Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Getting a bit nostalgic

Last night was the first time I actually started to think about leaving this house and what I'd miss about it. I found myself getting much more nostalgic than I ever thought I would. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, maybe it's not. I don't know. But I do know that I will miss a lot about this place. The other house has a teeny tiny yard and Kirsi and Simba have enjoyed playing so much in our big yard here. It's going to be a huge adjustment for them (and me). The good thing for Kirsi is that there is a playground right across the street. For Simba, he's going to get to go on a lot more walks because he'll need to get the exercise somehow!

I'm trying to prepare myself for the change in neighbourhood too. Here, it's super quiet and relaxing. Even though there are lots of kids, they play out front in the street and they don't bother us at all. We spend most of our outside time in the backyard. At the new place, the whole development is just more crowded. The houses are closer together, they're 3 stories (as opposed to 2) and everyone seems to park on the street (probably to make the yards bigger) so the streets seem narrow. There are tons of kids in the neighbourhood, which is good, but it'll take some getting used to seeing and hearing them all the time. Simba is going to have to learn to deal with kids running by our yard without barking and going nuts or he'll be spending a lot of time inside!

Today, we're hosting our last Kiddie Yoga session in our "old" house. There will only be a couple of other kids coming but it'll be nice. I had Cecy, our nana, make some vegetable minestrone yesterday and I made cream of broccoli soup this morning so we'll have a soup bar. :) We do it as a potluck - the host makes the main dish and everyone else brings an accompaniment. We do yoga for the first 20 - 30 minutes and then the kids play and moms visit while supper is getting ready. It's a nice way to get the kids together and teach them some yoga at the same time.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Big Week

So, this is it. Moving week. In a way, I'm glad it's here so we can get this process over and done with. But we will miss our place that we're in now. It's a great neighbourhood - quiet, great view, great yard and the house is perfect for us. We got a great deal when we moved here and we really wish that we didn't have to move. But, such is life.

It's going to be a hectic week. I have to continue to hound our current landlady to write a letter for us, saying that we've paid all the owed rent and that the utilities are paid up also. I asked for this letter as soon as the contract was signed two weeks ago but I still haven't gotten it. What a pain! Once we get her permission to leave, then we have to head to the notary to get a paper signed from them. It's only with these two letters/forms that the moving company is legally allowed to move us. Then we have to get a handyman in to do some minor repairs before we leave; so far, I've been stood up three times. What's up with that?! Just my luck, I guess!

We decided to go with the packing service that the moving company offered. I have been having some pain/discomfort with my pelvis and ]the doctor told me to take it easy, especially with the move. We figured we'll be doing plenty of work anyways cleaning and unpacking so we'd get someone else to do the packing for us. On Friday, the packers come to pack up everything and then Saturday morning at 8:30, they'll be here to move us to the new place.

We had a quiet weekend as Der was sick with a nasty flu that he still hasn't fully recovered from. Kirsi and I tried to get out as much as we could so he could rest and we wouldn't be exposed as much to the germs. But the weather was off and on all weekend long. It was very cold on Friday but warmed up on Saturday, thank goodness. Yesterday was cold and then warm, all day long. We've definitely gone from purely fall weather to a fall/winter combo. Fall is just too short here.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Nana and Papa's visit in Sept 2007

This is another animoto.com video short. This time it stars Nana and Papa when they visited in September of 2007. It's also got Mommy, Daddy, Simba and of course, Kirsi.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Birthday Central

Today we had another birthday party but this time it was for one of Kirsi's playgroup friends, Ana, who also turned 2. It was very low-key and very nice. Her mom, Lillian, is a Montessori preschool teacher so we did the birthday celebration the Montessori way. It was super neat. All the kids and moms sat in a circle and Lillian lit a candle in the middle. Then Lillian told a story about a little girl named Ana, from pregnancy to now and along with the story, she showed pictures of Ana throughout her life. It was a special ceremony and very sweet.

The kids also did a little art project. We squirted some shaving cream on the table and mixed some paint in with it. The kids got to smear the shaving cream all over the table and mix the paint in. Then we added different colours to it. Kirsi ended up with purple and loved doing it. All the moms said that she looked so zen mixing her paint and made such a pretty colour. Her favourite part of the activity was making the hand prints on a piece of paper!

Lillian is Mexican so we also had a pinata and the kids had a good time trying to bat it down. Kirsi seemed so shocked that she was actually allowed to hit something with the bat. :) (The rule for her is that she can play with sticks but no hitting anything.) For lunch, we had delicious tostados - yummy!! Kirsi ate probably 3/4 of one herself, which is surprising because she usually doesn't like to eat things that combine foods. And then we had birthday cake. It was a great morning that everyone enjoyed.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kirsi's Birthday Party

Today was a big day - birthday party day! We had originally planned on having it last weekend but Kirsi was too sick to do it so we moved it to today. It was a great afternoon. The weather was perfect - the kids played outside the whole time. There were 9 other kids there, plus a couple big brothers. At first it was pretty overwhelming for Kirsi to see so many people at her house and so many kids running around the back yard playing. But after a while, she joined in with them and had a good time. The kids were all really well behaved and the afternoon went off with very few kiddo skirmishes - quite an accomplishment for being here for three hours!

Der and I spent all day yesterday and today getting ready for the big event. The cake decorating took a lot longer than I had hoped. I thought I had found the perfect icing recipe but alas, it got too soft while decorating so I had to put it in the fridge to cool down and start up again many, many times. That's what happened when I used the normal butter icing recipe but it did it too with the buttercream recipe. But in the end, the cake turned out great and I'm really happy with it. We got the meal ready today and Der took over in the kitchen once the guests started arriving. All the food was a hit so that was good. What's not to love? Spinach and Strawberry Salad, Italian Chicken Pasta Casserole, Turkey Chorizos and Garlic Bread. :)

When it came to cake time, Kirsi wasn't too sure about everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to her. She just looked around with a funny look on her face. But she was super happy to be able to finally dig into her cake. Then it was time to open presents. She loved it but had to do it too fast. She likes opening one gift, looking at it and playing with it before moving on to the next one. Unfortunately, by the time gifts were being opened, it was getting late so people had to leave so she was being hurried through the gifts. It was too overwhelming for her but we'll play with everything tomorrow. She got some neat gifts (though we had asked people not to bring anything!): Play Doh, Play Doh tools and books; a spider puppet; pencil crayons; Mr. Potato Head; a puzzle; two purse books; a little embroidered blouse from Ecuador; and money to put towards sponsoring someone on Kiva. All in all it was a great day and our little sweetie had a fun time!

Her ladybug cake:

Blowing out her candle:

Finally getting to eat her "bee bug" cake. She had to wait since yesterday!
Opening presents:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Travel Photos

I came across a website this morning that puts all of our flickr travel photos into a little slideshow. I thought it looked good and it helped to keep me occupied while Kirsi watched Elmo videos. I had to do something to keep my sanity while Elmo talked about brushing his teeth. :) Enjoy...

Fall time

On Thursday, I took Kirsi out to get some fall pictures. The leaves here are beautiful in the fall. Though not the wide array of colours that Quebec and Ontario have, it still reminds me of autumn in the East. Kirsi's friend, Ethan, and his little sister, Bella, joined us a bit later to get their pictures taken too. For all their hard work posing, we went to play at the playground later, which both the kids loved.

My tummy is moving!

Last night, I was laying down reading and I looked at my tummy. Aidan was talking to us! He was moving a ton last night and we could see his movements really clearly. If we pushed on a part of my tummy, he'd push back. It was so great! This pregnancy has been a much different one to my first and I've felt a lot more tired and sore but seeing that last night was all worth it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

The contract is signed

Woo hoo!! You cannot understand how relieved I am! This whole house process has been very stressful and this is a huge step to having it finished. Now we need to get the landlord's signature on the contract, which will come at the end of the week when he's back in the country. We've had some issues with the agency giving us the run-around so I'm hoping that this is the end of that and we can start fresh with them.

The move-in date is May 3rd. Thankfully, Der has a long weekend then so we'll be able to do a lot of the little things together before the big day. We're going to get a moving company to help us with the move. I've got two companies coming in this week to give us an estimate. Hopefully it won't be too much to have them pack and unpack our things - it will make life much, much easier. Once we get the estimates, then we have to get a letter from our current landlord saying we've left the place in good shape and everything has been paid. Then we head to the police to get a letter saying we can move and then we should be good to go. I will be very relieved once the whole process is over. Then it'll just be getting ready for Baby to come!

We went to the doctor today and all is good. I went for my glucose test on Saturday and the results came back normal - yay! It still looks like Baby will get here the beginning of July.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

First Poop on the Potty


Kirsi had her first poop on the potty. And she was very pleased with herself. She couldn't stop laughing and did not want to flush it down. When Daddy got home and asked her about it, she started laughing again.

A big day for Kirsi.

Tomorrow is Simba's haircut day, which Kirsi is also very excited about.

There's always something new and exciting when you are two years old!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Simpsons deemed inappropriate for kids in Venezuela

I just read this article on BBC. I can see why they'd drop the Simpsons as part of their morning shows because of the young audiences that watch. But what they replaced it with? Craziness! Just shows you cultural differences, doesn't it?

Simpsons ditched by Venezuelan TV

The Simpsons has been dropped from morning TV in Venezuela after being deemed unsuitable for children - and has been replaced by Baywatch.

The popular US cartoon about the yellow dysfunctional family was branded "inappropriate" and pulled by the country's television authorities.

Caracas TV station Televen has started showing episodes of the beachside show in the same mid-morning slot.

It became famous for its bikini-clad stars, including Pamela Anderson.

Glamorous locations

The country's TV regulator said the saga of Homer Simpson, wife Marge and their three children flouted regulations that prohibit "messages that go against the whole education of boys, girls and adolescents".

It said that some unspecified complaints had been received from viewers.

Televen's manager may decide to show The Simpsons, which has been dubbed into Spanish, at another time of day.

The station is showing episodes of Baywatch Hawaii, a later incarnation of the lifeguard rescue show which started in 1989.

The serial, about a group of beach lifeguards, gained notoriety for its attractive male and female cast members coupled with glamorous locations and slow-motion running sequences.

Venezuelan TV is known for filling its schedules with re-runs of old US series and Latin American soap operas.

But the most popular programme is the talk show hosted by the country's president, Hugo Chavez.

In an episode of the weekly programme last year, the Venezuelan leader gave a speech which reportedly lasted eight hours.

An abridged version of the show has been broadcast every day since February 2007.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7338131.stm

Monday, April 07, 2008

Playground Bully

Kirsi got beat on at the playground today. Sad, but true. We went to the grocery store to get a few things and then she got to play at the play structure in the mall, which she absolutely loves to do. There were quite a few little kids there so I was watching her carefully. There were a couple other moms there too who kept a super close eye on their kids - a rarity here - so it was all fine. This one little boy pushed her a little bit but his mom scolded him right away and Kirsi didn't seem too affected by it. A little while later, I saw the mom moving really fast and then I saw through some of the bars that he had a hold of Kirsi's hair!! He didn't just pull it and let go - he was dragging her around by the hair! Poor little thing! Of course, she was sobbing and super upset. The other mom climbed up into the play structure to get her son to let go and I got Kirsi to come to me for some consoling. The mom dealt with it really well; she brought her son over to see how he had hurt Kirsi and told him that they were going home and no more playground for him. It's still hard to see your little one get hurt though. :( She got over it, though, especially because he wasn't there anymore, so we stayed longer for her to keep playing. Afterwards, Kirsi said a couple times that the boy pulled her hair and that it hurt. Life lessons in a 2-year-old's world, eh?

Our house saga continues. We had put an offer in on a house - the pool house for those who know all the details - last Wednesday. The real estate agency taking care of the deal does things differently than most places here - they want the cheque for the damage deposit when you make the offer rather than when you sign the contract. Apparently, though, it's all fine, just a different way of doing things. So, I went in on Friday to give the cheque and sign the offer. It was all depending on whether or not the landlord would put up a high fence around the pool. I explained to them several times that we have small children and that we did not want the house unless a safe gate were put up around the pool, meaning at least 1.5 metres high and with the bars close together. This apparently was not clear enough and I'm still dealing with the agent over this. I got super upset with him on the phone and told him that either he doesn't understand me or just doesn't want to do it!

We're at the point where we're ready to withdraw the offer and go with the other house we were considering (and thankfully it's still available). We're going to meet with the agent and the guy who's going to put up the fence this afternoon and I'm going to explain it one last time. If it is still an argument or if I get any more bad vibes, we're going to retract the offer, get our cheque back and go with the other house. I just don't want to deal with this anymore. I want the house chosen and the contract signed so I can start dealing with the moving process. Plus, I've had it with the stress. Being pregnant is emotional enough but dealing with all this while pregnant is not fun!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

SCAC


This feces sounding title actually stands for Southern Cone Athletic Conference. It was supposed to include teams just in the south of South America but now includes teams from international schools in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay. These tournaments are great!

The students are always good and although there were an unusual number of hurt players the tournament was really well run and a success.

I'm assistant coach for the girls and we finished 2nd in the round robin and 2nd overall losing to Lincoln (Argentina) for the 2nd straight year. I still think that we are a better basketball team but could not beat their 2-3 zone defense and lost by 4. It was disappointing for players and coaches alike.

This is Kirsi with our very own Nido Eagle cheering on the teams. Kirsi wasn't too sure about the eagle but went along with it. She loved watching the games and made a very nice card for all of the girls on the team wishing them luck. She's now a big basketball fan, which makes Daddy happy.

I loved coaching the team. They're all great girls and very coachable. We still have League Catolica (Santiago city league) to play so there's lots of basketball left.

Overall, it was still a great experience for us all. Now it's back to teaching next week...I think I forgot how!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kirsi!

Happy birthday to our little Kirsi Bear!! She turns 2 today! It's hard to believe in some ways but it's fantastic. These past two years have been wonderful with her - seeing her as a tiny little baby and then growing up to be the energetic, sweet little girl that she is today. As I'm typing, she's pushing her Pooh Bear around the house and yard in her stroller singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". :) We are going to go out for dinner to celebrate her birthday tonight. Her party is on Sunday, April 13th. This morning, she woke up at 5:00 (yes, you read correctly) and wanted to get going. I laid down with her for half an hour in hopes of getting her to go back to sleep, but she just must have known it was her Happy Birthday Day. She got to open a couple little presents this morning before Daddy left for work; she was very excited about that!

This weekend is the big basketball tournament and Der's school is hosting it. There are international schools from 5 countries participating in the tournament: Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador and Uruguay. Der is helping coach the girls' basketball team this year and he's really enjoying it. The girls are really sweet and they're very coachable. They make adjustments and try to take everything the coaches tell them into the games. So far, they've won both their games but their two toughest ones will be today. Kirsi and I will be going to watch at least one of the games.

The house hunt is still on. We narrowed it down to two houses and finally decided to make an offer on the newer house that is close to where we are now. I've emailed the real estate agent but haven't heard back from him yet. I guess I'll have to call him today and see where we're at. We made the offer on the condition that the landlord put up a 2 metre high fence around the pool in the backyard. We need to know whether or not they accept the offer today because if they don't, we'll need to let the other house know. The process has been exhausting and I have had my moments of emotional meltdown. I just want it to be over so I can move on to arranging the move.

Last night I hosted Book Club. This time we read "The Memory Keeper's Daughter". It is definitely not an uplifting read but I found it a very interesting story. I really like being in a book club; you get such different perspectives and I always gain a greater understanding and appreciation of the book, even if I didn't like it. I've been doing this for three years now and I definitely want to continue with it.

Yesterday, Kirsi and I went for coffee with our friends Carey (and her two kids) and Caty and we met Caty's mother-in-law, Tina, who is from Regina. So funny, eh? Caty is pregnant with twins and she's at 37 weeks now. She has made it longer than a lot of people who carry twins and she's very ready for them to come. I told her they might come on Kirsi's birthday!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Great Read

I just finished a fantastic book: The Friday Night Knitting Club. This isn't a book that I would have picked up to read, simply because knitting isn't one of my interests, but a friend recommended it to me. I absolutely loved it. It was a great story of women from different walks of life who come together. I liked how we got insight into each of the different characters and how they evolved. This is definitely worth reading!

For those of you that are avid readers, there are a couple sites that you can join where you can keep track of what you've read, rate the books and then share with your friends. There's Goodreads.com, which is linked to Facebook, and Shelfari.com. I am a member in both but I use Shelfari more often; for some reason, I like it better. It's great to look back on what you've read and what you thought of the book and see what your friends are reading.

I got POOPED on at Jurong Bird Park & Mass - Singapore Day 3

So, while the kids were feeding lories and lorikeets nectar from a cup at Jurong Bird Park a bird swooped overhead and dropped a liquid po...