13 April 2010

Very Belated Birthday...

I hate "recaps" I really do...I like to read about what has just happened in life not old news, but unfortunately this post is "do as I say not as I do" post. I am much better at old news. With that out of the way, let's just say that March was busy...but I'm back and will try and catch up on some of the highlights. Unfortunately, I didn't grab my camera as often as I should have and missed a few of the "highlights".

First....a very late "Happy Birthday" to my dear husband! He is thirty~*$bla-bla. Not so old, but closer to 40 than 30--whew!

I surprised him by fulfilling a request he has had since we moved back from Japan. Learn to cook Ramen. This isn't your freeze-dried smack ramen that we all have in "food storage", but the real deal. Great broth, al dente noodles, and fresh veggies topped with sliced cha-shu (pork roast) and appealing to the eyes and mouth. Lucky for him, I have an amazing Japanese friend here that could do just that (She is truly an amazing cook and friend). Ramen really isn't complicated, but it was nice to learn the "traditional" ingredients and method as well as where to purchase the items. I also made a trip down to Soho with some girlfriends and they helped me pick him up some new "Ramen" bowls and chopsticks.


We only had time for a short birthday dinner on his "real" birthday, so we saved the rest of the "birthday" for Saturday. As an I-Banker he truly has no time for hobbies and I was tired of giving him i-tunes gift cards so we decided to do an all-food birthday. He loves to cook and sometimes he still has time to sit and eat real food. He loves Belgian waffles so we got him a fancy waffle maker that flips and makes 2 waffles at the same time. Perfect for families! Not to leave "lunch" out we also got him a Panini grill to go with it all!

He wasted no time putting it to use...we had the best waffles for breakfast and great sandwiches for lunch. Since then we've already put some serious mileage on the waffle-maker. It is fantastic!

01 March 2010

One good deed deserves another!

As most of you know, living in NY is EXPENSIVE! From fast food to utilities we seem to pay more...and that goes double for babysitters. On average for 3 kids its $10/hr, but it isn't unheard of to pay $15. Because of Dan's work schedule I have to get a babysitter for just about everything. Dr. appointments, back-to-school night, and of course on the rare event he might be off work--date night. Well, for the first 2 1/2 years we were here we forked it over, but as Erika grew older we gradually shifted the workload from paid sitter to sister-sitter. This past year she has literally saved us hundreds of dollars in babysitting. It was hard enough to afford "date night," but to add a $40-$60 babysitting tab used to be too much. Because of her we have had a few nights out and I have been able to go grocery shopping or to the Dr. without toting three kids. In short she is a miracle! The best part? She almost NEVER complains about having to watch "the boys" for us. I still get a sitter sometimes to give her a break, but she has saved us in so many ways this past year.

For months she had been asking to redo her bedroom. Her room was just too "little girl" for her preteen taste. We kept putting her off, but in secret we were plotting an entire room makeover. I was careful to take note of all the bedding and accessories she liked and started slowly purchasing the pieces. It took me a few months to purchase and make all the things we needed. I waited until I had a whole day to pull it off and so on February 6 I finally had a day with all 3 kids gone for almost the entire day! We madly prepped, painted, drilled, mounted, ironed and cleaned. (Dan made it home for the evening to help out.) The result was amazing...she was THRILLED!!!! We were so happy to surprise her with this little thank you... We left some holes for her to fill in pictures and accessories. She has already purchased a lamp to put on her nightstand. The before and after....NOTE: I forgot to snap pics of her room "before" until after I had started moving things around. Her room is TINY and we haven't gotten around to refinishing the doors to her closet or bedroom either - project for another day)


The picture frame wasn't/isn't empty...I ordered this Japanese vintage travel poster (as a nod to her 3 years going to living in Japan) for her but it hadn't arrived on the "reveal" day.

We are so lucky to have such an amazing young lady and we were so excited that we could do something a little special to show her how much we love and appreciate her!


I was just starting to think spring might be on its way when we were hit with another "little" storm. I loved it and so did the kids...they were out of school for a day and a half of fun in the snow! Carson built himself a "snowbuddy" and Cal just wanted to eat as much snow as possible!

25 February 2010

Winter Break....

Well, family has been here and we have been "busy" doing not much. I'll have to recap later....

09 February 2010

Still Mexico...a little stale, but must get it done!

We loved every minute of the sunny days in Mexico! On Sunday evening we walked down to the beach around sunset and it was stunning. We couldn't get enough of the warm mellow light, soft breezes, and the rythmic crash of the waves. We snapped a few of the fam while there...

Aren't they cute (Dan's parents)? Gotta love them...thank you again for the splendid stay!

Just the two of us....ahhhhh!~ (Dan is very scruffy the entire time. To him "vacation" includes leaving the razor behind--much to my dismay)

We ate one evening down in the center of Mazatlan. It was dreamy...the atmosphere not the food. (It was just so-so). They had the square lit with lights strung everywhere and it lent a soft glow to everything. There were many restaraunts surrounding the square and it was nice to just walk around. They had live music and vendors, of course, which added to the charm of the evening.

Just a quick drive down from the house is a quaint little beach and market. We headed down in the morning before Cal's nap and did a little shopping and beach-coming. It was a lovely day and the kids could have spent the entire time searching for shells and crabs along the beach and in the rocks. Cal wanted to run straight into the water mindless of clothing and shoes! Having no way to clean or dry him if he did take a dip we of course told him "no, not now..."

THIS was the result....the screaming went on.....and on....and on....until Grandma stepped in and showed him the joys of shell collecting!

A picture of our lovely girl at the market.

The kids loved "shopping" at the markets. I think it was the bright crazy colors of all the tourist goods for sale.

We took a ferry out to an island just off the coast and had a great time at a little beach there. We didn't have swimming gear with us, but that didn't stop Cal from charging the waves!

We ended the day with a nice trip to Ray's on the beach. We dined on lobster, shrimp, and steak and it was GOOD!

31 January 2010

Christmas in Mexico Part 1

Because of all the baggage limitations (and also to preserve my sanity) we spread Christmas over several days. The festivities began on the 21st of December the night before we flew out. All the presents from my parents were opened as well as presents from cousins and presents to each other. Grandpa Lynne always picks a picture of the kids (and the adults) from that year and turns it into a wooden puzzle. Not the kind you mail in to a company and they whip out a neat tidy little puzzle, but a crazy one mounted on masonite that takes forever to figure out. It is one of our favorite traditions and the kids (except Cal who doesn't know what he is missing yet) can't wait to open them up and put them together. I myself have puzzles going back to around 4 years of age...at Christmas Grandpa is busy! By my estimation he has made around 200 puzzles through the years.

Dan surprised me with this lovely perfume...I am picky when it comes to fragrances and I can tell you this one is a winner! I love it!!!

The kids received a new music stand and rosin for their violins. When they opened it they acted like they had just received a stink bomb.

Once we arrived at the house in Mexico Grandma and Grandpa surprised the kids with a "Christmas Tree"! They made most of the decorations and were delighted to have a tree for Christmas.

I usually make matching pajamas for Christmas, but it was just too much so I hit Old Navy and Grandma brought some for Cal and we had fun opening the Christmas Eve pjs.

Christmas morning was amazingly beautiful and the kids had fun discovering all the fun things Santa delivered. We were just glad Santa decided to "pack light" so that we could cart it all home.

Carson received a make-your-own-martian kit and they both made many martians Christmas day. The rest of us lounged, snacked, and generally lazed around for the day! Ahhhhhh!

26 January 2010

Feliz Navidad!! - Mazatlan teaser....

We had a FABULOUS time in Mexico with Dan's parents for Christmas! They recently built a house in Mazatlan and we met them down there for the holidays. Here are a few shots I took of their new house and community as well as the surrounding area. The sunsets were as lovely as they appear in my pictures!! Want to go??? They rent it when they aren't there and I have "connections"! Now I bet you can't wait to see Christmas "Mexico style". More to come...

The house.

The pool with a view of the Marina.

Fishing boats tied up and waiting for another trip out in the morning...

A signpost on a tiny island we visited right off the coast.

I loved this island...another sign.

A shot of sunset at a hotel which is on the beach near the house.

The skyline view from the bridge by the house at night.

I was thrilled to find "coke-light" in abundance in Mazatlan. This was my favorite...icy cold with a clean glass and straw!