terça-feira, dezembro 25, 2007

I think nearly every present Ju got this year has wheels on it. Next year, we need to find a different theme. The real problem with this is that you never find those cool "alternative" toys, thinks like I used to buy in Natural Wonders and museum gift shops as a kid - things based in science and art and not prone to become "just another toy." Every day I think of things I really miss about the States. Why can we have an Impressions 5?

sexta-feira, dezembro 21, 2007

My friends have all moved on from college. I know we did. I think about it sometimes, how far we have come since we left good ol' MSU or even CHS so many years before. I keep finding people online I had lost. It's the nice thing about the internet.

Take my friend Rachanee, for example. She was a such a character in the dorms - I remember chatting with her on ICQ every morning, even though we lived right next door to each other - we were that ridiculous. She is now a singer/song writer indi artist. The quintessential girl with guitar that I always wanted to be, but did not have the discipline to learn guitar. On some level I am jealous, but mostly I am just impressed and proud to know her.

terça-feira, dezembro 18, 2007

Just want I wanted for Xmas - a cold. I can't believe I have gone almost the whole semester without catching almost anything! I guess I should count my blessings since I spent virtually the first two years strait of being a preschool teacher being sick with one thing or another. I chalk this one up to elevate stress levels due to the construction in my room over the holiday vacation and the pressure of having to empty the whole thing of all toys and materials by Friday (while still teaching 15 three year olds from 7-12 and running DI in the afternoons) and the strange actions of the PTA this morning, when they just popped in the middle of work period and started removing old toys and furniture because they were going to "replace" it with "new materials" in "January" (want to believe them? Try reading my rant about the school printer which we just got a new one TODAY). After kind of politely telling them to come back later when I had some time to devote to their cleaning, I went to the superintendent and called our coordinator who is on maternity leave and found out that the PTA did not tell anyone what they were doing and did not have this "authorization" or whatever they seemed to think they had. They were unapologetic about the mess they created and now I am missing furniture in my room which I need.

segunda-feira, dezembro 10, 2007

I hate my oven.

It goes without saying that this is the country of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and my stove certainly enters into that idea. Most people drive things into ground here, or at least if they don't want them anymore, they don't end up at a goodwill somewhere to waste away as junk, but rather are happily taken by someone who has nothing or very little and is happy to get whatever you are giving out. Most technology is so expensive here that using something until it's useless is the only option.

Case in point, my stove. I think it's older than me. It most certainly is the same one my husband grew up with, now covered with rust, lit with matches, with the wire frame that supports our cooking pots threatening to break through the rust spots at any moment and spill soup everywhere. The oven only has two settings; 1 and 2. No one is sure what the temperature of either of them is, not that it matters since the door doesn't shut all the way. I tie it up with string to a large peg to try to keep the gap down to a couple of centimeters instead of a gaping five or more waiting for Ju's wandering hand to find it. And while were at it, lets not forget to mention that everything burns in the front and is underdone in the back if you don't rotate your food every half and hour or so because the flame only burns in the front.

Last night, I attempted to make pumpkin chocolate cookies, which according to the recipe should only take 15-20 minutes to cook. After over an hour in the oven, I finally managed to get 6 cookies reasonably cooked enough to remove them from the pan. I gave up after midnight, when I managed to burn one side of the tray and get the tinfoil stuck in the cookie trying to get it off.

I have never attempted to bake alone before - I always had some support; my mom, then Teddi in college, then Lisa in gradschool, and then Sheila in Brasil for a while. I'd like to say that I did okay for my first time out on my own in the great world of baking, but the oven kind of ruined the experience for me.

Maybe I'll write Santa for a new stove.

segunda-feira, dezembro 03, 2007

If it's not kids, it's cats! After having several nights of Ju waking up and getting scared of things in the dark like stuffed animals and shadows, I finally was determined to get a good nights sleep, when low and behold, I am woken up at 4AM by none other than Ona-key who decided that she absolutely MUST be fed THIS INSTANT and told me this continuously for 5 minutes before I actually acknowledged that I heard her meowing in my ear and got up. I am dead on my feet. Or butt actually, since I am sitting down. I think I'll go sleep now.

quarta-feira, novembro 28, 2007

Everything these days is "mommy, papai, Juju" - three butterflies, three cups, three paint brushes, three rocks... Each set of three has a representative of each person in the family.

sábado, novembro 24, 2007

Ona is more and more decrepit by the day, not really walking so much as dragging her back legs along the floor to support her behind. The consequence of this is that she will often come in and poop on the tile floor somewhere rather than try to step into her litter box. Ju knows that coco is dirty and he can't touch it, so when he finds some, he usually comes to tell me and then watches as I clean it up.

This morning he found there was some on the veranda next to the litter box, and told me so, but since it was out there and not in the middle of foot traffic, I just said "okay, don't touch it, it's dirty. mommy will come clean it" and continued drinking my coffee. A little while later, he came to the top of the stairs and told me again, but this time accompanied by a long stretch of Ju language that I was unable to decifer, so I thought I'd better take a look. When I came up stairs I saw he had a diaper sitting in front of him, and inside it was the cat poop. Outside on the veranda I found another diaper with more cat poop in it. I guess he just wanted to help.

sexta-feira, novembro 23, 2007

Some interesting random things from this week:

Since I took one side off Ju's crib, he's been climbing in and out several times a night, sometimes falling out onto the flip out chair we leave beside it for that purpose, and sometimes going to sleep in the hammock. The other night Gustavo went into say good night and he wasn't in any of the former listed places, but UNDERNEATH the crib, sleeping away on the hard tile floor in just a diaper. Gustavo reckons he was hot and got out to sleep for that reason, as it runs in the family (Gustavo will slither off the bed onto the floor if he's hot and NEVER sleeps with covers, even in the winter, usually). I think it's more likely he just rolled off and found his way under there.

Ju is getting very resourceful and is climbing everything! I had to take his Spiderman ball from him today and put it up on the bookshelf because he kept throwing it at the computer screen, so he just climbed right up the shelves and got it down again. This was a real test of limits for him, as he did it right in front of me, laughing the whole time. I should also mention this shelf is eye level for me, so he was up pretty high for him. Later, he kept doing the same thing with a straw hat, so I took it and placed it carefully on top of the standing fan. He went over and shook it a bit, to see if he could get it to fall off. When that didn't work, he looked around, spotted a t-shirt I had left hanging on the dining room chair, took it and started whipping it at the hat until it fell down. Where do they learn this stuff?

quarta-feira, novembro 21, 2007

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

I wish pumpkin pie could be mailed.....

segunda-feira, novembro 19, 2007

The things you learn from television or perhaps parents trying to be funny....

Ju has been obsessed with Cookie Monster since he started watch Sesame Street videos he got for his birthday. This slowly evolved into a Cookie Monster imitation of daddy being "papai monster" and pretending to try to eat him. About a month ago, Ju started tearing all the foam letters and numbers to pieces with his teeth, and recently discovered the joys of doing this to onion skin and spreading it around the house. Today he went one step further and did a cookie monster with his soup for dinner. He seemed to understand that this was not appropriate when I told him I was upset about it, and then proceeded to ask if he could go do it with the onions instead - "a cookie monster widdy uhn-uhn, num num num."

domingo, novembro 18, 2007

Strange finger positions. I'm sure this is genetic, but it's not from either of his parents.

sábado, novembro 10, 2007

As I spend time reading up on other people's lives (more and more often people I know only digitally), I become more tempted to post photos and other things on here. I so enjoy seeing them on other people's blogs, and I wish I could do the same. I am, however, slightly put off since I link to my photo educational blog and there are links to that on several public sites, and I can't help feeling that thats just a whole can of cyber-stalker worms that I don't want to open. So, for those who wish to see more photos, videos, etc, I would invite you to facebook where the privacy settings are easier to manipulate.

domingo, novembro 04, 2007

Major reorganization. I have been bit by the antsy bug. I have reorganized both bedrooms and my classroom in the last three days. I even fixed my hanging plant that broke (this involved making a whole new chain and connecting holder out of some very thick wire with some very crappy pliers that gave me a very nasty blister on my palm) and spent some time organizing my magic garden area on the veranda. I am sure I had to actually accomplish some work this weekend, but I haven't done it. On the other hand, things that have been in the back of my mind are now getting done, so it can't be all bad.

sábado, novembro 03, 2007

Since it seems to be the thing to do - Introducing Ju-Leão!

domingo, outubro 28, 2007

It's starting to get warmer. You can now feel the heat under your clothes during the day, and the water in the water tank comes out a bit warm from the shower without the handy electric heater thing in the showerhead turned on. I wonder if I will feel any cooler this summer, as I will be spending it now for the first time not pregnant or breastfeeding, and therefore carrying much less strangeness in terms of hormones and excess water.

sábado, outubro 20, 2007

It's fascinating how here the leaves all fall off the trees in the spring, instead of in the fall.

quinta-feira, outubro 18, 2007

Ju is now in a "what's this, mommy?" phase. I hear this question about 50 times a day and always try to answer it (how long do most moms stand this stage before they stop answering?). He is also trying to count "1,2,3,4,6,8,9" and everything is a "1,2,3 fill-in-the-object" And everything has the potential to be a car - a cracker, a shoe, a stick, a ripped up foam number...

quarta-feira, outubro 17, 2007

I am addicted to iGoogle. I highly recommend that everyone get an iGoggle page, it's so nice to just stick whatever I want on it. I can read my google news, my email, and look at interesting photos all at one time! It's like the answer to the terrible twos!

segunda-feira, outubro 15, 2007

You know you have officially registered yourself as a foreign resident when you start receiving SPAM mail from your home country. I actually got a solicitation to subscribe to The Economist, by mail. I used to get tons of this stuff when I was in college, I assume, because our addresses could be accessed online by automated programs, but I had not gotten anything since I moved down here more than three years ago, until now. I wonder how they got a hold of it. Is it really worth sending unsolicited mail this far? I have a friend who's mother used to subscribe to magazines using strange spellings of her daughter's name, just so she could track what companies were selling their info. Will I start getting credit card solicitations now? What about Pizza hut coupons? I could really go for some cheap Subway....

sábado, outubro 06, 2007

Independence comes with a price.

Ju has been wanting to do things himself, like close doors, put things away, turn on the T.V. etc. This is a great development and I usually encourage him to do his own thing. He even has been waking up and coming downstairs by himself in the morning, usually right before I go out to catch the transport to work, and I leave him to watch a Sesame street video on the couch while daddy takes a shower. The nanny often arrives about 5 minutes later, and as far as I know, he has not gotten himself into trouble with his early morning activities unobserved.

Until today.....

On the weekends, Ju usually wakes up, comes to our room, sees we are still sleeping, and goes back to his room to play until he hears one of us in the shower. It's very polite of him to let us sleep and I had really stopped worrying that he would fall down the stairs or otherwise hurt himself. This morning apparently he decided to come down stairs to play, and by the time we got up at 7:30, he had found his way into the storage room (probably under the pretense of feeding the cat, which is his job every morning) and had made the biggest mess I have ever seen him make. Cat food had been thrown around the room, mixed with some sunscreen he had emptied onto the floor outside the door, a pile of stuff including a keyboard, old motherboard, and painting supplies had been knocked over and spread around, and he was digging in the bin of cat food with his beach shovels and rake. Not to mention that he had a huge poop in his diaper and it was slightly escaping down his legs. We removed him promptly and put him in time out (luckily on the stairs and not on the couch considering the mess he left when he got up later because of the leaking diaper problem) for the duration of cleaning the room, and then threw him in the shower. Does this mean we now need to close his door at night so he doesn't escape?

terça-feira, outubro 02, 2007

Living in a foreign country is supposed to be.... what? What is it that we think will be so great about it? I remember thinking how cool it would be to go live in another country - I think all language majors go through this. I even had one former classmate from SPN 400 and something who had found me on facebook tell me she was "trying not to be jealous of my life." We have some kind ideal in our heads about learning another language, living another culture... And those of us who actually get to do it are left trying to remember why we were so obsessed with it in the first place. When I lived in the States, I couldn't get enough Mexican, then Argentine, and then Brasilian culture - I listened to "native" music with all my windows rolled down in the car at top volume, singing in another language at the top of my lungs. I read things in Spanish and Portuguese as often as I could, I listened to radio stations online, I went to chat-in-fill-in-your-language-of-choice-here groups.

And now the farther I am from my own culture, the more closely I cling to it. I enter my iPod world every day on the way to and from work; the music I listen to is mostly what you'd hear on the radio in the States. I cling to American friends online more than I do to Brasilian friends I see everyday day. I NEVER read Portuguese by choice anymore - I am desperate for things to read in English. I spend hours online each weekend reading up the profiles of people I have not had much contact with since I rowed with them on Crew in 2004, yet somehow this is more interesting to me than watching the weekend specials on our antenna television. I would rather wait for a YouTube video of part of a Simpsons episode to load than watch a full program here.

There is nothing to be jealous of in terms of living in another country. I don't know why I thought it would be so glamorous....

domingo, setembro 30, 2007

I spent my Sunday for Ju. Early in the morning we got a call from our friend Isis who also has a two year old boy with whom Ju has already spent some time playing. She invited us over to hang out and then have lunch. Ju had a great time running all over, jumping on beds with Vito, and was in such a state when it was time to go home that we ended up staying all day and going to a theater done by local street kids (says the paintings on the wall outside) late in the afternoon - Ju's first real theater experience. The subject of the play was fear and the story was pretty interesting and rather psychological as far as I could follow it. Vito cried and had to be taken out, mostly due to tiredness (neither he nor Ju slept at all since they got up at about 6 AM), but Ju enjoyed it and wasn't frightened at all by the lights and sounds and costumes. I have only gotten Ju into bed now - I'm surprised he made it this long!

quinta-feira, setembro 27, 2007

Ju is eating canned sardines and pumpkin and rice for dinner. Mmmmmm, healthy.

Ew, and he just called me in there to show me a maleka he picked out of his nose! Are all boys this gross? Makes you wonder how they grow up and marry....

quarta-feira, setembro 26, 2007

Story for today -

Last year, in about... I dunno, maybe March, our sick sick printer that used to jam 4 or 5 times a day (probably more, since surely I cannot be the only person who was unjamming it), suddenly was so broken that no one could fix it and disappeared. They told us in April we would get a new one, when there was money, then it was in May, then they told us a new one would be bought before the next school year, as there was not more money in the budget. At the beginning of this year, we heard that rather than buy a new printer for the 40+ teachers in the Elementary, a new one would only be bought for the administration office, and we got our old broken one back in the middle of August. It would print one document and quit, then it disappeared again for a week, then it was back. As of today it's still not spitting anything out, yet it remains there like a plastic tormentor every time I go to the bathroom or to check my mailbox.

I think I only managed to print 3 or 4 things on it so far this year, since it seems to receive a print command and then say it was printing, yet nothing would ever come out. Every time I need to print something, first I open the print jobs folder and see how many are in the line. More often than not, there are print jobs in que from at least 24 hours before, if not days. I finally quit relying on printing anything and tried to find time to either run over and ask the principal to print for me on his private printer, or go down to the high school and try to use the library printer when there was a computer free. When ever I sent an email to our tech guys, there was never a sign if the problem was dealt with, fixed, or even acknowledged.

Today was the last straw, as I often have sent "please go have a look at the printer because it's not working, again" messages, and yesterday I sent one saying "someone please go put the printer out of it's misery because it has been dieing for a long time" - I had to print a small note to send home with the kids tomorrow. The document was a whole 4 pages long. Wow, 4 pages, what a strain huh? I sent it to the computer lab, where I was promptly chewed out for printing there as it isn't for common use. The broken teacher's printer isn't the computer lab guy's problem and we teachers need to go to the source of the problem and get them to get us a new one. Yes, I have been CCing the emails I send to the tech guys to our director every time, what more can I do? Rather fed up with this whole conversation (been under so much stress the last two weeks, I actually was close to tears), I returned to my room and wrote a lengthy email to both the tech guys, our principal, and our director, saying in short that the whole situation with the printer was ridiculous and totally unacceptable that 40+ teachers have no where to print anything and that some kind of response would be nice so we know that actually someone out there cares and is doing something about it. The director actually did come in, told me he whole heartedly agreed with me, and that something was being done. But when?

terça-feira, setembro 25, 2007

Instead of lamenting that the blogs I read are not updated as frequently as I'd like, I suppose I should update my own. I have been so busy and had so many things to write about, I end up not writing at all. Also, Ju is a distraction. And I have other excuses, but I can't remember what they were...

quinta-feira, setembro 13, 2007

Ju is actually forming full sentences, even if they aren't grammatical. I haven't really heard him doing it in Portuguese because he doesn't talk to me in Portuguese anymore, but yesterday he said this: "kitten papaya no want it" which translates into "the kitten doesn't want papaya." This sentences is probably the result of all the times he has thrown food at the cat, trying to see if she will eat it, and my telling him that she doesn't want it or doesn't like it. The interesting thing about this sentence is that he isn't recalling an utterance exactly from memory, because then it would probably be grammatically correct. It doesn't seem to be translated from Portuguese either, because the order would be different. I have no idea how normal it is, having never interacted much with native speakers of English who were less than 5 years old really (not counting baby sitting years - who can remember what happened before high school?), but it's really cool to see him take these sudden spurts of development in his language. He has also started saying "I sorry" when he does something wrong, and comes over and kisses me and says "I love you" if I am angry with him (how do kids know this makes us forget the broken DVD player, just for a moment?) . Which reminds me - today he broke the DVD player, no one is sure how, so getting him over his Thomas and Sesame street addiction should be easier now.

domingo, setembro 09, 2007

Well, we didn't go to the island for the vacation weekend because of the rain. Just as well I guess, since I had to spend most of yesterday recovering from going to an all night party and having a bit too much cachaça. I don't understand what happens after you have kids - it's like your whole biology changes. I used to be able to go to the bar, drink till 2, get up and have 5:20 practice for crew, go to an 8 am class.... Now I have one beer and feel hung over for hours afterwards.

quinta-feira, setembro 06, 2007

Brrr, why is it so cold? I don't remember it being this cold in the last 3 years since I have lived here - I am drinking hot coco and wearing socks!

sexta-feira, agosto 24, 2007

Funny story - There is a group of guys who walk around our neighborhood as security who blow a whistle to let us know all is well. It's part of the background noise to me, like the barking dogs and traffic sounds. About a month ago, Ju suddenly became aware of them and kept saying it was a bird ("passarinho"), and I kept telling him it was the "segurança." Finally last night when he heard the whistle, he said "bird no. Seguarança." A little while later we were looking at a book with a parrot in it, and I told him something like "it's a parrot, a bird that is a parrot" to which he replied "parrot no. Segurança." I love how kids' brains work.

quarta-feira, agosto 08, 2007

Did you know? Every year your child will have a new teacher, and there is an adjustment period that goes along with that. Did you know? Every child will have a bond with their old teacher until they make a bond with their new one. Did you know? Every child needs consistency and structure to feel safe and part of that is coming to school. Did you know? When a child comes late, they miss a big adjustment period of socializing with their peers which makes it more difficult to bond with their new group and feel safe. Did you know? When a child is the presence of a parent or other caretaker, they will isolate them selves more and want attention primarily from that parent or caretaker and will not socialize as much, or at all with their peers. Did you know? Children are affected by their parents' feelings, so if a parent is tense and mistrusting of a new teacher, the child will pick up on this an act accordingly, even if it is not verbalized directly to the child. Did you know? Every child needs a teacher's attention and the more a teacher must play favorite to one student or another to appease a concerned parent, the farther the other new students get. Did you know? We are teachers for the whole class and we cannot jump up and go have a chat with a concerned parent who decides to come in in the middle of a class day and talk about their concerns. Did you know?

sábado, agosto 04, 2007

While in Jersey, my husband picked up some DVDs for Ju, choosing them based on the fact that they were $1 each. A couple are not really appropriate for him (read: Japanese Animation) but one of Hermie and Friends has really grown on me. I have never been heavily into things that remind you that God is there - I think that is something we should remind ourselves of, rather than have it presented from an outside source. BUT, the message in the DVD is very light and presented nicely and I have to say I regret that because it talks about God directly because I can't take it to school to share with my kids. I hope I can find some more of them here somewhere, there are a lot of nice stories on the list.

quinta-feira, julho 26, 2007

On the way to the States, we go to the airport at 2:30 for our 4:45 flight. There was a lovely line about .8 km long stretching from the ONE open TAM desk all the way to the food court. We waited in it for a while, and then decided to jump the line because Ju was crabby. During this time, we over heard various people talking about how they were missing connections etc and didn't know what to do.

We got to our gate just in time to see that our flight was moved from confirmed to late, and then was announced over the loudspeaker that they had no "previsto" as to when it would arrive at the airport. We ate some pao de quiejo, we sat, and sat some more. We watched teenagers going on large Disney group tours sit on the floor and do bonding activities. Ju made a few friends. Eventually they came over the PA and told us something that no one could hear because the teenagers were too busy bonding to notice that everyone was trying to be quiet to listen to it. At 7:30 we were told our flight would begin boarding. At 8:30 we actually got on the plane. By the time we got to Rio, we had missed the last TAM flight to Miami by about 40 minutes.

So, after a 2 hour fiasco of getting vouchers and finding our luggage that had connection tags on it, we got to spend the night in Rio, in a 4 star hotel, bill footed by TAM. It was a lovely hotel and they checked us into their most expensive room at 1 AM in the morning. We slept most of the day, and then ate some random food from a kilo place and walked on the beach. Then it was time to pack it all in and go back to the airport to catch the 8:50 flight. We finally got checked in, got the the gate, and got the heck out of there.

We arrived so early in Miami that there was no one in the gate to operate or open it, so we sat on the plane for a while. After that, despite airport security, everything was pretty smooth, except for Ju not wanting to get on another airplane ("Ju airpane, no!") and trying to get us to leave him in Miami.

On the way back everything was okay until we got to Rio. After getting in and waiting for 25 minutes behind ONE family to recheck our luggage, we rushed to our gate to find that the flight was not there. Over the course of the next 4 hours, we got the whole complicated story in pieces: it went something like this - The plane that we were to take to Salvador left from Campinas to go to Rio, but it wasn't allowed to land because of the crash, so it was sent back to Campinas (where I suspect it had to unload and do something with a lot of angry passangers), and then wait for clearance to fly back again to Rio. Towards the end of this wait for it to arrive, we recieved news that Salvador's airport was closed because of a bird problem. We finally got on the plane at 4:30, but then had to until 5:30 for the flight plan to be ferried over because it had to be manually entered in Sampa (whatever that means).

Between all the problems with accidents, delays, and the publicity given during the PAN games, I see this whole flight thing really killing the tourist trade here if something isn't done soon. I can't help it, I live here, but if I had a choice about flying through a place that will surely make me miss a connection or three, I might go another way...

quinta-feira, junho 21, 2007

Ju has some kind of stomach thing, possibley rotavirus, and is pukey, feverish, and generally cranky and whiney. We travel tomorow; 18 + hours on planes, 4 airports, to go visit my parents for a month. I hope we can deal with the issues. It's too bad, because he is usually wonderful on flights, one of those kids who everyone sees and dreads having on their flight, and then compliment his behaviour afterwards. He doesn't want to eat much, and won't really sleep very well either, and generally cries a lot. He has been drinking pedialyte out of a medicine dropper because most things won't stay down, but we won't be able to take it with us on the plane, so I am not sure what we will do for him.

At the moment he is laying passively on the couch, watching Looney Toons. I am not an advocate to plugging your kid in, but when he's this whiney, it's a life saver to have him loose his focus on the uncomforable feelings he's having and just veg for a bit so I can type or pack suitcases. I'm not sure how much of his whining is due to genuine pain and discomfort and how much is due to the fact that he has percieved he is getting a lot more attention since he's been sick. Yesterday he got to be in my lap the whole day and slept in our bed with me and has been carried around all day. He's getting spoiled.

domingo, junho 17, 2007

I decided to dig out and photograph some old photos today (scary, huh?). This one is sophomore year of college, when my hair was pink and blue and I had gained a bit of weight because of allergies. I know there are more I should do, but it takes so long to get a decent shot, it's kind of discouraging. Besides, I should be finishing the giant wire mermaid I started a month ago, or doing the other lembrançinhas for the wedding. Should should should....

quarta-feira, junho 13, 2007

The saga of Ona-key has been quite long. I got her at the Capital Area Humane Society the day after I moved into the first apartment I could find that would allow me to have cats. I showed up in search of a cat and there she was.

The process of getting her down here with me is well catalogued here on this blog, as is her immediate sudden disappearance behind the fridge. About 2 years ago she started to go down hill. It began as a sudden fur loss on her back end that the vet attributed to stress because of the new baby (Ju was just born at that time). A few months later we found a lump under her front leg. The lump continued to grow and we had all her mammory glands removed, thinking it might be breast cancer. She recovered fine and seemd to be doing better, and then started to limp. It began as a slight hop on the back leg and we began giving her a small dose of pain killer to help her walk - the vet thought it might be a weak muscle which would correct itself if she was able to use it without pain. She didn't improve and we eventually stopped giving her the medication.

The limp became worse and worse until it was apparent both back legs were giving her trouble, becomming boney and sticking out at odd angles on the joints. She started laying on only one side, causing her wiskers to grow crooked on that side, and seemingly making the crookedness of her back end worse. For a while she stopped walking at all, hardly moving, and we discovered that her claws had begun to grow into the pads of her feet because she was not sharpening them. I trimmed them and she improved. He decline seemed halted and she hobbled around the house like an old woman, hopping up and down the stairs with difficulty, but full of life, and trying to hide from Ju most of the time.

The suddenly last night, she freaked out. At first we thought Lela was bothering her - she suddenly woke us up at 1am, yoweling on the veranda. We chased Lela away and brought her inside. She started again and I became worried that she was in pain, but she would immediately stop when I went to talk to her and pet her, so I thought it must be something else. She repeated the yowel again at 2am, then 3am (waking up Ju and scaring the heck out of him), and then at 4am, and again at 5am. Through all this, it seemed that she was yoweling at imaginary things, hallucinations, and that there wasn't much I could do to help her. At 6:30, I was making coffee and she began again, waking up Ju, who then came down stairs, telling me that "Ona-kay tah chorando" - Ona-key is crying.

She spent all day hiding in various places, and the nanny dutifully checked on her to make sure she was okay. She started doing frequent yoweling again when she went to go eat, but it's hard to judge why. I petted her for a while and brought her in here with me on my lap. She hopped up on the shelf next to the computer and now is sleeping where the cooling fan blows hot air on her face. She seems quite contented at the moment. The vet said we might start giving her anti-psycotic drugs tomorow, but I think she should be examined first. I keep remembering when my mom's cat died, how he came and told her he was in pain, and I wonder if Ona-key is trying to do the same.

segunda-feira, junho 11, 2007

I think I have figured it out - it's not the kids that stress me out. It's the parents. Is it at every school that teachers are constantly questioned in our abilities to teach? Parents want their kids to go to our school, yet they come in with stories about how "the children don't learn anything" or that "there were a lot of complaints about the teachers this year." What I keep wondering is if they don't trust any of the teachers, why enroll your child with our school? If we can't teach, why are you here bugging us to make an exception just this once to let your child pass when they have not shown that they know the material? Why not just save us all the head ache and take your child to another school? Is it just because these are rich people's kids? People who are used to getting their way all the time? Is that what they think they are paying for? I am starting to get the impression that we are just supposed to do whatever they say, no matter what our professional opinions as educators are. The school sporatically backs us up there.... No wonder the kids show a HUGE lack of respect for us and their fellow classmates and the school grounds. I bet they are told at home that the teacher is wrong, that the problem is the teacher, and that the child should not worry about their behaviour or lack of learning, the teacher should be FORCING you to learn. Because we can just wave our magic wands and make the info appear in their heads. Poof! No wonder we have an almost complete staff turn over every 4 years - no one would want to sit here and deal with this when they could be working elsewhere for more money, in a country where they speak the language...

domingo, junho 10, 2007

What am I hungry for? I just keep eating and nothing is satisfying. What is it?!

terça-feira, junho 05, 2007

So they caught the SPAM king, or one of them anyway. And, in fact, my spam level is much much lower than it ever has been since college. I used to get at least 25 a day in my account I have had since 1998. I even went so far as to open another account because the spam was so bad that my inbox would fill up if I didn't check it 20 times a day. And now it has dropped off to about 2 or 3 a day. That's a pretty good track I think.

sexta-feira, junho 01, 2007

Great quote for the day - "my sperm are like the borg...a collective intelligence.
200 million minds. Plotting...learning the reproductive tract's weaknesses.....and waiting to strike.
Sounds like I have a terrorist in my pants" - Brian

Another interesting tidbit from school I forgot to mention - after all our hard work fund raising, begging, and cutting supply orders, our new music room was finally completed, with it's fancy sound proofing to prevent the echo-chamber effect, complete with a fancy double door to keep all sound inside and outside separated. We were all so excited, and then off went the piano (so lovingly stored in the computer room for so long) on it's cart, trailed and pushed by several maintenence men to make it's debute for the first class with piano music played by the music teacher since 2 years ago when this whole construction thing began. And oops, well, the engineers forgot that a music room needs to have a door way that instruments can fit through, and well, so the piano can't get into the music room. I guess we should have known to build the room around it, since doors are never a sure thing in this country, especially not in our school...

quinta-feira, maio 24, 2007

Today I made goop for Ju. It was a great sucess. He is a fan of play dough, silly putty, and clay. We always recommend that the children who have a poor pencil grip play with some thing along these lines outside of school to strenthen their hands and small motor skills. Ju already has very good capabilities with crayons and is extremely into finger paints. With any luck, I'll be able to give him enough stimulation that he won't be behind when he starts school in a year.

quarta-feira, maio 23, 2007

I had something to write earlier when I opened this page, but then Ju was throwing peas and I went to go feed him a banana, and now I am sleeping with my eyes open.

terça-feira, maio 22, 2007

Instead of constantly lamenting that my friends don't update their blogs as often, I suppose I should actually update mine. Despite having opened a page to write a number of times, I never seem to do it, which I chaulk up to my extreme lack of time. Like now, as I am typing, I actually should be making flash cards that I didn't make last night because I was playing with Ju and doing a translation at the same time. Off to school now.

sexta-feira, maio 11, 2007

Oh, and I probably should add that we finally were paid the money by the insurance company and have bought a new car as of Wednesday. Only took a month and a half....
The battle for sleep continues. Unfortunately, daddy is sabotaging all my hard work because he misses his son ( can't blame him ) and goes in there to keep him company while he falls asleep. Now here I am, daddy working late, and Ju is up there, crying alternately for mom or dad. He already knew it was going to happen when I put him in there - as soon as I started reading the goodnight story, he starting crying and throwing a fit. If he keeps it up, he may stay awake until daddy get's home at 11.

domingo, maio 06, 2007

Is there like a switch or something? Kids pass the two year mark and suddenly - snap - there are the tantrums, the throwing on the floor, the indecision game playing, the pinching, the finicky eating... It's amazing! Another switch that has been flipped is the "potty peeing" switch, brought on by the interest in wearing a "tecka" (cueca - underwear). No interest in doing the same for coco though. oh well.

segunda-feira, abril 30, 2007

News for today: Shout pretreater will take crayon off a wall, but it will also take the paint off the wall.

domingo, abril 08, 2007

Truely appreciating Sesame Street comes with a realization that I am old. I can remember how much I looked forward to watching it, singing the theme song, and I'm sure I must have learned something from it along the way. It was my favorite show for years, and then suddenly, I think about the time my parents divorced, I suddenly wasn't into it anymore - I had learned all it had to offer and it became boring. Then came years of boycotting it as a "baby show" because I was so grown up (we all go through this in 3 phases I think - when you're 8-9, when you're 14-18, and then again when you are really and adult but feel like you couldn't possible know everything yet - where I am now; I think you really don't know everything until you are somewhere around 50).

Then there was the revival in highschool, conviniently matched to the release of the "Tickle Me Elmo" toy that was the gift of the Xmas season when I was 16. I remember Elmo back packs, T-shirts, and little fuzzy lunch boxes that we used as purses to carry our makeup that we were too young to really be wearing in public. Actually, now that I think about it, the revival was almost purely Elmo based, a character I was never a big fan of when I as a kid, yet became the "IT" character for my teenaged years. Hmmmm....

It faded into the background again until I had Ju, when suddenly I am watching it again, but in DVD form. Now I get the jokes - the three crows who sing about counting are the "counting crows," "MC Elmo" rapping is a catchy way to learn about the number 5, and I am truely appreciating the clear and subliminal way you count to number 8 with the music (incase you are curious, the current favorite is the "1,2,3 Count with Me" DVD). Part of this comes from working in the preschool for the last 2 years, but I think it mostly comes from the fact that I have to watch this stuff at home all the time, and Jim Henson was really thinking when he made it appeal to parents as well, especially to youngish parents who still like current bands, keep up with music trends, and appreciate dancing. I have the "counting crows" stuck in my head all day.

What's so nice is that I see it has changed little, except for the music styles, over the years - the structure is still the same, a central story with short little related blips of educational material that is related in some way. What's making me feel old is that fact that the characters, not just the muppets, but the actual people who live there like Maria and Gordon, are still there, but older. They are still enthusiastic, smiley, and get the kids excited. It's a little bit like visiting my parents' friends who I remember from when I was a kid, but now I too am an "adult" and can talk to them like another "adult."

I am old, but I am not grown up. I still love kids shows.

sexta-feira, abril 06, 2007

Haha, just have to add -

Cleaning n Washing Tips
Make Toilet Bowl Sprinkle

Keep the toilet bowl sprinkling - Mix equal parts baking soda and borax around bowl, add white vinegar, and finally clean with toilet brush. For stubborn stains, leave mixture in overnight.

Do you think they did it on purpose....

So on Monday I will start teaching in the ESL as the temporary teacher while the permanent one is on maternity leave. Will this guarantee me a teaching position for next year? I hope so. I also interview for a position on Monday. So I can't sleep lately. I keep having nightmares that I go to the wrong class, forget where I work, and parents are trying to blame me for things.

Just think back and remember you are in control of your life, you are an adult. You probably won't screw up.

domingo, abril 01, 2007

April fools days is upon us. Did I notice? Not really.

Have I left the house since Friday? Nope.

Will I do something productive today? Yes, I am actually.

Hooray for weekend #2 with no car.

sábado, março 24, 2007

So, our car has just been stolen. We parked it at 2 right in front of the condo portaria and went out at 9 and it's not there. O Maridão has gone to the special office where you report that your car has been stolen, since obviously when you have no car because it has been stolen it is so efficient to have to go to an office to report it instead of having officers come and take the report. The porteiro is pretty sure it wasn't even there at 5:30 when he got here. The neigherbors across the street whose house we parked it in front of have a camera, but they just happened to turn it off today because of something having to do with TV signal, so no help there. Also, there are security guards in front of the two office/businesses a stone throw's distance away (and with a full view of our car at one of them), but no one saw anything. Even more noteable is that for some reason we brought in many things from the car today, like the car seat that we are borrowing from a former student, and O Maridão's expensive sunglasses that live in the glove compartment usually. And every time I go to type the word "sigh" I keep writing "sign." I wonder what it all means.


quinta-feira, março 22, 2007

So much is going on, I have no time to post. But just a quick Ju word :

pinto = penis, but also "aipim"

He just ate half of my dinner and asked for more "mais pinto?"

domingo, março 11, 2007

I had noticed some time ago that the deaf seem to flock to Bompreço. Every time I go through there, since I was pregnant, I have noticed lots of gestures being used with expressive eyes and faces that leave less to wonder about than one might think. When I first noticed it happening, it was easy to pick out who was deaf and who was not. Two or three people would be engaged in some intense conversation that I had no part of other than blatenly staring at them. Now, all the cashiers and baggers seemed to be well versed and easily communicate without words. It's hard to tell who really has no other way to express themselves. Either the deaf and mute are flocking to Bompreço, or there is some kind of training program going on. Or it could be both. Apparently there are laws requiring the hiring of the handicapped here (just like in the States), and low and behold - they are being followed!

sábado, março 10, 2007

I have come to the conclusion that my lack of posting is not due to my lack of time (although actually turning on the computer and writing something before I fall asleep with Ju could make a difference), nor is it due to my attention being constantly diverted to other habitants of this house. It seems my inspiration to write comes only when I am far away from the computer, or at school, where the computer is even slower than this one (hard to believe, I know!). It's hard for me to feel disaplined enough to sit down and write when I feel like it - there always seems to be something else I'll do online and forget about it. Or worse, I am out somewhere and think "I will write about this today" and then by the time I get home it is only a vague inclination and lacking in all the inspiration that I felt at the time the idea was concieved.

For instance, last weekend was a lunar eclipse. I cannot remember the last time I saw one really, not when I knew that was what I was looking at. I had totally forgotten about it until someone else at the party I was at pointed out that the moon was doing something funny. Then it took us another half hour of observation to convince the rest of the guests that it was in fact an eclipse and not just clouds or phases of the moon. I was so inspired to watch it, but at the same time thinking "well, there will be another one in August, so really, why bother." I tried to recall how we had watched eclipses in the States - I couldn't remember. I imagined everyone would be out on their porches, gazing at the sky, watching in awe in the cold (probably very far from the truth). And then I imagined that people around the world were watching it with us. And then we left the party and driving home I saw that almost no one on the street (and there were a LOT of people out, being a Saturday night and all) seemed even remotely aware of what was going on. No one was looking. Like comming back to reality, by the time we got home, I had forgotten it, and so I wrote nothing.

Ju has become a three word sentence maker. I think I did post that before. He also suddenly has the ability to recognize shapes. He has a turtle-put-the-cups-in-the-same-shaped-holes-toy that I got for him when he turned 1 because he was so into putting things inside of other things. He never figured out that the star shaped cup goes in the star shaped hole, the flower shaped cup going in the flower shaped hole, etc. For half a year he played with this thing off and on. The last time he had it out was in December. Suddenly on Thursday night he asked to play with it and so I got it out. He immediately put all the cups in the correct holes. Just like that. Suddenly he can do it. I almost cried I was so excited.

sábado, março 03, 2007

"não não ah-oo gato" = don't put water on the cat

"pum bapeesh" = I farted on the crayons

Ju has begun to draw lines, very nice strait ones, with his crayons. He has been coloring figures for a while, but now he will hand you a crayon and tell you "gato" if he wants you to draw a cat so he can color it. We made a very nice drawing on Thursday night that I took to school on Friday to show off and display. Like all people with kids, or with new-anything-living (this includes puppies, cats, nieces, nephews...) every new development is an amazing step into the world. Actually, having kids makes you want to do a degree in child development, just so you can compare "yes, he did this, no not this...." etc.

The weather here has taken a turn for the "winter-like" a little early this year. Usually this rain/sun/blow/hot/cold all in the same half hour confusion doesn't start until at least April. I don't mind it unless it keeps the kids inside at school and they turn into loud little bouncey monsters because of lack of running space. Also, Ju is watching an absurd amount of TV because I can't take him for a long walk in the rain. His obsession has moved from "Cars" to "The Lion King," until yesterday when I brought home a DVD of "Bear in the Big Blue House" about potty training (innate messages can't hurt, right?) that he seems to be enjoying quite a bit. He likes to watch things that he can identify and say the names of the animals or objects - there is a "mah-oosh"(mouse), a "moon," and he seems to enjoy the shadow puppet part. Even now he is trying to call my attention from the computer to watch the beginning part where the bear sniffs you. So cute.

quarta-feira, fevereiro 21, 2007

Adjectives! Today Ju said "bih mesh" - BIG MESS!

domingo, fevereiro 18, 2007

My first year of Carnaval I was 7 months pregnant, so I didn't get to do much. My second year, I was breast feeding, so I didn't do much either. This year I finally went out and did the pipoca thing, and then went to a camarote (which we got for free). We went to Farol da Barra, which only after we returned did my husband inform me is one of the most "dangerous" places to go in the pipoca, walking from shopping Barra all the way there.

My first impression was how bad it smelled. There was the highly potent smell of xixi everywhere, along with sweat, B.O., and garbage smells, and the over powering exhaust from the Trios which gave me a headache all of yesterday. We parked illegally outside of Shopping Barra, where the guarda carro simpley moved the SETE cone down the street a few feet to make room for our car, insisting that if there was no cone, there was no problem (this only works in Brasil). He then insisted on being paid R$10 for the service of moving the cone. We gave him R$5 with the understanding that if "SETE gets us, we will find you."

On the way to the main circut, we walked down a back road where some guy had set up a large speaker and microphone, and whilst painting a large picture to illustrate his points with blacklight paint, was lecturing about Jesus and savoirs and the family love and who knows what else. I was mostly amused by the use of the black light and paint. There were also numerous churrascos going on - who knows what that meat is....

Out on the main circut, we walked through the crowds, dancing as the blocos came by. I don't have cheap tennis shoes, so I just wore some strap on sandals and right off the back my toe was wounded from a passing sharp object which might have been a shoe or might have been a beer can, we'll never know. It would have been worth it to buy some new tennies just to cover my feet to keep all the nastyness of the street from being splattered on my poor feet (the sandals are still in the slop sink next to the washer and will remain there until I can soak them in disinfectant).
We had quite a walk ahead of us, through the masses of sweaty smelly people. There were numerous fights (people start them in the crowds to take your guard down so they can rob you) but we some how managed to not get caught in them (but just barely). I quickly learned to deal with the "ickeyness" when squished up against fellow partiers because of a passing bloco or a fight. Somewhere along the way, a couple with the same camarote shirts found us and asked us if they could walk with us to not be alone on the way to the building, which I thought was kind of paranoid and funny (until after when O Maridão mentioned that he had not gone to the Farol in many years because of the danger factor), but we quickly lost them during one of the fights.

On the way down, we passed several blocos without trios, mostly for men it seems. One was called "the towels" and all the members (men) wore pink towels and shower caps. Another was called "the pajamas" where all the members (all men, again) wore white and blue striped pajamas and night caps, some carrying teddy bears, and allowing only women who they seemed to think were attractive inside their ropes with them. It was quite amuzing to see.

We were on the hunt for Gilberto Gil's bloco (Expresso 2222 or something like that), where we were to try to find one of our friends who said she would be following it. Within the madness, we accidently found a different group of our friends, a collegue from my husband's work, and the uncle of his namordada from when he was 15, all following 2222. We walked with them for a while, but I was starting to get sick from being so close to the exhaust pipe, and everytime the truck would stop, the crowd kept moving forward and we would always end up right next to it, burning my legs and feet. My ears were really starting to hurt from being so close to the speakers when we finally decided to go up into the camarote (Camarote Oceania) which was right across from the light house.

The camarote was much more controlled. There was a live band with Marcos... de dois>? Can't quite remember his name. And some woman that we didn't know the name of but who reminded me a bit of Lauren Hill, mostly a rock/rap kind of genra. Apparently this was the camarote of the rich, all drinks and everything included, and there was body painting, hair braiding, Haagen Das Ice cream (!!!), champagne... Also, I swear I was the shortest one there. Rich people are tall here, I have noticed this at school too - all the woman are much much taller than me, so much that I almost feel like I'm back in the States. Decendents of immigrants, so I have been told. We drank red bull and whiskey (vire fan!) and watched the blocos for only a little while. Because of all the lights, there was a huge population of gigantic moths (like bigger than my hand) on the outside of the building, and they kept comming inside and flying around over the band. After the band finished, there was some typical rap music which slowly turned into techno (have you noticed this always happens at parties - people are so drunk by that time they don't even listen to the music anymore, just the beat and keep going and going like energizer bunnies). By the time we left to walk back to the car, there were only a couple hundred left in the streets, some people cleaning up trash, and a random vendor or two trying to sell their last couple of geladas for the evening.

One interesting thing I noted was that in the midst of all that mess and all those people from all over the city, we found one of the women who hangs out on the corner near our house (right near where I was robbed) collecting cans. She is the mother of Diva, who I have mentioned before I believe. She told us Diva was out there somewhere, running around with her friends. Small world. No matter where you go in this city, you always see familiar people. Only in Bahia...

To see the view of where we were, check out this link. To choose another view of the circut, click here.

sexta-feira, fevereiro 16, 2007

Ju has started doing what appears to be make-believe types of play - biting his crackers into car shapes and then driving them around his high chair tray, and making finger puppets talk to each other (in Ju-language) during his bathtime. Of course, it's hard to tell what's going on in his head while he does this, but it appears to be a fantasy play type of thing.
boon = balloon (I think this was my word for it too when I was little).

Carnaval has officially begun here Bahia. Actually, it officially begins on Wednesday, and the insanity of traffic around the city has shown it. If one tries to pass by AeroClub, you have to contend with "unofficial" abadá sellers, who are rumoured to steal back the black market shirts they just sold you as you walk back to your car or home or bus stop as the case may be. There a long lines of people selling beer along the Orla where there was no beer before. There are confettie, streamers, and carnaval masks litering the ground and decorating homes and stores. And there is the rain. The ever present rain, which according to the forecast, will be here all the way through the week long insanity, soaking everything, turning the confettie into paper-machê muck all over, mixed with xixi and god knows what else. Not that I was going to go out in it before, but I certainly don't plan to now. Some year I will really experience Carnaval, but it seems this year is out.

sábado, fevereiro 10, 2007

"soo-vah" = chuva = rain

"boh-d" = bird
I have begun walking home from work twice a week with a couple of friends. I can get to my door in about 2 hours walking, and about 1 hour and 45 minutes if I jog a bit in the last stretch. It's hot, sweaty, and salty, but definately enjoyable and I feel much better now that I am definatetively doing something to get my body back, almost two years after Ju was born. We have noticed some of the same people at the same points in the route, also walking to one place or another. We chat about work and being married/in relationships and how alchohol is essencial in the kitchen. Real girl stuff I guess, something I had missed without realizing I was missing it. It also is helping me get over my fear of walking around by myself (although it is much easier since I have nothing on me that would make me a target, except if someone decided they wanted to steal my shoes), making me less of a reculse in the afternoons.

domingo, fevereiro 04, 2007

sábado, fevereiro 03, 2007

I forgot to add

ah-tah-tee - chocolate (pronounced in portuguese)
tee tee - leite = milk (the powdered kind) to be eaten by the spoonful and in no other form

eh-peh-een = airplane : just repeated this morning

oh-pee = open

Ju has been testing his limits these days and is learning about "time-out," which seems to be very effective in some cases, but not so much when he can't quite make the connection that what he did was not allowed or not. Most of these cases are with regard to things he has not been punished for doing before - not putting away crayons, not staying out of the kitchen, running around with food in his hands, etc. With things like turning on the computer when told not to, playing with the television buttons when told not to, and wiggling on the lap, it has been pretty effective. Half the time O Maridão thinks I am being too harsh, and Ju knows this and calls "papai" when he doesn't get what he wants from "mamãe." I see it as his training so he's not one of those problem kids in preschool (I have so many).

sábado, janeiro 27, 2007

Transportation Dictionary by Ju

cah-oh = carro

tu-gu-da = pickup truck/delivery truck (from "agua e gas chegou")

bah-eekee = motorcycle

tah-too = tractor

ao-ão = avião

tuh-ka-tuh-ka = helicopter (from the "sound" we make for the propellers spinning)

sexta-feira, janeiro 19, 2007

"bee bee" - baby (said earlier today in reference to my fat gut; he seems to think there is a baby in there)

About a week ago Ju was "baptized" as Bahian, or so it has been called:

We spent the afternoon at Porto da Barra with some friends and decided to stop by Dinha for an Acarjé and a beer on the way home. It was a rather large group of us, five adults and four kids of various ages, so we sat on the outer ring of tables and got several plates of Acarajé, Abará, Vatapá, and camarão to split amongst us. Along with the quantity of food came a small plastic cup (think Jell-O shooters) of "pimenta" or very strong pepper sauce. I have never tasted this stuff (for food allergy reasons, for those of you who don't know), but every Bahian claims it is the hottest hot sauce that exists, that eating it proves your manhood, and all sorts of related claims.

O Maridão was nice enough to take the Dinha shift as the Ju lap, so I was able to relax a bit while eating. Ju ate boiled peanuts and raw tomato from the Acarajé plates and seemed quite satisfied with his food. As a habit, he always wants to grab and examine everything on the table, including beer bottles, trash, peanut shells, etc, and I saw that he was eyeing the small plastic cup, but he didn't reach for it.

After about an hour, I decided it was time to pee. I got up and informed the table and then debated with O Maridão as to which bar I should do the honor of peeing in. Ju seized this opportunity to investigate the cup, and although I caught him in mid swallow, the damage was done. He screamed bloody murder and all the surrounding tables turned our way, most immediately realizing what had happened and yelling suggestions like "make him drink water!" which we were already trying to force him to do. We managed to get water in and out of his mouth to wash it out a couple of times, but then he refused to open it (I suppose because water doesn't actually help this sort of thing, but rather acts in moving the offending oils around the mouth and actually making it worse - but try telling that to any one around here...). Normally a piece of bread or a glass or milk would be ideal in this case, but there was none to be had in the middle of a bunch of outdoor bars.

Then came the suggestion to get a cup of sugar and feed it to him. Ju resisted at first, until I managed to force a fingerfull into his pursed lips, and then immediately fell silent, allowing me to finger feed him most of the cup until he took over and ate ever last grain. He would have been a good ant target by the time we left, but he seemed to have recovered okay. That is until we tried to take the little cup of sugar out of his hands.

So let this be a lesson to you all. Of what, I just don't know right now. I have had enough trouble getting him to eat right this entire break, made worse by irregular schedules and vacationing nanny, now we have introduced little cups of sugar into the mix as the "cure" for something. At least he still eats pure wheatgerm...

quinta-feira, janeiro 18, 2007

Tan = fan

Bah-ee-kee = bike or motorcycle

Today he also kept saying "teem" which I think was in reference to "building" but I can't be sure, as he hasn't used it in other contexts.

Mah-oof = mouth - this is in reference to tongue actually, and I only made this connection when he referred to the "licky" emoticon as "mah-oof." He also calls the "evil" emoticon gato, I think because it has "ears."

terça-feira, janeiro 16, 2007

Dah-it-ee = light

Meh-eesh = mess

segunda-feira, janeiro 15, 2007

Now we have a real sentence - "mee mee, assee cah-o" = "filme, assistir carros" - movie, watch cars. So cute.

Pah pah-o = "chapéu" - hat

Puhm = plumb (did I post this already?)

ahm = food, something to eat - not sure, but I think this is in relation to the noise I make when I want him to take a bite of something.

(and thanks to Rio for pointing out the mistakes)

segunda-feira, janeiro 08, 2007

Just after Xmas, two huge boxes of my things I left to be mailed to me over two years ago arrived. The delay here is for various reasons, but mostly due to my inability to accomplish things I meant to and leaving them for others to take care of. Anyway, so finally, most of my things are here, and this house is actually looking like me - lots of little nick nacks about, pictures, books....

In the last two and a half years I have lived here, various books have been sent to me, due to my plea for English reading material. O Maridão was always aggravated by the contiuous entrance of new dust collecting material, since I would usually plow through the book in about 2-3 days and then it would sit on a shelf in case I wanted to read it again. With this new box arrival, I finally decided to remove the books I have read to be donated to the Pan Am library. This is about 100 books of various sizes. A great wieght has been removed from our selves. But only to be replaced with more.

A great bulk of the weight in the new boxes was the books I moved about with me throughout college- many of them required readings for classes I took and were the $10-$20 novel or small paper back book that I would never get more than $1.50 back for returning, so I never bothered to do so. Most of them I never really read, yet managed to pass the classes anyway (what does that say?).

So now I am settling down to read them, actually read and digest them, trying to remember what it was they were supposed to teach me. At the time I was supposed to have done this, I was never able to stay awake or pay attention to the words on the page. I had attributed this to the lack of sleep, going out and partying, immense pressure kind of problem that happens to all of us during college. But I am finding that when I open them and begin, the same thing is happening - read a page and ... wait a minute, what did I just read? Incredibley boring, page long rants about German-ness, individual histories with the author, why he/she is important for history to recognize.... What was the point of that? It's gotten so bad that I am simultaneously reading three different books right now, and I cannot really remember what is in any of them...

So really what it comes down to is - why do they pick such horrible boring things for us to read in college? I mean, there must be something out there that is both entertaining and educational at the same time. They do it all the time for kids, look at Sesemae Steet, and really any program on PBS. Experts wonder why my generation doesn't read more now adays, blaming it on television and the internet etc, but I think what it really comes down to is that the only reading we have time for for several years is the most dry and horrible stuff you can imagine. And now out of some guilty feeling of having gotten credit for a class I never did the work for, I am trying to figure out why they felt this is worthwhile. Is it possible anyone enjoys these books anymore with so many more interesting things to read? I know the classics have got their place, but they were classics because they were so interesting at the time, so different, such a great message, daring etc... Surely there must be some way to update this curriculum....

domingo, janeiro 07, 2007

Ju is officially making two word sentences. The first one is "pum de papai" - "fart (of) daddy" or daddy's fart. You can see the kind of encouragement he gets at home; must be a family trait.

sábado, janeiro 06, 2007

Mee-ão : Camião = truck

Ju is making more and more associations. When he watches his car movie, he plays with his cars. When he watches "Fly away home" he plays with his penguin.

sexta-feira, janeiro 05, 2007

ee-ais : rice (sounds kind of like "yes" when he says it)
New Ju developments:

Ju has some kind of mania with pink/peach crayons. Every time he gets the crayons out, he finds all the pieces of them and carries them around with him. It's only that particular color. Very strange.

There is apparently a large influx of ghosts in this apartment. Ju says "taow taow" and waves bye bye to no-see-ums about 10 times a day. No idea who they are.

During his daily "Cars" watch, he imitates different sounds and repeats "no, no" when ever the characters say "no."

When you remove a wet diaper, he says "shee shee" and makes a "it stinks" sound and waves his hand in front of his face. He also does this action for a poopy diaper.

Ju thinks farts are really funny. If he hears a fart or makes one himself, he will come and tell me "mamãe, PUM!" and laugh about it.

quarta-feira, janeiro 03, 2007

Tan: crayon

bahee-kee : bike

Ah-oh: Hello (when the phone rings)

Ju is imitating words left and right. Consistently he seems to be following the Brasilian English tendency to add "ee" on the end of "k" sounds (bikey, cakey).