Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Andy lost his first tooth!

Or maybe I should say Andy had his first tooth yanked from his mouth!

I thought it could have gone another day, but after bath time Otto and Andy decided they should give it a try. YANK! and it was out. I tried yesterday with no luck, but I'm more from the wait-until-it's-dangling-by-a-thread camp, and probably didn't give it an appropriate TUG.

He was VERY excited, and so PROUD. He kept smiling into the mirror and saying, "My smile sure looks different!" And when I tucked him in and he gave me a kiss goodnight, he asked if the kiss on my cheek felt any different.

So now we're anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Tooth Fairy. MANY Tooth Fairy questions dominated tucking-in time. Sam figured the way that the Tooth Fairy got the tooth from under the pillow was that she waved her magic wand and it made her small enough that she could get under there easily. And Andy said that Papi told him that all Tooth Fairies are transparent (that there was more than one was new to me - maybe these are like Santa's helpers?) and can go through anything. I said I'd never seen the Tooth Fairy, so all the above speculations were highly possible. To which Andy replied, "NO ONE has ever seen the Tooth Fairy. Except the Internet, the Internet has seen everything. If it's not on the Internet then it hasn't happened." Oh, I see.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sam's 4th Birthday

Sam turned four on Saturday. We had a party to commemorate the occasion. He was so happy to put up decorations and have friends over.
After the kids played for a bit they painted sun catchers.
Then out came the cake.
It took a little longer to blow out the candles this year. Maybe he was out of practice, but eventually all four candles were extinguished so we could move on to the more important task of eating it.
I think his little friend from our Wednesday morning mom's group was trying to help him along here.
And the gifts!

Sam had a great time, and it sounds like the guests had fun as well. I think the only mishap was that I forgot to take out the party hats to wear when we were singing 'Happy Birthday'.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing with all the new toys, then for dinner we decided to go to a Greek restaurant in town that we had been wanting to try. I wish I had brought my camera, because as we were finishing our meal, the music got a little louder, the beat thumped a bit more, and out came a belly dancer! Andy and Sam thoroughly enjoyed the undulating belly of the scantily clad blond with her finger cymbals, ching ching-ch-ching, chinging all around. And the food was really tasty.

Once back home, the birthday boy opened a few more gifts,

and we ended the evening by staying up late and watching the Curious George movie all together on the sofa. He had a good day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


We broke out the new paints that we bought at Toys 'R' Us last week. For anyone that gave the boys money for Christmas, here's where some of your hard-earned cash went. Thank you!

The beginning.

A little here and a little there.
Almost done.

Fini! Pretty much.

Sam's very purple hands.

And a moment from the moment.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Canadian police chase

I was able to put this clip on my Facebook page a while back from YouTube, but couldn't figure out how to put it here. It's from a Midas ad, and every time I see it it makes me laugh.

Canadian police chase.

Does anyone know how to embed the actual clip into the blog, and not just a link?

And here's another that a friend emailed.

It's a chilly -20 degrees C this morning, with a couple inches of snow fall from yesterday, but it's supposed to warm up to -1 degree C in the next couple days. WOHOO - a heat wave's a comin'!

Addendum: Here's the actual clip of the car chase. Thank you, Derek!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas in Florida - Part III

So the big party was Noche Buena, which is Christmas Eve. Everyone gathers and a whole pig is roasted. Marta and Pupy (Otto's parents) used to host it at there house in Hollywood, and I think Otto's brother Orlando had it at his house one year, but the past several years they've had it at the farm since there's LOTS of room to spread out.

No Cuban event is complete without a game of dominoes. Tia Teresita and Tio Manolito with Sam, versus Tia Vittoria (Manolito's wife) and Otto with Andy, while Marta looks on.
I'm not sure who's winning at this point, but with snacks, beer, good company, WARM WEATHER, and awesome Cuban music playing, you're having a good time either way.
Shortly after that round of dominoes, more people started arriving. A game of catch ensued. You can see the large avocado tree to the left that we helped Marta decorate with giant red balls - very festive! Tio Hector (Teresita's husband) and Aaron pulling the pig out of La Caja China.
Everybody swarms when the pig is taken out so they can get some of the crispy skin, which is completely consumed by the time the pig hits the serving table.

Tio Herveth savoring his chunk. Cuidado, Tio, it's hot!!
This tray cooked the pig from the top down. I stood next to the burning embers for a LONG time, hoping there was some type of heat repository in my body that I could make withdrawals from once we were back in Canada.
The finished plate of food, complete with black beans, rice, salad, and yucca with mojito sauce (olive oil with crushed garlic, not the mixed drink!). MMMMMmmmmm - was it good. Turns out Aaron makes a mean pig, too!
The crowd enjoying their meal.
And a few more group shots. Here's Otto and Aaron with their cousin Hectico (Hector and Teresita's son). For anyone reading that went to our wedding, this if the kid that walked Otto's grandmother down the aisle. Now he's a big, strong fireman and paramedic!
And speaking of Hectico, he just recently proposed marriage to this lovely lady, Maribel. She's a kindergarten teacher, and is sooooo nice. Don't they make a cute couple? :o)
Orlando and his new bride, Yvonne. (See pics from their reception later in the post.)
A picture of us. Hectico, Alejandro's girlfriend (sorry, I can't remember her name right now and Otto's already asleep), Alejandro, and Big Hector towards the end of the evening.
And a parting group shot of Tio Herveth, Tia Ana Maria, Tia Tere, Aaron, Otto, Pupy, Tia Lydia, Otto's cousin Herbie (Herveth and Ana Maria's son), and Marta.

All these pictures and I still didn't get a shot of everyone that wast there! It was a good time.

And two days after this party, Orlando and Yvonne held a reception at their house to celebrate their recent marriage.
I wish I had taken more pictures here because everyone was dressed so nicely, but I guess I was too busy visiting, dancing, and trying to keep Andy and Sam from falling in the pool.

Tia Milagros, Tio Roberto, Pupy, y Tia Vittoria. Pupy isn't asleep, I just clicked the button at the wrong time. :o) El Fin. Hay, Dios Mio - after all this partying, I'm exhausted!

Christmas in Florida - Part II

The next day we headed to la finca (the farm) to pack up 35 boxes of avocados from Otto's parents' avocado farm in Homestead. Here was the first batch we brought in. Loading the boxes, weighing them, and getting them on the truck. The back of the truck has a lift, which is also good entertainment for the grandsons! An inquisitive iguana came to see what was going on.
This was the first time I'd seen an iguana down there, and we saw several this trip. Apparently they're prolific nowadays, as they aren't a native species and have no natural predators. After all that hard work (not so much on my part), we had some lunch. Freshly caught fried fish, and what better side dish is there at an avocado farm than guacamole? Aaron makes a mean guacamole! Tuckered out after a hard day's work, the boys took a snooze on the way back to Hollywood.

Happy New Year, 2009!

To celebrate the new year, we went ice skating and tobogganing at Bower Ponds. We need to fine tune the logistics of going skating, because by the time we got Andy and Sam's skates on, our fingers were freezing, and Otto and I hadn't gotten our skates on yet.

Andy was skating around with great speed, and I was more comfortable on skates than I remember being 15 years ago. Otto had decided to watch first, but Sam started getting very cold after a while, and I took him back to the car to warm up while Otto stayed to let Andy skate a while more. And then Andy started getting cold, so poor Otto never did get to put his skates on!

After we all warmed up in the car for ten minutes, we headed out again with toboggans (sleds) in tow. Luckily, towards the end, I remembered my camera has a video feature, so here is some live-action footage!

Otto and Sam tandem-tobogganing.

Andy catching some air.

Sam spinning down the hill.

View from the top.

All had a great time. Every time Andy and Sam got to the bottom of the hill, you'd hear, "THAT WAS AWESOME!!"