Friday, April 25, 2008

More of Everything

Having 2 kids instead of 1 means life is now filled with:
more chaos,
more diapers,
more laundry,
more rules,
more mess,
more gear,
more stomachaches,
more stress,
more tears,
more accidents,
more demands,
more scheduling,
more sleep deprivation,
more headaches,
more bills,
more time-out,
more shots,
more noise,
and, thankfully,
more joy,
more memories,
more sharing,
more smiles,
more stories,
more games,
more laughter,
more love,
more time together,
more singing,
more toys
more dancing,
more presents,
more silliness,
more pictures,
more adventure,
more parties,
and above all else,
more fun!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tooth Story

Confession, I have terrible teeth. My mouth is full of metal. I've had head-gear, braces, fillings, crowns and 2 root canals. Now, 2 root canals wouldn't be so bad if not for the fact that they were on the same tooth and still the tooth needed surgery and finally today I have had to have it pulled. This is my first tooth pulling experience and I did not like it. But, I have been in pain from this tooth for nearly 3 years so I was more than willing to forge ahead and get it done. The procedure took a long time - a VERY long time and there was a lot of novacaine and therefore lots of shots - a couple to the palate which really hurts - and lots and lots and lots of blood. And, since my mouth was so numb I was also drooling blood which is just wrong on so many levels and something I haven't done since I had my wisdom teeth removed. And then there was light-headedness from loss of blood and queasiness from swallowing blood and not eating sufficiently before my appointment and now there is pain. I have drugs for the pain, but I am nursing Isaac still and trying to avoid pumping him full of unnecessary drugs, so there is also a lot of unhappy grinning and bearing of the pain as well.

After the dentist pulled my tooth today - sorry no pictures but I did not think to take my camera along for the ride - he showed it to me and asked if I wanted to keep it. No hesitation there, absolutely not. That thing was the bane and the pain of my existence for ages and the last thing I needed was a momento of that.

Then I sat down at my computer this afternoon needing to do something other than think about the pain and the fact that someday my baby would thank me for the sacrifice I am making and stumbled upon this headline on

Bull Market in Gold Leads Some to Dig Out Old Dental Work

No, this is not my tooth, I lifted this from Fox's site and below
is the URL for the article.,2933,352337,00.html

This is an approach that never occurred to me and after seeing this I'm going to walk around with my mouth firmly closed so no one can see the hidden value of my terrible teeth. I wonder if the dentist still has my tooth - maybe I should go back and retrieve it for more than posterity?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dolphin Fun

Just a few blocks from our house is Los Delfines Hotel (the dolphins Hotel) - aptly named because for most of the year it is home to Yaku and Wayra, 2 dolphins rescued off the coast of Mexico. The dolphins swim in a pool on the other side of the glass from the hotel's main restaurant so guests can watch their antics while dining. Or, during the summerish months (December through June), one can attend a training session for an up-close view of these talented creatures. Caleb and I decided to do just that. The dolphins do all the sorts of Sea World type tricks you would expect - though the staff make a point of telling the audience this is a training exercise which you have been allowed to view (for a small fee) for the purpose of becoming educated about dolphin behavior and not a show! There was a fair amount of splashing the onlookers as well, something that Caleb did not enjoy but endured. Otherwise, apart from not being able to take the dolphins' ball home with us, I think he enjoyed our visit. Maybe someday we can take Caleb to a "real" show where there is no pretense of education or training to confuse him.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


When you are a foreign service employee and you have a baby in the States, you are authorized a "layette shipment." This is basically a one-time shipment of up to 250 lbs. of stuff you need for the "care and feeding of the newborn child." This phrase has been interpreted by some to mean all sorts of things that stretch the envelope for what a newborn needs to be cared for and fed with. Like, do you need a new TV to watch at 3am while you are caring for and feeding the child? Or, does the child now or in the future need a new set of pots and pans to facilitate adequate care and feeding? Since Isaac is not our first child we did not need any of the big stuff - crib, swing, stroller, carseat, changing table etc., so we planned to pack our shipment with envelope pushing stuff instead of traditional baby items. However, the Department of State is not as unaware as you might think and required an itemized list of the items in the shipment which had to be pre-approved - bye, bye new spring wardrobe for Mommy. So our shipment included really exciting things like formula, diapers, ziploc bags, toy storage containers and clothes for the boys. I also, foolishly, tossed in their new Easter baskets as well as their Easter presents thinking that we would get this one 110 lb. box well before Easter - not so much. Anyway, I got a call last week that the box had finally cleared customs and would be arriving last Friday - hippity hop, Easter was in fact on its way at last. And so we prepared and celebrated as the pictures below will demonstrate.

First, we used the last of the cookie dough we had in the freezer from Christmas
(slight freezer burn flavor, but it hasn't stopped us from eating them) and made
Easter Dinosaur cookies - at least the frosting was Eastery.

Then, we dyed eggs, something Caleb had never done before and could not get enough of.

As soon as we put an egg in the dye he would say "mas (more), mas, mas" until
we had dyed every egg in the house, even the rejected cracked ones

You'll notice there are no fancy two-toned or tie-dyed eggs in
the mix - we were not patient enough for that sort of thing

Then the Easter Bunny, very wisely and graciously came Sunday
afternoon after church and naps...

and we examined our loot!

Finally, we hunted...

...and hunted...

...and hunted.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Who Does He Look Like?

Most of the time newborns look like babies to me. What I mean is I have almost never been able to look at a brand new baby and say with confidence "She has her mother's eyes" or, "He looks just like his Dad." When Caleb was born he looked so much like a miniature Kenny that even I had no trouble seeing the resemblance. Just look at a comparison of their baby pictures, it's almost like looking in a mirror.





Since Isaac was born I have heard over and over again "He looks just like Caleb," "He and Caleb could be twins," and "Who does he look like (pause, pause), just like Caleb and his Dad." While I wholeheartedly agree that Isaac has some expressions that are vintage Caleb and that they do share some features, for the most part I just don't see anything that would justify calling them twins. Granted, my point of view is probably colored by the fact that they have very different personalities, body types and eating and sleeping habits, but still, I just don't see it!

My Dad said several times that he looked just like his babies, meaning me and my siblings, and I thought he must be right because as I said I thought Isaac didn't look like Caleb all that much and not at all like Kenny. So I went searching for proof...behold:





In answer to the question "Who Does He Look Like?" I'm going to have to say...ME!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

To Lil on her 35th Birthday

Today my sister Lil turns 35. In celebration of this event I have compiled a list of 35 things about Lil you may not know, but I'm sure are champing at the bit to learn:

Lil with her new baby Jacob

1. Her hair is naturally curly, but she perms it anyway (more uniform, more stylish and easier to maintain)
2. Her Masters degree in English is from the University of Delaware
3. When she was younger she ate tomatoes like apples
4. She calls her husband Mitch even though his name is Matt - except on her blog where she refers to him exclusively as "the husband"
5. She was the valedictorian of her graduating class in HS
6. Though not exactly athletic, she is eerily good at Volleyball (also Pool, but that isn't really a sport)
7. Her closet has more white t-shirts than any other closet on the planet
8. If you count New Zealand as part of the Australian continent, she has visited 5 continents
9. She LOVES the beach

That's her on the left with my parents and brother Loren - so cute!

10. She went to a fancy liberal arts college - Pomona College - and was accepted early because her grades and test scores were so impressive - read: she is very bright
11. Pictures of her on ID cards look like glamour shots
12. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of what is currently showing on television and can tell you with amazing accuracy what is good, bad, forgettable and generally lousy saving you all kinds of time
13. As a baby she was put on a diet because she was too fat
14. Some say she dated her husband for less than a week before becoming engaged, she says more like 2 weeks (in fairness, they knew each other a long time before sealing the deal)
15. She makes jewelry
16. She has never owned a new car
17. Her purse/bag collection is something to behold and envy
18. Reading is her favorite pastime and as a result she can talk intelligently about almost any subject

Lil and Matt with Caleb

19. She is a great cook
20. Do not touch her feet or ankles EVER
21. She is the only one of us never to have attended Brigham Young University (Hawaii or Provo)
22. Her favorite color is green
23. She has subscribed to Entertainment Weekly for at least a decade
24. She doesn't play the piano except for one song from John Thompson's level 2 (something about swans) which she memorized 25 years ago
25. While in college she did a semester abroad at Jesus College in the University of Cambridge, England
26. She served a mission for our church in Guatemala
27. One of her big toenails has a crack down the middle
28. She has survived both a stroke and heart surgery
29. Her son, Jacob, was born in January of this year

Lil and I doing the hula in our Mexican finery - so multi-cultural.

30. She used to watch Days of Our Lives religiously even though we were absolutely forbidden to watch soap operas
31. She loves dried cherries and sour candy
32. In addition to being Jacob's mom, she also teaches college English classes
33. Her first job was at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii
34. Shopping is a favorite hobby - hence the massive amounts of purses and white t-shirts mentioned previously
35. She loves John Cusack and all that he touches

These are just some highlights of the many facets of my sister - you can get to know her better with a visit to her blog.

Happy Birthday Lil!

A Blessed Baby

One of the last things we did before heading back to Peru was to give Isaac a name and a blessing - something done in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with the birth of each child. We chose to do it while still in Utah so that family and friends could be there to help us celebrate. I also wanted to do it there because it was important to me that he be blessed in the same clothes Caleb was blessed in. The clothes are very fragile and were first worn by my paternal grandmother born in 1917. My father and his siblings also wore them as did I and my siblings. These blessing clothes have a lot of sentimental value and since my sister was planning to use them for her new baby in April I didn't want to be burdened with the responsibility of sending them back from Peru and risking loss or damage. Isaac was very well behaved most of the day even though he was descended upon by throngs of well-wishers. I kept him in the clothes for as little time as possible and realized after the fact that there are no pictures of him with Caleb - but Caleb was there and very pleased by all the excitement.

Isaac on his blessing day - the shawl is not from 1917, but my parents added it
in 1973 when my sister was born and everyone since has used it as well.

There are holes at the wrists to thread ribbons through - blue for boys and pink
for girls - then you remove the ribbons so each child has a keepsake from that day.
My mother pasted these in our baby books with our blessing certificates.

Three generations - ages: 60, 32 and 1 month.

Isaac with Grandma and Grandpa

Isaac with Grandeur and Grandest

We are a happy family - just imagine that Caleb is there too because
we are not complete without him.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Post Too Far

Despite the fact that I don't post on the blog daily, or even weekly these days, I am always thinking about the next post. I created the blog initially as a means whereby our friends and family could keep track of us as we traveled across the globe. I planned my posts to be about milestones in the life of my child, now children, the places we were living and visiting, and generally about adjusting to life away from our beloved US of A. And then I discovered a blogging universe peopled by friends, friends of friends, and perfect strangers and I knew my blogging objectives would be forever altered. Suddenly immersed in blogs about pop culture and poetry, recipes and recitals, sandwiches and stalkers it seemed to me my pictures of Unesco World Heritage sites and World Wonders just weren't cutting it - I had to dig deeper, be more creative, and most importantly always think about what was happening in my universe in terms of blog worthiness. What follows suggests I may have gone too far in the name of the blog - though not far enough to refrain from posting...

On Easter Sunday I dressed my boys in matching outfits. The outfits had matching cardigans that were just too hot for the sweltering summer of Lima so even though we were running late, I called our Sunday morning routine to a halt to get some pictures of them before sending them to church from which I was certain they would return much the worse for wear. The pictures turned out terribly with Isaac crying in most of them and Caleb's errant foot ruining the rest. However, as bad as the pictures were I was happy to have them since 3 hours later we returned from our services with the boys covered in stains ranging from grass, dirt, chocolate milk, red lipstick, cookie crumbs, chalk, and my personal favorite...blood.

Here is the best of the bunch - please notice how nice and clean they
both are and how cute they look in their matching duds!

Caleb usually comes home from nursery with a combination of these stains each week, but this was the first for blood. He had been running around the building after church and tripped in the parking lot catching himself with his right forearm. It was a nasty wound that proceeded to get nastier in the coming days. This is the point where I begin to behave shamefully. He was in pain and my thought was "excellent, his first real sore, I need to get a picture of that for the blog." Although I washed and treated the "owie" as soon as we got home I was aching to find the camera. I resisted two whole days and then rationalized taking a picture with the thought that he would want to see it when he was older, or some such nonsense. It wasn't until after I downloaded the photo that I realized what a selfish person I really am. He looks so pitiful and sad in the picture - I am so ashamed. On the other hand, this whole experience has opened a new world for Caleb, that of the band-aid and it's magical ability to make everything "all better."

The photo of shame and pain.

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