Happy Mother’s Day!

The walk was COLD AND RAINY, and even though we opted to only do the mile route, we also took into consideration the extra weight of our clothes being soaked with water AND having to fight the wind and adjust our umbrellas when they turned inside out. Even with the crap-taculous weather, there were a TON of people out - I would say thousands of people, who came to do the race. Next year we want to do a little more organizing and start fund raising early. So even though we were complaining all the time, at least we were all together and were able to laugh about it! I’ll post up pictures (I only used my camera phone) later!

To you mommies out there, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Walter Comes to Town

Our old friend Walter (a.k.a. ‘Wally’) came into town last weekend. We met up with him and several other college buddies in the Glen, an outdoor mall in Glenview. It’s funny whenever these guys get together. The same old college stories get told, but they all laugh as hard as if it was the first time they’ve heard it. It gives me the warm fuzzies to know that even though our lives have changed so much, we can always get together and things are the same again. Except for the times when we have to chase after our kids.


Not his kid!

It was so weird, hanging out, eating at a noodle joint and having ice cream afterwards. We were done by 8:30, though it felt like 11:30. It didn’t seem like too long ago that we’d be eating at steakhouses, going out drinking and dancing and finishing the night off by going out for greek food and coming home when when the sun was rising. Now we have to worry about putting our tikes to bed and hoping that they don’t wake up too early so we can get as much sleep as we can.

Ben and Jayden definitely had a ball, running around the animal sculptures, dancing and being sugar crazy - thanks to Uncle Wally buying everyone ice cream. Jerry really got a kick out of their inability to make the “l” sound when pointing and yelling “Clock!”. After Manny had Jayden run a couple laps to tire him out, it was time to call it a night. It’s so rare that we get together anymore that I really cherish these times together!

Here’s some pics:

walvis0427_0006 Breakout walvis0427_0008 walvis0427_0011 walvis0427_0013
walvis0427_0014 walvis0427_0015 Stealing Brandon's Food walvis0427_0017 Chasing His Little One
Ben and Jerry Jayden and his Mommy walvis0427_0023 Manly Hand Holding  

I am Intrigued….

It was delicious. Dave took one, I took the other. After one bite we wanted to grab the other’s so we could eat the whole thing. Yumminess! Twix, you done good.

Easter

We had a pretty low key Easter. It didn’t seem like there was any family shindig going on, and we’ve been too busy cleaning up the house to really plan anything. I had called some really good buffet places, but they were all booked up months before Easter. Finally, I just made some reservations at my favorite restaurant, Cafe Iberico. Dave’s parents hadn’t been there yet, and it’s been a LONG time since I had me some croquetas de pollo.

Lunch was good, it was my dad, sisters, brother Redpac, Dave’s parents, Dave and Benjamin. Dave’s brother was supposed to go, but he had to take his little guy to puppy kindergarten, so we headed out to his place afterwards for an afterset. Watched a couple NCAA upsets and almost-upsets, had an easter egg hunt with Ben, and just chilled out. For dinner, we went to Aloha Eats for some much missed Hawaiian food - it was pretty, even though the menu is a little limited (where’s my moco loco!?!?) but I’ll definitely go there again since there aren’t too many Hawaiian restaurants in Chicago.

Hope you all had a good Easter holiday!

Three Sisters, 1986

I am friggin’ HAWT!

Home Alone!

A little late, buy Happy St. Patty’s Day, everyone!

As I said before, I’ll be out for the next couple days for work. Because he’s been planning it for a while now, Dave took Ben on vacation without me. I’d have gone with them, but this project I’m on is pretty high profile, and this is one of the very few times that I’ll be traveling this year. It just sucks that it happens to land on one of weeks that Dave has vacation - the last one he’ll have for a while since he has some exams later this year.

So as Dave is conquering the powder in Lake Tahoe and Ben is running around the casinos with his grandparents, I’ll be in Milwaukee working. At least I won’t be rushing to go home since Ben isn’t there, but I’ll still miss my little boogerman. *cries*

Bread Head

The other day we went to Texas de Brazil for dinner. I was a little worried about how Ben would behave - usually after 15-30 minutes at a restaurant he’s bored and really fussy. I brought an arsenal of toys and snacks with me to keep him busy so we could eat.

But it turns out, I didn’t really have to worry. As soon as he saw the bread basket, he handed us our bread, took out the napkin, said “Hat!” and put it on top of his head. After that, he thought of all sorts of things to do with that basket.

What a nutty kid I have!

Ben’s First Time at the Beach

Remember long long ago, when I went away on vacation for 2 weeks and said I’d post up my pictures “real soon”? Well, that day is today - 4 months later. Though this is only some of the pictures - I think I have about 200 more to post in the next couple weeks.

During our stay in Los Angeles, we were going to meet up with Dave’s uncle. While we were waiting for him to finish up with work, we decided to head out to Santa Monica beach. I’d been there a couple times when we lived out there, but usually we were at the 3rd St. Promenade. We took Ben out to the promenade for some shopping (and dancing - he loved the street musicians), then later to the Santa Monica pier. He had a ball at the pier, first at the arcade that had a bunch of kid-rides. He had so much fun we didn’t even have to stick a quarter in to turn them on. A little bit down the pier we went to the Pacific Park. Since it was the middle of October, there weren’t too many people there, so Ben pretty much ran around the whole place on his own. We took a ride on the Ferris Wheel, and although I was nervous that Ben would freak, he actually loved it.

Since we had some time left over, we decided to let Ben hit the beach for the first time. At first, he was a little freaked by the feel of sand on his feet, but as you can see from the pictures, after a couple minutes the kid was having a ball! He was running around the beach as far as he could run, picking up sand and throwing it around, trying to bury his papa in it, and even tried eating it - which he soon found out was NOT a good idea.

That hour or so we spent at Santa Monica beach as a family was one of the highlights of my trip. When I think of Benjamin as a baby, I will always remember that day, my little boy running barefoot on the beach, not having a care in the world.

Here’s some of my pictures - more can be seen here.

On the Promenade Palm Trees Dave and Ben Speed Racer Good Times!
Driving Around His Homies Too Small to Play Ferris Wheel Lonely Waves Pacific Park
Ben's Favorite Area Yet Another Steering Wheel Shot Poser Sand, for the First Time Ten Little Piggies In Sand
Sepia Ben I'm Ready for My Closeup Big Feet and Little Feet It's Gonna Take Some Time Sand Tastes Gross!
Yuck! The Setting Sun On Lifeguard Duty Having a Ball Last Picture Before Leaving

For some reason, the photogallery has made my formatting all whack - i’m working on it!

Snow Day

Man, is it just me or has this winter been REALLY snowy? I don’t think I remember the last time snow wasn’t on the ground. It started in November and really hasn’t let up since then. It’s been hard on our snowblower (which died last week, right before the latest big snow) but it’s been fun for Ben, who likes being pulled around in his sled. So a couple pictures of a snow day we had last week. Well, it was a snow day for everyone else, but since I work at home, I didn’t get one. :-(


Ready to go out!


Sitting on the sled


Getting pulled around - he loves it!


We took him out of the sled and he got stuck in the snow and wouldn’t move.
We laughed.


We were going to head out to that small hill in the distance
but decided that the snow was too deep.
and it was too far to walk. :-P

I Am the Empanada Master!

Last weekend I tried making some Puerto Rican empanadas. I had tried making them before, but I had a hard time draining all the fat off the ground beef so they were pretty oily. This time around, I browned the beef separately and then ran it in a strainer under hot water to rinse off the fat. Also, I was constantly tasting the meat stuffing and decided to add a lot of extra sazón (magic seasoning!). I had a hell of a time trying to find some pre-made empanada dough, but found some at the local Caputo’s. I’m to lazy to make my own! As a side sauce, I decided to make some Argentinian chimichurri sauce, which was well blended this time around next to my favorite infomercial appliance, my Magic Bullet.

Just wanted to take some pictures of the whole process.


The Meaty Filling


Piling meat on the dough


Ready for the deep fry


I love to plate!


Zoomed to accentuate the fatty goodness

Who’d have known 5 years ago that I’d love to cook so much? Now if I could only learn how to make Filipino food!!! :-P