Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weather & the Crib

It is so stinkin' hot today.  It's been that way for a few days.
I think the last time it was under 80 degrees INSIDE the house was probably Sunday night/ Monday morning. 
Last night was completely wretched.  If I hadn't of had a monstrous headache and drugged myself I don't think I would have slept much at all because it was so hot.

I know that other people might want this kind of weather right now.... but we'd like a little rain to cool things off.  (According to the news last night via Abuela it's supposed to rain on Friday & Saturday, so just a couple more days.)  The dust is picking up again, which means less time ouside playing, but in this weather we don't really want to play outside.  This morning after we went for a walk down the hill to the pulperia (a small grocery store) Maria's little face was SO red from the heat and walking back up the hill.  We're definitely having lots of water and juice these days.  One of the only ways to cool down is baths, but since the water is off so often we have to fill up extra buckets of water just in case the kids want a late afternoon bath.

In other news... Cooper will be turning one next week.  AHH!  My little baby boy isn't such a baby anymore.  He is totally super cute though. 
A couple of weeks ago we found a guy who would make a crib for us for less than half the price others were asking and we ALL love it.

Mommy & Daddy love it because we don't have to worry about little boy falling out of the couch anymore...  Sister is jealous, she wants one of her own, and takes every possible opportunity to crawl into it and claim it as her own.  And little boy is sleeping so much better, which again makes Mommy & Daddy VERY happy.   He was NOT a good sleeper at all... up every 2 hours... oh how I was dreading going to sleep - knowing that as soon as I was wound down enough to fall asleep he'd be waking up!  Last night he actually did every 4 hours which was marvelous!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Work in Progress

Remember our backyard?


More specifically this mound of dirt


On Friday Marco and I worked in the backyard for a little bit moving rocks, setting blocks, and spreading dirt.  Yesterday Marco took care of the kids so I could do a little bit more work.  Abuela even came out and helped me gather rocks. 

It is a work in progress, but hopefully it will be much, much prettier when we're finished.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Beans: Perparation, Cooking, & Eating

A main staple of our diet. 
We eat them at least once a day.  A lot of people eat them three times a day.
The preparation process for beans here is different than in the states.
Heck, there I would just open a can.  But even if you cook your beans there are a few extra steps here than there are there...

You buy the beans by the pound from people on the street.  They put them in a plastic bag for you.
You get them home and have to sort thru them.
Beans that look like they're starting to grow a little,
beans that have holes in them,
beans that have split apart,
little rocks,
little sticks,
and bugs...

Now..... I, in all my ethnocentric food storage ways thought that we would get some buckets and buy a bunch of beans, put them in the buckets and then use them. 
We bought the buckets, but didn't get around to buying a bunch of beans... just a couple of pounds... and put them in the buckets.  About a week later I go to get some beans out and quickly have to put the lid back on.  There were a bunch of bugs.  I gave the bucket to Marco to deal with... 

So, once you get the beans sorted you wash them.
and you wash them again
and yet again.
Three times is what I've been taught.

Put the clean beans into a pot with clean water and a few cloves of garlic.
Then cook them for a few hours.... but make sure to check them every so often, you really don't want to run out of water, which is really easy to do. 
Once they are cooked through add salt to taste.

Now, here a LOT of people don't have refrigeration.  Instead of cooking new beans everyday, which would be a total hassle, what people do is they cook a few days worth and then bring them to a boil once a day to keep them from going bad. 

Like I mentioned before beans are eaten very frequently.  A few different ways we've had beans:
whole, in their soup with cheese (similar to cojita) & cream (crema/sour cream)
whole, fried* with tomato & onion
whole, in their soup, cold, with cheese & cream
blended with tomato & onion
blended and then fried*
blended and then fried* with tomato & onion

*when I say fried there are different levels of friedness.  Sometimes just a little oil is used to keept he beans from sticking, other times a LOT of oil is used and the beans come away crumbly.
We generally have the prior, just a little oil.... and then depending on how long you let them cook will give you the consistency you want. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Potty Training Take 2

Remember LAST time.
It wasn't successful.

A few weeks ago we were going to go and buy Maria some more diapers...
BUT they only had the really expensive ones in her size.
Seriously expensive.  It worked out to about 60 cents per diaper.
So we didn't buy any and decided to give using the potty another go.

(check out that wedgied bum!!)

This time she was a total rock star!!
The only times she's ever messed is when she hasn't been feeling well.
I'm so super duper pround of her.

It's Father's Day here in Honduras.
This morning Maria walked in on Daddy and said "wipe your bum?"
So stinkin' funny.  Happy Father's Day Daddy!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


This is not a subject that I have touched on, but it certainly exists here.
On Sundays and Thursdays the bean/corn/rice people set up out across the street from us and sell their products out of 50 pound bags. (They all cost around 50 cents a pound.)
Inevitably beans will fall onto the ground, left there, because that's what happens with food that falls on the ground in the road.

It is coffee season right now, which means that people are busy working. The jobs and income for the people here have already started disappearing as the season comes to a close. I wish that I could wave a magic wand and make poverty disappear....
Especially when I see things like this:
Someone picking up fallen beans.
I know that there is greatness in opposites...
to know happieness better you must experience sadness...
to be more thankful for health you must experience sickness...
to want heat you must have felt the cold...
.... but I wish that picking up beans from amidst rocks, dirt, and garbage didn't have to happen.
I wish that we could help everyone... we do what we can, but it will never be enough.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Maria's Dress.

I wanted to show a couple of pictures of the dress that I made with Abuela for Maria.
Actually, Abuela pretty much did everything, but I took copious notes.
Sewing without a pattern.
Taking measurements, and with those measurements cutting directly on the fabric.
It was pretty scary.
I'm hoping to be able to get something together for the sew-ers (I didn't want to type sewers, because that has to deal with sewage.... help anyone.... what's the word) out there to show what I've learned. 
It's pretty cool.

So Maria's dress.  We bought some fabric while we were in Tegucigalpa in February.  It is a white fabric with some holes in it, so I got a yellow to go underneath (I keep thinking of you Mom).  The neck and arms are trimmed with the yellow, the yellow ruched belt, and the buttons on the back are yellow too.

The pictures don't really do it justice....

I'm really starting to miss my computer.... The pictures are just not the same here.... especailly that second picture... it's weird and distorted. (I think that it doesn't help that Maria wanted NOTHING to do with the camera either.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Green Mangos

Green Mangos are kind of a treat here in Honduras.
They are small unripe mangos that are eaten with spices.
We bought this bag of mangos at the market today for Lempiras.

This is how big they are, less than a quarter of the size of the ones we used to get at Costco.

First step is to wash... then peel.

Open your spice packet,  pour it on a plat (or in a bowl or cup), add some salt, then dip your mango in it and enjoy.  There is also a sauce that is a little spicy that Marco enjoys with his mangos

They taste like unripe mangos dipped in spices.
You can buy little baggies of pre-peeled and sliced mango's on the street or in the buses that come with spices and a vinegary sauce that makes the mango's taste a little bit like a pickle.

The first time I had them I wasn't so sure, but now I kind of like them.  I'm sure that if you give me another 4 months I'll end up craving them.

-Dance party song of the day.-
"You May Be Right" Billy Joel

Friday, March 11, 2011

Things I'd Like to Remember

Tonight when I was putting Cooper to bed, he sleeps in the couch turned against the wall, so I stay close because I really don't want him to fall out....  I layed him down, he rolled over, I rubbed his back for a minute, he stood up and rested his head on the back of the couch, I continued rubbing his back, he stood up, came in for a kiss, and then wanted a hug and for me to pick him up... How could I refuse that?

Maria does this thing where she wipes my kisses off.  In the past couple of days she's started wanting me to wipe her kisses off.  She will give me a kiss and then want me to wipe it off and say "no kisses" and then she'll kiss me again and we'll repeat the whole process. 

The other day Marco kissed me when Cooper was on my lap.  Seconds later Cooper was coming at me with his mouth wide open baby style.

Maria wanted me to bounce her to sleep tonight. She's seen me do it to Cooper and now will ask for it rather frequently. It helps calm her down when she's upset, and helps her to wind down when it's time for bed.

Maria and Cooper had a blast brushing their teeth together this morning while I was getting ready.  It kept them entertained for a good 10 minutes!

Happy Birthday to ME!!

February 28th I celebrated my birthday.  We weren't in town for my actual birthday so we celebrated the day before.  A bunch of Abuela's family came into town to celebrate with me. 

They killed 3 chickens and we had soup.

It was fun getting to know the family better.
Two of Abuela's brothers came and one of her sisters.
Along with a bunch of cousins and some friends.

Here are Abuela's siblings and their children.

Later in the afternoon they busted out a cake and sang to me.
First they sang Happy Birthday in Spanish, and then again in English.
The English version was about 4 times louder than the Spanish version.
It was SO funny... I laughed SO hard!!

It was a delicious cake with light fluffy frosting.  Mmmmm.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Suprises at the Door!

Today a man showed up at Abuela's house. 
He had a backpack.
In the backpack was mail.
Oh glorious mail.
There was a letter for us. 
Along with the letter were these WONDERFUL pictures.
And it only took a month for us to get it. 
(I actually think it was in the country for longer... it just took that long to get from Gracias to us in the middle of nowhere!)

Thank you Chad, Rachel, Lily, & Eden!
You guys made our day!!

Here is Lily's drawing... I'm totally impressed!

And here's a heart to celebrate Dia de Amor y Amistad (Day of Love and Frienship) aka Valentine's Day.

As you can see Maria loved the heart.... and she's reaching in with her hand to give it more love!

Garbage Removal

Today we had our first thunderstorm.
Around 5 pm it started raining.
and it rained,
and rained,
and rained.

We had quite the river running down the road in front of our place after a little while.

The kids loved hanging out on the front patio watching it rain.

(I'm not sure why these next two pictures are sideways.... maybe it had to do with rotating & resizing on Marco's computer.... )

There was a guy on a horse that pulled his horse into the covered lot beside our place when it was raining and Maria kept telling me to "mira" the horse.
She loved standing on this little stool that Abuela got for her so that she wouldn't fall on the sippery, wet ground.
There is a garbage can on the other side of Abuela's house.  It doesn't get used that often.  People just throw their trash in the street.  It gets especially bad after market days when the streets are full and the vendors throw the plastic wrappings that their items came in wherever they choose. 
The neighbors will sweep the garbage that is in front of their home down the hill (towards our place) and then generally Abuela will sweep the stuff that is in front of our places down the hill to near the garbage can. 
Yes, we sweep the dirt here.
When the pile of garbage is large enough they'll light it on fire.  So we'll have mini-fire's / piles of ashes instead of garbage lying around.

Well in the road that became a river there was LOTS of garbage.  It was piling up in front of our place.  So Marco threw on his boots and a jacket and grabbed the broom and headed out to sweep the garbage down the road with the help of the river.
The neighbors up the hill saw him out there and lent him their hoe.  I'm not sure if the people that took shelter in the booths across the road thought that it was unusual or normal that someone was cleaning up the road during the rain.  It was entertaining though, watching him clean the road.  Watching Marco work is one of my favorite things.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wet Earth

The smell of wet earth was almost suffocating this evening.
It hasn't rained for about a month, and as that water hit the dirt it gave of an unbelievable aroma.
It was totally and competely welcome.
Because the road in front of our house is dirt, and it is well traveled, there is a LOT of dust (polvo) floating around in the air.
Marco told me about the dust before we came here.  He was worried about how much there is.... I didn't believe him.  I thought he was making a big deal of nothing...  I guess that goes to show how much I know about dust. 
It is currently my worst enemy.
And not only because it forces me to clean my floors multiple times daily...
but because the kids are sick...
Maria is sick.
Cooper is sick.
They have inflamed, infected tonsils.... and what is the cause:
Fevers. Coughing. Lots of Mucus.  All because of dust.
It gets into their throats and irritates the tonsils which then become inflamed, and then infected. 
Poor little kids.  Maria is getting hit harder than Cooper.
Cooper is starting to feel better. 
Maria is not.
She and I were up in the middle of the night coaxing her fever back down to below 100 degrees.

We went to the doctors today to get some more medicine.
It cost 15 Lempiras to see the doctor ( 79 cents )
and it cost 465 Lempiras for the medicine ( $24.64 )

Hopefully this will nip it in the bud.... otherwise Maria's got to get shots... and those are every two year olds favorite.

No pictures right now...  My computer is starting to fizzle out and I'm trying to make it last as LONG as possible.  So, we're starting to share Marco's computer, which I'm not too familiar with.... I'm hoping that it won't take too long to get into a good rythm.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Thanks for all the love in the comments!  You guys are all so great.  

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, we haven't had any internet. 
.... and I'm probably not going to get around to pictures and details of what we've been doing today either.  
Both kids are sick.... and I'm tired. 

here's a little peek of what we've been up to:
potty training
a birthday
learning to walk
a trip to mala-mala (Guatemala)
meeting more family
And I'm sure that there is more...  I just can't think of anything right now.

So hopefully tomorrow I'll have more!