Monday, September 30, 2013

The Giant Pumpkin presented by the Isty Bitsy Theater

My friend Annie and myself are producing this fun morning.
It's going to be very cute, so if you live in Brooklyn or NYC, we would love to have you!
Please, share with your friends.

xoxo LV 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The donut

I've heard it many times before ... "You have to do what you say you will, otherwise your kids won't take you seriously and won't ever listen!". Today was THE day! London wasn't listening and I said "no dessert". This on its own would not be such a huge punishment, if there wasn't for Lola, who loves dessert and is London's twin sister, plus she loves to rub in the fact that she WILL get dessert.

So, we are on our way home when we stop at a local food store. I browse through the counter when my eyes reluctantly stop on the display of baked donuts. I don't buy donuts, rarely do I eat them, but this little round fat blob with a thick chocolate cover was calling my name clear and loud. I wrestled it into a bag and we took it home.

London: "Mommy, is this for dessert?"
Me: "Yes!"
Lola: "But London you are not getting any! Mommy, you will share it with me, right?"
Me: "Right" ... I nodded with huge guilt engulfing my heart ...

Dinner was served. London sat down behind the table and without a single word it was all gone.
It was delicious! (A natural born charmer, who can certainly pull out a few tricks from his sleeve, what can I say?)

London: "Mommy, I am done!"
Me: "Good job, London!"
London: " Is there dessert?"
Me: "Yes, the donut"
London: "Can I have some?"
Me: (painfully while reciting the "stick to your guns" mantra) No, you get no dessert today!
Lola: "Do I get some?" (rub, rub)
Me: "Yes, you will!"

London cries as I am cutting the donut in quarters. He sobs, while I hand over the little piece covered in chocolate to Lola. It's not the hysterical, upset cry. It's the kind that breaks your heart ... like he had lost his favorite toy or when some kid tells him he can not run fast enough. It's the cry that makes me want to hike up to the sky and get him a bright shining star ... "Mommy it looks so delicious" ... he can barely pronounce while crocodile tears stream down his face ...

I am heartbroken.

"stick to your guns"
"stick to your guns"
"stick to your guns"

I want to cry with him .. or ... give him a donut! Not a little piece, a HUGE one ... with chocolate and sprinkles; not one, two! Or three .. or a dozen ... baked or deep fried, who cares?

Then something happens that catches me completely by surprise!

Lola turns to him and hands over her donut while licking her little fingers ...
"Here it is London, don't cry!"

I am overtaken by emotions .. (What can a donut do to you, huh?) I bet no parenting book counts with this outcome.

London's eyes are shining big and brown with tear drops drying up at corners, his little face beaming, the single dimple stretched to bigger than I've ever seen.

Thank you Lola!
I am relieved.


LoLo's Lemonade Stand 2013

We did it again! Yes, the "almost" famous LoLo's Lemonade stand. It is almost famous, because whoever takes a look at my blog and talks to me afterwards, they will surely mention THE lemonade stand (CHECK OUT LAST YEAR HERE), despite the fact that by now I've made/designed/crafted quite a few items besides lemonade. I feel that the lemonade stand somehow "talks" to people. I must admit, it is our most favorite family activity as a team. Basically, we are excited for two big events every year - Christmas and LoLo's Lemonade Stand. London loves tending the lemonade jug and Lola loves thinking up themes and how we could make it even more fun.

Last year we did the "standard" lemonade stand .. with lemonade, cookies and lemon bars. This year I bought LoLo the Pinkalicious Lemonade Stand book and so was our theme born. We decided to do a PinkDelicious Lemonade Stand.
Then we set off for the park ...
... little wagon filled with decorations, lemonade and lemon/strawberry cupcakes ...

I always think of things "lemon" to add to our store and so this year I made pink and white playdough, wrapped it all in cling film and filled the empty lemon shells with it ... I really adored them, but nobody else did :) or wanted to buy them at the end of the day,
so we gave it all away to kids walking past us ...

And we are on our way ... 

Marketing ... 

We've finally set up and waiting for customers ... 

From my Facebook wall on  the day of the stand ...
"As we were setting up at the park today a man came to us asking all sorts of questions (why we are doing this, how often, if the kids helped etc. ) .. he was talking so fast and emotionless, we thought he was there to throw us out from our spot, as there was another event happening just steps away. I was already preparing my inner tiger for the confrontation, when his face turned into a smile and he stuffed a 20 USD bill into my pocket with words "this is so wonderful what you are doing" ... We wanted to give him our entire stand with banners and pom-poms and LoLo (just kidding) and all, but he left and said he'd be back for a cupcake ... he was ... And you know it's not about the twenty ..."
This is where it all began ...

Selling it! ... 

A few details ... 
 ... US ... 

We had an AMAZING time! Thank you to all our supporters, customers and fan club :)
We will be back next year bigger and better and with a brand new lemonade theme ...
Now we are off drinking apple sider and hot chocolate :)

Don't forget to make lemonade any season if life gives you lemons ... 

Lo(lo)ts of lo(lo)ve, LV and the gang

Lollipop puppets

Our favorite Hungarian kids series is "Bogyo es Baboca" by Erika Bartos, who was an architect by trade, but after the birth of her children she started writing and drawing kids books. Today LoLo and mommy made two BB puppets. Baboca, the main character and Baltazar, the bee. I am also making a box theater, so stay tuned but in the meantime here are our puppets from today ... 

and the finished product .. 

See you later lolovies! xxx lv

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Summer 2013 .. A look back

Hiii! We are back to Brooklyn and school since Monday, so I will have more time blogging and creating (hopefully). Wow! What a crazy, busy, amazing summer this was! A quick stop in Dublin followed by beautiful Barcelona for an entire month, then Slovakia and surroundings for another month (including a trip to Budapest and the Sziget festival).

LoLo learnt so much! A little bit of Spanish, a lot about Spanish/Catalan food, the city and Gaudi. I bought a children's book about Gaudi and his art and by now we talk about him with an affection of a deceased uncle. London fell in love with soccer, especially Messi, whose soccer jersey must be the second most worn clothing item in the world (that is after the "I love NYC" one). He has never even seen him playing the field, but Barcelona buzzez with excitement about soccer and anything that has anything to do with Barca, the soccer club. We went to the beach, collected shells and painted rocks and ate an ungodly amount of "Calipilo" (which is a lemon or lime ice pop of sorts not-in-lolo language also called Calippo). We used every transportation possible throughout the summer. It all started with airplanes, then trams, double decker busses, trains, 3 different cable cars, boats for tourists and a boat for not-so fainthearted. We went to Sitges and Montserrat. Our exchange family introduced us to their friends and we were spoiled by their Spanish hospitality 8 floor below us.

"Calipilo" in Barcelona 


By the time we got to Slovakia we had already 4 thousand photos on the camera. Our time there was also eventful and amazing. We loved hanging out with my family and at the open air pools and at home, in the gardens full of fresh fruit - plums, peaches, blackberries. LoLo attended a short swimming course, which started off with crying and leg clutching and ended with big splashes, giggles and a "see you next summer". We were pool hopping the entire time, it was that hot every single day! I finally learnt how to make a strudle (something I've been wanting to do for a very long time).

LoLo got to practice their Hungarian and spend time with kids of my friends and meet others on the playground. It was a wonderful feeling and a huge accomplishment for me to see LoLo communicate in Hungarian without a problem and making friends (and become the playground's instant celebrities upon revealing that they were fluent in English). It can be annoying and tiring (to say the least) at times to speak two languages, often feeling like a parrot and facing resistance without any feedback on progress, but seeing how the language really sticks and it is "there" even if unused, I am now more than motivated! I started teaching LoLo Slovak a week ago and they are already responding. My little polyglo(lo)ts ... and they don't even know it ...

The outdoor dinner picnic was another summer highlight for me and LoLo. Food brings people together .. just add a few crates made into tables, rag rugs, wild flowers, pretty napkins, lemonade (of course), candles and good company and a dinner becomes an event, a feast, a memory. (Oh yes and add all those gawkers who could not understand what was happening on the grass of our apartment complex or why would anyone want to picnic in the dark right below mom's apartment balcony).  

Sometimes I forget how beautiful the part of the world really is where I am from. I tend to think of natural beauty in terms of the ocean and mountains most of the times and forget the Danube and its bird life, the wheat and sunflower fields and the plains, where you can see as long as your eyes can. Lacko, my cousin's boyfriend took us on nature adventures. LoLo saw how wheat is harvested with a combine, how it is then poured onto a tractor. We picked wild flowers, saw a hunting lodge and walked into the forest to see where the deer feeders are. We took a small motor boat down the Danube passing swans and ducks .. it was a little bit like my Amazon adventure I took many years ago in Venezuela.

I saw friends I haven't seen in years and my nanny baby Annabel, whom I looked after in London unbelievable 17 years ago.

It's true that real friends are real friends regardless of how much time passes without seeing each other. All these reunions were exactly like those days, evenings and nights that we talked till wee hours and never ran out of a subject. (sounds like a lot of noise, London would probably say :) Once you have a connection with somebody it doesn't disappear .. it's still there no matter what.

So, now we are back to where we left off - our beloved Brooklyn, school, pulley bag.

Back with more NYC stories soon! lo(lo)v(i)e, LV