Sunday, April 26, 2009

Let's Get Physical

Max has been exploring his body lately... I know what that sounds like, not THAT... he found THAT months, almost years ago and continues to enjoy THAT as most boys do...

He's been experimenting with what his body can do lately and how different actions feel and how far he can push his body. It's been quite fun to watch... Here are some of the things he's been doing:

Vueltitos (spinning in circles) - multiple times and then trying to walk straight... but never walking straight... and as always I have to step in so he doesn't kill himself, or at the very least, smash into the concrete wall that surrounds the neighborhood playground.

Walking backwards - he "backs it up" until he runs into something/someone or to sit on the bottom stair of our staircase (or frequently the poor cat). But, he'll back it up from across the room to get to his destination.

Walking on his tip-toes. I am a toe-walker, not always walking, but normally always running. I don't think Max is going to do it like I do, but he likes the way it feels and will walk on his tiptoes around the house, or one foot with his tiptoes and one flatfooted, so he looks a bit like Quasimoto - sin hump.

Hanging and pulling up his body weight. We were in the bathroom this morning and he grabbed on to the pedestal sink, hung there for a few seconds, then tried to pull himself up to turn on the water.

Jumping. He doesn't hit any air but he really tries to jump with the other kids in the park. It's very cute.

Author's Note: sorry I overuse the ellipses... I love them... It's how my internal voice sounds to me... I'm not even using them properly... but I'm okay with that... and when I don't over use the ellipses, then I start overusing the exclamation mark which makes me sound like I'm screaming at you or I'm an excited teenage girl!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Toddler Superpowers

Super Hero Name Choices: Captain Destructo, Mr. Demanding, Super Scaler, Captain Danger

If Max was a superhero, he'd be an amalgamation of all of these. It's interesting living with a toddler. It's amazing watching him grow and learn and change. BUT those amazing experiences change in an instant with this boy. One minute he's all smiles and sunshine and the next I have a screaming anti-Christ on my hands. (He is more good than not, but he's a handful!)

We're hoping it's the age and he just gets frustrated, mainly due to the fact that he doesn't have all the words to communicate his feelings. Unfortunately, like his mother, he's a train wreck when he's tired. Did I say we're hoping it's the age? We're hoping he'll grow out of his tantrums, because when he's happy... he's an amazing little boy!

Okay, onto our little superhero...

Part Capt. Destructo - He just loves to destroy things - throwing food, throwing all the balls out of his ball pit, and destroying his outfits and cleanliness - he's FILTHY... I cannot keep this kid clean for more than 5 minutes.

Part Mr. Demanding - He wants what he wants at that second. I know it's the age, but I also think that his nanny also will appease his every request, which definitely doesn't help the problem. (We really hope it's just those two things, and not something more, something longer lasting...)
And it's funny, because now he wants really specific things... Like this yesterday morning for example, he was unhappy with the shoes that I chose for him and wanted to wear a pair that are a little too small, but kicked until he got those put on his feet. Then he took 5 steps and started whining again...

Part Super (Duper) Scaler with Captain Danger rolled in there too... Really. I don't know how toddlers - especially boys - survive. I feel like I've saved this kid's life a bazillion times. He has no fear. And he loves to climb - the stairs, chairs, tables, walls, whatever he can scale, he does...

And to balance my semi-rant, semi vent of the trials and tribulations of raising a toddler... a cute picture my friend, Kathy, took on Easter Sunday of Max and I...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Best. Thing. Ever!

When Max comes home from playing in the park at the end of the day. I walk in to the living room, he sees me from the doorway...

"MMOMMMMMMMY!" and runs towards me with open arms.

The worst:

Missing this and having to stay at work late and not seeing Max before he goes to bed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

When our R&R goes awry...

We had 4 1/2 days off this weekend for Semana Santa or Easter vacation. Wonderful! Great! Over a month ago, we decided we were going to take a road trip south and have a beach getaway. We were a little weary of the 4 hour car ride with Maximo, but that ended up being the least of our problems.
We left school at 12:45 on Wednesday, ran home, scooped up Maximo and headed south. John started driving and soon after started taking long blinks that made me nervous, so we pulled off the road and switched. After adjusting seats, baby paraphenalia and our huge bag of snacks (or entertainment for Max), we were on our way. I hadn't driven 5 km when I got pulled over. UGHHH. I'm don't want to get into the whole thing with driving and the police here in this post (I'll save that one for a rainy day), but here's an abbreviated version of what happened.
First, the police officer asked me for my identification and then commented that our car hasn't been inspected. The car inspections were canceled before they got to our number last year, I guess they started them back up again, unbeknowst to me. Then he started commenting on the dark tint on our car windows (I know we are breaking the law with this one). I was really frustrated at this point in time; I just want to get where we need to go and start vacation. At about this time, Max started to scream, which may have worked in my advantage. I tried to explain to the guy that I didn't know the inspections started again, and "What can I do now?" and then... I STARTED CRYING - in frustration, that my precious vacation was ticking away on the side of the PanAmerican Highway, because I was tired from not sleeping enough, and I just wanted him to stop jerking me around. I didn't want to play the game. If he wanted a bribe, then fine, but I didn't want to go back and forth about this. He then started to get all flustered with me crying and kept telling me to "Calm down, Senora". He then said as long as I took care of the problem as soon as I returned from my vacation, he'd let me go. I slipped him 20 soles (about $7) and we were on our way.
As soon as I drove away, I couldn't make eye contact with John. I was just crying to a cop and got out of a ticket. Did John think that was my intention? Or did he realize that I was just at my breaking point? We didn't discuss it. Maybe he didn't realize I was crying because he was tending to Max and he zoned out with the Spanish.
Anyhow, at about 5:30 we rolled into Paracas, our first time there in over two years, before the HUMUNGOUS earthquake that turned most of the beach town into rubble. We found our hotel fairly easily and walked into the reception...
"I'm sorry, there is no reservation for you."
"But, look, I paid the deposit, here's my receipt."
"Sorry, you didn't re-confirm."
"Re-confirm? No one told me I had to reconfirm. I confirmed and PAID."
This is where I totally started to lose it and started CRYING AGAIN!
"Look, we drove here four hours WITH A BABY for our vacation."
"I know that, Senora, but you didn't reconfirm. We do have a room available for tonight, but we're fully booked the rest of the weekend."
"I have the email correspondence, let me show you. Do you have internet?"
"We don't have power right now."
"No power?"
"No, and you didn't reconfirm. We do have a room for the night."
"No. Is there anything else in town? This is our vacation. We came all the way from Lima."
"You didn't reconfirm. It's a holiday weekend. There is nothing."
This is when I lost it, and started speaking in English...
"We will NOT stay here. This is ridiculous. We're traveling with a baby and you won't even attempt to help us find anything!"
John buts in and starts yelling in Spanish... $#%@#%John buts in and starts yelling in Spanish... $#%@#%John buts in and starts yelling in Spanish... $#%@#%John buts in and starts yelling in Spanish... $#%@#%$&@#$*@#(%@#$@#$*@#(%@#$@#$*@#(%@#$
Then a man walks up, from where, I don't know, and tells us there's a room at the hostal down the street.
Fine. I'll look at it.
We enter the Hostal del Piratas (Pirate Hostal). There was 1 room left only for Wednesday night. It was getting too late to head back to Lima - the PanAmerican Highway is dangerous enough during the day - it's horrific at night.
So we checked into our $22 dollar a night, clean, king-size room, then ventured out for dinner.
It was almost dusk and this was when we realized the WHOLE TOWN HAS NO POWER. We ask someone and they say it's until 8:00pm.
We have dinner at a beachside restaurant which was good - we enjoyed fresh fish and chips.
The only problem we had at dinner was the stray dogs walking on the boardwalk. Maximo is used to petting all the dogs when he goes out in the neighborhood, and couldn't understand why he couldn't go up to all the mangy dogs walking around.
It was almost pitch-black when we walked back to the hotel. Fortunately, the lights in our hotel were on and it was only 7:30... they must have been using a generator, because no one else had lights.
After it taking almost 2 hours to get Max settled down and asleep (our window opened up to the terrace with the bar - it wasn't too loud, but our room had white curtains, so it wasn't very dark), we settled in for the night...
To make a long, miserable story short, we slept no more than 2 hours due to being EATEN ALIVE by mosquitoes.
The next morning, we got up, had breakfast, went to the national reserve, which I had planned to explore each day, finding different beaches and nooks along the coast, then headed back home. Max did surprisingly well in the car, especially since our ride home took an extra hour or so due to two MAJOR accidents and a major detour because they made both sides of the highway southbound to help with traffic flow to the beaches.
So, this was how we spent our last vacation in Peru... Sigh...
Here are some pictures from our short trip.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Not Itchin'

Seven years ago today John and I got married. It was a magical day. Though I was 24 at the time (not super young), looking back on it, I feel like I got married fairly young. I lucked out though... we have our differences and not all days are smiles and sunshine, but on a whole, life is good.

On Saturday night, we went to a wedding. It was one of the best nights out John and I have had in a L-O-N-G time. We danced for the first time in years and laughed a ton with friends at Gilles and Elle's gorgeous wedding. It was nice to watch friends getting married and starting their lives together and John and I got lost in the evening and didn't talk about Max and just had fun. I am EXTREMELY guilty of thinking and talking about Max a ton. We truly enjoy him. Being at the wedding (which was an hour away) forced me to have a plan B if there was an emergency at the house (I had friends for the nanny to call, because I wasn't sure if I'd even have cellphone reception). That Plan B, gave me an extra buffer to shake my tail feather and relax a bit, which was really nice... but as parents know, I felt it the next day. Yesterday, I took two naps, I put myself to bed both times I put him down. I'm even a bit sluggish today, but it was worth it!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Things are Rolling Along

We've just finished our first month of our last semester of teaching at FDR. I have been quite sentimental about our last firsts lately, though at the same time, we are looking forward to a new adventure and a fresh start in Japan.
Things are starting to feel more real lately...

We have (almost) of our flights confirmed... our flight from GA to CT, our flight from CT to Japan are confirmed, and I'm quite certain of our Peru to Savannah intinerary (July 3rd) and will have the flights confirmed hopefully by the middle of this week.

We just received the lab results of Flavius's rabius titers and he has an acceptable level to enter Japan! YIPEE! (Though I won't rest until he's in our apartment in Japan - I'm worried that he'll be leaving here without us and needs to get some paperwork done within ten days of his trip, which leaves vet visits and his deportation (?) up to friends and the shipping company.

In moving to Japan, we'll have to downsize. It's a great opportunity to get rid of crap, clothes we haven't worn in years, and things that just won't fit (for example 1/2 of our ovenware - because our new oven measures 42 x 23 x 34 CENTIMETERS - but at least we have an oven).
So, we've taken pictures of the belongings we want to sell to workers and teachers at school. So, little by little we're getting our ducks in a row.

And, we're excited because we have a short week and a long weekend for Easter (Semana Santa). We're roadtripping south (about 4 hours) to Paracas, Peru for a beach weekend. So, I'll post our pics from that trip when we get back!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

El Bomberito - The Little Fireman

One of the mothers of the children that plays in the park with Maximo sent me these pictures today. I wonder if the city worker got (gets... this looks like multiple days) any of his work done with Max hogging his hose.