Thursday, July 30, 2009

last weekend in pictures (and some words)

samil and his grandpop

look close! you can see amalio up in that tree getting some (or 27) avocadoes.

i'll have you all know that it's rumored that this man never held his own children. and here he is calming screaming amely down.

she was not happy to have her picture taken with anyone.

notice that she's crying again. the two kids on the ends aren't ours - they're just some kids who hopped in the picture

casmerlys and me.

casmerlys and amely.

samil, amalio and casmerlys - the two cousins closest in age.

five of the seven grandbabies.

i wasn't here for this and have NO idea why that bike is in the water.

the littles playing with josue. he was such a good sport about being jumped on.

going to visit the aunties.

Monday, July 27, 2009

sneaky peak.

i'm tired. it's late. but i needed to make sure the baby was asleep before i went and crawled into my bed. so, here are two pictures from our weekend in the campo to hold you all over until i get a chance to post more.

i'm well aware that no one is here to see pictures of me. just my (beautiful) children. however, it's important for everyone to see me occasionally. amely only slept while we were walking. this kid my dad calls the devil child. he's a nice kid, but believe me, you don't wanna piss him off.

my brother's been here for a month now. our neices and nephews love him, he might as well be their uncle. amely didn't want anything to do with anyone. you'll see. she's screaming in almost every single picture. (more on that later).

Friday, July 24, 2009


when samil was born, we took tons and tons of pictures.

and when amely was born, we've not taken more than 10.

partly it was because i couldn't find my camera cable to charge the thing up, BUT i just found it the other day and still haven't taken very many pictures.


i'll get on that.

this weekend we're headed to the finca (farm) for father's day and so the baby can finally meet amalio's family. and so i can go to the beach. and samil is going to milk the cows and play with the pigs. tons of picture opportunities. hopefully i'll remember to snap away!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

potty training? check!

special thanks to my mom for potty training my kid.
in two weeks.
that's right. if you need your kid to go on the potty, talk to my mom. she was here two weeks and samil has had only enough accidents since then to count on my fingers. and she's been gone a month.
and we are now 100% big boy pants. (pull ups only because public bathrooms are few and far between and usually pretty nasty... but samil refuses to pee in the pants anymore)
next step? standing to pee.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

bath time!

she's not really a fan, eh?

i finally took amely for her one month appointment yesterday. i was only two weeks and two days late, but, better late than never. (we've had a helluva time finding a pediatrician. that's another post for another day).

she's gained only 1/2 pound but she grew 4 centimeters. FOUR centimeters! that's a total of 7 centimeters since she was born. we're still not back to her birth weight - mostly because of the phototherapy for her jaundice - but the doctor is not concerned because she is growing so fast!

samil has been really busy, too, playing and spending time with his uncle. more pictures to come!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

spicin' it up.

i'm teaching an SAT prep class this summer for a bunch of students who study at an american school. i don't know where in the world they got the idea that this SAT is so important - but, hey, it's something to do, and it's money i wouldn't be making otherwise.

and they're great kids. (for the most part.)

but sitting in my dining room for two hours at a time, studying for such a heavy test in summer. during vacation. in the dominican heat is not what i think of an ideal break from school.

so in an attempt to spice things up a bit, we took the kids on a trip. something along the lines of amazing race, photo scavenger hunt and touristy photo tour of the city.

in each place they had to take a picture and then do an activity (of course related to the SAT because these parents are not joking about the seriousness of this test). then we went to pizza hut (but pizza hut was a trick - i'll write about that some other time).

samil missed out on the fun - getting him in and out of a 5-point harness didn't really appeal to me, but amely came along for the fun.

at the "plazaleta de los aguilas" of the monument making a human pyramid.

these kids didn't even know there was a public hospital in santiago.

picture with the nicest cigar maker (in alphabetical order)

re-creating a kung-fu movie scene in my parking lot. (i know, i know, asians? kung fu? their idea, not mine!)

Friday, July 10, 2009

another consulate visit.

when samil was born we had a heck of a time declaring him as an american citizen. but not because of the paperwork, or even because of the mess that could come from a trip to santo domingo. samil was born in hurricane season and we missed out appointment because the bridges were out between here and the capitol. it was a mess.

i should have known then that any future children would be difficult to declare.

but i didn't. nor did i have any idea at all how tedious it would be. i mentioned that the window is only open for thirty minutes. only on certain days. and apparently, they can close whenever they feel like it.

amalio made the trip yesterday. good thing he left early or i think amely would be forever traveling on a tourist visa - because there's no way i would continue with the process without killing someone before it was over.

so, amalio arrived at the consulate at 11:40. He was told by the friendly information people that the line was open at 2. and that it was with a ticket. and that they only give 15 tickets a day. silly amalio thought that was a fair number, because how many americans could possibly be depositing declaration papers on any day? the guy also told him they don't begin to give out the numbers until 1:50.

so, he went to eat at a little food cart next to the consulate building.

and at 12:45, saw that people were already starting to line up.ok, there were only three. but smart amalio decided to get in line. he was number three. and 1:30, all of the numbers were given out and they were turning people away.

so much for numbers at 1:50.

i'm glad he avoided disaster. because we don't have the money for more unnecessary trips. i'm a little ticked that our appointment isn't until september 22, but i don't plan to travel with amely until december, so it's not a huge deal. and i feel really bad for anyone who has to deal with the assinine policies of the american state department in foreign countries.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

house explosion.

i finally got a dresser for amely's clothes. yesterday i dusted it off and stuck it in the closet - the only place there is room for it - and waited for a minute to actually begin to put her mess in it. she's got enough clothes to clothe a baby army, luckily they're small and all fit.

but. here's the catch. i thought the dresser would solve the mess. or at least help with the mess that is my house. nope. it's not amely's mess that is the problem. a few weeks before she was born the closet organizers that came with our apartment in our bedroom broke - and because fixing it requires sawing wood the fixing needs to wait. so there are piles of amalio's clothes (because my side of the closet miraculously survived the crash) on an armchair in our already overcrowded bedroom, and the boxes, OH, the boxes are stacked around wherever there was room for them. and samil's toys? well, forget about it.

a hurricane has hit the house.

it's the only excuse for the accumulation of of toys, clothes, cups and glasses and books that were spun in a circle and thrown on any flat surface available.

a hurricane. OR a newborn and a toddler and a houseguest and a brother-in-law and a husband on vacation paired with me working and not really caring about it.

i started to clean up samil's mess. but the baby wanted to eat. and then she wanted to be held. and then samil wanted to take a bath. and then be held. and then go to bed.

and now? i'm going to bed. maybe tomorrow it'll get done.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

proud to be an american?

it's time for that dreaded trip to the capitol - a mere two hour ride that often turns into three and a half because of the worse-than-newyorkcity traffic - to get our appointment to make the baby an american citizen.

a two hour - sometimes three and a half - trip just to get an appointment? why don't you call on the phone, you ask? oh, because you can't.

here's the thing. the u.s. state department likes to make life difficult. surprise you? probably not. in order to file for the report of citizen birth abroad (the CRBA), you first have to travel to the capitol to pick up the paperwork. that's right. two hour, sometimes three and a half, trip to then wait in line to get some forms to fill out. then you have your baby and fill it out. after it's all filled out, you hike back to santo domingo and turn the paperwork in. but remember, the office is only open between 2:00 and 2:30 pm (no lie) and you need to be there early to take a number. yep, a number. to turn in paperwork.

and that's not even it. THEN they give you an appointment, usually at some ungodly hour, like 7:00am. so you show up at 7:00am and somehow you're number 36. and that 7:00am appointment turns into seeing the consul at 4 in the afternoon when she's dying of hunger and not really in the mood for cranky moms or babies.

all of that and that's not even telling you about the ridiculous paperwork. when i declared samil i was sent to refill out the papers because i wrote dominican rep. instead of trying to fit dominican republic into the half-inch they give you to write your current address. and it takes me three pages to prove my time in the states. because you have to write out your entire life according to your travel. twice. and then again for another form.

and sometimes you take the trip, and it only takes 2 hours but it takes an entire tank of gas and it's like 150* outside so it limits the possibility of even making a daytrip out of the visit (because everything is outside or old or not airconditioned) and, what? what's that you say?

i wasted my time checking the webpage this morning right before we left to make sure the damn consulate was open... and what? the american citizen services unit decided this morning they were going to close, not accept paperwork and leave nobody behind to receive complaints?

you can bet that the embassador and all of my state senators will be hearing about this shit.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

the beach.

we spent three days at the beach with my brother - and while i don't have one picture of my brother with the kids, i do have about 40 of him laying on a beach chair by the pool soaking in the sun. it was pretty great - a little difficult at times with a newborn, but samil got to swim all he wanted, we ate (and didn't have to do dishes!) and just relaxed (and who doesn't want to relax after 10 long months of teaching, 9 long months of pregnancy and 1 month of being a family of 4?) we didn't actually make it to the beach persay, just the resort pool, because the beach had no shade and the bay was kind of green.

my dad got samil this zebra tent on HIS first resort trip and it's great. it's a little bigger than a beach tent, but i prefer it. it's got windows all around and is big enough for two kids - without the bigger kid bothering the little kid.
amely spent most of her time sleeping in the zebra.

and yes, she IS wearing a bathing suit. she has 5.
perhaps. but samil has 9.
c'mon people, we live an hour from the ocean.

my handsome boy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

he loves his sister.

samil loves to kiss amely. and give her hugs.

i love this picture.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

getting back to business.

i know you're all waiting with bated breath for pictures of the newest addition to our family.


there are none.
well, there are some, but i'm on my brother's computer and here there are none. our computer is dying a long and painful death. it's currently being operated on to see if we can fix the problem of it not turning on. we're waiting, really, to see if they can fix a hand-me-down computer for a fairly decent price so that we can just transfer our mess from the old dell to the new(er) one. until then, i'm grateful my brother is here visiting for the entire month of july - and has dragged his laptop along for the ride.

we're headed to the beach tomorrow for three days of fun in the sun. beach? with a not-even-one-month-old-baby? yah, i know. we're nuts. but it's a free trip, a free three day vacation where we don't have to clean up after ourselves, cook, or do dishes. just play. and take naps.

and feed the baby. who, by the way, thinks she needs to be attached to my boob 23 of the 24 hours in a day. it's a new phenomenon - because if you asked me just three days ago, i would have been able to truthfully tell you she never cried and slept 8 hours a night. too good to be true.

i returned to work on monday. it's a new project - an SAT prep class for six students, with the hopes of it being successful enough to run in some of the bilingual schools (i already have one contracted for september-november). it's 2 hours a day and so far, so good. i have to keep re-creating my business plans and ideas to make the most out of my time and skills while making enough money to remain "at home" with the kids. it gets easier every semester.

i've gone from working 8am-9pm for minimal pay, to working 4-5 hours a few days a week and making more. it's great. and i love being home with the babies. this semester i hope to only work 4 days a week. fingers crossed.

i promise tons of pictures from the beach on sunday!