Closing Time

“Open all the doors and let you out into the world
Closing time
Turn the lights up over every boy and every girl.
Closing time
One last call for alcohol so finish your whiskey or beer.
Closing time
You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.”

It’s amazing how fast two weeks can go by.

We woke up Sunday morning and ate whatever was still in our fridge for breakfast. Thinking it was a good time for a second go at faceTime, we called the girls. Even though we were coming home in a few days Kaili still took it hard and it was a sad moment.

To shake the sadness, I  packed up the essentials and headed down to the pool, Shane soon followed.

After a few hours of relaxation and a slightly darker tan we slipped into the bar for lunch. Since it was Sunday most of the restaurants offered the national dish of Brazil, Feijoada on their menu. Shane wasn’t being a team player, he got the host to put on American football and ordered a hamburger…side eye… but he promised to help me a little with my order, since it’s meant to be shared. I jumped in head first to my delicious lunch and it was probably the best meal I had. Although, my mom can give them a run for their money.

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After lunch we met  Cathy and Patti at their place, not far up the road for a car to drive us to Maracana stadium. Apparently the drive to opening ceremonies was a long haul due to traffic and closed roads, this time the driver to precautions and we went through the mountains and Favelas to get there, it worked out great. We had time for a snack and then we made our way to the stadium.

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This was a sight to see and a pretty special place for me to walk into. The turnout of people was pretty spectacular.

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The athletes came in and took their spots and then the show began.

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The show started out strong but I have to say that after London, I am not sure anything can compare. Once the semantics were over, the party began. It was a concert for the Cariocas, which was awesome for them. They were having the best time. But for us Americans whom didn’t know any song or performer it became an old story after awhile.

The rain picked up and it was getting later by the minute so we decided to start our journey through some wild weather back to Barra.  Our driver Max was waiting for us where we left him, luckily. We had an interesting ride back, Max told us about how two men tried to carjack him while waiting for us. He was telling us the story in very broken english and google translate all while driving in the rain. He wanted to show us what he did so he leaned over Shane and opened the glove box and pulled out a knife. Apparently he threatened these men with it and scared them away but it was a interesting play of events, especially for Shane who was in the front seat and not sure what was going to happen. We laughed about it the rest of the night. We made it home just fine and I’m pretty sure the closing ceremonies were still going after we fell asleep.

If there was any day to sleep in, this was it. Our final day in Rio. Nothing really to do as the pool is closed on Monday’s and we had check out after lunch. We lounged around, grabbed some food and chocolate for the girls and then met Patti and Cathy at theirs for our ride to the airport. We were very lucky to have access to the Delta sky lounge this trip. Free food, drinks, wifi and a place to relax really can’t be beat.  The airport was swarming with media trying to catch interviews with athletes and even artists entertaining waiting passengers.

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With that our trip home was a cinch. After a very good meal and some free wine I watched a couple of chick flicks and then reclined myself down for some sleep.

It’s really too bad the media made Rio out to be this terrible scary place because it was brilliant. I can really appreciate the hard hand that came down on Lochte because this city of Barra did not deserve that negative bullshit. The people were funny and went out of their way to take care of us, even with a language barrier. There was no harm in grabbing a taxi, and even alone I would have felt safe…(that is taking common sense precautions.)

That said there were a few things that I missed being out of the states. Their paper products leave much to the imagination as does their plumbing. There were zero signs posted outside of stores or restaurants so you have no clue if a place is open or when it’s closing. And their food, well let’s just say we have it really good here in the states. But after two weeks, it gets easy. The transportation, the shopping the language and ok not the food but most everything becomes easy and natural. I will miss it and I get why people love it there, it’s a pretty awesome place to visit.

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Obrigada Rio!

Late Birthday

Finally, pictures of the Avester’s first birthday, next up, the thank you cards…I promise.

It was a small affair with just family and close neighbors. In other words, the second child gets screwed. Let’s face it, the first few birthdays are really for the parents anyway, and since we go overboard on Kaili’s, Averi will have to wait for her big shindigs.

I made a DIY taco bar with ground beef and shrimp tacos. Easy rice and beans from the Mexican market and doctored up a cake mix for a delish cake.

Chocolate cake mix cake, with a home made chocolate ganache filling and coconut cream cheese frosting.
Chocolate cake mix cake, with a home made chocolate ganache filling and coconut cream cheese frosting.

The cake was for the adults and I bought two cupcakes for the girls, I really wanted to make it easy on myself.

Averi enjoyed her first cupcake, she even made a wish before diving in. In Love with this picture.

"Make a wish"
“Make a wish”

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After a quick scrub down she diligently opened her pressies.

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Happy birthday sweet girl.

*Photo credit-Brian Kerr

10 Months

Averi is 10 months old and I can’t say its been easy. She is waking up at night again and has NOT slept past 6:00 am it seems in weeks. She is whiny, clingy and cries if I put her down, walk away or even look in a different direction.

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She looks so cute and happy there doesn’t she. Well really, it’s all a ruse. This is how she usually looks, at least when no one else is around.

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In her defense, she is getting two more teeth, so that probably isn’t helping. She has also mastered pulling herself up on furniture or anything sturdy or not. But she is afraid to sit back down because she has bumped her chin a couple of times. This is a big problem, huge problem. She will be happy and crawling around then she will reach the couch and pull herself up and then cry. Then someone, usually me will go to her and help her sit back down and she will cry even harder. This continues all day long. She does the same thing in her crib, so that’s how that goes.I think she just wants to walk and strut around the house like she owns the place and honestly I will welcome that if it stops the crying.

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She isn’t the best eater. She doesn’t like anything other than purees and yogurt, I am wondering if it’s a texture issue. She turned her nose at avocado and mashed banana, and sweet potato bits. So I haven’t gone out of my way to try much else. She touches the food and then makes a face and wipes her hands on her clothes. Aca-awesome. She does love her baby crackers, puffs and cheerios, probably because they aren’t mushy or sticky, or who the hell knows. I am not going to worry about it until she turns 1.

Kaili is a pretty good big sister but she is super territorial and doesn’t want to share any of her toys with Averi but Averi HAS to share her toys with her because…duh. But when Averi is crying Kaili will bust out singing “Hush little baby” and Averi stops, at least for a minute. I finally googled the rest of the lyrics to that song, and what baby wants cart and bull?

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These two, I love them to the moon but they do a good job keeping me on my toes.

April

I finally got my computer fixed after I spilled apple juice on it, ironic huh? Apple on Apple? Gah, no more liquids around electronics for this girl. It was really hard to motivate myself to write on my iPad.
So all of the sudden it’s April, birthdays are looming ahead of us. Little Averi turned 9 months, she is moving along with her own unique crawl where she uses her upper body strength to pull herself along while her feet kick about. It doesn’t slow her down. We got a baby jail for her which is great when I need to turn my back, she will find anything and everything on the ground, put it in her mouth and then gag on it. Where there’s a will there is a way, she is a determined little thing.
She is still on purees because she chokes on anything that isn’t and it scares the hell out of me. I didn’t make my own food this time around because it’s so easy to buy and the variety of food available is amazing but it’s not cheap.
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She has been sick the past month AND her two top teeth just poked through so sleep has been a mess, with wake ups sporadic. Like her sister she is an early riser and I have come to the realization that these girls are not late sleepers and I will never sleep in again.

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Kaili turns 4 in a couple of weeks, this amazes me. She is doing great in school, can write her name and is working on writing MOM and DAD. I can look at her and say Shane and I have done good. She is compassionate, empathic, funny and relatively a good listener. She is starting to act out a bit which is actually coming later than I expected. Nothing that’s not age appropriate but her baby sister usually gets the brunt of it. This sharing thing is harder than in looks.
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She started swimming lessons twice a week at the Y and she loves it.She is picking it all up really fast.
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We got her a bunk bed for her birthday with Frozen sheets to go with it, of course. She is excited to share her bed with anyone really, and soon enough Averi will be her roommate. I told Kaili she will be in charge of getting Averi back to sleep once that happens! Good times ahead!

A Week in Photos

Kaili accidentally dropped her cup of milk on the ground, with a worried look on her face she said “sorry mommy.” I grabbed her, hugged her and told her it’s fine and it wasn’t her fault and then I acted out this scene from Good Will Hunting. I wish you guys could have seen it, I was riveting.

Kaili was invited to one of her little friends birthday party over the weekend. Ariel aka The Little Mermaid made an appearance and now everything is mermaids this and mermaids that. It should last for another 5 minutes and then it will be old news.

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I managed to get the kids packed up and we hit the road to walk Kaili TO school, first time for everything.

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I finally got around to taking Kaili for a haircut. Little Locks in La Jolla is the cutest place, half salon, half toy store. She sat patiently through the whole thing.

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This little girl is 7 weeks old today.

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Kaili assures me she likes her baby. She assists me with every diaper change and smothers her with kisses.

Averi is getting stronger, holding her head up more often. She will give you a smile, if you’re lucky and she even giggled in her sleep which was the cutest thing to date.

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Slowing Down

Things are slowing down after a brimful week of San Diego fun.  We tried a handful of new restaurants, ran into more than one Michael Myers, hit up Belmont Park and took too many pictures of baby face.

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Comic Con happened last weekend so we hopped on the trolley {Kaili’s favorite} and headed downtown. First, let me take a selfie or an USsie.?

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Culinary superstars Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich opened another Pizzeria Mozza in Seaport Village. A “must-do” on my summer bucket list. What a perfect place to have lunch  before people watching the entertainers at Comic Con. My father in law has a flare for dramatics when it comes to trying new foods. After having the menu translated for him and convincing him that bufala wasn’t actually buffalo and was just a very good, fresh mozzarella cheese, he decided to have his own panini while the rest of us shared a few pizzas. He just couldn’t leave his comfort zone enough to give the delicious pizzas a try.  If you go, I recommend the fennel sausage, panna, scallions and red onion pizza.

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pizza alla benno
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After lunch we strolled down the street to take in all the sights and sounds. You don’t have to spend the big bucks on getting tickets into Comic Con, there is enough to see and do on the streets of downtown. We walked, stopping for some wine and people watching, then we ran into this guy times 5.

This was our second year hitting up Comic Con, I think it’s going to be a fun tradition to continue.

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Every now and then I have to stop and snap photos of this princess.

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One afternoon after Kaili’s nap I thought it would be fun to take her and the folks down to Belmont Park. Lunch by the beach followed by rides, what’s better than that? We ate lunch at Draft, the newest oceanfront restaurant and beer house. I had a french toast BLT topped with a tomato hollandaise sauce, it was something different and really good.  After, we let Kaili take turns dragging us on the rides, the carousal being her favorite. I really wanted to hit a few of the adult ones myself but I was urged to squash that idea due to my healing incision.

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Shane’s folks left us Tuesday and now we are getting back into the swing of things just the four of us. It was great having them here and it was more help than I could have wished for. Kaili now has Walla Walla on the brain and is eager to go up and see them again soon.

Baby break.

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A Week In Photos

Birthday party fun.

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Morning walk. Thinking about helping ourselves to some oranges.

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Cutting practice, look at that perfect form.

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A day at Big Bad SeaWorld.

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Let’s Hang out in North Park.

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Lunch date.

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Artist. Her people are coming along nicely.

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First school photo.

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Eating our money’s worth at a Churrascaria, a birthday lunch for Uncle Wags.

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