Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sam's 1st Easter & Our Family's First in La Paz

Our first Easter in La Paz was very eventful. We started the day before with Egg Painting and Decorating. My sister and parents would be very proud of Luka. Easter Egg Painting is a big tradition in my house, and my sister absolutely loves it. I was always into other holidays, but Moqui always made sure we decorated eggs for Easter. My favorite part was all the egg salad we would eat after Easter....who doesn't love a good egg salad sandwich!

Luka did a great job, but Sammy wasn't too into the festivities and with the amount of water and glass on the table I thought it was wise for him to play in the next room with Papa.

So Easter eggs, check! Now we were ready for the big day ahead.

Sammy made a beautiful mess at breakfast. He absolutely loves yogurt and this time he battled with the plastic cup and I think the yogurt might have won, but we all had a blast watching the fight.

Look, I wasn't the only one that thought this would make a great photo opportunity. Luka ran to his room to fetch his camera and photograph his little brother. Don't you love Sam's look. I am not sure if he likes too many people taking his picture.

After breakfast and clean-up the four of us went to Easter Service at the La Paz Community Church. Being a Catholic girl the service was a little bit different, but it was still a celebration of Jesus' resurrection and it was refreshing and Luka liked the music.

After church we went to have Easter BBQ brunch at Stefan's house (Luka's classmate). The BBQ was delicious and the boys had a blast playing in every corner of the yard. Since it was Sam's first Easter I found it necessary to snap a few portraits to remember the day.

He wasn't too happy until he found things on the floor that he could stick in his mouth. I am not sure what they are, but they made him smile. Good enough for me!

Sam also wanted to get into the Easter decorating action. Maria Renee, Stefan's mom, had a whole station set up for the kids to paint, decorate and do all sorts of crafts.

I love this photo. Look at their faces. They seem to be carrying on very interesting conversations.

Luka and Daddy and their best Easter smiles!

Hey, is that the Easter Bunny! Wow, we had our own bunny at the BBQ. Trying to the get bunny and 8 children to look at the camera proved to be a big challenge.

Okay, I don't think Sam is buying this Bolivian Easter Bunny!

Mommy & Sammy saying goodbye to the Easter Bunny. He has to run to deliver more Easter greetings...must be hard to hop around all the mountains in La Paz.


To see the rest of the Easter photos click here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you receive the automatic updates, you are probably confused because it is not April, but I just found these photos and decided to post on the blog. The post will appear in order so if you don't receive the updates then you probably won't even know it is there, but I am a little crazy about posting in chronological order. Enjoy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Congratulations Wole!


My brother-in-law has almost graduated from nursing school. Way to go Wole! All of us in Bolivia are very proud of you. In a few weeks he will be Oluwole Pitan, R.N.

We love you!

Fun & Kid Friendly Photo Project


I love the Photojojo site and today they had a great idea that i just had to share...

Look, you can make your own coloring book with your family photos. I think the kids will love it.

I think I will make this with Luka and take the coloring book on our next trip so that he can stay busy and show family and friends the familiar faces and his work of art.

Click here to read about the project. It is soooo easy!

Wouldn't this also be a great gift for a friend in your child's class...A coloring book with photos of them in school, on play dates, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Luka's Card to Daddy


I mentioned a couple of posts ago that Luka loves to write now.

Well, this year he wrote his own birthday card to daddy. It was a family drawing and he wrote "Happy Birthday" on his own. I sat next to him and sounded out the letters and he wrote it all by himself. He needed some assistance with the TH sound...but I told him the letters and he was able to write it on his own. We are so proud of him. I wish you could see him toting his magna doodle board everywhere (Ana, that was the best present ever) and writing up a storm.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Birthday JJ



Okay, this posting is a couple of days late...I just haven't had time on the computer.

We had a quiet day with the boys and made a yummy dinner...bbq! I was nice to be home with the boys.

For those of you reading this...we did go out the night before with friends to celebrate his birthday. We even went out to a bar for drinks and stayed out until 2 am! I haven't done that since before I got pregnant with Sam.

JJ, I love you and hope you had a great 34th birthday and I look forward to many more birthday celebrations with you!

PS Yes, that was apple pie...JJ loves apple pie...so Dutch right? I love it too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Egg-stra Special Birthday & Milestone for Sam

Happy Birthday Philipp and thank you for inviting us to your Easter Bunny Party. What a great idea since your birthday was so close to Easter. We loved the Easter Bunny and hunting for eggs.

Luka of course enjoyed all the festivities and Sammy, well he loved the food and crawling around...

But hey, look...with the camera lens cap for balance he stood on his own for the first time. Now we will never forget Philipp's 2nd Birthday.


To see all of the photos from the party click here.

Disney Holiday


I can't think of another place on earth like Disneyworld and Luka loved it the last time we went. What made it extra special was that it was a trip we made with Abuelo & Abuela.

The expression of Luka's face in this photo tells you how much he loved the Magic Kingdom and I think his favorite activity had to have been the parade. Last time it was the Dumbo ride (that he rode like 3 times in a row) but now he was a little older and was in complete awe of all the characters passing by and Snow White did flirt with him a little more than normal. I think he was in love!

It took me a while to upload these photos. We went in February, but better late than never.

Click here to see all of the photos from our trip.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Fabulous Four Year Old



Dear Luka -

You actually turned four a couple of weeks ago, but mommy has been really busy and finally I have some time to sit down and officially congratulate you for your birthday. I can't believe you are four years old already.

Never in my wildest dreams could I have pictured the little person you have become. Luka, you are an amazing little boy and your personality fills up the room. At times you are shy, but as you can see from the photo below...not all the time...most of the time you are sweet and loving and most of all you have this energy that is contagious that makes everyone smile and love being around you.

You are truly a gift to us and everyone in your life. I can't imagine my life without you and I can't remember a time when I didn't love you or dream about having a little boy like you in my life.

You have also turned out to be quite the great big brother. Sam looks up to you so much and when you are in the room you are Sam's world. He follows you around and laughs at your every move. Just today you were hiding in his hamper playing peek-a-boo and he was having a blast and laughing up a storm. To be honest I get a little jealous that you can make him laugh much more than I can.


You are still as musical as ever. I don't think that will ever change. Since the moment we brought you home you have had a song in your head and there is not a day that passes by that you don't sing, dance or learn a new song.

For a while this year you sang songs from The Lion King everywhere you went. I mean EVERYWHERE. In an effort to distract you I played the the movie Grease and boy did that distract you. You became Danny Zucko...then after that you got Bieber Fever and still sing "Baby" every chance you get and you love to correct me and my lack of knowledge when it comes to Bieber lyrics, but let me tell you they are starting to grow on me.

A few weeks before your 4th birthday you started asking about letters and words and then you started to put letters together and you decided that you wanted to learn every make of car there was, but your favorite by far is SUBARU. Yes, you are infatuated with Subarus and it is the most adorable thing.

But this love of cars has been the spark to get you to start writing and reading words. So far you can right Subaru, Suzuki, Jeep and Toyota on your own!!! Well and mama, papa, opa and oma too. But it all started with the brands of cars. Oh and you can write your brother's name too. And let me tell you...you have beautiful penmanship. You really get that from me and definitely not from your father

I hope you enjoyed your African Safari Extravaganza...I had so much fun watching you steal the show. I can't make up my mind on what I love more...you singing We Are the World...dancing and leading the Waka Waka dance or hearing you try to sing the Lion King songs in Spanish.

Happy Birthday my son and I only have one request...stop growing up so fast.

Love,

Mami

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy 11 Months Sammy!


It is hard to believe that 11 months have already passed since Sam arrived into our lives. Time really does fly...I blinked and Sam is almost one year old.

These days Sammy is a BIG boy. He isn't walking yet, but he stands up and moves all around the house holding onto walls and furniture. His favorite mode of transportation is still crawling if he can't get someone to carry him. We spoil him so much...

He tries to talk and it is really cute, but none of the words are recognizable except for Mama, Papa and maybe si and este....maybe!

He LOVES LOVES LOVES to take a bath. So much so that if we put him on the floor after he eats his dinner he crawls all the way to Luka's bathtub and "asks" to go inside. It is hilarious to watch and he gets really upset when he realizes that he is going to have to wait a little longer for bath time. He takes a bath in the regular tub and on some nights Luka and Sam bathe together. I am not sure who enjoys it more Sam or Luka.

Luka and Sam really get along and they love to play together. Sam just started laying on the floor with Luka and putting his head on his chest...so cute. He also likes to wrestle with him and I have to make sure Luka knows to be gentle, but he is a REALLY good big brother.

On most morning Sam wakes up around 6 am and I bring him to bed for his morning bottle. Around 6:15 am Luka rolls into our room and his face lights up when he sees Sam and now he only says Good Morning to Sam...forget mama and papa.

Sam still doesn't sleep through the night. I really hope that he is waiting for this 1st Birthday. I bet that is the big present he is waiting to give me. He also doesn't have any teeth yet, but that doesn't stop him from chewing on anything he can get his hands on.

His favorite thing to eat is bread and we can't have a piece of bread in front of him unless we intend to share.

Sam continues to be a happy baby and he has a very strong personality and I think...no I know he is going to be a lot more stubborn that Luka. Luka was such an easygoing baby. Sam is an easy baby, but he wants to make sure he gets his point across.

I love you Sammy. My life is never dull with you around...you really know how to keep mommy on her toes. You are turning into such a big boy...do you think you can stay a baby for a little while longer? I am not ready to see you grow-up yet.

PS I have photos of you today, but mommy is so tired. I need to go to sleep but I promise to post them tomorrow.

Bridal Shower in Miami


A couple of weeks ago I had to take an unexpected trip to Miami. Coincidentally this unexpected trip landed on the same week my very good friend Monica was coming down from Nebraska for her Bridal Shower. Monica and I have been friends since kindergarten and she moved to Nebraska while I was living in Mozambique and I hadn't seen her in a really long time.

It is funny with friends like this...no matter how much time passes, every time we see eachother we pick up right where we left off.

Click here to see the photos of her bridal shower and I won't be able to make her cruise wedding in May but it was fun to see her.

I also got to meet her fiancee Paul. He was great. Okay, he is a republican but let me tell you he was the nicest republican I have met in a long time. (Just kidding to all my republican friends out there...there are many of you...love you all).

Monica, you did good girlfriend!!! She is so happy and I love seeing my peeps happy and in love!

Take lots of photos at your wedding....

I LOVE YOU!

PS Check out the photo above. I have been friends with all these ladies since elementary school. Still friends even after marriages, kids, moving to different states and continents, being republican (ha ha, that is for you Liz)...all that and we still act like silly teenagers when we are together!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Luka's 4th Birthday Party


We traveled all the way back to Mozambique and other parts of Africa to celebrate Luka's 4th Birthday. It was a Safari party complete with a performance from some of the cast members from El Rey Leon here in Bolivia. Luka absolutely loved it and had a great time. He sang many times, but ended the party singing We Are The World...well the chorus at least.

You can see everything in the photos.

Click here to see all of the photos from the party.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Waka Waka


I am getting ready for Luka's Party..planning...organizing, etc. The show team asked me for the Waka Waka steps since I wanted them to show the kids at the party. I freaking love this song and I don't know what it is but everytime I listen to it or watch the video I cry like an idiot! But it is a happy cry.

Funny song to cry to..but let me tell you why. This last world cup is so special to me for so many reasons:

1. I melt everytime I see Luka sing and dance this song and I remember all of his buddies in Mozambique loving the song.

2. Sam was born right around the time leading up to the World Cup and Mozambique was electric, not to mention our neighbors across the border in South Africa. All my friends were going to matches and I was sitting on the couch in the hotel breastfeeding Sam and getting to know my baby. I would not have had it any other way!

3. Hello, Holland made it to the finals!

4. But I think what makes me the most emotional is that the minute I start hearing the song I get flashes of all the faces that made our life so exceptional in Mozambique...you know who you are!

I love you guys! So let's get up and dance...WAKA WAKA EH EH!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Donuts for Dads



In Bolivia they celebrate father's day on March 19th. This year on March 17th the school had a morning activity called "Donuts for Dads." Luka was all about the donuts. He was extremely excited to go to school with daddy that day.

I was a little bummed that I take him to school everyday and I never get a donut...ha ha ha.

This photo is one of the many prints that they sell at the school. The same photographer always takes photos at every school event and then for about $1.50 he sells the prints and they always have this tacky border that I have grown to love. Luka has an entire collection of these school photos from many of this year's activities.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Capulana Crazy


I am in the midst of organizing Luka's Africa Safari Extravaganza....I came across these fabulous chairs.

Some of you may recall his 2nd Birthday...that was more of an African Dance/Drum Party...this one is more Safari/Lion King. He loves the Lion King musical and wanted to have something centered around that...so back to Africa we go!

I have been going Africa crazy and looking online for ideas on how to use the African fabrics (capulanas) that I have and I came across these chairs in one of my many google searches. Aren't they freaking cool? I think once the party is over I will use all of my capulanas to make a piece of furniture.

Here you can see some ladies in Mozambique prepping the capulana fabric to make things like bags, scarves, etc. They use them for everything!!


I hope the party turns out ok. It is this Sunday and I am freaking out a little. Wish me luck and I will be sure to post party details later.

To reminisce about Luka's second birthday click here. Too bad I can't hire an African band for this party! Oh, wait...and here is a video from that day of Luka's dance challenge. That party was so much fun!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Family Portraits


As you know a couple of weeks ago we were in Miami, and while we were there we took advantage and went on a weekend cruise aboard one of NCL's ships. We had a great time and I think Luka wanted to permanently move to the Bahamas, but JJ had to tell him that they didn't have an embassy there. He was a little disappointed.

For those of you that have been on cruises before you know that they snap shots of you every chance they get. Most of the time you have photos as you board the ship, with a pirate at dinner, a dolphin as you get off the ship in the Bahamas, at the Captain's dinner and although these photos are fun I wouldn't say these are the type of photos I love.

Well, now these cruises have portrait stations with plain white or black backgrounds. So we took advantage and bought an all inclusive package where ANY photo they took of us that weekend we could keep. Yes, I have the pirate and dolphin photos too. Imagine that...even the nanny got free photo sessions out of the deal. So here are our first portraits as a family. We took some when Sam was 5 weeks but it was tough to get one photo with all of us.

I have to say that my favorite photo is this one of Luka....I love his expression. Doesn't he look like a little model and the llama sweater is awesome! That night Sam was also wearing a llama sweater but he was asleep the whole time we were taking photos on this particular night :(


But this one is also pretty cute...

Click here to see all the family portraits we took and you can click here to see our photos of the cruise.