Saturday, April 24, 2010

And the journey begins...

Today Olivia and I start our long journey to Columbus, Ohio. We have to take the beloved ferry to Punta Arenas (and it just so happens it is extremely windy, ugh!!) then stay there for the night. Tomorrow we have our flight to Santiago (4 hours) followed by a 6 hour layover. Then our 9.5 hour flight to Dallas leaves at 9:00 pm. Next is another layover (3 hours) in Dallas and we finish with a 2.5 hour flight to Columbus. Please pray for a safe, non eventful trip for us and send me some good vibes for surviving Olivia's energy level on a 48 hour journey!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Big Girl

Wednesday is hair washing night (Olivia reeeeally hates it so we limit it to once a week unless there is a banana incident requiring additional hair washings at another time.) which means Thursday is poofy pretty hair day. Look at my big girl!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

First Snowfall!

Today we had our first snowfall of the year! It was brief but oh so real. It's only April (equivalent to October for you northerners)! Is winter already here or is it a funky cold front that will soon be on its way? Lucky for us (Olivia and me) we are off to the northern hemisphere on Saturday to enjoy three weeks of spring!

Monday, April 19, 2010


Today was a big day in the life of little Olivia. She really really did not want to take a nap. I left her in her crib crying, went to the kitchen, turned on the monitor and heard an awful crash come from her room. I went running back, opened the door and she was on the floor walking towards me. She figured out how to get out of her crib, and unharmed at that! Is it time for a toddler bed already??

Aside from crib jumping, we had a lovely walk in the FREEZING cold this evening, or shall I say run? Olivia loves loves loves to run around the neighborhood (she almost always ends up falling on her face at some point - poor thing!). Today a stray dog came along and followed us everywhere. By the end of the walk we had a parade of dogs with us and they followed us all the way back to our front door as we said goodbye!

Here's the video of Olivia running and coming across the dog who followed us the rest of the way.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bagel Substitute

I know I've been blogging about food way too much lately but here's the thing - when I have a craving here, the only way to satisfy it is to make the food myself (assuming even that is possible). I wish I could just go to a restaurant and order a brownie sundae or call Domino's for a pepperoni pizza (both things I could do in Santiago). But alas, Porvenir, while providing an interesting adventurous life experience, cannot satisfy my food cravings. Which leads me to the bagel, the most delicious bread product known to man. In Santiago, I used to be able to get my bagel fix at a deli type place called NY Bagels and then it disappeared, just in time for my pregnancy which of course was horrible timing for a bagel loving girl (it's bad enough not having access to your favorite comfort foods, but pregnant it's unbearable!). At the end of the pregnancy when I just couldn't take it any longer, Fernando suggested that I make bagels from scratch. What? You can do that? So I got online, found a recipe and made bagels from scratch (with another very pregnant, bagel craving friend). They turned out great but it sure was a lot of work. Enter the "dobladita" (pictured above). I have recently discovered that this yummy bread product (made with the same dough as empanadas), when paired with cream cheese, is not a bad bagel substitute. I am not sure they sell this bread in Santiago but it's a regular at the bakery here in Porvenir. Maybe someday I'll get around to making those brownies but when laziness prevails at least I have bagels...sort of.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sack of Potatoes

Our neighbor just gave us an ENORMOUS sack of potatoes from her backyard (we also planted a few but apparently didn't give them enough love). Additionally, she gave us some huge garlic cloves also from her garden. Two questions I am now pondering:
1) Can we get our act together to have our own garden in our disastrous backyard?
2) Anyone have any good potato and/or garlic recipes?????

Friday, April 9, 2010

La Zona Franca

As I mentioned recently, there is a duty free shopping area in Punta Arenas called "La Zona Franca". The pros are the yummy food items you sometimes come across that otherwise would not be available (ahem... Ranch dressing for example). The cons are the VERY sketchy "Made in China" toys and other products that I am convinced didn't make the cut to be exported to the US and Europe and thus ended up here. Aside from the ridiculous level of poor craftsmanship I have seen, these products also come with a ridiculous level of poor English. It is really quite humorous. Case in point: the following picture is of a recent purchase I made for Olivia.

Have you ever heard of a "closestool" before??? Now let's take a look at the top of the box:

The first bullet point says: "At the key period in which baby's character would be determined, use the comfortable and beautiful A+B Baby Pot to start the emiction training."


And now the side of the box containing the "cautions:"

Number two tells you to not use it near the oven and number three says "avoid strong collision."

And veeeeery small next to the bar code where it says it conforms to European Standard EN 71 (which must either be an outdated standard or a lie!), it says "Even the children without good hearing can play it happily with the mark."

I tend to stay away from these toys as they generally are not safe (batteries pop out, small parts fall off) but this "closestool" was the only one I could find.

And I'd like to end this post with a picture of the box of a toy that my in-laws once brought to Olivia. I'll leave any commentary up to you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Loser Lettuce

As I have mentioned before in one of my first posts, the only lettuce that is consistently available here in Porvenir is iceberg. ICK. In my book, the greener the lettuce the better, and iceberg is about as light green as they come and let's be honest, some of the leaves could be classified as white (ick!). During the spring and summer seasons, there is a greener, tastier lettuce available that is grown locally in greenhouses, so for a while I was able to ignore the wilting, pale iceberg when buying my produce, but, alas, autumn is upon us and if I want lettuce in my salad, it has to be iceberg. I repeat: ICK. And then today I came across an article in the NY Times about the "loser lettuces" defined by Mark Bittman (the Minimalist) as romaine and iceberg. The article comes with various recipe suggestions, most of which work better for romaine but there is a recipe for a stir fried iceberg lettuce with shrimp dish that I may try. Never thought I would be cooking my lettuce but well, here I am in Porvenir!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fun OUTdoors!

Friday it was sunny. There was no wind and it was almost warm! Olivia and I spent the whole afternoon outside. First we went over by the fishery to play by the water.

Olivia trying to adhere to the "hands allowed in the water but not feet" rule:

After a wardrobe change from not following previously mentioned rule, we headed to the park by the water which has a cool tunnel which Olivia loves:

Think I could photo shop out the pacifier???

Happy Easter!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Catching Up On Our Omega 3's

You would think living in a small fishing village that we would eat fish all the time. Nope! In fact, it is quite hard to buy fish here. Crazy, right? From what I have seen, there are two small seafood stores, one of which is never open and the other which seems to sell seafood (weird exotic stuff I don't eat) and barely any fish. I was just recently saying to Fernando that we need to make a better effort to eat fish and then BAM: three different varieties of fish available to us in a 24 hour period. First there was the "pejerrey" offered by the random guy selling it door to door (couldn't find a translation for this fish but it's the fish pictured above). Next, a friend who caught a wild salmon brought some to share with us (side note: I think the only wild salmon here has either directly escaped from the salmon farms or is a direct descendant of previously mentioned escapees. It is actually illegal to sell wild caught salmon to protect the salmon farm producers who claim exactly what I just said about the wild salmon. I will research this more and get back to you.) And third, a "robalo" which we bought from a local fisherman who had just caught it (when I googled "robalo" it came up as sea bass but this is not the famous Chilean Sea Bass). We were actually walking around the bay with Olivia when he approached us with a bag of fish - still moving!
So we're finally getting a good dose of our Omega 3's. Hopefully we can keep it up but it's kind of frustrating that I can't just go to the store and buy fresh fish; I have to hope we happen upon it!