And So The Rainy Season Begins

It’s wet here. Really wet. Well, actually, it hasn’t rained yet today, but the heavy black cloud lingering over the volcano lets me know that we’d better get the laundry in before too much longer.

May is the start of the rainy season in Guatemala. I’ve always said that the rainy season is perfect, with sun in the morning, clouds in the afternoon and rain all night. Well, this year, we started off with a tropical depression that turned into Hurricane Barbara in the blink of an eye. That means NO sun, just a heck of a lot of rain!

The good news is that our drains in the patio work perfectly. The bad news is that we need gutters because with the ground a meter and a half closer to the bedroom door, the water pours off the roof and heads inside instead of directly to the drain, thanks to the water bouncing against the door. We bought some weather stripping to fix the issue, but it’s mysteriously gone missing. I suspect it was confiscated for robot construction.

The last day my sister was here, it poured. HEAVY rain. She had some last minute shopping to do and we hadn’t had a chance to spend much time alone together during her visit, so we went into Antigua anyway. We got soaked, but it was all good. We headed to the absinthe bar first and then we walked to the supermarket and finally went to Pollo Campero to dry out a bit before heading home. I’ll add more on the absinthe later. That was a fun experience!

After months of hot weather, it’s nice to have some rain and cool breezes. However, I must say that having a dryer this year has made all the difference in my attitude. Being able to actually wash and dry clothing whether or not it is raining is awesome! Especially with three boys who manage to go through at least a couple of shirts a day.

Hopefully we won’t see too many more storms, but I’ll enjoy the cool while it lasts.

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Episode 62

Dorian: “When I’m a man, I’m not going to be able to fit through the door.”
Dante: playing Minecraft “Stop cooking me, darn lava!”
Dorian: “Dante is going to meet girls because he likes to dance. I don’t know how I’m supposed to meet girls.”
Dorian: “If I have four babies when I’m grown, that means Papa can change 2 diapers and I’ll change one and Dante can change one.”
Me: “Dante will probably have his own babies to change and I don’t think your papa is going to be changing grandbaby diapers.”
Dorian: “How am I supposed to change four babies all at once?!”
Me: “That’s why you have one baby at a time . . . wait til the first one grows up and uses the toilet, then have another.”
Dorian: “I think I’m just going to stay a kid.”
Me: “Dominic, are you stinky?”
Dominic: “Uh, si. Mira!” pulls his diaper out from his body.
Dante: “Say, give me the sword!”
Dorian: “This isn’t a movie, it’s a game!”
Watching a trailer for G.I. Joe 2.
Dorian: “Wait! All these guys are TOGETHER!”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Dorian: “The bald guy (Bruce Willis) and the one from the Witch Mountain movie (The Rock) and the other guys . . . why are they all in the same movie?”
Dorian: “Are you going to run with me? Oh, I guess you can’t, because you’re fat.”
Me: “Well, I’d like to get unfat.”
Dorian: “That’s the great thing about being a Mama.”
Me: “What’s great?”
Dorian: “You’re perfect just the way you are.”
Dante: “Mama, I love you so much. I love your blood.”
We were walking through the market, with vendors calling out their wares.
Dante: “Why does EVERYONE speak Spanish?”
Me: “Because we live in Guatemala, that’s the language here.”
Dante: “So just us three speak English? WHY?”
Dorian: “Mama! Auntie Sarah made me a sandwich with peanut butter AND jam! I’m trying to eat it. It’s actually kinda good.”
Dorian: “We couldn’t buy you flowers for Mother’s Day, because Papa spent his money on diapers instead.”
Me: “That’s okay, I really just need love.”
Dorian: “Oh, okay. I can give you a hug. Everyone else was buying flowers though.”

Potty Training . . . Already?!

Dominic is always trying to catch up to his big brothers, something I fear he’ll be doing for the rest of his life. Poor kid. Anyway. Back when he was just turning 1, I went to give him a bath and when I took off his diaper, he scurried over to the toilet and peed on the floor right in front of it. He obviously knew that was where you do your business.

Some moms in my due date club suggested I start putting him on the potty, but I figured he was too little still. How would he understand the concept of not going in his pants and using a toilet? So I put it off.

He wakes up every morning and makes a dirty diaper around 4 am. Irving suggested we bring  in the potty and get him on it nice and early. I wasn’t sure, but he went ahead and washed up the old one that the boys supposedly used (but never really did) and showed it to Dominic. The little guy got VERY excited and so we put him on it and he promptly peed.

One day, not long ago, Dominic came outside, carrying his diaper, which he’d taken off. He dropped it in the garbage bin and when I went to put another on him, he said, “No!” Okay . . . I left him diaperless and we put him on the potty every 20 minutes or so. He went  three times before he had an accident, about two seconds before we were going to put him on again.

Since then, he’s regularly without a diaper for at least half the day and has even graduated to pooping in the potty. I don’t even know what to do with a 15 month old who is essentially training himself! My other kids were SO hard to train and we ended up using some pretty insane techniques to get Dante to do anything but pee in the toilet. Not even chocolate worked for those boys!

I guess I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and should just be happy and enjoy the fact that I may actually have a diaper free household within then next 6 months. Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t even imagine that!


6 Years Old!

Happy birthday to my six year old Dante today! He’s growing up so fast and changing so quickly.

He requested a Batman and Robin cake with tombstones and a zombie hand coming out of the ground. This is what I came up with.

He chose the image off the internet, which was far more complicated than I would have designed, but it worked with the icing transfer method.

My sister, Sarah, baked the cake while I made the design and we were in bed by around 1 am . . . only to be woken by an excited little boy whispering in my ear, “Can I open my presents? Am I six yet?”

He enjoyed a cake with relighting candles and got a drawing book and a Spiderman, plus some water balloons to play with.

Run, Baby, Run!

Dorian has always enjoyed running. When he was about two, he was already zipping away from us and he was fast enough that it was a real challenge to catch him.

As he grew, he continued to love running. He got us to time him and was excited about his speed. When we were in Canada, my dad took the boys to the track and Dorian ran two laps without stopping, which impressed us all.

More recently, he’s been talking about the Olympics and how he’d like to run in them someday. We told him it would take a lot of training. He kept talking about it. So, finally, we looked into getting him into track. It turns out that it’s crazy simple. You just show up.

There is a running coach in our town and a track just five minutes away where a large group of runners meets twice week. We took Dorian for his first time last week and he did really well. He’s the smallest of the entire group and the only other kids are all girls who have a lot of training under their belts (their dads are runners in the adult group).

His first evening went well, but was pretty simple. He ran laps with his cousin and the other girls, did some sprints and then another lap. While he did well, he wasn’t really pushing it too hard. He had fun, but the next day, he told us he didn’t really want to go back. He said it was a lot of work. He didn’t like having to have a shower after practice. And everyone was faster than he was.

I explained that he’d wanted this for a long time and told him that he needed to give it a chance. That the things worth doing in life are sometimes hard and they require work, but it is so worth it in the end. Also, it would be really good for his intestines and all that running would help him avoid so many visits to the doctor and other unpleasant situations.

He agreed to try for a while longer and so tonight we packed everyone into the car and headed to his second practice, without Zanelle, since she had art class.

This time, he was more familiar with the routine. The coach took time to talk to him and to show him the proper techniques for doing things. Dorian was the only kid this time, so he ran with the adults. He couldn’t keep up, of course, but he ran his three laps steadily, with a grin on his face.

He did his sprints with the coach, while the adults did dashes. Then he ran another lap with an older man who wasn’t preparing for a race and ended up passing him and running full out all the way to the end. He was so hyped after practice that he ran around us as we headed back to the car.

This is our first foray into the world of organized sports/lessons. I have to say it’s a bit weird to have to be somewhere twice a week! It’s very rewarding to watch my son enjoying himself, doing what he loves and learning how to do it even better. The other boys enjoy the time, too, running around the space outside the field and getting their own form of exercise. We have three worn out kids by the time practice is over!


The Office

I don’t go to the office every day, but the days that I do, I’m very productive. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you aren’t getting up every couple of minutes to break up a fight, get someone water or a snack or to change a diaper.

Here’s the front of the cottage where I work:

writing cabin

Cute, huh? It’s very simple and rustic and I have NO furniture at this point, but I’m working on it. Irving made me a whiteboard that I still need to get hung and his next order of business is to build me some shelves.

So far, I only have a plastic chair and a folding table. Hey, it works! And I’m inspired to work harder to buy a real desk and a proper computer chair. There’s one that I’ve been drooling over in Cemaco in the capital.

simple writing life

The view here is really nice. There is a huge garden out front and off to the side of the cabin and the main house is a ways away. No one bothers me and it’s pretty quiet up here, except the motocross guys that come roaring up the hill on the weekends.

Here’s the view from the doorway:

I’m thinking a hammock out on the porch might be a nice alternative to working at the desk . . .