Monday, December 30, 2013

Last day of 2013

Almost a year ago I published the last article at Practical Mother. Right after Isaac's first birthday my life had turned into a pile of projects for Spring and Summer. I have to say that we had one the most wonderful Summer in our lives, not because we travel around the world but because we enjoy the public pool and the splash park in Middleton,WI. Isis learn to swim and it seemed magically. She wasn't scare of water at all and she even when down the water slide by herself. She also start 4K in the Middleton School District and rode the school bus for the first time in her life. I am extremly proud of her, she can even recognize all the letters of the alphabet in English and Spanish and count too. Isaac run over and over through the splash park fearless and free. It was the best feeling I even saw in a kid. He can color and watch a whole movie eating pop corn in the cinema, yeah!! And he loves babies and called Isis mommy. I was happy. Summer made me very happy. We read close to 200 books and walk the Pheasant Branch trail pretty much every day.
Our Halloween was also epic! This year the the costumes were inspired by spiders and we went to two locations to collect candy. Isis and Isaac were so excited to be walking at night. There is nothing more precious than to ear from your kid for the first time Happy Halloween. Isaac is definitively mastering the art of talking. This year we didn't organize our popular Halloween party but we made many Halloween art crafts and visit the biggest Pumping Patch in the area. We carved pumpkins like crazies and enjoy picking them in the farm.
But the snow fall in November... so we went UpNorth for Thanks Giving to share family moments, comfort food and slide in the snow. By the end of November we moved outside Middleton. Really we moved to the rural area called Lodi, I am still adjusting to the town and different environment but I believe in the long run it may be a good thing. Now we live in a real house with a garage and a backyard. I guess having three kids make you do things you never imagine... like settling. Our Christmas was very nice this year because we spent time just the five of us in our new home. We picked a tree in a farm outside the town and Gorman cut his first Christmas tree for the family. It is gigantic and we decorated with old and handmade ornaments. We could not ask for more, it was very incredible to see our kids admiring the Christmas tree.
And now the year ends and I do not want to remember the bad bad bad things that happened in 2013 because I have been complaining about them all year long. I promise I will be better this coming year, no more complains, more positive attitude and more smiles. Well, I got fired in 2013 from the best job I ever had and now I have to start all over. But the best moment of 2013 it was defenitely visiting Peru with my kids. Very challenging but unforgettable. I guess good things come with bad things or viceversa.
I am looking to 2014 with open mind and open heart wishing life will not get worse and believing things happened for some reason. But I am a realistic person so I have to doubt a little... right? life will be better but there is nobody but me who can make it that way.
Happy New Year!

Isis with Santa in the North Freedom train

Resting area in Pheasant Branch Trail, Middleton WI

Bruce Co pumpkin carving event

Treinen Farm with family for Pumpkin Patch

Isis's first day of school

Halloween at downtown Middleton

Thanks Giving Up North with grandparents

New home in Lodi

Monday, February 11, 2013

There is something so cool like MILK project

     Browsing through some mom's blogs I found something scientific and cool to do with the kids (both the 1 year old and the 4 year old) Something to kill time and get dirty but not too dirty. I love the idea of playing with textures, colors and getting the kiddos excited about science.
I found this idea in It is really refreshing to find new projects to do, specially in the science area. I believe your kids will enjoy the moving colors because it seems like "magic." But the best part is that it is so easy to do. I couldn't believe it!!! We did the project right after lunch when the kids still had dirty hands and were sitting on the table or high chair. It is nice to keep them in one spot for more than 20 minutes, right?. You must agree with me.
     Anyways.... the COLORFUL MILK PROJECT can be make with regular milk or even soy milk as we did it.
These are the steps:
  • Pour some milk on a cookie tray until filled half way up.
  • Use a swab to pour drops of food coloring in the middle of the tray. The most amount of colors you use, the cooler it looks!!!
  • Dip the swab on a little bit of dish soap. I used Dawn and I am not sure if it will work with any other brand (I supposed the components are the same in every dish soap)
  • And dip the soapy swab back again in the middle of the tray where the food coloring was dropped.
All the food coloring  start moving around the tray. It is a magnificent view of "dancing colors." The kids love it and they were very impress about the reaction of the milk and food coloring with the  touch of the soapy swab.
This is a very first step to introduce your kids to science projects as little as toddlers. Any youngster will love the reaction of liquids, doughs and any messy materials. The clean up it is very easy and for the baby I just use the milk, food coloring and swabs. Of course I needed to watch Isaac very close because he tried to chew on the swabs. However, he loved it and he drew lines and circles on his tray. Messy but fun!!

Using the swab soaked in dish soap to make the colors dance!

The Milk Project is not messy at all, excellent for snowy days

Even my youngest son, one year old Isaac enjoyed drawing with the swab on the colorful milk

Final result, pretty crazy colors and shapes

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Let's blog again

 After almost six months of silence, I am blogging back again. The silence has not been for a lack of ideas, projects or stories to tell. On the contrary, I think I might had been too busy. Well, busy figuring out many things in my private life that I did not figure out yet. So I wasted this huge amount of time trying to resolve the unresolvable... Now I just will go on  in life with the best inspiration I always had: my children.
     But it is enough of self pity. It is time to BLOG!!!!! and this time (I promise) I have many many more ideas to entertain kids at home during winter storms, below zero days and even icy road days. I decided to start some DYI projects and also try some DYI ideas from other mom's blogs. I believe I had finally have a list of my favorite mom's blogs but I can't never narrow it down. So I hope with some of your help I can make a better decision.
     I have to say I love February because my two kids born this month. Isaac just turned one year old on February 4th and Isis (the oldest) will turn four years old on February 18th. Isaac's Birthday Party was a blast!!! It is so precious the first time a child open a present. Granted, he already practiced opening presents on Christmas but this time was a little different. This was his great day and he love it. I am posting some pics of the table decor and the gorgeous cake my husband the Chef made. Yes, yes, don't forget we have a Chef in the house and when he is here (little we see him because he works at dinner time) he delight us with wonderful food. But I promise I will share his recipies as much as I can. This coming week we will be preparing details for Isis Pool Party. Of course, it will be Hello Kitty theme and ALL, mostly ALL will be decorate it in PINK! It will be interesting to see. So far we have an idea for the cake and some decor for the table but any extra ideas are very welcome.
I hope I didn't overhwelmed you with my first come back article but I am extremely excited to be back. Specially for myself, I need to keep doing what I always loved to do and it is writing!          Tomorrow it is a downtown visit day for the kiddos and me. We will try to make it to the Olbrich Garden to see the wildflowers and the only amazing Conservatory of tropical plants. We'll see... hopefully it's not 20 below.

Isis and Isaac celebrating

Cookie Monster cupcakes

Little table decor  

Birthday Boy

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Coming back from madness

Fish tacos at the new apartment

Celebrating Peruvian Independence Day

At Mc Donald's cooling off from another 100 F hot day
They say that writing is a therapy for depression, loneliness and stress and... it may be truth because the last ten days I have been disconnected from the world and it simply sucks!! My family and me moved to a new apartment on June 30th in the outskirts of MadCity. The packing, moving, cleaning, unpacking, settling had take a great deal from us. Granted, moving is never fun, at least you have enough money to pay for a company to move you from point A to point B. Nerveless, we spent until the last penny we had paying movers and renting trailers to halt our stuff to the new apartment. Buying cleaning supplies so we can get our deposit back and spending more money in taxi, food and snacks waiting and waiting and waiting around for hours to get in the new place. Oh, surprise! we rented a two bedroom apartment for June 30th which supposed to be ready at noon but not, maybe 1.30pm., not at 3.30pm., not at 5.30pm., hummm! not at all until 6.30pm. At that point I was so ready to go to a hotel with Isis and Isaac. But, there is always a BUT... no more money, so we decided to stick around the new apartment in the beating sun of a 100 F... Fortunately, the new landlord let us in in the hallway and bought us water (that is the least he should do)
While Isis, Isaac and me were hanging out in the little park across the street, the previous tenants were still moving out. Boxes, bags, furniture, toys and even all kind of garage sales items were hult out of the apartment by a groups of Middle Easter dudes. In the other side of the street, our movers (the Mexicans) were waiting with three trailers each with a mountain of stuff to move in. It was a brief representation of the multicultural face of Madison. The couple moving out were absolutely stress, almost losing their minds. They are now getting divorce and I am wondering if moving maybe the most stressful activity for a  family.
We are passed those days though. Now we have cable, internet and even a house phone because when we "BUNDLE"  the cable company give it to us for "free" (you know what I mean) Some boxes and I really have to say SOME boxes are put away. There is still a great amount of laundry to do as usual and lots of toys laying around every corner. I guess if I would LOVE to have everything in some sort of containers but... like I say there is always a BUT, it will be too much. I just hoping the apartment will look like home at some point. My hopes are high and Gorman's too. He bought his FIRST HAMMER yesterday to put up some pictures and wall decor. THAT IS MAJOR! We never, almost never put pictures up because we believe we DID NOT find OUR PLACE TO LIVE FOR EVER. I wondering if we ever will find it????
Feels good though to go back to NORMALITY! walks to the park, watch Elmo in the morning, visit the Library, blogging a little, catch up with some bad TV shows and some good ones, have wine in the deck and put the kids to sleep with the Lullabalies in Pandora.  It has been a long and exhausting 12 days. I am ready for a break but (again BUT) there will be no one anytime soon.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

domingo de invierno: guerrilla de ganchillo en cal rosal

domingo de invierno: guerrilla de ganchillo en cal rosal: El sábado pasado la Guerrilla de Ganchillo salió de Barcelona y nos  fuimos a un convento abandonado en la antigua colonia textil de   ...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oppss! is it Father's Day already?

                   Father's Day has not been my favorite holiday ever. Maybe because I did not grow up with my dad or because when I met him it was a complete disappointment. Either way, Father's Day has been always a recall of bad bad bad memories (did I stress bad enough?) The best paternal figure I have is my uncle Max. HE IS THE MAX! always there for me anytime of the day. Still today he is there when I call Peru at four in the morning to talk about my problems. He was the best medicine for the forbidden Father's Day celebration at school where I even won a prize to give to my dad. Well, I kept the prize. I gave it to my uncle and I closed for ever the chapter of that sad holiday. Al least that is what I though until I got married and have children. Now, I am stock with  Father's Day holiday for ever. Now, it has to be my favorite holiday or maybe I should try to like it some how.

                So I decided to search in my heart for great Dads and I am very happy to say that I found more than one.

My husband Gorman because he always plays with his children, not matter what time a day or how sore he is for the 70 hours work at the restaurant. Because he holds baby Isaac over night when I freak out and I cannot take it anymore (most of the time). Because he reminds me that he can be my dad too.
My father in law Sunny because he loves his grand kids so much, he will do anything for them. Because he never ever make me feel uncomfortable and I really want to call him dad a lot of the times. Because he pushes Gorman in the right direction always, always.
My uncle Max because he always listen to me. Because he never wanted to replaced my father but became my own dad. Because I can sit next to him in silence and the time is eternal.
My grandpa Cirilo because he loves to listen to me playing guitar. Because he brought me a biscotti bar every day he came from his stand on the market. Because I miss him everyday wishing he meet my kids.

My heart goes to all the fathers that work too hard every day in their lives and never got the right compensation. To the Dads that wear torn jeans and last year swimming suit or make their own from any pair of shorts so their kids can have a nice one.  To the Dads that offer working overtime without pay, sacrificing time with their children so maybe, just maybe some day they can get a promotion. To the Dads who are looking for freedom, peace and equality in this world for their children. To all of them who make a better world for their kids... Salud, cheers and...
The boy at Mashall Park Beach, WI June 2012

Daddy's girl

Visiting the Splash Park, Middleton, WI summer 2012

Trying to sleep

Hike at the Leopold Nature Center, Monona

Admiring Dad

Isis with grandpa Sunny


Music lesson from Dad to Isis, Girdwood, AK

Napping with Isaac

Easter 2012, Grandpa teaching Isis to drive a bike


Friday, June 15, 2012

Pool, playdo and playground

            So the summer started with a great note of happiness and cheer. Salud for that! However my time has been consumed by the search of a new place to live. A place to where we will adapt one more time and we will call "HOME". The search has not been as productive as my husband and I would love to believe and it is because joggling between 70 hours of work at a restaurant and two kids are never a good combination for apartment hunting. For now though, let's enjoy the summer! There is no need of desperation, at least not yet... And last week when I wrote this paragraph I was right. We found a home in the always lovely town of Middleton, WI. A landlord that seems so happy to welcome us in his little piece of paradise so-rounded by pines trees, close to a splash park, the community pool and an amazing trail for walking with the kids. And we recover the capacity to believe in people. I guess after all when "some doors closed, some windows open up."
          Now that summer is settling I am enjoying little projects I had in mind during the winter. I though in the 3 P's: pool, play do and playground. Maybe there are some ideas you already tried but maybe we can enrich each other with fresh projects.

Middleton, WI Splash Park

         I remember how freak out I was the first time Isis went to the pool. First because I cannot swim to save my life, second because she runs and moves so fast that always seems to give me a heart attack and third because it was the first time doing something with her that didn't involve crayons and pencils. Well, I have to confess going to the pool is pretty much the best idea ever for summer. We go every day and stay for hours. Yes!! hours. Splashing, eating snacks, kind of swimming, playing with balls, buckets and rubber duckies. Oh, yeah! it is a great time. Even baby Isaac loves it.

         Isis manage to jump over the edge of the pool and says: "One, two, three, blast off."
Isis at the pool, these will be the last weeks at this place

Relaxing at the pool

         It is the funniest thing ever and everybody at the pool always clap. Anyways. I know bringing your kids to the pool is such a enormous project. Stroller, towels, snacks, maybe a cooler if it 90 degrees, hats, toys, diapers, and other dozen of gadgets I cannot think of. But it pays off in the end, happy kids, relax moms. What I am trying to say is that staying at home is not so stressful and hectic all the time. When it is, of  course, it seems like the end of the word but 75% of the time is FUN, FUN, FUN...  we, I have to remember that more often!

I also discover that any source of water will be delightful and will keep little ones plenty busy. Splash park, pool, beach (even if is at the lake) or even the bathtub full of toys. But of course, you already know that. What you don't know is how to make some great tools for the beach, the pool, the bathtub or which ever will be your source of water or I should say your source of RELAXATION!. And make them from recycle materials. Here some ideas:
  •  Cut some soda bottles of any size on a half or 3/4 keeping the tip of the bottle. They make perfect funnels
  •  Plastic cups of different sizes and shapes tied to plastic spoon with a string work great as a fishing pool (watch for the rope!?)
  • Old kitchen tools can be use to play in the sand. Serving spoons are awesome to dig tunnels and all sort of water channels at the beach.
Marshall Park Beach at Lake Mendota, WI

Middleton Splash Park

           Thinking about handmade projects for summer I dived into Google to find an easy homemade playdo recipe. Well, I found many. The best comes from an online space for kids, parents and teachers. You should check it out if you are not a fan already in Facebook.
The recipe is so simple that I even had time to clean. Yes, clean!?
           Mix a cup of flour, a half a cup of cold water, a pinch of salt, one spoon of oil,  one table spoon of corn starch and you will have the softest, smoothest and cheapest play do on the block. If you have food coloring go ahead and cut the dough in pieces and apply a couple of drops of color in each piece. More drops, more color. advises to color with power color. It may be better because the dough will not get wet. If that happens that your play do gets wet after a couple of days, add a pinch of flour and do no... really DO NOT forget to storage the dough in zip lock bags, plastic containers or else. This recipe will make enough play do for two kids, four hand full balls of colorful play do.
                It is time to play!
Ingredients for homemade play do

Colorful homemade play do

            A big part of the day as a stay at home mom relays on going to the park. Google, note and mark all the playgrounds around the area on the calendar, that way the kids will not get bored of going to the same one over and over again. OK. let's be real, so YOU will not get bored of going to the same playground over and over again. Playgrounds though are not so exciting by themselves. You have to spice it out!

           We love to bring little things which make the time in the playground more active and interesting. It is truth though that free time playing enhance the little ones brain. However, some extra ideas to earn more peaceful time at the park can never be dismiss.

At Marshall Park, Middleton, WI

Little things
       Bring a small ball so the kiddos can trough it down or up the slide. Play treasure hunt or carry the ball up and down and under the tunnels. That will for sure tired up a toddler and help you relax after the park.
       Packed a picnic basket with a few treats. Bring a blanket along with you so they can sit on the grass o have a picnic snack. I love to bring healthy snacks like pieces of apples, peaches or even raisins. IT TAKES LONG TIME TO EAT and it help them with their fine motor skills.
       Finally, my favorite is a plastic tent I bought at Walgreens. We walk through the trail to get to park so it is a team work activity to carry the tent all the way down the playground. Then the tent become a hide out for the kids. They can put their shoes, snacks and bags inside, so every time they want they get in the tent to have a snack or chat with their friends. It also help to make friends because everybody want to get into the tent so they invite other kids to join them.

I hope these ideas will make your summer full of fun and will bring joyful moments to your family. Soon I will have the Recyclables page ready and running with tutorials and pictures of recycle projects.  Also, I will be offering recycle art classes in the Middleton, WI area and hopefully Little Sprouts Store grant opening will be at the end of July. Summer is bringing lots of new ideas to my mind, I just hope I can accomplish all of them.