Nov 06

Spanish baby steps

Posted under Clara and Libby, Life, Lost in translation, Puerto Rico, School by MicheleP.

Little by little, we are picking up more and more Spanish. Since the girls have been in preschool, they have made progress. They will often insert random Spanish words into their vocabulary. “Mom, can I have some leche?” They have also started calling Scott “Papi” and me “Ma MA” and of course their favorite word: “Mio” (which translates: MINE). Sometimes we aren’t sure what they are trying to say, but we know it’s something in Spanish. They love to talk about their friends at school and one little girl in particular – “Mal-le-handra”. I asked if it’s “Alejandra” and they say no and insist on the “Male”. Today I remembered to ask about this child and Maestra Maria had no clue who I was talking about. I said it a few more times and then she says, “OOOOOH. Maria Alejandra?!” Yes, that’s it. They hear it said so fast that they can’t distinguish the two different names.

Here is a little video of Libby singing in Spanish and then in English”…(one of the side effects of her learning the song in English at a Spanish school – LOL). Those in Puerto Rico will get a kick out of the pronunciation of “good”.

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Nov 02

Halloween Memories

Posted under Clara and Libby, Life, Puerto Rico by MicheleP.

As my children get older, so much of our holiday traditions stem from what I experienced as a child. As a kid, I LOVED Halloween. LOVED it.

My costumes were never that creative. I remember a Wonder Woman costume that I wore at least 2 years and a clown with a plastic mask that made my face sweat. Other than that, I think I was a ghost every other year (white sheet and scissors and done).

I remember having parties at school with cookies and such and then coming home and the anticipation for the big night of trick or treating. Having to eat dinner was torture because for me, it was all about the candy. I remember trick or treating with my best girlfriends each year. We always made sure to hit the one house in the neighborhood that gave out FULL SIZE candy bars. I still remember where that house was too – on Butterfly Cove. We thought of ways we could change our costumes and double-back but never had the guts to try it (rumor had it that they took note of everyone who visited).

And Halloween didn’t end on the 31st for me. I would set up and play store with my candy. And when I would run out, I would raid my brother’s candy because he was one of those strange kids that actually saved his candy. He would hide it and I would find it. My system worked well until he starting keeping a written inventory of his candy. I never could figure out how to beat that system.

And so with my girls, even though I’m not a fan of candy for them (it’s totally okay for me, btw), I want them to have fun and experience the fun of the day too.

We started the day by making Halloween buckets. I was being cheap and didn’t want to buy some but wanted something a little more than a pillowcase – so we pulled out the Easter buckets and with some construction paper, glue and stickers, transformed Easter into Halloween. (I’m quite certain that someone somewhere has something philosophical to say about that but I was thinking frugality here).


After we made our buckets we spent some time “decorating” the house by coloring pumpkins and taping them to the door “so all the kids could see them”. Next up was the cookie making – the girls LOVED this. I think as much icing went into their mouths as went onto the cookies.



We can’t leave any food out here – as it will 1)melt and 2)attract many bugs so we put the cookies in the fridge for safe keeping. When Scott came home from work that evening, Libby was so excited to show him the cookies that she ran to the fridge and started to pull out the tray of cookies. Visions of smashed cookies raced in my head and thankfully I stopped her mid pull and she closed the door. Whew! Crisis averted!


A few minutes later when Scott went to the fridge, the tray of cookies which was now precariously perched on the shelf came crashing down to the floor.


No worries – the night was just beginning and there was much sugar to be had!

After dinner, the girls got their costumes on and headed out with Scott and three friends who joined us for the evening.


At about the 5th house, a young costumed boy and his mom answered the door. After handing candy to our kids, his mama tells him, “Okay, go ahead, you can go with them.”

Did I mention we have never met these people before? Ever.

Scott must have had a rather surprised look on his face that prompted her to ask, “Oh, you don’t mind, do you?”

And so a great night was enjoyed by the girls and their three four friends.







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Oct 27

Our babies are FOUR!!!

Posted under Clara and Libby, Life by MicheleP.

It’s really hard to believe – my babies are a year older! They were so excited this year, waking up early Sunday morning and asking, “Are we four now, Mama?! Did we grow last night?!”

After church we put the girls down for an afternoon nap – and to my surprise, they both went right to sleep. While they slept, we put the finishing touches on the house for our party.

Later that afternoon, we hosted princesses, superheros, firemen and cowboys for several hours of crafts, games, yummy food and of course CAKE :)

Here are the girls with one other special princess:


The many princesses feasting on hamburgers and hot dogs:


and of course, many handsome “princes” too:


The girls both loved their cakes



And we can’t forget – the wonderful presents



All in all, it was a perfect day – filled with lots of friends, giggles and special memories. Happy 4th Birthday my girly girls!




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Oct 25

No time to blog due to serious party planning…

Posted under Around the house, Clara and Libby, Life by MicheleP.

We’ve planned, shopped, cleaned and baked…and now we are ready for a party!!

The biggest challenge was the cake. Libby wanted a Tinkerbell cake and Clara wanted a Belle cake. I didn’t think I was up for making two cakes so I ordered one cake with flowers and put plastic Tinkerbells on it – and voila – a Tinkerbell cake!

Now, for the Belle cake, I had seen photos of the princess/barbie cake online and thought that would be just perfect for Belle. I gathered everything I needed and baked the cake(s) last night and then today began to shape them into Belle.

Here is Belle – steady as she goes!


Putting the finishing touches on


And here she is: Considering my only previous cake experience is a basic Betty Crocker in a 9X13, I’m feeling pretty darn good about how it turned out!


Our own Belle and Tinkerbell are ready for their guests – be sure to check back later for a full party review (con muchos fotos, naturalmente).




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Oct 12

You hurt my sister!

Posted under Clara and Libby, Life by MicheleP.

The first few weeks of school, we were hearing a lot of “This girl pulled Libby’s hair” or “That boy stepped on Clara’s foot”. These reports would come very matter-of-factly from the other child. So we’ve been teaching the girls to stick up for each other. If someone does something to the other sister, you ALWAYS go help your sister and tell the other child to leave the BOTH of you alone.

We were at a friend’s house this weekend and one of the boys had a nerf gun and shot Clara with it. She was rather upset and came running to tell me all about it. Then I saw Libby and she was on a mission – stomping through the house looking for M. Once she found him – she poked him over and over again until he looked down at her (M is 4 years older and quite a bit taller) and then proclaimed in her sternest voice :

“Hey M. You shot my sister. You hurt my sister. You don’t do that again!”

I was so proud!!


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Oct 11

Acclimation – take 2

Posted under Baby Logic, Clara and Libby, Life, Puerto Rico by MicheleP.

Today we sat down to plan the girls 4th birthday (HOW can this be???) – we asked the girls what we needed for a party. They came up with just two things. Anyone want to guess at what they might be?

Balloons? Nope

Cake? Nope

Presents? Surprisingly, nope – didn’t EVEN mention presents.

For a successful party, evidently we just need two things:

1) Bug spray – “so the ‘squitos’ don’t bite anyone”

2) Germ lotion – “in case we get germs on our ‘selfes’”

And there you are – anyone want to come to our party?  ‘Cause it’s sure to be a ‘squito’ and germ free celebration.


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