Monday, February 29, 2016

San Diego: Part 1

Well guys, our house is not up for sale like we originally planned. We are unsure of what we are going to do. Sell and then buy or buy and then sell.....soooooo we left the painters at our house [to finish what we started] and we hopped a plane to San Diego. LOL
It's hard to tell in this picture, but the fresh paint makes a HUGE difference.
The 8 am flight looked best for stand-by, so we were out the door by 630a. Not bad for us.
Taking a stroller when you travel is always a good idea. I am all for letting the kids run down the concourse with their suitcases, but when you need to get to the gate quickly with toddlers, you need wheels! Also, in Atlanta, you pass through security much faster with a stroller. (Special line!) Had we not been able to cut to the front of the line, we probably would not have made the flight.
I picked up a couple new Imaginext figures for the boys and they were happy. It was also a tactic to keep them seated while we hurried to the gate. It worked.
We promptly boarded when we reached the gate (perfect timing!) Mateo just marches down the isle looking for his seat number. Such a big boy. Marcelo who was following his big brother down the isle, turned to me and hid his face in my legs several times. He was holding up the line. Come on papi, let's go. "But everyone is watching me." He was right. These boys did have all eyes on them....coming down the isle with their suitcases....yeah it made people stare....and smile. It is just so cute right?
They did great on the flight. Books, batman muchachos and an attempt to watch a movie- all made the time pass pretty quickly. Sitting 3 across with their papi. I sat one row in from of them and actually got to watch a movie (The Intern - It was good)
We waited a little bit for mi suegra at the airport. (She IS an Espinoza after all:) The boys were super tired at this point. They used the big cement planters as jumping pads.
Needless to say, I was ready for them to get buckled into the car seats.
The Espinoza family has been dying to meet Paloma, and we wanted them to meet her too! (which is why we left the house situation unsettled)
Abuela picked us up at the airport and went straight for her. "Mi precious a Palomita"
Although they shut their eyes for a little bit in the car, it didn't qualify as a nap. We tried to get them to RELAX on the couch until everyone arrived, but there was too much excitement for sleep.
Oh well. We let them play until they dropped. And they did. Marcelo at 730p and Mateo at 830p. They both told me "I'm tired, I want to go to bed." Music to my ears.
The kids didn't last until Tata made it home from work that first night, but they sure were happy to see him BRIGHT & EARLY. (Kids were up at 430a. They let Tata sleep until 6a)

By 11am, that early wake up time caught up with this little guy.

The rest of the day was a replay of the day before with all the primos again.

They had a blast! It was so fun to watch. Boy I wish we lived by family.
Menudo was on the menu. Who ever thought a cows stomach lining could taste so good?
The weather has been perfect (as we come to expect from San Diego) -chilly in the morning and evenings and warm during the day. My little Mexi-can-a got to model her new hand knit hat from abuela.
Ridiculous! She is just too cute...and getting so big!
Everyday is good enough to be a golf day, and you better believe that Ernesto is taking advantage of that.
Monday. Two days in San Diego and it was time for the beach. Like I said, it has been chilly in the mornings...and that means even more so at the beach. The kids weren't wanting to get out at first.
We had to wait a bit for the fog to lift, but eventually they got out and forgot about being cold.
The beach is totally relaxing now-a-days. The boys play together in the sand and I don't think they fought for a whole two hours!! Well, maybe there were a couple hits when Marcelo smashed some castles, but overall they played really nicely.
It warmed up, the sun peaked through and the shirts came off.
And this little cutie, in her new swim shirt and bikini, was no trouble at all.
I can hardly stand how cute she is!
I think I can handle a few more eels of this life!!
Stay tuned for San Diego Part 2!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Another Sweet Valentines Day (2016)



The day of love arrived. Again.
I know it's a Hallmark holiday, but celebrating the loves in my life always sounds good to me. I really could not have more love in my life.
The boys came home from school with these cute cards for us.
I don't go all out, but I decorated the house a little bit, and bought a few goodies for my babies.
There was actually only a tiny bit of candy in the bag (a red plastic heart full of m&ms) because they get their share of candy on other days. I'd much rather spend $$ on a couple Imaginext figures that keep them busy for hours, than candy that hypes them up for hours [more than they already are].
Besides...there were sweets planned for that evening.
Our dessert contest is becoming a sweet tradition for Valentine's Day. It started two years ago, then we did it again last year. We enjoyed the competition (and spoils!) so much that there was no question that we would compete again this year. So what did we make for the THIRD ANNUAL dessert contest??
Any guesses?
The morning of vday, I still had no idea of what I would make. I knew the queen of baking would have some good ideas, and sure enough, I found this chocolate-raspberry tart by Martha Stewart. Chocolate and raspberries are always good together. I did veer from the recipe a bit when I used ginger snaps to make the crust instead of the vanilla wafers. A good move for was delicioso!!
Ernesto went with a marishino cherry cupcake. It was delicious...and creative. As you can see in the above picture, this is a serious competition. He is really concentrating on winning.
And the competitors......
"Chocolate is so predictable" he said. But but love chocolate mi amor and I'm making this for youuuuuuuuuuu.
Anyway. I won.
This was the first year that the kids got to join in the judging too and they are really more fond of frosting than cake, so the chocolate prevailed. Also raspberries.
He did win in the cooking department (as usual) and grilled up HUGE steaks from Whole Foods.
The side: sautéed brussels sprouts with garlic, salt and pepper. So. Simple. So. Good.
What a feast! Neto picked up a delish Malbec (my favorite!) and after that was gone he popped the pink Veuve Clicquot champagne. (Thanks Joanne!)
We talked about how lucky we are to have each other and our beautiful babies...AND how fast champagne really hits you (Nesterrrrrr!)
I usually go with a romantic hand written card, but I saw this at Target and knew it was made for me. It's temporarily lost, but I'll add it in when I find it. (It has something to do with flatulence-I know, so romantic!)
That is what got us here. And boy, is it a great place to be.
Happy Valentines Day! Did you guys do anything special?

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Road Trip: Asheville!

Gosh! It had been a whole year since we last drove to Asheville to visit my Brother...aka tio Brrrrian. What? How did that happen? We picked the kids up from school Friday, and stopped to see a house (a ranch fixer upper) on our way out of town. The kids promptly fell asleep, we stopped for Bucky bucks, and we were on our way. Ahhhhhhhh two hours of peace and quiet!
Even with the leaves gone on the trees, it's a beautiful drive.
We had a very relaxed fun weekend. Saturday morning around noon, we took the kids to a park and although it was quite chilly, they ran around playing frisbee.
Baby girl was sleeping so I brought her out undercover. No one knew who she was.
She enjoyed her first time cruising down the Blue Ridge Parkway and both her and sus hermanos were sleeping before we knew it.
A late lunch at King Daddy's was so satisfying. Great choice tia Kyja!
While the others devoured habanero chicken and big fluffy waffles, I was in heaven eating this warm sesame kale salad with pickled beets and pears. Oh my!
Not even 3 hours later, we were sitting at Kyja's school fundraiser eating a big Italian meal. (Prepared and served by her students) STUFFED! After dinner we walked next door to her co-workers house and had a wonderful evening of adult conversation while six kids ran around the house. The two new kids on the block (mine) made themselves at home and were sad to leave their new friends.
I always feel a hike is in order when we visit Asheville. I mean, if you can climb up to see this view, how could you not?
The name Lookout Mountain really fits, doesn't it? (Located in Montreat, a cute little town not far from Asheville.) This is a hike we have done before, but it had been a while! Yeah, we were kid-less the last time we hiked it, which seems like forever ago.
It was pretty great though seeing my little girl snuggled up to her papi for her first hike and and my little boys climbing a mountain like it was nothing. AND in rainboots no less!!
Unfortunately, I did not bring any shoes that were appropriate for a hike, so, instead of buying new shoes (which I considered) I doubled on thick socks and wore Ernesto's boots.
Surprisingly, they were very comfortable.
Being the great mountain dog that he is, Bruno was back and forth on the trail trying to herd us together. (Between jumping and flipping for [snow]balls.)
The boys were fascinated with these swords icicles.
Talk about dangerous! Even with a bandaged hand, Mateo was ready to break these off and start swinging. His bandaged hand helped him hold the ice. Yes, he had an unfortunate run-in with tio Brrrian's wood burning stove. Poor baby.
Per his usual, he was tough. He did cry, which is to say it hurt like hell, because it takes a lot to make him cry in pain. That was his first burn though. Bumps, bruises and cuts are his specialty so this was somethin' different.
Baby girl slept in the carrier the whole way up and when almost back to the car she wanted a little snacky snack.
Mountain breastfeeding is a new one for me. Ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley keep me from feeding you babe. (Don't ask, that just popped in my head)
Not too long ago, I found out that there is a West Elm Outlet in Asheville (15 minutes from my bros) so I had to sneak out before the Super Bowl and see what I didn't need could score.
At more than half off the retail store, how could I not buy this wool Charm Rug? Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?? It is sooooo soft and fluffy (and shed-y) It's wool.
Then on our way home, we stopped for lunch and coff coff in Biltmore Village. Cantina had decent Mexican fare, at least my mango chicken salad was rico, but what I really wanted was to do some shopping. I yelped and found Bon Vivant, a multi-dealer vintage shop.

This painting caught my eye first for the colors. I love orange so much! I am more drawn to abstract paintings normally, but this one had me at first glance. The fact that it depicts the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego was the ONLY reason Ernesto agreed to let me buy it. (That sounds as if I need his permission to buy something, but a house full of my stuff tells a different story) It is HUGE and it is awesome. The vintage frame is not my favorite (with its red-Ish stripe) but it does add to the charm.
Now to find that mid century house for my mid century painting!!
Thanks tios Brrrian and Kyja for your hospitality!! We had a great time. Now it's your turn. Come on over!
Oh! And just to end with a laugh, if you want to know what you are going to look like in 40 years, download the app Age Booth and you will see into the future. Oh the laughs! This app is a real party starter, let me tell ya.
I think we look pretty good "for our age." What do you think?


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