Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Visit to the Buin Zoo

We were able to spend a great day at the Buin Zoo on Mother's Day. Perfect autumn weather and a nice supper out helped to make it a perfect day.

Here's the video...enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday, I had a perfect Mother's Day. We started the day early, as usual. :) I read (skimmed, actually) a week's worth of newspapers that I hadn't had the time to do and enjoyed a cinnamon roll. We went to church in the morning and it was a really good homily yesterday. Derwin and I had lots to discuss afterwards, which doesn't always happen. We decided to pick up subs for lunch on the go and I got a Starbucks coffee too!

We spent the afternoon at the Buin Zoo, which is located about 30 km south of Santiago. It took us forever to get there because there was an accident on the highway so they were diverting traffic onto a side road. It turned out OK, though, because Kirsi had a longer nap and Der and I ate our subs in the car. The zoo was really nice - they had some neat animals and it was pretty spread out so it made for a good afternoon activity. It wasn't too crowded at all, which was great, and the animals were semi-active. We had perfect weather for it - about 20C, sunny but not too hot. Kirsi really enjoyed seeing all the animals, being the animal lover that she is. She got a bit nervous when a llama came right up to us and kept sniffing her legs and me. And she got really scared when a mama baboon ran down a log, jumped onto the fence and started screaming (and this happened right in front of us)! She clung to Derwin for a while after that. She got the courage to pet a little goat and an alpaca (which are super soft!!) but only because Daddy was doing it too. At first, she only wanted to ride in her stroller, which was surprising to us but then she decided that it was time to walk and she ended up doing about half of it on her own. We ended up spending about 2 1/2 hours at the zoo, which was perfect.

Then we went out for dinner to Pizza Si, a cute little Italian place that opens early, a rarity here. I ordered a pasta dish and Der and Kirsi shared a pizza. It was a perfect Mother's Day all the way around! I love my husband and little girl so much - they made it a fantastic day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kiva

The woman that I chose to help out in Kiva is from Cambodia. She has a child but it doesn't sound like a husband is in the picture. Here is the update I got this morning from Kiva:
Ms. Phoy, 33, is selling vegetable in Phnom Penh market. She borrowed a loan of $400 to buy produce from farmer to resell at the market in Phnom Penh. She can afford to buy a large amount of produce at one and earn much more income so far. Her previous payment has found no problem. Her living condition is increasing day to day and the current income is used to buy food, clothes, rice…etc for the family. In addition, she has enough money to support a child to study part-time in a private class. Ms. Phoy has saved some money to reinvest on her business as well.

It makes me feel so good that such a small thing can make such a difference for someone.

A Morning to Myself

This morning, Derwin has a basketball game and I wanted to get some work done at home. Agustina will be there with her nanny, Jessi, so Kirsi got to go to the game and she was very excited. She hasn't seen Agu for quite a while now so she was happy to get the chance to play with her at a basketball game - two cool things in one!!

My plan was to tackle the huge mountain of laundry that we have since Der got the washing machine all hooked up last night and then sort out the playroom/baby's room so we can actually walk in it. I did one load of laundry and noticed that it's leaking in a different spot now so I can't do any more until Der gets back to fix that. I did get to the baby's room and got a few things done but most of the stuff in there actually are boxes that need to go upstairs. So that means I need to wait for Der to carry them upstairs before I can go ahead with those.

Now that my two plans of attack have been foiled, I have to make a decision. What to do with my morning? This is the first time in a very long time that I have been alone with only Simba for company and not know exactly what to do. (Yes, I was alone a few weeks ago when I went for my glucose test but I felt so yucky that I just slept so that doesn't count!) I made myself a cup of coffee and am getting caught up on computer time and then will start reading my book for book club, which is this coming week. It's going to be a wonderful day!!! :)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Keeping Busy

This morning, Kirsi and I are off to a birthday party. Kirsi's playgroup buddy, Asher, is having his 3rd birthday party at a bookstore this morning so it should be a lot of fun! We have to make him his birthday card this morning before we get going. :)

Yesterday, Kirsi and I were busy little beavers. We did some unpacking first thing and then made an angel food cake for Kiddie Yoga. Then we had a ton of errands to run at the mall - got keys cut, paid a bill, took some things back to the hardware store, went to the bank. We were both pooped when we got home! Then after school, we had to pick up the food that was in a friend's freezer and then get ready to go. We went to Caroline and Elizabeth's house for yoga last night. It was a lot of fun and the girls had a good time playing together.

As for the move, we're getting there. Most boxes are unpacked and we're getting things in place. We need to get curtains on the windows and the washing machine hooked up properly - those are my priorities now! Hopefully that'll get taken care of this coming weekend.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The move is done

It’s done. We have moved from our old house to the new one and let me say, it was quite the weekend. Der and I spent most of Thursday and all of Friday getting ready for the move. We (well, Derwin did most of it) emptied out some rooms and made piles of things that should be packed together, to make it easier and faster for when the movers came. On Friday morning, we picked up the keys for the new house and went through and did the inventory. It’s amazing how observant you have to be when you do it. You have to look for the smallest thing – crack in the ceiling paint, marks on the counter tops, scratches on the floor. If you don’t have it noted in the inventory, you’ll be responsible for it when you move out.

The plan was for the packers to come at 2:00 on Friday afternoon and get everything packed up and then at 8:30 on Saturday morning, they were to come back and move everything to the new place. Of course, nothing went according to plan. They showed up just before 5:00; apparently the other move they did on Friday took longer than they thought. Did the company call us to let us know that they’d be late? Of course not. So, we just waited around until they showed up. Then they started moving all the big furniture from the main floor to the truck. We were somewhat confused but thought they were going to load the truck first to clear out some of the clutter so they could get down to packing. After about half an hour, one of the guys said to me, “You can go buy boxes at the store so you can pack up.” I looked at him and said, “Ummm, no. You’re doing the packing. I’m paying for the packing service so I’m not doing any of that myself.” He looked utterly confused and asked the other guy, who also thought that they were just moving our things. Apparently, they didn’t have any boxes left for us so no packing was happening Friday night. So, they moved the furniture that they had loaded into the new place before leaving. OK, well, we figured that at least we had our beds to sleep in that night and food to eat for breakfast the next day. And, there was one guy who kept complaining about how long they had worked that day and how hungry he was. I pretended not to understand but that’s not my problem. Maybe if they hadn’t kept us waiting three hours and had done what they were supposed to do, I might have been more sympathetic but as it was, I had no sympathy at all for them.

Saturday morning came and 8:30 came and went. They showed up at 9:30 with five guys this time (as opposed to the three from yesterday) and made sure I saw that they had boxes and packing tape with them. Each guy had a job and it went by rather quickly at first. They tore through the bedroom super fast and one guy worked steadily at the kitchen stuff. There were a couple guys who were loading and packing all the stuff from the outside storage area and another guy who spent most of the time in the truck, rearranging the stuff and packing the truck to the hilt. Der was busy helping them load as much as he could – he worked as hard as they did! It’s amazing how much time and space the little stuff takes up.

We got over to the new house at 11:45 and then the unpacking began. They brought everything out and I told them which floor and room things were to go to. Keep in mind that the new house has three floors so you can imagine that they were not happy when anything had to be taken up to the third floor. You can imagine how excited they were when I told them that all the books and the futon had to be taken up there!! ☺ After about 45 minutes, they started getting lazy and putting things wherever they felt like if I wasn’t there to tell them where it went. Of course I didn’t notice any of it until after they had gone, right? By 1:00, they were done unloading that and we had to go back to the other house to load the beds and the other stuff that didn’t fit in the first load. Thank goodness the houses are only 5 minutes away from each other! Getting the beds into the new house was quite the challenge. The stairway is very narrow so they couldn’t take any of the beds up the stairs. So, they had to fit the beds through the master bedroom side window (a little skinny thing that they just fit through) and then put them in place. The queen size bed that was supposed to go to the guest room on the third floor is now in Kirsi’s room because it wouldn’t fit up the stairs or through the small windows up on the third floor and her 3/4 bed is the guest bed.

The movers finished up here around 2:30 and it was only after they had left that we realized how sloppy they really were. Der went back with Cecy, our nana, to clean the old house and he said that they left crap everywhere! And it wasn’t just stuff that had been there before but their stuff was lying around. It took them a couple hours to clean up at the old house. In the meantime, Kirsi and I started trying to get a sense of order in the new place. We moved a bunch of things that the movers just left in the front lawn to where they should have put it and I started doing some dishes and just trying to get some boxes in the kitchen out of the way.

Thankfully, Julie, a friend of ours, came over and helped us clean the new place. She cleaned out all the cupboards, closets and cabinets and the bathrooms so everything was ready to just be put in. What a great friend! That saved us so much time and work!

Sunday was a busy day too, just trying to settle in. I worked like a madwoman all morning long and got most of the kitchen in place. I always have to start with the kitchen. If the kitchen is in order, I can function. Der got the third floor pretty well set and we both worked on the bathrooms, our room and Kirsi’s room. We still have the baby’s room, the TV room, the laundry room and some of the kitchen to finish up but the house is really coming along. I’m surprised at how much we got accomplished. Thank goodness Der had a four-day weekend – it made the move go soooo much smoother than if we’d had to do it on a regular weekend.

Moving meant that we couldn’t eat well like we normally do. So, supper on Friday was care of McDonald’s and Saturday night was at Applebee’s. Kirsi has been fantastic through this whole process. She wasn’t bothered by all the packing, people around or stuff being moved from here to there. But come nap time and sleep time, she took longer than normal to go down. We’re sure it’s because there was so much going on and she was just so excited. Well, Saturday night at the restaurant, Kirsi ate her rice and then crawled into Derwin’s lap and fell asleep within seconds. She was asleep for the night before 6:30 pm!! Granted, she didn’t take a nap Saturday for the first time in her life. There was just too much going on and no where for her to sleep when nap time rolled around so she just stayed awake. She was amazingly happy all day for not taking a nap.

Simba, on the other hand, was very stressed out about the move. Anytime he sees suitcases, he knows it’s bad news for him. And the last time he saw the whole house torn apart like it was was when we moved from Sri Lanka and he had a long, long couple plane rides ahead of him. When the movers were there, Simba had to stay in the backyard. Otherwise, he would have barked at them the entire time they were there. We only brought him over to the new house when we were completely finished at the old place. He didn’t know what to make of it all. A new yard, a new house, completely different neighbourhood. But I think he’s adjusting fine now and he’ll be OK with it all in a couple days.

Phuket - Be Nice or Get Out

The second part of our December break was spent in a little AirBnB 3m from the beach in Phuket, Thailand. The majority of our time was spe...