January 30, 2010

Saturday Night at Chili's

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

January 29, 2010


Wake up.
Smelly wet diaper.
Cuddle and nurse.
Sun rising over snow.
Pray and cuddle.
Rice cereal.
Messy face.
Dishes, a wash cloth and a clean face.
Up the stairs.
Smelly diaper.
Play. Laugh. Tickle. Kiss. Slobber. Hug.


January 27, 2010

Thank God For All Trials

We recently had a plumber come to our home and replace the gadget that regulates the water pressure in our house. It was a job that badly needed to be done, and it's a good thing he did it, because apparently our water pressure was set so high (or had gotten so high over the past four years we've lived here) that our pipes could have burst at any moment. Thank you Lord, for saving us from THAT disaster.

Anyway, he replaced the thingamabob and fixed the problem and now our pipes don't bang when we have two faucets open at the same time.

That's because we never HAVE two faucets open at the same time anymore.

That's because, in fixing the problem, the plumber turned the water pressure DOWN. (Our problem in the first place was low water pressure. )

Now our water pressure is so low that our shower SINGS every. time. we take. a shower.

For the entire duration of the shower.

High pitched squeaky noise now serenades us as we relax under the hot water.

So tonight, I'm in our bedroom hangin' with Danny and my husband just got in to clean up before our date night. As the high pitched singing began, he hollered out in his (extremely sexy) Latino accent "Thank God we have a shower!!"

And I cracked up.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

January 26, 2010

Sorry for the delay...

I'm trying to figure out how to put up a video from our new Flip to show you New Year's Eve, live and in living color, Costa Rican style!

Family Collage

Yep... All 23 people that appear in these pictures are family!

And that's not even half of them on Alejandro's mom's side.
We haven't even begun with his Dad's side.

I just LOVE family gatherings down there!


The man with my husband in the top right picture and the bottom right picture is his grandfather. Actually, the top right photo is a four-generational picture! Anyway, that was taken on New Year's Eve. His daughters fixed his hair into a mohawk. And yep. He left it that way!

Anybody wondering where Alejandro's sense of humor came from?

Now you know.

January 25, 2010

Beyond Cute

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

January 24, 2010

Costa Rica Food - Story # 10

Costa Rica Post #10 of 14

Since it's about a half hour past lunch (when I'm writing this), and all I have in my stomach is a few cheez-its and some coffee, food is on my mind.

And if there is one thing we do well in Costa Rica, it's EAT.

Sweets. Meats. Veggies. Fruits. It's. All. Delicious. :)

So here are some of our favorites...

This is cajeta de leche. It's sweet with the consistency of fudge, but it's made of milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, who-knows-what-other-kind-of-milk, and SUGAR. Lots of sugar. Oh, and there's macadamia nuts in there, too.

Oh. Yumm.
Alejandro didn't share his.
(So it's a good thing we each had our own.)
We bought this scrumptious little treat from a shack on the side of the road on our way home from the beach. We also picked up these sweets: On the left are chocolate-covered and white-chocolate-covered marshmallows with an m&m on top. On the right is more cajeta de leche laced with candied grapefruit.
This is my. favorite. breakfast. EVER.

It's gallo pinto with (what we call) squeaky cheese and corn tortillas on the side. Essentially it's rice and beans with a bunch of spices and if you don't believe it can taste good, well, ya' gotta come over to my house some time. ;)
I'll make it for you, but I won't promise that it tastes as good as it does at the Molino Central, which might very well be my most favorite place to eat on the entire earth. If I took you there, you might be skeptical, upon walking into the hole-in-the-wall little operation. But as soon as you had a bite of their gallo pinto with Central American sour cream on top and a cheese tortilla...
...well, then you'd change your mind. I realize this looks like nothin' but a greasy pancake.
But it's not.

That day, Alejandro chose to order a casado, which is a typical plate in Costa Rica. It's like saying, "I'd like the value meal." Except for about $4 this is what you get:

That's steak, a salad, refried beans, rice, sweet fried plantain, tortillas, picadillo de papa and a fresh fruit smoothie.

Is anyone else getting hungry?

This next picture has a hysterically funny story behind it, but I'll warn you - it might only be funny to me and you may have just had to be there. It was New Year's Day and there were all kinds of left-overs in the house, so everyone got creative. The guys barbequed shishkabobs, while the aunts conjured up the most amazing apple-pie-esque dessert ever.

The result? Well, Tío (uncle) Chito kind of charred the plantains. The apple dessert, however was a smashing hit. So we all sat around drinking coffee, eating dessert for lunch, and munching on charcoal barbequed plantains.
Something else we ate a lot of were Christmas tamales.

There's a fun little Christmas tamale tradition. When all the tamales have been made (around 40 or 50 in a typical house) there are always odd amounts of leftover ingredients. So one more BIG tamale is made, in which all the left-over ingredients are thrown in. That one is called El Tonto (The Dummy). And it's a big deal if you are given the privilege of eating it.

I think this is the biggest Tonto I've ever seen.
There's a normal-size one next to the big one, so you can get the perspective. I think my brother-in-law ate it this year, and if I remember right, his stomach hurt by the time he was done!

Also in this picture is more picadillo de papa (chopped meat, potatoes and spices) over corn tortillas. This is another favorite of mine - but as you can see, I have lots of favorites!

Ok, I think I better go get some dinner now.

Only in Costa Rica...

Costa Rica Post #9 of 14:

...would you see a 4 by 4 driving through the tropics with a plastic chair loaded this way.

Hey, whatever works, right?

...would you actualy use an antique stove to cook shishkabobs with plantain, sausage, pineapple and green chile on.

...would you actually use an antique coffee maker to make the best coffee you've ever tasted in the world.

I know I'm a little biased, but that's because it is the best. In fact, I'm gonna go make me a pot before I write the next post! (A few more today and the rest tomorrow!)

Costa Rica Story #8: Leaving Tamarindo

Costa Rica Post #8 of 14

After four days at the beach of Tamarindo, it was time to go home...

So we packed up our stuff and loaded it in the car, and made one more stop by Eat At Joe's, our new favorite place to eat in Tamarindo, where they advertise "Nachos as Big as your @$$!" (That still makes me laugh hysterically no matter how many times I read it.) Although, actually, it was the fish tacos and the prices that we loved, not the nachos.

We sat in the shade of the grass hut, looking out over the ocean, watching our tan baby play, while drinking mango smoothies and ignoring the inevitable loud americans at the next table.

The afternoon we left was particularly bright, calm and relaxing, and the breeze seemed to whisper "Come back sooooooooon....."

So with sunburns on our noses...

...and a tired pre-toddler in the car seat...

...we headed back to the metropolis of San Jose and got ready to celebrate New Year's Day!

Costa Rica Story #7: The Pool

Costa Rica Post #7 of 14:

During our stay in the beach town of Tamarindo, we actually spent more time at the pool than at the beach. It's got way less waves and wind and sand - all of which I love but which my son, as it turns out, is not so fond. There was also plenty of shade, and since the temperature there was somewhere around 85 or 90 degrees in the shade, we were content to hang out there.

Most of you know we use cloth diapers (which I've been meaning to write about for a while and haven't gotten around to it - if you're really curious, let me know and I'll get around to it faster). Aren't they just the cutest thing ever?! We put a pocket diaper on him, that a friend of mine made for me, without the insert and it worked as a swim diaper quite nicely!

Though not the most extravagant hotel I've ever stayed in, our hotel was really quiet, relaxing, and homey, if you can even imagine that in Costa Rica. There was a communal kitchen we could use and warm food in as well as grab Costa Rican coffee from at any time. In this picture, our hotel room is the upstairs door that you can see on the right. Since it was so close to the pool, we could put Danny down for a nap, bring the monitor with us and sit poolside playing cards, reading, talking, or swimming.

It was nice. :)

Introducing Danny to the pool water was a blast! Once he got used to the temperature (which felt cold compared to the air) , he played and played.


Oh yes, and then there were the pool-side naps. I believe guilt-free naps are the best part of vacation. Don't you?

We took lots of them.

So, um, as I wondered yesterday... Anyone wanna' go with us on our next trip to Costa Rica? Our niece will be born in June, so... ya know... we're just thinkin'...

January 23, 2010

Costa Rica Story #6: The Beach

Costa Rica Post # 6 of 14

For this San Diego girl (residing in the land-locked snowy-cold state of Colorado), the beach is always close to my heart and first on my mind if we're anywhere within driving distance of sand and water. So, it goes without saying that my favorite part of our trip to Costa Rica was our side-trip with just the three of us to the beach of Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Not only did we spend four days with sand between our toes and sweat dripping from our brows, but we ate, slept and relaxed whenever we wanted. It was kind of like a little honey-moon for Alejandro and I, because although we had our little guy with us, it was the first time we had gotten away since he was born, and there were plenty of times that Danny took a nap and Alejandro and I had some time alone.

It was refreshing to our minds, hearts and bodies. And it was a weekend that God chose to free us of some trials and struggles we've been dealing with as new parents.

It was also where we got the best pictures of our little family!

Danny's first day at the beach...
It was a windy day, so it was short-lived, and we spent much of the time
protecting Danny from blowing sand, sunburn and heat.

But it was fun anyway!
There is somethin' about holdin' a naked kid in a diaper
that is just WAY too much fun!
My boys...
Isn't that hat way too cute!?

Danny did get in the ocean, but we didn't get any pictures, since Alejandro and I were in the ocean with him. Plus, he cried through it anyway. Too cold. Too swishy. Too bright. Maybe next time.
After some fun in the sun, and a dip in the ocean, Danny needed a nap. Here's my little beach bum. Yes, he always sleeps with his arm up like that. I think he's so adorable I could just eat him up.

The views were gorgeoous.
Views of Alejandro in the water. Views of Renee in the water.
Views up the beach, down the beach...
This view made us think of Toby (our dog).

'Cause that's exactly what Toby would've done if he were there. Someday
when I'm rich and famous we'll pay for Toby to go with us to the beach.

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things about the beach is heading back to a clean shower, dry clothes, cool air conditioning and a nice nap. So, that's what we did.

All this talk is making me want to plan the next trip to Costa Rica.

Hey, when we go, anyone wanna' come with us!?

January 22, 2010

Please pray for Matthew and his family!

Hi everyone!

If you've been reading this blog for very long, you've prayed with us for Matthew through the various developments of the court battle for his custody with Troy and Lori.

I ask for your prayer again today and tomorrow.

You see, they have invited the birth father to come and visit them for two days, and this could be the opportunity for many many many positive developments. You can read about all the details right here.

Thanks for praying everyone! Be sure to leave Lori a comment so she can be encouraged!

Costa Rica Story #5: The Drive to the Beach

Costa Rica Post # 5 of 14:
December the 27th, at O-Dark-Thirty in the morning,

we put our groggy selves in the car, and headed...

...to the beach!

On the way, we saw your typical road-side farm life:

And got your not-so-typical road-side snack.

This is me happy as a clam, drinking my favorite Costa Rican thirst-quencher (fresh cool coconut milk) and reading.


It doesn't get much better than that!

Danny slept till he was tired of sleeping, and then entertained himself:


Hee hee! Almost there!

Costa Rica Story #4: Visiting Cousins in Santa Ana

Costa Rica Trip Post # 4 of 14:

The day after Christmas, we made a trip out to Santa Ana (just outside of San Jose, Costa Rica) to Ale's Tio's house.

(This is their yard decorated for Christmas.)

What did we drive?

Why we drove his mom's 1975 VW Bug of course!

Danilo met more of his billions of cousins and his Tio Abuelo Chito.

And then...

We had Christmas tamales! Yummmmm...

And the next day... We headed off to the beach!