Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 24th

Our first few days at home have been filled with much eating, visiting and getting ready for Christmas. Mom had done her Christmas baking before we arrived and I alone have put a huge dent into her supply. ;) It’s just so darn good! Can I blame it on being so cold out that I need to keep up my energy? I wish, but since it’s over 20C in the house, I don’t think that excuse is valid. ☺ We went to see Uncle Bob, Auntie Kathy and met Lyn for the first time. It was great to visit with them again.

Kirsi has had a blast with Gramma, Grampa, Uncle Jarrod, Uncle Bruce, Auntie Deanna and Teagan. She loves playing with everyone and telling stories to them. She has surprised us with her transition here; she hasn’t been shy at all. She’s been completely at ease since we got here. Der and I went shopping on Monday and left the kids with Mom, Dad and Bruce. When we were leaving, I told Kirsi that we’d be going to Regina but we wouldn’t be gone too long. She thought for a second and then said, “I be a good girl, Mommy.” She was totally fine staying at the farm without us. She’s been busy entertaining Aidan, as usual, and checking out the cows and horses with Grampa. We made a Happy Birthday cake for Auntie Kristin. Actually, Kirsi wanted a Happy Birthday cake for herself but I convinced her that we should make one for Auntie Kristin since her birthday was last week.

Aidan has been busy charming all his relatives. Grampa cannot believe how content he is; we can sit him down on the floor with some toys and he’s fine there for quite a while. Gramma can’t believe just how cute he is, with those dimples, big eyes and sweet smile. He’s having fun with all of Teagan’s toys and getting attention from everyone.

Der and I have been enjoying watching some North American TV since we’ve been home. Mom and Dad have a dish so we’ve been catching up on some of the new shows and getting our fill of TLC. We’ve also caught up on some sleep since we’ve been here, which has been nice. Kirsi is sleeping much better here, likely because it’s so dark. Let’s hope she keeps it up!

December 22nd again

Aidan decided to wake up at 5:30 Sunday morning so it was an early start to the day! Dad woke up when I got up and he wanted to see Aidan so I brought Aidan upstairs to play. He sat and played for an hour without fussing at all and Dad was amazed. Aidan definitely impressed Grampa! He went back to sleep an hour later and he, Kirsi and I slept until 8:30. Yeah!
We had a day of visiting. Nana and Papa stayed until early afternoon so we got to play and visit with them for the whole morning. Bruce came over with Teagan and they stayed for the day. Kirsi was so excited to meet her cousin and so were the rest of us! Teagan is a sweet little baby – she just looks around all the time and takes everything in. She likes a lot of action and doesn’t like to be sitting around for long. That’s why she loves her Jolly Jumper; she’s so cute when she’s in there because she just gets jumping all over the place! Jarrod came over for a while too so we got to visit with him too. Auntie Kathy popped in for a quick visit after church and she got to meet Aidan and see Kirsi again.

Not long after Nana and Papa left, Erin, Mike and Ava, my cousins, came over for a visit. Dad, Bruce and Mike took Kirsi and Ava out to see the cows and horses. Kirsi wasn’t too sure about going outside because it’s so cold. When Dad opened the door this morning to show her the snow, she was excited until she got there. Then she said, “Oooh, I freezing!” Yeah, it’s definitely freezing here!! We got her bundled up in her ski pants, parka, boots, mitts and touque and she stayed pretty warm. I didn’t set foot outside at all – I’m not prepared to face the cold quite yet!
So instead, I stayed inside all day and ate. Why does food at home always taste so much better? I ate Mom’s homemade buns and then her baking – Christmas cookies and Nuts ‘n Bolts. Once supper came, I didn’t want to eat another big meal so I was thankful that we ate soup and sandwiches. Deanna, Bruce’s girlfriend, came over so we got to meet her for the first time too.
We had a big day meeting new people and visiting so we were all ready for bed early. Aidan was out for the count by 6:30 and Kirsi was in bed by 7:30 and sleeping by 8:00, no questions asked.

We had no internet for a while!

December 22
We made it! We’re back in Canada now and it feels great. It was a long journey but everything went really well. We were on a new plane from Santiago to Toronto and it was as pleasant as is possible on such a long flight. Kirsi was so excited to be on the airplane; even though she’s flown before, she didn’t remember any of those flights so this was a very exciting event for her. She was super in the airport – she just hung out patiently while we waited to board, keeping her backpack nearby. On the plane, she picked out which seat she wanted to sit in and couldn’t wait to get buckled up. She thought it was the coolest thing that she could sit in the seat like a big girl and wear a big-girl seatbelt. Take-off was pretty neat too!

Aidan was a good baby on the flight too. He fell asleep just before take-off at 9:00 and he pretty much slept until an hour before we landed. He woke up often but went back to sleep right away. Kirsi was far too excited to go to sleep. It took her a couple hours to fall asleep and it was only when I was holding her. She slept until an hour before landing too but that wasn’t nearly enough.

The best thing that we did was get a hotel room in Toronto. We landed at 6:30 and our flight to Regina didn’t leave until 4:00 so we had all day to wait. To get to the Sheraton we just had to take the sky train from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3; it was super easy and fast. This was the first time that we had been in the new airport in Toronto and it is great. We only had to wait half an hour to get a room – seeing that the night before had been full due to the storms, a half-an-hour wait wasn’t anything. It helped that Derwin was super friendly when he checked in and that we have two little kids. All of us konked out for a great nap in the morning; I think I was the one who slept the most. I guess that’s what happens when you hardly sleep all night long.

The flight from Toronto to Regina went well too. It was obviously a much smaller plane but it wasn’t the tiny AC Jazz plane that I had to take the last time I was home. My carry-on bag actually fit in the overhead bin!!! lol The kids did well again, though they’d had enough of traveling. Kirsi had one mini-meltdown but she got over it really quickly and Aidan was cranky for a while until I finally got him to go to sleep. That 3 ½ hour flight seemed to take soooooooo long, mainly because I was so anxious to get home and see everyone.

We left Santiago and it was about 27C; we got to Regina and it was -24C (plus the windchill, of course). What a change in temperature!!

When we came down the stairs, we saw everyone – Gramma, Nana, Papa, Kristin, Dean, Jackie, Clay and Kim. It was so great to have everyone there to greet us and to see familiar faces again. Kirsi did so well with having that many people around. She didn’t get shy at all – she was just so excited to see everyone too. She went straight to Auntie Kristin and hung out with her for a while. In the meantime, Gramma, Nana and Papa came over to see Aidan. It was the first time that Nana and Papa had met Aidan so it was a special time for them. Mom couldn’t believe how big Aidan had gotten since she’d left in August.

It’s great to be home!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Are we flying or not?

That is the question we're asking ourselves right now. We're packed and planning everything as if it were a go but we really aren't sure. It all depends on the lovely weather in Toronto. Please, oh please, let the airport be open tomorrow morning and let us fly in!!! If not, we'll have to make alternative plans.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last Minute Errands

When you're getting ready for a big trip, there are a million last minute things to do. This week has been quite busy already. Kirsi and I have made Christmas cards and Christmas cookies. We decorated them yesterday and then started the deliveries today. We took a platter to Starbucks, along with some from Julie and Asher, to our friends there. They were so happy with them! We also exchanged Christmas gifts with Asher and Liesl and that was fun. Kirsi picked out a baby for Liesl and a mini Magna Doodle thingy for Asher. Kirsi loves the front-end loader she got and Aidan thinks his stacking toy that you can pull around is pretty neat.

Packing is almost done and I've even started packing for our trip to Argentina after we get back. I got the brainwave to pack a set of clothes for both kids for each day in a plastic bag. That way, I don't have to root through the suitcase; I just have to pull out a bag and voila their clothes for the day. I'll also have a cold weather bag for those chilly days/nights.

Now it's all the little stuff - going to the bank, lists for this, that and something else, write to ADT, stuff like that. We plan to get all that done tonight so that tomorrow I can focus on taking down the Christmas decorations and Der can get the yard work done. Phew!

But it's going to be great to go home again and spend Christmas with everyone. Even if it's -30C!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Kids Are Scared of Santa

Dana took Kirsi and Aidan for Santa pics this morning. Neither liked Santa much as you can tell by this picture! Kirsi calmed down enough with Mommy right there but Aidan is another story.


Santa Pic

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's in my hands

Aidan's passport, that is. Yes, the passport saga is over - finally. The kids and I went in to the embassy today to pick up his passport. I took his Chilean passport, just in case there were any mistakes in the Canadian one so they could issue a visa in it for him. Talk about learning to be prepared; Der and I have learned to think of many possible situations, just in case. Der phoned me about 3 minutes after I had arrived at the embassy to tell me that they had just called him to say that I was picking up Aidan's passport. He said they didn't give him a chance to say anything, so even if he had wanted to object, he wouldn't have been able to!

The next thing to get is his citizenship card. They say it should be ready in 6 - 9 months so we should have it around his first birthday. Then that'll be over and done with. Yahoo!

And here's a pic of the kids just for fun:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cool Dude

Aidan was in his stroller one afternoon so I grabbed Kirsi's sunglasses and threw them on! He seems to like them. :)

Cool dude

Feeling better

I'm feeling better, thank goodness. 5 days of resting, being careful and no lifting or bending really helped. That and I'm doing my back exercises again. Yesterday was my best day in a week. I felt pretty good all day, though at night my back started hurting again.

Tuesday I went to a dermatologist about my wart. Yes, that thing is still there. Jackie, I tried the duct tape treatment. It made it smaller but didn't get rid of it. She burned the sucker with liquid nitrogen - yikes! She used a thing that looked like a blow torch and had it as close to my finger as she could get it without touching it. Then she sprayed the chemical on my finger for at least 10 seconds. She also gave me a prescription to put a tincture on it every night, starting that night.

So, I went to the pharmacy and took in the prescription. I thought I'd be able to pick it up in a few hours. Nope, she said it would be ready the following day. So, in the morning? No, in the afternoon. OK, what time in the afternoon? 11:00. At night? You've got to be kidding me. She told me that it wouldn't be ready until after 7:00 pm. Can you believe that a prescription would be ready that late? And be told to come get it at 11:00 pm?! Only in Latin America!

Well, I had book club last night so I thought I'd drop by and pick it up. And guess what? The pharmacy was closed!! Typical ending to a silly situation!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Acupuncture again

Yesterday I went to my first session of acupuncture in Chile and it was fantastic!! Benedikte is from Norway but has been here in Chile for 7 years. She's studied at the university here and has worked with a Chinese doctor for 4 1/2 years. She did the needles - and she put in a ton, wherever I had pain, and she stimulated them quite a bit - and something called moxa. They're compressed herbs that she puts in between the needles and then burns them and it helps draw out the inflammation. In my other two acupuncture experiences (Kuwait and Sri Lanka), I'd never had moxa done but the heat felt great. She didn't do the cupping because she worked quite intensively on my back and wanted to see what happened. Cupping is when you heat some glass cups and put them on the painful points, also to draw out inflammation. My next session might be Wednesday and then Friday. I'm so excited!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Ouch!

Yesterday was a normal day until about noon. The kids and I had run some errands, then went over to a friend's place for a visit. When we got home, my back started feeling funny. When I went to put Aidan in his baby hammock (it's lower than a crib), it's like my back gave out on me. I was in excruciating pain all afternoon. Der came home from work early to help me with the kids and to let me rest (isn't he great?!). He took the kids and I laid down for a nap for a couple hours. We were both hoping that my back pain was just from stress and tiredness but it was still as sore as before. So, as much as I didn't want to go, we went to the hospital so we could see what was going on. I honestly couldn't sit without it being extremely painful and walking wasn't very fun either. And forget about holding the kids, it was so painful. We got to the hospital around 5:15 and I didn't leave till three hours later. The doctor checked my reflexes and ruled out any kind of urgent problem and then put me on a drip of anti-inflammatories. The positive thing about the IV was that this was the first time that the IV needle went in painlessly and without a lot of prodding and poking. Once I wasn't in quite as much pain, I went for an X-Ray of my lumbar area and then went back down to the ER to wait for the results.

The doctor came in and explained that what the X-Ray showed was a slight degeneration of a disc that was caused by extra strain on it. So, I was told that I need to rest and take it easy and take some anti-inflammatories for 5 days. And he said the road to recovery for the disc would be slow because the solution is strengthening the muscles around it and losing some weight. I'm glad I went in and got the X-Ray done because now I know that there could be disc issues later on down the road. It's a good motivation for me to lose this weight that I've been talking about doing but haven't done. But it's not the disc that's causing me the pain. Where the disc is located is higher up on the back, around the middle of my back. Where my pain is is in my lower lumbar region - all around the base of the spine and the S/I joint (which is where I've had back problems for years). So the trip to the hospital didn't give me any answers about this pain but it did give me some relief with the pain killers yesterday. I did a tiny bit of stretching and yoga this morning and it got me a little more mobile but I think it's just going to be a long go of it to get myself better. This sucks just before the long weekend when we were going to go hiking and 3 weeks before we're heading home (meaning a 10 hour flight to Toronto and then another 3 hours to Regina).

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...