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What's new in our part of the world

It's been a long time since we last updated, except for videos (all thanks to Der for sharing those). Sorry about that. It seems like I have less time now to sit down and write something more than a few lines. We're keeping busy, as usual. When you've got kids, when aren't you busy, eh?

Lately, we've been outside enjoying as much of the warm weather as we can. We've had the strangest spring since we've been here. The warm weather only came sporadically all through to November and even this month, we've had some cold, cold days. I still have my winter clothes in my closet because of this goofy weather. Normally, it's perfect weather by now and we're in shorts all the time. By this time last year, we had been in the pool for a month. This year, the water hasn't had time to warm up enough to even consider going in. I hope the summer weather is here to stay now and we can enjoy our backyard even more.

Aidan is now 17 months old and is a hoot. He is quite the little character and makes us smile all the time. He loves to dance - whenever we turn on "I've Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas, he starts grooving. The other day, Der had on a Robbie Williams song and he got right into it. He's at the age where he's getting into everything so we have to keep an eye on him at all times. Luckily for us (and maybe unluckily for him), we have Kirsi to help us with that. He is talking up a storm now too. He has so many words; some of his latest are - dirt, boomba, ago (agua - water), Titi (for Kirsi), tak oo (thank you), pea (please), Daddy, Maman (sounds French), O-ann (for Yoann, one of his friends), bir (bird), mou (mouse), duckie, pi (pig), cow and many more that I can't think of right now. He understands everything we tell him and will follow complex commands. I find it so fascinating when kids start developing their language skills.

Kirsi is doing great. She's still doing her horse lessons and loves it. She's so proud when she trots now and loves taking care of Chilindrina. Tonight, when we were asking her what she wants to ask Santa for, she said, "A horse and a farm - real ones!" She's really been into dancing lately and babies. She has, on average, two babies in her tummy a day. We have to play doctor and help her have the baby and then we have to admire her brand new baby. She makes Derwin and Pascuala have babies too. Just this week, Aidan has been the doctor and helped her have her babies. Too funny. The other day, she had her first c-section. :) She loves the show, Hi-5, and can't get enough of it. She goes around singing the songs now and dancing to their music.

Today was Kirsi's first try at T-ball and she loved it. She was a natural both in the field and hitting. She smoked another little girl in the pigtail with a line drive and made her cry. First, they stretch together. Then they take turns hitting and fielding. Then they run the bases. At the end, they gather together and do a cheer. It's too cute! Aidan wanted to get in on the action so we had him run the bases.

Simba is our concern right now. The growth on his lip has grown back for the third time and it's so big now that it bleeds. We got him into the cancer doctor last week. He said that he feels that it's not an aggressive form of cancer, which is obviously a good thing. We took him in for blood tests are just waiting for the results before we schedule another surgery. Dr. Torres has recommended that we remove a good part of his lip surrounding the tumour to make sure that we get everything. This is what Der and I were hoping to hear and that once that's done, that will be the end of the cancer issue for our poor little guy. He's been through so much the last few months that we just want him to be healthy.

Der and I have been busy lately with next year's plans. Der has sent out many applications to different schools around the world and has registered for the job fair in Boston in February. We're just waiting to see what happens in the next few months on that front.

School's been going fast for Der. He's been keeping busy with all kinds of things. He put together a workshop with one of the counsellors on cyber-bullying, which was very powerful and very eye-opening for kids and parents alike. He did a presentation for a South American teachers' conference held at Nido at the end of October.

As for me, I'm still doing what I've been doing. Being a mom all day long, tutoring two days a week, trying to make healthy choices for my family and myself. Today I went to an all-day scrapbooking session and it was great! I'm nearing the end of Kirsi's first year albums which will be a great accomplishment. Then, I'll start Aidan's. :) I haven't gotten any mosaics done in a long time, which is a shame.

We've been busy trying to plan our summer. Der's parents will get here soon - just over a week away now! - and we're going to be doing some travelling with them. We're planning on driving over the Andes to Mendoza, Argentina, then driving down the Argentinean side of the Andes until San Martin de los Andes. Then we'll cross over into Chile and visit some of the southern parts of the country and then back up. That'll take about 3 weeks. Then a week later, we'll be going up to San Pedro de Atacama, which is in northern Chile and is a desert. It's supposed to be amazing so we're excited to see that too. It'll be a great summer but hectic.

And, that is our story in a nutshell. We're doing well and keeping out of trouble!
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{pictures below}