Saturday, February 06, 2010

14 Days of Love - 5

Truthfully, I was not looking for sympathy when I posted about our water situation. I have come to terms with decorative faucets. I was just so grateful to have running water, I felt the need to proclaim my excitement.

But, as I was reading your comments, I started feeling, well, sorry for myself. I love getting comments, they are my link to the rest of the world. But, yesterday's comments were so sympathetic and all about taking things for granted and I got to thinking, wow, no running water is the pits, and kind of unfair.

Whenever that word -- unfair -- edges it's way into my consciousness, I know I'm in trouble.

I know life isn't about fair or unfair, it is about finding contentment with what we have and where we are. I know this. I've learned this -- the hard way. So, instead of allowing myself to wallow in self-pity, I decided to take action. And since we can't go home, I decided we needed to go big!

Using the Marriott points we've been accumulating for awhile, we made a 5-day, 4-night reservation here:

And where is here you wonder? The Marriott* in Aruba. We'll be there in a month and I can't wait!

As you can imagine, today we LOVE our Marriott points, our close proximity to Aruba and spur of the moment getaways. This pity party is officially over.

* Photo courtesy of

Friday, February 05, 2010

14 Days of Love - 4

Most days in Caracas the sky looks like this:

Big, beautiful, puffy clouds dotted against a backdrop that is Crayola sky blue.

I love the weather in Caracas, in fact, it is fast becoming the only thing I love in Caracas. But, so much cumulus loveliness is really starting to get old. I know what you're thinking, how can I possibly be complaining about this nearly perfect weather, when all the northerners in my life are desperate for Spring?

I promise, I've got a good reason for such seeming insanity.

Blue skies in Caracas mean no rain, and no rain means no running water. Period.

For the last several weeks, for 21 hours out of every 24, our faucets, on or off, have looked like this.
Which means between the hours of 7 am to noon, 1 pm to 7:30 pm, and 8:30 pm to 6 am there is no hand, clothes or dish washing, no showering or bathing, no window or floor washing, and worst of all, no toilet flushing. This has been going on for weeks, and it's not fun, at all. Especially not with a 2 year-old and 4 year-old who make messes of all surfaces and themselves on a regular basis. Needless to say, I'm going a little mad.

Then just a few days ago, a miracle. It rained. Sheets and sheets of wet, luscious water cascaded down upon the parched (for Venezuela) earth. And, then, yesterday morning at 7:01 am, this happened...

We cried. We washed, everything and everyone. We washed things that didn't need washing. We did weeks worth of laundry. We used the bathroom all day long and flushed gleefully. We didn't plan our day around 3 precious hours. We lingered at the grocery store and in the playground. We played and read stories after baths instead of rushing straight to bed. We slept peacefully.

And this morning...with trepidation, we turned on the faucets and water flowed. Again.

Today our LOVE for running water runneth over.

We know this precious gift won't last. Even now the endlessly, blue sky outside is taunting us with it's brilliance. The bathtubs and buckets are full in anticipation of what is certainly coming. For now though, the water is running and I'm looking forward to doing the dishes.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

14 Days of Love - 3

My cousin Dana is fabulous.

She is uber-talented, has two adorable children, and, best of all, loves sharing her wondrous ideas with the world.

These are her kids in costumes she made -- fantastic, huh?

For the entire month of February Dana is celebrating...


Today we are celebrating Dana because we LOVE boys and we LOVE her too. Click on the button below and go see what she is doing at MADE today and every day -- you too will fall in LOVE with Dana!

PS - These photos are from Dana's blog. As you'll soon discover, she's an above average photographer too.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

14 Days of Love - 2

Today we love school. Well, most days we love school. What's not to love when your schedule is: arrive, play, sing, play, wash hands, snack, play outside, wash hands, do art project, puzzles and games, sing and/or dance, play, home?

Isaac's first day of school was today.

He happily donned his red shirt and Buzz Lightyear backpack, waved goodbye to Daddy and trooped down the hill to the first day of many years to come. I stayed with him the whole time, but who knows why? He didn't need me. In fact, I spent more time holding, reading to, and generally entertaining his classmates than I did interacting with my own child.

Tomorrow is day two, will he need me then?

I vote no and that's okay, actually, better than okay. He loves school, just like his parents and we couldn't be more thrilled.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

14 Days of Love - 1

I was surfing the blogosphere recently and happened upon Leslie's blog and her Valentine's Day challenge. I cannot hope to compete on her level, not because I don't think loving bigger and better is always a good idea, but because I am severely hampered by resources and creativity, but I did like the idea of blogging about love, loving, giving and receiving love and, my favorite, being in love. So, here's to love, in all its manifestations.

Day 1: Today, we are deciding to love our bodies by focusing on good dental hygiene. I'll admit, I have a hard time with getting my kids to brush their teeth on a regular basis. I know we need to form good habits while they are young, but these are baby teeth right, they are going to fall out anyway, so what is the point? Okay, that is rhetorical, please do not pepper me with horrified comments about the importance of brushing and flossing. I am fully acquainted with the benefits of well-maintained teeth. My kids, however, are not. Enter the chart.

This is the first chart of any kind I have introduced as a parent and I'm anxious for the results. Each day is divided in half for morning and evening brushing. I have given them an envelope of their own stickers and when they have successfully brushed their teeth (or in Isaac's case been brushed by a more thorough person) they place their sticker on the chart. At the end of of each week we assess if there are enough stickers to qualify for a surprise. I'm thinking 28 stickers each week = surprise, fewer than that = zilch...can we do it? I don't know, but we're already feeling the love around here and looking forward to minty freshness or rather bubblegum flavored freshness from here on out.

Day 1 = Success!

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