Sunday, June 29, 2008

A picture of the whole family!

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Create your own family sticker graphic at pYzam.com

So here we are! All of us together, minus the cat. Just thought I'd share. lol~

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lack of ice and other stuff.....

I'm trying to think of what to write about tonight. But I'm just plain old tired out. We went to the mall tonight. And that was a blast. Did you know that they have bathrooms specifically for children to use, and for parents with babies that need a diaper change? Yes. It's true. Every single toilet stall came cutely equipped with a miniature toilet and low hanging toilet paper dispenser. Now, if you've read my blog before, I had mentioned that another bathroom was less nice and was lacking in accessories. This mall on the other hand was much nicer than the one that I mentioned before (here). It even had a row of baby diaper changing stations. It was actually quite cute.

I stumbled upon this quite by accident really, because I was looking for a bathroom for myself. And in doing so I ended up in a line with 8 women. Single file, we stood. Mostly silently, but waiting for the elusive flush that never came. And then there was a ruckus as a mother with two small boys walked straight to the front of the line. I wish I could tell you what was said, but again, I am not proficient in my new found language. Some day I will be, but today I am not. There were some angry words exchanged and the mother nearly forced her way into the bathroom. Yes, I'm quite certain it was she who went in, poked her head into a stall and threw somebody out of their space and claimed it as her own. Absolute brilliance. The other women at the head of the line muttered under their breath. Again I don't know what they said. But I'm imagining it was along the lines of shock and awe. You don't want to mess with a mother who has two kids who need to use the toilet. As any mother of kids (of any age) knows, it took them quite some time to learn to use the toilet, and a group of women waiting in line with full bladders were no match for what she has been through, or what she was willing to go through in order to avoid an accident. They all smartly shut their mouths. It was when another mother with 3 children pushed to the head of the line that I turned and walked out. At that rate, I would never get my turn. And that's when I found a less crowded bathroom, and then the children's bathroom as well. I wonder why the other mothers didn't go there in the first place? Had they not known either? The mall is so big, it's quite possible.

I was absolutely dumbfounded by the sheer number of people that were crowded into this mall. It was busier and more congested than any place that I have ever been to. And come to think of it, I've never been an inhabitant of a place that claims nearly 6 million people as residents. That is one crowded city.

So here we are back in the hotel after a busy day of walking, shopping and fighting the crowds. We bought some shoes, sweaters, and an adorable puffy sleeveless vest for Alexa. We also managed to find some small toys that weren't too overpriced to keep the kids from ripping off any more wallpaper in the rooms. Hopefully they will do the trick. It was almost painful to buy more toys, as the kids have plenty. On a boat. Floating out in the ocean. Slowly making their way to the port. And slowly they will be processed through customs, before they will ever see the light of day. Unfortunately mommy and daddy's nerves do not have the kind of patience it takes to wait and see if the kids will make it here in the hotel without something at all to keep them from creating their own destructive little games with what is readily available. So, we bought two cute soft and colorful balls for them to kick at the light fixtures and lamps and tables and at the laptop that sits on this desk. (yes they've done this already) And we also bought them some soft squeezy (non-toxic) dinosaurs that they can take turns beating mommy with. In the back. It feels great. (totally untrue) And then in the face. Yes, the side of the face that I recently had two wisdom teeth removed. And although I was told by my oral surgeon I would regain feeling in my chin and lip in about 2 weeks ( it has currently been 3 weeks and 1 day) I have not. And despite having numbness, it doesn't feel any better being smacked in that side of the face by my 21 month old daughter with a T-Rex. Soft. Squishy. Or non-toxic. But at least they are not ripping off the wallpaper. Right?

So I sit here, blogging. And I am drinking a soda. Without ice. Because that's how they do it here. And when in Rome.....

Oh and I must say that I am very thankful to my mother and father. ( and my sister for helping them get the boxes together) Because they sent me our first care package. And do you know what glorious thing was in that box? SNICKERS!!!! I really honestly didn't think about chocolate so much since I know that they do sell it here. But it's not the same, they don't have the same kinds. And then the hotel stocks the room with overpriced snacks and little bottles of liquor and other things that you don't need. Well I have had my eye on a single Snickers candy bar. A regular sized candy bar. They want to charge me $3.50 cents (US dollars, yes) for a candy bar that costs .44 cents at Walmart. I almost fell over. But honestly, one night I picked up that candy bar. After staying in this room for 10 days picked it up and I held it in my hands and stared at it for like 3 minutes. I remembered how good that they tasted. I so badly wanted a bite, and then another. I wanted to scarf that bar down whole. Then I thought of how cruel the people who run this hotel truly are. How dare they put that candy bar in my room. I almost ripped it open without shame or hesitancy. Almost. But I couldn't get over the fact that they were just praying on my weakness for a Snickers bar. So I stopped.

And like winning the lottery, I was sent some truly wonderful KING sized candy bars. I can't remember the last time I had one. But being unable to purchase one at a whim just made it all the more alluring. I had nothing but pure enjoyment at eating only half of the candy bar. I had to savor it. And not to mention, you don't just sit down and eat a WHOLE king sized anything. At least you shouldn't.

So that was my day. The kids played, beat mommy, went to the mall, got tired, came home, kids beat mommy some more, ate snickers drank a coke with no ice. And now I need to head off to bed. I need to get some rest for tomorrow's adventure. Because life in a hotel with my 3 year old Eddie, and my 21 month old Alexa , is an adventure.

post signature

Monday, June 23, 2008

The un-good news.

We just found out that our stuff isn't going to get here until a projected date of August 1. And then automatically you have to tack on another 2 weeks for paperwork. Yes, for those of you who know the gory details, our household belongings have left us on April 29. And we thought that it was enough of a head start. Not so I guess.

That is a huge let down. Huge. We are living in a hotel, we thought that we should be coming to the end of our time here, in this state of temporary living. But that's not the case. So, we are still on our house hunt. The houses here are different than in the states. Some nice and some not so nice.

We scour the internet websites of the local real estate offices. It's a chore to track down one person and to get that one person to do their job and set up appointments for us to see some houses. We looked at only one today. And tomorrow we have more lined up.

We had dinner near by at a German restaurant. Yes, in Santiago. It is comforting to know that we can find really delicious food in a short walking distance from our hotel. Since we are now going to get very familiar with this place, the staff and this area of town, we might as well make the best of it.

In the next few trips out, I am going to find a good place to buy toys. Eddie and Alexa only have the items that we took on the plane to play with. And that wasn't much. They have been getting really creative here in the room. Which also is what is contributing to their mass destruction of this room. It now includes peeling off the textured wallpaper. UGH! I can only pray that they don't do any worse than that.

We went swimming the other night. I forgot to blog about it. No, wait. That's not entirely true. I was just plain tired. And I didn't feel like it. So here are a few pics from that night. The pool is on the top of the hotel, but totally enclosed. It's gorgeous up there in the daytime and the view is just breathtaking!

Dh and I enjoyed a cerveza courtesy of room service. The pool is heated and felt wonderful. Now, if we just could have gotten a babysitter....lol~



And here is a view of the pool during the day time.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

El Mercado Central

Today we hit the mother load for seafood. And also for finding great deals on meats, beans and any produce item that you could think of.

These pictures were taken standing just outside the market.



I have no idea what this statue is for, or about, we didn't get close enough to it to read the plaque. There were some bums or the like standing nearby pan handling. Or maybe providing entertainment while you watched. Some looked like they were passed out, or dead. Others were at least attempting to dance.

The aroma of fish of all sorts was ever present as you walked into the market. The crowds were so thick that you had to wait your turn just to pass by the open cases that held the fish. They had items laying out on the ice that I had never even seen before. Many of the shellfish were still moving. Eddie really enjoyed looking at everything. I almost couldn't pass through the walk ways there were crowds jammed into every nook and corner. I waited patiently as people passed and I too was able to navigate my stroller.

At every new fish case, there were 2 or 3 men trying to encourage you to buy "their" fish. The selection was endless and the prices were cheap. If you are in to seafood, then this is surely the place to be. In the center of the mercado there were restaurants of all kinds. Seafood that is, but everything seemed so enticing. Amazing and colorful plates of freshly prepared fish, clams and shrimp were wisked by you as you would walk near them. There too, they had people trying to seat you at their tables. I told a man near me who attempted to talk to me that, "Yo no hablo espanol." He quickly tuned in to english and promised me that if I ate here, and was dissatisfied that he would buy our lunch. I was intrigued and impressed all at the same time. So I told my dh, that we needed to eat there.



Before we ate, we went to the mall that was located nearby. That was nice, yet interesting just the same. We found out that you had to pay to use the toilet. 150 pesos (about 30 cents) and they had a metal turnstyle type thing you had to pass through just to get in. Don't ask me how a single mom with a stroller could get through, as I don't know. I left the stroller out with dh, and we took turns each taking a kid inside. Luckily though, we didn't have to pay for them. Just for us. Upon entering the restrooms I found that each of the stalls does not have their own toilet paper, instead one roll is situated in the middle of the bathroom and you unroll what you need prior to going inside. Bizarre.

We survived that and pressed on. We browsed through a store called "Ripley" and it seemed to have some really good prices on clothes. I was able to pick up a scarf for right around $4.00. I might have liked to shop some more, but the kids were extremely agitated at this point. So we walked on with only the scarf. Oh yes, and I bought 2 pair of mittens for the kids as well for 500 pesos. (a little over a buck)

We headed back to the mercado to eat. We went to find the place where the little man had promised to buy our lunch if we didn't like it. I had a sneaky suspicion that we would though.

We ate here http://www.dondeaugusto.cl/ And although the little place was full, they seemed to pull a table out of thin air. And we were seated. The service and the food were impeccable. The wide variety of options available was purely delightful. Dh was worrried about what we could feed the kids. And simple enough it was, they had 1/4 Pollo asado con arroz. Upon it's speedy arrival, I had a taste. Delicious.


And then we couldn't resist the temptation to order the Paella. (pronounced Pie-ay-yuh) I wasn't at all hesitant to order this from the seemingly professional appearance of every single dish that was walked past our table and placed in front of the other excited and mouth watering patrons. I also ordered a camaron y queso empanada. Or more basically put, a shrimp and cheese empanada. It was just yummy.


And this was our main course, Paella. If you've never had it, and you enjoy seafood, it is an absolute MUST TRY! It is overflowing with a variety of seafood and rice. All I can say is flavorful! They bring it to the table still sizzling as the steam rises from the cast iron pan they serve it in. It was enough to choke a horse. We ate until our stomachs were content, and then had 2 containers of leftovers. A treat I look forward to for dinner!



Here is the view up from where I sat.



After we were done gorging ourselves with seafood, we headed across the street. There was a flea market that held everything from grapes to pantyhose and bandaids. You could find anything that you needed there in that less than stellar atmosphere. Crowds jammed into the hallways and bought produce at ridiculous prices. For example, we bought 1 kilo of apples for 250 pesos. ( 1 kilo is 2.2 lbs and it cost .51 cents) We also got a kilo of grapes for the same. That's crazy, right? But awesome.

We also took the metro, which was modern and efficient. It zipped us from the ritzy side of town to "central" Santiago in a matter of minutes. The kids were free and the cost too was cheap (about $1.50 for two adults). The only drawback was that it isn't stroller friendly. Dh and I had to carry Alexa and her stroller down the stairs and back up more than one time. We absolutely got our workout today I can assure you.

I enjoyed the trip today, and I can honestly say, I can't wait to go back. After traveling with such ease on the metro, I think I would like to live somewhere with easy access to it. But that's just me.

OK, so this post has gone on long enough, so I must say goodbye! Mom, hope you enjoy the pics, I wish you were here!



Thursday, June 19, 2008

In this ritzy hotel.


Here is a picture of my monkeys before and after some mischief. At this moment they had stopped acting wicked to pose for a picture, something they don't often cooperate for.

The kids truly are destroying the room. There are plastic corner "wallpaper protectors" and I imagine that they are there to protect the wallpaper from being rubbed on over and over again, and thus peeling away and ruining it. That wouldn't be a huge concern if the walls were only painted. I don't even know the proper name for this item, but the kids have in fact ripped them down off the wall. Not difficult to do, they are only kept on by a little adhesive. No matter, they've taken them down over and over again. They like to use them as swords. I am not sure where they saw fencing, no wait. I do know. Pirates of the Carribbean. (again, forgive my spelling errors as they occur, I can't figure out how to tell Blogger that I am an American posting in a South American country). So, the kids like to fence. And they have broken the wallpaper protectors. Thanks to Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. Eddie and Alexa also love to use the metal trash cans as helmets. Why you might ask yourself? To protect themselves from flying debris of course. One can never know what might come flying across the room, in your direction at any given time when the little ones are awake and playing.


Both, and I am not lying, both of the bathroom toilets have seen way too much toilet paper to flush properly. They have had to be "attended" to by hotel staff. Eddie cannot tear himself away from this glass covered coffee table. His favorite thing to do is to make mommy repeat over and over again and sometimes yell and turn red in the face as I am demanding that he stop standing on it as if it were his own personal stage to perform.


Eddie has also tossed the metal helmet, err trash can onto the coffee table to create ear shattering noises that made me cringe in anticipation of breaking glass. Thankfully it didn't happen. The two seats at the small table in which they occupy on a daily basis are stain covered from every single food item that can spill, leak and drip out of their mouths and bowls and onto the covers.


Eddie has ripped a zipper completely away from it's fabric from a sham that covers one of the pillows on the couch. This was in an attempt to free the pillow from it's chokehold by an ugly yellow covering. I'm certain that was his intention. I honestly have no other theories.


Eddie has also thrown a wooden drawer through the bedroom and into the living area. I know. You are all wondering what I feed him. I'm sure that if he had his way it would be, bananas, Fruit Loops (and yes, they do sell them here in Santiago) and yogurt. But I don't know. He's not been the best of influences on his little sister.


She too is trying to destroy the dishes. I don't think that hers is intentional, but I have to watch her before, during and after every meal. She likes to pound things onto the glass table tops. It doesn't matter if we are on the 17th floor having breakfast or here in the room. As fancy a place as this is, the glass is everywhere. I am guessing that this is a new sound to her and she likes to hear it. Otherwise it wouldn't be such a fascinating thing to do. I'm hoping that she stops this very soon. Before she breaks something. Something big.


So far, and at this hour that is about all I can recall. I'm quite certain I may have missed something. But those little boogers don't miss a thing.

Here is a picture this evening. Taken from our room several stories above.



And then here they are just moments ago. Sleeping peacefully. Gotta love moments like this!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rain in the city.

Dh can't get over the similarities that this city has to New York. I guess it is, I've only been there on two occasions. Today it rained. And rained all day and into the night. The many passers by my window down in the street carried umbrellas and scurried along to their destinations. Fewer people seemed to line the sidewalks than usual. I didn't even know that it rained here. Of course I did all of my home work on a city that we will never live in, Iquique. We are happy today. We found out that for certain, we will get to stay here. We've gotten the approval to start searching for our home. Oh what a daunting task at hand.

Because of the rain, I stayed in this afternoon while dh went to work. Or some kind of work related thing. He came back to the room at 4:30pm and we left to hunt for food. It rained all evening too. The streets were puddle filled and many of those people who had stayed in as I did during the day, had ventured out and about. Most carried umbrellas, and us coming from the land of dry to the bone Tucson did not even own one. Silly us. Luckily, we are staying in a pretty ritzy place and our door man handed one to us upon our departure. We bundled up the kiddos in their fluffy little fleece hats, and then put on jackets and grabbed a blanket and tucked it in around Alexa in her stroller. So Eddie, dh and myself had to share an umbrella. The rain was steady, but it was not a pouring rain.

We walked along in search of something that could feed us all happily. If you have a child or two, I'm certain that you understand the meaning in that sentence all too well. There were crowded bistros along side streets. As we walked by I had peeked through the windows and wondered how we could even get in, never mind parking my stroller. We walked on. Cars zoomed by and nearly drove over our ankles as we navigated the brick lined walks. The puddles were too numerous and enticing for Eddie as we went, and he stomped a few or more enjoying it more and more each time his feet would get wet. I'm quite certain that this did not please the other people who shared our sidewalks.

We spied a familiar restaurant, zeroed in and headed straight for Ruby Tuesdays. It felt wrong to go there. But right for the kids. And also nice to get out of the rain. There was a ramp that had a very steep incline. I actually thought I might fall. I wondered how another human being would be able to push an actual wheel chair if the need presented itself. Pushing Alexa up that incline made me dig my feet in for better grasp. Gee, that was an outstanding design.

We ate a pretty average dinner. The kids asked for chicken. What a surprise there. We gave them some pasta to go with it. The menu, even though it was in Spanish, said that I was supposed to get steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes. I got neither one. Just a heaping portion of pasta and chicken with marinara sauce. Again, average American food. In Chile. Go figure. I know my mother is waiting to hear about our outstanding seafood, but I have failed to take into account that at the same time, we need to feed our little ones. If I recall correctly, I was the pickiest eater of all 3 of her children. So, she will have to be patient on that one.

We've lost another item. Alexa's pink sippy cup. Bravisimo! Now she is without. And I know she will be mad once she realizes that Eddie has his, but hers is now gone. We called the restaurant and asked, but they said it wasn't there. I don't believe them. I don't think that they really looked. I bet you it's still on the floor under or around our table where we sat. And I'm thinking that I am going to make dh call again to find out.

After our dinner, we had to head over to the grocery store for some boxed milk. Yum. Doesn't that sound appetizing? But the kiddos love to drink it, so far be it from me to stop them. We were also low on water, yogurt, bananas and well everything it seems. But if you live in the city and have ever had to shop at a store and lug it all home, then you know that you can't buy much at a time.

The grocery store near our hotel isn't as nice as the super one we saw yesterday, but it serves it's purpose. What I don't understand is why American's (as lazy as we can be) haven't caught on to the whole "SIT DOWN CASHIER" thing. All of the cashiers here have chairs. Now that's a novel idea. Anyone care to explain? And why is the bread so darn hard? Can't they get fresh bread here? It all seems to be very tough. Not soft at all. I guess I'm spoiled that way.

After our quick zip through the store, we left with bags in hand, stuffed under the stroller and hanging from the handles as well. I felt like I was an old pro. Many walkers left with bags up and down their arms too. All of the people were dressed in coats of varying shades of greys and browns. It was cold outside. And I was thankful that I had bought that hat for Eddie for 99 cents, because it covered his ears. I now understood why they dressed that way. In my many years in Florida, I had never had the need for a heavy coat. In fact I never owned one up until recently. Of course that coat is with our household items. I still don't know when we will see them again.

Even if they get here pretty soon, we still have to go through the process of finding our home. And from what I am told, it's a lengthy process. So, in the meantime, we will walk about and hope it doesn't get much colder than this. I have layers, so I can bundle.

Wish us luck in our house hunt! I feel like things could get aggravating.

Monday, June 16, 2008

We've arrived!






So, despite the INSANELY long 9 1/2 hour flight, we have made it to Santiago. The weather is frikkin' gorgeous! It's been in the 50's (fahrenheit) here. Ok, I just thought I'd ad that since I am now in South America, my blogger spellcheck now thinks that all my posts are misspelled. And it's giving me Spanish words to replace them with. So, if I have messed up some of the spelling, I apologize. Blogger is making me crazy.


Today we went to the mall. And Oh. My. GAWWWW.......... !!!!! If I haven't gone to heaven, then I'm not sure where I'm at. This mall makes the Tucson mall look like a flea market. They had so many American stores, it was funny. But what is funnier is the way that everyone dresses. Now normally one would think that people at a mall shouldn't dress up. Rather, in the US they don't dress up. Well, that's not so here. They do dress very nice. Everyone seemed so formal. Many of the men were wearing suits and ties. The ladies had on very nice dresses and seemed to me, very stylish. And it wasn't just in the Polo Ralph Lauren or the Rolex stores, it was in very many of them. I also noticed a lot of boots. Everywhere. I feel a boot fetish coming on. The shoes looked great to me.


The mall had 3 stories and evacuation routes in case of an earthquake. Oh joy. The ever present reminder that I am indeed in another country. Of course in basking in all of the retail sites I forgot even what I was looking for. A new purse. Something tiny. Something not made by Coach. Something plain. I did not want to stand out, nor did I want to give others the impression that I have a bag full of goodies that they needed to run off with.
We also went in to a grocery store that sat across the street from the mall. With all of it's bright lights, it seemed a place we needed to investigate a little further. At the time of the gravitational pull, we had no clue it was actually just a grocery store. A full on grocery store with a meat counter, floral department, and a vast variety of produce. This was the most fabulous grocery store I've ever been into. And maybe it's just because they also sell TVs, cell phones, clothes and shoes. It was huge. As Sara Maclaughlin's music was piped throughout the store, we perused the snack stand where you could grab a sandwich and eat it at some very tall bar stools. Speaking of stools, we were looking for a step-stool to help Eddie reach the sink and toilet. We had no such luck. But we did score a pack of sad looking crayons for 549 pesos. (Just over a dollar) I stupidly forgot to bring with us one of our many packs of crayons. Crayola rocks. Honestly, I was walking up the aisle and expected to see Crayons and then remembered where I was. They had some sorry looking things there in it's place, and a bit overpriced for the way that they will be used.

Following our trip into the grocery store, we went to a Home Depot/Lowe's type store. I can't remember the name, but it too was nice. We went up the elevator and down. We ended up on the top floor as we went exploring this vast conglomoration of stores. There were so many levels of the parking garage and many taxi drivers eagerly waiting to take you anywhere in the city that you heart desired. We then found our way back down to ground level and took a taxi back home. Home to our hotel. It cost us 2350 pesos to get there (about 5 bucks).

We didn't find a step-stool. And I didn't get my new purse. Instead, we are tired. Alexa is asleep in bed. And Eddie is playing happily with the only remaining balloon (of the two) that we got from the mall. (Daddy popped Alexa's at the entry to the hotel) Thankfully she slept while this happened. Still not sure if we are staying here in Santiago. But I can honestly say.... that if we find out that we must move to Iquique, he will be dragging me kicking and screaming.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Farewell Tucson.

It's been a nice ride. When I first arrived here, I was 34 weeks pregnant, with Eddie. Completely clueless about being a mother. I couldn't imagine ever growing accustomed to this dry and dusty climate. Eventually I learned. I had no idea that so quickly after having Eddie, that I would be blessed again with a beautiful baby girl. But she's here. And this city will always hold a special place in my heart, even if I dislike it just a little.

Now it's time to say goodbye. Our bags are packed, the toe tags for our luggage are filled out and we just need to get dressed and go to the airport. We've been living outside of our own house and without our own household items since April 29, when the moving truck drove away with our stuff.

I'm a different person than when I arrived. But I would have to say a better one. I've got kids. (I still think I need Valium) But most days are good ones. Most days are great ones. I wouldn't change a thing. I can't wait to start our new lives in our new country. It's time to make a new home.

From the looks of things, we need to get really familiar with hotel living. As I failed to blog about our latest news, it looks like we will be living in Santiago. We are happy. Very happy. Of course I will share our adventures here. (Or my mom will hop on a plane and fly 9 1/2 hours and beat me silly.) I've already been warned. Either I blog, or my parents are going to move in with us. Hmmmm...... let me think for a minute. OK, I'll blog. That was easy.

Today and for the remaining hours we will be having breakfast with my parents and my brother. And then they are helping to get us and ALL of our luggage to the airport. 6 suitcases, 2 car seats, one stroller, and 4 carry ons. OMG. It's insane.

But you know what??? I can do this. If Kate Gosselin can go skiing with 8 of her children, I can certainly take 2 half pints to Chile. Bring. It. On. I'm so ready. Stay tuned for pics of our travel. I've charged my camera battery.

Tucson, it's been great. Thank you for being kind to us. And we will miss all of the friends that we made and those of our family members that we leave behind.

We love you very much! We are only miles apart and we will see you again!

Much Love......
Leslie, Ed, Eddie, and Alexa~

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Umm. Can you identify this???

So, today dh took the kids to the airport and they boarded the plane back to Tampa. Things went on as usual here in the hotel land we are living in. The maid came. And usually she does her job with the door open. She's here for such a short time that she can get in, remove the trash and leave clean towels within a few minutes. In that time, the kids both enjoyed the fresh air and played nicely on the porch that is right in front of our room. There is a bench out there and just enough room for them to run around. So they played. I'd say about 15 minutes had passed and then daddy showed up. He took Eddie and they went to pay our bill at the office. Before getting too far, he asked me to come and see something. This is what we were looking at:

And you can see from this picture how close the front door is to where the snake was. (the butterfly on dh's face is to protect dh's anonymity. He prefers it that way.)

All I can say is Thank God that my children didn't decide to find out what it would feel like to be bitten by a snake. I called the front desk to tell them about the snake by our door, and do you know what the lady said? " Are you serious? A snake?" No. I'm totally lying to you, I don't have anything better to do than to call and place phony snake by my door calls. Um, really. Now can you call someone to come and get it?? So they did. And then I had to scramble for my camcorder to get the short clip. Anyone have any idea what kind of snake this is? They told me it wasn't poisonous. Also thank God. I don't like snakes. Actually they don't really bother me. As long as they are far off and in the desert somewhere. I'd prefer they not be on my front porch where my babies are playing. {shuddering at the thought} Enjoy the video of them capturing the bad snake.

video

a little bit of blah blah blah......

Blah. Blahblah. And the kids are leaving quite early tomorrow morning. Their flight out is at 8:50 am, and the wench conveniently arranged for them to have to leave out of Phoenix. Whatever. I guess I will never really know the method behind her psychotic patterns of thought. Blah.

That means that dh and the big kids need to be up at 4 or so just to get on the road to avoid any traffic he might hit during morning rush hour. Between Tucson and Phoenix, apparently there is a bit of that. More blah.

The kids wouldn't go to sleep. Gee, now there is a bit of news for ya. Amazing. They sense impending change. They are geniuses. And pushy little ones at that. Eddie told me to shut up today. That's some serious BLAH! I couldn't believe I heard it. But then again, I actually said something like it earlier. So I shouldn't be so shocked. Guess I need to tone my own mouth down a notch.

So. I'm tired, I've repacked the kids suitcase because they did a less than splendor job. Which means that they didn't fit all their clothes into it. And since I am the packing bomb...... I redid it. And Voila! It fits. I so rock!

Will my mouth ever go back to normal? That't the biggest blah for the day. My mouth doesn't hurt, yet my teeth feel like I've just had my braces adjusted or are in a bit of a tight squeeze (best I can describe it) and my chin and lower lip are still more numb than I'm comfortable with. I still don't feel any pain from where the wisdom teeth were removed. So. On that note, I think I am going to go to bed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Missing my stuff.

I'm really over it. I'm over the hotel. Already. I'm over the kids not sleeping, or going to sleep in a timely fashion. I can't even remember the days that we had a real bed time. I think I'm going to miss Alexa's crib too. She will be taking over Eddie's toddler bed once we get to the new house. Even that seems so far away.

I'm over the fighting at night between any one of the four kids. My steps will be leaving us on Thursday. They've already been asking to do a number of things on their last day with us. I've also been informed by Alyssa (I think) that dh told them that we will be going bowling tomorrow. Joy. Can't you tell? I'm ecstatic.
I miss routine stuff. In our house. I miss my regular computer. And I hate waiting for my step-son to check his email or his myspace page. Now when did he get a life???
OH yeah.... he's 14. Therefor he knows it all, and apparently is a bag of chips. To the girls anyway. Don't get me started. I've got my own little man I'm trying to raise here, and I cannot successfully get the little booger to poop on that toilet. I think I'm over that as well.

I'm ready to miss the kids again. And what I mean by that is, "Parting is such sweet sorrow....."

It's 10:55 pm and the little ones just fell asleep about 30 minutes ago. Yeah. That's just insane. Mom even put bourbon in the beans tonight. I guess she didn't put in enough. (lol~)

We still have to live in a hotel for the rest of June. That too shall be wonderful. I wonder how much Spanish I can pick up when I am forced to do so? When the very fabric of my existence will then hinge upon communications with the people in Chile. Scary, but then again I have dh. My Colombian hunk of man shall interpret and tutor, and lay on the couch and turn into a Futbol fanatic once again. I can't wait.

Do you know what else? I'm over this whole tooth extraction thing. There is no pain to speak of, yet my lower lip is still numb, and my bottom teeth feel like I just had my braces tightened. Apparently this could go on for some time. I will say that I do feel like the numbness has gotten a tiny bit better. If only just a tiny bit. Slow process it is to get nerves back to 100%. That bites.

Oh and I tried to eat a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza today. It was pretty hard. My mouth just isn't back to it's pre-wisdom tooth eating just yet. But Lord knows I'm sure trying. I have a follow up appt. on Friday. Let's pray that everything looks OK and I get the official, handy dandy thumbs up from the ole Dr.

Time to go. Sleep is sweet when it's uninterrupted!

And as of this blog post:
3 days 14 hours 59 minutes.......

Monday, June 9, 2008

5 days and 5 hours...... !

As I sit here with my swollen mouth and my numb chin and lower lip, I can't help but think that we will be in Santiago, Chile this time next week. My TV viewing will be changed to watching and interpreting Spanish. My understanding of the world around me will vastly change as I grasp and cling to words that I can recognize. My lack of focus to study my new language will be brought front and center. I will no longer have a choice. Spanish will be surrounding me. But then again, I never was afraid of it. I actually love to hear it spoken. Mostly by my dh, because he sounds so smooth when he speaks. When he forces me to watch Univision or Telemundo I can actually follow along and understand the main ideas. It's in the details that I get lost.

Excuses no more. It's time to learn. I'm nervous a little about what kinds of foods we will be eating. My sweet little monkeys are going to be looking forward to some of their "usuals" and will be intrigued when I serve up something quite different. I feel like I am about to embark on a great adventure. I'm taking my babies and moving to Chile. I've been doing research on this place for months. We've been talking about it with such enthusiasm for what seems like the better part of a year. Has it really been that long at all? And now it's here.

We have to finish taking care of some details here in the states before we are all set and ready to go. Like paying for our hotel stay here, and delivering our last owned possession to it's new owner (our Jetta). And then there is that fun task of repacking our suitcases. I'm so excited for us all. I hope that the kids do well on both of the flights. For that matter, I hope dh and I do good too. I've never been on a flight that is 9 1/2 hours before. Wish me luck!

Now, as I am sitting here blogging, Eddie is jumping from sofa-pullout bed to chair-pullout bed and then back again. Alexa is watching as he leaps. She seems pleased with her big brother. I've told him not to jump. But he doesn't listen. If I truly needed him to stop, it would involve me getting out of this chair and physically stopping him. And forcefully standing near him and reiterating it with my stern voice. He doesn't easily take verbal instructions. So. He is still jumping. It's not hurting anything. Or him. Yet. And then there is a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. I don't want to wash them. Honestly they will be dirty again in 20 minutes. Especially since my 9 year old stepdaughter and 14 year old stepson seem to have an allergy to washing dishes. Or their mother and her boyfriend do not enforce the, "YOU DIRTY IT, YOU WASH IT" rule. In my house, that's what I say. But it seems that in an effort to make sure that the children are having a good time, dh overlooks this rule. He ends up just doing the dishes. Hence he is acting like a personal maid. Not good. So. I'm just waiting for my teenage acting (as Alyssa is a few years shy of being a teenager, yet she sleeps until noon just like the best of them) kids to wake up. And then they will attempt to make themselves some breakfast at lunch time. And there will be no dishes. Ah! The joy I will feel when they are left with the chore of but washing their one bowl and spoon for some cereal. Ah, it's the simple pleasures in life.

The maid just left. Not the maid who comes in and picks up all the junk in here (since I think that I am that person) but the one who is employed by these facilities where we stay. She left us some towels and took out our trash/recyclables and went on her way. I hear the dryer. It too has finished it's cycle. That means that there is work to be done. Folding and more folding.

While the kids run around and watch Aladdin and play on the couch and chair cushions which are now strategically placed like little lily pads around the living room floor area, I am going to go and do the laundry. You should see them hopping around on them. It's kind of cute actually. I should enjoy this. In a few short years they will be asking me to buy them Playstations and ipods and expensive stuff that I may or may not be able to even operate. Trying to enjoy the free stuff while they are young. I know it won't last.

Here's another free one. They are standing there in the kitchen with the door open. They've discovered the light. When you close the door the light goes off. Well they found the button that turns the light on and off. They are pressing it over and over again. Ouch. The actual light bulb was hot. (Eddie touched it, and recoiled quickly, LOL~) What fun it is to be 3 and 20 months! Eddie just brought me a Shasta cola. (a sad sad attempt to even qualify for a carbonated beverage) and he said, "I'm bringing you a Coke. These aren't for boys mommy." Laughing out loud. At least he knows that he shouldn't be drinking them!

Have to run, things to be done!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

This place we call home....


The kiddos, minus Alyssa. She was too busy having a tantrum yesterday.


The white Dodge Caliber is our rental!


Not exactly sure what they are doing here.



And excuse the overcrowding of messy hair atop Eddie's head. We are waiting to cut it until just before we leave. He's getting a little crazy up there. lol~


These are from yesterday's little drive with the kids. These images are exactly what you could see on any scenic drive throughout the city. I was supposed to go on this little outing too. In my head, I thought it would be nice to go. In reality, I still feel a little like I'd rather be laying down a little. My face is still swollen and puffy. The worst of the symptoms as I have newly researched, is the numbness. As the dentist tells me, it should go away within days. I have found support groups online, they tell a different story. Some say that the nerve damage (from slight bruising to all out cut nerves) can last anywhere from a few weeks up to a year. That is, if you are going to make a full recovery and heal at all. Peachy. Just peachy.

I'm trying to decide if the numbness is getting better or not. Hard to say when it's only been 48 hours. I think it is. But it's still not back to normal. I guess I just play that waiting game now.

So. Here I am wide awake at 6:25 a.m. Alexa felt the need to crawl into bed with us last night so that she could hold my hair. It's a lovely endearing quality. Doesn't make sleeping very nice. But I let her stay. These beds aren't very big. I can't tell you how ready I am to have our own house back. And for the kids to have their own rooms again. They desperately need to go to their own rooms and go to bed on time, and stay there! They think this is an all night party or something. This sleeping on the pull out couch has made them turn into slumber party animals. They think it's the fun zone and literally do not go to sleep until they are just plain ole wore out. It's aggravating. This goes on every night. Maybe sleeping in a hotel does that to you. Or them.

OK, the official count as of right now the time of this posting:

6 days 7 hours 37 minutes until we board the plane!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Temper tantrums.

So. I'm sitting here, I wish that I could say that I was alone but I'm not, and my step-daughter is having a good cry. As empathetic a person as I am, I am totally unable to empathize with a 9 year old who is crying for something that she totally had control over.

My wonderful husband is doing us all a favor. The kids needed an outing, and I needed a little peace and quiet. Instead 3 of the 4 kids are on their way to have an exploratory tour of Tucson, and then they will probably stop for some ice cream or something else fun. It was to be a fun outing and to burn off some energy for the kids too.

Alyssa, my step-daughter was a little hesitant to go with them. In fact she was a little more demanding of her father when she asked where the planned destination was to be. He told her that it was a surprise. And for all purposes and most kids, that might have worked. But today and for this kid, nope. She wanted to decide for herself if she would have fun. So she said that she didn't want to go. I now believe that she does wish that she were with them. She has been crying since they left. And that was at 3:35. It is now 4:03. And I can still hear her sobbing. So no. I don't feel sorry for her.

She could be with them right now. And I could be enjoying a bit of silence. So no. I am not empathetic, nor sympathetic. I feel nothing. I went to talk to her and asked her why she was crying. If she didn't want to go and then daddy let her stay, then she should feel just fine right? Well, not exactly. Because this little 9 year old brat is crying. She told me that she was crying because daddy was making her go with him. I told her how could that be true when she was sitting right there on the couch?? And then she told me that she wanted to know where they were going so she could know if she really would have fun.

Sounds like someone that needed to be left behind. It's as if we treat her bad or something. I don't know why she acts like this sometimes. No wait. I do. It's her mother. She is her mother's child. So I'm not going to go in there and wrap my arms around her and coo and boo over her. She did this to herself. And if it makes me a bad person because I called her a brat, then so be it. She's acting terrible at the moment. I'm sure others could say worse.

I think she is looking for attention. We give her plenty of attention here everyday. I'm just not going to give her the attention that she is looking for while she displays this behavior. End of the story sister.

So, speaking of the pile of poop I'm dealing with right now.... Eddie pooped on the potty again today. Yay! That's a happy thing.

Having my 2 wisdom teeth removed yesterday actually went fine. I'm recovering quite well, even if I do say so myself. The part of this whole thing that is the most bothersome is the fact that on day two I am still having some residual numbness in my chin and lip area. That bothers me more than anything. And the pain is not even at an unbearable level. It's not bad at all. I still look like I have a bit of chew in my mouth. (as my husband said) To me it looks as though I have a big gumball in my cheek. Every time that I get an ice pack, Alexa steals it away and says that she too has a boo-boo. My little copy cat!

OK, I'm off to enjoy some of this peace now. It's 4:17 and I think the crying has ended. I hope it stays off.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The night before...

In about 10 hours I am going to have two of my teeth cut out of my head. Willingly. But it's for the best. So. I'm doing what anyone in that situation should be doing. I'm sitting here with some gatorade, and shoving chocolate into my mouth. Symphony chocolate with toffee and almonds. I have the jumbo "fun" size bar. I say fun because it truly is fun to eat. Not like those miniature candy bars that the manufacturers claim to be fun. I'm tired, so I'm just going to share a couple of pics real quick.

First up, I took this picture last night. They look like an old married couple!














And then this evening we went over to my mom's. Actually the kids went over to swim, and at the last minute, my mom and I decided to go see Sex and the City. When we came home (hotel home) we were changing into our jam-jams, getting ready for bed getting the little kids their milk, you know, night time stuff. Well, I came into the hallway to see this:














She told me that she wanted to wash her feet. And obviously brush her teeth as well. A girl needs clean feet and teeth! Gotta love her! lol~

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What'd'ya mean the mop stinks????

So today has been quite interesting. I've been having a dialogue with my dh about mopping. Not about the necessity of mopping, but about him making a mess and needing to mop after I had already cleaned the floors. Now, if you are just dropping in, let me first inform you that we, as in my whole loving and immediate 6 person family are staying in a quaint 2 bedroom hotel room. The kitchen area has tile flooring and it is complete with all the amenities of home. It is necessary to mop having 4 children under one roof. So yesterday I first inspected the mop that we were provided and decided against it. I was rather unhappy with it's sad state of appearance. So in no way was I prepared to utilize it. I instead grabbed a lovely white hand towel and some insanely hot water with vinegar and went to town on the floors. They came out clean, and there was no lingering unpleasant aroma. It was what had happened later on that evening to the floors that leaves me wondering still. He will not say. When I went out for a bit to the store, I returned home to a horrid smell. And my dh seemingly pleased with himself. He boasted to me that he had mopped the floors. My reply was, "After I just cleaned them?" He said, " Well, they needed it again." I do not know what had happened, and he did not offer an explanation. But I immediately knew that he used that hideous mop. I don't know what foul thing it was that had to be it's last job, but it was nearly choking me out of my own little dwelling. I could barely breathe. After opening the door and turning on the fan to high, I proceeded to get out another hand towel and get down on the floor once again. The stench from that dreaded mop was too much to bear. I tried with all my might to scrub the floors one more time. I thought that I had fixed the problem. What I failed to think about was that as you spend time within range of any aroma, pleasant or not, you get used to it. So I got used to a stinky smell. It wasn't until the next day, which actually is today. I went out to a dentist appointment and left the smell behind. Upon my return and in the car on the way home, I spoke with my father. He told me that he had stopped by to bring me our mail, and to see the kids. And then he told me, "Phew! That place stinks! I can't believe dh used that mop! He's a G.I. (government issue) he should know better than that!" I laughed to myself and thought, oh no. He's at it again with that horrid thing. When I got back to our room, I opened the door and was greeted by a sour smell that brought tears to my eyes. One for being stinky and the other from laughter that my father had been over there to witness what my husband had done to our little hotel room. But it was funny. At this point I went in to the coat closet where the evil mop was hiding. I opened the door to have a peek and almost passed out. I think something may have died in that mop, I am not sure, so I removed it from the building and threw it out into the courtyard. Holy moly the stench. I asked my dh if he remembered when I told him that I didn't like he way that the mop looked, therefor I was not going to use it and it was the reason I was cleaning the floors with a towel. NO??? NO???? OH, ok, well this time I was very stern, Don't you dare touch that stinky thing ever again! Ever! This place is a stink bomb! I had to go out and buy some Pine sol and clean the floors again. Oh but wait. While I was at the store, I thought I might get the kids a 2 foot long pixie stick. Yes, yes. I know. That was just plain dumb. But hey, they were only .18 cents each. And they are always asking for junk and I usually say no. So I thought, why not? Pssst. I'll tell you why not. Because the minute you get home they are going to open them with scissors, which they will leave in reach of a 20 month old and a 3 year old and they will then proceed to spill them all over your clean floor. Upon feeling the gritty sugary substance in between my toes and under my feet, I shook my head and informed them that they had made a mess on my freshly towel mopped floors. Mind you, dh was in ear shot, so he decided to trot his size 10 1/2 sneakers through the sticky mess to the other side of the kitchen and back to the bathroom. Absolutely wonderful! I get to clean the floors just one more time! I was just not having enough fun. I needed one more go round. And no, I did use the stinky mop laying outside. Let me back track a little bit before the mopping extravaganza had begun. We had unexpected guests. Friends of ours from Florida, that dh used to work with. During our sweet little visit, I kept thinking that our floors were stinky and that they were going to think that we were stinky and hence needed to make a swift exit. (they did by the way) lol~ And I was horrified at the thought. But at that moment when they showed up, I had not had a chance to clean yet. So, they came, they left. I cleaned. I cooked. Cleaned again. And then we went bowling. Yeah. Strange that I should have enough energy to go bowling after a dentist appointment and non-stop mopping along with a trip to the grocery store and then cooking dinner. Oh yeah, and while everyone else was eating, Eddie had pooped in his undies and I had to clean him too. So I was the last one to eat. Just before heading out the door to go bowling, I found my baby about to stick some strange substance in her mouth. The culprit? A piece of already chewed gum, abandoned by her sister but laying on the dresser in her room. I took the used gum and had to remind a 9 year old that if we are old enough to chew gum, then we should also understand that it goes into the trash when she no longer feels the gum is yummy enough to keep in her mouth. Also so her baby sister cannot get a hold of it, play with it, chew it, or use it as a hair accessory. We were wasting time, but I had to remind the kids that they too needed to help be responsible for safety and protecting their siblings both at our house and their own. Since their mother seems to breed like a wild rabbit. She too has two children exactly the same ages as my own. It's not like this should be a news flash to them, this should be second nature. But for some reason, it seems like they are hearing these things for the first time. (Though I'm not surprised). Devon complained a little about taking so long to leave the house and dh informed him that it was their fault. He whimpered further and complained and whined, and I quietly stopped getting dressed and putting my shoes on to go and stand next to him. I told him that I would be happy to take an additional five minutes to explain why it is their fault to him. If he wanted. He said no. And shut his mouth. We left, and had a great time bowling. I'm thankful that there weren't more people there. Eddie and Alexa had never been bowling before, and were running around like excited little maniacs. The little shoes for them were so cute! They had a really good time. The lights were out and the music played. It was family night and the prices were cheap. But the kids didn't understand that they shouldn't run around the lanes and throw the ball wherever they wanted. It was cute! And I did take my video camera . I'll have to post the video soon. I'll try. I promise! Right now I'm tired and need to get to bed. Added 6/5 Being so tired last night I forgot to mention that dh spilled wine all over the floor and counter. He also walked away from the counter and left milk sitting there. Alexa proceeded to grab the milk and spill the ENTIRE cup all over the floor. It's just not my day for cleaning. I'm telling you.
video
video
video
video

Monday, June 2, 2008

Shopping, and more pictures.

Today we went shopping for school clothes for Devon and Alyssa. I mean, not the best timing in my opinion. But we aren't going to have another chance to do this for the kids before school starts. So hopefully when they go home they won't wear and ruin these clothes that are totally meant for school. (I'm thinking that their mother isn't going to uphold this request). When we were little and we got school clothes, we absolutely did not touch them until school started. I think it would be nice if the kids did the same. Of course I can't control them when they aren't in my house.

When we got back, we ate dinner and then went for another walk. Here are a few pictures from this evening. Trust me, we had to wait until the sun was going down. The heat was almost unbearable. All four of the kids had a good time. And when we got back, after a cup of milk, Eddie collapsed into bed. Alexa was soon to follow. And now the world is lovely once again. But if you could see my sweet pea now, she is half way on the chair and half way sleeping on her sofa-bed. Awwww~

Here is miss Alexa.































Today in the pool.








Here is Alexa's new bathing suit.















Oh yeah, and the new hair barrette that we just got and lost at Nana and Tito's house.



















Devon, Eddie and Alyssa swimming and having fun.
















Lacka-doodle in the pool.









If you find yourself wondering why you don't catch any pictures of me in the pool, it's probably because I'm the one who is holding the camera. And if I can manage to dunk my two monkeys in the pool with somebody else for any length of time, it equates to approximately 20-30 minutes of quiet time for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~Ahhhhhhhhhh~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, my step-kids are here visiting. We rented a car. Yes a car. I did look into getting a mini-van for us but it just wasn't to be. $$$$$$$$$$$ So now we can all go someplace. It may not be in the same vehicle, but it will be at the same time. I think I like it better this way too. Having two cars allows me to run someplace without having to worry about leaving dh stranded here.

We enjoyed a fantabulous lasagna dinner at my mothers this evening. (Thanks mom!) I'm really going to miss the home cooking once we leave. Not to mention that my measly ole lasagna, when I have ventured to make it in the past, cannot even compare to mom's. So I'm going to miss home. Even though home has turned into this blasted brown, dry, dusty, Sahuaro cactus covered Southwestern state. It is home.

I do however look forward to turning this new country into my home. At least for the next two years. And since I will be learning a new language, I'm more excited than ever!

Stay tuned, time is getting shorter now. 12 days 16 hours (at the time of this posting~)