Sunday, March 29, 2009

Raising a Babe Overseas

Sure it's hard raising Maximo away from both of our families. Really hard. It's hard that he doesn't recognize his grandmas or hasn't really been able to form bonds with them. The same goes for his aunts, uncles and cousins. It's difficult that he doesn't get to experience what we got to experience as kids - exploring in the backyard, going on the merry-go-round in Watch Hill, RI or getting the day off of school and experiencing a happy and green St. Patrick's Day parade in Savannah, GA.

But...

It's also amazing what he does get to experience. He's has two passports. He's bilingual (as lingual as a toddler can be). He has been on more planes and traveled to more countries than either John and I did combined in our first twenty years of life. And the food he has tried and eats regularly... again some things I never ate until I started traveling... falafel, mango, curry, tofu...

Like this morning. I watched him eat Cheerios, banana bread and a grenadilla (a form of passion fruit) and thought Wow... Even his breakfast reflects his mix of cultures and as we move to other countries he'll add more languages, cultures and foods to his repertoire.

And I love how we go to the park and his friends are named: Hania, Francesco, Vasco, Santiago, Malina, Javier and Fernanda. I can only wonder what the names of his friends next year will be...

Monday, March 23, 2009

H-O-T!

It's so darn hot here it's melting my brain and my creative writing juices (the whole ounce floating around my body) are oozing from my pores preventing me to blog anything of interest.

Back in the day (circa 2006), on a day like today, I'd be enjoying the sun and the beach, possibly enjoying a beer, and most likely be enjoying an afternoon nap after a day of sun, sand and the ocean. Nowadays, I'm learning that hot weather and babies don't mix - the irritability of the sticky little monkey, having to apply sunscreen every couple of hours without getting any in his eyes, and being stuck indoors between the hours of 9 and 4. It's hot in Savannah, probably much hotter than it is here, but you can't escape it here... no air conditioning (anywhere) and the humidity is crushing. Luckily we live a block from the ocean, so it is a lot "cooler" here than most of the rest of the city.

We're ready for it to cool off. We're ready for Easter vacation. We're ready to finish the semester here. We're ready to spend time with friends and family in the states this summer. We're ready.

(Re-reading this, it sounds negative. I don't mean it to. We're still enjoying Peru. We're just hot and cranky and ready for "Fall".)

And here are a couple of weekend pics...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Luck O' the Irish


Today's a bit like a snow day, but better because we don't have to shovel the sidewalk or look at the dirty snow on the side of the road for the next week...

Gloria, Max's nanny, called this morning while I was in the shower to say that she was sick and couldn't come in today. I feel bad about being so happy that she's sick, but, I am! So, I called school, emailed lesson plans and now I get to play with Max all day!

We've already been to the playground and now I'm getting some things done while he takes his nap. The only other thing I'd want today to make it even more perfect would be to break John out of school too and... if we were in Savannah watching the St. Patty's parade. Hopefully someday our Spring Break will coincide with St. Patrick's Day and we get get all greened-up and celebrate with all the rest of the crazy Savannahians and Gigi, Grandpa Jim and Papa.


Oh, I'd love to do this every day... stay home a play with Max... if only I could keep the maid too!

Friday, March 13, 2009

It Has Been Brought to My Attention...

That a third of the month has already passed and I have not posted any pictures in our Picasa web folder.

It's this "work thing". It really gets in the way of my parenting, blogging, cooking, reading.... really the things I love best.

So, to ward off any more hate mail from relatives-who-will-remain-nameless, here are a couple of videos from the week and I've posted a few photos in the gallery. Unfortunately, now that we're back at work, we have a two hour window with Max in the evenings, which are filled with dinner, bath, a little play, and our bedtime routine... this isn't the best time for stellar photography or cinematography, but I don't think you expect that from me anyways.


video
I've been diligently trying to get Max to perform and talk on film.
Here is his "hot" and, my favorite - "ciao"


video
This just cracks John and I up!
Don't you love John's coaching... oh, I'm not looking forward to the teenage years.

And the photo album - a meager showing, but I'll try to add more this weekend.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Running With the Runs

Disclaimer: While most everyone enjoys a good poop story, it may not be your bag... while it's not as good as John's infamous story... if you're not a poop story kind of person, you may want to skip this post.

I've finally come to terms with the fact that I'm a summer exerciser. I just can't manage a good, consistent, challenging workout regime during the school year. I couldn't do it well before we had Maximo, and now it's nearly impossible. But, I ran my butt off this summer and I enjoy running races. My friend Britney started running this summer and we run a 10K together on Sundays, so we signed up to run the Nike Women's 5K.

The race was yesterday, in a beach town about an hour south of Lima, called Asia. So, I went to bed on Friday night with a bit of a "roly-poly" stomach, then I shot out of bed at about 11:00 pm with EXPLOSIVE diarrhea which continued for about 4 hours. I convinced myself at about 2:30 that I was going to call Britney at 5:30 to cancel, though I felt terrible because this was her first 5 K race and we were planning on going together because it was an hour drive south of Lima, and I wasn't sure she'd go without me. I slept on and off until 6... Oh, no 6! Britney was already in the car coming to get me. I told John that I wasn't going and he said, "What?" So, I got my act together and went.

I wasn't really worried about running a 5K . I was, however, worried about losing my bowels while running. I was really stressed out about it and the hour long ride in the car down there. To make a long story short. I finished the race, without soiling myself. I'm not sure of my time, I didn't do fantastically, but I ran the whole time and there was a pretty decent hill to run up.

Okay, Part II: the experience.
There are times while living overseas, when I think, people at home would not believe this. Saturday was one of those days (actually I even thought John won't believe this). Britney and I arrive about an hour before the race starts and quickly realize that we were (with Susan) the token gringas. We had our picture taken numerous time doing various things - getting sunscreened by the Neutrogena guy and "stretching".

Thinking this was an all-women race, celebrating International Women's Day, I thought they'd be celebrating the strength of women and empowerment. Well, I realized that wasn't the case when three girls took the stage in dance clothes for "Sensual Stretching". Oh, that's when we really stood out - it was stretching with Latino dance and aerobics moves. It was exhausting and I wish I could put into words what it looked like to see a sea of 1,000 women sensually stretching... unfortunately I can't do it justice, so use your imagination.
"I am woman, I am special"
On our giftbags, with a diagram of the female reproductive system,
just in case you're a little rusty with your female anatomy.


The run, was a normal 5 K, with gatorade stands and kilometer markers, though under an unforgiving, crushing Peruvian sun. BUT, at every mile marker, were Chippendale-type barely dressed men in various outfits - construction workers heckling us as we passed, firemen hosing us off when we ran by... The race ended at a beach club right on the beach where we traded our time-chips for (real!) silver medallions and then entered the club which housed a multitude of tables with (free!) juices, coffees, a breakfast spread, photos, running magazines and vitamin samples and then people pushing products - performance products, jewelry, you know everything a girl wants.
My real silver medallion

Not too strange, right? Okay, then there was the guy running around with a pesticide sprayer label Anti-Cellulitis and running around spraying women. Then there were the guys, the same ones along the race, up on stage, shaking their thing with two girls pole dancing (what?). Then everyone started dancing, like you'd see at a salsa club at 11:30 pm. I (maybe) would have joined in if I could've had a beer, it wasn't 10:00 am and I wasn't still pertrified that I might sh*t myself. Details...
Our commemorative photo with a photoshopped background that I still can't figure out. What's with the hand and spoon coming out of the hole and the cake? Any thoughts?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Para Delivery: Peru Part VI

Tonight, while driving home from work, we decided that we were going to order out. Almost everyone delivers here in Peru - MacDonald's, the normal pizza places, like Papa John's and Domino's (though they still have 30 minutes or less policy that is now gone in the States), KFC, and many restaurants also deliver, including roasted chicken places, Italian, our favorite falafel place... okay now that I think about it, MOST restaurants here will throw some food in a taxi with a waiter and deliver it to your door either free or for a nominal fee.

What adds another whole level on to the delivery phenomenon here is that pharmacies and grocery stories deliver; you can get almost any service come to your door - including massage therapists (I enjoy this weekly), seamstresses, (these are two that I use the most), hairdressers, carpenters, private language and dance instructors, to name a few.

Granted, when we first moved here, we (okay, I'll be honest here, John is the one who orders) really only ordered from Papa John's - talking on the phone in Spanish isn't fun and our first year or so here, it was more hassle to order it over the phone rather than go pack it up. But now with our "improved" Spanish, we could choose not to leave the house.

So after a long day at work, like today, we had great Chinese food at our door in thirty minutes.

While this is divine, what's even better is Ammodium delivered to your door at 2:00 am when you're suffering on the bathroom floor with Peru-Belly or getting a (pick one) pregnancy test/hemrrhoid cream/condoms/tampons/Vagasil/Gas-X delivered to avoid the whole embarrassment of buying one in the store.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Maximo's Wild Ride


After two months of searching for a bike seat for Maximo, getting specialized parts to fit it on John's bike, the boys FINALLY got to go on their Sunday bike ride! Max loved it and stayed in the harness with the helmet on for an hour! Unfortunately, I got some crappy pictures to document this event.