Veraneando

So, February huh? I won’t apologize, as this distance between posts is now becoming more frequent. Just know that my little piece of internet is always on my mind, but coming up with witty phrases and thinking of interesting stories for all of you to read (and ideally enjoy) is harder than I may lead you to believe.

I last wrote on Joaquin turning 1, and now he’s almost 1+2 months, and quite a bit of life has happened since then.

Two days after that post, my mom arrived in Chile to help me with Joaquin while Andrés was in the Bolivian jungle loving on orphans and doing service projects for two weeks with El Oasis. What a great man I married. I hope to get my first guest writer (husband) to tell you about that trip, as I cannot captivate what it was truly like.

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Meanwhile in Chile, my mom got to spend lots of one-on-one time with her favorite grandson while I was bringing home the bacon. She can be credited for teaching him to walk, no biggie, right? She walked around our apartment building with him so many times he was walking better than me by the end of the week. Plus, now we get to say, Joaquin (hua-keen) is walking, which a just creates a whole new level of word fun, amirite?

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Grandma played with him non-stop and pretty much saved my life from seeing what it would have been like to be a single parent for more than two days. And on the downside (…but really the upside), I had some kind of stomach bug at work on the 20th and was given three days off by my doctor and didn’t have to go back until the 26th. Well now…didn’t that work out nicely?

During our grandma-mommy-grandson time, we were able to go to Pomaire and buy some of their famous pottery, eat lunch at a restaurant that had an small problem with over-usage of avocados and see some large, scary Mapuche faces.

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We also went to the large public pool on top of Cerro San Cristóbal. Andrés had always deterred me from going to both of these places, either too crowded, not interesting or too expensive (in the case of the pool), but since he was out of the country he didn’t get an opinion on whether or not we went.

Then, the party really got going on the 29th when my sister and dad arrived. Andrés made it back on the 30th at night, just in time for all of us to go to Pedro and Paula’s wedding. Pedro (one of Andrés’ many cousins on his mom’s side), stayed with my parents when Andrés and I got married way back when, and they’ve stayed in touch exchanging soccer jerseys and communicating in spanglish.

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Chilean to your left.

He had just started dating Paula when we got married, so my family was excited to have been invited to the wedding. Also, 85 degree January days didn’t deter them too much from coming down either.

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We may need to brush up on our photoshop skills to get Joaquin in this very elegant photo of everyone.

The wedding reception was stunning, Paula’s taste really showed through the decoration and arrangements. It wasn’t like anything I had ever seen for a wedding, but it was so classy and screamed “Chilean Secret Garden”.

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We gringos barely survived until 2am, and were the first to say our goodbyes. Andrés and I finally got to bed around 4am after driving back into the city and dropping my family off at their airbnb place, and by some divine miracle we were able to get ourselves out of bed and pick up Joaquin from his gracious babysitters by 10am.

Julia left on the 3rd and my mom and dad went back on the 6th. It was different for me to say goodbye to them this time around, because it’s the first time since Joaquin was born that we’re all not 100% sure when we will be together again. Every other time we have said goodbye, there has always been another trip planned, and this time we don’t know when that next time may be. Andrés and I are doing our best to save this year, and spending $2500 on plane tickets doesn’t really attribute to the whole idea of ‘saving’. Plus, my head is still reeling from 8 long haul flights with an infant last year with two of those being pushed to day flights. Nah…just can’t do it again…not just yet…how will I ever do it again…just don’t think about it right now…it’s temporary…except I might die…Yes, all part of my normal thought process regarding the subject.

For now, we’re getting things in order for Andrés’ visa, enjoying the last two weeks of summer before 50 bajillion people return to Santiago and take my awesome summer parking spot and make my commute twice as long, purchasing Joaquin’s “school supplies” (why does a one year old need glue sticks again?), and me focusing on the positives and taking better care of myself: physically, spiritually and emotionally. More on that later.

And in case you were wondering, veraneando = summering (coming from your classic verano meaning summer)

2014 All Wrapped Up

I am back from my vacation of life and blog with Chile welcoming me back into the country in the form of sunny, 85 degree days. I have been back at work since Monday, and I’m already ready for another vacation. January and February are such slow months in the southern hemisphere. Everyone is either on summer vacation and not physically present, getting ready to go on summer vacation and not mentally present, or coming back from summer vacation and still feeling like they should be on summer vacation, and therefore not mentally present. Productivity is not the best right now.

Here are some highlights of how the last month of 2014 went for this girl.

-I’ll just start with the biggest news. Somehow, my baby turned 1. I can’t really, totally, fully understand how this happened yet, as I am receiving timehop notifications on my phone of “one year ago today” and there are pictures of me with a miniscule, beautiful newborn that I’m pretty sure were only taken 1 day ago…not 1 year ago.

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We just upgraded him out of this carseat because he outgrew it…waaaah!!! Me sad!

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We co-celebrated his birthday with one of our family Christmas celebrations, something I’m sure he’ll come to resent in a few years. But he’s 1 right now, all he cares about is the next thing he can put in his mouth – edible or not.

The kid went TO TOWN on the jumbo cupcake once he figured out it tasted like the best thing he’s ever put in his one year old mouth.

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Andrés and I found it at Mariano’s (among some other things…like italian cookies and a build your own 6 pack of beer). By the end of it, he was clutching the cake with his baby jaws of life.

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“Don’t you even THINK about taking this away from me. I’ve earned it, I’m one.”

When we saw the innards of the cupcake, we discovered it was about 98% buttercream frosting and 2% cake. As my aunt graciously put it, he was “breastfeeding the frosting”. The only version of sugar Joaquin was familiar with before his birthday was fructose from bananas and peaches, so this was a whole new world of super, artificially enhanced sugar. By the time we got back to Chile, I’m sure that the three of us well accumulated over 20 pounds as a family unit.

-Andrés and I both got to go to our first ice hockey game. Shut out 4-zip! I knew they played well because we both figured they knew we were going to be there all the way from Chile. We sat next to a couple consisting of a 60 year old man that looked like Hank from Breaking Bad and his 30-something Asian wife whose thighs were the approximate size of my wrists. I also found out that technology now permits you to spy on your babysitter during timeouts of a Blackhawks game. Thanks, Hank.

-We got to spend a lot of time with my family. This was the first time in maybe three or four or five years that every single member of my dad’s side was together, and every single member on my mom’s side was together. I hadn’t seen my cousin since 2010, which is kind of nuts considering our parent’s houses are only an hour away from each other. I even got to see four of my greatest friends (and facetime another far off in Colorado), an awesome thing to have happened for such a short trip.

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Andrés, Grandpa Dave and Great Grandpa Wes celebrated Christmas supporting the Cubs version of Chilean soccer…C.D. Universidad Católica. They always come kind of, sort of close to winning…but never seem to be able to pull it off. But misery loves company, right?

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-Amy got seriously teched-out this Christmas. I came back to Chile with so much technology, I wasn’t exactly sure if I was capable of handling it all. My dear husband gifted me a beautiful mini Ipad and a Chromecast. I opened the Chromecast and I’m all ‘thanks honey!’ and kind of put it to the side. Andrés is like, ‘do you know what it is?’ and I said, ‘sure, it’s a chromecast, for google chrome and stuff’…(that was a guess). I eventually was informed that it turns a regular old boring TV into a super awesome intelligent TV (or I guess a smart TV) that makes your tablet or phone or computer act like a TV remote. I guess I’ve been living under a rock. Then, my dad got my sister and I each a Bose bluetooth (almost spelled it blootooth…I’m 100 years old) speaker. I’m opening all of these awesome things and I have no idea what they do. Don’t worry, I eventually got it all figured it out and under control.

-Andrés’ big gift was a new, fancy Macbook Pro. We were tech-blessed in 2014. I personally don’t want Joaquin getting into all of his parents new toys because 1. he has he his own toys, 2. ours are expensive, and babies are attracted to breaking expensive things, and 3. I think my baby is just fine without all that added nonsense so young in his cute little life. But I know that comes with limits of our own. We try our best to limit all of this usage, especially around him. At any rate, Andrés is all excited about his new computer, and since I have a Macbook of my own, he’s asking me all these questions about what to do if this happens, how do you do this, etc etc, and I’m so tech-tarded I’m the worst person to ask.

-The New Years Party involved Joaquin being the first to hit the hay at 8pm, my mom falling asleep on the couch at 10:30, my dad wanting to celebrate New Years at 11pm because “it was New Years in New York and I’m tired” and Andrés and I ringing in the New Year with champagne and frozen hair in the hot tub at 12:30am.

Every time I have visited home this past year, I always return to conflicted feelings about wanting to leave Chile. Do I want to leave the beautiful Chilean weather and all of my new, married-into Chilean family I’ve grown so close to? Do I want to leave this little home we’ve created together and start over? Do I really want to go back to the USA and learn how to be a grown-up there when I’ve only ever been a grown-up here?

But then my thoughts pull me in the other direction. There is so much more physical space in the U.S. Our kiddo(s) would almost definitely have a yard with grass instead of 3 square inches of tiled terrace on a 7th floor apartment. I would be able to see my mom, my dad, my sissy, my grandparents so much more frequently (and less expensively) than I do now. I could run outside with my baby, instead of having to leave him at home with dad because drivers are absolutely nuts here.

It’s a constant mental battle for this young-ish gringa. But going back permanently has been on my heart for a while now, and the feeling is mutual with Andrés. We continue to trust that God will help us in whatever decision we make, and he has blessed us so very much in our lives together so far. We are excited to see what 2015 is going to present us with.