Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Adoption Day

Dear Luka:

Three years ago we became a family when you arrived into our lives. It has been three years full of suprises and adventures at every turn. Lukie...three years...wow, time has flown by. I still remember bringing our little tiny baby home. We were scared, excited and most of all we were so overcome with happiness to finally have a son. Luka, like I told you before Sam was born and I remind you everytime you ask...Yes, Sam grew in my belly but you grew in my heart. And for the past three years that love has been growing and growing and just when I think that we can't love you anymore, we do. That is what is amazing about being a parent. We never stop worrying and we NEVER NEVER stop loving you.

I think now that you are three and a half you are starting to understand a little what it means to be adopted. Today you told me that you knew that Sam doesn't have an "Adoption Day"...this special day as you put it is for "Mami, Papa and Luka." That is right Lukie...this is our day. The day the three of us miraculously became one. They say that childbirth is a miracle and it truly is, but I also think that the day a child is adopted is miraculous. It is miracle...the feeling you have when they give you that baby and in one instant you feel it..."This is your child and you really are a family." You don't have to share DNA to feel it.

My friends here in Bolivia have asked me...was it different when you had Sam. My answer was yes...I gave birth to Sam and I carried him for nine months. The day you each of you came into our lives for the first time were completely different. But let me tell you that the thoughts that went through my head as they laid Sam on my chest when he was born were the same feelings I was having as they put you in my arms at the orphanage for the first time..."Is he healthy? Will he be okay? Does he love me? Will I be a good mother? I have to protect him."

I love you Luka and thank you for being such a wonderful son and brother. Happy Adoption Day and may we always celebrate this special day together and never forget the gift of being a family.


Mami and Papa

Thursday, November 25, 2010

So much to be thankful for...

This was our first Thanksgiving in La Paz and a first for Sam. We have so many things in our life to be thankful for that I felt we really need to take time and be "thankful." We had a nice quiet dinner at home with five other guests. I was the only American, but they all seemed to enjoy the dinner and the spirit of the holiday.

Dinner was delicious. In my previous post you could read that I was very nervous about the food, but everything turned out delicious. I left the turkey making to Vicky and I made the rest of the dishes. I think the winners were the sweet potato dish and the pumpkin pie. Here you can see the turkey chef...she did a great job!

Look what a thankful family!

Here is the table all set and ready. As you can see I didn't go for the traditional colors of thanksgiving, but it is fun to be different.

Right as I was serving the food we lost power! Yes on freaking Thanksgiving! But thank goodness that I was done cooking and we had a lovely meal by candlelight and after two hours the lights came back on.

Click here to see the rest of the photos from Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Luka's First Field Trip

Today was a big day...It was our first school field trip. I say "our" because it was Luka's first class trip, but it was my first as a mom. It was very exciting and I had a blast. His class had a unit on farm animals and his teacher coordinated a trip to the local stables - Sargentos.

Luka was particularly in love with his classmate Catalina that day...I couldn't tear them apart.

Here he is trying to call the horse over to him...like he would a puppy!

I think his favorite part of the day (besides hanging out with Catalina) was feeding the horses carrots and sugar cubes!

Oh, my...Is Thanksgiving tomorrow?

I think between midnight feedings and sleep deprivation Thanksgiving sort of sneaked up on me this year. I sort of panicked today when I picked Luka up at school and he showed me the colorful Thanksgiving turkey he had made. It is really TOMORROW!

I have less than 24 hours till the big day and I am NOT prepared at all. Last year I had typed lists and a schedule for the day in 30 minutes increments. I was also having 15 people over. This year it is 8 people, but I am so lost.

I just found my turkey today...frozen. I mean SUPER frozen. It is now defrosting. I hope I can cook it tomorrow. My plan is to make the following:

- Turkey (Vicky's Recipe)
- Stuffing (Pork & Herb Apple Stuffing)
- Sweet Potatoes (Classic Recipe I found online)
- Mashed Potatoes (Classic Recipe)
- Cranberry Sauce (don't know if I can find this here...let's see...it is the one recipe I have made for years that i love and keep using weeks after Thanksgiving on everything from muffins to bagels)
- Green Salad
- Pumpkin Pie (I really hope I find ready pie crust)

I know my dinner won't look as delicious as this photo I found on the internet but I am going to try.

Wish me luck and most of all the people trying my food. At least I think the turkey will turn out ok...that is what Vicky (our maid/cook) is making. I could have her make everything else...but then what kind of Thanksgiving would that be.

I am off to the grocery store...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holy Hail

I don't know if it is because I live at 3,200 km (10,500 ft.) and we are very close to the clouds (or at least it seems that way). Can you believe I live in the "low" part of the city!

But every time it has rained so far and there is a little chill in the air, it hails!!! I mean big time. Look at these photos from a 5 minute hail storm.

Luka was a little scared, but it actually worked out great because he was studying weather last week and he was able to learn about hail. We went outside and touched it and he asked,"How did ice fall from the sky, Mommy?" My answer was because the clouds are cold. Is that horrible or what? I really need to brush up on my science and give better answers to my three year old son. I think it is the sleep deprivation.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Time at the Market Uptown

I have been here for almost three months now and FINALLY I got a chance to see the real La Paz...I went to Uyustus (market uptown) to buy things for my friend's birthday party. I mean you can find anything! Most of you know that I love to shop and even more if the shopping is cheap. I also had the opportunity to snack like a local. Maria Renee (my friend) and I pulled up a chair on the side of the street with a local food vendor. We had pasteles (a huge piece of fried dough that looks like an elephant ear, but with cheese inside....delish!) and a warm glass of api. Api is typical warm drink...to me it tasted like Christmas in a cup (lots of cinnamon and clove). Wasn't horrible, but I prefer the fried dough!

I hope I get to take my camera next time so that I can take some real photographs, but safety is an issue...let's see.

Please don't pay attention to my silly face. Maria Renee was paranoid about whipping out the iPhone for a photo and i didn't really have time to pose, but I just wanted you to see these lovely outside "cafes."

Monday, November 15, 2010

Around Town with My Boys

Most of the time I never come out in any of the photos I post on the blog...usually because I am the one taking the photos. But once in a while I convince my husband to put his iPhone to good use and take random silly photos of me so at least there is proof that I existed. Here are two photos of me and my boys...Luka and I are posing with La Paz's version of Dumbo at the local Mega Center (aka only real mall around).

And then here I am with Sam at the Tennis Club. He really loves this swing. I think this is his favorite perk of being a member at "the club."

Home Sweet Home

For weeks now my mom has been asking me to post photos of our place. I have been a little hesitant because I don't have all the rooms exactly how I want them. So what I have decided to do is post one room at a time. So here is our Living/Dining Room. We are still missing curtains..those should be in this week. But this is the best room in the house...

It is difficult to set up house again. We had all our furniture that fit perfect into our house in Maputo and now this house is completely different and although it is not bigger it does have more rooms...I can't get everything to fit just right.

Well, now that I have to make posts about each room it will give me an incentive to fix up the rooms one by one.

I think the next post will be Luka's room....

Here are two more photos of the living/dining room:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sam & JJ Cheering Luka During Tennis

Luka's First Tennis Lesson

We are very proud of our little tennis pro. I don't think JJ is the only one that will take advantage of being a member of the Tennis Club

Friday, November 12, 2010

Luka & Sam's Play Date Party

Finally Mommy let us have our friends over to play and show them our new house. I invited some friends from school and other cool kids I have met since I arrived in La Paz. Sammy even had some babies his own age at the party. I didn't know he had already made friends at such a young age....

We had a great time. We put a bunch of toys on the terrace and we were all able to enjoy the sun and beautiful weather. Since Sammy was turning 6 months the following day we sang Happy Birthday to him. I thought it was a little silly, but my mom insisted. Here are some photos from the day:

To see all the photos my mommy took please click here.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beautiful Day with My Beautiful Baby

This morning the weather is crisp and perfect in La Paz with just the right amount of chill in the air. I just couldn't resist taking Sam out on our terrace for some photos. Here he is sporting his new denim jacket enjoying our beautiful view! I will save the rest of the photos for later.

I am off to school to pick-up Luka!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Luka Steals My iPhone Again

The little thief strikes again. Luka loves to steal my phone and snap away. This time he taught the nanny how to use the camera so she could take pictures of him. You can also get a sneak peek into his room and his "art wall" that he is very proud of. Every week something new goes up on his wall.

Not sure what is happening here...

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Celebrity Style in La Paz

This morning we went to the annual Christmas/Artisan Fair in town put on by ABIA (American British International Association). I was in heaven and drooling seeing all the booths with gorgeous things to buy. I think I started to sweat a little bit. I have not been shopping at all since I arrived in La Paz, so I was ready for some good retail therapy. There were so many beautiful things and not so beautiful too, but let's concentrate on the good stuff.

My first buy were some alpaca hats and shawls. The material is amazing and everything is handmade. I won't post photos because my family in Holland might have some alpaca goodies coming their way for Christmas! (My friends and family won't get any use out of this WARM material...sorry!)

Then of course I was crazy about all the bags & purses I saw. There were leather, plastic, recycled, alpaca, cotton, embroidered...every kind you can think of...but then I spotted these bright colored tote bags. I love a beautiful leather bag just as much as the next girl, but I am obsessed with tote bags and if they are plastic even better. These from Tote Le Monde were so bright and fun I couldn't resist. I bought a couple of tote bags for presents (let's see who are the lucky girls to get them) and a very fun bright purse for me....oh, and a tote for me as well. I thought they were Bolivian, but then I got in the car and I saw the tag said New York. I thought I had paid too much, but when I got home and googled the company. I was so excited to find out that the same tote that cost me $20 USD in La Paz was $58 USD in the states. I was over the moon...here usually it works the other way around...anything from the states is double the price.

But then my tote bag became ultra cool when I found out that Jennifer Garner had the same exact one....and she probably paid $58 USD! (picture popped up when I googled the company) Come on she is like the coolest mom ever!

Who knew this "celebrity" goodie had its roots in Bolivia. Check out this link. So I guess they really are Bolivian because they are also made here.

Okay, enough about this silly tote bag...I really do need a life don't I?!?!?!

Friday, November 05, 2010

iPhone Surprise

I don't know how many of you have iPhones? And then how many of your kids are obsessed with your iPhones but my son can't get enough of my little toy. He is constantly stealing it from me and I think he has figured out how to unlock it...hello, he is three! Well, Luka obsession with my iPhone is not only about playing with the screen....he LOVES to take photographs. This morning I found 55 new photos of Sam. He had decided to have his own little photo session with Sam. Here are some of the highlights.

Here Luka is trying to take a photo of both of them at the same time...

Sam's surprised look, "Hey I didn't know my big brother knew how to use the camera!"

Sam, "This is cool...I like Luka taking my picture."

"Okay, I am getting bored now...what is this?"

"Oh, delicious...oh, oh he took my photo with my foot in my mouth, didn't he?"