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30 Aug

Toddler Wows!

  1. Everything tastes better with sprinkles or ketchup (or even both)
  2. Words with a U in them are hilarious.
  3.  People actually praise you when you have really long naps.
  4. Pretend cake tastes as good as real one.
  5. Baby dolls don’t complain if you hold them by the leg, violently rock then or feed them Play-Doh cakes. Real baby cousins do.
  6.  Splashing in puddles is so satisfying: you get wet, you make cool sounds and startle mommy at the same time.
  7. If it has Dora on it you always want to use it.  Even if it’s a toothbrush.
  8.  Finding out the things Willy likes are exactly the same things you like. Dressing up? Check. Tumbling? Check. Making cakes and splashing in the ocean? Check and check.  (Willy is the main character in Anthony Brown’s Thing I Like book by the way)
  9. Mommy’s lap is the most comfortable reading chair ever.
  10. Every one in your mommy’s school says hi. Especially when I am wearing a tiny PE uniform.

Toddler woes

  1. Finding out you actually have to buy stuff. And mommy doesn’t necessarily agree that you need the $200 doll.
  2. Fun things like shows or play dates end way too soon…
  3. Those darn canines coming in. Ouch!
  4. Mommy thinks eating, bathing or sleeping is more important than playing
  5. Stuffed animals don’t go in the bathtub!?
  6. You have to take turns when hitting the piñata. And big kids hog the candy.
  7. How come we can’t go out to the yard when it’s raining? Or at 6 am?
  8. Some one said I have to say good bye to my pacifier, my diaper and my crib. I don’t think so.
  9. Mood swings and tantrums. Ok going to nursery school is scary and deserves all the tears in the world but taking a bath? Slicing your sandwich
  10.  Every one in your mommy’s school says hi. Especially when I am wearing a tiny PE uniform.

 

We have a toddler!

19 Jul

Dear Lu,

I think I’ve started a couple of posts stating that you are at my favorite age, but hey, I didn’t don’t know what’s it like to have a 20 month old until you turned 20 months right? The thing is that you rule and after a crazy, crazy teacher mommy school year I’m back to blogging so that I can tell you all about it:

You are a happy, funny, bright, spirited, delight of a toddler. You’re beautiful with your curly hair, tiny nose and bright, long lashed eyes but the thing that stands out the most is your chatterboxy, sparkling personality. You talk nonstop in really amazing, complicated, third person phrases, which sometimes include questions and answers “Lu quiere cenar? Sí, Lu quiere cenar patita? (Lu wants dinner? Yes, Lu wants pasta for dinner)”

Isn´t she lovely?

You are truly your daddy’s daughter: you love books and music. You know your favorite books by heart and demand to sit on my lap and read “Trucas”. Music is a big part of our lives: your daddy plays the guitar and the cello and you firmly state that you (Lucy toca piano) play the piano. You know the words to lots of songs in Spanish and in English (you’re rendition of Twinkle; Twinkle is fantastic considering the only words you know in English are “hello” and the numbers from 1 to 10). You especially love the HI5 theme song, BINGO, Skip to my Loo and all the Trepsi and Musi songs. You also know the names of lots of instruments and yell “Lenny!” whenever you see a conductor on TV (because of Leonard Bernstein, of course) and love imitating you older cousin Phia when she dances ballet.

You are incredibly independent and  can play by yourself for hours: the Little People play sets, your play dishes as well as every stuffed animal and doll you own are particular favorites. You really like other kids and happily say “Hola!” to everyone. You adore your cousin Sophia and
scream like a teenager in a rock concert every time you see her. You can also name your friends from school, swimming and music.

Phia and Lu BFF

You love to laugh and find certain words hilarious: cupo (fit), eco, macarron, fuff, muela (molar). You hear us say the word and start laughing like crazy, then you say the word out
loud and start laughing all over again. You also love tickles and visits from the mommy tickle monster.

You are incredibly clever! A couple of days ago you wanted to color on my bed and I reminded you that “we only color on top of a table while seating on a chair” so you calmly turned around and came back into my room carrying one of your plastic chairs, which you placed by my dresser and started to color because mommy said you needed a table and chair. You also have an incredible memory: not only do you know all of your books by heart but you also know the names of every single member of our extended family and delight us all by enthusiastically
greeting them by name.

Lulita mi amor, we adore you and love the wonderful adventure that means being your
parents,

Love always and forever

Mamita y papi

Mommy and Lu love

23 Dec

This blog post is Inspired by Andrea at Silence and Noise)

Happiness is:

 1.Twinkly, sparkly lights all around the city.

2. Parties, especially singing “Dale, dale” and wacking the piñata.   

3.  Huge, fluffy, huggable stuffed animals

4.  Pasta by the handful!

5. Vacations: mommy and Lu 24/7

6. Books, books, books…

7. Napping together

8. Playing with water

(

Party Girl

12 Dec

Lu turned 13 months yesterday and bad mamma that I am writing her birthday party post one month late but it was such a beautiful, fun party I really think it deserves a post.

Originally we had planned a Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds themed small, intimate party but somehow we ended up with a huge (and I mean Mexican style extended family great aunts and uncles huge) kid filled party and I am thrilled to say everyone had a great time, especially the birthday girl.

The party was held in our apartment building’s beautiful garden.  I love themes so I tried to fill the party with rainbows which remind me of Lu´s cheerful, colorful personality. We put up crepe paper rainbow-colored flowers and hot air balloons (courtesy of the wonderful party wonderland Sonora Market) along with rainbow-colored balloons, mega sequins and a Lucy sign. We (and by we I mean my mom, Lu´s nanny and me) painted and planted tiny potted plants in rainbow-colored pots. The garden looked beautiful but the best rainbow theme was found in Lu´s super cute handmade outfit:

The amazing tutu and rainbow painted High Tops were my mom’s handiwork and the embroidered appliquéd T shirt was made by Lu´s nanny.

The food was delicious: a waffle and pancake bar for the kids along with some rainbow colored Fruit Pebbles treats (same recipe as Rice Krispies treats but made from Fruit Pebbles) juice boxes and water bottles. The grown ups had their own menu featuring fresh fruit kebabs, poblano crepes and sun dried tomato quiche. There were also sliced carrots, jicamas and cucumbers with lime and chili and some veggie chips.

The activities where a probably the most complicated part to plan since the guests ages ranged form a couple of months to 7 year olds with most of the guests falling into the toddler or preschooler category. Finally I decided on a lot of activity stations: a sensory station featuring oatmeal, amaranth, Jell-O and shredded paper tub;, a water play station with a water table and a tub filled with toys and a tiny amount of water; an art station with fruit loop necklaces, finger-painting, watercolor painting, Play-Doh modeling and best of all carton playhouse decorating and finally an active play station with Little Tike ride on cars, a bouncy castle, a swing set and a trampoline. 

The activities worked wonderfully and all of the 25 kids had a blast but the best part was that Lu enjoyed every second of her special day. She bounced on the trampoline wearing a tutu, got soaked on the water table, bounced in the trampoline again, dug into the oatmeal and Jell-O like a champ, ate some finger paint and Fruit Loops, bounced on the trampoline again, hit her beautiful rainbow colored handmade piñata, tried the bouncy castle and decided the trampoline was much better, stared at a bunch of crazy grown ups who sang Happy Birthday,   ate tons of multicolored  frosting and fed some to mommy, daddy and Phia, bounced on the trampoline some more and finally fell asleep for a 3 and a half hour nap. She clapped, laughed, smiled, bounced and smiled all day long showing us that she definitely is like a rainbow.

Lu rocks!

30 Jun

It´s been awhile since I´ve listed why Lu rocks so here goes:

-She LOVES walls and gets super excited every time she touches a wall with a new texture.

-She fiercely hangs on to her toys so that Phia won´t take them away but when she does she just moves on to a new one.

-She thinks our wound up toy collection is hilarious.

-She insists on feeding herself even if that means that the oatmeal that gets stuck inside her nose brings on sneezing attacks.

-Her favorite toys are a stuffed baby dinosaur, my car keys and a rubber ducky (she pats it like she´s petting it ).

-And speaking of petting she adores doggies and will happily

-She sings along to her daddy´s cello practice

-Every time she claps she looks around to see who´s noticing (and she also claps in her sleep!)

-She´s incredibly adjustable: sleeping over at her grandparents’, sleeping in the stroller, while we have dinner in a noisy restaurant, napping in the middle of the petting zoo.

-She looks up proudly when her bath time splashing soaks mommy and daddy.

-She clearly communicates her likes by laughing and babbling and her dislikes by grunting and shouting.

-She lays her head on my shoulder! She hold up her arms when she wants me to pick her up!

-She smiles at strangers from her stroller. It seems like the grumpier the stranger the bigger smile he gets.

-She has tried to eat: my knee, the dog´s ear, a centipede, a spicy chicharron taco, any type of printed paper (silly goat!), her grandfathers’ nose, Phias shoes…

-Her reflection in the mirror bring an instant delighted smile even in the middle of an enormous tantrum.

-She sometimes sleeps trough the night!

-She had what we call “mamitis” aka as stranger anxiety which means she throws herself into my arms. Yay!

-She has bright, sparkly eyes framed by lashed that stick together when they get wet.

-She loves Harry Belafonte

Mexico Monday featuering Jacaranda Trees

20 Apr

Jacaranda flowers carpeting the streets (of Buenos Aires in this image)

Image by Buenos Aires Photographer 

I am not a winter person: I hate wearing 10 layers in the morning and then carrying them around all day (in Mexico City a freezing early morning that turns into a warm afternoon is pretty common) , I get depressed when  apples, pears and  tejocotes replace mangos, litchis, peaches and plums and the sun setting at 6 makes me want to be in bed by 6.30. When Lu was born in the coldest November in hundreds of years the list of why winter is yucky only got longer: dry throat caused by the heater being turned on all day long, tiny fingers and toes hidden by layers and layers of clothing, quick nervous baby baths…

So this year when I saw the first Jacaranda trees blooming I was thrilled.  Jacaranda  are beautiful flowering  trees that fill that turn the city a magical blue lilac purple  color every spring. Every street in México City seems to have a Jacaranda trees and there are neighborhoods and parks that have them by the dozens. In March the skyline seems to turn purple and in April the color seems to slowly descend  to the ground as Jacaranda trees drop their flowers by the hundreds, carpeting roads, sidewalks and yards.  

Jacaranda Trees making Chapultepec Park magical

 

In my childhood Jacaranda trees meant making Jacaranda “soup” in my grandmother’s yard with my sister and cousins. Jacaranda flowers, as far as I know, are not edible but their do have white milky nectar that drips out of the flowers end when you squeeze it lightly between your fingers. So when the Jacaranda trees carpeted my grandmother yard we would gather the purple blossoms and using any small cup or jar we would “milk” the blossoms making doll food (this would have been the best “fairy food” but fairies where not fashionable in the 80´s) 

The milky flowers

Image by Good Acres Adventures in Flora and Fauna Photography

But Jacaranda trees also meant sweet  mangoes for dessert, wearing sandals and shorts sleeves (you never wear shorts in the city, no matter how warm it gets), weekends under the sprinkler , spring break and free tostadas and popsicles at school on Children´s Day (April 30).    

This year, with Lu being the most important par4t of our lives, the childhood “Jacaranda soup” past has taken a whole new meaning: a whole lot of today filled with  long, lazy mornings of  Lu wearing pretty dresses and happily kicking away while staring at the brightly colored flowers swaying in the breeze, while her mommy reads and kisses her toes. But also the dream of a tomorrow in which I will get to teach my baby girl the secret recipe for “Jacaranda soup”.

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4 months ago…

12 Mar

Exactly four months ago…

I was laying in a hospital bed anxiously waiting to get to hold you for the first time (after the c-section I got to kiss you perfect round hair and say a soft “Hola mi amor” before you spent your first night dozing in the hospital nursery) The nurse placed a pink, soft bundle in my arms and as I looked at your face I was overwhelmed with amazement, I couldn´t believe that your daddy and I had somehow made that perfect tiny nose, those dark pink lips (that look like you´re wearing lip liner), those tiny but incredibly long fingers.

The world was completely new to you and even though we had been experiencing it for 30 years or so we left the hospital feeling like newborns ourselves. You gave a whole new meaning to love, fear, wonder and happiness.

Today you are slowly discovering, understanding and delighting in the world around you, taking us along for the journey. Every day is an adventure where you get to discover something new about the world and we get to know something new about us.

At 4 months you love lying in soft blankets underneath the trees and those silly 5 pesos honey pacifiers dipped in water. You are always seeing, touching and tasting the world (hands, toys, daddy´s beard, mommy´s watch) and you have a special smile that peeks through your pacifier when you wake up from your nap. You find new things really funny (which means we are forever making up new voices, faces and dances) Your favorite song is Day-O by Harry Belafonte and your favorite time of the day is diaper change. Your daddy´s beardy kisses make you laugh out loud again and again. You don´t particularly like getting dressed after your bath, especially if you are wearing long sleeved onesies and you hate your car seat if you are sleepy. You move around like crazy when you sleep and we still have to swaddle or your hands knock out your pacifier or hit your face and wake you. You love how the world looks when you are sitting up (you even sit up by yourself)

It constantly amazes us how many emotions your face is capable of expressing. W e can tell just by looking at your beautiful face when you are delighted, amused, bored, excited, surprised, angry or furious. You are also learning to use your voice and grunt when you´re angry, give out happy yelps when something new surprises you and noisily complain when you need our attention.

 

As cliché as it may sound you´ve given the word love a whole new meaning! We are thrilled to be your parents and can´t wait to discover the world together. Happy birthday Lulita love!

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22 kids and counting…

10 Mar



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Today I had a dinner party for my high school girlfriends. The planning was a bit of a mess because as I explained when I wrote about Lu´s naming party I’m a bit obsessive with details and I want everything to be perfect: food, décor, mood. I love getting to actually use the cookbooks I got in my shower (bridal of course) and the nice china I registered for 5 years ago! Today´s dinner party was also a great excuse for one of my “I need to organize this mess of a house now!” attacks and to actually cook.

 This is also the first dinner party I´ve thrown since Lu was born and I think it went pretty well. She had two nice, long naps in the morning and my mom and sister took care of her most of the afternoon, so even though I couldn´t shower until 7.30  pm and my first meal of the day was two slices of bread and turkey at 4, dinner was cooked and the table was set at 7 giving me enough time to bathe Lu and prepare her bottles. Devoted Daddy, who likes my girlfriends individually but is no overly fond ofall of them together put Lu to sleep and promptly locked himself in our bedroom (even though we have no TV and that meant he missed a new Lost episode!)  

The food was yummy (Vietnamese spring rolls, cashew chicken and steamed rice) but the best part was definitely the company. One of my good friends announced she is pregnant with her second baby which was incredibly exciting! We started counting how many kids there are and we are now up to 21 with baby 22 on the way. The oldest girl is almost 7 and the youngest will be born in October! An to think we met each other in high school…

The story behind our friendship is pretty long, we actually started hanging out in 9th grade, that means that we´ve been friends for 15 years, which when you do the math is exactly half our lives.  At first there were only 10 but by 12th grade the official Club was made up of 13 members. (The fact that we have a   cliquey name like “The Club” just goes to show how long we´ve been together) After high school we all stayed in Mexico City for college and saw each other at lunch every Friday (which we still try to do even tough with the kids in can be chaotic) and then got married and had kids and so the lunches turned to kid free dinners once a month. Some of us drifted away for awhile but eventually we all came back. We met each other´s parents, siblings, boyfriends, flings, fiancés and babies. We went to each other´s graduations, birthday parties, weddings and then on to  our kids brith milot, birthday parties ( no bat mitzvoth yet). We traveled together as near as Acapulco and ad far as Israel. We have fought with each other and made up and fought and made up again.

Each and every year together has tons of memories for me, some of them still make me laugh out loud and some still really hurt but I have to say for me the most enjoyable moment is right now. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to share motherhood with these completely different but completely incredible women who can someday tell Lu  what her mom was like when she was her age. (Because if we´ve been together for 15 years we´ll surely be together in another 15)

Party Planning

8 Mar

When a Jewish girls is born in Mexico since there is no bris or baptism some people give her  a naming party also called “visit” since people visit the new baby. But this party is usually all girls which sort of annoys me because why should the daddy , granddads, uncles and cousins miss out on the fun but mostly because  I don´t like the  idea of celebrating my daughter’s birth confirming that men’s and women’s worlds are separate  so Devoted Daddy and I decided to have a nice family brunch for our closest friends and relatives. We sat down and each of us wrote a guest list for our side of the family. Then we added up the names: our small brunch had a guest list of 100 (without kids)! Mind you that´s not a huge amount of guest for a Mexican party, the vast majority of our families live in the same city and Lu has lunch with her second cousins at least once every couple of months. My family is fairly small and most of my cousins live in the Sates but we still have 12 people happily eating together on weekends. My husband’s family is huge: he has 18 cousins, some of them married with kids. Then there are my 12 friends or the “cockatoos” as Devoted Daddy fondly calls them, all of them my friends since high school, all of them  married with anywhere form one to three babies. So having a small party is basically out of the question which kind of sucks because I´ve seen all this beautiful ideas and crafts on peoples blog (check out the beautiful Circus Party on http://silenceandnoise.wordpress.com  but crafting for 100 with a 4 month baby is just not happening.

So far I have two possible themes: Picnic in the Garden or Mexican Party. So far I´m leaning mnore for the second theme because I can´t find picnic benches for rent anywhere  in the city and I have a cool idea for the Mexican menu (a tamales, quesadillas, omelet, fruit and dessert  buffet with different station decorated like a Mexican street market ) The thing is I want to go for a mod Mexican look as opposed to piñatas and sombreros but I´m really having a tough time coming up with ideas. The  few sites that feature Mexican parties go for the nachos and sombreros deal which is definitely a n o go in Mexico.  So basically I´m stuck. Parties are very important  to me because I strongly  believe that we all need rituals to mark all milestones in our lives and this has been the coolest, most important milestone in our lives. I also love entertaining and I feel that by throwing a beautiful party  is a great way to tell people that you care  (especially if like me you have trouble actually just saying it).

So my enormously big aspirations for this party have gotten me stuck and a party that should have taken place three months ago is still just an idea (and that the dress we bought Lu for the party when I was pregnant doesn´t  fit her anymore)      

Any ideas out there??????????

Perfect Day After Baby

6 Mar

A perfect day before Lu:

A sunny but not too hot Saturday. Waking up no too late (9 maybe) so we could have time to enjoy the day. Breakfast in La Condesa  (Mexico City´s SoHo) and a walk in the park. A fun exhibition in one of the city’s many museums and free exhibits (extra points if it´s downtown) Late lunch comida with the family. Romantic comedy  at the movies. Dinner and board games at a friend´s house.

A perfect day after Lu:

Any weekend  with Lu and Devoted Daddy!

But ok THE PERFECT DAY would be: 

 

 Lu wakes up at 5 or 6 am for the first time, drinks her bottle and goes back to sleep until 8 on our bed! Cuddling, snuggling and giggling in bed until it´s time for the first time of the day. Homemade chilaquiles for breakfast while Lu naps. Choosing a cute outfit for our baby doll and taking one million pictures.  Walking to the park and laying Lu down on a blanket to excitedly coo and laugh  at the moving leaves on the trees. Comida with BOTH  families to give Lulita the cuddling overdose of the week.  Somehow finding time to rent a movie (Saturday night TV sucks!).  Devoted Daddy on the guitar and Tone Deaf Mommy on the vocal  singalong sure to make Lu excitedy kick and gurgle or at least crack a smile at her silly old mom.  A warm bath in which she´ll either drink bath water while chewing on her octopus finger puppet, eat some soap from her  just washed  hands, empty the tub with excited kicking, pee on her towel or all of the above.  A bottle and a bedtime story  to a lovely smelling, soft, sleepy baby.  Movie (extra points for chick flick), pizza, popcorn with chamoy and chocolate chip cookies  for mommy  and daddy.

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