Thursday, March 31, 2016

Big Girl Ruby

Hazel started going to daycare at 9 months when we first arrived to Guatemala. I've been beyond blessed to have had so many extra months at least partially at home with Ruby, working from home and having time with her. Ruby has been at home with an employee three mornings a week, and the plan has been to transition her to the "school" sometime after Easter.

Recently we went to check out Ruby's potential class and teachers. We happened to get there right when they were doing "class" time, and it felt shocking to see little one-year olds sitting at a table, listening to the teachers count in English in what felt like a formal setting. Little kids should be playing, and after already feeling like my girls have way too much schoolwork, this felt over the top.

I started questioning our decisions, our plan. What is best for her? She has such a sweet little relationship with Rosa, our employee. They are buddies. Ruby loves her and even after I arrive home after a few hours away, she's content to hang out with Rosa. We've been blessed with this arrangement.
Ruby with Rosa
After our visit, I called a friend who has more insight into the school, and it helped to hear about the schedule and the routines. We must have arrived in the small window of time where the kids are seated and "learning." The morning starts with toys and games and playing, followed by music and more time outside. Recreation time. And then snack. A few days a week they go to the "baby gym" (room full of foam pads, a ball pit, and a slide). Then they have a short time in class doing little projects and learning numbers or colors or animals, followed by rest time, where some of them will nap and the others will rest and end the day with more playing.

Today I took Ruby to "test the waters" during recreation time. She loved every second of it. She made a beeline for one of the little drivable toy cars and climbed in all by herself. I walked away and got out of sight, while still able to watch her. For half an hour she played alongside her teacher the whole time. When I walked up to her afterwards she was happy and smiling, "talking" to me and pointing to the toys and slides.
Oh man, did that do my Mama heart some good. I really needed peace about this process, and I got that this morning.

Tomorrow morning she'll go again for a bit longer, play with the toys and stay for a snack time too. Then on Monday she will begin officially for the full morning. She'll be in a class with 5 other kids, a teacher, and a teacher's aid.

After debating for weeks, actually months, I'm at peace. She is a social little girl. She loved playing and being outside and being around other kids. I think it will be a really good fit. Most importantly, she will be safe. The teachers are well trained and know what they are doing. The facilities are all clean and well taken care of. She will learn and play and grow.

It's time to transition yet again, and this Mama is finally ready. (Mostly. I will most assuredly still cry when I drop her off on Monday).

Ruby is ready too. She seems more independent every day. The other day we were out on our front patio and the gate was partially unlocked. She pushed it open and headed out on an adventure. I followed her and she sped up, trying to hurriedly get away from me. She was off! I told her adios and waved good-bye. She turned around, waved good-bye, and continued on her way.
Adios, Mommy.
Yeah, she's ready, even if I'm not.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

S is for...

(4th goal for US vs. Guatemala)
(Ruby is one adored little sister)
(Today Hazel passed her swimming level and moved on to level 2).


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Monday

Some friends from church saw my blog about not dying Easter eggs, so they offered to come over and dye eggs with the girls yesterday, since Monday was still a holiday with no school.

Ruby had fun watching.
The girls loved it, and they really had no idea that it was after Easter.

Thanks, Friends!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

"Mommy, what do we do on Easter?" My three year-old asked me this morning.

All this talk of Happy Easter and she wanted to know what the big deal was/is.

It's about Jesus. And how he loves us. And sometimes we hide Easter eggs for fun too.
It's about getting a family photo, right?

This morning on Facebook there was a combination of "He is risen!" posts, and fancy Facebook-worthy Easter baskets. 

Last year on Easter weekend I had the inspiration to make Easter baskets for the girls. I went to Walmart, the one place I assumed would have candies or things to color eggs, but there was nothing. I was surprised and a bit disappointed they didn't have anything. So we didn't do anything.

A few weeks ago I went to Walmart and they had an entire section of Easter stuff.  Chocolate bunnies and candy and baskets and bunny ears. Maybe I just missed it last year? This weekend, once again last minute, I thought about making Easter baskets. We went to Walmart, and it was all gone. The day before Easter. I missed the boat.

We bought a few candies as an afterthought.

This morning I was feeling badly that we didn't do fancy baskets, or dye Easter eggs (Mommy, we need white eggs to color, not brown). All Ellie has been asking for is to hunt for Easter eggs. Luckily this morning I remembered we have a bag of plastic eggs in our Christmas decorations box. Michael filled them with the candy he bought, but them in a container the girls already had, and voila, Easter "baskets." 

The girls have been hiding the plastic eggs and looking for them since we got home from church. "I'm having so much fun," says my 5 year-old.
We weren't sure what time church started this morning. We thought 8am. Or maybe 7. We showed up at 8:45 and we caught the last 10 minutes, just in time for tamales afterwards.
At the kids table eating Easter tamales
And some pictures, because, cute dresses.
Happy Easter from Guatemala!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Simple Saturday

We are enjoying being home with a little pool our neighbor gave us. It's been really warm since we got home, so we are relaxing outside.
A few more pictures from our trip this week while waiting at customs in Belize.
Why not collect beer bottle caps?
Another stamp in the Little One's passport
Chillin' with Mama
A rare photo time with me and my girls
Ruby is doing much better since yesterday. I wouldn't say she's 100%. She's still a bit clingy and not always sure, but she is taking steps and able to put weight on her leg, with caution. Gracias a Dios. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Semana Santa 2016

We went on a trip.

We had to take a boat to deal with some visa issues. 
We got really wet. Soaked. I laughed so hard watching Michael drip with salty sea water. He looked like a dripping wet dog. The girls cuddled and fell asleep. 
Ruby fell asleep on the boat, which is pretty miraculous considering the huge waves and choppy bumps for an hour. I felt like I needed a chiropractic adjustment after that ride.
After giving us some trouble due to Customs making a mistake in the girls' passports 2 years ago at the same border crossing, it all worked out, and we headed to Honduras to meet up with some friends for a bit.
Waiting at the border, under a sign that says "Firearms."
The first night was pleasant, though I learned that Hondurans love their music really, really loud. Like, deafening. Even after midnight when we went to bed, the music was still thumping. Another reason I appreciate the noise machine app on my phone.

It was a place that was supposed to be warm, extra warm, and humid. I packed exactly zero pairs of pants for me (a pair of capris), and one pair of pants and a light sweatshirt for the girls. The rest of the suitcase was full of shorts and swimsuits and flip flops. Instead, a cold front dropped in and it rained and drizzled almost the whole time we were there.
Ruby's first time playing in the sand.

After the first day, it kind of felt like the Oregon coast, as the storm took away the sand and left behind a rocky beach. So we felt at home. And the girls didn't seem to notice the cold air. They love the beach and the ocean.
Hazel took to gathering rocks for her "collection."
Besides eating dinner in the dark one night due to no electricity (and the place having no candles on hand) and the water going out for several hours, and the lack of hot water when there was water, besides the scorpion I found in our bathroom in the middle of the night, and the mosquitos that feasted on my ankles and on the girls, and the crazy eye infection that crusted Michael's eyes shut, besides all that, we had a good trip. 
The girls played with some other kids, we relaxed and stayed dry and played a lot of cards with our friends. That was really great. It was memorable, for sure. We were disconnected from the internet, we were together as a family, the girls and Michael got to go kayaking one slightly less wet morning, and we rested.

And then...

On the way home we were happy we were going against all the holiday traffic. When we got to the border there was a super long line. I stayed behind with the girls in the truck, who quickly got fussy and were fighting over the Ipad. While Ruby was hanging out in the driver's seat, I walked around to the back door and decided the girls should get out and we'd go find Michael. Thinking Ruby was further inside, I quickly opened the front driver's side door, and in a quick blur I realized Ruby was hanging on to the door, and suddenly on the ground on her back. I don't really remember how she fell, I just know it was super fast and it totally shocked me.

I scooped her up, and it took an extra long time for her to calm down. When I finally tried to put her on the ground to walk, she flipped out. She was whimpering and fussy, but there were no bodily signs of injury.

We got back in the car and headed home. Ruby slept and was a bit fussy but nothing out of the ordinary. At one quick stop she clung to Michael, and when he tried to stand her up, her legs buckled. After 8 hours of driving, we pulled in front of our house. I put Ruby on the ground and her leg immediately buckled. We realized she hadn't wanted to put any weight on her leg since she had fallen. We unloaded our suitcases, loaded ourselves back in the truck and headed to the ER. My fear was a broken leg. 
At the ER, mostly all smiles.
Thankfully, her x-rays were clear. They gave her medicine for the pain as it was obvious she still doesn't want to put any weight on that leg.
This morning is more of the same. She's pretty clingy, and she wants to walk, but every time she does, her leg seems to give way. So we're resting and monitoring it. Maybe it's bruised or a sprained knee. Since it's a holiday weekend we will keep watching her and hope it gets better. 
Prayers that she heals quickly would be appreciated. This Mama feels so badly for letting her fall. Her spirits are high and she is still her smiley self, she just doesn't want to walk.