Friday, April 30, 2010

EllaBella's Birthday

Our sweet baby girl turned two yesterday. Earlier in the week I went shopping for some goodies for her. When I returned with the bags, Tyler asked me if we really needed to celebrate like that because she's two and she won't remember. Silly, Tyler. I gave birth and I remember! (I won that one, throwing in the "25 hours of labor" card.) But he was, of course, kidding. And we had a day full of celebrating our amazing daughter.



I felt sort of bad that none of her Colorado friends were close to celebrate. But we made some friends in the park! It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. She and I spend hours in the park, and since she was the only one there with sand toys that day, she was a very popular kid! (The parks are generally sandy, so buckets, shovels, rakes, sifters...are popular items for parque-ing it.)







Then we bought a balloon--one of her most favorite things. But I don't have a picture...

Then we opened presents! New shoes, colored pencils, and a froggy backpack were among the favorites.



Then we went out for ice cream. Poor little deprived child hardly ever gets any amount of sugar, but we broke down and gave her an ice cream cone--with candles and Feliz CumpleaƱos A Ti!





Here she is with her cute little backpack. She put her colored pencils in there. Doesn't she look so grown up?





We wish all of you were with us on this special day. Happy Birthday to one incredible girl!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ella's Spanish Counting Skills

video

I started this video because Ella nabbed this bell pepper and started eating it like an apple. But she turned things around and wanted to show off her mad Spanish counting skills. Notice, she always says seven instead of siete, always skips trece, and our favorite is how she says catorce.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ella Lynn, World Traveler

Our sweet girl is special in all kinds of ways. But tonight I'd like to point out what a great traveler she's been in her almost 2 years. And she's had lots of practice. Here's all the places she's been...

Italy--from Milan to Rome. OK, this is sort of cheating. She doesn't remember a thing. I do. Morning sickness! First Trimester.


And this one is cheating too. But it's my blog. Hawaii, the Big Island. Second Trimester.


But life on the outside took her to Gulf Breeze, Florida. Three months old.


Salt Lake City--many, many times. She was four months old the first time.


Hawaii the second time. O'ahu. Five months old.


Washington DC. Six months old.


New Mexico--both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Thirteen months.


Arkansas--many many times. Thirteen months again.


Orlando, Florida. Disney World. Fourteen months.


Canada--Vancouver, Sydney, and Victoria. Sixteen months.


Argentina, South America. Beginning at twenty months.


And Uruguay, South America. Twenty four months.


May you have many more travels ahead, Sweet Pea.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Morning Walk

Every mother surely knows who coveted time to ones' self is. In attempt to reclaim some Me Time, I started getting up in the morning before Ella and Tyler awoke. I quietly slip out the door around 9am on most days and either go for a walk or to my yoga class. It's a good chance to get outside, pray, listen to music or a podcast, or listen to a book on my ipod (I'm currently really enjoying The Help by Katheryn Stockett).

I have a lovely little walking route that takes me about an hour. I took my camera once last week so you could join me. Got your shoes on?

I walk out our door and turn down Ugarteche.


I turn down Av. Del Libertador. It has a great biking/jogging trail.


And on the other side of this very busy street is some gorgeous green space.


I walk around a botanical garden and lake.


Past the kissing statue.


I walk with other walkers, joggers, rollerbladers, bikers, people working out with their personal trainers...


On the way back, I pass by a huge monument in the middle of a very busy intersection.


And then I come to my favorite piece of scenery in the walk, this tree. I love the way the sun lights it from behind.


It's a type of jacaranda tree.


These are it's blooms.


Isn't it gorgeous?

After greeting the beautiful tree, I head back across Libertador, down Ugarteche, and then I turn onto our street, Cabello. And then I'm home. Ella is often up to greet me by the time I get back. And my day is off and running.

Thanks for joining me! Caio.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Viva la Uruguay

For my friends and family who may not be on Facebook, here are some pictures from our recent excursion to Uruguay. Colonia del Sacramento was a charming old town without a whole lot to see or do. We had two relaxing days driving around in our golf cart (really), sitting at cafes, seeing the beach (too chilly to swim), and taking pictures. We stayed at a fabulous little hotel. The owners have two young sons, so they even had a community toy box which Ella loved.

On our return, we successfully got our passports stamped for another 90 days in Argentina.

So, sit back and enjoy the show:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Visa Renewal

So in Argentina when you arrive as a tourist, you get a tourist visa stamp in your passport that is good for 90 days. You may legally get that renewed once at the immigrations office or by leaving the country and reentering. So you can be here on a tourist visa for 180 days. There are many, many 'permatourists' who live in BA who have done the 180 day visa for years. Uruguay, the neighboring country, gets a fair amount of income from permatourists coming to visit for a day or a week. Montavideo seems to be a city much like Cancun with beaches and resorts. It's a good, easy getaway for an almost-legal task. But I digress...

Our first set of 90 days expires on Wednesday. We were originally going to just make a trip down to immigrations, but that seems so DMVish. Wouldn't it be WAY more fun to visit another country for a day? So on Wednesday we will take the one hour ferry over to a smaller, historical town in Uruguay called Conlonia del Sacremento.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonia_del_Sacramento

We'll visit a beach (river, not ocean) and see the sites. We're staying the night on Wednesday night and returning Thursday evening. Legal for another 90 days.

I think this makes four countries (outside the US) that my not-yet-two-year-old will have visited. Although Italy was in-utero, so I don't know if that counts...

Friday, April 2, 2010

What's cookin' good lookin'?

We've been making some really good food recently. Picture-worthy food.

I can't really take credit for making anything in the salad. But after putting the thing together, it looked almost (and I do mean, almost) too good to eat.


Gazpacho. The best I've ever made. I added a bit of apple cider vinegar on a whim. Made it a little bit tangy. Cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, jalapeƱo, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin.


Our first round of empanadas. Before...


...and after.


We cheated a bit with the dough and bought some from the store. Next time, I'll try it from scratch. We filled them with mozzarella and ground beef (prepared with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and red pepper powder). They were oh so good.

Mmm. Now I'm hungry. Bon appetit!