Friday, August 16, 2013

Sam's 1st Play Date in Chile, But Wait He is Leaving?!?!?

We have lived here for over one year and Friday was the first time Sam had a friend over. Wow, that sounds worse now that I am typing it...bad mommy. Here is the deal though...Sam goes to a school that is almost 100% Chilean and for some reason I haven't been able to break through to the mommies there. I smile, say hello, give my phone number but no one calls us back. What are we doing wrong? Not really sure.

Sam and Luka play so well together and he also plays with Luka's friends that I haven't felt pressured to  try and get friends from his school to come over. But for the last couple of weeks he has been talking about Jacobo non-stop so I asked the school for Jacobo's number and we invited him over for play date.

Just look at how happy Sam is. Jacobo had a cast on so most of the play date was on the floor, but Sam was loving it. He thought his friend was the funniest person in the world and he was cracking up.

Here he is making sure his friend has enough pretzels... 

Poor Sam...at this play date we found out his friend is leaving in one month. He comes from an expat family (oh, wait he isn't Chilean...I guess we still haven't been able to get a Chilean family to call us back). 

So typical to makes friends, find someone you really like and then somebody has to move. Sam, Mommy knows exactly how you feel. It is one of the downfalls of the expat life. Saying goodbye is really hard and you know what, it just sucks...no way to sugar coat it. The only thing I can tell you Sam is that you take your friendships with you where ever you go. And no matter how far you move, you will stay in touch with those folks that matter. Just this week I was on a 7 am Skype call with one of my "besties" from Maputo. One really cool thing is that as you get older you will have friends in many corners of the world.

I promise to have more playdates for you...you were so happy being the host.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Super Easy Recipe & Delicious: Sweet & Sour Chicken


This morning I received this recipe from one of my favorite and prettiest cooking blog. Really everything is so beautiful that it jumps off the screen. The recipe looked delicious but you had to have Kraft Recipe Makers....uhhhh oh....not in Chile we don't!

But I was left longing for home-made Sweet & Sour Chicken so I sort of tweaked the recipe and made it at home.

This is what I did different from the recipe, which you can see here. I have to start off by saying that my fridge & kitchen were kind of empty, but we managed to substitute some things:
- sprinkled salt on the chicken before I dipped in egg/cornstarch batter
- didn't have pineapples so I added two tomatoes (nothing like pineapples, but had to put something in it for the boys to eat)
- also I didn't have red peppers, used green peppers
- when cooking veggies I added salt, pepper, ginger, red pepper flakes & a regular bottled sweet & sour sauce...oh and light soy sauce...made a huge difference!
- we ate with brown rice instead of white rice.

Next time I will be more prepared and have the proper ingredients, but it was pretty darn delicious. I wanted to share this easy recipe with everyone.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Spending a Sunday in Santiago...City Center

Today was a great day and we spent it with one of our favorite families...The Briden Bunch. Kelly & Crystal have 5 amazing kids and they are so chill, relaxed and fun. As my wonderful husband pointed out to me today on the way home I should chill out a little and relax like them. I am a bit of a worry wart walking around the city...but I reminded him that I am Cuban and Crystal is from Michigan so I am automatically going to be a little crazier that her...but I can try :) I really do freak out walking, crossing streets and going into large crowds with the boys. I always see the worst things happening. I can't be the only mother out there like this.

Our afternoon started with a walk from the US Embassy to the Centro Cultural La Moneda to see the new Africa Exhibit. Here is Sam walking with Luke and Tim. He is having so much fun...there is no way he is going to hold mommy's hand now.
Group shot as we walked into the show. What a good looking bunch? Wait, I am not there...
In the middle they had this huge area the kids could run around and stand next to their favorite GIANT cardboard animal. Here are the "three amigos"...Luka with his friend Tim (they are in the same grade) and Hope the smallest of the Briden Bunch.
The show was pretty cool. They had art from all over the African continent and the best thing is that if you get there before 12 pm the entrance is free. Good thing we arrived at 11:51 pm...score...11 free TICKETS!

If you are in Santiago and have the time you should make it out there. You won't be disappointed and the art is so different that I think kids of all ages will like it. You might hear some funny comments like what Luka said the minute we walked in, "Hey, look at the wooden penis!"

Here are our boys pointing out where they are from...
After the art exhibit we walked around Downtown looking for a McDonald's or Burger King. After all it was Dia Del Nino (Day of the Child) and they would have loved to eat there. But believe it or not no one could point us in the direction of either of these establishments. Apparently they are not as popular as we thought...probably because it is quite expensive in Chile when compared to other fast food choices in this part of town.

During our walk we stopped for a photo opportunity in front of the Palacio La Moneda - where the President runs the country from.
Finding a set of golden arches proved to be quite impossible so we decided to go "local" and go to a Chilean pizza place full of locals and Santiago treats. Oh, this is the only photo with the entire group today..that is me in the mirror.
Some of the kids had hot dogs...some plain and some piled with mayo and spices. Chileans LOVE their mayo and the rest of us had pizza. Yes, that is a pizza hiding under the "palta" or avocado. Yes, the Chileans also love avocado and apparently on EVERYTHING...even pizza. I don't know if it was my favorite pizza in the world, but it definitely tasted better than it looks.
After our heavy lunch it was time to walk back to the metro...but not before some photos in front of the graffiti. Sam actually picked this spot and everyone decided to join in and put on their scariest face. Street art in Chile is pretty amazing and you can't help but look for hidden treasures on the wall as you walk around the city. Actually, right next to this wall there was a beautiful colored mural, but Sam preferred this silly face.