3 AM: Time to PLAY!

Dominic is feeling better. Point in case, he wakes up at 3 am every morning now and yells loudly until someone chucks a toy in his crib. If we’re lucky, he’ll play for a bit with that and stop trying to wake up his brothers. He can now say “Doyan” and “Daday” so he yells for them to come and play with him.

This morning, he was very unhappy. He screamed and yelled. We gave him toys. Filled his crib up with them. Nada. I brought him to bed with me. He screamed. He wasn’t hungry. He wasn’t stinky or wet. He was mad. And I had no idea why.

Five am rolled around and the big boys got up. I put a squawking baby on the floor and he crowed happily and took off for the living room where his brothers were starting to play. Within minutes, all we heard was chortling and giggling as he joined them and they gave him toys to play with. WITH his brothers.

Apparently all that yelling this morning was because he wanted to get down and PLAY and we were so mean that we confined him to one bed or another!

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Episode 52

Dorian: “I was thinking . . . I don’t want to grow up. I want to stay a kid, but I want to be a chef. So I was thinking, can I be a kid chef? A kid who cooks?”


Dorian: watching a preview for Ted, “I don’t understand how they got a bear to talk!”
Me: “Well, it’s not a real bear, it’s computer animated.”
Dante: “It’s not real? Wait, are YOU real or computer animated?”


 Dorian: “I was thinking . . . “
Me: “About?”
Dorian: “I was thinking, maybe, after you had me, you should have stopped and not had another baby for a while.”
Me: “You mean Dante?”
Dorian: “Yeah . . . I was thinking maybe you shouldn’t have had him.”
Dante: busy drawing during the bedtime movie. “Can you please put the movie back a bit? I’m right in the middle of working and I can’t go to bed yet.”
 Explaining trick or treating to Dorian after he saw kids in costume on my FB.

Dorian: “That doesn’t sound very safe . . . what if you go to the house of a bad person?”
Me: “Well, that’s why the parents usually go with the kids.”
Dorian: “I dunno. I’d like candy, but that just doesn’t seem safe.”


 Dorian: “Mama, Dominic keeps sticking slobbery stuff in my face!”
Me: “He’s learning how to share, so he’s trying to share with you.”
Dorian: “Oh my goodness! He’s learning to share? That’s so cool! Of course you can share with me, Dominic!”


 Dorian: “Dominic is the cutest boy I ever saw!”

Happy Thanksgiving

To all the Americans who read this blog, hope you’re having a great Thanksgiving. We didn’t celebrate the Canadian one this year, so I’ll just put my thankful items here. I’m thankful:

  • That Dominic is finally feeling better, even though he’s down a pound from 10 days of not keeping anything down. Also thankful that he didn’t have to go to the hospital and we were able to deal with everything at home, with the help of our awesome, awesome doctor.
  • For the random guy who decided to buy a couple of my Squidoo lenses and actually offered me a price worth selling for.
  • That fresh fruit and veggies are cheap here in Guatemala.
  • For tile floors that are easy to clean after a baby has puked on them for the fifth time in two hours.
  • For my critique partner, who loves my book enough to keep pushing me to finish edits even when I’m tired and grumpy and start to think my characters are just brats.
  • For parents who help handle financial stuff with my bank in Canada.
  • That I have running water and electricity.
  • For boys who bring me flowers every morning and tell me that I’m beautiful.
  • For baby kisses and big boy hugs.
  • For a husband who stays up all night long, rocking the baby in the rocking chair so I can get more than a couple hours of sleep.
  • For blog readers who send me words of encouragement and support when I’m down.
  • For tea. I love tea and it makes mornings after a couple hours of sleep a little bit easier.

What are you thankful for?

9 Months

Dominic is already 3/4 of a year old. I look at him and it’s sad to think that his babyhood is nearly done and that’s it for babies in the house. Sniff. Though I did just get Dorian to agree to make his future wife to live with us (he says he’s NEVER leaving me, bwahahaha!) so maybe we can have babies in the form of grandkids.

In the meantime, I just have to enjoy this little rascal as much as I can.

Dominic is now:

- Saying “Doyan” and “Daday” to call his brothers
- Walking while trailing one hand along furniture
- Standing alone, but only when he doesn’t realize he’s doing it. Like a cartoon character, when he realizes he used both hands to hold a toy and NOTHING IS HOLDING HIM UP . . . he falls down.
- Eating pretty much anything, since he has 8 teeth.
- 18 lbs. He lost a pound while he was sick for two weeks, but he’s gained it back through voracious eating.
- Getting into stuff and being very quiet about it . . . not realizing his silence gives him away as much as the noise.
- Insisting on playing cars and houses with his brothers. Who wants baby toys?!
- Climbing stairs at the playground. I had no idea he knew how to do that.
- Crawling under beds to hide from us or eat things he shouldn’t have.

It’s been a busy month, but he’s definitely growing.

Choosing Dinner

Dominic is fascinated by the fridge. Every time I open it, he comes crawling over as fast as he can move, eager to get a peek inside. (yes, I need to clean my fridge and organize . . . Dante helped me by unpacking everything and I never got around to organizing.)

When It Rains, It Pours

It’s been a tough week here. Dealing with in-law issues yet again. Trying to build a gate to keep their dogs from using our yard as a bathroom, which I’m positive is contributing to the  constant parasites the boys have. I’m ready to cover everything in concrete and spray it with bleach every day.

Actually, we’re seriously considering moving.

Dominic is sick, he’s been vomiting for the past three days and churning out the dirty diapers. Irving has taken him to the doctor, but my mother-in-law says it’s because we put him on the floor. I’m supposed to carry him on my back and not let him have any physical freedom until he’s two.

On top of all this, we’ve had some issues with getting my Amazon payments, which make up the majority of my income. The checks went missing, got messed up, new checks have yet to be issued and my newer checks (which were supposed to go to Canada) haven’t shown up yet. I think we may have found a solution, however, in Payoneer, which lets you direct deposit Amazon payments and makes it available on a card which can be used as a credit card or to take money out via ATM. It might be a good alternative to the darn checks that are causing so many problems.

Ah well. This too shall pass.

The Quake of ’12

You may have heard that the earth shook down here yesterday. This was the biggest earthquake since 1976, when something like 25,000 people were killed. This one was originally rated at a 7.5, the same as the ’76 quake, but it has since been downgraded to a 7.3. The death toll is standing at 48 at the moment, but I’ve heard that around 100 people are missing.

I was working on the computer in my bedroom when the shaking started. Dominic had JUST gone down for a nap after a very, very long struggle and the boys and Zanelle were in the kitchen, drawing. When the shaking started, I jumped up and opened the door because you never want to leave doors shut in a quake in case the frames twist and you are trapped. The boys and their cousin were already headed out the door and I yelled, “RUN!” to them as the shaking got stronger. Then I ran to the crib and scooped up a sleeping baby. Oh, I was mad about that!

As I ran outside with Dominic in my arms, I could hear my mother-in-law screaming for me and then my sister-in-law, Gaby, who is Zanelle’s mother. Esperanza tends to freak out over the slightest thing, but the fact that Gaby was yelling told me they were pretty worried. I raced down the path and into the open area between our houses. The ground was still jerking under my feet and when I turned back, the wall that my brother-in-law built alongside the path was wobbling. It was a LONG quake. It felt like a full minute, but I’ve read that it was 38 seconds. In which case, I run pretty fast for a fat girl with a baby in her arms, considering I got a late start!

The boys were scared after that and didn’t want to go back in the house in case it happened again. They stayed outside to draw and asked to eat their lunch out there, too. Thankfully, by bedtime, they were calm enough to sleep indoors!

Irving had gone to the capital for a television promo spot with the band and my first thought was to see if they were ok. I texted him and he wrote back in seconds. He hadn’t realized there was a quake because they were already in the music van, headed back to Antigua! They had seen a landslide though, one of many that occurred. They’d just passed the area when the mountain came tumbling down and blocked the road behind them. Thankfully, they were already through and made it safely home.

Our area was not hit hard and damages were fairly minimal. However, in San Marcos, closer to the epicenter, things were not so great. Entire zones of the town were demolished and a lot of people buried. They were told to sleep outside last night because of the aftershocks, which went as high as 6.3.

Social media is an amazing thing. Within minutes, photos were flooding in on Twitter and Facebook was humming with people asking each other if they were ok and how hard it hit in their area. People in the US who have family here were messaging me to ask how bad it was in the various areas. Power went out in many areas and the phones were either down or blocked up from so many calls.

Here are some photos of the damages, via Conred.

earthquake guatemala november 7

sismo guatemala nov 7

earthquake guatemala nov. 7

earthquake guatemala

Please pray for the families that lost their homes and loved ones.

Remade Romper Tutorial

Dominic is outgrowing his pants faster than you can say boo and since we haven’t been clothes shopping in a while, I decided to dig into my stash recently and whip some things up for him. It didn’t go exactly as planned, but some friends on Facebook wanted a tutorial, so I am obliging!

This tutorial is for a romper made from a men’s shirt. When I went to do another, I realized that it really only works if you use a men’s shirt with no pocket, which this one just happened to be! The romper was inspired by a tutorial for pjs from sweaters, which I cannot for the life of me find again. Anyway. Here’s how to make a romper quickly and easily and it’s perfect for buttonhole-phobes like myself, since you use the existing buttons!

remade romper from men's shirt

First, I put a romper that fits Dominic on top of the shirt I wanted to use.

romper from a shirt

I positioned this so that the buttons would go down the side, but in retrospect, it would have been fine down the middle, too. So, this is more of personal decision, though if you have huge buttons like I did and your baby is still laying on his tummy a lot (Dominic is always upright at this point), then you might want them to the side.

Here’s where it gets technical . . .

romper tutorial

Cut around the romper. You need about 1/2 an inch for seam allowance. I cut a rough block and then trimmed the arm on one side to start. The reason I did this was so I could fold the piece in half and make sure the arm holes were symmetrical, since I tend to mess these things up.

This is what the arm holes looked like after I cut them both out. It looks wonky, I know, but that’s because of the button placement.

romper tutorial

Next, cut out the bit between the legs. Notice that I did NOT leave a seam allowance here. That’s because I sewed the legs up instead of using buttons, so I didn’t need the extra.

For the neck, separate the two pieces. You want the back to be higher than the front. This is the back, which I cut to fit the romper.

romper tute

And the front, which is deeper. Make sure the two match up at the shoulders or you’ll have issues sewing them later.

And that is where all my great photo taking came to an end. The cutting is the hard bit anyway. To sew it all up, you can follow this lovely diagram . . .

romper pattern

Starting with the blue lines. Put the romper pieces right sides together and sew up the sides first, then the shoulders and then the crotch. You COULD do this in a different order, if you prefer, but quite frankly, I find this the best way to keep things from shifting around too much.

Next, you need to hem, which would be the red marks. Now, this is where I totally mucked things up. If I’d been thinking clearly, I would have done a deeper hem on each section and done some top stitching to keep it all nice and neat. I didn’t, though, and the edges of my seams show around the neck and the arms. It would have also been good with bias tape, but I was on a roll and didn’t have time to stop to make bias tape! Maybe later.

Here’s what you have when you’re done.

Yeah, wrinkly, I know. It looks much better on the model.

romper tutorial

Things I would do differently next time:
- Smaller arm holes, they gape a bit, but they ARE good for a super fast crawling baby.
- Pick a shirt with smaller buttons closer together to ease the gaping.
- Sew a deeper hem or use bias tape to finish the edges.

So, there you have it. If you make a romper yourself, feel free to link to a photo of it in the comments, I’d love to see!

Talk, Talk, Talk

Dominic has been saying a lot more lately. He drops old words and uses his newer ones, which is something I recall his big brothers doing, as well. Here’s what we’ve been hearing.

Dominic: crying during a meal
Me: “What’s wrong?”
Dominic: “Drink!”

Irving was feeding him some eggs the other morning and gave Dominic a bite that hadn’t cooled enough and he bit it, spit it out and said, “Hot!”

I woke up at 2 am to a baby peering at me through the crib rail saying, “Mama? Mama? Inky?” (stinky)

Me: “Dominic, no, you can’t eat that paper.”
Dominic: “SI!”

Dominic picking up a piece of bread off the floor and popping it in his mouth: “Mmm, good.”

I showed Dominic a photo of a baby from my due date club the other day and he was delighted. “Kiss!” and then he tried to kiss my computer screen.

He also alternates between saying Papa and a version of Irving, which is what the older boys call their dad.

He calls Dorian “Dada” and Dante “Bubba.”

November 1st, 2012

All Saints Day is a big deal around here, though this year it seemed a little dull. The boys were really looking forward to it this year, since they were doing a countdown. They had big plans for kite flying and eating street food!

First, we hit the cemetery to visit relatives on Irving’s side. We had a long discussion about death on the walk there. The boys wanted to know if I’d ever had a friend die. So I told them about my friend Coral, who was in a car accident when she was 18 and my friend Matt who was hit by a drunk driver at 16. This led to talk of HOW people die. Not just the methods, but how it actually occurs. What makes a person alive? What makes them dead? It was an interesting conversation.

All Saints Day

We visited Sofia, their cousin who died last year. My other sister-in-law is expecting a baby next summer, so the boys are worried that they might not get to meet this one, either.


As usual, the graves and tombs were well decorated!

day of the dead

all saints day

all saints day guatemala

all saints day, guatemala

Not all of them were decorated, though.

Next, we headed to the long line of food stands that were strangely empty this year and found one with some yummy looking churrascos. The boys were hungry enough that they wanted their own. I think this is the first year they’ve actually eaten real food instead of just tortillas with beans or avocado.


Dominic is teething, so he gnawed on the drink cans in between chowing down on Irving’s tortillas and beans and avocado. He had some meat, too. This boy loves ALL food and now he has the teeth to eat pretty much anything.

Dominic teething

The next stop was a kite stand, where the vendors were thrilled with Dominic babbling at them and impressed that the boys spoke Spanish with them, then turned and spoke English with me. There’s something about hearing a little kid switch easily between languages that people love.

Batman kites were the choice for the big boys, just like last year.

They amused themselves by running in circles in the park instead of actually flying their kites, but they were SO happy and we didn’t have a single meltdown this year! Not even Dominic got upset.

kite flying Guatemala

Dominic had his own mini kite, which he did try to fly, but then he gave up and decided that pulling the streamers off was much more interesting.

Finally, it started to rain, so we headed home. But . . . all that running around had the boys hungry again! So we stopped for a snack.

So many choices! We got pretzels and “sticks” or palitos, which are spicy corn sticks.