Saturday, October 26, 2013


 I just found these pictures on Joe's phone from a few months ago!  I've been meaning to capture the bakery down here.  Now, the desserts?  Not so great.  And there is no exaggeration there.  But the bread...  Every time you walk into the grocery store, that fresh, just out of the oven smell, knocks you into some heavenly place.  Don't think I'm quite ready (or ever will be) to give up bread...I'm happy to just run a little bit more :)   That is... when I'm off bed rest.  

Out for a Stroll...

 Last week before I was sentenced to confinement within these walls, (I'm kidding.  It's not so horrible.  I've actually welcomed the naps!) we decided to go for a nice, long walk in our neighborhood.  Spring had finally arrived and it was much too gorgeous to be sitting inside.  So we grabbed the leash and the dog, and we took all of us for a walk--
thinking everyone would love the idea.
 This appears like a toddler, totally at ease, enjoying a warm, sunny day on some inviting, green grass.  But alas!  If you could have heard the tantrum that evolved when we told him he needed to walk just a little bit longer before anyone would hold him (should have brought the stroller) are prepared to look at it in a whole new light :)
 Now we have to try and get 4 faces looking at the camera?  This is getting harder and harder...

A little love whether she wants it or not :)

 Jake, proud and completely satisfied with Lucy's new look that he has just created.

 The Girls

Really, one of the main purposes of such a long walk, was to tire Lucy out.  You see, we were told that you can't bathe your dog until after it's had it's 3rd vaccination.  She had just received it the day before, and we were ready to get her clean.  She smelled a bit too much like dog to me ;)  So, I went online and read all 16 steps (plus the tips) from Wikihow on how to give a puppy her first bath.
In the tips section, it recommended giving the dog some exercise, so she wouldn't be too excited when she gets in the tub...Followed that one to a tee.  Then, it clearly stated in Step #6: 

Unless you want the puppy to think of bath time as an unpleasant, noisy time, bathe the puppy without children in the house. They will giggle and screech and this will stress out your puppy! Don't let anyone tease the puppy about the bath or it will learn that bathing is something to be feared! 


If you could have seen the wiggling, the crowding, the shoving, to be the first to give Lucy a treat for being a good girl in the bath, you would have emailed Wikihow and told them we weren't fit to be dog owners.  It was hysterical!  And poor Joe was actually trying to clean Lucy with all of that action going on around him.  But to their credit, they did use relatively soft voices.  And to Lucy's credit?  She's a really good puppy.  She looked soooo good afterward...
and she took a very long nap.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

It all started innocently enough. 

My friend dropped the kids off from school and they immediately hung their stuff up in the entry and started talking about the Halloween party at church that would happen that night.  Jake immediately ran into his room and threw on the Army costume that Joe found for him the night before at the grocery store.  It didn't matter that the party wouldn't start for another 4 hours.  
He was ready.

  Halloween is not a big thing down here.  The costume pickings are slim and the candy is even worse.  Trick or treating happens in specific neighborhoods (like ours) but not too many.  Since we had planned a trip this year over Halloween, I didn't put any energy into the holiday. Including costumes.

"What should I dress up as tonight?" Kate asked with a slight whine in her voice.  The night before she asked me the same question.  I hadn't a clue because all of our costumes in the Halloween box were "too babyish."  "We'll come up with something cute, don't worry."  I reassured her.  

 While Luke and I went from the bed, to the couch and back to the bed again, I decided there were plenty of options I could present to Kate.  So, I answered her question.  "How about a cowgirl?  Or a crazy rock star?"  Trying to think of things that we already had around the house.  "Or you could be an old lady or a baby?"  

She threw herself on the ground in her room and started sobbing.  "You frustrate me when you talk about Halloween!!!  I'm not going to the party.  I have nothing to wear!"
Hmmmm.  I thought I just gave you plenty of options.  Apparently none were good enough for your liking.  Now, I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt here.  She was really tired and this week has been a bit crazy with my bed rest and all.  But come on.  Two hours of crying and complaining?  I told her she didn't have to go to the party and she could do her homework instead.  She had plenty of it.  I left her alone to sulk.  I couldn't bare it one more second.  I'm supposed to remain calm in my bedresting state and I was not feeling it.  

She finally came down and asked in a quiet voice, "Could you help me with the cowgirl outfit?" As soon as the wig and Joe's authentic cowboy hat were on her head, she lit up with a big smile and said, "Can I wear some makeup?!!"  

I almost fell off my bed. Mood changed.  Joe came home just in time to scarf down dinner and grab all of the things we were supposed to bring to the party that night (including all of the stuff he was in charge of doing for the games the Young Men needed to put on) and ran out the door with the kids in tow.  Luke stayed home with me.  Joe couldn't be in charge of activities and watch Luke too!  Kate and Jake could fend for themselves.  

They had a blast.  Just like I knew they would.  

And that's the difference between getting a boy ready for Halloween and a girl :)

Bed Rest

It was a typical Tuesday morning.  Got up at 6:20 to get breakfast and lunches started, took Lucy out to go to the bathroom and then gave her breakfast, woke the kids up and then woke them up again, and headed down to finish getting breakfast on the plates.  Joe emerged from the bedroom looking dapper as ever in some of his new CFO "ropa" that we purchased over the summer to update his look and replace all of his button-ups that had split at the elbows and resulted in gaping holes.  
I have to admit.  It's times like these when I long for our homeschooling mornings.  Breakfast was my favorite part of the day!  No rushing around, cramming lunchboxes in backpacks and hurrying people out the door with a quick family prayer and kiss.  The only good thing about it is that we actuallly see Joe in the morning.  Back in California, he was on the bus to San Francisco at 6AM...LONG before the rest of us awoke.  But I digress...
After I closed the front door on the crew, I went back to bed.  Unusual.  Normally, that's my time for reading the scriptures and getting dressed for exercising before Luke wakes up.  But I was feeling crummy and wanted to try and fend off the germs that were slowly overtaking my body.  We had a trip to look forward to in exactly a week.  I had to be healthy.  So, I went back to bed.  Sandra arrived while I was feeding Luke breakfast, and as we sat in the kitchen getting caught up on the previous days events, all of the sudden I knew something was wrong.  I dropped Luke's oatmeal spoon and escaped to my bathroom in the middle of explaining something about the schedule for the day in Spanish.

Bed Rest.  
Thank goodness.  I could have kissed the doctor.  I kissed Joe instead.  Much better choice anyway, might I add.  We've gone through this before...twice.  But this time it was so much worse, that I really had no hope.  I called Joe immediately and he left his off-site meeting that he was in the middle of and met me at the hospital.  
"The baby is fine.  But you have a large clot on your placenta."  Apparently my body was going into contractions trying to rid myself of the clot and in addition, rid myself of our baby.  So, I was put to bed with medication to stop the contractions, full of relief as I imagined the baby's little profile on the screen, and anxiety at the same time that this pregnancy wouldn't end like Luke's.  
 Joe took control and wouldn't let me do ANYTHING.  
I wasn't to wake up in the morning to help with the school routine, I wasn't to lift anyone into bed at night, I wasn't about to come to the dinner table to eat dinner with everyone, let alone think of cleaning a dish.   Every night this week he has come home from his crazy job and immediately started taking care of the kids, finishing up homework, going to the grocery store (while I walk him through it on the phone!), taking the kids to their activities and doing the whole bedtime routine, including stories.  I'm not gloating...I'm just grateful.  Ok, I'm gloating.  I have an incredible husband.  He always has been.  
Our family would have whisked the kids away from me the second they knew I needed them.  So they get credit purely for that knowledge.  As Jen texted, "Sometimes Chile sucks."  It's true.  
It's really far away.  
I sent an email to a couple friends asking them if one of them could pick the kids up for me that day at school, and before I knew it, the kids were taken care of for the week, I had dinner ready for that night, visits and treats and English magazines for me to read to pass the time!!! I have good friends.  I am so grateful for them, especially when our loving family isn't right around the corner.  
So, I've been hanging out with Luke during the day watching PLENTY of movies in bed and taking naps.  He now wakes up in the morning and thinks that this is the normal routine!!  Ahhh!  Going to have to break him of that in a few days.  I go in to see the doctor again on Monday morning.  And hopefully he'll give us the go ahead for our trip the following day that we've been planning for months to Iguazu Falls!  I promised I'd take it easy.  We'll see what he says :) 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Just a Normal Pick Up Day

We were coming up the hill to pick the kids up from school, and came around the bend to find this!  Luke yelled out, "Cows!!!!!!!!!!!  Wook Mom, Wook!!!"  Been trying to work on that one.  He just laughs and says, "Oh ya.  Horses."  Actually there were more than 20 horses on the way up (I made sure to do a quick count!), but I wanted to make sure I got to Jake's classroom on time, so this is how many were left when we were going back home.  Beautiful.  I seem to prefer the horses to the cows in the median, munching on the grass.  It seems much more majestic!  Not sure how all of the "wildlife" keeps escaping around here, but it makes for exciting moments and opportunities to practice our classification of mammals :)

Lucy meet Oreo

What happens when good friends discover that both their families have become proud owners of pets within days of one another??  They arrange a "getting to know you" party, of course!
Lucy, meet Oreo
Our attempt at capturing the entire crew in one shot :)  At least they are all accounted for!
 Probably our most fun Family Home Evening in a while!!!  
Thanks Whitt family for pulling this incredible feat off! 

Oh, Did You Want Some?!

 Double Yum!

With all of the kisses I get throughout the day from this one, it's no surprise I can't wear anything twice :)  
Love... love...double love you, Luke!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Meet Lucy

The conversation 2 weeks ago went something like this:

Me:  Kate's still asking when we are going to actually get a dog.
Joe: you want one?  I was kind of thinking that since we are having a baby, it's not the best time.
Me:  That's EXACTLY what I said.  

The conversation 1 1/2 weeks ago was as follows: 
(sitting on the couch after everyone was finally asleep)

Joe: Pato (his dog breeding friend at work who gave us a ton of help when we were planning on bringing Delilah home) wants to know what the deal is.  Do we want a dog or not?  Because he has a friend that just had a litter and wants us to see them.
Me:  I thought because of the baby, we weren't going to get one...Although, we do have plenty of space for one down here...and we have help (our wonderful nana, Sandra who comes a few days a week).  I don't know...what do you think? 
Joe:  It wouldn't hurt just to go look...

2 days after that extremely productive dialogue:

Welcome home, Lucy!!!

 I'm still honestly chuckling over the whole event.  We went on a Saturday morning with NOTHING because we were just going to look at the beagles.  Not a crate, not a towel...not a thing.  Granted, I had read "How to raise the perfect puppy" 8 months ago, before we were supposed to bring our English Bulldog, Delilah home.  So I wasn't totally naive. This little thing was the sweetest 3 month old.  Kate wasn't the only one in heaven.  Luke and Jake had found their backyard buddy.  This surprised Joe and me.  We thought we only had one animal lover in our family. 
 She has had her patience tested as I've watched Luke drag her from here to there by the tail...
 ...listening to endless screams of excitement as she chases the kids back and forth on the grass...
 ...allowing 2, 5 and 8 year olds to pick her up and to "snuggle" her...
 and she has passed with flying colors.  
 Granted....potty training any mammal isn't on the top of my "Oh I can't wait!!!!" list.  But at least Luke is totally done.  (My easiest of the three, might I add)  And I have to admit, for the week she's been with us, Lucy is doing a pretty darn good job.  
This is a pretty typical afternoon.  Jake takes the lead on some sort of adventure or project he has designed in his mind, Luke is right on his heals, copying EVERY SINGLE WORD and GESTURE, and Lucy is right behind him, wanting in on the action.
 Are we crazy?  Very much so.  
But look at that face...

Here's a little video for you, Hansens :)

Farewell to the Smith Family!

One thing I've learned about the expat experience that I don't particularly love, is that the people you connect with, who become like family, come into your lives and physically exit it often times without much warning.

 When we learned that Laura and Abe Smith would be leaving us a few months earlier than expected, within a month, they were packed up and off to their next adventure in South Dakota.  We laughed because the Lamberts were only given a weeks notice.  So even though 30 days sounds like a while, it's a ridiculously short amount of time to organize everything and make this kind of international move.  
Had a little good bye party at our home with our gringo family (that has added some new members!!!) to wish them well.  So grateful for friendship!  We will miss you, Smith family!  We hope your transition to your new home is a smooth and quick one, so baby #4 can join your family when he is ready :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Little Birthday Culture

Do you have an inkling as to Joe's response when I texted him to see if he wanted to go to the opera for my birthday date night?  I knew we'd go to dinner...but with everything that's been going on with getting back into school and Joe recovering from surgery and my morning sickness that seems to hit me every night when it's time to clean up the kitchen (I'm really not faking it :)  The smell of "after dinner" is simply revolting) until I crawl into bed...we've been wiped out.
So, when I got an email from my friend Grace Swaine, asking if anyone wanted to use their tickets to the Teatro Municipal, I thought, "Sure!  Grace has just planned our evening for us, THANK YOU!!!"  
Hair is looking extremely 80's in this one--or something--but I'm going to let it slide...
My appointment for a cut is set 6 days from now. Can't wait. :)

My parents took me to plenty of musicals growing up, which I LOVED. and even a few operas (I remember Mom taking me to see the opera of Romeo and Juliet when I was in 6th grade--I felt so grown up--just the two of us!)... so I knew what to expect.  I'd need to look the story up and read about it BEFORE we got there, or else we'd be completely clueless--especially since it was an Italian Opera with Spanish subtitles :) 
Google maps guided us to the wrong part of Santiago (not uncommon down here) and so by the time we found it, we were 45 minutes late.  No harm done.  We entered this incredible building at intermission and found that our seats were front and center, 4 levels up.  The railing only came to our knees, so it was a little nerve-wracking!!!  I would have loved to have thrown my legs over the side-- they just don't make things down here for people 6 feet tall and over, but it was fantastic!  So grateful for Grace's generosity.

When the opera was over, we climbed into the car and headed to "The Ox."  Definitely not vegetarian :)  Check out my Caprese salad!  Everything was soooo good.  And when they brought the bill, along came a huge plate of cotton candy!  Couldn't have ended sweeter.

And that below, is our filet!!!  I could barely eat half of it!!!
What a great way to begin my 35th year.  I can tell already that this is going to be a good age :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

First Swim Meet in Spanish!!!

 Because Kate made the "A" team this year, she was invited to Nido's first swim meet at Santa Martina.  We were so excited!  What a perfect way to spend my birthday morning :)  

 It was freezing outside and Kate was panicked that the water would be cold.  She dipped her big toe in the water and her eyes just lit up!  It was bath water.  This was going to be a good meet.  
 One thing we hadn't even considered was the way they start the races!  There were a bunch of different patterned whistles and all of these words in Spanish!!  These poor kids were so confused..."Do we get up on the block?  Do we not?!!!  Oh, was that the whistle for diving in?!!!"  After the first race was under their belt, they got control of the situation and did awesome :)

Celebrating in the hot tub after the races were just one of the perks of having a swim meet at the beautiful country club in the Andes Hills right by our home.

 Kate took bronze in the breaststroke!  WAY TO GO, BABE!!!  She wanted to know what she needed to do to get gold :)  We had the best time watching her.  Love you, Kate.  Soo proud of you!


There is this cute little amusement park called Mampato that is about 10 minutes from our home.  I've never taken the kids because I've heard it's always a madhouse.  One of Kate's new friends in her class this year, Melissa, invited her to go one afternoon and I decided to bite the bullet.  Turns out if you don't go on a Saturday, and you go before in the middle of the afternoon, NO ONE is there!!!  I was so shocked, that I called Joe and had him bring the boys down. 
 I knew they'd love it.

The kids ran from ride to ride til they could run no more.  Perfect!  What a great way to spend an afternoon!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Postponed Celebration

Yes, after our wonderfully slow week at home, the kids jumped back into school and it was Kate's turn for her Dieciocho Performance.  I actually made it to this one and even had her dressed according to instruction.  It's amazing what a bit of sleep and sanity can do for a person!
waiting for their turn to take the stage...
Kate and Drew...not in the same class this year, but I nabbed a picture of these friends
 Getting ready to dance to Cueca!  I loved all of the color on the floor!

 She loves to perform.  Look at that smile!  

Way to go, Kate!  Luke and I loved it!!!

Here is part of the song the 3rd graders learned:

And here's part of the dance!