Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Look at that face!



Things have been crazy...from an emergency trip to Miami to see my dad in the hospital, leaving the kids for the first time alone with JJ (I missed them so much) and coming back home with a million projects to do (yes, I am actually working). I just don't have time for anything...sometimes I even forget to even go to the bathroom.

But so many things have happened. Luka turned four. Sam is cruising, clapping and giving people high fives. My business is going great! I promise to bring you up to date on everything, but for now I will leave you with two photos to enjoy.

You can also check out my design business here.

Blog with you soon....

PS By the way, my hubby wanted me to point out that he took these super cute photos! Didn't he do a great job. I love you baby.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Heart My Boys


Today was a rough day. It was one of those days that makes me wonder if living so far away from everything and everyone we love is the right choice. Life gives us many challenges and this is one of mine, but at the end of the day home is where my family is and right now these three boys are my family.

This video was taken today and their laughter really helped me get through today. Isn't Sam's laugh so freaking contagious. Luka really is the best person to make his little brother laugh. JJ and I can manage, but Luka is the one that Sammy is amused by the most.

PS Sorry for the mediocre quality of the video...it was taken with the phone.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Say Ahhh


Luka went for his first Bolivian dentist visit today and he had a blast. I have never seen a child have so much fun at the dentist. If you are in La Paz and have a child take him/her to Dra. Dorita (love her Dora scrubs). She is amazing! Luka can't wait to go again!

By the way he got a glowing report from "Dorita" (she doesn't like to be called doctor). He has beautiful teeth in top condition. Way to go Lukie!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beautiful View Minus Lunch


It was a gorgeous Sunday morning in La Paz and we decided to venture out of the city and visit an ecolodge that was advertising delicious gourmet food. So at about 12:30 pm we headed out (40 minute drive) to this lodge. I gave Sammy lunch in the car and Luka had some crackers to tie him down until we sat down for our gourmet feast.

It took us longer to get there because we didn't realize it was the last official day of carnaval and they were celebrating "El Enterrio del Pepino." I don't have all the facts on this celebration, but Pepino is not a cucumber (which is what I thought). It is actually a clown. So i guess they bury the clown, i don't know...but in either case there are parades, costumes...the whole shebang.

Finally we get to the lodge and surprise...NO MORE FOOD. So we enjoyed the view for 5 minutes and jumped back in the car to drive as fast as we could back to La Paz for lunch.

I was famished but not surprised. After living in Mozambique and now Bolivia you learn not to have high expectations and be prepared for anything. At least now we know we want to go back, but this time with a picnic basket!

To see more photos from our adventure click here. Please note all the photos were taken with my Blackberry...I forgot my camera! Next time I will bring that too.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sam is 10 Months!

Sam Turns 10 Months from Melissa van Herksen on Vimeo.

Who knew this day would get here so fast. Our little Sammy who isn't so little anymore is 10 months. Only 60 days and he will be one year old. During the last month he has grown so much and started doing so many new things.

I think he liked going back to sea level (Miami) because he grew like a weed. While in Miami he outgrew half of his clothes and he gained almost 3 pounds! Well, I have to weigh him, but he sure seems ALOT heavier. He also went up a size in diapers. His appetite didn't really increase, but the doctor and friends told us that when you take the baby down a couple of thousand feet to sea level they have a growth spurt. Not sure why...but it is true!

He also started to crawl. The first day he actually crawled was February 10th...the day of his baptism and in typical Miami style his first strides were around a pool! And now he is a mean crawling machine wanting to touch everything and inspect every inch of the house. That means we have to follow him everywhere and no matter how much we keep an eye on him accidents happen.

Samy is cruising along with furniture and walls, but he is not very stable so he falls every once in a while even though I try to cushion every fall and wobble he still seems to get bumped and bruised. This is a whole new thing for me because Luka never really moved around so much.

And he is also starting to talk. Mama and Papa escapes every once in a while and you can also hear "Ete" = Este, "Shi" = Si, "Awua" = Agua. Oh and my new favorite pastime is hearing Samy hear his own voice...let me explain. He recently discovered that the toy piano in his older brother's room has a microphone. I guess he got tired of listening to his older brother sing and he wanted a piece of the action. So now he grabs the microphone and yells & slobbers right into the microphone. The "singing" is followed by the cutest laugh. I need to catch that on film the next time he does it.

He has also started to eat all kinds of new foods. This week his favorite are bread (any type of bread..the harder the better) and fig newtons...loves them.

Well that is our Sammy update for now....

Sam Learning to Bust a Move


Sam is learning how to shake that booty....learning from his big brother no doubt! He still needs a little help with stability, but I think his Cuban roots are showing...ha ha ha. Luka of course always has to get into the camera action, he went a little crazy dancing with his brother.

I am sorry for my singing in the video but this is one of our (Luka and I) favorite songs!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Miami Holiday Photo Recap

The minute we got there...you guessed it we headed right towards the beach. After living months in La Paz the open space and beautiful ocean was a spectacular sight.

This visit was extra special, not only because we did so many exciting things but because we had family and friends visit us in Miami from all over the world (Holland & South Korea). Here is a photos of Anniek (JJ's sister) with Sam and Luka. She stopped in Miami for Sam's Baptism and a quick holiday with her boyfriend on her way to Parimaribo, where she was completing an internship at a local hospital.

Sam and Luka also got to spend time with their great grandmother - Abuela Nena. I just love these photos.


The next stop on this photo tour is with STRAWBERRIES. My sister and I went to pick strawberries in Homestead with all of the boys. Those strawberries were delicious!

Try not to cringe at this photo of two very scary little boys. Luka and Max were channeling their scariest alligators during our visit our visit to the Everglades Alligator Farm. That place was insane. I have never seen so many gators in one place. To tell you the truth I was a little scared, but the boys thought it was pretty cool.

As in the crazy Vigues tradition my mom left all the Christmas decorations and tree up for our visit. We had a full blown Christmas Eve dinner and even opened presents under the tree. Okay, this is a little crazy, but so much fun. After the four of us spent the holidays alone in La Paz this was very special. Here are some of my friends that came to Noche Buena.

Presents for everyone!

Before our out-of-town friends were off on their flights home we rented a boat and spent the day on the Bay of Biscayne and surrounding waters. The boys were really preoccupied about going as fast as humanly possible on the boat and the girls...well, I spent most of the time holding on for my dear life. I think next time I will go shopping....ha ha ha.

Luka was in heaven at Playmobil Land. He got to go on this special field trip with his aunt, cousins and grandpa. This place has over one million Playmobil for kids to play with.

Sam is growing like a weed in Miami. Here he is with a new shirt that abuela bought him...doesn't he look handsome with the painted on tie.

He turned 9 months during our visit to Miami and my mom loves to celebrate every month leading up to one year....oh, does that sound familiar. Here we are all by the cake.

These pink snails were all over Miami. This one was outside the Miami Children's Museum. We stopped there to see the Mr. Potato Head exhibit.

The four of us made a quick getaway on the seas and a took our first cruise as family on the Norwegian Sky. We all had a great time, but Luka fell in love with the Bahamas. Here he is on the private island we visited right outside of Nassau. To see all photos from the cruise click here.

Our family is a big fan of Lincoln Road. We love to people watch and take advantage of all the stores and outside cafes. This time in Miami we got to visit the open space outside the new home of the New World Symphony. The park is beautiful and it is a great place for the boys to run around.

Sammy needed some shades from the sun...or just to look cool.

No Miami trip can be complete with a couple of shopping trips. Here we are at Dolphin Mall. Sam and Luka like riding shotgun on abuelo and abuela's scooters.

Before we left we made a stop to Jungle Island. This was our first visit and I hope not our last, although the park was empty we thought it was great. I really wish more people would go (if you live in Miami you can pay for a one day pass and go all year...pretty sweet deal). Here are my parents and Max feeding the llama...do they know they can come to Bolivia and feed all the llamas they want...ha ha ha.

Luka got his wild side on outside of the show in Jungle Island.

Our trips to Miami are full of adventures, restaurants, parks, the beach, etc. but when you get right down to it our visits to the Sunshine State are all about family and no one enjoys the boys' visits more than my parents. They glow when they are with all of the grand kids.

I think that next to my parents the person that counts the days for every visit is Max and Luka. They love spending time together. This is just one of the many photos I caught of them in a state of cousinly love.

To see all of the photos from our trip to Miami click here.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

My Outstanding Citizen


Luka wasn't able to be at the last school assembly because he was flying back from Miami, but he was honored with an award and his teacher gave him his "Outstanding Citizenship" award today. We are so proud of you...Way to go Luka!

While we are on the subject of Luka I will share some of his works of art from school. His class had a unit on the ocean. It actually worked out perfect because they finished the unit on the ocean right before we left to Miami, where Luka was able to enjoy the ocean and the beaches!

I really love this seahorse. This one is going in a frame!

I asked Luka what he drew in this photo. He said that he drew a jellyfish (left) and dolphins (right). Precious...

Splish Splash...It's Bath Time


I can't believe that Sam is such a big boy that we can bathe him in the tub and with his big brother! We started this after dinner ritual three days ago and both of the boys really look forward to it. Sam loves the water and Luka is happy to show his little brother the ropes in a real tub.

Sam loves to splash water and both JJ and I are wet by the end of bath time. I know that everyone says it...but I can't believe how fast my little ones are growing up! Please slow down...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I have been home for over 48 hours and I am starting to feel a little normal. The altitude hit me like a ton of bricks the first day. But the four of us are home safe and sound after a long trip filled with adventure, family time, unexpected emergencies, a little sadness, but mostly joy and excitement to be in Miami with family and friends.

Luka particularly had a love affair with his cousins and his grandfather. He wanted to spend every waking moment with his grandpa and Maxwell.

I will have some stories, videos and more photos to share soon.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Our Holiday in Photos


Here you have them. The first round of photos from our Miami adventure/vacation/family reunion. I can't really say that our time in Miami is a vacation. We run around so much that it is hardly a vacation, but all the running around is worth it and and we love it.

Click on this link to see photos from everything! From our nanny's family saying goodbye at the airport in La Paz to Luka hanging out with his grandparents to then Sam learning to crawl. This album has them all!!!

I will post separate albums with photos from Sam's Baptism, Disney World and our weekend cruise to the Bahamas (still working on those).

Thank you Mom & Dad for all the pictures you gave me...they are really good about ALWAYS having their camera.

The photo above you can see Luka and Sam and their two cousins - Maxwell & Evan.