Monday, June 30, 2008

what the?

i noticed that recently i've lost my edge.

sarcasm doesn't really translate well over the internet. or, well, in most forms of writing. nor does anger or even genuine concern. i've struggled with how to get my damn point across without being misread.

but maybe more than that... i've turned into one of "those moms." the ones that can only talk about their kid, not because my kid is the best, but i have nothing else to talk about. ironic, eh?

especially considering i have so much going on.
i quit my job, and sitting in that abyss... the one where i'm not really sure what the hell is going to happen come august. i've been working on some translating gigs and wrapping up my private classes. i've been back on the walking bandwagon. i'm going home - and bought a dress (and reserved a borrowed one justincase) for what could possibly be the most eventful wedding ever...

and to top it off i live in a frickin' tropical paradise. go on vacation? i live in a vacation.

and yet somehow.

here's to making life a little more interesting. and getting my edge back.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

samil loves pizza.

my brother arrived this morning.
samil didn't really want to go to him... until he gave him food.
yep, leave it to samil. he loves food.

here's a picture of sad samil. he wanted to eat the pizza.

mommy went to the bathroom, and uncle dan and aunt emmy couldn't stop me from stealing some!

oooh! i love this menu!
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Saturday, June 28, 2008

countin' down.

the school year is finally over. i turned in my resignation letter two weeks ago, the only thing left is to pick up my paycheck. i have just three more classes to finish up in the house before sending the "kids" on vacation for a month.

the ministry of education just published the new school calendar, too. stupid. i swear.
i mean, i understand that full-year school works, but it includes vacations and weeks off. but not here. who thinks it's okay to send kids to school from august 7th - june 29th! christmas break and easter break- check. anything else? no, why would they need that?

and the government wants to know why they can't get teachers... i mean, this impossible schedule (remember how it's 108 degrees here in august) and the wonderful pay, who wouldn't want to be a teacher?

teachers working in public schools get paid a base rate of $6,748 pesos ($198 dollars) per "tanda" - 4 hours in the morning and/or 4 hours in the afternoon. there are bonuses for actually having a degree, the amount of family members you have dependent on you, etc... but then there are deductions too, you know health insurance, life insurance, union fees. all in all a teacher who works "full-time" (8 hours a day), with a college degree could theoretically bring home about $500 USD a month, but after all is said and done - and IF, just IF, the government has applied their benefits to their paycheck - really most only bring home about $375. amazing

i'm glad i finally made the decision to go out on my own - because it means that on top of not having to follow this insane school year, i don't have to worry about anyone else controlling my pay. given, i'm not going to be making millions, but what i make will be fair to the work i do.

my brother arrives tomorrow. we'll be headed to the beach, the mountains and the first town in the new world, la isabela. who knows what else we'll do but it'll be a nice break from teaching! next sunday i head home to philly for three weeks.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

samil sunday. albeit really late.

on monday we headed to the beach with amalio's coworkers.
one of the perks of being a teacher in the public school is that throughout the year, a portion of all fundraising money goes towards "teachers day" depending on the participation in fundraising, teachers can get a great gift at the end of the year. days at local clubs, picnics, or - they're lucky - a night or two at the resort.
we got two nights in a resort - all paid for.
the resort was kind of crappy - the food wasn't great and there wasn't a lot going on, but we had a good time anyway. and samil l.o.v.e.d. the beach. we couldn't go swimming because of a storm, but he played in the sand like it was nobody's business but his.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

playing tourist.

right now, i'm on the beach.

well, at the very least - an all-inclusive resort on the beach. probably sipping a margarita or some other deliciously wonderful fruity drink.

we packed up samil and took off for a small escape before samil and i head home to philadelphia on july 6.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

who decided this was an emergency?

after spending two days in the bathroom, i caved and went to the emergency room.

food poisoning, parasite, amoeba - whatever - i was dehydrated. bad.

the cashier wouldn't even see me until they triaged... um, asked me what was wrong and even then the doctor wouldn't even look at me.

when this like 10 year old doctor asked me what was up, he told me i didn't have an emergency. um, excuse me?

to the doctor i went who then sent me back to the ER with a note to "Favor hidratar".

two bags of glucose solution and a nice long nap later, i was on my way home.
i finally recovered and am back in the land of the living. i think.

here's to hoping you all had a better week than i did!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

father's day.

americans are recognizing dad's today.

not so here, father's day is done the last sunday of june... and its really no big deal. i hate that.

dad's get the shortend anyway. their kids are done school by now, so there's usually no little gifts, no handmade cards or craft from school. and... let me just say it, mom's sometimes drop the ball when it comes to dad's day.

not that the recognition isn't there. it's just not as huge as mother's day.

my dad is probably waiting for my call still. we haven't been home all day and now my brother-in-law is on the phone.

my dad is a good dad. when we were little he took us to the zoo and the franklin institute. he cultivated our love for exotic foods. he drove us to our grandmom's house - and even to the beach even when he couldn't share in the vacation. he took us camping and frankly - taught me a lot of the "backwards" skills i never knew i would need, like washing dishes in tupperware, handwashing clothes out and using a latrine.

we went sledding, skiing and iceskating. ate icecream and waterice. went hiking back the crick and swimming in the falls.

now my dad is a grandpop. and i hope that samil can do all these things with my dad, too.

happy day dad!

Samil l.o.v.e.s. to...

i'm amazed by the things samil is learning to do on his own...

he pulls himself up to stand and walks around holding on to things. recently he perfected the one-handed stand, but really on so that he could munch on some pineapple at the same time... he waves bye-bye, and loves to take things out of boxes. most favorite box? our pots and pans cabinet. and he likes to bang on them.

this, of course, drives the nanny upstairs nuts - she doesn't like a mess and she hates noise - so when she comes downstairs with sara, i like there to be a huge mess in the apartment to see how much it takes to give her a heart attack.

samil also eats finger foods and all the other typical "baby" progress things. really, i'm not the mom who is like "wow, look at what my kid does" when really they are just on a normal development path.

i've come to hate the competitive moms. you know, the ones who tell me, "my kid says 17 words... and he's only 6 months old!" or "my baby was walking alone at 3 weeks!" or my favorite, "our baby already eats pizza and mcdonalds!!!" (this is significant because both pizza and mcdonalds are luxury foods here, things that normal joe schmoe would have to make some sort of sacrifice to purchase. giving it to a baby, besides being unhealthy, is just economically ridiculous). so, i think samil is on the right path. not slow. not super-fast.

the one thing i'm happy about though, is that he is becoming more vocal. happy because i think he's advanced? no. just because i think its really cute. i can't really wait til he starts talking because he's going to say some pretty hilarious things - baby english and baby spanish mixed to gether? i think it will be great. oh, and he's got 8 teeth (in case you weren't keeping count)

here are some pictures of samil with his favorite toys. yep, took right after mommy with the books.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


i mentioned before that it's mango season. and in case you were wondering what were some of the benefits of living here... i mean besides living thisclose to the beach, never dealing with snow, supereconomic rent, beautiful people...

besides all of that, we've got free, fresh, organic fruit. that's right, free.

and fresh. as in, just off the tree.

my favorite season is mango season, because even here in the city there is a surplus of deliciousness. the school i work in has about 10 mango trees that right now are f.u.l.l. of ripe fruit. and amalio's school also has a mango tree.

we always try to give samil fresh fruit when possible as opposed to babyfoodinajar. not because of preservatives or anything granolamommish like that, i just think fresh tastes better. and well, free is much less expensive than gerber.

that said. samil l.o.v.e.s. mango. almost as much as his dad does. but we've never been generous enough to give him his own mango. always just pieces of ours. until last night.

we received another gift of a sack of mangoes and decided we could give one to the baby. lets just say, i was still mopping this morning.

Friday, June 13, 2008

love at first bite.

i love boxes.

all kinds of boxes. i have a mini-collection that i fill with little things, loose change, junk. things that aren't worth really organizing, but need to be put away.

but what i really love are boxes that come in the mail. i don't care if they're for me or not, but going to the mailcenter to pick something up is exhilirating.

my friend nick sent some boxes down and today i needed to pick them up. twenty minutes before i needed to leave, i opened my email and received a message from the mailcenter. a box was opened and most of its contents lost in the USPS.

sad. but the only thing i could think was "i hope it wasn't the box with the reeses cups"

luckily, it wasn't.

you see, reeses are a commodity here. its the one type of chocolate that in 4 years i've never seen in this country.

so, this afternoon, we cracked open the reeses and dove in.


Thursday, June 12, 2008


so, the bishop from my home diocese is on trial. for what, you ask? stealing money? no no. beating children? nope.

he's on trial - with the possibility of being "defrocked" (ha, i love that word) - for something that his brother did.

35 years ago.

okay, there's more to it than that. bishop was the priest of a church where his brother worked -- and had a relationship with a teenage girl. (the brother, not the bishop). the brother was 24 and the girl was 15. she claims it ruined her life. it was abuse.

and now, they want to have bishop knocked down because he didn't respond correctly. in the 70s when there was no protocol for sexual "abuse" nor were there rules about that kind of mess.

seriously, if you really want him out - get him on something real... or fire him. let's be adults and stop beating around the bush about the fact that the diocese doesn't want the man - he's draining the bank accounts - and they couldn't figure out a better way to get rid of him.

disclaimer: this trial is WAY more complicated than this. i know. its unfair to post just part not knowing who reads this blog. frankly, i don't care. i think the whole thing is ridiculous. when you put a 75 year old mom on the stand to talk about something that was done (or not done) 35 years ago... and not even by the person who is on trial. if we're that mad, do something about the brother who actually "abused" the girl. thank you.

Monday, June 9, 2008


amalio and i just finished what can only be called a binge.

our neighbor dropped off, oh, 12 mangoes. and apart from the one we put aside for samil... there are none left.

its almost the end of mango season.
who could blame us?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

9 months.

Samil is now officially nine months old. i don't really know what he's supposed to be doing at 9 months, but whatever he does is pretty damn cute.
except eating dirt. i'm not a big fan of the dirt eating. but i suppose he could eat worse.

i got a hair cut this week. the first in a year (wow) and the i had to get some bangs. yep, that's right. bangs. i haven't had them since middle school. but i have a lot of new baby hairs coming in that look ridiculous, so the bangs are my way of trying to control it. so far, so good.

samil got this outfit from aunt lisa. he's worn it three times already. mainly because i think he's cute.
amalio says he looks like a rat.

we're already teaching samil the fine art of teaching. he loves markers. and pencils. and books. i think he might just be a genius.

this is samils "what the hell are you talking about mommy" face. it makes me laugh.

i hope you all had a good week. we've been super busy here, hence the lack of posting. no worries, though, things are good.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2008


i'm kinda sick of reading other people's blogs. i'm going on vacation.

i read some random blogs, people i don't know. you know when i can't sleep at night because i'm worried about how clean the house is and if i'm stimulating samil's little brain enough or is my work consuming my life and not leaving time for my family? so, i read. blogs.

of supermoms.

you know the moms who work full time, have perfect hair, perfect makeup and thighs that only ever conversed during pregnancy? the ones who despite having three kids, not only manage to get their kids to soccer practice - on time - but have cut up orange slices for the team? whose houses look like magazine spreads and they don't even have a maid?

yah. them.

its no wonder i can't sleep.