Archive for September 7, 2009

To King Maxxi, On Your Very First Birthday

Posted in love, Maximo, Uncategorized on September 7, 2009 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

Here are a just a few of the things that I absolutely love and adore about you, right now:

  • The many ways you say “Ma-ma!,” with: sweetness, urgency, need, frustration, love.
  • Your face lighting up when I walk into a room.
  • How you call my name when you wake up in the morning.
  • Your need to switch boobs every few minutes when you are nursing.
  • The way you tug on my shirt to get at my chi-chis.
  • How you pop up from nursing in the early morning, look over at your sleeping father, smile so wide in the dark, clap your little hands and say “Daddy!”
  • Your belly laughs when I tickle your neck.
  • Your chuckles when we ask you, “Where’s your weenie?”
  • The way you throw your arms around my neck when I pick you up off the bed.
  • How you lay your head on your Nona’s shoulder and fall asleep in her arms.
  • When you point at each of the butterflies tattooed on my arm, like reading your favorite book.
  • The way you shake your thing, tiny dancer.
  • Your incessant flirting; your sometimes shyness.
  • Splashing in the bathtub, and family baths.
  • Naked time.
  • That your books are your favorites of all your (many) toys.
  • You brushed your own teeth this morning.
  • How you see, analyze, copy, and figure out everything going on around you.
  • When you grab your favorite book from the bin, open it, point to a picture, and look at me with your big brown eyes.
  • Those eyes.
  • Your sort-of fading obsession with carrying around your spoon all day long.
  • How you will eat almost everything I put in front of you.
  • How you would not eat raw zucchini from your food-net-popsicle-thingy.  Duh.
  • When the other baby took your toy, the way you quietly waited for him to put it down, and then quietly reclaimed it.
  • You rub your hands over your arms, mimicking the action of us applying your powder and bug spray.
  • Peek-a-boo.
  • How you squirm and arch every time we put you in your car seat or the stroller.
  • How you light up when your Daddy walks into the room.
  • Playing hide-n-seek with the bedtime books that Daddy is about to read you.
  • You turning the book pages yourself.
  • The way you turn around to climb down, just like I taught you.
  • How you seemed present for each birthday present.
  • You couldn’t get enough of the special cake I made you.
  • The way your Grandparents look at you.
  • How you nuzzle into my neck.
  • How each moment is brand new.
  • How you are so much US, and so much more YOU.
  • How many years we have ahead of us…
  • You are my sun – my Son – and that will never change, no matter how much else does.

Love Always, Mommy


Posted in ¡que comida!, breastfeeding, Uncategorized on September 7, 2009 by Gabbi El Mas Negro

quecomida_logo“4 Leches” First Birthday Cake


Tres Leches cake is a traditional Mexican cake soaked in a mixture of 3 milks: whole, evaporated, and sweetened condensed.  It is deee-licious, and we had our favorite version from Pie in the Sky Bakery (a gift from the bakery owners and our friends, Susan & Phil) for Maximo’s 1st birthday party.  I made a special version for the babe, with less sugar, and a 4th milk – mine.  Of course it had to be booby-shaped.  He loved it and surely would have eaten the whole thing had I let him.  Aside from me, our friend Daniel Brewer was the only other person to brave a taste and claimed to really like it.  I preferred Pie in the Sky’s version.

The Recipe:

“Busy-Day 1-layer Cake”

(adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar (reduced from 2/3)

2 tsp. baking powder

2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

In a bowl combine sifted flour, sugar, and baking powder.  Add milk, butter, egg, and vanilla.  Beat on low until combined, then beat on medium for 1 minute.  Pour batter into 2 greased and floured ramekins (I used small rounded custard dishes to get a “mound” type shape).  You’ll have enough batter left over for a few more small cake molds, or you could make some cupcakes.  Bake in a 350° F (180° C) oven for about 20-25 minutes, but check them for doneness as baking time will vary depending on your oven, the depth of the mold you use, thickness of the baking dish, etc.  The cake tasted great, even with so much less sugar.  It was still sweet, just not oversweet like most baked goods.

4 Milks Mixture

1/3 cup whole milk

1/3 cup evaporated milk

1 tbsp. heavy cream*

1/3 cup breast milk

*Traditionally, you would use sweetened condensed milk as the 3rd milk, but I skipped this because of the crazy sugar content of la lechera (as it is called here).

After the cakes have cooled, unmold onto a plate, poke with toothpicks, and pour milk mixture slowly over the cakes, allowing it to soak in.  You can frost the cakes with whipped cream (sweetened or not depending on your preference) or leave them as is.  Arrange cakes together on a serving dish, cut a cherry or grape in half, and place one half on top of each cake for nipples.  Voila – 4 leches Chi-Chi Cakes!