my love for cooking (and food)

i think right from the moment i got pregnant the one thing i kept looking forward to was cooking for our kiddo (which i do on a regular basis, even if he opts not to eat).

i grew up in a country where you have freshly made food every day. and i mean my grandma getting up at 6am to make breakfast, then would start lunch around 11, and dinner was some time between 5 and 6pm (my grandparents did a lot of my initial upbringing so most of my memories are of them with me.)

but i digress… back to my love for cooking. i’m not really sure when it started but i do remember cooking when i was fairly small; mainly for my siblings and cousins. i think one of my very first memories is from when i was around 7 years old, i was making something like a stew and getting quite upset at one of my cousins because he had chopped and diced my tomatoes, when i wanted them sliced… it’s all in the details!!!

these days cooking has become one of my stress relievers. my wife says that i usually start cooking when i get stressed and she might be right. i find there is something soothing and relaxing in getting ingredients ready, chopping, stirring, the smells in the kitchen and at the end the satisfaction of having created a dish (food) that your family will enjoy.

sometimes i get lazy and crave-y (is that a word?) and i end up making cubano sandwiches.

cubano

but even in what many people would consider a lazy dish i find joy… all the ingredients, putting them together and marrying into this great and tasty harmony of flavours. truly, you must try and make them some time.

the one bad thing about me cooking that i have to own is the fact i don’t clean after myself when i’m doing so, and i end up with a sink full of utensils and plates i’ve used while cooking. but there’s a very rational explanation for this: in my mind i’m in a professional kitchen where there’s someone cleaning up after me as i am busy creating my masterpieces ;). in reality it’s mostly my wife that ends up cleaning my mess.

until next post…

 

 

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apple and oranges…(IMO)

so i’ve been reading up a bit on the college bribes scandal, and boy oh boy, the debates and conversations this has prompted.

there was an article yesterday in Today’s Parent where the author wrote and went on to say that we all do this right from the very beginning right from the moment we tell our kid wearing a mismatched outfit that they look pretty, or making a big deal over our kid’s scribbles.

and now, i wanted to play devil’s advocate because up to a certain point i think (again, I think, my opinion).. she might be right (with a couple caveats.)

I think the moment you become a parent your main goal is to try and do everything humanly possible to make sure your kid does well, has the best opportunities and if it were possible you’d fix the world so the kids would never have to go through the many harsh life experiences they are bound to go through (heartache, a failed match, a bicycle fall, etc), fortunately or not,  as a parent that is your main focus from the moment that baby arrives home from the hospital, to make sure this helpless creature makes it through the night, the weeks, the months, and so on..

Apple_and_Orange_-_they_do_not_compare.jpgso where does it go wrong? and here’s where i think it gets tricky…

for me particularly it goes wrong the moment there’s an exchange of goods (benefits/money/perks) whatever it might be. at that point it becomes a transaction and is no longer a parent looking for their kid’s best opportunity but rather a business exchange.. cost, benefit, and all that accounting terms that i’d rather not get into.

yesterday when i was telling my love about this dilemma she tended to agree more with the author than with me (how dares she!) but i get it. and see, she sided with the author because soon enough we’ll be running into tricky situation when we might have to end up using our dearest friends’ address to get our kiddo to a ‘good school’ (i intentionally used those quotation marks because who can tell nowadays what a good school is, but your parental instinct kicks in and you are going to try all possible to offer your kid the best opportunities.)

so my question was ok, then, should we just send the kiddo to the school in our district which has not so good reviews and a really low rating (2/10)??

do you see why this all becomes a tricky situation? If you had the means, and knew the right person, you’d call that person and asked if there’s a way of getting your kid to a better school, to that great summer camp, or that limited music class… MOST of you would (i won’t say all so i don’t get into as much trouble as the author of that article).. would i pay to have him attend that school? nope, that’s where i’d draw the line.

many of you would say oh you are being a hypocrite because you’d use your friends’ address (and i think i would) but let me put it into perspective, these friends are not just casual acquaintances that i see once a year or that i’d be paying to use their address (as many people do, sometimes even paying strangers in ‘good schools’ districts), these are people who (God forbid) something were to happen to us, would end up in charge of our kiddo, they’d be his legal guardians and are people who spend as much time at our place as we do at theirs. does that make it right? perhaps not..

but as i commented on the Todays Parents’ article, it’s all in the details. if you are purposely paying someone to create merits, or amend grades, or falsify scores so your kids are guaranteed acceptance to one of these elite school, that’s a very different thing in my opinion…it’s like comparing apples and oranges, yes they are both fruits but there are still substantial differences between the two.

until next post!

 

(image credit: wikepedia.org)

is it summer yet?

are you just as done with this winter as i am??

i’m badly longing for the days when i don’t have to put on 10lbs of extra clothing to protect myself from the inclement weather… and not having to wrestle the kiddo in the morning to get his jacket on.. just his jacket, he’s fine with his scarf (or shall i say neck warmer) and his hat… jacket though, he has issues with (mind you the struggle has lessened these days.)

oh this kiddo.. it was a harsh winter for him (and ME!). so we all know how it goes.. the kiddo gets into daycare and within 1.3hrs he will be sick (fine, i may be exaggerating a bit you you all know i’m right!!)

it feels like he’s been constantly sick for the past 9 months, like constantly. when i brought this up with the paediatrician, he asked ‘has he had one or two days that he gets better between these colds?’.. so of course my answer is yes, because he did get the odd ‘better’ day.. so he said yup.. that’s daycare for you… daycare kids’ colds are like little mountains ranges, and their ‘better’ days are the valleys, but guess what? there’s another peak coming right up.

oh the joy!

while these virus, viruses? virai? (whatever the plural is) manifested in him as lots of green mucous and colds and coughs… guess who got pink eye? yup.. yours truly. i never knew it was possible to get pink eye pretty much back to back to back for a total of 3 times within 6 weeks. honestly i have a new found respect for the daycare workers who i’m sure are constantly sick when they first start at these centres.

but here we are at last (and watch you me i’m jinxing it as i write this)… it’s been about 2 weeks since the last bout of cold/cough/snot… so there’s hope people! there’s hope! he’s finally gotten into a nice routine of being a happy kiddo, eating lots, getting heavier by the minute it seems, and boy does he have energy (we gotta find a way of harvest all that energy and transfer it to the parents.)

IMG_5272this is where i’ll end this post, i have so much more to write but i won’t bore people with my rambling… i will make an effort to try and post more often.

until next post!

 

he’s a traveller..

so i haven’t written in a while. It was hard for me to really believe my friends who had kids when they’d say ‘oh sorry i don’t have time’ or ‘it slipped my mind’.. but trust you me, now i can honestly say i believe it because i am right in that situation (it’s a bit crazy and overwhelming just how fast time goes by and just how much you unintentionally forget)

but back to the post…

you know what one of my first childhood memories is? my mom traveling with me, via car, going from the highlands of Ecuador to see my grandparents in the ‘middle’ region of the country and me puking my guts out… yes ma’am, that’s one of my very first memories, fun right?

i was the kind of kid who’d get extremely car sick; what’s more, i just had to think about the thought of going in a car and i’d be sick already. i bet you are thinking lol, how funny, but it’s not, not for a kid with a very strict and short fuse mother.. but i digress.

IMG_3767our kiddo is great while traveling (thus far, and hard knock on wood)… this past trip was third trip in less than two years, not bad, not bad.. hopefully he’ll get to see a lot more places than us.

i’m not going to pretend the entirety of the trip was flawless, of course not, kids are not in their environment, they are very restricted and not necessarily free to explore around which is a challenge once they are mobile (as is the case for our kiddo.)

last year he wasn’t yet crawling around when we went down to Cancun and then to Ecuador, so his anxious moments were much much easier to manage while he was strap to one of us in his carrier. this time around he’s full on mobile, so his pacifier and ipad were our best allies. this is the one time when i was very lenient about screen time and i just allowed him to watch his beloved Paw Patrol, because i’d rather him starring at the screen for an hr than listening to him scream and whine because he can’t walk around exploring (call me a bad mom if you must.)

i think that as with most things planning and preparing are key (and it doens’t hurt having someone else with you to tag team it.) i can honestly say it’s going to be a long time before i attempt another solo trip with the kiddo; when he was smaller again it was different as things are easier to manage in some respect, but until then we’ll keep bringing mamma along 🙂 and snacks, and toys, and ipads, and books…

and i say he’s a traveller because this kid did not get a single mosquito bite while on any of these trips… you know the horror stories you hear or read about the kids getting the runs, or reactions to insect bites, or refusing food, or not been able to sleep somewhere else… so far nothing… and i do say so far with a big weary smile on because i also know how quickly things turn around.

but until then we’ll try and take a couple more trips, visit a few more places, see a few more people… because as the old saying goes: We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.

until next post….

to each their own… but..

so, i’m not a hater by any means…. and i do try and apply the principle that each person is owner of their own lives and is free to live it in the best way they see fit (really getting into Dr. Wayne Dyer’s teachings, more on that at a later post).

however…

Jeans

why??? just that.. why??

do not get me wrong, i’m a huge supporter of fashion and might have even once in a while indulge in a few fashion fads myself, but this is one i just can’t seem to get.

i do have a pair of ‘distressed’ jeans… but you know what they look like? like an actual pair of jeans that are okay to be worn. not like a pair of jeans that have just been in the fight of their lives with a hungry bear.

as much as i try to understand the point of wearing pants that only cover half or a third of your quads, i just can’t (if someone would like to explain, i’m open to it).

i think i appreciate the notion of pushing ideas and out of the box thinking expressed via fashion and wanting to cause a reaction, however i’m not sure this causes the right reaction. i was walking into a pizza parlour the other day as two girls were leaving, and wouldn’t you know, one of them was wearing a pair of jeans like these (actually they seem to be even more ‘distressed’ as part of the shin area was also gone.) i did have to do a double-take to make sure i was seeing what i was seeing, just about 3/4 of the front area gone… just the actual legs showing.

and i think perhaps i am starting to date myself and getting to that point of no return of full out adulthood but am i grateful to know that ‘this too shall pass’?? you bet! (i still remember ‘unique’ shorts with the pockets showing… like c’mon! really???)

until next post!

 

tired as a mother…

ok.. one word.. exhausted!

i kid you not, feels like our kiddo has had one cold/cough right after the other for the past 3 months, ever since starting daycare; and i guess that’s exactly what happens, but man, oh man.. i’m feeling it.

1615541_1

this cold (feels like #100) started a couple days ago, and funnily enough they seem to coincide with teething, growth spurts, and the great wonder weeks/leaps (fyi.. there’s absolutely nothing wonderful about these weeks/leaps…more on wonder weeks later.)

so yeah, last night started like every other night, then he woke up at 10pm, then at midnight, then at 3am, then at 4:30 am, then he just wasn’t able to settle back down and i was just too tired to even try anything else at that point. my wife did try and get him to settle down after 5:00am but it was pointless, he was fully awake and ready to start his day.

now, as much as i appreciate and welcome friend’s suggestions to add more veggies and fruits to his diet… this is mostly what he eats. we actually have a hard time with protein, seems there’s something about the texture of chicken/beef that just doesn’t appeal to him (and most kids apparently.)

and he’s also taking a multivitamin/immune system booster and probiotics… so trust you me, i don’t think it’s lack of nutrients, but there must be something that could help him a bit more no? or am i just doomed to the perpetual cold/snot factory?

oh what i did make and started giving him was a simple syrup with onion/sugar (my friend Violetta had suggested it before, check out her food blog, she’s a fantastic cook www.violettasfoodjourney.com) .. it honestly seems to be helping him… a doctor did suggest at one point giving toddlers a teaspoon of honey to help with that pesty dry cough that seems to only affect them at night, i guess this syrup works similarly with the added benefits provided by the onions (antiviral, anti-inflammatory and expectorant.)

IMG_4697

if you want to give it a try, just grab an onion, slice it about 1/4 inch think and just layer sugar/onion/sugar, in a container with a lid (small mason jar works great). close the jar tightly, and just let it sit there for 8-10hr or overnight… it stinks! but it tastes very sweet (i guess all the sugar) and just give them a spoonful every couple hrs ad needed.

i know it feels like i’m complaining a lot but it’s disheartening to see him struggle against the never ending supply of boogers and drooling (omg, so much drool.) we are lucky in that he hasn’t stopped eating, thankfully! i still remember our short encounter with hfmd  (hand-foot-mouth-disease) a few weeks ago and that is a circle of hell i wouldn’t want to ever visit again.

so that’s where we are now… me with about 8hrs of sleep in the past 48, and trying to remain functional at work… oh the joy and the happiness.

until next post!

 

(images credits: teepublic.com, singhvaid.com)

 

 

this crazy little thing called life…

oh what a rollercoaster it’s been so far.

this is what our little prince Matteo looked when he was about 30 weeks old. as any new parents we wanted (when i say we, i mean just me) to do EVERYTHING we could do to find out what the baby would look like, how he was developing, how he was growing, etc., until the reality of just how expensive all things baby related are.

one thing that i did want to splurge on was a 3-d ultrasound because i just couldn’t wait to see his little features (and secretly because i wanted to 100-check it was a boy as my 20 week ultrasound had said and not a girl as i was expecting/hoping.)

so here it is, his very first picture. the experience of a 3-d ultrasound is a bit surreal. my mind still can’t get over how technicians brush a wand over your belly and you start to make out your baby’s little feet, little hands, button nose…oh it was the best moment of my life thus far.

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what made it even more incredible was that i could share it with my family (more on them on later posts). I could send them a link that allowed them to see LIVE my 3-d ultrasound, isn’t that crazy?? needless to say we were all teary eyed and excited by the end of it.

i won’t be posting too many pictures of Matteo here even though he is really the inspiration for the blog, after all he’s made me a mom. up until a few weeks ago i had been sharing all sorts of pics of him online (instagram and facebook) but then one day someone brought to my attention the fact that he is still a baby, can’t give consent to having his picture all over the internet and to be 100% honest made me feel guilty.

hey, maybe i’ll write another post on the many guilts you’ll feel as a mother (not that there are many hahahahhaha)

until next post!