Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Post of the Year

I didn't post as much as I wanted to this year but oh well. Our Christmas was really nice. We spend  Christmas Eve with Hector's side of the family so there were lots of people and children. Of course, we say we should get together more often and end up seeing each other this one day out of the year. I will make more of an effort to have a gathering and spend more time with them!

Christmas day was exhausting yet fun. Hector and I were up until 3 am doing Santa's work then the kids were up early at 7am to check out their presents. I decided to make a rotisserie turkey in my Ronco Showtime and the turkey comes out great. I can fit a 12 lb bird in there and all I do is rub kosher salt all over it, inside and out. The bird is salted through and the skin is golden and crispy. Yum.
My mom came over to celebrate with us along with Carlos and we had a great time. I'm slow in discovering my inner chef and over the last 10 years I have been getting more and more comfortable in the kitchen. This was my first year making a pumpkin pie. Shocking, I know! Marie Callendar made the pie crust and I did the rest but it got some enthhusiastic thumbs up from my pumpkin pie lover Tyler.
December 26 I decided to make dumplings (potstickers) which is simple enough but tedious in the chopping of everything then stuffing the filling into the wrappers but it ends with the sweet satisfaction of having dozens of potstickers frozen ready to be cooked when I feel like having some. My cousins Hannah and Matt came over to help out and have some tamales.  We don't discriminate with our food, no siree!
December 27 is Joshua's birthday and he is now a proud 7 year old. It's a kind of hard to celebrate properly and we will do a official party soon. Josh is super easy going so he knows the time will come.
On the 28th we had an opportunity to have a family skate day with Bailey the mascot of the Los Angeles Kings. At first I thought we could skate at Staples center but no the event was held at LA Live on a tiny rink which was fine. The kids had never ice skated before and I skated once before. I was a bit nervous since I had 2 kids to deal with and Tyler's recent broken wrist in the back of my mind. Once Josh was on the ice he was off like a shot but didn't know how to stop. He stops like he's on roller blades. :)
Tyler is not as athletically inclined as Josh but he gave it a good try. I did try to help him skate and he ended taking me down with him. Uff. He did manage to go around the rink a few times, took a big spill and that was the end of that. Hector does want Tyler to learn so we'll leave that to him. Bailey did stop to take a picture with Tyler before the big spill so he's all smiles.

Joshua definitely took to the ice...he knows how to inline skate and loves it so this was a fairly easy transition. Now that he likes ice skating I asked Joshua about how he feels about learning ice hockey and got a big YES! I saw him fall a few times and get right back up so he has that determined attitude. We will get through basketball season first and then try hockey.

We actually have NYE plans this year. My cousin Hannah will be having a Brazillian bbq tonight so we will chow down on some great food. The kids are looking forward to staying up until midnight and sociallizing.
Have a Happy New Year and be safe tonight if you're going out....

See ya next year!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Knitting Stuff

I slowed down on my sock knitting because of some Christmas knitting and here is one of my gifts.
First, the Baby Jester Hat for a baby boy modelled by my baby boy. It is snug on Josh but you get the's super cute.

It could totally use some jingle bells but since the hat is for a baby, I'll let the mom decide and she can put them on if she wants. So cute. I need to figure out the adult size for this one.

Last week, I was a knitting fiend producing some spawn of the Monster Bear variety. I experimented with ears, eyes and colors. The pink/purple one is my Kool-aid dyed yarn experiment and somehow during the felting process, it lost an eye so I made a little eye patch for it. I still have 2 more bears to throw into the wash and today I dyed another batch of Kool-aid yarn. Think tropical colors like blue, green and orange. Yeah stay tuned....

This project was lots of fun and a definite challenge. It's a dodecahedron according to the pattern and I used my sock yarn scraps. It can be used as a tree topper or a baby toy. This was is going to be a toy for a baby but I forgot to add a plastic acorn filled with some beans to make a rattle inside. Still this is lots of fun...Josh and I had a great time throwing it to each other and it doesn't hurt when you get hit in the head. :) Easy to hold and's amazing what people can create in making these patterns.

Tis the Season

Christmas time in SoCal. Shorts and snow boots are the fashion choices of my boys. Not really, they tried the boots on to see how they fit and Hector took them for a walk around the neighborhood to check out the lights.

Tyler with his "gingerbread house".

We  had a very busy weekend. Hector had a work Christmas party at the Pomona Mining Company which has a great view of the freeway but the lights are nice. We danced the night away and enjoyed a child-free evening. The next morning we picked up the kids at Loop's house and headed over to the Wrightwood area to slide in the snow.

Snow was icy and slippery but the kids still had lots of fun sliding.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Budapest Labyrinth

In the castle district of Budapest, there are many cool things to see. Most are obvious, like the Fisherman's Bastion, the Royal Palace and St. Matthias Church but the labyrinth is a doorway that we almost passed right by next to a pub.

We walked down, down down into the labyrinth. There are maps in several languages on the wall but none that we noticed that we could take along. Without a map, it becomes confusing after a point when the path splits and some are dead ends or split off into more paths. It supposedly was made by running water and there are still wet areas and it smells like damp.

Tyler's favorite part of our entire trip was the labyrinth especially the labyrinth of courage. We came across it and in the dim light we could see the big metal door with the words Labyrinth of Courage on it with a few instructions. It was best to go in and allow a few minutes between each party and hold onto the cable bolted into the wall. I opened the door and it was pitch dark in there. I couldn't tell if it went down or any direction, just blackness.
 Tyler promptly says, "Oh, I want to go in there!!"
 Joshua pipes in, "I DON'T want to go in there!"

Sometimes, having the kids disagree on what they want to do is a bother but luckily Loop says she will go on the other path with Josh while we head on in the labyrinth of courage. As soon as that door closes, you cannot see your hand in front of your face. I let Tyler go first since he wanted too , next me and then Hector. I'm hanging on the cable, creeping slowly forward while I have no idea where Tyler is ahead of me. Then Tyler calls out, "LOOK!" Um, I can't see anything....turns out that he had turned a corner and there was the dimmest of lights with symbols on the cave wall. We continue on and it wasn't very long although it seemed like it to me.

We finally come to a door and we made it safely through the labyrinth.....phew!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Joshua's Hot Chocolate tour

For those who know Joshua, he loves chocolate especially hot chocolate. I make him the instant kind at home but when I read about all the coffee houses in Budapest I knew Josh would be all over the hot chocolate.

Sure enough, Joshua had his hot chocolate every single day. The rich, creamy and very chocolately kind with whipped cream. Ah, he was in heaven!

Our first morning in Budapest in a tiny cafe/bakery that had only 2 tables and some stools. We took over both tables. It was early Saturday morning, soon after a crowd of people came in.

At the Miro cafe for lunch on Saturday. Yes, he had 2 that day. He earned them, we walked around for about 6 hours that day.

Hot Chocolate at Gerbeaud. Absolutely decadent.
These are just a few memorable times but believe me Joshua loved them all.

See? He's leaping for joy!

More funky hats

Can you tell that we were bored???
The shaggy dog look.

A swan hat...more like a dying swan.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Funky Hat day

With the cold weather in Budaest, there are many shops that sell hats.

We had fun trying them on.
Felted gnome hat

Don't know exactly what this is, some furry black hat...

with a nest of eggs on top.