“What? You know how to cook?”

For all my friends and family, it is no secret that I am the biggest culinary challenged person that exists. For my daughters? Well, for them, mommy is the greatest cook ever, or so I thought until recently, when I asked my 3-year-old to wait in the living room while I made her dinner:

“Itala, would you please wait with your sister in the living room while I make dinner?”

She turns around with this look of utter surprise in her face, hand on hip and asks:

“WHAT?!?! You know how to cook?!?!”

I’ve been caught. I’ve been caught by my know it all toddler.  Who knew she was even paying attention. But luckily for me, my faithful 6-year-old stood up to my defense. Yes! I knew it! I can always count on her!

“Itala, mami can cook! She made us mushy pasta the other day.”  And by mushy she means overcooked.  Thanks kid. Sigh…


I have spent the last years tricking them, lying to them, and deceiving them into thinking that I could handle dinner.  I cannot. And it’s a fact that I’ve come to terms with. I can’t follow a recipe, it stressed me out. I sweat, I swear,  I cry. I once tried to cook a recipe from scratch and ended up with some weird witch’s potion.


I have a total of 2 menus in my repertoire. Grilled chicken (only if it’s the thin cut) and un-mushy pasta (only if it’s not angel hair).  What? Do you think I’m going to let my kids starve to death?  I won’t, at least not until they’re old enough to make themselves dinner!

So this is how I’ve kept them alive and healthy…I married a CHEF (caps lock and bold, yes, it’s that important). I only married him for his culinary skills really, that, and the fact that he’s a tall, handsome Italian doesn’t hurt either ;)


Check out my chef in the middle 

So at home, dad cooks and mom does the dishes.

Oh, if I ever post a recipe (which I doubt), please be sure it was completely made by my husband. Which in that case, I would take note because he is THAT good!


once upon a time in Colombia…

Once upon a time, I used to live in Colombia.  In Barranquilla, where I grew up, it’s a summer heaven all year long.  The furthest beach was a long, tedious 15 minute drive. We used to go there for hours every Sunday.  Sometimes we would ditch school and just drive straight there.  I think I owned a couple of long sleeve shirts to have just in case our winter night breeze got out of control.  I had coconut and mango trees in my back yard. No kidding. Do you want to know what I have in my back yard now? Snow, I have snow. Endless piles of snow. After 10 years of living in Virginia, I’ve learned to absolutely love Spring; remember my childhood in Summer; enjoy the crisp, cool Fall weather and just tolerate Winter.

The first snow of the year is always exciting.  It’s the start of the holidays and everything is white and red and green and perfect. Until January comes and it hits you in the face with the same shovel you’ll be using when to clearing the sidewalk for the next two months.  There’s no Christmas anticipation, no New Year’s party to plan, just the hope that winter will be kind to us until Spring gets here. And that’s only if Punxsutawney Phil feels like it. How did our hopes of sunnier, warmer days end up in the paws of a groundhog?  This effing winter is getting the best of me. I’m no longer the happy, smiling mom of two beautiful girls. I am now the shriveled, cold, bitter, bearer of two kids that are messing up my house because school is ALWAYS closed.  Go away winter, seriously, I’m over you.

P.S. I will no longer be saving for my daughters’ education. I will now be spending our money on a three month trip down to Colombia every winter.  Sunny, coconutty  Colombia.

P.S II: I love Virginia, I really do :)

#rantmuch #sorrynotsorry


photo 2

They do look cute though :)

photo 1


Antonella & Itala 



musical beds

If you’re wondering how my Operation Polar Vortex went, well, let me tell you that it has now turned into a game of musical beds.

Day two: After my failed first day, I decided maybe it would be easier if I lay down next to one of them.  Oh this worked wonders! They woke up in their room, each in their own beds. And so did I, half of my body was hanging out of Itala’s bed. Surprisingly enough I did not wake up once.  My husband said he tried to wake me up, but I don’t believe him. I think he wanted the king size bed all to himself.

Day three: Let the games begin. I tucked them in, read them a story and prayed to dear God  they fall asleep before I do. I made it. They’re sleeping and I’m not! This is really exciting because this never, ever happens! So I tip toe back to my  bed. My big, cold, lonely, empty king sized bed. And I find myself no longer waiting for my husband to come home, but waiting for my daughters to come back into my bed. Luckily for me, one by one they start coming back. Yes :)

Day Four: We try this one more time. This time I wake up in my bed with Itala, and my husband in Itala’s bed. I’m pretty sure she coerced him into switching. This game of musical beds is now getting old.

Day Five:  Ughhhh who cares anymore!  Between a full-time job, kids, dinner, laundry, homework, bath time and all that jazz, I’m running on negative.  Get in girls!

My husband came home around 1 am. Kissed her three girls on their cheeks and climbed in.

I seriously need one

toddler middle

here’s to safe kids and paranoid moms!

What is it with this food allergy epidemic that is taking over lately?  Peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, glutten, whaaat?!?! Growing up in Colombia I had no idea what is was like to live with a food allergy.  My parents would make me taste everything that was served on my plate.  “Try the green tomatoes, they taste like mangoes” said my dad every freaking time. By the way, nothing tastes like mangoes… except mangoes.  There was no “take a bite, let’s wait five minutes and see if you swell up like a blowfish.”  My brothers and I would eat at our school cafeteria every single day, and I’m sure the thought of us being rushed to the nurse because we accidentally ate a peanut never crossed my parents mind.  I think the only times my parents ever got a call from our school was if one of my brothers was in trouble…not me, I was a saint I tell you ;). Birthdays, sleepovers, play dates….all unsupervised!

You see, Antonella, my wonderful, unbelievably responsible 6 year old little lady is allergic to Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Lentils, Egg Whites, I’m tired of this list, Soy beans,  sunflower seed, allergies suck, pinto beans and lima beans!  Oh, and dogs and cats. I have to admit that when I first saw this list my levels of paranoia broke through the roof.  I am now the president of Paranoid City.  She was 3 when we found out.  She ate an oatmeal cookie that had a little piece of walnut. It wasn’t like half a walnut; it was a miserable little speck of a walnut that I obviously didn’t see. So her lip begins to swell and she starts saying that her mouth itches.  Oh, CLEARLY she was just bitten by a tiny bug that I can’t seem to find anywhere around her.  It wasn’t until my mom had to shake some sense into me that made me realize…hmmm maybe it was something IN the cookie…or maybe it was still a bug (I could only hope). So we took her to the emergency room and the nurse takes one look at her and says: “Food allergies huh?” “Oh no, I think she was just bitten by a bug (someone please snap this denial out of me!).”  After the doctor gives her some Benadryl and an Ice pop, I explain to him that I really do think something bit her, but just in case I’m wrong, please check this left over cookie I have in my pocket.  With a quick glance he picks out a teeny, tiny piece of walnut (I swear he must’ve been an eagle in his past life) and looks at me and says “Your child is allergic to nuts.” Straight to my face. Guess it wasn’t a bug bite after all.

So here we are three years later and I have a PHD in FAQ’s. Ask me anything. I have googled, researched, purchased books and intensely emailed her pediatrician and allergist. I can scan down a list of ingredients faster than Usain Bolt crossing a finish line.  And although Antonella is well trained (I hope) and is very cautious with what she eats, I’m still a paranoid mess. Every time I get a call from her school I get a small heart attack.  I don’t know if they know me so well by now or if it’s just school policy, but as soon as I answer they say “Hello Mrs. A, It’s not an emergency.”

Last night I picked up her new epipen since the last one was about to expire. Three years and we haven’t used it once!  I must say, I think we’re doing a pretty good job around here!

PS: Stay tuned if you’re wondering how my Operation Polar Vortex is going, we’re still trying…

Me: “Antonella, I love you all the way to the moon and the stars and the entire universe.”

Antonella: “Aaaaaw you’re so sweet! And I love you more than I love USHER :)”


operation polar vortex

I first attempted this mission when I was 6 months pregnant with Itala. Antonella was getting bigger and so was I. There was definitely no room for a princess ninja in our bed. The operation went south when I decided I was way too tired to try to make a 3 year old sleep alone in her room for the first time. Plus, she smelled so good and I want to keep her in my bed forever.  FOCUS, FOCUS!!

My Husband We decided it was time again to try to get them to sleep in their own beds since Itala inherited her sister’s ninja skills, and now I am the proud owner of a black and blue mark right on my right thigh. They got these super cute blankets that Santa thoughtfully chose for them at Target. Monster High for Antonella and Sofia the First for Itala.  Soft, cozy blankets in the middle of the Polar Vortex will sure help change their minds about their practically untouched beds.

Itala didn’t nap today; she’ll be out by 8. Antonella is recovering from a cold, her body is tired; she’ll be out by 8:15. Let’s do this, we’re totally ready.

Get in, get comfy, get sleepy…success.

It’s now 9:40 and they’re both tucked in…talking their heads off…back in my bed.

Day 1: FAIL….but oh they smell so good.



“Mami, I want to sleep all the nights with you”

who’s the boss?

I get very attached to the things and people I love. I’m obsessed in love with coffee mugs and tea cups. I’m becoming a tea drinker just so that I have an excuse to use my tea cups and not have my husband call me a hoarder.  My closest friends are still my high school friends. We still talk, ok fine, we text daily.  I carry around in my trunk a pair of brown vintage boots that need their sole replaced. Probably impossible since they’re so old and cracked; but I can’t part without them.  I drive them around everywhere I go. I will get to the shoe repair guy one of these days only to have him break my heart by saying “lady, seriously?”

But my biggest attachment is to my daughters. I don’t think anyone or anything will ever trump them. I live and breathe for them.

When I was pregnant I read tons of parenting books, countless online articles and called all of my experienced friends for all the advice I could get. I dragged my mom all the way from Colombia to come stay with us; she raised three kids c’mon! It was me, my hubby and my mom. Three against one. I totally got this. WRONG! This little girl was kicking our asses.  6 days in we were rushing her to the emergency room because I saw a little blood on her spit.  Little barracuda baby had busted my nipple open. It was so much fun (notice the sarcasm?).  She only slept during the day and cried all night. And when I say all night I mean ALL NIGHT! This child was doing things her way from day one.  Suck it mommy and daddy!  I discovered she was sleeping all day because she would sleep on me.  I tried to follow all the parenting book rules, but naps are naps so I thought the rules were a little flexible when it came to them.

So I decided to take the bull by the horns. You can’t defeat me! YOU WILL SLEEP ALL NIGHT.  And she did sleep all night….on me. Six years later she AND her 3 year old sister are still sleeping with us. Yeap, totally showed her whose boss. Thank God for king size beds and patient husbands.

And so my mission begins…