Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
sarah loves to pet samil's head. he learning how to duck out of the way
in case you still haven't caught on, samil's a ham. he sees a camera and starts posing. sarah is just concerned about samil stealing her toys.
despite it all, samil loves sarah. and she loves him. she screams "Ah---meeeel bay-bay!" and she also tells him "te amo" (i love you) and calls him "amor" (love) he smiles and yells in his baby gibberish when he sees her.
i don't even have samil's stats. i still haven't found a pediatrician that i like, and i refuse to sit in the clinic's peds department for hours to have a doctor tell me that samil is healthy, how much he weighs, how long he is and how absolutely large his head is. i already know that stuff. i also refuse to have someone tell me that samil needs, that right, needs formula becuase it has - wait for it- more nutrients than breastmilk. yes, friends, a doctor told me my milk was not good enough for my son. a doctor. one that samil won't ever see again.
i just don't agree with stupidity.
so if you're thinking samil sunday is a bust today and i'm not going to get you up to date... well, think again
samil is currently weighing in at 19.5 lbs. i weighed him on the baggage scale in the airport when my parents were leaving. i figure it might be a pound heavier but it seems right on the mark.
he's crawling. and eating. and by eating, i don't mean nibbling every once in a while on some baby puree. no no, samil eats. and a lot. everything. we haven't yet found something he's not fond of.
he stands if we put him up and stays put as long as he's got something to hold onto. and he takes steps if he's holding hands. what else? samil has the most amazing belly laugh which he shares with anyone who: a) dances for him, b) tickles him or c) throws him in the air.
and a picture. just for fun. love you all. have a great week.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
with earth day right around the corner there's been a lot of stuff going on in spanish and english tv programming. it just makes me laugh how different it is.
i get frustrated with things - like how kids aren't taught to throw things in trashcans (schoolyards often look like landfills after recess) or how teachers are expected to be in charge of the lights and fans... and mostly forget. but there are other things that amaze me. like, the other day i was watching FOX morning news (the one with Mike and Juliette) and they were encouraging people to buy the efficient light bulbs.
i've never, never been in a house where people have regular light bulbs here. it doens't make sense. sure, you pay a lot in the beginning, but the bulb lasts forever and it cuts your electric bill.
turn off the water when you're brushing? always. water costs a lot. especially clean water.
hang your clothes on the line! not a problem for us, we don't even have a drier.
reuse. i've learned how to reuse virtually everything. and since we cook from scratch we often have much less waste than i would have had popping in a microwave dinner or eating takeout.
a lot of our dominican friends laugh - chuckle a little - at how i have to make a conscious effort to be "green." it's easy to be green if you don't have any money. no need to make an effort if it's always been your way of life.
just a thought, i guess, that i needed to air. what do you do to be green? or does it even matter?
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
only to have the sky turn pitch black as he was walking up the stairs to put everything on the line. so, he came back down, hamper in tow, 4 hours ago.
it still hasn't rained.
and seeing as how i'm not really finished with all of my cutouts and art project preparations for my class, i kinda wish the sky would just open up.
90% of my students stay home when it rains.
but since it looks like its just going to be dreary, and samil is taking a nap, i better get back to work. more cutting, less blogging.
Monday, March 24, 2008
i teach in a little institute that annexed off of a pretty popular private school. the school is great. the teachers are well paid (and therefore happy), well educated and overall enthusiastic about teaching. the school is organized with vice principals, coordinators, gym teachers, art teachers and computer teachers - a rare find in a middle-class school. the owners are fantastic. i.love.them. a big - ok, HUGE - part of the reason that i'm still there is becasue the owners are that great. i'm allowed to do whatever i want in my class, organize activities and anything. they throw extra money my way occasionally - especially when i'm not expecting it.
the problem? the institute is not organized. the coordination is pretty inexperienced and in order to keep things running, i usually have to take the reins. horrible? no. just not ideal. theoretically, the coordination should be my job. it was offered to me. but i was pregnant and didn't know what i'd be doing. theoretically i could take the job in june. and move up. but then what?
i'm working on my business plan. but its a big jump. with no net. right now we make enough money to pay our bills. we put money away for samil and try, really hard, every month to put at least 5% of our money in the bank. my job at the institute guarantees the water, electricity, apartment maintenance and telephone being paid every month. and while i have 30-some students in my house, that money isn't always sure. i get new students, lose old students... people sometimes can't pay. tons of things.
i need to make a decision soon enough to give my little job notice. am i going to go at my own institute full-time or do i need to keep my two-day-a-week gig? deep in my heart i know that i need to go at it full-force, follow my dream. everything points to "yes". but it's a little nerve-wracking to give up my only steady, sure, source of income.
what do you think? to jump right in? or take baby steps?
Saturday, March 22, 2008
it was a good week - tiring, long - but good. i'm ready to get back to work, get samil back into his routines and start working on more solid plans for my institute.
this is me with casmeri - amalio's newest neice. she's a month and a half.
me, ayendy and elizabeth at the monument infront of a statue called: Campesino Guererrilla (Guerilla fightter)
Friday, March 14, 2008
so, i'm not really doing much. samil is sleeping and i'm looking at my list of things i could be doing. writing a test, working on my business plan, typing up amalio's review for his 12th graders (all 8th and 12th graders in the country, public and private schooled, have to take national exams that i think are harder than the MCAT) or brainstorming more on the institute's semester evaluation for students and parents. i could also be cleaning my room - its a mess.
but, instead... i took some pictures of samil and this little video of samil banging on my clean windows. now i'm sharing it with all of you.
i wanted a video of it, but even if i got it, i wouldn't post it because my dad says its mean. samil chased this ball all the way from the living room to the kitchen and back to the dining room until he trapped it on the corner. the beauty of ceramic floors is that everytime samil touches the ball, it rolls away. but like i said, my dad says it's wrong to make him do silly things just for the video.
samil is crawling more normally now, and with great agility, but he still is more like a worm that a cat. he gets himself into this frog position though and laughs alot.
the word crawl in spanish is gatear - which comes from the word gato which means cat. one of those language things i find interesting. comparing babies to cats.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Sunday, March 9, 2008
i've been a pretty sporadic poster lately. i started this blog as a way to continue my communication with friends and family in the states - mostly because i'm really bad at email. when i was in the church, i would send out updates and occasionally after amalio and i got married i sent them out. life in another country is new. not always exciting but often interesting.
all that said, i started the blog to continue the updates without clogging in-boxes. i'm sure all of my faithful readers (who i think include at least one more person than my brother and parents) are interested in the new things - but i know that at the very least two of those faithful readers who i call mom and dad are more interested in pictures and news about samil. so, i have decided that sundays are for samil. pictures, videos and news. that's not saying samil isn't going to make more appearances on the page. i'm just saying that i'm going to make a conscious effort to post every sunday. so if the week gets busy and i can't get around to blogger.com i can assure some treat to begin the week.
so. here. we. go.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
however, i did learn a lot from Mr. Joseph. we made fun of him a lot, complained about him. he tried to get me kicked out of the japanese exchange program for cutting his class. tried. unsucessfully. i went to japan - but i learned my lesson, i never cut again.
joseph would tell stories. over. and over. and over. i can still retell them. well, a lot of them. he would tell us of a time he was in france and two american women tourists entered a parisian restaurant. it must have been their first night in paris, and we in awe of everything they saw. and as most of us tend to do in foreign situations, they began to make generalizations. i don't remember the specifics of the generalizations they made, but it had to do something with the ice and how it was shaved ice and perhaps being used to keep the salad chilled. the details aren't important, the fact is that the women - quite loudly according to joseph - were declaring how quaint the french were with their cute food habits. my teacher had never seen this ice-trick before - in paris nor any other french city, country or town.
on thursday night, we traveled to santo domingo. amalio had an appointment for a non-immigrant visa and samil was going to social security for his own number. (it's on its way jackie, but who knows how long it will take!) since we're not permitted to take anything into the consulate with us, we traveled in the clothes we would be wearing the next day and had thrown some light pijamas in samil's diaper bag. we were pretty dressed up - dress slacks and a button-front shirt and shoes for amalio and me in a skirt and top. we arrived at the bus station early, so we crossed the street to Pollo Victorina where a huge group of american high school seniors were eating. they were on some sort of bizarre mission trip and were stopped in santiago between bus routes.
we ordered our food, amalio sat down with samil while i paid and wiggled through the americans. and then their teacher. yah, their teacher, says:
"look how cute. dominican people get dressed up for fast food. what a treat for them to be able to eat out. see kids, you don't realize how lucky you are, they probably had to save up for a month for this little family outing."
their teacher, obviously, never had culture lessons from my teacher. it took everything in me to just smile and laugh.
assumptions and generalizations are... well, just that. and we all know what assuming does. if you're traveling abroad, be careful when you speak english, you never know who understands - or who you might offend.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
i work two days in a language institute - 6 hours a week. and at the end of every class, i thank heavens that i get a break before the next one. i love teaching kids. and i think i'm pretty good at it. but i have them an hour and a half, twice a week. no behavior issues. and they're genuinely happy to be in class. but, i set a precedent when i started to be the "energetic" and "creative" teacher... and most of my classes include tons of "total physical response" methods. tons of jumping, bouncing, running, skipping, crawling. its tiring. i couldn't do it everyday. in the evenings, amalio takes the baby and i have a mini-institute in the house. i have 27 students - some kids, some teenagers and some adults that study english with me. i teach everyday, sometimes with samil is tow - mostly hanging out in his walker or crawling around. thankfully he is well behaved and my students love him. plus, they understand that i have a kid that is my first priority. thats why i don't charge them a ton of money.
so when the school called today, while i was quite flattered that my reputation caused them to seek me out, i was a little frustrated having to explain myself and our family situation. someday, i told them, i'd be back in work. but right now, i need to make sure samil is good.
i like my time with samil. i like the freedom of being (mostly)self employed. i have friday off. we walk everywhere. we go to museums, stores, to visit friends. i can pay my bills and put some money in the bank every month.
i might get bored. permanently. but it hasn't happened yet, so we're going to keep on keeping on. sorry, bilingual school, but i can't come work for you. i'll give you a call in a few years.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
since we moved into our apartment i've wan ted to paint the crownmolding but i never got around to it. last night i pulled out the paintbrushes and did the living room and hallway. i've got to touch it up and this week paint the dirtydirty walls, but i think it looks nice. its hard to diy here because we don't have many tools - well, really we've got some screwdrivers and a drill, so we can do some stuff, but we don't
samil and i just got home from the most boring "family day" ever where we left amalio because he was "working"... i had an interesting conversation with his co-worker that began like this:
"i'd like to marry a foreigner"
"well, yah, i need a man who respects me for being independent"
"i mean, i've never livedby myself, i live with my parents. and i still follow their rules. but i'm really independent."