1. when i was younger i swore i would marry someone with a last name much easier than mine - green, brown, white... SIMPLE.
2. i didn't. and even living in the dr doesn't help. i've been asked more times that i can count, "are you sure you're pronouncing that right," or "where is that name from?"
3. i should have changed my last name when we got married but i didn't. mostly because i'm too lazy to go through the paperwork in the states. and changing last names doesn't happen in the dr. i have to settle for being melanie DE a...
4. and the little bitty feminist inside me doesn't want to use the DE because really it's a possessive word... and i don't belong to anyone but god.
5. i'm not really a feminist. i believe a man should provide for his family and open car doors.
6. i also believe that there is nothing wrong with stay at home moms. raising children is a dignified and beautiful job.
7. that said, i work from home. and that's okay, too.
8. i just recently opened an english institute for children. it'll be the first time that samil has a babysitter. and even still he'll be at school with me.
9. i've turned down four more-full-time out of the house jobs in the past month because i need to be with my child. i think it's so important that i turned down a job that offered me triple what amalio makes monthly.
10. i have to make a list of chores to do every day or nothing gets done. i write the list on sunday giving each day a rotation of things that need to be done.
11. my house has never been cleaner or more organized.
12. the only bad thing about my lists is that the organization allows me the time to feed my law and order addiction during samil's naptimes.... when i really should be doing more productive things.
13. when i clean my bathroom, i need to change the sheets on my bed. it's a weird thing where if i take the first shower in a clean tub, i need to crawl into clean sheets.
14. i love clean sheets. especially sun-dried sheets.
15. we recently started using cloth diapers. it's something i wanted to do from the time samil was born, but there was so much opposition i couldn't do it.
16. i don't do it for the environment. i do it for our wallet. and i feel like that's okay.
17. while i breastfed for all the nutritional and health benefits, when nosey people asked me about it i told them it was because of money.
18. we went for a year before the baby decided he didn't want the boob anymore.
19. i would have kept going until he stopped. because i feel like it's that important.
20. however, i don't think it's that important that he drink cow's milk everyday now. a balanced diet is more important to me...
21. his dad, though, thinks he needs 87 ounces of milk a day eventhough everyone has told him he's wrong.
22. i get frustrated by other ex-patriates. especially the ones who complain about everything that happens here.
23. i like to complain, too. i find i'm more likely to complain if i'm around other ex-pats and that's the real reason they frustrate me.
24. i love to travel but i don't often get the chance anymore.
25. whenever someone comes to visit, i take that as my cue to turn into a tourist and head out for a place i've never been.
26. i have a trip planned to haiti, i'm just waiting for samil to get bigger and my dad to come along.
27. while i would have loved to meet my mother-in-law to see what she was like, i'm mostly okay with the lack of another opinion in our life.
28. amalio's step-mother is worse than 20 mother-in-laws... and i think that's god punishing me for not being more compassionate about his bio-mom.
29. i don't believe in punishing children for stupid things - i believe in discipline and teaching them not to do stupid things.
30. i think that if you're going to hit your kid, you oughta do it with your hand... if you're man enough to hit your kid it should be you, not a belt (or your flipflop)
31. when i was in mexico, i got a tooth infection. i went to the dentist, but when i saw the setup i turned around and walked out. i opted to self medicate and have a nurse inject my gum with anesthesia when it got really bad.
32. i drank a lot in mexico.
33. i also learned spanish. the damn teachers on the trip thought i was a lost cause. of the people on the trip, most no longer speak spanish. another girl married a guy from brazil, she probably uses her spanish a lot.
34. i don't have the same aversion for mexican doctors. in fact, i prefer mexican doctors to american ones. i saw some doctors in mexico - for everything from dehydration to headaches... and just for a note to get out of class.
35. i don't feel the same way about dominican doctors. i avoid them like the plague.
36. i did have a c-section in a semi-public dominican hospital and was impressed by the level of care. i mean, there was a lot lacking as far as cleanliness and modernity, but the doctors who operated were great.
37. a successful c-section doesn't make me like any dominican doctors more than before. right now i have a bad ear infection and am trying to find all ways to avoid a visit with a doctor.
38. just the opposite of mexico, i like dominican dentists. i've been to a few clinics here and have found them all to be relatively modern and impeccably clean.
39. i got a root canal a few months ago and i didn't even know it was a root canal until i went home and looked up the words. i guess i expected more pain.
40. i'm a snob. really. i am really picky about the people i spend time with.
41. i don't really have a list of qualities of people i like. there's just gotta be something that clicks. and you gotta have some common sense.
42. i love to read. again, i'm a snob. until i moved to the dominican i would only read things that were deemed "worthy" by my idols and/or mentors.
43. since i moved to the dominican, i read anything. anything. to alleviate the conflict, i've begun reading in spanish - which is somewhat of a struggle for me, but i'm getting better.
44. i studied french - against my will - from 7th grade through 12th. i read much better in french than i do in spanish.
45. for obvious reasons, i speak spanish better than i do french.
46. while i was pregnant i took french at the French Alliance... which i loved, until i had a putrid teacher who didn't like my accent. seriously? i was learning french via spanish! i stopped one month before samil was born.
47. if i didn't have such a fear of leaving samil with a babysitter, i'd go back and finish the french. i've only got 2 levels left.
48. we only leave the baby with 3 people. none of them are family members.
49. when i'm in philly, though, i'll leave him with anyone. unfair bias i'm sure.
50. i teach english to dominicans. from my house.
51. most of the time i dream about grammatical concepts and how to teach them without boring everyone to death.
52. i think education is vital to change under-developed countries. it's my soapbox and i'm sure most people are sick of hearing about it.
53. i was a vegetarian for all of high-school and some of college.
54. i preferred, though, to overlook the meat in chinese dim-sum because i loved it so much.
55. we still don't eat a lot of meat.
56. one of the reasons i started eating meat full-time again was because a poor family sacrificed a lot to buy a chicken for lunch when i ate with them. how can you turn that down?
57. i'm addicted to oreos.
58. but i kicked the coke (liquid, not powder) habit.
59. i'm annoyed by the new campaign for high fructose corn syrup. when i see it, i wish we didn't have american channels here.
60. i went to japan in 10th grade. i loved it, but i felt out of place because when i got on the train, i was by far the tallest person.
61. i don't understand the obsession some people have with japan. but i'd like to go back some day.
62. i made my husband apply for a scholarship for a post-grad program at the Academia Real de Lenguas in madrid so that we could live in spain for 8 months.
63. i also made him sign up for a free master's program that the school district is offering just in case he didn't get into madrid.
64. i always thought i'd be an uptight "don't touch my kid" kind of mom. but i'm not.
65. i have long hair - really long - but i never wear it out because i hate styling it.
66. when i do want to wear it out, i'll pay the salon to do it for me.
67. i bite my nails obsessively... except if i'm wearing acrylics. i always forget to get them filled in and then end up breaking off before i can get back to the salon.
68. i write down every cent that i spend in a notebook.
69. i organize all of my students' pay records in another notebook. however, this notebook does not coincide with the other - which drives me crazy.
70. i recently entered everything into the computer, but i don't like it. well, payments are one thing, but the budgeting is going to remain in the notebook.
71. my favorite colors are green and pink.
72. eventhough i know that i need to take a shower to wake up in the morning, i often wait until right before my first class.
73. i'm way more productive with a shower than without.
74. i worked in two bilingual private schools here before i decided it wasn't my gig. unless they offered me a job as principal.
75. at one of those schools the woman who did my first evaluation disliked me so much that everything i did was negative. including my use of the english language and spelling on the board.
76. i am a ridiculously good speller. except for necessary, and anything with an x.
77. i got parasitic dysentery once and they didn't want to admit me to the hospital because my tongue wasn't white enough (a sign of dehydration).
78. when i finally jumped through all of their hoops, it took 3 bags of saline solution to hydrate me back to health.
79. my biggest pet peeve is when people tell me that my students have "problems" eventhough their disability is physical... or even worse, if the problem is just that a kid behaves like a kid.
80. i went to college in chicago.
81. i saw a cubs and a bulls game my freshman year and never saw another sports event unless it was at the school.
82. and even then i only went if other people were going or if i knew someone playing.
83. i went to a lot of basketball games my junior year.
84. i worked in the library as a writing tutor. i liked it except when the esl students came to get their papers checked.
85. i'm still annoyed by other peoples' esl students. if they're mine or at one point in time were my students, i'm okay. but i usually elect to speak spanish with any non-native english speaker.
86. we live in an apartment complex and i can tell you whose baby is crying and more than likely why the baby is crying.
87. it drives me nuts when people ask me why samil was crying so much... when it wasn't even him. (it rarely is)
88. i learned to draw when i became a teacher. i couldn't even draw a flower before i moved to the dominican.
89. i'm not a world class artist, but i think i do a pretty good job.
90. i'm good at most things i try. however, i'm not good enough at any one thing to be an expert.
91. i love cheap television - especially the E! channels' reality series.
92. when i was younger i was really mean to everyone. it goes back to the snob thing. but i was worse then. there was no break between my brain and my mouth.
93. i'm a pretty good judge of character - most of the people i've named as assholes have turned out to be assholes.
94. my best friend in grade school was taiwanese. in middle school, i had a jewish best friend. after that most of my friends were more different than me in being than in color.
95. i love whiskey. but i rarely drink it.
96. we don't have a car. we haven't had a car for four years. there are a lot of factors playing in there, but the main one is that we want people to know that we work for what we get and just because my family is american, i'm not handed everything on a silver platter.
97. we're thinking about getting a car. it's been long enough.
98. i named my new english institute "new world" - not because this is the island where columbus landed, but because i really like the song "a whole new world" from aladin.
99. i take cold showers everyday because i'm too impatient to wait for the water heater to heat up.
100. i'm super crazy about the organization of pens, pencils and markers on my desk. they all have a place.