Feria

This past weekend was a feria in our area. We headed out to enjoy it with Dominic and the boys in tow . . . Dominic?s first feria! He loved it. We were there for three hours, including part of the time that Irving was working (his band played in the park that evening) and Dominic never once let out a squawk. He was so fascinated by everything!

The older boys were super excited to go. They?d been waiting for a whole WEEK to go on the car merry-go-round, since they?d seen the feria guys bringing in the truckloads of stuff for the rides.

The street food at these ferias is awesome. Yes, you may get sick, but it?s worth it! Sadly, I didn?t have time to eat this time and by the next day, everything was gone, moved on to the next town. sigh.

The boys went on their ride and I got no good photos of that. Dorian then went on the trampoline and then . . . they headed for their favorite game, Cincos! This is where you roll six marbles into a series of holes and each hole has a number on it. They add up the numbers and tell you what prize you get. Truthfully, though, unless you get all 6?s, you just pick whatever you want from this child?s paradise of cheapo fair prizes:

The boys chose inflatable swords. Dominic wanted one, too!

While we waited for the band to get going, the boys had an epic sword fight in the middle of the square.

The church was all decorated for the event.

And there were points around the park which I can?t remember the names of, but they show religious scenes. Here are a couple of them. There were four in total.

A stage was set up in the park for the band.

We later went to listen once Irving was up there to play. Unfortunately, he wasn?t in the first two songs and we had to leave after that, so the boys think their papa gets paid to stand and move to the music!

Back to the Dentist

I have this tooth that was filled many years ago in Canada and when I was about two months pregnant with Dominic, half the tooth broke off, leaving the filling sticking out. I couldn?t really fix it at that point, so I left it. And left it. And left it.

I?m a bit freaked by dentists, for those of you new to this blog. I?ve had a bad experience or two. I?ve gone through two dentists, neither of which had no luck with numbing me properly, so I?m a tad nervous and that?s why I put off fixing this tooth, even after Dominic was born. My thought was that I could take a Valium the next time I have to go to the dentist, but obviously that?s not too conducive to breastfeeding.

Well, this morning I suddenly felt something come loose in my mouth and guess what? It was the filling. :( I now have a gaping hole in my tooth (doesn?t that sound familiar?) and definitely have to do something about it soon. sigh. I?ve had a couple of recommendations for dentists and they are more expensive than the ones I?ve seen  . . . but I?m hoping that?s a good thing. We really don?t need to spend more money right now, but I can?t lose another tooth, either.

Guatemalan Ferris Wheels

Our pueblo recently had its saint day, which means big celebrations! This year was bigger than most. I?ll be sharing photos soon, but in the meantime, here?s a video I took of the Ferris wheel . . . in Guatemala these are NOT lazy rides to check out the sights, they?re like roller coasters, fast, scary and . . . well, you?ll see.

Is an Interracial Relationship Hard?

Most people consider it a bit taboo to ask questions about an interracial relationship like mine and Irving?s, but I do get questions sometimes. Is it hard? What about the kids? What are the differences you have to face?

The short answer is that interracial relationships aren?t necessarily hard . . . it?s the cultural differences that are challenging! I have little doubt that if Irving had been raised in Canada, we would be far more similar than we are. BUT, even if he had been raised in Canada, I doubt he would see things my way anyway, because I didn?t have a very standard childhood, what with homeschooling, traveling and such. There will always be differences between couples, no matter what the color of their skin, but coming from very different countries has accented those differences quite a bit.

Truthfully, things were just peachy until we had children. We handled our differences pretty easily before that, because what was the problem? I did things my way, he did things his way, we compromised on stuff we had to share. And then along came Dorian.

Guatemalan methods of raising a child are so extremely different than Canadian methods that we instantly ran into issues. I put Dorian up on my shoulder to burp him, Irving had been raised to believe that this was dangerous for a baby and could make his soft spot cave in. I stood the baby on my lap and that was ten times more dangerous, because he could also develop bowed legs. Dorian tended to power puke, hitting targets up to a meter away, which didn?t phase me because I was the same way as a baby, but it really freaked Irving out. In short, we clashed on everything.

Poor Dorian was the guinea pig for our childrearing skills. Irving has changed so much since Dorian was born. He was anxious and fretful early on about the way I handled the baby, but we compromised on some things and on others, he bit his tongue and waited to see how it would turn out. By the time Dante came along, Irving was defending our parenting style to his family and by the time Dominic showed up, everyone decided we apparently could keep kids alive for half a decade, at least, and mostly left us alone.

With Dominic, Irving isn?t scared to hold him upright or take him outside without a hat or leave him in a onesie on a hot day. These are huge steps for someone who was raised to believe that these things could kill a child!

Kids have been our biggest challenge (aren?t they in any relationship?), but food was another problem. Irving wanted Guatemalan food, I tended to cook Canadian style cuisine. I would cook carrots and he would tell me he hated carrots. His mother only cooked them one way, mushy and he didn?t like that. When I made some lime glazed carrots one day, way back at the beginning of our relationship, he tentatively tried them and he liked them. Since then, he?s eaten my carrots, no problem.

Another issue was the fact that I don?t eat much meat. I lived with a vegan for two years before moving to Guatemala and while I wasn?t vegan myself, meat just isn?t a big part of my diet. I?m not terribly fond of it for the most part. Irving liked to have some sort of meat or poultry at least once a day. He was also quite accustomed to eating the same things on a daily basis, tortillas and beans for lunch, for example. He couldn?t bring himself to eat eggs with his beans at lunch, but eggs with supper or breakfast was fine. Again, it was just what he was used to! He liked to have sweet bread with coffee after supper or even FOR supper, but I could never make the coffee the right way.

Since we have almost always lived so close to his mom, Irving would frequently go eat at her house. I tried to master some Guatemalan recipes, but the truth is, I wasn?t that good at it! Not until we had our maid, Mirna, who taught me how to cook properly. Since then, Irving has enjoyed some more traditional meals that I make, but his tastes have also expanded and he likes to eat a wider range of food than he did when we first met.

If you?re thinking that it sounds like Irving is the one who has compromised most . . . you?d be right! The guy is a saint. His entire world has been turned upside down because he fell in love with someone from another country. Poor guy!

If there?s one thing I?ve learned over the past 9.5 years of being with Irving, it?s that compromise is the key to a multi-cultural relationship. It?s tough, but you can make it work! On top of the usual personality and upbringing differences, you have entire generations of beliefs and ideas from each side, clashing together in the middle, but with a little effort (ok, sometimes a LOT of effort), you can turn the clashing bits into a nice mosaic of cultures that work for your family.

Four Months Old

It?s gone so quickly. Dominic is:

- Sitting up for short periods of time.
- Trying to eat everything we eat by grabbing it when we aren?t paying attention.
- Repeating vocal sounds.
- Yelling at people, particularly his big brothers.
- Fascinated by kids his brothers? ages. He can watch them for ages!
- Going through another growth spurt . . . he spent two days doing nothing but eating and sleeping.
- Amazed by his own toes.
- Really into playing with toys. He?s just mastered the full hand grasp and can now shake his soft blocks and rattles and gnaw his teething ring that Grampa made him.
- Outgrowing EVERYTHING. He has four sleepers that fit him still, so a shopping trip is in order. And I need to find someone with a baby to pass the old stuff to . . . but my sister-in-law, Diana, is getting married next month, so maybe I?ll have someone to use that baby stuff soon?

Fun Food

I used to make a lot of bento lunches and fun snacks for the boys, back when I wasn?t working much and only had two kids. The other day I found some fun food pics on Facebook and Pinterest and was thinking about making something fun again. Then, since I decided to make eggplant and carrot pancakes for lunch, which the boys would probably never touch, I decided to turn them into robots.

The first round had homemade potato chips for arms and rocks, but they were all gone by the time the boys asked for a second helping. The first robots were gone so quickly that I didn?t have a chance to take photos.

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Episode 44

Dante: ?Dorian, don?t eat that pizza! It has all them vegetables on it!?

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Dante: ?Mama, the ants are carrying off the bread! They?re taking it all down the steps and into their holes. I think they?re going to toast it over a fire and maybe have some beans, too. Yup, they?re going to have beans and bread. It?s a good supper, everybody likes that.?

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Dorian was graphing our names to see who has the longest and shortest names in the family.

Dorian: ?Hey, what?s this? Why do we all have D names? Dorian, Dante, Dominic . . . they all start with D!?

Me: ?We liked the letter D.?

Dorian: ?Well, I don?t like it. I want my own letter!?

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Dante: ?Can we watch the dancing boobs movie??

Me: ?Um, what movie would that be??

Dorian: ?You know, with the boob dance. And the dinosaur.?

Me: ?I have no idea what you?re talking about.?

Dorian: ?We watched it yesterday.?

Me: ?Oh, you mean The Journey to the Mysterious Island??

Dante: ?YEAH!?

For the record, this was what they were referring to as the boob dance . . . totally rated G.