Saturday, February 26, 2011

If You Got It, Flaunt It...

Spinach, I mean.
I bought it on sale this week and have been putting it in everything. I like to cook but I am not good at following recipes, because I don't really use or follow measurements.
Here is what spinach did for our dinner:

Mooshu Chicken

Boil and shred 2 chicken breasts. Chop fresh spinach and cilantro. Julienne carrots. Couple small scoops of cream cheese(room temp is easier to mix). A tablespoonful of Hoisin Sauce.
As much Sriracha as you can handle.
Mix it all together. Delicious. Seriously.
You can make egg rolls, put it on tostadas, or serve it with Saltine crackers.
We love it because it tastes so fancy and fresh. Totally light and filling, too.
With the rest of my spinach, I made a tortellini soup. Used the chicken stock from the Mooshu. Sliced carrots, onions, celery, little garlic. Bay leaf. Oregano and basil. Salt and pepper. Handfuls of fresh spinach. Tortellini from Claro's Italian Market (I love it because we walk there, Sal loves the sprinkles cookies they give him). Yum!

I took these pictures after we had already eaten half of everything!
Buen provecho!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Salvatore is amazing! 
 He is cool, calm, wild, silly, emotional, helpful, and stubborn all at the same time. 
 At three years and 2 months old, here is a glimpse into his life:

1.  He is now afraid that he will go down the drain with his bath water and will stop at nothing to get himself out even before pulling the plug.  ( long will THIS stage last?)

2.  He prides himself on being able to calm Valentina down the second she starts to cry and he loves to share his toys with her and watch cartoons with her each morning.  He also wants her right by his side (in her highchair) when he is eating.  And he is certain that he will be the one who teaches her how to crawl.

3.  He still asks WHY all the time...been over a year in that stage. And for the last six months he loves to ask, "Where did you buy this or that?" and "How much did it cost?"  If you don't have an answer, or he doesn't like the answer you give, he will proudly state his answer.  And remind you over and over and over.

4.  He loves to tell me what shape his #2's look like....this morning he shouted, "It looks just like a branch!"

5.  He is easy to entertain.  His new favorite game is What's Missing?  I line up between 4 and 10 of his favorite toys on the table and he tells me what each one is as he points to it.  Then I make him walk into the kitchen and I remove one. I call him back and he has to tell me which one is missing.  He usually gets the first two wrong, but by the end, he can tell me out of 10 things!  David and I were laughing because even we couldn't remember after 6 or 7.  Then he makes us do it and laughs and laughs as we try to figure it out.  

6.  He loves to be the boss and he loves to be in charge.  Nothing new in that department.

7.  He can recognize his name anywhere but can not spell it yet.  I know exactly how he feels. :)

8.  He uses his own logic and reasoning daily.  He told me the other day that we no longer have to watch Finding Nemo because he already found Nemo (in the bottom of his toy box) and that he is "way faster than the dad in the movie!"

9.  If he wakes up grumpy and whiny, watch out!  It usually lasts. All. Day. Long.

10.  He loves to ride his bike!  He is getting really good at it.

11.  He loves to play restaurant and will carry a paper plate around like a serving tray and serve us our favorites in the "Salvatore Licona Restaurant."

I am writing this all down, so I never forget! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

9 Months

Happy 9 months, Valentina Lourdes!
I couldn't resist trying her hair in a ponytail! 
 It only works when it is wet though...otherwise the layers and curls just won't stay back.

You can see her top 4 teeth better now.  And she has 2 more on the bottom plus another top one coming through.  That's currently 6 teeth and 9 by the end of next week!
She is so delightful!
Her new thing this month is that she likes to "put her baby to sleep" by shushing it and patting her back.  Of course she got camera shy a bit, but it is just darling to watch her do it, especially when she is ready to fall asleep.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Treasure Hunt

Before the rain came, we went on a nature treasure hunt around our neighborhood.
This was the first time we pulled Valentina along in the wagon instead of the stroller.  They both loved it, and so did I.
We made a checklist of things we hoped to find along the way.  When he wasn't singing to her, he was focused on finding these items.  He would climb out of the wagon to pick up what he found, then check it off the list.
Here is what he found.  What a nice way to spend some time outdoors with my babies. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mommy's Girl

Just in case you wanted a sloppy little kiss from Valentina...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sense of Wonder

My school has a free family pre-school room called Sense of Wonder.
My dad brings Salvatore over so they can explore, learn and play together.  
He practices guitar, like Tio Brian.  
He spends most of his time right next to all of the musical instruments and he tries each one.
He strings beads and makes patterns.
Today he learned "I'm a Little Teapot"...and has not stopped singing it.
He played with dinosaurs.
And he loved to read and play with the STOP/SLOW sign.  He impressed us by declaring that it is an octagon.  There is also a painting station, little library, piano, paper cutting, and a cool tub filled with dried beans that he can scoop and shovel around.  This bean mix is my next project to duplicate at home.  He LOVES hiding and finding stuff in the beans.  This room is a comfortable, free and easy environment to move around in and learn with all of your senses.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Non-Stop Talker

OH, this talkative little boy does not yet have a filter for toning down his private talk in public places...everyone hears every word out of his mouth!

While looking at beautiful statues and paintings at the Getty:

"See baby Jesus?  Why doesn't he have a diaper on?  Why?"

While waiting for me in the stall of any public restroom:

"You have to go poop, mama, or just pee pee?"  "Are you pooping mama?  Huh? Are you?"

While meeting a new little boy (with long hair) from down the street:

"SHE can play with my toys.  SHE can sit on the swing with me."  
I reminded him EVERYTIME that it was a boy, not a girl.  Wasted breath.

While demonstrating for Valentina how to crawl:

"See Valentina?  "You just go like this and crawl and crawl.  It's easy. Even a baby could do it."

Can't wait to see the comments from his first report card!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Your Own Guardian Angels

We designed these sterling silver angel charms with children in mind.  
The angel on the left is a high polish with satin finished wings.
  The angel on the right is a satin finish with high polished wings.
Each one compliments the other.  Beautifully.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Explaining MakeUp to my Son

While getting ready for our day today, Salvatore watched me put on my make-up.  He has seen me do this several times before, but has only shown interest in holding one of my eye shadow compacts because the size and shape resemble a toy camera that he has, so he carries it around and pretends to take pictures.  
And since he has been in the "why" stage for a over a year now, our conversation went something like this:

Sal:  What is that for?  (Watching me put on concealer)

Me:  It protects my skin from the sun.  (Not wanting to explain that I have dark circles under my eyes, I think of the easiest way to make a connection for him-sun protection)

Sal:  And what is that for?  (Now I am putting on blush)

Me:  Well, this makes it look like I have been in the sun...  (See the strangeness happening here? One thing so I don't get hurt by the sun, but the next so it LOOKS like I've been in the sun)

Sal:  What are you doing to your eyes?  

Me:  I am curling my eyelashes so they look more like yours.  (His curl up and practically touch his eyebrows)

Sal:  What is that and how much did it cost?

Me:  This is mascara and it cost me about $5.  It makes me lashes look darker.

Salvatore just stared at me silently.  Then he shrugged.  He finally asked why he, Valentina and daddy don't use make-up.  I told him it is because you are all beautiful just the way you are.  

Then I realized that this is a conversation I will surely have with Valentina over and over again someday, but I wanted Sal to know the real truth.  Besides the fact that make-up makes me feel a bit prettier and secure.  Besides the fact that it is sometimes just muscle memory, meaning I apply it like I go through the motions of brushing my teeth. It is just a part of my routine.

Besides all of that, I say:

Me:  Make up is fun for girls.  It is fine for us to wear it and fine when we don't.  It's the color really. And it actually soothes me each morning  and I like smiling at myself when I am done.  Make up is just fun.  

Sal:  O.K!  (And off he runs to take "pictures" with my compact)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Self Feeding is so Entertaining

I could watch her attempt to feed herself for hours.  She is slowly getting the hang of it with daily practice.  She gets super excited when she sees me grab the package of puffs, even if she has already eaten a full meal.  The funny thing is that she continues to go through the mashing and chewing motions, even when the puff does not make it into her mouth.  After this particular feeding session, I counted at least 20 puffs gathered in her high chair that did not make it into her tummy!  Salvatore is also very encouraging and wants to eat the puffs along with her to show her how to do it.