Monday, March 31, 2008

Old Photos

We woke to a light sprinkling of rain this morning. Rodrigo and Annabelle didn't need any coaxing at all to go out and potty, thank heavens. Maybe two hours later I happened to glance out the window and low and behold, it was snowing! Massive, fluffy flakes were falling as quickly as they could past the window. I was completely surprised. Hugo was at my side, I lifted him up so we could talk about the snow. He loves to say the word snow, but it sounds about the same as his other fave, no. A bit stretched out on the o sound. I dialed up Cesar but no snow was falling in Manhattan. He suggested I take Hugo out to play but we were already preparing for friends to come over. Then as quickly as it appeared, the snow returned to rain. The decision was made for us. We would remain indoors for the day.

The photos I am sharing are both from last week. The first was Sunday, Easter afternoon. We were at Cesar's parents in Providence. It was Hugo's first egg hunt and he was a natural. He passed up containers of bubbles, pixie stixs, chocolate bunny suckers and Old Maid cards I had randomly strewn in the grass. His only interest was the egg. He had no idea that there happened to be candy and small toys tucked inside. He simply wanted the eggs. All colors, any color, it didn't matter. Just eggs. Joining in on the hunt were two of his older Baptista cousins, Charles and Sofia. They were both super in making sure that Hugo had fun and had plenty of eggs in his basket. Very nice. My second photo was taken this past Thursday in our yard. I chose this to share because my son looks so free to me and that all is possible for him. The world is within his reach. I think the life trick here, is that as he matures, we must remember to not get in his way so much.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Night Magic

Growing up my mother decalred Sunday night dinners ... Survival. Early in the morning she prepared a breakfast which we all gobbled down in between shifts of bathroom time. Once dressed in our freshly pressed dresses and button down shirts our hair was braided and combed. Off to the car we scrambled, elbows flying, calling out for no prisoners to be sure we got our desired seat near a window. Dad was Branch President and had left before us earlier in the morning and would be seated on the stand when we arrived in the chapel. He would wink and sometimes give us a small wave. For a special treat he would on rare occasions invite one of us to come up and sit with him. Mom somehow kept all of us lined up in our row and quiet. At the end of the hour Mother hearded us off to our Primary classes. Church continued for another two hours. When it was time to leave, we again all scrambled to the car for our seats near a window, elbows still flying. Once home, Mom headed straight to the kitchen. We were sent to our rooms to change our clothes, the older children to help the younger. Clambering back up the stairs one at a time our noses led us to Mother's side. How did she do it? How could she have worked kitchen magic so quickly? There on the table our lunch would be waiting for us. The army of bottomless pits that we were made sure the table was emptied in no time. Plates licked clean. Off to naps we were herded, tucked in one at a time. Mom also napped. She was done. Dinner was declared Survival. We ate pretty much what we found. Sometimes Dad would make breakfast again. And sometimes we had Lucky Charms. Our favorite!

Now that I have a family of my own, on occasion I too declare Sunday dinner Survival. But not tonight. Tonight I wanted to whip up a little kitchen magic of my own for Cesar and Hugo. When our meal together was finished, I noticed curiously that their plates were licked clean. I thought of my Mother and a loving smile overcame my face. A little later I mentioned to my husband that I just might want to write about our dinner. He seemed a little surprised. "Kinda strange" I could see written all over his face. I asked what he thought I should call the post and he answered, "Simple, Light, Fresh and Tasty. A keeper." Well, it might just be a little strange to write about our dinner. But it was our dinner. Our Sunday night family magic time.

I grabbed what was currently in the fridge and cupboards.
Tri-Color Pasta
Shredded chicken (left over from earlier in the week)
2 carrots, peeled, julienned
A bunch of asparagus, snap off woody ends, cut into 1.5" pieces
3 Tbls. butter
A good dose of parmesan
Some chicken stock
A couple splashes of cooking Sherry
salt & pepper to taste
parsley (I recently dried some, used only a small amount) and feta cheese to adorn

Cook pasta in lightly salted water. Zap carrots & asparagus in micro. In large saute pan melt butter. Add chicken stock, Sherry, salt & pepper, and some of the pasta water. Add parmesan stir. Drain pasta and add to stock mixture along with chicken and vegetables. Stir till well blended and warmed through. Plate and adorn with the parsley and feta. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The sun shone down upon us today which encouraged Hugo and I to play outdoors all day. How nice! Only one small puddle was left for Master Hugo to jump in and yet he still managed to go through three pairs of pants and two pairs of socks. He was simply a disaster by the time Cesar came home.

It wasn't all play outdoors for me. It was yard work disgusied as play for Hugo which in turn, became play for me. I always forget how exciting those first few spring days can be while working in the yard. The winter winds and snow were very hard on the trees this year. Large limbs to small branches and twigs were everywhere. Our cedars and lilacs sustained the most damage. I thought I would rake a small area of new grass free of a light covering of burnt orange pine needles, pine cones and other debris. I ended up raking the grass, flower beds, a portion of the gravel driveway, the grass in front of our house and two brick staircases. I made Cesar walk the yard with me so that I could toot my own horn loud and proud! Now I need a good, long soak in a hot tub.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Our Rainy Day

Today is a pajama day. Outside the rain is coming down and the chill goes to my bones as I open the door for the dogs. I have to use my mean voice to get Bella to venture out past the waterfall that is pouring from the roof. We have no gutters. She quickly pees and tries to run back inside without my noticing but I'm on to her naughty girl dog ways. I know she has yet more business to finish out there. Rodrigo on the other hand takes his sweet natured time leaving me to shiver in the half opened doorway.

I wish that today really would be a pajama day but no, it is Playdate Friday. One of the mothers called around yesterday to make sure we were all coming. We meet at our church during the cold of winter and on rainy summer days too. There is a gymnasium inside where the children can ride on toys, holler, play tag, holler,and toss balls around while yet hollering somemore. They eat their lunch in the gym. Sometimes they will eat their lunch. Usally they check out what all their friends have got and never eat a drop their own mother prepared for them. You know how the grass is always greener ... I wonder if we should'nt simply set up a "food table" where we could orderly dump all the lunches for the kids. Cheese sticks in one area, fruit in another, then sandwiches, and yogurt, cracker jacks, Pirate Booty, cookies, etc could round it all up at the end. Oh, we would also need a spot for their tippy cups and juice boxes. I suppose with that effort the children would then want what had been theirs to begin with!