New Season, New Beginnings

Where do I even start? An entire season has passed and not a word from me. I like to write, but to write while there are so many other things to be done – working, making sure my toddler doesn’t knock over the vase on the table, making dinner, folding clothes, washing dishes, spending time with my husband, washing more dishes (because it is just the most never-ending cycle in the history of time when you don’t have a dishwasher) – writing is 100% of the time put on the side. Writing is pushed into the couch cushions and forgotten, and then when I’m looking for my phone that was hidden from me by a my own personal three-foot human tornado, I find that ‘will to write’ next to the phone and think, oh right, my blog still exists. There are a handful of people that would like to hear from me.

So here I am again.

July and August went by quickly. It was winter here, but winter 2015 in Santiago was balmy. It didn’t rain good and hard until mid-August, so we were stuck with that smog for much longer than we wanted.

Joaquin began saying more words this winter. He says hola, chau, vamos, bravo, mama, zapato (papapo) and some others. His only English word is banana (balala), and that word comes from Spanish, so it’s safe to say that Spanish is his dominant language. Now that he’s saying a bit more, we can see how much more he understands. He understands my commands in English, and the parts of his body in English, like nose, ears, eyes, belly button, teeth, mouth, tongue. But, he also knows where other body parts are in Spanish, like cabeza, manos, brazos y piernas (thanks to a horribly annoying educational Chilean TV show that I detest with all my soul).

He waves goodbye, blows kisses and his new thing is to say chau and wave goodbye to me on the sidewalk and start walking in the other direction like he’s off to his first day of college. He’s always been blindly independent…takes after me.

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September was a much more fun month. I only had to work the first week of the month and then I had two weeks vacation. Andrés and I were able to take a mom-and-dad only trip to Brazil, while my mom and Julia manned down the house and had Joaquin all to themselves for a week. Everything worked out pretty perfectly…except for the 8.4 earthquake the night before we were coming back home. We got a message from my mom when we were at dinner to the effect of “Yikes! Earthquake!” and I thought, well, they’ve never felt an earthquake before, so it was probably just a small tremor.  Except not, and it was actually the biggest earthquake recorded worldwide so far for 2015. So, yes, kind of a big deal. Andrés and I were not in Chile for the earthquake in 2010, and now we missed the one in 2015. We feel left out. So unfortunately, my poor mom and sister had no idea what to do (we don’t really need to have earthquake drills in the midwest) and wanted to run out into the street (which is really not what you’re supposed to do). Thankfully our neighbor Manuela calmed them down and told them to just stay put.  

Our trip to Brazil was lovely. We decided not to let the rainy weather bring us down and we were able to see a lot of really beautiful places. We stayed in Cabo Frio, a city 2 hours east of Rio de Janeiro, and visited Buzios and Arraial do Cabo on two separate days. We spent our last day in Rio and were able to go up the Sugarloaf Mountain and spend some time at Copacabana.  

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At one of the million beaches we visited that week.

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Copa-Copacabana

“…At the Copa-Copacabana”

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It was a time of rest that we needed, so we came back missing our bubs and excited to spend a few days all together with Julia, Mom and Joaquin.

We are normal, I promise.

Joaquin caption: Is it too late to get out of this family of weirdos??

Sadly on the 21st, reality struck and we went back to ‘routine’ mode. Joaquin wasn’t super excited to return to daycare, though I can’t say I blame him. Spending two weeks with all attention from Grandma and Aunt Juju understandably has that effect on a return to real life. I was equally un-excited to be back at work.

And in upcoming news, Andrés’ visa interview will take place on October 7 at the US Embassy in Santiago. As I’ve told some, it’s more or less a formality to ask him a few questions and be able to issue him his resident visa. We have 6 months to move to the USA, so it’s a real deal!  Freak out mode has not officially begun, but it will probably come round January when we have both left our jobs, have no income and no house and are leaving the place we’ve called home for 3+ years (and many more in Andrés’ case). Yeah, I could pretty easily freak out around then. But God provides. He always has, and He always will. He’s never left us out in the dark, and I know that He won’t now. I’m actually pretty calm about everything right now, probably because I think back on to when my life started in Chile and have seen how amazing God has been to my family. So, 2016 will not be any different.

March Highs And Lows

March has arrived, whether I like it or not. Living in Chile for the past three March’s, I’ve come to associate it with overpopulation. There are way too many freaking people in this city. They’re all cramping my space, so very literally cramping it. Everyone needs to just go away for summer and stay there, k? It’s not that I’m trying to show how antisocial I am, there are just too many people, so, you know, just leave. Or invent teleportation so I don’t have to drive around a bunch of people whose driver’s licenses expired 25 years ago. Rules have changed, people. Move it or lose it.

Just jumped right into a low there for ya. Can’t hold it back. March always hits me like a sack of hot, sweaty bricks.

BUT, I will hand you off with some highs, just because I can and I’m pretty darn excited about some of them.

First is the confirmation of something exciting coming round in September…

forte_de_sao_mateus_2Expecting a sonogram photo? Sorry. No my friends, this is a picture of some amazing beach in Cabo Frio, Brazil. And if you look really close, one of those specks is me in September, because I’m going there. And that was a really un-eloquent way of saying that we’re going to Cabo Frio for vacation in September. It’s official, seriously, I just booked the flights today. We don’t have a place to stay yet, but who cares, it’s Brazil and não há problema, certo? (I need to really practice my Portuguese so I don’t sound like a moron. Maybe I’ll just keep my mouth shut.)

I’ve seen embarrassingly little of South America, so yeah, time to get some culture, right? Though, I have an itching feeling that Joaquin will be 16 and be telling me, ‘so, you took me to Brazil when I was 1 when I couldn’t remember it? that was mean’.

My other big high has been that I’ve started taking care of my health again, went on a little break for a bit year. I’ve been discouraged by running this past month as my shins have started hurting, bad (it’s always something, right?) I also am home alone two nights a week with Joaquin and that’s usually when I feel like running. However, it’s sort of frowned upon to leave your child in your home while you go out running, social etiquette or whatever, so in an effort to not go to jail, I had to look for some alternatives. And about three weeks ago, I found my new BFF, her name is Kelli. She’s everything I want to be: nice, tall, extremely fit and can still manage to speak in the 10 second rest periods between burpees. She’s one of the founders of fitnessblender.com, and she’s helped me burn 300-400 calories in 30 minutes in my living room daily. With no weights. Or equipment. Without a gym membership or paying a fee for the videos. She also doesn’t make me leave my house and face the stares of creepy men while I run. I may never leave the house again.

They have SO MANY VIDEOS. And they’re all good. And she’s nice in all of them. She doesn’t make me feel like a loser when I’m bent over backwards struggling with my life. She tells me ‘good job, you’re almost done’ and I’m like, ok Kelli, if you say so, I’ll keep going but just because you’re so nice. I can’t handle that Jillian Michaels, she’s too mean. Kelli is just, she’s awesome. If you want to do something other than your normal workout, this website is DA BOMB. Plus, I’m all tech-fancy now and I stream it from my Ipad onto our smart TV with my chromecast so I get to see it on our huge 32-inch screen. Ha. Sorry for the name dropping. Three weeks into it, I’ve gone from, ‘My lung is coming up my throat and I’m pretty sure I will die’ to ‘My lungs are staying in my chest and I don’t think I’m gonna die’. Progress people.

This high makes up for the total blah that is my job right now. It’s a huge low in my life right now, and I’ve been praying that I see improvements, but after some incidents with some specials last week, I’ve been crazy discouraged and extremely unmotivated to do any kind of good, efficient work. Good thing I’ve got my husband and my son…and Kelli now…to pick me up. Thanks guys.

this child and his bananas

this child and his bananas

calling him a monkey isn't racist because he's my son. and also his love for bananas makes it okay.

calling him a monkey isn’t racist because he’s my son. and also his love for bananas makes it okay.

he has major hug love.

he has major hug love.