A Little Trip to Antigua

I haven´t been to Antigua in eons, although we plan to go almost every day, something always comes up. So, today, we decided to head out, no matter what. Dante stayed with his tia Diana, since it was starting to sprinkle a bit. Irving borrowed his dad´s motorcycle and we squished Dorian between us and headed off.

It was NOT a nice day today. Cloudy since the morning, raining off and on . . . just not that pleasant. But we ate at McDonald´s, did some shopping, found out that the school teachers haven´t been paid yet this month (scary, since that means it´s just me earning at the moment!) and had a nice time as a family of 3 again. Poor Dante. Well, actually, he was being fawned over by his abuela, two tias, two tios and a cousing, so it wasn´t that bad. He looked pretty happy when we got back!

Dorian was SO good, even in the grocery store where he usually throws a fit while screaming ?Cookies! Quiero cookies!? Today he just ran around and listened when we told him not to touch stuff. There was a heartstopping moment for Irving when we passed the toy aisle and our little boy ran straight to a package of makeup. He really wanted that makeup set and Irving was going ?NOooooooo!? So, then Dorian turned his attention to some cheerleading stuff. These were plastic handles that had silver and pink or blue metallic streamers, I have to admit they were pretty cool. I´ve decided to get a couple to put in the boys´ Christmas stockings.

We got to the diaper stall in the market just as they were closing, but we weren´t the only last minute parents, so they opened the stall again so we could buy our diapers. Whew! Close one. The whole interior market was all shuttered up, it was weird walking there, but Dorian liked it because he could run all over the place.

As we were heading to the motorcycle to go home, it started to pour. We debated waiting it out, but really, you never know how long a deluge will last, so in the end it was decided we would make a run for it. To protect Dorian a bit, I took a big black plastic bag that was carrying the diapers and tore a hole in the bottom and a couple holes in the sides, then just pulled it down over his head. It worked like a charm, even if he kind of looked like a walking bag of trash. We got a few stares from people who probably couldn´t believe that two parents would be so stupid as to go out in the afternoon, in the rainy season, without proper rain gear for their child. I was a little embarrassed, but Dorian didn´t mind his plastic gown and he actually wanted to keep wearing it when we got home. He didn´t take it off until it was bathtime!

So, that was our little excursion today. And, for all those wondering about my pet spider . . . it´s dead. Irving killed it a little over an hour ago when the thing got cocky and came all the way out from behind the bulletin board. I should feel bad, after all, the spider never did anything to ME . . . but I´m just glad those 8 beady little eyes are no longer watching me type.

Aloha Friday Meme

Ok, I´m just collecting memes these days! I guess because they seem to get a response . . .other times I feel like I´m talking to myself! So, Island Reviews (a very cool contest blog that is on my blog reader) is starting a really fun new meme called Aloha Friday where you ask a question on your blog and readers answer it. This could be great! Here´s my question:

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Mine is going to visit my grandparents at the beach. They let us dig up their yard, take spoons and yogurt containers down to the beach to catch crabs and fed us lots of fresh fruit and Oreos. It was a blast.

Anyone Here Podcast?

Just curious if anyone here has ever done a podcast. I was over at Grow Your Writing Business this weekend for the Writer´s Cafe and we all got to talking about how podcasting can be a good way to make yourself more identifiable to your audience.

For me, personally, podcasting is just scary. I´m not that fond of my voice, it´s a bit weird and people tell me that I´ve picked up a strange accent over the years. I recently talked to a woman from Alberta, Canada and the first thing she said after we´d exchanged hellos was ?You have an accent . . . I thought you were from Canada??

Also, in my infrequent calls to my family, they tend to make fun of my strange accent (much like they do here when I speak Spanish . . . I´m safe in no language now!). Apparently, it is a cross between British/Australian/Canadian and Spanish. Ok. You can see why I´m a tad insecure about the idea of doing a podcast.

However, I´m thinking it might be an interesting way to connect with my readers from time to time . . . what do you think? Would you be interested in listening to an odd expat mom accent?

3 Reasons I Need to Get Off the Computer More

Irving got home late last night after having been away for two long days. At the beginning of the weekend, I simply decided that I was not going to stress about work and that I wouldn´t worry about checking my emails or looking to see if someone had commented on my blog every five minutes. It was hard, but I did it.

Oh, I was on for a bit here and there, but mostly during naps and at night. And I learned something. Here are the three reasons that I need to spend more time away from my computer.

1. Dorian and Dante and I went to the park yesterday afternoon. The kids were bored, so we headed out for an ice cream and stopped in the central park. Now, this isn´t a playground, it´s just a fountain and lots of rock and concrete, with a few sparse patches of grass that are fenced in with metal and barbed wire.

On the way there, I discovered that Dorian can A) walk DOWN steps all by himself, without hanging onto anything and B) can climb up onto the park benches, without any help! I didn´t know this. And it makes me a bit sad, because I realized that if I had left the computer more often in this past month, taken the time to go out with the guys, I would have seen the first time he did those things. I feel so guilty. And to make things worse, today, he climbed onto his trike, pushed himself around with his feet and then got off. By himself. Another thing I had no idea he could do.

2. My eyes are getting worse. I´ve always had 20/20 vision, but I´m pretty sure that it is not perfect anymore. I get headaches because I´m staring at a bright screen too long every day.

3. The house is a disaster. Sure, I do clean it, but five minutes later, it´s all messy again. I keep thinking, ?When the kitchen is done, I´ll put in storage space.? But really, if I stopped working for a bit, I could probably sort through everything and get rid of most of it!

It´s so hard to find a balance between work and family and housework. Even with Irving watching Dorian, I realized that the situation is not ideal. I want to be at home so I can see those firsts, watch my babies grow into little boys and then into big boys (sigh) and I´m missing a lot because I´m glued to the computer. While earning money is important, there is a definite need for some balance! It´s just a matter of figuring out what that balance is.

A Whole Slew of Projects

Since I was up all night, I revamped my DIY Wedding Planner blog and made it all spiffy, with new ads, new text that is WAY easier to read (the earlier template had grey on grey) and lots more articles. I think it looks pretty nice, if I do say so myself!

The idea is to continue building my empire of blogs. Bwaa ha ha! Well, there´s this one which is just for fun and personal stuff, At Home Mom is for wahms and business, DIY Wedding Planner is (duh) for brides planning their weddings and then I have Last Minute Cook, which has been sadly neglected, but will be getting an overhaul as well. Then there will be Gear Up to Travel, which is going to be a fun review of travel gadgets. I love travel, I love gadgets, it´s the perfect match. Plus, I just wasn´t busy enough!

Besides blogs, I´m working on a few websites. My PLR Article Packs site has been running for quite a while now, but I just put it on WordPress, so it is super easy to manage and looks tons more professional. Next up is Online Guatemala Parents, which is a website for adoptive parents coming to Guatemala. I´ve met a lot of them here and they tend to feel overwhelmed with the culture and don´t usually speak the language. Some are so scared, they don´t go any more than two blocks from their hotel and none of them knows what is available here in the way of diapers, formula, etc, so they bring huge great bags down with them.

My idea is to create a website that gives them an idea of prices, what´s available, best family friendly hotels and apartments, etc. The money-making side of things will come later, but I´m thinking of starting a baby equipment rental so families don´t have to bring down great huge strollers and cribs. We´ll see. I´m still using my baby stuff, anyway! There will also be maps to the playgrounds around here and ideas for activities to do with older kids, since many bring their other children with them.

So, my days, or nights, as the case may be, are pretty darn full. Now, if I could just get organized, I could actually get this stuff done!