Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reason #126 why I don't cook more often.

Kids. Mmm-k?

This is the only evidence I have that my children do not like to let me cook. Since I am unable to both cook and photograph myself at the same time, these pictures are a bit old and were taken by my loving sister on my daughter's first birthday. (And at present, she is 2 1/2).

Cheaper Than Therapy

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Small differences

Life has changed somewhat for me, us rather, since we moved here. I mean, it's modern, it's a big city. There are nearly 6 million people living in Santiago. It's fast paced. I have everything that I could possibly need here. It's just different.

For one thing, we have chosen to live in an apartment building. I used to think of apartment buildings as 2 or 3 stories. (Except of course if you live in New York). But here in Chile, that is not the case. Ours is a shorter building, the floors go into the teens. Many of those around us are much taller.

When we go outside to play, it looks something like this. Sometimes we take the motos (motorcycle), sometimes we take other toys.

This elevator isn't very big. I'm glad it has a window. It keeps the kids occupied.

Both of my kids have been begging me for a dog. Why? Because it's in their nature. Don't all kids ask for dogs? Well, could you imagine trying to train the puppy to go outside? Grab the dog, wait for the elevator....... and then ride xx number of floors down, walk outside.... yeah right. The poor puppy would have already finished on your leg, in the hallway, and in the elevator. That would be horrible. But somehow, people do it. My kids want a dog so bad, they even pretend to be dogs. My brother and I used to do this too when we were little. Here is a picture of Alexa being a dog. She corrects me sometimes and tells me that she is a puppy, not Alexa. *sigh* So no. I don't want to even think about what life would be like with a dog in this apartment building.

I am not sure that I have even spoken about our incredibly small ovens. But here is a picture of mine. I was baking some muffins. And yes, it's just a little wider than a 12 count muffin pan. I have some larger bake ware, and some other things that won't even fit. It's also been fun trying to convert Fahrenheit temps to Celsius.

Another thing I've had to get used to is seeing an actual grocery cart inside my home. We use it to bring the groceries up from the parking area, which is below the building. I'm thankful for it, because it would be a pain to lug up so many bags, back and forth. It's just weird.

While on Twitter the other night, @themomjen was talking about Oreos. I was desperate for some, thinking that I wouldn't be able to get any here. When we went to the store, this is what I found. A small package of Oreos. I used the pen as a reference for size. They were very good.

Now, I'm not going to go into the milk again. I've already discussed that in another post all of it's own. So if you are interested in finding out why I don't eat cereal while I am here, please click on this link and read all about the kind of milk they have here.

One last little bit. We don't take the trash out. Anywhere. We have a trash shoot inside of our apartment. Sometimes I worry that when I open the door, someone from the floors above me will be dumping some garbage, and it will come into my apartment if I open the door. Probably not, but I don't really want to take that chance. I always open and close our door very quickly. And it always makes a loud noise when going down and banging and clanging it's way all the way down to the bottom. You can hear the noise of the people above you throwing out their garbage as well. It's just a bit weird.

So there you have it. A peek into my life. I will be here for another year.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birthday Boy, Cake and a Storm Trooper.

So, as promised, here are a few pictures from this evening. My baby boy turned 4 today. I can hardly believe where the time has gone.

And thanks to the internet, we were able to have my family back in Tucson join us to sing happy birthday to Eddie. It was so sweet, the kids loved it.

Would you look at that face?? This boy has been asking non-stop for this storm trooper helmet. And by non-stop, I mean every single day. He loves loves loves Star Wars, Clone Wars, and storm troopers. Like I couldn't have ever imagined.

Here is my little storm trooper. Worth. Every. Penny. And then some. He is soo happy!

And lastly, I will leave you with a word on the cake. Whipped frosting, raspberry filling (in between layers) and yellow cake. Though I didn't share with you the details of Alexa's birthday cake when she turned two, I'd like to say that this one was better than the last. I was pleasantly surprised with it. It isn't exactly the same kind you would get at the bakery back home, but it is what they have here. And it was pretty good, not outstanding, but good.

So there you have it. I have a 4 year old and a 2 1/2 year old. And new toys to keep them both busy. Oh and cake. I think I hear it calling me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Bakery. And take #3 on Donuts.

Today we didn't do too much. We cleaned. And then we decided to try out a new bakery. It isn't too far away, but we still had to drive. The other one that we usually go to is within walking distance of our building. The reason that we chose to go over there, was because we have been told that they have been voted the home of the best empanadas in Santiago. We were given this little bit of information by one of the locals. So they must know what they are talking about, right?

If you aren't familiar with empanadas, they are basically a pastry type thing usually stuffed with cheese and or meats. They are delicious, and worth a try if you have never had them before. They come with two types of crusts. The first is more of a doughy bread like exterior, and the second is very flaky and light. The flaky ones are my favorites.

So when we pulled up to the place today, there was a long line. And it remained long the whole time we were there. People just kept coming. When we left... the line was still long. I took my camera with me because my mother was asking for pictures of the bakery that we always go to. I have been raving about how nice it is. Sorry mom, I didn't get pictures of that one, but I did take pictures of the one that we were in today.

The empanadas, by the way, were fabulous. I also wanted to relay my latest donut experience with you.

We bought this little gem. Just for me. I wanted to give this place the benefit of the doubt. I mean, ALL donuts made in Santiago couldn't be bad, could they?? I was about to find out. I cautiously set it down and took pictures. For it looks fabulous, delicious even. Don't you agree?

This particular donut is a creme filled (like custard in the states) chocolate iced donut. I was very hesitant as I took my first bite. It was soft. Fresh. Brownie points to them for getting something right. The creme was good, not overly sweet. But the chocolate was not what I was hoping for. And that's 3 for 3. I am quite sure now that they use the unsweetened chocolate to ice these donuts with. In 3 separate locations the chocolate has been the same. Not sweet and hard. But in this instance, at least the freshness of the donut and the creme, really hid the fact that the chocolate wasn't sweet enough. Not like a chocolate covered donut you would purchase back home. It looks pretty sure, but I'd like to get that good gooey chocolaty taste to go along with it. I guess I will just have to wait.

Tomorrow I will be reporting on their birthday cakes. I don't think I posted anything on my blog about the cake when Alexa turned 2. But Eddie's birthday is tomorrow, and we have ordered a cake for him. Pictures to follow. So stay tuned!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Trumped by a Colonel.

Lately I've been all about schedules. I am adhering to them for the sole purpose of gaining a little "me time" in the afternoons while BOTH of my children take their much needed (and strongly opposed to) naps. So, it seems to be working out nicely. The kids sleep, and I get some time to recharge my batteries too. The kids have a way of running me down to my little nubs. They wear me down. It's just what happens. So schedules. Yeah. It's a must.

Speaking of schedules, we also have a bed time ritual that we love to stick to. The kids get a cup of milk, a story and we put them in their beds. And this all wraps up by 8 pm. Life is good again.

I have also begun to adopt one day a week where I do not cook. I have chosen Friday as this day. Monday through Thursday, I have cooked every single night. When my husband comes home, we have dinner ready to eat. And that too is good. The kids are at an age right now where they can play with each other, and not drive me up the wall long enough to allow me to make something resembling food for dinner. It's a blessed thing.

So on Fridays we are either going to go somewhere and pick something up to bring back home to eat, or we will all just go out to a restaurant and eat. Doesn't matter, I'm not cooking. And the cooking thing... well that's all just very domestic of me. I didn't cook that much when I was back in the states. Truly. It would have interfered with my shopping. But I'm not minding it so much. It's working for us. Of course it's working for him, but I'm not minding.

So tonight. Let's get back on track shall we? We had plans to go to this Peruvian chicken place. The food is really good. And it's not too far away. I was looking forward to it. When my husband walks in the door tonight, he tells me this, "Here's the thing...." When do you ever start a conversation like that? I had the feeling that he was about to change our plans. And. I was right.

He tells me that there is this Colonel at work who had invited us for dinner. Now normally, that wouldn't be such a bad thing. The part about this that makes it bad is that Chileans actually do things a little bit differently than we do in the states. About dinner time?? 9 PM is the standard. Seriously. Anything earlier than 7 PM is just not done. So the dinner request was for 9, and our kids go to sleep at 8.

We were told that we could bring them. Sure. And I'm absolutely positive that this Colonel and his lovely wife and their other house guests were going to be all too understanding when my 2 year old and (nearly) 4 year old started losing their grip with reality, boundaries, behavior and manners all due to their little bodies being tired and hungry. No. I think they would be highly annoyed. I think they would wish that they hadn't invited us. Or more accurately, they would have thought twice about saying, "sure bring the kiddos." It's past their bed times, they need their rest, and yes, they do need to eat at a more respectable hour. They are children.

So I opted to stay home. The husband went without me. And yes, our dinner plans were changed. I'm OK with that. Because he loves me. And because I just bought CS3. For those of you unfamiliar with what that is, it's a photo editing software. I wanted it. I bought it. There you go. And I will make him take me out another night.

Such is life. Things here are different. And I am appreciating the differences. It's a good way to be. I can't change it, so I must just go with the flow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

June 26, 2006

My little man was 14 months old exactly. Here he is pictured with his older brother and sister. (my gorgeous step-kids)

Eddie and I were at my mom's having dinner (I was about 7 mos pregnant with Alexa at this time). Eddie of course ate like a little bird, so he was finished with dinner before everybody else. He went to play in the living room while we finished up. The living room was adjacent to the kitchen, so we could still hear him and peek at him from where we were. He had a cardboard poster tube that he was playing with.

He must have fallen because he began to cry and scream. I went in there to check on him and pick him up from the floor. He opened his mouth and the bright red blood started running down his lips. My panicked heart began to race as I swooped him into my arms and ran into the kitchen. I quickly turned on the faucet and started to rinse his mouth as he screamed. He had blood and water that had drenched the front of his shirt. I kept rinsing. My mother was crying, my father was white as a ghost, and my brother said that he might throw up and left the room.

When the bleeding stopped, I took my finger and pulled back the side of his lip. I wanted to see where the blood was coming from. I felt instantly ill when I spotted one of his teeth was completely sideways in his mouth. He started making a funny movement with his lips and tongue. Instinctively I put my hand up to his little mouth. He spit out one tiny perfect little white tooth, root and all. I looked at it in horror.

My 14 month old baby just knocked out his own tooth. I couldn't believe it. And what's more, I couldn't believe that I held it together when all of this happened. My little man was bleeding and crying and losing the tooth that just finished growing in! I was so upset.

I called the dentist immediately to ask for advice. After our brief consult, it was decided that we do nothing. He said that if he was going to do something like that, knocking the entire tooth out was best since he didn't expose any nerve endings. He recommended he be seen for x-rays in the next day or so just to be sure, but it sounded like he did a great job at his tooth extraction.

Eddie was playing with the cardboard tube. He had it in his mouth and then fell down directly on top of it. The force from the tube hitting the ground, and then subsequently his tooth, was enough to knock it out.

Ever since then, I have been right on top of both of the kids and reminding them not to put anything in their mouths, much less running around with anything in there. Both of my kids have fallen and hurt themselves in the mouth since then. And there have been 4 or 5 times where blood has been shed, and each time I relive the moments when my little baby knocked out that tooth. I cringe on the inside as I peel back their lips to check for broken or missing teeth. I cringe and pray that it hasn't happened again. Once was enough. It's still fresh in my mind because I relived it again last night. Alexa fell down and came to me with blood on her lips. After a quick inspection, I knew that she was fine.

Eddie has been to the dentist 3 times since then, and things look great. He actually looks like a little hockey player now. And honestly, it's his signature look. He's missing a tooth. But that wouldn't be Eddie, not any other way.

Here is the last picture we have of him with of all of his teeth. Taken just 2 weeks before the incident.

And here he is today. Well, not actually today, but recently. Even missing a tooth, I think he's rather handsome. Oh and the little guy that made me a mommy turns 4 on Sunday. (sniff, sniff.)

Cheaper Than Therapy

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

McMommy goes to Chile!

The day that I got the call, I was pretty surprised myself. When I heard that she was coming to my neck of the woods, I was enthralled. I started planning immediately. I took time off from work. Oh wait, I don't work. I thought about it though, if I did have a job, I might actually take a day off, so that we could go play, and see the sights. Or at the very least, swing by the local Dunkin Donuts. Because if you know McMommy, then you know she's pretty big on the ole DD.

So anyway, she flew in and we immediately hit it off. We laughed, we cried, we talked for hours. I took her over to some shops. We walked around and bought a few things. She had a great time, as did I.

I was sad that she only came for the day. But still it was nice having her here. I took pictures of our time together. Hope you enjoy the slide show.

OK, but seriously. I'm a huge McFan of hers. She would totally love me if we ever did meet. She's cool like that.

As an aside, I need to mention that the donut pictured in my slide show, was nearly as bad (tasting) as the one I had blogged about previously here. I wish I were kidding. The chocolate was horrible and unsweet, the donut was hard and it was just generally bad. I can't believe that dunkin donuts in south america could be so different than the states. But yeah. True.

Here are a couple of shots I took while we were there. To give you an idea of pricing, and for comparison $1 USD = 583 CLP (chilean pesos). At least for today.

And for those of you non math whizzes out there, the cost for one dozen rock solid unsweetened south american dunkin donuts is going to run you about $10 dollars. Just thought I'd throw that in there. Oh yeah, and they do NOT have iced coffee or coolattas. Actually they do have them, but their coolattas are fruit flavored. They come in orange, mango or banana. So if you want an iced coffee of any sort, you are just out of luck.

Once again, thank you to McMommy for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed your stay here!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Museum Time

So, the family is feeling better. We decided to get out for a drive and stop by The National Museum of Natural History. My darling daughter was decidedly uncooperative for most pictures. So I don't have many of her. Eddie posed for a couple. And my husband has a slight photo phobia. So. I posed. I'm a poser.

I'm not too sure what this next guy is, but I think it had something to do with some old rituals. But I think he looked pretty cool.

And here is miss pouty thing. She started asking to go home half way through the museum. Nice. All in all, it was a good day. The kids did have fun. And I wasn't too traumatized by driving through the city. We only got minimally lost one time.