Sunday, July 29, 2007

just your everyday Saturday

Friday night and my babies ready to snuggle down for the night and Magdalena
said Mama take our picture, so of course, I obliged.

I bought this crazy blinking tiara because Magdalena said she wanted a tiara not a hat for her birthday party. She loved it just as much when I found it two weeks after her birthday.

Today has been just your everyday Saturday, nothing unusual, nothing really different, and yet today felt so magical, one of those Saturdays that sets the bar for every other everyday Saturday. I got to "sleep in" until 8:30 with Magdalena, Augustus and Ethan coming in and crawling all over the bed to see what I was doing every ten minutes or so.

Then treat of all treats, Ethan took the kids to get doughnuts with him to the local doughnut shop located entirely too conveniently at the end of our block. After doughnuts, Magdalena and Augustus spent the morning taking a mud bath in the igloo cooler in the back yard. Magdalena asked me, in a pretty serious tone with a slight frown of her brow, Mama, when can I take a mud bath, um, inside? And I said Magdalena, even at the fanciest spas people always take their mud baths outside under the sun! So out they went, naked and ready for mud.

Abuela surprised us for an early afternoon visit and (horror!) did my dishes! God bless her and shame on me, dirty dishes from Friday at 12:30 on Saturday, oh well. In my defense I had become consumed with getting rid of stuff that has been piled up for months to go to the Salvation Army, so I was busy being productive. We then all, sans Ethan, went to the oh-so-wonderful downtown Main Library at 2pm for an afternoon of children's theater and reading of children's books in the children's section. I got to sneak off by myself to the adult section (gasp!) and borrow a book for myself by myself. It was a bit startling at first, how quiet it was, but lovely, really lovely.

We went shopping and stopped by a roadside shrimp stand for some fresh humongous local Florida shrimp to grill for dinner and the shrimp guy kindly took the heads off the shrimp for me, which, left to my own devices, would have taken two sets of tongs, rubber gloves and a couple of hours accompanied by non-stop shreiking. Good on the shrimp guy! But before he beheaded them all, I asked him to show a whole shrimp to the kids. Because this is how the conversation goes: What does corn come from? Corn. And chicken is chicken? Yes. What did spinach used to be? Always spinach. And hot dogs? Well, hot dogs come from cows sometimes, or pigs, or chicken or turkey, or sometimes from soy beans. Why (you can see this one coming) do they call them "dogs"? And shrimp are shrimp? What do lobster look like when they're shrimp? Hence the "hey Magdalena and Augustus, this is what a shrimp looks like before we take their heads off and boil them to peel and eat".
We actually didn't peel and eat them though. They were so huge they kinda freaked Ethan out a little bit. These were grilling shrimp, and they were super yum.
Do you see what I mean? Really, could a day be more magical than that?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Late check-in, rush

Famous Amos birthday breakfast
m&m's in the hand
the four year cake
got 'em all

the doll chalet/condo

The Family Party
party girl prima Frida
the after party

Late check-in, rush, was always stamped on my checked luggage after I would arrive, breathless, at the check-in counter minutes before my scheduled flight was to take-off. So it is not totally out of character that I am late with this check-in about Magdalena's birthday. I'm still getting the hang of this blog thing and in an attempt to edit the photos I uploaded I completely deleted this already done post. We'll get this thing yet!

I awoke, Monday morning the 16th of July, 4 years after the arrival of Magdalena June Barnas, to my sweet little home and my babies in bed with me. What more could I ask for? Snuggled in bed with two of the most divine creatures on the planet? Well breakfast at a diner, that's what! We started the day at Famous Amos with pancakes and sausage and bacon and biscuits, fake syrup and all! And as if the kids weren't sugared up enough, the hostess brought them peanut m&m treats for breakfast.

I think Magdalena really gets the concept of this as a special day this year. After Famous Amos, we went to do a little shopping for party dresses and a special outfit for Augustus, then to the grocer, then home to bake a special order cake designed by Magdalena with help from a photo of a cake that she saw months ago and posted on the fridge as inspiration along with random gift openings throughout the day. I tried to convince her to wait to open all the gifts at once with papa, but she couldn't resist the packages that had arrived from her special NM aunties and California Jess, now LA Jess.

After papa came home we got the party started! Tacos by request from the birthday girl for dinner with Sadie's Salsa imported from NM, and Mexican Crema, that insanely delicious sweet sour cream that is all fat and corn syrup and carageenan gum, yum yum! Then the oh-so-special cake that I actually bought a stand for because I just couldn't bake that cake and put it on a cutting board covered in foil, horrors! All kinds of ice cream and candles and birthday wishes, more pressies from family, then the big surprise, the doll house/chalet/condo! Puuurrre joy!

We had the big family birthday party on Sunday with Tita, Maco and Frida, Abuela, Tito Chuchi and Aunt Su-su. More party all the time party all the time. It is truly a blessing to live near family, that's my favorite gift. Thanks Ethan!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Miami Beach and a four year old daughter

We spent the weekend in Miami Beach just like when I was growing up when we spent one week every summer, surrounded by my Cuban cousins, under a tent city of umbrellas in the sand, just hanging out on the beach all day. Kids running around, in and out of the pool, playing hide and seek in the hotel, the grownups at the tiki bar or in the water, just being there. It was glorious.

My darling husband was holding down the fort at home, working and doing his guard gig, and he created the world were I could just jump in the car and take the kids for a long weekend of heaven with family they never met before. Magdalena could not believe her eyes ears experience of this abundance of cousins, big kid cousins and little kid cousins and cousins who didn't even speak English, my god! could there be such a thing?

Then the truly big even, the four year birthday. Scooting home from Miami early so we would be home to spend the big day with papa, we awoke Monday morning to a world anew, one with a four year old girl. wow