Isolating Photos

One would think with not being able to really leave the house that blogging time would be plentiful. However, turns out that is not the case. Can’t explain it. Some days are crazy busy, some are super lazy, sometimes great food comes out of the kitchen and sometimes we eat Amy’s frozen entrees….balance.

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Art days.

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Shayne’s ninth birthday and an AMAZING cake her mama made!

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Fun with the phone apps.

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Lazy days.

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Easter fun!

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Delicious food, homemade and store bought.

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Good books, good wine and school work.

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Holiday Break

Christmas came a few days late, it had to wait for all of us to get back home. Once we were all back together, it was off to the races.

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Santa brought way to much this year, waayyy too much. I’d like to say it’s all put away by now, but I’d be lying.

Wearing her new Sombrero, Averi helped me make cinnamon rolls. I made a semi-home version using pre-made bread dough and then just whipped up some cream cheese frosting. They were amazing and the pan was empty by the end of the day.

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The week felt like 10 years, I swear you guys. We went to plenty of parks, we cooked, and we made this weird candy that Santa brought. There was sushi, donuts and waffles;  I am actually shocked the girls ate it, strange stuff.

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AND we also sang Karaoke, yes we have apologized to the neighbors.

My family came over for a nice family belated Christmas. We had a taco bar, the annual Sherry cake and played games. Sadly everyone chickened out on their time to be a singing star. Averi however has found her niche.

Averi also got what she asked for from Grandma and Grandpa, a horse. It’s getting a lot of use.

 

 

 

This Weather

We have had a good run with the weather lately and yes I am bragging. My winter tan is coming along nicely, thanks for asking.

We have been spending time outdoors with friends, playing, eating and just enjoying life.

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A friend and I took our girls to Seaport Village for a Sunday Funday. We ate ice cream, rode the carousel and enjoyed the day.

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Kaili’s class had a field trip ton probably the best day of weather ever. I volunteered to help, my friend and I had a small group of girls to chaperone for a day at the San Diego zoo.

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I think we made a lot of ground, saw a lot of animals in the day. But it was hot and the girls   ended up just wanting to be done walking and to see the petting zoo.

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So we hiked our way through the treetops to get them all safely to the petting zoo, which is really just some goats…..but they were happy.

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We spent the last 30 minutes of the day playing on the playground and eating churros and then the kids were whisked away via bus and us adults went on our way. It was exhausting but so fun!

Averi and I have our new shopping routine. We head to Hillcrest where we can hit Trader Joes and Ralphs in a one-stop shop.

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She loves the ride up!

Then we spent the entire weekend in the sun, in the warmtub and just loving these sunny days.

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Averi wasn’t her normal self Monday and she ended coming down with some stomach bug. But on the tail end of it we landed at the park for a couple of hours,  I almost lost my daughter to the sandman.

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I hear it’s supposed to rain next week. Good thing I have a head start on my sunning!

 

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!

Incredible Five

My Kaili bear is five years old. FIVE!

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Five years of laughing, crying, bedtime tantrums, middle of the night vomiting, morning snuggles, hand holding and most importantly unconditional love. She is my best girl, my first born, my heart. Her kindness radiates all around her and she is one of the most empathetic people I have met. She has the memory of an MIT grad and can talk you into almost anything. She has her moments of not listening and struggles to share with her sister but their love has completed our family.

I remember staring at her when she was a newborn thinking about how fun the elementary years were going to be. We would be able to do more things together, watch her play competitive sports and have meaningful conversations. Now five years later it’s here and I am so excited to see what’s in front of us but also sad that I don’t have that little baby in my arms.

I vow to soak up each day of her fifth year, listen more closely, watch her more intently and snuggle her a little more deeply.

Happy birthday baby girl.

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Saying Goodbye to 2015

Instagram gave me a collage of my best nine pictures of the year. I thought that was a good way to say farewell to the year while looking back on all the fun we had.

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January – We had just returned from a Washington Christmas and spent the month getting used to all the changes our then 6 month old was giving us. We saw a little horror on the trolley when a woman was stabbed in our car, that is still fresh in all of our minds when we get on the trolley.

February- I turned another year older, sigh… we spent a weekend as tourists in our own city. We ate (the best) tacos at Puesto, drank amazing wine in Little Italy, gorged on cheese from the Cheese shop and spent the evenings in the hot tub.

March- Averi graduated to sitting up on her own and I did a lot of cooking, trying out new recipes from Chicken pot pie to Sriracha chicken wings.

April- Miss Kaili turned 4 years old. We had a Frozen party with a bounce house and she is still talking about it.

May- We spent Memorial day in Lake Arrowhead staying in a condo we rented through VRBO. We fell in love with the place and were already planning our next trip for the summer.

June- Kaili moved from the 3 year old class to the 4’s, she handled the transition with ease, as always. That was the first time I really saw how amazing it was going to be to have two little girls, sisters.

July- We went back to Lake Arrowhead with the grandparents. We did all the fun things that we couldn’t do when the weather was colder. After our getaway we celebrated the Avester turning one!

August- Averi started walking at 13 months. I found out about the Vegetti and started spiralizing zucchini for all the dishes.

September- This is when Kaili started really challenging us with her behavior. I tried behavior charts, which were mildly successful. Averi started to have some sleep changes and was waking up before the sun. Shane and I celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary with a super fun night out on the town.

October- Seems like just yesterday. We took the girls to Oma’s pumpkin patch and Bates nut farm. This was the first time Halloween was really exciting for Kaili, we still have candy leftover.

November- Our first Friendsgiving along with my herniated disc.  Really good times and some very painful ones sum up that month.

December- This has been a good month. Too much food, but a lot of good cooking. Great times with friends and family and it’s been amazing to watch the girls together. We just moved Averi into her sisters room, it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Happy New Year!

 

Worst blogger ever. I have been so terrible about taking time to catch up. We were busy with a certain four year olds birthday party and since then we have been on the go. Just as I sat down to write this I had to stop more than once to tend to a whiny child, not naming names.

Kali’s party was hit, most of it great, some of it not. I have a ton of thank you cards to get to but I will have a post dedicated to the birthday party soon.

Shane’s mom has been in town all week and we have been all over San Diego..Mission beach, downtown, Old town, Little Italy and Coronado. We ate our way through a lot of neighborhoods and had two nights out with friends without the kids. So much fun.

For an early mother’s day we went to the Hotel Del Coronado brunch buffet. I didn’t get any pictures but it was quite an ordeal. Imagine being inside a grand dining room. Waiters bustling, champagne flowing and food galore. The stations were spread out and separated by cuisine. Breakfast and omelets, seafood, carving station, soups, salads, soup, cheese, charcuterie, chocolate fountain, desserts and candy. Figuring out what to eat is almost like a science  or in my case, all the crab legs and the double cream cheese.  The girls were good, having Averi in a high chair now helps tremendously and lengthens our stay, but really, if you are going to have this experience, go without kids.

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