Friday, October 16, 2009


I am still trying to adjust. But, the girls seem to be coming along rather well...

Friday, October 09, 2009

where I am going...

I have been talking with a few friends and trying to find a solution for my life but keep coming to the same conclusion that there is not a solution, only different places to go. It seems that life is not willing to work with me so I need to find a way to work with it.

I am still not sure what decisions need to be made right away but I have a feeling I know what I am supposed to do now. Although I don't want to put it out there for the world just yet.

I wanted to check in and update those few readers that are curious of what is going on in the Life of Val Saga.

Jorge is lonely. He misses all his girls dearly. We talk to him via Skype on the web cam daily. Bella talks about him all the time and Emily is still too young to really mention him on her own. It breaks my heart.

I have found that moving back has been much harder than anticipated. I am pretty good at pushing emotions to the side and doing the logical thing. It is not happening that way. I find myself just wishing to go back.

I know some of you know how I felt when I was down there and it doesn't make sense that I would want to go back. I just can't explain it where it would make any sense. The easiest way to describe it is my family is broken and going back would put it back together. I guess it is just realizing what is the number one priority.

I have some thinking to do but I have a goal in mind of where I am going.

Monday, September 21, 2009

where is my path?

Well, I am back and have been now for 3 weeks. It has been a rough adjustment. I haven't really felt like blogging or really doing much of anything. I don't have a job yet so I still don't have a routine in place that makes everything make sense.

I am living with my parents and that is hard on both parties. But, I am very thankful that they have taken me and my girls in...for however long we might need.

I just wanted to let my handful of readers know I am still here, not settled and am trying to get back in the groove of things.

Hopefully fun posts will follow soon!

Friday, August 21, 2009

nap time bliss...a story of a proud momma

Nap time went off without a hitch! There was no getting out of the bed or crying. I am very proud of my little Emily.

Not only was she cooperative during nap time, but before bath time she sat on the potty chair and went pee and after bath time she told me she had to poopie. So, she sat down on the potty chair and pooped. She is making me one proud momma! Go Emily!

emily's new found freedom

Last night started normal. The girls went to bed around 8:30 pm. Of course we heard them talking to each other in their room, but that is normal.

I was standing in the kitchen and heard Jorge say, "Did you get her out of her bed?". I look over to where he was and Emily was standing there...naked. I said, "No! And I didn't take her clothes off either". Somehow she had managed to climb out of the crib AND take off all her clothes and diaper.

After re-dressing Emily (and Bella--if one does something you can always count on the other to do the same) I put her back in the crib. Wanting to know how she did it, I kept peeking in the room trying to see if she was going to try to escape again. Sure enough, she had her foot high up on the rails of the crib. I cleared my throat at her and she put the foot down.

After a few more peeks I decided to just let it be. But, soon after, her she comes, again. At least she still had her clothes on this time.

The only thing to do was to take the front of the crib off and make it into a day bed. I didn't want her to keep climbing out, cause I knew she would, and eventually hurt herself. I just thought she is so little to be out of a crib already. She is only 17 months old. I guess she is only a few months younger than what Bella was when we converted the crib for her (Bella was 20 months old--she wasn't a climber).

It is safe to assume that last night was a bit rough. After continually putting Emily back in her bed (using Jo Frost's from Supernanny method of not saying anything to her after the second time--worked rather well), she finally went to sleep after about the 10th time.

But that wasn't the end of it! Some time in the middle of the night (I have no idea what time cause there is no clock in our room), Emily started the process over again. Luckily this time she was really tired and there was no crying involved and it only lasted about 5 times.
Nap time today will be interesting.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

it's closing in...

Reality is sinking in. He is getting sad and that makes me feel crappy. That's putting it lightly.

Nothing else to report.

Monday, August 03, 2009

it came to me...

I have been trying to think about things to blog about lately. I haven't come up with anything as you haven't seen any new posts in the past few days.

I kind of feel like I am just waiting, not living. Which, is not really good. I should be taking advantage of the last few weeks our family will be one. Who knows when we will all be together for any length of time. But, when Jorge works most of the day, it is hard to think of anything other than when I can get out of here.

But, this post isn't intended on beating into the ground the subject of me leaving Mexico. I think it has been talked about plenty. So, when that is all that I think about and nothing really happens in my life right now, what do I blog about.

Well, today I was sitting in here at the computer, Emily in her bed and Bella in the other room watching TV. At least I thought Bella was watching TV. She walks in here to me mad because something wasn't going well for her. I look at her and just start laughing. And, of course I immediately reach for my camera.

She had put on two shirts instead of a shirt and shorts. I have to say she got the shirt part on almost perfectly. Just shy one arm. That was a better job than I would have thought she could do.

I would have to say it is an innovative way to wear a shirt for shorts. And, if anyone can pull it off, it would be Bella. (The hair needs a little work.)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

what's a happenin'

Nothing new has been going on lately. Been blog surfing, finding neat little projects I want to try when I get back to the States. I will soon have the advantage of finding all the supplies needed for all these projects that look so cute.

I have moved up my *departure* date. I originally had planned on coming back in mid October. Being here is just becoming increasingly harder. I am not ready to leave Jorge any earlier, but I just feel more trapped than ever. He understands and has been very supportive, so he said, "leave earlier". So, I am leaving in a month. I should be back by September 1st. We will probably head out of here on August 29. It is about a 33 hour drive. Yikes!

Jorge will drive us to the border and then will hop on a bus back here to Jalos. The girls and I will cross the border alone and keep driving and driving and driving. The last time I did that drive the girls were 16 months and 2 months old. So, surely this time should be a bit easier. Let's still keep our fingers crossed.

I ordered a cell phone and my mom is mailing it along with my new license plate. I wrote my resume yesterday, ready for my job search. I have been thinking about what I want to take back with me. I have never went across the border from Mexico to the US with a car load full of stuff, so I can only assume the border patrol will search through everything in the car. I don't want it to be a long process. That day is already going to suck. Like I want to stand there watching them take everything out of the car while I am crying.

So, I will probably only take clothes and toys this time around. About 6 months into my return I plan on bringing the girls back for an extended stay with Daddy. They will stay for about 4 months or so. At that time I can take back whatever other items I want, in preparation for getting my own place.

I am just ready to get back and get things going. I hate transitional times. It is like being trapped between the past and the future. Very uncomfortable for me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

living tornados

Everyday I spend at least 30% of my time cleaning up after these two little tornados of mine. They are experts in spreading out their toys in the house. And even better than that, they are at the top of their class in making their room look like a natural disaster. I have been waiting for the government to show up at my door so we can file the claim.

I just cleaned up the room and put everything in it's proper place. For a while I have been making Bella help and here lately Emily has been recruited. They need to understand that if they play with the toys they have to pick them up and put them away. Sometimes it is just easier when you are doing major clean up to do it alone. That was this morning.

Here are some pictures of their clean room.

And, as the pictures show, even immediately after clean up the girls can't resist the temptation to start the *dirtying up the room* process.
Right now Emily is napping and Bella is sitting on the couch (time out) because she is in that lovely TERRIBLE TWOS stage. Give them a bit of time and we will get you those after pictures up on here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

eating jello a different way

I have been blog surfing a lot lately. I have been looking for recipes to try. Finding ones that I can make here in Mexico is not the easiest. I have stumbled across a few that look promising.

The other day I found a cute idea of how to make jello more *fun*. As soon as I saw them I knew the girls, especially Bella, would LOVE them. They looked simple enough and it ends up they were.

The only thing I would suggest is straying from the idea of making "mini watermelon". They are definitely cute, but what do you do with all the lime that you remove from the skin? And, being that they are limes, they tend to make the jello a bit sour next to the rind. I only used 2 limes and the rest I used oranges. At least with the oranges you can eat the fruit you removed and they are larger so it takes less to use up the jello.

I have put a link on the side of this blog. You can scroll down to "Yummy things to try" and click on "mini jello watermelon".

And, just so you know, they were a HIT with the girls. This is something I will definitely do again and again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

creating a path

When something in my life is going to change, little or big, I make plans. I know that plans don't always happen the way you want or intended, but for me it is soothing to have them there, waiting on me.

I find that I interchange the word "plan" with "goal". To me they are one in the same. And I can see to others that it might seem I am setting myself up for disappointment because things are never concrete. Inevitably there will always be things that are out of my control, but I still believe that I control the path of my life. So, things might change but I can create the path that I follow. That is where the "plan" or "goal" comes in.

Now that you know my logic, I am going to share what my plan is. I haven't held back any other personal info on this blog before, so why start now. Plus, for me it helps if I tell others so it will help me stick to my words. It makes me want to prove myself. (That is the competitive side of me coming out.)

I had mentioned that I am going to move back to the State and I am going to stay at my parent's house. At first I will depend on them so I can get my feet back on solid ground. I will need their help while I recreate my life. While that is all good, living somewhere rent free until I can get back on my feet, I can't stay there forever. I need to set a time frame, a goal, of when I will get my own place.

Last night, while Jorge was still at work and the girls were down at the in laws, I had an idea. I created my path. Here it is for the world to see...

  • After one year I will get an apartment (October 2010).

  • While the girls are in Mexico, staying with daddy, I will get a part-time job for my evenings and/or weekends. Being a single mom with only the one income, it will be nice to create a cushion in case something should come up. And, this will occupy my time so I don't have to be in an empty house all the time.

  • I am going to create a list of items I need for the apartment. This will allow me to have the year to accumulate all the furniture and such instead of doing it all at once. This is where I will call on my friends for help. If they see something at a good deal--at the store, thrift store, garage sale or through a friend--hopefully they will let me know.
Right now I am so excited about the new start that it hides all the bad *side effects* of what is going to happen. This new path of mine is getting closer, just two months. Well, I guess I am on it right now. I am on the path to a new life. I hope that Jorge's path and mine cross in the not so distant future.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

banana crumb muffins

Yes, I have another recipe for you. I never intended on putting recipes on my blog, but some things are just so easy and taste so good that not sharing wouldn't be nice.

I am always looking up recipes for "easy" meals, desserts, breads, you name it. You are already familiar with the fact that I am VERY limited on what ingredients I can find. So, most of the time I don't find much of anything because there is bound to be something on the list of ingredients that I can't find and there is no substitution.

There have been a few things that I have found and get so excited because I know I can get my hands on everything that is needed to make the food. This recipe is very easy and simple and the outcome is just delicious.

Banana Crumb Muffins
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 c sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 c butter, melted
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Combine bananas, sugar, eggs and butter; mix well. Stir the two sets of ingredients together, just until moistened. Fill greased or paper lined muffin pan. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!
And just like the pizza the other day, this is not the most healthy of foods, but everything in moderation, right? The girls sure enjoy them. Bella calls everything that looks somewhat like a cake or a cupcake a "Happy Birthday". I made the muffins last night after the girls had went to bed. This morning Bella sees them on the counter and in an excited voice she says, "Oooh, Happy Birthday!". The girl is crazy. And, Emily just likes to eat! As long as it is edible she is happy.
The girls enjoying a muffin.
Bella giving them a thumbs up.
Emily stuffing her face.
Emily smiling with evidence in her mouth.
I just remembered something, I can't find brown sugar down here so my mom mailed me some. Thanks, mom! Because of you we can enjoy these lovely muffins! I will make you some when I am your live-in!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

what you want

I know all of you readers out there have been dying for an updated picture of my watermelon. I had said I was finished gloating about my watermelon but the overwhelming demand for more made me change my mind!
Here it is. Still going strong.

And, as a bonus, you can see we have two more melons!


My life has been turned around, shaken and stirred, thrown upside down and pretty much been a whirlwind the past year or so. Actually the past few years have been rather major ones in my book. Let's see, I have:
  • built a house
  • got married
  • had a baby
  • got promoted
  • had another baby
  • my husband was barred for 10 years from the US
  • sold my house and almost all my belongings
  • had to give up my job
  • moved to Mexico
Now, the plan in place is to move back to the US. Of course my husband is not able to because some people in high places don't really think that is ok. And not for one minute do I regret that I moved down here in the first place. At the time there was no other options. I had to be there for Jorge. He needed us around him. He needed to meet his new daughter, Emily.

I have been talking with Jorge a lot about what we should do, what we can do and what we want to do. It is not a big secret that I am unhappy down here. I knew when I moved here it would be hard to adjust to life and it might take a while to get in the swing of things. But, it just isn't happening.

I try to seem ok and look at reasons why life isn't that bad but sometimes you can't put up a front any longer. I know, we should be thankful for our health. But, that is not all there is to life. If health is all we needed then more people should be content with their lives. That is just not realistic. Health is something we take for granted but shouldn't be all we expect.

Being down here has made me lose myself. If a few years back you asked some of my closest friends if they could ever imagine me being a house wife and mom they would laugh in your face. However, that is what I am and I feel that is all I am.

Jorge has told me that he wouldn't feel so bad about being here if it weren't for me. He is affected when he sees me unhappy. He knows this is super hard on me and it might not ever change. It is hard on him too. I understand that. But the difference is he goes to a job, is around his friends and family...has close to a normal life. Sure, he doesn't make as much money and can't just buy whatever he wants, but overall it seems similar to what he went though on a normal day back in the States. The scenery is different but his experiences are similar.

For me...let's just say it is like night and day. All the strong qualities that I was so proud of when I was in the US have disappeared. Looking in the mirror is like looking at a different person. I need to find the person I was. It might seem selfish to some of you but until you are really standing in the same set of shoes, you will never fully understand.

I don't remember where I heard this, but I always remember this, "Only you can make you happy". And I also understand that your mood can affect others. I don't want to be a negative person. I get irritated so easily and I know that is not fair for my husband or my daughters. I need to get back in touch with me. When that happens I feel like everything else will fall into place.

So, I am going to move back to the US. For the time being I will be a tenant in my parent's house and they seem to be excited about it. They wouldn't pass up a chance to be around the girls all the time. They will deal with me because I am part of the package deal. :) I plan on having the girls for at least 6 months and then I will take them down to Jorge so he can have time with them. That way I can visit my husband and the girls will stay with him for a few months. It will be hard, but I think this will allow me to find me again and keep me sane.

As sad as it will be for both Jorge and I to be apart and to be separated from the girls at some point, I feel this is the right thing to do. And, truthfully, I am excited about the change. I am excited to go and find me again.

Monday, July 20, 2009

not so healthy goodness

I have a simple recipe for a BBQ Chicken Pizza that I make. It is so good! It is even better than good because it is extremely different than any kind of food that I can find down here. And even better yet all involved ingredients are right here in Jalos!

Usually I roll out the dough (you know, I have to make it from scratch) and make a normal pizza. The other day I stumbled onto a blog that has all these wonderful recipes and I found one that was for a "roll 'em ups". I thought, "Hey, I can do that with my pizza recipe. And, I did just that.

I thought I would share my recipe for the pizza and pizza dough. To make the pizza into a "roll-up" just start from the long end of the dough and roll into a log and cut into 2 inch pieces. It might have just been my imagination, but I swear it tasted better than in pizza form!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 cup BBQ sauce
1 small red onion, finely chopped
6 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
1-2 cups mozz cheese or any melting cheese
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 pizza dough recipe

Place cooked shredded chicken in a bowl and coat with some of the bbq sauce. Press out the pizza dough and coat with remaining (or however much you like) bbq sauce. Spread coated shredded chicken on the dough. Add bacon, onions and cheese on top. Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes.

Pizza Dough

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in the warm water. In a separate bowl mix together all the other ingredients. After letting the yeast activate (it will start to look foamy on top of the water) add it into the bowl all the other ingredients. Mix all the ingredients together with a fork. Once it has form into a dough, you will probably have to add more flour (a little at a time) until the dough is no longer sticky. Use your hands to knead the dough. Allow dough to rest for 5 minutes.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

is she smart...enough?

At the end of this month Bella will be exactly 2 1/2 years old. She is the only child around that age that I know and that I am around for any length of time. So, how do you know where your child stands as far as how intelligent she is?

I want to challenge her but not expect too much from her. I want her to develop and be ready, socially and mentally, for school. I know that is a ways off, but I don't think you can start to early. But how do you judge if you are on the right track and if you are in the right spot on that track?

Of course family and friends might be biased, or rather are,and just say what you want to hear from them. Are there any good resources out there that show where a child should be developmentally? Honestly most of the time I don't really see Bella as a child. I talk to her like she is a person, not a baby. Sometimes I worry that I am not approaching her in the right way and I might not be teaching things or introducing things that she should be learning because of the way I view her.

Should she have know this before now?

I know all children are different and pick up things in their own time, but there has to be a guideline to go by. Maybe I will look online for any references. Plus, I am excited to get back to the US so the girls can experience more than just being in the house all the time.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

homemade beauty

I tried a homemade facial exfoliator the other day and it was GREAT! I normally am the type of gal to buy the store bought, pretty packaged beauty products. Well, actually I am loyal to some of Mary Kay's products. They have a facial exfoliator that I just love. But, my budget doesn't allow for such purchases right now.

I found a website that list several recipes to make your own beauty products. I looked for the simplest one and found this one:

Salt Exfoliate
1 cup salt, any kind
1 cup veggie oil, any kind
1 cup liquid soap
Mix all the ingredients and massage into the skin then rinse well. Salt is natures' healing ingredient for all!

(As you see I used EVOO instead of veggie oil and I used the girls bath soap because I didn't want any stong soap on my face. And, FYI, I used Kosher salt.)

Oh, and I didn't make a gigantic batch; I used a tablespoon instead of a cup. It made a little more than what I needed so next time I will probably use a teaspoon of each ingredient.

I don't think it could get more simplistic. I got out the three ingredients and whipped them together, put it on my face and exfoliated away.

Let me tell you that it worked WONDERFULLY! I don't think I will ever buy a store bought or Mary Kay exfoliator again.

I just wanted to share. You know how it goes with trying things at home, they don't always work out very well.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I changed the look and title of my blog as you see. I just didn't feel like the old title fit me anymore. Yes, I am living in Mexico, but I really don't want that to define me. Plus, this is just a temporary situation. How temporary is unknown but I still like to view it that way.

I have a few big decisions coming up in the somewhat near future and they involve my living arrangements and what I am to do with life. I just didn't want my blog to reflect anything about Mexico. I don't want to view that as a major part of my life. I see it as an obstacle, not life.

In a few short months the girls and I will be driving back to Indianapolis to live for a while. The plan is 6 months and then see what path we need to take. Deep down I would love to live there permanently. The problem with that is Jorge. He is stuck down here. Plus, we have the girls to factor in.

I tend to jump into future planning so quickly. I am going to try to slow down and just get the first 6 months going and then go from there. We can see how all of us feel and what we think is the right thing to do.

I just need to think positively and just have faith that things will work out how they are supposed to. I don't tend to like change but it is not always bad, right?

where is the variety?

Part of why I started this blog was because I moved to a foreign country. People were curious about life down here; what was different. I thought having a blog would be easier on me. I could tell it once and people could read at their leisure.

Lately I haven't been writing much of anything about the differences. By now I am pretty much used to it and although I still know it is totally different from what is in the US, I just deal with it.

I seem to notice one of my biggest complaints is the lack of products at the grocery stores. I have never elaborated on what is missing. I think it is one of the hardest things to deal with because cooking and eating food is a daily thing. Not finding things you are used to finding, or sometimes even things you rely on makes it crappy.

When I was in the US I didn't cook very much. It only being Jorge and me, we seemed to eat out a lot. Now we don't really have that option. Well, we could eat out but eating at home allows more variety.

Not having cooked much I didn't have many meals that I knew how to make. Sure, I can pick up a cookbook and whip something up. But, having those staple meals that you can just know how to make is nice. I have wanted to learn how to make more things but the problem is I look up a recipe and sure enough, there are most likely ingredients that I won't be able to find. It is very frustrating.

I came up with a small list of things you WON'T find in a grocery store here in Jalos.

english muffins
bagged shredded cheese
french dressing
turkey & roast beef lunch meat
rasberries & blueberries
cool whip
biscuits or rolls
graham crackers
vanilla wafers
grape jelly

I mean, this list could go on and on. Some of these are not staple items, but are just common items that would not be seen down here. It is easier to list what they do have verses what they don't have. I guess the way to describe it is lack of variety. They have a lack of products as well, but even the products they do have your choice is limited.

For instance:

  • salad dressings--your options:ceasar, italian, ranch, thousand island--yes, that is all.
  • ice cream--your options: vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, lime, coconut
  • bread--brands to chose from: Bimbo, Bimbo or Bimbo. Can we say monopoly!
  • canned veggies--peas, corn, peas & carrots, mushrooms
  • soups--can't remember the choices, but I think there are only 5 choices, none of which are cream of mushroom or chicken & noodle or tomato
  • cake mix--chocolate, french vanilla, yellow or white
  • icing--vanilla, chocolate
It seems like they are just trying to stick to the basics. And, you are never guaranteed to find the store properly stocked. One day they might have potatoes, cilantro and green peppers and the next you might not find any of those. I was never one of those people that would go to multiple stores to grocery shop. And the reason people do that is for sales or a they like to buy certain items at one store and their meat at another. Here I HAVE to go to two stores when I grocery shop. Not because of sales or I prefer items for either one, it is because I can't find everything I need at one store. I make a list and we go to one store first, if I find it I mark it off and if the store doesn't have it I circle the item so I can get it at the other store. It is not uncommon to not find something at either store. There are several stores here but I am not going to run all over to find a green pepper or cilantro.
Overall it is just a pain to do grocery shopping here. I wanted to explain what I mean when I am frustrated by my options. One thing I look forward to is walking down the isles at Kroger and finding anything and everything I want!

Monday, July 13, 2009

an old habit

How many of you have a habit you just can't kick? Some habits are normal and don't bother others. Mine, however, is such a quiet one, yet I think bugs the people that are around me. I can remember having this particular habit all the way back to first grade. I can remember sitting in my little chair and having a piece of hair in my hand and twirling it. I would twirl it for a few seconds, tuck it behind my ear and then pull it out. Then I would start the whole process again.

I tend to twirl my hair and not really notice that I am doing it. When it is a continuous thing someone will say something to me. I remember at work Linda commenting about me twirling my hair. It is always the same piece--on the left side just about an inch into my hair line right at the part in my hair.

When people see me doing it non-stop they asked if I am worried or stressed. The answer is usually "no". I don't think those two have anything to do with each other.

Lately I have found myself twirling ALL the time. If I pull my hair up into a ponytail I will leave the twirling hair out so I can keep twirling. Even at night, laying in bed, I lay on my left side, prop the pillow under my head a certain way so I can keep twirling. You would think it wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately for me when my hair twirls around my finger it makes a small sound, believe it or not. And, since Jorge is laying right next to me and is super sensitive to sound (and light), he can hear it. I have been trying to do it quietly, where as to make no noise. I think I am getting closer.

There have been times when I haven't been able to twirl my hair. A few botched up hair cuts have left me without the ability to grab much hair to twirl. You would think since I have been doing it for so long I would go crazy if I can't. But, the truth is I didn't even think about twirling when my hair was so short.

Jorge always threatens he will cut off my "twirling" hair. He LOVES his hair so I just return the threat and it usually ends the conversation about it.

I really don't know why I do it. It feels good on my fingers. And, when it is longer I twirl the twirled hair around my ear. That feels really nice. I know, weird! If I am not twirling, the twirled piece of hair will be tucked behind my ear, just waiting for me.

I am not sure what the point to this blog entry is. Even though I have been doing it almost all my life, I still find it an odd habit and am curious to why I do it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

bella's beauty

A while back I highlighted Emily and how sweetly beautiful she is. Well, now it is Bella's turn to shine.

I know, being their mom biases me, but I think my two girls are just about the cutest girls in the world. They might drive me crazy, but just looking at them washes away all the stress. In Bella's case, I am very thankful she is so beautiful because she does stir up some stress.

This girl is a miniature version of me. She is so STUBBORN, independent, strong willed, smart, funny and hard headed! Many times during the day I will try to help her with something and she yells, "I'll do it!".

No matter how mad she gets or how frustrated I get with her, her pretty face can always calm me down. Today I got some good pictures of her. It is my MIL's birthday tomorrow and all she wanted was a picture of our family-- me, Jorge and the girls. While we were waiting for Daddy to do his hair, Bella was letting me take all these cute pictures of her. So, now we can highlight her beauty!

I think daddy is going to have his hands full with fighting off the boys when Bella is older.

Friday, July 10, 2009

speaking spanish

I get asked if the girls know Spanish every once in a while. Here at home you don't here much Spanish at all. Of course I don't know Spanish (I should learn but haven't) and Jorge goes into English mode since he is around me. The type of satellite TV we have broadcasts almost all the shows in English. But, the girls to do over to Jorge's family's house several times a week. Since they only speak Spanish over there, the girls have picked up on it just fine. There doesn't seem to be any communication problems.

Bella uses some Spanish on a regular basis. Some words she commonly uses:

aqui for here
esta for this
papos for shoes
si for yes
mida (sp) for look -- this one you hear ALL the time

There are others but these are the ones that come to mind.

Emily is trying to count. She only says two and three, but in Spanish. You will here her sweet little voice, "dos, tres, dos". She will repeat two.

It is hard to get a video of the girls doing anything because they want to "see it". That is all I hear usually when I am trying to video them. It is a small digital camera with a screen on the back to view the pics/videos. So, this is pretty good that Bella was cooperating with me.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Peat and Repeat

Whatever Bella does you are sure to find Emily a few steps behind trying to do the same. Ever since Bella has been going to the bathroom on the toilet, Emily wants to as well. When Bella tells me she needs to go to the bathroom, we start walking there and Emily is following us screaming while trying to pull her own pants down. She wants to sit on the toilet and gets mad when Bella is.

She is CRAZY!

Here is a little video that shows her in the bathroom. Of course she is not really using the toilet, she just wants to think she does.

She watches what we do after Bella is finished doing her business. And the foot maneuver, she saw me do that a few times.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

the slowness of enchiladas

I make one Mexican dish that is good. I know this because it is a requested dish. The problem is that this particular kind of enchilada takes a while to make. I guess the green sauce for the dish is what makes it take forever.

It is a pretty authentic dish that could be made back in the good ol' US of A. I thought I would share the recipe with you. I got it from a cookbook that I bought in the US. I have adjusted some things and don't really look at the recipe anymore so I am not sure what has been adjusted.

5-7 tomatillos
1 large onion
1/4 c cilantro
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 c chicken stock
2 tbsp oil
2-3 Serrano peppers
1 c crumbling cheese (Mexican queso anejo, feta or mild Parmesan)
2 chicken breasts
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp salt
1/2 c sour cream
8-12 corn tortillas
oil for frying the tortillas
Bake at 400F.

Take the tomatillos and Serrano peppers and put them in a pot and boil them for, oh, 15 to 20 minutes. They will turn a darker green when they are done.

While waiting for the tomatillos to cook, get the cilantro, onion (1/2) and garlic ready. All of these ingredients will be put in the blender. Rough chop the cilantro and 1/2 of the onion. Go ahead and finely chop the garlic so there won't be any clumps in the mixture.

After prepping for the sauce you can get the chicken ready. You will need the chicken breasts, a handful of chopped onion, salt and marjoram. Put all ingredients in a pot and cook until chicken is cooked through.

Once the tomatillos and peppers are done, put them (minus the water) with the cilantro, onion and garlic into a blender and blend until smooth.

While the blender is running, drain water from the pan add oil and put it back on the burner. Heat the oil and once the sauce is smooth, pour it into the pan. Let it cook for 5-6 minutes. The sauce will darken a bit. Then add the chicken stock to the pan. (I usually put the stock in the blender so the remainder of the sauce that stuck to the blender will come out with the stock.)

You will cook the sauce until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spatula. While that is cooking, you can prepare the cooked chicken. You will need the chicken, remainder of the onion (finely chopped), cheese and sour cream.

Drain all the water (and onion and marjoram) from the pan. Let the chicken cool a bit and then shred it with your hands. Put it back in the pan and add the onion, cheese (keep a little to crumble over before you serve) and sour cream. Mix it all together and put it to the side.

With the sauce and chicken ready, heat a pan with a layer of oil (maybe 1/4 inch). You will take the tortillas and put them in the pan (I do two at a time in a skillet) and fry them about 5-6 seconds on each side. Remove them from the oil and place on a layer of paper towel.

Take a large spoonful of sauce and put it on a dinner plate. You will use this to drudge the tortillas after they have been fried. Put a tortilla on the plate and then flip it over, coating each side with the sauce. Then take a heaping tablespoon full of the chicken mixture and put it in the middle of the coated tortilla. Fold it up and place it in a baking dish.

Once you have run out of chicken mixture (I made a total of 10 enchiladas) coat them with some of the remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Pour the remaining sauce in a bowl and use to pour a little on the enchiladas before you serve. Do the same for some of the sour cream.

Hopefully these are as yummy to you as they are to me. If any of you Indy friends want to try and don't want to do the work, I would be happy to make them for you once I get back.