Saturday, June 21, 2008

today's plans

Daddy has to work all day today, so I'm home alone with the kids. We are planning a nature walk, maybe we'll do some arts and crafts, we'll listen to internet radio, and then hopefully the kids will be all worn out and take a looooooong nap.

Friday, June 20, 2008

thankful today for...

It can be frustrating to live in another country - deal with a culture and language different from yours on a daily basis, the little inconveniences and quirks that can get under your skin at a moment's notice. But tonight, coming home from the gym, as I circled the mall to go up the hill, I noticed three stores with little kiddie corners - a place where the kids can go sit, play, watch a video, color, etc. while their parents shop. And I realized that these are in quite a few stores - we've even used them.

And I felt happy and grateful to live in a country that so values children and families.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Upcoming work

Wow. I've got a lot of work coming up in the next month. My vacation to MN will be well deserved by the time we get on the plane.

Due to the dissolution of the university's language department, we will be taking on all of the language requirements for graduating students. This means that we will be acquiring quite a few new teachers and LOTS of new students. We have been going through the hiring process for the new teachers, deciding which teachers from the old language department we can use, since not all of them will be hired. Some need language lessons to improve their level of English, and that's what I'll be doing the whole month of July. So, I have to prepare the course and then from there teach it. Yikes! While not impossible, of course, it is going to be really tiring teaching a course on top of all the other responsibilities I have.

Then we come back from the US and begin the TEFL course, which is also very tiring. Really fun but so so so much work that I get literally burnt out for a month or more once it is finished, especially with a big class, which I'm sure, looking at the registration numbers, we will have this time. In September/October it looks like I'll also be starting a course at UCG in Guayaquil. This will be fun, last time that course was such a great experience.

In other news, I finished a review for a new language book series with Cambridge University Press. It was such an amazing, cool opportunity, and I got paid for it, too! There are some days I love my job and position and all the opportunities that are open to me for working here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

gross story #1: think daddy day care and DON'T READ if you are 1) not a mom or 2) have a weak stomach

(Note: No pictures in this one - you'll see why!)

Agustin has been potty trained since he was three years old, almost to the day. This greatly stressed me at first, since he was my first kid, and I imagined he would be in diapers as he walked down the aisle. It seemed like he'd never even have the desire to be potty trained. But, lo and behold, time works it's magic (as always) and one day, not long after his third birthday, he just decided it was time. No one told him, it was his decision, and from that day forward he stopped wearing diapers and not once EVER had an accident. Very cool. But he still needs help wiping after number 2, and has never said anything about wanting to be big enough to do it himself.

Until the other day.

He was in the bathroom, and calls me. "Mommy, I'm done doing poopies!"

So I go in, expecting to go through our little routine of cleaning him up and washing hands and all.
(Here's where the daddy day care part comes in. you know that scene, right?)

It was all over. Legs, feet, socks, toilet seat, hands, shirt, floor. Chunky and creamy (sorry for the image!) Since having kids, very little can really gross me out. Projectile vomit, dirt, garbage, sour milk, moldy food under the couch. But this was really gross. It took me days to get over it.
Turns out he had decided he is old enough to wipe himself. But he couldn't reach the toilet paper? Didn't know how much to use? Thought hands would be quicker? I don't know what he was thinking, and may never know, but we had a little talk and decided that he could learn to clean himself off, but with the help of mommy and daddy, who would teach him.

Andres took pity on my ordeal and the next day went in when Agustin called that he was finished.

Suddenly I hear a low scream coming from the direction of the bathroom.

Yes, again. Only this time he DID use toilet paper, but for some reason didn't put it in the toilet, just threw it on the floor. Lots of it.

So, something we are working on.

Yet another of the neverending stories of parenthood.

Isn't it great? Yes, it really, truly is.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

cute story #1

Nicolas wakes up every morning like at 5 :30 am. Much too early for a weekend, and I'm the one he usually calls. So Sunday morning he wakes up, calls me, I go in there and try to get him to sleep a bit more, or read some books or something so that I can sleep more. But no, he starts telling me we have to get up - it's morning. So I get up, put him in front of Discovery kids, and decide to do a little early morning Internet window shopping. Suddenly, there is this little guy pulling on my pajamas.

Him: (in broken Spanglish): "I want to go downstairs."
Me: (still a bit groggy): "Why?"
Him: "I want to go downstairs to play with the bears."
Me: "What bears?"
Him: (getting impatient): "I want to go... with BEARS."
Me: (no answer, silently mulling over what bears he could be referring to)
Him: "DOWNSTAIRS...BEARS. Let's go mommy." and he starts pulling on my clothes again.

So, I get up and start walking downstairs with him, thinking, OK, he can play with his bear toys and I'll find something else to do.

Halfway down the stairs he stops. I turn around to see what's got his attention, and he is looking at me from the corner of his eye, a slick grin on his mouth.

Him: "The GUMMY bears."

Note: Andres had bought a small baggie of gummy bears at a specialty candy store the day before, and the kids were (obviously) really excited about it.

And no, I did not give him the gummy bears at 5:45 in the morning. He ate a soft-boiled egg and some toast and then got his gummy bears :) Note to all mommies: dangle gummy bears like a carrot on a stick to get your finicky kids to eat their breakfast.