Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A merlot guy and his pina colada girl...

date night Posted by Hello

We went on our very first date a couple of nights ago. We got a wonderful babysitter (the 14 year old babysitter's older sister) Dustin's Dad treated us. He paid for the sitter and a meal at our very favorite restaurant "Harry's" It's the fanciest restaurant I've been in. The food is yummy and when I eat there, I always think that my Dad would love this place. Great food and fun atmosphere.

We order drinks, a merlot for Dustin and a pina colada for me. I discovered my love for pina coladas (the only alcoholic drink that I can stomach) at Olive Garden. They make their pina coladas like a yummy sweet dessert. When Dustin makes them at home for me, he adds vanilla ice cream. Well, Mexico does not make a great pina colada. Too frothy/milky/rum-my. Not my style.

We had so much fun. We just enjoyed each other, with no yelling Juju, no Bella running around the restaurant, no spilled drinks (well, one, but totally not our fault) It was nice. And the fact that the $50ish dollar tab was picked up by Mark was pretty great too. We walked around the Jardin, took silly pictures, bought chocolate and headed home to a little girl up way past her bedtime. Bella loved her baby-sitter. She wanted her to live with us and cried when it was time to take her home.

This will be my last post for a few days. We are heading home tomorrow.

*Quick itinerary for those interested (probably just my parents, counting down the seconds until Saturday :) *

We're heading to a town about 5 hours from here tomorrow and will relax in a hotel, get good sleep for the drive to Texas.
On Thursday we are heading to Kerrville Texas, to see Dustin's family and check out a couple of days of folk music at the Kerrville folk festival
We'll leave Saturday morning for Arkansas and arrive late Saturday.
And Memorial Day weekend promises lots of sleep, shopping, and a viewing of "Madagascar" with the kiddos at a theater with huge times for all.

Until next time...

The circus

Bella at the circus Posted by Hello

We decided to end the week with a bang!

Night #1--date night (more about that later)
Night #2--Circus
Night #3--our last Sunday Jardin trip
Night #4--Dustin playing music with his Dad at a local restaurant/club

We will dedicate this post to the circus.

So the circus comes to town with flashing lights and big tents and a truck full of tigers (Dustin and the kids saw them on their way home one evening) We decide that the kids will love it (Bella being the animal lover that she is) So we head over and they've started earlier than usual. We are 45 minutes late and have missed the trapeze acts, but we're assured that the tigers haven't performed yet.

The clowns. Oh dear lord, the clowns. First of all, I'm not a big fan of clowns. Secondly, I'm not a big fan of screaming into a microphone, which is connected to speakers that are turned up full blast and continually short out, causing shot gun sounds. Finally, I'm not a fan of my child screaming and crying that they want to go home when we just paid for the "deluxe" seating at a circus that they are SUPPOSED to enjoy.

Fortunately, Dustin took Bella on a potty break and while they were gone, the clowns ending their little number and a busty woman in white spandex started parading around the ring on a horse. Impressive. Dustin will be disappointed he missed this one ;)

When they returned, they were setting up for the tigers!! A blond man with slicked back hair and balls of steel (sorry for the crude language, but only that could explain a man that would voluntarily cage himself in with 6 rather angry looking tigers...that or deep mental problems) He walks into the ring and the tigers follow. I was so fascinated to watch the tigers 6 distinct personalities.
The trouble maker, who looked like he wanted to eat the man in two bites and ALWAYS voiced his annoyance at being made to do stupid tricks.
The "flamboyant" one, who pranced around the ring, and seemed to smile the entire time. he loved the spotlight.
The necrophiliac who continually fell asleep between tricks...and on and on. Interesting animals.

Bella wasn't entirely impressed. Her only knowledge of tigers is what she's seen on cartoons, and they're usually running wild in a jungle somewhere, not standing on top of a spinning disco ball. She kept saying, "Mommy, why is that man doing that to those tigers? What is this?"

The tigers were followed by extremely cute camels, parading around the ring, running and bouncing to arabic music.

On and on until Bella finally asked to go home. I look forward to taking her to a circus with elephants and bears and lions (her favorite) and fewer screaming clowns.

All in all, it was fun. Julian loved it (or maybe it was the 1 1/2 year old in front of us that he was enjoying watching so much. This kid is seriously a babe magnet. Bella was disappointed that there was no cotton candy ("Mama, it's Tata's favorite treat! I need some cotton candy") This kid is a Mexican Sugar Monster. Detox is quickly approaching...

Julian at the circus Posted by Hello

Monday, May 23, 2005

one more...just because they're so cute :) Posted by Hello

Julian and his "girlfriend" :) Tomorrow is our last full day here, and I am a bit sad. Just wanted to share this cute picture of my boy (doesn't he look like a little he-man? :)  Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 21, 2005

the big sneeze

the big sneeze Posted by Hello

Today Dustin was showing me something sweet that Bella does. She grabs him by his cheeks and pulls him to her face and gives him a tiny little kiss. He asked her to give him two kisses, so she grabs his cheeks, pulls his face to hers....and SNEEZES into his mouth!!! :) It was the funniest thing I've ever seen!! Bella and I laughed SOOOOO hard, watching Dustin run and start spitting in the sink.

5 minutes later I was still doing the little "sighing laughs" and Dustin glared at me (jokingly). He said, "That's all I am to you, isn't it? Blog Material."

The funny thing is that at that exact moment, I was thinking to myself "I have the perfect sneeze picture to go with this story for my blog." He knows me too well...

Thursday, May 19, 2005

bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils

daisies Posted by Hello

You've Got Mail is one of my favorite movies. I have watched it OVER and OVER. When Dustin is out of town, I play that movie on repeat while I clean house, make dinner, scrapbook. It's like an old friend to me.

There is a scene where Tom Hanks character (Joe Fox) brings Meg Ryan's character (Kathleen Kelley) a bouquet of fresh white daisies wrapped in newspaper. I love it. Dustin brought me that bouquet while we were dating, and out of all the roses and lilies and gerberas, those were my favorite...because of the strong connection to the movie.

These were the flowers he brought home last night (my "flower of the week" bouquet :) he never used to be a flower guy, i love it!) They were wrapped in newspaper, and just like in the movie, he found a vase, cleaned it and filled it with water, cut the flowers to size and placed them on my kitchen table. And every time I walk into the kitchen, I just feel good. They "smile" at me.

The only thing better than a bouquet of fresh white daisies, would be a bouquet of "freshly sharpened pencils". (if you don't understand what i'm talking about, you'll just have to watch the movie) :)

pre-date flowers

Bella's date with her Daddy...and the pre-date flowers Posted by Hello

Annabelle has been getting into everything lately. Dustin brought home a big basket of dried flowers the other night. I think because my Mother's Day lilies died so quickly. These things will be around forever.

Annabelle can't keep her hands off. She pulls the heads off of the big orange and red blooms. She shreds the viny flowers from their stems. She leaves a trail of dried flower mess everywhere she goes.

So yesterday, Dustin went to the market to pick up some new daisies for me (see above photo, they're so beautiful) and on his way home, he noticed the flower ladies. He found a small basket and decided that Bella needed her own, to do what she wanted with them.

He walked in the door with both arrangements in his hands and Bella says, "OOOOHHH Mama, Daddy's got new flowers for you!"

Dustin got down on his knees and said, "No Bella, these flowers are for you."

Her mouth dropped open and her eyes got so big and round and excited.
"OH DADDY! That's so sweet for you!!"

He told her she could do whatever she wanted with them, so she took them to her room and played on her bed with her animals. The flowers turned into a jungle that the lions roamed through. They were a hiding place for the monkey. And then she shredded them. And she loved it.

She walked back into the living room, gave Dustin a hug and said, "Daddy, thank you so much for my flowers. And my little basket. I love it."

What amazing gratitude.

And my flowers haven't been touched since.

Daddy is a genius.

one week...and counting

el Jardin and the church that EVERYONE must take a picture of. Posted by Hello

We leave our Mexican home in a week. I am sad. I am happy. I am anxious. I am dreading the car trip...

Last night, Dustin took Annabelle out to her favorite restaurant (it's totally not my favorite, awful service, but Bella loves the spinach soup) At the table, he explained to her that we were going back to Arkansas. She was excited. She wanted to see Poppy and Tata. She wanted to play with her toys. But when asked what the FIRST thing she wanted to do when she got to Arkansas, her reply was, "Go to the JARDIN!!!" Silly girl. She loves this place.

This picture is of la Parroquia, the church in the center of town. Every tourist photographs this church. This is my shot. It's beautiful and huge and I went inside it today. So old. Huge ceilings. Saints statues everywhere. Confessionals. The only other Catholic church that I've been in was in Africa. I wanted to take pictures of everything, but felt it was probably disrespectful. I was in a hurry, but felt such a strong urge to be still. To sit and meditate and think and breathe and listen...but I didn't. I didn't have time.

How many times have I missed out on the beautiful, the holy, the juicy parts of life because of my time schedule?

An old man stood outside of the church, facing the Jardin, clutching his hat in his hand. He sang loudly, as if he wanted the people to hear his message. He sang 3 lines over and over again, in the most beautiful (though untrained) voice. So gentle, yet powerful. I was so upset that I couldn't understand him. I sat on a park bench and listened to him for 15 minutes until he put his hat back on and walked down the street. I imagine that he obeyed his urge to be still, to listen, to breathe and think, and sing his song...and only then, did he move on.

I want to live like that.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

this little boy was the sweetest little boy in the world today...we don't get a lot of those kinds of days around here lately. i think he is making up for his fiesty sister... Posted by Hello

healthy lifestyle tip #2

you are going to love this Pizza is the healthiest food you can eat.
tomato sauce--veggie
mozzarella cheese (i like extra cheese)--dairy

i like to step it up a notch and add pineapple as a topping and i get an extra fruit. ;)

Actually, i hope you all realize that i am speaking in jest. I read a really sad story in one of Dr. Don Colbert's books "Walking in Divine Health". He had an appointment with a 50ish year old woman, who was tipping the scales at 300 lbs. He asked her what she ate, and she said that she got all of her 4 food groups in daily, and couldn't figure out why she had gained 50 pounds in the past few years. So he asked her to describe her daily diet.

"Well, I fast every morning. I miss breakfast.
Then for lunch, I have my 4 food groups--a quarter pounder with cheese, lettuce and tomato on a bun. Sometimes i have an apple pie, too. So i get my fruit."

"Well, what do you eat for dinner?" I continued.

"Well, I am a meat-and-potatoes woman. I get my vegetables from potatoes, and I love T-bone steaks. So that satisfies my meat group requirement. I always include bread for my grains, and i put lots of butter on it to meet my needs for the dairy group. And i like key lime pie or lemon icebox pie for my fruit group needs."

You can't argue with the results...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

a great example of how I might have looked in story below... Posted by Hello

embarrassing story #1

I was 13 years old. First time on a trip w/o my parents. First time to fly. First time out of the country. I was in Managua Nicaragua, with a youth group, helping to build an orphanage/feeding center.

I was the youngest person on the trip. I was easily embarrassed and didn’t want to do anything to make any of the older teenagers think I was just a silly kid.

We stayed with the sweetest family ever. They had 2 huge bedrooms filled with bunk beds. Just outside of the bedrooms was a single bathroom. The walls that surrounded the bathroom didn’t go up to the ceiling, so you could hear (and smell) everything that occurred in the bathroom.

I was extremely hesitant to use the bathroom for anything other than showering and #1. I thought that I could suppress the urge to go #2 for an entire week.

Our meals all week were so yummy, and we seemed to have beans at least once a day. Not a great idea to eat beans every day if you are trying to constipate yourself.

I made it 6 days. It was our last night and I was outside playing with all the kids. We were saying our goodbyes, taking pictures, playing games. I had a terrible rumbling feeling in my stomach. I thought that it was just gas. I just needed to relieve a little pressure. So I walked away from the crowd a little, because I didn’t want to humiliate myself by farting in front of any of them…

But that wasn’t the thing to be worried about…

As I squatted to a sitting position, I felt immediate relief on my stomach. I thought I was passing gas…but there was a little more being passed than gas…

I was mortified. I jumped up and then realized that I probably shouldn’t be making any sudden movements. By holding off on b.m.’s all week, I had self-induced diarrhea. Bad.

I was wearing baggy shorts. They came to the knee and were about 20 inches wide, or more, in each leg. Anything that could be sliding around inside my shorts, would probably fall out. Plus, I was wearing the cutest Scooby Doo bikini undies, not exactly the diaper that I needed.

I started walking s-l-o-w-l-y to the bathroom. I ignored the kids calling my name. I made it to the living room, and with great fear, saw that about 10 of my team members, as well as the family’s cute cute cute son (big 13 year old crush going on there) were all lying down in the floor watching home videos from the trip.

Yes, lying down. I had to STEP over 10 people, plus cute son, on my way to the bathroom, while trying not to let anything fall out of my shorts…and the worst part…I wasn’t finished doing my business…so I needed in the bathroom FAST.

Miraculously, nothing fell out. I’m sure everybody thought I had the worst gas in history of man, but nobody asked me about it.

I made it to the bathroom, stripped off my clothes, and with reckless abandon, finished the job. I tried to clean the clothes in the shower, but it didn’t do much good. I showered and then realized I had no towel or clothes to change into. I called the nicest girl in the world to bring me a towel, and streaked into our bedroom, while stashing the clothes behind the toilet.

I dressed as quickly as I could, ran back into the restroom, and debated for a good 30 minutes as to what to do with the clothes. I couldn’t throw them in the trash, because that would leave one of the family members to find my poop stained clothes after we had left (and did I mention that there was a cute son in this family that I had a major crush on??)

I am a little confused as to how my mind worked at 13 years old. Because what I did next was the stupidest thing ever. Instead of packing the clothes in a sealed plastic bag and putting them in my suitcase…I wadded them into a ball and put them into my CARRY ON BAG. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Fast forward about 15 hours when we are going through customs at the airport. The man ran my bag through the x-ray machine, and due to some silly souvenir that looked a little strange onscreen, he decided that he would empty my carry on bag onto the table to dig through.

My ears burned. My eyes watered. My knees knocked together while my stomach rumbled…

He opened my bag, peeked his head in for about 3 seconds, made a disgusted face and motioned me to just keep moving.

3 years later, older and wiser, I found myself in Managua Nicaragua again. I was feeling ill, probably drank some tap water without thinking. One of the big guys from Missionary Ventures was with us on the trip. He called me to the dining room to ask how I felt. Sick.

He leaned forward and whispered,
”Is everything…regular?”

I didn’t follow. “Regular?” I asked.

”Yes. Have you been going to the bathroom regularly?” he asked.

looked a little puzzled.

"Yes, everything is regular” I reply.

”I don’t want to be rude or anything, but believe it or not, some kids have a hard time using the bathroom here. They either don’t want to use the squatty potty’s or they don’t feel like they have enough privacy with the bathrooms here. Whenever anyone gets really sick to their stomach, it’s usually because they try to delay the inevitable all week.”

I smirk. “That’s just stupid. Why would anybody do that??”
Good cover up, Mindi, good cover up.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Ladies Man. Julian has quite the effect on the ladies. What you don't see in this picture is the little girl and her big sister behind Julian. See the flirty eyes? The way his little booty sticks out a bit..."putting out the vibe"? He's a charmer... Posted by Hello

2 more silly childhood stories

1. My brother, my cousins and I used to have an unhealthy obsession with Ernest movies. (Ernest Goes to Camp was a favorite) We tried to build a teepee on our own, just like the kids did in the movie. When we got the base built, we somehow got the brilliant idea to strip myAunt Diane's sheets off of her bed for the protective cover. Just as the boys got the sheets cut up to fit over the base, and Misty and I were about to paint this bad Aunt Diane came outside. Let's just say that it was NOT as good of an idea as we thought it was...

2. I am an insomniac. I remember even in elementary school staying up all night until the sun came up, reading, cleaning my room, and listening to "We Built This City" on my little radio. However, being an insomniac does not make for happy mornings in my house.

In jr. high, I walked to school every morning (since I missed the bus) . I prided myself on the fact that I could get completely dressed and out the door in less than 7 minutes. I would hit the snooze on the alarm clock until around 7:50. (had to be at school at 8) Jump out of bed, get dressed, brush teeth, apply ponytail and speedwalk (just like my Mimi taught me how to, heel to toe, baby, heel to toe) to school. I always made it to my seat as the final bell was ringing.

One night, I fell asleep earlier than usual, and wore my regular clothes to bed (a big pink sweater and black leggings...although for comfortable sleeping, i had removed my bra) I awoke with a start, almost 7:55, and panicked. I wouldn't make it on time. And then I realized that I was already dressed. Cool. Brush teeth, apply ponytail, speedwalk to wasn't until I made it to 3rd hour P.E., and was removing my sweater, that I realized I was not wearing a bra. How I never noticed I will never know...I have never been a small chested girl...never.

Once I realized my mistake, I cried for a few minutes, borrowed a sports bra from another girl ("i forgot my sports bra at home", I said, hoping she didn't notice that I had apparently forgotten EVERY type of bra at home) I made it through the rest of the day, miraculously, but oddly enough, it actually happened a second time a few months later. But we've divulged a bit too much here already, haven't we?

That second one kind of turned into an "Embarrassing Moment" entry. I am the Queen of embarrassing moments. If this blog weren't read by my Dad, I would be tempted to share a few of the most freakishly embarrassing moments known to man. (show restraint, Mindi, show restraint...)

an oldie but a goodie  Posted by Hello

Monday, May 09, 2005

One of the things I wanted for Mother's Day was ALONE time. Selfish? A bit. But I just craved a small excursion into town to write, order lunch (without sharing with a kid), walk where I want, buy what I want, etc. I got my wish ;) I ended up at a little coffee shop where I had the most perfect hot chocolate w/ chocolate sprinkles, the yummiest croissant that I've ever had, and a small piece of chocolate cake (if Dr. Atkins were still alive, I'm sure my lunch of choice would have surely made him keel over from shock...carbs/sugars/oh my!) I wrote in my journal...10 pages, which is a lot for me, since my wacked out thumb makes it hard to write by hand. I went to the park to "people watch", I heard a band play "Achey Breaky Heart" in Spanish, complete with line dancing, I bought a new bracelet...and came home to a clean house, pizza for dinner and a table full of gorgeous flowers (lots of lilies which makes my house smell wonderful) It was a relaxing day and I needed that. I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day as well... Posted by Hello

one tough chick Posted by Hello

Healthy Lifestyle Tip #1

I read somewhere that you should eat 4-6 almonds a day to get a serving of "healthy fat". Tonight, I ate an almond joy to get my "healthy fat" serving in. (2 almonds in each bar, covered in milk chocolate and coconut...which I consider a dairy and a fruit serving) I followed it up with a Snickers bar, for a bit more protein.

That one is free of charge. For more healthy lifestyle tips, feel free to email...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Juju the destroyer

Juju the destroyer. He woke up from his nap in such a foul mood. Screaming at everybody and everything. Wouldn't eat. Tore up the house. I left him with Dustin for a few minutes and when I came back inside Dustin had a funny look on his face.

"Catastrophe struck," he said.
"What do you mean?" I asked, a bit afraid.

Julian had pulled my camera, my truly beloved camera off of the counter top and shattered my favorite lens. Fortunately the camera is okay, but doesn't do me a lot of good without a good lens. I wanted to cry. I went to Bella's bed to lay down for a minute and Julian followed me. He pulled his chubby baby body onto the bed, climbed on top of my stomach, looked me in the eyes, and head-butted me square in the forehead. quickly as it appeared...his foul mood was gone. He had gotten it out of his system.

Boys, at times, truly are little tyrants. This was just the reminder that I needed to not leave my prized possessions anywhere that a Juju might lurk... Posted by Hello

My Mom

My Mom is going to be so mad that I posted this layout, these are (obviously) not the most flattering pictures. But even dressed as a hobo, with entirely too much red lipstick and matching blush, and overalls that are 8 times too large, my Mom is beautiful. This is a layout I did about her and the pictures are from "Hobo Night" from a children's program that we used to host at our church.

The journaling says:
"One of the things that I love about my Mom is that she is and always has been SO involved. You can count on her 110% support when she signs up for something. You're having a birthday party? She brings enough gifts for 3 guests! If Mom's throwing the get enough "food, folks, and fun" to last 3 days!! :) Mom never complained about our silly, sometimes expensive class projects. She was totally supportive, and usually cam home with Wal-Mart bags full of stuff that we may or may not use. She signed up to chaperone every field trip, came to every event, drove us to every meeting, hosted every "shower" and truly appeared to enjoy every minute. Pictures like these remind me of her constant effort to make life FUN. "

On a side note: my Mom was feeling down when I talked to her earlier today. She had some bad milk or something at my Mimi's house and was sick at her stomach for several hours. I hope she is feeling better. If you want to send her some money or something, that usually makes me, i mean, HER feel better. Just contact me via email and we'll work something out. I do accept PayPal. :) (totally joking if you don't get my humor...and if you really do want to send money, I was totally serious about the PayPal thing)
Posted by Hello

Happy Mothers Day!!

I don't have any recent pictures of my Mom or my mom-in-law, and I don't have a scanner here, so this is the next best thing...a picture of a layout I did about Me and Dustin with our Moms. Sorry for the crappy quality.
On top it says
*the sparkle in Dustin's eyes
*the happy candy eating smile
*how young and fresh Sharon not like a mom to 3 small boys.
Beautiful. Happy. Love. Dustin and Sharon

On the bottom it says
*matching terry cloth suits
*bare brown shoulders
*eyes squinting from the sun
*happy smiles
*can you get cuter than this?
Mindi and Lawana

Happy Mothers Day to both of my beautiful mothers. I love you both so much. Posted by Hello


Dustin is always writing, stories, thoughts, notes. Scribbles on pieces of paper stashed all over our home and car. When he writes, he changes peoples names, and for some reason, my name is the one he has the most difficulty with.

Normally I get stuck with a cute little spanish girl name, like Maria or something. But the other night, he had left MS Word open to something he was writing and he said, "I am now married to Foxy, who loves me like the dawn" I laughed and laughed. Foxy? What an awesome name! Turns out that he intentionally left that document open so I would see it and get a good laugh (mission accomplished) He's still working on my character name, but until then, I'm satisfied with Foxy.

And I leave you with this picture of me and Julian. I was a little disappointed that most of these didn't really turn out, but with the blurriness, if you squint your eyes just tight enough, I look pretty stinkin foxy, if i do say so myself :) Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 07, 2005

grown up

so grown up Posted by Hello

Annabelle and Julian stayed with their first baby-sitter a few nights ago. Three 14 year old girls, who are friends of ours through Dustin's Dad. Three of the cutest, nicest girls I've ever met.

When the girls first showed up, Annabelle was intrigued by them. The girls immediately asked to see her room and played toys with her and Annabelle quickly fell in love with them. She took one of the girls aside in the kitchen and said, "I'm so glad you're going to live here with us."

As they all piled on the couch to watch one of the movies of the evening "Aristocats" Bella crossed her little legs that didn't come close to reaching the floor. She placed her hands in her lap, like the girls had done, hands that normally would be picking her nose or pushing Julian off of the couch. She looked down the couch at the 3 girls sitting next to her and said,
"So, do you ladies like to eat avocados like my brother Juju does?"

I am sure she thought and thought as to what would be the most adult discussion that she could start, so of course, her mind took her to avocados. I absolutely love how her little mind works.

birthday parties and my girl

Birthday parties Posted by Hello

My Annabelle lives for birthday parties. She loves everything about them. Cake, balloons, games, presents, 1-2 hours of fun filled excitement.

So yesterday we are talking to our neighbor (who Bella loves) Andres, and he tells us that his birthday is tomorrow, they will be eating on the deck/patio in our complex and we are invited. He tells us to show up between 2:30 and 3:00.

Annabelle is way excited. Not only is this a birthday party, it is ANDRES's birthday party. And it is her first Mexican birthday party (besides her own in March) The entire morning she asks "are they eating cake without me??" "is it Andres's party yet??" "can we go outside now??"

Around 2:15 I get dressed in semi-clean clothes (laundry day), dress the kiddos in play clothes, because I know we'll be going swimming as well but don't know if it is appropriate to show up in swim suits (what if they have family coming?)

As I walk back from the laundry room, I see Andres looking out the window...wearing a white tuxedo, complete with glossy white dress shoes. I look down at my jeans with the rip in the knee and the strawberry popcicle stain near the crotch, and think that i may be underdressed.
It only makes me a tad insecure, as I have nothing I can do about it. Not only is it laundry day, but I didn't bring a formal dress to Mexico. I scoop the kids up and head to the party.

They were wrong about the time, I show up and nobody is there. They are setting up the tables for a full meal. Andres is out of his tux and into his swim clothes, swimming with the one friend that is there. I feel bad for them, thinking that they are setting up this elaborate birthday feast and nobody is showing up. After about 15 minutes, I take Julian back home to Dustin and dress Bella to take her swimming. When we go back outside, the party has exploded. There must be 30 adults on the patio, 15 little Mexican boys in the pool, and more people knocking at the gate, waiting to get in. I put Bella in the jacuzzi, which doubles as a kiddie pool, and let her swim alone while watching the boys attack eachother with water guns.

They call us to eat, and the meal was so yummy. They had it catered. They give each adult a bottle of aromatic oil as a gift--an adult version of the "goody bag". They play spanish music over loud speakers that have been set up, and all the songs are about Mexico. I am sitting at the "kids table" with all 15 little boys and Bella. Just as well. They say that cake will be served in 30 minutes. After the next 30 adults show up, I start feeling extremely out of place, so I take Annabelle back to the pool. She starts yelling that her legs are hurting (she's been rolling in the grass and her legs itch) so I tell her to quickly get into the pool.

By now, all 15 boys are in the kiddie pool. Bella is the only girl. She slides into the pool, turns to a rather chubby boy and says, "i gotta get in here, cuz my legs are hurtin"

chubby boy gives her a blank stare.

I worry for about 2 seconds, how is she going to fit in. She can be shy at times. Instead, she turns into the pool bully. She has one spot in the pool that she likes to play in. Another boy is in that spot, so she says, "scoot over". The boy does not understand. She helps him by shoving him in the side. "Scoot over." He gets it and moves. By the time we leave, each boy knows a new english phrase, "Scoot over."

The boys are yelling and squirting eachother and splashing like maniacs and Bella is trying to enjoy a relaxing soak in the jacuzzi. She tells them "be quiet." They don't hear her. She says it louder. and louder. and works up to a shrill "BE QUIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!"

She bellies up to the edge of the pool, hangs on with her arms and starts splashing her legs. Harder and harder she splashes, running off 6 of the boys. The remaining boys, while continually wiping the water from their eyes, start yelling, "Nina! Nina" (girl, girl) They want her to stop splashing them. She splashes harder.

One rather rambunctious boy steps up and starts shooting her in the back with his water gun. She laughs, child's play, and continues to splash him. She accidentally kicks a smaller boy in the side of the head, says a quiet apology, and then gets an idea for a new game. Her goal? To kick more boys in the head.

The boy starts to shoot her again and Andres steps up. He starts to shoot the boy in the face with his water gun. He shouts in spanish to leave the girl alone. Annabelle laughs and kicks one more boy in the head before Dustin steps outside to announce that my parents are on the phone.

After the phone conversation, we go back outside for about another hour (it's pushing 6 pm) and they've still not served cake. I convince Annabelle to come back inside, and as I prepare dinner, put Julian to bed, and even Bella to bed around 9 pm, I still hear the boys yelling and "Viva Mexico" playing on the loud speaker for the 40th time. In the states, especially with children's birthday parties, we try to herd the children in and out within 2 hours, max. Quickly get them strung out on cake and punch and back home for the sugar rush to die down. In Mexico, if there's a party to be had, it is to be had for hours, if not days.

Which reminds me...the whole Cinco de Mayo thing. Yeah, they're celebrating it now. All weekend. The out of town guests are here again, sunbathing at my back door for Julian to drool all over. The parties and loud music were heard until the wee hours of the morning last night, and are sure to be heard again tonight. "Viva Mexico."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! Posted by Hello

We have been so excited all week for Cinco de Mayo. Mexicans know how to party, and knowing how much we celebrated this day in high school spanish class, I was waiting for the big fiesta tonight. We planned to head to our favorite taco place and have carne asada, then to the Jardin for lime ice cream and home for pina coladas (excluding los ninos, of course)

So, we have our tacos and they were wonderful, kids did great, we head to the Jardin...and nothing. It was like your average Thursday night. It was around 8:30 so we weren't too late or too early...what's the deal? Where's the party? Where is the happy music and dancing people and the fireworks???

It's a cold night. Kids go crazy over a cute poodle in the ice cream shop. They share a scoop of mandarin sherbert (out of lime) and run laps around the park. Julian busts his head about 4 times, but realizes after the first time that if he cries, I am just going to pick him up and baby him (depleting his wild run around time) so he justs brushes himself off and waves me away and keeps running. Annabelle watches fascinated while a street artist sketches a pencil drawing of a man and a woman ("mommy, he's an artist, like me")

A little let down, we head home. We make our pina coladas. I have one, and then have Dustin make me a "frozen pepsi" (pepsi blended with ice in the blender) I rave over it and he says, "you're too easy". I'm not much of a drinker, so the pepsi was just awesome. He heads to play guitar with his friend Damon, and finds out that apparently, Cinco de Mayo isn't such a big deal in this part of Mexico afterall. The big party is Mexico's Independence Day (which is in September) Whoduthunkit? My best Cinco de Mayo party involved a canned flan and frozen taquitos in my 10th grade spanish class...

As you all probably know by now, Annabelle is fascinated with lions (thanks to Lion King 1, 2, and 3) So as we were walking down the street today, she literally freaked out when we saw this lion statue. She hugged it. She begged to sit on it. She talked to it and was sad to say goodbye. She was thrilled to have her picture taken with it. So now all I need is a good lion prop to get her to take sweet pictures for me all day long.  Posted by Hello

One of the first pictures of Julian that I've seen where he doesn't look like a little boy is growing up fast.  Posted by Hello

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

bella's new swim suit Posted by Hello