Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Leah Show!

This video is of the dress rehearsal for the Holiday Dance Recital. Leah had her own choreography going on! She certainly moves to the beat of her own drum! Watch her tutu. I have come to the realization that she is more of a hip hopper than a ballerina, but she has to be 4 in order to take that class. So now we will continue in ballet until she is old enough. We will let her decide but are pretty sure she will choose hip hop as she loves that music and dance. Tomorrow is the actual show,(after I glue the tutu to the leotard) stay tuned for more cuteness!

Triangle Park

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Silly Goose!

Have I mentioned how adorable our Leah is? She is a ham. Today I kept her home and decided to take her to Triangle Park on Miracle Mile to see the Christmas decorations and play in the park. On the way each time Mimi and I looked back at her in her car seat she gave us a look. She was excited and knew we were going somewhere with a park.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

We are Ready for CHRISTMAS!

"It's the most wonderful time of the year"! My entire life, I have waited for this time of year with excitement and anticipation. It is interesting to see that everyone in our home also feels this way, but for very different reasons. I love the shopping, the cooking and baking, the excitement and joy in my children, the way that everyone you meet is cheerful, friendlier and happier and of course the holiday parties. Mimi also enjoys baking (Clan favorite "Brookies") and shopping but I think her favorite thing is getting to hang out with her cousins. She plans for weeks, prints Christmas Carols and makes everyone go caroling with her (even in the rain!) Ed and Danny mainly enjoy the food! Actually, Ed seemed to enjoy putting up our holiday lights and lawn decorations this year. He did it earlier than ever and in record time and without me even mentioning it!
This year our tree is a bit different. We used a few less ornaments and made sure non-breakable ones were on the bottom.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Potty Training Update

This is day number 6. We had a little setback after day 3. Leah became a little sick to her stomach which required a diaper, if you know what I mean. (No pictures with this post!) So we basically had to start over. After the experience of day 4 she became petrified of Mr. #2 and avoided the particular tile where he "landed" like the plague. Even after it was all cleaned up she remembered the incident and took the "long road" to avoid that tile. Needless to say the potty was also in the dog house. Slowly, which much bribery, she came around again and sat on the potty. When she felt she needed to go she would bolt out of the chair. Then the bribery became more intense and without a moment's notice, SUCCESS!!! She made #1 in the potty! I cheered, danced (no pictures of that either, she clapped asked for more Reece's Pieces and all is well. This morning we did not watch any of the videos, instead we watched "real, human" children on You Tube potty training. I think it helped because the examples on the videos we have are either cartoons or little furry monsters. Maybe she couldn't relate and needed real children to set the example. Whatever it was, it has been a good day. YEAH!!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Potty Training - Day 1

We did it folks! Dove in head first and there is no going back now. Since I decided to keep Leah home this week, felt it was a good time to finally get it done. We attempted once before but the truth is she just was not ready. We watch all the potty training videos in the car, in the house and have read all the books. The first day was not bad. She finally went in the potty! At first she thought she had done something wrong, but we cheered and danced and gave her stickers. I think she is starting to understand. I ask her questions and she knows the answers, but sometimes she looks at me like " you want me to do what? why?" This is our third attempt. The first two times she just didn't understand but now she does and I am not giving up. I am sooooooo open to suggestions, so please feel free to share your potty training success stories. Leah's 22 and 20 year old siblings are potty trained so I know I have done this once or twice before, why can't I remember what to do?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Meal - Boliche, Cuban Round Roast

(Stuffed Eye Round Roast )

3-5 lb Beef eye round roast
4 Chorizos, quartered lengthwise
3 Tbs. capers
3 Tbs. green Spanish olives w/pimentos
1 large green bell pepper
1 large onion
1-2 heaping Tbs. oregano
6 cloves garlic
3 Bay leaves
2 packets Goya Sazon con Azafran
2 large pinches saffron
1can tomato sauce (29 oz)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs. Goya Adobo seasoning
1 package Badia Cilantro
1 cup red wine

Cut slits into eye round roast, and stuff with quartered chorizos (follow the grain of meat) lightly rub meat with adobo seasoning. Brown the meat on all sides in a sauté pan to seal in the juices. Remove and place in a large covered roasting pan. In the same pan, as the beef was browned, add saffron, garlic, onions, peppers, bay leaves, oregano, olives, capers, and the Sazon seasoning. Sauté until the onions are translucent in color, deglaze with red wine, turn heat down and simmer about five minutes. Add the cilantro and the tomato sauce and stir well and pour this mixture over the beef, and roast at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hrs. - 2 hrs., or until meat is tender. Turn the roast over and baste with the sauce once in a while to assure full flavor penetration and even cooking. Serves 6-8

I like to serve this with white rice and maduros (fried ripe plantains) and a lettuce and tomato salad.

*Note that any brand names used is because I have not found others in my area, I am not endorsing in any way and you are free to use any brand product you have in your area market.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Let's Get Cooking!

It's officially my favorite time of the year. The anticipation of December makes November the most exciting month. Everyone keeps asking me what is on the menu, so I thought I would include some of my favorite recipes during the next few months. My kitchen is "international" but I will start with a Cuban dish at the request of my friend Norma. I haven't decided which one but I am open to suggestions. On Sunday I will post it. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat

"Nancy Drew" solves mystery. Yes, this man did lose his head.
Leah kept up with the big girls with no trouble.
Nancy Drew finds a lost baby monkey
Leah partying started earlier in the day with David at Town Center
What do you mean its time to go home and I can't eat all my candy.


Halloween is not my favorite holiday but seeing the smiles on the faces of my children makes all the crazy running around worth it. Why is is that the simplest of holidays come along with so much work? The week started off with Danny having car trouble, and then Michelle getting sick and having to go to the doctor for a strep test. She didn't require antibiotics but the doctor did say she was suffering from exhaustion. I'm still trying to keep up with my own job while I help Michelle with her studio in the evenings. I did get to finish Leah's costume and Michelle put her costume together and I thought I we were done. Suddenly Michelle learns she needs yet another costume for a party she was going to later. Nancy Drew was great for trick or treating with Leah and the cousins but not sophisticated enough for clubbing with friends later. So the search goes on for the perfect costume. We find it and here it is the day before Halloween and all costumes and accessories are in order. Danny was not doing anything this year as he decided to spend Saturday working on his very neglected car. Then I remember I better get to the pumpkin patch right after Leah's speech therapy for some pictures before they are out pf pumpkins. Well is was empty but I did manage to get some pictures with the costume. Our little Pocahontas was a hit at the pumpkin patch.

Friday, October 23, 2009


I am still in disbelief! I am going to tell this story from the beginning, so hold on tight. It is no lie that Ed and I are no spring chickens, and parenting a two year old after the two big ones left us tired and dry, has been a bit of a challenge. Not a bad challenge, a perfectly wonderful challenge, but a challenge. One that I welcome and love and would not trade this "perfect" child for the world. `Our challenge is not our child but re-training our old, tired bodies for the extreme hyperactivity of our two-year-old. Let's just say we have been literally running a marathon for a year and a half without sleep. However, for the past two weeks, Leah is becoming more a little girl and less a toddler. The speech and occupational therapists have noticed too. Her language has improved so much and I have actually taken her shopping twice without the stroller, which serves as a restraint! PROGRESS!! But today! Well, as most of you know, she has been experiencing sleep issues. And although we have had good nights and bad nights, she still wakes up every night. For 2 months she has been starting off in her bed (which in itself is a miracle) and at about 1 or 2 am wakes up and comes to our bed. While in our bed she still has night terrors in her sleep. Most of the time they last less than a minute but they happen every couple of hours. For the past week there have been no night terrors!!!!!! Then this morning I was awakened by Ed saying "bye" when I jumped out of the bed realizing Leah wasn't in it! Yes, people, she slept soundly, in her own bed, ALL NIGHT!!!! Will it last? I don't know, but we will celebrate regardless. Thank you. God, for the gift a good night's sleep.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One More Chance!

We have been awarded one more chance! I know I was more excited than Leah!. Thanks to Jasmine! Leah's little friend Jasmine started "Fairy Ballet" class last week. They really enjoy playing together so Mimi let Leah try out the class one more time. Mimi also has an assistant now, so its a little easier. As the parents watched from the window, I was almost too afraid to look but the other parents told me to come see that they were all doing great. Great is was. They were all so cute. Leah seemed to stay with the group better so Mimi's assistant, Chelsea, was able to get a couple of pictures. She is still learning to listen and follow directions but she seemed less distracted this time. It was a huge improvement. The children are allowed to bring a stuffed animal or doll to class and she even shared nicely. At the end of each class the children get to color a picture that goes along with the theme of the week. That part is too much for Leah as she is still unable to sit and work on one task for over 3 seconds, but we are working on it and this will help her with that as well.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Leah's First Expulsion

Leah has been expelled from Mimi's "Fairy Ballet" class. The studio has a wonderful program for children ages 2 and a half to 5. Leah started in September. We were all worried about how she would do but she surprised us and followed directions, got along well with others and did great. The program is really cute and the girls seem to love it. She did so great that I decided to enroll her twice per week instead of once. BIG MISTAKE!! Saturday's class has another little girl who is just like Leah (Minus the hyperactivity) and the 2 of them together was more than Mimi could handle. Let's just say that the only thing that was not happening in that class was actual ballet. Mimi was so angry the last time she asked me not to bring her back. I was so sad that it has taken me a couple of weeks to write this post. What, you ask, could this sweet child have done to put her loving and doting big sister over the edge? Well, where do I begin? Michelle's exact words were "she is very distracting to the other girls who pay no attention to me because they watch Leah to see what weird thing she will do next". This class uses lots of props, Leah plays with the props when she is not supposed to, takes things away from the other girls, when coloring a picture of first position she scribbled on the other children's papers, she no longer follows the steps and does her own wild dance instead, in which of course everyone then stops to watch her. OK, she is only 2. Michelle didn't start ballet until she was 3. We will give it some time and start over. Despite this rocky start she is still my favorite little ballerina and I have hope that she will calm down some by the time she is 3.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mimi Opens New Dance Studio

Our older daughter, Mimi, started her own dance and performing art studio. Quite an accomplishment for someone so young. "Meems" has always worked very hard at everything she does and we are very proud of her accomplishments. She is still in college and hopes to attend her classes in the morning and teach in the afternoons. Our entire family has come together to help her; Dad, her brother Dan, and uncle Rich installed her dance floors, installed doors and walls, etc; her uncle Mike who lives in Phoenix is doing the studio's website, her aunt Ly had organized a team to paint, which is made up of cousins, Mom has organized the office and procedures and advertising, and Leah is our model and her images adorn the walls at the studio. We needed "art" for the walls so we dressed Leah in a tutu and let her play. Check out some of the images below. Who needs to purchase art when we have access to this face?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"Arroz con Huevo Frito"

What???? OK, let me explain. White rice and fried eggs is a very important dish for our 2 older children. They would be extremely happy to eat nothing else the rest of their lives. They were horrified that Leah would never experience such pleasure because we were told on "Gotcha Day" that Leah was allergic to eggs. Imagine the horror! Well, one day, in the car,on the way to Disney, we stopped at a McDonald's for breakfast. Michelle ordered an egg mcmuffin. Suddenly, I look back and Leah had taken out the egg and was eating it. Imagine my horror imagining the worst of allergic reactions. Well, nothing happened. Leah is not allergic to eggs. The pediatrician asked me to try again. I did and nothing happened. Danny and Michelle were so happy that they made her a plate and sat, camera in hand, to watch her eat it. Leah loved it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Leah Rocks!

We have always known that Leah loves music and dancing, here is a preview of our little rocker imitating her sister as she was listening to the rock group Paramore.

Michelle was listening to music as she dried her hair, Leah insisted on "helping" but could not resist the temptation to move to the beat

Dad was playing guitar and needed a drummer! Of course we had a volunteer who shakes a mean booty.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

She has a thing for watermelon..

↓↓↓ Chinese Watermelon Art.... never seen anything like this ↓↓↓

If Leah's obsession for watermelon continues, shes having a watermelon party with these carvings and these cupcakes.... end of story.