A couple of weeks ago, I got a call from my Mom saying that she was going to come over to visit us for a month. Her plan was to visit my dear sister, Lisa, in Chicago and then take the Mega Bus to Indianapolis to spend the other half of her trip with us. The kids were thrilled to have Abuela Mary Loly for two weeks, since that meant having sleepovers every night and getting a significant daily dose of extra hugs and kisses from Abuela. I was also very excited to see her since we only get to see our family once or twice a year, plus I knew that having her here with us meant free baby-sitting for us. The best part was that she was actually very happy to help out and give us that extra helping hand that we desperately needed these days.
Since the first couple of days the kids were still in Summer Camp, I took my Mom out for lunch and shopping every afternoon and I mean every afternoon. She is obsessed with Anthropologie (who isn’t?) and the World Market (again…who isn’t?), so that meant taking her out shopping to the same stores daily…Maybe there is another good item for sale today, and since I never get to see her I was, almost always, happy to please her in all of her shopping needs. We were able to catch up and enjoy each other’s company and then, in the late afternoon, it was all about spending quality time with the kids.
During her two week stay both Enrico and I went out almost every night. It was the best. Wine and cheese, pizza and Prosecco, hair band concert or just going out for a drink together was exactly what we needed. As I had mentioned before, this life-with-young-kids-chapter is sometimes difficult for the parents and those little unexpected dates in the middle of the week were good enough for us to reconnect and have some well-deserved adult time.
One night we went out to a Heart and Def Leppard concert (I know, I know but I have a thing for 80’s hairbands!) and stayed out until after 2:00 am. The very next day we had a friend’s 40’s birthday party where we also stayed out until around 2:00 am. Although both of us had to wake up early the following day to take care of the kids, and the recovery from a late night is definitely not the same as when we were in our twenties, it was 100% worth it and we can’t wait to have more Grandparents over to do this all over again.
While my Mom was with us the kids really got to spend an enormous amount of quality time with her and I think that that was one of my favorite parts. Every time we go to Puerto Rico it feels like we are always rushing to see family and friends and we hardly ever have real quality time with our loved ones. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy having people over, that way it is all about spending real family time together. The only difficult part is to see them leave and having to explain this to the kids - in a sea of tears - why everyone goes back to Puerto Rico (or Chicago). I guess this is one of the most difficult things about living far away; the good-byes get more and more difficult as the kids grow up. But, at the end, we have the beautiful memories and the times spent together … definitely my favorite part. Ay Mama!
Since Summer is still NOT over, here is Pepe's famous tuna and pasta salad. Enjoy!
-12 oz can light tuna (or albacore) in water (drained)
-8 oz light mayo (I use Hellmann's Light with the light blue cap)
-16 oz can black beans (washed and drained)
-16 oz can pink beans (washed and drained)
-16 oz can white beans (washed and drained)
-3 celery sticks chopped
-Multicolor amorelli or rotini (I use Target's Archer Farms 12.7 oz bag)
Boil pasta for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Place cooked pasta in the bowl. Add tuna, beans, celery and mayo. Mix well and refrigerate. Buen povecho!