Tuesday, February 19, 2013

long weekend

We finished a lovely long weekend not so long ago - for Carnaval.  Long weekend are, as I said, lovely, but I'm glad they aren't longer than they are.  Especially with Eric gone the whole time.  And the car gone (not that I don't avoid driving here with everything that is in me).  Eric and all those belonging to Casa G. went to Chuytallo (I swear I spell that differently every time....) for the annual service trip there.  Sadly the kids and I could not go along because they were spending some extra time doing some fun, bonding kind of stuff and we had to get back to school.  I was very very sad not to be able to participate in the service stuff and the bonding stuff.  C'est la vie!
The kids had times at friends' houses and friends at our house, so that part was good.  And we got some stuff done.  For example, I put up a bunch of stuff that I had wanted to put up for a long time....

The kids' latest artwork that they did this summer....

Yes, all of those things still had not found a home on our walls.  Probably because I had more grandios plans for them all...  And the kids thought I was a lunatic for doing it since we are also starting to pack up and get ready to move in 4.5 months.  Have I wrote about this already?  Our house has been sold and the new owner is bashing it down and building an apartment in its place.  So sad.  Anyway, we have to be out by summer so I've starting doing a little packing already.  To be clear - a very little packing!
But I thought, why not enjoy the house while we are here and make it still homey?  Besides, since they are knocking it down, we don't have to worry about filling nail holes, patching plaster, repainting or any of that stuff.  Such a huge blessing!!  So why not just stick stuff up, right?
That's what I thought.
Cade and I also spent a lot of time together.  Cleaning up his needed-to-be-quarantined area.  They guy is a pack-rat (kind of like someone who may or may not be his mother....) and had approximately a billion papers and whatnot in his room.

I had the extraordinary privilege of sifting through a large bucket full of perler beads to find teeny tiny pieces of Lego.  Handful by handful.  I'm such a lucky duck.
I threatened Cade within an inch of his life not to ever, ever mix those two things together again.
Okay, I didn't really, but I'm pretty sure he got the message with all of my heavy sighs.
To date - his room is a disaster again, but with a lot less stuff.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

a change

You may notice the blog is a little different.  Yes, we finally have a new picture up there.  The crazy thing is that that picture is almost a year old already and I am only getting it up now!  Sheesh.

I was rather impatient and couldn't find a new photo editing thing to do the lettering on the photo.  Picnik was what I used to use, but they are no more.  The one I finally used, after two whole minutes of impatient searching didn't let me do what I wanted, but whatever....  It doesn't look that great, but obviously I wasn't too concerned.

And to think I used to be a perfectionist......

Maddy's birthday

Since I just wrote about the Quiñceanera, I figured I should probably write about Maddy's actual birthday.  It was only a month and a half ago....   Ya, so I'm a little behind.
She had two good friends over for night from Christmas day (since they were both here with their families anyway).  They enjoyed a little breakfast and a little mocked out "High School Musical" Wii.

We went out for lunch although unfortunately the restaurant that Maddy wanted to go to was closed for the holidays.  Undaunted (well, a little discouraged....) we walked around and found another place.
Maddy even allowed her sisters to come.  

Back at home we celebrated with gifts, cake and ice cream:  A gift certificate for kindle books, chocolate log roll (which I forgot to serve for Christmas and Maddy doesn't even like.... she's not a real cake fan anyway) and ice cream to replace the cake she didn't like.  Eric headed out to get ice cream for her as a surprise.


You see, out here, 15 is a big year for girls - it is the coming of age deal.  Quinceañeras are usually big, huge, elaborate birthday parties for girls.  The whole deal is in pink, they wear what might be considered wedding dresses (in pink, of course), they have a court of their best friends who wear special dresses and all that nonsense.... I mean wonderful things.  They are often as big as weddings and just as expensive.
We never planned to do anything so fancy anyway, but Maddy and I, along with our wonderful friends, Marlo and Mikala, did decide to do a mother-daughter weekend instead of a party.  Initially we wanted to go to the beach to a nice all inclusive place.  Two or three years ago we would have been able to do it, but prices have gone crazy in the last few years so we couldn't afford it.  Then we thought we'd just go to a regular place.  But goodness - we couldn't find a single weekend that would work.  Finally we resorted to a hotel in Quito.  Even with that, we could only do one night.  But darn it, we did it - as down graded as it was!  And we had a fabulous time.  Fabulous.
We stayed at the Marriott - a hotel normally way out of the price range, but hey, for one night of specialness for our girls?  Worth it.

After a late afternoon of swimming, we got ready for a night at a great restaurant - Zao.  Kind of like a P. F. Changs and quite delicious.  The girls wanted to dress up.  Maddy got ready in the ginormous bathtub.

After a really tasty dinner - eaten only with chop sticks (we weren't that great at it....), we stopped off for ice cream.  Why?  We were ridiculously full.  But you still need to get ice cream, right?
We took it back to the hotel, got all set and snuggled and ate while watching Les Miserables.  The room had a great big TV but no good movie channels.  And we couldn't connect the laptop to it.  So we all sat on a double bed together and watched the movie on the computer.  My butt cheek went numb as it was only half on the bed.  Good thing the movie and ice cream were good!
Morning brought two free (read: included in the price - part of why it was so expensive) $25 brunches. Since this was all about the girls, they had the brunch.  Ceviche in cute little shot glasses, even.

Our server was great and we chatted with him a little.  We told him why we were there, so he ended up bringing the girls a special dessert.  Yes, dessert after breakfast.  

After a whole lot of food, it was time for a little more swimming before we headed back to reality.
I still can't believe I have a 15 year old.  That is reality.

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