31 July 2011

on vacation

Just in case you are wondering, why I am so silent....

... we are on vacation and I am not finding the time to write. So I will collect all the memories and tell the stories later....

See you in about two weeks.

21 July 2011

Coqui's Art Work

Lately, and maybe because of the art co-op, Coqui has taken to art like a maniac. He needs to do 'projects' all the time, 'write' stories instead of eating lunch, and draw pictures to send to relatives. Constantly. I don't mind, I love it. Here is a selection of his art that stroke me:
 Here, Coqui drew Daddy while driving in the car.
 Coqui drew Mema's backyard with the big pool and Abuelo jumping in from the diving board.
What I thought interesting about this one, is that he wrote WonderPets (which is a cartoon in TV) backwards, telling me that it's a secret message. Then he drew their ship that can fly....
 This was a picture for his sister - that's why it's in girl colors!
I am not sure when he started to draw his people with square heads - I find that bizarre yet fascinating.

19 July 2011

Trilingual Summer

As you all know, we are home schooling.

So I had been looking for a support group near us for quiet a long time. Finally, I found something, that is not that near us. But for now, it works great. It's a group of families that have children under the age of 9! It's perfect for us for right now - just what we needed. They are at somewhat the same level we are - new to homeschooling, with younger siblings. So they do understand when Peanut blabbers while the class is in session; when Coqui can't sit still or screams out his answers instead of raising his hand and wait to be called; they understand.

So during the summer, we stopped doing school for a little while, but we are part of a co-op that teaches Art and Spanish, something that is less school-ish and a bit more fun!

The Art class can get a little wild at times, because these are all children between 3 and 8, with one teacher and a few parents to help out. She only does one project per week, so the kids don't get overwhelmed, and neither do the parents. There is a theme that mostly goes for Art and Spanish. She reads a book that goes with the theme and teaches a few words in Sign language. It's amazing how all these kids are actually listening to her! (At least for my kids!) Then they go to the class room and do the art work. One week, they made a lion's head because it was wild animal week. Then yesterday, they 'build' an ocean in a glass.

After Art, it's recess. The kids can eat a snack, the parents chat, and we are all mostly outside, so the kids can run around to release some their energy. We've been doing this now for a little while and I have gotten to know some of the ladies and it's an interesting mix of people, cultures and nations. We can all learn from each other and get some advise if we need it. Coqui has made two boy friends that are his age and older (because his two best friends so far are both girls!) - so that'll be good for him. Peanut is not adjusting this easily, she is still mostly sitting on my lap, but she is getting better when we go outside.

Then we got to Spanish. The teacher goes over the stuff that we learned already, like the alphabet and letters and recently colors. The kids are definitely getting better at memorizing the vocabulary - but then again they are still so young. Then the theme is mostly the same, so when we had forest animals in Art, she did camping in Spanish. When we did a fish activity in Art, the kids went fishing in Spanish.

Coqui knew some Spanish before, like the numbers, but they seem to stick now a bit better. He has learned so many other words. It's great. He is so compliant when it comes to repeating words over and over - I love it! But what is even more amazing than that, it's that he now asks me all the time: "Mami, if leche is Spanish for milk, what is it in German?" What? Coqui, you are asking me that question? Hallelujah! He used to tell me not to talk to him 'like that' - meaning not in German. Now he is asking? This is awesome! And I am taking FULL advantage of it. Believe me, right now, he only hears English from his Daddy or his friends - I am all in German.
And another thing happened over the last few weeks: Peanut is now starting to listen in Spanish and repeating the words! Wow. It doesn't come out all that clear, but my little dare-devil is willing to repeat without me asking for it! I love it. Maybe, I guess, peer pressure is working better on her? Just kidding. I think it's just natural for her to join the 'choir' of children when they repeat after the teacher. She is just copying what all the others are doing already. Her favorite word is (to no surprise) zapato, which means shoe - my little shoe-obsessed princess!

Unfortunately, we won't be going for the next three weeks, as we are departing for vacations, but I sure hope to get back to it once we are back in town. The teacher wasn't sure how to manage her own three kids (including a tiny baby) when her husband has to go back to teaching in a real school. So we are working on a schedule once school is back in session, so I am praying that it will work out for us, this group was such a blessing for us, we don't want to lose them!

18 July 2011

A Boy for a King

I started a new project - something that was requested by my son.

He wanted a king's custome.

So I went online to look for a cape and pants and a shirt. It took me, surprisingly, a long time to find something that sounded easy enough to recreate and that I liked.
For the cape, I kind of followed THIS tutorial.

I think it turned out pretty good. He can use it both sides, in blue or in red. He loves it....

For the pants, I kind of followed THIS tutorial. I know I keep saying 'kind of' - I am just not that good in following all the directions - I want to add a personal note to the stuff that I am making.
And for the tunic, I used THIS. It was not as hard as I thought it would be. Actually, the shirt took me much less time than those pants.

I learned alot doing this costume. The cape was so easiest to do, for sure. It's just cutting the right lengths of the fabric and sewing it together, adding the ties in the process.
The pants took me a long time, but they are not that hard. I felt that the fabric, which is just plain solid cotton, was too thin. I mean these are play pants that will (hopefully) get a lot of usage, so I needed them a bit thicker. So I doubled the fabric. Actually, my thought was to make them in such a way that he could use either side, yellow or blue. But I just couldn't figure it out with the seems, so I gave up. It took me enough time to figure out the pattern in general.
The shirt was the hardest, especially because I jumped in the 'cold water' with the sleeves. I had never done sleeves before, but I thought a king's tunic without sleeves would just be 'royally' wrong.

The thing that I am most proud of is that I actually made my own bias tape this time, for the shirt's neckline and the sleeves. They sell bias makers in the store, but you can make it with your plain old iron at home. So that's what I did. It wasn't as hard as anticipated. I liked that it was not so thick to work with, because you know, you are working with alot of layers when using bias tape. It work out great.

And here is my happy model - he is excited that I finally finished it, because this was one of those projects that I kept procrastinating with for over a month.

16 July 2011


What I want to know is where she's getting that attitude from???

12 July 2011

An awesome babysitter for the brainless Mami

It seems like my German character traits are fading.... and I am becoming more American.

And the story goes so:

I never left my children with anybody else besides family, meaning mostly the two grandmothers, or the aunt, or a cousin; and my two other sitters, neighbor April and my best friend Beth. I never felt comfortable enough to do so, and Peanut was not the child to try out new things with anyway....

So yesterday, I had a very important appointment. One where kids are just not welcomed because they can be so distracting. So I organized a babysitter on a very short notice - thank to her for being so kind to jump in!!! The deal was that I had to pick her up in order to watch the kids at our house. I thought about what to make for dinner (two different dinners by the way, meat and Vegan!), and to cook it after lunch, so we only had to reheat it at dinnertime. My morning was super busy, as we were out of the house for our weekly co-op and we only got back by 1 pm for nap-time. So I stuck the kids in their rooms, got to cooking and organizing, printing directions and forms, filled them out and did not pack my diaper bag because I thought it wasn't needed when the kids are at home...

Finally, after all this preparing, I was on my way to the sitter's house when it dawned on me that I miscalculated the timing! Oh dear. I left half an hour too late - I did not have enough time to bring all of them back to our house, and still make it to my meeting. What now? I had no directions, no filled-out forms, no diaper bag...

Thank goodness, the sitter was very flexible and I could leave the kids at her house, leave from there, and be on time for my meeting. Oh what a relieve! I appreciate the flexibility and willingness to work with me - thank you very much. Still, the kids had no drinks or food, no diaper bag for Peanut. And I had no directions to where I was suppose to go.

Being blessed with a photographic memory - I could see the map in front of my eyes. So not only did I remember the map layout, but I also managed to get there by a different way, because now I came from the sitter's house, without taking a single wrong turn. To get to the office is a bit complicated, but I still managed to get there. To be honest, I was a bit surprised and then again proud that I made it. God did an awesome job to equip me with that photographic memory and sense of direction - praise Him.

The meeting went well, even when it ran overtime. And when I got back to the kids, they were very happy - even Miss Peanut. That tells me that my very first experience with a sitter that was not family, or a mom, was an excellent one! We might be in business for a long time....

I feel blessed - with my character traits, a new babysitter, and something that is in the making, and that I hope I can share here very soon.

09 July 2011


This picture is really from last night. When Coqui asked me what we gonna have for dinner, I asked him back what he is making.... and wouldn't you know it, that my little helpful helper ran into the kitchen screaming that he knows how to make dinner. And within the next five minutes, half the stuff out of the fridge ended up on the table - he made dinner!
His creation, he called it: 'pizza quesadilla' in form of smiley face ! He did an awesome job in provided for all four of us! I am a very proud Mami!!!

07 July 2011

The second skirt one is done

Last week, I made a skirt for Peanut and I wrote a post about it here. Last night, I finally finished the second one that has the same fabric patterns, but opposite to the first one.

I have to say, and the Hubby agrees, that the second one turned out much nicer. See for yourself:
 It took me much longer than the anticipated 15 minutes from "To Sew With Love" - more like two hours. But I had so much fun, learned a lot and it looks great - I think.
 Peanut was in modeling mood this morning.... even though the skirt came off as soon as I put the camera down. At least she is smiling....
 Here are the two skirts next to each other...
And Peanut wanted to show off the first one as well....

Here is the original post from To Sew With Love again, for anyone who wants to try it out. She wrote an awesome tutorial, easy to follow, and easy to DIY (do-it-yourself).

05 July 2011

The problem with sizes

Okay, so I went to the local grocery store today. Yesterday was the 4th of July, and so today, they had American t-shirts on sale. Great, I though to myself, I can buy some real cheap for next year....

...or so I thought! They didn't even have Coqui's size, which is a regular 5T.
Okay, I won't buy him one, just the girl. She wears mostly a 2T, even though she is not two yet. She doesn't like when it's too tight and she will let me know if it is! So I let her wear all the 2T stuff already - with the shirts, and with the pants anyways because any smaller size doesn't fit over those bulky cloth diapers.

Now take a closer look at the two shirts in the picture below! What sizes do YOU think they are???

Do you want me to tell you?

Okay, the pink shirt is a 5T and the red one is a 4T. Can you believe that? Pink is made in Mexico, red was made in Columbia. Do they have different sized children over there? 'Cos I thought they produce all the stuff to American standards. Maybe not. It's ridiculous! I mean the 5T pink looks more like a 3T, and that's what she will wear next year. And the red one looks closer to a 5T (or real big 4T), so she'll wear it in two or three years.

I mean it's great that I got them so cheap and I don't have to worry about the 4th of July in the next few years... but sometimes it just frustrates me that the sizes don't add up with the child's body at the intended age. Happy Forth of July everybody!

[Oh, a side note: my children are both well within the age-appropriate range of size! Coqui was and is in the 50 percentile, and Peanut was and, I guess, is in the 75 percentile.]

04 July 2011

A Skirt for the Princess

I enjoyed a day off from my Mami-duties.... and sewed.
 I found this pattern while browsing through sewing blogs, This one is from this blogger - she is making a lot of awesome stuff, so I will be back there and copy some more....
 I even tried t o add two pockets, so it won't look to plain. I kind of like it....
Then I made my first button wholes, even though they are not for buttons, but I made them for the elastic. This way, it enables me to pull some out when she is still skinnier, and can release some (or even add some elastic) for when Peanut is bigger.
Peanut even modeled for me today...

I will make another skirt, with the same fabric, just opposite. Floral skirt with the green seam on the bottom. And I will try a bow this time as accessory.... 

UPDATE: I added a button to the pockets:
The site (To Sew With Love) where I got his cute and easy pattern from, hosts a blog hop. So I copied the list with the right tool, you should see a list below.I have not checked out each and every one, but most, and there are some real talented people out there! I love all their creativity. Awesome!