Friday, September 28, 2007

A Big Day

Today all of our stuff is arriving from Mexico. And we are moving to a different apartment. I'm already tired and it isn't 8 am yet.

I love our life, but I have to say, right about now some stability doesn't sound so bad.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

All I Want for Christmas Are a "Pupy" and an "Axx"

Today in church Julio (6 1/2 yrs) got an early start on his Christmas list.

Here it is in his own words (I still don't have my scanner or I would scan it so you could see his writing) (Ok, that's a lie-I don't really know how to work the scanner. Sad, but true.)

crismes List

  1. red life saver (red lightsaber)

  2. game cyoob (Game Cube)

  3. L. starwars (Star Wars Legos)

  4. Darth Vater masc

  5. PSP

  6. world cup ball

  7. bigest Hot wheels Trac

  8. A reel blue life saver (Julio told Guapo the red "life saver" could be fake, but that the blue one had to be real)

  9. Foot ball

  10. magec poshen (magic potion (in his own words to Guapo), "to turn you into a rabbit when you are being mean")

  11. pupy (puppy)

  12. axx

Just in case you are wondering about the last one (especially in conjunction with with #11), in school right now Julio's class is studying "Helpers in the Community." The kids have a "job fair" on Friday where they have to dress up as a certain profession and bring any tools that person may need. Julio is going as a fireman and therefore, is quite obsessed with getting himself an ax these days.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

After more than two months in Brazil, today was the first time I got behind the wheel of a car.

Have I mentioned I have a driver?

(No, that's not really my driver; my driver is a cute little Brazilian man. He doesn't were a chauffeur's hat or any special chauffeur clothing.)

I know, pretty weird. I'm not really a chauffeur kind of gal.

For me driving = freedom. But, oddly enough, I quite like having the driver take me hither and thither. I don't have to worry myself about such things as extremely limited parking and very aggressive bus drivers. He helps me grocery shop (or takes the maid to grocery shop), shuttles the kids to and from school so they don't have to be inundated with bad words on the bus, lets me practice my sorry Portuguese on him, runs errands for me, and is ALWAYS in a good mood.

I always joke with Guapo that a good driver is better than a husband because:

  1. He is almost never late.
  2. If he is going to arrive late, he always calls.
  3. He doesn't mind when I chat with friends at the end of functions.
  4. He opens the car door for me.
  5. He would never dream of letting me carry anything that weighs over 10 lbs.
  6. When I ask him to do crappy little extra jobs he just smiles at me and says, "Of course, Gabriella!" like I've just made his day.
  7. He never complains (at least not out loud) about my "demands".

It does have a few drawbacks though; first there's the whole freedom issue but I'm pretty much over that for now. Then, although it is my car, it doesn't really feel like it. This guy has been driving the gringo wives around for 11 years, the last 5 of which have been in my very same car. So, I don't really feel comfortable leaving apple cores and half-empty water bottles rolling around the floor of the car. And, he currently controls the radio and the temperature. I could, but I just feel too weird reaching out and changing something he's turned on.

Anyway. Today he had other company business to attend to so I was forced to drive myself to the school to pick up the kids. I felt paralyzed; it was as if I was 15 again and was contemplating taking my parents car out for a joyride (don't worry mom, I never actually did this). Um, hello! I've been driving now for close to 20 years, 6 of which were in bigger, scarier cities than this. You'd think I could handle a 15 minute drive (that I have made with the driver at least 60 times) without breaking a sweat.

Still, it is the very first drive in a new, big, foreign city that is the most nerve-racking. Normally when we get to a new place, we go out the first weekend and Guapo and I take turns driving around, getting the lay of the land. Somehow I just never did it here. So I had to make the maiden voyage all by myself today.

It all turned out fine. I made it to and from the school with no incidents. :) But, I am happy to know that tomorrow, when I go down to the garage, my smiling, happy driver will be awaiting us.

Friday, September 14, 2007

My Big Boys

This blog for me is similar to Dumbledore’s pensieve, I use it to store my memories (not a Harry Potter fan? what's wrong with you?). Every now and then, I feel sad that I can’t remember exactly what it was like when Margarita and Julio were under feet. So, with that said here are two quick memories I want to keep:

Julio (6 years old):

The move from Mexico to Brazil has been kindest to Julio; he is so happy here. In Mexico every morning I had to wake him up and dress him most days, usually while he was still laying in bed with his eyes closed.

Things are significantly different here in Brazil. He now has afterschool activities-basketball twice a week and soccer twice a week. Because of these beloved activities:

1) I no longer have to wake him up-today he got up at 5:30 (an hour earlier than he needs to),

2) I don’t have to dress him either; here’s how he went to bed last night:

Juan Carlos (4 years old)

This kid is in a sweetheart phase. He is very into his daily routines. Each day when I take him to school, as I am leaving, he gives me a big kiss on the cheek and wraps his little skinny arms around my neck and squeezes as hard as he can. Then , as I walk off of the school grounds, even though he is now surrounded by his little friends, he will look over his shoulder and yell, “Mommy, I love you!!!”

It melts my heart.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Choo-Choo's A Comin', But the Tunnel's Closed

My first three kids started eating solids around 4 months; rice cereal first, then some fruits, then some oatmeal cereal, then some veggies, and finally meat. That’s what you used to do.

Thanks to the recent epidemic of food allergies, sometime since Juan Carlos was born 4 years ago, they have upped the age from 4 to 6 months due to the belief that feeding them earlier than 6 months can lead to said food allergies. I am a little bit lazy, so I thought that sounded fine-it’s easier just to breastfeed than try to feed a little baby 3 times a day and try to keep 3 other kids under control.

But, come to fine out, Pedro is not the world’s best sleeper. So around 4 months 3 weeks I started daydreaming about sleeping more than 4 hours in a row and suddenly the rice cereal came to mind.

First three kids + cereal = sleep

Pedro - cereal = Allergy free Pedro +"good mommy" - sleep (which doesn't really make me a good mommy at all because I am such a grouch without adequate sleep)

In my sleep deprived state, the answer seemed clear:

Pedro + cereal = "allergy inducing bad mommy" + sleep (I could deal with the allergy guilt on a good night's rest)

Here he is at 4 months 3 weeks.

He didn’t love it, but he didn’t hate it either.

Sadly enough, it didn’t help the sleeping situation.

So, I went back to being a "good mommy” -no more cereal, just breast milk.

Last week he hit the magical 6 month mark. I was ready-they have super produce here and I am planning on making all of Pedro’s food-no jars for this kid! I even bought a couple of recipe books in the States this summer on how to make the best baby purees.

Before the big day I prepared for him a lovely apple/pear/cinnamon puree, a carrot puree and a squash puree; all which can be frozen in ice cube trays for a fresh, wholesome meal anytime.

The kid won’t eat.

I started with cereal. Nope.

Moved on to squash. Hated it.

Then I thought “well, maybe he would like something sweet” and I gave him the apple/pear combo. Whole-heartedly rejected it.

And when I say he won’t eat, I am not talking about pursing his lips and spitting out his food. I am talking about dry heaving that leads to throwing up.

Here’s some photos from tonight’s attempt:

(Yes, I am aware that the kid needs a bib-they are coming in our shipment. I don’t want to buy one here-they seriously cost like $25.00)


Monday, September 03, 2007

Guapo Delivers the Goods

Gaupo got home last Thursday and it was as good as I imagined it would be.

Here’re the highlights of my spoils:

We again have peanut butter in the house (specifically creamy Jiff):

10 pounds Brown Sugar: they have sugar that is brown here, it’s just not soft and yummy like American brown sugar.

15 boxes of assorted Ziploc Bags: you can get these babies here, but they’ll cost you $0.50-0.75 PER BAG.

Of course we had to stock up on chocolate chips (5 bags):

3 large Maple Syrups: a bottle this size would set you back at least $15.00 here.

My one, and only, pair of shoes (I knew Guapo was going to see all of my purchases so unfortunately, I had to behave):

864 Wipes: the wipes here are fantastic if you want to just move the poop around, but if you actually want to remove the poop from your baby's bottom, it’s best to import. And look, these wipes will make Pedro calm.

And last but certainly not least-a new stroller for Pedro. He’ll be cruising the streets in style now!

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to have some peanut-butter toast and a handful of chocolate chips!