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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

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.

Almost 1!

19 Oct

Lu is 11 months old! Just a couple of measly weeks away from saying bye-bye to babyhood. I’ve written plenty of times about me not being one of those I miss my darling baby type of mommies, I love kids and I think having my own kid is going to be a blast HOWEVER when yesterday I saw Lu confidently standing up holding on to a drawer wearing shoes and I did get misty eyed. She actually looked like a big kid mischievously pulling bibs out of the drawer, making sure Devoted Daddy and I were checking out her antics.

11 month old Lu is even more fun than 10 month old Lu. This month she suddenly began to understand all our words and gets excited when we ask her if she wants to eat or go to the park or have a bottle. She also takes after her mommy in her nonstop talking, sometimes actual words like mama, papa, no, mam (food) ta (ahi esta which is actually the mexican version of peek a boo: Where´s Lu? There she is! Ahi esta!) but most of the time it´s mostly unintelligible permanent jabbering. She also mimics cows, dogs, cats and lions “rrrrrrr”, she knocks on doors with her hands while going knock-knock, brushes her hair and thinks feeding mommy is the funniest thing ever.

She crawls around everywhere and loves playing hide and seek. She seems to be drawn to danger (the fridge door almost closed on her!) and we find new places to baby proof every single day since her favorite toys are drawers, cabinets, doors and toilets.

She also loves people and thrives when she gets their attention. A nice smile or wave can get her incredibly excited. She is also starting to get over her separation anxiety. She still goes straight into my arms no matter who she is with (Yay!) but she happily explores and plays by herself for a pretty long time. She also really loves her daddy and excitedly cries out papa when he gets home from work.

She is still a foodie baby. Her favorites are udon noodles (which she loves to slurp) and avocado (ewwwwww takes after her daddy there). But the only food she has tried and hated so far is Oaxaca cheese.

Her hair has gotten really curly which is a bit scary since anyone who has seen me can confirm that hairdos are not my strength (my hair is usually messily loose or messily ponytailed) but she has two curly haired aunties to help me out.

So even tough I miss the tiny infant who only slept in my arms when I try to rock her to sleep nowadays and she struggles to get to her crib, getting to know the persona my baby girl is becoming is the best!

Mexico City Monday featuring Lu loves Chayote

19 May

Chayote yum yum

When it comes to eating Devoted Daddy is pretty adventurous and will happily try all types of vegetarian cuisines and dishes. He loves Indian, Thai, Lebanese, Mexican and Italian food and had a lot of fun when we tried molecular dining on my birthday.

However there are two veggies which he refuses to eat: zucchini and chayote which is according to Wikipedia a “roughly pear shaped, somewhat flattened and with coarse wrinkles. It looks like a green pear and it has a thin green skin fused with the white flesh. The flesh has a fairly bland taste, and a texture described as a cross between a potato and a cucumber” Now both zucchini and chayote are commonly used in Mexican cuisine, in fact lots of Mexican diners feature them as their vegetarian options (much to Devoted Daddy´s detriment).

When a friend of ours told us that our common pediatrician starts babies on solids with veggies I started teasing DD about whether we should start Lu with zucchini or chayote first.

Last week, on Lu´s 6 month appointment, after measuring and weighting (really, really tall, average height by the way) and giving yucky shots, our sweet wonderful doctor handed me Lu´s “Introduction to Solids” eating plan. Guess which veggies she suggested for the first two weeks? Zucchini and chayote of course!
We tried chayote last week. Lu opened her mouth like a good girl as I spooned the light green watery puree, she closed her mouth tasting for a couple of seconds and the with a delighted grin wrestled the spoon away from me licking the very last drop of chayote. Then today we introduced Lu to zucchini at lunchtime. She is only supposed to get a spoonful of the new veggie the first time she tries it but after tasting zucchini (pureed skin and seed and all) Lu not only carefully licked the spoon again she also grunted and opened her mouth clearly demanding seconds!
So it seems that “Calabacitas a la Mexicana” and “Chayotes rellenos” will eventually make a comeback to my kitchen!
For those of you reading Mexico City Monday looking for a taste of Mexico here are the recipes for both dishes:
I

Calabacitas a la Mexicana


Ingredients
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1/2 small white onion, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 mexican zucchini, diced
• 4 tomatoes seeded and peeled, diced or 1 can stewed tomatoes
• salt to taste (or Knorr Suiza if you want the authentic taste)
• 1 roasted peeled poblano pepper, chopped

Stuffed Chayotes

Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat; cook the onion and garlic in the hot oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the zucchini, corn, poblano pepper, tomatoes and stir gently.
Cover and cook until the zucchini is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt.
Ingredients
• 3 unpeeled cooked chayotes
• 2 tablespoons finely diced onions
• 2 tablespoons cooking oil
• 1 slice thick ham, cubed (1/2 inch)
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 2 tablespoons butter
• salt and pepper
Directions
Cut the cooked chayotes in half lengthwise. Spoon out the pulp and keep the concave peel for later stuffing.
Sautee onion in cooking oil. Add the chayote pulp, the ham and the cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff the chayote halves and add one slivered butter square on top.Bake on medium oven temperature (330 to 350°) for 15 minutes

Chayote Recipe from http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/Ham-Stuffed-Chayotes-76653
Image from http://manualderecetas.com/

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Yummy toes

25 Apr

Sure,sucking pudgy baby toes is yummy but can someone explain why is it a milestone?

We made it!

28 Mar

Lu has slept in her room the whole week! The first night was pretty bad: she woke up at 1, 3 and 4.30 crying! She never cries at night! Then the second night she woke up at 2 wanting to party, I fed her, swaddled her, popped her pacifier in her mouth, held her a bit while her eyes got heavy and then gently placed her back on her crib. Her eyes drifted closed and I went back to my bedroom. I was pulling the covers when I held a soft whine, the video monitor showed Lu trashing around with a pacifier free mouth. So I got out of bed and avoiding eye contact (despite the radiant smile aimed my way) popped the paci back in and tiptoed back to bed. I got in and heard a soft whine… After an hour of coming and going I have to confess I started getting a bit angry. Ok, ok very angry. So I woke Devoted Daddy and sent him to replace me. He went back and forth a couple of times without success. After two hours of dancing and wondering where our sweet dream feeding bay had gone we decided we were going to let her cry. So Lu´s whine turned to a loud protest and then to a high pitched wail, after maybe 30 seconds I went in scooped her up in my arms and carried her to our bed (I know, exactly what you´re not supposed to do) But when her whining, paci spitting, trashing started again I jumped out of bed and promptly dumped ( it sound awful to dump your daughter but she had bow been awake for 3 HOURS!!!!!)her back in her crib and turned the monitor volume to low. After 15 minutes of forcing myself no to peek at the camera I heard a weird noise: Lu was snoring!

We were very, very tempted to switch her back to our bedroom but luckily we decided we could handle one more night. I went to sleep at 11 with trepidation …and didn´t wake up once till 5!

So a I have to add new item to my “Things nobody tells you about parenting” list : Parenting is 10% inspiration and 90% persistence..