Monday, October 23, 2006

first day

I've been in Guatemala for 7 weeks and 4 days. I've had dreams of posting the 'perfect picture' along with the 'perfect entry', something that would present in a capsule how different my life is now. But the 'perfect picture' hasn't come yet and to explain in one entry how different things are here is a bit unrealistic.

I've had my ups and downs since we got here. Some things have been easy to adjust to, others (a lot of them) not so easy. A few unexpected things that happen a little after we got here have made things a bit harder but not unbearable. But now I feel ready to resume some of my regular activities, not in small part due to the fact that today is Tino's first day in school!!!!! Nope, not daycare. A formal SCHOOL! Five days a week, for four hours a day. Kids start going to school here really young, as early as 1 year old (as long as they are walking). We decided that it was time for Tino to go mostly because Tino and I have been so booored at home. There aren't many places to go here, I mean, no parks or places like the Y. And unless you live in a fancy condo that has a nice play area for kids (luckily we have some relatives that do and often take Tino there) or you live in a house with a huge yard, you're pretty much housebound and it sucks! Also the house where we live now (Alex's parents' house) is three stories high, so watching Tino means really 'watching' him, the computer and any other activity that I could do (knitting, or any other craft) are far away from the places where Tino can hang out, so It's been exhausting for me too. On one hand I'm happy because it'll be good for him to socialize and have fun, and it'll be good for me to have time to do stuff and recover a bit of normalcy in my life, on the other hand my stomach is in a knot right now because I know it's a big change to his routine and I feel a bit selfish to send him off so I can have all this time for myself. But I know he'll have more fun there than hanging out here with me all day.

I haven't done much else other than being with Tino and sometimes mope around, and some other times (with a bit more energy) trying to adjust as best as I can. I have done very little to none crafting. I've started some knitting, a sock here, the beginnings of a sweater there, a failed attempt to knit a softie because I didn't have the right needles and I have yet to find a nice yarn/craft store (I haven't really looked, there's gotta be something). But I'm feeling better these days, so hopefully I will actually have interesting things to tell. Yes, this makes me feel a bit more like myself.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Yesterday my (biological) mom, my sister and I took Tino to the Y for a swim and he encountered his first crush... o.k., not really 'cause his only (almost) 2 but it was sooo cute. This is how it went down, picture me holding Tino in the pool and this little girl (LG) approaches us:

LG: He is cute, what's his name?

me: Tino

LG: Can his name be Eric for today?

me: o.k. What's your name?

LG: It changes. Sometimes is Tori, some other days is Ellie but today is Four

me: oh, hi Four!

LG: Can I hold him?

me: sure, if he'll let you

[Tino: all smiles while being held by LG in the water]

LG: Can I carry him on my back?

me: sure, if he'll hold on to your shoulders

[Tino: holding on to LG's shoulders]

LG: please get him off me he is sinking me!

[me: going back to hold Tino]

LG: How old is he?

me: almost two

LG: how many is that?

me: [showed her two fingers] how old are you?

LG: [shows me four fingers] how much longer until he is [she shows me the four fingers again]?

[showed her two fingers, again]

LG: can I give him a kiss?

me: sure

LG: [gives Tino a kiss]

Tino: [a little bit weirded out] bye baby, bye baby, bye baby

LG: but I'm not going anywhere

me: I know but I think he is ready to leave

LG: can I teach him how to swim underwater next time?

me: sure, next time

LG: bye Eric

Tino: bye baby

Friday, August 11, 2006

This one is for Tino, of course.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

a list of important and unimportant things i did today

Unimportant: For the very first time I tried one of those aqua fitness classes at the Y and it was B-O-R-I-N-G. But at least now I know.

Important: Finally bought our tickets to go to Guate. So we have a set date now, August 31st. Yikes!

Important: Tino and I went to pick up my biological mom from the airport and tomorrow we'll have to go back to pick up my sister. They'll be staying with us for a whole week and we are so excited to be able to spend some time with them before we leave.

Unimportant: I voted for my favorite dancer in the final of So You Think You Can Dance.

Important: Washed Alex's shirts. The AC is broken in his office so he's going through his shirts like water.

All in all a pretty full day.

Monday, August 07, 2006

guilty.... i feel guilty

Today was a hard day to be Tino's mom, he had the biggest melt down ever. I'm not saying he's perfect, but he's usually very laid back, yes, he throws tantrums on a daily basis but they are usually very short lived and most of the times he just goes though the motions, like he'll just fall to the ground on his knees for dramatic emphasis but won't even whine and will quickly get up and continue with whatever it was that he was doing. Not today. Today it was the mother of all tantrums and it was scary. It started when we drove to the grocery store but then realized that I didn't have my wallet with me so I pulled out of the parking lot and he started crying so hard, as if we were driving away from Disney World's parking lot without having gone in first. So I thought I'd make him feel better and instead of going straight home we stopped at the park. He swung in the swings for a bit but he didn't want to do much else, he went down the slide once, back to the swing and he kept on wanting me to pick him up. Then he was walking around and on a bench there were some toys that belonged to another boy and I told him that he couldn't take them because they weren't ours and he started crying, threw himself to the ground and then he wanted me to hold him and I did, I tried to comfort him and he did calm down. Once he stopped crying I walked towards one of the slides that he likes and I tried to put him down and he started fricking out again. So then I told him that we'd better go home and as I started walking towards the car, with him in my arms he started crying so hard, and flailing his whole body so vigorously I had to cradle him in my arms and hold on to him super tight so he wouldn't hurt himself or both of us, I think his hand got tangled in my hair so he started yanking my hair so hard that he ended up with a bunch of my hair wrapped around his fingers and it was so hard to put him in his car seat. It was so scary! I had no idea how to help him calm down and how to make him feel better. By the time we got home (a mere 3 minute drive) he was o.k. and as soon as we got home I popped in a Wiggles dvd and everything was fine. And here's where the guilt comes in, not only because I felt so inadequate at handling his melt down but also because the solution that I ended up recurring to was the fricking TV! What kind of lame parent am I?

After an hour or so I put him down for his nap but I was still feeling so shaken about the whole thing. When he got up I almost felt like I was afraid of him, maybe not him but his reactions. I think I feared that maybe that one episode was going to become a regular thing, like that was going to be the new Tino. I felt horrible and tense and jumpy. Then I decided we needed something that we both could enjoy together, so I thought swimming would be the perfect thing because we would have to be holding on and paying attention to each other the whole time. So we went to the Y and it was great! It really helped to relax us both (although I doubt Tino remembered the whole park episode 10 minutes after it happened), and we had lots of fun and I was able to see my usual laid back, sometimes stubborn but always fun Tino. We all have our days, don't we? Why would toddlers be any different? right? ...oh yeah, but the guilty feeling is still there.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

come hell or high water it is t -28 days

There are many things that still need to be defined for our move, for example, we have yet to book our flight, decide what to do with the car, pack etc. but one thing is for sure if we are not in Guate 28 days from today our families will probably disown us forever because they've been diligently planning Tino's birthday party for, at least, a couple of months now. I can't believe the whole thing is just around the corner and my apartment looks exactly the same... lots of stuff all around. But there's time, right?

I know I've said it a million times, although I sound apprehensive about the move I am excited about it. I'm excited about a fresh start, like a new year at school, right? with brand new notebooks and pencils and new clothes, the possibility of doing new things, reuniting with friends and trying to correct things that you didn't do so well in the past. I think is the move itself that's the hard part, the packing, the getting on and off airplanes (with a toddler), the first few days when I'm sure Tino will be so weirded out by his new surroundings. But it is what it is and we'll get through it.

So, in general, I'm doing o.k. I'm still not too stressed out... my eating is
completely out of whack and I hate that so much. Why? why do I do that to myself???? It always happens in periods of instability; as if all the changes going on weren't hard enough I never seem to be able to control my eating, no matter how hard I try to come up with a plan before it all happens. It is not so much that I'm horribly binge eating... although I must confess that in the past week I've had a few episodes of eating handfuls and handfuls of Tino's teddy grahams or mini nilla wafers or having ice cream + cake + candy bar for dessert at night. But mostly I don't seem to have the energy or focus to make myself (and Alex) nutritious meals, which in turns makes me feel fatter and more tired which in turns make me not be very efficient around the house with all the cleaning and packing and all the stuff that needs to get done around here which in turn just makes me more stressed. How to brake the cycle? ...believe me if I knew I would've done it eons ago. But I am so open to any suggestions and/or advice. Help? Yes, please!

Onto more crafty matters. Here's a picture of a pair of socks I knit
ted a month ago. I don't love the yarn or the color, I think I ordered it online thinking it was purple and pink, not that that would've made it better but I bought it to make my friend Rachel some socks as a joke, which for some reason I thought it'd be funny if the socks were pink and purple but I don't remember exactly why I though that was funny. The yarn turned out to be purple and light purple, but I went ahead and made the socks 'cause knitting socks is fun and there they are. Can you see how I messed up the top of the right sock... yes, it is a bad picture but also a poorly knitted sock. But they are comfy... or they will be when is not a 100+ degrees outside anymore.

And this is the project I'm working on right now. Well, this is a sample of what I'm trying to achieve. May brought me this hat because it's her favorite and she wants me to knit her a replica, it's really cool and hard to explain but it's made out of one long piece of 2x2 ribbing and sewn onto itself. Anyway, it's really cool and I'm about 9" away from finishing the long strip (not photographed here) and then I have to block it and then attempt to sew it just like this hat. We'll see how it goes. But I can't wait to see if it works =)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

friends & haircuts

I started writing this post almost a week ago... and I've been sitting on it, no excuses. Life around here hasn't been really hectic as much as unpredictable and uncertain but all good. So, to catch up I'll make a quick top ten list of the things I've been doing since I last posted (I know...I am definitely the worst blogger on the block!!!). Here it goes:

#1 We had the fortune of having my friend May visit from NYC last week for 4
days!!! May and I have been friends for a long time, and when we became friends in Guatemala (about 12 years ago) we were attached at the hip! Then I went away to college and years later she moved to NYC. She visited me once in Chicago and I visited her a couple of times in New York. But I hadn't seen her since I got married (she couldn't make it to my wedding and I was very sad about it... when she called me the night before the wedding I ended up crying after we hung up. Ehem...I'm still a little bit sensitive about that) except for last year that Alex and I met her for dinner one day when we were in NYC. And she hadn't met Tino yet. So it was the first time in a very long time that I got to spend so much time with her. I was a little bit nervous at first, because, you know?, people change and stuff and what if now we had nothing in common and all that. But, as Alex would say, we still 'clicked'. Yes, our lives are very different but we are still the same at the core. She's become a gorgeous, strong and independent woman, she's still one of the smartest people I know and I realized that she still is one of the people whose opinions I value the most in my life. And can I just say that she has the best smile? So, here are some pics, so you can meet her. Here she is with a chicken hat at Lynn's Paradise Cafe (doesn't she look fetching?)

and then the both of us at Palermo Viejo (a restaurant in my neighborhood).

#2 I've been watching the World Cup (of course) and let me tell you, everything that's happened it's been my fault! When Italy and Ukraine played and Italy won (and the day before Germany had won over Argentina) I was complaining on how predictable this World Cup was, and how boring, and how Brazil was going to beat France and England was going to beat Portugal, and the final would be Brazil against Germany...blah, blah, blah. HA! See? And what happened? A slap on the face! That's what!!!! I jinxed it, for everybody!!!! Poor Becks, had to go home a looser. I took a nap during the second time of the Brazil-France game but when I woke up Alex and Tino were upset (well, just Alex) and they "didn't want to talk about it" I guess I also sent Ronaldo and Ronaldinho home. So now I'm afraid to make any comments but I really hope France wins because I would like for Zidane to retire a champion... there I said it.

#3 Tino got a new haircut and he looks so cute and mischievous!!! It's like having a completely different boy. Although I do miss his 'lady hair', like Rachel calls it. But he looks so cute, see for yourselves.

#4 I've been eating my weight in chocolate...because that's what unpredictability and uncertainty will do to you, even if it's all good.

#5 I've rekindle my love of knitting and I've been knitting maniacally for the past couple of weeks. May brought me a really cool hat that she wants me to knit a copy of, so I'm super excited about that. I'll have pics of my current and future knitting hopefully tomorrow.

#6 Oh! I won the Back Tack III thingy!!! Yeayyyyy! Thank you so much for all the people that voted for my softie! A couple of days ago I got my award goodies from Wee Wonderfuls and oh my God!!! The softie that I got is sooooo wonderful!!! Cute to boot and clever and I also got her first booklet with the softies pattern (which Tino keeps on thinking is a story book and continuously picks it up and brings it to me so I can read it to him). Thanks so much to Hillary for the goodies and Nicole and Allison for organizing the BT3 and to all the voters for the encouragement! Muy agradecida, muy agradecida y muy agradecida!

#7 I haven't been reading my daily dose of blogs and I'm missing everybody but I'm hoping to go back to a normal blog-reading routine soon. So, if you are reading this: Hi Didine!!! I've missed you too. And Ashley G.: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, a whole 12 days late! (I'm such a jackass!) You are truly one of the coolest and most talented people I know (even if I only know you in blogland).

#8 I bought myself a pair of Crocs, and I know everybody is sporting them now a days but let me tell you, they are sooooo comfortable!!! And cool and bright colored. I got myself a pair of the red ones, but I think I want more, more, more! Actually I think the whole family should get them. And they are so reasonably priced. So, do your feet a favor and go get them some Crocs.

#9 and #10 I guess I haven't been doing as much as I thought. But I have been thinking about doing stuff, so that should count for number 9 and 10. And I know I've promised myself to be more constant with the blogging but every time life throws me a curve ball the determination goes out the window. But I have to admit that after writing this I realized that blogging is kind of soothing and cathartic, sort of blogging as therapy, so I should keep that in mind next time I fall into a blogging slump. That's more realistic. Happy to be back though!

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