but in the morning he was all wrapped up again like a mummy! And Nico with NO covers!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Reduced-space soccer

The house in El Prado is (slowly) coming along. Basically, all that we need now is furniture. We spent Sunday there having fish and chips and a cake (a little celebration for Bati's being accepted into his Delta Program) and the kids and Daddy spend the day outside playing soccer. The ball went over the fence various times, until they finally had to give up on the game because the neighbors got tired of sending the ball back over.

I really wish there were more parks (for kids) around the neighborhood. The park behind us is beautiful (although built on a hill - not so great for a soccer game) but so full of broken beer bottles that I am afraid to send the kids over there to play. Oh, and dog poop. And other gross stuff we won't even mention. Maybe someday the city will clean that park up, but until they get rid of the midnight drinkers, the broken glass is here to stay.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Off to England (again)

Bati received good news this Friday. He had an interview with the Delta program he was applying for in England, and he was accepted! This is a very prestigious certification program for English language teachers, and very few people in Ecuador carry this certification (perhaps very few, even, around the world). That I know of, there are probably only about 4-5 people in the country at the moment with this certification - and he will be one of them!

He leaves in September. The kids will miss him so much, but I know he is really excited.

Congratulations, Bati!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lazy Saturday

I've got a couple of big weekends here coming up (I will be teaching in Guayaquil in a few weeks and that will be keeping me busy for about a whole month), so a really lazy Saturday is right up my alley today. We just laid around, reading, playing, doing arts and crafts, going for walks, a little TV. Blissful!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Andres did a favor for one of our co-workers, and to say thank you she brought us a crate of goodies from her own garden. We've been working on it all week, and even had to give some away. She probably gave us like 30 or 40 huge lemons (soooo sweet and yummy - they make the best lemonade), 40-50 taxos (I think these are called champagne papayas or something - I'll have to look it up) - we made some ice cream and delicious taxo yogurts with them, and about 15 avocados - the avocados all got ripe on the same day - so we are up to our ears in guacamole!!!!

You can see we also received the Miller News today. That will be going on a scrapbook page later this week...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Garlic Shrimp...Yum!

Had some garlic shrimp today at a really nice restaurant. It is probably my very favorite dish, ever! It was hot, spicy, creamy and garlicky. I wish I knew how to make this at home!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What's my excuse...?

OK, so I haven't been very good this year about blogging. And normally I wouldn't care, but... last year, finding something to blog about every day was so rewarding, and I captured a lot of those little moments of the kids growing up, the cute things they'd say, etc., and this year I'd be hard pressed to even recall one really cute, funny thing they've done/said. (And it isn't that they haven't been saying cute things, of course.)

So, what's my excuse?

First excuse: lazy!

Well, the first couple of months of the year, I really had no excuse at all. I was just being lazy. I wasn't even working fuill time! I just didn't feel like getting on the computer at night. And, for some reason, I absolutely HATE loading pictures onto the computer, so it's usually Andres who does it. So pictures wouldn't get loaded quickly, the time would pass, and the laziness would just grow.

Second excuse: where's the camera?

Our camera was MIA for about the last two weeks or so. I knew it had to be in the house, but where? NO idea.

We finally found it, two days ago, under a pile of laundry. Yes, I had a pile of laundry in a laundry basket that didn't get put away completely for at least two weeks.

Oh, the shame.

Third excuse: Heroin

Actually, not heroin, but I feel like a heroin addict must. Because look what I just found!

OK, you probably can't see that - but it is the screen shot of the online library in Saint Paul. Ramsey County also has the same. So does Hennepin County. I registered my library card online with Hennnepin County and voila! I can check out books and download them to my iPod!!! At three different libraries!!!!!

I spend every hour of the day either reading (I have so so so so many books I have put on my to-read shelf and a lot of catching up to do!), or browsing the digital shelves. My family hasn't seen my face for the last two weeks, and my eyes feel like they will fall out one of these days, but it is like pure heaven. Some people want chocolate ice cream and cake. Me, please, just give me a book. So I think - five minutes loading pictures and updating my blog? Or five minutes reading that book I've got going (I've got like 5 going at the moment). Like an addict, I always go with the addiction.

Can you be addicted to books? Not that I care. Like a true addict, as well, I can't get better if I don't recognize the addiction, and I have no intention of doing so, but just for curiosity's sake, can you?

Oh, don't bother answering - I won't have time to read your comment, anyway, since I'll have my nose in a book.

PS - Just to give you an idea, so far this month I've read five books from my online library:

Blood, Bones and Butter (Gabrielle Hamilton)

Zeitoun (Dave Eggers)

The Girl who Fell from the Sky (Heidi Durrow)

Wicked Prey (John Sandford)

The Help (Kathyrn Stockett) - just finished this last night and it is So Good. Like a modern day Gone with the Wind. Loved it!